Ants in your Pants


Itami, Ryoji, Shikoge

Date: December 9, 2013


Ants! Poo! Villagers! Armani! Misshuuuun Complete!

"Ants in your Pants"

Random Village towards near Sunagakure

Village Entrance [Sunagakure]

The entrance to the mighty village of Sunagakure is a pair of towering sandstone pillars, with a banner bearing the symbol of the village strung between them. Guards are at the gates, greeting and questioning most of the newcomers to the village. They are wearing what would seem to be the usual wear for a Sunagakure citizen, long heavy clothes, covering the face and hair, to protect from the harsh winds, and driving sand of the desert.
Once a person is cleared through the gates, they enter into a bustling square just inside the entrance. There are many locals offering their services as guides through the desert, for those wishing to leave the great village. There are citizens selling the long cloaks and mantles that everyone wears, as well as dried and preserved food, fruits, and water-bags both empty and full.
Leading away from the gates of the city and further into the town is a road tiled with large flat pieces of sandstone and shale, which are being swept constantly to remove the accumulating sand.


It's the big day! What kinda day? The kind of day where hunting ensues. A mark has been found and claim has been laid. Now it's time to take the mark out and get the prize that comes from it. Sheer glory and recognition as well as a bit of ryo to boot. So, Mogura finds herself in the village seeking out someone in particular so that she might take this individual out to kill the thing she scrounged up. The village that made the request, unfortunately, doesn't have much to pay. All they have to offer is produce, but as a bonus, they might have some information that may prove useful to Sunagakure. Information is just as valuable as money, right?
Right. There may be some difficulty in traveling right now, though. There's a strong wind kicking up sand and already a wall of it is headed towards Suna. Alert has been placed on citizens and shinobi have been sent out to intercept individuals and help them to ride out the storm and or find them shelter to ensure their safety.

It is unfortunate that the alert had came in just as Ryoji managed to get a feel of the new suit he bought. So misfortunate. And yet, the Iga did not tarry when orders were eventually handed down to him. He merely took things in stride — as he was gradually becoming accustom to doing — and moved out with goggles in hand, bow tie in the other, and hair free of its usual binds. By the time the former wanderer arrives, the former two accessories are firmly in place. The sight of him draws some stares. Even more so since the overall assemble made him more prepared for a business meeting or invention display versus dispensing with aid.
His pace is brisk, expression neutral in the face of a potentially chaotic scene, and attention seemingly affixed on the entryway of the gate. Few were aware of the fact that the sharply dressed man suddenly in their presence was picking up, assimilating, and decoding every ounce of sensory data possibly within the area. The amount is staggering, to say the least. A wonder it be that he shows no sign of going insane as a result. Then again, perhaps he is already that way? The smile he gave to the elderly man when he went to direct him towards a nearby shelter hinted at the possibility.

It was just another day for Shikoge. A day like any other day for the young lad without a care in the world. The tasks for the day, what ever the boy desired, but so far that was little more than walking around the village with his shirt off while his sword dragged in the sand behind him, held by a single hand grasping the handle. About the village, there were people running around as if something was amiss. None of it caught Shikoge's attention however as he continued his stroll, eventually making his way toward the village gates.

With the wall of sand fast approaching, the village was doing its best to make sure procedure was followed and that all people would be accounted for. Even those out in the desert. Mogura wasn't really trying to prepare for anything or at least, she didn't look it. She had a task! And that task was headed for her in the form of a shirtless boy. "Oy! Didn't I tell ya to get a shirt last time? What in the mess is wrong with you? Further, we need to get someplace to wait out this sandstorm comin' in. I know you see all the people runnin' about," she pointed out the people that were finding places to seek shelter in. "Or you can be like…that guy who is… What? Well, it looks like someone might have you tied. He's dressed for a meeting and you're just naked from the top down. Both of these ensembles make no sense, entirely," she sighed and shook her head.
"Just where do you think you're goin' dressin' like that?" She asked Ryoji.

Everything is noted. Even the shirtless boy that suddenly decide to show up. "…." He refused to process that particular bit any further than the initial signal that reached his brain regarding the subject. There were people still in need for one thing, so no point thinking about pointless things. Nope. Not even in the slightest. Then Mogura decides drag attention to very 'thing' the Iga had been trying to put out of mind. Granted, it was bound to happen eventually. Even so, a few more minutes of not thinking about it would have been nice.
He turns to her. Lips part to let out a soft exhale. Then again to form the phrase, "To work." in a very flat tone. Those sensors he had hide in the tangled fold of his curly, unruly hair then alerts him to the identity of Mogura. At least in part. This prompts a brow to be raised and his lips to part again, only to stop and close again. From there he'd idly begin adjust his bow tie and try in futility keep his jacket straight as the wind picked up.

Shikoge would come to a complete stop as someone calls out to him. What they were saying didn't make much sense and left the boy with a look of confusion, but he didn't try to think much on the matter. "Hey, did you find that swordsman yet? We should go out looking for him. I'm ready right now." Swinging his hand to bring the sword up to his side and stabbing it in the ground next to him to lean up against it, "What are you talking about?" Glancing over at the well dressed man. "He's probably selling something. Hey! Ojiisan! What you sellin?"

"Bah, whatever," Mogura handwaved Ryoji's reply to her. Going to work. If that's something that floats his boat, it's fine by her. Terrible clothing for the desert, but it ain't like she's much better. "I thought we established that I'm the swordsman. I have the sword, that I let you hold. I also told you I was gonna take you out huntin'. Oddly enough you're properly dressed for the job, but it don't work like that out in the desert. Go get yourself covered up," she offered to him as she looked back at Ryoji. Selling something would make much more sense with what he has on.
Meanwhile, the sandstorm is drawing nearer and will be upon the village within the hour. Most of the villagers have found their way to safety, but there are a few stragglers seeking to get in some last minute shopping and selling.

A business suit is terrible for the desert. And yet, the red-headed Sunagakurian hardly seems to be uncomfortable wearing it at the moment. In fact, he doesn't even seem to be sweaty at all. Odd. Then again, it could be the result of that one joint business venture between the Amaro and the Rankoro that was rumored to be going on behind closed doors. Or something along those lines.
All of that aside, Ryoji ignores the kid bearing the oversized blade, though he does this without malicious intent in mind. Listening first is key. He'd absorb the exchange and the exchange between the other merchants determined to wheathered as much as the storm as they can. "Again, nothing. Simply doing my job." He says evenly. On that note, he drifted away from the odd pair and went straight for the closest merchant. Gambling on the possibility that what needed to be said would not reach the ears of a certain councilor, Ryoji got close enough to gesture with his index finger for said merchant to lean in close and listen.
Whatever he says brings a look of indignation out of the merchant, then a sly smile. Without further adieu, he pulls away and bows to the Iga before yelling at his customers to scram so that he could close up shop. One down… Several more to go.

