Date: September 23, 2011
Once more the footstops of the Land of Water soldiers darkens the shores of the Land of Fire.
"Pylon of Efficacy - History Repeats"
The east coast of the Land of Fire
The sun has risen, uncaring for the troubles of this world, bright orange and warm, contended in its kingdom in the sky. It would see everything that happened today, but wouldn't lift a finger to stop any of it. It's been nearly a week since the multi-national ships had come under fire and hundreds of men had lost their lives to the new and terrible weapon developed by the Land of Water. No one knew what it was, where it came from, how it worked, or had even SEEN it! Most among the Kirigakurians didn't even know much about it. In fact, only the Scientific Research and Developement Branch seemed to know the entire story, and even then it was restricted on a Need-to-Know basis.
But the Land of Fire had not been idle. Though their navy would only be sore prey to that deadly laser until some means of countering it could be ascertained, their army had been spending the better part of the last few days fortifying and reinforcing the coast, fearing this might be another heralding of something as big as the golem invasion, the scars of which the land still carried. Bunkers, walls of earth and stone, wooden spikes, and thousands of men held the beach, ready to repel any invaders.
Especially since the Land of Water fleet had been spotted.
It was no lone warship this time, it was an amphibious invasion of a hundred or more vessels carrying with it thousands of men. If the Land of Water's ambitions had not been painfully obvious before, they certainly were now: it was an overt act of war. Another battle was about to be commenced between these two powerful nations, and nearly every soldier on the Land of Fire's line of battle remembered the desperate fight to halt the insidious invasion of inhuman automatons.
Samominoryuu Kei stood on the command deck of her flagship, the largest in the fleet. Her ego would allow no less. Yet her ship was hanging back near the rear of the charging ships, the swift leaders moving to land their men on the shore as quickly as possible before they could be destroyed. The mad swordswoman had insisted that they strike here, where intelligence had indicated their troop concentration was at its thickest. A few of her more tactical-minded advisors had protested, expressing misgivings about attacking such heavy fortifications when much more tempting targets were in abundance. Yet the wielder of Samehada had merely laughed at them. Unwilling to risk the volatile woman's infamous temper, they had set about making the logistical preparations for this attack.
The decision to make an amphibious landing was simple enough. The execution, however, was a nightmare. Provisions had to be acquired, soldiers separated into companies and loaded onto ships, navigation checked and rechecked, a hierarchy among captains established, a plan disseminated amongst every soldier, marine, and navy fighter. But all that hard work had brought them here, a thousand miles from home, to make war against strangers.
Naturally, Fire morale was much higher than that of Water, for these were men and women defending their homeland. And they had Water forces outnumbered by almost fifty percent.
From the flagship of the head of this mad invasion of conquest comes the signals, signals for the shinobi to advance and ensure the ships survived long enough to reach the shore and disgorge their soldiers.
A boat swings closer to shore, smaller than the rest and covered in a canopy. As the troops were piling ashore it was clear this boat was not there for it…and the Kyoumen aboard was thankful. A choice attachment, as Satsukiyami was aiding the Kiri Intel Division. He would be standing on the side of the ship closest to shore…and he would already be raising his hands. Not being in direct conflict made reaching maximum range easy…and the two shinobi behind him would put both of their hands on his back. The black cloud now spreading outward from above the ship soon began to shower the entire beachhead…The two sensor-nin holding Satsukiyami brace as all of the deployed troops begin shining visibly to their abilities…Satsukiyami's rain was the catalyst for the intel division! "At this range…I can only do this for a couple hours, so get your count and fast…" Satsuki himself sinks to a lotus position, holding a seal as he begins pouring his focus into maintaining his technique. The two behind him were quick in sharing information to the rest of the division…which is spread to the fleet. He was being paid extra for this.
Meruin stood at the top of one of the warships sailing towards the shore, his ship one of the closest to Konohagakure land. The nine year old held his mask of impassivity close, his posture and aura one of calm observance. He tallied up the enemy forces as best he could, knowing far ahead of time that they outnumbered Kirigakure forces heavily. But, it had always been like this. Kiri had a fierce mentality and a higher combat caliber to fall back on. And, of course, the rains did come…
Standing at the front-lines is a certain Hyuuga who had been absent for so many months. In times of war, Uma would always make herself available despite the knowledge that she roamed the lands freely. This was war. War against a country she had a long standing disdain for. Shinobi whose lives were spared willingly, now much to her regret.
The long haired kunoichi is focused on the ships, her byakugan activated. Thick veins spided-web down the entirety of her face as she makes mental calculations of odds. Being the Superior Officer, this was her battle, and she'd be damned if she let any of her shinobi die. She remains quiet, a stoic expression plastered to her fragile, doll-like features. Her lips are pursed in a stern manner, and her eyes are narrowed dangerously.. it's a wonder the ships are bursting into fire by her mere look. She turns towards those under her and begins to dish out the numbers, keeping an eye on their movement without even looking directly upon them.
Taji had been dreading this. Again the drums of war come to the shores of the Land of Fire. Again the shinobi and warriors of Kirigakure attack the peaceful Konohagakure shinobi. Why? Why was war such a constant? It seemed to Taji as if every time the Land of Water got bored they threw a dart at a board on who to invade. Did they have nothing better to do? Was their land so devoid of any redeeming merits that all they could do was try to take other lands? And they lost, eventually, each time. Only a fool would keep doing this. Yet the actions of these fools was clearly going to result in another day of death.
With a shake of his head Taji readied himself on the shores, back a bit in a fortified area, waiting for the ships. The Land of Fire had learned their lessons last time and fortifications had been created. Long distance attacks had been prepared to repell invaders. Hopefully some of those long distance attacks would take out a ship or two, or more. Thanks to intel this certainly wasn't a suprise invasion like the last one. This time the Land of Water was sailing into the bared teeth of the Land of Fire. Taji was only one small part of that as he prepared as best as he could. His normal pack well hidden away, while he had bands of scroll cases across his torso, ready to use. His eyes narrowing at the invading forces as he nervously waited for the worst to come.
Naru herself was amongst the shinobi of Konoha, though still being quite new to the game of war, unlike many however she in particular was very excited about the upcoming battle, able to establish her honor and pride as a shinobi and an Uchiha. Not jumping into action just yet, she awaited the word of her superior, who seemed to be the Hyuuga known as Uma that she met with only briefly. " Hmm…" Naru whispers quietly under her breath, raven locks of hair flowing effortlessly with the light, almost stale wind. She remained clutched against a tree, waiting for any odd movements, and for the moment, summoning enough chakra to push her through the fight to come….
