What If? Bingo! - Inuzuka Betrayal


Hige, Kenta, Atsuro

Date: February 15, 2015


Inuzuka Hige has lost it. In a rage he killed some Genin before fleeing Konoha. After obtaining some allies he also was involved in razeing a village. That was enough to put Konoha on the lookout. Who would have thought his former teacher and friend would be the ones to find him? A What If Production…

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"What If? Bingo! - Inuzuka Betrayal"

Land of Fire

It was bound to happen after a while. Inuzuka Hige had finally, apparently, lost his battle with the anger he kept suppressed and snapped. In a rampage he had gone on to kill a number of other Genin before fleeing the Village in all haste. It had taken some time to get word around to the appropriate people and before any guards arrived he was long gone. Reports came in days later that an entire lesser village had been ransacked any many villagers killed by a small group of people, one of them reportedly the missing Inuzuka boy. With that news it didn't take long for Konohagakure to gather together the people that knew the boy best to retrieve him, dead or alive. Reportedly he was with a small band of people of varying skills somewhere in the forest a few hours away from the Village.

When Kenta learned about Hige's crime and subsequent disappearance, he didn't really believe what had happened. He may not have known Hige for long or even very well, but the Inuzuka boy seems to love Konoha. More than that is the fact that the ninken puppy, Konsho, would have done everything in his power to keep Hige from doing something so terrible. Unfortunately, evidence doesn't lie. Since Kenta has a connection to the boy that might prove to be useful, he was assigned to the retrieval team. It's the first time that the medic-nin nearly turned down a mission. He has no desire to hunt down someone that he was on (relatively) good terms with. On the other hand, it's a matter of justice and duty. In the end, he goes along with the orders from his superiors and doesn't voice any of his doubts.

What a disaster. Never would Atsuro have imagined that Hige would actually betray the village like this. An yet, here he is, travelling with Kenta and Taizen to go and arrest him following the murder of fellow Leaf nin and a raid on a defenseless village. There are other search parties from Konoha combing the forest, but as luck would have it, Atsuro is in the group that will encounter his former student. He and Taizen leap through the forest from tree to tree, silent, except when Atsuro calls out the occasional order. All they really know is that they have to bring Hige back to Konoha, in a body bag if necessary. A chilling idea.

Atsuro would be the first to notice a familiar scent mixed in among a handful of others. Hige and Konsho. For whatever reason the pup had gone along with his companion in everything. Perhaps overbearing loyalty or just because he had a soft heart for the boy. Regardless they are both together with others and it's not too much further away.
But apparently someone in the group suspected they might be chased after or hunted. Probably not too far a stretch at this point considering what they'd done. When Atsuro and his team continue on they would find themselves victims of a butt load of paper bombs on trees, under limbs, in almost every conceivable position one might try to escape.

"It's still so hard to believe that Hige actually did all those terrible things," Kenta whispers to Atsuro as he struggles to stay next to the faster shinobi. It's hard to hear his voice between the lowered volume and the exertion of traveling, but close range Inuzuka ears would hopefully catch his words. "Maybe he was framed. Maybe we should try to refrain from injuring him, Atsuro-senpai." The paper bombs appear at the exact moment that Kenta finishes speaking. His eyes widen and he nearly trips on a the next tree branch that acts as his landing perch. "Atsuro-senpai! What should we do?" the medic-nin exclaims in a louder voice.

"I really hope he was — " Atsuro just barely manages to get the words out before he, too, is forced to stop. He looks around at all the bombs. What, indeed. "But I'm worried he wasn't," he finishes with a sigh, "I'm pretty sure I can smell him." He looks over to Taizen, who's also parked on a branch nearby, the wood straining slightly under his weight. "I can smell him too," Taizen says, a touch of sadness in his voice. With another sigh, Atsuro looks around the area. He turns, looking behind them. "Do you think you can get out okay?" he asks, "Back to where you came from? If we can all get out of the blast area, I think I can set the whole thing off with a fire clone."

