Date: August 31, 2013
A camp of shinobi sit on a pile of scrolls, barring further travel down the path leading to the tower in the Forest of Death. The nature of the world and that which live within it take their toll.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Third Promotion Exams - Nature"
Near Training Area #44's Tower
The Survival round is coming to a close. And there are those who seek to eek out the last bits of carnage they can manage from a time like this. There are those who have come to rely on the safety of comrades. There are those who simply hadn't yet managed to pick up the scrolls they needed for graduation. These people and more have come to this place, so near to the tower that each must enter to consider this trial a success, and they have come together.
11 Shinobi guard this place, fully out in the open in the tree-lined pathway towards the Forest of Death's tower. They talk amongst one another seemingly secure in the strength of their numbers, gathered around the group of scrolls that they've got stacked up. The each of them send frequent glances to the northwest where the path continues away from the tower, checking for victims, though they never seem to look into the trees that line either side of the wide, grassy corridor.
It was clear that they were going to challenge each who came through. Here, this last afternoon of the chuunin exams, in this place shaded by trees so high the place was left dark but for half an hour and either side of noon. And judging by the few bodies around bodies — knife wounds, seared skin, a bloated and discolored body — they had already had a few challengers this day. And there would be more to come.
It has been weary work these several fleeting days, gloried in battle (how vigorous and manic'd death seems), cracked with disrepair, but repaired again and again, the soul of body's quest for rest dissolving in the removal of it's time for such. Hibiki is here — but weary.
The boy's coat is torn, gashed, and mangled, barely clutching on, but tighter now for the slackless belt looped around the waist, the Genin's arms own slung through the sleeves, prepared, his pace clipping and hard, and-
Yes, there, there ahead, by the tower, where the boy thought there were soon to be those with the necessary scrolls — there is not. There are warriors - shinobi - eased and confident, a slew of corpses reminding them so. Hibiki stops, far in the distance that the group can just be seen so. He dashes up into and perches within a treetop, surrounded by vegetation and lingering smells of expired dreams. There are so many of them…
The survival portion of the exams meant just that for Fudo, more so than he would have guessed. He had to survive and endure a great many things that he never intended to, nor thought would occur at all. Still, he was driven because of it, and it had taught him several lessons about the shinobi world. It truly wasn't that different from the real world, tihs world of demi gods that breath fire and talk to dogs with medical training and make contracts with animals that have civilizations. People still knew how to backstab, lie, cheat, steal, and be selfish. They still knew how to be greedy and short sighted and opportunistic. And this gaggle of people waiting to scalp what was left of the participants was just another example.
Fudo's muted sharingan would gaze at them all from the tree line. He had done so for some time now, judging their intent and their actions to be. There was only one way in to the tower from here after all, and they were the ones taking the toll.
There was movement. A shifting. A preparation.
But it was not from the shinobi.
From the forested land, to the right of the group, something lifted from the bark of a huge tree. Abruptly it was moving, it's flattened head leaving the huge trunk and speeding towards the 11 shinobi. Many legs carried it's many segments forward, the sound of them thudding into the ground raising the sound of a low stampede.
The shinobi turned towards the sound with surprise, not expecting to see anything approaching from that direction. There were supposed to be more. Guards. But they were not what they thought of when they saw the giant creature, twice as tall as any of them and who knows how much longer simply rushing them. All of them — every single one — they hesitated and it cost them their lives. The centipede reached them in it's surpassing speed, huge claws under the head gnashing with a blurred swiftness.
The each of them were cut into and drawn into it's mouth in it's single passage. Barely time for a scream before they had vanished but for some blood on the grass and their memory, the visible camp consumed, scrolls and all. And the near insect didn't stop. Fudo and Hibiki would see movement. Panicked shinobi fleeing towards them in the trees, away from the tower. And the centipede's antennae turned towards it, the creature slipping back into the forest on the other side and heading towards all of them for a bigger meal.
Hibiki could move but a moment before the centipede erupts over the gathered shinobi, a warrior own with countless more blades and ravenous agility. There come the screaming, thrusting force of scattered ninja, forgotten of their confidence so easily gained, so easily fled. The boy of Kirigakure flexes himself upon his treetop, motionless for the shinobi fleeing below. His hands tightens, his feet curl, and his eyes gain a vigor by which they steady their will in face of this forthcoming rupturing movement of death. Hopefully - believes the Genin - his stillness will not alert the rapaciousness of the centipede. Hopefully - believes the Genin - he will have the tenacity of spirit to even engage such a foe.
