The blades of vengeances have fallen swiftly. The shinobi are no more as 'Absolute Justice' has returned...now, it is the Samurai that rule the Five Major Nations!
But at what cost? Have they become the very thing that they despised the most...? Heroes and villains seem to change roles every day, but one thing is for certain - we yearn for our freedom, for days gone by where we flew the skies unhindered.
She'd been ready, waiting, for the first signs of the detonation. With the door adequately pinned shut, her remaining time had been spent in vigilance-- deep observation that not even the perforating screams of those trapped behind the steel slab could break. When the building first rumbled and slouched, the Kaguya was already at the edge. By the time it buckled, she was airborne, crossing a short gap to a nearby structure parallel -- albeit somewhat lower -- to the church's west. The congregation screamed in horror as the floor collapsed beneath them, feeding their lot into the infernal maelstrom below. A thick coil of smoke rippled up into the sky as the fire instantly cooked the newest kindle of flesh and bone, spilling the horrendous stench into the surrounding area.
"Good riddance," she muttered, casting a disdainful glare over her shoulder at the smoldering ruination.
Hana couldn’t help but arch a brow in curiosity as the higher-than-the-sky Jounin’s tone took on a more serious edge, one that she found herself appreciating. Even if they were merely slaughtering a herd of brainless sheep, at one time, these were their peers—their extermination deserved to be taken seriously, even if only a little bit. Understanding the man’s logic without an explanation, the young girl nodded. “Understood.”
Not intending to chase the cluster of acolytes already making their way for the roof, the kunoichi made way for the gaping hole in the wall. Outside, she turned and began scaling with wall with long, powerful strides. It was much easier than rushing up countless flights of stairs, a far faster as well.
The evacuation door had just opened the moment she crested the roof’s edge. An elderly man stepped out first, surveying their surroundings; he barely had time to notice the bleached-bone blur careening toward him before it was buried in his chest. He stumbled back, glancing at the bone sword, before falling into the arms and hands of the men and women behind him, still in the hall.
Hana was quick to follow up, pulling yet another blade from her shoulder as she rushed the door and kicked it closed. Jamming the blade through the slotted lock, what remained of the church’s congregation were now locked in the building; their only option now was to burn.
They ran, scattering like cockroaches, but most didn't get far.
Though she was far less enthusiastic than her clearly psychotic counterpart, Hana was nevertheless effective and determined to wash away Great Stain of Kirigakure’s history with the blood of its covenant. As the crowd parted and fled from the grisly scene, an explosion tore through the wall opposite to Naitome’s current position. Those that weren’t claimed by the heat and rubble staggered away, some back, others forward, as they tried to collect themselves.
“Great Shepard help us, Great Shepard help—”
A long, slender bone pushed up through the woman’s jaw and out through the top of her skull. “Your shepard is dead,” Hana murmured with a twist of her wrist. She kicked the woman free of her blade, the body still twitching and convulsing as it rolled down a short step of stairs, cutting off the remainder of the group’s retreat. “He can’t save you.”
As she extended both her arms forward, a volley of projectiles erupted form the young girl’s fingertips. They peppered the congregation’s bodies with an echoing symphony of wet thuds, ripping through bone, flesh and sinew without effort. The bodies fell where they stood, the impact from the girl’s onslaught causing many to topple over each other; the corpses stacked high in a matter of seconds, their blood forming a dark pool beneath the butchered heap.
“The others are heading upstairs,” she noted. “We could take out this whole floor and bring it all crumbling down. Thoughts?”
"You're late," the young girl snapped at the pair. "I've been sitting here waiting for an hour."
Kinomura shrugged. "Sorry, but it wasn't our fault."
"Whatever. Let's just get this over with. I've got important things to do."
Oshitaka laughed. "A genin with important things to do?"
The young girl shook her head and turned toward a off-the-path road leading out of the port, gesturing for the pair to follow her. Besides the two massive swords strapped to her back, the stark white hair upon her hair, the Tsuchikage would notice -- if she spared bur a cursory glance -- the Hidden Mist headband fastened around her left arm.
