Verge of Darkness/Rebirth of the Blood Scythe - Stone Transport


Shuuren, Daoma, Nendo, Kaneko, Hotaru

Date: May 23, 2016


A group of Iwa-Genin escort the Tea Daimyo and his bodyguard partway to the Land of Tea. They end up running into some difficult trouble, though.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"Verge of Darkness/Rebirth of the Blood Scythe - Stone Transport"

Land of Earth - Central Mountains

|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*=\|*= A wide, well used dirt road winds it's way through the mountainside, the road exiting out of a large tunnel into the small valley between three large mountains. There are no trees and a scarce amount of dried out bushes along the dusty path. The tunnel itself was carved out of the mountainside and as it empties into the valley it offers a clear view of a large village atop the mountain in the north. With the foot of one of the three mountains on either side, the road itself is wide enough to allow small trading caravans through, headed for the village. Large caves and treacherous looking rocks highlight the mountainside, discouraging any would be climbers. Small patches of grass and plants line the entrances to caves and narrow ledges. The wind blows strong through this passageway, kicking up dust and rocks. There is limited shade on a hot day.
It's not too often these days that Shuuren goes out on missions to accompany them directly. Between his businesses and duties as Daimyo, there is simply too much to do, and so normally his guards or those he hires are sent to escort shipments that need guarding or rescuing or such. After such a long festival and so much work around the Great Todoroki Shrine Race, however, the Daimyo figured it was about time to take a few days to take a journey and get some rest. While a mission isn't the idea for rest for some, getting to take a few days to sojourn to Iwagakure and wait a day for the shipment to be fully prepared while getting to enjoy restaurants and sights and the like from a different vantage point than at home is about the best he can hope for.
At least this time, though, Shuuren wasn't too stubborn to bring along his lead guard in case things go badly again. Along with that, he's commissioned Iwagakure for a team to accompany them back across the continent to Tea Country. He currently stands at the village gates, in front of which sits a enormous wagon pulled by a team of eight horses that could very well be nin horses but are simply a large breed. The wagon has already been inspected by the Chuunin at the gate, whom the Daimyo is chatting up while he awaits the arrival of the team that will be accompanying him on the journey home.
They seem to be having a friendly enough talk. Shuuren probably misses village life a bit in some ways, so it's nice to get to talk to shinobi once in a while. Still, he's committed himself to a higher cause than the one he once served, so it's something he can only be nostalgic about once in a while. Surely he doesn't have any alternate identities that allow him to go on dangerous missions and journeys not suited for a gentle businessman and daimyo… right?

Daoma paced around the wagon and the horses, checking each strap and harness and tie there was twice. The she turned ad returned to Shuuren's side, staying back a ways and simply watching the man as he chatted with the chuunin guard. A merchant approached and offered her a paper to sign, a final acceptance of the shipment. She glanced over the terms and siged it, handing it back. The man pulled a small bag and handed it to her to which she handed him a small coin bag and they parted ways. This left her behind Shuuren, watching the man….

Nendo would come from the main road of the village at a casual pace that would get him to the gates on time, his hands were redoing the knot of his hitai-ate that bound the engraved metal at the front of his forehead while the cloth covered the top of his head like a bandana. With the summer, Nendo had returned to wearing his long black shorts with the many pockets and his sandals that wrapped about his ankles. The single sleeve of his maroon shirt cloaked his left arm as usual while his burn-scarred right arm was allowed to see the light of day again. Tugging the knot securely closed, Nendo pulled on his fingerless gloves to cover his hands before glancing over at the gathering near the village gates.
He'd heard who they were working with and it caused a slightly excited smirk to tug at the corners of his lips while he tried deciding which of the two strangers could be the one he'd heard about in the last. Someone who always wore a suit was easy to pick out from the grouping so it didn't take the Toujitakumi very long to pick that person out and start to approach. With a bow of his head, Nendo spoke up. "Excuse me," He started while bowing his head once to the Chuunin in respect before glancing toward Shuuren. "I believe you're our client today? I'm Toujitakumi Nendo."

"Finally~ A mission!" Kaneko would cheer, hopping a bit up and down as she would make her way to the gates. The girl was more than ready for one, though she had sorta been sitting on her hands waiting for /something/ to happen for the past while. Nothing seems to happen in Iwagakure anymore, sadly… At least life doesn't always stay the same. Just most of the time. Seeing who the client is, she would blink once. Familiar… It's been a while since she had seen Shuuren, but the last time was technically unpleasant. One that involved a lot of arrows aimed right at her…
"Daimyo-sama! It's good to see you again! I hope I can protect you better this time around than I did the last!" She pauses for a moment before adding, "I actually have a hitai-ate this time around, so it shouldn't be as big of a train wreck as last time!" She would glance over to Nendo when he came over, offering him an eager wave. "Nendo-sensei! Are we getting to work together again? I feel like it's been ages since we been on a mission together! I hope Hotaru-chan and Mitsue-kun and Akio-kun were assigned to this, too…"

The mission provided was simple. Who better to be cursed with simple escorts than simple genin? At least, from Hotaru's perpsective, this was just a high-paying escort mission which allows her to leave the boring dull colors of Iwagakure and return to what has become undeniably the greatest tourist trap in all the land. At the same time, the person they are escorting is someone whom appears to have been flirting with the Tsuchikage for a while now. She uses that term loosely, of course. "We're heading back to tea." She would whisper to Kaneko. "… We're… escorting the same individual we came to meet. Do… Do you think Juudai is… Do you think the Tsuchikage is extorting funds from the Daimyo of Tea?" She would ask. It certainly isn't anything love related. Why, Hotaru believed Juudai to be as emotional as a rock.
Hotaru was not far from the gates now, but as the only crippled shinobi that seems to still remain as a shinobi, she was rather slow. That likely explained why Kaneko ran ahead of her. That usually happens, much to her chagrin. The cold pinging of hollow metal would be the first anyone hears of Hotaru as she slowly drags herself forward with the grace of the undead. "Hai, Kaneko… I was assigned to this… So… So is Nendo, hmm? How strange… How very, very strange." She says, voice littered with a subtle noble 'uppity' undertone.

As Nendo approaches, Shuuren looks his way and nods in greeting. "Ah, yes. Nagamura Shuuren, Daimyo of the Land of Tea. A pleasure to meet you," he introduces himself before looking to Kaneko as she approaches, smirking a bit at her excitement for a mission. It's good to see at least some of the future of shinobi enjoy their work. His eyes then turn to Hotaru, smirking a bit at her too for some reason. "Good to see you again too." He then gestures toward Daoma, saying, "This is the captain of my guard, Daoma."
Introductions done, he points toward the wagon, saying, "The mission today's pretty simple. We're taking a rather expensive bit of stone back to Tea Country for one of my mason teams to work with. They expect only the best quality of material to work with, so you can imagine what kind of price this rock costs. I wouldn't imagine we'll encounter any thieves of any brainpower since this would be incredibly cumbersome to try and take, but I reqested assistance just in case." After a brief pause to let all of that sink in, he asks, "Do you all need to make any last-minute preparations, or are we ready to move?"

