Date: May 24, 2016
Shuuren decides to go on a sudden trip for plants and he takes his worst bodyguard along for the journey.
"Verge of Darkness/Rebirth of the Blood Scythe - Plant Harvest"
Daoma and the team from Iwagakure did well on the last mission, but Shuuren has decided it's time to give another of his growing guards a chance at proving himself. So, rather than a team this time, the Daimyo offered Imire the chance to work solo as a bodyguard on a mission the Daimyo is heading on for himelf. Daoma would probaby also be just a BIT annoyed that he's going on such a journey so soon after being injured and poisoned on the last mission, so he doesn't have to get glared at the whole time this way. At the edge of the Port City, Shuuren waits patiently for Imire's arrival, adorned in the black attire he uses for combat and training rather than his signature suit and daimyo cloak. There's also a lack of a wagon this time, meaning they will be going by foot. This likely isn't an official Tea Country mission. Still, it's not like the pay will be any less simply because Shuuren's going on a personal venture for once rather than village business or business business.
Imire may or may not have heard that Shuuren ran into some trouble on the way back from the Stone Village. The teen would be a bit anxious, trying to check that he had everything on him. Sword? Check. First Aid Kit? Check. Self? Check. Daimyo? … Well, check, now that Imire's finally reached the man. "Umm … Shuuren-dono, are you sure that you should be going out so soon?" he would ask nervously, fingers tapping at his sword on his side. The teen also couldn't help but notice the Daimyo wasn't in a suit, which was very odd. He must be expecting trouble, which doesn't help Imire's nerves.
As Imire arrives, Shuuren looks his way and nods in greeting. He smirks a bit at that question and chuckles. "You think a little thing like a deadly poison is going to do me in? I'll rest if the shinigami ever manage to catch up to me," he says then looks out toward the path. "We're going to another country to explore an underground oasis of sorts. If the information I've gathered is correct, there should be fragments of plants there that shouldn't exist anymore. With any luck, there'll be enough left of them for me to resurrect them. It's rather dirty work. That's why I'm not wearing my suit if you're wondering, though it is possible the people that are after me could make an attempt again." He looks back to Imire then, asking, "That's nothing we can't handle, though, right?" With that he takes off, heading out of the capital and apparently expecting Imire to follow behind to a small dock where a ship is waiting to for them. Bringing his hands into a seal, Shuuren quickly creates Shadow Clones that fan out to prepare the ship for take-off while he moves to the helm.
" … " Imire stares a bit at Shuuren, wondering if he should actually answer the question. Frankly, he did think that a deadly poison would at least make Shuuren ill for a day, but apparently the Daimyo is stronger than he thought … Not that Imire though Shuuren was weak. But the strength levels (and their difference) was very intimidating. "S-Sou … I think we'll be able to handle all that, yes," he says quickly, nodding and offering a salute. Then he rushes after Shuuren, able to at least travel and keep up with the Daimyo. "Ummm … Who exactly are the people after you, if I may ask, Shuuren-dono?"
Shuuren is satisfied enough with that answer, though the question after causes him to look at Imire sternly almost as if judging his mettle. "There are certain questions you may not want to truly know the answer to unless you are wiling to devote your life to a cause or place," he states before looking around the ship to gauge how long it will take for his clones to be done, which isn't long since it's done only moments later, and they vanish as the ship starts to take off. "The main part you may want to know is that they are a group of monks who've turned their hearts over to the darkness they were once taught to keep at bay. Though he supposedly perished in combat and was sealed away for good, they believe that their god can be resurrected, and they want me to be the one to do it." Foolish as it may sound, there is something of a darkness in that smooth voice of his as he tells the tale while they sail southward.
*Gulp* Imire wouldn't actually do that, really, instead staring back at Shuuren with a nervous yet determined expression. "I won't give in if the path ahead looks rough," he would state solemnly before Shuuren launched into his explanation. The teen frowned slightly, but would nod. "That … Doesn't sound good. …" He wants to ask something else, but there's something inside him telling him that it would be a bad idea to ask now. Instead, he concentrates on keeping an eye out for trouble. "So you think they'll try to pull something, then, while we're out here?"
