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[Mission] Delivery Run [P]

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Daedalus
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PostSubject: [Mission] Delivery Run [P] Fri 18 Apr 2014, 6:48 pm

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Standing before the mission board, Meiko finally realized just how long she had gone without working. Being a genin and relatively recent graduate of the academy she still had little responsibility compared to other Shinobi, her team mates Mana and Kiyomi immediately came to mind. Both being Chunin level, or near enough, that they were called upon more and more by the council for various jobs and missions. But for her, being untested and unknown, Meiko had been left in the shadows. Not that she used the free time to just lay about, in fact she spent most days in intense training back home but unfortunately a combination of her parents pressure to get her out of the house for a bit, and her dwindling savings, had forced her to come here and search for some work. The only question now, was what job to pick. Looking over the board, it was littered with everything one would expect from a D rank mission. Pulling weeds, cleaning streets, the standard affair. Simple work for little pay, sighing she began pacing on the spot. Yes, these were jobs set for her level and she shouldn't feel like they were below her but she couldn't help but yearn for something more.

Looking back to the board, one notice caught her eye. Pulling it off, she quickly read it over. "What the?" She muttered to herself silently "Why didn't he say anything!?". Crumpling the notice, she stuffed it in her pocket and quickly made her way to the desk to register for the job. "Dammit Dad". Reaching the desk, she pulled out the notice and stated she would be undertaking the job. The clerk, after looking over the notice, looked back to Meiko over the top of her thick rimmed glasses. "You do realize this is a C rank mission right? It seems to have gotten mixed up in the others. I wouldn't recommend doing this alone". Meiko looked to the old woman, giving her a soft smile as she reached for a pen "I know, but this is something I need to do. The client, you see, is my father". Adjusting her glasses, the old woman read over the notice again, then looked to Meiko and sighed. "Well, you meet the qualifications. There's nothing I can do, but my advice young lady, don't take things so personally. I've seen kids younger than you go out and die on jobs simpler than this". With that, she pulled out the registration form and presented it to Meiko. Nodding to the old woman, she began signing the paper "I see, I promise to be careful" She replied as she finished signing and returned the form. "Well, I don't think I need to give you any information on when and where to meet the client. The cart leaves at 5pm this afternoon, be safe dear". "Thank you" Meiko replied as she turned and left the administration building.

Returning home, Meiko spent the remainder of the afternoon preparing her equipment. Her mother gave her a nasty look when she walked back through the door, but said nothing to follow up on it. The afternoon would slowly pass with little incident. Outside her father was loading the last few crates onto the cart and grumbling loudly about something. Meiko had long finished her preparations and now made her way downstairs and out the door. "Bye Mom, I'm off to work" She called out as the door closed behind her. Walking down the short path from her house to the street, she approached her father, pausing for a moment to take a deep breath and prepare herself. This wasn't going to be pretty. After steadying herself, she was as ready as she was going to be and continued forward. "Hey Dad, heading out?".

"Hm? Oh Meiko. Yeah, got to send this cart down to Shukuba Town but, dammit they're late" Her father's voice was it's usual low grumbling, but held a much more frustrated tone than usual. For most people when they first met him, he'd often have to repeat himself because of his bad speech habits. Much to the frustration of all parties involved, but after living with him for fourteen years one generally is able to catch the most important pieces and stitch together the message. Looking to him, she placed a hand on her side and tilted her head slightly to the right "Late? Who's late?". She asked, trying to sound genuinely inquisitive. Her father did not respond immediately, merely making an annoyed grunting sound before looking rapidly between her, the cart and the street. "Ugh, I had to hire a bodyguard because of all the damn rumours about bandits on the road lately. I was told someone had accepted the job request but they're nowhere to be found!". Shifting her feet, Meiko reached behind her and into her kit, feeling a crumpled piece of paper, she gripped it and slowly pulled it out. "They're not late Dad, I'm right here" Flipping out the paper, she revealed the mission request.

Meiko knew the moment she pulled out that paper that her father was not going to be pleased. Thankfully he wasn't the type to fly completely off the handle, but months of tension between the two, plus the frustration of the delivery at hand, had him at the boiling point. For a moment he merely stared dumbfounded at the mission slip, silently mouthing the words to himself as his face began to turn a deeper and deeper shade of red. Once he had finished and the words had time to sink in, Meiko watched as his fists clenched and he slowly stood up straight, glaring down at her. Never in her life had she felt so small than in that moment. "WHY!?" he finally cried out, eyes bulging from his head "WHY DID YOU TAKE THE JOB!? IT'S TOO DANGEROUS FOR YOU!". And there it was, finally out in the open. She knew, of course, for the longest time this was why there was so much tension between the two. But her father had never outright said it before, he always dodged the question or approach the problem in an annoying passive-aggressive manner. But now, finally she could confront him about it.

