Date: February 26, 2016
Reports of travellers and at times entire merchant caravans going missing have been circling and finally a request has come in for the ninja of sunagakure to deal with the issue. Sent off in pairs, this tale follows the travel of Jiro and Shinta as they march forth into a danger that may consume them both!
"Tremors 12: Narutoverse"
The desert of the Land of Wind
While Sunagakure has been recovering, the deserts around the village had been suffering to some extent and the mission that was issued out to the most available shinobi was one of a high importance! The trade routes through the desert have been mercilessly assaulted by unknown assailants both day and night and the assaults seem to be along the main roads used by not only Sunagakure, but several of the local villages as well. The oddity was that the assaults weren't in the form of burned wagons or pillaged merchants, but in missing persons. The travelers and traders were vanishing into the deserts for an unknown cause. With so many able bodied shinobi already being dispatched onto missions all over the sands of time, the reserves were in short supply and the few that were still in the village were being summoned to the gates of the village now in order to be sent out and spread across the desert in pairs. These pairs would be doing various tasks, some would be hunting down bandit groups, others were to be combing the desert for traces of the missing people, and still others would be sent out to guard caravans that still wished to brave the roads, what few were left.
With a slice of toast in his mouth and his poncho nearly trapping his pale colored head in the funnel of a neck it had, Shinta was racing from the clinic he called home in a hurry as though he would be late when his mother and father were calling that he'd be early even if he walked all the way there. Still, today wasn't a day Shinta could mess up, no, not if he was going to be getting sent out on his first official mission since being promoted to the rank of an actual genin and not a simple spy! Duffle bag being pulled onto his back by its own devices, Shinta came skidding to a halt not far from the village gates and took a few deep breaths before he'd begin to walk at the normal, measured pace of the nine year-old doctor that would normally be displayed to the village when he was on his own.
Jiro already waited at the gates, a bored look on his face as his hands rested in their usual spot atop his head in an overall lazy look. He watched as others came and went out the gates while he waited to be told what he was going to be doing. A yawn escaped, mouth opening wide as he looked from beyond the gate back inwards to the city. Only then does he notice Shinta coming into the area. This causes him to grin and he waves a hand over his head in greeting before letting it flop back down in place.
With the last pair there, the only thing they could do was set out! Not. The issue was the wagon waiting for them at the gates and now that two.. children, had been delivered, the driver was already letting out a groan of disbelief at what he saw. "You boys; are you really the ones this village is sending to guard me on this trip? Don't you know what's been going on out there?!" The older man questioned as his mustache flared with his rising voice. The old man didn't seem angry at all, more like he was worried than anything that such young boys were what the village thought appropriate to deal with trying to stop whatever or whoever it was that could so easily make so many people and caravans disappear from the sands without issue. That at least would explain for the boys what their role was going to be. Escorts for a wagon leaving the village.
Shinta blinked a bit and even gave a slight finch at the tone of the man though his face seemed more displeased that he was clearly being underestimated than anything to do with the fact that he was being called a boy. He was a medic, that couldn't stop a disappearance but it must count for something, right?! And Jiro was here too. "We are ninja of Sunagakure, the hitai-ate is our badge of proof and our ability to defend you will be all the more defining if any danger should arise and try to cause problems for you." Shinta stated in a firm tone as he adjusted the funnel of his poncho to settle right and then the straps of his duffle bag so he could more easily carry the contents without there being so much of a strain on his back and shoulders. If only there was a way for him to port these heavy tools around without literally carrying them about on his back all day..
Jiro turns his attention from Shinta to the merchant as he starts /whining/. Ugh. Nothing more annoying then whiny merchants who think they should get more. All of them are the same! "If ya dun wan' our 'elp," Jiro says, turning to face the man, blue eyes narrowing, "then you c'n go ge' yer money bac' an' go with no guar's." Yep, he had enough of whiny merchants dammit!
