Date: December 7, 2015
A call for help comes from a village in the southern part of the Land of Fire, where water monsters are attacking anyone that travels too close to the river. A team is sent out to handle the situation and must clear the river of dangerously mutated archerfish.
"Fang & Talon - Fishing for Trouble"
Southern Land of Fire
The emergency message arrived at Konoha during the morning of the previous day, sent by bird from a village midway to the southern shore of the Land of Fire. There isn't much information on the scroll, which was obviously drafted very hastily and had to be light weight enough to be carried through the air quickly to Konoha. According to the message, several monsters appeared in the river adjacent to the village earlier in the week. The monsters have attacked anyone that went near the river. Several people were already injured and at least one have died of those injuries. Since the river is the village's primary water source, the inability to go near it without risking life and limb makes this a dire situation for the people living there.
Konoha was quick to spring into action. A team has already been assembled less than an hour after the scroll arrived at the mission offices. Kenta is to lead a team of four - Shinobu, Kame, Daichi and Kyu - to investigate the danger and clear out the monsters. It required traveling a full day and all morning, but the team managed to arrive at the village during early afternoon of the second day. Now, they're being led back -out- of the village again towards the spot of hottest monster activity. Their guide is a stocky middle-aged woman by the name of Mimi.
Daichi was following along with Kenta and the rest of the team heading towards the target location. During the trip here he was mostly silent, and now was a little tired. What he gets for staying up training past few days, but hopefully it becomes worth it. A woman named Mimi was taking them to where most of these monsters were found, and he wasn't sure that something was an actual monsters. Most 'monsters' he has seen have been giant or dysfunctional animals. Though what could these be if they were monsters. As the traveled he pulled a kunai out of his pack now, and looked over towards Shinobu and Kame. They would probably be able to tell when anything was nearby luckily, but what if something slips past.
Kyu follows behind Kenta, sticking close by his Sensei and casually scanning his surroundings. He idly thumbs the one kunai at his hip. He doesn't seem that worried. These monsters, whatever they are, likely had mammalian brains, and perhaps could be knocked out by his genjutsu. Even if that wasn't the case… He had the whole group here to help fight whatever it was! He looks to Shinobu and Kame, then Daichi, then Kenta. Surely with this team, there would be no trouble.
Shinobu got the message and was able to get a restless day's worth of sleep the night before. So she was quieter than usual when she arrived to meet with Kenta and co. The girl would simply nod silently in greeting and move along to follow the group. Kame was her usual self, at least, the pup tackling into the Uchiha and giving him a thorough face-licking before they set off. Once they were traveling, of course, the pair both had their senses on high alert…
Apparently the whole 'being alert' wasn't really needed until they got to the village, though. That doesn't actually stop them from keeping a nose out for any trouble up until this point and continuing. It's probably a good thing that they had at least managed to stop for a night while traveling so they could replenish their energies. Now if only Mana had packed more food for them… They were feeling a bit hungry… >.>
"Oh, it's horrible. -Horrible-, I tell you," Mimi tells the group as she bustles them down a well trodden dirt path through the trees. The village is building without the forest itself, the houses almost as much a part of it as the trees themselves. The villagers apparently make most of their living by trapping animals for pelts and harvesting valuable plants, mainly those that can be used for dying fabric or thread. "These creatures were first sighted five days ago. A traveler stopped in our village, some naturalist, and disappeared overnight. We didn't think much about it, until one of our boys came running back from the river the next day as if Kiri-nin were after him. Said water monsters attacked him. Of course we doubted him. Some men went to investigate and nearly got killed. That poor traveler must have gone down to the river to look at the water life during the night. I bet those things ate him." Mimi shakes her head sadly.
"Ummm… Mimi-san, so the casualty mentioned in the report is the traveler? The others are just injured?" Kenta asks the stout woman, to which he receives a nod. At least, it looks like a nod. She's walking in front of everyone and her heads doing a pigeon bobbing type of motion with every few steps that she takes. Maybe that helps her keep her balance, though her footings exceedingly good like any forest-born woman. That possible nod is deeper than the other nods. Kenta takes it as confirmation and looks over his shoulders at the rest of the group. "Kyu and Shinobu. We'll work on those injured villagers before we leave later."
