Date: July 10, 2012
Agents from Sunagakure and Kumogakure are dispatched for the cooperative escort of a merchant from the Land of Wind to the Land of Lightning. Unfortunately, not everything goes quite as planned.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
"Way of Peace - Pt. 1"
Land of Grass - Grassy Plains
This area of the plains is a bid odd. Half of the area is of fresh and healthy green grass while a dry and dusty area makes up the other half. It seems the canal here divides each of the sides. A few trees are here and there, but pending on which side of the canal you are on they are green or sick with no leaves at all. A man made bridge can be seen filling the ten foot gap between both sides of the canal.
Guard work could be boring sometimes. A merchant from the land of Sand was heading for Kumo for some trade agreement. As he insisted on this particular path, he wanted a shinobi along to assist with any potential threats. There had been talk of meeting someone along the way to work with from Kumo, however Asao wasn't holding any weight to that. It was about mid-day, they were getting close to their spot they would stop at for a meal. The teen sat on top of the wagon, some small contraption in his hands that he was fiddling with. It looked like he was completely absorbed into his work. Beside him was a pack that seemed about half his size if he was standing up and from within it, the sound of a ticking clock could be heard.
Rise mentally cursed Goh for interrupting her last mission albiet with less venom than what she normally reserved for those that wronged her. He was afterall just trying to help… even if it meant risking being detained in the long run for a minor mis-calculation! And besides the mission was kinda per — "Hm? Ah, that must be dem.", She whispered as soon as the wagon is sighted.
However just as she came within clear sight for those resting about the wagon Rise made sure to keep a hand near a knife just in case things turned out to be a trap instead. Although who would bother with such a thing never really crossed her mind.
"Yo!" She called out ahead before slowing down for the last couple of feet.
Asao looks at you.
The wagon slowed to a stop as the driver was hailed. Asao himself glanced up, studying Rise for a moment before he'd lean forward and pat the front edge of the roof of the wagon. "She's it. Let's break for lunch, then we can keep going with our guide." The man would nod, then raise a hand in greeting to Rise.
"Kumo shinobi, hai? I am Talik Yamato. I'm glad you could take up the mission for me. The sand shinobi on the roof has been quiet most of the time." The driver seemed friendly enough as he'd hop off the wagon and start rummaging around for food. Asao seemed to ignore both of them, having pulled out a small tool kit and was working on something within the mechanical piece he was holding.
"Yep! Shirokiri Rise, Chuunin of Kumogakure.", She emitted brightly with a playful salute offered before following right behind Talik. Her attention however quickly wavered from panic as soon as Suna shinobi is mentioned. Furtively she looked around for said Shinobi while thinking that perhaps juuuust perhaps a certian Shippodoku -knew- she was comming and PERHAPS took up the mission as soon as he heard.
No such luck unfortunately.
"…Oh… well… uhm… Did that guy even bother to give ya his name?", She asked Talik without letting her eyes wander away from the tinkering shinobi.
"Huh? Actually, now that you mention it, no.. he just had the headband and said he was from Suna. Considering the puppet-"
"I'm Asao. From Suna. I am a chuunin shinobi and I've been guarding the merchant as hired for the C-rank mission." Asao looked up at the flabbergasted Talik and Rise then. A small nod was given in her direction. "It's been quiet. So I've been quiet. I figured this would be close to our time period we met at." He slid what he had been working on into his bag, slung it over a shoulder and in one smooth move launched himself off the top of the wagon to land neatly beside the driver who stumbled back a step. "Shall we eat and you can report the path forward to Kumo?"
Rise smirked right back at Asao. Confident now that the mysterious Suna Shinobi could at least be baited into action. Although for the sake of the mission Rise quickly hid the smirk behind a more nonchalant facade — relaxed stance, arms folded beneath her breast, and languid smile — for the time being. In response to the statement she merely turned away to start walking around the wagon and examining it. Seemingly heedless of the mention of food or any attempts to follow her.
