The Demon Within - Purity


Mushi, Aburei

Date: November 7, 2011


Mushi and Aburei travel to a temple in search of a way to control Mushi's bijuu. Can she attain the inner strength needed to overcome the chakra monster?

"The Demon Within - Purity"

Fire Temple [Land of Fire]

Mushi had tried to learn the seal that'd help her suppress the bijuu… with abysmal results. On top of having constant headaches, a sealing technique of such caliber was not learned in a day or even weeks. The most that could be said was that she visited her family and introduced Aburei to them. Her father was stern and disciplined, everything a shinobi ought to be, though a bit lacking in family warmth. Still, he was fiercely protective of his loved ones, and his wife's warm and sunny nature helped balance the two out. She insisted on Aburei staying (and would not take no for an answer) and stuffing him with homemade food. Aburei may have been surprised at how they spoke. Mushi poured her heart out in a way that she hadn't done even with her medics at the clinic. As they left for the Fire Temple, Mushi says, "This is why I dislike going to my family. Somehow, I tell them all my secrets, and leave here feeling like I'm ten years old." She sighs. Is that why she'd avoided them earlier?
They traveled without incident, though they were low on pocket money and Mushi was sick to death of inn food by the time they came. The monks fed them plain but filling fare, and Mushi explained her story to the head monk. He'd already heard some of it from Rokuto, and she completed the picture. They were directed to some quarters to wait for further instruction, and Mushi would slip into Aburei's. "You okay, Aburei-chan?" she asks. He probably noticed that she'd struggled to keep her inner struggle subdued around her parents, but as they traveled she became increasingly waspish, and often speculated darkly on the warfare going on in the countries. Now, she seems a bit calmer.

Aburei, for his part, greatly enjoyed the visit with Mushi's family. n.n The Neutral Medical Center is a friendly place on the whole, but it's a business and a hospital. Aburei's seldom had anybody stuffing him with homemade food or the like. Mushi's conversation with her parents, while not what he's used to seeing from her, didn't really strike him as odd; he just figured that's how it is in families. Her comments about it later were more suprising to him, really. Mushi-neesan's got secrets? c.c
…Besides, y'know, the whole chakra monster thing.
After arriving at the temple, Aburei settles in with his few belongings and sits down to read from his Scroll of the Way. He looks up when Mushi comes in and speaks to him. "Oh, Mushi-neesan. I should be asking you that, really." Aburei half-gets up while peering closely at Mushi's face, but then settles back with a sigh through his nose. "I keep wanting to look for symptoms and clues, but I guess this isn't the sort of problem that can be solved through medical means, huh?"

All that's apparently different is the darkness in Mushi's eyes, and her face which is haggard from lack of sleep. The sleep she does get is spent shivering or thrashing from side to side, only to wake in the middle of the night sweating. Well, it's no different from extreme stress. Except for those outbursts. "I wish it was," Mushi says. "I wish even that I had a proper sealing technique. I do…Mark of the Unsealing, but it was created by myself and dangerous to do even up to A-rank, much less do it on myself. So let's go speak with Jenko, he's a monk who is rumored for his skill in exorcism. Hehe." She can't help but giggle at that. Does someone actually believe they can exorcise demons? "As if."
Aburei would notice the longer he stayed here, the more friendly the monks were with him. It was an all man temple, and he may begin to suspect why Mushi brought him in the first place. How could anyone truly be hostile to her with such a friendly boy around? It makes Mushi's aggressive nature far less noticeable. Perhaps it was he who was best suited to go with her after all, more than any high ranking Jounin or famous medic.
They speak to Jenko who, despite having some strong religious beliefs, is a very practical and down to earth man. The proof of his skills are in the results, not simply an insistence to "have faith." The first thing he does however is bless and pray to Kami. Mushi is struggling not to burst out, as half the day passes away, and all they've done is pray. Then, instead of getting down to business, they're sent to supper and then an hour of reflection in their separate chambers. By the time Mushi comes out, she's irritable and has all sorts of things to mutter to Aburei about monks and uselessness.
But at last when the both of them are able to speak to Jenko about her bijuu problem, he's surprisingly pragmatic. "The prayer was supposed to help you reach a peaceful and meditative manner, which you've failed to do," he says, disapprovingly. It actually makes Mushi blush. "We have some herbal infusions and a serene environment that will help you become more tranquil. Your mind is plagued with dark thoughts and turmoil. You can't train, much less conquer your demon, in this state. You have the power to find enlightenment. Your heart is your own, the bijuu can only coerce you, not dominate you. It doesn't have that technique, yes? Do whatever you must to have a pure heart. Then, come back to me and I will consider beginning your training."
"How long will it take?" Mushi asks.
"Maybe by some miracle in a month," the monk said, and then actually grinned. "Or, well, why do you think some of these monks spend their entire lives within these walls?" He looks to Aburei. "For what reason are you here, boy?" he asks formally.

