Ultimate Shinobi - A Naruto RPG
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To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis]

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MsMoney
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MsMoney

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To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] Vide
PostSubject: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptyThu 29 Aug 2013, 3:43 am

Approved mission.

Travel thread.

With each step that brought her closer to the huge, dark and looming mountain; so did her heart feel heavier and her resolve threatening to leave her.  Don't be a chicken.  Kirima was leading the way, walking along the same path she and Gouka had taken before they had started with their 'mountain climbing', up a narrow and steep path which was only for those who either possessed much bravery or stupidity.  Again she glanced around quickly, feeling that these strange mountains were tightening the circle around her frail human self, and it was strange to feel like that since she wasn't unfamiliar with mountains herself.  Living in Kumogakure and all.  I wonder if Kaze feels the same?  Or perhaps he is too focused on the task at hand.  I should be also, but it seems like I can't control my feelings when back here.  I can feel the fear of being enclosed in the darkness clawing at my insides, making me want to scream out and run away.  If it weren't for Gouka...  She would never return to this place if she didn't have a personal interest for it.  Very personal at this moment, as a dear friend was awaiting his rescue party to come.

Kirima didn't dare look behind her, at the other friend who had disappeared for a year and then returned... seemingly as a different person altogether.  During their travel there had been some small talk, mainly from his side as he had been explaining to her what had been going on for the most part.  Talking about his studies, telling her that he had moved out from his family and now had his own place.  That is why he no longer felt it necessary to stay with me and grandfather.  She tried her best to be fair, not to feel jealous or bitter; but it was very difficult for her.  It still hurt.  It hurt when it seemed you didn't matter more than the studies.  With annoyance at herself, she repeated again the same sentence she had often repeated in her mind during the traveling: They are important though.  However there seemed to be an imp living in her head, as a sneering voice added onto that: How come his supposedly best friend isn't important also?

A soft sigh was all the answer the young teen had.  Kaze hadn't seemed to change much when it came to his personality, as when she had gotten over her little rage fit at the beginning of the journey she had noticed that he was still upbeat and not at all stiff in talking to her.  Kirima knew that she herself was a bit stiff and the conversations were usually pretty one sided.  But at least she wasn't hostile.  I know I am probably being childish, but it's like I can't get rid of this feeling inside of me.  I want to pout and ignore him and let him feel bad, just like I felt bad for months.  But it's not fair.  She had missed him so much, and she felt mostly annoyed at herself that she couldn't enjoy his return more than this.  That she had to let these feelings keep gnawing at her and make her smiles stiff and her gestures even stiffer, whilst her eyes kept avoiding meeting his own.

Kirima hadn't even noticed that they had begun the travel up the mountain itself, suddenly the strain on her legs had become harder than before and she looked absentmindedly around herself at the surroundings before glancing upwards where they were supposed to go.  Immediately a scowl followed and she hurriedly glued her eyes to the ground in front of her feet.  When they would get a little bit higher, she would give Kaze some more information; as she had no real idea of how much he had been informed when it came to the dirty details.  Surprisingly it didn't feel like she was hesitant to meet the wolves again, rather it was that depressing dark with the smell of death.  How the mountain threatened to close in on her, trap her forever with it's deadly embrace.  Kirima's eyes narrowed a bit as she swallowed a few times, trying her best not to get lost in any panicky thoughts while she stepped harder down than before; like she was trying to show herself that she -would- keep moving with strong resolve.  There was no backing out now.  

A good few minutes passed before they could catch a glimpse of the end of the trail. "Up there is the hut and the forge.  Although I don't think there's much left of either now."  Her voice was low, and she didn't slow down nor stop as she spoke.  More like the words were casually thrown over her shoulder as she started to move faster and faster.  The ruins of the buildings were suddenly right there to see, and as she had but a few meters left; Kirima stopped and finally turned to look at Kaze.  

"What's in there... I can't even..."  Without noticing it herself, she had started rubbing the scar on her leg while her eyes seemed to glaze over as her mind took her away from that exact moment and back to what had happened.  "I don't know how much you were told, so I will give the basic idea.  When we arrived, we found what we had been looking for.  The skeletons of those who had gone missing so many years ago.  But what we found -with- them... that's another story entirely.  It seems that a big group of wolves have been trapped down there for a long time.  Those that attacked us first were small, not that strong but had teeth like razors and knew how to outnumber us easily.  Me and Gouka were forced apart and each fought to keep our lives and limbs."  She stopped and shifted her weight around while glancing towards the ruins.  

"It was pitch black, everything smelled of death and I thought the yips and growling would drive me insane...  There are bigger wolves that joined the others in the fight.  Those seem of a generous size of a normal wolf, but they can control the lightning element, and they seem to have a good idea on how to surprise the victim and stunning it.  I can't remember how many I fought and killed, when I heard Gouka curse out and give a sign that something had gone wrong.  When I finally got to him, he had a big gash over his stomach that I had to cauterize.  An even bigger wolf than those before had attacked him... but .. you couldn't even believe how big the skeletons of others were there.  Wolves as big as a house."  She wondered if he thought she was exaggerating, and her eyes were glued to his face while Kirima kept talking.  "We retreated.  We heard something.. big coming after us.  The opening of the tunnels had closed behind us, so Gouka went to slow them down while I turned to the Nibi for a boost of power."

She sighed and scratched at her head, ruffling her fiery hair around a bit as her eyes left Kaze's face.  "It was difficult controlling what happened to me.  I can barely even remember what I did, but I did manage to get the damn thing open.  And I got out.  He asked me to.... he asked me to go on ahead of him while he would set explosive tags and then come after me.  We both knew he was faster.. so I didn't protest much..."  Kirima's voice was thick with emotions as she glared towards the place she had barely managed to crawl out of.  "I was exhausted, completely exhausted.  The Nibi had made it clear what she thought of the situation and I could not get more help from her.  Gouka sent a clone to help me get further away, but before he could get out... I heard a terrifying growl.  Something just .. wrong happened, and he set off the explosions and trapped himself inside of there."  

Angry that she was close to tears, Kirima turned her head abruptly and gritted her teeth.  "I managed to get home to Kumogakure, only to fucking pass out and waste time.  And now we are here.  And I am hoping he's still alive and doesn't think I abandoned him."  The lack of strength had made her angry at herself, disappointed... she needed more training.  She needed to be stronger, or she would just lose her friends one more time.  "Anyway, that's the summarize I have.  We will be up against a fair number of hungry beasts that are fairly intelligent and know how to use lightning, and some of them will be huge." She sounded like she was ordering food, so casually did she utter the words. "I think we should just blow our way through the old entrance. What do you think?"  She forced herself to remain calm, collected, not wanting Kaze to feel like he'd have to make her feel better by comforting her. Her guilt was already radiating from the female, but she refused to be thought of as someone that needed comforting.

I am not a weak female.  I refuse to be weak.  I will not cry and I will not panic.  I am going in there and I am dragging Gouka out.
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Kite
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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptyThu 29 Aug 2013, 11:47 am

The trip had been an awkward one. Kirima had been distant, silent, and from what the young medic could tell, lost in her own little world. She was coherent enough to carry her side of the conversation, just barely, but it had definitely been a strain on her part and his as well as he tried his best to bridge the obvious gap, filling the silence with talk of things that were probably beyond her understanding. Medicine wasn't a good conversation piece but other than that and his personal life, which had been rather uneventful when one conveniently ignored the demon that still possessed him. Still, the blonde haired youth found a way to make it work. He found ways to break those awkward moments of silence, his upbeat personality managing to keep things light, hopefully pulling the red haired beauty from heavier, and more depressing trains of thought. She didn't deserve to be in such a state, she really didn't. Kirima was a good girl and a caring individual. She wasn't a murderer nor a traitor like Kaze was.

The two had made good time. It had taken a good deal of will power on Kaze's part not to pass her though. The chuunin had been surprised by his own speed. The journey had started with him in the lead. At the time he had thought Kirima able to match that insane speed of his but it hadn't taken him long to realize that he had been moving too fast. It wasn't that Kirima was slow by any means, it was just that Kaze, in all his time away in personal isolation from his peers, hadn't realized how much he had focused on improving his own speed. He wondered if perhaps he had taken his own strengths for granted. Without people to compare himself to, it was actually rather difficult to gauge his own growth over the passed year. In the end though, Kaze had forced himself to move at her pace, letting her take point as it should have been. She knew where they were going. She was familiar with the terrain and he was the team medic. Medics should never move ahead of the group. Medics were not made for the front line, despite Kaze's rather unique skill set of also possessing a fair amount of skill in the realm of taijutsu.

Being behind her though, Kaze could easily watch Kirima, reading her body language. It was no easy task for the youth. Despite being a medic he had never been the most observant. His skills of observation as a genin had been more than lacking and only now was he starting to realize the importance of being aware of not only one's self and their environment but also in the movements and tendencies of others around them. It was important for a medic to be able to read people and for that reason he had tried to work on that personal flaw of his. For now though he could see the distress in his female companion. He could almost feel the guilt radiating off of her. There was something else too. The distant, almost standoffish nature lead Kaze to believe that she was angry with him. Her comment before the trip had begun still stuck with him. He couldn't blame her if she was angry with him. He couldn't blame her if she was disappointed in him. Did she feel that way? Did she feel slighted? Cheated? Did she honestly feel as though he had forgotten her? Kaze couldn't count the number of times he had passed in front of her house coming home from the hospital or the library. How many times had he tried to work up the nerve to knock on her door? It all resulted in failure though. His guilt, his fear, Hebinoo's voice, they had all worked to keep him away not just from her but anyone whom he held close. It was difficult to keep people at an arm's length, especially when they meant as much as Kirima did to him. But it had been for her safety. Even now, she was in danger the longer she stayed in the boy's presence. But he knew that after this, he couldn't stay away from her. Not just for his own sake, but for hers. Even after this was all over, for better or for worse, Kaze didn't know if Kirima would be able to be totally okay with what had happened. She'd need friends. At one point the two had been best friends. Kaze still felt the same, he wasn't sure about her, but regardless, she'd need friends all the same.

As the two approached the mountains Kaze continued to observe her, watching her. She seemed nervous, almost fearful. What exactly had happened here to make her so timid in the presence of these looming giants? Kaze's hazel brown eyes moved away from the red head, sweeping over the environment. Towering spires of earth and rock, that rose high above their heads, the layout of which seemed to encircle any travelers that ventured too far inward. It was daunting but hardly cause for alarm in Kaze's mind. Perhaps it was the Serpent King's confidence that kept Kaze in a state of confident complacency. The demon seemed to revel in Kirima's negative emotions, taking joy in watching the girl squirm. Kaze could feel that disgusting satisfaction bubbling up; a sign of how far he had fallen. Still, a large part of him did feel for the girl. He wanted to reach out and pull her into another embrace. Now wasn't the time nor the place though and for now one hug per day seemed like more than enough. He doubted she would tolerate much more than that coming from him.

