Date: January 8, 2015
Nobunaga and Zankuro represent Konoha in the fifth annual NINJA COOK OFF. They try to survive the first portion of the competition..THE HUNT
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Ninja Cook Off - The Hunt"
Land of Bears
A particularly odd request came in recently from the Land of Bears. Most thought it to ridiculous to pay it any attention but the odd and peculiar always catch Nobunaga's eye. The young man couldn't wait to get on board with the mission alas with Isura and Yasuki both unavailable only two members of Team 8 would partake. Nobunaga promised to fill Zankuro in on the specifics only if Zankuro agreed to go along first. Knowing Zankuro Nobunaga had to take the measures necessary to ensure that he'd not find some excuse to deny this….odd request. It was a day and a half trip but upon arriving in the Land of Bears Nobunaga pulls Zankuro to the side to adhere to his end of the bargain.
"Sure is sunny today. Perfect weather for…" Nobunaga starts but then cuts himself off. He kneels down to come to eye level with Zankuro. They're currently on a hill that over looks a vast grassy field. Far to the north a forest appears. East of them is a moderately sized village. To the west a large river that seemingly flows endlessly past the horizon. "Ok so what I'm about to tell you may seem ridiculous…but I need you to swear to me that you'll take it seriously. DON'T laugh! Not even a snicker…got it?"
Zankuro wanted to trust Nobunaga. He really, really, REALLY wanted to… but the fact remained that the Amaro's track record was on the sketchy side. In the end, Zankuro turned to the age old excuse of 'Well, he is my superior, so…' before agreeing to come along on the mysterious trip. If he were to be more honest with himself, the Sarutobi could use the vacation away from home. And well, since all was going well for awhile, Zankuro dismissed any misconceptions he had abou this teacher for the sake of truly enjoying the trip.
Then, Nobunaga ruined the happy go feeling he had going. "Uhh… I can only swear to try sensei if you want me to be honest, so I swear to do just that! So… why are out here?" He asks, as he starts looking about the area.
Nobunaga deadpans at Zankuro but has to accept his response. "I suppose asking you not to laugh would be too much." he mutters with a sheepish smile. "All right Zankuro-kun Team 8 is representing Konohagakure in a competition!" Nobunaga starts. His eyes grow intense as he continues to elaborate. "In that village towards the east we will be defending our village's name against the four other major shinobi villages." Nobunaga begins to gesture energetically. "Even though we are short handed two bodies we will not fail to bring honor and glory to the Leaf. I want you to know that I have faith in you and your ability. We don't have much time left. Onward…to battle to victory!" And with that he leads the way to the village towards the east.
Nobunaga's antics might've seemed a little theatrical and upon arriving in the village Zankuro might get the notion that his sensei is a theatrical melodramatic maniac. All over the village advertisement and festivities promoting, what apparently is commonly known to all residents, is the 5th annual NINJA COOK OFF! Now Nobunaga neglected to mention that the competition would be one of the culinary nature. The Amaro kept his mouth shut, eyes averted, and just continued moving trying to avoid any ridicule Zankuro had prepared for him. The two were headed to the 'Cooking Grounds' to represent Konoha (who by the way refused to show up to the previous Cook Offs).
By the time Nobunaga finishes speaking, Zankuro is left with more questions then answer. Where was the part he was supposed to laugh? "Guess I'll find out when we get there," He murmured uneasily to himself as he followed along after Nobunaga with his hands buried in his pockets.
"…." Zankuro double blinked, then rubbed his eyes for good measure. Yep, they were definetly at the infamous Ninja Coof Off. Which could only mean one thing. The Sarutobi turns to his sensei with a befuddled look about him, but seeing the stoic expression kept him from saying anything… at first. So, he just meandered along and silently prayed that they were the to guard the actual team cooking, and not do the cooking themselves. Zankuro was no slouch in the kitchen, but entering a competition filled with the best was beyond him. Why wasn't there an Akimichi with them!? Those guys truly knew a thing about cooking!
Nobunaga grows more anxious with Zankuro's silence but also more excited as the come to the cooking grounds. The cooking grounds is a large sectioned off part of the village. No residencies, roads, or anything of the sort. There is quite the collection of kitchen ware and cooking equipment spread throughout the grounds. In the center is large and long table. Five officials are seated at the table. Two women and two men and one youth, who is as androgynous as the come, take up the seats at the table. Sure enough the other hidden villages sent have shinobi representing them.
