Date: August 22, 2014
Tsuchi decides to scope out one of the missions for the genin ahead of time, and all the Suna-nin end up disturbing a nest of giant ants! Kiji happens to be in the area as well and gets caught in the action.
"Attack of the Giant Ants"
Desert Outside Sunagakure
It was supposed to be a simple mission but there was some possibility of danger for the genin and Tsuchi couldn't simply risk that danger without checking it out for herself. She knew the genin would get a fun little battle though. Good training. That is…until she got there. The foreman of this little mining operation was supposed to meet her outside and indeed he did. He was sitting in the shaodws, idly chewing on something. She wasn't sure what was going on though as he didn't react to her presence at first. Even Sora was apprehensive.
There was good reason. Even as she approached the foreman, it was obvious he was chewing on a wild animal, a lizard he had killed and started eating without cooking it first. Reason? His skin was tinged in red and pulled taut. Even as she approached, he turned and screeched, rushing her. She smashed him into the ground with ease as he wasn't that tough but was worried at the sight of him…moments later, the ground started to rumble as large ants started pulling themselves up out of the ground, the insects hissing out the odd red mist from before even as they began to surround Tsuchi and Sora. Tsuchi looks around as many of the critters come out, "Well, good thing we came here first…heh."
Sora for his part looks around and grumbles, "I'm not eating anything here…nope, not a thing." And then the real battle begins as the ants, easily the size of cats, starts pouring out of the various caves in the cliffs and the ground itself, swarming toward Tsuchi and Sora!
Akiko thought the mission should be simple too. She met up with her teammates, Kirito and Hideyoshi, at the appointed time, introducing both herself and Kotone before taking off. She and the gang arrive after Tsuchi encounters both crazed man and giant ants. Kotone, the girl's falcon, is sent ahead like always, and she returns with news of Tsuchi. Akiko takes the news with worry, telling the others about it quickly so they can quickly help out the Sasaki.
"Kirito-san! Hideyoshi-san! We should hurry before Sasaki-san gets into too much trouble with the giant ants!" she exclaims, taking off with little mind to see what her comrades will actually reply. She's both too worried and too excited for battle to consider them. Kotone gives a small sound of disapproval at her partner, but follows suit, making sure to help the other genin are on the right track. "Saaaaaaasaki-san!!! Sooooooora-san!!!!" can be heard as she dashes towards the pair.
"How appropriate that I'd be tagging along with you." Hideyoshi says to Kirito with an unenthusiastic tone. "Hey, I'm Hideyoshi nice to meet you." was all he had for an introduction. Hideyoshi first mission seemed as though it would be an easy one. However once Kotone brings news of Tsuchi's dire situation all hope of a breezy mission fades. Hideyoshi swallows once even more nervous than he was at the beginning. "Great."
"Right." he begrudgingly concurs with Akiko. The thought of facing down giant ants did more than unnerve Hideyoshi and it was clearly showing but his resolve and fear of failure keeps him moving forward. Seeing the somewhat excited reaction of Akiko also calmed Hideyoshi down. "Pssh how tough can giant ants be?" he chuckles nervously finding courage in ignorance. However once they arrive at the scene Hideyoshi is taken aback by the size and number of the ants. That useless bravado he'd happened upon vanishes in an instant.
Kirito wouldn't say a word to Hideyoshi instead gave him a death stare as if he was metally tell him to shut up. As he flip his hood over his face his focus went back to the mission. No words are said as they moved and paused berief to get eyes on the mission a dark smrik graced his faced and he would still say nothing. Once they get there Kirito would start his own movements and he starts off by diving underground. Before he slowly approched the target(s) his mission was to terminate them afterall.
Kiji had been in suna for a day or so. She had originally thought to simply stop for supplies, but had run into a woman and her baby in the square and by the time she realized what was going on, the sun was far too low for her to set out across unknown territory. Well, unknown for her anyay. So she'd gotten a room. The next day she had woken up to find a request for her to help clearing out a cave of creatures. She had been on a similar mission before. At least that's what she'd thought. But by the time she got there Tsuchi was already in trouble and … was that a weasel?
Kiji was up on the cliff above them when Tsuchi and Sora had encountered the man eating the lizard. She had watched him do so and hadn't done anything at first, unsure if this was some desert 'thing'. But then Tsuchi and her…weasel… found themselves in quite a bit of trouble with some ants.. Okay giant ants. Kiji dropped her cloak where she was, exposing white and black clothes, a sleeveless top and silk pants with the symbol for the Shimizu clan on one hip. Long black hair in a braid down her back. The girl's eyes were golden.
