Date: January 22, 2015
A pair of Genin accept a contract to act as armed escorts for a merchant vessel traveling from, and returning to, the main port of the Land of Water. More the money the pair agreed to collect the entrance 'fee' for the Kirigakure, Chuunin Exam.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Yo ho, off with their head"
Off the coast of Land of Water
With the weather improving around Kirigakure, trade ships grew more common for as long as the weather would hold. This was a blessing and a curse to the sailors and merchant owners alike. Trading was in high demand to and from abundance of load heavy ships, others were contracted or simply opportunistic and chose to 'liberate' supplies of the merchants before permitting them to return to their ports. Kirigakure was issued, as it often was, with protection of some vessels rather than the assault of another.
A letter was left on the window of Yuriko's bedroom, for once it wasn't a tease, « I've accepted a mission that will be taking me from the mainland for a while, protection for a vessel. I'd like it if you'd join me. » the usual spider marking was shown at the bottom. Naoya on the other hand was on the ship, a short while before it disembarked, standing at the outer most stern post, making himself very visible from the docks as he waited.
Hand on the strap of the knapsack over one shoulder, Yuriko pauses on the docks as she glances around, looking from ship to ship for any clue as to where she's supposed to be. Since the note hadn't mentioned the name of the ship they'll be taking. It takes her a few good moments before she finally spots Naoya on his perch. She arches a pale brow at him for a short instant before turning that direction.
The Kaguya kunoichi eventually makes it onto the boat, ignoring the sailors as she approaches Naoya. Again she arches a pale brow and extends a hand. "Mission scroll?" she asks. "I'll like to know more details about this mission. And why it's so hard to write down the name of a ship."
Glancing over his shoulder, a grin appears on the young Okumo's lips. Moving a hand down to his pouch, Naoya quickly produces a scroll, using thee fingers to hold onto it before waggling it in his grip. "Just a sec… I'll let you see it. As for the name.. If you got lost, the brood would of showed you the way. More musing that way." With that, Naoya tosses the scroll over to Yuriko, chuckling as he did do. Turning to the side, he raises a hand and signals to someone behind Yuriko, one of the thinner looking men on the ships, a navigator.
"Seemed you packed well for a few days, wonder what all you brought though." Naoya's eyes dim faintly, but there was almost no movement. If the young Kaguya looked around carefully, she would notice that the brood was already surrounding the ship, almost like a infestation, examining nooks, crevices as well as hunting for anything living, not part of the crew or supplies.
Yuriko manages to keep from reflexively reaching out to take the scroll, only for it to become a taunt. She narrows her eyes subtly as she listens. "Only for you." she murmurs, reaching out this time to take it from his hand. She's already in work mode it seems, as the scroll is pulled open between her hands her gaze narrows at the contents. "Several ports…" Yuriko mumbles to herself. "Protection for the ship, hm? I guess there has been more trouble than usual for them. Several ports…" Exhaling a longer breath, she begins rolling it up again as she returns her gaze to Naoya. "I brought supplies you need for any mission. Though I did pack some rations and bait for fishing."
"It's a few weeks of warmth before the next freeze and Kiri's ports mostly become off limits again. Time's not to be wasted, huh." Taking a few steps forward, Naoya hops down and lands onto the decking, leaning back onto the stern wall. "If things don't happen, we have a few days with just us, helping if we get bored, but we're here if something else happens.." Raising a hand, the young Okumo flicks his finger from side to side. "Then we get to play some. I heard about some of the more recent attacks were smaller raiding groups. I think that's why we're not being paid all that much, huh?"
With a shrug, Naoya suddenly shifts his weight slightly as the sails unfurl completely, causing the ship to lurch suddenly from catching the full breeze. "Half a week.. on a boat.. Might even have time to start teaching you how to dry your clothes without me coming over to give you a tap" was said teasingly before looking away and towards the sea. "Lets just stay out of their way or did you want to end up trying to help their lining and ropes?"
