Date: November 14, 2014
After leaving Kumogakure, Mushi and Red decide to visit Red's old home town in the Land of Snow.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Adventures in the Snow Part 1"
Mushi never planned to return the bijuu to her village. Regardless of if her cousin acted alone, his actions must've stemmed from some part of it, if only indirectly. So she left it with Kumogakure, stating that her debt to them was fully paid. She hadn't sent them Chomei on a shining silver platter. But a bijuu was a bijuu. They'd saved her, they'd contained the bijuu, and most of all they had saved Red from death. She didn't fully trust any of the Hidden Villages…but in terms of whom she trusted the most, Kumo was at the top.
They departed. Regardless of her insistence for him to stay in Kumo Red was with her. And for once, Mushi was training just as hard as him. Strangely enough it wasn't world blasting techniques. Instead, she was concentrating all day on maintaining her chakra, trying to retrieve the stamina she'd lost when she lost her bijuu.
Red is practicing form more than anything, the young boy from the Land of Snow working out on one of those tree stumps with various protrusions sticking out from it. Designed to help teach the correct technique, Red goes through the motions over and over again, slowly yet surely getting faster. It was a process, but one that was picking up.
"Mushiiiii," He whines, whacking against the hunks of wood. "My hands and feet hurt. How much longer do I have to do this for? And when are we going to see the Land of Snow? Isn't that what you said we would do after?" His maroon pupils swivel slightly over to the healer, watching her move as hard as she can. It was almost odd to watch, but something he took some strange comfort in.
Mushi has been maintaining her chakra all day. When Red speaks she opens her eyes with a look of disgust. She would've been able to sustain five times as long in her bijuu state. She's weak, shrivelled up. She probably will be drained using the techniques she created to work in tandem with her boundless chakra as a Jinchuuriki. Now she's just Jounin level…A-rank.
She's no longer a player. But at the same time such a thought is strangely elating. Maybe she'll be left alone. She turns to Red with a smile. "We'll go in a week," she says. "I didn't expect to be so weakened after losing Chomei…and I am. I've planned on creating some techniques apart from being a Jinchuuriki for some time. Now I just need to refine my chakra. Refine it and make it efficient more than ever. So in the meantime, here we stay."
"I don't even know where 'here' is." Red grumps, sending a kick for the training stump. "All I know is that we're in the middle of no-where. It feels like we're hiding or something! Why didn't we just stay in the Lightning village? You like it there, right?" Taking a break, the youth rubs his sore hands. Whacking the thing over and over has caused some welts and bruises to form. All part of the training, though.
"Hey, what did that guy from the Sand end up doing to you, anyway? Err, Kuoro—… something-something." Red was always terrible with names. Another skill that he needed to focus on. >_>;
"And if you ever wana learn more about being normal, you should ask the master. Me." He grins widely as he pushes his thumb into his chest. "I'm as normal as you can get, and I'm fine."
"I don't want a horde of Kumo nin staring at me and every technique I'm working on," Mushi says. "I also don't want word to get out how drained I am." She sighs and sits down on a moss covered log. A shiver runs through her, partly because of the stiff cloak. She grabs her cloak and draws it around her. For once Red's choice of clothes will be useful.
She smiles when he offers to be her normal-sensei. "You're very special, Red," she says, and reaches out to pull him into a one armed hug. Brief but warm. "I remember how you protected me when I was stabbed, rather than run away. That was heroic. Now hero…back to training. Sit down and focus your chakra."
"Why not?" Red asks, beginning to throw more punches into the stump. It doesn't last long though, as he's pulled away into a one-armed hug. With a smirk as he's released, the youngster moves to sit down, cross-legged. "The world is gonna find out you're just like everyone else eventually. And I know, right? I kicked some serious butt. If those lightning ninja didn't turn up, I would've been forced to get /serious/. Kakaka!" He laughs in a mock-evil tone, perhaps at the irony of his statement. In reality, he was using techniques just to try and /stay alive/. It took everything he had just to avoid being killed.
As he focusses chakra, he takes a big deep breath. "Have you been to the Land of Snow before?"
Mushi rolls her eyes at Red's bravado. It's good he can show such spunk. Once again she has to reflect how many life and death situations he's been through since meeting her. Maybe this change will make her safer, less of a target.
