Date: 27th May, 2010
An assorted group goes into the woods to find a special herb, and find themselves the target of "nature's wrath!"
Land of Trees
There's trouble in the town of Yuukoku, situated in the Land of Trees. Somehow a rare fungus took root near the town's main water supply, and the spore from it have laid low a good many villagers. The poison is very slow, but without a cure, some of the victims will never recover. Fortunately, a cure /is/ known…but it's a plant just as rare as the fungus that caused the problem, and grows only in a very deep, dangerous part of the Yuurin Forest.
So, when there's dangerous work to be done, who ya gonna call? Ninja! A couple shinobi from Konoha have been called in, and a wandering Wind ninja has also been commissioned to assist. Oh, and a boy from the Neutral Medical Center was passing through and has volunteered to help too. Aburei bows to the ninja. "Thanks for coming to aid these people. I hope you can put up with me, I might be something of a dead weight if danger comes up." n.n; Aburei taps his head near his eyes. "I know just what the herb we need looks like, though, so I should come in handy." :)
"That you may be..*chuckles*..But do you at least have a sample of what we're looking for?", Ryoji asks dryly in the direction of Aburei. Tempted as he was to point out his obvious lack of sight, the wanderer at least try to be a little civil with this rag tag group.
A hand rubs irritably through his still recovering red hair; barely an inch at its longest. "….Who are you anyways?", He asks plainly.
Natsuki was well on her way to becoming a seasoned veteran. Between all the investigative missions about the Land of Waves and other miscellaneous task, she had learned and developed quickly over a relatively short time. "It's all for the people. They are the lifeblood of our entire civilization. Without them, the country cannot prosper, poverty leads to wants and then violence can come from it." She said calmly. "So, what type of dangers shall we encounter? It is good to know so we can be alert for them." She nodded.
A flicker of movement, and Moriko suddenly appears behind the others, the rather busty ninja carrying a large backpack on her back and a number of hip pouches, add to it she smells of medicinal herbs and the like and well it's rather obvious she's a medical shinobi. "Sorry I'm late!" she calls out. "I hotfooted it from Kumo!"
Aburei shakes his head. "Nope, sorry, no sample. It's a very rare plant. Oh, and I'm Ongakuno Aburei. Nice to meet you." Before the ninja set off, the village elder speaks to them. "I should warn you, the place you're going isn't just dangerous because of wild beasts. A group of fanatics called the Shinrin Nature Cult lives in the deep forest. They condemn anyone who doesn't live a primitive, 'natural' life like they do. We can't prove it, but we suspect they're the ones who planted the fungus that made us ill. And if that's the case, well, they're probably guarding the cure." Aburei nods slowly. "Okay…so, wild animals, poisonous plants, and probably nature wackos. Fun."
Fast-forward a bit, since we're already running short on time, and our heroes are trudging through the undergrowth in the deep woods. It was a fairly ordinary and friendly-looking forest, but by this point it's very thick, full of all sorts of unpleasant prickly plants and creepy-crawlies. Even the air feels choked, and very little sunlight filters down through the interlocking branches. Once or twice they pass by what look like small villages made of tree-houses, connected by rope-and-slat bridges. By all appearances, though, nobody's home in any of the structures. So they keep moving along…
Ryoji sighs and facepalms lightly. "Ryoji no Sunasen. At your disposal…somehow", He says sarcastically before tuning in to listen to what else they had to worry about. His only response being, "How lovely", in a languid tone.
Moving further along, Ryoji couldn't help ,but feel assaulted from all sides of his senses. Everything amplified or dulled by his unnatural senses too the point it even becomes twitchy as they continue. The earth at least provided a mediocre counter balance to the madness…
Well that, and the scent of Moriko not far off. :)
"Oh, introductions? I'm Sassahara Natsuki, rookie genin of Konoha, but originally from the Land of Earth." She then looked over to Aburei, "A nature cult? Cool! I wonder?" Natsuki asked or started to but suddenly became quiet as the group trudged along. She had run into various types of people before, now the question was, how into nature were they? She figured barefoot, but pondered the use of textiles as they moved along. "Man, the humidity here is harsh." she said, commenting on the thickness of the air. "I wonder why exactly, is there a river or stream near us?" she said allowed, not really having looked at a map and even if she did, finding their location on it would probably be impossible for the girl.
The group continued further, then suddenly Natsuki stopped, her eyes narrow in the bushes. "Mouse." she whispered licking her lips slightly before suddenly the small rodent darted past and for a moment, it looked like Natsuki was fighting the urge to give chase. Perhaps, maybe, she belonged in such a cult, but nah, that would be silly.
Moriko blinks and peers curiously at Natsuki, then oh's. "Kirryu Moriko, Konoha Medical Jounin." she states and then gives two thumbs up, the girl beaming, then she glances around "It's probably humid cause we're under a tree canopy!" She adds then hops lightly from one tree branch to another before she glances around. "Be willing to bet we'll be walking into an ambush any minute now, whatta think?"
