Date: April 20, 2014
Rangers are in need of help to protect the rare song bird Jirube's Lullaby. On their own, they are unable to endure the song of the bird, much less trying to handle the poachers that are seeking it out. A team from Sunagakure heads out to guard the bird, it's area and secure the poachers after it.
"Rescue Rangers and the Song of Jirube's Lullaby"
A remote area along the River Delta
All parts of the Land of Wind weren't always desert. Some places had water and where there was water, there was bound to be greenery. In this area, a particular bird was found, Jirube's Lullaby, and has been quickly declared protected along with the area it roosts in. The area is fairly expansive, but nothing that shinobi couldn't handle. For the average guard, it was a hassle and not because of their lack of shinobi skills. No, it was because the bird sang often enough that it made them drowsy, making their duties difficult to maintain.
Enter the requested help from Suna to lend their help. Perhaps they can do something about keeping this place protected and subsequently the bird. They have experience with this sort of thing, so it should be easier for them. Although, reports from the guards have indicated that people of all kinds have been trying to come in and see the bird which ordinarily wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for the fact that thieves have been seeking to get their hands on it. So far, the bird has been protected, largely by its own singing, but some thieves have grown crafty and developed ways to endure dealing with the bird. Until all the work is done making this place protected and more so training the guards to resist the bird's singing, danger lies in wait.
The trio takes up post near the roost of the bird, just outside its area of influence where the singing will have little to no effect. As of now, it's set within a tree, resting in its nest. It's singing right now, but is known to stop as the day draws closer to noon. "Alright. We have our work cut out for us, but I believe we can do this. We have to watch this bird for the majority of the day which shouldn't be much of a problem as long as we skirt the area where its singing affects us less. If we go into the area of influence, its effects become stronger. Since there's a natural barrier of a rock formation blocking the eastern portion of this river area, most have been entering through use of the river or by taking less guarded areas inside. We'll be making rounds every hour. Wherever the bird flies, we go to make sure it doesn't get caught outside of our watchful eye. Sounds simple enough, right?" Itami questions.
"Actually, Itami-chama, I have a rather curious question." Ayumu asks, even though he probably should've waited a sec or two for her to acknowledge his arm being raised prior to his speaking up. "Are there no ear plugs effective enough to keep the song out?" He asks, genuinely curious by the look of him. Albeit, there's also a hint of mild fear behind those inquisitive… look(?) about the Iga, and an understandable one at that. After all, he >would< be most easily effected by the song given the natural adaptions of his kin to make up for the lack of sight.
"Simple enough." Keiji states as he starts to think about the situation. A smile forms on his face as he remembers how Ayumu has handed out his ears in the past. He pondered the distance an ear could get from an Iga before it lost contact with it. "I imagine the best way to immobilize hunters would be to use the head hunter technique on them. Then they can think about what they did."
"There should be, but no one has had any. Additionally, I don't think earplugs would do the trick. They can reduce sound, but that doesn't mean it can reduce the jutsu," Itami explains. "If the person can still hear it in some form, the chakra can get in and cause ill effects. Besides, sound is tricky. It can travel through more than just the ears," she explained. "We have more skill to resist genjutsu which makes this easier for us. For the common person, it isn't that easy. I imagine they'll need some training if they hope to continue guarding this preserve. We can't stay here forever, after all."
To Keiji, she nodded in reply saying, "That's a good place to start. The headhunter technique will be effective or any others like it. Jutsu that are capable of burial or immobilization. We can't harm people that come in here, annoyingly enough, so we have to take the harder road while others in here will have no problem using everything at their disposal…." She looked up towards the nest and watched as the bird perched, readying itself to take flight. "Looks like it's time we make a move. Let's go."
The bird took off to go and find some food. It was on the small side, but it had tailfeathers long enough and colors bright enough to see it. The trees in this area were fairly small since they bordered the desert, so tracking it was of no particular difficulty, save the tall grasses that were spread out along the river.
The Iga cannot help but grin at Keiji's suggestion. It is, however, Itami's words that he awaited; and thus, he held his tongue on adding more to it. After Itami finishes her explination, Ayumu sighs heavily in exasperation and murmurs a "figures" soon after. Still, he couldn't — nor would he — complain about the mission conditions; only wonder now why he was assigned of all people.
