Date: October 18, 2014
The Silence is at it again, and this time they are after the Land of Fire's Daimyo. They are met with strong opposition, but there is a twist for some when the dead start coming back after they're struck down. Hope and optimism prevail though, just as it looks its darkest!
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Silence - Dead Men Rising"
The Land of Fire's Capital City
Evening time in the Land of Fire, and a call for help has made its way back to the gates of Konoha. As with the Land of Water, the Land of Fire's capital is under siege. While they haven't yet made it into the palace yet, the combat has already been heavy, and as many civilians as it is possible to get out have been evacuated. In the streets, rooftops, and alleyways of the city, a savage fight between the Land of Fire's army and one of the Silence's armies of mercenaries is going on full force. The Silence's warlord, Fuzen Yuuma, stands admist a sea of bodies with men fighting all around him. Any who approach him are chopped down easily to the point most of the soldiers are now avoiding confronting him fully, as, rather than the way he has been doing battle, for some reason today the leader seems particularly gluttonous in the amount of people whom he is robbing of their chakra to the point of death. Perhaps the eeriest thing would be his calmness in the midst of all this were it not for the immense feeling of darkness covering the area around him.
"It appears as though everything is going according to plan, Yuuma-sama. We will need a little more to locate the Daimyo but I do not expect that to be an obstacle. With the palace besieged there is no way out…and no way in without getting through us," A voice speak from along Yuuma's side. The glistening of her eyes, a pale fern green watches about the battle field as their enemies continued to falter and fail. "Do you have any personal orders for me my Lord? I assume that enemy reinforcements will come soon. I should be able to hold them off on my own if they get through our defenses," Miru speaks to him, fingers lightly nesting within her bellowing black cloak, a hood pulled about over her head.
The call came and the worst was feared. It seems the Silence were done messing around with Kirigakure and this time were attacking the people of the Land of Fire. What was their game this time? Surely they knew they wouldn't be able to bait the Hokage of Konohagakure into making a selfish claim to the Land, so this time it was something different.
Regardless of their plot, Daisuke quickly put the call out to those in and around the Land of Fire, including their allies in Lightning. The capitol city was under attack and things needed to be put down quickly before the body count rose even further. Rallying his own troops from Konohagakure, Daisuke gathered them atop Xun, the Warlord of the Panda clan, who's leaps could cover ground in seconds that normal ninja would take minutes, and literally rode the bear to the gates of the capitol where they would converge with their allies and begin their attack.
When the call went out, Kumogakure's General answered. Yotsuki Hiei arrives in the Land of Fire as quickly as possible. From what the missive said, the Capitol city was under attack. He was forced to watch the Water Daimyo get outed from his own home. He'd be damned if he let it happen to the Fire Daimyo. He arrives at the gates around the same time the Leaf shinobi arrive with the Hokage. For the moment, he waits to see what the plan is, if there's going to be a plan.
Ikari clings as close to Xun as she can as he leaps his way over to the capital city. It was, reluctantly, decided that she was capable enough to help out with the defense despite her age with her recently found rank of Genin. She yells so that the panda would be able to hear her over the wind rushing past them at this speed, "Xun you've really gotten bigger! What've you been eating? I want some. I'll eat bamboo if I gotta." Whenever they do come to a stop, she runs up and stops with the other defenders gathered from Konohagakure, looking around with a lot more excitement than she should be in a situation like this. This was quite honestly the first time she's strayed this far from her village, and it was the capital no less! She whispers to herself, awe-struck, "Woah…it's even bigger than I thought it'd be…Imagine how many restaurants and shops was open here…Aw I wish I could get somethin' for Momma…She always wanted to see what ingredients they had here…" She shakes her head and reaches up to lightly pop her cheeks a few times to get focused again. She had a mission to do here afterall! She turns and looks expectantly at Daisuke, waiting on the orders given from the Hokage.
Tsukino clung to the fur of the massive panda bear as Xun ran. Her crimson hair fluttered in the wind behind her like a spray of blood sent up by the speed of the bear's movements. She had heard the call from Daisuke and come along. Now was not the time to vacilitate with her morals. She had plenty of tags on her person, hidden in various places, a belt about her waist with pouches but no other visible weapons. Her clothes were black and grey, shorts with leggings underneath. She had to remind herself they were heading into battle and now wasn't the time to enoy a ride on Xun's shoulders.
Ikari's excitement worried her. The Uzumaki princess leapt down after the girl and put a hand on her shoulder. "Ikari-chan stay by me. Okay? You have to help me since I don't have Azuna-san or a royal guard here." She offered the child a smile and gathered her chakra, hoping hse could protect the girl… She looked back at Daisuke with a worried expression on her face….
Every leap made by Xun threatens to force the explusion of Zankuro's hasty breakfast. As if he wasn't already having enough trouble with his stomach as is! He kept quiet throughout the trip, and just kept himself clinging and curled up for as long as he could until arrival.
"Why me?" He mumbled at some point. Immediatly after, Zankuro reprimanded himself by biting down on his lips. He was a Sarutobi dang it, and one answering one the high calling no less. So! He needed to tuck in that gut, throw away the complaint box, and — "Hrrk! Grrm… *gulp*…. Ohh.. oh no.. gonna…"
And just like that, whoever was sitting behind him shall be blinded for a seconds by a once delicious combination of bacon and eggs.