She leapt down from where she was, landing right beside Tsuchi. Her eyes were encircled with a bright ring of orange around the irises. Displayed clearly on her forehead was her Kirigakure hitai-ate. "Tsuchi-san.. You get into the strangest situations." Her left arm bore a 4 inch cut down the forearm but the blood wasn't falling. Rather it was gathering at her wrist as she pulled her chakra in around her.
The ants all around Tsuchi are being fought off with simple kicks and punches from Sora and Tsuchi at first, a couple of gusts of wind but even as more shinobi show up, there's a rumbling in the ground. Tsuchi will notice the others showing and yells out, even as she jumps over a burst of red mist that flows under her and Sora, "Careful! The red mist! They are infected with it!" She then jumps down atop one ant's head, smashing it and looking around as even more come at her. Thing is, in some ways lucky for her but unlucky for the others, many of the ants turn on the new arrivals.
The newly arriving shinobi will notice as much larger ants start coming out. While the workers might have been the size of large cats or medium sized dogs, these ones are the size of ponies. Two of them rush at Tsuchi/Sora and also at Kiji. One even takes its time as it notices something underground and dives its head into the ground to try to bite at what it feels moving underground.
The rest of the workers turn on the other genin, 3 each, rushing twoard Akiko and Hideyoshi, one each spewing a blast of red mist before the others close in to bite!
Tsuchi, for her part sighs as she finishes crushing an ant's head and reaches over with a foot to wipe it off on Sora who glares at her. She then looks at Kiji, "I like to think that I am simply minding my own business and strange situations simply decide to crop up around me." She nods her head.
Akiko skids to a halt, looking at the giant bugs. She's wide-eyed looking at the things, unhappy with the fact that one can see every detail of the typically-small critter. "Great Gods… That thing is huge!!" No, she's not scared. She's excited to see if she can fight them well. The girl draws her bow just in case her arrows really can do damage, but her fists and feet are just as ready. She dodges the red mist, the girl being especially cautious since Tsuchi warned her about it. However, the Hayato gets distracted by that unfamiliar Kiri-face, which means she ends up with a nice ant-bite. Owww!!! Done with that pain, Akiko is able to flee the next bite.
With the ant so close to her, Akiko is quick to attack it. First a powerful swing with that bow, then a punch, that's very weak, and finally another bow-shot! Kotone keeps out of the fray for now, preferring to keep an eye out on the battle. "Hideyoshi-san, watch out for the ants! They're after us!" she manages to call out, unable to see Kirito.
"Those are pretty big…" Hideyoshi says adjusting his goggles and nodding in agreement with Akiko. Boy was than an understatement and it became even more of one when the larger ants rear their ugly heads. Hideyoshi flinches knowing that he'd have to defend himself. It was at this moment he noticed that Kirito was not there to notice. That would leave just himself and Akiko to fend off against this hoard. The red mist was new. He never heard of ants doing that. He tries to back away from it but inhales just enough to feel the effects. This mist was toxic and in more than one way. As it sapped away his strength it also seemed to be playing on his mental state. Luckily he could fight of the strange influence but not quick enough to spare him from the jaw…er whatever of the ants. "Owww!" he sharply cries. Equipped with a kunai he tries to fend off the swarm. He kicks at one and then moves to stab and cut the others.
Although he got passed one group of ants the other group found him soon enough, he would try and escape from the surface of the earth before he is caught by the ankle and and knocked about. Rattled he would struggle to regain himself losing out on time he would strike with his pincers trying to smash them onto the neck of the ants before attempting to borrow underground. (I was spotted my clansmen would be disappointed…I need to regroup and try again.) His pincer weapon would be gripped tightly as he started to move under the surface of the earth.
Kiji smirked at Tsuchi's response to her comment, but didn't have much time to focus on that. Ants were everywhere. At lest they were large… She didn't have to worry about aim at least… Two ants come at her and one sinks it's 'fangs' into Kiji's throat.. only for a henge to shatter and blood to splatter all over the attacking ant. Kiji wasn't fast enough to avoid the second bite, though and she let out a little 'che' as the blood flowed. Still, the stupid ant didn't know it had simply armed her. Kiji leapt backwards and formed seals with her fingers before the blood from her clone that landed on the first ant spiked, digging deep into the ant's exterior like crystals. The ant that bit her wasn't nearly as lucky. She had gotten blood inside it's mouth and thus it's head. That one simply exploded, the head being taken clean off as she made the blood explode in hardened shards. She glanced around, opening her senses, encompassing everything around her, the shinobi and animals, mapping where and what was there. She wanted to know what they were up against….
