Date: July 28, 2015
Arika attempts to master herself so that she might become a better jinchuuriki, but it is not as easy as she had thought.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Eighth Tailed Beast: The Path to Success is Failure"
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.
As late evening comes in Sunagakure, both Kuoroke and Arika would have received a letter from Miyako to meet her, of all places, in the Catacombs under the Administration Dome. While this place is normally way off limits, she has apparently recieved special permission from Itami to use them for the purpose of what will be happening. Since Arika knows what Miyako was going to ask about, she wouldn't require much information in her letter, just to be told to come. Kuoroke, though, would receive a nice coded message relaying that his assistance would be required in assisting Arika to gain full control over the beast that resides within her.
Thus, deep in the Catacombs, Miyako sits on a boulder, sipping a bottle of tea as she awaits her 'guests' for the evening. She rather likes this place. It'd be a nice area to train and hang around where no one can see her practicing her actual power… but that's a question for another day. Today's job is something much harder. The area she sits in seems to be laced with a lot of chakra-reactive metal in the walls, something to help with the training as well as keep Arika contained if things go wrong. Still, she at least looks confident that things will go well.
Arika got the message finally and pretty much bounced out of the house she stayed in all the way to the administration dome. Jiro was dragged along as well, of course, the boy getting tugged out of bed or found in some manner so they could get to the catacombs together. Eventually, she would end up in the basement, waving to Miyako and beaming. "Hiiii, Miya-chan!"
Jiro didn't know what was going on. He hadn't been on any of these training missions before, even if he'd tried to sneak into them. But now he's being dragged to one! Hey, whatever works. He just follows along with Arika, looking around as they go.
Nobody had seen Kuoroke or heard from him for a while, and in the rare events that he did visit he appeared in one of two forms: either in better health than that in which anyone remembered seeing him since he became a Councillor, or covered in cuts and bruises from what appeared to have been intensive fighting. This time, the former was true. Although his expression was still, as per usual, hovering between a disinterested neutrality and a grim determination, he generally appeared to be well-rested and in good shape. The Kuroki appeared with quiet steps, suddenly standing in the corner of the room. "There are… safer locations to perform this." The Kuroki commented, instead of a greeting. "Such as the place where I last met you for something similar." A smile briefly made its way to his lips as he turned to Arika. "And a good day to you."
"Ah, there you are," Miyako says with a smile to Arika and Jiro, lifting a hand to wave to them before looking to Kuoroke as he arrives. "I would've suggested such myself, but the Kazekage was adamant that Arika was not to leave the village. Her orders were to perform the training here. Between the two of us, I hope we're able to subdue the beast if something does go wrong, else he could potentially sink the admin dome and a good part of the village with it from this place, but hopefully it won't become necessary." Looking back to Arika, she says, "This is going to be the greatest test of your life. Once we start, there's no turning back. I'll be able to help to an extent since I'm far along enough in my training to enter your inner realm where to communicate with him, but most of the weight will be on your shoulders… You're absolutely sure you're prepared for this?"
Arika points to Jiro. "He c'n help too. Jiro-kun has special seals cuz of Ping-san." Then she gives Miyako a serious look and nods. "I'm ready. Fer sure." And she'd rather get this over with that be trapped in the village. Part of her hates being stuck in one place. It's why she follows Ayumu all the time!
Jiro does have seals, and has been working with Ping on learning seals as well so…yeah, he'll help. Or try to. Or maybe just get in the way. It's kind of hard to say this early on but he seems pretty routed determined to be there, and if someone tries to throw him out they're going to have a serious fight on their hands! A very little fight maybe, but a serious one!
Kuoroke nodded. "Ah, that is understandable. I'm sure the two of us can manage, if need be, although damaging the foundations of the dome," he glanced up, as if examining the structural soundness of the area, "may be a concern in these circumstances." The Kuroki habitually cast off his cloak. A few scars from cuts on his arms were still fresh enough to be pink on his otherwise dark skin. Before putting it away, he produced a small box containing inks and a brush. This was when the fourth member was brought up. "'Special' seals, you say? And what special seals are these?"