The only warning is the soft sound of a trap spring letting loose and then the area the Konoha nin had come from is suddenly peppered with kunai that had been set there. Someone else in the group had tripped over a wire and let them loose. The kunai are keeping them from retreating the way they came as well as possibly punching through some others in the group before the real danger becomes evident - paper bombs attached to the kunai as well, and they ignite.

"Two late!" Kenta exclaims. He flashes through several hand seals as kunai and paper bombs starts flying everywhere. Black seal characters ripple out of him in twisting chains of text that wrap around his body repeatedly to form a wall of chakra and will. The medic-nin tries to extend it outwards as best as he can to cover others, but there isn't much time to do that before the kunai reaches everyone. "We have to get out of here now! There must be other traps too!"

"Yahtzee!" Atsuro turns around, pulling out a ninjato. For a moment, he readies himself to knock away the kunai as they reach the team, but once he's noticed Kenta's barrier technique, he lowers the sword and waves to Taizen. The two of them gather around Kenta, walking on the tree trunk to avoid overtaxing the branch that Kenta's on. "Kenta," Atsuro says, "If you can keep that up for a while, we can get you out of here safely. Once we're ready, get on, hold on tight, and keep that barrier going." He walks up the tree trunk to Taizen and makes a seal. There's a puff of smoke and the two of them are replaced with a big black dog. However, this one is quite a bit smaller than the usual two-headed wolf used by the Inuzuka — only about the combined size of Taizen and Atsuro themselves. The dog gets on a branch close by and waits for Kenta to get on before it takes off further into the forest, moving with surprising agility.

As the pair nears more explosions go off as paper bombs ignite. More kunai are released from traps as well but deflect off of the shield. Whoever else was with the three has likely retreated by now. It's a good fifty yards before they finally reach the end of the traps and the smell of people is that much closer, surely no more than another twenty or so yards ahead. There's the scent of at least a half dozen people including Hige and Konsho.

"I don't know how long I can hold this…" Kenta tells Atsuro and Taizen in a worry voice when he clambers onto their transformed back. The kunai ricocheting off the barrier and exploding all over the place makes him flinch every so often. He clings tightly to their fur and focuses all his concentration on maintaining the barrier until they finally make it out of the area. The medic-nin doesn't let go of the barrier even at that point. What if there are more traps around them? "I hope that everyone else made it out of there," Kenta says without not hope. He only managed to escape thanks to Atsuro and Taizen's abilities. The other teams don't have a Jounin Commander watching their backs.

In this form, Atsuro can't give Kenta words of encouragement. All he can do is work with Taizen to send them all zipping through the forest, bounding from branch to branch, avoiding those traps they can and smashing through those they can't with brute force. Once they've let Kenta off, there's another puff of smoke, and the two of them are back to their usual form, though with a few cuts and burns — the dog transformation can only protect them from so much. "We'll have to worry about them later," Atsuro says, "We've got a job to do." He sniffs the air, then nods to Kenta. "They're nearby," he says, "Hige, Konsho, and… several others we don't know. About twenty yards ahead." He pulls out his ninjato again. "I'll be on point," he says, "Taizen will guard the rear. Be careful, you two. They're probably on alert now." He starts to move ahead.

Indeed they are on alert. In fact, not only on alert, but on the offensive. The trio doesn't take more then a handfull of steps before all three would realize others are there. From one moment to the next four people stand on tree limbs, boys and girls, from Hige's age to their late teens. Straight ahead on ground level is Hige himself, the boys eyes darker than they ever have been and far more feral. Konsho sits beside him looking a little darker himself as the entire group watches the trio now, no one making a move just yet.
"I was wondering if they would send someone. Didn't expect it to you be you three. Ojii, Kenta, Taizen." Hige says loudly with his arms crossed over his chest. "I take it our little warning didn't disuade you very well since you're here. I don't suppose I can convince you to go back home and leave us alone?"

