Date: July 3, 2015
Kenta leads Toshio and Hikaru on a mission in the southern parts of the Land of Fire. The people of a small village has asked for aid to find out why the stream that supplies them with water has dwindled to a trickle and turned mildly poisonous. The team of Konoha shinobu travel underground to the source of the stream during their investigation, having to contend with toxic air, giant bats and a behemoth of a venomous frog along the way.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Adventure in the Dark Beneath"
Land of Fire
The Land of Fire is generally known as a warm, temperate location. But winter is winter, so the cold is beginning to settle in a few days after the season started. Thankfully, a few lucky (maybe) shinobi find themselves sent southwards to work on a few missions. The nip of cold isn't quite as bad the further south that one goes, which is what half of Team Lunar - Kenta and Hikaru - and Toshio finds during their travels.
As the leader of this mission, Kenta had briefed the other two back at Konoha before they headed out. A small village in the southwestern part of the Land of Fire has been stricken with illness earlier in the week and the team must investigate the source. According to the report that Kenta read out of, the village nestle against a forest well known for having a series of underground caves and tunnels. The village's water supply is completely reliant on a small stream that bubbles out of the side of a hill. The stream recently dwindled almost to nothing and the small amount of water left is the source of the problems, having become toxic enough to bring illness, but not slay.
The focus of the team is to determine what has dammed up the stream and poisoned the water and whether anything needs to be done about it. The team dropped off a supply of medicines upon arrival at the village and received additional information in exchange. There's a way to reach the source of the underground source of the stream, but it requires navigating a confusing cave system, where some nasty things live. Luckily, a brave group of villagers had mapped out the route almost a decade ago, and the Leaf shinobi is given a copy of the map.
"Umm… OK, everyone," Kenta says as the team reaches the entrance to the cave system. It's a gaping hole in the side of a small hill, just big enough to fit two tall people side by side. A faintly fetid smell drifts out of it. "You heard what the villagers said. There's some strange and possibly dangerous animals down there, so I don't want either of you to go wandering off on your own. We have to stick together no matter what and follow the map, or we could find ourselves lost forever. Ummm…" He pulls out a few chemical sticks from his backpack and hands two each to the Genin. He snaps his own and shake them, so that the chemical light is activated. One goes into a holster at his side and he keeps the other at hand. "It's going to be very dark also, so that makes things more dangerous. I'm going to keep all of us linked telepathically, just in case we get separated despite all precautions. Ummm… any questions before we go in?"
"It could be a large, dead animal that is blocking off the waterway, couldn't it?" Hikaru asks. If there are indeed those sorts of animals in these caves, then it did seem plausible. Any dead creature in a village's water supply would make people sick. Not to mention, the smell coming out of that cave suggested that there was something rotting in there, making Hikaru wrinkle up his nose. Taking the light-stick Kenta offered, Hikaru snapped and shook it up to activate it, sticking the other one in his pocket for later. This… was not going to be very fun.
"Can we make sure you are holding the map right?" Toshio says as he takes the stick and he looks about. "Do we know if there are any methane in the cave or other flammable stuff? I would hate to use fire jutsu against a critter and end up blowing ourselves up." He says as he does the same to his stick.
"Ummm… that's what I expect," Kenta agrees when Hikaru brings up the theory. "Something probably died and blocked up the waterway. But whatever it is, it might have been poisonous to begin with. I did an analysis on a sample of water before we left Konoha. There's traces of toxins in it that's similar to the secretions from some species of poisonous frogs and caterpillars.
Kenta holds the map over, so that Toshio can take a look at it. Interpreting it is pretty straight forward, but there's apparently a lot of twists and turns once inside. "Ummm… fire jutsu can be dangerous in some sections. You see the places shaded red? There's bat colonies there. All the guano they've dropped can leave some dangerous levels of ammonia and methane, so we'll try to move around them or go through as fast as we can. Besides that, there isn't supposed to be any natural gas deposits in this part of the land."
