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Hikari Kobayashi
Hikari Kobayashi
Genin
Genin
Stat Page : Hikari Kobayashi
Mission Record : The Kobayashi Records
Genjutsu Remove Jikūjutsu Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Clan Specialty : Genjutsu
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 500

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Mon Nov 13, 2023 10:28 am
[E-Rank] Anchoring Oneself
[D-Rank] Exploring Your World
[C-Rank] Finding Monsters
[B-Rank] Giving Form to the Formless
[A-Rank] Nightmares Have Dreams
[S-Rank] Nightmarish Avatar, Devourer of Dreams

Total Ryo Reward: 38,750 Ryo
Total AP Reward: 192 AP
Total Dream Tokens: 100 DTs + Dream Waiver
Total WC Required: 15,500 WC

Human Form/Present Appearance:

As Hikari felt herself fall asleep, she could feel the veil weakening still further than where they had left off. Weak enough for her to begin exploring and thus a very uncanny situation arose as she felt herself floating around in the space around her. Surely there was more to come from this as she felt herself just mentally existing in nothing. Eventually, her thoughts formed herself as she was normally claiming herself before finding her own footsteps on the floor clicked. Before her tile began to form below her into a massive stained glass platform, the village of Kumogakure's symbol was etched into the stained glass with it divided into two, one side pictured her own 'human' form and the other her kitsune form. There were choices to be made and she accepted herself now more than ever. She knew who she was and what she wanted now but there was a time and place for decisions, this was not the time nor place.

She felt herself beginning to fall through the platform shattering the glass as she landed with her head hitting a table. A table out of nowhere as she collected herself, finding herself in the village's academy through a rendering of it. Books laid out as she stood initially alone. She could see the back of the classroom opened to an ethereal sight as in the distance a massive sprawling village could be seen in the weaves of dreams before her. Her sight was playing tricks on her surely but before she could ascertain what fully was happening, Hikari knew that her vision must have been fine, afterall... she did not need her glasses. She blinked rapidly as she looked in the world without the need of her glasses as she began to explore around her seeking to find out more of what the world was. As she approached the door, she opened to an empty space before her. Thankfully she had not taken a step but she imagined and dreamed of the floor being there and slowly wisps of the Dreamscape Sea formed into the walkway she conjured up in her mind as she began to look for others. "Hello!?" She shouted out trying to see if anyone could hear her as she began to wander the halls of the... academy? Thunderpeak Campus? She was not sure anymore as her dreams and thoughts came alive.

WC: 400, TWC: 400 | TMWC: 400 / 15,500
Hibiki Sato
Hibiki Sato
Genin
Genin
Stat Page : Nightmare Circus

Mission Record : Mission Records
Iryōjutsu Bukijutsu Puppetry Remove Remove Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Clan Specialty : Clanless
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 10925

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty Re: First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Mon Nov 13, 2023 12:36 pm
[E-Rank] Anchoring Oneself
[D-Rank] Exploring Your World
[C-Rank] Finding Monsters
[B-Rank] Giving Form to the Formless
[A-Rank] Nightmares Have Dreams
[S-Rank] Nightmarish Avatar, Devourer of Dreams

Total Ryo Reward: 38,750 Ryo
Total AP Reward: 192 AP
Total Dream Tokens: 100 DTs + Dream Waiver
Total WC Required: 15,500 WC

Hibiki took a final deep breath before laying down to fall asleep and enter the Land of Nightmares. He had spent the day with his family, doing chores and helping out where he could. He told them he would be going on a mission and could be away for a few days. He didn’t have the heart to tell them he was entering the Land of Nightmares to try and help fight the force causing all the trouble in the village. They wouldn’t understand, and their love for him make do everything in their power to stop him. Hibiki didn’t think he could go through with the mission is his mother begged him to stop with tears in her eyes. It was better they didn’t know, and it was something Hibiki knew he had to do to help his village and his family. If someone can do good and help another then they should do their best to do so. That’s what Hibiki believed, and yet there was still doubt as he drifted off to sleep. Hibiki opened his eyes and was aware that a great change had occurred, though at first, he was unable to place it. He then realised he seemingly had no form and felt as though he was talking to himself within his own mind, but he had taken on the role of the disembodied voice. He lifted his hands, or at least the space where he felt his arms should be and tried to picture them as they slowly formed seemingly from the aether followed by the rest of his body. He wondered what else he could do and willed his arms to turn purple, and they shifted in colour before he imagined himself as a puppet version of himself and the change occurred. He tested his limbs and imagined he was pulling his own strings, and found himself able to move as easily as he had any puppet he controlled. As he moved, his body clicked and whirred as the imaginary mechanisms seemingly responded as his imagination filled in the gaps. “Cool!”

Hibiki heard a voice call out as though from a great distance, it sounded very familiar. He turned towards the location of the voice. It came from beneath him and he spotted a door seemingly lying on the floor. He knew the door well as it led to the academy, yet it was chipped and splintered, the pain peeling even as he watched it. Hibiki reached for the handle and turned it, feeling the coarse roughness of the metal on his skin. It seemed that despite appearances, he still felt like a normal person and should assume he would be hurt like one, even if he did look like a ninja puppet. Hibiki paused before fully opening the door, wary of a trap. He made the seal of Rat and Dog and was relieved as he was able to pull forth Jorogumo and made it open the door and step in first, just in case something was awry. The door opened into the halls of the academy and Hibiki spotted Hikari at the other end of the hall. "Hey Hikari senpai, is that really you?” He leaned past the puppet that stood a good two heads taller than himself, revealing a wooden puppet facsimile of Hibiki’s appearance, even down to the uncanny lines that formed the mouth, the segments of his fingers and the clicking noise he made as he moved. “ I sure hope it’s really you, don’t think I would enjoy fighting something that looked like my friend.” The Hibiki puppet paused and cocked his head “Or I suppose the real Hikari would say colleague or team mate.” He looked around the hallways at the peeling walls and paint. “Doesn’t look good huh, guessing you haven’t found anyone else here yet? Maybe we should have agreed to imagine the same place huh?”


