Date: October 21, 2014
B-Rank Mission.The trio sets meets up unexpectedly at the crater in the Forest Glade and investigates what happened to the missing Koumorite.
"So Below: Death in the Darkness"
Forest Glade, Land of Water
The banishment of Nikumari Mushi due to her releasing the power of her bijuu within the Land of Water had happened weeks ago, but the damage the woman had caused to the land was still present. In her absence, she left behind a parting gift; A massive crater that covers much of the landscape past the Chill River and within the Forest Glade, close to the village of the Koumorite. Many of the trees and vegetation that was in the blast zone has been completely decimated, leaving not a trace of its existence. It was sure to be a sight to behold. Power of that magnitude.
It is why on this late afternoon day with a low lying mist that fills the air, Eremi has decided to check out the damage before a cleanup crew was sent. Naturally he brought Renai along, his escort through the Land of Water to help him find away and make sure he doesn't lose focus and get too lost…in his drink. As the pair approached, there were no warnings or barricades preventing others from approaching. An odd sight indeed, but with the threat of the silence and civil war always a possibility, the crater was most likely low on issues that needed to be dealt with.
Renai walks along beside Eremi as they near the crater created by Mushi. The girl seems to become increasingly troubled as they near the destruction, emotional even. It's all well-hidden beneath the stoic mask she keeps, but Eremi might notice small things about her-extra sighing, clenched fists, a certain sharpness to her tone-that give her true feelings away.
She pauses at the edge of it and frowns down at the ruined land. She emits a small huff and looks away, "Some people just have no respect for nature. This forest will never be the same now. I can't imagine what sort of immature loon would do such a thing.. " The girl's words taper off into mumbling and grumbling and she starts making her way down the side of the crater, slipping and sliding until her feet touch the bottom.
[NPC System]: Crater roll(s) Crumbling away vs Renai from 20 to 40 and get(s) a 28. - Rolled by: Eremi
Paranoia made him hesitant at first, but no longer would Kiyoshi allow it to impede him. Mushi was banished for reasons unknown. And knowing Meruin as well as he did — which in truth, may not actually be much at all — Kiyoshi knew that if any answers were to be gleaned, he would have to start from the very beginning. Alone.
Upon seeing only a fraction of the miniature wasteland for himself, Kiyoshi found himself hesitant to continue. If memory served him right, the crater was far too close to the Kuomorite village… as well as the Shirayuki offshoot village near Chill River. If either or villager had been caught in the blast range — A growl comes out unbidden at the very notion being given consideration. Then, the Kirryu takes off once more towards the actual crater sight, heedless of any concern of some guard posted by Meruin catching him at the sight. Upon seeing Eremi and Renai's vague figures, Kiyoshi — mistaking them for said guards if not gawkers — almost relished the idea of an altercation.
Reaching the edge, Eremi peered down at the crater much like Renai was, but instead of jumping head first like she had just done, like she does with most everything, he was content with observing from the outskirts and for good reasons. On the opposite side of the crater, near the Koumorite village, much of the ground had given way and was quite apparent even from where he stood. "Use caution for once, Renai." And just as he finished his words and the girl had reached the bottom, the earth beneath Renai's feet shifted and then crumbled away. Were she not fast enough, she was sure to fall into the depths of whatever waited below. The approach of Kiyoshi goes unnoticed by Eremi.
RPCOMBAT: Renai defends against with a EVASION…32
The ground starts falling out from under her feet and Renai panics. The girl back pedals a few steps and then falls. She even emits a shriek that echoes through the cavernous area below. Her green hair blurs in the motion of her falling and her body twisting to save itself. In the end, she hangs upside down from the ceiling of the cavern right beside where the ground crumbled, chakra keeping her attached to a bit of more solid earth.
"What's caution?" Her words echo out of the hole after a moment, but she doesn't seem to come back out. Instead, she goes into a rant, her anger approaching the boiling point and her voice echoing ominously. If Kiyoshi is close enough, he could probably hear her by now. "What kind of luck is it that some jerk would make a crater right over an underground cavern? I mean, seriously. This sounds like a conspiracy." There's another small sound of surprise and the beating of wings as a small flock of bats come flying out of the hole, obviously disturbed by Renai's rudeness.
