The Legion March - Rage of Ice and Pride of Crystal


Meruin, Tsun, Kaede, Shingo

Date: March 3, 2011


En route to find Hisakawa, Tsun and Meruin meet up with a Pair of wanderers on the bridge. Hunger drives the Kiri-ninja to strike and battle ensues.

Warning: Contains foul language.

"The Legion March - Rage of Ice and Pride of Crystal"

The Great River Bridge — Konoha

The bridge stood tall and glorious in the afternoon sunlight. The river below while singing in it's rumbling tone to the nature, also imposed death to all who'd slip off the bridge and fall down.

A figure however, stood on the middle of the bridge. No shinobi uniform. No, forehead protector. Heavily cloaked. A villager?

He stands there, the figure, and peers down a hole in the bridge, which seems to have been frozen over and broken. As if expecting someone to come through it.

Shingo would be in his cloak walking along trying to find his way he would appear to be coming out of a thick forest with his hands hidden by the cloak yawning. "Hmmm where should I go from here?" He asked himself as he took notice to everyone that was around him he would smirk as he started to walk spotting the other cloaked man.

Meruin travelled swiftly in the direction of what the map called 'The Great River Bridge.' He and Tsun had been assigned to go follow the path last taken by the swordswoman Hisakawa, as she has been delayed in her return. As a swordswoman, she is an important piece of Kirigakure's battle efforts at any time, and so, what happened to her needed to be determined immediately.
Small and adept. That was the premise between him and the Kaguya with him. With only two people, they should make good time, and they were strong enough to, hopefully, defend themselves and get away from any resistance that they made. The only issue was that it was hard to remain hidden in such an open space. So they were surfing. Waterwalking kept the Okumo atop the river as the water sped along, carrying him down it's length.
But the bridge was their destination. At that point, they'd have to continue on from land, as the river didn't lead to where they wanted to go. So Meruin turned around to Tsun, gesturing to the bank before turning and leaping onto it himself.

Tsun would not be too far off, despite her time as a genin. Tsun has yet to master water walking or… even attempt it yet. Instead she would follow on a chunk of ice that floats within the water. A variation of Glacier Suspension that was, much more relaxing on the chakra reserves. It was normal for Meruin not to make much conversation, though Tsun would usually blab his head off without expecting a response. Today, the feeling of silence was mutual. She had more troubling things in mind.

'FOOLISH GIRL NOW I HAVE NOTHING!' Tsun would ignore the thought as she continues to stomp up her path. 'THE NEXT YOU SEE!' Tsun would continue to ignore the yelling, it would soon develop into a shrill cry of a scream, mentioning hunger and anger over and over again. It was stressful, the stress had shown on the girl's face as much as Tsun's stability had been that of the "perfect host", her new change in morality and her want to be able to have power over her own body was… tearing her brain apart.

"The next one…." Tsun's glare would extend forward, "Meruin… I cannot keep retreating from things. I know my limits, the end result will be even worse if I can't have the next target… just one… or six. You know, there's a whole army out there and still nothing." Tsun would say this and an awkward giggle would follow.
Her breathing would become heavy, though not from the trip, the girl was much more althletic than she let on and, she could definately handle this. Meruin may notice her chakra gathering rapidly, there was no eerie presence in the air, it was her own natural chakra. Though it was apparent she was itching to explode on the first thing she came across.

The figure turns to look at Shingo. The hood of his cloak is drawn low, half his face is shrouded in shadows. And the one visible half is shrouded enough to make his features nearly indistuingishable.

"What are you doing here?" He asks, looking at Shingo. Apparently not a shinobi. So he was not a target. A shame. "Leave before you get hurt, don't you know that there's a war going." He points somewhere to the west, "There's a village that way. You should be safe there." He says, not aware yet of either Tsun or Meruin.

"Thanks for the help but I just came from that village I'm now seeking the land of snow….wait there is a war going on?" Shingo would be scratching his head as if to try and recall a date when the war start like he knew. "When did this "war" start? And why?"

Meruin stopped on the bank, turning around to look at Tsun. The boy fell into a stillness so complete that the waters of the river seemed more human than him simply from the sheer motion of it. Those misted eyes, inscrutable in their swirls of dark green and purple and blue, gave nothing away. Despite the lack of motion or emotion, or perhaps because of it, the air about him was entirely judging, as though he were weighing the girl's every facet. And then he pointed upwards towards the bridge.
"Feed him."

