The Silence - Challenging the Dark Lord


Yuuma, Oda, Soubi, Tsuchi, Naoya, Hiei, Michiko, Yuriko

Date: November 5, 2014


Shinobi from a few different villages answer a distress call from an island in the Land of the Sea.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"The Silence - Challenging the Dark Lord"

The Land of the Sea

With the approach of evening time, an emergency distress call came ringing to the Kirigakure and anyone else who would listen. It's not often that this group of monks who generally shun the approach of any outsiders at all speak to anyone in the outside world aside from buying goods. For them to raise an alarm to the outside world must mean they are in dire straits. Ships approaching in the dark would find themselves going toward an island in the far southeast corner of the Land of the Sea, almost far out enough to not be within the nations anymore. Through the dark of night, pillars of glowing red are raised up around this island with only a single exit allowed, which is surrounded by hordes of the Silence's mercenaries that line the village walls inside and outside the barrier. Something gruesome is going down here.

Inside the barrier, Fuzen Yuuma stands in the village center with his men surrounding a group of dozens of monks. A dark smirk adorns his face as he looks across the men, saying, "So you're the order that those men at the cave came from the other day, huh? I've gotta say. I expected a lot more out of them… and I expected a lot more of a fight out of you."

There is some murmuring among the monks before an elderly man among them steps out to face Yuuma, saying, "We only withheld from fighting so that we could try and dissuade you from this path you are on. The darkness you're trying to control, the chaos it will bring… They are not things one can hope to keep in reign. Can you not see what the things you are doing will do to this world?"

Oda was the initial one sent to respond, only because he had been within the Mizukage's office at the time. The young boy was already on the move, standing on the deck of one of the response ships. His arms were crossed, and he was staring directly at the large red pillars in thought. That definitely was a barrier, and he is not too experienced with them. He eyes the entrance way. Seeing the hoarde standing at the way in, he takes in a slow, long breath.

He's not close enough yet. He just narrows his eye some and looks back over his shoulder.

"We won't have much time to prepare, get yourself ready as fast as you can, it's the Silence that the Kage was speaking of.

Soubi was out on business, and who would have known that business would lead her into the Land of Sea. While out and about expanding influence the young woman found herself answering a distress call, if only to satisfy her own questions in regards to the silence members. She didn't come with anything else. She could be seen standing tall along a lone row boat, black and red clouded cloak bellowing in the wind as the boat was pushed towards the main docks. her features were covered in shadows as a curtained straw hat rested on top of her head. It was a good time for her to take notice of who else may be coming along. Storming the Silence base was a bad idea to do on her own, she would use them to get close enough.

Standing on the bow of one of the response ships, Sasaki Tsuchi has a leg up on the deck and stares as the red columns flow up in the distance. Almost immediately she turns and bites her finger before slamming her hand down. Moments later Sora, a ferret of near human size appears beside her and looks at Tsuchi before looking in the direction of the island they are approaching. She then points, "We have a group of enemies on that island, I believe they are the same ones who attacked Sunagakure and could eat chakra. You recall?" Sora nods in response and Tsuchi continues as she moves back to the bow and Sora moves up beside her, "Lets be ready. I won't be calling Maki, she isn't tested well enough for an enemy like this." She nods her head and then looks to Sora.

Sora nods his head in response to this and frowns, "She won't be happy, you know? This is exactly the reason she came to you." Sora blinks up at Tsuchi and then looks forward, "She wanted a chance to prove herself to the Chief. She's going to be very cross." Tsuchi shakes her head in response.

"And imagine how cross her father would be if I had to send her back to him dead?" She hmms to Sora.

Sitting with his back against the railing of one of the several ships sent out to investigate the distress signals sat a young teen. Rather than sitting in silence, those close could hear him muttering to himself, speaking to someone or something unseen. 'Focus.. We'll be there soon.. No, that isn't ready just yet.. We'll try it next time.. Yes.. We'll be trying that again, don't bury me though..' Lifting his chin, Naoya begins to look around the deck slowly as they neared the Land of Sea. The teen was wrapped in a thin cloak, half drenched with misted waves though with a pat of his hand, the water splashes from him, leaving him somewhat drier from before.

Although the distress signal didn't exactly reach Kumo, Hiei was returning home from a mission when he heard about it. He quickly sent a missive via messenger hawk to his village to inform them of the situation, then he caught a boat that was going towards the island where the disturbance was taking place. After popping some of the sea sickness medicine that was given to him by Hiroyasu, he is trying to keep from emptying the contents of his stomach as he finds himself on a boat with some Kiri shinobi. Having worked with the Mist ninja before, he had been cordial to them, nodding a greeting whenever he sees one about. He focuses his thoughts towards the task at hand. He could maybe infiltrate the group on his own, but having battled the Silence and the Hitokage before, he knew that course of action would be suicide. So now he stands towards the bow of the boat, arms crossed over his massive chest as he stares out at the horizon. He felt good. He felt ready. This fight would be difficult, but he was looking forward to it.

Michiko heard the call, and quite clearly too. She had a feeling the Silence was going to rear their heads soon, so she was prepared to move at a moment's notice. The girl makes her way to the Land of Sea… Somehow… It was a nice boat that got her to the destination. "Thanks for the ride, sir. You're free to leave once we dock. I don't want you caught up in his mess." The man gives her a blank stare, obviously wanting to get away as soon as possible. She must have been paying him well for the man to get so close… Her eyes scan the island, studying it warily. "I hope I'm ready…" she mutters under her breath, focusing her chakra for the upcoming battle that's likely to take place. She's nowhere near the Kiri-nin that have arrived, nor is she close to Tsuchi and Sora. She somehow managed to make it by her own power. The people she's likely to be fighting alongside, though, are hopefully not going to attack her. Maybe she'll even know one or two. The girl requests the boatman she hired to move a bit closer to them while still nearing the island.

