Date: September 21, 2014
The Thunder Above"
Land of Wind
The beginning of the journey was not unlike most. Tsuchi was standing at the gates of Sunagakure awaiting the arrival of her team plus a couple of others that she was actually watching for purposes of joining her team. She could only have so big of a team obviously but there's always room for one or two more and these two were promising to say the least. As she stood there, Sora was leaning with his back to the side of the gate eating an apple and grinning as he watched. That little ferret is certainly reaching a level of not so little anymore as time has passed. Seems he was in his youth when they first met but now he is starting to grow out of that. Once all of the genin had arrived, however, Tsuchi had simply given a quick run down of the mission, a gesture and called them along.
As they left the village she would start to explain even as they could see the Mesa where the mission would take place in the distance, "So, listen up." She states as they walk along, "There's a mesa up ahead that seems to have some kind of odd thunder coming from it. We are to investigate the source of that thunder, determine if it is a danger to the land of wind and if it is, we gotta put a halt to it." She nods her head and grins as she looks back, "Be prepared for anything."
Not to be left out, Sora grins back at the lot and nods, "I myself think it is snakes." He nods his head, "Obviously some kind of snake plot set out to bother the land of-ACK!" And then Sora is rubbing his head and glaring at Tsuchi after she whacked him before he mutters something about how it could be a snake plot.
Akiko hurries to the gate, giving Tsuchi and others a bow in greeting. "Morning, everyone~!" she greets cheerfully. Kotone is perched on her shoulder like usual, though the falcon doesn't stay there once the group makes their way on the mission. The rundown from Tsuchi is useful, but doesn't provide much information in terms of what they're going to face. Regardless, Akiko is determined to do her best. "Got it, sensei!" she says with a small nod. A small giggle at Sora as his snake-plot idea is shot down. "Well, if it's snakes, we should make sure not to get eaten, then!" She gets a bit of chakra ready before the journey begins and while traveling, the buildup slow so she doesn't exhaust herself too much.
Arriving close to the appointed time was a young Miira who didn't seem to walk or run so much as.. skate. The teen's hands were kept together in a seal for focus as each step was elongated and fluid. A light smirk spreads across Rikuto's lips when he shifts to the side to increase traction but it would take a while, showing a lack of control with what ever the skill was. After the debriefing, the teen nods after giving Tsuchi a light bow and follows along behind her.
When the thunder was mentioned, the teen glances towards Akiko and then to Sora, seeming to want to ask something but stayed silent. His silence was broken when the ferret that was growing to be as large as one of them was knocked on the head, "If it is a plan of a sly snake of some sort, after we defeat it you can practice on turning it into several different meals." Turning back to Tsuchi, Rikuto nods his head lightly but then pauses and asks, "If we can help it, if there are shinobi behind it, should we capture them or.."
Kirito would be moving sluggishly before he pulling himself from his dirt nap, he looked at Tsuchi the ferret and then to Akiko and her bird friends before speaking. "I know you four, just who the heck are you?" Kirito would be glaring at Rikuto before fulling pulling himself up and out before dusting himself off he would have his hands into his pocket pulling out some dart shades. Placing them on he yawned before slowly starting to crack his body, once they started moving the run down of the mission is what sparks him to speak and only briefly "what happens if we come across them? Do we kill them?" Kirito would be walking now slightly closer to Akiko for some reason or another. He wouldn't need much chakra for this mission but its always good to be safe then sorry.
Katashi, who had been tagged for teaching duty, got told to meet up with a group that was going out to explore the thunder nearby. A small nod given and Katashi would swing by home long enough to get travel gear before meeting up with the others at the gate. Shifting his pack on his back, he'd nod to the others and break into that ground eating gait that kept up with the others while making him virtually tiredless. Katashi didn't speak up much as he'd listen to Tsuchi, the lead, talk with the others. ~You're just here to be meat. So make sure you don't open your yap.. and for the love of all the tails DO NOT flirt with Akiko!!~ 'I don't flirt with her!' ~BAH!! If that's NOT flirting, then I'd hate to see what IS flirting!!~ '…' Katashi would gather power as he moved, prepping himself for what might be ahead of them. He was stronger.. faster now. Although still behind on that speed. It was time to see if he couldn't leverage that!