COMBAT: Shuuren focuses 5458 stamina to turn it into 8000 usable chakra!

Daoma watched Nendo walk up to Shuuren warily, crimson eyes on the man until he introduced himself. Then she looked over at the … practicly bouncing child Kaneko who bounced literally past the Daimyo's guard. Daoma tied the smallish bag to her belt and watched silently as the 'escorts' surrounded Shuuren. Children, all of them. And one was crippled?
Daoma's frown was deeper than just her lips, even her eyes cast aspersions. The eldest, Nendo, got a final glance before she turned. It did not take a freak of nature to notice the whisperings and gossipings of the little ones and it did not help her mood or their cause any. In fact it was far from smart. Daoma walked over to where a man stood with a horse for her. She attached her satchel to the saddle, tossed something into the saddle bags and mounted the beast.
Daoma was small, yes, and the horse was large, but she did not seem to have any issue controlling it. Patting the horse's neck lightly she spoke softly to it, though her crimson eyes never left he beseiged Daimyo. She nodded toward Nendo, a greeting of sorts before sitting up a bit more in the saddle. Shuuren's explaination of the mission was listened to while her eyes never lef the two children. Three genin and only one of an age to leave the village alone… If this was a mission for anyone /but/ Shuuren Daoma would be telling Iwa's assigners off colorfully. But as they treated her as a background object, she would wait for them to hang themselves. This trip was something completely different for Daoma after all.

As Kaneko came running over so eagerly and closed an eye as he nodded his head. "It seems like it, Kaneko. Have you been working hard since I last saw you?" Nendo questioned as he raised his sleeved arm to pat Kaneko's head lightly before ruffling her hair under his palm. "No Hotaru today?" Nendo asked before hearing the steady tapping of her cane and nodding a bit. "There she is - Hello, Hotaru." Nendo said before hearing the musings of the little dragon. "Yeah, I'm coming along this time while Mitsue's busy with some training. Not heard from Akio lately enough." With greetings out of the way amongst those he knew, he turned back to Shuuren in time for that introduction of the other stranger. Giving Daoma a wave in return to her nod, Nendo smiled a bit and nodded his head at the comment of the mission being a simple one. Transporting a rock…. that really was as simple as it gets. At least there was a wagon involved this time. Patting the pouches hanging from his belt to ensure they were fully stocked, Nendo gave a thumbs up. "All ready here." And with that, he'd move to begin walking and looking over the cart rather than climbing a mount, seeming far more content on his own feet than on those of a horse. The beasts were a little unwieldy to him.

COMBAT: Nendo focuses 5450 stamina to turn it into 7000 usable chakra!

"Baaaaka," Kaneko would have retorted to Hotaru. "D'you really think our Kage would do that? Juudai-sama-sensei is far more honorable than that! At least when it comes to people that aren't trying to break down our doors and steal away all the people…" She recalls some of the more horrendous things that have occurred to various people thanks to the Four Stone Blades and even some of her own clan mates. Annnnyyyywayyyyy…
"Hai, I remember you! … Sorta. It's nice to see you again, Daoma-san!" she would say to the pair, bowing to Daoma as the guard is introduced. "I'm ready as ever, Daimyo-sama! I already am all set for whatever!" She even has her sword at her side and a coiled strand of metal on her back in case they happen to run into trouble that Shuuren mentioned.
The girl would then turn to Nendo and nod once. "Sorrrrta," she would reply belatedly. "I been working on some things hard. And other things I've hardly been working on." She shrugs once and then would work to fix her hair. "Umm… Ne, we should get going, right?" She shifts a bit where she stood, feeling Daoma's gaze on her only now, but she doesn't actually realize the feeling's source. "Like I said, I'm all set."

COMBAT: Kaneko focuses 1829 stamina to turn it into 2500 usable chakra!

Hotaru questioned the smirk as she came to a stop. Perhaps that was supposed to be a smile of acknowledgement between nobility? Hotaru believed, rather, that he was just smiling at a kid acting like one. It caused her to rub the back of her head a moment, breaking eye-contact with the Daimyo. In the essence of being proper, she inreoduced herself… Again. "Yes, it's a pleasure… and…" She turned her gaze at Daoma, whom looked as if she had already been put into a bad mood… "… It is also a pleasure to meet you, Captain of the Guard, Daoma…" Did she actually hear her? Hotaru did not know. As she was saying what she had, the imposing woman was already mounting her horse…
"I am prepared, Lord Daimyo of Tea, but I must request that… I remain with the carts carrying the stone." She raises a hand, signaling those to look at her. "Consider me…" Hotaru would pause a moment, turning her head aside as she places her cane in front of her, both hands resting upon it… "… living artillery." She would await the Daimyo's call on letting her ride shotgun, but in the meantime there was someone else of interest in the area. She would smile at Nendo, and nod her head to him. That was the friendliest she had ever been to him. Whatever astrological alignment caused such a thing was unknown. Usually she is spiteful towards him…

COMBAT: Hotaru focuses 3347 stamina to turn it into 4500 usable chakra!

Shuuren turns a glance Daoma's way as he notices her scaring the kids a bit, though he knows her well enough to have an idea of what her grievance is. They'll have to discuss it later when there aren't shinobi of an ally country around. Turning his attention back to the Iwagakure shinobi, he nods to Nendo then Kaneko. Hotaru is given a longer look as she explains her situation. The Daimyo lifts an eyebrow slightly as he ponders a moment. "How about this, Hotaru-san… Do well on this mission, and, as a bonus, I'll fix your impairment when we reach Tea Country if you like. I'd offer to do so now, but it could take a few hours of daylight that we need to get this rig back home. For now you may ride on the cart."
With everyone set, Shuuren gives a moment for Hotaru to get settled while he himself takes a position on the cab of the wagon in the seating behind the driver. Once all are in place, he would signal for the driver to move, and thus the reigns would whip to signal the horses to begin their long journey through the rocky terrain of this country to head toward the Land of Fire so they can cross it to head toward the Land of Tea.

Daoma walked her horse around the cart once more, eyeing the straps and stone one final time befre pausing beside Shuuren. Of course being on a horse practicly put her on eye level with the Daimyo. She waited and shadowed him as he stepped int his palce on the wagon and then took up a flanking position with her horse. As for the children, if she was scaring them, they certainly acted like they were having a party with it. Daoma set the reins and withdrew a book fro her saddle bag which she opened and began to read even as she kept pace with the wagons.

Nendo tucked his hands down into his pockets, drumming knuckles against the pouches on the sides of his hips as he walked along at a pace to keep him beside the wagon once it began moving. It wasn't too long however, before the Toujitakumi pulled some clay from one of his pouches to begin working it in his hands and kneading the material into a more manageable state while they moved along. "Do you mind if I ask you something, Shuuren-san?" Nendo said without looking from his current project of clay which was already taking shape as some form of small bird in his hands, being carved carefully to detail each feather along its wings. "I was wondering if you were willing to share where you first began learning the trade of being a doctor? The Tsuchikage's commented on your skill in the past."

