Pingmay (038)

ZK

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Pingmay

Characterized by its dense forests and the beautiful, long mountain range that runs across most its length Pingmay is surprisingly well developed. Several villages of artisans, connected by dirt roads through the forests, can be found in the area, and a small research facility has been established at the base of the mountain by the Fujiwara University, studying the area’s geology.
 

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This post marks the beginning of my mission using these storyboard elements:
Gather resources (samples) from the land (1)
Explore an abandoned site (2)
Defend yourself from wild beasts (2)

Summary: Kenichi must travel to an abandoned research lab branch within Pingmay and help find out what could be causing the animals to have temperament changes. Gather samples and return them to the head researcher. While there he encounters a student sent by the researcher and is attacked by a wild boar while finding samples.

Light squeezed its way through the crowns of the treetops, giving the air within the belly of the forest a shining green hue. Small insects buzzing around gave a life like sparkled to the foggy air. The forests of Pingmay were vast and somehow spacious despite the trees creating their own roof above head. It was a world of its own and on many levels that even the eyes of the Byakugan could overlook. Fallen limbs created their own roads for the beetles and ants that fed on the dying undergrowth, shaded by the much older and wiser trunks that loomed overhead. The large branches above paved the roads for the birds and squirrels. Kenichi, however, preferred to stay on the path he was given. As rocky as it was and overgrown in some places, a dirt road is what would keep him on his path.

Deep within the forests of Pingmay were scattered research sites dedicated to learning about the geologies of the Land of Fire. He had only briefly known of their existence, but a mission of sorts had brought him through the overgrowth for the first time. It was denser than he had expected and it required him to take high strides and careful steps. Gaps in the forest came often, accompanied by small campsites and settlements, reminding Kenichi of the surprisingly high level of development scattered throughout Pingmay.

His mission, as small as it was, had the young man both eager and nervous. Ryokaze Ishio, a lead researcher for Fujiwara's research studies, had sent out a request to have an abandoned camp site checked on. The path leading to the outpost was believed to be off limits due to a recent outbreak causing animals to rampage. It's origin was believed to be a bacteria within the plants. An easy mission but not without small risks. The forests still posed certain threats and a recent plague on the foliage had made the animals within the region more aggressive than typical.

As it was, Kenichi was fond of animals, but he wasn't sure he'd be as forgiven with something wanting to tear at his throat. His only hope was that there was research within the abandoned lab that might have information on what was spreading through the plant-life and so negatively afflicting the animals. With only a location to go on and only himself to ping ideas he wasn't too sure how it would pan out.

A good days travel through the forest led only by dirt road and signs between small settlements landed him at the entrance of the abandoned lab. Kenichi rummaged through his pouch, removing the instructions he had been given. A quick glance of its contents confirmed that this was correct lab. Lab C9, a branch of the Fujiwara University's Research Center. Unlike its geological counterparts, C9 focused mostly on the water systems throughout the forest. With hesitation the young man stepped inside. The wooden tatami that lined the floors were covered in dust and browned leaves that had blown in over time. With a furrowed brow his white eyes scanned the inside of the lab, his fingers naturally curling the straps of his gi. Scrolls were strewn about the floor, tablets etched with information and odd symbols made it difficult for him to even know where to begin.

One symbol, however, seemed to catch his attention: a tiger with its mouth opened wide and a waterfall coming through its gape. That was the symbol on the scroll that Ishio had given him. He stepped forward, dodging the mines of scrolls and tablets that littered the floor. The tiger's head rested on a large portrait over top a desk. Small vials of liquid sat stagnant and forgotten and jars of grime and moss lined the shelves. There were seeds of all shapes, sizes, and colors laying on the desk. His eyes carefully examined the cubicle. A frown formed on his lips as he picked up a stack of scrolls and began to read through as best as he could. There was no way he could be able to decipher these.

Leaves crackled outside and with a movement of instinct, Kenichi removed a kunai from his pouch, twirling it in his hand and then stopping at the grip in a firm hold as he spun around to meet the door. His eyes met the gaze of a pale slender man with black hair held in a bun. His demeanor was the least bit threatening but his presence only made Kenichi on guard. The man threw his hands up "Ishio sent me! Please!" His voice cracked and his eyes flinched. Kenichi lowered his kunai, placing it back within his pouch. The man responded by letting out a large sigh of relief. "I am Monotaki Ichigai, a student of Ishios at Fujiwara. He sent me to help you gather samples."

Kenichi turned his back to the man, picking up the scrolls and then handing them to Ichigai. "Good, you can start with telling me what all of this means." Kenichi had not been expecting the help and any bit of gratitude he had wasn't showing very clearly in his tone. Ichigai was now another liability in his mission and he held back the annoyance with an authoritative tone. Ichigai took the scrolls and thumbed through them while Kenichi looked around further.

