Date: February 12, 2013
Isra, sakuryu and Tsiro are dispatched to investigate a possible uprising.
"Washing Away a Rebellion"
Village near the Chill River
Chill River [Land of Water]
The Chill River is, as the name indicates, a river of rather cold water. It stretches from the northern Land of Water, a mere trickle from a lake near the Koumorite Village, but then is joined by dozens of tribuataries in the forests until it becomes a significant, surging river. The river has long been a place for the Yuki Clan to practice its Ice Release, and small towns still lay in the woodlands on both sides of the misty river banks. Ritual statues and markers still protrude from the river's waters, serving as both warnings of who holds sway over the river and as a means of controlling the passage of boats and rafts.
To the north lies a significant stretch of forest within the Land of Water, and to the south-west, black sands lie on the coast.
A group of shinobi were sent out to the small village of Kin Village suspected of protest activity. They were to spend time among the population as well as watching the surrounding areas to ensure that peace was maintained or rather, control. This was no effort to make peace with these people. Simply to subjugate and silence them if they were to ever act out of line. Even force could be utilized if needed.
The group arrives in the village, within the early hours of the afternoon. There was a light snow falling about the area and people were tending to their work as usual. Gathering wood for fire, using the river nearby for water and covering what small patches of farmland they had with hay to insulate against the cold. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary about this place at the moment. "Wonder why we were sent here for this…?" Isra inquired while walking along with her group. "Doesn't seem like anything is taking place," she shrugged and stretched. "Well, guess we ought to get to work. Watch started while we were on the way. Do you think you picked up on anything unusual while coming here?" This question was offered to anyone in particular.
This was not the first time that Tsiro had been sent on a mission to pacify an area. He understood the mission no matter what terms they were placed in. In the end it did not matter how things were settled as long as the settlement no longer proved a threat to the Mist cause. His thoughts travelled back to other times when he had to… use force to settle matters. Most if had to do with halts in tax payments or hostile miners no longer providing metals they were paid for. In at least the latter many died.
Tsiro followed behind Isra as she moved. "It is always the same. We were sent to protect interests in the area. This may be a preventive measure based on some intel. Maybe there is something going on, maybe there is not. Keep your eyes open for a trap just incase. You never know when someone else is controlling strings." he states. While he was not truly suspect of a rebellion starting, local leaders always used local people to jockey for more power in political areas.
"True, very true," Isra replied with a nod. "Well, we have no choice but to keep an eye out," she shrugged. "How many kinds of these missions have you been on? I mean, types where you inevitably have to deal with some sort of trap. You look like you've seen enough battle for many lifetimes," she chuckled. "I can't say I've had to endure the lot of that, though I feel I've had my share," she remarked. "You familiar with this village or do you need a description of it?"
Tsiro nodded his head as he continued to move. "I have been on two missions involving putting down rebellions. I also fought in the last war. I am not worried about ambushes. You will find my body is nearly indestructable. If an ambush occurs, take a support role and keep your head low. While I have some extended range in my jutsu, most of it is up close and very personal." He was bit surprised this girl had not watched him in the tournament. Then she'd understand just how much of a beating he could actually take. "As for the area, most of my knowledge is of the neutral zone. I am unfamiliar with this area."
Sakuryu walks along with the rest of the group just staying quiet as she studies a map, her white hair shifting slowly in the breeze. She takes a deep breath before sighing a little bit. "Hmmmm, so what is our exact objective?" She asks with a little hmmm, looking the area over to try and get a tactical vision of the area.
"Ah, you fought in the last war. Gotcha. No wonder," Isra grinned. "But me being in a support role? Nah. I can offer support, sure, but hiding is not something to do when the fight is on." She looked back toward Sakuryu as she began to speak. "About time you spoke up," she snickered. "Our next objective, considering what happens here, would be to report back our information we have to the Mizukage," she states. "And then he'll offer it to the Daimyou. I'll let you all know about this village…" She gestures to the place. "It's a small village, but it is lively. It's clear that they're well off, though not rich. It's settled at the river which provides fresh water to the place all the time. Within the forest, there were certain areas where mining takes place for gold and is brought here, thus the name. It's not a great resource, but it's enough for the village to get by for a long time. They have intended to try and increase their efforts for production with the permission of the Daimyou. Since that communicaiton, they've expanded further into the forest for prospective places," she explained. "As you can see, they also have a bit of land available for farming, but that's not their biggest asset. Just a small part of the community. Wood surrounds them, so you might also find some metallugry shops around here as well that make tools necessary for farming or prospecting."