Kaneko just moves to follow the cart, preferring (like Nendo) to travel on foot. Not really because she didn't like riding horses (though she can't say she has experienced that enough to say), but because these particular horses were a bit scary and amazingly tall to her. She settled so that she'd be just behind Nendo while she looked around to make sure nothing bad would happen. Hotaru was given a look and a small smile, but she would otherwise just focus on the road ahead… Before she started having her attention drift to the side. The feeling of unease was gone, and now her curiosity was piqued… What was Daoma reading? She wasn't sure if she should bother the guard to ask….

RPCOMBAT: Kaneko defends against with a PERCEPTION…32

"You can… You can try, Shuuren-sama." Hotaru mumbled under her breath. Countless other medics have tried, and even have been successful temporarily. Yet, again and again it comes back. Either way, the struggle to get onto the carts would commence, and once Hotaru was up upon the large stone blocks, she would kneel upon them, placing her cane upon her lap. Her eyes blink a few times as she looks to the left, and to the right. After seeing that, visually, everything was fine she closed her eyes and used her sensory abilities to ping the area around her. It looked, to those around, that she had decided to sleep. It was all a ruse, for she was actually barring other senses to focus solely on a single sense.

RPCOMBAT: Hotaru defends against with a CHAKRA-SENSING-TECHNIQUE…37

The ride is pretty peaceful so far. Those using their perceptive abilities wouldn't pick up anything out of the normal. Who would attack so close to Iwagakure anyway? That's practically suicide. If they were going to setup an ambush, it would probably be further away in some of the more confusing terrain nearer the border.
While the cart moves along, Shuuren looks over to Nendo when he asks his question. "Of course… When I was a child, my father gave me the option to begin learning whatever skills I wanted to to begin my life as a businessman. A bit to his dismay, I told him I wanted to be a Medical Ninja, but he supported me, so he setup lessons for me with one of the most renowned Medics in the Land of Lightning. When Kumogakure formed, we moved there to have a good base of protection, and I joined the shinobi force to hone my abilities better with them." He then looks over to Hotaru, nodding and saying, "I have more experience than most with such things. Perhaps I could get to the true root of your problem and resolve it, but that is a matter for the end of the journey." He then looks back over to Daoma, his eyes pausing on her for a moment before he looks back at the winding road ahead. Perhaps this would be a peaceful journey… but probably not.

Daoma felt eyes on her. She looked up without really moving fro her apparently comfortable perch on the horse. The she looked up and around as if looking for something. Finally she stood inthe saddle and looked over her shoulder. Hmmm.. Meanwhile, the ovement turned the book (on purpose or otherwise) so it could be read. A collection of legends and maps, open to a map to the area they were in with a shrine marked. If it still existed itwould be extremely old. But rather than the typical shinto or buddhist gods, this shrine was purportedly i honor of a demon or.. something similar. Sitting back in the saddle, she looked about, taking note of those nearby.

Nendo looked to Shuuren as he heard the man speaking, taking in the tale with a nod of his head and thinking over how he could manage to replicate it. The land of lightning, huh? "That would be a fairly long trip to take… I may speak with the Tsuchikage about it someday. I intend to take up medical training some day in the near future." Nendo said, explaining the cause of his questioning before he'd finish separating the talons of the small bird and set it on his shoulder in a simulated perch as he started to mold more clay. To those sensitive to it, the secretive kneading of his chaotic chakra into the clay in his hands. Soon enough he'd be working through the second bird of his collection, mounting it on his other shoulder and adjusting the talons so the creatures could hold on well enough in a form of simulated sentience. Of course, with Kaneno behind him, the Toujitakumi couldn't help offering the first bird to her. "Want one? At the very least it's something to do until we're too far from Iwa and need to be more on guard. At the end of this road I'd say we can start being more cautious…"

Kaneko spots the title of the book and what it might contain, and that satisfies her curiosity on what it is. She's about to ask Daoma something when Nendo offers her a bird! Oh, it's so cute! "Hai! If it won't explode in my face, or anything. If it's gonna do that, then I dun think I really want one," she would say. Once Nendo confirmed (or … denied) that the bird was going to hurt her, she would act accordingly before she would peer over to Daoma. … Kinda scary. Maybe she'll ask later c.c;

Hotaru might have had trouble walking, but that did not make her a calm girl that would be content with kneeling on blocks for the entire duration of the trip. With Nendo, Kaneko, and Shuuren talking about medicine and business, Hotaru was honestly a tad interested in the girl who managed to make the title of Captain of the Guard. Hotaru would crawl over to the side of the wagon that Daoma was riding her horse on, before resting on her stomach and crossing her arms under her head. For a while, she watched the samurai carefully. They were different, as far as ability. Daoma was a physical fighter, of high enough reknown to acheive a position of Shuuren's right hand. Hotaru had trouble with the physical, and relied solely on the miracles of chakra. Her eyes eventually drifted lower, and suddenly… She spotted a map. She seemed to study it carefully, becoming interested in it. "… Daoma-san, do you go… on adventures often?" She decided to ask. "Do you… go to hard to reach places for fun?"

"Replicating my journey won't really gain you anything. I've simply been a medical ninja since the time most people would just be starting the academy, and I've pursued it harder than most pursue even their offensive combative abilities. I suggest you carve out your own path rather than trying to become a replica of me," Shuuren replies to Nendo with a shrug. "Not to discourage your studies, but there are medical ninja within your land as well." He then look back ahead at the road as they move forward. After they've gone forward for a bit, his eyes narrowing for some reason as if perhaps he senses or sees something.
Up ahead, what appears to be the wreckage of another caravan lays on the road. There are a few bodies that are obviously dead with others bearing serious burns and injuries that warrant immediate treatment. "… Either flaming arrow or blade-wielding bandis or shinobi must have done this," he comments with a frown then looks to the driver. "Stop the caravan. I need to tend to the wounded." Looking around at the others, he says, "Now's the time to raise your guards. This caravan's cargo would've been much cheaper than ours. This could be a trap so they can come back and ambush us while we treat these people."

RPCOMBAT: Daoma defends against with a PERCEPTION…40

Daoma looked up even as Shuuren seemed to notice the downed wagon ahead. A snap and her book was closed as well as tuckedinto a saddle bag. She tugged thereins of her horse and moved forward at a trotting pace, circling the wounded and dead before turing back and doing the same behind them, scanning for people or bandits from horseback. One hand went to one of her two swords… Then she came back towad Shuuren's side.

RPCOMBAT: Nendo defends against with a TREMOR-SENSE…26

"I'd not blow up an ally." Nendo promised as he let Kaneko take the bird and turned his attention back to Shuuren in time to hear that bit of advice. It was a fair enough bit of knowledge being shared and the teen might take up that idea in time. It would certainly be a much more swift set of lessons if he remained in the village and he did know of one or two in the land that were trained to be medics… That line of thought would need to wait however as the teen saw that wreckage before them and paused while reaching behind himself to make sure Kaneko didn't run into his legs as they came to a stop. He'd have been more content to focus on the ground but between the cart's load giving off pulses and their own steps threw off the Toujitakumi in his relaxed state. "We'll do our jobs and keep you safe." Nendo stated, his knowledge on Shuuren only being about the suited man's love of suits, and his medical prowess. Beyond that… well, maybe this would be a learning experience.