Michiko was already within the Land of Fire. Yes, in the process of healing, but she was healed for the most part. Enough to apparently be useful in battle. Kumo-nin were allowed on this mission, which meant she would most likely Hiei. That gave her a bit of comfort. She offers him a nod when he shows up before climbing onto Xun. Apparently giant pandas aren't so weird that she would question his presence… The girl keeps herself steady as the panda moves, making sure to stay away from Zankuro since his reaction to a moving panda is similar to Hiei on a boat… "So, is there any plan to this attack, or are we just going into battle and getting as many of the Silence as we can?" she asks, the question mostly to Daisuke.
"Hold them off as long as possible," Yuuma orders with a nod to Miru. "I expect they'll bring plenty of power along with them. Expect some to be top level shinobi, at least for what their idea of that is." With that he'd look over his shoulder, spotting the bear coming with the troops from Konoha on its back. "Well, well, you don't see that every day. A crew of monkeys riding on a bear's back into battle… Don't take it easy on them." Looking over at a man beside him, he says, "May as well stick with what works. Formation R." The man would nod before flickering away to give the order.
A moment later, archers would appear on the top of the buildings on the outskirts of the capital by the dozens, along with fire ninjutsuists who breath flame to light the arrows before the sky would begin to blacken with flaming arrows raining down.
"It will make sure it is a very cold day for them. Let us see how well they do against our initial defenses…" Miru replies back to Yuuma, obviously not too concerned about about those attempting to get in their way. "They won't stand a chance… And they are merely fueling the fire. After all we have 'it' on our side now," With those words she took a stand along the wall, peering into the palace grounds. Silence forces slowly but surely begining to push their way into the palace. "Right, let them come,"
Daisuke looks around at all that have come after hopping down off of Xun. Some of the little ones made him worry but he had confidence that they would get through this in the end. "According to information from the Land of Water, the Silence enter the city much like they did Sunagakure, raining death and destruction down on everyone in sight while forming a man-made barrier from the true threat. Our first order of business is to secure the outer area from all grunts and goons of the Silence before pushing in on the rest as a team. Any villagers you find lead to safety." he says to the group as he addresses them. "Hiei of Kumogakure and I will do our best to give the orders, but if you get separated be smart."
As the archers and fire ninjutsuists appear on the wall and take aim, Xun steps in front of a few key shots, unsheathing his weapon and knocking most of the attacks away, though one strike does break through his steel-like defenses and graze the giant bear. The Hokage himself flickers from view, appearing atop Xun's head to get a higher vantage point than the enemies on the wall and making them pay for it, unleashing a poisonous acrid smoke to surround the tops of the buildings near the wall where they were.
Hiei inclines his head to the Hokage once the Leaf shinobi arrive and then flashes a smile to Michiko. She knew him well enough to know that he wouldn't miss this battle. He turns to look towards the fighting to notice the sun is blocked out because of the onslaught of arrows. He's seen this before. "It begins." He states as he withdraws his katana from his back and his arm moves rapidly as he parries the arrows away from him and into the ground harmlessly. He forms a set of handseals as lightning flows down his arm to pool around the first two fingers of his hand. He points the fingers at one of the archers on the wall as a large lightning bolt flies out on course for them. "We need to get closer. Render their archers useless. They'll use fire jutsu next. I recognize this battle formation." Hiei stares at the wall as he asides to Daisuke. "Lord Hokage. If your people are holding back, I would recommend you tell them not to do so."
Ikari looks up at Tsukino when she addresses her, and bobs her head. "Ok Tsukino-chan. I'll be your guard. You won't have to worry about nothin' getting to you with me with you." She trails off and fights back a fit of girlish snickering at the random shinobi covered in Zankuro's breakfast. "You better get cleaned up if you don't want the enemy smellin' us from a mile away!" She stifles herself when Daisuke begins to explain the course of action and bobs her head in understanding. "Yes Hokage!" She's about to say something else, but her eyes widen when she see the arrows coming in from the archers within the city. "Tsukino! Watch out!" She focuses and tries to swell up in size, attempting to toughen her skin as well to keep the arrow from embedding. She has a lot more work to do before her expansion technique is -that- good, because an arrow still manages to pierce through her hide. She grimaces and immediately shrinks back down, clinging to the arrow shaft around her hip. "You…you…jerks!" She glares in the archers' direction and runs towards them forming hand seals along the way. Immediately bundles of her hair lunge at them and flail wildly in their direction, hoping that she'll catch at least one of them off-guard and slash them.
Tsukino looked up to see the arrows blacken the sky and pulled a tag from her belt. It took little time for her to activate the chakra laid in the tag. A wall of glowing golden light appeared before her, blocking the incomming arrows from getting to her. That wall remained for a few seconds after she turned her attention to a small scroll at her hip. She opened the paper and tapped three times, sending a barrage of senbon at the archers with each tap.
She turned as Daisuke spoke, ust long enough for Ikari to take a hit. Tsukino winced, but nodded to Daisuke's commands. Civilians sounded like a good thing to aim fo— And Ikari was up the wall and after the archers. This might get out of hand. Tsukino quickly followed suit, heading up the wall like she was walking along the ground, preparing to defend against the archers at a closer range…
Zankuro rubs the back of his head sheepishly. The man is, to say the least, not amused. Despite the look given Zankuro forces himself to rise his feet and offer to brush off the gunk, only to be given pause when the guy suddenly goes all defensive posture on him. "What's your… wait…" The Sarutobi spins around and nearly falls flat on his butt at the sight of the wave of flaming arrows filling the sky. He feared for himself most, but still scrap together enough courage to try and protect the littlest of soldiers.
He doesn't make it. And worst yet, ends up taking to burning arrows to a shoulder and through his giant scroll before figuring out that its better to focus on SERVING first. For a rain of arrows, Zankuro answers with a rain of fire meant as much as to cover anyone intending to jump off of Xun early.
