Shadow of the Scorpion - Fall of the Clan Head


Akane, Kurome

Date: June 1, 2016


Kurome continues on her journey, and she meets up with a 'friend' and deadly enemy.

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

"Shadow of the Scorpion - Fall of the Clan Head"

Neutral Lands

Willow had given Kurome several bits ofinformatio though only a couple were actually useful. The hideout she knew the location of, but she was far too timid to go herself. Instead she gave Kurome a crudely drawn map. The location was deep in the forest with a lake on one side. Ten she told Kurome to gather supplies at a stall not far from Willow's tent. The woman would give her a discount. But she warned Kurome that the hideout was supposedly haunted…..
Upon reaching the stated stall an old woman with eyes aged by years but they seemed kind. "Hello, dear, Help an old woman get ridof some goods, hmm?"

Kurome Assumedly wrote down a list of supplies that Willow told her, and she would glance down at the sheet of paper. "I can do that," she says, nodding once. "Willow-san sent me to gather these items, and she said I could find them here?" Kurome would offer the old woman the piece of paper, hoping that age hadn't affected the stall owner's sight too much…

The old woman looked at the list then up again. "Willow-san hmmmmm?" Chuckling the woman started to gather the things, mostly things for treking through the local woods. Bugs and rope and such. Once the old woman gathered the things she smiled up at Kurome and gave a very fair price and smiled. That smile faltered, however, when she seemed to see smething behind Kurome.
If the clan head turned she would catch a glimpse — just a glimpse — of a familiar white mask and crimson hair done up like an entertainer. It was there then it was gone… Was it real? Or was this entire place some kind of genjutsu?

Kurome nods once and would say a quick 'hai', waiting patiently for the old woman to gather the items asked for. She was reaching into her pouch to get money when she saw the hesitation in the smile, and the woman's eyes weren't exactly on her… Kurome would shift and turn to glance behind her, blinking at the sudden appearance and disappearance of … Someone familiar. Kurome turned and hastily put down the amount of money asked for. "Thank you for the assistance," she says politely, suddenly in a rush to gather her things for Willow. Once everything was squared away, she would walk quickly to where she thought she saw the masked person, though she didn't have much hope in finding what she wanted… She just wanted to see if it would happen again… Yeah, that's it.

Well this time Kurome would find what she was after. The crimson hair was easy to pick out of a crowd and she was still wearing leather.. and her usual arsenal. She danced through the crowd, finally pulling a hood up over her hair to dampen the color. The Kiri nin was missing a sigle item.. her hitai-ate, usually around her neck, seemd to be missing. But she was headed for the forest, apparently following someone a few yards ahead of her….

Kurome thanks the gods briefly that the red hair is so easy to follow. And while she had pulled a hood up, Kurome now had a lock on her target, and she would slip through the crowd to make sure she was following Akane. Oddly, though, she noticed Akane seemed to be focused on someone even further ahead… The Uchiha's gaze flicked from Akane and Akane's 'target' a few times to see if there was any connection.

As Kurome looked to Akane's target, she might notice the top of a tattoo on the man's neck. Only part of it showed but it might ring familiar with Kurome. It was similar if not exactly a mark said to have been seen at the site of her parents' murders. Akane didn' seem to care, though the way she moved hinted at Kyoujin now and then.
Deper into the woods they moved.. And finally Akane was noticed. She was inscrutible with that mask on and simply appeared behind the man, injecting him with Something that not only paralyzed him but was clearly excruciating. She stood there, that mask keeping her face obscured but she seemed unmoved by the man's pain.

Kurome blinks a bit at the tattoo of a scorpion on the man's neck. Was he..? Kurome continued to follow the two, keeping far enough behind that she could run away easily if need be. When Akane just suddenly moved and the man was down, she would slow and walk over to the two, stopping about two yards away. "I didn't think I would run into you again," she comments, crossing her arms over her chest. "What are you doing here?"

Akane looked up at Kurome and fell back a single step, lifting twin blades which were suddenly in her hands as if ready for a fight. The man on the ground let out a last gasping breath and went still but when Kurome seemed only to be speaking to her Akane lowered her stance just a bit. "I'm dealing with a threat. And you? Following me?