Shikoge was at a loss for words with Mogura claiming to be the swordsman, especially since that wasn't how he remembered the conversation the last time. "You have a sword. I also have a sword. That makes us both swordsman, but not Sunagakure's best swordsman." Humming slightly as he grasped the handle of his blade and swung the sword about to rest upon his bare shoulder, "You know…You're acting a bit different than you were before. Like there's a fire in your pants." Extending his hand that grasped the blade to now point the tip at Mogura, "Are you really the Reddorei?!" Naturally as the well dressed old man chose to ignore Shikoge's questions, the boy would lose interest in the bow tie bandit.

"That is true, yup," Mogura nods. "We did talk about that. I stand corrected, but that don't change the fact that you need a stinkin' shirt for what we're about to do. Regardless of if any real hunter would be without one," she looked down at her shirt. "I can't be walkin' around without one for obvious reasons and I ain't in no mood for finding no bandages to wrap around myself either. So—" She's cut off as she know has a blade directed at her. Instinct had her reaching for hers, but she couldn't very well cut this kid up. "How am I actin' any different than I did before? I'm tellin' you exactly what I told you before minus that other part I got wrong," she grumped.
"Hey, you! You should be over here helpin' me. I need backup unless your little citizen ninja here starts goin' crazy on me," she called Ryoji out.

Ryoji had been just in the middle of finalizing his latest deal to get another foolish merchant off the streets when the call came. With a weary sigh and a brief apology given, the Iga does an about face, folds his hands behind his back, and then calmly appraoches Mogura once more. "How may I be of assistance to you my lady?", He asks of Mogura without really looking her in the eye. Not that it would have mattered all that much being blind in all. Strange how some people still take offense to that.
Then, as if belatedly realizing that the boy had brought a weapon to bear, Ryoji pantomime saying "ah" before calmly wondering over, remove a glove, then press the naked flesh against the edge of the blade and force it away from Mogura as he placed himself between the two. How he managed to accomplish this feat is something of a miracle and an experiment he has been working on for some time now. "Miira Shikoge. Please sheathe your blade before the others intervene and this situation is blown even more out of proportion than it should be."

Shikoge tilted his head slightly as he eyed the woman up and down, "Why can't you walk around without a shirt…you have some weird or gross looking deformity under there?" Eyes instantly going wide and head leaning forward to get a closer look, "Can I see it?!?" From the boys peripheral, he'd spot the traveling salesman approaching, removing a gloved hand and reaching out to touch the boys blade. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa…" Pulling the blade away to rest upon his shoulder before the old guy can get his mits on it and 'force' anything away. "Don't touch my stuff. You don't see me walking up to you and tugging on your bow tie, which by the way is a very hard temptation to resist." Extending a hand as he mentions it, wanting to grab the bow tie. "Also, how do you know my name? You some kind of traveling, bow tie wearing psychic?" Glancing about? "And what others? Intervene for what?

"Y'know, children with shinobi tools are the leading cause of injury in many shinobi villages?" Mogura asked as if this was a known fact. Of course, she made it up, but it could be true. Shikoge would count for 90% of those damages, she's certain. "That's why it takes good and observant adults to watch 'em so that they won't be causin' any trouble. I could've had my foot done in or somethin'." It did almost happen before. "And no, I don't have no deformity under here. I just can't be walkin' around with my shirt off and lettin' my business show to the world. What kinda sense is that? You ain't got none of what I got, so you can do that. Annoyin' as that is…" she sighed. "Don't make me hurt you. I don't wanna bring the sort of pain like shoving a sword up a dragon's nose could do." This was stated with an unusual amount of bitterness. Reasonably so because it caused bleeding not too long after and left a bothersome cut there.
"Anyhow, we gotta head out after this storm passes so you can go kill somethin' I found. I have the information on it right here," she pulled out a note and showed it to Shikoge. It was one of those large animals plaguing the desert. A huge ant was on the rampage, it seems and trying to turn some village into a future nest for a queen.

The blade is drawn back before he can touch it. Such a pity. While the boy 'ranted and raved' about this, that, and the other. Ryoji calmly went about setting his glove back in place, re-adjusted the bow tie again, and then placed his hands back behind his back, palms outward with one hand over the other. Only once it seems the young boy triade is done did he turn his shielded eyes upon him and answer in formal tone, apathetic by appearance to the fact the boy was reaching up to grab his bow tie. Itami sort of steals his thunder though, so his response was a little more clipped when his turn came around.
"One, Your more than welcome to have it. There are plenty of them in the world. Two, I have sources. You stand out among the information delivered by said sources… Three, no. Mother did not see it fit to pass that along." Ryoji was serious about that last bit. That aside, He leaned in close. "Lastly, you just drew a weapon in public with the appearant intention of doing harm to this young lass. Ignorant, it would seem, of the fact that the genuine guardians of this village that stay in the shadows would not take kindly to things progressing from where they have ended. Be sated and apologize to our, presumably, collective friend here." He states, gesturing to Itami.

Shikoge would shrug at all the nonsense, there was just too much of it and none of it was even exciting, "Wait a minute." Slipping the blade further along his shoulder until it reached behind his back and was strapped securely in place, "I've shoved a sword up a dragon's nose before and it didn't bring pain, but boogers. Lot's of 'em too. Covered me in it." The boy smiled as he thought back on that moment, before being grabbed back into reality with mention of killing things, "Then what are we waiting for?" The note would be presented to him and in returned he'd look at the letter, as if to read it, except he didn't, "Yes of course, let's go!"
Before they could go, there was the matter of this old man causing quite an annoyance to him. They didn't seem like they had an ounce of fun in their bones and they drained the energy and fun from the air itself…most be an old person thing, though Watanabe Itami is old too…must be a this guy kind of thing, "What's apparent and what actually happens are two different things, " The boy chuckled haheartedly, "You make a lot of assumptions…is that why you're so old and still just a genin? If you haven't noticed ojiisan, I'm a genin of Sunagakure as well, which makes me a shadowed guardian of this village." Shrugging as he turned away to focus back on Reddorei, "Let's go before we lose daylight!"

