Private An Archaeological Find

Haku Ren

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Kiyo calls himself an Archaeologist though the term does not exactly fit as he seeks to learn the culture and back ground of many species not just humans. To this end most of Kiyo’s life was spent reading books. Sometimes he would adventure out to some land in search to find some archaeological find. This is the reason he has come here to the country of sand. It was just recently that some sort of great calamity shook the land. This immense quake had caused the sands to shift and uncover things and places that were long since buried. It was an opportunity he could not pass up. In his journey through the underground cavern he found an ancient map. Kiyo thus goes to Sunakagure to formally request a couple of shinobi to help him explore what may be a city or something lost to the ages.

Kiyo waits at the gates of Suna for the arrival of those who were assign the mission. He was sure they would find him interesting considering he was not human, but a snake. However one can easily tell he is no ordinary snake with a simple glance. For one he does not go naked like most animals, but in dark green button down shirt that seems specifically made with him in mind. He wears a green cap that matches his shirt and a red sash to wear as a belt. Around his face is a mask that covers her mouth, which possesses a zipper to allow him to eat without take down the mask.

Ren was first to arrive and being that Kiyo and Ren have met before, there was no surprised. “I guess I should not be surprised that you will be helping be.” Due to his small size his voice sometimes comes off sounding like a child though he is fully grown. His voice also hard to distinguish which gender he is. “Are you alone? I was expecting to receive one more. Not that I doubt your abilities.” Kiyo Moves his head a little to look behind Ren.
 
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Daijamitsu

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A small boy dressed in earth-colored robes walked toward the pair, his long black hair unmoving, his bright yellow eyes alert and his gait incredibly smooth. It was almost like he was gliding, despite taking long strides on short legs. As he got closer, it was obvious that he hadn't considered the snake - despite being dressed in clothing - as being someone he was tasked with meeting. Daijamitsu came to a stop beside the other young shinobi.

"Hello," The Genin said, as he offered a bow to the girl. "I am Daijamitsu, I do not think we've met. Also, I have been placed on the team assisting the mission to escort Kiyo-san... is he here yet?"

While he waited for a response, Daijamitsu took a moment to glance down to the snake nearby. The items of clothing were incredibly odd for a serpent, and the Genin wondered at why it was dressed that way. Was it a pet? Did the other shinobi girl own it, and liked to dress it up? Very odd indeed.

"Hello," Daijamitsu said to the snake, smiling a wide smile, as he crouched down and looked into the creature's eyes. "I have a fondness for snakes... and you are definitely interesting. Did our friend here dress you up?"

The Genin didn't expect the creature to reply, of course. So instead Daijamitsu simply stared, his bright yellow eyes - with the serpent-like pupils - simply observing, finding the snake dressed in clothing somewhat amusing. Still, with luck, Kiyo-san wouldn't take too long to arrive, and the mission could get underway. Daijamitsu stood back up and waited...
 

Haku Ren

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Ren wears a large green raincoat that has a pair of rabbit-ears on the hood and boots that match her raincoat. Though it hardly ever rains in suna she does find the coat looks good on her. She normally wears this attire during this time of day. It is true that the desert is an extremely warm climate during the day, but it darn right chilly at night. She was not to surprise about the mission having them set out under the light of the moon. Not even the animals that call this place home like to travel around in the blistering heat.

When Daijamitsu came to a stop beside her, she reacts with a quick retreat. After taking a couple steps away from the genin, she then hides behind her hand puppet. “Hi.” She says weakly and watches as the boy does a bow and introduces himself. “Um, Ren.” Ren is a very shy girl who is unable to articulate full sentences and express herself well. Often she lets her puppet, Usagi, do the talking for her. “Greetings greetings.” The puppet cries happily while emphatically waving its arms. “Kiyo-sama is right over there.” The puppet points to the snake, which was currently eyeing Daijamitsu.

“Good evening my dear.”
Kiyo said in response to the boy’s hello. “That’s good to hear as it would be problematic if you were one of those people scared of snakes.” Unlike with Kazu, Kiyo was not angry with the boy. He did not really care too much about being mistaken as a pet. He gets that a lot from humans. He does however tend to take offense when mistaken as a wild animal as he tries hard to make himself look dignified.
 
