[Plotboard]The Depths

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Kao
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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Kao » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:41 pm

PreviouslyShow
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=8339817

Jutsu Used:

Wisp
E-Ranked Ninjutsu
After performing the needed seals, Kotaru creates up to five, wispy teardrop shaped balls of flames five inches in diameters. The flames produce no heat and are incapable of inflicting burns. The balls float within three feet of his position and up to a foot above his height and cannot move outside of this area. The fireballs move with him but are otherwise immobile and once created Kotaru cannot control their movement or position. Due to the low chakra cost of this technique, Kotaru can maintain this for x number of posts where x equals stamina/2.

~Basic Formation: Eroshiin
D-Ranked Ninjutsu
Channeling chakra to their shiin, they cause it to inflate, fully forming into its full glory. Taking the form of wings, they are incapable of flight on their own, however are very aerodynamic, allowing for the user to slowly float down, based on their prerequisite taijutsu. The Eroshiin has a strength equal to 3/4ths the user's strength.
The journey down seemed even longer than before. Their path was illuminated by Kotaru's flames, though with the rather dim light the fire provided they could barely see more than a few feet in front of them. The rest of the area was shrouded in complete darkness, and Kotaru tried to ignore the feeling that they were being watched, more and more eyes seeming to join in the farther down they traveled. The sensation prompted him to try reach the bottom as soon as possible, initially diving head first with his wings tucked in to build speed before spreading them for more controlled flight.

As he neared the bottom he slowed his descent significantly and eventually landed near soundlessly on solid ground. He looked up, waiting for Kazuo and Koji to catch it. It seemed he had slightly outpaced them and had landed first. With a crack he lit a flare and held it above his head. They had landed in a huge open space, and the jounin's flare illuminated what lie silently around them. Towering bones rested on either side of him, rib cages large enough for half a dozen men to stand inside, one on top of the other. He stared without speaking, waiting for the others to join them.

The trio had a long way to travel before they reached the spirit colony. It had been some time since he had visited, but the way there had been essentially seared in Kotaru's brain. The Catacombs was his least favorite place in Iwagakure, but it was a place that needed a considerable amount of attention. It was still new to them, and as far as he knew they had barely begun to explore it. Any deviation from the path could lead to unexpected and potentially disastrous encounters with angry spirits or giant creatures influenced by their chakra, and Kotaru wasn't exactly in the mood for a fight.

When they joined him he'd announce, "The Black Garden. Final resting place of gigantic fucking rats. Better not linger." He could practically feel the creatures somewhere behind the veil of darkness, and the knowledge that they were most likely skittering just beyond the light of his flames and flares made him agitated. His fingers flexed and he started to move forward again urging his companions to keep up and stay close.
Jutsu UsedShow
~Perfect Flight
A-Ranked Discipline Taijutsu
Type: Eroshiin
Requirements: ~Glide
Stretching their shiin to their fullest, the Akari is able to fly just as well as any bird would be able to, up to a maximum of 30 meters. Other than the height restriction, the user is able to travel equal to their speed, treating it just as if they were moving on land.

Quiet on the Landing
C-Ranked Taijutsu Discipline
Kotaru has mastered landing quietly after jumping or leaping from a great height and is able to do so without injuring himself. Only those using specialized hearing techniques are able to hear his nearly completely silent landing.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Sanjuro » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:27 pm

Kazuo slowed his descent after following the creepy flying Akari by kicking the air around him, shooting him in different directions, until he was a few feet above the ground when he finally just let himself drop, tucking and rolling before popping right back up next to Kotaru, just as silently. As his eyes adjusted to the low light conditions they were being exposed to, Kazuo fought to keep from letting out an impressed whistle as he looked around the cavern. He had passed through once before with Tatsuo but it was still just as impressive. It was a giant boneyard. A chill ran down his spine and he flicked his head around, eyes snapping to as many different points as possible, trying to find the source of their predators.

A moment later Koji came padding through the boneyard, having been forced to walk down the wall. His control over his chakra was unsteady at best, just enough to cling to the wall, and with Kazuo having simply leapt off to his possible death, Koji had taken it carefully in case the chakra flow suddenly ceased. There was a low, rumbling growl in the back of the wolf's throat and Kazuo nodded to the beast. "I know. Just stay calm." Kazuo reached out with one hand to rest it atop Koji's head while the other reached out to trace one of the giant ribcage bones that surrounded them.

He turned his attention to Kota fully and noticed the tension in his shoulders, making Kazuo's frown deepen. Something was unsettling the kid. "Giant rats? Doesn't sound like a fun time. There a story behind that?" Even as he was speaking and following Kota, he started to stretch his senses, listening for the scuttering of footsteps or the growl of a hungry belly, trying to pick out the individual scents.

