Date: January 4, 2015
Arika and Jiro poke about the cave system near Sunagakure for some precious gems for a client. Some moles aren't too happy about it, though!
"Digging for Treasure"
North Shiren Caves
Welcome to the Shiren Caverns. This place is a maze of tubular tunnels, carved out over the ages by natural forces, some of them of the living variety. As desert locales go, the caverns are a hotbed of life, providing shelter from the merciless sun and collecting moisture. All manner of creepy-crawlies, reptiles, rodents, and even large predators like sand cats can be encountered here.
This area of the caverns features mostly small tunnels in great abundance, enough that exam participants can be sent into the network at different entrances and quite possibly not bump into each other for quite some time. Running and jumping about are limited, but opportunities for stealth and ambush abound.
Recently one of the smaller tunnels leading to the entrance area has been drastically expanded, almost perfectly circular in shape and twice as wide. Burn marks on the rocks themselves indicate this was caused by a great battle.
Sometimes Arika gets a mission that would be no fun without someone to accompany her, so she found Jiro somehow and dragged him along on the mission. Today's goal: filling a small bag with some valuable gems from the caves. They aren't to go too far, but they do have to go past the first system of caves to find much of anything. "Jiro-kun, c'mon! We gotta finish before it gets to sunset, and winter makes that come too quickly!" Arika says as she tugs the boy along.
Jiro went along because Arika feeds him. And shows him stuff. And shes nice to him. So he has his reasons for starting to hang around the girl more. Once he heard about their mission he goes along easily, grinning as they go into the caves and start exploring. "Yea' I know. Don't want them ta get mad huh?" he teases the girl. "Do ya know which ones we need ta get?"
Arika makes a face at him. "If they get mad, then we don't get as much spending money!" she exclaims. Yeah, reward money for some treat. The girl hmms and she leads Jiro through the cavern, looking around while she takes stock of the place. "Hmmm…. They just said something precious, so I guess as long as it's sparkly?" She shrugs a bit. "Umm… I'd say split up, but I dunno if that'd work out."
The boy looks around the cavern as she says something precious. So shiny huh? Jiro nods slowly before he gives a little evil grin to the girl. "How 'bout we race? See who can get more?" After all, it shouldn't be dangerous or anything right? Or they wouldn't be there. "An' we can meet up and compare."
Arika peers at Jiro. "Fine! You take the bag, and I'll use my pockets!" She nods a bit. "I'll go that way. You go the other way. And meet back in an hour." She nods a bit and dashes off, already looking for the gems. Perhaps getting a head start on things, too. Of course, all the noise could be waking up some nasty creatures…
Jiro snickers and nods, taking the bag before watching her go with a little look of surprise. "But no one said ta…start." Oh well, too late. The boy starts going the other way, looking about for shiny thing. Shiny things? That could be a lot of different things! But how could he know for sure. So far it's a dud down this way and the boy scrunches his face as he kicks a few loose rocks away hoping to reveal something. Nope.
Arika hmms and pokes around the area she went down, unable to find anything more than a sparkle. She sighs and kicks a few rocks around before bringing out a Kunai, sharpening it with wind chakra to try and cut away at the different rocks and see if they may contain any secrets.
Jiro continues to kick through the tunnel, stopping after a while to start picking at a rock, banging on some of the protruding ones with one he'd picked up off the ground. But there's still nothing and he mutters to himself…first her head start and now an empty tunnel. He's going to lose this one. The boy looks from the direction he'd come to deeper into the tunnels, wondering if he should risk it or not. Hrm…
Arika cheers silently when she finds a sparkly pebble. Jackpot~! Where there's one, there's bound to be more, right? The girl continues to poke around with that Kunai of hers, paying less and less attention to her surroundings as she continues to search. And Jiro could go further, but it gets a bit darker as one goes along. Harder to see sparkles.
Jiro makes his way further down the caves but after searching for a short time he decides it's too dark and heads back, scratching the back of his head as he looks down to the rocks on the ground. Maybe he'll get lucky and one will just…fall out in front of him? So far not so good.
Arika strikes the gold mine! Or is it gem-mine in this case? The area that she's been poking at reveals an enormous amount of shiny rocks. Whether or not it's actually worth something is a mystery, but hey, it's shiny! She starts to cut away the different gemstones, stuffing pieces into her pockets as she works, mining this single patch. It's not like any other creature will want it, right?
The boy picks at a few more pockets of loose rock, even reaching deep into a small pocket that appears only to pull out dust. His teeth grind as he kicks a large rock, then lets out a yelp of surprise and starts jumping in place as he finds out the hard way the rock isn't a loose one. "Stupid things," Jiro says to the rocks before continuing back the way he came. This place is a dud, he ain't gonna find nothing here. Maybe he needs to try and steal some from the other side.