Overlord? It was a strange title, one that the young kunoichi would do well to avoid using. Suspecting her audiences with the new "ruler" of these lands to be incredibly few and very far between, it wouldn't be so bad. Nodding to his orders -- of which she, along with the others she was sure were happy to oblige -- she turned on her heels and started back for the Church and its primary depots.
Even though it'd taken the invasion of a bunch of foreigners to get the Mist to mobilize, Hana was quite pleased it was finally time to get rid of the cultist and their religion.
Hana's lips curved into a smirk of approval as she watched Hatsu dispatch the crowd, painting the chamber red with their gore. When it was all finished and the screaming had subsided, there was only silence -- the calm, cold silence of death. "Well done," she congratulated her guardian while stepping even further into the room. "You kids need to get out of here. You don't want to be here when word gets out what happened and the other adults come looking for who's responsible." The cluster of children in the room, covered in blood, bolted down the hall and out of the restaurant's front door.
A man crawled out from behind one of the bodies, a deep gash across his abdomen and blood spilling from the wound. "Please," he groaned in pain, moving toward the heiress. "Mercy."
The girl couldn't help her airy laughter. "Hatsu, did you hear that? A child-abuser begging for mercy? Have you ever heard something so ludicrous?"
"I'll tell you what," she chirped. "You give me the name of your boss and I'll have my friend here heal you with some medic jutsu."
"I- I can't, my family."
"Your family was dead the moment you decided to get in bed with a criminal," she replied. "They're accomplices to this little-- shindig you've got going here. But, if you tell me what I want to know, I'll be sure the other teams of shinobi don't pay them a visit."
The man paused before coughing up a thick wad of blood. "I have your word?"
Hana smiled. "Of course. Tell me your surname."
"Well then, Mr. Hanabashi, consider your family spared... so long as you tell me what I want to know. So, who is your boss?"
The man nodded. "Takeda..."
Takeda, huh? I doubt he's the big fish around the parts - this little circuit wasn't large enough. The kunoichi stood and turned from the dying crone, gesturing for Hatsu to follow. The man gasped and reached out, grabbed at their ankles, but missed. "B-but wait!" he bellowed. "The medic -- you said he would heal me!"
Hana came to an abrupt halt. "Oh right, I almost forgot. Hatsu -- heal this man and put him out of his misery."
"Us," she replied nonchalantly. "The mistakes of our forefathers will not linger forever, Eito-san. Eventually, we, the children of the Mist, will rise up and reclaim the honor that was taken from us. It make take months or even years, but it will happen. We need only continue on the path we've set for ourselves."
What that path was, however, remained somewhat unclear.
The remainder of their journey back to the Kushinada was one of relative silence. The kunoichi, lost in her thoughts, made a sound here and there -- a low scoff at some ridiculous idea, or a hum of approval at something more logical. It wasn't until she rounded the corner of a high bamboo fence that, with a nod, she said: "Over here." They weren't entering through the main doors. Instead, the young girl guided her companion through a towering pair of side doors which led to a grisly courtyard.
Pikes erected form the earth, corpses and severed heads deposited on their ends. The earth below was almost entirely red, with only several splotches of non-soaked earth and grass. An elder Kaguya sat in a chair across the yard, tilting his head back in recognition of the heir.
"Lady Hana," he crooned. "You caught him?"
She raised her hand, displaying the severed head. "He didn't get far."
"Looks like you made it painful."
"I didn't, actually. There was a crowd."
The man nodded. "I understand. Do you need a stake?"
"No," she replied, tossing the head into a pile of others. "He can rot with these down here."
Facing Eito, he nodded to her right. "Throw the body over the."
He's a decent killer, Hana thought to herself as she watched her guardian unleash hell upon the room's immediate occupants. Of course, she still hadn't entered - standing back just beyond the doorway, well beyond harm's reach. It wasn't until Hatsu finished the last of the guards foolish enough to try and thwart their entrance that she, the little puppet master, decided to make herself known. Stepping into the purposefully dim-lit room, she eyed women, men and children around her.