The young man pockets his second light stick for a second to makes a series of hand signs. The three shinobi instantly experiences the distinctive feel of a telepathic link getting established between all of them. Once it's firmly in place, Kenta pulls out the light stick again. "Ok, we're going in unless there's no questions. Stay alert and tell me if you notice anything unusual at all. Umm… Do it mind to mind if making a noise isn't an option."
Hikaru nods and enters the cave with the others, not wandering off anywhere (as he doesn't have the map), but instead sticking close with the group and keeping his eyes and ears (and nose) open for any clues. The scent was enough in here that even his ordinary olfactory senses would be able to pick up anything particularly off-smelling carried by some draft. At least, that's what he expected. He was certainly glad he didn't have an Inuzuka's nose, in this case.
"Right. Being blown up because of batpoop is always a fun way to die." Toshio says as he looks about. "I bet the Inuzuka would love it here. Is that why non volunteered?" He asks curiously before looking back to Hikaru. "So you are one of the Sarutobi, so you have fire ninjutsu expertise?" He asks curiously.
It's dark inside and it definitely smells worse. The wave of fetid air that smashes into the Leaf shinobi's faces feels like a slap. It makes Kenta flinch back, but he simply grimaces and braces himself after that. His nose will hopefully acclimate. The young man holds his light stick up to case as much of the chemical induced illumination around the area as possible. The other stick that's jutting from his hip holster provides extra light, as do the ones that he gave to the two Genin. After their eyes are adjusted, they notice that they're within a claustrophobically small tunnel that leads deep into darkness. The walls are mere rocky dirt held into their present shape by tree roots and pressure. The hole probably developed as a result of past erosion. Tiny worms, insects and gritty dirt quickly cover their clothing after a mere twenty feet in.
"Eww… This really is probably why no Inuzuka volunteered. It's…" Kenta simply grimaces again and pushes forward. The ground's getting firmer, so they're probably moving pass the layer of top soil and will reach the sections carved out of bedrock eventually. "Ummm… bats often harbor rabies too, so try not to let any bite you."
Hikaru wears a flat expression at the mention of rabies, briefly envisioning himself foaming at the mouth and going psycho. As amusing as the image was, he still didn't want to contract any diseases while he was here. The smell was horrible, that was for sure, and Hikaru was taking very small and shallow breaths to try and get as little of it as possible. The tunnel was small, even to people like him and Kenta (who were not very large at all), so it seemed like they would be traveling single file for a while. At least they had a map, and some light…
"They bite you and you begin to crave blood and become batmen." Toshio says jokingly before moving on with the others, dusting himself every so often before looking to Kenta. "I am willing to wager they are laughing in their village right now, for taking the job." He says sarcastically. Since Hikaru didnt answer him, he just leaves the other genin be.
The team quickly reach their first intersection and a three way intersection at that. They branch out from the entrance tunnel at different angles, none of them looking that appealing at all. But down the left-most tunnel comes the sound of squeaking and the air flowing from that direction is enough to bring tears to everyone's eyes. One of the bat colonies is problem down that way.
Kenta blinks his eyes rapidly as he tries to clear his vision. The traces of ammonia in the air's already making his throat burn too. "Ahem! Ummm… we're going -that- way," the Chuunin says as he points to the right-most tunnel instead. There's a faint hint of relief in his voice. "I don't think I want to drink blood at all. It's really not very good for the human body. Our digestive system isn't built to handle it very well."
Kenta starts to step forward into the tunnel that he pointed, but Hikaru might notice something as the Chuunin does that. The light from the Sarutobi's chemical stick keeps glinting off dust that's coming off the tunnel wall a few feet past Kenta. Then, bigger bits of soil. A few pebbles. A large pebble. Kenta's walking forward with his eyes on the map and doesn't see this right away.
Hikaru glances to Kenta as he starts heading right, glad they didn't have to go where the bats were. But, as his sensei walked, he noticed movement.. and upon further inspection, realized that bit of the wall were falling off! ~Sensei!~ Hikaru called out telepathically, in case noise might make the situation worse. ~The wall! This tunnel is unstable. We probably shouldn't take it, or it could fall in on us.~
Toshio just continues on ahead. "Tell that to the Kaguya, they spill enough blood I am convinced they drink the stuff to do their bone stuff." Toshio says as he looks about the cavern wall and the gradual increase of debris. "We got to get out of here…now…" He says softly as he tries to rush with the two others in tow.
