Date: September 2, 2015
Arika wanders into her inner world, seeking to impress Gyuki with her amazing skills! The problem is trying to come up with one before she ends up dying!
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Eighth Tailed Beast: Fighting for Dominance"
Sunagakure - Under the Dome
The library is the first sub-floor of the Administration Dome. It is literally just down the stairs on the east side of the Kazekage Administration Dome and it is located one floor below the lobby/ground-floor of the structure. The Library is publically accessible and has a variety of texts in the form of books, scrolls, and similar. Below the Library, on Sub-Level 2, the Records Department lies. These records are more or less also publically accessible and thus there is next to nothing stored there that might be considered "secret" or particularly relevant to the business of ninja. The two floors below the Records Department both comprise Sub-Level 3, or "Restricted Access Records Department". It is guarded, watched, and requires authorization to enter — especially for foreigners, who may also be escorted. The only Sub-Levels lower than 3 are not actually part of the Dome structure at all. Sub-Level 5 and lower are called simply "the Catacombs". The Catacombs are a vast network of underground tunnels that predate Sunagakure by centuries, or perhaps millennia.
People stay out of the Catacombs.
They are very bad.
After the tedious previous steps, the time has finally come for Arika's toughest challenge to date… Instead of facing herself and having to win by overcoming her own subconscious, now it's time to actually fight. Standing in the Catacombs in the area that's become their training area, Miyako holds her arms folded under her chest and eyes closed as she waits for her apprentice to come back down inside with her little buddy so they can do this final step. Rather than the normal cheerfulness of Miyako, there's the seriousness of Keiko, or at least something of it, here. She hopes Arika is taking this as seriously as she should, else she will most definitely end up dead and they'll have to seal the 8 Tails in something new… maybe some unsuspecting little suitor! Dun dun dun duuuuuuun….. Anyway, the time has come that will make or break Arika as a Jinchuuriki.
Arika is … so not ready for this! But she knows that she has to do this, so… Well, she's here now! The girl looks around a bit, frowning at the serious expression on Miyako's face. "So what're we doing this time?" she asks, looking around the room for a bit. She glances back to make sure that Jiro and Ping are about. Or not. They probably should be here, though!
After making sure all external preparations are made, including the emergency infant in case this Jinchuuriki fails, Kuoroke joins the others in the depths of the catacombs. He looks calm and collected, not unlike how he'd appear if this were a common meeting on civil renovation budgetting. He steps out of the darkness quietly, preceded by the gleam of his glasses, and for a moment hesitates just at its edge, half cloaked in shadows, as he examines the scene before him. Then, he steps forward, and the a smile appears on his lips. "Hello, both." he greets. "Are you ready?"
Jiro is there and his arms are folded over his chest as he watches what's going on. He's not happy at all that Ari might be in danger but he knows she has to take this next step. But he still doesn't have to be happy about it! The boy is near Ping, just watching and waiting…
"This time the danger is much more serious," Miyako says as she opens her eyes and turns to face Arika. "Kuoroke is going to unlock the part of the seal that keeps the Hachibi in its cage. That means you'll have full access and so will he. You have to defeat him and connect your chakra to his to take a large chunk of it. Once you've done this, you can use this portion without fear. It's not quite as good as it'll be when you've formed a pact and can trust him to be out of the cage, but it is the first step in toward it." Yep, she's risking her life in a most serious way, and this isn't even really the final step to becoming a Perfect Jinchuuriki like Miyako, but all things have their steps of progress. "When you are ready, let him know, and we'll begin." She looks to Kuoroke then, nodding seriously at him. He might recognize the expression more than Arika would, though it's a much different look from the days before she was Miyako, which should at least be some comfort.
Arika looks at Miyako for a bit, then to Kuo. Then the people she lives with. The girl takes a breath, then says, "Ready!" Which means Kuo can unseal Gyuki from the few bars he still had. The girl braces herself for the removal, knowing that there might be a little pain.