Yuriko exhales a longer breath as she pulls her cloak a bit further around her, shielding herself from the wind off of the sea while the ships race ahead towards the Land of Sea. A country she's never been to before. Seeing movement out of the corner of her eye, the Kaguya girl turns her wind-blown snowy hair to glance at the others. Fellow shinobi from Kirigakure summoned at short notice. Yuriko is quiet as she catches portions of conversations, but most have their attention on the island ahead. On the horde of Silence that await.

"Actually, yes, I know exactly what it is that I'm doing," Yuuma says, chuckling a bit as he lifts a bottle of sake to uncork it and take a sip. "The problem is, you on the other hand don't seem to realize what exactly YOU have done. You may think you're being noble by offering your lives and that, even if you die, it'll only satisfy a minuscule amount of the Crawler's hunger, right?" He'd wait a moment, peering around as some of them nod. "But that's where you're wrong. You see, my bald friends, what you think your reality is comes crashing down on you like an avalanche from the heavens when I step into the picture." With that he'd move through a set of handseals and slam his hand on the ground, creating a massive seal pattern that grows out to literally surround the entire village inside the barrier, even under his own men's feet. "Now if you will, your chakra please, gentlemen."

Despite what's happening to them, the monks seem to show no fear, despite their chakra beginning to drain out in mass. "… If you won't listen to reason, I guess we have no choice… NOW!" the eldest man shouts out, each monk grabbing a blade within his robe and going to stab himself through the gut to try and prevent Yuuma from taking their chakra for his bidding. However, a sheen of chakra would then appear around of each them, their bodies freezing in place before they can do themselves harm.

"Sorry, guys. I'm onto that one," Yuuma says, chuckling a bit as he picks up the bottle of sake again to begin sipping while the monks are drained continuously of their chakra, their skin even beginning to turn a bit pale. Just then a man would flicker to appear in front of Yuuma and hand him a message, which the dark warlord picks up with his free hand to glance over. "Interesting. Looks like we've got company." He looks over at the elderly monk then, giving a menacing wink as he says, "So nice of you to invite more people for me. I need all the chakra I can get. You monks just don't know when to stop giving." He then looks back to the man who appeared, saying, "Give the order to prepare for battle. Let's have some fun, boys."

Just as the man flickers away again, a moment later flickers of flame begin to be seen all across the edges of the barrier, moving across. Those who've been in battles with these men before at least likely have an idea of what's coming, as the flames move upward and then are fired, revealed to be arrows coming down at each ship by the dozen in a rain of arrow designed to set the ships ablaze and destroy any on board not capable of defending themselves from their fiery artillery.

The moment the flickers of fire are in the air, Oda bellows at the top of his lungs.
He shoots sideways across the deck, slamming hard into one of the railings for cover. The majority of the arrows land around him, but he winds up with more than a couple inside of his arm and thigh. He growls deep, the searing of the heat was enough to stop most of the bleeding…until he breaks them off in his leg.
"Definitely Silence…"
He looks up about the time he hears his boat slam into the shore, beaching itself as men on board attempt to recover from the attack.
"Alright now! Everyone charge! Direct for their left flanks and focus! Bend them back around their archers!"

No one she truly recognized was visible on the boats as she looked around, then again she never had most attention towards Kirigakure. Nevertheless she continued forward, stepping upon the dock and brushing off her bellowing cloak. "So much for sneaking in for a better look…" Soubi comments, her tone quiet and inaudible. Once the attacks ran upon the docks Soubi merely frowns from behind her straw hat. She happens to side step a few of the flaming arrows while batting away others using the water from the sea, rotating about her body like a wisp of rotating streams. "If this is the strength of the Silence I'm quite disappointed," With that she gestures for the others to move forward, of course she didn't need to, Oda began to direct everyone to charge…Something Soubi was not going to be doing. She waited for others to take the lead, not wanting to waste time in what would be a fruitless push. She wasn't here for a slaughter.

A look back at the people on her ship before she nods, "I do hope everyone is ready for this. I doubt they're going to let us land on that shore without a fight." She then looks forward and chuckles as she watches the shore light up as people light up their arrows in preperations for firing upon the ships. She glances over at Sora and then grins at him, "So, you ready?" She grins at the ferret and it simply grins back. Even as the arrows are fired upward, she looks back at the Captain and calls out, "Just keep sailing forward, don't even bother trying to dodge." She grins and then immediately starts in on hand seals even while Sora joins in to provide a portion of the needed chakra. The power flows through both even as she finishes the last seal while calling, "Sky Style: Squall Line!" With a flip from both they both land on the railing at the bow, hands down before bringing both sets of hands up suddenly. Out before the ship, the very sea lurches for a moment as a massive wall of pure wind flows upward before the ship in a massive, nearly deafening burst of wind. The arrows rain down against the easily 50 foot across wall who's peak is unclear in the night as those burning arrows are simply flicked upward and away with the massive wind wall. Even as the pair hops down and brushes off their hands, the ship passing through the dying wall like it were cutting a wave. Even as she finishes, grinning as she looks back at the others then looks forward. In the distance, one can hear the faint sound of a sea wind rushing away even as the stars in the distant sky begin to be blotted out by the forming of a few clouds.

Standing up as he heard the shouts from one of the ships and begins to look around, it wasn't long before he turns to look towards the coast and into the air towards the up comming onslaught. The threads against his body tense as he quickly dashes to one side while bringing his left arm up, letting the arrow cut into the silken padding, guiding it away from him safely. Preparing himself for the next wave, he watches as it ripples past, caught within a storm's sudden gale. "Geeze just how many of them are there? Turning to the side, he begins to look around the deck trying to see how the others on the exposed deck were."

