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Old 03-25-2014, 09:18 PM   #11
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Ritsuke’s tactic hadn’t worked. She offered her team a weak smile and shrugged. The Lac were a new civilization, truthfully she did not know how to handle them. Perhaps she was acting a bit too friendly and they noticed it was a performance. On the other hand, she was genuinely intrigued by the society and desperately wanted to get along. But she would not be able to relate to the Lac. Their societal ways were still a mystery to her and their language totally incomprehensible. She heaved a sigh and Shikaro’s words were the ones that got through to the Lac.

The kunoichi remained close to her group despite the urge to wander away and explore the island. She was unfamiliar with dangers prowling the forest and that made it all the more exciting. The heat of the air was beginning to cause her hair to frizz and flesh to ooze sweat. She wiped her forehead, trying to clear the sweat, but it returned merely a few minutes later. Ritsuke had a deep love-hate relationship with this island.

Kawena finally paused and the girl lifted her arms to stretch her back. She rolled her neck and then looked over to where the boy was pointing. Apparently, the bees were way bigger than the girl expected.

Whoa…

Her voice trailed off and floated amongst chirping and other vague animal noises. However, Ritsuke heard something else. A type of low humming, no, buzzing. They were in the bee neighborhood. The girl took a step back, some foliage crunched beneath her feet and a branch cracked under one of her heels. In the complete silence of that moment, Ritsuke’s voice cut through the air.

No, no, no, wait a second. How are we supposed to get a stinger from a monster?” The island’s name made sense. “They’re probably, like, the size of my house.

As she was about to continue her frustrated outburst, a small dot flew passed her eyes. An insect, a bee. The girl looked at the young Lac boy and tilted her head.

So, basically, if we mess up your village is going to die.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:59 AM   #12
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Good thing we're not going to mess up, huh?

Shikaro examined the hole in the tree, ran his fingers around the edge of it. The inside was rough, barely – no, covered in fine grooves. He traced along the walls with the pads of his fingers and held the tip of his tongue between his teeth. Though the hole was certainly impressive, Shikaro remained unimpressed. He tipped his head at Kawena to get the pathfinder's attention, and the Lac boy turned to look at him. Shikaro pat the drill bore with his hand to demonstrate.

Kawena, the stinglings made this, right? Plural?

Kawena squinted at Shikaro while he parsed the words, then nodded. “Yes. Plural many?” Shikaro nodded. “Yes. Many.

Then the stingling variety are probably about, oh, that big.

He pointed over to the left, past a few branches. There, sitting on the trunk of a tree, was a single bee. The insect was certainly larger than anything in Fire Country, having more in common with a goliath beetle than a little wild honey bee. End to end, it was as long as Shikaro's hand, and as wide as two fingers side by side. Every few seconds, the bee's wings beat and it buzzed, turning slowly on the trunk. The stinger at the end of its abdomen looked like the tip of a drill, dark, tapered, and grooved with a narrow spiral. After a moment, the bee rose up into the air, where it looked too heavy to fly, and headed back through the jungle.

I'm not going to question how they get enough torque to sting through wood. From what I read, weird, inexplicable stuff is just the way of life here.” Shikaro waved back at the hole in the tree. “But this took a bunch of those bees. I'm thinking they probably bore into the wood and then use it to construct the hive or something. Like paper wasps, but...wood bees.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:58 PM   #13
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Staring between Ritsuke, Shikaro, and Kawena, Yuge found sudden reason to hate this Island of Spirits. Not only was their mission to hunt down some insect, it was all to be done on a barely civilized land of monsters. While the thought of huge beasts and incomprehensible power was all well and good, it didn't leave Yuge wanting more.

With a sigh, Yuge followed Shikaro's extended finger towards where she saw a bee buzzing on the trunk, large certainly but not humongous by any means. A part of her even wanted to listen to the Nara's reasoning for how many smaller bees made that particularly large hole. But the chuunin couldn't find it in her to care. Instead, she moved past the group, and leapt forward, onto the tree trunk that the bee had left and that Kawena was still pointing at.

"Then it's time to catch the bee, right?"

As Yuge looked back at her group, crouching as she was on the log, her elementum chakra built around her palms. The wood element left her hand like sweat and gained the shape of kunai, a pair in each palm. They didn't glean with the shine of metal, but their tips held danger in them. Before the bee could buzz far out of sight, her arm flew through the air and sent two of the projectiles flying after the animal.

