RP challenge: What If? Clan Wars
Date: March 1, 2011
The Tanaka's hire a mercenary assassin to take care of a particular shinobi that had killed a boy's parents. The assassin tacks the killer trough the desert, towards a canyon pass.
Warning: Contains foul language and excessive violence.
"What If? Clan Wars - Blood on the Desert Sand"
Land of Wind
Itami drank from a canteen, lazily as she lifted it to her lips and water trailed down the side of her lips and down her face before lowering it causing the remainder to slosh inside. Corking it, she returned it to her side and lifted a hand to her eyes as a make shift visor to see. Nothing was out here or so it appeared. Just…canyon walls and dirt.
She looked up to the sky, the sun bearing down high above with as much heat as it could muster. It's almost as if it was targeting her and the searing winds blowing through here was its aid. She needed to get to a village and fast. With another scan off into the distance, she thinks she spotted a place where she could take refuge in. She was tired from her last efforts of building, but it paid off and decently.
Eventually she'd walk into the shadows of the canyon walls and sigh a breath of relief, taking another swig from her canteen. She scooted herself into a crack. It wasn't large, but enough to house her for the moment.
She had been tracking her target for days. Atara hated this blasted heat, is was just too… Hot. The money for this woman's head kept her feet moving. She haunches down in the sand and looks at the tracks. Fairly fresh, she couldn't be more than half an hour behind the target. She was catching up, at least, and it didn't seem as if the target knew she was coming. After a bit more walking she could see the canyon. She takes a longer arcing path the to canyon, so she didn't stumble directly into the target. She would survey from above, and strike like a Valkyrie from above.
An hour later she found herself on her belly, overlooking the canyon. She could not see footprints from so high above, but she knew Itami had not continued through the canyon pass. There were a couple dozen cracks and small caves, but she couldn't risk poking around lest Itami see her searching through an adjacent cave. She would wait for the kunoichi to emerge. It's not like she didn't have the free time. She absolutely hated waiting.
Itami smirked as she set up a small camp inside the crack. All was going well until she went deeper into the crack and a scorpion crawled out of a hole in the ground. She jumped up and bumped her head, cursing as she tried to sweep the scorpion out with her free hand and hold her head with the other. Once the scorpion was kicked out, she lifted her hand from her head to check for blood. Luckily, there was none. Now she could throw down a pad and rest on it. Not extremely comfortable, but it was something. Not too long after resting her body, she fell asleep taking a short nap. About an hour later she'd awaken and yawn. It was late afternoon and the sun was beginning its journey to setting. An odd growling sound catches her attention, only for her to realize that its her stomach. Guess it's time to eat.
Reaching for her bag that sat at the edge of the crack, she dragged it over to her to pull out something to eat.
After hanging out on the edge of the canyon for a little while, the scorpion being bodily ejected goes sadly unnoticed by the Assassin, and so the perfect time to strike passes her by. Well over an hour, and Atara's patience was wasting thin. Waiting was the worst part of the job, for sure. The heat was starting to take it's toll on her body as well. If it wasn't for the sand-coloured cloak, she would have likely been roasted by the sun by now.
It is around this time when Atara catches the briefest of movements inside one of the cracks in the canyon a bit to her left. There! What she thought was just a rock in a bit of shade turned out to be some kind of travel bag. She pushes herself to her feet, stretching backwards. to limber up a little. Making a quick seal she focuses some chakra and begins to make her decent by skidding down the stone face of the canyon wall. Here it is. She would kill her target, bring back proof and be able to retire for a few months easily.
Itami finished eating and inhaled deeply before sighing the breath back out. Tossing her bag back towards the opening of the crack she looked at her canteen and saw it was getting low. She thinks she remembers seeing someplace, but…it was so far compared to where she was now. Guess it was the only place she could go. To the Oasis.
Rising up from the ground, she began to exit from the crack to go and retrieve some water, but not without one more swig. "Now I need to ration it. Dammit." She remarks as if she just realized this fact.
Atara begins moving along the wall towards her target's crack. When she hears a voice coming from the crack, she knew without a doubt she had found her target. She slips into a small patch of shade and wraps her cloak about her form, leaving only a small hole for her see out of, making sure the cloak hid the large weapon on her back. She is just a rock. That's right, just a rock. It would not be long now, she would wait for the girl to fully exit the cave to launch her attack. Visions of Ryo dance in her head and spawns a grin on her face form ear to ear. This was the part she loved most, when the trap was about to be sprung.
