The Silence - All men Bleed


Yuuma, Akane, Hiei, Hige, Itami, Kaidan, Michiko, Naruko, Rikuto, Rise

Date: January 14, 2015


A team of Konoha, Suna, and Kumo shinobi rush to the aid of the Land of Rice citizens. They fight extremely hard to defeat Yuuma and eventually he retreats, giving them a sealed and encoded scroll…

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

"The Silence - All men Bleed"

Land of Rice

And so it begins. There've been some small fights here and there, and even that tournament had some horrific consequences for some of Sunagakure, but now the time has come. The months of preparation and investigation have led up to this, the dawn of war. Near the borders that separate both Fire and Lightning Country from Rice Country, calls have been sent in every direction that they could be for help from the shinobi villages. The small villages around this area have all been targeted with no sympathy or care. Pillars of smoke rise up into the air like beacons of destruction, hailing the arrival of the Silence and the Darkness as villages and their people are torn apart piece by piece, only to be resurrected to join this dark army as it storms across the continent. The stench of blood, death, and flame wafts through the air with the ringing out of screams as the dark warlord stands on a hilltop overlooking the begins of his recreation of this world with a bottle of sake in his hand that he calmly sips on as he plays with the world like a chess board.

Akane had been seriously hurt the last time she'd come to see what the Silence was up to. War. Apparently. The smoke rose from the burning villages and screams could be heard even from a distance. Doihara Akane was here, watching the buildings take flame…. Her expression was completely obscured by the mask she wore, a darker version of her white mask, this one ebony accented by red enamel at the eyes. The only part of her face that was exposed was her lips and they were set in a grim line as she watched the fire rise, heard the screams sound. The moment of truth, really… Did she go in and die fighting a futile fight or did she find Yuuma…..
She sent out a wave of chakra, reaching out to locate the immense chakra that was Yuuma. It wasn't hard to find him and she headed in his direction. She moved normally for several paces and then her body language became more fluid, more dangerous as Kyoujin took over control. She approached casually, though she did gather chakra to herself. Whether it was to defend Yuuma or Attack him is unknown. She paused several yards away from him peering up at the man she had formed a ..sort of bond.. with. Then she did something she had not done for years. She bowed to him. "This One sees you have begun, Yuuma-sama."

Word had reached the Raikage quickly about the disturbance on the Lightning/Rice boarder. The sentries he had ordered in the listening posts in the lowlands of the Land of Lightning had paid off. As he arrives on the location, the Raikage takes a moment survey the devastation before him. Clear blue eyes lift to spot Yuuma on the other side of his army, and he felt..elation. In his heart, Hiei knew the last time he faced Yuuma that he would need to do so again. During the quiet time he had honed his body into more of a weapon than it was before. He had also discarded the shackles of restraint. There would be no mercy from him. For now, he prepares himself both physically and mentally for the battle ahead. He stands motionless, the hem of his duster swirling with the wind.

Word had come that an attack was underway and many of the shinobi had headed out, those of all ranks had different assignments, from the Genin on up. Hige and Konsho answered the call when it came though the boy knew they would be only support of some kind. Really, as long as he was useful he didn't care. He could help people evacuate, toss kunai to distract folks, maybe even smack someone around if it came down to it. Of course he might get smacked around himself but, hey, part of the fun…er…danger. So it is that boy and ninken arrive but hang back, looking around for where they might be useful in all this devastation. It's a lot more grim than he would've thought what with all the destruction but war was never pretty. He knew about it's effects, at least, first hand.

THis was suppose to be a prettty epic, and rightfully so. Naruko found herself along the Raikage'side, keeping herself in close proximity for the battle that was to come? Was she ready? She learned a trick or two in the meantime…so this was as close as she was going to get. " All ready and gooto go…" Naruko voices quietly under her breath as she scratches a finger along one ear, she felt tense… a bit shaken. She really could die here if she held back. " I won't waste time holding back anything… If we don't win here this might be all over…"

Michiko is here, the girl following Hiei for the most part. She had gotten reports of the Silence razing through some of the more peaceful villages. Sure, the 'peace treaty' that Itami had managed to broker was no longer in effect, but the fact that they were already up to their old tricks again was maddening all the same. "This will be … interesting," she comments lightly to the Raikage, ooking around the area curiously to see who might all be there. She knew the Kumo-team was good, but who else would be here? At some piont her eyes come to rest on two figures, one obviously Yuuma. And the other was… a red-head? Michiko could guess who that was. "Just be careful, Naruko-san," she warns. "This could be … long."

It didn't matter if she was wanted or not, Rise /needed/ the mission; a distraction away from the pitying looks as much as it was reaffirmation of her usefulness. She took things a step further by staying as far away from the Raikage as possible without completely seperating from the group. Though she needed not fear any special treatment from him, shaking paranoia about it made things difficult for her. The screams and smells inevitably drew her closer to the others to better percieve the battle grounds for herself. She fought down the urge to growl, but her words were hard and bordered on it. "How do you want us to handle this, Hei.. Raikage-sama?" She asks without turning her attention away from the village.

The sights, scents and sounds were not difficult to follow. They were well known by now and perhaps its a good thing that there hasn't been any desensitizing against them. Itami had begun to wonder if that was the case, but both her eyes and nostrils burned with the foul smells that were coming from the villages not far from here. "It's been a while since I've been in any engagements, but I feel and perhaps even fear what we will be up against. There won't be any lives to save, so don't…" She sighed. "We just need to focus on the threat and what it poses at the moment. I can't allow this to continue," she admits to those with her. "We'll likely be gathered with the others shortly. From there, we should do well to coordinate with them and work as a unit instead of separate. Is this understood?"

