Date: July 6, 2013
After the disappearance of Konoha's Team 21, Atsuro and Atsui venture into dangerous ancient ruins to rescue any survivors.
"Where Team 21 Cashed In"
Archaeological dig in the Land of Fire
Disaster! A team from Konoha was hired for help in an archaeological expedition. Their goal was simple: navigate the passages of the Meiro ruins and find a fabulous idol that's believed to be hidden there. What the excavation team didn't realize was that the ruins were full of traps! Now the team has gone missing, and while Konoha is reluctant to send more ninja into the dangerous ruins, they want that team back alive if possible. So they've picked two ninja who should be able to get through safely: an Inuzuka and a Hyuuga. With sight and smell covered, they should be able to make it through the underground maze.
So, here they are at the entrance to the ruins. The dig looks much like your typical archaeological dig, with square areas of ground neatly cut out of the earth and ladders leader deeper inside. Atsuro and Atsui have just reached the very bottom, where the entrance is. The entrance probably looked very beautiful a thousand years ago, but today its ornate carvings are mostly worn away, and only traces of the gilt-silver remain. "Alright," Atsuro tells Atsui, "We're here to rescue Team 21. You'll be on point with those great eyes of yours, and Tai and I will be bringing up the rear to cover the other senses. We need to be on the lookout for traps, and… well, anything else that can kill us." He holds up a roll of twine. "Just to make sure we know how to get out. Any questions?"
After any questions have been asked and answered, they step inside and find themselves in a huge entrace hall. The ceilings are high, and the walls have great shelves carved into them, lined with crumbling statues. Smaller passageways lead in every direction. Atsuro sniffs. "Got the scent," he says. He takes the lead and takes Atsui and Taizen to a corner of the room with multiple passageways leading deeper into the ruins. Unfortunately, "This corner is flooded. No trail until they reach dry ground again." Atsuro looks to Atsui, "See anything that'll help us?"
Atsui was surprised he was picked but more than happy to assist! Leaving the village with Atsuro, his father didn't even have that much to say on the subject. Maybe he was finally admitting that Atsui was growing up? Either way, the genin did pretty good at keeping up with Atsuro on the trip there. Looking about, Atsui would focus himself, charging those eyes of his to sweep the area for what he could get in terms of information. There was a lot of organization at the start, but once inside, it quickly dissapears into the chaos of entrophy. Atsui would nod in agreement with Atsuro's assessment outside, not having any further questions so they would head within. Once inside, he followed that trail til it reached the water. Frowning, Atsui would focus himself, slowly scanning the tunnels. "There." He pointed to one of the trails. "A mostly faded foot print in the moss. It's almost grown out.. they most likely went that way.." Atsui would narrow his eyes, focusing further on that path. "There.. is a swinging blade trap further ahead.. I see no fresh blood on it.. so they must of avoided it and went further inside." Atsui would glance over at Atsuro. "I'm going first.. right?" With that, he'd start down the path he believed they had gone on, keeping alert for the trigger of the blade he had seen in the ceiling.
"Day-um," says Atsuro, "Those eyes, eh?" He looks down into the water. Then, once he's satisfied that there isn't anything dangerous inside, steps into the water (it's only ankle deep) and walks over to the passage Atsui has pointed out. "A trap right at the entrance?" Atsuro asks, "Wow, they took security here seriously. I bet something like that would be triggered by a pressure plate or…" He and Taizen sniff the air a little, "A tripwire." Atsuro looks around to confirm his suspicion. "No smell of plant fibres and no ropes or anything on the floor. You see a pressure plate anywhere?"
Atsui looks around, before giving a small nod. "They're all trapped the same. It'd be hard to tell them apart just by the trap alone.." Moving closer, Atsui shook his head slightly, having to look harder as they approached the opening of that path. He'd finally pause, leaning down to touch the moss beside the food print he saw. "Wait.. it.. it's here, Atsuro-san.. The moss has grown.. it's over the plate." Atsui would slowly trace the outline of that plate that he could see, following it's outside edge with his finger, just tracing without actually pressing into it. A small nod was given, looking over to Atsuro. "It's here.. if.. if we skip over this.. it should be ok.. I don't see anything further on.."