"Only recently," Kurome says, sparing the downed man a glance before looking back to Akane. "I thought I might find some clues about a dead man. Do you mind if I look at his body for a moment?" she asks casually, not moving from her spot, nor taking an aggressive stance. She wasn't exactly prepared for a fight, and Willow's things were still in her hand in a bag…

Akane tilted her head then slipped her blades back into the sheaths. "Go ahead. He's just a peon." Akane formed several seals and sent out a burst of chakra, sensing around then for intruders… finding nothing shenodded. "We're safe. Check all you want. I just couldn't have him report my presence back to his boss." Akane stepped back and shifted her stance as if calming down. Something had definitely gotten her hackles up. On her back, what was exposed, and her arms were slowly fading scars of a grid pattern, deliberate markings and apparently branded into her skin. Something had definitely happened since Kurome had set her free.

Kurome would examine the body closely, looking for any signs of modification mostly. Signs that the man was on drugs, primarily. She also examined the tattoo, wondering if that was a coincidence of if there really was a connection… She was a member of the ANBU, so she could at least figure out that much without using chakra. She glanced over to Akane, then. "Who's his boss?"

Akane sighed deeply. "A man named Ken who works under the Wisteria banner. While you had me… occupied.. in Konoha, he kidnapped my husband. I'm going to end him." The anger in Akane was palpable but there was also a hint of that same old feeling, that she wasn't going to tell everything. "Is this one of the guys you were after? If he's connected to uuma too then I'm sure there's more. Assuming we're not being tracked by …. a sensor. Of some type."

"I see… He isn't the one I want, sadly. I was going to investigate an old hideout that might hold connections to what I want to find, though. Potentially Fuuma-related, but the hideout itself has the reputation more than the man I'm after." She would stand up fully, frowning at the body before her. "Alternatively, I'm going crazy. I've been told that a few times, admittedly. It makes me surprised that I'm still in charge of my clan."

Akane tilted her head at Kurome then slipped her mask off. That scarred face, the green eyes… She looked colder than before, this was a serious mission for her. "/I'm/ Fuuma-related. Are you sure I didn't have a hand in it?" She held up a hand and shook her head. "Well, unless there was a tiny assassin with the men you are after…" For Akane did kill with poisons for the gangs in Fuuma Alley for quite some time. But she was a child, hense the tiny part. "Ken has his hands in a lot of clans… Making it so someone who questions her sanity led the Konoha Uchiha… would not suprise me. You can come with if you like but I'm probably the only safe one of us."

Kurome chuckles lightly, though without humor. "Fairly sure. The connection to Fuuma is loose. The most he did was take and experiment…" Kurome misses something important that she might regret later on, mostly because she got distracted by the look on Akane's face. "Hmm… I need to sort out these things before we move, though… It's a bit inconvenient to carry them around like this. If you don't mind pausing your hunt for two minutes."

Akane eyed Kurome for a long moment as if trying to figure out if the woma was serious. then waved a wrist. "Hurry up. If I miss them this time I'm going to be ****. I have children to protect." Akane moved to lean against a tree, watching Kurome closely, irritated. Finally she just seemedunable to deal much ore. "So, did you intentionally 'let me go' just so that psychopath could pick up where your Dog had to stop?" Indicating someone had continued the questioning after Akane had been 'released' from Kurome's custody. Was there a connection?

Kurome would nod and start unpacking the bag before re-packing its contents into her own travel bag (and the more useful items go in various pouches and pockets). "Psychopath?" Kurome echoed, looking up as she tied things securely. "Explain?" she requests, making herself not command for Akane to tell her. "And if you're so impatient, then you can explain while we move."

Akane narrowed her eyes at Kurome's apparent lack of knowledge. "I did not return to Kirigakure for two more months after you put me on that boat. I was busy being held elssewhere. I really don't know where. Or who." She lifted her head and turned just eough to show the worst of he marks left behind. Akane was a medic and she undoubtedly had the backing of the Mizukage at the time so she would have the best medics ad even if that failed, Ishino would have demanded them. And of course there was a report that a Kiri in had walked from the center of the ocean and ended up in Uzuhiogakure. That shinobi had ben reclaimed by Shuuren himself. Apparently that was Akane. And clearly those two months were far worse than anything Konoha might have done to her.
Akane shrugged then turned toward the path again. "Lets go already."

