Date: January 3, 2016
Fate has conspired to see that two souls meet once more. The truth of one's past deeds, and an opportunity to strike leads to the downfall of one of these souls.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Coldest Dish is served by the Riverside"
Fertile Delta - Wind / Rivers Border [Land of Wind]
This fertile delta is the point at which the Land of Wind and Land of Rivers meet. The distance between this point and the Land of Fire border for ninja who take reasonable breaks to rest is about four or five days. For normal people on-foot, it would take much longer. Westwards goes deeper into the Land of Wind, away from the many powerful and healthy rivers, the large amount of greenery, and more towards floodplains and open desert.
Water, water, everywhere. Clouds fill the sky, pouring an endless assault of water down upon the world. The sun has managed to get a decent amount of warmth through, the the chill winds negate most of its comforts. Neither the rain or drowning in one of the many overflowing rivers that make up the fertile delta are causes for concern for one lone giant. It has been days since he has had a proper meal, so he couldn't exactly afford to sit on his haunches and wait for the weather to clear up.
The only really nagging issue besides dealing with a possible cold in the near future is the prey. Yoshi enjoyed the act, but generally disliked the taste, if the scowl permanently etched into his face was anything to go by. Occasionally a heavy patch of downpour threatens to knock both straw hat and rod out of his grip, but Yoshi manages to keep a hold of both with only a few murmured complaints over the incidents.
The rain was an unexpected and unwanted welcoming once reaching the Land of Rivers. It was a hurdle to get through after moving through the increasingly cold weather of the Land of Fire and hopefully the warmer climate that waited for travelers in the Land of wind. A pleasing thought as Eremi wasn't exactly dressed for such a storm. His simple attire of loose fitted clothing completed with tightly wound bandages amongst certain limbs was not made for the rain. Nor was his now flat and soaked hair.
Typically his presence would be forewarned by the clatter of chain links hitting one another, but the falling rain and coursing river made such a task nigh impossible save for the most astute. Though it was a matter that didn't concern Eremi, whether or not people would be spooked by his sudden appearance. His thoughts weren't on what others thought, but how to get to Sunagakure. He hated to admit it, but due to one of the normals trails being flooded, he was lost…
Yoshi could hardly be considered the most astute at the moment, what with his pleasure senses being bombarded by the mind numbing task of fishing. He is perhaps one of the more unluckily lucky of his kind, for by chance a sneeze and subsequent bout of nose rubbing resulted in his catching a glimpse of the wanderer. Between the rain and distance, he could scarcely make out any features that might warrant some sort of revelations. At length out of curiosity however, studying the figure's mannerism provided enough incite to hazard a guess.
A full minute of observation goes by before a flick of the wrist yanks the line right out of the water. "Just wouldn't let this one go…" He mutters darkly under breath as he made his way to Eremi. It is a slow going trip thanks to his pants legs being so water soaked and mud covered, but eventually he gets within a comfortable distance to shout out a "Yo!" and wave to grab Eremi's attention.
Eremi had seen Yoshi well before the other had noticed him and was already moving to intercept. "Hey there." Waving in return, chains dangling from the shackles on his wrist. There was something about the man that he just couldn't place. A familiar look, the way they held themself, the hair, the complexion. The voice? Eremi wasn't entirely sure and honestly didn't care. Unlike the other, it was clear Eremi was a shinobi and hailing from Konoha.
"Do I look that lost? I'm trying to get to the Land of Wind, Sunagakure to be precise. You look a little lost yourself or at least hungry. The fish not biting? They're pretty active during the rain but 'fly fishing' works better over Angling as the fish are more towards the surface, biting at every rain drop." He'd shrug, glancing off in the distance, as fingers tap against one of the three gourds at his side.
Yoshi was never all that good with names, but faces were another matter. Eremi would see for the briefest of moments recognition dawning in the man's eyes. In those that followed, he attempted to mask it as surprise, followed by embarrassed glance at the dirt, tipping his hat further forward to seemingly emphasis the emotion.
"Your advice is much obliged kind sir, and as repayment, I'll lead you part of the way there." He says, feigning a nonchalant tone rather well. But far too many years of training on Eremi's part might reveal the subtle twitches of agitation in his arms, and the shift in stance as in preparation to defend oneself. "'course I'd go a step further if I could, but it ain't often even in these here parts where we get nice enough pour for a real haul, ya know?" He says, just barely meeting the Konoha ninja's eye past the lip of his hat.
