Date: June 6, 2014
A simple investigation into a newly opened shaft beneath the Chill River evolves into something else almost entirely…
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
Beneath Chill River [Land of Water]
The Chill River is, as the name indicates, a river of rather cold water. It stretches from the northern Land of Water, a mere trickle from a lake near the Koumorite Village, but then is joined by dozens of tribuataries in the forests until it becomes a significant, surging river. The river has long been a place for the Yuki Clan to practice its Ice Release, and small towns still lay in the woodlands on both sides of the misty river banks. Ritual statues and markers still protrude from the river's waters, serving as both warnings of who holds sway over the river and as a means of controlling the passage of boats and rafts.
To the north lies a significant stretch of forest within the Land of Water, and to the south-west, black sands lie on the coast.
An underwater shaft has been discovered within one of the deepest parts of the Cold River. After approximately a minute and a half of diving through it, it would open into an underground cavern based on the discoverer's report. This new location needed exploration, but unfortunately, Kirigakure remained stretched thin in terms of number. That being said, the team of two consisting of Akane and Takahiro were dispatched with the strict word of warning not to explore beyond a certain time frame/point. This mission was also to serve as another test for Takahiro…
Not a single cloud can be seen on the horizon. The day is clear, and fairly warm away from the wind which, blowing moderately from the north-west, is enough to chill the air. A chill bound to be made worse after entering the river. An elder gentlemen by the name of Kyou Shirayuki, a represenative from a village nearby, would await the team with their supplies for the mission. Outside from that and some possibility being mentioned of extra support later on, the duo were free to proceed.
Akane was chatting amicably enough with Kyou. She'd gotten there early in order to verify that everything she might need was there. She'd heard that she would have a child along with her on this mission and she wanted to be certain of his safety — despite Kyoujin's gleeful acceptance of a 'boring' mission. The woman had her long hair braided for once, her hairsticks were missing but her blood red braid fell past her waist. She wore her typical outfit despite the fact she'd probably be getting in the water.
"We should be find as long as orders are followed. I stole one of Ishino's watches too so we can keep a good idea of how long we're down there." She told Kyou as she waited for the boy to arrive, showing the Shirayuki the intricate pocket watch she'd apparently swiped from one of the Seven Swordsmen.
The boy in the age of ten, would be dressed in his average depressed black clothing. The long black jacket that would come to his feet would once again be wet and filthy with mud. Beneath it were his brown shirt tucked into the black pants, and the boy's chokuto would be strapped to his back proudly with mutliple belts.
The boy would have woken up quite annoyed this day, and the fact was that he was bored. Takahiro would have not remembered what kind of day it was, but remembered just in time when he sat in Yuuka's mansion having his breakfast. The boy would have run down, forgetting to bathe and just went straight for adventure before running of to the site he was supposed to meet Akane. "Let's see what is going to happen." He would mutter before saying hello to the to the Akane and Kyou.
"Ishino?" Kyou parrots as he looked the item over. "Isn't he-…" He catches himself as the realization dons on him. Before he can so much as say or do anything more than recoil a little from Akane, Takahiro shows up. The gentleman looks between them both a few times before shaking his head and waving the two off as he made his own way back to the village, muttering something along the lines of "In my day…"
From there on, it'd be a matter of Akane to lead the way, down, down into the depths of the aby — er, river, yes, river. It doesn't take long to find the shaft, though by then, thoughts of getting out of the river may plague the river. AFter all, it didn't get its name for just moving along at a lazy pace. Every second in it would feel as if it'd rob the fire from ones viens.
Still, once that first barrier is passed, they'd resurface in a cavern, freezing but at least able to take a few minutes to dry off and warm up a little.
Akane smirked as the Shirayuki walked off muttering. She couldn't help it if news of her engagement to Doihara Ishino hadn't reached the old coot. Kyoujin chuckled within her in an almost approving way which was enough to crack Akane's expression. Back to the situation at hand. She looked at the boy that had walked up and took an appraising glance over him.
"I am Fujikujo Akane. And they must really be short handed if I'm the one Meruin picked for this." No, it wasnt Takahiro's imagination, she hadn't used an honorific when referring to the Mizukage. Where she should have said "Mizukage-sama" or "Meruin-Dono" she'd just used his given name. "Of course he might have no idea too… Ah well." She flipped the pocketwatch closed and tucked it into her belt. "I'm a medic, but I can also hold my own in a fight, if something goes wrong down there you look to escape and leave me behind." Her tone shifted from friendly to firm. "Is that understood?"
