Upskilling [Trade Mission - B Rank]

Oct 23, 2012
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Gingerly he walked towards the large structure in a vain attempt to blend in with those around him. His common attire and his only visible weapon a crude wooden staff accompanied the exiled Myakashi as he moved forward towards the large Shrine, dwarfing the rest of the city buildings in this part of town. Priests, dressed elegantly in opulent and exotic fabrics paid him no mind as religious types were want to do, preferring their own discussions and kind. What they did not suspect was that this simple 'peasant' knew their game, and knew what they were doing in this land.

Walking through the exquisite doorways, Migoya was somewhat in awe at the magnificence of the structure and knew why people came far and near to be here, searching for wisdom and guidance. It was all a sham of course - religion tended to be exactly that, but at least here it seemed... profitable. And if people found solace and happiness in believing this hoo ha who was he to stop them.

Walking up to what appeared to be the main reception desk, Migoya waited patiently for the individual behind the counter to raise their disinterested gaze his way.

"Good Morning. I was told this was the place I could purchase a few training sessions? New Jutsu and all that," he said politely.
 

Shiruko Makoto

Head Lorekeeper
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Oct 7, 2012
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"One moment please."

The universal call of secretaries and receptionists everywhere, and in Moon Country it was no different. The secretary sat behind the desk was a young woman, somewhere in her mid-twenties, with nondescript short brown hair and a mousy appearance. The robes she was clad in were the same white and red blend much of the rest of the overt members of the Shrine in areas like these, open to the public and travellers, wore. The only difference was a nametag on her chest that read 'Aimee.'

The one-moment-please in this case appeared to be to allow her to sign off of a headset call and pull a few sheaves of paper out of her desk drawers.

"You've come to the right place," Aimee said, finally lifting her gaze to take in the visitor. "For a, ah, small fee, you can receive any sort of training you require. We won't ask too much in the way of questions as long as your money's good. I tell everyone to think of the fee as a deposit, anyway. What it's a deposit toward is up to you."

Out of the stack of papers she pulled a single one-page form seemingly at random with no indication of how she did so. Certainly the top of the stack looked nothing like the one now in front of Migoya. She tapped it with one fingernail and gestured to the can of pens and pencils to one side of the heavy wooden desk.

"Name--doesn't have to be real, just one you'll answer to. Type of jutsu training you're after, specific to accordant ninja branches. Acceptance of the fee, it's only a thousand yen, not much." She started putting the rest of the paperwork away. "I'm required to inform you that for the purposes of this type of training, you will be required to accompany a senior member of the branch you choose on one medium-grade mission; this will be live fire and you will be required to participate and compensated for said participation. I'm also required to inform you that if you wish to expand your skills again, we won't accept another application from the same person more than once every three months and yes, we do have ways to tell if you've done it before."

She paused and looked up again, something slightly cool in her gaze rather than the blank disinterest she had already exhibited.

"And of course it goes without saying, but unless you're proof positive your trainer has betrayed us and in connection, you, you don't raise a hand against them or the deal is off." She gave him a light smile, but the coolness remained. "If that's all clear and acceptable, go ahead and fill it out."
 
Oct 23, 2012
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Giving the standard nod and pinched smile Migoya watched with no small measure of interest. "Thank you." Casting a casual glance around the impressive structure, Aimee's words would bring his mind back to attention.

It was certainly noteworthy that the Shine did not particularly care if he used a false name... either they were trying to encourage these sort of transactions, or they were powerful enough to simply not care of the ramifications. More than likely it was both. Again, it was another reason that the Myakashi would certainly not step on these people's toes.

Aimee skillfully sorted through a mound of paperwork, more skillfully than most receptionist should be capable of, and located what appeared to be the application form. She explained the requirements, along with the... threat of what might happen should Migoya attack the instructor without due cause. What type of idiots did they have to cater for here if they had to remind people of that...