Daichi follows along listening to the conversation between Mimi and Kenta closesly. He waited for both to be done speaking before asking something himself that felt weird to him. "Mimi. Did you ever find his body, or what was left of a body? Or did he just dissapear?" He waited for an answer as Kenta addressed the others on their team.
Kyuketsuki listens to Mimi and Kenta, he of course doesn't interrupt and once Kenta says that he'll be assisting the injured, he nods. "Yes Kenta-sensei. I'll do my best." He then continues listening to the others, having nothing to add at the moment.
Shinobu would nod a bit to Kenta at his comment, listening to Mimi with a small frown. She was feeling a bit better after the overnight rest so… She even managed to speak! "Umm… Do they… remember what attacked…?" she asks, though in all likelihood no one would be able to hear her. She was too quiet!
Mimi pauses midstep. She places a hand on the gnarled trunk for a tree that's tilting over the road and turns to look at Daichi. "The poor man's body was never found, but what else could have happened to him? People don't just go missing at night like that unless an animal got them. Or a monster." She clucks her tongue against the roof of her mouth. "We told him not to walk around at night. It can be a dangerous time, even so deep into autumn. There are hungry bears and sometimes tree cats. But he was just too excited when he heard about all the unique species of fish that can be found around here. So it was probably the river monsters that got him instead of a bear."
The stout woman resumes walking again, but continues to talk. "No one wanted to get close enough to see what the monsters look like. Both the boy and the men that went to investigate afterwards said that the monsters stayed under the water the entire time. But they say big flowing eyes watching them and the monsters hit them from far away with missiles. Maybe it was barbs, like porcupine quills, but no… the men had broken bones." She pauses to take a breath. "We're almost there."
"Ummm… that's sounds…" Slightly fishy, is what Kenta wants to say, but that's his paranoia speaking. He hurries to catch up with the stout woman. It's a good thing that they're using a well worn path, because the trees around them have low hanging branches that even -he- would need to duck to move under. "Mimi-san, you should stay back once we get close enough. I don't want these monsters to hurt you too. They sound very dangerous." And probably hard to handle if they stay underwater.
Daichi continues walking along with the group nodding once towards Mimi before picking up speed to arrive next to Kenta. Then quietly he whispered to him. "Kenta. This seems iffy. Like a normal fish wouldn't be eating folk and stuff. Or shoot missles." He frowns as he follows along. "You don't think it is actually some kind of monster do you? What else could actually eat a man without leaving anything to show for it." He didn't seem like he was afraid. Maybe hesitant, but curiosity was still showing.
Kyu considers, "couldn't it just be a complex water ninjutsu and nothing else? Something like that. Just a thought. If I use my Sharingan I should be able to tell if that's the case or not, Kenta-sensei. Someone could have simply relocated a body or something." Kyu shrugs. Unsure. Not wanting to believe it's actually 'monsters'…
Shinobu looks between Kenta and Kyu and Daichi as all these suppositions come into play. She honestly has no idea what all tis going on, but she wasn't even sure if she wanted to find out, either. The girl umms softly and shuffles in her spot, following along as she should, but otherwise staying silent. Which shouldn't be much of a surprise at this point.
Kenta slows down slightly and murmurs to Daichi, but includes the rest of the team as he continues speaking. "It does sound strange, but these could be nin animals or even infected animals. It could also be smugglers disguised as monsters to scare people away from their operation. We won't know for sure without checking the situation. We'll need to be very careful, since we're walking into an unknown situation. I want all of you to keep behind me. That way, I can set up a barrier to protect all of us if we get ambushed. Inuzuka senses and Sharingan should be very useful here."