Weariness and agitation aside, Ayumu follows along with the others. Albeit, he lagged behind to ensure that he remained as far out of range of the bird's song as possible… not that it mattered given how sharp even his basic senses were. Along the way he grudingly leaves behind a trail of eyes and other organs that were bound to be less effected by sound, scattering them throughout the perserve in general.
Keiji's dark pupils saw the bird move. He wondered if it would simply return to its tree or if he would continue to move through the land. He did not know enough about the breed. With Itami's agreement, now they had a set way to deal with poachers. At her order the Shippdoku moves out after the bird. He did not seek to get too close. Keiji looks back in time to see the eyes being left behind. It seems like every time he is on mission with the Iga, he thanks the fates for letting him be a Shippodoku.
Itami follows after the bird, watching it carefully as it flew through the air and took up a birch on a small branch in a tree. It'd begin to make it's way down to the ground where seeds were scattered through the soil. It'd pluck at the ground with its beak to pick out the seeds and enjoy them for a meal. Unfortunately, someone had their eye on the bird and sought to take it down by darting it. "The bird has stopped moving for now. I think we can take rest around here and create distance should it decide to start singing once more."
"Hm? You wanted us to create a perimeter around it then, Itami-chama?" Ayumu asks as he rubbed at his right eye with the back of a hand. For some stupid reason, the darn thing was irritat—oh right. Some weird guy with a pipe nearby 'accidently' got one of his extra eyes stuck in his pipe, and now was probably struggling to get the thing dislodged. Odd how that inconviently happened, but at least the issue could be cleared up with a quick few subtle gestures to Keiji, pointing out where the man hid and such, then the cancelling of his connection to the organ.
Keiji sunk into the earth. His movements were quick, even though they were slowed slightly by the earth. As he reached the location of the hunter fiddling around with his blow gun, he reached up and grasped the man by the ankle. He pulls him down deep into the earth leaving only his head above the ground. He rises behind the man. "Poaching is illegal. Killing you on sight is similar. However if you die because you were buried up to your neck and failed to dig yourself out, I am pretty sure my end is free from charges. Although if you die, no one will know the difference anyhow. Have a nice day." Keiji states as he walks away from the struggling man.
"Yes, creating a perimeter. We need to be able to defend against this bird just as much as anyone else." Itami remarks to Ayumu offhandedly as she takes note of the poacher who they spotted. Keiji disappeared, but she knew he was going to pursue the one who tried to bring harm upon the bird. She smirked as the poacher tried to escape only to find himself drug to the ground up to his head. The man was rightfully frightened as Keiji spoke to him. He wasn't sure of how to escape…he'll likely be stuck here.
"Great job, the both of you," she states. "If he's here, that means there are more out here like him," she hums.
"Jirube's busy eating right now, so I think we have some time to let it go. Besides, its song is distinct. We should probably make rounds to see if there are others tracking this bird like this one was." She rubbed her neck. "I probably should have thought about that prior to, but following the bird will only be us against them. We must be more active." She began to take a look around the area, but sees nothing in particular. "Let's let the bird eat in peace."
She gestures for them to follow after her as she makes her trek through the delta area. She decided to pick the tall grasses as a place to seek out dangerous individuals. They're the only likely hiding places, at least for those out in the open.
Even without looking, Ayumu picks up on enough of Keiji's action to merit a foxy smile light up his features. "T'iz alright, Itami-chama. Me and Keiji don't love you any less for it… Well, I don't anyways." He chuckles softly. Even as he speaks the sensory organs he has gathered about are still on the move, probing the area for hidden enemies as well as keeping an eye or three out on the bird.