Aburei nods. "Okay. I guess we don't really want to banish this thing, seeing as the whole idea was to keep it locked up in the first place, but maybe he'll have some useful ideas." If Aburei noticed Mushi's incredulousness toward the idea of exorcism, he doesn't show it. :)
The day's activities don't really weigh so much on Aburei. Praying? Sure, he talks with Kami-sama all the time, although it's rare he takes half a day to do nothing but that. And surely there's nobody better to consult about a monster made largely of spiritual energy, right? :D (Or anything else for that matter, but especially spiritual stuff).
Aburei emerges after the post-supper quiet time hoping that Mushi-neesan will have had some helpful word from Kami-sama. It seems like she may not have been listening very hard, though. ._.; Not altogether surprising considering her state, although that same state makes it all the more important. Like Jenko-san says, it's vital to achieve inner peace and medit — wait, what? That was all for psychological purposes? c.c Oh…well, that might help too. Oh hey, somebody's actually talking to Aburei! "Me? I'm here as Mushi-neesan's friend. She asked me to accompany her, so I did." n.n

Jenko studies Aburei, as if seeing if he'll measure up. At last, he nods. "As I said, achieving your goal will be a constant struggle. You must reach absolute purity. However, you will also have daily duties to earn your keep. Cleaning, mending, weeding, everything that is required to maintain and support the Fire Temple. As shinobi you will also undergo exercise. As visitors, going to classes is optional. But we strongly urge you to attend our worship service once a week, and fellowship meetings." He goes on to explain more rules, and adds, "Lastly, and more importantly, I know your time here is to conquer your bijuu, Mushi-san. However, the ultimate pursuit of this temple is to be close to Kami. I think it will do both of you some good to pursue that as well."
He dismisses them. But later Jenko would come to Aburei's room. "You are a loyal friend, Aburei-kun," he says. "I ask you to encourage and support Mushi-san. She chooses her companions well. However, she needs to find her answers for herself. No matter how long it takes, please do not try to force your thoughts on her." Then he smirks like a little boy. "But nudging her towards some of the services and meetings we offer wouldn't do either of you any harm."
And so a day would pass. Then a week and a month. It's two months before Mushi begins going to Jenko, insisting she is ready and laying out what she's learned. But each time he simply shakes his head and says, "Anything else?" And she'd go back defeated. Three months later Mushi's headaches are so bad even with the infusions, she's been sleeping for half the day. She's touching her food less and less. And one day she'd call Aburei in. She's lying on her bed, with an arm flung over her eyes to keep out the sunlight. "What am I doing wrong?" she asks. "I've banished so many of my wicked thoughts, I'm trying so hard to be nicer and calmer, I've reached purity. But still they won't help me. Could you talk to them? Or… I might just give up and die."

Aburei doesn't entirely know what to make of Jenko's instructions. He hasn't got too many thoughts to force. c.c He's never dealt with internal chakra monsters before. So he just nods and goes on with life. Do some chores, talk with Mushi-neesan, do some more chores, talk with Kami-sama, do even more chores, have dinner, play some music for people…it's not too hard to settle into a groove around here.
It's a different story for Mushi-neesan, of course. She has a definite goal to reach, but no clear path toward it. It also gets tougher for her as time goes on. So Aburei isn't entirely free of worry either. When Mushi calls for him, Aburei decides that yeah, some sort of affirmative action is in order. "You won't die, Mushi-neesan. Kami-sama's told me that much. But I'll see what I can do. Keep praying."
And so, Aburei goes to have a talk with Jenko. "Mushi-neesan's getting to be in pretty bad shape," Aburei tells him. "If there's anything we can do to help her, we need to try. By the way, what did you mean when you said she needs to reach 'absolute purity'? Nobody except Kami-sama is really like that, right?"