Tsuchi, for her part, actually gets bit by her first opponent before dashing away a moment before she gives a fist bump to Sora, the ferret who nods. She then licks her lips, "Looks like it is time to set this thing up. Don't you think?"
Sora responds with a, "Right!"
Even as Tsuchi notes the trouble Kirito is in, she unleashes a few seals and Sora hops on her shoulder and joins in before both release a breath of air that kicks up the dirt around the soldier that Kirito tried to hit. He was unable to pierce its armor and even as it tries to follow him underground…well, it succeeds in a horrific crunching sound that drives it 6 feet into the ground. Though, even as Kirito might think himself safe, he'll dig right under a pair of worker ants that immediately begin to dig after him, moving through earth as easy as he does, attempting to bite at him.
Hideyoshi, for his part, is is able to crach the armor with his physical attack, putting quite the pain on the ant, causing the worker to fall over. However, with one worker left, on Akiko and two on Hideyoshi, they are still coming forward, attempting to bite and finish off their targets.
Kiji's first enemy seems to be far tougher than she expects, the armor on the soldier ant that didn't succeed in biting her protecting it from harm…though the gruesome ending of its friend is very clear. The head of that other soldier blown clean off, it falls over even as the other climbs over and past it to try to bite Kiji again. Tsuchi, for her part, faces two more bites from the vicious creature.
Kiji will note that they had better move in earnest, however…as something much bigger is making its way from underground.
Akiko winces at the sounds of pain from her teammates (well, Hideyoshi's, at least), and wishes she was able to help them. She's barely able to defend herself, though! These giant ants are nothing to laugh at, not that she could. Even Tsuchi and this Kiri-nin are having trouble. Out of the corner of her eye, she notices Kirito having a bit of trouble as well… But Tsuchi and Sora seem to have their own form of tag team, and she is encouraged by that. It's easy to avoid that biting worker ant, now, the girl drawing her bow.
Kotone lands on the Hayato's shoulders, helping the girl take aim and fire rapidly. Three arrows, all of them at the ant attacking her, and all of them are aimed at the unprotected spots in its armor. Kotone, naturally, thinks Akiko is doing well and leaves the girl to her own devices, which may or may not have affected her final shot…
Hideyoshi is just having the worst time with these ants. "I don't even see any teeth!" he cringes as another bite is sustained. It's clear he is being overwhelmed by these things and their shear numbers was contributing to that fact. He slings his kunai once at the ant biting him and then tries to kick it. The other he'd leap over to it hoping the crush it on his way over to Akiko. There's strength in numbers he's learned that much the hard way already. "Akiko-san!" Hideyoshi "I propose a formation change. Perhaps you watch my back (more like save it) and I'll watch yours (serve as ant fodder while she takes aim)?" It would work a lot better with Kirito. Amidst all this chaos though Hideyoshi remembers something about ants. He shudders "Man if these guys are this massive can you imagine how huge the queen must be?"
Kirito would dash out of the earth when the other ant try and take a bit out of him, and before his feet could land he was swarmed by the rest of them. One would have him right between his mouth before try and force himself out. However that failed he would strike that ant before his angry started to boil, taking the pincer he would slice off the mouth before whipping it around strike at the huge one that followed him underground. He would peer around him at everyone else, before he slowly started to remove his hood, in its place he would pull up the mask part over his mouth. (I going to kill every last one of you, there wont be a single one of you that's getting away).
"Tsuchi-san! There's something VERY LARGE coming! We must hurry!" Kiji lifted her arm and sent more of her blood for the ant she'd missed, aiming to let the stupid thing take a big bite of that blood clone in order to get blood inside the armor. She had managed to take off one's head… maybe she could do it again… She worked quickly, though, sending a clone of herself between Kirito and an ant, disrupting the attack that was comming at the boy's back. They were allies after all… Kiji lifted her hand again and her blood split off in separate actions, aimed for the eyes of an ant that was after Hideyoshi, hoping to at least blind the thing if not impale it's brain through it's eyes.
The last of the worker ants on Akiko goes down hard even as Hideyoshi still has a problem with two…wait make that 1. Kiji's blood rain slips in and destroys one of those workers and it seems that it has now become 2 on one though more ants may be coming judging by the rumbling ground and the more that are coming out of the cliff caves.
Over where Kirito is, two ants fall, one having its mouth removed and part of its face even as the other gets cut down, too. Kirito is now standing alone even as Kiji deals with her own ants as well. It seems that ants are now starting to not fair so well against the Sungakure Party Plus 1. Kiji's blood clone, racing over to try to help out Kirito arrives just in time for the boy to cut down his own enemies and it seems she was not able to offer him much assistance though even as he stands there, more start to come in.
