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Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Citizen
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Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world - Page 2 Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:26 pm
title: Cog in the Wheel (Mission)

https://www.narutoroleplaygame.com/t47624-cog-in-the-wheel


Dari knew.


And Dari had known, for quite awhile.


Dari had also been very quiet about it. He said nothing until today, aside from that one comment way back when.


Dari was here to speak to Ben.


Or whatever his masked self liked to go by.


But this conversation was before Dari confirmed all this.


"Toshiro was accosted today," Dari said.


"Oh shit, is he alright?" Ben asked, stopping just before he had started pouring hot water from the kettle.


"He's fine, said they threatened to rough him up, though. Said he gave them what they asked for to get them to leave, but was right rattled."


Ben began pouring the second cup of tea before responding. "That's not a regular occurrence, right?"


"Nope," replied Dari.


"Huh." Ben finished pouring the second cup and walked to sit in the chair across from Dari, after giving him his cup.


"Much obliged," Dari said as Ben took his seat.


"Not a problem," replied Ben, before taking a sip. He might have a slightly burnt tongue now, and he decided to put the cup down on the table between the two. "They look familiar, Ifuma or Kain maybe?"


Dari shook his head. "Neither one, nope. And don't seem to be any connection at all." Dari took a sip from his tea. He licked it a bit hotter.


Ben leaned forwards, elbows to knees and fingers knit together. "Think they'll be coming back?"


"Yep."


"That was... both fast and confident."


"Yep. Because I've been hearing about the same stuff from neighboring towns. Seems that now they've made it all the way out here. And from what I heard, it's only going to get worse. They kept raising their 'fee' until it was too high, and then walked off with anyone who couldn't pay."


Ben looked into his tea glass. How, why, who, what was he going to do? This sounded dangerous, really bad, but he had not been travelling recently. How would he get information from Dari without giving it away? He was not good at these questions, or these types of situations at all, really. How would he-


"Ben."


One word to break him out of his concentration and worry. "Yeah?"


"I'm not here to gossip, or to continue to worry."


Ben sat there, trying to put on a perplexed face.


"I know, Ben. I know what you did for Jaime, and for Mio, and... and I know you're not just an average nobody. I... I don't want to know why you choose our town, or what your past really is, I just..." Dari swallowed something hard that was growing in his throat. "I just... I know you're a good man. And I don't want this town to become another place that gets destroyed by the whims of some... some... Someone. Who knows who, who knows why, I just-"


"I get it."


"I-"


"Dari, I get it. I'm not amazing I'm not some savior. But I will do what I can, where I can, and when I can. So, just." Ben paused, letting Dari a moment to compose himself. "I need to know what you know."



Dari had not come with.


While almost certainly for the best, it was annoying being in the middle of nowhere, all alone, when he was about to go do some shit to some people.


Ben had not figured out exactly what yet.


He would love to talk them down but...


He had heard more from Toshiro that night. The two guys who had been there were... well they did not seem to be the type of people to listen to reason. And they mentioned "the boss" quite a bit, so at minimum, there were three people here.


Oh yes. He was there. Sorry, forgot to mention that part!


Ben stood atop a cliff, staring down at the encampment.


But wait! Why would a group, if they are large enough to have an encampment, not have a guard at the to of the hill!?


While this would be an entirely accurate and fair thing to ask, it is a stupid question.


Ben already dealt with that guy.


He was weak.


The fight was boring.


Basically snuck up on him with a two by four and used his skull to help split the board.


Well, that is good enough to pretend that is what happened.


It did not, in fact, happen.


What actually happened was even more boring.


A ninja who is trying to kick people out without killing anyone!? Where is the fun in that!


But that did sound an awful lot like Ben.


So that is what he did.


And like a TOTAL SPOIL SPORT, rather than being AWESOME and cracking someone over the head with a two by four, something rather more mundane, though frankly OKAY in its own right, happened.


Ben did sneak up on the person. That part was true.


