Eight-Legged Ponies


Rinako, Kichiro, Shemri (as Megumi), Ryoji

Date: December 12, 2010


Rinako's first babysitting mission ends with genin and spiders and ponies OH MY!

"Eight-Legged Ponies"

Land of Wind, Canyon

The land of wind was very, very… sandy! The stuff got everywhere, in your clothes, in your shoes, in your pack, even in your eyes. And it was hot, always hot. Always windy, but mostly hot. If there was one thing Rurohashi Rinako hated more than anything else, it was being hot. The woman tended to whine more about the heat than even the most novice of students! She especially hated anything that interrupted her scheduled naptimes.

Thankfully, this mission was set near dusk, with the desert just beginning to cool down. The sand still radiated back the heat it had absorbed during the day and would continue to do so for hours, providing all the heat one could ask for, and then some, even as the sun turned orange and prepared to disappear below the horizon. The first stars were just beginning to come out across the violet sky.

The mission was a simple one, definitely not one that required Rinako's skills: a freegrazing pony trader was passing through the Land of Wind when a sandstorm had scattered most of his herd. He had managed to find most of them and make it to Sunagakure's market, but he'd been unable to locate his prize breeding mares. Thus, the elder Rurohashi sibling had been called into the Administration Dome to be presented with the mission scroll, and instructions to bring along two genin and a student that was believed to be ready for her first assignment. Given the shortage of shinobi in the Land of Wind, advanced training was unfortunate, but sometimes necessary.

"Nngh, it's soooooooo hoooooooot." As they passed beneath the shadows of two large bluffs, where they had thus far managed to more or less track the rogue ponies, Rinako was all but wilting as they walked, leaning farther and farther forward as she hangs her head so low she could almost kiss her knees. "We've been at this foreeeeeeever." Tracking in the desert was a mixture of senses, experience, and guesswork, and it had already taken several hours to make it this far. Reaching to her belt, the Sunagakure chuunin unclips her canteen, upending it over her mouth. …Only to find it empty. With a despondent sigh, she tosses it over her shoulder.

"We're probably getting close, guys- Ugh, someone give me some water! -So keep your eyes peeled and your senses sharp." A few stray scrubs of brush slung diligently between the semi-permanent earth sheltered between the two high bluffs. "These ponies aren't native, so they will have been looking for food. Try to find signs of them- I said gimme some water. -around here. I'm not here to help you look, only to make sure you can all find your way back. …C'mon, anyone!? I'm friggin' thirsty here!"


Despite the incrediple heat, the lanky and clumsy teen, kichiro, loped around barefoot. He stopped, leaning at an odd angle as he stood and looked over the horizon. He hands his canteen to Rinako. "I have a little extra, sama…" After handing off the canteen he goes ahead and finishes falling over, as if he was waiting mid fall til she took the canteen. He begins to walk on all fours accross the sand, letting his senses revert to a more primal form.

Boy, Auntie Rinako isn't nearly as much fun on a mission as she usually is. e.e Megumi studiously pretends not to hear Rinako's repeated calls for water. Megumi's mother had foreseen that such complaints would arise, and advised her on how to deal with it: let others break down and give in to Rinako's whining, then share with those others as truly needed. Rinako does seem to genuinely need more water than the average person, but this way it'll be easier to control and she won't get all of it. :P

Megumi shields her eyes and scans the horizon. "Y'know, Auntie Rinako, the sooner we find the horses, the sooner you can go back home. B'sides, how we gonna catch 'em by ourselves? They're probably twice as big as we are!" Yyyeah, Megumi's never been too up close and personal with a horse before. ;)

It -was- hot without a doubt old Ryoji could definetly attest too. Because of that, and that reason alone he had long since abandon his cloak the unnatural edge his other state gave him to shed the pounds he needed to survive the entire trip. In exchange for doing so he left much of his weapons, neh, ALL of his weapons behind excluding makeshift ones he could turn into based on what he carried in the travel bag slung over his shoulders. Throughout the entire trip he honestly wandered how in the high heavens he ended up roped into a mission of misfits with orders to track down ponies. Every counter argument he had for the reasons why only exhausted him needlessly until finally even he broke out of the stony look to cry out, "IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!?!" before collapsing much the same state as Rinako.

