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Tian-Di

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Chuunin
Di remembered the exact moment his contact had come to him with the information regarding the latest killing. The vagrant hammered at Di's door , fumes of liquor and the squalor of the streets radiating off him in a noxious cloud. It was four forty eight am in the morning - a time which well to do men and women were still deep within the arms of slumber. It was clear that this vagabond had not had a wink of rest this night. Truth be told Di too had been burning the midnight oil though unlike the beleaguered hobo this was part of his natural routine.

Unfastening the chains that kept his apartment safe from nightly predations Di allowed the man in pointedly ignoring the odour. What struck the detective first about his guest was the man's eyes. Bloodshot and raw from all the alcohol they possessed a terrible clarity that had burned through the fug of inebriation. Di knew something of this man's history. He had fought in the Seven Bells War before loosing an arm to one of the rogue conquerors puppet like automatons. This was a person who had seen the horrors and misery of war but something tonight had rattled him, rattled him bad.  

Di immediately knew that he had made the right decision in deciding to pay the old veteran to keep watch. The mans military training had taken over and even while his mind reeled with the horrors his body went forth to report to his commanding officer – in this case Di. Not wishing to waste any precious moments Di made the expected inquiries.

“What did you see? Where was the scene of the atrocity?  How long ago did you discover it and did the Anbu know it was there?”

The man's mouth moved for a few seconds before he could produce words, chipped yellow teeth stained by alcohol and opium visible to the dragon.  

“Bodies, it was bodies. I saw four I think. Lots of gashes all over. Not enough to kill em I know what a lethal cut is like and these wern't it. They bled. Must have bleed for at least an hour before the crow nailed them up. Must have hurt like Yama's own skewers. Sugi street it was on. That's right Sugi – the one with all the cedar trees growing on it. And no the Anbu don't know yet – at least they didn't when I found the thing. Amida help me I can see the poor bastards in my minds eye right now bad as anything from the war.”

Throwing the man a small purse full of ryo Di was already gathering his hat and cape and heading out into the early morning gloom. Having ushered the old man out of his dwelling Di locked the door firmly. Tearing a page from one of his many notebooks Di took and inkwell pen from the confines of his cloak and proceeded to scrawl a quick note in hiragana to Kirei. His parner would either be asleep or patrolling the city – either way Di knew that the birds he kept would be able to track the youth down easily enough. Reaching into the hutch next to his door Di roused a sleepy hawk, the raptor looking around wearily as if totally nonplussed by the rude awakening.

The birds expression soon focused when it saw the message that Di attached to it's leg. The bird had been trained well and it knew that such a missive meant the difference between getting a large and very tasty bonus or not.

“Find Kirei and give the note to him. Then Find Mokuzai and lead him to the scene”

Di spoke to the bird in a low but commanding tone.  The bird was damn quick and even if the ninja wasn't at home the hawk would locate him without fail. Launching the bird off his arm into the air Di was already off at full speed towards Sugi street. The Anbu had been notorious for covering up the work of Yatagarasu. Part of this was due to the grotesque nature of the crimes – such tableau’s would no doubt leave deep psychological wounds in the minds of ordinary citizens who came across them. But there were other reasons too. The Anbu had thus far been useless in stopping the crimes – falling far short of their status as unparalleled trackers and each murder was a testament to their incompetence . Yatagrasu had made a fool of them, or as others suggested darkly the Anbu were in cahoots with the raven faced killer. Yatagarasu was themselves an agent of the Kirigakure government tasked with carrying out punishments considered too extreme for even the totalitarian reign of Ayakashi.

Either of these possibilities could well be true – but all Di knew for certain was that he needed to get there before the Anbu muddied the waters, throwing off any potential Kirei and he had for a lead. Di almost considered heading into his dragon state and riding the winds across the town to get there faster. He eventually decided against this course of action though as he had come rather close to blowing his cover a few nights back and didn't want the kind of attention drawn to himself that such a revelation would bring. Di needed to investigate the crime scene not be taken in for questioning regarding his true nature and intentions.

The earliness of the situation did hold one advantage though. The streets were mostly empty with only lamplighters and a few stray travellers remaining on the side-walks. No one challenged Di as he moved at breakneck pace across the cobbled tiles and through back alleys and twisting lanes. The mist that Kiri was known for hung like a pale shroud giving the entire city a ghostly air. Perhaps there were spooks moving about in the fog and on another night Di would have encountered them as he seemed to do frequently. Any bogeybeasts and night-things knew well enough to leave the young dragon alone at this particular interval.

Then Di was upon Sugi street. The tall cedars which gave the route it's name towered above the detective like looking giants. Slowing his pace, Di's gaze swept across the way. There they were six pallid forms barley lit by the weak moonlight so occluded by mist. The next thing to hit Di was the smell. Not the sickly odour of rot but the nauseating stench of vomit and faeces. His draconic vision adjusting to the limited light Di got a better look at the victims. Three cadavers in total, two male and one female. Each was naked, their bodies covered in countless lacerations. As the old tramp had said each of the cuts were painful but on their own not enough to outright kill a healthy man or woman.

