The Revenant


Odin (emitter), Arisu, Hiroyasu

Date: August 18, 2013


There have been bumps in the night and investigation shows the cause to be dead bodies and perhaps even their restless spirits. Two arrive who would combat such a thing.

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

"The Revenant"

The Unmarked Path

There have been disturbances of late.
Throughout Konoha there are whispers of people sighting ghosts. Flickering spirits, fleeting phantoms, their presences always brief and their every sound and movement swift, auras made ragged by the fangs of fear. There are many who say that it is just unsettlement from the recent trouble in the Zen Gardens, that place of peace and sanctuary now a patchwork of scorched violation and supple grass, but those whispers of spectres have grown to enough numbers that even these feel uneasy. Ghosts, in great numbers, and in… fear.
Perhaps insanity is running through Konohagakure. There has also been a rash of suicides and murders in the past pair of days. Shinobi, none but one chuunin any rank higher than genin, and seeming to hold no particular nationality. 13 deaths across shinobi from the 5 ninja villages. 6 of the bodies were found along the unmarked path leading to the Training Area #44 where the survival portion of the chuunin exams will be held. Word of a cult arose, but few saw how such a thing could be.
But murmurings fill the village, lending it's song an undertone of apprehension and further tension. Deaths and ghosts in fear — some say that the spirits were not aimless or random but a product, fleeing from what causes these deaths, their deaths. Rumors and speculation and the unknown — Others say that… well. Noone truly wishes to speak any more. If it goes unregarded, this foul wind will blow through the village and leave just as it came, no? Or if not, the many shinobi here will figure out what's occuring and protect them. Fix this. Just keep the eyes to the ground and your tongue in stillness, and there will be no reason to draw attention.
But the unmarked path beckons to some as it repels others.

Arisu found the reports of ghosts throughout Konoha to be… disturbing at best. For the last several months, she had been the only spirit in Konoha, at least since she had consumed the ghost beneath the surface of Konoha Lake. But it wasn't just the reports of ghosts… it was the report of dead bodies being found in the village, in conjunction WITH the reports of ghosts!

So now Arisu had found herself looking into things, ghosting from place to place in an effort to either discover the ghosts of the dead… or figure out what was killing the genin that had come for the exams. She had looked in several places, starting with the Zen Gardens, since the flames had ravaged them… and moving all along the route where the bodies had been found. Finally her search had brought her here, before the unmarked path. She stared along the path with a frown, somehow hesitant to travel along it, as if afraid what it was she'd find on the other end… but she was working up her nerve. She'd start moving soon enough.

Hiroyasu being the sort of, off again - on again resident of konoha hadn't really heard much about the ghost stories as locals were hush hush with even almost /not/ strangers. However the scores of dead bodies turning up were something tangible that the young medic and spiritualist would take great interest. However apparently, he was not authorized to see the bodies as diplomatic worries about Kumogakure trying to steal their precious secrets or analyze their jutsu or whatever Xenophobic thing the strange mountain folk would to like wrought on them.
Slightly dejected at the fact that politics would interfere with his medical duties, he decided since no one else would, he would go pray for their souls to find peace, in this life or the next. As he idly wanders the streets, the wind catching his cloak with a clap of thick fabric as he decides that the only place outside of the temple days away, would be the graveyard as the closest to hallowed ground you could find in this village amongst the leaves. Not a very spiritual place, the Zen garden was the closest thing they had to a semblance to the old ways, and it was just a fancy place to go to make out with your girlfriend or boyfriend or take naps. Making his way down the trail to the graveyard.. there is that strange searing pain again that he felt only when in the presence of something ?otherwordly?. Making his way to the source, haphazardly as he not a spiritual sonar able to determine direction, he finds the spiritual researcher Yoshida Ayame wandering about.. "ah.. yes that one" he mutters before speaking out "Yoshida-san! What are you doing out here?" he asks, then in retrospect regrets asking something so stupid.

Arisu blinked and turned toward Hiroyasu as he made his presence known, her eyes half-lidded in mock boredom as she looked him over and sighed. "I had heard of stories of ghosts in the immediate area, and came to investigate… but I have not learned anything, no matter where I've searched. The last place that I was going to check was the Graveyard… but… I'm a bit worried that the increased ghost activity is being caused by something larger, so I'm not entirely certain I should be going in alone… I have not had a lot of experience with ghosts that apparently try to kill people. Especially not on their own turf…"

Hiroyasu seems taken back by her sudden expose of the situation. "uh..uh.. wait.. what?!" he pauses removing the hood from his head and approaching her closer despite the fact it was like standing next to a bonfire that was burning his face with it's radiance. "I hadn't heard anything about ghosts.. A couple strange deaths sure, but when people get drinky drinky and start insulting all the foreigners it kinda happens during these events.. but ghosts? that's new to me" he rubs the back of his head, he still wasn't sold on this spirit and ghost story stuff, still seemed like the fancy of drunk old monk making up stories about the good old days or crazy kooks looking for attention. "I'll go with you, I was going to pray for the souls of those who died anyways. Someone should" he adds giving himself a reason to accompany her on strange and implausible quest.

