Date: march 12, 2013
Tadashi, Banshi, and Ai travel to the island where the Crawler and his minions are sealed inside a cave to find out the condition of the seal since the man who made a contract with them fell some time ago.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Darkness Revisited - Initial Scouting"
An island far southeast of the Land of Water
As the sun rises over the sea far southeast of the Land of Water, a small but very well-built ship is seen sailing toward an island any sane man would never want to return to. Still, some things are worth checking on. A few days ago, Suterusu had come to Tadashi to express concern over the monsters behind a seal in a cave on this island. With the man they had previously signed a contract with dead, it is likely that the creatures will try to escape the seal again and may already be attempting to do so. With the fates of so many held in the balance, Tadashi saw the need to be certain this creature, the one called "The Crawler" does not emerge to wreak havoc, at least not in ways that would be harmful to the order the Chitsujyo are seeking to bring. Power, Control, Order. And thus, it appears one evil has come to bring another to a halt.
One thing one can definitely say about Tadashi, the man is definitely learned in a very wide number of skills. Adorned in his normal black clothes and mask, he stands at the helm of the vessel, guiding the ship skillfully toward the ominous island. As the place comes closer and closer into view, it becomes increasingly easy to see that it is nothing more than a ghost town. There are no people walking, no one making any kind of trade, no signs of life at all.
The ship slows more and more as they approach the dock that looks to have not been used or cleaned in quite a long time, a certain dark presence seeming to make itself more and more clear the closer they come to docking, a feeling of pure, unadulterated evil. "Tie us off, Banshi," the masked man says as the ship finally comes to its complete stop. He then pulls a few ropes in succession that cause a mechanism that raises the sails all on their own. That done, he turns and leaps off the ship onto the dock to look toward the town. "At least someone was kind enough to come bury the dead. I imagine their combined stench would make this place even more unbearable had they not," he says, as if stating a simple observation, no sign or sympathy or emotion for the fallen in his voice whatsoever.
That figure, along with the 3 clones, was moving across that ship lithely. Taking care of what wasn't automated by Tadashi, a mute nod was given in answer to the command. One of the clones would leap from deck to dock, landing within that perfectly silent crouch, to double tie off the rope with a knot. The others securing the rest of the ship as the figure would finally follow Tadashi off the boat. Silently, red eyes looked about, remembering then and now. That soft tenor voice, the neutral tone making it hard to tell male or female as always, would croon out, "They are trying to get out. The sense wasn't nearly as strong, at this distance, before. There may be a full on leak in the seal and we may have a fight ahead. I recommend preperation for such."
Ai's somewhat heightened senses couldn't help but to feel quite miserable as the strong stench of the land before them filled her nostrils. What she thought was going to be an innocent boat trip to an interesting land had turned out to be something else far more deplorable than expected. " Ugh…did we really have to come here of all places? " Ai complained quietly, leaning along the opposite bridge of the boat. OF coruse she did know why they were here, she was curious to know if Tadashi really had the apptitude to pull it off. " This place makes me feel like strudel quite honestly…" It was true, her stomach couldn't help but to feel slight queezy as she rubbed her temples and growled under her breath. " So how long is this going to take exactly… any chance these beautiful clones might be able to stick around and give me some company?"
"I see," Tadashi says, his inflectionless voice reflecting a thoughtful tone, though he doesn't appear to actually be afraid. Were he afraid, he'd have probably brought an army, not that he and Banshi can't pretty quickly become a small army on their own through Shadow Clones. Still, it's wise to be cautious when approaching a situation such as this. "Once we get to the entrance of the cave, create a metal rope strong enough to pull me back. We're going to need a very strong anchor if these creatures start a swarm, as I imagine they'll be strong enough to detain us if they swarm." He pauses a moment before glancing back to Ai, saying, "You will need to stay back, I presume. I can feel pretty much anything coming, but projecting some light from the entrance might help me determine the best path to take to get to the seal and survey the damage. I aplogize that your introductory mission to our ranks had to be one with such high stakes, as I'd have preferred it be something simpler, but such is the nature of bringing order to the world." With that, he'd look back ahead, saying, "Try to sneak through the town in case any of them are out scouting. We don't want them sending off any kind of warning signal, else there could be an enormous swarm of them prepped to ambush us by the time we reach the cave." Looking directly at the cave, he says, "Banshi, I think it is likely best that you send in clones with me rather than going yourself. That way you can remain with Ai and be sure a full-strength body is there in case I have to call for you to pull me out of the cave." That bit of pondering over, he says, "Let's move," and then seems to vanish into thin air as he flickers into the shadows to move through the town toward the cave.