Talking one of the pens from the can on the side of the desk, Migoya looked down at the application form. "I understand," he responded towards Aimee as he took the form, understanding the requirements posed by the Shrine.

Name.

Do I use a false one or my own? An organisation such as this would keep record of notable individuals, or at least ones of certain.. .skill levels. Whilst normally Migoya would not want to show his proverbial hand, he was in need of regular employment, and a demonstration of his capabilities could only help possible future endeavours.

Migoya

Type of Jutsu Requested.

Part of Migoya's hearts fluttered... for so long that accursed Hokage had prohibited him from obtaining these jutsu, and now they were possibly within reach.

ANBU-specialised.

And now for the deposit. reaching under his brown poncho he withdrew a sum of money, counting out the coins until it reached the 1000 yen price tag. The Myakashi were certainly a wealthy clan, but showing off ones wealth only brought trouble, especially around religious institutions.

The form filled out, Migoya looked up towards Aimee with a small smile. "Here is the deposit - I apologise it is in change. Please let me know if there is anything else I need to do, and thank you." He pushed the paper forward and withdrew his hand, his red eyes staring intently at the receptionist.
 

Shiruko Makoto

Head Lorekeeper
Staff member
Oct 7, 2012
6,442
Yen
48,140
ASP
1,178
OOC Rank
S
Aimee only lifted an eyebrow at the apology and gestured back toward the inner part of the Shrine itself. "Oh, don't worry about that. we get plenty of collections and donations in change." Money was money, after all.

She glanced over the form after taking the payment and dropping it into a small box set aside on the desk for such thinks. Making a 'hmm' sound, she pulled another sheet of paper from the pile seemingly at random and scanned it.

"There's two ANBU trainers available," she informed him. "Well, we call them Wardens here. Anyway, we have two qualified Senior Wardens not currently assigned out of the city. Of those two, one of them is properly available today. I'll summon him."

She tapped her headset, adjusted it to the Warden frequency, and cleared her throat before activating it.

"Shiruko Kanashimi, please report to the front desk for a training mission."

Then she shuffled her papers a bit, tucking this and that away and into various folders (including the form Migoya had filled out, which went into a thin blue folder tucked into a desktop shelf).

"You can have a seat if you like," she said, gesturing at a set of hard-backed chairs sitting off to one side. "He shouldn't be long. He was taking calls, so he isn't in the middle of dealing with trainees."

And indeed, Migoya did not have long to wait. Whether he took a seat or not, it was barely five minutes before the arrival of his trainer.

Shiruko Kanashimi



Moon Warden

It was already a long day, and it wasn't even halfway over yet by the sounds of it.

To be fair, every day was a long day when your younger brother hadn't responded to your mother's letter yet and she was breathing down your neck about it. Kanashimi almost found more relaxation at work. Almost, but not quite. It wasn't as if he could forget who he was working for.

He could forget it even less when he had to leave the relatively up to date Warden pavilion and traverse out into the greater Shrine area, down the winding walkways around innocuous koi ponds and statues, past white-and-red clad priests and priestesses, out toward the front desk where the girl there constantly affected the picture of boredom even though she had enough blackmail on anyone who was anyone to be running the whole place. Her game was fiddling with papers rather than filing nails or anything else so blatant, but...yes, there she was, doing just that.

His gaze slid to the man who was undoubtedly the applicant. As he approached the desk, the girl there didn't take her eyes off her shuffling, but drew out a blue folder from next to her and tossed it expertly through the air to him. He glanced through it briefly, noting down the name and confirming he hadn't been summoned for no reason, then shut it and tossed it back to her. She picked it up off the desk and shoved it back away so quickly he wasn't entirely sure she'd touched it.

He turned back to the man--Migoya, if that was his real name.

In return, Migoya would be able to note that Kanashimi carried himself like he was armed at all times, though the blade tucked into the sheath at his belt would have seemed a little oddly shaped. He had no particular expression on his face externally, so it would have been extremely difficult to tell what he was thinking. Still, his pose and the way he carried his weight would tell a sharp eye that Moon ninja, or at least this particular Moon ninja, did not lack in skill compared to a traditional village.

