Date: May 24, 2011
A surprise visit from a long-missing Uchiha leads to the discovery of a new enemy, the source of the mysterious "Void", and a goal for the Leaf Village — send their strongest north, to a place born of nightmares.
"Broken Memories Pt. 3 - It Happened Late One Evening"
Forested Main Road - Land of Fire
The Hokage, Senju Hashiramako, and her younger sister, Senju Tobiramako, left the Village many days prior along with a few skilled and trusted ninja of various types. Shortly thereafter, an announcement was made of travel restrictions from the Land of Fire to the Land of Grass, and vice versa, as well as mention of a vaguely described 'void'. Fuyu has seen it first hand, and so she understands the threat inherent. But others in Konohagakure may be less well-informed, more confused, and — while trusting the Hokage — very curious as to what exactly is going on.
The issue is not treated as though it were minor, of course. Anything important enough to pull the Village's most powerful kunoichi and her only slightly-less-powerful sister away on such short notice is something to be concerned about. And with recovery and rebuilding efforts in the eastern portions of the Land of Fire still being conducted as a result of the war with the Land of Water, fear is present in the hearts and minds of many. Is this another plot by Kirigakure — another secret weapon, perhaps? A different country planning to invade? Something WORSE?
Perhaps even something as bad as what happened to the Land of Waves and Land of Whirlpools…?
The questions go unanswered for most, but those who approach Fuyu as she temporarily serves in an administrative capacity of 'psuedo-Hokage' (rather than the time she was 'acting Hokage') or any of her associated representatives and office workers, will be told all that can be safely shared, in as much detail as is necessary to make it clear this is serious. Further, concerns brought to Fuyu or her office are handled as best as she and the others are able to — not just about the absence of the Hokage or the 'void', but also about matters closer to home.
The dangerous criminals who had escaped from the prison with the aid of an unidentified ninja have still not been captured. There are still the rumors of a cannibal army in the south. The ships of various nations going missing at sea to the east… So many worries, on top of 'where is my next meal going to come from', or civil disputes, and medical aid, and on and on.
Fuyu has been trying to handle this all, to show she is a strong and capable leader. But the Uchiha woman's mind continues to drift back to certain OTHER matters that are not so easily addressed. Matters she can not speak to most people about without revealing how much she knows, and what she has been up to in the shadows… And then one of these issues makes itself known via a rather simple report. A simple report, casually handed to her, and yet some of the text on the paper seems to 'jump out' at her.
'Activity to the north', 'unidentified Uchiha male', 'patrol team found comatose', 'Genjutsu suspected', 'Ankoku Cave'… These snippets and others sprang to the forefront of her attention. "So," she muttered. "He ISN'T dead yet…" From there, she began giving out orders regarding defenses, heightened security, and so forth. He will not claim this Village… Not a second time. Barricades are being erected along the road that leads directly to the Leaf Village's front gates. Fuyu stands and oversees this, with the most capable ninja available that she feels she can afford to put on-duty here. She doesn't actually expect these barriers to stop him. Not if it's who she thinks it is. But that's not the point. Of course, the road is still in use by civilians, traders, travellers, and so forth, so there are likely to be others in the area who will be stopped and questioned for security reasons.
The daylight is fading. She suspects this man will attack under cover of darkness.
"Now, this isn't the time for games today," Shintaro says as he looks to Kozue before looking up and down the forest path for any suspicious looking travelers again. "Even if you see Tosai, you're to act completely civil and be on your guard." While this isn't his normal gig anymore, the Academy Instructor is doing exactly as ordered. He steps over to a man passing through who looks to be about in his fifties, first examining his eyes to check for things like Sharingan or Byakugan. "Halt for a moment, please… May I?" With that, he takes the man's bag and looks through it for a moment, finding nothing out of the ordinary. "You may pass. Safe journey, sir." With that, he looks back to Fuyu, giving a nod. While this whole business about something so dangerous it drew out the Hokage is a bit disturbing, the worst thing to do right now would be to panic. Plus, that would probably send Kozue into an anxiety attack. Turning his eyes back to the road before him, he watches patiently.
Kozue just nodded gently, the flesh about the girls eyes ocasionally becoming veiny, as her body struggled to fully recover from the…trouncing she recieved the day prior. "Hai. Sensei…what….exactly is happening?" she asked, moving to keep up, her hands holding her biceps, a nervous stance she seems to have.