Bones and flesh began to shift as the Moto proceeded closer to his objective. Fail safes in case the 'guards' chose to act first and ask questions later. All such consideration are tossed out of the window the moment Kiyoshi hears the shriek. On reflex the boy bears down on all fours, making the necessary shifts to increase his speed to the point he is about a good few feet away from the lip of the crater before catching wind of Renai's rant around mid-way. Slowing down takes him to the lip. Hopefully so long as nothing else goes wrong, the Moto hesitantly calls out the girl's name. Or at least… he's about eighty-percent sure her name was Ranma.
Watching the ground slip away and Renai disappear beneath, Eremi could only sigh while shaking his head before proceeding ahead himself. A foot would hang over the edge as he fell forward before clinging to the side of the crater and holding firmly. He barely took another step before finally catching sight of another, yet older…barbaric looking individual. "If that's some cute nickname for Renai…She's too young for you." Eyeing the giant before moving ahead, slowly as he did, until reaching the ground that slipped away. "You ok?" Leaning over and peering into the hole, there wasn't much light to give indications of what waited beneath and only the sounds of flapping wings and running water hinted at bats as well as an aquifer or some underground stream.
Renai looks below her, blinking a few times as she lets her eyes adjust to the darkness. She can make out the dim outlines of things, but not much more. She's quiet for a moment, listening to the water and trying to sense how far of a drop it would be to the ground below.
"I'm fine." She moves to squat .. uh.. up at the edge of the hole and peer up at them. "Who is that out there? And why is he calling me nicknames? Is it someone I know?" She tries to peek over the edge and up to the edge of the crater where she thinks Kiyoshi is but the action nearly causes her to lose her footing. With a yelp, she straightens and takes a few steps back onto the more solid ceiling. If she falls this time, there won't be anything to grab hold of except the floor. With a gentle sigh, she refocuses and sends her chakra through the earth in an attempt to find a wall she can walk down.
RPCOMBAT: Renai defends against with a TREMOR-SENSE…17
Kiyoshi only gives Eremi a bemused look in return until at least part of what the man said fully digests. Of course by then, Renai speaks up, prompting a shift in focus on Kiyoshi's part. He is as cautious as Eremi in his approach if not more so since he chose to rely on his other senses versus trying to peering into the hole himself. As the rest of him returned to normal, the Kirryu played with enhancing his other senses further. Although that effort is soon to be all but abandon.
"Ki—" The rest catches in his throat at the sound of the yelp. He starts to approach the hole further, throwing caution to the wind in his haste. "Rin!"
[NPC System]: Crater roll(s) Crumbling away vs Renai from 25 to 50 and get(s) a 37. - Rolled by: Eremi
[NPC System]: Crater roll(s) Crumbling away vs Kiyoshi from 25 to 50 and get(s) a 36. - Rolled by: Eremi
[NPC System]: Crater roll(s) Crumbling away vs Eremi from 25 to 50 and get(s) a 44. - Rolled by: Eremi
RPCOMBAT: Eremi defends against with a DODGE-II…40
[NPC System]: Crater roll(s) Falling damage vs Eremi from 200 to 500 and get(s) a 359. - Rolled by: Eremi
RPCOMBAT: Eremi took 359 damage.
RPCOMBAT: Kiyoshi defends against with a DODGE-II…32
[NPC System]: Crater roll(s) Falling damage vs Kiyoshi from 200 to 500 and get(s) a 303. - Rolled by: Eremi
RPCOMBAT: Kiyoshi took 303 damage.
RPCOMBAT: Renai defends against with a EVASION…24
[NPC System]: Crater roll(s) Falling damage vs Renai from 200 to 500 and get(s) a 261. - Rolled by: Eremi
RPCOMBAT: Renai took 261 damage.
"No one that I know…"Eremi replied, as he continued to look down the hole. He had plans of jumping in and start an investigation that would hopefully sate his growing curiousity. He was going to do it safely, dropping something down the hole to help with giving an echo location of just how far of a drop it might be. That was his plan anyways, but with Kiyoshi quickly approaching and the added weight behind the behemoth, the crater began to shift once again, but the area in which it struck was much larger before the ground gave way.
In the position he was, Eremi had no where to move as the ground beneath his feet disappeared and wtih a sudden grunt he was falling. It wasn't far, but with the darkness covering the area the ground appeared sooner than expected. Like the underground cavern, he crumbled to the ground.
Renai's eyes widen as she senses Kiyoshi's rushing movements. The ground beneath her feet starts to shake apart and the girl gasps. She reaches down to feel for a root, anything. Her hands move over a rock feebly and then she finds herself suddenly airborne with nothing to hold on to. She emits a word that someone of her age probably shouldn't be saying and then another shriek as she falls.