"Yeah, apologize and stuff…for a lot of things…like my foot nearly bein' cut off and my n—" Mogura had to stop herself before she spoke too soon. She cleared her throat and started back from where she left off. "And havin' a blade drawn at me and…a lot of other things! I agree with this ojiisan you keep calling him. I need an apology, but that can happen along the way because the sandstorm is here and daylight is about to be lost for thirty minutes, I'd wager," she remarks as she points out the storm just starting to strike the village. Let's all get inside now," she offers as she begins to take off.
Certainly, a number of stragglers are trying to reach safety and one of them happens to be a young girl that was separated from her family. She's frightened and scared, uncertain of where to go and needs help. She cries as she runs about, hoping to run into someone or find someplace that she thinks might be safe. These kinds of things happen in times of panic.

Ryoji is at a complete, an utter, and outright total loss of words after hearing Shikoge's reply. His brain simply could not process any of it for at least another few minutes or so. By the time he's managed to process even half of what came out of the boy's mouth, Itami — MOGURA has once again taken center stage, leaving him with only a scant few moments at best to offer a rebuttal to Shikoge's statement.
A snicker comes out.
Then a chuckle..
Then he starts laughing so freaking hard he starts holding his stomach with one hand while the other was placed on his forehead as he cackled towards the heavens.
"Enough." He murmurs flatly and abruptly stopped all movement.
Then… there is silence on his part…..

"Heh!" He bends abruptly forward and such crazy looking smile that it'd put the Joker to shame. "You, are, an, interesting young Miira. A wonder… such a wonder now how that story of yours played out." He says just loudly enough for Shikoge to be heard, smiling even wider before letting it falter and tone back down severly to its usual fox-like one. "Hai, Mo-mo-chama~ I'll-…" THe young girls cries get to him. "Mmmm, I'll be right along shortly. By all means, you two best be on your way now." He says, shooing them away and even giving them a gentle push if it seems necessary. Granted, chances are neither of them are willing to even be close to him, let alone let him touch them after the earlier display of madness. Be that as it may, if it'll get them moving faster than it was for the greater good. As for the little girl…

"Whoa whoa whoa!" A little hand clasps the panic stricken girl's hand. If or better yet when she turns to see who it belongs to, well, its none other than Ryoji! Yet, not Ryoji. He seems to have regressed quite a few years somehow to around her age. Not alone that but he is also a lot more…. feminine. Not in a cross-dresser sort of way, but the genuine air and appearance of a girl. A strong spirited one at that because the storm doesn't seem to shake 'Ryoji' one bit. He's not maniacly or anything of the sort. Just…brave? Yep, brave and determined and all the good qualities one would expect of a night in shining armor and a dress.
Unless given a reason not to do so or some ridiculous incident happening to dispel the henge, the girl will be led along by the Iga on the same path that the other two went.

Shikoge's eyes fell down to the womans foot at mention of it nearly being cut off, "Who would try to cut off your foot?" Glancing back up at Reddorei, "You're not getting an apology out of me, regardless. I still don't believe you to be the original Reddorei, maybe a clone of some sort! So the blade was justified" Nodding his head, already making up his mind as if that is the case. "Thirty minutes, eh?" Bringing a hand up and tapping each finger with his thumb, "That's enough time for three naps and then we can go on an adventure!" Still though, there was the crazy old guy now invading his bubble, "And you're a bit of a crazy ojiisan." Eyeing the man suspiciously before turning to face the sound of a young girl crying. Naturally, he'd see if there was anything he could help with, but as she was simply panicking, there was nothing he, nor anyone should, for that matter. Something he would have made sure stayed that way if the grandpa genin wasn't already heading that way, leaving Shikoge to scowl at the back of the man's head as he walks away. Losing any respect the boy might have or would have had for him. "Well." Turning back to Reddorei, with his shirt on once again, "Where to?"

The storm began to bear down on the village and obscure the sun. It was thick enough that it appeared to be evening. Barely any sunlight made it through the storm which indicated it was pushed by a powerful wind. It's likely that the conditions of the desert will be similar, but only time will tell. For now, there wasn't going to be much movement until this storm cleared up. While the storm was trying to work its way through, Mogura replied to Shikoge saying, "Someone that don't know how to handle a friggin' sword, is who! I still want my apology, but you got me twisted up if you think I'm not the one you call Reddorei," she stated to him.
"You ain't gettin' no naps. I'll make sure of it. No time for rest when there's a drone on the loose lookin' to make way for a queen to nest up! And put your stupid shirt back on! We're heading inside!" She could already feel the sand trying to chaffe at her skin. It's maddening, really, but she can endure. She just can't transform her way out of this one. Those scales would be handy right now… Oh! She just got it! Placing her hands together, she made a seal and a mist began to evelope her whole body or rather, her body became that mist. Now that sand'll pass through without any issues. "Much better."

Thus far, Ryoji's plan seems to go off without a hitch. The girl might've complained along the way or even tried to escape, but to be frank, she lacks in genuine power to break free from his grip or cause him enough stress to dispel the henge. Even if she did manage the latter, well, nothing short of attempting to lop off his hands will do. On the otherhand, she could've been the complete opposite of a gracious rescuee.
No matter what the case may be, he allows for nothing to stop or impede his journey. Nor does he give the storm another glance despite sensing the changes to the atmosphere about them. It is not as if he can control the weather anyhow or would try for that matter. 'One thing at a time' He chanted mentally until he caught up with the others.

"Oh, what?" Shikoge started twisting about, this way and that, squinting his eyes as he tried to look through the sand storm that came out of nowhere, "We should hurry up and get inside before this gets any worse!" He'd start taking off running in a random direction before realizing he had no idea where he was going, then turning about to head back the other way. "Reddorei?!" Bringing a hand up to help shield his already squinting eyes as it appeared the woman was turning into a ghost, "The sand is playing tricks on me!" Though he wasn't going to complain so long as she led them to safety.

