Date: April 29, 2015
Michiko, Ayumu, and Hanpa find themselves meeting up in the desert…
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"What If? Critter Character - The Unlikely Summons"
Land of Wind
"Humdum, dadadum, dedadum, humdum~"
"Its the sandman~ Singing his tune, dadadum! And knitting his sweater so all can — "
And just like that, the Eternal Greens became a whole lot quieter one in a matter of moments. Naturally, it is not by the choice of the singer. Oh, no, no, no! Ayumu had been simply minding his own business as wondered about the home of his fellow Chameleons, singing an idle tune until he figured out just what might be on the menu for the day. Next thing he knews, the nice, humid jungle has been replaced with some random forest. " — Seee~~" He of course paid to the warning tug all summons typically recieved before being yanked across time and space.
That all quickly changed of course once he finally cracked open his eyes. "… Ugh… Again? Oi, Tachibana! Do the words rest mean nothing to you?" Ayumu asks, sounding and for all intents and purposes, looking genuinely curious instead of peeved. Instead of a verbal reply, the Sunagakure shinobi standing atop his head instead pointed off in the direction of another slowly dispelling smoke cloud or two…
Morsels. Morsels. A constant stream of morsels. The remains of the dead. The pieces of life once finite and now finished. Over and over, it seems there is no limit to the morsels. There never has been. There never shall be… until ever scrap if collected, catalogued, and accounted for.
Luckily, the decaying flesh of recent mortality is not the prize. No, something that proves life, but is not life. Something ever lasting. Something… personal. That is what they collect. That is what the ebon shadows encircle. That is what they truly seek. But for the Silvered-One… he did not collect. He was the keeper. He was the one who held the record. The one chosen to possess instead of give. To chronicle instead of merely observe. But even with this sanctified position; this ultimate trust over the realm of those that have passed… there were still duties to the living.
The great Silver-One would no longer be with his things. No longer be within his chambers with his tomes and books and vaults and display cases. Instead… he would be falling from the sky. Shortly however, as it took a mere moment to acclimate and adjust. The screaming child that was upon his back, whooping and hollering, celebrating his transportation's arrival. "KOUJI~ KOUJI~ KOOOUUUUJIIIII~!!! Just in time! Oh good thing I brought the scroll with me this time or i'd of been a goner!" Kouji, as the Silver-One was named, would say nothing as he flapped towards… where ever he was going. "Ooooh don't get grumpy dumpy! I just didn't expect the desert bandits to be such…. blow hards! Hahahaha!" Kouji would simply squint in disgust. The act of contract signing.. often was passed down throguh generations. Often times… due to death. Unfortunately, the custom that those of the raven have chosen to practice… in keeping with memories of the fallen, is that a direct heir may be added to the contract upon untimely demise. Sort of …. repaying things forward as it were.
… was the situation.
"I hope you realize…"
"I'm not very big…"
"SO WHY ARE YOU HENGE-ED INTO THE SMALLEST THING EVER AND SITTING ATOP MY HEAD???"
A young fox, completely black except for a white-tipped tail and ears, is walking along with a small lizard atop her head. The fox seems amazingly annoyed at the lizard, whose eyes are completely black, and is looking upwards at it without paying close attention to its surroundings. "A-re? Anooooo…" Instead of answering, the lizard hopped off the fox's head, a *POOF* sounding as the henge is broken. "You're no fun, Michi-chan," says the young girl with a small pout. "Kitsu-jii lets me ride on his head!"
Michiko, the fox, just shakes her head. "Because he is twenty thousand times my size when he wants to be. And since /I/ am not, I would like for you to stay on the ground!" "Hai…" The two continue forth, squinting a bit at the sky where they see something flying… "Kurome-chan…" "Hai…" With a handseal, the girl closes her eyes, sensing the ever-present wind to figure out just who it might be in they sky while the fox sends chakra through the ground to get a (rather bad) sense of who might be nearby.
