Joker, Taree, Kiyoshi
Date: April 24, 2014
A normal patrol ends up being not so normal, as the disagreement between Kirigakure and the Shinekage heat up.
"Black stone of Kirigakure - 1"
Along the Black-Sands Beaches in the Land of Water
A small scouting squad from Kiri was sent out to quickly check out what was up at the Black Sands beach. People complained it was more ominous than it already was. Though because there wasn't really a direct threat the administration downplayed it as just villagers being antsy as always. A small squad is all they sent out. Like daddy's sent on a mission to make ABSOLUTELY SURE there is no such thing as a monster under the bed. For the tenth time…
Anyways, upon arrival that chill is tangible, even for the Shinobi arriving. There's a low dark haze flowing over the beach, going in a clear direction towards the river and the tunnel.
Taree volunteered for the scouting party. She wanted to check the beach again with her her brood. The fresh salt air was nice on her nose. It excited her brood, knowing there might be a chance to hunt soon. Finally hitting the beach starting the searching to get the scout routine done and over with, Taree would notice the haze. A bit strange, even for Kirigakure.
Even if the higher-ups expected little to come out of the mission, Kiyoshi still carried himself as if the matter was of genuine worth. His purposeful steps are only slowed by the sand beneath his feet. The age alteration on top of bearing a zanbato (horse slayer sword) upon his back kept making him sink deeper into the sand. Frustrating as it was, Kiyoshi followed along at Taree's side until the unnatural haze is spotted. "Hmm.." He emits before following the haze back to its source, hopefully with Taree still following along. If so, he'd eventually find himself asking, "Mind sending some of your brood to scout ahead?"
The haze maintains it's unnatural intensity. It's no wonder people were seeing 'ghosts' … This stuff was real and genuinely creepy. Stepping into it however doesn't seem to give any negative effects. It just feels chilly and ominous.
Looking over at Kiyoshi, giving him a look like oh please already way ahead of you. Concentrating softly sending the message threw out her brood. Waiting for the outer edges of the brood to respond back. Sending scouts further and further out into the haze. "Already way ahead of you. They should be hitting the water soon. Just waiting for them to answer back." Taking a long moment concentrating listening to her broods senses, Taree would reach out with other senses, this time her elemental affinity. Reaching out with her basic element of water to the haze. Trying to feel if something is controlling the mist, or it is natural. "Hmm Kiyoshi be careful that mist and haze is not natural. Something is controlling it"
It is just barely perceptible, but the corner of the Moto's mouth seem to tilt up towards a smile in response to the look. However, the look is only a fleeting thing, since the cave returned to being the forefront of his focus. "'Course." He murmurs in answer. Despite his acceptance of the warning, Kiyoshi kneels nearby the haze and sticks a gloved hand into the haze, knowing that in the worst case scenario that the hand could be removed quickly enough if need be. Finding nothing but an ominous chill to it, Kiyoshi redirects his focus to the tunnel. There was no way to reach it without treading through the haze. Not with it covering so much of the beachfront. So, he would until Taree's brood made their report before suggesting anything.
There's suddenly a sharp scream coming from the cave. A woman, young most likely. The brood is also quite likely to report there's actual life in the cave. At least one signature. What it is exactly however the brood can't tell just yet. The haze remains stable, even when disturbed. Glowing around Kiyoshi's arm like mist. Good, nothing burns or falls off.
Taree starts to play cats cradle with her hands, with nothing there. With a flick of her wrist she would spew a glob of web into her hands. Pulling the webbing until it starts to take shape like a rope. Looking toward Koyoshi. "What is the plan. Should one of us go in. Or do I send more spiders in with a web?" Taree would continue to fold the web into a better rope, letting it lengthen. Listening to the mist trying to locate where the scream came from. Sending her spiders orders to get a visual if possible of the screamer, and not to approach.
The piercing scream shreds through Kiyoshi's being. For a moment or two, it would even look like the boy was planning to charge into the tunnel without so much as a second thought regarding Taree. Luckily, he reigns in his protective instincts and considers Taree's words. "I will enter. You will provide support through the brood from out here." He states evenly as he went about detaching the Zanbato and burying it in the sand. The weapon would do him little good within what promised to be confined quarters.
"I probably shouldn't bother saying this but… no heroics. Report back to Kirigakure if the worst happens." He says and would start to walk off into the haze, but stops himself short to regard Taree one last time… and belatedly take one end of the web rope line before entering the cavern. Without his usual mask hindering his senses, Kiyoshi can fully appreciate the little details or clues that might help him understand what he may be up against along the way. And much to his own personal char grin, the young man keeps approaching stealthily in mind as well.