"Migoya," he greeted neutrally. "I hope you have at least some knowledge of pirates. This is to be an active training mission, and I've found one of the best ways to teach these types of jutsu is to go on a raid."
 
Oct 23, 2012
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“Thank you,” Migoya said politely, his tone relatively formal as he turned to locate and sit in on of those particularly comfortable plastic chairs that anywhere ‘official’ seems to breed. Sliding down into the seat as elegantly as he could, which wasn’t very elegant, he rested his plain staff against his shoulder as be took a small book out of one of the many hidden pockets in his strange brown poncho.

It was an interesting tale, a part 3 of a possible 7 book series, but the author had died before completing the final two books. It was rather annoying given he had focussed on writing backstories and histories rather than finishing what he had started and the like.

But the book did enable Migoya to look disinterested and watch the room.

It wasn’t long before another individual of note entered the reception area and, whilst ‘reading’ the book in front of him, Migoya’s gaze would casually drift to check out the newcomer. The casual toss of the folder between the pair was telling to Migoya, a man who was always trying to absorb the little details that tended to be the most important. The mans poise, his visage - all of them spoke of someone who was not trying… which usually suggested the person was confident in their abilities and did not need any gimmicks. As a Nara his power was not in reading minds, but finding the weaknesses of others to exploit in case of a difficult situation, but this man was not providing too many details. His weapon was interesting though… a conundrum for Migoya to try and figure out during the mission.

The general aspect of the mission was outlined - a raid on pirates.

Migoya rose and gave a polite bow. “Shiruku-san.” He added a small chuckle. “The ever debatable conundrum - pirates vs ninjas. At least we know which one will win this time.” The smile faded somewhat as he stroked his chin, clearly in thought. “Pirates. I know a bit about them.” His face was impassive, unreadable apart from a look of deep thought.

That was an understatement. Migoya had been raised by the Yakuza in the dark criminal underworld of Crater City and dealing with pirates and ne'er do wells was,well, second nature. Normally they would be working with them, but knowledge on how they undertook their business would be helpful in this situation. And this was Moon country - his clans pirates were elsewhere, and removing competition was never a bad thing.

“But Ill take your lead. I am ready whenever you are Shiruku-san.”
 

Shiruko Makoto

Head Lorekeeper
Staff member
Oct 7, 2012
6,442
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OOC Rank
S
Kanashimi was not one prone to smiling, but hearing someone mispronounce his surname was, surprisingly, one of those things that could do it. It was very clear from that that Migoya was not, in fact, from around there, and thus was probably basically untouched by the Shrine's deeper machinations, and likely not an agent of theirs. The Shrine might not always select perfectly for combat skill, but not a single agent of theirs would be sloppy enough to mispronounce the clan name of their chief opposition.

"It's Shiruko, actually," he said, expression and tone still perfectly neutral. "It's across the island, so we had better get moving. While we're travelling, since this is a live fire exercise, I will need to know a rough gloss of your abilities so it doesn't cause problems while we're over there. I'll also try and teach you a few basic things. Chakra sensing, that sort of thing."

That was usually one of the main things people showed up to learn, other than the higher-level techniques. It was also one of the more useful ones, though he knew people who swore by several of the others.

In his opinion, most of them were fairly useful.

"I myself am a melee Taijutsu specialist. If you specialise in wide-ranging attacks or Ninjutsu, that is especially important to let me know ahead of time to prevent friendly fire." Without more than a wave at the secretary, he motioned for Migoya to follow him as he began picking out a path into the forests, westward. "And don't bother holding back. Our mission is to retrieve a stolen relic, but it's doubtful it will be in the open and while none of them individually are a threat, they will not fight alone. Or fairly."

Would he ask if they were aiming to kill? It was implied, certainly. Kanashimi had absolutely no qualms about killing pirates.