Taji is along Fuyu's side, staying with his team leader, even as she has taken on other duties. It means he's been a bit of a shadow presence around the administration dome, staying out from under foot, but now that Fuyu-sama is off to investigate this thing, well… what kind of teamate would Taji be to not tag along and try to help out? He is keeping quiet, but near Fuyu, mostly watching things. He has a bit of a frown on his face as he takes in the forest path. His eyes glance this way and that as he looks for some sign of motion that shouldn't be there or some sign of a good spot for an ambush. He knows a bit about what is going on. He was at the Ankoku Cave, several times in fact, and he has seen the 'thing' to the North. Either way this whole thing has him on edge and he's keeping his gaurd up, as he moves quietly along with Fuyu.
As the sun disappears behind the horizon filled with a forest of trees, Yuzuna stands perfectly still several yards away, the dark robes of her kimono barely shifting from the lightest tugs of the wind while she keeps her narrowed eyes to the west. Not that her gaze was focused solely westward. The Hyuuga kunoichi had been summoned here hours before, for the sole reason if but to keep a careful lookout on their surroundings. Her pale opal eyes stare with intensity, the usual light, smooth skin along the corners of her eyes bulge with veins that lace towards her temple and branch at the edges of her forehead and cheeks. She was well aware of Shintaro and Kozue's approach, saying nothing as she remains perfectly still.
No one expected the first five years of peace after the Clan Wars, to be exactly peaceful. Tosai hadn't at all, surely. But the latest series of events within the stream of time-- large constructs of war, disorder in the court of the Land of Fire, even near by coast and cities destroyed at large scale by seemingly natural disaster-- Tosai never saw it coming. But to react with amazement and fear was not good for troop morale. A leader had to be cold, steel against the threats, reacting with a clear head. Tosai still hadn't got use to his roll as an elite but thats what those above him were for. He even now stood near the head Uchiha in charge, awaiting orders.
Fuyu is doing relatively little in terms of activity. She occasionally takes a walk around to ensure everything is as it should be, but mostly people are coming to HER with reports and questions. She is used to leading to some degree by this point. She may not have been the best choice to replace the former Uchiha Clan Head when he retired, but maintaining order and getting the job done is hardly new to her. Since her appointment, she has grown only more experienced in this regard.
But regardless of how she appears to others — stoic, determined, and yet also carrying a sense of ferocity and perhaps hostility in her gaze, even when she is not actually feeling such — she is nowhere near being relaxed. She is confident in her abilities, but arrogance is a trait she has been trying to do without for awhile now. And thus… She worries. She worries if she has thought through all the options, all the possible avenues of attack. Has she predicted this man's intentions adequately? Or will she wind up being a fool or an incompetent?
Absorbed in a mix of outward vigilance and inward contemplation, she barely notices Shintaro at first. When he sees that there is a Student tagging along with the teacher, her eyes snap to the girl quickly, and she frowns slightly. A moment later, she decides this is not the time. Infact, given who she thinks they are facing, having a child present may actually BENEFIT them. Uchiha Yau, better known as 'Rain', would not kill a child simply for being in the way.
"Tosai, the reports are that the one we are expecting will be approaching from the north. There are fewer towns and dwellings in that direction, so if he appears, see if you can drive him back in that direction," she instructs. She does not like the Akimichi much on the aesthetic level, but she doesn't need to like someone to make use of him. She tacks on as an afterthought, "And avoid dragging the battle near Kadomai if you wind up going that far. There is only so much he can do, and a heavy area-wide bombardment is the quickest way to either kill him or drive him off. Close-range combat would be a matter of skill and wits to achieve victory…" So she doesn't think that Tosai has either of those? That might be reading too much into it.
Taji is standing nearby, Yuzuna is scanning the area, Shintaro is checking to ensure that no one is using simple disguises or deception to sneak through… Kozue… She is a sort of 'back-up plan' that Fuyu hopes will not be necessary. What else should she be doing? Thumb and forefinger go the bridge of her nose as she thinks about this situation… And then there are sounds of yelling distantly. Not overly loud, but for those on-edge, they are quite audible. Then a much louder noise echoes through the forest. An explosion.
The civilians either freeze in surprise or start to flee. The former are ushered out of the area by the other ninja in the area, as various Genin-level and Chuunin-level ninja dart past and head north. "This is it…" Fuyu mutters. Only those close to her would hear.
"I don't really know all the details," Shintaro says with a sigh. "But it's not good… If it's as bad as I suspect, you'd best be prepared to run." Turning his eyes fully to Kozue for a moment, he says, "If it gets dangerous here, you are to flee. Do not try to stay and fight. You are not classified as a shinobi yet." With that, he looks back to the road, eyes cold as steel now. He walks over to another person, performing the same checks, and then another. Then, an explosion, and the Nara locks eyes on the path where many are running. "Crap, this is too close… Kozue, follow me." With that, he grabs her hand and leaps into the shadow of the forest to lead her to safety.