Taiki and Shinobu stood near the back of the defense line, watching as the fleet started to move in. He had been running errands throughout the lines, ensuring the defenders had what they needed. By him all the time was Shinobu, Taiki's nin-canine companion, who also helped out where he could, that often being helping Taiki on his rounds. But now the two stood, momentarily stuck where they were so all they could do is marvel at the ships. "Those Golems were bad enough," he said in awe to his companion. "What do they have in store for us this time? Man I wish I hadn't been locked up with Clan business… I could have trained more." Too late now he thought. All he could do is survive this invasion and try to make the enemy wish they never came here.
Out of seemingly nowhere, a rain begins to fall, clouds forming overhead with such speed that it can only be a jutsu. In some areas of the beach, the rainclouds are countered, sometimes with domes, sometimes with strong gales that simply blow the clouds away. But much of the beach soon begins to turn to mud, turning hot, dreary fighting conditions into even worse conditions. Many of the Fire soldiers begin to mutter unhappily as the rain falls upon them.
Meanwhile, the ships continue to speed forward, not even trimming their sails, fully intending to drive themselves up onto the beach so that their sailors can be dropped and commence the fighting. As the range continues to close, long-rage ballista bolts begin to fly from the Land of Fire's harbor defenses, hitting the water shy of the lead boats, handlers adjusting the aim of the deadly seige weapons higher.
Aboard the myriad of racing ships, Land of Water soldiers spend their time looking grim-faced and stoic for the most part, the newer recruits, for lack of a better descriptor, scared shitless. Some are shaking, puking, crying, or praying. Every one of them knows they or a buddy might not be coming home, and they have accepted their fate, for it is their honor to serve the daimyo of the Land of Water. …And their misfortune to be placed under the command of the madwoman calling the shots.
The second ballista bolts fly through the air, now joined by catapult stones as the ships close the distance. A few score their marks, breaking wood and killing men before they even reach shore, but none score killing blows on the vessels. They keep approaching as if they had no thoughts for the fellows who died or were injured. Some conscientious soldiers begin to take the injured to the surgeon's quarters, but the majority of the crippled are left to fend for themselves in the face of the incoming invasion.
The lead ships hit the shore and are immediately peppered with arrows, men and women raising shields to defend themselves. Some are hit, going down, as they leap over the sides of the ships, falling down and clutching wounds in agony. Others begin to form up to meet the charging Konoha soldiers, who are intent on driving them back into the waves before they can get a foothold!
Back on the flagship, one of the Science Division shinobi is given a curt nod by the fleet's mastermind, Samominoryuu Kei. The male begins to use the information provided to him, as well as his own visual acuity of the beach, unfortunately diminished by that damnable rain, and gathers chakra, making a series of handseals. As he finishes, he drops his arms back to his sides, his sweating brow relaxing. "It is done."
Through the air, a deep, reverberating hum can be felt as much as heard. It sounds like a foghorn, yet deeper, less shrill, felt in the very bones, and seeming to come from everywhere at once.
Satsukiyami is blind physically, but the diminishing chakra he feels can tell him that the battle has started. He grimaces only a moment, letting out a breath of strain as he actually forces more of his chakra outward. The reason? He didn't think Konoha would be smart enough to try and hold back his rain. The more chakra he pours in, the more clouds spiral into existance. The sensor-nin holding him babble like typewriters, they are professional at least. Encoded messages sent through the radio channels to the rest of the fleet begin revealing basic enemy positions in relation to their own. Satsukiyami finally grins as he hears that horn… "I hope this won't overload me…let me go for a moment before this happens, don't want you sharp sensed guys going blind." Satsukiyami only heard rumors…but he honestly waits anxiously. He does not have a clue how it will affect his jutsu, the canopy beginning to be pulled down so the sensor-nin are protected as well.
The sight and sound of it had become a familiar thing to Meruin, by the time. An odd thing to think of for him being nine years old. It had the feel of something inevitable. Something planned to reoccur, like a summer vacation or an annual trip. The tense atmosphere, the whistling of fired ballista, the sound of snapping wood and bone — all familiar things to the Okumo. Things simply were as they were. It was his life.
The ship he was on jerked as it was run aground, though he managed to stay firmly affixed through the use of average tree-walking talents. Even though everyone else dashed from the ship with their cries of war, Meruin remained where he was, still to the point of inhumanity. A silent sentinel. He was these things because rather than acting or speaking, he was listening. Listening to the sensor nin's stats being sent over the radio, awaiting either an order or a problem that needed to be adressed. All he needed was word of the proper place to apply his strength.(Formatting Edit)
The battle-hardened Uma looks about as calm as ever. In fact, she almost looks at peace in all the chaos. She of course was bred to kill, bred to fight wars. She was a killer, and by all means, she had a killers intent. As the boats start hitting shore, she starts issuing orders, sending the non-shinobi fighters in with a wave of her hand. They get to a certain point on the beach and stop.A hand is placed on the ground and she shoots up into the air on top of a spire of earth. It puts her above the rest of the troops so that she may see.
Slapping her hands together in a rapid succession of seals, the earth between the two troops begins to rumble, crescendoing until there is a sudden explosion. Large chunks of earth shoot into the air raining down upon the oncoming troops. It's such a powerful technique that now the opposing troops will have to manage to pass across the gaping muddy crators that have lined the field.
Suddenly she yells out, "KIRIGAKURE, YOU STORM OUR BEACHES ONCE AGAIN. YOU WILL ONLY FACE DEATH BY ATTACKING US. LEAVE NOW OR YOU WILL ALL DIE. THIS IS YOUR ONLY CHANCE."
She however seemed quite inclined on killing them all.
Rain? RAIN?! Could this horror get any worse? Taji is left to watch the destruction as the Kiri forces approach like an unstoppable wave, despite the defenses. His look becomes more stern as the first Shinobi lands on shore and the forces attempt to swell forward against the Konoha forces. This is distraction enough, but when the deep tone is struck a sense of impending unease settles into Taji's bones. This can not be good. Taji looks around worriedly, expecting 'something' be it a massive golem like last time or perhaps a sea beast called by the sound.
