Soul

Removing sex traffickers from the world

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Zarek stood firm at the front gates of the village, watching as large groups of caravans and travelers made their way in and out of the village, moving across the massive bridge that connected the village to the main land. It was early in the morning, the sun only being up foe a few hours, and the village was already wide awake. It warmed his heart to see so many people moving about, living and enjoying their lives. He prepared himself however, for even though it joyed him to see the happiness of his villagers, today was going be filled with alot of unhappiness for many people. It was the first time in quite a while that he was going out on a mission, and it excited the man to his very core. Rumors of sex trafficking in the outer edges of the water territories had come to his attention, and being a man of honor it infuriated him to no end. Apparently a group of thugs were roaming the countryside and kidnapping young women from their villages. Things like this were not only illegal but evil, and Zarek was going to get to the bottom of it and put and end to things himself. The concept was simple, hunt down a caravan or two, free any girls who had been kidnapped and learn more about the operation. Hopefully with this mission he would be able to expose the group and could then begin sending groups to further hunt down the sickos.

 

All of the fun and excitment of hunting down bad guys would come in due time, for now the Mizukage just waited patiently for another to arrive. A young jounin the village was asked to join him on todays mission. Zarek wanted to test this man and see what he was made of. Hearing good things from his peers the young kage had big plans for this man, if he proved to be as good as the rumors lead on. Munching on a bagel the violet haired man smiled and waved at a group of merchants passing by. He was decked out in his old red and black hunter ninja uniform, it still fitting just as perfectly as it had did in the past. It felt good to be back out in the field, and he was going to get the most out of this mission.

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Tsunagari Setsu had not risen with the sun. As was the shinobi's norm, he had risen before it, watched it rise, and then promptly passed out on the couch. He woke up an indeterminate amount of time later, blearily rubbing his hand across his eyes. He yawned, his jaw creaking. Smacking his lips, he stood, and moved to his fridge. As he stared in, he vaguely thought about what exactly to do today. Then it hit him like a metric fuckton of bricks, the fridge door slammed shut as he shouted, undoubtedly waking the neighbours, "OH FUCK, THE MISSION!" He dashed to the window, staring at the sun, immediately regretting such an action. From its position he wasn't late yet, but he was VERY close. 

 

He dashed around his home, hurling aside clothes and equipment, looking for his clothes. He found them sitting on top of the table, neatly folded from the night before, past Setsu apparently having prepared for this. He bounced around with one leg in his slacks, searching for his tool bag, snatching it up and buckling it on with his belt and slacks. He pulled on his tank top, and swept up his namitou, fuchisasu, and a loaf of bread. He dashed outside, and leaped off the balcony, onto another rooftop, and set off at a breakneck pace of 125 MPH. As he ran, he crammed bread into his mouth, and tried to rapidly go over what he knew of the mission. Which was exactly nothing. Was there a briefing he had missed? Or a scroll he was supposed to read? If there was, it was far too late to return for it now. 

 

He landed with a shattering thud on the main road, his combat boots crunching the dirt and stone. He stood, and walked calmly out of the gate, unaware that the angle at which he had approached would have allowed Zarek Kanda to see a large portion of his "run". Come to think of it, he had no idea who he was doing this with. He hoped it was a inexperienced younger Jounin whom he could show the ropes, it'd be like having a genin he didn't have to worry that much about. And now he was sad, cuz he didn't have any genin. He brushed crumbs off of his shirt, and kept his eyes down. He stifled a yawn, and looked at the black and red garbed, violet haired man next to him, "You waiting for someone too?" Might as well strike up a conversation while he waited, after all, everyone is a friend in waiting!

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A matter of minutes had passed by, the warm rays of sunlight and gentle breeze of the morning wind caressing the young kage as he finished consuming the bagel he had brought with him. Pushing the bangs out of his face, the wind blowing his dark cloak by, Zarek turned around just in time to see the person he was waiting for coming running through the large city gates. The jounin appeared to be out of breath, as if he had just sprinted full speed across the entire village. Allowing a smile to spread across his face Zarek through up his right hand and welcomed the man.

