Date: September 21, 2011
There is war once more between the Land of Water and Kirigakure's combined forces and the assembled soldiers and ninja of three of the other Five Great Shinobi Nations and miscellaneous other countries impacted by the super weapon of Kirigakure. While lives are lost and battles won, the Hidden Mist Village itself feels almost "empty". When the fog rolls in on the same night that the coast of the Land of Fire is taken, some residents and defenders of and in Kirigakure discover that they aren't as safe as they may have thought… And that the Hidden Mist does NOT have a monopoly on creating MONSTERS…
"Pylon of Efficacy - Terror In The Depths Of The Fog"
The Marketplace - Kirigakure
The market. Normally much busier then now, though with it being this late at night its a wonder anyone is here at all. A few people wander from closed stalls, heading home for the night as that strange mist clings to the village streets. People linger, passing on information and doing those clandestine things the night permits. One person in particular doesn't seem to be doing much, if anything other than wandering about.
A tuft of blonde hair, a body encased in white cloth. That creepy smile that seems to enter the room in front of him, leading the way in ever social encounter he's ever been involved with. Gin, perhaps he would've been a stranger Chuunin if that Okumo boy didn't exist. Even stranger still, was how quiet his footsteps were. Almost like he was trying, almost. His shoulders are loose, his posture is straight and his steps are relatively light. A carefree posture if ever there was one, portrays a person who is quite calm and at peace for the moment.
The streets of Kirigakure are quiet and nearly deserted at this late hour. Though this is not unusual, there are reasons beyond simply the time for such a sense of emptiness in the Hidden Mist. War has been begun again. War waged by one of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist. Kei had waged a similar war perhaps three to six months earlier with her golem army, but now a second war has been started and it appears to be supported by a secret extremely long-range incineration beam of some kind. No one is really sure where it comes from, what is producing it, what limits it may or may not have, how it works exactly, or even WHERE IT IS.
That makes it a threat not just to shipping and naval vessels but potentially to anyone. The exact range of the weapon is, as-yet unknown to others. A certain wandering Medic-Nin has met the wielder of Samehada before. They did not get along. He left shortly after that and has not been back to Kirigakure since. Yet a figure in a black cloak leaps from rooftop to rooftop, skipping right over alleyways, or occasionally hiding within them when night patrols draw near, and the figure is wearing the support satchel of a Medic-Nin about its waist.
Suspicious people trying to remain hidden while the civilians are mostly staying safe and sound in their homes? Probably up to no good, but though Kirigakure's security is no slouch by any means, even seeming to be AWARE that there is something wrong as the patrols tighten their search pattern and check more and more urgently in less and less likely locations, the cloaked form manages partially through skill and partially through luck to remain unidentified… For now.
The marketplace is where the figure finally pauses in its flight, remaining in the shadows and allowing the scant few others present to go about their own sinister business. He waits for the right moment to resume moving.
Takeshi had returned from Kei's new war effort along with his troops and minimal casualities. That was what it was like leading a large host of Kaguya warriors and shinobi. Well not really, it's more like a bunch of stubborn bulls with no off switch. When they get going, it's nearly impossible to get them to retreat, but that is what he had. Though they didn't really retreat more so than leave Kei to her fate. He and his troops opened the line, but this was her war and they had always been defensive in nature. The village was more important than her ideals.
Regardless of that, it was late and the marketplace should have been closed, except that the elder was here because he knew someone. The lights on that stall were still lit up and he was still wearing the ceremonial robes that all elders are given. Sake was free flowing and the person who was providing it apparently was an old war veteran himself. They were sharing stories of some kind.
Keen eyes fall to a spot where a rather strange silhouette had fallen from a rooftop. Well, fallen wouldn't be the word Gin would normally use to describe such an action but at the moment thats the only information he seems to have been able to interpret. His eyes narrow further, the Chuunin reaching up to rub his chin in thought as for a single moment in time that grin of his seems to disappear. That however is not long lived as the smile immediately returns, the boy's eyes ctching a glimpse of a man wearing the robes of a village Elder. The white hair is the biggest hint to who it is, but being of a quixotic nature himself Gin opts to follow that target rather than the potential ghost he had spotted earlier.