The Cloud, The Rock, The Mist, and The Sand all there…all teams of four. All their eyes shoot to Nobunaga and Zankuro. Nobunaga smiles pitifully and waves. "Tsk." is all he gets back. "So Konohagakure finally participates and they only send two?" an Iwa shinobi states. "The shorter one looks like an Akimichi. I dunno maybe two is all they need. I've heard stories about the Akimichi." a Sand shinobi adds. Nobunaga holds in a laugh as he looks to Zankuro. "Akimichi? Put on a little weight have ya Zank-kun?" The Amaro's struggle wouldn't last long. The youth, who sits in the center, speaks up. "FINALLY. Now we can have a proper cook off." the youth's voice was soft and cheerful alas it didn't give any substantial hint to the gender. "Welcome to the fifth annual NINJA COOK OFF. And I'd like to welcome the Leaf. We've been waiting quite a while but better late than never…five years isn't all that long right? ANYWHO since this is your first time I'll explain the rules."
Zankuro wasn't sure if should've felt insulted by the comment or not, but he shrugged it off anyways with a literal shrug. "Maybe… It ain't like I got out much during this winter." More like he avoided going out as much as possible, considering the fact that he would have to go without flaunting his infamous tropical shirts. He still didn't quite get why noone made festive cloaks to brighten up people spirits.
One look at the youth, and well, all concerns about the past are forgotten by Zankuro by the most part. Girl or Boy? The mystery troubled him so much that he kept rubbing his chin and starring at the youth even during the louder portions of the announcement. "Huh?.. eh.. yeah, do that." He says.
GAME: Save complete.
Nobunaga occasionally peeps the troubled look on Zankuro's mug. He figures Zankuro is looking to the youth in the center. The Amaro can only imagine what must be going through the Sarutobi's head. "First let's introduce our judges. The two bombshells to my left are Mira and Umiko." Mira and Umiko are both young and rather beautiful but they seem to be in competition with one another…as they exchange hostile glances and try to poor on the sex appeal. "I'm so excited this year, hehe" Mira exclaims with a promiscuous smile. "This is shaping up to be the most eventful Cook Off yet." Umiko adds contrasting Mira with a refined and elegant demeanor. The youth chuckles and gestures to his otherside "And these studs are Kite and Oushi." Kite is a young man, muscular and energetic. Oushi seems to be the elder of the bunch, his beard shows streaks of grey and he's a bit portly but the man seems good natured and friendly above all else. "Do your best everyone." The youth smiles "And I'm your lovable mediator and host…Yuki." Boy and girl alike fawn over Yuki.
"So listen up. This is a ninja cook off. By coming here your village has consented to the possibility of your demise, grievous injury, or demise! I said demise twice because it is LIKELY! Now first up is the Hunt! This year's theme is Aristocratic Lunch. You will hunt for your main course." Yuki pulls out a scroll. "These are the beasts that are native to the land. Beside the illustrations is a detailed synopsis of their flesh and other notable things one should consider if they intend to eat them. Along with that you might notice stars. These starts represent their tracking difficulty. With five stars being the most difficult to track, catch, and kill! But towards the top you'll notice DEATH STARS these are beasts we don't recommend tangling with. They have a distinct…taste for human flesh. You will catch your main dish and bring it back. Now we only have so much equipment and spices…so the teams that do this the fastest get first dibs on the good stuff! Any questions!? The rest of you know this already but I was just checking for our first timers over there, hi Konoha, ahem well after every team gets their scroll we will begin the Hunt!"
'Dude, definetly Dude'
'Are you nuts, lefty?! That's obviously a girl.'
'Seriously? Your joking right?'
'Look, I know our luck has been bad in that area, but —'
Zankuro shakes his head rapidly, and gives his cheeks a few good slaps for added measure. No more listening to the voices in his head. The voices were not his friend. The cake was a lie. They… were going on a hunt? "Well this just got interesting, eh, Noble-sensei?" Zankuro jokes lightly and smiles broadly. The smile of course doesn't last that long when the announcer mentioned there being flesh eaters on the list of possibilities. "… Tell me again why we're doing this, Nobu-sensei?" The Sarutobi asks shakily as he trembled. Even without a closer look at the list his mind was already jumping to conclusion. It wasn't as if he forgot about the one incident with the mutated Inuzuka!
