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Old 04-12-2019, 03:19 PM   #11
Rough
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“You know your way around here, right? You’ll probably get along well with them.” And then Shuju smirked at him! Genpachi quirked an eyebrow, but nodded his assent before turning to face the hostages, squashing a brief twinge of annoyance that rose up.

This guy…

It wasn’t really time to get in his feelings, but Genpachi was aware that his liking for his puppeteer teammate was deteriorating...But it really wasn’t the time to focus on such things.

”This way, everyone. I will escort you all to the safety of the other Sand shinobi waiting outside this building.” Genpachi paused, trying to catch the eye of the woman everyone was calling Yukimara. Once he had her attention, he gave her a brief bow and what he hoped was a reassuring smile. “Hakkenshi Genpachi, at your service. Please allow me to protect you all with my life.”

As he turned to leave back towards the Emergency Department, he pointed over his shoulder to the 8 grapefruit-sized black glass orbs revolving around him. “These are mine. They will protect you if need be.”

A few moments later, the small crowd of hostages was walking with Genpachi through the Emergency Room and towards the front doors of the hospital. Genpachi kept himself quite close to the crowd but at the front, shepherding and hemming the group in with a bead at each of the eight principle directions surrounding the group. Even with his attention thus divided, Genpachi managed to follow-up on the questions Tanryoku had asked.

“Yukimara-san, is it? My team leader was asking you if you have any other information on other hostages? And who is this Oda-sensei?”


OOC: The Hakkendan balls have a range of 12 ft from Genpachi, each can move independently.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:17 PM   #12
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He’s my father...

As the group of three split up, one of the young men accompanying the Hakkenshi chose to speak up. Unlike Yukimura, though, this man wasn’t dressed in a white coat. Rather, he sported the standard set of nursing scrubs as the rest of the people within their group. The young brown-haired man lifted a quivering finger to adjust the glasses that hung at the brim of his nose, lips curled in concern.

Manyuda-san you don’t –

–No. We were trying to escape and father was protecting us when that...that thing came for us.

Manyuda’s gaze fell upon Genpachi as they were being escorted to safety, the man placing his hands within the pockets of his scrubs as a means to hide the way his hands kept shaking from the fear. The plethora of puppets that occupied the hospital continued their routine like clockwork, ignoring the small group as they moved through the hallways while en route to the building’s exit. Manyuda shook his head, frustrated:

Maybe I should’ve became a shinobi instead...” He muttered, voice shivering as much as his hand, “...Maybe then I would’ve had the strength to protect everyone here.

Yukimura placed a reassuring hand upon Manyuda’s shoulder as they walked, the hospital exit right in sight. This was a perfect time to answer Genpachi’s last question before they took their leave:

I don’t know the whereabouts of anyone else. We got everyone out as best we could given the circumstance. Most of us took refuge in different rooms, and this building isn’t too large, so the staff here is a bit small – but we do what we can.

If there is anyone else,” Manyuda spoke, placing a hand on the exit door, “will Sunagakure send in more help – ?

–But when he pulled, the door remained closed, as if fastened shut.

- - -

The voice of an elder man screaming in pure agony cut through the silence of the stairwell. The sound itself was grim and husk, blood curdling, almost. The accent of the shriek howled floors above the two shinobi left to pressed forward, but it was a bit unsettling, to say the least. There was a helpless quality to the screech, as if the one who wailed in such a tone was proclaiming their last breath of air in life.

Time wasn’t on their side.

- - -

Yet the aroma of lavender filled the air.

We have to leave, now!

T-t-the-the door! It, it won’t…!

Frantic, Manyuda and Yukimura – alongside the cast of other members of their staff – all attempted to pull the door open, but their efforts yielded no results. There was something about that scent of lavender that they all smelled that seemed to trigger the despair that sunk their hearts even further. It was curious, though, that the life like marionettes that maneuvered through the hospital simply continued to work unobstructed, as if the delirious actions of the staff held no consequence to their routine. But, at the opposite side of the hallway, standing where Genpachi and the hostages just came from, was a man garbed in a deep black cloak fitted with the feathers of a murder of crows.

Or, was it even a man at all?

It was a stationary entity in a sea of moving parts, but hadn’t said a word. The man was of medium height, face obscured by the large, jet black kasa-straw hat fitted upon his head and disguised in a bird-like mask known to have been worn by plague doctors’ – or in Kaze no Kuni case, Dustmen – in the past. The beak of the mask looked more like the snout of a snake or dragon though, holding long whiskers lathered in crimson that dripped from the material. The man was motionless, hollowed eyes hidden behind the goggled lens of the mask. But he continued to stand there in plain sight:

Watching.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:10 PM   #13
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Tanryoku watched the group of hospital staff leave, filtering out the way Genpachi and Shuju had arrived, a tight smile tugging at his features. He nodded affirmatively to his green-haired partner, who stood on the step below him.