Granted, that was easier said than done. Even now she could feel her legs trembling beneath her, screaming just to run away. Her father could be terrifying if he wanted to be, and right now, to her, he might as well be a thing of nightmares. Clenching her own hands into fists, crumpling the mission slip, she stepped forward and glared him back in the eyes. "BECAUSE DAD! BECAUSE I'M A SHINOBI! IT'S WHAT I CHOSE TO DO! WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS WHY DIDN'T YOU ASK ME TO HELP WITH THE DELIVERY!?". Her own outburst had caught her father off guard, already his face was returning to it's natural colour and his stance wasn't as strong as when he had started shouting. "Ever since I graduated, you've done nothing but try and hold me back. I'm sorry I picked a dangerous profession, but at least give me a chance! No one else is coming, I'm here, I'm ready, I took the job. So if you want to make this delivery, I'm coming along". Her father, after several agonizing moments of silence, finally gave in. The job right now was more important than a family squabble, and people were starting to stare. "AH! FINE! Get on the cart..." Climbing onto the back, Meiko sat herself down as her father snapped the reigns and the horse began to move.

Yeah, this was going to be a long trip.
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PostSubject: Re: [Mission] Delivery Run [P] Tue 29 Apr 2014, 10:59 pm

The first part of the trip was spent in silence. The wooden wheels and horse hooves on the stone road were the only noise to break the wall of tension between them. They had only just passed through the gates of the village when Meiko started feeling sick to her stomach. She wasn't ill, but the awkwardness, tension and all the other emotions spiralling in her was more than enough to cause her stomach to churn. Perhaps taking this mission wasn't the best idea, she had been meaning to talk with her father about her job for a long time now. Ever since Kiyomi mentioned she should Meiko had been looking for an opportunity to confront him. However, her father must have sensed this and had been avoiding the red haired lass ever since. Granted, even if that weren't the case, trying to confront her father was more difficult and nerve racking than anything she had experienced before. Graduating from the academy, meeting her teacher and squad, nothing compared to this. Meiko bounced up and nearly off the cart as they hit a rather large rock  in the road. Landing back on her rump with a small yelp of surprise, she shuffled herself back to a more secure spot before looking over to her father at the front. He was continuing to pay her no mind, his full attention focused on the empty road ahead. Sighing, she turned back and placed her head into her palms, elbows resting on her thighs.

The hours continued to drag on in silence until the sun fell low in the sky, casting a warm orange glow over the Land of Fire. It would be night soon and if memory served her correctly, they would be reaching Shukuba town by nightfall. Before she joined the academy, Meiko often accompanied her father on these delivery trips. The roads were safer back then and armed escorts weren't often needed for short trips like this. For her, it was like a small vacation that happened every month, they'd always rent out a small hotel room and, once business was done in the morning, spend the day just hanging about. Shukuba Town always had something for people to do and as a kid Meiko was always envious of those who lived there. Everyday they could wake up and plan their entire day around the variety of attractions and restaurants in the town. Now however, she wished she could recapture that energy and spirit of her youth, it would make this damn cart ride far more bearable.

The path began to curve and descend down a hill, if memory served her correctly, then at the bottom of this hill would be a bridge over a ravine. Shukuba was just beyond that bridge, she estimated at least one more hour and they would reach their destination. Raising her head off her hands, she began looking into the dark woods surrounding them. The mission flier had mentioned there were rumours of bandits on the road but so far their trip had been extremely quiet. If there were bandits, they should have struck by now. Once they crossed the bridge they would be too close to Shukuba to attempt anything. It was looking like those rumours were baseless. Sighing, she placed her head into her palms again as the cart bounced over another rock.

As the cart reached the bottom of the hill, something startled the horse as it let out a startled cry that snapped Meiko back to her senses. Leaping up from her seat, she quickly turned on the spot to face the front of the cart, hands on the hilts of her ninjato, ready to be drawn. However, she did not need to unsheath the blades, but something was definitely wrong. Before them was a man dressed in a typical road crew uniform. "What's going on here?" Her father asked, clearly not impressed with this surprise. "I'm sorry sir, but you're going to have to turn around. There was an incident and the bridge ahead has been closed off. We apologize for the inconvenience and will have it open as soon as possible". The man's words came out tired and rehearsed, likely he had been repeating this phrase all day to other travellers passing through. "Closed? How could the bridge be closed!? What the hell happened!?" Her father demanded, glaring down at the poor worker. The man, cowering under her father's glare, took a quick breath before speaking again.

