Death by Frostbite

At the heart of the great Snow Village sits Hyouden Castle, a great fortress chosen to be the Yukikage's fortress. Archeologists discovered its ruins almost by accident while the construction of the new ninja village was already underway. Reconstruction was approved by the Emperor for use by the Yukikage, and now the refurnished building stands as a testament to the marvels of old and new engineering combined in its architecture.Kage: Kuroudo Hyuuga - Kiyoshi

Death by Frostbite

PostPosted by Nin Regan » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:38 pm

A faint breeze caught some snow off a nearby tree and dusted it into Nikku's face, causing him to blink. His eyes strained to make out the heat signatures in the distance, counting the number of guards patrolling the ramparts of the Hyouden castle. The white-stone behemoth was impressive against the snow-capped backdrop: it grew in size and grandeur from its entrance, expanding as it went back until it seamlessly became one with the mountain it neighbored. It was not built symmetrically; each tower seemed only to give way to more towers, creating a blossoming effect. The castle was Yukigakure's new pride, a restored ruin that had become a snow lotus at the heart of the Snow Village.

They had expected to be well-guard, but the tiered structure was worth a hundred men on it's own, Nikku thought. The castle would be difficult to infiltrate, let alone escape after killing someone. He deactivated his doujutsu, and his all-white eyes return to their usual orange irises. "Kyokkou," he spoke, turning his head to the man next to him, "you see nervous systems, correct? The electrical fields generated by bodies? My thermal vision can't penetrate the castle walls, I can only see the guards outside."

Kyokkou crossed his arms. "Man, I wouldn't even be able to see the outside guards from here, I'm too far away."

Nikku nodded, watching as the trickle of people entering the castle walked freely through the open main gate. He preferred stealth instead of subterfuge, but he didn't think he and his team would be able to make it into the castle without using the main entrance.

A firm arm flung itself around Nikku neck's, another arm coming up to wave a hand in front of his eyes. "What's wrong, Nikkun? Your creepy white eyes don't work?" It was a beautiful, sing-song voice, sugared with false concern.

Nikku flung off the arm in irritation. "Shut up, Suzu." He glared into her eyes, ignoring their pleasant toffee color. Before they could lash out insults, Kyokkou pulled Suzuki away, sighing at his string of crystalline curses.

"Suzumi, quit being so loud. It's cold and I want to get inside." Kyokkyou, normally all smiles, did not appreciate cold weather. He actually didn't seem to appreciate anything that was inconvenient or uncomfortable to him, though why such a person would become a ninja was beyond Nikku. If he had to guess, it was likely because Kyokkou's brother – Tsukiyo, the fourth member of the group, serious, loyal to the village, and the model countrymen – had convinced him. Tsukiyo was lounging against a rock, looking bored. Nikku had only met the pair yesterday, but he already knew how well they worked simply from watching them set up camp the previous night. If only he and Suzumi could work that well together... But they argued constantly, despite having traveled together for months.

Pulling a scroll from the bag at his back, Nikku opened a rough sketch of the inside layout of the castle. He waved Tsukiyo and Kyokkou over, the latter of whom dragged the still cursing Suzumi.

"Suzu, shut the hell up. We have to change strategies." He pointed at the map as her cursing turned to muttering. "I thought the size of the castle and its closeness to the mountains would give us an easy way to scale the walls unnoticed and slip in to hide. But there are too many guards on top of the ramparts, and without being able to see through the walls, we can't tell how many are under the top. I think we're better off passing as normal travelers and entering the front gate-" he cut off to three voices of protest.

He snapped at them. "Shut up! I know how we look, but it’s the best option, and we only have to get inside the gate for a few minutes." He knew why they were unconvinced – Nikku and Suzumi both were a little unhuman in appearance, and neither looked much at all liked the were from the Snow Country with their swarthy skin. They couldn't use a transformation jutsu either, unless a sensor-type or someone with a keen eye was at the entrance. "Suzumi and I only need to be inside the courtyard a few moments anyway.

Tsukiyo pointed at the map. "Do you have any idea where the Hyuuga is in here?"

Of the four man squad, Tsukiyo was the least hesitant. The were there to assassinate a Hyuuga who was close to the Yukikage, and who was, by all accounts, a highly skilled ninja. Nikku was apprehensive of a chaotic battle with a Hyuuga, but Tsukiyo didn't seem to have the same apprehension. Nikku suspected Tsukiyo wanted the chance to test his mettle against one of the strongest clans among the Hidden Villages.

