Date: August 25, 2013
For an orientation in being in public, Meruin throws Sei into the deep waters.
Kanana Moon in Konohagakure
Kanana Moon [Konohagakure]
The great Kanana Moon, a middle of nowhere location with countless possibilities. This is the pride and center for all the needs of the villagers be it Ninja or villagers. A constant bustle of activity is seen here during the days as people wander around heading towards the several interesting small shops set in this area. There are coffee shops set next to take away shops where the smell of fresh ramen looms in the sky. There are news stands and hawkers, the essence of voices chatting in this area is not a shy sound to come upon. What's the most attended shops is the large item shop set in the north where things such as scrolls, stationary and even toys can be purchased. This shop is rumored to be the biggest in the city and has just about anything someone might need.
Furthermore there is a small tower marked with a picture of a Kunai and Shuriken, the sign 'Hiro Weapons' is read above it. All matters of Ninja items are sold here and up for display. There are common items, interesting items and even the few rare items that can be purchased here. Ninja from all over the village come here to do their majority of shopping for weapons due to the fact that stock is never limited at Hiro Weapons.
The village housewife also finds a place to shop here. Set in a corner in the southern section of the moon is a grocery store stacked to the brim with fresh and colorful vegetables. The vegetable shop always has business selling not only the freshest vegetables in the village, but the most nutritional and tasty to note. Known to be somewhat pricey it doesn't seem to ever not attract business. Often woman come here to converse with each other as their husbands wander to Hiro Weapons or the item shops
Weapon Shop - (WS) [Hiro Weapons - Entrance]
West - (W) [Kanana Isle]
The day was warm, spring fully underway on it's journey towards summer in the Land of Fire. The sun bore down from overhead this afternoon, adding an unecessary heat to the warmth already provided by the many people within Kanana Moon, this tucked away corner of Konohagakure that was it's center of commerce. It was an ever active locale. And now, with the chuunin exams under way in the village, the press of bodies was tight in many places, the scent and sound and friction of people thick in the area as they all head to various shops and stalls.
It was precisely what Okumo Meruin had needed. Precisely why he was here at it's entrance, henged. He looked towards the boy he'd brought along.
'I have been given the details of your current status,' spoke the Okumo as they had walked towards Konohagakure earlier in the day. 'You are only now to be introduced into the general population. It has not been made clear as to whether you were exposed to the Okumo Clan at large or were restrained to the scientists. Either way, it is different to exposure to a populace the size of a shinobi village and to being in close quarters with a large multitude. It will be a necessity that you can do such without misinterpreting every touch as an assault of some manner. Your first training exercise is to attempt to get through such a situation without making incorrect judgements of intent.'
And so they were here, preparing to enter the press.
Sei.. actually hesitated. Staring at the people before them. He was henged as well, the least he could do to mirror the work done by Meruin. So while he looked normal, he still was not sure. Glancing from people to Meruin, then back, a slow nod was given. To train was a precursor to testing. If he was to succeed he had to learn.. That was a lot of people. One of the larger spiders came out to sit on Sei's head, the rest of the brood hiding within the confines of his clothes. A slow breath taken and released, calm, center, focus. Sei closed his eyes a moment, using his connection with the brood to clear himself of worry. Spiders don't worry. He shouldn't either. Eyes opening, a final nod was given to Meruin. He was ready.. now for the training to begin.
"Just a moment," spoke Meruin, looking from the crowd to Sei with his now brown eyes. "Your spider," he spoke, with a nod. "It is not wise to leave such a thing out in plain view unless your desire is to raise fear, discomfort, disgust, or any combination of the three. I choose to hide spiders within the confines of my hair, too small to and camouflaged to easily decipher. It allows me the use of their senses without giving away their presence. What you do, for now, is your decision to make. Do so and we shall begin."
Sei thought for a moment, the spider twitching a little, as if it was in the thought process as well. Finally, it'd slink back down his head, to hide within that collar of his shirt. A final small nod was given to Meruin then. It seems the choice was made. Thus settled, Sei would be ready to follow Meruin into the thick mass of human flesh. Hopefully there was a destination in mind.. he wasn't sure if he could handle just walking around aimlessly in that crowd.