The monk looks unsurprised when Aburei comes, and speaks on Mushi's behalf. Then, he sighs and shakes his head ruefully. "I knew you would realize that before she did, Aburei-kun," he says. "Perhaps I should take back my previous words, and suggest that you help Mushi understand that. She's quite close to realizing itself, I think, so a nudge in the right direction wouldn't hurt. But I imagine the terrible pain she's in makes it difficult to see her path clearly." Then he would give Aburei a nod, polite but a clear dismissal, and sit back down to his prayers. Shooing Aburei for now, but waiting in the same place.

Aburei blinks and scratches his head. This monk guy sure likes the psychological stuff. c.c With a shrug, Aburei turns and heads back toward Mushi's room. Hmmm, how to handle this…Aburei's never been good at deceiving people, but he doesn't want to ruin Jenko's plans. Just have to tell the parts of the truth that won't give away too much, he guesses.
"Well, I've got some good news at least," Aburei remarks as he comes back into Mushi's room. "Jenko-san says you're closer than you think. Just, you might have to shift your focus a bit. I think all the stuff you've been doing is, um, kinda not really the point, but you gotta go through it to see the real point. Like, one of those it's-not-the-destination-it's-the-journey sort of deals, I think." c.c

Mushi looks hopeful when Aburei gives her news, but a little confused after he gives it. Her face has a 'what the heck?' look on it. She rubs her temple. "Journey?" she says. "I haven't changed at all, these headaches are just getting worse." She rubs her temple and flops back into bed. "Aburei-kun, can you please just leave me alone?" she says. "Now."
However, after he was away for an hour Mushi would come rushing to him. Dressed, washed, with all her shinobi gear in place. She'd pick him up and swing him around in a circle. "Aburei-kun you're a genius!" she says, setting him down and giving him a fierce hug. "I went to speak to Jenko-san and… well… come on!" She'd dash off, dragging him by the hand if she must.
She goes to Jenko and says, "I have it. Like Aburei-kun said, it's not about the destination. It was never about becoming perfect. It was to realize I can never be perfect, and I shouldn't blame the bijuu for everything. Even if I succeed, I'll still have to struggle with /my/ demons."
The monk nods. "You have realized it at last."
Mushi makes a face. "Why couldn't you just ask about that earlier? I knew it. I had thought of it before."
"With your head, but not your heart," he says. "Come. Eat and then we will begin to the trial to tame the bijuu." He places a hand on her head and after a few moments Mushi blinks.
"Hey…my headache is gone!" she says. The afternoon would be spent stuffing herself with all the food she was too ill to eat over months. She's literally wolfing down plate after plate, and at last she sits back with a protruding stomach. "Ohh…I could die happy."
They'd follow him through many hallways until they reach a door with strange symbols carved into it. "Only a bijuu can open this door. It's called the Chamber of Division. It separates the bijuu into many parts, weaker than it would be whole. You must find the core part of the bijuu and defeat it. It will be difficult. Do you want us to enter with you?"
Mushi looks to them. "Yeah," she says, and then to Aburei. "You'll come, right?"

Aburei retreats to his own room rather glum. -.- Could he have done better? Should he try something else, and risk spoiling the 'treatment'? No, Jenko-san's plan seems to rely on the psychology of the situation, and if it's not going to work, well, revealing it prematurely wouldn't be any better. :P So Aburei just continues to pray for Mushi.
Until suddenly he is spun around and informed that he is a genius! o.O; Well, that's good to know? c.c Aburei follows after Mushi in bewilderment and gradually gets filled in on what's going on. Huh…well, glad we're finally getting somewhere, at least. n.n
Finally, Aburei and Mushi are brought to the special Chamber of Division. So these guys actually have a practical means of dealing with these chakra monsters? That sure would've been nice to know…although all that psychological stuff probably would've been a lot harder if Mushi-neesan had it weighing on her mind. X) Aburei smiles and nods. "Sure I will, Mushi-neesan. I've come with you this far, wouldn't be much fun to miss the last part of the journey." ;)

