Not All You See


Rockpath (emitter), Satoshi

Date: February 16, 2015


Satoshi has been sent to both take out a cult in the Land of the Fang, and investigate this chakra crystal that has apparently been giving visions.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"Not All You See"

Land of the Fang

The Land of the Fang was host to many interesting people. One of these groups lived in the mountains, a small network of caverns within keeping them safe and sound while they lived in relative peace. In one of the deepest parts of these caverns was a cave that hosted their 'god': a crystal that glowed with their god's 'spirit' and gave them power should they go to battle, ever. Guards are posted 24/7 around the sacred crystal. The Mizukage has decided that it would be a good idea to see what exactly they were worshipping. He sent his tool, Satoshi, to investigate. 'Know your potential, find your limits, drain the chakra from the crystal' were Satoshi's instructions.

It was inevitable that the Mizukage would call Satoshi on his part of their agreement. He is a one-man branch of the military, inhuman and owing loyalty only to Meruin. That the crystal's chakra is commanded to be depleted doesn't cause the half-demon any alarm; chakra is his sustenance and the source of his power. However, the cultists guarding the network of tunnels leading to it are another matter entirely. Their swords and spears are highly unlikely to kill him, but whatever this crystal does for them might well.
One of the advantages of going into the Mizukage's service was new attire after years spent wandering. Satoshi approaches the entrance to the caverns clothed in a blue shinobi uniform, and the darker blue shroud wrapped about that conceals most of his inhuman qualities. The bandana worn across the lower half of his face does the rest on approach.

The cult is small, only consisting of twenty people. There are little to no guards at the very beginning of the cavern, most of the people preferring to stay in the deeper areas or guard the sacred crystal. Satoshi would be able to sneak in with no issue, though eventually he would come across one cultist who was leaning against the wall and sharpening a glaive for future use. He seems very intent on his work and not very inclined to look upward.

One half of Satoshi used to reside in a cavern, in the deepest darkness. To be in such a place is to feel at home. The agent of the Mizukage draws his shroud entirely about his body and advances with light, swift steps through the darkness. No pause is given for anyone, lest he waste a chance to bypass the threat, including the fellow with the glaive. He moves like a wraith in the shadows, pitch black eyes fixed ahead.

Satoshi continues on without much suspicion following him. It is likely due to his nature that he is able to so easily escape notice. The trip through the caverns becomes darker and darker, though every few meters, there is a torch to light the ways. Eventually Satoshi would come to a fork in the road. There are three paths for him to take, and only one of them would lead him on the correct trail. The others were likely dead ends if they didn't lead him in a loop of sorts.

It seems that Satoshi happened upon the path that lead to a dead end. He would find that there was nothing at the end of the cavern but things used for sleeping. Beds, blankets, pillows, and clothes were strewn about the floor. Nothing very interesting, but he did lose time going down this way. There's another member of the cult here, too, but she's asleep and breathing slowly, so the likelihood of her awakening is low.

Well, that's certainly a minor annoyance. The temptation to easily feed upon the sleeping woman wells up within him, only to be suppressed for the sake of the mission. She could manage a surprised scream, and then chaos would erupt. She is left alonne, and the shrouded figure backtracks to the fork. This time, he takes the far left passage instead, black eyes seeking some sign of the intended target being ahead. If it's another dead end, he'd rather spot indications of that before hitting the last wall.

The left tunnel twists and turns, likely misleading Satoshi's senses. But there has to be an end, right? Eventually, though, he would find himself looped back nearer the entrance than before. It was, for all intents and purposes, a useless tunnel that was mostly used to distract enemies. Or perhaps something where earth-users could use for cover. Either way, it's another annoyance that Satoshi could have lived without had he taken the middle path on his first run.

If he could say it, Satoshi would: the middle path is always the most cliche route to something great, and as a result, the least reliable choice! That complaint remains neatly tucked behind his fangs as he turns about and once again reverses course to the intersection. There's only one way to go now, and that's down the middle. The half-demon advances as he has been, swiftly and with a purpose, his dark blue robes all but blending in with the shadows between the torches.

This mission is proving to be easy enough once Satoshi finds the right trail. He would come across no one until the very end, and it was quite obvious that he was almost at his goal. There were three people blocking the way, though many of them seemed relaxed and were praying with their heads bowed, palms together, and weapons on the ground at their side. Again, no one noticed the half-demon approaching. Further in, he would see about five more people, these ones a bit more battle-ready. They would be dispersed along the trail, each holding a sharp fan and carrying a single dagger with them. It was easier to fight in small quarters with short weapons.

There are limits to subtlety. After a time, Satoshi finds himself confronted with a crowd ahead of himself, in the tunnel and - more dangerously - in the cavern beyond. However, the crystal is practically within sight, ever so close. To turn back now for fear of fans and knives would be too much of a waste. Thus, subtlety comes to an end.
Short weapons may be of assistance when fighting in close quarters, but the enclosed nature of the caverns also provides Satoshi with a unique advantage. His fireballs of corrupted chakra flare and splash when hurled, and within tight confines, they would flood the passage and things beyond with their terrible energies. The oni-otoko draws upon that which is his sustenance to form a flickering ball of corrupt chakra above an upheld palm, which he then flings forward at those in his path, as if they were mere insects nagging at him in the midst of important affairs.

