Date: January 16, 2015
Arika attempts to control her inner beast. While it isn't completely under her control, he's cooperating with her… for now.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Eighth Tailed Beast: Who's Master Now?"
Shortly after Arika had returned to Sunagakure, she had given a report to Itami. The short version: not much information was to be had that Itami likely didn't know already. Overall, the mission was fruitless. But it was likely still pressing the back of Itami's mind that Arika still wasn't able to control her Bijuu-form, so it's to the arena that the girl would have been summoned for further training. Likely a trigger, of Arika's choosing, would join. Itami could oversee it, naturally, and having someone to help wouldn't be a bad idea either. So Arika ended up dragging Rikuto along to the arena once more, looking around for the councilwoman in the empty stage.
A summons was a summons, one he wouldn't reject lightly, and so he would be following the young girl towards the arena. "Yes yes, I'm coming, you don't need to pull my arm off you know?" was grumbled but Rikuto didn't seem annoyed, but relaxed with the Arika back in the village and being watched. "If the councilwoman isn't actually the one calling me out here I have special punishments in store for you.."
Itami was still in bad form after the events that took place with the Silence. She hadn't taken much damage, but it didn't change the fact that she had been very tired and her body ached from forcing herself through the mission to gain ground that previously was impossible to obtain. She walked into the arena and took her seat, slowly settling in so as not to upset her body more than it already was. When she was settled in, she needed a few moments before she was able to speak. It felt like everything was labored, even the most simple of actions. "Worry not, you have been summoned for a specific task by my call. Arika's words may have been a bit…loose in terms of how I summon people, but she did do it with my intentions in mind," she smirked. "You're both here to ensure that she is able to effectively handle her bijuu abilities without being a danger to herself and those around her. She must learn to gain control and utilize it more effectively…I trus that the both of you will excel in this task."
Arika huffs faintly. "I wouldn't do that!" She does flinch a bit at the idea of a punishment from Rikuto, but it seems Itami is there to back her up! The girl phews faintly in relief, but she does hear the task and it makes her face go a bit pale. Having to deal with Gyuki more… Learning how to control him… That hasn't been going well for the longest time, so what makes them think she'll be able to do it now? The girl looks to Rikuto for the time being and gets a determined look. "So, Rikkun? Are you ready, then?" she asks, steeling whatever nerves she has at the moment.
"Bijuu.." 'Bijuu..' the word was repeated, softer each time before turning to Arika. Rikuto had known something was special about the girl but what he didn't know, only now having a name for what was going on. "..You want me to do what I did for your and Kuroki-san. Don't you?" Turning his head away from the younger girl, he quickly focuses onto the councilwoman. "Do you really want me to drive her back into that corner again or did you have a different kind of request?" At the thought of torturing Arika, the young Miira's eyes lower to the ground, gently shaking his head before sighing, resigning to the thought before it was confirmed.
"If I had any other method, I would use it, but at the moment, I have nothing available. What must be done is that she must gain control over that which exerts it over her. It is not impossible. I've seen it done plenty of times over the course of my career…" Itami explained to Rikuto. "I know it's a lot to request for the both of you, but with something like this, there aren't many ways around the situation. This is the best and most direct approach possible. She and her bijuu must work together, not separate and apart. They are considered as and are physically one."
Arika nods to the question that was posed to her, chakra flaring up in preparation. She didn't have any good defenses against genjutsu, but that was the point for right now. She couldn't have them in case she broke out. It would be bad if that happened. The girl can hear Gyuki grumbling in the back of her mind. ~Don't mix me up with this kid. I could pummel her in my sleep.~
"It's Watanabe-san's order, I can't really reject it.. especially when Ari-chan want this too." Sighing lightly, the young Miira makes a trio of signs before breathing onto his fingers. Without pause, he snaps them close to the girl's face and pulses his chakra, in one fluid motion casting not one but two genjutsu onto the mind of the young girl.
The first of which is his own destruction, consumed with a flame while the appearance of a man wrapped within a black cloak stepping out from almost nowhere several meters away. The only seen of the man is a twisted grin with broken and jagged teeth within. In a following instant, claws rip at Arika's arm in passing as a bird with a five meter wingspan passes low over her to later land onto the man's shoulders.