"Wrong." Was the only word the old merchant said before he gripped at his face and ripped. And off came the mustache with the sound of tape being stripped from skin, shortly followed by the fairly pained expression of the man who then began pulling at their face slowly, working it carefully up and off of their head to reveal… a face that wasn't very different from the first one. Same wrinkles, same eyes and the same thin lips. The only difference really, was that his forehead also bore a hitai-ate like the two boys did. "No matter how annoying, the village is in no position to turn away a contract, so while I like your spunk, Jiro, you need to bend over backwards just a little more or someone could end up going hungry. Just don't show them we need the cash or they'll get a fat head." The person explained, their tone more calm than before while they began stroking their actual mustache and then gave a wave to the boys. "I am Jinchuro, a Chuunin. I'll be playing the role of the merchant you're guarding so that if it is bandits, we look like a good target." The man explained before once more beginning to don that special mask that did little more than hide his hitai-ate. He even reapplied the mustache onto its fake upper lip.
Shinta was all for agreeing with Jiro, even nodding before the merchant went insane and started ripping his facial hair off. There was no way he was putting that thing back on, it looked thick enough to crawl back on, on its own! And like that, Shinta had make his own skin crawl and inched slightly behind Jiro even when the person revealed themselves to be in disguise… sort of. Rather than trusting them, it was Jiro who Shinta peered at to see if this person was truly a Chuunin to be followed, or a nut job from somewhere a little too sunny for Philadelphia..
It's doubtful Shinta would think very highly of Jiro's thoughts of this whole thing. The boy just rolls his eyes at the denial of his assertions of the Chuunin before he speaks. "Do ya really thin' any person's gonna be stupi' 'nough ta leave withou' any sh'nobi righ' now?" He just shakes his head. The Chuunin can think what he wants, Jiro does his own thing anyways. "Well le's go. We can't be goo' bai' stayin' 'ere."
"Keep being smart about this and they'll give you my job." The Chuunin joked half-heartedly before he began guiding the horses of the cart away from the village and out into the sands of the desert. The sun was slowly makings its way higher into the sky already leaving them the wonderful chance of walking through the desert under the embrace of the burning sun rather than its frigid nights. OF course, this wouldn't be a problem for a merchant as the sun also made it easier to see threats trying to approach through the sandy expanse in all directions. The chuunin acting as the merchant in this case however, seemed a bit less happy about it than most as he was not a merchant for one, and much preferred the darkness and cooler touch of the night.
Shinta nodded to what Jiro said, of course. "Anyone fool enough to travel the desert without protection from some kind of guard is far more of a fool than a ninja challenging insults." Shinta began before glancing at Jiro with a slightly questioning gaze to see if the older boy agreed with his analysis of what he'd summarized. "Even more if they travelled all this way and had to choose between having wasted their time coming to Sunagakure, or accepting the judgment of the village in its ninja that are dispatched to the mission." When the 'merchant' began moving off however, Shinta was quick to move off after him at a slightly hurried pace, reaching for the poncho to pull the funnel up and over his head so he was protected from the sun's glaring caress while they moved into the wide open expanse of the desert on their trip. "What do you think is causing all of these problems, Jiro?"
Jiro wrinkles his nose at the 'merchant' when there's mention of the boy getting his job. Bleh. Of course he would've just henge'd…but anyways! When the younger boy makes his comments Jiro glances at him and nods slowly in acknowledgement, then flashes him a grin and a wink. They'll torment this poor Chuunin yet! As they start off he moves to walk near the front of the wagon, hands still flopped on his head. "I dunno. I jus' 'ope i's no' the gian' scorpions tryin' ta come bac' 'gain."
The trip went on more or less, without a hitch for the first several hours of the trip, the 'merchant', true to his role, thought of little more than the path ahead of him, and checking through what few papers he kept close for passing time when the scenery was as interesting as one could think sand dunes to be. Lucky for the boys that were his travelling companions however, the trip would get a bit more lively soon enough as, in the distance there was the racing pace of raiders mounted on horseback as they charged toward the wagon with broad grins on the faces. There were no less than ten or twenty of the raiders, dressed in dark cloaks and turbans to fend off the light of the sun as they rode, swords already drawn to clearly display their intentions for that solitary wagon passing along the road.