Kuoroke rummages in the inside pockets of his cloak, produces a few small wooden boxes and leather roll, which he unrolls to reveal a collection of calligraphic brushes. "Stand behind Arika, please." he instructs the others in the room, approaching her and sitting down. "Arika, I'm going to need you to draw on the Beast's chakra, just briefly, so I can see what I do."
Jiro and Ping move to stand behind Arika when bidden, the youngest of the crew still looking grumpy and not liking this whole thing. "You c'n do it Ari, show 'em who's boss!" The boy keeps his arms folded over his chest and just watches.
Miyako nods to Arika when she says she's ready, stepping out of the way for now so Kuoroke can do his work. She smirks slightly, figuring Kuoroke'll do his best to keep the seal out of her view, considering how far he's gone to keep her from learning seal jutsu herself… Not that she couldn't learn it from Shukaku himself if she really wanted.
Miyako has reconnected.
Miyako has partially disconnected.
Arika wrinkles her nose a bit and draws upon the Bijuu's chakra, forming a bit of a purple cloak around her as she does. It reveals a slightly incomplete seal, as Kuo had (off-screen!) removed a lot of the bindings earlier! Because of an agreement that must not be named.
Thanks to the prepwork, Kuoroke's work here is fairly simple. Already quite familiar with the seal, he quite routinely adds yet another Mark of Unsealing, combining several inks to create an only half visible seal. The Kuroki focuses. Miyako is right, but somewhat underestimates his paranoia: some of the strokes are purely decorative and serve no function, some of them just barely avoid touching the skin, yet risk ruining the seal if they were to, and some of the most important ones are disguised as accidental motions not intended to leave a mark. However, the seal is complete, and after focusing some chakra and calling on his tattoos the enhance its flow through his own body, the Kuroki activates the seal.
Somewhere in Arika's inner world, the lock melts away from the cage…
The seal is removed, the cage within Arika has dropped away, and Gyuki is free! With a roar inside that inner world of Arika's the bijuu starts reaching out with his chakra and all eight tails to search for a way out. He starts searching for a way to take over. He starts searching for Arika's inner self to smash into little itty bits!
Watching from behind as Kuoroke does his work, though not actually able to see or even trying to, Miyako taps her foot a bit as she waits. Once it's done, she moves to sit across from Arika as well, placing her hands on hers. As the seal starts to break down, Arika would hear Miyako's voice within her mind saying, "On your toes! This is it! No backing out, no backing down! Get your butt in gear!"
Arika flinches when she hears a big roar, and she finds herself in the world of her own making with a giant Ox-topus. "Hey! Quit destroying things!" she calls out, running away from a flying book heading at her.
"Foolish child. You released my bonds, now you will be mine!" Hachi roars at Arika, his eight legs sweeping out and destroying the inner world even more, little bit by little by as he nears Arika herself. "I will kill you for keeping me locked away, and then I will destroy your little village for trying to keep contained inside infants!"
Kuoroke has disconnected.
"Keep focus, Arika. The constructs he's destroying aren't real," Miyako reminds Arika from seemingly along around. "If you need help, I'm here." Still she doesn't materialize just yet. Best to let Arika try to handle this herself for as long as she can.
Arika yelps when one of the eight legs happens to almost hit her. Actually, it does! It sends Arika tumbling back and crashing against a bookcase. "Owww…" she mutters, rubbing her head. And then she's gone, disappeared with a *POP* of wind, only to appear near Gyuki's eye and throw a bunch of wind-sharpened kunai at it. "No! Yer not allowed to leave!" she states with a huff. "Not unless you promise to work with me and /not/ destroy everything unless Itami-chan says so."
The overgrown squid-bull laughs when it hits Arika, but then she vanishes. Huh? When she's suddenly next to him he just huffs and brings up a leg to smack away the kunai before bringing a number of them back towards Arika again to try and smack her down. "I'm no one's puppet, foolish girl. I'm not yours to command and I never will be! It's bad enough you kept me caged and stole my chakra! I see no reason to help you!"