Kiyoshi remains perfectly safe while entering the cave. Neither of the two notice the dark haze is a simple genjutsu. Eventually, just at the point the natural light fades and shapes or silhouettes is the best you can hope for. There he finds a wooden pole someone knocked into the ground. Against it the slumped body of what appears to be a female. There's how-ever no more movement from said slumped body. He also notices there's something rectangular in her mouth.
Watching Kiyoshi disappear into the misty haze was suspenseful. Taree would continue to real out the web. Feeling it stretch and pull as needed, Allowing to almost keep track of his progress. Sending a few spiders directly down the web just in case. Curiosity would be on her face, as her brood was very slow to respond. It made her wonder what the true nature of the haze was. Deciding to take it safe Taree order more spiders out of their nests. Ringing herself with a line of defense, just to be careful. Waiting and listening for Kiyoshi. Looking toward the river she would order her brood their to swim to the village and report to the other Okumo. Whisper softly, "Come on Kiyoshi."
Kiyoshi narrows his eyes, focusing his sight in the gloom to try and make out as much as possible. The sight he beholds feels him with a good deal of trepidation. Mastering his courage, Kiyoshi attaches the web line to the wall and proceeds closer to the two figures. All of his senses strain themselves to make out the faintest signs of trouble as he went about examining the scene. Although the figure slumped against the post tugs at his heart strings, the downed body remains his greater concern. So, he would examine it from a position that would keep the woman's figure relatively in front of him to avoid — try to avoid any surprises.
Suddenly, there's a loud thud in the air, before both Kiyoshi and Taree can feel something tugging at them both. The black mist collects right at the entrance of the cave.
Kiyoshi's senses might suddenly overwhelm him. The genjutsu was dispelled, suddenly, his nose gets filled with the repulsive stench of a festering body. There's a torch he didn't see before left and right. The cave wasn't dark at all, it was fully lit. In front of him is indeed a pole, only now in full light, there's a festering corps with maggots and flies on it. The ground also reveals a trail of dried up blood that is rather fresh. So something must have sped up the decay of this corps. In her mouth, he noticed the rectangle was actually a white envelope.
Taree also gets hit by the stench, but much less. Now the dark haze is gone Taree can see a shipwrecked fishing boat against a rock formation close to the cave, with a trail of blood, most likely from a dragged body leading straight to the cave!
The stench hit Taree's brood far worse than it did Taree. To them it was the smell of dinner being served. Stepping several feet closer, keeping herself equal distance from the boat and the cave. Sending out her strongest mental commands for the brood to stay back not to go after the body. "Kiyoshi what do you see?" Coordinating her searching brood toward the boat. Sending them up and down the trail of blood looking for any little bit of informations.
Blinded by the sudden light and assualted by the stench of death, Kiyoshi fell back onto his bottom as a result of trying to protect himself in too many ways at once. So long as there is no other surprises, the Moto eventually regains stability and takes in the scene. "Genjutsu?" He murmurs underbreath. Almost as quickly as the idea popped into his head it is dismissed. Either the caster was still nearby, or… it did not matter right now.
With another shake of his head the boy zeroes on the corpse. The sickening sight twists his gut and threatened to overwhelm his sense of reasoning. So, he takes another moment to calm himself down before approaching the corpse and carefully plucking the envelope free. The call belatedly registering, Kiyoshi regards the corpse one last time before making his way back out.
The back of the letter has ink writing on it: 'Doharai Ishino' Is what the writing says. The dot on the I replaced by a small skull. They didn't need to look far for their assailant however. Just when Kiyoshi wants to make his way out of the cave, him and Taree both hear: 'Doton!' coming from above the cave entrance. Too late, it suddenly caves in on him! Making the cave completely dark asides from the two torches that are going to burn out eventually. Not to mention the fact he has some alone time with the corps now. He's not sealed off too badly however. A few good strikes or an hour of digging at most. That jutsu was controlled, so sealing him off permanenly or killing him clearly wasn't the intention. Especially considering the fact he had the letter in his hand!
Taree however is face to face with a woman. Green fingernails. Mid twenties, and a skull headband around her shoulder. She's picking her teeth with a bloody knife. "Nothing like the feeling of a sharp knife slowly slithing through flesh bone and morrow, don't you agree?" She asks, smiling while looking at Taree. "Especially when that flesh is still alive~…" She says, her voice ominous enough to send chills down HE-man's spine. Let alone ninja!