Hiei watches as the group begin to fire their arrows. "Predictable." He murmurs to himself as his hand moves to grasp the hilt of the katana on his back. However, before he could act, a young shinobi and a ferret leaps up onto the railing and uses wind to propel the arrows away from the boat itself. Hiei looks vaguely impressed. "Huh. Not bad." He comments towards Tsuchi. The Yotsuki general leaps up onto the rail himself while looking towards the shore. "Well. I won't be much good out here." He notices a group pushing towards the shore from another boat and decides to join them. He leaps over the side, his feet landing on the surface of the water. He then begins to run ahead of the boat towards the shore…and the archers. Perhaps tonight would be the night he could finally cross blades with one of the leaders of the Silence.

Michiko curses as the flaming arrows near her ship. It's right about now she wishes that she could manipulate water instead of earth, but she has to work with what she has. The girl makes a few handseals, fire coming from her mouth to cloak the boat in fire. It doesn't harm the wood, which is good. In fact, it engulfs the boat in a way that it's impossible to see the small boat. Michiko's jutsu is enough that the boat is able to avoid the damage that could come from the flaming arrows, but she ends up getting struck by several of the attacks. A slight wince as she gets burnt, the Iwata tearing the arrow out of her. "Dangit…" she curses. "Turn this boat around /now/. I can get to the island from here like this," she orders the boatman, dashing across the water to a ship nearby. Tsuchi's ship, actually, as the girl thought she recognized a certain Yotsuki coming from it…

Tree and Water-walking are proving their use again, the girl using both to traverse the water and climb into the ship. If questioned, she would explain who she was, pointing to the Kumogakure headband and the injuries she had just sustained, as well as pointing to the small retreating boat that was quite a ways away. Otherwise she would just take a second to oversee the injuries she had received moments ago, hiding out in the far back of the boat before she dives into the fight on the island.

The flames streak through the air as they arc above, coming closer to her boat as they aim to light it ablaze. She couldn't help the slight smirk that teases at the corner of her lips as she takes two graceful steps to the side, easily avoiding the pair of arrows that would do the most damage if they caught her by surprise. However unlikely this may be. "Let's just hope it is the Silence. Not that it will change their fate." The smallest Kaguya murmurs lightly to herself, a hand slipping from underneath her cloak to brush her snowy bangs from her eyes.

Without removing her gaze from the shoreline, Yuriko takes a few careful steps along the deck, coming alongside Naoya as her small smirk grows. The anticipation for blood spilt evident. "You ready to add to our head count?" Yuriko asks, bright eyes sparkling as she gives the Okumo boy a glance out of the corner of her aquamarine eyes.

As an arm lifts, the cloaking keeping her warm is brushed over her shoulders, revealing the ivory body suit beneath. As she chuckles to herself, several sharp ivory talons split through her flesh at the elbows, knees, and other joints, turning her into a human porcupine. "This will be fun."

Within the village, once in a while Yuuma receives a report as the ships continue to come their way. He seems rather relaxed, that dark smirk remaining on his face as he takes a seat on a chair brought from one of the buildings to sit and wait as the chakra is drained from the monks. "Tell the men inside the barrier to hold their ground. The ones outside can handle it," he says, which brings a blink from the man before he vanishes to give the orders.

Outside more and more arrows continue to rain down on the ships and the shinobi in them. Some may be a bit concerned that there's no backup coming to support the fire just yet, but they figure the boss has a plan, and so they just keep on with their orders in attempting to stop or at least slow down the shinobi from being able to enter the barrier before Yuuma is good and ready for them.

Troublesome is what things were coming to be. The constant array of arrows continued to flash and rain down upon them, she looks back at the team that happened to be coming up along the shore but they happened to not be a concern for her. More wisps of water joined and circled about her form, keeping the techniques swatted away while her form appeared to slip out of existance and reappear even more closely. " A single attack then," Soubi states placing a finger against her lips, head tipped towards the sky. Suddenly a massive fire ball forced upwards like artillery, coming down upon the archers from afar with a calculated explosion. Finally he pace began to pick up, attempting to move as quick as possible on the archer's position, though it seemed she still didn't intend to fight them head on.

ONce more, the blast of wind deflects arrows even as she grins after Hiei. She looks to Michiko before hurrming as she gets cut and burned by a passing arrow. She frowns before she focuses more chakra, "He has the right idea, Sora." She looks back toward the head of the ship, "I can't keep protecting you! Get out of range and I'm heading in." SHe nods and then towards Michiko she calls, "If you are joining in, I recommend leaving ship!" She dives off the ship, flipping before she hits the waves and starts running toward shore even as more clouds begin to form in the sky. SHe rushes toward shore with Sora right beside her even as her ship turns back out and away from the island, "Looks like it's gonna be a stormy one tonight."

Starting to make his way towards the front of the ship, Naoya moves rapidly from the right and the left, trying to push off the arrows as they came in, though he wasn't as fortunate as before, a few of the arrows cut deep into the matted webbing, cutting into him. "Oda-san, Yuriko-chan, we're too much of a target on the ship, we have to sprint ahead!" Not waiting for much acknowledgement, the young Okumo jumps from the ship once they were closer to the docks and lands onto the water, running along it's surface quickly.

As he runs along the surface of the water, Hiei sees the arrows coming for him again and draws the katana from his back, leaving the wakazashi in it's sheath for the moment. He spins his blade in his hand in front of him, parrying the arrows to the side, sending them into the water where they hiss softly as the fire is put out. Sliding the sword back into it's sheath, his fingers blur as he forms handseals. Lightning circles around his body and then along his arm until it pools around his forefinger. Pointing his finger towards one of the archers, a bolt of zig-zagging lightning expels from his finger tip. He wanted to get beyond that barrier, but he knew that he'd have to deal with the archers first.

