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Yasunobu Inpei
Yasunobu Inpei
Citizen
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Village : Konohagakure
Ryo : 10

Gung Ho Grave Robbers Empty Gung Ho Grave Robbers

Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:21 am
Spoiler:

Since his mission in the graveyard, Inpei had kept track as more and more graves had been desecrated. He felt his anger billowing up from within him each and every time – so he spent his time training. The long hours testing the limits of his chakra and his own body kept him from thinking too much about anything else. In-between training sessions, he heard that the rest of the village was having the same anger that he was – the outrage beginning to grow more and more with each passing day.

By the time Inpei found Kuto standing outside the training grounds waiting for him, the villages anger was reaching a boiling point. He grinned when he saw her, determination set in his face. “Find something?”

“Nope,” she replied. Her answer hung in the air. A sudden breeze picked up, sweeping up the leaves on the ground blowing them around.

Inpei’s face turned into one of disbelief. “No? You…haven’t found anything?”

“I haven’t,” she replied with a shrug. “Which is why I’m recommending a mission – having a shinobi stake out the graveyard until they strike again.”

“Alright,” Inpei said with a nod, “I’ll head to the headquarters with you to accept the mission as soon as you put it forward.”

“Not so fast,” Kuto replied, holding up a hand. “Based on what I HAVE found, this is going to be a B-Rank mission. It’s not a joke, and you’re a genin.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine!” Inpei responded, gesturing with his head. “Come on, you can tell me all about it on the way.”

“You’re not listening, kid,” Kuto responded. “I looked you up. You’ve got a bunch of E and D-Rank missions under your belt – recently a couple of Cs. You’re on your way up, I won’t deny that. But do you really think putting your life at risk for this is worth it?”

“Well, yeah,” Inpei said, that determined look back on his face. “All of these missions won’t mean anything if I back down when the letter gets high enough. Besides, I could have stopped all of this if I’d paid more attention back then.”

“Or you could have been dead then instead,” Kuto replied matter-of-factly. “That’s part of the reason for this mission – finding out who exactly is doing this in the first place.”

“Right, find out who it is and take them down – I can do that!” Inpei shouted, starting to get exasperated.

“Wrong again, kid,” Kuto responded, shaking her head. “I doubt there’s only one person doing this. If you take one down, they’ll be back to looting graves in no time. If you take this mission, you need to have restraint. Can you do THAT?”

“Trust me,” Inpei responded, chuckling. “I’ve shown a lot of restraint in my time – let’s call it a strong suit.”

“Fine,” Kuto said, rubbing the back of her neck. “Say, you don’t have any bloodlines, do you? If you get killed, I just don’t want them to get anything valuable.”

“No, I—wait, what?”

--

“And that’s why I’m recommending this genin for the mission,” Kuto finished, kneeling in front of the mission desk. Inpei was kneeling next to her, trying to seem impressive.

“You are aware the mission you’re suggesting is a B-Rank, correct?” one of the elders said, looking over their glasses at Kuto and casting a glance at Inpei.

“Yes sir, I am,” Kuto replied without looking up. “I believe he’s the right one for the mission – the right use of resources in this case.”

One of the other elders leaned forward to regard Inpei. “Young man, have you completed any B-Rank missions?”

Inpei winced – he had hoped he wouldn’t have to say anything. Kuto had been doing such a good job of talking, he didn’t want to ruin it by bumbling through some impassioned defense. “I have not, ma’am, but I am eager to try – I don’t believe any shinobi should do E-Ranks forever.”

“Young man, those E-Ranks help keep this village running,” the other elder retorted. “Yasunobu Inpei – genin. 4 E-Ranks, 1 D-Rank, 2 C-Ranks – you think you’re ready for this?”

“Yes, of course,” Inpei replied, mirroring Kuto and keeping his gaze fixed on the ground. “I believe that I should have caught these people during my last mission – this is an opportunity to rectify that mistake.”

“So, this is about your ego, is it?” the old woman retorted. “That was the problem with your father.”

Inpei felt anger wash over him. He caught a sidelong glance from Kuto, but he couldn’t tell if she had done THAT much research on him. He closed his eyes and grit his teeth, breathing deeply to repress the wave of hot fury. “I’m not my father.”

“I should hope not,” the old man replied. “We all know what he turned out to be. Be careful, young man, lest you find yourself re-treading his path.”

“I will not,” Inpei replied, breathing evenly. “I know that my father’s blood runs in my veins – but I choose to fight against the impulses it brings. This mission requires that kind of restraint. If I thought someone else was better for the mission, I wouldn’t be here.”

Silence hung over the room and Inpei cursed himself for not speaking out – he was probably too angry, he should have said nothing until the heat had passed. “Very well,” the old woman responded. “we’re counting on you, Inpei.”

“Right,” Inpei nodded, glancing over at Kuto. “Thank you.”

Kuto gave him a wink in response, smirking. “Don’t worry about it – I’ll walk you out.” Together, the two of them stood, bowed to the elders, and left the building.

