The Silence - The Door to Darkness


Yuuma, Tsuneo, Ishino, Akane, Meruin, Kuoroke, Kasuya, Isra, Rise

Date: October 15, 2014


A band of Kiri-nin, assisted by a few Kumo and Suna shinobi, go to confront the forces of The Silence, who have appeared on Crawler Island.

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

"The Silence - The Door to Darkness"

Crawler Island

Evening time, and a dire situation that was brought to the attention of the Mizukage has brought a team of formidable shinobi from all over the map to an island far south of the part of the world shinobi usually touch. While they're getting here in a hurry, the trouble is that getting a team together takes time, and more than likely the Silence were already on their way to the location by the time Shuuren arrived in Kirigakure to give the warning.

True to that train of thought, a horde of members of the Silence have taken up residence and fortified this abandoned village around the bodies of monks who had come here to try and fend them off. The streets are already filled with blood and bodies, earthen barriers towering hundreds of feet into the air raised all around the village to encircle it and the mountain that contains the entrance to the cave the team was sent to stop Yuuma and Tsuneo from entering. It would seem time is running thin before it can really begin, however, as the brothers stand in front of a barrier seal with their hands simply resting on it as they begin to absorb the energy from it to bring it down. "They've probably set up a few of these inside to try and keep us out, brother. You may have to help the men fend off the little party coming for us until I can get them all out of the way. We can't let the monks inside complete their ritual, or it could take a lot longer to accomplish our goal than we plan on."

With his hands on the barrier seal, Tsuneo felt eager to get this over and done, to finally get some pay back. "Soon justice will be taken out on that which wronged us in the past." he says to his brother with a hint of excitement in his voice. He listens to his brother explain the plan and sighs. "I guess so. That just means it will take twice as long to finish." he gripes as he moves away from the barrier seal in a poor mood, heading towards the men to go yell orders to them to set up.

The world was coming to an end!!

Ok, not quite so drastic as that. However the Silence, specifically the brothers were up to something. Something big. The only way to end it was to go stop them. Meruin was getting people together to do just that and Ishino, along with Akane, were in. With HARPS in it's scroll, Ishino was carrying as much of his arsenal as he could. He suspected they'd be running a losing game in terms of running out of time before stopping them. That, however, did not mean they would lose. Simply need superior firepower to catch up. Ishino watched the approaching island, eyes narrowed as he'd study the fortifications already crafted. "Looks like we'll need to start early." Glancing to the others, Ishino would give a nod. "Fight hard. Don't die. Koi, stay with me please." And with that, Ishino would step up to the edge of the boat and leap off. A scroll unfurling had HARPS summoned in a *BAMF* cloud of smoke, Ishino mounting up before charging forward, with that pause only long enough to let Akane have a chance of getting on the back. Time to show them the strength of Kirigakure.

Akane was once more wearing her mask, covering most of her face except for her mouth. Pregnant, yes, but still able to heal and fight to a point. She wore a tailored top and pants, Similar in look to her leathers, but not restrictive. The woman's hair was up in an elaborate weave, held in place by six metallic hairsticks and a few combs. She had weapons galore about her waist, slung low to avoid pressuring the child. But she was equally as quiet as her husband. When he finally broke his silence she turned to listen, nodding when he told her to stay with him. She moved as if she was in tune with Ishino as he leapt. Following only a short time after to land on the back of HARPS. She prepared herself, gathering her chakra about her like a cloak.

Meruin stands at the bow of the Kirigakure warship, hair whipping backwards at the speed of their flight. His eyes were turned to the island before them, specifically the fully visible earthen wall encircling it and more. The Silence were definitely here and — judging by the scale of that protection, at the least — had been here for some time.

The Water Warlord clicked his tongue…

And then his gaze turned to Ishino, seeing him ready himself to charge forward. As soon as he leapt forward, bringing Harps into being and rushing forward Meruin leaps himself. He lands atop the giant one's shoulder as Akane reached it. "That wall is a tad imposing. It reaches fairly high… but it does not run so deep. And HARPS has some interesting tools, does it not? Create a path for the rest. I need as many killed as you can in as loud a manner as possible. I'll be attempting to infiltrate."