"Come," spoke Meruin.
The Okumo stepped forward then, without any further pause or preamble. His stride was long and swiftly paced, and though it lacked his usual sense of precision and balance, it managed to eat the distance between himself and the main body of people as though it were ravenous. It accepted him gradually, the number of bodies swiftly increasing until there was no moving forward without touching another, the sound of step and whisper and shout and coughing and laughter and more enveloping him. It would take some pacing to keep up with him.
A nod given in response, Sei embraced the spiders sense within his mind, using them to siphon the fear as he'd follow behind Meruin. People.. people people everywhere? Sei tried to avoid them. To avoid them was to not keep up with Meruin. Not keeping up would be a failure. He adjusted to the brushings and sounds. He flowed, as smoothly as possible around and between, avoiding what he could, but in that horde, there was no avoiding it. He kept slowing down, but would catch up to Meruin, only twice did he almost turn on someone who was just in a hurry, before he'd shake his head and rush to catch up. This was.. hard, and he thought the scientist were bad!
Sei cut short. Stopped instead of landed on, if barely, he'd twist and move back. Frowning at the crowd, he'd eye them, then the ever retreating back. Shaking his head, he waited just a moment, then would go walking over the people. As they started to respond with that reasonable irritation and some hostility, he was pretty good at shutting them up, as hands came up, the sleeves pulling back to reveal several rather large spiders on both hands. The spiders would hiss at the ones in his way, throwing them up and generally clearing a short area at least, for which they returned to hiding and he'd catch back up to Meruin. He wasn't sure if that was legit.. or if it had been Meruin. However, nothing was said.. not that he had much choice in that one way or the other.
Meruin continued walking on, as though heedless of the trouble left behind in his wake and the boy's attempt to catch up. As Sei would be approaching the older Okumo's back, he would notice a man suddenly lurching towards him. The one Meruin had put a hand on as he'd moved by. The man had tried to hold it in with a hand to his mouth, but he didn't have the willpower, soon vomitting a horrible, chunky stream towards the boy, the sounds of stomach and throat yielding their contents in his retching a sickening one. And if the boy didn't move, he'd find himself on the receiving end.
Sei was hesitant to deal with him anyways. The man had been noted, if absently, while he had dealt with the crowd of tumbling people. So when the man came his way, Sei did the best thing he could. A side step, a smaller child carefully pushed, she'd tumble into the spray while Sei side stepped further. Before the mother could even really register that her child got pushed out of her hands, she was having to deal with the sick man who just coated the kid that was now crying horribly. Sei slinked on through the crowd, more determined now to keep up. That was obviously Meruin. So was the previous one. Stops to attempt to see what Sei would do. To make him deal with the masses. He was getting better, the fear no longer there at all. He was catching on to the ways of movement in the crowd. Although no where near Meruin's level of ability of course, he was getting better.
Meruin took an abrupt turn in his path, heading through the thick crowd towards a place that held a true mob. A bunch of people stood packed together. Why they were there — watching a performance or awaiting entrance to a shop or whatever — could not be deciphered with the current view. Before the either of them would make it to them, though, Sei would find that a boy heading in the opposite direction of him would give a little bit more of a pronounced sway, putting their shoulders in the path of one another. Too eager and anticipating, the boy's hand would be seeking to give one of Sei's pockets a quick rifling at the time that would be right when contact was made, whether or not the two actually touched.
Eyes narrowed, browns that were so normal studying the kid. Obviously he was up to something. The same sway that allowed the other kid to sway in, had Sei twisting away. That didn't stop that pocket to be reached into… Now, common sense said.. don't mess with an insect controller, afterall.. they have bugs, right? *CHOMP* In an absolute sync that would be hard for any without that hive-mind mentality to do, the dozen or so spiders all bit the kid's finger at the same time. Bit.. and let go, before they'd get revealed when the kid undoubtably pulled his hand free from the sudden pain. Sei just gave the kid a hard look. He knew. Not only did he know what the kid did, he knew what the results were.. His mind was the same as those spiders that dealt with the forign hand. And.. he'd keep going. Meruin wasn't stopping, neither would Sei. Afterall, the test was to keep up with him.