Mimi suddenly interrupts the conversation. She probably didn't even notice it and if she did, it'd only be hushed murmuring. "The river's just pass the trees here," the woman proclaims loudly. Maybe a bit too loudly, if there's really monsters around. But Mimi has proven to be a pretty loud talker throughout the entire walk. "I staying here and letting you shinobi take care of things. Don't want to meet any monsters myself. Good luck and I hope you get them."
Daichi looks at Kenta and nods before falling behind him some which puts him closer to Shinobu. He figured staying near her now would be good in case she spotted something. "You smell anything yet Shinobu?" He also takes this time to look around himself though he was not really fantastic at it overall. Needs to become more perceptive for things like this or it could become a big weakness.
Kyuketsuki continues following close by Kenta, but his Sharingan suddenly appears as he scans the area. he's gotten better at using the Sharingan to look for things. This would be a good time to test it out.
Shinobu sniffs around the area a bit, as does Kame. But the pair don't drift off from the path much, so they probably won't find anything. Shinobu can only offer a small shrug as she peeks around to try and find any signs of anything at all…
Kenta moves pass Mimi and gestures for his team to continue to stick close to him as he warily approaches the river's edge. There's not much spacing between the water and the trees, only a stretch of mossy ground that's about the width of a large street. It's stone under the moss, so that makes footing exceptionally bad. The shore slopes downwards into the river, giving way to clay and then deeper water. While the river's not very fast moving, it's murky enough with silt and fallen autumn leaves that it's hard to see pass the surface. As the team looks around the area, they notice a few things.
Shinobu and Kame's superior noses identifies the stench of blood coming from the far shore. A dead deer lies there, looking like it's been bludgeoned to death from the way it's turned into a lumpy mess. Moments after she notices this, something grabs a hoof and drags the corpse under.
Kyu, on the other hand sees several unnatural ripples on the surface of the river. Despite not being able to see underneath, the type of rippling indicates movement that doesn't have to do with normal flowing water. Each of these locations also emanate a moderate amount of chakra. Something that -could- be eyes break the surface where some of the rippling's occurring… dead, flat eyes that train on Kyu the same moment he sees them.
Kenta spies a glint coming from the shallows close by and cautiously goes to investigate it after gesturing for everyone else to stay put. He walks up to the edge of the water, where he kneels to pry an object out of the clay. "Oh… this is…" he murmurs in unease once he sees what the object is. The young man straightens with it in his grasp. When he shows it to the others, they can also identify it instantly - a Leaf forehead protector.
Daichi's just blind to what's going on around him.
Daichi stares normally into the area not seeing nothing, and frowning as he does. As quietly as he can he speaks to the others. "So you all find anything yet with your super sensing?" He himself not finding anything kept eyeing his surroundings.
Kyu's eyes narrow at the area where the rippling is. He sees a decently strong source of chakra, and it's only after he stares for a moment that he notices those eyes looking back, which causes Kyu to jump a bit. He points to the location where the rippling is occuring, "I see a large chakra source, over there, and eyes…" He says this quiet enough to not startle whatever it is, hopefully, but loud enough to be heard. "That isn't anything natural. But it doesn't look like a jutsu…"
Shinobu manages to catch a trace of deer blood and looks across the shore from where the wind was blowing. And then she blinks and the carcass is gone. "Umm… But… … I think… There was something…" Kame climbs into Shinobu's arms and stares intently at the spot where the deer was. ~Something just grabbed a deer!~ she barks at the others, genjutsu washing over them so they can hopefully understand the pup.
Kenta moves away from the water's edge with his prize in hand, trying not to make his movements too abrupt. "This isn't looking good," the medic-nin murmurs to the others in the group. He shows everyone the forehead protector. "It's buried only shallowly in the clay, so this must have been dropped pretty recently. Either a shinobi went missing while traveling through this area or the shinobi is that naturalist that Mimi-san's talking about. The things in the water probably got him. That's sounding more and more likely. Large chakra source and creature big enough to grab a deer -here-? Everyone, be on high alert."
Daichi was already on high alert the moment they left the village, but he understood what Kenta was getting at. This may be more dangerous then they even expected from the start. "Alright Kenta. What do you think we should expect? Or is this just completely unknown?"
