Date: May 23, 2012
Daisuke, Hashiramako, and the others charge into the inner sanctum of the monastery for the final battle.
"Warriors of Balance - Fight for Freedom part 1"
A handful of minutes had passed since the group led by Senju Hashiramako and Daisuke had cleared the outer monastery of enemies. The wounded had been sent back to the camp outside of the gates in the village where the medical facility had been set up last night with the help of Hashiramako. The group of remaining panda and the two ninja stand before the large ornamental gate leading to the inner sanctum of the monastery where surely a big fight awaits them.
Daisuke is over by Xun, asking the group what to expect when they go inside. Various questions are being thrown around to the group, like if anyone saw who was leading the group or if anyone had actually been inside the sanctum. Apparently not many tread within the gate aside from those who were most likely inside already fighting or injured unless summoned by one of the Maharajah, the spiritual leaders or bosses of the Panda. Daisuke formed a decent enough background and expectation of the area in order to be satisfied before signalling the group to get ready. After everyone was prepared, they all pushed on the large ornamental gate and charged inside.
The medical facility went up without a hitch and catered to all who were injured inside. Hashiramako made sure that all was running smoothly before she had left the village, dedicating her time to healing those who suffered damages from the attacks, whether indirect or not. She knew she couldn't heal everyone and so she didn't try to. Just the facility was enough for the Panda to take over and do the rest of the work. She left the station not long afterward and made her way over toward Daisuke where she waited for them to be prepared to fight.
"Are we all ready to go?" She didn't need an immediate answer. Just reading the expressions of the people around was enough to tell her that they were certain. With that, she followed Daisuke's lead and pushed on the large gate to open it and enter inside.
Upon opening the gates, Daisuke's nose was assaulted with the smell of burnt incense and what seemed to be some kind of musky scent. Something told him that these doors were rarely opened and, if the situation wasn't so dire, probably would've remained closed for quite some time. As the group steps into the area the pandas begin to look around, some nervously, and most taking in the sights as if it were their first time here, which was most likely the case.
And what a sight it was. The inner sanctum was a vast expansive area in the shape of a large circle. A pathway walked along the outer circle with 4 bridges in each cardinal direction heading towards the middle. Within the middle of the room was a small temple-like structure, looking more like a golden gazebo, with stairs heading down to who knows where. The other part of the room, the vast majority of it between the outer path and the temple in the middle, was a dark expanse of blackness for who knows how long, falling down into the mountain core. Because of this, the stairs in the middle area could continue down for as long as they wanted, without any knowledge of how deep this place actually was.
Daisuke lets out a breath as he observes the place, a low whistle escaping his lips in his appreciation. "This place is crazy." he says as he walks to the edge of the path, peering down into the darkness. The boyish curiosity within him wanted to know just how far this hole went but he would have to wait to find out. As the doors were open, a tag was triggered alerting those within that company had arrived. A band of enemies came rushing from the center area stairway, giving Daisuke a good idea as to where the enemy was. The pandas charged forward, both groups meeting on the western bridge to clash arms. Daisuke had motioned to Hashiramko to follow him to the southern bridge to seek out the true enemies of this place, leaving the more than capable pandas to fight the fodder.
Hashi's smelled better….
"That incense…" is all she had to say for now. She wasn't sure if she should say anything for fear of insulting the pandas. There's a lot to this place that she doesn't know about, so best to keep the mouth shut. She cleared her throat silently, an attempt to try and get the strong scent out while she looked around. Of all the places, it appeared the middle was the way to go. She'd try to admire the inner sanctum for what it was, but she didn't want to lose concentration on the task at hand.
Best she didn't, anyway as a trap was triggered alerting those around to the group's arrival. Now it's time to get started. The enemies that came up from the center caught Hashi's eye, but Daisuke had other ideas. Nodding, she left the pandas behind to fend off these enemies. The true one, it seems, has yet to show itself. "So, where are we headed?" She thought to ask. He had a better sense about this than she did, then again, she could just be removing herself from the situation. She was focused, of course, but wanted him to display his work without too much of her interference.