A nod is given to Tsuchi as she gets ready for the next wave of attacks. "Okay, that's it…" Michiko mutters, seeing the arrows come raining down again. A quick burst of fire sends the girl high, moving towards the island while using the fire she expelled as a sort of propeller. The girl lands neatly atop the water, fire wreathing around her, cloaking her from further harm as she advances further, the girl actually attempting to move onto the island where earth was located.

Even as she nears the island, she's making handseals, Michiko's hands a blur as they go through the familiar motions. She knows what she's doing, it seems, as she sends three bolts of fire at the enemy archers. The last one leaves something to be desired, sure, but so much fire in such rapid bursts can be tiring, and the constant emission for water walking doesn't help. "I hope those hit…" she says quietly, already working on her next move.

More arrows are headed for them as a second wave is released into the air. Her upper lip curls with an irritable scowl. "Annoying." She takes a few quick, graceful steps, avoiding the first arrow but the second hits her arm. Yuriko growls to herself, reaching up to quickly yank the flaming arrow free of her limb, tearing away flesh and releasing blood as she does, though her body was already healing itself.

"Pests need to be put in their place…" And taking Tsuchi and Naoya's advice, the small Kaguya dashes for the ship's railing. Innocent laughter is heard on the wind as Yuriko flips over the side of the ship and lands on the ocean waves, already dashing straight for the shoreline as her hands stretch their fingers. The skin at her palms split open as the bone becomes visible, quickly forming and building onto itself before a pair of arched ivory blades are squeezed tight in her grip. Racing ahead with other shinobi, Yuriko laughs with delight as she throws her blades ahead at the archers, as if her weapons were boomerangs.

Oda sees the next volley coming, and he has no time to really move except to go one way. He slams his feet into the deck and pushes clean through the railing. He manages to avoid most of the rounds, landing on the shoreline, but he again finds three arrows buried into his arm and shoulder. Now he's hurting and he's not even off of the boat. He growls low a second as he breaks those off too. As he sees ninjutsu beginning to fly, he puts his back against the side of the boat so that he is properly blocked from the sky.
He at least has cover, and enough time to think. As he hears his men landing around him and charging into the fight as well, he just takes in a long, deep breath and focuses.
His eyes close, he goes quiet, and then slowly nods.
"Large force…something is draining energy from the men inside…"
Oda keeps tucked under the boat, simply assessing the situation while sensing what's going on within. He also tries to find any Kiri shinobi he may recognize in doing this, picking apart anyone familiar in any way. Unfortunately, he only recognizes two…
"Not good."

Despite the melee coming their way, the mercenaries do not stop their firing, even those being struck down continuing to fire as long as they can muster. Still, there are dozens of them, and those who are now at melee range begin to strike with swords and machetes at the shinobi before them with intent to kill.
Inside, despite the reports of his men being met with such force, Yuuma seems quite calm. He merely continues to give orders per normal and sips on his sake, once in a while glancing over toward the continually paling monks. "Pity. I'd hoped to make you endure just a bit longer to see what's coming. Looks like I'll need to close the trap a bit quicker."

Soubi wasn't to waste any time. Getting closer and closer to her destination met that things had became increasing difficult in fending the attacks. Her stoicness seemed to wear off after the first melee attacks had came through, tathering the sleeve of her cloak, blood soon coming from her wound. She shrugged off the attacks however and countered back with her own, a hand reching down into her cloak revealing a wakizashi, followed by a swift set of slashes to bring her assaulters down, hopefully with ease. Soubi continued to press forward, weaving through anyone who may stand in her way, attempting to approach the barrier.

For her part, she dashes through the most recent attacks and then looks to the others here before she rushes up to Hiei even as he seems to be attacking the others here. SHe looks at him and then looks toward the dome, "I don't know about you, but fighting with these idiots is not the best of plan." Sora, the ferret nods in agreement, even as she points toward the dome, "We need to set a few people here to deal with the peons, you, myself, and at least one other need to clear a direct path to that dome and end this here and now!" She calls even as she turns, "I can create you that path but you have to be ready to go through it when I do." She nods her head, "We seriously can't let this stand." She then looks over toward the others in the attack even as Sora moves up with her, prepared to do what is necessary, "When I create these whirlwinds, we'll have to move fast, and let others clean up. These soldiers are not the objective."

A snarl sets into the young Okumo's face as another arrow buries into his arm though several others only manage to get trapped into the webbing around it. It would only be a moment before Naoya lands onto the keep's lower wall and afterwards almost seem to flicker out of sight as he rushed along the length of the wall and towards the archer's nook. The boy's first swing was mild, a passing blow, aiming at the archer's chest while another kick is aimed at another archer's elbow, trying to bend it sideways in the tumble.

Hiei continues moving towards the barrier. As two swordsmen step in front of him, he doesn't bother to draw his own weapon. Instead, he steps to the side as the blade whistles past him. He leaps back, performing a corkscrew flip to land in a wide crouch as he evades the second strike. He frowns deeply before he rushes both attackers, moving in between them to fling his arms out to either side, attempting to take their heads off with pure brute force. "You must be proud that your masters send you out repeatedly for the slaughter. Then raise your bodies using the Crawler's strength. You fight for nothing and I hold nothing but contempt for your kind." His voice is dry and emotionless as he continues to wade through the fodder. He glances over at Tsuchi and nods. "Agreed." He pauses and looks around. "Create the path. I'll protect your back while you do." He moves a lock of white hair out of his cold blue eyes and moves his neck from side to side.

Michiko lets chakra flow through her, waiting for the strikes to come. She has to time it right, or the trick won't work as well! Instead of Michiko, the swordsman under Yuuma's control strike the earth dome she created to defend herself. Then the swords cut through, striking fire as the girl just continues to avoid attack after attack. "Time to thin the herd a bit," she comments, already finishing the handseals to unleash a wave of fire on the enemy. The girl uses the fire as a sort of cover, too, making a handseal so she can hide in the earth, snaking her way through the underground as sneakily as possible. Silently, she prays to whatever gods that may exist out there, hoping she won't end up getting spotted as she moves. She continues to keep her hands ready in case someone /does/ detect her.

