Date: September 14, 2012
Goh and Yorochi explore the desert for random herbs and spices. They come across lot more than what they expect!
It's the day after Goh had sold some of his pickled wares to the exotic dancer in Yorochi. Despite having not seen her again for the day, his mind had drifted. What had she thought of the goods? Would she be back to buy more? The blonde taps his chin at the thought, before shrugging.
It's still early morning, so much so that the sun is barely creeping over the horizon. The glows of orange and red filter through the Village, which itself is still fairly quiet. Not many people have risen from their slumber yet, save for the merchants that were setting up shop for the day.
With a large duffle pack on the ground near him, Goh oddly appears to be … packing up? His stand, which sits as it did yesterday, is pretty much empty of goods. The pickled pots that were on the rugs are gone, likely put in a secure location. All that lay on the ground are travelling items. A compass, some maps, some bottles of water, etc. These look to be all itemized, as Goh is placing them in the bag one at a time. Making a mental note of what is packed and what isn't.
Planning a trip maybe?
Yorochi had actually gotten quite a bit done during the last time the two spoke. A decent pouch of money, a new apartment and, there was less sand in her pants! Those sandstorms were just plain awful. All in all, she appeared to be much more at ease in the village than she was before.
With an easy long legged stroll she cuts down the roads of Sunagakure in hopes of meeting up with that pickled vegetabler once again. A few not even fully set up stands are declined as they try to convince her to buy trivial things while she passed, perfumes, make up, jewelry(which she could tell was fake even with a quick sidewards glance), all of that had to be ignored while her funds were insufficient.
Though there is that one stall she stops at, the least likely of them all for a girl like her even less likely due to the fact that the stand was no longer set up. Whether he noticed her blocking out his sun or simply picked up on her walking his way or not she'd let out a chipper, "Morning Goh-san." The teen smiles and then gives Goh's set up a good look over. "Hmmm? What's this?" Yorochi looks over his things, "Already going?"
"Water… definitely not optional." Goh says to himself. "Map… optional? Might weigh me down." Despite getting lost countless times, it seems he is still pondering the worth of such an item. When his light is cut out though, he squints, turning around at the silhouetted version of Yorochi. He does squint, perhaps trying to recognise her with so much direct sunlight the figure. The voice of course gives it away.
"Ha! Well, if it isn't Chi. Good morning. I was just thinking about you, actually. Come back for more pickled vegies?" He grins, opting to pack the map after all. It's put in his bag gently.
"I guess you could say I'm going. But not very far. I got a semi-permanent stall in the Village here because I intend on lingering around for a bit." He looks at his stall, the walls being the only 'permanent' looking feature. "Of course, the problem with this is that eventually I run out of herbs and spices. And my pickled goods wouldn't be number one without them. So! I'm heading off to scrounge some up. You would be surprised at what you can find in the desert. Aside from sand, obviously." Crouching down, he looks into his white duffle bag, before putting the last of his things in.
"Hey, you said you were broke, right? If you're up for a walk in the sun, I could use your help. I can give you some coin for the efforts."
Yorochi's smile widens when she hears she was thought of, given how pleasant he sounded it could only mean good things! So now he had her undivided attention for sure, her hands rest on her thights to prop her up as she leans forward to show just how much she was paying attention. "I'm savoring the ones you gave me, I guess if you were to compare me to an animal it would be the camel. I'm not sure where my hump is located but I can survive a long time with just a little bit of food, so long as I'm not entirely active." Yorochi then looks slightly concerned and stands up straight, her arm twisting to pat her back, apparently searching for a hump.
She was indeed still listening to Goh as he spoke, nodding to show that her focus was still there. "Hrm, yes. These sands hold some very powerful plants, not entirely unexpected given the harsh environment. Though, also very dangerous animals also for the same reason…" That seemed to put a damper in Yorochi's idea on joining him on the adventure.
"I'm sure you'll be able to handle any of those though. Hehe, sure I'll definitely come along. I suppose the pay would just be a bonus." Yorochi adjusts her hood and swings it over her head before she bows. "I am at your every command."