Kozue just narrowed her eyes and nodded. She wouldnt just betray her sence of honor, but she wouldnt throw her life away needlessly. She held her self tighter, shivering. "Sensei, something doesnt feel right. " she said softly, "Like someone was staring at me" she said looking around nervously, the girls nerves on end. At the sudden sound of explosion, the girl yelped and lowered her head.
Taji is still near Fuyu, quiet, watching, observing. He's just a genin and knows this could be well out of his league. And his one get out of jail for no apparent reason card was used up almost a year ago. The odds of that happening again with a major foe seems unlikely. He listens to the orders as Fuyu speaks to Tosai. But, then explosions? Taji frowns and looks in that direction then glances back to Fuyu for some kind of direction. Even if combat is about to happen, seems like Taji is planning on staying at Fuyu's side for the moment. "Fuyu-sama? What should I do?" He keeps his voice low, in hopes only Fuyu will hear it, but with all the excitement going on he may have to be louder than he wants to be sure he's heard. He looks torn between heading towards the explosions and keeping at Fuyu's side, and for the moment it seems the 'stay with Fuyu' side is winning Taji's mind over.
"Right…" was all the response the Akimichi needed to give to the woman. He didn't appear to be insulted by her comment though, the obvious displeasure at the whole situation could be read wrongly. "I suppose the interception of the target will come either before or after my demise, or my distraction, correct? I will do my best. After all, if all eyes or own me, then he won't see you all coming, unless you guys can see through walls… In that case, we're screwed." With that, Tosai was off and running.
The split second before the explosion booms, Yuzuna snaps her intense pale eyes in that direction, sharply narrowing her eyes at it in concentration while her fingers absently curl at her sides. "A massive amount of chakra… very strong, much more than a Jounin…" the Hyuuga kunoichi murmurs lightly to herself. Another full moment passes before Yuzuna blinks again, as if passively stunned while examining the chakra. "Something is off…" Glancing over her shoulder at Fuyu, she murmurs, "Orders?"
The large source of Chakra that Yuzuna has detected would likewise be not only visible to those with Doujutsu, but also eventually something that can be felt by ninja in the area >without< such gifts… This is no minor league trouble-maker. This is made abundantly clear when a tall tree that rises above the surrounding forest suddenly bursts into black flames. The flames are unnatural. They burn fiercely, destroying the pine that is likely dozens of years old, if not more than a century… And then the tree tilts and falls, timbers creaking and snapping, and crashes down >right in the path between Shintaro and Kozue<. It is possible to get around, and for an able ninja perhaps to even leap over it. But those flames…
Touching them is probably even more of a bad idea than with normal fire. The one responsible is coming closer and closer… And then he makes his appearance as a dozen ninja sudden go flying backwards through the air, crying out in pain and shock, as though an explosion had gone off right in front of them. But there was no explosion. There is just a man with a thick, shaggy mane of black hair, wearing red body armor, and standing in the position of one who has just swung a weapon. The weapon in his hand is a war fan, and upon it is the crest of the Uchiha Clan.
The man rises from his post-strike position calmly and smoothly, and looks upon the assembled Leaf ninja. His eyes are the red and black of the Sharingan, but they are markedly different in design from the standard Sharingan. It is in some ways similar, but the 'borders' of the iris and pupil, and even the three tomoe, are much thicker than normal. And three solid black 'bars' extend outwards at the top right, top left, and bottom of each eye.
Only one man bears such eyes.
Fuyu sees the black flames engulf the tree shortly before it begins to tip and fall over as it is eaten through by the unnatural fire. They somehow strike a memory deeply buried within her, but she only pauses for a moment before responding to Tosai and Yuzuna. "We can see chakra flow, but it does depend on the wall--" The Akimichi is already running off when she calls out, however. Turning quickly to Yuzuna, she says, "He might be boosting himself. There's no time to explain right now, but if you can break others out of Genjutsu then keep an eye on the Chakra stability of our forces. The target is highly adept with illusions."
She is expecting Uchiha Yau, or 'Rain', to appear in a moment. Taji's request for orders is answered with only a partially-completed sentence. "Tell anyone who gets near to that tree not to touch those flames and try to remain unsee--" She is interrupted when she hears and sees several ninja go flying backwards as a result of a single Taijutsu strike with… A war fan? As soon as one of the still-airborne Leaf shinobi's bodies is no longer concealing the one responsible, Fuyu inhales sharply, and her eyes widen. She would recognize that face anywhere. He is the man who trained her — the one who raised her, practically. The one she has retained her loyalty to throughout her entire life!
