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  • [Served] On The Rocks

    "Mining operations?"

    Tenzan looked over the small dossier he was given. There wasn't much, but it was incredibly detailed. A small scaled sketch of the mine and surrounding terrain, as well as detail on a small portion of the tunnel system. He flipped back to the front of it, staring at the name.

    "Hiruto Mining Company. I thought they were moving all their operations out east to the Land of Coal?"


    "You've been reading, I see." The shorter, clearly older shinobi standing beside Tenzan smiled and gave an approving nod.""You're right. The operation has been shut down for seven or eight months. Apparently someone has been continuing without any sort of permits."

    "Okay. So... oh." Tenzan turned the documents over; at the lower right hand corner was the symbol of Hidden Stone. "So that smuggling operation is still going..."


    "Yes.It's much weaker now that a major foothold in Earth Country is gone, but suppliers haven't given up just yet. That's where you come in."


    This wasn't the first time Aramaki Tenzan had come across smugglers. In fact, it had been happening a lot. Weapons, precious metals, and even people. It felt like clouds gathering, and he couldn't help but notice. Coupled with the fact that he had been taking on more investigative roles that didn''t necessarily involve punching things or setting them on fire, everything felt different.

    "So, Yagami-sensei... I guess we're supposed to apprehend everyone. Sounds simple enough. When do we leave?"


    The dark-skinned shinobi laughed. "What? No no... It'll be a two-man team, yes, but not me. Your partner should be here shortly."

    Tenzan grunted a bit in disappointment. Akinji Yagami was a busy man, and Tenzan understood that his presence was needed elsewhere. Still, it was one of the few real connections to his grandfather that he had left. His questions would have to wait.

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  • #2
    She tilted her head to one side, folding her hands together and holding them just below her waist, arms and back straightened. Her lips turned into a small frown.
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    • #3
      Tenzan wasn't entirely sure what he was expecting. If anything, Anzu constantly testing him had taught him not to expect anything. So when Hana walked into the room, he looked at her, then back at Akinji; the elder shinobi seemed the only one that wasn't surprised.

      "I was just explaining the details to Tenzan. A pleasure to meet you, Hana." He smiled and bowed politely. "I'll let him fill you in. Good luck to you both." Akinji retrieved his cane from the desk and suddenly, the two of them were alone, Tenzan clearly apprehensive; he didn't hide emotion particularly well.

      She reminded him of Hitomi... only a lot less fun.

      Tenzan rubbed at the back of his neck, trying to quickly navigate the situation, the mission, and everything else in between. Anzu knew working with new people was an issue with him. He couldn't help but feel a little set up. That woman... I swear...

      "Live is the plan, yeah. I need--I mean, Leaf needs to question whoever's in charge. This seems like it's part of a larger smuggling operation. It's not as big as it was, but who knows..."

      It was clear Tenzan was going to have to explain everything. He didn't really mind; the more she knew, the better. That and she hadn't been a chuunin for long; while he wasn't about to treat her like a child, he also couldn't treat her like Takeo, Sanshiro, or Hitomi. As an Academy instructor, he was certain he should have been better at this than he was. If nothing else, he was more grateful that she had no idea who he was.

      "We cam talk more on the way,' he said, moving for the office door and holding it open with one hand, offering the pageshe'd been reading from with the other. "If you don't mind me asking... this isn't your first mission as a chuunin, right?"

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      • #4
        Last edited by Wess; 10-27-2019, 09:26 PM. Reason: proofreading/looking back over the thread
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        • #5
          Temzan just stood there for a moment,slack-jawed.

          "Huh."

          Tenzan had never been all that great with chakra control. In fact, most of what he knew was limited to self-enhancement, and so far that had served him pretty well. He was more than prepared to find some other means to get to the Hiruma Mine, but this worked, too. Taking the offered tendril, he considered what exactly he should say next. It seemed weird for him to be the talkative one.

          "What do you know about what's been happening in the village lately?" It was a pretty broad question; Konoha had been weathering one form of chaos or another for quite a while and it wasn't lost on Tenzan how involved he was--not just because of what happened to Aramaki Shin, but ever since the child smuggling ring was discovered. Possibly even before that. He couldn't help but wonder just what Hana would have experienced concerning that.

          "A few months ago I came across a weapons dealer passing off counterfeit stuff. Tracked him back to Earth Country and dealt with it there. This illegal mining operation might be part of that. Or part of something else. I think I might know what but... there's a lot of holes that need to be filled in. Not to mention..." Tenzan paused, a temporary chill shooting through him as he remembered Ezo and Kenai. Just thinking about the two of them made him a little nauseous.