--

“Here’s your stop,” Kuto said, looking at the gate into the cemetery. “Do I have to remind you not to actually interact with the grave robber?”

Inpei grinned back. “No, that much is clear. Observe and report – nothing more, nothing less.” He was dressed in dark clothes – close to what would be a traditional ninja outfit than his usual.

“Alright. The graveyard has been hit once every two weeks, and we’re just about at week 2. Might be a couple days, but you’re on the pulse.”

“Thanks, Kuto,” Inpei said with a bow. “I’m only here because of you.”

Kuto waved him away. “Just don’t get yourself killed, kid.”

Inpei looked around to make sure no one else was there before he flashed a few hand signs and disappeared into the ground.

--

Over the next day or so, Inpei laid in wait in one of the trees overlooking the graveyard. He had a bag of supplies he hung next to him – eating and drinking minimally to avoid moving too much, but enough that he’d be able to react in a pinch. He watched people come and go from the graveyard. It was actually pretty depressing – seeing the same people come every day to mourn someone, seeing other graves that were never visited, and every permutation in-between.

He wondered if anyone would visit him if he died. Inpei figured it all depended on timing, really. If he died now, his mom would visit him all the time. Daike-sensei would probably visit him as well. Other than that, Inpei didn’t really think anyone would visit him – not that he blamed anyone for that. He just accepted that there hadn’t really been anyone else significant in his life. Except…

Inpei spent most of his time avoiding thinking of his dad. It brought up a lot of conflicting emotions for him – sadness, anger, regret…and he did his best to keep most of that under wraps. When all was said and done, though, he wasn’t sure if his dad would visit – once he got out prison, of course. He liked to think that his father cared for him in his own way – or maybe he didn’t want to admit that he wouldn’t show up even if he had the chance.

Eventually, Inpei slept in short shifts to maintain his energy and alertness over time. The shifting of earth woke him. Looking down from his perch, Inpei saw someone standing over one of the graves. Inpei froze, staring down at someone dressed similarly to himself – dark clothing with a cowl over his face. He shifted a block of earth up and out, placing it alongside the grave. With another glance around, he hopped down into his grave.

Inpei thought showing restraint would be easy for him, but he found himself gritting his teeth imaging how the body in the grave was being torn apart by this butcher. Instead, Inpei scanned the area looking for any kind of lookouts or backups. From what he could tell, there was only the guy in the grave. He thought about how easy it would be – especially with his jutsu, he could trap him in the grave and end it all at once. Inpei bit his lip and waited.

After some time, the grave robber jumped from the hole – stowing something into a bag as he landed. Inpei watched him flash more hand signs and shift the earth back into the grave. The sudden realization made him sick to his stomach – not only was this person a shinobi of some kind, they also could have robbed more graves than they were aware of now if this guy was the one doing it.

The robber waited a moment – looking around for anyone to be aware of his presence. When nothing happened, he started to stalk off into the night. Inpei waited for a moment before flashing some hand signs and dropping out of the tree directly into the ground. With the sensory abilities provided by the jutsu, Inpei followed after the grave robber for as long as he could before he had to surface around the corner. Taking off his head band, Inpei tilted it from around the corner to see the man heading down the street.

As Inpei followed him, he realized the man had knowledge of the Leaf patrol routes. He seemed to know where the patrols were going to be – several times he amended his path to avoid what Inpei knew was about where that night’s patrol was going to be. He was careful – and Inpei had to be too to avoid those same patrols.

Eventually, the man made his way to the gates of the village and dug underneath it. Inpei followed suit – following the man from a distance. In time he came to jump tree to tree, standard way to move quickly as a shinobi. Inpei stuck to the ground, making sure to keep sight of the man as he moved tree to tree. After a while he veered off the path, heading into the forest. Inpei dove back underground, following along behind him.

The man entered into a clearing, and Inpei emerged from the ground in turn to get a better look at where they’d ended up. What looked to be an abandoned outpost laid in the shadow of a cliffside seemed to be the man’s destination. As the man approached the outpost, he was stopped by a guard at the entrance. Inpei could see a symbol – the head of a viper over a familiar fan seal. After the two of them spoke for a moment, the grave robber was admitted into the building.

After several more hours, Inpei saw a completely different person leave the outpost and head towards the road. This person didn’t seem to be a shinobi like the other one – which meant Kuto’s hunch of there being multiple assailants seemed to be correct. Inpei followed this one out of the clearing and saw them begin to head down the road away from the village – he surmised to sell the organs or at least get them out of the country.  

Again, he felt that restraint coming into play – someone who seemed to be a non-shinobi had the organs and was heading away. Inpei could step in right there, take the guy down before he took those organs anywhere, and technically he would have never interacted with the grave robber. He knew that would still go against his mission, though, and so he watched as the stolen organs disappeared into the distance. Inpei continued to watch the outpost for several hours looking for any other signs of life but ultimately saw nothing. As the sun began to crest the horizon, Inpei turned and headed back towards the village.