"That's good to know. That's a strong quality for a bodyguard," Shuuren says, nodding to Imire. He then smirks a bit, saying, "It's really not good… But we'll endure." Looking back ahead at the sea before them, he says, "It's possible, but I don't think they knew I was going to this island. They have ways of watching obviously, but we'll see if they manage to gather a force to chase us there."
Imire grins a bit to the component. Then his face turns serious once more. "You think they can gather a force that quickly? The trip itself was already pretty last minute …" Imire says uncertainly, crossing his fingers for good luck before he puts a hand on the hilt of his sword. Just in case. He had to get used to using it, after all. If he had to rely on his fists all the time, he wouldn't become as strong as he should be, especially in situations where death wasn't wanted or needed.
"Telling you was last minute, but I've had it planned for a bit," Shuuren points out with a smirk. "They may not be able to catch up to us immediately, but they could maybe get a force together to intercept us on the way back." As they sail forward, after a while and passing through the Land of the Sea and beyond, they would come to an island that looks like it was once home to an ancient civilization, now overrun by nature itself since no one has lived on it in some time. Pulling a lever, Shuuren drops the anchor of the ship and looks over to Imire. "Here we are."
"That's not my fault!" Imire would huff, crossing his arms and glaring at the one he was supposed to guard. Well, at least he wasn't being kept completely in the dark… When they drop anchor, he blinks and looks around. Specifically, he looks at the island and tries to scan for danger. "I would lead the way, but I'm at a bit of a loss on what we're looking for …" Imire comments, moving to follow Shuuren. Probably keeping more so that he'd be to the side of Shuuren… There aren't a lot of guards, so he can't make a protective square or anything like that, sadly.
"If my research is correct, I believe I know the way," Shuuren says as he glances over toward Imire them moves off the ship onto the island's surface. They trek through the forest on the island for a bit until they come to a rather large tree with brushes growing around its massive roots. He peers around at the area and then pushes one of the bushes' branches aside to reveal a tunnel underneath it.
"Of course," Imire would say simply, though he would glance off to the side briefly… Ahem. Imire would just follow after Shuuren, making sure to just look around for anything that might hint at danger. That means mostly wild animals and maybe something odd like a puddle that shouldn't be there or something. The teen would partly relax when it seems that Shuuren found part of their goal. "Have you been here before?" He wonders aloud.
"No. I just got lucky and picked the right bush on the first try," Shuuren admits with a chuckle as he looks over his shoulder at Imire. "The research said it was hidden in the roots, so this seemed like the most logical way for it to be hidden." He then turns and moves down into the tunnel, able to move a lot quicker than any human should be able to thanks to his unnatural flexibility to come down into an area bristling with life. Natural light comes into the area to provide enough sun for the plants to live, given reflection off the rocks factoring in. There are some areas, however, that seem to be overgrown with plants from others rather than their own life actually thriving, those likely being the ones he's talking about that have passed. Still, it's quite a beautiful place, seemingly untouched by man for ages.
"Pfft. You get lucky far too often, Shuuren-dono," Imire would scoff, the teen rolling his eyes a bit. Of course, now was the more difficult part of getting down the tunnel. The teen is not as flexible as Shuuren, sadly, which means that he is left struggling and he would appear behind Shuuren a full minute after the Daimyo. Naturally, Imire was covered in dirt after the ordeal. At least he doesn't care as much about his own clothes as Shuuren does his suit. Once free of the tunnel, he takes a chance to look around, jaw almost dropping when he takes in his surroundings. "Wow …" he would say, awestruck. " … " After a bit more staring. "So. Where can we find that plant you wanted, Shuuren-dono?"
"That's a good question," Shuuren says, pondering a bit as he looks around the area. He reaches into his coat then, pulling a scroll out and looking over it. "It's going to be in one of the spots that is barren other than overgrowth." After studying it over for a while, he turns and starts to walk around, looking for areas that match the description of what he's supposed to be looking for.
" … " Imire would just nod once and start looking for this mysterious patch. It sounded a bit odd to him. A place barren of all but overgrowth didn't sound like it could exist, really. But the teen would poke his way through bushes and various plants to see if he could find what the Daimyo was seeking.