The forest would grow thick not long in, sunlight only filtering through a canopy of greenery.
 
Oct 23, 2012
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“Apologies. I’m still learning the nuances of the accent here.” Migoya said, turning to follow ‘Shiruko’. How people reacted to mistakes often spoke about their character - those who ignored it, or established a better relationship before correcting it, tended to be polite, caring, sincere. Those who wanted to fix things quickly tended to be controlling, dominant, forceful. A simple mistake, a simple tell, a simple observation in return. Yet another piece of information.

This man was not an idiot. The way he managed to control his emotions was very impressive, and clearly the Land of Luna trained their personnel well. Migoya listened carefully at the mans instructions as he casually placed a now shrinking staff into his hood.

“My focus is on controlling the battlefield - traps, ninjutsu, genjutsu, that sort of thing. I will ensure that nothing I send hits you if that's your concern, though I will be staying at range. If it helps, I am already versed in the simple ‘Warden’ skills - it's primarily the more advanced jutsu that I would like to learn.”

This information was… painful to share, but a necessity nevertheless. Migoya knew that each of his actions would be recorded, evaluated, and probably sent to the Shrine for ‘intelligence purposes’. Had he made a mistake by being so public? Such were the risks.

Giving the receptionist a polite nod, he turned and started to follow the Warden out of the temple, and into the woods. “Do you have any more intel - numbers, possible terrain and the like? Are these pirates capable of chakra manipulation, and if so what can we expect? And this relic - what is it exactly? I mean, grabbing a metal statue is a different beast than a small glass vial. I trust it is an extraction mission - or is it elimination? Nevermind - it does not matter.”

It was not mere curiosity that drove Migoya to ask for intelligence, rather he was a Nara and their strength was in forward planning. Running into a den of pirates in a land he did not know with an individual who was as trustworthy as a paypacket was never a smart move. Certainly Migoya was acting like a naive rookie, but he had been alive far too long to put his luck in the hands of someone else. Some may call it paranoia - Migoya called it practicality.

“Lead the way Shiruko-sensei…”
 

Shiruko Makoto

Head Lorekeeper
Staff member
Oct 7, 2012
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"Understandable," Kanashimi said, unbothered. "This isn't the mainland. Many of our nuances and customs are different."

And not always for the better, he didn't add. Nor was there really the implication, unless you already had that in mind. Whether or not Migoya did was entirely on what he had noticed about Moon so far.

They were not going over the mountains, as it took significantly longer to do even for most ninja. Rather, they were tending to a path that narrowly bypassed one of the massive peaks, known to most Moon ninja and a number of their affiliates but that the pirates seemed perennially unable to trace. He wasn't entirely sure if there was some reason for that other than good camouflage, but he wasn't particularly bothered about it.

"That's fair enough. I've worked with enough crash and bang fighters in the past to not worry too much. It's just an extra variable." Despite the thickness of the brush in their path, he picked through it, not bothering to withdraw his weapon to cut it. It wasn't as if they were in the southern jungles after all. "I take it you're after things like Body Bind, then? Most are. It's trickier due to not involving handseals. Rather, it's an application of will."

As they moved, there were plenty of sounds of animals in the trees. Being an island, there was rather a large amount of birds and other small fauna, though there was no shortage of tree-dwelling creatures either. Nor, for that matter, animals in the underbrush. He was keeping his ears out for one that would serve well as practice. For the moment, the only things within range were bugs.

"Watch out for the flying water bugs, by the way," he said conversationally. "If you're new here you might not have been lucky enough to run into any yet. They mostly come out at night and are attracted to bright lights, but if you don't get to a healer within about a half hour of being bitten, your flesh where they bit you will start to die and you'll almost definitely have a scar and problems there besides."