Who knew with shadows in the mist anyway. His quiet footsteps slowly begin to take him closer to that open stall, where the Sake flowed like mountain inlets and the two war veterans seemed to discuss some stories. The words just begin to reach the young Shinobi's ears as he steps closer to that light, his eyes shifting to continue to take in his surroundings. Wether he was supposed to be in this area or not, he was. And something told him he could stand to get in trouble. But that was the fun of night-time cardio wasn't it?
Takeshi raises a glass and laughs with his friend before turning to look at Gin, "Oh, hello there. Welcome to the marketplace at night. I would offer you sake, but it's not mine to offer. It's up…Okay, that's decided." A glass is already sitting there for gin. A peer is given to the old man pouring sake as he turns to regard Gin. "And what brings you here?"
Suddenly, a combined patrol of three squads of ninja, including one ANBU, land at the gates leading into the marketplace and begin searching the area. One squad each goes onto the roofs of adjacent buildings, but the third squad moves swiftly across the ground, checking closed stalls, behind crates, even inside of large vases and barrels… They are quiet, but they are trying to >find< not >hide<.
The other two people present at the lit sake stall may or may not notice this activity. But it is likely that the squads will make their way over to those two men eventually.
The cloaked figure does not move from the shadows even as the heat of the search is turned up. The night is mostly silent, other than the footfalls of shinobi and the friendly semi-subdued chatter of at least a few people who want to drink after a long day.
The creeping fog, like the frigid fingers of ghosts, reaches slowly outwards, their eerie threat of grasping and pulling down to Yomi, Land of the Dead itself, evident visually but silent otherwise. Yet, just like a phantom, the slightest movement sends those psuedo-skeletal hands swirling and scattering, trailing the edges of garments, streaming from the cooling flesh of those unfortunate Kirigakure ninja who were assigned to this task… The threat of supernatural harm lurks in the fog, but it recedes and vanishes when confronted.
…Until one turns one's back, at least. The cloaked figure observes from the darkness, but moves to mirror one of the patrollers as soon as the man passes within range, trying to play a version of that child's game where one stays behind someone else, remaining just out of sight for as long as possible, and hopefully unnoticed.
The patrols do not indeed go unnoticed by the younger Chuunin as he reaches the stall and moves to accept the seat, though it is with much trepidition that he leans forward and sniffs lightly at the sake. He looks sidelong at Takeshi, that smile evident on his features. "…Just a night-time walk." He says simply before looking back to the drink presented him. He had Sake before, it was strong. It was… somewhat bitter, depending on who served it. "I enjoy the quiet serenity, and the… nature that is the night. The air is cool… the shadows are deep. And all kinds of interesting events occur that one simply cannot observe during the time when the sun sheds its warmth upon the world."
He tips the cup back and sips the Sake down with a single gulp. He sits steadilly, and doesn't seem uneasy in the least as he shifts to look over his shoulder again. "Seems one of those aforementioned interesting events are occuring… Kaguya-sama?" He guesses at the tile as he looks sidelong once again to Takeshi, though the two have never met. The robes, the markings, the reputation, and least of all his features marked him clearly as a Kaguya. And Sama (Lord) only seemed to appropriate.
Takeshi looks up at Gin and shrugs, "Teshi is fine. Takeshi Odori Kaguya, Clan Elder, but i'm off the clock, so whatever you want to call me works fine." The sake is sipped at as the patrols go rushing by without even so much as an acknowledement from the elder. "So it seems, but it's not our problem if they don't intend to involve us in the details. That's how this place works. Always someone in the darkness."
There's a sound on the rooftop that the elder tracks, but it's nothing to be concerned about it seems. Probably just a cat. Then back to Gin, "I see. Night walks can be refreshing. I don't believe we've met though. Your name?"