Kenta lands on a branch in a crouch and looks ahead with dismay in his eyes. His expression completely falls upon seeing that there's no remorse in Hige's eyes at all. Nor does Konsho act the like friendly puppy that Kenta had come to know. In fact, is Hige the spokesman of the group? That doesn't bode well at all. Kenta sucks in a deep breath as he slowly straightens to his full, insubstantial height. He sets his expression into a stern one, not allowing inner turmoil to show. "Ummm… You underestimated Atsuro-senpai and Taizen-senpai's skill. They're two of the most powerful Jounin from a village of powerful shinobi. Your trap can't kill people like them." The young man glances around the area. "There are a lot of you, but do you really think that you can handle the Jounin Commander of Konoha? It's better that you all surrender now."

Atsuro just draws in a deep breath as Hige and Kenta trade barbs. His eyes narrow slighty. "Hige, I'm not going to bother with all this half-joking in-another-world garbage. You know what you've done. I stuck my neck out for you and I sacrificed for you and I taught you when you had nobody else to turn to. And yet, here we are. Kenta's right — you can still surrender. And if you don't… well, I never dreamed I'd have to kill. But I never dreamed that you'd betray us and murder so many people. Put your weapons down and come with us." He glances at the other members of Hige's band. "Same goes for your friends."

Hige shakes his head at Kenta's words, his smile almost demonic as it's given to the medic. "You can't scare us Kenta. Everyone here is well versed on what you two are capable of, as well as what most of Konoha is capable of. I've made sure they had all the knowledge they might need." Then Atsuro speaks as the smile turns into a sneer, "You told me lies about how I could fit in with the world when I couldn't. Your idea of friends is nothing but a bunch of marco." His feral eyes look between the three again before the boy shakes his head. "I can see it's pointless talking, and you're not leaving. So that only leaves you to die like the rest." As if the words were a cue of sorts the other four move into action. On Kenta's side the shadows begin to move oddly as one makes seals: a Nara. He tries to latch onto Kenta's shadow while his companion launches a handfull of kunai with explosive tags at the medic. Atsuro gets to deal with the other pair which are a fire and wind user, and they combine their jutsu effectively as they make an exceedingly large, fast moving fireball at the older Inuzuka pair.

The journey to the village itself is uneventful, discounting some yelling between people on the path who bumped into eachother. Surely nothing to cause concern. The village itself is small with a population of barely over a hundred. Upon a first look nothing would seem out of the ordinary, but Kaidan would quickly notice that the way the 'villagers' move is very strict and militaristic, almost martial. If they are just villagers they weren't always. Arika's winds would tell her of someone in the woods much further off of the main path, hiding behind some tree branches at the edge of the village.

"Were you working for enemies all along?" Kenta yells you in a betrayed voice. The shadow jutsu reaching out towards him encounters another barrier of black seal characters. It's a solid defense, but one that takes a lot of strength from the medic-nin. Nevertheless, Kenta's very glad that he learned the jutsu once explosions starts going off. The blasts doesn't break through his barrier, but they destroy the tree that he was standing on. "Ahhhh!" Kenta struggles to flip in the air as he falls. He lands in jarringly on his feet, but transfers some of the force of the fall by rolling and coming back up. The medic-nin hurriedly sticks his hand into a pouch to pull out a black pill, which he immediately swallows.

"And what's /your/ idea of friendship?" Atsuro scoffs, "And just so you know, none of you are well versed on what I'm capable of. They don't have a tenth of the knowledge they might need." Then, as if he can block the fireball with just looks alone, he gives it a stern glare, apparently content to just stand there as the ball of flame engulfs him and Taizen. Once the fireball has impacted and dispersed, though, there's no sign of either remaining.
To confirm that they haven't been vaporized, Atsuro drops out of the tree canopy, sword held out below him as he falls towards the fire user. Then Taizen, apparently having circled around the area, appears from out of the woods behind the wind user, carrying a sword of his own and jumping into a slashing attack. Just when it seems the salvo of attacks is over, the leaves the the canopy part again and a second Atsuro drops in, aiming a third sword strike at the wind user.

