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1For the wonders we have seen. (private, plot) Empty For the wonders we have seen. (private, plot) on Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:38 am



'Forget what you know, empty your mind.'

The Valley far west of the world, that surreal serendipitous place of Lost Things where the pair now traversed; how vast it was to behold the terror of desolation at the end of everything. Time meant nothing here, the day and night only blended into a single golden wreath across the horizon, with a sky of deep blue. The camp became a shanty town with population two, Hika and the Sealer both slowly working their way outwards from a central point, combing the sands for a lost kingslayer slumbering in the ruins. The spirals they had woven through the sand stretched out miles in all directions, so far apart they were unable to see one another as they walked. Yōsei's eyes, trailing blue with resonant chakra, scanned the unearthed ruins for any signs of the whimsical specter. In his heart, the Sealer knew his eyes would never find what he sought unless it chose to be seen.

At the end of the day, Yōsei would kneel in the dust and inscribe a symbol in the dirt, body transferring itself effortlessly between places, back to the firepit where his partner went about his own machinations. Sitting in the fire's warmth he meditated, leaving his body to float high above the valley and observe the flow of energies. Those who knew of this power could hide from it themselves, but it would take significant effort to obscure oneself from the very World. Were his skills more exceptional, he could reach further and surely locate what he wanted, but the target lay still, far out of reach. In the mortal realm beyond this valley, where time had meaning, Yōsei had plans of his own to attend to. He would assure his partner of his return before hands blurred in a string of hand seals and planted firmly against the sand, chakra causing it to flourish and then expand in a puff of smoke as the Namikaze vanished across the desert.

Familiar life force entered his conscious perception, the sensation of summoning caused a lapse in actual thought before his eyes opened on the dunes of Wind Country. From between his feet, a white snake crawled forth, the sacred Namikaze formula still prominent on its forehead. This beast was his vessel, a train through which he would map the desert and appear where it went at will. But this was not the only agent of his making, the Sealer had such gateways all across the desert to facilitate his operations. He took a package from beneath his cloak, unwrapping a ceremonial mask to cover what little showed of his face. The white ANBU mask was nothing of note, merely a replica of the visage worn long ago by an agent of death who had lived in the Land of Fire; the scowling Toad's mouth was once known in Konoha as a symbol of swift, brutal death. This mask would be the message to the woman he arrived here to meet, she would recognize this as a man long dead, returned to undo what he had wrought.

Suna had changed dramatically since he'd last walked through the outskirts of this buried skeleton. The slim crescent of moon barely illuminated the landscape, giving Yōsei the perfect cover to slip toward those few lanterns which still burned in the excavation sites surrounding the city. In seconds he crossed the plains, disturbing nothing as not to anger the rightful owner of this new land. He too was a soldier who believed in the right of conquest, the world serpent had devoured this land, swallowed it whole between her insatiable gullet and now it belonged to her; he was merely an intruder into this sacred new land.

Few worked into the night, but some shared the passion of their leader and still tirelessly gave of their flesh to haul rubble from the scorched ruins and rebuild a new home to house their legacies. It was almost ritualistic, the way each man strained to hoist impossible stones and fallen columns while the cracked masonry sliced deep into their flesh and the weight bearing down on muscles and bone threatening to snap them. The Sealer felt sorrow in the pit of his stomach, the knot of reason and a compulsion to free the men of their shackles, draw his Vow and slice his way to the dragon's lair to do what must be done. In another life, this young kingdom would lay in ruins beneath his feet, with its queen in pieces; standing atop the monument of bloodshed would be Yōsei, golden hair stained red and adorned in the regalia of his homeland. This was not that life, the world had planned things out for him in a new way. There would be no nightly slaughter for the collector of shadows; strictly, he was here on business.

Quickening towards him, the research facilities used by his target rose stark cubes against fluid dune horizon, but the masked man paid no mind. Flags hung either by order or devotion, dotted the path leading to the building. The rogue was a dying breed, the free blood of those not bound by rules ran thin, trickling into obscurity and threatening to fade. The Empress of this budding citadel already had attracted the ire of the Mist, a formidable nation which the Sealer knew intimately; they would view the incident in Kumo as a taunt and would settle for nothing less than blood, even if it meant hunting the woman where she slept. Yōsei arrived with a treaty, two weary trees growing in the desert would do well to share their secrets, soften the soil for one another's growth. With one bound, the Sealer caught purchase on the building's roof, black folds shimmering but nothing compared to the mask which turned back to face the desert beneath.

Yōsei brought his hands together in a flash, forming chakra internally and funneling it into the air around him by releasing his tenketsu. The combination heat and lightning would crackle into existence, rising upwards in a stream of wild chakra, unrefined but manifest and unleashed into the world. Whether the Dragon was here or not, the oncoming display of charged fury would alert the woman to his presence and call her to this lonely meeting place. A flash in the desert would illuminate the dunes, lightning striking the earth meters from the structure he stood atop. This was no jutsu, there was no chakra control at work here, merely an environmental application of the Sage Arts, distorting the natural flow of chakra would gather a dark cloud overhead and call forth signal flares of crackling lightning.

With the torch lit, Yōsei stood patiently on the edge of his perch, eyes watching the sands for a sign of movement. In truth, this gambit was something even he was unsure of, he'd barely known of the woman in his other life, but now he came to seek her out in the heart of her endeavors. What sacrilege had this land born witness to under the purifying fire that turned this vast nation into naught but dust and ghosts?

"How much longer will we hide in this desolate era?" Yōsei's voice was distant, speaking through the nature surrounding him, confident that she could hear him already.