Orders given, he vanished, leaving behind only spiders to reappear on the boat just before it breached land. "Everyone follow after Ishino," he commanded the ship. "He will lead the way. Press on through them as swiftly as possible." He looked to Isra. "And Shibuki. Use as many explosions as possible."

It was then that the ship went from sea to land and the warlord left it, heading after Ishino.

Once all had departed, the Kiri shinobi who sailed the ship used a handseal to bring in a wave, taking the boat back out to sea and underwater, awaiting signal to resurface for pick up.

After meeting the ship en-route, Kuoroke has spent the majority of the journey aboard the ship pacing back and forth, looking agitated. As the island comes into view, he scowls at it as if hoping to intimidate the walls of rock into retreating and allowing them to pass. As he is given orders, he doesn't react: the Kuroki simply continues to glare. When Meruin reappears, he speaks. "If you should reach them before us, Mizukage, I still want that body." And then finally, the ship touches ground, and people start disembarking. Kuoroke eagerly leaps off onto dry land and approaches the wall, but as he's instructed to follow Ishino, he stands aside.

When Kasuya got the missive she departed at once, alongside Rise. And before they'd gotten there she'd given her quite a long talk, about the honor of Kumo, what she knew of the brothers, but most of all about staying alive. "If I order you to retreat, you shall," she says. It wouldn't take long before they're boarding the ship alongside the Kiri nin. Kasuya says little the entire time, except at one point she approaches the Mizukage and murmurs, "Remember what I said." After that, she eats. Despite the tension and seriousness of the situation, she's munching on some dango while they sail towards their destination. In fact, she looks much like she's enjoying the ride. But as soon as her feet touch dry land she brushes off her hands and begins to gather herself for the fight to begin.

Rise's mind was a scattered mess that frustrated her to no end. She knew not why, or for that matter at the moment cared to piece together the reason once the call came down for a mission. In fact, she didn't care much for anything after reading the missive except what to wear for such a fantastic occasion! The fuss over clothing still haunted her well after the point, so much of what Kasuya tried to say kind of went through one ear and out the other. "Right, gotcha. Shall do that pronto." Is her nonchalant reply before sinking back into la la land again. Naturally, everything is a blur to her afterwards, but she charges off the boat with the rest of them when the time comes. That is after being jolted awake in the first place, then devouring a soldier pill in route in hopes of /staying/ awake.

This was entirely outside the scope of Isra's plan, but she could work with it. Adaptation was necessary, and hopefully there was something here she could use to her benefit. She never quite figured out where the Daimyo was, but perhaps some answers could be found here…

She raised up from her sitting position on the deck of the ship and took a stand as everyone was getting prepared. She rested her blade over her shoulder and looked at the island before them and then to the others, Meruin especially as he gave his orders. A nod of understanding was given as she concentrated her energies and dedicated them to this moment.

"Time to move out…" she remarked to herself. Off boat she goes to handle business.

"Yes, well, whatever means we need to ensure the end will be worth it," Yuuma says with a nod to Tsuneo, smirking slightly then looking back ahead as the first barrier comes down. Once it vanished, he'd step inside and turn back around, bringing his hands into a seal and raising a barrier of stone in front of the door before pointing his hand at it and creating a seal wall that merges with it and coats around the stone to reinforce it. That done, he'd turn to the next barrier to begin the process anew to vanish through the darkness as he makes his way toward the back of this part of the cave where a group of monks sit in a pattern around a glowing seal.

Outside, it doesn't take long for the shinobi team to see an attack coming their way… Actually, they don't even make all the way to the island before dozens of archers would raise their heads on top of the wall facing them with a Ninjutsuists on either side breathing a stream of flame down on the tips of their arrows, already soaked in oil and prepared to blaze. That done, the first wave of flaming artillery would begin to rain down upon the ship and the sea around them, followed by another and another. As this wave comes down, more archers and ninjutsuists begin to line the top of the wall, starting to rain down blazing arrows in such a mass that one would think the sky itself were passing judgement on the coming shinobi today.