Shinta grinned at Jiro's nodding and nodded as well with a bit of pride welling in his young chest. That pride would tuck its tail between its legs and run however, when the eight legs of curiosity and fear came to his mind. "Giant… scorpions…?" Shinta asked a bit slowly as though he wasn't sure he had heard Jiro correctly or not. Was everything giant in the desert or was it just a coincidence that he'd found giant lizards in the caves and now was hearing about giant lizards as well?
Jiro grins inwardly at Shinta's sudden discomfort. "Oh yea'," he says, nodding as he glances sideways towards the boy for a moment before turning his focus ahead once more. "They were as bi' as'a adul' an' their stingers were huge!" He squints a bit then as he stares ahead, then frowns faintly. "I thin'…tha' someone's comin'…" he mutters, finally letting his hands drop to his sides. "'ey merchan' man, ge' ready."
The merchant was sitting in the wrong of the wagon but had drawn the horse to a standstill while looking out over the sands and watching them a bit closely for a moment. "There's plenty of them but they're too weak to be what's dispatching full caravans. Once they're out of the way we can get back to our search for the real cause." The Chuunin stated in a more flat tone of voice after a moment, with that he'd look to Jiro and Shinta, looking them over for a moment and letting a wry smile show on his lips. "Since I'm 'just a merchant' today, you both will have to prove that you're worth every penny I would have paid for your services." The bandits would at least make good fodder for seeing what these two genin could do and if they were worth the forehead protectors they wore. Jiro of course, should be able to pass this without much issue if the reports and records were true.
So they did exist…. Then, "Do you think I could catch one?" Shinta almost immediately asked as he began beaming with excitement. Just think of the new toxins he could craft to use or antitoxins he could brew for protecting from poisons in the future! Jiro's warning along with that of the Chuunin however, had Shinta less excited however, he could think of what to do with a new kind of venom later, if they were going to have to fight raiders.. well, maybe he could at least find a toxin on them to explore for the rest of the trip. Shinta set his duffle bag down in the cart to unzip it and begin pulling out a simple weapon; a kusarigama to use in the fight, this much would be enough to fend them off with surely.
Jiro rolls his eyes at the rather odd reaction from Shinta. Only /he/ would think to try and capture one for study rather than kill it. "I dunno. We killed a bunch'a 'em a while ago. Dunno if there's any lef'," he admits with a light shrug. He moves to stand out a little in front of the wagon, frowning at the attackers as they start to come near and folding his arms over his chest, the hitai-ate on his bicep clearly visible with the movement.
The merchant moved into the wagon for security while observing the actions of the two genin. The raiders were closing in and from their appearance, while most were amateurs, there were some gems mixed in among the bunch. One of those gems was a female with her bow drawn that fired off a small flurry of arrows skyward so they could arch and begin to rain down onto the wagon as well as Jiro and Shinta that stood by it. Running along with the horsemen, growing more clearly visible as the distance closed between the raiders and the wagon, was a pack of hyenas that seemed to be tamed by the raider group. If nothing else, the raiders were resourceful in their wild desert survival. Once they had closed in enough, the riders would begin reaching out with their swords to try finding the necks of the two boys, no hesitation at the young age or those hitai-ate that the boys wore. No mercy or fear, it seemed the raiders were eager to take pleasure in killing children and merchants today.
Shinta would raise his hands and sweep them quickly, letting his wires extend while weaving them into the form of a dense wire mesh held over the wagon which would do well to fend off most of the arrows being rained down on them but some would still no doubt get through. Then the kusarigama came into play and the weighted end shot out to wind around the waist of a rider so he could be pulled off the back of the horse to slam roughly to the ground as he tried passing the small medic. Shinta didn't try killing him, but the sickle end of the weapon being dropped around the raider's neck did seem to work well to deter the man from trying to go anywhere.
