Maikeru, Sachiko, Suterusu
Date: September 30, 2012
After a call is sent out to Kirigakure for help from a group of monks, Maikeru is sent along with a couple of allies from Sunagakure to investigate and fix a seal that blocks a door that a dark creature is trying to escape through to come from its plane of existence.
Poster's note: Foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Darkness Incarnate - Diving In"
The call reached Kirigakure that something… disturbing, to say the least, is attempting to breach its way into this world from another plane of existence, such as where most summons exist, except a much darker world. For now, the seal on the door to this other plane is mostly in tact, but there is a huge breach in it from which creatures have been escaping into the cave. They have been contained to the cave and kept from escaping with a barrier so far, but that won't hold forever, thus the situation is quite urgent.
As one of Kirigakure's best Seal Masters, Maikeru was selected to go on this mission to stop whatever these creatures may be from proceeding any further into this world. However, these monks are not exactly well-known allies and aren't exactly trusted, so he requested some backup from Kirigakure's new allies. Specifically, he asked for Sachiko to come along, as her Kekkei Genkai will allow her to keep eyes and ears on what's going on outside the cave while Maikeru works inside. Since Sachiko herself isn't much of a combatant, another Sunagakure shinobi was sent along to be assist in stealth and to be sure she isn't killed while Maikeru is otherwise occupied.
On the deck of a small merchant vessel on its way to the same island, the demonic Jounin Daeshiro Maikeru stands with his arms folded over his chest. Adorned in his normal white trenchcoat and black combat attire, he stares out at the island as it finally comes into view. This might actually be the first time Sachiko has seen him with his hair back to its normal silver and grown back out, rather than cut short and dyed black. Still, he hasn't been much on pleasantries through this voyage, instead having spend most of the time studying the documents sent with the details of the mission and how the seal he is going to be repairing while fighting off some kind of creatures works.
Sachiko was, at first, rather pleased to have been 'called upon', even if it was apparently for some kind of mission. However, when she heard someone else was to accompany her, her pleasant mood quickly vanished. Right… mission. Oh well… In any case, she went along without complaint. Of course, she also didn't talk much to Suterusu on the way to the boat. When they made it, she blinked…
Did she remember Maikeru wrong? No… no way. So she squinted — a useless gesture, obviously, but the eyeball on her shoulder, as usual, focused on him a bit more intently. Definitely him. Weird… She had attempted, briefly, to question it, but quickly learned to just leave him to his research and whatnot. Important mission. Right. So… a long, boring boat ride ensued. Most of the time, she didn't even bother to keep an eyeball present since there wasn't really much to see. When she heard something along the lines of 'land ho!' or whatever, she still didn't care much. When it was necessary, she'd be told to prepare herself… probably.
That figure was assigned to keep out of sight and watch over the Iga. Well then. Guess further interaction with her would be inavoidable. Of course, if she did ask or talk to him as nobody, he'd inform her of that tag update to Stealth. Otherwise, the figure was silent, not even that whisper of sound as he'd stay out of sight on the ship. It was just one of those things, when he was needed, they'd say so. If they didn't need him, it didn't matter where he was at and as such, he would not be in sight. Patient, quietly, he waited. That Kiri nin was an imposing figure, so Stealth simply did what he did best. Hide and watch.
As the ship approaches the island, what it is becomes a lot more apparent, a town built on a desert island. Other than the massive amounts of water, the sights here really aren't that much different than home for the two Sunagakure shinobi. The buildings are built in a fashion similar to those in Sunagakure so as to stand well amongst the sand. One thing stands out about it, the cave. A purple glow of chakra is easily visible at the mouth of the cave, a barrier maintained by the monks to keep the creatures sealed inside as best they can.
The vessel finally comes to a stop at the dock on the shores of the island. A small group of middle-aged, bald men adorned in orange robes stand on the pier, awaiting the arrival of the shinobi, one elderly man standing in the front of them in the center, likely the leader of the village. A smile tugs at the old man's lips as the ship docks, and he lets out a sigh, perhaps feeling better about the situation now that help has arrived.
