Kakashi could hear a crackling in his ear announcing the next update.
"I have a visual”, Aoba's voice confirmed his thoughts. "Approaching target, slowly. It's pretty crowded down there. Definitely hot, too. And not only because of the summer… Nice."
Kakashi tried to see something from his angle, but he can’t make out Genma in the crowd.
"Confirm visual contact," Iwashi commented from his hidden position opposite Kakashi’s spot in the shadows of one of the seemingly endless niches of the gallery above the main room. Aoba just sipped at his glass, leaning casually at the balcony and openly observed the crowd.
"Takes a glass from the waiter. Remaining distance to target about 10 meters. ", Iwashi continued.
Finally Kakashi could see Genma. In civilian but extremely flattering clothes, his golden brown hair tied into a high ponytail and armed with only one of the deadliest weapons of the Konoha special jounin - his smile. However, Kakashi was not too worried, at least, that’s what he tried to tell himself – the average ninja could find at least 10 ways to kill someone in any room in no time. However, Kakashi already had a queasy feeling about the mission throughout the evening. He didn’t like these kinds of missions. Especially, when Genma did them. This hasn’t changed since their ANBU-days. Maybe it was because the special jounin simply was too good at them. And he was doing a lot of them. Too many. That made him an expert at this field and sending three shinobi to escort Genma seemed a bit over the top by the hokage, but their client was the Daimyo of the firecountry himself, wishing to accomplish everything about the newest and seemingly super special watch invented and designed by their target. Kakashi had a feeling, the old and bored daimyo just wanted to send someone on a harmless seduction mission to amuse himself. It hadn’t been the first time, he requested Genma personally.
Kakashi gritted his teeth and focused his breathing to concentrate on the important things again: monitoring the mission.
Genma's steps were self-confident and it seemed casually but obvious as he moved through the dancing crowd in Jinjuku - the hippest amusement hot spot in the area - a young, handsome man looking for a flirt for the evening. Nothing unusual, one among many, but for someone whose sex-appeal seems to part the crowd like a gentle breeze in front of him... Well… A smile here, a look there ...
Kakashi tensed inwardly. Genma attracted more attention than necessary. As if on cue he could see an elderly but very self-confident lady in an expensive and classy dress approach the young man and stop him very clearly and with a very well-manicured, sharp and very pointy finger on Genma's chest. But cleverly and without much time to lose Genma managed to put her off. Her eyes followed his passing figure, full with regret and mischief.
Aoba's giggle sounded through the headset. It was almost surprising that no further comment followed.
It did not take long for Genma to finally reach the target, apparently finding some absurd reason to sit down next to the man, who laughed loudly after Genmas words, throwing his head back, eyes glimmering with curiousness. He invited Genma enthusiastically to sit next to him on the couch.
"Contact at 22:23," Iwashi reported dutifully.
"Let's sit back and enjoy the show," Aoba whispered, "who knows how long that will take."
"Divide observation, alphabetical rotation: Aoba watches Genma and the target person, Iwashi and I keep an eye on the crowd." Kakashi did not miss the moment to enjoy Aoba's annoyed hissing through the headset. But only for a short moment. “I have a bad feeling.”
“Relax, taichou, Genma’s a professional.”
“Way more professional than you-“
"Concentration," Kakashi ordered sharply. Yes, they were professionals. At least most of the time. His comment was not entirely necessary, but he knows that such sharp and short instructions in tense situations could help calm the nerves.
There was no direct threat expected. The mission was divided into several parts: 1. Locate the target Miyota Nare. 2. Get in contact with the target and gain his trust to gather information about the newest Miyota-watch and – if possible – get hands on one of these special designed watches. So far so good. Kakashi knew that Genma was exactly Miyota's type. The Daimyo must have known that too. Miyota was as predictable as a clockwork.
The copy-ninja glanced at the two and noticed the spontaneous familiarity between Genma and the target, which occurred, when two people immediately liked each other. They seem to fit well… He could see how Genma put a strand of hair behind his ear and how Miyotas transfixed gaze lingered on the long, slender fingers… The bad feeling only grew. There was something wrong. Was the mission going too smooth? Genma is really good in his role… Miyota's intention was now more than clear. When Genma looked away for a moment to speak with one of the targets bodyguards, a predatory expression flickered over his face. He took the bait. And Genma let him.
Miyota didn’t not look bad, on the contrary, he had a fit physique for a civilian, even the small belly flattered him, and the even, aristocratic facial features completed the image of the heir of the Miyota-Clock-Empire. Obviously he was used to people being interested in him - he did not hesitate when Genma spoke to him. The five bodyguards emphasized the feeling of habitual power.
