Date: November 16, 2014
A creature with a deadly and powerful venom is roaming rampant in the Blood Marshes unchecked. The call was given to take the beast down in a way that allows for study of the venom. This was over a month ago with no one within Kirigakure taking on the assignment. Not until Feari steps up and with the help of Kiyoshi, the two brave the Blood Marshes and the threat of the Six-Legged-Sloth
"Black Bile: Dead or Alive"
The Blood Marshes of Kirigakure is a dangerous place typically used to challenge the shinobi of the mist and on occassion, host the Chuunin
Exams. The beasts within the Marsh can be quite deadly to those that are unprepared and travel too deep within the Marsh. The further one travels, the
more caution one much take or be killed within an instant.
However, there are the few instances when the beasts that lurk in the furthest depths of the Marshes become restless and travel closer toward
the entrance. This causing more difficulty for the unskilled to deal with as Genin and even Chuunin that would have normally survived are killed due to
the unexpected movements of these powerful creatures. Being known as the 'Blood Marsh' deaths are expected, but only when poor choices are made. Lower
ranked Shinobi were never meant to wander too deep. The monsters on the other hand…unpredictability is predictable.
Not wanting to Kobayashi Maru individuals, it's been requested that the creature that's become restless, be put to sleep. The only thing needed
was two individuals brave enough or stupid enough, wanting to do so. Unsure which quality was present when the decision was made, Feari has taken up the
task and requested Kiyoshi to accompany him. The discussion they had when first meeting was pleasant enough for the Swordsman to want to spend more time
with the other, deciding to use this opportunity to see how well they mesh together outside of a conversation.
Stepping into the Marshes, Feari wasted no time bringing up his hands to form a few handseals that would create a thick mist adding to what was
already present. "Thank you for coming, Kiyoshi-san. I hear this will be quite deadly. This speaks to your character." And the swordsmans as well. He
was already dressed for combat, knowing that if he was caught unprepared it could mean death. Even Samehada was present, wrapped in purple bandages and
strapped to his back.
Although he felt he should've been surprised by the request, the Kirryu was strangely not. Even if he had been, the opportunity to work with
another swordsman beside Isra was a welcomed opportunity for the most part. Plus, if all went well the chance to see Samehada in action may arise, much
to dismay and misfortune of the beast the duo were to hunt alone.
Whereas Feari chose to thicken the mist for both of their sakes, Kiyoshi applied what he knew to traverse marshlands quietly as they carried
on. As the need arose he would signal or whisper his knowledge, albeit not without some hesitation on his part. Neither by now were unfamiliar with the
Bloody Marshes as far as he was aware, so…
"Mm… Truthfully, I was in much need for this. The call of my blood and the chance to see you yourself in action could not be dismissed,
Feari-sama." A blond-haired Kiyoshi in his prefered autumnal gear flashes a weak grin before loosening his spear and refocusing on the forefront once
The mist would thicken and as it did, Feari glided through the marshes, choosing each step carefuly doing so not to avoid making a noise as they
hunted the Six-Legged Sloth, but to keep his clothing from getting dirtied. The swamps can be quite unforgiving, especially to ones wardrobe. The man
enjoyed tailoring, not dry cleaning.
"Well, I'm honored you wish to see me perform." A smirk crossing his face, "But I'm unsure if I'll be able to give you the show you're looking
for." Again his hands raise to perform some seals, but nothing apparent happens. Instead, the already created mist reaches out to detect the presence of
all those around. The sloth was no giant, but it lived in the Blood Marshes. This was it's home. It had the advantage.
Doing his best to stay alrt to his surroundings, Feari would keep up the conversation. "What about yourself? Will you deliver a grand
performance? I'm not going to lie, I'd like to see what you're capable of as well. Someday, I'd like to challenge you to a fight. Not to dance around
the topic, it's because you host the bijuu. I'd like to fight all the Jinchuriki and see how I'd fare against them with Samehada in tow."
The swordsman's words are almost missed. As Kiyoshi had stated — hinted at before, his blood was already demanding for his focus to stay
solely on feeling out his surroundings, not that he needed much of accentive to begin. What percieved made it all the harder to look beyond the basic,
the primal… but by some miracle he manages.