"Who the hell are--"
The man's words fell short as a bone bullet cut between his eyes. Blood spurt from the wound, a thin river that drizzled over his nose and down his face, as he slumped back in his chair. The spectators behind him were covered in gore, fragmented bone and splattered brain matter.
"We've been sent to shut you down," Hana answer the unfinished question, lowering her hand. "Your days of forcing children to fight have come to an end. Every child in the room -- if you value your life, get down on the floor and don't stand up until I tell you to." Emerald eyes narrowed as she inspected the face of every adult in the room, judging them.
"As for the rest of you..."
"... Hatsu, show them how the shinobi of Kirigakure handle kidnappers and child-fighters."
After a moment or two of waiting, a slot slid open with a thunk, revealing two beady green eyes. "Whaddaya want?"
"We heard this is the place for fights."
The eyes narrowed, focusing on the young girl to Hatsu's side. "I don't know what yer talkin' about."
"The fight clubs," she said. "We know this is one of them."
"Like I said, brat, I don't know what yer talkin' about. Now run along before ya get yerself hurt, ya hear me?"
They always choose the hard way. While it made little difference to the kunoichi, she would have preferred to establish their cover inside before the fighting started. Even though the arena was beneath the building, who knew how many guards they had on the ground floor? Either way, it was obvious Hatsu needed some exercise -- all of that liquor was starting to show in the slight pudginess in his gut. "Hatsu," she said with a sudden sharpness in her voice. He knew what it meant.
“Of course,” she chirped with hard side-eye. “These men and women are a bunch of kidnappers and child abusers. Kirigakure will be better off without them.” While organized crime did little to bother the child’s moral compass, there were certain things she simply couldn’t stand for. “But I wouldn’t expect them to put up too much of a fight, so as I said, try to conserve your chakra. Put them down the good ol’ fashion way.”
Though jutsu grew to play a critical role in every shinobi’s arsenal, it could equally be seen as a crutch at times. Many ninja had forgotten the true art of assassination, the founding principles of their art. In her eyes, relying solely upon one’s ninjutsu or genjutsu was the quickest way to end up dead.
“Let’s see if we can get some directions.”
Hana drove her right hand into the man’s jaw as hard as she could, sending him off his feet and crashing into a stack of rotting wooden crates. On the ground, he moaned in pain as he massaged his jaw, completely unaware the girl stood above him now with her sword drawn. The blade glinted in the early morning light, focusing a light on his face. “The arenas,” she said. “Where are they?”
He spit out a wad of blood, and a tooth. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
With a quick thrust, she sheathed the blade in his shoulder. “How about now?”
The man groaned, and then screamed when she twisted the sword.
“Just up the street,” he sobbed. “Take a left and look for an old restaurant—Danzou’s Place. The ring’ll be in the basement, I swear.”
Hana ripped the sword free from the man’s shoulder and slung it over her shoulder, turning and striding out of the alley. “This way,” she said to Hatsu. “We’re almost there.”
“What have I told you about drinking in public?” Hana snatched the can from the man’s hand, effortlessly crushing it into a frothy, bubbly mess before she discarded it against the ground. “I don’t care what you do when you’re skulking around the compound, Hatsu, but when you’re in public you not only represent the Kushinada House, but me as well.”
Shaking her hand free of a few clinging bubbles, she wiped the rest on the chest of the man’s kimono. “Stop being an ass and act your age. We’ve got a lot of work to do, which means we need to manage our chakra wisely. You aren’t going to know your right from your left if you’re drunk.”
It was a shame that a twelve year old possessed more reason and maturity than her eighteen year old counterpart, but there was a reason he was in service to her and not the other way around. “Anyway, be sure to try and get a name or two while we’re here. I doubt any of the head bosses will be here, but it may things easier down the road if we know who we’re looking for.” Emerald eyes watched as their surroundings took a noticeably darker, scummy turn for the worse. Uradana wasn’t far. “And remember, we aren’t here to take prisoners. These scumbags are making kids – civilian kids, mostly – fight for sport. You understand?”
"Good," she replied with a satisfied smirk. "That's excellent."