As the attacking wave approached, Taji held his position back a bit from the front lines, watching for targets he might recognize. He had no desire to be cannon fodder for the front lines. All he could do was wait, and pick the moment when he might be of most use. A hard thing to hold one's position, to wait, but he did so, readying himself to act when the moment came where he might do the most good to the fight.
It was raining? Just like that? The senstation let to naru becoming quickly uneasy, feeling tha tthe battle had shifted to a slight advantage to the mist ninja… With her hands still pressed together she began t osurge herself with chakra, keeping herself at bay as Uma gave them the final command to either backdown or face death…They had them out numbered, a part of Naru wished for them to pull back, however the other poked wishing for finally getting that battle experience she had been waiting for. " I don't think the boats are stopping…" Naru whispered quietly to herself, readying a kunai for a most likely inevitable out come.
The rain starts to fall on what was a sunny day. Taiki looks up to the sky and grimaces. "Where did this come from?" he asks aloud, hopefully attracting someone's attention. He walks up to the nearest chuunin, most likely the one giving him orders and says, "Wasn't it sunny just a few minutes ago? Shouldn't we have… like, someone look into countering this?" Yeah, it's obvious to him, as weather patterns just don't change that quickly.
Shinobu barks and whimpers, apparently echoing his partner's feelings. "Oh yeah… like this is going to be anything but bad for us. Sudden rain during a battle with water-users…" He shudders slightly at the memory of his first mission: water clones. He then lowers himself down to all fours, his eyes starting to look wild and his nostrils flaring as he attempts to trace scents in the air along with Shinobu. No sense in being ambushed if they can avoid it.
For the time being Kaguya Tsun was quiet, idly standing behind of the Intel group that was about Satsukiyami. Not really doing much to help, she just happened to be on that ship.
Tsun's purpose was not necessarily established beyond, well the usual purpose of one of her kind. As the ships came closer, Tsun's eagerness rises and for this special occasion she would have a special chunk of gum. A mixture of green apple and pineapple that clashes deliciously on her tongue. If only they should this gum directly in Kirigakure! 'Perhaps you should be thinking of war, hmm Tsun-chan?'
Tsun's right eyebrow perks up, not minding the voice this time around. "Not really… this is what, the third time against them? Not worried." She doesn't look nearly as excited as she did the last two wars. Perhaps no longer being taught by Mitsuo was doing her some good on the blood thirsty aspect.
Uma's warning soon rings out and Tsun's face screws up for a moment as the warning rings out. Looks like the time for the casual boat ride was running out. Tsun's chakra begins to gather as they approach. "I guess this is where I leave you, don't screw up~" The comment directed to Satsukiyami as she starts to make her way to the front of the ship.
The loud, aching, deep noise ends moments before there's a flash of light on the eastern horizon. This flash of light is seen a mere eyeblink before the beam of power strikes.
It cuts through rain and atmosphere, man and earth and fortifications alike, striking through them as if they were made of toothpicks and paper. It strikes right in the middle of the Land of Fire earthworks and beach fortifications, before sweeping to the left and destroying yet more lives and earth. Men and women practically evaporate in their armor, leaving behind small puddles of molten metal, tearing up and scorching earth, punching through erected jutsu barriers as if they weren't even there. The wide-mouthed beam lasts less than a handful of seconds, but the devastation left behind by that single shot is as horrendous as it is apparent. Hundreds of lives of Land of Fire soldiers are lost, a breach in their defenses opened up that's wide enough to admit an entire marching army.
The chunks of earthen jutsu do indeed ruin quite a number of Water soldier's days. Yet more ships continue to hit the beach and spill their troops out, and the Land of Fire had just suffered a massive, unexplainable loss that can not be explained or comprehended! The entirety of the Fire forces in that area are in a state of near-panic, many throwing down their weapons and fleeing outright, their surviving commanders trying to reestablish orders. Even those not near the blast are suffering from sudden shock and demoralization.
With the sight of many of their enemies now nothing more than bits and smoldering pieces in a large, scorched trench of burned-bare flat earth, a viciously eager war cry goes up from the Land of Water invaders. Hyuuga Uma's warning may have been intimidating, but when a Water soldier was given an order to fight, he was to face his enemy or face execution. Besides, they had beached their damned boats! There was no way to rapidly retreat even had they wanted to! They press forward, ready to deal death and dismemberment to the enemy, the two opposing forces colliding. Though Fire forces still outnumbered them, the soldiers were badly shaken by the previous display of power, and the fighting seems even along the beachfront.
From Kei's flagships begin to come the signal flags for 'Charge at will'. No longer was this a masterful display of maneuvering, it was now a vulgar brawl.
"Don't get yourself caught off guard, I can't save you this far ou-" It was that moment the beam was fired, and Satsukiyamis entire focus is broken. His barge was too close, at least for him, as his hands go to his eyes. The canopy blazes brilliantly as light filters through, everyone on the barge is fine except for a Kyoumen who says more than a few explitives. The rainclouds let up only for a moment…then the sky opens up in a rage as Satsuki stands and repeats the seals. "Good lord…Glad I am being paid more by Kirigakure today." He hears the Hyuuga, and looks over his shoulders as the sensors return to their contact points. "Even with that, I am going to have to go to land soon…get a casualty report one more time, then I must go ashore."
The tiny strands of webbing on Meruin's arms rose at the intensity in the air… The deep sound heralding doom ceased and his heartbeat filled the silence. Just one. Then destruction reigned, tearing through the ranks of his enemy with the ease of nature against man. The light of the brilliant beam reflected in his pupiless eyes that watched with false calm, a whole torn in the land.
His orders had been given.
He vanished from the top of his damaged ship, reappearing on the land below. His travel was a swift one, eye defying speed taking him to the area of greatest destruction in some 30 seconds, at least two deaths of stunned enemies taken at his hand for every one of them. He would fight here, working to ensure that this breach would not be repaired.
Uma shouts down to her troops, "Watch to the east.. there's.. something HUNDREDS of miles away firing that beam. We cannot stop it from here.." She lets out a sigh as she notices chakra-systems simply disappearing. Despite hundreds of souls vaporizing in seconds, she does not let her resolve weaken. In fact it just intensifies her rage. A silent, eerie rage that radiates off of her like heat from a stove.