"Down the stairs where the mob came from. That's where the head pandas and the leader of this group should be." Daisuke says as he runs across the bridge, hands out behind him of course because that is how ninja run fast. As they are making their way across the southern bridge, Daisuke peeks over at the western bridge to make sure that things were going well. So far the group of panda had been able to knock out and throw some of the bandits off the bridge without taking casualties but that probably wasn't going to last all day. Daisuke and Hashi had to hurry to end this. Reaching the temple and entering the spiraling stairway, Daisuke began to hop down and down the stairs, four at a time, speeding up his descent. The stairway seemed endless, and with small lamps of light evenly distributed along the steps, it was hard to tell just how far they had gone. Around and around the duo went until the air began to get hotter.
"It seems we are getting quite deep into the mountain here. I wonder what is down here." he says as they continue, eventually coming to an exit.
The exit opened into a wide expanse with a rock floor. The open area was just about the size of the space between the outer pathway above and the center temple. Daisuke tries not to look around too much as there will probably be a few bodies littering the area below the west bridge. Luckily they were facing southeast, away from the west, and there was plenty to look at. Carvings surrounded the area, telling tales of long past history in a language Daisuke did not recognize. Walking through the stone tablets, Daisuke would stop abruptly as he notices what is ahead. Near the southeast wall was a small ornamental door, around seven feet tall if he had to guess. What was interesting was what was going on in front. A large man was grappling a small panda and yelling loudly enough for everyone to hear. He was demanding the panda open the door or he will start killing. Daisuke's eyes adjusted to the poor lighting enough to realize there were pandas on the ground all over, though they looked to be in a state of unconsciousness as their bellies rose and fell with each breath. There were pandas of all size here, including some bigger than buildings in Konoha, and Daisuke was left to wonder just how this man had gotten so far.
With a misstep on a small twig breaking their silent approach, the man turned in the darkness and, with a sweeping gesture, sent out a wave of what appeared to be chakra. The chakra passed over Daisuke, leaving him frozen for a moment and wondering what was going to happen. Then, with a few blinks, he looked down at his hands and had a confused look on his face.
"What was that?" said the confused chuunin to the man, who looks surprised for a moment to see them.
"You aren't panda…" he says as he tosses the small old panda to the ground and refocuses his attention on them..
Hashi nodded. Down the stairs. She imagines this fight is going to be a bit intense. With their path mostly clear, she continues after Daisuke as she always has. Hopefully, they weren't too late. This had to end and these pandas needed saving from this threat. Peace needs to return to them and soon. Before long, they were able to reach the temple and subsequently, make their way down the spiral staircase. This was probably going to be a long run. These mountains were a challenge, even for the most well trained ninja.
"I don't know what to expect going down here, but I can only hope it's enough that we'll be able to fight without restraint." As much as she hoped, she doesn't think that things will be tilted in her favor all that well. It was growing darker the further they descended, in spite of the lighting in place. Just touching the ground floor shook her up a bit since she was expecting to keep going for much longer on the stairs, but she recovered well enough.
"You see something, hm?" She asked. Everything besides the area that they were in. Rich history, some bodies scattered around as expected. "Ah, no… You hear something…" She remarked quietly. She stepped forward and met with a wave of chakra that…didn't have any effect? "What did you just do?" She demanded of the man to answer.
The man chuckles loudly as both ninja are a little confused. "I have developed a technique to disrupt the chakra of a summons type creature, but apparently it only works on them. No matter, I will deal with you the old fashioned way." He clasps his hands together in numerous seals before the ground around them begins to shake and shift, the flat rock floor completely changed into a rocky, multi-level terrain. Daisuke looks back to Hashi and says, "Try to keep him busy for a second, or restrained if you can." before he sinks into the ground, earth one of his most natural elements so much that he can swim through any rock or dirt in his way with his Iwagakure technique. The chuunin moves towards the enemy, waiting underneath to strike at the right time.