Her aim, to be certain, was dangerously accurate, but the result was far from expected. Even from afar, she could see what happened to the one kunai whose tip had made firm contact with the heavy bee's stinger. Making contact with the black insect appendage, the wooden kunai was ground into what could only be appropriated to sawdust. It seemed that the bee's stinger-drill was always drilling.

Maybe that was the buzzing noise the group heard.

"Bad." It sounded less like a scorning word from the native, and more like an omen. Kawena was right.

As the bee turned back around, operating on instincts, Yuge couldn't help but notice that that buzzing sound was growing louder.

Wait. Not louder. More frequent.

That was the sound of many drills buzzing.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:48 PM   #14
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Nobody responded to Ritsuke’s worry. Nobody seemed to possess as much anxiety as she did about the situation. The Chuunin was mistaken about the size of the bees, they were definitely not anywhere near the bulk of her house. But while it was an exaggeration, it was a fair one. At least, she justified it. Truthfully, Ritsuke was always slightly disturbed by insects. She scrunched her lips when Shikaro pointed to one of them in the distance and found herself completely horrified.

The creature was ugly, creepy. It looked like it was an alien. Ritsuke watched with absolutely disgust as it dragged itself through the air, floating like a fat, hideous butterfly. This would be Aburame paradise.

Although she was repulsed, the bug was not aiming to fly toward them and posed no threat. At least not until one of Ritsuke’s companions decided to establish themselves as enemies. Yuge thought it was wise to test the capabilities of this extraterrestrial being and hurled kunai at it. The insect’s behind was a drill that never stopped spinning at a rate she could not track. It shred through the wooden knife in less than a second and Ritsuke felt an increase in her heart rate. She raised both eyebrows and took a few steps back.

Nope.” The buzzing grew louder, stronger. “Nope, nope, nope.

The goliath bee was now concentrating on the three Chuunin and their Lac companion. It moved slowly at first, creeping toward the group, but began gaining speed as the distance between them closed. One bee would be no issue for them, however twenty or so might be a problem. A crowd of bees rose from the forest and their drills were loud, piercing.

Welcome to the hive,” Ritsuke chuckled sarcastically.

She raised both arms and rapidly moved through a series of handseals. The leaves in the immediate vicinity began to solidify beneath her feet and gathered around the kunoichi. They swirled around her, their rustling as loud as the bee’s droning, and the torrent was released and propelled in the direction of their insect enemy. The leaves were pointed, they immediately severed a handful of the bees, but the creatures were…

Smart,” the girl commented as she watched some of the bees fly bottom first toward the shinobi, shredding through her ninjutsu with complete ease.

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Old 04-07-2014, 04:08 AM   #15
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Yuge's attempt to pin one of the bees down failed, rather spectacularly at that. Not only did the insect turn and grind the girl's quite wooden kunai to dust, but it turned on the three shinobi and their faithful guide. The buzzing in the jungle grew louder and soon a few dozen more bees appeared to assist the first. A quick glance suggested that the queen was not among them; but then again, if they acted like regular bees, then Shikaro doubted that she ever left the hive short of moving to colonize somewhere else. Shikaro sighed and shrugged with his palms towards the sky. He shook his head a little.

Wasn't how I would have done it, but I guess, like, we better deal with it now.

He made a few handseals and stepped forward, towards Ritsuke's leafy dragon, and swung two fingers out in a wide arc around himself. His shadow bent and warped into a thin curve, like the edge of a scythe, that wrapped around from his right side across to his left. The shadow jumped and wove between the many shadows over the ground – the jungle provided more than enough patches of darkness for Shikaro to push his own shadow to the limit. As the bees crashed through the leaves, Shikaro held his hand up in a seal and set his shadow firmly in position.

Kage Kichou

The first bee triggered the jutsu in full. As it passed over his muddled shadow, the bee froze in the air. Or, rather, its wings kept beating and its stinger kept spinning, but the creature itself hung there as if held on strings. Then the next bee got stuck, and the next, and the next, until the small swarm of insects had been utterly stopped in their tracks. Shikaro lifted his other hand to pull the bare lollipop stick from his mouth and flicked the garbage off to the side. Beads of sweat rolled down the back of his neck as he concentrated on the angry insects and, vaguely, he was aware of Kawena hiding somewhere behind him.

Now, maybe, you could just pick one up and pull the little bastard apart. You know, or whatever.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:20 PM   #16
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As the sound of buzzing grew louder, Yuge had a moment to breath in how foolish she had been. To bore such a hole in a tree trunk, it only made sense that Yuge's element of specialization would have little success. And to realize her greatest weapon was but a toothpick to the stingers of the bees was a deep, harrowing blow.