As he straightens up, Uchiha Fuyu asks quietly, in a confused tone of voice, "…Madara-sensei?" He looks calm, controlled, and yet even from appearance alone he radiates power. When his Chakra is taken into account… He is something akin to a god that walks upon the earth. Frowning, Fuyu closes her eyes briefly, and then activates her own Sharingan. She does not see any Genjutsu at work, no a Henge no Jutsu. This is not an illusion. This is not Rain playing tricks with her mind. This is… The real thing.
For all her battle experience, for all her purported 'legendary' skill, she simply stands there and stares, hesitating to give orders or take action. Others are likewise remaining in place, but that is more out of fear than anything else. Kozue was knocked down when that tree fell, and though she may have gotten to her feet she is still dangerously close to the black flames.
Rolling aside from the tree, Shintaro dodges it before leaping up and kicking off another tree's trunk to get back over it. He looks down the path toward the chaos. "I believe I'd lose my job if I let my Student get killed." Turning back to Kozue, he leaps back over the tree, intending to protect her until she can get around burning pine to the other side. "This is your escape. Go to the village and do not look back. That's an order." With that, he looks toward the armored man. This cannot be good. When he hears the name Madara, he freezes and looks back to Fuyu… What is going on here? Looking back and forth between Madara and Fuyu, he awaits an order.
Kozue's eyes went wide in fear as she paniced! She didnt know what to do, and thus, her instunct and training took over. She suddenly raked her hands down her arms, drawing two deep slices in her flesh, the blood ran from her easily, but the wounds werent that deep…right? Suddenly, there was a moist sound and two clones of the girl appeared, and they all darted in different directions, Kozue running blindly to find safety! She had to get away, had to find help…had to…..she blinked, and realised she was lost….in the panic she couldnt remember which way was which.
As the figure of Madara comes into view, with black flames on the tree and all, Taji blinks a few times, caught by surprise. He tenses and listens to the orders from Fuyu-sama intently but… he watches Fuyu's reaction then says, "Fuyu-sama, we need to get you out of here. With the Hokage away you're in charge. We can't afford to lose you…" The orders to remain unseen kind of seem to conflict with helping others avoid the flames, but since the source is known now, Taji's focus seems to be on getting Fuyu to back away. He even goes so far as to try to reach out a hand towards Fuyu, "Fuyu-sama, please… let the others fight this fight, or better yet, order a general retreat now that we know what is the cause of the trouble to the north." He suggests, his voice clearly carrying worry in its tones.
It was then Kaydin would arrive to try and offer relief. While he was merely a Genin, he had come when he had heard Yuzuna and Tosai were in the area, dressed in the general garb of the branch family with his forehead protector on his head. He would come to a stop when he could come into view of Madara, staggering to a stop as his eyes widened. "Madara-san…." He would say, greatly surprised at the appearance of the man, and then he would snap out of it, a neutral expression on his face as he would assume a Juuken stance. "This man is capable of killing us before we would take ten steps out of here." He says calmly to Taji, keeping his eyes on the man as veins would begin to bulge alongside his head, his white eyes becoming more piercing as he gazes at him.
The sound of blooming flames from behind Tosai, stopped Tosai clean in his tracks, enough for him to turn back, and head directly toward the fray. "Black?", was said outloud, before a sudden turn to Fuyu for explanation. Bodies are flying passed him, and even then the Akimichi seems not so much worried of those comrades, but whether the cause of their fall. Tosai looked to the explanation to Yuzuna from Fuyu, the words meaning nothing save for the use of Genjutsu that may be to come. "What do you mean boosting? You think Rain could have gotten stronger?" The questions came with an apparent tone of boiling anger, a deep raspy growl, as Tosai's height began to slowly, yet subtlely grow.
With the orders for to not touch the flames came into mind, Tosai, still unwary of the true danger, sought about to see what exactly was causing so many ninja to suddenly be tossed about. But then a muttered name cuts through the swath of noise and action enough for even Tosai's to widen. "Him??? Here??", is said with a expression of utter disbelief. "Fuyu-Taicho… This is bad… we need to either get these people out of here, and regroup or at leas-.." Tosai would turn to the woman, seeing hesitation that even /he/ knew wasn't common to the 'legendary' Uchiha Fuyu. "Hey!! Wake up!!!", was shouted into the woman's face, as she seem to suddenly blink out. If she had not, Tosai would then have begun to move, suddenly seeming to go into his own mode of direction. To all those who could listen, the Akimichi would say, "To all who can, get the injured to safety, and began retreat procedures. Get every Genin and other, out of here. I need any able bodied Jounin to move with me, and now!!!" Tosai would turn to Yuzuna, and say, "Make sure she comes to. I got see if I can at least provide some sort of wall for all this.", a smile on his face as suddenly, his chakra flare.