Tsuneo goes about his duties making sure the men were ready and motivated for battle. The troops knew that once they were finished on this island that the world would be thrown into even more chaos and not just the Land of Water would be burning with Civil War. It was lucky of the brothers to get a head start, and part of Tsuneo was curious as to who ratted their location out, but what good was a Just and Noble mission without some evil trying to stop you along the way. After the men were in position along the wall and behind, ontop of house roofs and other vantage points, holding the advantage thus far in terms of positioning, Tsuneo hops up to take a good look at the beach as the opposition slowly gets organized and arrives. He lets the archers know with the swing of his raised hand when to let loose before he himself had a good look. He looks down at HARPS, confused as to what exactly that monstrosity was. Some kind of siege engine to take out the wall? He grins, thinking the small mess of troops had come prepared today, but what good would they be without sight!

Tsuneo kneels, having gotten much better at his techniques since last time, placing a palm on the earth to channel it, a tiger seal to his mouth to mix. As his mouth opens a smoky white cloud of chemicals, ash, and other assorted nasties expel from within, quickly flowing down from the Earthen rampart and out over the battlezone.

And in comes the fire. Ishino was slow to get the dome into place on the unit, a grunt that was accented by the sound system to acknowledge Meruin and Ishino slowed slightly, taking the hits that might of reached his wife instead. The suit performed admirably, although he was reduced to a coughing fit due to one of the seals being loose in his armor. Have to fix that.

Ishino pressed forward, eyes watering from the smoke and the pain it was causing, the dome popping open to get fresh air in and help him get relief as the arms of the HARPS unit came forward. Hands shifting into the arms, massive drill bits came out and with a quickly gathering whirr of power, they would bite into that earth dome like it was butter. Dirt flying everywhere, interestingly enough not coming near where Akane was perched (by design) Ishino made his way through the wall, breeching at least that outer earth barrier with the 20' tall unit. He might not make it much further forward, interior alarms such that he needed to repair it before going into combat. But they were in at least!

Akane turned her masked face to look at Meruin as he landed opposite her on HARPS. She had been watching Meruin the entire voyage here. Shogun. It felt odd. And Ishino was no longer a Seven. Things were just off balanced in her world. Too many large events in too short a time and her typically being told to remain safe. Well Ishino was here today to help keep her that way and by the sound of it this was incredibly important. Ishino was ordered to make a big ruckus, She thought she'd join him. But then the air was filled with arrows and she knew Ishino had taken a hit, possibly for her. She grit her teeth.

BUt he left the cockpit and she leapt down from HARPS after Ishino began drilling. Looking up she brought her fingers to her exposed lips and exhaled a giant fireball, catching more than one enemy in it's flame and hopefully helping with that 'ruckus' Meruin had wanted.

Meruin's face lifted as arrows took to the sky, flames on seemingly every tip. The number of arrows would be daunting to the average shinobi. Meruin expected the majority of this team, however, to get through without too much issue.

"Raise your defenses!" he called. "We begin."

And with that said, blackness spread across the whole of his body, covering even the tips of his hair. He blinked his now eight eyes, a film of thin chitin spreading over them to allow him the ability to wholly ignore the arrows coming at him. Instead, he concentrated on the haze abruptly rushing towards the incoming shinobi force. He narrowed his eyes, seeing the sparks within it.

Soon enough, it swept over Ishino and Akane, soon barreling towards him. Mouth closed, he simply flooded his body with regenerative chemicals. He burned. But he healed. And he pressed on.

Seeing Doihara press forward and begin drilling, hearing its clangor, he bellowed, "PRESS FORWARD!" He then knelt and slammed his fist into the ground, sinking it down to his wrist… And soon enough, the earth sunk beneath him, swallowing him up under cover of the enemy's attack.

Burrowing spiders had taken him underground and he used them to continue crafting their tunnels. Their acids ate at the earth, swiftly dissolving it and leaving him a path forward… as well as one backwards towards the beach. The Okumo capped the entrance with chitin, leaving a few spiders to cover it in a layer of dirt before he moved forward.