Kenta's head snaps up upon hearing the warnings from both of his followers and he notices the instability of the chosen tunnel immediately. He quickly backpedals towards the safety of the crossroads, helped to a greater speed by Toshio. That tunnel collapses an instant later, causing a cloud of choking dust to blow outwards and obscure everything in sight. Kenta covers his nose and mouth with the front of his shirt, but still ends up in a coughing fit. <"Ummm… I guess we can't even take the tunnel if we choose to anymore. And we're definitely going to have to communicate silently from now on…"> He sucks in greedy gulps of air through the fabric of his shirt as the dust cloud begins to settle.
When Kenta's eyes have also stopped watering, he holds up the much dirtied map to check it again. He has to bite off an uncharacteristic curse. <"Ummm… guys. We're going to have to risk rabies and asphyxiation. The left-most…"> And most smelly. <"…tunnel leads directly through a small bat colony. The center tunnel meanders three times as long, but eventually exits into that -same- location. It's bats either way.">
That had been a close call. And now there was no way but the bats. HIkaru sighs and hangs his head, not bothering to dust off his clothes. They would only get dirty again. ~Let's go, then~ he replies dismally, holding his light up towards the bat tunnel. ~Won't out light startle them into flight?~
"If I become rabid My last wish is to go to the inuzuka village." Toshio says quietly. "So do I just think and you guys can hear my thoughts?" He asks curiously not sure how it works exactly, looking about before reaching to his pack for some cloth masks, handing them out to the two.
<"Yes, Toshio. Just think and imagine your thoughts are reaching us. We'll hear." Kenta glances down the left-most tunnel and sighs. "We might as well get this over as quickly as possible…"> Kenta sends in the same mental tone as Hikaru. The two Genin can sense how resigned he is to the fact through the shared telepathic link. <"We'll cover up some of the light sticks to dim the glow when we're closer. I'm really more worried about what the ammonia and methane's going to do to us than the bats themselves at this point. It's already pretty strong here and we're still pretty far from the cave. We might need to sprint through it to cut the amount of time that we're exposed, even if that and the light disturbs the bats. Ummm… so be prepared.">
This leg of the journey is straight forward, so Kenta pockets the map to avoid the risk of dropping it if they get attacked. He beckons for the Genin to follow him before he heads forward with his hand-held light stick lifted high to illuminate what's ahead. Kenta was right when he said that the bat cave is pretty far ahead. The cough inducing ammonia fumes increases bit by bit as they walk through the twists and turns of the tunnel. The smell of guano and rot also increases to unbearable levels. Each step that they take towards the cave is an unpleasant struggle, especially as the piercing shriek of bats grow ever lower.
Eventually, the group reaches the end of this section of the tunnel. It takes a few seconds for their eyes to adjust, but what greets them isn't a comforting sight. The cave beyond is much larger than the map made it out to be, probably over a thousand feet across in diameter. The ceiling reaches a few hundred feet upwards, and it's covered by thousands upon thousands of bats. Very large bats the size of terriers. The flapping of many winds constantly stirs up the foul air to beat against the team's faces and serve to daze their vision.
It might be due to the daze caused by watching flying bats that the causes the ground to also look like it's in constant motion. It dips downwards from the tunnel mouth into a deep bowl shape, but the rock is swirling in strange patterns. Then, the shinobi sees why. The floor of the cavern -is- moving, but it's not the stone. A thick carpet of hard-shelled beetles crawl everywhere, feasting on the accumulated bat guano and possibly on the carcasses of each other too.
As they headed further into the cave, Hikaru was thankful for at least the minimal barrier created from the mask Toshio had given him. Though it still wasn't enough to cover the smell. His head was spinning by the time they reached the giant cave, and he felt his face pale when he saw the size of the bats on the ceiling. Not only did they seem big enough to bite off his face, but the floor, too, was crawling in insects, making Hikaru's skin to crawl uncomfortably. ~Kentaaaa~ he whines telepathically, cursing the man for bringing him along on something like this. Now he felt light headed AND nauseous.