"Do you know why I've come here?"




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"Lo and behold, the sun dyeth and a serpent bearing many heads and many names cometh."

Despite the dwindling light, no matter the sharp contrast of the cold nights compared to the dry and hot days, many a man and woman continued to work in the massive construction yard not far from the ruins of Sunagakure and the slums the once mighty hidden village had left behind in the wake of its destruction. Their bones creaked, their skin which had dried out during the day, was now crackling at unsavory places due to the swift change in temperature. Zealots, loyalists, dreamers, they had many names, though one thing they were not: abandoned. For out of the fire and brimstone which had hurled so many into destitution and despair, a single mysterious benefactor had provided the means and the money to rebuild, to rejuvenate and to reform.

The news that the feudal court, which had been in chaos after the disappearance of the Country of Wind's Daimyo, had overnight been pacified had already been a comfort to most among the poor sobs now working through weather and wind to see a united dream come to fruition. However, but a few of these former children of the sand knew the truth behind this news, the reality behind the fog of rumours and guesses. The Daimyo's wife had been executed, the last remnants of the Suna council thouroughly dispatched and even the Feudal Lord's infant son had not been graced with kindness, for he had been stripped of his name and of his title, forced to live his life in unknown obscurity. The new power in the land was clear about what direction the winds would blow, the disease of the old nation had to be purged, it's corruption eliminated and its decaying decadence had to be replaced with true splendor and true wealth.

And now, there was a semblance of order, a sign of peace, alas none knew the price of this near divine miracle. All across the construction site, pairs of strangely clothed shinobi watched as the workers did their duty. Atop swiftly build lookout posts and towers, scouring through and about the construction site, men and women dressed in black robes kept an eye on things. Their faces were obscured by their black robes and hoods safe for their eyes, which seemed dull to the point of being lifeless, silver emblems of a coiled eight-headed serpent on their back and long, thin swords attached to a leather belt as black as their robes completed their outfit. The workers didn't know who they all were individually or what they really looked like, but there were two things these strange shinobi had in common: They never went alone and they seemed to have an undying loyalty towards the person in charge.

Atop a large wooden platform at the center of the huge site, next to a monument in glass depicting a fifty meters tall eight headed serpent, a tent of thick, protective black fabric housed the administration of this construction site. It was the place where the officials oversaw the plans and the progress of the great endeavor they had embarked upon. Yet at this time of day, there were no officials, only a single woman who from outside of the tent, with four guards at each corner of the platform upon which she stood, watched over those working below. Kneehigh, black boots with a stiletto heel, black stretch jeans with golden piping at the side, leather gloves and a remarkably stylish black version of the original Konoha ANBU armor, complete with triple silver chains attached to her collar and running from there towards her left shoulder. Most notably though, was the item completing the outfit of this woman: a black, glossy helmet which obscured her face, complete with a golden rebreather device that looked like the lower jaw of a snake, ready to snap at any given man, at any given moment.

She looked stern, she looked firm, she looked as if she had not a single issue to waste her time on. There was no fear for repercussions coming from Kirigakure, since she already knew that that village was hunting her; the Zero Squad was enough proof of that. So, because she had that knowledge, this no longer was a hunt, but a trap, one of her choosing, in which she'd no longer be held back by restrictions of play nor conduct. Noticing something interesting though, this woman walked down a flight of wooden stairs at the back of the platform, curious to see wether or not her senses were or weren't deceiving her.

Flashes of lightning crackled through the air above the Research facility building, a figure controlling the nature's chakra from atop the building itself. it was a surprising, but not wholy unexpected show, a signal to draw out those in charge and drawing out the Desert Serpent it did, for a single white snake slithered towards the woman, coiling around her and laying its head atop of her left shoulder. "Seems you have a visitor," A chuckle escaped the hissing creature's maw, it's tongue flicking out of its maw for a moment. "Are we greeting him?"

During a single flash of the man's own signaling and crackling lightning, the rooftop upon which he stood now had four men in the strange attire standing atop of it as well. Slowly, from behind one of the strange men, Lamya revealed herself to the visitor. Uraeus, the snake which kept her company looked up and hissed at the mask bearing similarities to a toad's visage. "I've spend so much time guarding one's shadow... I thought it to be a nice change of pace to be the one casting it," The woman chuckled, her helmet distorting her voice, making it seem her breath was shallow and forced, but her movements suggested a grace and caution that only those with lengthy servitude and high distinguishment among the Shadows could ever hope to accomplish. "Do enlighten me...former shadow of fire."



For the wonders we have seen. (private, plot) BIgWlMn:8

For the wonders we have seen. (private, plot) 7A6C685406E029D697EB98BD412D3B627562E402

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'Give in; the world doesn't need you anymore.'

Violence was the way of things; killing had decided the righteous since time immemorial. Those who stood when all around them had fallen, those proud few who could endure the torment and slog through the endless bloodshed came to look down upon the world as Gods. This dangerous place, a rumbling pit of resistance struggling in the scorched belly of Suna's ruins, would become a meeting place for two such conquerors. It was fitting the two would meet here for the first time, at the end of their journeys. For the Sealer, this path had been one of subterfuge amidst a life of non-existence. He'd spent years as a shadow under the thumb of ANBU, assassinating those who dared to stand against the Leaf. His brief moment of luminescence came shortly before that flame had been snuffed out and he'd been cast away into the depths of Naraka, consigned to an eternity of freezing agony. But if hell could not hold this faded shadow of fire, what hope had the laws of man?