After giving a quick wave of his hand for the others to follow, Maikeru steps off the ship to meet the group on the dock, offering a nod in greeting, to which the monks return a bow. "I am Daeshiro Maikeru, the Jounin sent from Kirigakure to handle this situation." Apparently he's going to let those sent with him introduce themselves. "I understand this situation is urgent, so shall we get right down to business?"
Even without seeing Maikeru's wave to follow, the Iga was more than happy to have landed and wanted nothing more than to get the heck off of the boat. So she followed after silently. Her attire is certainly… interesting to be greeting monks in, but she gives a small bow. "Iga Sachiko. Just here to keep an eye on things." Dumb joke, since she's very obviously blind. Then she 'glances' over her shoulder and waves her hand dismissively. "Don't mind that thing. Figment of your imagination, I assure you," she 'introduces' Suterusu. "Personally, I ignore it. Probably better for you to do the same." She shrugs her shoulders and then goes back to waiting for the monks to lead them through the start of their mission… hoping they can get out of here sooner rather than later. Monks are… boring.
The figure would show up long enough to be seen at the introduction. A formal bow was given to the monks themselves, one glance of crimson orbs towards Sachiko and with that.. he was gone again. Was that the shadow clone or the real one? Both had been lurking about on the ship, so it would be kind of hard to tell. Either way, he was nearby. Sachiko being the target to defend, he wasn't going to shirk that job. However, that doesn't mean he has to plod along like the rest, to follow the monks. Life is what you make of it, in the end.
"Pleasure to meet you all," the elderly monk says with a smile, looking between the three, perhaps just doing as Sachiko suggested and ignoring the guy that seems to be hiding all the time. He then gives a nod to Maikeru's question and turns to walk down to the end of the dock to go into the town with the other monks following behind him. "Thank you for responding so promptly. I fear what would have happened if the village had taken our message lightly or dismissed it. The beasts behind that door are nothing to play with. If allowed to roam free, they would slaughter our village and then go for the rest of you."
M aikeru casts a glance over to Sachiko as she introduces herself, seeming a bit amused with her. The way he looks at her is almost like the look one would give when amused with a pet. As he looks back to the monks and begins to follow behind them, his expression becomes blank again. "Well, since I was sent to handle this, the village must take this matter very seriously. It's good to see that we weren't too late." Of course, there's not really much emotion in his voice to show that he would have actually cared if they'd all been dead when he and his crew arrived. "I understand you have arranged room and board for us for the nights we are here. That is appreciated."
Sachiko completely misses the interesting look from the Jounin thanks to not having an eyeball present at this time. Of course, when the monks turn around and start to lead the way, she starts creating them, tossing them off to the side to find places to hide. She also creates a few ears which sort of… flop away rather awkwardly. One eye conveniently hides in her hair, allowing her to see what the heck is going on now. She's missed amusing parts already, but she's supposed to be watching out for things and allowing the monks to see her Kekkei Genkai would sort of defeat the purpose.
The shadow continued to be the shadow. While he would stay with the group, a shadow clone was quietly sent ahead of them. Sure, it's one thing to get sent some place with the normal group, it's another to have something potentially hidden waiting for a certain time period or a sign. As such, he would scout ahead. That clone had the one mile range from where the figure was at with the group and as such, it would scope out the situation before anyone would know it was around. Sometimes an ounce of prevention was worth more than a ton of defenses.
"It's our pleasure," the elderly monk says as he continues to lead the way toward the cave. So far, none of the them look back or seem to notice what Sachiko is doing. "It's the least we can do for what you are doing for us." After a few minutes of walking through the village, they finally reach the mouth of the cave, which stands about twenty feet in height and is currently covered by a wall of purple chakra. A few monks sit on each side of it in meditation, maintaining the barrier.
