Montagyu and Meari in the Swamp
- Montagyu moves cautiously through the swamp, moving through the canopy, his light weight allowing the branches in the trees to easily support him. It was hot, wet, and damp. His outfit helped with the humidity, but the biting bugs were starting to get really irritating. The insects were larger than any he had seen previously, and their bites really hurt.
- He began to focus his Chakra, and with a single magical hand movement, his wind release blew away the bugs, and triggered some airflow going at the same time.
- A voice suddenly rang out in Montagyu’s head, [Stupid boy! What do you think you are doing?]
- “Wah, Meari-San!” said Montagyu, before continuing to communicate with an inaudible whisper. (I was just, uh, going to make a breeze to blow away the bugs and cool down a bit! It really muggy, and I’m getting very itchy!)
- [Many of the creatures here feed on chakra- a ninjutsu release for a silly reason like that is going to bring creatures worse than bugs. Not to mention the other shinobi hunting here. Idiot.]
- (Oh, really? Sorry, Meari.)
- [Many of the predators here- shinobi included- will be able to sense your chakra releases. I can dampen your aura somewhat by devouring some of the latent chakra you emit, but I can only do so much- you need to be sparing with your jutsu, boy.]
- (You were doing that this whole time? I didn’t know you could do that. Thanks, Meari!)
- [Such energies are what I subsist on, boy. I routinely feed on your waste.]
- (…It sounds weird when you put it like that.)
- Montagyu extended his kokujou- thin wires made from human hair- and flicked them about his body at a speed imperceptible to the eye. The insects about his bosy each fell to the ground, neatly bisected. Within moments, what was a cloud of parasites became a scattered pile of sliced chitin on the floor.
- (Ah, much better.) For a moment, the air around Montagyu was free from buzzing. But a few moments later, the whine of a mosquito could be heard again. (Wah- come on!)
- [You are paying too much attention to a mere irritation near you, and not enough to the threats that could be potentially ahead of you. You need to learn to concentrate, boy. The insects are endless, you would be better off focusing on completing your objective so you can leave them and the swamp behind.]
- (In that case, I’ll just have to wrap up this challenge faster!)
- [Speaking of leaving this swamp behind, boy, why not just quit the tournament?] Meari questioned. [Your talents are wasted here, and you are ill suited to this kind of combat].
- (Because it will be fun!) said Montagyu. (Plus, I’ll get to meet other ninja, and maybe make some new friends!)
- [You are beyond foolish, boy. Your goals are admirable, but your method is ill thought out. What are you going to do when you meet another shinobi?]
- (Well, I’ll introduce myself, give them the biggest smile I can, and then maybe see if we can team up! If they are on the Earth team as well, maybe we can team up to find the Heaven scrolls!)
- [Idiot. Even if they also have an Earth Scroll, they’ll probably still attack you to steal yours.]
- (What? Why would they do that? Don’t we need one of each type to continue?)
- [If they have two Earth scrolls, they can Seal one and conceal it. That way, even if a Heaven Scroll holder defeats them and takes their scroll, they still have an Earth Scroll, leaving them no worse than when they started.]
- (… I guess that makes sense. But that sounds mean though.)
- [And what will you do if another shinobi finds you, boy?]
- (Well, I’ll give them my biggest smile, and then-)
- [It will already be too late for that, boy. They would already be attacking what they perceived as a weak mark. You would be left on the back foot, practically defeated already.]
- (But… I want to win fairly, and make friends, and not just attack people!)
- [That is precisely why you failed the last mission, idiot. You would have won easily, had you merely crushed all resistance in the village, and forced them to tell you where the scrolls are. Instead, you wasted an entire day running errands for fishermen to find out where the scrolls were. A whole day mending nets, fetching water, hanging up washing, to befriend the most worthless of peasants. All that... only to fail by answering honestly when one of the guards asked you what you were doing! You had lready acquired the hidden treasure, all you had to do was smile and lie. Tell them you were carrying something, anything else. But you told them you had the Earth Scroll! You should have died there like the fool you are...]
- (But, Meari…)
- [Listen, boy, you can still talk to the other ninjas, treat them respectfully, even team up, but you need to do so from a position of strength. No one is going to take you seriously- especially with you looking the way you do- unless you give them a reason to take you seriously.]
- (So what should I do?) asked Montagyu. (I don’t want to hurt anyone.)
- [You should just keep moving through the forest, using your dojutsu to try to find the other shinobi first. Let me handle greeting them.]
- Montagyu answered the voice in his mind with the concerned look on his face.
- [Don’t worry, I won’t kill them, or even hurt them too badly. My pollen illusion will incapacitate them. Once they're under, I’ll enter their hallucination and talk to them, and see if they are willing to team up.]
- (Wow, thanks Meari! I knew you were a good plant! What would I do without you?)
- [You would probably die, idiot. Make sure your kokujou are ready when I make my move; there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to hold them, and you may need to defend yourself.]
- (Ok, Meari-san! Lets go!)
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