Once more he finds himself signaling to Keiji off-handily to deal with a poacher he had distracted by sending tongues up the man's ankles upon catching his 'taste' in the air. "Curious thing it is for them to bother with us even for awhile. Surely its a costly thing to rely Shinobi aid from a ninja village, neh?" He asks, even though inwardly he wonders if Sousa have some special interest in the area or the bird…
Keiji was in motion once again. It seemed like Itami and Ayumu formed the base camp and he performed the field work. As the signal was once more given, Keiji sinks deep into the earth. He did not want to distract the wild life. He had been amongst creatures long enough to know any hunter could use their actions to know something else was there. As he reaches the man, he makes sure to grab the ankle without the tongue to pull this one into the earth. "You know the worst part? You can still feel that tongue cant you? Yeah, its still down there. Thats going to need more than counseling to take care of." Keiji taunts as he rises from the ground. He then starts walking towards base camp.
Itami set herself out into the grasses to go and capture another poacher in the area, diving into the ground to sneak up to him and drag him under up to his head. She came back saying, "I sought out another in the grass and captured him as well. As for us being used, well, we're more suited to this sort of thing. Better to use us and the energy we have than to use someone else and have them grow tired trying to find every danger possible here," she states. "Besides, they felt threatened enough with poachers that they needed us, so we must at least honor that much."
As she began to take a seat, wires shot out from seemingly every direction to try and bind up the group in an attempt to trap them. The Jirubei was still feeding, but with the activity that took place with these wires, it took flight and flew off elsewhere.
Ayumu nods in asagely manner, and is just about to open his mouth to reply when the trap is sprung. The first wire set is evaded without much thought, but those that follow bind the Iga thoroughly, embarrassing the poor fellow in more ways then one. "Uh hahah, uhm… comerades in arms.. *clears throat*… little, help?" He manages to say with one of the wires threatening to cut off his ear supply.
Keiji nodded to Itami. As the wires came forth, he bent at the waist and let each of them pass over his head. He reached into his pocket and withdrew a single kunai. He tossed it at the wires biding Ayumu. "Quit playing around. The bird is escaping. I will deal with these shinobi, follow the bird and protect it. I do not want some poacher getting the best of us because we were distracted by others." Ok, so Keiji was not the head of the mission, but he was enough to seek out the shinobi and take them all down.
Itami slipped out of the way of the wires that came from out of the shrubbery and grasses by weaving through the darts that led them. When they were done, the wires were spread across the area, but otherwise nothing they couldn't handle. "We'll leave you to the shinobi, then. Ayumu, you're with me. Come along. We have to track the Jirubei," she states as she begins to head off. The shinobi aren't so eager to let them go and begin to attack by throwing up earth in their path. Keiji receives a direct attack from the hiding shinobi as he jumps out with a halberd and swings it at him in a powerful cut.
Ayumu murmurs his appreciation for the save and tosses off the last of the wire before scrambling to his feet. Tempted though he is to point out a fact to Keiji, the Iga follows Itami's lead on the matter. So long as she was happy, he would try to stay content. For now. Tremors in the earth forewarn him of the poachers plan. He manages to avoid the first of their obstacle course, but misread the change in terrain and would fall back as result. Still, so long as his eyes were kept on their target he could at least guide Itami, and forewarn her of any — "Right.. didn't pass those out this time." He murmurs after facepalming lightly.
The dark pupils focus on the bladed weapon coming down towards him. He twists at the abdoment to get his body out of the way. "Thats a mighty big sword you have." Keiji states as he draws on his poisoned pincers to attack the shinobi infront of him. Both jabs were towards the abdomen. It was the largest place to attack, which would increase his chance of hitting and allowing the poison to effect the man. "Why are you here?" he asks. He wanted to know if they were poaching the bird or a distraction so someone else could.
Itami managed to clear the walls that were meant to stop them, but Ayumu had a more difficult time in doing so. As he falls back, Itami thinks to go back to get him so that they could proceed together. She's going to need help in getting to that bird and going alone against these shinobi wasn't in her best interests. The halberd bearer blocked one of Keiji's claws, but the second struck true. Though it was old mild damage, the poison would be a problem. Still, he wouldn't give up and placed more effort into attacking Keiji. The others decided to try and bind Ayumu and Itami in a cluster of sharp rocks to keep them locked in place and in enough pain to keep them from thinking of breaking free.