When he recovers eventually, Ryoji slicks back his hair and says something about "Everything's all well now" before picking up the pace a little. In answer to Rinako, a thin, malevolent smile creeps into existence as Ryoji slings around his bag to dig out his canteen, open it, then say, "Now that you've mentioned it. I'm feeling kinda parched -myself- Mmmmm, guess there's no choice then..Aaahhh", The canteen is raised above him and tipped to the point that only a single droplet hangs off it. The rest of the surge of refreshing liquids itches to be free behind it. However, there was something a little -off- about the water though…

A forked tongue curls out of his mouth as well as if to end the droplets journey, but in reality it's purpose was geared more to tasting the scents carried along the wind.

Not having had the benefit of the wisdom of Megumi's mother, Kichiro hands over his canteen, which is summarily drained. The fact of the matter was that Rinako was able to go much, much longer without water than the average shinobi. As she wipes her mouth and tosses the genin's now-empty canteen over her shoulder with a refreshing 'ah' sound, she props her fists on her hips and shoots the student a rueful, tight-lipped smile.

"Ponies. Ponies, Megi, not horses. These are like miniature horses meant for children. And that's the rub. You won't always be have what you need to complete the mission at hand, but you'll be expected to complete it anyway. If I help out too much, you won't learn anything, and then your mom is going to go on and on about how I'm such a 'bad role model' again. Seriously, I only said that word in front of you ONE TIME, and it was just to demonstrate- Ahem… Hey, when we find 'em, maybe you can ride 'em back to the village."

Before she can expound on the intracacies of her cavalry-ride back towards the heart of this forsaken landscape, the anguished cry of the third member of their troupe draws the brunette's attention. She frowns as he licks up a drop of water, discipline warring with the inclination to wrest his water supply away from him and dump it over her own head. She could just FEEL her skin drying out. Discipline wins out. Barely.

"I'm heading to the top of this bluff to check things out." The jinchuuriki points up towards the top of one of the towering cliffs. "If you guys locate anything, check it out and then signal me." With those words, the Chuunin is gone! A single mightly leap has her on the wall of the bluff, her swift steps carrying her up it, running verticly. She's soon enough out of sight over the top lip, leaving the others to search for signs.

Megumi's hunter training would have her finding chew marks on a few of the shrubs, heading farther into the mini-canyon between the bluffs, scuff marks left by hooves on a few rocks would also point to this. Kichiro and Ryoji's heightened senses would detect the faint, paniced neighing of two, maybe three, equines, coming from a similar direction. As well, there is the faint scent of sweat and unwashed animal on the breeze.


Kichiro cants his head to the side, listening. He breathes in the dusk air, catching scents on the wind. He turns and gallops on all fours towards the sound and scents. When he gets to the valley between the cliffs he hops up to the wall of the canyon to look further in. He bounces from one cliff wall to the other as he moves further in, looking for the prey.. err.. ponies.

Megumi sighs through her nose and stops to think for a moment. If I were a <strike>horse</strike>pony lost in a desert, what would I do? Head for the nearest shade, probably. That's what just about any critter would do around here, really. :P Which is a good reason to be cautious, come to think of it, but still…to the bluffs we go. Megumi tramps along until they reach the mini-canyon, and peers at the local shrubs. Yup, something fairly big's been snacking around here. "Auntie Rinako, we found somethin'!" Megumi calls up toward the clifftops. "We're gonna follow this canyon!"

"Bleeeh. It's all over it now!", Ryoji exclaims; capping the canteen droplet and all before depositing it back in the sack. Between constantly flickering the tongue in and out plus making smacking noise to further solidify the scent trail in his mind (much to his chargin). "It's official. Somebody somewhere has somehow put a curse on me… uuugh. *claps hands together* Alright! Since jounin-chan decided to abandon us pretty much, I say that—", He cuts himself mid-explination at the sound of calloused flesh making tracks well ahead of him. "……Well someone is rather energetic today.", He stated sarcastically about Kichiro before setting his sights on Megumi in honest and pure curiosity.

"Shhhh! She didn't mean fo you to yell when it comes to signalling. Or was it your plan to scare them into a stampede because of the echoes?", He asks warily to the young, and waits only long enough for a reply before pointing her off in the direction that they -should- be going for a less risky chance of his voiced concerns comming true. "Anyways, we need to gather more details anyways so start moving before patience-san gets too far away", he continues before crossing his arms across his chest in refusal to move until ordered or Megumi starts to do so on her own.