Humming softly, Yuriko lifts a hand to lightly rub at the back of her head as she turns and glances back at the boat itself, pondering while sailors prepare to take off. Her bright eyes flick up as the sail begin to unfurl and she remembers to brace herself before the wind takes the sails and lurches the boat into sudden motion. She hums again and turns to glance over her shoulder at Naoya, arching a brow at the older boy again. "I'm not worried about water. My clothes can dry on their own."
"Yes yes, which is fine when things are warm, the sea isn't. Not as bad as when I needed to dry you and Kiji in Bird country though." It was easy to see the young Okumo was in a good mood and some what teasing tone which was normal when he was near the young Kaguya. Moving a hand behind himself he gently runs his fingers along a ivory hilt before beginning to hum contently to himself.
The beginning leg of the trip was quiet, peaceful.. and boring save for the rain. Rain from a flash storm pelts the ship with marble sized hail. Grumbling, Naoya could feel a twinge as one of his brood's thin webs along the rigging of the mast was torn from the weight and several suddenly hit by the pieces of ice. "Great.. I was half asleep too." Blinking, the young Okumo's eyes shade dull as he could hear movement but not around him where he had retired below deck. "Another ship? How close? That's.. not good." Looking around, Naoya looks for where Yuriko was, not sure if she nodded off as well or if she already noticed something was out in the darkness drawing closer.
Yuriko narrows her eyes at him out of the corner of her eye. "I'm fine. I don't need you turning into another Kiyoshi. Always fussing over everything." she seems to start to mutter to herself as she glances away from him. As the ship begins to disembark, the Kaguya makes her way below deck.
Hours later the rain begins to fall, the soft pellets quickly turning into a flash thunderstorm. The quick waves rocking the boat creating an unsettling sensation. Keeping her place on her cot, she glances up at Naoya as she listens, surprised to hear that there's another ship spotted nearby. No doubt spotted by his spiders. The small flicker of hope for some action creates a slight smirk at the corner of her mouth and Yuriko pushes herself to her feet. "Let's make sure they're friendly."
Canting his head to the side, Naoya grumbles. "Hard to tell.. it's nearly pitch black, only a few lanterns are making it easy for light to be near but.. It does look like a merchant ship.. I guess?" Closing his eyes, the young Okumo shrugs. At first the tension seems to ease from him, but then a pause, "Closer?" Turning his head to the side, he nods to Yuriko and rolls to his feet, soon putting on his boots as well as his belt.
"Just keep eyes open, they aren't trying to ram up, but something glinting over there.. we see a few things on their neck, waving swords.. or food pans. Not sure." Even though he took his time speaking, it wasn't long before he was also dressed along with a water proofed cloak wrapped around his shoulders but his head was exposed. "Lets go.
As the pair made their way towards the deck, it was clear the other vessel was smaller, but high in the water from a light load. The close by ship didn't seem anything special but there were men on the other deck, and the flickering wasn't pans or sword but multi-toothed hooks. Several massive hooks were tossed across the sea between the ships and bite into the ship's railing before the cord connected to it is draw tight.
Dipping her chin slightly, Yuriko nods as Naoya tells her to keep her eyes open, though when he says 'glinting' she frowns with thought. "Not sure what would glint on a ship in a pitch black storm… Maybe a mirror? They could be using it to signal another ship nearby." Though in this storm, she certainly hopes not.
The Kaguya girl pulls on a rainproof jacket as they make their way above deck, and she has to squint through the rain to even see what Naoya had already seen. It takes her a moment to see just what it was that was glinting in the darkness. Hooks. Massive hooks being thrown across the distance between the ships, cords already being drawn tight.
Another slight smirk teases at her mouth. "I guess they're not friendly, Nao-kun. They're being awfully rude. Should we teach them some manners?" Yuriko asks with an amused tone.
