Bottom of the River [ Private ]

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Bottom of the River [ Private ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Wed May 15, 2013 9:29 pm

PURGATORY



Spoiler:
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"No! No! Get off! Get--!" The Nara ceased wildly waving his arms. He went from being totally covered in his own crows to... this. A bitter chill hit him as he begun turning about, looking for some sense of familiarity. There was none, it was safe to say that he was in a totally different place. Very, very different.

A dull light pierced through the leaves of the skinny trees that littered the forest. Was it the light of the moon? No... not the sun, either. Whatever it was created a strange and dark ambiance to go with the equally creepy forest. "What the hell...?" A wide eyed Kokuei whispered.

"Akiko?" He turned again. "Akiko!!" Kokuei shouted, as if it would bring Akiko out. As if she was responsible for what happened. As if she would even think of helping him now.

Crunch

Kokuei's head twisted to the snapping of a branch. First expecting to see nothing, Kokuei was gravely mistaken as he spotted a pair of red eyes in the distance, clearly watching him. "What..." There were monsters in Purgatory. This was Kokuei's trial.

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Re: Bottom of the River [ Private ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Thu May 16, 2013 3:44 pm

Kokuei didn't look back, he just ran. For minutes, hopping over tree roots, ducking underneath low branches, and praying that he wouldn't come across another red-eyed beast.

"What was that?" Kokuei had stopped, panting lightly as he turned about. His eyes continuously scanned the area, not wanting to stop for a moment in this uncharted territory. It did not feel normal, hell, it didn't feel like earth. The expansive forest didn't provide the Nara could look into the cloudy sky, but from what he could tell based of of the light alone, it really wasn't earth. As minutes turned into hours, and the perpetual state of "dawn" never turned into day or faded into night, he would believe that he had stepped into a different reality.

Blood ran down his thumb, spotting on his other hand as he formed signs. He threw his hand onto the ground to summon one of his crows. From what he could tell, they were the ones who brought him here.

Nothing.

"What?" More hand signs, and then threw his bloodiest one onto the ground again.

Nothing.

His back straightened up. "No, no, no..." Kokuei looked around again. "Where am I?" Serious concern set in now.




An hour later, the hood of his black cloak over his head, Kokuei silently crept through the forest. He hadn't seen a sign of any other creature yet. Except for that... thing he saw upon first arriving here. Kokuei wasn't sure what to search for, or if he even wanted to find anything. If the crows sent him here, they must have had a damn good reason. Did they find about the seals? The binding seal, and the seal planted on Murkrow? Wait... Murkrow's seal.

Akiko would have a seal to summon one of his crows, and the ability to extract any information she needed out of it. She could find out where he was, how to get him out. "Please be looking for me." Kokuei's head tilted up to the dimly lit sky. "...But you won't. Not after what happened. Not after what I've done." He closed his eyes, sighing, accepting that he was truly on his own.

Snarl!

Ripped from his monologue, Kokuei's stance changed and his head whipped to the sound of the monstrous growl. Not a demon with red eyes, but a rather hairy man with tattered clothing and pale eyes that looked like a wolf's. He charged Kokuei, arms extended out as he leaped toward him.

The Nara grabbed one of the man's wrists and then brought a strong fist to his gut. Before he knew it, Kokuei tossed him against one of the trees. His shadow extended and connected with the snarling man's, tendrils rose from beneath him and kept him pinned against the wall as the frightened Kokuei let out a breath of air.

"Aaah! Aaah! What did you do to me?! What did..." His eyes narrowed as he stared at Kokuei's angry and confused face. "You're not him... damn it." He bore his sharp teeth and looked away from the Nara.

"I'm not who?!" Kokuei stepped toward the man. "Or is that some excuse you're using as to why you attacked me?" He looked over the man, or at least the thing that looked like a man. There was something about him that seemed different, aside from the canine-like teeth, the eyes, and the sheer amount of facial hair. "You look like the kind of person who would be crazy enough to attack anyone in their sight."

Looking up at Kokuei, the man grinned. "Kurado Akido. From a distance, you look quite a bit like him. The cloak, mostly. But the humanity on you... I just... I had to assume." Kokuei's look of confusion didn't go away. "Haha... wow. You don't know where you are, do you? You haven't a single clue."

A tendril slowly began to wrap around the man's neck. "Get to the point already."

He looked to the tendril and then back to his captor. "Purgatory. Every single monster, inhuman thing, that dies goes here. A couple animal clans have made their homes here, but we don't see them. And then there are the Guardians. They don't attack unless provoked, but they're tall, ugly things that just... stalk. Watching."

The tendril squeezed. "Monsters? What are you talking about?" Kokuei looked over the man again. "You're not... human?"