Megumi's voice echoes up the canyon wall for a bit, but fails to receive any kind of response or indication from the out-of-sight chuunin. Was she not listening? Beyond hearing range? Not responding? Or maybe taking a nap!? There's no current way of knowing beyond trekking up the steep cliff side to check for one's self.

Moving ahead would reveal a slight bend in the canyon's trail, as well as a small mini-fork. Following the sounds, tracks, smells, or any combination of the three would lead one right towards this tiny offshoot of a canyon. And there they would find three of the five missing pony mares! The horses looked to be in a state of near-panic, every now and then one of them rearing up and pawing towards the exit of their little box. The equines were surrounded on three sides, two of them by canyon walls, the third by a mass of boulders created by a landslide. A lone exit, about twenty-to-twenty-five feet across would lead them out. But it was this exit they were pawing nervously towards.

It wouldn't take much of an inspection to reveal seven circular disturbances in the ground here. Each seemed to be covered up by some sort of grayish-green matter and a thin layer of sand, like a pit someone had dug and then poorly disguised. Each between four and nine feet across, they appeared to be the world's crudest traps. The reason for the ponie's nervousness could be extracted by viewing a blood trail, rapidly clotting and drying in the sand, about four feet away from one of the outer pits, leading into it.

And yet, if one of the animals had plunged into the artificial earthen orifice, why had the cover either remained intact or been replaced? There was no outward sign of anyone else within the area.


Kichiro continue to bounce from canyon wall to canyon wall. He scans down over the ponies, hanging by his feet from the wall for a moment while he calls back, "Hai. Foun them. And predators." He pounces from the canyon wall to the boulders of the landslide. He murmurs to the ponies. "I don't know whats under there, but you need to come over to me" He crawls slowly down the fallen boulders to the ground, seeking to circle the ponies and cut them off from the 'whatever that's underground. He pauses, sinking a chakra pulse into the ground, reading the results through his bare feet and hands.

…Oh. Blood. o.o That's…never a good sign. Especially when there's so much of it. Megumi stares at the thinly-disguised traps and the carnage they have evidently wrought already. "I wanna go home," she remarks plaintively. ;.; Letting the older, more qualified nin (in that they actually qualify as nin) take point on the situation, Megumi stands back and draws a kunai…though who knows how well she'll be able to use it if needed. Maybe she'd be safer if she wasn't holding something sharp. c.c

Now Kichiro decided it would be a good idea to yell. Just perfect! Almost so much so that Ryoji nearly yells back to him to say, "OH REALLY!? IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU HAVE TO CALL OUT TOO!!!" Thankfully, he restrains himself enough to only sigh heavilly in defeat and turn back to megumi. "Your better off without that since if this is what I -think- it tastes like it won't matter anyways." He states calmly and gives Shemri a few pats on the head before turning back to their targets. A moment of hesistation is followed by the Iga rapidly kneading flesh in his mouth, giving it strength with his chakra, then mentally calling out 'Monkey, Ram, Horse, Snake, Ram! Flesh Release: Watching your step technique!' before expelling a steam of eyes that quickly spread out into the area and swarm over the path ahead. Their design for once not defensive, but to help spring whatever trap may lay in the pits if not investigate what's inside them.

Another set of tongues this time follow after the eyes that fall inside to sample the blood along the trail and find out 'what' or 'who' it may have belonged to before letting them drop into the pit as well.

Kichiro's chakra-pulse would reveal to him seven large living things, one in each of the seven covered pits, each more or less all but perfectly still, about as big as shetland ponies themselves. The ponies, however, simply shy away from him, moving to the opposite canyon wall from where the boulders are, the lead mare positioning herself threateningly between the other two and him, rearing up on her hind legs to whinny and paw at the air, her ears laid back, eyes wide, wild, and frightened. They very clearly are not going to be so trusting as to run to humans in the state that they're in.

The eyes that roll towards the pit just roll… and roll… and roll. Nothing happens, and they eyeballs likely don't even weigh enough to cause whatever was on top of them to collapse. But the moment the first one of them reaches the edge of the nearest hole, the lid pops up! A dark, gleaming form can briefly be seen, indistinct other than for it's multiple eyes, of which there could be counted eight, before the top slams back into place. As each of the pit's rims are disturbed, a similar phenomenon is obvserved: the nonhumanoid occupant of said pit tilts the lid up, before letting it drop down again.

