Date: July 18, 2012
Volunteers from Konoha investigate the reasons behind graves being dug up and bodies disappearing.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Way of Peace - Cult Activities"
Waru no Kaia
The town of Waru no Kaia has been seeking assistance for a while from Konoha for dealing with who or what ever is stealing bodies from the graves. There's human signs of digging the bodies up, which generally points to bandits, or maybe something worse. As the mission has been there for a while, those in charge decided to allow Ataru to help with cleaning up the light work. Thus, Ataru and Soujiro were sent out to the town to handle whatever was taking the bodies and to recover as many as possible.
Ataru was in his normal red coat, a duffle bag was slung over one shoulder for holding any extra materials he would need while out on the road. The town might be close, but they could be there for a few days dealing with whatever it is that's going on out there. Whistling as he'd walk, that ground eating pace was set for Soujiro to follow along with. It may only be a C-rank mission, however it was good money once they completed it.
Soujiro was surprised that when Ataru came home last night he had signed them up for not only a mission but a c-rank mission. It has been something that Soujiro has been trying to apply for since he decided to stay temporarily in the village. "Was it hard talking them into letting us take on this mission with us being like shinobi and all for the village?" The teenage boy would ask his friend and trainer that was a few paces ahead of him. Tightening up the straps of his traveler's pack, he picks up his pace in order to walk along side Ataru.
Ataru glanced back at Soujiro with a grin and shake of his head. "Nah man, ain't that hard.. I've done a C-rank for em 'fore. So they know I can do the work. It ain't nothin major, just some guys gotta be ran off, clean up the mess.. yanno, grunt work. Since they know I'm ok, they let me have it. I told em yer my student, so they even added ya ta the assignment." Ataru would give a thumbs up with an easy grin and a nod. Looking back forward, he'd point towards the approaching village. "We meet up with the mayor, tell em we're here ta help, then go huntin fer the bandits messin with the dead. Woop a few guys, recover the bodies, go home with gold in our pockets. It's always a good feelin, lemme tell ya."
Soujiro silently nods as Ataru speaks. "Man, wait till i tell my family back home about this next time i see them." He says once Ataru finishes. "So uh, you've been around this kind of stuff longer than i have. What do you think the reason is behind taking dead bodies? I mean, i can understand if some people want to dig up the graves to still stuff but why take the bodies as well?"
Ataru would think about it for a moment as they neared the edge of the village. "Huh.. Well, ain't quite sure really. I know that there's ways ta learn 'bout what the bloodline stuff can do when ya lookit the body, yanno? Like those funny eyes, or what have ya.. So that could be what's goin on. Tryin ta sell the bits fer money." Ataru would shake his head slightly. "Dun matter really.. we'll go recover em and woop em fer takin the stuff ain't belong ta em, eh?" He'd glance sidelong at Soujiro with a grin. "Give ya a chance ta try fightin somethin other than me.." Chuckling, he'd point to the mayor's office. "let's go there first."
Soujiro quirks a brow as Ataru mentions bloodline, but before he could ask his friend cut him off by pointing out the mayor's office. Changing their direction, they boy head towards the building together. Soujiro took a moment to scan the village and take in his surroundings. Not because he was trying to be some badass ninja that was too cool for school, but more because he was a traveler after all and the only village he had seen besides of Konoha was the village not far from his farm. However, that village was more of a small community compared to Konohagakure. Suddenly the boy realized what Ataru had said about him fighting someone. "Oh great. I'm really looking forward to getting my butt beat…again." He says with a sigh yet a hint of a chuckle in his words.
Ataru would grin at Soujiro with a shake of his head. "Nah man. Ya can hold out against me, ya gonna woop em easy, ain't no sweat at all." Reaching out, Ataru would knock, once, on the door, almost putting a dent in the wood. Ok, maybe he was a little worked up preparing for the fight. A sheepish look given as the loud knock resonated through the building, he'd shrug with a glance at Soujiro.
The door would open for a semi-haughty looking man, probably in his mid 30s, to peer out at the two kids. With a small sniff, his voice greased out over them, "Can I /help/ you two…. sirs….?" One careful brow was raised just that proper amount to show an almost sheer level of disgust as he eyed them.
Soujiro snickers and nudges. "I think he smells you, Ataru." He says in response to the man's gestures. "Uh actually, sir." Soujiro says speaking up and taking a step forward. "We just wanted to know if your refrigerator was running." The teenager's face was turning red while trying his hardest to keep a straight and profressional face. Inwardly he was just a ticking time bomb waiting to burst out with laughter at any minute.