Crows flock to the air in sudden cacophanous cawing.
"You don't believe in me," speaks a smooth voice, half of the head of a dark haired man appearing before the pair. His chakra coalesces into a body like swifts sands pouring into a mould, leaving him standing before the pair. "I'm hurt." Clad in an all black kimono and a single blood colored choker, the barefoot phantom — wholly open about his spiritual nature — gives the two a small smirk. "But I refuse hurt alone." He looks to Arisu with a resin hued gaze, before shifting it to Hiroyasu. "Have you come to add to my collection?"

Arisu was silent for a moment, then nodded slowly, "Very well… It will be more convenient to have a second person in the event of an ACTUAL ghost showing up." She looks back at the path, then starts to walk along it, "Come one then, you should keep an eye on thi—"
And then the ghost just appears. Just like that. As if it were the most natural thing in the world to just MANIFEST in front of people. And she just blinked, her expression shifting from a blank frown, to an annoyed sneer, "…You're intelligent. That's unexpected." She didn't mention the fact that it was unusual for an intelligent ghost to be so open about being… well… dead, except to say: "Intelligence being a relative term in this case."

TO Hiroyasu, it wouldn't be too hard to see, quite plainly, that both this new ghost man, AND Arisu were pretty much blazing exactly the same to his chakra senses. "Should I assume that you are to blame for killing those people in the area? Or are there more of you around doing that sort of thing…?" She was already readying herself for the event of the strange black kimono-clad man deciding that talking was not in his best interest, her chakra cloud suddenly swirling around her, ready to be shaped into something more usable at a moment's notice.

Hiroyasu nods to Arisu, "Yes, ~Actual~" he repeats, believing the only spirit involved was too much liberal application of social libations. That was until a very curious thing happens, causing to wonder if Arisu had not tried a genjutsu prank on him for his insolence to her quest. Expect that she responded to the manifestation so this was either really really good genjutsu for a hobbyist or it was plausible "I'm touched now.." he laments before wincing at the sudden blaze of having two manifestations of chakra within his threat range sensor. "Well.. this.. is a..yea.. something" he knew that Arisu had explained that she was attached to a benign spirit as some form of experiment but this guy.. wasn't solid. He calmly look at Arisu, crooks a finger at the spectre and asks "Ghost?" yeah he seems calm but that is just his training suppressing wild inclinations to fight or flight.

Arisu nods slowly. "…Ghost."

Hiroyasu pushes the glasses up on his nose "Ahh."

"You aren't running," spoke the ghost to Arisu, eyes narrowing slightly. "Perhaps relative intelligence is not a subject you wish to broach. Shira Ono is all that is needed to bring death to bear." The sound of distant whispers, half heard snippets of scarcely noticed words, would flitter across the minds of the pair, unless… "The two of you come to the place recently baring the bodies of half a dozen shinobi. You are calm. You are confident. And you will die for it." <I will die…> The words that will course through their minds in their own voices, thoughts, unless genjutsu is detected and repelled. "Will you rail against it?" asks Shira Ono of the pair, eyes beginning to glow. "Or shall you bow and accept the fate awaiting you?"

"You aren't running," spoke the ghost to Arisu, eyes narrowing slightly. "Perhaps relative intelligence is not a subject you wish to broach. Shira Ono is all that is needed to bring death to bear." The sound of distant whispers, half heard snippets of scarcely noticed words, would flitter across the minds of the pair, unless… "The two of you come to the place recently baring the bodies of half a dozen shinobi. You are calm. You are confident. And you will die for it." <I will die…> The words that will course through their minds in their own voices, thoughts, unless genjutsu is detected and repelled. "Will you rail against it?" asks Shira Ono of the pair, eyes beginning to glow. "Or shall you bow and accept the fate awaiting you?"

Arisu's frown deepens, as the sound of her own voice warps and disperses as she dispels the genjutsu almost effortlessly. "I came to a place following the reports of ghosts… ghosts who killed weak shinobi, if my sources are to be believed. You're not frightening, you're just a bully." She sneers a little, her body beginning to shift, unless the ghost of the man deflected her own genjutsu.