The journey would continue for a bit, Tsun's teeth grinding together as the monster within would continue to scream at her, the sudden stop would cause Tsun to nearly crash into Meruin. The glacier would shift and move about Meruin, stopping at his side. Her eyes quickly snap to Meruin, looking as if she were going to bite his head off until he pointed upwards. The screaming would stop…

'Excellent. Child, would you kindly?'

If he wasn't aware of Tsun's presence a second ago, it would become rather obvious, rather quickly. Her chakra would rapidly intensify as she skipped beyond the usual restrictive precautions she would take on using Shukaku's chakra. "TIMES UP! WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME!" The air would crystallize about her, beads of ice clinging to her body as she launches from the waters blew, the glacier causing her to barrel upwards at alarming speeds until the glacier itself shatters shards splitting apart and spreading about Tsun. The girl herself would continue to propel through the air as the ice shard storm assaults the original cloaked man. Within the same moment they collide or come close to colliding they explode into what seems to be innocent little clouds. That would melt away at his skin!
Tsun would slam against the canyon wall, her right hand gripping at the ledge as she holds herself there with ease. She was, somewhat calm at the moment. Though with the crazy design of her eyes… it was hard to judge that, especially with how she was yelling just a moment ago. She would fully realize now that Shingo was in the area. "So, looks like I'll have to deal with two again. Oh well… it'll take a bit longer than I'd like."

"Oh really?" Kaede asks, eyes narrowing on Shingo. "You are a shinobi?" His voice is almost dripping with venom. Though, he did seem unaffiliated with either, and oblivious to the war. "The war just started. Kiriga—" He trailed off..

Glancing to the side, he suddenly saw ice flying towards him. And that was almot scary. "Hide!" The figure woud yell as he made handseals to stop the ice, but blast after blast slammed into him, and sent him flying backwards.

He rolled back, pressing his hands together to focus chakra and than explode with crystal petals surrounding him.

"Here they come. Heheheh." He chuckled as he wiped off some blood from his shoulder. "And here comes the death, marching."

Shingo would take notice to the things going on around him and smirk "it appears that things are getting intresting." He would have a faint smile on his face as he watched he would even try and talk to teh beast. "Okay what the hell is going on here?"

And suddenly, Meruin was on the underneath of the bridge, and he was not the same as he'd been just a moment before. No, the four large spider legs sprouting from his back were definately new features, the imposing limbs keeping him attached to the underside. He'd recognized Kaede's voice, Kaede's crystal, and he hadn't liked what it implicated. He couldn't say whether to place things in Tsun's corner or his, but it was easy for a single sliver of crystal to hit just the right place and kill someone when there was a cloud of them. And that chance was not to be taken with Tsun.
So he took proactive action. Standing on the bottom of the bridge, he whipped his arms out to the side. Spider silk formed a covering over his body, a close fur, and what was on his arms multiplied and flew out. The clinging trap lifted and appeared over the side, arcing towards Kaede to grab and subdue him.

"Ahahaha. What's going on here? You're not of Kirigakure… that's all that's happening." The coffin on her back would erupt open as the crimson water held within pushes on it with a great ferocity, it would simply curl about Tsun for a moment before retracting back into the coffin. "Relax… I've got this." Tsun would give one strong tug of her gripping arm and pull herself onto the ledge. Her arm would extend behind her, palm pointing over the edge with her fingers twisted inward as if gripping something.

A vortex of water would swirl into existance about her hand, soon twisting and driving into the river below. The river would twist and churn, causing large waves to slam against the canyon walls as the vortex expands and expands. The dazzling hand of the child would pull out of the vortex and left into the air to what would seem to… no effect.
Eventually it would rise as the two began to gather their chakra, forming a large arcing wave over Tsun's body, shadowing the entirety of the 'battle-field' and killing her glistening effect. "You're going to fight back? That's truly a terrible choice. With your condition you may be able to run away still…" She'd tease, she had no intention on letting him run her head would just tilt to the side as more water joins up with the wave, it would appear she was struggling a tad bit. Palm pointing towards the skys her fingers would twitch a few times as if poking at the sky.