Spirits couldn't usually survive this long on their plane without some source of chakra. He hadn't really thought about it last time, he was distracted by the glamour of delving into a dungeon. Something here was keeping them propagated. Was it the place itself or something deeper within? Another shudder ran down his spine, but his frown turned into a smile. He didn't know if the others had discovered any source of power for all these spirits yet, but Kazuo was looking forward to finding out.
TechniquesShow
[Air Walk]
B-Rank Taijutsu Manoeuvre
Prerequisite: [Heavenly Body Control]
A technique used for sudden changes of direction or controlling a descent, Kazuo kicks the air with enough force to create a shockwave centred on his position that blasts him in the opposite direction. This shockwave isn't particularly harmful, simply pushing him in a single direction for a number of meters equal to 2/3rd of his strength and at equal speed.

[Predator's Instinct • The Hunt is On]
B-Rank Taijutsu Stance
Having spent years honing the art of silently stalking his prey, Kazuo has learned to naturally adjust the way he moves to remove any distinguishable noise even when moving at top speed. Those with enhanced hearing will still be able to make out the sound of his approach whilst moving at top speed, but should he slow to a walk he will become completely undetectable by sound even to himself.

[Predator's Instinct • Distinct Sounds]
C-Rank Taijutsu Discipline
Kazuo mentally takes in and registers the default sounds of an area; creaking on a boat, wind against walls, their own breathing and other sounds one would expect. By doing this Kazuo becomes more acutely aware of sounds that 'don't belong', such as footsteps in an empty room or a branch breaking in a quiet forest. The contrast of sounds is what is important here, not the type, and Kazuo can discern differences in natural sound versus those made by action in most cases unless the actions are deliberately made to sound natural. This focus on distinct sounds once again opens up the user to sonic attacks very damagingly and can often deafen the user.

[Predator's Instinct • Primal Nose]
B-Rank Taijutsu Discipline
After utilizing his nose and training his sense of smell for so long, Kazuo has become able to tap his sense of smell to its most refined and most bestial. Kazuo is able to pick out the most common scents and focus on the freshet ones in an area of 10 meters around him. By doing this Kazuo is able to tell the amount of individual humans, animals or creatures and the most intense smells of each person, including if they were injured or if they were tired by gauging sweat levels. Kazuo can then track these groups of scents with relative ease.
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow

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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Kao » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:16 pm

"Yeah, the story is the first time we came down here, we probably would have died if the giant talking roaches didn't save us. The rats attacked in a horde, and at the time the three of us weren't strong enough to take them out. But if they attack now, I should at least be able to hold them back. Running is probably the better option though, considering how many come at once." Kotaru kept moving forward, his fingers still occasionally twitching as they pressed through the darkness. Other than his tense shoulders and occasional fidgeting Kotaru moved calmly, his pace purposeful without being too anxious. "As far as we can tell," he added after brief silence, "the giant roaches and rats aren't spirits themselves. They're just regular beasts that are affected by whatever the hell is going on down here. We're still not a hundred percent sure about what all is going on down here, but they're definitely mutated as a side effect."

Suddenly the boy came to a stop. Up ahead something shifted just beyond the reach of his firelight. The air was musty now, along with a pungent odor that could only be rotten meat. Kotaru held back a groan when he realized it was in their way, and he watched as it moved again. "Please be a roach," he said quietly, but his words were drowned out by a low hiss that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Kotaru flexed his wings in preparation, and as soon as he made the motion the dark blob began to quiver, and the outline of it rose quickly until it was fifteen meters tall. The hissing intensified.

"Get back! It-" his words were cut off when something hit him and send him flying back several dozen meters, crashing through one of the giant bones. He groaned for a moment as the fragments rained down on him before standing back up, eying the gigantic beast that still lay mostly in the darkness. From the first hit he could tell the thing was both fast and strong, and it was enough to have him stagger for a moment before he fully righted himself. The creature hissed again, the sound ending in a roar, and Kotaru knew they were in for a fight.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Sanjuro » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:48 pm

"Giant roaches save you from giant rats. This place is so strange. I love it. But at least if we get hungry, we can cook and eat the big bastards, eh?"

He heard it before Kotaru began his warning. Letting out a shrill whistle, Kazuo ordered Koji to attack and the wolf responded with a bloodthirsty howl, barrelling towards the creature as it struck out at Kotaru. While Koji barrelled into the giant rat, the two quickly enshrouded by darkness, Kazuo moved over to Kotaru's side and shifted some of the debris, attempting to help Kota up. "You okay? Sorry, I'm used to working alone. I should've warned ya before I gave Koji his orders."