A look back at the others as they neared the mesa and already they can hear faint echos of thunder from up above. Tsuchi looks up toward it as they near and then looks back, "Really, it is useless to speculate." She nods her head, "It could just be a wandering shinobi who is practicing something. It could be a natural phenomenom. It could be nothing, just some strangeness that has never been heard of." Certainly there are no storm clouds, that is for sure. Even so, the thunder grows louder the closer they get. Tsuchi looks back, "Just be prepared for anything." She nods her head and then looks as they approach.
Sora speaks up again and states, "They get it…still could be snakes." He nods his head before muttering more as Tsuchi squints at him. He then falls back to beside Rikuto and grins at him, "Hey, if it is, I'll help you with my favorite recipe to cook them with." He nods his head and chuckles even as they move along.
Even as they approach the base of the mesa, Tsuchi starts walking up and turns to look at the others, "If any of you still can't walk on walls, then you will be clinging to Sora's back, he's plenty strong enough to carry one of you." She nods her head and Sora grins and nods with a happy look. Then they start making their way up. Now at the base of the Mesa, it can be heard clearly, the sound of the thunder from above. The Mesa itself actually shaking as they approach the top.
"Heyya, Kirito-san. Nice to see you awake," Akiko greets. She expected to see Tsuchi and Rikuto, and perhaps to some degree Katashi, but the Shippodoku was a surprise. Kotone offers a polite bob to everyone as they show up and glares briefly at Katashi before she actually took off from the Hayato's shoulder. The girl is able to keep up with the group this time around, not slowing them down in the slightest. Seems her training is paying off! She hmms lightly and looks up at the mesa that feels way too tall to be climbable… "Well, at least I can walk on walls…" she mutters, focusing chakra to her feet and beginning to climb. Kotone has it a bit easier, just able to fly up to the top of the table. The random shaking of the mesa makes her a bit unsteady, but she has yet to fall, fortunately!
"We've met.." was said with a glance towards Kirito. "Only once though. You left a lasting impression mister sneak." Avoiding staying distracted, he turns his attention to Tsuchi. Rikuto nods briefly and says, "I heard about the rumors but I thought it was you testing things in the middle of nowhere again." Even as he spoke, his eyes track Sora and by the time he finished speaking the corners of his lips begin to curl into a smirk as they traveled. Looking at the cliff face, he raises s legs and kicks at it briefly before planting his foot onto the wall, beginning to walk once again as if it was normal. "Sensei, what can you tell us about this area? What is normally out here? I couldn't find anything special so far."
Kirito scratched the back of his head before yawning "have we now?" Kirito attention went from him to Akiko before he smiled softly before his face returned to the same dull lifeless face he had before. After a while he would speak once more this time towards Rikuto "you talk to much about pointless things…perhaps we should try and keep a low profile cause if it is a shinobi(s) who knows if they might be hostile." Shaking his head he would return to his spot near Akiko before he scanned the area. He peered at Katashi before going back and checking out Tsuchi progress, he would slip his hands from his pocket to his side for fast access to his gear.
Katashi sweatdrop at the glare from Kotone. 'What'd I do??' ~You were mackin on her girl! I TOLD you to quit flirting!!~ 'But I wasn't flirting…' ~Search your feelings.. you KNOW it to be true!~ '… shut up." Katashi sighed as they got to the bottom of the Mesa. Staring up at it, he'd glance over at Sora after a moment, then look to the others. "I can carry two up there. If they don't know how to wall walk. We could also tie a rope together so you can hang while I run up.." Katashi shrugged and looked to Tsuchi. "Ready to help when you wish. Tsuchi-san. Just let me know."
"No, it doesn't seem we need help." Tsuchi smiles at Rikuto before nodding to Kirito before looking forward as they walk, "As we get closer, we'll be moving quiet." She nods her head, "Kirito is right." She then licks her lips, "Just try not to come up with too many assumptions, we don't know what we are up against, "Lets move." She then starts to pick up the pace. She makes a quick gesture to Sora and the ferret nods before rushing off to the side, "Katashi, follow Sora." She nods her head and if he does, he'll note Sora is heading toward a small cave in the side of the Mesa which he'll duck inside of. It's big enough for an adult male to walk through but that is about it.