Michiko finds a lot of arrows coming her way. Why does it always have to be sharp things that come first??? With a few hand signs, she attempts to dodge the volley of arrows by shooting some fire in the direction that would remove her from the line of fire for the most part. She ends up overshooting it and finds herself off the giant panda and a bit too close to the archers for her liking…
Her attention, while in the air, is focused on counting the enemy. Looks like most of them were taken out by the Hokage, so she works with Zankuro to take out the rest, sending a very large bullet of flame at the cluster of enemies to take them out. She barely is able to hear the Hokage's orders, but she does, nodding a bit to try and show she heard. "Got it… Take out whatever is on the outside, then we'll work to together as we move in…" The girl lands lightly on the wall, those two fire dodges having placed her a bit too close to the enemy.
Through a wave of lava, flame, lightning, and stabbing, a large number of the initial wave of archers fall, though some on the further edges of the field manage to evade the strikes by leaping back onto the building behind them and continue their firing at them. Meanwhile others begin to pour from the streets toward the gates where the shinobi are, striking at them with blades as the fire of arrows continues to come from either side of them.
Meanwhile Yuuma stands in the same position still, looking at reports coming from all over the battlefield from foot soldiers. Despite the heavy opposition that's arrived, he oddly remains calm. "Perfect," he says, looking back to each of the men and handling them their scrolls back to go gather more informations from the fronts. For a man who's fighting a battle on two fronts, he seems quite composed, likely having something up his sleeve.
Defenses…faltering. Miru could only shake her head lightly as she watched the allied shinobi forces collide against Silence's initial defenses. "How much more time do we have? Surely we must be close to the Daimyo now? There is a lot of chakra to be had here though… Just a little more." Miru then takes a peek at their intruders, gesturing for one of the archers to hand them her bow. " Funny. It seems like they allow mere children to assault the walls. The Land of Fire proves to be even more desperate than I thought," With that she strings a single arrow and let's it loose, pinning the tail on the Akimichi.
"Do not worry, Hiei. Leaf ninja, big or small, fight with all their hearts. No one here today came out of a whim of theirs. Let's focus on our push." Daisuke says to Hiei with a nod after the attack. Most shinobi within the party seem to be ok after the initial volley, and the counter attack was as powerful as one could be. Zankuro, one of the Konoha genin, seemed to get hit a little harder than the others, causing Daisuke to let Xun know to watch out for the boy. With that, he kicks off of Xun and enters the capitol itself, noticing Ikari charging off up the wall with Tsukino after her like some mother chasing her runaway kid as he runs by.
As the next wave of attacks come in, Xun takes action, stepping in front of the wave of arrows again, able to deflect numerous amounts of them heading in the direction of the forces, though some manage to get through to the more veteran shinobi while a few others manage to strike the bear, who still stands tall. Meanwhile Daisuke is charging forward along the rooftops towards the incoming wave of troops, getting hit by one of the arrows but managing to pull it out and toss it aside. He spots the reinforcing wave of grunts and opens up a barrage of fire bullets to pepper the area where the wave was incoming, trying to cut down the number of reinforcements quickly. He turns towards Hiei and shouts, "Let's see that Kumogakure superior speed and break for the castle, huh? Though preferably not in a straight line." he says to the general with a grin, already preparing to take the inner walls soon.
Hiei goes on the move. Using his sword he parries another volley of arrows before it would seem the second volley would strike him. Only the arrows go completely through his body. Hiei moved several feet to the side at hyper speed, leaving an afterimage in his wake. The Kumo shinobi pushes forwards sending a lightning infused elbow towards the archers before spinning in place delivering a rapid series of slashes with his sword. "This is ridiculous…" His eyes fall on Miru before he begins moving in that direction. He nods to Daisuke. "Understood. I'm your tag-team partner for this battle. I've got your back." He flings his arms behind him and begins to zig-zag towards the castle proper, trying to make himself an unpredictable moving target.
"Sorry Tsukino-chan, I couldn't let them get away with that. And I'm used t'fightin' up close and personal." She is so in tuned to trying to pay attention to everything going on around her, that she isn't able to pick out the one attacker focusing their sights on her. She does manage to get a glimpse of Xun staying close by to intercept the arrows raining down nearby. "Be careful Xun!" Her little plea may be easy to miss, but she couldn't help but be a little worried about her favorite panda. Now that Ikari is much closer to her enemies, she forms another seal to swell her hands up to sizes that could rival Xun's paws in girth. She tries to reach out and pluck one of the archers up from the ground bare handed, simply tossing him away as far as she can and into another building should she be successful. She then twirls around, trying to clothes-line one or two more with her massive arm if she can.
Tsukino tried to keep an eye out for Ikari as she landed on the wall, her long hair trailing behind her. She spun as she thought she would have to raise another wall to protect herself from more arrows. But Xun swept them aside. She sent a smile up at the panda then turned again and stepped up beside Ikari as the girl's hands grew. The princess went through a few hand seals, using Ikari's attacks as cover then stepped forward and opened fire on a large amount of chakra that exploded from her glowing palm, heading for at least three archers. "Don't worry Ikari-chan. You're doing fine."
He cannot nearly see far enough from Xun to know if his attacks worked or not, but he knew his hasty calculations weren't far off. Upon seeing another wave of arrows, Zankuro goes for his scroll again, and is given a painful reminder. In that moment he is as defenseless as they come, but his luck holds with Xun showing some impressive martial skills. His mind quickly turns away from the display. He needed focus, peace, and… something more. Until he reached such a state of being, Zankuro busied himself with removing and treating the arrow wounds as quickly as possible. Even once in his 'enlightened' state, the constant motion of Xun's action threatens to nearly throw him out of it every few seconds.
