Date: April 16, 2012
An overcurious Kanrai goes down into the Obsidian Tunnel when she sees the light of a fire inside. When she finds that the one in the tunnel is Maikeru, it becomes clear that this time curiosity would indeed kill the cat.
"The Unlucky Shirayuki"
As the full moon sits high in the sky, the tide rolls in on the Black Sands Beach. The moon is in just the right place to illuminate the obsidian tunnel, so one may not notice a faint yellow glow mixed in with the ghastly glow the moon gives from outside unless he or she were paying attention.
Inside the blaco corridors of the tunnel, Maikeru sits on a large rock in front of a small fire. He wears a black cloak over his form, a hood covering his head and concealing his face from anyone not close enough to look under it and see his face. "My friend, the fates are cruel. There are no dreams. No honor remains. The arrow has left the bow of the goddess… My soul, corrupted by vengeance, hath endured torment to find the end of the journey in my own salvation… and your eternal slumber," he quotes as he tosses a small log on the fire, his dark blue eyes staring into it, still outlined in red from lack of sleep.
Unable to sleep as well, Kanrai found herself walking along the beach. The chill wind played at the hem of her kimono as she wandered. She had never really gone into the tunnels, but as she started to pass by the entrance to them, she heard something. It was faint… hardly noticable under the wind and waves and her own thoughts, but she was sure she heard a voice.
Pausing in her steps, she looked around. Nothing and no one was on the beach… unless they could become invisible, but she strongly doubted such a thing. Her eyes shifted down, to the entrance to the tunnels, and she furrowed her brows. Kanrai momentarily hesitated to head down but she felt she had to check it out. As she headed down, she was careful to be attentive. She said nothing until she came across the light of the fire.
"Good evening," she emitted quietly, warily as she came closer, stopping just inside the light. She stood with her arms crossed tensely over her stomach, trying to appear less stressed than she was… and failing more than she cared to admit.
As the girl approaches, Maikeru turns his head slightly to look at her. "Legend shall speak of sacrifice at world's end. The wind sails over the water's surface quietly, but surely." He looks back to the fire for a moment, picking up a stick and shoving the logs around a bit with it. "Even if the morrow is barren of promises, nothing shalp forestall my return. To become the dew that quenches the land, to spare the sands, the seas, the skies, I offer thee this silent sacrifice."
The poem done, he drops the stick and turns to face Kanrai. He brings his hands up and pulls his hood back, revealing his weary face and red eyes as he looks at her sternly. While his skin is darker and hair short and black now rather than long and silver, she may recognize him if she saw him in the Bingo Book or some other record, or even at the Bloody Mist Cup tournament he organized before he went Missing. "It's dangerous for a woman to be out this late on her own outside the village walls," he says, eyes narrowing on he hears Jigoku's voice inside his head. "This is not a lucky night for one who follows the Mizukage to be out here…"
Kanrai was polite enough, even to potential enemies, to not interrupt art. If he had showed aggression, she might have acted but she felt it would do little harm to let him finish the poem. Thankfully, she had been proven correct when he didn't immediately attack her. However, when he revealed who he was, her nails dug slightly into her arm. She didn't avert her gaze or move otherwise and simply narrowed her own eyes faintly when the Mizukage was mentioned.
"I imagine not… Regarding being a woman, however, I do not feel that's a fair statement. Man or woman… it is unsafe in either case. Particularly tonight, apparently," she commented idly. Her voice was far from confrontational, an obvious attempt to clear her own head by expressing a random thought. Immediately after, however, there was a moment of silence before she grit her teeth. "It appears I'm in your way, then."
"I suppose you're right," Maikeru says, a wicked smirk tugging at his lips. "I'm afraid attempting to stop me would lead to death for anyone. It's a shame that one such as you would stand in Death's way for Hikan, but I cannot have my presence here reported before my work begins."
Bringing his left hand forward, he removes the glove from his right hand then rolls the sleeve up, revealing the glowing blood red arm that marks him apart from any other. "It is unfortunate that we had to meet this way, but I will at least leave you your soul. I will not offer many of your comrades who stand in my way that luxury." That said, he stretches his right hand at her and sends an elongated form of it at her to attempt to grab her by the throat and bring her directly into his other fist, which he sends straight at her gut.