Having heard about the attack while in Konohagakure, Kaidan had rushed away from the area at high speed to join other shinobi heading toward the attack by Yuuma. He left Arika behind purposefully and Ping was none too sad about that idea. No one wanted her in the line of fire on this one, especially after so much loss recently. Even as Kaidan rushed along, he pulled his armor into place from behind his back. The armor covering his back, his front and his left leg now. His left arm now joins his right arm and leg as being fully puppetry at this point. Even as the mask of puppetry armor slides up over his nose, he stares ahead, hair flickering as he runs toward the columns of smoke. As he crests a hill and looks down toward the destruction, he shakes his head, "Well, this guy sure does know how to be a jackass." He then shakes his head, "Was under the impression he wanted to change the shinobi world, not just randomly start killing people. Randomly killing people is like, what any old psychopath can do." He says to no one in particular.

The young Miira had followed in the wake of the Councilwoman as she lead the small task force out from the Land of Wind and to the other end of the continent. When she slows to assess the landscape, he does too in turn. "The other ma'am?" While Rikuto had joined on the team, he didn't know of how wide the call for aid would be, let alone that two other nations would also be on the battlefield. With a nod, he adds "Understood. I'll follow your lead.. I don't want to accidentally engage 'allies'." The scent of burning corpses and explosives didn't seem to bother the Miira.

As he is approached, Yuuma would peer back over his shoulder at Akane, canting his head slightly. "Anyone can see that," he says with a shrug as he looks down amongst the smoke and ash, grinning slightly as he is given signals that shinobi are arriving. "Finally. And I thought today was going to be boring." With a brief glance back at Kyoujin he says, "So you prefer to observe from here? Or are you still trying sticking close to me to try and figure out what strategic weaknesses I might have that your feminine wiles might be able to exploit? It's a curious thing to see a shinobi willing to watch the world burn at her feet just to try and win, especially so close to home."
With that he looks down, raising his bottle in a salute before taking a long swig. It seems that simple gesture would be the signal to really begin, as his forces would begin to splinter off, going after villager and shinobi alike with a mixture of Hitokage and mercenaries and even villagers surrounded by dark auras that indicate they've been turned into armor for the Hitokage to wear into battle to attack. A distinct feeling rings out through a massive Genjutsu while the others attack, something overpowering… fear, pure unadulterated dread, though a trained mind may just be able to pick it apart as a Genjutsu to keep their mind in the game.

Kyoujin smirked lightly, one hand on her hip nonchalantly. "What greater pleasure is there than watching the world burn at One's feet?" Her tone implied that she felt the truth of that deep down. Kyoujin loved this. Akane.. well she was not in charge right now. "This One has other reasons to be here." She canted her head to the side and a sly sort of smirk melded her lips. "This One is attracted to Power. This One chose Doihara Ishino for his Power, but you… Your power makes his seem as parlor tricks for children." She moved ever closer and looked down on the burning villages. "This One admits she took that child to appease the Medic inside." She tapped her head lightly. "But This One would paint her face with the blood of her enemies…."
He lifted his bottlein a kind of salute and she turned her head to watch the Hitokage begin their advancements. Kyoujin turned back to Yuuma and tilted her head curiously. "Tell me, Yuuma-sama, what was it you offered This One last time we met?" Behind the mask her eyes shifted and she looked him over with those special eyes, looking at him in detail. His chakra and she let out a tiny sigh at what she saw. He was indeed powerful. Kyoujin liked it.

"Kill them all." Was the last thing that Hiei spoke before they were attacked by the Hitokage. He could feel the genjutsu attack his brain, but he's unable to counter it. His knees go weak just as he dodges a claw, but his arm is laced by claws as he lifts his forearm to block the blow. He quickly discards his duster, revealing the shiny armor that he wears underneath over the skin tight black shirt that he usually wears. He hisses at the wound. "Michiko." When she lays her hand on him, the worst part of his wounds knit and heal up. He then lifts his hands up as he waits to see what they do next.

Hige is looking around at all the destruction when his eyes settle on the others that are there to assist in this fight. He blinks as he spots Kaidan there and the boy chews his lip thoughtfully. He needs to talk to the Suna nin but…now's probably not the time. When he looks back towards the mess in front of him the genjutsu takes hold and he drops to his hands in knees as it attacks him, leaving him no chance when he's attacked. By the time it's done he's definitely further 'back' then he had been, although he had also tried to stay behind the others in the first place. Now he's just way /way/ back. Konsho is with him when Hige pushes himself to his feet and they look at each other before deciding to use the new trick. After a moment there's two Higes instead of one.

Michiko feels the genjutsu in her body and immediately counters it with a surge of chakra, making it pinch her nerves sharply to break her free. She makes a seal, forming a clone to run into the attacking Hitokage-member while the other manages to cut her in the arm despite the barrier she rose. The girl eyes Hiei, hand covered in green chakra as she deals the wound quickly. Not enough to heal all the damage, but enough for now. She'll work on tending her own wounds later, likely. "Well, I can certainly try to kill them all, but you know as well as I do what will happen… I'll just send them to the grave," she comments with a nod.

Tunnel Vision. Slowly but surely, Rise focused narrowed to a pinprick once the horde began to descend upon them, dividing there nigh endless numbers between continuing their assault on the villagers and the shinobi. She's shaken from it before she can act recklessly by Hiei's words. A curt nod is all she manages before she felt the pressure against her mind, diminishing her resolve. Luckily, the threat of harm rekindles whats left. She moves like the wind, heart racing, yet her actions are calm and decisive. After weaving or redirecting the attacks directed at her, Rise struck the nearest enemy with a rising kick, hoping to send him sky high. Even if she should miss, the woman doesn't miss an opportunity to try to use the same foolhardy 'creature's body as a platform to get higher and unleashed a storm of kunai. Easier said then done with only one arm to work with.