Still on the wall, Michiko jumps down from her perch so she can actually travel around the city. However, it's difficult to avoid arrows like this, and she ends up with a number of wounds, though technically not from the fall. With a wince, she hastily grabs a few bandages from her pack and binds the scratches to stop the blood, making sure it's tied tight. "Dangit…" she mutters, eyeing the archers above her. With a quick hand seal, she starts to focus her chakra, drawing it in all at once in preparation for the enemies ahead. Hopefully she won't have to increase this until later, but it's better to be prepared.
As the reports come in about the devastation, oddly Yuuma just smirks and looks up. With a flicker he vanishes and reappears atop a building a few hundred yards from the battle. "Very good, shinobi. Very good," he says, seeming rather amused. "But I think it is time you fools learn what is born of your endless bloodlust that you try to hide with fake smiles and truces. This is what shinobi really are. This is what your world is made up of." With that he forms a few seals that would be unfamiliar to those from this era, his body taking on an aura of black chakra as he slams his hand down on the ground, causing it to flow out of him into the streets. Oddly enough, it doesn't seem to be trying to harm the shinobi. Instead, it washes over and engulfs the corpses of the many mercenaries that have fallen already, bringing them back up in their battered and broken and even now disfigured forms like horrific zombies that rise back to strike against those that killed them.
"The children are here to play," Yuuma's voice rings out in stereo with the dark voice of the Hitokage, echoing through the area as a heavy Genjutsu attempts to wear down the shionbi while the attack now gains a second front that threatens to engulf shinobi and soldier alike in darkness and blood with slashes of blades and claws born of the dark chakra that surrounds the corpses just like it does Yuuma.
There was some brief devastation amongst the silence troopsjust as she thought, 'it' had come to help them after all. Nevertheless Miru stood her ground, allowing the children to do their worst while Miru took special attention for anyone getting to far or two close. "The Hokage….and the general we faced before. Those two could be troublesome. "Yuuma-sama, is there a time on that Daimyo just yet? I have a feeling the battle will be getting closer to the palace very soon. I expect resistance to be at it's fullest," Miru spoke, not audibly, instead it was more of a mental link.
"Now…Katon, Goukakyuu no jutsu!" From her lips expelled a duo of raging spheres of fire, expelling from her lips and attempting to impact both Daisuke and Hiei. Slowing them down was the priority for now, along with anyone else that may have been getting too close.
Daisuke watches briefly as his fire strikes down numerous men charging into battle with his people before he moves on in his tag team role with Hiei to take the castle before anyone else can be harmed. He watches Hiei zoom off before he decides now wasn't the time for restraint, no matter what. He leaps up into the air in front of the inner wall as his body instantly envelops in orange flames, like a thick layer of fiery chakra outlining his body, the massive amount of energy released causing a brief expulsion of wind to hit the nearby buildings, though luckily he had moved far enough ahead with Hiei to be out of range of affecting the others. Within his chakra, the vile chakra from Yuuma does not go unnoticed as the veteran of the Crawler wars is attacked by genjutsu, his partner within able to flush the chakra from his system without any damage.
"It seems a troublesome enemy has returned." Daisuke comments to himself as he becomes in even more of a hurry to purge these pests from their capitol. In his haste, he is not able to slow down and take things more strategic as he races towards the wall, getting hit by a few of the attacks that pierce his cloak. But as the flame comes towards him, Daisuke flickers from sight, appearing high above the area Miru was with a ball in his outstretched chakra hand, as dark as a black hole and seeming to be sucking in the light around it as he thrusts it downwards towards Miru's spot she was holding her ground on.
Xun has begun to slip more into a battle ready trance as his moves become very agile, dancing around the small area he is given to move to expertly deflect all those attacks that are within his range, saving another volley from hitting the shinobi behind him.
In accordance with Daisuke, Hiei forms a handseal and his eyes begin to glow light blue as charka is forcefully expelled from his body, creating a lightning infused aura around his body. His muscles expand to three times their normal size. As Hiei activates the hidden jutsu of the Yotsuki Clan, he feels the genjutsu begin to take hold and he slashes along his leg with his sword to fend it off. He zips and zags to the side to dodge the swipes from the claws of the reanimated soldiers. And then he leaps, spinning horizontally in midair, allowing the fireball technique to simply flow underneath him. "Give it to them, Daisuke." Then he pushes his body into gear as he draws his second sword from his back. Hiei is suddenly everywhere and nowhere all at once. One the beast bomb is released, he attacks Miru from all directions at once. Feinting multiple times until the real Hiei finishes his attack.
Ikari tries to offer Tsukino a smile when she can to show she appreciates the encouragement, but she immediately pauses when she sees the black chakra rolling in like an eerie fog. Then, she starts to notice the bodies starting to stir nearby as this fog begins to engulf them. "Tsukino-chan…are they supposed to be twitchin' like…" Her eyes widen and she pales when she sees the horribly maimed corpses starting to actually stand up. Her knees start to buckle beneath her and she lifts her trembling fists to try and defend herself. "O-ok…this…this has gotta be a fake. One've those illusions, y-yeah, that makes sense. I…I just um…I've gotta use chakra…or…or maybe hurt myself…and that'll make those guys lay back down on the ground." She closes her eyes and tries to send a surge of her chakra immediately through her system to shake the effects.