Itami, exited the cave and stretched a bit before proceeding to retrieve water. She shifted her clothing so they'd be more comfortable, especially after sleeping the way she did. A small paper drops out of her sleeve and she picks it up to read it while she walked along. When did she get this? Whoever did it must have done it quickly…
The note described that someone else was looking for her work. They needed a building compromised. A home, it seemed of a particular elite. She smirked, but it faded when the price wasn't listed. She grumbled softly and balled the paper up to stuff in her sleeve once more. She'd review it later to figure out her decision, but for now, she needed to focus on water.
Atara watches silently as the woman read from some piece of paper. It's contents didn't bother her. She was here for the kill, and by all her power she would get it, too. Suddenly, without warning or fanfare, she leaps up into the air while drawing her large double-edged weapon from it's sheath on her back. She arcs beautifully through the air, arms held to the side with her legs tucked in. The attack is sudden and without mercy. She comes down hard and fast with a two-handed overhand slash, trying to cleave the woman in half from shoulder to hip. The blood lust she felt was almost terrifying, and yet she reveled in it.
Itami grabbed at her canteen and shook it as if to convince herself that she didn't need to walk far for the water. She wanted to hear a particularly heavy slosh, but alas, this was not the case. Instead, she got a weak swish and sighed. Throwing the canteen back to her side to swing lazily at her side, she grumbled and continued on her way.
In the time between her tossing the canteen, which wasn't that much, she felt an odd sensation. Her body was responding to something that her mind wasn't, but as it drew closer, she focused chakra to her muscles and dodged out of the way in enough time to feel the wind of the blade that was aimed for her. She spun around to face the assailant and frowned. "Who are you!?" She inquired, but she shook her head soon after. "Never mind that. It's obvious that you're after me. Seems someone's finally caught up." She smirks. "You almost got me." She wagged her finger and chuckled. "Almost. I admit." She began to focus her chakra. "I don't intend on coming easily." She says this as if she's not going to be killed.
The blade sinks at least a foot into the stone floor of the canyon and is just as easily removed. The woman wielding the blade lets out an impressed whistle. "Amazing. I must say, I'm impressed. But can you keep it up?" The woman hefts the sword up to res on her shoulder as she very slowly begins to pace around Itami, sizing her up. "I don't expect you to come easily. In fact, I don't expect you to come at all. To be frank, I'm no simple delivery girl. I'm the reaper."
A maniacal grin crosses the young woman's face as she dashes forth, swinging the sword backhandedly hard at the woman's legs, trying to get her to jump. She follows through by pulling a long chain from under her cloak and swinging it in a wide arc in an attempt to entrap the elusive little desert ninja.
"I might!" Itami replies as she focused chakra to her body and jumped out of the way of the initial sword strike. She landed on the ground saying, "The reaper, huh?" She wasn't aware of the snag that was wrapping around her feet until after she finished speaking. "What makes you think I intend on dying, then? I've got work to do that you're interfering with." She began to handseal before the chains were pulled and tied her legs together, ultimately bringing her to fall. Not much else comes out of her mouth as she tries to extricate herself from the chain that's wrapped around her.
Heh. Just as planned. As the woman falls to the ground, Atara gives a hard tug on the chain and drags the woman briefly along the stone floor towards her. Not even waiting for Itami to stop grinding against the ground, she lifts her leg and slams her foot full force into Itami's sternum, killing her momentum cold. The earth beneath her cracks outwards in a spider-web pattern, and dust is thrown to the sides from the impact. She raises her foot once more, this time aiming at Itami's head.
Itami is dragged along the ground, dust kicking up around her and bumping against rocks. Her efforts at trying to remove the chains continued, but once again were futile. Instead, she received a stomp in the sternum, knocking the wind out of her body and quite possibly cracking it or at least bruising it heavily.
Naturally, her reaction was to raise her arms to block the second stomp, but it went through her defense and her head was smashed in to the ground. Intact, thankfully, but the pain was immense. She was almost unconscious, but that damned ringing kept her focused enough to endure it. She coughed, breathing erratic with no attempts to escape from the chain around her legs.
Atara drops the chain and slams her sword into the ground just inches from Itami's face. She takes a few steps backwards and rolls her shoulders a bit, keeping her eyes on the woman. Removing her cloak completely she reaches into a small pouch on her hip and pops a pill into her mouth. "Well, maybe not as impressive as I thought. Here, let's try this again." A smile appears on her lips, but she doesn't pick up her weapons, seemingly leaving herself completely open to attack.
Itami was barely recovering from the ringing, but that didn't mean the pain she felt has subsided. Turning her head to look at the sword near her face reveals she had two tear trails amongst the dust that covered her face. It was a reaction to the ringing and the immense pain of her head. Her vision blurred into focus on Atara and she coughed a few times.
She growled and it sounded a bit guttural, almost animal like. Her hands assumed claws and no sooner than she finished, she raised up to swipe at Atara in a fit of anger before breaking the chain wrapped around her legs.
