Date: November 19, 2016
Goh and Mushi begin their trek to a secret shrine in the Land of Wind.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Twelve Hunt - part 3b: Discussions and a journey to an old shrine"
It was all where they were told it would be. Their belongings were neatly packed and placed near a tree on the Uzumaki village border, waiting for the duo to come and pick them up. As soon as they left Roshi's home, they were escorted out via some high level security shinobi. The walk was a little awkward, to be truthful. Goh was silent near the whole way, save for the occasional grunt in understanding.
Only when they were finally alone, having picked up their bags and travelled well outside the borders, does he turn to Mushi. His eyes look weary, as does his face in general. This had been a long journey for the pair of them. Both physically and mentally. "Mushi," He says simple. "If I'm ever going to ask you a serious question, this is it. You can't lie to me here, or mislead me. Hit me with it straight." Pause. "Is all this my fault? Have I put the five countries in danger?"
The pair had now left the Land of Fire and were now in the Land of Wind. They had yet to really enter the deserts yet, but the environment was certainly becoming dryer. Even with the sun setting in the horizon, it was warm. Quite warm.
Though Goh is subdued, Mushi makes up with it for her scowls at their escorts. She's been vibrating with a different kind of tension when they were led to the border. She picks up her small amount of supplies. Most of them she already has on herself. But often her hand finds Goh's, and laces her fingers through him. When they're alone and he asks, she doesn't immediately assure him that isn't so. Instead, she considers it seriously.
Finally she says, "Goh-kun it's not your fault. You didn't release the beast from the cage, because he's not a beast at all. The Patriarch is a man, and one who has done unimaginably evil things. Roshi only calls him a monster, because there's nothing wrong with fearing a monster or leaving it alone. However, if he were just a man that's what they'd have to live with. Allowing a horrible criminal to run free." She grabs his hand. "Goh-kun this man is an S-rank criminal who is hunting you down. Stop thinking about good or evil, or who is at fault, or such. He needs to be put down, and we'll do it. The only way it's your fault is if you just wallow instead of doing everything in your power to stop him."
"I'm not going to wallow in it." The pickler protests at first, before lifting a spare hand to rub his face a bit. "It's just… eh, it doesn't matter. What's done is done. And you're right, I had no idea what was going on." His brows furrow with assertive attention, his hand giving Mushi's a firm squeeze. "This has been a templeuva day. Well, couple of days." He can scarcely believe how quick it's all happened, really! "To think that a clan of people naturally absorb natural chakra. That's… well, that's really wild. I feel sorry for the people in that clan. I wonder if there's any still left?" He shrugs.
"So, where are we going again? Where's this shrine?" He looks to Mushi, the one Roshi deemed to be worthy enough to carry the scroll. "He said somewhere in the desert, right? I bet it's probably soooo far in the desert. So far that it's just been lost. For /ages/. This is like a real adventure story now, hey? With treasures and stuff to find." He suddenly starts to beam. "Hopefully the place is still in tact. And not wrecked by raiders."
Kirameki once again arrives to help them fly to the desert, but unlike before Mushi doesn't just set off. She takes the time to explain the entire situation to Kirameki, including everything that Roshi said. Then they'd soar to the edge of the desert, and for some reason it wouldn't be with more caution than speed. "He may have a way of tracking you, but if not it wouldn't hurt to try and be discreet," Mushi says. "If we could do the rest of our tasks without being discovered, all the better." Kirameki drops them off at the desert, to allow them to walk it. And they'd begin their travels, even if it took days. And it would, or at least most of the day. Mushi would keep up a good though not back breaking pace. And as they drew nearer to the spot she summons not Kirameki but a cloud of smaller hummingbirds that'd flit out in a wide radius, to cover the area and search for any signs of this artifact.
The hours are long, making the days seemingly drag on for longer than they normally would. Travelling in the depths of the desert is a hard task, even for experienced wandered such as Goh and Mushi. If you didn't know what you were doing or how to do it, then you could get into trouble very fast. Fortunately though, they manage to stay on top of it all. No dehydration, no starving. Just warm weather with only a breath of wind to keep them cool.
As the group of small hummingbirds fly off to do the scouting, Goh lifts up a finger. "We should do some practice with the sealing pot! You have it sealed in a scroll, right? Your hummingbirds might take some time, so why not try and seal something away? See if you can get a handle on it." The pickler smiles, moving to sit down on the sand cross legged. Uncorking his bottled water, he throws it back to have a quick swig of the liquid to keep cool.