What was NOT true was how the person was knocked out. Ben went for a choke hold. You know, being quiet, easing the body down slowly to avoid significant brain damage, even going so far as to make sure the guy was breathing before tying up his hands, arms, and legs, and gagging his mouth.


Was it gagged with a dirty sock!? No, Ben could not, not would not, could not, think of even doing something like that.


No, the man was simply gagged with a loose handkerchief. Not even a used one with snot, either!


So simple! So benign!


So boring.


Perhaps Ben will proffer a surprising tactic to tackle the camp as a whole?


Nope, Ben picks up a lit torch and drops it at the nearest tent.


To be fair, it did burn a rather beautiful white for awhile.


That was the bathing tent.


The entire compound was in a tizzy, though! Look at them, scurrying around like little ants! Watch them dart back and forth, trying to carry water from the nearby stream! Some of them were even trying to cup water in their clothing!


So banal.


Where was the spice, the excitement? Where was the Leader casting a water style ninjutsu and instantly putting out the fire!? Or even an Earth type! Plenty of Earth types could do it, too!


But no, of course not. Instead, they just pull other tents away from the fire. Why are they smart! Let the fire spread! Let it consume all!


The fire burns. The fire blazes. The fire consumes. The fire spreads.


Fire for the fire gods!


But no. They just had to be smart about it.


Losers.


Anyways, Ben's attempt at burning down the tent was a success, even if it was only the single tent affected.


Yet Ben looked... pleased. As if this were going his way.


Could Ben know more? Have his plans not been perfectly divined? Could there be a plan to this madness??



There was, in fact, a plan to the madness. Ben had wanted to verify that there were no ninja among the band. His sensing had led him to believe 'no', but the reaction to the burning tent solidified his belief. Had there been a ninja in the group, they very likely would have done something to control the blaze using ninjutsu. Even relatively simple ones, if the books were to be believed, could do the job.


And Ben believed the books. He had seen enough seemingly miracles while he worked as a humble builder in Iwagakure.


That nothing was brought out here was a very good sign that there were no ninja among their members.


With three quick hand seals from atop the small cliff, a ram followed be a boar followed by a tiger, butterflies would go flying down towards the camp. Their many varieties would lead to a most spectacular display.


The great Monarch descended, with Tiger Swallowtails seeming to wreath each one in rings of black and gold.


Coppers flew around those, forcing one to wonder, is that more monarchs, or something else?


Scattered through were the Appalachian Azures, their brilliant pink and purple wings with flecks of gold standing the darker reds, and the yellows and blacks of the other butterflies.


A different swarm, composed of the Dreamy Duskywing primarily, drifted down. The Duskywing specimens existed with many Southern Cloudywings joining their cluster, and Harvesters adding a note of color to their group.


Several Meadow Fritillaries flew alongside Zebra Longwings with White Admirals, which really just are not white, fluttering between them, the difference in shades creating a strange pattern floating through the air, wings softly pumping.


At the lead of everything, though, was a single Blue Morpho.


The bright, blue wings, the black outline, the small specks of white, and the silver pieces that appeared almost as if a separate pair of wings, would be the most alluring of the bunch. If all else failed, people would be attracted to that one, surely.


And, as expected, the marches began. Very few, if even anyone, had doubts about the scenario before following after the butterflies. Ben would stand up and begin walking to the south.


The butterflies would also begin making their ways southward, and the camp, at least to the handful of individuals inside it, would be much longer, or at least appear much longer, than it actually was.


Ben was using this technique to guide all the various butterflies towards a river. While fast flowing, it was not very turbulent. If the shock of the water did not wake people from their stupor, they would be quickly moved downstream and out of his range.


While the walks happened, Ben himself walked over to the guard he had previously tied up on top of the plateau. Thankfully still fast asleep, or perhaps knocked out was a better phrasing, Ben undid the bits tying him down and remove the gag.


Ben would command a handful of butterflies that had been kept behind to flutter around the person's sleeping head. Then, with a splash of water from his water jug, the man groggily awoke. There were a few moments of confusion before he became transfixed by the butterflies circling his head. At this point, Ben had them start flying away, slowly approaching a relatively easy pathway down from the cliff face, in the direction everyone else had gone.