Several moments passed and an exasperated gasp was heard across the room. Kenichi's eyes flicked toward Ichigai as he spoke. "It's not the plants affecting the animals, it's in the water." Kenichi's eyes furrowed, "So there's something affecting both the plants and animals in the water."

Ichigai hesitated, "Hmm....a bacteria of some kind, yes...maybe." He turned to a supply cabinet to his left and took out several containers and tubes. "But we'll need samples to be sure." Kenichi nodded, taking a portion of the tubes and containers and placing them carefully in his bag. He didn't know much about the biology of it all, but if Ishio had trusted this man enough to send him this way he had no choice but to allow Ichigai to accompany him. If he wanted the right samples he didn't really have a say.

"Where can we find the samples?"

"There is a small stream that flows through the mountains just south of here. It splits in three directions further down the stream. It seems that is a relevant origin according to the map of where the affected animals have been recorded."

"Very well, but stay close."

Mid-day was approaching and the bugs in the air were becoming more fierce by the second. Swatting them away was irritating the young Genin but it seemed to have little to no affect on Ichigai. Kenichi stayed close to the other man as they headed south towards the stream. Fifteen minutes into the hike, Kenichi could hear the rushing of water in close proximity. He eyes looked upward, meeting the drops of water ricocheting off of the mountain sides. "We'll follow the stream until we hit the fork."

His eyes shifted between the water and Ichigai. A green-brown gook settled on the edges of the stream, sticking to the muddy sides. This had to have been what was causing the issues in the area. It looked neither natural or healthy. Kenichi's eyes turned to the side, "Wait..." Walking up to the trunk of a tree, a foul odor filled the air. Kenichi's face scowled. A thick white mucus slimed down the trunk of the tree and in some places it dripped. It was sticky. "Is this...?"

"Yea...that's the stuff." Ichigai said, scraping off a sample from the bark of the tree and placing it within one of the small glass dishes.

With no warning for Ishio, Kenichi readied himself at the sound of rustling leaves from behind, taking out his kunai and rotating to meet the glaring eyes of a boar. It foamed savagely at the mouth and its jaws were opened wipe and aiming at the Genin. With a quick jump back, Kenichi positioned himself in front of Ichigai, holding his kunai closely as he watched the boar dig its hooves into the earth.

"And that's?"

"Yea...yea that's the stuff."


"Right...Stay back," Kenichi said, as he attached a paper bomb to his kunai. The boar began to charge and it followed Kenichi close quarters. The boar was large but that wasn't it. Kenichi had noticed that there were boils forming under the thick tufts of the boar's fur. Whatever it was it wasn't just changing the temperament of the creatures but it was killing them as well just as it was with the trees. They needed to find out what was causing this and stop it before it spread throughout the entire forest.

Kenichi jumped forward, using the momentum of his run and jump to press against a tree to lift himself higher into the air. He released the kunai with the attached paper bomb and with a thrust of his arm he sent out a gale of wind[1], increasing the speed of the kunai. It struck the boar at the side and was followed with a large explosion. The left over gale also pushed the boar backward slightly. With the settling of the debris, Kenichi's eyes widened. The boar, although stabbed and charred from the tag seemed to be in no pain at all. It continued to charge at Kenichi, it wasn't phased and only angered by the jab.

It's hefty figure and brute force made it difficult for Kenichi to dodge. It was quicker than he had anticipated and a sudden charge from the beast landed a tusk in the thick of his upper arm. Kenichi managed to move only slightly before impact but with a gash now on his left arm he was half out of the battle.

Kenichi held the thick of his arm, his eyes turning to Ichigai to confirm his safety and then again returning to the boar. He took as many moments as he could to gather his thoughts but he boar was restless and aggravated. He stood with his back to a large oak, one that oozed with the foul white liquid. The boar charged again. Kenichi waited until the last second to dodge, and the boar headbutted the tree with full strength. The force of the impact on the already dead tree caused it to start toppling over. With a large crack it split at impact, falling into the boar and crushing it under the weight of its limbs.

With the battle over, Ichigai rushed forward. "Don't." Kenichi said with a glare. "I'm fine. Let's get the water sample and get out of here." Even for a boar it was over aggressive and just simply more powerful. What kind of bacteria could do this. He reached into his bag and pulled out a vial, gathering some of the gook from the water and placing the cork back. He then proceeded to take a sample from the boar's hide and placed it into a dish of its own. "We should get these to Ishio. He'll know what to do." After patching up his arm, Kenichi escorted Ichigai back to Ishio's main research branch, leaving with Ishio the samples and documents he had gathered from the abandoned lab.

End Mission.
LLM

Chakra: 350 - 10 = 340
Jutsu Used:
[1]
(Fūton Kihon Jutsu) Wind Release Basic Technique
Type: Supplementary/Offensive/Defensive
Rank: D
Range: Short-Mid
Chakra: 10
Damage: 20
Description: The user will release basic simple blasts or streams of wind from his limbs or mouth to defend or attack an enemy.
 
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