RPCOMBAT: Kaneko defends against with a PERCEPTION…26

Kaneko keeps the bird on her shoulder and just sort of follows along silently until there seems to be nearing wreckage. Well, then… Kaneko narrows her eyes a bit, and a hand would hover near her sword as she looked around for any danger. "Hai," she would say in agreement with Nendo's words, but otherwise she was a bit distracted by looking around for trouble.

RPCOMBAT: Hotaru defends against with a CHAKRA-SENSING-TECHNIQUE…49

Hotaru's question might have to wait. Despite all the questions she had, there were bodies ahead, and it wasn't pretty. This spikes her senses a moment, as she reaches out quite far to sense what she could. If it really was just flaming arrows and blade-wielding bandits, there wouldn't be a ping on her radar. If it were shinobi using chakra, she might actually get a reading. "Oh, well… At least that wasn't us." Hotaru tried to liven the mood with some terrible and morbid humor as she stands up on her perch, holding her cane and making a single-handed seal in preparation for some sort of assault. "… Yet…"

RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a SENSORY-DIAGNOSTIC…49
RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a SEAL-ENCAMPMENT-WALL…73

While the others start their lookout, Shuuren hops down from the top of the wagon. He sends out his own pulse of chakra to judge the health condition of the victims of the attack that are still alive. He tilts his head slightly as he takes note most of them that are still alive have severe burns and some wounds, but most of them will live, though they seem to have a poison running through them. The worst injuries seem to have happened to the middle-aged ower of the caravan and his daughter, who have arrow and sword wounds along with burns and higher doses of the poison.
"… Why they see the need to cause these sort of injuries to simple merchants," he says almost like he's disappointed with the whole human race as he steps over to the owner and his daughter. He glances between them, figuring the girl will last longer than the old man, so he kneels between them, facing the old man first as he starts to go through handseals. "Hold still. This will only take a moment."
While the Daimyo works on the wounded, those with their senses out would suddenly detect people coming back into range… Just in time to see flaming arrows beginning to rain down from all directions at all of the shinobi and the samurai woman, likely to try and destroy those guarding the guy that could be their big meal ticket first.
Meanwhile, as Shuuren starts to try and heal the man's wounds, he suddenly sits up and goes to grab the Daimyo's arms. Perhaps he's in shock or something? Except there's a seal under him that begins to glow once he sits up. Shuuren has enough time to bring his hands into a seal and activate a seal wall under the old man to keep the explosion from killing him. As he's doing that, however, the girl is suddenly on his back with his arms held by her father, sinking her teeth into his neck with a rather bloody-looking mouth. Shuuren lets out a growl that one might wonder if it's from pain or rage, though he calls out, "Don't kill these two… They've been poisoned…. You're free to do what you need to the rest, though." While the others might not be able to tell, Daoma might notice that there is something off about his voice from his normal tone that grows with every cadence of speech.

[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Flaming Arrows vs Daoma from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 60. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Daoma defends against with a DEFLECT-II…33
RPCOMBAT: Daoma took 431 damage.

Daoma had glaced back toward Hotaru as the girl had lain ont he stone (before they had come upon the injured), answering the question. "I have been many places, though not recently."
The conversation had been brouht to an abrupt halt when they found the downed civilians and Daoma had kicked up her horse to ride a perimeterof their wagon. As she circled around back to Shuuren's side, she caught enough motion from te corner of her eye to know that arrows were incoming. But not enough to bat them out of the air. Oe arrow got through striking her in the shoulder. Daoma bared her teeth beforereaching up to snap the arrow off, leaving the barb inside her shoulder as she galloped her horse forward, aiming with her swords to cut off the heads of anyone dumb enough to get within her range.

[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Flaming Arrows vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 43. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Nendo defends against with a FAE-SHIELD…38
RPCOMBAT: Nendo took 352 damage.

Nendo wasn't expecting the bandits to attack quite so quickly, a few arrows piercing into his raised arms of defense before the Toujitakumi flicked his hands through a series of hand seals. The clay in his pouches was quick to respond, shaping into tiny winged children and racing and racing free of his pouches to rise up and flare out toward their attackers.. The creatures would glow brightly as the chaotic chakra rampaged inside them and forced them to burst into a thick mess of mud-like material scattering in globs in the direction of where those arrows had come from. He'd seen what Shuuren was dealing with but didn't have something suitable for not killing those people restraining their charge. "Hotaru, Kaneko, can you do something about those two attacking Shuuren? I'll take care of the bandits." The teen said quickly as he focused on forming more seals in preparation of what might come in retaliation of his attacks.

[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Flaming Arrows vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 40. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Kaneko defends against with a EVASION…33
RPCOMBAT: Kaneko took 511 damage.

Kaneko flinches away from the incoming arrows, but she still gets stabbed by about three of them. One in the shoulder, one in the leg…. And then one that just grazed her cheek and singed her hair. Painful. Kaneko would grumble a bit as she got injured, wondering if she should try to remove the arrows or not. Well, she would snap the shafts of the two still stuck in her before charging at one of the bad dudes that decided to show up, her sword removed from its sheath as she makes a rather graceful slash aimed at the bad person's neck.

[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Flaming Arrows vs Hotaru from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 56. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Hotaru defends against with a WATER-CLONE…45

Hotaru was struck by an arrow, before she could even make a seal. Just as much, she didn't even get a chance to fight. Typical. In such close proximity to the bandits, she wouldn't get a turn to put her hands in a seal and attack.

Though some of the goons fall to attacks by the shinobi, there are quite a number of them around still. Arrows continue to fly at the team, though now some of them are charging forward with blades to hack and stab at them. There are no signs of jutsu casters just yet, meaning either the wounds were caused by the arrows or the shinobi just simply haven't showed up yet.
Meanwhile Shuuren manages to fight through the effects of the poison and yank his ams free of the old man's grasp. He then reaches up to pry the girl's mouth off his neck then slings her over his shoulder. A punch is thrown at each of their faces to knock them out. Just after that, however, he falls down onto a knee, groaning a bit in pain that racks his body from the poison flowing through it. "… This… again," he growls out, apparently having experienced this particular toxin before.

Daoma heard Shuuren and turned just in time to see him sink to a knee. With a sudden kick her large horse bolted forward, aiming for Shuuren. At the last second it reared, kicking at those Shuuren had pushed off and Daoma reached down, with great strength despite her size, she pulled Shuuren up and over the front of her horse before kicking it ito action again. Unless Shuuren was godlike, they would be behind the wagon, hopefully alone, before she stopped the horse, one hand on Shuuren's back as she looked around. "Heal yourself." Wait.. who was in charge here? She would let him down again but she would use her horse andheself to defend him.