"I have no idea. The Yukikage is supposed to return tomorrow, which means we don't have the luxury of running a day or two of recon. We'll have to draw her out." He looked away from the map and pointed to the front gate, a few hundred yards away from them. "The inside courtyard is public, so we can all theoretically enter. Since Suzumi and I stand out, I think us going in together will create less attention. You two will blend in fine, so I'll have you enter first, separately, to get a lay of the inside before Suzumi and I potentially cause trouble." Turning back to the map, he pointed to one side of the courtyard. "This path leads to a non-public library, which supposedly houses some important documents, though we can't be sure. Even if its a false rumor they started, we can use it as a ruse. I'll launch an assault on the whole courtyard to grab their attention. Suzumi, you'll head for the library." He pointed to corridors inside the castle. "The tricky part begins here. I assume the Hyuuga will respond to the situation, but I don't know who she'll go towards - if the rumors about the library are true, probably towards Suzumi. If they're not, probably me. The rest of the guards will probably attack me regardless. You two," he said, pointed to Tsukiyo and Kyokkou, "are to covertly support Suzumi if neccesary, and ascertain the location of the Hyuuga. I believe she's now going by the name Jinta. We don't know much about her in particular, but Hyuuga all fight with the Gentle Fist in close quarters. Since we know that much, it would be ideal for you two corner her alone, or even with Suzumi. If the Hyuuga manages to get outside with the rest of the guards, we'll have to reveal that there are four of us, and fighting her in the open may be difficult. Once Jinta is dead, you'll have to get back to the courtyard before escaping, so I can signal to Suzumi that she can get out, unless you're with her." He pointed to the courtyard walls. "I'll be trying to blast open sections of the wall while I fight, so we can get out at ground level if we need to. That will also be the easiest way for me to escape."

"Getting out will be difficult," Kyokkou stated.

"Yeah, I haven't really thought of a good idea for that yet," Nikku admitted. The others rolled their eyes at him, but he shrugged. "I'm used to having to improvise. Besides, getting out won't be the issue. Getting out without a contingent of ninja following me is what I'm worried about. But if we make it to the river south of here, they won't be able to catch us, and it's only about a mile." He rolled up his scroll and turned to tuck in inside his pack, not intending to give them time to question his plan. He'd said it; now it was time. The anticipation before a mission was always poison.


"Aren't we waiting until dark?" Kyokkou asked.

Nikku turned. "Why? They'll have more guards at night. And this is no longer strictly a stealth operation, so evening cover won't do us much good." He turned back to the castle with confidence. "We're going to attach right now."
Last edited by Nin Regan on Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nikku
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"In every good stratagy the first move is always a fakeout. Its basic stratagy that the second move wins the match."
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Re: Death by Frostbite

PostPosted by Nin Regan » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:26 pm

Nikku strolled foward, the gate now only a few feet away. Tsukiyo and Kyokkou were already inside, seemingly without a problem. He was light on his feet, smiling, pulled a grumpy Suzumi by the hand. She hates pretending to be my girlfriend, he thought. Or she's made that we're doing this now. He looked around, at the small groups of Snow Villagers, presumably, walking in and out of the gate. Suzumi, as wild and aggressive as she was, did not like killing civilians.

He stopped short of the gate to pull Suzumi closer to him, tugging the corners of her lips up with fingertips. "How can you be so grumpy here! The castle of Hyouden is gorgeous. You shouldn't worry so much," he said. You don't have to worry - I'm not going to slaughter everyone inside. She harrumphed and looked away, but he saw her frown loosen somewhat.

A nearby guard laughed, a booming bass that echoed off his pearly armor. "I'm not sure I've ever seen someone stick their nose up at the city, young lady."

His laughter faded to an uncomfortable chuckle as Nikku and Suzumi turned their eyes to him. Nikku tried to smile as innocently as he could, hoping his canines didn't show too much. "She's just not fan of large cities - I hear the inner courtyard is almost a town by itself," he said. The guard nodded absentmindedly, trying to avoid eye contact with the two of them while staring at their strange colored irises. It wasn't going well for the man.

"Uh, so you two, you haven't been here before?" the guard asked. It was a nonchalant tone, making it entirely apparently the guard was far from nonchalant.

Nikku thought it best to embrace their exotic looks than pretend everything was normal. "Oh no," he said, "we've never been this far north. It was only a few days ago we saw snow for the first time." He smiled sheepishly. "I think its romantic, but she hates how white everything is." As if on cue, Suzumi stuck her nose up again.

The guard chuckled, more naturally this time. "'Fraid the whole city is pretty white, miss, all year round. I wouldn't be surprised if it started snowing again soon; we've been due for a few days."