Satsukiyami's position had been spotted, and she fires off another earthen rain aimed at his boat. A singular attack, perhaps meant to sink the barge and break concentration. At nearly inhuman speeds she suddenly vanishes from her position on the spire of earth, reappearing at the very front of the front-lines. Her hands strike out at the enemies, the skill and grace in which it's executed highly recognizable as Juuken. Chakra pours out of her hands as she lays waste to those who stand in her path. That is the signal to attack.
Rain was bad enough, a beam of pure destruction from beyond the horizon? What kind of laser can bend around the curve of the earth?! How can that be stopped? This is… insane! What kind of forces are the land of water dealing with here? Are they so hell bent on destruction that they would go to such lengths? How did they build such a device so recently after the thousands of golems? What resources did Kiri have that were unknown? Something about this rang just… impossible. But the deaths before Taji were clearly not impossible, the screams and melted puddles of armor were obviously not genjutsu.
Any thoughts of holding back or conserving resources were gone as Taji concentrated and made some quick hand seals. Mist flowed out of his body, but with the destruction and rain that likely would be missed by most. Then the mist collapsed back upon Taji's form as he effectively became a form of mist, his body no more than covered by the haze, although upon close inspection it might seem as if some could see through bits of his body, yet with the war going on around him likely no one would have time for such close inspection. Taking a deep breath and now transformed Taji headed forward into the fray to try to stop the invaders, only hoping that the beam had limited charges or took a long time to recharge.
Fear truly began to sink into the genin at this point, watching lives disappearin just a matter of a few seconds caused her to stragger backwards slightly away fro mthe battle field.. " Just… Like that…they died…?" Naru questioned out loud, bitting down on her lip she felt her knees shaking, however something compelled her to stay and fight… And it was at that moment she found the familiar shinobi who troubled her so much earlier.. "Thats the mist ninja… from not too long ago!" Naru shouted out, watching as many others began to dip into battle at this point, she herself kicked forward, leaving from a tree and landing neatly into the fray infront of the one known as Meruin, she grimanced and slung a single Kunai at him to get his attention.
"You there? Remember me?!" Naru shouted out towards him, placing her hands together she moved into action once more. " Bunshin no Jutsu!" a double team of clones formed right by her side as she ran in his direction, her main mission for now would be to secure the area that Meruin sworn to maintain. " You're not going to get away this time!" She attempted to confuse him with her clones, using her actual body to send a single kick out towards his stomach to hopefully send hi mstaggering back…
Taiki and Shinobu both crouch low as the concussive wave from the beam sweeps through the area. While he was glad he wasn't up front where the blast was by no doubts strongest, he wish he could have seen what caused it. That flash of light did not leave too much to see. But as the clouds tend to break apart briefly, then come back full force, he calls out, "I knew it, they're creating the rain!" Of course he's not a sensor so he can't sense where the chakra is coming from, but he can tell the source of it is out there. But he's relayed what he could, so he settles down and finishes easing into his taijutsu stance. Errand or fight, he will be ready.
The beam would go off, some not as thrown off by something like that happening as much as others were. One of those people being Tsun, mostly because she was too wrapped up in her own mind. She would only hear the beam with her shut eyes. 'Already?' 'Yeah… they may be a little more serious now that their getting blown up out of nowhere.' 'They're not their.' 'Whatever.' Tsun, really didn't think… thinking the word properly mattered apparently it did! Crazy brains…
The calm gathering of chakra continues as if nothing happens. While Satsukiyami shouts the expletives, Tsun makes her way to the front of the ship. As does so, a few of the sensor ninja may note a slight shift in the teen's chakra. "Save me?" Tsun's right foot steps off the front of the ship and she looks up to spot the Earthen Rain assault.
Tsun's hands raise up in front of her and then spread as if trying to part the sky itself. As she does so, water is created about the ship… instead of just taking the water all around her. It looked normal enough and… probably wouldn't do much to protect the ship. Though as the earth collides, it bounces off a gellatinous shield. 'Was that even necessary.' With a grin Tsun steps off the ship and flickers in a cloud of red mist. "Nope!" Appearing on the ground below in a similar swirl of mist.
"Hrm…" She scans the battlefield for something to do.
This was what the ships had faced on their flight from the lone Kirigakure vessel: an immense beam of power, as mysterious as it was devastating, unable to be stopped, blocked, or countered. A beam from which they could only run and pray that they would not be the next target. The soldiers in the line of battle and those rushing to fill the void pay as little attention as possible to their fears. Those ordered to hold their battlements, however, have time to reflect, time to fear outside of the immediate adrenaline of combat. More than one of them has already peed themselves.
The Water soldiers, however, seemed to have derived the opposite effect from the earth-scorching ray. For while it was aimed at their enemies, destroying more lives than they could with hours of fighting, they seemed to believe themselves to be invincible. They fought like demons. And yet, the Land of Fire did not train novices, and they were a country rich enough to afford a professional standing army, not hordes of conscripted peasants. They match the Kirigakure forces blow for blow, unwilling to back down and leave any part of their homeland to these conquest-hungry foreigners who have come to take what does not belong to them. They fight to avenge their fellows, to settle an old score.
This goes on and on as the minutes drag out to seem like an eternity. For those fighting for their very lives, for their right to exist or for the honor of their homeland, time had a way of distorting, making every second a frantic, painful century. And yet, it seems that it's all too soon before a sound that no one in the Land of Fire would have ever wanted to hear again is… well, heard again.
The deep thrumming, like a single, lasting note of a base with an amplifier turned way too high, fills the air. Land of Fire forces begin to panic, causing several commanders to lose their composure. Many not in direct combat scan the skies worriedly, some fall prone and pray for deliverance from the next strike, others cut and run. Those already fighting to hold the line on the beach are becoming more fearful, demoralized, frightened.
The advantage of numbers is beginning to turn.
The last of the ships are even now hitting the sand all along the harbor, spilling out the rest of the Water force's reinforcements. Kei's flagship, and a few escorts, hold position in the center of the harbor. And from her ship, Kei smiles at the panic she has once more created.
