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1 Merchant Escort [C-rank] on Sat May 21, 2016 10:49 am

Aqua

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Genin
Mission Info:
Mission name: Merchant Escort
Mission rank: C
Objective: Escort a band of metal merchants from the border with the Grass country to the main gates, where they will be handed off to their in-village escort team.
Location: Begins and ends at the main village gate.
Reward: 160 Ryo
Mission description: Simple escort mission; the advanced teams have cleared the way and finished half the trip for you. All you need do is escort them the last day and a half walk to the village, where you will pass them off to another group. The route you will travel is well policed, but the merchants woud rather be safe then sorry, hence the hiring of a protectorate team.
Mission details: Not really anything to worry about here, at worst some wild animals in the way.

Name: Tanama Housuki
Age: 39
General Appearance: Short, fat, balding. Fan of overly bright colors, whih make him an easy target.
Personality: Extrovert and consumate salesman. Talks the day away, mostly to himself, as you learn to tune him out after a while. Can be a bit forward, and not above using some light intimidation to make a sale.
Motivations: Money
Fears: Losing money, inventory damaged.
Other: A fan of shiny objets, he's always good to find rare (or not so much) crystals and ores that sparkle in the sun. Will sell them to you, for the right price.
The hot sun beating down on her, the crunching of the grass beneath her feet with every step, the ambient sound of crickets chirping to their left, and the disruptive noise of her teammates bickering in the background. This was the picture Aqua found herself starring in, as she walked to the left of a rather large caravan, pulled by two horses. It was a simple wagon with a cover overhead, propped up by thin wooden stilts and secured with several meters of rope, with two slits in the front and back to allow people to walk through. The front was mainly for their client, a short, fat, balding man by the name of Tanama Housuki, who also doubled as one of the richest merchants in the Land of Fire who only had the tendency to get richer. In his wagon, supported by four wheels, two on each side and each half as big as Aqua was tall, were several bags of jewellery costing likely many, many times more than what her current apartment, and it was a fancy one, did.

“I’m telling you, Keishi, we can totally take Hirotsugu!” Matsu shot at his teammate, who snorted in response.

Her two teammates, Matsu Kimura and Keishi Hyuga, had been positioned at the back right of their formation, while she had been positioned at the top left. The formation had begun with the three of them at three equidistant vertexes surrounding the small caravan, but when nothing happened, her two teammates had drifted closer and closer to each other, striking up conversation. She would have admonished them, but if Sumimoto-sensei, who was sitting atop the caravan and somehow balancing himself on the wooden stilts, didn’t mind, she wouldn’t have to, either.

He was looking bored off into the distance, but a quick look at his far-off stare told her otherwise. He wasn’t bored, he was thinking. That was her intuition when she had looked to inspect her sensei the last several times, amid the backdrop of the afternoon sun. He was thinking. With the position he adopted, sitting cross-legged close to the front of the caravan’s roof, right elbow propped up on his right knee and left hand lazily draped over his left leg, head resting on his enclosed right hand and eyes half-lidded… he gave the impression of someone utterly bored with the mission, which was a funny thing to comprehend, as most senseis were the ones most alert, while their students were most likely to bicker and complain out of boredom. The irony of the situation that she was the only one remaining the prime example of discipline was not lost on her.

Anyone who saw him would have been falsely led to thinking he was bored. His acting skills were sometimes so good, or maybe just so natural, that anyone who’d just bumped into him would’ve overlooked it. But, for someone who’d observed her teammates, sensei included, for the past eight years, Aqua could claim to know something more underneath the bored, drunk, lazy facade that their sensei often put up. Sumimoto Kyudoka was a Jonin by merit, who’d earned his position with his sharp thinking on the field, and sharper physical capabilities to match. The many times he’d dismissed them, he’d pulled Aqua aside to give her an extra lesson in strategy and observation, having plucked her from the group seemingly, and supposedly from what he had shared, because she was the only one with enough self-control in the team.

“Sumimoto-sensei?” she called out.

“Eh?” was the reply. His pupils moved to the corner of his eye, but the rest of his stance remained. “What is it?”

“We’re almost reaching the checkpoint at the border with the Land of Grass,” she informed.

He looked ahead, before looking up at the sky. He then let his right hand drop back between his knees and surveyed their surroundings lazily. She could almost imagine him further accentuating his boredom by biting on a small twig, or maybe a senbon.

“So we are,” he replied. “Alright, Mr. Merchant, an hour’s journey more and you’ll be passed onto the ninja from the Land of Grass.”

The man in front of him, both hands on the reigns to steer his horses, grunted. “It’s about time! I can’t take the damp moisture in the Land of Fire! Makes me sweat too much! Much more than I like!”

“I want to point out,” Aqua spoke up, “That the Land of Grass’ scenery and environment is geographically similar to the Land of Fire’s. Your perspiration problems are unlikely to end when you cross the border.”

Sumimoto let out a laugh and slapped one knee when the merchant gave a cry of distress, complaining about how hot and humid it already was, while droning on about how he’d have to endure another month of this in the Land of Grass while he sold his wares.

“So, Aqua,” Sumimoto called out, both palms on his knees as he looked at her with an expression beget of the laziness from before. “What do you think about that spar?”

Right. The spar. The one with Mihoko-sensei’s team, or more accurately, her sister’s team. She’d brought it up to Sumimoto-sensei a few days before, and he’d promised that, while it was unlikely they could hold it within the next day, they’d be able to hold it within the week. Needless to say, Keishi and Matsu were equally as excited for a chance at a rematch with Hirotsugu and Junichi, Serah’s teammates, who’d soundly beaten them in their last clash.

Keishi called out from behind them, interrupting Aqua’s thoughts. “We’re gonna steamroll them, Sumimoto-sensei!”

And, for the first time during the journey, Matsu’s reply was not one of objection. “We’re gonna’ steamroll them so bad we can serve up a plate of Sarutobi pancakes and Senju waffles!”

Aqua nearly shook her head in amusement, the words having been taken out of her mouth, albeit a little more enthusiastically and less composed than she would have preferred, but taken out of her mouth nonetheless. Sumimoto-sensei, who appeared to catch on, laughed, the throaty sound meshing in with their client’s distressful noises.

WC: 1068

[Exit thread]

C-ranked mission: 1000 words


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