"You've heard about the bandit attacks on the road lately right? Well after a while people started to wise up and bring armed escorts, making their attempts to rob travellers more difficult. So they destroyed the bridge and are now stalking the detour routes. They're all old roads, most people don't know their layout any more so we're sending people back to Konoha or to the rest stop until the bridge is repaired. Again, we're sorry, but we'll get the bridge back up as soon as possible". Releasing her grip on her weapons, she looked to her father. Although she couldn't see his face she could feel the frustration burning off him. Punctuality was a major sticking point for her Dad and if he missed a delivery, even for something like this, it would hurt his pride just as much as it would his reputation. It would be dangerous, but he'd likely brave the old roads, even at this time of night, just to make the delivery on time. It looked like she would be earning her keep tonight after all.

"..When will the bridge be repaired?" Her father finally asked after his long silence, his voice low and subdued. This caught Meiko off guard and she found herself staring dumbfounded at the back of her father's head. "Well sir, I estimate about three to four days, assuming no unforeseen setbacks of course." Her father nodded. "I see, thank you. We'll be leaving now". Snapping the reigns, the horse began to back up, Meiko nearly losing her balance as the cart jerked to life once more. "Dad?" She said, finding her voice, however meek it sounded right now "What's going on? Why are we heading back?". Her father was actively avoiding looking at her as he spoke, his voice still flat and subdued "You heard him. The bridge is out. We have no choice but to go home"

"So, we're just giving up? Is that it?" Her voice raising in tone as she spoke. It wasn't like her father to just give up like this, he was far too stubborn of a bastard. When he simply remained silent, Meiko could feel something pop in her head. "Oh I see" She began, her voice cold and razor sharp. "It's because I'm here isn't it? Had anyone else taken the job you would have told off that guy and gone down the old road, but no. Can't have Daddy's little girl getting hurt now can we?". The fact that he flinched at this only proved she was right, and that just made her all the angrier. "DAMMIT DAD! STOP THE CART NOW!".

Surprisingly, he complied. Pulling hard on the reigns, the horse reared it's legs and quickly came to a halt. Her father still wouldn't turn to look at her, but she knew he was listening. "I've had enough of this babying from you. I'm not a kid any more, do you see this headband? I earned this and I understand the risks it involves. You also need to remember I was placed in Team Hokage. The village expects a lot from me, and I'd have though you would too". Her father remained silent, although his head was now lowered and he was gazing at the ground. Perhaps she was finally getting through that thick skull of his. Taking a deep, slow breath, she spoke again, although her voice was much softer now. "Right now, I'm on the clock. I accepted the mission to escort you to Shukuba and back and that's what I intend to do. If you really want to turn around and go home, I can't stop you, but I know that's not what you really want to do. I promise to keep us safe, those bandits won't touch a single piece on this cart. So please, just give me this chance".

The moment of silence that followed was perhaps the longest in Meiko's life. She had said her peace and now could only watch and wait as her father made his decision. The nerves she felt now easily rivalled, if not surpassed, those she had on the day she first met her squad and sensei. Back in the Shrines when they were given their first 'mission', or more accurately, an exercise in futility. Finally, after what had felt like an eternity, her father let out a deep, frustrated but defeated sigh. "Alright. But if one, JUST ONE, piece of equipment is so much as scratched, I'll see to it that you never wear that headband of yours again. Team Hokage be damned". Words couldn't express the joy that bursted inside Meiko, overflowing like a geyser, she jumped into the air, letting out a small cheer with the biggest smile covering her face. "I won't let that happen, I swear it!" and with that, her father cracked the reigns and the horse began moving once more. Taking a left this time and onto the old roads.
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PostSubject: Re: [Mission] Delivery Run [P] Mon 12 May 2014, 6:44 pm

The old road was exactly what one would picture when given the setting of a horror story. Thick foliage combined with the dark of night made it impossible to see more than a few meters in any direction. The darkness in the woods was almost a beast in of itself, omnipresent and all encompassing, threatening to close in and devour them at any moment, kept at bay only by the flickering flame of a lantern and the occasional pale white streak of moonlight that managed to pierce the canopy of leaves. The nocturnal wildlife were out in full now, their calls and cries echoing eerily in the dark and bats constantly passed overhead. Swooping by as little black balls, snatching up the various insects that were attracted by the lantern light. As for the road itself, it was definitely showing it's age. Twisting and turning as the years of disuse had lead trees and plants to grow in, their roots warping and obscuring the original path. The cart bounced violently as her father struggled to keep it relatively straight and the poor horse stumbled more than once on an odd standing root.