"…These Marshes always provide in one way, or another." Kiyoshi says somewhat absently, breaking his pace to better ground himself for the
moment. Immediatly after, he picks up the pace as much as caution would allow. There was no point disturbing the other beasts and carnivours plants that
called the Bloody Marshes Home just yet. That is, unless somehow doing so might attract the six-legged sloth. "Mmph… Perhaps, but not much of one. And
honestly, I… I would take you up on that, but Kokuo may not look to kindly on borrowing his strength for things like that."
The mists covering the marshes as they did, hid much and revealed little. Even with Feari using chakra there wasn't much extra he was able to
detect. There were signs of dead critters scattered about; half-eaten, clawed through or squished as if stepped on by creatures twice their size. None
of it gave clarity to the Swordsman on which direction to take, so he continued forward hoping to run into this beast or at least Kiyoshi would have
insight on where the two should go.
"No? Would Kokuo-sama not be curious himself to test both yours and his abilities combined in to one? Challenges are sure to come before you
that will one day push you beyond your abilities. If you are unprepared for the occurence the pairing between you two could end abruptly. Something I do
not wish to see. I think it would be better to test yourselves against any competitor to make sure together you grow strong and not stagnant."
Aside from a momentary pause here or there to check how fresh the kills were, Kiyoshi keeps on moving ever forward, divided between the hunt,
instincts, and Feari. "I no more wish my death anymore than you do, Feari-sama. And while he and I can understand your view, it just ain't the way of
things for us. It grinds against our nature."
Kiyoshi slows to a stop and narrows his gaze. After a lengthy moment, the Kirryu steps away from the last torn up corpse he passed and moves on
until he stood a foot short of being beneath broken branches, knowing a thoughtlessly step further meant risking breaking the fallen remnants. "He is
the charger. World Shaker. Mountain Breaker. Canyon Maker. To invoke his power intentionally is to voice the desire to leave nothing standing in our
wake. Anything else — Anything less is disrespectful… Mn… Still…" He trails off from there, both out of uncertainty and due to the trail of
destruction that was slowly becoming clear. Absently, Kiyoshi motions for Feari to adjust his course accordingly.
"Combat does?" Feari questioned, unsure what the jinchuriki meant or eluded to. Especially considering here Kiyoshi was standing by his side and
ready to kill a creature that were it able to use chakra, it'd be no different than the bijuu he hosts. A clear misunderstanding, "I can at least assume
you'd do anything to protect those you care about, even going as far as using Kokuo-sama's power to do so. When that day comes, what happens if you
aren't strong enough to protect that person you care about? Kukuo-sama is powerful, but strength can always be improved upon." The man hummed silently.
"I play with words. Fashioning a story simply to tug at your emotions for my own personal need. I apologize. A conversation for another time, perhaps or
not at all. We should focus.""
Noticing the gesture, Feari would follow after Kiyoshi whom had clearly found a lead. The trail was taking the pair into the Black Forests that
choked out the sun with thick Oak Trees and overgrown bushes and vines. This of course was where many of the reported sighting from those that survived
reported the six-legged-sloth to be located. "It is here where we shall fight." The swordsman made several handsigns and when he finished, several water
clones emerged before taking off into the forests.
Kiyoshi listens without interruption, though the same cannot be said of feeling. The reminder of a possibility elicits a wince from the
Jinchuuriki, as well as a frown. An unnecessary reminder that his younger self may have — /would/ have answered with a silent promise of revenge or
open venom. "… Right." And with that, the matter is closed as far as the Kirryu is concerned. That is, at least for the moment.
Until the infamous Black Forest virtually stripped them of what little visual acuity the mist left them, Kiyoshi strained himself to absorb as
much as possible. Thankfully, Feari had no intention of truly venturing into the darkness. Even so, his grip tightens upon the weapon at his side as his
focus slips from sight to hearing, smell, and to lesser degree, touch and taste. For a brief moment, Kiyoshi toyed with enhancing his senses further
with the odd shapeshifting or two, only to reject the risk of field testing the idea too soon. "Allow me to take the brunt." Kiyoshi whispers after
drifting closer yet slightly ahead of Feari, idly noting the fleeting sound of clones movements for as long as possible. While Kiyoshi was under no
delusion that a seven swordsman could not take care of him/herself, nature demanded that he 'offered' himself as protector.
