Date: January 8, 2013
Between Goh's mental map and Rise's futile attempts to guide the pair, they both wind up wandering into one of the entrances of Shiren Cavern. It is there that they discovered some unexpected help.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Lost & Found"
East Shiren Caverns [Land of Wind]
The eastern area of Shiren Caverns is hot and, surprisingly, humid. Geysers and hot springs dot the tunnels, which are larger and fewer in number than the northern ones. The surfaces are slick with moisture, trickling its way gradually down into the southern regions. Some forms of vegetation — moss, lichen, algae, etc. — grow about the small pools, as well as fungi.
Middle of the afternoon in the Land of Wind, and most people are about their normal business. One guy who's presence seems to be rare even in his own village is the enigma known as Tadashi. He currently stands in the east area of the Shiren Caverns, writing things in a clipboard as a Shadow Clone of him appears and dives into a spring or geyser once in a while. His face is mask-covered as usual, no real emotion in his eyes as he notes what his clones find. Why a Mednin would he doing such documentation is questionable, but he is doing so, and quite efficiently.
A stranger to the Land of Winds has entered through the borders only a couple of days ago. With his large duffle pack slung across his shoulder, the blonde haired pickler has made his way across the desert without much problem. The journey to Sunagakure is one he has made many times, though it was always different. The ever changing dunes made it difficult to gauge any real landmarks, which is how so many, Goh included, got lost.
Which is why he's here today. Making his way into the cavern, a place he has never been in before, the echoes of his boots stop as he comes to a hault, not far from the Tadashi. With an idle glance around, he scratches his head — dropping his bag in the process. "Man. I am so lost." Squinting so his eyes adjust, he sucks in a breath before slowly approaching the only sign of life he can see. A man! "Ahoy there." He greets in a friendly enough tone. "I don't suppose you can give me some directions? The dunes have thrown me a little off course, I think."
Sensing the approach of a shinobi before he even hears the footsteps, Tadashi casts a glance over to Goh while he is yet walking and makes a few more notes. Once the blonde man comes to a stop, the masked Mednin looks over his way and gives a nod. "Depends where you're headed," an inflectionless voice rings out. "If you want to go to the village, just head west from here then north. Continue north and you'll find the gates to the village soon enough."
"Soon enough, huh?" Goh turns to look back out at the desert beyond the entrance to the cavern. His nose wrinkles a little. "Well, maybe I'll take a break here to begin with. I'm waiting for someone anyway." And with this, he moves to sit down and lean against the edge of the cavern, exhaling as he does so. "Phwoar. It's a stinker out there today. Mind you, I guess it is a desert. Heh. Are you from the Village then? A Sunagakure resident?"
"Gooooh-senseeeiii!!" Rise called out into the cavern as she trudged through the entry way. Out of impatiences she pulled up her goggles and squinted her eyes, scanning the cavern until a que from the salamander on her shoulder directed her to the pickler. She groaned and murmured a curse before begrudgingly treading closer. "Goh-sensei! Did'n I tell ya the way would'n be here?" She probably had not, but it certianly made her feel better saying it nevertheless. "… Huh? 'nd who is.." She trailed off bewildered at the sight of the Tadashi, but more importantly by his scent. "W-who is this guy?"
Tadashi looks back to his clipboard as another Shadow Clone appears then jumps into one of the springs. "Maybe that person has a better sense of direction than you," he comments as he makes a few more notes. "I'm a Medical shinobi of Sunagakure. I tend to be gone a lot on missions and such, though… Well, medical missions, not shinobi." When a girl appears, he gives her a glance, yet goes back to his writing until she regards him. "The name's Tadashi."
Goh's eyebrow raises as Rise's voice carries easily through the cavern. "Ah, there she is." He comments, before shrugging. "Maybe." He admits in a sly way. "But I've been to Sunagakure more often than you have." He clears his throat. That obviously meant little in the grand scheme of things.
"I don't know, to be honest. But he just gave us directions to the Village, so we should be grateful." He turns his head to face the helpful masked figure. "Tadashi, huh? Well — thanks for your help. I'm Goh, and this is Rise. As you have probably guessed, we're on our way to Sunagakure at the moment. And it's true, my sense of direction isn't too flash. Well, at least when the ever-changing sands keep… changing." He scratches his head.
"Shadow clones?" He queries, peering at one diving into the pool. "That's a smart way to do it. Saves you from getting wet, too." <re>
Rise bewildered stare briefly becomes a glare at Tadashi for so easily 'dismissing' her before Goh's reply catch up to her. "Maybe. But that don't mean squat if we just end up as another skeleton in the desert", She remarked soon after, then rolled her eyes and folded her arms beneath her breasts. After several moments of defiant silence Rise lets out an exasperated sigh and turns back to peer at the odd duo. "Yeah yeah, thank ya Tadashi-sensei… *double blinks*.. Oi, what's this bout clones?" She glanced at the pool. "'n dive'n? That some s'pose to be some kinda short cut to Suna or somethin?"