Each eye and tongue that reaches them simply rolls onto the lid to a halt, detecting nothing but sand and a sticky, almost wet substance beneath it, which it then becomes adhered to. Those that fall into the artificial holes find nothing but darkness, and are quickly ingested by whatever was in them.

The blood in the sand tastes like… sandy blood. And it is definitevly NOT of human origin, likely then coming from some kind of large mammal, judging from the quantity.


Kichiro shakes his head, "They're not traps. they're creatures.. giant's trap door spider-bug-mnster-critter things… thats the technical term. Lemme show ya." He lifts a large piece of debris from the canyon floor and chucks it at the nearest of the pits. He stands, waiting to react to whatever may show itself from the hole, preparing an attack.

Bugs! o.@ Giant, predatory, jump-from-the-ground-and-snatch-you bugs! Megumi gives a little shriek and drops her kunai. This…this is way beyond what we signed up for, right? Nobody said anything about dealing with giant bugs that can make a meal out of a full-grown pony, let alone a little girl! They couldn't have known, right? They thought they were just sending some kids out to round up some ponies! They won't be mad if we don't risk our lives for this, right? Megumi bends down and grabs her kunai. "Um, I've got an idea…how about you two stay here and keep the ponies safe, and I'll go for help?" n.n; A decent plan, even if a bit self-serving…

"Don't." and "No." Were stated to both kichiro and Shemri each in turn, but after witnessing with their own eyes just what lay in wait beneath their feet. Well… who was he to disagree with the notion of walking away. Or even be able to stop them from walking from this mission too. "*sighs* Well that's lovely. Now he's gone and riled them up I bet so will probably have thirty-seconds at best… Maybe. SO! Here's what will do, uh, little girl-san. The way I see it is either one, trap those little buggers in their home. Two, someone distracts, them *eye points to Kichiro* While someone else guides the ponies away, or three… we burn them out of their traps…. although..", He pats his travel bag a few times. "I seem to be out of the *shakes it up* tags for just such an occasion… Hmmmmmm… that, could work…"

"Okay~ If this fails be prepared to run~ Run like the wind~~", Ryoji singsongs before carefully building up just enough chakra for what he had in mind. What remains of the field of eyes still present in the area, Ryoji redirects them towards the pits. Close enough where he can see where the threads started, but far enough not to trigger. Not at least until he manage to prepare the second part of his plan. 'Complete!' He emits just before the first of the eyes roll forward again to trigger the trap. This time the Iga was ready though and fired at the traps the moment he 'felt' them open to snag the eyes. The same goes for a second one if he's lucky enough to draw them out.

The instant the chunk of rock lands near one of the pits, the occupant of said pit pops out of it's cover like a sewer maintenance worker shooting out of a manhole. It's two formost legs wrap around the hunk of debris and drag it back beneath the sand, into the pit once more. There can no longer be any doubt: giant trapdoor spiders had set up hunting grounds inside the canyon. A moment later, the rock is thrust back out of the spider's burrow, decidedly considered inedible.

The eyeball which comes towards the pits once more indeed trigger a small response in the lifting of the web-covering once more, eight feral eyes peeking out to see what was causing such activity outside of it's lair. Some of the acidic substance manages to slosh through the crack created, presumably hitting the creature within if the sounds of arachnid squealing and chittering were any indication, followed by the rapid retreat of the enormous insect into its lair.

Instantly upon hearing the sounds of distress, all six of the other 'lids' pop tilt slightly back up, checking for the source of the disturbances in the area, while the first one goes quiet. Two of the ponies, distressed by the cries, neigh nervously and begin to prance closer to the pits, one of them shying away the moment a webbed covering tilts towards it. The sun was sinking quickly, casting the last of its light over the world below.


