Date: July 7, 2010
The final portion of the Takokujin's initial journey is to an ancient, lost location with secrets that have been sealed away for an unknown span of time. As with all forms of power, it requires something to be sacrificed in order to earn it.
"Takokujin - Sacrifice"
Unknown location, Land of Rivers
It had been quite some time since the great river that this country was named after ran red with the vitae of countless dead. The general public knew very little as to the reasons for this occurance. Some would blame, fear, or worship their gods over it, others would assume that the violence of the area simply imploded on itself in one last act of carnage, and yet others would assume that it was orchestrated by someone or something for a reason they simply could not understand. The reaso nwas ancient, lost, forgotten.. and rediscovered by the Takokujin.
Yuki had taken many days deciphering and researching the function of the symbols and seals that made up an expansive room in a cavern hidden by an under sea waterfall. The discovery was made quite by mistake, one of the perks of having so many sensory type members was that you could literally stumble upon a pot of gold where as others would step on it not even knowing it existed. The great river had always seen alot of criminal activity and smuggling, and the Takokujin had set up secret trade routes for Sunagakure and Kirigakure along this dangerous place, thus while taking care of the problem… fortune favored their efforts with a strange, archaic reward. This reward however… required a heavy price.
Inside of the cavern, as it was largely under the great river itself, there were seams and creavices that allowed for a rather complex seperation of water from other liquid matter that would run down the river itself. This was obviously designed by man for a purpose, and Yuki was able to determine just what that purpose was…
"Blood sacrifice. You have been sitting upon a vast sacrificial chamber for an untapped pwoer that has been here for who knows how long." Rain would say to the Lord of Twilight. His people liked to call him the "Akumakage" at times for his… rather ruthless control over his borders, but Rain simply called him Lord Akuma as he seemed to insist that much atleast. Rubbing his great beard, the Lord of the Lands seemed to put two and two together. "And who is it that you sacrificed on /my/ land… Rain?" he would ask of the man who seemed to be distracted by his small entourage and seeing how the rest worked on making sure everything was prepared. "Hmm? Ah yes… i sacrificed the trash the infested your waters and hindered your businesses of course, Lord Akuma." Rain would say with an easy confidence. The Lord would seem bewildered. "Surely you did not slay all of the brigands, thieves, and pirates on your own in such a short time!?" Rain would shake his head. "Of course not… i had the others do it for me for a hefty reward. I am far too busy for such things as sweeping up the droppings in your little pool." Obviously, the Lord took grteat offense to being spoken to this way. Raising a hand, Rain would cease any out burst he may have. "Consider your position… Lord Akuma. We are your elite security force, even the protectors of your land. IT would be best if you saved any of that… fabled endless reserve of rage for a different time. For now… i want you to listen, do you understand?" The Lord would ball up his fists, knuckles turning white, and he would say nothing, focusing only on Rain. Some of Rain's more… aggresive protectors would already be on guard, but he would simply smile slightly and continue to walk in to the interior towards Mune and Sami, whom he had teamed up currently.
Rain arrived with natsumi at his side and Mune was to be setting up one of the main components of this sacrificial machine. Sami was trusted to protect her incase anything went wrong, though of course others were here too. The next stage required that there be a… "transfer" of wisdom to the seals. Why this was required was a bit of a mystery still, but it certainly was something worth finding out. Luckily… the Lord of this area certainly was an authority on the history and … wisdom of the ages past. "If you would Serin… please see that Lord Akuma does not hurt himself while Mune finalizes the preparations."
Mune reached the Land of Waves awhile ago. She had planned to offer her services as a freelance Medic-Nin to the Kumogakure forces there. But with the war over now, the dark-skinned woman was forced to leave rather quickly. She hadn't even had the chance to attempt any of her experiments on her patients! Mune really did not want to go anywhere near Ankoku Cave a second time… But it was necessary to at least cross the border from the Land of Fire to the Land of Rivers a fair distance north of the cave. Plenty of miles between her and that horrific hole in the ground. And yet she remained nervous until she was well inside of the Land of Rivers' borders.