<"Test one two three."> He thinks before nodding and looking about. Toshio for the most part tries to keep his head. The amount of ammonia almost gets to him When they enter the main bat den, he looks about, almost amazed before he looks to the ground and the beetles.
<"I wonder which would try to kill us worse, the bats, their spelunky, or the beetles eating their spelunky.">
Kenta stands frozen for several long heartbeats. Part of that is because his eyes are watering so hard now and it's getting more difficult to breath. The sight before them doesn't horrify him so much as cause dismayed, which can be faintly felt through the link. <"Ummm… this is definitely going to be unpleasant. There's no avoiding it. The concentration of ammonia in the air's too strong. We're definitely going to have to make a break for it. The map placed two additional exits in this cave. There's one in the middle of the right wall, which leads us right back around to the outside. But the one directly across from this one leads towards the source of the stream.">
As Kenta explains the layout to the two Genin, several of the larger bats are starting to flap closer and closer to them with unhealthy interest. Their shrieks are pain inducing, if not debilitating. Closer and closer they approach. Their interest is probably going to attract additional bats soon. <"Ummm… ok, we're going to run for it now. Try not to think what you're stepping on. Remember, no fire ninjutsu, so keep shuriken and kunai in hand."> Kenta sticks his light stick into a vest pocket and pulls out his own weapons. He glances back, meets Toshio and Hikaru's eyes. He waits until they're prepared. <"Get ready… On the count of three… One… two… three, go!">
As soon as he gives the command, Kenta's dashing off in a straight beeline for the opposite side of the dark cave. Beetles pop and squelch underfoot, squirting out foul liquid as they're crushed by his weight. His legs are soon encrusted with them. Unfortunately, the bats follow.
Hikaru pulled out a kunai as Kenta spoke, groaning inwardly as he was told the plan. Great… Well, here goes nothing. On Kenta's command, he sprints across the cavern, trying to be fast enough to outrun the bats. He did /not/ want to have to deal with them on top of everything else, and anything that would delay him from getting out of there was bad news.
Toshio sighs as he activates the hidden blade, unattaching it to use it as a kunai. He holds it tightly as he waits. When the command comes, he comes running towards where the other two are going, going as fast as he can. <"Kenta I would like to point out that this mission better have bonus pay."> He comments in mid route as he slashes at a few bats as they made unhealthy dives down towards him.
Sprinting across such harsh terrain while breathing in what amounts to poison takes a quick toll on the Leaf shinobi. Their lungs are burning terribly within minutes. Beetles are getting under their clothing and biting them too, often forcing them to do a dance in the middle of running to shake some of them off. Worse of all, several of the bats attack when they're about halfway to their destination.
Bulky bodies flutter down at them with powerful beating wings that send beetles flying. The bats all try to dive bomb the shinobi to knock them off their feet. Each one must weigh at least twenty to thirty pounds, which is no joke when the targets are already unbalanced from trying to move quickly.
Kenta's nearly bowled over when one of the bats clips him on the shoulder. He stumble sideways, but manages to plant his next step firmly and launch forward with a leap that sends beetles flying everywhere. <"They're attacking! Watch your backs!"> he sends to Toshio and Hikaru. There's no breath to spare for speaking aloud, even if they didn't already have telepathy working in their favor. The rush of wind against his neck warns him that another bat's trying to divebomb him and he darts to the side. The young man twists back just long enough toss two shuriken into the mass of bats. The move is aimed to discourage, since it's more important that the team gets to the opposite tunnel as quickly as possible.
Hikaru acks as he runs and he feels the bugs either squashing under his feet or cralwing up his legs and biting him. He just manages to dodge an incoming bat, feeling the wings brush rapidly past his head, but when a second one descends, it knocks him face forward in the beetles and bat dropping, making him choke and cough as he hurriedly staggers to his feet to keep running, tossing out a couple of shuriken to try and drive the bats away.