“If they can make it out, that’s one win.”

It would be foolish to assume that Shichiro would allow them such an easy victory, but a man could hope. Sometimes that was all he could do. He gestured sharply with one hand around the curve of the staircase.

“Now it’s our turn. If her father is upstairs, that’s at least one more life we’ve got to save if we can, and all signs are pointing up. But the fact we’re not meeting any resistance from someone who likes to control and direct other people suggests we could still be playing into some grander scheme. Keep your common — and uncommon — sense about you. The basement, for instance—“

He started at the blood-curdling shriek, his knee jerking to action before his mind could catch it, even if it was only then to command that the rest of his body follow suit.

“Up, it is!”

Tanryoku took the steps three at a time, hugging the wall for a better view of the storeys above, only to level his eyes at empty landings, one after the other. He had hoped for a thorough search of the premises, but the cry for help had forced his hand. The intel he had gathered from Yukimura had led him here. Head on a swivel, he scanned the sixth floor's corridor once before sidling up to the corner. He might have set caution aside by bolting ahead, but that was a far cry from being recklessly ignorant.

“Clear,” he growled.

He indicated to his partner to head left while he explored the line of closed doors to the right, forcing himself to remain optimistic that they would find the owner of that agonising scream, even though every second they took to search lessened their chances of finding them alive. He clicked his communication unit.

Genpachi, what’s your status?

Hastening to the far side of the hallway while completing a quick sequence of hand seals, he threw open the first door as light flared in the palm of his hand, which he held before him like a mesmerist to illuminate the room’s dark corners.

Empty.

He was greeted by a dozen four-poster beds draped in gossamer and silence and a clouded window flashing with momentary brightness, likely the spotlight from the KATA airship hanging above the building. Their presence was only fleetingly reassuring, given that they were out there while his own team was here, blindly chasing screams inside the madman's dollhouse. He grimaced and moved past the threshold to the next section of wall, repeating the breaching tactic thrice more to clear each room of suspicion. He wished there was more that Yukimura could have told him before Genpachi had led the group to safety, but the monk was with them now. Tanryoku had faith that the man would be able to get back to him quickly on comms with something concrete.

Got anything, Shuju?

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Old 04-23-2019, 03:25 PM   #14
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Shuju and Tanryoku headed towards the stairs as the group separated and Tan raised a good point regarding how unhindered and unbothered the sand shinobi group was. Shuju had major doubts that they were still undetected by the evil puppeteer, but there had to be some reason for them to be left alone all that time. The investigator had no solid evidence so all he could do was speculate as he quietly followed his teammate up the flight of stairs.

I’m guessing he’s either already gone from here. Maybe done with this place and only his toys remain,” He guessed. “Or we’re being lured into a trap as he’s comfortably waiting for us to do so. My run of luck would suggest that the latter is far more likely.

It was a cynical way to think of things, but they had to consider every possibility. It also made Shuju take extra care in every step he took as he walked away from Tanryoku on the upper floor.

There wasn’t much for the investigator to see as the whole area was entirely empty, unlike the ground floor. There were no puppets and barely anything of note. There were just long, empty hallways from end to end, but the only thing that slightly stood out were wirings that ran along the surfaces of the walls and ceilings.

Be careful, boys.” He noted through the comm. “Puppeteers are adept at utilizing strings to lay traps.

Seeing how he was isolated from the group and feeling a bit uncomfortable with his situation Shuju laid out a puppet scroll and summoned two of his puppets. Shuju-clone and Jintao. They were two versatile humanoid puppets that were capable of quickly scouring through the area while also being capable of operating door knobs to check each room.

The puppets ran along, investigating the floor room by room but there was nothing to be seen at all. They seemed to be completely evacuated and cleaned up. Meanwhile, Shuju approached the wiring on the walls and pulled out a kunai. He pressed the blunt edge of the projectile against the wire but it seemed to be reinforced with something. It was very resilient but he couldn’t tell what the purpose of it was.

Tanryoku, there are strange wires running along the walls and ceilings on this side. Are there any on yours?” He wondered. “I’m going to follow and see where they lead.