Indeed if there were to be an ambush this would be the best place to do it. With the limited visibility on their end plus the condition of the road, it would be extremely difficult for them to try and run. All the more reason for her to be on high alert, if she could catch the ambush before they stumbled into it, they would be at a far greater advantage. Although with the lantern illuminating their position, not only did they mark their location for all to see, but they couldn't see more than a few meters past it's light. As the cart reached a sharp turn in the road, Meiko turned to her father. "Dad, kill the lantern". This caused her father to pull on the reigns, halting the horse which only grunted in protest but quickly settled down. Glad to take a short break from this terrible road. Her father turned on the seat to face her for the first time since they had left the village. "What? Why would I do that? We'd be walking blind then". Shaking her head, she raised an arm and pointed to the darkness surrounding them. "The light just makes us a target for anyone watching the road, plus we can't see a thing past ten metres. If we blow out the light, our eyes will adjust to the dark and we'll be able to see much better, plus we'll be harder to spot. Although yes the road will be harder to traverse, we'll have to take it slow. It however, might let us slip by unnoticed".

The two sat silently staring at each other for a moment before her father finally sighed. "Alright, we'll do it your way. But first sign of trouble, I'm going to push this horse as fast as it can go". Meiko simply nodded at this. "Okay, that would probably be best. We don't want to get surrounded". Her father then extinguished the lantern and instantly they were engulfed by the darkness, rendered nearly blind they sat patiently, waiting for their eyes to adjust. Slowly things came more into view, Meiko was able to make out the tree line again after about a minute and within another five, they were moving again. Slowly though, as to not trip up the horse on a stray root they crept down the road. With luck, they would be able to avoid these bandits all together. As a Shinobi however, Meiko didn't want to leave it to chance. Pulling one of the scrolls off her back, she unrolled it and placed her palm on the paper. Engulfing herself in a cloud of smoke for a moment, she drew a bow and two quivers of arrows. Slinging the quivers over her back, she notched a single arrow, ready and waiting should anything try and strike.

With her eyes adjusted to the dark, Meiko could finally see into the forest. Well, more than before at least, there was still much that was shrouded by the night and what wasn't was distorted by shadow. Staring into the darkness, the shadows began to play tricks with her. Morphing and molding themselves into the likeness of humans before bursting into grotesque monstrosities then fading to the blackness from whence they came. More than once did she fully draw her bow, certain what she saw was a bandit only for the shadows to fade and reveal the truth to be a bush or small animal. It was enough for Meiko to entertain the idea of the bandits actually attacking, at least then she'd know what she'd be shooting at.

Meanwhile, several hundred meters down the road and hidden within a large ditch sat 5 men. Huddling around a small campfire, barely large enough to generate a noticeable amount of heat, much less cook the fish strung over it. The men were rather well built, four of them sporting some well defined muscles. The fifth however, trumped them all in size, were they standing he would be at least a head above the rest and across his back a large axe was slung. All of them wore tatters of clothes that appeared to have only seen water in the form of rain, tears and stains littered them and their original colour was lost to time. "So Boss, what's the plan? We've been here all day and haven't had one hit yet. They're sending everyone back to the village rather than risking these roads. It was a good plan taking out the bridge, but I think we should pack it in before they fix it and send out some of them ninja to clean up". As he spoke, his eyes were fixated on the fish slowly cooking over the flames. Licking his lips as some fat dripped off into the fire, causing a pleasing crackling sound.

"Whaddya scared of some blokes in pajamas!? Gwahahaha!" The large man laughed, smacking the smaller man in the back so hard he had to brace himself to stop from falling face first into the fire pit. "Dey ain't gonna send no ninja onto these roads! They'll fix up da bridge and beef up da guards. We just gotta lay low den blow it again!" Laughing his deep, hearty laugh again, the man snatched one of the fish from the fire and with a single bite, tore the thing in half. The other men laughing in suit, although it would have been obvious to most people they were simply humouring their boss. When the laughter finally died down, the small man spoke once more. "Alright, that's a good plan there, but until then do we just sit in this ditch?".

The Boss, after taking the rest of the fish into his mouth, leaned back, the hilt of his axe acting as the back of a chair, propping his back up as he took a moment to think. "I guess yer right, dere ain't gonna be nobody coming through here tonight. Alright boys! Eat up and get some sleep. We'll move camp in da morning!". The men cheered with joy as they all reached for their own fish, grabbing greedily at the largest ones they could reach and devouring them messily. Scraps of scales and guts were thrown about the site as the men ate.