"How can you not be afraid of her?" The sensor-nin to Satsuki's left says in a half nervous manner as Tsun actually rescues the boat. They look almost shocked, but Satsukiyami grins wider than a crocodile as his rain deluge continues. "Because she's like me, now focus!" The thrumming came at a shock, a second one? Immediately again the Sensor-nin let go of Satsuki, and the Kyoumen yells and swears. Its not pain, its annoyance as each firing sends his chakra going mad! At least this time they weren't as close…but the cloud radius begins shrinking to almost half the range, most of the beach is almost flooded as well as a good piece inland. As the Sensors start for Satsuki again, he shakes his head. "I am focusing on the impact zone, I can't keep it large as long as those volleys continue…" The boat then starts going a little closer to compensate, making slow circles in the surf as information keeps being relayed to the fleet. Satsuki himself takes a breath, he stopped because he knows he is being aimed for now and wants to be on guard….He senses it, someone using Earth ninjutsu, not far away but Tsuns malice fills most of the range between them.
Meruin simply stood and waited, his dark yet colorfully misted eyes, large in his head as a child's are, taking in all about him that they could. The area around him was largely a wasteland for a time, few wanting to find their way to the land still covered in molten metal and flesh. As the throb of impending catastrophe filled the air once more, Meruin tensed subtly, very much hoping that whomever held the reigns on that thing would not strike the same place twice. A waste of a powerful strike. And it would kill him.
Important and petty thoughts pushed aside, he spied the familiar glint of steel flying through the air in his direction. He dodged it with a simple step to the side, allowing it to fly past as he looked up at Naru. He nodded at her question as she dashed towards him, civil towards her. Her tactic of confusing clones was an interesting one but simply too underdeveloped to fool Meruin. Especially with only one attack coming his way. "You are the child from a few days past," said the nine year old as he evaded the kick by bending a knee and leaning forward… so far forward that his hind leg came up and around as he pivoted, meant to slam into Naru's face before going further and bringing him back to a regular standing position.
A tch'ing sound is emitted when Uma realizes her attack was blocked by Tsun. With a powerful back-fist that sends an enemy flying, she flickers out of view, her speed unmatched by most on the field. Tsun had been tracked ever since the boat, and now she was in range. Suddenly reappearing close to Tsun, Uma makes her attack, her hands coming forward in a sudden combo. A juuken attack that has never been utilized by anyone other than Uma herself. The chakra which surges from her fingers are intense, but it's only a distraction for her next attack. With gathered chakra, she strikes out in a palm-attack aimed to blow Tsun away. "I do not believe we've had the pleasure of meeting.. I am Hyuuga Uma.. I will be your killer today.."
How? How could the land of water have that much chakra to pour into such a device? This… defied logic. And really the only good defense would be to charge forward, so that is what Taji did. After all, it seemed unlikely that the beam would wipe out the ships landing on the shore, that would be a bit counter productive for the invaders. Retreat would only leave one separated from the invaders and a safe target.
Taji ran forward into the ships, looking for whatever vessel might be the lead vessel or the 'targeting' ship. Someone had to be controlling that beam here. There's no way that they could be that accurate from over the horizon. And the golems had controllers so maybe taking out the controller would be as good as the last invasion. One could only hope. But finding such a ship in hundreds of ships was going to be hard at best. Taji ran forward trying to find a way to move between the landing ships, through the crowds, doing his best to avoid attacks as he moved, his mist form giving him some defenses against most random things as he sprinted, trying to head towards the back lines of the Kiri forces.
It went without saying, as soon as the knee slammed right into the face of the Uchiha her body turned into a puff of smoke, reavealing that he had hit the wrong one, and there were two more Naru's flying sorties around him to dish out as much damage as possible. " Child? I'm not a child!" Naru protested, leaping over his body while her hands quickly motioned through hand seals, ending on tiger as she seemed to cartwheel over his form she inhaled then exhaled a stream of fire bullets to rain down upon him. " Fire Bullet Barrage!" As she landed upon the opposite side of him she slung yet another single kunai to hopefully slam into his thigh. " Don't underestimate me!"
As Taiki watches around he sees the Uchiha charge into battle against one of the Kiri nin. And he could tell the man was a stronger opponent, given the attitude. Not waiting any more, he shouts, "C'mon Shinobu!" With this he leaps forward to give Naru a hand, his nin-dog right behind, the two pass by on each side of Meruin, Taiki with a punch and the dog with claws. Three on one is better when the one is stronger, no?
'Ah those are some nice looking soldiers there; hmm Tsun-chan?' Tsun looks over to the right, they were.. literally 'nice' looking, too kind to be on the battlefield. That's… probably why they made no effort to help out in the assault and just continued to crap their pants. "That's a little mean isn't… huh?" 'Pay more attention Tsun-chan, I saw that a mile away.' Tsun would never understand why he would never just tell her someone was coming, though the reasoning for it this time around was because… he actually didn't keep up with Uma's movements.
The automatic defense too slow for the oncoming assault. The last thought Tsun would have before getting nailed by the strike would be, 'You ass.' Tsun get's hit by the paralyzing strike, her focus going a bit off for a moment before she is blasted away, into the ship that was still right behind her, breaking a hole in the hull and disappearing within.
"Ow… ow… owowowowowowow. !@#$ING B#@!$!" The teen's voice rings out from the beach, somehow still audible amongst the sound of combat. A bit more swearing would be heard as she pulls a piece of wood out of her leg. It would appear… her defense failed. Well, this was new. The little ow's will develop into full throttle pain, something Tsun was not used to. 'So much for playing nice, hrm Tsun-chan~'
Soon after, small hole explodes even wider as water torrents out of it. Then the entirety of the bottom part of the ship explodes outward as the ship is flipped over… Tsun, not really caring for whoever was in it. A new voice rings out, a mixture of Tsun's own with the combination of a shrill yet… somehow masculine voice. Tsun underwent the tournament transformation again. Though, playing by the rules were no longer necessary. The boat flipping water would continue to rise over an irritated looking older Tsun, one hand in the air to hold that massive amount of water in place. "KREEEKEKEKEKEEE!" Shukaku's shrill laughter rings out before they both scream out, "DIE!"
The hand flings forward, sending a rather slow…. but, massive wave of water into the battlefield. Crushing ally and enemy alike.
The sound ceases, and it seems as if time stands still. The waves themselves hold their breath in anticipation of the next strike to come. They don't have to wait long. A flash on the eastern horizon, somewhere out over the water, and then that horrible beam came again.