Maikeru casts a glance at Sachiko and gives a nod of approval as she immediately starts in at doing what he brought her here for. At least the main reason… He looks back ahead as they walk, stopping as they finally reach their destination. His eyes scan the area, picking out everything he can before he looks to the monks. "I trust they can make a hole in the barrier long enough for me to get in when it's time?"
After there's a good amount of each of those organs scattered about the little village, Sachiko yawns. Bored. Very bored. Already. Sigh. After emitting this light exhale of breath, she gazes toward Maikeru, the eyeball focusing on him for a moment before paying attention to the area around the Iga more. This would… plumb, to say the least. She considered, for a moment, attaching an eyeball to Maikeru, but decided better of it. He probably wouldn't like that…
Having not found anything from scouting ahead, the shadow clone would be dissapated for now. He would drop back into position, as if he never left it, two steps behind and three steps to the left of Sachiko. A living shadow, it'd be almost eerie if not for the crimson eyes that definitely put him seperate from Sachiko. Simply watching, he studied everything about them, intensely searching their surroundings. It was a fairly basic situation, of course going through that barrier would be something else. He'd have to stay with Sachiko for now, as there was no way he'd be able to focus in there while keeping a shadow clone up out here outside of the barrier.
"Yes. Just let them know when you're ready. Your rooms are over there," the elder monk says, pointing a finger at what appears to be a small motel of sorts. "All the information you need for repairing the seal was in that scroll I sent with the messenger. I trust you are prepared for what is coming. We wish you luck." With a bow, the monks turn to walk away and head to their monastery.
Once the monks have walked away, Maikeru turns around to face Sachiko and Suterusu. "Alright, I'm going in to fix the seal. You two keep an eye out and be prepared for if any of the creatures slip through." Of course, that is pretty much code for 'Keep an eye out and be sure these guys aren't trying to screw us'. At least one of them would definitely know it, as he tells her mentally. "And, Sachiko… That's probably bad idea. No telling what you'd see in there," he says, looking directly to her for a moment. "Feel free to go to your rooms or look around, whatever you want to do. I'm going in."
Sachiko blinks at the verification of what Maikeru /meant/ by what he said. Then she turned her face toward him and narrowed her eyes at him somewhat. 'Oh, I was beginning to think the seal was broken,' she remarks in return mentally. "Yeah, yeah… Was just thinking about keeping an eye on /you/, anyway. You're right, though." She shrugs her shoulders. When he says what they can do, she looks around and sighs. "Well good luck, then." Waving her hand to him, she tries to decide what would be best… and ends up just sitting herself against a rock nearby the cave entrance, but not too close.
The figure would just give a simple nod to Maikeru at the information. Once it was given, he too would look around. While Sachiko was staying here, the figure would create a shadow clone to hide within the trees near her. Once that was settled, he would head off for the rooms themselves. While yes, they were there for rest, the main priority he had was to verify that there wasn't anything in them to cause potential issues. Poison, explosives, the general given. His sensory ability was as yet undeveloped, so he'd mostly rely on simply looking around to try and find anything out of place.
'Not even close,' Maikeru retorts mentally as he glances back to Sachiko. 'You'd be surprised at the things I know.' As the two Sunagakure shinobi go about their business, he turns to face the mouth of the cave again and approaches. He lets out a sigh and closes his eyes for a moment, feeling the heavy evil coming from inside. This is not going to be fun. "Alright," he says, opening his eyes and looking over to the monks. "Let's do this." One of them walks over and hands him a lit torch then moves his hands into a seal to open the barrier just for a moment. This gives Maikeru just enough time to quickly move through the hole before the barrier closes behind him.
Once Maikeru is inside, he looks around, but all he can see is the stalagmite and rocks from the light of the torch. Up ahead, he sees a purple glow and begins to make his way toward it. He has yet to spot any of the creatures, but the evil in this place is almost tangible and grows stronger the closer he walks to the seal. Just as he approaches it, a dark, rhaspy voice rings out, eerie enough to disturb even Maikeru a bit. And the line of communication is left open somewhat now, so Sachiko may be able to hear some of what is going on.