Moving a hand behind himself, Naoya gently tap one grip but then draws out a lower one. "Teaching is one thing, baiting's another." A chuckle escapes his lips as the blade is drawn. The mesh of silk under his clothing tenses as he slashes once quickly, causing a faint spark as the blade collides with the hook's ring before slicing deep into the cord that tethered it. One down, four others to sever before the ship was free.
Turning his blade towards the darkness, Naoya hops onto the shifting railing, quickly making his way to another one of the cords but doesn't cut it, instead he stands on it with one foot. "We can't have them coming over here, we'll be docked pay." Not waiting for her, he moves along the length of the cord as he makes his way over to the other ship rapidly but one musing could be heard, 'If I take them all, does yuriko get stuck as a genin?'
Yuriko smirks easily, already pulling out an ivory blade from a sleeve. She follows his lead and quickly slices off a second hook, followed by a third, leaving one remaining cord connected between the ship and the smaller boat. Just after Naoya crosses between them, a giggle can be heard as she follows suit, jumping onto the cord and sliding across with her feet, jumping off to land with a graceful roll. "Boy did you guys pick the wrong ship." Yuriko murmurs, giggling.
Unlike Yuriko, the young Okumo who moved in first stayed silent, choosing to half lunge at the first man he got close to, toppling into to the ground but only managing to cut deeply into his shoulder before being kicked off and to the side. "First blood" was said as he raised his blade up and moved to motion for another strike only to almost disappear with a burst of speed, re-positioning himself along the enemy ship's mast.
The men on deck were startled and confused on what was going on as several retrieved their cut lines. With the first man screaming and bleeding, a pair of others turn to stare at Yuriko. "A kid?!" was shouted in confusion but not all of the deckhands were unfamiliar with younger shinobi. Quickly retreating the man began to bark orders to those below deck to bring hatchets and get /everyone/ on deck.
Her playful grin grows as she's stared at. "A kid." Yuriko murmurs, though just as soon as she says this she shifts her weight and dashes between several men. Her blade slashing deep through each as she blurs past, spilling blood onto the deck. "Mm, it's too bad it's raining so much." she murmurs, sounding truly regretful for a moment. But it's back to work. While some stare in shock at the damage she's done so far, others rush towards the small girl with the intent to kill. Yuriko takes everything in stride as she begins to dance, dodging and slashing, using momentum and surroundings to her advantage. As one unlucky soul actually falls overboard as a result.
Almost seeming to bide his time at his perch, Naoya watches as Yuriko dances on the deck below. It wouldn't be until a man managed narrowly avoid a fatal slash from the young Kaguya was when he'd strike. With a flick of his wrist a brief glint would be noticed in the air before a shuriken moves past the man's throat and hooks around, wrapping around it several times only to embed the blade into his windpipe. "Mine!" Was half shouted before Naoya hops off and downwards towards another man that was freeing from Yuriko.
The first slash was followed by a another low thrust into the back of the man's lung, not quite killing him, but it would follow unless treated quickly. Turning back to the younger girl, he offers a cocky grin but for the showing off he underestimated the speed of a crewman's axe, having it cut into the middle of his left bicep before he could kick away. The man who cut the young Okumo was rather out of place. He, along with two others marched from below deck, each one garbed in heavy armor, normally it would restrict movement, but out at sea it would be impossible to swim without removing almost all of it.
"You welps are getting sliced to bits by a pair of kids playing around?! Move together, corner them one at a time and finish this already!"
The bodies fall around her, crimson quickly washed away by the storm. Yuriko huffs a short breath and turns, looking over her shoulder to watch the armored man with the ax and his henchmen emerge from below deck. She smirks easily and arches a pale brow, giving Naoya a glance out of the corner of her eye. "I call the big one." Yuriko murmurs, grinning. Taking a few quick steps the young girl slides closer to her partner and turns her back towards his, back to back. "Stay in the center, away from the railing."