Arriving at Higuregakure, Mune was informed of what was going on and what was to happen in regards to the Takokujin. To be honest, Mune didn't know why she was still associating with these people. Amuro had told her to work with them, but he had also pulled her away at times to complete other missions. Was this group really important enough to spend so much time on?
Either way, she has been brought up-to-date on what Rain has been working on, and now stands by a stone slab that looks like some kind of ancient altar or table of some kind. She is not at all familiar with the Seals used in this place, and really does not know much about Seals at all, to be honest. But she can follow instructions.
The man calling himself 'Serin' has moved into position behind Lord Akuma. Silent as a ghost, he just stands there. The only real indication of his presence might be that feeling that one gets when there is someone nearby. Possibly sense of touch, due to air currents and body temperature. Or maybe something else — just a weird 'awareness of presence'. Or maybe the local dictator has no idea that Serin is there at all unless he looks around.
The white-haired man does not seem to be planning to do anything physically to Lord Akuma. If Rain meant for Serin to restrain the 'Akumakage', then either it didn't register, or the man with the wrapped bundle on his back chose to ignore the implication. If the bearded man attempts anything 'troublesome', however… Well, that would be a different story. Any action needed to prevent a disturbance would be carried out — or attempted — very quickly.
The lifting of the 'Akumakage's' hand had no real intention in it, though regardless, in the shadows a few yards behind Rain the shoulders of a cloaked figure subtly tenses, fingers tightening on the staff in her grip. The smallest of an annoyed scowl tugs at her lips as Natsumi sharpens her senses on Akuma. Regardless of the actual lighting, their surroundings are lit up to her with subtle movements, bright blue chakra pulsing over surfaces and through beings, allowing the blind woman to otherwise follow those around her. With blindfolded eyes, Natsumi lowers her chin slightly so that the hood lowers only slightly, double-checking her emotions, as she knows that above all her weakness is how protective she is for her savior.
Lord Akuma side glanced, indicating he did detect Serin behind him. However, he didn't move, forward or other wise. "What is the meaning of this, are the Takokujin truly without any honor or shame?" He would demand as Rain slowly turned around. "You are in my way, but more importantly, all of our ways. Since we have made this arrangement, you have used us as nothing but personal body guards to solidify your own interests in holding this land. It seems to me you rather rival the great villages than to see to it that smaller villages such as your own can survive in a world such as this. Your method is to conform, to attempt to surpass, but not for anyone but yourself." The Lord would growl at Rain. "You are a fool to think there is any other way! The villages will not simply disappear! I invited you to join the growth of the Land of Rivers and the Twilight village as a formidable force in the world and this is how you repay me??" Rain looked to the man dead in the eye as he said, "Sweating, flustered, out of control. You are worried over your fate and your ambitions. There is no need to worry… i already know your fate. You are destined to assist the entire world… to help in the creation of the condition known as suffering and through that… the exponential growth of those who can bare the weight of reality."
The Lord would yell back at him viciously, "You are insane! Why would anyone listen to such a ridiculous claim?! Why would anyone but the likes of you want that?!" Rain shrugged slightly, "I never said anyone else did. What i want may or may not be of any consequence to all of those who are here with me. Unlike you… i do not call myself Lord of any man or woman. I do as i please… and they do as they please. That… is reality. Serin, please escort him to the table. Mune… he seems to require a sedative." He did nto address Natsumi, as she knew what Rain wanted of her. Her vigilence was second to none.
Mune turns from fiddling with the table/altar, and moves a couple steps forward to the uppity 'lord'. She does not walk all the way to him, however, since Serin is going to be bringing him over shortly. Reaching inside her unbuttoned longcoat, she produces a stoppered vial and removes the plug. Keeping it away from her face, the vial appears to contain a small amount of transparent liquid and nothing more. The substance is dumped into a handkerchief, before the vial is put back in its slot inside Mune's coat.