And the attacks begin. The battle is underway and Itami can feel the accompanying itch that comes from wishing to fight. She has to admit it feels shameful to enjoy such a thrill, especially with the idea of what's before her, but she couldn't afford for herself to be completely caught up in the lust and ignoring any avenues of strategy. "With me, we must meet with the others. See them?" She questioned, pointing out the Kumo shinobi ahead. They were, at the least most noticeable to her. They tended to be grouped as one. "That's their kage," she indicated Hiei. "We should want to be as close together as possible." She wasted no time in heading forward, though she slowed when the feeling of fear washed over her. What…was this? Just a few moments ago, she was more than excited to fight…
When she was unable to pinpoint a reason for her fear, she retrieved a kunai and pressed it to her skin to create enough of a cut to shock her out of the genjutsu trance she was in. "Much better…" She looked back. "I suppose I should let you know, genjutsu is a tool that will be used here often among other things. Be on your guard for everything imaginable!" She leapt forward and took form soon after summoning scales over her body to defend against the attacks and responded back by spewing flame. "Raikage!" She called out to gain his attention. "I hope you don't plan on moving forward without more backup?"

Assessing the situation, as the horror of the power washes over him, Kaidan simply shifts his shoulder and the somewhat fresh wound under his left arm simply twinges and he frowns a little as he feels it. The power of the genjutsu washes over him even as he looks around. The attacks from the Hitokage even seem to wash over him. One comes in to slash him and another throws a kunai that simply bounces off his chest plate. He notes Itami and Rikuto only to then spot Hiei and his shinobi but then he notes something else. With a burst of speed he attempts to do a pair of 'Clothesline From Hell' style strikes on two of the Hitokage that attacked him even as he rushes forward.
A jumping kick is aimed toward another shinobi even as Kaidan moves with great speed across the field. His kick is a spring board into another flipping axe kick into another enemy before another gets a spinning downward punch as he lands and then spins outward to do a spinning heel kick into the first one that attacked Hige and then finishes with an uppercut toward the last one that attacked Hige and he stops to look toward Hige, "Kid, what the heck are you doing here? This is not a place you wanna be. They play for keeps out here."

Being smacked around wasn't necessarily on Naruko's lists of things to do today, so just like that she easily managed to slip away from the brunt of the attacks. Naturally though her weakness in genjutsu would spell the end for her, feeling a portion of her reserves stripped away as she attempted a more… defensive position for the time being.. "Wait for an opening and then strike… don't hold back…don't hold back…" Naruko whispers under her breath, attempting to gather more chakra through her body, a wispy aura began to whip and lick the terrain around her.

"Quite an interesting split between yourself and your other half," Yuuma says as he looks down upon the battlefield, emitting a low 'hmm' as he sips from his bottle. "It seems this army is going to be opposed pretty heavily. I should probably attend to another location that our men are arriving from to be sure things are going according to plan. These children seem to get so caught up in the moment doing what they're doing that they don't notice the bigger picture. Let's see what happens when they're given something truly distracting and powerful." With that he'd finally look back to her, smirking at he looks into her eyes. "You're actually interested in what my brother and I were talking about giving you? Interesting, but perhaps foolish… I am curious, though… if you'll actually survive it…. Very well. Hold still. This is going to hurt." Reaching forward, he grasp her shoulder, the seal pattern on his hand beginning to glow as he starts to rip chakra from Akane's body to pull into himself, a dark mischief hanging in his eyes as he assesses her condition while making his plan.
Meanwhile, down on the battlefield, the shinobi vs the Silence and the Darkness seems to be going tit for tat while either side both evading and striking as well as being torn into. Bodies tear and shred, yet those who were yet living only rise again with the dark chakra flowing through them like the rest to continue striking over and over at the shinobi. All the while another powerful Genjutsu rings out from among them to attempt to instill fear in the shinobi.

Kyoujin tilted her head at Yuuma as he asked her about what they'd 'offered' her before. She turned her face to see the battle below as the shinobi fought the hitokage. But Kyoujin's attention was squarely on Yuuma. As he came closer to her she stood her ground. She would not show him a weakness here. Licking her lips she smirked playfully at his warning that she was going to hurt. And then she knew pain. The very essence of her life being sucked through her body, ripped from her soul, a mixture of purity from Akane and tainted darkness from Kyoujin, an interesting seasoning for Yuuma. The pain was enough to pull a soft gasp from her lips but then she remained silent and steadfast, one hand going up to rest on top of Yuuma's as he drew from her. Yuuma for his part would find an affinity with Lightning and Fire as well as healing abilities.
The physical damage could be dealt with and she did, her free hand going to her chest, glowing green. She could do nothing about the chakra drain or the emotional damage, but the physical damage was dealt with easily enough. However, Kyoujin was far from tortured. A slow languid grin crossed her lips, the only part of her face visible. And the hand on Yuuma's wrist held for support not to harm or pull away…. "You… sure know how to impress."

Hiei looks over his shoulder as Itami and her group approaches. "I wouldn't think of it Councilwoman Itami. Have your shinobi conserve their chakra. They can get back up unless their bodies are completely wrecked. Back to back formation." He leaps into the air and spins while kicking out his foot. As soon as he touches the ground, he spins, extending both arms to lariat a couple of the zombies before he forms handseals and then places his hand beside his mouth as he breathes out small fireballs that strike rapidly at the hitokage.

"I wasn't planning on fighting. I just came to help support." Hige says up to Kaidan. One of them at least. "Guess I got a little too close." And it hurt pretty drain bad. But now maybe he can find some way to help without putting himself in the line of fire again and, if it comes down to it, Konsho and he are going to be a better team now. As long as they don't get smacked around too bad again. Otherwise it's going to hurt…more? And it seems that he still ain't far enough away as the genjutsu hits. Hige grits his teeth and shakes his head as he tries to force the feeling of fear away but it's trickle strong. It takes him a moment before he can speak again. "I came to help with any surviving villagers but there's no chance of getting to them with all of…these." As some draw near the boy launches a pair of kunai towards two before diving in after another in a tsuga. Konsho his best to distract the one he's attacking by slamming into it.

