Date: April 8, 0215
Zankuro and Isura are assigned to assist a young Aburame look into the recent migration of several supposed new species of insects that swept in from the north. Hige along the way delays his return from a mission to assist. All four however are treated to more than can reasonably chewed on for a first encounter, and thus retreat, along with a hunter who had the misfortune of encountering one of the new species that now call Miati Forest their home.
"Bug Hunting to the Extreme - Case of the Glints"
Miati Forest - Entrance [Land of Fire]
Here is the trees have finally crowded in to the point that it is indeed a forest. A small unmarked trail from the south east merges with a larger trail leading from the great river to the north, and hooks sharply west. The trees here are dense heavily foliated hardwoods, but allow a little bit of sunlight to light the trails and sparse undergrowth scattered and huddled together wherever it can get to the most available light. To the west the trees don't grow quite as close together, but they do get older and larger, the light finding it harder to reach the forest floor except in those places where an old tree has died to create a clearing or some branches have fallen.
"So are you both absolutely clear on what it is we are here to obtain?"
Zankuro continues to massage the bridge of his nose. It has been at least three hours since the team was dispatched to Miati Forest at the request of an Aburame, and all they had to was essentially help catch a few interesting species that seemed to have migrated there. Well, study first, then catch a few. Either way, the job was pretty straight-forward and simple D-rank in terms of expectations, but a C-rank on paper. Why said Aburame wanted to shell out more left the Sarutobi a wee bit suspicious in the begining. Then, they had to wade through TWO freaking hours of explaining how to go about the mission from the client, which may explain the extra incentive to stay.
Zankuro wearily gave Isura a side-long glance before finally looking down at their client, a dark-haired, shade wearing — basically, an aburame easy to forget in a crowd of Aburame, or well, any crowd really. "As I said before, I think we got it. Ain't that right Isura-san?"
Isura mind was else where as he stood there with crossed arms his body moved on autopilot for the most part. "Ah yes I know what's going on and should be simple enough." peering around he yawned as he could think about eight things he could be doing right now. Isura laid back nature increased with how smooth things where going and thus he found a place that would allow for a nap or just a brief moment to close his eyes so far nothing.
A vein visibly pulsed in the forehead of their client. Instead of voicing his concerns however, the teen instead curtly sweeped an arm towards the forest, gesturing for them to enter. "Uhm…" Zankuro gets out no more before the Aburame decides to lead the way. With a sheepish grin, the Sarutobi follows after after throwing Isura a quick glance. After a few minutes of walking, Zankuro starts to open his mouth to say something, but is cut off by the client.
"Keep a sharp eye out. Both of you. This isn't just one new species that we may be dealing with, but several and I do not wish to miss this opportunity." Yes, the boy was pushing things, and yet Zankuro didn't seem to mind all that much so far. "Right, right, eagle eye… hmm.. Is.. naw, that ain't nothing. YOu catch anything Isura?"
Isura noticed several flickering lights off to the distance frowning he sighed "yeah something metallic over in that direction…so yeah there is that." Shrugging he smirked as the group made way. "What do you guys wanna do?"
Hige had been on a mission of his own. Something fairly simplistic obviously since it was only he and Konsho. It was on the way back that he'd caught a familiar set of scents and followed them out of curiosity, bringing him now to come up behind the group and tilt his head curiously as he tries to figure out what they're doing there. "Am I interrupting something?" He says after a moment.
Zankuro nearly trips over the Aburame because of how abruptly he stopped to regard Isura. "Uchiha. If your intent is to distract us from our course, I—" The Aburame freezes up, then turns slightly in the direction that Isura was looking. There indeed lights hovering about in the distance, and constantly moving about not unlike fireflies at night. The Aburame's mouth settles into a thin line and brows furrow ever so slightly.
After a quick glance over in the direction of the light, Zankuro turned his full focus on the quiet beetle boy. Although technically the leader of the mission, the client's desire had to be taken into account first and foremost. "Hm… Oh, its you." Zankuro states somewhat edgedily. After a moment's pause, Zankuro sighs lightly and tries smiling. "… Well, its probably a good thing you here, cus' we could prolly use your nose to help track down some bugs. You game?"
Meanwhile, the client has started to drift in the direction of the lights.
Isura yawned at the words of the Aburame "bro if distractions was my game something metallic in the woods wouldn't be it." Firm footsteps and soft steps are heard. Isura flashed through signs before pausing at the sound of the voice "oh Hige how you been, be happy you spoke cause a great fireball was about to greet your face." Snickering Isura pointed to the Aburame who was heading towards the metallic substance. "Ugh he's getting away."
Hige snickers a bit at Isura and shrugs a bit, "Well then I guess it would'a taught me a lesson hmm?" He asks with a grin. When he sees the Aburame wandering off he quirks a brow at Zankuro. "Don't let me interfere. I'm willing to help though if you guys would like." He offers. "I was just heading back from a mission of my own when I caught your guys' scent. Thought I'd check in." Konsho yips his own greeting at the pair while Hige takes a sniff at the air. "Huh. Interesting." He mutters to himself, then motions for the other two to lead on. He's just a spectator. Or an assistant if they need it.