The man would just sniff again in distain, eyeing both of the teens. "Neither one of you are exactly… clean." The man once again raised a brow at Soujiro, that very precise distance as he eyed the kid with the gag. Ataru had to hide his mouth a moment behind a fake cough to control his own laughter.
A nudge given to Soujiro with a smirk, he'd shake his head and look at the man. "Hai, we're here from Konoha. Ya'll gotta issue with people takin yer dead from the graves, hai? So they sent us ta help ya'll out. Just lettin ya know ya got us on the case and it'll be solved quick!" Ataru would beam at the man proudly.
"They sent.. you? We expected quality service, we paid enough for it.." The sarcasm was almost dripping off his words as the man eyed them once again. "You definitely do not look like Konoha shinobi."
"Not clean?" Soujiro would echo in a lower tone as Ataru took the lead again. While his partner was discussing matters with the client, the good ole farm boy was off to the side smelling himself and even going as far as lifting his arms to smell his armpits. "I don't know what he's talking about. I bathed two days ago. He obviously has never been on a farm to smell much worse before." Once Soujiro realized he was talking to only himself, he returned his attention back to the snoody man just in time to hear him speak of expecting quality service.
"You apparently have not seen my friend fight before." Soujiro says butting into the conversation. "He ends up at the hospital every time. In fact he has a reputation around the village of spending most of his time practically living at the hospital. Its rumored he has his own room there because he stays there that often. That's how hard he fights. And me? Well I can take a beating like no other. You can hit me a hundred times and i won't quit unless i start getting really bruised up and i can hardly move. Well to be honest i've only been in one fight and that didn't go to well, but ive got potential they say." Realizing that Soujiro may be making matters worse than actually helping, Ataru may want to take the reigns back again and do all the talking.
"You two," comes a voice from behind, "You get into all sorts of trouble, you know?" Yes, it's Atsuro, and Taizen walks into the area alongside him. "Reinforcements have arrived," Atsuro announces, "Your friend is here to save you from the enemy ninja. And he's clean, for whatever that matters." He walks up to the group and takes a position a little behind Ataru and Soujiro, not really wanting to barge in and steal all the client-face-time thunder from them. "Just tell me what the situation is, and I'll tell you how I can help."
Ataru would do the classic. Facepalm. Glancing at Soujiro, he'd laugh and just shake his head. "Yah, we have gotta talk about presentation ta clients mate.." Trailing off, Ataru glanced over his shoulder to smile and nod to Atsuro. Looking back to the man at the door, who didn't seem much more impressed with Atsuro and Taizen then he had been with Ataru and Soujiro, Ataru pointed back at the two. "Real konoha-nin. If what he said is true, then there's a shinobi behind this. We'll get it done. ya ain't got nothin ta worry about, hai?" With a nod to the man, Ataru would simply dismiss him. He was done dealing with a door man anyways. Turning to face Atsuro and Taizen, he'd step closer. "Ya'll said there's a shinobi involved in this? Then I'm guessin we got a serious fight on our hands.. alright.. ya scout out the graveyard, get us a lead ta where the guy is, and we'll go kick tail, hai?"
Soujiro looks over at Ataru with a raised eyebrow. "What do you mean?" He then looks over to scan Atsuro and Taizen down. The teenager would give a quick wave and then a light bulb came on in Soujiro's head. "Excuse me, sir? I think that smell you were smelling was our friend Ta—" as the boy turns to face the man again, he would notice that the man was gone and in its place was the front door…shut. "Oh. He's gone."
While Ataru and Atsuro talk, Soujiro idly makes his way over to Taizen. He pats the pup on the head if it would let him. The teenage boy then would lower his face down to the dog and sniff the air around him.
Atsuro smirks to himself a little at the other man's sudden disappearance. "Guess he didn't like us very much," he says, "So, can you tell me more about what's going on? I know that there's enemy ninja involved, but I didn't talk with Chuckles over there. I assume he told you something helpful." He pauses, "For instance, I don't know where the graveyard is, or why it needs scouting out. Other than that maybe there's a ninja there?"
He glances over to Soujiro, grinning wolfishly. "Taizen's clean too, for the record. But nice try." Indeed, Taizen certainly smells doggish, but he's not too smelly. In any case, he accepts the patting happily. Atsuro lowers his voice and says to Ataru, "Should we be taking him on a mission against enemy ninja? I know you've been training him, but this could get dangerous."