Mushi gives Aburei a heart warming smile. The monk is all business. "Place your hand on the door. I warn you, the past bijuu almost failed. He said the bijuu was difficult to find."
Mushi places her hand on the door. Immediately, the runes lightly up bright red. Then the ancient doors creak open to reveal a sea of fog. Mushi comes in carefully and once they're all in, it'd close crashingly behind them. Or at least, there's the sound, because the door is already gone. Then, the fog clears to reveal a room that couldn't possibly fit within the Fire Temple. It's not even a room: it's a forest, huge and old beyond belief. Tendrils of fog creep along the ground. There's an eerie stillness in the air. And right before them in a glade is the Seven Tails. But smaller, no bigger than a cat. "I found it!" Mushi says, dashing at it.
"Wait, no, Mushi-san!" the monk says.
Mushi would tackle it, putting it in a wrestling hold. Instead of revealing that it's the real bijuu, there's a poof of white smoke and it disappears. Mushi frowns. "Well…one down," she says. And then, something horrible happens.
Out from the treetops a flock of the bijuu flies. About the size of birds. One…two… dozens… there's at least fifty as they fly into the sky. And looking all around there'd be other bijuus. Curled under roots, hiding in the fog, flitting in the background. Some small as real insects, others the size of dogs. A hundred are seen sticking to the side of an ancient oak. Mushi bites her lip. She sends out a wave of chakra that washes over Aburei and the monk, but hits the bijuus. They disappear. Though Aburei would find one clinging to his back, tugging at his hair with little hooked legs. The monk would be dragging one out of his sleeve, and Mushi yelps as she swats one off her shoulder.
"What do we do?" the monk asks Mushi as more scurry around his feet.
She blinks. "Don't /you/ know?" she demands.
He shrugs. "Your bijuu. Not mine. Think of something."
"Umm…maybe process of elimination?" Mushi asks. She looks hopefully towards Aburei. "Or… what do you think, Aburei-kun?" She stomps one of the bijuu no bigger than a dragonfly. Poof. The monk shrugs and sends a blast of fire to hit another bijuu. Poof. They do more attacks. Poof. Poof. Poof. And still more are swarming, an endless number.

Aburei flinches at the feeling of something creepy-crawly on his back. c.C; After getting over the initial jolt, he gingerly reaches around to try and extricate the thing. Maybe examining it will give them some sort of clue. "Well, um…we're looking for a 'core', right? D'you think it'd look any different from the others? Or maybe it's something else entirely? One thing's for sure, we're not likely to hit it at random in all these!" :P

Mushi grins at Aburei. "I know, I know," she says. "But what if I manage to get it…how easy would that be? It's probably…this one!" She stomps on a trail of shichibis leading to an ant mound, but they all disappear. She sighs. "Okay…maybe not. C'mon, let's go find it." She starts trekking through the forst, pushing past cobwebs and branches that whip at her face. The further they go, the more oppressive it gets. And it's in that time that they learn it's not just thousands of bijuus. It's millions. Everywhere. Mushi is soon swatting Shichibi off that are big as ants or having to duck under ones as big as eagles zooming above her. The forest, in a ghoulish way, is mysteriously beautiful.
"Nice nature — oww it pinched me! — walk." Going in further makes the bugs even more bothersome, and they go from having the shichibis crawling over them to pinching and biting or flying into them. And they're getting bigger. One as big as a wolf crashes out from the trees and charges for them. "Let's run," Mushi says.
"Yes," the monk agrees, and they'd run for quite awhile to outdistance the rampant bijuu.
"W-was that the one?" Mushi asks.
"Do you feel it was?" the monk says.
She shakes her head. "No. Jeez! Get off!" She swats a bijuu away. But it was part of a flock. And suddenly the entire flock of sparrow sized bijuu are bombarding them, hundreds, pecking incessantly at the travelers. Not dangerously but stinging like mosquitos. Following no matter where they go.