This was not good. Tosai needed Fuyu… a thought until now that the Akimichi never thought of in terms of any Uchiha, save Hinotori. For now, his back was turned as he was now moving toward what was now Madara's attack.
Yuzuna frowns faintly as Tosai suddenly takes off, bareling forward straight towards the action. She breathes out a light breath as she turns her head just slightly to shift her focus to Fuyu, though her intense pale opal eyes remain forward. "I can do that." she murmurs lightly, focus unyielding. The Uchiha recognizes Madara easily enough, though Yuzuna blinks lightly as the other kunoichi murmurs the name, hearing it. She knows the stories, even the terror whispered about the shinobi. Could this really be him? The Hyuuga kunoichi breathes out slowly when Tosai is forced to a sudden stop, relieved in part that he had enough smarts to avoid touching the unnatural flames.
Making a small flourish with his war fan, the spikey-haired man offers a mock bow to those assembled, and a faint smile. He does not actually look that amused by the situation, but he does not seem uncertain or displeased either. He is on control here. He has no need to fear any of those who face him. Even his former pupil, though her Sharingan has progressed to full 'completion' with its three tomoe, is hardly sufficient. And even if she possesses skills that would give most people trouble — tricks or tactics unknown to even him — he does not doubt for a moment he can overcome her. He >knows< her.
Rising once more, he calls out to Fuyu, "I see you've managed to crawl out from under the thumb of the Senju long enough to stand before me." Even as Kaydin prepares to fight if necessary, and Tosai tries to shield everyone, Madara seems disinterested. He is confident — even arrogant — but he has reason to be. "But now is not the time for our reunion, so I will have to cut this short."
Finally focusing his attention on those with the greatest Chakra in the area, he orders, "Flee back to your >masters< and tell them that one with great strength comes to destroy >all< of us. A ghost from the past, who seeks the removal of life itself from this world. I go to face him, but I will not do so alone. Send your strongest north, to the place where Ankoku Cave exits into a valley. It is there where the final battle will take place. Senju Hashiramako should probably be there, but if she is too busy with paperwork, I will understand completely."
He then sheathes his gunbai upon his back, and prepares to turn away. Half-way through the turn, his head comes back around so that he is looking at Fuyu… And then >Tosai<. "I know of you, child. I know of your hate for 'Rain'. I know you want to kill him. But I also know that your power is not sufficiently developed to defeat him." A pause as he looks forward again. "You will not get the chance to kill Rain, but you can still obtain your revenge. Yau, you see… …is already dead."
Fuyu breaks out of her trance only half-way when Taji tugs at her and the others likewise call to her. When Tosai yells in her face, she not only snaps out of it but also looks angry. "Get out of my face!" she yells back. She almost added on 'Sir Chubs-A-Lot', but manages to refrain. Finally focusing back on the situation, she calls out, "All of you withdraw. Take the wounded and flee. I will deal with this." She looks determined, but she lacks any intention to fight her teacher. When the others are gone, she can talk to him normally… Tell him what she has been doing, what she has found out, schedule a meeting at another time to plan their next step--
And then he speaks to her as though she was but an insect… Or a traitor. She takes a step back as though physically struck. His dismissal a moment later draws her back long enough to become utterly enraged. She is not on the same level as Madara by a longshot, nor the Hokage. But she is one of the strongest in the Leaf Village, and she is at her PERSONAL strongest when she is filled with hate. So, even though she has a limit to her maximum Chakra that is below the strongest of all shinobi… Right then, her Chakra pushes PAST that limit in a way that is not just visible to Doujutsu but detectable to those in the area as a sort of frigid emanation like cold fire that may leave physical pain on those nearest — like Taji.
She is radiating Killing Intent, but it is directed at Madara as she stares furiously at the man. He turns away, talking to Tosai instead of her. Babbling about Yau or Rain or whatever that trivial nitwit's name is at the moment. She begins to raise her hands to form a Horse seal, but though she is angry at her teacher for treating her this way… She is angrier at herself for giving him reason to do so. He is disappointed in her.
She failed to walk his path. She failed to follow through with her plans to destroy the Senju. She has had many opportunities, but she has been hesitating… Why? Because she's going soft. She was actually considering giving up on her dreams of vengeance. And now she is faced with the reality of the situation. Her own 'father-figure' looks down on her for her weakness. The shame is too great to bear. She has to make up for it… Starting NOW!
She is going to kill every last one of these Konohagakure rats this moment, and prove to Madara that she did not abandon him! To those around her, however, the only thing really obvious is that she is preparing to attack. Her target can be assumed to be the man responsible for this commotion. The fact that there are at least two dozen Leaf ninja also in front of her and thus within range of her area-wide attacks is unlikely to even occur to any of her 'allies'.
