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 A Killing Stroke, Pt. 2 [Mission/Solo]

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PostSubject: A Killing Stroke, Pt. 2 [Mission/Solo]   Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:44 am

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Shin travelled rather peacefully through the countryside, making his way easily across the Land of Earth’s border and into the Land of Grass’s territory.  The change in scenery was gradual, creating a blending of environments that progressed as he moved from the more rocky terrain of his home country to the grassy plains of the Land of Grass.  He didn’t believe there was any big or noticeable change in the strength of the wind, but once he was surrounded by long grass, he couldn’t help but feel the wind was more present as he noticed it more with how the grass bent beneath the weight of it.

Getting to the town was simple enough and didn’t require for him to travel too deep into the foreign country.  As he approached the town’s limits, he came up beside a hill where the road into town veered off into a smaller side path that seemed old and ill-maintained.  There were cobblestone steps that had weeds growing around them and in between the cracks.  Two stone statues of shinigami heads guarded both sides of the path.  It was an obvious sign that it lead to an old temple and judging by the state the stone steps were in, it was most likely abandoned and forgotten by the town that owned it.

Seeing this, Shin decided to check things out.  Knowing what he had to do within Engaru and how small its population, he would need to be smart about entering.  Temples usually acquired tourists, and seeing that this one wasn’t being maintained well showed that the town wasn’t really accepting any visitors.  His sudden presence into the town would be quite the news story and headlining topic for all of the town gossipers.

Having climbed up the broken cobblestone steps, he came across the old temple.  It looked more akin to an old shack, being rather small and holes spotting the roof.  Taking his first step up onto the wooden steps, the cracking and bending of the wood beneath his feet was very loud as the wood strained against the metal nails that hooked it in place.  I can at least be aware of anyone who might come up here, he thought as he entered the open doorway and set down his bags in a corner.  He looked around for the door but found only pieces of roof tiles that had fallen through.  One of the supports for the ceiling had broken down and was now supported by the floor that it had fallen through, slightly protruding outwards towards the back doorway.  Anyone trying to rush in from that entrance would end up with an impaled chest as the shredded and sharpened pieces of wood stuck outwards.

All in all, Shin couldn’t have asked for a better hideout.  There were no signs of people having been there recently and plenty of signs pointing to the fact that no one would be coming around any time soon.

”Well, guess I could set up now before heading into town,” he said to himself and went to work.

He had traveled light, not packing any identifiable clothing that would trace him back to the Hidden Rock.  Although this was a mission he was taking on as an ANBU operative, this type of objective required him to proceed without wearing his mask or armor.  It was an interesting feeling to dwell on, as he rolled out his sleeping bag along the rough hardwood floor, to be on his first ANBU mission back in the organization and yet not to wear the uniform while performing.  It made him chuckle a little bit.

With his chuckle, Shin heard it echo through the small temple room.  Then his soft echoing chuckle seemed to be revived with a child-like tone.  At first he didn’t catch the difference in the sound of laughter until it continued and grew louder.  Immediately his body froze and listened.

The sound of two children laughing became louder and louder until it neared the back entrance.  Biting his tongue, Shin nervously reached for a kunai from his bag.  He did not want to be a child killer, but if he was found with his bag open like this the ramifications could ruin his entire plan.  His teeth gritted as the laughter got closer and closer.  A loud creak of a wooden step being stepped on, the rolling of sweat wetting the leather grip of his kunai.

“Wait, Oboro!” a child called out, a boy.  The laughing stopped.  “Don’t go in there, it’s scary.”

“Oh, grow up,” said the other, a girl, and her voice came from much closer.

Another creak of a wooden step.  “No, seriously!  My mother told me not to go in there and old man Kibagami said ‘any boy that ever went in that old temple never came back again’.”

“Well, he never said anything about a girl going in here.”

“Mother’s probably worried so I’m heading back… and you should, too!”  The boy’s voice trailed off into the distance, leaving the girl still standing on the back steps of the temple.