Kyu's Sharingan stays trained on the eyes, observing the chakra for any fluctuations or signals that a jutsu is being performed. As he does this, the air around Kyu seems to get quite heavier, as he builds up an intense amount of chakra. "Hai, I'm watching the chakra signature closely, if I see anything I'll be sure to announce it is preparing a jutsu. I may not be able to stop it… But I can warn you." Kyu would announce a quick "<name>-<honorific>, watch out!" should his Sharingan predict an attack, unless the attack was only aimed at him…
Shinobu keeps her senses on high alert like Kenta requested. Part of her was scared to death that she would end up like that poor deer, though the other part of her knew that she was a shinobi. She wouldn't be able to be defeated so easy, right? But there was also that hitai-ate… So what if she died?!
"Umm… well, we need to be careful, by the mission is to get rid of whatever's plaguing this river. We need to find out what's in there and how to—" Kenta starts to respond. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a chance to complete. Halfway through the statement, the rippling in the water becomes a strong bubbling. Wisps of mist starts to flow into the area, but not enough to obscure sight yet. Only Shinobu would notice four distinctly fish-like mouths breech the surface, but everyone sees the powerful streams of pressurized water that's shot towards all the shinobi standing on shore.
Kenta's "Watch out!" makes it out the same instance that Kyu's does. The medic-nin leaps backwards, except the lance of water coming towards him has been aimed too well and he remains in its trajectory. A tag wrapped around an iron spike flies from his hand to strike the liquid missile in mid-air, blossoming into a protective shield of chakra that explodes from the force of the strike, but thankfully leaves Kenta untouched. He lands in a crouch. "Keep moving and don't give them a target! Attack from afar if you can, since we'll probably be at a disadvantage in the water!"
Daichi nods slowly as Kenta speaks, and because he was being his unperceptive self he noticed the water lances a little late. He in mid dodge got slammed backwards rolling back onto his feet. "Kenta. It may be a little hard for me to be effective from the land." He pulled out a few kunai and right up into a tree for the height atdvantage before throwing three of them into the water below.
Kyu's eyes scan the four head, Kyu's Sharingan informing him of just where each of them is aiming, and his eyes lock on to the one aimed at him as he calls out to the others informing them to watch out in synch with Kenta, he makes a few brief, rapid handseals, and the fish head's vision would shudder, blur, and split for just a brief moments before returning to normal. To it, it hits Kyu center mass, but he just stays standing, the flesh being torn in his chest before the water-cannon ceases, at which point the large crater in Kyu's chest just starts closing up. To Kenta, Daichi, and Shinobu/Kame, the fish monster just blasted the ground in front of Kyu, completely missing him, while Kyu watched, unworried. Kyu then makes more seals. Water may beat fire, but it doesn't beat the mind. The fish heads would feel some instinctive feeling of sleepiness, as if their mind can focus only on sleeping for a moment, causing it's vision to blur and its body to go numb. Then it fades, then it comes back again, then it fades once more. Each time it leaves a lingering nagging sensation that says 'sleep' should the creature not be able to snap out of a Genjutsu.
Shinobu is quite surprised to see some … fishy monster's mouth in the water. Where the heck did that come from?! Well, maybe a bit of genjutsu can handle it? She and Kame work together to try and get whatever fish there are under a genjutsu via Kame's barking and Shinobu's attempt to grab ahold of the fish brains… That sounds weird, doesn't it c.c; Regardless, in addition to feeling sleepy, the fish monster would want to pet that which it was trying to attack.
The counterattack launched by the Leaf shinobi doesn't do much at first. The mist is getting thicker now and it distorts all fields of vision. Shapes keep flickering in and out of sight. What's in the water seems doubled, tripled and then draped in all sorts of odd shadows. While Daichi's kunai seem to strike one of writhing shapes in the water, all that really happened is that the Genin sacrificed them to the river's slow current. Kyu, Shinobu and Kame has an advantage in that they're able to blanket the area with a wide range of Genjutsu. A lot of it is shrugged off, but three -very- large fish, at least the size of hippos, float to the surface of the river, where they flopp around in confusion afterwards, as they try to lovingly "whack" unseen puppies with oversized fins. Unfortunately, one remains unaccounted for… until it tries to blast Shinobu with another jet of water.