          "Let's just say that there are a lot of variables that are making a lot of people nervous."

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          • #6
            Realizing how odd it sounded, she rephrased her wording. Before taking off, she nodded back towards Tenzan for good measure. She shrugged.
            Last edited by Wess; 12-12-2018, 01:44 AM. Reason: added spoiler
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            • #7
              "Yeah... I was in Snow Country when that started. One of the corpses is my father. Didn't know catching him was anoption. Too busy trying not to get murdered."

              Tenzan was trying, but he couldn't help being a little annoyed at the idea that he was off having fun when the village was in crisis. It was a thought he had over and over again, ever since Aramaki Shin died, and he'd be damned if some upstart girl was going to do it, too.

              Still, he said nothing, managing to bite back any comment that he would have made otherwise. As he listened, he realized that not many people realized how absolutely dangerous Kenai really was. Tenzan had only encountered him once, and all he could do to survive was bring a cave down on Kenai by destroying some support beams. Hell, he might've died if Hitomi hadn't...

              Worse still, he knew his father's taijutsu far better now than he did then, and he could say with absolute certainty that Aramaki Kenai was holding back.

              The travel was.. weird. He wasn't alarmed or scared, but he'd never seen the technique before and the experience was definitely new. It gave time to think over the progression of everything, from what led him to Snow Country to begin with all the way up to now. There were so many pieces and way too many coincidences. The modified humans, the illegal fighting rings, the trafficking... There was no way all of that was random.

              The bigger picture. Those three words had an oddly calming effect, and he took a few breaths to center hinself.

              "The counterfeiting bit was for money. Part of that business was with illegal weapons trading too... weapons they were selling to the same guys kidnapping kids, enslaving then, forcing them to fight... someone's trying to build an army. And Leaf has enough enemies that I don't know who's pulling the strings. I plan on finding out who's behind it... especially the fuckers that killed my grandfather."

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              • #8
                The fourteen year old spoke with very little emotion as the green ribbons she bore released Tenzan and unraveled from around her chest, slowly twisting back up around her arms and legs like a myriad of serpents. She asked, her icy blue eyes rising to meet his.
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                • #9
                  Tenzan couldn't help but look annoyed. In the same moment, he realized that, at least on a social level, he couldn't talk to Hana in the same way as he could have spoken to Iwao or Kiyoko. As far as experiences went, there was a whole world of difference. How many times had Tenzan been broken and put back together, physically and otherwise? That hadn't happened to Hana yet. Tenzan's expression softened, and he sighed.

                  "Lucky? Hardly. Everyone has something to lose. And I mean everyone. Anyone who says different is lying to themselves. And as long as you're a Konoha shinobi, you have a family. Might not be related by blood, but that really doesn't mean anything."

                  Once the pair had landed, Tenzan surveyed the surrounding area. He wasn't entirely sure why he expected less of an armed presence, but it seemed at a glance that the work force wasn't an entirely willing one. Slavers again. Damn it. When Hana asked about their approach, he considered his options He only knew her skillset in the broadest of terms, and he couldn't be as reckless as he usually was because he wasn't sure if Hana would be able to cover him if things got really dangerous or intense.



                  "This is gonna sound really stupid. So don't laugh. But if we're gonna infiltrate.. ...what would you suggest?"


                  This was a first for Tenzan. Normally he would have gone with his strengths and let the world fall into place around him, but he realized that wasn't going to work anymore. That was how badly he wanted to catch the men responsible for Aramaki Shin's death, the forces who had thrown his village into disarray. Anzu had mentioned, in a way, that he needed to grow in new ways to make that happen. Hana was going to help, whether she knew it or not.

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                  • #10


                    Being a chuunin was a lot different than being a genin, she supposed. At least this Tenzan character put stock in her tactical know-how.



                    She folded her arms.
                    Last edited by Wess; 10-27-2019, 09:31 PM.
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                    • #11
                      Tenzan's brow furrowed a bit as Hana spoke. He could have argued, certainly, but this was not the time. He was determined to get her to understand, though.... His philosophy was similar, once--survival meant everything. The only difference now was that he was defining 'survival' differently.

                      "Okay. Full disclosure... I'm not really all that great with the ninjutsu. I've been... a little lax with my training there."
                      A year or two ago, Tenzan would have never freely admitted that sort of shortcoming. There was no point in being anything but up front about it. "But... a distraction. I can definitely do that. Find a place to hide and I'll bait them towards me."