[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Bow and Shank vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 36. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RP: Nendo transforms into BAKUTON-I
COMBAT: Nendo attacks target 1 with FAE-RING with a roll of: 35
[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Dodge vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 35. - Rolled by: Shuuren

Nendo would focus on restraining those around himself in the muck of his fae creations as well as building chakra in the muck spattering the area. With kaneko launching attacks at the bandits, Nendo focused on not sending his attack to that area of the forest while the rest of his scattered clay began swelling into the form of mushrooms. The caps of those mushrooms had raised lumps that cracked slightly before the chain of explosions rocked the forest around the travelling caravan. Nendo was of course, careful not to set off too much of his clay, not wanting to send the explosions too close to Shuuren and Daoma now that they were safe, nor the survivors of that attacked wagon. A slight crackle of chakra rippled around the teen as he released the last of his hand seals and began tugging the arrows free of his arm carefully to reduce the damage he'd do to himself.

RPCOMBAT: Kaneko defends against with a EVASION…49

Kaneko, as if her senses were that much more sharpened by pain, would weave in and out of the paths of the arrows as she sought the archers releasing them. The girl would notice a few of their owners, and she would make her way over to them, rushing quickly towards one of them while leaving Nendo the other. Kaneko just wanted to get these bandits (if that's really what they were…) to an early death, and the best way to do that would be a swift slash through the throat. The girl would bring her weapon up and around, slicing at the archer's neck and attacking him twice more to make sure he truly ended up injured. The worry is more that she needs to do this for every individual… c.c;

COMBAT: Kaneko attacks target 1 with GRACEFUL-SLASH with a roll of: 34
COMBAT: Kaneko attacks target 1 with GRACEFUL-SLASH with a roll of: 43
COMBAT: Kaneko attacks target 1 with GRACEFUL-SLASH with a roll of: 38
[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Dodge vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 62. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Dodge vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 51. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Dodge vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 43. - Rolled by: Shuuren

Hotaru seemed to have taken an arrow in a bad place, falling over atop the bricks she rode on as she loses consciousness, perhaps due to bleeding out. (Pose Out)

As the shinobi get further through the goons, they find that they're apparently reaching some of the stronger ones since they don't just immediately fall to attack. Most are able to avoid damage, though some wind up struck down. In turn, they continue their assault on the shinobi, wave after wave of arrows coming along with stabs and slashes from the goons closer up to them.
Shuuren did not expect to be picked up, but he is in no condition to resist right now. Once Daoma's set him down, he looks up at her and shakes his head. There's something in his eyes that's not quite right… but he manages to gather himself and bring his hands into a seal to begin purging the toxin from his system, though the intended damage may have already been done.

[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Stabbity vs Daoma from 35 to 66 and get(s) a 41. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Daoma defends against with a DEFLECT-II…57

Daoma looked dow at Shuurenand saw that..oddness in his eyes. But she could not allow herself to focus on that at the moment. Instead she turned and with her two swords she deflected and dsarmed those aiming for her. She bared her teeth and looked up, her crimson eyes blazing. Another arrow sank into her leg, another into the horse's flank. Daoma reached down and pulled each arrow out, slipping them into her belt before turning, stll shielding Shuuren.
Mounted as she was she could see the others had a bit o a rough time as well. Hotaru was inside the wagon at least, but nendo and Kaneko were out facing the enemy and the enemy was getting stronger. "Fall back to me if you must!" She called as she swung her swords again, trying to take off heads….

COMBAT: Daoma attacks target 1 with CLEAVE with a roll of: 47
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Daoma from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 52. - Rolled by: Shuuren

[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Stabbity vs Nendo from 35 to 66 and get(s) a 52. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Nendo counters with FAE-HORDE…64
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 43. - Rolled by: Shuuren

Nendo would focus a bit of chakra into the bird he'd given to Kaneko and the chakra in his pouches to send out a small flock of the little avian beasts directly into the line of fire raining down at him. Even when sliced by blades, the birds would only burst in violent explosions. Rather than launching another attack however, Nendo formed a seal with his hands to gather up more chakra as he stood his ground and watched the way the enemies moved, following their movements, and planned out his next strike while calling out to Daoma. "How is Shuuren doing - Is he alright?" Nendo questioned the samurai before turning his attention to Kaneko. "Don't be afraid to fall back, Kaneko. I'll do what I can."

[NPC System]: Bad Dudes roll(s) Stabbity vs Kaneko from 35 to 66 and get(s) a 59. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Kaneko defends against with a SPINNING-METAL…58

RPCOMBAT: Kaneko took 446 damage.
RP: Kaneko transforms into STRIKING-METAL.
COMBAT: Kaneko attacks target 1 with CLEAN-CUT with a roll of: 28
COMBAT: Kaneko attacks target 1 with GRACEFUL-SLASH with a roll of: 39
COMBAT: Kaneko attacks target 1 with GRACEFUL-SLASH with a roll of: 46
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 46. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 63. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 65. - Rolled by: Shuuren

Kaneko works to try and brush off more of the incoming attacks, but one manages to slip through her defense… How annoying. Kaneko narrows her eyes a bit, part of her noticing that Hotaru's attacks have stopped. Was she… The girl didn't have much more time to think about it as she continued to slash at one of the bandits. They were better than she thought… Maybe they really should retreat? >.>;

COMBAT: Shuuren attacks target 1 with BODY-FLICKER-STRIKE with a roll of: 59
COMBAT: Shuuren attacks target 1 with BODY-FLICKER-STRIKE with a roll of: 53
COMBAT: Shuuren attacks target 1 with BODY-FLICKER-STRIKE with a roll of: 69
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Shuuren from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 61. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Shuuren from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 62. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Shuuren from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 61. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a SAGE-ART-CHAKRA-SENSE…42

Daoma and Kaneko's physical assaults don't have a lot of fruit at this point since it seems the class of goon they're dealing with has increased a bit. Nendo, however, has better luck, as his explosive move blasts some of the men back. Whatever reward they're being offered must be awesome, though, because they don't seem intent on falling back for now.
Despite the mental and physical damage done by the poison, Shuuren seems to gather himself. He looks himself over and notices something… blood and dirt on his suit from the assault by the poisoned mercant family. Not only did they poison him, but they messed up his suit too? These guys are going to have to get some sense knocked into them. The Daimyo's eyebrows furrow a bit as he slips a hand into his coat and withdraws a soldier pill that he quickly downs. A serious spike is felt in his chakra before he vanishes into thin air and begins to strike again and again at the goons while using his chakra sense to try and seek out whoever might be leading them.

[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Attack! vs Shuuren from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 61. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Attack! vs Daoma from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 59. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Daoma defends against with a UNCANNY-DEFENSE…51
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Damage vs Daoma from 300 to 600 and get(s) a 556. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Daoma took 556 damage.