Zankuro facepalms lightly before dragging his hand down his face. Leave it to Isura to burn first and ask questions, right? "Well, it'd be appreciated. Though, since you weren't on the original roster for this, don't expect a large cut." Zankuro starts to chuckle, but stops as Isura's words finally register. The Sarutobi whips around quickly to see that the Aburame has already managed get quite a distance away from the rest. Considering how the youth moved, it is obvious the Aburame felt more at home in the forest than even most Konoha shinobi.
"Geez, alright, let's hop to it. If either of you pick up or something, call it out quick." And with that said, Zankuro is quick to try and follow after the Aburame, though cautiously just in case. Something about the youth's movement reminded him of one taking the careful route.
After nearly twenty minutes of walking (or less than that for those that decided to run), the team eventually arrives at what can be best described as a glinting swarm of beetles flying in circles about a eight foot area within a small clearing. While the Aburame hovers on edge of the clearing, Zankuro keeps on going for about another foot or two, struck in awe by the size of the swarm.
Isura moved as such kept his eyes peeled as they searched before pausing in thought. "Question…shouldn't Hige know the basic of the mission?" Arching a brow he yawned as he sluggishly kept in pace with the heavier Sarutobi and Hige. So far Isura efforts weren't in full effects as he scanned the area.
"I don't need any part of it." Hige says dismissively. "Don't even put me on the roster. It's fine. I just happened to be passing through is all. I'd feel bad just leaving you two behind." When they start after the Aburame the boy and pup takes to the trees, going the upper route so they can watch ahead as well as behind the others. As they near the bugs Hige pauses, then calls below. "Hold up. Something's not right." He and Konsho both sniff, then glance at each other before Hige says, "There's someone on the other side. Might be dead. Too much other animal death to tell for certain. Those bugs smell like metal though so they might be sharp. Everyone be on guard. Aburame are these familiar to you?" He's not intending to take charge but questions are important now.
Zankuro absently nodded along in agreement, and did not complain one bit. Every cent counted these days for the Sarutobi, and possibly for Isura too! "Huh… Good point, Isura-san. Basically, a bunch of weird bugs have supposedly, well, not so supposedly now—" Zankuro gestures to swarm. "Been migrating down from the.. north, I think it was? Anyways, this kid here wanted us to basically study them, maybe catch a few, and.. that's really about it aside from probably not ki-…" Zankuro halts at Hige's command, and half-heartedly glares at the Inuzuka for having interrupted him.
That glare soon died away quickly at the mention of someones life being on the line. Before anyone can truly get a word in edgewise, the presence of the shinobi seem to be finally noticed. One large chunk of the swarm splinter off from the rest and make a bee-line for Zankuro. A few from the roving ball of death diverge away and try to attack everyone else, forcing all to think quick. The aburame clears the rogues splinter cloud and latches onto the side of the tree. "I… I need time. Keep them occupied for now, but don't let them make contact." The aburame calls out to the others. It is a warning that comes too late. A portion of Zankuro's vest and skin is sheered away by the mass during one their passes. The pain paled in comparison to weakeness he felt after contact. Poison!? "don't worry… Isura, Hige, You heard the kid!" He calls out before clapping his hands together and focusing his energy.
Isura got into the habit of sending in clones first and it was good he did cause when the bugs passed through him the clone burst into flames. Isura posted himself up with a cheeky smile as he peered at the scenes from the mid-ground. Sharingan is displayed as he searched for a chakra network that might be controlling the bugs. "Suddenly attacking is for the most part out of insects nature so why are you guys doings so? Could be simple as we're too close to your breeding ground or something more sinister at play here." Isura scanned and searched the nearby area.
Hige sighs mentally when he sees Zankuro get tagged and the boy jumps away when the bugs come at him, landing on another tree limb nearby. Keep them occupied? Really? "Uh, hey bugs. Looking good. Want to hear a joke?" He offers uncertainly. Can he just kill them instead? That would be so much easier.
The Aburame did not wait around to find out if the others actually heeded his 'advice' or ignore it for their own safety. Instead, the boy shoots up the trunk of the tree until — if only for the moment — he is out of immediate range of the bugs apparent territory. A small swarm of beetles fly out from beyond the client's coat, and after making a few circular passes above their master's head, the cloud disperses in all direction.
Meanwhile, Zankuro has just completed managed to build up enough chakra to fight back. And yet, instead of engaging them with idle threats or distracting jokes, man and bugs seem to stare each other down as if waiting to see who'd make the first draw. "… Hnn… New plan, Isura, Hige. If you can break through the wall then do it. If anyone is still alive in there, we need to pull them out first."
As if in response to Zankuro's oh so brilliant plan or Hige's questionable goading, parts of the main host splinter off to try and assualt Isura and Hige.