"You're pretty sharp." He chuckled. "Vampires, Gods, witches and everything in between. Me, I'm a werewolf."

"I thought..."

"What, that we're not real? Oh, pal, we are real. Humans are so naive."

"So this is some sort of monster heaven?"

"Monster hell is a little closer. You know what that means for you, right?" The werewolf kept his smirk. "All of us here, we are just souls manifested in this place. You? You are a living, breathing human with a pure human soul. I could sense you a kilometer away. Kid, you are glowing like a beacon."

Kokuei turned his head, looking around to make sure he wasn't being watched. "Okay, so what do I do? Where do I find Kurado? You said he was a human right?"

The werewolf shook his head. "Kurado is a hunter, killing monsters like me and sending us here. I bet every single damn thing here has heard of that bastard. Thousands of monsters here have been killed because of him. We all figure, though, that Kurado will eventually find himself coming here. One way or another. You understand why I must have thought he was you."

"So every damn thing is going to think I'm him and come after me? Awesome." Kokuei scoffed, shaking his head. "All right. How do I get out?"

"Hahaha!" The werewolf tilted his head back, tendrils still pinning him in place. "Boy, if I knew how to get out, don't you think I would've done that ages ago?! There ain't no getting out. You don't leave, you just run. Try not to be killed by the other freaks here. Always look over your shoulder. I think you're doomed."

Throwing together hand signs, a shadowy hatchet rose from the ground rotating itself to point the blade at the werewolf. "I don't believe you. Give me something or I'll give you a second death."

"I told you, I don't know shit! You wanna kill me? Go ahead and try. First rule about monsters kid, you can't kill us by ordinary means. Think you can just stab a vampire in its heart? Burn a witch alive? You need to read up on your lore."

Thunk!

The shadow hatchet met the wood of the tree as it cut clean through the werewolf's neck with one hard, swift, movement. "I don't think any lore out there knows what I can do." He said, watching as the beast's head rolled to the ground. Kokuei let his tendrils slip back into his own shadow and the beast's body fall to the forest floor.

Kokuei turned again, expecting another pair of red eyes. He felt as if he was being watched, and it was very likely that he was. By another monster, or one of those... Guardians.

"If there are animal clans that reside here..." Kokuei trailed off, keeping his hood down as he walked over the werewolf's twice-dead body and deeper into the woods. If he could find the crows, that would be his salvation. They sent him here, they must have access to the place. They must also have a way to leave.

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Re: Bottom of the River [ Private ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Sun May 19, 2013 10:52 pm



One hour became so many more, soon they turned into days. Total paranoia had set in for the Nara, always checking his back, always aware. He was met with monster upon monster, each looking to rip him apart and eat him alive. Some expecting him to be this Kurado Akido character, others simply drawn to him by his humanity. All, of course, looking to sink their inhuman teeth into him. What was he, a human, doing in this land of abominations?

The first hours were terrible. Monsters that Kokuei never believed existed were running toward him, one after another it seemed. However, the Nara quickly became used to it all. Maybe not "used" to it, but rather, he enjoyed it. How quickly he overpowered the monsters with his shadow techniques. He didn't even possess their shadows, he just used his tendrils, it was more fun that way. Pinning them against trees, against the ground, and then interrogating them. He wan't nice about it either, he tortured the beasts for a brief period of time before hacking their head off. It was empowering, he was totally in control. Nothing could stop him, nothing could be done. After the first few hours Kokuei killed more of them than he had of humans in his whole life. They thought they were hunting him, but in reality, Kokuei was simply waiting for them to pounce. Waiting to render them helpless, to end their lives. Waiting to ask them all the same question.

"Okay, last question then. Where is the crow village?"

"What? I don't know! I haven't even heard of it!"

With a quick swipe, a shadow hatchet shot from Kokuei's own silhouette and sliced clean through the monster's neck and landed against the tree he was pinned to.

Thunk!

"Tell me where the crow village is!"

"Bite me, asshole!"

Shadow hatchet, meet neck.

Thunk!

The vampire choked, barely even showing his crooked, sharp fangs as shadow tendrils begun to constrict his breathing.

"Cute. Unless you want to end up like your friend," Kokuei turned to look at the headless corpse by a reddened tree before his eyes returned to the dirty vamp. "Tell me what you know about the crow village."

"I-- nothing! I swear! He was telling the truth, I'm telling the truth!"

"Oh I believe you. I just don't care."

Thunk!

"I've heard of it, but the crows, they never come out of their village, man. No one knows where it is." The shapeshifter said, eyes looking up to Kokuei, a splatter of blood on his cloak.

"No one?"

"It has to be hidden... I've tried looking for it to but I didn't--"

Thunk!

"Bull shit! The place doesn't exist!"

Thunk!