Shadowing Naoya for a full moment, Yuriko smirks to herself as she breaks away just to avoid the next set of flaming arrows, one landing in the ocean uselessly, though the other… strikes a shoulder. Once more Yuriko makes an annoyed face as she reaches up to rip the arrow out, before it can do any more damage than it already has. Exhaling a longer breath, her wounds on her shoulder and arm stitch themselves visibly closed, healing at a quickened rate while the smallest Kaguya begins forming another set of ivory Camellia blades. "My mom would shake her head at me. Hit twice now. Annoying…" Yuriko mutters under her breath, just as she dives straight at the wall of archers. A young girl with the intent to leave death in her wake.

More arrows, and Oda has nowhere to go. He pushes off the side of the boat towards a group of his own men, once again taking quite a few arrows as well as them. Oda looks up to them, looking quite wounded himself as he watches the assault ahead. He shakes his head no, looking back up towards the other wounded.
"Any hurt, get inside the ship, now! Keep out of range of the arrows while the shinobi push forward!"
He pushes himself up, leaping awkwardly up to the deck of the ship again and immediately dives towards the hold itself, getting out of open air. He grits his teeth some as within the ship he begins to pull out arrow after arrow slowly, trying to keep the bleeding in check as he feels the battle raging outside.

As reports come in still, Yuuma lets out a low 'hmm' while looking them over. He takes a long drag from the bottle before tossing it off to the side and standing up. "Well, looks like it's time." With that he'd rise and move his hands through a few handseals before slamming a palm on the ground. In moments, just as Hiei said, dark waves of chakra begin to wash forth from him throughout the barrier to begin to possess those outside the barrier, this time showing greater potency as he is able to make the Hitokage possess both the living and the dead. Hazes of dark chakra begin to surround the corpses and still breathing mercenaries, a wave of Genjutsu seeming to propel from each of them as the strikes continue to rain down on the shinobi. "Darkness is coming for your world… We will rip the masks from your faces and show the darkness inside, your true selves who take glee in the slaughter of masses. You are no different from us. We are the true faces of your shinobi world."

Yuuma, however, is not done. As the darkness begins to take over outside, it also begins to take prevalence INSIDE the barrier in another manner. The seal that's had the monks trapped suddenly lights up in its entirety, locking down all the mercenaries inside the barrier who've not joined the battle. There's not even time for shocked or confused gasps or questions as chakra begins to be ripped from the entire horde inside the barrier along with the monks at an extremely accelerated rate while their leader stands with his hand pressed to the middle of the seal, merely bearing that dark smirk as his mercenaries are drained of their lives just the same as the monks with their bodies ever paling and shriveling. "Sorry for the surprise, gentlemen. Your services are now needed in another way, but have no fear. Your souls will live on. Much the way they would normally feed the Crawler with the remaining darkness leftover when you die naturally, his recovery will be accelerated exponentially as I forcefeed him chakra by the ton."

Soubi carefully began to craft her own method of defense as the situation became more dire. Once the enemies came back to life Soubi began to push on with her defenses, a gleaming light of red could be seen from the shadows of her cloak as she easily motioned swift counters from the attacks. Soubi attempted to scale up the wall if possible, and get closer, keeping to the shadows… Or at least staying out of sight using the confusion of the fight to move forward, hopefully without being seen. She needed to get closer to that evil aura which could be seen from within what used to be a barrier.

Looking to Hiei, she simply nods and then looks forward even as she stumbles as the genjutsu attack breaks her briefly but she is able to stand up straight before shaking her head, "Sora, we can't let them stop us." She simply dodges left and then back away with Sora from the incoming attacks before calling out, "OK, now is your time!" She creates several handsigns and then she gestures forward with a palm strike into the air that Sora mimics. Even as they do, the wind leaves their hands and seems to be nothing until one can start to see the stars in the sky blotting out even as air whips up from the ground and starts to form a small tornado that progressively grows, "Sky style: Wind Devil!" And even as they finish the air splits and spins faster and faster. Even as wind spins around the area, it picks up more and more speed, growing into a brutal whirlwind that starts scooping up various members of the Hitokage in their path as she pushes forward and starts to move with it, "There's your path, try not to get sucked up into the storm!"

Squinting his eyes, the young Okumo begins to look around in a panic for a moment but then takes in a breath suddenly and focuses onto one point. Something seems to click in the boy's mind and he flinches faintly, the spiders in his left arms try to wake him from the illusion but to little avail. Contrasting the shortcoming against the illusions, the archers blows within close range were batted away swiftly, soon stepping into the archer's strikes, attempting to focus onto their joints with deceptive strength, keeping them away from their chances to continue firing onto the ships still below.

Hiei felt the dark chakra surround them all just as he sensed a massive chakra drain inside of the barrier. "Now it begins. Defend yourself." He withdraws a kunai from the small of his back and slices himself along the arm to stave off the genjutsu that usually accompanied this transformation. He moves to use his forearm to block a strike and it gets past him, the claws of the undead warriors he just felled getting past his defenses. He leans backwards to dodge the next strike. Hiei briefly closes his eyes as he unlocks the true power of the Yotsuki. After a moment his eyes snap open while glowing neon blue and an intense lightning infused aura surrounds his body. The force of the output of chakra cracks the ground underneath his feet as he moves swiftly, sending a knee for the zombie in front of him before spinning outwards and aiming an elbow for another. He asides to Tsuchi. "Understood. Fight well, Suna shinobi." His body them promptly disappears in a gust of wind accompanied by a loud *pop* from the displacement of air. If Soubi is seeking a stealthy route, Hiei would take the more direct approach.