She'd slowly shift into an exact replica of the man, a mirror image, as she raised one hand and brought it up to her own throat… his throat. "And your genjutsu is terrible." And then she'd dig her nails into the flesh of her throat, nails shredding skin and piercing muscle, spraying a gout of blood, while all of the pain from the act would have been reflected back at the ghost of the man.

Outside of the Genjutsu though, she was just sitting still, staring at the other ghost with an annoyed expression on her face.

Hiroyasu raises two fingers, his chakra flow halts; the voices halt as does his spiritual awareness for a moment before a sudden surge of chakra rips the genjutsu's foul attempt to pieces, and is purged effortlessly the extra chakra remaining in his reserve. He had spent the last few months preparing to fight Konohagakure's most adept genjutsuists in the exams, as all three of his opponents were scouted as ample genju users. "Just what I needed." He missed the volley of chakra being hurled back and forth as his sensor was disabled during the purge, so the angry stare must be her natural response to genjutsu or she got caught by it.. He reaches into his sealing pouch removing an ample spread of seals which he fans with a flip of his wrist.. what did she tell him the other day.. oh right chakra manifestations so physical attacks are less than useful. He unleashes two seals, at the manifestation.. Clapping his hand together as one reaches into range "Capture!" the seal begins racing lines of chakra attempting to seal the man in a chakra barrier while the second seal opens a rift which tendrils of chakra tried to latch onto the spirit and rip his chakra loose from his form.

Shira Ono's reply to Arisu's insults were simply to smirk, lips curling in a cocksure manner — right up until she began taking on his own form. His eyes widened… and then narrowed to glowing slits. "YOU CANNOT MATCH MY PERFECTION!" shouted the chakra manifestation at ARisu, a surge of his own energies pushing through his body bending the genjutsu until it, just barely, snapped into uselessness.
He would seem to ignore Hiroyasu's seal tossing to the boy until, abruptly, he was a few feet closer to Arisu and held by the energy barrier the Kumogakure ninja had erected. A roar tore from him as the chakra that had coalesced into his form flaked off of him, leaving holes in his legs and sleeved arms like holes in broken pottery. But it also broke the containment seal.
The roar turned from one of pain to one of anger and impending retribution, wind blowing from him. It picked up in a sudden burst, blowing colder — freezing, washing over Hiroyasu. And that cold, that funnel of chilling rage, it was enough to steal the breath. Enough even for Arisu to feel unable to draw in air, despite only catching the outer edges of the cold.

The sudden lack of ability to breathe didn't bother Arisu as the cold air was chilled to the point of being unbreathable… Because ghosts didn't breathe. But that wasn't any reason why she couldn't turn that effect back on it's original user, and so her genjutsu set back to work, her body once again shifting into the form of Shira Ono, but the ghost was doubled over, clutching his throat. The effect was immediately reflected on the real thing once again, before the illusory Shira vanishes entirely.

In the real world, Arisu just stared for a moment or two, and then suddenly faded from view, disappearing entirely. And then she was on the other side, a trio of blue balls of spectral flame hovering behind her, and then flying forward to explode violently around Shira Ono. The fire does not linger, or spread… and does not even so much as rustle the grass or the dirt… but they would prove to be AWFULLY painful if the ghost was struck by them.

Hiroyasu sighs, his first encounter with a spectre and it's egotist first, and genjutsuist second.. "fantastic" he mutters, as the gale of chilling wind races towards him it finds sudden resistance as a barrier of chakra swirls outward from a paper seal clutched between his forefingers, the wind is sliced and breaks away from him. The Genjutsu strikes and he gasps for a second before his sensor detects the malfeasance in his chakra and with two fingers extending his chakra is purged with a minor application of directed chakra and mental ambivalence to the whole fact that it was not real in the first place.. The mind of the monk over the will of the body. His attention is split between assisting his partner in this and fighting the threat that suddenly makes no attempt to spare them any rest or respite. He leaps backwards in a backflip a trio of seals flying from his fingers as the paper flies in arcs before burning in blue chakra and becoming like knives cutting through the air. He lands to find that Arisu has moved without moving.. did she teleport? he shakes his head.. too much genjutsu.