Michiko curses a bit as she feels the genjutsu wash over her, the girl once again retaliating with her own surge of chakra to avoid its draining effects. Once that's over with, she straightens to look back at Itami, nodding her head to the Councilwoman. "Itami-sama," she greets, making a seal so that another clone appears, taking both hit and retaliating with its own attack against the zombie-like creatures while another barrier of earth rises up as well. Whatever damage was caused, she quickly draws on her medical chakra to heal herself, most of the damage disappearing almost completely. "Hmm… I look forward to working with you," she says before her attention is drawn to the battle.

Rise's landing is rough, and puts her in the thick of things. Even so, she keeps her wits about her and takes what brief time is allotted to her to analyze the enemy. Seeing them rise once more was proof enough that Yuuma's control over the crawler's had increased yet again.
"But he needs more…" She mutters emptily under her breath as hand drifts to the hilt of her combat knife. She doesn't grip in time before feeling another wave of fear pass over her. Instead of will, Rise fought with pain, shredding her lips with shark-like teeth. Then, ignoring the taste of blood in her mouth, Rise swallows a pill. A feral-ness lights up her eyes as she dug out and flung shuriken with seemingly reckless abandon. Most of which she directed towards those blocking her path towards the main group. Though the more tenacious of those impeding her path earns a flying knee to the face.

"We need to make a move towards the one behind this…" Itami states aloud as she draws closer to Hiei, offering her assistance in the battle. "We've been through these battles enough times to know these creatures and their hosts will never go away…." She offers. While the hitokage continue their attack, she sidesteps one and allows her scales to finish the work of the others as their attacks bounce and slide off without so much as a scratch. That genjutsu is troublesome, but she's been managing well so far. "I'm going to need everyone to clear the area. I'm going to need some space to initiate what I'm about to do. Raikage, tell yours to fall back temporarily and any others you see as well. Rikuto, you do the same for ours!" She jumps up into the air and begins to take flight as her body grows in size to compensate for the jutsu she was about to unleash. This was work fit for a dragon, not a lizard.

Even as the jutsu washes over him again, the genjutsu having little effect, Kaidan seems to be letting his armor and light gestures from his hands do the work for him as attacks hit him. If that sword slash from one Hito-merc and that Kunai stuck in his side, he doesn't seem to show it to Hige as he watches the kid attack, "I know you want to help but I can't protect you forever! Get out of here, kid or you're going to die!" He then turns away from him and pulls the Kunai free, a clear wince on his face as he looks away before he spins, jumps and spins. As he spins, his arms stretch out into a spin of multiple backfists like a top that are aimed for a trio of Hito-mercs before he flips over to some other Silence members, landing on a hand and spins which causes his leg to extend and he slams into a group of them as well before flipping again to land on his feet, "I know you mean well, kid. You just gotta know your limits! Now run!"

With the feeling of a Genjutsu washing over him, the young Miira focuses and manages to snap out of the illusion quickly. A pair of clones are used to help him avoid a barrage of strikes, each one switching with him, sending him skipping backwards. Looking up to the councilwoman as her body shift into a rapidly enlarging state, he nods quickly. "Got it Itami-sama!" Though his actions suggested otherwise.
Weaving a flame into his right hand, he crushes it, causing a bright flare to signal, attempting to use the distraction to snare the closest soldiers within a genjutsu, of watching the now-dragon councilman personally dive down and consume them, shattering their bodies but swallowing them alive to be digested nearly whole, resulting in a drawn out and painful demise.

Genjutsu…. again. Once again she wasn't able to resist the the power, causing innate frustration for Naruko, she did however avoid the other techniques, exploding in a puff of smoke as the real Naruko was revealed to be further back along the battlefield. She could hear the orders, using this as a time to gather more strength, and let the big dragon do her thing. "Let's try again, Matatabi-sama," Naruko whispers, mostly internally as her feline features became more pronounced, and a duo of bubbling tails began to rip out from her aura, becoming longer and length dangling back by her rear. She hunkers down and suddenly sends a dozen more Naruko's forward, hopefully recking through a portion of the hitokage, and causing a surging explosion before scurrying back, claws digging down into the dirt to maintain some posture for a follow up attack.

Yuuma watches Kyoujin's expression curiously as she allows her life force to be drained, eyes glancing curiously to the hand that touches his wrist. "The children on the field below think they've almost won this already. Today you'll get to be the one to prove them wrong. Prepare yourself." With that he'd move the hand up to her neck and pull her forward to kiss her fervently in a manner that'd probably make Ishino fume, except the intent of this is proven to not be romantic as dark chakra flares up around his form and begins to flow into her body. By the time the kiss is broken, a dark aura that towers over Akane herself has shrouded her, the dark chakra attempting to take over her body and amplify the dark side of Kyoujin exponentially to create a massive Hitokage that shadows over her, tailor made from the chakra of the Crawler to fit her and turn her into a deadly force while her new master simply takes a few steps back to watch.
Meanwhile on the battlefield below, the dark forces and the shinobi continue to tear and shred at each other with the shinobi seeming to be gaining a bit of ground. Blood begins to cover the ground like a body of water that's turning growing more and more as the battle rages on. Still, it's almost like the beings feel no pain up until their last beath once the human body is taken over by the Hitokage. With no regard for damage to the body, even missing limbs and other pieces that are normally vital, the dark troops battle on with intent of destroying or at least holding off the shinobi forces.

