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Old 12-07-2018, 10:04 PM   #1
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"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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Old 12-09-2018, 06:14 AM   #2
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“Aramaki Tenzan?”

There was a gentle knock on the cracked door before Hana spoke and pushed it open, her delicate form looking out of place. She wore Konohagakure’s customary uniform – a navy track suit and green flak jacket. Her headband was tied around her left arm, and the only thing that seemed off about her attire were the matching green ribbons that coiled around her limbs, anchored around her wrists and ankles.

“I’m Itsuki Hana. I received a summons earlier today, instructing me to meet you here.” Judging by the description she was given, she singled out the younger two of the shinobi as Tenzan. The other one was clearly a Leaf ninja, but not one that she had seen before. Regardless of being surprised to see her partner being accompanied by a stranger, she continued on, like clockwork. Even as she spoke, something about the girl didn’t seem all there. The usual sparkle that someone around her age would have in their eyes was gone. There was no eagerness, no excitement; instead, there was a ruthless efficiency behind deadened eyes.

To anyone who stopped to take a good look at her, it was very evident that the girl had been through a lot in a very short time. Given how new her flak jacket looked, it was also obvious that she had been freshly promoted. As she continued to speak, Hana pulled a strand of hair behind her ear for good measure.

“The missive wasn’t terribly specific. It said that I’d be accompanying you to investigate the Hiruto Mining Company. Something about ‘unsanctioned mining and drilling’ within Hi no Kuni’s borders after they allegedly moved their business elsewhere.” She tilted her head to one side, folding her hands together and holding them just below her waist, arms and back straightened. “If I understand correctly, are we to apprehend a live target?” Her lips turned into a small frown. “Generally speaking, Konohagakure sends me after targets that they need to disappear.”
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:04 PM   #3
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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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Old 12-09-2018, 04:03 PM   #4
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“Alive.” The word rolled off the chuunin’s tongue like a foreign language. If she regarded the notion with any degree of skepticism, it didn’t show. “I suppose I’ll have to adapt my skillset.” As Tenzan moved to hold the door open for her, she took a moment to look him over. The two seemed very different – her waiflike form seemed to flicker in the breeze while his appeared sturdy and rugged. Hana wasn’t too sure of his skillset, but it looked like he was a taijutsu specialist. As a ninjutsu and genjutsu specialist herself, the kunoichi imagined that the pair would at least be remotely effective together, despite not having any trust built.

A hand reached for the dossier as she passed through the door, her eyes darting across the pages as Tenzan spoke. “No.” It was a simple answer, but one that would have to suffice unless the older chuunin wanted to pry more. Hana had been spending most of her time in River Country tracking down a certain Hyuuga's missing eye, though she had made an appearance in Snow Country as well. Gradually, the two managed to work their way to the edge of the village. Hana took another good look at the map enclosed in the papers that Tenzan had given her before folding them up and putting them inside one of her jacket’s pockets.

After giving him a cursory glance, Hana made a number of hand seals before the ribbons wrapped around her limbs sprung to life. They lengthened and coiled around her body, twisting and embellishing her until everything but her face was covered. The ribbons in the front, around her chest continued to knot and flourish until a dragon’s head sat where her chest was. Several tendrils stretched out behind her, and one curiously reached over her shoulder, as if offering itself to Tenzan.

“It’s a traveling technique.”
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:05 PM   #5
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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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Old 12-11-2018, 08:34 PM   #6
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As Tenzan reached for the tendril, he very well might have been in for a bit of a shock. The ribbon coiled around his arm, breaking into several strands that wrapped around key parts of his body in order to keep him anchored inside the technique and properly supported. Before taking off, however, Hana humored his conversation for a bit. She didn’t mind talking to him, but if her team leader had been spending more time in Earth Country than in Leaf, he might very well have needed a briefing of the village’s current climate.

“You’ve missed a lot. There have been sightings of individuals who have been documented as deceased and buried around the Yukigakure border, such as my grandmother and Hyuuga Yuu and Kiyoko’s uncle. More recently, there have been sightings further inland – I faced off with one of my deceased sensei’s… deceased sensei’s during an investigation.” Realizing how odd it sounded, she rephrased her wording. “Yamane Daisuke. Killed by Hanarabi Takeo, Kuzunoha Kana, and Seiteki Ama as determined by their account and a corpse retrieval squad.” Before taking off, she nodded back towards Tenzan for good measure. “After killing our target that we were trying to capture for questioning, Daisuke turned on my partner and I. Hyuuga Kannon’s corpse hasn’t been recovered since then.” She shrugged. “Other than that, I haven’t been in Konoha long enough after my promotion to know much else. Despite there not being a corpse to recover, intelligence suggested that one of Kannon’s Byakugan has been floating around River Country. I was tasked with retrieving it – this is my first mission on home soil since then.”