WC:652 - TWC: 652 - TMWC: 1052/15500
Minami Outomo
Minami Outomo
Genin
Genin
Stat Page : The Lonely Giantess

Health: 300
Total AP: 919
Vigor: 40
Chakra: 71
Speed: 135
Strength: 25
Mission Record : Mission Log
Bukijutsu Remove Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Clan Specialty : Genjutsu
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 104500

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty Re: First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Mon Nov 13, 2023 1:46 pm
Human Form/Present Appearance:


While You Read:


Meanwhile, elsewhere in the aetherial sea woven together by the endless expanse of the imaginary...

Dreams are one of life's many great mysteries, and yet, not one has managed to spelunk deep beneath its intradermal to understand its nature. While methods vary between cultures and practices, ranging from the use of the scientific method and experimentation to more spiritual means such as meditation and divination, in an attempt to comprehend their true nature and what mankind can make out of it. This is especially true when it comes to lucid dreaming, a practice that involves entering a state of conscious awareness within a dream. While this may seem like nothing more than a fun way to explore one's imagination, it can actually be used to gain insight into one's subconscious mind and even help solve problems in reality.

However, there is another aspect of lucid dreaming that has been long forgotten: the ability to enter the boundless transcendent that bridges the waking world and the sleeping realm: the Dreamscape Sea. It is here where dreams are born from the collective unconsciousness of all living beings on Earth. Akin to an ecosystem intricately weaving between one another, each dreamer creates their own little world within the sea, shaping and altering it to suit their needs and desires. Some are simple and mundane while others are complex and fantastical.

But what happens when two or more people with conflicting ideals meet? What happens when their dreams clash or intertwine? What happens when they fight for supremacy over the other's world? The answer is simple: a war of attrition. The stronger dreamer will eventually overwhelm the weaker one until there is nothing left but a husk of what once was. However, if both parties are equally matched in power, then it becomes a game of wits and strategy as they try to outmaneuver each other in order to gain control over the other's world. Ceteris paribus, while still operating under the influence of their unconsciousness.

This is exactly what happens to Ōtomo Minami, succumbing to the natural fatigue of her body and her conscience whisking her away into the custody of the ethereal realm. She finds herself floating amidst an infinite sea of stars, each one representing a different dream or thought that existed within this plane. Some are small and insignificant while others are large and imposing, but all had their place here. As she drifts along the currents of this strange place, she begins to notice something strange about one particular star: it appears to be growing larger as she approaches it. Upon closer inspection, she realizes that it was actually getting closer to her rather than the opposite.

But before she can make sense of this bizarre phenomenon, the star suddenly bursts open like a flower in bloom, revealing a massive swirling vortex of energy within its center. It's unlike anything she had ever seen before and yet there's something strangely familiar about it... Almost like a memory from long ago that she couldn't quite recall. The vortex begins pulling her towards it with incredible force, threatening to drag her into oblivion if she doesn't do something soon. She tries desperately to resist but finds herself powerless against its might. Just as she's about to give up hope, a voice calls out to her from somewhere within the depths of the void:

"Don't be afraid."

The voice sounds so familiar yet distant at the same time; almost like an echo reverberating through time itself. She feels a strange sense of comfort wash over her as she listens to its soothing tones, allowing her mind to relax and focus on nothing else but what lies ahead of her. As she enters the swirling vortex, everything around her fades away into darkness and silence, leaving only the sound of her own heartbeat pounding in her ears. She feels herself falling deeper and deeper until finally, she reaches the bottom of this abyss where she finds herself standing in front of a massive door made entirely out of pure energy. There's no handle or lock to be seen anywhere upon its surface, yet somehow she knows that it will open if she simply wills it to do so... So that's exactly what she does.

As soon as she opens the door, a blinding white light engulfs her vision, forcing her to shield her eyes instinctively. When the light finally dims, she finds herself surrounded by an endless expanse of nothingness. No stars or galaxies... save for two celestial bodies communing a stone's throw away and immediately recognizing one of the two present.

"Hikari...?" She murmurs, believing her subconscious to be playing tricks with the goal of further wresting control from her. Nevertheless, like the opposing poles of two magnets, she feels drawn to them in spite of her doubts. "Hikari!" She calls out again, this time more confidently, and within only the first couple of steps, the distance between herself and them closes in moments. Although, this comes as no concern to the older kitsune. "Fancy seeing you here in... whatever this place is called. My mind's done a pretty good job recalling your image down to the last hair on your head." She then looks toward herself, wearing the same old striped dress and brown booties. "And just about the same as ever... but, I don't recall seeing you before you, though," Her gaze fixates on the additional company in their retinue.

Perhaps a figment of her imagination or a projection from an unknowing person prior in the background of life? There's only one way to find out. She shifts her gaze back to the younger lady and gestures with an open hand in his direction.

"A friend of yours, maybe?"


WC: 959
TWC: 959/3,875
TMWC: 2,011/15,500


Last edited by Minami Outomo on Mon Nov 13, 2023 6:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added ambience for the reader's pleasure + Grammatical changes and fixes)
Jun Shibasaki
Jun Shibasaki
Chunin
Chunin
Stat Page : Databook.
Remove Ninjutsu Remove Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 183470

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty Re: First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Thu Nov 16, 2023 10:11 am
It has been a few days since Jun first trip to the Land of Nightmares. He couldn't get out of his head what he experienced on his journey during a quick nap at the Kumo Fried Chicken. He could feel the corruption spreading to a once majestic realm, with the sweet dreams captured, tortured and executed by whoever was behind this madness. The damage to the realm was so severe that even the very fabric of it was teared, allowing the nightmarish creatures to escape it and materialize in the Realm of Reality, creating chaos and havoc all around. As terrifying as it was, Jun had to return there… perhaps this time he could be more than a simple observer to being able to actually do something.  

Lying down on his simple futon, Jun closed his eyes, allowing the darkness to envelop him. His breathing slowed, and his consciousness began to drift away from the tangible world. As he descended into the realm of dreams, the transition was seamless at first. The familiar sights and sounds of Kumogakure blurred and melted away, replaced by an otherworldly landscape that seemed to twist and contort with each passing moment.