She let out a quick breath of disappointment as she folded her arms.  ”Fine!  Run along then!  Don’t forget to tell your mom just how much of a scaredy-cat you are!”  The anger in her voice rang out above all else.  She was now left to face the abandoned temple alone.

Turning around to face the back doorway and away from the direction the boy had ran, she looked into the foreboding back entrance.  From her angle, she couldn’t yet see the fallen wooden support that protruded from the floorboards.  At her height, the sharp splinters would reach her head and instantly snap the precious little face of hers.  Though even without seeing the potential danger, what the boy had said before was already plaguing her thoughts.  Her hands moved nervously as she tentatively stepped closer to the doorway.  Each step seemed to utter a louder cry.  Her shoulders rose an inch with every shriek of the wood, until the point where she looked as if her shoulders would pop off from their sockets if she cringed any higher.

Finally she entered the temple, shuffling her skinny little self around the protruding  support that blocked her way.  Once inside and was given the chance to look around, she became calmer and her shoulders relaxed.  There was no sign of anyone being there.  Shin had taken advantage of the little boy’s whining complaints to exit out the front and hide.

”This isn’t so bad…” she said in a shaky voice, trying to calm herself as she walked further into the temple.  For a while and ever since she had safely entered, her eyes had been drawn up to the ceiling.  Something about all the holes in the ceiling and how the shafts of light could be seen with all the dirt and dust in the air had attracted her attention.  Shin had to just wait things out, or so he thought.  ”…nothing scary about this place at —“

The girl’s voice froze and Shin did the same.  What was it that made her stop?  Did something happen?  There hadn’t been any creaking of wood or any loud crash to signify anything was wrong.  So what was it that made her stop all of a sudden?  He continued to listen for a moment, hearing nothing for a while until a few footsteps rushed to a corner and the sound of cloth being opened.

My bag!

Shin popped out from behind the side of the front doorway and called out to the girl, ”Wait, stop!”

The girl was startled to say the least, as she was fearing the worst when the words were called out to her.  Her whole body felt like it had jumped out of its skin and she fell backwards on her butt in her failed attempt to run backwards.  Her hair tussled over her face and made her vision a bit blurred as she looked up at Shin standing in the doorway.

”Wh-wh-wh-who are you?”


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PostSubject: Re: A Killing Stroke, Pt. 2 [Mission/Solo]   Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:09 pm

Shin held his tongue for a moment, trying to come up with an excuse or some lie that might save his identity.  ”I’m just a poor traveler taking a day’s rest here.”

The girl seemed to grow a bit calmer, though her brows furrowed in a bit harshly and questionable about his words.  ”There’s a traveler’s inn in the town, ya know.”

”Oh? I don’t think I could afford a room, besides I’m not staying very long.”

Shin picked up his bag quickly, a slight metallic sound emitting from it as some of his weapons rubbed against each other.  He slung it over his shoulder to hide it from the girl’s inquisitive eyes.  Her clothes were a bit torn and dirty, most likely from all the playing she did on the way up to the temple, he assumed.  ”Anyways, don’t you need to run along to your parents?  I’m sure they’d be worried if they knew you were up here talking with a stranger.”

”Everyone’s strange, just because you’re a new face doesn’t mean you’re bad.  Lots of times new is good.” The girl cocked her head to one side as she said this, then turning to look at the wall away from Shin.  ”Besides, I don’t have any parents to get back to.  Just Lady Kibagami at the orphanage.”

The girl rose to her feet, patting herself off as she did so before looking back up to Shin.  She was small and young, nearer to the age of eleven or twelve.  He had gestured to the door, letting her leave to head back to town but she only stood there looking at him.  The small temple room grew quiet as she looked at him, making Shin uneasy and moving his eyes about as if to disarm the situation.

”Alright, how about you show me the way to this inn you like so much?”

