Date: November 13, 2016
Goh and Mushi are on the verge of finding the Uzumaki clan. Little do they know that something is about to find them…
"The Twelve Hunt - part 2: The Uzumaki Found"
Somewhere around here. That's the best that the two had to go on when it came to finding this pesky Uzumaki clan. Not that they can be blamed for hiding in such creative ways, given their high status in various Bingo Books around the world. But it certainly made it difficult if someone of neutral status or good intentions wanted to find them.
Taking a break in their journey, Goh and Mushi sit in a small clearing surrounded by woodlands. The pair are seated on a thrown, knitted rug, with a classic picnic basket placed in the middle. Some foods spill out of it, whether they be fruits such as grapes or peaches, breads, or cheeses.
The day is fine. Sunny, even. Nary a cloud dots the blue sky. The chatter between the two reflects the brightness of the sky; stories involving the worst things they had ever done through peer pressure. Mushi had just finished telling her tale, which earns a bemused grin from Goh as he crunches into a bread roll. "Okay, you got me. I'm not sure I would do /that/." He drawls out, the man rubbing back is already brushed-back hair. "Well. Maybe if I got drunk enough. Heh."
Mushi smiles crookedly when Goh comments on her story. "It wasn't planned out. These things just happen." When he raises the bread to eat, she snatches it away and bites off a corner. "Ugh. You don't want this. Try this bread." She'd not only hand it over, but place a bite into his mouth. And after that she'd just be giving him samples, placing bits of cheese and bread and fruit between his lips. She's stretched out on the rug, like a cat in the sun, and it's a moment of perfect contentment. But just a moment. They have pressing matters to attend to eventually. But for now she says, "Tell me a story. An interesting one of when you were a little boy." Now she's eating herself, just tiny bites from everything there is to offer. Hardly a practical way to eat. Her hair is twisted back into a bun, one that tightly pulls it away from her face. Though a few wisps have already come undone, and are curling around her face. She brushes them away absentmindedly. "Was it hard? Since you were Akuu?"
"Sure it was hard." Goh admits, taking the broken pieces of food as they're pressed between his lips. They were still super tasty! "Mmm.. A story." He considers, the back of his fingers tracing around Mushi's neck as she lays there in the sun. Not doing much else, just tracing around that area and her jawline. "I do have this ONE story." He begins with a smile, then leaning back. Propping himself up via one palm, he opens his mouth to speak, but closes it. Slowly yet surely he stands up, staring at something far away in the sky. It's as if he were from one of those Alien invasion movies, and he had just noticed the UFO.
Over in the far far distance, over the hills and mountains of Kumogakure, a very strange cloud formation can be seen. It's dark. Very dark. But the way it moves, as if it were some sort of organic being slithering through the sky lanes, is most unnatural. And it was also moving /against/ the wind. As it comes towards the pair, spreading out like a blanket high in the sky, it blocks out the sun to bask the entire area in shade. But there was no cool wind which usually accompanies storms. No drop in pressure.
Goh just stands there, staring at it. Visible beads of sweat roll down the side of his cheek and off his jaw. Then, with a terrified expression, he looks to Mushi. "/Run/." If she's not up already, Goh will YANK Mushi up and onto her feet, and then, without even packing up the picnic, he will hit the gas like no other. He is gone like the wind, zipping away along the ground as fast as his legs can carry him!
Mushi smiles. "Oh so now you're going to grand pose," she says, as he stands up dramatically. Her smile fades when she notices the look on his face, and she looks back at the cloud moving towards them. She's already gathering chakra, as much as she can hold. And she'd be running with him too. A minute later in a poof of steam Kirameki would appear. Skimming over their heads in a circle to take in the situation. Then she'd dive low just parallel to the ground and say, "Get on!"
Mushi leaps onto the hummingbird's back and reaches out to Goh. "Don't worry, she'll be able to outrun them." She would only have Kirameki fly away once Goh was on. And then they'd be flying at a blinding speed. Goh might have thought their last flight was fast. This one makes it look as if they're standing still. They'd both surely fall off if Kirameki wasn't using the technique that'd make their bodies stick to hers like some kind of otherworldly glue. And then they'd be off, not only flying away, but also flying up to try and maintain superior altitude to the cloud.
Goh was moving as fast as humanly possible. But given his speed is still developing back to its old state, it's… well. Not that fast. In the grand scheme of things, anyway. So when Mushi's arm reaches out to pull him up, Goh gladly takes it, the man hoisted onto the back of Kirameki. Panting loudly, the pickler looks up into the sky that they rise into. "This might be fast enough," He mutters in surprise, eyes squinting as air rushes into them at a great speed. His black cloak billows behind him madly, as wind gushes through it. They begin to leave the rapidly advancing cloud behind in their wake. It was big, sure. But certainly not fast enough to catch them.
