Date: September 29, 2012
While still blind, Maikeru goes in to attempt to repair the seal anyway, or at least that's what he tells the monks. While he is inside, Sachiko scouts around the village using her Kekkei Genkai.
Poster's note: Foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Darkness Incarnate - Blind Faith"
Sachiko is obviously rather stressed, thinking too much about the Kirigakure Jounin being blind. She has not even so much as left the room for longer than two minutes and only when absolutely necessary. So watchful is she that it might just be annoying… if Maikeru is worried about such a feeling at this point. Given her stressful position, she has been moving around fairly frequently. She has a chair set up a few feet from his bed — attempting not to be too obnoxious by looming over him — but has often moved to lean herself against the foot of the bed at times or even sat herself at the edge of the mattress, only to move if he stirred in the slightest.
Sachiko has no idea what they're going to do now. It's going to be pretty damned difficult to fix the seal in the cave if he can't see it. "You don't have any sort of other fancy seal, do you? Like this one," she points at her hip, "but for other senses? I could send an eyeball in with you and then you could see almost like normal." This suggestion seems to be the best she can come up with… unless the monks know some way to 'fix' him.
This situation is not pleasant. Without being able to use his full power at risk of making the cave collapse, Maikeru ended up getting overwhelmed by the hordes of creatures. Even if only for a moment, the Crawler was able to do enough damage to set the mission back. Indeed, it is a rather stressful situation.
Of course, all of Sachiko's worrying and fidgetting does nothing to help things. "Sachiko," he says groggily, turning his head in the direction of her voice. "… Calm down," he says, a bit of irritation in his voice as he reaches forward to grab her if she moves to pull her to sit down on the bed, having a general idea of where she is. "Sit still. I can't even think in my sleep for all your worrying."
A moment later, the door to the room opens, and a monk walks in with some kind of glass in his hand, holding it out to Sachiko. "Have him drink this. His sight will return slowly, but we suggest he get back to work promptly, so as not to have to deal with the Crawler and his minions at night." That seems more like a demand than a suggestion, not even giving enough time to respond after handing the glass over, as he turns and shuts the door behind him as he walks back out of the room.
"But how can I—ack," she starts to ask how to be calm, only to be pulled into sitting. Sachiko grumbles mildly at this before taking a deep breath and sighing lightly. "Sorry…" Maybe she is over-worrying… Well, no. Definitely. She can admit that much. It's just… strange for him to be blind… nearly helpless. It's not exactly reassuring to her.
When the monk enters without so much as a knock, she looks up with a pretty intense glare. When handed the drink, she blinks and stares toward the doorway as the monk leaves again. "Yeah… Thanks," she mutters sarcastically. Muttering some less-than-pleasant insults, she shifts to face Maikeru more. For a moment, she hesitates, a little uncertain about whether she should actually keep hold of the cup or just let him take it. She rolls her eyes at herself eventually and mutters, "Sit up, will you?" She is clearly willing to 'feed' him the drink, but if he takes the cup from her, she isn't going to complain. "I wonder if they've had anyone else try this before us…" Random thought.
Maikeru remains silent until the monk walks out then sits up as requested. He turns toward her, waiting for her to bring the glass to his lips. However, once she does, he reaches up to take the glass and turn it up to down it. "Who knows," he says with a shrug as he tosses the cup on the floor. It doesn't exactly appear to be an accident of blindness either. He's a /bit/ bugged off. Letting out a sigh, he shakes himself a bit then moves to stand up, using the bed to push himself up. 'You still have contact with all your sentries around the village, right? Try to keep an ear out in case there's something more to what's going on here.' He looks around a bit, seeming a bit frustrated then shrugs his shoulders and reaches a hand out to her. "Guess I'll go without my coat today. Somebody's getting an ant-kicking when this is all over with… Take me to the cave."