Except…nothing happens. The dead were still lumbering around and attacking the others, shadow claws still tried to cut them up, and Ikari still felt the fear deep in her gut. Her bottom lip trembles and she stands frozen, looking like she's on the verge of tears and at a loss of what to do. She swallows and pants to try and steady herself before she works on trying to diminish the zombie threat by whatever means she can. She tries to toss a zombie away her, punch another there, and even tries to bring a fist down to crush one've them into the dirt. "Did…did we do this?"
Tsukino turned toward the front line as Yuuma came out 'to play'. She had a sinking feeling as she recognised the face from the reports of the interrupted exams. She watched closely as he formed those seals with his hands. They weren't anything she could pick out and be specific about, but sh erecognised their age. Arcane and obscured by years, hundreds of years. She had glimpsed something similar — though not exact — in the archives of the Uzumaki in Uzushiogakure just before the Silence had taken her captive. She shivered at that then tried to force herself to focus again on the battle at hand. They would not take her again. Daisuke was here this time and Xun and they wouldn't /let/ anyone lay ahand on her again!
The princess watched as Yuuma brought the dead back to life, reanimating the corpses they had created thusfar and paled. What could she hope to accomplish against such an enemy as this? "I..Ikari-chan!" The child was reacting understandably, but Tsukino saw she still attacked, despite not understanding what was going on. She moved to Ikari's side and took a moment to try and tap nearby zombies, hoping to halt their movement in a crystalline structure of pure chakra.
Then she dropped to her knee and tried to take Ikari by the shoulders. "Ikari-chan, listen to me. We did not do this. It's a trick from a very powerful foe. We have to keep our minds in the fight, Okay? Okay?" She made eyecontact then tried to encourage the girl, rubbing at her shoulders and glanced around to be sure they weren't being attacked again before turning back. "It's like what pupetteers do only this enemy uses bodies not dolls. Okay? Do you need to run? Then hide. And I'll take your place here. Stay by Xun if you have to. I know it's scary. Try to be scared later, hmm?"
"There. That oughta do it." Zankuro seals up the last of his supplies and redones the giant scroll again. The guy hardly gets up after that before the voice sweeps over them. It is different, but the feeling behind it is unforgetable. The small dose brings back memories of burning bodies, zombies, and things just better left unsaid. Every fiber of his being begged him to simply end it all. To crawl off of the rollercoaster that was life, er, Xun, and escape the tormenting voices.
Zankuro almost heeds the desire. He stumbles close to the edge, blind and practically death to his surroundings. Voices that promised death at that point are soon joined by others. Naysayers and jokesters, elders and peers, they all said virtually the same thing. He was a waste. Pathetic. Worthless. Childish. UNCOOL! Another step is taken, and then… he hears something. A chant or… something like that. The Sarutobi latches onto the words like a life perserve in a storm, stoking further life behind the words, and by extension himself.
Fool hardy as it was, the boy turned his attention back upon the teams objective before plopping down on his bottom to gather and convert chakra..
The rise of the corpses is, while not overtly familiar to the Iwata, not entirely shocking. She had seen this before not that long ago, even reported it to the higher-ups of Kumogakure (though the message might have taken a day to get there). Michiko focuses that chakra of hers, knowing she'll have to power up to face the next wave of soldiers. A faint aura begins to flicker around her, emulating fire, though the color is the traditional blue-hue of chakra. Then there's a sense of fear washing over her, but not. She quickly recognizes it as a form of genjutsu and makes her chakra pulse through her body, pinching her nerves.
It's successful, at least, and the effects dissipate with ease. Perhaps it's thanks to the fact she has that fiery aura about her? Whatever the reason, she's thankful the genjutsu isn't affecting her. But there's still sharp pointy things she has to deal with. She was so focused on releasing herself from the genjutsu, she failed to notice them incoming, and by the time she's attempting to bring the earth up as a shield, it's too late. Her body is now covered in wounds, some shallow and some not. This doesn't seem to deter her, though. With a few handseals, she sends chakra through the earth and traps those who were attacking her.
The earth comes to life, hands shooting out of the ground to grasp the zombies. Behind the different undead Silence goons, the earth again shifts up, forming a coffin specially for them. The hands attempt to drag in the zombies, storing them in the coffins and locking them with a rib-like structure before sinking down to the ground as an attempt to suffocate the enemy (or at least imprison them!).
"Behold the true face of this cursed shinobi world!" Yuuma's calm voice rings out thunderously through the rain of attacks between shinobi, man, and monster. "You all claim nobility and friendship with knives held behind your backs ready to strike each other down at a moment's notice. You are cowards who leave the world around you in ruin with a smile on your face because at least you managed to survive while everyone else perished. This is just the beginning. All those you've failed to help, all those you've neglected, all those you've not protected will return so you can see what you've done to them, and your Hidden Villages will answer for your crimes." As he speaks, another powerful Genjutsu rings out through the crowd, seeming to emanate from each possessed Hitokage as they try again and again to strike the shinobi down.
Despite many of their comrades - if you could call them that - being taken into the ground and struck down through strike, flame, and seal, and even taking normally debilitating damage themselves, these possessed corpses and even those remaining living amongst the Silence never stop coming.
The Hokage's swift motion was unexpected, though she had enough time to prepare a defense, would it work was beyond her. A series of black seals began to flood from her body, and surround her in the form ofa circular barrier. Her hands planted down into the floor beneath her. "You both will be ripped asunder her, you should have given up your secrets for us to give mercy to your villages…" Miru exclaims, struggling to hold the beast ball at bay, it easily then rips through her defenses and the wall alike. The foundation of the inner wall instantly crumbles in a mass of demolishing light. leaving Miru along with many others of the silence in a crater filled with Debris. The palace grounds at this rate was wide open….