Just as before, erected defenses and earthenwork fortresses were no match for its power. It simply sliced through them, this time closer to the front. This time it squarely in the midst of the Fire soldiers fighting on the beach, vaporizing more than a few Water lives as well. It sweeps off to the right, as if God Himself had taken a magnifying glass and begun burning up people, curring a line first north, and then west through Land of Fire forces. Everything in its path dies, and it is far too swift for a normal soldier to dodge. It curves, burning the largest swath of fighting Fire men and women that it can, even if that means burning through brave Land of Water forces on its way.
The casualties were not even, however. Compared to the hundreds and hundreds lost by the Fire in that last beam, Water deaths had been light. Agonizingly light, if one was a defender. From the way it had cut, cold and calculatingly, unfeeling and uncaring, through those soldiers, it was obvious that it was indeed being aimed by SOMETHING.
But what? Or how? Very few shinobi in the Kirigakurian fleet knew the answer to that.
Taji would have little trouble negotiating through the throngs of soldiers, though they don't simply let him pass! There are Kirigakure shinobi mixed within their ranks, and each one tries to kill the Konoha male on sight, firing bows, swinging swords, kunai, and jutsu his way. All of the ships by now are on the beach, save Kei's own vessel and the three slightly-smaller battleships surrounding it. It, of course, held the largest concentration of highly-trained shinobi in the entire fleet, yet was being kept out of the battle! Then again, with that devastating weapon or jutsu being fired from somewhere over the horizon, it didn't appear they would be needed.
The death of a few Water soldiers at the hands of Tsun is taken in stride. After all, no shinobi had died in the enormous wave, though it does mean the slight demoralization of the troops around her! Not so much that it apparently makes a difference, however, just enough that those soldiers who aren't washed out to sea to drown in their armor take their fighting away from her.
Satsukiyami's reaction to the firing already being noted, he didn't expect the feel of his ship being spun by impact…or flipping due to the assault by the Jinchuuriki. Satsuki would vanish beneath the waves with the entire Intel team. As a rescue boat sweeps by…there is no casualties from the crew. Each one is lifted free of the ocean by translucent tendrils that half-throw them on deck. Satsuki's form has vanished, to even the Hyuuga only what can be found is a very very diluted signature deep in the ocean. The rain shrinks further…but then moves over the shore. A wave crashes behind Tsun, and standing on the mucky shoreline is the Kyoumen with an annoyed look on his face. He actually bolts past Tsun and Uma, a praise of "Excellent work you two, now I can get away from the sensors." is heard as the Kyoumen runs for the gap in the Fire's defenses…his clouds following him and further pushing the land of water's resource. He is here to improve the attrition, avoiding as best he can any direct look of any Konoha nin so he can get good and deep before he is found out…
Meruin put the unearthly sound of the beam's wanton destruction out of mind for the moment, as best he could, looking up as the Uchiha girl leapt over him. He leapt up towards her — a clone in actuality. Another was created while the first took the attention away from him and vanished to a slight distance, waiting for her to continue attacking and leave herself open. The clone was slammed back down to the ground from the spray of flame, throwing up a spray of mud. The second clone then rose to it's feet, and turned in time to get stabbed in the thigh by Naru. It, of course, exploded in a puff of gas.
Before Meruin could capitalize, however, Taiki rushed in and attacked him with his canine companion. The nine year old looked towards them and moved into a crouch. They tried to strike him on both sides, so he performed a very low leap, legs lashing out to either side as he held himself aloft with an arm pushed into the mud. The attacks pushed both of them away and he pushed off with his arm, bringing himself airborn. The silk of his shirt exploded into a myriad of shuriken, the strands throwing them at all three offenders, human or otherwise. He landed with a slight turn that allowed him to keep rudimentary tabs on the motion of all three.
Uma's eyes widen a bit at the colorful chakra Tsun possesses. She watches the entire transformation with curiosity, moving her foot in front of her. The giant wave causes her to tilt her head, spewing her chakra about in a rotating formation. The movements created cause a good portion of the water to circulate around her, but she still takes a heavy hit, sending her sprawling. She's only on the ground for a second before she's charging after the girl in the water. She leaps through the water, sprawling across it violently before leaping forward and attacking the girl with the same Juuken strike that had stopped her previously. It doesn't stop there though, with the same attack she just used as a defense, her other hands begin to spin, as she circulates her chakra in an offensive matter.
"Ah, so this is what a Jinchurriki is.. it's quite a pleasure.."
The forces are too thick, even with mist form going there is no way Taji is going to be able to break through the front lines. And he's not suicidal. Dropping his Transform down a few notches to conserve energy in what promises to be a prolonged fight, his body becomes more visible, only now showing wisps of mist than coated in it. He's just trying to figure out another tactic when he spies that runt, the spider kid from the other day. Turning he tries to come at Meruin from the side just in time to see the shirkens fly. He dodges into the way, whipping out a scroll as he does so, and summoning a rather large rock out to protect the three.
%r"Need some help?" Taji asks the two other genin as he glances to see how they are. He tenses and then moves around the rock. Moving quickly towards Meruin, Taji charges. He tries to slip past Meruin using a quick series of what look like punches, even though they seem to only graze Meruin even if successful. Even if the attacks fail at least he might distract the runt from the other genin of the Konoha side, giving them some chances to attack Meruin on more equal footing.
Equally matched? It was to be expected, just as she had expelled into a puff of smoke so did Meruin, easily moving away from her techniques, excitment began to build up however, and as the Inu team sprang into action she grinned her teeth and called out to him. " Thanks for the assist!" It seemed like both of their attacks didnt work but fortunately at least they were working together for now, however just at the last moment it seemed Meruin sprouted more of his strength, his rapid fast movements seemed to almost catch up with the both of them until another Shinobi jumped in the way, summoning a scroll right before their eyes to fend them from harms way.
Naru's eyes lit up as Taji came to the rescue, and for now she put up a more defensive stance, however providing some cover "fire" to hopefully push Meruin into a retreat… Though soon it would be time for her to fight off some of the other advancing water nin.
Taiki and Shinobu come to a skidding stop nearby, with the Shinobi wearing a look of, 'What the heck?' Still it does not stop him for long as he crouches back down to the four legged stance to start circling. However at that time the shuriken explode, coming toward both Shinobi and nin-dog. Just then the rock comes down to protect him, though he had been starting to go through seals for something similar. Instead he smiles and nods to both Naru and Taji, "Let's get this guy outta here." With that he pulls a kunai and charges forward. Shinobu, acting on some unseen impulse had started first, going for a rake along the Meruin's backside. Taiki reached the same spot a split second layer and attempted to slash his kunai through the exact same spot Shinobu went for.
