Date: October 2, 2013
With the Hikaze Anzen Chitai Mandate being put to work, gets weird with the help of giant spiders and Itami's crazy lies. Another day in Sunagakure?
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Traversing the Safety Zone"
Five AM. Another expected day of purely empty skies in the Land of Wind and it left the sun to freely beat down on those below. All in all a welcome sight to those who had to wander through the cold nights of the land. Yet, it could already be felt, the temperatures were rapidly rising despite the short duration of sunrise.
Among those who traversed the night would be a merchant, his wife and, son. Riding in two carts which have switched from being horse drawn to camel. Then there was a forth, silent enough and somewhat forgotten occasionally. This one wore a loose desert cloak, it's colors a dusty tan, possibly to blend in… Except for the fact that well, there's a massive stinking Uchiha crest on the back of it.
The group was beginning to reach the chosen checkpoint where the guards would switch off and Berii would get her pay, a simple rock tower of a guard post. And it could be seen rising up in the distance. "Good, maybe I can get out of here before it's too hot." The first thing Berii says in hours and of course there is a bit of whine in it.
She glances around the area, they weren't even in the desert yet and she was feeling the pains of the climate change. All in all the Uchiha was very glad she didn't live here.
Itami loved the desert and the temperatures within. Being someone that tended to favor warmer climates, that's right up her alley. She was watching out over the convoys today and made her presence well known there. She wanted to ensure these operations were going smoothly and, with the recent events in the desert, making sure the merchants are well protected against threats, be they highly unusual or Iwa shinobi. As the next wagons were being loaded up and switched over, she slipped inside saying, "Looking to escape from the sun, are you?" She grins. "It's nearly impossible…"
Berii spots the oncomer, becoming increasingly cautious as she approached, though she wouldn't turn to face to keep everything casual. That was until, the woman spoke up of course. "Huh?" Berii turns to Itami, shaking her head slowly, "If I didn't know better I would assume no one other than you and Kuoroke exist as Sunagakure's forces." The Uchiha then looks to the other guards in the area, none shinobi. "Hmm maybe I didn't pick the best checkpoint, though… at least you're here. Not like there's been any trouble."
Berii looked to have an easier time to trust this time around as she relaxes again. "Hnn, even this early, the sun already starts to buffer." Her fingers lace together. "Not even the hottest days in the Land of Fire are like this…" Assuming Itami was going to be moving along with Berii and the merchants.
Now that she thought on it, last time she saw Itami, there was also a threat near. "Is, something wrong?" A faint Sharingan appears as Berii scopes out the area.
"No, no, we're just highly dedicated," Itami chuckles. "This checkpoint? Likely not. You're probably in for a ride, maybe. I don't know, we'll have to find out." A smile graced her lips. "Recently, the desert has been experiencing odd issues. There have been beasts that experienced changes, making them large and much more vicious than usual. We've been looking into that." This is stated as if it's normal. "I'll be accompanying you for this ride."
Berii nods to Itami and the mention of their dedication, "I guess so, hnn." Nothing unsual comes up in the scan, though now her Sharingan sticks around just in case. With Itami's mention of freakish monsters, Berii and co all pause and turn to stare at the woman. The merchants wide-eyed, looking nervous for the first time in the trip.
"N-neh?!" Berii peers at Itami, going along all nonchalant. "Don't say that so calmly." Her head tilts, "You, must have little issue with these beasts if you're that calm, hnn. So I guess I don't mind you tagging along, if I… even had a choice in your Lands."
The carts would eventually be set for transport and the father comes flying around the corner after a bit of chatter, slapping the money into Berii's hands before dropping down on his knees and pleading. "Uchiha, we heard about the monsters of the desert and those guards were talking about rogues wandering about. We went for just soldiers because we thought it was safe. Please! We will double your pay if you complete the journey!" As for Itami, well they don't offer to pay her squat, who was she anyway?!
This leaves Berii in an awkward situation. "Uh… I mean, double for just a bit more travel? Yeah… sure I guess." Berii seals the money into her scarf. "No need to be so dramatic, so long as you're paying." The guards look a little cushioned off, though they were here on orders and got the same pay each week no matter what assignments they accomplish. So, their complaints were only about coming all the way out here for nothing with the two ninja about.
The Uchiha girl pays it no mine, neither does she pay attention to the wild thank yous of the merchant family. "Eh… so anyway, let me me in on these crazy monsters if. You have any more information, neh? Are they something a ninja should be worried about?""
"What? I was only letting you know," Itami shrugged. "I wouldn't say it's of little issue. The beast problem, that is," she admits. "But we have been successfully keeping things in order and sometimes I like to think myself much more dangerous…" She looked around at all the people carefully before laughing the tension away. Ah, I'd only it was realized how serious she was. When some guy comes flying around the corner, she lofted a brow at him and his offer to double her pay. What about me? I'm worth at least five times as much! "The monsters. Of course. They are a challenge for shinobi, yes. Because of their size and nature, they pose a threat to them. They're not impossible to handle, but they can be difficult sometimes. Especially the venomous kind. Get them together and they'll even fight one another. This is favorable because it means less time spent on us and ultimately, allowing us to escape. Just hope that these battles don't end soon or else, well, all the problems above."
