Date: July 26, 2011
Onimitsu, Kaede, and Maikeru meet on the road. The latter two inform Onimitsu that he should leave the area immediately for his own sake, and then begins the War of the Beasts.
"The War of the Beasts"
Flora Oasis (Land of Grass)
"Why does this one always used in such a way?", Onimitsu muttered darkly to himself as he flew across much of the Land Grass vegatation infested area for what felt like the hundredth time since setting out at dawn. And though there were other complaints aching to be heard, with only the occasional birds of prey, apathetic minor kami, and clouds around around PLUS the exhaustion of bearing two crate fulls of relief supplies eating away at him, Onimitsu held his tongue for the time being…
It is not until around midday that he dares to begin his descent to the ground. Confident from the sight of the quickly closing in landmarks that he was within adequate range for his targets to spot him.. or at least take note of the strange red and black blur begining to descend from the heavens. However, upon actually touching down on terra firma he sensed no approach from his comerades. Strange…
Deep within the Oasis, not far from Onimitsu, is a cloaked individual. He looks fairly harmless- perhaps simply a traveler to far away lands. But why go through the land of Grass which is in the middle of a civil war is anyone's guess. Either he is stupid or brave.
However, he does notice the red blur descending from the sky, with black accents. He lowered his head more and kept walking. Trying to not draw attention. But a figure like him, in a grassy plain is hard to miss.
Another creature trods, a man standing over six feet tall adorned in black pants, a black sleeveless shirt, black combat boots, and a white trenchcoat with black shoulder pads. A serious look of mal-intent shows on his face as he walks. Behind him, what appear to be two black wraiths seem to float as they carry a black coffin behind the man. As he walks, he quotes loud enough for any in the area to hear, though not yelling, "When the war of the beasts brings about the world's end, the goddess descends from the sky. Wings of light and dark spread afar, she guides us to bliss, her gift everlasting."
As the silence grows so does the tension around Onimitsu to the point out of wariness or fear, the armored former chuunin draws yoshimitsu from its resting place before beginning to circle the crate. His eyes on the other busy themselves with scanning the horizon until sighting some cloaked figure a short distance away. For a moment he examines as much as he can without approaching and slowly relaxes his guard, but then out of nothingness someone or 'thing' speaks up and draws his attention away. "That… can't be the expectant ones.." He emits barely above a whisper.
Erring on the side of caution, he waits until either one or both figures approach and reveal themselves or move on and leave him with the tiring task of guarding the shipment.
The cloaked figure also notices the other man, standing over six feet tall. It is that look of mal-intent that drew the figure's attention for a moment, in the end, prompting him to pull the hood covering his face even lower.
As the figure approaches the armored chuunin, he pays him a glance. A glance that reveals the figure's features. Black hair, dark eyes- with a scar running from his lower eyelid, to over his eyebrow, to the middle of his forehead. Once, it was clear, he had lost his eye. But it looked like he could see on that one again.
Afterwards, he resumes trying to be inconspicious, walking directly in the path of the third man.
"Infinite in mystery is the gift of the goddess. We seek it thus and take to the sky. Ripples form on the water's surface. The wandering soul knows no rest," Maikeru continues to quite as he walks down the path. "There is no hate, only joy, for you are beloved by this goddess, hero of the dawn, healer of worlds. Dreams of the morrow hath the shattered soul. Pride is lost, wings stripped away. The end is nigh." His words carry more and more as he walks. Dark blue eyes set on the cloaked figure moving down the path in front of him, the Jounin smirks slightly. In front of the hooded young man, down the path, a figure that should be rather familiar rises up from the ground, standing about the same height as Maikeru, except darker skinned with white hair and adorned all in black, baring eerie yellow eyes… Jigoku. The smirk remains on the Jounin's face as he awaits a reaction, the wraiths standing behind him with their deathly cargo.
Whatever sense of ease Onimitsu felt since noting the two figures is quickly replaced with dread. Illiciting unbidden in another whisper, "Of all the times." Before he raises his katana defensively before as he shifts in a position to better protect his cargo. "Both of you halt all movement and i-identify yourselves!?", He commands, then adds on seconds later more weakily offhandily, "And remove all masks and hoods."
The figure stops in it's tracks when it sees Jigoku. It was definetely a familiar sight. Having have fought him not so long ago. And then further complications, the Chuunin drawing his weapons and demanding preposterous things.
… to which the figure complies. Strangely enough.
"Kaede, ex Seishukuni. Criminal." He says as he lowers the hood down and looks to the Chuunin. "Perhaps you should flee. It is not safe here anymore." He said it with such ease and non-concern that it was easy to assume that this unsafety will be due to Kaede, not Jigoku.