This motion also had an effect, the edge of the looming water mass would break apart into a heavy rainstorm, a haze of heat visible about the shower.

Kaede crouches low as Meruin appears, sprouting six legs from his back. And the beast is approaching further. He smiled as he pulled down the hood of his cloak charging towards Meruin.

As the wisps of silken threads came at him, the wooden surface of the bridge crystallized and he leaped into the air, carried by a crystalline slide, shouting out with all his voice.

"This is SO FUCKING AWESOME!" He shouts. "It's a bijuu! Woohoo!" He yells as he lands on the ground and a crystal barrier raises immediatly to take the brunt of the water and steam, standing it's ground. "Man, I so wish Kirin was here. He'd have a blast kicking that thing into kingdom come!" He says, and he is so excited, it is visible in the way he moves. Almost wasting energy with all the bounciness to his movements. He seems like a kid who got a new toy.

His hands flash dangerously fast and the very remnant of the water that Tsun has created turns into a crystalline mist with a jade sheen, and than flash freezes around the spider and the bijuu, shooting spikes at them and the ground beneath them, trying to NAIL them into place.

"Now now, don't move.." He says, "I just wanna kill you."

THe attack its self was powerful enough to know the body of the young man back he would crash into a tree he would come to a stand and dust himself off. "This is bad." He would dash at both of them fading into their blind spots from there he would wait for an opening. '

Meruin looked upwards — downwards, hanging as he was from the bottom of the bridge. And then he vanished, reappearing at the top of it, thick spires of crystal taking their places. A pair of shuriken were already whirring in Kaede's direction, tossed as he'd made the transition from one place to the next. The other man had fallen from his sight and he made note of that as he began to move off of the bridge in a direction heading towards Tsun, though not directly.
He was running backwards, the motion of the spider legs on his back fluid and precise as the nine year old lashed out with his arms. Spider silk, brought to caustic potential, flew out from the webbing covering his arms, moving to strike Kaede as he moved away.

'You… know… you want it.' The thought skids across Tsun's mind, 'You know you do. That new power… you know you can achieve it! You've done it before Tsun-chan~' The Genin would try to focus on the task at hand. Tsun… knew what he was talking about, it's something she already achieved but, they both knew her mental state in that condition. Could she maintain it any better with her increase in power?

'Hesitation will get you killed I cannot protect you forever.' A dark chuckle rumbles in the back of her mind… unlike the shrill laughter of the One-Tailed Beast.

He was right, hesitation could possibly be the end of the world as she notices the water behind her would crystallize. Part of the hijacked water would instantly crystalize and break apart, though not by Kaede, by Tsun. The massive ice chunk would then lower behind her, extending the ledge of the land behind her heels.
Taking a step back, she'd depart on a small chunk of ice formed by breaking away from the larger. It would simply collapse into the river below as Tsun speeds straight into the storm, attempting to cut through it as the glaciers somewhat shields her until she gets nailed in the back from some of the shards, impaling her her feet into the ice chunk.. "What are you doing?!" Tsun would shout out, expecting Shukaku to cover the back, she would cringe as multiple spikes would begin to impale her. 'Hesitation put you here… and you didn't listen to me Tsun-chan… I'm very hurt, why should I help you?!' "Are you… serious?"
Tsun would then look down and spot a rarity, she was bleeding the glacier began to sink out of the sky along with Tsun. It wasn't that she was plotting to escape or anything of the like. It was the fact that she was… actually in a bit of pain. It was… unfamiliar, so unfamiliar it had the reverse effect of making her cry. Was she… happy? Maybe not that either, her brain could not process it at all.

Meruin's barrage of attacks strikes several clones that seem to be appearing /out of nowhere/. That was Kaede's true fighting potential. It was his true power. A power that simply seemed limitless at that point. At least to Kaede.

He felt himself excited. Extremely excited. Yet, frozen deep inside. He was calm. And that icy calm overtook even the excitement as his eyes grew colder to look at Tsun, encased in his technique, and Meruin.

"So despicable." He muttered. "Such strength, and use it inhumanely." As he spoke his hands made handseals and as he finished, both his hands had the middle and index finger extended up. One hand under the other.

"I pity you." Something crackled. Audibly. It wasn't electricity. It was like something freezing over. Only different.