That figure would give a mute nod again. Those clones coming to life once more, Ai had one as an escort, the silent figure helping as best it could to guide her steps in keeping silent and out of sight. The other two clones spread out, scouting, gathering data about what's going on, as the figure itself would literally merge with the ground, vanishing from sight. There was stealth, and then there was the one who was specialized in it, making it such an art form that most anyone would be hard to even tell where he was at. Thus, went along the silent figure, following and supporting the others.
Once the entrance was reached, that figure would melt out of the ground, coming up into a crouch. He'd go through a set of seals, the first part creating a metal bar under the ground a dozen or so feet down. Wrapped to this metal pole would be a spool of wire, the coiled band of metal actually multiple threads weaved together to make it even stronger. It'd take a few moments of his work to have it pull up out of the ground, much like a living vine to reach out for Tadashi and if unfettered, would wrap about waist and chest in a full holster rig. That main figure would then hold on to the wire, maintaining the chakra while the two clones came in, ready to flank Tadashi into the cave and the 3rd would help Ai make it to the cave as well.
Surprisingly, Ai was able to keep up with the shadow clone as it lead her towards the entrance of the cave, though not nearly as stylish as Stealth's movement through the underground she huffed slightly and shook her head, her violet eyes glimering as she peered into the darkness. "Can't say I will consider going inthere…" Ai commente with a light shrug of her shoulders and a soft sigh. She smirked and peered intently at Tadashi and Stealth, the both of them making very keen preperations which would assure the success of the mission. "So you just want me to help tug you out of this cave thing if things get bad? Hmm how weill I know if you need something?" Ai asked him curiously with the slight arch of her eyebrow.
Standing by the entrance as he awaits his team members, Tadashi gives a nod to the figure as he rises from the ground. He silently watches and waits as holster secures him. "Have them carry on as normal until the battle starts," he instructs, the speech vague but likely quite clear to Banshi, who knows to remain in the shadows until instructed to strike. The Head and Right Hand of the Chitsujyo are quite a well-oiled death machine when working together. At Ai's question, he looks over to her and says, "I'll have one of my clones call out somehow." Looking back to Banshi again, he says, "While I'm in there, I want you to prepare some rods within the ground. As soon as I'm out, expand them and cover the cave entrance so we can plot our strategy in peace once I come back."
With everything explained, the masked man reaches into his coat and withdraws a burgundy pill with 'EII' inscribed on it. In a moment, his build suddenly goes from lean to much more muscular as he literally grows in front of their eyes. He then turns toward the cave, seeming to take in the immense feeling of darkness that emits from it. "Here we go," he says before moving to walk into the infinite darkness, walking several steps into the cave. And then comes that voice, the voice that drove the last powerful man that stepped through this cave near to madness.
"We are coming. We will devour your land… All those you wish to protect… all those you wish to control. Darkness will spread across the world."
That figure simply nodded in response, a glance back at Ai then as the soft tenor would croon to her. "If one of the clones is popped, I know all it knows. If Tadashi needs extraction, then a clone is popped and I know to withdraw him.. Considering what they are, you are the ace. Your light will repel them. Be prepared." That continued push of chakra into the wire had it move fluidly with Tadashi, taunt without binding. The two clones would melt away, leaving it to look like Tadashi walks in alone. The voice was ignored. If they weren't careful, that assassin might start claiming eyes.. then the evil would fear them.. Either way, he was prepared, rooted in the proper spot while the 3rd clone started on the poles, ready for locking the place down as commanded. If anything, he was good at following orders and with his previous knowledge of these things? He was going to be as fully prepared as possible.
"Hum… Is that so?" she crooked her head towards Stealth watching as the clones continued to work on locking the place down, Ai on the other hand simply took a seat at the entrance, crossing her legs along one another and finally laying back so her eyes peered up into the sky. All this talk about evil and darkness didn't seem to be penetrating her mind one bit. " Just let me know when it's all over won't you? I'm sure the two of you can go in there and knock out some baddies and be finished with things right?" WIth those word all she could really do was wait at this point…especially with the other two going on ahead. She wouldn't at all follow.
As the voice comes, Tadashi knows clearly that he has been spotted. At least the thing is paying attention. "All of them, huh?" the inflectionless voice of the masked man rings out as he glances around. "I'm afraid that won't do," he says as calmly as ever. He looks around and finds the only light in the place aside from the entrance, the faint glow of the enormous seal on the opposite side of the massive cave. Reaching that will be his goal for today. Of course, as he senses the gathering of a steadyily-increasing number of the black creatures called the Hitokage, the ones the Crawler calls "The Chidren", it becomes obvious that this is not going to be a very easy task.
"The light you bring will die. The light inside you will die. All that you are will die."