Assuming the boy would agree, Akane turned and lead the way into the river, wading to the shaft. She winced at the needles prickling at her skin fro the cold but there was a mission to do so she ignored it. She was keeping a close eye on Takahiro as well. She dove down to enter the shaft, the murkey depths of the river slowing her some as she kept Takahiro in sight. A good thing too. About 3/4 of the way to the other side the boy seemed to be having trouble. Akane turned like a fish and grabbed Takahiro by the wrist. She tossed her head, placing the boy's hand on one of her weapons belts, indicating he should grab on. From there it was simple for Akane to swim for both of them. Should his grip loosen she'd be there to grab him. And when they reached the end of the shaft she pushed him up ahead of her, losing time for herself before finally breaking the surface with a gasp.
She would then help the boy to the ledge and out of the water. At least the cave should be warmer than the water… Akane finally lifted herself out of the water and removed her jacket, tossing the wet leather mess to one side and in the process exposing numerous scars, the most noticable would be on her back, a set of lashes that appeared to have been whipped and burned into her skin. "Can you make a fire?"
The boy would have nodded, seeing the two shinobi talk, seeing the expression of desperation in Akane's eyes, and what he didn't get was the comment about the Mizukage. The boy knew the mizukage, but his name, once again, was somewhere away from his mind. He would think carefully before noting the orders he got from Akane…"Leaving someone behind…. sure I guess." Takahiro would mutter before nodding firmly back to the woman. He would ready himself as he was almost certain what was going to happen, looking at the water.
The boy would follow Akane at first, however Takahiro hadn't swam in a while, and definately did not expect the water to be so colled. He would struggle around 3/4 of the swim, but Akane came in to help. The boy would grab her belt as firmly as his hands allowed him. The boy would exlaim a gasp while returning to the surface and would remove his long jacket from his body. The jacket, which was first filthy, was now only soaking wet and seemingly clean. He would sit on the ground, breathing heavily quickly after removing his jacket before looking at Akane with his dark eyes.
"I use my lightning mostly to fire up wood, but I'm unsure if I can lighten up wet wood, or find any wood right here." The boy would note before continueing his heavy breathing. "It was colder then I expected." The boy would mutter expressionless before looking Akane in the eyes, unsure what to do.
With the addition of fire, the cavern is thrown into sharp relief. Without, there was still the option of burning their supplies, or making do with a slow scan using one of the water-proof lights that were amongst them to search. One way or another, material for a fire could be gather thanks to the last occupants forethought. As much as Takahiro might've wished to warm up fully, they were under time constraints for the mission. Luckily, the cavern was small enough for a single fire to reveal its entirety, and that of the tunnel towards the end just large enough for the two to walk side by side comfortably. But even shining a light on the entrance would reveal a the tunnel eventually curving.
Akane nodded and dug around in one of several pouches, pulling out a waterproof tinderboxShe made the choice to gather a few burnable items from the stuff the last occupants left behind in order to warm up the boy. Once the fire is lit she walked over and knelt beside him. She reached up and started rubbing her palms over his arms to create friction as the fire warmed up. She herself looked to be mostly unaffected. "Take a little time, Takahiro-kun. I need you warm."
She waits a while as he warms up, scanning the area briefly before she stepped out into the center of the cavern. Several hand signs later she sent out a wave of medical chakra in all directions around her, like sonar, if something living was ahead of them within her range she would sense it.. hopefully.
The boy would have nodded at the supplies, reaching over to one of the pieces of tinder. He would focus his chakra within himself before making two handsigns, the boy would then hold out one finger onto the tinder, as a small bolt of lightning would emit. A small little fire would probably start burning on the piece of tinder, and the boy would make sure it would be next to the supplies that were supposed to be burned.
Takahiro would not move an inch while Akane starts rubbing his arms. The boy's expression remained expressionless, and the shaking he had done before was slowly wearing off. While Akane moved up, the boy would have moved himself closer to the fire while looking at Akane, following her movements before looking towards the tunnel himself.
The boy would make an in mouth sound before standing up slowly. "Hmm…" It would sound softly from his throat, like he was in deep thoughts, while waiting for Akane's orders.
Beyond a few insects and small animals burrowing outside the range of the rocks, the scans come back negative on anything threatening. At least, those made from the cavern itself. Seems the duo were going to have to do a bit of treking to find out more about this cavern system. That is, if it really is one…
Akane could sense nothing of note around them so she returned to Takahiro by the fire. "When you're ready, we'll work our way through here. Like I said before, if something happens I want you to escape. And before you argue about leaving a comrade behind," Yes she'd heard him earlier… "It's not leaving me behind as much as going for help. Besides, I grew up in Fuuma Alley, I can take care of myself and part of my job is to keep you alive. Alright?" If he agreed or simply acknowledged her orders she would gather the lanterns and hand him one then start off down the tunnel. Periodically she would repeat her search jutsu to be sure they didn't accidently walk up onto a bear or something ahead….