A few more taps against the gourd before popping the cork and bring it up to his mouth for a quick drink. The gourd would fall away, but the hand lingered to run through his soaking wet hair. "Much appreciated." Bowing his head slightly in thanks before straightening out. The others mannerisms were slightly intriguing to the shinobi, but was regarded as nothing more than nervous ticks and quirks. It wasn't as if Eremi knew this individual, name or otherwise. Nothing eluded to needing to.
"I guess, but it's been a while since I've fished. Been a while since I've done much of anything of importance recently. Few odd jobs for Konoha, traveled out to Fuuma, visited the Land of Water…" The final part trailing off as, as Eremi stated, nothing of importance. "Don't mean to bore yeah. The names Satonezu Eremi, by the way."
"Satonezu… Eremi…" Yoshi inclined his head further as the murmured name rolled off the tongue. After an awkward moment of silence he nods absently, and then lifts his head just enough to meet Eremi's gaze again. "I am… Kirryu Yoshi." He states, bowing briefly at the admission before half-turning about to walk away. After shuffling the fishing rod into his left hand, Yoshi motions for the Satonezu to follow.
Regardless of whether or not Eremi chooses to, no effort is made to make certain of the shinobi's compliance. "From the sounds of things, you certainly do get to travel often. Must be pretty nice, even if jobs weren't all they were cracked up to be, huh?" He comments offhandidly at first until some strange irritant got the man to dig a knuckle furiously into his ear.
"'specially consider'n all the types of people ya get to visit."
Eremi took the name, but had no recollection of ever hearing it before, so simply filed it away for now with the rest of the names and faces he's bound to forget. "Not typically, no. Mostly I stick within the Land of Fire. Protecting Konoha within its own borders. When I do travel, it's by my own choice and the most interesting types of people I meet come to the village themselves. Excluding yourself."
He offers as he follows in stride along Yoshi. Arms swaying from side to side, the rain a continued nuisance a top his head. "Though, surprisingly enough, I heard a kiri shinobi had walked into our village. Staying for a while. Looking for someone…Definitely need to pay them a visit. What are the chances." Smirking slightly to himself.
Yoshi grins, taking no made up offense as some might in his shoes. Beyond this he hardly seemed to pay much direct attention to the Satonezu, choosing instead to pay greater mind to the very loose path of his previous trudge through the area. After a particular careless misstep unhooks the end of the line, the man busied himself with trying to rescure it as soon as possible, only to stop the effort abruptly.
A proverbial statue took the place of the fisherman, because only his clothing — edges teased into motion by the downpour — showed any signs of movement. It a strange coincidence made stranger by the timing given Eremi's last words, but one would have to get around the man or at his side to catch even a glimpse of what might the hold up be.
Try and try and try as he might, Yoshi could not rid himself of the tension that encompassed his entire being. During such times a certain "other" might've attempted to break the spell. Unfortunately, today the fisherman has only his own wits to rely on. "Mmn… Only she would be bold." The words can just barely be made out over the ambient noise, though soon enough they won't matter to Eremi compared to the blade of a kodachi brought around in one wild, quick motion at his neck. Yoshi ends up with his opposite to Eremi, and hopefully the blade held in defensive matter. No hate or mania can be seen in the visage of the would be killer; only grim determination and hints of anger.
"Careful, buddy." Eremi remarked toward the 'fisherman" as he paused momentarily, waiting for the other to correct themself and continue to show him the correct way. Though there appeared to be something else that had rooted the fisherman in his spot, what it was, Eremi was unsure and if the rain were to let up, he'd stick around to find out. "You ok, pal?" Tilting his head curiously at Yoshi as he approached, a hand extended give the stocky fellow a gentle nudge.
Before his hand could reach however, Yoshi had already regained some sense of himself, just not what Eremi expected. The blade came swinging around and were the surface of the ground more forgiving, the Satonezu would have easily stepped out of the way. Unfortunately, that was not the case and to avoid being decapitated, a hand rose to catch the blade, stopping it from reaching its intended destination.
With blood dripping from his hand, but a grip still held onto the blade, "What the grudge's your problem?" Was this an ambush? Had he said something wrong? He'd go through his thoughts in an attempt to see if this attack was somehow his fault, but with nothing coming to mind, he concluded the man was just a whack job. "You get one, that's it. Now how about you point me on my way to Sunagakure before you find a permanent home with the fishes."