She would smell the desecration which seeped from between the folds of that cloak, cursed body torn from the nether into the mortal world where it no longer belonged. The Sealer's spirit would reek of death, so obvious was his consignment to Naraka that Lamya would feel that forsaken chill of Arbuda's icy judgment which still rolled from his skin. Night in the desert was often freezing, but such profound cold lingered only in the area surrounding the man ironically addressed by a title of flame. Yōsei remained there in silence, not turning to face the woman or her retinue, feeling them out with nature tendrils, spinning from toe to head in order to decipher the shape of those who stood behind him. The woman's imprint was unmistakable, like him, the Dragon Queen had an intrinsic connection to the natural world, cosmos bending to her will as quickly as to his own, perhaps even more. Though he could sense her spirit, the power she held was not yet known to him, what pernicious venom she had lurking still in darkness kept him on guard.

Slowly, the Sealer turned, vicious Toad's facade transfixing on the woman's form. She dressed for her role nicely, played her part with precision and grace, dressed in her imperial regalia, Lamya looked every bit the scourge that she inflicted. Stood, in contrast, was Yōsei's own understated veneer, the tattered rags of his cloak spun out in shifting coils, tearing away into the wind. How far someone had come, to begat such loyalty in her royal guard, who stood with trepidation, staring at the silent invader. Gloved hands rose slowly, locking the eyes of his captive audience, with that same wistful candor spread throughout the wind and thunder, Yōsei addressed the group.

"Dismiss your men, this is no battle, and the secrets we will share are not for them to know."

She would recognize this pact if she wished their accord to continue. It was not a play of power, some ploy in order to lure her where he may be vulnerable, in the Sealer's world, secrets were worth far more than the price on her head. The stillness with which he spoke aimed to betray his intentions, non-violent and pure, were for the pair to sign a sacred contract upon which they might both build a new era. Should she refuse, their meeting would simply end, chakra flow contorting Yōsei into a vanishing shadow before he would be gone, away as surely as the wind, and forgotten.

The order obeyed, Yōsei's suspended left arm would rise to the mask and grip it lightly, pulling free the ribbons which strung together behind his head. Only when he was sure they were alone would he twist his neck and let fall the dark folds of his hood, freeing that familiar halo of blonde hair laid buried beneath. When the final threads fell from his chin and the mask pulled away, the other Rogue would put her eyes on a familiar face, unaged by years of passing time due to his eternity spent outside of this mortal coil. He would be the spitting image of the day he had been crowned, barely a day older, with the same warm smile from all that time ago; the same smile which now greeted his ally. Closing his eyes the Namikaze tilted his head and smiled briefly, curiously childish for his world-weary words.

"How have you found this new kingdom? Is it everything you dreamed it would be? You alone stand at the apex of this world. Now that you're here, you understand there are secrets in this life that must be kept close, I know this to be true. The news of your retreat from Kumogakure spread across the tides long before you made it back here. You've been marked. But you knew that. It won't be long before they send their dogs, howling and screaming into the fire to enact justice for the Mist. I'm not here to scold, to taunt and jeer at you for drawing the ire of the world's most powerful nation. I'm here to commend it."

The groundwork was laid, by now he hoped she would be considering the severity of her situation if she did not yet know it already. The Sealer was absolutely certain that the woman before him was smart enough to see where the conversation was going. He would approach her slowly and if she did not resist he would raise his left hand and place it on her left shoulder, smiling toward her before walking further past her to look over the endless black dunes away from her kingdom. To the East, forces swelled in the forests, in the mountains, in the seas and the clouds. Each omen came in sequence, aligning before the watchful eyes of those who knew what secrets to seek.

"There is a Shadow in the mountains who proclaims himself a God. His tyranny threatens the way of all things, there are unnatural forces at work, surely you have felt it. Attuned as you are, to the World, such as I am, the changing patterns reflect the presence of something yet to unravel. I wonder, World Serpent, do you know what is to come?"

Deliberately cryptic, he wondered what omen she would pick of the signs, which obstacle permeated her thoughts? This was a subtle battle of wits, Yōsei's method of extracting information, finding a weakness in the Empress' scaled armor. Over his shoulder, Yōsei turned to face his companion again, still smiling as the test began. After giving her ample time to consider, he would give her more to consider, or perhaps mention this after another of her replies, whichever felt more natural for their conversation.

"What would you do, then, now that you know I lurk in these same sands as you? Would you consider me your ally? I have means to traverse this vast landscape at my will, and I have eyes everywhere. What would you have me do when the Hounds of Kirigakure are barking at your door?"




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'A failed system, doomed to be put down by its own creation'

The cold wind of the desert's night blew through the construction site, sand and dust being whipped up wherever the breeze made its mark, yet atop the Research facility's two story building, it seemed as if there was no wind at all, the pressure of two titans' power simply pushing aside the desert's whiles passively and without a thought about it. However, despite this seeming pressure, this looming threat against more than a single nation, it was but a simple meeting, a simple visit in the eyes of the two aforementioned titans.

There was something strange in the air, something foul and otherworldly. It was not Lamya who felt it first, but her four servants present, who with a shiver showed the serpentine Empress something she had not seen in them before: a hint of fear or was it empathy?

The massive white snake which had coiled around her seemed to look at the masked man with great interest, its pupils narrowing and its tongue flicking out of its maw more frequently than usual, almost as if it too felt that strange aura of this person. The most wanted missing nin didn't feel much discomfort though. It took her a bit longer, but she could finally also feel that though she believed to recognise the man behind the mask, something was odd and off at the same time. It was as if she was in the presence of someone who had died, which was ironical in the sense that she had barely escaped death on her own power many moons ago.