"Things will be drawn out.. more slowly than last time. If I press things as quickly as I did the first time, she'll snap and try to kill both of us.." Glancing at Arika, he sighs softly before waking several steps away from her.
Itami was not included in the illusion, so to her things played out at a different rate. She was, quite literally, an outsider. She could only sit and wait for the results to come in from what was taking place. Any reactions that would come from this, be they positive or negative, would be watched closely by her. This wouldn't be her first time in a fight with a bijuu and certainly wouldn't be the last. She was ready to make a move should it come down to that.
Arika watches in her mind as Rikuto suddenly burns away from existence. The worst part is knowing this was a genjutsu but also thinking it was completely real. She couldn't do anything in the nightmare, either, except for stand there. The stranger that appeared was familiar despite the even clearer detail that was given this time around. And the the bird ripped into her arm, making the girl grit her teeth from the pain. It was physical, though, so the Bijuu's chakra couldn't heal her. Anyone nearby would notice the flare in her chakra, it was that strong. The Bijuu didn't have ahold of her yet, though, so the girl's body was completely still as she fell to the genjutsu.
The man before Arika looks away before suddenly grasping the air in front of himself and twisting it before breathing out. As the flames washed over his hand, a head appears, but as the flames continue Arika would be able to see the abused, bound and gaged body of a child.. a boy.. Jiro, almost lifeless though he could be seen breathing. With the man's free hand, he pulled out a wakizashi from the folds of his cloak, quickly cutting into the boy causing him to come alive with pain before slashing at the air, whipping the blood forward and sprinkle across Arika's face lightly before motioning for her to come towards him.
Rikuto's hands weren't fast as he continued to used different seals to taunt Arika's bound mind. "Watanabe-san.. Just.. Just how far should I really take this? I can't simply cause her to forget what I am shaping right now.. I doubt she could escape even if he tried her foremostest either. I haven't taught her that much yet." Brown eyes gaze at the councilwoman, studying her intently for any hints of an answer.
"In short…" Itami begins. "She has to be pushed enough to fight back. If it takes pushing her past a breaking point, then we will. That's what I'm here for…" She states. "I will have to calm her down if it comes down to it, but she has something within her that will constantly try to exert itself over her. If she doesn't understand what that's like, then she'll never have proper defenses against it," she explains. "She has a great responsibility to bear that has been placed into her by ones like myself and the Kazekage. We did this because we trust her to do what others couldn't…"
In the illusion, Arika rushes forward to try and stop the man from hurting Jiro. The blood sprinkling across her face makes her rage even more tangible as she sends a gust of wind at him for hurting her friend. ~You're still as weak as ever, girl~ comes the voice, echoing loudly alongside the illusion's effects. ~Perhaps I can assist you?~ Even further in her mind… Several layers deeper than the genjutsu, there was a cage with many seals on it. Some of them were weakening, but a lot seemed to be recent.
Arika blinks, never having seen the place before. She knew that it was even deeper. Above her were sounds of the fighting she was doing in the illusion. 'You can't run around all the time, you know… It's rude,' she says to the figure, even as tendrils of purple chakra started to wrap around her. It seems the seals just kept the entity back while his chakra was available for the taking. Itami and Rikuto would see the cloak of chakra starting to bubble along Arika's figure, coming out from every one of her pores. She still continued to stand there, but the purple chakra was visible. No tail quite yet…
With and easy hop, the man sails over Arika, and to reward her effort, sinks the blade half way in between Jiro's ribs before wiggling it around. The bound boy for his effort was franic, panicing and trying to twist away. With the man thrusts to the hilt into Jiro's lung, letting the air gurl out and wease along with the blood leaking out. Contrary to children, the man was having the time of his life.
"Just what's.. It looks different than last time. I can feel her chakra starting to shift again though. Won't be able to keep her in there for too much longer." Furling his brow, Rikuto begins to twist his fingers again, more quickly than before before focusing onto a single point. "..You trust her to stay sane and support Sunagakure.. in /that/ state?"