Berii sighs when Itami goes on, completely unsure of how serious she was on the situation. Well, the woman was older than Berii herself and was still well alive so perhaps there was no need to worry. "Hnn… well I guess it's a good thing I'm sticking with this group." Berii's head then tilts, "Maybe it's not actually. I seem to be a bad omen when it comes to missions. I might just summon a whole horde of attacking monsters our way." She shrugs, sort of joking, sort of…
"So! Let's get moving, neh?" Berii motions for the merchants to move out and soon the camels take off and in the distance, the unforgiving sands can be seen. "Sweet. Sand… lots and lots of sand, hnn." Berii's posture slouches, "Well at least this is airy." She looks down to the Uchiha cloak, designed by her father specifically for these trips. "How long do you think this trip will be, neh? I didn't attempt to calculate it at all, I figured I'd be heading back home already."
"You think? It just might be a possibility, you never know! And that's half the fun. The rest is trying to take down these creatures. Ah, yes, you don't have to worry yourselves. I will protect you to the best of my ability. I have roamed these deserts before, swallowed whole by giant snakes and tearing my way out. Fought against undead forces and legions of bandits! Stopped a raging storm. I've done many things. Things that have all honed me to defend against all manner of threats," she nods. "The length of this trip will probably take a couple hours at best, more if the worst happens." Itami leaned back against the walls of the cart. "Relax, dear. At least the sun isn't sprouting a mean face and falling from the sky to burn you. Though, that has been reported before…" She cleared her throat. "It was also reported that person was…influenced."
As Itami piles on her many achievements, Berii was becoming more wary of this woman. Not because she was afraid of someone with such great ability. No, Berii was instead worried that Itami was going insane. "The sun… is pretty relentless, hnn." Berii thinks this, accidentally out loud. Berii's casual steps along the cart become a little slower and eventually she stops, glaring at Itami. "Angry… faced… suns." Her face stays stern, not seeming to catch the last bit of what Itami said or at least she didn't find it all that funny. "What is wr-"
She's cut short by the sounds of panicked screams in behind them. In almost an instant things went from calm to flat out awful as a lion sized spider comes bursting out of the ground and biting into one of the guards left behind. The large black spider shimmered in the sun light for just a second before disappearing once more.
This leaves Berii to turn around and completely miss the action, only spotting freaked out guards and a bit of displaced sand. "Neh…" She face palms, "What's wrong with them now?"
"Yes, yes it is." Itami replied to Berii prior to a grin filling her face once more. "Angry faced suns. Yes, that is what I said," she continued to smile in contrast to Berii's expression. When the screams from the back of the caravan go up, Itami looked back and soon flickered away to the end to see what took place. Man was bleeding, had a hole in his pants and marks on his bottom. He's just been bitten. "You can stop screaming and sit still. I need to be able to look at your wound and determine if it was venomous." She spoke to him. "Tell me of any sensations that you may have." The man began to describe his condition. "I feel tingling and my heart is beating quickly. I've just got a nose bleed and I think I'm experiencing priapism." Itami thought this over for a few moments until she realized what was going on. She winced at his behind and then raised up to see his face. "I'm much more dangerous than that spider. I'd suggest that you enter the wagon and rest. This is not going to be the first—" While she was speaking, the sand began to sink beneath the second guard's feet. "Move out of the way, it's coming back up!"
Berii hears someone further back mention something about a spider and laughs, "Probably saw a little spider on their leg or some…" Itami was gone in an instant, "…thing?" Berii turns around heading back to inspect the shenanigans with Sharanigans. "Oh, none of that sounds good." Berii idly comments as she only hears the last bit of the conditions. "Eh, you probably know how these spiders work, hnn." Berii waves it off, looking as if she was just going to turn and let Itami handle this. "So… I'll leave this to you." Pretending as if spiders in a different land had such a fundamental difference that Berii could do nothing. Though well… that was true in this case. The Land of Fire didn't have giant spiders spontaneously popping out of the ground.
Though with Itami's warning, Berii hesitates and turns back around. Watching the guard simply panic and wave his hands around.
"IT'S GOING TO POISON ME NEXT!"
His legs lock up on him but he was lucky to have Berii quickly step in, flickering across and moving the man out of harms way just in time. Leaving the spider to come flying high up in the air, much higher than it initially expected to as the plan was to pounce on the guard at first. Legs would just flail around trying to grab at the air as it chitters angrily. This left it, rather vulnerable as it couldn't alter its position in the air and, its underbelly seemed to havee a soft point among that tough exoskeleton.
Itami sighs to herself. Idiots. How did they even manage to survive this long? Sheer luck, it had to be. As the spider is coming back down, Itami places the rest of the convoy on alert saying, "Everyone, take to the wagons immediately! Do not hesitate!" With that out of the way she focuses on Berii saying, "Thank you for rescuing him, but now I'm going to need your help." The spider connected with the ground. "Can you predict its movements?" She asked as she made her way over to the spider in an attempt to strike its underbelly. But it recovered and she only struck chitin instead. "I'll need that predictive help to strike it effectively and end it quickly!"
