Genma ducked under as much shelter as the fallen tree’s tangled roots would provide and unfurled his map of the area, while Raidou keyed his mic and called Ryouma down to join them. A subtle flare of chakra announced the creation of a clone—too subtle to detect from more than a few meters away, Genma hoped—and Ryouma swung down, landing lightly on his feet next to Katsuko. The rot-chakra was gone—evidently he’d dropped the jutsu when he found nothing to use it on—but the faint aroma of decay lingered.
“I see two working mines several kilometers to the north-east,” Genma said, showing them the map, “and one defunct one half a klick away, directly north from our position. We’re here.” He stabbed a finger at a portion of the map where contour lines indicated a small natural valley. “If these things are in the mines, they’re probably in the abandoned one, or there would have been reports from the miners.”
Freaking out about the fact they were facing demons could wait.
“It’d be suicide to face these things down in their own nest,” Katsuko said. She rubbed her injured shoulder, rotating it a few times to flex the bandages. “Let's blow it up instead.”
“Gets my vote,” Kakashi said.
Ryouma shoved his mask off to one side, revealing a concerned scowl. “Fire bothered the one that Shira— sorry, Tanuki hit,” he said, “but it didn't kill it. You're gonna need a big explosion.”
“We can seal them in, maybe,” Genma said, studying the map again. “Assuming they’re in this mine, it looks like there’s a main shaft, a relief shaft, and a side tunnel. If we hit all three of the entrances with exploding tags and strong earth jutsu, we could trap them.”
Kakashi crouched next to Genma, careful not to drip on the map. “If they're mine-creatures, they can dig,” he said with a frown. “That wouldn't hold them forever.” His glance strayed back to the place they’d been attacked. “Maybe long enough to get a sealing team down here, though.”
“Maybe you’ll get your wish and see the Hokage out here after all, taichou,” Ryouma said.
Raidou flicked a glance at Kakashi. “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”
“There’s one other problem,” Genma said.
“The people,” Ryouma finished for him.
“The people,” Genma agreed. “If these things are responsible for the abductions, then where are the bodies?”
“They're not just eating them, or they would have taken Yuna-san and the girls,” Kakashi said. “They're picking and choosing. When they attacked us, they went straight for the captain and Ueno.”
“Chakra,” Katsuko said. “Our chakra signatures. Mine and the captain’s are the strongest.”