Kyoujin glanced to the side at the 'children' below. They were all fighting hitokage. Some missing limbs, they clearly had no sense of pain or self. But then her attention was grabbed once again as Yuuma spoke to her, telling her to prepare herself. She blinked a few times behind her mask and then froze in shock as the madman kissed her. Heavily. Kyoujin's lips parted, though whether to kiss back or to bite in protest was never known. She suddenly could feel the invasion of the dark aura into her body and she shivered. It was even more painful than the rending he'd given her moments earlier. But she felt Akane growing smaller, the darkness around Kyoujin growing exceedingly larger, more powerful. Kyoujin groaned softly and when the kiss was finally broken she and the medic found themselves only partially in charge of their body. The hitokage that surged in her veins now was far greater and more powerful than she had imagined it.
She stumbled back a pace, a hand going to her forehead and she let out a small cry, A second hand and suddenly she was standing upright, head thrown back and she let out a great roar that sounded less than human. She turned to look down at the shinobi again….

Hiei nods to acknowledge Itami's sentiment. When she leaps into the air and morphs in a friggin' dragon, he blinks, then gets an idea. He roars as his aura fans out around his body, the sheer force of the output of chakra creates a crack underneath his feet as his muscles expand to three times their normal size. He then blurs into action, leaping on top of the dragon-Itami and standing upon her back. When she attacks, so does he. He draws both swords on his back as he free falls the last few feet just before the dragon attacks. Once she finishes, he comes out of nowhere and moves so fast that he seems to be everywhere and nowhere all at once as a dozen Hiei's attack Yumma, swirling around him at hyper speed before delivering the final strike.

Hige and Konsho land a little distance from the targets they'd been trying to attack, using that space to escape. He'd come to help with villagers and apparently they were all already dead. There was nothing more he could do here besides get in the way and the boy knows it. He also knows that Kaidan has taken some hits for him. "Sorry," he says to Kaidan as he takes off, thankfully avoiding the rest of any baddies with Kaidan watching out. He'd go let anyone else know what was going on for as long as he could, but even this little bit has pretty well knocked the kid around.

Michiko hops onto Itami's back once she settles down on the ground, following Hiei for the time being. She decides to leave Yuuma to the two more powerful Jounin for now, instead focusing on Akane. The girl waits until the right moment, falling with Hiei so that she can kick off him and give him a bit of a boost in speed when he comes down on Yuuma while also making sure she doesn't go SPLAT on the ground. Once steady, she makes a handseal, an earthen hand springing out to grab ahold of Akane and trap her. She pauses, though, noticing that the already dark woman has become darker. Almost as if… Gush

Michiko and Hiei aren't the only ones that get the idea to climb the dragon. Granted, there is that moment of shock for Rise to get over before she pulls out all the stops to hitch a ride on the dragon in time. After ducking under or leaping over those shadows that tried to impede her path, Rise plays platform hopper on the limb of one of the enemies seeking to hitch a ride themselves. Or they were trying to slash her with broken bones? EITHER WAY, That one minion was out of the way. c.c
She leaps with Hiei, shattering gate after gate during the descent, and pausing only briefly enough after hitting the ground rolling to lash out with a fierce spinning back kick in whatever opening Hiei's blade provide.

The number of people latching on for the ride was registered by Itami well enough. She considered, if only for a few moments, slowing down to spare them the trouble, but she cast away that thought quickly enough. If they had the mind to hitch a ride, that meant they were in it for the whole. So, she kept up with her ascent and flipped around in the air, starting her descent. She drew in every part of her body to create the least bit of drag possible, the air growing hotter around her the further she plunged towards the earth. "I hope you all are ready for your dismount," she spoke against the air whipping past her face. The earth was only a few moments away and the surface and any lives in the area would be forever changed.

Looking around, Kaidan watches what appears to be some kind of cat beast bounding over the field along with some chick (hot as she may be) seeming to gain some kind of shadow powers before he watches people clamor on Itami as she starts ascending. A growl escapes him as he then looks to Hige again and he rushes in and pushes a blade aside only to have another pierce his armor and he growls as the blade literally passes right through his armor and out the other side of him. It is then yanked free even as he turns to block another and the blade smashes his armor to pieces and cuts his chest. He is able to push off two more attacks even as he watches Itami start descending and looks back to see Hige simply running, "Nope, not gonna live through this…and neither will he." He then pushes chakra throughout his form, turns slightly and moves with sudden alacrity to Hige and Konsho, and unless they put up a tremendous struggle, he snatches Hige up under his left arm and tries to snatch Konsho up by the scruff, "I'd recommend clenching up, kid." And then he takes off like a shot out of the battlefield and away from the ascending dragon.

As the battle continued to rage, the young Miira wasn't spared even as he began to fall back. Switching, once then twice with his clones proved a fruitless tactic as his left leg would soon begin feeling rather war, blood soaked through his pants but the pain had yet to fully register in his mind. Following suit another barrage of kunai lodged into his back almost toppling him over. Exhaling weakly, Rikuto breaths into his hand and snaps his fingers, only producing a weak flare and a chakra pulse. Rather than trying to trick those around him into seeing their deaths, his own figure would also explode into embers which scatter through the area while the true Miira hobbled away the best he could until he could find a place to rest or pass out, out of sight.

Naruko wasn't ready to continue her battle yet. With the dragon hopefully laying waste to the remaining Hitokage, it was just enough time for her to sit back and gather more chakra. "Don't lose control… Help me keep control. There is too much at stake here…" Naruko ushered herself and the beast within, forming a shadow clone along side her to protect just in case the hitokage came running in her direction. It seemed though that most of the fighting had been pushed to Yuuma himself… a battle that she would participate in one she was ready to move things along. She remained on the look it for everyone else, a few leaving the battle field licking their wounds. Luckily, Naruko wasn't at that point yet.

