"Kokuei..." Edo repeated. The special efforts he expended to ensure the name was one devoted to memory were largely unnecessary, since the events of the day would be seared into the mind of the young Nara for the rest of his natural life. The scraps and the bruising aside, Edo went from this battle with 'wounds' that would not heal. He was a trice marked man, with seals left on him that no one could even read let alone decipher. Even the puncture near his neck that still steamed a steady flow of deep red was not as bad as the fear of what might have been attached to his own shadow.
With the name echoing in the confines of his mind, Edo waited till the last image of Kokuei was but a spec in the distance before forcing his weakened body up. With a groan, the nearest of the two hands on him pressed hard against the cut along his neck to put pressure on the bleed as his tired feet stumbled with sloshy tracks through snow over towards where the knife that had caused the cut had been unintentionally thrown. His other hand reaching for it, the gloved limb paused just before it established a grasp.
"Come here, I've got a gift for you." Tentou's voice called out in a memory. Edo's shaded vision stayed fixed on the blade just outside his grasp as his mind wandered to the past.
The one-eyed Nara handed over to his younger brother that had just been about to run off a small, rectangular box. Taking off the lid himself as his hand retracted, the only contents in the carton was a dagger covered by leather sheath.
"What is it?"
"It's a knife, genius." Tentou laughed.
"No, I know that!" Edo steamed with a disgruntled quip. "What I meant was, what's it for? It's not like it's my birthday or anything. Besides, I've got dozens of knives."
"Ah, but none like this." Tentou rebutted, scooping up the gift to demonstrate despite his younger brother trying to snatch it up first to prevent the elder sibling from taking the trinket back. Tentou unsheathed the blade revealing the black steel tanto, the dark color of which was offset only by the silver blood-drip that ran along the sharped side. "Here, let me show you." Without a shred of hesitation Tentou quickly ran the blade along his palm, the cut from which being deep enough to draw a fair amount of blood.
"What the f--"
"It's alright, I swear." Tentou smirked before his brother could swear in a different fashion. "The blade's coated with a fuuinjutsu I did myself, only made visible by blood." Clenching his cut hand tightly to block off the small wound, Tentou lifted up the dagger with his other hand to display the black steel once more, which now bore a seal that appeared in ink as red as the blood that had brought it out. "It's coded to your own blood, which it needs first as a primer to activate the seal. Just a drop will do." Tentou explained with a chuckle, as he had left much more than a drop on the weapon. "Once activated, any blood in contact with the dagger, even your own, becomes explosive." With a precision matching that of the weapon's expert Edo, Tentou released the dagger in a throw that embedded the tool in one of the boulders that were so plentiful in the landscape of the Land of Stone. In an instant, an explosion erupted from in the penetrating blade that reduced the large rock to nothing but a small pile of pebbles and dust.
"Cool!" Edo looked with wonder, pulling the sunglasses down on his nose to look over them with his brown eyes.
"Yeah, figured it come in handy for someone to eager to throw away there talents by trying out for the Explosive Corps." Before Edo could object, Tentou had already quite him by rubbing his non-bleeding hand on the boy's messy black hair. "This is important," He said in a more grim voice. "This weapon's not for sparing. I mean it, never against your own comrades. It's a last resort. The seal sets off a chain reaction that spreads between the blood cells until their all burned up. You stick this in someone, anyone, and you had better d@mn be sure that you mean it, cause once it pops its over."
Giving his brother a push from behind, Tentou sent Edo to fitch his own new knife. As Edo picked up the weapon from the pile of rubble he looked back with a curious glare towards his overly generous brother. "Wait a minute, you said it was already coded for me. How you'd manage that?"
"It's it obvious?" Tentou chuckled. "We're brothers, our bloods the same!"
Overcoming his hesitation, Edo lunged the final inches forward and grabbed ahold of his gifted blade. Holding the black steel upright, the blood that had stained the tip from when Edo had tried using it rolled own the surface of the blade in small droplets that started to highlight a red seal upon the center of the blackened weapon that hadn't been present before.
"Would it even have worked?" Edo questioned his unfinished strategy. The young Nara's eyes turned from curious to serious as he flung the weapon straight down vertically so that it became embedded in the ground just beside his feet. The seal activated on the trinket causing a small eruption, though with so little blood upon the blade the blast was no threat to the Nara standing beside the fiery plume. Bending down, Edo picked up the blade from the bed of pebbles it now rested in and immediately lifted the heated blade, still searing hot from the blast, to his neck. With a hissing scream, Edo kept himself amazingly quite as he cauterized yet another wound. One more scar left on him, this time on the neck.
With a determined push, Edo returned his weapon in place. The battered boy took one final look to the other weapons scattered across the wide battlefield, but gave no mind to any of the other trinkets as his feet began drudging onward. The only other thing that he stopped to retrieved as at the sight of the first of the many battles that had transpired here, and the only battle he was not a part of personally. Amongst the upturned snow that had been sliced apart by wind and shadow, Edo slid down the crater left by the last big explosion that had ended it all. There wasn't a trace of the witching woman that had kept her body lucid in a state of snow for the majority of the fight. Not a trace, except one. Edo picked up the mechanical eye that had been left lying in the spot, and clenched it with a first before putting it safely into one of the empty pouches on his equipment belt.