Kaede, Bathory (emitter)
Date: February 22, 2011
Kaede's strange search for Baasku the Butcher continues… One-hundred years ago!?
"Hunt For Baasku The Butcher - Keep It Safe"
Drenched Plains - Land of Rain
Kaede stares at the woman, wide eyed after he jumped away from the foot bash. That hurt. Coming from a woman that small. He oughta kick he— wait.. what? She knew him? But.. that is not.. possible..
"Woman. Look at—" She was right. Kaede did becomy Bossy.. His eyes than softened as he sat down. "I am susceptible to suggestion? Huh?" He smirks and nods his head to her as she tosses some kind of sand, it looked like to Kaede, into the fire.
"Tell me one thing, though. How do you know me? I never met you before. So how can you know me? And how can you know I use crystal?"
The woman looks at Kaede when he regains control of his temper for a moment. Her scowly, cantankerous expressions softens for a moment. Slightly. "We >have< met before. The reason you do not know me is that you have not met me >yet<." …Huh? She shakes her head. "All things in Earth's season," she offers cryptically. "You will find out at the correct time." She settles herself down in front of the incense burner, and closes her eyes. The incense seems to be having an odd effect on Kaede… Eveything is starting to swim in and out of focus. There is no dizziness associated with it though. There is no loss of balance. It's not like he's being poisoned or whatever. It's more like the interior of the cabin is uncertain of what it actually is.
And then the Witch-Seer >decides< what it is. She mutters, "One-hundred years ago, at this spot."
>Now< everything goes off-kilter! The entire area seems to warp and shift, spiralling in on itself… And then snapping back! Kaede is outside. The air is smokey, but it looks like normal smoke, not green smoke. It is cold here… But it is also dry. There is no rain at all. The lake remains, though. Bright-blue. Pristine. Motionless. About 10 feet away from Kaede, sitting cross-legged, apparently meditating, is a woman that looks much like the daughter of the Witch-Seer from before! She is dressed in a bit more this time around. Actual clothing, for one. She also has jewelry and trinkets that seem to be made of natural materials, rather than fancy or expensive. Bone necklaces. Things like that. The brown-haired, Gypsy-like woman sits and stares out over the lake. Six incense burners are situated around her in a circle.
She looks up suddenly, and towards Kaede. Her eyes go wide.
"…Where did you come from—?" she starts to ask. Then the previously-still lake begins to froth and bubble. The woman snaps back to the lake with her eyes. A voice emerges from the lake. "I've seen the End of All," a monstrously deep voice says. It shakes the very air with its power. The young woman gawks. "Be aware, the Storm gets closer." The activity in the water dies down and soon it as though nothing happened at all. Not even a ripple.
The woman leaps up and calls out, "W-wait! Wait, what does that mean!? The… Storm? End of All!? I just wanted to know how to find a husband!" When it becomes clear no answer is forthcoming from the water, she throws her hands up in disgust.
The change of scenery causes Kaede to extend one arm to the left, to try to feel gravity's pull when the woman speaks. He desperately clings to balance as much as he can, and when everything goes haywire he finds himself stumbling left and right. God damnit, what was that?
Kaede gets a surprised moment as he reruns the words of the witch-seer in his head and gazes towards the young woman at the lake. They've met before? Just not yet? What the hell?! Kaede was sharp, but any sort of time travel was nearly unconceivable to him. There had to be a simpler explanation.
He planned on remaining silent at the woman's questions. Was she the witch-seer? Though, didn't the old hag tell him this happened 100 years ago? So she couldn't be.. could she?
Than the lake rumbles and roars out it's terrifying prophecy which Kaede takes very seriously.
A storm? The tornado? The Tsunami? Were they connected somehow? Did Baasku have anything to do with it?
Kaede growled and clapped his hands together as crystalline petals swarmed around him. "Listen to me!" He says, voice commanding. "You will tell me immediatly who the distortion in the world is, who is behind the storm! NOW!" He demands of the woman.
Than it hits him. Was he under a genjutsu?
The woman turns away from the lake when Kaede claps his hands together. She was a mix of confused, scared, and angry. When the crystals appear around Kaede, she just changes to scared. Her skin turns much paler. The order from Kaede, whether understood or not, is not followed. Instead, she just says, "You… Who are you? The distortion in the world—What do you know about all this!?" she is sounding more and more frightened and confused. Finally, she just shakes her head. "I don't know! I don't know! I only started having visions last year! I don't know what they mean! I don't >want< this curse!" Tears start to flow from her eyes.