Jiro grumbles under his breath as the arrows are shot up and start to rain down over them. He tugs on the sash around his waist, the breakaway knot letting it go free in an instant. He flicks it upwards, letting the cloth flair before it hardens, deflecting the rest of the arrows aimed at them easily enough. By the time the riders arrive to slice at him however he's gone in a flash of speed, as is the cloth. He reappears a short distance away and let's his cloth side in under a horse, hardening to try and trip it up without cutting the legs off.
The bandit definitely didn't plan on resisting against that blade over his throat, at first. That wasn't to say that he was a coward when it came to getting cuts, just that he liked giving them out more. A quick movement would draw a dagger from the bandit's side and drive it deep into Shinta's calf before the bandit let out a "Ha!" and twisted that blade harshly. The horse that had been charging at Jiro toppled and fell forward, tossing the rider that was upon its back as it scrambled to its feet and tried racing away from the conflict rather than staying with its rider. Not the most loyal of creatures, but it was a beast of burden, not a beast of battle. Still, they weren't the only bandits to be dealt with, far more were rushing past while reaching out with blades and spears to slash into the wagon, shouting out calls to each other and simply making animalistic noises for confusion. Amidst the confusion, the hyenas began their lunging bites at Jiro and Shinta as well as a few leaping into the wagon after the merchant.
Shinta would shout out as that knife dug into his leg and drop to one knee when the blade was twisted. All too easily the hyenas lunging would sink their fangs into his face as well as his exposed arms, biting down harshly while that maniacal laughter of a sound they made sounded out. The laughter could only last so long however before the beasts released him and began to run away from the boy as sand poured from where the wounds had gone only skin deep. More so, it was the fact that the 'boy' was showing his hinges and connections as the henge of sand clinging to his form began pouring off of him slowly. Rather than Shinta, it was a doppelganger; a puppet made to look like the boy was what had been stabbed through the leg and the bandit would soon perhaps notice either the revealed face, or lack of bone beneath the hollow wooden form of the puppet. No, Shinta was safely somewhere else… also known as laying inside of his duffle bag and guiding his puppet-self to launch a shuriken down into the bandit's throat as well as forward toward the approaching bandits while he himself threw kunai at the hyena trying to climb into the wagon after the merchant… perhaps they had been able to smell him too. He'd need to find a way to fix that possibility..
Jiro glances over when he sees Shinta being attacked but quickly realizes it's not truly him and turns his attention back to those that are trying to do evil things to him. He steps aside of the hyena's that come at him before he vanishes once again, appearing on top of the wagon and slashing down with a cloth in each hand at the people trying to poke in and those animals trying to jump in. "Ya'll're gonna make me angry in'a minute," he mutters under his breath. He's trying not to hurt them too bad…yet.
The bandit's only reaction was a brief scream before he was silenced by the shuriken driven into him by the puppet's swift action. The beasts knew well not to attack something like that doll, it hadn't flinched, tasted like a tree, and worse than that, wood tasted bad! The beasts in the wagon would be faced by a dual assault. Shinta's kunai sunk deep inside of them while Jiro's over-starched cloths slashed the beasts and humans alike. The wounds weren't horrible from Jiro, just enough to give them a warning and have them rushing away from the range of those strange weapons. The raiders raced back several meters before watching the red-head atop the wagon and the slowly revealed puppet beside it. These weren't normal kids, it was then that one of the bandits, the same female archer, began drawing back her bow while aiming at Jiro, and then released the volley of arrows straight at the cloth-user.
When the beasts began fleeing, Shinta climbed from inside of the wagon and dropped down to pat himself off before walking toward his 'clone'. The damage was minimal but still something of note to be taken care of soon. The bandit that his puppet had struck was in far worse of a state, that shuriken having been coated in Gojira's poisons made sure the man was quickly on his way to meeting the All-Maker.. Shinta would have offered a small prayer but there were more pressing matters to deal with, like the woman aiming at the top of the wagon. Following her line of sight, the sandy colored orbs in Shinta's face widened before he lashed out with a small barrage of kunai and shuriken toward the woman as well as her comrades.