Once/if Akuma is in range, Mune asks simply and dryly, "Does this handkerchief smell like chloroform to you?" and then attempts to press the cloth firmly over Lord Akuma's nose and mouth, and hold it there.
Serin, previously keeping his hands to himself, and giving no indication of being violent or aggressive or anything… Attempts to grab Lord Akuma's head, palm pressed against the back of his skull, fingers splayed and gripping tight. His left hand shoots out to try to seize the man's left arm, and twist it up behind his back in a no-doubt painful manner. That's just to curtail resistance. If this maneuver succeeds, Serin then shoves with his right hand, in order to try to motivate the self-styled 'lord' to march forward to the table, and directly into that piece of cloth that Mune is prepared to use on him.
With Serin and Mune moving at Rain's command, Natsumi lightly steps out from the shadows, following in Serin's wake as she keeps a close eye on Akuma. Narrowing her attention, her focus remains on Serin as he guides the Lord to the table, the corner of her lips tugging slightly with subtle amusement and satisfaction, seeing as Serin had twisted Akuma's arm behind the man's back. Shifting her hand slightly on her wooden staff, she shifts her head just slightly, as if her blindfolded eyes could percieve Mune as she prepares to knock out the Lord.
It becomes quite clear to those who are making the movements as they were asked that the Lord indeed is only one by title, and that even his title of "Akuma" was the product of words mroe than action. The resistance put up is pretty pathetic, even given the build of the man. His strength is simply not that of a Shinobi's. "Wha..Wait a minute! We can… we can make a deal! We… c….an…" were his last words before he was rendered unconcious by their combined efforts and moved to the table. Rain was silent himself, having no reason to say much as he'd place his hand upon a raised kiosk at the side of the table. Seals would seem to suddenly reveal themselves and glow as the table reconfigured into a strange contraption that appeared to be like a form fitted coffin more than anything resembling what it once was. "Very intriguing… Natsumi… please keep an eye on his chakra levels… as minimal as they are. I want to know how this process will work. Mune, i assume that he will not survive this… would you be able to perform an autopsy? At the very least a cursory glance will be satisfactory for our collective understanding." Rain would state, turly hoping it wouldn't take long…and that it would be adequate enough of a sacrifice of wisdom… what ever that truly meant. "I'm sure that if this shows any real results, the man that has sent you to me will be interested in the discovery. Oh… and before i forget this little tid bit… i now own the Village of Twilight. What i will do with that… is give it back to the people and allwo them to develope the village into a place where their future generations can grow. I suppose they may want leadership still… we shall see how that ends up later. From this point on… the Takokujin will have a public face. Those who wish to remain shadows, feel free, those who wish to assume such positions, that is also your choice. As always… leaving is also an option. Just know that there will be changes with how we operate."
Meanwhile, during all of this clarification, the Lord seemed to have his chakra first stimulated to what apepars to be an optimal level for his not so developed chakra path ways. It then almost seems to be slowly drained from him, relatively, into the various seals and which in turn slowly grow brighter. As an unaccounted for side effect, a different portion of the room seems to activate, this one being a circular array of seals with a large, blank central area. Rain turned his gaze upon this. "Yuki…" he'd say with a bit of volume i nhis voice to becko nher. She seemed to grumble about being over worked, but she went to translate any how.
Mune nods in acknowledgement to Rain. "Alright, Rain-sama." she answers verbally. She doesn't have much else to contribute. She knocked him out, and helped set him up on the table, and then got the hell away from it before it could suck her in too — or whatever it might be capable of. She really would have liked to know more about this man's health and body prior to sacrificing him, so that she would have something to compare against, but she imagines that wouldn't have been viable without getting very… Close to him. Which she was not at all interested in, regardless of the knowledge to be gained.