Orders where given and Isura wasted little time he dashed forward to break through the wall twice and afterwards released a blazing breath of pure heat that was made to irritate the eyes long enough to scan and get others out. "Where are yeah? I don't have all day…" Isura yawned before leaping into action. He picked up two people kids in size and tried to run back out same way he came in.
Hige grumps a bit when the bugs don't accept his invitation for a joke. C'mon he was going to tell a funny one too! The boy slips sideways and under the bugs as they attack, a hand running through his hair as he looks after the ones that attacked, then looks towards the the mass that's still there. Break through huh? Alright. "Let's go Konsho." He says before the pair launch themselves into the air. As they come down they start spinning and shredding their way towards the mass.
Today fortune only favored one bold one, and that one isn't Isura. Whatever means the beetles were using to communicate with one another surpassed the Uchiha's ability to confuse pockets of them with high speed movement and cheap tricks such as smoke and heat. What few are disturbed by the latter are almost instantly replaced by more, mindful of heat and aggravated by the Uchiha's tactics if the now more notable droning sound given up by the beetles is any indication. Invigorated by their brothers' fury, the cloud the Uchiha managed to avoid before now returns quickly, altering their formation to something closely resembling a spear.
Many beetles throw away their lives trying to protect whatever lay within the main swarm cloud. They fall by hundreds beneath claws and teeth, failing ultimately at their task. Once inside, two things become immediately clear. Nothing, not even something as thick hided and large as a bear or small as squirrel was off the menu. It is strange however. While there were plenty of animal bodies scattered about, not nearly all of them were actually dead yet. Most just seemed to be suffer from some kind of severe lethargy of some sort. As for the human, tracking him is both easier and harder within the cloud. Shifting mounds and conflicting scents competed for the Inuzuka's attention greatly, but ultimately a trail of sorts reveals itself, directing the Inuzuka towards the far back end of beetles feeding ground. Regrettably, things aren't that easy. The assualt and intrusions have now riled the beetles up to the point of a frenzy. Most of the top half of the mass surges inwards on a direct course for Hige.
As for Zankuro, his little stare down draws to an abrupt close as the fractured mass of beetles turn their attention on the other two. Desperate, Zankuro focuses both mind and spirit to the task of building up a larger jutsu. Regardless of their job, the Sarutobi wasn't sacrificing the teams lives on a danger this apparently bad!
Isura didn't enjoy leaving things to fortune, nor did he like leaving things to chance, so he didn't. As they came back two Isura blocked their path and once more burst into flames while the real Isura built up chakra for his offensive coordination. He noticed that he wasn't fast enough to even break through and thus flashed through seals pulling back he released a flurry of tiny orbs of hot flames as he use that as a distraction to take to the air. His sharingan spotted the weakest point of chakra and thus it was there where he rain down his great fireball jutsu to cracked a hole to pass through.
Hige and Konsho are prepared with all this danger around. He hops away neatly on all fours, then does so again as the fireball comes down. "Hey watch it!" Hige growls, the chakra flow causing his more feral parts to show up more. He turns then and makes his way towards where he smells the strongest scent of a person, letting Konsho clear the way as they go.
A full frontal assault does indeed provoke the reaction Isura sought after a fashion. While the beetles are able to move at a high enough speed to disperse the burning orbs, the focus inwards left them vulnerable. Roasted carcasses crunch beneath the Uchiha's feet upon landing within the hive cluster. Turning, the Uchiha would see Hige and Konsho rushing off towards their back. Despite the efforts of the pup to clear the way, the loss of so many actually focus the swarm enough for a coordinated attempt at diverting Konsho.
A mass of tiny bodies slam into the pups own, pushing him back while remaining unaffected by the lightning coursing about it. In fact, for a few brief moments before the swarm peels away, Konsho would feel a little drain. It is almost as if —
Without obvious reason or warning except the slight calming of angry droning and clacking, the beetles all hover in place for a few brief moments, then as one began to fly high towards the canopy. Zankuro can only sputter at first in surpise, and watches them — "I'm aborting the mission. This is beyond what I had originally expected." The Aburame kid stated after hoping down to the earth along with the others. "We only have a few minutes to get going before they ignore the bait and come after us again. I suggest we move now." The boy only lingers around long enough to see that at least Zankuro caught his words before taking off ahead of the group. Zankuro is still a little shell shocked for a moment, but he recovers soon enough and whistles sharply to grab the others attention. "Come on! Whoever it is, find him quick and let's get out of here!" He calls out, waving for the others to hurry along.
Once inside Isura was amazed by what he saw he gazed around at Hige pup as it failed to breakthrough he frown as he was now officially cut off from the team. "At least I'm in now to search for survivors since that was the last orders given." Isura did just that while keep his guard up just in case something else was lurking inside the forest and waiting to catch the Uchiha off guard. When the time was right Isura would act as a rear guard for the retreating team.
Hige would indeed grab 'whoever' he found that was still alive, going so far as to have Konsho transform if required to carry multiples. With that done the boy and his pup move after the others at top speed, escaping before the nasty bits can come back again.