This was no mere murder. Each of these victims had been brutally tortured to death. The instrument was a bladed weapon of some sort – judging by the size and length of the cuts a knife. Di knew that even though corpses would void their bowels these victims had soiled themselves long before death.  Filth and blood mingled across torso and legs. Di noticed that one of the female victim had clenched her hands so tightly her long nails had bit deeply into the flesh of her palms. One of the males showed cracked and splintered teeth were involuntary jaw clenching had caused fractures in the enamel.

Even more macabre was the severed tongues that were pinned to the victims. The spectacle reminded Di of Jashin and the foreign goddess Kali whom the dragon prince had seen depictions of wearing wreathes and belts of such items coupled with human genitalia. Each of the tongues had a dagger placed into it anchoring the appendage firmly to the corpse. Each of these tongues lolling out of a wound as if a parody of a gaping mouth. The amount of carnage that this act needed must have been vast. The final and perhaps most integral detail was that each corpse was impaled through the torso and into the wall by a shaft of steel rod. Judging from the warping on their ends these bars had been ripped out from a longer piece of metal.

Disturbingly weals in the metal hinted that this had been done with 'human' or at least humanoid hands. Activating his detective vision technique Di scanned the area for tell-tale signs left by justu. Nothing – no physical remnants that came with the use of elemental chakra being used nor the disturbances that came with pure energy being channelled. Yatagarasu had through their own strength ripped a steel beam to pieces and then impaled it through three victims straight into a stone wall of a building compound. That was impressive to say the least.

Di thought back to the books he had read on human anatomy. While the texts the dragons had were out of date as they presented humanity as they were before their species were merged with that of the Otsutsuki he could still use the information to make a few calculations. The strongest human ever recorded before the convergence had been able to produce 1300 pounds of force. The strength it took to rip apart steel like that would require at least 40,000 pounds of force. That meant that Yatagarasu was able to exert more than thirty times the amount of force than the strongest pure-bred human to have ever lived....

Even in these times where superhuman abilities had become commonplace this was a rare level of potency. Two more factors made it even more surprising. The tear seemed clean as if Yatagarasu had broken the metal with one simple motion – meaning the action lacked exertion, this was easy for the killer. Secondly the imprints in the bar suggested that the hand that grabbed the metal was not exceptionally large – possibly even smaller than Di's own. A pity that Yatagarasu had used gloves or they might have given away their identity with their prints on the metal.

“Sweet Bailong”  

Di uttered taking his grandfathers name in vain. Possibly Yatagarasu wasn't human at all. Demons , kami and yokai could all display this sort of strength – with some being far stronger. Either of Di's parents could replicate this feat when in human form easily. Then again Di really, really did not want to be faced up against someone who was as powerful as his parents. Reaching out his hand Di conjured forth the light of the false Hitodama. This jutsu detected the presence of supernatural entities and if something of that calibre had committed this crime no doubt some of it's essence would have rubbed off on the area.

Forgetting to breath Di watched the flame as it sparked into a healthy orange glow. Well there was his answer. Yatagarasu was for better or worse human – or at least whatever passed for human these days. Taking out his notebook Di began to make a detailed sketch of the scene making sure to note each and every feature down to the smallest minutiae. The knifes in particular got a special page dedicated to their form. If Di could have taken one of the blades without raising suspicion from the Anbu he would. Bringing the weapon to a blacksmith or famed metalworker around Kiri could divulge much information about where they were crafted and who may have purchased them. Of course they could simply be weapons that Yatagarasu had found on the property but any lead was worth following in a case like this.

It had barley been five minutes since Di had arrived at the crime scene but he was already hoping that Kirei would arrive soon. Di wanted the youths opinion on the scene before the inevitable crowd of onlookers and Anbu showed up to tear down the sanctity of the untouched tableau. While Di and Kirei had earned some reputation as crime fighters they were not part of the Kirigakure government and from the talk around town these killings had all the marks of something that the ruling elite wanted to be handled by people who answered directly to them. Di had no master save the truth and  he planned to follow her whenever she led.

(2011 Words)



Last edited by Tian-Di on Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:24 am; edited 1 time in total

Kirei

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Gone was the dog's visage that once Kirei wore throughout the city streets. When the opportunities opened up, and his training became more focused, the boy shifted from the shadow of his father and donned a new face; cat's eyes with Cheshire grin in the style of ANBU Black Ops. Marked red and blue on the white canvas, the young Uchiha's new identity gave him confidence in his own path, which he pursued now in the Mist with renewed abandon. Gone were the days of his body aching every day; he'd fallen into a routine with his nighttime excursions and village operations. By spending the days undertaking constant missions, the training was interspersed with plenty of recovery periods allowing the boy to spend the night perfecting his tracking and stealth prowess.