Ayumu tries to wave her own the moment he picked up on her hesitation. Regretably, the thought mattered little to the poachers because both take advantage of the moment. Acting quickly, Ayumu manages to outrun the bramble of stone, but Itami does not fair as well. He stops, skidding for a few meters, but undaunted by the pain in his unprotected feet, he flashes through a series of hand seals. The first set unleashes a powerful gust of cutting wind that sheers through the brambles, and would do so to the poachers as well if they didn't move. No matter if he's successful or not in his efforts, Itami would be freed up in the process. He sends a shadow clone to help her free, and despite whatever command she may give him, the Iga stubbornly stays behind to 'deal' with the poachers while clone and councilwoman went after the main objective.
The whirlwind blade comes forth and sliced into Keiji. Keiji reached a hand down to the wound, touching his own blood as it spilled from the wound to the ground. His eyes opened wide as his muscles tensed. His body began to transform and a tail grew from his backside. "Now you have upset me." Keiji then dashes forward towards the man slamming the stinger of his tail into the shinobi with the halberd.
Itami was freed from the earth bramble and though she had a number of puncture wounds in her body, she could continue on. Along with the shadow clone assisting her, she tracks the Jirubei through the delta. At this point, it didn't make much of a sound except for the occassional sharp chirp that echoed from the distance. She isn't fond of making herself vulnerable, but at the cost of trying to seek out this bird, she thinks it best that she allows herself to fall victim to whatever jutsu its chirps and songs produce. The more affected she feels, the closer she should be. "I understand you're just a shadow clone, but I don't think you'd be affected so easily by genjutsu. You may be able to track it more efficiently than I can."
The halberd bearer against Keiji took a turn for the worst. He didn't expect for Keiji to take form and become a scorpion, but he didn't intend to back down either. When the tail came for him, he intended to cut it down before it had a chance reach him. He was too slow, however and the tail went straight into his body and sent poison through his system. At this rate, he's certain he won't survive. The more he puts effort into moving, the further her falls to the ground until he can't move. All that's left of this attack is immense struggle and pain as he writhes on the ground, unable to control the spasms of his muscles. Meanwhile, the earth users split and decided to go after the shadow clone and Itami, the other busied itself with the actual target. He attacked without reservations and summoned up a wave of earth against Ayumu while the third sought to crush Itami and the clone with large golem hands.
The clone has every intention of knocking Itami out of the way of the golem's hand, only drawn into some type of dance along with Itami. Dazed and confused, the clone can only go along with things until that wears off…
As for Ayumu, getting half-buried beneath a wave of dirt didn't sit well with him. The pain was terrible. So much so that he resorts to tuning his body to mute it, and send his OWN wave of smothering tendrils of hair back at the poacher. They borrow through the dome and around it, pinning the man in time to his own creation.
The rest of the unit was being detained by the shenanigans of these shinobi. Keiji had simply had enough. As he walks past the halberd shinobi, who's now managed to get to his knees, Keiji jams a pincered finger into his jugular and then continues on walking towards the next opponent. It was a cruel move. The deadly venom on his poisoned finger would send a tremendous amount of pain through the shinobi for his last few moments alive. The tearing of his jugular would cut off the air and prevent him from screaming out in pain at the same time.
The halberd bearer was down for the count now that Keiji finished him off with a slow and painful death. He wouldn't die immediately, but with his jugular torn and body filled to the brim with poison, all he could do is sit back and take it until his passing. The shinobi against Ayumu made an effort to pursue his shadow clone and Itami, but instead found itself wrapped up in an entrapment of earth, not to escape. Beneath his own jutsu and these tendrils of earth, he's bound to suffocate from being trapped hin both creations.
That left a final poacher for Itami and the clone to deal with. Seeing the hands travelling at high speed to get them, she whirled out of the way of hers and dashed in to swipe up the clone in a graceful sweep and evaded them both, leaving the hands to clap together and crumble.
Releasing the clone, she made an effort to put down their attacker. They still couldn't go in for the kill, so she needed to do something about this guy quickly and easily. She launched an attack against the poacher to drain him of enough energy to stop his pursuit. "Keiji," she called back. "I need a headhunter!"