Renai lands with a thud and a cloud of dirt that poofs up around her. She rolls around a bit with a groan before pushing herself up and feeling for injuries. "Oh.. that sucked." Her eyes lift to the dim light above and then move over the darkness. Sighing, she starts feeling around in her pockets. Good. She still has the pieces of flint and steel. Rummaging noises can be heard from her direction and she feels around for something to set on fire.
Kiyoshi fares little better than the others once the ground began to give way beneath his feet. The most he manages is a frantic scramble towards the edge at the last second before ultimately falling beneath the surface. He hits the ground front first. The force of which drives the air right out of his lungs. Groans nearly slip past his lips and would have if not for the Moto clenching mouth shut. Where the fall failed, a last minute chunk of rock hitting his head succeeds at least elicits an "Ow."
"Everyone.. alright?" He asks as he strained his senses to find the other.
For a time, Eremi didn't move. Simply laid upon the cold, moist ground while trying to regain his senses as well as some of his calm. He was frustrated that this had happened and while he could blame himself, he'd much rather blame the titan that fell with the group as well. Groaning, he'd roll about before clambering to his feet. "Renai, light us up." His eyes would adjust to the minimal light that came from above, but the cave itself was too dark to see much else. "There's a chance others have fallen in as well, considering the hole that was on the other side of the cavern. We should probably check things out now that we're down here…Thanks to your admirer.
Her hand wraps over what feels like a log and Renai blinks. She lifts the thing to her face and sniffs at it. Why is there a torch.. Her head tips to the side and she gets lost in thought for about thirty seconds. Eremi's words snap her out of it though and she props the thing up and starts striking flint and steel until the sparks catch.
Once the torch is lit, the girl moves first toward Eremi, looking him over to make sure he isn't dying and then to Kiyoshi. She looms over him and then recognition settles in. "Kiyoshi!" She extends a hand to him to help him up, having to brace herself to keep from toppling over should he accept said help. Once the two are accounted for, she moves about, exploring the immediate area and checking for living things that might bite them or something.
The barb doesn't go unnoticed. Kiyoshi restrained himself to a snort however, ignoring, or perhaps better yet, suppressing a resurgence of his more spiteful nature for the time being. Perhaps later…
Kiyoshi shirks away from the torch light and holds up a hand to further shield himself from it. Time was necessary to adjust to it. Well before then Renai is nearby. The hand falls away revealing an absent smirk. As for the offer, Kiyoshi declines with a simple shake of his head before forcing himself to his feet. Rude though it may have been, toppling her incidentally was best avoided in his opinion. "… What are you and your… friend over there—" He gestures with his head. "Doing here?"
With the torch now ignited, the darkness of the cave would retreat as the light pierced its depths. The underground cavern was surprisingly large and extended out in several directions. Eremi ignored the large man that had put them in this predicament and instead moved in the direction where he was sure others had fallen in. It wasn't too far off and he could already see pieces of rubble, but there were no bodies waiting for him. "Is anyone about Renai?" He'd hunch down, bending at the knees and pick up some of the dirt to sift through his fingers.
Her eyes move from Eremi and back to Kiyoshi at his question. "Ah, we wanted to see the crater. I used to come hunting out here before.." She inhales deeply and waves her hand dismissively. "Well, anyways.. We're all down here. Let's see what we can find. Supposedly, a group of Koumorite disappeared after the crater was made. Maybe they're down here somewhere."
When Eremi moves, she follows him, bringing the dim circle of light with her. She stops when he bends and looks around the ground, wondering if there are any tracks. The girl emits a soft hmming noise and briefly reaches through the ground to see what she can sense.
RPCOMBAT: Renai defends against with a TREMOR-SENSE…32
Kiyoshi makes a noise that is somewhere between a "hmph" and a snort over the duo's intentions. His mood picks up at the promise of a rescue mission, though only briefly. He had his own mission to take care of. And…
"It can wait." He murmured irritably underbreath before belatedly following after the duo. While Eremi and Renai busied themselves with searching the earth for clues, Kiyoshi focused searched the air for a trail. If the supposed Kuomorite were even remotely human, he would find them by sound or smell. Or so he hoped…
RPCOMBAT: Kiyoshi defends against with a PERCEPTION-III…45
RPCOMBAT: Eremi defends against with a PERCEPTION-II…54
Looking at the ground, Eremi could tell some people had in fact fallen through the crater, they just weren't here anymore. Standing up, he'd look toward Renai, "Whomever fell through the ground, the fall must have been enough to knock them unconscious, because it looks like they were dragged away without a struggle."