"I can only really account for the paths within my land Asao-san since I had to take a couple of short cuts just to make it hear on time." She admitted carelessly as she midway through her inspection. "But we ain't got nothin to worry bout once we're there. I scared plenty of the usual troubles on my here… well, enough so that they won't be any problems from them. Now as for BEFORE we actually reach the boarders-.." She stopped, giving a wheel a few 'light' kicks before circling back to where the meals were suspected to be. "At best we might get delayed by a couple of patrol ninja's from Kusa and maybe a few bandits from what I was told before I left, BUT who knows… unless one of us scouts ahead or somethin." Rise finished with a roll of her eyes.
Talik was good to his word on getting the food set up for them, each had a small meal bowl with chopsticks on top. As Rise came around to him, he'd offer it to her with a smile and nod. Asao listened passively as she reported her trip there and the potential threats. "I am sure the patrol will not be an issue as we are on a legitamite mission." He turned calm eyes on the driver who just held up his hands defensively with a firm nod. Asao looked back to Rise with a small nod. "You can scout then. Since you offered it, I think it would be appropriate for a taijutsuist." Asao would take up his bowl of food then to leap back up onto the top of the wagon and sit back down. Talik the driver just stared after the teen for a moment before looking to Rise with a shrug and would start eating as well.
Rise bowed her head in thanks after taking the bowl but refused to sit or even consume her food just yet. That is, not without testing it first with a few quick wiffs and tenative licks before being assured that it wasn't poisoned. Heavily or otherwised. However just as she prepared herself to cut loose and devour it Asao's statement earns him a mild glare. One that follows him even as he leapt back onto the roof to eat in 'peace'.
She almost even leapt after her fellow chuunin to confront him directly, but for the sake of keeping their contractor safe she remained, and instead settled for calling out a question, "How'dja know I'mma taijutsuist?"
"Scars." Asao pointed with his chopsticks at her hands holding the bowl. "Classical for a pushed taijutsuist. With how many, it's definitely tai, with how light they are, it may be chakra based." Asao shook his head slightly. "Either way, strong, fast, endurance concentrated. Perfect scout." He would eat some of his food then. Talik would start gawking at Rise's hands for a moment to try and pick up what Asao saw. Then he'd realize he was staring, shake his head and go back to his food. The man decided he was decidively staing out of shinobi business. Asao seemed bored of the whole thing as he'd keep eating his food. At least, unil that last quirp had to be given.
"Eat up. We leave in 10 minutes to continue the trip."
If not for the bowl of food in hand Rise would have placed a hand over her more exposed arm. As things stood however she risked a glance at the arm before noting Talik's interest in the appendage. A casual shrug is all she gave the gawking man just before he turned away — idly, she hoped, with the understanding that she can and -does- take things seriously. The last quirp, although necessary, still made Rise balk over being commanded. Nevertheless, she bit back the bitter urge to talk back, if only because of her own belly betraying the need for food. Immediatly.
Long before time the time is up for them to move out again Rise somewhat roughly passed her bowl over to Talik as she strood up closer to the wagon itself. "… Mind telling me what's your speciality Asao-san?"
"Annoying Kumo shinobi?" Said quite mildly and off hand as he'd finish his own food in that resulting silence. Hopping down once again, the bowl was handed to Talik with a nod.
"Thank you Asao-san, Rise-san. Once you two are ready, we'll get going again, just give me the word." Talik would eye Asao for a moment before nodding with a smile to Rise and hopping up into the driver seat of that wagon after the food stuff was put away.
"If we come into combat, I will show you what I can do. As you said, there shouldn't be anything in our way, since you did well in scouting it, hai?" Asao would raise a brow towards Rise before returning to his post on top of the wagon and calling out. "Scout ahead when ready, let's get moving so we maintain the schedule."
Rise's knuckles audibly popped from clenching them too tightly just to supress spike of anger. As luck would have it the action is enough during the brief silence to calm her down enough as to ignore the temptation to slip a kunai in a certian someone's thigh for the barb. Or worse.