The girl took a moment to look Shin up and down, as if weighing what to do.  Then she brightened up to a smile and grabbed at his free hand, tugging him out the front entrance of the temple and down the cobblestone steps.  Even with shorter legs, her high energy was enough to keep a constant pull on him as he tried to keep his pace up without stepping on the girl’s heels.  ”Come on, it’s this way!”

They ran down back to where the paths split and turned to head towards the town.  Soon, the roofs of buildings and street lamps were easily seen over the tall, swaying grass.  At the sight of the buildings getting closer, Shin had a gut feeling that showing up as a stranger in tow by one of their own kids to such a small and secluded town would only look bad upon them both.  Not wanting to arouse any suspicion, he gave a gentle tug on the girl’s hand.

She slowed down a bit and turned around, her eyes as questioning as ever.  ”What’s up, mister?  Say… you never told me your name!”  She stopped right then and pointed one thumb at her chest.  ”My name is Warui.”

”Ah, I see,” he said, kneeling down at his knees, resting his butt on his ankles. ”Just call me Kokoro for now, okay?”

She nodded.

”I think I can make it to the inn by myself, you just run along now.”

”Huh?  But wait, how are you going to find the inn?”

”I’ll be fine, don’t worry so much about me.  I appreciate you taking me this far.  Just keep what I’ve said to you as a secret.  Can you do that for me?”

”Uh huh.”

”Good.  Now run along, Warui.  I don’t want you getting in trouble because of me.”  Shin smiled and patted the girl’s head.  She smiled back in turn before running down the path and into town.

With that manner out of the way, he needed to actually enter himself.  If at all possible, he wanted this to be done in one day’s time, although that was proving more and more unlikely by the hour.  As he stood there thinking and watching the road into town, he heard the sound of horses stomping and galloping from behind him.  Instinctively, he jumped into the tall grass to the right, planting himself firmly to the ground.  Staying as low as he could be to the ground, he rotated around to view the road just as a group of ten armed men rode into town, bags clinking with the sound of coin with each gallop.

When they were past him, he sprang into a crouched run.  Something about those men had caught his eye.  The sound of all those coins and the way they were armed meant they might be part of the bandit group that was so heavily crippling this land. According to the report on Jubai Kibagami, the man was the main funder in keeping these bandit groups highly equipped when attacking villages to protect his own village from their attacks.  So with bandits coming to the village, what implications could be behind their arrival?

Keeping low and moving as quick as he could without making too much of a rustle or disturbance in the tall grass, Shin came up to the first building that started the town.  Staying in his crouched position, he rotated to hug his back to the wall and proceeded to the corner overlooking the street.  Peering around it, he could see well down the road and also a bit down a perpendicular street intersecting the main road.  There, at that street corner more to his left, were the bandits dismounting from their horses.  One man, a tall man with broad shoulders and a bald head, laughed loudly as he patted the back of another armed man, entering into the building in front of where they tied their horses up.  Taking a gander, Shin read the sign on top of its roof which indicated that it was a bar.

He looked around to see if anyone was watching the streets, but saw that not a soul was outside at the moment, and the town’s main road was empty.  Taking this chance, albeit a very eerie one, he crossed the street to the side where the bar was, hiding behind the building directly opposite of the one he had been first been hiding behind.  That was one street down, now there was the street that ran perpendicular to the one he had come in from and which separated the building he now found himself hiding behind from the bar in which the ten armed bandits had entered.

From this new angle, he recognized the sign that hung abroad the front side of the building which he had earlier been hiding upon.  It was the inn that the girl, Warui, had been mentioning.  Thinking of her now, he wondered where she had gone.  The town seemed to be deserted as no one was out in the streets at the moment.  He needed to get closer to the bar without being noticed.

He skirted further along the building’s back and approached the first alley between it and the neighboring building.  There he entered and went up to a set of barrels that hung to the front right of the alley that spilled out into the street.  From this position, he now saw that there were people about the town, just that they all seemed to not go up to where the bar was.  Most of the townspeople stayed off the middle of the road, talking amongst themselves and every so often taking cautious glances to the bar.