"You foolish, defiant children!" shouted Shira Ono as he found Hiroyasu protecting himself from his assault once more, and Arisu avoiding the — abruptly, his hand clutched his throat as he had difficulty breathing, his own genjutsu used against him. He hadn't taken in air in many, many years, being long past the need for it. But that somehow made the -need- for air even worse, the edge of fear it gave when coupled with the inability to breathe. But his body shivered, violently shook as though coming loose before reassembling itself. It was enough to break the genjutsu, if only barely.
Still holding his chest, he found himself being assaulted by projectiles from both sides. His form flickers in and out of view — in and out of existence — as he breaks his manifestation just long enough to avoid the attacks thrown at all. All but one foxfirebomb that he mistimed, leaving it slamming into his shoulder, causing him to grunt as the ethereal flames licked and bit. And then they snuffed out. And then so did he, vanishing with the words, "We are not finished!"

Arisu blinked and stopped in her tracks as the ghost vanished. "…You're a tricky one, aren't you? She glanced around, trying to locate the ghost, and then she flickered, and faded from view herself, becoming just as invisible as Shira Ono. as her voice echoed, ~"So am I…"~ And then she appeared to be gone, waiting and biding her time untils he knew where to find the invisible ghost… Unless he ran away, then Arisu might lose him… and that would be a problem!

Hiroyasu whips his head around looking as they both fade from view, his mind seeking out them but it's like trying to find your way in a snow storm of chakra as they are both filling the area or rather were.. "Uh… Ayame-san" he says clearing his throat glancing around "He's retreating at a high rate of speed.. towards uh.. err.." he pauses tilting his head, then looking confused.. then perplexed "maybe the graveyard?" it was hard to concentrate with the mind numbing amount of chakra flooding the area. "Are you alright?" he says looking around for her.

Shira Ono never reappeared. Never responded to Arisu's words. Instead, Hiroyasu's words were given credence. The presence of a spirit arose from the graveyards somewhat south and to the east. And it was… powerful. More powerful than Shira Ono had been just moments before. If it was still the same spirit, something had changed. And if it wasn't… Then there was a new foe. And the first was still around, somewhere.

Arisu does not reappear for a long while, but then finally faded back into existence somewhere behind Hiro. "I lost him… I have no idea where he went. Which was natural, Arisu didn't have any chakra sensing capabilities. Sure, she knew he was still around somewhere, but she had no idea WHERE. She also didn't know that there was a stronger spiritual force nearby.

Hiroyasu clears this throat, "You must have been out of earshot then. His signature has fled the immediate area and was heading.. uh.." he pauses again "um.." snapping his fingers "The graveyard. is nearby right? and over there right" he asks pointing in the general direction of the graveyard, he wasn't as familiar with the lay of the land on this side of the town. Although this time her manifesting was more noticed, "I was not aware you could borrow the nature of your spirit anchor. No wonder you are so aloof of it" he was going off on what she told him, and was bridging gaps with what he could. "We need to get over there, before he hurts someone or gets stronger" too late.. As he looks at her "Plans? or are we going to Yotsuki charge this, the shade up?" he jests it didn't occur to him she wouldn't get it until far after. He would follow the spirit researchers lead.

Arisu raises a brow and then shakes her head, "I have no idea what that means I'm afraid…" She shrugs, then turns toward the graveyard proper. "I don't really borrow her abilities. It's a combination of Ninjutsu and Genjutsu… supposed to mimic the effects of being a ghost, and add to the fear effects of my genjutsu." She nods, "It's not a big deal though…" And then she started moving…. quickly, toward the graveyard to see if she can find Shira Ono again…

Hiroyasu nods and drawing the word "ahh" as she explains, "I would think, I'd detect the use of genjutsu… but then again.." he mutters as he rubs the back of his head he wasn't some kind of super ninja, or Uchiha.. "Yotsuki-charge is uh.. a Kumogakure joke.. The Yotsuki are spirited and usually just tackle every problem head on with little to no plan other than might makes it right… so you know.. there.. you go.." he says drawing out his words before clearing his throat as they speed along to the graveyard. "We are approaching.. something big? bigger? uh… different.. no the same.. but.. uh.. what.. err.. I can't make heads or tails of this.. you have utterly destroyed any faith I had my spiritual eye" he frowns while restocking his seals fanned out in his right hand.

The graveyard is filled with spectres. Mindless, wretched faced beings that are more shadow than manifestation and the each of them are in motion. The air about the grave filled place is turbulent, unsettled by the many spirits streaking about the place. But they are not aimless. Nay, rather they're all singularly intent on pushing down into the open door of a personal crypt. And they do, the each of them flooding the doorway and rushing past, a deluge of chakra that sped at full force until the very last had stopped. And out stepped Shira Ono, fully whole and not at all looking pleased.

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