Asao of course would risk the 'or worse' happening for bringing back up her own lack of preparedness; but again, Rise almost literally bit back a retort by biting down on her bottom lip after turning away from the puppeteer. "Hai, Hai Dusty-sama~", She singsonged mockingly before dashing off ahead of the wagon with only small dust cloud kicking up to mark her own sudden disappearance.
"Stupid, know-it-all, Dusty — ! That… doesn't look good." Rise eyes narrowed in suspicion over the sight of the broken down bridge a good quarter of a mile if not more away from the wagon. Unfortunately, it is also the only one within immediate sight from the looks of things. Rise however paid it little mind — except to note that the bridge did not look like it was -that- worn down to have collapsed by normal means — before dashing back to report the news.
The wagon was moving along at it's normal pace while Rise went forward and found the bridge was out. As she'd race back and give the report, Asao would nod in response. Looking around the area, he'd pat that front of the wagon again to call down to the driver. "Stop. We're about to be-"
"There they are, just like the informer said! Get them!!"
"Ambushed." Asao sighed. A group of about 12 to 15 bandits off to the right popped out of the living grass to start rushing the wagon. "Rise-san, if you would be so kind? I'll take care of the other ones."
As Asao said that, a set of 6 bandits on the other side of the chasm showed themselves to start pulling out bows and aiming at the wagon. A leader looking type on the other side of the chasm would call out. "GIVE UP THE MERCHANDICE IN THE NAME OF THE WAY OF PEACE!!"
Rise almost kept on going out of spite but nevertheless slid to a stop just as soon as she heard phrase 'get them' being called out from nearby. "Now things are getting good.", Rise muttered as she turned about to size up the attack force in a quick, single sweep. By the time it takes for Asao 'give' her leave to take care of those closest to the wagon, the young shirokiri's hands are already occupied by a couple of kunai. And while her first instinct was to blindly to launch the pair immediatly at the guy dumb enough to actually call out the attack WITHOUT permission, Rise restrained herself. Just barely.
"Hai, Hai, Dusty-san~ Leave the hard part to yours truly." She replied while launching her first volley at those that looked to be three fastest group. All shots to the thigh and knees to trip them up and slow down any of their comerades dumb enough to follow too closely behind them. Those that 'survive' the first volley aren't spared but are least slain quickly by well placed throat shots unless their skilled enough to avoid them in time.
Hopefully if any remained after the first two volleys at least half the numbers if not left were all that remained for close-combat. Rise's specialty. +.+ There was still the matter of protecting their client of course and Rise DID try to keep him within her peripheral vision AT LEAST whenever possible.
Rise slammed into the group of bandits like an avalanche. Most of them were taken out within those two salvos, leaving just 3 bandits from the original 12. They seemed a little tougher than the others and might actually give her a bit of a fight.
Asao, for his part had focused himself with a surge of chakra, the puppet was launched across the chasm to attack the smaller group of archers. Tokkan, with that clockwork clicking, was quick to take out most of the bandits, the leader would curse and launch himself across the chasm to confront Rise and Asao straight on as his group was taken out.
"You! You now face Gaun Quan!! Prepare to be defeated!" Asao just stared at the leader for a moment, before uttering one word to throw the guy off. "Really?"
Despite being literally outnumbered three-to-one Rise still grinned from ear to ear at the sight of the survivors. They had some endurance that much was obvious since they barely looked out of breath from the little jog, smart enough to immediatly start spreading out into semi-circle around the girl, and most importantly, fast. Not quite fast enough to where she didn't catch sight of the one on her left chucking a throwing knife at her leg — probably just to wound and capture — but still, fast enough nick flesh before she could fully move the limb out of the way. A mere flesh wound was hardly worth noticing by the young chuunin's standard. However, within the time it took for her to cringe from the pain nevertheless the one from the right had already got within range of solid punch to the cheek and send her stumbling to the side. Thankfully yet not so thankfully, their third friend did not bother to join in but instead ran straight for Rise's and Asoa's contracter!