Mogura would indeed lead them to safety and went to retrieve Shikoge with the hopes that he had his shirt on when she did so. Once they were inside, the full effect of the storm took place. The storm blanketed the village with sand with the large majority of it building up at the walls going against the wind. After sometime, the storm passes and leaves a haze over the village as well as the desert. It's advised that people wear masks if they plan on leaving so that none of the fine dust will enter their lungs and cause issues. Red ghost, of course, already comes prepared with her mask on. "Alright, the storm has passed and now we can get goin'. You might as well come too," she offered to Ryoji. "Then we can monitor the situation with this ant and see to it that no others don't get the best of this lad while he's doin' his job."

While the Ryoji and kid duo might not be the last to make it through, they are among them for certain. Somebody… He is almost certian somebody cried out for something. Then he turns to look at the littler girl only… she's no longer there. Probably slipped out of his grip at one point or another. So much for having a gripe that could rival steel clamps. Well, at least this way he didn't have to explain — no wait, the girl is pointing in his direction.


Where once stood little miss prince charming, now stands the Iga in all his now dusty business suit glory. A timely event too, because if he had been another few seconds off things might of very well have gotten a wee bit awkward somehow. Maybe. Who honestly really knows!
Be that as it may, Ita—MOGURA commands his attention. He turns towards her general direction and seems to give her a peculiar look for a moment or two before simply giving her a shrug and producing his own mask from within his jacket. No point wasting another fine afternoon plotting the downfall of humanity.

Once inside and waiting out the storm, Shikoge instantly took up a spot near the wall and quickly fell asleep. There was thirty minutes or more until the storm would pass so what better way to pass the time than to catch up on some much needed rest. Something he might have done a little too deeply as he was missing the goings on around him, even missing the cue that it was time to head out already.

"Time to get going! There's no more time to waste here," Mogura chimed as she prepared to leave. "Shikoge! Wake yourself up before I stomp you out of your sleep. We have an ant to catch," she offers to him. "You get to fight somethin' three times your size. You should be happy. You get to use that blade of yours and place yourself closer to being this village's greatest swordsman." She turns on her heel and exits out of the building.

The strange is comedic and therapeutic for the Iga. It has been awhile since he has seen such a magnificent comedy duo in action. It is also in part why he refrained from doing little more than fold his arms across his chest and lean up against one of the building pillars during the somewhat one-sided exchange. Alas, Mogura seemed intent on settling whatever problem existed outside their current setting, ridding the Iga any chance of putting some of what happened to paper while he was at it. "What a lovely woman she is," Ryoji murmured as pushed himself back into a standing position and began to follow after Mogura. Or Shikoge. Whoever left second to last, really unless said person insisted on being last.

Hearing his name, Shikoge finally stirred awake and peered about as if looking for something, though not finding it, his eyes would fall upon Mogura, "I'm hungry." Rubbin' his belly as he walked around the room hoping to find some food, "Well, will there at least be something to eat on the way? I can't fight on an empty stomach or move walk much." Heading toward Mogura and trying to lean on, "You should probably carry me so I can save my strength."'

"Oh, yes, you're hungry! Well, I have a special going. Knuckle sandwiches are flying out of my deli and are waiting to just hit your face with bloody flavor. Would you like one?" Mogura inquired as she proceeded to crack her knuckles. "You got rations or whatever. Eat those. Snack, whatever helps. There ain't gonna be many stops along the way except for that post that's midway out there," she explained to him as they passed through the gates of Suna.
"If I carry you, I'm also going to throw you. I think I can throw you pretty far. Maybe I should try that. C'mere…" She began to reach for him while he leaned against her.

Ryoji grins the sandstorm mask; an ugly but functional and worthwhile thing. And here he thought the laughs would end with some silly little time skip towards their destination. He turns around and starts walking backwards near the duo. "Not that didn't technically happen mind you." He says mirthfully with a shrug. He hopped, turning his focus back towards where their going. "There's also are target you can eat after you kill. Those giant ones were said to have the nectar of the gods flowing through them. Delicious stuff that has been said to give a man the strength of ten men, and skin harder than steel." He explains to Shikoge, a lie and the truth all at once.
"Speaking of which, Mogura-san, Mind going over all you know about this mark again?"

Shikoge would hold out his hand, "Well, I'll take a sandwich so long as it has some meat on it, otherwise no thanks." He then began patting his bare chest, feeling around for these…'rations' "I don't have any of those. I'll have some of yours though," Holding his hand out once again before turning to the grandpa genin, "What?!" Finding the story hard to believe, "I've seen giant sandworms that explode in goo and massive dragons that shoot out boogers when you stick a sword up their nose. But I've never heard of giant beasts with nectar giving men the strength of ten men. If it's true, we should bring some back to Suna so we can make our village the best!" Continuing to lean on Mogura as they walked, "If you try to throw me, I'm going to cling on so tight that you'll throw yourself in the process."

"I am happy to share what I know about this mark. It's a giant ant. Drone. It is giving a settlement problems because it's in a decent nesting place for the queen to set up shop and start puttin' out ant babies. Of course, these larva are likely to be large and problematic. We have to stop this drone before it gets back to the queen and delivers the news," Mogura explains. "I doubt you have the strength to cling onto me. I am much more powerful than you. The only one that will be flying from here is you." She latches onto him in a one arm hug. "Just give me the word and I'll send you across the way."

Ryoji nodded in a sagely manner as she explained the issue. "How lovely it all sounds," He said nonchalantly while seemingly ignoring Shikoge's naive words again. Of course, when he did consider trying to set things straight with the boy, if only to try and sample his reaction to the devastating news, the boy just had to go and make a fool of himself by clinging to Itami and threatening to take her flying with him if she tried anything. "…." He clenched his hands into tight fist and just kept moving on. A giggle or two escaping along the way…

Shikoge would simply shrug, "That might be true." Acknowledging the woman's strength, "But no matter how much stronger you are than me, I can still cling on tight enough to take a good chunk of you with me or at least your shirt." Laughing a bit as he's picked up, feet dangling beneath him,"Why would I give you a word? I'm enjoying the free ride."Though being carried and having to exert little effort, Shikoge was finding it hard to stay awake. Eyelids became heavier with each blink, falling faster and opening slower.
"I…I believe you. You and shirts do not get along and I would like my shirt to be kept on my body," Mogura stated to Shikoge. "I can send you on a trip through the earth too." She observed the boy as he began to fall asleep clinging onto her. "Hey, hey! Don't you fall asleep in my arm!" She began to throw her arm down and Shikoge with it to hit the sand. Hopefully, there weren't any sandworms underneath one of these dunes.
Thankfully, there aren't any sandworms around for miles, so they'll be fine, but there might be some other creatures around here. The mutant animals that live underground might respond and they are pretty close to their destination.