Alas, even if this strange man had managed to travel to hell and back, she dismissed it. After all, she only saw the shinobi world itself as hell, a hellish domain created by the dogmatic views and ignorant laws that had been set in place by decadent rulers and incompetent leaders. While the underworld might sound like a very terrible place, the stench of poisoned life was worse in the Snake's opinion.

She despised this world just as much as she'd despise the next one after that, only to be sated when there would be nothing left to devour. It wasthis very nature that would become apparent to the stranger when his tendrils of Nature would find hers, easily overwhelming and overtaking his own connection to the natural world was her own link, which seemed saturated with the corruption of nature and the strange pull of power that only those who had surpassed Death itself could have. If this stranger would've been any weaker or any less sound of mind, he might've just simply ceased to function. After all, it had happened before, when a weaker user of senjutsu had dared to try and create a link towards the Empress, a fully fledged Snake sage, resulting in the overwhelming pull towards their own nature's chakra and the feeling any prey would have when standing face to face with an insurmountable force in the form of an invincible predator.

Finally, the stranger spoke again and Lamya, who had almost wandered off within her own mind, trying to figure out everything, raised her head a bit. On the request to remove her servants from this 'meeting', the woman let out a soft sigh and raised her left hand in a gentle manner. Within the time she had made a single snap with her fingers, the four shadowy figures adorned in black robes to hide their identity simply vanished from sight. Uraeus however, remained coiled around her, showing himself to be an intrinsic part of her. Just like how a sword would stay sheathed though, he simply remained vigilant, but peaceful, not moving even a single inch, still resting his head upon the woman's left shoulder until either of them would perhaps dismiss him as well. "Such vague intrigue me."

Withe his request fulfilled, Lamya simply awaited what this 'former' hokage, this apparent stranger from times long forgotten would have to offer her. After all, when one spoke of revealing or sharing secrets, there was no doubt interest to be found in others, no matter the size or severity of said secrets. Those who craved knowledge were always attracted by the idea of gaining information that was limited and harder to obtain than the knowledge readily available to all.

With a soft and gentle motion, the stranger seemed to finally remove both his hood and mask, revealing that her initial senses weren't off of their mark at all indeed. revealing to her a head of blonde hair, bright eyes and a particulary young, ageless face which she remembered. It was true, this man was indeed the former hokage, the man once known as the white star and despite the fact that time had long passed since, he had seemingly not aged a single day. Because of this fact, it made it hard to ignore or dismiss the feeling she and her servants had earlier, the feeling that he had seen the world beyond this one and had returned.

As a show of respect though, the serpentine Empress herself decided to reveal herself just as well. With her left hand slowly raising towards her shoulder, tapping the snake upon his snout for a moment, forcing him to slither off of her and coil up next to her on the roof, she placed her fingers against the side of her own helmet. With a wheeze, the sound of pressurized air leaving and a contraption moving, the golden, snakelike rebreather dropped onto her collarbone, while the helmet itself was pulled off of her head and given to the snake beside her to hold onto it. What was revealed, was a face of alabaster white, slender and smooth of skin. Adorned with golden snakelike eyes and rosy lips, long jet black hair and two protruding horns forming an ivory crown upon her head. If the former hokage had not changed one bit, she had done so remarkably. She was no longer the angsty teen, but a fully developed woman and though reaching towards her thirties, her physical self seemed not a day past the age of twenty. "What you see is but the beginning," A devious smile appeared onto the woman's visage, the corners of her lips curling upwards in a most sly way possible. "It is not yet what I envision, for that would mean it has to be finished and for now, I do not yet see an end to my desire."

A soft chuckle passed her lips, no longer impeded in tone by the helmet she had been wearing before. "Marked, hmm. That I am indeed, but to have them believe they have me on the run, it is such an invigorating feeling," Her devious smile widened, her lips giving way to show her teeth, her sharp fangs and a surprisingly long tongue which licked her lips as she seemed to taste the joy she herself felt at that particular moment. "Kumogakure, Kirigakure...they do not send dogs, they sent mice into a snake's den, believing it wise to send shinobi inferior to the beast they are hunting as some sort of hunting party. She reached with one hand into her armor, pulling out a cracked mask stained with blood and dropped it onto the ground. The porcelain mask finally breaking in half when it reached the ground underneath their feet. "The dogs have already been sent and they have been devoured as mice."

Stepping forward, het boot crushing the remains of the mask underneath it, the woman's golden eyes stared into Yosei's with great interest. "I don't care if this man calls himself a god, for he is nothing but just another idiot drunk on power. If he were a real god, he'd have come to me himself to get rid of me, but he has not done why would I dare accept him as anything but a fool?"

A hiss escaped the snake's maw after hearing those words, a sound very similar to a human's chuckle. "Strange how some humans dare to think they've stepped into the realm of gods, but lack the sanity to understand the reality that would com with it."

lamya laughed after this comment from her snake, turning her attention back to her visitor, at who she now showed a bright smile. "Should either of these villages send me more toys to play with... I wouldn't be against the idea of granting you some playtime as well. After all, despite the fun of showing these dogs who's boss, it might be equally fun to simply repay them in kind, set an example to both villages by sending their best hunters back to them with their tails tucked between their legs. So...what I want from you, is to enjoy the freedom of this place, to rely not on rules, but on desire. So do tell me, what do you desire?"



For the wonders we have seen. (private, plot) BIgWlMn:8

For the wonders we have seen. (private, plot) 7A6C685406E029D697EB98BD412D3B627562E402

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'Leave yourself, you are tainted by a legacy of hatred.'