Kaze's eyes fell back on the girl as she began to speak, his eyes narrowing slightly as he focused on what she was saying and how she said it. Low, dark, yet almost casual as though she were trying to gloss over the fact. Was the hut not important? He supposed it wasn't given his mission. At one time it probably was. It probably served as a checkpoint for Kirima and Gouka, a sign that they had reached their destination. For Kaze though it was nothing more than a pile of rubble. It was underwhelming and unimpressive. He stared with a bored expression, looking over the mess before turning his gaze toward Kirima as she spun around to face him.

Kaze listened silently as she began to recount the events that had lead the two of them to this point. His eyes focusing on hers, yet managing to catch the subtle movements of her body. The rubbing of the scar on her leg, the way she seemed to grow distant as she relived those memories. Conflicting emotions raged within the young man's chest. Hebinoo and his sadistic nature and Kaze with his compassionate, bleeding heart. Kirima didn't deserve this. He couldn't help but feel a growing sense of anger toward Gouka. He knew it was wrong. Gouka had no way of knowing that things would turn out this way and probably had acted in the best way possible given the circumstances yet Kaze couldn't help but feel as though the older male had overlooked something or had felt some sort of misguided prideful desire to play the hero. No man left behind. It was something that Kaze believed in and he was sure Kirima would have agreed. Gouka didn't seem to play by those rules, or if he did, he didn't apply said rules to himself. Kaze knew he was being harsh but he couldn't help it, seeing the fiery beauty so down in the dumps about all this.

Kaze continued to remain silent, listening to Kirima, his expression a stoic one despite all the emotions he was feeling. He was good at that now, hiding how he felt. He waited until the very end, Kirima eventually finishing her report with a suggestion of simply blowing themselves into the cave. Kaze moved his left hand absently up toward his blonde locks, running his fingers casually through his hair as he seemed to contemplate all that she had laid out before him. He was never the smartest, but at the same time he knew that all his time spent in his studies had managed to awaken a certain...intelligence within him. He was no genius but he did have a sense of confidence in his mind's ability to process information quickly. His eyes fell back on Kirima, seeing her back facing him. A small sigh escaped his lips as he began to walk forward, two quick steps and he was within arm's length. She'd feel his left hand clasping over her left shoulder, a reassuring squeeze. This was probably what she was more accustomed to. This gesture probably felt more comfortable than a hug, given the context of the situation.

"Don't beat yourself up over this, Kirima."

His voice came out in that same carefree manor. It was as though nothing in the world could bring him down. It was the picture he painted with his tone and his words. He was above it all. He was cool headed and calm no matter the situation. It was all a lie, but right now one of them needed to be the calm one and it sure as Hell wasn't going to be her. Not that he blamed her for it.

"The fact that you survived and came back to the village gives Gouka more than a fighting chance. I'm sure someone as stubborn as that bastard won't let himself become some monster's dinner. He's just too tough for that. Too smart. Not to mention, if he did end up getting swallowed, I'm sure he'd just cut his way out while insulting the poor son of a bitch who tried to gulp him down."

Kaze's hand would fall away, fingertips sliding against her shoulder for a lingering moment of contact before turning toward the rubble of the hut. There he stood, staring, contemplating, hardly noticing the zephyr that tugged gently at the grey hooded shirt that rested beneath the olive green flak jacket. His right hand slowly moved up, silencing the subtle clinking of the metal zipper that ran up the middle of his shirt, zipped up completely so that the tag rested at the base of his neck.

"If we try to blow the entrance then we need to keep two things in mind. If the place isn't entirely stable we could potentially cause another cave in. You said that the entrance had sealed behind you and Gouka when you went in the first time. That makes me think that the place is probably not too solid. The other thing is that if there are anymore of those things down there then the explosion will no doubt attract their attention. If Gouka managed to stay hidden all this time then that could make it harder for him to remain hidden. While he is tough, he does have an injury and I doubt he has the skills to patch himself up too well. So he's probably been down there with that wound for quite some time. On the other hand..."

Kaze paused his eyes moving back toward Kirima.

"He knew you were coming back for him, right? He knew you'd get help. If he did, then the explosion might tip him off that we are here. If he's been lying in wait, saving his strength then perhaps the sound would be enough to spur him forward. Though that's a big 'if'. I'd honestly prefer to find a quieter way inside. He's been waiting this long, a bit longer shouldn't make that big of a difference if it can help us avoid attention of those things and keep the rocks from falling on our head. That way I can treat him without having to worry about having my legs chewed off or having my head crushed. Was there any other way we could use?"

He was staring at her now, his eyes narrowed in concentration as his hands slid into the front pockets of his black cargo pants. He would kick lightly at the ground, dark blue shinobi sandals scraping against the stony ground, dust flying up in the wake of the gentle motion.
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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptyFri 30 Aug 2013, 2:53 pm


Legend
Spoiler:
 

Scurry. Skitter. Sniffle. Paw at an old, discarded bone. It was a small one, a runt amongst runts. Likely hid from the others to avoid being devoured, only came out to gnaw on the scraps. More scraps than usual of late. Much mourning at the death of the Alpha, but then much feast. Gorging. Began to rot before it had all been eaten. Full for first time in long time. But then food gone, and back to scurrying, back to hiding. It stopped to sniffle, pawing at something. Thin, cold against paw, stretchy, smelled like old blood-

The cub didn't even have time to squeal as the wire jerked upwards, the coil wrapping around its thing, fragile neck, lifting it into the air. It wheezed, twisting and turning, jerking to and fro, dangling in the darkness. After one final, choked whimper, the struggling stopped, and it hung loosely, not even a twitching paw to betray life. The wire went slack as the creature was dropped to the ground with a soft thud, before a shadow, a darkness within the darkness, dropped with eerie silence onto the cold stone. As a final precaution, a short axe, it's filthy, blood-encrusted edged lost in the darkness, sunk into its neck, at the base of the skull. The body shuddered a final time.

The shadow worked quickly in the darkness, moving with an eery, practiced ease. First work the axe, taking the rest of the head off. Out comes the knife, slit the soft belly. Organs, entrails, viscera spilled onto the stone. Shadowed hands worked quickly, sorting and pulling out yet more organs. Kidneys, discard. Stomach, intestines, trash. Liver, quickly tucked away in a small, only marginally clean sack, as was the heart. The rest, discarded, left to leak on the cold stone. The knife continues flashing through the darkness, a snick here, and incision there. It flashed back into its unseen holster, and then the hands simply gripped and pulled, peeling off the beast's rough-furred hide like wall paper. Once pulled, discarded.

Looping the legs with wire and hefting the corpse over its shoulder, the shadow darted off into the darkness, silent, fleet feet pacing across the ground at dizzying, blurring speeds- not that any of this was visible in the darkness of the mountain. Following unseen signals and check-points, the figure secreted itself deeper and deeper into the tunnels. It stopped, casting its senses out. Focusing. Straining. A few runts, a prowling Omega, but nothing close enough to be a threat. Its hand reached out, tracing along the wall, before finding it; the roughly hewn bone plate, indistinguishable from the stone in the darkness, stolen away from the corpses of beasts long dead, taken down by the jounin of the doomed team that had met their fate so many years ago.

Pulling it aside, the figure ducked into the small tunnel, almost inconsequential, pulling the boney door shut behind him. He moved carefully, shifting around carefully strewn wires, wires leading to bony spikes that would lash down and impale the first unwary foe to trip them, quickly reaching the small, sequestered cavern within. But it was no safe haven, and the figure did not relax in the slightest as he set aside the corpse and organs, hands slowly forming a few simple seals. A dry, cracked voice quietly spoke the name. "Kaijūdentō." A small orb of electric light appeared in the figure's hand, and revealed the gaunt, devastated figure of Takeshi Gouka.

His coat hung limply on his thin frame, the edges tattered and ragged, the coat itself decorated with holes. The once green inside showed splashed of dark, rusty brown in some places. Who's blood, only Kami would know. His shirt clung tightly to him, outlining the faint traces of ribs, highlighting the near starvation. The front of the shirt was torn open, revealing a well and wicked looking scar across his muscled belly, the faintly blackened edged revealing a hasty cauterization. The flesh around it was pale, too pale. Worse still was the young man's face.

A deathly white mask, spatter with blood, clung to it, a large portion of the porcelain, from forehead to cheek on the left side, missing entirely, revealing a tired looking, sunken and gaunt blue eye. Said eye looked aimlessly around, coming to rest on an upturned skull, the lower jaw missing and the skull cavity filled with a meager portion of water. He licked dry lips, but restrained himself, hand stretching out to stick the little ball of light to the wall. He had the means, the jutsu, to procure water, but the liquid rush inevitable reached the ears of the wolves, and he did not have the means to keep more than a small supply on hand at any time. 'I should have brought a canteen.' Gouka thought dully. Not the first time he'd thought it in the past... week? Two weeks? A month? A year? Time had no meaning down in the darkness. There was only survive, sleep, survive a little longer.

He turned from the water, hand reaching up to carefully detach his mask while the other reached for his knife. His lone remaining dagger, pride of his father, the edge dull, the blade crusted in dried, rust-like blood. He turned to his latest kill, intending to finish the job of dissembling the corpse, now that the worst of it was done and it had little left to offer a scent. "There's no point you know." Gouka ignored the voice, blade digging into the corpse, slicing through tendon and bone. "She has no reason to believe you survived. No one, has any reason to think you're alive." He cut more angrily into the wolf, tearing apart bone and muscle. "You have nothing to accomplish but to die."

"I know." He spoke quietly, angrily, through gritted teeth, pulling off a leg, cracking open the ribs. "I resigned myself to my fate when I blew the tags and threw myself at the Alpha. That doesn't mean I will quietly roll over and let it happen." A soft sigh echoed in the tiny chamber. "You did your duty. You protected a valuable asset of the village-" "That's not why I did it dammit!" He snarled, jerking around. In his angry haste, the dagger spun around, jarring the skull bowl of water. He curse, dropping the blade as he caught it before it could spill its precious liquid. Realizing as well how loud he'd been, he quickly cast his sense out, then breathed a sigh of relief. No Raiju had been close enough to hear the outburst, or if that had, weren't moving towards his location.

He breathed heavily, sides heaving, as the voice spoke again. "No. You saved her because you wanted to protect her. To protect her, like the sister you failed to protect so many years ago." Gouka stiffened at the insult, hackles rising, but he controlled himself. He restrained himself. "You are going to die down here, Gouka. You are going to die, because you chose to be human. KYOBU do not, cannot, afford themselves such mercy. And now, you will pay for it."

Gouka said nothing more, as he returned to the task of quartering the carcass, firmly ignoring the voice. The voice gave a soft snort of disapproval, but said nothing more.



