Disposable Heroes

Having toppled the massive ninja who had relentlessly tracked them to the outskirts of an Ame forest, the party, under the new leadership of Shinkei, set off in search of Jordan, the remaining ninja opponent, and the scroll.

As deliberation ensued, the party fell under brief argument about what to do. Calculating the effects of the soldier pills given to them by Tetsuya, the group came to a decision. Taiichi and Kimiko rested behind at the spot where they’d last seen evidence of Jordan, and Kaito and Shinkei left in search of a trail.

Eventualy, Shinkei and Kaito came across a few small snapped branches that signified someone had been there. They also spotted what appeared to be a fragment of Jordan’s cloak. Following this lead, they found several other pieces of Jordan’s cloak, and followed the trail to the edge of the woods. Meanwhile, Taiichi and Kimiko deliberated as to what was going on. Kimiko found herself a bow and some arrows, and Taiichi rested, up until the point where the two headed off to catch up with the other half of the party.

They eventually converged at the same point, at the forest’s edge, where Taiichi used his sensor technique, and scoped out the broad field before them, finding yet another piece of Jordan’s cloak hidden in the grass. He and Kimiko followed this new trail, which led to a nearby village, while Shinkei and Kaito rested.

Taiichi took the opportunity to scout out the village in an attempt to find the ninja and Jordan, in which he was successful. He returned to Kimiko, and explained the situation, just as Shinkei and Kaito arrived. This in mind, Shinkei was briefed, and came up with a plan. Kaito was to flank the foe from in front while Shinkei and Kimiko sprung a trap and attacked from the rear. Taiichi was to sneak in while invisible, and steal the scroll, and also make a shadow clone with a fake scroll to distract the opponent. The idea was to perform a trap hit and run operation. Minimal losses, but gaining the scroll in return.

However, as they reached the other side of town to begin to set up, they found out their mark had already left, and was a good 40 minutes in running time ahead of them. Shinkei ordered the team to follow the plan, modified in the form of a frontal assault. The attack would be triggered by his signal, the strike of a lightning bolt.

Kaito sneaked past the foe admirably, while Taiichi cloaked himself and approached from behind. Shinkei closed quickly, while Kimiko stayed a distance back, and transformed herself into the image of a foe whom they’d defeated earlier. Shinkei launched the signal, however, their foe was wary, and as the lightning bolt Shinkei had formed was about to strike him, he took Jordan and manhandled him bodily in front of him, in order to take the blow.

The foe wheeled upon Shinkei, who began forming a javelin and closing the distance between them, as Kaito sprinted in from behind and kneed him in the back. The foe was winded, and Kaito took that opportunity to use his shoulders as leverage to flip himself right up and over the guy, and deliver an axe kick to his face. Taiichi snuck up behind and waited for his opening, while Kimiko fired off an arrow from behind, which narrowly missed Shinkei’s ear. The opponent, seeing that he had help, began forming Handseals. Shinkei lobbed his lightning Javelin at him, just in time for a tree to reach up out of the ground, and block the bolt.

Kaito attempted to launch another attack, but was manhandled by a root from the tree that reached out, and struck him bodily, so much more a massive fist than the tree trunk that it was. Shinkei focused on his defensive line of sight and began approaching the foe on the other side of the tree, while Kimiko lined up a senbon, and guided it right around to strike into the ninja’s knee. Despite this, the Mokuton using foe began scaling the tree, lleaving Jordan and the scroll both open. Taiichi seized the opportunity, and stole the scroll, feeling its effects make him sluggish, before he ran off for a secluded tree elsewhere, and made a clone of himself, also holding a clone scroll, who used the invisibility jutsu, and began returning to the area of conflict. Kaito attempted to launch another attack, but was pummeled to the ground by another tree-trunk. He struggled to get free, but with a burst of chakra, he began to glow green, and he smashed the trunk to bits.

Kimiko hid in a tree nearby, the ninja in question all hidden from her view. Meanwhile, Shinkei made his way around the tree and began scaling it, before seeing a blur whip by him. As it did so, he noticed the foe putting his hands together, and sinking into the trunk of the tree. Just as his face melded with the wood, Kaito smashed a hole through where the mokuton user had been moments before. Seeing his foe not there, and obviously being enraged, he asked Shinkei where the opponent had gone. Shinkei had no idea.

Elsewhere, Kimiko, still disguised, was greeted by their foe, as he appeared out of the tree trunk to greet her. He asked why she had failed to kill any of the Genin, and they continued on in small conversation, Kimiko doing her best to act as she thought this ninja did, before their foe asked her a question meant to test her identity. She failed, and he launched an attack at her, which she promptly dived out of the way of.

Meanwhile, as Clone-Taiichi sensed around, he noticed a huge network of chakra under the ground, connecting all the trees in the area together. As he noticed this, he saw the chakra of one tree turning volatile, and as it did, he recognized a technique he had seen before coming into fruition. The clone shouted “SENBON TRAP!”, and Shinkei dived for the ground off of the tree, for fear of being pierced by wooden senbon. Kaito however, zipped down to the base of the tree, and with a massive kick, toppled it over, so that the senbon wouldn’t explode parallel to anyone. He then ran down to find Jordan and cover him. Taiichi’s clone did much the same. Kimiko called up her wind shield around herself.

And with an earth rending explosion, earth senbon devastated the field. Shinkei, who had been unaware of the element of the technique, had jumped to his own demise, his back riddled with the earthen needles. Kaito, not aware of the strength of the technique, sacrificed himself to protect Jordan, he himself being filled with earth senbon. As the dust settled, the Mokuton user lauded over the devastation he was sure he had caused to the party. So cocky was he, that he didn’t even notice the senbon that pierced through the back of his head and through his throat, until he was falling out of the tree he’d stood in.

Kimiko approached him as blood poured out of his wound, but he wore a maniacal smile on his face, as he brought his hands together in an attempt to kill everyone. Kimiko silenced his attempts with a senbon through his eye. Taiichi, meanwhile, had been making his way slowly but surely to the rendezvous point. He didn’t know what had happened, but as Kimiko found her way over to the remnants of the explosion, she found the body of Kaito laying over that of Jordan. She checked for a pulse on Kaito. There was none.

Unnerved at the sight of one of her comrades having perished, she held Kaito tight, crying for what must have been half an hour, until she could cry no more. She calmed down, and helped Jordan to a sitting position, where he could breathe easier, before going to find Shinkei. Her luck with him was no better than with Kaito. Taiichi wasn’t sure what was happening, he was just following orders. So, when he heard Kimiko scream, he didn’t know if it was because she was dying, or because she had found someone dead. He continued on, headed for the meeting place Shinkei had assigned them, hoping everyone was alright.

Hours later, just before Taiichi gave up hope on any survivors, the figure of two people approached the meeting spot. It was Kimiko, whom was carrying Jordan, which brought some relief to Taiichi. He asked about the others whom he’d soon find out were dead. After being briefed, Kimiko went to get some medical supplies to patch up Jordan. Exchanging the set of arrows for the supplies (more so from the pitty of the villagers). Eventually the two genin would take the scroll and their unconscious leader away from the meeting grounds. With the effects of the scroll draining their chakra, they devised a clever carrying system to transport the scroll and the unconscious genin to safety.

Eventually Jordan would wake up an be briefed about what happened. Disheartened by the news but relieved the mission was complete, the three would journey back to grass to report on the mission. The Hokage was not pleased that they gave a teammate to a Missing Ninja, but otherwise seemed happy that the mission was successful. Though the final ruling on the mission had yet to be determined, tune in to the next session to find out what happens next!

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Ami Lee

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