"F$%k you buddy, I ain't tellin' you shi--"

Thunk!

"Hold on, wait, plea--!"

Thunk!

"Yeah, it's right up my ass!'

Thunk!

"Eat me!"

Thunk

"If you're going to kill me, just do it!"

Thunk

"Are you insane? Crows?! Why would--"

Thunk

"I don't know! Crow village? Please, I don't--!"

Thunk

"Go ahead! Keep poking me with your weapons! You think I care?!"

Thunk

"At least Kurado had the decency to kill me quick! You F#%king whore!"

Thunk

"If I get out I'm going to bleed you out, see how you like it!!"

Thunk

"Just kill me! I don't know! Just end it and kill--"

Thunk!

A skinny woman was constricted by just her neck, tendril pushing her against a dead tree as Kokuei moved in closer. The werewolf's legs flailed as her hands tried tugging away the tendril.

"Are we ready to be civil yet, pooch?" A single hand gripped the air, commanding the single tendril.

"Piss off!"

Thunk!

"I know a vamp, she said she had seen a village like the ones back on Earth, okay!?" The restrained man coughed up blood, a tendril removed itself from her bleeding side.

"Where? Where is the village, where's the blood sucker?!"

"I... I don't know! She never said and... I killed her."

"Damn it!!"

Thunk! Thunk! Thunk!

"...That's all I know." Came the weak voice of a bloody and beaten God. God of wine, he called himself. "That's where I... where I saw the village. Crows flying overhead."

Shadow tendrils held the God who looked more like a 30-year-old homeless circus performer quite loosely. "And you said you couldn't get in."

"There was a force... it stopped me. I just couldn't go in..." Raising his right arm, the tendril that held it idly fell off as the God felt his swollen face. "Ugh... will you let me go, then? I promise... I won't tell a soul about you."

"As much as I'd love to..." The shadow tendril suddenly yanked back the God's arm. Kokuei placed the written note he had made into his holster while his other hand suddenly curled up its index and middle fingers; a hatchet rising from his shadow. "...I don't trust monsters."

"You call us the monsters. Take a look in the mirror!" He shouted with the last bit of energy before the hatchet, aided with gravity cut through flesh and bone and into the soil below.

Thunk!

Note in hand, Kokuei ran a hand threw his dull purple hair that fell down his shoulders. No longer up in a ponytail. He nearly considering cutting it all off.

"I'll be damned. The alcoholic was telling the truth." He whispered, eyes looking past trees and to a peculiar large plot of land. There wasn't quite forest anymore, but mountains could be seen in the distance. Nearly half a kilometer before him the land split into a canyon. Trees, so far ahead, were massive. If the crows were to have taken roost somewhere, it would definitely be there.

"Urk-- what the--" As Kokuei passed the last tree and continued to wander forward, he found himself unable to. "No!" He slammed his hands against the invisible force. "No! No! Nooo!!!" The Nara screamed until his face was red. Tendrils shot from the ground and slammed into the wall, Kokuei continued to pound against it. "Crows!! You hear me?! Get down here and save me!! Get! Me! Ooout!!"

Panting, Kokuei fell against the wall, one hand on his head, and a forearm bracing himself against the wall. "Why are you doing this to me... I don't understand... why did you bring me here..."

Shuffle

Perking his head up, Kokuei turned around. Expecting to see another monster, Kokuei was met once again with red eyes. Except this time, they were clearly apart of a body. Well over two meters in height, it was a lanky, black feathered, humanoid crow. It's wings shot outward, and it's lanky arms moved forward with its body, claws opening toward Kokuei. Before Kokuei could even react, before he could comprehend the ugly beast, and what it's crow-like appearance meant, it gave a chilling, horrible shriek.

"No!" It leaped for Kokuei, the man throwing himself out of the Guardian's path as the Nara got to his feet. Like instinct, tendrils whipped from his shadow and begun to latch themselves onto the Purgatorian beast.

"Reyaaah!!"

The thing cried again as the tendrils attempted to pin it down. Instead, the beast countered the force of Kokuei's tendrils. Suddenly, its arm broke free of one, the things terribly sharp claws cut away at the other tendrils, shredding them like paper.

Leaping back, Kokuei sped through a series of hand signs. The usual tricks didn't seem to work against this thing. What would?




Panting again, Kokuei's running came to a stop as he leaned against a tree by a flowing river. His only option had been to run from the monster. That thing, it looked like a monster more than any vampire or shapeshifter had.

One hand rising and falling slowly, a small tunnel of water came up from the river and splashed against Kokuei's face. His other hand wiped down his face as he let out a breath of air. "So much for the crows." He muttered, his tired eyes suddenly widening as he noticed a figure across the river. "What..."