Frankly, Kuoroke hadn't expected to be shot from a wall the top of which he can barely make out in the distance, let alone aim at. So as the flaming arrows rain down upon them, he's caught off-guard. The Kuroki attempts to compensate, tearing off his cloak and drawing two tattoos from his back to blast himself out of harm's way, but that first part seems to have been a poor decision: he blasts away barely after the arrows strike him, searing his flesh. The Kuroki growls, the lines along his limbs and torso glowing, bulging out, and then splitting apart as they leave his skin, extending into luminous sheets of -most decorative- armour.

The Kuroki yanks an arrow out of his flesh, then releases it to be picked up by tendrils coming from his forearm which gently load it into a crossbow that unfurls around them, and then send the arrow back to sender. He picks up a few more arrows dropped this way and fires them, before rushing towards the HARPS, seeking cover at the edge of the hole it's already dug.

Kasuya draws a deep breath to calm her mind. She makes a few hand seals to focus her chakra and jutsu. When the arrows come raining down, all of them fall around her. She doesn't even have to dodge. For now she stays on the edge of the group. She's seen those tunnel filling attacks before, and just as she thinks it the hazy smoke comes pouring out. But she's too late to react, as the choking smoke engulfs her. For now all she can do is try to clear her lungs and recover.

'Wait, Why am I running?'

As soon as that thought passed through Rise's mind, the girl slowed for a few seconds to puzzle out the problem until the 'idea' hits her. Her pace picks up after a fashion, for now Rise was skipping the rest of the way, weaving to and fro thoughtlessly as she went. It is not until the first flaming arrow goes whizzing past where her head should've been that she even remembered that there was even a point to being on the island in the first place. Even then, she only figured the wall had something to do with it, so again she acted without thought by leaping upon the wall.

Although she catches an arrow in the side in the process, Rise is undaunted in her endeavours to scale up the wall directly, be it by hand or the tree walking technique.

Isra took note of the flaming arrows coming from above and the waves that followed after. She doubled up on seals by summoning walls ahead of her and followed this by making a larger wall to take the brunt of the force from the lava haze that was flowing over the walls. In order to reduce the number of arrows flying, she took up a chain of kunai and tossed them up and towards the wall to take down the archers.

With balls of flame and kunai coming their way, some of the archers are struck down. While the strikes against them may not be completely fatal, some that are hit take a much more fatal bit of damage when they are sent falling from a wall that stands a couple hundred feet in the air. The sound of bones and bodies being shattered as they hit sand and brick rings out loudly along with their screams, yet the others never halt their attacks. Flaming arrows continue to rain down from above without a moment's remorse for their fallen comrades, attempting to strike the shinobi down before they can enter the hole that Ishino is creating to enter the village. Still, at this point their entry seems inevitable, thus a single arrow is shot down to Tsuneo to stab into the dirt beside him with a note attached detailing the current layout of the battle.

Within the cave, the barriers broken through, monks are looking on in horror as a man seems to easily break through what they considered an ultimate defense. "Gentlemen," Yuuma says with a smile, reaching to his side to grab a bottle of sake and uncork it. "I'm afraid you're going to have to stop what you're doing. It's a futile effort at this point." He brings the bottle up, downing the majority of it in a few gulps before tossing it aside. "Can't you feel it? The Crawler will be reborn soon, and his power belongs to me now. You've got one chance to get out of my way. 5…"

"But you can't! Don't you realize what this thing is?!"

"… 4…"

"The Crawler is pure evil, darkness itself! It will take your soul, and you'll never return from the pit!"

"… 3…"

"Drunken fool! Leave this place! For the sake of all humanity!"

"… 2…"

"We've got no choice! Stop him!" one of the monks shouts, and about half of them rise to their feet in preparation to attack, all gathering chakra in massive amounts.

"… You idiots really don't realize how much chakra you gave me just by putting those barriers up, do you?" Yuuma asks with a smirk as he watches the men before him prepare to fight. "… Time's up." Just as he said, no mercy is shown, no second chances given. He points his hand forward, sending a massive wave of dark flame toward the monks on the seal that explodes out powerfully to kill them all in one blast. When the smoke clears, he steps up to the barrier they were in the middle of forming when he came in, placing his hand on it and easily starting to absorb it. "Oh, Crawler, I'm home… It's high time you and I had a talk, and don't try to hide from me. I know your ugly gloom is in there reforming off all the death we've been feeding you."