It's basically just a spot where one plant growing over the top of another kept it from getting any light and thus caused it to die. Shuuren looks around for a while before he finally finds something that is pretty close to what he's looking for. He reaches into a pocket of his shirt, retrieving a trowel that should not fit in there before he kneels and begins to dig carefully. This goals for a while with him retrieving bits of plant that he puts into a pocket oddly enough, likely using some scroll jutsu he's perfected to seal the samples. "… Lots of interesting things in this spot, but not what I'm looking for so far," he comments as he continues to go through it.
Imire pokes around still until he finds something pretty barren. Aha! Maybe he found something? Maybe not. He doesn't have a handy shovel like Shuuren, though, so he settles for using his hands to dig around for any signs of plants. "At least you know what you're looking for," he comments, wondering if this root remnant was anything that Shuuren needed. Well, he would just place it off to the side and bring it to the Daimyo later.
"Ah, right," Shuuren says, standing and walking over to him. He reaches into his pocket again, grabbing another trowel and a set of sample bags, both of which he hands over to Imire. "Just take samples of whatever you find. I'm sure it'll be usable in some way." With that he turns and walks over to another spot to begin digging and taking samples.
Imire would take the trowel gratefully and he would put some of the root he found into one of the bags. "Hopefully," he says, nodding just a bit and digging around more. He would find some bits of plant, he imagines, but he isn't sure what he's looking for still. The odds of him finding what Shuuren wanted, though, felt pretty slim at the moment. Imire pawed through the soil for some time before deciding he probably wouldn't get much more from it, so he stood and looked around for another spot to dig around.
Shuuren spends some time on the latest area he chose before moving to another. His efficiency with this is a bit greater than Imire's simply from practice with this sort of thing. He doesn't seem to actually have any prejudice against collecting all samples he can find, even taking a few samples from living plants, though not enough to do them any damage. As he continues to search, he cants his head slightly as he seems to detect something. "There appear to be a few ships approaching the island… The likelihood of them finding us in the cavern is pretty slim, though we should decide on a plant to get rid of them without damaging the island."
Imire will probably never cease to be amazed by the one he serves … That Shuuren could so casually seem to sense approaching ships … "Oh. … I see … Umm, so we should try to hurry, then?" he asks, poking around a spot that looks like it might contain the thing Shuuren is looking for. "What exactly is the plant you're searching for again? Like what did you want it for?" the teen asks uncertainly. He doesn't remember if the Daimyo told him or not.
"That or I could try to sink them before they get here," Shuuren says with a shrug. At the question, he says, "There are a couple really. One is an extinct version of a venus flytrap. The other one has porous thorny vines that excrete poison… I'm going to try to recreate and cross-pollenate them with some other things for an experiment."
"That or I could try to sink them before they get here," Shuuren says with a shrug. At the question, he says, "There are a couple really. One is an extinct version of a venus flytrap. The other one has porous thorny vines that excrete poison… I'm going to try to recreate and cross-pollenate them with some other things for an experiment." That explained, he digs through another area to retrieve more samples while he ponders a strategy for dealing with the approaching ships.
"Do you have some vines or something? Grab all the ships with giant vines and make it seem like they're being attacked by a giant octopus or something. That'd be sorta funny and might distract them for a bit, right? Might also distract you, but I can keep digging around for the plants you want," Imire would say, shrugging his shoulders lightly. "Your experiments don't sound very fun …" he would add, thinking that he might have gone through life a lot happier without knowing Shuuren's future plans.
"I've got a better one actually," Shuuren says, smirking slighty at that idea. He brings his hands into a seal then slams one down on the ground. One the surface, hundreds of snakes appear with a puff of smoke to race out from the island and begin attacking, making their first priority to knock holes in the ships before going after the men with poisonous bites intended to poison and leave them stranded out in the middle of the ocean. He smirks at Imire's next comment, saying, "I'm a scientist and a medic. Plants are a great source of many medicines and other breakthroughs. It's not exactly a fun task, but it's necessary."
Imire was close enough with his own idea to the truth of what Shuuren performed. … Technically. "Remind me not to get on your bad side," the bodyguard would say, using his trowel to poke through the dirt more. Scraps of plants were gathered into baggies and storage stuffs. "So …" Imire would start off, wondering if he should even continue with this line of thought or not. It didn't exactly feel like the best time to bring it up, but they were alone …
While Shuuren's snakes continue their attack up top, the Daimyo goes about his business of collecting plants as if nothing at all is going on. He smirks at Imire's words, though the next statement that starts and stops causes him to glance at him more directly. "…. Yes?"