Hana clicked her tongue as she cocked her metaphorical gun, releasing a single shot while softly mouthing 'bang'. She rose from her knee after, retracting the blade from Chae's shoulder and fastening it to her back. "Whoever you were before you came here-- that man is dead. Don't ever mention his name again." The finality in her voice was unquestionable. "From this moment on, you will go by Hatsujinsei1."
Grabbing the young man by his bloodied collar, she hoisted him up to his feet while throwing his arm over her shoulders for support. "We need to get you to a healer immediately. You've only got a few more minutes." Thankfully, the girl's kekkei genkai offered her a greater deal of strength than the average shinobi. Hatsu was little more than a fancy paperweight to her.
Of course, she made sure to snag the muddy Kumogakure head band before they departed.
Hana shoved the heel of her left foot against the bullet hole in his chest, forcing him hard against the ground. At the same time, she wrenched the blade in his shoulder. “It would behoove you to show a little more respect to your judge and executioner,” she muttered with a frown. “Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I’m some immature little brat. I am the heiress of the Kushinada clan, and in this moment, I am your god.”
She ground her heel harder into his wound. “I decide whether you live or die.”
It was clear Chae’s cloud hopping charm wasn’t going to get him anywhere but buried six feet under. “I have no use for play things, cloud hopper. You will be my weapon, my shield and sword. You will kill when and who I tell you to kill, no matter the risk, and you will protect that which I deem important even if it costs you your life.” Sinking down to her knee, pressing it against the center of her chest, she formed a “gun” with her left hand and forced it against the center of his forehead. “You will live and die—not for a nation, not for a village, but for me.”
“Do you understand me?” Hana tilted her head to the right. “If so, then swear yourself to your new master. Or do I need to decorate the ground with your brains?”
Last Edit: Aug 24, 2015 10:18:02 GMT -8 by Nujabes
"Contrary to popular belief," the young girl said as she stood over the defeated ninja. She thrust her blade down through his left shoulder, pinning him against the ground. "Not all girls like poetry."
Hana twisted the sword, only enough to widen the wound an inch or two. She could have killed him-- ended his rather miserable, down-troddin' life with but a flick of the wrist. But she hadn't. What kept her from putting him out of his misery? What was it that kept the young girl from spilling more of his lifeblood, until there was not but dry veins remaining?
A grin unfurled across her face. "You're a tough son of a bitch. With a little cleaning up, your raiton could be useful in the future." The poor bastard was bleeding to death. Why not throw him a deal? "You don't strike me as the type that wants to die. You may be okay with it, but I don't think you're searching for it."
"Work for me," she demanded. "For the rest of forever. Or... take the alternative."
Black and white; good or bad; real or fake—there was a fine line that separated these words. But what of pride and hubris? At what point did one’s pride become detrimental to their well-being, to their future? There was no doubt that the shinobi of Kirigakure outnumbered the enemies at their door, but would that be enough? These ninja had erased the Mizukage (cultist or not) and her most trusted subordinate without effort, and toppled the impossibly-tall walls of Kirigakure without breaking a sweat.
What hope did a handful of genin and eccentric Jounin stand?
What would Father think? The young kunoichi didn’t moved after the Hokage finished his offer, punctuating it with the promise of further death and destruction. How could I possibly carry the mantle of Akira after surrendering without shedding so much as a single drop of blood? Her hands shook as they curled into fists. It was a nearly impossible decision, but only one of the options allowed her the chance of vengeance; to regain both her honor and that of the Hidden Mist.
Still, no one spoke.
Hana pressed forward, leaping across several more roofs before she landed on the rubble-filled streets. She could see the Hokage just as he could see her.
“The Mizukage and her reckless cult brought this misfortune upon us,” she spoke boldly, her voice a crisp note among the roar of flames. “I can assure you there are no shinobi here that have any love for her or those fanatics. That is their symbol,” the girl said while pointing to a smoldering sign, the church’s insignia still visible though darkened with soot. “If your intentions are truly as you say, then you will be doing the Mist a great service in purging the church and its many acolytes from our presence.”
Sometimes, a coward lives to fight another day…
“I, Hanafubuki Kushinada of the Hidden Mist, humbly accept your offer,” she said, unable to hide the shame in her voice. “Hokage-sama.”