The boy would have nodded simply, surprised his mutterings were heard, he would simply just firmly nod at her orders, however he had a remark to make he felt needed to make. "I can handle myself in a fight Akane-san." He would say firmly. "However, You noticed I can't take the swim alone so it's going to be a hard one." He would note before reading himself, taking over the lantern from Akane that she had offered him. Takahiro would clear his throat once more before looking expressionless at Akane. "But I will follow your orders." He would end before closing his mouth.
The boy was actually eager to find out what exactly was in this cave, and didn't want to be sent up at all times, but he accepted the possibility while awaiting Akane's instructions as he followed her.
Their luck holds… for now. No bears, or bats, super parasites, or prehistoric amalgams present a challenge for the duo. The only challenge so far would be a test of their patience, if anything. That, and feelings of claustrophobia begining to set in within a few minutes of walking with only a few twists and turns here and there to break up the monotony. The feeling of descending deeper bit by bit may soon become appearant. Then, there was the silence as well, for barring their own voices, the stone seems to swallow it all completely…
The lovely fiften minute stroll eventually culminates with the duo reaching another cavern; smaller than their entrance, but bearing all manners of different tunnels along its wall at different intravals.
Akane chuckled and raised a hand to calm the boyy down. "Forgive me, Takahiro-kun, I'm very protective of the young and as a Chuunin it's my duty to protect you. You represent the future of the village. I take that duty seriously."
The walk was interminable and Akane wasn't unaffected by the absolute darkness on the edges of her vision. The lanterns only shone so far and the stone wasn't wet or reflective so it was very much like when she was going blind. After ten minutes she had to stop, one hand on the wall, the other over her face. If Takahiro looked closely he might see her hand tremble and her lips move. She did not utter a sound, though, her conversation was within her own mind as the ever-present Kyoujin would taunt her about the darkness around them. She'd only recently been freed of the encroaching void and here she was again. Surrounded on all sides by nothingness.
She tried to force herself to think and swallow her emotions. She was on a mission and had a subordinate to keep track of damnit! When she looked up her eyes were no longer jade toned but rather a darker leaf green and though her hand still trembled she moved on again.
Once inside the new chamber She paused and narrowed her eyes at the various exits. Which should they choose….? "Any suggestions, Takahiro-kun?" Her voice showed little of the strain she was under, but the fact she was letting Takahiro choose the tunnel should say something.
Takahiro would have lifted one eyebrow at her remarks, not sure whether to answer or not, but he wouldn't. He would have followed her, and while he had slept in caves for 6 months before coming to the village, the boy did not like where this was going. The claustrophobia would slowly creep into his mind, and he was so into his own phobia, that he even let him believe himself Akane was not afraid, since he did not notice the trembling hand. The boy however would have regretted his remark earlier. ~What if I have to leave her behind but I can't get out.. Oh spelunk~ Was the thought that was going on in his mind and kept echoing, however his expression would remain the same.
After they would have arrived in the small chamber, the boy would gasp for air before looking at the entrances. He had learned that when in doubt, always choose the right choice. "Left he said." Before shrugging. "I meant right, but I really have no clue which one to choose Akane-san."
In the end, it seems fate had it in for them regardless of their choice in tunnel. All of them 'looked' relatively safe, so they all had to be safe-ish. Right? They have barely walked for a minute inside their chosen tunnel when it roof begins to break apart, threatening to bury the two! It's own breakdown is slowed by its structure, but they'll still have to make a choice quick before it falls. Do they retreat? Or do they rush head long down the tunnel and hope it doesn't lead to a dead end? Retreating would at least be easier for Takahiro so long as he remained at the back. But between the 'short' recover time by the fire and the unknown, rushing forward might not be such a good idea for him…
Akane spotted Takahiro's unease but there was nothing they could do about it. She listened as he chose one of the tunnels then admitted that he wasn't sure either. She looked at the tunnels and shrugged, heading into that passageway, keeping the lead and watching for danger. As far as they knew these tunnels hadn't been used in years. When the first rocks started to fall Akane backed up a step then turned. "Move it!" She ordered and headed for the entrance of that tunnel, narrowing her eyes as she managed to escape without getting crushed. "That was pretty close…. Uh.. how about we try the next one over instead?" This was going to be a terrible report she had to write…..She would once more take the lead but this time she sent out her search technique just to be safe…
The boy, already uncertain about his pick, would run low on self-esteem in the cave after the crash of the roof. He would have jumped back, exclaiming a gasp in a wave of uncontrollance. He would have looked at Akane after jumping away, and the fear in his eyes would have been really showing this time. Takahiro would then quickly turn his gaze away from her as Akane would have turned around to take the next tunnel. His expression went back to it's state before following her steadily. "Let's hope you have better choice then me."