Nikku urged the blood to drain from his face. It probably didn't work, but he hoped his horrified expression did. "Oh no! We'll have to get a room tonight then!" He pulled Suzumi by the arm and moved towards the guard to look like they were now in a hurry. "Could you tell us which way to the nearest hotel? We'll be stuck camping in the snow again if the rooms all fill up!" He bounced on the balls of his feet to convey his new impatience.

The guard, slightly off guard, pointed inside and to the left. "Sure, it's not too far in that way. I'm sure they'll be plenty-" He didn't get a chance to finish before Nikku was running with a trailing Suzumi, trying his best to look like an unatheletic sod than a warborn warrior. He looked back at Suzumi. "I think we're fine, but let's make a show of getting to the inn at least." She nodded brusquely, and he noticed she was flustered. Unlike the other three, Suzumi was not good at acting, and she probably hadn't liked having to stay quiet for so long either. He grinned ever so slightly at the thought.

He slowed as the neared the inn, both of them pretending to be breathing heavily from the brief sprint.

"Do you want to look around while I get us a room?" he asked.

She shrugged. As she turned to walk away he moved to grab her arm, concerned. "Hey," he said, "are you alright?"

She turned quickly and grabbed his wrist, much too quickly for a normal person. "I'm fine you white-livered scut," she hissed. She flung his arm down and walked away before he could scrunge up his own insult. "And you're right," she called back. "I hate this bleached city."

Remembering his role, Nikku made a show - the exasperated boyfriend, throwing his arms up in the air as if to say, why me?

Why me.
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Re: Death by Frostbite

PostPosted by Nin Regan » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:52 pm

Tsukiyo whistled low to himself, waiting to the right of a thatched stall with a scattered line in front of it. Sweet-smelling spices - cinnamon, mostly - wafted over Tsukiyo as he surveyed the courtyard. The sprawling jumble of stalls such as this one filled the majority of the courtyard's center, filled with people mingling among the trickets and goods. It was, in his opinion, the only marr on the beauty of the city that he could see. Towards the outside portion of the courtyard, the stalls were replaced with small white villas, which spanned multiple levels and grew larger as the neared the edge, where thet attached to the sleek marble walls of the city itself. As one who looked in the mirror every morning, Tsukiyo knew beauty when he saw it. His favorite spot was a bell towel near the center of the courtyard, too small to be an alarm bell, more likely atop a school or temple, though he couldn't see the bulding itself. The tower encased the bell in columns that wound around themselves instead of standing straight, more curved than any stone had a right to be.

Kyokkou walked over from the front of the stall, eagerly stuffing small sticky bunns into his mouth. Tsukiyo plucked one from the small woven bowl in Kyokkou's hand and popped it into his mouth, licking the sugary resin off his fingers. They remained near the busy treat stall, where the loud customers and pangs of bakery trays hid their low murmurs.

"There's a guard room on the terrace at my ten," Tsukiyo said. "As far as I can see, its the only one in a public area where we could go without causing suspicion. If they send someone to fetch the Hyuuga, it'll likely be from there. Unless he's already on the ramparts, but if that's the case, he'll probably respond to Nikku at the start of the attack."

Kyokkou began walking towards the terrace. "We'd better get there soon then," he said, chewing the words through his last sticky bunn. "I don't think Nikku will wait very long."

"You're the one who stopped for a snack," Tsukiyo replied.

Kyokkou let out a blast of laughter. "Ha! Everyone knows about the Hyouden's bakeries. The goods you can get on the streets here are said to be some of the best anywehere - and I saw you take one! Besides, it gave you a chance to look around."

They walked quickly through the courtyard, stopping occasionally at a few stalls that had particularly odd trinkets, argued briefly over whether it was what they were looking for, then departing before the crestfallen shop owners could get a word in. As the neared the terrace, the open market gave way to a wide, unadorned staircase, which offered a straight path to the top and, on the opposite end of the terrace, the guardroom. Because of the terrace's balustrade, it had been diffucult to see the top of the terrace save the stiff banner bearing the arms of the castle guard. Now, however, they could see the large amount of soldiers on the terrace, though some were clearly enjoying a break and chatting casually. The brothers halted at the base of the stairs.

"If we wait here, we can pretend to run up there for cover," Tsukiyo murmured. "Even if he attacks this area directly, it's still the closet we are to solid buildings."

"I could find out how many guards are up there," Kyokkou suggested. "If they do stop us for some reason and we have to fight..."

Tsukiyo shook his head. "If you use your doujutsu, a sensor could notice. Not worth the risk."