"A camel, huh?" Goh smirks at the idea, before nodding a bit. "That's right, Chi. That's all stuff that a camel would know too, so I can see how you could be compared to one." He muses, before reaching into his duffle bag and pulling out a small backpack. He throws it over to her, before pulling the string on his own pack — hoisting it onto the back of his shoulder.
"At my every command? Ease up, girl. No ranks here. Heck, I quit the shinobi game because of that. Fed up with it all, really. Just think of it like… I dunno, us being partners in crime I guess." Turning on his foot, he begins to march for the Village entrance.
"Pretty easy stuff, really. We come across herbs and such, we pick them and move on. If we can fill most of the backpack as well as my usual stock, it will save me having to go out again for a little while. Then I can stay open for longer, make more cash, and… yeah, that's it really. Financial wheel turns around." He clears his throat.
"So you were born in the Land of Wind?" Time for some back-story!
Looking a bit surprised as the backpack comes her way Chi does manage to catch it. A grinning Yorochi shakes her head, "I was just being a bit dramatic, don't mind me, partner." She slings the backpack over her shoulder and starts to catch up to Goh, moving beside him while trying to get her arm through the second strap. "Mmmhmm, all sounds pretty straight forward. Though filling this up, i suppose a walk in the sun was a bit of an understatement Goh-san." Yorochi looks off in the distance, hopefully they could get a decent amount done before the sun was directly above them but, with the heat already started to rise it probably wouldn't make much of a difference.
Yorohi stops sky gazing and looks to Goh out of the corner of her eye, "Born here? No, though I've spent nearly half of my life out here. I originally come from the Land of Rivers but… I haven't been back there since I was a child." The way she says this, it nearly sounded like this was all news to her. "Anyways due to some complications we had to migrate, the ninja war did not treat my people kindly. It was not a safe place for simple performers."
Yorochi frowns slightly, "And you? A former member of a ninja military? I honestly wouldn't be able to tell just being around you. Though, I suppose your personality supports your quitting. You seem too… hrm, I don't know the exact word but, where were you from? Was there any certain thing that made you quit?"
"Like I said yesterday, I'm sorry to hear that. About your people and such, I mean. It's tough." As they walk along the streets and eventually out of the entrance, Goh listens intently.
"Yeah. I was brought up in War-time. Like you, my people… my clan weren't treated well. In short, we were hunted like dogs." He seems to say this matter-of-factly. As if it doesn't hurt him as much as it used to. "I'm part of a shinobi clan, you see. So I guess that's a bit different than your situation? Anyway, by the time the five Hidden Villages set up, my clan was shot to pieces. I went into hiding and was brought into the Leaf Village; Konoha. Even though I was only a kid, thirteen or so, my experience and skills made me one of the founding Jounin-ranked ninja. Er, elite ninja I guess you could say."
He pauses as they reach the outside of Suna, just before the desert starts. He then begins to walk again, headed in a certain direction. Seems like he knows where he is going! The sun was already starting to get hot, though was still quite tolerable. "If I was brought in now at that age and skill level, I probably wouldn't be at the same rank. But because Konoha were short on Jounins at the time, they made some exceptions. They needed to make sure they at least had some shinobi strength. Anyway, I did that for seven years, training kids to become ninja in teams. Going out on missions, all that stuff. But then I had enough. I quit."
He scratches his head a little at Chi's final question. As to why he quit? "For a number of reasons, really. Frustration with the direction the Village was headed in, other senior people in charge, internal bickering between clans, bounty hunters coming after me and endangering my students on missions. Lack of freedom, but overall, just too much structure for me."
"My philosophy with not only being a shinobi, but with life in general, is to take risks and do what you feel is right. If someone does something that makes you want to punch them in the face, you do it. Konoha, as… er, liberal as it is, is pretty much the opposite. As are most of the shinobi Villages."