Glancing between Jiro an Arika for a moment, Miyako lifts an eyebrow, saying, "This is no job for a beginner. He can be here for support, sure, but getting overzealous just because he likes you could get both of you killed." There's something there less Miyako and more of a person whose name would be preferred considered dead by the village, but that is who is required for this, the Master Jinchuuriki, not the socially awkward Genin. She then looks back to Kuoroke, nodding and saying, "Luckily I can use my abilities to catch the foundation using the sand under it and keep it up, but that will only last so long. I hope we've got people capable of repairing such damage in the time that would be allowed." Of course, she's got a huge chakra reserve, but better safe than sorry. Finally, she looks back to Arika and says, "This training will take a few different pieces. First, you need inner clarity, so I'm going to make you face yourself with the help of Genjutsu, the innermost darkness of your soul. If you don't have command of yourself, you won't stand a chance against a Bijuu. Once that's done, it will be Kuoroke-sama's job to unlock the seal inside you that keeps the Eight Tails in his cage. Then you'll have to fight him to prove you are worthy to command his power. Since he'll be fully released, if you lose, you're dead, but luckily I'll be able to assist you in the battle since I've already done this. Still, even with my help, you do not get lax or comfortable. You go full speed until you've won. At the end of the battle, you'll have to link your chakra with his and try to pull a big chunk of it out. This is key because it will give you a good portion of his chakra that you can use from now on without worry of him taking over. When you've got it, give me the signal, and we'll have Kuoroke slam the gate down on him again and seal him. Once you've accompliished this, the final step is something only you and the Eight Tails can accomplish. To gain full access to his power, you'll have to come to a true understanding that, rather than struggling with each other for chakra and dominance, you'll become a team and work together to be able to use your true potential together…. Do you have any questions?"
Arika listens! … Not really. Miyako was just sorta rambling on and on, and eventually Arika stopped paying attention. "Umm… You should repeat each step when we get to it," she simply says, rubbing her head. "That's a lot to remember." The girl glances over at Jiro, then back to Miyako. "He'll be fine! Jiro-kun is tough~!" Yeah, she has faith in her friend. A lot of it.
Jiro crosses his arms over his chest and hrmphs when Miyako starts talking like he won't be any help or something! "I 'ave seals ta put down the bijuu chakra tha' Ping'n I made." He states, sounding proud at the statement. It was more Ping and less Jiro, but he was /involved/. As for that whole 'like' thing, he doesn't get what Miyako is trying to say so he just glares at her. Because he figures it's supposed to be bad and that's best.
Kuoroke gives Kei- gives Miyako a reassuring nod. "You watch Arika, I'll keep an eye on Jiro." A stern look towards Arika. "Arika, your life and that of all of us -especialy Jiro- depends on this. You better play very close attention to all you're told, and follow the instructions carefully." He turns to Jiro. "Alright, show me these seals. Do you have them on tags? I'd like to inspect them."
When Arika basically states that she started ignoring what Miyako was saying, Miyako frowns slightly and glances between them. She seems to briefly consider smacking Arika over the head until Kuoroke instructs her to listen. Stepping over to the center of the room, where the effects of the resonating chakra metal would be at their peak, she motions for Arika to follow. "Come… Sit in a meditative position, and do no resist the Genjutsu I'm going to use on you. Listen to every word I say carefully. This will work somewhat like hypnosis." Jiro is only given a brief glance with his words, Miyako apparently happy to let Kuoroke handle him as he said.
Arika mumbles a 'Hai' and goes to sit down in the middle of all the chakra metal, sitting in a cross legged position for the time being. It was a bit comfier than other 'stances' she had tried. "Hmmm… Okay…" she says, forcing herself to relax so that she doesn't fall under the … Or rather, so she /does/ fall under the Genjutsu.
Jiro has two, actually. Exactly the same and he pulls them out on paper tags to show to Kuo. Ping really did most of the work so they're definitely well made. While Jiro shows the tags to Kuo he looks over to Arika, feeling a little worried on the inside at the possible danger his friend might be in, but just grinning at her on the outside.
Kuoroke takes a closer look at the scroll. "I can make similar. These have a greater storage capacity, but no release." He observes. The seal master sits down. "In any case, if charka bleed does occur, be ready to use those. Carefully." He stands aside, limbering up a bit in case this first step already leads to some disaster.
Once Arika sits down, Miyako sits down across from her and brings her hands into a seal. Arika would then begin to hear the drumbeat that's haunted Miyako for as long as she can remember… 1 2 3 4… 1 2 3 4… 1 2 3 4… 1 2 3 4… "Let the drumbeat carry you into the furthest reaches of your mind, the darkest corner of your soul. Find you r doubts, fears, anger, hate, grudges, anything that would hold you back, and see them personified." Should this work correctly, Arika will be in a corner of her mind, somewhat like where the Bijuu resides, except what she will find is dark incarnation of herself, all her darkest traits from the depths of her soul personified in front of her for her to now face.
Arika listens to those drums… 1 2 3 4… 1 2 3 4… They were pretty hypnotic. The girl tries to gather all the bad stuff that Miyako mentioned, but she doesn't really want to… In the end, though, she finds herself in that dark corner facing… Herself. A darker version of herself, actually. The evil Arika is kinda spooky looking, actually, with a shadowy aura and dark-blue-green eyes.