"This… is not good," Shintaro says, eyes focusing on Madara. As Tosai shouts orders, the Nara looks back to him. Running… It doesn't seem like it will do any good. Jounin? Would they even do any good against this man? He looks back to Madara, preparing to go into a string of seals if need be, but he listens for now. Destroy them all… It's quite possible the man could do it. When his attention turns to Tosai, Shintaro looks to the Akimichi for a moment, hoping he will not be provoked to go at Madara alone. When Fuyu prepares to attack, he takes a few steps back into the trees, preparing to move through the shadows if need be.
Taji is right there at Fuyu's side and winces at the chakra or… whatever it is that is exuding from Fuyu. When she starts to make the hand signs for an attack, Taji looks more than a little worried, "S… stop!" He harshly whispers to Fuyu, "He's letting us go, don't make him want to destroy us all…" He glances back towards Madara then back to Fuyu, not knowing she is even thinking of attacking her own village-mates let alone perhaps her own teammates. "Please, just… let's go, he's not worth getting so angry over." Despite the apparent pain of just being near Fuyu at this point Taji tries to reach out again to try to get her attention, to get her to stop whatever it is she's planning. "Fuyu-sama…." His words are strained as it clearly brings some pain to even attempt to touch Fuyu right now.
Yuzuna narrows her eyes at Madara as he mockingly bows towards the gathered shinobi, especially at his words of warning, that some ghost of a shinobi from their past is coming to destroy everything. Though the mention of this 'final battle' sounded suspicious at best to her. She blinks her pale eyes at him, silent as she watches the conversation between him and Tosai. Though it isn't difficult to sense the building chakra behind her, from Fuyu. She turns her ebony head to glance over her shoulder, narrowing her intense, opal gaze of the Byakugan.
Kaydin continues to watch the man and he then shakes his head. "This man is powerful enough to destroy any one of us here. He is giving us a chance to go. The wisest thing to do is to withdraw." He says to those who would hear him, gesturing to Yuzuna. "Yuzuna-sama, what is your decision?" He asks as he waits for her decision, not really trusting this many Uchiha, seeing Fuyu with her killing intent made him even more nervous.
Uchiha Madara. The man who /could/ have been Kage. The man whose hate of the Senju was so great, that he seemingly gave up the potential rule and control over of every ninja in the Land of Fire, only to leave for his own reasons. Tosai couldn't believe his eyes, though both eye and all of his senses were giving him the most clear of confirmations. He couldn't sense chakra. He couldn't see through auras or anything like that. So to rely on pure training, was his only way to tell. The cocky smuggness of the man to not only attack, but then /warn/ Konoha that something else was out there. Tosai listened but even he had a hard time battling his urge to rebuttle this legendary figure for his attack upon those of his village.
But Madara's words had already defeated the Akimichi, stunning him more than any jutsu could. He had been addressed, and with that came information much more dissatisfying, and informing than any he had heard in a while. "…Rain? Dead?" Tosai's jaw dropped for more than one reason, the revelation hitting him square. Had Madara kept an eye on him? In fact, was he still watching Konoha, and the world after all this time? And what did he mean about being still able to take revenge? "How can I can kill a dead man?? Are you responsible?? And if you have done our work for us, then why this? Why not simply just report this to the Kage, in person? No one could stop you.", Tosai's arms gesturing across the scope of the man's handywork.
Madara lowers his head somewhat, and a smile spreads across his face. His shoulders jump for a moment as he lets out a, 'Hmph.' Then they shake a bit more as he chuckles to himself. "Save >your< Chakra and >my< time," he offers eventually. Whom he is addressing is not clear. It might be Fuyu, it might be Shintaro, it might be all of them. His next comment is more easily identified as being meant for his former student. "You will have your chance to make ammends and to prove yourself, Fuyu. This is not the time. As I said, there is a bigger threat. Do as your little friend says." Ah, so he >did< notice Taji. He turns back to those facing him, his chin high and says, "He is dead, but not by my hand. Your revenge can be obtained still by destroying all that he sought in life and denying his wishes for after his death. The reason this threat faces us now is that Rain willingly traded his life — and his >body< — to a being who had been cursed to an existence as an immaterial phantom. He was betrayed by this monster and will never again be able to threaten you or others. But the monster himself now has a body and a life of his own, and he plans to use them to complete the plan he began over a thousand years ago… When the Sage of the Six Paths sealed him away to begin with."
