Date: July 29, 2015
While on a mission, a team of Konoha shinobi find themselves stumbling on an old friend in need. Of course, they want to help him! The fact that their friend is a ten-foot tall bear that could easily squish them helps.
"Bear Hunt - Finding the Culprits"
Land of Fire
It's been a while since the huge bear was seen… And it's been even longer since Kajiru probably had time to try and hunt down the huge bear and his companion. In all likelihood, though, she wouldn't really know where to find him, nor would she be able to have the time to find him. Recently, though, Kajiru, Tatsuo, and Zankuro (with Zankuro leading the team) were sent out on a simple mission! Protecting supplies, essentially. And, if Kajiru or Zankuro remembered properly, the route would happen to lead past the villages where the large bear was last spotted.
Zankuro could do simple. Zankuro /loved/ simple. Well, he loved simple missions, but give him a story that wasn't at least a little complex almost always guaranteed making an enemy out of the Sarutobi!
Cough… Moving on!
Things were quite simple for team Zankuro. Each one of its members would be carrying a back pack filled to the brim with supplies. While certainly not the lightest of loads, or even the easiest methods of transportation, Zankuro did not want to be that one guy. You know, that guy who just couldn't stand the idea of having his underlings train as they worked, as well as learn valuable lessons about hard work and dedication.
His scrolls at hand may or may not have also been incidently filled to the brim with other 'precious' goods. c.c
"Keep up the hustle boys and girls! We're just about to reach the half-way point." Zankuro calls out enthusiastically as he marched behind the others along a well-worn dirt path. "And the sooner we reach it, the sooner wer start for lunch. Lunch does sound good to all of you, right?" He adds, beaming.
"I love lunch! And second lunch!" She nods her head as Kajiru trucks along. Girl may be 4'6" but she has the strength of a girl easily twice her size. Compact muscle. S he trucks along all grins as she moves, "I'm gonna so get this there before you do, Tatsuo!" She nods her head and moves along quickly. SHe then looks over at Tatsuo, "Better keep up!" She then looks ahead to Zankuro and then hmms, "What's in the scrolls, Zankuro-san?" She hmms as she rushes.
Tatsuo is definitely not built for this type of thing. He is not all muscled up like some other people. Instead he's small and kind of thin. So this was…a new form of torture. The boy groans and grumbles softly to himself as he walks, not at all pleased with somehow being assigned to this mission. Yet here he was. He looks over to Kajiru when she mentions beating him and he grimaces and nods a little. Apparently he doesn't really care. Ever since that time where he'd started to come out of his shell and been backhanded back in he's gone back to his quiet self again.
As the trio walk towards their destination, there doesn't seem to be … well, much of anything going on! Except… Well, there's no signs of animal life. No birds chirping and very few squirrels scampering around. A bit odd, but maybe they're all scared of Zankuro's clomping about! Who knows? Regardless of the why, that's what's currently happening! At least the sun is shining.
"Third Lunch is the best though." Zankuro had quickly piped in. When asked about the scrolls on hand, the Sarutobi grins, opens his mouth wide, then pauses and rubs his chin. "Wellll, a whole bunch of stuff! Cus' you see, not to toot my own horn, but you are with none other than one of the few scroll masters in Konoha!" He boasts.
Despite his appearance, Zankuro did have a knack for details. The lack of forest critters was definitely a big of a attention jerker. But it could mean anything, or so he believed. Thus, the rest of team are given no extra warnings than what may have been given at the start of the mission.
Looking at the area around, Kajiru hmms as they approach the spot, "It got real quiet." She nods her head as she hmms and then shrugs, "Just sayin'." She then looks to Zankuro and then grins, "That's neat…wait…" She stops and then stares at he ground a moment before looking up, "Doesn't that mean you could have put all this in a scroll?!"
Tatsuo continues to follow after the other two in silence, not really noticing the lack of sound in the area above the sound of his heart thudding in his ears from all the freakin' work! He keeps going without even really looking around. He'll leave that to them other folks. He does, however, here the whole scroll thing and when Kajiru mentions putting stuff in them he looks up quickly. Wait, what?
The team would not need to wonder for very long. Suddenly, a very very large bear comes out of nowhere! … Yeah, who knows where it came from. It seemed to come out of the very ground, though, and it's giving a huge yawn that shows off its teeth. "Hmm.." it mumbles to itself in human-speak. "What should I have fo-" He pauses in his little speech to himself and swings his head to see Kajiru and co. His beady eyes narrow a bit as he recognizes the three, then he lumbers on over. "Have you found him yet?"
Zankuro snorts, and is just about ready to break out into a full on chuckle when the ground starts to tremble. Without hesitation, he calls out for the duo to halt. Moments later, his eyes are as wide as saucer from the sight of the bear before them. Before he can so much as digest just what the heck just happened, the bear… talks?
'No…' He rubs at his eyes. Yup. The bear indeed just talk. "Find… who, exactly Bear-san?" He asks as he made his way up towards the front of the group. If nothing else, he knew from experience that a good meatshield he did make.
And then Kajiru rushes right past Zankuro and leaps at the bear, "Bear-Kun!" She declares and attempts to climb on to the Bear's leg and climb up it, laughing as she goes. She shakes her head, "Not yet! He wasn't in any of those villages that day." She shakes her head, "And then these guys called the Recluse came and tried to kill all of us so we had to stop searching for the little bear cause all those people wanted us to die and well, we didn't wanna die and we couldn't find a bear when we were dead and that would really end poorly for everyone if we were dead and the bear wasn't found so we had to stop searching for the bear in order to stop the Recluse but now that they are all dead, I killed a few myself by the way, we can get back to looking for the little bear!" Kajiru peers at the bear, "Isn't that great?"