Koji meanwhile was aiming to make a meal of this giant rat. He darted around it, snapping at it, trying to outpace and outmanoeuvre it before going in for larger bites, tearing out chunks of fur and flesh. Kazuo listened to the commotion before standing in front of Kotaru, drawing up his presence. "We've got this one. Cover your ears, yeah?" As he spoke he let go of the fine control he normally held himself under, stalking towards the rat with purpose. He clenched his fists and blades slide from his gauntlets, creating a set of claws.

Sucking in a deep breath, Kazuo let loose a feral roar that echoed in the darkness, reverberating across the fractured ribcage. The rat would feel a sudden wave of intense, primal fear. A greater predator had emerged.
TechniquesShow
Koji: [Marōtsume Taijutsu • Coiled Power]
B-Rank Taijutsu Discipline
Prerequisite: Strength ≥ Speed
Koji's powerful muscles are almost always ready to leap into action at a moments notice, especially during combat or other stressful situations. Because of this, he can almost instantly hit his top speed whenever necessary, whether he need to suddenly charge, change direction, or evade an attack.

[Marōtsume Taijutsu • Bestial Assault]
C-Rank Taijutsu Manoeuvre
Koji approaches his target at maximum speed, darting rapidly from left to right during the approach in an attempt to confuse the target and avoid a counter attack. Once in range he will leap at the target, aiming to use the momentum of the charge and his Strength to knock them down. If this is successful Koji will unleash a flurry of bites and scratches to take full advantage of the situation and end the fight quickly.

Kazuo: [Frightful Presence]
A-Rank Sakkijutsu
Kazuo lets out a roar infused with his Killer Intent; any creature that is aware of Kazuo within 25 meters of his position and can hear will be affected by this technique. Should their Self-Control ([Taijutsu+Instinct]/2) be lower than Kazuo's Presence ([Stamina+Strength]/2), they will be filled with a sudden sensation of pure fear. Those affected will be unable to willingly move closer to Kazuo and their Taijutsu will be reduced by 3 as their body shakes in natural response to fear. These effects last 3 posts.
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow

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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Kao » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:59 pm

Kotaru grunted a response without accepting Kazuo's help, truthfully unable to get a word out for a moment. The blow had affect him more than he thought; it left his entire front throbbing in pain and the impact made him feel woozy. Had he not had his wings spread behind him he'd have lost his balance. He'd made a mistake in letting the rat catch him off guard. "Cover my what?" he garbled, not quite hearing what Kazuo had told him. But even if he did it wouldn't have mattered, for he still would have heard the mighty roar.

The sound seemed to shake him to his very core. His heart fluttered painfully and seemed to rise up into his throat, and his stomach churned and threatened to force him to spill its contents. It was a somewhat familiar feeling, one that he hadn't felt so potently since the day he faced death in the Akari clan's Arena. Kotaru stumbled over shattered bone and nearly fell over. He hadn't even realized he had been backing away.

Meanwhile the rat was feeling the same effect. Before Kazuo's roar, it could keep up with Koji easily despite its size and it swatted at him when he got too close. Koji managed to take a bite out of the beast, and its scream filled the space of the cavern with a guttural cry of pain. But when Kazuo made his presence known, made his power known, the giant quieted and slinked back into the shadows. It was still watching the trio, pacing and huffing every few seconds in response to the fear Kazuo had instilled. It shook itself as if psyching itself up for another attack, but it didn't move any closer to Kazuo. It still tried to fight off Koji whenever he attacked, though its movements were slightly clunkier, stiffer.

Kotaru, feeling suddenly clammy, finally got back on his feet and clenched his teeth when his knees wouldn't stop shaking. The sound of his pounding heartbeat and rushing blood filled his ears as he continued to stare at Kazuo, unsure why just looking at the guy made his hands shake. For the time being he was wasn't of any use.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Sanjuro » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:51 pm

Kazuo's smile turned feral when he saw the rat slow down and Koji start tearing more chunks from its hide. His eyes were adjusting to the lack of light, Kota's flames providing just enough that he could follow the battle without being completely blind. Pressing his left foot hard against the ground, raising his heel up so he was putting all the pressure on the ball of his foot, he took off like a shot. With each step he applied more force and soon there wasn't just one Kazuo in the massive chamber, there were many. Koji, knowing what was coming, leapt back just as Kazuo leapt forward, striking at the rat's side, darting around and under its girth to strike another point, then another and another. With each strike he would leave more afterimages, trying to confuse its sight and break its defences.

