Date: November 26, 2012
Sunagakure Genins meet up and band together for the Chuunin Exams.
"Second Promotion Exams - Suna Genin Unite!"
Blood Marsh - Heart of the Swamp [Kirigakure]
Rising unnaturally out of the putrid water in the center of the marsh is a huge slab of granite stone, shaped as a rectangle framed only by large wooden posts standing tall at their respective corners of the rock. The moss covered posts themselves are decayed from time and warped from the water, many wounds from various weapon types plague their appearance..red mushrooms growing on one side. Treemoss hangs low from the canopy laden with spiderwebs; dangling from above to almost touch the surface of the water. The swampwater at the center of this marsh seems to be without the hued mist; but the waters color itself appears to be a deep dark red..possibly caused by an algae native to this area; an allure to the very name of the marsh. Worn from the use of many and more years, the granite slab seems large enough to be qualified as a primitive arena, red stains rust-like in appearance litter the slab of stone in various places and sizes; the cypress trees' branches growing together so thick here it's almost cause for artificial lighting.
November 26, 2012 - October 24 (Wednesday), 7 A.F.
The heart of the swamp. The large slab of granite stone raised up from the swamp may be meant for some kind of arena, here Risu is using it for something far different. She's set up camp at the center of the slab, not anything huge, just a little tent to help against any rain. No fire, as she sits on a small mat in front of the small tent, watching the woods around the slab, the swamp… so different from home, that it is a bit intimidating to her in and of itself. No sand, no sand storms, just…. darkness and trees and water and moss and…. it makes Risu shiver as she eyes it all, seeing foes in each swaying bit of cypress branch or little hidden sound of motion. She's holding a kunai in one hand as she sits there, nervously.
Uncomfortable dampness seems to cling to everything. Dark green moss growing wildly on every facet and unknown creatures slithering just at the surface of the swamp before stealthily disappearing once more. The whole air was just unnerving in itself, not to mention the fact that one particular kunoichi can't swim worth a lick.
Despite how uncomfortable the Blood Marsh may be, the layers of robes Akina usually wears against the harsh environment of the desert serves surprisingly well against the thick moisture as well, making it at least somewhat easier to move through the swamp. As deep as she was getting, the masked kunoichi expected to run into someone by now, the poison-dipped senbon clenched in her hand under folds of her long sleeves in anticipation.
The small tent just ahead was a bit of a surprise, giving Akina a bit of a pause.
Risu is on the look out for anything or anyone at this point. Sitting here for a while has allowed her to dry out some, as much as one can in a swamp, but has left her twitchy as well. As she hears someone moving through the swamp she looks in that direction, peering into the dim light, thanks to the canopy blocking out what little light there might be down here. "Who's there? Identify yourself!" She calls out, apparently not afraid to confront anyone coming near, nor trying to hide. Could be a sign of confidence or just a dislike of the water to the point where she doesn't want to climb back down off the stone slab. She switches her hold on the kunai, shifting to a throwing hold just in case she needs to as she tries to identify the approacher.
The sudden confrontation makes Akina take an abrupt stop, the smooth white mask revealing nothing as she studies the girl on the rock. Clearly more than willing to defend herself and with no inclination of hiding the fact. The kunoichi tightens her hand around her prepared senbon as she lifts her hooded head just slightly, "Shibata Akina from the village hidden in the sand." she murmurs lightly, her voice that of a young girl regardless how well her features are covered. "You know, you are not exactly doing yourself service with a tent out in the open. It is just inviting trouble."
Looking around then back to Akina, Risu shrugs and says, "I'm not going to slog throug this horrible swamp any more. Everything is wet and damp and I feel like a drown rat. So… I made camp in the only dry place I've found so far. If someone wants to come fight me for my scroll, I'll fight them. Either I'll win, and stay here dry, or I'll lose and get to leave this god forsaken swamp." She says, clearly a bit perturbed by the chosen location for this year's exams, hardly seems fair to her. "Oh, and I'm Risu, also from the Village hidden in the sand, so… I guess we're the closest things to allies we'll find here." She admits, "So perhaps we shouldn't just attack each other outright but you climb up here, get dry and we talk a bit?" She offers.
Akina couldn't help but smile to herself behind her mask as she listens, understanding just how Risu feels on the matter. "Nice to meet you, Risu." she murmurs. "And I do not really feel inclined to attack you as well, so that sounds ideal." The girl chuckles lightly as she sludges forward through the swamp, the ground beneath her rising up to the rock where the tent had been arranged. "I think we are the only ones from Suna in the Chuunin exams. My sensei won last years exams."
