Date: September 16, 2012
Aburei and Raili venture into the lair of the berserk beast to find out what's keeping him enraged. Also, Raili finds a new little friend.
"The Golden Stripe - House Call"
Yuurin Forest [Land of Trees]
So, the plan to infiltrate the Shinrin Nature Cult has been an astonishing success. They took Aburei and Raili in almost without question, brought them straight to their base, and even wound up showing them where Mujina Hisenkou, the berserk badger lord, is being held. Their mission is half complete already. :o Of course, coming up next is the hard part: finding out what's causing Hisenkou's enraged state, and hopefully developing an antidote. To do that, they have to investigate the underground prison of tree roots where he's being held. -.-;
And of course, before that even, they have to figure out a way of doing it without turning the Shinrin against them. Dealing with a rampaging giant badger in cramped quarters is going to be hard enough without those yahoos shooting poison darts at them or whatever. Getting some time alone with Raili to discuss ideas would be practically impossible; most of the tribe is still gawking at her. e.e; Aburei looks at Raili himself plaintively, hoping she's thinking about what he's thinking about and having some ideas. :/
Of course Raili had a plan. She always did or, so she claimed. Her brilliance is what got her to become a Jounin in the first place, er, one would hope. Right now she was busy giggling around a few of the guys. "Only a six hour shift, seems like a lot." Some more chattering happens apparently one of the guys bragging about him being one of the Badger Lord's guardians. "Oh really? You're one of the ones that guards the area? It must be scary, I mean I'm sure our lord means us no harm but it's so intimidating." Raili shudders at the thought of the badger, tossing out feign vulnerability. "Anyways, boys it's been fun but, I can't leave my buddy all alone and he's a little shy so gonna need you to avoid crowding him for a bit…"
She moves away, winking, "Please, for me? I'll make it up to you later!" After that she turns away, making sure no one can see her face before rolling her eyes. Raili liked attention but, this had easily gone overboard and she was bored of them already but, she got some intel on a little of this and that. Which, wasn't the objective until the end where she started getting tired of them to be honest.
The cultists turn and look at Aburei as if he's taken on some actual significance in their eyes for the first time…and not good significance. B| "Your buddy, huh?" "Just how close are you?" Uh-oh. c.c; Aburei gulps, then grins and scratches his head. "Thanks for thinking of me…Raili-neesan." See, he's like a kid brother to her, gotta treat him nice! n.n; The cultists grudgingly redirect their ire from Aburei and distribute it amongst each other, perceiving him as probably not a threat and an off-limits target for anyone wanting to be on Raili's good side. Phew. -.-;
Aburei clears his throat. "Actually, um, Raili-neesan and I need to spend some time, y'know, communing with the God of the Forest. We have to, um, get in tune with him, and all that." The shaman nods sagely. "Ah yes, I foresaw that this must happen. Come, brothers, we will prepare the tribal ritual while they are bonding with the God of the Forest." A lot of the cultists seem reluctant to leave Raili alone, but they perk up when somebody mentions the costumes for the ritual. The cultists head off en masse around the tree, promising to return in an hour or so.
Aburei sits down on the nearest tree root and pretends to meditate, piping pensively on his recorder. When he's reasonably sure none of the Shinrin are around anymore, he glances to Raili. "Looks like this may be our best chance. We need to find out what's in there that's keeping Hisenkou-san berserk. Any ideas how we can do that without getting smashed?" c.c
Raili looks back to the cultists, "How close? I mean, isn't it obvious?" … No it wasn't obvious to Raili either if that's all that came to mind in the cultists' heads. Though Aburei makes a good save. "Isn't it obvious, we pretty much look alike." No. "So anyway, little bud." An arm flops around Aburei's shoulder and she drags him in reeeal tight. "Let's chat while they do their thing." She eventually lets him go once Aburei is no longer playing and places her hand on the ground.
A quick look is given to her bracelet, checking for any unusual motion that she may not pick up on chakra alone. "Seems like we're good… so!" She stands up straight and crosses her arms, "The first idea I had, is totally lame but, I could easily put it in a Genjutsu, since it's not your average badger it should take much easier than trying to trick some dumb animal. Another option would be that you could simply annoy it or at least get its attention, I drop underground while you distract him and then I just pop in his cage and take a look around. I also have a few settings I can scan from the outside with my goggles but, also lame."
Raili looks towards Aburei with a frown, "Most definitely something wrong with me that I look forward to the one with the most potential of getting my face smashed in. Been a ninja for way too long." Raili smirks and offers Aburei a hand up.
Aburei laughs quietly while accepting Raili's hand. "You're something else, Raili-san…but as much as it scares me to say it, I think I'm the one who'll have to risk getting my face smashed in. You wouldn't have as good of an idea of what to look for, or how to gather samples without spoiling it. So…I guess that first plan sounds best. You keep him occupied with genjutsu, and I'll slip in to grab samples." Another roar shakes the air nearby, and Aburei shudders. "…Just be really careful to keep him busy, okay?" c.c; Aburei opens his medical kit and pulls out gloves and a breathing mask — wouldn't be good to be affected by whatever's down there, after all. After putting them on and selecting a few tools for gathering samples, he looks to Raili. "Ready when you are."