Slipping his fingers into his pouch, a salve is hooked and slowly smeared into the wounds with a light hiss. Even with the pain, a grin over took Naoya as he shifts into position, those watching closely could even see the wound starting to knit itself closed with surprising efficiency. "Worried I might end up falling over the edge or planning to split the boat in half with some odd trick?" Oddly for the statement, the boys words didn't sound teasing, but curious.
After watching how shallow his gash was, only to have the boy heal himself the man tightens his grip on his axe. "The girl's the main fighter but that boy.. he's able to heal wounds. Unless you kill her he might just patch her back together all ahoy day. Focus on him" Moving as commanded, the two that joined with their heavily armored commander, move towards the Okumo boy while the larger commander edges his way closer towards the Kaguya girl. In a flash the leader charges slashing widely, as if trying to chip the girl in half with one sundering slash.
Yuriko scoffs lightly, but she keeps her eyes carefully on the remaining pirates. Especially the armored one. "Of course not. But if he blatantly says 'split them up', then I'm not going to let them do that. Duh." she answers back, a slight smirk returning to the corner of her lips. "And the boat can be useful. Much more than these guys." Focusing on the axeman, Yuriko couldn't help but grin. "Obviously haven't heard of the Kaguya clan. I guess I just need to kill harder, as payment for underestimating me." Twirling the ivory blade in her hand, the grin becomes a shade darker, ducking easily under the commander's wide slashes and taking advantage of the sudden opening. With a quick step, Yuriko drives the blade deep into his armor.
While Naoya continues to retreat seemingly, the silk mesh under his cloak pulse, causing his motions to become more jerky with sudden stops between blurring motion. Turning his blade inwards, he strokes along the edge once quickly, stroking a faint liquid across it before cutting into the forearm of one of his attackers. The second is only grabbed and tossed suddenly upwards, directly into one of the Okumo's nest in the ship's rigging. "You took the last big one! Remember the camp on the coast?" was asked with a faint snarl, yet again he was stuck being outnumbered.
The man slashes the nothing but air when he tried to cut into Yuriko. Looking down, he quickly steps into the thrust, minimizing how much room the girl could have to stab him, but the close spacing did little to limit the thrust which pieced deep into the arm and well into the man's side. A painful hissing groan escapes the man but he doesn't move away, instead he opens his arms wide and attempts to wrap them around the kaguya girl. The plan was clear, using the armor's bulk, his locking wrists and his muscles, he was going to try and crush the life out of her, leaving her no room to escape.
Even as Naoya snarls, Yuriko smirks easily back at him. "Then you should place your dibs sooner." she murmurs lightly, though her attention quickly focuses of the armored giant. He makes the mistake of actually stepping into the ivory blade. Even as his arms wrap around her tiny form to crush her, the small girl's dark smile grows. Right when he tightens his grip, several dozen sharp bone talons suddenly spikes from her back and limbs, piercing just as deeply. Just after this happens, the blade in his side moves. With Yuriko's influence the blade begins to grow deep inside of him, turning, piercing through a lung on it's way to his heart.
Just as suddenly as the man charged her, he comes to a airy gasp as the bone quills rapidly pierce his armor and burrow within his body. At first he continues to try and move but the effort was in vein, leaving the Kaguya girl with her prize, a sack of over a hundred kilos of flesh and bone on top of her, and yet another fifty to sixty kilos of body armor of which it was wrapped. If the man wasn't truly dead yet, his body was well on its way of organ failing and blood loss.
With a sudden slash, Naoya cuts deeply into the throat of the man he was still toying with, letting the toxins forced into the wound to finish his work. "Was still only one point" was grumbled before looking up and into the rigging, watching the second man who parted off still struggle within the web. The young Okumo's form blurs, leaving several transparent images behind him before stopping, straddling the man's chest. Slipping his original blade away, Naoya draws out an ivory blade and presses it under the captured man's chin. "Yu-chan.. This pointy thing is officially a blade now," was said cheerfully while thrusting upwards, hilting the curved blade before letting it set.
