Date: August 17, 2015
Arika and Jiro go hunting down a cactus that is supposed to have pretty purple flowers growing on it. Of course, the people who were /supposed/ to get the flowers to Suna neglected to mention how vicious the plant was…
"Wedding Bells - Spiky Death Flowers!"
Land of Wind
Desert Cliffs [Land of Wind]
The sweltering heat during the day reflects off the cliff walls that rise up here. At night the towering buttes appear to be even taller than they normally are — cold, remote, and perhaps even a bit alien. They are massive, naturally-formed walls of sandstone that can serve as a point of reference for those seeking Sunagakure — to the south — or simply desiring a land mark to navigate by. Further north lies open desert, inhospitable and bereft of any towns or other establishments other than perhaps a few nomad camps. South lies the desert sands surrounding the gates of the Hidden Sand Village. East lies lots and lots of sand.
Staying in the village can only be entertaining for so long. Arika is more than happy to go out searching for some of those rare flowers, with or without help! She … doesn't really know what she's looking for, but this first one on the list is supposed to be easy! Arika Hmms as she looks around the desert, saying, "It's supposed to grow on a cactus! I don't see anything, though…"
Jiro follows along after Arika, not really looking around for flowers at the moment as he's grumpy he didn't sleep well. That may or may not have been his own fault for staying out late and causing trouble but…anyways! "Yea', well le's jus' go back'n sleep then."
"We can't," Arika argues. "We gotta find the flowers for Itami-chan's wedding. I dunno what the cactus looks like, but the gardener said that we couldn't miss it!" Because the gardener didn't want the kids to find it… For a reason. Arika continues to look around the desert, but nothing interrupts the sandy wasteland!
Jiro lets out a loud groan when Arika says they can't go back to sleep. "Wha's it supposed ta look like an'ways? We even lookin' in the right spot fer it?" He scrunches up his face as he looks around, appearing quite incredibly bored.
"It's supposed to be a huuuuuge cactus with purple flowers all over it. And it looks like this." Arika stands straight and puts her arms out with her elbows crooked into right angles so that she … sorta looks like a cactus. "Got it?"
Jiro scratches his head since his hands are already up there, considering as he looks around. "How 'bout this. I'll hoist ya up in the air so you c'n look 'round, then I'll catch ya?" Higher vantage point at least! Plus he gets to boost Arika high up into the air which is it's own version of excitement.
Arika Hmms a bit, then nods. "Alright." She wanders over to Jiro so he can send her up for a better view, still looking around the desert for signs of this mysterious cactus. "The gardener said it was huge, too. And hard to find. So I guess we're doing things right?"
Jiro shrugs a bit before he crouches a bit and interlaces his fingers to form a bit of a platform. "Put yer foot 'ere an' hold on ta my shoulders fer balance. Then we'll count ta three and I'll push ya up as hard as I c'n an' you jump. You'll get really high!" And then he just has to remember to catch her. Hehehehe…
Even if Jiro doesn't catch her, Arika would be fine. The girl puts her right foot onto Jiro's hands, grabbing his shoulders to stabilize herself. Then she readies herself for a jump. "On three! One… Two…" When she says two, she bunches her muscles to leap, gathering a bit of chakra too, and on three she leaps, using chakra and Jiro's boost to send herself up!
Jiro prepares, waiting for the countdown before he pushes his hands up on three to give her a boost and shoot her even higher into the air than he normal jump would. He raises a hand to shade his eyes so he can watch Arika in the air and try to judge if she's going to veer to the side when she falls. Other than that he just preparse to catch her and hopes she sees /something/ useful.
Arika squints her eyes, wind chakra swirling a bit around her as she tries to keep herself airborne for as long as possible. Then she starts coming down, following the same path as when she had gone up!
Jiro waits…and waits…and waits until Arika starts coming down, then jumps a bit when she's low enough so that he can catch her in both arms fairly gently and land before setting her back on her feet. "Well, did'ja see it?" He asks, still waiting to escape for a nap…
Arika nods. "Uh-huh! Just past that dune over there," she says, pointing to the south and east. "Let's go!" Then she takes off without much warning… Because she wants to get this over with!
Jiro lets out a 'whew' when Arika says she saw it. "Goo'! Le's go, I wanna get 'em and then ge' back!" He lets out a big yawn…just in case she was wondering what he might be doing when he gets back. Sleeeep! When Arika goes off he runs after her.
Arika grins and charges off, eventually stopping at the top of the dune with wide eyes. "It's bigger than I thought…" she comments, staring at a huge cactus that seems as huge as the dune she's standing on! Eep! It … seems to be moving, too?