Atsuro's eyes are certainly better than those of the average person, but things are getting pretty dim this deep in the ruins. Of course, Atsuro anticipated that they would be, so he brought something along. He reaches into a pocket and pulls out a small lantern, which he lights. He holds it up to assist Atsui in tracing the edges of the pressure plate, then once he's done, he and Taizen carefully step over it. "Got the scent again," says Atsuro. He lets Atsui lead, of course, since he's the one most likely to detect traps in this situation. Most unusual scents and such that a trap might have probably dissipated centuries ago.
They soon come to another large room with an interesting setup. A large door is the only other exit out, and it's got two levers on either side. Atsuro can't see it, of course, but Atsui can look through the wall and notice that the levers are designed to move back to their original positon when released. Two appear to be on the same circuit, as is the door, with a third on the other side. "Some kind of security measure," Atsuro suggests, "You have to know which levers to pull, or it won't open." Of course, he doesn't know the half of it, for Atsui can see that the two 'false' levers are connected to traps.
Atsui flashes a smile at the light. It did indeed help him with that tracing. Once they moved on, he'd keep his eyes forward, sweeping walls, floor and ceiling with that gaze to make sure they didn't run into any further traps. His eyes would narrow slightly as they reached that large room, not saying anything to Atsuro when he saw it initially, the people weren't there, afterall. Looking about, Atsui would slowly scan the walls, searching past that surface to trace the lever's actions. "there's.. there's three levers.. These two are.. connected.. It.. it takes both to open.. and there is.." He'd pause, following what he could see in the wall. "The third one.. will hold it open.. if both aren't pulled.. it won't work.. and then it has to have the third one.. it has to be pulled.. to keep it open.." Atsui frowns, looking around. "I.. well.. don't trust it.. too much green down here.. this.. this may be a water trap.. Atsuro-san.. if.. if we don't do it right."
"Huh," says Atsuro, scratching his chin, "So we have to pull the two, then have the third person hold the door open for us." He glances between Atsui and Taizen, "Luckily there's three of us." Taizen volunteers, "I can do the third lever." A bit of a risk, considering that he can't rely on Atsui's sight for traps, but the third lever is only a short ways in. "Water?" Atsuro repeats. He walks over to a wall, then scrapes off a bit of the green residue with his finger and sniffs it. "Algae," he concludes, "Wonder if that's where the water from before came from…" He looks around. "No sign of Team 21 dying here, fortunately. Which levers should we pull, Atsui?"
Atsui nods slowly, watching as Atsuro was able to confirm what he thought. Musing, he'd look at the wall again. Studying the two paths from the levers to the door, he'd shake his head slowly. "It.. it doesn't show.. anything different.. I.. I don't know.." Hesitating a moment, Atsui would step up to the right lever. "How.. how about we do a three count and then pull together? They.. well.. look actually surprisingly well oiled.. I.. I think team 21 oiled them.. So it should be an easy pull.. We do this.. and we get through.." Atsui looks over the room, before shaking his head again. "I.. don't see any clues.. for which to pull.. we'll.. just have to try at same time.. and.. once down, keep it down.. ok?"
"Not comforting," Atsuro says with a sigh. He looks back at the entrance they came in through. There's a heavy door ready to close if they get the levers wrong. Then the room will fill with water… "Tai," says Atsuro, "Be ready to hold that door open." It looks heavy, but Taizen is a strong dog. If something goes wrong, hopefully he'll be able to keep it open, at least long enough for them to escape. Atsuro takes hold of his lever. "Three," he starts counting, "Two… one… pull." He pulls. If Atsui does two, the door opens.
Realizing that he's been holding his breath, Atsuro exhales. Taizen turns and heads into the passageway to pull the third lever, then Atsuro and Atsui are free to follow him in. Beyond the door is a maze of sorts. But there's no flat ground, everything is staircases and ramps. The many passageways go up and down, down and up. Atsuro and Taizen take the lead, following Team 21's scent through the maze, but it soon becomes apparent that there are no traps here. So if Team 21 did make it through the maze eventually, then they're wasting precious time. "Is there more than one exit?" Atsuro asks Atsui. Maybe it's better to just skip straight to the end.