Hiei's follow up attack was deflected with the same sealing technique which hung in the air about her."Ugh… I refuse to die here… he won't let me die here," Miru voices, slowly but surely rising her scorched body to a stand. She gurgles briefly before expelling a massive stream of water from her lips, taking the form of a violent raging wave to smash both Daisuke and Hiei to bits…
"Most of the ones returning are that of your own men, Silence. The moment they thought they would be in good hands joining your group they were doomed to such an unlife. While you may hate the Shinobi world, Konohagakure seeks, not a false hope, but one of true peace, where children can group up and life a half decent life instead of being conscripted, without choice, into the ranks of their clan and killed off months later." Daisuke says as he hears Yuuma's hollow words. "It seems to me that the ones who were truly neglected in their youth were you and your brother, and now you hold some kind of grudge on the rest of the world."
Daisuke refocuses on the incoming attacks as he engages Miru with Hiei, using the thick flaming cloak of his to deflect that which comes his way as he presses forward toward Miru. "He has let your comrades fall without a second thought. You will be cast aside just the same if the time comes." he says as he lifts a hand to his mouth and expels a continuous stream of human-sized molten lava rocks to cover Miru and her surrounding area, making it difficult to attack.
Meanwhile, Xun is still standing tall like the stoic warrior he is, able to push through the genjutsu and counter the assault of the others with his whirling steel and agile moves, knocking most attacks away, though some key ones do get by and are left up to the shinobi.
Hiei sneers as he presses fingers in his previous wound to stave off the genjutsu again. "Please. Your first mistake was attacking the chuunin exams in Kumogakure. Your second mistake, and your most fatal was lifting off all of the hidden villages. You're going to die here. And we will be the heralds of your destruction." Hiei goes into a series of flips and though most of them are successful, he does receive a gash along his ribcage from one of the claws of the zombies. He ignores the pain, it would be just another wound that would join hundreds of others as he continues to push his body beyond what would be perceived as it's limits. His body would simply vanish from Miru's water attack to appear behind her as she would once again be attacked by the Kumo sword master from several directions at once. Hiei moves so fast that it seems like he's everywhere, yet nowhere all at the same time before he would deliver an attack where thought the Silence member's defense was weakest.
Ikari sniffles and tries to wipe her eyes free of tears while Tsukino attempts to console her. She reaches out and quickly clings to Tsukino, hugging onto her for as long as it's allowed. "They're…they're j-just puppets…o-ok I understand. I-I can fight a little longer…" She lets go of the older woman and looks around to survey how many hiding spots she could find nearby, just in case she did have to make a break for it. She reaches up and clutches desperately at her head, getting severely discouraged as the zombie she managed to swat away just keeps coming back at her. "L-la-la-la…Don't listen to the scary man…Gotta be scared later…be scared later…I-I gotta be scared later." The trembling only gets worse though, and leaves her open to a bladed strike from one of the zombies. She yelps and staggers back, shrinking one arm to cling to the wound. She uses the larger arm to try and push back the zombie far enough away that she can flee and hide inside of a nearby building. She crawls beneath a table and quietly tries to catch her breath, 'I can't…'.
Tsukino nodded as it seemed ikari was able to follow her words. She hoped the girl could ignore the creepiness around them and continue the fight. But it became quite plain that she was just too unbalanced by what had happened. She rubbed the girl's back lightly as Xun defended her. When ikari ran under the table Tsukino put herself between Ikari and the incoming zombies. She used her southern seal again, shooting chakra at the enemies, hoping to knock them back.
Then She heard Yuuma's voice and Daisuke's answer.
She turned, her eyes finding Daisuke on the field as he called his Hokage's answer to Yuuma. She lifted her head proudly in silent support of what he said. It was basicly Konohagakure's mission statement and she would possibly be a part of that one day should the current situation continue evolving. Her blue eyes shone brightly and despite the corpses reanimated about her and the attacks comming at her and Ikari both, she lifted her chin and bravely stared forward. She might not be able to attack Yuuma directly or the woman with him, but she watched proudly as Daisuke did.
With his thoughts so keenly focused on gathering the necessary energy for his strongest jutsu, Zankuro is left helpless against the genjutsu. The Mantra that once kept him steady and strong for the moment instead wavered in the wake of the attack. If not for Xun, he would probably be dead. Twice over, in fact, seeing as how his collapse left him without the ability to stay even laying down on the summon as it moved about.
His fall is a long and hard one that concludes with his lucky out on several obstacles along the way slowing his descent enough to land in some forgotten food cart. He is conscious, if only barely.
"Do these men look like they came here to live through this conflict?" Yuuma asks of Daisuke with a chuckle as he watches the fight go on. "Foolish shinobi. THIS is how much people outside your little bubbles of egomania despise your villages. They willingly offer their lives in exchange for seeing the days of your reign on this world in the manner you rule it brought to an end. Outside the times of these wars, it isn't us or the darkness that common folk live in fear of destroying their world around them. It's you and people like you who wield such power as you do and thirst for blood to the point you can't really see the bigger picture at all." With that he'd point a hand toward Miru, causing a wave of darkness to flow toward her body to engulf her and flow into her to possess her living body with the power of a Hitokage residing within while the seemingly undying Hitokage army continues to attack again and again. "Tell me, children, is it worth so much blood and destruction to pretend to call yourselves heroes?"