The transition was subtle at first, with the colors of reality bleeding into surreal hues. The moon above took on a sickly pallor, casting an unsettling glow on the landscape. Shadows danced across the ground like malevolent spirits, and the air itself seemed to thicken with a sense of foreboding. Jun felt a shiver run down his spine, a premonition that this dream was unlike any he had experienced before. Suddenly, the floor he was standing simply disappeared, and the young Shibasaki clansman started descending through what seemed like an endless abyss. He kept falling and falling and falling until finally he could see from afar lingering lights beneath him.

And in a blink of an eye, he was suddenly elsewhere. He was sitting in a chair, in the middle of a room fool of mirrors, and there was a door right in front of him. As he stood up and went for the door, he realized that the reflections on the mirror weirdly kept seated at the chair just like he was moments ago. “What the…” before he could finish his thought, he opened the door and took a step forward, almost falling into an abyss, losing his balance and having to return to the mirror room with a small jump. This next room was just empty, with the floor gone and a dark and clouded abyss beneath Jun. He could see that on the other end of this empty room, there was another door, and he could hear what sounded like voices coming from there. “A bridge here would be nice… I don’t know how I’m crossing this…” again, before finishing his thought, Jun was once more surprised as a bright silver bridge emerging from the abyss as if it was levitating, connecting the entrance of the room and the other door.

Jun, still a little suspicious, walked very carefully across the silver bridge to the other door without any scares or surprised. He opened this other door and found himself in a new room, with the other Kumon Shinobis he was with during the Nightmare creature battle: Hikari, Hibiki (in a sort of puppet version of himself) and Minami.

“Well, hello there… It seems like the party is back together!” he smiled toward the rookies, happy to see some familiar faces, and he stepped further into the room as he continued to talk. “Well, the place seems very different from my last visit… any clues on where we should head next?”




WC: 610
Hikari Kobayashi
Hikari Kobayashi
Genin
Genin
Stat Page : Hikari Kobayashi
Mission Record : The Kobayashi Records
Genjutsu Remove Jikūjutsu Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Clan Specialty : Genjutsu
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 500

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty Re: First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Thu Nov 16, 2023 11:41 am
Seeing everyone gathered from before, Hikari gave a small laugh at Hibiki's commentary about her choice in vocabulary alongside Minami's remembrance of Hibiki. Jun joined in as usual as well the last to arrive however always the first to jump in. It was nice getting more acclimated to the others as the world was becoming more chaotic for herself and others. Adjusting herself and her composure, Hikari looked around the hallway of what she surmised to finally be the Thunderpeak Campus. When her thought locked in, the scenery adjusted ever so slightly to accommodate the idea. This gave Hikari some thoughts on how to proceed but they needed some sort of direction and thus when Jun spoke aloud, “Well, the place seems very different from my last visit… any clues on where we should head next?” Hikari turned towards one end of the hall as it faded from view or better said, faded into the sea of dreams before them, no end in sight, yet only the beginning of an entry present.

"First I think we should assess the fact that we all are here together. It is great to see and affirm that we are all friendly faces here since otherwise, this encounter would be quite unfortunate for us all. If we dream and coordinate our thoughts together, we can likely use the collective capacity of each other to help form a pathway for us to continue the investigation into finding out more of what is going on." Hikari began rambling once more given the chance. Pointing towards the dark, more sinister portion of the space, Hikari shook her head and gave a nodding gesture towards it, "That is likely the path we need to go through, though our thoughts currently are not thinking of a destination in mind. Thus, we should be conjuring the darkest parts of our... nightmares... to hopefully help form a collective path toward whoever is causing the Land of Dreams to be like this." She continued hesitating a bit on the word 'nightmares'. "As such I propose the following conjecture on how best to operate here. Collective dreams might guide our path but if we stray in our thoughts it may pull the dreamscape we are currently a part of apart. We should maintain a degree of familiarity with each other to avoid such an outcome."

Once the thought was present, Hikari began forward, looking towards the creeping darkness before beginning to think of Kumogakure proper. Slowly the scene transitioned away from the halls of Thunderpeak and rain began to form lightly on the shoulders of the kitsune as she stepped out onto a street. There was no one else in sight and her brain began to process how the four of them operated under the circumstances yet it appeared no one else thus far had materialized before them. That was when her ears perked up a bit. She could hear the screech of a beast within the distance. Turning to the others, "It appears we are not fully alone. It does not seem unreasonable to consider that we may be the only four presently together but the monsters we have faced might make an appearance." She added in before forming some handseals, waiting to make the last one. "A fight is likely inevitable to consider, be prepared and ready!" She shouted looking outward toward the various streets that began to coalesce from the ethereal dream matter that made up the area as beasts slowly became visible down the paths. In the end, more came from behind the group making it where 4 paths merged upon them.

As the paths took the cardinal directions, it made it easy to adjust and accommodate the group as various small creatures began to lunge towards them and roil against the scenery. With no villagers to get into the crossfire, the group was able to address the creatures in whatever way they wanted. As such, Hikari with her seals prepared did her final one before a stream of fire formed into a fireball being launched towards the eastern path. Without further comment at this time, it was a matter of dealing with the monsters first before anything else could happen.

WC: 700, TWC: 1,100 | TMWC: 3,321 / 15,500
Minami Outomo
Minami Outomo
Genin
Genin
Stat Page : The Lonely Giantess

Health: 300
Total AP: 919
Vigor: 40
Chakra: 71
Speed: 135
Strength: 25
Mission Record : Mission Log
Bukijutsu Remove Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Clan Specialty : Genjutsu
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 104500

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty Re: First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Mon Nov 20, 2023 2:33 pm
It looks like everyone from the aforementioned retinue of the previous Dreams-into-Nightmares incident has all fused together in the same Dreamscape subspace. Another ethereal door reveals their fourth host, a boy who looks, relative to herself, no shorter than at least a foot tall, looks to be in his mid-teens with unkempt blonde hair, a set of baby blue eyes, and a pale complexion. Moreover, his clothing isn't something one would commonly find in another traditional Kumo-nin, or conventionally at all, which certainly adds to the appeal of his character. However, it does rouse her brow to rise and her lips to curl a little when he mentions the "party's back together" and whether or not Hikari may have mentioned in passing during the events that transpired or he simply referred to the other two in tow.