From that distance, Kakashi couldn’t feel Genma's chakra. He knows that Genma hides it.
So far, so good. Kakashi returned to watching the dancing, talking and drinking people in the room when Iwashi's voice suddenly ringed in his headset: "Movement Bodyguard 4". That was the big, beefy bald with the earring behind the couch, Genma and the target were sitting on.
"Fatso seems to get nervous," Aoba confirmed from his position up at the gallery. "Speaks in his headset, hand on his weapon. Sees something at the exit or somewhere that direction. "
Kakashi's eye searches the room.
"The other bodyguards surround Genma and Miyota. Genma's cover still seems intact, more of a threat from the outside, " Iwashi reported, who was still keeping an eye on the target and Genma.
Kakashi rose from his hidden position at the top of the gallery, just beyond the window slot, and crawled toward the next exit. "I'll take a look. Hold positions. "
"Understood," the two answered in unison.
Kakashi crawled a few meters to the wall of the building, opened the ventilation grille and skilfully let himself down four meters and into the undergrowth.
Suddenly voices arose and guests screamed loudly and full of panic.
"Shinobi are storming the building", Iwashi's breathless voice immediately could be heard through the headset. "Three at the entrance, more at the windows."
Kakashi cursed under his breath for just having left the building. In addition, that confirmed his bad feeling about this mission. But it was not too late yet.
With a courageous jump, he is back at the ventilation shaft, but his instinct warns him to touch the grid. Suddenly, chakra is all around him and all he could do was unclasping the wall and let himself fall down..The whole building is vibrating with a foreign but hostile chakra. He grabbed a small stone and threw it against the barrier. It exploded with a dramatic little fire.
"I cannot go inside at the moment, the building has been sealed off with a chakra barrier", he told the others.
Aoba cursed loudly.
"Report!" Kakashi demanded. He let himself drop down into the shadow of the bushes again and tries to sense the creator of the barrier. The wind refreshes and drives the thick clouds over the sky and the full moon.
It took a moment before Aoba's voice was heard again. "Iwashi is changing his position, his cover is at risk. Maybe it’s a robbery. One leader, the others splitting up, all armed. Leader instructs all guests to lie down on the floor - arms over their heads. "
Kakashi's heartbeat accelerated. A robbery of the rich present would make sense, but ... he couldn’t quite believe that shinobi with such perfidious abilities to create a chakra barrier would go for a simple robbery. Although, nothing was impossible. Kakashi could only hope that Aoba was right. Then maybe this matter would not get too complicated. Carefully, Kakashi moved through the undergrowth, eying his surroundings.
"Position changed," Iwashi suddenly whispered. "Can see Genma, target sitting quietly next to him on the sofa. Two bodyguards are the only ones standing in the room, the others have taken cover in the immediate vicinity, armed and ready. "
"That might get ugly," Aoba murmured, sounding like he had taken cover somewhere at the gallery himself. Probably somewhere he wouldn’t be found immediately. "They are looking for something. It’s obvious. They are checking the hostages’ faces... "
They are looking for someone, not something, it dawned Kakashi. Who…?
"The leader has stopped! Am sure he has found something, " Iwashi whispered insistently.
"What is he looking at?" Kakashi asked.
"I ... I think it’s Miyota."
"Damn!" Aoba hissed and Kakashi silently agreed. "Yes, he’s going to Miyota now. Repeat: nearing Miyota and Genma. Slowly. Unerringly. 10 meters left."
Kakashi's hand clenched into a fist. He took another look up to the sealed air shaft. "There still might be some left outside the building to secure the area, "he tells the two Konoha-nin. "I'm searching for a way inside."
As he hurried along the building, he listened to the brief, urgent reports of his teammates.
"Leader approaches Miyota. Target looks nervous, Fatso looks about to collapse. "
"Genma seems to have something hidden in his hand - maybe a weapon. He sits with his back to the action. Repeat: Genma has no eye-contact with the leader – never had. No mirrors, no glasses."
"Leader remains standing right behind Genma, is talking over his shoulder with Miyota, the Fatso is waving his gun nervously, but is ignored. Miyota keeps his dogs on the leash. "
"All guests still on the ground, can feel their fear even here. Someone might do something drastic."
"Baby Fatso looks sad, but pulls himself together. Miyota and the unknown shinobi talk to each other. Genma is completely still but looks tense. "
"Miyota suddenly looks surprised. Genma looks ...more tense. "
Aoba's sudden strangled gasp almost frightened Kakashi. "The guy hunkered down, head practically on Genma's shoulder. Says something. I think he's talking to Genma now. "
"Genma looks extremely pale. Danger! I suspect Genma’s cover is blown. "
"Shit!" Aoba exclaimed, straining his neck to see more from his hideout, weapon drawn, awaiting orders.