"They're giant archerfish," Kenta says when he sees three of the fish surface. His eyes grows wide in fascination. "Small fish with excellent marksmanship. They hunt insects and small amphibians by knocking them out of trees or the air with projected water. Ummm… except these are definitely -not- small." Kenta almost sounds admiring.
Kenta stuffs the mud-covered Leaf forehead protector into a pocket and straightens to his feet. He doesn't even bother to go for the pills and tags that he keeps with him all the time. Why does he keep getting into situations lately where his medical ninjutsu is rendered much less effective than normal? It's a little aggravating, but Kenta doesn't have much time to dwell on that thought. He's not in the right position to block the water shooting at Shinobu, but the young man sees where it's coming from well enough to retaliate. The medic-nin forms a few seals and holds one hand to his mouth. A strong blast of wind bursts towards the source of the water jet.
Daichi wanted to try and stop that water lance, but truthfully he would have trouble making it in the way. And even if he did she has a better chance of stopping it herself… He just was not that good enough yet, but what he could do was this. He pulls his weights off in a timely fashion before jumping into the air and throwing three kunai with one into each ot the floating fish things.
Kyu's eyes narrow as he scans the water, which is now difficult to see due to the chakra coating the air. This mist actually makes it doubly hard for Kyu! He suddenly notices, without his Sharingan, the jet of water. Not aimed at him though, nothing he can do about that. He seems more than a bit frustrated by this mist, and makes handseals, and brings his hand to his lips after making the tiger seal. "Fire Style, Great Fireball Jutsu!" Kyu calls out before unleashing a steady stream of flames onto the water, he can't see, so he just tries to hit everything on the water!
Well, Kenta might have to admire dead archerfish when Shinobu and Kame are done with them, as the girl and her ninken had dropped to all-fours and launched themselves into a Tsuga together. As they moved, they would narrowly avoid the incoming spear of water and strike the three that were floating while also attempting to hit the one below the water…
A barrage of kunai, fireballs and Inuzuka slams into the three flopping fishes on the surface of the water. They're instantly killed, to the point that one of them bursts apart into a mass of half-cooked meat. The last remaining archerfish surfaces, red eyes glowing in unnatural rage, as its friends are torn apart. Chakra builds to dangerous levels. Then, it's released in one massive surge of power that flings the water of the river at the shinobu in a bone breaking wave of liquid force. It threatens to throw Shinobu and Kame through the air like toys seconds after they manage to land a blow on this survivor. It might not be completely a bad thing, since Kyu's fireballs miraculously vaporizes the water surging towards him to scorch the monster's scaly hide, close enough that both Inuzuka might also lose from hair. The wave of water also breaks apart the blast of wind that Kenta sent, before it washes towards the Jounin on its way to Daichi further back in the group.
"Watch out!" Kenta exclaims when the wave of water surges towards the group. He flings another tag-wrapped spike forward, which releases a barrier of chakra in front of him. The water crashes into the barrier and it looks for a second like it's going to hold. But cracks start to form after only a second. The water breaks through and sends Kenta flying into a tree.
Kenta straightens with a wince and holds a hand to his ribs. Something feels like it cracked, but he's had worse injuries before. He jumps up into the tree to get a better vantage point. The mist has cleared enough with the death of three archerfish that he's able to hone in on the last one pretty quickly. Once again, Kenta makes hand seals and holds a hand to his mouth. He blows many piercing bullets of hardened air at the monstrosity.
Daichi was quick enough to move away from the attack for one reason. That of which was Kenta telling them to watch out. Otherwise he would surely have been hit by another stronger blast of water. Though sadly even upon landing he can't do much here with out better ranged skills, so he simply pulls out some shuriken and sends them flying towards this single fish.