Sensing something of the right size, he darted into the brush for a brief instant and came back to the path with a small animal--a chinchilla, if Migoya recognized that, small and large-eared and apparently quite startled at being grabbed. It had frozen briefly, but was starting to squirm a bit, though Kanashimi held it firmly in one hand with ease.

"You don't need to make eye contact, fortunately," he said. His gaze flicked to the chinchilla, and after a couple seconds it froze, not so much as an involuntary twitch of its muscles. "It's easier to practice on small animals before people. What you're doing is focusing your will on the target and using your chakra to impose that focus on locking down their movement."

He flicked the animal lightly to break the bind, the tiny amount of force being enough on such a small creature, and it started squirming again. He held it out to Migoya.

"Some people find holding onto their target also helps for practice. You can practice on this the rest of the way, it won't be much farther."

After Migoya took the chinchilla from him, he'd continue leading the path.

"As for what we're doing--yes, they've stolen something. The updated dock check-in schedule for incoming merchants." He glanced back to make sure Migoya could still follow while practicing, but wouldn't break stride unless it was needed. "It should be a bundle of loose parchment. They're not liable to have memorized it yet; a number of them are barely literate. Naturally, we don't want them to have that."


[Sorry about the wait; December is always rough for me creatively.]
 
Oct 23, 2012
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"Im still learning them... perhaps it will take a lifetime," Migoya mused, more to himself than to Kanashimi, as he followed the man through what appeared to be a side trail, around the mountain. Migoya observed carefully, noting key landmarks and the like in case he or his clan had to use this route in the future.

"Body bind... yes." Well, as a Nara he had more interesting ways of binding a person, but the ANBU's method that required no handseals was effective, and a valuable skill to learn.

Taking the chinchilla in a firm but gentle hand, Migoya continued to keep pace with the ANBU Sensei, whilst casting furative glances as the clearly terrified animal. He could certainly feel his chakra embracing the creature, and his will was certainly powerful enough to force itself... but something was missing. Some... trick.

"Easily done, but how does one manipulate ones own chakra to convince the others body to seize? It is a simple enough task to 'bind' someone externally, or ignite their chakra or the like, but... there seems to be some step missing."

It was frustrating for the Nara, to have a puzzle in front of him but not be able to solve it. Before he could ponder the issue further, his mentor described the mission they were on in detail. The relic now had turned to a manifest - it would seem that Migoya's views on the spirituality of Moon country was founded. And the pirates were barely literate... this should be interesting.

"Understood."

The mission was clearer now, and Migoya would adapt, as he always tried to do.

[OOC: No worries at all!]
[MFT]
 

Shiruko Makoto

Head Lorekeeper
Staff member
Oct 7, 2012
6,442
Yen
48,140
ASP
1,178
OOC Rank
S
"Any worthwhile skill takes a good long time to master," Kanashimi agreed. "The specifics...there seems to be a step missing because it is entirely an act of force of will. You are commanding them to freeze, and your chakra is enforcing that. If you are having difficulty with that part, it can help to envision your target stopping all action, or if you have difficulty with that, temporarily entirely freezing some part of your own motion such as your hand and then projecting that onto them."

They had been progressing for quite some time at this point, and the trees were starting to thin out. They'd left the mountains behind them and were truly on the western side of the island by now. At some point ahead, the trees appeared to break, and Kanashimi halted some feet back from here.

"They typically have traps," he said, very quietly. Moon Wardens typically used a type of sign language in stealth missions, but that wasn't something he was about to teach to an outsider. He did, however, indicate a tripwire made out of what appeared to be fishing line several feet in front of him, barely visible in the light breaking through the trees. "Some are decoys. Typically we avoid them regardless."

He glanced slightly upward, noting the position of the sun. It wasn't too late; Migoya was easily fast enough to keep pace with him.

"Normally I wouldn't do this," he said, "but you're a good deal more competent than the usual lot I have to take on these missions. Given that our fighting styles clash in a scenario like this without additional teamwork coordination, we should split up. I'll dip into the caves and retrieve the papers. You can handle cleanup--given the nature of the information they've taken, the Shrine isn't going to fuss about having to bring a cleanup crew out here to take out some dead bodies." Or a lot of dead bodies, was implied.

