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Talthanus had been a frequent haunt of Eiji's before the Whispernight had destroyed it and so much else. After a successful job, he would come here and partake of some of the cities finest narcotics; which he was happy to share with the women he picked up. His unique physiology ensured that he never had to worry about addiction, so he was free to have as much fun as he liked and never worry about the consequences. The cities fall had come as a great disappointment to him; especially coming on the heels of finding out about the destruction of Telerian. It had brought a smile to his face when he had learned that many of the hippies that had populated the city were still there, hoping to ride out the disaster.

Recent events had left him far to busy to drop in and see what had changed until a rumor had crossed his desk when he had been researching the Whispernight. Tales of a super drug that turned men into berserkers; increasing strength and speed while dulling pain. It had occurred to him that such a drug, with a few tweaks, would be of great use to soldiers. As it happened, he had a branch head he wanted to break in, so this was perfect.

Aegis Rishagi was a ronin of great renown who Eiji had sought to oversee the Warfare Branch of his clan. The man had been reluctant at first, fearing that his reputation would prove burdensome to the clan. Eiji had managed to convince him otherwise, and now they navigated through the overgrown path leading to the city. 

@Djinn&Juice @Twitterpated

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He had heard tales from his father about this place, and the disasters that transpired. He could practically smell the decay as they neared the bloated corpse of a once grand city. Aegis looking at the crumbling peaks of buildings and tumultuous overgrowth that has exhumed the natural order through the streets with trees and roots alike. There was a sadness knowing such destruction likely cost many lives...but it was hard to ignore the rebirth that flourished around them. Nature taking it's place once more. Aegis lifting up a finger to greet a single monarch that took rest upon his index for a solitary moment before briskly flying away. 

"I imagine if you have brought me along that this must have something to do with our burgeoning forces; If i'm overseeing The Warfare Branch than I seek to do so to the best of my abilities. The Rishagi had their own Shinobi in times that required espionage, but we were tacticians and swordsman above all else" He explained "Whatever means I can impart onto the clan I will, but that still begs the question of the importance in our journey here Sensei" He knew a battlefield and it's tools well, but fell short when it came to secrecy and espionage. If Eiji knew Aegis skills as he said he did than there was vital reasoning for him to come along. 

The shift in the air almost palpable as they reached the city limits; the air here didn't feel right to him and so he ingrained his senses to their surroundings. His eyes becoming lower to the ground as he took on a defensive stance. His right hand resting on the handle of his katana with preparation. 

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"War is our purpose here; not waging it, but preparing for it."

The same sense of unease that hit Rishagi was felt by Eiji as well; though he kept his hands by his sides while mentally preparing for whatever might come next. Firsthand accounts from those who had visited the city since its fall suggested that Talthanus wasn't as bad off as some of the other places that had fallen to the Whispernight. Undead presence was minimal, but many came here to try to obtain drugs they could sell for a profit elsewhere. While most of them were content to mind their own business, some of these explorers were more hostile; attacking others for whatever they carried. 

"There is said to be a drug here that can greatly enhance a warriors combat ability," he explained, "Such a thing, once properly refined, would be of great use to our soldiers."

A rustling of the undergrowth caused him to snap his head to its source. Shambling out of an alley were a small horde of undead, no more than twelve; their eyes vacant, and their mouths open in a perpetual rasping moan. The leader of the pack, a man who seemed to have died fairly recently pulled ahead of his fellows. Eiji signaled for Rishagi to hold position, and waited for the creature to come closer; thumb pushing his sword ever so slightly out of its sheathe. Once the zombie was within range, he drew his sword in a flash, and brought it down in a vertical cut. The creature split in half with a sickening squelch, and the other undead kept right on coming.

"Fall back a little," Eiji gave the order calmly, "Hopefully you draw a few off, and we can divide and conquer. If they don't, then wait for a moment, then hit them from their flank."