"So yeah. That's it in a really super quick run-down." Goh says, exhaling slowly as the pair reach a cactus. "Sorry for the ramble. Check this out, in the morning cactus shadow." The blonde crouches down, before getting out a small knife. He cuts a little weed looking plant off at the stem. "Always leave enough for it to re-grow, of course. But this little beauty adds some good flavour!"
While Yorochi doesn't say anything while the boy is telling his story, she does question the whole hunted like dog situation. She listens, she truly does but, it bothered her the entire story, it left her with a very thoughtful expression for what would seem to be no reason but, she pushes it aside for a bit. "An elite ninja at that age? Even if the prerequisites were lacking a bit. That's still a lot to expect from a child, you must've still been something to be a leading pioneer in the stable ninja world."
This said in an attempt to counter his self-downing. "Though I'm not surprised at the fact that there was bickering between the clans. I always wondered how they were suddenly able to join up along each other, I mean they were all from the same area so they were most likely fighting each other the week before the village came together." Yorochi scratches her cheek with one dainty little pinky finger. "That's a bit impressive now that I think of it."
Yorochi crouches down next to Goh to get a close look at the cutting action. "Hmm okay. Ah, there's another!" She points off in to the distance. "I think…" Lacking any cutting tools herself, she doesn't move just yet, waiting for the blonde to be finished with this plant.
The bothersome thought hits her again, "By the way. That phrase, hunt down like a dog. I've always wondered, is it the hunter or the huntee that's the dog?" She opens up her backpack and unzips it while the question is asked holding it open for Goh to drop the stuff in.
"Heh, thanks. I guess. Never really thought about it myself." Goh replies to the compliment. "I guess growing up in War sort of… fast-tracks things. But anyway." Trailing after her as she thinks she has spotted one, Goh nods. "Yeah — that's it. Wow Chi, you may have a knack for this! Here," He offers forth a small set of scissors. Goh then puts the leaf away in her pack.
"You're right on the money again, too. The Uchiha and Senju were the prime culprits. One day they're killing each other, the next they're supposed to be allies? It's… difficult to put decades of bloodshed away like that. The results are still creeping over right now. Always a feud here and there unfortunately. Throw a whole bunch of other clans in too, it's unstable."
Walking over to collect more of the pieces, he seems to think about the answer. "Good question. In the beginning, my clan was hunted, my family killed because of our bloodline ability." Cutting away some more, he strides back over to Chi and puts the remaining herbs in the pack. "But I grew up, and then they become the hunted." He shrugs a little. "Leave the puppy to grow and it becomes a nasty dog, huh? Heh."
He then begins to stride away once more, headed to the next site. It's at this moment, at one step, when he pauses to look down. "…this could be bad."
The whole area then proceeds to FALL! The ground gives way, causing both Yorochi and Goh to plummet down through several feet of sand and debris. They will hit the ground, sand falling all around them.
Judging by the looks of things, it seems to be an old pit that was covered up. Just not filled in properly To the side, one one of the walls of the pit, an entrance to a cave can be seen.
"You alright?" Goh asks, standing up and brushing the dust off.
Chi takes the scissors and begins to cut away at the plant gathering the leaves and putting them in the pack. "It's a good thing you got out of there. Many have heard of those two clans and their destruction. If civil war ever breaks out and those two are on opposite sides." Yorochi then thinks of the clans of Sunagakure, she didn't really know of any rivalries like that. The village was actually full of random people from all over, the diverse gathering oddly seemed much more stable. This thought is kept to herself and she tries to push it away, she could only hope that future traveling would be more of a choice than something she had to do.
Yorochi continues to stroll along curious to what Goh's bloodline was, to have him hunted down like that. When she opened her mouth to ask something would be off. "Huh." She had a decent footing until now, "Huh? WHAAA~!" Yorochi intially flails wildly as they start the sudden decent, in all the grace she had with walking she truly lacked it while falling.
They say that the butt is well designed for falling on but, she'd definitely beg to differ at the moment. "Owowow." Getting up onto her feet she looks up, "Yeah, I think I'm fine on a physical level." Her hand reaches back to soothe her lower back, "But, mentally I'm a bit worried on what we might of stumbled on."