She just stands back and crosses her arms under her chest, watching and waiting. When part of the room lights up, her red eyes flick in that direction, but she doesn't move to do anything else. She doesn't read Seals and ancient writing so well.
Serin hefts the unconscious body of Lord Akuma onto the table, and settles him properly, apparently not as concerned as Mune is about being 'sucked in'. Only when he is sure that all is arranged in the most efficient manner possible does he step back and watch. Serin has received no further instructions, so he has no reason to anything else. The 'clarifications', however, draw the white-haired man's grey eyes towards Rain. "If I am to help you in a public capacity, I will need a new 'face'. It is not time yet for me to be known of."
Natsumi lifts her chin as she turns her head, as if looking over her shoulder at Rain as he addresses her. Pressing her lips together slightly, she lowers her chin in a single nod, silent before looking back at Akuma. Normal, for an average man with no talent. The blind kunochi takes a few steps back as she watches the man laid out across the table, silent and as still as stone as she watches his chakra drain from him into the seals. And without chakra, a being can't live. But the sacrifice is neccessary. "It appears that his chakra has been used to fuel the seals…" Natsumi murmurs her observations out loud. She turns and lifts her focus, narrowing on the bright sparkling blue of chakra against the darkness. Watching as the chakra glows brighter within the seals as they appear to activate the very surfaces in another portion of a room.
Yuki was quick now that she had a basis to work off of. Of course she would wave Rain over a bit excitedly to display her knowledge on the subject, her pride as an intellectual after all. Rain would come to her and have it explained, though he didn't seem pleased. "This contraption seems to require an endles amount of sacrifices… is there any way around it?" Just as he said that, a full on hand print seemed to emerge from the opening in the circular pattern o nthe wall, raising as if reaching out towards whom ever dare to meet it's touch. Yuki certainly stepped back, while Rain observed. "I see… so the last sacrifice must be willing…" Inhaling deeply, Rain would close his eyes. "It seems that we have hit a wall just before the finish line. This does not appear to be possible without the desire to give all for it's completion. As powerful as this artifact seems to be… we don't truly know anything concrete about it. Only that it allows for "Generations to become one" or something along those lines."
Sighing slightly, Rain would acknowledge Serin. "Yes, i am certain most who take a public face will need to have one not seen before. I may as well, if we wish to keep attacks to a minimum given the flimbsy excuses of the shinobi nations. It will be taken care of. Before the leadership of the village is given away, we will officially, legally be what ever is necessary to continue down the path before us." Turning to stare at the offered hand of the ancient wall, Rain seemed to be quite disappointed. "It seems that you ask too much…" he would say before starting to leave to begi nthe other preparations. "And now we cannot retrieve his body until this process is completed either. Such a waste…"
Mune watches the hand protrude from the wall in answer to Rain's question. That is not something she likes. Maybe it's a coincidence. Or maybe this entire freaking room is self-aware. If the latter, she doesn't really feel comfortable in this place. She has already suffered through a lifetime's worth of horror underground, in a >place< that had a >will<. Maybe this room/device has no desire to kill her, as Ankoku Cave did… Or maybe it is just being more subtle about it. Either way, she doesn't want to be here anymore.
"Well, if we can't get to the body, then I suppose there's nothing for me to autopsy. Did you need anything else, Rain-sama?"
Serin just inclines his head towards Rain at the agreement on identities needing to be adjusted. No reason to speak further on the matter. He will just have to see what can be done in regards to changing his appearance… Or at least how others see him. Turning his attention on Natsumi, Serin stares with an expression devoid of emotion. "You can see Chakra." It is not a question. Despite the lack of interest or inflection in his voice, the words come out a bit accusatorily.