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"I suspect our preparation will in itself attract conflict" He said with a sniff of the air; eyes of a hound stripping the environment for any anomalies. Paranoia a trait he had picked up on the long walks between towns, having to sleep without fire and an eye ever vigilant. One had to be prepared against both monster and mundane. "A drug you say? Enhancements do possess their own strategic advantage, but I'd sooner rely on my sword arm than any opiate. Will it have advers-" His voice cutting itself off as a rustling caused the two to snap toward it's source with unmitigated attention. Whispernight was a place Aegis had only traveled within a couple of times; being hired as a guide for researchers and pillagers alike. The undead were almost common place among the ruination the once mystifying realm had. 

Aegis took an unknown stance where Eiji' signal kept him, readying himself for the upcoming battle these creatures would bring. Their incessant need for flesh drawing them toward any life that dared cross their path. They were a slow shambling force, but he wouldn't underestimate the abhorrent fixation they had on pure hunger. They were as dangerous as any warrior. Eiji proving to be more skilled however, as his blade unfurled with impending grace and bisecting the monster into two halves that collapsed to the ground. It's unholy kin continuing to march without fear...simply..hungry
The Ronin nodded and began to step in a sideways direction adjacent from Eiji as he narrowed his gaze to the last few in the pack. This luckily not being his first encounter with the residents here, and having a bit of a trick. Aegis kept one hand hovering over his sheathe while he rose the other to his mouth and bit his thumb with a sharp canine...causing several beads of crimson to well up and it was as though he had lit a flame. Four of them immediately catching the scent of fresh blood and moving toward the other morsel in their sights. 

The bait had worked at least

He waited until they were mere feet away from with gangly arms outstretched, desperate to tear and rend. His blade flashing with similar speed as it separated A head from it's shoulders. Eiji now seeing what Aegis called his Tenkai for the first time. A blade possessing scrawling across silvery metal that strangely ran along visible cracks. The cracks shimmering with each swing he took, managing to split one in half horizontally and kick it's torso into the back of the pack. Two had been dispatched and he immediately leaped back several feet and sheathed his sword once more. His stance now much lower as he watched the remaining three...waiting for his moment to strike...

Their shambling inconsistent and without pattern, but he just needed a solitary moment when they were...in a line...The moment presenting itself as they came at him with macabre motivation. Aegis unsheathing his blade with speed, and used the momentum to throw it. the cracks along it's blade glowing bright now as his outstretched hand was pulled behind it with an unseen force. His form following sweet as the blade flung forward and pierced through the head of the first in it's row; Aegis slamming his feet back onto the ground and gripping the handle once more and with an almost declarative demand to the sword directly; he forced the blade through the remaining two behind the initial target and skewering all three. 

"Tenkai Korosu!"

Edited by Djinn&Juice

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Eiji had a moment to see Rishagi in action before his own opponents were bearing down on him; hands outstretched, mouths hanging open. Bringing his sword upwards, he severed the arms of the lead zombie at the elbow before striking head from neck. Seizing the now dead body by its shirt, he pushed it forward, and into the ghoul behind it before thrusting his sword through them both, and then turning the edge of his blade up and tearing it out through the top of the two bodies. By this time one of the creatures had gone around the stacked corpses, and he turned to the side and split the thing in half. Sensing one approaching from behind, he lashed out with his elbow to push it back before turning and slicing its head in half horizontally.

With only two left, it was a trivial matter to dispatch the remaining ghouls. Cleansing his blade of the foul blood covering it, he returned it to its sheathe and looked to his Warchief. The man seemed to have handled his own foes quite easily, and he nodded in approval before inspecting the bodies. 

"These haven't been dead long," he spoke as he searched the bodies, "Decomposition hasn't set in too badly yet. Bite marks on the backs, shoulders and necks. If I had to guess, I'd say they were ambushed from behind and overwhelmed."

Poking through the shredded clothing, he found a blood soaked patch that depicted a screeching bird of prey. In the same corpses pockets he found a piece of parchment with a drawing of a plant on it.

"Warbirds," he noted, "Mercenaries. Cheap ones. After the same thing we are by the looks of it."

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