 

"Hey there Tsunagari, glad to see you this fine morning." Placing the hand he used to wave back behind his head he allowed a light chuckle to escape as the jounin asked if he to was waiting for someone. "Well as a matter of fact i am. I was to meet one of the village Jounin here today for a very important mission. However it seems like he might be running a little late. You have not happened to see anyone running like a mad man through the village have you?" He paused, giving the man a moment to catch his breath, and then realize that the person the kage was waiting on was in fact himself. Spinning on his heels the young kage turned around and began to walk towards the opposite end of the bridge, headed out towards the wild. As he slowly walked forward Zarek looked back over his shoulder and called out to the man. "You coming or not? We got a long road ahead of us!" Sending another wave into the air he allowed yet another chuckle to echo out in the warm morning, smiling to another group of villagers walking past.

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Setsu almost choked as he took a swig from his canteen. He took another look at the man, recognizing the Mizukage. He took a few long, slow breaths as the Kage talked. He laughed breathlessly, "As a matter of fact I did, some idiot who probably (deep breath) slept too late. And had to sprint to the (deep breath/wheeze) meeting." He put his hands behind his head, the air coming easier now. So, his mission was with the Kage himself. Certainly an odd occurrence, and one he didn't fully understand. If the Kage was coming, than that meant this was a very ser-"Good morning" he said to the passing villagers with a massive grin. What was he thinking about? Oh yeah the mission, super important something. If the Kage... right, if the Kage was here, this was very serious indeed. Setsu would need all of his skill, and all of his power. Maybe Matatabi would help, she still hadn't spoken to him though. 

 

He took a few quick steps, matching the other man's stride with a rueful expression. He walked a few inches behind and to the left of Kanda, as Setsu had no idea where they were going, and thus would look the fool if he tried to lead. He kept step with the Mizukage as they began to cross the bridge. He decided not to ask about the mission details until they were safely away from possible prying ears. But to simply walk would be a waste of time, walking and talking rhymed for a reason! "A belated good morning Lord Zarek, it's good to see you again." He did a slight walking bow, before continuing, "Might I ask where our little walk will be taking us?" He retroactively realized that calling Kanda 'lord' would be a bad idea if this was a covert mission. He made a mental note to simply call him 'Sir' or such from now on.

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He was very pleased Setsu decided to join him, after all the mission he had set up for the two would be very lonely if the man decided to stay back in the village. The sounds of the Jounins foot steps could be heard echoing off the stone bridge as the duo made their way towards the coast. The bridge was rather long, and crowded with people both entering and exiting the village. With spring just arriving many outsiders came to trade and sell their goods, for once the fall hit the weather would go back to making it hard for anyone to travel here. The large groups of people made conversation easy, which was kind of weird considering how loud it was on the bridge. That made for the best conversations though, atleast among ninja. Slowing down a bit Zarek found himself walking shoulder to Shoulder with the man.

 

"Well, we actually have quite a long walk ahead of us. We are to be tracking down a caravan that was seen heading towards the tundra early this morning. Ill explain the finer details once we are alone and on our way. I hope you came prepared for today though, for once we find our target we are going to strike full force, no holding back today ok? These men we are chasing are the scum of the earth, and im eager to rid them from existence. Now Tsunagari, do you think you can keep up with the Mizukage?" He stopped abruptly for a second, buttoned the top most button of his cloak and winked at the man. In the next instant he took off full speed, dashing past a small cart hauling cabbages. His thin nimble frame weaved in and out of the crowd, picking up speed as he fled towards the coast.

 

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Nearly six hours had passed since the duo had left Mizumura. The two Shinobi had ran across field and through tree tops, now leaping from tree branch to tree branch, honing in on the caravan. Along the way Zarek had filled Setsu in on their mission. There were rumors floating around of a sex trafficking ring going around kidnapping girls and selling them on the black market. The young kage was a very calm and sweet man most of the time, but actions such as these infuriated him to no end. He explained that this was the reason he had decided to take on the mission himself, and was going to use this as a chance to test the young man. There was not much information on the caravan they were chasing, just a brief detail of its appearance and the tell of a small insignia on the side. Apparently the cart held in it a large amount of young women who had been taken from their homes. They were going to kill the men operating this activity, learn any new information they could, and return the woman to their homes.