As they approach the top of the Mesa, it'll be noted just how large the thing is. The Mesa is massive, easily a couple miles across at the top and almost like its own desert ecosystem. When they crest the top, there's a small oasis near the center, a few holes in it as well as some greenery. Serious greenery. There may even be more green up here than there is across the bottom. It almost looks like perhaps a natural spring feeds the large oasis at the center, easily 100 to 200 yards of water in the center across. Even as Tsuchi looks it over, some Pronghorns can be seen in the distance near the oasis though a few of them aren't near it and are laying down, perhaps dead.
Even as Tsuchi looks this area over, she scratches her head, "Pretty amazing." She nods her head and then hmms, "Though…that's odd. Those Pronghorns look, well, rather large." And she is indeed right. From afar, they appear like they could easily be horse sized, perhaps even Clydesdale size.
Meanwhile, Sora would lead Katashi into a dark cave though not so dark as it appears as if some kind of glowing moss is natural in this area and as he walks into it, the Mesa seems to have a larger cavern inside of it with some holes in the ceiling that let in light. Even as he steps inside, he'll hear some clicking sounds in the shadows as if something was clacking together some pliers or something. Sora looks at Katashi and then looks around, "Uh, I think maybe we should…perhaps be heading up?" More clacking sound and Sora chuckles nervously, "I'm going up!" He then starts up a wall and even as he does, one can see a large scorpion like claw, easily as thick as Sora's body appear in one of the light shafts coming from the holes above.
Akiko lets out an impressed whistle at the sight of the open area that's at the top. It really is amazing. Kotone is just relaxing, in a sense, and waiting for the shinobi to arrive after waiting for a long while. The benefit of flying… "So… What're we looking for exactly?" she asks. "I mean… There're giant pronghorns and it looks like there are a few that're dead… But outside of that? I mean, the fact that they're dead is suspicious…" She hmms lightly, then looks around, trying to notice something of interest. Kotone decides to help out too, circling the area a bit overhead.
A faint snarl flashes across the teen's face but only briefly, his eyes now kept focused ahead of him. Rikuto draws his hands within the folds of his cloak when the pace is increased, sprinting almost along the cliff side. Tilting his head slightly to Tsuchi, he listens for her but doesn't seem to focus onto the possibly resting creatures. The young Miira steps away from the group, beginning to look around the area to see if something else was there than the Pronghorns. It wouldn't be long before the teen kneels down to look at some of the shrubbery at his feet, soon drawing out a kunai and cutting off a section to store away.
Kirito would pull his hood over his eyes before slipping on his pincer weapon. He scanned the area before allowing himself to relax to the calm before the storm. From this moment on Kirito wouldn't say another word and thus he snipped it once more twice. Kirito licked his lips before flicking his glasses just enough to push them further onto his face. A slight wince of pain is felt making it clear that he wasn't fully healed from the spar with Keiji yet nether then less he knew what had to be done. Kill the target that did this and thus he was more then ready to do so.
Katashi moved silently with Sora, following the ferret's quick movements with his own. ~Hah! Still being shown up by a Ferret!!~ 'would you please shut up?' ~BUT it's HILARIOUS!!~ '… it is not. Now shut up! I'm trying to concentrate!' ~is THAT what you call this?? I thought the smoke was a natural occurance. Your ears. Smoking. Get it boy??~ Katashi sighed softly as they'd make it into the tunnels, slowing at the chittering. "Uhm." He shifted on his feet as Sora started upward, eyes following the ferret until he saw the scorpions. "… great. Scorpions." Katashi took a quick scope of the surroundings. Back, forward, or up? Sora said up. Gathering himself and chakra, he'd launch himself upward, to deal with the initial scorpions in the holes before seeking to climb upward and get out of the cavern while following the thread of light.
Down below, the problem wasn't that the scorpions were in the hole, no they were in the cavern. No, the problem was that the scorpion coming out of the shadows is easily twice the size of Katashi and sending a massive stinger straight for him as he tries to rush out the hole. That stinger looks like the size of a nasty shortsword as it tries to sting Katashi and Sora is racing out ahead. If Katashi isn't tough or quick, he's going to be stabbed on his way out. THe other problem? Katahsi can just see another coming and something much larger beyond that.