Suddenly, it would seem that the creatures have multiplied endlessly in the cave, their numbers seeming infinite as they begin to surround Tadashi. However, he brings his hands into a seal and simply says, "Kai," and with a surge of chakra, the false numbers would fade away to leave him with the knowledge of how many of these creatures he is actually dealing with. "You're going to have to try more than that to get to me," he states calmly, begin to walk further into the cave, getting further from the light outside and closer to an ever-growing swarm of creatures hellbent on feeding his soul to their master.
The clones weren't noticed, why look for hidden, when the bait in the open was obvious. That wire continued to reel out smoothly, the figure kneeling by where it spooled out of the earth keeping a close watch on the feed of the twisted together strands. Red eyes stared unblinking into the ever darkening gloom of the cavern, the intensity of the evil feeling increasing as they gathered closer to Tadashi. Ultimately, those clones were ready to launch the offensive at the first word, while it might not be as strong as all four working in tandem, even two of them was enough that the place would quickly become a metal forest if needed.
"Do you not fear death? Perhaps you welcome it. You wish for the black void… You tire of your travels, your burdens, the cries of the helpless, the cries of your dead."
Still moving calmly, Tadashi looks around at where he feels the creatures from. They seem to be surrounding him, intending to keep him from escaping. It seems they are quite practiced at their attack methods as well, though some things are hard to account for when facing an enemy for the first time.
"We will grant you your wish… Darkness will swallow you whole!"
And with that, the swarm of creatures would begin to rush toward Tadashi. "Now!" he calls out to Banshi, calling for an attack as he brings his hands into a seal and forms a clone of himself. He and then clone then begin to strike quickly at the incoming creatures, attempting to keep the innermost ones at bay while the clones of Banshi take care of the ones toward the outside.
That they did. That sensor ability of his own telling them exactly where they were, the circle between clones was mapped out exactly. As mirrored in a way that can be done only by being the same person, those hand seals were done and the ground all around them would errupt into a massive explosion of tentacles, those tentacles revealing that razor wire that would reach out, lashing and grabbing every target that he could sense within there. The focus was on locking down as many as he could, both the wire tired to Tadashi and Tadashi himself not touched within the swirling chaotic mass of binding strands. Of course, as that lock down occurred, the next set of hand seals was already started. Very soon, it was going to be a massive forest of metal death in there.
All seems to be going according to plan as far as their attacks. Tadashi is having little issue keeping the creatures at bay while Banshi rips into them. Then, however, the sound of much heavier footsteps is heard as something new appears to be coming. The creatures have apparently possessed suits of armor, as bird-like forms of metal rush from all around toward Tadashi and the clone.
"The children hide in their shells. They have bodies now. Bodies can tear you asunder!"
As this goes on, a form appears right in front of the seal. He studies over it, surveying some deep cracks in the seal where the creatures have been breaking through. While he studies over it quickly, the form of him that was holstered suddenly changes tactics and begins running around some of the creatures, using the metal cord to wrap some of them up and knock the weaker ones out of the way. He reaches into his coat and draws out a scroll, which he quickly unravels and draws a quick map out of the cave and the design and damage done to the seal thus far.
"Darkness flocks to you always. You cannot escape."
"Good luck with that," the Tadashi at the seal says just before the one attached to the cord suddenly makes a rapid movement that uses the metal rope to knock the dark creatures out of the way to give him a direct path to the entrance. With that opening, he flickers to disappear from the cave and reappear back beside the real Banshi and Ai. "Close it now," he instructs before laying out the newly drawn map and sitting down to study over it so they can strategize, the clones keeping the creatures busy still while the entrance is hopefully closed by metal pillars.
The two clones within worked in sync, the area suddenly filled with a lot more metal. Indeed, those spikes shot up all over, filling the area with metal studded poles. From there, the metal spikes would shoot out, catching plenty of 'the children' within it's grasp, mayhap even tagging the armor as well. Either way, as the forest was done, the real figure and that clone planted those metal poles, locking down the front with a thin gridwork that would take someone smaller than Ai to get through. It might not be enough, nor eternal, but it should be enough at least for now.
Things were rather intense.. Even Ai couldn't stay laying around lounging for too long once things had gotten tense. This was probably one of the first times Ai couldn't help to feel on edge. A sweat drop trickled down Ai's cheek as she scratched behind her ear and merely watched as Stealth and Tadashi managed to lock in the darkness once again and catching many of them in a bloody mess. "You two…are really good at this sort of thing aren't you?" Ai asked with an almost painful grin. "I'm going to have to play a whole bunch of catch up in order to keep up with you too… UNless you insist on doing all the fighting for me, Tada-kun," Ai mused and teased, though Tadashi could feel that it might be been some sort of a ploy. Her heart was beating quickly.