"You know, it'd be easier to remove him if you used those talents of yours, Mogura-san." Ryoji stated off-handily. Afterwards he turned his 'gaze' upon the path ahead, eyes narrowed in concentration. The Land of Wind may be his home, but familiarity should not be mistaken for mastery. An early lesson taught to all who chose to remain in the deserts. Also, he was wearing shoes for once so it was a little harder to use the usual methods to navigate by. He hovered closer to Itami and Shikoge until he could fully re-adjust.

Well that nap sure didn't last long as the moment Shikoge had drifted off, he was pounded into the sand, jolted awake. "Ow. Hey! What's going on? Are we under attack?" Looking this way and that before climbing to his feet, ready to attack. Seeing nothing about except Reddorei and Ojiisan, Shikoge dusted himself off and followed in step with the others. "So how long until we get there? I'm hoping there will be a detour of some kind. I'm still hungry." He'd then bring a hand up to grab at the handle of his blade and readjust how it sat on his back.
"Nah, I don't think I need to, but thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep it in mind for next time," Mogura offered to Ryoji followed by a snicker. "You could've been under attack, y'know. But it was just a false alarm by way of my arm. We don't have much longer, though. The village is just up ah—" She's cut off as something clamps down on her foot and proceeds to drag her into the sand.
There's a bit of silence before she fights her way back up and gathers some around her to keep her stable for now. "Something's got me, just go ahead and meet at the village. Hurry up!" She called out to them both. A few more pits were beginning to form in the sand with the intention of grabbing them up. Before long, she's sucked back down into the sand.

Ryoji absently nodded as he kept trying to focus through all the distractions, both imagined and otherwise. The red-headed wonder had just reached the edge of understanding when everything begins to go to hell in hand basket. He turned meaning to cut-off Itami and quiet Shikoge if need be to warn them. Unfortunately, their adversary beats him to the punch.
He took a reflexive step forward, only to freeze in place on intuition and wait a few moments for the sensory organs weaved into his hair to finish scanning the ground for more. "Itami!" Abandoning his instincts the instant he sees her crawling her way out of the earth, Ryoji tried to rush to her side and help. He doesn't get very far before being crippled psychological. It could've been the call for them to hurry up, seeing her sucked in, or even sensing more of whatever it was that threatened to devour them drawing in close. Whatever it is freezes Ryoji long enough to keep from reacting to upcoming danger more appropriately; such as fleeing as bade.

Shikoge was still focused on moving ahead and finding some food, unaware and oblivious to the dangers that lurk beneath the group. So when Mogura is 'grabbed' and dragged into the sand he was some what stirred, but not shaken. The woman looked like she could handle what ever the problem was, otherwise she'd have asked for help instead telling the guys to continue on. "Alright, see you when we get there." Waving a hand. "It's just up ahead right?" Turning about even as Mogure completely disappears, content with continuing on.
That was up until the point Ojiisan screamed Itami's name. What was she doing out here? The boy would spin about, looking for the woman, but she was no where to be found. "What are you prattling on about old man?" Expecting an answer, but getting none. The old man was clearly frozen from fear. Maybe this is why the guy is still just a genin, "Well, come on." Walking up to the man and grabbing on to them to start walking back, even if it meant dragging them the entire way toward the village. "She said she's fine, so she's got this."

Considering they kept moving, the two of them should be fine and within the walls of the village where, so far, things are alright. They could be worse, but the drone hasn't made too much progress other than tearing down some buildings and attacking some of the population. They've held off against it so far, but need assistance since now more are coming to assist with setting this village up for nesting. It started with one and now has turned into more and before long, the queen will be brought in to finalize the arrangements.

Ryoji doesn't repy to Shikoge's question due to his mind still whirling about on just where their enemies will strike next. The shock of being touched is just what the doctor order, though, being slow to respond to even that results in the Iga being dragged the first few steps before walking under his own power. Running, actually, considering the pits were starting to form in the sand a little too close for comfort. If he slows at all, it is only to aid Shikoge should he not catch on to the danger in time, or worse yet, is imperiled.
As luck would have they both manage to make it to the village. Granted, things aren't much better there. A quick scan compared to earlier is all Ryoji needs to process the situation before turning to Shikoge and gesture to the Drone. "You see that, kid? Proof that the nectar of gods runs through that — *blinks* those beasts! Better take it down quick before they gets away." He says cheerily, goading the boy on if he hasn't already charged into battle with nothing but an oversized 'butter knife' and the flames of youth. The cheery visage will fade not long after that. While the child was being playing main distraction (hopefully), Ryoji would set his sights on taking to the roof tops and distracting those harrassing the main populace. If possible, he'd like to try and manipulate the drones towards the center of the village before making attacking them in earnest.

Shikoge offered a broad and toothy smile as Ryoji eventually came back to his own senses after being dragged for a couple feet. It was good to see the man back to his…'normal'…self. Sink holes started to appear in the sand around the group, but Shikoge stayed in his normal paced gait even as the elder man started running. Feeling no sense of urgency, he'd remain calm in the face of adversity all the way until reaching the village.
Placing his hands on his hips, he'd look about the area, sort of expecting more, but it is what it is. "They're no dragon…" He'd comment in response to Ryoji getting excited about the giant ants. Having survived a dragon makes almost every thing else seem tame in comparison. "I don't know, isn't getting them away what we want them to do?" Confused as to why ojiisan wants them to stay about, maybe having something to prove. This seeming more correct as the man takes to the rooftops.
The boy shrugged and walked around the village and toward the direction they were coming in from. A hand would reach up and behind his back to pull the blade free and rest upon his shoulder. The plan was to attack from behind, catch the ants by surprise. If he was quiet about it, it might just be possible. He'd take another step forward, placing his foot firmly on the sand only for the ground beneath him to shift and open up, revealing a burrow that had been dug before, filled with…poop. Ant poop to be correct.
The boy fell in, buried up to the neck in the stuff. "I…I have become one of them." Perhaps this would work out better he thought as he trudged through the poo and climbed out of the hole. He stunk, a smell that the ants might consider to be nonthreatening.