 

As they soared through the trees a rough dirt path began to come into view beneath them. Apparently there was a secret path that the traffickers were using to haul their illegal cargo with out being noticed. With a few more leaps through the tree tops the sounds of a cart moving across the path could be heard. It was a large wooden carriage being pulled by two large brown horses. Sitting in the front was a large man strapped with a katana on his back. Two more men sat on the roof top of the cart, seeming to just be along for the ride. Abruptly stopping Zarek held up his hand and turned to Setsu. "It seems this is the cart. It matches the description perfectly. Im going to set up the battle field the move ahead of them, i want you to wait here. When the cart stops you come in from the back and wait for the fight to start. As im distracting them you move in from behind and deliver a striking attack."

 

With a nod Zarek completed a set of hand seals, then took off after the cart again. A large cover of mist would begin to form around the area. It would full envelope the cart and its occupants. The Mizukage would disappear into the mist and pick up speed, getting himself in front of the cart. Now about ten feet ahead of the cart Zarek would fall to the path below and throw up both of his hands. "Hey you fuck faces, think your tough shit attacking helpless women huh? Why dont you come over here and fight like real men." He spoke loudly through the mist so that both Setsu and the traffickers could hear him. He was pin pointing his location to the jounin so that he knew exactly where to attack from. The cart came to a loud halt with the horse snorting air at its owners command. The driver motioned for the two on the roof to hop off and check out the situation. Their voices could be heard in the mist, tossing out curses and empty treats at the man who was blocking their path.

 

 

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Setsu listened intently as they walked across the bridge, scum of the earth? The big man had had his own experiences with scum before, though he did not press the Mizukage for more details just yet. Then "

 

strike full force, no holding back today ok? These men we are chasing are the scum of the earth, and im eager to rid them from existence

 

"Setsu would pause, not visibly but internally. Killing, was a last resort, but if the Kage said it had to be done... Tsunagari set his mind to it, these men would not live to see morning. He glanced up at the Mizukage's question, about to respond with an affirmative, but then off shot the man. Tsunagari blinked in response, his speed was even greater than Setsu's, even enhanced by Matatabi. He grunted and pushed off, breaking into a run. He narrowly avoided a collision with the cabbage cart. He put his head down as he passed, recognizing the man. Tsunagari was not keen to have another encounter with the Cabbage Man. 

 

Six hours pass...

 

They had been running for a good while, through trees and the like, when the Kage stopped. The air was colder here, as they passed into more frigid climes. Setsu figured they were at least 400 miles from the village, judging how long they had been running. He breathed in, enjoying the air. It helped to soothe what he was feeling. His blood was...not as cooled as usual. Setsu styled himself some kind of hero, and tried to emulate that archetype as closely as he could. The sex trafficking, that made him...upset. He stood on a high branch, listening to his Kage's plan. As the man was about to leave, Setsu spoke up, his voice was low, devoid of his usual jovial tone, "Sir, I would like to face these shinobi on my own. If you create the distraction, and draw their attention, then I will eliminate all of them. You said yourself that you wished to see my full capabilities, let me show you. Let me prove my strength, unequivocally" He waited a moment, then continued "All I ask is that you give me a few moments. Please?" After the Mizukage departed, Setsu sat down on the branch, trying to reign in his seething anger. These people, were less than garbage, preying on the helpless, and the weak. His fist clenched, and his bones creaked. His face was set in a soundless snarl. But he waited, he cultivated that anger. His earlier reservations, entirely forgotten

 

Anger could be used

 

After a few moments, he heard the Mizukage's voice break through the mist, taunting the kidnappers. Setsu dropped silently from the tree, and moved without a noise. He displayed stealth that belied his size. Wordlessly, he formed three seals, Ram-Snake-Tiger. A clone of himself appeared with a whisper next to him, and then set off, moving around the left side of the cart, stealthed as well. 

