Kensei looked over his formidable group and smiled in approval, they would be successful today he had no doubt about it. He nodded in response to Sojiro as he extended his hands taking the poison pellets and antidote from him and placing them within his secret compartment inside his robe. "Oh these will definitely do, hm you don't happen to have something just a bit less lethal would you? I have a friend who'd love to try… I mean experiment a bit on these for medical research."
He chuckled before watching the other three take off to find their vantage points. Kensei waited a few moments, letting the alcohols effects kick in fully before taking a deep breath and stepping forward. He walked slowly deeper into the ruins, making sure to take small sips from his bottle every so often. As he stepped closer and closer he began to hear distant chatter, and the shuffling of feet. A large watch tower stood at the center of the square, Kensei made up two shadowy figures observing from above. "Two on the tower" He thought as he took to the shadows to avoid detection for now. As he turned a corner entering what appeared to be a run down market square he noticed the empty canisters of food, the littered bottles of alcohol plastered across the unkept streets. Above a small domed shop three men sat playing cards, at ground level four had gathered preparing a fire and seasoning a large boar. Three newcomers walked out of a nearby building, two carrying supplies, and a third drinking form a large bottle of alcohol.
As Ken itched closer down the street and into the square he noticed another man standing near him, his back towards him. Kensei looked at his bottle of sake, then again at the man as he stepped silently towards him. "So far Ive spotted 13. Sojiro sensed over 20. The rest most be inside." As he pondered his next move he stopped a few meters behind the man, silently attempting to conceal his presence for the time being. After a second of reflection, Kensei took a long deep gulp from his bottle, then spilled the remaining substance on himself, drenching his clothes and scent in alcohol. Chuckling to himself he sucked his teeth disappointed by the wasted alcohol. Shurggin he took steps forward, this time sluggishly, loudly, and with a drunken stutter in his step. The man closest to him was quick to notice the heavy steps behind him and turned, katana immediately drawn.
"Oye! You there!hic!"
Kensei called out, his speech slowed and slurred, he was stumbling with every step forward, while he waved the empty sake bottle in his left hand frantically. The blue haired bandit was initially tense, but upon seeing the state of the approaching man loosened the grip around his weapon.
"What? where did you come from you drunken idiot! Why are you in the middle of the desert."
The man spoke loud enough that the others began taking notice of the scene forming out front. Kensei burped loudly while he continued to flare his arms like a bird. "Ive been traveling the desert friend! you see my story is one that is long and disheartening! would you all hear my tale?" "WHO THE HELL ARE YOU ! Is he alone?!" Called out a ma from atop the tower above, as the others began encircling the drunken youth. A towering pale hairless albino man emerged from another building close by, he appeared stronger than the others Kensei noted, "14"
"Is he alone?" The newcomer called out in repetition, while the others began to tighten their grips around their weapons, others began moving into position to flank Kensei. "Oye! You there trying to sneak up behind me, isn't that hic— rude. You see everywhere I turn my honor is slighted! does no one care anymore about the tears of a weary traveller? Hear me brothers in arms, my tale is one of a man in love! have none of you ever loved?! you at least have each other! You see I travel far and wide from a land covered in snow, colder and not at all as …. enchanting as the companionship I've found myself around here in this barren desert! I come from a wealthy family of nobles! oh but my only sin was falling for another mans wife. You see I understand your lifestyles here, the take what you want mentality! I too understand the villages and the ninja world has forced you guys into this! as I was forced into the arms of my beauty! as her husband forced her into my arms! I too understand your plight! we are products of a system that failed us. LISTEN TO ME FRIENDS! for our stories are not far distant, mine are troubles of the heart as is the lot of yours! look how we are forced to live on the outskirts of society why! is our love not equal to their own, do their rights outweigh our own! "
As he ranted, his face was red and filled with gloom that would bring sadness to even the most masculine of men. The bandits around him expressed a multitude of emotions, some snickered and laughed in the back, others listened closely to the ranting of a broken man, others held firm, reluctant to lower their guard. A heavy headband wearing man stepped forward, he wore only a tank top which only served as a brace to keep the rolls of fat in place. He spit to the side of Kensei, as he took a bite from a drumstick.