Blinking as he certainly didn't see that coming, Fudo would take particular note that this complicated matters. While the path to the tower was… technically clear, the bounty that led the way was leaving the area. In doing so, it was heading straight towards him as others blindly ran his way… but it was still not quite convinient. Narrowing his gaze, Fudo would consider the fact that this was a giant, ravenous, carapace-clad beast. Regular tactics simply weren't going to work very well, but he did begin to formulate a place.
His crimson gaze intensified as he used the trees to gain the high ground swiftly, forming hand seals as he went and flipping backwards and over the monster as he did so. He would release a massive fire ball down upon it, and just after have it accompanied by a rain of smaller balls of flame as his hands loosed shuriken to accompany the barrage of attacks.
Intellect proved fruitful in this case, as the frenzied insect was rushing after the many moving targets, it's legs clambering over the many roots and trunks to propel itself towards the people trying to get away. The giant creature went right under Hibiki, it's passage shaking the trunk for the six seconds it took the whole of it's body to pass by. In fact, it's final push shook the tree hard enough to dislodge a branch overhead, bringing it crashing down towards the boy.
And it ran right on into Fudo's suddenly rising flames. The great fireball broke against it's carapace, giving it a certain sheen but not appearing to do any true harm. But surprise and fear had caused it to rear at that, antannae waving wildly, and allowing the flames to reach softer shell, scorching and causing it to let out a screech. It had taken some damage, but was more surprised than harmed.
And when it's front touched the ground again, it was off and after Fudo directly, it's speed easily taking it into reach of him. It's venemous pincers sought him out snapping at him, paralysis one of the most deadly pieces of their bite. And as the Uchiha was being accosted? He would get the chance to notice a scroll stuck in the creature's jaws by a leather strap.
The youth doesn't even notice the cracking of the branch above his head; and is cognizant discovering himself further down the tree, collapsed into another branch in its crux against the bark. There are lines in sight, crashing motion, and then clear- the ravaging chase of… the Uchiha!
Hibiki scrambles to his feet on the tree. Height, here, may be a greater advantage. But of the Uchiha…
Hibiki stares but a second longer, and then he's leaping from branches, extra appendages erupting from needed places to catch branches and hold feet. What would certainly look a monstrosity carries elegance by it in nature's strange grace.
Onward and onward towards the lively carapice Hibiki chases, trailing quick hand seals, and then a sea of mist, shouting after, pausing at it's hazy edge:
The pincers would snap in to Fudo's form, or it at least appeared that way, as the uchiha himself was ducked very low under the mandibles noticing the scroll with his keen gaze as he heard someone familiar yell out his village. Fudo himself would say, "Who ever is alive, prepare to counter attack!", announcing that he was going to try something soon. He maintained his position before the killer centipede, leading it after him as he leap and kipped backwards, forming hand seals before he'd let loose another giant fire ball. However, as the centipede had been moving around, the razor wire of this barrage of fire balls and shuriken would have been gettign wrapped around the ridiculous amounts of legs. The fire ball was more to try to get it to suddenly stop in it's tracks or force it back as Fudo would pull *HARD* on the razor wire, straining and cutting in to his hands as he grits his teeth, trying to buy others time to actually hit the monsterous insect before it was back on it's countless legs.
Abruptly, a thick and encompassing mist rose up around the centipede, covering the whole of it's immense form and blocking it's nearly useless eyes. But the creature seemed hardly deterred by the lack of visibility, it's antannae writhing, it's speed slowing only slightly. As a whole, centipedes were subterranean creatures and this one was no different than it's kin. And so it continued forward, steering around the trees by feel, going after Fudo.
Abruptly, though, the mist burned away in front of it, replaced by a flaming ball that leapt towards the creatures face with a crackling cackle. It struck it it's carapaced head, the fireball bursting apart and causing it to let out a another screech and leaving a light scorch behind. It did little damage, again more surprise than anything else. Still it moved forward, though, undeterred and hungering.
That was, up until it suddenly found the majority of it's legs cinched painfully together, sending it into a sudden crashing, half of the creature's long, long body ending up carving a furrow in the earth and causing a tree to fall onto another in it's trip. It's confined legs strained against the razor wire, the metal beginning to cut into them slightly, even as the rest of it's body began to writhe, legs flailing, mandibles gnashing, body sinuous in it's undulations.