Aburei follows along with the group, mostly just keeping his eyes and ears open. He's never been much for fighting, so he leaves pest control to the others. He does fortunately have some ointment with him in his first-aid kit, which comes in handy for soothing the effects of the nipping bugs. "Say, do these things spin webs?" Aburei remarks. "They don't really seem like spiders…but I guess they do just about everything in this forest, huh?" Strange logic, but it seems to fit the place — it's got what you would expect from a forest, even in terms of ecology, only all the 'animals' are these mini-bijuu. "Now if I were some sort of…giant bug…core, or whatever…I guess I'd hide in the deepest part of this forest," Aburei surmises. "And…I'd make the way to reach me be the path of greatest resistance." Which would mean they ought to go wherever the bugs are most thick and aggressive. -.-;

"Good idea Aburei," Mushi says. "Let's just go where it gets worst!" She sounds incongruously cheerful by the idea. She keeps on rubbing her head, as if she can't quite believe her headache is gone. And so they set off. It gets worse. The stings start to become headbutts, or even bad as senbon. Mushi and Jenko work marvelously together, Mushi shielding them and Jenko sending out gouts of flame. Somehow, not a single leaf or twig catches fire. He explains, "This chamber is partly spiritual. Partly formed of Mushi's mind, as it were. I believe the behavior of these beetles is partly attributed to her idea of bugs." One of the Seven Tails marches by carrying a crumb to its anthill. It takes hours, and gets worse. By that time, Mushi is having Aburei heal them. Saving her chakra.
Almost an entire day passes. And hunger is setting in. They're stopping, resting under shields, and moving on again till the very air is alive with bijuus of all sizes. But what's most chilling is when the bugs vanish. They walk on and suddenly the trees open up, revealing everything. There it is laying in a vast valley. The bijuu is resting on a slope. None are in sight. But it's certainly the one, because of the feeling. The prescence of evil chakra, that could almost choke the life from you. It's sleeping. "What do we do?" she asks Jenko. He shrugs. They both look to Aburei.

Aburei's happy to serve as healer for the group. It's one of the few things he's good for in these adventure-type situations. He wishes he could do more, but then, they're all a little adrift in this situation. Nobody knows quite what they're doing…and somehow it keeps falling to Aburei to make a guess. c.c; Maybe because he's the last person expected to know, but since it turns out nobody else does the question reaches him. -.-;
Aburei looks across the valley toward the slumbering form. It is sleeping, isn't it? Do bugs sleep? Guess they must, though it's awfully hard to tell. Maybe it really doesn't matter whether bugs in general sleep, since this thing is really a chakra monster that just happens to look like a bug. And like Jenko-san said, the behavior of these things seems to be influenced by Mushi-neesan's expectations, so what's really important is what she thi — saaaaaay… "Mushi-neesan…if we're, y'know, kinda inside your head…maybe you can control things around here? Like, the little bugs acted how you expected, and the forest had stuff that you expected, so maybe if you 'expect' that the monster is trapped or something…y'know, kinda just tell it that it can't have its way anymore?"

Mushi is staring around a little. She shakes her head more than once, as if she can't believe she's here. Mushi shrugs. It's worth a try. She clears her throat. "Seven Tails!" she shouts, so loud it echoes through the valley. "You recognize this place, right? I've found you again. So let's make peace and become my power." That makes the bijuu look up. It waves its antennae and stands up. Even in its diminished state, it's still big as them. All crystalline skin, sharp angles, and burning red eyes. When it speaks it's in a voice rough with contempt. "You?" it asks. It's a female's voice, of all things. "You stand no chance, Mushi. Leave now and give up to my fury."
"No! I'll conquer you and sooth your fury, Seven Tails," Mushi says, and then to Jenko. "So do we just beat her? Some special ritual?"
The monk says, "You must beat it. Defeating it here will allow you to conquer both its power and mind." The words have barely left his mouth before Mushi is popping a pill in her mouth and crunching down. She exhales a cloud of white powder that sails around the Seven Tails. It simply flares out its wings, sending out a blast of chakra that neutralizes it harmlessly.
"Eurgh…" Mushi says. "Seems tricks won't-whoa!" The seven tails flies at them with frightening speed, aiming to knock all of them down to the ground. Mushi crouches low beneath it, but the monk gets hit and goes rolling. He regains his feet and throws a huge fistful of senbon, all of which bounce off harmless. "Low level attacks may not cut it."