"Oi, what's that?" One of the men said as he lowered his meal to his lap. The others paid him no heed and continued to loudly stuff their faces. "I SAID SHUT UP YOU IDJITS AND LISTEN!" All the men, the boss included, fell silent now as they strained their ears. Somewhere in the distance was a sound familiar to their ears, and once the boss heard it, a wicked grin spread across his face. "Well well, looks like we will be working tonight boys. Quick, get the horses! don't let them get away!"

Jutsu Used:
Spoiler:
 

Chakra Remaining:
50-1=49
49/50
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PostSubject: Re: [Mission] Delivery Run [P] Wed 14 May 2014, 4:51 pm

There was something on the wind that caught Meiko's ear. It was very faint, but she was sure she heard something. This was different from the usual sounds of the night, this wasn't some animal's cry. "Dad, stop the cart". She said, keeping her voice low enough so it wouldn't travel. "I think I heard something". Her father did as she said, bringing the horse to a stop as quietly as possible. Meiko then stood up on the cart, bow and arrow in hand as she surveyed the area. Everything was silent again and for a moment she wondered if she only imagined the noise when the distinct sound of laughter echoed from the trees. "You heard that right? They're close, if we can sneak past here, we'll be in the clear". Her father nodded and had the horse start moving again. Even though they were moving slowly, each clomp of the horse's hooves and creaking of the cart's wheels were amplified ten fold in their minds. The laughing was growing louder now and changing to cheers and hollers. With all the racket they were making, they might actually be able to sneak through here unnoticed.

They had passed the source of the noise now, as it was finally starting to die down. Meiko allowed herself a small sigh, but remained vigilant. They weren't out of the woods yet, but soon enough they'd be past the camp and home free. That was when a single voice rose up above the noise and silence fell, silence save for their cart. Something in Meiko's head began screaming they'd been discovered and her face fell pale for a moment. "Go... go, go go go gogogogogogo. They heard us. Let's go!". Bracing herself so she wouldn't fall off when the cart sped up, she drew back her bowstring and aimed it down the road. Her father wasted no time, snapping the reigns and startling the horse into action. The cart took off as fast as the beast could take it, bouncing violently from the various bumps and roots in the road making it extremely difficult for Meiko to keep her aim steady.

For the first few minutes, there was nothing. Meiko could only thank her luck that the bandits were so careless and allowed themselves to be detected. This gave them a head start and each second that past meant they were just a bit closer to Shukuba. Not to mention she could use this time to try and adjust herself to the roughness of the road. To prevent herself from falling off, she had focused chakra into her feet to glue herself to the cart so at least now she had a steady foothold. But it still wasn't enough to prevent her from bouncing with the cart. Her shots weren't going to be the most accurate, but hopefully the threat of her arrows would be enough to deter the attackers.

Finally she heard it, the sound of several horses quickly closing in behind them. She couldn't see anything yet so she pulled back the string and tried to steady her aim. With the lead that they had, under normal circumstances there would have been no way for the bandits to catch up. But this cart was drawn by a single horse, the weight was too much for the poor creature to get any real speed up. The bandit's horses, burdened only by the weight of their riders, were easily gaining on them. She could hear their battle cries now thirsty for blood and joyous in tone their silhouettes slowly became visible to her. Counting a total of five assailants, Meiko took a deep breath, drew the string a bit tighter and let fly her first arrow. Her aim was into the center of the mass but due to the roads, it flew far more to the left than she would have liked. Streaking past the bandits entirely, but still close enough to get their attention.

"Whoa! That nearly hit me! They got themselves an escort!" One of the men yelled out and his silhouette shrunk as he pulled back. "DON'T BE SCARED YOU YELLOWBELLY WIMP!!" Came a deep rumbling voice from the largest shadow. "IF WE KILL'EM DEN DERE BE NO ESCORT LEFT! HAVE AT 'EM!!". They certainly were simple minded folk. Notching another arrow, Meiko took aim again, allowing the bandits to close the distance a bit more before firing again. Releasing the second arrow, her shot was more on target this time, for only a moment after the twang of her bow stopped ringing in her ear did she hear one of the men cry out in pain and the silhouette second from her right fall to the ground. The continuing cries confirmed it wasn't a killing blow, but already she had cut their strength down by a fifth. "Boss! They got Shura!" "SHADDUP AND KEEP GOING! HE AIN'T DEAD AND IF HE IS THEN WE CAN'T HELP HIM ANYWAY!"