Tsiro listened to Isra explain about the area. "There is always a reason. So with this one we have precious metals. I once found a mine that we had to dispose of the entire crew because they refused to ship the metals out for weapon forging." Tsiro then glances over Isra for a moment. "If you watched the last Jounin exams, you would realize that I'm almost impossible to kill. Just remember that if the opponent gets too tough." Tsiro was by no means invincible, but he was certain unless she had some secret skills, he was the strongest here.
"Ah yes, you would be," Isra nodded. "I can believe it. You look like the durable sort. I tried to watch the exams when I could, but I never got around to it. Took the time to make sure things were in order around the village. Doesn't look like that was the case, though," she shrugged and sighed. "But, that's the way of shinobi, I suppose…" While they were talking, there was activity going on below. Not in the mines, but rather some small ways out away from the village. One of these houses wasn't actually occupied, but it appears to be so as one person enters it and utilizes it frequently enough for it to be considered normal.
There is little to signify it's anything suspicious other than the fact that paper is delivered there often.
Tsiro looks between the two others in the group. A Genin that used ice jutsu and a Chuunin that worked with scrolls. At least this is just what he knew about them. "Alright, so how exactly would the two of you determine a good place to start an investigation of the area? Obviously there is not a lot of open information here. We will need to work for it on this one." For Tsiro it was not about showing off anymore. He'd learned a few lessons and now it was time to make sure others learned them.
"Only thing I could think to do is look around and consider what may be possible activity related to protest. Problem is, that's easier said than done," Isra hummed. "We should start checking around tow—" Before she could finish that statement, an arrow came across the group's path, narrowly missing the three of them. Tracing its trajectory, it was shown to have come from one of the trees where a marksman was hiding.
He used his knowledge of this area to camouflage himself from view and now that he's taken a shot, he's decided to escape into the woods. "That was a close one," she remarks. "You all didn't get scratched, did ya?"
Tsiro traced back the arrow's path to the tree where it came from. "There!" Tsiro points as he yells. "Lets get after him!" Tsiro began moving at a decent pace to catch up to the guy. He did not want to leave the others behind or in a place where they might be in danger of an ambush. The camoflauge was good but nothing Tsiro had not seen before. He did double in his night life as a hunter nin after all.
Isra nodded and followed along with Tsiro, thinking that Sakuryu could perhaps keep watch in the village while they went after the guy. She wasn't quite as fast when it came to speed so she followed up a bit slower than Tsiro, but not by much.
As they took to the trees, there would be traps made to try and capture them or slow them down. It's clear they were guerilla in nature. Branches were held back and upon their ropes being cut, they'd snap back and lash out at the pursuers.
Other traps involved a bit more explosive power, hoping to use shrapnel as the leading cause of damage in their function. They could be avoided by moving out of range, however and the range wasn't expansive. Isra broke through the branch aimed at her with a well placed slice that managed to blow a piece of the branch off with her sword and followed it up with a blast released from her blade that pushed objects back and away from her. Naturally, some shrapnel managed to get through, but most of it was kept away.
As the traps began to go off, Tsiro raised up his arm forming a bone shield to deflect the branches and the shrapnel. By no means was he letting their best lead get away. As Tsiro moved, he spit out a bone sliver towards the enemy. He was hoping to hit him in the leg and wound him. They had to catch the guy otherwise they would lose the best chance they had. "Anything you have, might want to throw it at him…" Tsiro yells towards Isra.
The guy was a ranged fighter and as a result his dodging skills weren't the greatest, especially while in transition in the air. The bone struck true in his leg and he was wounded. He landed on a tree branch with the intent of jumping again, but Isra took the advice of Tsiro and utilized a kunai with a tag wrapped around it to cut the marksman off. A barrier seal immediately went up around him and he had no way of escaping. "Got him," she yelled back to Tsiro. As she began her approach, the man took out a stick and struck it. This ignited whatever material was inside because soon after he exploded. The branch lost some of its wood, but would otherwise be okay.