Ben began hearing the splashes around this time. As one bandit would fall into the river, Ben did not notice a perceivable difference in the jutsu.


He wondered if this mean they, whoever they were, were still under the affects, or if rather Ben simply could not learn the knowledge this way.


This momentarily brought his attention to the hordes walking towards the river, which Ben had distorted their perception into thinking it was further away than it actually was. Ben watched as one was dragged away by the current, and felt nothing as the individual left what he was fairly certain was the maximum range of the butterflies.


Good to know, he thought, before turning his attention back to making sure the guard did not fall to his death. The path was not that difficult, and while Ben made sure the distance to the river appeared longer than it actually was, the path was left entirely alone. Ben did not want to cause undue harm.


So that was it. Ben would wait for the entire group to get washed away by the river. He would go down and explore the camp a bit, make a right mess of things, probably destroy some pots, pans, something. Knock down tents, make sure that there was a message to be gotten. If he found it, he would take some of their money. Not everything, not even most. Just a tiny bit.


Well, he knew it was a tiny bit only because he found it. They had been busy. But Ben found more.


A single letter, hand written.


It was, of course, as Ben had expected.






WC 1990
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Citizen
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Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world - Page 2 Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:27 pm
Three weeks.


Three weeks had passed since Ben had scared the encampment by the river away.


Three weeks of peace.


Three weeks of happiness.


Three weeks of joviality, three weeks of enjoyment, three weeks of wondering if this was, finally, the place for him to settle down.


Three weeks leading to his decision to stay, make this his new home.


It took three hours for everything to go wrong.



Jaime had been the first to make it to the inn, where Ben and Toshiro were playing cards. He opened the door, shouted "Run!" and then ran himself. Ben, attention caught by the goings on, turned fast enough to see Mio running past, baby in hand. Ben jumped out of his chair and ran to the door. Jaime was going door to door, telling people to run, and then running himself.


Ben turned around and saw why. In the distance, the fields had caught fire. Ben was surprised, there had not been a significant drought, or even really any drought, recently. But Ben could clearly see the fire, and while it was too far for him to see if it was approaching, it was worth not sticking around too long to find out.


Ben ran to the nearest field. It was so close to the town that the fire likely would be able to spread between the two.


There was a scream. Ben stopped where he stood, staring at the source of the scream. It was horrifying, and in seconds became closer to a gurgle rather than a scream.


And there, stood in front of Ben, was someone he did not recognize.


Ok the ground next to the unknown person was Tami.


Her hands were around her neck and Ben could see, between her fingers, red liquid was pouring out.


Blood.


Her throat had been slit. Ben was stunned as he watched his friend bleed out on the ground mere feet from where he stood.


The world went red.


With every step, Ben's eyes grew whiter, his arms seemingly creating mist as he moved. With every step, he was faster, and stronger.


And outmatched.


Blinded by rage, Ben had charged the man. That was not like Ben, he did not fight that way, and for very good reason.


The man easily caught Ben's fist, and twisted his arm.


Ben heard a pop, but in the adrenaline rush, was unsure if that was a popped out shoulder, or perhaps even a broken arm. Pain was the last thing that could be on his mind right now, so it was. Perhaps not for the best, as the man, still holding Ben, swung for the face. Ben tried to block, to dodge, but...


Ben fell, staring at Tami, who lay inches from him.


Not... laying. He thought he saw a glint of life in her eyes but... she was unmoving, arms fallen away from her neck. Ben tried to watch her stomach, her chest, for movement, but his vision was fading, and he could not make out any.


Why? Why was this happening?


And all went black.



Tied. His hands were tied.


Bound. His legs were bound.


All this Ben figured out as he groggily awoke, sitting on a chair.


"Ah, welcome awake, we have been waiting for you!"


Black faded to hazy, and slowly to clear, as Ben opened his eyes. The first thing he noticed was that the man from the village, who had killed Tami, was right there. Ben was fairly certain he was the one that had talked.