"I figured. Most who come out this way are," Tadashi says with a nod as he makes a few more notes in his clipboard. Looking back to Goh and his student as they speak, he gives a nod, saying, "Yes, and it also keeps my notes from getting smeared." He looks over more directly to Rise as she asks her question, shaking his head. "No, no. Just a bit of research about where it might lead. Nothing too mind-boggling as far as finds so far, but it's an interesting endeavor nonetheless. There were a few locations like this in Kirigakure at the place the Jounin Survival Exam was held as well.
Goh listens to Tadashi intently. "Kirigakure makes a bit more sense. I mean, you just think water. It's weird to see these sort of things around a desert, though! Or so I would have thought." In all likelihood, it's not that weird at all. >_>;
"We actually just came from Kirigakure. Well, sorta. This little squirt was part of the exams." He casts a look over to Rise. He still needed to teach her his ultimate anti-genjutsu skills.
"Been tough travellin'. Need to start stocking up on pickled vegetable spices, actually. I wonder if there are any special underwater plants taht could help with that?" He almost leers at the water, rubbing his chin.
"Anyway." He continues, bringing his attention to the masked character. "I don't think I've heard of many non-diplomat shinobi out on missions for long periods of time continually. I guess the added challenge of Sunagakure ninja is to learn and understand everything that is in the Land of Wind. Since it covers so much area though, it requires scouts and stuff." The pickler says, clearly thinking aloud.
He then moves to stand up from his seated position. "You said Northwest from the entrance of the cavern, right Tadashi?"
Rise nodded in understand but just a look in her eyes would reveal that her attention had long since left the masked shinobi. "..!… O-oi..", She emitted, attempting and unfortunately failing to correct Goh about calling her a squirt since the pickler was on too much of a roll. In failing, Rise simply shook her head before wandering over to rest her back against a nearby wall while he spoke his piece. At first she tuned out her sensei once the topic seemed like it would turn into a rant about his beloved pickled veggies, but with a start her focus quickly shifted to Tadashi. Her fingers twitched as curiosity threatened to drive her towards acting on impulse… and yet thankfully, the urge is forced back by clenching her fist and taking a breath. "Now that we got directions should'n we get goin Goh-sensei? Or are you -really- that hopefully he'll find something for ya veggies down there?" She asks then glances at the pond and raises a brow. "Cuz I can't see ya find'n much except more water and a chance to drown or the tunnel, its a tunnel right? Well, whatever -it- is cave'n in on ya n'eway, if'n ya ask'n me n'ewayz."
Tadashi lifts an eyebrow slightly beneath his mask and looks between Rise and Goh for a moment, pondering. "She doesn't seem that young to me. Once one is old and mature enough to join the Exams and actually perform decently, it at least shows that childish tendencies are waning." Fairly diplomatic wording, but perhaps a small bit of kindness in that he's saying Rise may not be a squirt. "And my assignments tend to be unique. I chose them." He then looks back to the water as another Shadow Clone appears and dives down. "The springs here are quite hot, so not much room for any ingredients to grow. The ones around the edge are probably about as good as you can hope for."
"Hey hey, don't undermine me right in front of her." The pickler replies with a laugh. "Eh, doesn't matter. Fair call on the tip, too. I'll have to scope out the edges another time though. I'm starving."
"Yeah, we'll head on out." Goh replies to Rise. Moving to sling his duffle bag back across his shoulder, he stretches out a bit. "Don't let me get lost this time." He smirks to his pupil, before lifting his spare hand to wave at Tadashi. "Your help has been very much appreciated, Tadashi! I'll be sure to tell Sousa that you've helped a friend out." He smiles, before turning on his heel to head out to the cavern.
"We might come back, for all you know!" Goh says over to the female. "Pickling is pretty high on the priority list of stuff we do when travelling." He throws his head back to laugh in triumphant victory, before marching out and into the harsh sands.
"Hnn, what ever ya say Medic-san", She murmured underbreath. A simple nod is given to Goh in return before she pushed off the wall and moved to follow. She sighed. "It'd help if ya listen next time too!" She countered, growling half-heartily as well. "Tch, 'nd unless there's some kinda secret behind pickle'n that'd help with train'n I don see why its so high on the list, Goh-baka~", She added, singing-songing mockingly near the end before taking off ahead of the pickler to keep him from getting a decent chance to 'fight back'.
Belatedly as they trudged once again through the Land of Wind's unforgiving deserts, a thought occurs that leaves Rise bowing her head and gritting her teeth. "That.. that gummy was say'n I'm still just a kid."