Isra didn't need to back away from the explosion as it was contained within the barrier surrounding him. Perhaps he knew that the force would be much more stronger if it was packed inside that area. His body wasn't entirely scorched, but most of it was. He died from the result. "I have to admit, I wasn't expecting that one," she called and shook her head. "Well, guess he ought to be checked out…"
The barrier had already dissipated around him and so he was free to be examined. She drew close and began to get shaken up. She tried to contain it, but it was clear that she didn't exactly like being near this body. She always hated the look of death and it's why she didn't try to kill people.
"I…I can't examine him all that well. I'm no good at that kind of thing, but I can say for sure he's dead…" she remarked solemnly. She started to pat at his clothing and heard a distictive crunching sound that immediately made her retract her hand. She assumed it was scorched skin, but it was actually paper.
For a brief moment, Tsiro believed the luck had changed here. As the man was captured in a barrier, he began to smile. The smile slowly faded as the man burned himself alive. "Well… well… well." Tsiro states as he comes to a stop short of the now crispy body. "Most people are not that dedicated. This guy truly believe in his cause." Tsiro then crouches down by the body as Isra examines it. "Death is part of life. It is not easy to look at, but it happens."
Tsiro then looked around the area. He was not certain that they were alone, but his attention turned back towards the body as he heard the crinkle. "What was that? It sounded like paper." His eyes not seemed intent on what it was. He reached down to pull it out instead of forcing her to do so.
"I understand, I just…saw enough of it before I came here…" Isra sighed as she decided not to take part any longer in examining the body. She looked away, but the scent of burned flesh began to enter her nose. She rose up from the branch then and tried to separate herself from it as it was beginning to upset her. The paper, though some of it had been burned, was still intact. It was much like the paper that was being delivered to the house back in Kin Village. It looked like it had writing scribbled on it, but there's no telling what exactly it is at this point now. "Should we bury him or leave him up here?" She inquired.
Tsiro eyes the paper for a moment. He did not care about the smell. Burnt flesh had a certain odor to it, but it no longer phased him. "We have no time to bury this man. We will leave him here." As well, Tsiro did not really care to bury the body. That was not in the mission. However Isra seemed to be more light hearted than him. It was best to use a reason she could sympathize with.
"There was a paper like this back at one of the homes. We need to go and read what it said. This could be the difference between putting down a simple branch or removing the roots of a tree. We need to get to that paper before it is destroyed. Let us move." Tsiro is off and moving before Isra is able to reply to him. He's on his way to the home with the paper.
Isra nodded and decided to go along with Tsiro. She didn't bother looking back at the body as it was more than likely going to stay in place. "The paper is more important, I suppose…" She commented to herself as she took off along the tree branches to head back towards the village. Once they arrived, they'd continue the investigation from there.
It would seem that the village is normal, but there's hints that it's unsettled due to the archer attacking the group from earlier. Perhaps they were fearful of what the shinobi would do or perhaps more so of what they might discover. There isn't an air of acceptance around here, that much is certain, but it's not enough where hate lurks in the air.
Since they'd arrived, no paper had been delivered to the home, adding suspicion to what was going on. Their next target would be the house where, once requesting entry, there was a delay at opening the door. Eventually, the door would be opened to reveal that the place was actually a mill where paper was created or recycled to make more. The type of paper, however, was questionable. It was similar to the type that was utilized for seals. "Hm. Looks like we'll be having to look into this place."
Tsiro moves into the mill and looks at the person who opened the door. He places a hand outwards towards him and bones begin to protrude outwards from his arms and finger tips. "Keep your hands where visible or I will break every single bone in your body that will not cause you an immediate death. Are we clear?" he asks. He had noticed this place had been a scroll mill. If the village knew about it, they sure did not mention it. That lead him to believe this was an under the radar mill. He reaches into a pocket and pulls out a piece of paper. "I found this on a man, please explain it to me. I believe it potentially came from here." he states. His eyes remain on the miller, just incase he needed to break his arms and legs.
The person backed away at the threat and nodded his head while looking to the others who worked in the home as millers. They were preparing paper using water gathered from the river and a host of other mechanisms and stations that all worked to produce the paper they were working on. Upon the paper being produced, the person begins to reply, "We print the paper for it to be written on. For news and notices…" He holds up a paper that they'd been working on, making sure to keep his hands visible. "See? This is a notice that indicates safety in the area of mines."