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Old 04-24-2019, 06:28 PM   #15
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Genpachi reached the Entrance Lobby. Letting the crowd pass in front of him so that he could guard their backs, Genpachi paused to consider the young hostage’s bitter words. He appreciated the determination, if not the bitterness, of Manyuda-san’s spirit. With guidance, the boy could turn into the sort of heroic person that Sand is desperately--- The thought was cut off as Genpachi watched Manyuda struggle against the seemingly locked door.

At that same moment, Genpachi’s uncannily-sensitive nose twitched. Lavender? And from behind!

The diminutive shinobi-monk spun around to find Someone had appeared in the hallway the group had just come from. In a flash, Genpachi took in a black cloak adorned with perhaps crow feathers, matching a crow’s mask?--But no, the mask was more that of a serpent’s snout. Blank goggles stared outwards impassively. Genpachi narrowed his eyes. The mask hinted at Dustmen. But the black goggle-lenses could hide a puppet’s false features just as easily. Either way, both possibilities suggested…

“Goro Shichiro…” Genpachi hissed, and his Hakkendan beads reacted, speeding into orbit around him. Behind him, he heard the grunts of the hostages struggling against the main door turn suddenly to panicked cries.

“T-t-the-the door! It, it won’t…!”

Not losing a moment, Genpachi flashed out his Rosary, tossing it spinning into the air in front of him, just as his Rei bead sped forward. The Rei bead combined with the Rosary, forming the quasi-mythical 108 Bead Rosary, a spinning vortex of wind chakra so thick it seemed to reflect light.

”Everyone get away from the door and stay behind me!”

The rosary-vortex reached a climax of speed and the Rei bead (much larger than the beads of the Rosary) exploded in a small puff of glass and wind. Immediately, a fully-armed and armoured samurai leapt from the rosary-vortex, which quickly dissipated.

The samurai, Masamori, the bushido archetype of Knowledge, dodged and dashed from side to side, constantly changing his vector as he closed at quick speed with the masked enigma. Yet, just as Masamori closed to within striking distance of Genpachi’s target, the samurai disappeared.

Genpachi caught his 108-bead Rosary as the wind released it.

“Genpachi, what’s your status?”

With the slightest warning of a breeze from the wrong direction, Masamori reappeared behind the Someone, his katana slashing downwards at the masked head.

"Some trouble has found me. I will do my best to protect the hostages."


Jutsu used:
Reimon (Knowledge Gate)
S3
Initiated by adding the Rei bead (of the 8 Bead Rosary) to the 107 Bead Rosary, this gate calls forth the likeness of the third venerated warrior, who symbolizes the underhandedness of venoms, Masamori. Masamori sprints towards the target, weaving and bobbing in an unpredictable pattern before abruptly vanishing and immediately reappearing behind the target to lash out with his blade. The clearest sign of danger is a slight breeze that blows from behind the target.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:37 PM   #16
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So what’s the hold’up?

I’m not too sure.

Shouldn’t they have engaged Shichiro by now?

Yes, but it seems our operatives split up.

Split up?

Twice.

They know that catchin’ Shichiro’ll take more than just one Jounin, right?

I’ll patch through to their communicators to set things straight, they must understand that being separated in that building is –

- - -

D a n g e r o u s.

A voice, husk and low, as if vocal cords had been charred and strained beyond recognition, chimed through the communication units of all three Jounin. The voice was hard to make out at first, the frequency of their equipment sputtering through a heavy layer of radio static before fading off into silence, but the words the messenger laid for the trio was clear – danger was close for some, happening to others, but was without a doubt here. It was here, at that very moment, shrouded in darkness and the eerie quiet of the sixth floor, that the danger became tangible for SHINRAI Kansei Tanryoku. Rooms away and isolated from Chouku Shuju, not only would the recent addition to the SHINRAI fold hear the words come exclusively from his communication device–

–He’d realize the voice was there, too, right next to him, followed by the aroma of lavender.

T h o s e, I n e e d those.

Emerging from the wires interlaced on the walls was the ailing blue hand of the man they’d been sent to apprehend, chipped fingers reaching toward the SHINRAI’s eye, as if threatening to pluck them right from Tanryoku’s skull. Goro Shichiro finally arrived, and it felt like a chain reaction, for as this man – obscured in a heavy dark cloak—materialized from out of the wall the cables wrapped around every crevice of the floor began to move, fast. Slithering like a horde of snakes threading a path to a single target, the architecture of the whole floor shifted as Shichiro was in mid-motion. The high walls of the sixth floor began to sink into the ground and ceiling, maintaining its structural integrity as a whole but clearing out all rudimentary items that may get in the way of the impending battle. The floor was left with nothing but them, and windows.