"The lightbringers have come… The light you bring will die," the voice seems to ring out from all around just before a gust of wind through the cave blows out the torch, leaving only the glow of the seal to dimly light a small area of the cave.
"The light inside you will die. All that you are will die."
'Oh bell,' is Sachiko's only mental response to that. Her eyes widen somewhat and her cheeks tinge red, further prompting her sitting. She's in trouble… there's no doubt about that. Not much she can do about it, though, and at least it's not immediate. So she crosses her arms and sighs. Once she starts to hear things, she furrows her brow and tries to focus on the words. Well that's… discomforting. Very. She doesn't look toward the cave, not wanting to draw attention to it or anything of the sort, but just waits. Maikeru will be alright… surely, she tries to reassure herself.
Whatever trouble Sachiko might be in, with what's going on now, Maikeru's mind is far from that. This is kind of bad. If he uses too much of his specialty jutsu, he could collapse the cave in on himself and finish breaking the seal, thus letting these things out fully. That definitely isn't the way to go… Reaching to his back, the Jounin draws his sword and looks around as dozens of black ethereal figures begin to emergy from the darkness.
"But you are not really light, are you?" that voice rings out with a dark laugh. "Do you not tire of the charade? Do you not tire of fighting what you are?" With that, the creatures begin to rush Maikeru, their claws swinging at him mercilessly in unison as they attack him. "The Children see what you are. They know what you have done. Their eyes see into your soul."
Sachiko listens to what she can of what's going on inside the cave as well as pay attention to all her sentries scattered about. It's a difficult job to multi-task and most of her attention is focused on what's going on with Maikeru. This sounds very bad. She isn't really even sure what to do about it. 'No, you do /not/ tire,' she claims. Stupid of her to try and /tell/ him what he feels, of course, but it was sort of an instinctive response to a question not even aimed at her…
"Darkness will swallow you whole!"
As the creatures rush him, Maikeru begins to fight back, swinging his sword in precise hits, yet he's not able to hit them all at once. Were it not for Maikeru's jutsu that keeps that shield of chakra over his body, he would likely be torn to shreds. He doesn't even have time to mentally respond to Sachiko. It's not so much that these things are so strong, but their sheer numbers seem to continuously grow. For each one he strikes down, two more creep out of the darkness, and that madenning voice seems to only get stronger.
"You have done such hurtful things. You try to save them, but they all despise you. The people you fight for will rejoice in your death."
'I don't know who the scuba that thing is talking about, but it's lying,' Sachiko snaps. 'Don't you dare die.' Or what? She doesn't really have any leverage to 'threaten' him or anything of the sort. Still, no. Bad Maikeru. No dying. Also… no being swallowed. Now isn't the time for that.
Continuing to fight the creatures back, Maikeru continues to swing his sword to stroke them down one by one. Sweat drips down his forehead as slashes at them over and over, the flood of dark creatures seemingly endless. By sheer number, they finally wrestle his sword from him and start to push him down to his knees as they claw and strike at him.
"You are tainted. The stain will never wash out. Darkness flocks to you always. There is no escape."
Sachiko quietly growls to herself as she hears more of what the creature inside the cave is saying. 'Ridiculous,' she mutters mentally. 'Seriously… you better not die in there, Mai. Months of not hearing a word from you and you summon me to do this stupid mission with you only to die barely a few hours into it? Get. UP.' Sure, it might not mean anything to him. Sure, he could just ignore her. Shut her out, even. It's all she can do, though.
As the creatures continue to pile on an attack Maikeru, he pushes himself up a bit. His eyes take on an eerie yellow glow, and Sachiko would hear 'Shut up, Sachiko,' just before a surge of dark chakra fires up around him, blowing some of the creatures off. With some of the weight off his body, he begins to strike at them again. Pointing his hand at them, he creates a dark red orb and fires a more controlled version of Jigoku Supernova that doesn't explode quite as harshly, but still gets some of those creatures off. The explosion rocks the cave a bit, but not enough to cause any kind of cave-in.