Mushi considers her birds as they flit around, bringing back reports, or hopeful sightings. But for now it may be a good time to try and master that sealing pot. She takes a few minutes with her hands placed on the pot and her eyes closed. Using her chakra to try and measure it—only to find it immeasurable. Whatever capacities it has are far beyond Mushi's abilities to fathom. She can't try to overpower it, so she'll have to work with it. She starts off with a simple object: a long hummingbird feather. It's not a bad first target since it's infused with chakra already. Now she really puts some effort into it, trying to manipulate the pot with basic seal mastery much like she'd used her ultimate technique to draw in that chakra.
The sealing pot almost has a mind of its own. As Mushi unleashes the Evil Containment Seal jutsu, a 'tornado' of sorts erupts from the open lid and is fired right to the feather! The feather is swept up in the storm of energies and chakra, though appears to have trouble returning to the pot to where it should. Mushi will have to work with it and try to direct it back, rather than fight or resist.
Goh is chewing on some pickled carrot in the meantime, watching the entire demonstration from a safe distance. "Come on Mushi, kick its altar!" He cheers, raising a fist to cheer. The tornado was quite large at this point — nearly ten feet tall. And the wind it generates is akin to that of a real storm. It's all very dramatic and tense. And for just a small thing like a feather? Would the Patriarch be much more difficult?
Trying to control the tornado is actually like trying to grab ahold of a real one. She's clinging on for dear life, being whirled around at high speeds, if she even slightly tries to overpower it. She'll have to go with it. Once she stops trying to subdue it, and more so trying to redirect it the going gets easier. But it's still shaky the first time. The tornado gradually gets more out of control, and Mushi is using her chakra to master the jutsu for sheer life. Finally something clicks. Sweating and huffing, she manages to harness the power of the technique and seal away the feather. Barely. She collapses back on the ground, panting. Only to notice something. The feather wasn't even successfully sealed. Half of it is just mangled and ruined on the ground. "Ugh…"
As the tornado rages, seemingly becoming more and more violent, Goh lifts a forearm to protect his eyes from any sand about to blow into his face. "Kuh—! This is extreme!" And then… poof! As if nothing happened at all, the seal to this extra dimension is closed, and the wind goes with it. All is as it should be. Despite the feather only being half sealed. The other half being crispified and sort of mangled.
"Wooaahhhh!" Goh gets to his feet, jogging over to the master healer with a grin on his face. "That … was … AWESOME!!" He seems positively thrilled, despite the fact she wasn't completely successful. "And for a first try you actually managed to get the technique going? AND seal some of your target? Sheesh. In no time at all you'll be sealing full on beings." Crouching down near where she has fallen onto the sand, he offers a hand to help her up. "You alright? How'd it feel?"
Mushi takes a few minutes to recover, and then she sits up. "It felt like trying to grab the tail of a tornado, and then being whipped around by it forty times a second," she says. "The way I finally got control was slipping /inside/ the tornado and directing it…which is a million times worse. If I'm going to execute this jutsu, I won't be able to concentrate on defending myself at all. Whew." She stares at the pot and shakes her head. "If I'm going to seal something of great magnitude I'll be able to try it…once. Then it's over. That thing takes too much chakra to maintain for long. I'm drained." This would be a really bad time for the Patriarch to show up. Fortunately, it's her hummingbirds that are flitting here and there. A few land on her shoulders, and replenish a bit of her energy.
For once they get lucky, and the Patriarch remains in his location beyond the horizon to the north-east. "That's what Roshi said, right?" Goh thinks, scratching his head. "You'd be totally open when this is happening, which is why we have to do it when he's in his single form. If he has anything else, like those Phantoms and stuff running around, then you just let me and Itami worry about them." As the hummingbirds start to replenish a bit of her energy, Goh smiles somewhat wickedly. "Drained, huh? Then I guess this would be the… best time to … TICKLE ATTACK! FUFUFUFUFFUU!" Taking this as an opportunity, Goh launches at Mushi and tries to dive his fingers into her armpits and sides, hoping to tickle her! If nothing else than just to help keep her loose and feeling good about it all.
It won't last long though, for one of her summons will reveal the location of a strange structure, just several miles away. Mostly ruined, but there.