The shinobi who'd been fleeing before had stopped running. Even those who had been on the other side of the forested path left those trees to see rather than escape. But they did not approach to try to kill the creature. All they could sense was the sounds of it's struggle hidden within the depths of a writhing mist. That and half of the body of a tiger the size of a wagon flying from the mist to land in the open path with a bloodily sickening crunch. A creature that must've gotten scared from the forest by the turmoil and ventured too near the centipede's thrashing mandibles in it's panic.
Hibiki sees Fudo see him not. Hibiki sees the other gathered shinobi, curious but cowardly, and he-
The boy grins, wickedly wickedly, and slinks into the remainder of the mist from that which was burned away. He watches, watches the centipede still furiously chase Fudo, and then up in wires it is, squeeling in gnash and claw; the frantic panting of the beast's antenna. An extra appendage arrives from the boy's side, plucking two kunai from within the Genin's large coat; and flung they are, aimed to perhaps hit an antenna; aimed to perhaps hit Fudo nearby — a clumsy toss, surely.
And immediately, from the mist, leaps Hibiki, through and through the trees, to an entirely new perspective, where he shouts:
"Aim for the feelies!"
The boy punches himself.
"The antenna! Idiot."
Tilting his body to the side with a lean, not even looking back towards Hibiki and his throw, he'd watch the kunai clang against the beast as the other aimed for the antennae. Fudo himself would take a few steps foward, drawing his blade in a slash long before he'd make it to the target, only to appear on top of its head, just past an antennae. He'd resheath his blade as he dipped down, trying to scoop up the scroll that he saw earlier while the insect was far less mobile. He wouldn't spend too mcuh time on that however, moving with or without the scroll to run along the back of the monster swiftly. He would gather up the razor wire still in his hands and twist the lead wires together in to one long, combine string of metal. Leaping from the centipede, Fudp would cling to a tree with his feet, looking up from his horizontal position as he exhaled the legendary flames of the dragon upon the line, trying to see if he cannot actually do some hard to the monstrosity.
Hibiki's kunai hit the one of the creature's flailing antenae, point sticking into it for a moment before simply falling out, doing only negligable damage. The damage to the feeler was much more substantial, however, as the boy put himself onto the creature's writhing body. It hadn't been cut through but there was a big enough gash in it that it bent over like a broken reed, a viscous blood dripping from the angry creature's wound. It doubled it's efforts to escape. And then, when the flames came in, tripled them. It's body now being bathed in flames it let out a screech of pain, filling the air and dispelling the mist around it. The tree Fudo stood on shook as well as most of the others surrounding it and the ground itself, the smell of cooking flesh rising.
But soon the sound of wire snapping and whirring resounds through the forest. They broke, the strength of the centipede's many legs finally snapping them, letting them lash their surroundings as their tension sends them flying. Swiftly, it returns to it's feet and rushes forward.
It runs around the tree that had fallen over to lean on another, body twisting as it pulled a 180 and rushed towards Fudo who had caused it so much harm. Supreme speed, it struck out to Fudo with reaching mandible looking to ensnare him and simply throw him, mightily, it's movement forcing the already fallen tree to fall again, heading straight towards Hibiki. If snagged, Fudo would find the toss powerful enough to send him crashing through Hibiki and then tree after tree until moment stopped him. And if Hibiki didn't have to attempt to avoid Fudo, he'd still have that tree to contend with.
There is a grim relief on Hibiki's lips as the centipede writhes and spits aflame, the cooking smell of life tinging the nostrils of those alive. The snap is hard, quick — the beast is free again, lashing towards Fudo in its run to… avenge? Such a thing for such a brute beast? The opposite then?
No matter, it seems, for the Uchiha is clutched in the mandibles of centipede, clutched and flung, forward and whistling, right towards Hibiki himself. The boy chuckles, and from his neck arrives another head, much his own, protruding at an angle, a smirk, and then disappeared again, instead ejecting a second pair of arms beneath the original, this set pacing through hand seals at Fudo's soaring approach, and then the hands stop, and the wind coalesces, furying together before the Genin's face, and bouncing Fudo away, twisting him through the air and wicked branches, a grin to Hibiki's face.