On the surface, the Pronghorns notice the new arrivals and are looking nervous already. The males are already starting to put themselves between the Suna shinobi and the rest of the heard. One in particular stands out, scarred and easily at least a foot taller than the rest. The mean looking buck stomps forward only to then suddenly snort and turn toward one of the holes. Why? Well…
Right at that moment at a hole near to the group, Sora comes scrambling out, looking back to make sure Katashi is coming only to then yell out, "Scorpions!!! BIg nasty scorpions!" Even as he yells this, a scorpion that dwarves these pronghorns rushes up out of a larger hole near the pack of Pronghorns, hissing and chittering as it clacks its massive claws. Out of a couple of other holes, comes two more scorpions, easily the size of horses as well. If Katashi makes it up, he'll find another scorpion is chasing him as well. Right then, there's the sound of thunder as that large, scarred pronghorn slams into the side of the massive scorpion. A sound just like the thunder that has been described.
Tsuchi calls to Sora, "Sora! With me!" And she races between two of the scorpions, her partner in tow and yells out, "Bring these scorpions down! Now!" And she is off after that largest scorpion, already sending a wave of lightning stars toward it.
Everything seems peaceful! Well, the pronghorns are looking a bit nervous, but that's to be expected. Oh wait, there's a thing over by Katashi… Akiko sees the scorpions, and so does Kotone. The two can only react, Akiko reaching around her to grab her bow and quickly drawing several arrows. Shots are fired at the giant scorpions, mainly the one nearest to Katashi, and the first one explodes in a blinding flash of light to perhaps stun the giant buggers. Kotone, in the meantime, flies overhead to try and figure out the best ways Akiko should go about firing her arrows, the two not wanting to waste their ammo.
Keeping his eyes now onto the massive creature in front of the group but when it turns it's attention over to the side when he heard Sora screaming. Flicking his eyes to Tsuchi briefly he focuses back onto the area that the furry creature was running as well as Katashi likely was retreating from. Breathing in, Rikuto shakes his head before breathing out a steady gust, tainted with accelerant. A gust of wind would brush past Sora and into the cavern before igniting.
Katashi tried to move, that delay, slight as it was, enough to get a gash along his arm. Hissing in pain, he'd avoid the brunt of the poison's blow, although he knew from the already encroaching burn, this was going to be a long day. ~Pfft. Food for Scorpions. What is the world coming to!?~ Katashi gritted his teeth and came rushing in on the scorpion, a harsh lashing out with his foot in a spinning strike towards it's head, attempting to stagger it. Katashi would plant his foot then and with that hard kick off to mash it's head into the ground, launched himself upward. Only to have another following him. 'Today is not my day.' ~Nope.~ Landing, stumbling as the impact caused him to hiss in pain, Katashi rushed for where the group was at.
Kirito was given the order and first action was to hide himself within the area and by doing so he broke away from the fractions and thus he would slowly make his way around them to flank and strike once he felt the time was right. For now though he just felt the vibe of everything going on right above him his body would start to bulk up from before and his skin became harder. Kirito needed this in order to get use to the changed his body would have to go through.
Off in the distance the thundering sounds can be heard that signify those large pronghorns slamming into the armored hide of that large Scorpion even as Tsuchi moves about with Sora, zipping left and right as they perform various ninjutsu to try to bring that big thing down and then a sound of thunder hits closer to home! The Pronghorns seem to hate the scorpions and the bucks are bringing the fight, two have come to help with the scorpions and even as an arrow bites home and a scorching wind boils that scorpion in its shell, two pronghorns hit it in the side with a thunderous sound. Katashi might not do damage with his attacks but the hits combined with the Pronghorns hitting it cause the scorpion to fall hissing and scrambling down the hole.
"Hey!" A call from Sora, "These things hit with some kind of serious force!" He chuckles and nods his head before he is suddenly snatched by a claw out of the air, "AIEE!" He calls out and then the stinger comes flying for him only to have it suddenly get shot full of holes by Tsuchi's Lightning Vortex Dance and then Sora hits the ground and growls, "I'm bringing you home! I'm gonna name you Dinner!" He then races under the massive scorpion.