She felt different, chilly and calm, even nature which radiated from the woman's being came with that predatory nature so intrinsic to her affinity. It was as if she had been born to play this part, to open wide her desire and swallow the whole world whole. In kind, the two fallen leaves would reveal to one another their faces, that ultimate secret which gives the world power over you, a show of mutual trust to be assured. Last he'd known of her; she had been a sapling, struggling against the minutiae of day-to-day beneath the pressure of Konoha's thumb. Now aged far past Yōsei's timeless visage, she stood tall and proud, the keeper of a private garden where she could freely stretch her roots. The Sealer almost felt proud, the two standing here had never met yet shared an unspoken bond of heritage. Yōsei's indomitable will of fire, dimmed though it had been by the weight of the world, still called him always back home.

The white snake coiled upon itself, writhing into a watchful spiral, subtly mimicking the Sealer's paired heritage. Yōsei grinned at the joke, snickering to himself for a second while he passed by Lamya, eyes watching her lips while she spoke in reply. Her vision, as he suspected, far exceeded this endeavor; she sought to ascend even further, but the Sealer wasted not the thought to decipher her plans. Another suspicion would be confirmed in suit; the serpent's loss at the hands of Nozomi had perhaps been a trap indeed. A skilled manipulator may often feign weakness in order to expose an opponent; this strategy made enough sense to be plausible. Yōsei had yet to see the woman's strength, but the aura from within her gave him enough reason to believe her plan was not mere arrogance.

Reaching the opposite edge of the building, Lamya would reply to the part which Yōsei had been probing for. The Sealer wished to expose her feelings towards the Deific Raikage, that holy man of luck and lightning who did reside in the mountain kingdom. She responded as he'd predicted she would, no more willing to accept his divinity than he himself had been, though she was still unaware of what poison pulsed beneath his reign. Her companion, too, would spit its ire in the direction of the Clouds, blasphemous duo rending apart the name of Hastur with merciless indignance. Yōsei smiled wide, enjoying the fresh breeze against his skin; they were a different breed though aligned by fate, he was not filled with such hate as she had been.

"I take no pleasure killing mice." Would be his first remark, peripherals watching that stolen mask, graverobber's trophy serving now as punctuation, be thrown and crushed beneath the woman's boot. Without breaking his smiling temperament, the Sealer would sow a brief prayer, goodwill toward the one who once had worn that fractured face.

"He who calls thunder from the heavens to do his bidding, shapes it into a gaping maw with which to swallow a mountain, could he not be considered a God? I know well enough the legend of your strength, could you also not be thought of as a God? And what of a world filled with creatures who wield unreasonable power? Your companions who, with you, culled this land and left the ashes to rot for you alone. The Demon Ice Witch of the Mist, Ayakashi, the power to sculpt a world anew of her own creation from the storm within her heart. The Osada boy in the mist has grown a reputation that precedes him, criminals fear to tread wherever he lurks; what is the man who judges life if not God? The cursed era we inhabit is filled with Gods who enact their will upon the world, and you are no exception, one such God who has made her will manifest. Would you refute me? Are those that stand at the pinnacle of our creed not Gods made flesh?"

Yōsei himself, absent from this list by obvious omission. The Sealer knew he was not a God, it was not his job to be one, but only to inscribe the language of the Gods, to memorize what scripture he could and use it for his own gain. He said all this not to build up the woman's esteem, nor to flatter her; he was not such a novice at manipulation himself as to ensnare her with charisma alone, though a strong leader he had always been. As her final chorus of words rang out over the night, he laughed playfully along, nodding in agreement and trailing his right hand through the air, fingers pulling at invisible strings, plucking the wind and causing sand to rise and fall across the expanse. From atop the roof, the display was little more than a pleasing visual, but the currents of air at ground level all those miles to the east which Yōsei manipulated freely devastated the calm. So far away the torrents sounded like chimes and whistles, carried far by childish antics.

"War is not my playground. I don't desire the heads of Ayakashi's hunters; there is no pride to be found in continuing a life devoted to bloodshed. What a shameful deluge of wasted potential I have cut throughout these lands, that I stand here now with no choice but to remain. Those who hunt you will not meet with a fate so gruesome as death unless they are of their own unmaking. There is only one name on the list of those who I must slay,"

"Miyamoto, Hastur."

This would be the time when he would execute his proposal, her final words spoken and his replies given, the two would stand in reverent silence, watching the desert play at the Sealer's whimsical delight. Long since passed had the days of his conqueror's blood ruling the course of his actions. But still, the prospect of delivering a pair of bloody Hitai-ate back to the Mizukage, decimating two of her Seven Swords and claiming the hatred of all the Mist, this pulled at a part of him which still lay slumbering. Perhaps this was the truth behind his childish distance; the mere joy of returning to life had washed away the old, and he had been born anew in these sunlit lands with renewed purpose. He wondered whether the woman who stood with him now would ever know such inner peace, such profound tranquil acceptance of that which you can never be assured; you possess the will to never die.

"I desire war. The world is on the precipice of a great upheaval, all that remains is for a spark to be lit that will plunge the world into a state of readiness. When the time is right, after we have sent your message to the Mist, we will travel to Iwagakure where a seed of resentment grows, and together with our power, we will foster it. Between us is the will to topple nations, your power is vast, and my knowledge is absolute; when the dust settles, the world will remember the country you have built here, I will hand what remains of Iwa back to you, and then our contract will be fulfilled. This geas will serve as a sacred bond between us, one that I will uphold by defending the freedom of your land, protecting your life in these, your most trying of days. And you,"

"You will help me to save the world."