With the giant man dying on top of her, the petite girl easily withdraws her quills and shrugs off his weight, with unnatural ease it seems. Dropping onto the deck he continues to bleed out, the blade buried in his side pulled free as Yuriko glances back over her shoulder to double check on her teammate. Seeing him doing well enough on his own, she couldn't help but grin when he draws blood with the new blade. A small giggle is heard from her as she turns to face him, hiding the blade in her sleeve once more. "Next big one is yours. Do you want to keep a body or just a head to take back with us?"
"They're dead. Not much use keeping them. I have learned how to make them twitch using chakra but.. that isn't useful." Withdrawing the blade from the man's skull slowly, Naoya proceeds to slice at certain strands, allowing the web to wrap around the man before letting the corpse drop to the ground. Hopping down afterwards, to leans near the fresher two corpses before beginning to work at exposing the spine clearly before severing it cleanly.
The truth was, while the pair were on deck, not every one of the crew was so quick to charge the two 'creatures' on deck which treated the field as a testing ground. Rather, the lower levels of the vessel were not only locked and sealed, much of the remaining crew were barricading it as well as they could.
It would be a while before Naoya asks, close to preparing the third crewmen's head to be severed, wrapped in a web and hung from his belt that he notices the ship they were on was trying to drift away from the ship they were contracted to protect. It was still tethered but the sound of creaking boards made it clear either the hook or the post it was bound to was going to give soon, making their trip back difficult if they lingered.
Yuriko couldn't help the slight smirk as she rolls her shoulders, as if stretching. "Well, having a large corpse has an impact. So does a severed head, granted, but…" she trails off with another shrug, aquamarine eyes glancing around the deck curiously now that she has a moment to really consider and pick through the pile she's created. "How many heads are you taking? I want the same number. Don't want it to look like I'm slacking off or anything…"
Turning her attention towards the giant axeman, Yuriko uncurls her fingers and produces a sharp blade from the palm of her right hand, and in one clean motion she slices the head clean off the body. Picking it up with her left, she proceeds to go through and collect heads, taking two more for herself. "Hope these won't stink up too much."
Glancing back over her shoulder at Naoya, she gives him a light-hearted smile for a short moment before Yuriko jumps to the other ship, waiting there for him and making sure that the one lifeline between them doesn't give.
"Three.. four.. six.. eight.. dangit." There were eight corpses on deck, three heavily armored, five not so much. Realizing that Yuriko's hope was a real possibility, he glances around the deck for anyone hiding. The news from his brood that the young Kaguya was already returning with three heads causes him to mumble under his breath. Naoya severs a fourth head for himself, and then a fifth, one for Yuriko, before hopping up onto the last rope linking the ships and rapidly crossing it.
As soon as the young Okumo reached the merchant ship, he slashed at the cord but then slashes strongly once, scattering the blood into the sea. "Now I need something to clean the blood off.. don't want to waste silk. But.." Turning his attention to Yuriko, he points towards the door leading below deck. "I'll see about bleeding them out fully and seeing if I can do something about the rot. We're going to be out here for what, two more days?" 'I hope we have room' was softly said somewhat amused with the idea of collecting too many for entry.
Turning to the railing, Naoya didn't motion to remove the hooks embedded there, soon departing for below deck. "Lets leave those hooks, they won't question how much work we're doing then huh?"
Waiting patiently at the railing, Yuriko lifts a pale brow as she watches the Okumo continue to sever a few additional heads, just before crossing back onto the merchant ship again. With the last cord connecting the two ships soon cut, the smaller craft begin to drift apart. "Maybe she should have lit it on fire. Ah well." the Kaguya girl briefly mumbles to herself, attention soon returning to Naoya. Soon a light smile touches her lips and Yuriko is soon to follow him below deck, "I want to help." she offers, intrigued with the idea of preserving the heads as well.
As he says, the hooks remain on the wood railing on deck. A constant reminder of the night long after the fierce storm fades away.