The two other scorpions race toward Rikuto and Akiko. As they near in, they attempt to grasp with one of those big pincer like claws, shooting for each and then down comes that sword like stinger trying to stab right into them and inject that poison. A poison that Katashi will start to feel coursing through his veins.
Akiko squeaks a bit as the claws come at her, doing a backflip to avoid getting caught. However, she's unable to twist enough in the air that the stinger ends up getting her in the leg, making a rather long, nasty-looking cut. She winces a bit and lands unsteadily, bringing her bow up to send three more arrows at the nearer scorpion. The combination of getting hit in the leg, unstable balance, and super-close target makes her shot not-too-accurate. However, maybe the flash-bang attached to the arrows will still hit? Maybe? Akiko really hopes so!
Grasping his finger together, the young Miira whips a barrier of wind around him. The pinching claw was luckily avoided, having pushed it down to the ground and allowed him to jump away. The whip of a tail manages to pierce through the barrier and stab directly into the teen's left arm before he could react strongly. Jerking backwards, he circles around and moves his hand up to his lips and inhales. When he breaths out, a trio of small spheres rush forward at the ground between himself and Akiko. When these sphere touch the ground the expand and explode as Rikuto tries to strike both creatures at once though the move was far from subtle.
Stumbling a step, Katashi pants softly, watching the others as they'd deal with the massive storm of scorpions. Noting that the things with the horns are helping too. ~Hey! Don't knock the horns!!~ 'I wasn't.' ~Suuure you weren't. I'm in here too, remember???~ '… how could I ever forget.' Gathering himself, the wounds would start to mend as Katashi would start towards the fight. Time to bring it back to the beasties.
Kirito eyes slowly open when he was under on of the scorpions and with swift movements he bolted from the ground and struck at its under belly of the beast hit or miss that drove him right into the pincer strike trying to clip its little head clean off the body. Kirito was ruthless in the heat of battle and when he looked around he notice everyone was having such a hard time. Kirito eyes glowed darker somehow as he dig himself into the ground just glaring at the scorpions one by one.
Off in the distances, Tsuchi is skewered by the giant stinger and screeches out in pain. Even as she does so, Sora comes racing up that same tail and pushes her off of it before both slide back and create a set of hand seals that cause the scorpion to flip upward and backward and then two thunderous booms as two pronghorns hit it on its underside and it flips all the way to its back, scrambling and screeching as it tries to right itself. Tsuchi spits up blood and holds her gut before she slowly stands up, obviously poisoned but certainly not out.
Meanwhile, the scorpion that was pushed back down the hole comes racing out with a hissing rage even as the pronghorns run. Why do they run? Well, Rikuto's explosions scared the piss out of those things. However, between Akiko's arrows and Rikuto's explosions, one Scropion is busy scrambling on its side with half its legs blown clean off. The thing isn't dead yet but it is screeching and actually stabbing itself as it tries to make the pain stop. It spins a little in place as it kills and finishes itself off, unhappy about this.
The one that Kirito tries to bring down is not killed due to its powerful hide, staggering back and staring at Kirito before it comes forward at him, trying to grasp him in its claw and then stick that sword like stinger right into him as well. Katashi will find himself in a similar situation as the one coming up after him, the one that tried to kill him first is back at it, trying to grab him with one claw and then pinch him badly with the other.
Akiko lets out a breath, taking a second to recover as she watches the S.O.U.S. take care of itself. The good news, one is down. The bad news? Well, it looks like Katashi and Kirito are still fighting against giant beasties. The girl, after taking a few breaths, readies herself for a bit more fighting and aims her bow at the scorpion Katashi is facing. Her first shot explodes in front of the scorpion, another flash-bang tag attached to the arrow. Then she spins and attacks the scorpion that's fighting the Shippodoku, two arrows launching themselves at the SOUS. The first explodes much like her previous shot while the second is a normal arrow. Kotone, in the meanwhile, is just watching and helping Akiko line up her shots.