Tsuneo grins as the waves of acrid smoke billow over the battlefield, the shinobi surely suffering just to get some air. From within the smoke comes a brave soul, a young woman attempting to scale his wall. Before he would go take care of the small breach, Tsuneo figured he better dissuade brave young kunoichi from doing such dangerous things. Moving over above Rise, Tsuneo crouches and puts his hand on the firm earth surface after another volley of archers let forth their arrows. From within the wall itself comes a rumbling as a giant dragon head emerges from above Rise, the rumbling almost sounding like a ferocious roaring. The dragon opens its mouth and, from within, starts firing highly compressed, thick mud bullets that not only would seriously hurt if hit, but temporarily pin the shinobi to whatever they end up hitting. "Look out below!" he cackles as the first volley begins to fire, showering the entire area in mud bullets.

Akane turned her masked face and winced as she saw Kasuya take a hit. That had to hurt… Ishino had protected her but now it was her turn to perform her duties. As the only medic along on this little adventure, Akane had planned to stay back and keep a close eye on everyone as the assault happened. But Meruin had his own plans. She was not able to move fast enough, however, to avoid the mud projectile. She /was/ able to move fast enough to direct it through her shoulder, however. It slammed her back against the wall itself and she dazed for several seconds. She grit her teeth and began struggling, trying to free herself from the mud, swearing a few times as she did so.

When the vibrations of heavy combat began to recede, the Okumo released more of those burrowing spiders behind and continued onwards. Soon enough, it was left behind him. He moved with as much speed as he could muster, restrained by the speed of his brood's ability to push out its acids for his. He kept the tunnel small, nearly dragging himself along so that the focus is on length rather than width.

He traveled in the darkness, air growing scarce as he went lower, the solitary spiders traveling to the surface to make air holes having further and further to go until, eventually, he was relying mostly on what was present beneath the earth.

And then the earth opened up into a cavern. It was dark — no light, but he could feel the echoing space, his hand touching nothing but air. Swiftly, he sent out his fastest spiders, sending them into the cavern to map out the interior using his spider senses. Once he learned enough of the cavernous system to know where he was in correlation to the map he'd been shown, he slipped from his tunnel to the ground below.

The scouts were commanded to return and the tunnelers given new directives. He set a course straight for the section of the catacombs that held what was supposed to be the Brothers' goal. What was supposed to hold the Crawler.

Every second felt like an hour, but he maintained his discipline, simply focusing on pushing forward as quickly as possible, counting down his ETA based on the map's figures. 20 seconds until arrival.




Meruin's body heaved, chitin turning white and incredibly dense, sprouting a sixth pair of arms that he used to surge through the final yards of tunnel to brust into the cavern Yuuma stood within.

He didn't blink at the dead monks. He didn't hesitate in his assault. Instead, he flickered into the cavern, wasting no time in moving to see the other's destruction — this powerful shinobi who had caused so much turmoil.

A corrosive gas, as clear as the air above, spews from him to fill the cavern as he flickered around Yuuma, allowing his presence to be known and remaining mobile, fully ready to chase after the man should he make any attempt at evasion.

Kuoroke sees the dragon appear and decides those still on the beach are in trouble. He emerges again, tearing a piece of the wall off with yet more tendril tattoos to ward of one arrow, blocking another one with a shield, and slamming the bullet flying towards him aside with a blow of his shield so it spreads over the wall. Then, the armour around him begins to grow and inflate as he moves towards the wall. Slamming the by now titanic armour's hands into the wall halfway, he pulls himself up while lines along the armour slip off, twisting into thick, glowing chains. Kuoroke swings these chains up over the wall, hoping to catch Tsuneo and maybe some of his archers and tie them down.

Even not being a sensor Kasuya can feel the chakra ahead of her. Or maybe it's instinct that's giving her this terrible premonition. She starts forward to get through the breech and join the others, only to be caught in the onslaught of mud that freezes her in place. She mutters a curse. It's just like before. There's little else to do but try to break free and head towards the danger, even though her injuries are already enough to make her wince.