"Blooming Fields of the Impaler…"

Kaede said calmly. Voice flat. He had no emotion on his face either; He was just.. inhumanly calm and passive.

As he said the words, a myriad of spikes appeared from mid-air, striking the ground, and from the ground, striking towards the air. Out of the bridge and into the bridge. From the canyon walls and from the river bed. There were thousands of them. Tens of thousands of filament thin, yet durable spikes. Maybe even a hundred thousand. Their number is just too huge to count. They didn't focus on either opponent. They just stabbed, impaled, slashed, and pierced everything in their wake. Except Kaede. Who stood in the wake of the cataclysmical devastation like a figure of transcended stillness. The bridge was somehow functional still. Maybe suspended by the crystals. Maybe they were falling already.

"I am the death that comes marching…" He whispered, as if reciting a song.

Shingo would take the time to make his way out of the sticky sitituation and head back into the forest SHingo knew his limits and they where on a whole new level he couldn't reach at the moment.

Meruin stopped as, suddenly, earth and sky filled with sharp prongs of crystal, the many impalingshards jutting into him. The boy jerked, slightly, they all suddenly appeared. The small daggers had managed to punch their way into his skin through his natural chitin that was covered by his silken fur. The damage of each was miniscule — a pincprick — but when put together, they did some sizable harm.
Not enough to worry the boy, truly, but enough to give him pause. The Okumo's spider legs flexed, the filament-thin crystals breaking from him as he rose higher. The needles pushed out of his body, numerous rivulets of blood starting to fall from his form.
Meruin turned towards Kaede, spider legs bringing him forward in a rhythmic walk, his lack of facial expression almost berating the man for his words. As he did so, darkness leapt from near Seishukuni in the form of spiders, seeking to bite and shove him with their weight. What they looked to shove him into became obvious as the ground suddenly opened up, the crystal on it lifting with it as spider silk shot out to take and draw in missing ninja, bringing him down to the spiders awaiting.

'Tsun… darling… over here.' A new voice would call to her, it felt as if it were much deeper in the shadows of her mind. Something locked away, it would feel like, something locked away that was slowly creeping open the door of its prison. A flash of a woman would appear for a second, the image was familiar in some strange way. 'It's me… everything will be fine. Trust me.'

The warmth of a hand would be felt on the icicle covered cheek of Tsun. Were the icicles melting? Was her mind playing tricks on her? In all truth her mind was indeed playing tricks but, the warmth would roll through the entirety of her body as another image would flash, the woman holding Tsun close.

This was all too familiar. 'He needs you, he's too weak and he knows it. Yes, he can take control of you if you let him win this mental war but, he cannot survive for long without you. Not in this condition. Push yourself like you did when you attempted to stop the great wave… I know deep down, you tried that hard to save the people in Kirigakure… even if you do not want to admit it. Just remember t-'

Everything would cut out, the woman's face would flash once more and contort into the One-tailed beast's, shrill laughter echoing through her mind once more. 'YES REMEMBER TO! WAIT TO WHAT?! OoOOoOO tSuN Ch-a-a-A-annnn~' Was that all an elaborate trap spread by the Beast? Was he just taunting her into using the power to take her over for good.

"What do I need to re-" Blood will trickle from her lips, she'd realize why the warmth disappeared she was impaled in multiple locations, she was brought into full reality and a good fifteen seconds after the technique successfully landed she'd cry out in pain, her cry instantly doused as she slashes roughly into the waters below. She should be dead from the impact though there would be one more thing that she had failed to realize until just now the reason why the splash didn't hurt in the slightest bit.
A fanged grin would appear deep within the waters. From those up in the bridge above, would only see the river steam somewhat… otherwise Tsun made no other action.

Kaede leaped back from the spiders— but they overwhelmed him. Tearing him apart before he has a chance to react— only to poof in a cloud of smoke, real him not far from his original position, stomping a spider dead. Take that spinny!

His eyes quickly focus on the form of Tsun falling off the bridge. He felt no regret. He felt.. pitty. And a small modicum of respect. It was a worthy fighter. But justice was dealt out.

His cold eyes turn to Meruin. "KIrigakure Shinobi." He says. "I accuse you of crimes of murder and warmongering. Your punishment is death and it will be imminent." He wals forwards, as if taunting. "The sky you now see will be the last thing you see. The ground you walk upon will be nothing but a void- a void to the Nightmare where you will die time and time again. Until I release you from your life."