"Hmph." Hashi huffed. If it was going to be the old fashioned way, then no one knew it better than she did. Just as the man began t make his seals, she too did the same. Once the terrain was raised, Hashi produced a tree to utilize in the area, growing one immediately with her abilities. She'd then take from the tree and use its roots as a bramble to send forward and ensnare him in another jutsu, a damaging vine that pierced his skin with the intent of making him bleed out as if longing for his blood. Once she was done with that, she tried to layer the attack with roots to keep the brambles locked in place so he couldn't escape.
When someone takes an assault from the Hokage, they feel it. The man was able to raise a wall of earth for the first root attack but immediately after the vines went around the wall and snatched him up tight. Daisuke uses that chance to burst from the earth below with a Lava release attack, scalding the man. As he cries out in pain, Daisuke rejoins his aunt, watching for any counter attack. The man, left burning in the pool, bound tightly, suddenly poofs into air, the real man attacking from above. Daisuke summons an earth dome to protect him and his aunt, letting her go offensive.
"A clone?" Hashi hissed to herself, looking for where the real guy was. Looking up into the air, she sees the guy coming down, so she quickly draws out a kunai and flips it around to defend herself, but Daisuke's clone takes the brunt of the force. She jumps back then, deciding that she needed to take another approach. For all she knows, this guy could be a clone too, so she made handseals to generate clones of her own. Inside the haze produced by them, she replaces herself with a third clone while she takes refuge near the tree she created.
It's here she begins to send roots through the ground so that she could get a read of the whole area. There was no way he was going to escape her at this point. Her clones, taking care of attacking all take different positions on the field, each of them making handsigns as if to generate a jutsu to feint an attack. She'll know where he is now without having to fall victim to that trick again.
Daisuke notices Hashi's clones around him as they engage the enemy, making a shadow clone of himself to fight before he slips under the earth again, moving through the ground to a better vantage point behind. The clones engage in all out attack, though the man does a good job defending by creating his own clone, making it a bit easier for him now that it was four on two. The man and his clone are back to back, defending from all sides as the clones of Hashi and Daisuke's clones attack and keep them occupied. Daisuke's clone scores a punch, being a shadow clone the attack is felt and the man figures he has the kid in front of him, taking a slash at him with a hidden blade that he retrieves. Daisuke's clone is cut in half, though after a few dramatic seconds he poofs into thin air, leaving the man a bit surprised. With Hashi's clones distracting and Hashi off preparing something, Daisuke figures it was time to end this. He calls to his partner for use of his chakra, which quickly surrounds Daisuke with an orange-ish cloak. From his vantage point, a massive chakra arm, complete with fierce looking claws on a hand reaches out to try to snatch up both man and clone, one successfully leaping out of the way. But while one dodged the attack, Daisuke was not finished. A second arm branches out from the first near the wrist area, reaching up with speed to snatch the man out of the air and hold him tight. The clone below poofs into air as Daisuke's bijuu chakra arm squeezes the man tight.
Hashi took to the walls of the room, hiding in the darkness so that she wouldn't be spotted so easily. Whether or not her clones proved to be a successful distraction don't bother her as she's beginning to generate more just in case. The others have already disappeared from existence leaving only the man and Daisuke engaged in battle. With the cloak released, the arm holding the man may be the only thing they need at this point to solve this problem.
But she prefers being safe than sorry. With the roots extended across the ground covering movement, she begins to generate more trees to make sure that she has more ground to cover for attack. In the case that this guy tries to escape, he'd be faced with a number of trees ready to explode and send the splinters out and piercing his body all over. "Do you have a good hold on him?" She asked of Daisuke.
To Be Continued in Final Arc….