The water clones dispersed and quickly vanished into the darkness of the Black Forest. They couldn't see far and they didn't need to. Their
objective wasn't to fight the beast on their own, only to lure it out. Assuming they found the creature and lived long enough to draw it out.
"Take the brunt…" Feari raised an eyebrow at the man curiously. "You read the briefing right? This sloth uses a venom that destroys chakra and
paralyzes its opponent. Not something I'd want to get hit by. Not something I'd think you'd want to try and tank. It's admirable, but silly." Reaching
behind his back, his hand would grasp at the handle of Samehada and in one fluid motion pull the blade out in front of him. "Not much longer now."
Kiyoshi glances over at Feari upon noting the dubious note behind the swordsman's tone, more curious than anything. After listening to the
rest, the Kirryu cannot help but grin sheepishly, seeing as how he sort of forgot about that last tidbit. If only his shield had not been in need of
repairs still after the whole train incident…
"Ne-nevertheless, between the two of us, I would more than likely recover the fastest if hit. Besides-…" Kiyoshi refocuses his attention
towards the forefront and narrows his eyes. "You're…. nevermind." He says with a frown, though it is not to last given the idea that popped into
giant's skull. "Feari-sama, You wouldn't happen to have a shield in one of those scrolls? Or… table?"
"I'm what?" Feari questioned, hearing the mans hesitation in commenting all together only to give up in the end. It was like dealing with
Kazumi. Perhaps a similar jinchuriki trait. "A shield or table?" The swordsman smiled, understanding what Kiyoshi was in need of. "A shield, no. A
reason has never came up before. A table on the other hand." Reaching into the inside of his jacket, a scroll would be retrieved. "Always a use for one
of these." The scroll would open and with some focused chakra, a small round table would appear. "May have to start carrying a shiled now, knowing you
may need it."
A single water clone found signs of scratches within a nearby tree. Deciding to follow it, he was sure the sloth wouldn't be too far off and he
was right. The six-legged-sloth was hanging just above before dropping down below with teeth and claws that ripped the clone to shreds until it turned
back into a puddle. The other clones would converge on the sloth's location at this point.
No answer is forthcoming. Either Kiyoshi was pointedly ignoring Feari at the time, or the Jinchuuriki was simply intensely focused on keeping
track of the water clones. Regardless of which, Feari is all but forgotten until the table is produced, and even then, the Kirryu's main focus is the
summoned table. "That… would be greatly appreciated." Kiyoshi replies hesitantly and softly after kneeling down at the tables side to give it closer
scrutiny. When he reaches out to test its quality, it is blackened and hardened finger tips and nails.
"This'll do." He murmured as he rose up, flipping the table over before burying his 'talons' deep in its center. So long as the sloth's spit
wasn't too acidic, it would hold in his mind. The blonde-haired man has barely begun adjusting to the odd feel of the table before his attention is
jerked back towards Black Forest once more at the sound of a clone's destruction. Hardly much, and in truth, it could mean anything. Nonetheless…
"How long?" Kiyoshi asks absently as he readied his shield and spear.
The clones would meet at a single point where their brethren had fallen, but once there, all that remained was a small puddle of water. They'd
hunch together, putting their backs together in hopes of catching sight of the sloth before it could attack. There wasn't an opening in their defense as
they searched through the darkness of the Black Forest. It appeared the sloth had attacked and ran away.
Suddenly, a clone would drop, turning in to a puddle near the feet of the other clones. They'd look about and only see a blur of yellow before
another fell and then another. A single clone remained. Knowing it's duty, it took off at full speed heading in the direction of Feari and Kiyoshi,
hoping the sloth would follow.
"Well I haven't measured it." Feari blushed until realizing what Kiyoshi meant. "Now." The swordsman exclaimed as he pointed off into the
darkness, the shape of his clone emerging just briefly until being slashed through with long, sharp claws as the six-legged-sloth splashes through the
water while continuing his momentum ahead.