As the trio rise into the sky, from behind them, seemingly /out/ from the dark cloud, spits a separate flume. A being of large humanoid height. Wrapped in black smoke that seemingly melts off his body, this body gives chase to the pair of its own accord! It's hard to explain what it is. It's what a meteor would look like, given it's trailing a lot of cloud behind it. If only a meteor were small and dark.
The singular person streaks through the air unassisted, curves and spirals, before pressing in to follow Mushi's hummingbird. And perhaps quite worryingly, it's actually catching up. Not quickly, but slowly yet surely closing the gap.
"That's it." Goh points a finger to the creature. The being. Whatever it is that is giving chase. "One of the Twelve."
Mushi looks a bit hopeful as the cloud is dragging behind them. Nothing can catch up with Kirameki. She has the fastest summon alive. That is until a plume of sinister looking smoke emerges from the oncoming storm and comes at them at high speeds. Higher speeds than Kirameki! As they fly, KIrameki seems to be using some ability, perhaps her wind chakra to shield them from the blasting winds they'd no doubt feel. But she has time to comment in a calm, sweet voice, "He's going to catch up soon."
"I know," Mushi says. "I can't believe it. Kirameki-chan go down. Low to the ground. See if you can use some of those trees and other things as cover to slow it." Though that wouldn't work very well, since the air gives clear space for the creature to make a beeline. Mushi chews on her lip, and looks nervously at Goh. She's now gathered quite a bit of chakra…and a seal has emerged and disappeared on her cheek. Unlocking even more of her potential. When the creature trails down, Mushi makes a few seals. The attack doesn't come from her. It comes from straight up from the ground, bullets of earth pelting the thing.
Goh watches, feeling completely helpless as the member of the Twelve closes in. "Kirameki," He offers, a hand placing on her back. "And Mushi," A glance goes to his lover. "We can't outrun this thing." Said after the summon sweetly reveals that it is getting caught. "If there's only one of them, we might be able to bring it down. But let's fly north-east by east." He doesn't say why to fly in that direction. Back towards the cloud, and where they were initially going. Perhaps he wants this battle to happen in Uzumaki territory? "Please?"
As Mushi begins to transform and unleash, Goh looks at her in awe. As his gaze goes back to the singular being, watching as the bullets of earth fire up from the ground, he clenches a fist. "Nice one. You got him!" The member of the Twelve manages to avoid two, but the second hits him and sends it into a spiral. If they weren't flying at such high speeds, they could also likely hear a grunt of pain! As it's hit, the speed naturally lowers and Kirameki stretches ahead. In slowing down, some of its natural form can be seen. Just enough to see its two hands clasping together, fingers interlacing.
Goh, Mushi and Kirameki will feel the sudden pressure of… something pushing down on them. "Kuh—!" The pickler gurgles, his eyes widening. Suddenly, as if they were on another planet, the gravity of their vicinity has increased by near five times that of normal! It's some sort of area-of-effect attack. Ideally in an effort to bring down the flyers. If not then slow them down.
When the pressure comes Kirameki says, "It's not wind chakra. More like gravity manipulation!" Mushi makes a series of hand seals and around them would expand panes of chakra. Like a diamond. Except it'd be one shaped to surround all of them, and let the chakra of the gravitational attack skid off it. At least it does for Mushi and Kirameki. Goh however gets the brunt of the attack and is literally dragged down. Except for one thing. Kirameki doesn't release him even as she herself is literally hauled down with him and they land in a skid. Mushi vaults off the falling hummingbird. "Goh," she says in a low voice. And for an instant it seems as if she's said his name in a moment of tension. Except no. Go. And with rapid, sharp beats of her wings Kirameki would use a gust of wind chakra to propel herself away clinging to Goh whether he wants to or not.
However, once in the air Kirameki says, "I believe they're after you and not Mushi-chan. I'll fly a bit to see which way they head. After that we can better plan how all of us can escape." Apparently even if Mushi is having thoughts of a heroic stand, her summon is not. And she's thinking with a much clearer head than either of them. She angles away from the cloud a bit, close enough to offer Mushi support but far enough to see where their pursuers may head. And on the ground, Mushi is using her earth jutsu to make the ground roar up in a gaping cave that'd crash down on the thing.