Atara takes the hit on her shoulder without moving whatsoever. The claws seem just to stop as it hits her skin. It is like hitting a brick wall and the flesh doesn't give in at all. "Huh. You know, I really thought you would give me a better run for my money. I think this just means you need to step your game up." She leans in just slightly. "If you don't, your going to die. I'll set your body on a pike and trade your head in for a fat bag of Ryo. Birds shall feast on your flesh, and you will die and rot alone."
Atara reaches up to grab the woman's arm. She would spin in place and hurl the woman with a one-handed swing at the rock-face with tremendous force. To say the least, Atara seems to be a downright power-house. In fact, she appears to me more dangerous without the weapon rather than with it.
Itami stared down Atara, snarling. "You can try." She growled. "Being alone is nothing new—" She's cut off as her arm is grabbed and she's lifted and hurled to go flying against the canyon wall. Of course, it was a hard hit, but the canyon was solid and so it didn't take as much damage as Itami did when she went falling to the ground.
Atara actually blinks as a pillar of stone slams into her spine and sends her airborne. Her feet have barely touched the ground when another clawed slash comes towards her face. She drops down and lets the claw swipe safely above her head before firing two quick jabs at the girl's ribs and following up with a brutal rising uppercut. She seems to be picking up the tempo of the fight with a huge grin on her face. She is enjoying this far too much.
Itami dodged the initial jab and focused chakra to evade the second. With the uppercut that came she prepared herself to snap down on her arm, but it didn't quite work that way. So, her head was sent upwards upon the punch making contact with her face, lifting her a couple of inches off the ground before she landed and stumbled backwards to spit blood from her mouth. This was not going well. First she's camping now she's being attacked. She forgot all about the water run, as well.
Her condition was growing worse for battle and slight panic was inducing. She couldn't go out like this. She had more places to compromise and people to kill. To profit. Whoever hired this assassin was going to receive a personal visit… She couldn't leave without giving her all. She felt her time was drawing close. So, she took on another form. Growing in size as scales seemingly grew on her skin, fangs showing forth and a tail spawning from her spine.
This new form made her slightly more hunched and with the added pain of having her bones shift and grow to withstand it, made her a little more irrational. She charges forward to tear into Atara with reckless abandon.
Atara's eyes widen as the woman shifts forms. "Eww.. Kinda grotesque. Looks painful too. I think this has gone on long enough." She leaps backwards a dozen feet away from the slashing berserker. She lands lightly down on one knee. As she stands up, head lowered, a massive force is exerted upon the canyon. An overhead buzzard is even pulled out of the sky just overhead and slams into the ground. The Ki in the air is almost suffocating as it presses down with immense power. It's akin to having a building decide to sit on you.
Itami was pushed down before she had a real chance to get up. She felt an immense pressure on her body and ultimately was forced towards the ground. Stuck in her current position, hands pressed against the canyon floor and legs seemingly buckling. She almost can't breathe and can barely lift her head to see, but she manages. Seems that her time is drawing to a close and it sucks. "Who…hired…you?" She had difficulty in asking. She just needed to know. "Was…was it…the Tanaka?" She knew they had something fierce against her after their heir was lost when his home sank and subsequently caved in with his mother and sister inside. Granted, he was a young boy, but the requester paid her decently. Age wasn't a concern in matters like these.
Atara takes a deep breath and begins to focus Ki. She doesn't make ki, she simply harnesses what she already has. It begins to become apparent that she is preparing for something, and something big. "I hope you know this is nothing personal. It's just business." A small smile begins to creep onto her features. "I'm sure you understand. I don't find it professional to reveal the names of my contractors." The smile on her face gave it away; It was the Tanaka.
"If you have a God, you might want to make peace with him. I promise this will be quick and painful."
Itami was pressed against the hot floor, skin burning, dirt gathering in her wounds. She looked terrible, but she just couldn't give up and it wasn't just thought, it was the will to survive that was kicking in. She couldn't stay down and her body refused to let it happen. It kept fighting even if she might have been mentally exhausted. She continued to fight, creating a small crater in the ground with the more she forced herself to push against the pressure. She growled, slowly, but surely raising up from the ground. "Not…yet…" She spoke to Atara. "Not yet…" It seemed to become her chant as she broke free from the pressure with a glare aimed at Atara more than emphasizing the death she wished to bring. Still, in her condition, the fight was going to be difficult.
Atara's eyebrow raises as the monster that is Itami pushes herself to standing. "Oh. Well. Shit. You just had to go and make this complicated, didn't you?" She sighs and pulls out a small bottle and down it as fast as she can. She makes a weird face as the liquid passes her lips and begins coughing, the entire time charging the powerful technique.