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Daijamitsu

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Daijamitsu offered an awkward smile to the small girl in the green bunny-eared raincoat, trying his best not to judge someone else. He had seen that reaction many times, what with his own odd characteristics, and didn't want to become those people he disliked for focusing only on his differences. So far, aside from seeming shy and eccentric, Ren had been polite. Even her puppet projected a kind, perky attitude... and then proceeded to inform the Genin that Kiyo was, in fact, already present.

Kiyo was the snake.

As the snake began to speak, Daijamitsu's eyes widened. Not in fright or panic, but wonder and awe. For the first time in his life, the boy was face-to-face with a talking serpent. It was almost too much to process, especially as up until this point, all of Daijamitsu's interactions with snakes had been with typical ones - namely, they couldn't speak or didn't tend to wear clothing.

Huh, the clothes make more sense now!

"It is a pleasure, Kiyo-sama," Daijamitsu said as he looked to the snake. "I am sorry, I did not realize you were you. What a pleasant surprise!"

Daijamitsu offered an overly wide smile, as the pair of yellow eyes regarded one another. The Genin had an affinity for the snake species, and wondered if Kiyo could sense that lingering connection. It had been explained to Daijamitsu by another shinobi as one predator meeting another in the wild and regarding the other as the same. Or something like that. Honestly, Daijamitsu still had no idea how he was able to influence and interact with snakes, so with luck perhaps Kiyo had some answers?

"I do not think we are waiting for anyone else," Daijamitsu said as he looked over his shoulder back toward the village. "I am ready to escort you when you are, Kiyo-sama. And I look forward to talking with you more once we are traveling. This mission became a lot more exciting."

Daijamitsu waited, wondering where the small group were headed...
 

Haku Ren

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“Hey, hey.” Once again the puppet waves its little paws in hope to grab their attention. Daijamitsu might note how well the puppet talked. The puppet’s mouth movements matched the words perfectly and yet Ren’s did not move a muscle. It is because of this Ren that was known as the expert in ventriloquism. “I almost forgot to introduce myself.” Ren was almost curious how Daijamitsu would reacted to this. Would he take it seriously? Would he even bother to remember the name? He gave Kiyo a happy greeting, would he give her the same. “My name is Usagi.” The rabbit hand puppet then gives a politefully bow.


“Yes, I was told that I was only getting two.” Kiyo raises his head and looks up into the sky. He seems to be looking for something. “You see that group of stars over there.” Kiyo was using his tail to point and it was directed to a certain snake constellation. Though unless Daijamitsu studied stellar geography, he’s not likely going to see it. “That is Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer. According to my map we will be heading in that direction.” Kiyo then slithers over to Ren and she could guess the reason. “Considering my speed.” Ren reaches down, picks Kiyo up and lets him rest on her shoulders. “Thank you. Now let’s be off.”
 
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Daijamitsu

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Daijamitsu had thought the day couldn't get any weirder. But it did. Now he was offering a small bow to a puppet. Still, Daijamitsu would never had it said he didn't respect others, no matter how weird or eccentric they were.

"Usagi-chan," Daijamitsu offered a small smile, noting the skill in which Ren spoke for the puppet, without moving her mouth. It was impressive. "You look very prepared for the mission. I like your eye-patch. How long have you known each other, Ren?"

Though it wasn't long after the introduction by the small hand puppet that the group were away. Daijamitsu walked at the back, behind and to the side of Ren, though not to be awkward or to avoid, but simply to keep awareness of the rear guard. The rest of the trip was uneventful. There was some small talk, but nothing too serious or heavy. Daijamitsu took the time to ask a few questions of Kiyo, seeking to learn some more about the talking snake, but it seemed the destination had appeared before too long, and the Genin had to wait on speaking more for later.