Jiro watches as the group backs away finally, his 'merchant' still safe inside hopefully. If not then he's a fool. Jiro turns his blue eyes to the woman, his whole body turning to face the group as he watches her. When the arrows fly his wrists flick, bringing the two cloths together in a large wall in front of him, covering his body and a good portion of the wagon as well. After a few moments, they fall away…and Jiro is gone! He's actually standing next to the woman who shot the arrow, staring to where the wagon is with a hand shading his eyes. "Was'a okay sho'. No' tha' great though."
The bandits were surprised by the cloth barrier being used and then as Jiro spoke, several of them shouted, causing several horses to rear up and toss their riders while the woman flinched away from Jiro and stared at him, then back to where he was. "How…?" She would question, some of the men being nearby but not daring to approach this teleporting boy. "Are you what's been eliminating our raiding parties..? You and those strange cloths you use? Or is it the two boys over there..?" She questioned, giving way that, at the very least, they were not the cause if there was any question of it. They were mere bandits, and Jiro had them quaking in their boots… actually.. everything was.. the very earth itself was shaking slightly beneath the raiders, and now that Jiro was where they were, he had a chance to experience it as well.
Shinta was worried for Jiro when those arrows were allowed to fly, but Jiro reminded him that the boy was like the wind and his movements were equally hard to see as suddenly he was gone. Looking at the bandits when they screamed, Shinta had to bite his lip to hold back a laugh and focused on reassembling the disguise on his puppet to hide away its inhuman features. Once again, he was a twin and now both were grinning and trying not to laugh at the bandits as Jiro was toying with. The quaking of the ground wasn't reaching the wagon, or if it was, Shinta had no idea the ground was shaking in his amusement.
Jiro looks over to their attackers and frowns faintly when they mention the raiding parties disappearing. "Wha'? Wha'd'ya mean yer raidin' parties'r disappearin'. I'm 'ere cause wagon's'r disappearin'." Hrm, that's not good. Nor is it good when the ground starts to shake. Jiro looks around quickly, pulling another cloth from a pouch. How the thing can be folded so small and then come out so big…"'m gonna 'ave ta deal with yer raidin' later…"
The rumbling grew more intense beneath their feet, some of the horses stamping the sands nervously before finally rearing up and letting out a whinny. When the riders fell from the backs of the horses, the beasts began fleeing moments before the ground erupted in the middle of the bandits. The sand being blown from the ground cloaked what was happening but the screams of several bandits caused those who were not attacked to scatter frantically away from their attacker. The screaming quickly grew quieter and quieter with each passing second as whatever was attacking did its work.
Jiro manages to keep his balance fairly well thanks to a little chakra to the feet. When it explodes outwards he hops back a little, then squints as he tries to see through the sand at whatever is attacking the bandits. Yes, they're bandits, but still…he steps forward, standing next to the woman with the bow with cloth in hand as he prepares to fight.
The woman would have lunged away from the attack on her horse before rearing it around and drawing her bow but being able to do more than threateningly search the cloud of sand for a target until the entire situation was at an end. Useless. She was beyond useless and could do little more than listen to the sounds of her men as they died. It would have brought tears to her eyes but a woman among raiders did not cry, nor show weakness. Just like the men, she could only try to seek out vengeance and blood from her prey. A brief glance to the boy with cloth and her eyes were again on the sands, eying the pit where her men once were and examining the territory for signs of the next strike. As her men regrouped around her, she muttered something to the effect of "Leave the boy." which had the men gratefully looking from him and even giving him their backs to watch over while they kept their weapons drawn and scanned the sands for something.
The 'merchant' would have climbed from the wagon by now, standing on the wagon's edge and watching with his arms folded over his chest as he examined the situation and yet, chose not to step into the situation just yet. The problem should be small enough for Jiro and Shinta to handle things at the moment, though if things escalated he would have little choice other than to step in. Yes, the boys were strong, Jiro especially though Shinta and his 'twin' weren't something to be overlooked either. There was more to the white-haired boy than what met the eye, and the corpse at his feet was proof of that. Perhaps a hint will do them well.. "Jiro!" The merchant barked out as he narrowed his eyes slightly. "The more noise you make, the sooner it will strike!"