The 'Mirrored Movement' technique or whatever it is the cloaked figure is doing to remain hidden behind the Kirigakure ninja as the man continues to search around, unaware of the person so close to him, may abruptly be disrupted. Two thumps from light-weight bodies landing upon the roof of the sake bar stall might go unnoticed by normal people at a DISTANCE… But the landings are substantial enough that there is no way they belong to stray cats. Especially not cats who travel in pairs. Two cloaked figures identical to the one currently standing behind the patrol guard now stand atop the bar. They are doing little to conceal themselves, as they just stand in what dream-like demi-light that is cast by the pale moon above and filtered through the dense fog…
Then about a dozen more land all around the area on other buildings, regardless of the reaction or lack thereof of the patrols or the customers at the bar. The owner may not be very enthused about this situation as he finds himself in the middle of what appears to be a serious ninja battle. Not a healthy place to be.
The figure standing behind the patrol guard suddenly raises a hand from beneath its cloak, revealing the appendage is an over-sized, inhuman, three-fingered… THING. Each claw protruding from the fingertips is at least a foot long! These claws are swiftly applied to the back of the guard's body — and out the other side — unless he evades or is rescued somehow.
That's not a good sign.
Takeshi yawns loudly as he continues to sip at his sake. The landings do not go unnoticed to the clan elder, but he makes no movement to react to them. Even less so when a patrol is cut down near them. The elder simply tips the glass, finishes it off and then pours another one before slapping that one down just as fast. The another one is poured, this one he sips on normally again. "Well, isn't this great? Now I'm obligated to pretend I care. Why couldn't you have killed them just a little on down so we'd have never known." He says it to no one in particular as his friend closes up shop but leaves the sake. "Alright then, Free Sake. Have at it!"
The cup is thrown back as he throws it against the hut and moves for a bottle. This is obviously not the best night to bother the clan elder, but he doesn't seem to be making any movements just yet. "Hey, who do you think is doing this? It's amusing right? They think they're going to survive. HAHAHAH!"
The guard goes down. The reaction is immediate and explosive. Chuunin of various levels of skill, one ANBU Operative, and three experienced Genin, all lash out at the enemies who have surrounded them and already claimed one of their own with some sort of deformed appendage or hand-weapon. Shuriken fly, blades are drawn and used in mid-air as these ninja leap to the roofs to join these trespassers in battle, and the ANBU Operative stays right where he—No, wait. That's a she. Even in this mist, even in the dark, there's very little chance of mistaking this one for a man.
She also appears to be wearing the garb and mask of a rather >specific< branch of Kirigakure's ANBU…
The remarkably well-formed woman draws a sword from a sheathe at her lower back. The blade looks like an over-sized sewing needle. Wire unwinds from it from a 'spool' that appears to be slotted into an empty space in the grip.
Nuibari is one of the few >melee< weapons ever to receive the dubious honor of being dubbed a 'terror weapon'. It is also the only one of those few that is a sword and the only one in the possession of a ninja of Kirigakure.
One of the Seven Swords(wo)men appears to be present. She turns, shifting her weight, and then propels herself off the ground, high into the air, and up, up, up, until she is but a silhouette against the yellow moon that just now is revealed as the clouds move away from its corpse-pale 'face'.
Then she starts killing.
Apologize to Takeshi? Pfft. He got free sake. What's to apologize for!?
Still in the air, Suzaku Yuri begins to rain a seemingly endless stream of shuriken from both hands. They appear in her grasp in an instant, no indication of where they came from, but they are ready immediately and she doesn't even have to pull her arm back to swing as she chucks the multi-point blades at these cloaked… >Things<. Once she lands on a rooftop after the deluge of projectiles, she then moves into position immediately to follow-up this attack once she sees the results. She also makes a hand seal discretely to set off various seal tags in the area that will trigger a 'silent alarm' thoughout the Village.