As the shinobi come down toward him, for once Yuuma actually takes a bit of damage through Hiei managing to see past the illusion he uses to defend himself. The warlord bounces back a bit, only smirking as he leaps back up to his feet. "Only two of you? Do you really think it wise to come after me in so few number, children?" With that he extends his hand, the seal marking on his hand glow as he goes to forcefully rip chakra out of both Hiei and Rise. "I suggest you deal with the gift I've left you before it kills your little friends instead of worrying about me."
Meanwhile on the battlefield a great number of the combatants and Hitokage alike and crushed by Itami's massive attack. The numbers are splattered to the point it'll take them a few moments to gather themselves to back Akane and Yuuma up, allowing those who're attempting to flee the opportunity to get out alive before more can be done to them.

Kyoujin powered by darkness, her eyes beneath the mask black even with the sharingan activated. She watched Yuuma suck the life essences out of Hiei and Rise and Akane deep down cried out in spirit against harming them. Kyoujin kept her silent and with the shadow within her now she was completely out of control. She inhaled deeply, hands flashing through several hand seals before she lifted her fingers to her mouth and flippantly flicked her fingers at them as if blowing a kiss. A tiny little fireball came floating out and it might appear that she had failed in her technique.. For a moment.. Then the fireball exploded into a great torrent of flame, spewing fire and engulfing the surrounding area. Anything that could burn did burn… Kyoujin laughed, her voice still made inhuman by the shadows within her..

When Yuuma attacks Hiei there is a loud BOOM, and a high gust of wind. For all practical purposes, it looks as if he teleported from his location to another, the loud sound of air being displaced from his incredibly fast movement. He sends a lightning infused fist towards Yuuma before what the diabolical man said registers to him. "" Even though Hiei wanted nothing more than to take on Yuuma, as much as he hated him, he wasn't prone to lying. Hiei growls, crossing his swords towards Yuuma. "Sooner or later there will be nothing and no one left for you to hide behind." And then there is another displacement of air as Hiei high tails it back to his team. If Yuuma was right, and he prayed that he wasn't, he suspected that he might have summoned some version of the Crawler. And if that's the case, this was going to be bad. Real bad. As he moves back towards his team, the fireball hits him in the back, or rather his afterimage. He pauses long enough to send a lightning infused standing side kick towards the infected Akane before he leaps into the air again. "We need to regroup. Now!" He bellows as he does just that.

Michiko lets her chakra flare up as she eyes Akane, apparently facing off against the rogue Kiri nin. She wonders idly why Akane would even want to take on the Hitokage's power. Sure, Kyoujin would want it, but… She blinks a bit as Akane attacks, the small bit of fire exploding. The girl starts to form handseals the moment she sees the small fireball, knowing what comes next. She's been studying that move too, after all. But then Rise appears and knocks her away… Up and up and up… Wheee! Then she lands on Itami, then girl blinking once she's caught in the dragon's grip. "Ah, I did say this would be interesting… I didn't expect this, though…" She makes a few handseals, making earth to drop down a net of metal that would perhaps trap Hitokage-Akane while also sending down a metal clone to land heavily on the woman.

Rise winces as she hit the ground sliding due to lingering momentum. She wasn't sure if the pain that jolted through her was from tearing muscles, jolted old wounds, or just from landing on the wrong foot. In the end, it did not not matter. Seeing Yuuma's smug look helped push her beyond the feeling. She growls guttural as she forces herself to stand up straighter. "BITE ME!!" Is her all so witty comeback to Yuuma seconds before she leaps away. In hindsight, Rise would've been better off expending the energy trying to get out of range first.
The pulling force of the seal drains the strength from her leg. She doesn't cry out even though it felt the insides of the limb was on fire. The raven-haired woman barely manages to get her feat fully back under her before feeling the heat of Kyoujin's attack. She turns to it, and in seeing Michiko in the path of it, she instinctively rushes towards the girl and toss her free. Unfortunately, she doesn't fair so well.
A good defensive roll puts out most of the fire as soon as her body is again able to touch the earth. She… didn't understand, nor was she given enough time to sort out her feelings before Hiei orders the retreat. Face with indecision, Rise… retreats into herself. Distance eyes regard the dark parody of Akane before being turned away as she rushed to follow Hiei.

Itami rises up from the shattered earth that she created and settles on a perch to survey the damage. She's done enough to tide the flow of the battle temporarily and that gives her enough time to draw her focus over to Yuuma to launch an attack against him. "Those who are unable to continue to fight, leave while there is still enough time!" She called out. "The battlefield has been cleared enough for passage. Use this time wisely!" Otherwise… She hops off her perch and flies forward with a direct assault against Yuuma. Unlike her meteor against the earth, this strike would be more like wind brushing past him.

It was hard to determine how the battle was going from afar, Hiei was ordering the retreat which was odd for her to understand. "Are things really that bad…?" She asks herself before ushering her clone to move forward, both of them reaching out to perform a stronger technique. Suddenly though they both burst forward, rushing both Akane and Yuuma the shadow clone splits a portion of the orb, halving it in size and attempting to slam it home into Yuuma, the other is positioned towards Akane, the real one rather, hopefully to bring about a massive explosion. Her tails continued to flicker, finding that perhaps this might be time to slip away, assuming her team was dead set on leaving.

"Looking forward to it," Yuuma says with a smirk at Hiei before turning his attention to the attacks coming his way. He reaches his palm up again toward the incoming attacks, creating a barrier that absorbs both the energy and the flaming clones coming his way. "Hmm. Not bad," he says with a slight grin, moving his hands through a set of seals before breathing out a massive dragon of dark flames the goes rocketing off and spiraling to strike at both of his attackers.