Well, that is quite the informational bombshell. And he's >not done<. "Akimichi Tosai, Rain — in his lust for power and disregard for the lives of others — has unleashed upon the world a horribly powerful menace. He is the Eldest Son of the Sage of the Six Paths. He would see your world; my world; and >all< worlds unmade. He would stop the stars from shining, the winds from blowing, and tear apart the universe itself as the seams. If he is not stopped here and now, he will find a way to accomplish this goal. This is the legacy of Uchiha Yau, traitor to all living things. Destroy Rain's 'ally' and all of his plans will be undone. You will be a hero >and< will have proven yourself better than the one you hate most."
Madara looks up at the night sky with his red-and-black eyes. The sun set while all this was going on. Then he says, "As for why I announced myself in this manner… The Hokage is not >in< this Village right now, and would any of you have believed me if I had simply walked up and asked you to help?" He lowers his gaze, looking into the eyes of the two Hyuuga present, with their Byakugan fully active. Something he sees there apparently amuses him. Perhaps it is the distrust even though the Leaf Village was supposed to have been a way of >uniting< the Clans. The Nara boy will hopefully be wise and leave the attempts at trickery to his betters, but what they lack in power they make up for in strategic planning. Until he has actually left this place, he will remain at least peripherally aware of Shintaro and his movements.%r%t"The true path to peace is >power<. All the love of one person, or a hundred, or a thousand, will not make the whole world abandon their hatred or seek peace. They will come up with their petty justifications to continue war. Only by having the power to make all people stop killing each other over imagined differences will peace be achieved. I have come to you not with love, but with a display of my power. Will you seek peace?" Then flames begin to burn slowly, starting at his feet, and creeping upwards. They leave behind empty air. "…Or will you be destroyed alongside the others who are hungry for bloodshed?"
"Perhaps I might defeat this enemy alone, but I would have to make use of resources I would rather hold in reserve. Send your strongest. I will be waiting. Your 'queen' claims she desires peace, but can the Senju and their minions actually follow through with their promises? Can you put aside your enmity towards me and fight at my side against a common enemy? That will be up to your dictator to decide… Or those individuals who have the spine to act without orders."
Fuyu hesitates when Taji grasps her and pleads for her to not fight. The Genin is unaware that Fuyu intended to kill her own team members, not her teacher. And so the combination of remembering the time she has spent with Taji, and to hear the concern in the youth's voice not for himself but for Fuyu… The guilt she feels conflicts with the hatred, anger, and shame she already felt. And she loses focus completely when Madara tells her this is 'not the time', but that she will have her chance. Her Chakra loses its frigid, painful intensity, though it remains at the same general level. It is just not as 'potent' as it was before. The strength has left it, even if the AMOUNT is the same. But despite all that energy she has gathered, she feels the fight drain out of her. She no longer has any desire to battle, and certainly not to kill everyone here. She doesn't know if it was temporary insanity or if Madara has suppressed her emotions with his Mangekyou Sharingan somehow, but she just feels… Weakened and tired.
"…Fine. There's no fighting today. He's letting us go, so get going." She looks at Madara apprehensively. Does he really want all of Konoha's strongest ninja to travel beyond Ankoku Cave to some valley… To fight alongside him? Is this mysterious enemy the one who--
Her own red-and-black eyes widen. "…The Void," she says out loud. Taji would know to what that refers, of course, but not why she is mentioning it. Fuyu explains further, "The Void that was found in the Land of Rivers… That the Hokage went to investigate… This 'Eldest Son'…" She leans forward and demands of her teacher, "…This monster is the one who made the Void and caused the Twilight Village to vanish within it, isn't he!?"
Regardless of the answer, she suspects this is not solely a trick or trap. One is likely PART of it, but it makes too much sense. Rain was TALKING to someone in Ankoku Cave. Someone that Fuyu couldn't see. Someone who was a GHOST. And that ghost is now among the living once more. "Even if no one else agrees to assist you…" she clenches her hands into fists tightly enough that the tensing of muscles is audible. "…I will still be there to help you, sensei!"
Her words hang on the air, but she does not wait for a response. "Let's go!" She turns and prepares to leave, giving out orders to various Chuunin and Genin on-site to help the injured out of here. Luckily none of them are seriously hurt, but either way… She looks to Yuzuna and Kaydin. If Genjutsu or other trickery is at work here, she expects they would have done something by now — especially Yuzuna. They have not, so she relaxes somewhat.