"I'm not sure who it was that held you, but I can say that I had no part in it." Kurome didn't have her ear held to the gossip and whispers, so she didn't hear much about Kiri shinobi walking from the middle of the ocean or anything like that. The Clan Head simply followed Akane, shaking her head slowly. "I do apologize for what you went through, but I am not after whatever information you have so much so that I would not return you when I said."

Akane waved a hand and put her mask back on as they walked. Still, she slowed a bit as they approached the lake. They could hear it from the trees and the 'hideout' looked to be an old mill. "We'll see if our targets are here…. If you see Ken…" She loked over her shoulder at Kurome. "You're no match for him." Insult or warning was impossible to tell, but Akane motioned with her hands, specificly usng a Konoha pattern of silent hand signals to tell Kurome to stay down for the moment.
Then Akane stood and stepped out only to be surrounded by guys, some with tattoos some with out…. All bearing a Wisteria marking somewhere. "Yes es." Akane sounded bored. "You outnumber me. I'm so scared. Where's Ken?"
One of the men scowled at the woman and lifted his sword. "Ken-dono? What is your business with Ken-Dono?"
"Does it look like you're privvy to that information?" She reachedup and removed her hood and mask, causing one of the men to back up and bow to Akane, he other to just look nervous. "Now stop being stupid."

Kurome just nods her head and would follow the signals to stay hidden, making sure to hide in such a way that she could at least watch what happens. It was quite surprising to see that one of the men had bowed to Akane. That got a raised brow, and it sent her thought whirling. Did Akane have connections to this person? Her reputation might precede her, though… There were a lot of factors to such…

Akane stood her ground but one of the men, a younger one probably looking for glory, stepped up behidn her and tried to hit her in the back of the head. Only to find her sudenly behind him, a blade to his throat. "My **** you are that stupid aren't you." She shook her head but before she could speak again the man that bowed suddenly grew angry… at the boy. 'What the **** do you think you're doing?! That's his Niece you moron!"
Akane barked suddenly, anger making it a growling utterance. "SHUT IT!" She swore under her breath then, surely Kurome had heard that one. Closing her eyes her blade slid across the boy's throat and she let him drop silently, a hint of that same scorpion tattoo on his arm. The she started walking forward. "He wants me and he wants me whole and then he wants my children. Well Dear uncle Kenny is going to have to kill me to get them." It was lear Akane was about to strike, though what kind of fight it would be was up for grabs.
Kurome however had a bit of a suprise as something heavy landed net to her. A crouching man lookig through the bushes just like her. "Isn't she a lovely mixture of hatred and pain?" He grinned at Kurome brightly. "I'd like to see your sharigan too, Little Lovely. Come have tea. It will be a family thing."

'Niece' clarified quite a bit, and Kurome's eyes narrowed slightly. She was about to assume that Akane led her into a trap or something, but it seemed that Akane was a bit against this 'Ken' person. Which came as a bit of a relief until there was a *thmp* beside her. A kunai was in her hand and held up in a defensive position when she heard it, black gaze tinging red. "And you are..?" she asks, eyes narrowing just a bit as she studied the man. She quickly released the chakra that had built up to activate her Sharingan, preferring not to show him hers… Hopefully he didn't notice it when it showed up for that brief second.

he man beside Kurome looked entirely unphased by the kunai in her hand. In fact he chuckled. "Now now. You'll miss the show." He turned his head back to watch the fight. Two men dropped quickly, one to poison, one to a blade through his temple. Akane took a hit as she pulled it from the man's skull and then leapt high ad into the trees, landing in a crouch on eh truk of a tree, glaring down at the two men who were left.
The man beside Kurome frowned. "Oh dear, well I suppose I shall have to go rescue my lieutenant. Excuse me a moment." And then… just like Akane whe she fought.. he was gone, reappearing between Akane and the leader of the minions.
"Akane-chan, my dear, Why would I hurt the best hope we have of fixing this ****awful clan? Hmm? Bring your friend to tea."