Kyuketsuki's flames had managed to be much hotter than he's ever managed to get it before, and it surprises even him as it vaporizes the water. He still gives a worried look to Kenta, calling out "Kenta-sensei!" Before looking back to where the fish was. He notices the mist letting up, good, he makes handseals once he has the remaining fish in his sights. He holds the ram seal as white glowing feathers begin flooding out of his sleeves and begin peacefully flying towards the fish. After reaching it they begin to circle it, attempting to lull it to sleep. "I'm trying to capture it! We need at least one alive to study." Kyu calls out to the others, hoping the fish survives the attacks the others hit it with, even if only barely surviving…
Shinobu skids to a halt and then adjusts her course as the wave of water comes at her. The girl avoids it, and Kame comes in across the way as both start to run across the water and circle the large archerfish to start slashing at it, speeding up as they move until they form a sort of hurricane around the large fish. They end in an X across the fish to try and finish it off.
Despite how big and angry the remaining archerfish is, it's no match for five well trained shinobi. Kunai bounces off the monster's hide, but several finds a mark in the softer portions of its flesh. What the kunai doesn't hit are pierced through by bullets of air and clawed into in a blur of chaotic Inuzuka. The genjutsu that Kyu casts on the fish is the last straw. It sinks beneath the river for a second before it bobs back up on its side. The giant fish isn't dead, but it's not going to be waking for hours, assuming it wakes up at all.
Kenta winces as he jumps off his tree. The young man places a glowing hand over his ribs to repair the damage done to them when he stuck the tree. "Umm… good job, everyone. I think we got them all, but be on alert. There could be others. I'll ask headquarters to send a team of scouts and water ninjutsu users to comb the entire river when we get back to Konoha." The medic-nin eyes the unconscious fish warily. "We'll bring this one back to Konoha with us. I need to find out if it's a nin-animal, mutated by that virus we isolated or something else. Someone go tell Mimi-san that we need a wagon and a lot of cloth that we can dampen with water." It's going to be a hassle to bring an injured hippo-sized fish back to Konoha alive, but Kenta seems determined to try.
Daichi being injured was not going to let that stop him from quickly moving to get Mimi. It shouldn't take him long and luckily he was not too bad off with his injuries. Upon reaching Mimi he would tell her exactly what Kenta had asked for before moving with Mimi to make sure it was gotten safely. Then he would bring it back with hopefully some help from both Mimi and others if they were not afraid of the fish they beat. Once back he would do his best to help move this gigantic fish into the cart.
Kyuketsuki walks out onto the water and to the heavily injured fish. He had already indirectly sedated the fish from his Genjutsu so he calmly begins to try to stabilize the fish. He knows he can't possibly move the beast… So healing would be the next best thing. Making sure it doesn't bleed out while the Shinobi figure out a transport method.
Shinobu would help Kyu with healing the fish's injuries, feeling bad for it almost-dying because of her. Not /too/ bad, though.. The fish /was/ trying to kill her, after all. Also, now she has fish all over her :( Ew! It smells yucky! D: Kame is actually trying to get all the fish scent out of her fur upstream, the pup rolling around in the water and shaking her fur off before giving a small sniff. By the time she's done getting the fish-smell out of her fur, it's probably time to move the fish into the wagon, though…
It ends up taking the help from several burly villagers, Mimi included, in order to get the fish onto the wagon. Even though Shinobu and Kyu stabilized the creature, getting it safely to Konoha is still an iffy proposition. They're able to drape a lot of soaked cloth over the fish to keep it wet enough for its gills to work. Unfortunately, wet and immersed in water's completely different. All the medics will probably have to take turns using medical jutsu to pumping oxygen through their captive's blood stream. The fish smell isn't going to get out of their clothing (or fur) for days, no matter how much washing is done. It's a chore, but that's the life of a shinobi. The group's off as soon as Kenta patches Daichi up and they've accepted the thank you journey food provided by the grateful villagers.