On this evening, Kirei returned from the tail end of his latest mission at sunset, rendezvousing with his assigned Jonin at the administration building before being dismissed for the night. The boy's salute was met with a smile and commendation from the surrounding Kiri ninja who just now began to treat the boy ad if he was one of their own. Kirei was learning that in the Mist the easiest way to make friends is to be a good soldier; a thought which disturbed the boy greatly and gave him pity for this weary nation. The massive doors of the administration building opened for Kirei onto streets laid thick with fog. The boy sighed heavily, trudging out into the white mist before leaping up and taking to the rooftops to avoid the worst of the impairment. Even from above, the winter brought with it a cloud so thick that it felt unnatural for the boy from Fire Country. The Mist's winters, he had heard, were notoriously for the cruelty. If the growing cold, frosty breath becoming dragon's smoke that would rival the boy's partner, did not inspire Kirei's love of Konoha, nothing could have.

How many hours had passed since he left, Kirei couldn't tell. Gliding from footing to footing, Kirei finally stopped to gaze with Sharingan blazing in the dark, across the alleys and households that became his watch. Descending from on high, Di's hawk found Kirei high above the city, on a fifth story rooftop in the Village's northern district. With a distinct cry, the bird drifted toward the boy's cloaked arm, landing and delivering its secret missive. With its message received, the hawk would flutter away without delay, off into the dark sky to return to Di's sanctuary. The boy's eyes wasted no time in reading his partner's communication, which read thus -

'Yatagarasu has committed another murder. The crime scene is located on Sugi Street, make haste friend lest the ANBU thwart our investigation again. Stay safe.'

With a flick of his wrist, the note would burn to cinders in his hand, Katon easily tearing the paper into nothingness. Sugi wasn't far from here, another neighborhood but not on the other side of the city at least. Kirei set off sprinting, still using the rooftops to avoid most of the fog, though his Sharingan rendered it mostly moot. Yatagarasu, the vicious renegade vigilante that stalked Kiri's night, such a name made the Uchiha's veins run cold with determination. Since his recent lifestyle change, the two goals burning in his mind were the upcoming initiation in Konoha and the investigation into the avian killer. Kirei hunted criminals himself, and understood the laws of Kirigakure well enough, but the brutality carried out by the murderous raven could not be tolerated. The boy did not entertain the rumors of Yatagarasu's state affiliation, though he wasn't ready to rule out the involvement of high ranking village shinobi. The captain Sero Osada, of the Seven Swords, had a reputation for his cruel methods of murdering criminals and could easily be responsible for such murders. Though the Osada also seemed to have a penchant for theatrics and a world-famous reputation to boot, making it unlikely that he would even bother with a disguise. Another suspect was Nozomi, another of the Seven Swords and expert enough with weapons, skilled enough as a village Jonin to perform such feats of stealth and slaughter. But the woman had no apparent motive which left her a suspect based on capability alone. Few even here were capable of these things.

Kirei's Sharingan spied Di long before the boy descended from his perch on the opposite side of the street. He first scanned the rooftops carefully from above, visual prowess allowing the boy to look for any sign of tracks or disturbances in the environment. He took note of the trees, looking for foliage that seemed misplaced, or broken branches. Each imperfection, whether currently relevant or not, would be memorized by that ancestral power of the Copy Wheel Eye, and later reproduced in photorealistic portraits. After gleaning all he could from the top, Kirei jumped down to meet his friend, who would see him only when he fell from the heavens to land low against the ground, crouching and rising slowly. The boy cocked his head, saying nothing but waving toward Di who would see only the mocking cat face staring back at him. He took another careful glance around to make sure they were alone and when satisfied, lifted the mast from his face, allowing blonde hair to replace it on the left side but otherwise moving it away.

The scene was grisly, to say the least, corpses genuinely mutilated beyond comprehension. It almost pained the boy to memorize these sights, his Sharingan worked tirelessly even without approval, though if he had to give it, he would have for the good of everyone. In his life, the Uchiha had seen only one thing as gruesome as this, but memory dared not recall such nightmares at a time like this. Walking gingerly through the arched white branches, Kirei took in the face of each victim, or what was left, with his eyes darting unnaturally fast to catalog each and every wound, the nuances of their dying, torturous moments. If there remained any doubt, it was now gone, Yatagarasu had to be stopped. The previous crime scenes had been attended to by ANBU precious minutes before Kirei and Di had gotten word, but this time there were no investigators to be seen save for the detectives themselves.

"These aren't ordinary murders. This is full of rage and hate, like an evil spirit. Spontaneous cruelty like this is unsettling. We won't have much time, ANBU has been quick on the scene every other time. Take some skin samples, we can find a Medical Ninja to use the DNA for clones and find out the victims' identities. That might tell us why they were killed."

Kirei's first words came as a dark whisper to the other man, who he would pass while approaching one of the bodies, a man who by all appearances might have been in his early forties. The boy took a kunai from his belt and opened the handle, emptying out the contents before igniting a fire on his thumb, burning the inside hot and wiping it clean. With the bladed edge, Kirei would slice a portion of frayed skin into his gloved hand and then store it within, placing the knife back and marking it for later. Whether Di had the tools to assist or not, Kirei was more than capable of finishing this task himself if Di wanted to pursue another investigation. It would be clear that the Uchiha was determined to make short work of this, unwilling to be caught by village authorities and exposed.

"What the hell are we chasing, Di?"