Turning her head, the ribbons tightened around her and Tenzan’s bodies as she poured chakra into the technique. She trusted the older chuunin to know when to brace himself – the ribbons that weren’t attached to Tenzan reacted in accord, lengthening themselves and spooling around the duo on the ground. Like a coiled spring, the two rocketed off over Konohagakure’s gate, far higher than a normal shinobi could jump. The two sailed across the landscape, covering a swath of forest before the duo made their descent. The ribbons again shot downward, bracing the duo’s impact and propelling them up and forward again.

This continued for some time, with Hana doing her best to make conversation during their awkward journey. As strange as it was, the technique was effective.

“If this is part of the smuggling operation you mentioned, I’ll default to your judgment on things. You have a lot more experience and seniority in regards to the subject at hand – I’ve mostly just dealt with human smuggling rings inside Fire Country’s borders.”

The two began their last descent, the appearance of the mine easily coming into view. Rather than park themselves right outside it though, Hana found a grove in a nearby forest, and aimed the two of them to land right in the middle of it. It was isolated enough to where the two could recover from their journey without interruption and just far enough away from their target location that their presence wouldn’t be detected.

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Old 12-11-2018, 09:46 PM   #7
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"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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Old 12-12-2018, 02:02 AM   #8
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“Losing a family member is hard.” 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. “I guess I should count my blessings that I don’t have anymore of them to lose, eh?”

Gingerly, she traipsed forward, keeping to the shadows of the nearby trees. After clearing the grove, she navigated her way quietly through the small stretch of forest, her body flickering between the massive trunks like a candle in the wind. Occasionally, she paused, glancing back over her shoulder to make sure that the hulking form of Tenzan could navigate through the tight spaces that she passed between with ease.

As they neared the edge of the forest, the mine came into view. Railroad tracks led down into it, and she could see mine carts chocked full of limestone and slate resting upon it. There were a few workers and what looked to be overseers – men that rivaled Tenzan in size. Only one truly looked the part, what with the whip resting at his hip: The other two guards carried more practical weapons, one an axe and the other a sword. The workers themselves seemed a bit beat up, but they were few in number – she imagined the majority of them were inside the mine shafts, though she knew better than to make any assumptions.

Turning her attention back towards Tenzan, she braced herself behind one of the trees.

“What’s our approach?” She asked, her icy blue eyes rising to meet his. “My first instinct is to infiltrate, but that’s because I belong to the Omoi division.” She folded her arms as she leaned back against the trunk, bracing a leg on it too for good measure. From what she understood, the mission that the two were on was Hada sanctioned – it was one of the reasons Tenzan had been put in charge. Hada was more known for its brute force rather than subtlety. “Either way, I’m good for a fight if you are.”
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:05 PM   #9
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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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Old 01-07-2019, 09:00 PM   #10
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“I’ve never looked at Konohagakure’s entirety as a family as much as I have my domicile.” Her voice wasn’t harsh, but it carried weight. “I’ve been given a place to eat and sleep. As long as I continue to do my duty as a soldier, it will continue. The citizens of Konohagakure won’t mourn my passing any differently from another one of their chuunin protectors.”

“What would I suggest?” 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. “There are a couple different things we could do. We’re going to need those three men dead anyhow. Our best course of action is to create a distraction in the forest and draw them away from the entrance and any reinforcements that might be hiding inside the mine. We slaughter them, and then assume their forms and begin our investigating.”

“Providing you know a Henge-technique, we could also just transform ourselves into similar looking men and try finding our way inside, though it isn’t the best plan. There are all kinds of variables that go into it – we don’t know if the size of the force and how well they know one another, if they have communication units working, the martial prowess of any amount of them. Drawing them out into an ambush, I feel, is a much more effective measure of making sure we get inside without a hitch.”

She folded her arms. “Up to you though. If you’re thinking about going full on strike-mode, I have a vulture that would be more than happy to replenish her House’s coffers.”

Hana of course was referring to Kioko. She didn’t know much about Tenzan’s skillset, and she doubted that he knew much of hers. She just hoped that his taijutsu prowess was as good as HADA’s members typically professed.
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