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"I am sin, sin is human, human is nature, nature is God, therefor I am God."

"Perhaps you should, for mice are vermin and vermin have a penchant for growing out of controlled when not regularly culled," The woman laughed, tapping with her right heel onto the rooftile of the building, making it look like she was crushing ants underneath that same lengthy heel. "Just like ants, just like weed, you need to pluck out the most resilient ones before they overrun all you hold dear and all you have built."

Letting out a sigh, the woman looked upwards for a moment, closing her eyes as the cool breeze of the desert's night's wind passed through yet again. Her lips curled ever so slightly when the former hokage started to reply to her statement on the one who had gotten the audacity to call himself a god. Someone who had not seen death, who had not felt its icy grip and who had yet to overcome that pinnacle of nature in its most finest and most ruthless, would never be fit to be called a god. Gods were those who had stared the angel of the end in the eyes and had laughed at it, who had evolved and who had grown beyond the grasp of death. "The demon witch of Ice, this Osada... just as Hastur they are truly power incarnate, but power does not equate to divinity. Divinity comes from evolution, from growth, from perfection and most importantly from knowledge. Even if we are to be called the gods of this world, I refuse to accept Hastur as a god, for even if we are gods to others, are we gods to each other?"

She had heard about the fact that this new raikage had a most peculiar power in his calling of lightning, his mastery of it, but then again, that did not make someone a god, just a very strong shinobi. Even if he still had many other powers beneath his breath, this Miyamoto Hastur had yet to prove his worth and therefor any claim of divinity would be meet with solemn refusal from Lamya's part. Those who could truly best her at peak power, who could beat her without breaking a sweat, those were the ones worthy of being called gods, but even then... even if she called herself a god, even if she believed herself to be far beyond humans, were not all powerful shinobi beyond humans?

It was a conundrum or was it being slfish of her part, to wish so much for the idea of having transcended her humanity, of having finally broken free of the chains of this wretched world. Was she still bound by that one person who she would not deny godhood to, was she still under his thumb, no matter where He'd be?

"Hmm, if we are all gods... than I reckon it's time this pantheon needs a culling just like the aforementioned insects and vermin," The dragon empress opened her eyes again, grinning visiously, while clenching her hands into fists. "There can oly be a select few atop this world's order, when there are too many atop the pyramid, that pyramid will topple.

The rooftiles cracking, the empress' chakra burst out fully, a black and purple aura of pure hatred, cruelty and malicious desires completely running rampant as she started laughing. "Well, if war is not your playground, it is mine," Opening her hands and raising them upwards, she started laughing even louder, almost to the point of becoming maniacal. "I will see this world drown in its own blood, choke on its own dead. If anyone sends hunters to me, I will show them what it truly means to hunt mosters, I will make this world understand its flaws and through'll finally be...perfect."

Calming down herself, letting one of her hands comb through her hair with its slender figures, the woman breathed in deeply and let out a deep sigh. "Alas my dream, my desire is even too great for even someone as myself to ever see come to fruition, no matter how far I extend my lifespan...I will not reach that point, unless if I were to truly sit atop the highest throne of this world," Looking straight at Yosei, she smiled, a cruel and devious smile, one which only a snake would be able to display and only a monster would be able to understand. "Fine fine, you have no desire to stand atop this world, all the more reason for me to ally myself with you, for it seems that at this moment, both our interests are aligned. If you are but solely driven to slay Miyamoto Hastur, than I will uphold my side of getting you to the point where you can face him. It's a win win for me after all."

Walking slightly closer to him, stretching out her arm, and reaching with the tips of her gloved fingers towards his chest, she swiftly moved towards Yosei, so she'd be standing directly in front of him. There was not a single shred of hostility in her movements, not a shred of malicious or ill intent in her touch, as she simply leaned in towards Yosei, her lips close to his ears. "I will sign this treaty with you, I will grant you your wish...but know that the price of such a wish is high and that the result of your actions may come to haunt you and bite you back when you least expect it...are you prepared for that?" gently licking the back of his ear, she chuckled and jumped a step backwards, making a slightly curtsy bow towards the former Hokage. "Let loose the hounds of war, for a dragon and a ghost have bonded. Fear the trumpets, fear the drums, for war has come."

It was so much fun for Lamya, to hear so much goodies to be tied up in this single agreement. Conquering the former land of the wind had been a point on the agenda ever since she had come here, but to hear a proposal to add Iwagakure to her domain, to formulate a plan that would drown this world into chaos...was just splendid, just...perfect. "We both desire war, so let's start by making a true show for Kirigakure and kumogakure, a show they will not forget. However, I must remind you...that to save the world, you'll need to destroy it first."



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'You have learned the truth, and it will die with you.'

Vile as her reputation, the Queen rejoiced in her proclamation of slaughter. Yōsei's expression would not waver, smiling slightly with relaxed eyes even as she responded, once again scoffing toward the prospect of divine power. The Sealer's weight shifted idly, shrugging at the prospect of her wish for needless death; though he'd long been numbed to bloodshed, there remained yet more important reasons for the hunters of the Mist to stay alive. He would not open his mouth in response, merely nodding slowly in acknowledgment of her words, faux understanding presented to her in place of words. The meeting tonight left no room for Yōsei to debate, it was merely a courtesy. The Sealer lent weight to Lamya's claim on the land by virtue of her conquest, he considered himself a guest in her nation and so would do his part to preserve what space he needed to work. How long it would take for the Wind to reveal to him its treasures remained to be seen.