SCs
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Equipment
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Jutsu/Chakra Usage
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MsMoney
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MsMoney

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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptyFri 06 Sep 2013, 11:41 pm

"Don't beat yourself up over this, Kirima."

The hand that was clasped on her shoulder made Kirima tense just a little bit, but then admit that it was sort of comfortable when he did that.  What bothered her was that he was still trying to comfort her.  I don't want him to pity me or assure me that I didn't do anything wrong.  I know what I did wrong..  A trail of goosebumps followed as Kaze's fingers softly brushed against her skin, just a feathery light contact, but strong enough to make her feel the slightly ticklish and weird feeling.  As Kaze kept talking, Kirima watched him more intently, and while listening to his words she stared at his mouth which was forming them.  What she had needed was someone to take control... or so she had thought.  Now, she wasn't as sure.  I am the one that was previously down there.  I know what we are up against.  I should take charge.  A year had passed since she had leaned onto the younger friend, and now she was about to show that she also had grown (although in the mental state, as her physique remained the same).

Kaze gave good reasoning, but what bothered the redhead was that they didn't exactly have the time to search for another way in.  She knew already that supposedly that entrance had been the only one, so should they waste hours or even a full day with trying to perhaps find an opening that was hidden?  No.  We can't waste time.  Even if Gouka is a strong and stubborn bastard, then I feel like every second that passes can bring him closer to the brink of ... well whatever darkness there is that can consume him.  She had more worries about what the mind could do to a man that was trapped in darkness for a week, rather than worrying about what nourishment he would lack.  Physical injuries healed quicker than mental ones, after all.  And judging from the usually rather .. dark thinking that possessed Gouka, then Kirima knew they should hurry; if not only to save him from himself.  

Mulling it over, she knew that Kaze had stopped speaking and was now watching her for a response.  Waiting to see if she would have something better to offer.  "There was no other entrance that we were informed of.  And nothing that indicated such a thing while we were trapped in there.  The air was suffocating, heavy with dampness, rot and death.  And I'm sure that if there had been any weakness in the earth that could indicate another entrance or exit, those beasts would have found it by now and escaped.  There is only so much that can hold such a group of starving carnivores."

Taking in a deep breath, her hand already going into her pouch to retrieve explosive notes, Kirima looked at Kaze.  "I've been down there before, and I made it back alive, plus me having an excellent night vision as long as there can be only a sliver of light.  So I'll lead the way down there and you follow closely.  If I stop, I want you to stop and wait.  During this last year I've found out that I can use my senses in a much more efficient way than normal...humans."  It felt weird to address herself like she was not entirely human, but well... was there anything about her state that indicated something else?  "With my ears, eyes and nose I will try to find Gouka as quickly as possible; along with watching out for attacks.  When the lightning wolves appear, we should try to take them out first if possible as they are smarter than one would think.  The younglings only attack to eat, and I'd like to say that they hardly possess a brain.  The only thing they use is their hunger and hunting instincts."

While she had been speaking, Kirima had stuck 6 explosive notes to the ground where she knew the old entrance had been.  She had to be careful not to use too much force, and yet she had to guess how much she'd need to get inside again.  Grabbing Kaze by the hand, she dragged him off with her in the opposite direction before letting the tags go off.  The explosion echoed in their ears while both got pushed a bit forward from the blast, small pebbles and mud raining over the young teens as they waited out the commotion.  This time, she had had the opportunity to hold her ears; and for that Kirima was glad.  When Gouka had let the other explosion off she had been sure she would go deaf.

"Let's go.  I hope you are ready."  Kirima started walking onward, cautiously approaching the dark hole that was in the ground, before she glanced towards her friend.  "Be safe.  And don't disappear on me down there."  Her hand snaked out lightning quick, grabbing his upper arm gently before giving it a squeeze while the corners of her mouth lifted slightly in a sincere but slightly embarrassed smile.  And with that, they would both climb down into the gaping mouth of the earth.  The hole had been just big enough, it would have been difficult for a very large person to squeeze through there; but for two of such slight build it was no problem.  


Immediately as the darkness started closing in on the two of them, Kirima gathered up the necessary chakra to uphold the minor elemental jutsu that allowed small fires to dance along her fingers.  Her eyes mirrored the slight brightness, and for the second time in her life Kirima found herself walking over the bones of dead people.  She was tempted to breathe through her mouth as it was almost intolerable to breathe in the damp air when one had such a sensitive nose as she did.  But knowing that she needed to have every single sense alerted, Kirima did not allow herself that pleasure.  She took confident, yet small steps while looking slowly around and taking everything in.  They would soon be where the tunnels started spreading into many branches, and she'd hate it if they would get ambushed.  Where are you, you little filths.  

Suddenly, she halted in such a quick manner that if Kaze had been walking too close he'd have bumped into her back.  "Wait."  The word was barely breathed out, partly meant for herself as well as for Kaze.  She had heard something, something like a clicking sound.  The clicking sound of claws touching bare rock.  Whilst she kept the elemental jutsu in her left hand, her right one went into the ninja pouch at her hip and drew out a kunai.  "They are approaching."  

The words had barely left her mouth, when the stench of rot and death became even stronger than before; almost making the young female gag while tears were brought to her eyes.  The faint sound of growling could probably register itself to Kaze, as slowly more and more shadows were approaching.  Luckily, she didn't see anything bigger than the ones she had fought.  There was a fair number of younglings, perhaps 10 and then she saw about 2 bigger ones; which were the size of a very big normal wolf and the lightning element provided a bit of light in the darkness as it simmered around their big bodies.  This all she relayed to Kaze, letting him know everything she saw while the shadows slowly and hesitantly came closer.  She knew that he would start seeing them also soon, at least the glimmering hungry eyes which would reflect the light from her and Kaze, and the simmering electricity would also provide him with more visuality.  

This time, Kirima didn't wait for them to attack or approach.  With lightning speed, she had put her kunai into her mouth before her hand was again in the pouch, retrieving 4 shuriken.  Without hesitation, she threw them and smiled cruelly at the yelps and thumps of four of the younglings dropping to the ground with the steel embedded into their brains.  It was unnerving for the beasts that she could see them so well, that was one of the reasons why they hesitated.  But now, all Hell broke lose and with a strangled howl mixed with growling the herd attacked.  Kirima and Kaze were still in a closed tunnel that didn't give much space for them to spread out, so Kirima decided to move out of his way.  Pushing herself forward, she had already retrieved 4 new shuriken from the pouch before she had flung them at two new targets, felling two other younglings.  And then she grabbed the kunai from her mouth, just in time to let the metal meet the fangs of one of the bigger raiton covered wolves.  

She let the Jutsu in her left hand go, as she could use the faint light from the wolf that was clashing with her to see just perfectly.  Channelling her fire chakra to her limbs, she closed her left fist and brought it upwards into the exposed ribcage of the wolf as it's hungry mouth was snapping at her kunai while trying to get towards her neck, the big paws resting heavily against the females shoulders so that she staggered underneath the weight and felt small trickles of blood start tracing down her arms.  No pain was felt though, thanks again to her training.  A loud growl mixed with a yelp almost left her deaf as the wolf dropped down with at least 4 broken ribs and a nasty burn wound.  The pain only made it angrier though, and again the beast charged towards the woman; whom promptly twisted on her heel and sent a powerful kick of her heel to the skull of the wolf; breaking the entire left side of the head.  The animal didn't even have time to utter a sound before it dropped dead to the ground.

Kirima had little time to boast over her quick victory, as she sidestepped a jumping youngling that had aimed for a soft spot.  With a flicker of her wrist, she sent her kunai flying after the animal and was rewarded with the sound of a yelp before a soft thump followed.  Only then did she turn her attention towards Kaze to see how he faired, her hand retrieving a new kunai if her friend needed any help.

3 younglings and one big wolf left.

CP:  225/240

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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptyMon 09 Sep 2013, 10:38 pm

Kaze stood there, a small frown forming on his face as he heard Kirima's assessment of the situation. No other way in. He found that hard to believe, in all honesty. It was very unlikely that an underground cavern would have no other way, especially given that these mountains seemed to span such a wide area. There had have been another way in, but given the girl's answer it was obvious that she had no knowledge of such an entrance. The boy wanted to search. Gouka would be fine. If he was alive then a few hours longer wouldn't kill him but the look on his female companion's face told him that she was not as open to the idea as he was. No. She wanted this done now and fast. Haste makes waste. Kaze nodded as he kept listening to her, watching her grab the tags from her pack. There was no point in trying to talk her out of this. They were going in noisy and messy. His hands slid from his pockets, moving up and behind his head, the digits of each hand wrapping gently around the fabric of his gray hood. He'd give it a simple tug, flipping the headpiece up and over so that it covered that blonde mess of hair that sat atop his head, as if the hood could somehow protect him from the explosion he knew was soon to follow.

His hands fell away from the hood once it had been donned, his eyes still on Kirima, watching her carefully as he listened closely. It was funny to hear her refer to him as a human. If only she knew. The two of them were more alike than she realized.

"No, she's nothing like me."

The youth scolded himself for even thinking that. Sure, they both housed something unnatural and dangerous but that was where the similarities ended. She had managed to control herself. Him? He had murdered people, he had even come close to killing another in the last few days. The blood lust was still fresh in his mind, the urge to slit someone's throat still overwhelming at times. It took him days to come off such highs. He had denied himself that pleasure. He had denied Hebinoo that pleasure. He was paying for it now. His left hand trembled and twitched. How easy would it have been to take Kirima's life? She'd have no way of knowing it was coming. To make matters worse for her, she was close to Kaze, close enough to allow close contact. A hug? That was obviously something that was either commonplace or at least acceptable to her. A hand on her shoulder? It was something she seemed to take comfort in. Hebinoo had seen all this playing out. Kirima and the boy were close and for that she needed to die. She was a distraction.

"Don't you fucking touch her."

The Serpent King, for the first time in centuries, found himself surprised. The boy who had become his living vessel and sole servant. The boy, whom for the last year had fallen further and further into the dark corruption of Hebinoo's influence, the same boy whom only a few days ago had been holding a kunai to a comrade's neck, ready to cut their throat in their sleep hadn't even hesitated to fight back. There was no waver in the boy's resolve in this issue. For all the other cravings the Serpent King had been able to play at the boy's more violent side. He had been able to use the boy's anger and primal nature to instill a twisted blood lust in the young man's head. Not this time, however. Hebinoo couldn't understand why. Was this girl really that important? The Serpent King tried to push the issue, trying to forward that craving of his to see the girl's lifeless body on the ground to the boy in order to awaken that hidden violent nature of his.

"Do it and we're done."