Well, that's all fine and dandy if Jiro wants to come over there. Arika would certainly be glad of it considering the ground moved! As she was gathering some of the precious stones, the ground started to shake a bit. Then maybe jostle back and forth. Then it was flat out moving around, much to her surprise. Apparently some moles didn't take kindly to their cave being dug up, and Arika was the nearest one that was actually kinda digging. Oops. The start making grumpy noises at her and clawing at her with their sharp digging claws to try and get some of 'their earth' back.
Jiro comes back to their meeting point and carefully looks around the corner the way Arika had gone. Maybe, just maybe he can sneak by, or even just find some closer here to the entrance. Arika would never even know. He starts poking around a little before he hears some weird noises coming from further down and the boy tries to look that way. "Arika-chan?" he calls down the tunnel uncertainly.
Arika squeaks, dashing back and leaving a clone to handle the poking beasties. Of course, their attacks go right through her clone as she dashes over to Jiro. "Jiro-kun! There're giant digging rats!" she exclaims, even as a few travel underground and eventually come up quite suddenly. Maybe not quite where the two young ones are, but they certainly are very close! "Eep! Watch out!" Arika shouts, scrambling again as she tries to find a Kunai to throw. Her pouches are full of sparkly rocks, so it's hard to find something.
Jiro blinks as Arika comes running back and he pulls out a kunai quickly when she starts talking about giant digging rats. When he sees the moles the boy moves in front of Arika like a good person, trying to protect her even if he's the younger and less experienced. "It's…moles." He says, surprised. He's seen them before. He's seen a lot of things growing up. "I haven't seen 'em so mad before. What'd'ya do?" Then, as an afterthought, "We should prob'ly go."
Arika shrugs and shakes her head at the questions. The moles grumble at both kids and start charging at them, of all things. Arika ends up getting tackled in the stomach. And, while it doesn't really cause much injury, it does result in her going down. Oof… She gasps for air for a few seconds, startled by the sudden attack.
The boy sees the mole getting ready to attack and raises his kunai, putting his arm behind it so the mole tackles into the supported metal. Poor thing. Jiro sees Arika go down though and the boy turns quickly to try and punt the mole away that tackled her. "Get up an' run! They won't follow us out." Of course he's not going to lead the running out, he's going to stay until she gets safe. After all, where will he eat if something happens to her?
Arika nods as the mile gets kicked off her. The thing ends up just rolling to escape the foot, but the desired goal was achieved. Arika starts to run, but then turns and makes a seal. "Jiro-kun, look out!" she calls, sending a large gust of wind to distract the moles while she grabs Jiro and runs! Right out of the caves!
Jiro is preparing for another mole, the kid crouching a little, before he hears Arika. He looks back and immediately jumps back towards the girl, getting out of her way. And a good thing too when he sees moles go flying around. And then he's flying around! Oh no, wait, she's just dragging him again. The boy follows but he does look back once or twice to make sure the moles aren't following them. Once they're out he stops, turning to face the cave, just making sure he was right that they wouldn't follow. He wouldn't want them to start terrorizing the town! Surely only the two of them could hold back such a terrible foe. "You really made 'em mad." He says over his shoulder in between breaths.
Nope. No more moles. And thank goodness, too. "It's not my fault! … Maybe. I was just digging at the ground and found some of the sparkly stones." No, it didn't matter that she took the stones. But she was digging up their territory! Arika pouts a bit. "I at least got a buncha rocks before they attacked. Gimme the bag so I can fill it?" she holds out a hand.
Jiro puts his kunai away once he's sure they're not being chased and hands over the empty bag without really thinking about it. "Huh, must'a dug too close ta their home. Or they were usin' the gems fer something." He turns back to the girl then and tilts his head a little, "They can get kinda…wha' did they call it…territorial."
Arika fills the bag with gemstones. "Hmm… Not sure which. Let's go turn this in and get some money, though!" Arika makes sure the bag is securely shut and drags Jiro off (again), thoughts of them troublesome moles already out of her head. "Afterwards, maybe we can convince Ping-san to treat us for dinner!"
Jiro blinks as he's dragged off once more, but he's pretty used to it by now. But then he remembers just how successful he was and, well, he's fairly used to being poor at this rate. "I didn' get anything though." He points out, pointing at the bag. The mention of food has his attention however and he nods, definitely can agree with that. No complaints here!
"/They/ don't know that!" Arika says with a grin. "Besides, you helped. So you get some of the reward too!" The girl nods, handing the bag to the person who'll give it to the client. And the person gives Arika and Jiro a bit of money. Not a lot, but enough for a small bag of candy if they want to spend it all at once.