"Is this it? Interesting," Daijamitsu said in a low tone, as he peered at an outcropping of rock faces in the sand around. Like literal formations had been raised from the earth itself, jagged and angled upward, with what appeared to be a cave-like entry along the red cracked face. "Is there any danger you know of, Kiyo-sama? It might be best to prepare before entering?"

Daijamitsu looked to the others, yellow eyes regarding the odd bunch.
 

Haku Ren

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“Let me take a look.” The snake slithers over to the entrance and studies it to confirm that this is indeed the right location. This was an artificially made cave and once had some sort of inscription along the edges of the door. Looking closely Kiyo could still see some of the etchings, but they were extremely faint as they were smoothed by sand over the years. The words were written in Runtic Terra, the ancient language of Suna, however it was illegible even if the shinobi knew the language. “Yes, yes I do believe so.” Ren bends down near the large flat boulder and does her own study. Looking at the ground it was no wonder nobody was able to find this place before as it seems this large rock was blocking the entrance. It appears the great quake caused this giant slab of stone to move out of the way.

“This place was creating by the mad king. It was to be a test of bravery and intelligence. Inside is a great labyrinth that one must solve with a monster roaming it. The monster is said to be a horrific beast half man and half bull.”
After hearing about the maze Ren pulls out a ball of golden thread and ties one end to a rock. The reason behind this is that they can always follow the thread back out. It would be quite unfortunate if they got lost in there. “I doubt there is much danger now as it has been many decades. I would assume the guardian of the labyrinth is likely dead by now.”

However Kiyo could not actually say for sure whether the creature was dead or alive. Kiyo was curious about the construction of the labyrinth as there were some descriptions that were so outlandish that he had to see for himself. There was also an end to this maze, but no records state what was at the end of it. Kiyo would love to solve this puzzle and see for himself, but would he and his two escorts be up for the challenge?
 
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Daijamitsu

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Daijamitsu listened intently to Kiyo, nodding along to the snake's words, as though the Genin knew anything about what was being said. He didn't, not a single bit, so it was more to show Daijamitsu was giving his attention. The story about the guardian in the labyrinth was somewhat scary, but surely between some shinobi, it wouldn't be too big a problem?

"Since we are entering a maze, do we have--" Daijamitsu stopped mid-sentence, as he saw Ren unrolling the end of a ball of string. "Ah, I see. Very smart. By leaving a trail, we don't get lost."

The Genin smiled, before he turned back to look at the entrance to the cave. It seemed ominous, but that could just be due to the tale of the half man/half beast inside. Or maybe it was simply because they were entering the unknown and were the only means of protection for the snake escort. Or maybe it was all of the previous reasons combined. Either way, the longer the group waited, the longer the mission would take.

And if things were so dangerous, Daijamitsu doubted an Academy Student and a Genin would be the only protection.

"I am ready when you are, Kiyo-sama."

Daijamitsu looked to Ren and nodded. It was time to protect the HVT.
 

Haku Ren

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The party then enters in through the entrance way down a hallway. Kiyo would take the lead with Ren following shortly after. The air was stale and there was no light other than what little poured from the entrance. Kiyo seems unfazed by the poor lighting, perhaps he could see better in such conditions than humans. Ren however guides herself by placing her free hand on the walk. It was quite clear that this was no natural cave as the texture of the wall was smooth to the touch and the floor level with no obstacles to trip over. As they continue to walk the darker it would get and Ren seems surprisingly calm about it for a shy little girl. Suddenly there was a loud cry which startles Ren and causes her to falls backwards. Considering how far away Daijamitsu was she would either bump into him or fall on the floor.

The sound seem to have come from below her around her feet. It was like she stepped on something. “That was my tail.” It seems she accidentally stepped on her escort, which probably did not reflect well on the mission. “Sorry, sorry.” Kiyo was not too angry with Ren considering he did stop moving forward. The reason being that they have come to a door. “Daijamitsu come up here and open this door.” Kiyo would quickly move to the side to avoid being treaded on.