Raili pouts, "Oh come on. I can handle samples and stuff, you just kinda… do it, carefully?" Raili huffs and crosses her arms, "Fine, whatever science man. Don't yell at me if I slip up on the Genjutsu though." She then places a hand on his shoulder, and with her free hand forms a seal, "Skiddly dee~" With the magic words in play they get sucked into the ground from their current position and instantly pop up in the cage.
Raili delivers a goofy grin and a thumbs up before disappearing underground once more. Popping up outside forming handseals as a light ticking comes from the girl to hypnotize the badger while the earth around the beast shifts a bit, ready to lock it up. "Meh ninja techniques make things too easy. If I wasn't so broke I'd have some extra stuff to build with." She grumbles, her Genjutsu was not all that intense or anything to freak the badger up.
He'd just register everything in veeeeery slow motion, in fact he may not even have the slightest idea that Aburei is in there.
"So I'm thinking once we figure this out we—"
"Chiiii~~~~" Raili is suddenly interrupted from a high-pitched yawn coming out of her head. "The heck?" she peers up and gruffly reaches up bringing the culprit eye to eye, causing a squeak of fear as she peers into little… mouse eyes. "Oh must've been the ground when we were popping in and out."
Raili crouches down and places the mouse on the floor with a smile, "There you go buddy. Now, I should probably get back to maintaining that Genjutsu." Which she may of semi forgotten about for a moment! Slow motion once again for you badger lord!
Hisenkou stops clawing the thick outer roots and snuffles. As much as he wants to get OUT of there, territorial instincts activate when his keen senses detect other life nearby. >E Aburei holds his breath as Hisenkou peers in the dimness. o.o; Then Aburei realizes he's peering in just one spot continuously. Phew…Raili-san must have him hypnotized. -.-; Aburei does some peering around of his own. Hmmm, lichens, mosses — aha! Those toadstools look suspicious. Aburei examines the caps clinging to the withered roots. He recognizes the species, and they are indeed known for giving off spores that can be mind-altering in sufficient quantities…they look a little different than usual, though. They're…a little mottled, kind of like the bark of the tree that they're growing on. Well, no time to fully investigate the connection now. Aburei carefully cuts some of the growths off and seals them in a little bag. He gets a bit of the root too for good measure. Now, any other likely culprits he should take while he's down —
A sudden snarl causes Aburei to whirl about. Hisenkou is standing over him with a crushing paw raised! O.O; Aburei stumbles back as it comes down — but then Hisenkou stops again, his bloodshot eyes still glaring wildly. Raili's genjutsu has reasserted itself. @.@; But something's not entirely right. The badger lord blinks, coughs, and shakes his head, a cloud of purple dust swirling with the motion. Aburei glances to his side and realizes he fell back into the patch of toadstools, releasing a heavy dose of their spores! C.C; With a stentorian roar, Hisenkou goes into a full-on bloodwrath, with an accompanying violent surge of chakra that breaks Raili's genjutsu hold. Aburei throws himself through a gap in the roots, a space too small for Hisenkou to get into, but only until he rips apart the not-so-thick roots that've been suffering from the toadstool infestation. "RAILI-SAN!!! HELP!!!" X.X
Raili appeared to make no sort of response to the sudden paw in the air, not noticing that the beast was going to attack Aburei moments before she reactivated her Genjutsu. "Huh, coulda sworn he was looking over there before… maybe I wasn't paying attention longer than I thought." Said attention is taken again when the mouse headbutts her leg to get her attention.
"Hmm? What's going on little guy you seem kind of, "Woahp!" The coughing was something she could ignore a bit but the roar? Not so much. She quickly looks up, bringing her hands together as the earth shield comes up between Aburei and the badger. Granted it wouldn't do much to stop the beast it is enough of a distraction to pop in and grab Aburei before popping out.
The two appear a good distance away, the earth in the cage already resettled in an attempt to make things look like they were completely normal. "Well, that was close. Did you get anything good? Cause all I got is a rodent." Raili peers down to spot the mouse latched to her leg, trembling until Raili picks it up.
"What is with this little guy, we must be the first normal things he came across won't go away. Oh, a pet? Look it has these cute little gloves on! Whajadooinwitdoescutewiddlegwuves?" The poor thing looks too scared and confused to accept Raili's baby talk as comforting it just stares back wide eyed.
Aburei isn't faring much different from the mouse after his narrow extraction. x.x; He tries to get settled on his own legs without leaning on Raili too much, but it's difficult. "Phew…I didn't think this was Kami-sama's day to take me home, but for a moment there I didn't see how it could turn out otherwise. Thanks, Raili-san." Aburei pulls his sample bag from his gi. The toadstool pieces inside got a little squashed, but they should still be sufficient for developing an antidote. He stows them away again. "I think we're good, Raili-san. I just need some time to do a little brewing and then we can — "
"Ah, there you are!"
The cultists come hiking back around the tree to where they are. "You haven't had long to commune with the God of the Forest, I know, but I thought we should get the ceremony started," the shaman calls out as they approach. "Besides, you wanted to meet Hoyuusha, right? He just got back, and he's very interested in our new brethren!"
A man clad in black ninja garb and carrying a large scroll slung over his back steps out of the crowd. He looks totally out-of-place amongst the cultists in their skins and masks, but none of them seem keen to bring that fact up. He looks Raili and Aburei over with a calculating eye before speaking to Raili. "Welcome to the Shinrin, brethren. I would have solemn words with you…alone."