The entire experience had been quite traumatic, if fast. First the gravity well had nearly caused Goh to fall /off/ the summon. But then? Right at the end? Kirameki had managed to just keep ahold of him with great strength. After skidding across the ground, he was then apparently off again, leaving his girl behind. Which is where he screamed her name out. "Go back, Kirameki. Go back. He's going to KILL her!" The pickler barks, likely unsuccessfully.
Meanwhile, the member of the Twelve is incoming, headed straight for where he thinks the group has crashed. But he is not met by three shinobi, but by instead by a huge jaw made of earth and rock! With a grimace he is seemingly devoured, the earth devouring him and sending him into the pits of hell. As the attack ends, all is silent… Until the ground splinters.
CRASH! Emerging from the ground in a jumping type motion is the figure, who lands back on the surface with a huff. He stands now not five meters from Mushi, staring at her intently. The pickler's description of this being was largely on the money. He is /huge/. At nearly twelve feet tall and muscular to boot, he cuts a very imposing figure. Adding to the effect, he has large horns on his head. It's actually hard to see anything more specific than that, for his entire body is covered in a black 'cloak', much like the early forms of a jinchuuriki transformation. This black cloak steams off him like fire touching water. As he takes a step forward, he tenses. Mushi may feel his chakra become… well, strange. It's as if it enters a well, or a pit of depths that simply doesn't end. As if it's /infinite/. But it feels… empty? As if there was no ceiling to his chakra. Or perhaps nothing there at all. The very ground, the grass, it almost melts a smidgen under his foot.
Opening his mouth, his voice sounds troubled, as if he's having issues talking managing such power and strength. "Girl. Move." THEN it becomes clear. The black cloak radiating from his body? It is not chakra. It's blood. Likely his own, as his body struggles to maintain itself. He's also breathing strangely, the chase in the air and subsequent attacks from Mushi likely to have winded him at the very least.
"I'll stay near," Kirameki says, "but if I get grounded again both you and I will surely be a burden that gets Mushi-chan killed. We need to wait for an opening in which to rescue her." She's circling around. When the ground erupts and the thing emanates with destructive power, Kirameki lets out a low, piercing cry. She's anxious for Mushi too but she won't go down…yet.
"What's your name?" Mushi asks, before she starts going through hand signs. Below, Mushi is trying the same attack she used to subdue that last creature. If it worked on the wraith it might work on its creator, yes? Seals appear on the cracked earth around him and tendrils of dark chakra would shoot out to wrap around the thing. She's putting all her murderous intent into it. He'd not only feel the ten chains draining him, but also trying to pull him apart and store him in the ten seals. That is if it can catch him.
"You can call me … Two." The being holds up two fingers, his index and middle finger, to symbolise he was in fact talking about the number. As he takes another step forward, he stops when Mushi begins her attack. "You have just sealed your fate." He drones, voice again appearing to struggle speaking. As the chains come at him, it seems that they /do/ actually manage to catch him. And for a moment, it looks like the technique is working! His chakra is sucked out. But then, something happens.
With a reach and a flex, 'Two' continues his walk towards her. The attack continues and does its thing, but the sheer enormity of his chakra and his being is such that it seems he cannot even /feel/ the ten point seal technique.
In the next instant he is simply there. In front of her, with his huge fist (the size of two normal fists), attempting to just slam straight into her gut. It's difficult to tell if there is movement in how he got there. Was it ninjutsu? A replacement technique of some sort? Or simply vanilla taijutsu with speed off the charts? He /did/ manage to close in on Kirameki, after all. "Die." He mutters.
The strength of which he punches with will send dust and grass whittling in the air, regardless on whether he hits her or not. It's certainly nothing of this world.
And still, his energy is being sucked out via the ten point seal technique.
"Too much chakra!" Kirameki hisses, as the ten pointed seal fails to suck him in. "It can absorb the equivalent of a bijuu's chakra, but this creature must have more." Some of its chakra would filter through the seals and be absorbed by Mushi.
The creature's fist would hit a wall of black seals. Where it would hit would flare like the sun as black seals turn to white. At first it seems like it'd hold. And for a moment it does. Then with a loud crack the seals would shatter and Two's punch would catch Mushi. Not with full force, but enough to knock her back. She skids on her feet, and goes to a knee, barely managing to keep her balance. Her hand is over her mouth.
"No," she snarls. "YOU die." And then she'd exhale. Instead of some dense earth attack, fog would pour from Mushi's mouth. A steam that'd writhe like it had a life of its own towards Two. However this is chakra fueled poison. Made to kill and cause agony. Burning on the skin and searing in the throat and internal organs. It's about as deadly an attack as a poisoner can use. She's glaring at this creature. Fear is there, but determination has overcome it.