Between her words, the pair's ideals remained at odds though their goals had aligned so serendipitously as to bring them together now. Spinning on the axis of his thoughts, a helix of sand arose from the building's edge, the unconscious form of the landscape twisting in rhythm with the Sealer's natural pulse. The Snake's desire to cull the pecking order, narrowing the concentration of power; this was a fool's errand. Yōsei resisted the urge, then, to snap into that relentless Dog of War he once had been, to verbally lay upon this Queen judgment of one whose knowledge could not be questioned. What secrets he now knew could rend this woman's perception into nothing, spiral away what little remained of her sanity into the whirling abyss where she sought so vehemently to one day dwell.

"What terrible horrors you will bring upon these men who chase you. I pity to see it, but I understand if this is your way. My place is not to judge," he lied "It is to provide guidance, and hope, a way forward for a world which has given birth to such blasphemy wrought upon people such as these. How many clans have you butchered? Whose blood have you cleaned from these sands which you yourself are not responsible for?"

Such was not an accusation, but a perspective on her position. She was, after all, the ruler of this land by bloody conquest alone. Not all who lived here accepted her as ruler, fringe groups of bandits, tribes of marauding freelancers scattered from the Hidden Sand still waged a silent war on the outskirts of this kingdom. It was this atrocity which drew the political eye of watchful Kage, who saw the people of this land suffering and would soon be unable to resist its pull. He smiled wide at the thought; the four remaining nations marching under banners into the ashes of the fifth. It would be poetic, for there to be a reunion before Yōsei departed this place. He hoped whatever justice the villages eventually sought would bring an old friend here, one he intended to test, to see if she was really the Demon her reputation supposed. Yōsei opened his mouth to speak but then considered himself.

Instead, Yōsei watched as chakra swelled into the physical realm, emanating from the woman's body in vicious waves. Gruesome display of perverted energy, cackling laughter and the sound of Lamya's words echoed out over the silent dunes in stark contrast to the otherwise clandestine meeting taking place between them. Listening carefully, perhaps more than he had been, to her honest truths, Yōsei's mouth moved finally into a neutral position without a smile. Such displays should have been reserved for her enemies, not for the man before her now, long it had been since he had abandoned the life she was now preaching. He wondered if he had remained a watchful protector, leader of the Leaf, could he have stopped her down this sinister path? While her chakra faded, he would close his eyes momentarily to ponder another life where he stood atop that smiling mountain with a woman at his side who would be known as Sannin. Quickly as the thought came, it perished, reality filling the Sealer's vision as the woman before him continued to speak.

In truth, he'd seen this play out long before his own arrival. The Empress came to her inevitable conclusion, unaware though she was to the conscription of fate, and approached him slowly. With digits aimed toward his chest, the woman darted toward him, intending, he supposed, to test him. Predictably, Yōsei did not flinch, her movements readily perceptible to his expert eyes. Her hands would reach forward, gently pressing against the thick folds of his cloak while her face came forward, twin icy cheeks barely brushing together as the Tyrant spoke her whispered secret. Offering her own warning, Yōsei would listen but forsake her words for they were but that, words; gone as quickly as said. The Sealer played with no such transient means, drawing a blade from the air at his side, Kyoki's regal shape testament to a legacy of service to the Leaf. With his thumb, Yōsei would draw blood onto a parchment which bore an unused symbol of lost Konoha royalty. Lamya's keen senses would immediately discern that there was no chakra at work within this paper, this was not a seal, merely a physical representation of their treaty. He would bring the blade upwards, taking her fingers in his free hand and would painlessly slice a trickle of her blood onto the contract if he was not met with resistance. He knew she would not refuse him, this was not trickery, this was tradition.

The Sealer made no effort to respond, other than turning his cheek away as her tongue would meet with naught but air. Following her step away, Yōsei too would step backward, foot coming to rest in the updraft sand which flowed still at his back, carried upon the winds of his will alone. He sunk; briefly, new weight pushing the grains aside but being replaced as the Sage demanded his footing. Such pomp and fanfare she treated the notion of impending war with when for the Sealer it was a necessary sacrifice toward a higher end. It mattered little, the woman would remain of use for some time, and when she did not, he would quickly forget her, and she, him.

"Then it is sealed, contract forged in my sacred scripture will not be revoked, and the price of breaking such a contract is death. These terms I have laid out for you, and thusly have you accepted them in turn. I will scout through the borders of your land and when the time comes, I will see their hunters arrive, and through the night I will stalk them. You will be afforded my protection while you display whatever prowess you wish, the battle will be your stage while I manage our captive audience. But remember, we will leave this place when they are gone. There are matters to attend to when your deed is done. This battle is my gift to you, and then your power belongs to the cultivation of my war. I will not rest until I am satisfied the world is ready. Remember this well."

Her final remark would come as the Sealer rose high above the building's rooftop on his throne of dust and wind, phantasm limbs of tattered cloth reshaping into terrible images wrought between the sands. The mask in which he had arrived, growling toad so vicious and cruel. Strapped back around his face, the Shadow's new visage much better fit the role of a ghost which crept throughout the dunes.

Beginning with his feet, the flowing sand would start then to envelop him, creeping fluid tendrils to swallow the man's form into obscurity. He knew her words well, she understood the concept of his vision, though not its intricacy. In time, Yōsei would reveal to her what deeper meaning lay beneath all this, but it was not this time. By the time he'd finished securing the mask upon his face, the sand had left only that false face remaining.