"I came here because I thought… I mean, I was told…" She looks to the lake. "…I was told it could help me get rid of my curse. I was told the only way to get rid of it is to get married! But… No one around here…" Then she cuts herself off and shakes her head. She glares at Kaede. "It's none of your business! Crystals… Hah! It… It doesn't mean anything! I'll show you! >I'll< decide my destiny!" Then she turns and starts running.
".. Curse?" Kaede asks as he steps forwards. "Do you even know what a curse is like?" He approaches further. "You will tell m— Hey, where the hell do you think you're going?!" Kaede exclaims as the woman turns around and starts running from him. He even lets her get a headstart before his finger clap together, fingers interlocked. His hands quickly made handseals and than…
"Impenetrable Cloud Formation!" He whispers as crystals sprout in front of the woman and than start doing the same from behind, trying to lock her in place.
"Destiny is difficult to change…" Kaede nearly whispers.
Skidding to a stop when the crystals appears in front of her, the woman quickly turns around to look behind her. A second collection of crystals. She is bewildered, frightened, and has no idea how Kaede is doing what he is doing or why. She does seem to be more than a timid little mouse though. She has a fiery spirit, as is evidenced when she turns back to face Kaede and calls out, "'Do I know what a curse is like'? Do >you<!? Do you see people's deaths before they happen!? Are you unable to stop them!? When you try to >warn< people, does it wind up >causing< those deaths you foresaw!?! >Does everyone reject, hate, and fear you, because they think you're responsible for everything that goes wrong in the world!?!" Her eyes may be watering, but her expression is fierce. Then, more quietly, she asks, "Did your own people try to sell you to a warlord for the promise of ending these idiotic Wars between Clans?" She straightens up, lower-lip trembling, and says, "All of that has happened to me. And it gets worse every day. Every time I sleep I have nightmares in which I see the deaths of thousands of people! In this country, in other countries, in places I can't be sure are even >on this world<…" She looks down.
"I just want it to stop. What did I ever do to deserve this?" Gestures at herself with both hands, yelling violently, ">Why do I have to see the future!?< Why am >I< the one!? I never asked for this! I just want to be… N-normal…" She puts her face in her hands and cries.
Kaede walks slowly with purposeful steps, his expression is neutral as he listens to the young woman. Probably a little older than him. It was his birthday, just a few days ago. Funny. He forgot about that. A birthday.. for a shinobi… what a joke…
"I am a curse. I carry a curse." He begins. "I carry a force. A force I've misused. And used for all the wrong reasons. For revolution where none was needed. For peace where none was required. For destruction where something was just beginning." He stops in front of the crystal formation. "When I close my eyes, I see the scariest place I could ever imagine, the only thing I still fear." His hands try to cup the young woman's head and lift it up so Kaede can look into her eyes. "Destiny is difficult to evade." He pauses.
"Normal is boring."
The woman lowers her hand when Kaede approaches. She gradually fights back her tears. When he touches her, though, she does not look into his eyes because he wants her to. It's because she suddenly has no choice. Her gaze goes glassy, and her expression goes blank. Then she snaps back to what's going on a moment later. Looking beyond Kaede, she says, "You're… Not >from< now. You came from… The future?" Most people would find that utterly ridiculous to even >think< of.
Apparently this woman is more open to the idea. She swats Kaede's hand away — though not too hard, and says, "I am Roze. I do not know how you came to be here, or who you are… You… 'Crystal Man'. But you do not want to hurt. You want to help. If that is true… I will do my best to make sure you succeed."
She looks determined. Then she glances to the side and her eyes widen. ">Watch out<!" she yells and tries to shove Kaede aside. She only has the strength of a normal woman, however. Kaede might be able to defend himself better without her 'aid'. Defend against what, exactly? There's a man there. A large one. He is about 10 feet tall. Maybe larger. He has long arms and legs, a bulky, muscular frame, and a hunched back. His face is that of a brute. Dull eyes, uncomprehending face, broad forehead… He may look strong, but he does not look smart. He also just swung at Kaede from behind with a giant scythe.
Kaede smiles when Roze seems to relax a bit. "That's right. I no longer hurt innocent people." /no longer/. "I'd protect you until my last breath. I will change this warped world. So you no longer see those things. I promise." Kaede says to her, and his voice is pleasant, but face is still serious. "As from when I am from? I dunno. A hundred years?" He shrugs.
But when Roze tells Kaede to watch out, he hears in a moment a footstep in the mud. How did they sneak up on him!? When Roze tries to push him out of the way, he grabs Roze's hand and pulls her towards him.
With his hands free and Roze hopefully protected by her proximity to Kaede, he makes a few handseals and raises a crystal barrier, just as the scythe cleaves into it and manages to cleave through to somewhere near the half almost touching Kaede's throat. Such brutish strength. No one was ever capable of doing that.
