Date: October 12, 2014
Meruin brings Kiyoshi to the chamber wherein his training for mastery will occur, speaking a little of its history and performing the very first of the tests.
"Conquer and Control - Revelations"
Below an unnamed Island on the outskirts of the Land of Water
Meruin opens the doors — they extend so high… — to what appears to be a chamber of sheer darkness, forcing them to part and reveal the view.
He and Kiyoshi had only recently sat atop the waters of the endless lake so that the Mizukage might speak with the beast that lay inside of the man. He had informed it that it would be brought under heel, Kiyoshi brought to control so that he would no longer be the danger he was and now… it was time to begin seeing it done…
Here. In this room of darkness, through the forest of that unnamed island, down stairs deep into the earth and through the hall that lead to these doors. "It is here that you will remain until we are finished," informed the Mizukage. "Here that you will train for control."
He formed a single dragon seal, gaze firmly within the wall of darkness that sat before him. And then the darkness cracked. Just a small point — a dot of light, perhaps a candle, at a distance the darkness wouldn't allow them to put a name to. Meruin gestured towards it with an open hand, looking towards Kiyoshi.
Ever since being brought back to the fore, Kiyoshi was still trying to get a better feel of himself once more. Although the process of switching places with Kokuo was last violent compared to the other two, it remained disorienting nonetheless. For both Okumo and Kirryu's sake, the latter behaved in such a manner in which his troubles would not see light. In a fashion, he is successful…
Mud brown eyes that had been distant before snap to attention at the sound of Meruin's voice. He turns, but only enough to peer at the Mizukage from the corner of his eyes, studying the man briefly as he formed his seal before focusing back on the darkness. Instinctively, Kiyoshi drew in a deep lung full of air through his nose, strained both hearing and eye sight to pierce the viel of darkness to better anticipate what existed within it.
It mattered little, however. Upon being bade to enter, Kiyoshi follows through. Never once looking back unless requested otherwise. His affairs were in order. His purporse was clear. There would be no turning back without being broken completely or his goal achieved. A goal that with every step and every glance about he questioned on some fronts.
Every step would take him closer to that small dot of light…
It would not be long after Kiyoshi entered the darkness that the doors closed, leaving the shadows complete with a long, drawn out sigh that whispered through the room. All that existed was he and the spark in the distance.
"Go to it…" rumbled a voice.
And as the Jinchuuriki traveled, step by step taking him further into the darkness, the light defied his efforts to reach it. Always, the boy moved but that small spark never grew any closer, any larger, leaving everything left to the gloom.
"Do you not wish to reach the light? Do you fear it…?"
The light from behind fading threatened to give Kiyoshi pause. Mustering his will, the Kirryu keeps moving onwards, slowly but steadily, until the only reminder of the place he entered is the faint memory of the long, drawn out sigh from the doors closing. From then, he would proceed, slightly faster and now more sensitive to even the slightest changes in his environment.
'Just need to reach—'
The moss-haired giant gets no further than that before jolting to a near complete stop upon hearing the voice. He lingers for a few moments more, resisting throughout this time the desire to look about for the source. If it was an enemy of some sort or… something else. Best to not let know beyond that first mistake just how deeply it dug into his psyche with just a suggestion.
Eventually, he's forced to move again. Always towards the flicker of hope in the distance. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Never closer to the light…
"…. Why would I fear my destination?" He asks in turn, foolish though it made him feel and it may be, refusing to break his stride again.
That voice queried the Moto once again from the surrounding gloom, its edges frayed and its lines blurred, understandable but unrecognizable. Ponderous words spoken in a ponderous tone, the lax manner accentuating that dim light in the forever distance, each step leaving it as faraway as the last.
He bit his lip to avoid an impending outburst. While not exactly prone to them, the surrounding gloom and the voice gnawed at his nerves deeper than what most can ever hope to accomplish.
For a time, he… considers the questions, wondering despite wanting nothing more than to reach the light and be done with the test. "… I do not wish to accept it… What may be there… What I have to do… I just want to protect those I care for with my own two hands." He states with frustration leaking into his voice despite the calm facade. "I shouldn't need to rely on some borrowed power that's not my own." He adds, gripping his hands at his side.
"I should be enough…"
Abruptly, the glow was before the boy, as though it'd gotten closer but never larger, shrinking as he approached it. It proved to be a floating luminance, a small and hollow aura of light simply existing at stomach height. It was a stand alone entity, its gentle brilliance bringing nothing else into existence from the shadow that surrounds Kiyoshi. It gave no answers in and of itself and solved no problems.
"Become enough," spoke that voice. "Push your chakra into the light…"
Kiyoshi almost kept going as was the tendacy of the boy whenever his feet began to move. It did not help that the entire trip to the floating aura of light seemed to stretch onwards into the infinite and beyond. His lips part as he studied the ball with his eyes, a question at the tip of his tongue, and yet the voice beats him to the punch. Sort of.
"I…" Words failed him. Thought failed him. Senses failed him. He knew not what to trust in that moment. For all he knew this could've been his demon's test to see just how gullable he truly was… or perhaps, how willing he was to make his desires a reality.
Where as all else failed him, Kiyoshi chose to set them aside and follow impulse. Instinct, in another sense. He reaches out towards the light, narrowed his eyes, and furrowed his brows in concentration. The frayed network was slow to respond, and fluctuated heavily. By sheer force of will and with perhaps more chakra than may have been necessary, Kiyoshi forces his chakra from his palm towards the light like Mushi taught him….