Arika flails, deflecting the Kumasi with a blast of downwards wind. Then she throws more Kunai at the creature, landing on the ground. "I'm not commanding you! I'm asking you if you could stop being all mean and at least work with me!" she huffs. The young girl then moves so she's off to the side and away from any incoming retaliations. "If we work together, then we'll both be happier!" she argues.
Tail-legs again knock aside the kunai before four of them hit the ground behind Gyuki, shaking the area. "I have no reason to work with you girl! I've been stuck inside you this whole time with no care. You give me no reason to believe anything you might say! I will break you and free myself!" The other four tails come down towards Arika, attempting to smash her into bits.
"I told you you were going to have to fight. You have to earn his respect before he'll be willing to work with you," Miyako's voice rings through Arika's consciousness. "Get off your butt and earn it. Stop asking."
Arika sighs a bit, then nods to Miyako's words. "Fine…" she mutters, making a few handseals. The girl inhales, then exhales, sending a sphere of wind right at Gyuki that would pierce through whatever defenses he sets up, and hopefully it would injure him badly!
Gyuki smacks the wind away with some chakra laced tails before he suddenly squirts some ink at Arika to try and blind her! He ignores the other voice around, that of Miyako as he continues to try and cause damage to this foolish girl that's tried to keep him trapped. After squirting the ink he starts to pull on the most deadly of bijuu attacks, chakra starting to come together in a ball in front of him.
"Finally," Miyako says, though outloud in the real world. When he she notices what the beast is doing, however, her eyes get wide. "Oh sovereignty." Within Arika's conscious world, Miyako suddenly appears, along with her what seems to be a desert that grows under their feet. Looks like she merged a bit of her own world her. With her hands in a seal, she sends a giant wave of sand at the beast with intent to knock him silly and prevent the Tailed Beast Ball from going off.
Arika ducks quickly to avoid the incoming ink, and it gets in her hair. Eww! "Yuck!" she exclaims, though she can't do much else as she notices a huge tailed beast ball coming at her. The girl suddenly has a Miyako in front of her, turning her mindscape to sand. "Hmph!" she huffs, making more handseals to send more vacuum spheres at Gyuki.
Gyuki certainly wasn't expecting or ready for such outside assistance and the forming chakra dissipates as he's knocked backwards by a wave of sand. "You! How dare you help them!" Apparently he's not exactly talking to Miyako. It all serves as a good distraction at least as the wind starts cutting into the eight tails, causing him to roar in anger and pain as he lashes out again with his tails.
'Kekekekeke! What's wrong, squid-brain? Afraid of my little Jinchuuriki here? She packs a lot more wallop than you think, but then again you don't know her real self!' "Can it!" Miyako calls to Shukaku with a smirk before looking over at Arika. "You've got this, Ari-chan. Take him down a peg. Show him WHY he should respect you as an equal."
Arika dodges out of the way quickly, countering, even, with a quick burst of downwards wind that would hopefully leave the eight tails reeling. Whether or not that worked was one matter, but she certainly could continue the barrage of wind-based attacks! Sphere after vacuum sphere pummeled the Hachibi relentlessly.
Gyuki is not pleased by this intrusion on the one tail and it's jinchuu. "I am not afraid of any of you sand breath! If you're so willing to work for these humans then you can die just like they can!" Some of the wind makes it through and cuts up the bull squid a bit but it doesn't stop him from lashing out at the pair, each leg trying to smack them from a different direction to make it more difficult to dodge.
'I'm not doing anything but watching the show! Kekekekeke!' Meanwhile Miyako lifts off into the air via a platform of sand and actually play-yawns a bit. "That all you've got, really? At least Shukaku gave me a challenge when we fought. I might just go back to sleep so Arika can finish you herself." Of course, that's really just a plot to dictate him off and get his focus on her so Arika land a big hit. Let's see if she takes the hint and he takes the bait…
Arika has more tricks than dodging! The girl ends up disappearing with a *POOF* of smoke with each strike from the tentacle. "Hmmmmppphhhh!" she huffs out, the girl trying to figure out just what to do. If Gyuki is distracted enough… Well, she starts to unleash the very winds she can control, all of them slashing at the Bull Squid's body.