"You have brought hurt! The Children are angry!" the creature shouts out as some of the black creatures seem to begin to fall back.
'Yes, sir!' Smirking, Sachiko just sits back. Of course, she doesn't /need/ to project her thoughts at him for him to possibly hear her so she's not really sure how well she can keep herself quiet. Even so, she just wanted to make sure he wasn't going to leave her behind or some stupid snorkel like that. So… as long as he's still fighting, she'll shut her mouth… Er, mind?
"The Children hide in their shells… The Children have bodies now. Bodies can tear you asunder!"
Maikeru blinks a few times as he continues to strike at the few ethereal creatures still around him. What the creature means by that becomes more clear as the rattling of armor rings out. Apparently the black creatures have possessed walking bird-like armor with razor-sharp claws, as several suits of it charge Maikeru and begin to strike at him. He blocks the first few strikes with his sword, others getting to the armor over his skin, though not yet able to break it.
As Sachiko listens, she slowly shakes her head. So… strange. This whole thing is really odd. Though, all in all, she's more than happy she isn't in that cave with Maikeru. From what little information she can grasp given the connection, she'd probably be out of luck if she were in his position or even just with him. Keeping with her sort-of promise, she doesn't try to project thoughts at him and simply stays where she is. While tense, she's rather comfortable against the rock.
As more of the armored animals come his way, Maikeru begins to slice at them more and swings his possessed arm, sending an enlarged form of it to slam into a few of them. Many of the armors shatter, though the creatures simply fade away. At this point, one might wonder if they're actually able to be killed or they just go back to where they come from.
"We will snuff out every last night, smother every breath from every mouth, and stop the beating of every heart."
Sachiko frowns lightly, listening and shaking her head. She starts to wonder slightly how it came to be that the monks were here to keep these things back in the first place. It's a pretty desolate otherwise… Turning her eyeball to the monks keeping the barrier up, she examines them for any signs of funny business. Then she checks on her other sentries for the moment. She's… GASP — behaving! Doing as told? She must be sick.
"If you do that, your food supply will be spent, and you'll all die. Real productive," Maikeru retorts with a smirk as he continues to swing giant fist and blade to combat the creatures. Once it seems he's demolished all the ones currently attacking him, he lets out a sigh and turns back to the seal. The voice seems to leave him alone for now, as he looks the seal over, studying its breaks and such. One problem is that the rock that it's built on itself is damage, so the surface will need to be fixed so that the seal can be evened back out and repaired. Another, of course, is the missing pieces of the formation. He's going to need some tools to pull this off…
Sachiko sighs somewhat in relief when she realizes he's doing alright for now. 'Can I talk now?' If he says no, she'll simply go back to checking on her sentries and staying 'shut up' as told. If he says she can talk, she asks, 'Now that you seem to have fought off the current intruders, are you able to fix it quickly? I think spending as little time as possible in there is for the best. If possible, of course. Of course… I can't tell you what to do or anything… and I understand this needs to be dome quickly, but… still.'
'Actually, this is going to take a few days of work between actually doing the work and fighting those things off, but I've got a pretty good idea of where to start now.' A moment later, a hole opens in the barrier once more, and he walks over to Sachiko. "Get comfortable. We're going to be here for a few days," he says, offering his hand down to her to help her up. "I'm going to make a list of the things I need for the monks, and I'll get started on in it tomorrow. From what I hear, being in there at night is an even worse idea, and it's almost sunset."
'Ah,' she answers him briefly. When he comes out, Sachiko's attention turns toward him and she listens, looking up at him. When offered his hand, she reaches out — albeit a bit tentatively — to take it and stand. "Fabulous… Well, I suppose it could be worse. Just… be careful, yeah?" Trying to actually show she cares? Whatever the case, she pushes the thought away and starts to head toward the hotel of sorts to 'get comfortable' as instructed.