The mouse skitters off through the underbrush, squeaking in alarm. Hmmm, must've really frightened it. c.c Aburei blinks and peers closely into the bushes where the mouse was. "Say…there it is!" Aburei parts the bushes and squeezes down into a little hollow at the base of the tree, where a patch of the herb they're seeking grows. "This is it! I just need to harvest some of this and we can head back." Aburei sets about taking cuttings of the plant and stowing them carefully in a satchel.
After a minute, the squeaking sound returns. Is that silly mouse still panicking and running around randomly? c.c No, it's coming from up above now…and it's not just one voice, it's…hundreds! With a leathery rustling, a stream of bats suddenly come pouring down from the canopy at the ninja team. A lanky figure, with skin dyed blue and wearing a ridiculously large wooden mask, appears on a tree branch and shakes a stick rattling with charms. "Thieves who would plunder nature's riches, perish under the wrath of the night flyers!"
Ryoji barely gives the mouth a pause for thought, still partial enraptured with the scent of another and the tingling of a memory surrounding Natsuki. Nevertheless he follows dutifully along. When a high pitched squeaking begins all Ryoji says before ducking to the side, "Now what was the odds of this.." The roll of course gets him caught in a tangles forestry and allows for a couple of the bats to nip at him before he could recover.
Two kitchen knives slide down into his waiting hands as he lashes blindly at them and cacklingly whenever he feels one falls on his blade. A few of his strikes, assuming they drew to close would be placed dangerously close to hitting his fellow companions before he has the mind to finally calm himself down again.
As the swarm of bats came down, Natsuki grinned ear to ear and for a moment, and playfully batted her hand at one of the creatures. "Awe, Ryoji, don't be mean. Bats are so much fun. They rely heavily on their sense of smell and of sound to navigate. Their vision isn't all that good. So, anyone have sulfur and cymbals?" the girl asked with a grin, knowing that the sulfur's pungent odor would mask theirs and the sound of the cymbals probably encourage them to leave.
Mo blinks and peers at the incoming little creatures, the girl blinking briefly before she steps a bit back, the girl focusing chakra rather rapidly as the wind begins to blow around her briefly as she gets ready to spin. "Course I can just blow em all away." she mutters.. "Shouldn't mess with the mushrooms too bad?!?" She then glances to the big mask and points out "Less y'want all those mice and bats either blown to the four corners of the world or blasted into ashes by lightning, I suggest y'call em off."
The shaman up above pauses. It's hard to say because of the mask, but he might be blinking profusely. Most people would be thrown into a panic by a sudden deluge of nipping, scratching bats, but these people seem barely phased. Looks like he needs to take more drastic measures! The shaman goes into a hopping, hooting little dance, waving his stick about wildly. Then he gives a particularly loud whoop and slams his palm against the trunk of the tree. There is a *POOF*, and a really BIG bat appears! "Lord Furwing, dispose of these thieving intruders!" The big nasty bat dives down toward the ninja, giving out a chakra-infused screech that can be /felt/ much more than heard.
"Pfft! Lord Furwing are—" Ryoji screams out in pain as he's pressed and forced into a kneel the force of the supersonic attack. His knives fall and sink deep into the ground as the wanderer covers his ears and tries keep out the noise. Unfortunately, years of honing his other senses have left him way too vulnerable. "Soo, dang..loud!", He emits through gritted teeth.
As the screeching bares down on Natsuki, she winces, her hands cupping her ears as she watches the bat's approach. She grinds her teeth, the vibration of the screech bouncing around almost in her ears. Suddenly, when the bat is in range she releases one of her ears, the full effect of the sound making her yowl in pain as she curls her hand into a leopard's paw hand position and then strikes towards the bats sternum. The blow, if it landed would not harm the bat, but depress into his chest and push the air from its lungs. If the creature fell from the strike, Natsuki would be quick to react in her attempt to catch and set the animal on the ground to prevent its injury.
Mo glances up then the bat shows up. Quickly she spins backward, the wind whipping about her suddenly as the woman spins. Rapidly a blasting gale of wind shoots around and circles upward, and rapidly circles its self over her and between the massive bat and the others as well, the cyclone whipping grass and rocks up as well as it rips and ripples overhead shortly before dissipating!
Lord Wingfur, if that's what it's really called, is not accustomed to things fighting back when it uses its screech. It falters in its flight, scrabbling in the scrubs before taking off again with much bad-tempered squeaking. It doesn't come back for another pass, though. The regular-size bats have also had their fill of this thorny prey and aren't about to hang around for some blue dude with a stick. The shaman gives a few whoops in some guttural tongue, unfamiliar yet somehow recognizable as cursing, then flees through the canopy. Aburei straightens up, closing the satchel. "Phew, glad that's over with. I've got all we need, let's go."
With that hairy episode over, the group makes their way back through the woods toward Yuukoku. Baleful eyes seem to be staring at them all the way, but nothing else decides it's worth the risk of attacking them. Soon enough the forest turns peaceful again, and then they arrive back in town. Aburei and Moriko are able to quickly turn the herbs into medicine and administer it to the afflicted. Mission accomplished!