                      Tenzan moved from their vantage point, a good 50 yards in the opposite direction and back within the dense line of trees beyond. There were plenty of trees in the area, and Tenzan walked towards the largest one. Embers danced from his fingertips before setting both his arms ablaze with the signature flames of Ryuujin-Fu. He drew his right arm back and the chakra instantly became denser in his hand; the flames almost seemed to be drawn into his entire fist until he was left with his right hand glowing. He thrust his palm into the tree and a violent explosion ensued, tearing the entire thing from the roots. The tree toppled over, ignited by Tenzan's Blast Palm and quickly began billowing smoke into the air.

                      "That ought to do it."
                      Last edited by GranspearZX; 01-22-2019, 07:20 PM.

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                      • #12
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                        • #13
                          It wasn't often that Tenzan was bait, but he was nothing if not a team player. He moved away from the flames and into a position that would make an ambush for Hana much easier. He wasn't sure what she would do, but he was certain that he wasn't in any real danger.

                          That sentiment continued when the two huge miners showed up. Tenzan was unarmed, and he laughed as they approached and spotted him. "Oh hey, fellas! I'm a little lost... thought I'd light a fire to light my way and... well... heh..."

                          He put his hands up and took a few steps back... and then he heard the whirring sound. That was his cue. He catapulted himself forward without knowing which of the men he was going to have to put down. He saw the blades strike one and immediately veered to his right toward the other. Seeing his brother gored the way he was, his eyes widened and before he could scream, Tenzan struck, driving his middle knuckle squarely into the man's throat. All that came out was a painful gurgle as he dropped his weapon. In the next instant, Tenzan was behind him. Without hesitation, the burly chuunin wrapped one arm around the miner's neck with the other behind his head and twisted. He went limp; Tenzan dropped him, unable to avoid looking at what Hana managed to do so the other guy.

                          ...well. Damn.

                          Tenzan didn't use weapons for a reason. It wasn't because he couldn't, and he certainly didn't have a problem teaching Academy students the basics of armed combat. He simply couldn't imagine himself inflicting that sort of damage on someone. It held him back more than he would have liked to admit, but Hana just... eviscerated the guy without hesitation. He was more impressed than anything else.

                          "Two down..." Tenzan moved away from the corpses, going quiet for several moments. He didn't hear any reinforcements, and under the circumstances, he didn't trust that at all. With his particular skillset, he wasn't going to be sneaking up on the last one. Normally, he'd just charge forward and be done with it.

                          "I don't think he's gonna leave, even with the fire... only a matter of time before someone else notices the smoke."

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                          • #14
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                            • #15
                              Tenzan stared blankly at Hana as she kicked the corpse''s head. He'd been listening to her up until that point, but now he couldn't stop thinking about it. What could he realistically say to her? He did, after all, just kill a man whose last vivid memory was seeing his friend's head separated from his shoulders.

                              Still, these were criminals and they had the authority. They were probably still trying to arm rebellions, not unlike the ones in Earth Country. If Hana hadn't killed the guy, Tenzan would have. It just wouldn't have been so... messy.

                              He grimaced at the fact that she pulled the shirt off of the one whose head she'd severed, but it made sense. The other guy was smaller than Tenzan; wearing his clothes would have been obvious. He sighed and took them. "Okay... hold on a second." Tenzan disappeared into the treed.

                              "Ugh, this smells awful. Really starting to regret this 'new approach' business..." The branches rustled as Tenzan continued to get redressed. "I... may have neglected ninjutsu and genjutsu training as a genin. Thinking about it now, it's a really dumb reason... but I'm trying to fix it. I need... to move forward, I guess."

                              Tenzan emerged from the trees, his headband removed and stuffed in his pocket. The clothes felt stuffy and reeked of sweat and alcohol, as well as a little blood--barely noticable, if oly because the goon's shirt was a dark brownish color. He remained several steps behind the disguised Hana, tussling his hair a bit to try and look the part of a vagrant criminal. He wasn't so sure his acting would hold up.

                              The moment of truth came when he neared the mine's entrance.

                              "The hell is goin' on up there?!" The man guarding the entrance motioned to the quickly spreading blaze. Tenzan merely shrugged in response... then an idea struck him.

                              "Shinobi," he said, his voice an octave or two lower than normal. He pulled his own headband out of his pocket, still lightly spotted with the decapitated thug's blood.

                              "God damn it! It's way too soon for that. They promis-.. no. We're not panicking. Just... lemme think. Because if we call him, he'll kill us all."

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