Yyyyyeah, if Mr. Monk with some measure of serious combat training can't avoid the attack, Aburei's got no chance. x.x He goes tumbling head over heels. Aburei sits up groggily after the ringing in his head subsides sufficiently. "Owwww…maybe we should've just hit it as hard as we could've while it was asleep." x.x; Aburei runs a glowing hand over his bruised body. Medic rule #1: You can't help others if you're in poor condition yourself. That accomplished, Aburei attempts to establish a link with the creature for genjutsu. Will that even work on one of these chakra monsters? Who knows, but it's the best defense Aburei has. :P

Mushi purses her lips and then raises her arm as shining chakra swirls around it. It lengthens and solidifies into a giant hand, which she uses like a fly swatter to try and swat the bijuu into the ground. At the same time, the monk spits out huge balls of fire, one of which hits the bijuu full on its chest and leaves a giant crack. Not a soft gash or a deep wound, just a crack as if it were glass. Instead of blood or chakra bleeding out, there's bright white light underneath as if the bijuu were merely a shell enclosing light.

Aburei watches the battle unfolding with raised eyebrows. Hey, looks like they're actually accomplishing something! That's good to know. :) "Get 'em, Mushi-neesan!" Oops…almost forgot, need to keep out of harm's way. c.c Aburei emits a gentle wave of persuasive chakra, trying to convince the chakra monster that Aburei must be somewhere else besides this most definitely bare and uninteresting patch of ground. n.n;

The huge hand smashes the seven tails into the ground. When it gets up two of its legs are snapped. But instead of being empty stumps, they've turned into light. The seven tails snaps its wings, sending out slicing waves of chakra towards the monk and Mushi. But she makes a few seals and slabs of earth raise up to shield them. Aburei successfully goes unnoticed, as he's mostly been since the beginning of the battle. Mushi makes a few seals and pieces of dirt as hard as rocks sails to strike the bijuu in its face. And the monk sends a long serpent of fire at it like a fiery lash. The air around them seems to crackle with chakra.

Aburei sits as still as he can manage while observing a titanic clash of chakra at not-so-great proximity. o.o; His part in this battle, unfortunately, is to do his best to avoid getting caught up in the danger and maybe patch people up afterward. Thus far, that doesn't seem too hard; maybe the chakra monster is vulnerable to genjutsu, maybe Aburei's just not worth notice. u.u; Either way, not a lot of point in moving.

This time the chakra blast comes straight from the bijuu's mouth, a blistering column of white that's simply vaporized by Mushi's defense. "It /is/ weaker," Mushi says. If it were the real bijuu, its attacks would be shattering mountains. Clearly, this chamber had its uses. Although most of her earth bullets had caromed right off its hard shell. Only one left a dent. There are various cracks on its body, glowing light. Where the fire had whipped the bijuu was a sear of tiny, numberless cracks. Thus begins another barrage of fire and earth, filling the air with heat and showering debris on anyone nearby. A huge maw of earth rears up, like giant jaws, to crunch down onto the bijuu.

Aburei swallows the impulse to cheer for Mushi-neesan again. n.n; So far this fight seems to be going pretty well! That last attack in particular looked effective. So, um…they just have to make a crack big enough and this thing will go down? c.c

The bijuu is going on a rampage, smashing the ground all over the place. It's a good time not to be there, so the monk and Mushi quickly get to a safer distance. Aburei might have to avoid the chunks of earth and grass if nothing else that's flying all over the place. But when the jaws of earth clamp around the bijuu there's a world shaking CRACK. Crushed wings, crushed body, light at last begins to pour out. The monk says, "Quickly! Grab it and pull it out!" Seems They run forward and grab the chakra, trying to tug it out as the bijuu struggles to get out from the debris and pull its chakra back. "Ahh!" Mushi says, as she pulls and it's obvious why both of them look to be in pain. The chakra is burning their hands, searing, but they're holding on and bracing their feet.