He failed to realize the effect he had had on Kotaru. While he had claimed that being surrounded by all these young ninja who were a higher rank and potentially stronger than him didn't bother him, there was a feeling deep in the pit of his stomach that told him it was wrong that they were better. He should be better than them, he had more experience, had trained, and could make people piss themselves just by looking at them. It was wrong that he was considered the weakest.

A growl rumbled up from the back of his throat and he put all of his weight and strength into a lunge aimed right under the giant rat's head, trying to drive his claws up into its throat.
TechniquesShow
[Kōga Taijutsu • Mirage Assault]
B-Rank Taijutsu Stance
Kazuo begins to move so fast that he can create afterimages of himself. This can potentially cause an opponent to get easily confused by the afterimages so Kazuo can capitalize on an opponent's openings. The number of afterimages he can create in a single post is determined by his (Taijutsu+Speed)/5 and Kazuo can maintain this for up to Stamina/5 posts.

[Kōga Taijutsu • Ferocious Assault]
B-Rank Taijutsu Manoeuvre
Prerequisite: 25 Speed
Combining his speed and his occasional ruthlessness in battle, Kazuo employs this technique to attack an opponent from all sides. Beginning with a powerful claw strike to the chest or face, he will then unleash a vicious succession of strikes on the opponent from all sides, moving rapidly around them in order to strike from multiple angles. These strikes are aimed at weak spots like the eyes, in between the ribs, the gut, the ankles, and the throat; and performed at such a speed that Kazuo becomes a veritable blur around the target.
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow

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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Kao » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:57 pm

The rat was growing agitated at the dog that tore flesh from its thick hide. It was nothing the beast had not endured before. It was old, strong, and it only reached its current level due to many battles with other creatures that would seek to destroy or devour it. The rat had survived it all and had become the king of its domain. These tiny insects were nothing to it. It turned his head and body whenever Koji or Kazuo landed a blow, but even as it was being pushed back, it was learning. It sniffed the air and its ears flicked in reaction to the sounds of their movements, and its whiskers provided an additional tactile sense. Whether its enemies were noisy or noiseless, the rat had no trouble following. It was born in the darkness and had fought in the darkness; the rat hardly ever relied on sight in the depths of the Catacombs.

At one point Kazuo lunged at the rat's underbelly, and the giant beast hissed and darted to the left several meters, surprisingly fast despite its enormous size. The movement allowed it to avoid a direct hit from Kazuo's uppercut, though the blow hit the side of its head disoriented it. And that sensation made it angry. With a low, rumbling hiss it swung its body and tail, bringing the appendage crashing into the bones that towered around them. The ancient bones clattered thunderously as they shattered and fell in huge chunks, many of them larger than Kazuo.

Meanwhile, Kotaru had moved away a considerable distance, putting space between him and the battle. He wouldn't take his eyes off the man even as they moved beyond the dim light of his katon, his gaze following the obscured forms as they darted about in the darkness. 'Fucking...move!' His knees shook. His hands shook. The young jounin couldn't urge his body to move and help and the longer it went on, the more pissed off he got. Knowing nothing about Kazuo he had yet put two and two together that the effect was do to the man's roar from earlier. Kotaru cursed himself and took a few hesitant steps forward, but when Kazuo darted past the illumination of his katon the boy stopped dead in his tracks. Only then did it click.

'Stupid fucking Kazuo.' His first thought was genjutsu, so he quickly formed the seal to kai himself out of it. It changed nothing. His body still trembled, and whenever the older shinobi's form came more clearly into view, fear reached from his gut and clasped tightly around his throat. 'Are you fucking kidding me?' He didn't understand. A growl formed in his throat, culminating in a scream as he raged, "KAZUO YOU MANGY FUCK, WHATEVER YOU DID TO ME MAKE IT STOP!"
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Sanjuro » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:53 pm

Kazuo was not used to being outmatched physically. He had no doubt he was stronger but between this thing's girth and speed, Kazuo's strength was frustratingly inadequate. Koji was having the same problems. Even with the afterimages and the fear he had forcibly instilled in the beast, it was able to react and move fast enough to avoid what should've been killing blows. He felt the rumble before he noticed the shadows moving above and realized what was happening.

"Koji, move!"

Kazuo, rather than leaping out of the way, leapt straight up into the oncoming debris. Twisting and contorting at odd angles, he leapt from chunk of bone to chunk of bone. Each time he leapt from one to the next, however, he did so with a forceful drop kick, propelling himself away to the next chunk of bone and sending the bone fragments flying towards the Rat King. Koji on the other hand had fled the sight of destruction and moved to stand at attention near Kota.

