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Ask to Join Naruto: Warring States

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist
Akuto, Making Friends.

Before he would make another quip at her, a sharp object flew past his face. A beat of sweat came down his cheek as she made it quite clear that she was not in a mood for any of his games.

"Ey ey EY! All's fair in love and war dollface, ya ain't gonna single me out like that!" He spat at her. "I tells you, you samurai types are all the same, you-"

She did not care. She was gone.

She had flashed forward with a burst of speed, leaving him by himself, getting agitated.

"Ey! I was about to make a valid point about your culture! Tch! Leave it to a broad to leave a guy by his lonesome, bleh!"

First that generic weirdo he was attached to earlier sped past him, now this? He was gettin' no respect around here! Someone was gonna bite it.

"Oh yeah? I can do that too!! Just watch me!!"

He charged forward, leaping through the air before his has kicked in from under his shoes, blasting him further along. That's when he pulled out something devious. He snorted and puffed up his chest before-

"Napalm Style: Red Belcher Justu!"

He shot a glob of flame in front of the samurai's path, exactly like someone spitting. When it landed in the moist mud nearby, a intense steam rose from the spot, sprawling out and increasing it's effects somewhat. To the right of it was water, and left was a dense thicket. He effectively crippled her options!

The blast's recoil propelled him backwards, backflipping over Mitsuko. Midflip, when he was rotating toward Mitsuko, there was a split second where the bandit king pulled down his eyelid and stuck his tongue out before taking the lead over her.


"Holy moly, these guys sure are cutthroat, thought this was supposed to be a laid back competition?"

Mizo walked out of the forest, witnessing the level of Genjustu, fire, and speed on display. Well, he wasn't going to go THAT die hard into this. someone could get hurt. Instead, he decided to go the direct but troublesome route: going directly into the line of swamp brush and whacking them with his maraca clubs. He quickly began to carve a divide as he made his own path, a shortcut somewhat, but counterbalanced by his time to knock this stuff down.


Previously Night's Shadow
Kazue had made it through the forest with an eerie quiet. Either she was far ahead, far behind, had gone completely the wrong direction, everyone else had, or it was a completely normal null zone in the middle of the pack because everyone else was fighting each other. It was also possible, maybe even likely, that the other competitors were still around her, but her mind had transformed them into natural occurrences in the forest to keep her at ease. But whether it was real or not was of no consequence to Kazue.

Soon the young Shishiba had come to a swamp. She didn’t hesitate in the slightest despite her uncertainty of whether it was really there or her mind had altered her perception of her surroundings into something familiar to help her move faster. Either way, the familiar musky scent of decomposing leaves and the sounds of sucking mud and sand was comforting to Kazue.

Chakra pooled in her hands and feet and Kazue felt herself almost lighten, as though being pushed up by magnets. It was a similar technique to the water-walking, though self-taught and meant for a different purpose. Her movements from the forest became less like the arboreal monkey- or cat-like leaps and more like that of a salamander. Her three-legged gait became a four-legged one and her motions became more fluid, her body spread out in an impossibly low bear crawl. For an untrained person, just being, let alone moving, in such a position would be painful at best, but Kazue had learned from the swamp and would use her knowledge to conquer this one.

Kazue skittered forward, her path through the marshiest, most difficult terrain, right on the edge of the water. The mud and quicksand patches pulled hungrily at her, but this method ignored the pull altogether rather than fighting it. Her weight, lightened and spread out over the chakra gathered in her palms and the balls of her feet, was no longer significant enough for her to sink through, and the chakra not something the mud could gain traction on. The shrubs on the other side of Kazue that grew right to the edge of the quicksand offered cover, and the various animal skin and woven plant clothing she wore meant Kazue blended right in. She could now move unhindered, whether by other competitors perceived as natural predators or by the obstacles offered naturally by the swamp.

As the marsh grew even muckier, Kazue picked up the pace.

As Kaldo wandered down the pathway, obviously his rats finished off the remaining snacks. Greedy little bastards rarely ever left snacks behind. No sense of laying food to the side for later. If they got it, they eat it, with no worry for the future. it mattered not, now. Kaldo needed to hurry up and get outta the swamp anyways. Kaldo was surprised he hadn't seen another ninja yet. He was expecting to see someone, but that hadn't been the case.