Kyokkou sighed. "Alright, fine. If we have to fight them, I'll distract them while you find Jinta. I know you want to."

Tsukiyo clenched his fist. A Hyuuga was a good opponent.

Indescript shouting reached their ears. Turning towards the marketplace, they could see others looking curiously around for the source of the commotion as well. The shouting grew louder, but they could not see the cause. They both palmed senbon from their pockets, ready to move.

"Tsukiyo, are those... bubbles?"

Floating through the marketplace were small orbs, each roughly the size of a head. The shoppers in the market, caught unaware, had not begun running before the bubbles moved happily through the spaces in the crowd - until a young boy reached out to touch one of them. With a bright pop, the orb burst, and the boy cried out in pain. They were[i/] bubbles.

The people in the market began to scatter.

[i]Pop, pop, pop.
As the bubbles flowed from an unknown location, increasing in numbers as they came. Eventually, the cloud of bubbles was thicker than the crowd, and avoiding them was impossible. Cries and curses filled the air. Tsukiyo and Kyokkou watched as the guards streamed down the staircase, which the bubbles had not reached yet, but it was only a matter of time. As the entered the marketplace the guards halted, unsure of how to proceed. One who had moved too close to a bubble swatted it with a kunai on instict. Pop. The bubble exploded, but nothing else happened. Reassured, the guards began spreading out to attack the bubbles before they could harm anyone, filling the air with a chorus of successive pops that covered the din of the scared citizens.

"Kyokkou!" Over the bursting bubbles, Tsukiyo had to practically shout. "The guards are moving in towards the center while the citizens are leaving for the edge!"

As he spoke, he looked up and towards the center of the market, where he could still see the top of the bell tower and the figure perched on top of it. Though he couldn't see his face, Tsukiyo was sure Nikku was grinning, as his plan to bring all the guards together was clearly working as intended.

Boom. A cannonball rocketed into the bell tower, sending up a plume of dust and debris. Tsukiyo looked to the left and right, noticing the deployments along the ramparts, some now turned inwards. Boom. He watched them attaching tubes to the cannons, then saw the tubes go rigid. Boom, boom. Not tubes, he realized. Hoses. They were using water cannons, and apparently had also seen Nikku surveying from the bell tower. Nikku had scared all the civilians away, but that now opened him to free attach from the city's defenses.

"Kyokkou, let's go, now!" He grabbed his brother and they ran up the stairs, feigning fright at what was now becoming a battle in the center of the market. Boom.

They moved to the edge as guards came rushing past, who ignored them, looking to the white cloud that had enveloped whatever remained of the belltower. A man at the front began to shout an order to the group, but it was lost as the stairs underneath them cracked, then burst into a hole big enough for a man to slip into. Cold air rushed through the jagged opening, knocking back the guards and scattering them along the staircase, dazed. Tsukiyo, almost stumbling, stole a glance behind him and saw similar pillars of air bursting throughout the market, knocking soldiers aside. Cannons were now firing across the entire courtyard, acknowledging the scale of the area Nikku was fighting on. The larger the area, the longer they could pretend it was more than one attacker.

As they neared the top of the stairs, Tsukiyo slipped a marked tag from his pocket and onto the staircase, pretending to use it for support. Kyokkou caught the movement and ran faster, passing Tsukiyo as another contingent of guards rushed past to assist their fallen comrades. They sprinted towards a street that passed by the guardsroom, straining their ears to catch any words that were shouted loud enough to carry over the sounds of battle.

"Head to the center! Quickly!"

"You three, go help any civilians near the edge find cover. There are-"

"Heads!"

An indistriminate missile hit an arch above the guardsroom, letting loose a hail of stone over the terrace.

"Bakin!" A strong female voice shouted over the chorus of coughs as guards exhaled dust. "Get Jinta!"

There was a brisk reply from another guard, but Tsukiyo couldn't find him from the brief sound. "Shit," Tsukiyo said. "Kyokkou, find him now!"

"Hikari," Kyokkou said, activating his doujutsu. The scene before him melted into bundles of blue lines, the outlines of everyone's nervous system, making it easy to identify individual bodies despite the crowd of people. He found one person running alone, down a tunnel two streets over from the guardroom.

"Tsukiyo, the street at my two. Now's good!"

Tuskiyo made the snake seal, setting off his paper tag from earlier. They both looked back at the sound of the explosion, taking note as the guards' attention. Other guards ran to assist someone sprawled along the top of the stairs, bloody.

"Let's go, Kyokkou."
Nikku
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"In every good stratagy the first move is always a fakeout. Its basic stratagy that the second move wins the match."
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