It was a deer, a glowing white deer standing perfectly still amongst the trees. It stared at Kokuei, as if waiting for him. "Hey, deer, who..." Turning, the thing suddenly darted off, Kokuei jumping across the river to follow. "Wait! Please!"

Racing through the forest, Kokuei avoiding slamming into tree after tree as he followed the shuffling of leaves and the faint glow in the distance. "Please! Please!" He could only assume the white otherworldly deer belonged to the other animal clan that resided in Purgatory. Meaning, maybe it could help.

"No... come on..." Kokuei's pace slowed to a walk as he lost track of the beautiful creature. He turned about, hands on his head, as he desperately searched for some sign of the quick deer. "Come on..."

"Raaah!"

A guttural growl, much like the first werewolf he came across, caused Kokuei to turn one-eighty to face his new attacker. An unamused face met the approaching victim as tendrils sped from his dark silhouette and threatened to strangle the beast. As they grabbed him and restrained his movement against the cold ground, Kokuei felt a wicked grin invade his face.

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Re: Bottom of the River [ Private ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:29 pm

"How the hell am I supposed to get into the Crow Village, IF NO ONE HAS HEARD OF THE DAMN PLACE!?!" The Nara screamed, tossing his fist into the ugly goblin's face.

"Ah... aagh!" Spitting out blood, the monster avoided eye contact with Kokuei.

Kokuei hit him again. "A way out? Anything? Can you tell me ANYTHING!?!" Another punch reddened the very lost shinobi's hand.

Very reluctant, the goblin did little more than pant, shuffling uncomfortable under the weight of Kokuei's shadow tendrils that kept him very pinned to the tree behind him.

"Fine." A familiar motion of a hatchet chopping the monster's head clean off left Kokuei to turn to another monster he had pinned up a few trees down. Unphased, Kokuei walked over to him, the shadows holding the twice-dead goblin returned to their master. "I hope for your sake you have a little more to share."




Hood of his cloak down, his hair as well, Kokuei walked quietly through the Purgatory woods. He wasn't dead silent though, he was looking for another monster to slay. After nearly three weeks in this awful place, Kokuei was beginning to lose hope. His only chance of escape had seemed to be the Crow Village, but that place was impossible to pass through. Never mind the guardians that threatened to tear him to bits should he try.

Gray eyes flicking to the side, the Nara's head picked up ever so slightly as he heard the soft shuffle of feet behind him. It wasn't the first time a monster had tried to get the jump on him.

Suddenly spinning, Kokuei extended his hand, which in turn brought a mass of tendrils to obey the shadow puppeteer and throw his next victim up against a tree. There were no hand signs anymore, just total obedience. Never before had the missing-nin been so in control of shadow. It was a weird feeling, he could feel a connection to it that he never knew was even possible. Like it was a whole other entity to be controlled.

"You're a little rough, aren't you?" The female scoffed, stretching her neck and showing off even more of the elaborate tattoo work that covered her body. Slightly tattered shorts, shirt, and leather jacket blocked view of some of the very violet tattoos.

"Shut up." Kokuei said coldly, approaching the short black-haired woman.

"For as tough and clever as you think you are," she began, a strange accent about her as if she was from a much older period of time, "you didn't even realize I was following you. Nearly a whole day, too. I just wasn't as upfront and idiotic about it as the other freaks roaming around."

Folding his arms across his chest, Kokuei shook and his head and shrugged.
"What do you want? A prize? Did you just come to brag?" Kokuei's head turned to look at his surroundings.

"You ain't being followed." Kokuei turned back to the woman. "I was waiting to get you alone... after seeing what you were all about, of course. There have been whispers of a human in here, so naturally I had to come see."

Kokuei put a hand against the tree, he stared into the blue eyes of the monster. "Great. You happy you get to see the human? Now, tell me everything you know about the Crow Village. And I mean everything."

She laughed, adjusting herself a bit as she stared right back at the Nara. "What, not gonna hit a girl?" She winked. "Foreplay gets you more play~" The girl sung, before Kokuei tightened the tendrils grip on the woman.

"If you've been following me, you know what happens when you monsters get smart mouthed with me." He responded, pushing off of the tree and away from the girl, mostly out of emotional discomfort.

"Well this monster happens to have a name." The tattooed girl said, Kokuei's brow furrowing as he turned his head to look at her. "Elodie. And I happen to have a very good lead on how to get out of Purgatory. Not the Crow Village, though. There's a big 'no trespassing' fence around the place. I'm sure you've realized."

He approached the pinned woman again. "A way out? Are you serious? Well, spill it." Kokuei tried to contain his excitement and keep his aggressive demeanor.