By and by, she gestures with an open hand and waves in his general direction. "Hey, I don't believe I've had the pleasure of meeting you before, but I see all of you are well acquainted with each other, at least. Ōtomo Minami. That would be me, of course." She bows slightly in his general direction. With likely the final introduction out of the way and subsequent pleasantries, she attunes her attention to the auburn-haired kunoichi—while Minami adjusts her posture and sits cross-legged—and her breakdown on their current situation, recommendations to keep one another tethered, and finally, the plan of approach moving forward to finally quell this hellish nightmare once and for all.

"Well then..." she trails off as she gets back on her feet, reflexively dusting her dress off in the process before shortly realizing the concept of "dust" in a bottomless void seems a little funny for her mind to assume. "I suppose we ought to get started then. Lead the way, Hika-chan." And lead she does, with Minami following in tow relatively south-east during the stride through the nebulous space. The Dreamscape Sea is quite an interesting place, to say the least. It's a vast expanse of ethereal matter that comprises endless dreamscapes and subspace pockets that are constantly shifting and changing into different forms and shapes at a moment's notice.

So when Hikari wills the subspace around her to emulate the village of Kumogakure, conjuring up scenes and sceneries that she's familiar with, it's not too much of a stretch for Minami to perceive them as real, albeit bizarre and surreal. But what's even weirder is that there's no one else here besides themselves. The streets are devoid of any life, no people or animals roaming about... simply the reverberating pitter-patters of rainfall. And when the beasts begin to emerge in the distance, Minami doesn't even need to be told to get ready. She simply draws her tanto from its sheath and takes a defensive stance, prepared to strike at a moment's notice.


While You Read:


How fortuitous that the paths these creatures came from adjust themselves to become uniform such that they adopted cardinal directions for each available member to engage with their respective hellspawns. This suits Minami quite nicely, knowing, especially, that she won't have to take into consideration the possibility of civilian casualties and the probability of friendly fire. Across from her, 15 meters down the straight street, a tear in the subspace fabric reveals a massive creature with an amalgamation of various animal parts: the head of a lion, the body of a bear, the tail of a scorpion, and the hind legs of a wolf. It roars ferociously and charges towards her at full speed with its maw wide open, ready to devour her whole.

"I got my eye on this one," she calls out to Hikari as she readies herself for its charge. The Chimera roars ferociously and lunges towards her at breakneck speed. Minami's eyes narrow and her grip on the handle of her blade tightens as she prepares to strike. She waits until the creature is within striking distance before dashing forward to meet it. Their bodies collide with a resounding thud that echoes through the streets, sending faint ripples throughout the subspace. The beast reels back and howls in pain as it clutches its face with one of its paws as blood seeps from between its fingers and drips onto the floor.

The chimera's tail begins to glow a fiery red color as it whips around behind it before launching a volley of scorpion-like stings towards her. Minami nimbly dodges each one by weaving side to side, ducking under some and leaping over others. The stings strike the ground where she was standing moments ago and leave deep craters in their wake. She continues to weave and dodge until the barrage finally ceases. The creature roars again as it lunges once more, this time swiping at her with one of its massive paws. Minami parries the blow with her tanto and counters with a slash across its arm.

She follows up with another series of slashes, each one aimed at different parts of its body: its chest, its abdomen, its legs, its face. She strikes fast and hard, her blade cutting through flesh like butter as blood sprays from each wound. The chimera cries out in pain as it tries to defend itself but is unable to keep up with her speed and ferocity. It eventually falls to its knees as Minami delivers one final strike to the back of its neck, severing its head clean off. The beast's body collapses lifelessly onto the ground and begins to dissolve into a black mist before dissipating completely.

Minami stands over the fallen creature and sheaths her blade, satisfied with her victory. "That takes care of that," She says with a smirk as she turns around and before she walks away from the scene of battle. Another resounding, bestial cry tremors the "earth" she stands. Turning to face the still undulating rift in space-time, she notices that another beast has appeared from within it. This time, it's a massive, serpentine creature with the head of a dragon and the body of a snake. It slithers towards her at great speed, its massive form coiling around itself and leaving deep furrows in its wake.

"Oh, you've got to be kidding me..." Minami mutters under her breath as she prepares for round two against this monstrosity. The serpent rears its head back before lunging forward with its maw wide open, ready to devour her whole. She dashes forward to meet it head-on once more—grabbing a handful of the previously dug-in stingers of the prior chimera while she maneuvers past it—quickly reimagines their shape to that of a senbon to easily fit between the gaps of her fingers and throws them at the incoming beast.

The senbons pierce the beast's hide and embed themselves deep within its flesh. The creature recoils in pain as it tries to shake off the newfound stingers but is unable to do so. Minami takes advantage of this opportunity by rushing forward and leaping onto its back. She grabs hold of one of the senbons embedded in its hide and uses it as leverage to pull herself up onto its back. She then begins slashing at its body with her blade, cutting through its thick skin like butter as blood seeps from each wound. The serpent writhes and thrashes about, trying to throw her off, but she manages to keep her grip on it despite the turbulence.

"Hold still, you overgrown worm!" She shouts as she continues her assault on the creature. Eventually, her efforts pay off and the beast falls lifelessly onto the ground before dissolving into a black mist that dissipates soon after. Minami stands over the fallen creature and sheaths her blade, satisfied with her victory yet again. "That takes care of that... and it better be the last." She says with a smirk as she turns around and makes her way to aid the remaining three in their bout. Then, another ear-splitting bellow tremors the subspace once more, which causes her ears to perk up in alarm.