The door was made out of wood but had no handle or knob for the boy grab onto. However should he put some weight on the door, it will begin to open. The door gives a loud creek which echoes throughout the maze. If there was a guardian out there, they know someone just entered. Inside was both breath taking and mind boggling. Stairs were everywhere leading to bridges or platforms, but what was truly strange was the positioning. They came out of the walls and the ceiling and there were doors both upside-down and on their side. It was a maze that seem to make no sense. The labyrinth was lighted by small altars that littered the place. Each alter had a large orb with an ominous glow.
 
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Daijamitsu

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The cavern was a surprise when compared to the rocky natural form of the outside. Incredibly smooth and unnatural, it had likely been carved or constructed in the past. The change from the rugged outside desert to the corridors inside was almost shocking, with Daijamitsu having to blink. Still, the group continued onward, and the pale Genin followed, not wanting to be left behind. There was a cry from ahead, to which Daijamitsu narrowed his yellow eyes and prepared for defensive measures for Kiyo, but it was revealed the other pair had simply stepped on the other. Unfortunately being a little behind, Daijamitsu saw Ren fall and walked over to assist her back up.

"It is dark in here, are you alright?"

Not concerned with his tail being stepped on, Kiyo approached a doorway. He called for Daijamitsu to open it.

"Okay," Daijamitsu said as he stepped forward toward the door.

With some effort he pushed on the closed opening, and felt the resistance of old hinges, before adding some more strength. With a groan and creak they opened and revealed an even more spectacular and surprising interior. It was a literal maze that weaved and folded in and over and through itself, causing an almost dizzying effect of pathways that connected at impossible angles.

"How do we want to approach this?" Daijamitsu asked, as he looked to both Ren and Kiyo. "I do not think the string will work here... gravity simply will not allow it. Is there another option for keeping our path marked?"

Looking around the intricate interior, trying his best to sort through various pathways to reach certain doors, Daijamitsu absently wondered whether they might actually run into the infamous guardian after all. It seemed the deeper the group went, the more ominous the journey became, and it wouldn't surprise the Genin at all if they were forced to fight a half-man, half-bull creature in the dim maze.

"There are several doorways spread throughout this cavern... do we know which one we want to pass through?"
 

Haku Ren

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Kiyo was simply amazed with the sight as it was far more than he could ever imagine. “Beautiful.” The very nature of how this maze was put together spoke much, though some of his initial thoughts may be wrong. The maze was quite intimidating and would most definitely require an intelligent mind to solve. Being that there was areas where one had to walk on walls and ceilings, gave Kiyo the impression that only those who practiced the shinobi arts could possibly solve this puzzle. “I do hope you two learned the needed chakra control to walk against gravity.” Though not a shinobi himself, he has heard of a training involves focusing a fixed amount of chakra to the bottom of one's feet, and using that to climb a tree without using one's hands.

While Kiyo was pretty much ecstatic, Ren wore a much more worried expression. Her mind went to the same place as Daijamitsu. If they had to walk on walls and stuff then her little ball of twine was not going to be much help. Ren was apprehensive that once they enter the maze they might not be able to find their way back out. When Kiyo asked about her abilities she nods and smiles when Diajamitsu shares in her concerns, though she really did not have an answer for him.

Usagi on the other hand seems to have something in mind as the little rabbit hand puppet begins tucking Ren’s shirt by the shoulder. It will likely seem strange seeing a puppet trying to get the attention of the puppeteer, but this is just the tipple actions of Ren. The girl looks over to her felt friend. “Try throwing a Kunai over there.” The puppet seems to be pointing at a door, but Ren gives a confused look as if she is unsure why the puppet would give such a request. “Why?”

“I have a theory that I want you to test. Just trust me on this.”
Ren gives a defeated sigh and pulls out a kunai. She throws it straight at the door but the kunai trajectory seems funny as it flies through the air. The weapon did not fly straight, but seem to make slight adjustments in the air. The Kunai did not even make it to the door, but fell flat onto some steps. This was weird because the stairs were on its side… so how was the kunai lying flat on it? “Hmm… It seems the direction which gravity pulls is not the same in all areas.” This means Ren’s string trick is still doable. And the maze could actually be done by non-shinobi.
 
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