Indeed, it might just very well be a terrible report… /if/ they survive the trip back. Unlike before, Akane's scans do pick up something significant this time. A /big/ something! Although the readings that come back may seem kind of sketchy, something was definetly burrowing above the tunnel they just escaped from. Long, sinous, and no stranger at digging, it moves above a few of the intersections as well, but gradually away from the duo overall at just above a turtle's pace. Stranger still is its flickering life readings as well…
While trying to find out more about the creature by following it directly might be good 'material' for the report, doing so with only a single genin/student in tow might not be for the best. Even if so far, the thing has proven relatively benign. Technically. In any case, there remained a few other applicable tunnels as well not on a direct course with beast as well they could try; especially considering how shakey the tunnels it was passing over seemed to be becoming…
Akane felt the burrowing creature and narrowed her eyes as she observed it's general direction. She glanced back at Takahiro and spotted the fear in his eyes before he hid it again. Poor kid. "It's some kind of burrower above the tunnels. I don't sense anything else here though. And it's moving slowly so lets check out the other tunnels quick, see if there's anything worth our time there." And if they found nothing.. well they had to return to this chamber anyway. She headed out again taking the lead and stepping to one of the tunnels that wasnt on a collision course with the creature.
However, she was not left alone in her head. /You are growing pathetic Medic. Make him shape up or send him home you can do this alone!/ ~shut up, shut up shut up~
The pause was only abotu 5 seconds but it was there.. and the darkness around her felt like it was getting closer as well.
The boy would have stood there while Akane did her thing with the echo, and simply nodded. The boy was freaking out inside due to the claustrophobia that had occured in his mind, and figured that maybe, just maybe, Akane must feel it too. The boy, thinking back to the short classes he took in the academy, would quickly man up. ~No emotions, It's a mission.. a shinobi never shows his emotions of let them get the better of him~ The boy would think as hard as he could. The boy would firmly nod once more before quickly folowing Akane. "Whatever we do, Akane-san, I think we should atleast be able to tell the tale of this mission. Whether we get back up now or stay here for a longer while, people must know about what is roaming around in this cave." He would say firmly. The boy would look into the depth of his mind, thinking of how to conquer the darnkess closing in and would start to hum a song softly. ~It should at least kill the loneliness of the dark~ He thought while following Akane deeper into the cave.
But it doesn't abate, at least, not in reality. The darkness is everywhere — Stone everywhere — consuming the air — snuffing life out as it closes in with every step they make down this new tunnel. Turning back now might not be such a bad idea; especially since they've run into another stretch of seeming endless twists of twists and turns. Both of which are accompnaied by the feeling of going deeper into the earth…
Persistance and a strong resolve would earn them a relatively boring ten minute walk without fear of another incident. At least, not one their own minds might make up. Otherwise, they'll either just have to suck it up and deal with shaken nerves on top of everything else or retreat. Continuing onwards inevitable leads them to another chamber, smaller still than the last intersection and noticeably more oval shaped as well. It's a dead end. But perhaps… not a complete waste of time.
Akane wasn't doing so well with the darkness herself. But she agreed with the boy. "Yes. We will report the burrower's presence. Just be sure not to step heavily, if it's like the ones int eh Dark Cavern they hunt with vibration." She thought back to her encounter with those burrowers, slightly different than this felt now, but still the danger was present. Back then she'd just come to Kirigakure and was limited to 30 feet of sight in any direction. She had been hunted along with Meruin in those tunnels. And with Meruin's prowess they were able to destroy the beasts. But she did not have a hunter with her this time. She had a 10 year old. And Back then she'd simply been bait.
Her hand went up and under the hitai-ate that hung about her neck, fingering a pendant that was hidden under the band's fabric. Could she manage against one burrower? Had she grown that much stronger since comming to Kirigakure? She recieved an odd response. /Of course you can handle a single one, Bakane, We are not so weak. It's friends might eat your charge though./ She shook her head hard and growled audibly. "Shut up."
She probably had an easier time of navigting the long silent walk than Takahiro for as she had someone to argue with in her head he — assumedly — had nothing but the silence. She was about to turn around and give up when the tunnel opened into a small ovalish chamber. sCuriosity piqued even Kyoujin's attention and she glanced back towrd Takahiro before entering and looking around the chamber.
