Date: March 10, 2016
Hige drags Shugo off on a mission to get the lazy Nara out of the house and off his butt, sadly, there's far more waiting for the Inuzuka trio and their Nara sidekick than any of them imagined.
"Harvest Moon: Return of the Rabbit"
The Land of Fire
It was time for a mission! Unfortunately Tsuna was assigned elsewhere for the day so he couldn't be involved in this little shindig, but that suited Hige just fine. He took this mission specifically for Shugo in order to help him with that, um, laziness problem. They arrive at a large farm a few hours walk from the village. Half of the land appears to have been worked for planting but them it stops suddenly at some point. Hige glances around a bit before approaching the farm house and knocking. While they wait Hige just smiles innocently at Shugo. "How do you like farming?" Konsho is of course following right along and Kizoku is walking carefully so as to avoid any mud.
Shugo knew something was up when Hige was leading him from the village and off on this wonderful trip through the woods for no reason at all. It was peaceful, quiet, and all too suspicious if you asked Shugo. Especially when they reached the village and Shugo saw the land had been worked already. For a moment, Shugo had thought Hige was just taking him on a trip to get out of the house, but then the teen saw the true evil of the Jounin… the farm work wasn't done. As Hige came to a stop and knocked, Shugo considered trying to run away but an unworked farmland had little in the way of shade for the Nara to hide away in and Hige's question came too quickly. "I like it about as much as anyone else loves things like that. Torture, emasculation, evisceration, decapitations with a soup spoon… Good times…" The Nara answered in the most flat tone he'd ever managed to spout out.
"Glad to hear it," Hige replies with far too much cheer. The door opens and a middle aged woman is standing there.
"Oh, it's the shinobi! Wonderful, thank you so much for coming. When my husband threw out his back we thought for sure we'd never get the seeds planted in time." Of course Hige just nods and smiles. "The plow is where he left it, in the middle of the fields. I'll bring out the seeds if you'll just get started." With another nod Hige turned to lead Shugo towards the plow. A small, weighted thing with 5 spokes behind it to dig divets into the dirt to just the right depth. It had two handles at the front to be lifted and dragged by someone.
"Alright Shugo, get plowing."
Shugo's eyes narrowed at Hige's words of cheer and he was about to start saying something when that door began opening. Saved by the little old woman.. Shugo put on an award winning smile as the little woman appeared and gave a bow of his head in greeting before Hige lead him off toward that torture device in the middle of the fields… Evil incarnate. Looking it over for a long moment and at times even touching the handle with his fingertips to make sure it wouldn't explode, Shugo determined that it was safe and then, made an offer to Hige that only a fool would refuse. "I'll give you a rawhide bone if you do it." Shugo offered, a hand already reaching into his pouch so he could find where he kept that little treat sealed and hidden away. It was even flavored so there was no way Hige would resist, right?
"Mmm, no, I don't think so." Hige smiles oh so sweet and innocent up to Shugo. "This is a job only you can handle. I'm afraid I'm just too short to be of any use." His arms fold over his chest as he watches Shugo, waiting to shoot his offers down a few more times before he starts whipping him along. "Besides, this will be good training for you. Build up your stamina and a bit of strength in those tiny arms."
"Evil pup…" Shugo muttered as he moved around the plow a few times before stepping between the handles and bracing his feet to the ground. Leaning forward, the Nara started to push and… well, it moved a little. Shugo was a lazy runt but he wasn't one to leave people who needed help alone so he was actually trying, it just happens that you can't go straight to pulling a plow when the heaviest thing you've ever lifted before happens to be a stack of books. "Shouldn't I start… small or something..?" Shugo asked as he kept pushing and soon enough was inching along, it was progress, pathetic, but progress.
"This is small. Most farms have a ten pronged plow." Hige smirks at Shugo as he watches the plow start to move, nodding a little. "Hey not bad. At this rate we'll be done within a month. Push Shugo, push!" The woman comes out with a bag of seeds which Hige gladly accepts before moving to start dropping them into the divets right behind Shugo.
"This is huge!" Shugo complained even as he did his best to put his back into it without ended up like the woman's husband. Pushing the plow forward, the Nara growled low curses about his evil plans of an Inuzuka's dinner when he was through with this mission. He'd make sure to make something the Inuzuka hated… What did dogs hate? And why was the powerhouse doing the easy job?! "Why don't we trade places? I bet I'm better at planting than you are and you can show that all brawn really does win out the day."