"Yeah, pretty drained," Mushi says. "Give me a second." Except Goh doesn't give her a second. The hummingbirds scatter as he comes in to tickle her. Nor do they try to attack, as in fact they seem to be goading Goh on as Mushi flails and tries not to laugh. "No… Goh-k… hahaha… birds… *giggle* help m… ahahaha!" Amidst her flailing she finally manages to half shove Goh off, though mostly because he's stopped. She huffs. "You're horrible," she says, trying to sound like she means it, and failing utterly to do so. She shoots a glare at her birds who are tittering with laughter. Far from defending her, they'd enjoyed the entire show. One even lands on Goh's shoulder and chirrups. But that's when the more serious crowd comes back to reveal a location that may bear fruit. They set off, Mushi throwing occassional scowls at the pickler. Then eventually leaning on him as they walk, a bit weak kneed.
Every time Mushi shoots him a glower or attempted scowl, she is met with a beaming smile. Eventually as she leans on him, an arm will wrap around her.
Eventually, after much light-hearted banter and jibes at each other, the duo do reach the shrine. Or, well, what's left of it. The main structure looks like it has mostly sunk into the sand from where it used to sit. Only the edges of a corner can be seen now. All in all, it's actually a good find by the hummingbirds.
With the sun quickly setting, the pair /are/ running out of light to work with, though. "What do you think?" He asks Mushi, glancing to her. "Set up camp and look for a way in tomorrow? Or just explore it right now?"
"I'll explore tomorrow. And you'll get to a place of safety. I've been thinking. The Patriarch fears this sealing pot. There's another place with powerful sealing abilities. It's the area where I tamed Choumei, and became a full Jinchuuriki. A chamber within the Fire Temple that can conceal you. Kirameki has agreed to take you there, where you'll remain safe while Itami-san, I, and others deal with the Patriarch. I haven't told Itami-san this, but I'm certain she'll agree to it gladly."
Goh looks at Mushi with incredulous surprise at her next suggestion, stunned by her reveal. "Yeah. No." Is the simple answer, the pickler slinging off his backpack and starting to unfold the tent that lies within. True, they could have sealed it in a scroll. But sometimes? It's nice to be a bit old school. And Goh had gotten into a nice little groove carting his tent and such around. Before he got his chakra back.
"Look, I appreciate the thought. You wanting to protect me. That's… well, that's what lovers do." As he fiddles with the poles, getting them to connect, he continues. "But I'm not about to go running to a Temple to go hide and wait for this to blow over. That's exactly what Roshi did. Hoped for it to all go away. No." He states firmly. "I'm coming with you. AND I'm going to be helping you seal this piece of trash into the abyss. Where he belongs." He nods at that.
"Besides, I'm not as helpless as I was last week. Every day I get a bit stronger. I'd say in … two, no three days, I'll be able to enter Sage Mode again. I won't be a burden. Someone you'll have to look after. I'll be someone that can help. Someone that can get revenge for the Salamander we lost. Like Wanpo." He sniffs, before reaching into his pack to get the tent fly.
"Even if I was okay with that, there is no way I would put your summons in danger like that."
"You think this is a request?" Mushi asks quietly.
That question hangs in the air for a tense moment. Mushi looks at Goh, and it's clear what she's considering on doing next. She doesn't pay attention to this tent pitching at all. In the next few seconds he'll be strapped to a hummingbird's back, and flown off to safety at all speeds. Her green eyes glitter, as cold as emeralds. She straightens up. Weary as she is, and though his strength is returning, she could act upon her words right now. Then, she sighs.
"I'd never do that to you, Goh-kun," she says. "Force you away from your fight. And it is yours. I'm here to help. I'd never force you to do anything." She sits down on the ground, and then lays back with her hands folded under her head. Her eyes closed. Never mind the sand. "I know I'm not the only one feeling protective. But as a medic I learned. There's no heroism in saving someone else, at the expense of your own life. Because once you die, all the times after that you would've saved others will die with you. We won't lose. We'll both win. The Patriarch could do nothing to keep his clan together, but we'll unite and defeat him." Once he got the tent up she'd crawl in. "We'll search tomorrow," she says, a bit sadly.
Goh stares at her for a moment, before sighing a little bit in relief. He knew that he couldn't take her, despite the return of some of his strength. She was in a league of her own, even if he was at his peak level!
"I know you wouldn't." The man replies, adjusting the final bits of the tent as Mushi crawls in. "I love you for trying, but… that's not who either of us are. You're right. We WILL both win." Crawling into the tent after the fly is secured, Goh zips up the opening behind him.