"While others see light and color, my sightless eyes see chakra." Natsumi replies comfortably to Serin. As if to further confirm what she says, she turns her head slightly, as if her blindfolded eyes could actually where he stands not to far from her right. With light steps that barely whisper with her movement, Natsumi turns and approaches the contraption. The bright blue glow of the seal seems to flow just above the surface of stone to her eyes. Brow furrowing with a frown, she reaches up with her left hand to brush back the hood of her robes, revealing long ebony hair as it falls over her shoulders. Natsumi turns her blindfolded and sightless eyes to Yuki and Rain as she listens, the frown deepening slightly throughout her silence. Breathing out slowly, a long moment or so passes before she reaches up, her fingertips pressing against the bottom edge of the dark blindfold to push it upwards, sliding it off to reveal opaque, milky white eyes beneath dark lashes. With a soft and saddened smile, Natsumi lowers her chin slightly. While she is blind, her chakra sight never allows her to turn her gaze away from her surroundings, fully aware of those around her. "I will." Natsumi replies steadily, already coming to her decision.
Rain almost seems to want to ignore Natsumi's words as she said something so simple in such a complex situation that he understood it without looking her way. However, he would stop after that extra step. "You cannot." he would say simply before turning around. "It is unlikely that anyone who touches that seal will live. We have to find another way." Rain rarely ever seemed to be demanding, atleast not with his word choice, but this was a different situation. He could not allow Natsumi to sacrifice herself to the unknown. It was the first time in a very long time when Rain's vision of the future was clouded and unclear. Trying to change the subject, he would say to Mune, "It does not seem there is anything left to do here." Of course, he was not so subtely pushing the fact that it was time to leave.
Mune peers at Natsumi. "You want to give up your life? Just like that? Sacrifices are sometimes necessary. But most things that are sacrificed can be replaced. A life can't be replaced. You should probably consider carefully what value your life has before being willing to lose it at the drop of a hat. Further, as Rain-sama said, we know too little about this… Thing. What if your death does not accomplish what is desired? What if it's a trick? What if it does absolutely nothing to help at all? Will Rain-sama be able to replace you as easily as he lost you? I don't think so."
The high collar of Mune's longcoat conceals the lower half of her face as she speaks, but her slanting eyebrows indicate she might be annoyed or angry, or at least concerned in some way. She doesn't know Natsumi. So why does she care so much whether she lives or dies? "Believe me, there is nothing noble about trying to be a martyr. The dead can't build a better future. That's up to the living to accomplish."
Speech overwith, Mune then says to Rain, "Anyway, yes, I agree. Let's get out of here. Fast-like. Before anymore bright ideas pop up."
Serin continues to stare back at Natsumi. He does not seem perturbed by her words or the appearance of her eyes. Maybe he has emotions and thoughts and such flowing through his head, but at least physically there is no indication he has a problem with Natsumi. His Chakra is a slightly different story. If Natsumi cares to examine it, it would reveal that Serin WAS starting to focus his energies somewhat… To perform a Jutsu or for some other reason is not necessarily evident. However, whatever he was preparing for is abandoned before it truly begins. His Chakra resumes its usual 'spikey' appearance/behavior. It's almost as erratic as someone under the effects of a Genjutsu, but not quite the same.
The subtleties of Chakra aside, Serin says (though to whom is unclear), "'Sacrifices are sometimes necessary.' That much is true. However, a life is no more or less valuable than anything else. Lives can be spent freely as though they were currency, or hoarded and protected. And yet the same can be said of gold. What value does gold have inherently? None. But the meaning attached to it by others is what gives it its worth. A life that has not had meaning attached to it is as valueless as any discarded lump of metal. It serves no purpose. For those who have no meaning in their existence, and hold no value in their experiences, to try to accomplish something worthwhile — even if, in the process, it costs the very thing they seek to define in a meaningful manner — seems to be a viable objective."
That is probably the most anyone here, including Rain, has ever heard Serin say in his or her presence. He normally just stands around and occasionally makes comments. And after his explanation/monologue, he seems to be prepared to return to such behavior. He just crosses his arms and prepares to follow Rain and anyone else who is leaving the cave.