"Ha! Guess Kaldo too fast boyyyyyy!" Kaldo said merrily stomping around to the beat of his march. In retrospect, Kaldo wondered if he was moving too slow, in which case the others might have been far ahead of him. But how? Kaldo could only wonder. Twitchy asking for the 28th time if they were there yet, was not helping any. Eventually the footing became dryer and dryer. Quicksand pits became fewer and fewer and eventually a clearing. Where to next? Not far from Kaldo's location stood an extremely steep cliff. Kaldo could run on walls for a short distance, but he couldn't see the top of the cliff. No way he could run all the way to the top. He did notice a few details examining the cliff face. A few branches, cracks, trees growing off the side of the cliff.

As Kaldo examined the cliff, he stood there, and struck a bold pose, before pointing up at the top of the tower, "HEY YOU! LET ME UP!!! Let me uuuup!!!!" Kaldo yelled kicking and slapping the side of the cliff, before gawking in confusion, "If someone is up there, will you pleeeaaase give me an easy access up the cliff? I said please." Kaldo said once more then began to pace around.

Kaldo stood there for another minute hoping for a response that never came. He ran his paws along the edges of the cliff. "Hmmm... Well shit... Here we go again... ONWAAAARD!!!!" Kaldo roared which was immediately followed up by multiple rat screeches. Kaldo began running up the cliff, supplying chakra into his hands and feet so not to rely solely on his feet getting him up to the cliff. He made his way to a branch poking out of the cliff. He was now 25 ft off the ground, but he still had a long ways to go.
Mitsuko had tried to ignore Akuto's words, the further she advanced into the swamp with each swing of her katana, the easier that had become as she seemed to make good progress. However, she seemed to underestimate what motivation spite could be as a sudden explosion rocked the ahead just ahead of her as Mitsuko looked on with slight alarm but more confusion than anything else.

What the devil...

However, she had gotten her answer as Akuto seemed to sail over her head and proceeded to pass a juvinile taunt her way as he literally shot past her, and now her path had been divided by his explosive surprise ahead of her with water to one flank and a dense thicket to her other as he seemed to try and stall her.

This only gave her greater motivation to pass him once more, and so she draw her own Star Seeker Chisa Katana.

"Twin Sword Style...Rotation Slash!"
Chakra gathered around Mitsuko before she leap and spun around, both her blades extended as this sort of "twister" formed around her, carrying her momentum as the blades and charka slashed all around her; cutting through the thicket with ease as she carved herself a path to get around the obstacle that Akuto had created as the momentum shot her out ahead and once she cut through the last branch of this thicket she rested on it and noted Akuto's positon as he landed as she seemed to focus.

With a burst of speed, she leaped from her spot and she sailed over Akuto, moving ahead as she glanced back as if to say "you'll have to do better than that!"

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist


Suddenly, the stoic samurai sailed over him in a tit for tat, getting into the competitive spirit by seizing a place in front! Akuto growled, but was partly excited. She was gettin' into it! That stone cold facade was showing little cracks.

"Heh! Don't think you'll find me that easy-"

Suddenly, out of the nearby swamp water rose a large creature. It was black, long and slimey. It opened it's mouth, revealing rows and rows of teeth. It was a giant leech!

"Bleh, of all things- Huah!"

He dove To the right as it swung it's lengthy body around. That's when the bandit king saw the next objective in the short distance ahead. ...some kind of wall climb? That's when the boy had a devious idea.

"Oh yeah? Wanna go wormy? Come and get me!"

The leech didn't seem to care for his taunts, as it shot out it's razor tooth filled mouth that's when he preformed a lightweight jump, landing on it's head. As it's 'neck' raised up, he charged up his attack before-


Akuto was sent flying through the air, propelled by his momentum from the leech as well as his gas emitted from the bottom of his shoes. all the while, leaving the leech covered in his gases and very mad. Akuto cackled as he soared at shockingly high speeds, flying right towards the rock wall.


He landed on an outcrop on the wall, Kaldo just ten or so feet atop him. Catching his bearings, he looked up above. Huh, steep ain't it? Well, I know just the thing for this!



"Well, if I knew I was going to be a lumberjack, I probably would have stuck to preforming..." Mizo sighed, breaking down another scrawny tree.