"I think you're doing a fine job. And this will really help you to get more in shape. You can't always just depend on your jutsu after all." Hige continues planting the seeds behind Shugo without seeming stressed out at all. In fact he gives a nice big yawn. "Ahh, you know you might want to hurry it up a bit. We'll never make it home in time for dinner at this rate."
"I wasn't planning on cooking…anyway.." Shugo growled out as he continued pushing the plow and sighing when he finally reached the end, releasing the handle and rubbing his hands together slowly. "And I was planning on training myself after I was at least decent with my jutsu. I'm still horrible at that as you might recall." Shugo reminded Hige as he looked at his palms and muttered about the blisters he was going to have before this was over and done with. Still, a break would only prolong this and Shugo had more trails to work in the field so he went back to looking at the fields for a moment, then the plow. "Do I… just turn it, or do we just get another one from somewhere to do the rest..?"
Hige looks around briefly once they reach the end and he grins at Shugo. "Hey, that wasn't too bad actually. And as much fun as it would be to watch you search for another one, we just use the same one and start down a new path. So get to turning." Hige works to finish planting the seeds in the divet's, leaving Shugo to torment himself over the contraption.
"Yes, it was a breeze…" Shugo muttered as he gripped the plow more tightly and slowly began pulling the plow to guide it around so it turned and let the Nara start inching along further until he could start pulling a new set of rows parallel to the rows dragged before it. "I am going to find some way to make you pay for this… This is cruel and unusual punishment that was not deserved." Shugo complained which, if anything, seemed to help speed up his progress.
"Wrong, this is a mission paid for by these farmers and one that has to be completed. There is no punishment involved, only a days' worth of hard work." Hige sounds serious but his sly smile speaks to more than that. "I'm just making sure that the job is done well. Supervising. You're lucky I'm not making you plant the seeds too. You should be thanking me really."
"Ohh, I'm not saying the mission's cruel and unusual… just you." Shugo explained as he pulled a bit harder on the plow and tried picking up the pace even though it didn't seem to be paying off for the teen at all. If anything, his efforts were beginning to show little by little as the pace did start picking up and while Shugo was panting a bit more heavily, the work was beginning to be completed at an almost normal pace. All in all, it was a big improvement for the lazy bum of a ninja.
"This is actually me being pretty nice," Hige says dryly before poking Shugo in the side with a claw to make sure he continues moving. "If you want cruel and unusual you'll need to wait just a few more months for that." He returns to dropping the seeds in the ground behind the plow. After a time the woman comes out with two big glasses of ice cold tea and offers one to each. Hige takes his with a word of thanks.
Shugo raised a brow at Hige's comment about being cruel and unusual in a few months but before he could put some thought into it, that kind, kind little woman arrived with his salvation and the Nara smiled gratefully while thanking her and gently taking the glass to begin sipping from it and quenching a thirst he didn't know had been worked up. The teen leaned onto the plow lightly while looking at Hige curiously for a moment.. What was coming in a few months…? Some new kind of torture device for all the good little boys and girls named Shugo?
The woman turned back to go towards the house and got all the way to the door before she let out a loud scream. Behind the house in another field was Shugo's favorite little animals. Rabbits. Three foot tall rabbits with red eyes and a mean appetite. They were just happily eating the small sprouts in the other field but at the scream they all turn to look at the sound, then start hopping towards the woman.
Hige turns at the scream and mutters a curse under his breath as he sees what's there. Then he's gone, his glass seeming to hover in the air for a moment before falling to the loose dirt. He intercepts the first rabbit, drilling a hole right through its center. One down, about fifteen to go…
The Nara was enjoying his drink, sipping it slowly and enjoying the method of dragging out as much of the drink as he could before that scream caused the teen to start slightly. Glancing around quickly, Shugo looked toward the woman and then toward those creates known as the bane of his existence… Then Hige was gone and Shugo was left fumbling through seals quickly to summon up shadowy tendrils to catch the glass before it fell to the ground while more tendrils lashed out toward those rabbits. Shugo had grown a fair bit since the last time he came across these embodiments of evil and now was as good a time as any to see if his growth was worth its salt or not.