His image rippled briefly, and he was replaced momentarily in sight by three clones before he canceled the technique. He demonstrated the seals to Migoya carefully.

"If you're about to get hit, you can try and use that. It's called Flock of Shadows--a significant upgrade on the standard Body Switch. More difficult, and the clones only last a few seconds, but extremely useful."

He looked around again and frowned into the middle distance.

"Some of them will likely be hiding, so you might have to hunt a couple down. When you're on the beach itself don't worry too much about collateral damage, but please try and avoid burning any of the forest down--the people who have to clean it up get annoyed and the paperwork is a mess. Don't forget to look out for traps."

This time the shimmer was real, something that Migoya might be able to see through somewhat--the Active Camo jutsu, before Kanashimi disappeared through a specific part of the brush that seemed to lead toward a cave entrance.

Leaving Migoya a rather simple mission: kill all the pirates you can find, and demonstrate at least one ANBU technique you know of during if you can.

[Honestly, this is entirely unacceptable on my part, so here's the deal: write a 2000-word post following on from here at approximately B-Rank level detailing the completion of the mission and you pass. Just give yourself a reasonable challenge with the assigned mission.]
 
Oct 23, 2012
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“Barkley… BARKLEY!”, shouted the young boy as he cupped his hands around his mouth in order to increase the volume of his shouts. It didn’t work of course, but psychologically it comforted the poor lad.

Stupid dog… please come back. Dad’s gunna kill me..” the boy muttered as he kicked a loose stone into one of the thousands of jungle fern frond things. A small hand wrapped itself around one of these fronds and pulled with strained resolve and frustration as the determined leaf failed to acquiesce to the boys wishes. He pulled again, but ended up launching himself backwards into more of the jungle fronds.

“Fiddlesticks”, he muttered, obviously using the worst curse word he could as he clambered ungraciously to his feet. His warm brown eyes looked concerned as he looked at the jungle floor, clearly annoyed once again that he had dropped something.

“Looking for this?”.

The boy looked towards the voice, falling upon the form of a man dressed in sturdy leather armor, holding what appeared to be an old wooden stick.

“Um.. yes Sir. I just dropped it”.

The man spun the object deftly around, obviously skilled in the use of bojutsu. The boys eyes widened in both fear and fascination.

“Not bad… rather careless of you to leave something like that around huh.”

The boys sighed, looking to the ground. “Yeah.. sorry. Dad will be mad if I don't bring it back - and my dog. You haven't seen a dog around have you sir?”

“A Dog in a jungle?” the man scoffed as he, to the boys concern, gently rested against the staff. “Nope. But dog is good eating, so Id be quite happy to find it for you.”

The boy looked confused for a moment.

“Hes.. hes not for eating. He helps us with the sheep. He chased one in here, but now I can't find either of them and Dads going to be so mad.”

“Eh - it wont be so bad. Ill just kill you and that way you wont have to worry about what your Dad thinks.”

Brown eyes widened in fear as if a sudden realisation had hit the young and naive lad.
“Um Sir.. Im sorry - Ill just go now, you can keep the staff.”

The man chuckled as the boy started to back away. Turning quickly, the boy began to dart through the jungle, but a skilled throw placed the staff between his running legs, causing him to fall to the ground painfully.

The dark chuckle soon turned to a scornful voice. “No, no, no. We cant have you running away to tell others that you saw us… No - there are two choices here really. I can kill you now, or I can kill you later - after you have made yourself useful and cleaned out our… hidy hole. Id prefer the latter, but…”

“Look - I just want my dog and we can go - I wont tell anyone…”, the boy sputtered in fear.

“Well you have that right lad. Hmm - Ill make you a deal. I wont kill you until you make yourself… un-useful. Less than useful. Whatever.”