And as he held his 'pointless' speech, everything he said about the enviroment was true. The sky turned red. The ground vanished and was replaced by black spots.

A pulsing light from next to Kaede is all that seems real— a pulsing light.. A hypnotically pulsing light.

Meruin felt his eyes drawn to the pulsing light next to Kaede. The sky took on the hue of his blood, it's features fading… the ground began to fall away as thought it had been a figment of his imagination… and then a thin film of chitin spread over his eyes in a cap, an entirely instinctual defense. It kept the pulsing light's effects at bay, and the world swiftly fell back into place.
The boy had never stopped moving and now, he sped up. He took in the reports of the spiders hanging from crystal at the bottom of the bridge, explaining Tsun's situation to him, filing it away in his mind as he dashed in Kureno's direction, his hand becoming saturated with a neurotoxin. He put on another burst of speed, charging directly at Kureno, the sharp filaments of cyrstal that were about shattering under his press, the shrapnel flying away from him as though in fear of him. And then he vanished, suddenly at Kureno's back, his spider legs spread out over the crystal spires there, the boy's poisoned hand reaching for the back of his neck…

'@#*$!!!!' Shukaku would begin to start swearing at random rather loudly, the swearing developing to a mixture of taunts and insults, trying to make the girl succumb to his attempt on driving her into insanity. Tsun would more or less ignore him for the time being, there was a moment of clarity. Tunnel vision? No, she could see it all, she could hear it all.

She was encased in an armor of pure ice. Yet the air around her was so hot, the steaming would continue as wounds begin to close. Tsun would look down, to her body as it would begin to recover and then look to her right. Right beside her would be Shukaku, his wild grin spread impossibly far. Wait he was a being of water, maybe not impossible at all. Nonetheless it was creepy. "So, for once I decide not to tell you to shut up and you just…" 'Well I've just realized, this is exactly what I've been asking for and here I am trying to stop you! How silly of me.' Tsun would look away, she felt uneasy about this he was holding something back.
"Now then… finish him." Tsun wouldn't realize it but, it wasn't a thought.. Shukaku actually spoke through her. Now to deal with the power coursing through her… it was something new, truly she had never noticed how powerful this form was, she was always at the edge of sanity when it took hold of her, maybe this is why Mitsuo was so wary of allowing her to go this far in training.

"Right. The fight!" Saliva would be left in her wake as Tsun explodes from her position her hand launching forward, extending, twisting… bubbling? Was the ice… bubbling? Expanding outward, the claw would take a new form. The form of a serpent would emerge, tentacles spreading from its nose and about the beginning of its neck, flailing wildly. Meruin would recognize this as one of Tsun's few… refined techniques and quite the dangerous one.

Her arm would extend into the full length of the leviathan before breaking off, the beast opening wide as it cuts through the bridge with ease. The two? Well hopefully they can move out of the way because the ride inside isn't too comfortable at all as it cuts and turns this way and that, sending them on a bumpy… spiney way down.

Kaede stared at Meruin as he charged forward. "So, headstrong." He says as his arm, almost lazily rises after one single handseal- and Meruin's claws dig into crystal. Forget the fact that Meruin came from behind him. It's as if Kaede just knew. In a way, he did. In this unhumanly serene state, he observed things differently. Objectively. Predictively. Yet, his vision itself or intelligence didn't increase at all. It was just his view on the world that changed. He felt different. Cold. Tired. Not just physically. He was tired of all this bullshit. People killing each other. Brother killing brother. It made him furious— and yet he couldn't be furious.

But before he could do anything to try and finish off Meruin— a different player came back into the game. Tsun's true form.

"Oh SHIT!" He shouted out as the twisting serpent slammed into him, and grabbed him for a long long way down to the river.

His cloak shredded, as did his arms and torso— and it seemed as if that was just the beginning.

Meruin's silken hands brushed against crystal, thwarted. And then Ice became his world, only an instinctive effort to get out of danger was his show of noticing the attack before the serpent swallowed him along with Kaede. More of his blood found freedom from him as he passed through it's blade ringed throat into the belly of the beast, his senses reeling as he began to bring himself to bear.