The contractor doesn't know that help has arrived yet and so far, he isn't concerned that they aren't here. He's more concerned with keeping the drone occupied so that it won't cause anymore problems for them. Unfortunately, this ant is much more powerful than the rag tag team of men that have volunteered for the job and it knows it. It is utilizing every opportunity to try and back the men into a corner so that it can take them out of the picture. It doesn't have much luck so far as the men, though not shinobi, are skilled fighters. They know how to take the average tool and turn it into a weapon. In fact, the ant already has a few open wounds on its shell that were placed there by them.
The ant does have an unfair advantage with its antennae situated upon its head which allows it to move with some predictability about where the strikes will soon be. Picking up on the scent of Shikoge, it seems it wants him to come over and help to subdue the fighters so that it may complete its work.

Time and management was all the Iga had in mind. They could try and lead them out immediatly, but if the swarm kept coming in droves as it has begun to then they'd — Ryoji facepalmed before leaping out of reach of his query's massive what'cha-ma-call-it, incisors? "Simply foolish. How could I missed this." He murmurs to himself. Those he managed to gather were quickly closing in. Seemingly unbotheby this fact, the Iga actually crouches down at the corner of a building and started to rub his chin thoughtfully. "Perhaps…" The plan was bold, reckless, and liable to cause more harm then good. In short, it fit ideals of the old Ryoji well.
He frowned at that and sent his focus elsewhere. Wads of flesh rain down both those that followed him so far, transforming into slimy tongues and other organs as well as disturbing their antennae and hopefully their focus in the process. Others diverged and went to explore the village in its entirety. They would hopefully pick up on where more are likely to come and…. "Hmm… *nose wrinkles* Bold plan that one has." He mutters, twirling his index finger idly as he observed what was to happen next from afar. Very afar, but not far enough to being unable to help in a few minutes or so, though out of sight perhaps despite being atop a building.

Not even bothering to shake himself clean, Shikoge continued ahead, lifting his blade up and placing it upon his shoulder. As he finally made it into the village he'd glance about and easily spot the gargantuan ant whom is already attempting to corral some of the villagers into a corner. Seeing this, Shikoge calmly made his way over toward the creature, using the newly acquired scent to pass off as one of its own. As he approached, Shikoge spun the blade off his shoulder, stabbed it into the ground and used it to help propel him at the ant and into the air, hopefully landing on the back or even clinging to its side using his tree walking to walk up to the creatures head and then stab his blade into the base of the ants neck.

The ants dealing with Ryoji set about trying to find him, but it's difficult with their antenna being wrecked with too many signals for them to follow. So they begin to march around aimlessly, uncertain of what to do or how to act against one another. A few have moments of clarity where they begin to head into the village, but otherwise, find themselves confused with more signals they can't begin to comprehend. The villagers, now stuck between a boy and a mutant ant are uncertain of which one they can trust. The ant doesn't appear to be attacking him. Does it mean that he is in league with the giant?
When he raises his sword, they thought for certain that this was the end, but instead, the boy is launched into the air and lands atop the ant. The antenna begin to roll about searching for where its partner went and once it catches wind that the partner is nearby, it's a bit too late. The sword goes right into its head and it becomes lights out for this ant. The villagers would be thrilled, but they just witnessed a kid covered in ant matter stab an ant in the head. Instead, they just run away and try to find their way back to their homes to safeguard themselves. That's one ant down and a few more to go.

Ryoji tongue clicks and rose sharply back to his feet. It seems without even trying he managed to sow chaos. "Wait…" He narrows his eyes as he formed the ram handsign, focusing his SENSE BEYOND SENSE! THen clicked his tongue again and broke the sign, dulling his connection to the sensory organs again. A few were in disarray which is all well and good, but those that found clarity and were making their way inside were bound to cause trouble. Then there was still Itami to worry about too…
Growling, the Iga dropped back down onto his bottom, legs crossed over one another. If it weren't for his concentration already being divided up as it things stood now the sequence of handsigns the Iga flashed through would not have been necessary.
Unfortunately, it was too dangerous to cancel the previous jutsu implemented earlier just for a minute edge. That would come after the final sign is made; a simple though abnormal one from the main twelve. In an instance, his mind is nearly overloaded by the profound sense of connection to the world around him. The level of detail compared to before is awe inspiring… but a dangerous distraction. The eyeball the Iga had precariously perched near Shikoge's positon drops down in front of the boy and starts to bounce up and down in front of the boy, hopefully luring the boy towards what should be the fastest route towards the drones that recently entered the village. Then again, the boy was as likely to destroy the thing as he was to actually follow it, so the Iga made certain that the pain receptors for it were dampened down to the max.
As fo the others, well, the taste of the ants is something he will never be able to get out of his mind. At least with more indepth control over them though he managed to focus them towards not only disorienting the bugs, but trip them up by wedging them into exposed joints, blinding their eyes — though being underground probably made those mostly useless anyways — and generally doing whatever was necessary to keep them from joining those that ran into the village.
The Iga would need more time before he can assist Shikoge more.

"You're welcome!" Shikoge would shout at the villagers running away while he pulls the blade free from the ants carapace before jumping off the beasts back and onto the sand. With one down, it was time to see what else was around the village or what happened to Ojiisan. Then of course he could always stop to take a nap, something Mogura was probably doing and he wouldn't blame her. Repositioning his blade upon his shoulder, he'd attempt to go forward through the village only to be stopped by an eye bouncing before him. "Ah, gross." The eye fell toward the ground and bounced back up and at that moment Shikoge reached out to grab the eye and hold it within his free hand. "Hey!" Running after the villagers, "I think one of you guys dropped this. Take it back!"

The ants were nearly immobilized, if not for the organs making their way into their joints but by their senses just being canceled out all over. They could only just march about without any idea of what was going on or what their purpose entailed. The element of confusion still managed to get past them as the ground began to crumble before them and out of it came flying an ant carcass and the fist that launched it.
Crawling up from the hole in the ground was none other than Mogura, also covered in ant dung. She didn't intend it to be this way, but they left a surprising amount of waste behind in all those tunnels. "It's going to take forever to wash away this scent…" She remarked to herself with some frustration. The carcass she punched would land on the ground behind her, curled up in a ball. "So, the others know and are headed for this place. The queen is crawling up now as we speak and they all need to be smashed by some earth before they get here. So…I'm gonna go do that. You guys need to give me a signal to let me know when to throw so I can take 'em all out in one go. I already cleared enough of their population and they ain't too happy about it." She flickered away and outside the village to find a good chunk of land that she could pick up and heave atop the coming mutants.