And above Kirameki says, "Chakra Vapor Pill. It will corrode internal organs. It's closer to venom than powdered poison."
"These things have potentially unlimited chakra." Goh confirms to Kirameki. "Don't think of this thing as a bijuu, or compare it to anything you've seen before. It's on a different level. If it can just keep sucking nature energy out forever? There's no end to it." Perhaps that's why the grass withers beneath his feet. Because the chakra is getting stripped out.
""Fool." Two speaks, voice booming with bass. As the poison comes towards him, slithering through the air, Two watches. Slamming his palms together in a clap, the being exhales a small ball of fire. But then? In the same motion, he exhales a titanic amount of wind! It's not a very fancy technique, but the amount of chakra that this thing possesses means that the technique is performed at a level beyond that of a master. And naturally, this huge wall of wind catches the fireball he just blew out and expands it too. So now? Mushi has a huge wall of fire, wind AND poison (which was blown back) rushing at her.
To make matters worse, the chakra which Mushi absorbed is foreign. As she's untrained to use natural chakra, she will begin to feel her extremities start to harden and turn to stone. Already her the tips of her fingers are starting to crack and harden into rock.
Her experiment to see if poison would work is a failure. When Two calls her a fool, Mushi actually gives a rueful nod of agreement. Every one of her instincts was screaming at her to run, but here she is. All her techniques are bouncing off of him though it's a tiny bit of comfort he's not some god or demon. He can be harmed…and part of her wants to stay and see this to the finish. It's in her eyes until she looks down at her hands in surprise. Fingers turning to stone. Goh had mentioned it uses nature chakra, and she knows the price for that.
"Uh oh," Kirameki says. "Get ready to grab her, Goh." Then she'd dive sharply down.
Mushi has just enough time to bend her fingers into hand seals, and slap a written mark on both her palms. The marks begin to leech the petrifying effect, the symbols turning to granite gray before the senjutsu chakra is sealed. Mushi has successfully neutralized it and now glances up to see a wall of fire, poison, and wind bearing down on her. This is…
That's when Kirameki swoops down. She's enveloped in a cloak of wind. Wind sharpened till it's like a scythe. It cleaves through the fire, blasts away the poison, and Kirameki would say, "Grab Mushi!" to Goh. The world is surrounded by fire and wind. And Mushi at this point would reach up to try and grab on so she could fly away. Already Kirameki is pulling sharply away back up into the air.
Goh is in the ultimate position of hanging off to the side a little bit, with one hand reaching to hold on to Kirameki, and the other hand reaching out as far as he can to get Mushi! With a loud slap his hand bangs into her forearm, and with a heave, he helps haul her away and into the sky. "Hnnnnhhhg!" It's not that Mushi was heavy. It's just that pulling those sorts of angles at speed adds a lot of weight to the whole process. They were pulling some Gs! But it seems largely they got out okay, thanks to the hummingbirds blade of wind.
Two smirks just a smidgen when the trio team together to avoid the wave of death. He watches as it burns trees and significantly alters the immediate landscape. But naturally, he wasn't worried about the group getting away. After all, he could fly. And furthermore, he could fly faster than Kirameki.
Just as he prepares to take to the air, a voice can be heard from his rear. In all the action, he had failed to notice the presence of a shinobi from behind.
"Evil Seal: RELEASE!" In front of this shinobi is a large pot, about five feet in height and a foot in diameter. With various markings and designs carved and painted onto it, it actually looks fairly pretty. But this pot is far from just a pretty face, for a tornado of sorts erupts from the pot and heads straight for Two!
Two screams. Perhaps he knows what's coming, or perhaps he's already feeling the drain. The scream is not unlike the holler of the Phantom that attacked Goh and Mushi in Sunagakure. It's a shrill sound, completely unnatural to any normal, living creature. Still screaming, Two takes to the sky. He zooms into the clouds from whence he came at blinding speeds, which in turn start to retreat back towards the mountains and hills of Kumogakure, before disappearing completely.
Leaving sunlight, again. And the Uzumaki clan member with the sealing pot.
"Uzumaki Roshi." Goh breathes out in relief, still hanging onto Mushi tightly. "He found us."
When they hear the screams of Two and the source of it, Kirameki makes a tight loop. "Who is that?" she asks, and when Goh answers she gives a chirrup of understanding. Then she'd glide down. Since she got on Mushi hasn't been saying much. But now with the danger gone it's easier to pay attention to her heavy breathing. She's sweating heavily and not just from tiredness. Her hands clutch her ribs, and Kirameki says, "They're sprained. That punch really got you." She lands.