The strength of the Hitokage… It was exactly what Miru needed to win, or at least push through the devastating attacks laid against her. Alas, even with the temporary boost from the Hitokage it just wasn't enough to defend against the following attacks. The scorching lava rocks managed to cut straight through her sealing barrier, allowing even more of an opening with Hiei's attack, spilling her blood along the crater beneath her. "I'm… not worthy of your grace, Yuuma-sama… Please… Help me get rid of these vermin! Upon those words her chakra began to skyrocket, and a raging cold wind began to make it's way through the cracks of debris and the devastated battle fields. Anyone trapped within the whirlwind would begin to feel instant exhaustion, and sudden frostbite keeping them in place.
Against Daisuke strikes and again Miru stands, not only stands but now Yuuma uses her as a sacrificial pawn to the Hitokage. The worst part is, she seems thankful that her life just ended and is now being possessed. Daisuke's cloak is enough to handle the attacks coming his way, which gives him enough time to extend a chakra hand and begin to charge another miniature Tailed Beast Ball. As the void of darkness in his hand pulses with chakra, Daisuke calls out for Xun, "NOW IS A GOOD TIME."
Xun is busy attempting to block and dance through the constant onslaught of attacks aimed for the Konoha shinobi as the attacks increase in number. He is still able to keep up, though exhaustion is beginning to set in with the Warlord of the Panda Clan. The freezing wind is blocked by the giant bear, his armor buffeting the blows and keeping the shinobi behind him warm enough to continue. As he hears Daisuke's words, the great Panda lets out a furious roar that echoes through the capital city. Suddenly, in five giant clouds of smoke appear warrior Panda from the council of Balance, all equipped with multiple different weapons and armor, surrounding Miru in her new form. The Panda proceed to 'go to town' on the Hitokage woman, assaulting in a coordinated effort, each attack in succession with a flurry of steel from all different directions in what could only be described as temporary PANDAmonium before disappearing and letting Daisuke drop the bomb.
Hiei murmurs towards Daisuke. "We have to try something drastic. Our forces can't take much more of this." When the attacks come again, the claws of chakra seem to just pass through his body as he moves so fast that he leaves afterimages in his wake. Hiei's speed was legendary in Kumogakure, rumors state that it even rivals that of the Raikage. And he proves it. Hiei disappears from sight to dodge the freezing whirlwind from Miru. He appears next to Zankuro and grabs him by the waist. "Come with me, Sarutobi." He then disappears again, appearing where the fighting is less to deposit the leaf shinobi before he is once again gone, there is a sudden pop as the air is displaced by his departure. It would seem that he teleports next to Miru and puts all of his strength in his next attack towards her, looking to sever her in half or at best, remove a limb.
"I wanna go home…" Ikari quietly whimpers beneath her breath, peeking out from beneath the table to try and check on Tsukino. She felt terrible leaving her out there to deal with this on her own. It ends up giving her enough time to see Xun shield her from the freezing blast and strikes in the distance. She yelps and immediately flees out from beneath the table, heading to another room of the home. She quickly looks around and pants before she pries a paper closet open and attempts to quickly sling it back shut. She backs herself up to a corner of the room and readies herself, just in case they managed to find her and break through.
Tsukino noticed Ikari heading for safety and nodded. She would console the girl later. For now, though… She leapt forward entering the fray as she lifted a glowing palm, aiming for three separate enemies, once more trying to strike them down even temporarily with pure chakra. Again and again. She was closer to Daisuke and Hiei than before but still behind Xun and dealing mostly with the hitokage. She saw Daisuke and Xun's combined attacks as well as Hiei's but it was Daisuke that made her eyes brighten and in an odd show of adrenaline she shouted for them, a kind of excited whoop of encouragement. Perhaps it was because the corpses were already dead or that she was just really strung out on adrenaline, but the usually peaceful girl was apparently encouraging violence.
All Zankuro hears, sees, and feels is light, static, and a sense of momentary weightlessness before being dropped off elsewhere. Focus come to him in bits and pieces afterwards as he rises to his feet. Er, well, tries to several times until his wobbly legs finally decide to hold up his fat butt. What he sees once clarity finally returns gives even Zankuro pause. This wasn't a fight for genin by a long shot. He knew that coming in, but still… Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) he isn't given a chance to flonder between hiding or running away before spying some of the undead masses making their way towards him. Fingers lock up several times before he finally corrects them and unleashes a spawns a firestorm from a single ball of flame. 'Wait! Elevate! What if someone was down there!?!"
Michiko can only brace herself as a freezing wind whips about her body. She attempts to make a wall of earth, but even with that, the wind hits her hard. It's not as damaging as she thought, but it's certainly not pleasant. She ends up frozen in her spot, ice crackling a bit as she attempts to even move a muscle. It's difficult though… Somehow, everything in her body is just not working. Whatever this jutsu was, it was more annoying that anything…
Through the raging battle, somehow the number of possessed corpses falling begins to count up to actually add up to more than the shinobi are attacking. Dark chakra begins to waft through the air and vanish with a violent hiss. Yuuma seems to be focussing on Miru mostly, while the Hitokage begin struck begin to fall one by one to the shinobi. Still, despite this turn in the tide, Yuuma actually still stands with a smirk on his face, reaching to his side for a bottle of sake to uncork it and take a few sips. "Is that worthless beast at his limit already?" he asks himself as he lowers the bottle again. "Pity. I'd hoped to have more fun with this experiment." Just then another man adorned in black appears kneeling in front of Yuuma with a flicker and offers a piece of paper that the warlord picks up and reads. "I see. Guess this Daimyo would smart enough to get the float out of here before we could find his escape route. All these soldiers and shinobi ready to lay down their lives so that we couldn't get to him in time… Guess he's more likable than the Water Daimyo." He seems to ponder a moment before saying, "Tell the remaining capable to scatter. We're done here." With that he'd look up to Miru again, curious if she'll be smart enough to get out or wind up getting herself killed.