Daoma bent to one side as the attackers came at her, though being mounted kept her from bending properly and so a sword went into her side, mostly just slicing at her armor. She frowned and ripped one of the arrows from her belt,trying to plunge it into the attacker's eye socket while he was off balance. Successful or not, she glanced to the side in time tosee Shuuren pop a pill. Oops, there goes the enemy…. "You screwed up didn't you…" She mumbled then turned and with a kick to the horse, charged those aiming for Kaneko, swinging her sword and maybe also trying to run them down with her horse….

COMBAT: Daoma attacks target 1 with CLEAVE with a roll of: 39
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Daoma from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 46. - Rolled by: Shuuren

[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Attack! vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 44. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Nendo counters with C1…52
RP: Nendo transforms into BAKUTON-II.
COMBAT: Nendo attacks target 1 with FAE-HORDE with a roll of: 66
COMBAT: Nendo attacks target 2 with FAE-HORDE with a roll of: 57
COMBAT: Nendo attacks target 3 with FAE-HORDE with a roll of: 57
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 36. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 50. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 59. - Rolled by: Shuuren

Nendo was impressed with the high speeds that Shuuren seemed to demonstrate but wouldn't let their charge do all of the work for them. He'd done enough just getting injured while under their watch already! The Toujitakumi responded to the incoming attacks with a brief hail of kunai being thrown at those attackers before forming the hand seal for confrontation. A simple seal of two fingers, and some concentration was enough to have the teen explode his kunai so he blocked the incoming attacks and sent a cloud of metal and wood debris soaring toward the enemies. Nendo wasn't done with those enemies however, closing both eyes only for a moment and the teen was wrapped in bursts and crackles of his colliding natures of chakra.
Quick hand seals finished in a stomp to the ground caused a horde of mouse-shaped creations to break free of the earth at his feet and begin rushing the bandits trying to attack. The light expression Nendo once had seemed to be dissolving into his old annoyed expression the more he worked with his bombs but… "Boom.." the explosions that rocked the forest made it clear the bomber wasn't going to stop just because the bandits were beginning to annoy him.

[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Attack! vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 36. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Kaneko counters with SPINNING-METAL…42

Kaneko would fight off one of the incoming blows, sword countering it and even managing to turn it against her opponent. The girl leaps back, though, letting Nendo do quite a bit of the work with his explosions. "Watch out, Nendo-sensei!" she would squeak, not really appreciating the explosions being so close to her. Not that it could be helped. Kaneko was a close combat fighter more often than not… The girl shakes her head a bit to try and clear her mind again, this time bringing out the length of metal that was on her back. With a flick of her wrist, it would lash out and wrap around one of the closer enemies.

COMBAT: Kaneko attacks target 1 with ENCIRCLING-METAL with a roll of: 57
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 57. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RP: Shuuren transforms into COMBAT-MEDIC-PILL-III-A.
COMBAT: Shuuren attacks target 1 with BODY-FLICKER-II with a roll of: 65
COMBAT: Shuuren attacks target 1 with BODY-FLICKER-II with a roll of: 64
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj Shuuren from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 42. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj Shuuren from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 36. - Rolled by: Shuuren

These guys are pretty skilled. In Shuuren's taking it easy, a couple even manage to duck out of the way of his attacks just barely, though the one that doesn't gets knocked for a loop. Other than that, the goons manage to avoid most of the attacks except those that are blasted to bits by Nendo's attacks. Some start to question if they should continue the assault, but enough of them escape harm that their attack continues.
Shuuren actually smirks when two of of his attacks are avoided, bringing his hands to his mouth to swallow another pill. Another massive spike would be felt in his chakra before he begins to move with even more speed to strike again and again at the goons… Sooner or later their boss will try to pull them back or try for whatever he's trying to do again, so this seems the best way to draw him out.

RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a SAGE-ART-CHAKRA-SENSE…44
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Shank vs Daoma from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 42. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Shank vs Shuuren from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 40. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Shank vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 47. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Shank vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 38. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Daoma defends against with a UNCANNY-DEFENSE…47
COMBAT: Daoma attacks target 1 with INTERRUPT with a roll of: 57
RPCOMBAT: Daoma defends against with a UNCANNY-DEFENSE…45

Daoma was already by Kaneko on her horse and when the group attacked again Daoma scowed fiercely, moving her horse between Kaneko and the attack, avoiding both theone aimed or her and the one she kept from the genin, Daome answered with a broad swipe of her sword before turning to Kaneko. "Need a lift?"

COMBAT: Daoma attacks target 1 with CLEAVE with a roll of: 39
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Daoma from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 48. - Rolled by: Shuuren

RPCOMBAT: Nendo counters with C1…58
COMBAT: Nendo attacks target 1 with C1 with a roll of: 54
COMBAT: Nendo attacks target 1 with C1 with a roll of: 51
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 54. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) Doj vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 52. - Rolled by: Shuuren

"Don't worry, 'Neko… I won't blow up the wrong person." Nendo said as he scanned over the area for more victims, his hands burying themselves in the pouches of clay on his hips and working steadily to make more tools for his disposal while he tried keeping an eye on everything going on including what Shuuren was doing.. well… as well as he could follow the speed demon… "I don't think we're really needed here." The Toujitakumi said while ducking back from the attack launched at him. "Catch!" Nendo called out to the goon, a ball of clay being tossed towards the man's face before it exploded. Leaping back from the blast, Nendo drew his other hand from his pouch to form a series of hand seals and send out his new line of creations. Rather than more moving creations however, the Toujitakumi had chosen to conserve his chakra, throwing simple bombs of clay toward the enemy a bit further away than before. No need to make Kaneko worry that he was getting too close the whole time, right?

Kaneko would nod her head to Nendo, satisfied that he at least didn't want to blow her up. Of course, just then, someone would decide to attack her, and she was all set to counter once again, but Daoma stepped in front of her. She blinks a bit and has to crane her head to look up at the mounted warrior, and she would offer a nod and clamber onto the horse. Likely to take a seat in front of Daoma unless directed to ride behind her. "Thanks," she would say, tugging the length of metal back to herself and winding it around her arm.

[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) El Stabbo vs Shuuren from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 42. - Rolled by: Shuuren
[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) El Stabbo vs Daoma from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 59. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Shuuren counters with BODY-FLICKER-II…94
COMBAT: Shuuren attacks target 1 with INTERRUPT with a roll of: 64
RPCOMBAT: Shuuren counters with BODY-FLICKER-II…62
COMBAT: Shuuren attacks target 1 with BODY-FLICKER-II with a roll of: 65
COMBAT: Shuuren attacks target 1 with BODY-FLICKER-II with a roll of: 77

While the goons do fairly well against the other shinobi, those fighting Shuuren and the one trying to attack Daoma do not do so well. In the middle of their attacks, a blinding flicker that might as well be a blur strikes them instead. The first one is struck with such speed across his face that the momentum alone breaks his neck and kills him instantly, the second one's chest collapsed with a strike. This combined with the explosions from the Toujitakumi and the resilience of the other two finally makes a number of them start to question if their reward is worth it, and a number of them start to turn and run.
As the men start to run, to drive the point home and to make a few more captives, he flickers to strike a few more of them down with what would be aimed to be near-fatal blows before reappearing next to Daoma. "… Stay on guard. Their leader might not want me to be able to question them."