Kurome doesn't really drop her stance, but she does choose to shift her attention to the fight between Akane and the others. Apparently Akane is doing pretty well. Well enough that the stranger she could only assume to be Ken had to go and step in. She stood up fully, figuring that since he already knew she was there, there was no sense in hiding. "I do appreciate your calling my clan ****-awful… I think. Well, not really," she comments, still holding the kunai in her hand. She isn't really looking like she was about to attack, though.

Akane glowered, pulling her mask of and hoking it to her belt."Aww, does he mean something to you?" Sarcasm was as thick as acid on her voice before she went back to a deep angry tone. "You laid hands on my son. You will die for that."
Ken chuckled softly then glanced toward Kurome as she stood up. "Funny. I meant /MY/ clan. Fujikujo is a much greater clan than yours will ever be. We encompass all that is and will be." He glanced up at Akane. "Or we will when I put her in her place. Though I am suprised. You don't look like you want to help rescue your cousin."
Akane grimaced and disappeared, reappearing beside Kurome. "Like I need her help." It was said off handedly but Akane meant no offense to Kurome. She looked annoyed more than anything but one problem at a time….

"She didn't look like she needed help," Kurome would say with a light shrug. "And your clan hardly sounds great when I've never heard of it until now." Since she only knows Akane as Doihara… Ahem. "Well, I suppose either way I don't particularly enjoy your company… I might have to pass on tea."

Akane looked at the man then at the ground, her jaw set her brows furrowed. inally she looked up again. Pain and acceptance showed on her face. "You really want to get me killed don't you, 'uncle'?" She sighed when Ken laughed at her, a chiding laugh as he crossed his arms. "Now now. How long do you think you can go on having children and playing with their genes before the secret comes out anyway?"
Akane glared even more at that but he turned to Kurome for a moment. "Now let me explain somethig to you, young one. Fujikujo is older than what you know as Uchiha now. Look at Akane-chan. She has the grace of a deer…" Nara clan. "The blaze of flame in her hair…" Uzumaki clan. "The heart fille with a Will of Fire." Sarutobi clan. "Pale eyes like the moon and a tender heart." Senju clan. "And the eyes that show what she has endured. Just…like.. y—"
Akane threw a blade which was easily deflected while shouting, "SHUT UP! You're annoying!"
Kurome would eye Ken for a few moments, wondering what he was talking about… Or maybe she was trying to figure out something else. Regardless… "This sounds all well and good, but you're about to bore me to death with the details. I suppose I should just leave all these family matters between you and Akane-san, and I'll just make my way since you seem a bit busy." Though she really was curious what this guy was talking about.

Ken looked reprovingly at Akane. "Now, stop that. She deserves to know what she's about to die for, does she not?"
"Who says SHE is going to die?" Akane snapped at him, lifting her blades.
"Well, certainly you won't allow her to take this back home and make you a hunted one. So. Why don't you just kill her for me, Little Branch."
Akane suddenly froze as though she had been utterly stunned by what he had just said. She shook her head slowly, eyes showing a pain settled deep in her mind even as she closed her eyes. It was just a moment.
And then she looked up, glaring angrily. "Kurome-san… It might cost both of our lives to kill this **** and he won't allow you to leave. As much as he's spilling secrets he isn't going to allow you to bring that information home…."
Ken grinned, fuly entertained. "She's right, Kurome-chan~. No one but me is going to kill my sister's daughter. Now! SHOW ME YOUR EYES!" And his own pale eyes shiftedsuddenly, red ad black and a distinct star pattern… Akane and the liuetenant swore at the same time, both crouching, the guy jumping backwards to give Ken space.
Akane took three breaths before she finally spoke again. "You wanted to know my big secret, Kurome-san? Why I am such a guarded person in Kirigakure? Here is your answer." Akane's eyes shifted into three tomoe, a sharingan but.. tainted. Rather than crimson her eyes were an acid green…..