As dangerous as this man had been known to be… as inverse to the Hokage as this man was in nature… Even as cocky, and as utterly dark as this man never pretended to be… He was making complete an utter sense to Tosai. But with this understanding of the Akimichi came a great fear. "Hold on… So you mean to tell me, that the /son/… the oldest child of the founder of /all/ Jutsu… The offspring of a /god/ worshipped in Ninshuu, who may or not be a couple of hundred, even /thousands/ years old, exists and is trying to destroy us all? Not only that, but Rain, was just a minion to all this? Really? I am sorry but, not even a legend is incapable of lying. …But in the end, this seems too big to /not/ be true." Tosai looked at the man as he continued on with his urging. Tosai didn't mind the sound of being a hero. Every ninja born dreams of one day being the one who saves everyone. But even then, reality sets in when people die, and soon they end up being able to only save those that /don't/ matter, and never being able to save those that do.
Tosai's thoughts went from skeptical, to down right serious. His head hung slightly at the thought, not of what he could possibly accomplish, but what could possibly happen to everyone he cared dear for. Everyone he /loved/. That is when the harshness seemingly most Uchiha came equiped with, began to offend him. When the man told of his reasons for coming, Tosai did sweatdrop at the thought of him actually trying to come to the front gate. Likely Tosai would have been there attacking as well. "Hehe… you got a point there," was said with a nervous scratch of the neck. Though still, Tosai was bothered by this man
"You know what… Despite how much I hate Rain… How much I actually still want to taste the blood of that man… I mourn him right now. It was because of his antagonism, and his outright wish for this same power that is supposed to bring peace that I am now stronger and more determined to act. He and I talked, not as enemies in some cases, but, as any elder would to a student, the same as I am sure you may have with those you have taught. I understand what it is to stand. One thing that this man helped me to affirm, is that you, and he, are wrong. I believe that in my heart. It is not my desire for power for which I stand, and want for peace. But it is my love for those whom I wish to protect. I will not stand against this… being that you warn of because he may end us all, but because he threatens the very way of life of those that I care about." Tosai looked on proudly, his large chest sticking out, even as he stood yet speaking to this man who was more than.
Watching the event unfold for a moment, the Nara gets a bit nervous about what might happen. He ponders a moment, figuring he should at least try to give them a chance to get more information or even try to capture the man. It could be vital to the village. "…Screw it," Shintaro says in a low voice to himself as he steps back, his shadow blending with that of the trees and coming up to wrap him in a cloak. As he is about to begin to move through the shadows, Madara's words ring out to him, and he steps back out. If the man already knows what he was going to do, it's better to not get himself killed here. As he waits, he listens to what Madara says, trying to find the enmity in them, yet… The words spoken make a lot of sense to him. Fuyu's words draw his eyes to her, but he says nothing. "Hai," he says, turning to grab of a couple of the injured folk and assist them back toward the village.
Taji is simply relieved that Fuyu is agreeing to return to the village. He has no idea how close they came to being the subjects of Fuyu's wrath. All he knows is he was worried about his team leader and she's apparently calming down a bit. He looks at his fingers, the pain lingering a tad but not much as he glances back over his shoulder at Madara even as he turns to leave with the rest. He stays quiet now, at least the group is doing what he wanted in the first place. A fight with Madara, so recently after the invasion by Kiri would be a bad turn of events for both Konohagakure and the Land of Fire in general. Still, Taji stays by Fuyu's side, perhaps worried she'll decide things are calmed down here and she might go after Madara herself? It is unclear but he is keeping close to her. Still that shouldn't be seen as so unusual considering they are on the same team.
Yuzuna blinks her bright pale eyes at Madara in silent shock for several moments, though the words blurt out of her mouth without her realizing it. "The phantom? Is this the same creature that forced Rain-san to take over Konoha and took the Clan Heads as prisoners in the Hokage's office? The same thing that took the baby?" Her frown deepens slightly, distracted between Madara and Fuyu as her chakra begins to fade from its previously dangerous levels, though still there. Yuzuna flicks her attention to the others, watching them, even the few that begin to back away once they knew that Madara had no intentions of fighting them. At least, not right now anyways. The shadow thing or whatever it was will probably have its chance soon enough in whatever plans it has. she looks back to Kaydin and narrows her Byakugan faintly, "Come." The kunoichi rolls her shoulders ever so slightly, taking a few careful steps back without turning her attentions away from the Uchiha. Both Madara and Fuyu.
Madara listens to all who speak. Whether he knows them or not, whetherthey promise to aid him, deny his philosophy on life, or just plain want to get out of here as quickly as possible, he affords all who step forward and say something his personal attention. But in the end, regardless of where each person stands in relation to him and the menace that is the Void… He just smiles when he sees the looks of distrust and caution being levelled at him and Fuyu both by the two Hyuuga.
He just loves when a plan comes together.
The flames consume his face and then his head… And then he is gone. Presumably he will be waiting to the north, at a certain valley, for the strongest of the Leaf's ninja to aid him in battle. But if that is actually the case or not… Only time will tell.