The four remaining bandits were coming into view now, riding in at a range of about 20 meters they began to holler their war cries again. Firing again, her next shot went wide, landing in some bush from the sounds of it. Groaning, she quickly notched another arrow as the bandits continued closing the gap. Soon they would be on top of the cart and they would be in real trouble. She had to get them to back off before they did any damage to the cart. Pulling back the bowstring again, she put all her strength into stretching it beyond it's limits. The bow creaking under the pressure, she took aim once more and fired. The twang of the bow cracked through the night as the arrow flew into the horde of bandits. Her aim was true and her shot was confirmed by the scream of a horse, having been struck in it's thigh, it reared back, throwing it's rider off before falling backwards onto him and in a panic, flailing about as the poor man screamed for help underneath the beast.

"They got Hoshi too boss!" One of the remaining riders called out, two of them backing off a bit again while the largest man only continued to charge forward. "DON'T BE WIMPING OUT NOW! WE ALMOST GOT'EM AND LOOK! IT'S JUST A WEE LITTLE GIRL!! ARE YA GONNA LET SOME LITTLE WENCH EMBARRASS US!?" Again, the men showed off their simplicity for this was enough to encourage them once more and with yet another cry, they whipped their horses into top speed and charged towards the cart, quickly passing their boss and closing within ten meters of the cart. Too close now for Meiko to take out both with her bow, she reached instead into her kit and felt for the familiar sensation of paper. An evil smile spreading across her face as she felt the tags and drew five from the pouch. There wasn't any time to tie them to a kunai, not that she would need to. With the bandits quickly closing in and the darkness to obscure them, there was little chance they'd be able to recognize what she was doing, much less avoid it.

Tossing the tags into the air, she slung the bow over her shoulder and quickly formed the release hand seal, holding it for just a moment until the men were within range of the tags. "See ya" And with that, she activated the tags, with a small flare of her chakra the paper ignited. First as a small flame, just enough to give the men warning of their inevitable fate, then engulfing them in the explosion. The flames lighting up the forest for a moment as the air was filled with the sounds of the blast and the pained screams of both men and beast. Around them, the local wildlife that had not already fled from the ruckus were sent panicking away. Standing upright, she slid her bow off her shoulder, catching it in her palm "Well, that should just about do it" Meiko said as a small grin was spreading across her face. Had those bandits properly ambushed them or, failing that, managed to catch up to the cart, things would have gone down much differently, but perhaps luck did have it's place on a mission. She just hoped that her luck would hold through in the future.

"Well, you can probably slow down now, I don't think they'll be chasing us anymo-" Meiko's sentence was cut off by a piercing shout. Turning to look back at the smoke still rising from the explosion, the largest bandit burst through the cloud, giant axe glinting in the moonlight and cloaked in an aura of blood lust. "Err, I mean GO GO GO". Cracking the reigns, her father somehow managed to get a bit more speed out of their poor horse, the sudden acceleration throwing Meiko off balance for a moment. Had she not been using her chakra to stay stuck to the cart, it was likely she'd have fallen off right there. As it was, the time it took for her to regain her balance was enough for the brute to close within five meters of the cart, nearly within swinging distance of his axe, she'd only have one shot at this. If she missed, he'd be on top of them and who knew what would happen then.

Drawing another arrow, she didn't even have time to properly aim, pulling back the string, she raised the bow and fired. Thankfully with such a short gap between them the shot had a far better chance of striking it's target. A cry of pain confirmed the hit, although it was to the horse rather than the rider. A pain of guilt shot through Meiko, the poor horses were forced to follow those men and didn't deserve to be hurt. This horse however, seemed more disciplined than the others, for even with an arrow in it's chest it continued to charge forth, bringing it's rider within striking distance of the cart. "I GOT YOU NOW GIRLY! GWAHAHAHA" The bandit leader cried as he raised his axe and swung down on Meiko. Releasing her chakra grip from the cart, she quickly threw herself to the left, narrowly avoiding the giant blade dropping on her and crashing into the wall of the cart. "DAD! KEEP GOING! I'LL CATCH UP!" She cried out as she quickly got to her feet. The man having embedded his axe far enough into the cart that he needed a moment to wriggle it free. Dropping the bow, she grabbed the hilt of her Ninjato and drew it from their scabbards.

As the man pulled his axe free, Meiko leaped at him, Ninjato flashing in the moonlight as she slashed at his face. Feeling one of her blades connect, she witnessed the crimson flash of blood streak through the air as the man let out a startled cry and began to fall back off his horse. Crashing to the ground in a heap, Meiko's momentum carried her further, landing about three meters past him and tumbling into a roll so as to not hurt herself on the landing. Spinning back to her feet, she faced the bandit who was slowly getting back to his feet, one hand still on his axe while the other grasped at his face. Groaning as he did, he turned and glared at Meiko through his bloody fingers. "That's it missy..." He grumbled, voice trembling with rage. "Seem's I'm gonna have to teach you some manners". Lowering his hand, Meiko could now see the wound she inflicted, a large cut going from his forehead, across the nose and partially down his cheek and bleeding profusely. Raising her Ninjato, she prepared herself for her first life and death battle.

