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[BYOB] iron heights and sleepless nights

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It is often touted, with no small amount of truth, that idle hands are the devil’s plaything. It is equally true that idle hands beset with eldritch mouths are far more useful, especially to the devilish sort. Makaze’s labors yielded great fruit; a great many things coming to pass since his rousing battle in Lukka’Reccia and Little Busuzhima. For one thing: Entropy could dispatch a full squad once again—a feat thought nigh impossible with its two founders (Makaze’s mentors) absent. Makaze did not fret over his brother’s absence, Itazuki maintaining radio silence was par for the course. The fearsome terrorist was known to lay in wait for years waiting for the perfect time to strike, no doubt a trait he picked up from their sensei, Kaioru. 

 

No, the absence that ate at him (though not as ravenously as the gluttonous beast within) was Sekkendou’s. Kataki was Entropy’s co-founder and (in some weird way) Itazuki’s friend, but he was first and foremost Makaze’s squad-mate and team leader. He also happened to be the reason Makaze walked amongst the living again. His absence perplexed Makaze, but did not worry the hot blooded youth. If anyone could take care of themselves it was Kataki. 

 

The old hideout, once claimed by Kaioru, now repurposed as their base of operations remained cold despite be sweltering heat of the Izrali desert. One of the perks to being underground, perhaps? Makaze sat perched atop a large column formed in the shape of a large serpent preparing to strike. The rough hands of an artist prodded at his bandaged eye. The implant seemed to be working out. A kesshogan was such a rarity even amongst the Kuten syndicate, Makaze almost didn’t believe it when we found one amongst Kaioru’s specimen jars. 

 

With a device to regulate its activation, Makaze could now bear the pride of the Kūten clan and one of the most powerful dojutsu on the planet. 

 

There were other treasures of untold worth in Kaioru’s hideout, and more scattered throughout Valucre no doubt. With his body now accustomed to the kesshogan, Makaze could begin the reconstruction of the technique hidden within the sealed scroll. Doing so would require Makaze to employ every bit of his artistic talent, a challenge the brazen youth was prepared for. If it meant being capable of  rivaling his brother and Kataki in power, then it was worth  its cost.  

 

Dropping down from his perch, Makaze peeled away the bandage and affixed the regulator to his eye, its presence kept the Kesshogan in a surprised state to prevent it from sapping every last bit of Makaze’s energy. He’d gotten as far as he could in the scroll without the Kesshogan, but it was necessary to uncover the complex formulae hidden within the cypher. This is how true art unfolded, without ceremony, almost rote. The formula was no different than his clay. Encoded within his DNA was the genius needed to take the building blocks provided, a lump of mass without shape and create something beautiful. 

 

As he worked he spoke, his voice carrying throughout the confines of the hideout and to his compatriots. “The Merchant Princes are shitting themselves over this slavery business. Good opportunity for us. Nothing like a little chaos to kick things off...” 

 

Slender digits moved over the scroll, ice blue eyes scanning over the parchment. “We’re going to assault the village of Iron Bamboo, Kimpusen-ji. Since Itazuki planted the tree, we’ve barely been keeping it alive, it’s time we changed that. The tree needs energy, and the best way to make that happen is with violence...a lot of it. Kimpusen-ji, is home to some truly powerful individuals...the tree will thrive from their energy and we will too, by extension.”

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Cabeça De Satã

 

It odd entering the chilly confines of the underground base after walking through the broiling heat of the Izrali desert. From the moment he walked in it felt like all the heat had been drained from his body, and it took his eyes a moment to fully adjust to the darker environment. Still, cold as he was, he managed to stop himself from rubbing his arms in an attempt to warm himself up. The room was lined with statues of snakes in various positions, from coiled, to ready to strike. It was on one of the latter statues that he found Makaze perched upon as he walked into the chamber. Neither bothered to acknowledge the other, which was just fine with Hone. He wasn't overly fond of small talk, and preferred to get straight to the matter at hand.