"She is a shinobi. We have to witness these things so that the common people don't. We must be the gatekeepers that protect them from the worst of what shinobi and people have to offer. What she's seeing is necessary so that she may grow stronger and better to defend against it. I don't know what it is she's seeing, but it's enough to summon a cloak over her, which means that she must be entering a state where she will have to fight harder to escape from. If she doesn't see it now, then she'll lose herself on the field and then what good would she be to anyone if she can't determine friend from foe?" She asked. "So yes, I have to trust her to stay sane and support Sunagakure. If I don't trust her, then who will? Jinchu are marred by the beasts that they carry and although I may not trust the beast itself, I have to trust her to handle it. She knows it better and by extension, should know how to work with it."
The Arika the man was fighting in the genjutsu was now in autopilot as Arika's mind was down in the dungeons with Gyuki. ~I can do a lot of things. I just let you be in control for the time being.~ Arika frowns, even as the voice continues. ~I was planning to take control… It's much easier when you don't fight it, you know…~ Arika proceeds to puff out her cheeks. 'You can't take over. I gotta be in control /somewhat/, you know.'
The cloak doesn't do anything in the real world. It's just there for now as the girl continues to negotiate with the bijuu inside her.
Turning back to Itami, the young Miira's brows are knit tightly as he continues to puppet the scene but it felt.. off, not longer fully in control. Dipping his head lightly, he nods in agreement as he listens to the words of the council woman. "Something's wrong. Even with trust her to work things out.. I don't feel her right now like I had been. She's still thinking but, like the scene is static.. I just hope she isn't being rushed too soon." 'She's still just a child.. trying to tame a demon?' was said more softly, but he wouldn't question the councilwoman outloud even though he held his doubts.
"Just continue with what you're doing. Allow the problem to sort itself out," Itami offered to Rikuto. She isn't enjoying this herself, though she gives no indication that she isn't. She just felt that it was necessary and applying pressure was the only method she had at the moment. Whether she worked through it or not would rest entirely on Arika. She had to make it through this. "Sometimes there isn't the time to move carefully and with ease. We must be able to adapt to these kinds of situations. It's a great weight to have, being a shinobi, yet this is the lives that we have chosen and thus we must act within the margins it provides us. Those margins fluctuate from time to time and I imagine they constrict jinchu far more than I can imagine, but I have a familiarity with these things. I have been trapped and hopeless before, without a way to escape. My demise was certain and yet, a light still shined for me. I expect the same to happen for her."
Arika watches as Gyuki starts to try and extend more control over her. The chakra in her body surges again, and a tail forms in addition to the chakra cloak, forcing Arika's body to all fours for the time being. Arika's chakra tail starts to lash out at Rikuto, though unintentionally, attempting to knock the boy from his feet then smash him. Inside her mind, things have come to a standstill with the genjutsu, Arika's energy focused now on Gyuki only.
'Just let's work together for a bit. I don't wanna keep struggling against you. It's tiring. You can give me as much power as you like, but I wanna stay in control. Plus, it'll help with the whole 'trust' thing. Isn't that good?' ~Che… You've a poor argument if you can even control my power. Try to stop me from attacking your friend. Then we'll talk.~ She blinks and her attention shifts to the sounds coming from above. 'Rikkun!'
One after another what was thought to be Rikuto is destroyed twice with ease, shadow clones and nothing more. Stopping a few meters away, the young Miira blinks when he's noticed let alone when pure chakra is what almost strikes him. 'So /it's/ out now..' was softly murmured but then moves a hand up to his lips to breath out again and snap his fingers. The genjutsu was simple.. once the flare fades, all that was left was the man before, not the Miira.
"Oh? Coming out to play this time? Didn't you learn last time or did you want me to put you back in the cage?" Unlike before, Itami would watch Rikuto dance around the arena, taunting Arika, though she didn't see what he looked like to the girl or the beast. Moving his fingers to his lips, he breaths out suddenly, spitting out a ball of flames that explodes in front of Arika, threatening to catch her in the blast radius.