Kurome just sort of looks back and forth at the two arguing about her life and who would kill her and similar things on that. She's not really as entertained as Ken is, but … Maybe that sense of dread is making things tinged a certain way for her. The Uchiha would just frown. "Well, I've escaped certain death before, though perhaps that's because I had a bit of help… I might be a bit out of my league here with all you've said." When Ken's eyes shifted, though… Well, that was a bit surprising. She turned to Akane, giving the Kiri-nin a raised brow. "I see… Well, I fully doubt you'd be welcomed back into Konoha, as nice as it is to have you on my side in a battle. And I can't exactly kill you… So if we survive this, I'll just be sure to keep your secret a secret," Kurome states in a matter-of-fact voice. "That feels like the biggest 'if' ever, though."
As Kurome spoke, her chakra would spike. >.>;

Ken chuckled and shifted his stance, but his eyes… Akane winced first as she felt the genjutsu passing over her. She had married a genjutsuist and was used to defending against it, but.. even as she slashed her own thigh to end it, the power of his mind swept over her and Kurome both. It would be like a thousand senbon had slashed them from every angle only for them to feel like they had been dipped i poison. Pain, burning and rippig through them like acid, draiing their eergies and hopefully their wills.
Akane grit her teeth, widening her stance to keep on her feet. One thing her life had taught her was how to deal with pain. She fought through it, eyes blazing as she fliped bot blades backwards and flew through seals. Then her fingers went to her lips, sending a huge jet of flame at her uncle and chasing him with it, lighting the trees and brush on fire around him.

Kurome closed her eyes for a moment, and when she reopened them, she had a unique swirling pattern with the three tomoe of her Sharingan being red. The woman could feel the Genjutsu trying to attack her, but she was able to figure it out mostly, and she surged her chakra. It took a lot of energy to do so, but she was able to break free of the illusion without too much energy lost. It would have been worse if it managed to got ahold of her. "Unpleasant…" she mumbles, forming Handseals to send out a great fireball that would fuel Akane's flames and hopefully add to the burn Ken might receive.

Ken appeared to run ahead of Akane's flame, looking suprised when Kurome added to the conflagration with her own. But he grinned at the end and as the flames engulfed him…. Or so it looked. Then the fireball itself darkened in color as hey slowly turned black. Then with little further warning the flames were suddenly heading straight for both women. Ken was up in a tree, safe from the flames and unharmed, though apparently entertained.

Kurome's eyes widen a bit, the women surprised to see black flames that seemed to be chasing after her and Akane. It took her a moment to fully process what was going on, and then she leapt backwards to try and avoid them. Go figure that there's an inconvenient root right there, and she ends up stumbling and getting caught by a few of the flames before she jumps away from their immediate reach. She stared intently at Ken, sitting pretty in his tree, and the red tomoe in her eyes whirled as she attempted to catch him in a Genjutsu, though the burns were painful and kept breaking parts of her concentration. "Akane-san, are you okay?" she asks, though her gaze was fixated on her current enemy.

Akane leapt backwards, flipping through the air even as she stripped off her jacket. he'd caught her with theflames but all he could see was the leather jacket she put in his path. She was used to fighting other Uchiha apparently. She narrowed her eyes as she let the jacket fall. "I liked that jacket…" She muttered before waving a hand. "I'm fine."
Ken, however, met Kurome's gaze. He suddenly gripped at his head as if in pain, grimacing as she tried tohold his mind n check but then… His face would crack, then the whole world seemed to crack and shatter around her, overtaking her, shattering into a void of …. nothing…
Meanwhile he reappeared befre kane already moving through a strike, his fingers glowing brightly as he jammed his fist into her side. An intricate pattern lit up on her side and Akane's body jolted sharply. A scream emitted from her and then silence as she slumped to the ground, out cold. Ken watched her fall then looked up at Kurome, a more serious expression on his face.

Kurome would reply if she could, but her mind was focused on trying to hold Ken's in place. She thought it was working until her world started to crumble (literally). It was a very visual representation of how she generally felt about the things life kept throwing at her, at least… The woman found herself floating around in nothing, not really able to do much but stand there. At least for a few moments. The experience drained her, though. She was panting a bit, and when she was released from the Genjutsu while he zapped Akane, she would try to gather her chakra and send the man into another illusion. One that altered his perception of the world around him so that she and Akane weren't there anymore. And then the two would descend upon him, somehow managing to pierce his skin with a deadly poison.