The sudden angry scream from a way away pulled Kazuo from his battle trance, glowing yellow eyes snapping from the Rat King who he was forcing to dodge giant bone spear after giant bone spear to the shaking, furious form of the teenaged Kotaru.

'Oh. Well, fuck.'

Koji was as much a part of Kazuo as Kazuo was of Koji. They shared chakra so often that there was almost no difference between them. Using his Sakkijutsu barely had any effect on the wolf. He hadn't considered that, for the first time in a long time, he had another ally he needed to worry about. "I can't! Unless you want Koji or I to rip your spleen out, there's no way to break the effect!" Even as he was yelling, he continued to play leap frog among the bones until he was finally satisfied he had driven the Rat King far enough away. Landing heavily on the ground, he jerked his head and Koji darted forward once more. "It'll fade in a second. Just, use something long range! I'll stay out of eyeshot!"

With that Kazuo looked for a darkened shadow where Kota's lights wouldn't reach him and bound his way towards it, running his hands through a set of hand seals and gathering Doton chakra as he went. Koji, meanwhile, now that he had torn a few chunks from the Rat King, had the scent of it's blood filling his nostrils and the wolf's bloodthirsty nature was beginning to take hold. He moved faster, ducked lower, and sought to keep the beast corralled while Kazuo prepared a giant hole for the rat to fall into.
TechniquesShow
Kazuo: [Kōga Taijutsu • The Wild Hunt]
A-Rank Taijutsu Stance
Prerequisite: 25 Instinct
A method of fighting that relies almost purely on instincts and focuses on the use of all of his senses together, Kazuo is able to fight and track any number of opponents in the area up to his Taijutsu/2. While fighting he delivers strikes to vital areas with pinpoint precision and brutal efficiency while remaining in a constant state of motion, using the terrain and even his opponents as points of movement.

[Doton • Grave Digger]
C-Rank Ninjutsu
After performing the necessary hand seals, Kazuo will cause a 5m long, 10m wide hole to open in the ground at 5 speed at any point within 10 meters of his position. This hole is 5m deep and the walls have a strength of 15, making it tough to break into, along with being completely smooth and saturated with chakra, preventing those caught within from climbing the walls with the [Basic Jutsu • Act of Tree Climbing].

Koji: [Marōtsume Taijutsu • On The Hunt]
C-Rank Taijutsu Stance
After drawing blood and gaining the scent of the target, Koji homes in on the scent and relentlessly pursues it through rain, dense woodlands, even rivers so long as it remains within 50m of his position. Koji gains +6 speed at the cost of -6 instinct due to the single-minded nature of his pursuit. This lasts until the wound is healed or sufficiently covered and the blood is completely removed from the target.
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow

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Kao
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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Kao » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:51 am

That was not at all what Kotaru wanted to hear. There had to be a way to stop the effect, the boy thought. Nothing was infallible. Then again, he supposed that pain and dismemberment was a method he could use, but, "My spleen?! No, fuck that!" Despite appearances, Kotaru worked well with people he was familiar with. He and the rest of Team 18 had been together for so long that they knew how one another fought, what to use and what not to use around each other, and how to deal with and avoid the area-of-effect techniques the others had. This trio, however, was not at all attuned to one another.

Knowing this, Kotaru took to the air and took the small amount of light with him. He hoped - assumed - Koji and Kazuo could hold their own after they were plunged into darkness; Koji should be able to smell his way around at the very least, and if the technique he inadvertently used on Kotaru was any indication then Kazuo was certainly worth his salt as a shinobi. The young jounin flew into the air he stared down into the void below. With Kazuo out of sight his heart slowed considerably and he no longer felt the grip of fear around him. He was still wary of the man, of course, but the feeling was beginning to fade and he performed a string of hand seals.

Down below, the rat king was in his element. A life lived in darkness ensured it was accustomed to fighting this way. It sniffed the air and its long, frayed whiskers wiggled as it pinpointed both Koji and Kazuo's positions as they darted around. Even as Koji continued to attack, the rat held firm; the rips in its flesh that Koji inflicted were painful, but so far the wounds were not life threatening and the rat tanked through them and endured.

Then, the muscles in its entire body tensed as it went completely silent, and after a moment it swiftly turned itself into a full circle, swinging its hairless tail to release a rapid wave of air that spread around it from all sides in a circular shape. It was powerful enough to knock down most people and leave them disoriented or worse, and even those who were as physically trained as Koji and Kazuo would need to brace themselves from the attack.