Sachiko watches him take the glass, seemingly unsurprised, and then lets the eyeball in her hair follow it to the floor. 'Of course I do. I can't pay attention to every single one at once, but I get snippits from each and every one of them regularly.' She's a little confused by him standing, but doesn't actually comment on it. Instead, she simply answers, 'Of course.' Staring at his hand for a moment, she furrows her brow. "What? No… You have to let that medicine or whatever settle in first. Going in there blind will just ask for worse things to happen," she argues, still sitting on the bed and reaching up to take hold of his arm rather than just his hand.
"He said it's going to be slow," Maikeru reminds Sachiko as he turns and looks back to her, lifting an eyebrow. He'd never expected that she would show this much concern for him. "We don't have much of a choice." At this point, it will become quite clear that Maikeru's muscles are not just for show, as he shows a bit of Kage-like strength in lifting his arm up, which is quite likely to lift her off the bed if she doesn't let go. 'We have to figure out what the butterfly's going on here. We can't show any sign of weakness or suspicion to the monks right now.'
Sachiko /does/ hold on and makes a bit of a surprised squeak when she's lifted off the bed. "We do have a choice. If it's going to be slow, then at least wait until you can partially see. It's better than going in there with nothing but your sense of hearing. Do those things even /make/ noise?" Frowning at his mental message, she sighs and relaxes, slowly loosening her grip on his arm. 'Fine…' It's glaringly obvious that she doesn't like the idea, but she moves his hand to her shoulder and starts leading the way out of the room and back toward the cave. 'You already showed weakness by getting blinded in the first place. But by all means, go ahead and be all macho-man and show your lack of sight means nothing.'
Following behind Sachiko, Maikeru walks as casually as possible, though she can likely tell how frustrating this is for him. 'Sachiko… Shut up. I have a plan for what to do while I'm in there. All I need you to do is give me an eye and tell me when I'm close to the seal, and I'll do the rest. Then you can listen in to the monks and see if you can hear anything pertinent from them.'
As they approach the gates, the monks and their elder are standing outside waiting for them. Each offers a light bow of respect. "We applaud your bravery. It is best this way, so you at least are not fighting the creatures at night," the elder says with a smile. "If you are in need of anything, let us know."
'Why don't you tell me to do something else? Shutting up is pretty difficult right now,' she responds as she starts to chew. She needs to create another eyeball for him, after all. Sachiko simply ignores the monks at the moment and raises a hand, faking a cough to get the eyeball out of her mouth. Then she moves to take his hand off her shoulder, setting the eyeball into it as she leads him the rest of the way to the cave mouth by the hand. 'Just hold your hand palm up with the eye in the middle. It can squirm around on its own to look around,' she explains, letting go of him and leaving him facing the cave, about where the opening normally is. Then she — rather grumpily — moves to take a seat atop a boulder nearby, sighing in agitation.
'You can talk to me when I need guiding. Just keep an eye on things.' Maikeru gives a nod in the general direction of the monks before walking into the cave with Sachiko's guidance. Once the hole has closed to lock him inside, he holds the eyeball up in his hand, waving it around. 'Which way do I go toward the seal? I know roughly about how far to flicker to get there.' Apparently, he doesn't plan on wasting any time to get things going, as the Crawler could realie he is present at any moment and send his minions. Things are quiet just for the moment, so it's time to get moving.
'Yeah, whatever,' Sachiko responds. Once he heads in and holds up the eyeball, it moves to look around in the dark of the cave. Upon finding the broken stone where the seal should be, she gives him instructions. 'Not that you care, but I suggest flickering a slightly shorter length than you think, just in case.' With that said, she turns to paying more attention to the other sentries around the little village. The one he has isn't dismissed, though, even if he chooses to discard it.
Once given instructions, Maikeru flickers and lands about five feet from the seal. He reaches into a pouch in his side and tosses a few things out, which happens to be coils up paperbombs that are wiretrapped. Several sets of those are cast out before he actually moves to sit down in the center of the now trap-guarded area. He then reaches into another pouch on his side and withdraws a bottle of sake, which he pops the cork on and begins to sip on.
"The broken toy returns to darkness."