Atsui nods slightly, gripping the lever at the same time. He would pull when Atsuro said to pull, the doors opening smoothly. Watching as Taizen would go inside and hold that third lever, he'd slowly let go. Whew.. they did it ok.. Nodding then Atsui would follow along with Atsuro and Taizen, heading into that maze as well. He'd look all around, trying to scope out the whole thing. Frowning, Atsui would rub his temples. "it's.. it's hard.. hard to track it all.. I.. I don't know.. It.. it may just be past my range.. but.. I'm.. I'm not strong enough.. to focus the Byakugan.. to find it." Atsui sighs with a small shake of his head. Looking around again, there was a small nod given. "I.. I can confirm there are no traps.. I.. I don't see anyone else around.. so.. Team 21 has made it past here.. but.. I don't know which way it ends at.."
"Oh." Well, so much for that plan. "Alright," says Atsuro. If they find them dead… hopefully it's obviously been a long time. He knows Atsui has confidence problems already, and having the blood of a ninja team on his hands won't help. Atsuro and Taizen continue to sniff their way through the maze. It gets tiring, walking up and down staircase after staircase, even for ninja, and it's obvious that Team 21 didn't somehow know the right path. But finally, they reach a much longer set of stairs which leads them up and up, until they're on a platform overlooking the maze below. It's quite a site, really, to see what an ancient civilization accomplished here as a simple security measure, but they've got to keep moving.
Atsuro turns and looks down another hallway. "In here," he says. He lets Atsui take the lead again. "Their scent is getting strong." He also thinks he can smell blood, but he doesn't mention it yet, hoping it's just his imagination. Unlikely, especially since Taizen seems to be concerned too.
Eventually, they come to a huge room, even bigger than the entrance chamber. It has a high ceiling, and it's both wide and long, continuing on into the distance for seemingly ever. To complicate things further, they're standing on the only platform which is above water. From here, they can see a few paths just under the surface of the water, but in the distance they can't be easily seen… except perhaps by Atsui. He'll need to lead them over the water.
Atsui would follow along, tiring, but not complaining as they went. At the top of the steps, he'd look out across the maze, focusing for a moment as he'd study the whole thing carefully. "Atsuro-san.. Do.. do you see it? There's.. there's one path.. that's an immediate out.. it's.. almost a straight line.. but.. the rest of the maze cuts across it.. 3.. no.. 4 times. Makes it hard to track.." Atsui would trace the line from there with his finger, trying to keep it in his mind as he'd finally nod and move on. Leading on down that second tunnel, they got half-way down it before he'd hold a hand up, to stop them. Frowning, he'd peer at the walls a moment. "Blades. Spears.. on a mechanical system.. it.." He'd look back then, reaching out to touch the wall, which only on very close observation would the small holes be visible. "It's a trap.. it lets you get halfway in.. and then.. eats you. They cycle several times.. from the look of it.." Following it further, he'd trace it down to a simple wire across the center of the path, waist high, it blended perfectly with the surroundings, resulting in making it virtually invisible. Carefully, Atsui would duck under it. "That was close.. They.. it looks like someone got hurt here.." Atsui would point to one of the walls, the thinnest trace of blood there. "The spear got them.."
Following onward to the cavern, atsui would peer about, frowning as he'd trace the lines of the platforms just under the water. "it's.. it's another.. stamina drain.. the path is just under the water.. there's.. one.. two.. pressure plates.. We're.. we're going to have to be careful.. Try to step in the same spot I do.." Glancing back at Atsuro and Taizen, he was already sweating, this whole thing had been a drain on him, especially with maintaining the Byakugan for so long, but he rallied onward, carefully stepping onto what he could try to tell as the path that was the right one. Looking down, he'd pale and look back ahead. "don't.. don't look down.." It was old, obviously from the age of algae, but there were bodies in the water, dead bodies that from the faint ability to see them from above, looked to be pierced, multiple times. They were playing for keeps here it seems.
Atsuro does indeed study the path with Atsui. "Good eye," he tells him, "That'll make it a lot easier to get out of here… and with all these traps, that's definitely a blessing." He takes a moment to trace the path a couple times in his head, trying to get it stuck in his memory before moving on. And then Atsui points out another trap! "Geez," says Atsuro, "Glad we've got you along." He sniffs the air. "Not too much blood other than here," he notes, "And there doesn't seem to be anyone dead nearby… I think they got away okay… from here at least." He adds darkly, "Still not encouraging."