"You're not the first human to pass through here. There have been others, a long time ago. Longer than most of these monsters have been around before they killed themselves or killed each other. Eventually every human dies, but one of them went so far as to build a cabin to protect themself. Didn't last very long, of course. I saw it myself, and there was strange writing covering parts of the place that wasn't destroyed. If you can decipher it--"

"Fuuinjutsu. I bet it's fuuinjutsu." Elodie just gave back a blank stare. "Where it is?"

Elodie shook her head and smiled. "No way, shadow boy. There's a couple of conditions first."

"Conditions?" He sighed, not feeling up for bargaining with a monster.

"I'm coming with you to the cabin, or else you'll just kill me." She laughed, this time Kokuei gave the blank stare. "Secondly, I'm hitching a ride with you back to Earth. Since I'm just a soul, you'll need to find a way to keep me with you and bring me back to my body."

Kokuei's eyes widened and he straightened his back. "What? Are you crazy? Absolutely n--"

"You need me. I am one of the oldest things in here, understand? I know more than any of these morons. If you want out, if you want to go home, we go together or not at all." Elodie said, without skipping a beat. "So?"

There was silence from the man as he looked away from the attractive monster and to the cold ground. Then, there was a sigh as the shadows fell from the woman, lowering her a couple inches to be just short of Kokuei's height.

"Knew you'd come around." She grinned.

"If you mess up," he took a step toward her, leaning in slightly as he glared at her, "if you even to try to double cross me, to hurt me... I won't hesitate to kill you."

Elodie quieted, before smiling briefly before bringing a hand up to pat his arm. "Well, I guess same to you." She walked past the man head turning about as she scanned the nearby forest, as if checking for followers. "You coming or what?" She called to Kokuei who rolled his eyes and sighed before turning to follow the monster.

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"This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules; test ideas by experiment and observation, build on those ideas that past the test, reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question... everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours..."
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Re: Bottom of the River [ Private ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:33 am

The cabin wasn't very close. It was a solid couple days before Elodie told Kokuei that they were close. All the while they slayed monsters that dared cross their path. Though this time, Kokuei didn't need to go through the usual torturing.

"You haven't said yet." Kokuei began, the short haired woman glancing over to him. "You're a monster, right? What are you? A petty God, a vampire, a witch?"

Elodie laughed, giving Kokuei a smirk. "It just kills you to be hanging around me, doesn't it? A monster. You're so racist." Arms crossed just below her bust, she shook her head. "I'm a djinn."

Eyes flicking away at the comment of being racist, they returned to the tattooed woman. "A djinn? Like, a genie?"

"Yes, a genie." She snapped, obviously not the first time she had heard that response. "Any myths you've heard about genies come from us. The myths are pretty distorted, but it's all sort of the same."

"No wishes, I'm guessing."

"No. A djinn poisons a human, puts them into a deep sleep, makes them believe their wish has been granted in their dreams." She explained, looking to Kokuei whose facial expressions grew more perturbed. "Then, while they sleep, we feed off their blood for a few days until they're totally drained. All the while they remain trapped in a blissful coma." A smile grew across her pink lips. "It's much more humane than what vampires do. Never mind witches with all their sacrificial shit."

Kokuei scoffed. "Humane? You call bleeding people out humane?"

"You're judging what's 'humane' or not? I've seen you do some pretty wicked things to these monsters. And don't you say they're 'just monsters'." She pointed a finger at the man. "All those seals you put on people, the experiments you do, you're walking a thin line yourself."

The Nara turned his head from the djinn, hands in his tattered cloak as he felt a hand rest on her shoulder. "Sorry." She was quick to say. "You confided in me about all that, and I shouldn't have turned that against you. I just get awfully sick of being called a monster. In my final months before dying, I stopped killing people. I still got blood, because I needed to survive, but I never killed them. Okay?"




"This place is a wreck." Kokuei said, passing through the broken doorway of the cabin. Inside was no better, everything was broken, torn, papers scattered every which way.

"He spent his final hours getting chased out of this place he built for himself." She looked to the symbols along the walls, many of them were to repulse supernatural beings. Scratched and worn from the passing of time, there was nothing here that worked on djinns. "He was a Nara like yourself."

Kokuei's head jumped from the paper he examined on the floor and to the djinn. "What?"

She crossed the room, walking over to a desk coated in papers and scrolls. "You stay here as long as I have, you hear a lot of stories." The woman sat on the edge of the desk. "I'm guessing you've heard of Kurai Nara? Founder of the Nara clan, disappeared sometime after bearing children and teaching them the shadow powers he had gained himself?"

"Of course." Kokuei moved over to her. "I tried figuring out what happened to him myself. You're saying he... came here?"