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Tian-Di

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Chuunin
Kirei's change of mask was something of an unexpected development to Di. The detective knew the youth had originally adopted the affectation in homage to the hounds that his father kept. One of which had even joined the pair on several missions. But apparently that dog had been called home and now Kirei was striking out on his own to forge his own legacy. Di could respect that as he himself had done something very similar. Were he to simply go along with the path preordained for him by his forebears he would be doing little but training for his eventual appointment as minister of biological affairs for the continent.

Not that Di found such things boring – zoology was fascinating in it's own right. But it was not his greatest passion grim as it was proving to be.

"These aren't ordinary murders. This is full of rage and hate, like an evil spirit. Spontaneous cruelty like this is unsettling. We won't have much time, ANBU has been quick on the scene every other time. Take some skin samples, we can find a Medical Ninja to use the DNA for clones and find out the victims' identities. That might tell us why they were killed."  

Kirei's words cut very close to what Di had been thinking. Indeed just moments ago he had checked out the very possibility of the killer being otherworldly in origin. As the young vigilante took samples of the deceased's skin Di noted what a good move it was. While the Kirigakure administration had been supposedly forthcoming in the nature of each of the victims Di knew enough about politics to understand that this might well be a smokescreen. Should the killer have ties to the government the powers that be might be willing to cover up such details and if the killer WAS part of the ruling elite themselves they could personally see to the alteration of such inconvenient facts.

Independent analysis would confirm if the powers that be were telling the truth or creating a smokescreen. That alone could give vital insights into the true nature of this case.

"What the hell are we chasing, Di?"

Di drew in a breath to reply to his friend.

“ Honestly the thought that it was an evil spirit that did this crossed my mind. I have techniques that can verify the presence of those entities however and I can assure you that our perpetrator is human though the level of depravity here would be more akin to a portrait of Naraka or Jigoku. Good call on the medical front by the way. I'm not hugely familiar with the level of expertise that humanity has reached with their modern techniques but the creation of simulacra to verify the identity is a fine move.”

Di's already grave expression darkened as he continued onto his next point.

“What we can deduce from the scene is that the assailant possesses an incredible amount of strength. Note the positions of the steel bars that are impaling the corpses and the manner in which they have been warped. Looking to the way their ends have been rent each bar was once part of a single larger rod. The five indentations in the end of the rod are finger marks – leading me to believe that Yatagarasu simply ripped it apart by hand as you or I would break a stick.

This was of course before they impaled it through their victims and into solid stone no less. The marks also suggest a hand that was around the same size as my own possibly even slighly smaller. Definitely larger than yours Kirei but not the grip of a giant by any means. I know that ever since humanity’s lineage became entangled with extraterrestrial life mankind's abilities have increased exponentially but as I cannot find evidence of any jutsu being used I must assume that this was done  with sheer passive strength.”


Di's words now came fast but clear as if the detectives urgency were a burning flame within him trying to escape.

“Few individuals can claim to possess this kind of power and even fewer can go unnoticed with it. I think our best lead would be to investigate those in Kirigakure with these kind of abilities. The lord of the small island of spiders is one such personage. Plenty of unsavory rumors exist regarding his actions and it seems widely acknowledged that as the leader of these 'seven swordsmen' he is an exceptional individual. I have also head tell of a woman who is known as a powerful combatant that serves in the Kirigakurei government. I believe that you have had the occasion to train with her in some form of exercise. If you think it is a good idea we could investigate her more fully as she too seems like a possible suspect.”

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Kirei

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"Itai, did you hear me?"

The ANBU shook his head, returning from the daydream lingering in his head to the spartan office space surrounding him. Of course, he had heard the commander; reports of another grisly murder scene made their way across the city faster and faster these days. They had picked up a distressed drunkard wandering the streets, and after some questioning, he had divulged the location of a crime scene. Traumatized and unable to string together coherent information about what he had found, the trio of ANBU now stood together, making the last of their preparations. Another Yatagarasu killing would mean another round of questioning from the Kage's office and more public scrutiny. Though in recent weeks, since the murders had become more common, the populace was divided, some even willing to accept these extreme punishments. Itai gripped tightly in his hand the shark mask which denoted him as ANBU, and with no final words, the three agents departed for the scene.

Nothing justified this. Kirei's visual prowess, eyes examining every facet of the mutilated bodies told the boy that they were tortured relentlessly. Yatagarasu had only targeted criminals; various murderers, slave traders, thieves and other fiends had all fallen to the raven's vengeance, but this was a cut above the previous scenes. It could have been the fact that Kirei and Di's first chance to examine one of Yata's crimes up close was tonight. Only beating ANBU on this occasion to the murders where on all others they had failed, the Black Ops easily clearing away evidence before the detectives could set to work. Kirei's mind raced, chasing ghostly theories away into the aether, unable to catch any logic string which would implore a human to act this way. He wanted to curse the killer's name, shout it on high and swear vengeance on behalf of this brutality, but he remained silent, vigilantly working to gather the samples they would need to identify the victims here.