Ken chuckled as Akane fell unconscious at his feet, the seal on her side lighting up and slowly starting to burn into her skin even while she was helpless. He tightened his fist and it sizzled a bit more as he felt Kurome break free of his genjutsu. A grin crossed his lips and he leapt backwards as Kurome landed near Akane.
The Kiri nin faintly opened her eyes but that was all she could muster. Pain was evident but there was something paralyzing her as well. It grew in strength and effect until her eyes fade from the tainted Sharigan into normal greens. She coughed and went limp, blood seeping from the corner of her mouth as she tried to breathe. But it would be clear that seal had drained her pretty badly.
Ken meanwhile had returned to his perch on the branch, his Mangekyo focused on Kurome. He watched, curious what she would do now. Would she run? Abandon Akane? Try to take her with? Attack him? He had decrypted her genjutsu just as she had originally done to his earlier toying tries. A thick eyebrow raised above one red and black eye.
No matter her choice it would end in the same way. As soon as she moved he was suddenly leaping into the air, several fire clones comming at Kurome specificly. If a hit landed the corrosponding clone would explode on her in a bit more of a trick. All the while he looked like he was enjoying this a bit too much and Akane couldn't move.

Kurome glanced down at Akane, taking a moment to think. Probably a moment that she really shouldn't be wasting… But she wasn't exactly sure what to do with a paralyzed Akane. "Dang it…" she mutters under her breath, a hand darting out to grab Akane so she could drag the woman around. The Kiri-nin likely won't appreciate it, but it's not like Kurome actually got the chance to even move because a number of fire clones were incoming, and she was forced to leap backwards to avoid the nearer ones while using a huge blast of flame that Akane and Ken would feel the heat of to launch her back even further. The Clan Head landed on a tree branch, seals already forming so she could send her own fire clones into the fray.

COMBAT: Akane attacks target 1 with JUDGMENT-BOLT with a roll of: 83

Ken chuckled as Kurome began to pull Akane along with her. But when he attacked she dropped the Kiri nin and fled. So his fire clones followed, meeting her flames with flames ad igniting it even further. Akane brought her hands up to cover her face and rolled onto her stomache as the hea roiled above her. When it passed, she lifted her head just enough to watch what was going on, but every movement seemed to drain her and every time she tried to focus chakra te seal burned more and more into her skin. It was ust like the man and the hot iron chair…. She close her eyes tightly, gasping for air as panic swept over her, memories resurging. And in that moment a surge of chakra left her in desperation and in a loud clap of thunder, splitting the heavens — and a tree — on it's way down.
For a moment it looked as though Ken had been felled. Smoke choked the forest for a moment and for a split second silence reigne.. or was that a side effect of being so close to a lightning srike? Akane knew her ears were ringing….. But then there were five of Ken! And each one was indistringuishable from the others. Shadow Clones… and all headed for Kurome, (well Kurome and the forest itself). Flames erupted from two of them in a parody of the Fire Dragon but at a much higher rank. Meanwhile the other three were throwing unches as they landed. Whether or not Kurome dodged any of that, she would be hit by the heat buildup. Then suddenly upon impact there was a pause, a second of peace.. Then a crack early as sharp as the thunder as not only did the ground break and trees uproot, but fire was added to it, a blastwave hitting Akane and throwing her back against a tree as well with a sickening crack. Where there was forest…there was now Ground Zero.

Kurome flinched at the Lightning that Akane seemed to wield, her eyes flicking to the Doihara before they flit back to Ken. Or … the multitude of him… Great ****, will she ever get an easy opponent? Whoever's in charge now just doesn't seem to like Kurome! The Uchiha is forced to leap away from the clones once more, flames scorching the trees. But not as much as the fire that came from the clones… That fire was powerful, and the only thing she could do was raise her arms in front of her and get blasted back much like Akane. She landed on the ground, wincing at the new burns and rolling a bit to try and pat down flames on her.
"That… hurt…" she pants, eyes darting around. It took a lot of chakra to maintain her mangekyou, and it was starting to take its toll on her. And with her expelling so much chakra just trying to avoid the guy's attacks… "Where's Akane…?" she wonders aloud, looking around for the Kiri-nin. The fact that there weren't anymore trees around was a bit depressing… Poor trees :(

Akane flinched and once the carnage was over with She sat up stiffly. "H…here." Still, she could barely move, the seal and that lightning had really drained her. She looked up, leaning back against the tree as she gasped for air. She hadn't emerged from that unscathed either.
Meanwhile, Ken seemed to have lost a couple of clones or ended them on his own, leaving three, standig at 3 corners surrounding the two females, though no longer on tree branches. One spoke up. "Now, then… tell me, little Ku-ro-me-chan… how would you like to die?"
His eyes seemed to glow ominously. Then it was as if he had inflicted terrible wounds, o, worse! Those black flames were back and encroaching on her from everywhere! Once it got hold, if it did, it would seem as though the flames would boil her alive. Death by black flames….