Turning to face the sundered maw of space-time, she notices that yet another beast has appeared from within it—a massive, hulking creature with the head of a wolf, the body of a bear, and the fin of a shark. It stomps towards her at great speed, its massive form shaking the ground with each step it takes. "... I hate it here." She huffs in exasperation as she prepares for round three against this monstrosity. The beast roars ferociously before lunging forward with its maw wide open, ready to devour her whole. She dashes forward to meet it head-on once more and—like before—throws a barrage of makeshift senbons at its incoming maw.

The senbons pierce the flesh of its snout, causing the beast to recoil in pain as blood seeps from each wound. Minami then attempts to rush forward and leap onto its back, however, the beast—in its wailing state—pivots and Minami's body connects with the rotating fish fin that collides with her and sends her flying toward one of the residential households, crashing through the exterior infrastructure, and landing in a crumpled heap on the ground inside. The beast continues its rampage, destroying everything in its path as it searches for its prey. Minami groans as she slowly gets up from the wreckage, wincing in pain from her injuries.

"Damn... That hurt." She mutters as she pushes past the wreckage and debris around her. She makes her way outside and sees that the beast has caused even more destruction in its rampage. It turns to face her as soon as it notices her presence and roars ferociously before lunging towards her at great speed. She dashes forward to meet it head-on again—throwing another barrage of makeshift senbons at its incoming snout—and leaps onto its back, only to be thrown off by a sudden swipe of its paw. The beast resumes, charging toward her once more, this time with its maw wide open and ready to devour her whole.

She quickly rolls out of the way as the beast's jaws snap shut inches away from where she was moments ago. Minami takes advantage of this opportunity by throwing a barrage of senbons at its eyes, blinding it temporarily. "Not don't with you yet!" With her free hand using her index and thumb, she snaps, and the senbons explode in a 5-meter radius around its head. The creature reels back in pain as blood seeps from each wound before falling lifelessly onto the ground. Its body dissolves into a black mist that dissipates soon after, leaving nothing behind but destruction in its wake.

Minami sighs and assesses the damage to her person. Her clothes are tattered and torn, her body is covered in cuts and bruises, and her ears are ringing from the blast. But despite all that, she manages to stand up on her two feet with a smirk on her face. Although she survived the immediate onslaught, she can't help but feel as though something else is lurking just beneath the surface of the subspace. She looks around warily, searching for any signs of danger but sees nothing out of place.

"I guess it's over for—" Her monologue is interrupted for the fourth time as a sickening screech echoes through the space once more. "You've got to be—Gah!" She shouts in frustration as she turns back towards where the beast came from. Another beast has appeared from within it. It seems whatever's continually generating these otherworldly creatures into existence is either amused by inconveniencing the kunoichi in question or stalling the group to bid time for whatever grander scheme is at play. Whatever the case, Minami resumes her seemingly never-ending spit-balling of nasties.


WC: 1,951
TWC: 2,910/3,875
TMWC: 5,272/15,500
Jun Shibasaki
Jun Shibasaki
Chunin
Chunin
Stat Page : Databook.
Remove Ninjutsu Remove Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 183470

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty Re: First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Tue Nov 21, 2023 8:55 am
Jun was greeted by the huge lady that he wasn’t familiar with, probably another rookie genin fresh from Kumo’s Academy, as he wasn’t familiar with her at all. She had an imposing presence, towering Jun as she looked being impressive 7 feet tall.

“Ōtomo Minami… It’s my pleasure! I’m Jun Shibasaki, a fellow Kumogakure Genin. Ah yes, I know Hikari… we’ve met at the first time right here at the Thundepeak Campus… “ Jun paused for a minute, realizing that probably they all had some kind of ties with Thunderpeak Campus, being this the reason they’ve collectively dreamed about it – “but she looked quite different back there… “ he continued, without knowing that Minami was a Fox Person herself, from the Kitsune clan.

Jun gazed through the window of the room they were at, but he couldn’t see the village like he could from the actual Thunderpeak Campus back in the material realm. Actually, he couldn’t see anything as there were only darkness before him. As Hikari explained about the functioning of this “Dream/Nightmare” realm and what their course of action should be, Jun activated his mighty Tengan in order to try to see through the darkness, but even his heavenly eyes couldn’t see a thing. As Jun frustration grew, Hikari altered their environment with her thought, emulating Kumogakure’s streets.

This was a very familiar sight to Jun, and the “emulation” seemed pretty accurate, as all the buildings and houses were at the right spot… except for the fact that the streets were absolutely silent and empty, without a single soul nearby. Until the Shibasaki Clansman and the party started hearing strange noises coming from the distance. They were bizarre, yet familiar noises… “Nightmare creatures, the same ones that raided the village” he alerted his fellow shinobis.  Soon, the creatures emerged from the shadows, a whole lot of them, wicked and twisted beasts that combined various aspects from various different animals and reeked of corruption.

Jun's senses were on high alert as the first wave of creatures lunged at him and he couldn’t rely on his Doujutsu in this weird realm. Finally, the training at the mountains would pay off, and with lightning-fast reflexes, he leaped into the air, narrowly avoiding their razor-sharp tendrils of one twisted creature. Landing gracefully on a building’s roof, he surveyed the situation, his eyes calculating the next move.

Drawing two gleaming kunai from his holster, Jun swiftly descended from the bulding, engaging the nightmare creatures with a barrage of swift strikes. His movements were a blur, the kunai slashing through the air with precision, severing the creatures flesh. As the battle intensified, the empty village’s streets echoed with the clash of metal and the roars of the bizarre nightmarish creatures, Jun and the rookies fought bravely through the waves of nightmare creatures. However, the beats were relentless, seemingly multiplying with each defeated wave as they kept coming again and again, much for Minami’s dismay. Jun was also growing frustrated with the endless waves of creatures. “I guess this isn’t real Kumogakure, so I can use that jutsu” he thought, as he never used that technique inside the village to avoid civilian casualties.