Nobunaga's face is lit with zeal. "The huuuuuuunt. I was looking forward to this part." He turns to Zankuro. "Yeah um sorry I didn't tell you before. I just didn't want you flaking out. You were my last (and only) option." Nobunaga pauses as he senses fear on Zankuro. THe boy has much to learn…fear attracts predators. "Look at this one. Already shaking. Man I say we kill him now and serve him up as an appetizer." A mist shinobi remarks towards Zankuro. "There aren't any rules saying we can't eliminate the competition. Seeing as the leaf only has two participants it should be a piece of cake." he goes on to say. "No. We'd be wasting too much time. The best way to do this is just plain and simple. Cook." he's reminded by a teammate. "Tsk you got lucky this time." Nobunaga is still smiling "The competition, the ambition, the audacity…oh I love it." Nobunaga pats Zankuro on the shoulder "We got this. I won't let you get eaten."
After receiving their scrolls Nobunaga studies it for a bit. "Hehe check this out. The Ambrosia Egg…three stars…delectable…laid by the three winged giant humming bird…four stars…OH! Look, Hell Hogs?" Nobunaga reads on growing with elation. The other shinobi seem to have each decided on their prey. "Ok everyone just one more thing to note. If by some chance you bring back a DEATH STAR level kill you'll be given first dibs regardless of when you return. But you only have an hour anyway so the pressure is on, hehe" Yuki hads with a snicker. "READY UP!" The shinobi move into position. "The beasts are either in the forest just outside the village or the river. You have one hour. If any team well…dies entirely then they're eliminated…kinda redundant but it has to be there. Ok GOOD HUNTING!" the Fifth Annual Ninja Cook Off is underway.
"Yeah… that figures." Zankuro chuckles good-naturedly despite crying a river of tears on the inside. Nobunaga was once again trying to get him killed! He /should/ bring it up with the Hokage, but that sounded like more trouble then dealing with the Amaro on a case-by-case basis. Plus, he /did/ kind of need more distractions in his life. He would rather have those distractions not end it abruptly, but… eh?
Zankuro tried to keep his worry for showing on his face. He even does a pretty dang good job of it too. But this was a mist shinobi for pete's sake. Those guys ate children and picked their teeth with the bones of their enemies! Until the man steps away Zankuro cannot breathe easily in the least. Afterwards, the Sarutobi remains a bit of a wreck, but he still gives Nobunaga a weak smile of enthusiasm over the choices. Truthfully, his eyes were glued to the one star ones. None of them looked particular tasty, but neither did the seem that big of a threat.
"Sensei, we need a —" But Zankuro gets no further thanks to the call. With an audible gulp, the Sarutobi follows along with Nobunaga to the starting position, musters up his focus (and by extension, his chakra), and takes off!
Sort of. Because you know, kind of on the hefty side that one is. c.c
Nobunaga takes off with his head glued to the scroll. He looks back to Zankuro "Don't worry Zank I know what I'm doing." he winks. Nobunaga makes a b line for the forest. The Cloud and Rock shinobi are ahead of them. The Mist and Sand seem to be heading for the river. Nobunaga stops just short of the forest. "Ok Zank-kun…we're going for the Hell Hogs. They're three stars. Tender flesh, they have an average body temperature of 120 degrees, and they travel in medium to small groups." Nobunaga looks to Zankuro "Oh were you trying to say something back there?" he just now recalls.
"Mmmmm…. I hope so, cus… I kind of like living, you know? Its my stchik. My thing. My one true love in — whoa, er, my second true love in life." Zankuro rambles, and he might've kept on rambling if not for having caught sight of something for a brief moment in his peripherial. "Uhm… Sensei…" As soon as the Sarutobi has Nobunaga's attention he starts jabbing his head in the direction of a nearby shrubbery. Since he hadn't gotten a chance to really look at the info on the Hell Hog himself, he didn't known how intelligent the beast was. Considering its name though, it was unlikely that it was any dumb brute.
"What's the plan?" He whispers more loudly than he intended.