"Ayumaru." Both of the chameleon's eyes stop their seperate tracking missions to regard the petite fellow atop the great lizard's head. "How many times do I gotta say it Tachibana-san? Its just Ayumu. Now I know everyone else apart of my clan have that silly-… Oh… Oh you slick devil you." The youth grins toothily atop his head while idly patting the lizard's nogging. The moment of mirth however does not last long. At least one eye had swiveled back in the direction of the other summons, breaking down form and intent.
"So why are we here anyways?"
"Oh no. Your not doing this again. I am /not/ falling for the silent treatment again!!"
"C'mon man~ I'm already in enough trouble with the elders, so spit something out already. Or better yet, don't say anything and I'm gone."
"…. I hate you.. so much right now." Ayumaru states grumpily as his other eye swiveled back into position. "Mmm… Well I know one way to settle things quick." With that said, Kuromaru's eyes immediatly focus in on Michiko and Kurome. Though it went against the usual M.O. of his kinds, the great, three horned, lime green creature chose to brace itself on the ground and using what few nearby trees could support its bulk, then extended his tongue instead of stealthily ambushing his intended target. Yes. Stealthy. Because that /is/ an actual thing for his kind regardless of size. Ayumaru was mindful enough not to release it with too much built up pressure. He just needed enough blinding speed behind it to catch the duo off guard, wrap them up, then yank them in within seconds.
ASSUMING that goes off without a hitch, the two would be held prisoners in the critters mouth while their captors intention turned upon the silver one. "Hnn… While I'll be a human's unclem… Kouji! Doesth that be you!?" The lizard called out excitedly while waving its tail.
The boy would get comfortable amongst the feathers as the massive creature would swoop down, descending at the slightest suggestion of his summoned partner. Kouji, as he was called, would remember the rule 'Once more…' and leave it at that. "Kouji… remember your promise. Every time I summon you, you tell me something about you and the ravens. You said it! You said… that if I am going bring you here, that it shoudln't be a total waste of your time. That I should at least learn something. SO SPILL IT!" The boy would grin as the Silver-One would speak. "I recall, young one. Just as I recall everything, and everyone. Just as I have witnessed beyond time you cannot fathom. And so today… you will learn this. We who are raven… tell you who are human, not our names, but our tasks. I, who is called Kouji, is not named Kouji. For Kouji merely means "Affairs to be dealt with after ones death". My true name… is Sangai no Hanpa; Remnant of the Past, Present, and Future. Tell. No. One."
There was a long silence… which disconcerted even the ancient patience of this particular raven, but then he'd here a baffled "Ehhh?" and then another, "Ehhhhhhh?" and yet once more "Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?" Another squint before Kouji would begin to ask, soon being interrupted by, "I don't know what any of that means Kouji but…. OK!"
And suddenly… a straight nose dive. Perhaps.. accidentally.. the terminal velocity and a misgripping of his feathers would cause an unfortunate accident to occur. Of course it was then that he would hear the beckoning of a creature he did not mind the sound of. A near 90 degree inversion would occur as powerful wings flapped a near sand storm in stopping the decent only about 30 feet from the ground, maintainnig the position of the massive silver-feathered Raven. "Ayumu… and his pet human… and perhaps a meal." A smirk could almsot be made out upon his beak. "OOOH HEY THERE BIG LIZARD MAN!!!" Kouji's passenger would exclaim to the deep sigh of the bird who decides it is time to land. "… and my own… Sanosuke."
Even though Ayumu was trying to be sneaky, he could not prevent the winds from stirring. Kurome's eyes flashed open as she detected the long tongue, and she gave a quick, "UNDER!" Michi-fox grumbled lightly, but nodded, dragging her partner into the ground so that they might avoid the tongue. A small hole, meant mostly for a fox of Michiko's size rather than a fox and a human, allowed the two enough space to not feel crushed, and both of them sighed at the situation. "Get on my head…" sighs the fox, turning and adjusting, ears twitching at the faint *POOF*
Kurome was once again perched atop her head, allowing travel underground to be that much easier. It would shift a bit, especially since they were in the desert, but they would make their way towards the source of the tongue, the fox using both earthen senses and whiskers to detect vibrations through the surface.