Kotaru, high above them, was out of the immediate range of the attack as it had not spread in a sphere but rather only to the rat's front, back, and sides. Though he couldn't see all that was happening he could certainly hear it; the wave crashed into the surrounding towering bones and shattered them, not in the large chunks but this time in thousands of smaller, more dangerous shards that were several inches long. They spread in all directions, many of them even reaching Kotaru's position a dozen meters above the scene. Several of the shards pierced his shoulder, his eroshiin, his side; he quickly had to bring his arms up and cross them over his chest. Shards lodged themselves in his arms, but better that than through his heart.

Even as the bone shards still flew, he lowered one hand to point two fingers in the direction of the giant rat. Immediately after, a flaming ball formed in front of his fingers and he then launched it toward the dark blob of the rat's form, intending to hit its huge body and light the beast up.
SpoilerShow
The rat has:
• Taijutsu: 35
• Stamina: 40
• Strength: 37
• Speed: 44

Devil’s Geysers
B-Ranked Ninjutsu
After performing the needed seals, Kotaru extends two fingers and a ball of katon chakra roughly 9 inches in diameters will form at the end of them. The chakra can then be launched at a speed of 25 and hits with a strength of 15, and can travel up to 25 meters. On contact, the katon will erupt around the target into a pillar 5 meters tall with a 5 meter diameter. The pillar will burn for two posts before fading.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Sanjuro » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:57 am

As Kazuo completed forming his hole in the ground and Koji took a few more chunks from the beast, he noticed the lights vanished and swore under his breath. Switching to relying on scent and sound, he did his best to navigate the dark until a wave of air pressure pushed him back. He braced himself against the ground, crouching down and digging one hand into the ground and lifting the other to cover his head. When the first shard hit his skin, he scowled and focused the water making up his arm to the surface, a dark sheen covering the skin as the bone shards started to bounce off the arm that was covering his face.

Koji was forced to do much the same, claws digging into the earth. Even with his considerable strength, he was pushed back, the sound echoing through the boneyard. A loud echoing growl came from the wolf as the tiny bone shards started to rip into his flesh, over and over again. "Koji, drive the bastard into the hole." Kazuo shouted into the dark, his eyes turning upwards, noticing a glowing ball building up in the sky. Shaking off the pain of the attack, he darted forward, joining Koji in trying to herd the rat towards the hole. All it would take was a single step, one foot caught in it, and then the rat would be thrown off guard long enough for whatever Kotaru was building up to hit.

Kazuo and Koji darted around one another, blending their scents, trying to throw off the beast's ability to tack either of them, before Kazuo came in high and from the right while Koji went low and to the left, an attempt to force the rat king to react to either of the attacks and keep moving backwards. Right into the path of the fireball of Kotaru.
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow

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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Kao » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:27 pm

Being attacked from multiple sides left the rat king in a bind. Though he had fought in countless battles in the past, nothing was as formidable as the shinobi he now faced. The blow with his tail didn't seem to slow them down in the slightest, and the beast hissed and roared as Koji and his master managed to push it back. Their efforts finally paid off when the rat's back leg slipped into the hole Kazuo had prepared, sending the mutated animal stumbling. It wasn't very deep in comparison to the rat itself, and it was nothing it couldn't get out of.

But unfortunately for the rat, it was enough. Just as it squealed from being caught off balance it was hit by both Koji and Kazuo, sending it tumbling down and it fell onto its side. At that moment Kotaru's fireball slammed onto its hide near its neck and the sounds of its scream and thrashing seemed to fill the entire cavern. The flamed erupted into a pillar around the beast's head. The pungent smell of burning fur and flesh quickly mixed in with the musty air of the Catacombs. It tried to flee, immediately forgetting about both Koji and Kazuo as it turned tail and thrashed about the cavern, sending more bone and debris flying. It only took a minute or so for the rat king to fall still.

Kotaru watched the scene for several seconds before floating back down near Kazuo. The rat's burning body provided quite a bit of light, making it much easier to see their surroundings. A quick glance around revealed that there was no other threats lurking about, and the boy then levied a heavy glare to Kazuo. He was wholly unamused. "Try not to do that again," he growled without saying exactly what he meant; after all, he still didn't know what exactly Kazuo had done. Kotaru stood glowering at both the man and his wolf as he ripped the bone fragments from his arms and side. The blue green wings folded down and he removed bone from them as well, tossing them toward the flames that were still burning their now dead adversary.