Hebinoo didn't need any explanation. The thought immediately transferred from one being to the other. Self mutilation. Kaze wasn't about to let Hebinoo have his way on this, not while he still had control over himself, now or in the future. For now the Serpent King would have to withdraw. The girl could live, for now. The mental conversation came to an end. Kaze still standing there, watching Kirima from under the hood as she placed the tags and drew close to him, taking his hand to lead him away. The blonde youth silently questioned the need for her to grab his hand but made no fuss as the two walked away from soon-to-be demolition site, enjoying the brief moment of contact. The explosion that soon tore through the air caused him to cringe slightly but at the same time hadn't seemed to phase him too much as he turned his gaze toward the newly created hole in the earth. He supposed the hole itself wasn't new, given that it had been there before.

Moving with Kirima, Kaze approached the hole, stopping at the edge as his fiery companion began to speak again, grabbing his arm either to guide him or out of comfort, Kaze still couldn't tell. He saw the slight smile though. It was quick, there one moment then gone the next, but he had seen it. He smiled back from under his hood, tilting his head down a bit so the headpiece cast a long shadow down his face, eclipsing his eyes and concealing them from clear view as he nodded.

"Don't worry. I'm right behind you."

With that he followed her in, squeezing through the small breach in the stone. Once inside his senses were immediately assaulted. Darkness. Rotting stench. Silence punctuated with each careful step the two of them took. It didn't take long for the chuunin to fall into a pattern behind his female lead, his movements mimicked hers. Though he could not see save for the slight flickering flame she held in her hand, he had managed to pick up on the rhythm of her movements, his steps coming down at the same moment as hers. The two moved as one, she the body and he the shadow that loomed behind her. The stench of death was strong here, it made his nose crinkle, yet it wasn't unpleasant. In fact, it was familiar to the young medic. At first the young man had attributed the familiarity with his occupation of choice. Working as a medic for a militaristic community meant he had seen death plenty of times, but most of what he saw had been fresh and what hadn't had been preserved. No, this smell wasn't something he recognized from work or studies. The familiarity came from Hebinoo's memories. Brief glimpses of Hebinoo's long lived life flashed before his mind, the Serpent King sharing a bit of his knowledge with the boy. This place was foreign but the feel was the same. Shaking his head, Kaze moved forward. Whatever was happening, he wasn't sure he liked it. He could feel the Serpent King smirking beneath the surface, a knowing and confident smile that made Kaze shudder.

Suddenly Kirima's movements halted, her voice coming in a hushed tone as it commanded him to hold his position. Taking care not to shake her Kaze had managed to stop himself mere inches from her body, his looming over hers as his eyes strained in the darkness, trying to find the source of that uncanny clicking noise that was drawing ever closer. Kaze's left hand moved swiftly toward one of the pockets of his billowing black cargo pants, retrieving a single kunai, holding it firmly in the reverse grip fashion. Suddenly Kirima was off, taking the fight to these strange creatures while at the same time extinguishing her light. Kaze was steeped in darkness, his eyes now left with little to go on as he stood there, tensed, listening to the fight that was happening right in front of him yet having no idea what was really going on.

The noises created by the creature's along with Kirima's own breathing all seemed to play off one another, reverberating noisily in the confined space, the acoustics of the boy's surroundings serving only to confuse the youth. He could make out the slight glimmer of one of the larger creatures, at least he thought that's what it was. Kirima had tried to describe it to him, but now that he was actually in the thick of it? Well fighting in the dark wasn't exactly something he practiced. If things were quieter perhaps he could have pinpointed the soft clicking behind him as the creatures circled around, aiming to use their numbers to bring the young man down swiftly. Without Kirima's light, he was a sitting duck.

Despite this though the boy didn't panic. He was tense but not scared. He was on guard. He couldn't take the fight to them like Kirima could. He didn't have the good fortune of being blessed with vision that could penetrate this dark, but he could rely on his instincts, both his and those of the Serpent King. Suddenly he felt it, the fangs of one of the creatures sinking into his lower leg, biting down on his left calf. Then the right as another aimed to rip into the meat of his legs. Kaze made no noise, gave no sign that he had been injured. He could still hear Kirima ahead of him, the yowl of whatever creature she was fighting. Kaze could feel the familiar liquid warmth of blood starting to pour from the wounds. They were surprisingly deep but he did his best to ignore them as he kept himself stabilized despite the pulling of the creatures. These ones were small. He couldn't see them but he could tell from the strength they possessed that they were hardly the real threat here.

Kaze's eyes searched, his breathing growing steadily faster. How many more were circling around him? He could still make out the occasional passing glimmer that he could only assume was the larger of the beasts. All he had to go on was Kirima's description of what she had seen before the fight had started. His eyes narrowed as he suddenly felt something tear down on his right arm, latching on and sinking deep. He slumped slightly, the weight of the new attacker putting him off balance as the largest of the beasts took this opportune moment to strike. The large yet lithe body leaped through the air, darkness concealing all but the slight aura it emitted around its body, raiton chakra shining dimly in the dark. Kaze braced as he felt the impact slam hard against his torso, left hand coming up defensively in front of his neck, kunai managing to catch itself against one of the creature's fangs moments before he felt the bite of said fang tearing into the flesh of the vital area. Kaze surprisingly managed to keep his balance despite the hulking creature slamming against him, his left arm trembling as he pressed against the beasts efforts, feeling the claws of the predator sinking into his shoulders. Finally Kaze made a sound, a small grunt then...a laugh. It was small at first but it quickly escalated, the vocal undulations picking up in frequency, creating a sicking crescendo that echoed eerily through the cavern. Just as strangely as the laughter came it seemed to die out.

"I see...in here I'm completely blind. I can't even see my own hand in front of my face."

His voice was strained, the effort it took to keep the creature's jaw locked and away from his neck was a lot more than he had initially anticipated. Still, he maintained his stance, two small wolves at his ankles and one latched onto his right arm while the large one stood inches away from tearing through his jugular.

"Your breath stinks."

With that Kaze suddenly picked up one of his legs, the small wolf on his right calf tearing into the flesh only for Kaze to lift his leg hard, sending his knee forward as he surged chakra through his leg, increasing the striking force and the speed at which his leg sailed forward. The knee would slam hard into the creature's soft and unprotected abdominal organs, causing the beast to yelp and slump forward in time with Kaze's deft yet powerful movement of his left arm, tossing the injured beast to the side before harshly bringing his kunai across his own body, impaling the small beast on his right arm through what he could only guess was the skull. The feeling of his kunai meeting initial resistance only for it to quickly give way as the sickening wet sound resonated from the point of contact told him he had managed to penetrate the cranial cavity, effectively impaling the creature's brain. He felt the sudden tension as the jaws closed harder only to be followed by the creature slackening its grip, slipping from his arm and onto the ground.

With both arms liberated Kaze suddenly bent forward, bringing both arms up above his head then downward in a massive swinging motion that carried through as his arms passed in front of his body then down then continued their swing behind him as he channeled chakra through each limb, increasing the speed and force with which he swung his arms. The two creatures on his legs were blindsided by the sudden forceful strike, each fist colliding hard with their bodies, the right managing to connect with the creature's skull, fracturing it and causing the creature to instantly let go as it instantly fell unconscious while the left collided firmly with the other beast's neck, the force instantly snapping the cervical vertebrae out of place and displacing its trachea. Like the other one, this one released Kaze's leg and fell to the ground, though gasping noises could be heard coming from the beast as it struggled to breath. As both creatures released though, their sharp teeth tore further into Kaze's flesh, tearing into the muscle. Had it not been for his extremely high pain tolerance, Kaze would most likely have been on his knees but thankfully that was not the case.

Had the youth had more time he would have considered how fortunate he was to have been blessed with such a high physical threshold but for now he knew he wasn't out of the fire yet. While in no immediate danger he knew the large beast wouldn't remain downed for long. Kaze quickly whipped around, despite the blood that leaked from his lower legs, his eyes immediate setting on the faint glow that he now knew to be the larger beast of the pack that had tried to turn him into their meal mere moments ago. Kaze didn't give the beast the chance to even stand, moving with amazing speed he closed the gap in less than a second, kunai flying forward as he thrust his left arm toward the beast, blade sinking into the creature's chest with a sickening thud. He'd suddenly bring the blade down in a slicing motion, cutting the demon open slowly as he grunted, the creature yelping and yowling until it passed out from the pain. Still Kaze moved, cutting through the coastal cartilage until the chest held a large centrally placed uneven gash. He'd stare down at the corpse, his eyes still unable to see what it was he had just killed but for now he felt as though he were safe. A quick whipping motion of his left hand spattered the blood onto the ground before he spun the blade with flawless digital movements as he replaced it in one of the many pockets of his black cargos.

"Stupid beasts."

He'd turn now, his eyes searching the darkness for any sign of Kirima, still unable to see clearly in this impenetrable blanket of black. He didn't suppose it would get any better from here on out. He'd have to get used to fighting blind. For now he supposed he would need to take care of the wounds on his legs. They weren't bothering him, but he could feel his pant legs soaked in his own warm blood. If he lost too much then he'd be in bad shape. He needed to stay alive for the completion of this mission. If there was anyone on this mission who wasn't allowed to die, it was him. Not until Gouka was patched up or confirmed dead.

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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptyFri 13 Sep 2013, 6:21 am


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The little ball of lightning had long since gone out, and Gouka did not bother to re-light it. Even on the brink of starvation, his task was no easier, and being able to see made it no better. Only in darkness could he muster the nerve, and even then, only when the hunger pangs were particularly fierce. It was a natural conclusion of his trapping, of his death sentence. There was no light under this mountain. There were no green things. There was nothing for a fire to consume or feed on. There was only the darkness, only the beasts, only the reaper. It was only with the spice of hunger that Takeshi Gouka had been able to subsist off the diet of raw, blood-drained flesh.

The first bite had been the toughest. It had left him curled in his little hole for days, stomach wracked and wretched, hoping his heaving would not attract the attention of the predators. Their flesh was stringy, tasteless, faintly bitter from the build ups of lactic acids the beasts no doubt produced hunting each other. Predators, animals from the top of the food chain, rarely had any succulence to their meat, and these wolves, trapped and starved and forced to cannibalism, with so little fat on their flesh, had even less to offer. And yet, Gouka had still eaten, still consumed, as he was about to do to the freshly plucked heart he held in his hand.

He knew, vaguely, from memories of survival training in his academy classes, so long ago, what parts of a fallen foe were generally safest to eat. The heart, strong, tough from all the blood pumping, rich in iron. But raw. So very raw. Only in complete darkness, and after a few shuddering breaths, could Gouka bring the tiny organ to trembling lips, teeth sinking into it like an apple from hell. The tough meat resisted his bite, but eventually yielded. Even in the darkness, Gouka closed his eyes as he took in what meager nourishment the nightmarish meal could provide. He did not care to think of how much weight he'd lost. Did not care to dwell on the dreadful toll the bloody diet was taking on his body. Could not bring himself to wonder how much longer he could survive without the essentials that only fresh, succulent fruit, leafy green things, could bring to his body, and would never be found in these creature's wretchedly stringy flesh.