Tsun's defense would continue not to function perhaps it was because of the disruptive nature of the Juuken strikes, maybe Shukaku was being an 'ass' like Tsun claimed. Though, it fails once more while Tsun holds her ground. Each blow taken in and just having her slide a bit back. It would appear, Uma has finally broken through the over shield on Tsun, the ice crackling away and leaving an exposed area in Tsun's back up defense. "Right." Tsun doesn't really seem to really respond to the strikes, just idly looking down at Uma's hands before leaping into the air.
Her skin would begin to hiss, steam rising from it as ice begins to reform over the opening while… something lurks within the water behind her. A glacier catches her mid-air and takes her high up into the sky so that she did not easily fall victim to her next planned attack. "Not playing with your food Tsun-chan, so unlike you! Is it because you are too pathetic to defend yourself. Hmm?" Tsun speaks the words… about her own self.
The newest devastation left in the wake of the beam made the entire center section of the harbor's beach bare of Fire soldiers. The Water soldiers are quick to capitalize on this advantage and press forward, throwing themselves up to and against the earthen defenses of the defenders, beginning to lay siege to them as water jutsu from their supporting shinobi begins to pound away at them. With a third of their forces destroyed by only two shots, the Fire soldiers were rapidly losing hope, they no longer even outnumbered their attackers!
And, both the defenders and attackers knew, the Water forces merely had to keep the Fire soldiers pinned down long enough for their doomsday ray to pick off the remaining fortifications and soldiers within. Surrender and flight seemed to the only options and the battle had barely even started! And Land of Fire soldiers knew bitterly well how Land of Water men treated their captives, particularly when led by the hated Samominoryuu Kei.
The air begins to thrum once more. It won't be long now before yet more lives are destroyed. Kei isn't even on her command deck anymore, she's retired to her cabin for lunch.
The thrum halts Satsukiyami's advance. He just freezes, and immediately dissolves down into a nearby bank of water left from the previous firing. An alert shinobi might notice his vanishing act, but moreso the clouds above the beach again let loose another deluge…the Kirigakure forces are literally getting manna from Heaven as the 'water line' is pushed deeper and deeper. The earth becoming thick and muddy, resources abound…It so far is a walk in the park, but the deluge ends after a moment. This time, Satsukiyami isn't wanting to sense that blazing ray anymore. It throws him into a loop too much.
Meruin fell preternaturally still as the huge stone appeared out of nowhere, his shuriken striking it and falling away. Life was breathed back into him, however, a moment later as Taji was revealed to be the offender who was coming towards him. Meruin's body brought him backwards as the other approached, the nine year old weaving around the boy's hands with apparent ease. Eventually, though, Taji's strikes began touching more often than they missed and Meruin felt a sudden dip in his body's reserves, his energy being released by his opponent's strikes. Ah, yes. That was what he did.
The sudden dip in energy made him suddenly and temporarily weak, the speed with which he moved decreasing in response to the other attacks. He tried to leap backwards to distance himself Taji and evade the flames and fists that came down on him. He mangaged to avoid the Inuzuka's strikes but Naru's attack peppered him with slight singeing. It was little to worry about with the rain, though… it was stopping, now. And the heavy thrumb was filling the air again.
The thoughts were once more pushed away as Meruin landed in a crouch, sliding backwards through the mud. His arms whipped out towards The inuzuka and the Uchiha, strands of acidic spider webbing streaking towards them. A quick flurry of motion in his limbs brought the caustic silk to a series of painful lashes. As this happened, the silk covering his chest burst and expanded and flew at Taji, seeking to encapture him and hold him still for a time. Just enough to get in decent hit.
Uma left the Jinchurikki be when she begins to regenerate. Feh. Shaking her head, she looks about at the lack of soldiers, and starts forcing barriers inbetween the two fighting forces, yelling over the masses, "RETREAT! RETREAT. WE MUST REGROUP IN KONOHA.." She states while flickering away from Tsun, and towards the rest of her men. Spires of earth lash out from the ground while she moves, her hands pressed together in a seal. 'I must get this intelligence to Hashiramako..' Her thoughts run wild, a concerned look upon her face.
Taji slips gracefully from the attack aimed at him, slipping away in almost a dance like way as he avoids the strands, slipping backwards, to the side, whatever is needed to avoid the silk. As he retreats from the attack he hears the call of his area's leader. Not good. He actually follows orders, "You heard the lady, get out of here!" He yells at the two genin that were nearest him as he starts to turn and beat a strategic withdrawl himself. "Move! Move! Move! Before the beam gets any more of us!" He yells as he actually sprints away from Meruin, keeping his awareness enough on the spider nin to defend on the way if needed.
Naru seemed to get out of the way once more, and with her last close dispersed She appeared further away from the battle field, for now she didnt want to focus on Meruin until thing sturned on thin ice, for now she had to worry about the approaching Mist nin that was running rampant along the battle field. Utilizing her Chakra she fired a series of bullets in the direction of the opposition, attempting to dwindle their numbers with rogue fire flakes peppering the area like a pepper shaker!
Taiki growls again as his blows are dodged, rather easily. At leas he's providing enough a distraction for the other two actually hit the Kiri nin. So he's not totally useless, at least that's what he tells himself. As the spider webbing spring toward him, Taiki tries to dive to the side along with Shinobu in an attempt to avoid them. It doesn't work, however, and he takes a hit that leaves a good part of him smoking from the acidic strands. He staggers for a minute before he hears the leader's orders, which are further reinforced by Taji's. Taiki starts to run, taking care to ensure he's not hit by anything else. "Hey Uchiha'san! We've been ordered to retreat by the commander!" Since he didn't know her first name, he'd have to use the last. It's a good thing then he's a little slowed, as he doesn't want to leave her behind.