"Stupid fucking rat. Let's go before its friends show up." He turned to go in the direction they had been heading and without warning broke out into a run and then took flight, keeping low to the ground and matching the others' pace. "Please tell me you still have the stone," he blurted out when they turned a sharp corner, and they were in darkness once more. "We're almost there and you better not have dropped it." He didn't have much faith in Kazuo after the whole make you terrified ordeal.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Sanjuro » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:59 am

The heat washed over his face as Kazuo watched the fireball successfully connect. He didn't look away, watching as it attempted to run, but the constant harassment of Koji and himself seemed to have been enough to drain it of much of its fight, now that it was burning to death it had nothing left to give. The Special Jounin sighed and brushed off his arm where a lot of small shards of bone had impaled, along with plucking a few from his side that he hadn't covered. The wounds began to seal over almost as soon as the impediments were removed. Stepping up to Koji, he began the same process, though the wolf had fared a little worse and he could see some blood staining his coat.

"Sorry buddy, you did a good job." He ran his fingers over the wounds gently before letting Koji tend to them himself, licking at the ones he could reach. Standing back up, he turned to face Kotaru who landed beside them, strange tendril wings folding down and Kazuo eyed them warily. "I'll try. I apologize for that. I guess I've gotten used to working with just Koji or Tsuyu for so long that… well, yeah. I won't use that technique again unless I know you're out of range."

Kazuo bowed his head in a somewhat semi-formal manner to go along with his apology. He did kind of feel bad about it, he had simply gotten caught up in the heat of the moment and failed to assess the situation properly. Really, it was a rookie mistake and one he shouldn't have made. There was no point dwelling on it though, he assessed it, processed it, and moved on with the intent to not do it again.

Following behind the Akari, he reached into one of the inner pockets of his jacket, fishing out the stone that Kotaru seemed so worried about and rolled it in his hand. "Safe and sound. Don't worry, I'm not as entirely useless as you seem to think." He carefully put it back into the pocket he had retrieved it from, the warmth settling against his chest. "It'd be pretty noticeable if I dropped a glowing red rock on the ground."

Shaking his head, Kazuo moved to match pace with the Akari, his eyes darting this way and that while he sniffed the air and listened for any hint that they were either being followed or about to run into something. He didn't really want to give this kid any more excuses to doubt him or whine back to Tatsuo about.
TechniquesShow
[Predator's Instinct • Primal Nose]
B-Rank Taijutsu Discipline
After utilizing his nose and training his sense of smell for so long, Kazuo has become able to tap his sense of smell to its most refined and most bestial. Kazuo is able to pick out the most common scents and focus on the freshet ones in an area of 10 meters around him. By doing this Kazuo is able to tell the amount of individual humans, animals or creatures and the most intense smells of each person, including if they were injured or if they were tired by gauging sweat levels. Kazuo can then track these groups of scents with relative ease.

[Predator's Instinct • Distinct Sounds]
C-Rank Taijutsu Discipline
Kazuo mentally takes in and registers the default sounds of an area; creaking on a boat, wind against walls, their own breathing and other sounds one would expect. By doing this Kazuo becomes more acutely aware of sounds that 'don't belong', such as footsteps in an empty room or a branch breaking in a quiet forest. The contrast of sounds is what is important here, not the type, and Kazuo can discern differences in natural sound versus those made by action in most cases unless the actions are deliberately made to sound natural. This focus on distinct sounds once again opens up the user to sonic attacks very damagingly and can often deafen the user.

[Predator's Instinct • The Hunt is On]
B-Rank Taijutsu Stance
Having spent years honing the art of silently stalking his prey, Kazuo has learned to naturally adjust the way he moves to remove any distinguishable noise even when moving at top speed. Those with enhanced hearing will still be able to make out the sound of his approach whilst moving at top speed, but should he slow to a walk he will become completely undetectable by sound even to himself.
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow

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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Kao » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:30 pm

Kotaru huffed and kept moving forward. "Yeah, yeah, good job for not dropping it, I guess." Whenever he ventured down into the hellhole that was the Catacombs he discovered some sort of weakness that he needed to correct, or some sort of gaps in his techniques. To him it seemed a product of luck rather than skill that his katon technique had made contact with the rat and that it was enough to kill it. Not to mention there was the issue with how Kazuo's technique - whatever it was, specifically - had affected him; it was something that he immediately disliked and caused him to be a bit wary when it came to the new recruit. To an outsider he did fine in the fight, but the boy was always hard on himself and pushed himself to be better. It was one of the reasons he had gotten so powerful so quickly. Self-loathing was a great motivator.

The trio ventured farther and deeper into the Catacombs, and as they did the air around them shifted. One moment it was cold and clammy, the next it was almost uncomfortably warm and humid. The atmosphere felt unnatural to those astute enough to notice it, and it was accompanied by the sensation that the air was thick with power of an unknown source. It made the hairs on the back of Kotaru's neck stand on end, and though he was focused it still gave him a sense of unease deep in his gut. Finally when they entered a much narrower corridor with a low ceiling, just wide enough to allow the three of them to stand side by side if needed, he began to slow down and he landed softly, his shoulders immediately stiffening. "We're here."