The dim light — the only light — glows abruptly brighter as Kiyoshi pushes his chakra into it. It almost felt as though it were hungry, a subtle tug pulling at the boy's chakra as the aura caught hold of it, as though urging the Kirigakure shinobi to give it more. But the sensation was a brief one, the amount of chakra it needed seemingly inordinate — perhaps that of a C-rank level ninjutsu — and once it got it, it burst into the shape of a flame, letting off warmth and light, giving form to the pedestal it rested on. It was a candle of crystal.
In the distance light bloomed. One flame then twenty. One hundred, then a thousand, then more, huffing into existence to reveal the walls of what looked to be a ceremonial chamber. More crystal candles circled the ledges on the walls, runes of unknown origins worn but still clear in the stone. It was truly expansive, the other lights still distant and the area surrounding Kiyoshi still in darkness, the ceiling shrouded in obscurity until sudden luminance radiated from the ceiling as a single crystal shaped into an extensive chandelier revealed its amber brilliance.
As well as Meruin standing nearby.
"This," he murmured, "Is the chamber first used contain Isobu, the three tails. And once a suitable host was found, the place Kirigakure's first Jinchuuriki was born. Obtaining a Jinchuuriki was one of Kaguya Mitsuo's very first decisions as Yondaime Mizukage, an assurance to establish Kirigakure's power. Power that would protect us, whether by guarding us or destroying for us. Power such as you was placed on your shoulders. As such, I'd found it fitting that it be here where you learned to tame it."
He stepped forward, starting to the pedestal, "Would you not agree?"
Kiyoshi almost recanted on feeding the aura chakra upon feeling the sensation. Brief or not, he remained distrustful of it on some level, and girded himself for a surprise. For his part, when it bursts into the shape of a flame he doesn't shirk back like some freigthened animal. He stood there, eyes narrowed against the glare but observant of the rooms changes all the same, and skin a shade paler and much, much harder than before. He cannot hope to continue observing for long. The final clencher — the cieling being set ablaze by light — caused him to look down towards the ground, blinking and rubbing away the stars from them.
He neither sensed, nor smelled, nor noted Meruin's presence in any shape or form until he spoke. His voice, a murmur, gave the giant a jolt. Eventually he does turn to look upon the man, questioning him at first with his eyes even as he spoke before turning to regard the chamber himself. Understanding soon follows the action, and with it in check, he turns again to look upon Meruin.
"Mm.." Nothing much at all, but an agreement all the same preceeding his following in Meruin's shadow to the pedestal.
"The chakra you gave this room — the bare minimum it asked for, I assume, will keep the place alight for approximately six hours. A marvel of efficiency, truly, that it should glow for that long on so little." Meruin stepped up to the pedestal, which was engraved with scrollwork from its bottom to its flattened top, gesturing to the crystal shaped as a candle. "If you wish for light again, simply find the aura and push your chakra into it once more. If you wish for darkness…" The Okumo stepped to the side of the podium. "You must connect your chakra to it once more, as you had when you'd fed it chakra, and pull it out. You'd felt a tugging sensation, did you not? As though it were trying to pull your chakra out of you? Simply fight that sensation. Reverse the flow. The chakra will leave the crystal and light will fall."
He nodded to the crystal. "Try it."
Kiyoshi snorts. "Little for us, perhaps." He states, examining room as they progressed. Despite his somewhat deresive view point on the light sources, Kiyoshi still keeps a particular sharp eye on them until nearly tripping on the steps to the pedestal reminds him to pay better attention to where he was going. The stumbling aside (and hopefully quickly forgotten), the flushed cheeked Kiyoshi favors examining the markings as he moved about to look it over. "My thanks, Sensei… But I see no reason to do so just yet." He pauses and turns to look upon the Okumo. "Unless this is apart of my..mm.. training?"
"It will be vital towards your training," replied Meruin, as he looked towards Kiyoshi, his calm gaze saying nothing about the flush of the boy's cheeks or his unfortunate stumbling. "I would be sure that you know the feeling of it now before we press too far forward. It is as much to show me that you can do it as it is anything else." He nodded to the crystal once more, a silent beckoning for the Moto to continue.
Kiyoshi breathes noisely through his nose before turning his attention back to the crystal. Hesitantly, he reaches out for the crystal again. A few deep breathes are taken to steady himself first, calming down the instinctive need to shift in preparation to defend himself. If he was to accomplish his goal he needed solely his own chakra to be involved, and not the fusion of both tailed beast and human or the beast's chakra itself interfering. The former more than the latter troubled him the most.
'Concentrate… empty it out… then reach out…'
Dark eyes draw to a close and a final deep breathe is taken. It is, in one word, easier to pull the energy he needed together. An advantage he chucked up to recent experience as a thin chakra impression of his hand reached out to touch the crystal, connecting with it, and began pulling, fist slowly clench if necessary to better help him focus and fight against the crystal's pull…
Meruin watched on as Kiyoshi steadied himself and reached out towards the light, making contact through his chakra. The mists of his eyes still pale in color and slow in their shifting, he took note of all he could perceive the moment the Moto's chakra was pushed out towards the aura and contact was made. The man would feel that subtle pulling feeling once more, a tug at his chakra — one that was fought against and, after a brief moment, easily overpowered. It wasn't long before Kiyoshi's chakra was drawn back inside and the light crystalline candle flared…
The chandelier overhead dimmed, its suffusive glow slowly fading out until the ceiling was dark, leaving only the thousands of candles to light the wall of the chamber. And one by one, their lights winked out like so many stars dying in the night sky until there was only that one hollow aura of gentle light, just as there was in the beginning…
The light flared…
In the distance a candle lit. Another. Twenty, one hundred, a thousand, the process reversing until the crystal overhead brought all that was covered in shadow back into being, revealing Meruin with his hand outstretched to the candle on the podium. The Mizukage nodded to Kiyoshi, saying only, "Good…"
"Now we may begin."