So far as he was into the caverns, the explosion of the tags did not register as even a faint vibration in his ears. He did, however, pause, as he felt the barest sensation of two impressively large chakra signatures brush against the edges of his sensory range. The rest of the half-eaten heart dropped from his hands as he turned, closing his eyes, casting his senses out. 'What was...' There, at the extreme edge of his range. A flickering sensation, as if of a large source of chakra just barely out of sight. He shuffled around in his cavern, collecting his meager assortment of gear. If another Alpha has emerged from the depths of the mountain... 'Well, I was going to die sooner or later.' Gouka thought grimly, slipping on the meager remains of his mask, and with it, the Jestre persona. 'Maybe this one will know how to chew...'

He moved to the entrance of his little abode, stepping over the wires, placing himself behind the bone door as he crouched down, fully concentrating his senses. The task was helped as the signatures moved in closer, stepping much more readily into his range- and further, fluctuating their chakra as they began to engage several of the wolves. 'Two. Near jounin level chakra, one head and shoulders above a kage.' He thought distantly, semidetached, as his hands unconsciously found their way to his remaining weapons; one dagger, and a blood-stained, well used tomahawk. 'Wind between the both of them, lightning on the lesser, fire on the larger. Definitely not Raiju. Who could possibly...'

It clicked. After nearly three weeks of sleep deprivation and near starvation, Gouka's weary mind was running more than a little behind. Even if  he had only developed this ability while trapped in the suffocating darkness, even if he had never truly felt her chakra before, the roiling mix of anger, fear, worry, and desperation, combined with the sheer mass of chakra, meant that he would never in a hundred years fail to recognize it. Fail to recognize her.

Kirima.

The bone door blew off the the entrance, landing with a thunderous crash across the tunnel, so violently did Gouka kick it off. Before it had even sufficiently cleared the air however, Gouka had already been running, the crash barely outpacing the tail-end of his torn, tattered coat. A gamut of emotions ran through his worn and weary mind. Surprise. Elation. Worry. Happiness. Fear. Anger. He was glad she came back. He hated that she came back. Why did she come back? Why did she risk returning to the hell he'd given himself up to save her from? He tore off through the tunnels, plunging heedlessly into the suffocating darkness, following twists and turns and evading broken bones and stones from sheer muscle memory- and when that failed, sheer reflex kept him from breaking himself on the ground.

'I am expendable. Why did you come back for me?'

All his life, it'd been a creeping sensation. A slow, driving realization, that had solidified on his introduction to the KYOBU Black Ops. He was expendable. Another tool in the arsenal. And yet for some reason, the world sacrificed itself for him again and again. He should have been still-born, and yet it was his mother who passed into the darkness. His father had been consumed by the wolves that even now had failed to take Gouka. Tsume, his sister, had passed into unending dream, an unawakening coma, for all he'd tried to save her. His sensei, Shoru, had blinked out like a candle in the dark, gone and forgotten, without a trace, in the world of Black Ops. The world Gouka now resided in.

Any one of these people should have lived. Takeshi Haruka. Takeshi Hiro. Ningen Tsume. Yamamoto Shoru. And now, a deep fear overtook Gouka. Fear that Hanzoku Kirima and Mikado Kaze would add those names to the list. Add those names to the silent graves of the people who had died for something as useless, lifeless, and expendable, as Takeshi Gouka. Not again. Never again. A shadow is only darkness without the warmth of the light.

His only warning was a sudden flare of chakra. He skidded to a halt, leaning forward as his momentum nearly overtook him, and the crackling bolt ripped through the air just over his head, close enough to make his hair rise. In the briefest of flashes as the bolt passed, Gouka's keen, perceptive eyes, took in the sight before him. The ambush that had been waiting in the dark.

At least a score of younglings. A handful of Omega's, eyes mad with hunger. And a single, coal black Beta, but the flecks of white in its patchy, tattered fur was all Gouka needed to know it was growing, evolving. Turning into another Alpha. The next Alpha. So strange. So very strange. Even as heedless as he'd been in his rush, it was still surprising. Gouka was a perceptive individual, very little escaped his notice. He had the unique ability of a sensor ninja, always able to detect his foes by their chakra signature alone. That they could have escaped his notice, that he could have run right into them...

'... Huh. They learned to suppress their chakra. Clever.'

The bolt flashed past and darkness descended in a roar of thunder and a howl fury and a flash of steel and a glimmer of fangs.



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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptyWed 02 Oct 2013, 1:45 am

A victorious grin was still spread across Kirima's features as she started making her way towards Kaze. Darkness spread again, making her frown as she wondered why Kaze had no means of light yet. Does he have nothing to help him out when in darkness? The frown grew bigger, completely replacing the grin, as Kirima stepped closer and could smell his blood above all the other smells in there. "Kaze, you're hurt!" Crap. She had really thought he would be fine, it hadn't been a problem when she and Gouka had fought together. Why didn't I ask him, or give a warning or something? Damn it.... I hope it's nothing serious. She pulled out the chakra for fire element, displaying again dancing flames on her fingertips so that she could see 'normally' again; and used that opportunity to look Kaze closely over so she could make sure he wasn't hurt in a serious way.

"Shit man, I'm sorry. I thought it'd be fine. I was just too focused on the fight."

Her soft voice had the faintest of trembling in it while she examined him, nearly starting to grope down his limbs in order to find out where the blood came from. But there was no need for that, luckily for him; as she quickly saw the wound and after a brief glance made sure it was nothing life threatening. He probably thinks I'm an idiot. She was honestly surprised he hadn't called out to her or let her know that he was a sitting duck since he had no means of getting light in the darkness. Had he been afraid of disturbing her in her fight and getting her hurt? More so she was surprised he didn't even seem to show any annoyance towards her. He never does. .. does he? It always seemed he was so gentle when he was with her. And that made Kirima even more angry at herself for putting him in such danger. But before she could keep apologising, her head rose a bit up and her eyes looked straight ahead into nothingness while her ears strained to pick up the faint sound she thought she had heard.

A fight?

She was absolutely positive she had heard a distant sound of metal scraping against stone, yelps and growls of pain... was she perhaps only imagining it? No. I am sure. It must be... Gouka!

"Kaze, I hear something. It sounds like a fight is going on. It must be Gouka! We should hurry and go there before something bad happens!"

Without even waiting for a response, she had grabbed Kaze's arm and half dragged him with her as she sprinted forward. Now the female was a bit more careful than before, and made sure that Kaze never went into holes or bumped into anything as they kept running; having only her faint light and eyes to guide them through the long and depressingly pitch black tunnels. A chill went down Kirima's spine, and a small growl escaped her while she looked quickly around on the run. It felt like a million eyes were watching them, staring and measuring them as a meal. It was just in her head, she knew that, as right now they weren't even close to other tunnels nor did she see anything.

This fucking place can easily drive one mad.


The sounds had died out, leaving only the silence for the young female to guess what could have happened, but Kirima smelled a familiar scent suddenly; which made her heart leap into her throat. Gouka. He's still alive. He's still here. He can still fight. He must have won the fight. He has to be still alive. I didn't fucking come down here just to have him die in front of me. She swallowed and swallowed, trying not to let the tears start falling as the relief swept through her. And finally they were there, and Kirima stopped abruptly as she viewed the scene before her. A pile of dead beasts. Where is he? She pulled Kaze behind her, her eyes stopping at the dead bodies lying everywhere. She looked at a particularly big one, and sorta felt grateful it was already dead. Damn Gouka. How many did you fight?
Her legs were shaky, her grip probably painful on Kaze's arm by now; as Kirima looked around and tried to pinpoint where her friend was. "Gouka?" Her own voice startled her, making Kirima jump a little bit before she listened closely, in case a response was to be had. But there was no reply. Nothing was said. There was only this damn silence, except for her own hard breathing probably. And just like that, out of the blue, she saw him. Crumbled down against the cave's wall. His eyes closed.

"GOUKA!"

Again she ran, just those few meters that were between them; before dropping down next to him and immediately starting to check if there was a pulse. Oh thank God. Oh damn that was scary. He was out cold, and he looked like shit... but he was alive. "He's alive!!" Clearly she thought it was needed to state the obvious to Kaze, but her joy was simply exploding out of her. "Please, check on him. Is he okay? Please tell me he'll be fine!" She moved out of the way, careful to give Kaze the space he'd need while she practically hovered over him.

Oh you have got to be fucking kidding me.

Her head moved to the side as she heard a rustling, a soft growling, the tapping of claws against the cave floor. They weren't many, but they were hungry. "I'll take care of those. Just... just help him and both of you be safe here." Kirima had to just trust that Kaze would be able to work in these conditions. She stood slowly, looked over her two precious friends; and then turned on her heel and walked towards the three wolves who were waiting. They were all coated with lightning, all of them a little bigger than a normal wolf, and all of them baring their sharp fangs in the direction of the young woman.

The fight was quick but brutal. Her powerful punches broke bones, the fire that lived within her burnt flesh and fur. The claws and fangs scraped and nipped at her delicate skin but hardly ever managed to get more than a few droplets of blood before Kirima would drive the attacker away. She had managed to get the first wolf by the throat, locking her arm around it and giving a savage twist to break it while she twisted and kicked hard at the head of another one. While it was recovering she had buried her kunai into the heart of the third one before facing off the last one.

For a moment both just stared at each other, like the wolf was wondering if it was truly worth it; before it decided that it surely was and lunged forward. Kirima looked as peaceful and graceful as a dancer, while she stepped out of the way of the lunging animal; turned on her heel and lifted her leg before bringing it as hard down as she could on the back of the wolf. The spine broke with a sharp crackling sound. The fight was over after just a few minutes. She had barely blinked, barely paused and never hesitated; Kirima had been protecting her friends and she had done so properly.

"I am simply sick and tired of you lot and this damn cave."

She spat on the floor, gave the corpses one last glare; before turning and walking towards the friends who awaited. "How is he?" The fire was again dancing on her fingers to give off some light, and she looked at Kaze while asking and wondering if he was also alright.


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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptyThu 10 Oct 2013, 7:00 pm

Standing there, the young blonde said nothing. The concern in Kirima's voice was obvious and expected as the youth took a moment to flex those damaged muscles of his. Both his lower legs had been turned into chew toys, his calf muscles filled with holes and tears. Still, he seemed to be able to move them without much trouble; which was surprising to the youthful medic. The pain was getting worse, however. Even for someone as gifted as Kaze was at being able to block out pain, he couldn't deny that without a fight or a task to focus on, without something to take his mind off his injuries, he was starting to feel the sharp throbs of pain with each subtle muscle contraction. He said nothing though, he couldn't allow Kirima to know that he was suffering. He ignored the external liquid warmth as blood continued to seep through the wounds and into the fabric of his pant legs. Over all, he looked better off than he really was. Eventually he spoke, hearing Kirima's apology and sensing her approach as her gentle footsteps drew ever closer.