Slow but consistent. He wasn't taking any chances of fighting other ninja here nor provoking some kind of animal or trap. Nope. Wasn't a glamorous path, but it was an effective one. He started to see a rock wall in a small distance. Away. Maybe he'd get there soon after he whacked a few more of these down so he could get to a running path...

As Kaldo was resting on a tree branch, waiting for his used chakra to return to him, he heard a voice then looked down, "Huh...? Who steep? Am not steep. I is Kaldo. Thuh one und onlay" Kaldo said, tossing some dust into the wind.

"Big cliff very tall. Take nice rest" Kaldo said leaning back.

Kaldo paused, "...Wait... What thing you know...? You know how to get Kaldo to top of cliff for free? That sounds like good idea! Am glad you thought of it" Kaldo said excitedly. Choclat let out a enthusiastic squeak.
Mitsuko would never admit to enjoying this sort of mini "competition" between herself or this bandit king, she simply desired to best him to prove his underhanded tactics could not beat a genuine effort. But, in truth there might've been something fun of someone who kept pushing at her as she had that natural competitive drive in her being.

Mitsuko managed to jump ahead, and as Akuto seemed to have caught the attention of some monster, what seemed to be a giant leech which allowed Mitsuko to extend the gap between them. The samurai caught the edge of the swamp and what seemed to be the next obstacle before them: a large rock wall. This would be handy, not being a ninja she lacked the ability to casually "walk on walls" but she had been more than confident in her climbing ability, if she'd be able to get a good distance on the majority of the pack and perhaps catch that elusive leader who seemed to move ahead of everyone.


A sudden sound filled the air as Akuto, who seemed to come out of nowhere, sailed high in the air just as she got out of the swamp phase and landed almost perfectly on top. Mitsuko had to look dumbfounded for a moment, some guys really did have all the luck as she seemed to twitch a bit before she sighed.

"Alright. Fine."

Mitsuko knew now had not been the time to complain, she merely rubbed her hands together and looked at the imposing wall. She put her hands on it, and with a burst of speed began to ascend up as she climbed rapidly. Her physical strength and agility on display as she sailed higher and higher, moving from one rock to the next as she climbed it in the most traditional of methods and yet seemed to be making good progress as she had her eyes on the prize.
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Previously Night's Shadow
The swamp portion of the race was over far too quickly for Kazue’s liking, as a sheer cliff stretched up in front of her. Rock climbing was not her forte, as large rock formations like this tended to sink into swamps before the sediment could solidify. But how different could it be from climbing trees, really?

The answer turned out to be quite different, in fact. Trees had small branches, hollows, and lengths of moss and lichen to cling to for a split second to propel oneself upward. The cliffs, on the other hand, had cracks and crevices Kazue had to dig her nails into, some of which gave way and sent a rain of gravel down on top of her as she dangled precariously from three tentatively placed limbs. The bare rock cut into her feet despite their hardened callouses, used to climbing slightly spongy tree bark rather than the unforgiving stone.

As contestants began to catch up and even surpass Kazue’s early lead, though, her motivation returned. Her mind focused, in a way wandering even further into its own recesses. Tiny golden lines like spiderwebs highlighted handholds and she moved by instinct, faster now. She was getting better at predicting which handholds would collapse and which would hold her weight as her mind began to transform the cliff into a hardwood expanse of bark. The girl was still falling behind, but she intended to gain back her lead the moment she reached the top.
Chi Lin’s journey through the swamp was swift and largely peaceful; a few creatures had thrown themselves in her path, offering their bodies as sustenance for her gator float, but after the first few had been brutally torn apart, the others wisely stayed out of her way.

Soon enough Chi Lin was at the third obstacle, a sheer cliff and it seemed her swift passing of the first two obstacles had allowed her to catch up to the main group. A strange expression crossed her face as she gazed at the cliff; was this even an obstacle?

Placing one foot against the cliff Chi Lin began to walk up straight up. Beneath her mask, she cast dubious and disdainful gazes at the people who were scaling the cliffs in ways as creative as they were inefficient. She wasn't sure some of these people deserved to be in the running if basic and nearly ubiquitous techniques like walking on walls were beyond them.

After a moment she lost interest in her competition and proceeded up the cliff-face.