Weaving throughout the corpses, Kirei felt a tremendous affinity with his partner. As the boy shared his own initial thoughts, in turn, did Di's match. The older detective's skills could glean the presence of supernatural phenomena; something Kirei had no aptitude for, but he was assured that the culprit they sought was human. The thought comforted and frightened the boy, at once evoking fear of what terrible shinobi could cause such violent death but a lingering calm that came with knowing they did not seek to catch a God. Furthermore, Di already deduced that the impaling had been performed by hand, confirming the inhuman strength of a powerful ninja was at work here. Only a few individuals possessed the might necessary to accomplish such feats; could it really be true that Yatagarasu was one of the Mist's Seven Swords? Would Kirigakure sponsor this egregious violation of human life? At this point, Kirei honestly wasn't sure of what the Mist was capable. Following on from Di's statement, the boy's cadence would match his partner's perfectly, Sharingan's analytic prowess latching onto Di's synopsis for its work.

"The cuts on the skin are deliberate and non-fatal. Whoever did this has intimate knowledge of either Medicine or Swordsmanship, enough to slice quickly and precisely while leaving their victim alive. As far as I can tell, the cause of death is exsanguination via these hundreds of wounds. Some of the tongues appear to have been cut out posthumously but others while alive. All these people were killed in the same sitting, whoever did this isn't just strong but skillful as well."

The boy made a note of each cut as he walked, the angles, width, and precision would give him more information to reproduce with drawings later. It was a long-shot, but if the wounds could be referenced against the country's legendary weapons, or taken to the makers of the Mist's high-ranking armaments, then it was possible they would be able to identify the weapon used. Each second which passed meant a higher chance of the ANBU closing in on the scene, and so Kirei went about his work as quickly as his skills would allow. Through the silence between their words, eerie rustling and the sound of animals sliced the tension and gave the pair plenty of which to be wary. Sharingan darted to each side regularly, even the slightest visual cue setting off the boy's twin tomoes.

"I can try to reproduce these cuts in drawings. If we research the country's Seven Swords and question smiths who make weapons for the Village's elite, we might get lucky and be able to identify the murder weapon. Or at least who might have made it."

Unknown to the duo who already inhabited the scene, a trio of ANBU approached via rooftop. Dressed in black, the squad made quick work of the distance, closing in on Sugi street rapidly. It would be less than five minutes before they reached the crime scene, giving Di and Kirei precious little time to complete their investigation. The young Uchiha wondered, as he worked, whether others were chasing this mad phantom of vengeance. He paused for a moment to draw the hair away from his eyes, only to let it immediately fall back into place, symbolic of the paired detectives' position in this bloody Mist; a futile struggle against what is meant to be.

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Tian-Di

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Chuunin
Human society really was like a spiders web. Not in that it served as a trap to catch unwary prey though Di was sure that those from ingenuous tribes and countless animals felt that way. But rather that it consisted of numerous strands that needed to support the whole. If one strand were to fray and go bad then it would send the entire thing spiralling down into chaos. Compared to this Dragon society was more like a series of islands. Each dragon served as an individual source of stability with various servants and attendants clinging to them.

In the society of dragons it only really mattered if a dragon itself became corrupt. Servants were at best desultory when it came to maintining the actual stability of society. Not so with man's complex weave. Yatagarasu seemed to understand this to a degree. Their crusade was in it's own way a twisted form of exercising the harmful elements of society in order to create a more stable foundation. The hypocrisy of course was that by doing this via extra legal methods they themselves began to cut cords left, right and centre.

As Kirei worked on collecting samples Di wondered if this push for justice was merely a feint on the behalf of the crow titled murderer. Having some minor training as an alienist and a slight knowledge of game theory (two things which had been cultivated by the dragons long before the first human had been drawn from the collective gene pool by the gods) he knew the importance of being able to put oneself into the psyche of others. It was possible that Yatagarasu simply loved killing for it's own sake – indeed the savagery that was on display here pointed to a deeply disturbed mind indeed.

The guise of a moral crusade could be either a way to self rationalise the actions they were committing – there is after all nothing more dangerous than someone who can convince themselves that their cause is pure. Or it could be something used as a red herring in order to disguise the true motives of whatever these murders were. The other and most distasteful option which Di had been musing on for a while was that Yatagarasu was simply a mercenary and the grotesque manner of the slaying were used to distance themselves from the cold efficiency of the Kirigakure legal system.

Itai jumped from roof to roof making the bounds easily with the enhanced strength and precision afforded by mature ninja physiology. Kirigakure Anbu were one of the most feared enfocers of the law in any country. Each and every time the crow faced killer struck it was like a blow to the face. The very idea that the anbu were about to bring swift justice to anyone who would transgress the laws of Kiri should be enough to keep miscreants in line. Yatagarasu spat on that their murders suggesting that Itai wasn't good enough at his own job and that there needed to be a new force of law in Kiri.

**** that. Itai's family had been a long line of Anbu and he himself had fought in the Seven Bells war. As far as he was concerned Yatagarasu was nothing but a coward who refused to face up against a real patriot like himself. If he ever managed to get a hold of the renegade he would make sure that they suffered really badly for the disgrace that they were bringing on both Kirigakure and himself in particular. Some of his companions had said that this was making him too erratic and he should stop taking things so personally but he just couldn't.