Taree peered threw the ocean water, face covered in a silken veil, totally underwater. Seeing and watching her clone as the woman suddenly appear before it. Making Taree think and almost blink, ~Now that was fast i didn't even see her appear~. Concentrating her spiders shuffling all over the beach. Smiling watching the clone follow her lead on action. Smiling gently. "Actually I like the feeling of fangs sinking into soft tender flesh. Feeling the poison slide into the veins. And the flesh starting to melt off the bones." Pausing the clone cocking her head continuing to smile. The clone stretching a little arms behind her back. "Especilly when the flesh is surround by a swarm of okumo spiders on the beach. So what shall it be. Your dagger into my clone. Or do you wish to have a conversation."
Questions swarm about Kiyoshi's head upon reading the name, but mere moments later, those questions are shunted to the back of the Moto's mind as someone calls out a technique. Desperate, he pockets the note and rushes to the entrance, only to be forced to retreat or else get buried in the process. "No!" The word came out just as unbidden as the growls that accompanied his attempt to claw his way out, stone by stone. If he were to cave into certain temptation he could probably be out in a matter of seconds, or minutes at most.
But could he truly trust the beast not to let their fury spill out against those undeserving of it?
The woman chuckles. "Now now, if I were here to kill you, you and your friend would already be dead." She says calmly, smiling at what Taree says. "Really now…" She says with a smirk, clearly enjoying the image she's portraying.
"I like you little one, you have a certain kind of … gusto…. Modern ninja lack." She smirks, "It's such a shame. Our villages could be allies. Instead, the higher ups in your village decide that it's death they crave. "You two are messengers. That girl is a fisher from the land of water. Each week the amount of victims will double." She looks at Taree. "And be closer to home." She let's out a sadistic smile afterwards. "Now, you going to sign your own death warrent and attack me? Or you going to help dig out your friend to report to your overseers?" She grins, holding her arms open…. Perfect opperunity to toss a kunai should she so desire.
Taree would consider her options momentarily. Sending a flash of thought into the cave. Spiders in the rock fall but still a clean line of communication to the brood there. The response time of her brood much faster now. On the wall inside of the cave the few brood inside the cave would form on the wall. Taking a que from Sei slowly moving the spiders to spell out a message to Kiyoshi. "We have company. stalling for time."
Shudders softly reminding herself to breath slowly underwater, so her spiders can keep up with the air usage. The veil drifting down her chesst a soft bubble of air. A continues line of spiders bringing a bubble of air from the surface down to the veil. Sending a thought along the river sending a another message via spider in the river to the village. Hoping someone will actually get the message in time and call the cavalry. Making her clone grin at the woman smiling. "Why thank you I really do try. Attack you oh dear i agree that would be a death warrant for me. Still genin in training, and well granted special abilities. And my friend well he can dig himself out. I am actually much more interested in you. Like how did make the corpse decay so fast, nice touch by the way. And I wouldn't mind tryng to pass a further message on to the higher ups. Shame to waste so many lives so quickly."
The answer was a resounding no.
Despite the truth as he saw it, Kiyoshi toyed with faith by drawing upon some of the "other's" power to harden and enlarge his hands. Things proceed much faster now. However, if he so much as heard the most minute scream out of his companion, hell would soon have a new occupant, one way or another. The stench of the dead spurs him that much more on. As for his spidery company, well, they were lucky enough not to get crushed in the process of the boy's turmoil. Freedom and protection was all he had in mind, and any deterents to that were just another obstacle in need of removing.
That being said, the message goes missed.
The woman snickers. Taree's stalling tactics were cute but shallow. She wasn't a rookie you know! There's a brief green mist, and then she's gone. "Remember, tell your overseers.." Says a slithering voice right next to Taree's ear (the real Taree) Before he hears a soft splash. Then, total silence returns to the site. It seems the direct danger has passed.
Taree would silently cursing her desperate need to train, knowing how lacking she is. After hearing the parting message She would swim up onto the shore and onto the cave. Summoning her brood from all over. Recollecting them and putting them to task. Help Kiyoshi dig himself out. It was slow going, but with pulling webs and support threads progress would be made. Before that thou Taree would run off , leaving her brood to its work, heading straight back to port and report. One to get kiyoshi some help. Two a fleeting chance that she might be caught.
So single minded he is in purpose that he almost doesn't recognize the brood coming to his aid. When it does finally sink in, the teenager finally slows down enough to work smart and just fast, clearing the debris until he felt close enough to the end to risk one final push. His arm enlarges, hand ossifies, nails sharpens, and legs slide into position. Seconds later, there's hole punched through the barrier just large enough for the boy to quickly slip his way through before it potentially collapses back in on itself. His exit is a blind rush, but so long as nothing stands in his way, the youth would quickly comb the beach front for Taree before it sinks in to use Taree's brood to hunt down little Okumo. If all went well, there would only be the matter of delivering their report, and resisting the urge to hurt the higher-ups for disregarding the mission as a minor alarm.