Hmmm, he pondered, it seems even the people are a bit on edge with the bandits’s arrival.  Does that mean this was unexpected or are they just scared because this happens often?  Taking a slight risk, as his appearance into town would make people questionable of why he was here, he stood up and moved across the street.  He tugged on the front of his traveling hat, keeping his face covered so at least people could assume him to be someone else in the village.

His whole goal to not be noticed by the entire village was quite the stretch, but he needed this to be done if he was to achieve the end result that the Tsuchikage wanted of him.  That the killing of Jubai Kibagami would seem an act of one of the townspeople or those of his employ instead of a shinobi.  The Land of Grass wanted the village to reopen itself to its services, instead of relying on Jubai’s protection.  If a shinobi was deemed the cause of the murder, the town would only fear the Land of Grass’s own shinobi all the more and become even more against the leading government.

Once he crossed over to the alley in between a general store and the bar, Shin went back into a crouch and hid behind an indenture in the bar, cutting off anyone’s line of sight of him from the street.  There, above his crouched head, was a window into the main bar.  Quietly, he raised himself up, staying to one side of the window so as to not be seen and opened the window halfway so he could hear what all was being said.

”Another round for such a great haul!  For everyone!”  There was a loud clinking of several glass mugs and several rough laughs that slowly faded into silence. ”Come on barkeep!  Hurry it up!”

”So, so sorry!  He-he-here you are.” The new voice was much quieter and shakier.  The barkeep was scared to the bone.

”Sir!  Call me sir, goddamnit!”

“Uh, yes sir! Sorry sir!”  The barkeep nearly dropped the platter full of beer mugs as he set it down onto the table for the group of bandits.  The glasses clinked and rattled as he nervously placed it on the wooden table.

”You know, you should be more grateful I’m even letting you live right now.  I could cut you down, you know.”  The bald man took out his sword, it was a wide blade, shaped like a cutlass.  He pointed the tip now to the barkeep’s throat, pressing just gently against the man’s adam’s apple.

“B-b-but the agreement.  Ju-Ju-Jubai —“

”Ju-Ju-Ju?  Ju-fucking-bai wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if I cut you down right now.  Besides, what could he do to stop us anyways?  We could torch this whole town right now.  He’s already given us what we need.  He turned to his group now, relieving the barkeep from the threatening sword point.  ”What do we need this stupid town for anyways?”

They all cheered loudly, raising their beers again before each chugging them down.  While they chugged, the sound of a door opening and closing came from the back corner.  Shin moved his eyes to search for what had caused it and from across the bar came Warui.  Tracing back, he saw she had just come from the bathroom.  Why did you go to the bar, Warui?

His fears for the girl were soon realized, as the bald man, and obvious leader, noticed her as well.  ”Well, what have we here!” he exclaimed, walking up to her.  She seemed to freeze in place as the man came up to her.  He reached down and cupped her chin in one hand, pulling it up roughly.  ”Now that’s a young and pretty little face we got right here!”

Warui then spat at his face and pulled away.  ”Don’t touch me!”  She backed up to the corner of the bar’s counter.  Shin could see in her shaking hand that she rested on the counter that she was scared but she was determined not to show it to the man before her, instead glaring up at him.

”Oh, feisty too!  She’d be quite the handful in bed, wouldn’t she, boys?” The man turned around to get another fit of rough laughter from his comrades before turning back to the girl.  ”You just wait right here, little girl.  I’m going up to settle things with Jubai once and for all…. and then, when I come back I’m gonna take you back with me!”

He went back to his table and took another swig.  The barkeep ran over to Warui.  “Wait here a moment and when you can, you just get yourself back to the orphanage as fast as you can, you hear me?”

Warui only nodded, her eyes still watching the bald man and his group of misfits as they clambered out of the bar.  They all got saddled onto their horses and took off running deeper into the town.  Shin turned from his view through the window and saw them pass by the alley.  Running up to the corner, he peered around it and watched them head further down.  As he looked ahead of them, he quickly noticed their destination.  A tall, big mansion that stood atop a hill on the southern end of the town.  The road they were on headed straight down to it.