Kyoujin watched wiith a grin on her lips, the only part of her face visible to anyone, clearly enjoying the power and freedom of attacking indiscriminately. Deep inside her mind Akane was struggling to regain control and though Kyoujin was enjoying herself she did not like sharing the decisions of who to attack with the hitokage. Deep down she recognized everyone present, had fought beside some of them, had called some of them friends. When the fireball exploded, lighting the grass and trees around them like kindling, it also burned Rise. There was a hint that Akane was in there fighting back because for that split second, her grin faltered. She did not wish to harm the girl. Her friend!
Kyoujin growled, the power floing through her convergin and she lifted her hands to form more seals even as she was attacked. This had all gone wrong. She had laid the best plans before showing up here today. She would distract Yuuma, give Hiei an opening if she could… But now? Now she was a problem herself. Yuuma's little toy. The hardest part was seeing Rise injured. Michiko-san and Hiei-sama… They should have been on the same side but instead they were fighting Akane.
The war within was just as fierce if not more so than the battle Hiei and the others faced. The shadows encroached on every aspect of her mind, warping her reality and filling her with the addicting power that had enthralled Kyoujin. It was painful, in every sense. And they dug their claws deep into her psyche. Images of her father and her brother, her mother floated up before her. Images covered in blood. And her hands were covered in their blood as well. Outwardly Kyoujin let out a growl and shook her head as if trying to clear it. It was a momentary break before that confident evil aura came back and she went through several hand seals before exhaling a huge fireball that expanded, covering quite a range, threatening to overcome them all.
Inside, Akane screamed…

Now little ways away from Yuuma and Akane, he watches as the other shinobi continue to launch attacks towards the two of them, only to see them fail. "This is ridiculous. Anyone too hurt to continue go." The aura from his transformation flares outwards in his irritation. He asides to Itami. "I'm getting tired. Which is saying something for me. He's got Akane now. This is news that I'm going to have to hate to deliver to her husband and her children. Still…I have to try to get through to her. I owe that to Sachiko." He crouches slightly as he slides his short sword into it's sheath and then takes a two-handed grip on his katana. This technique wasn't very accurate, but it was powerful. He gathers every ounce of strength as he flashes forwards, moving at high speed, he attempts to strike Akane on the shoulder. He might sever it, but it also might shock her out of Yuuma's control.

Michiko defends herself from the fireball by enclosing a dome around her, the dome heating, but otherwise not affected by Akane's attack. She uses her senses along the ground to find someone she knows… Naruko! There! She makes a few handseals, raising a barrier of metal to block Akane's fireball. It would also stand between the fire dragon, but it wouldn't be enough to even put a dent in the attack. Michiko takes a moment to focus her chakra, knowing she can continue still. She just isn't sure if she'll be able to land an attack…

Rise kept on running, intending never to stop until another order is yelled to do otherwise. It was the only way she could function at all. But when it becomes clear Hiei and the others intended to keep up the assault, Rise just… something snaps inside. There was some vague notion that the reason for staying was to try and save Akane from Yuuma's thrall. But this did not matter to her.
Akane went to Yuuma willingly like last time she figured.
Akane threatened her.. comrades.
Akane was weak…
So long as Akane remained intact, the cycle would just repeat itself. Again… and again… and Again. Her battle cry is the only warning anyone receives before the howling winds of her own attack overtakes it. A tornado shaped in the likeness of a serpentine dragon rises in the place Rise last is seen, and gives but one final warning roar before snake its way to Kyoujin and Yuuma, consuming both if either are not fast or resourceful enough to evade it.

"I understand…" Itami replied to Hiei solemnly. She was heaving as well and though her body didn't show much damage, her fatigue was more than enough to be an issue for her. "I'll keep by you until this is seen through. Should we not make any headway, truly, we must depart…" She admitted, knowing full well that she kept them all behind with the attack she unleashed against the initial order to fall back. She just had to try…
"We will regroup. I will see to it," she admitted to him and those who were present still.

Naruko herself is pretty easily blasted away by the destructive fire technique. While her cloak remained about her body, she was fighting tooth and nail to stay conciousness, it was a wonder how her chakra didn't manifest into something a bit more sinister… The force of the technique was enough to send her away from the fight, or at least no longer being a front runner. Instead she remained on the ground, her cloak licking her wounds as she groans and tries to gain back her senses…

Though he is able to evade Itami's attack, Rise manages to catch Yuuma with her attack. Caught in the tornado, he peers about it as it makes cuts along his body, chuckling a bit. "So this isn't made of chakra. That's rather interesting," he says, wincing a bit in pain as the tornado envelopes him, though he doesn't seem to struggle that much just yet.

Hitokage-Kyoujin watched the wind snake strike Yuuma and felt three warring emotions at the same time. Akane was glad, Kyoujin was surprised, the Hitokage was annoyed. Akane secretly thrilled at Yuuma's injuries. But then she did not have the time to consider it. Then the wind serpent was upon her. Cuts opened all along her body, shredding her jacket and leaving her leather pants in tatters, barely covering her modesty in the aftermath. Her hair fell from it's restraints, hair sticks sucked out and blown away by the powerful attack, the crimson hair falling about her in waves like a waterfall of blood. And then Hiei would find that in the aftermath of the storm he was face to mask with Akane, his blade buried deep in her midsection. Her lips looked surprised for a second… Behind the mask her eyes reverted, losing the power within them… The ebony mask fell away, the string in back cut by the wind, leaving Hiei's gaze to be met by Akane's blackened eyes.
She uttered a soft groan, eyes starting to fade from the sign of the hitokage as her life began to drain out of her body. Her knees shook then buckled, if Hiei let her fall she would either pull free of the blade which had completely impaled her, or she would fall with it still inside her. That aura of danger that Kyoujin offered was draining even as her blood spilled down the Raikage's blade. Her lips moved… a whisper only Hiei could hear…

Hiei cradles Akane in his arms as he lays her down on the ground. He swiftly but carefully removes his blade from her midsection as he watches her eyes go back to normal. "Rest. I'll send someone to heal you. You're not going to die here." His gaze shifts over to Yuuma. "This is your fault." With a bestial growl, he takes that two handed grip on his sword again and rushes Yuuma, sliding his foot forwards and swinging his blade with all of his might. Why wasn't he looking worried in the least? Somewhere in the back of his mind, this question makes Hiei uneasy, but he had never seen Yuuma take any damage before now. They had to keep it up.