Kurome would take a step in Akane's direction, but then her attention was taken up by Ken. The woman's eyes narrowed a bit as one of the clones spoke up, and she would watch, eventually noticing the injuries to her person. Her Sharingan recognized it for what it was, though, and she surged her chakra to rid herself of the injuries she never actually had when the black flames appeared. She didn't have enough chakra to escape from them, so she tried to run, but running didn't seem to help her move away from the black fire. Kurome felt herself dying, and it really wasn't a welcome experience, so when she recovered, she was on her hands and knees, looking just a bit shaky from exhaustion. "I don't think I really like dying," she manages to tell Ken, throwing several Kunai and shuriken at him and his clones.

Akane couldn't do much but watch at this point, that seal on her side was still draining her and draining her energy.. She hated it but… There wasn't much she could do… She was close to her end too. it took all her strength to bolt over to Kurome's side, reaching out, trying to heal Kurome or at least give her some energy, only to come slamming against oe of the clones' outstretched leg. It caught her in the gut and she dropped toher knees ust out of range of helping Kurome.
Ken chuckled as he watched one of the clones clothesline kane to her knees, lighting that seal up again just to prove it was still active. He strode over toward Kurome as she fell to /her/ knees, standing over her as she spoke. "How cute."
Reaching down he would grip her by the throat, lifting her from the ground and off her feet, a grip like steel. He grinned at her. "Any last words, little one?" He would walk two steps as he waited for her last words before slamming her against a tree…..waiting…

Kurome blinked, still a bit amazed by the speed both Akane and Ken can put forth. She watched the clone take care of Akane and couldn't help but wonder if this would have gone better if she didn't interfere. Maybe if she wasn't so persistent in what she wanted to find. After all, she had killed her parents' murderer with her own hands; now she was just chasing ghosts. Her council told her that, and she refused to listen, instead searching for signs of the past that don't matter any longer. (Or do they..?) The woman didn't have much time to think before she was suddenly yanked up by the neck, Ken's grip was strong, but she could still talk. How nice of him.
"I guess… The only thing I want to say… Two things. One: I wish I could have helped Akane-san more. Two: go to hell."

Akane flinched when Kurome spoke about helping her. What would have happened if Kurome had learned ofher secret before? Could she have returned to Kirigakure then and had an ally? They were some kind of cousin right? But now Kurome was wishig she could have helped more? Akane shook her head slowly, her eyes meetig Kurome's, a hint of fear at Ken's next action. She tried hard to get up but she was getting weaker….
Ken meanwhile listened politely. "Impressive. I almost regret this now." Almost. "Fear not, though. Your eye will not be squandered."
The clone kept his grip firm, kept Kurome against the tree, but turned to expose her suddenly, moving his body out f her way. At that same moment one of the clones stepped forward, hand glowing and set in a knife-hand style… It would pierce Kurome's chest and out her back, shatterin the tree into a million splinters. For a second she would feel his arm inside her.. then sliding free, letting her bleed and drop down beside Akane. And as Kurome would feel the life leeching out of her, a carpet of crimson poolig below, she would feel a seal closing er eyes almost tenderly. He was sealing the sharingan so it could not be stolen…..

Kurome noticed Akane's gaze, and she would turn to look at the Tainted One. Akane would get to see the Mangekyou start to fade away from the woman's eyes as she ran out of chakra, and when Kurome looked back to Ken, they were normal. "That's good, I suppose…" she says before a hand pierced through her body (and the poor tree behind her…). It was an unpleasant and painful feeling, and she could feel herself dying. It was a bit scary, and she fought briefly against whatever it was trying to tug her into a permanent unconsciousness, not that it would do anything. She saw a fuzzy version of Akane beside her and she tried to say one last thing before darkness closed in around her. 'Ya…su…o…'

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