"Idiot, I'll toss you at the spider next time, hnn." Berii's quick movement ends near the back of a cart and she shoves him in. "Okay." Berii's Sharingan flashes with its full fiery power. "So you know about the Sharingan." Berii eyes Itami, a lot of people knew that the Sharingan was dangerous but, didn't tend to know why. "Huh, anyway. Yes, it'll be a bit difficult for me to take down but…"
A sword flickers in hand and she looks at the floor, managing to see the sand swell beneath her, the spider deciding to attack her now. "Hnn." Grinning, she steps back, and in a sharp movement her sword was pointing at the ground and the spider managed to skewer itself on the blade. "Well good thing it just up and opened up its mouth for me. I guess we lucked out with that one, neh?" Berii twists the blade, causing some strange squelching sounds she didn't really wish to hear along with weird chittering and screeching sounds from the beast.
"Alright! Back to wandering in the hot sun…"
A look of uncertainty hits Berii and she turns to Itami. Squints at the woman for a moment. "Nevermind. Look out!" The sand swells under Itami as another spider prepares to launch. That wasn't all, "There are… five more. Odd." Berii takes up a defensive stance, "I noticed something odd about the last one when I stabbed it." She doesn't get time to explain as three mega spiders come flying out at her at the same time, putting her on the defensive.
She bats one away while going low and managing to rush right under the other two, managing to cut one on the underside as she went. It caused it pain but, that was it, the cut wasn't nearly deep enough.
"Yes. I know many things," Itami remarked as she lowered her defenses a tad now that the spider was taken care of. "Alas, poor spider. I knew it." Not really, but it sounded fun to say. Rightfully so, because more came to join the party. At the warning of the spider coming, she evaded it and returned a strike against it to knock it out of the way. "What did you figure out about it?" She inquired as she went in for the kill against her spider. Its underbelly exposed, she jumped up into the air making quick work of hand seals to summon fire to her hand that would take on the protection of a bird as she struck the creature in its soft spot, effectively killing it. She turns back to help Berii with the spiders giving her trouble.
Itami's comments manage to get a smile on Berii's face, though the Uchiha was quick to hide it. The spiders seemed to learn, sort of. At least the ones fighting Berii. It seemed like whenever one tried to jump it soon found itself dead. Sure these spiders were bigger in size with much larger brains. Yet, they couldn't really understand what happened in between. So the deaths of their fellow spiders were not taken as a sign to run. No, instead they just decided to not jump so much!
"I thought insects couldn't have genjutsu cast on them. Though it must have something to do with their size, seeing as I normally can't get a read on their chakra systems either… anyway." Berii's Sharingan begins to spiral as she makes eye contact with one of the spiders or at least tried to, she didn't really know how all those eyes functioned. "Neh?"
She'd watch carefully and then the center spider suddenly gets agitated with the two others going after its prey. It suddenly turns and grapples the other one, attempting to bite in to its back. That turns into a strange spider rumble. Which left it easier to focus on the last. With a quick hand seal she breathes in and fires off a few small balls of flame, nailing the spider in the face and causing it to screech and stumbling in pain. Berii… takes this time to go low and also stab this one in the mouth. "I did find it odd that the spiders were working together. It does look like Genjutsu after all."
Itami brought up the rear by handsealing and spewing out a large fireball. It was one the Uchiha are well acquainted with. Burning the remaining two, she figured Berii could take care of them or they'd die on their own having suffered severe burns and facing off against two people.
The two spiders begin biting into each other and the flames only make the bite exchange even worse, flames entering the wounds while also hyping them up enough to bite deeper and harder. There is eventual wear and tear, then they slow… "I doubt either of them will make it." Berii gives a relieved sigh and looks around one last time. "We should be good to go, hopefully without any further interruptions." The sword is sealed away and she looks over Itami to make sure she's alright. "Thanks for the help, hnn. They would've probably died if you didn't show up." Seriously, if Itami never mentioned the giant animals they would've just moved on! "For now we'll have to go on and hopefully get them to the village before anything else happens but, no doubt that wasn't an accident or just the flow of nature. Somebody out there wants someone among us dead…"
She looks at the caravan, nothing worth hypnotizing a bunch of giant spiders inside of there. Heck, there wasn't even a point of trying to assault it in any particular fashion. With those thoughts behind her, she shrugs it off and so the caravan travels to the wonderful bucket of sand, Sunagakure.
That much is certain. These spiders are now behaving add expected, but Itami thinks she may have to document this behavior anyhow. Adaptability, especially so quickly, was unusual. Not to mention the spiders working together. If that continues, then this information will need to be passed on for others to know. "Good," Itami replies to Berii while looking at the spiders throw themselves around in the sand, mutilating one another. "You're welcome, by the way. People are unaware of the threats of the desert, not just monstrous creatures, but also general information. It helps to be of assistance in order to prevent further loss of life," she explained. "I agree. Hopefully, our trip is less eventful from here on… And so, they continued on without much threat from oversized beasts and safely made it to Suna. Just to be certain, Itami believes she'll make the trip back to ensure their safety.