He hated having to act as a glorified clean up crew for this psychopath. But it was either that or have his failings presented for all the world to see. Truth be told he was just itching for a fight. As he landed on a drain he saw two figures who while shrouded by the morning gloom appeared to be poking around at the crime scene. While neither of them bore the silhouette of the infamous killer it was still not appropriate for civilians to be interfering with a crime scene in this manner. Plus Itai was just plain old pissed off with the world right now.  


Di's senses which were normally pretty sharp were on overdrive given the nature of their work. Even the normally stealthy anbu's motions made him spin as if reacting to gunfire.  Speaking in a low but clear tone to Kirei Di indicated the nearest alley.

“I think it's time that we made our leave. The anbu just arrived and I suspect that their leader just spotted us.”

As Di spoke he was already moving towards their route of egress. At this point in time Di trusted only a very small amount of people. Those who were working with Kirigakure on this could well be in on the murders and Di didn't want to have to fall into the clutches of a potentially hostile power.

(843 Words 3663 Total)



Last edited by Tian-Di on Mon May 07, 2018 3:19 am; edited 1 time in total

Kirei

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In the silence, Kirei kept his thin veneer of calm distance held aloft for Di to see. The young Uchiha's hands barely shook anymore when he undertook these grisly missions, though his stomach still reeled at the sight of such brutal murders. The boy was left only to ponder the motives of a person who could perform such blasphemous atrocities. The alien persona of Yatagarasu, justice-seeking harbinger of death, was not for Kirei to decipher alone. Di was studying too, deep in thought, which the boy observed as he turned to watch their surroundings, paranoid of interlopers spoiling the investigation. While he rose from the final body, he couldn't help but hear the woman cry out in her last moments, praying for the raven-faced beast to end her life. Kirei wondered, would it be merciful if they found Yatagarasu, to erase them from existence entirely?

What Kirigakure had accomplished could not be denied, but Kirei was left questioning the result of the nation's quest for peace. The boy felt sorry for the citizens of this land who had lived throughout numerous wars, lost their loved ones and their homes. The Mist was full of people such as these, with faith in the gleaming warriors who fought for their freedom. The Uchiha had seen the monuments, museums dedicated to the Seven Bells war honoring national and foreign heroes alike. Even the Sixteenth Hokage, who had been erased from the Leaf nation due to his disgrace, was lauded as a savior in the Mist, lone exhibit standing as a testament to Kirigakure's legacy of bloodshed. Kirei let out a sigh, full of questions with no answers the boy's might was bogged down heavily with the currents of doubt and sadness that he held for the Mist Village. Nothing could be worth this type of violence, no matter what.

"Alright, I'm done here. Once we find somebody to take a look at these samples, we might be able to identify the victims. We have suspects, evidence, and leads. I think we--"

Kirei stopped when Di turned to focus on something in the distance. Through the darkness, Kirei's Sharingan effortlessly placed the ANBU members who encroached on their crime scene; each chakra signature the same icy calm he observed in all of Kiri's Black Ops. The boy turned his body away, slipping the cat mask over his face again and nodding swiftly to Di. Taking the initiative, Kirei would pour into the middle of the clearing, arms a blur as he formed hand seals to exhale a cloud of dust from within his mouth, obscuring the street and providing cover for an initial escape. Without hesitation, Itai and the ANBU sprang forward into action. The squad descended in formation to cover the nearby exits and advance down the street, each throwing projectiles into the emerging cloud to test the waters. Kirei would back away after his technique was in play, Sharingan unable to pierce the veil of chakra but capable of tracking the projectiles which roared from the dust so he could deflect them with a kunai of his own held tight in his right hand.

Whatever Di's initial reaction, the boy would begin a hasty retreat down Sugi street before leaping for a sign and planting his foot then jumping again to a rooftop. The ANBU, prepared for the chase, was already hot on his heels as a pair of white-masked trailed with cloaks of their own flailing in the night. The Uchiha's thoughts returned to the chase he had embarked on through the city himself mere weeks ago, that night he came face to face with himself and awakened the next stage of his Sharingan. He confirmed to himself the course of action and mimicked the movements of his doppelganger, reaching the edge of his rooftop and twisting while unleashing a barrage of strung projectiles toward the Black Ops while falling away onto the street below. The blonde knew enough that the ANBU would not be deterred by kunai and shuriken alone so he listened for the telltale sounds of deflection before pulling the wires between his fingers tight and twirling in the air to whip the blades into a frenzy as they came spinning back towards him. By the time the bloody tools landed on the street, Kirei had detached the wire and began his sprint. On the roof, one ANBU with unfortunate luck had taken a blow to the calf, but the other jumped away in pursuit with minor lacerations to show for Kirei's assault.

The Uchiha made his way in the opposite direction of wherever Di had gone initially but now circled back around to lose the ANBU in the maze of streets and alleyways. He hoped his companion could evade the Black Ops on his own until they could rendezvous and gather their evidence. In the case Di's ability to run and hide wasn't on par with the ANBU's ability to track him, Kirei intended to search out his partner and do whatever needed to be done to help him get away. Kirei's mind was made up now; Yatagarasu had to be stopped and it would take he and Di's skills together to do it.