Rather than aiming for vital points, Shugo sent his tendrils toward the legs and abdomen of the massive rabbits to ensnare them as well as he could to try preventing them from getting at the woman. To be sure, Shugo directed several of his tendrils toward the woman as well to wind around and draw her back from in harm's way if he could manage it. It should make things easier for Hige to go wild if she wasn't in the way as well.
Rabbits rabbits everywhere! They overgrown rodents are rather surprised by the sudden attacks. The one with the hole in the middle just kind of topples over while a number of them find themselves fighting shadows themselves! They bite and claw at the shadows to try and keep them away. The shadows manage to draw the frightened woman away too, but the bunnies give chase.
Konsho has joined the fight, and even Kizoku is involved! Together the three manage to destroy a number of the rabbits although Kizoku doesn't seem quite in sync with the others. Still, he manages to knock a rabbit against the wall of the house and make it kind of dizzy. Hige is making his normal bloody mess and Konsho is keeping clean, but still causing quite a bit of damage with his spinning attacks and lightning claws!
Shugo set the woman down on the upraised mound of shadow he tended to sit on recently while flicking through his seals more quickly and beginning to gather up his shadows into one massive, long fanged wolf. Guiding the shadowy wolf to its feet, the Nara formed one more seal that caused the shadowy tendrils to spear forward from the wolf and toward the rabbits. Shugo was using it as not only a form of pinning the rabbits in place, but also as a method of intimidation to try keeping the woman safe from the rabbits by giving them a large threatening creature.
The bunnies appeared to be surprised and even a little afraid of the shadowy wolf as it appeared, but that didn't stop their hunger and want for fresh meat. A number of them jump the shadowy wolf, trying to kill it with their viciously long teeth and claws. A few more jump away from the tendrils and make for Shugo, trying to give him a bite or three.
The Inuzuka Trio continue what they're doing, Hige viciously eviscerating the rabbits, Konsho not so viciously slaying them, and Kizoku kind of moving around, knocking some rabbits away and just trying to keep from being eaten.
The wolf was nothing but woven shadowy tendrils so it wouldn't back down from the attacks and would only work to wind around the rabbits that tried attacking it. The ones that went for Shugo however, were the ones that broke the Nara's concentration slightly and caused him to wind several of the shadowy tendrils around his body before hardening them into a segmented hide over his body to fend off their bites. One or two of the bites managed to get through and sink into his skin but it was nowhere near as damning as it was before. It caused the Nara to smirk a bit as he brought his shadows closer around himself until they fully wrapped around his form and he could easily launch tendrils from his own form while keeping an eye on the rabbits to ensure they focused on him and not the woman.
The rabbits continue to claw and bite at the shadows, having perhaps some strange strength but apparently not strange smarts. They were all mostly focused on Shugo now, at least what was left of them. Really only a few of them now. Hige and Konsho have gone through and shredded a number of them as well while Kizoku is still fighting one. It's obvious the pup has some training to do.
Kizoku drills into the bunny that was taller than him and knocks it against the wall once again. A flaking of stone comes off and bonks the rabbit on the head…then the building starts to shake. Cracks quickly form along the top of the wall all the way across and more stone chips off. The building is going to fall with the woman's husband inside! Hige is moving immediately, breaking down the door to get to the man. Unfortunately that just takes away more area to bear the load and the roof starts to cave in…
Shugo's eyes widened and the teen began forming hand seals quickly, draining away his shadows that kept the rabbits teeth from sinking into his skin as he redirected his efforts toward the house in an attempt to send his tendrils rapidly stitching through the pieces of the roof and drawing the shadows taut so the crumbling pieces could be held together for even a moment longer. That didn't mean the Nara was going to make things easy for the rabbits however… Even if his shadows weren't going to be defending him any longer however, it didn't mean Shugo was going to just let some random rodent bite him this time around.. when the fangs met his skin, the Nara's chakra that had been feeding a tag was set off, the barrier created by that seal booming into a dome surrounding the teen and the middle aged woman as well. It wasn't a long lasting seal but it wasn't the only one Shugo had on him either, he could at least keep the beasts at bay with them while his focus remained on trying to keep the house from caving in.