The chakra Renai sent through ground extended far into the cave in all directions, but revealed nothing. Kiyoshi on the other hand would pick up the smell of death and it was only coming from one direction, the same direction the bodies were dragged.
Renai looks about and then down where Eremi had noticed the patterns on the ground. She looks off in the direction of where they seemed to have been dragged and swallows. "Well, I guess we should go check it out then. Maybe someone was down here and helped them out." Her lips pull into a slight grin, hiding any fright se may have and the girl walks off into the darkness, her senses blind except for the torch. She extends it out before her like a beacon, her eyes taking care to watch the ground as well as the space ahead of her so she doesn't trip or fall over anything.
"Beyond that point by now." The words came out strained as a result of trying to keep bile from following them. Kiyoshi may not have been a stranger to death, but without adrenaline or other factors to block out the worse, the man-child was no less affected than any sane person. Despite his own words, the Kirryu unstrapped the oversized cleaver from his backside and proceeded towards the source of the smell. If nothing else, he — they could make sure that if anyone else were to fall down here, the worst they would have to fear is death by starvation/dehydration.
Traveling further into the cave the signs remained the same, but it wasn't long before the same stench Kiyoshi was choking back, that the others would smell as well. When it hit, Eremi stopped. "We move towards death, do we really want to see what awaits us?" He'd look between the other two. The giant already wielding a massive cleaver, so that was most likely Kiyoshi's answer. Though Renai wasn't primed yet, Eremi was sure her answer as well and he wouldn't be surprised if the moment the girl smelled something wrong, she went and did what she always does…Runs head first into danger.
As the smell hits her, her nose crinkles up a bit and her lips pull into a frown. So that's what Kiyoshi meant. She glances to the big boy and his cleaver, giving him a bit of a look. Well, that's just all imposing.
"Come on. Maybe someone is still alive." And Eremi is right. Renai takes off into a brisk pace toward the smell. She focuses on the way just to be prepared, pulling her chakra into herself. Her head turns back once to glance toward the others, checking to see that they're following her. It's much easier to run into danger head first when you know you've got back up, right?
Kiyoshi solidifies whatever conclusion is made by Eremi with a look and tightening of his grip on the cleaver. Chakra is gathered with every step that follows. Not a showy amount by any stretch, but enough to guarantee that any sneak attacks could be warded off without fail. That is the plan, in any case. "Just don't go calling out for them just yet. We're already big enough targets as is." Kiyoshi says, hinting at the light in Renai's hand.
Eremi didn't care if they ventured further in or went back where they came from. His curiosity was already sated from the stench of death. He knew what awaiting the trio, but if the others wanted to continue ahead, he would follow. "Something is definitely alive…" His sentence trailing as he moved with the rest, trying to keep up with Renai.
They didn't get too much farther before eyes peered through the darkness at the group, just on the outskirts of the light and in an instance, it charged. A beast of matted hair and a terrible smell that followed. It rushed toward Renai on all four as she was carrying the light. Its speed was fast and as it grew closer it rose on its hind legs. The creature was as large, if not larger than Kiyoshi and it was barreling down on Renai.
[NPC System]: Beast roll(s) Tackle vs Renai from 30 to 50 and get(s) a 46. - Rolled by: Eremi
RPCOMBAT: Renai defends against with a EARTH-DOME…35
RPCOMBAT: Renai took 401 damage.
Renai honestly hadn't expected anything to come rushing out at her. That's the trap she's fallen into with being sent on missions with Eremi. She gets to comfortable relying on his ability to protect her. A huge mistake. She should be more cautious and careful and stop sleeping at the wheel, so to speak.
So, when this thing rushes her, she drops the torch which quickly flickers out in a puddle. The sounds of the earth moving and then a sharp exhalation of air as it's shoved out of her when the beast collides with her body. The girl emits a groan though and sounds as though she's trying to move, to get away from the thing. Alive, at least.
Then Renai emits a growl, a cute noise in all its feminine ferocity, and her hands can be heard smacking the ground, a substance that quickly loosens and tries to trap the creature. Hopefully, she doesn't land up trapping Eremi or Kiyoshi instead.