Tatsuo pauses as the ground starts to tremble with the motion of the large bear. Not only that but he already was off balance. After his arms pinwheel out to either side a few seconds he flails before falling flat on his face, all the items in the pack behind him just weighing him down into the ground that much more. Ouch.
The bear eyes Kajiru for a bit, trying to shake her off his paw when she attempts to climb him. "I see." Then he rears back so he's on his hind legs and towering at a good ten feet tall before finally slumping back onto his butt and sitting their in a thoughtful posture. Sort of like Pooh Bear or that thinking statue that's famous. "So are you all off to find him now?" he asks, voice somehow projecting a lot of worry despite the fact that… well, he's a bear.
Zankuro wasn't exactly known for his speed, nor did he know Kajiru well enough to anticipate her actions. Thus, for the first few moments he stands there with his mouth agape and eyes somehow even wider than earlier. As soon as that initial shock wore off, the young man goes from being tensed over how the bear might react to facepalming and dragging his hand down said face.
The genin they put him with…
"Uhm, well… uh…" He glances at his other genin, sweat now begining to pour down his face in waves. 'Smart answer…' He tought as he glanced at bear. 'Right answer…' He continued on as his gaze fell on Kajiru. 'Or…' After taking one look at Tatsuo's state, the Sarutobi slouches forward with a heavy sigh. "… Yes we were, Bear-san, though… mind filling me in on where ya last saw.. 'him'?"
Looking at the bear, she frowns at being shaken off. She then looks back at Tatsuo to say, "Stand up, Tatsuo!" She declares before looking over to Zankuro and then grinning before looking back at the bear, "Yeah, we are kinda at a loss." HSe nods her head, "We don't know which way to go from here. We need to find him though." She nods sagely, "After all, I need a bear friend!" She nods her head and leans forward, "This guy in town has a fox friend and she's with him all the time. I need a bear." She states like it were plain as day she needed a bear, "And most bears don't talk." She shakes her head, "THey just growl and swipe at you till you growl back and swipe back then they learn…but not to talk."
Tatsuo grumbles as he tries to push himself up but, with the extra weight on his back, it's not exactly an easy task for the young Nara. After a few moments and with a huff of energy he manages to push himself up - only to fall backwards instead. Now he's turtled, with the pack on his back so full of crap that he can't flip himself over.
The bear casually reaches over and, with semi-blunted claws, carefully picks Tatsuo up and rights him. "Last time I saw him… Was before I went to bed." At the start of winter… Umm… "I'm not sure where he went. I just know that he's in trouble. But…" The bear pauses and sniffs the air. Then sighs. "No trace… of course…" he stands up properly before fallign to all fours. "I remember… There was a cart. With a mark on it like this." He scratches a large symbol in the dirt. It looks like nothing, really. But those familiar with various circuses might recognize the symbol of a traveling troupe known as 'If It Could Fly..'.
Zankuro sweatdrops only grows as he watches the interaction between the bear and everyone else. Sure, there was that brief shot of panic in his heart when the bear leaned over to help Tatsuo up, but it couldn't really be /that/ bad if it dealt with Kajiru's tackle without caring much. Right? Plus, wrestling a bear for a kid didn't seem likely to end well…
Hesitantly, Zankuro drew closer to the bear and knelt down before the symbol drawn. After a bit of chin rubbing and murmuring Zankuro snaps his fingers. Of course tetsuo or Kajiru might've already come to the same conclusion, but at least he said it first! Maybe. "Ah, I know this one! Ooo… though not sure if…" He furrows his brows, then shook his head fiercely. "Doesn't matter. Its a start, but will have to head back to the village probably to find out where their headed next."
Looking at it, Kajiru grins and points at it before Zankuro says something and she shakes her head, "Nah." She states, "That's the 'If it Could Fly.' circus." She nods her head and grins at Zankuro, "I know right where they'd be this time of year…or at least close to it." She nods her head and then grins at the bear. She then looks to Tatsuo and grins before looking back at the bear, "We could head that way now!" She nods her head and then claps her hands, "Then we could save the bear! And hopefully this time he'll talk and not swipe at me." She nods her head and then rubs her chin, "Then we can find out why he ran off and got caught in the first place!" She raises up a hand high like a punch before looking over to Zankuro, "To the Land of Wind!" She declares!
Tatsuo blinks when the giant bear paw appears overhead and he closes his eyes, expecting to be clashed. But instead he finds himself back up on his feet…"Arigatou…" he murmurs to the bear before starting to dust his shirt and pants the best he can without unbalancing again. When he sees the symbol drawn into the ground he recognizes it from one of the vast number of books he's read, but it seems Kajiru is on it already. There's just one problem. "Um, you can't just go to the Land of Wind Kajiru-chan…you need to ask Hokage-dono first." Or at least someone who can give permission. Tatsuo is stuck dealing directly with the Hokage so that's the path he sees.
The large bear's head swivels between the three as they all offer their pieces of information. "The Land of Wind is … in the completely opposite direction," he grumbles. "I'll start heading that way, then. You three take care of whatever it is and meet with me later. Umm… If that's okay." He looks to Zankuro for confirmation before lumbering off. "We can meet at the border," he calls behind him.