"You feel strong in Purgatory, don't you Kokuei? There's a reason for that. Kurai didn't get his shadow abilities through lots of hard work and natural talent." Her fingers brushed through papers. "Legend goes that he connected himself with Purgatory, tainted his very soul to gain abilities that only this place could grant. Purgatory is shadows, Kokuei. One day, though, in his meditations, he tread too close to Purgatory. Or maybe something here pulled him in. Whatever the case, his strong link to Purgatory became his undoing. Just like you, Kurai found himself trapped here, no way to escape. And I don't think he ever did. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if when he died he just ended up back here... as one of us."

Kokuei's gray eyes fell onto the pile of papers, silently picking through them. He had no response to Elodie's story, but plenty to think about because of it. Did his forefather die a monster? Kokuei feared himself crossing that same line.

"It's an unfinished fuuinjutsu." Kokuei tapped his finger against a seal on the desk hidden beneath the papers.

"Sweetie, look around the room, everything is in shambles." Her blue eyes scanned the crude drawing of a Purgatory Guardian. "Or it was something he tried to finish before the ghoulies got him."

Biting his thumb, Kokuei ran blood along the seal. "No. I recognize it. He was hiding something." Touching his thumb to the center of the seal, a paper sudden appeared in a puff of white smoke.

"I stand corrected." She shrugged, Kokuei glancing over the few sentences that Kurai had scratched out onto the paper.

"He found a way out." Kokuei's breath quickened. "A few kilometers away, following a stream, there's a cave. A place where the veil between Earth and Purgatory is thin. Kurai said he would explore this place and left this note for any other unfortunate humans who found themselves trapped here!" One hand slapping against the paper, Kokuei looked to Elodie. "Okay, let's go."

The djinn pressed a hand against Kokuei's chest just as began to move.
"Hold up. Not yet." She said, confusion across the Nara's place.
"Let's see what else he left before we run off. Somehow, I don't think leaving Purgatory will be as simple as walking into this cave." Moving her hand from his chest, she extended it to the rest of the room. "Let's do a little digging, okay?"

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"This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules; test ideas by experiment and observation, build on those ideas that past the test, reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question... everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours..."
-- Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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Re: Bottom of the River [ Private ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:16 pm

Several papers in the young Nara's grasp, he and his partner walked along a clear river that cut through the dying forest. Eyes scanning them up and down, he looked over the notes that his ancestor left behind. Above all, he looked at the strange symbol and the words that followed it-- the ingredients. It was a spell, to leave this world and to go back to Earth. If the duo followed the river all the way to a cave, they would find a place where the veil between this world and home was the thinnest. The place where Kurai suspected the portal to Earth would have the greatest success.

"That's the first thing you're going to do when you get home?" Elodie asked, her blue eyes jumping from Kokuei and to the leafless trees. "Track down and kill Akiko?"

He looked up from the papers. "I didn't..." He paused. "I didn't say I was going to kill her."

"What then? Torture her? Kokuei, you've tortured hundreds of monsters. Whatever you plan on doing to Akiko, it's going to end badly. I don't know if you can control yourself after... this." The Djinn replied.

"I have willpower, Elodie. I'm not a mindless killing machine!" Kokuei looked to her briefly before staring back down at the symbol on the notes. "Like I told you, that message from my crow should have gotten to her. She had a way to figure out where I had gone to, to try and save me. But she didn't. Despite what happened between us..." He shook his head, closing his eyes as he staved off a single tear. "...she was still my friend. I still cared about her. Though really she couldn't care whether I lived or died. Probably wanted me dead, anyway. So yeah, I'm gonna find her. Show her my face, tell her what I've been through, make her sorry for what she could have prevented. I won't lose control, Elodie. I won't kill her." He looked to her again, the Djinn simply met his gaze. "I won't."




"Not exactly as magical as I was expecting." Brushing a few strands of black hair form her partially tattooed face, the woman ran her hands along the entrance to the cave.

Placing the papers on the ground, Kokuei looked to Elodie. "We have to make the seal with the blood of a Purgatory native." Stopping in her tracks, Elodie looked to Kokuei with a raised eyebrow.

"I know. You were listing it off before. You think I can provide that? Kokuei, I'm not a Purgatory native. I died and came here." She scoffed. "I think you know what you need to do. What you gotta try and capture."

He muttered something under his breath, a swear, as he looked to the ground. "A Guardian. Damn it."

"You told me it almost trashed you before. And they're not exactly things that are going to come and seek you. They were just protecting the Crow Village... supposedly. It's hard to tell what they're up to." Shrugging, the Djinn moved toward Kokuei. "I have a feeling Kurai never returned home not because the seal didn't work, but because he couldn't get himself a Guardian. But you're strong enough. I believe in you."

Dull eyes looking to the woman, he looked as if he was about to speak before his eyes grew wide and he jerked back. "What the hell...?" He hushed, Elodie quickly turning to see what spooked the Nara.