There would be a rumbling of sorts, a bit more like the stomping of a small beast as all four of Shinta's feet can dashing across the sands toward Jiro to eye him curiously and then the other bandits. There weren't signs of wounds on those who had escaped but there were less bandits which was both good and bad for the little medic. Jiro seemed interested in not killing them so the least he could do was try and help to keep the bandits alive. A bit of chakra being focused through his twin had the other 'boy' adjust his gloves for a moment and begin loosening the wires to prepare for an attack as needed. "What made the cloud that I saw? I was too far away to see anything.." Shinta questioned while admitting his vision wasn't the best over long distances.
Jiro blinks as he hears what the 'merchant' has to say and then he frowns deeply. "Every'un be quie'!" he yells loudly, then falls silent. What could it be that would be coming after them that noise would drive it? That's so…odd. He squints into the cloud of dust, making out flashes of something as it silences another unseen bandit. When Shinta comes over he holds a finger up to the other boys lips to make him be quiet. Maybe if they were quiet it wouldn't attack them. Then Jiro could try and tail it and see what it was and where it went.
The muttering of the raiders went quiet with Jiro's warning, some even holding their breath to make it just a little quieter. If it helped or not wasn't very clear, but there was the clear feeling of the rumbling beneath their feet moving. The rumbling grew more powerful and then dulled as the creature passed beneath their feet in its steadily circling path around the bandits, passing closer and closer toward the higher concentrations of whatever sound it could find. There was an issue that could not easily be silenced however, the nervous stamping of the horses that remained, hooves stomping and scraping at the sands while they huffed nervously. It lead to a few riders 'shh'ing their mounts while patting at their necks. It wouldn't be long before the beast struck once more, the sand bursting out in a smaller cloud which allowed a chance at seeing what was launching the attack. They were like snakes, large snakes with wide open mouths lined with rows of teeth were launching from the sands to bite onto their prey and bring it to the sand where others were no doubt waiting to help constrict around and drag down the bandits and even the horses their fangs had found.
Shinta's head was stopped by that finger while his body continued half a step and then stopped and began eying the area to see what he could about the situation. When the attack began, Shinta would quickly flick his fingers, his twin lunging forward into the cloud to not only try attacking whatever it was, but also to lend the young boy his soulless eyes. Doing his best to follow Jiro's directive about being quiet, and trying not to draw attention to himself from whatever it was that was attacking, Shinta didn't take a step or move from his standing position at all. Only his fingers were moving quickly to control the attacks of his 'twin'.
As the silence proves to help Jiro remains quiet and motionless, waiting as the rumbling beneath their feet subsides ever so briefly. But then the creatures attack again and so he moves, depending on his speed to keep him from getting into too much trouble. His cloth whips out towards the nearest creature that's attacking someone, hoping that if he can cause it pain it will let go. "Ge' yer horses outta 'ere," he calls over his shoulder. "Somewhere off'a the san'!"
The puppet would be quickly grabbed and dragged into the sands by the beasts along with some bandits though before those bandits were dragged down too far, Jiro's cloth had wounded the beast and caused it to let out a screeching wail as it recoiled. With the short moment of time, the bandits would try scrambling from the sands, leaving trails of blood in their wake as they scattered away from the point of attack. Free of their attackers, the raiders were quick not only to take their horses toward more solid ground, but they themselves fled wildly leaving the woman and a few others willing to stand and fight along with the two small boys at their side.
Shinta's 'twin' was doing everything it could to stay captured by the beasts, and with good reason as Shinta smiled and watched through the eyes of his puppet for a moment. When the time was right and all the raiders were outside of the attack's range, the boy would form a few hand seals and send a pulse of chakra racing into his puppet to cause a collection of compartments to open on the twin and release small black orbs which fell to the sands, flashed, and finally burst in violent explosions.