"So who was that, anyway? D'you know them?" asks the now-lizard. "Iie… But… The tales of the ravens run deep. And lizards and foxes generally never got along, so far as I know. Though I'm not sure the reason." the fox shrugs lightly as she continues along, quieting as they approach not-too-stealthily. But if they have to suffer an attack, they were more than ready for one.
"Ayumaru" is still idly musing over the taste of his captors when Kouji descends upon him and Tachibana. Sensing his summoners chakra begin to build up in anticipation of danger, the lizard inconviently shakes his head and scratches at his head as if in an effort to get rid of some mysterious itch, disturbing the summoner. If he noticed Tachibana's yelp or attempt to claw at his scales to maintain a semblance of balance, Ayumaru gives away no indication of the sort. He does inevitably straighten out fully and even sits up so that he's more or less squating.
"Mm, so it was you Kouji. And 'ello to you to Sanosuke. Don't s'pose you got any idea why we're here? I'm thinking.. a life or death battle maybe? Who can say really? Tachibana-san here has gone all tight lipped again." Ayumaru snickers. "Perhaps he remembered we crows and leone aren't like those trio.. what were they again? Hebi, Gama, and.. something—Blech! Plech! This is dirt!" Again the tongue is extended, though this time the 'leon turns those oddly set front feet of his on cleaning off the slimy thing. So far, the lizard is more or less occupied heavily with the task over trying to pinpoint his original target.
"Hm… I very much doubt that this child…"
"FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!" Sanosuke began to cheer.
"I don't take orders from you… improbability. I helped keep you ali…"
"FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT KOUJI! Show them what you can do! These are desert people after all… sending my flying … bringing you out here. I know you hate the sunlight. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT THEM!"
Kouji would bristle a bit visibly. "I am not your play thing… boy. However… it seems unfair for the large to pick on the small… Ayumu." Once again, that smirk could almost be shown glinting from the obsidian beak as his red eyes would glow even against the light of day. "…At least… when there are so very few small things…" Kouji would stat as his wings spread wide, spraying hundreds upon hundreds of silver feathers about the sands, embeddign half way down in to them and revealing the pristine darkness that was his true form. "IT has been some time…" he would muse as the silver feathers began to ruffle and change shape. Each one unique… but similar enough. Ghastly spectres of the past, formed like shadow clones of their former, living selves. Nothing but empty shells from long lost memories. They crawled from the sands, headings towards Ayumu as if on a death march. "We may as well entertain the young ones… or this will have truly been a waste of time… wouldn't you say?" Kouji's wings would swiftly close, laying flat against his body as he seemed to be content with just that much and no more.
It just so happened that feathers are… kind of dangerous when falling into the ground… The pair, fox and summoner, end up taking a bit of a dive and weave their way around the underground, scrambling to avoid the falling feathers. Eventually that stops, and they decide to poke their head(s) out and see … just what was going on. The sensitive fox ears heard bits and pieces of the conversation from the ground, and their owner was curious…
"Blech… I hate sand…" grumbles the young girl still in lizard form. "Hmm… This looks like a bit more than I can chew, Kurome-chan. You might be better suited to asking my father for help." The girl frowns lightly at the black fox, hopping from her head, though not breaking the lizard henge. "You know I don't like being in my usual body. It's not cute, and people won't gimme sweets!" The fox rolls her eyes. "Just be ready in case Otou-san is needed," Michiko huffs, sitting down and shaking sand out of her tail. The lizard nods and *POOF*s into the form of a young girl again.