She points to the cave opening a hidden entrance is never a good sign, whether it's bandits or giant sand monsters! Yorochi's usual confidence was currently… lacking.
Continuing to dust sand and such off, Goh looks in the direction that Yorochi points. An adventurous grin appears on his face, the blonde making his way for it. "Awesome." He comments, his voice echoing down the cave path. It looks to go deep into the earth. Turning about, he looks back over to his female partner.
"Hard to say," He comments. "Back when Sunagakure was created, I imagine that they would set up traps like these all over. For shinobi to fall into, and then launch an attack from the tunnel here." He scratches his head, looking back into the cave. "Alternatively, it could just be the home of a giant, fifty foot long sandworm." Stretching out, he takes a bold step forward into the darkness that the cave provides. As he does, his spare hand (the one not holding the duffle bag) suddenly… catches on fire! He holds it above his head, the flames around his hand not appearing to hurt at all. He uses it as a torch, looking into the cave as much as he can.
"We could be in for some luck here. Some extra rare herbs and such will grow along these cave walls! C'mon." He beckons Chi to follow, and sure enough, he proceeds down the dark passage.
Goh's awesome gets a foreign look from Yorochi, "I guess one of the few awesome things about it would be the fact that it was a possible way out?" Her voice a bit rattled though it was obvious she was trying to joke, completely cool with this situation. She takes a few steps forward, Goh's initial thesis coming off as logical and somewhat comforting. Then he follows it up by talking about a fifty foot sandworm.
Yorochi's expression goes flat and she just sliiiiiides up right behind Goh, making sure to stick especially close now only breaking away slightly when his hand decides to combust. A squeak escapes as she jumps in her position a bit, "O-oh, that was just you." Herbs were not really Yorochi's concern anymore, if she /did/ see any she wouldn't point it out as she was on the look for sandworms and although she could not see one she could've sworn… "D-did you here that?"
Was there a sound really, paranoia may just be magnifying whatever little action is going down in this cave!
"Hear what?" Goh queries, looking back at the form of Yorochi, now shadowing him like she was some sort of assassin. "Relax." He encourages. "Trust me, we're pretty safe down here. Honestly, I'd be more worried about getting heat stroke up there than encountering anything down here." Holding his hands to the wall, he demonstrates. "See the wall here? It's dry. So if any worm used to live here, it's long gone. Worms have moist skin and such." That… seemed to make at least a bit of sense, in a weird round-a-bout way.
Regardless, Goh continues to plod along the cave path. Along the way they encounter spiders, webs, even a few rats that dart in and out. They don't appear to phase Goh, who is too busy checking every crevace for herbs and spices. So far, there was nothing.
A few minutes into their walk, the pair emerge into a large, dank cavern. As opposed to the ground above, this place was moist feeling. Goh feeds a bit more chakra into his 'lantern', enabling the torch to become larger. What is before them appears to be some sort of oasis. An island in the middle, surrounded by a stream that funnels along a trench in the ground. There are bizarre plants around, all of which have the blonde almost hypnotised.
"Alright! Huge find!" He cries out in success. "Chi, for the bigger plants, if you could just cut some of the leaves. I'll hit up the ones on the ground."
And just like that, Goh steps across the small stream and onto the island. Picking things off the top with delight. "Having fun yet?" He asks, the grin unable to be hidden.
Yorochi runs her hand against the wall to make sure Goh's claim was true. Unsettled would be a good way to describe Yorochi but, she wasn't insanely paranoid anymore. She could get over the rats for now as she kept her eyes up high. "I suppose that makes sense." She sighs and looks off to the side, "Sorry, I'm being more of a burden than anything else." Though when she says that all she gets was silence, Yorochi personally didn't notice the change at all until looking up to see a more intense hand lantern and a completely new world underground.