"Kirameki-chan heal me," Mushi says. Kirameki's feathers would start to shimmer, and waves of healing chakra would pour into the body of the two passengers. Clearing burns, mending wounds, and relieving the pain. Mushi lets out a gasp of relief, and slips off of Kirameki. "Kirameki-chan take to the air and keep a lookout," she says. She turns to face the Uzumaki. Certainly they'd saved her, and Goh knows him, but she had Kirameki use her own chakra to heal the medic. And now Mushi is drawing on even more chakra.
"Thank you for assisting us," she says, "but I was just about to beat him. I really showed him who was boss." This small bit of humor is meant to alleviate some of the darkness of the moment. She glances at the pot.
"Mushi! You alright?" Goh panics at first when she is brought on board, looking her over carefully as she is healed. He knows what it's like going one-on-one with those things. And he knows what it's like AFTER. All of that pressure… not only physically did you have to recover, but mentally too. Perhaps to top it all off, Mushi may remember that there are /twelve/ of these things. How would they get rid of this enemy? When simply ONE posed such an issue?
Now 'Two', who was just an absolute mountain of a man, Roshi is… well, the opposite. He's old. And he's small. Nearing the end of his sixties, Roshi stands with a hunch — with no hair but for a single tuft of greyish white that spouts from the top of his skull. "Of course you did." Roshi croaks in reply to Mushi, seeming weary with energy himself. The technique he performed is likely not an easy one to perform.
"Roshi, you old bag!" Goh greets, feeling his energy returned after Kirameki had healed him. "What the hell TOOK you so long!" The older man glowers at Goh, before jumping and WHACKING him upside the head, scalding him like a child. Goh reels! "Quiet, you punk nose slobbery kid. I got grandkids to sit for, ya know!" The pair exchange some laughs, no doubt familiar with each other.
"Mushi," Goh finally speaks, a hand lifting to grip her by the shoulder. "This is Uzumaki Roshi, one of the best sealers in the world. Old man Roshi? This is Mushi. My, uh," He looks to the healer, perhaps a bit confused on how to introduce her. "…Well. She's the love of my life." Somehow, 'girlfriend' didn't match the level of feeling he had for her. It didn't seem enough. So he didn't use it.
Roshi bows. "Mushi, it's a pleasure to meet you. Long have I heard of your exploits." Pause. "I am sorry you are with Goh." He seems almost sincere. "I see you have an eye for Lucielle." His eyes avert to the pot.
Mushi glances at Goh. "No I'm not alright," she says, annoyance taking over her nervousness. "I just threw enough techniques at that thing to pummel anyone into submission. That is if someone took them on without defending like it did. And it was brushing aside my techniques like paper and powder." She lets out a huff, and then winces. Her ribs are still a bit tender. She rummages in her medical pack and takes out a scroll, which she unrolls. It's blank.
While Goh and Roshi exchange pleasantries Mushi begins to relax. So he is an ally and, from the sound of it, a friend as well. When he remarks on her exploits she smiles and says, "It looks like I should stick to healing. I can't believe I haven't heard of a man of your skills. Be right back." She'd step away with her scroll and go over to where she'd attack Two. While they talk a bit more she seems to be gathering something up, and now she comes back holding the scroll carefully. She wraps it up in a thick cloth and ties it off with twine.
"Now I can study some of its chakra. S'long as I don't turn into…wait, love of your life?" She looks at Goh in surprise, and then a warm smile breaks over her face. She throws her arms around him to hug him, before parting a few moments later with an embarrassed cough. "I'm not sorry at all," she says to Roshi. When he mentions the pot, and refers to it by a name, she looks puzzled. "Lucielle?" she asks, with a note of skepticism. She'd go over to examine it more closely. Her nose almost touching it as she peers over it. "It's hollow," she observes. Wow…brilliant.
Goh gives Mushi a firm hug when she jumps into him, before lowering her. "Well, yeah. Of course." He admits a bit sheepishly, looking to Roshi. The older man has a face in mock disgust. "Get a room."
When Mushi returns from collecting her tags, the Uzumaki man nods. "That's correct. Hollow. I can explain the finer details of how Lucielle works to you back at the Village. Then the techniques to use it. I… I cannot use it again." Roshi truly looks /buggered/. Even for a man of his… uh, experience. "Follow me. Goh, you punk, haul Lucielle back for me. Treat her right, won't you? If you're rough with her and scratch her, I'll kick your ass." The pickler swallows audibly and nervously, before picking up the pot and cradling it in his arms.
With a glance to Mushi, he purses his lips. "We'll be safe in the Uzumaki Village." It's not much, but hopefully it will put her mind at ease. With that, he falls into line behind Roshi.