Even at the distance they are at, it's easy to smell what the liquid was; Alcohol. And whatever kind of booze it was, it was amazingly concentrated. She begins to stumble as the booze takes hold. Still, she stands her ground. She would not let this… Beast get the best of her, not when her victory was so close.
"Complicated is hardly the word…" Itami replies. She was enraged. The Tanaka were going to die by her hand. Every last one of them. This assassin was skilled and standing in her way of getting to them. She placed her hands together to handseal and upon finishing them, she thrust one hand down to summon a large downburst to fall upon Atara to trap her in the continuous wind. She then began her dash forward, sprinting, eyes fixed upon her assassin with fury burning within them. Her arm was drawn back and no sooner than she was close enough, she'd thrust it forward with flame bursting forth to deliver a fierce burn to Atara.
The whirlwind of air is held at bay by a thin field of Ki about Atara's form. She runs out from inside the cyclone and charges at Itami as The Ki she had channeled moves into her fist. There is an almost visible aura around her hand as she charges forth with a battle cry. She draws her on arm back and when the two get within striking range, they both throw the powerful blows. Itami's fist leaves a trail of fire in it's wake while Atara's warps the air around it with an intense energy. Itami's fist lands square on her jaw. Atara's fist landing square at the same moment.
Her whirlwind might have been avoided, but she was too close and could taste it on her lips. The contact that she'd make with Atara. The idea was more delicious than the blood trickling down her face and seeping into her lips. However, this didn't mean that she wasn't going to go without pain.
She thrust her fist forward with all the force she could muster, an intensity in her eyes that yearned to burn her opponent's face until it was all but charred. Atara's fist? It could have very well taken her head off, but it didn't. Whatever god there was seemed to be sparring her, but at the cost of being worse for wear. The terrain shifted, the earth quaked and the concussive force blasted everything in close range to rubble.
Itami was sent careening towards the canyon wall, spinning rapidly as the momentum of the blast contorted her body. A large scar was left against its surface where she landed, sending cracks spreading along the surface and deep within, more than capable of making boulders rather than chips of rock fall down below.
All was quiet after the rocks settled and Itami in a battered heap on the ground. She survived, breathing weak and body even weaker, but she still had one last move up her sleeve. She placed her hands into seals for the last time it seemed, to destroy this place and bring Atara with her. The wind distorted in the air above and whipped up gusts as blades begin to rain down in the canyon and Atara.
Atara is blown back by the force of Itami's punch, but she seems relatively alright, if by alright you mean the side of her face being burnt. If you have never smelt burn human flesh, it is akin to burning hair, only about ten times stronger. Her hand quivers over the burn and she stumbles a little, still drunk. When the rain of blades come from above she is taken by surprise at the sheer force of the barrage and she is pushed bodily into the ground, unable to move as the blades dig small gouges into her flesh, the semi-visible aura around her skin deflecting the heaviest part of the blows.
"I'll kill you… I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!"
Itami coughed and spit up blood, gurgling at first before it cleared up to reveal laughter. She spoke, "Angry, are we?" She inquired mockingly before leveling off into a sigh. She continued to lie on the ground, a broken being. She thought she would have a long run, but that was too much to hope for. Too much taken for granted. It's almost ironic. It felt like all the structures she brought down upon people was all drawing up into a finale in this canyon. Every attack harbored the intensity and revenge many held against her.
She had a nice run while it lasted…"I think I've come to terms…" She seems like she's admitting defeat. "Hell has reserved a place for me, I'm certain. I wonder if any of my victims will be there…?" She made a few handseals and placed her hand against the earth where it encased her hand and solidified. Aiming her hand towards Atara, she gave one more shot with what she had left in her. "I'll see you eventually." She spoke followed by a smirk.
Atara cries out in pain as she receives a handful of bullets against her arms face and hands. Shakily she pulls herself to standing. Most of her injuries are cosmetic, but they will scar. The burn on her face will never heal properly, nor will the chunk of flesh torn from her forehead. The woman stumbles towards Itami and removes the large blade from the wall with a grunt of effort. She moves to stand over the woman. "I hope you've made your peace with yourself. I'm about to take one myself." She pull her foot to kick the woman hard to be able to turn her over so she would be able to watch her death coming. She raises the sword high above her head and two-hands the weapon down towards the woman's neck with a powerful scream of rage.
Itami didn't have any peace to make with herself. There was none to be made. All that boiled in her veins was revenge and the anger of not being able to return it. The kick easily sent her rolling across the ground and facing Atara where she'd watch the blade glint red from the last light of the setting sun. Soon after, there was nothing except a red spray from where her head and body connected. She felt the pain, but it was momentary. Nothing that would compare to the torment she'd endure in the afterlife.
Perhaps…it won't be so bad…just maybe the spirit of vengeance would manifest, but…it's only a thought.