Nobunaga hears Zankuro's rambling but dismisses it for the most part as he hands Zankuro the scroll. He's off in thought until Zankuro pokes him. "Good eye, already found'em eh?" He points out the Hell Hog in the scroll. "Ok so they're really simple creatures ranging in size anywhere between 4 and 6 feet. They follow the group leader, usually the largest male and if the leader falls well then they fall…more or less. The alpha males are very aggressive and territorial though. Three stars sounds about right. Ok." Nobunaga creeps closer and motions Zankuro to follow "We're gonna want to separate the alpha from the pack. So…can you manage something like that with your genjutsu? Get it to separate from the pack…" Nobunaga peeks out to get an eye on the hogs. There are five total not including the alpha. They all are pretty big but there appears to be one pushing 6 and a half feet with two large tusks that outweighs the rest by far. "That's the alpha…pretty sure." Nobunaga points it out.
So caught up with the whole eminent danger is the Sarutobi that he almost drops the scroll after absent-mindedly taking it up. Thankfully, he doesn't embarrass himself like so. Yet. And after letting out a sigh of relief, Zankuro skims the scroll for their supposed target until he found them; listening to Nobunaga as he does so. Belatedly, he tries to follow Nobunaga, though his movements are a bit clunky, seeing as how he wanted to keep reading as well.
"Well… Crab apples. Yeah.. Yeah I think I might be able to pull it off sensei, though I'mma probably need you to keep the others distracted till I'm fully ready." Zankuro admits. And by others, he mainly meant carnivors and scavangers that were going to more than likely be attacted to the scuffle.
"Right right them. Well I guess I can manage that. You have the hard part anyway." Nobunaga cracks his knuckles. The sudden cracking sets the hogs on edge, especially the alpha. It's attention is almost instantly directed towards Zankuro and Nobunaga, the latter of whom ducked to cover after his absent minded blunder. "Oops. Well whatever you're gonna do…do it quick." he advises to Zankuro. Nobunaga idly takes the scroll back too while he's at it. Zankuro's going to need both his hands.
"What? Oh! Track, right!" Zankuro tries to flash through a series of seals as quickly as possible, but with the Hell Hog Alpha charging at full tilt, it was kind of hard to focus. Nevertheless, the stalwart (not really) Sarutobi stood his ground until the final seal was completed. If all went well, the creature would've tripped over its feet as if roots had sprung up and tied themselves about its legs.
Zankuro's genjutsu was masterfully effective. "Great job." Nobunaga pokes his head out. The alpha hell hog's body was steaming but immobile. "Kill it while I keep the other's busy." Nobunaga commands as he leaps out to intercept the other five hell hogs. They're charging to the aid of the alpha as it isn't dead yet. Two seem to veer off towards Zankuro but Nobunaga would attempt to intercept them if he could. The remaining three all set their sights on the Amaro. "Here piggy piggy pig-" Nobunaga calls out taunting them. His body hardens with chakra as he attempts to take their charges.
"On it!" Zankuro is already in the midst of forming hand seals again when the quaking ground draws his attention back in the direction Nobunaga went. "Oh trail! Oh trail! Oh tra-gaaah!!" The Sarutobi is just to slow to form those seals. As a result, he gets to feel like a shooting start! :D For all of five seconds. His landing is less than enjoyable, but at least he remembered to hit it rolling. Unfortunately, by the looks of things he now had both an angry alpha AND an underling to deal with. "Alright.. got calm down." He claps together and focuses his chakra to his mind, clearing it of distractions.
"Bane's Containment." Zankuro's eyes slowly draw open. Even before they are completely open, the boy flashes through a set of seals one after the other. The first jutsu creates a smokescreen of smoke and burning embers that slowly drift towards his target. The real threat comes seconds later when both hogs are bound by vines again, and if he's successful, slowly roasted.
Having missed the last hog Nobunaga left Zankuro to handle it. Nobunaga grits his teeth as the first hell hog rams him. He planted his feet good and while he didn't go flying he sustained some decent damage. "Trap that's hot." the zone of impact was burning. "These things are heatin' up." He strengthens his stance and chakra to handle the rest. He's successful and would just try to hold them off until Zankuro took care of the alpha. Speaking of which, Zankuro seems to have put down one hog but the alpha was just angry now. Both Nobunaga and Zankuro were in its sights. It's body began to glow hot red before fire starts erupting from it's nostrils. Mad with rage charges Zankuro and whether crushes the Sarutobi or not it will carry right on to Nobunaga. "Zank-kun…you shot him off."