Yoshi clenched his teeth, yet no amount of drive seemed enough to push the blade any closer to its target. A sleight edge, or so Yoshi judged the strength difference to be in thought. Even so, he silently tried to press the blade further, tuning out Eremi's words until he felt the tiny sensation of a blade beginning to fracture.
"Your intentions for village's visitor… What are they?" He growls out, finally halting in his attempts to press the blade further. His stance however remains as guarded as ever, denoting some martial experience that may prevent any casual attempts at disarming the "whack job". "I would know them before I decide to relent." Yoshi adds with a dangerous glint in his eyes now.
Eremi's hand shook slightly against the force of the blade, the sharp edge pushing deeper and deeper into his palm, almost connecting with bone. The blood trickling down his hand, over the shackles and down the chain links. It was a position he put himself into that he was not sure how long he could hold it for. This "Fisherman", was more than he appeared.
"Village's visitors?…What are you talking about?" He was stunned in confusion, unsure what Yoshi was getting at. "You mean, the kiri shinobi? Uzumaki Isra?" The confusion only intensifying. "I don't know if you know this pal, but Konoha and Kiri don't exactly get along."
Yoshi began to openly bare his teeth, impatiences and frustration winning out over a desire for answer. It is for one brief second that there is slack behind the blade. Yoshi's eyes had gone wide at the name in clear recognition that soon seems to set him off. Eremi would find his strength and determination tested as Yoshi tried to force the bleed closer to his neck, all but abandoning any defensive measure his original position granted him.
"Answer… the question." He states guttural, ignorant to the surge of power bubbling up to the surface. Once dull, mud brown eyes take on a cerulean hue as the skin just beneath began to crack and fall away. And like that, the careful attempt at masking his Jinchuuriki markings crumble, stoking perhaps some recognition in Eremi of their last encounter.
"Or so help me…"
The look of confusion upon Eremi's face didn't waver as he continued to stare at the other. The most he was able to gather was that the fisherman had some kind of tie to kirigakure. Perhaps it was why he was a fisherman and was worried about loved ones. It would explain why the man was so defensive as the blade edged closer and closer to his neck.
"I did…" Then Eremi saw, he felt it. The change in Yoshi and it was at the moment a smile hit the mans face that quickly turned to a chuckle, almost a full on laughter. "Ah, the beast of Fuuma." He'd tilt his head back, exposing his neck just a little more. "Now I understand your anger. Though it's misguided. I warned you back then and you ignored me. Because of that, one of your own died." Lowering his head slightly. "Shirayuki Tsubaki."
With the name given, Eremi disappeared from sight, a jingling of his chains the last vestige to where he was, but not where he went. There was no trace of the man that stood before Yoshi, only a puddle of blood now remained that was fading away with the rain and the mud. Had he left completely, ran away? Or was he biding his time, waiting for an opening to prevent himself before striking.
Even if it would've costed him an answer, seeing Eremi take on a more cavalier attitude and exposing his neck further only goaded the Kirryu to try harder to remove the threat to Isra's life. Then, there came the moment — one of many the ex-shinobi dreaded since leaving Kirigakure to whatever fate was in store for the village and its inhabitants.
The Konoha-nin had stayed true to his declaration.
Innocent blood now stained Yoshi's hands.
During that moment of eye opening shock, guilt, and despair, Eremi vanished with the only remaining trace of him fading into the rain and mud. He fell forward from the lack of a weight against his blade, stumbling at first, but managing to catch himself in the end. Yoshi searches the area for any signs of the Satonezu. It is all to no avail. Minutes of searching conclude with his letting the blade slip out of his grasp, burying in the muck as he collapsed onto his knees. Soon after, the straw hat falls free, exposing the face of a man trying to hold his composure, but weakening from some internal struggle. If he was crying at all the rain and water soaked bangs would mask their fall.
Eventually, his hands are buried in the muck after he fell forward, body convulsing — trembling as the last few mental barriers to keep him stable crumbles away.
"ERRREEEEEEMMMIIIIIIII!!!!" He cries out, lifting and smashing a fist into the muck. Over and over again, the process repeated for a time the Jinchuuriki would later not be able to account for; only know that by its end, his voice has died, and the world kept on spinning on.
Eremi watched and waited, biding his time until an opening revealed itself. Unlike last time, rage did not fuel the Satonezu. While he had not forgiven those for whom he blamed Renai's death on, he had moved on. The girl had passed, moved gone from this life and in her absence he would seek out revenge. Slowly, meticulously, making sure to make no mistakes as he did with the Shirayuki. Leaving the corpse was foolish and was sure to have ramifications for Konohagakure as a whole, but when that day came, Eremi would be there as the Guardian of the Gate.