Jiro slides to a stop next to Arika when she does, shading his eyes again to look out over the sand towards the giant cactus. "Huh…why 'aven't we seen /that/ b'fore?" He asks curiously, but then shrugs as he starts down the dune, using a bit of chakra so that he can just kind of slide down over the sand towards the cactus.
As Jiro and Arika get closer to the large cactus, they would find that it is a bit hostile! It has purple flowers, like Arika had described, and a few 'arms' on each side. The spikes are huge because of the sheer size of the plant, and those spikes are heading right towards Jiro and Arika! Arika squeaks at the unexpected attack and puts on a burst of speed to get away from the projectiles.
Jiro yelps in surprise as sees the spikes heading for him and he quickly performs a little dance to avoid them, ducking under one, flashing away from another, doing a little sashay…"Wha' the heck's tha' thing!" He yells after he avoids the spikes, eyes wide as he looks at the big evil cactus. "Shoul' we kill it?"
Arika shrugs, even as more huge spikes come down at them. They embed themselves into the sand behind them, looking about four inches in diameter while being three times the height of Jiro. The cactus itself is about twenty feet tall… A bit unbelievable, but that's sort of why this 'mission' was sorta dangerous! "We gotta get flowers, so we … gotta cut them off. If we gotta kill it, then I guess we gotta…."
"Cut 'em off huh?" Jiro says, pulling his sash free with a single tug. "I c'n do tha'!" He charges at the cactus, jumping onto another spike when it shoots it in order to boost himself up into the air. Just as he gets close another one comes straight at him however and he has to use his cloth to block it, getting pushed back and smashed into the ground. At least he wasn't impaled.
"Careful!" Arika shouts to Jiro, wincing when he ends up getting smashed to the ground. "We'll both do this. I c'n try and stop the spikes while you charge in," she suggests. "I c'n ride on yer back or something," she says, ducking as a spike comes at her head, then squeaking and shifting off to the side as another comes right at her stomach.
"How many spikes this thing 'ave!" Jiro grumbles as he gets back to his feet, his cloth whipping out to deflect another spike away before it can hit him. "Can'cha use yer wind ta knock it over'r somethin'?" He asks, moving in front of Arika and pulling out his second cloth to deflect the spikes away from both of them while they talk.
"It's rooted to the ground," Arika point out. "There's a huge track of sand, see?" she says, pointing at the ground behind it. Then she blasts a bit of wind to deflect the next spike. "Grr… This's frustrating. I'm just gonna slice it" she says, making a few handseals so that a sphere of air (multiple, actually) are sent through the giant cactus. It ends up with a lot of holes in it, and it actually pauses! … To regeneratee.
Jiro grumbles a bit as he watches it regenerate, but then he sees how it paused to do so. "When I ge' close, do tha' again, make it stop an' heal, 'kay?" He doesn't wait for an answer as he darts forward towards the giant cactus, using both cloths to knock away spikes.
Arika blinks, not noticing the pause. Once the cactus is all whole again, the spike terrors start up again. They start shooting at Jiro and Arika, and Arika has to work to keep herself from being impaled. "Hurry up, then!" she yells at him, waiting for Jiro to reach the cactus within a few yards. Then she aims a lot of little vacuum spheres at the cactus's 'head' to keep it from shooting spikes, and it is forced to pause.
Flicking away a few more spikes Jiro runs head long at the cactus, waiting for the last moment to jump into the air and land sideways on it once it pauses. He quickly spins, cloths out to either side to cut flowers loose before vaulting off the cactus and collecting the flowers in his cloths before they hit the ground and get damaged. Then he turns tail and runs!
Arika grins when Jiro is able to grab a bunch of flowers. Hopefully enough to help decorations. They'll have to grow their own if they want more, and considering the monster that made them… "Le's get back!" she says, squeaking as a spike just misses her arm.
Jiro runs at top speed to try and avoid getting impaled in the back, zooming rest past Arika on his way up the dune and hopefully out of sight of the wicked creature! No way he wants to get stabbed while he's got the flowers!
Arika follows after Jiro, stopping only after they clear the dunes that was tall enough to block the creature from her own vision. She's panting a bit from the whole exercise, though more because that was so nerve wracking! Then she grins widely and says, "Did it! Let's get back t' Suna. And I can carry some of the flowers, if you want," she offers.
Jiro sets the clothes down, plopping onto the sand a moment to catch his breath as well before he divies up the flowers and ties the cloth so it becomes a carrying bag with the flowers sticking out and the stems inside. He hands the blue one to Arika and carries the red. "Alrigh', le's go. I better be allowed ta take a nap af'er this!"
Arika takes the blue cloth and says, "Fine, you can nap. Just don't fall asleep on the way home!" The girl gives a small nod, then starts back to Suna. Flower #15: retrieved~!