Oh spectacles! There's a wave of fire one moment, and everyone is dead the next. Well, hopefully they enjoyed their lives up to that point. Demonic fire is really effective in such close quarters, it seems. Of course, it doesn't mean that the half-demon is unnoticed. There are the last round of guards that surround the crystal, and they are ready for Satoshi should he appear before them. Spears and knives are at the ready, all pointed at the single entrance to the room that held the chakra crystal.

Satoshi is treated to that tingling wave of satisfaction as his corrupt chakra lays waste to those before him, leaving behind husks over which he steps without a care. The almost completely shrouded man advances along the tunnel until he comes to its end, where the crystal is in sight. It's so desirable a vision that the men guarding it almost go unnoticed. Ah, but there they are, and he'd really rather not have to go through repairing his body.
"Your god didn't protect them. It didn't even attempt to," Satoshi says to the lot of them from the entrance, black eye sockets lingering upon the lot. "Why should you continue to have faith if that faith is unrewarded? Leave, and you will not face what they did." Satoshi politely takes several steps to the right and waits, genuinely interested in seeing who among the mortals possesses logic (or good sense).

Apparently only one man had the smarts to go running. Or maybe he just wasn't brave enough. The other four steel their courage and go charging at Satoshi in a sense, each one throwing their knives at the half-demon without too much hesitance.

So much for keeping his body intact. Ah well, the Mizukage will ensure that he's fed enough to rebuild himself once he returns, assuming the crystal fails in the task. As the knives are thrown, they plunge into the unmoving figure's body. His fangs grit behind the mask of dark cloth, but only on the initial strike. Slowly, the blades fall from his flesh, leaving him still standing. "I'm afraid you will need far more than false faith and knives to end me," Satoshi says, sounding mildly amused.
As his shroud unfurls and generous sleeves rise, the large claws which comprise Satoshi's hands come into view. He doesn't wish to be caught within his own explosion of dark chakra, and so he's forced to engage these warriors on more primitive terms. Darting forward to meet them in battle, his claws seek flesh, and from the flesh, they seek to pull in chakra for the feeding. It is, for him, a moment to be relished.

The fighters do their best, likely scoring a few scratches on him just due to sheer numbers, but eventually they fall prey to Satoshi, and he gets to stand over their bodies for a bit and gloat, should he like. They didn't have much chakra to satisfy him, though. That was what the crystal was for. It glowed with chakra, a faint blue in color, and didn't do much else…

Once the warriors are down, Satoshi treats them much like he did the dead in the tunnel. They're just empty husks now, useless and unworthy of his notice. He shakes the blood from his claws as he approaches the crystal which was so dear to them, sizing it up with a measure of caution. Satoshi usually fed off of humans, sometimes plants or soil in desperate straits. He'd never drained chakra from a crystal before, or even encountered such a thing.
Rather than simply plunging a claw in and going for the proverbial kill, the half demon extends the index finger of one claw, tapping the very tip against the surface of the crystal. He waits to see what happens or, barring that, what he feels.

Satoshi would feel chakra in the crystal. It was very pure chakra, and there was quite a lot within it. Upon Satoshi giving it a few taps, some of the chakra transfers from the crystal to the half-demon. Not a lot, just a little. It doesn't really hurt him or anything, though, either, since it's his typical food.

Satoshi's aware that some sort of genjutsu had harmed people not terribly far from here, but what was he to do? Here was the mark the Mizukage had commanded him to destroy right before him, now unguarded and seemingly without danger to him. The 'taste' of its chakra was pure, genuine. How such a thing had formed was beyond his knowledge, but he had a mission to complete if he wished to retain his position of privilege in the Land of Water.
Drawing one arm back, Satoshi thrusts it forward, fracturing the crystal around his digits as he plunges his claws in deep.

Of course, when Satoshi plunges his claw into the crystal, it gives him more chakra. But he would also get to see visions. Not all of them are horrible. Some of them are quite pleasant (to Satoshi) while others might be of him falling and others could involve his death. The only effect on his physical self would be that he couldn't move for a bit and maybe feel a bit drained of energy, but the chakra was enough to revitalize him. The visions didn't last for more than a half minute, but it could have felt like forever.

Genjutsu, indeed. Why had this crystal retained any memories at all, any visions? It was just a thing, an apparent vessel for life energy. Fortunate for him that none who knew how to destroy him were present, else they'd have had plenty of time to make the attempt. Eventually, as more and more chakra is drawn into his body, the crystal's brilliance fades and his own psyche returns to the here and now.
Satoshi doesn't withdraw his clawed hand until the monument to this faith is reduced to a colorless, chalky spire of mineral easily scattered by the scratch of a hand or a blade. Only then does he pull his fingers out and look upon his work with satisfaction. Whatever that was, the task is done, and so Satoshi furls his shroud about himself once more and quickly retraces his steps through the cavern complex.

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