"It was inevitable, this meeting between us. Throughout the years I have been gone, you have been alone, consigned to this life of bitter hatred and bloodshed. Through me, there is the path to a new era. Watch me, Ruler of this ruin, as I do what must be done,"

"For everyone."

Enclosing fully, the sand would finally cease, as if tied the moment he left her sight, and fell away. Tremendous pillars of dust would topple before the woman's eyes, kicking up havoc as tons upon tons of sand would pile into a new dune nestled mere meters behind her building. By now Yōsei was long gone, suppressed from sense and chakra vanished, making his way across the dunes where he soon would make his home. The claim he laid was not to this land, for it was lost to Lamya; but not forgotten was the claim to his own fortune, that wave of synchronicity which separates warrior from legend. Riding the flow of air, Yōsei drifted throughout the continent, body popping into place from seal to distant seal, each animal, surface, and grain he had touched marked with an ancient, sacred, power. This skill allowed him to traverse this country effortlessly; and so he did, keeping watch over the Land of Wind as a one-man army reminiscent of his heritage. This was his duty, a contract forged in spirit with the Dragon who called this place her treasure.

Forgotten not was his charge in the Valley of the Lost, which, with journey done, was now his playground as well. At will, the Sealer would return to that sacred place beyond the world, between the grip of life and death where still he hunted for that man who would be instrumental in the coming tide. Hika would notice this renewed fervor, though Yōsei needed not to explain to the boy why his actions became hurried; time was drawing on in the outside world and whether his partner could feel it or not, the Sealer's work was far from finished. Even now, Hastur gathered his followers, consolidated his forces in that cursed mountain city. Eyes watched the Sand carefully, looking for a solution to the plight of this weary nation, not knowing the monsters and spirits who now called this ruin home. Yōsei would not allow the conquest of this new holy land, but his plans would soon take him elsewhere, this upcoming show was as much a part of Lamya's scheme as it was that of the Masked Man she had consorted with. He wished to draw the nations here, out into the storms, to be lost, while he would make his moves in secret.


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900 trains c-tank sealing technique (-10% clan reduction)
450 trains e-rank sealing technique (-10% clan reduction)
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"Death is but the next stage of evolution"

Thinking Lamya would revell in the prospect of bringing death and destruction was an understatement. In her eyes the act of dissecting opponents was part of the process to understand them better, to understand the world better, to understand herself better. Meaningless bloodshed did not exist, for it had all meaning, all the dead, no matter how insignificant held a treasure of information, a wealth of knowledge and she wanted to get her hands on all of it, but also desired to make every death to be unique, to be special, to be spectacular. Defiant as she was to her own death, the more hellbent on discovering the beauty of it she was.

Two people bound by contract, but seperated by ideals, by logic and by desires. Though both sought knowledge, one could argue that their methods were vastly different. Where Yosei seemed to still cling to some sort of reverence to life, the Dragon Empress simply saw death a nothing more than yet another step towards her goals, no matter how twisted they seemed to be, no matter how demented her ways to obtain knowledge. They were vastly different and yet, so similar in many ways. If anything, it seemed that the only thing dividing their view on the world was the life they had lead prior to their meeting. One having been bestowed with the highest honours known to man, while the other crawled out of the dredges of death and despair, always underneath the shadow of the monsters her clan had wrought from their very bone and blood.

Her eyes closed again when the inevitable question was asked, the question which would determine how bloodthirsty she really was, but the truth of it would be rather surprising. In fact, if anything, despite her bloodlust and her penchant for death and destruction, Lamya had not touched a single clan of Sunagakure directly, she had been a guiding force during the invasion, she had been a terrifying power during the destruction and now she was a leading figure in the restoration of the land. The proud shinobi had gone against her own desrs and her own nature so many times by now that it was difficult to truly know what she stood for or what she would do in any or all situations. "What I did during the destruction of Sunagakure was simply eliminate threats to my dream, threats to myself and those who I supported. In my wake many innocents have lost their lives, but I do not hold contempt for them and fully accept the wrath of their kin. However, I do not eradicate clans, I assimilate them, learn from them and use them to my own benefit. I may be a monster, but I am no fool," Letting out a sigh, she looked at the monument she'd created from the very glass which had covered the entire ruins of Sunagakure. "I praise those who fought bravely, those who displayed their love, their honor and their matter how minute, no matter how small. These sands may have been bloodied by others, but I carry their sin and I use it, for it is mine to behold and mine to control. Their sin is my lifeblood, their bloodshed my tool for advancement."

The refusal by the man to accept her physically was...annoying, but not exactly unexpected, given the vibe he gave off was anything but cold. Someone on the treshhold of death, but not yet in the reaper's grasp just yet. It was strange and slightly inhibiting, but also still rather frustrating that her seduction didn't work on this man. "So, a contract by blood it is than," She allowed the stranger to cut her finger, allowing her blood to drip onto the parchment to seal the contract they'd agreed to make. "I'll abide by the terms given..."

As the man readied himslf to leave once more, as mysterious as he had appeared, she held her breath and watched him, even followd him. Jumping off of th rooftop of the research facility only to notice that she had lost all signs of him, as if he'd vanished into thin air. "I see."

"Yes my child, you see it clarly now, don't you," Lamya walked up to the glass monument depicting the eight headed snake and stretched out her arm towards it, her fingers gently touching the glass before suddenly piercing it, with a wide, devious grin on her face. "Become the monster, becom the devil who will herald my ascension. After all, you will always be mine."

[exit thread]


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For the wonders we have seen. (private, plot) BIgWlMn:8

For the wonders we have seen. (private, plot) 7A6C685406E029D697EB98BD412D3B627562E402

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