Makaze himself seemed to also want to get right to the point, and quickly told them of their mission. An assault on Iron Bamboo, a difficult task to be undertaken by four people, or at least it would be for most. To Hone, it sounded like a great way to kill an afternoon; and to stave off boredom for a little while. Boredom was always a constant menace in his life, one that he hated more than anything. There were many ways to kill boredom, but the rush of a life and death battle was easily one of his favorites. Already he was itching to get out there and start the mission.

"Sounds fun. Let's go, right now. Why wait?"

 

Edited by danzilla3

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From within his own fortress, sealed in such a way to conceal him from the outside world. Something slowly crept forward. Disturbing was to him, as his goals were almost finding their culmination. For years within the shadows he crept, fulfilling the original goals that were sought after. Time would prove to be otherwise, as one of their own finally breached the gap into a conclave. 

From that intrusion came a realization. The past will always be something to rediscover, and old dogs don't lay down for long. It was time for Kataki to rejoin the fold. And to claim the control that was necessary for Entropy to thrive. It was time his years of research finally became useful. Originally, Kataki was tasked with a single favor. A request given to him by his long time friend and ally Itazuki. 

"Please, my brother. If at all ends, find the legendary weapons of lore. And help me rid this world of war." 

This was asked as Kataki thought his brother on his dying bed. In truth it was just the beginning. 

And so he hid himself away, researching, or rather just searching. Only after long did Kataki realize his search for the legendary weapons wasn't just for Entropy. But to bring his lost brother back. A feat he wasn't sure if he could accomplish. 

So for the second time, he hid himself away. Constantly searching for a way, a method. By then he had already heard about accolades pertaining to Itazuki. But Kataki knew deep down that was not his true brother, just a facsimile. Something his brother had just become. Not their true nature. 

Tirelessly he worked to obtain the exact information he needed. Living in the shadows, no contact with anyone was necessary. Years devoted to a single goal, to obtain the items necessary. And even in his expansive time, all Kataki could do was locate them. 

Though able to obtain one of the legendary weapons. Kataki as a living weapon himself found no use in it. Much rather he give the weapons away than to keep them. But that was the very reason Itazuki trusted him to collect the weapons. And now after all this time, he had identified nine of them. 

Now he just needed a team to procure them all. 

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Makaze’s fingers paused in their ministrations, long enough to roll the scroll up and deposit it into a sheath on his flak jacket. The seal was engraved in his memory now, several years worth of research and formulating finally brought to a close. Makaze quirked a brow at Hone’s impatience. “Because,” he intoned raising his palms before him. Two long tongues looked out to salivate before returning to their mouths. “They’re hungry and I need to pack.” 

 

Carrying two large pouches with him, Makaze moved across his work bench to a large sealed jar. Releasing the seals, Makaze pried the jar open and began filling his pouches with clay. The purity of his explosive clay was a matter of pride and not something accomplished without considerable effort on his behalf. Once the bags were full, Makaze fastened them to his hips and donned his cloak. 

 

“Kimpusen-ji is said to be home to several powerful monks, some of white have been given distinction by the Kuten syndicate. We want to make sure we’re engaging with high quality stock and not mindless cannon fodder.”

 

Fastening his cloak shut, Makaze nodded his head. “Okay, now we can go. Tenju and Izanagi are still recouping from the mission in Little Busuzhima.”

The Kesshogan alerted him to another presence, a minor disruption in the atmosphere. This would have been completely imperceptible without Makaze’s connection to Kaioru’s seals. “Hone...” Makaze said softly, slipping his hands into the pouches at his hips. “Get behind me.”

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Hone glanced at the figure that had entered the chamber, regarding him with curiosity before Makaze instructed him to get behind him. The rouge shinobi obeyed, and flipped through the air to stand a few meters behind his friend. Once out of the way, he flicked open the ring on his finger and cut himself enough to draw a small bit of blood. Weaving the required handsigns in a few seconds, he slammed his hands down on the ground, and a cloud of smoke erupted into the air. Once the smoke cleared, he was standing atop a massive creature that regarded the unknown visitor with a quiet intensity.

HILIGHT

"Are we fighting now? Just tell me when, Makaze."