Sachiko shakes her head a bit when she hears the sake bottle. 'Great idea,' she offers sarcastically. Then she hears the Crawler and groans mildly. So annoying… So, she attempts to keep her focus on the other sentries, moving some of them around to find monks to listen in on even momentarily. She just takes in as much information as she can, hoping to find something of importance while really hoping she doesn't find anything worth noting. Hearing something like the last bit of information she picked up would be both good but more stress-inducing, after all.
Maikeru simply continues to sip his sake as the voice rings out. When the armored minions and dark creatures begin to walk out of the darkness, he snickers a bit and brings up a large orb-like shield of chakra around himself to guard himself as wires are tripped and explosions begin to ring out and blast the creatures back. As this happens, the transparent form of the Crawler appears before Maikeru again, its projective chakra allowing the Jounin to feel that he is there. With a smirk, Maikeru lifts his bottle to the monster outside the shield and says, "Cheers, stinkbug," before taking another few sips.
Outside the cave, Sachiko would begin to hear murmuring again as the monks walk.
"Do you think he'll survive long in there in his state?"
"Doubtful, but what must be done must be done."
Admittedly, Sachiko is a little amused by the Jounin's way of dealing with the creatures, her eyeball peering around inside the cave. 'Remind me not to let you plan any parties,' she projects lazily before hearing the monks. 'This is a sad, pessimistic bunch of caterpillars. They don't have any faith you'll survive this. I don't really understand why they'd send you in if that's the case… other than as a sacrifice or something, but that somehow seems unlikely.' Not that she even thinks he'll end up a sacrifice… Just making observations as she continues to survey the island through her Kekkei Genkai.
"Do not provoke us with the bonegleam shining from your broken body. It is a transgression against the night."
Maikeru continues to sip on the bottle of sake, seeming to attempt to ignore the creature as more explosions ring out while his minions attempt to come toward him. 'Just keep listening. I don't have that many more traps.' He takes a few gulps of the sake, closing his currently useless eyes for a moment, though some of the strain on them does seem to begin to alleviate.
Around the town, Sachiko would hear yet more murmuring.
"You think this will work?"
"That Jounin is powerful to have survived as long as he has. The Crawler may be satiated with his death and stop his advance. That is our only hope."
Apparently, the plan IS to sacrifice Maikeru to the Crawler.
'Oh, great. That's reassuring,' Sachiko answers as she goes about listening. What she hears gets an exhasperated sigh from her. 'Now I really have to wonder how many people have attempted this before us… Not to mention if that seal has ever really been useful.' Shifting to sit a bit forward on her boulder, the eyeball on her shoulder glances around at the monks nearby. 'I hope you won't stand for being a sacrifice. These idiots will certainly need a talking-to when you get done in there…' Yep, when. Clearly she has no doubts.
So the monks planned to use him for a sacrifice… They're going to have to be taught a lesson for that. Still, the situation at hand is extremely important. Maikeru can't let the Crawler run loose in this realm, else the casualties could be astronomical in number. Placing the cork back in the top of the bottle, Maikeru pops it tight and tucks it back into the pouch from whence it came before standing up. He opens his eyes to see that his vision is starting to return dimly. At least they actually gave him a real antidote, even if they probably had one that would work much more quickly.
"Your darkness destroys all light that you cling to, but you don't mind, you do? You wish them pain. You wish them undone, unthreaded, unliving!"
Something about that last taunt seems to get to Maikeru, as the look on his face becomes much more intense. He lets the shield down and strikes at the creature, which he can just barely make out through his dim vision, only for it to fade out of existence and for him to realize that all his traps have been set off by the creatures, and more are coming…
Sachiko very much agrees the monks need to be taught a lesson, but… well, she can't teach them that lesson so she has to (im)patiently wait for him to get out and do it. His reaction to the Crawler this time, though, causes her a bit of worry. '… I personally like being in one piece and living, thank you.' The eyeball with him focuses on him as he starts to fight before turning to look at the creatures around him. Ugly things… but at at distance, she isn't /too/ disturbed by them.