"It's alright, Kirima. I'm fine. Are you alright?"

He lied. He wasn't fine. At the rate he was going he could tell that he wouldn't be on his feet by the end of the hour. Judging by the rate of blood loss and the pain he was feeling he could surmise that one of the deep veins of his lower leg had been damaged, either torn or punctured. He'd be alright for a little bit, but he needed to repair the damage. The young medic had almost begun to do so, his hands beginning their work on forming the necessary seals before Kirima began to speak again, responding to the distant noises of a fight taking place further in the depths of this damnable cave.

"Alright, give me a-"

There was no time finish that thought; his calm words cut off as he felt his female companion suddenly latch on to his arm, dragging him deeper into the darkness. His legs began to move automatically and out of necessity in an effort to keep the young chuunin from toppling over behind his childhood crush. Not wanting to disappoint her, Kaze held his tongue. There'd be time for him to worry about himself later. Gouka was fighting for his life and was potentially worse off than Kaze was. The youth truly contemplated the validity of the statement though. If Gouka was still alive after being trapped for so long, then he could surely have afforded to wait five to ten minutes longer-the time it would have taken Kaze to tend to his own wounds. He remained silent though, allowing Kirima to guide him through the dauntingly dark depths.

Kaze didn't know how long they had run or how many of those beasts they had passed. He could feel their eyes upon them; at least he thought he did. His legs still burned with sharp stabbing pains, to which the young medic could only be thankful for. The pain meant he was still in good enough condition to perceive the damage but he knew with each step forward he pumped more precious fluid out of the wound, literally bleeding away his vitality with every step they took. When they finally stopped Kaze could only gaze around at the pile of corpses with troubled expression. How many had Gouka fought? Did he fight them all at once? Perhaps Kaze had been a bit too hasty in his estimation of his friend's chances of survival. A pang of guilt resonated in his chest as he stared down at one of the corpses, his eyes only breaking away from the sight at Kirima's sudden cry. Suddenly they were off again, Kirima dragging Kaze behind her until they reached Gouka's slumped over form. Even in this dim light, Kaze could see that the man was alive; for now at least. Kirima still needed to check, moving down to check his pulse only to turn back and assure the medic that Gouka was indeed alive.

Kaze remained silent as she released his arm, begging him to take a look. The young medic moved forward, kneeling down in front of his old friend, his knee hitting the stone floor with more force than he had intended. Stifling the urge to cringe from the pain of the sudden impact and the over all weakness he now felt, the young medic began to work. He could hear the noises in the background, the growling, the clicking, all of which threatened to pull his attention away from the task at hand. Still, he remained focused, his hands working into the proper seals even as Kirima spoke again, assuring him that she'd handle the incoming threats, tossing in the request for the both of them to remain safe. With a nod Kaze would offer words of reassurance, hoping that they'd take her mind off of them and refocus it on the task before her.

"We'll be alright. Just make sure to keep them off of us. It's hard to patch people up when I'm being chewed on."

With that his gaze moved back toward his injured friend.

"Hey Gouka. Don't worry, you're going to get out of this alive. Kirima's been rather worried about you."

A wry smile spread across the blonde's features as he spoke. To Kaze's trained eye, he could already tell the man was pretty bad off. Nothing immediately life threatening, but still, he couldn't be left in this state. After the completion of his seals his hands moved forward, palms coming into direct contact with Gouka's chest before releasing a small burst of his own chakra into his patient's body only for the surge to return a moment later, providing Kaze with valuable information pertaining to Gouka's physical condition. Nodding to himself Kaze drew his hands back, setting to work on forming a new set of seals with the aim of initiating a new jutsu.

"What are you doing?"

The voice was sudden and harsh, jarring the young medic to such a degree that his hands fumbled in their seal formation. An annoyed sigh escaped Kaze's lips as he stared through the darkness at Gouka's crumpled form.

"I'm doing my job."

Kaze hissed back to the entity within him, their mental dialogue taking more of his focus than he'd have cared to admit. He couldn't tell it it was due to the blood loss, the pain, or the background noise of the fight taking place behind him, but for whatever reason Hebinoo's voice made the task of healing Gouka infinitely harder. His hands set to work again, slowly and carefully forming the proper seals, not wanting to mess up again.

"Don't bother. He's weak. Look at him. You don't need him and you owe him nothing."

Kaze continued to form the seals, his eyes narrowing.

"I owe him my life. He saved mine once. Furthermore, he's my friend."

"You don't need friends."

"No, you don't need friends. I do. I'm tired of being alone."

"They'll only get in the way. Kill him now and be done with it."

Kaze paused, his eyes still on Gouka. He could feel Hebinoo's influence, his killer intent bleeding through. It was stronger than it had been a few days ago when he had almost taken the life of another Kumogakure shinobi whom had fallen unconscious before him at the conclusion of their spar. Those few days after had been hard on Kaze, Hebinoo not appreciating the lost opportunity and mentally wearing down the young medic's mental resistance and focus through both sleep deprivation and pain. Now Kaze found himself struggling to resist his inner demon, the Serpent King who lauded himself as an all powerful God.

"No..."

Kaze spoke, not realizing he had uttered the word out loud rather than to himself. His hands finished their seals as he molded and focused his chakra, eventually covering his hands in a faint green glow. Like before they moved forward, touching Gouka's chest, pressing hard against his friends torso as he surged his energy into the dark haired ninja. The vitality seemed to transfer from one to the other, chakra flowing from Kaze and into Gouka, searching out the man's injuries and repairing the damage. Kaze would remain still, his arms and hands serving as the conduit for his healing energies to enter his friend's body. It was too dark to physically treat the injuries through more practical ways. Bandages, splints, slings, they were all useless here. WIthout being able to see properly he'd spend too much time fumbling around in the dark. Too much time poking, prodding, and palpating to get the information he needed. He didn't have the time for such a lengthy endeavor. This was faster, even if it did require more energy on his part.

Once the task at hand was completed, and Gouka seemed to have regained his strength Kaze would move away, pulling his hands away slowly, arms trembling ever so slightly before planting them on the ground in an attempt to push himself up. He was tired now and the small pool of blood that had formed beneath his knees told him that he had been wrong about his initial diagnosis of his own injuries.

"Not a vein. It's an artery. A small one, given I haven't passed out yet, but I should have clotted by now if it was a vein."

He analyzed himself as he stared down with a blank expression at his own blood. He could hear Hebinoo's voice in the back of his mind again, but he couldn't make out the words right now. He couldn't focus anymore. Even if he could block out the pain, he couldn't deny how tired he had become. His hand now moved behind him, diving into the satchel on his back, quickly retrieving two pills and a small bottle of liquid.

"Gouka, we don't have a lot of time. Take these pills and drink this bottle. It'll taste awful but you'll feel better."

His voice was soft now, his hand moving out to hand Gouka the nutritional pill, the chakra pill and the small bottle of antibiotic. His eyes staring with an exhausted expression into Gouka's.

"After this...we'll be even."

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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptyMon 14 Oct 2013, 3:30 pm


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Darkness. Pain. Silence. Gouka was adrift in a sea of his own nightmares, only dimly aware of the world around him. He'd fought.... How many of the beasts? Twenty? Thirty? A nightmare without end. Weakened and battered, he had simply collapsed against the wall, too battered and beaten by the long weeks of starvation and sleep deprivation and constant fighting. Too much for such a weary soul to bare. He was only dimly aware of a faint light, of familiar voices, of a flicker of light.

'Sleep... Sleep would be nice...' His single exposed eye cracked open, gazing dimly at the scene before him. In the darkness and dim light, he could only just make out the form of Mikado Kaze. And while he couldn't exactly see her, he could feel the comforting presence of Kirima's chakra, sense her worry and fear. His eye drifted back shut as Kaze's hands began to move in. 'Sorry to worry you.... Kitkat...' He was drifting once more into unconscious, when a vileness slammed into his mind's eye, his physically eye-snapping back open as his hand snapped up to clasp around Kaze's wrist as his palms placed against Gouka's chest.

It'd been unmistakeable, some sense of... wrongness, in Kaze's chakra, a perceptible, blood-thirsty killing intent, and a palpable sense of struggle. If they hadn't been in such close proximity and Kaze hadn't been actively sending his chakra into Gouka, he might never have noticed it at all. His gaze sought out Kaze's in the darkness as, in a barely perceptible, dry, cracked whisper, he spoke. "What the hell is going on inside you head, Kaze?"

And then his eye rolled up, his grip going limp, as he slipped into unconscious.

(OOC: Blarg, short post, but it's been 4 days and I wanted this done with quick like. Assuming nothing untoward happens, Gouka is unconscious for the rest of the topic, so your next posts can be "Dragging his scraggly, unconscious ass out of the cave and hightailing it back to Kumo)



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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptySat 26 Oct 2013, 1:02 am

Kaze frowned, watching as his friend passed out, unable to take the medicine being offered by the young medic. With a sigh of annoyance the medic moved to replace said pills and antibiotic back in his satchel. Gouka was obviously in no state to take the medicine and any attempt to try would most likely result in Gouka choking to death. It was a troubling situation, but not exactly one that was too urgent. It just meant that Kirima and Kaze would need to get Gouka back quickly so he could receive proper medical care. With that thought Kaze began to lower himself again. His legs were still bleeding, blood slowly pouring from the open wound, clotting just a bit but not fast enough. As Kaze dropped to his left knee he felt himself grow dizzy, a momnetary vertigo that caused the world to spin and caused him to waver in an unsteady fashion.

"Shit. I need to treat this."

He spoke to himself, yet loud enough for Kirima to hear him. She had finished fighting and once again the three found themselves in that eerie dark silence that reminded Kaze so much of the Temple of Water. The memories of that mission came flooding back, a couple of seconds that somehow stretched into hours in his mind. The mind was funny that way. It took a great deal of mental energy to pull himself from his recollections. Now was not the time! His hands began to move, forming the needed seals before once again igniting in a faint blue glow that signaled the activation of the jutsu. Turning his body ever so slightly to his left side his left hand moved around and back, touching his left calf while his right arm darted between his legs and back, coming in contact with the injured area. Concentrating the best he could, he began to repair his own damaged leg, halting the blood loss while closing the wound. The damage had been deeper than he had anticipated, even life threatening if he had left it too long. He had known that though. Had it not been for Kirima's urgency, he would have treated it right away. Upon her insistence though, he had pushed himself to run, moving quickly and worsening the injury. He'd remain there for a few minutes, patching himself up before shifting to the other leg, repairing it in much the same way. As he worked he tried not to think about the need to get Gouka back quickly. He would only slow the group down if he did this wrong.

"There we go. Good enough. Sorry about that."

His hazel-brown eyes would drift in Kirima's direction as he spoke, staring at her darkened silhouette for a few seconds before standing.