Kiyoshi frowns, but refrains from prodding an explination out of Feari. As it turns out, the decision was a wise one, for moments later the
beast is upon them. Without hesitation, Kiyoshi steps forward to meet the sloth's charge and brings the table to bear the brunt of its claws, deflecting
them in passing. Staggered by the force behind the claws and his awkward hold on the shield, Kiyoshi can only watch as the creatures continues on to
strike at Feari next. It is not a mistake the Kirryu intended to let go unamended.
Mud and water is torn up from the ground as the genin charged after the creature before leaping high, spear hand cocked back and ready to drive
its point down into the sloth's backside upon landing. And again.. And again following success, though failure would only mean recovering from the fall
and trying to ward the creature away from any trees.
The sloth would crash into the table, claws holding it in place before it spun about, rolling off the table and aimed to take down the
swordsman. Seeing this, Feari was quick to thrust a palm forward at the creatures face only to feel the sharp sting of the claws as it cut into his
flesh. The pain was immense and the venom that seaped into his blood was almost enough to get the swordsman to drop Samehada.
There was a moment of weakness from Feari and the sloth knew this. It would try to continue its assault only to be forced on the defensive from
the powerful strikes of Kiyoshi's spear. The speed of the creature was able to avoid two strikes, but was was scratched by a third causing it to panic
and flee into the forests.
"Careful, Kiyoshi-san." Feari brought his hand up to lick at the wound then grabbed Samehada's hilt firmly with both hands. "We need to find a
way to bring the Sloth back so they can study its venom and discover how to make use out of it." The man shifted about on the over grown moss beneath
his fist while using the mist to extend his senses and discover the location of the Sloth before it attacked once again. "Not saying don't shish-kebob
it, just do so a little less excessively."
Kiyoshi's curses underbreath, and starts to give chase after the creature, only to stop himself short at Feari's words. The Kirryu visibly
strains himself to actually turn back to face the swordsman until the Sloth disappeared out of sensory range. Even then, he does so grudgingly if the
nearly audible sound of grinding teeth is any indication.
"Hmph… I'll try, but what I know of the way of the spear is… lacking." Kiyoshi sighs lightly and buries the spear business end first into
the ground before combing a hand roughly through his hair. "And your right, if its smart, it won't try us again soon… but maybe if we coralled one of
its usual victims, or…" The rest comes out as indescernible mumblings as the youth turned his hand upon his chin and stroked it thoughtfully.
Even with the help of the mist, Feari was unable to discern the location of the Sloth. It was out of sight and out of range as it possibly
watched the pair from afar or above as it waited for an opportune moment to strike. There was also the chance it fled completely, realizing it was no
match, but that was unlikely. The Blood Marshes was it's home, it's hunting ground and a mere scratch was not going to be enough to keep it at bay for
Feari squinted his eyes while trying to peer through the darkness, not wanting to be caught off guard when the sloth attacks. "It's not a bad
idea, but then that leaves us with dealing with trying to take down another creature of the marsh, while needing to keep our guard up incase the sloth
strikes." As if being called to action, the sloth dropped to the ground from above and on all six legs skittered toward Feari with sharp teeth bared to
dig into the mans leg. Venom dripping from the fangs. Were the attack to land, the debilitating pain that followed would lock up the swordsman, making
it difficult to move.
The muttering continues, but an absent minded nod is still given in response to Feari's word. The motion is barely completed before Kiyoshi is
jerked away from his own thoughts by the sound of the sloth's landing. No warning call is given. No attempt fourth attempt at skewering the creature
from behind is made. Kiyoshi just acts on impulses ingrained from training and reinforced by the Kirryu's innate nature.
While such haste benefited Feari, the table is brought to bear only in hindsight. It is costly mistake that resulted in his shin being knicked
badly before the shield came down and bashed the creature aside. "Feari-sama.." Is all Kiyoshi manages before his body locks in place, and time slows to
a stand still in everyway except for one key aspect: Pain unending. Outwardly he may have seemed to bear it stoically, but inwardly is.. another matter
entirely. In any case, the poison /is/ being fought by the influence of his bijuu, but would it be enough?