The water maze seems entirely do-able. The one problem is whether or not Atsui can keep it up. Atsuro has noticed that he's starting to flag, and it seems they've got a distance to go yet. "You're okay," says Atsuro, "We'll take fifteen minutes if you need a break." Again, he knows that this carries a risk of Atsui blaming himself, but they might have to risk it. Otherwise, he continues following after Atsui.
Atsui eyed the path, before shaking his head slowly. He'd relax his hold on the Byakugan, quietly sitting down on the edge of the platform, although he didn't touch the water. "I.. I know we should just.. go.. and.. and they could.. could be in danger.. so.. delays.. are bad.. but.." Atsui stared out at the water. "This is dangerous.. if.. if I didn't.. rest.. I.. I could fall.. we could all die.. It's.. it's important.. to not push too hard.. not.. not unless needed." Atsui was quiet for a few moments, staring for a bit silently at the water, listening to whatever Atsuro might have to say in response. Finally, about 10 minutes later, Atsui would stand up, focusing himself to once again power that ability, he would step into the water and shiver. "it's.. it's cold.." Moving onward, it went up to his knees, the ripples making it hard to track exactly where the path was at. It was just wide enough that Taizen would be able to stand normally on it, but it was also slanted. So one mis-step and off they'd go. In silence, focused and determined, Atsui would trace them along those paths, pausing at each intersection to scope them out. He kept the thought about the previous maze in mind. With this one having traps, then there had to be the same sort of situation. One path that was the right one. The one that wouldn't be trapped. Most of the way through, Atsui stopped suddenly, paling. There was a body in the water that wasn't old. No.. this one was fresh.. one of Team 21 had fallen and it looks like they got ran through a meat grinder, at the bottom of the water. "oh.. oh my.. That's not.. that's not good at all.."
And even though they don't even know how the team is doing, Atsui has already started to blame himself. "I know," says Atsuro, "It sucks. But we have four people who might be dead and three people who we know are alive. Throwing away the three to /maybe/ get the four just doesn't make sense. It's not our fault. Nobody's to blame, all we can do is do our best." He sighs. Normally he'd want to poke fun or something, but the circumstances are pretty depressing if you think about it. He and Taizen wait as long as Atsui needs, then they get up and follow him into the water.
They carefully move along the path, watching out for anything dangerous and making sure to be ready if Atsui should fall. The bodies in the water certainly aren't pleasant, nor is the idea of joining them, but they have to just keep moving and trust Atsui to bring them to safety. And then, just as they're reaching the end, Atsui spots that horrible body. "Don't look at it," Atsuro whispers, "Just keep going."
Of course, things aren't much better ahead. He smells more blood, and he's not sure if anyone has survived.
Atsui swallowed the bile. A slow nod was given and his attention would once more focus ahead of them. He ignored the tint to the blood, simply moving onward. They finally reached the other end of that cavern. Climbing out of the water, Atsui would shiver, settling on the ground a bit away from the water to carefully pull off the shoes he wore to give his feet a bit of time to air out. He'd look at his shoes, frowns at his pants, before shaking his head. "We can still save three. There is nothing we could do for that one. It's just a matter of finding the rest so we can save them. We will save them.." He'd carefully pull on his wet shoes, climbing back to his feet. "Let's.. let's go.." Atsui gave a small nod to Atsuro and Taizen, before moving on. Another tunnel, this one had blades that went from the walls inward to a point. They would each stop just short of one point. The blades bent, the edges were sharp, but pushing through would make it possible to get through. "This.. Atsuro-san.. This is a one way path…." Atsui points to one of the blades. "Someone got cut here.. they bled.. I.. I can see the traces along the ground ahead.. there's.. three of these things." Atsui shakes his head slightly, looking to Atsuro. "I'm not sure.. how we'll get Taizen through.. If they flex back.. they could strike him.. or me.. and hurt us.."
He can probably handle a dead body better than Atsui, but Atsuro's feeling a little upset himself after that. He looks forward and follows Atsui, trying not to think about it. Taizen whimpers a little to himself, but they keep going, putting the body behind them. Atsuro kicks his feet a little once they're out of the water, but he figures he can deal with the bulk of the water later. For now, he can stand to be a little wet. "If they can be saved, we'll save them." He has to add that part on, just in case…
The blades are an obstacle, but not a serious problem. Atsuro takes a sword from Taizen, then raises it above his head. "Before I do this," he asks, "Will it cause any problems if I just cut them away?" As for the blood, he's not worried if there's no corpse yet. Have to keep going. If Atsui says it's okay, he'll bring down the sword and cut right through the blades, even though they're metal too.
