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Old 10-27-2019, 04:01 PM   #19
Engi's Favorite Old Goat
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The disguised Hana's words weren't terribly comforting. Tenzan was aware of what was coming--even moreso than the first time he'd recklessly tried to subdue Aramaki Kenai. Worse than that, he couldn't actually tell her. Not here. And even if he did, he admonished himself for being such a coward. But then... no one could really blame him.

To be a Celestial Gates user meant one's entire existence was lived on the edge of a knife, almost literally. The village on the whole hated that the Aramaki family even used them, and while there were those like Tenzan's grandfather who had honed the practice to a higher discipline, there were those who were significantly more reckless--like Tenzan's father. Even the chuunin found a strange relief in the idea that his grandfather's sacrifice hadn't come at the expense flinging the Eighth Gate open.

The chuunin squinted at the darkness, resisting a reflexive impulse to ignite his own hands to light the way. He trusted Hana thus far, and there was no reason not to continue; if push came to shove, he had to figure out some way for the both of them to survive. An encounter with a Celestial Gates use that could theoretically cheat death made that less likely, but to rush the mission now would jeopardize everything.

The path was surprisingly wide, and Tenzan kept near a wall mostly to avoid tripping over the rail tracks in the center of the tunnel. There were branching paths everywhere, making his grand plan to collapse the mine much less feasible. Destroying the operation from the inside was going to be impossible. At this point, we'd just have to eliminate every-... oh.

She hadn't said anything, but it was hard to fathom that Hana hadn't figured that out first. He sighed inwardly. A fight was unavoidable. As he heard voices echoing from a chamber further in, he took several deep breaths. This was going to get very rough, very quickly.

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