Yuge's eyes narrowed as she watched Shikaro's shadow bend around her, to catch the small dots of the bees' shadows, until ever insect had stopped in a vicious line. The buzzing remained as the bees struggled against the restraints in their shadow. Mixed with the words of the self-righteous Nara, Yuge could feel the headache coming on.

Just pull the bastard apart, he says.

She hopped down, having recovered from the shock of her own carelessness. Nearing the line of warrior bees, Yuge glanced over her shoulder for a moment, with a glint in her eye. "Keep that technique going, will you?"

She turned away from her team and drew a wakizashi from the sheath at her back. At eye-level, the bee looked like a suspended sculpture, and Yuge wished to see a little string dangling from a ceiling that wasn't there, as if the bees were all just plushy toys above a baby's crib. The thought of it soothed her, even gave her reason to smile as her blade dug through the bee above the stinger.

The sword caught for a moment, as if the stinger were a part of a whole vertebrae. But bees didn't have spines, right?

Right.

With one firm push, her blade slid through whatever her blade had cut through, and with her free hand she caught the stinger. She looked inwards, turning the severed body towards her, but as she searched for signs of what she cut through, her hand experienced a sort of magic she had not been expecting. The bee's airbound body disintegrated, and so too did the stinger in her hand, her palm only barely having enough time to register the spiral grooves that they had noticed.

And then her hand was holding nothing, as a coastal breeze swept the disintegrated bee particles away. The saline smell of their travels to returned to her, and in one scent, reminded her that they were on The Island of Spirits.

She turned back to a complacent Kawena and her team mates, the last of the familiar particles falling to the forest floor. Through the buzzing of the other bees in the line, Yuge stared down at her hands one last time.

"Sawdust."
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:17 PM   #17
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Shikaro’s shadow twisted at the ground and reached the other pits of darkness spread across the area, seizing the flying insects and halting their movement. Impressive, thought Ritsuke. Her own ninjutsu fell flat at the face of these buzzing monsters, thankfully Shikaro picked up her slack. She brushed a few orange strands of hair from her face, suddenly falling silent, descending back into a recent memory of her sheer uselessness during a mission.

Yuge advanced to the creatures and withdrew one from its pack, beginning to pull it apart. It did not make a sound, to Ritsuke’s surprise. Just the constant, monotonous droning surrounded them. And then dust.

The bee in Yuge’s palm disintegrated. The rest of the pack followed, vanishing into an odd powder, including the ones that were victims of Ritsuke’s leaf dragon. She glanced down to the bug corpses at the ground and much like the others, they slowly crumbled into sawdust. All of the bees that the four humans confronted only moments ago were now gone. A whirlwind of dust enclosed them for a single second, then scattered away. The leaves rustled, but the buzzing was gone.

Ritsuke shifted to Kawena and raised an eyebrow. The boy mustered for an answer, but he did not understand either.

Just as Ritsuke was about to speak, her mouth still hanging open, the humming reappeared. But it did not sound as though it came from a pack; it came from a single source. She turned around and could not comprehend the thing that her eyes encountered. It was a bee, yes, but it was roughly the size of Kawena. Its wings moved quickly. It seemed too big to be floating, but it was.

Stray pieces of sawdust were drawn into the creature, as if it had rebuilt itself out of the previous bees. In fact, that was exactly what happened.

The monster charged for Kawena at an alarming speed.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:41 AM   #18
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Shikaro clicked his tongue. He wasn't completely surprised that the bees had some other supernatural stuff going on, but this new development put some perspective on why three shinobi had been dispatched to collect some bugs. This wasn't even something like moving a hive or gathering honey, which he was sure was basically a death sentence on the island – all they needed as a stinger. When the swarm fell away into dust, Shikaro pulled his shadow back into its rightful shape, but didn't quite release his mental hold on it. He ran his thumb over the hairs on his chin, then turned his head to see the single massive bee hovering nearby.

Gross.

The insect went straight for Kawena, who froze up. Shikaro took a long stride over to the boy and reached out with one arm to pull Kawena away, dragging him from right to left in front of the Nara and neatly sending him tumbling over the forest floor out of immediate danger. His other hand came up in a rat seal and his shadow inverted beneath his feet and stretched to meet the bee in mid flight. As the shadow neared, it reared up off the ground and twisted into a five-fingered claw of dark that sought to slice through the insect.