Itami adjusted herself in her seat. Seemed like no position was comfortable to hold for too long with her muscles hurting the way they were. She wonders in the back of her mind if she'll be able to manage handling this beast when the time comes for it. She hopes it doesn't move that far, but she has to steel herself and prepare for whatever outcome may arise from this situation. She believes Arika can do this, but understands that the pressure may be too much. She sighed inwardly while watching the cloak begin its attack. Seems like that's the first stage. Let's hope it doesn't get much further than that.
Arika is the one stuck watching as Gyuki is in control of her body. The girl that Rikuto sees is more like a beast in personality, the 'girl' letting out a rather inhuman snarl as Rikuto taunts her. Gyuki-Arika can't get rid of the genjutsu, but the flames simply are absorbed by the chakra tail which lashes out again. Somewhere in the back of her mind, though, Arika knows it isn't really the man before her.
Just before the tail is about to hit Rikuto, it stops. Arika doesn't have control completely, but she's managed to do that much, and Gyuki actually seems surprised. ~Tch… Didn't think you'd be able to do that, girl… Fine. Two more tests to see if you can keep it up.~ 'Fine!'
Pausing on the last seal, Rikuto watches the tail halt in mid air. Humming lightly to himself, he brings his finger up to his lower ex puffs out bursts of air. While it was simply air, it causes ripples with the force of a over hand punch if it manages to connect. Not lingering in one spot, the young Miira's guise remains as he continues to move around quickly, no longer taunting with words and focusing.
Did that tail just stop? Hm. Itami leans forward in her seat unknowingly. She didn't realize how tense she'd become from the prospect of this actually working out. She even had a smile on her face. There was an inner excitement that was beginning to rise within her that needed to see this all through. "I think this may be evidence that something is working," Itami says to Rikuto. "Continue with this exercise. I believe we are making progress."
Once more the tail strikes out at the bursts of air, brushing them all aside with no issue. Gyuki-Arika snarls again as she tries to knock Rikuto over once more. The attack, though, completely passes over Rikuto. ~Last strike, kid. You better be ready for this…~ Arika frowns at Gyuki, fighting to regain full control of her body. 'You'd think two outta three would be enough…' she grumbles at him.
With a faint nod of his head, the young Miira never turns to the councilwoman and keeps his eyes on the possessed girl before him. Ducking soon after the tail swung at him, he arches a brow seeing how wide it missed him. Shifting his attention down to the girl's feet and spits out two bolts made of fire flame before following by a series of small orbs which explode on contact. "That's a strong tail, how quick before I blow it off, huh?"
Itami felt it was time to rise from her seat and enter the field. Did she intend on joining the fight? No, but she wanted to be closer. She couldn't be so distant and provide support seated above everything, so she drew closer. 'Ugh, it hurts to move…' she thought to herself as she hopped down to the arena floor. "I am here to provide better support. I watched from afar, but…after thinking about it, I don't think I would've been of much use nor convincing if I wasn't in the fight with you…" She offered to Rikuto. "Arika, I know what you're going through is difficult and…I'm not even sure if you can hear me, but if you can know that I have faith in your strengths to get through this. I fully expect to see you come out of this stronger than ever!"
The girl's tail doesn't move, almost like she forgot about its existence. Then Gyuki manages to regain a bit of control and the tail blocks the Miira's fire once more. 'I managed to stop you twice. Isn't that something?' the girl pouts at the tailed beast. The Hachibi seems to stare down at her, eventually coming into her field of vision where it used to be hidden by shadows. ~Hmmm… Fine. We can work together. I'll show you how to use the chakra a bit better, even.~ Gyuki lets Arika take the driver's seat once more, allowing her to feel what it's like to have his chakra surrounding her. He still controls it, but she knows how to move it now. The tail lashes out at Rikuto once more, aiming for his legs. But there's no move to attack the Miira. Arika also starts to 'renotice' the genjutsu that she had never been able to get out of start to catch up to reality and then fade from existence. Things were registering more clearly, too. Itami's voice, for one, and Rikuto's presence. Though to her, he still /looked/ like the scary man.
Slowing for a moment, Rikuto turns to Itami to speak before his legs are shredded horrible before.. Poof. Just another clone. The Miira was already beginning to breath some what heavily, arching his back slightly forward as he pauses, watching Arika. Moving a hand to his shoulder, he slowly begins to help it stretch further. Twisting his fingers, he begins to make a long chain of seals before simply blowing another small orb which explodes. Masked with the assault was another pulse of a genjutsu.