Panting faintly, the young Miira just stares at the creature as it began to stab not at them but at itself. Shaking his head slowly, his attention is stolen by a scream. Turning, he watches as a young woman is not only grasped but pinned in the air. "Small.. focused." Breathing in again, Rikuto turns to Tsuchi's creature with his teeth grit. The teen breaths out a steady chain of sphere, the first one aims at the arm of the creature holding Tsuchi the other two flow under it before exploding some what loudly, trying to blow off its legs and cause it to panic.
Katashi set into his stance as the scorpion he had staggered at least, came back for round two. Slipping one way, he'd roll over that claw on the other strike, coming inside of it's range with a massive punch right to the face. Gritting his teeth, Katashi football punted that scorpion to try and knock it over onto it's back, seeking to make it vulnerable so that either the hornies could end it, or the other shinobi could help. ~Hornies? HORNIES??? I SOO hate you!!!~
Wincing in pain the young Shippodoku would bounce back to create a small distance between the two before diving underground and hiding himself, he felt he needed to regroup and gather himself before he was able to launch another assault onto the for now he would try and focus on the task at hand. "Give it time and wait, allow the target to simply fall into your hands." Kirito spoke softly to himself as he ready himself to launch his next attack.
In the back, the explosions from Rikuto aren't strong enough to really do much to the much much larger scorpion but it does keep the thing on its back long enough for Tsuchi and Sora to do hand seals together and cause that massive downward draft she is known for to smash the thing into the top of the Mesa and flatten it completely. The Pronghorns rushing back to their heard to get away as the thing collapses down and practically buries the massive beast. Sora meanwhile rushes to Tsuchi and calls, "You ok?!" He asks and starts moving around her as Tsuchi falls on her backside, holding her gut.
Meanwhile, Akiko may not blind the thing but she pierces its face with an arrow, causing it to fall back away from Kirito who is easily able to hide from the now blinded and dying creature. Katashi's foot work sends his back into its hole again, only this time, it's doubtful it'll come crawling back up and out of it this time.
Even as the fighting settles the Pronghorns seem to move to the other side of the Oasis even as Tsuchi wincingly stands and starts stumbling back to the group.
"Yay!" is Akiko's first word after all the scorpions fall, the girl happy that the battle ended before anyone got extremely majorly hurt. However, it's a bit painful to celebrate, and she doesn't have any healing skills whatsoever at her disposal… "Sensei, are you alright?" she calls out, walking towards the older kunoichi. Kotone, meanwhile, is hopping around Akiko to make sure her partner is okay. Aside from her leg, it seems the Hayato is fine and healthy.
When creature is almost literally crushed, Rikuto winces slightly but watches none the less. His attention turns to Sora and Tsuchi but then blinks as he doesn't notice where the other young teen went during the chaos. Not lingering, the young Miira begins to sprint over to the wounded young woman, "Sora, how bad is the bleeding?" Unlike his arm, while wounded it wasn't near any vital organs. Shifting to be close to Akiko, he studies the wound and lowly says, "While I've burned my own worse wounds closed, I'm not sure if that would even help more than hurt in the stomach."
Kirito slowly pulled himself from his resting place before sighing and removing his hood his eyes darted around before he spoke "I guess we're done…boy I really need to work out that was a horrible display of what I can really bring to the table." He frown and sulked waiting to return to the village he would release his bulked state before slipping his hands into his pocket.
A shake of her head and Tsuchi looks back at the Pronghorns and then states, "You all did quite well. It was unexpected." She nods her head and grins at the trio, "JUst keep practicing and things like this will seem like easy exercises." She nods her head and chuckles before she pats Rikuto on the shoulder, "I'll live. Don't worry about it." She then starts back toward the edge, "Lets leave these poor creatures be." She nods to the Pronghorns, "I doubt we'll hear much from them again other than the occasional show of dominance." She chuckles and nods.
Sora grins at Tsuchi and pats her lightly before nodding to Rikuto, "Yeah, Tsuchi is real tough. Don't worry about her." He then pats her again causing her to wince as he brushes her wound and then he winces and blinks, "Umm, yeah…real tough." She glares at him and he chuckles a little before racing ahead, "Back to Sunagakure!"