Date: October 3, 2012
Mushi and Shintaro reach the Haha Islands where the forest of giant animals is located off its coast. They go in hoping to gain a hummingbird as a summon, only to find there’s trouble in paradise. And they’re the suspects.
Poster's note: Foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Hummingbirds of Museigan - Don’t Feed the Animals"
Museigan Forest – Haha Islands
Mushi and Shintaro would travel to the Haha Islands by boat. It was a cruise boat with plenty to do on it, a bit slower than a normal ship would've been. But so what, it was fun. For awhile at least it was something of a vacation, albeit it sometimes got a little boring staring at the water for days on end. As land comes within sight, Mushi's mood picks up and she'd drag Shintaro to the front. "There's the Haha Islands," she says, pointing to the land that looks like a thin, white band. "Legend says that there's a sea monster that can be summoned here, so large it's been known to drag entire ships under."
Instead of sounding concerned about this, Mushi seems excited. Or maybe it's the dry land. "There's an area to the south of the island that's usually like a smaller island, with a ring of mountains, all surrounded by water. There's just a few weeks of the year when the tide is low enough to let people walk there on foot. People say it's cursed, but it's just a little dangerous."
Shintaro chuckles a bit as he is drug down to the front of the ship and looks out to where Mushi points. This is a rather nice perspective on things, as he didn't get to travel with her too many places last time they were traveling together, as they were mostly focused on traveling between Sunagakure and Konoha.
"A sea monster, huh?" he asks, tilting his head as he ponders exactly what kind of summon that thing could be. He looks to her as she explains more about the islands, a light smile on his face. "More than likely," he says with a nod then looks back out at the islands. "Then again, things are supposedly enchanted around this area or something if we're searching for gigantic hummingbirds."
"It's called a legend, but all enduring legends are based on some kind of fact, no matter how skewed," Mushi says. "It's important to remember that, you'll find out quite a few 'legends' are true in some way, on your travels." This is another moment of imparting her wandering wisdom, something Mushi has been doing almost religiously. Seems she is taking what Shintaro said to heart, perhaps even more so than him. She's not worried. It just seems to come up…alot.
When they dock at the Haha Islands Mushi would find it to be the same as always. A bustling fish industry, white beaches, and verdant woods. Plus plenty of locals trying to grab every last ryo from the travelers passing through. Despite her supposed 'wanderer wisdom' Mushi has been suckered out of quite a bit of pocket money by the time they leave their stuff at the inn. "This may be dangerous," she says. "Come fully equipped. But remember, no killing the wildlife." And then she'd set out, until they reached a view of a beach with a small island in the distance. It's surrounded by craggy mountains about a mile high, and dotted with trees. The tide is too high to walk on land, so Mushi starts water walking straight across, though she smirks at Shintaro. "You have learned water walking, right?" she asks amsuedly.
"I was kidding," Shintaro replies with a smirk as he turns back to Mushi while she speaks. Still, he listens, if only to enjoy hearing her voice as they go along. "Understood," replies with a nod, gathering a few things from his packs at the inn and then following Mushi out to go to the beach. He looks across it then watches her begin to walk across. The question asks brings a chuckle, and then he leaps over to her. He lands on his feet on the water, yet he lets himself sink just a little in mock-franticness as he reaches out for her. This only lasts for a moment before he stands on the water and begins walking behind Mushi to head toward the island.
"The animals here are a little smarter than other animals," she says, as they walk across the water, "and a little bigger. But Kirameki told me that the hummingbirds were the only original inhabitants of the forest within the mountains, when it was still new. If they're proportionally bigger, I'd hate to think of how big the bears were. Probably the size of the island." She chuckles. It would only take them ten minutes to reach the island, and once they get there it has a feeling of having been untouched by human hands for a long time. There's tall grass, and no paths trampled through them. The two would have to wade through tall grass and shrubbery, while the first sign of larger life would be apparent: bugs.
A beetle the size of a small melon would be crawling up a tree trunk. A wasp with a stinger the size of a kunai would buzz past. Then a snake would be draped from a branch as big as the branch itself. Mushi shudders. "Remember, don't even hurt the bugs," she says. Which wouldn't be easy, since some would practically be underfoot—and as big as Shintaro's foot. They reach the base of the mountain, and Mushi would start climbing, using chakra to cling to the surfaces. As they climb the trees and shrubbery would lessen, but at the same time get much bigger as well. With leaves large enough to stand on. "Kind of cool huh?" Mushi asks, as she shakes off a huge ant trying to crawl up her leg.