A figure approached them, a silhouette, really. In truth, it was only a silhouette. It looked to be a man, but totally shrouded in shadow. No clothes, no features, nothing... just a shadowy man. His arm outstretched, and a dozen tendrils sped from his extremity and toward the duo.

"Move!" He screaming, grabbing Elodie and throwing himself back and out of the cave with her-- avoiding the length of the tendrils. "That technique, that... that was unmistakeably Nara..."

"He was consumed." Elodie gulped, moving out of Kokuei's grasp and behind him as the silhouette approached. "Purgatory corrupted his very soul, and the shadows overtook him. Kurai never made it farther than this cave."

Breathing heavy, Kokuei stood tall as Kurai extended his arms toward him. The young Nara formed hand signs. Within moments, a slew of tendrils exploded from both men, intertwining and gripping and pulling and slithering. A smaller one, among the mess, pulled an explosive note from Kokuei's holster and managed to submerge in the shadowy jungle and emerge on the other side, slamming into Kurai just before the explosive note... well...

Boom!

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Re: Bottom of the River [ Private ]

PostPosted by Oddric » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:27 am

Smoke cleared quick as tendrils spun around the corrupted Kurai. Between the mass of black vines, Kokuei spotted a glimpse of something... part of Kurai's shadow had been removed, revealing pale white skin underneath. Maybe there was hope for his ancestor.

"You can't even speak, can you?" Kokuei asked, his tendrils returning to him as he cautiously watched the mass of shadows before him continue to churn and thrive. "I can't believe you let yourself become this. To think that you are my ancestor. You aren't a strong man... you're weak. A coward. You came to this place looking for power and..." The Nara paused, watching the mass approach him. "...Look at you."

A gust of wind emerged from Kokuei's palm, slamming into tendril mass as Kokuei quickly followed. More hand seals following, the Missing-Nin combated Kurai's tendrils with shadow spears and a raised wall-- all quickly emerging from Kokuei's own enlarged shadow that expanded around him.

The battle waged, Kokuei taking the defensive, and in these moments it was obvious to the young man. He was strong, he was so strong. Any Nara that stood against Kokuei would fall to him. He was only 20... and look at what the past few years had done to him. Losing his brother, watching his parents slip away, becoming alone... it was these cut ties and the rage that built within him that made him strong. Not like Kurai, who cowardly requested power from this forsaken place. Kokuei found his own way through hardships and trials. Between the guilt from all the human test subjects, the evil he felt build within him, it just pushed him. Now... what was there to be ashamed of? No one who mattered to Kokuei would question his motives. That died when Akiko left him.

"Shadow Possession no Jutsu!" Kurai stopped... nearly, anyway. The shadows surrounding his body vibrated and thinner, smaller tendrils thrashed about around his person. "Come on..." Holding the concentration hand sign firmly, Kokuei had his complete focus on containing Kurai.

"You did it..." From afar, Elodie lifted himself up onto a boulder, watching in amazement as Kokuei used Kurai's own technique against him. Successfully.

Tendrils began to rise from Kokuei's own shadow, knocking away Kurai's as they began to pull on Kurai's shadowy flesh. "We're both monsters in our own ways. I'll be the first to admit it." He said, as if Kurai could even comprehend him. "But the routes we took to get here are so different. I worked for it, I struggled with the decisions I made. You didn't... you are a coward. Just looking at your notes I can tell, Kurai Nara. I accept who I am! You can't, you never could. I know I'm a monster! If you had ever accepted that, maybe this wouldn't have happened to you."

Kokuei's shadow acted more fiercely now, tendrils ripping apart Kurai's flesh, pulling the shadows down from his body like a torn dress. Underneath revealed an old styled Hidden Leaf jounin vest, pale skin, dull eyes, and mangled purple hair much like Kokuei's. The monster saw much of himself in the mindless man before him.

The tendrils continued to peel until finally they had completely contained Kurai's shadow, it struggled underneath Kokuei's mass of shadows as it was pulled toward Kokuei. "I've been waiting so long to test this technique... I feared what it would mean for me. What it would make me. But now, I don't care." He knew who he was. "Shadow Sealing Technique!" Performing several hand seals, Kokuei slammed his hand into his shadow before him. Writing sprawled from his hand and forming a glowing circular seal that quickly drew in Kurai's shadow. The entire time shadowy tendrils resisted, one of them wrapping around Kokuei's leg, to which he responded by merely shaking it off. Kurai's shadow completely consumed, the blue glow faded and the black color of the writing blended perfectly into Kokuei's shadow.

He had sealed another Nara's shadow... their "soul"... into his own.

"K... Kokuei!"