This isn’t good.

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Last edited by Shin on Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Killing Stroke, Pt. 2 [Mission/Solo]   Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:06 pm

Before following the group of bandits to the Kibagami mansion, Shin held back and waited for Warui to head out of the bar.  He called to her from the alley as she was running by on her way to the orphanage like the barkeep had told her to do.  It took a second call before she stopped and turned to see him.  The change in her eyes at the sight of him started a weird feeling in his gut.  She looked happy and relieved to see him, the fear from her flushed face appearing to have vanished as she ran into the alley to meet him.

”I need you to run back to the temple.  The town won’t be safe once those bandits attack the mansion and the first place they’ll look to find you will be at that orphanage.  Do  you understand me?”

”But what about you?”

”Don’t you worry about me.  Just do as I ask and soon this whole mess should be cleaned up.”  Shin ruffled the girl’s hair and then pushed her gently off to the streets as he turned to go.

Warui took off and cut through the street and made her way to the temple.  For Shin, he now needed to get to the mansion.  The sun was beginning its descent and the amount of light was dwindling in each passing moment.  He sprinted off, jumping up to the roofs of the buildings to get a better sense of where he needed to go.  As he made his way, he could tell from the smoke stacks billowing out from the mansion that the bandits had already begun their attack.  Their horses had been benefits of Jubai’s own funding which now gave way to his demise.

By the time Shin had reached the gates to the mansion, he was faced with a crowd of townspeople that had also gathered, although staying a safe distance away from the walls and iron gates as they watched the events unfold.  It seemed the mansion didn’t have any defenses set up, the grounds surrounding the three story house littered with dead servants.

Viewing all this from the nearest rooftop, Shin finally set down his bag of tools.  All of his gear had been brought with him so he would be ready for any situation.  In this case, he knew now that he’d need to have it all with him.  He didn’t have too much with him, just his kunai, shuriken, and senbon but that would be enough for this.  Not having his ANBU uniform wouldn’t be a big deal.  He strapped the senbon around his forearms, ten to each in a small little sleeve that allowed them to be grabbed easily.  His kunai were dangling together like keys from a belt loop on his right hip while the same was for his shuriken on his left hip.  Each loop had a metal carabiner that they were attached to which allowed him to simply pull one off quickly for an attack.

After getting himself fitted with his gear, he stood up to see the bandits coming out of the mansion and approaching the gate.  The bald man lead them and carried a large sack that was stained red.  The whole crowd went quiet as the men approached.  Haughtily, the bald man stretched up his arm to show the bloodied bag for the whole crowd.  Not wanting to stand out as the only one on the roof, Shin ducked behind a chimney and watched from around it.

”Jubai Kibagami is dead!” he yelled, a loud cry rising up from behind him as his comrades roared in cheers.  ”Say good riddance to the old man and bow before your new masters!”

He dropped his arm back down and pulled at the string of the bag, letting it open as he tossed it in front of him.  Out of the sack rolled and bounced Jubai’s head.  It rolled down the hill to the crowd creating a trail of blood.  The entire crowd erupted into shrieks and screams, backing away as fast as they could as if the head was a rolling bomb about to explode.  The bald man only laughing at their reaction.

”Now its our turn to run this town!  In two days time, the rest of our group of one hundred men, the group that the old man generously funded, will arrive to completely take over this town.  And don’t think about leaving.  Anyone caught outside of the to—“  The bald man was interrupted by three shuriken landing in his chest.

Shin had appeared, having come out from behind the chimney and jumping into the fray.  The shuriken hitting their target just a second before he landed five meters in front of the group of bandits.  A quick head count showed that there were eight of them there, including their leader.  Weren’t there ten of them?  What happened to the other two?