The boy would have stopped humming directly, switching his average walking to making sure to walk as soft as possible. He would follow Akane, and he would try to repeat to himself. ~Atleast I'm not on my own in here~. It would echo in his head for a while before lifting an eyebrow up. The women suddenly would have growled "Shut up." ~What is this?~ He would think in his head, while an answer would come out of nowhere. ~Just a cave, just a cave~. The boy, only 10 years old, figured he had thought that on his own. The boy would continue following, trying to be as silent as possible. He would follow Akane into the room, and so they were standing there.
It is there in the background. A peculiar hum that doesn't quite reach the ears, but instead, digs straight into the brain itself. Kyoujin/Akane are particular drawn to it, and repelled at once. The same goes for Takahiro as well. Unlike the chuunin, the repelling force affects him the most. Reducing his cognitive search window to every place but where he feels he should know where the source is coming from.
As it turns out, it is a simple couple of stones hardly largely than the boy's fists. Should Akane approach, the feeling of repulsion — revulsion grows every step of the way until at last they are within reach…
Amata has arrived.
Akane could feel something was wrong in the chamber. So could Kyoujin. It was one thing they agreed on wholeheartedly. What they disagreed on was what to do about it… Akane backed up a step, comming even with Takahiro, her entire demeanor changed. She looked mesmerized but her eyes were darting all around her. Something was wrong. Something was pulling and pushing at her all at once and she could not hold the lantern steady. Kyoujin told her to forget about the boy, let him worry about his own life. Akane was emphatic about keeping him safe. "Backup… We need help.. C…can you make it child?" Her tone and phrasing would be suspect if Takahiro knew her better. But as it stood, she looked around the room again, stepping forward once more. Her stomach churned and Kyoujin tore at her mind. Finally her knee gave out under the percieved strain and she dropped to one knee.
The boy felt himself drawn into the room like he had found the treasure from Aladin. The boy had absolutely no clue what was going on, but the stones next to him seemed amazing. Takahiro however sensed the problem in his leader, snapping little by little out of the daimond rocks. The boy would have just stood there while being in thoughts as Akane would level herself with him. The boy would look up to her, listening carefully before nodding slowly. "I… I'll get backup." The boy would say with his voice full of doubt and hesitation. "I a…. what… eh… I'll go swim!" The boy would say clearly before turning around. He would take one last look at the stones that had drawn him so much, but he knew a missino was a mission. The boy would run off back through the cave before coming at the fire they just had created. The boy didn't hesitate before grasping his jacket and quickly dive into the water. His heart was pounding, the water was cold, but he had something to live for this time. He would finally jump up out of the water on the other side, before sprinting towards the town, shouting loudly but controllably.
Push on or retreat. It was the only way the compulsion of repulsion and revulsion would — could draw to an end. Within five paces if not less, as aggressively strong as the the stones' power have been, it suddenly and seemingly without cause, eases up almost all together. If concerned about their being a trap, no amount of searching would reveal anything amiss. Even leaving the chamber now and re-entering won't trigger the stones defenses. Peculiar… but nevertheless, the stones were definitely something to be brought back, or at least, reported on.
Unfortunately, no measure short of sealing the stones in a scroll would keep what happens next to follow. It isn't much per se. Just a lapse of time. What should've and felt like a shorter trip back to the intersection would turn out to be well more than that. Granted, Akane has no way of knowing without looking at the watch she stole. But even then, ever since taking hold of the stones, her concern with time no longer existed. All that matter — should perhaps matter — is to retreat a ways and wait for back-up. Back-up that was already waiting at the nearby Shirayuki village thankfully, and equipped to handle the trip as well as the duo from before. With a little extra at their own discretion perhaps. Takahiro's raving after all might just have merit after all…
Akane had managed to get within a foot of the stones, crawling the last few feet silently, the loss of the genjutsu was like suddenly getting air after drowning and she paused there for a moment to catch her breth. She reached out and took the stones carefully, examining them before putting them eachin a separate pouch on her waist. She was not a seal or scroll master but she knew of one in the village…
The return trip that took so long was a jumble in the woman's mind as Kyoujin and her main personality floundered and fluctuated. By the time she'd made it to the first tunnel (about 5 walking minutes from the entrance to the caverns) she had to stop and she dropped to the ground, one hand on the wall and the other covering her face. Slowly she slumped. The darkness was surrounding her again, she could feel it stealing her sight, her breath. She'd managed to subdue the paranoia before because of takahiro ut now she was left feeling drained, kneeling on the cool floor of the cave. Her eyes were a leafy green if one got a good look. She was unaware of just how long it had taken her to return….