But oh- the centipede. The boy's hands come together rapidly again, bracing through, and then a breath, blades of wind dancing towards the face and feelers of the tremendous approaching insect.
It seemed that Fudo's luck had run out as the the centipede grasps him and launches him as he would blink and fly through the area wide eyed. He'd strike a tree, rolling around it and then plow through a branch on his way to Hibiki before he would be redirected by the sudden winds in to the underbrush of the area in a heap, still too dazed to act.
The huge centipede, cousin of the insects, rushes towards where it threw it's prey intent on consuming it's flesh and ending it's threat. As it careens off of the other prey's airy shell, it shifts direction to follow it. To swallow it down. But the other launched an assault on him, air streaking towards it and breaking against it's shell, though causing it to turn and redirect towards Hibiki.
Swift, it's many limbed travel, and without preamble, it's sudden turn causing it to trample a few of the shinobi who hadn't reacted to it's movements swiftly enough. Viscous, gnashing, those pincers of it's snapped and lashed, attempt to close on and cut up the Kirigakure born meal.
And for those with the presence in mind in battle to notice, the scroll that had been hanging in it's mouth was no longer there, as Fudo would have seen earlier. Easy to assume that it had simply been swallowed along with the rest of the scrolls. But there, amidst the scorched earth and the final vestiges of fading mist, laying in the furrow created by the giant centipede's sliding fall… a chuunin scroll necessary for the advancement to the next section of the chuunin exams.
The rapid assault and subsequent gnash of the great centipede caught Hibiki ill prepared, the great creature taking a clawing gash along the boy's arm. Scars are stories told in puckered flesh, and what stories for those who can survive to tell.
A second snatch of multi-legged beast comes dashing in, but this one the boy blocks, his second pair of arms whirling up to put a force of wind afore the centipede, ceasing its assault forward.
Hibiki leaps from, scanning the surroundings, but finding nothing than silent trees and scattered flesh of ill-trained ninja. Ecosystem, where did the Uchiha go?
he boy stares now, at the rattling cage of anger and want; stares at the soft underbelly of the marauding centipede and it's terrible wrath above. He needs to get it weak, confused — an idea there is, perhaps, to dismantle the beast. The youth's hands clap together, forming seals, and with a final adherence, comes: nothing… save then the twisting, colliding punch of air around the centipede's head.
Shaking his head sharply a few times as he would stand back up with a groan, Fudo would assess the current situation, snapping back to attention with haste. He would allow his eyes to follow the path of the centipede, trying to determine where it was going and what exactly happened after he was launched. It was then that he spotted it; a scroll left in the wake of the beast's movements. Fudo capitolized on the fact that it was not in the immediate area, racing towards the scroll and sliding across the ground as he'd crasp it, staying in a three point stance as he tucked it away, eyes scanning for the centipede as well as Hibiki, and finally getting a good look to both of them. He would make his mind up quickly, deciding on a plan of action as he ran towards the massive animal in order to see that Hibiki was not simply left behind… again. His eyes focused harshly on the beast, Trying to cause it to bow down upon its seemingly infinate legs as Fudo inhaled deeply, exhaling a extreme gout of fire even without the direct line to the target, using the monsterous size against his untame opponent.
The centipede continued it's forward assault on the Kirigakure ninja, simply rushing towards him in it's motions both lurching and smooth, jaws clamping. The sudden burst of wind and the odd shifting of pressures caused it to pause, as though taken slightly off balance. But the protection of it's shell and the difference in anatomy meant that Hibiki's attack was less effective than he'd have liked. And it soon jerked back towards him in the beginning of a renewed assault.
But Fudo gave it reason to pause again. Not because of the genjutsu. The torn antenna and the burned but moving flesh caused more than enough pain for the fluctuating alien mind to go untouched by the Uchiha's genjutsu. But the flames that followed in after it striking it's already flame weakened carapace? It shrieked yet again, the combined assaults thus far leaving it's shell melting where Fudo had managed to strike this time around, some of it's legs doing the same.
Choosing flight over a fight, the wounded bug pushed forward not towards Hibiki but through the trees underneath as it fled. Reckless and desperate it moved with a swiftness, knocking trees over in it's escape attempt as it ran towards the northwest, deeper into the forest of death. And it was only now that the assembled shinobi raised their voice and their courage. "It has our scrolls!" A moment of hesitation and they all began running to follow in it's path, speed to try to regain the scrolls they lost and continue on in the exams.