Following Mushi onto the shore, Shintaro blinks as he observes the abnormally large creatures on the island. It makes one wonder exactly how big some of the creatures that were here before may have been. There could have been horses that would make the trip from country to country in an hour or less just because of their size. "Got it," he says with a chuckle as he continues to follow her, careful to watch where he steps so as not to piss off any of the larger beasts. "Yeah. Would hate to get in the path off some of the predators that used to live here, though. Can you imagine the dinosaurs?" All the while, he follows her closely, trusting she knows where she's going and isn't able to land them as something's lunch.
"I don't want to imagine it," Mushi says with a shudder as she continues to climb. At one point they go past a pile of skeletons, and it'd be obvious that they were human. Many of the bones have been snapped in half like twigs, and it's clear it was because of something chewing on them. Mushi grimaces. "The hummingbirds and I have an agreement, but the rest of this forest does not," she says. "We just have to make it there. And uh, be prepared to do alot of climbing. There's a forest within this ring of mountains, but another mountain the middle of the forest. Hehehe. Just remember, even if they're attacking you don't kill the animals. I was in huge trouble when I almost did with the hummingbirds, and really most of them here are quite gentle."
She pauses to let that sink in just as a mountain lion would emerge from between a rocky crevice and leap! But not one about their size, this one is taller than them even though it stands on all fours. A giant. And it leaps towards Shintaro, jaws open, looking for an afternoon snack! And Mushi says sheepishly, "Uh…after this, you can turn back, Shintaro-kun and head for the main land. Just make sure not to hurt it too much."
The image of dinosaurs that are even more giant is quite disturbing. Maybe THAT'S how they all died out! As Mushi begins to explain a bit more about her situation her, he listens intently, though still keeping his eyes on what's going on ahead. Just as she mentions how gentle these animals are, a giant predator is leaping toward him. It seems he's about to become lion lunch. However, as the beast snaps its jaws, it gets a mouth full of flames, hopefully enough to make it frightened and scare it away. Meanwhile, Shintaro rises up from the shadows behind Mushi, wrapping his arms around her and whispering, "You're not getting rid of me that easily, my love."
Nooooooo! Mushi is staring in horror as Shintaro gets chomped, only to breathe out a huge sigh of relief when it's a clone. That should've been obvious to her, she was really panicked there for a…"Ahh!" Mushi yelps, as she's grabbed from behind by some giant snake or a bear or something. And she leans forward a little to give her some momentum as she headbutts the wild animal behind her. Which is actually Shintaro holding her protectively. "Oh…uh….sorry," she whispers, when she registers that the supposed bear is speaking with Shintaro's voice. She sure isn't very good at these stealthy things, when it comes down to it.
Fortunately, after a glance around the lion would let out a wheezing cough full of black smoke and then slink off in search of easier prey. "Umm…okay let's go," Mushi says. She'd look to Shintaro to make sure he was alive before starting back up the mountain. "I won't hold it against you if you turn back," she says. Within an hour they'd be near the top and Mushi would be sweating profusely. "Mountain climbing…not my thing…" she pants.
Well, this quickly went from a nice hug to a smack straight in the face… Headbutted, Shintaro staggers back a bit, though catches himself so as not to fall off into any chasms or such. He shakes himself a bit, still alive, then looks back to her a smirks a bit. "Alright." Continuing to follow her up the mountain, he climbs with ease, using the Tree Walking Method to keep things easier as they go. No sense making things harder than they have to be. Of course, Mushi is sweating quite a bit. Somebody's going to have to take a serious dip in whatever springs are around here later. "And you're worried about me needing to turn back? Aren't you supposed to have some kind of magnificent stamina?"
Mushi looks back to Shintaro and blinks. "It's…not exhaustion," she says. "Just that last time I came up was…much harder. Much, much harder. I ran into a full pack. And I'm not as good at hiding as you are. It was hard." She wipes her brow and then would finally reach the top. And below is a valley that would be below the sea level around it. And it's filled with thousands of trees that create a dense canopy. The trees are massive, towering far above the forest floor. And in the middle of this is a tall peak covered in trees as well, rising to near the heights of the mountains around it. And a loooong way away.
"Well, we'd better start now before…huh?" Mushi looks down and towards a few still forms below. She'd go down the mountain into the valley, and there would be a pile of dead mountain lions. From the lack of smell or bugs, and the still fresh blood it was recent too. "Eww," Mushi says.
"Ah," Shintaro says, glancing around in hopes they don't run into a pack of lions. Of course, the likelihood of that occurring goes down severely when they look down the valley to see pile of them dead. The arrows poking out of their bodies are signs of human interference, considering hummingbirds, no matter how large, generally don't have the required appendages to use a bow. "… Guess that means we won't be running into that pack. I wonder if that means there are poachers up here or something. They'd make a killing on this island."