"Yeah! I noticed!" Zankuro barks back. The clearly ruined front of his T-shirt acted as proof of having been on the receiving end of their hot hides. Granted, at the time said hog wasn't nearly as hot as the ones Nobunaga was dealing with, but still! "Ooohh nononononono! Back up! Away with you Bacon!" He exclaims, waving his arm in a shooing motion. When /that/ obviously fails the Sarutobi flashes through a set of seals in preparation for the worst. Thankfully, Nobunaga manages to intercept the hog, providing Zankuro with another just at binding and roasting the hog. This time he wasn't gonna go for smoked ham. Oh no! This demon from the beyond deserved to be hog tied (ba dum tish!), and roasted in burning oil!
The enraged hell hog's state seems to have frightened the other hell hogs. As it charges the others leave Nobunaga and scatter to safety. Nobunaga intercepts the Alpha Hell Hog keeping Zankuro out of harm's way for now. His body hardened with chakra is like a wall standing against the hell hog. "Gah Zank, I got it." Nobunaga assures. The Alpha Hell Hog is so enraged it's unaffected by Zankuro's genjutsu however that didn't help it evade the Sarutobi's flame bullet. The bullet hit directly but it would take more than that to overheat this rampaging hog. Still the hog couldn't take the heat from within as well as the heat from Zankuro's attacks. It was only a matter of time before it would passout. "That's it Zank-kun, overheat this guy!" Fighting fire with fire, something Team 8 excelled at. Zankuro seems to have a knack for irritating the Alpha. It's glowing red eyes set to Zankuro, but Nobunaga is in it's way. It tries to fling Nobunaga out the way. But if Zankuro thinks that he's safe so long as Nobunaga remains in the way he's mistaken.
"All right time to go hog wild!" Nobunaga has had enough of the Alpha. Concentrating chakra to his right arm Nobunaga delivers a series of bursts impacts to the Alpha. Meanwhile from a darker deeper section of the forest a roar is set off. Passing Nobunaga and Zankuro by are the cloud shinobi. One of them is carrying the other, who seems badly injured. "Hey you two better clear out. Somebody startled a big on-HELL HOGS? Oh man those are delicious." The Cloud Shinobi looks to the hog Zankuro roasted a while back. "Oh…that explains it. Yeah you two are in deep arrow. Don't you know what happens when you kill a hell hog and let it linger too long?" the cloud shinobi is hushed and hurried along by his other two teammates. He salutes Nobunaga and Zankuro before heading off. Something is headed their way however.
It was the Sarutobi luck. It just /had/ to be that! Why else would some jerk Kumo shinobi decide to pop in bringing danger along behind him!? Zankuro slapped his cheeks and let out a great big exhale. "Would ya just go!!" He yells as he flashed through a series of familiar handsigns. Instead of vines to trip the creature up, wires would seem to spring up from behind and coil about the hogs face, yanking it back and holding it in place. Zankuro only need an extra moment to focus on the "Will of Embers" before unleashing a barrage of fireballs over Nobunaga, and hopefully into the beasts face, nose, and hopefully mouth!
"Zank…what was that?" Nobunaga asks the boy as he tries to keep himself from being flung like a pest. His fist pound the snout of the Hell Hog rather well seemingly dazing the mad beast. Zankuro's binding illusion secured their triumph and after seeing the Hog go down Nobunaga backs off getting clear of the Sarutobi's covering fire jutsu. Nobunaga nods "Alllright way to go Zank-kun." Nobunaga starts moving over to his teammate. "We got an alpha and another just for kicks." Nobunaga points out. "Now what was that cloud shinobi saying?" Nobunaga asks while idly checking the scroll "Hehe…well apparently Alpha Hell Hogs are four stars…separate from regular Hell Hogs. Neat." Nobunaga closes the scroll. Closer than before now an ear piercing screech echoes from nearby. A sickly purple miasma leaks out of the darkness. At the center of that miasma two yellow eyes glower at Nobunaga and Zankuro as they stand over the roasted hell hog.
