Date: January 18, 2016
Another mission to uncover the fate of the mysterious Koumorite Clan begins, and for the first time, uncovers a clue.
"Where The Koumorite Went - Pt. 1"
Koumorite Village, Land of Water
For at least a few years now, Kirigakure has been attempting to discover what happened to a Clan that joined the Village, known as the Koumorite. The bat-like people had few shinobi, but very interesting ones. They were in the process of being trained and integrated into the Hidden Mist when they suddenly vanished. The whole Clan. Essentially over night. The Okumo moved into their own village and took it over, but no trace has been found of what happened to the Bat Hand.
Himezaki Gina has been a training and conducting herself as a Genin of Kirigakure for the past three years, after having been found stranded on a storm-wracked island that was the site of a Touketsu mission lasting several decades. She was adopted into the wealthy Himezaki family after saving the husband and wife who lead it when their ship was ship-wrecked upon Storm Island's shores.
Hunting, tracking, and surviving in harsh environments is normal for her. But she is not more qualified than all the experienced hunters of Kirigakure to detect traces of the Koumorite that others have not. Except for one thing:
Until she visited the Koumorite Village for the first time, she hadn't known to tell Kirigakure's leaders that she had seen this same sort of architecture on Storm Island. Ruins, mostly. Abandoned. But still distinctly the same style as the Koumorite village.
And when she reported THAT… She was given the task of using her knowledge to see if she can identify what no others thus far have been able to: Where the Koumorite went.
Right now, the long-haired Chuunin is examining the caverns of Koumorite. Territory that has been examined over and over by many before her, and which is now choked with spider webs (and spiders). There has to be some sort of clue somewhere… SOME trace of what happened to them… She has been cordial, if quiet, with her companion on this mission. She doesn't seem to have much to say, in general, unless it's important. She's not unfriendly. She's just… Cold.
Quiet is rarely a problem with Koseitama involved. n.n; She's typically more than willing to fill up any lulls with chatter…although perhaps willing isn't the right word, it's more like she can't help herself. "Hark, what light through yonder passage breaks? 'Tis none at all, for our path leadeth down into the very bowels of the earth. Such heavy thoughts press upon my mind, for it is like unto the fate of all man, to trudge a dreary road into the endless blackness of death." Koseitama folds her arms and gives a sagely nod toward Gina. "That's symbolism, yo." B/
The fancy-looking kunoichi continues to examines the walls of the cliff-side cavern, one of many such tunnels, all throughout Koseitama's speech. She brushes aside skittering arachnids with no particular sign of fear or discomfort. She has probably had to deal with far worse on an island where only the most deadly of organisms survive the brutal jungle that comprises half the land mass, leaving scavengers and clever creatures to live in the frozen second half. She admits to being uncertain how to deal with such a talkative companion, but she has had three years to become a bit better adjusted. That means she has at least enough of an understanding of customs and manners to act like the princess that her adoptive parents want to treat her as.
But that doesn't mean she is used to such jabbering and energetic behavior, or that she truly grasps the significance of most societal elements out here on the 'main land' (the main land to her anyway. The Land of water is still an island). So she turns towards Koseitama when it's all explained as being symbolism, stares blankly from crystal clear, ruby-red eyes, that in the light shine like gem stones made of fire, and in the darkness, gleam dimly like smoldering embers.
"…I understand." she replies tonelessly. Before turning back to brush some more webs out of the way along the walls. There are the bones of various small animals all over the floor, but most of the remains in the area are sad little bundles of various insect remains, drained or soon to be so. A moth nearby is still twitching.
Gina asks, "You know symbols?" after a few moments of crouching in this arachnophobe's nightmare. Then she points to cave paintings on the walls, covered by webbing. Markings and images. Some in some form of language, others depictions of people, places, and things. Much of it seems to be styled after bats.
"I have seen symbols like this. Can you read them?"
Koseitama is certainly not the best candidate to learn about normal customs and society from. X) Too bad she's too wrapped up in her psychosis to communicate that to Gina. "Alas, such arcane runes as this are far beyond my ken. What ancient hand wrought such weird and mysterious glyphs? What words spilled from his tongue as he sought to immortalize them in stone? Though the shapes remain locked upon the rocky surface, the meaning hath escaped, and gaily mocks both the fool who wrote and the fools who wish to read." After posturing bemusedly during this speech with a hand raised accentuatingly toward the symbols, Koseitama folds her arms and nods again. "That's personification, yo." B/
Gina watches Koseitama throughout the whole thing, and then looks back to the symbols when the other Chuunin is done. "You can not read them. I understand." Gina rises from her crouch and looks around at the walls some more. The webbing strewn about, stretching from floor to ceiling and back again. She does not object to going deeper, despite any risks, but she is fairly certain the answer they seek is not here. This would have been examined already. What can she contribute with her knowledge? What does she know that no one else here knows?