But without the need to restrain his destructive prowess, Jun knew he could rely on his Laser Eyes technique to wipe out the creatures. He would get in front of the rest of the party and he activated his Tengan. Soon, his bright eyes started glowing even more, before he fired from them a huge cylindrical beam of pure Solar Chakra, wiping out all creatures in its path and leaving behind a trail of destruction. “Well, I guess that’s…” before he could finish his sentence, more creatures started emerging in the horizon, viciously rushing towards the party. “Shit… we must get out of here, we can’t fight forever… safe place, safe place…” Jun repeated to himself in his head as he tried to do what Hikari did before, mentalizing somewhere and shaping the environment. He thought of a place he learned to feel safe in, and suddenly the village and the creatures vanished and in a blink of an eye, they were now standing at the top of one of Kumo’s mountains, with no creatures in sight.

“Guys, we must find whatever is corrupting this realm and creating these vile creatures… and we must move quickly, as we are not safe anywhere in this place and the nightmare beats will end up finding us. We must deal with the source of all this evil and purify this realm, or we are definitely screwed…”



WC: 760
TWC: 1370
Hikari Kobayashi
Hikari Kobayashi
Genin
Genin
Stat Page : Hikari Kobayashi
Mission Record : The Kobayashi Records
Genjutsu Remove Jikūjutsu Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Clan Specialty : Genjutsu
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 500

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty Re: First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Tue Nov 21, 2023 9:02 pm
With the success of the squad so far within the Land of Dreams, it became more apparent the terror and fear that it was feeding on within the world around them. The streets were once filled with life and people now they were filled with death and monsters. It was contrasted heavily as compared to the previous encounters so far leading up to this point. It was a few big ones followed by a lot of smaller issues. This was obscene to the degree to which the four had to handle and defeat wave after wave of monsters. Hikari herself not equipped for such combats was slacking behind quite a bit and attempted to use as little energy as possible. Multiple enemies were not something she could handle and deal with. As the combats continued she could see something peeking out of the corner of her eyes in the space around them, the silhouette growing thick and form was being given before, poof, they vanished from that crossroads within the village.

Replacing the scenery were mountains and snow and a wide berth of a horizon that faded into that darkness as before. Hearing Jun speak immediately after, Hikari flashed a smile at the genin and mouthed the word, 'Thank you.' towards him as she listened intently to what he said as her mind thought of the last comment of thought before the negativity that he finished it off with, "Evil and purify..." She murmured briefly before snapping her fingers, "That's brilliant! We need to think of the evil and purify it. Not just think actually do! We're dreaming that we have made it here, to the village, but not to where the evil resides. If we can fight and face off against it, maybe then we can consider changing that thought of instead of killing or destroying to... well cleansing or purifying it!" She proclaimed a thought that might not have been possible without Jun's intervention. That was when she saw the entity in the corner of her eye reappear there, the dark image cracking a smile from ear to ear with its whites as pearlescent beads with distinct canines... hers.

Turning to confront this entity out of the corner of her eye, it moved with her vision as she stood across from it, seeing herself form and take life. "I'm not willing to bet but are you guys seeing manipulated and/or corrupted, malformed, or amalgamated of me... or worse... ourselves?" She questioned, her eyes not wanting to remove them from the nightmare version that was forming before her. She maintained focus on such a creature as she was aware that the worst thing, the worst thing she could think of... was herself. The monster that could have been. The experiment of the family, forced to undergo dangerous surgeries that were performed, the twisted and evil person she could have been was standing before her. The silhouette bulged as multiple tails grew from the darkness as a spitting image of Hikari's true form was there, present and her eyes fiery red. Anger brewed in them and the form itself wearing the ceremonial robes of the Kitsune clan, a long v-cut down below her belly button exposed one of the greatest scars she had, the one over her chest, right above her heart.

The real Hikari lurked backward seeing the form the nightmare entity took as it spoke aloud audible for all to hear, "This is who you are. This is what you seek. The land of dreams brings naught to you but suffering. You live within my domain. Acceptance of the pain you have felt, the pain that has been dealt to you will bring you closer than you care to admit." It stated, chuckling loudly raising its hands as fox fires formed. "You hide yourself because you know if you could. You. Would. Burn. Them!" It shouted out unleashing the fires it formed in its hands towards the young Kitsune. Fear and fright rocked Hikari's body as she saw herself in the entity, not just in its form but in its words. She wanted retribution. She wanted to inflict the pain that she felt against her father, against the world for allowing such pain to exist, and to the people who enabled such a man. She felt her body quake and shake against itself, her heart rate increasing rapidly and her breathing becoming shallow. Her body was born weak but she was still blessed by Inari nonetheless. It was a dichotomy she recognized daily for a while until she was stronger physically and was not suffering anymore from getting sick or having heart issues, but there she was remembering the trauma, remembering the pain, remembering the suffering.

She dodged the initial fox fires but she stared like a sheep about to be pounced by wolves against herself. She so so unsure of herself, and who she was at that moment as she had taken on a different thought process, attempted to look towards a better light or time, and tried hard to forget the suffering she bore and kept hidden to herself. The world was cruel and she suffered at the hands of those less fortunate, she felt the desire to make what the nightmare version of Hikari said true in reality. She dreamed of inflicting pain but she was avoiding that conversation with herself, she avoided people as she avoided herself in that matter. Just like that she dropped to her knees looking outwards towards herself, staring as it slowly began to walk towards her. "Acceptance is all I need. Let those dreams... those nightmares fuel what you are." the nightmare Hikari enticed her as it formed handseals, a mirror rising up from the ground before Hikari, showing Hikari, herself looking like the nightmare version but stronger, more powerful, and the face she made was that of dominance.

Frozen there in the mirror, Hikari simply looked towards herself, sadness, fear, and understanding of what and who she was as a person echoed in her. Just seeing this and understanding the futility in her own nature was not enough for her to know that she could change, she needed help. She wanted help but that desire for aid was not one that overcame her own grievances with herself, her past, and her family. She was frozen there forced to see herself while being taunted by herself. It was a nightmare, a terror to behold for Hikari as she was on her knees against the snow-falling mountain, a darkness ever growing and approaching closer to the group of shinobi.