Looking at the blades, Atsui would trace them, following the slots they are locked into, finally shaking his head slowly. "no.. I don't see anything attached.. they.. they should be fine to be cut down.." Atsui was impressed with Atsuro's ability to just cut through the blades. That was not easy! He'd watch quietly as the blades would get chopped down. "It's.. it's slow Atsuro-san.. maybe.. just the top four.. those removed.. we should be able to get through.. just take a jump…" Atsui would try to help, pulling the metal slivers away once the landed, putting them off to the side so they don't cause someone to trip on them and cut themselves.
Even if cutting through metal like that is impressive (and handy!), Atsui is right that it's a bit slow. Atsuro needs to focus and gather his strength, after all, and there are an awful lot of blades to cut through. But eventually, he cuts through those that Atsui suggests, leaving them an acceptable route through the blades.
Once they're through, Atsuro sniffs the air again. "They're getting close," he says. The moment of truth. Did the rest of Team 21 make it, or are they too late?
As they come up on a pile of rubble, it becomes clear that the answer is both. It appears that this is part of some kinda of trap that Team 21 set off. Two people can be made out, buried beneath the rubble and quite clearly crushed to death by it as it fell on them. But there's one bit of good news. A few meters away lies a young genin boy. He's sprawled out on the floor and his eyes are closed, but he does appear to be breathing and only a small amount of rubble is on top of him. It's unclear how long he's been unconscious, and how long he'll remain that way, but at least there's one survivor for this whole mess. After checking around for traps, he kneels down by the genin and checks for a pulse. "He's alive," he says. He starts to carefully dig the kid out of the rubble. But even as he works, he notices something about the corridor ahead of them: it opens up into a chamber. And in that chamber is the very idol the team was searching for. Team 21 was only inches away from success.
Atsuro shares a glance with Taizen, then with Atsui, "We can send him back out with Tai," he suggests, "Then go for the idol and complete the original mission. Do we risk it?" It's sure to be dangerous, but…
Atsui paled when he came apon the remains of team 21 with Atsuro. Shaking his head, he'd look away from the rubble, eyes closed tight against the death. Spending a few moments in contemplation, silently regaining his composure, he'd look over to the genin. Helping to unbury the kid, Atsui would also look ahead. Glancing at him, then Taizen, he'd give a small shake of his head. "While.. while I don't doubt.. Taizen is good.. he's good at what he does.. there.. well.. there's at least the door.. that takes the lever held open.. for another to get through.. The maze.. may be a little tricky too.. I mean, well, we looked it over.. but.. I.. I don't know if he did." Atsui would help make sure the genin was comfortable again, before he'd look at the cavern ahead. Focusing, that Byakugan active once more, Atsui would study the room in that detail most did not have access to. The trigger for the cave in was there, already rocks were filling in for the next trigger. There.. seemed to be a secondary trigger point for that cave in as well. Looking at the idol, the pedistal seemed to be wired into a few different places, the elaborate setup revealing that removing the idol would cause the floor to tilt, dropping whoever was next to the idol down into a pit of acid. Atsui would wince and look some more, tracing the fact that spikes were barely seen, due to the gloom and darkness then anything else, in the roof. The other part of the pivot plate.. it'd throw someone up there. Taking a slow breath, he'd focus himself, looking it over for a long moment before he'd report it to Atsuro, that dread almost evident in his voice. "it's.. it's one big trap.. the.. floor.. pivots.. it.. it has acid under it.. the door, here.. it fills in when it's triggered.. anyone.. anyone who dives inside will be thrown upward.. into spikes.. while those by the idol.. they get dropped into acid.." Atsui frowns with a small shake of his head, looking to Atsuro. "I.. I don't know.. how.. how we'd even attempt to get it.."
While he probably feels about the same as Atsui deep down, Atsuro's reaction to the deceased Team 21 is impassive. He has to remain professionally detached, however much the sight in front of him upsets him. He looks at the dead ones for only a moment before he goes to help the unconscious genin. He's far from a mednin, and it seems to be the same for Atsui, so simply leaving the genin in a safe-looking position is the best they can do for now.