The dark laugh of the Crawler rings out as the dark creatures and armored minions begin to close in on Maikeru. It seems his blindness invokes no mercy from them. "She screams and claws at the void. She would have done anything for you, but you let her be taken. Now she screams alone."
This seems to build up a rage in Maikeru, and he seems to ignore Sachiko completely and have no intention of back down, despite being mostly blind still. Reaching back for his sword, he draws it and charges forward, beginning to swing it frantically as he creates an enormous form of his right fist. Each strike seems to get more and more aggressive, some making contact and some not as he fights the dark creatures at full force physically. Still, their numbers start to grow again, and they begin to swarm around him, preparing to take him down again.
Being ignored, Sachiko goes quiet. She, of course, has no idea what the Crawler is talking about anymore. It's not as if /she's/ 'clawing at the void' or something dumb like that. Nor is she screaming. For a brief moment, she wonders if it's sort of a premonition and glances around herself to make sure the monks are sneaking up on her or something… not that she'd necessarily make a good hostage or anything like that. 'Mai… Calm down. Raging is not necessarily going to help your cause.'
Despite Sachiko's words, Maikeru shows no signs of calming down. As he continues to strike at the creatures whose numbers continuously grow, a single word, a name would be incidentally transferred mentally 'Aika'. Whoever that is, the Crawler's words were enough to send Maikeru into a frenzy. Even as the creatures begin to jump on and pile him to try to bring him down, he doesn't stop striking.
"You wish to join her. The darkness calls for you, reaches for you as she shrieks out your name from oblivion."
Sachiko never expected to be a 'one and only' or even close to a 'lover' or anything of the sort… but a fairly obviously feminine name being mentioned with such drive behind it — longing, even, and care — makes her jealous. She grits her teeth and closes her eyes. All of her sentry-eyes stop giving her information, but don't fade. The ears, however, continue to listen around the village. Maybe there's something the monks know that could /help/ Maikeru. If he'd even listen to her at this point…
"That's it. Show your darkness."
The creatures pile onto Maikeru more and more, attempting to push him down, yet he continues to struggle back. He lets out a roar and begins to strike again, causing some of the weaker creatures to fall back. However, as the armored creatures start to come in more numbers, it becomes apparent that this retreat was merely to group, as the enormous statues like the day before begin to step forward and come forward to join the massive onslaught.
Sachiko tries to just focus on the rest of the village and not Maikeru. Pestering him won't do either of them any good, that much is obvious. He's more beetled off at her for 'interrupting' and whatnot so she tries to just… keep her thoughts to herself. It's much easier to shut up when she can't see what's going on anymore. So the Iga just crosses her arms over her chest, sitting comfortably on the boulder and almost… /almost/ looks like she's meditating… if not for being so tense.
As dozens of the giant statues join the armored minions along with dozens of dark creatures coming again. The swarm comes piles on him, striking and clawing. As they do this, the giant statues strike the ground with their scepters, sending streams of dark chakra along the ground into the pile. As it all hits, Maikeru is sent flying into the barrier. Now that he is aware of the situation, rather than wait for someone to open it, he forces more chakra through his body and actually bursts through it himself. This, of course, causes the monks to begin forming Hand Seals in a flurry to keep the creatures inside as the Jounin lands on the ground outside the mouth of the cave, still breathing, though his eyes do appear to have blackened more again.
When Maikeru comes flying out of the cave this time, the girl doesn't move. Instead, she opens her eyes, simultaneously focusing her attention on the eyeball within the cave. All she wants to know is if the creatures bother to stick around once he's left. Once she gets this information, Sachiko shifts to slide off the boulder and approach the fallen Jounin. 'Told you it was a bad idea,' she chastises as she leans down to try and help him up, using herself as a crutch with apparently no real qualms.
The creatures seem to dissipate once Maikeru leaves the cave an the barrier has been resealed. If the monks hadn't been prepared for that, things likely would have gotten very bad. As Sachiko helps him up, Maikeru leans over on her a bit, though he is able to help push himself up. Only one phrase is sent through the mental connection. 'Shut up, Sachiko.'