Behind him was...


"Why?" Ben found his voice hoarse, barely functional.


"Why? Because you saw fit to annoy us."


"When?"


"Oh it's OK, you likely did not even realize! See, you aided and abetted a sworn enemy of mine, and then scared off my underlings. Now, you get credit for not killing them. But that just means you won't die first!"


With that, the man raised one hand and pulled a small cord of metal. Lights came on, revealing the room. Concrete and metal, pillars every dozen feet or so, beams running along a high roof. And behind the man was what ben was most likely supposed to see.


"No. NO!"


Bound and gagged, laid behind the man...


Dari. Jaime. Jansen. Mio. Sato. Toshiro. And more.



One a day. They kept Ben tied up, forced him to eat and drink, and every day, one person died. Ben became numb, it was all too much, and... and he had the easiest time of it. He was new. These people, they knew each other. Some were family. To say they'd spent years in each other's company would be a lie.


Ben had barely been in town. He had wanted to make it home, so desperately wanted a place to simply live.


And... his attempts at making his every day life easier had backfired. Now everyone would die. And it was all his fault.



Jaime was killed early on, his body left there. Toshiro had passed away before it was "his turn". Dari had tried to fight back to save Mio, and had been broken in response.


He died the next day.


And then they killed someone else.


More than once, Ben had tried to break the ropes and chains tying him down. Everyone he knew anymore sat before him, and saw as he channeled the beast within him. Always in vain. He could not break out.



There had to be some sadistic joy they got from leaving Ben sitting their, watching his friend's bodies, watching them fall one by one.



So sleepy Ben thought. He watched a man fall, knife still in hand.



Tweets and chirps. What... what a nice dream, after so much horror.


Except... except it was no dream. Ben's eyes creaked open to see a... forest. He lay on the grass. Ben needed to process for a moment but...


Ben shot up, eyes going white and wisps of gas flowing from his arms in the gentle breeze.


And there was... nothing.


No line of dead bodies, or people 'waiting' for their turn to be slaughtered. The adrenalin faded as Ben came to the realization that he was alone, and the pain in his arm made itself known. At some point his shoulder had been (rather ungraciously) forced back into its socket, but that still fucking hurt, and it continued to hurt even now.


Just... trees. And grass. And..


Ben focus into himself for a minute and he felt... someone. He turned to face the person, anger on his face until...


"Kaden?" Ben became acutely aware of how tensed he was. And Kaden walked forwards, arms up and hands separated. "What are you doing here?"


"Ask her," Kaden replied simply, pointing to the left. Ben hazarded a glance and...


"Wait, what?"


"Hey, um..." She sighed.


"Name's Reina. Look, I was running with info from those guys who had you locked up. You harbored me for a night when I was basically fucked, and that basement of yours? They skipped right past assuming the place was empty. And just..."


The realization was starting to hit Ben.


"That town, and its people. Look, I didn't know them. But I'm sorry for them. And for you. I was going to the town to warn them about the people coming and, well. I saw your place burned down, and... basically everything else. So I got in touch with Kaden and we just..."


"It was too late."


She sighed. "Yeah, by then it was too late."


Ben relaxed some at that. He was exhausted, even though he had just woken up.


"We used a lead to find y'all," Kaden said. "But when we got there, there was only a handful still alive. Got you and them out but..." Kaden looked pained.


"They don't want to see me."


"They don't."


Ben sighed, and dropped his form, falling to the ground. "I-". He swallowed. "I can't blame them."


The two remained silent and distant. Ben had his own agony to deal with.



WC 1333
Benjamin Lott
Benjamin Lott
Citizen
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Village : Missing Ninja
Ryo : 500

At the end of the world - Page 2 Empty Re: At the end of the world

Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:48 pm
Shinrei Yamato
Shinrei Yamato
Jounin
Jounin
Survived 2021
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Mission Record : Yamato's Record
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Village : Hoshigakure
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At the end of the world - Page 2 Empty Re: At the end of the world

Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:26 am
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