Nope….Miru wasn't as lucky as she would have liked to be. The mass of the tailed beast bomb shattered her barrier and rocked her further into the cratering mass much like the previous. Everything else just minced and diced her into various slabs of meat, intended or not. Yuuma's pawn was easily and swiftly defeated without a peep….
As Xun and his pals finish their work, Daisuke is able to seal it with his miniature ball of death, completing the victory, however small, that the Konoha and Kumogakure alliance had struck the first small blow back against the Silence in this war. The victory may be small, but for the young ones that had fought their hardest, some coming away from this battle with potential mental issues, it was a victory nonetheless. Now, both villages had time to recover and, for the Capital and the Fire Daimyo, a chance to rebuild stronger than before.
Daisuke looks over to where Yuuma was, the Silence member gone for now, whether it was boredom or a tactful retreat. He looks down at Miru's minced body and says, "I told you he wouldn't care." He looks over at Hiei, breathing a little heavily from all the maneuvers he had pulled off, but smiling at the General. "We make a decent Tag-team, I would say." he says through breaths as he looks back over the city to the others, calling for Tsukino and her scrolls to seal up Miru's body. As his cloak fades, his wounds begin to heal before Hiei's eyes, leaving the Hokage with only minor bruising and, as always in times of happiness and celebration, that wide smile on his lips.
Xun himself has to take a knee as the battle is finally over, the numerous attacks and sheer number of defensive maneuvers almost wiping his stamina clear out. As the giant bear rests on that one knee, he looks up at the smiling face of his partner and grins, knowing that they had completed their mission despite things looking grim.
As the battle draws to a close, Hiei spins his blades in his hand before sheathing them smoothly on his back. He half-smiles at Daisuke. "It would appear so. Can't wait to do it again." He frowns. "Excuse me, Lord Hokage. I need to check on my chuunin." His first priority is to get to Michiko to check on her status. The Kumo Chuunin had been taking some large hits, so when he appears next to her, he kneels. "Are you alright?" That aura is still present around his body. Just in case the Brothers had something else up their sleeve. He stands up again to look at the one called Yuuma. "Next time, bastard. I'll take your friggin head and put it on a pike. Just like I promised Councilman Kuoroke."
Ikari stays in the closet, trying to keep a hold of her breath as she listens for the sounds of the enemies' footstep. When she doesn't hear anything for a while she carefully opens the door to peek out from inside. She's about to step out from inside but hesitates, retreating back into the closet. It was small, but there was something comforting about this room with clothes hung up and boxes strewn on the floor. Something about it helped her to feel safe. She was sure that Tsukino or someone else would come looking for her, and even if they didn't, she just needed to be in here for a little longer.
Tsukino rushed forward as the enemy retreated. Daisuke's call brought her faster, but she'd already been on her way to the front. She ran a hand along an unhurt part of Xun's fur as she passed him, offering the bear a smile and a nod, respect and gratitude in her big blue eyes. Then she was wrapping her arms around Daisuke, checking to be sure that his wounds were sealing properly. She held tightly to the Hokage for a long moment.
She had seen his 'other' side and there would be time to process the imagery later. There had been too much to process this time. The living dead, Daisuke's transformations, the bodies before them… Ikari's terror.
Finally she let loose of Daisuke and opened a large scroll, laying it beside Miru's torn body. She worked diligently, silently, painting the strokes of her spell on the paper. But when shereached over to seal it she was suddenly pale as snow. She sealed the body quickly then put a hand to her mouth, suddenly queasy. Adrenaline or not she had not meant to encourage this level of damage against the woman.
Tsukino would have to go searching for ikari soon. She knew about where the girl had hidden. So she would start there, and she would carry the girl all the way home if that was what it took to help her.
Fear, guilt, and desperation nearly pushes Zankuro to race into the dying inferno before enough of it has died down for him to have a chance to survive. He swallows the bitter pill, though only after spending — wasting time staring into the flames until pain lancing up from his hands remind him to stop clenching his hands so tightly at his side. Afterwards, Zankuro kneels, and with teeth gritted, unroll his supply scroll to summon his first aid equipment.
A half-hazard job is all he does before taking off in search of survivors…
Michiko finally breaks out of the ice, letting the aura surrounding her body fade as she notices most of the enemy is now gone. She looks relieved and definitely tired, having pushed herself harder than in any battle she's been in before. The girl barely is able to stand at this point. She doesn't even bother to try, actually, just plopping onto the ground. It's around then that Hiei appears next to her. Her body is laced in cuts, a few of them rather deep, and some of the bandages she hastily applied during battle were already coming apart and blood-soaked. "Hiei-san," she blinks a bit, taking a second to comprehend the words coming from the Yotsuki's mouth before managing a nod. "I might need to stay out of the action for the next few days," she manages, but I'll be fine." It's impressive that she's able to even speak that full sentence in a breath. And her body feels the effects of all the injuries, so she ends up passing out.
"Well, kind of hard to not let you die when you put yourself in a corner like this," Yuuma says rather nonchalantly, smirking and shaking his head. He then looks down to Hiei, actually chuckling a bit. "Oh please. It's for my mere amusement that you've lived through this, but, sure, keep running that mouth, child, because that's all you can really do in this circumstance to make it feel like you've got some kind of hope." With that he'd flicker and vanish into thin air from area.