The blond genin's blue-green eyes turn blood red as a single tomoe appears alongside the pupil. The Sharingan studies the bats and dodges, but then one flies from the glassy knoll and hits him smack in the face. Toshio acks as he pulls the bat off his face and just stomps on the beetles harder He slashes at the kunai he had in hand as he is sorely tempted to fireball the lot.
<"WORST. MISSION. EVER!">
There's a good dozen bats after the three humans now. They come at the group in a swarm. Most of them manage to dodge the tosses shuriken, but one goes spinning away through the air when a shuriken thrown by Kenta tears through the delicate membranes of a wing. It hits the ground, breaking a few bones, and is instantly covered by biting beetles.
The remaining bats change their tactics slightly when it becomes clear that they're not managing to do much damage. Several of them drop and try to latch on to the shinobi, so that they can bear them down with their weight. Sharp teeth rip at any exposed skin that they can find.
Kenta doesn't even look back to see whether any of his shuriken hit. <"Hang in there! We're getting closer!"> the young man sends out in encouragement. His breath is ragged and there's a bit of blood trickling out of his nose now. The membranes there aren't too happy with the caustic air right now. But by now, the opening of their targeted exit is appearing out of the darkness. If they can last just a little longer, they'll be able to make it.
Kenta stumbles to his knees when two bats slam into him and grab on to his backpack. Fetid breath brushes against his cheek as they try to rip chunks of him off. Kenta shakes himself hard to loosen the bats. As another one try to land on him and snap at his face, his form suddenly blurs. He reappears twenty feet away at the exit.
Hikaru grunts and shakes as bats start swarming around him, dodging them where he can and running as fast as he can to where Kenta waits. He still can't breathe when he reaches the exit, coughing and wheezing from the poisonous air he's just spent too long inhaling. He collapsed against the tunnel wall and groaned, trying to get his lungs working properly again - but the smell was still too much. ~Kali, Kenta-san….~ That was all he could think. He was TOTALLY over being in this cave.
Toshio had enough. He was close to forming the seals for a great fireball. Instead, just as the bats tackle him, he flickers and appears closer to the exit. <"Kenta, I am never going cave exploring with you again."> He thinks as he avoids stepping on a beetle which tried to grab him. He kicks it up into the air at a bat.
Kenta's leaning against the wall in a near faint after shaking off all the beetles from his legs. He kicks them all away from him, but with less force than Toshio did. <"Ummm… you both agreed to the mission."> he reminds them before he tries to grab both of the Genin's arms. The motion makes him hack out a few coughs. <"We can't linger here. There's still too much ammonia and methane in the air. We'll collapse if we stay here any longer."> The Chuunin weakly tries to pull Toshio and Hikaru down the tunnel with him. He doesn't have any hands to check the map with, but he -knows- that there's cleaner air up ahead. Reaching that air is important right now. This is assuming that they're not just going to enter a location without any oxygen at all.
Hikaru's head swims as he follows Kenta's pulling, barely staying up on his feet. He just wanted to breathe fresh air… Please let there be fresh air ahead… As it was, he felt like he was about to pass out. He hadn't even thought of the /return/ trip through the caves. And he was gonna keep it that way. He couldn't concentrate right now as it was, without worrying about that.
Toshio hurries along, trying to breathe but is unable to because of the ammonia. He moves with the others, almost begging for air, his lungs burning and he felt dizzy. <"Please tell me there is some air somewhere…"> he mentally thinks, unsure where to go now.
Things are much more uneventful for the next hour. That's how long it feels like to the group. The acrid bite of ammonia and methane in the air tapers off the further they move away from the bat cave. The trio's lungs still ache badly from all the irritation, but they now have time to recover a little. They also have to focus on navigating the cave system carefully, since there's a lot more twists and branching at this point. Kenta has to take out the map again to go over it by the light of the chemical glow sticks to make sure that they don't lose their way. This time, they're also able to avoid other areas marked as dangerous.
The group finally arrives at the source of the stream. They hear the sound of running water several minutes before that and can detect more moisture in the somewhat stagnant air. The tunnel that they're following widens. The hard stone underneath becomes slick under their boots. Within moments, they're standing in water an inch deep Then, two inches. Soon, it reaches their ankles. It's strange, since a comment on the map says that the water shouldn't be reaching so far into the tunnel, so it must have flooded recently.