Moving with purpose but not running, Okumo Amata had Nuibari out in her hand, the metal string trailing as spiders moved about around her, moving through the cave. She walks along, peering at the cave walls as she moves, looking this way and that till she reaches an intersection, blinking as she looks around long enough to then spot Akane and blinking. She steps toward the woman, her eyes going over the woman as she approaches and then stating, "Are you ok? You seem very out of it." She nods her head and then licks her lips, looking up and peering at the various areas ahead of her before looking back down to Akane, "Takahiro was not very clear, what is going on here?"
Akane jumped when she heard Amata's voice, looking up with tense eyes. When she recognised the woman before her she took a steadying breaath and worked her way to her feet. "F..fine.." /What a liar you are./ Akane grit her teeth against the voice in her head. "No.. No I.. don't know." She leaned heavily against the wall, one of her pouches making a clacking noise. "We .. I think there's genjutsu in the caverns ahead.. Something.. Ugh.. my head…"
A squint at Akane and the clacking sound and she then looks ahead before saying, "Genjutsu?" She peers ahead before looking over at Akane and then frowns, "That isn't exactly my strong suit." She nods her head and then licks her lips softly, shifting her position before nodding her head, "I assume, based on your reactions that you are not typically able to simply be able to avoid such." She then nods her head before looking over at the area ahead and then hmming softly, "What kind of genjutsu? Is it all genjutsu or is there any true physical threat?
The cieling begins to tremble again, causing only dust to rain on the two this time. Nothing in itself to worry about, though Akane may freak out more given what happened earlier.
As it turns out, the shifting cieling is but a prelude to comes creeping from the darkness. Their size ranges from that of gecko to those as large to those as large as gators, reflecting an even stronger version of the stones affect on Akane. Perhaps it is that very same interaction that allows Akane to pierce the viel surrounding them.
Salamanders. Or at least, that's what their shapes suggested, but their true bodies were practically light absorbing and constantly shifting ink blots once they step into the light. Their course, however, is clear enough to Akane. They wanted the stones and were prepared to spring out and clamor about the girl just to get them.
A few of the larger ones break off from the rest to attack Amata and her broodlings as well. Any spider caught would disappear bit by bit into distorted space from Amata's perspective. Seems the creatures had a thing for spiders… and Okumo.
Akane felt the rumbling of the stone around her and a look of tension crossed her face. She prepared to bound away at the very least if the cieling should fall again, but it doesn't drop anything but dist on her. Her eyes darkened and suddenly were emerald. And then, she was simply …gone. reappearing at the other side of Amata, watching the things. She was far from calm and collected one moment then suddenly she was simply violent. Lightning charged her hands and she reached out to touch and attack the little creatures, trying to stop thhier hearts with her lightning.
A blink as she notices this and Amata watches the oddly distorted bunch of creatures coming out of the darkness. She simply recalled her brood back to her as she watches them start to get eaten, besides she might need the defense especially as one cuts her across the leg even as she attempts to dash away. Even so, webbing now covers her hands and wraps her feet like something a boxer might have. She stares down at the thing that hurt her and immediately slams a fist down toward the top of its head before using that fist as a springing point to flip over and bring her heel down toward another and state, "What odd creatures are these?"
The critters had the numbers, the audacity, and the advantage of being able to leap from one surface to the next smoothly. Unfortunately for them in regards to Akane, the creatures advantages served them little more than to agitate the medic with their disturbing forms and erratic patterns of attack. Amata doesn't fair quite as well, but even those little ones don't manage more than a few scratches this time arond. Still, that little bit embolden the mass as a whole, especially the larger ones that had been holding back for now.
They attack as one with the smaller ones first to try and break down the women's guard for their larger bretheren.
Something had clicked in Akane's brain and she was moving with a speed and grace she had not shown before, her eyes a deep emerald tone. Kyoujin was in complete control and the way she moved displayed that. She kept disappearing and reappearing elsewhere, apparently able to see the creatures just fine. She drew her sword and began an onslaught of the larger creatures, aiming for one about 7 feet long, hoping to sever it's head with her poisoned blade….. Hopefully killing the larger ones would scare off the others…
Being hit by the incoming distractions, she blinks and then seems to be taken down by the larger ones…but it appears to be just an after image as she has simply flipped back and up to the ceiling of the place before hmming, "Care, Akane." She then nods, "Time to clear some space!" She then makes a few hand gestures and simply begins to fill a great deal of the room with nothing but what almost appears to be a storm of electrical shocks, going off all around.