"You're there… Now you must face it… But remember this is yourself, so you will not win this as you would a different battle," Miyako instructs Arika. She offers nothing further than that at the moment, simply keeping the Genjutsu in place as she waits for Arika to perform the task. There is more to this than meets the eye, as Arika must face herself as well as accept that this is part of her that she must heal, not simply defeat, before she can move forward with the training, but telling her that would defeat the purpose.
Arika doesn't really hear Miyako, watching this shadow-Arika with a curious expression. Huh.. So weird. "Who're you?" she asks the shadow. ~Don't you know? I'm the one that you don't want. The part that you hate. But yet… You can't help but love me. Because I take on everything that you don't want. Your anger. Your envy. Your fears… I feast on them. I live on them. I get stronger from them.~ The shadow-Ari shows its teeth, and all of them are pointed like a shark's. "Creepy…" Arika mumbles, stepping back in her spot. "I don't think I like you. You're creepy." she states louder.
At this point Miyako's only job really is to keep the Genjutsu going and make sure Arika doesn't spaz out… While she might be able to snake her way in there through the area that Jinchuuriki and Bijuu can communicate, it's best to let Arika work this one out herself if she's going to be ready for what's to come, even if it takes a couple tries to get it right.
Shadow-Arika snickers. ~You fear me, yes? You want me to go away, don't you? Well, I'm not going away. Why don't you get used to it. No one listens to you, after all. You're just a kid. You can't do anything, even if you have Gyuki inside you. That just makes people keep you away. No one wants you around. You bring so much destruction to the village. Your family…~ The Shadow gets a gleeful smile on her face as Arika gives a frustrated yell. "Urusai! That's not true! You better be quiet right now!" She even swings a fist at this other-self.
Able to listen in to what's going on through her Jinchuuriki ability, Miyako frowns slightly. This is similar to what her own doubts are about being here, though Arika wouldn't know the full extent of it since she doesn't know who she actually is… Still, it's something every Jinchuuriki struggles with at one point or another. Arika isn't quite getting what she needs to do her, but failure is a stepping stone on the path to success.
Kuoroke sits by the side, watching closely. Judging by his expression, he is worried, but he has ceased his preparations: apparently, the Kuroki has faith that Arika and Miyako together will bring this to a good end. And if they don't, the end at least won't be catastrophic.
Jiro just sits, legs crossed under him, leaning forward with his chin resting lazily on his fists. And he watches. He's got the seal ready…just in case. But, well, so far so good. But now he's just booooored. He glances sideways at Kuo, probably trying to plot something evil to entertain himself, but eventually just looks back to the other two.
Arika feels her fist pass through the shadowy figure and jumps back, though the shadow doesn't attack. ~Baka~ she torments. ~You can't get rid of me like that. You can't get rid of me at all. I'm always here, in the back of your mind.~ She pauses in her little speech and looks 'up'. ~Your friends are all spying on you. Can't you do anything yourself?~ "QUIET!" Arika yells, punching at the figure again. It doesn't even come to mind to use chakra. She just wanted to shut this person up. "You dunno me at all." ~Oh, but I do. I know you more than you know yourself, Ari-chan. You lost everyone important to you. You drove them away, didn't you.~
Miyako watches the exchange, still seeing the parallel with herself, yet she still doesn't interfere. Despite the fact that she could say something, she's still silent. Truth be told, Arika getting frustrated her and showing her anger is exactly what she needs to do, so long as she doesn't lose control int eh real world.
Arika narrows her eyes and yells, "GO AWAY!" at the shadow figure, who just smirks and fades… Leaving Arika alone in her mind. Well, she failed that portion, it seems. Oops… The girl frowns a bit as she resurfaces, looking pretty miserable. "I dun think I did well," she pouts, uncrossing her legs which have pretty much cramped up by now.
"You did about what I figured you'd do," Miyako says with a sly smirk at Arika. "But you had to find out for yourself that you're not going to beat her in a normal sense. She is you, the part of you that you want to pretend doesn't exist, but that's not going to help you. Let's take a break and go eat, and I want you to really think about what you have to do to complete this part of the training."
"Hai.." Arika mutters weakly. She perks up only a bit at the mention of food and nods, climbing onto Miyako's back if allowed. "Let's go! I know where the bestest food is, too!" she says, guiding Miyako to one of the street vendors. Jiro likely follows behind, and Kuo probably disappeared once he realized that Arika wasn't going to lose control this time around.