If this visitor was enough to put even Makaze ill at ease, then the man must have been quite powerful and dangerous. But then the two of them were also powerful and dangerous. Faintly in the back of his mind he was split between wanting the fight to happen, and wanting it to be averted. If they did fight, it would be a fun way to kill some time before the mission. On the other hand, a fight between the three of them would probably level the base, and it would be a real chore to find a new one. 

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Although apparently identified, a voice rang out from the shadows of the cavernous chamber underground. "If you've come for the weapon, I'm afraid I can't give it to you, Makaze. It isn't yours, and you've already pilfered enough." Kataki was currently in a position imperceptible to either of them, even with all the grandstanding. They had detected his presence, but the ability to track him beyond that was nil. 

This was Kataki's home for quite a few years, to enter it so brazenly was a fools errand. Moving within the shadows Kataki split himself into three, a maneuver taught at even the basic level. With that in mind he landed before both Makaze and his rather large friend about forty feet away and stood. Two versions of Kataki stood back focused, gathering chakra, while another stepped forward toward Makaze closing the distance about five feet. 

"You can take what you want from here, I don't need it. But if you're after the Scythe of Aura you can't have it. It isn't meant for you. None of your art or explosives are going to matter here. So walk away with what you've gained. And don't come back." 

Finally Kataki looked at Makaze with his own doujutsu. Reading, and seeing. "If it's a fight you want, I suggest you make the first move." 

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Makaze’s brow lifted upward in surprise, only to fade to a seemingly pleasant disposition.

“Kataki, my man!” Makaze tilted his head in greeting to his former partner. “Hone, this is Kataki one of Entropy’s founding members...like me...but more uptight.”

The youth’s good natured laugh grew quiet at Kataki’s words, prompting him to level a testy glare in the masked man’s general direction.

direction.

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“Easy on the threats, bro. Kaioru-sensei gave his hideouts to all of Entropy when he joined. Finders keepers, losers weepers no jutsu doesn’t apply here.” Widening his stance, Makaze let the indignation he felt permeate into the time of his voice. “And I don’t know anything about any weapons...which isn’t surprising. You and Itazuki aren’t exactly open about your babysitters club meetings.”

Removing his hands from his pouches, Makaze pondered where the was ready to use the new sealing technique. Was Kataki even serious at the moment? If his former partner desired a true fight then, Makaze would have to pull out all the stops...but that would very likely mean destroying the hideout and he surrounding countryside. The youth opted to wait, finding discretion to be the better part of valor, at least for the moment.

“Entropy’s current goal is feeding the Demon Seed. It was Itazuki’s last order before he disappeared....again.” Lips curled into a grin as Makaze cut a wide smile. “Unless you’re just looking to knock some of the rust off those old joints...”

“Stay back for this, Hone.” Makaze warned his comrade with an outstretched arm. “ I wanna see if my old partner still has what it takes for proper villainy. Old folks are the first to go soft, ya know?”

 

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Stretching his arms out Makaze uncurled his fingers just in time for the mouths to vomit a continuous stream of white ichor from their lips. Upon touching the ground the puddles of clay solidified and formed two large misshapen figures. Several toddling steps led them towards Kataki before they started running steadily, intent on colliding with the masked shinobi.

“You remember these?”  

Edited by paradigm

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A founding member? Hone supposed that meant that there probably wasn't going to be a fight; which was disappointing because it finally seemed like something interesting was going to happen. But then Makaze told him to stand back and watch as he fought the other member! Irritation welled up within the masked man, but he managed to keep from lashing out. Since Makaze had called dibs, it would be rude for him to butt in. Besides, this, "Old Guy," sounded tough, and he only rarely saw his friend and leader go all out in a fight. Perhaps it wouldn't be completely boring.

"Right. Ok. But don't take all day. All this inactivity makes my skin itch."

Hone sat down on his summoned beast, crossing his legs as he settled in to watch the fight. He probably should have just dismissed the thing, but they tended to get irritable when they were summoned only to be dismissed so quickly.

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