He didn’t have too much time to ponder as the rest of the bandits lunged forward to attack him.  Quickly, he pulled a kunai from his hip, holding it in his right hand.  There were two that approached first, being the quickest.  One swung a cutlass high in a horizontal slash aiming for Shin’s head while the other slowed up just a bit to come in with a thrust to his abdomen.  Shin ducked the swinging attack from the man on the right, the sword cutting outwards and safely away.  The slight hesitation on the partner’s thrust allowed Shin to push off with his left leg, allowing a lateral move of his body to the side of the thrust.  He grabbed at the man’s extended right arm, which as the man was on the left was in between the two attacker, and so a quick punch with Shin’s fisted, and kunai holding hand, to the man’s elbow snapped the arm to bend the wrong way, breaking the bones.  Once that was done, Shin immediately pulled the broken arm over his own head while pushing off with his right foot, moving him laterally to the left as the partnering attacker came in for another swing. Still pulling on the broken arm, Shin pulled the man into the path of his comrade’s sword and was cut down at the waist from another horizontal slash.

Now with the blade stuck in his friend’s belly, Shin released the broken arm and leapt up in a forward flip so that his head would be just a few centimeters above the second attacker’s own head.  In that moment, Shin stabbed down at the man’s neck, severing the jugular vein and then landing behind the man while still facing the other incoming threats.

One man decided to attack this time, while the others pulled to a stop after seeing the first two drop to the ground.  The lone man now attacking was brandishing a steel katana that glinted in the dying sunlight.  After strafing around Shin for a few seconds, he rushed in for a diagonal and downward slash, yet as he raised his katana up for the swing, Shin made his move.  These men are too slow, he thought as he tucked himself under the man’s arms and up against the chest of his opponent.  The kunai dripped more blood as it sunk into the adam’s apple of his attacker.  Staring into the dying man’s eyes, Shin only smiled as blood pumped out in rhythmic bursts upon his face.

A quick push off and the man’s body fell before the feet of his comrades.  Only five were left standing and only four stood before him now.  The bald man was hanging back, having taken out the shuriken from his chest.  ”He can’t take all of you at once!  Kill him now!”

The men hesitated for a few seconds before charging forward.  Their attack was sloppy, all of them more afraid than confident which made their attacks sloppy.  As they came in with all five swords thrusting out, Shin pushed off in a backwards jump.  This time there was no flip.  Instead, he moved his left hand to his right hip and secured four kunai.  As they ran forward and he landed several meters back, he made use of the added distance to launch the five kunai he held to each of their throats.  All five of the men collapsed several feet before him as they choked on the black metal boxes that had been lodged in their throats.

The bald man spat at the ground and unsheathed his cutlass, the same one he had held the point up to the barkeeper’s throat.  ”Whoever the hell you are, you’re going to regret getting in my way!”

He rushed forward in a rage, pulling his cutlass back and to his side, cocked back for a strong attack.  Yet there was around seven meters for him to travel before reaching Shin as a direct result of hanging back while the others attacked.  Again, the man was at a terrible disadvantage.  Using his Precision jutsu, and the only one he found himself using this whole mission.  With the jutsu activated and the bald man reaching five meters away, Shin raised his arms up to point at the man as he launched all twenty of his senbon.  Controlling their flight path, Shin moved them around in the air as the man tried to swing to knock a few of them away.  Moving them just so to dodge the feeble swipe, Shin made the man his personal pin cushion and littered his body with the senbon, covering the throat, face and his thighs with the senbon.  The thighs were attacked at the arteries to increase the bleeding and to make the man fall, the throat was attacked to get to the jugular vein and the esophagus, and the face was attacked with five senbon for Warui’s sake.

The man fell face forward, the senbon that stuck out of his face sinking into the ground.  Shin waited a minute before walking up to check on him.  The crowd that hung back several tens of meters back were in a state of shock, not really comprehending who he was or that he had just saved them.  Reaching the bald man, he rolled the man over to look at his face.

”I should probably thank you for doing my dirty work for me, but I can’t have you ruining this town either.” he said softly so his voice wouldn’t carry to the townsfolk.  ”And now you’ll never touch that girl again.”