Daoma helped Kaneko onto the horse, easily situating the girl in front of her. The samurai turned in tme t see Shuuren snap the neck of one guy and raised an eyebrow. She muttered, only loud enough for Kaneko to hear, "They screwed with the suit didn't they…." Shaking her head and a blink later Shuuren was beside her.. which made her eye level to him for once yea? >.> She nodded and wrapped her arm around Kaneko to keep her on the large horse's saddle properly. "Hold onto the saddle, Kaneko-san." Wow, she had been paying attention to introductions? Shuuren got a nod from her and she turned her horse. "I have one of the arrows. Are you alright?" The unspoken 'or should I yank you over my horse again' was heavily implied…

[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) El Stabbo vs Nendo from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 65. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Nendo counters with FAE-HORDE…70
RPCOMBAT: Nendo defends against with a EARTHEN-BOND…57

The Toujitakumi would reward the one trying to attack him with a lump of clay on their blade to stop it from stabbing into him, a coiled ball that unwound itself as a simple garter snake racing along that sword to try biting hold of the man before it would explode. Seeing Shuuren seemingly dispatching of the ones running away, Nendo tucked his hands down into the pouches of clay on his waist and let his breathing even out to inch down from his current steady deep breaths. With Shuuren's command to stay on guard however, Nendo would of course close his eyes and widen his stance before focusing on the earth and trying to take in what the tremors told him.

[NPC System]: Bad dudes roll(s) El Stabbo vs Kaneko from 35 to 65 and get(s) a 43. - Rolled by: Shuuren
RPCOMBAT: Kaneko defends against with a SPINNING-METAL…49
RPCOMBAT: Kaneko defends against with a PERCEPTION-II…24
RPCOMBAT: Kaneko defends against with a PERCEPTION…21

Kaneko would deflect the incoming attack with her sword, though her movement was a bit restricted now that she was on a horse… Good thing she only had to worry about the incoming attack once before the person fell to Shuuren's might. "I wouldn't know…" she would say, tilting her head slightly to one side when she heard the guard's muttering. Oh, maybe she should have ignored that. Oh well. The girl would sheathe the weapon in her hand, relying more on the length of metal wrapped around her left arm, apparently, so that she could keep a good hold on the saddle and avoid falling off. "Got it, Daoma-san!" she would respond promptly, even as she eyed around for anyone else who decided to attack.

RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a SENSORY-DIAGNOSTIC…68

As the last of the goons run, seems everyone basically has the same idea to feel out if anything has changed. There wouldn't be anything at first until that last moment before a Sensor skill would end… then a presence would be felt right at the edge of one's range activating a jutsu. As he feels what's about to happen, Shuuren's eyes widen, and he brings his hands into a seal and slams them the ground to raise an enormous seal wall around the team and the wagon. "Stay behind the wall!" he calls out as he puts as much chakra as he can to hold the wall as steady as possible.
The reason for this order quiclky reveals itself as seals on the combat attire of every one of the goons glow and then begin explode violently, blasting every on of them to bits in a way that even Shuuren probably couldn't piece the back together in time to save them as pieces of what looks like scorched meat slams against the chakra barrier and covers the environment like rain.

RPCOMBAT: Shuuren defends against with a SEAL-ENCAMPMENT-WALL…97

Daoma watched as the goons ran, eyes flicking back to Shuuren, checking to see how h was doing. But his eyes widened and she reacted with the same kind of timing as Shuuren did. She wrapped one arm around Kaneko while the other arm wrapped in the horse's reins and the Samurai stood in the saddle, bending over Kaneko and covering the girl's head with her own. The explosions made her tense and hse kept Kaneko down while she glanced about. "What the igneous?!" If anything was going to hit Kaneko at that point it would have to go through Shuuren's shield, a horse and Daoma first. "Where is the sediment, Shuuren?!" The horse reared but Daoma kept a good grip, keeping them both in the saddle as she calmed the beast even as she waited for Orders. She whispered ot Kaneko, "Are you ok?"

RPCOMBAT: Daoma defends against with a PERCEPTION…36
RPCOMBAT: Nendo defends against with a EARTHEN-BOND…53

Nendo would be shocked more by the chakra barrier than the explosions. The explosions caused a knit in the teen's brow as he glanced beyond the rim of the barrier and saw the falling bits of gore, all that remained of the bandits. "I didn't do that one." Nendo stated, just to be clear that he was not the one that made such a messy explosion… At least his bombs were beautiful when the bits were reduced to dust… At least it told the teen that they weren't done fighting against their enemy just yet. He'd start to form a few hand seals, building up his chakra in preparation of what might come next. Dipping his hands into his pouches, the teen would begin molding his clay in preparation of what might come next. No doubt the person was close by if they triggered the seals only now. "He's going to be watching from somewhere…" Nendo stated while sinking his feet slightly deeper into the ground and releasing pulses of chakra to sense whatever he could find. "Deep down… annoyingly deep down below us and toward the west slightly." Nendo stated as he kneeled down to press his hands to the ground and begin releasing his chakra into the earth. "It will take some time for my chakra to get to him from here."

RPCOMBAT: Kaneko defends against with a PERCEPTION-II…39

The order itself can only be heeded by the young Murasame, as Kaneko can't really move. She's perfectly protected by Daoma, as well as Shuuren's shield (thankfully), though she would also duck down a bit from her perch. Thag's what I was thinking…" she mutters, nodding to Daoma's question as she tried to refocus. Those explosions were a bit disorienting, but she was used to Nendo at this point, so she recovered quickly. "What? I can't attack people in the ground…" she pouts upon hearing Nendo.

"Pull that back," Shuuren orders to Nendo, looking at him like he's lost his mind. "If you send an explosion that deep, you could cause a severe damage to this area and cutoff trade and travel, which could be exactly what they have planned." Of course, he knows that's not fully what this guy is here for, but that's about as far as it concerns Iwagakure what's going on. More on the subject, though, he wonders how an Iwagakure shinobi could lack geological knowledge that badly, or maybe it was just a mental slip.
He then looks up to the driver, who finally comes back up from his shielded position in the carriage to resume his seat. He scoops up the merchant and his daughter, putting them in the back of the cab. Unfortunately none of their workers were close enough to be contained within the seal wall to protect them from the blast, but saving who they can is something. Once he's settled them in comfortably enough, he reaches into his coat and withdraws a pair of syringes, which he sticks into each of them to give them a sedative to keep them under. Once that's done, he hops down then looks back up to the driver. "Let's get moving. If this ambush was specifically for us, he'll likely pursue us, but sitting still could get us stuck."
The driver nods and then begins to move ahead, knowing Shuuren can catch up if he so chooses. Of course, if their attacker wants to keep them from finding anything out, that also means he's probably going to try and kill the merchant and his daughter before Shuuren wakes them back up and can try to get anything from them…

Daoma noded to Kaneko then watched as Shuuren snapped at Nendo. She unerstood both sides of the issue but a the moment they had more pressing concerns. Daoma moved up to tro alongside the wagon with the two now unconscious civilians and Sh emotioned for Kaneko to get in with them. Then she handed her a med kit, just a simle med kit anyone could use but it had nearly everything imaginable. "Keep watch and tell us if something changes, their pulse, their pallor. Got it?" She would nod, assuming Kaeko ket up with her and took on the job. Then Daoma would move over and trot alongside Shuuren. "You should get on behind me, Shuuren." She did no use an honorific and her tone was firm, She was concerned and she was not going to be happy with him unless he took it easy and since he could not ride int he cab, the horse was the next best. Anything to keep him from walkng the rest of the way.