Atsuro thinks about this. Those traps sound pretty deadly. If it were Atsuro and only Atsuro, he'd feel more confident in going after the idol, strangely. But with three other people whose lives might be in his hands… he needs more information. "Do you know tree-walking?" he asks Atsui, "Will the trap reset eventually? What if we just stick to the floor until it's safe again? And how far does Tai need to get before he won't be at risk from any traps we might set off? There isn't one giant trap for the whole ruin or anything, is there?"
Atsui shakes his head slightly. "I.. I can't see.. that far.. I don't know.. it's.. it's kind of complicated.. so many.. so many paths.. already." Atsui frowns, trying to focus harder, looking down, then around slowly. "I.. I don't see.. any.. any other triggers.. I.. I think.. it's just this room.. so.. so back to the blades.. in the tunnel.. that'll.. that'll do it.. it's safe. But.. well.." He'd shrug then, looking to Atsuro. "The floor.. it's.. sprung loaded.. I.. I do know tree walking.. I'm.. kinda good at it.. but.. well.. I don't know if I can keep hold of a catapult if it tried to launch me.. you?"
Atsuro nods slowly, then picks up the genin and lays him over Taizen's back. He looks to Atsui. "I can send Tai back," he says, "He'll be able to escape even if we don't make it out." He looks over at the apparently heavily trapped chamber, "They certainly thought of everything, eh?" He sighs, "Well, I guess it must be a really important idol." He turns back to Atsui, looking him in the eye. "But it's not important to us specifically. Nobody will blame us if we only come back with that kid. They'll be thrilled, actually. Knowing that, and knowing the risks, do we still want to try and find some way to get past the traps?" Maybe it seems strange to leave such a decision up to a genin, but Atsuro seems pretty confident that he's doing the right thing.
Atsui blinked, boggling at Atsuro. Asking.. him? why? "w-w-why.. why.. are you.. asking me? I-I-I'm.. I'm just.. a genin.." Atsui shook his head, looking between the idol, Atsuro, then Taizen and the other genin. Shifting on his feet uncomfortably. This.. this was a lot of pressure all of the sudden, and.. for one moment, he released that grip of fear, uncertainy on him and looked at it. He looked at it hard, with that byakugan, analyzing the whole thing. Finally, a slow nod was given, attention shifting from them to the tunnel behind them. Maybe.. yes.. there.. "H-h-how.. how.. hard.. can.. can you pull a wire.. Atsuro-san..? The.. the idol.. it.. well.. looks heavy.. but.. you.. you cut metal! So.. if.. if we wire.. it.. loops.. a lot.. then.. pull with everything.. it.." Atsui would slowly walk down the hall, drawing a shuriken to place it on one of the tiles of the floor. "Has.. has to reach here.. before.. the door would close.. That.. that'd do it.." Atsui looked at Atsuro cautiously then.
"You can judge the traps better than me," Atsuro says, shrugging, "And your life is on the line too." He looks over to the idol, then to the place Atsui marks with a shuriken. "Pretty hard," Atsuro answers. Indeed, he's pretty sure he could carry out that plan quite well. He reaches into his pouch and pulls out a spool of wire. "Okay," he says, "I hold onto this and you take the end out to the idol and tie it around. Then you come back here. Get way ahead of me, and I'll pull. Sound good?"
Gulp. Atsui nods slowly, taking the spool of wire as he'd make his way out onto that floor. To some it'd look innocent, it was only that ability to see past the floor that made it so almost panic inducing to Atsui. Careful steps, watching where he was going, would have him make it to that Idol. Careful, oh so careful to not actually move the idol, not wanting to set anything off! Atsui would wrap layer after layer of wire on it. He made sure it was enough that the wire couldn't slip as just about every possible angle, other than the bottom, had a wire hooked around it. That done, he'd carefully unwind the spool, heading back to where Atsuro was at. The wire would reach that far, barely, Atsuro may have to actually back up with the pool to get across the line. Shrugging slightly, Atsui would look at it. "it's.. it's as.. secure as I could get…" He'd help Taizen then, loading up the other genin to get back, leaving them by the blades while he'd come back to the safe side of where his shuriken was at. "you.. you can do it atsuro-san! Pull pull hard!!"