It's looking bad for the group until Tsuchi states, "Everyone! Get down now!" And if people listen or not, Tsuchi and Sora go through a series of motions, each literaly shaping ninja tools of various kinds out of pure lightning and start flinging them at the crowd of ants, including the soldiers on her. Kunai, throwing stars, senbon and various other weapons shaped of lightning blast into various ants, rending them asunder and causing them to twitch…that is until the ground under Tsuchi and the others begins to crumble and creak, "Move!" She yells at Kiji as the girl will find that she and Tsuchi are being attacked from underground as the massive queen rushes up out of the ground, sending rocks everywhere that flick at the genin.
Akiko blinks as Hideyoshi beelines toward her. The boy at her back is somewhat of a comfort, even if he isn't doing well in battle. She nods quickly to his suggestion, saying, "Don't get too hurt, then, Hideyoshi-san! Kotone, keep on the lookout!" She scans the ants with careful, attentive eyes, silently cheering when she takes down the ant that was initially after her. The girl's attention shifts to the one after Hideyoshi, now. Then the Queen appears… "You just /had/ to mention her…" Akiko grumbles, getting clipped by some of the rocks that flew towards her. She may not be very useful, but maybe with Kotone at her side… First she sends a single arrow at that worker ant that recently was after Hideyoshi. Then Two arrows are drawn and fired at the Ant Queen, both of them looking particularly viscous today. Akiko relies on Kotone a bit to help her focus and aim. "Dangit, why the heck did you have to mention her, Hideyoshi-san?!" she complains again.
As one of the ants chasing him goes down Hideyoshi mutters a silent appreciative prayer. He'd later realize that Kiji, the strange one that bleed a lot, is his savior. But perhaps it's still to earlier for the word 'savior.' being told to get down Hideyoshi can only surmise that the proverbial poop is about to hit the fan. "I've been trying not to get too hurt this entire time!" he tells Akiko as he takes cover. Once that is over Hideyoshi almost begins to feel at ease. Right on cue though the queen ant erupts from the ground to shatter Hideyoshi's sense of security as well as fling a few chunks of stone at them. He manages to avoid being crushed. Sheepishly he smiles at Akiko. "On the bright side…if by some chance we take out the queen the rest of the ant hoard should dissipate….go team?" he retrieves a few shuriken from his tool pouch and looks back to the gargantuan queen. Three tiny shuriken….massive ant queen. Hideyoshi sighs and looks between his shuriken and the queen before saying 'to hell with it' and tries his luck by slinging the star-shaped razor blades at the egregiously overgrown insect.
Kirito would fail to dodge and thus frowns from behind his mask, as he looked at the blood clone he glared at it before shifting his attention back to the job at hand. A huge ant showed up and all he could do was look at it before nodding to himself, using this time he would dig underground once more. Slowly moving in trying to use the others as cover as he moved waiting for the right time to strike at the under belly ant but only when the time is right though and for the deadly assassin it wasn't now.
Kiji heard Tsuchi's command to drop and simply obeyed. She basicly did the splits where she was, one hand aiding her support and her head staying down. Yellow and orange eyes watched the lightning explode in various shapes above her and made a note silently about Tsuchi's abilities. And those of that …weasel… She was paying attention to the abilities of all of them actually. She was quite interested and was filing things away silently for further inspection when she wasn't avoiding death by inches. Tsuchi hadn't needed to call for Kiji to move the second time. She was well aware of the approaching signature and it was comming up right underneathe her.
Lucky for Kiji she didn't have to continue using fresh blood for every attack. She reached out and began gathering the blood that had been flung already, reusing it. A small smirk flickered across her lips as she would seemingly be bitten in half by the giant Queen. All in her plan. It got blood inside the creature. Blood and bits of sand that went with it. As she leapt back up with a bit of aid from chakra in herr palm, she slammed her hands together and tried exploding hte blood inside the Queen's body, hoping to cause massive damage. "Eyes! Mouth! Thorax!" She called out it's weaknesses….
One of Akiko's arrows shined true as it pierced right into the neck plate of the giant Ant Queen that burst out of the ground. Unfortunately, none of Hideyoshi's attacks made it past the thick armor of the queen. The thing only hissing out a strange rattling sound at Akiko and it can't even seem to notice as Kirito escapes underground again.
Then Kiji began to attack and the queen screeches out in pain as she falls back a step but even now something strange is happening. It appears as if ants are coming after their own queen, biting and screeching. Then one might notice all the ants here are red and almost look old, haggard. As if they had been drained somehow. All the ones they have been fighting and the queen is solid black.