For a moment, Tsun's human arm would be exposed, moisture would be sucked from the air for hundreds upon hundreds of feet, making the arm instantly regenerate. The leviathan would continue to thrash around, causing the captors to bounce their way down, then suddenly things would smooth out. The blood of the two spilling within the monster allowed her to track them easily and soon Kaede would find the 'stomach' of the leviathan warping and locking him up in an icy prison.

Tsun would begin to fall back to the waters below only to be caught by the passing leviathan. She'd land, forgetting which side Shukaku was on for a moment as she was going to turn to ask him something or, maybe, instinct told her to turn the wrong way. But, the woman would appear again. 'Remember to not follow his path. The blood of others, it is only he who needs it. Remember this, use it to your advantage he can cry all he wants. So long as you don't let him take part, he has no control… he is not but, a parasite.' The woman's facial expression would widen, she would scream as she was sucked back into the darkness.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Tsun would stop to think for a moment as she sails back to a Kirigakure camp. "I'm unsure but, should you really trust a new voice? That'd be silly Tsun-chan! You're crazy enough as is!" Tsun would frown, "You sound scared…" Tsun would then quickly deactivate the transformation. Rather… easily, thanks the One-Tail's worried state.

Tsun would stop halfway to the Kirigakure camp, the leviathan would lower and melt away, releasing Meruin but, Kaede will still be encased in ice. "I wont kill you but… the animals will not be as kind. Take this as a… thanks." Tsun's left and right hand would come together a new chunk of ice forming around Kaede to fully encase him in ice.

"Koori… Kyu."

As if wringing out the air, Tsun's hands would motion and the ice would begin to twist in multiple direction, crushing him and pulling his bones in directions they shouldn't. It wouldn't be enough to kill him, he should hope.

Kaede's world became ice. A peaceful, yet strange feeling. He wasn't sure if it was real reality. Or the distorted reality of the fire he played with to attain such power.

'Relea….' a voice echoed in his head. It wasn't that of a bijuu or anything. It was that of a ghost. Of something that could not and is not real. And yet. Somehow, he always felt, that it was in a way real.


His world became darkness— the clouds became ashes and the river beneath was toxic and volatile ink.

The Nightmare. A dark and foreboding place. Where the only source of heat was hate. So many times he returned here.. due to conflict. Due to vengeance. Due to pain. He realized, it was the only place where he belonged.

'I'll release you' the voice spoke as he felt himself burning up in hatred.

The serpent ruptured with crystals all across it's length, and then Kaede fell out of it, spinning in mid-air as he continued falling. The two walls of ice pressed against him tightly— crushing him— but he was still alive. He was surviving. He could do this. There was no way in hell that he could lose to these two. Yes, hatred was the only thing that could break through the deep freeze of the calm he had. It didn't change him— it just focused him.

"I WILL KILL YOU" He screamed out as the crystals on the bridge suddenly /quantified/ extending more crystals through the canyon, his voice shouting.

"ANNIHILATE THEM, HOTARU!!" He screamed- Hotaru, the ghost of the Nightmare. His true self. His only self, he finally realized.

In this place— in this conflict. He finally realized who he really was.

Crystal dominated and spread, and Meruin, just coming to his spider's feet, did nothing to stop it. They broke off against his form, though he staggered from the contact. Instead, he turned his attention to Tsun, who had travelled a ways but had chosen to drop her power, releasing her tailed beast. She couldn't defend herself against this attack, not like that.
And so, Meruin vanished, outpacing the creation of crystal by the barest amount. He vanished, so great was his speed, reappearing only when he moved in front of Tsun. The boy wrapped his arms around her in a hug as the chitin that covered his body pushed itself out from under the silken fur covering that. It expanded, forming a sphere around the two of them in protection against the onslaught of crystal.
And it seemed to have worked, as a few moments later, the barrier began to withdraw, moving away from Tsun and reshaping itself into the spider legs that Meruin wore. Unfortunately, it revealed a good deal of damage to the Okumo's back, having had to reinforce Tsun's side at the expense of his own to keep the crystal from penetrating on her side. The nine year old stepped back, spider legs lifting him as he looked towards Kaede once more, his expressionless face paler than usual, the skin flat against his face.
He was hurt.