"Hold on." Kokuei responded, not even turning to look at his companion as he approached the lifeless body of Kurai. "How long have you been dead for...?" His stern tone softened as he knelt beside his dead forefather. His hand fell beside where Kurai's shadow should have been. It was gone. Defying the laws of nature, his shadow was totally gone. Consumed and neutralized inside Kokuei's own. "I'm sorry."

"Kokuei!!" Terror in her voice that Kokuei should have picked up on, he turned completely to find a large figure standing in the entrance to the cave. Towering over Kokuei, a large humanoid-like crow with massive wings, and lanky arms with powerful claws and the ends. It opened its black peak and howled like a murder of crows in terrible pain.

Eyes widening, Kokuei stood up arms at his side as the Guardian wasted no time rushing toward the young man.

Quick movements and tendrils, Kokuei dodged and blocked several powerful swipes of the Guardian's claws. A powerful and swift bat of its wings threw Kokuei against the wall before pushing himself off and bouncing against the ground to find himself at the entrance of the cave, the Guardian a few meters inside. "Damn it... it's so..." Another blur of black and Kokuei found himself defending again. Though, not as successful as it cut through his black cloak causing red liquid to splatter against the beast. A mass of tendrils pushed back the beast as Kokuei clutched his chest as he screamed in pain.

"I... I am Kokuei Nara!" He wouldn't let himself be pushed around by a beast. This abomination that every monster in this place feared. Kokuei would not give in to the fear. "I know what I am!" A weird thing to announce, again. But it was a relief for the man. For so long he struggled with the choices he made, who he was. In this place, this awful place, Kokuei figured it out.

A glowing white deer caught Kokuei's attention to his far left. The same deer that had tempted him before. On his right, a simple crow cawed as it perched onto a tree... it was shrouded in darkness. Kokuei understood now. Options laid before him, and he had a choice to pick. Yin or yang. Light or darkness. He never wanted to be a bad person, evil, but did picking yin... darkness... make him this? These were the things that Kokuei struggled with. Picking darkness would change him in ways he wanted to be changed, not evil, not bad, it was just his path. And Kokuei would push forward without fear.

The deer vanished into the forest, and the crow remained, ever watching Kokuei.

Kokuei's shadow leaped from the ground and totally surrounded its master. "I know who I am!" He screamed, the shadows transforming him into something new.

Hunching lightly, black wings spread from Kokuei's back as shadowy feathers exploded from his person. Elongated claws emerged from his hands and a peak protruded from his face. His appearance had changed to almost mimic the Guardian's own.

On all fours like a beast, Kokuei charged the Guardian, the Purgatorian beast barely able to defend against Kokuei's very sudden and powerful onslaught before Kokuei had it pinned to the ground. A hatchet grew from Kokuei's back, raising in the air before slamming against the cave floor, cutting clean through its neck.

Silence fell, Elodie watching from a safe distance as the monstrous Kokuei rose slightly, looking at the dead beast. A moment later the shadows that surrounded Kokuei fell again. He examined his hand and then the shadow below him that had calmed. "What..." It felt as if he had shared a mind with his own... shadow. It didn't make sense, but he wasn't sure how else to explain what had happened to him.




"Are you sure you're all right?" Elodie, arms crossed, watched as Kokuei put the final touches to the symbol drawn on the cave wall. A pool of blood next to the Guardian had been greatly disturbed as Kokuei using it as paint for the symbol.

Long purple hair waved slightly as he looked to the Djinn. "A little shaken... but... I'm good. For the first time in a long time. I'm good."

Spoiler:
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Stepping back from the sigil and reading off of the sheet of paper that Kurai had left behind, Kokuei quickly spoke through the incantation.

The wall began to crack, and suddenly it collapsed into itself. Behind it revealed a glowing bright light as a circular hole remained in the wall.

"Wait... Kokuei!" Elodie called out, Kokuei looking to her in confusion.

"I'm not going to leave you." Kokuei said, forming a series of hand signs. "I made a promise. And... I am in your debt." His eyes faltered away from his companion.

Smiling, she watched calmly as Kokuei's tendrils surrounded her. "Sorry I doubted you. You remember where I said my body was buried, right?" She brushed some strands of black hair from her face, Kokuei merely nodding in response to her question.

Slamming his hand on his shadow before him, a glowing blue light emerged from Elodie as she became pulled into Kokuei's shadow. Another seal appeared onto his shadow before the glowing faded and blended into the darkness of his shadow.

Standing straight, Kokuei looking into the white light which would bring him home. To find his brother. To stop the Decay bandits. To make Akiko pay.

[ End ]

| Request Thread | Characters | Quotes |
"This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules; test ideas by experiment and observation, build on those ideas that past the test, reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question... everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours..."
-- Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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