The ants were nearly immobilized, if not for the organs making their way into their joints but by their senses just being canceled out all over. They could only just march about without any idea of what was going on or what their purpose entailed. The element of confusion still managed to get past them as the ground began to crumble before them and out of it came flying an ant carcass and the fist that launched it.
Crawling up from the hole in the ground was none other than Mogura, also covered in ant dung. She didn't intend it to be this way, but they left a surprising amount of waste behind in all those tunnels. "It's going to take forever to wash away this scent…" She remarked to herself with some frustration. The carcass she punched would land on the ground behind her, curled up in a ball. "So, the others know and are headed for this place. The queen is crawling up now as we speak and they all need to be smashed by some earth before they get here. So…I'm gonna go do that. You guys need to give me a signal to let me know when to throw so I can take 'em all out in one go. I already cleared enough of their population and they ain't too happy about it." She flickered away and outside the village to find a good chunk of land that she could pick up and heave atop the coming mutants.

There were no words for how much of an embarrassment it was to have his eye get captured.

Its capture is acknowledged and quickly dismissed. So much for that plan. He'd just keep it active just in case the boy did start trouble or… ran into it. With that decided, Ryoji sharpened his focus ont he others. A well-timed choice as well it would seem, for who else other than his lov—er, friend, bursting out of the ground and confirming that indeed, all is well. A new sense of shame welled up in the pit of the Iga's heart. Guilt joined it not long after. He willed both to the background, promising to sort them later. For now, he needed to listen while keeping the ants in disarray. "Aye, aye scary dragon lady," He muttered mirthfully as he dug into his suit to secure a kunai already wrapped with an explosive tag. As a safety measure he added an extra one to the mix, though he doubted he need that much.
Again, the Iga splinters his focus again by producing as many spare sensor organs as he could. Those he would send out to try and distract what ants made it inside the village from wrecking the buildings, though, even by turning them into 'bouncy joes' and 'flying lucy' the chances weren't all that high of success. Not the point. The main objective remained to keep those he bound bounded and await for the moment to signal Itami to attack. It'd have to be timed just right….

Running after the villagers, Shikoge quickly found himself running after…no one. The villagers had already disappeared into their houses for safety making it difficult to discover whom the eye belonged to and he couldn't exactly go door to door to find the individual, at least not while the village was still under attack. "Alright, well. I'm just going to leave the eye here. If it's yours, claim it!" Reaching behind his back and into a pouch, Shikoge would produce some tape and stick the eye to the wall of a house. "If it's not yours, don't touch it. That's rude!"
The ground would start to rumble slightly where he was as some distance away Mogura popped out of the ground with an ant carcass. Turning about, Shikoge would head off in the direction the quake came from, seeing several ants walking about disoriented and organs of all kinds bouncing about as he made his way. All the boy could do at this time was shake his head in disbelief. The ants weren't harming any one and the organs, well… "These people are falling a part…"

All seemed to be calm in the village up until the point that the ground began to rumble once more and the rumbling gained strength as the ants beneath the ground with queen included began to make their way to the surface. Where there were tunnels, the ground cracked and collapsed in on itself leaving a number of areas around the village that were threatened to fall. There were buildings that already began to sink into the ground and the families within them ran out of the homes and fled to more stable places to protect themselves.
Outside the village, Mogura had just found a good patch of land and began to pull a giant piece of it away. Despite being strong enough to handle the job, taking a piece of land out of the ground wasn't exactly easy in its initial stages, but once it was out, she'd have no problem lifting the rest of it.
Holding it over her head, she awaited the signal to toss the hill sized earth and end this. Within the village, the ants were just bursting through the surface and the queen ant had arrived with them. Time to take this village as their nest.


And here Ryoji thought that there would be no way for Shikoge to bring greater shame upon his head…

As soon as Shikoge was out of view range of the eye Ryoji canceled the jutsu, returning the organ into its base components that would dissolve in a matter of seconds. He would just have to rely on luck at this poin in regards to the younger male. In the meantime, he was — had just figured out why Shikoge did what he did.
Whatever thoughts that might've been floating through his mind after reaching said conclusion, whatever consideration he might've placed towards teaching the boy a lesson later, all of that and perhaps more become disrupted the instant the tremors began. A precursor to leader they were trying to keep away. Now it would seem all hope is lost. Not! Hoping beyond all hope that Shikoge would see sense and NOT charge in to try and cut down the ant reinforcements just to get to the queen, Ryoji routed the majority of the sensor organs he had already on the field for the final assualt! Like one would expect out of seeing a small horde of rodents scurrying in a relatively confined space, sensor organs of all manner of shapes, sizes, and purposes roll, bounce, crawl, and slide their way towards the queen itself.
There may be opposition. The ants main guards might very well be able to stop the oncoming tide. But no matter what, the Iga was determined to see to it that the control tower that was the queen's antennae was successful disrupted, thus ruining any chances of her drones sacrificing themselves in the process of stopping Itami's attack.

The kunai wrapped in explosive tags is launched high and close to where the queen pops up.


Approaching the hole, Shikoge would see several ants start to crawl out one by one and all around him the ground began to crumble away, revealing the tunnels beneath the village. To him it would mean that even staying in this village was pointless at this point and the villagers would be better off living some where else. The ants had clearly won this battle, but that wasn't something for Shikoge to dispute.
One of the ants crawling out of the holes would make their way toward where Shikoge was standing, their antenae moving this way and that as they tried to smell about. The ant would pick up the lingering smell of the ants feces and determine it was one of their own. Regardless of what the ant thought, Shikoge wasn't going to use the element of surprise to attack the creature. "Nope, I'm out." Waving a hand at the ant as he spun about to walk out the village. Mogura was no where to be found, Ojiisan was probably frozen some where from fear and all around the village, organs are bouncing about. "Nope, nope, nope." Shikoge attached his blade to his now shirt covered back and moved toward the outskirts of the village.

Bingo. There's the target.