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist

Didn't they know he specialized in vertical movement? He grinned as he dug in his pockets, revealing two black painted yo-yos. These weren't your average yo-yous, as that would become clear once the boy threw them. Their strings lit orange as they latched onto the wall with extended spikes coming from either side of their wheels.


An almost mechanical sound was heard before the spikes spun, acting as wheels that pulled Akuto straight up the wall with great speed! Flying into first place with a wide grin on his face, he flashed back at his foes.

"Been nice workin wit' ya!"

He puffed up his chest, blasting out a Red Belcher jutsu on the wall, the napalm style dripping down with gravity as the liquid would pile on and pour down on all the climbers

Kaldo lunged off the branch to grab Akuto by the leg as he made his way up. Claws to sink in his fleshy leg so not to fall off. When Kaldo would inevitably fail to catch him, Kaldo resorted to climbing once more. Kaldo needed to leap to the side, sliding across the rocky hillside to avoid the falling molten rock that Akuto left behind.

"You climbering good for shecond place, behind Kaldo" The boy said pulling himself up. He continued to make his way up. His rat arms though not made for climbing were at least somewhat efficient at it. He managed to pull himself up without over-exerting himself. Though he'd need to take time to rest from time to time. Kaldo sat in a hole into the side of the cliff face and began to rest. Kaldo took a few rests so he wouldn't be tired when he inevitably reached the top.

"CHAAAAARGE" Kaldo yelled as he continued making his way up and shifting his weight around. He could eventually see the top if the cliff. Kaldo used earth style to shape small cracks in the cliff. Just big enough so that he could stick his hands and feet in as he continued making his way up. Kaldo dropped any rock chunks down the cliffs in hopes that they may hit someone.
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Mitsuko continued to scale up the cliff, moving at a respectable pace as she climbed hand over hand as she seemed to have a knack for finding more solid rocks, it helped that this was not the first time she had sone something like this, as a good rock climb had been a good way to build up her upper body's strength. She had the added bonus of a desire to catch up with Akuto as she needed to make up ground between them.

However, Akuto seemed to try to hinder everyone however he could with one of his little "special" surprises.

The napalm would descend down the cliff, which Mitsuko wondered how this was even allowed as she presuemd direct attacks on the competitors was off limits, but she decided it had not been the time or place as she used one hand to get a firm grip of a section of the cliff, while she pulled out Midnight Maiden with the other as it simmered with chakra.


With a great swing, angled as she was on the cliff, a stream of chakra shot out and cut a clean path along the napalm as she quickly climbed up and raced to go through the gap just as it worked to close behind her feet.

Mitsuko would place her sword back, and quickened her pace as she ascended higher and tried to again make up ground from one of this bandit's deceptive little tricks.

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist
Akuto, King of being in the lead

Zooming ahead, he looked down to see how everyone else was fairing. While his attack didn't seem to be hitting anybody, it was causing a hinderance to most. That is until Mitsuko made a divide between his attack and her destination. Hmmmm seems like he'd need a little something more. Since he was in the lead, that was no worry!

"Eat my dust!!"

He vented a quick spurt of his flammable sticky starch gas from his feet, the gas pluming out before slowly drifting downwards. His yo-yos still carrying him at a speedy clip, he couldn't help but give a villainous cackle as he rolled on his way, reeling his head back.




"...What's...going on up there?"

Seeing the glowing molten debris and the red gas bellowing out, Mizo scratched his head. He wanted nothing to do with THAT. So instead, he flicked a maraca for the left, closing his eyes and clicking his feet three times.

"Cha Cha Cha...High C!"

Three C notes played, rising in Octave until a musical note appeared before him, yellow and four feet tall. He took it upon himself to side down on the note and lean back, catching his breath. That's when the note slowly began to rise into the air. Slow, and steady, but allowed him to rest up and prepare for what was ahead.
The rules of the competition were made to be flexed and bent; this was without question, but people really seemed to be flaunting their ability to skirt around disqualification. More of the sticky red substance coated the path ahead and someone even seemed to be throwing down rocks as they climbed.

By themselves there as nothing wrong with doing that, Chi Lin even found it funny when other competitors got hit by falling rocks or found themselves gummed up. The only issue Chi Lin had was—why the hell did they keep doing it when she was in the strike zone? Did they think she was easy to pick on? Did they think she wouldn’t strike back at them? They were sadly mistaken.