Michiko doesn't feel the effects of the Genjutsu above her, but she's fought the Silence enough times that she knows what her comrade(s) above ground are facing. The girl continues to move forward though, grateful for the respite. She has to feel around quite a bit as she reaches into her pack to bandage some of the wounds she had received what seemed ages ago. 'Just wait for the time being… Recover your strength… Focus your chakra…' she chants to herself inwardly, preparing to attack with something she tries not to use that often. The technique she's preparing to use will hopefully disable many of the bodies, either dead or alive, and allow the entirety of the force she had seen to move forward that much easier.

Yuriko recognizes the genjutsu, the feeling of darkness, and clutching a fist she breaks a bone inside her finger to counteract it. And just after it breaks, it's already beginning to heal. "You'd have to do better…" she scowls darkly. The young girl catches her breath, rejuvenated as she takes several quick steps, gliding out of the path of several more attacks coming her way. The blades in her hands strike back, swift and precise.

Inside the barrier, Yuuma stands over the seal with a hand still placed on it, closing his eyes as he feels the mass of chakra coming into it. "Good," he says with a smirk, glancing back at the entrance where some of his men are being blown aside before moving through another set of handseals to place his hand on the ground again. This time, however, he summons something MUCH larger… The Crawler itself appears in the center of the seal as Yuuma jumps back to give him space to appear on top of it. Oddly he's not quite the same as when he was last seen, appearing to be walking on all fours with an almost Cerberus-like posture.

"Now, you ugly spade, time for your snack," the dark warlord says as he steps forward, placing a hand on the Crawler's arm that leaves a seal mark, which spreads out all over its body. As he steps back, chakra begins to flow from the enormous array into the Crawler's body, creating an enormous surge that flows continuously into it to give it more and more power as the process of absorbing chakra from the mercenaries and monks is accelerated even more, leaving their bodies falling lifelessly to the ground as frail-looking as if they had been mummified somehow as their last bits of life force are drained and absorbed directly into the monster.

Outside at the gates, while some of the possessed mercenaries are blown back by Tsuchi's attack to be slaughtered by the rain of attacks from the shinobi, others are now agile enough to get out of the way due to the power allotted them by the darkness now controlling them. "Yesss… It has begun," their dark voices ring out in unison as a heavy Genjutsu of fear attempts to weigh on the shinobi while a set of them begin to breath out massive waves of dark chakra at the shinobi trying to enter the gates and those trying to hold their position outside.

This time, she focuses out of the effects of the Genjutsu, biting her canine tooth right into her lip that causes blood to leak down her lip even as she tries to move out of the way of the attack of fire coming at her only to be torn into by it, Sora taking part of the hit as he is thrown back with her. They both stand up and go through a set of seals before a massive blast of air flows up out of her mouth and then slams downward into some of the shinobi that were thrown into the air by her initial attack. She then begins to start heading toward the gates as well, shaking her head, "I don't know how much longer I can keep this up." She winces some as she moves, "Lets go for as long as we can!" She then starts moving faster.

Soubi The massive amounts of tunneling wind made it difficult to keep a hat ontop of the Akatsuki's head. Eventually it fluttered off, revealing a full set of snow white locks, ravaging in the heavy winds which pelted the area. Soubi used the opening as a means to sliping in, hopefully unnoticed. A vibrant hue of her sharingan spun, casting a genjutsu to keep the Hitokage from attacking her, as long as she didn't attack them. "We need to not waste time and get INSIDE," Soubi suddenly exclaims, keeping her race forward, shrugging off genjutsu and avoiding attacks in the process.

This time, she focuses out of the effects of the Genjutsu, biting her canine tooth right into her lip that causes blood to leak down her lip even as she tries to move out of the way of the attack of fire coming at her only to be torn into by it, Sora taking part of the hit as he is thrown back with Tsuchi. They both stand up and go through a set of seals before a massive blast of air flows up out of her mouth and then slams downward into some of the shinobi that were thrown into the air by her initial attack. She then begins to start heading toward the gates as well, shaking her head, "I don't know how much longer I can keep this up." She winces some as she moves, "Lets go for as long as we can!" She then starts moving faster.

The young Okumo froze for a moment, a thin shine of sweat breaks out as the boy's gaze become rather distant. The pain in his arms is hardly noticed as he begins to take a step back but then the vision passes. Blinking rapidly, he shakes his head and binds his arms with silk and crosses them, trying to block the blast of flames but it melts away the silk and bathes him in fire. Smoke lingers for a moment as he attempts to pat himself down briefly before turning to fall back, "Yuriko-chan, we need more back up! Fall back!" Digging through a pouch, he produced a few small spheres and throws them down, cheap flash bangs to help cover his movements before retreating.

As Hiei moves for the gate, he feels the genjutsu begin to affect him again. He digs his fingers into the wound on his forearm to stave it off and then leaps high into the air, flipping end over end to avoid the fireball. His feet hit the ground and as he comes upon the pile of bodies, he leaps up, using them as a spring board as he catapults himself high into the air, flying over the Crawler. His target is the man standing next to it. His body begins to spin in midair, much like a drillbit. The closer he comes to the head of Yuuma, he picks up speed as lightning flows into his legs. He extends his foot, attempting to stomp him into the ground. Even if he should miss, there would be an earth shattering BOOM as his foot connects, creating a huge crater in the ground, sending rock and dirt up into the air from the sheer force of the attack. "Hello, club. We finally get a face to face meeting." His eyes drift over to the Crawler. "It looks different this time around. But the end result will be the same the last time we met."