What Arika sees afterwards is sharply different than what Itami can notice. Following the explosion were almost countless shifting blade shaped of solidified black flames repositioning in the air. One by one, then two by two, ever scaling in number, the blades surge forward, seering into the girl's flesh before carving outwards. "Lets see.. how far you can actually stay in control.. when hurt."
"I think we can go at this for a bit more and then call an end to this session. We needn't place her in a position where she'll need to be hospitalized," Itami states to Rikuto. "Arika, just hold on for a bit more. Once you're past the next waves of attacks, we'll call an end to this. We won't continue any further. I can see that you've made progress and I am very proud of what you've done here. You've made the first steps to gaining control and obtaining mastery. You've done what others before you could not. You are more than deserving of respect and I am honored to have you as a shinobi of this village, but more importantly, a friend."
Arika flinches, still not used to the tail quite yet. She tries to move it, but too slowly. Gyuki grumbles a bit. ~Kid, if you wanna control this, you gotta make sure you don't get hit.~ Then the wave of genjutsu washes over her, and it's mostly pain that washes through her mind. 'Oww… It hurts…' ~Just genjutsu. It doesn't do anything to you… I hate genjutsu…~ The chakra surrounding the girl heals the burns that appeared from the explosion at a faster rate than before, which could be worrisome. But she also doesn't attack, which might be a good sign…
"Pushing her.. hehe.. You wouldn't believe how much moving quickly hurts right now. I'm not using these clones by choice." A light smile was on his lips as he talks, never once looking away from Arika. Breathing out slowly, flames, one by one begin appearing in front of his right hand before moving out in a ring, attempting to surround the girl loosely. "..Boom." Rikuto snaps his fingers sharply causing all of the small spheres to collide not with the ground or Arika, but each other, erupting the air into a fiery explosion.
Arika takes control of the tail this time, and she actually succeeds in moving it to block the attacks. Her form straightens out more under the chakra until she's on two, not four, 'legs'. The purple chakra cloak around her still exists for a bit as it strikes out. This time neither at Rikuto nor Itami. It's just a test to see if she can still move it. It seems to hit where she wanted, which she's glad about. ~Hmph… Fine… You win this time. I'm gonna get outta here someday, though, you know.~ Gyuki mutters. It wasn't a complete win, but it seemed he would lend his powers when she needed it. Arika nodded to the bijuu, and the cloak around her body faded away. Once it was gone, the girl ends up collapsing in her spot as if exhausted.
Itami sighed out a breath she didn't know she withheld. She moved over to Arika to check her for any damages. She sustained some, but she didn't think it'd be enough for a hospital stay. "Alright…I think that just about does it," she kneeled down to lift her up from the ground. "Thank you for your assistance Rikuto. I appreciate your service here. This is twice you have personally assisted me…at least, to my knowledge. If there are other instances, you have my apologies for not considering them," she states. "Please, get some well deserved rest. Enjoy a day to yourself. You needn't do much more. I'll see about getting her a place to rest as well."
With another snap, the air around Rikuto ripples as the genjutsu melts away. "Only opened up my leg a little I think.. You remember my aid here and before, that's honorable enough Itami-sama." The young Miira dips his head slowly to the woman before his eyes shift to Arika. A light smile appears on his lips upon seeing that even after everything, her body didn't show much in way of wounds, almost as fresh as when she first entered the arena with him. "No jumping on my back for a week Ari-chan, I mean it. You have to come visit though until I'm feeling better, understand?" was asked as he makes his way over towards her slowly.
Arika snuggles a bit in Itami's arms, comfortable now. She peeks over at Rikuto, pouting a bit when he says she can't hop onto his back, but she nods sleepily. Right now she felt more tired than anything. Her body, certainly, but also her mind. Fighting a giant chakra beast was difficult! "Lotsa visits," she agrees with a small nod then a yawn. "Bye-bye, Rikkun!" she manages to say cheerfully, waving (sorta) before falling asleep. The good thing about being small: easy to carry around.