"Get the frack out of here before we use your skull as a chalice drunk fool. Any other man would be dead on the spot, but we've pillaged enough for today, run along and never come back to the desert, run back to your snow covered noble house."
"Listen here ugly! Ive had enough disrespect today! I will not tolerate dishonor! Listen to me.… she loved me.. but her husband was jealous and when I challenged him to a honorable duel they beseeched my name and legacy! I lost almost everything! forced to run from my home or face persecution or death! my love lost forever. Don't you see we are all the same."
"Ugly? Let's gut this bastard now!"
The visible bandits had now circled around Kensei while the albino watched at a short distance. Almost all of them had began now laughing at the story and show being put on, with kensei expressing everything said with his hands and with a short animated dance detailing the events that occurred to him. When he fat man spoke the others stepped forward, prompting kensei to put his hands up in the air in a plea.
"Let me have my last words ! Ive travelled the lands hoping to find a reason to continue, but I've only found them at the bottom of the bottle." I only strolled into these ruins in search for some life…" Pointing at the containers of alcohol near the unprepared campground. "I only wished to continue my travels through the desert with my companion but…"
tips over the empty bottle of sake illustrating to them the empty bottle.
"We aren't going to give you our rum you fool, why wouldn't we just kill you now, instead of you killing yourself slowly with our alcohol. You aren't walking out of here alive anyway drunk."
Kensei chuckled villainously before reaching into his cloak, sending the bandits into a reactive step forward, before retrieving a small black bag. Shaking the small pouch the sound of clinking coins filled the surrounding area around, the bandits looked on confused looking at each other and then the rank before them, attempting to make sense of the scene.
"I have lost everything but this, 390 Ryo. I managed to escape with on my personal when I fled. My honor tainted! I see no reason to go forward except the chance of redeeming myself as manly as I possibly could! I have no problem ending it in the desert here! but honor me! Id like the chance to fight each and every one of you guys in single combat. If I win I will take with me all of your alcohol, If I am defeated you may take my ryo and my life."
"Again why would we not just kill you and rob you and be done with this ridiculousness."
"I can tell your mother wish she would have swallowed you huh…. before you swallowed her that is… This is about honor, or do you fear a drunk man so much that you'd avoid since combat!"
"You'll die! ill fight you first"
The fat bandit stepped forward tossing aside the bone he had bene gnawing at while he spoke and running slowly towards Kensei, before he could reach however a booming sound halted his approach.
The albino mans voice boomed through the empty streets, it was obvious he was the leader of the band, his tall muscled figure and his command making it all but obvious.
"You have a death wish fine… my men have been thirsty for blood and entertainment. I don't know how you found us, but you will not leave… not while we stand. You will have your fight… however do not take me as a fool… if you've made it this far in the desert you're obviously much more skilled than you have led on…. therefore… choose your weapon of choice, you'll have a head start to flee if you wish… but you'll be fighting all of us, starting with me!"
As he finished his words, he snapped his fingers, behind him several other shadows emerged from the building the leader had originated from. with a vicious laugh he leaned forward and jumped into a full sprint towards Kensei.
"Run or die Kid!"
A smile spread across Kensei's face as the other bandits began to laugh expecting the full slaughter of the wandering drunk. Closing his eyes Ken took a deep breath before quickly reaching into his cloak, retrieving two Kunai's tagged with explosive bombs. He waited, for the leader to come face to face to him before leaping a meter backwards into the air, and flinging both Kunai through the air aimed at the watchtower. On contact the Explosive tags would be released and explode against the tower, catching an unexacting guardsman in a blaze, while sending another into a frenzy as the tower flurried in flames. Down below Kensei gave a nod to his watching teammates having brought out what he believed was the grunt of their fighting force. With he tower down, their eyes in the skies limited, Kensei expected the fray to be the opportune time for his team to make their appearance.
"A damn shinobi! Kill him!"