Tsun would realize, she had gotten too comfortable in that new form. As she began to crush him, the pains would reemerge from her barely healed wounds. She shouldn't of completely powered down, she just no longer wanted to fight side by side with that monster. Though she knew what weakening herself would do in case she couldn't finish the battle, it was her only reasoning for heading towards the Kiri camp… she would once again have to flee.

"I should've made sure to crush your h-…" Tsun would feel the exhaustion now as the demonic chakra no longer fuels her muscles, her vision would blur, her words were obviously beginning to slur, "hhhaands…" Tsun would slowly shake her head, she would get ready to leave until. He suddenly breaks loose, he seemed to flip out quite suddenly. She could feel it, Shukaku was no longer putting any effort to help her with this battle. This prooven when a chunk of shattered ice smacked Tsun in the shoulder, the crimson water made no effort to move. She had thought the coffin felt heavier because of her exhausted state though, his soul was not within the water.
Did she completely remove him from her body somehow?! When she needed him most… She didn't want him perse but, instead his power. 'Stop being so dumb, we're going to die here! He's still moving!' Tsun would think out loud(But not out loud). She'd feel herself calling out through the canals of the brain for help and there would not be an answer. Tsun's hands would raise up in defense, her face turning away as she knew she wouldn't be able to gather her defense in time the water lagging behind just a bit too much and then… the sound of contact.

Yet she was fine?

Fine for a girl with multiple stab wounds at least. She would peek out to be face to face with the spider child, though she had gotten quite used to this appearance, what she wasn't used to was non-violent physical contact from him. Meruin had taken the blow for her, he could've probably avoided it normally but perhaps it was the strange angle he had to get into? Tsun was not sure as she wasn't really looking through it all.
"Thank you…" Tsun would say quietly before noticing Meruin's heavily damaged state, she could feel hatred bubble up within her. She wasn't sure why, Meruin probably only saved her out of reflex, she doubted he cared really. But the sight of him being wounded set her mind off in a not so pleasant way. The woman who she thought was sucked away forever would manage to franticly claw her way to Tsun's thoughts. 'Do not become like i-'

" off." Tsun would utter, "I wouldn't of done the same Meruin. Though… I really don't like when people do not accept my gifts, especially when they throw it back in my face so violently. You'd think life would be… something much more appreciated." Tsun would make note to not give the gift of life anymore, it was a terrible mistake. Little did she know, all of this was a mistake, since the very moment she decided to release the power of Tailed beast, she was playing into his trap. As the hatred fluctuated wildly within her mind, the parasite would slip that much deeper into the confines of her mind.
He would not remove Tsun's ability to keep control of herself, his deed was done. Though Tsun would erupt once more, the floor beneath her turning to ice while the air above her would waver as the heat that radiated from her all at the same time would cause steam to rise up. Tsun was… overloading with chakra, a hand would be placed on Meruin's side as if motioning for him to stay with her as the blood within the coffin began to disperse. The smell of the dead causing the place to reek, though there would be a hint of new blood in the air… that of Meruin and Kaede's. Tsun's presence would begin to fill each part of the mist. 'He will… cease to exist.'

Kaede's hands gather together and the air crystallizes under him— crystallizes into a glorious mythical dragon (The snake-like Japanese kind) made out of jade crystal on which Kaede lands- and begins climbing upwards.

His hands remain pressed together as he focuses more stamina into chakra. He was gonna end them. He had no choice. It simply HAD to be that way. But the pain in his chest grew stronger and stronger, until it forced him to fall to his knees and cough blood. He should never haved used that technique twice. And using eye of the tempest this long was like begging for suicide. He felt his life waning away from him. He was close to dying here- and in the nightmare.

But could he? Could he really die? Just like that? To some Jinchuuriki and a spider child? Let /THEM/ kill him?

"No f**king chance." He muttered out as he rose towards the level where the bridge once stood- now a crumbling heap, falling into the river. Now everything seemed enveloped by the bloody mist- and the one shape he could see was Meruin's. And he seemed intent on dying for the Jinchuuriki. And Kaede felt like obliging. With that power, who knows how many people they killed. Or that's what Kaede at least thought.

There was to be no mercy for the weak.