The building shudders as the shadows pierce through the stone, but it keeps the stones from tumbling right away. At least for a few seconds longer. But different parts give way after a few moments and the building collapses. The bunnies who were happy to fight the shinobi at first run away at the loud noise from the building collapsing. What few were still left alive at least. Konsho ran straight for the building as it was collapsing but didn't go in, instead pacing worriedly and starting to search around for Hige and the man that was inside…
Shugo released his hand seal when the building collapsed and rushed toward the building along with Konsho to look over the mess of rubble before shouting out toward it in hopes of getting a return call from under the mess of stone and wood. "Hige!" Shugo called while his hands cupped around his mouth and his feet started moving the Nara around the collapsed house to see if he could hear even the slightest hint of where the Inuzuka was at. He wanted so badly to start digging but was scared of collapsing any safe pocket the Inuzuka might be hiding in.
Konsho runs around to the 'back' of the house rather suddenly, even Kizoku is following and not seeming too worried about dirtying his paws. Konsho stops at the back, probably where the kitchen would've been, and sticks his nose underneath some rubble. "Here!" he calls out to Shugo as he tries to dig a little under so that he can try and lift a slap of rubble up at least some. Underneath the slab is indeed Hige. The slabs full weight wasn't on him thanks to some other rubble nearby and as it was he was doing his best to keep it up with his back, even laid flat. His arms are on either side of the man beneath him, keeping him safe for the moment. It's definitely not easy on Hige and he probably won't last long.
Shugo ran around to where Konsho was at as needed to only take a glance down before the Nara was flashing through a set of hand seals and spearing his shadows through a wooden pillar that once was no doubt used to support the now fallen house. A few shifting hand seals and the shadows were tugging that pillar free so he could guide the pillar over and start wedging it beneath the lifted edge of the slab. It was all a matter of leverage after that but not for Shugo alone. The Nara pulled down on the end of the post to start lifting the slab and bring some light into that small space so that he could take possession of the shadows and from there, try taking over the supporting of that slab for Hige.
Konsho is trying to wedge himself into the space as soon as Shugo starts to lift it and barks something so that Kizoku darts in as well. Konsho starts pushing up on the slab itself to help with what Shugo was doing. A few seconds later wind started coming from /underneath/ the slab and then suddenly, between Konsho, Shugo, and the windy pup, the slab lifts, teeters, then falls the other way, leaving them clear. Hige gives them a grateful look, ending with Konsho who grabs the man's collar in his teeth and drags him out. Only then can Hige relax some. And only then does it become apparent that his leg is pinned under another stone slab and from the it bends at a slightly odd angle there's a good chance it's broken. "Shugo…a little help please."
The great Hige asking for help… this would have been wonderful fun if not for the fact that he actually needed it. A few hand seals and Shugo's shadow reared in to cloak his form before beginning to roll off in a smoky fog before the Nara sent out far larger shadowy tendrils to grasp onto the stone pinning Hige's leg as well as those around it and lift them at once. It took a fair bit of focus and far more shadows than the Nara usually managed, but the leg needed as much care in being freed as it would in the ensuing attention. Several more tendrils would reach in toward Hige soon enough to begin winding gingerly around the Inuzuka so that Shugo could try supporting the leg and moving Hige from harm's way so the feral Jounin didn't try limping or crawling free at the risk of that injured leg.
Hige does crawl some so that Shugo doesn't have to hold the slab up too long. A pair of horses ride up then and the woman flags them down, talking to them animatedly for a few moments. The two men dismount and come over to help the old man up, nodding to the shinobi. "The misses told us what you did. We're the neighbors down the way and we came to see what the sound was. You have our gratitude for saving their lives and we'll help them from here. It shouldn't take too much to get the locals to help rebuild and we'll see them through this season." With that they help the man to the horses and help him up, then helps the woman onto the other before they lead them away.
Hige uses Konsho to stand on one leg, the pain from his other one likely quite high but he's good at pushing such things out of his mind. And he's good at hiding it. "Well then, I guess we're done here." Konsho lowers himself and Hige pulls himself onto the large wolf's back. "Let's get back so we can report this and have someone come exterminate what's left." And with that he has Konsho turn and they start back to Konoha.