At this last remark, the bald man just laughed, a few times wheezing out some blood as the pain and loss of blood affected him.  ”You’re a bit late on that,” he said, coughing up a piece of blood as he settled down to a dark chuckle.  ”Sent the last two of my boys to go fetch her.  Said they could open her up for me.”

He erupted into another burst of laughter now.  Shin gritted his teeth in anger, taking up his sixth kunai from his waist and slamming it into the man’s open mouth.  The laughing stopped.  So that’s what happened to the other two!

He took off in a run for the orphanage, as he assumed that would be the first place those final two men would look for the girl.  He hoped she had stayed in the temple like he promised.  Time had passed since he had seen her last and the sun was nearly set.  Soon the town would be covered in the night’s darkness.  He needed to hurry.


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PostSubject: Re: A Killing Stroke, Pt. 2 [Mission/Solo]   Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:18 am

He ran, fleeing from the gate of the Kibagami mansion and the crowd that had watched the fight, heading out to the orphanage.  By the time he made it there, the sun had finished setting, only a small piece of light tainting the clouds around where it used to be.  Night was soon to overtake the town and he was running out of time as he soon came to realize upon approaching the orphanage.

The front door was bashed down, lying against the wall immediately before the door was one of the lady caretakers.  Her head having a horrible gash that trickled blood over her face.  The gash was probably three inches down and went from the middle of her forehead to the back of her head.  A clear sign of a sword to the top of her skull.  Stepping into the orphanage, Shin quickly searched the building, discovering another foo that was broken in, the lock on the door having broken a hole in the threshold.  There in the room were all the children, about six in total, but none of them was Warui.  At least she went to the temple like I told her.

He turned to leave, but then a little boy approached him and tugged on his pant leg.  “Um, mister, I already told the other guys that she’s at the temple.  I saw her.”

Shin’s heart nearly froze.  His eyes widened as he turned to face the boy, his head turning sharply and his hair flicking with the bounce from the sudden speed.  His look of shock made the boy back off, taking a few steps back in slight fear.

“That’s, that’s why you’re here, right?  You want Warui?”

Shin immediately ran out of the room and headed for the door.  IF the two bandits had learned of where she had gone to hide, it wouldn’t take them very long to grab her.  There would only be a slight comfort in the fact that they had yet to learn of the rest of their group’s fate.  Out back to the world outside of the orphanage, Shin leaped over the building and made his way to the hill where the abandoned temple stood.  He ran, making his way up and through the tall grass saw one of the bandits searching through the tall grass, his voice calling out for Warui.

Taking advantage of the man’s distracted state, Shin capitalized by leaping up into the air to get a literal drop on the man.  His pounce was succeeded only by his shadow, which made the man look up only to get his face carved in by the kunai in Shin’s hand.  The weight of his body plus the momentum of falling down on the man was enough to press out all the air from the man’s lungs as he collapsed on the ground.  Shin pulled out the kunai and smashed his left foot on the man’s head, twisting on his heel to snap the man’s neck.

That was easy, but where’s his friend?  Shin made his way up the hill, now more alert as he looked for the last bandit.  Not seeing any signs of the remaining bandit, he headed for the temple, coming up to it’s back entrance.  Waiting for him in the temple was Warui, and the last bandit.

The man had pinned her down on the ground and was yelling at her. “Stop squirming!  You’re mine now, even the boss won’t mind if I indulge myself!”

”I’d mind.” Shin said, throwing a kunai out at the man.

Both Warui and the man were silenced by his words, having not expected his timely appearance.  The man took the kunai to his left bicep with a small grunt.  Standing up, he pulled it out and threw it to the ground.  The kunai bounced off the wood, dangerously close to Warui’s face.

Shin readied himself as the bandit pulled out his sword and charged forward.  With one quick shot of lighting from his eyes, the man was shocked off into a support beam, breaking it in half and causing a portion of the temple’s roof to cave in on top of him.  The man’s sword dropped to the floor where he had been running earlier, now four feet away and unable to reclaim it so easily.  Taking this advantage, Shin followed up his lightning eye attack with an immediate grab of the sword’s hilt, followed by a thrust into the man’s chest and puncturing the heart while he laid in the crumpled, wooden rubble.