COMBAT: Renai attacks target 1 with EARTH-WHIRLPOOL with a roll of: 36
"Understatement." Is all Kiyoshi bothers to add-on to Eremi's statement before danger strikes. By the time his ears percieve the sound of its charge, it is already too late to try to meet its charge. The disorienting disappearance of light ensured it.
"Rin!" He cries out despite expecting on immediate answer. The best he manages to pick up is a hint of the girl's growling admist the backdrop. It is more than enough to spur Kiyoshi to action, and even forgo toss aside paranoia to invoke the "Other's" power. Light returns to the cavern in spades, though it shifts quickly from one spot to the next. When it finally does stop, it is Kiyoshi — hopefully atop the beast, and hacking away at it with his cleaver.
COMBAT: Kiyoshi attacks target 1 with POWER-SHARP with a roll of: 22
COMBAT: Kiyoshi attacks target 1 with POWER-SHARP with a roll of: 23
COMBAT: Kiyoshi attacks target 1 with POWER-SHARP with a roll of: 30
[NPC System]: Beast roll(s) Avoidance vs Renai from 25 to 50 and get(s) a 28. - Rolled by: Eremi
In quite the surprising twist, the beast would be sucked up by the earth and despite struggling while using all of its immense strength to free itself, it is instead held firmly in the ground. It would roar in anger, its voice echoing through the cavern, but is quickly silenced from the powerful blade strikes of Kiyoshi that cleave into its body until all that remains is a heap of bloodied fur and dangling flesh. "Well, that was anti climatic." Eremi would move over toward the beast and kick its face with his foot, making sure it was dead. "All that's left is finding the bodies then?" His gaze would shift toward the glowing giant, "Onward torch."
Renai blinks up at Kiyoshi from her knelt position on the ground. She looks a little dirt-smeared and battered from the tackle, but otherwise okay. "Uhh.. thanks." She smiles sheepishly up at him and then starts to get herself up. Her eyes stay on Kiyoshi though, pondering at his form. She's never seen a tailed beast carrier before, not does she have much knowledge or experience with them. It's really something that always been a little outside her grasp, like myths of gods and things like that. She squints at Eremi when she looks to him, her eyes adjusting to the lack of light around him. "Bodies, right. So I'm guessing that thing ate them. Such a pity."
Every wild stroke shaves off huge chunks of the beast until the Kiyoshi reaches the other side. Its wild bucking and roaring does little dissuade the enraged giant. A final roar of Kiyoshi's own and a second hand joining the other at the hilt precedes the final stroke. Aside from being winded by the roar, the gore covered Kiyoshi is otherwise alright and… calm again. Mostly. He didn't exactly take kindly to the torch comment if the snort or flickering single tail behind him was anything to go by. The irritation about the Kirryu eases up after his gaze meets Renai, however brief though that may be. He even seems almost wary…
"We should still try to gather whatever markings we can, and a sample of this… thing before going."
Eremi shrugged, "Most likely, Renai." Looking further down the cave before glancing back the way they came. "We know what's down here as well, so if either of you want to, you're free to report what you find to your superiors and you can even bring the beast along with you. Though don't look for me to help with that." He'd sigh as he started to walk back toward the light of the cave opening. "I need a drink."
Renai looks down at the beast after watching Eremi wander off. She emits a soft sigh, her thoughts moving toward wondering about him and his past and things. She wishes she could be more help to him. The girl tugs her dagger free and she moves to start butchering the creature's head from its neck. It takes her several minutes to complete the task, severing as much as she can with small strokes and then bodily grabbing the skull and planting her feet on its shoulders. She strains for a few moments, then twists, and jerks with chakra assisted strength. The result is her toppling and rolling away with a comical squeak while clutching the severed head.
"Okay." Renai rises and hoists the head onto her shoulder, heedless of blood and gore and how it makes her look like a lopsided, two-headed monster. "I'm ready. How about you, Kiyoshi?" She looks to the boy for an answer. Her expression seems somewhere on the line between wariness and curiosity. But there's no fear in her.
Kiyoshi frowns a little at Eremi's borderline cavalier attitude, but refrains from pursuing the man. Concern and curiosity does distract him from his own suggestion. A task Renai sets too without so much as a word of complaint. His attention only reverts to the girl after hearing his own name spoken. The wary about him returns, though it is less intense than before. He is more… surprised still, if anything.
"… Ready." He replies awkwardly before descending from atop the beast's form. He is blissfully unaware that the lingering aches from the fall have disappeared by now. That, and that much of the gore has begun to burn away beneath the light of the cloak. Most of it, anyways.