Gyuki roars at Miyako with her taunting, his legtails focusing more on her now, all eight swinging to try and smack her off the sand cloud and then pummel her into the ground! Sure the wind comes and it cuts some, but he's a great big hulking squidox! His large form can take quite a beating!
STRIKE! The tail smacks directly through Miyako, shattering her body to bits!… Only for it to reform in normal condition as she chuckles a bit and brings her hands into a seal, causing the sand around the beast to rise up and try to pull him down and restrain him for Arika to get another big attack in. "Make this count!"
You don't ask for much, do you? Arika sighs and uses her brain to think up /something/ exciting. Something that might wow the tentacles off her 'little' friend. In the end, she makes a hand seal, forming a shadow clone. The two nod to each other, and they both form two lances made up of pure wind chakra as they start charging at the Hachibi, dodging any incoming attacks and pretty much leaping onto Gyuki and slamming the two lances into … whatever happens to be nearby >.>
Gyuki flails at Miyako a bit more as the sand starts to encircle him. "Shukaku you imbecile! You let children control you for no reason! You are supposed to be stronger than that!" The sand does well to keep him from being able to do much besides struggle however and he only turns when he senses Arika getting close, ready bite her if he has to. Instead he sees…two Arikas? That gives him pause in and of itself, leaving him wide open for the lances of air to slam into him, shredding bits off and causing him to roar loudly in pain. But then…he stops struggling and looks down at Arika with a serious gaze…surprisingly silent for the moment.
'Control? I'm not being controlled, squid-brain! I'm not even in a cage anymore!' When Arika finally gets her blows in, while Miyako still has the beast held down with giant arms of sand, she calls out, "Now! Link your chakra with his and take what you can! That'll get you by until you can form a true pact."
Arika peers back at Gyuki for a moment, then hears Miyako's words and gives a small nod, closing her eyes and trying to latch onto the chakra that she, by now, is so familiar with. It's easy to try and draw on it, forcing the Hachibi to give up what she can take with a huge mental tug at the beast.
It's an exchange of course, as it always is with the bijuu for survival. But this time Gyuki isn't fighting it. Instead he continues to watch Arika curiously for a few more moments before he speaks again. "This child can create a shadow clone and use a strong technique at the same time. Intriguing. Tell me what you want girl."
"Don't get distracted! If you let him distract you with talk, he'll take over the chakra flow and kill you!" Miyako calls to Arika in a slightly annoyed tone. "Get it done!"
Arika blinks a bit when Gyuki suddenly speaks up and doesn't sound all angry! "Umm… Well… We c'n speak later," she tells him, tugging a bit more chakra into herself. "Ready, Miya-chan!" she calls over to her fellow Jinchuu, hopping off Gyuki to land near Miyako. The girl isn't sure what to think, now! Most of the conversations with Gyuki have been all grump, after all!
With the deed done, Miyako makes the sand holding the beast down lift him up and toss him in the cage. The cage then shuts and locks once more, a likely sign that she told Kuoroke to close it down on the outside. "Time to wake up, Ari-chan. The job's done."
The eight tails doesn't so much fight as just make sure she doesn't draw too much. He needs to survive after all as well in the exchange. When he's recaged the beast just stares out of it in silence while they leave the inner realm.
Arika can't help but feel a bit bad that she wasn't able to talk to Gyuki more at the moment. But! Miyako said it was time to go. So she gave Gyuki a tiny wave before she opened her eyes to the real world and grumbled as her head started to pound from the mental exertion. And her body felt like it really was in a huge fight. "Mehhhh…. Jiro-kun, le's ge' home so I c'n sleep," she grumbles. She may be glad she completed this last step, but the girl didn't feel much like celebrating!