The boy nodded in fear. “Please… please.. Just don’t kill me”.

The man snorted in derision. “Whiners are less than useful.”

The boy tried desperately to compose himself, as the skies above decided to add to his misery by sending a rainstorm. The man looked up, before quickly moving to the boys side and grabbing a tuft of brown hair.

“So shut up, do what we say, and you might live a bit longer. Clear? Good”.

Wide brown eyes, full of fear, gave a clear answer.

-------------------------------------------

Certainly there were always going to be more ‘powerful’ individuals than the old albino, but few were as manipulative and cunning. The tools of the Myakashi were all too often subtle until the final kunai plunged into the soft, unprotected underside of an unexpecting opponent.

Migoya nodded towards the Moon ANBU. Words were not needed - he would be the distraction whilst this ANBU would locate and remove the object. A simple bait and slay exercise - easy enough but given the lack of credible information things could still go wrong. Migoya’s mind whirled with comparative scenarios, trying in his own Nara way to figure out the best course to ‘impress’ this person in order to obtain that which he truly wanted. He was also required to demonstrate the use of ANBU jutsu in this exercise. So be it.

“Stay safe”, Migoya muttered quietly as he faded from view.

---------------------------------------------

The pirate camp was a surprisingly complex affair, clearly the result of several years of effective looting and pillaging. One could have simply walked past the structures as the jungle aided in their camouflage in such a way as to protect them from the sight of the most capable hawk. Perhaps this was the reason that they had not been wiped out previously.

More likely than not they had been paying the Church to look the other way, that was until they were foolish enough to bite that very hand.

Sentries surrounded the area, all moving inside to get out of the rainfall. There were around 40 in total it seemed, comprising of stern-looking men and women who clearly enjoyed living off of the work of others.

“Wheres Hiku?”, a voice intoned.

“Dunno - he not reported in yet?”

“Well dir, wouldn't have asked otherwise”.

“Well, I aint opening up the gate again for his ragged drunk arse.”

The small boy grunted in pain as the man forced him through what appeared to be a well-hidden hole in the ground, covered by a thatched roof of jungle plants. It brought to mind a type of spider the boy knew from back on his family's farm - one that hid underground and ‘popped out’ to grab at nearby victims. So this was how the pirates had survived for so long.

The underground was a roughly-hewn network of tunnels, all lit with dingy electrical lighting that flickered and cast strange shadows. The boy secretly smiled to himself despite his predicament.

It seemed like several minutes had passed as he was roughly pushed through the dimly lit tunnels towards what appeared to be a communal mess hall, easily recognised by the smell of roasted meat and the long, rough hewn tables that lined the walls. Currently most of the criminal group were loudly slurping some sort of stew, bragging about their latest spoils.

The boy was viciously pushed forward towards a large man who had been ladeling the soup out to the other pirates. “This one will be doing the work from now on. Right?” the vicious voice intoned.

Giving a nod the boy tried to stand, only for the ‘chef’ to throw a ladle full of how stew into his face. The room erupted in laughter.

----------------------------------------------

Migoya laughed evilly as the man swung back and forth, propelled by a small wooden puppet pushing him. It was not normal for Migoya to torment his opponents in such a manner, but this… man, was a sick, perverted and truly evil person. And not in the good way.

“How many have you done this to yourself? How many have you laughed at as you robbed them, tortured them, and watched them breathe their last?”

The mans panicked eyes looked over, seeing that despite the laughter there was no humour in Migoya’s eyes, rather a calculating coldness that crept into his heart and filled it with terror.

“Oh - I understand. You needed to do those things so you could survive. Trapping people and taking their property was how you could live. Dog-eats-dog, survival of the fittest. I understand.”

Mikki pushed the man, who once again started to swing back and forth, caught in the strong metal thread trap. Clearly the puppet was enjoying himself.

“Oh - I’ve certainly dabbled in a bit of larceny and illegal activity myself. But there are several rather significant differences between us” Migoya continued.