Ataru would glance over at Soujiro, a small shake of his head given. "No. He shouldn't be here if what yer sayin is true. This was suppose ta be a few bandits grave robbin.. a shinobi in the mix makes it harder than somethin he should get inta.." Ataru would muse about it for a moment before shrugging his shoulders slightly. "We'll just have ta deal with what we got, hai?" Looking over to Soujiro, he'd chuckle and motion him over. "Anyways, nah, chuckles was useless.. too disgusted with lookin at workin folk ta give us the time of day.. either way, the notes from the original mission said ta head ta the south of the village after checkin in and look fer the grave robbers. So, we'll do what we can and Soujiro-san can do the farmin thing ta sow the bodies back inta the ground."
Soujiro rejoins the two just in time to hear him get volentold to do something with the bodies. "Huh? Me? Dead bodies? Stiff no!" He says shaking his head and folding his arms across his chest. "If you want rice, beans, or even corn planted sure; but i don't plant dead people." The boy lets out a long yawn while the two continue to talk amongst themselves. "Hey, uh sooo shouldnt we start heading to the place where they plant these dead people?"
Atsuro raises an eyebrow. "They want us to bury the dead too?" he snorts, "Like they don't have someone here who's paid to do that." He nods in agreement with Soujiro. "I'm more concerned about him not dying than what happens to the bodies." He shrugs, "But you're the leader and all. I'm just saying, we shouldn't do the work if they aren't giving us the money, and I was told we're apprehending criminals or whatever. So unless the body-burying was also part of the mission…" He nods in agreement with Soujiro again. "Anyway, yeah. I'm ready to move out when you guys are."
Ataru frowned for a moment, before shaking his head. "ya'll are right. It's recover the bodies, ain't buryin em too." Shrugging, he'd motion and head off in the direction of the graveyard. "Soujiro, ifn the report Atsuro-san has is real, then ya seriously need ta lay low.. dun get inta the fight. I'm gonna be hangin back dependin on how tough the sucker is we're goin against.. Ifn it's a group of ninja messin with bodies, yanno somethin bad is gonna be goin down fer sure." Shaking his head slightly, he'd go quiet as they got to the graveyard.
The graveyard was solemn as most places like that were. On the far end, there was obvious signs of molested graves, empty caskets and a part of the fence that looks trampled down, from the inside. Ataru was slow to enter the space, letting Atsuro take the lead and hopefully give them a head's up on what's going on.
"Don't get into a fight?" Soujiro says. "You don't have to worry about that with me. I like my body to be intact and out of the hospital. Unlike /some/ people." He says squinting over in Ataru's direction. Once they arrived at the gravesite, Soujiro kind of strolled off from the side of the pack to explore on his own. "Yep. Just as we expected…dirt. Dirt everywhere! What are we going to do about this?" He says mockingly.
"That's good," Atsuro says, "Funeral services are sorta above my paygrade." He follows after Ataru to the graveyard. "If both of you are hanging back," he notes, "That kinda leaves only Taizen and I to deal with the dangerous guys. Is that a vote of confidence, or do you just not care if I live or die?"
Once they get to the graveyard, Atsuro and Taizen do what comes naturally. They sniff the air, look around, and listen for anything out of the ordinary. He glances over to Soujiro. "I wouldn't worry about the dirt so much," he says. Figuring Soujiro doesn't know ninja handsigns at this point, he instead tries for simple signs. He points to some bushes nearby with one hand, and holds up four fingers with the other. Then he points beyond the bushes and makes a one. Once the others have gotten the picture, he'll accept a couple of ninjato from Taizen and get into a sword-fighting stance.
Soujiro may or may not get what Atsuro was trying to say, Ataru was a little faster on the up take for it. Either way, Soujiro wandered a little too close to the bandits and where they were hiding even as Atsuro was signing to show where they were at. They lept out of the bushes, brandishing katanas to come rushing at the group. As Soujiro was the closest, he had a bandit attempt to swing at him, although the guy didn't seem to know what he was doing that well. Two of them rushed Atsuro and Taizen, while the last one tried to square off with Ataru.
As for Ataru, he'd curse as the man swung the blade at him, leaping back from the attack smoothly. Feet planted, he'd come back in at the bandit, both fist swinging as he'd try to put him down swiftly. "Soujiro! Watch out!!"
Soujiro was trying to make out Atsuro's hand signals from a distance. "Huh? 4? Are you trying to say Taizen needs to use the bathroom?" At that moment something catches the boy's attention from the corner of his eyes. As if everything was happening in slow motion, Soujiro turns just in time to see a bandit's sword come slicing horizontally towards his head. With quick reflexes, he bends backwards which barely gets him out of harms way as the blade of he sword cuts the air just inces from the tip of his nose. "Aaah!" Soujiro screams out as he falls to the ground after successfully dodging the surprise attack. Now he is scrambling to his feet and taking off around the graveyard in order to get away from his killer. As empty graves come near him, he would simply just leap over them in order to create distance between him and the other bandit.