Gin stands calmly from his place at the stall, looking over at Takeshi as he quickly grabs the sake bottle that was left behind. The Chuunin doesn't allow surprise to creep into his features, only that strange smile he always wears remains. He tilts his head to the side as the spray of crimson, still evident despite the encroachment of nights darkness. He looks around at the many figures having stood up from the shadows as he reaches up to his wrists and twists something. "I knew I was in the right place…" He says simply as he reaches to his waist. The motion is subtle, but in an instant he sheds the top layer of clothing and adopts a coloration more suitable for the nighttime mists. Incredibly dark blue, matching the night sky. Reaching up under his neck he grabs a length of cloth and raises it to cover the bottom portion of his face up to his nose.
Once again he gives Takeshi a sidelong glance before his eyes rest upon the form of a member of the Anbu. Specifically, someone who he found that he quite admired. His smile seems to persist through the cloth covering his face, as he reaches to his back to slip a finger through the eye on the back end of a kunai. He spins it lightly on the inside joint of his finger as he looks around at the target rich environment before picking his target.
The motion is quick, the boy spinning in place and dropping to a knee as his arm whips accross his body. The knife is loosed as he recovers with a roll and dashes to the side, his hands slipping into various pouches on his body to withdraw another set of Kunai. His form is dominated by a trained agility and grace, though he waits to loose his next attack in favor of keeping on the move.
People die. Takeshi gets drunk. Strange enemies begin to fight noiselessly with Kirigakure ninja as those same ninja do not fight anywhere near silently. Grunts of efforts, cries of pain, clashes of weapons, and the odd, dull, muted THUDDING as sometimes even when blades succeed in striking these misshapen targets, they fail to even penetrate.
Yuri's rain of projectiles strike the enemies, and some of them even puncture the flesh, tear the cloth, and draw… No blood. They are injured, based on the gouges and tears visible in that bizarrely PALE flesh when the clothing is torn asunder in places, but it is not until one of the enemies has its cloak pulled away completely as a wounded Genin falls from a rooftop but clutches at the fabric in an attempt to NOT hit the ground below that it is revealed what exactly are being fought.
There are many strange things in the world. Clones, golems, jutsu that can cover one in a protective layer… But these things don't look like they were ever human at any point in time — not even indirectly, such as a human's Chakra turned into a Clone Technique.
These enemies are monsters. Surprisingly tall, unnaturally thin, deathly-white, and with absolutely no facial features or identifying marks whatsoever. The monsters have three-fingered, over-sized hands, with lengthy claws on each extended digit. They are jointed wrong. Muscled wrong. They move wrong. Everything about them screams out to most human beings on an instinctive level that whatever they are they are WRONG. They simply… Shouldn't BE.
The creatures move in ways that no human opponent can. Ducking and dodging and weaving aside simply because their cloaks mask the bending of almost insect-like limbs, the twisting that would shatter the skeleton of any normal human, the twitches and spasms that mislead, misdirect, distract, and then unexpectedly become a trio of claws right through the ninja's skull.
Yuri is approached by three of the monsters, as they move in a stilted, semi-elastic manner. One of the monsters — the one completely revealed — leaps down to ground level to finish off the Genin. It prepares to send one misshapen foot that looks like it's a retractable scythe blade instead of a foot directly into the wounded, defenseless man.
A kunai thrown from Gin strikes the Faceless One directly in the center of its featureless face. It notices, but it does not bleed, does not slow, does not seem to be hindered by pain. It seemingly abandons the Genin as it straightens up and prepares to head towards Gin in that freakish stop-motion way that all of the Faceless Ones move, but one of its dangling hands scoops up the ninja with its claws and hurls him at Gin in advance, just as it then performs a series of cartwheels and erratic flips, attempting to get within range to do more than hurl comrades.
Then, however, something unclear occurs. The monsters begin retreating without warning. They abandon battles, even if it means losing a victory or losing a limb, and begin trying to flee into the night.
A Medic-Nin pouch remains behind, along with the shredded cloak of its former carrier.