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Tian-Di

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Chuunin
Di

Drawing deep upon the chakra well that lay within him Di called forth the energy needed to craft the aquatic simulacra colloquially known as water clones. From his form sprung the copies each taking the appearance of the be-coated figure. Di had purposely left the details on the mirror images somewhat distorted as the light of the early morning was still poor which would make figuring out which body was which in the darkness tricky. Should one of the anbu actually catch up with a copy Di reasoned that it would be better for them to come across something with vague half formed features rather than a pure profile of his face that could be used to track him down later.

Off they ran into the hazy dusk , Di uttering a prayer to Kohryu that he would not be identified. Though the detective did not know it this was a bad move...

Itai

Itai smiled with barley contained malice. The absolute novice had used a water clone technique against one of the legendary Anbu of Kirigakure. So simple and yet so easily tracked by his sensory jutsu. He would not be stopped by parlour tricks such as these. Motioning for his fellows to split off and track down and herd off the runners into his grasp he readied his technique making the required hand symbols of his art.

Komori

Blissful release from the foetid cage that was flesh. The spirit soared across the sky revelling in the joy of movement and the early morning light softly peeking through the mists. Once she had traversed the galaxy dancing upon solar flares and playing foolish but exhilarating games with the deadly pull of black holes. She had been a queen – nay a goddess of the expanse and of the countless worlds that lay before her. To think that she would be confined to such a planet such as this would have been ridiculous.

Worse still she was prisoner not only of this world but of her own body. What had once been possessed a divine beauty lusted after by the lesser denizens of the many realms was now tainted and malformed. Bulky and bulbous malignancy festered like cancer and her womb once saved for the special person that she would one day meet was now a yawning pit of evil vomiting forth horrors into the world. Was it pride which had brought her low? Surely she had ample amounts of the vice in her nature. She would not grovel as her sister had done. Bending the knee to another power was something anathema to her nature. And so to avoid shame she had been subject to a greater debasement.

During these flights she had watched the murders committed by the mad Kage. It was not that the grisly spectacle engrossed her – she had acts just as heinous committed on worlds whose suns would not appear here as even the faintest star. No it was those who were dedicated to solving these crimes that she wished to become acquainted with. These 'anbu' were a joke, powerful for those of impure blood went but utterly blind to their own failings and dogmatism.  

Komori had reached the scene a scant few minutes after the initial inspector had performed his spirit searching technique. Had she been present it would surely have given quite a different spin to the case. When she did get there though her shock was immense. The man clad as a detective was not a human nor even one of the potent blooded but a dragon taking human form.  Komori had every reason to be wary of dragons given her current plight but this one seemed a very different creature to the ancient tyrant who had enslaved her. Her curiosity had become even more piqued when a second figure joined the dragon.

Even in her spectral state Kormori could feel the potency of the blood flowing in his veins. Her vision acting on levels beyond the physical could see that his eyes mirrored the sharingan that existed within her Sahasrara albeit in an immature form. This boys ancestors must have recognised the potential within their own lineage and kept out diluting influences. Was it possible that she could share a bond with such a being, one that might help him find her material remains?

As one the anbu began to cast sensory jutsu. Powerful for mortal men and women but not for one such as her. If left to their own devices the two would doubtlessly be caught and imprisoned. Komori had been wary of using her abilities lest they attract the attention of her turncoat sister or the terrible wyrm that held her captive. However she had to act now. If the pair was arrested it might spell an end to her greatest chance for freedom.

Itai

As Itai cast the jutsu he expected to feel the rush of heightened senses that now second nature to a hunter such as himself. Instead he found himself face down on the ground. How the hell had that happened? Whats more the ground was not the pavement of Kirigakure but instead a spongy loam of orange hue. Beside his head strange fungi grew in shapes that seemed to defy the principles of gravity, stalks supporting far more than their frail appearance would suggest. Raising his head he saw twin suns lighting the sky casting a harsh light upon the vista.

Itai's first thought was that he had been placed in a genjutsu. One of the bastards had managed to pull a fast one on him somehow. However they had made a grave mistake. The best genjutsu were either those which were subtle enough to remain undetected or those which inhibited the users mental activity in ways where using Kai was difficult. This was too outlandish and to the best of his knowledge he was fully in command of his senses. And thus Itai attempted to perform the Gejutsu Kai technique to break this spell. And got nothing for his efforts. Shit – what was wrong here?

And there before him floated a naked form. Pale and beautiful with a skin of flawless alabaster, the firgure's hair was long and silver in hue. Were he not so shocked Itai may have been aroused by the firm breasts and the light thatch of silver upon the maidens mons pubis. However these were not the things that drew his attention the most. The figure had three eyes. A vertical slit within her forehead displayed what could only be described as the  mythical Rinne-Sharingan while her two more mundane orbs bore the appearance of Byakugan. Before this even the horns that sprouted from the floating woman’s head seemed a detail of little consequence.

When the woman spoke it was with a voice that sounded like it had once been full of mirth and good cheer now fallen to melancholy.