Mushi would already be down by the bodies, placing her hand lightly against the body of one mountain lion, inspecting the wounds closely. Then she'd reach right into one of the wounds, and pull something out. Gross. She holds up an arrow shaft. "See that glimmer on it? It's poisoned." Even large animals would succumb to enough lethal toxins. She stands up with the arrowhead just as something would zip in with the force of a bullet, and smack Mushi in the side of the head. Then, she'd poof into a log.
And the culprit is a hummingbird a little larger than most, maybe just jay sized. But it's so fast it's hard to see as it'd zip towards Shintaro and start constantly tormenting him with lightning fast pecks. "I caught you poachers redhanded!" the hummingbird squeaks. "I'll slay you all!" Though it wouldn't be too convincing, given it's about the size of any normal bird. Mushi says, "It wasn't us! We just got here!" But the hummingbird seems intent on pecking Shintaro's eyes out.
Just as Shintaro is about to join Mushi down by the pile, his face is suddenly being attacked by something very annoying. He attempts to bring a shadow up over himself to guard, but the little bugger is too quick and manages to make small drips of blood flow down the Jounin's forehead. "Hey, stop that. You go for my eyes, and I'll roast you," he warns. "Like she said, we just got here, and we don't even wield bows, so we're not the ones you're looking for."
Mushi watches as Shintaro is pecked, and it's clear he took her words to heart. And with that, Mushi starts giggling like a little girl as Shintaro is pecked by a tiny little hummingbird. Oh, she can't wait to tell everyone this. Pecked by a hummingbird! Albeit a wicked fast one. She claps a hand over her mouth, as the hummingbird turns to her and says, "Ha! Even laughing at the scene of the…huh? You say that you didn't. We-ell…let's say I believe you. Humans aren't allowed here!" And then they'd hear a hum like an insect flying. A hundred insects. It's coming nearer, and wind starts pushing everything back. And then there's a hummingbird of staggering size, well over a dozen feet tall and big enough crush them with its mass. This one has a trilling voice as it says, "You found the poachers Chiri, well done! Now die humans!" And it'd zip towards them, it's buzzing wings slicing through the trees like a knife through paper.
The littler one, Chiri says, "Nii-san…they may not be the…oh, nevermind." Then the little bugger flies away. Mushi takes shelter behind a boulder which is promptly reduced to rubble. She lets out a yelp and says, "Shintaro-kun just…try and subdue it. Hey you, I came here just a few months ago. I'm Mushi!" The hummingbird though either doesn't hear or doesn't care, as Mushi wraps herself in a layer of chakra to protect from the slicing wings. It'd turn its attention to Shintaro then, aiming to mow him down.
When finally the small bird leaves… Shintaro is apparently getting no kind of break since a much larger one appears. He attempts to replace himself with a Fire Clone again, but this time he doesn't move quite fast enough and ends up getting knocked over by the enormous fowl and send flying to skid on the ground. Bouncing back to his feet, he quickly moves through a series of hand seals, and this is where Mushi gets to see that he's completed mastery of that jutsu he was working on. "We're not poachers, baka!" he calls out before breathing out a huge stream of fire at the bird. Payback is fair.
The bird is circling around for another go when it gets overwhelmed by a surge of fire, and flaps to extinguish it. But it's still damage and there's quite a few singed feathers. "Oww! The poachers got me! Filthy humans! You'll—" It's words are cut off as Mushi, standing on the side of a tree would send a huge cloud of powder right in its face. It'd droop slightly, slowing down. But before she can take further action the bird shouts, "Poachers!" and lets out a piercing chirp so sharp it could almost make your ears bleed. Mushi claps her hands over her ears, wincing, as more answering chirps come from different parts of the forest. Lots. Mushi turns to Shintaro as the hummingbird droops down, already starting to doze. "Run! Run!" she yelps. She'd take her own advice, skirting the edge of the mountains and forest, looking for some type of shelter.
While the bird is taken down, it manages to signal for more. "Crumbs," Shintaro says, clasping his hands over his ears and taking off running alongside Mushi. He runs for a while and finally spots some crevices and a cave that they can duck into to hide from the massive birds. "There," he says, nodding at the cave and then reaching to grab Mushi and sink into the shadows of the trees with her. When they surface, they are well inside the cave, hopefully out of the range of any massive pointy beaks.
They're in a cave fortunately without any current inhabitants. Mushi lets out a huge sigh of relief when Shintaro says they're safe, never thinking to question his words. She lays back on the cool cave floor, closing her eyes momentarily. The forest is going crazy not just with chirps but howls and barks. Mushi says, "I didn't know those hummingbirds, I should've gone into Kirameki's part of the forest. I just didn't know…" She lets out a huge sigh. "I hope they catch those real poachers. In the meantime, let's wait for things to settle down." Then she'd lay back, fold her arms under her head and despite the cacophany outside, close her eyes. Then her eyes would open and she'd scooch over to Shintaro, laying down just the same except his lap would be the pillow rather than her hands.