A pale hand waved towards the figure who, for some inexplicable reason, stopped swaying and froze in place, long enough for the albino to move to stand face-to-face with him. That piercing gaze looked deeply into the man’s mind and soul, his simple gaze using the body-bind jutsu to ensure that his next words would bore into the man’s heart.

“I never steal from those that cannot afford it. I never torture those who have no need to be tortured.”

A wry smirk appeared as black shadowy tendrils glided like silk from out of Migoya’s brown robe, caressing the terrified brow of the foolish thief in an obviously mocking attempt at comfort.

“I never kill those that do not deserve it.”

-----------------------------------------------

“BARKLEY!’ the boys wailed as he tried to reach around the large man who gleefully held the boy back from the barking dog. The entertainment as it were was the result of a happy disclosure - it would seem the pirates had found the poor boys dog and were now contemplating eating the creature in front of the already traumatised child.

But these men and women were of the worst sort, and simple pain was not enough.
“So… you gunna kill the mutt and we let you go, or are you gunna watch us cook him just before we gut you?”

Tears poured down the young boy’s face as he clearly recognised the impossable task put in front of him.

“Im going to… to… kill…”

The boys words sounded short as a cry was heard through the tunnels.

“Its gone - the list… someone's nicked the list!” Intoned an obviously panicked voice.

Chairs screeched against the stone as they were pushed back, the merry band on pirates rising to their feet. A chilling wind blew, causing some of them to stop in their tracks.

Lets go - we need that list for the next few heists”. The shadows around the hall flickered as a violent breeze started to wind down the hallways, causing some of the bandits to become concerned. They looked to one another, unsure of whether they should push forward but unsure of the ramifications of that decision.

The boy smirked, an all to familiar sight to those who crossed the Myakashi.

“You..” his whispered.

The bandits had turned to face what they thought was a greater threat, forgetting that the soup-covered boy had them exposed.

It was a simple disguise afterall, but the simple ones were often the most effective. Brown dye, brown contact lenses… no-one thought to ensure the truth of his appearance, or indeed that of his erstwhile companion, ‘Barkley’.

The Moon shinobi had completed his task, Migoya leading him to the hidden camp through questioning one of the bandits, relaying that information to his partner, and subsequently conveniently being ‘kidnapped’. Acting the fool and enduring the tortures of a sick crowd had drawn their gaze and lowered their defences, allowing for the ANBU to sneak in and retrieve the documents.

The shadows came.

Few understood the power of the Nara clan, simply passing them off as great strategists, of which they were. But they were so much more. Shadows were their plaything, as was the hidden realms that the darkness hid, and it was to one of these realms that Myakashi Migoya was pulling the entirety of the bandit clan, for his jutsu had no limits of victims if the shadows existed. These fools had placed him in an area where all the shadows converged, where each torchlight provided ample shadowstuff to grab yet another person to cast them into the void.

They could not see what was going to happen to them, but they soon felt the cold, the yearning for living warmth just as the shadows came to claim them. They were absorbed into the abyss itself it would seem, and it would be as if they had never existed as the servants of the Nara consumed and feasted on their bodies and souls.

The boy smirked. These people deserved it.

Returning to the ‘normal’ world, Migoya looked around the now empty complex, wondering where the vault would be, and what treasures he might gleam before the ANBU stuck his nose in it. Sure, he was here to learn how to be an ANBU but it wouldn’t hurt to get paid for cleaning up a bandit’s den.

His dog looked at him.

“Woof fuckin woof”, the dog stated, clearly not happy that it was a dog.

“Nice job Mikki. Let’s get the loot and get out of here.”


WC: 2063
[OOC: Sorry I took so long as well mate! Stupid life getting in the way!]
 

Shiruko Makoto

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[Branch Change granted; mission complete! You are now considered part of the ANBU branch OOCly. Mission rewards will be handed out in the original Request topic and sorry for the wait.]