Risu relaxes her grip on the kunai and nods, "Well, perhaps he gave you some good advice. I… well, I until recently thought I had no shot at anything here but I recently uncovered some new tricks and so…." She shrugs vaguely, "Anyway, come, get dry, We can at least watch each other's backs for a bit. Day one, and I feel like everything I own is soaked. Not that it is but still." She sighs, "Didn't want to risk a fire, would be far to easy to see, but maybe we should just to warm up and dry out. What do you think?" She asks Akina, unsure herself about the merits and cons about having a fire really. The slab is huge so her tent only takes up a tiny little bit in the center of this 'arena' sized slab.
Akina nears and lowers herself to take a seat in front of the tent, using a hand to brush off a few drops from her kimono. She chuckles lightly from the other girl's comment. "I think we can use some fire seals to warm up instead of an actual fire. And I also think that if we set up hammocks up there," she glances up as she points up into the treetops, "that it would give us a stealthy vantage point and keep us out of the swamp."
Frowning a bit, Risu says, "I don't know any seals so… ah, but yeah, we could do hammocks or build some kind of scouting spot up where the trees meet? Try to camoflague it so that we can see others who come here?" She suggests, "Just so long as we aren't stuck in the water and muck." She grumbles, "Why couldn't we be out on some nice desert island, with big beaches? No, they have to stick us in some horrid swamp." She shakes her head, "Anyway, you see anyone else yet? I haven't since the start. Hope we're not so far out of the way that we don't see others to fight and get scrolls." She says thoughtfully as she considers the possiblity, "But pretty sure we'll see someone eventually, this spot looks like it used to be a fighting ring of some sort."
Akina chuckles again, "Well, it does no use to complain about where we are now, so we might as well just make the best of it." She tilts her hooded head at Risu for a moment as she listens before shaking her head, "No, no one so far. It makes me wonder if they are grouping together too, even hiding until someone unknowingly stumbles into their location."
Risu thinks about this a moment, "Well, those of us unfamilar with the swamps could certainly be lured into ambushes or traps without realizing it. We wouldn't know what to look for I suppose." She admits, "But… I think, or hope, they are more honorable than that. Maybe that's hoping for too much. Anyway, want to try to set up a place to camp for the night up in the trees? Break down this tent and all, and see if anyone else comes wandering around here?"
Akina tilts her head. "How would that be dishonorable?" she asks curiously. "It is what shinobi do. And they would do the same thing to us. It is a test of skill after all." The girl shrugs a slender shoulder. "We can. Did you want to use your tent as a makeshift hammock?"
Risu clearly has a some what different idea of honor and the like but… says nothing to Akina's comment, "I can set up a hammock for myself. It'll be find. I can pack this up too." She adds as she turns to her tent and starts to try to fold it up, with some skill as if she's done it before, "We should set up on either side of the stone slab, across from each other, that way either of us can raise an alarm if we see someone approaching." She adds, "Unless you have a better idea?"
The girl is quick to her feet to help Risu pack up the tent, following her lead on how to fold it. "Flanking sounds like a good idea, and it would give us more visible area." Akina agrees. "But if someone does show up, how do we alert the other?"
Risu shrugs, "Simple, the one who sees the person plays bait, makes a lot of noise, lures them to the center of the stone slab so the other can surprise them?" She suggests, removing the need for anything horribly complicated. "Just don't sleep too deeply if you get comfy." She says, trying to tease a bit now that she's packed her stuff up. "I'll take this side." She gestures, neither side or no side particularly better than another.
Akina frowns slightly to herself beneath her mask. "But, how is one of us supposed to play bait if both of us are in the treetops?" she asks, letting go of her side of the tent for Risu to handle. "I suppose if we made a mock scroll and set it in the middle of the slab that would seem too suspicious."
Risu shakes her head, "One of us leaps down and lures the target to the center, making a lot of noise and manuvering so that the person's back is to say you, then you leap down and can attack from behind as I attack from the front, or the other way around if you find the person first. Just run down the tree. Okay?"
"Oh." That's one plan. "But what if I see a person and instead of just outright attacking them, I stay in the shadows and throw poison senbon at the target. That way they are caught off guard and can not defend against it. And when they are weak and helpless, we can just take a scroll without a fight." Akina shrugs.