Even so, Tsuchi begins to dance around in her spot, sending wind down her legs, causing a whirlwind to form as she dances and then the ferrer, Sora begins to create senbon of pure lightning. A moment, later, Tsuchi flicks up the whirlwind, causing it to go horizontal as she aims it at the queen and Sora throws the senbon into it. They fire out like a minigun at the queen, ripping a hole into the creatuer as it screeches out again.
Suddenly it rushes forward and barrels at Kiji and Tsuchi, attempting to run them over even as it does though, it suddenly then rolls sideways, trying to roll over top of the Genin…an attack that might be easy to avoid but should it hit…will not be fun.
Akiko squeaks as the Queen begins to move toward her. Kotone is able to fly away, of course, being a falcon, and poor Akiko is left on the ground. She times it just right, leaping up to avoid the attack. A light 'phew' escapes her, that sigh of relief causing her to realize she had been holding her breath. Still with her bow in hand, she manages to grab several arrows, nocking them into place and firing even more at the Queen. Hopefully she's able to get a shot in, though it seems that Tsuchi is a good opponent. Those red ants that are attacking the Queen she doesn't even try to touch, as they're seemingly on the genin's side. Akiko isn't tempted to be near them at all!
"More ants. Great." Hideyoshi sighs. But these ants seem different. Decrepit and aged…maybe they have something to do with that red mist. Or not. None of that matters at present. What does matter is the queen is on the move. After his attacks are deflected Hideyoshi figures he'll have to place his attacks more carefully. Kiji did mention some notable weak spots. Hideyoshi wouldn't get the chance to take a shot at any of those weak points before being rolled into the dirt by the queen. Somehow he survived. He knew he was alive because he was in some serious pain. He peers too his gloves. "Well at least they're not broken." Hideyoshi mutters with a half dazed smile. It take a while for him to pick himself up.
Kirito could feel Hideyoshi go down and with a release sigh he keep moving as if nothing has happen. He would appear under the belly of the huge ant and using chakra infused legs would jump up from his hiding spot and slice at the underbelly of the huge ant before spinning around in mid-air to rain down and strike once more like lightning he would then land onto the ground near Hideyoshi just looked at him from the corner of his eye "can you fight? If not retreat." Is all that is said before he dashed forward and struck at the huge ant once more.
Kiji spotted the Queen's rush but too late. She had lifted blood to switch out with a clone a moment too late. And she paid for it. The queen's pincers rammed into her gut, lifting the petite girl from her feet and slamming her back against a large boulder, crushing her and impaling her against he rock. Kiji let out a short yelp, but despite the pain that flooded her system that was all the sound she made, her hands reaching up to grasp at the pincers, squirming, trying to push her off herself. Kiji's 'salvation' was found in the red ants. They distracted the Queen enough to allow Kiji to be released. The Kiri-nin sank to her knees, blood plainly visible all over her white shirt. Crimson fluid dripped from her mouth as well. An arm wrapped around herself protectively and it was all she could do to stay awake as she focused her blood to mend her own wounds. The downtime gave her a chance to observe the red ants and their behavior. It was odd that they attacked thier own queen. A moment and Kiji forced herself to her feet, fighting dizziness. She was a Kiri shinobi and she would fight to her death if that was what it took. She lifted her hand, preparing to attack the queen again when she sensed just how far Hideyoshi's chakra seemed to have faded. She looked over, bright yellow and orange eyes falling on the boy that had been rolled over by the great ant. Her eyes narrowed and shedrew blood directly from her vein, sending it at the boy. It would probably hurt entering his body but he would then feel it restoring him as it spread throughout his system. Kiji herself showed no visible signs of pain despite her injuries.
Tsuchi did a much better job at avoiding the charging queen than Kiji had done and even as piles of arrows bounce off of it and it seems the bloodied, raging queen would not fall until Kirito came out as it was rolling. It may have smashed Hideyoshi but Kirito got rolled over, too…well, the spot he was in. He jumped up and clinked against armor on his first pass but the queen kept rolling and he struck at that soft underbelly as it was exposed a second time and it got cut into badly. As the queen finished her roll she screeched out in pain and lurched forward even as more ants descended on it.
There was the problem though with all the ants still starting to come and Tsuchi looks at the others, "JUst move!" She calls out and then she nods to Sora, "Pour ont he pressure." She then starts going through hand seals, sucking in a heavy amount of breath, pulling it in. She and Sora act on this and then as the hand seals end, a massive burst of wind comes out of both of them, and then down into the ants starting to come out and the crash is heavy as the cliff and earth around smashes into the ground, crushing things. And thus the threat was ended.