WC: 1,100, TWC: 2,200 | TMWC: 7,132 / 15,500
Hikari Kobayashi
Hikari Kobayashi
Genin
Genin
Stat Page : Hikari Kobayashi
Mission Record : The Kobayashi Records
Genjutsu Remove Jikūjutsu Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Clan Specialty : Genjutsu
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 500

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty Re: First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Mon Dec 04, 2023 4:53 pm
Hikari rose from against the mirror she stared at. Her own mind breaking under the strain causes her to flare mentally, her tails expanding from the illusion of her own. The form dropped as she grew and stood up against the opposing force that was in front of her. "I. Shall. Rise." Hikari declared staring at her nightmare version of herself. The Dreamscapes' forces around her swirled as she began to focus on the Hikari before her. Her mind was becoming thin and a knife's edge began to form as she stared and shot daggers at her nightmare version. Her past was not something she exposed, not something she talked about, nor wanted to discuss at this time. She had just gained confidence but this whole encounter began to expose what she wished to remain hidden.

Fear and anger fueled Hikari's body as she formed handseals back to back forming a few techniques strung together as she stepped and identical appearances of Hikari began to linger behind her as afterimages formed where she walked and swiftly approached the Nightmare Hikari. It jumped back as Hikari began to go on the offensive with a Singularity began to form behind the Nightmare. She fought back and pushed onward against the entity as she knew fully well what she heard was true. She wanted to bring forth pain and suffering against the ones who wronged her. She wanted power and to grow beyond the capacity she once had. To be healthy, to be strong, to be powerful, were all aspects she wished to push forward towards. She gained confidence with her sister, awareness from Jun and Saturn, and to a degree the sensation of being admired by Hibiki. The ones around her supported her and had a vote of confidence in her, and she began to make the decisions to move and grow. It was her time to begin her retaliation against the forces of the Land of Nightmares.

From there with her afterimages, handseals between the plethora of Hikari began to make a White Hole in one direction and a Black Hole in the other, triangulating the nightmare Hikari in between them all. There were two ways through, up and over, or through the slivers where the techniques barely did not touch each other. From there, however, Hikari began to jump into the air to launch a fireball towards the entity. Forcing the hand of Nightmare Hikari, there began the true fight. Both stopped as a garden emerged between them. Hikari was suspended in space, mid handseals, and the entity below was stuck between the three space-time techniques that Hikari unleashed upon her. The stare between them could be as fierce as the lightning that fueled the afterimages and it was palpable. There was an intensity as the two combatants focused heavily on each other. Hikari was in another world almost as compared to the others focused around her. There was a breaking point however that let Hikari move eventually against the whims of the Nightmare version of her.

"How?! Why?! Why don't you just accept what I can be in your stead? Accept that I can make what you want reality?!" Nightmare Hikari shouted and screamed in defiance to the strength Hikari began to showcase as she conjured a flame in her hand staring intently back. "Because I cannot. Will not. Let you take my place. This is my path, my place to be. Not yours. Not anyone else's or any other versions of me. Let your mind be your folly as you miscalculated the expenditures of my own will upon this space. Do you think you can defy what I have already set in motion? Defy the expectations of my own deterministic plans? You must be the one lost in a nightmare because all I see is your downfall." Hikari declared forwardly against the opponent who had chosen by now not to act or move. That was when the fire in her hand caught the Nightmare Hikari's attention.

In full Kitsune form, Hikari had tricked the nightmare into focusing on the fire, the illusionary fire in her hand, and brought the fight down in a mere moment. The Nightmare Hikari began to fade around into the aether before Hikari could turn to see where the particles went, the techniques she used to trap her dissipated as well. Exhausted from such an overabundance of use of techniques, Hikari could not help but pant heavily. She used most of the arsenal she had for her ability to make up and win the fight against herself. It was not something she hoped to encounter in the future but life is what it would be and she was acutely aware sometimes, even if it is not direct, you have to face yourself before you can get stronger. She already encountered that once before when she took the genin exam for Kumogakure No Sato. Now completing another challenge to overcome herself, the young Kitsune turned back to see how her allies were faring in their own right.

Once everyone had finished their combats against themselves, Hikari tended to see where she could help and go from there. There was a multitude of issues to resolve still yet but it was nothing that she could not foresee herself from accomplishing with the help of her friends. The idea of having friends was wild and the fact that she had a sister who was also her friend was more than another fuel to the fire that drove her to improve. She wanted to improve both her life and Mina-chan's. From there it would be to just improve the village and make it better once she wrestled with her clan and made it, not the monster that it once was in her youth and quietly now as she entered adulthood. There was always the concern that something else was going to happen but it was just a matter of time to see who or what showed up next.

WC: 1,000, TWC: 3,200 | TMWC: 8,132 / 15,500

Minami Outomo likes this post

Minami Outomo
Minami Outomo
Genin
Genin
Stat Page : The Lonely Giantess

Health: 300
Total AP: 919
Vigor: 40
Chakra: 71
Speed: 135
Strength: 25
Mission Record : Mission Log
Bukijutsu Remove Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Clan Specialty : Genjutsu
Village : Kumogakure
Ryo : 104500

First to Explore [Event - Halloween] Empty Re: First to Explore [Event - Halloween]

Fri Dec 08, 2023 11:36 pm
Minami, on the other hand, finds herself in the predicament of the seemingly never-ending onslaught of creatures from beyond the veil manifesting into existence. The rift itself appears to be working overtime with the way it continually churns out new eldritch entities, all the while amidst the clamor and chaos, she hears Jun's proclamation to address the source of the evil and purify it. Thereafter, Hikari makes an astute to not concern themselves with the immediate moment of slaying otherworldly beasts and concentrate on cleansing the heart of whatever continues to breed these abominations.  To Minami, initially, the proposition sounds nigh-nonsensical until she remembers, right after, that they reside in the Dreamscape's Sea. The concept of purification is not foreign to her as she has been exposed to it since her youth. It was a part of their clan's history to learn how to purify things and use them as a means of control.