The tunnel eventually opens out into another cave, but this one is smaller than the bat cave. It's only the size of a small house. Water rushes off a gap in the ceiling at the far side to create a short waterfall that thunders into a knee deep pool that covers the entire cave. There are two exits for the water. A downward sloping tunnel to the left of the entrance diverts most of the water deeper underground. Another opening in the wall to the right brings a smaller portion of water meandering out to the surface, where it spills into the open air stream that the villagers rely on.
The group quickly sees what the problem is. Thick bubbles of foamy mucus completely blocks the second, smaller passageway. The substance is a ghastly white and so viscous that even the water can't wash it apart. An eclectic collection of bones from different animals stud the mucus, along with grayish brown pellets that -might- be waste products. A giant frog about the size of a building's water tank is settled within the frothy nest that it must have made. It's flesh is a ghostly white with livid spots of red. More mucus coats it's skin in a slimy coat.
When Kenta sees the giant frog, he stops throws out his arms to stop everyone short. He tries not to make the motion to obvious, since that's just asking for trouble. <"Stay back from it. That coloration. It's probably the source of the toxins in the water. The toxins will be more concentrated here, so don't let any of it get into your mouth. We have to find a way to move that frog and break up the stuff that's blocking everything up. Ummm… not sure what'd work in this case. We have to get that frog away first and I'm not sure that killing it will help. It's too big to move. If it's like other toxic frogs that I know of, we -don't- want to touch it.">
Hikaru was relieved to finally reach the water (and cleaner air), but when he saw the giant frog, he just about lost it again. "What the olmec is up with this frog?" he hisses to Kenta, looking around and seeing the nasty looking mucus plugging the waterway. And they had to get rid of that somehow, too? Man, this mission was starting to look impossible. "We could burn it," he suggests half-heartedly, not really knowing of anything that would certainly work. This was not looking good, no matter HOW you saw it.
"If We need bait I can make a fire clone. Looks like the thing is big enough to eat me or Hikaru." Toshio suggests watching the frog. "Shame this one isnt intelligent enough to ask to get lost." He says as he watches the frog and then looks to Kenta for the final verdict.
Unfortunately, for the group, the frog notices them before they can make a move. Maybe it caught the unusual glow of light in its milky eyes. It could have felt the distinct vibrant of their movements in the pool, so different from the harder pounding of the waterfall. It could even be scent, since a keen sense of smell would be valuable in a lightless world. More likely, it had heard them. Whatever the case is, the giant frog lurches partially off its throne of mucus. It's enormous maw opens and a fleshy tongue lashes out quick as a bullet. Sticky slime drips off the appendage as it stretches ten, twenty, -forty- feet through the air at the person closest to the frog, Kenta.
<"Umm.. Try not to speak out loud. It might have keen hearing. Your ideas are sound, so we can try them. There's also a few things that I can…"> Kenta starts to send through their shared mental link. He had only gotten through the discussion partway when the splashing of the frog catches his attention. Seconds afterwards, displaced water ripples and hits the group with some shallow waves. But the biggest concern is the HUGE TONGUE heading Kenta's way.
The Chuunin hisses out a breath and his body blurs right before the tongue hits. He reappears standing upside down on the ceiling of the cave, slightly beyond the entrance. The young man tosses a kunai directly at the frog's face, but makes a hand seal before the kunai hits. A tag wrapped around the handle sizzles and puffs out a small cloud of noxious green mist.
Hikaru freezes when he hears the frog's movement, barely keeping from letting out a yelp as the giant tongue stretches out their way. Thankfully, it was aiming for Kenta and not him. Kenta was really effective at dodging things. But he was sure to be next. Hikaru gulped. Kenta had sent poison the frog's way, but Hikaru wanted to hit it again for good measure. Sticking his glow stick in his pocket, he quickly formaed a few handseals and took a deep breath, spewing out flaming shuriken towards the frog. If Toshio hit it too, maybe they would do some real damage. At least it would keep them alive, for now.