F o r M i n o r u, f o r Assate.

Scattered words were as fractured as he was, quivering hand creeping closer to the SHINRAI.

D o y o u h e a r the s e a?

Wires kept rushing into his cloak as he reached toward Tanryoku, just as the hands of the surviving staff of the hospital grasped the front doors of the building in bundled desperation.

The scenario was much different for Hakkenshi Genpachi.

The summoned samurai’s blade cut through the air with an acute accuracy, the large katana making contact with the masked individual, who hadn’t moved one should note, with immaculate ease. It was curious though, as the sword fell onto its victim, that it didn’t cut through it, but crushed the figure. The sound of metal clashing against some sort of armor sprung into the air, followed by the subtle footsteps of the hospital marionettes who continued about their business despite the sudden commotion. It was bizarre, even. Creepy, then, that the reflection of very thin black wires connected to every puppet in the hallways reflected from the overhead lights that showered the space in its light. Illuminated, the ceiling began to rustle and rumble as these wires – which clung to the walls as well – began to wriggle and crawl toward the stairwells and windows, as if racing toward the floors above.

H-help!

It was ashame, too, that the staff hadn’t noticed the wires that tied the doors shut. Manyuda was the first to be trapped, the threads enclosing his hand and locking lifting him to the ceiling as they moved. Yukimura gripped the man by his pant leg, attempting to stop him from being carried away by the sea coils that entrapped her hand as well, but felt her strength leaving her. This was when the little group panicked even more, crowding near Genpachi as close as they could without interfering with his defense–

Kugutsu Gigei | Puppet Arts

–But it’d be difficult for the Jounin.

Hyaku Shouaku Ayatsuri | Hundred Grasp Manipulation

From beneath the weight of Masamori’s blade, the kasa-adorned puppet’s creaked, loud. From below the cloak of feathers it wore, the puppet’s hand exploded outward and stretched toward Genpachi in one clear approach. Flowing forth and multiplying from its elbow arrived an endless current of hands, all to which attempted to grasp and capture the Hakkenshi and the people he chose to protect their menacing clutches. The trio dividing up as they did may not have been as sound as they’d once thought, but that didn’t matter now.

What mattered was survival.

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Old 05-22-2019, 03:40 AM   #17
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“Genpachi? Damn.”

He’d lost the other Jounin to so much heavy static now that the voice he heard sounded nothing like the clansman’s. In the ensuing silence, there was no follow-up or clarification. Nor was there the reassuring purr of light static as he clicked the transmission on his own unit. Just dead air.

D a n g e r.

He backed out of the room, its densely veined walls seemingly pulsing in the steady light emitted by his palm, as if threatening to close in on him. But it was more than a feeling. It was imminent danger. It was something grossly overlooked. It was something meant for Tanryoku alone: a voice, close; a threat, insidious. The swing of his lantern revealed five points of light — a skeletal clutch of fingertips hovering inches from his face. He leapt —back! and swallowed the quiver of fear that followed, the phantom reality of what might have been had he reacted any slower.

Hands off!

The fingers were connected to a gaunt forearm, also blue, which protruded from the opaque whorls of a heavy cloak still half-immersed in the wall to his left. A wall that was visibly moving, as were the others. As was the open doorway, already part-submerged in the floor and sinking quicker than he could muster the explosion of speed he’d need to escape. And where was that smell coming from? A pungent floral odour assaulted his nostrils. He staggered back again, if only to place a little more distance between himself and the figure, who hadn’t yet given up his quest for something of Tanryoku’s. It allowed him to get a better read of the situation.

His attacker was changing the landscape to his advantage. Walls were likely reinforced by the wires that Shuju had identified. It was what allowed this kind of malleability. And that withered blue arm definitely belonged to the monster from Yukimura’s frightful recollection. Only one person could affect so much to such a degree. The SHINRAI repositioned his handful of light in an attempt to better illuminate the face he expected to see under the cowl, while planting his feet on the newly liberated piece of floor that a four-poster bed had occupied seconds ago.

He'd backed himself into this corner and allowed their quarry to find him first, unprepared and alone. So that’s where his mistakes had to end. He would own his circumstances from this point on, and rely on Shuju to backtrack and find him while he held ground here. Held back the tide.

Damn the sea to hell.

“Get that thing out of my face, Shichiro. You’ll get nothing from me.”