“The one you seek is not this pair. It is Ayakashi – your very own kage who carries out these murders. Of course this is not information you will carry back with you into the waking world. Such   a development would interfere with the progress of the two searchers and it would do well for them to be tested with such a case. Should they persevere they might prove my salvation. Something that you lack the imagination or foresight to achieve.”

With that the figure waved her hand and Itai's mind went blank. His memories of the last few hours consigned to the abyss of his deep subconscious never to return to the world of coherent thought. Much the same occurred to his two companions having witnessed similar visitations they too fell into a coma – one which they would awaken from with the true dawn their minds scrubbed clean.


Komori

Even as the Anbu's bodies hit the pavement Komori had begun her manifestation. This was even more dangerous than utilising the inside of the anbu's mind but she wanted this Kirei to know that she was real. Translucent and ethereal she would appear before the young uchiha. Komori would appear as did the great matriarch of the Uchiha clan however unlike Kaguya she did not possess the severity and command that the lunar princess bore. This was not to say that she was not divine in her own right – indeed she would make a fine goddess of spring, young and virile with rounded curves contrasting the rabbit queens harsh, glacial demeanour and frigid beauty. When she spoke the voice would seem to echo within Kirei's mind

“Little nephew I do not have much time. Find Yatagarasu, track them down and put an end to their slaugter. Then awaken the blood within you our lineage. Enlist the dragon and find me. I must be freed from my bondage and allowed the sweet release of death. I entrust this to you Kirei – you must do what is necessary.”

With that Komori would fade from view as if she never was.

Di

Di had fled several blocks before finally slowing down. It appeared that his pursuers had not managed to follow him. From here he would head to the detective agency. Kirei would know to meet up with him there and they could discuss their findings at greater length as well as their new plan of operations.

(1554 words 5217 Total)

(5000/5000 used for dragon state update 217 unused)

Exit



Last edited by Tian-Di on Thu May 10, 2018 3:22 am; edited 1 time in total

Kirei

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Skipping through the night, the young shadow darted beneath streetlamps with the last of his ANBU pursuers unwilling to give up the chase. The Uchiha rounded a bend and tucked his body behind the corner, silently holding his breath and waiting for the agent to whirl around. This moment was when Kirei struck, arm whipping forward to catch the man's jaw and send him into the opposing wall with a resounding thump. Kirei knew the ANBU would not be put down by a sucker punch alone, so he came forward with his leg rising to impact the agent's shoulder and prevent immediate hand seals. Countering quickly, the ANBU's free hand gripped the Uchiha's leg and pulling it across his body then pushing away to throw Kirei off.

The blonde rose, jabbing with his left hand only to be deflected, then he followed by spinning the opposite leg for a follow-up blow which again met with forearms blocking any significant damage. Not surprisingly, the Black Ops were skilled, and Kirei jumped high to leap over the agent and continue down the alley before winding up on the losing end of a martial arts duel for which he was not at all prepared. After clearing his foe, the Uchiha made haste in jumping again to reach the rooftop, forming a hand seal as he left the ground which would send shockwaves down the alleys gravel to prevent immediate pursuit. After a single building, Kirei jumped down into another alley and continued throughout the streets, using the shadows to his advantage. His head turned quickly to examine the area in his wake, spying no apparent chakra signatures meant it was time for Kirei to make his real escape. The boy brought his hands together and gathered chakra from the darkness at his feet, which seeped up, coiling around the boy's body until it swallowed him into the earth. One with the night's shadow, Kirei moved throughout the streets as a speck of darkness, weaving between the smallest shadows of cobblestone across several neighborhoods until he was entirely sure he was alone.

While the black strands of chakra melted away from the Uchiha's rising form, his Sharingan, reflexively, turned to pinpoint immense chakra nearby. In the air, a manifestation crawled forward in an instant, the body of a young woman with porcelain skin and large horns adorning her forehead. Emanating from the pores of her skin, Kirei could observe strands of ethereal chakra which twisted into the shapes of hands and eyes before the dōjutsu's vision. The blonde stopped moving, hand thumbing deftly for a kunai which he brought across his body, gripped in reverse to place between his face and the apparition. Twin tomoe collided with the eyes of his quarry, another ancestral pair of eyes with which the Uchiha felt a strong affinity. He observed the designs adorning her robes, and the charms worn across the spiritual folds of cloth and ribbon marking her with Tomoe and familial iconography.

The words gave Kirei reason to pause, but the woman was gone as quickly as she appeared, leaving the boy's mouth agape and mind racing with questions. Cryptic as it was, there was a familiarity felt in the statements offered by the mysterious figure, her words held weight which Kirei considered for long moments. The mysteries of the world had only just begun to reveal themselves, the more he and Di dug into the recesses of the Mist's crime, the more out of hand each subsequent foray into the breach became. Whether Komori knew it or not, the words she uttered burned a contract in Kirei's young mind; obscure words of lineage etched themselves into the boy's subconscious, instilling in him a desire to learn more of his eyes. As Kirei closed his eyes and allowed the chakra to fade from them, he saw in his mind's eye the glistening twin orbs of the distant ghost.

exit

668
3775
575, 600, 700 trains Speed C-rank ~> C-3
575, 600, 700 trains Strength C-rank ~> C-3


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