A ghastly unhinging sound emanates from the darkness as the glowing eyes vanish. Suddenly erupting from the darkness a stream of vile purple ooze cascades out. It corrodes everything it touches making its way towards Zankuro and Nobunaga. "That was fast." Nobunaga says with a smile. "The real prey is here now. Zankuro be on your guard…its a death star." Nobunaga feeds chakra into his scarf preparing himself for quite the fight. "The Baron Lizard." Nobunaga mutters as a bead of sweat trickles down his forehead.
Zankuro has to catch his breath after all the excitement, so he is a little on the slow slide when it comes to answers. "Just.. that we… should get going… soon… Whooo~~" One deep inhale later and the Sarutobi is back to full strength for the most part. While Nobunaga idly looked over the list, Zankuro sped over to the Alpha hog, unlatched the giant scroll on his back, and began the procedure for sealing the oversized beast. As luck would have it, he did have the perfect space for it! Unfortunately, if they were going to be taking down any more giants, he was gonna need time rewriting certain for—
"Gaah! What the predator is that prey awful… uh, nobobo-sensei.. what's that?" Zankuro idly asks as he tried to sly pack up his scroll. "A what!?" He exclaims, and there's more he had to add, but the ooze was getting too close for comfort. Zankuro barely manages to form seals in time to launch himself — scroll and all — away from the ooze. "Alright, guess'n I'm gonna have to kick things up a notch! Sensei! Think you can keep it distracted?" Zankuro calls out before spitting a small fireball towards the creatures eyes. Before making contact, the ball explodes into a wave of flames meant to scorch the beast as well as bring light to the darkness.
Nobunaga looks to Zankuro as he tries to seal up the hell hog "Don't worry about the alpha! Move!" Nobunaga shouts but it costs the young man some time. His leg is caught by some of the acid and burns away the surface layer of flesh in mere seconds. Nobunaga winces "Hehe a death star eh?" Nobunaga chuckles backing up to regroup with Zankuro. Zankuro's jutsu connects and seems to inflict a decent amount of pain on the creature…but that was it. The fire spreads throughout the darkness illuminating the Baron Lizard. A mighty goliath standing at nearly twenty feet. It's mouth was lined with razor teeth and its scaly hide looks just as jagged. Two massive arms pull the creature from the flames, three claws each as long as Zankuro's body dig into the ground as it lets out a vicious warcry. "Baron Lizard. Death Star…its saliva corrodes organic material. Cold blooded, enjoys feasting on Hell Hogs. Voracious appetite and usually nocturnal. Usually…" Nobunaga lists off what he can remember about the creature. "Its hide is too tough to pierce. Your fire hurt it but I suspect little damage was done." Nobunaga says with a smile. "Our only chance is to pierce the sack on the base of it's tongue." Nobunaga looks to Zankuro "That sack is the only thing that's immune to the corrosive saliva. Burst it and it'll eat away at itself." But while Nobunaga is explaining all of the this the Baron Lizard's appetite exacerbates its mood. A long scaly sharp tail is arcing towards the Leaf Shinobi now.
Zankuro maybe catches half of what Nobunaga says. The rest falls on death ears as the Sarutobi struggles not to wet his pants in the face of a goliath known for devouring people. He could believe to just by looking at the thing. And worst yet, Zankuro knew that his chubby body might just hit the spot for the creature. Zankuro lets out a whimper before long, then closed his eyes tightly.
The Will of Embers. He needed to take a moment to refocus on the concept, though doing so left him vulnerable. "Yosh.." He claps his hands together. "Go for the sack, ignore all else.. But-…" Zankuro gets no further before being forced to act. A wall of flames is spat out to dissuade the creature, but its thick hide protects it well enough to send the Sarutobi flying agian.
His return to earth is rough, but a defensive roll allows Zankuro to get back to his feet and put his hands together again. Chakra builds up so rapidly that ruffles the teens clothing. "Just hold it off, Nobunaga-sensei! I'll create a opening for you to sack it!" Zankuro can't help but snicker and murmur, "Heheh… sack it."