Aburei finds that obscurity is no longer protecting him. o.O; He does his best to roll out of the way of the flying debris, but he still gets pelted. Oof. XP Then Aburei hears Jenko shouting something about pulling out. A moment later Aburei sees what he means. "Hang on, I'm coming too!" Aburei calls out, running toward the…whatever it is. Aburei's muscle may not contribute much to the task at hand, but it seems this is a critical chance where every bit may count. Gritting his teeth, Aburei grabs hold (though how he'll never know) and tugs with the others. >.<;

Mushi's hands feel as if they're about to burst. She just grits her teeth and keeps on tugging. The bijuu has almost found its footing when Aburei shows up and starts pulling too. "Pullllllllll!" Mushi shouts, as if they need to be told. They're all digging their heels in, the light is fading from within the Seven Tails, and suddenly there's a huge burst of light. The chakra or light or whatever it is would vanish, and condense all around Mushi who collapses to the ground, rolling to extinguish it. "Ahhhhhh!" she screams in agony. "Ahhh—hey, it doesn't hurt." She stands up, looking at the chakra which, if anything, feels almost cooling. The bijuu is dissolving into blue powder, red, yellow, orange, green powder that swirls up into the sky. And everything around them is dissolving. The trees, the sky, even the valley is rising up into a smooth floor chamber. And they're standing inside the real Chamber of Division. It's a vast room, with granite walls and huge pillars rising to a vaulted ceiling. Large, but not large as a forest. "It's done," Jenko says, and then he lets out a huge sigh of relief. "We went through a great risk. If we had failed the Seven Tails would reassemble and could break out, causing havoc." Mushi's eyes go wide. She hadn't been told that. It could've happened all over again like it did in her country…
When they walk out, they find some monks standing there. Most of them. Ready for battle, waiting with seals and weapons. That same look of relief and joy is there. Mushi would bow low. "Thank you," she says. "Thank you all."

Oh noes! D: Mushi-neesan is being CONSUMED BY FIRE! What can they — oh. Phew. -.-; Aburei gives everybody a once-over with healing chakra anyway. "Sure glad that's over," he remarks. "Although I bet Mushi-neesan's glad beats the stuffing out of my glad, huh?" ;) Aburei heads out of the chamber with the others, hands folded behind his head in the standard kid-who-just-participated-in-something-big-and-doesn't-quite-know-how-to-deal-w ith-the-feeling-of-pride manner. *n.n* "So, what do you feel like doing now, Mushi-neesan?"

It takes quite awhile to get away from the congratulations and blessings, but at last Mushi gets to pull aside Jenko and Aburei. And she gets to answer his question. "Rejoicing. No headaches. Hehehe. Though I can barely sense the bijuu or feel her chakra. She doesn't just seem milder, she seems weaker as well." Jenko would nod.
"Yes, the bijuu was divided. Its power is still coming together, but it will return in time. Try to avoid using your bijuu powers for the next few days, and let the bijuu regain its strength." It's weird, talking about the bijuu as if it were something to be cared for. Not conquered.
Mushi leans forward. "So, if it was so important to defeat the bijuu why didn't you send an army of monks with us?"
The monk smiles. "Sometimes companions are lost in the Chamber of Divisions. Only a strong emotional bond will allow them to stay close to the one on trial. For Aburei, you feel affection. For me perhaps unbearable annoyance or—"
"We're friends, Jenko-kun," Mushi says firmly. She smiles slightly. "Maybe you can be a bit of a pain in the ass sometime though. I think we'll go now though. Anything else?" But Jenko just tells them to take care, and may they be blessed. By the time they're leaving Mushi would lean over to Aburei and kiss him on the cheek. "Aburei-chan, I couldn't have done this without your help. In so many ways. You're a real man, to help a girl in need."

Sounds like everything should be hunky-dory for a while. n.n Aburei blinks in surprise when Mushi-neesan pecks him, then chuckles. "You think? Heheh, maybe I am growing up." *^.^* Aburei grins. "But I'd have to be a really selfish brat not to help you out after all you've done for me, Mushi-neesan." ;) Aburei strides out onto the path with an upraised fist. "Okay, let's hit the road! Take heart, world, Neutral Medics are here to help!" :D

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