Hige is all too aware that the fireball didn't have an effect but he says nothing as he merely…watches. As Atsuro drops out of the trees Hige voices his response. "There is no such thing as friendship. People don't care about eachother, it's all just an idea in someone's head to try and make them feel better."
When Kenta reaches into his pouch the Nara and Seal user seperate, not standing too close as apparently they are all too aware of the gaseous toxins that can be produced from the medic and have no intention of making it easy for him to them both. A change in hand seals brings the shadows out of the ground now to stab at the medic. The seal user unleashes a string of seals that try and wrap around the medic to keep him in place.
Clones vanish as Atsuro and Taizen attack, one fire, one wind. As they prepares for another attack, however, the miss the second Atsuro and the wind user only avoids too devastating a blow by luck. He rolls out of the tree, making seals on the way down to shoot sharp blades of wind at the pair while the fire user attacks from the other side with bullets of flame.
"You made it seem like friendship was a real thing. But it was delusional. Nobody truly cares. They only hate. I finally realized that." Hige says while the fighting continues, not seeming at all put off that he's speaking while life and death struggles go on.

Kenta brings up his barrier again the deflect the stabbing shadows. A moment later, the string of seals from his second assailant wraps around it, but couldn't break through either. As soon as the barrier is dropped, those seals might constrict around him and produce a great deal of problems. Kenta molds chakra for his next attack as quickly as he can while he tries to cause some distraction.
"You're wrong, Hige! Friendship is a real thing. The natural state of people is to want to forge bonds with others and make friendships. I know that having friends is sometimes confusing and hard, but you don't have to be scared of it. You don't have to let your fears drive you into doing something horrible!" Kenta calls out. There.
Kenta lets the barrier dissipate around him. At the same instance, he jumps upwards through a clear spot where the strings of constricting seals don't cover. He slaps his hand into a tree trunk and swings sideways until his feet is pressed against the bark too. Then, he runs upwards as quickly as he can to get his two assailants in sight. A final hand seal later, Kenta spews forth a column of sleeping mist that he sweeps across the area like a flamethrower.

The second Atsuro, recovers from the failed attack with some grace, managing to place a hand against the tree trunk and secure himself against it with chakra. Taizen lowers his head, simply letting the blades of air slice him in his less vulnerable places as he charges toward the real wind user. The second Atsuro works his way around the tree, and as Taizen engages the wind user, he lets go of the tree again, slipping into a free fall and attempting to plunge his sword into the distracted enemy.
The first Atsuro, meanwhile, dances through the onslaught of fire bullets, smacking them away with his sword. "You don't think I cared?" he calls out during a brief break in the fighting, "You don't think anyone else cared? And I suppose all your victims deserved it? And you have the nerve to suggest /I'm/ deluded!"

Hige shakes his head, "No one cared. The Village, the Clan, no one. After my family went away I was all alone and had nobody to talk to. You trained me, sure, but only so you could use me to help you when you needed it." The mention of his victims just brings that evil smile back along with a slightly haunted look. "Those Genin I killed…they were the ones who made me realize that friends are a lie."
When Kenta moves up into the tree the Nara still has his shadows chase him unceasingly, forcing the medic to remain on the move to avoid getting trapped. Or skewered. Or both. When the sleeping mist is exhaled the seal man drops next to the Nara and throws up a seal that creates a barrier all around them, keeping the gas out but preventing him from doing anything further.
The wind user is focused on Taizen and has to draw out a kunai to deflect the blade from the ninken as he pushes himself down to the ground. He looks up to see Atsuro coming down and has no chance to move - but Hige finally joins in. The boy isn't the best with ninjutsu, even with training, but that doesn't stop him from being able to use it. A small storm of lightning appears between Atsuro and the wind user, leaving the man to either abort his attack or be shocked. Even if it only delays it gives the wind user time to turn and blow out a few large gusts of wind to clear away the sleeping gas. Hige's people aren't pushovers, it seems. The fire user works on hand seals while Atsuro is beating away his bullets and completes them in time to release a long wave of fire out. Fire dragon flame bullet, an attack that seeks to engulf both Atsuro's and Taizen as well.