Toshio barely contains a curse as he watches the thing move out. He moves away from everyone before splitting into three seperate Toshios, one of which runs for the toad. "EAT ME!" It yells as it runs on a suicide run.
The hefty bulk of the frog prevents it from moving very fast, so both Kenta and Hikaru's attacks hit it full on. The puff of noxious mist blinds the frog for a second, but it quickly shakes the poison off, as if it's own poisonous nature has given it some immunity. By then, Hikaru's flaming shuriken slams into its side. The weapon lodges into the thick layer of slime that coats the frog's skin, but eventually the flames burns enough of the substance away to singe the delicate skin beneath. The frog lets out an astonishingly loud bellow and thrashes in the water, even breaking loose a bit of its own mucus nest. It probably hadn't felt this type of pain in a while, being large enough that neither giant centipede nor bat is a threat.
The frog launches forward with a bit more lumbering speed as Toshio sends a fire clone at it. The enormous creature only knows that it has to destroy whatever caused it's pain. What better thing to do than to -eat- the pests? It's tongue lashes out to wrap around the fire clone that's getting in its face and the clone quickly disappears down the frog's gullet. Instant heart burn. These strange guys are -not- good to eat!
This time, the frog bellows in panic and barrels through the water towards the wider tunnel that serves as the bigger outlet for the water. When it senses that two other Toshio's are in its path, the giant frog uses its last ditch defensive mechanism. Its blind, bulging eyes squeezes down into its skull. Vessels within the milky orbs burst and squirts twin streams of vicious blood at Toshio, an amount that'd coat the Genin from head to toe. The blood is extremely noxious, enough to make a target sick to the stomach and become incapacitated long enough for a getaway. The frog continue to flee towards the opening, whether the blood hits or not.
Kenta reacts quickly when he sees the giant frog charge in Toshio's direction. He realizes quickly that the creature's trying to escape and that Toshio's only in the way. The streams of blood that the frog squirts out is a tactic that he hadn't seen before, but that only alarms him more. <"Duck to the side, towards the way we came from, Toshio!"> Kenta sends urgently. At the same time, he makes several hand seals and slashes his hands through the air. The fact that he's standing upside down on the ceiling makes things more awkward, but he luckily manages to fling a few blades of hardened wind into the path of the blood and divert its course. The vicious substance falls into the water well short of Toshio.
It seemed like the frog was out of the way for now. Thank heaven. Now there was only the issue of the poisonous mucus plug to deal with. Mustering all the chakra he can, Hikaru forms two hand seals and launches not one, but three burning-hot fireballs at the thick white gunk, hoping to burn it away. Once it was clear, clean water would start to flow through the stream again.
One Toshio ducks out of the way, the other just vanishes in a puff of flame. When Toshio surfaces, he coughs. "That has to be the worst attack I ever saw, exploding eyeballs." He says. When Hikaru begins to burn away the gunk, he forms a series of seals and performs the great fireball technique a couple times.
Toshio and Hikaru's repeated fireball attacks slam into the mess of mucus and bone that clogged up the second, smaller outlet for the water. The first few don't do much. The stuff is just too wet and sticky. But after repeated impacts, the force of the concussions themselves break the mucus mass apart. The pressure of the pool's water does the rest. The mucus quickly dissolve, now that moisture is soaking in from the increased surface area. Before too long, water rushes through the opening, bringing all the bits of bones through with it. The water might still not be too safe to drink for a day or two, as debris and poison linger in the above ground stream, but things will be back to normal for the village before long.
Kenta breathes out a sigh of relief. He jumps off the ceiling and lands on the surface of the pool. <"Good job, both of you. Mission successful. Your fire jutsu really saved the day here. I know that we're all tired, but we had to head back after we get a bit of rest. Umm… I'll try to get the administrative office to give you bonuses. This turned out to be a pretty tough mission."> Kenta rubs a hand down his face. <"Our glowsticks don't last forever. Ten minutes to catch our breath and we head back."> Through the bat cave again. You win some, you lose some.