A very pleasant gasp comes from her, as her hands clasp together with a clap. "This place is beautiful!" Apparently she and Goh had somewhat different reasons for being hypnotized by this place but, when it came down to it, it was due to the plants. "Oh I'm definitely having fun. The most fun I've had in a while." Grinning she stops by a thick plant shooting out of the ground, glancing at it for a moment before moving on to a strange colorful plant that was sticking out of the wall. "I'm sure it may be difficult with all the traveling but, maybe you should take some of these and pot them? This sorta seems like a troublesome place to come back to, I'm still not sure how we'll get out."
She starts snipping away humming to herself as she does so, feeling a bit saddened by the idea of chopping up something so precious. "Hmm maybe I'll take one of those pretty yellow and green ones over there out and bring it home. It'd be nice to have /something/ in that apartment."
"Eh, don't worry about getting out. I've got a super secret awesome plan." Goh replies, sounding confident at least. "You're not a burden at all, Chi. I can't imagine discovering this place on my own. It's always more fun when you have someone to share it with, y'know? Heck, Sunagakure probably wouldn't even have this place documented. They won't even believe us."
Crouching down, Goh ensures to take the very best of what's available. "We don't want to take too much, remember. If we never come back that's fine. I have no problem with that. We'll just take what we need and ensure that it has enough to re-grow."
Putting everything he finds in the backpack that Yorochi has, the pack soon fills up with goods. Goh opts not to take any of the actual big plants though. "I think if you take some flowers back, that's fine. Geez… there must be some weird things going on to make these plants flower with no sunlight." Goh looks up at the ceiling, as if curious.
"Yeah. Weird." And at that, there is the sound of something from afar. Perhaps the very thing that Yorochi heard previously, only this time it's loud enough that Goh can hear it. Almost like a… snarly growl. So loud though that it reverberates through the open cavern. "I… uh, may have heard that."
Charging his lantern a bit more, what is revealed on the other side of the cavern is another entryway to a tunnel. It looks to go even deeper into the depths of the earth. The sound of the roar echoes through again, causing the cavern to shake. Whatever was making that sound, was definitely getting closer.
"Run!" Goh yells, turning on his feet. "Quick! Back the way we came!"
There doesn't appear to be much more that can fit in the bag. When she decides to uproot the plant she was speaking of earlier. Jabbing at the ground with her scissors, the impressive moisture within the soil makes the task easy as she managed to pull the plant out with a chunk of dirt still around the roots.
"Hopeffuly the sun won't kill them too quickly." Yorochi gets to her feet, "Hrm, I wonder if the fact that there is no sunlight but instead special properties in this water or soil causing it to gr-" Yorochi halts her thought as the sound rings out again. Her voice gets very small, "…sandworms…" Though running would be the most logical thing Yorochi get's locked in place.
It wasn't until Goh actually says run that she made any thought on the matter. "R-right!" Well, she didn't have those crazy jounin ninja speeds but with all the dancing and traveling, an athlete she was. Hopefully she wouldn't slow Goh down much though as the combined strength and length of her legs pulls her through pretty quickly. Also… being completely terrified helps too.
Of course, Goh isn't the type to just leave someone in the dust. If he had a little bit more time, then he could have possibly performed a technique. But in situations like these, common sense just slips your mind. 'Just trust me' Goh said. Perhaps Yorochi would have to think twice before doing that next time?
As the pair race back up the cave path, the blonde male draws neck and neck with his travelling partner, before pulling slightly ahead of her. "Whatever the heck you do, do NOT look back!" Because if she did, she will see the faint glimmer of movement in the distance. Despite their running ability, the gigantic worm was catching up!
As the ex-Jounin pulls slightly ahead, he performs a single seal with his left hand, the one that is on fire, before spitting out a small ball of fire. The ball of fire, maybe the size of a baseball, races up the cave to where the cave-in was, just fifty or so meters away. As soon as it hits the rubble, the ball EXPLODES! As if a series of exploding tags went off. Immediately, sunlight shines down into the cave, the explosion clearing the debris. Goh squints, the sudden light throwing him a bit off.