"You're wrong, Hige! You're just trying to justify what you did by lying to yourself! Don't you know what an honor it was to get handpicked by Atsuro-senpai as a student? Only the best of the best, the people that he truly cares about, and that he'll hold to his heart forever gets such a chance! Look at how close he is with Taiki-sama and ask yourself how you can believe that he won't treat you with just as much affectionate," Kenta exclaims once he stops spraying sleeping mist at the Nara and seal user.
The medic-nin is visible perturbed that his most handy jutsu aren't doing well against his opponents. There's only one stronger one that he can use, but it's extremely lethal and one that he hesitates to turn against even an enemy. Unfortunately, it seems that he might not have a choice. Either he'll have to take them down or their going to wear him down by sheer attrition alone. A two on one battle already has Kenta at a disadvantage.
Once his mind is made up, Kenta takes a white pill from a pouch and pops it into his mouth. He starts jumping from tree to tree, circling the Nara and seal user in an attempt to confuse them. At the same time, the medic-nin dissolves the pill… that deadly poisonous pill… inside his gut and molds the considerable amount of chakra that's needed to perform the jutsu he intends to use. "I'm sorry! I wish that I didn't have to do this!" he calls out to his opponents right before he launches his attack. Kenta launches off a tree to arch directly over their heads. At the apex of the jump, he makes a final seal and snap his head downwards. Hundreds upon hundreds viciously sharp chakra needles, each infused with highly lethal poison, rain down upon the enemy shinobi in dozens of waves. The force of the attack actually shoves Kenta higher into the air.

Almost insulted that Hige would resort to such a trick, Atsuro simple lets himself fall downward through the lightning cloud. He suffers electrical burns for this, but he's not going to be dissuaded from a deadly strike on the trapped wind user so easily. Apparently Hige didn't learn that Atsuro doesn't bother with half-measures. The other Atsuro recognizes the fire user's seals and snorts derisively. "Kid, you have no idea what you're doing." Just as the enemy ninja completes his own seals, Atsuro starts making some of his own. The fire almost reaches him, but at the last second he blows out a blast of his own fire. It starts out small, but quicky blows against the opposing fire with equal force — a Fire Dragon Flame Bullet of his own. He simply stands there, waiting to see what the fire user will attempt next. "Neither do you, Hige. I thought you had potential. I thought you were a good person, but I don't anymore."

"Atsuro took me out of pity, nothing more." Hige retorts to Kenta's words. "And the only reason he likes you is that you kiss his polo so much he doesn't have to do it himself." Ouch! Harsh!
The Nara is continuing to chase after Kenta with his attacks and once the medic returns with his own there is no chance for the man to try and avoid the poison needles. He gets stabbed by a handful and falls out of the tree, hitting the ground unmoving. The seal user, however, managed to drop below the tree branch and get a barrier up in time to avoid the needles though just barely. He waits until they stop falling before he ducks out of the barrier and hurls a kunai at the medic with a paper bomb attached. This is followed by another seal that he sends up, one to drain chakra from the man.
The wind user just barely gets his last attack off before Atsuro's strike ends his life, his blood running out over the sword blade as he drops to his knees, then face first in the dirt. The fire user doesn't seem put off by Atsuro's countering dragon as he's already well on his way to releasing another jutsu. He jumps in the air as he completes it and splits into a half dozen fire clones that all change trajectory to angle down at Atsuro, ready to explode as they near.
"Those Genin called me a runt, the runt of the Inuzuka." Hige comments as the battle goes on. "I punched the one that said it in the nose and you know what happened? His 'friends' laughed at him. Instead of helping him, they turned on him and goaded him into attacking me. That's what good friends are. I killed him and they ran like babies, so I showed them what a runt could do."