"Rain, you know that I have dedicated my life to protect you and serve your will. It is my purpose. It is why I live." Natsumi quietly steps around Rain as she approaches the raised stone, the seal lit ablaze in a glow of blue chakra to her. Her milky eyes only stare at it in her hushed silence with the quiet smile on her lips, parting slightly as she breathes. Without glancing to Mune as she continues on with her speech, the blind kunochi shakes her dark head, "Is there nothing that you would give anything for? Without a second thought?" exhaling slowly, she murmurs, "My life is everything, it only has purpose if I put it towards something I believe in. And that has and always will be Rain and his will." Natsumi turns her milky eyes towards Rain, smiling softly, "If this is how I am needed, then so be it."
Two points that were in harmonious opposition, selflessness, and then there was the one to take this all and make a decision. The burden of leadership even when you do not consider yourself to be one. He was, by others, considered to be in that position, no matter how much he spoke of it not being true i nhis eyes, he was not blind. Not even when he closed his eyes was he blind. He could speak about how he could not ask anyone to risk their lives for his sake or for the Takokujin… yet he asked of it more frequently than anyone else. What kind of a leader would he be to sacrifice Natsumi instead of himself for this goal? Darkly, lowly, huskily, Rain would speak the word, "Natsumi…" and then say nothing at all. Stuck in the middle of discovery, lost in the fog that had obscured his clarity, his eyes remained closed only blind to the future. "… it bothers you… that you could not become the ruthless warrior by my side, doesn't it? No matter how much i tell you that you did not need to be… you have been searching for another way… all this time."
Seemingly frozen, he did not turn to face her. "My vision will never clear while I consider the present. You have set in motion a failing of the Uchiha… it is nearly impossible for us to look backwards, truly backwards… to let the future slip away. I have to decide… whether to amputate my very soul or to let nothing stop me from realizing my destiny. My very nature demands nothing less than your sacrifice, while my heart desires a different path." He did not make a decision. He found it hard, if not impossible for him to do so when he could not see the future before hand. So long had he seen his steps far before taking them, that having to stumble about like every other man caused him to cease movement entirely.
Mune's red eyes focus on Serin contemplatively, and yet also fiercely. She does not agree with that point of view. Too much of it is dependent on emotionless logic and not enough on simply humanity. And yet it makes sense. The fact it makes sense, however, does not mean that Mune has to agree with it or like it. Just about anything can be made to make sense by a fast-talker or a skilled manipulator. That does not mean it is necessarily true.
When Natsumi continues to speak on what her life means to her, and what her goals are, Mune eyes her with distaste. 'Wasted potential.' she thinks to herself. But what Rain says next is what really hits her hard. "…Your nature, huh? Your nature is to toss lives away after you move them about like pawns? People die. This is a fact. Sometimes, people are even KILLED. But killing an enemy and killing an ally — let alone a friend or loved one — are two different levels of choice."
Lowering her arms to her sides briefly, she is very intent upon Rain's turned back. Then one hand whips up to point at him. "If by action or inaction you allow Natsumi over there to die, you will have chosen to become worse than scum. I can not serve such a base order of filth as that. I WILL not. So choose carefully, please, Rain-sama. A master that can not be trusted is one doomed to have his future subsumed in the past, and lost in the depths of history."
Serin seems to have said all he wanted to say. Whether he agrees with Natsumi's sentiments or condemns them, he gives no evidence. Mune's hot retort to all this serves to make this situation even more tense than it already is. Those who have experienced a battle between two high-level Jounin, with killing intent making the air all around thick with malice, and the slightest sound or movement being enough to draw death down upon one's hand, may get a similar impression of this particular moment, here in this strange cave. This time, however, it is not a desire to kill that is in the air, but a sort of… Uncertainty. Reluctance and hesitation to act in one direction or another is what seems to be radiating from Rain.