The explosion was the signal that Mogura was looking for and in response she heaved the slab of earth and gave it a good toss over the village, obscuring the sun momentarily before it landed atop the ants, crushing them before they had a chance to respond. A resounding crash thundered through the area and a dusty wind came up behind Shikoge as he left the village. It's unfortunate, though. Out of all of them, only one managed to flee the scene and that one would be Shikoge. There was no more queen so there had to be a new one, right? Nah. There weren't any other followers with this queen except for those that came to the surface with her. The rest of the ants had been taken care of by the mole woman. With them gone and the queen, this particular population wouldn't be bothering this village again.
Walking up to the village, Mogura looked around to survey the damage. This place was…well, it's seen better days, but it was going to need all the help it could get to whip it back into shape. "Well…I think this ends the problem with the ants," she chortled in victory. "It's alright to come out now! You all are safe from the ants and us! The battle is over!" She called out. People were reluctant to exit their homes, especially after that display, but they began to filter out into the area to see the final result.
"The ant and its…friends have been taken care of, we guess. That now leaves the village to be put back together, but it shouldn't be too much of a task. We can handle that. We just might need help getting this new addition fitted in here more nicely, though…" the elder of the town stated while patting the earth slab that was thrown into town. "Oh, right. Yeah. I'll help with that. All in all, this couldn't have been done without the help of the lads that came with me. Sorry about the mess, but it tends to get that way dealin' with large insect beasts."

He may not have been able to see the giant shadow passing over the village, but he felt the air disturbed by its passage well enough. At the very last second he cancels his connection to the sensors, leaving those harrasing the ants to 'die' along with him. The effect nearly leaves him nearly leaves him comatose for doing so rapidly. It is a better fate than the guarantee pain shock he would've felt in his enhanced state of being. Oddly enough, a few did survive thanks to the air pressure beneath the rock. Those that did run a quick survey to ensure most, if not all hostiles have been effectively neutralized.
And with that out of the way, it is time to celebrate and get paid! :D Maybe… sorta… kind of? Itami did mess up their village pretty bad with that last one but.. "Eh?" Ryoji shrugged and simply made his way as quickly over to the top of whatever building was still standing and was close to where the villagers congregated to see their heroine. Seeing the interaction between Itami and the villagers elicits the Iga's infamous fox-like smile. A small one that fell away as he recalled a few… troubling thoughts.
An exasperated sigh later and the man is sitting on the edge of the building, drained, hungry, and wishing he listened to the old Ryoji's idea of a finale. Specifically, if things were the same he would've been down there in seconds, an arm wrapped Ita—Mogura's waist (presumeably if she didn't take immediate measures to avoid it), a broad smile, and some wild declaration of love and justice prevailing. "If only.." He murmured as he slipped the pipe into his lips and lit the end.

As Shikoge was making his way out of the village, the giant mass of earth flew through the air, eclipsing the sun and darkening the area. It was enough to get Shikoge to turn around just in time to see Mogura's attack crashing into the ground and sending a dusty wind his way that forced the boy to look away as he raised a hand to protect himself. When the dust finally settled, Shikoge rubbed his chin curiously, took in a breath and realized he was still covered in ant poo…and now dust. He was quite a mess and was ready to go back to Sunagakure, but he needed Mogura to lead him back home or at least Ojiisan.
Sighing, Shikoge made his way back into the village, eyes peering about he'd see Mogura up ahead dealing with the villagers and on the corner of the roof, was Ryoji. Choosing the latter, Shikoge made his way to the roof and set a poo covered hand upon the old man's shoulder, "Do we even get to eat?" Looking down at Mogura, he saw that she too was covered in the ants excrement, "You became one with them too?! Nice job, Reddorei!"

"The deed is done, though and the ant is taken care of. We'll be sending out payment to uh…" The elder didn't quite know where to send it, but Mogura stated, "Sunagakure," followed by a nod. "Ah, is that where it's going? I wasn't certain since you three came from two different places, so…" She shook her head. "It's alright. I ain't really a part of them anymore. This is just a relic I carry around for personal values and such," she points out her headband bearing Iwa's symbol. "We won't trouble you all much longer, though. I think we'll be heading out. Suna will be notified and we'll see if we can't get some people out here to help restore the village," she offered.
Only now that she began to walk away from the gathered bunch of villagers that she lifted her hand in a thumbs up towards Shikoge. Yeah, she became one with them too. "I suppose it is a nice job, yeah?" She grinned. "Let's get out of here and return back to Suna."

Ryoji spared Shikoge a glance during the approach but nothing more. A mistake the Iga would soon grow to regret. After the bio hazard-ridden hand is placed upon his shoulder, Ryoji took one deep drag of his pipe, then lowered it and blew out a large smoke ring. All of it was done with such nonchalance that one would think the Iga had not a care in the world.
"Remove thou filth-ridden hand or have it severed." Ryoji deadpans smoothly. Is he serious? The wind being whipped up about his form certainly would attest to that as well as serve as a Shikoge's final warning. Regardless of rather or not the Miira actually does what the Iga asked of him or not, if push comes to shove Ryoji will nick the boy with the wind well enough to get him to remove it, then drop down and out of range of immediate retaliation. "Decent job, though not enough lizard musk if you ask me," He comments on off-handily as he meandered close by for a time. All the while Ryoji remained mindful of both Shikoge and Itami and made a point in keeping well out of reach of anymore grabby hands!

Shikoge would smile thinly, then widely, chuckle slightly and then break out in a gut clenching laughter that caused tears to form in his eyes. "Ojiisan, you're crazy." From Shikoge's point of view, the old man was a weak, coward. Froze upon seeing Mogura sink into some sand, despite requiring no help and upon arriving to the village, the man disappeared. It did get the boy to look at Ryoji in a whole different light from when they first met prior to the village starting. The man needed to act tough, brave and honorably on the outside because on the inside, he was none of that.
Carefully wiping the tears away before placing his hands on his hips, Shikoge would watch Ryoji jump from the roof and down toward Mogura, leaving the boy in his thoughts. That man would need his protection some day….Jumping down from the roof himself, he'd pick up his pace a bit to catch up to the other two, "You know, Mogura carried me part of the way, probably only fair for you to do the same, Ojiisan. I'm a little tired." Shikoge walked toward Ryoji planning on climbing up on the man. If Ryoji tried to walk faster, shift one direction or even run, the boy was planning on shadowing him.

"No lizards be out here, mate," Mogura replied back to Ryoji while walking off and out of the village. "At least, not around some crazy large ants or somethin'," she chuckled a bit. "We ain't about to carry nothin'. Learn to carry your own weight," she spoke to Shikoge all while shaking her head. This was going to be a long trip back to Suna, but it might not necessarily be non-worth the wait getting back there.

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