That seal user! Kenta cries out when the bomb explodes near him and tosses him against a tree trunk. He grabs on to a branch and swings free just as the chakra draining tag slaps into the spot where he had been. Kenta pants loudly as he drops to the ground. There's no room in his mind for Hige. There's no room for fear or hesitation either. Either he take down the seal user or he's going down. Since ranged attacks aren't working against his sneaky opponent, Kenta goes for hand-to-hand.
The medic-nin charges forward with another cry. The invisible seals tattooed to his body turn a visible black and power flows into his body from the reserves stored within them. The glow of medical chakra envelops Kenta's hands, formed into chakra scalpels with the finesse to rend muscle fiber and sever tendons. He throws a flurry of slashes, palm thrusts and an occasional kick at his opponent in an attempt to land a debilitating blow.

Atsuro just smirks as the clones approach him and waits. After the storm of explosions is finished and the smoke and flame clears, there's no longer anything there. "Guess you know which one was the Shadow Clone," says the other Atsuro as he pulls the blade out of the wind user's body, "I guess all your little friends here have similar stories. You and they would have my sympathy if you hadn't gone so far as to murder. What about those villagers you killed? I suppose that was /perfectly/ justifiable too. Do you think /I/ was better of than you when I was your age? A lot of people have been through that, and they didn't react by going out of their uno minds." He glances at Hige, then to the fire user.
He brandishes his sword and charges at the fire user now. Somehow, Taizen has slipped away in all this, but reveals himself again by leaping down from a high tree branch, aiming to drop himself and his sword on the fire user, much like Atsuro did to the wind user just a moment ago.

"They threw out the kid you just killed because he was different. He had no family, no one to care for him, and was stealing food. So the village ignored him and banished him just for trying to survive. I only helped him get his revenge."
The seal user had not expected hand to hand combat from the medic nin and it takes him a moment to prepare, allowing Kenta the chance to scalpel one of his arms and rend the muscle underneath the flesh into a useless pulp. The man doesn't give up though as he pulls out a kunai and starts slashing at Kenta. He might not be a top of the line taijutsuist but he's passable and for the moment he's willing to rely on it until he can come up with another plan.
The fire user uses another clone to avoid Atsuro's attack but he had forgotten about the ninken and falls victim to his blade. He makes the final seal for what he was doing however and, at close range, he breaths out a large fireball at Taizen with his dying breath.
Hige just shakes his head as his group falls, save the one barely holding on against Kenta. It was time to truly get involved. "Konsho." The boy growls the name and the pup stands without a sound. They push up into a tree, using the height advantage as they start spinning and lightning surrounds their bodies as they head straight for Atsuro with the raigatsuga.

Kenta's not the best at taijutsu, but he's been training hard and he's fast. The young man ducks and weaves, using the body flicker technique to enhance his evasive power. He often tosses a tag between strikes to form small barriers for blocking blows. Meanwhile, all it takes is a touch from him to cause injury. The same medical chakra that heals so well can be extremely damaging to a body when turned to other uses. Kenta spins sideways to avoid a strike, rebounds off a tree trunk and thrusts his palm forward at his opponent's chest, just as the seal user's turning to stab him again.

"Maybe you should have helped him get food." Atsuro's tone of voice is contemptuous. "It's obvious you don't even care anyway, whatever you say." Taizen lowers his head like he did with the wind user. His coat catches on fire, but like a well-trained dog, he stops, drops, and rolls to put out the flames. Atsuro looks up as Hige and Konsho bear down on him. "You don't think I'm familiar with this move?" he growls. He leaps back, then kicks off of a tree trunk, propelling himself higher into the air as Hige and Konsho come down. Then he spins into a tsuga of his own. This one is unusual though. Instead of spinning in a rotation, he spins end over end, blurring towards Hige and Konsho looking like a big blurry disc.