"Um … Nevermind," Imire says quickly. "It's not important." Imire makes his way to a different patch of dirt, forgetting where he was with his current digging, and he would set about trying to find more plants. This next 'field' isn't very bountiful, much to his chagrin.
"… Okay then," Shuuren says, shrugging his shoulders. Whatever it is, if Imire sees fit enough to ask him, he's certain it'll be asked eventually. Their rummaging through the dead plantlife here would go on for a while longer before the Daimyo is satisfied with the collection and turns to look at what Imire has gathered. "Bring your collection to me when you're done with that last spot, and I'll seal it away in one of my pockets," he instructs, apparently having found what he was looking for.
"H-Hai!" Imire says, a bit startled. He still doesn't get how Shuuren knew what he was looking for. The dead leaves all look the same to him, never mind the roots. The teen gets up and dusts off his hands and knees, taking up the samples and the trowel and offering them to Shuuren. "Here you are, Shuuren-dono."
Nodding to Imire, Shuuren takes the samples and trowel and stuffs them away in a pocket, which they vanish into without seeming to actually take up any space in it. "Let's get out of here then," he says before turning to move up the tunnel, going first so he can survey through his chakra sense if there are any survivors of his attack as well as if one of the monks that are after him bothered to show up personally this time or if this was just a test.
Imire nods and follows Shuuren, struggling to climb back up the tunnel. The lack of flexibility is sorta hindering his natural speed, so Shuuren is able to exit the tunnel before him. The bodyguard, upon exiting the cavern, would look around to see if there was anyone who seemed intent on hurting the Daimyo.
As they arrive at the top, it seems that the ships didn't get very close to the island before they were put in ruin by the Daimyo's summoned snakes. Just when Shuuren might think he could revive a few of those men for questioning, it seems the monk uses the same tactic as last time. With the activation of a seal, each of the goons is blasted into a million pieces by a powerful seal, the unified activation sending a powerful circular wave out that crashes against the island and would wash over them. He still hasn't appeared yet, though…
% As the wave crashes, Shuuren brings his hands into a seal and slams one on the ground, sending up a seal wall in front of himsef and Imire that protects them from being slammed by the water. A look of disgust crosses the Daimyo's face as he says, "This order seems to put no value into those that work for them, like they are simply pawns to be tossed into the fire if it is advantageous to them at the time to do so… Not that the shinobi villages don't have a similar policy with their own in some cases."
"So this kind of thing happens a lot?" Imire grunts out, his arms having raised to block the explosion. Thankfully he didn't actually have to bear the brunt of the wave because of Shuuren, but he still felt a bit bad that he couldn't protect Shuuren. Worst bodyguard. The teen would lower his arms warily, looking towards the sea for any boats (big and small) that might be out there. "To treat underlings like that is … mean," is all he can manage, not having the eloquence to voice his disgust.
"Not usually, but lately," Shuuren says with a shrug of his shoulders. "All leaders have enemies, and there's usually a secret war or two going on. If I can keep it out of Tea Country to keep my citizens from being distressed, I do so." He looks around the area again, deciding it best they move along and see what comes next. "Let's go," he orders simply before moving back to the the ship and bringing his hands into a seal to create clones that quickly pull the anchor back up and assist in preparing the ship for moving out again quickly before vanishing as it starts to head back toward Tea Country.
Imire dashes to keep up with Shuuren's brisk movements, the teen sometimes unsure what the daimyo will do next which means he tends to be a second slower than he ought to. "That's true. Remind me to never be a leader, Shuuren-dono. I don't think I could handle it," he admits, glad that the most he can do now is keep an eye out for trouble.
As the ship moves on, Shuuren finally takes note of something on the edge of the horizon to their right… a bald man in a black robe standing atop the water observing them. He's only there for a moment before vanishing into the depths… Too far away to track well at this point in a ship, and, while Shuuren could leap overboard and pursue, leaving Imire alone in the ship seems dangerous, especially since he's not sure how much nautical experience the guard has. He frowns a moment before looking back ahead to sail on toward Tea Country so that he can make use of what they found.