Kakashi paused. "What's going on?"
"A commotion. Genma broke the wine glass and gave the guy a nice scratch on the face-"
"Genma is trying to escape!" Iwashi's voice sounded like he's changing positions as well. "I'm trying to hel…"
Loud screaming is heard just as Kakashi reached the back door of the building. "Engage!" Kakashi shouted.
He could hear battle noises and more screaming.
"Smoke grenade!", Aoba alled a warning.
"It’s mine!" Iwashi's answered.
"Do you have visual on Genma?" Aoba sounded nervous. Kakashi threw every caution overboard and got an explosive jutsu out of his pouch to force his way through the barrier. His ears were ringing and everything was immediately covered in smoke.
"Genma slips through the room and the hostages pretty fast, gets involved into a fight, dodges and keeps running towards the back exit!"
“Am trying to open the back exit!”, Kakashi shouted.
"Genma’s fine so far…Nice somersault!", Commented Aoba. His subsequent grunt proclaimed to Kakashi that Aoba was also involved in a fight.
The smoke in front of Kakashi cleared. The chakra barrier was visibly dented. Violence could work. "Chidori!"
"What the hell ...!", Aoba gasped. "The leader ... The leader!"
Kakashis held his flashing arm and run towards the barrier.
"The leader suddenly turned up in front of Genma. He has a hostage. A woman. Presses a kunai on her neck. Genma stopped. "
"Can’t help!", Iwashi calls over the headset, "’m in a fight!" A dull thump interrupts him and Kakashi could imagine the pain as his chidori penetrates the barrier like a knife through butter. Splintering, a small part of the barrier collapses in front of him. Kakashi Immediately jumped through and run to the building’s backdoor. Before him a long corridor opened up. "Damn." He started running.
"I think they are talking. I think… "
"The guy put a hand on Genma's shoulder. And ... they are gone! " Now Aobas voice lost its collected calmness. "Gone!"
Kakashi reached the main hall with such speed that he slipped a bit into the room. The room was huge and overcrowded with people who were fearfully curling up everywhere on the ground. He is just in time to see five shinobi vanishing from the gallery and out of the windows. "Aoba, pursuit!"
Aoba neatly landed next to him, forming a few hand signs and a flock of birds fills the room and sets out on the persecution on Aoba's hand signal. Both shinobi jumped up to the gallery, Iwashi joined them, and Kakashi took one last look back at Miyota Nare. Wide eyes met his for a moment. Mission failed. Who would have thought…
With that the three konoha-shinobi followed the foreign shinobi out of the building. But there was no enemy in sight.
Aoba traced his familiar spirits with a gesture and shook his head. "They're all vanished into the ground."
“Iwagakure?”, Iwashi gasped.
Kakashi didn’t hesitate. "Kyuchiose no Jutsu!" A small dog appeared in front of them in the square. The pug raised his paw in greeting. "Jo."
"Pakkun! Genma!" The dog didn’t need more instruction immediately took off to search for the familiar smell of the tokubetsu-jounin. The urgency in Kakashi's voice also prohibited any delay. Instantly Pakkun run in one direction and the others followed.
"If that was a transport jutsu we might be lucky if it only has a small range," Aoba gasped. The fight and the haste had left their marks on him.
Suddenly a bright, orange light lights up, shining through the night. "What the ...", Aoba almost stumbled. Pakkun led them that direction.
Kakashi's heart pounded in his head. He knew this light and knew all too well what it meant. His visible eye narrowed. He followed his loyal dog down the next street. When they reached a crossroad, he suddenly saw six Shinobi at the other end of the street, Genma, arms wound tightly behind his back, in their midst. He noticed Kakashi and the others, eyes terribly tired, but looked directly into the face of a tall, orange-haired man who's just weaving a jutsu. Then Genma collapsed - possibly unconscious.
"Shit!" Iwashi shouted.
The man with the light hair now looked their direction. Only now did Kakashi realize that the foreign shinobi were standing in the midst of a jutsu circle.
"Damn!" He collected his chakra and, within a heartbeat, he is next to the enemies, in the air, ninjato in hand and ready to down two of them simultaneously. But at the same time, four enemies fell to their knees and activated the seal under their feet with their hands firmly pressed to the cobblestones.
Kakashi's sword glides through thin air.
Shaken, he stops and looks back at the empty spot.
Iwashi , Pakkun and Aoba now also reach the place. Nobody spoke.
Pakkun closesd his brown eyes, Aoba connected his conciseness with his crows again and Kakashi used his senses to search for any sign of chakra.
Iwashi hardly dared to breathe.
Finally all three seekers came to the same result.
"He is gone."