The centipede began to rush away, wounded and scampering. Quickly did the other shinobi follow behind the shout of one amongst their rank. Hibiki scanned the surrounding destroyed forest, now quite clear due to the beast's path of destruction. Six or so. And the Uchiha. Would he pursue? Mmm, regardless. A hard breath of concentration, and then:
The Onkyou began to speed along, all his extra appendages recalled, usual as any normal boy one could be. As the ninja speed through the forest, the boy's plan would be simple: dispel them slowly, one by one, three or so, enough left to capture the centipede. Efficiency, as Meruin might say. Thus the boy dashes, from shinobi to shinobi, friendly and assisting, until close enough that Hibiki can whip from within another arm, a kunai to the body of the accompanying ninja, attempting to dispatch a few enough.
Fudo thought for a moment, if it was worth still fighting the beast at this point. He had gotten what he came for hadn't he? Well.. not entirely. The scrolls were merely a means to an end. What he truly wanted, was the competition, and beyond that, to destroy Katsurou. Most of his goals had a chance of occuring regardless of his next actions… but considering how many the centipede had gotten rid of, maybe those that remained would be worth facing in the tournament. To that end… Fudo would move after the centipede as well, and yet antoher large ball of flame chased it down, several shuriken thrown after it once more in order to stop it in its tracks once again. At the very least, he owed it for tossing him through the forest like a rag doll.
The kunai from Hibiki all let loose did fly and the each of them reached their targets, so absorbed were they by the notion of chasing down the centipede and regaining the scrolls they'd lost to it. Two were struck in vital locations, crashing to the ground between steps. But one of them was only hit in the back of the arm. He let out a shout of pain and surprise and turned, looking towards Hibiki. Effectiveness. Something Meruin would also doubtless have tried to instill in him but hadn't yet fully managed to do.
The shinobi angrily jerked the kunai from his arm, sending it back at Hibiki and preparing for combat. The boy wasn't one of the ones in his group. Maybe he had a scroll to take anyway.
As for the centipede, it continued on entirely ignorant of that confrontation, it's locomotion lend the scent of smoke to the air as it's shell rubbed against the trees it moved through so swiftly it left it's mark on them. It was this speed and evasion that allowed it to avoid Fudo's great fireball technique, dashing amongst the great tree trunks. But that victory was shortlived as those arcing shuriken managed to find the right time, angle and speed to entrap a great number of it's leg yet again. Cinched tight it fell to it's side for what would doubtless be the final time, screeching as it strained against the metal bindings even as it slid, cutting a gouge into the earth until it crashed into a tree that stopped it's momentum.
Hibiki looks beyond the encroaching ninja, to the collapsing centipede and its cease of movement. That one had shouted that the centipede had the scrolls. Which could only mean…
An extra hand, followed by an arm, abrubtly launches from Hibiki's chest, batting aside the oncoming kunai, the Genin's eyes now centered on the oncoming shinobi.
The boy is tired, panting, his chest heaving upward and down, blood dripping from his wounds, his right arm nearly useless from the damage taken. And now this.
"I'm really gonna need you here."
Hibiki's eyes are drawn, his body rasping with work and wear, but there is soul still — such is Kiri, alive in the clouding mist. The boy leaps forward, his left arm dashing forward to strike the assaulting ninja, a second arm protruding from his chest to uppercut the hopefully surprised foe.
Fudo was still hurting from that trip through the wilderness he was given so suddenly earlier, and he was running low on chakra now. His prey lay begore him, once the mgihty predator… yet another who underestimated Fudo. At least this monstrosity had a reason to do so. Fudo would not even need a hand seal as he would spit out a condended, roiling ball of flames that seemed to churn in on itself as it flew through the air. Fudo would be right behind it, drawing a kunai that had an explosive tag wrapped around the hilt. As the heavy projectile would hit the underside of the centipede, he was hoping to gore a hole in to it, his kunai plunging in to the fleshy insides as he'd continue to charge, running up the length of the beast with all of his might, hoping to rend more than scratch and open up its insides. As he closed upon the head, insread of going all the way to the mandibles, he would spin around and kick the pommel of the kunai in to what ever weak spot he made or could find, rollnig backwards several feet before he'd create a hand seal, detonating his kunai and hoping to end this there.