The intensity of Mune's anger is another matter entirely, adding a second element to the tension. And then there is Natsumi, and her seeming calm and resigned demeanor… As though she already believed herself to be dead. And Serin? He adds nothing to the charged atmosphere of this place. He is observing, nothing more. But he is not relaxed. He can and will act at the slightest indication that it is necessary to do so.
Hopefully, it won't be necessary.
Though he doesn't look at her, Natsumi doesn't pull her attention away from him. A mixture of sadness and happiness moving through her while she is perfectly at peace. "Ruthless, no, but every kill I made for you had always made me happy, knowing that I was needed…" she murmurs softer, "And this is not a decision for you to make. It is one that I have already made, freely." And smoothly without hesitance, Natsumi reaches out to place her right palm on the raised stone, the seal brightening beneath her hand. She has to keep herself from gasping as she feels her chakra being sucked out through her palm. Smiling happily with a shimmer of wetness gathering at the corners of her eyes, she murmurs with her back towards the room, "Rain… The day you found me… was the day I became whole." she breathes out, feeling her hands becoming cold and numb, "I love you, so much." Swallowing shallowly, Natsumi shifts just slightly as her attention focuses on Mune. "Please do not blame him for my death. I made this decision freely, while he is clearly in turmoil. I do see it in him…"
Finally reopening his eyes, he would glance back towards Mune, his eyes crimson and displaying his sharingan fully. "You misunderstand. It is not my nature to throw life away. It is my nature to see that it is used to create the future." Balling up his fists slowly, he seemed to speak calmly dispite the display. "I am not a god. I cannot tell anyone what their path is, and what their actions are worth compared to their lives. There are many who would say dying for another person, to protect them, is the most honorable thing you can do. Is it? Is losing your life so that someone may life truly a great deed? From what i can see… only if there is a future to be had from that sacrifice." His gaze seemed to smolder as he stared at Mune with blinkless eyes. "What sacrifices has the other man you served made in order to pursue his goals? Were they all honorable? Were they all neat and clean? Do you still believe in them regardless of whether that answer favors your ideals or not? Or would you rather not know at all? I will sacrifice no one who does not see a future in their actions. It is not my choice to make… and yet Natsumi has asked for it to be."
Rain's gaze seemed to deepen almost lucidly seeing far beyond Mune's exterior. It was akin to having his eyes bore through her body and into her soul. A dark, quiet rage had surfaced within him at her out burst. "You do not understand what true sacrifice is. True sacrifice…. requires for you to suffer through the choices made. It demands that you become less and less human with each piece of you ripped from the core of your being. There is no peace of mind with true sacrifice. There is no release from it. There is not a moment where that loss does not weigh on what remains of that morality that remains. Do not assume you understand me, Mune. Do not assume you understand at all."
Rain would hear Natsumi then, and his near invasion of Mune's very being seemed to suddenly and completely cease. His eyes would roll towards Natsumi as she placed her hand on to the wall that beckoned for anyone to give themselves to it and his eyes became wide. Suffering. It was easy to claim such a thing and damn all else to the same fate… but to go through it yourself reminded you as to why everyone tends to avoid the sensation. The entire place would begin to hum to life as seals began to faintly glow throughout the cavern as the circular seal slowly lit up as it drained Natsumi's developed energies.
Flickering from his location to Natsumi, enveloping her with his arms regardless of the risk it may pose, he stared at the activating seal array with a deep seeded malice for what it asked of her and of himself. "Natsumi…" he would say to her very quietly as his rage seemed to nearly manifest itself with how intently he focused on the array. "… I cannot deny you." he would continue. It was a very simple sentence, but there was many reasons for him saying it. IF he was her purpose and she felt this would best serve him… if it would fulfill her heart and let her go in peace… he could not deny her. If she loved him to that depth, he could not deny her. If she did this for his ambitions, it was a priceless gift… he simply could not deny her. "I will never allow your choice to be in vain. I will never allow anyone to speak of it as if it was a waste. No matter what happens… i will always remember you and how deeply you understood me. I will remember the bond that is called love."