As soon as the words left his mouth, the rock around them shifted, moving in and out rhythmically as if the walls were breathing. The jounin pressed forward, seemingly ignoring the strangeness of the moving walls. The corridor was several dozen meters long, and when they reached the end of it it opened, revealing an enormous cavern that was large enough to hold possibly a third or more of Iwagakure's above-ground facilities. They had stepped onto a cliff, and below them was a glowing, bustling collection of buildings and structures made of stone. A myriad of spirits floated, walked, and slithered along below, going about their business.

Kotaru let out a long sigh. "The spirit colony," he announced flatly, and he turned toward Kazuo and Koji to gauge their reactions. "They'll send something to greet us pretty soo-"

The boy was unceremoniously interrupted when something large and warm ran into him from behind. He'd have tumbled to the ground, face first, but he was caught by nearly a dozen glowing white-blue, slightly flattened balls, none of them larger than a tennis ball and all of them humming enthusiastically at him. They collectively bounced him in the air like a toy a few times as curses fell from his lips before they set him upright. Kotaru glared at the spirit for a moment, but then his gaze softened - slightly - when he recognized it. "Oh, it's you. Thanks for that."

There was more humming as the spirit orbs flashed in response, and half of them floated to Kazuo and Koji, circling their heads and tumbling over their skin and fur. They were cool to the touch now rather than warm, and to the shinobi and his wolf companion they would smell faintly sweet. "It's how they say hi. I think," Kotaru explained as one nestled itself in his hair. "I call them Janjanbi. I'm guessing they're our escorts for now." The orbs pulsed rapidly as if confirming, some of them floating a few meters to the left toward a pathway that led down to the colony.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruJouninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard]The Depths

Post by Sanjuro » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:19 pm

Kazuo rolled his eyes at the sass of the kid but otherwise ignored it. It was nothing he hadn't dealt with before, the Higurashi family wasn't a small one and he had plenty of cousins, nieces and nephews younger than him that all went or were going through the whole teen angst stage.

Following the path, he noticed immediately when the air started to shift. He adjusted his collar and pulled at the edges of his flak jacket to try and get a bit more air flow going. The change in the environment could be scented on the air. The musty smell was largely gone, replaced with something he didn't recognize, but it made his stomach churn for a minute at the suddenness of the shift. Koji's reaction was far more apparent, the wolf's maw revealed rows of sharp teeth in a snarl and he was hunched down, ready to pounce at any moment.

"Easy boy."

Kazuo crouched a little as they went into a much narrower tunnel than what they had been going through. It was tall enough that he wouldn't hit his head even if he did stand completely upright but it was low enough that the difference was palpable and it felt like he would smack his head even if he logically knew he wouldn't.

His discomfort only grew when the walls began to shift and writhe as if they were alive.

"Kotaru. What in the ever-loving fuck was that?"

He eyed the walls, muscles tense. His movement slowed to an almost crawl as he followed Kota who was apparently unaffected by the walls moving like they were in a bloody throat. Was that what this was? Were they walking to a giant mouth? Was this actually the throat and Kota was leading them into the belly of the beast, literally? Maybe he planned to sacrifice Kazuo and Koji to this spirit in return for whatever power the gem held? But then why had he also come down the mouth with them? A deal to let Kota out and leave the prey behind?

It was cruel, cunning, and cold. Kazuo eyed the back of the Jounin who had stopped ahead, wondering how best to deal with this sudden but inevitable betrayal, when he caught up and saw the cityscape below.

"… Well, damn." He eyed the myriad of strange creatures wandering about, as if they were people, going about their daily lives. "This doesn't look like you're feeding me to a monster. What the hell is this place?"

He heard something approaching from behind even as Kota was explaining the situation and spun around to greet whatever threat was coming at them. Koji, already on edge, dove for one of the creatures in the same moment it jumped at Kota but Kazuo quickly grabbed the wolf by the nape of the neck and fought to hold him in place.

"Look."

The pair watched in silent amazement as tiny blue balls moved of their own accord, bouncing Kota around like they were celebrating the kid's triumphant return. Kazuo tensed as they floated over towards him, doing his best to move out of the way of them, but when it became clear that Kota saw them as friends he begrudgingly allowed them to touch him. A chill ran down his spine as the cool sensation of whatever their form was made of ran over his skin but the tenseness in his shoulders quickly vanished.

"It's okay Koji. They're fine, I think. Just… don't eat them." He reached up and poked one that was floating nearby. It flashed in response and floated away, making Kazuo smirk a little. "Janjanbi, huh? Strange little buggers."
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow

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