Chi Lin quickly wove the hand seals for the most basic fire style technique—the fireball jutsu. She was well aware of how flammable this red stuff was, and it would only require a small flame to clear a path. Her resulting attack away anything but!

Fingers met her lips as she took aim and breathed a tongue of fire into the gunky napalm; her aim was ostensible to remove the obstruction, but if the attacks collided to kindle a larger flame that just so happened to head straight up the cliff toward those are the head of the pack, well, she supposed that’d be an unfortunate coincidence.

As Kaldo was making his way up, he found himself climbing at an angle. Upward, but slowly heading outward further to avoid the napalm. Kaldo would use his earth style to shape the dirt and rock he got from the rock walls to build a makeshift shield he could hold while climbing. Since he was taking rock particles from the walls, he was leaving behind small holes that he could stand in. and grab hold of. If the rock shield caught too much napalm he could just make a new one.

Kaldo would stand there for a few moments before continuing up and trying to continue climbing at an angle slowly separating himself from the napalm, but his priority was going up and not outwards. His shield would stop napalm from splashing him in the face.

"No Twitchy, I'm not there yet. Top of cliff just up ahead.I doubt your gonna wanna climb the rest of the way up. Just be a lil more patient" Kaldo said in rat speak. Kaldo would throw down his rock shield due to the weight it was amassing. Hopefully it wouldn't hit anyone, but Kaldo did not bother to see where he dropped it.

As Kaldo further climbed upwards he continued using the rock chunks he got from the wall to make another shield. Gradually gaining mass. He still took some time to rest. Hopefully get back some of the chakra he was using.
Niko’s raw speed and simple tactics had led to him managing to hold the lead throughout most of the swamp section. It wasn’t until he’d been scaling the rock wall for a short while before the opposition had finally caught up.
Anyone who happened to look up would see Hokori boy effortlessly bounding up the cliff. He’d press off with one of his arms and legs, sending him up a few meters where’d he’d catch the nearest grip and repeat.

“Bout’ time!” Niko shouted down as Akuto and Mitsuko finally approached the base of the cliff. At this point, he was already halfway up, and saw no way for the others to catch him… or… that’s what he’d thought.
Upon taking another glance down to see how everyone was fairing, he was shocked to spot Akuto closing in on him at a rapid speed.

“No more games. Let’s just do this outright!” Niko shouted down to the boy just a few meters below himself before turning to charge up the wall. His tactics had changed, he switched from gracefully leaping from grip to grip to essentially running on all fours. He utilized his considerable strength, simply gripping onto any protruding surfaces and using it to launch himself further and further up the wall.

“What is…?” Hearing a faint rippling and cracking, Niko glanced over his shoulder once more. Only this time, he was met by the site of a wall of flames barreling up directly towards him.
Needless to say, that motivated the boy enough to finally reach the top of the cliff and hop safely up onto the ledge.

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist

"Hahahaha! Even weirdo is in shock!"

Still maintaining his lead in his element, the boy got overconfident. Karma didn't like this. He felt a heady directly behind him, noticing the gas cloud he left behind beginning to hunt fast and repulse violently outwards and a fiery plume. Since the gas was still emitting from his shoes, they burned up and up and up to catch to him, at which point he stomped pumping when-


The fiery boom rocked under him, sending him and his Yo-Yos, up and over the wall, past Niko, soaring waaaay out before-


Akuto was sent like a cannonball with a cape into the lake ahead, causing big splash. It looked like that incident had winded the boy, as it seemed like he wasn't coming up for air...

Kaldo saw Akuto make it to the top of the wall and eventually made it to the top himself. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah HA! Kaldo up top now. Kaldo dropped his rock shield off the edge of the cliff. Taking a few deep breaths Kaldo began walking towards the lake. "Thish going to be peishe of cake. inhale Ready shet gooo!" Kaldo yelled before beginning to run towards the lake. Little rat battle cries coming from Kaldo's many pockets.

As Kaldo made his way to the lake, he stood there by the edge. Now having rat legs. He stood there somewhat hunched over sniffing around. Looking around. There was definitely something in the water. The boy that didn't help him across the cliff was one of those things, but there was something else in the water. Fish maybe? Thanks to Kaldo's strong smelling, he knew there was a bunch of the in there, but wasn't sure how much of a threat they'd be. There wasn't really anywhere for Kaldo to stand and rest within the water. Kaldo assumed he could probably create a pillar from the bottom of the lake extending out above the water that he may stand and rest on, but perhaps if he was quick he could take the lake on in one go.