Jutsu Used:
Spoiler:
 

SC Used:
Spoiler:
 

Chakra Remaining:
49-1-2-6=40
40/50CP
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PostSubject: Re: [Mission] Delivery Run [P] Fri 16 May 2014, 6:53 am

The two combatants stood motionless for a moment, glaring one another down to see if either would show any signs of weakness. Both stood their ground, refusing to back down. The man showed no signs of hesitation, but Meiko was suppressing her fear. Beneath her skin her muscles trembled, this was different from the spars she had, this wasn't training. This fight here meant life and death, one wrong move and that man would cleave her in two. She could feel the sweat sliding down her brow as she shifted on the spot, strengthening her stance. Well, at least if she got out of this, it would be one heck of a story to tell Kiyomi and Mana.

Licking the blood from his lips, the man stepped forward with a bloodthirsty grin spreading across his face. Raising his axe above his head, he swung it down furiously at Meiko, the blade falling at a diagonal angle, Meiko quickly leap to her left, narrowly avoiding the blade by a hair's length. Enough to feel the wind brush against her leg as the blade passed by. Catching herself with her hand, she sprung herself further away and landed crouching a couple meters from the man. Turning to face her again, the man once more raised his axe and dropped it down. Seeing an opening, Meiko darted forth underneath the axe and towards the man's open stomach. Raising her Ninjato, she first brought her left hand up and slashed across his abdomen, then striking again with her right, creating a cross cut across his gut.

The man cried out in pain for a moment as Meiko readied a third attack, this time planning to stab the blade straight into him. As she was thrusting however, the bandit's free hand struck her hard in the stomach. Her vision doubled as she felt bile shoot up her throat and into her mouth. Unable to keep it down, she spat out the vile tasting fluid as the man's attack lifted her from the ground and sent her flying back into a tree. "Gah!". Sliding down onto the ground in a heap, she gasped for breath.Hands crossed over her stomach, she pulled her legs close to try and push herself back to her feet. Her vision was returning to normal now and what she saw terrified her. The man was standing over her now, a towering beast having just cornered it's prey. She knew she had nowhere to run to, he was too close now and could cut off any path of retreat she could try. Counterattack wasn't an option either, she had dropped the ninjato when she was sent flying and he'd cut her down before she could draw any new weapon.

Licking the blood from his lips again, the man grinned a bloodstained smile. Raising his axe above his head once more, Meiko could only watch on in horror. Unable to move or speak, she just closed her eyes and waited for the inevitable. At the very least she didn't want the last thing she would see being that man's face. Retreating into her mind she looked for something to focus on, to make the journey easier. Her friends, her family... "Dad..." She whimpered, feeling the tears falling down her face. "Gwahaha. Daddy ain't gonna save you now lassy! Now ta pay you back for my face!"

Raising his axe above his head, the man gripped the hilt with both of his hands the blade flashed in the moonlight. "I'm going to enjoy this". Leaning back even further, the bandit grinned manically "GWAHA-GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH" The sudden cry of pain startled Meiko from her mental retreat. Opening her eyes she saw the man still about to strike, but paralyzed by something. To her amazement, that something was her father, having stabbed the man in the back with one of the swords they were supposed to be delivering. "Dad? DAD!!" She cried out, unable to suppress the joy she felt for not only still being alive, but just seeing him.

"The hell are you doing Meiko!? This is exactly why I didn't want you doing this!!" Her father scolded as he pulled the blade from the bandit's back and swinging it again. The bandit however, managed to avoid the blade by quickly spinning and jumping back. "Oh, so you want to die first!? Gwahahah. Thanks for coming back, makes it easier for me than chasing you down!". Meiko was getting to her feet now, and her happiness was quickly turning to fear again. Her father may have been a big man, enough to rival even this bandit, but he had no fighting experience. Against a man like this, he had no real chance. Indeed, he was on the defensive now, the bandit swinging his axe like a madman, her father barely able to block the blows. Sparks flew through the air each time the weapons connected. It was her turn to save him.

Reaching behind her back, she drew one of her remaining scrolls and quickly unrolled it. Unsealing it, she was temporarily shrouded in smoke before emerging again, now armed with her longsword and shield. Charging forth, her father and the bandit were now locked in a fight of strength, both pushing against each other with all their might. The Bandit sadly having the advantage and was quickly pushing him back. If she were even a moment too slow, he'd cut down her father.