The bird has found a perch and has begun its song, though it sounded distressed. As a result, it's fairly powerful. It seems that it isn't just any mild genjutsu. The way the bird feels appears to have an effect of how strong the jutsu is. "I think we ought to be careful! The Jirubei has begun singing and though I'd like to compliment it, I don't think this is its best tune, so to speak," she says already feeling the effects of her body beginning to slow soon after her attack is launched.
"Someone give me a good hit," she asks to keep herself from growing drowsy. She'd do it herself, but she doesn't think how sluggish she's beginning to feel is going to exchange into a powerful hit on herself.
The clone snaps out of the dizziness at the price of trip over a rock. By sheer dumb luck the impact is just under its popping threshold, but nevertheless, it embarrassed the original. "Huh? Wha'zat?" The clone, roused by the song of the bird, rises again with some minor difficulty. Being what it is, yet having its own defenses employed just in case, the song doesn't nearly effect it as it does Itami. It wanders over to Itami, notes her words, and after a speculative moment to consider its options it yanks her into a kiss!
As for Ayumu, the Iga made darn sure his quarry was close to passing out before bringing him up for air while keeping him bound half-beneath the combination of earth and hair. "Stabilize Ayumu. We won't regress today." He murmurs to himself, gradually building up chakra as well as a safety measure.
Though Keiji had been on his way to deal with the last shinobi, it seemed Itami had that taken care. He was about to return to his attention to the bird when Ayumu's clone kisses Itami. "If I am ever affected by a Genjutsu, and you are thinking about solving it like that, just let me die." Now Keiji turns around and looks towards the bird. "At least the bird is still in tact. I would have hated to fail that mission."
She slowed down and her eyes became lidded as she heard the bird, silently cursing it in her mind for being so annoying. When she was whipped around by Ayumu's clone, she watched as she was engaged in a kiss. She was first shocked, but it soon faded and she began to fall into it. Almost a bit too comfortable with it. When she realized she was still facing this genjutsu bird, she snapped to and blinked a few times. The world came into focus and she withdrew from the clone. She was silent and touched her lips then flushed with embarrassment. "This never happened, we have a bird to catch. I will personally hang you both if you say anything about this." She turned away and geared up to face this bird, her mind and body still in enough shock to endure its song for capture.
Itami would not be the only one to lose herself to the moment. But once they part, the clone recovers a little more quickly. A faint smile touches its lips. One that blooms into a mischevious fox-like one in return for the threat. "Aye, but mayhaps certain things could be…" It intentionally trails off there, leaving her own imagination to toy with the thought while it divided its focus between reminiscing about the kiss and how best to hide the act from the original's mind. It would not do to let 'its' future fun be spoiled by the inconvience of sharing a mind with another.
Meanwhile, said original sneezes and rubs at his nose. "Hmm… Naaww. Too many think ill of me for that to be it." Ayumu states before reaffixing the hair net slung over his shoulder and moving on to the next fellow not to be buried. There's bound to be a reward on one of these poachers after all. +.+
Keiji did not even pay attention to the dazed Itami or her threats. If she had guilt about making out with Ayumu, that was her issue. Keiji quickly dashed under the bird and jumped up as it took off. His hands grasp the sides of it as he's careful not to puncture it with a venomous pincer. As his feet touch the ground once more he turns around to the others. "Someone got a cage?" he asks.
The bird chimes off as its captured by Keiji and continues to do so while its in his grasp. "Shush, shut up, be quiet!!" She shouted at the bird only for it to go quiet. Somehow, it seemed safer to be in Keiji's grasp right now. This person hinted strangely of lizard and this bird didn't like that. Itami sighed, perhaps a bit upset with the idea that it made her drowsy enough to accept a kiss from Ayumu. "We don't have a cage, but I'm certain if we go to the guards, they may have something. They can handle releasing the bird back into the wild once they've been trained up further and are able to endure its song. "I think it likes you anyhow," she states.
Certainly enough, the bird seemed to take a liking to Keiji despite its previous predicament. "Let's just carry it off and be done with this. Mission accomplished, I think," she looks up to the sky to gauge the time. It's drawing close to evening. "We finished ahead of time."