Atsuro just gives Soujiro an exasperated look. "Seriously!?" Well, he didn't actually say that, but he may as well have. In any case, not long after that, two of the bandits are after him and Taizen. No time to explain how hand signals work. Atsuro expertly blocks the attack from his thug, bringing up both ninjato to lock against the bandit's katana and push it away. Taizen simply ducks away from his attacker, avoiding the blow entirely. Atsuro and Taizen share a glance, then Taizen leaves Atsuro, charging after Soujiro's assailant, leaping into the air then quickly accelerating into a powerful, drill-like spin.
Atsuro, meanwhile is fighting against superior numbers, but he's never one to be daunted by such a thing. Focusing on only one of the bandits for now, he quickly strikes at him with two powerful slashes, one from each sword.
The bandit on Ataru gets soundly creamed, one two combo with the extra chakra from the brawler puts the man KO'd on the ground. The bandit after Soujiro fell into one of the open graves with a thud and a curse, causing him to be an easy target for shredding by Taizen. Meanwhile, The first bandit was able to block Atsuro's strike, the second one got caught off guard and would yowl in pain. Both men split to either side of the nin to swing at him from both directions at once.
Ataru watched the man he just knocked off his feet crumple to the ground. With Atsuro being attacked 2 on 1 and Soujiro running instead of fighting, Ataru would just shake his head. Focusing himself, that chakra flared through him a moment as he'd launch at the bandit's back that was to him, tackling the man to the ground before smashing an elbow into the guy's head.
Soujiro turned to look back after he heard a thud not far behind him. A smile crept on the boy's face as he realizes his opponent had fell into one of the graves. However, because Soujiro wasnt payign attention to where he was going, he ends up falling into a grave face first as well. "Oh man, that wasn't soft at all." He says holding his shoulder as he struggles to his feet. Something in the other side of the dirt wall catches his attention as he climbs to his feet. Soujiro slowly walks over to the object that was chest level with him. Wiping off some dirt and mud, the discovers the object was some kind of box with a gold symbol etched in the side. "Hey guys. I think i might have found something."
Atsuro easily blocks the attack from one bandit, but defending against two at once is hard. He makes only a cursory attempt at avoiding the second attack and pays for it with a decent slash to the side. "You bastard," he mutters, "But you've chosen to die in a graveyard, so I can't fault your sense of irony." He retaliates with stronger attacks than ever, aiming two vicious strikes for the man he'd injured before. Kill the weakened one before taking down the tough(ish) guy.
Taizen, having dealt with Soujiro's attacker, starts on his way back to aid Atsuro. "That's great," Atsuro calls to Soujiro, "I'd be happy to take a look at it /after/ we're finished being attacked.
It was a good thing for Ataru that Atsuro decided to go after the wounded guy. He managed to tackle the tougher one from behind and while the man was stunned from the take down, beat him into unconciousness. Meanwhile, Atsuro finished off the man that had been wounded with the twin strikes, his defense folding under the hits as he'd crumple to the ground.
There was a moment of silence in the graveyard, after the din of combat, before Ataru's voice finally rang out. "Really Soujiro-san? Ya go grave diggin when we're still fightin? Come on man, gotta focus on what's goin on hai?" He'd shake his head, looking around at the bodies. "Well, there's 3 of em at least. Ya said 1 further back.. still there?" He'd pass the last question to Atsuro before pulling out some rope from his pack to offer it to Soujiro. "how about ya tie em up, the livin ones, so they dun get away when they wake up, hai?"
Fine, fine." Soujiro says grabbing the rope and using it to escape the empty grave he was currently in. Once he manages to get out of the grave, he grabs the unconsious bandits and drags them all to one pile. If there's one thing that the boy learned on the farm it was how to tie things. Grabbing the rope, he rounded up the bandit bodies and tied them securly together. Once that task was complete he walked over to join the other two.
"Yeah," Atsuro says to Ataru, "These guys seem like nothing more than hired goons. I'm betting they don't know a whole lot about what's /actually/ going on here. Whoever's in the back might." He sniffs the air again, trying to see if the other person is indeed still there. "Yeah," he says, "Still there…" He pauses and frowns, "and there's something else coming our way. Not sure what it is." He's glad he's already got his swords at the ready, though.