Indeed it was.
And Meruin was going to test the boy's abilities out just a little further. The henged Okumo turned his head, looking back to Sei for a brief moment, brown eyes finding the boy who'd shaken his hand with a strangled shout and quickly started off through the crowd. Hm. And then he looked back to the fore, coming up to the packed crowd. "Excuse me," was his litany, his chant, as he pushed through the crowd. Gentle nudges, hands, forearms and shoulders allowed him to push nudge the bodies just far enough apart to accept his own and without garnering too much attention from those he moved. There was no excess jostling. No hard contact, his forward motion fluid and continuous, eyes spotting the path to take through the crowd. His henge remained intact. Unless Sei managed to keep just a couple of steps behind him, though, he would lose him.
This was getting harder. Sei kept moving, with how packed the already thought to be packed crowd was, he was stressing to try and not hurt someone. This was the nature of the insects he shared a mind with. Pressed into a corner.. you attack or flee.. With his own nature warring with himself, he tried to keep going. Striving to try and keep up behind Meruin. Then it'd happen. One particular fellow that let Meruin through, just happen to step back, knocking Sei almost over, with the press of the throng he didn't quite fall down, but even as Sei got back his balance and moved again.. Meruin was lost. Frowning, Sei kept going forward, to at least get out of the major press. He.. he failed the test? Or was it an open ended? A benchmark to strive through? Eyes narrowed in frustration. He wasn't sure.. but he refused to be destroyed.
Meruin was gone.
Meruin was gone and the crowd was pressing. It grew louder as more began talking, people starting to shuffle forward as whatever they were waiting for became available to them. The pressed from his right side, talking amongst themselves as they moved forward, most of them largely heedless of the nondescript boy. There was more touching, physical contact that was not initiated by the Okumo himself as people tried to get forward. Not enough to break the henge — not yet — but enough to worsen the feel of being squeezed. The trap was closing. Meruin was gone. The people were pressing. Meruin was gone. The pressure was palpable.
The henge flickered, once. The spiders were agitated. A slow hiss of air through his lips, Sei had to get out of this. Going across and with the flow, he'd press onward. Fighting harder and harder to get out of the horde as they moved on for whatever they were doing.
One particular jostle got Sei in the jaw, it wasn't on purpose, simply someone taller trying to move forward and catching him. Spiders immediately went on the attack, the brood going in all directions, crawling on people, biting. Fortunately they weren't using the poison.. this was an attack, not a feeding. They scattered. They screamed. The sounds pressed that 'prey' mentality forward in Sei. The brood surged further as he'd stand there, fist clenched, jaw tight.
On came the screams.
Those nearest to Sei raised their shouts immediately as the feel of spiders enveloping and biting assaults their senses. Caught by the sound others began to look, checking to see what the raucous was about only to find that there was an arachnid wave taking down people nearby and heading towards them. Fear was the clarion call of retreat, and the people followed it, pushing and rushing to get away from the spiders, not noticing the boy at their center as they tried to escape, trampling one another.
And then suddenly, Meruin was beside Se— was crouching on the rooftop of Hiro weapons, Okumo Sei in his arms. Calm and immediately, he spoke, "Be calm. Be still. Order your spiders to disperse. Hide them. Bring them to us in groups too small to be recognized." He repeated his commands as he began backing out of view of the trouble down on the ground level, a distance away. "Be calm. Be still. Order your spiders to disperse. Hide them…"
Snapped out of the psuedo-reality, Sei struggled for control. Achieving it, the spiders did scatter, brood turning into simply so many insects, they fled, in all directions, going into hiding of shadows, loose clothing, anything and everything to be able to avoid sight. Sei sagged slightly, changing from that attack back to a human in control, rather than the rage of the insects. The down side of the hive mind connection it seems. There was a weak whistle. Yes? Thanks maybe. An acknowledgement of what happen and the return back to child and the order carried out.