Nendo mumbled something about fun and it being ruined by common sense but he stood up and left his moles burrowed into the ground. "I wanted to see how fast the guy could run from them… Going down there by myself seems more suicidal than testing to see how ready to be attacked the person was." Nendo stated with an odd pout while staring down at the ground, looking toward the location of the person he had intended to 'smoke out' as it were. Though truth be told, the teen might have just tried making a large explosion to rock the countryside. With a responsible adult along, the Toujitakumi could have to play by responsible rules of combat and take less risks when it came to the natural shape of a country. With a bit of a sigh, Nendo returned to his walking alongside the wagon, a step or two toward the rear to keep an eye out for following goons.

Kaneko blinks at Daoma, taking a moment before she realized what the guard intended. The girl swings her leg up and around so she can slide into the wagon, turning to take the med kit with a look of surprise. "H-Hai!" she responds, glad that she's learned the basics of first aid and then some with part of her goals … The girl would peek into the kit to see what she had, and she practically dropped it out of shock with how much stuff was in there. 'Dang, it's like they were expecting the apocalypse…' she thinks to herself as she turns her attention onto the two injured. She would also try to tend to Hotaru's injuries since the younger dragon was here.

"There are some opponents you don't try to test on a whim… Ones capable of activating seals and obliterating an entire battalion of their own men for instance will do a lot worse to you as an enemy," Shuuren points out to Nendo, lifting an eyebrow at him. He then looks over up to Daoma as she basically tries to give him an order, causing him to furrow his eyebrows at her a bit. "Remember who you lead behind," he states, which she should know is said for the purpose of indicating more that he has a plan she doesn't know about than that he is simply stating superiority. It might not be obvious to others, though, which is why it is stated that way in case their enemy is listening. He motions for her to ride alongside the cart then brings his hands into a seal, at last taking the time to heal his own injuries as chakra flares up around his hands and then begin to flow into his body. All the while, he senses out, trying to figure out what their enemy will do next.

Daoma kept her head up and seemed unaffected by his retort, but she slipped up into position where he motioned toward. In no way did this stop her from keeping a eye on him, though. Kaneko got a glance to be sure she was doing alright with that med kit then Daoma glanced back at nendo. Finally she looked back at Shuuren and frowned at him in what would seem, more or less, as out of spite. The truth was she was concerned about him but those handseals she recognised and simply sighed, remaining silent.

Nendo gave a slight nod of his head in reluctant agreement to Shuuren's words while he walked along with the cart. It was annoying but the medic - who was clearly skilled in far more than just that - may have had a point. Still, the teen would keep his charge clay at the ready while moving along with the wagon. "Is there anything we should know about this mission? Those people were not the usual bandits, nor were they dispatched up in the usual fashion of a rogue ninja's actions." Nendo commented as he moved forward, reducing the effective range of his senses and simply trying to feel the tremors as he walked for any changes in the ground near to their travelling group. If the person was lingering that far down they were either trying to avoid being noticed…. or out of his own trap's range.

Kaneko keeps an eye on the two that are out while she heals her own injuries and likely Hotaru's with some of the things in her more personal first aid kit, which mostly consists of bandages and some disinfectant. The girl would peek out of the cart for a moment, though, when she heard Nendo's question. She wanted to hear the answer…

COMBAT: Kaneko heals Kaneko for 277 with FIRST AID.

Shuuren leaves Daoma to answer the questions of the Iwagakure shinobi, as she knows very well not to provide them with information that should not be given to anyone outside his inner circle. The Daimyo himself actually remains behind for now, guising his actions as healing himself and making sure none of the enemies or laborers that were working for the other merchant are still and alive and might be in need of medical assistance. He actually lets the cart get miles ahead, far enough away that the Iwa shinobi's sensor abilities should be well out of range before he brings his hands into a seal and slams one on the ground. It seems he's decided to end the game of chess with the enemy by sending a swarm underground of hundreds of snakes that tunnel down toward him without disturbing the surface badly. Whatever the case of what happens, he appears alongside the cart a while later in a pristine suit and nods to each of them.

Daoma frowned at Shuuren as he fell behind, but she simply tld the others to keep moving. As hey did so she spoke. "Shuuren-dono is a targetfor a lot of people. Most likely this is just some fanatic throwing together an ambush in a hurry when they found out we were away from Tea. Just focus on getting to the next checkpoint." She would keep an open eye on the suroundings as they moved but addressed Kaneko. "How are they doing?"

Nendo raised a brow slightly as he noticed the slightly fading signature of one and glanced back to see Shuuren falling further and further behind him. Still, Daoma didn't seem to notice or mind much so Nendo figured he'd leave it alone. The surprising thing was that was by the time Nendo noticed a change, Shuuren was back and a little different… Strange… "Wasn't that bloody after the fight..?" Nendo asked, pointing to the suit but not looking to Shuuren.. He was looking at Daoma for answers.

"Target? But…" Kaneko leaves the 'why' unvoiced, deciding that she likely would only get an answer that left more questions. The girl would just slip back into the cart, not seeing Shuuren's little display if it was even visible to herself and Nendo. The girl checked on the two that were still down, and she would poke her head back out to say to Daoma, "They probably need something better than just my own measly first aid skills. Daimyo-sama could probably help them, though." Which is probably a good thing if he wanted information. She would glance at him curiously to see if he would nod or anything in regards to healing up the merchant and daughter better.

"I will handle healing them when we are back in Tea Country," Shuuren says simply to Kaneko then looks to Neno and smirks. "A gentleman is never without a clean suit." He then peers toward Daoma, nodding as if to say things had been handled for now. The rest of the journey back would be peaceful, and the Iwagakure shinobi would be free to head home with their wounds healed by the Daimyo and their pockets full since he paid them for a higher rank than the original rank of the mission due to the complications. Mission accomplished.
After night has fallen and Shuuren has moved the cart to a more secure area of the capital city in a warehouse with no windows, he opens it to reveal that, while there was a large stone in the transport as he said, there is also a large layer of dirt under it. Using his insane strength aided by chakra, he flips the enormous stone over with ease to reveal part of it had been hollowed out to make room for a dirt mound that is larger than it appeared with the stone in place. He then grabs a scroll from his coat, a puff of smoking letting out that reveals he's changed into his combat attire. "… There's a lot of dirt to scour through here, but what we really went through there for is there."

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