She turns around, picking up a tarantula from where it's crawling on Koseitama's shoulder, and lightly tossing it aside, while brushing off the spiders that have likewise begun to adorn her in turn. "Outside for now." It's possible more recent writings can be found in other tunnels and other caverns. More recent symbols. But she does not think that is the answer. Again, people have already looked at all of these.
What have they all missed?
Looking down upon Koumorite Village from the cliffs, the sun setting upon the horizon and turning the ocean into bronze and gold and fire, Gina tries to think through what has been bothering her this whole time. About the buildings. It's hard to discern with all the spider webs on everything, confusing her mind further.
Suddenly… She just leaps down from the cliffs, sailing through the air for quite a distance before landing on one of the rootops of the odd, tower-like structures below.
What is she missing? She does not know Koseitama's capabilities. Maybe there is something she can do to help Gina. "Can you wield wind, Shirayuki-san?" she calls out to Koseitama.
Koseitama gives a hearty stage laugh. "What! Hast not my long-windedness given thee insight into that riddle? You shall catch wind of my capabilities anon. 'Tis an ill wind that blows none any good, and once we have had our second wind, the prize you seek shall be winn'd!" Koseitama follows after Gina, landing in a crouch beside her amidst a strong gust. "That's wordplay, yo." B/
This time, Gina just stares blankly at Koseitama and says nothing. It seems that this time she did not understand. She eventually draws a pair of blades from within her frilly, floofy outfit and starts cutting webs free of some of the structures. Not the houses and such that were built at ground level, but the towers that have stone wings and bat-like faces upon them. She looks back to the sunset, and then to a recently exposed bat-like stone 'wing' on the side of a building. "I must confirm something. Please do what you can to clear as much webbing as possible from these totem-pole-like towers."
Koseitama strokes her chin thoughtfully. "A simple task, yet simpler still it might be made. Wind may tug upon the diaphonous strings without tearing them asunder so easily. Would not fire be a surer agent? Yes, a great crackling blaze, devouring the fabric like locusts upon a wheat-field! Oh, to see such a wondrous spectacle!" >8D Koseitama performs some handseals and inhales deeply, then…pauses. "And yet, such destructiveness may be ill-advised. What man knows what clues may be scorched from existence in such an inferno? Nay, better to err upon the faction of caution." Koseitama changes her handseals, and a sudden strong gust blows down onto several of the towers. "That's counterpoint, yo." B/
Gina shakes her head briefly. "No. I can not use fire. I do not how to wield it, and doing so would endanger this town, where the Okumo Clan now live. Aside from destroying evidence, it would have other consequences." She looks back to the webbing and says, "The Wind Chakra Nature is known for its cutting power. But if you can sever the webbing by other means, that may be sufficient." That's probably the most Gina has said all at once since this mission began. She continues cutting her way through the webs, leaping from roof top to roof top, trying to clear as much as she can. Hopefully Koseitama is doing whatever she can to assist as well, and they'll eventually clear enough that Gina can confirm what she suspected.
At which point, she'll turn to her companion, and say, "The sun was the clue. The ruins of ancient Koumorite on the island I grew up on… All of the wings on their buildings pointed east-west, towards the sunrise and sunset." Then she puts away her blades after wiping them clean of webbing, and points at the wings on the buildings around them.
They point north-south.
"I think that if we search to the north-west, we will find the Koumorite's trail."
Koseitama gasps melodramatically. "Zounds, you have the truth of it! Indeed, what tragedy has been wrought by even our mild shearing?" D8 Koseitama crouches down and examines one of the spiders caught up in the mass of cobwebs that floated down from the towers. "Alas, poor Yoriku! I knew him…not one whit." c.c 'Yoriku' and the other spiders fortunately don't seem to be much worse for wear, although if they're intelligent enough they might be grumpy over having to reestablish their webbing. :P Koseitama stands up again, immediately forgetting the spiders' plight. "Ho then, let us be off! We shall seek our fortunes toward the barbaric nor'west, and may fate smile kindly upon our endeavors! Yea, and what dangers could possibly befall amongst such stalwart companions?" n.n Koseitama marches off in the direction Gina indicated.
"…That's foreshadowing, yo." B/
Gina does not seem overly concerned about the spiders so much as the Clan that dwells here. She shakes her head once more at Koseitama. "No. The mission was to find a clue to where they went. Not to track them down. To continue across the sea, we will need approval. I must first report to the Mizukage before we can leave the Land of Water on this search." Then she turns and starts leaping from roof top to roof top on her way back south and out of the village, heading for Kirigakure. "Let us report back. The sooner the results are reported, the sooner the next mission can be taken up."
After years of searching, they finally have a clue. She highly doubts that the Mizukage will call off the search now. But she can't just leave the country on a whim. She needs authorization. And for all she knows, the Mizukage may want to send more people with the two of them on the next mission…