There was no reaction from Meruin to Tsun's words or her retransformation. He only stood there, as though dead to the world. And this lasted until Kaede rose to the sky on the back of a gleaming dragon, and then his only motion was to raise his head, following the ascencion.
When it ceased and the seishukuni began gathering himself, the Okumo lifted an arm, untired, and spider silk shot out in a long rope, broadening as it travelled in Kaede's direction. The man was tired, and nearly finished, and he'd sequestered himself to his creation's head. He hoped to at least ruin his concentration, though, capture was optimal.

Tsun's face would form in the mist before him, if he chose to attack it would be to no avail as it was simply a form in the mist. "What's next?" Tsun would grin and fade back into the mist. "Oh please that?" Tsun would laugh, the mist would return, right around Kaede once more. "I'm sure I can do this a lot longer than you… I have the chakra of two." When he moves, the mist would simply follow, Tsun's hands would slip into her pocket as she walks on through the mist. "Crystalize it all you want, it still a part of me it'll just make it easier to track your movements. Foolish boy." Tsun was conscious, she felt herself in full control, yet, she felt as if it wasn't her talking any longer.

"There is to be… no mercy for the weak." Her hands would clap together, and right on cue a loud sizzling would erupt from the mist about Kaede as it suddenly becomes a sauna except… about 1000 times more hot. Wildlife that were passing through the sudden strolling mists would not react too pleasantly. They'd… disappear, plant-life would simply be eradicated as well. As for Kaede, well who knows what will happen with him.
"You shouldn't of done that… you really shouldn't of… oh wait, yes you should've! I don't know what's come over me, saying such things like this… you don't even appear to have any place in this war and look at you!"

Kaede stared into the mist- his cloak was gone. Shredded and blown to pieces— his body was in no great shape either. But what kept him on his feet? Was it pride? Or rage? His jutsu? He didn't know. He didn't care. He wanted to kill these two. But the look of that boy— it made Kaede doubt himself. Doubt his reason for fighting.

Was someone guilty, if they were coerced into doing something? Is it really a sin to do something that they think is right? Was this even the case?

Kaede lifted up his head, pride swelling his chest. "To have no place in a war— means to have something to lose."

His words disappeared as it seemed the mists had devoured Kaede— but his torched Dragon still stood. His hands pressed together— this may have well been his last fight. He was getting dizzy, he didn't know what he was looking at.

"And I have… power… for.. a entire.. army.." Kaede muttered out, as his hands fell limp to his side. Was that a handseal?

"Impenetrable.. Cloud.. Formation.." He muttered out, barely. Yep- this may have been his last fight, but he was sure as hell gonna see it through- maybe he couldn't defeat them. Maybe. He didn't even know anymore why he was fighting them. It wasn't about saving lives. It was not about vengeance.

Oh right. It was about rage and pride.

Rage and Pride.
Meruin had neither, but he had his duty. It was time to bring this to a close, no matter how it went. He vanished, reappearing on the surface of the dcrystal Dragon, running up it via his spider legs. And then he vanished once more, reappearing at kaede's side.
His tactic was a simple bite. A simple, acid-injecting bite that would render the seishukuuni immobile just long enough for the tissue to liquify and be then swallowed by the Okumo in an attempt to restore himself and finish the other.

Tsun would smirk, he was still going. She would turn her back to him. Did her interest fade away? Mostly, though now wshe was more than confident nothing could survive that attack, especially in his already horrible state. She would just let the chakra of the tailed beast continue to run through her system, the enhanced recovery did feel quite nice. Her wounds would continue to steam as she opens her mouth to talk once more.
Then… she is trapped once more, she looks left and right. "Hrm… this is really annoying." She would bide her time, perhaps Meruin could kill him before he kills himself. Tsun was… not opting for more pain.

Kaede seemed to have gotten straight into the face by the Okumo's bite— but something was wrong. He tasted like crystals. His image tore apart and turned into crystal petals; And a Kaede at the back of the dragon was stepping back— he was losing it. Losing consciousness.

"Crystal… barrage… breakdown…" He muttered, but he had nothing left. Neither chakra nor endurance to keep fighting.

Was he really defeated.

The last thing he saw before he lost consciousness was the blue sky. Blue.. not the dark ashy kind of the Nightmare. The blue sky of reality. Of freedom.

The crystal petals swarmed around him— as if cradling him— The dragon fell apart— and only a splash in the water was a indication of where Kaede fell.

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