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Old 06-02-2019, 09:04 PM   #18
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As the Jounin continued to explore the floor he heard an unwelcome sound from his communication device. It was a creepy voice that definitely didn’t belong to any of the team that were investigating the hospital. However everything else that he heard from his comrades was more or less lost in static but Shuju managed to hear the sound of commotion happening on the same floor he was on. He quickly assumed that it was the sound of Tan getting into a bit of trouble since everything around the green haired man was still peaceful and as quiet as ever.

He was no longer just exploring so he needed more firepower than what he had initially summoned so he placed the scroll onto the floor once again and slammed an open palm against it as he knelt to it. The new additions to his squad were the Dragoon, the Barbarian and the ranger. The puppeteer then had the five puppets form a formation around him as he hastily traveled towards the source of the noise, which meant backtracking through the area that he had already explored.

The puppeteer and his squad quickly approached Tanryoku who was dealing with a puppet situation. He had been attacked by a technique that Shuju knew of. It wasn’t one that he used, but he was familiar with it and it seemed to have blocked the path for both sand shinobi. The technique allows a puppet to produce bamboo-like extensions from its limb and it was on a large enough scale that it completely isolated the two from whatever it was that initiated the technique.

Maybe I can burn it, although that might screw us over down the line. Guess I’ll have to smash through it.

We’ll brute our way through.

Maru and Souma then stepped forward since they were the two larger puppets and had the larger weapons. They started smashing at the bamboo forest with their large weapons (a battleaxe and a spear) and with a few swings the path was more or less cleared.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:54 PM   #19
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A puppet revealed for what it was. A puppeteer beginning to show his hand. Black wires everywhere, moving with a weird life of their own. Hostages being carried off by black wires. And perhaps a hundred hands streaking towards him. It was a lot for Genpachi to take in, but the jounin was no stranger to situations going suddenly pear-shaped--this sort of thing happened often enough when you worked as a sort of undercover shinobi cop. The most helpful thing at times like this was to trust in his monk’s training, and his own powerful ideals. As if in response to his reliance on his ideals, the Rei bead that had shattered in his previous jutsu reformed amongst his spinning Hakkendan--the lower 4 of his beads always reformed quickly.

Genpachi narrowed his eyes and broadened his awareness, letting all of the details flow into a single unified awareness. As a great warrior monk had once said: “Fight the many as if they are one, the one as if he is many.”


Breathe in. The hands were now nearly on top of him, so many that they occluded his view of the rest of the hallway, each palm forward, fingers seeking to grasp.

Breathe out. The beads of Genpachi’s hakkendan suddenly started spinning in a vertical ring in front of him, each accelerating to blurring speed in half the space of a heartbeat. A high pitched whine sounded from the ring of spinning beads.

“Shoukin no Sata!”

The puppet’s many hands never reached Genpachi, but instead met a concentrated vortex of wind, a condensed tornado of cutting air--the hands and their arms were instantly turned into just so much firewood flying off in every direction. Nearby couches and the ceiling in front of Genpachi were quickly filled with a thicket of wood chips, each splinter lodged deep from the flinging force of Genpachi’s defensive vortex.

Now Manyuda. The brave young man was being dragged across the ceiling right over Genpachi’s head by a mass of tense black wires, looking for all the world like a scene from a horror movie. Must cut them.

Genpachi made a quick handsign and his beads, which were only just beginning to slow their vertical rotation around him, suddenly stopped, became soft-seeming, and melted. Each bead flowed, becoming a black shard of razor-sharp glass. With incredible speed, the shards flew away from their position around Genpachi, spinning and slicing at the wires all around Manyuda, cutting at them with all the power of 8 of the sharpest swords.

As the shards did their work, Genpachi spared a glance for his puppet opponent.

“Your tricks will not work, Shichiro. I am a Hakkenshi, and my ideals of justice will always give me the power to protect those in need.”

---

Jutsu used:
Specials from Hakkendan tai: s2 Bushido and s5 Shoukin no Sata (State of Redemption).


S2:
With this technique, the Hakkenshi can transform the beads of their 8 Bead Rosary into sharp slivers of glass with points on each end. It can be done en masse or selectively, but the beads that are affected by Bushido cannot be used for Ninjutsu techniques until they revert back to their spherical form. Bushido lasts for four posts and requires a one post cooldown.

S5:
With all eight beads of the 8 Bead Rosary in tow, the Hakkenshi can protect themselves from enemy Ninjutsu by initiating the State of Redemption. The eight beads will form a ring in between the attack and the clan member and start to spin extremely quickly, creating a blast of wind that will blow the attack right back at the adversary. This works on Ninjutsu that are two stages below the clan member’s highest stage in Hakkendan.
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