The seal user is about as equally skilled at taijutsu as Kenta, making the match more about what they can throw in between. When Kenta comes with that palm strike he gets a barrier seal in hand and holds it up just in time to keep the blow from landing. But Kenta's attack is still too powerful and the barrier breaks, flinging the boy teen back against a tree with bone shattering force. It doesn't kill him but it does knock the wind out of him as he slips to the ground.
Hige, Konsho, and Atsuro clash in a dazzling display of light and sound as they propel against each other. In the end it's enough of a stalemate that Hige and Konsho jump up into a tree and glare down at Atsuro. "Didn't you hear me? They kicked him out for /eating/. Who would want to let people like that continue being?" Hige stands in the tree, eyes on Atsuro for another moment before shaking his head. "You almost fooled me once ojii. I won't let that happen again." Together the pair jump higher into the tree before moving high into the sky in one of the Inuzuka's most powerful of moves. When or how he's learned it so quickly is anyone's guess but it doesn't stop him from using it. "Heaven twin fang." Hige growls as a cue to Konsho. They both return to spinning again, angling down towards Atsuro and Taizen before merging paths into a larger form. They shred treetops on their way down like it's nothing as they prepare to smash into the older Inuzuka combo.

Kenta pants loudly and bends with his hands on his knees when he finally manages to knock down the seal user. He glances up to witness the explosions of elemental and physical attacks that Hige and Atsuro are flinging at each other. It's surprising that Hige is managing to hold his own for so long. Something's not right about that or is rage really such a powerful force. Kenta shudders and turns his mind away from that thought. It's too late for him to ask Atsuro not to kill the Genin. It's too late for so much. Kenta sucks in a deep breath and walks towards the downed seal user. He drops to his knees next to the prone body. Then, he uses his chakra scalpels to slice all of the seal user's tendons. At least one will leave for a while. Kenta bows his head and waits for things to play out as he knows that they must.

It's impressive that Hige learned the technique so quickly with no instruction. But at Hige's level of skill, Atsuro doesn't think it'll be worth much. "You should have surrendered," he says with a sigh as Taizen walks up beside him. Then they both leap into the air, kicking off nearby trees until they start to spin in the air. Then, the two whirling projectiles corkscrew together, enormously forceful winds whirling out from them as they move to ram the opposing attack with all the force they can muster.

The two large spinning forms connect in a large cracking sound near enough to thunder. Nearby tree tops shred from the force of the blow as it radiates outwards and for the briefest moment it looks to be a match. But Hige and Konsho aren't nearly as skilled as the other two and they are on the losing end. As Atsuro and Taizen break through the boy and pup are forcefully split apart and flung in different directions, both barreling through some trees before they stop. Konsho is out, either dead or unconscious, and Hige isn't far behind. But he never gives up. He never has. Blood seeps from open wound and dribbles out of the corner of his mouth as he slowly pushes himself to stand.

From the sky, Atsuro and Taizen blur to the ground and land with two loud thumps. They exchange glances. Taizen walks over to Konsho to check him for signs of life while Atsuro begins to slowly walk in Hige's direction. "You can't win," he says, "You it know as well as I do. Let me take you in. You can end this right now; you should have before we even begun."

Hige smiles, a lot less devilish now but still not without malice behind it. "That won't happen ojii." Hige says as he flicks out a kunai into his hand. "They'll kill me if I go back anyways. There isn't anything worth living for anyways." Such a glum look on life, though he may be right as Konsho seems quite deceased himself. He coughs up some blood into his hand and looks at it a moment before he sighs softly. "I am a runt. I shouldn't have lived, especially not when my family didn't." He seems to hesitate a moment, then finally turns his full wavering attention back on Atsuro. "You'll have to take me down ojii." That's all the warning he gives before he pushes off towards Atsuro, kunai extended and ready to slash.

"None of that was ever true," Atsuro tells Hige, "You imagined all of it." A soft whine can be heard from Taizen's direction as the dog concludes that Konsho didn't survive the last blow. Atsuro hesistates a moment, then steps forward to run Hige through on his blade, thrusting it forward right at his gut. "You weren't ever a runt, Hige." He exhales in anger. It didn't need to come to this.

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