 

Setsu moved up to the right side of the cart, the Mizukage's words had just ceased, in that moment of silence, as the kidnappers moved to engage the Mizukage. Setsu's clone let out a sudden massive battlecry, leaping up onto the cart as if to attack the two perched atop it. The two criminals turned in surprise, but moving to attack. From behind them, Setsu climbed with barely a whisper onto the cart, rising behind the backmost criminal out of the mist. This one, they needed for questioning. He struck with extreme prejudice. Sweeping his namitou in a low horizontal strike that severed the man's legs from knees down. The man fell with a scream as he clutched at his stumps. But Setsu was already moving past him.

 

One 

 

The other man had launched a strike at Setsu's clone in the time it had taken Setsu to attack the other. The kunai passed harmlessly through the clone and it vanished in a puff of smoke. The second turned, both at the scream, and the implications that the jutsu presented. He was met with Setsu's hand, suddenly impacting his face with a crack, the tall shinigami used all of his strength, hurling the man through the air. Setsu's throw caused the thug to impact a tree, splintering wood and bone. In the split second after he had thrown the man, Setsu hurled his namitou. It slammed into the thug, through his body and the tree behind him, pinning him like some gruesome holiday ornament.

 

Two

 

The third whirled around at the sound of the impacts and the scream. Drawing his katana and leaping up onto the roof of the cart. Two Kunai appeared in Setsu's hands. The third thug struck hard, a vertical slash intended to bisect Setsu from stem to stern. Setsu blocked, utilizing both Kunai to stop the blade at different points. He was surprised at how strong the man was, it was lucky that he had killed the other two so quickly, if they were as strong as this one. As Setsu pushed the blade back, his hand dipped into the tool bag, his finger scooping up and flicking a shuriken up into the air. The man had reacted quickly, repositioning his body and the angle of his attack. Now the strike was coming horizontally at the large shinobi's left side, Setsu did not react. The blade impacted with his side, and then, a brief burst of smoke and a clang was heard. Setsu had utilized the Substitution technique to swap himself with the shuriken he had tossed a moment before. The shuriken spun off into a tree. Setsu reappeared at the man's right side. From the man's swing, this side was unguarded. Setsu struck with both Kunai, burying one directly where his kidney was, and the other in his spleen. He was not done. The Shinobi lifted the thug with the new handholds, and in a vicious wrench, pulled the two kunai in opposite directions. The entire left side of the thug was splattered all over the cart and nearby forest. 

 

Three

 

He kneeled down next to the legless shinobi, and lifted his head up toward the Kage as the man moaned in pain, "One for interrogation, Lord Zarek." Setsu's face had returned to his calm, casual grin, but he was spattered with the gore of the third thug. He was unaffected, they had deserved to die, and thus they had.

 

'If they stand behind you, give them protection'

'If they stand beside you, give them respect'

'If they stand against you, show no mercy'.

 

Spoiler

Chakra Used: 10 | Chakra Remaining: 390

Jutsu Used: Clone Jutsu | Substitution Jutsu

 

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The three figures were like dark shadows in the mist, barely visible through the soft white clouds, however from what he could make out the insult he had thrown their way gained the thugs attention. Movement could be seen in the mist as the two on the top of the cart were starting to make their way down to attack. A smirk spread across the young kage's face. "Alright Setsu my man, lets see what you are made of." He made no movement, and just held his ground as a fourth shadow made itself known behind the traffickers. The mist slowly grew thinking as the sounds of combat filled the afternoon air, weapons clanking against each other, and cries of pain and grunts of stress could all be heard. Zarek could not help but laugh, it was a little funny to be honest, watching these hopeless men try to fight someone who clearly out matched them. It only took a matter of minuets for the young jounin to completely dispatch the trio.

 

With the deactivation of the mist jutsu zarek would slowly walk forward clapping, the full scene of the fight coming into view. Setsu stood atop the cart, covered in blood and gore as two men lay dead on the ground, the third still atop the cart, but missing his legs. The violet haired man sent a wave up to his comrade as he opened one of the doors to the wagon. A large group of young women huddled together flinched as the door opened. Their arms and legs were bound with rope, and tabe spread across their faces. "Dont worry my young ones, My name Is Zarek Kanda, i am the Third Mizukage of the Water Village and we are here to rescue you. Now my friend, you can call him Tsunagari, is going to help untie all of you and in no time we will have all of you back home to your families." Smiling the whole time Zarek made sure to speak in a calm and welcoming tone, as to not further frighten the women.