"KYAAAH!!" She screamed out as she charged in, raising her sword and swinging it low. Feeling the blade connect, the steel severed the man's heel practically effortlessly. "GAAAHHH!!" The man screamed out in pain as Meiko raised her sword again, severing his other heel with her second strike. Then, gripping the hilt of her sword with both hands, she attacked again, this time raising the sword and carving up along his spine, the man arched his back in response. Giving her father the chance now to push back, she raised a leg and with all the strength she could muster, kicked the man in the back of his knee. Collapsing and crying in pain, the man fell to his knees, dropping his axe as her father push back. With the man lower now, Meiko spun on the spot and with a final cry, brought her shielded arm around and struck the man on the side of his head with the thick plate of metal. The sound was a sickening thud as the metal connected with his skull. Immediately the bandit's eyes rolled back in his head as he fell limp to the ground unconscious.

Panting heavily, Meiko looked down at the man for a moment to ensure he wouldn't be getting back up before falling her her knees with relief. "Haa...haa... It's over...". Looking to her father, he was standing motionless, perhaps the shock of everything had taken it's toll on him. "Dad...Thank you. Thank you so much". Getting back to her feet, her legs were a little shaky and she nearly fell, but managed to brace herself by planing her sword in the ground like a cane. "Y-Yeah" Her father responded, it seemed he was in a bit of shock. One her feet now, Meiko dropped her sword and ran to him, throwing her arms around him and holding him tight. "I'm sorry I was so careless" Feeling a hand on her head, she looked up at him and was startled to see he was crying. Never before had she seen him cry. "This is exactly why I don't want you doing this! You were nearly killed! What would you have done if I weren't here!?"

Honestly, she didn't have a response to this. It was true, had her father not come when he did, she would be dead right now. All she could do was drop her gaze in defeat and release her hug on him. "I don't know...  I'm sorry...". Perhaps he was right, that she wasn't cut out for this job. A member of Team Hokage nearly felled by a common thief, it was practically laughable. What would sensei say if she were here now? Heck thinking back, what had she really done of note up to this point? When her friends were attacked by that madman during their day off what did she really do other than run around screaming? Kiyomi had been seriously injured that day and she had been useless.

She felt her father's hand leave her head a moment before he embraced her himself. "I just don't want to see you hurt". Wanting to cry herself now, she hugged him again, burying her face into his chest. "I know... I'm sorry". The two stood there for a minute in silence, save for the occasional sniffling. Finally the two released each other and regained their composure. "Well, we should get going, it'll be dawn soon and we still have deliveries to make". Nodding, Meiko retrieved her sword and ninjato before looking to the unconscious bandit. "We should take him with us, if we leave him he'll just do this again". Pulling out the razor wire from her kit, she quickly tied the man up and with help from her father, dragged him back to the cart. There, they threw him onto the back and Meiko sat herself on his back, kunai at his throat should he awaken.

Making their way down the road, they finally cleared the woods just as the sun was rising over the mountains in the distance. The warmth of it's light basking over them, revealing their destination just ahead. Shukuba Town, seeing it reminded Meiko that she'd be returning here soon enough with Yoroi, Kiyomi and Mana... that is if she were still a Shinobi. She had some things to think about on the ride back home.

Jutsu Used:
Name: Chozou no Jutsu • Storage Technique
Rank: E
Type: Fuuinjutsu, Supplementary
Range: Close (0m - 5m)
Element: N/A
Description: A simple jutsu that allows a ninja to seal or unseal any item, mostly weapons, from scrolls or from their body. After forming the necessary handsigns, the ninja will seal the item into a scroll etc. Scrolls can also be used as ammunition for other weapons or have other seals inside of them, which expands the number of potential tricks a shinobi can use. The items themselves are unaffected by time. Ninjutsu can also be stored in scrolls, to be released when the scroll is opened, but require another person to cast said Ninjutsu; else it cannot be sealed.
Chakra Cost: 1 to seal; 1 to unseal.


Name: Tate Shougeki | Shield Crash
Rank: C
Type: Weaponry | Protectorate
Range: Close 1m
Element: N/A
Description: Charging a quick burst of chakra into their shield arm, the user will thrust or swing their shield towards a foe with great force. The blow feels like one has just been struck by a warhammer.
Chakra Cost: 6[/spoiler]

SC Used:
Spoiler:
 

Chakra Remaining:
40-1-6=33
33/50CP

[EXIT]

[END]
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