Nobunaga takes the tail swipe and while it doesn't damage him is sends him reeling into the forest. The Amaro quickly reemerges where his comrade had fallen. "You ok? This thing is strong. But I'd rather the tail than the saliva." Nobunaga can see that Zankuro is mustering up the courage to fight. It was often like this. Nobunaga couldn't help but feel a bit guilty dragging Zankuro into one dangerous situation after another. "I'm sorry." He says and starts to move his hand towards Zankuro. He almost wanted to tell the boy to just run while he held the beast off. But Zankuro surprised Nobunaga. "Hold it off? Hehe I'll do better than that." The Amaro smiles wide and charges the Baron Lizard. First he fires off a fire ball to pull its attention. "Right here. You're fighting me." Nobunaga informs the beast. It seems to understand because it readies itself for the Amaro. Taking his scarf in hand Nobunaga leaps and slashes at the creature's face twice. The Baron Lizard would retaliate by attempting to slash and smack Nobunaga down with one of it's mighty claws.
Zankuro doesn't dare to make a move until he is absolutely certain Nobunaga has the creatures attention. Because, well, the plan kind of depended on him not drawining attention, and totally not because it was a matter of it being better Nobunaga than him getting eaten. Right? Riiiight. c.c
As the energy continues to build up insided Zankuro, the Sarutobi focuses past his fears to study the creature for weak spots. Even with his ultimate jutsu he doubted it would do little better than the previous one he used despite being more powerful. The teen needed more. He needed a spot that would compromise the creatures sense of balance. Since he didn't trust the tell to instantly regrow back, Zankuro waited until beast raised one of its claws to slash at Nobunaga before unleashing his jutsu.
'Ox, Hare, Snake, Hare, Horse, Tiger!' "Fire Release: Meteor!" A fireball a little over half the beasts size is sent crashing towards the beast back legs. What it lacked in explosive power, the jutsu more than made up for it in driving force capable of melting rock and drilling small caverns in mountains!
Nobunaga's attacks here ineffective against the Baron Lizard's hide but that was to be expected. Likewise Nobunaga was able to shrug off the Lizard's claws by coating his body in a strong layer of chakra. Though he is smacked to the ground he is unharmed. Zankuro's Meteor Jutsu caught Nobunaga's eye. The Amaro made sure to get out of blast radius. The meteor made direct contact with the Baron Lizard's hind legs. Utter destruction is what best describes what occurred next. Flame and smoke cloaked the area. There so no sign of the Baron Lizard but Nobunaga knew that it wasn't dead. Still he'd hoped the attack did something.
An irritate shrill bellows throughout the area now as the silhouette of a thrashing beast can be made out amidst the gradually clearing smoke. Nobunaga remains on the ready waiting to see what fruits Zankuro's jutsu bore. The Baron Lizard was alive and well, seemingly unfazed by the meteor. However the ground it stood on was charred and melted. The Lizard was trapped in a pool of molten earth. It's clear it's in pain but its hide is so tough it was already clawing it's way up. As it does so it cranes its head up while opening it's mouth. Spewing its saliva into the air the Lizard unleashes acidic rain upon the leaf shinobi. Nobunaga saw an opportunity though. "Zank-kun, be ready with another one. I'm going to try something." Nobunaga charges the Lizard, through the acidic rain, it looks like he's going for it's mouth. All the while his scarf coils around his arm.
"Did… did that do it?" Zankuro asked with smoke still billowing out of his mouth. His answer does not come from within or from Nobunaga, but from the creature itself. A curse is in mind, but instead of letting it leave his lips, flames do instead. The Sarutobi rockets out of range of acid rain, and lands some few meters away, heels dug into the earth to bleed out his momentum.
"What? Grr… Same spot?" He calls out to the already charging Amaro. With or without an answer, Zankuro puts his hands together and builds up power for another meteor. One he hoped would be a little more effective the second time around.
"Aim for it's head. On my command." Nobunaga darts at the Lizard dodging the rain and finally leaping towards the creature's gapping maw. At that moment the Lizard stopped spewing out acid and closes it's mouth. It was as if it knew what Nobunaga was thinking. Still the Amaro didn't hesitate to unleash his attack. His cloth unwinds and like a drill it attempts to pierce and pry open the Lizard's mouth. "If I can pry his mouth open and keep it open I want you to take the shot Zank. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep it open so don't hesitate." Nobunaga commands. "Smile you ugly sonofacarnivore!"