The man was telling the truth, of course, but there was more to this operation than what was being let on. For example, the type of paper being used was not normal for this sort of thing. Isra, in response began to take out a couple of explosive tags and hold them between her fingers in a threatening manner. "This paper…" She started and placed the tags down to match with the paper. "Looks much like my own tag's paper," she looked to the man with suspicion. What she really wanted to do was give him a chance to explain himself.
Instead, the others took him as the opportunity to attack while they were distracted. They weren't very subtle and could easily be taken down. The man, with the notice began to take the paper with the intent to trigger the seal it was loaded with by tearing it in two.
"Bad move…" Tsiro states as he moved forward, placing a bone through the miller's wrist. He then follows with another bone to the man's other shoulder. "Isra, please take care of the others." Tsiro then removes the bone from the man's wrist and places it an inch from between his eyes. "Spill the beans or I will make you wish for death a thousand times over. Do not press me again." he states. Tsiro trusted that Isra would easily be able to take care of the others.
Isra could've threatened to blow the place up, but she didn't want to use her blade for that. It'd have been counterproductive. Just showing it was enough, but she proceeded to use it and knock them around using the blunt tip of the blade to place them down on the floor. The miller wasn't able to finish splitting the paper in two and thus the paper was released from his grip and floated to the ground. He began to look towards the ground where the rest of the operation was taking place and then back to Tsiro where he used his free arm, though it pained him to do so, to gesture towards the ground. There was a hatchdoor on the floor that'd lead towards the rest of what they were looking for.
For good measure, Isra made sure to trap them each within the seal barrier so that they couldn't escape as she and Tsiro went to check things out. "We're clear to move." On second thought, she decided to also follow up with a detection seal just to be sure that she'd catch anyone who may have managed to escape. It wasn't likely, but one could never be too sure.
It seemed that Isra had the others under control. Even though she had caused no blood shed, she still managed to keep them at bay. Tsiro glanced down towards the door. This had been the place they were looking for. All the clues lead to here. It made little sense for the archer to have attacked them unless he was simply to lead them away. Instead he misjudged them and lead them right to the mill. While he wanted a verbal explanation, he'd accept the door instead. He offered a nod to Isra before proceeding down the trap door first. He was checking for traps.
There were no traps down this way as it'd have been too dangerous for the millers to make their way back and forth through it. The tunnel was humid as it lead under the Chill River that sat beside this village. In some openings ahead, it'd be revealed that they'd been processing these papers with notices and news to be sent to other villages. The notices had all the makings of protest material as they were meant to spread the word around. The explosive nature of the papers and scrolls were meant to be used to destroy them so that no one could find out about their plans, but it would appear that such did not occur.
"Looks like they really set up quite the operation," Isra sighed. "Well, it's no wonder this place was looked into. Looks like the intel was right…" She stated about the number of scrolls and paper they found stacked neatly in these rooms.
The lengths people go to in order to hide things never ceases to amaze Tsiro. The pure placement of this secret tunnel made it perfect to destroy quickly. Depending on the vibration of the explosion, it would flood with the cool water of the river and wash most the evidence away. Tsiro himself, decided to grab a few of the scrolls for evidence. "You know what to do." he states as he moves towards the exit. He was suggesting she ignite the paper and bring down the cavern. He had the evidence that he needed to bring back. The destruction of the cavern would probably be enough to destroy the mill as well. It would be seen as a symbol of punishment to the people. In the short term it would solve the issue. In the long term, it would perhaps create another. That would be someone elses issue though.
Isra nodded at Tsiro and proceeded to ignite the papers in the room. It wouldn't be long before they began to burn away and explode, but it makes sense now why the explosion the archer endured was so strong. He had the same kind of paper on him. The explosive stick was one thing, but the paper that blew up was another. Thinking about it all, she began to rub her arm lightly and hasten herself out of the tunnel. The river wouldn't make it to this place, but the destruction would be enough. The mill itself would be shut down and the papers destroyed. There wouldn't be much breathing room down below to enter the place without suffocating for a while.
It would appear that despite efforts, some of these notes have made it out and are travelling as the shinobi finish the job. The job itself may silence Kin Village, but the notices will cause others to raise their voices. They wish to take back their power from the shinobi and prevent their Daimyou from leading them down a spiraling path that will only make them struggle with no reward.