He watches Soujiro tie the thugs up. "You do that a lot?" he asks teasingly.
Indeed, the man in the back was working on something. As Ataru and Atsuro got closer, along with Soujiro moving close, it'd be unleashed. A massive wall of dirt started building, almost like the ground was ripped up and would start folding in on them. Trees groaned and snapped as the forest came apart, the massive attack easily able to rip them asunder as it started to drop on them. Ataru stared for a second, before he'd go to grab Soujiro and run. "Get around the wall and lets get em 'fore he rips up any more ground and ruins the graveyard and the village!" Barely making it past, Soujiro would be left there. "Try ta get the guys we caught and get em back to the village, I dun think ya wanna be messin with a real shinobi, hai? I ain't really sure I wanna be messin with a real shinobi.."
The ground begin to tremble and quake around Soujiro. A flash of panic flows through his body but then he gets a hold of everything as Ataru grabbed him. Running along side his instructor the boy would make it to a distance and away from the attack. The situation just went to a new level and even the jester in Soujiro knew this was a serious matter now. "I'll try my best but theres no way i can drag all of them into the village once." Without saying another word, the unskilled fighter waited until the other two got the shinobi's attention then darted for the detained bandits.
"What the corpse?" Atsuro manages to ask this super-important question before he and Taizen leap off to the side, escaping the layer of earth that was thrown at them. They manage to get away unscathed, thanks to a combination of their greater awareness and their speed. "Right," he calls to Ataru. "Good luck," he tells Soujiro, then waves for Ataru to guide him. "This way," he says, "Not far off. If we hurry, we can probably catch him before he tries anything like that again."
Ataru nodded towards Soujiro then looked at Atsuro. "Hai. Let's go." The way that Atsuro pointed, Ataru launched himself in that direction. Clearing the immediate chaos of the ground being folded up on himself, he'd come across a tall man, the shinobi was intoning the words for another jutsu as the seals were being formed again. He was up in a tree, which slowed Ataru down. "Atsuro-san, can ya get ta him?" He'd plant his feet, cup his hands together and offer that foot up so that Atsuro could get up at the man. "We gotta stop em 'fore he rips up more stuff at us!"
Soujiro reaches the first bandit who was just now beginning to regain consciousness. "Wh-whats going on?" The bandit word's stumbled out of his mouth.
"We just beat your asses and now im trying to save them. Now come on before we're both crushed. Help me get the others awake. Im not going to untie you guys so you're going to have to move together!" With the help of the bandit, the boy managed to get the others awake and alert enough to get out of harms way. Even though it might have been incredibly stupid, Soujiro assisted one bandit by letting him put his weight on the kid due to his leg injury.
"Wow," Atsuro says, sharing a glance with Taizen, "Eager little fella, isn't he?" They quickly follow after Ataru, stopping just as the enemy ninja comes into sight. "You bet I can," he says, giving Ataru a grin. He and Taizen share another glance, then Atsuro nods and they leap into the air. Both of them spin wildly, making the drill-like movements that Taizen made before, and streak up into the trees above, smashing into him with incredible force.
The man yowled in pain as he got hit with the double attack, thrown out of the tree, he'd go skidding to a stop. The man would get up, grabbing one arm with the other. "Stupid kids! How dare you attack me! We need these materials for the Way of Peace!!"
Ataru watched the two go up and over, blinking as they'd be able to take the man down out of the tree. Even as he was cursing them out, Ataru launched after him, chakra surging through his body to catch the guy in the head with a shot, several rapid fists would pound into the shinobi's middle, knocking him flying. "Shut up! Ya ain't gettin anythin for no one! Now stay down!!" The shinobi was slow to respond from where he landed, obviously still rather stunned by the assault from both brawler and nin.
Soujiro managed to escort the group of bandits out of the danger zone and rested them against a tree. Turning back he would make his way towards his partners with a quick pace.
"The goons are out of harms way." Soujiro says as he joins their side. However, he never takes his eyes off of their common target in front of him. The boy would sink down into a fighting stance and balls his fists tight, ready for a fight. "How are things on this end?"
Seeing that the enemy appears to be down for the moment, Atsuro quickly dashes over and pushes the man down with his foot, placing his full weight on him. "If you have some good reason for doing this," he says, leaning down to put a sword at the man's neck, "You can surely explain it to us in a nicer setting. I think I saw a nice little cafe on the way into this village." Taizen isn't far behind Atsuro, and stands nearby, ready to respond just in case the enemy ninja should try something.