She hated not being able to skip up the wall like she did on level ground, but hated the archers and that one weird guy at the top so much more. Defying the former's arrows every step of the way helped her vent for the most part, but Rise yearned for so much more. She wanted something solid to… to…

But the raven-haired wonder doesn't get much further along that line of thought before Tsuneo's warning cuts through the fog of confusion. For a brief few moments afterwards, Rise allows gravity to take back control, sacrificing progress for the sake of momentary safety. The adrenaline of the fall clears the mind, providing just the right amount of focus to take advantage of the giant of light's chains instead of questoning how and where in the world did it come from. Gate after chakra gate is broken through as the chains rapidly propel her close enough to the top for her to let it rain fire from her fists!

At first Yuuma would not seem to notice the attack coming his way, yet he holds a hand out, creating a barrier that causes the toxic materials to dissipate around it before they are able to reach him. "Ah, the Mizukage," Yuuma says with a smirk as he looks over his sholder at the Kage. "I was wondering when you'd show up. A curious position you're in. Many people will blame what's happening in your country on our actions, but you and I know the truth, don't we? The Silence are not causing things that were never in men's hearts. We are merely giving you all that little push you needed to show your real intentions. I'm actually a bit impressed that the youngest Kage has been the first one with a set of stones enough to show his nature instead of just standing on a podium giving encouraging speeches. For that, I'm willing to offer you something you want in exchange for you going back outside and protecting your people from my men while I finish my work in here. In truth, you won't be able to stop me from finishing it, and you're their only good chance to get out of here alive when I'm done, so it'd be a shame to waste your life."

Withdrawing a scroll from his vest, he holds it out, saying, "This is a copy of a document one of my more talented men created for me. What's inside is not visible until I make a certain set of hand seals to release it. The things it details, however, are quite crucial to your becoming a Shogun of your country. It has details of the routes the royal family of your country takes, the safe houses they stay in, even changes in guard duty. It just so happens that some of these men are now of my flock and are quite willing to look the other way should I give the order." A moment is given to allow that to sink in before he says, "If you want to win the war inside your country and be able to fight against us properly rather than fighting a war on two fronts and guaranteeing your failure, take this and go help the others. You have my word I'll unseal the inscription once you're safely away since, if you know anything about me by now, I am a man of my word. I have delivered on every promise I've made to the shinobi world, and, just like the monks here learned when I walked through them, I don't give second chances." That stated, he'd wait for the Kage to take the scroll.

Despite whatever damage Kuoroke's attack does or doesn't do, it does have one definite benefit. The somewhat beaten up Medic outside the wall gets spared from further harm for now simply because something that massive moving over the wall is pretty darn distracting. Unfortunately for him, this also means a lot of the focus is now on him! The archers, what's left of them, continue to fire round after round of fiery arrows his way, hoping to bring this new monstrosity down rather hurriedly.

At least this seems to get the earth jutsuists off their rumps, as people begin to reach the inside of the village. Along with spikes starting to fire out of the wall at Kuoroke in his giant armor, they begin to fire up from the ground at the shinobi entering through the hole in the wall.

Tsuneo sees the rising giant of tattoos and light and whistles low, fairly impressed. As the chains come towards him, he lifts his hand up, revealing his double diamond seal, "Using chakra still?" he says to the giant of light and chakra, tempted to drain the giant dry as his top seal activates to rip the chakra from the chain at least temporarily. Just that thought alone makes Tsuneo laugh maniacally, having so much fun, his adrenaline pumping.

He almost forgets about his brother at this point, remembering as the men begin their charge towards the ninja that broke through. His job of delaying should be almost done, after all, and the men can look after the rest. About to jump down onto a nearby roof, Tsuneo catches Rise's ascent out of the corner of his eye and her sudden burst of energy surprises him. Seems he would have to get serious with this one as Rise lights up the area, Tsuneo throwing out the black seals the brothers like to use to create a barrier that withstands the countless blows. The attack forces him to move from the wall, which was slowly disintegrating, jumping to the nearby rooftop before being surrounded by Silence men who block his escape to the cave.