Akane's blades bite deep into the hide, but big ones were resilant to say the least. Unfortunately, wounded as the one Akane struck was, it cannot quite evade the storm from Amata that follows unlike some its brothers, both big and small. Those little ones that survive the assault quickly scatter back into the darkness of the cave. The larger ones linger still. The allure of the stones… They… They needed the stones back. So much so that they all forget about snacking on Amata for the sake of an all out bum rush against the girl.
Akane — no Kyoujin — performed a series of twists and small calculations of muscle speed to avoid the attacking beasts while staying in close to them. And then she struck back. Her hand sflew through the signs for lightning and she stepped in closer to the lager salamanders, lightning cracklilng off the metal on her arms and legs, kunai directing it as though the element came from every part of the woman's body and she lashed out suddenly at all the creatures that surrounded them at once, lightning crackling along her skin in it's wake.
"Akane, we need to leave. Only so long till more show themselves." Amata then watches the lightning go off before she attempts to fire off webbing at the larger creeps that are still left, attempting to make them into obstacles and gum them up before she'll gesture and point, "Come on!" She calls out, "We need to go and figure out what drives them later." With that she is starting to make her way out.
One out of ever four of the remaining creatures manage to evade the lightning bolts from Akane. Despite their severely reduced and weakened numbers, those that weren't trying to shake off fried nerves continued onwards after the stone carrier until those in the lead get gummed up. While this doesn't outright halt the charge, enough start to get stuck to the webbing trying to clamor over the brothers just to get at the stone bearers.
Now would be the best chance to retreat they'll have before they might just have to deal with worse…
Akane let out a small 'che' but turned tail and ran at top speed for the pool, assuming Amata was comming after her. She stopped only to grab her jacket which had been discarded before and she dove into the cold river, swimming to the other side quickly. She came to the surface again in the river then by the time she was on the bank, stones all around and under her, she once more dropped and panted , her feet still int he water. She felt exhausted…
Swimming after Akane, she shakes her head as she emerges, shaking the water out of her hair before nodding her head to the woman as she comes out, simply shaking her head and then pondering, "That was very odd…do you have any idea what that was all about?"
Akane looked up at Amata as the swordswoman spoke and she looked like she'd been sucked dry of chakra by something. She started to shake her head then paused and pulled herself to sit up on the bank. She reachedinto her pouch and when she fet the smooth stone there her jaw set and she glanced at Amata suspiciously… She pulled out a small syringe and before anyone could do anything stabbed herself in teh leg with it as if that was what she'd been after the whole time. "There was a burrower further in maybe it disturbed them This One does not know."
A look at Akane and she nods her head a little before saying, "I see." She then looks at the girl carefully before nodding again and then stepping to the side. She licks her lips slightly before she idly gestures and her spiders come out. They start to surrounding Akane, moving around her slowly and she looks back at Akane, glancing over her shoulder a little and she hmms, "So, why do you feel the need to lie to me, Akane? What possible reason could you have? Have I shown you reason to not trust me? Am I not your superior now?" She turns a little, "Do I need to start using methods that Meruin espouses? I mean…that seems so…crude. Is it really the lot of a Kirigakure shinobi to not be reasonable?"
Akane's eyes narrowed as the spiders surrounde her and those emerald eyes, so much darker than her usual jade green tone gleamed like stones in her face. Her body language had shifted entirely during the fight and despite nearly collapsing on the shore of the river, she was still acting in that oddly agressive way. The spiders were noted and she lowered her head, her eyes liftig like a wolf about to attack, she got her feet under her and it was clear in that look that she was judging just how much chakra she had left and whether or not she could take Amata in a fight. Her hand slipped to her belt as she crouched. Mention of Meruin made her falter, though. It was not the threat, the expression on her face almost begged for judgement, but those hard eyes faltered between leaf green and emerald. It gave Amata a good opening should she choose to attack. "This one does not know you. Your little medic si not here right now."
The breath simply escapes Amata's nose and she shakes her head, "So be it." She really hadn't had an opportunity to test it out. She hadn't had reason to until now. So, she simply did. There was almost a feeling of heaviness in the air as Amata sends chakra down her limbs. Her body becoming lighter to her. Her very being becoming far more movement oriented. Her spiders? They suddenly act, sending webbing at Akane from all angles to attempt to bind this 'not medic'. At that same moment, webbing still around her fist she moves with an alacrity she did not have before, aiming a fist right up into Amata's jaw with a crouching uppercut somewhat representative of another form of combat.