Jiro watches to make sure no one else gets pulled under the sands, worrying more about keeping the people alive than killing the creatures. Even if they are bandits. Once they're clear he turns back just in time for the explosion, causing him to throw up his cloth and flair it out, keeping any bullets of sand from hitting the group. After that he lets it settle, then looks towards Shinta. "Nex' time warn me 'bout tha'…yeah?" He looks back then and tries to see through the dust. "Did'ja get 'em?"
Wails of pain or fear sounded out loudly from the beasts as they scattered as well as they could from the explosions leaving dust trails in their wake which showed there were at least three of the beasts remaining. In the crater of the explosions there was one that did not escape, no doubt too wound up around the puppet to avoid or escape the blasts. That wasn't to say that the beasts were going to just turn tail and run however, they were already coming around closer to the surface than before. It caused the sand to bulge upward around their slithering forms as they raced toward the fleeing group of bandits and the complaining Jiro that, while just talking, had also made the motion of throwing up his cloths. It wasn't good to make noise after all.
Shinta was grinning while watching the beasts scatter and then peering into the crater to examine his handiwork for a pleased moment. That pleased moment was dampened a bit by Jiro's complaint about not being warned, but all Shinta could respond with was, "You told me to shh. I couldn't warn you." He was a good listener when he forgot to do things and had an excuse. At the question of if he got one, Shinta grinned and started to nod his head while looking at that scaly beast in the crater. "Do you…. think it's toxic..?"
"I dunno, yer the medic," Jiro says, the cloth having receded back into his hand as he looks into the crater. But then he notices the other ones coming back and the boy grits his teeth. "I think we migh' need ta kill 'em all. I hope yer puppe' still works. We gotta protec' the people." He pretty much ignores the one heading towards him and the other two. He'd prefer they all came his way actually. He looks to the girl who seems to be in charge of the bandits and thumbs back. "Can ya kill tha' one?" Hopefully she can because he vanishes in another burst of speed, chasing down the others…and dragging his cloth through the sand, hardening it to cut through and make more noise.
No matter if she was feeling she could kill it or not, he was gone in a flash and she was left to try fighting the beast with the few men that were still willing to stand with her. While the beast charged so close to the surface she'd reach for the sword on her hip and drive it into the ground firmly at the last moment leaving the creature no time to evade the blade and slice itself deeply from head to tail. As it recoiled from the pain, her men began wildly stabbing into the sands, darkening it thickly with the color of the creature's strangely orange blood. The beasts that Jiro had his attention on, were paying mind to him as well die to the noise that he was making. He was sounding much more delicious and easily captured compared to the frantic group and so, the two would begin turning their paths and charging straight for Jiro and his hardened cloths that made him sound so attractive to their hungry stomachs and aching fangs. When the creatures grew close enough to Jiro, one of them dared to change its tactic and in a flash, the beast was soaring through the air, a broad serpent with a wide mouth of sharp teeth soaring toward Jiro while the other remained in the sands, they wanted nothing more than to tear into his throat and drink his sweet life blood…
That's right, he is the medic.. so it was his duty to make sure the creature was thoroughly examined and if it was toxic, that the poison or venom sacks were removed for study and possible application. At the comment on his puppet working however, Shinta smiled and crossed his arms proudly while his puppet climbed away from the crater with only an arm missing and a portion of its face damaged. It was quite a hardy creation but… it would be troublesome to rebuild those parts. Shinta cut a glance to his puppet and then admitted, "Perhaps explosive ordinances were not the best choice, I will need to think of something more applicable to the situation that will be less damaging to the body that issues the assault.. I will study some other form of delivery." Shinta explained, though when he looked Jiro was already gone and might not have heard him at all! Well, as long as he hid the puppet, perhaps Jiro hadn't seen his failure of a perfect assault.