"Hah! Time to squeal—hurk!!" By just a meter the man was stopped by a kunai buried up the hilt dead center of the neck before pitching forward to the ground. A quick end comparred to the fate — continued but slow death by strangulation — the man who originally struck the little girl.
"Wha-wha-wah-what!?! How da, then she, wh-when did she, Tora—" On and on the third man stumbled over his words, paralyzed for the moment by the sight of the largest of the trio being choked out from behind by a demon child from the looks of smile plastered on her face.
Asao glanced over as Rise had to fight a little harder to take on the last three bandits over on her side of the wagon. Both leader and the last non-engaged bandit seemed kind of flustered by the two nin that had handled their ambush so smoothly. Asao's fingers flickered and Tokkan moved, blurring over to wrap around the bandit that had been staring dumbly at Rise as she'd take out the largest bandit. One of Tokkan's hands was planted under the man's chin, the other right to the left side of the man's heart. With a click, holes within the hands opened and with another click the man grunted as those puppet blades stabbed through his chest and up into his jaw and the back of his skull. Tokkan, covered in blood now, unwound from around the man to face Quan as Asao spoke up. "You have 30 seconds left to live until the Kumo-shinobi finishes your grunt there and proceeds to rip you a new one. I advise you to run. Now. Or your way of peace dies here." His fingers would flicker again as Tokkan clicked like a counting down clock and flickered back into place between Asao and the leader.
The bandit refused and tried falling back ontop of her. He succeeded in pinning the young chunnin beneath him and the ground, but also succeeded in pacifying her off to the point her grip actually tightened instead of relaxed.
Shocked but desperate, the bandit still rejected her orders for the silly idea of rolling around in the dirt!
"Tap-ouch-O-mpf-ut!! Stomff! Dirty Goat smellingfff!!!"
Quan should have really considered hiring more men… and perhaps a few shinobi… and MAYBE, just maybe an inventor in the process of creating the present time equivalent of the "jaws of life". Although for what purpose anyone would even bother to think up and make something like that is a mystery. It was also far from Rise's mind considering that her prey attempts at ripping free her arms while his face gradually turned darker shades were of a greater concern for her.
"I.. err.. This isn't the last you'll head from the Way of Peace!" And with those infamous words, Guan Quan would indeed turn and start running.
Asao just shook his head, glancing over at Rise and the man who was slowly passing out from the woman stangling him to death, Asao would decide to help finish that issue as well. Tokkan, with a surge of clicking reacted to Asao flicking his fingers. Rushing over to where the two tussled, it would extend those blade once again from it's hands both coming down and across to x right before the man's head. Asao's words were simple. "Tap out." The guy would go still in struggling as any further real fight would simply get him a blade to the eye. "Do we keep one of them for questioning, Rise-san, or are you going to snap his neck and be done with it?"
Rise's only answer is to growl lowly in answer and keep a tight grip on the bandits neck. Slowly but surely the little berseker's higher thoughts returned to the forefront, prompting her to relax her hold enough for the bandit to breathe a little easier while pondered over Asao's question.
It would be easier just to kill the bandit and move on to complete the mission. In fact, it -would- probably be the safest bet compared to the others that circulated through her mind albiet dimmly compared to the one that promised death. But….
"We're keep'em and turning him in at the nearest outpost aight? Betta to see if there's a good bounty on'em PLUS a good bargaining chip if Guan shows up again.. probably anywayz. Now pull ya puppet back so mister muscles can start giving the piggy back ride he promised." She finally explained flatly to Asao. Then leaned in close to the bandits ears to whisper, "AIn't that right little piggy? Or does Rise have to drop ya for good? Cuz I can and I will if ya try to flee too 'kay?"
The bandit just gave a mute nod in response, suffering for the sake of survival it seems. As Asao's puppet moved back, the man would groggily get to his feet, suffering Rise's riding as he'd plod along. A nod given to them, Asao would resume his perch atop the wagon as the puppet Tokkan would once again get stored away. With the fight resolved, the driver clicked his teeth and off they went, for the nearest outpost before finishing the trip for Kumogakure itself.