Kichiro picks up a rather huge chunk of the boulder wall that traps the ponies in. He heaves it into the air and follows up after it with a huge leap. Winding up like a volleyball player and spiking the stone into one of the spider pits. (not the one that was acid rained). If the spider survives, he lands beside it and rushes forward to try, tossing the spider to one of its cohorts,

Megumi watches anxiously as the boys go about trying to squash the bugs. Typical male response. >.<; They couldn't try to avoid provoking the giant monsters, oh no, they go straight to macho exterminator mode. Meanwhile, all Megumi can really do at her current skill level is watch…but in watching, she notices something that the others are probably to busy to notice. "Uh, guys? We really need to get out of here soon…it's almost night, and lots of hunting animals come out at night. Including spiders, and if there are ones this big here…" c.c;

Ryoji takes a deep intake of the fresh air through his nose to absorb the pleasurable scent of chitin(?) being melted away. "*sniffles*so beautiful", He whispers with eyes breaming with tears. At the mention of things getting darker though Ryoji quickly changes his tune… a little. "That is a little problematic…hmm…… *nods* Megumi. I know this -may- be a little outside your usual training, but I'm gonna need you to make a break for the horses after *hears mroe spider screams* That guy and myself clear a path to the sides. Now, if you can guide them over through that way we should—" No more words would spill from the Iga's mouth now that the scent of predatory hunger from the spider closest to the pony breaking away from the others grows all the more evident. He waists no time in leaping onto the side of the canyon walls and running up the canyon walls for a better angle before raining down acid terror on the spider. The same goes for two others closest to the ones that Kichiro was dispatching inorder to hopefully clear a big enough path for Megumi to guide them without fear. Hopefully…

The huge chunk of boulder lands atop one of the pits and… sticks there. It's unclear currently if the spider beneath it has survived, but it is at least blocked in by the boulder that has caved in the 'roof' of its burrow. Unfortunately, this means the arachnid can not be grabbed and thrown, given that the boulder would have to first be dislodged from it's jammed position in the pit! But Kichiro probably doesn't have much time to worry about that, as the burrows were rather close together, and being next to one sets off its neighbors trap!

A large spider the size of a teenaged boy springs most of its body forth, its four forward-most legs, each tipped in wicked claws, reaching out to ensnare the genin in its deadly grasp and drag him back underground with it!

Ryoji's acid-rain technique seems to have limited effect, given that at this angle he can really only splash it down amongst the top-covers of the pits, where the acid begins to melt through the webbing and sand. At least one of them gets through, and the squealing screams of a creature being burned can be heard throughout this area of the canyon. Unfortunately, the collective arachnid intelligence is enough to realize they are being attacked and thus ignite their fight-or-flight instincts. The remaining five spiders, including the one with a sizzling thorax, emerge from their lairs and begin searching for something to attack!

The ponies, by now in a state of heightened paranoia from the visible introduction of predators into their environments, are running laps in a panic around their makeshift 'pen', looking for anything that appeared to be a way out. Which meant it was only a matter of time before they would prance right near the troupe of riotous, venomous arachnids!

And up atop the cliff, it seemed something was indeed moving, a brief flicker of shadows here and there directly over the position of the trapped equines could be spotted against the sky by the sharp eye. What it was or what its size could be were difficult to determine. The sun was by now gone, leaving only the different-colored hues of dusk behind.


Swinging at close range to Kichiro seems a bad idea. He slips to the side and dashes in, following the legs in and charging with his attack, planting a kick in the abdomen of the spider a between the front two and back two legs. "Bad spider.. Bad spider. No soup for you!" Looking up to the spiders as they come from their holes, a feral sneer on his face. He recognizes the base primal instincts in action. Fight or flight. The only thing the spiders would recognize in this form would be Predator.. or Prey. And Kichiro was not going to be prey. He pounces over and tries to plant himself between the spiders and the ponies. He uses a henge to make himself appear bigger and fiercer. He growls and snarls, his arms outstretches to look even bigger, a classic animal technique to intimidate. But He isn't defenseless. Kichiro can still react at a split second's notice.

NOTGOODNOTGOODNOTGOOD. O.O; Cornered beasts are far more dangerous, especially in groups. Megumi tries to take in the situation and come up with a plan. Spiders scrambling all around, team-mates trying to kill them, ponies in a panic (at the other end of the spider-crawling pit). Assets? Kunai and shuriken that she barely knows how to throw, basic self-defense knowledge that's mostly geared toward human opponents, and a canteen of water. Great. x.x

Well, one crazy idea does come to mind, one off-the-wall chance that just might do a tiny bit of good. Megumi kneels down and scoops up a handful of sand, then pours a generous dash of water from the canteen onto it. Squeezing it, she produces a small ball of clumped wet sand, which she proceeds to hurl at the nearest spider's face! Insofar as it has a face. c.c Maybe she'll get lucky and manage to blind or scare off a spider or two with this improvised attack.