Nope, Jiro didn't hear a word he'd said. But that's okay, he doesn't really /need/ to hear it, does he? Maybe if he didn't see it that'll be a good thing! Or maybe he saw it and will poke Shinta about it later. But for now there's some creatures he has to take of. He continues running, dragging the cloth through the sand and waiting for the creatures to catch up. He doesn't plan to outrun them after all. He waits until that one is in the air, only then turning while sliding a short distance through the sand to a stop. He jumps right at the creature then…but then attempts to go under it, hardening the cloth in the air above him where he'd been a moment before to try and slice the thing down the middle.
The beasts were creatures of hunger, not of deep thought or precognitive abilities. This made it easy for the one in the air, to become two halves in the air upon contact with Jiro's cloth, falling into two twitching sides on the sands that quivered for a moment before the life slipped from them and left it with little more than the lingering twitches of its muscles. The one the woman and her men were dealing with suffered a bloodier and segmented, but equally dead, fate. That left only the one that remained in the sands and would wait until it was within inches of Jiro before its head would breach the surface to try latching onto Jiro's ankle. The teeth of the creature were hooked backward to ensure that if it did bite hold, it would not be removed very easily if at all.
Now wasn't the best time, but Shinta was making adjustments to his twin, replacing the arm with a spare that he had been experimenting on and while the arm was a bit too large to be a perfect fit, it would do for what the boy needed as he sent his double off toward Jiro so he could try assisting the older boy in any way that he could. Not that Jiro would need it considering Jiro's occupation had been keeping Shinta out of death's grasp recently, but the boy couldn't let things stay that way forever.
Jiro doesn't hesitate, having planned for the other creature to stay under ground. Luckily it did until it got close. Without pausing after slicing the other creature in twain he launches into the air, doing a slow backflip to take him above the creature. The cloth had pulled up around his hand like a spring, tension holding in place due to the chakra infused within the cloth. Only when he was upside down over the creature does he let it loose, attempting to have the cloth drill into the sand and the creature beneath.
The creature had thought it was the one with the chance to be the predator when it felt Jiro in the perfect position however as he rolled in the air and sent that cloth drilling down into it, it could only screech and begin writhing against the attack helplessly. It wouldn't take long before the life left it and its body fell still against the sands. The raiders, in seeing that all four of the beasts which had been attacking were now in pieces or in the case of Shinta's kill, a stain on the sands. The rest of the sandy expanse was silent for several minutes, no more quaking signaling that there was no others in the area but surely there were more throughout the desert. It would be wise to send in the report when the ninja group returned to the village.
The 'merchant' had taken his fair share of the assaulting beasts while they worked through the group near the raiders, strangling the neck of the last one near his wagon and tossing the limp body into the wagon so he could bring it back to the village for experimentation and examination when they were finished with their travels. Best to keep it alive so they could thoroughly examine what was the beast's origin and nature.
Shinta's double would stop not far from where Jiro was and let out a muted sigh of relief at the sight of Jiro coming out of the situation unharmed. Across the sands, Shinta would look over the few raiders though the woman commanded them to stand down and made it clear they would withdraw for the day, as well as do what they could to spread word to avoid conflict with the ninjas of Sunagakure. It could make for a good arrangement for bodyguard missions in the future. At least as long as they were guarding caravans.
Jiro holds the cloth in place until the creature stops moving, actually turning to land on it and drive it down even deeper into the creature. Once it's done he hops off and pulls the cloth back, looking at the thing in the sand and wrinkling his nose. "Those'r weir'…" he mutters before looking at the battered puppet that comes his way. "C'mon, le's ge' back ta the car' an' go 'ome!" he calls in the direction of the real Shinta, waving him over. Jiro had enough for the day!
Shinta perked up a bit at the call and then tucked away what he'd gathered from the nearby corpses of the creatures, storing them in some preservative fluid filled jars and storing those jars into his pouches while he rushed off to join Jiro and guided his puppet to run alongside himself. Once they got back to the cart he could do some proper maintenance along the remainder of their trip but with his new toys stored away, Shinta was eager to get back home and see what he could do with these venom sacks he recovered.. if that was what they were. They were in a bit of an odd spot. Either way, they had found out what might be the cause of the disappearances and cleared out a few of them. That should count as a success, right?