--

“An abandoned outpost, you said?” the elder asked, peering over the top of the glasses at him. The other elder was there was well, also studying the report that Inpei had put together. Kuto was waiting closer to the entrance of the room, listening in.

“I believe so,” Inpei replied, back in that familiar pose kneeling before the mission counter. “The symbol of the viper seemed to have special significance, and in addition to the shinobi and the guard there was a civilian that ended up leaving with the organs, as far as I can tell.”

“And you’re sure this was a shinobi?” the old woman asked. She also had the report, but it seemed like she wanted to ask about it anyway.

“Yes – he used an earth style jutsu, I’m pretty familiar with those,” Inpei responded, kind of shrugging without looking up. “He was able to raise the block of earth and slide it back into place, which is why I also recommended that we further investigate graves that we don’t think have been hit.”

“Yes, we read your recommendation,” the old man continued as he shuffled pages. “And this symbol, the one behind the snake’s head, did it look like this?” the old man held up a familiar red and white fan symbol.

“That’s the one,” Inpei replied, looking up to make sure it was the right one. “It looks familiar.”

“It should,” the old man replied. “It’s the symbol of the Uchiha clan. The viper is a reference to Viper Uchiha, a former hokage who effectively rebuilt Konoha after it had been destroyed.”

The old woman picked up where the old man left off. “Viper built up more than just Konoha – he effectively put the entire ninja world back together. He’s a powerful symbol for the people of this village.”

“Forgive me, but I’m confused,” Inpei responded, looking up towards the mission desk. “If Viper Uchiha was a hokage, why would people idolizing him be digging up bodies in the leaf village?”

“Because Viper is just the bait,” Kuto cut in, stepping forward and kneeling next to Inpei with her head bowed. “They use that image to draw in people that are unhappy with the way the village has been in recent years – it lets them draw more numbers than anyone else would be able to do.”

“Kuto’s analysis is likely correct,” the old man resumed. “They are extremists – terrorists called the Viper’s Fang. They use Viper as a symbol to rally like-minded people to their cause and inspire them to act against the village. That shinobi you saw, as well as the others that must be involved, fell into that trap.”

“If they want to fix the village, why not…” Inpei started, bowing his head back down in thought.

“Fix the village from the inside?” the old woman finished with a smile. “We know you’ve been making an effort, Inpei. But your solution requires hard work and discipline, whereas their solution blames everyone else and gives them an excuse for violence.”

Inpei grit his teeth, his temper flaring once again. He had truly begun to understand the state of the village recently, but he had thought that the only way forward was to work to improve things. Doing missions that fixed up the village or helped inspire the future generation of leaf shinobi. The idea that some others could have the same goal but turn to robbing the graves of their fellow shinobi to advance the goals of some organization that slapped a hokage’s face on it.

“No matter what symbol they use,” the old man cut in, clearing his throat. “They are becoming more and more of a problem. Their numbers continue to grow, and I shudder to think what acts they may be able to commit as they grow more bold.”

“There’s got to be something we can do to stop them,” Inpei said, looking back up towards the mission desk again. “Or at least, some way to show people that isn’t the right path!”

“That, young man,” the old woman said again. “is a problem for another day. You’ve done well on your first B-Rank assignment. You showed restraint and brought us plenty of information for us to utilize against our enemies.”

“You may go,” the old man finished, looking back to the paperwork in front of him. “You as well, Kuto – you’ve been very helpful, but you have more important things to be doing, I’m sure.”

The two shinobi bowed to the elders again before rising and leaving the building.

--

As they made their way back outside, Inpei turned to Kuto again. “So what happens next? Jonin strike at the outpost, break up their whole operation?”
Kuto chuckled to herself. “That would be giving the Viper’s Fang more justification, and draw more people to join them. No, their next move will be something more…subtle.”

Inpei nodded, looking back down the road. “Thank you again for helping me get his mission, Kuto. I don’t think they’d have let me do it if it wasn’t for you.”

“Don’t mention it, kid,” Kuto replied, waving the young man away. “Nobody else wanted it, so, they figured they might as well give it away to you. But like they said, I have more important things I still need to take care of today – try to avoid ending up on my table, alright?”

Inpei grinned, nodding again. “I’m sure it’ll be more chicken-wrangling and sign repair for me for a while, don’t you worry!”

Kota tussled his hair, and the two of them parted – Inpei trying desperately to smooth it back down as he walked away.

[End]

WC: 3010

Mission Rewards: 6000 Ryo / 30 AP

I'll be putting 864 into Swamp of the Underworld (previously trained here), 1000 into Leaf Rising Wind, and the last 1146 into Chakra Infusion.

Stat-wise - +27 SP to Strength, +3 SP to Vigor


Last edited by Yasunobu Inpei on Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Moosimon said)
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Clan Specialty : Ninjutsu
Village : Hoshigakure
Ryo : 500

Gung Ho Grave Robbers Empty Re: Gung Ho Grave Robbers

Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:42 pm
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