As Tsuneo moves through the small village, he makes sure the men are taking action, shouting at some, encouraging others as he hurries through, hopping from roof to roof. Reaching the front of the cave, Tsuneo calls down, his voice echoing, "Brother, if you aren't done I'm going to get angry." His voice and words aren't much, but they are enough to inform Meruin that his escape might depend on his answer as the most ideal of all exits into this deep cave is occupied.

As Yuuma sees his attacks rendered useless, Meruin stops moving and clenches his jaws shut with a growl, fangs bared in a sneer. That toxin was costly to make. Better to save his energy than waste it beating at a wall he wasn't going to pierce.

'Ah, the Mizukage…'

Meruin inclines his head, eyes dark and watchful. He speaks no words to the man, makes no interruption. He seemed impassive to any taunts, only staring with a heavy intensity as the offer is unveiled.

The water Warlord lifts his chin.

"I require more," he spoke, wasting not even a moment addressing earlier comments or showing indignity at the premise of being bought. He was a practical man fully willing to indulge in a business transation. However…

"I will not be fooled, even if attacking villages and handing out their secrets is your testament to trustworthiness. I will accept your deal, but I will not leave with an empty scroll to have it crumble in my hands whenever you decide. I want proof. Unseal the inscription now; show me the scroll's contents. Do so and I will walk away with it."

He turns his head, ear over his shoulder towards where Tsuneo's voice echoed in. "Do not," he said… "And I will move for your life, instead. And if not that, then the Crawler's. And if I die, then I die and you lose your civil war and put your plans at risk. Which is what you desire, is it not? This opportunity to spread your message? To show just how low we would stoop."

He held out his hand. "Do it and I'll even make this offer publically known."

The form of the giant wavers, and as the spikes and arrows come for Kuoroke, he is forced to raise an equally wavering shield of chakra to hold them off, which unfurls as the heavier fire comes through. He staggers slightly as one of the stone spikes hurled at him hits him. With his quarry gone, the Kuroki leaps off the wall again, ready to retreat.

The clash is blinding, but not nearly enough for Rise to miss Tsuneo jumping over the side of the wall. Her gut churned with both rage and — disturbingly enough — sadness over the sight, paralyzing the girl. In the end, the girl decides to drown herself in the former and more comfortable feeling, freeing herself of the paralysis in time land and move without incident.

Another sky-high leap carries her over and past the earthen spikes, as well as to the other side of the wall. At least… Most of them. Those that follow are batted aside in much with about the same regard she gave the guards meant to cover Tsuneo's escape.

Pondering Meruin's words, Yuuma glances to his brother and holds up a hand. "Very well. Since I highly doubt you're foolish enough to try something and get yourself killed here." With that, he'd unravel the scroll and set it on a nearby rock formation before making a set of handseals and slapping his hand on it. A moment later, the details Yuuma described are listed, even listing which routes are possible decoy routes. "As promised. Commit it to memory if you like, but take it and go." As he speaks a horrific roar rings out from far deeper in the caves, causing the leader to glance that way. "Oh, look who's woken up… Time for this dusk to be our captive in return for all those centuries, eh, little brother?"

Seeing the information appearing on the scroll, Meruin drew it to him with webbing in an almost casual manner. "Bargain struck," he spoke, sifting through the information swiftly before deftly rolling the scroll back up once.

He turned, about to leave before he paused. "As a final note, the Raikage knows of your presence here. He knows of your time spent battling the Crawler, feeding off of him. He is researching ways to unravel chakra tainted in such a manner. I cannot say if he is making any headway, but he has Konohagakure and the seal master Nikumari Mushi at his backing. They are likely to find something; They know some who have been here before, after all.

"It begs thought."

And with that, he vanished, rushing back through the tunnels he'd come through, the scroll tucked away within his robes. He would create a different route this time, however taking a more direct path that would see him breaching the earth inside of the walls among enemy shinobi. After releasing a deluge of poisonous gas, killing and subduing many, he would sound the retreat and see everyone escorted back to the ship and away from this place as swiftly as possible.

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