Akane saw the webbing and knew to avoid it. It looked for a moment that the spiders might win the race but then the webbing closes on air and Akane is sliding in the mud along the bank beside Amata. She saw the uppercut comming and moved, trying to twist out of the path, but it clipped her in the cheek. The resulting impact caused her to slip and land on her side hard, face down in the mud. There were numerous scars visible on Akane's back, though one set might draw her attention. With her jacket off most of her back was exposed so Amata could see the scars left by an Okumo whip coated in acid. Burned and cut into the flesh, a souvineer from meruin the first time Kyoujin had stepped out of Akane's head. It took a moment for her to not only roll to her side but to regain her footing, emerald eyes fading a shade. Her lip was split and her cheek would bruise but she had been struck harder before. She leapt forward then, her hands bearing a kunai each and she struck out at Amata with both of them, a rough slashing at her chest..
"I see." Amata nods her head, watching the movements and even as she is cut at she simply slips to the side and then tries to slip away again only to be cut before she shakes her head, "Well." She looks toward the cut only long enough to roll backward and her feet come up together. The flip has the first foot coming up toward Akane's jaw but she doesn't fully flip over. No the right foot flips over her body to her other side. Her left foot is brought up into a cocked position with her body in a handstand and she sends it out in a vicious upside down sidekick aimed right for Akane's gut.
Akane was prepared to dodge again but something faltered in her eyes and she hesitated just long enough to give Amata an opening. She let out a heavy breath and landed hard in the mud again, skidding back a ways. She did not move for a long moment. She stayed put, panting and … her head hung low, eyes closed for that moment. Finally her shoulders seemed to slump and she crawled her way out of the mud, onto the nearby grass before she put her hands out wide to either side, dropping the kunai she held before moving her hands away and placing them palm down on the ground. WhenAmata got closer she would be greeted with a muddy, bruised, exhausted but sane Akane. Her eyes were once more that pale jade green and she looked shaken. Her hands threatened to tremble but she did not speak, just stayed put. Amata was indeed her superior.
Slipping the chakra back into her reserves, for a moment, Akane might even notice the cut on her arm was actually leaking an almost glowing bit of blood before that would fade. Amata walks up to her and idly stares down at her before she shakes her head and hmms, "Truly you are a curious one, Akane." She nods her head, "Get your breath, you and I are going to be going to see Meruin before very long." She nods her head and then she idly leans down, squatting and idly taps her blade, "Next time I won't keep it up away." She nods her head, "Next time it comes out." She then stands up again and idly makes her way to a drier spot, watching Akane and allowing her to catch her breath.
Akane tensed up as Amata came closer, the swordswoman's words getting a guilty glance from the medic. Akane held still as Amata promised to use Nuibari next time, her hands clenching lightly. The medic put her forehead on her wrist, slumping , expecting Amata to ask her question again. But then Amata told her they were going to see Meruin and that got more of a response than the threat of Nuibari. She shook her head as if trying to clear something away, her shoulders were tensed, and then she finally pushed herself up into a sitting position. She moved slowly, deliberately so Amata would not think that she was trying to fight or escape — though her heart was pounding in her ears like a waterfall. She stood and walked carefully to her waist int he water before dipping under a few times, accepting the bite of the cold water both to try and calm herself down and to clean herself up. Once cleaner she came out of the water again and went to drop down next to Amata, looking worn, pale and spent. She reached into her pouch and withdrew one of the stones. Silently she offered it to Amata before flicking her eyes up in question.
Taking the stone from Akane's hand, she looks at it and then looks at her with a tilt of her head, "Now, isn't that much easier?" She hmms and tilts her head before looking at the stone and then hmming, "Well, this will need to go to the lab." She nods her head, "For analysis." She then looks at Amata and then hmms, "I think instead we need to see Ishino." She nods to her, "He will be a better choice I think int he long run." She then idly stands up and pats herself off, "Tired or not, we are going back. You will make this walk tired and exhausted." She nods again.
Akane flushed at the first comment but Amata seemed to have removed a heavy weight from Akane's shoulders when she stated Ishino might be the best person to speak with abotu her control issue. She didn't like that idea either but Ishino would find out sooner or later anyway and Kyoujin was being odd today. (and the last week or so for that matter.) At Amata's words Akane stood carefully, her hands out as if to steady herself. She started walking… A ways up the trail she paused and shook herhead again. She couldn't remember how she'd gotten fromthe grotto to the entrance of the cave. It bothered her. And Kyoujin was quite blurred by that point so that Akane kept shifting into a kind of zombie-like state. She turned to look at Amata's arm and winced. But she looked almost afraid to speak….