 

Climbing up onto the cart he placed a hand on the mans shoulder, making sure to avoid the spots pf blood. "Well done my friend, quite the display. Now i do believe our guest below are in need of having their restraints removed, if you wouldnt mind helping them out, i have a few questions for our friend here." Turning his attention from the jounin, Zarek knelt down beside the legless man, his face instantly turning from one of calmness and smiles to an evil glare of murder. Pulling out a kunai he began to slowly rub the edge of the blade across the mans leg wounds, loud screams of pain filling the air. It would only take him a few moments to fully glen all the information out of the man. Attending to his wounds the kage would proceed to knock the man out and strap him to the roof. He could be of use to them in the future. Peering over the edge he called out to Setsu. "We all ready down there? You can take the reigns my man."

 

WC: 2093 (A-Rank mission complete)

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Sestu took a few deep, long breaths. The casual claps of the Mizukage were very welcome. Setsu had asked to prove himself so dramatically not just to the Kage. Setsu was powerful sure, but he was forever questioning that power. This had been a test for himself. He had used maximum force against the three, he had torn one apart, turned one into a decoration, and permanently mutilated the last. The question had been, was that justified? Was the anger he had felt at the three thugs, and the retribution he had met out, just? The Mizukage's slow claps, and his wave, the general approval of the man, was confirmation that it was. The Mizukage was a moral man, a just man. If he felt the overwhelming violence Setsu had utilized was okay against such scum, then it was. He stood in silence on the cart as Zarek spoke to those inside. If it was right, was it also okay to enjoy it to the extent he had? Setsu didn't know. 

 

His expression was slightly troubled, when the Mizukage placed a hand on his shoulder. He grinned, teeth flashing "Thank you very much Lord Zarek. I did try to make it as spectacular as possible." He glanced down at the legless man, "I'm sure he'll LOVE to answer all your questions, seems like a cooperative fellow" His grin had lost its humor, looking more like a baring of the teeth than a smile. He offered a quick bow to the Mizukage, and climbed down. The ornamental man was not in sight of the door, that was good. He was about to enter the cart, when he realized that he was completely soaked in sanguine liquids of a most unpleasant nature. He quickly wiped it off his face with his shirt, at least, the portions of it not soaked in the same. When he peered in, all of his fears about justice were forgotten, he wished there had been MORE. He wished they could have lived longer, he wished he could have torn them all apart a hundred times over. Outwardly, there was no sign of his rage. Rather, his grin became a soft smile as he moved among the women, cutting their bonds and talking with them in a soft, casual tone. He learned many of their names, where they were from, and small trivial things. By the time he was done, they seemed to realize they were safe.

 

Setsu climbed out of the cart, and pulled the body of the one he had disemboweled off. Pulling him into the woods. He returned, retrieving his namitou from the ornamental man. He dragged the man he had impaled to the same place he had dragged the other. They could serve as food for the forest creatures, at least doing the world some good. 

 

He climbed up onto the cart, and took the reins at the Mizukage's request. He gave the horses a light tap to get them going. 

 

Time Passes...

 

On the ride back to the village, Setsu was sitting quietly, handling the reins. When he decided to do something. He focused, sending himself inward. He stood before the huge cage that contained Matatabi, he called out "Hey! Lady Matatabi. Did you see what I did? Pretty heroic right?" His voice was jovial. There was a silence, a long one. Then a voice came out of the darkness, a melodic but dangerous growl, "You mutilated three men, that's not heroic, that's savage." Setsu was almost too shocked that she had spoken to him to respond. Finally regaining his composure, "That's what I'm worried ab-" He was interrupted by her, "Savage is better." Setsu chuckled, "Fair enough. Well, this has been fun, I'll be seeing you though. Now that you've spoken to me, I know you can, and you can't ignore me anymore" He flashed a grin at the dark cage, and returned to the outside. Finding the horses standing still, he glared at them with a twinkle in his eye, "What the hell guys? I leave for two minutes and you think you can just STOP and munch on grass?." He reached out and slapped their rears, gentler than the reins. They started forward again. Setsu laid back, and waited, things were looking up. 

 

Word Count - 2554 (A rank mission complete)

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