Though he'd need to take a breather first and pace himself across the water. So Kaldo stood by the water's edge taking a few more deep breaths. Watching and determining the shortest path across the lake. Kaldo's many rats weren't gonna be helpful for this portion of the test so he'd have them stay in his many pockets. Though perhaps they could still look around and tell him if anything was getting too close to him, eliminating his blind spots.

After a few more deep breaths, Boom! Kaldo began running. Not full on sprinting yet, he'd wait until he was near the end of the lake to do that. For now Kaldo was maintaining a decent pace to conserve energy. "Gah!". Kaldo leaped as a piranha tried to nip at one of his feet.

"I'll watch the water by my feet. Make sure nothing bites me. You guys look around. Make sure I'm running in the right direction" Kaldo said to his rats. Kaldo kicked one of the piranha that lunged at him, causing it to make a slapping noise as it splashed back into the water below. Likely bleeding due to Kaldo's sharp claws puncturing it.
At this point Mitsuko seemed to be getting irritated, it had been one thing to skirt the rules as some of the competitors seemed to be doing, but blatantly everyone now seemed to be breaking rules and directly attacking one another, and yet nobody had done anything to dissuade or disqualify them. Then again, why had she expected a ninja festival to involve even the most essential principal of following instructions of a contest like this?

Fine, she'd prove she could stand above these rule breakers and succeed even as she restricted herself to them!

Mitsuko used chakra slashes as she scaled up the cliff, cutting through rocks that a competitor seemed to toss down as well as what seemed to be a gas of sorts that the bandit she presumed aimed down for his competition, whatever it was as long as Mitsuko continued to carve a path for herself and follow it she'd be able to sail through her.

She just continued to rise up, relying on some timely and wide jumps as she scaled up the cliff, she saw the end of the wall of sorts as she used her blades to help carve a ledge for herself while she continued to rise; higher and higher, faster and faster! She had a determined gleam in her eyes as the fire inside her gut had not been about to extinguish here.

She had something to prove!

Kaldo would have looked behind himself if anyone else were nearby, but he still needed to focus on the water below. The piranha made it fairly obvious standing in one place too long was a bad idea. Luckily Kaldo had his rats to look around, and Kaldo still had his strong senses.

In the meantime his rats poked their heads from his many pockets looking around. Complaining about the lack of food. And reminding Kaldo of everything do can and can't see/sense. A bit frustrating having a bunch of rats simultaneously yelling at him at the same time, but he pushed on and continued running across the water. Occasionally sidestepping or leaping over a piranha here and there.

Shen: King of Digimon

Previously Shen: King of the Mist

"Huh, at this rate, think we'll all pass by default..." Mizo shook his head, almost reaching the top. "There's a frightening ammount getting eliminated due to all these explosions..."

The musical note drifting forward, it popped like a bubble as soon as his feet hit the ground. Looked like he gained a bit of ground now, he couldn't see that salamander girl, and the fox mask wearing one was directly nearby. Wait, wasn't she the one who ignited all the gas just now? Taking an uncomfortable side step away, he set his sights ahead

"Water, eh? Not like water can exploded easily, right?"

Making his way to the open footholds, he carefully stepped across the narrow path, still behind Kaldo and Niko, who appeared to always be in the lead. He wasn't terribly behind that samurai girl either. 4th place? No wait, 5th place due to that one guy who blew himself up. 5th out of so many people wasn't too bad. He'd just need to make it up in the more showy challenges.



blub bub blub

Bubbles rose to the surface from where the deranged boy had crashed landed before. After a few moments, water was splashed up when they resurfaced, inhaling deeply. He reached a foothold, putting his weight on it as his soaked hair splatted against his face and dropped down. He so had to fix that later.

He looked about, wiping his eyes of any remaining water. He was...still in the lead? It appeared so, but it wasn't going to be for long, as the was competitors were already catching up at a frightening pace. He wasn't going to be able to blast off like he typically would, his pores feeling stressed and a little numb after that recent explosion. So he wasn't going to keep his lead... he needed a new plan.