"Gouka's fine, but we should get him back to the village as soon as possible so he can get proper treatment. For now though he'll be stable."

Despite the darkness, Kaze brandished a confident smile, figuring that if Kirima could indeed see in this darkness that she'd manage to catch the expression on his face. Despite his rather haggard appearance, Kaze continued to carry himself with that comforting and confident disposition he had managed to maintain throughout the entire mission. He knew how important this all was for Kirima. He knew how much she had beat herself up over all this. He didn't want her to carry that weight on her shoulders and he was glad that everything seemed to be working out for the better.

Kaze would soon turn toward Gouka, stepping slowly toward the downed shinobi and dropping low. Without so much as a word he moved to grab his friend, intending to pull his unconscious body forward and against him in order to hoist the young man over his shoulders in order to carry him out of the cave, leaving Kirima to guide him with that flame of hers. That had been the plan at least but as Kaze's hand drew closer he felt his consciousness starting to slip. The world around him grew fuzzy then distant. Suddenly Kaze found himself trapped within the dark confines of his own mind. He had been here before, but not since one year ago.

"Hey! What's going on?!"

"You're weak. Both physically and emotionally. I told you to kill this boy. You don't need him and he's a waste of space, nothing more than a brooding piece of shit. You're better off without him and so is the girl."

Kaze railed against his own mind, fighting against Hebinoo's influence. This had been what had almost happened a few days ago, when Kaze had held a fellow Kumogakure ninja at knifepoint, threatening to slit the throat of a comrade while he lay unconscious at the young boy's feet. Back then Kaze had possessed the mental and physical fortitude to fight. Now? Kaze was tired. Sleepless nights, low on both blood and chakra and emotionally shaken after seeing Kirima for the first time after so long. He wanted to sleep, to just close his eyes and slip away.

"No!

Kaze cried out, his voice echoing within his own mind as he watched his own hand wrap around Gouka's neck, compressing the unconscious man's trachea thus cutting off the injured man's air supply. Kaze continued to plead and cry within his own mind, his strained voice reverberating in his skull. Externally the expression his face was a stoic one, no smile, no hate, nothing indicative of the mental war that waged within. Hebinoo was winning and if Kaze didn't do something soon he'd be responsible for yet another death, and of a friend no less. Continuing to thrash within his own mind, Kaze used every ounce of strength within him, no longer even desiring to make it out of this cave alive, simply wishing for his friends to survive this.

Suddenly Kaze's hand pulled away, releasing Gouka's throat as the young medic subsequently threw himself backwards, landing on his bottom as he let out a sudden and sharp gasp of air as though he had been the one being choked rather than Gouka. The boy's eyes were now staring at his own hand, the one that had been clutching his friend's throat only moments ago. Had that really happened? Had he really almost killed Gouka? How easy it had been for Hebinoo to overpower Kaze's will. It not only scared the boy, it terrified him. What if that had been Kirima?! The boy's eyes began to move, his head turning in an effort to look in the red haired beauty's direction but he stopped short, quickly turning his head back. No. He couldn't look at her, not now, not after what had just happened.

"Kirima, take Gouka. You two get out of here as fast as you can."

The boy's voice trembled as he spoke, unsure whether the vocal waver was due to the tears he felt welling up in his own eyes or the fear he felt building in his chest. He'd allow for a few seconds to pass, as if waiting to hear what she'd say though whatever words she spoke, he didn't hear them. He felt the world starting to fade again, Hebinoo starting to come out for a second time in an effort to finish what he  had started. This time Kaze could feel it, not only would he finish Gouka off, but Kirima as well. She'd most likely never see it coming and even if she did, Kaze doubted she had it in her to defend herself adequately against a friend. She didn't have what it took to do what needed to be done.

"Kirima, you need to get as far away from me as you can."[/i]

Kaze's hand moved behind his back, drawing a kunai from his pouch, holding it in a reverse grip style before bringing the tip of the blade to his own abdomen, just below the diaphragm. Kaze could barely see anymore, the darkness and the withdrawal from the physical world making everything dark and hazy. He was struggling now, struggling to hold the knife firmly in his hands as the pointed tip pressed painfully against his body.

"Kirima, before you go I need to tell you...I'm sorry. I know I broke my promise that I'd be there for you and I'm sorry but I'm going to have to break it again one more time. I...I didn't want to. I had planned to tell you the whole story but I don't think there's enough time now. All I can tell you is that I finally understand your pain, the pain of having a demon inside of you, something you can't control. I tried so hard for the past year to learn to control it. I couldn't though, and so...I stayed away. I avoided you for your own safety."

Kaze inhaled deeply, as if bracing himself for the initial surge of pain that was to follow the inward thrust. His muscles tensed, his grip tightening, but he didn't push. He froze. There was still more to say. He couldn't just leave it at that. He knew if he did then he'd regret it in the afterlife.

"That's not the only reason...Kirima. I...I really cared about you. I...love you. I wanted to be there for you but I didn't know how I could face you. You've had this demon of yours your entire life and managed to keep yourself under control and here I was, with one of my own that I could barely manage to fight. I...I killed Azo and Izanagi. I didn't know how to face you after that. I was too ashamed and I didn't want the same thing to happen to you. You have no idea how many times I wanted to knock on your door and hug you. How many times I stood on your doorstep debating on whether to knock or not and how many times I ended up chickening out and running away. I...I'm sorry. I really tried. I thought that I could do it, but I can't. Even now, he's trying to get out, trying to kill you and Gouka. I'm not going to let him. I'd rather die than let him hurt you."

Suddenly his world exploded in pain as he pressed the knife inward, the blade sinking into his own flesh. He did his best to block it out as he tore through the skin and muscle and punctured the diaphragm. Suddenly he was gasping for air, unable to get enough of it as he felt his body losing its strength. He felt Hebinoo struggling, trying to regain control in hopes of saving himself and Kaze. Kaze somehow managed to hold on, forcing the Serpent King down.

"It was...nice...working with you again...seeing you one last time...I'm sorry I couldn't be stronger....I'm sorry I kept my demon a secret from you...I should have told you...I hope...I hope you can forgive me...for all the pain I caused."

The medic could feel his world starting to spin, quickly growing light headed and faint as he tried to speak and breath at the same time. At this point he didn't think Hebinoo could even manage to save the two of them even if the Serpent King did assume control.

"Goodbye Kirima...tell Gouka when he wakes up...that we're even now..."

With that the blonde would fall silent, his eyes closing as his consciousness began to slip. He was still alive, but he knew it wouldn't remain that way for long. He had lost far too much blood and now had given himself a rather serious wound that even he couldn't heal in the time that would be needed to ensure survival. As he felt himself sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness he heard a faint voice.

"Why? Why would you do that?"

"To stop you. To regain control over my life. To protect my friends."

"You idiot. There's no more life now. You're dead and I will live on. You've stopped nothing.

"As long as they live then I'm happy.

There was a pause, Hebinoo's presence seeming to withdraw slowly.

"I see...It's a shame. I think I was starting to grow somewhat fond of you, despite the short time we spent together."

"Don't start getting all soft on me now. You'll start making me feel bad...I'm tired now. It's time for me to sleep..."

With that Hebinoo began to feel what was left of his host slip away and with that his own separation from Kaze's body as his demonic chakra was slowly drawn in the direction of the Temple of Water.

"Boy? Child? ...Kaze? .....Rest in peace...

A strange feeling washed over the Serpent King, as though a part of him had somehow vanished along with Kaze's presence. The feeling was unfamiliar and strange. He didn't like it, but couldn't identify it. Soon enough though he was gone, leaving Kaze's corpse on the cave floor as his spirit was called away, both souls vanishing from the body. Kaze Mikado was dead.[/size]


[Exit]
[Character death]

((Sorry for taking so long with this. Money and I talked about it and eventually decided that it was better if I posted for her hence the change in posting order.))

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PostSubject: Re: To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] To the rescue! [P, Top, Travis] EmptySat 21 Dec 2013, 1:45 pm

[OOC:  We had to wait on an admin decision and therefore this topic was delayed until after I had gone to Kiri.  In order for the effects of that decision to get through, I am required to make my exit post in hurr.  So no yelling!]

"Shit. I need to treat this."

She could barely contain the strong grip of the icy fingers of panic as she gazed down upon both her friends.  One beaten up, seemingly half starved, and as ragged as one could get without being dead.  While her other friend was trying to do something about that state, while also being injured himself and now deciding that he needed some healing to do on himself.  What a fucking mess this situation had turned into.  Her blue eyes stared into the back of Kaze's head, almost trying to read his thoughts as he was healing his injured legs.  I hope Kaze can work quickly enough and get well, before he can heal Gouka more.  Or just do something.. I really need to get out of this damn cave.  We all do.  Gouka needs a hospital, not just a rough patch up work.  And maybe Kaze needs a hospital also.  Her pearly white teeth worried the inside of her lower lip as she shifted her weight from one leg to the other, trying her best not to hover too much or disturb Kaze in any way.  The redheaded female almost felt bad that she was the only one so far that didn't really need any patch up work.

"There we go. Good enough. Sorry about that."

She breathed a sigh of relief as it didn't seem that Kaze was really worried about his legs, meaning that the patching up did work.  "Don't worry about it.  I just hope it wont bother you too much."  After all, it was sort of her fault that he had gotten injured in the first place.  But right now was not the moment to be beating herself up over it.  

"Gouka's fine, but we should get him back to the village as soon as possible so he can get proper treatment. For now though he'll be stable."

"Thank God."

She ran her fingers through her already ruffled hair while smiling nervously at her friend whom she loved so dearly. "I am so glad you are here with me."  Boy being a medical ninja really did seem to be a sweet deal.  For a moment the teen thought about how she would have done if she had gone for that profession, but the thought was quickly discarded off.  She'd probably be an awful nurse/doctor if it came down to it.  The smile that was thrown in Kaze's direction was warmer than before, but it slowly disappeared as she looked in confusion upon her friend as he had been lowering himself down to pick Gouka up, but seemed to suddenly slow down his movements and then stop.  Perhaps his injuries were still bothering him, and Kirima quickly stepped closer.

"I'm not hurt so I'll carry Gouka out of here.  And I'll be damned if I ever get near any dark caves again.  Two times is enough for me.  And I will be damned if I ever let either of you near one again also.  So for now just take care of your body and follow me out of here, I am pretty sure Gouka isn't that heavy anyway so don't worry about me being slow or anything."

But Kirima stopped dead in her tracks, her beautiful eyes round and big as dinner plates as she watched Kaze's hand suddenly go for Gouka's throat; squeezing and threatening to end the young ninja's life in only few minutes.  

"Kaze?"