Mune stares back into Rain's eyes, whatever penetrative vision he may possess, and whatever he might be able to attempt with Genjutsu, at least Mune does not shy away from the invasive glare. For good or for ill, she has a spirit that will not bow to intimidation or anger. Her red eyes lack Rain's tomoe, however, since she is not an Uchiha. Whether she would rebel against him with her will or not, she would not be able to do much else. She has no counter to the Sharingan. Still, she answers simply, "As you say, Rain-sama. My apologies for this misunderstanding." She looks once more in Natsumi's direction, but as Rain flickers to join and embrace her, she simply turns away to leave them to this moment of understanding and commitment to each other that she has never experienced herself. Will she feel such a bond with another someday? Maybe. But this is not her day.
So she walks towards whatever exit there may be, prepared to leave.
Serin sees that Rain is using Body Flicker to get near Natsumi. Serin is very fast, but he doesn't know if he can match that Ninjutsu's speed when performed by someone of Rain's caliber. Still, if Rain reaches Natsumi first, that's fine. That will serve as a distraction that will allow Serin to interrupt this 'sacrifice'. Rain will hold her, and Sami will knock the hand away from the stone. Simple enough.
So he starts to move, leaving a trail of black and white to mark where he once was, one hand already drawing the wrapped bundle from the straps on his back… But he stops suddenly, about two feet and half a second away from striking Natsumi's arm. It seems Serin misjudged Rain. He is not trying to stop her, he is just saying goodbye. He lowers the still-wrapped bundle, and relaxes his stance from 'prepared to strike' to 'just an observer'.
Her breathing becomes more shallow the longer Natsumi holds her palm against the stone, feeling her chakra and her strength drain away from her. With the blur of Rain suddenly appearing to completely wrap her up in his arms, able to feel his anger and sorrow through his tense body. The crystal tears finally fall from her milky, sightless eyes as she leans into his embrace, "I am sorry, Rain…" she whispers, "I am sorry for doing this to you… Life has been so hard on you, and now this… I am so sorry…" The color of her skin starts to fade slowly, her surface shimmering slightly as Natsumi lifts her free hand to cup against his cheek, a soft smile tugging at her lips as her blind eyes seem to stare straight into his. "I will always treasure those few precious moments I was able to truly see you. I love you, I always will…" The gasp escapes her throat as Natsumi lifts her chin towards the ceiling, her last breath stolen as her translucent form fades into nothing. The last of her chakra absorbed into the seal.
The seal had taken all of Natsumi, not simply her chakra. She was gone. Rain remained with nothing to speak back to. "Leave." is the only word he would say to everyone still in the area and most if not all got the message. At the very least, he wanted to be alone. The circular array of seals was fully lit up and the place for the hand to rest hand receeded. Rain, perhaps unwisely, placed his hand against the cold stone that had taken Natsumi and the array seemed to respond. A new seal was formed in the center of the array and seemed to glow vibrantly before the array seemed to rotate a bit before feeding into the central seal. Rain would attempt to remove his hand, but come not momentarily as some of the seals traveled up his arm. Grimacing, he would tear open his kimono and loo kto see where it was traveling, wdrawing his blade to remove the limb if need be. However, the central seal would be formed on his chest over his heart. The other seals seemed to flow in to it, empowering it some how before it faded into his skin. His hand was able to leave the surface of the wall now and he would take a few steps away. "Now you know how to give… is that it?" Rain would reply tothe action with a bit of spite. However, something inside of him calmed him just enough to allow him to walk away. "I will… understand your secrets…" he would say with a some what confused tone as he'd also leave the ruins within the cavern.