Michiko stares at Rise for a second, surprised to see that the girl had managed to actually hit Yuuma and stun him for the time being. But she needs to take advantage of it /now/. The girl doesn't bother with accuracy. She simply makes the handseals and sends two steady flames at Yuuma, the girl putting as much intensity behind them as she can so they are as hot as dragon fire. Akane? She doesn't bother worrying about just yet. She was done for now. Hiei had seen to /that/. And she was secretly glad Akane was down. It meant she no longer had to fight her.

On the outside she burns, but on the inside she remained a frozen, jagged mess. Rise wasn't done with either of the duo, not by a long shot, but her options were a limited bunch. She clenches her teeth and hands in preparation for the wind to die down to pursue Yuuma. There is however a moment of hesitation. She sees the exchange between Akane and Hiei. After a lengthy moment a flicker of light returns to her eyes. It is gone without a trace as her attention reverts back to the broken child in place of its toy; wielder of the thing that nudged her into a long descent.
At least that is what she chose belief, and acted accordingly. Again, those within melee range of Yuuma are given but one warning — a battle cry — before the girl lets her fist fly. The air ignites in a cone of destruction.

Itami stopped short of finishing her attack. She didn't need to lash out anymore. Her intents have now changed and now she needed to speak with Yuuma in his weakened state. Instead, there was a scroll that was placed forth to be looked into instead. "It's over… For now, at least…" Itami grumbled out as she landed and began to stretch herself out, only to get an idea of how tired she truly was. "Ugh…" She snorted out. "Is everyone alright?" She questioned. "We should regroup back in the villages. We need to be absolutely certain regarding our safety and the safety of others…" she began. "Let's take ourselves and her out of here," she pointed out Akane.
She drew closer to observe her to see any damage that she suffered. She couldn't imagine what she was going through while enduring all that darkness flowing through her. "I still have enough energy to give us all a lift…."

Through the flurry of Rise's tornado, Hiei's blade pierces Yuuma's flesh, followed by the wave of destruction from Rise that sends him spiraling off the hill bloodied and bruised. As he falls, the dark chakra in the area finally begins to dissipate. "Well, it looks like some of you actually delivered on your promise to be ready," he says as he looks up the hill. "Perhaps this will be interesting after all… Here." With that he would reach into his coat and fling a rather hefty looking scroll up the hill back to where they are. Before it lands, he would be enveloped in dark-colored chakra and vanish. While one might expect some kind of trap or explosion, the scroll simply lands. Oddly enough it bears some kind of instructions on it written in a code that's displayed at the bottom. It will have to be decoded, but perhaps it is a sign that they've earned Yuuma's respect this day…

Akane blinked when Hiei caught her, gently laid her down. She was in a state of shock but his words that she would not die here got through. Slowly, she nodded understanding. He went to withdraw his blade from her midsection and she set her jaw, merely gasping as the blade moved. Blood followed and she barely had the energy to press a hand to the wound. But she did turn her head enough to watch Hiei attack Yuuma with that same blade. Marked with her own blood. She felt like if that strike landed it was as if she had aided Hiei in the stroke. But would it land?
She watched the attacks hit their mark and Yuuma fall from the hill. A small smile touched her lips then she dropped her head to the ground, blood seeping from her wounds and her lips. She was dangerously close to passing out from her wounds to say nothing of her mental state.

Hiei watches Yuuma fall. It was something that had haunted his dreams. A cold smirk passes over his face. He may have not been completely defeated, but the shinobi world has definitely earned his respect today. "Michiko. Get that scroll, and Akane. Bring them both to Kumo." He flicks the blood off his blade before he sheathes it. "We're on the Land of Lightning boarder, so I invite all shinobi here to rest in Kumo before you head back home. You'll be well taken care of." He turns to Michiko again. "Make sure Akane is comfortable. Put her on Itami and let's go home. Make sure Naruko isn't dead, too. That would be bad."

Michiko watches as the scroll flies through the air and waits for scroll to land before going to pick it up. She eyes it curiously, tucking it into a pouch of her vest. "Hiei-san, should I go see to Akane-san?" she asks. Of course, he already orders that, so she bows slightly and zooms over to the woman, hand glowing green with healing chakra as she heals some of the ones that are worse for wear. Most of her energy is spent trying to heal the damage from Hiei's sword. Then she goes to see to Naruko and heals the Uzumaki as well once she carefully transports Akane. Thankfully moving the earth is really helpful when one needs to transport patients.

Rise was tired. More tired, in fact, than she's ever been before. By sheer force of will she keeps herself from falling face first into the ground after seeing Yuuma finally stay down, but there's definitely no strength remaining in her body to keep the gate of wonder open for any longer. Her first step towards the scroll to somehow try and confirm Yuuma was definitely dead sends so much pain coursing throughout her entire body that the unprepared screams out as if she's dying. She dares not make another move until her breathing evens again, and her mind is better prepared. It ain't enough, to say the least, but at least her response to it is kept down to whimpers and tears until she finally passed out somewhere by Itami's feet; curled up into a ball.

Akane barely had the energy to turn her head as Itami came to look at her. Jade green eyes were already glazing and fading. Michiko would stop the bleeding at least, though the wounds were far from simple and would require further aid later. Akane lifted her hand just a little before she dropped it again. She offered a small smile even to Itami. And with blood trickling from the corner of her mouth she said in a hoarse voice, "He c..can be killed." Then it was mere seconds before the smile and the light faded from her eyes. A medic would note that Akane's wounds were not lethal, but her mental strain might be the source of the unconsciousness. She would remain out cold the entire trip to Kumo.

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