Panting, Shin let go of the sword and took a few steps back.  He’d run a lot over the course of the last hour or so.  All the fighting, even though it hadn’t been too stressful, still tired him out a bit.  While catching his breath, Warui got back up and ran to him, hugging him at his waist.

”Thank you, thank you, thank you!”  She said over and over, tears running from her eyes and wetting the side of his shirt.

”Hey, you didn’t think I’d just leave without checking on you, did you? Shin tried playing it off, but in truth he was glad to have stopped the man before he had done any real damage.  Though the way her tears were pooling up in his shirt, it was safe to say that she wouldn’t forget what was almost done to her.


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PostSubject: A Killing Stroke, Pt. 3 [Mission/Solo] [Land of Grass to Iwa]   Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:22 am

Shin and Warui headed back into Engaru to see that things were settled.  With Jibu Kibagami dead by the hands of the bandits, there was no pointing fingers at any of the shinobi villages.  Shin’s actions in the town actually strengthened the townspeople’s views of having protection from the shinobi village in their own country.  That was the exact reaction that the Daimyo of the Land of Grass wanted.

Shin parted shortly afterwards, retrieving his items back from the dead that they clung to before heading out the way he had come.  The next day there would be a pigeon arriving at the Land of Grass’s Daimyo’s palace informing him that Engaru once again wanted to belong under his rule and protection.  Shin felt good about the mission having succeeded, and the people only knew he was a shinobi, Warui having kept his name of Kokoro to herself.

It was at his passing of the crumpled and even more wrecked temple that Shin was stopped by Warui.  She came running up the path with just a small knapsack hung over her shoulder.  ”Wait up, Kokoro!”

He smiled to her, knowing that from this distance, no one else would be hearing the name Kokoro.  Even if someone did, they would never know to piece Kokoro with Shin Kedōin, nor that it was his operative name.

”What are you up to now, Warui?”  Shin said as Warui came to a stop before him, looking up in a wide grin.  ”Shouldn’t you be back at the orphanage cleaning something?”

”Oh, I never was good at that stuff,” Warui smiled.  ”Besides, I’m coming with you!”

That was a shock to hear for Shin.  He hadn’t expectted her to say that.  ”Warui, you belong here.  I’m a outsider anyways, what makes you want to leave everyone and everything you have here?”

”I want to be like you!  Take me with you and teach me the way of the ninja, Kokoro!”

Shin only chuckled at her response.  The kid had spirit, but how would she last during training, during hardship, during the suffering that came with the life of being a ninja?

”And I’m an outsider, too.  No one really knows where I came from either and all the grown ups keep calling me ‘the demon child that came to Engaru’.”

”Why do they call you the demon child?” The name and her not coming from anyone within the town piqued at Shin’s interest.  There might have been more to Warui than a simple orphan girl.

”I dunno,” she shrugged.  ”Sometimes weird things just happen and people always blame it on me.”

”Weird things?

”Yeah, that’s why I’m no good at cleaning!”

Shin took a moment to think, his hand coming to his chin in a thoughtful tap.  He wasn’t one to really consider taking on any students, though being a part of a shinobi village and being a higher ranking ninja, it would definitely become part of his life.  Looking at how eager and willing this girl was added with the fact that she had the courage to fight off the fear in entering the old, abandoned temple as well as this new information about her mysterious bad luck and birth parents.

”Alright, fine,” Shin gave in.  ”But that means you’ll have to do whatever I tell you.  No exceptions.”

”Sure, whatever you say, Kokoro!”  Warui grinned, tightening her grip on the faint string that kept her knapsack tied over her shoulder.

”Also,” Shin started walking off again, Warui running up to walk by his side.  ”I should tell you now that my real name is Shin.  Shin Kedōin.


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