Catching sight of the Sloth, Feari was prepared to take the creature head on, meeting razor sharp claws and teeth with Samehada's own scale like
form as the blade tears through the bandaging that holds it in place, ready to protect its wielder. It was a move made unnecessary as Kiyoshi steps
forward to deflect the Sloth, but in attempting to do so, underestimates the speed of the beast as it latches on to the shin long enough to inject the
venom before being bashed away. The gallant actions of Kiyoshi causing a smirk to form on Feari's face as he brings Samehada forward and down into the
Sloth to shave away the creatures flesh.
<Hm… Potent little thing… Fine then…>
If not for pain being his constant companion, renewing itself as it saw fit, Kiyoshi would've lost all sense of time in a world seemingly
without. Then again, he remained in danger of it happening anyways until a deep, authoriative voice shook the world. As his mind raced to catch up to
the present, a fire coursed through Kiyoshi's veins, torching the poison and strengthening the Moto's body in passing. Neither reach their goal before
Kiyoshi begins to rise back to his full height.
One hand was empty, and at the moment he could not understand why. But seeing Feari fight off the creature jump starts Kiyoshi's memories. He
acts before he even realizes he has done so, lashing out with his shield whenever an opportunity arrives to either feel in the gaps between Feari's
strikes, or simply to keep the Sloth pinned in between either the duo or any nearby obstacle.
Both Kiyoshi and Feari would take the offensive, their attacks flowing smoothly together against the creature of the Marsh as they strike in
unison with ease as if they've fought together for years up to this point. A natural feel for the two that leaves the Sloth overwhelmed and unable to
defend properly. The downward scales of Samehada carving up the creatures hide while the strength of the jinchuriki combined with the table batter and
bruise the Sloth.
"Well done Kiyoshi-san. Let's see if we can capture it alive." Feari commented unsure what abilities the other could use to do so. Only knowing
his own, he'd sheath the blade to allow full use of his hands to form several seals that once finished a water clone would form that went to extend a
hand to the creature and trap it in a dome of water.
The smile that had started to form following the acknowledgement quickly sours from the words that came immediatly after. Despite his
misgivings, Kiyoshi nods curtly before refocusing his attention fully on the beast. Live capture wasn't apart of his area of expertise, excluding humans
to a degree. So, he repositioned himself to keep the creature within reach of whatever traping technique Feari might have in store. The only hesitation
in his movements is to guage the success or failure of the clones action. The latter of which Kiyoshi hoped to correct by springing into action and
chucking the creature back into the bubble of water.
The Sloth was taking a beating, practically backed into a corner and it was growing desperate to escape. The water clone would approach, hand
extending to capture it and the creature would dart off only to end up in the massive hands of Kiyoshi who was quick to toss the flailing critter into
the water dome. It would struggle against the pressure of the water prison, trying to break free, but to no avail.
Knowing the Sloth was captured, Feari would walk up to Kiyoshi and offer a pat to the mans back. "Well done. Quick thinking." Dropping his hands
to his sides as he walks up to the ball of water to inspect the Sloth. "Such a small thing able to cause so much death. Amazing. Shame it's not larger
though…that hide would be nice to work with." Shrugging his shoulders he'd turn to Kiyoshi, "Shall we head back?" The water clone already manipulating
the water prison to follow Feari.
Kiyoshi hunches over a little as he sighs in relief. Soon after, he is trying poorly to relieve himself of his makeshift shield, idly noting
around the third tug that another beating would've resulted in its uselessness to him. Unless one were to count firewood.
"Mn… Thanks, Feari-sama." He states, though the sound of splintering wood from obtaining freedom at last might drown out the words. Once
freed his gaze turns to the captured creature as he rolled his wrist, imagining how things may have turned out if they had faced more. Or worst yet, if
the sloth was a pack animal. The subtlest of shudders passes through him at the thought. "Yeah.. Before-…" But Kiyoshi catches himself mid-sentence
and leads on, taking up his spear along the way.
He could only hope he caught himself in time to keep from jinxing their return..