A moment of silence is soon broken by a long, drawn out sigh from the massive lizard. "Always getting me into odd situations, Tachibana-san. Mayhaps that is why you summon me so much." This time he did feel something from his tiny companion; a teen preteen that held a great deal of promise and power to have summoned the lizard in the first place. Tachibana hopped along his head until he reached the tip of the repitles longest horn. Once there, he spent a quiet moment observing the shades march their way towards them before spinning on his heels and regarding Ayumu. "Gomen, Ayumaru." Tachibana spoke softly.
Even so, his words a heard or seemed to have been, for Ayumu snorted deresively right afterwards. "Mah-ee… It had to happen eventually. And why not slack that curiosity that's been troubling us both, eh?" Both eyes swivel about until they observed either the approaching hoard or the relaxing Kuoji, and narrowed to slits. "Challenge accepted, Kuoji-dono.. Don't go regreting it after." Ayumu spoke confidently. Soon enough, all would see just why. Scales shift in quality and tone, darkening to a pitch black color in places along his tail. Even from afar it is clear enough that they formed a familiar latice of symbols of line that glowed dully upon completion. No warning is offered before Ayumu whipped up a gale powerful enough to knock down full grown trees as he spun about, extending his tail to its limit and then some. What the gale fails to send flying for perhaps miles is struck by its side. It mattered not if barriers are erected or how tough the shades were to the tail. Anything that came into direct contact would find its chakra dispersed or absorbed.
Taking a long moment to study the fox and her often inhuman companion, Kouji would wonder what sort of situation led to such a cruel fate. Though of course they were in no real harm at this point… despite almsot being eatten, an army of death claimed warrior and now…. such an odd color for the chameleon to take. "Impressive." Kouji would say even before the spinning started and the destruction began. The many soon became the few, scattered to the winds and drained of their small partitions of the whole of chakra that Kouji shed so easily. They ghosts would attack well, even with coordination, but the mob mentality would work against them regardless of numbers. "It is rare I get to see you perform, old friend." The Raven would say deeply as Kouji would leap from him, ready to get in to the fray himself. Kouji snapped Sanosuke out of the air however, very careful not to pinch a limb off beforre tossing him towards the fox. "Michiko… I beleive? The game is over… but he still needs to travel to town, and my size will not permitt that to be… a welcome endevour. Perhaps even Ayumu's charge may benefit from your escort? HUmans tend to favor something they feel… safer dealing with. Do you accept, one of the fox?" Sanosuke would curl and roll along the ground before nearly tumbling over Michiko and Kurome. "Consider it a favor… and remember that we ravens always repay our debts."
The fox's ear perked lightly at the deal, and she considers. "Well, it's also up to my partner… I think we're headed in the same direction, though…" Kurome hmms, looking up at the larger summons. "You'll be that big someday, Michi-chan. Then I can ride on your head without henge-ing." "…" The fox gives a shake of her head and says, "I'll escort them, If you like. And you'll both owe me." Michi-fox glances over at Sanosuke, pawing a bit at him to see if he's okay after the tumble. Then gives a quick loud yip to get his attention. "Up and at 'em! Let's get going!" Kurome grins a bit and nudges her new traveling companion with a toe. "Le's go, Sand-Kun! The faster we go, the more sweets we can eat!"
By the time the winds truly begin to die down, Ayumu remains dazed from the single spin alone. It could not be helped in truth, seeing as how his eyes kept trying to keep track of everything while in mid-motion. Fortunately, the great horned one doesn't stumble around for too long, or too far close to the little ones for that matter.
"Whooo… Mmhehhmm.. Very good. You alright, Tachibana?" The teen in question can just barely peel away its arms long enough to offer Ayumu a thumbs up. He was anything but alright, and made a promise then not to /ever/ summon Ayumu again without it truly being a life or death situation. "Rarer still is it your brand of performance gets shown." Ayumu replies while lowering his horn so that summoner could slide off. "Ye-yeah.. I'll stick with you guys." Tachibana shakily says as he made his way over to the group.
"Heheh.. Mmph.. Another time, old friend."
And on that note, the lizard is gone.