"…." Zankuro squeezes his eyes shut for a moment and tries to focus on building the last bit of energy needed for the jutsu. But no matter how hard he tried to remain focused, he couldn't help worrying what would happen if Nobunaga did not get out of the way in time. "… I gotta do it." Zankuro takes a deep breath, expanding his chest to impossible levels. 'I won't miss!' "Fire Release: METEOR!!" He yells as fire bursts from his mouth and rapidly builds into a giant fireball before him, lingering only long enough for the warning to be given before being unleashed towards the creatures head.
Nobunaga is rather unsuccessful and prying the mouth of the Lizard open. However it's hide is truly impenetrable. After his drill stopped spinning the Lizard's mouth snaps open though and engulfs Nobunaga. Being airborne the Amaro couldn't dodge. Before any could see if Nobunaga was swallowed or not Zankuro's meteor slams into the face of the Baron Lizard. Nothing but fire and smoke surround it's head. Having clawed its way back to stable ground the creature sets its sights on Zankuro. Fury and hunger drive its bloodcurdling glare. It takes its first step towards Zankuro then pauses.
Slowly the Lizard's mouth begins to open and from within a silver scarf dangles. Nobunaga slowly positions himself and reinforces his body so that he can withstand the razor teeth of the Lizard. With the creature's mouth agape Zankuro would have a clearer shot at the sack. "Zank-kun…hit the sack, pleeeeease. Do it fast." The Baron fights back simultaneously trying to bite down on Nobunaga and sling its tail at Zankuro.
Zankuro was closer to blast range this time around, so he had turn away after launching the meteor, hoping and praying that his sensei made it out in time. He peeks open an eye first, then turns about to search the ground near the beast for Nobunaga. But the man is nowhere in sight. Before he can fuly register this fact, the lizard's maneuvering to firm ground prompts the Sarutobi to snap his focus around towards it. Fear returns to Zankuro's heart, but it is fleeting. For the first time since meeting the creature, he felt neither fear or forced calmness as he regarded the creature; only rage.
Thoughtlessly, he slammed his hands together to try and make one last attempt melting the creature to nothingness. He didn't care at all that it didn't work, so long as the creature felt his rage in its purest form. In his haste to prepare for one last defiant act he almost missed the Lizard's pause. "… !… Nobuna—" Zankuro pauses at Nobunaga's words, and after a moment of hesitation he nods firmly. A few shuriken find their way into the teen's hand are set flying at the creature, past Nobunaga by the narrowest of margins, and into the sack.
The Lizard tries to crush Nobunaga between it's powerful jaws but Zankuro has already taken the shot. Puncturing the sack with his shuriken seals the Lizard's imminent demise. Nobunaga is tossed from the mouth of the creature and lands barely stable beside Zankuro. His chakra was depleted thus snapping him out of his transformation. The Lizard dies writhing in agony as its own saliva burns through its mouth. The goliath lies dead at the leaf shinobi's feet in a matter of moments. Nobunaga turns over and laughs albeit weakly. "We did it. Hehe, we got a death star." Nobunaga nudges Zankuro "You might need to make room for that thing. Sorry I didn't tell you but I was planning to go for that one from the start." Nobunaga reveals with a sheepish smile. "Didn't think it would be that tough but we came through in the end." Nobunaga brings himself to a stand. "Wow you guys actually pulled it off…"
The four mist shinobi emerge before Nobunaga and Zankuro. "Man I didn't see that coming. I thought for sure you guys were gonna end up baron food." One of the shinobi says with a laugh. The one from before who has a certain disdain for Zankuro steps up next. "Yeah yeah we're all very impressed. Can we kill'em and take the lizard carcass and be on our way now?" he prods impatiently. The shinobi that stopped him before strokes her chin. "Hmm Baron Lizards have tender and succulent flesh beneath that tough hide. If we got a hold of some well…we'd be guaranteed the win. I doubt these two know what to do with it anyway." The other mist shinobi smile and start to chuckle as they ready their weapons. Nobunaga sighs "Figured this might happen. But if you think we're gonna hand it over…" The Amaro flashes a crazed yet aggressive smile at the mist shinobi "You've made a grave mistake." Two Leaf shinobi verses four mist shinobi. This cook off is more ruthless than most would imagine.
TO BE CONTINUED