Of course, they still had to actually /get/ out. Without being eaten. "We're nearly there!"
Yorochi's expression is that of sheer focus, she had the ability to just drown other things out and she was focused on one thing and one thing only, getting out. She had actually forgotten that the way out didn't necessarily exist in this direction in the process. So, when they start reaching the exist her determination starts to rapidly drain and with her lack of determination went her focus and with her focus gone went common sense and so she did exactly what Goh told her not to do.
She glanced back for a second and saw that she was indeed not outrunning the beast. Her heart skips a beat and so does her run. Stumbling over her own motions, she falls into a tumble. Managing to roll right back onto her feet out of sheer skill or adrenaline she was going again. "GOOOOH!" She yells out, her eyes shut as she just runs straight, terrified tears flying away from her as she zoomed out.
Well, look at that, second day in Sunagakure and she's already going to be dead. That's the thought that crossed her. Honestly if it weren't for this part of the cave being so straight she would've probably hit a wall by now as she continues the rest of the escape without looking back or, at anything at all.
They're clear! Somehow, both Goh and Yorochi get to the smoking rubble that is now the entry point to the cave. Sunlight strikes down onto their bodies as they emerge in a hurry, the blonde skipping onto the chunks of earth as if they were steps.
"Just keep your eyes on the solid pieces, Chi! Step up and up, and up onto the sand!" With the amount of rubble around, Yorochi would be able to find a path up and onto the sandy surface easily enough, so long as she can focus enough! Likely wouldn't be the same path that Goh has taken, but it should still do the job. "North! Run north back to the Village!"
Meanwhile, the sandworm is getting so close now that you can almost hear its teeth chatter. It's body grinds through the hollowed out walls like slick snake, having no issue closing the gap.
Goh doesn't leave Chi to fend for herself. He will wait until she's on the sandy surface before proceeding.
Yorochi bumps into the wall, slamming face first into it the wall which causes her to open her eyes. Her face is somehow uninjured, maybe the beauty simply being unsmashable! So she doesn't really take much time to recover and is soon scaling the wall, with expert ability. There was no time to fool around, that thing was getting far too close. Launching herself out of the hole, she starts running back to the village. "You think it'll follow us?!"
With Yorochi clear, Goh turns and starts running back to the Village entrance with her. "I have no idea!" He calls back. "Fingers crossed it doesn't!"
As they get perhaps twenty meters away, the sound of a deafening roar echoes out! The huge sandworm breaches from the ground and shoots into the sky, writhing about. The thing must easily be in excess of a hundred feet long, given that it's still partially in the cave and stretched so high up into the sky. It lets out a blood curdling squeal, frustrated that it missed out on prey, and pained from feeling direct sunlight on its pale skin. Then, slowly, it begins to retract back into the cave from whence it came.
Goh stops running slowly, shifting gear into a brisk walk. "We should be alright. But, uh… let's head back to the Village all the same." He clears his throat a bit. "Thanks heaps." He suddenly says, as if nothing happened. "Erm, once you get the all clear from medical, I can pay you for the efforts no problem." Standard procedure really. She'll have to get checked out! She did take a few tumbles and such.
Yorochi slows down, dropping to her knees when all was said and done. She made sure not to look back ever, only stopping because Goh started to slow. "Haa… haa… no, no problem." Shame, she dropped the plant she was going to pot. "I'm fine, I believe but… yeah, village. Safe." It looks like breathing finally caught up to her as she gets up and stumbles forward. As much as she feared that thing her next words contradict, "I look forward to you running out of supples sometime soon."
"Sounds like you got some sort of weird hunger for adventure." Goh replies with a snicker. "You did very well, Chi. For someone who hasn't got much experience in the wonderous life of pickling, you took to it like a duck to water. Anyway, let's head back. I dunno about you, but I could go some…" He pauses to think, "Pickled celery should do the trick… no wait… maybe tomato. Oh, but mushrooms would be good too!"
Goh scratches his head at the thought as the pair head back to the Village, living to tell another tale.