A shiver passes through Ryoji from the sudden drop in temperature. Now… now they were really out of time for anything but desperate actions. Because of that, ryoji dropped into the midst of those not being attack and applied the principles of water walking to keep from adhering to the webbings. At least for now…

No time is waisted by the Iga in building chakra to the palm of his hands, and unleashing the wails of the banshee upon ANY spiders who dared tried to attack him as he made his way across their path. Even if they -did- manage to nick him they would only be furthering his special training. However many times it takes to disable them what remains by way of rupturing internal organs with each one that lands, is the same number he takes to cross the expanse. Tuning out everything excluding the spiders, and most importantly megumi. If he senses her danger, neither heaven nor hell will stop him from breaking off his course to protect her. All the why thinking to himself "why"

The first spider is ably kicked back by Kichiro's counter-strike, landing back into its burrow with the web-cover slamming down over it. Just how injured it really was remains to be seen, given that it's phsyiology is completely alien and nowhere near as fragile as a human's. It does not immediately reemerge, however. But one thing that Kichiro fails to realize is that arachnids are not easily intimidated by size! Especially when they feel cornered or threatened.

Two of them single him out, standing so conveniently on the ground as he is, and treat him as the threat that he is. One makes a fantastic leap, it's limbs outspread, ready to ensnare the genin in it's deadly grip. The other rushes lower over the ground, it's forelimbs raised, fangs bared and dripping with venom, prepared and very willing to sink them in to this strange creature that had invaded their nest.

Megumi's unorthodox attack is met with mixed results. The first shot manages to catch one of the arachnids square in half of its eyes, smearing along one side of its head. Half-blind and startled by the sudden introduction of alien mud on its face, the creature rears up and begins runing its rough, hairy forelimbs over the top of its head to try and dislodge the mud. But another one is coming RIGHT FOR the daughter of Shemri!


The mud only catches two of its eyes, the two closest to the center, but it's enough to cause the beastie to miss a jutting piece of rock in its path. One of its forelegs slams into it, and all of its carefully coordinated legwork comes to a halt as it SLAMS its head into the ground several feet from the Sunagakure student. It was momentarily stunned, but it wouldn't be for long!

One of the remaining arachnids is struck by the Iga's blow, part of its internal organs in the thorax liquifying in the process with a chittering squeal. With a stumbling gait, as if it were losing its balance due to the injuries, the spider takes flight, making its way quickly up the wall in rapid retreat, leaving its brothers (sisters?) behind to finish the fighting.

Meanwhile, the bolting ponies have reached the pits! While the spiders may be out of them, and focused on their human attackers, a single misstep could spell a broken leg or worse for an equine.


One in the air, one on the ground, one under the ground. Luckily Kichiro's training is meant specifically to remove the constrictions so many others place on concepts like 'up' and 'down' and 'right-side-up'. Kichiro charges towards the spiders, baseball sliding under it. He charges his fist with ki and punches upwards, hoping to lanch this spider into the other. He scrambles into a handstand, looking towards his teammates, checking to see if they're alright.

Having found something to DO in this crazy scenario, Megumi is so intent on flinging sand-balls that she doesn't even realize she's been targetted until just before the spider trips. She drops her canteen with a little squeal, and…what now? Run? No, it'll catch her before long. Shuriken? Not likely to pierce that exoskeleton. No, the only option reasonably likely to result in survival is the scariest. ;.; Drawing her kunai, Megumi jumps forward, lets out a scream, shuts her eyes tight, and stabs with the full weight of her little body at the monster's cephalothorax!

…Y'know, its head/upper body. Kinda indistinguishable in arachnids.

Grim satisfaction is displayed just as openly as signs of fatigue eating away at the Iga. However, this is quickly put away when he recalls his charges and locks on to her before moving with haste never seen in him besides moments when his own life was in danger. One final high leap into the air, a spiral of chakra built up into his palm, and then… the spider put down temporarily by Shemri's daughter now would have to endure the same pain as the other spider. Head Shot(?). Always gotta be thorough!