The claw smashed through the bee, but not quite. The insect lost its shape briefly, dissolving into a floating cloud of swirling dust that flew right around the shadow and quickly made it over to Shikaro. He lifted one arm to shield his eyes as the dust whipped about him like a whirlwind. Slices started to appear in his clothes and over his arms as the sawdust cut him like sand or shrapnel. Cursing, he flailed a little and stumbled out of the cloud before the bee began to reform in his place.

Just kill it, I don't care about the money!
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:15 AM   #19
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It was one thing to be a foreigner and not know what the heck was going on, and it was another to be a native of the island and appear completely clueless. It seemed that, for knowing how to guide the trio through the forest, Kawena had absolutely no clue what he was doing when it came to dealing with these monsters.

The great sawdust bee monster that arose between Yuge and Ritsuke's attacks was frightening and weird. There was no doubt that strange spirit energy was at work here. While it could all be chalked up to beast chakra, the last time that beast chakra had even been uttered had been in whispers of the long gone Bijuu. Still, Yuge was glad Shikaro hadn't let the island boy get pierced through the gut by the giant bee monster.

But the constantly changing shape, the moving sawdust elemental of an insect, was dangerous. As Shikaro exited the storm of sawdust with cuts and splinters, Yuge arrived at his side. The simple order, to kill it, was easier said than done.

Yes, kill it, but how?

The bee was slowly regaining its shape. It seemed, as a larger body, it was more difficult to reform, but the aerial control of it's sawdust form seemed just as it was, controlled. Her eyes scanned the forest, hoping for once that some shinobi was behind this, but she knew better than to discount the rumors; That Seirei no Shima was a place of magical spirits.

As the bee gained shape, and turned towards Shikaro, Yuge's hands closed tight in the serpent seal. Her chakra moved forwards, and Yuge found herself hoping that the many years of mastering her element wouldn't go to waste here.

It was through her chakra that she was given an insight into the workings of the wooden bee. The bee buzzed wildly, and continued flying towards her and Shikaro, it's stinger's tip pointed viciously at her heart. She saw it's make-up, the distribution of it's wooden chakra, and in a final pulse of chakra, Yuge gripped it tight.

Mokuton: Takken!

As the bee's stinger stopped two feet from Yuge's face, everything in the forest grew still, even the buzzing of the bee's wings. In a way, Yuge wasn't sure what she had done, but she was certain she wouldn't break the serpent seal until she knew she could. Something in her elementum chakra had stopped the bee, but she didn't know what.

"I feel a little bit like you, Shikaro. Only without the shadows."

Looking into the stinger tip, Yuge could feel her heart racing. It donned on her that she couldn't move. The struggle between her and the bee was just beginning.

"Now how the hell do we kill this thing?"
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:06 PM   #20
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Shikaro saved Kawena, but unfortunately could not save himself. Slicing the bee in half wouldn’t work, since the dust remnants would shape itself again, furthermore they would slice right back at the enemy. She watched in both horror and amazement as the creature emerged out of thin air again. Ritsuke pressed her lips together to suppress a smile. Interesting. But her other teammate was not as curious as she and immediately immobilized the big bug.

Was she controlling the element that the bee controlled as well? Now Ritsuke could no longer subdue the grin. “Cool!” She advanced to Yuge, who was stuck in the serpent seal, and hovered a finger above the bee’s stinger. She shifted her neck and looked at Shikaro, adorned in a series of cuts and scrapes from his confrontation with the bee.

So, uh, weren’t you the one who said we won’t mess up?” Ritsuke offered the Nara a weak smirk and then cast her eyes away from him, slightly afraid of his reaction but more interested on their bee friend.

Ritsuke stared at it. She actually really stared at it this time, examining every pore and every vessel of this thing’s body. Her eyes studied intensely, she was silent for a long pause. Kawena returned to their side but kept his distance from the creature, still frightened by its hostility. The Chuunin bit into her lip, spoke not a single word, and maneuvered through a set of familiar handseals. After the process, her gaze wandered over to Yuge and the girl puckered her lips forward.

Do you know if bees can smell?

The answer is yes. The flying insect began to tremble violently, as if it was suddenly poisoned. It attempted to move but could not due to Yuge’s bind. Its body thrashed aggressively in place, Ritsuke swore she heard a high-pitched hum. The insect’s drill spun faster than ever, and then abruptly—pop! It exploded. Dust fell from its place, now calmly drifting without any external force.

In a state of excitement, Ritsuke laughed loudly. “Stupid bee! Hahaha, wanna know what I did?

She glanced over to her teammates but before they were able to properly answer, the girl explained anyway.

I made it think that the dust was some poison because it began to smell like one, so I guess the little bugger was so afraid of itself that it just shattered! Poor thing!

--

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