As Onimitsu shouts out, the Jounin smirks and looks over to him. "Daeshiro Maikeru, Jounin of Kirigakure," he calls out. The look in his eyes grows darker as Kaede announces his name. "And he is quite correct, Onimitsu. This area is about to be turned from an oasis into Hell on Earth. You should get out of here while you are yet able. Having to protect someone is not on my list of things to do today." The wraiths drop the coffin and move to stand beside Maikeru. Their black cloaks fade away, revealing two young men about Kaede's height and build adorned in white cloaks and wearing black masks. His eyes lock on Kaede as he quotes again, rolling up the sleeve of the right arm and removing the glove, revealing the blood red glowing arm. "My friend, do you fly away now, to a world that abhors you and I? All that awaits you is a somber morrow, no matter where the winds may blow." As he speaks, a blood red aura forms around him, power surging through him and causing a hellacious quake. The look in his eyes becomes darker and darker as he begins to walk toward Kaede.
Ignored and belitted once again, Onimitsu's grip on his sword lessens as his line of sight falls to the ground. Though he sensed it beforeahand, and though Yoshimitsu had been silently trying to warn him ever since touching down, Onimitsu couldn't help but feel something growing inside. A burning feeling reflect in a charge of chakra coarsing down from his heart into the blade, rekindling a thus far dull red aura that always surrounded. Despite the feeling giving renewing his strength and begining to blind his senses to all except the figures, the source of his latest descent back into despair, words of obligation stir from memories…
"Very well..", the last words he could allow himself to utter without risk turning their fury towards him before leaping towards the air, opening the wings along his armor, and taking off. With one last sweep back the crate is carried off in passage…
As his enemy truelly reveals himself, and speaks the words that ring with Kaede, and not just Kaede/Kureno but Kaede/Hotaru, he feels himself as if thrown against a wall and bashed.
"My friend," Kaede says as he throws away the cloak covering his body. It was tattered and torn enough, if it gets any more messed up, it'll barely shield him from the cold, much less hide his features. "The world you speak of is a barren land, deserted by hope and everlasting peace. The skies will turn into black ash, and the rivers will flow into abyss. So I give unto you this silent sacrifice." And as he said the last bit, his fingers pressed together, and he exploded with chakra just as the air around him was filled with crystal petals gleaming in the sunlight. His words had not been his own. They were Hotaru's.
"Peace is but a few steps away, and the world need not abhor us."
"My friend, your desire is the bringer of life, the gift of the goddess. Even if the morrow is barren of promises, nothing shall forestall my return." He continues quoting as blood red chakra fills the air, the power from both surging through the area like two world's are colliding as Hell opens its mouth upon the Earth. "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. More copies of Jigoku appears around Kaede as it seems the ground shakes from the power of the two shinobi.
"Legend shall speak of sacrifice at world's end. The wind sails over the water's surface, quietly, but surely."
Kaede's eyes fixed on Maikeru. With the jutsu of many crystal petals his demeanor changed considerably. He was cold, calculating. Measuring every step, every breath— every blade of grass seemed to speak to him in a language that related to tactics. Every tree had been a possible point of cover; Every moment was a passing reminder of what he was capable of if he only surrendered himself to the nemesis of his mind. To the dark side of his heart. To the darkness that stained his soul— and yet proved to be a excellent companion in moments of solitude and hopelessness.
He clapped his hands together powerfully, chakra surging through them to the point of air crackling, "It is sad, but maybe if the times were different we could've been companions. Maybe even friends. The fates are cruel indeed."
And then the ground errupted with two spikes made of earth, an move certainly pulled— to the point that Kaede had simply wanted to observe Maikeru's evasion or defense pattern.
As the earth spikes come toward him, a clone appears in front of him and intercepts the blow as he walks past it. It seems the poem pauses as the Jounin steps forward confidently, a stride as if nothing could possibly touch him. "Fate has seen you twisted and abused, just as I have been. It is the test of those truly powerful, those capable of world-ending power. Others may think themselves monsters, but they are far from walking in the shoes of those like you and I."
With that, one of the copies of Jigoku lunges at Kaede, driving a knee toward his gut as another comes from behind with a spinning roundhouse aimed toward the back of his head. Time to get warmed up.
Kaede walks forward languidly as the Clones seem to converge on him. And he barely lifts his hands up into the air, presses them together and continues walking as the clones blast right past him and smash two crystal formations that just appeared. It was kinda cool.
But from their position, his hands simply continued making seals and before long there was a star in the sky. Though, oddly it was still day. A red star- it seemed to move away, further and further, until suddenly, when it was just barely meters away from it's target could one notice that it is not in fact moving away, but falling at incredible speeds.
"You speak the truth, but power is responsibility. For what do you use yours?"
Though he notices the star, he seems to make no motion toward defending against it. As it comes down toward him, however, a blood red orb appears around him and deflecting the lance away and into the ground. "I have accepted what I am, a monster, a demon. But it is not what you are that is important. I will use my power to fight for my people and lead Kirigakure into greatness as Hikan never could." He stretches his hand out, and the copies of Jigoku lunge in at Kaede, one going to tackle the back of his legs, another driving a foot toward his gut, the last driving a knee toward the back of his head. "When the powerful act foolishly, needless deaths unbalance the world, and the innocent die in vain. This can only lead to one thing, the end of us all."
"Even if the morrow is barren of promises, nothing shall 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."
(As the curtain raises to begin perhaps one of the fiercest, most earth-shaking battles in history, the screen fades to black.)