So this is what she was doing earlier…
"This has been annoying. Having teammates is annoying. Screw it…" With a flick of her wrist, her hidden technique comes bursting out of the ocean screeching like a maniac. Yes, Tsun put in the time and effort to give this thing vocal chords. This thing… being Tsun's Ice Leviathan at a slightly larger scale than usual as it continues to rise out of the ocean, coiling about and towering overhead. Icy tentacles curling up like a fancy little moustache as it seems to smirk at the feast below. :})
'Hmph. A fatal mistake Tsun-chan!' For once, Shukaku had seemed calm. 'Ah right your tenketsu. Honestly do you not pay attention to anything little Tsun-chan. I thought Mitsuo-kun taught you better. I thought /I/ taught you better.' Suddenly, the giant Leviathan lets out another screech… this time sounding pained. Cracks begin to form along the Leviathan's body as its eyes begin to glow purple.
'Some child… control me? Work along me?' "Krrrraakakakakaka! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH!" Tsun would appear to be… broken. Sort of just laughing without cause, both eyes shifting to that of Shukaku's. Tsun grabs hold of her head for a moment, putting it all together the tenketsu had disrupted her own flow she wasn't fighting back Shukaku as well as she usually did. Tsun would quickly shift her chakra flow, the Leviathan, reacting terribly from the confusion of chakra flow fueling it. It just explodes.
It'd probably be best if she /STOPPED USING THE OTHER'S CHAKRA/ but, she was a tad bit enraged from being injured. She breathes in deep and fires a few hateful shots to the fleeing Uma from her mouth, a strange purple hue within the flame. All they do is explode into the field below, colliding with "innocent" bystanders. '
Good recovery Tsun-chan g-' Tsun deactivates the fusion of their chakra, the ice about her body melting away as she sinks to the ground. Her entire body ached, from the inside out. Something wasn't right this time around but, she'll get over it.
The order to retreat comes from the mouth of the Hyuuga, and the soldiers around her do NOT need much convincing. Most of them immediately turn and run, several affecting a back guard, keeping the advancing soldiers off of their backs long enough for the others to run, others still trying to drag injured comrades out of the carnage. The sight of fleeing Fire soldiers causes other soldiers to begin fleeing, and soon enough a general retreat is sounding, which is fast becoming a rout as the men and women of the attacking Land of Water seek to cut them down as they abandon their fortified positions.
That's when the ray of light strikes again, cutting through more fortifications and sweeping another horizontal, slightly-curved path once more. It devastates the lives of Fire soldiers and shinobi, even extinguishes the spark of those from the Land of Water who get in the way. Water commanders are calling for their men to return to the beach, to cease pursuit lest they continue to be fried for their zealousness by the terrible weapon.
The fire are in full retreat, each man and woman running for their lives through the forested woodlands of their home. Many stay behind to help the injured try to escape. It's mostly these who perish in the subsequent blasts, striking the ones who lag behind and those who try to help them. The beam seems to continue firing, again and again, no matter how far they run, until finally, when most are exhausted on the verge of collapse, it ceases a dozen or more miles inland to seek out victims.
Once more, the Fire military's battlefield strength had been cut down to a little under half. The Water military had suffered less than twenty percent casualties, most of those caused by enemy shinobi and getting in the way of the deadly melting fire. For the second time in less than a year, the Land of Water has established a firm foothold on the Land of Fire's shores, though this time it was no unending march of golems. Whatever was happening this time would have to be prayed was slower to advance than the unrelenting march of the golems.
But surely whatever caused such destruction must be stationary? Surely it couldn't be a mere person, or group, that could throw such a jutsu at their enemies. Whatever it was, Kirigakure was on their road to conquest once more, and another shinobi war had been irrevocably started.
None could yet know how it was to end. Yet one shinobi certainly seemed to think that she did. Samominoryuu Kei was still eating lunch when the news of the Leaf and Fire retreat reached her.
She made her soldiers wait for orders until after she'd finished her food.
Satsukiyami never pulled out of the water he sank into. He reemerged beside Tsun, kneeling a bit to her eye level. His brow was furrowed, he didn't say a word. Damage control, thats all it was as he just gives her an assuring nod.
His own actions had pushed the Water nin forward well enough, too many though still had no idea who he was, nor his name. For the rest of the day, he kept hearing "Thank you, Ame-nin."
Meruin's head whipped partially to the side at vaguely hearing Uma's orders over the din of combat — the spires of earth rising from beneath the mud certainly caught his attention, however, as he found himself on the dividing line that Uma sought to create. The Okumo avoided it with a leap up and off to the side, the act letting those he was engaged against simply do as they pleased. He quickly found their locations and moved to stop them. Or kill them as they tried to flee. His hands blazed through hand seals, hands nearly invisible. The air around the three ninja churned into sudden motion, circling them so quickly that it gained a sharp edge. Abruptly and swiftly, the circle of wind would close to cut and batter them.
But a grating, inhuman scream raked across his senses and nearly set the boy to shivering. He turned and caught sight of the leviathan that he'd seen only once but intimately enough to remember well. The explosion of it, as if it were torn apart brought the ghost of a frown to his face and he abandoned his offense entirely, vanishing from his location to head towards where he could only assume Tsun had to be, the sound of death's energy streaming overhead loud in his ears.
Taji is on the lookout for attacks from the rear. He was expecting it. As much as he tries to avoid the carnage of the battle around him, he can only do so much. He's running low on chakra, maintaining his transform has left him unable to pull off any miracles. He's going to have to rely on the other genin to protect themselves, even as he turns to face Meruin, trying to give the other two a chance to flee, "GO! GO!" He calls, "Get out of here, now! I'll hold him for a second!" Taji tries to draw Meruin's attention while focusing more chakra just in case, hoping to just delay long enough to give the other two genin a chance to flee.
It would appear that the attack had hit home until Naru's body once again buffed into a cloud of smoke, she took Taji's warning and valor however, deciding now would be the best time to head out, especially since Uma definitely did declare a retreat… She attempted to get taiki out of harms way but unfortunately another cloud wouldn't get there in time… She cringed and shook her head. " Be safe, We can get out of here quickly!" Naru calls out, and soon enough buckles out in a full run, retreating back as far as possible and more than likely to regroup…. "Come on! Inu-san!"
Taiki, already wounded from one shot of that acid spider webbing, tries to go through hand signs to escape whatever this is. His body starts to flicker out, and a stone starts to take its place, and Taiki is /nearly/ successful. But alas, it's not meant to be. He just barely avoids falling to the ground as his body is torn up even more. Instead he nods to Naru as he tries to get out of the area as quickly as he can. He's going to need the medics when they get away.