"…Yank that out and follow me until we can reach those ponies eh?" Refused or not, the Iga is more than prepared to pull her along with him if he has to as he makes his way over to them. IF there are any spiders left for him to ensure their failure at this point, Ryoji would scare it away with another barrage of acid crying eyes.

As Kichiro slides under its bulk, the spider on the ground narrowly misses impaling his face with its fangs, sinking them into sand instead of flesh to release its caustic venom. The sand bubbles for a moment where it had struck, but soon enough the arachnid is hurtling through the air, propelled by the force of the blow to its abdomen. It collides in mid-air with it's leaping arachnid, both of them giving a startled chitter, before landing heavily on the ground a dozen feet or so away from the kemonoken-user. They are quick to right themselves… and to flee! Arachnids had no intent to 'fight to the death', simply following their baser instincts, instincts tell them that these odd, fleshy little creatures could HURT them.

The tripped creature soon find not only mud, but a kunai lodged into one of it's two frontal eyes. It immediately rises up and begins shaking it's head violently, forelimbs swiping at Megumi in a panic, trying to push her away from itself. Ryoji's slamming fist finds its mark readily enough, slamming the creature's head right back into the ground. The other arachnid, seeing the fate of its compatriot, as well as its dying squeals, follows the other three retreating spiders in scaling the walls of the enclosure around them, seeking refuge amongst the rocks.

…But the ponies! Having been left to their own devices with no interference, only one of them made it through the pit area unscathed, prancing about nervously, shying away from the humans, but unwilling to completely abandon the other two. Unfortunately, one of the mares had plunged headlong into one of the holes, suffering a broken neck, dead on impact. The other might be able to be saved, as it had stumbled only its hind quarters into one, and had managed to pull itself back out, but was favoring a likely-broken rear right leg, limping after the lead mare.

And now that barely-seen shadow above the cliffs takes flight, launching itself towards the ground. *THUMP* Rinako lands next to Megumi and Ryoji, her eyebrows raised as she lets out a low whistle, and then a radiant thumbs-up. "Nice job! I really liked the mud-flinging, Megi. A-plus material."

She had ben watching the entire time!? Rubbing the back of her head, the Sunagakure brunette continues. "But what was with the gross melting eyeballs and the monkey flips? Nevermind. Let's just get the ponies and get out of here. I'll carry Injured Betsy, you three play 'chase the mule' and round up the other one."

It seems work wasn't quite done, since the indicated, uninjured mare had no intention of letting anyone near it!


Kichiro looks over and shakes his head sadly, seeing the third dead pony. He heads after the still fleeing, galloping on all fours. "I've never been good with animals." Odd for a boy who acts like an animal the way he does half the time. When he finally catches up to it he gets in front of it, talking softly, trying to calm it down. "its ok girl… its ok.. I'm a friend" He reaches into his bag and takes out his spare canteen (Shemri might have taught Megumi to not share, but Kichiro was taight to carry a spare) If he can get the pony calm enough to pa attention he pours a hand full of water. Goodness knows the beast must be needing water by now.

Megumi doesn't see the results of her desparate attack, because she can't bear to open her eyes. DX The other senses, which aren't so easily blocked, are bad enough to deal with. She feels the horrible hard-yet-living legs scratching at her, hears the creature's screeching…then there is something more warm and yielding on her arm, and a blessedly human voice. Megumi cooperates with Ryoji's guidance as best she can, scrambling to her feet and following his pull. By the time Megumi manages to fully open her eyes again, the immediate danger is past, and Auntie Rinako is congratulating her. Well…maybe she'll remember that later and it'll help her feel better, but right now she's just a 6-year-old girl who was thrust into life-or-death combat for the first time. @.@ Battle shock renders her largely useless for the remaining task at hand, although that shouldn't be a great problem with only one pony left to deal with.

Ryoji shrugs off the question due to his focus being on making sure none of the spiders were gonna make a return visit. As soon as he gets the all clear he turns back to the to spider corpses left behind. A tongue flickers out to lick his lips in anticipation as he approached. "That could be of use a little later…", He mutters underbreath before kneeling down to start carving out a few pieces worthwhile to put in his travel bag. Once his work is complete, Ryoji returns to Megumi's side and pats her a few times on the shoulder to check for any damages. Physical or otherwise. And if he needed to the Iga even offers Megumi a ride back to the village, and suprisingly enough(!) whispered calming words to soothe her along the way.

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