But Kaede's eyes are wild with excitement. "Baasku the Butcher I presume?" Kaede asks. "He who has killed innumerable people, regardless of age or if they are male or female?" Kaede's hands clap together. "He who has killed innocents, made orphans, widows?"
Suddenly, the air almost 'cracks' and the pressure of Kaede's killing intent can be clearly felt, and something even darker there. "If that is you. I will kill you. I will show you the Nightmare. Torment you. Maim you. You will not know peace for years until I finally end your life savagely. Prepare to suffer."
Roze is pulled out of the way. She knew Kaede would do that. She saw it when she touched him. But even if she had wound up taking the blow instead of Kaede, she would have done it anyway. There had been no time for thought, or reasoning… She just acted. Like her body moved on its own. That is less of a concern right now than the fact that Kaede is preparing to destroy this other man. Roze moves into Kaede's path, arms spread wide and says, "No! You can not kill him!" The monstrous man is drooling, seems to be nearly unaware of his surroundings. He does not even try to remove his scythe from the Crystal Wall. It's like he just went brain-dead. And from the signs of tracks in the area… With the cabin from before missing completely, it is very evident that this person… Baasku or whomever he is… Did not walk here. There's no sign of his huge feet in the dirt, grass, mud… Anywhere. Was he brought here just like Kaede was?
Roze turns to look at the giant. "I… I don't know why. But… He doesn't die yet. This isn't his time." Lowering her arms completely, she just looks very confused. "…He's not supposed to be here. He's… Like you. He should be somewhere else." She holds her head with both hands suddenly as though in pain.
Kaede lifted his hand up, anticipating the next attack. His vision was unfocused due to lack of preparation. He saw the giant's feet, than his torso. Than suddenly Roze was there, holding her hands stretched out protectively. 'What the hell is she doing?'. Her lips move, but Kaede can hear no sound. Did she say 'He cannot die yet?'. Who said anything about killing him.
Kaede's whole surroundings explode with crystal petals. They gather above him in a misty cloud. A vortex seems to lash at the ground in front of him in rage.
This was release.
This was justice.
"I don't care, Roze. He and I should never leave this place. And I don't care if I get stuck here, as long as he remains here. Live or dead." His hands quickly perform handseals to create a crystalline dragon to carry Roze out of the way. Not far. Just not in the way.
"Answer me, child-slayer. Are you the Butcher?" Kaede's hands clap together. He couldn't help but realize how wrong this felt. This giant was strange. He didn't attack. Except the first time. What is going on? "Not a answer is the same as admitting!" And who cared anyway? Even if the giant said he isn't Baasku, Kaede still wouldn't believe him.
Roze is carried away with only a cry of dismay — or maybe pain. Her head hurts. Kaede being here felt 'okay'. Maybe he didn't belong here, but it wasn't going to change anything. This new man is different. The very fact he exists is making a 'static' in Roze's thoughts. Her 'visions' are turning into jagged shards of mental agony as she sees 'pieces' of time disjointed from any type of context. They're all jumbled together!
Then she gasps and looks towards the man with the scythe. "The lake…" she says in a tone of horror. As though hearing her, the giant slowly turns his head to look at the lake. Uncomprehending, he only recognizes it is pretty to look at. He babbles a bit, making noises that sounds like they belong in the mouth of a baby first learning to speak, rather than a grown man. How old was Baasku supposed to be in the 'present'? Wouldn't he have been only a baby at >best< this far back? "Nguhhh!" the giant offers as he lifts a muscular arm and reaches towards the perfectly blue water. Even with his long arms, he can't reach from where he stands. He keeps trying to figure out how to obtain the prettiness, but does not seem to realize he can move his feet. His face twists up as he gets frustrated. "Whaaaaoooh!" he screams at the top of his lungs like an infant that isn't getting what it wants.
Roze tries to break free of the pain. She can see what's about to happen. She knows this must be changed somehow. It >must< be stopped! But her throat constricts to keep her from speaking. The Butcher — if that is who he is — looks down as though just finding out his body exists below his arms. Eyes wide… He turns and begins lifting his booted feet, taking long strides towards the water. Finally, through force of will, Roze projects what she is seeing to Kaede. She can't speak. Her body is betraying her. But her mind remains functional.
So she shows Kaede a vision… A vision of an infant flailing and drowning in this lake, only to suddenly swell and grow. Growing larger, stronger, older… And then a man about two feet taller than the current giant emerges from the lake. He grins, and the skin falls off his face.
Words are repeated throughout this vision. '>KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THE LAKE<.'
The giant is only inches away from the water's edge, but he can't go any further. He reaches and strains, tries to crouch, flails one-handed and screams in fury…! But his left hand continues to hold onto the haft of his scythe. He is so unfamiliar with the world that he does not realize all he has to do is let go.