If she chose not to oppose him, she certainly wouldn't be able to return to the village in good conscience. Certainly, there was part of her that felt Hikan would get what was coming to him, but as a shinobi of Kirigakure, she knew she couldn't stand by and watch. Oh, how she would have loved to be an observer rather than in this predicament…
Kanrai's hands shifted together to form seals, attempting to create a barrier, regardless of how small it would have been with what little water had actually made it down here. That fact alone would certainly be what sealed her fate in the end… Regardless, she simply wasn't quick enough to avoid the inevitable and was grabbed. Upon colliding with his fist, she grit her teeth, refusing to verbally express just how painful it was. Her eyes certainly showed it, anyway, but that was irrelevant. Emitting a strained cough afterward, she gazed at him carefully.
"I have ways to make this quicker, but unfortunately they would probably shake the earth and have your comrades coming my way," Maikeru says as he looks down at Kanrai, no malice or hatred showing in his eyes. This is purely business. However, some part of him seems to be enjoying this, likely the part of his mind that Jigoku now inhabits. "By that technique you tried to pull off, you are of Hikan's clan, I'm guessing."
The glowing hand around her neck suddenly multiplies in size to cover most of her body in an attempt to grab her body and slam her against a nearby cave wall to pin her to her. "What's your name, Shirayuki?" he asks, his dark blue eyes locking with hers as he waits for a response.
"What a shame," she forced past the choking hand. Kanrai was not necessarily one for humor, but the situation certainly prompted some sarcasm from her if only to ease her mind. It wasn't much, but it was an attempt. The moment his hand shifted to reshape, she tried to move, to escape but again she failed. A pained cry slipped from her lips when her back hit the jagged obsidian of the walls, but his question ripped a humorless, short chuckle from her.
"Why…? Are you going to take my last words to my cousin? I assure you we aren't close enough for it to matter." Her face lacked the amusement her voice portrayed by far. She may have been a shinobi and from Kirigakure, but she was not without fear. If she had even the smallest chance of defending herself, perhaps she could have avoided the emotion but she could already tell that death was inevitable. She knew what would happen, she accepted it… but that did not mean her instincts wouldn't cause her heart to race, dread to fill her, and even some regret for things left unsaid or undone.
"That's fine. I'd prefer not to have to put down people pointlessly seeking vengeance, only to die at the hand of the same demon that put you down," Maikeru replies with a shrug. A flash of blood red chakra seems to light his eyes for a moment before he reaches to his back and draws his katana-esque sword, releasing her from the giant hand as he prepares to strike. "I suppose it's noble you would die for your village, but it is a pity."
Bringing the sword back into stance and starts to focus chakra through his arm to make the strike more powerful and effective, the Rogue says, "Oh well." With that, he thrusts the blade forward, intending to plunge it directly through Kanrai's gut before pulling it back and sending it directly at her heart, intending to end this as quickly as possible without making her have a closed-casket funeral.
As she was released, Kanrai purposely shifted to try and avoid anymore gashes along her back. She was minimally successful, falling to her knees and taking a deep breath. Between being choked and then pressed against the wall, she'd been having a little difficulty breathing properly. "That's what loyalty is," she murmured in response to his second comment. The first didn't need an answer, she figured. It certainly was better if word of this never reached her parents or Rinya…
Shifting slightly in a half-hearted attempted to move out of the way this time, she grit her teeth against the pain of a blade through her stomach. A whimper of sorts slipped from her due to both the pain of that as well as the withdrawal of the weapon. When Maikeru drove the sword again toward her flesh, it was met with a faint, nearly inaudible 'tink' and slipped just the slightest bit to the side before it went through her.
Confused and with her consciousness quickly fading, Kanrai's hand weakly lifted to touch her chest. What she found caused her head to shake slowly while a lightly amused smirk twitched into being. "Sorry," she barely managed to say before passing out. Whether it was to Maikeru himself or an invisible being connected to whatever caused the smirk was questionable at best… but a necklace leaving her just barely alive when she should have been dead already was certainly quite a chance happening.
Noticing the touching of the necklace, Maikeru lifts an eyebrow slightly but makes no mention of it, though he does realize it was probably from a family member or lover… It's a bit ironic that his first kill in this war would be such. Another flash of red shows in his eyes, his voice much deeper as he says, "Not doubting yourself now, are you, boy? Sacrifices are always made in war. If you falter, you will not be able to achieve what he told you. I will not hesitate to take over."
As the glow fades, the Rogue shows a definite look of rage in his eyes as he swings his sword down to slice Kanrai's throat for the final blow. He grips the hilt of the sword tightly, letting out a low growl before he resheathes the sword and kneels down to close the girl's eyes. "Rest in peace. Perhaps you will be born into a better place in your next life."