She says, "I've passed through the Land of Snow. It's very cold. But I've never stayed there for long." She was always going through it to get to someplace else, someplace warmer. "What do you like best about it?" As she asks clear chakra flares around her. Not turquoise, but clear as a crystal. Tinged with gold.
"I dunno. I can't really remember it. I haven't been there since I was a baby." Red shrugs honestly, going through various chakra focussing techniques. "I know one thing: I'll like not sweating to death over there like in the desert. Ugh." His nose wrinkles.
"I remember the little town, sort of. Nice fun, happy place. Known for making hot curry. I hope someone will be able to recognise me and fill me in on what happened when I was a little kid." He thinks. "There is this really big snowy forest at the back that we weren't allowed to go in. I remember something about monsters or spirits that are supposed to live there, but… dunno. Probably just a made-up story by grown-ups, hey? They don't really exist, right?"
Mushi smiles. "There are scary monsters in this world," she says. "Like my giant hummingbird Kirameki. She's nice, but there's also the violent, dangerous giant animals. I've seen them in Kiri. But spirits…I've never seen such a thing. So maybe it was a made up story. Or maybe it wasn't."
She leans forward. "Remember there's not one thing in this world that can't be overcome by the right jutsu. Train hard and you'll be able to protect your friends from any of them, 'kay?" Then a seal would appear in front of her. It looks like a net, almost a hammock. "Got it. Go ahead, try and get through it." Punch it.
Red boggles at the seal that seems to form in apparently… mid-air? Getting to his feet, the boy attempts to crack his knuckles. Naturally, since he was still young, his knuckles weren't quite brittle enough to crackle on demand.
"I dunno how you made a seal just float like that, but I'm gonna charge right through it at full throttle!" Winding his right arm about like a windmill, Red charges forward! "Yaaaaa!" He cries, sending a fist right for it! The seal appears to stretch and absorb his blow, before stopping him outright. His eyes widen a touch when he feels his own momentum start to reflect against him, before… fwoosh! The boy is blown back!
Tumbling over and over backwards, Red comes to a halt a good few meters away with an annoyed sounding groan. "Freeze it!"
"Of course they can be used in mid-air…for an instant," she says. "Only as long as I concentrate. Seals are whatever they're put on. In the air they fly away like the wind. On the ground they remain hard and solid. The water would make them flow away." She shrugs. "But you may be right. It's an uncertain technique. If I can think of using something with earth…that'd be better, I think."
She rubs her chin. "Earth…yeah. Maybe earth ninjutsu is the way to go… What do you think, Red? Do you think earth ninjutsu is cool? Also…I've decided. We'll go to the Land of Snow now. I don't much enjoy this gloomy forest." And with that she'd stand up and start off, leaving Red to gather his stuff and catch up.
Poor Red is still laying on the ground in a heap, groaning at the rebounded momentum. With a small writhe, he echoes a nondescript answer to Mushi about earth ninjutsu. He did like earth stuff, actually. He just wasn't in a state to immediately give a response.
Forcing himself to his feet, he pats himself clean of the dirt and dust he collected. "Right now? I thought you said we were gonna wait a week?" The boy seems a bit confused, though isn't going to argue. Moving about to quickly gather and collect his things, Red dashes to catch up to Mushi as quick as he can.
"Hey! Wait up!"
"The trail may get cold," the medic says. "Heh…cold. Land of Snow. Geddit?" She clears her throat. "Anyway, I don't wish to take Kirameki since it's not an emergency. If I did, she'd think I'd call her to go anywhere. And you don't learn anything in the air. Down on the ground there's all kinds of news and knowledge to be had." Then she jumps into the trees and would wait for Red. Then she'd jump from branch to branch shinobi style. But she would slow her pace to give Red an easier time to go along. "You okay?" she asks at once point, and would stop to grab Red's arm and send a wave of diagnostic chakra through him, to scan his state of health.
Red catches up eventually, the large shoulder pack he wears seeming not a factor in his ability to not only dash across the ground, but to also scale the trees. He does snicker at Mushi's joke, perhaps young enough to not think the joke is corny, but actually funny. "Hey - I was the one who told you it's better to go across the ground back in the desert. Remember?" He sticks his tongue out at Mushi, before shaking his head. "I'm fine. Just surprised that the seal trampolined me."
And so he springs across the branches as best as he can. No-where near as fast as Mushi, obviously, but a decent speed for someone his age. Off to the Land of Snow!