Kaede can't believe what he is seeing. This giant.. is acting like a baby. How despicable. It would be a shame to kill it. To hurt it. It was.. unthinkable. But this Giant… and Kaede had no reason to believe it was not the one he was looking for… has killed thousands of people. Innocent people.
Than.. the vision. It nearly blasts Kaede's mind with it's intensity. The sense of urgency is overtaking. Kaede looks at the lake. Why was it special? Despite what the vision has shown him.
"Wraith Wall Cloud Formation." Kaede says, calmly, after his hands perform the final seal. Mist gathers around the giant and some of the surface of the lake. A jade mist. Then it suddenly begins crystallizing, but stops short of crystallizing Baasku. He has not yet committed any crimes. Does this justify the future? Is there something in the lake that made him that way?
Kaede's technique ends abruptly before he could fully commit his chakra and looks towards the lake. This lake… Something happened to him there..
'What are you doing, fool!? Stop him. Kill him. NOW' Kaede could hear his conscience, but his gaze was fixed on the lake.
He knew what he had to do. He'd take the risk. Maybe the spikes keep Baasku away too. It didn't matter, was worth a shot. He couldn't harm Baasku. Not yet. Not until he is truely guilty.
The air cracks violently, and suddenly spikes slam into the surface of the water. Thousands of them. They are so densely grouped that those exiting from the surface of the water, if there even are those, are nearly invisible.
"Blooming Fields of the Impaler."
The crystals that touch the water vanish. They don't even leave behind a single ripple. Baasku stares in awe, slack-jawed. The spikes that form around him just confuse him. He does not seem to have any plan to struggle. He does not know they can hurt him. He does not know anything! He's just… A newborn in the body of a monster.
Roze does not know what Kaede just did, but the static starts to stabilize in her mind. The pain is fading. And so are her visions! It's like her curse is leaking out of her! She almost cries out in joy now that her throat works again.
Then the lake itself goes ballistic.
A column erupts from it that rises upwards, and upwards, turning into the figure of a man. He is even larger than Baasku is! 20 feet tall at least! The details of his features are in flux, but one thing is made perfectly clear: His eyes. They do not appear to be made of water. The eyes seem to be made of flesh. They are purple-grey, with black rings extending outwards from a central point. They stare at the three people on the shore for a moment.
Then that booming voice speaks again. "Due to your actions on this day, the wisdom of a thousand years is gone. A world in fire and chains and fear will lead to a place far away…" The figure begins to dissolve. The eyes turn back into water, and the column collapses in slow-motion, ignoring gravity, it seems. "Within this place lies my Secret Vision. You had best keep it safe…"
Echoes of the voice bubble up from the depths of the lake for a few more seconds, then the lake becomes still. There is no sign of any of the crystals that breached its surface a moment ago.
Except for one. It looks like one of Kaede's crytals has been somehow altered by the lake… It has been stained a deep, impenetrable blue. It is no longer his to control. Attempts to alter it would result in nothing. It is a perfectly tear-drop shaped crystal, with no apparent special properties to it. It lies on the shore, inbetween the three people.
Ebony smoke shrouds Baasku. And then he vanishes within the cloud somehow. Roze stares at this. Then she looks at the crystal on the ground, and then looks at Kaede.
Kaede stares coldly when the crystals disappear as soon as they touch the surface. No matter, he'd just have to try harder. But than he notices that Roze seems to be feeling better, out of the corner of his eye. His thoughts raced. In the transformation he was using, everything seemed clear. Naturally so. Just.. Logical.
But than the lake goes ballistic. Oh boy.
When Kaede lays eyes on the giant figure, taller than Baasku even, Kaede is nothing short of slack jawed. If he had control over his body in this feeling that reminisced of fear, he'd kick himself in the head /somehow/ for attacking the lake. This was bad, this was ba--. No. Wait. This was despicable. Yet those eyes. But that man… In the vision Baasku entered the lake… and… he emerged… a monster.
"WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!? Look where thousand years of wisdom got us! Death, decay and suffering, you bastard!" Kaede shouts at the man. "Did you warp Baasku into the monster he was!? WHERE THE F*bleep* DO YOU THINK YOU AR--" The man disappears.
Kaede sprints after him, to the center of the lake. He felt it was wrong. He knew it was wrong. But that man. Kaede believed that he was the cause. The distortion. The pain of the world. He was at fault. Kaede had to.. had to..
He saw the blue crystal and didn't even try to touch it as his hands formed a handseal and a crystal dragon emerged from the ground and /launched/ Kaede towards the lake.
"'Secret Vision' my ass. I am gonna KILL YOU."