Pacing within the rain, Eremi edged the perimeter of this open landscape, making sure to continually stay out of the beasts view. With every step he took, every puddle he crossed, no sound would be heard. Nothing emanated from him, gave away his location. In time Yoshi may spot him, but by then it may already be too late. The hand that caught the blade earlier now dipped into a satchel affixed to his leg and withdrew a kunai, holding it firmly, gauging its weight properly…there would be no mistakes.
Kokuo waited for a time, then shook his head. The Bijuu had tried at least twice before, but even his latest and most direct entreaty fell on death ears. His power would continue to course through the ex-shinobi, a dull flicker of a reminder, yet it would find no master to make use of it. Not yet. And by the looks of things, not anytime soon at that. If he could just muster that bull-headed stubbornness that got him through much of Meruin's often torturous sessions, then perhaps he might pick up some faint wisp of a trail to follow, or a thought to what his next actions should be.
But the man — boy could not even find the will to rise up from the muck, to escape the rain, or even listen to the cacophony of twisted emotions that would lead him down a blood-soaked path. He still hammered the ground long after his voice has died, but every punch grows progressively weak and half-hearted.
The display Yoshi was putting on, while understandable, may just lead to the creatures down fall. It was the perfect opening Eremi was waiting for as the beast continued to tire itself by continuing to assault the mud beneath them. Though unlike last time, he wouldn't underestimate the foe that kneeled before him. Emotions fully exposed.
And that was it, the moment Eremi needed as he streaked from the graying shadows, racing across the rain soaked ground and toward his target. The attack would be fast, undetectable and if done just right, unstoppable. And with that, another Kiri-nin would lay slain at his feet, by his own hands.
Neither of them saw as death approached on muddy soles, or so much as heard a thing. Kiyoshi's only concern had been to pause for a moment, for an unbearable heat clutched his throat. He pulls away the scarf and cast away without a thought, freeing incidentally one of the few keepsakes still within his possession; a thick, string necklace bearing two charms of different origins. In one moment, the man-child had been pathetically trying to come to terms with his failings and impotent rage, and then in the next pain blossomed in his chest. The source of it is long gone by the time he pressed a hand into his chest, and yet the pain persisted. His bemusement only grows as the hand comes back completely red. It is a puzzle so important, no thought is given to how hard it was to breathe, or why the ground was suddenly getting —
The giant falls face forward in a span of a few seconds, the pool of blood stinting from rain constantly dispersing it all. Surprise gives way to indignation in the Bijuu. His own building rage tried to push its way to the surface to lay the ground work of it taking control of the situation, but an unyielding force holds it at back. Kokuo needed not wonder for a moment to know the source, or to grow more infuriate. Yet, for all of its power and will, Yoshi rejected it. So long as some shred of conscious remained he would fight the Bijuu until he ultimately drowned in a pool of blood and mud. His only one working lung all but ensured that this would happen.
Unbeknownst to former chuunin, the necklace had come undone as if to signify his impending end. Now it lay next to his head, awaiting for the curious bird or the current to eventually remove it from the scene.
Standing beside Yoshi does Eremi watch as the man before him struggles to realize just what has happened. The wasted movements between trying to come to terms with death and the desperate attempts to cling to the few moments of life that remained only for it to end in vain, face down in the mud. The blood spilling out, coalescing with the nearby puddles before washing away in the river nearby.
It was an act Eremi was hard pressed to believe as he reared back and with full momentum kicked into the side of the fallen beast. The lack of movement and signs of agony a clear indication of who the victor was this rainy night. Or at the very least, displayed the immense willpower and sheer tenacity of Yoshi to not be discovered as a ruse.
"Kirryu Yoshi, you leave this world no longer a conflicted individual constantly fighting within yourself, but you will not be alone in the afterlife. There are those that wait for you on the other side and more that will see you in due time." Eremi offered as a sentiment as he bent down to rummage through Yoshi's measly belongings, a keepsake of the man that has passed, just as he had taken from Tsubaki. A hand reaching to begin his search, but coming up short upon spotting the necklace.
"This will do." Clasping the necklace around his own neck before grabbing onto any part of Yoshi he can and dragging him through the mud. Unlike with his previous kill, he would not bury this body. They were not in hostile territory and the chance of Eremi being discovered was nil. No, in neutral territory, bodies are dumped into the river. The constant downpour giving force to the current as it carries Yoshi's body away.