Michiko begins to form seals, one after another. They're slow and steady, but hopefully that will make it all the more powerful in the end. With the last hand sign, hands begin to pop out of the earth, snatching and grabbing at the various Silence members that are above the Iwata. Those that get captured will find themselves entrapped in an earthen coffin. Stone 'ribs' move to keep them in place, and the demonic graves sink into the earth, trapping the enemy even further. The entire move puts strain on the Kumo-shinobi, though, and her position ends up getting revealed as she resurfaces from her hiding position. Her progress through the battlefield put her quite close to the middle of the battlefield… "Diamond…" she curses.

Just as it would seem Hiei is due a hero's entrance to save the world from Yuuma with a violent curbstomp, he finds himself stomping directly onto the ground and probably leaving some kind of small crater. About twenty feet from where Hiei lands, Yuuma is standing. He moves through a set of handseals before clamping his hands together. From his chakra ten seals appear on the ground around Hiei, firing cords of dark chakra in massive numbers up at the Yotsuki in an attempt to bind him down. As they latch on, they would begin to drain his chakra and even his life force in a massive way. Yuuma, meanwhile, merely smirks and says, "Thank you for being the first to volunteer your chakra to the Crawler, kid. Your generosity won't go unrewarded."

Meanwhile Michiko manages to yank a good number of the possessed mercenaries underground to allow Naoya and Yuriko escape without much trouble. However, this brings the pack of zombie mercenaries directly onto herself, Tsuchi, and Soubi due to the thinning numbers. Those behind them as they try to storm through the gates combine their forces to breath forth a massive dragon of dark flame and chakra that roars after them, intending to collide with the kunoichi with incredible force.

"Eugh…" The Genjutsu only grew. While she could fend it off at first, it grew to the point that it became incredibly heavy… The darkness moves. Yuriko blinks her bright eyes up at the Crawler. "That can't be real…" she whispers. But her body didn't know that. She saw it, heard it, felt it. It gives her enough falter that the flames hit her heavily. A surprised cry escapes Yuriko as she staggers, her bright eyes flitting up at the sound of her name. "Naoya…" He was right. They need to retreat, before the dark chakra gets any heavier. The Kaguya nods quickly as she turns to escape, pushing for speed while she heals.

The situation was becoming bleak. Soubi didn't realize just how much their lines had been faltering. She was expecting the Kiri shinobi to hold their ground a little better. Nevertheless she pushed forward, despite being knocked back from the thrust of fire chakra she awakened her power, the blacks of her tomoe merging together and spiraling out, shaped like the sign of rays of black lightning. Clarity had finally come, and she could see just where her target would be despite the sea of mercenaries before her. With her free hand chakra began to resonate, crackling about her knuckles and forming promptly in her palm, after a few moments the lightning crackled and expanded, forging into a lengthy katana of pure lightning. With that she danced forward, forcing herself directly into into the mercenaries that she would hopefully cut straight through, and finishing her motion with a pointed blade directly to Yuuma's center…

Taking a deep breath, Tsuchi slams down on to the ground again and creates a wall of wind once more that deflects away the fire. She then looks around them before she shakes her head, "Sora! We gotta thin the ranks!" She then immediately starts making hand seals and starts forming various ninja tools out of pure lightning even as Sora does the same. As they spin together like a varitable tornado of their own they start flinging out a wave of lightning forged ninja tools into their enemies, "Lets bring them down!" The Sunagakure shinobi is blatently breathing heavily as sweat flows out of her brow and her body seems to slowly begin to falter in its tall stance.

While at first the young Okumo was moving rapidly from the archer's perch, raising a hand high against the wall, he cause extra friction to slow him down as well. Naoya was breathing some what heavily, and from his jerking limbs, he tries to force feeling into his limbs again as if they were going numb. "I didn't even see the one trying to snare me.. How are you doing?" Kicking off the wall, the boy lands onto the ocean before looking back the way he came, trying to keep an eye on Yuriko before looking for where the ships where. "I hope they didn't sink.. Where is everyone else?"

Hiei saw the seals form and begins to move. He reaches up to draw both swords from his back, but the tendrils of darkness are fast. Even faster than the Yotsuki. His hands are drawn away from his body and the bright lightning aura around his body winks out as he is forced down to a knee. He could feel his strength leave him, being absorbed by the Silence Brother. He had never felt anything like it. A tightness in his chest alerts him that not only is his strength and chakra being drained, but also his life force. His breathing becomes erratic, even as he attempts to power out of the attack using nothing more than his own brute strength. However, it is all to no avail. With no help coming, and the other shinobi beating a retreat. He is faced with one of the most dangerous enemies of his young life as a shinobi. Briefly, images of his wife and son flash in his mind's eye. He shakes his head. He had to hold on. He couldn't afford to die here. "Chakra stealer. Never experienced that before today. I have to say…I don't like it one bit." He smiles faintly, using bravado and attempting to hide something that he had never felt before until this day. Fear.

"Heart…" is all of Michiko's response now that she has the zombie's wrath focused on her. The girl flashes through handseals as a flickering of chakra surrounds her body. It's faint, though, as it's the most powerful form of her power-up thus far. The chakra she built up for this defense is at a high, and hopefully it's enough for the incoming attack. "Earth Style: Earth Style Wall!" she exclaims, striking the ground hard to try and get her defense up in time. The fire hits the wall, but not her. It's strong enough to hold, the girl thankful she was able to block the attack so quickly.

"Phew…" she breathes out, already forming seals for another attack. The amount of chakra she had built up is enough for her to send another round of chakra through the earth, hands coming up to grab various Silence members. She's even able to extend her reach to Yuuma, though it's not as strong as she'd like. The earthen hands attempt to grab the enemies and stick them in the stone coffins again, dragging the enemies into the earth slowly by surely if they succeed.

Yuriko quickens her speed, to become a blur and hide herself as she retreats, soon catching up with Naoya and it's only when she's traveling on the ocean that she glances back over her shoulder. "Yeah, I'm fine." she murmurs softly. "I could be in worse shape if I wasn't careful. Or didn't have healing abilities. But now isn't the time for that."