Atsuro barely dares breathe as Atsui steps over the trapped floor to the idol. For a moment, he wishes he'd gathered a bag of sand at the entrance to the ruins. Then it would just be a simple matter of replacing the idol with enough sand to get the right weight. Brilliant. But this should work too… He gives Atsui a thumbs up as the kid comes back. Then, once the unconscious genin is packed on Taizen and Atsui is ready to leave, he gets down on all fours and focuses his chakra, taking on a more bestial appearance for a moment before leaping forward, yanking the idol off the stand and pulling it out of the room with the idol. The door shuts, but not before the idol is in Atsuro's hands. "Hey," says Atsuro, "That wasn't so bad." A low rumble from deep inside the ruins indicates that maybe it /was/ so bad. "Let's, uh, go," says Atsuro, waving for both Atsui and Taizen to get a move-on. Then he starts to run himself, though he's careful not to leave either the younger Atsui or the overloaded Taizen behind. At first, the ruins are only rumbling, but then they start to fall apart, pieces of rubble falling down, threatening to hit the team. It's unclear if this is simply a larger version of what happened to Team 21, or if the ruins themselves are rigged to collapse.
Atsui would start to cheer, before he'd realize.. uh oh.. a meek nod was given and he'd start running, the blades that would of stopped them were thankfully open. That let them get through with a leap, tuck and roll, the juuken dodging that Atsui was actually pretty good at being put to good use then. Due to the Byakugan, he never had to worry about falling things, instead he'd simply weave to avoid them. Gritting his teeth as they got to the water, he'd focus chakra and move, skittering across the water's surface. He was.. mostly good, when he had to dodge is when he'd splash, getting wet, but running on the surface seemed to help. Right up until the spikes from below would strike at where chakra met the water, going a good three inches past that point before withdrawing. The reason why *not* to water walk! Atsui would hop and just keep going. "watch out below!" like they didn't have enough already to deal with!
Thankfully, Atsui's fairly quick, so Atsuro can run like all hell is behind him. Just not quite as fast as if he were alone. He and Taizen run at full speed with Atsui, following him out onto the water. Atsuro keeps a careful eye on Atsui when he seems to be slowing down, but the kid actually seems to be making it through all right. Something to mention in the debriefing… if they make it out alive.
They're up and out of the water, then they're back at the maze of stairs. Luckily, the rumblings haven't quite caught up to them yet, so they have a few seconds to catch their breath and look at the maze again. "Okay," says Atsuro between heavy pants, looking to Atsui, "You still remember that path you saw before?"
Past the water, hands on knees, he'd pant softly, trying to gather his breath back. This whole run for your life thing kinda sucked! Looking at Atsuro for a moment, Atsui would then look out across the maze, seeking that pattern he had found before. "Y-yes.. there.. there it is.. I.. I believe.. I can keep it in mind.. with.. with seeing the whole thing here.. this.. this is the final trap.. the big.. the big one, Atsuro-san.. they.. aren't suppose to make it out of the maze.. before ot collapses down." Atsui glanced at the idol. "I hope this.. this is worth it.." One last breath inhaled, then exhaled and he'd start again, heading for that path he saw, keeping it in his mind's eye and using the Byakugan to guide them properly.
Oof, have they really fallen for it? "Makes sense," Atsuro admits, "waste a robber's time and you only need the one way to kill him." The rumbling is catching up, so he and Taizen are more than happy to follow Atsui back into the maze. Rubble starts coming down around them. Worrying, but not serious. Their progress is slow but steady, so Atsuro grabs a sword, gathering the group together and cutting apart any falling rocks that seriously threaten them.
Finally, they're at the exit to the maze, and the bulk of the ruins are behind them. They've reached the door controlled by the levers. Atsuro grabs the single lever on this side and pulls. The door opens and they rush through. Seconds later the heavy door closes behind them, but luckily everyone's made it. Now it's simply back through the initial corridor, evading the pressure plate they found before (as well as the rocks that threaten to fall on them as the ruins continue to rumble and fall apart), and into the entrance hall. From there, it's a mad dash to the finish until they finally find themselves in the light of day, and the safety of the dig site outside.
Atsuro takes a moment to catch his breath. "Nicely done," he tells Atsui. They retrieved the idol /and/ the survivor. It's unfortunate for the rest of Team 21 but, "We did as well as we could have hoped." Mission accomplished, despite the loss.