Kirima's voice was soft with confusion, fear and panic.  What on earth was going on?  She reached out to put a hand on his shoulder, wondering if perhaps he had gotten a head injury and was now finally showing symptoms.  Whatever the case was, she had to stop him!  But before she could touch her best friend's shoulder, he had let go of Gouka's throat and threw himself backwards as if he was horrified and shocked at his actions.  The only thing Kirima could really do at this point was run towards Gouka and check if he was still breathing, which he was thank God, and then she looked with a confused expression at Kaze.  Why?  What had happened?  Had he and Gouka had a bad fight?  But this wasn't like Kaze, she had never seen him behave like this before against someone.  She tried to catch Kaze's eyes, tried to get him to connect with her and talk to her.  But the boy refused to meet her gaze, only making her heart race with worries.

"Kirima, take Gouka. You two get out of here as fast as you can."

"What?  What are you talking about?  We are all leaving here together!"  

The words were yelled out, Kirima's voice cracking slightly with the overflowing fear that was starting to crawl throughout her body and numb her limbs.  With a small sound, she started to move towards Kaze.  Desperate to shake him and yell at him, tell him to stop acting like that.  Demand that he would stop scaring her shitless.  

"Kirima, you need to get as far away from me as you can."

She stopped dead in her tracks, staring at the kunai he had pulled.  Was he going to attack her now?  "Kaze?"  Her body felt like it was freezing cold, her lungs could barely manage to draw in a good enough breath to make her head stop spinning.  Kirima could feel how pale she probably looked as she stared at Kaze, begging him with her eyes to just stop this nonsense and telling her that this was all a cruel joke.  And she would forgive him.  She would always forgive him anything.  

"Kirima, before you go I need to tell you...I'm sorry. I know I broke my promise that I'd be there for you and I'm sorry but I'm going to have to break it again one more time. I...I didn't want to. I had planned to tell you the whole story but I don't think there's enough time now. All I can tell you is that I finally understand your pain, the pain of having a demon inside of you, something you can't control. I tried so hard for the past year to learn to control it. I couldn't though, and so...I stayed away. I avoided you for your own safety."

"I-.. I don't understand.  Please, Kaze.. stop this.  You are scaring me."

Her gaze fluttered from the kunai that was pressed against his abdomen and up to his eyes.  Kirima's sapphire blue orbs were quickly turning a lighter color as tears started gathering up and threatened to spill out.  She did not like this one bit.  "What do you mean you can't be here for me?  You promised... I-.. I'm not angry at you anymore that you left.  I swear.  I was just a bit hurt, but you know I'd never be angry at you and I'd never hold a grudge.  So please, please put that kunai down and come home with me."  But what did he mean about the demon?  Kaze couldn't possibly be a Jinchuuriki, could he?  Her head was spinning with confusion and unanswered questions while the tears slowly crept down her cheeks.

"That's not the only reason...Kirima. I...I really cared about you. I...love you. I wanted to be there for you but I didn't know how I could face you. You've had this demon of yours your entire life and managed to keep yourself under control and here I was, with one of my own that I could barely manage to fight. I...I killed Azo and Izanagi. I didn't know how to face you after that. I was too ashamed and I didn't want the same thing to happen to you. You have no idea how many times I wanted to knock on your door and hug you. How many times I stood on your doorstep debating on whether to knock or not and how many times I ended up chickening out and running away. I...I'm sorry. I really tried. I thought that I could do it, but I can't. Even now, he's trying to get out, trying to kill you and Gouka. I'm not going to let him. I'd rather die than let him hurt you."

She froze up and stared at him.  Love?  The muscles in her stomach clenched, but not before she could feel a delightfully tickling flutter there.  Kaze loved her?  But why was he doing this then?  Why was he scaring her and acting like.. like he was about to do something horrible?  She knew she had feelings for Kaze, but she had never thought he would say he loved her and she had also always thought she felt this strongly for him because he was her best friend.  Would he see reflected in her eyes that the same feelings, or at least the beginning stage of the same feelings, had also been building up gradually within Kirima? "Please.."  The single word was only a soft sob as she reached out her hand towards Kaze.  "Please...I- I don't understand."  She could not possibly make any sense of what he was saying, but the tone of his voice and that look in his eyes... oh did they make her feel like someone was stepping on her heart.

And then he had pushed the kunai into his flesh.  Everything went black for a second, but Kirima knew she had moved and she also knew from her sore throat that she had screamed.   Kaze's head was laying on her lap when Kirima could see clearly again.  It was as if she had blinked, and suddenly found herself having jumped from one place to the other.  The tears were maybe what was blinding her, yeah that was probably it.  "KAZE!"  Again her strong scream ripped through the air as she frantically shook him and tried to apply pressure to the wound on his abdomen.  Her loud sobbing echoed through the cave while she watched her hands get painted with his blood.  

"Goodbye Kirima...tell Gouka when he wakes up...that we're even now..."

And then he was just .. gone.  

"KAZE!  PLEASE!"  Her voice cracked and the scream ended in a loud and hysterical sobbing while the female shook her best friend hard.  "HOW COULD YOU?!"  Her grip on him started loosening a bit, but she cried all the louder as she hugged his lifeless form to her.  "How.. how could you.."  Kirima sat there for a few long minutes, moaning and wailing out the same words again and again, as she rocked back and forth while keep hugging Kaze's corpse to her.  

I have to snap out of it.  I have to... I have to get help.  I have to get them both help!

Kirima had no idea how she managed to stand up, but it happened all the same.  She lifted Kaze up over her shoulder and slung him there before walking slowly towards Gouka.  The tears did not stop running down her cheeks for one second, causing the female to stumble over small rocks as she was almost completely blind in the darkness after having let the fire jutsu go.  All she really went by was the soft sound of Gouka breathing and his distinct smell.  Even though her nose was filled with the smell of Kaze's blood.  She made it there, gradually lowered herself down,  and then faced the dilemma.  They were too heavy for her.  I have to take them one at a time.  I can do it.  Gouka wait here for me, forgive me for leaving you a moment longer in this Hell hole.  Kirima hardly noticed that she was still sobbing and still letting out long keening mourning sounds while she stood up again and started to walk towards where the exit was.  But just then she stopped and went completely still.  Had she heard something?  Slowly, Kirima turned and listened as hard as she could, not even drawing in a breath.  And there it was again, the faint sound of claws scraping against rocks.  They were coming again.  And she could hear that there were big ones, and many many small ones approaching

"No...no...nononononono."

Why, why now??  She couldn't let Gouka wait!  They would eat him!  But she couldn't carry both of her friends....  

With a strangled cry of distress, she lowered Kaze to the ground.  She knew he was dead, but the feeling of having to leave him behind.... it tore at her heart and mind; and it was clear that this day marked something dark deep within her soul.  Crying softly again, she cupped Kaze's face between her hands.  "I am so sorry.  I.. I am so sorry.  I will never forget you.  I wish you had given this a second chance.  Kaze..."    A pained sob caused her to stop speaking, but instead she leaned forward and pressed her lips against his own for just a second.  Her first, and maybe last kiss.  How fitting it'd happen like this.  With a moment's regret of having to leave him behind, she trailed her fingers through his silken hair before tearing herself away from him and going to Gouka; lifting him briskly up and then making her way out of there.  As she was moving, her hand went into her pouch and drew forth an explosive note that she planted on the wall.  She kept running and kept placing explosive notes as often as she could before finally she saw the light of the tunnels.  

Her lungs were burning, her limbs aching, and her head spinning; as she pushed her body harder and harder while advancing closer to the opening.  She would be damned if she'd let those filthy creatures eat Kaze.  And just as she got up, her lungs drew a much needed breath of fresh air; and Kirima sent off the explosive notes.  She had kept running, but the massive explosion threw her body through the air; she let go of Gouka and landed in a rolling heap on the ground before sprinting towards his body and picking him up again.  Small and deeper cuts here and there on her arms, face and legs were bleeding; but the grim-faced female ran again, making her way towards Kumogakure.

But she left her heart behind in that cave.

[Exit.]
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The explosion had done it's job well, a shower of rubble and shrapnel sending the scurrying claws yelping and skittering back. The earth rumbled into silence, as a red-haired, grief-stricken woman dragged her unconscious, ebony-haired companion way. In the silence and the darkness, unseen, and never to be seen again, a tousle of blonde hair poked out of the rubble, coated with dust, before with a shift and grind, that too was covered by stone. A fitting burial cairn in that dark, lonely hell. Perhaps it would discourage the predators within, and grant him some small dignity in death. Perhaps not.

The red-head and her ward were drawing farther and farther away. The beasts, hungry and drooling at the scent of blood, were slowly marching back forward, ravenous for a fresh meal, for meat and flesh of something other than their own kind, for prolonging their hellish existence just a little while longer. By any means necessary. Claws scrabbled at stone, giving way to vicious yelping as they fought for the privilege of unearthing the fresh carcass. Without warning, a portion of the cairn blasted away, stones flying with terminal velocity into the pack, killing many where they stood. A sickly, vile, serpentine coil of chakra lashed out, tainting the very air, killing yet more as the beasts yelped back into the darkness, the pure stench of the vile chakra enough to ensure they never returned this far again. Mikado Kaze's final rest would be undisturbed.

The Hebinoo was not finished yet.

In the final moments of Kaze's life, the seal holding the serpent in check had weakened, sufficient for it to shatter free of its accursed prison. But the act had cost it greatly, and even now, a free-form creature of chakra, it could feel its existence rapidly draining, feel the inexorable tug of the Temple of Suijin once more. It needed an anchor, a host to keep it on the mortal plane; and far in the distance, it could feel one, just barely clinging to life.

The dark tendril of chakra lashed out, wafting insubstantially through the air, slipping through mere cracks in the stone to the outside, precious life essence draining away by the second. In moments, it was a barely substantial wisp in the air, invisible to all but the most dedicated and chakra sensitive of eyes. The Serpent King stretched and strained, rushing after the departing pair. It passed over the Nibi host, holding no desire to trade its freedom for another seal and a vicious room mate, the invisible tendril sinking into the prone, limp body of Takeshi Gouka.

The unconscious lad's face twisted in the faintest of grimaces as the vile chakra tainted his coils, but the Nibi host, drained, grief stricken, and lacking sufficient sensitivity to chakra, would not notice the invasion of her comrade. Truth be told, even a sensor nin would be hard-pressed; the effort of breaking the seal, driving off the beasts, and stretching itself the vast distance, had drained the Serpent King utterly; by the time its essence came to roost within Gouka, only a bare shadow of its chakra remained, barely more than a flickering consciousness.

Within the confines of Gouka's heart, dark coils came to rest, wrapping tightly as the drained Serpent King slipped into hibernating slumber. It would need to regain a great deal of energy before it could properly take control of its new host. Were it of a physical form, its serpent visage would have been seen to twist into a terrible grin as it fell into slumber. YOU FOUGHT WELL, MIKADO KAZE. BUT THE SERPENT KING WILL NOT BE DENIED.

[END?]



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