At the gate, Michiko's attack renders a great deal of the mercenaries unable to avoid a violent death by Soubi's blade and the flurry of lightning tools forged by Tsuchi and Sora. Blood and dark chakra cover the area, seeping out in a rather hellish scene. It leaves their numbers dwindling compared to what they were before, yet now the Hitokage almost seem to be falling back… Not really looking like retreat, however… More like their job is finished, and corpses begin to drop to the ground one by one, the demons abandoning their meat suits for their true forms.

"Looks like the others are catching up," Yuuma says in a rather relaxed manner as he watches Hiei drained of his energies and life force. That dark smirk remains on his face, the warlord seeming a bit amused. Just as Soubi is about to try and run him through after rending many of the Hitokage-possessed mercenaries asunder, he lifts a hand almost lackadaisically and latches onto her blade, literally absorbing it from her hands into the seal mark on his hand before it can touch his torso. "You come to me like you are full-fledged warriors, but I am ageless and forever. In my eyes, you are nothing but children flailing back against the hand that is trying to guide you into your adulthood."

Stretching forth his other hand, Yuuma produces a replica of the lightning blade Soubi just wielded and uses it to quite literally run Hiei through, intending a wound so grievous that the other shinobi will have no choice but to leave to rush the Jounin back to the hospital. "I should end you all here and now… but your efforts amuse me. I know the eyes you look at me with all too well… And I know the fire you've been living with is not the best you can do. Do not disgrace my mercies this day by coming at me with such weakness again. Dig into yourselves, take off these foolish masks, and unleash the beasts I know dwell within you. Tapping into that strength is your only hope to survive the war to come." As he speaks, the barrier around the village at least fades away, along with the cords binding Hiei, offering them the chance to walk away before he changes his mind…

"You…stole my jutsu…?" Soubi cringes as she noticed the lightning blade literally ripped from her and formed in his own hands. This was something she didn't realize… Information that she didn't have. As Yuuma goes to plunge the blade into Hiei, she steps in, and before she can sweep him up is stabbed by her own blade. The wrecking lightning blade shook her senses, and nerely paralyzed her with incredible force, dropping her on her back in a smoke of scorch. "Da…me…" She curses under her breath, only able to summon up more chakra… Just in case things got worse. Things weren't looking good. They couldn't defeat Yuuma. Not like this.

Slowly coming up on the scene, she watches as Soubi is nearly cut down by her own attack. She squints and then grabs hold of Sora as he attempts to move forward and she shakes her head, "No, we'd just give him more to his arsenal." She looks at Yuuma as she approaches, shaking her head even as she moves forward, glaring at Yuuma before looking to Hiei and then at Soubi. She looks then at Sora and points, "Sora, get everyone out of here." He looks at her awestruck and she glares at him, "Our enemy believes that by letting us go he is doing us harm…but he only allows us to strengthen." She looks back and then points, "Get the rest to the ship before she steps forward to beside Soubi and offers her an arm, "Come now, the path to success is paved in failure." She then looks to Yuuma, "And true loss is only found when one fails to recognize even the smallest of victories."

Hiei collapses when the cords are broken. He pushes himself up to his feet. "You are right about one thing, Yuuma." He moves to kneel next to Soubi. "I'm a man that can admit he's been bested. But now that I know what kind of power you possess, I know what I need to do. Our next encounter will go much differently." Using what little chakra he's got left, he forms handseals and then places his hand on Soubi. A crimson bolt of lightning descends from the sky, striking their location. Once the boom and the lightshow is finished, he and the woman are gone…making their way back to the ships. Hiei's pride had been broken, but now he knew that he had to push himself much farther, and stop holding back the brutish beastial side of his personality. There will be a next time.

Michiko watches as the members of the Silence retreat, the girl disliking the fact that they're getting away. It means that the shinobo haven't won yet. But it also means she has a chance to get stronger for the next attack. It's time that she's willing to take, the girl planning what she wants to learn between now and whenever she might see the Brothers again. As the people flee, she begins to lose the buildup of chakra she had made for the battle. Thankfully the number of injuries she sustained were minimal, and the girl is standing by her own strength. She can't help but grin just a bit as she realized she survived. It means she got stronger. Then a thought crosses her mind. "I hope Hiei-san is alright…" Before the words are out of her mouth, she is already making her way over to where she saw Hiei, sprinting as fast as she can.

Michiko watches as the members of the Silence retreat, the girl disliking the fact that they're getting away. It means that the shinobo haven't won yet. But it also means she has a chance to get stronger for the next attack. It's time that she's willing to take, the girl planning what she wants to learn between now and whenever she might see the Brothers again. As the people flee, she begins to lose the buildup of chakra she had made for the battle. Thankfully the number of injuries she sustained were minimal, and the girl is standing by her own strength. She can't help but grin just a bit as she realized she survived. It means she got stronger. Then a thought crosses her mind. "I hope Hiei-san is alright…" Before the words are out of her mouth, she is already making her way over to where she saw Hiei, sprinting as fast as she can. The flash of light she sees, along with the ferret, tells her that she should probably retreat though. So she skids to a halt and speeds her way back to the ship. Tsuchi's ship, of all things, as her ride has been long gone.

Yuuma lifts an eyebrow faintly as Soubi gets in the way, though he still only looks amused. "Yes. Now leave before I use it on you again." He then takes a step back and watches as the shinobi prepare to leave, folding his arms over his chest. "You sound like a self-help book," Yuuma points out to Tsuchi with a faint quirk of an eyebrow, smirking at her. "I'm letting you go to get stronger, and I expect an actual challenge the next time I see your faces." With that he goes back to the chair he was sitting in before, which is remarkably still in one piece, literally sitting down and pulling out a bottle of sake to drink while he watches them leave. "Stop the motivational speeches and just get out of my face before I change my mind."

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