The nearly literally backstabbed shinobi snarled and met Hibiki head on, something of his base nature coming to bare in a situation such as this. Nearly killed by a child who was almost considered a temporary ally in a competition designed to be deadly after just nearly having been killed by a giant, ravenous bug — he was wild eyed, not even thinking of ninjutsu as he blocked the punched and immediately went to make one of his own. But only to take a sudden, forceful uppercut to the chin. It rocked him, lifting him briefly from his feet and causing him to stumble a step backwards, swaying and dazed.
As for the centipede, there was nothing left for it to do. It thrashed and writhed but only until Fudo's condensed ball of flame and concussion slammed into it's underbelly. Stunned, it could only lay there as Fudo pushed the kunai — such a tiny weapon in comparison to the giant creature, a pinprick — into the wound he creature with a wet squelch. He could only carve open even the underbelly's shell as far as it had been weakened by the fireball, not strong enough to break through the untouched shell.
But it was enough. That extra foot of torn carapace was accompanied by a sudden jerk and a spurting stream of brown and foul fluids. He'd caught something. And more, once he reached the mandibles, the kunai itself did get plunged into the soft flesh between head and the rest of the body. The following explosion saw the once marauding creature's head bursting open, the top half opening up with a fountain of internal matter. Still, its legs twitched, but there was no doubt that it was dead.
A few seconds later, once the half-headed creature hadn't made any moves to get back up or anything — somehow it was hard to believe it dead, even after all of that — the four genin that had initially been part of the ambush guard rushed towards the centipede with kunai in hands, starting to dredge out it's innards in an attempt to find the scrolls it had swallowed.
"Hibiki knows as I, there's no time for this."
The Onkyou's hands come crashing together, whatever strength of that gouged right arm cresting to form these few needed hand seals, and then a spit: a ball of water condensed to a bullet, now speeding for the face of the dazed shinobi. Hibiki doesn't wait.
Whether or not the blow struck, it should be enough to at least distract, the youth's frantic pace - the scraping of the soul for whatever remains after the will is done be called duty - setting him to the centipede, upon which he sees the scurry of the remaining shinobi, and into a tree behind the rush the Kiri nin scrambles, no longer dextrous, but proficient. Resting on a branch, shrouded in leaf, the youth tries carefully to keep his breathing - in the nose, out the nose, deep breaths - his eyes watery from the freshly pumping blood from his right-arm wound rehashed. The boy sags into the trunk, closing his eyes. Hibiki's arms - the others - push slowly from the boy's sides, righting the Genin against the bark.
"Thank you, thank you."
The Onkyou opens his eyes, looking at the scurrying nin below. When the time is right, if no one noticed him ascend the tree, Hibiki would - when the belly is open and the group is gathered close - send sickle-blades of air churning from the treetops to slice, slide, and separate the remaining shinobi, or whomever happened to be there in the way.
And there go the guts… well some of them, spilling out and splattering. Fudo was lucky enough to be out of the range of most of it, but it was still easily smelled. One of the long, curved, jagged pincered would fly throguh the air at Fudo after the explosion. He would manuver out of the way as his gloved hands caught it. He'd stow the mandible fragment, and head off towards the tower. He had gone beyond what was necessary, and it was time to let survival of the fittest provide him with the challenge he sought.
The shinobi at the stomach of the centipede's corpse, those desperate and clawing creatures, the whole of their world was in the innards of the once great predator and they reached for it with a blinding determination. Ignorant of the stench and the ichor they pulled thick globs of the creature's essence from it's core in the search of their scrolls right up until the point that the blades of wind flew into them and sliced into their bodies, continuing past in a weakened form to spray more guts into the air. The each of them fell to the ground, one of them holding the huge gash in their side and moaning. With the making of more cadavers, the path was clear.
Hibiki waits a moment, letting the settle of death permeate the surrounding action. When no other rustle and come, the boy hobbles down the tree, exhausted - again - drained of ever more youth, so easily taken with the dance of a few hand movements and the absence of life. But: to the spoils, as it were.
The boy stands before the bloated open corpse.
"My arm is torn. Must be yours."
The youth shakes his head.
"I don't care if you helped. I can't even reach in. No. No!"
And so the youth proclaims, for forward he starts to move, as if trying to fight himself with too little strength.
Slowly the Onkyou reaches forward with his left hand, fishing through the innards to retrieve the necessary scrolls needed for advancement into the tower.
"You don't even have to smell this…"