Now that she has some semblance of a plan, and before she can act upon it, from the corner of her peripheral, she spies another being reminiscent of her sister emerges from the boundless sea. A near-perfect replica of her true Kitsune form down to the last stray strand, it would be difficult just from sole observation alone to keep track of which is her real sister and the other, the imposter. A being born from the depths of Hikari's subconscious mind, created by a combination of fear and doubt that has manifested into a physical manifestation of her inner turmoil. Nevertheless, the brief soliloquy the Nightmare Hikari delivers reveals a surprising truth—or perhaps a half-truth when one considers the nature of the subspace surrounding them—about Hikari's life up until now. Her pain. Her suffering. The abuse she endured at the hands of their clan.

Minami's heart aches at the revelation, and even while the two have lived two different lives, she cannot help but feel responsible for her sister's suffering. If only she had been more aware, more vigilant. If only she had been there for her sister when she needed her most. But there's no use dwelling on the past and what could've been upon events outside of her control. What's done is done, and Minami can only do what she can in the present to make it right. To be there for Hikari now and ensure that her sister never has to endure such hardship ever again.

And so, with renewed conviction, she holds steadfast as the Nightmare Hikari conjures fox flames around her. Minami acquiesces to her instinctual drivers and bolts towards the Nightmare that threatens to sunder her kin into soot and ash. It doesn't take long for the elder Kitsune to traverse the distance between herself and her quarry until an undulating rift rips open five meters away from the Nightmare. No matter, Minami simply attempts to pivot the trajectory of her pace and skirt past the void, there's no time for distractions when the sanctity of Hikari's life is at stake. She readies her Tanto and prepares to deliver the fatal blow.

"見つけた (みつけた, lit. 'Found you')."

Chimes a ghastly, feminine voice, reverberating in the subspace undulation. A voice whose tone resembles the kunoichi that approaches and pivots past it. From within the void outstretches an arm clad in an opaque article of clothing with ornate navy blue and gold arm guards reaches out towards the Kitsune. The hand itself possesses five fingers, each tipped with long nails painted in the same color as her own. With a firm grasp, the arm yanks Minami by the end of her hair as her momentum suddenly halts, and falls flat on her back. The rift pulsates from having a two-dimensional shape into a three-dimensional as out emerges a being that looks identical to Minami herself.

The doppelgänger has a statuesque and slim body, long, knee-length milk-white hair with short bangs, and a set of huge, adept fox ears that part above her head. Her eyes have a vertical slit rather than rounded pupils, are surrounded by a metallically crimson iris, and are lined with jet-black eyeshadow, she has nails, big matte lips, a button nose with a stunning visage, and a humorous grin, and she has dark skin.

Finally, five enormous fluffy tails rest behind her, each smooth, velvety, and sensitive to touch. They have a mind of their own, flicking, twitching, and curling even when she isn't paying attention, getting up to all sorts of mischief behind her back. Their color is similar to her hair, which is snow-white with yellow tips, and light gleams off each strand in a beautiful tint.

From her neck to her fingers and feet, she wears an opaque bodysuit that wraps around her heels, exposing them and her toes, and arm guards on her wrists. She wears a Japanese double-turn, closed neck, golden blue cotton scarf over the suit, as well as a navy blue, lotus-colored tabard trimmed with dim gold and fancy embroidery, signifying a humble position in the status quo. A gorgeously patterned berry blue belt and a gold ring around her left-hand ring finger hold it to her abdomen. She wears silky gloves and stockings from bicep to knuckle and thigh to ankle, forming the second half of the jointless space between her waist and shoulders.


While You Read:


"やっと見つけた (やっとみつけた, lit. 'Finally found you')."

With her other hand whirling the hair in her hand to fasten to it, pirouettes on her backfoot, and pivots, as she turns and throws the kunoichi over the Nightmare Hikari and crashes, landing 5 meters away from the original target of the real Minami's target. She stumbles along the ground until she bumps into one of the street lamp posts as it bends to an acute 45° angle.

The kunoichi groans as she slumps against the now bent lamp post, with a loud THUNK. Coming to her senses, she focuses her vision on what could only be explained to be her nightmarish counterpart. On one knee, the real Minami assumes a battle stance as the apparition of herself in question giggles and continues its stride lazily toward the Real.

"I ticket you are the wicked projection of myself, huh?" The Real Minami posits, using the time and distance between herself and the apparition by placing the handle of her tanto into her mouth and weaving several hand seals in rapid succession as six cyan-colored will-o-wisps with ink-black outlines hover to form a hexagonal shape at each vertex behind her.

"Mmm, you could say that," Replies the Nightmare Minami, stopping almost five meters away from her real counterpart. "I am you and you are me. Two sides of the same coin, really," Six sunset-colored will-o-wisps with ink-black outlines also hover to form the vertices of a hexagon behind her. "However, one of us actually embraced our destiny. Our calling. A child condemned by her own father for being born cursed, but instead of succumbing to his words and allowing herself to be consumed by despair, she chose to embrace the darkness within." She continues as she takes a step forward and the Real takes a step back. "To accept her fate as a Kitsune, to be the harbinger of death, the bringer of destruction. This is who you could've become and yet, instead, you wallow away in your self-pity and self-loathing. Driven by fear and doubt, unable to accept yourself for who you really are."

"I don't know where you get off telling me that I'm wallowing in self-pity and self-loathing," The Real Minami retorts, taking a step forward although the apparition doesn't relent in its position, its lips curl slightly. "I have worked my ass off for the past twenty-seven years to better myself. To make myself into someone that I can look at in the mirror and say, 'I am proud of you.'"

"Oh please," The Nightmare Minami scoffs, taking a step forward as the Real Minami takes another step back. "You're just saying that to make yourself feel better about your own shortcomings. You've always been like this, Minami. Always running away from your problems instead of facing them head-on. You've always been afraid of what people think of you. What they will say if they ever find out about who you really are. Hell, you've even resorted to the idea of using your own ill-begotten little sister for an emotional crutch as a measure of your own self-worth!" She continues as she takes another step forward, and the Real Minami takes another step back, her eyes wide in horror. "You're so pathetic, Minami. So weak and fragile."

"That's not true!" The Real Minami shouts defiantly, taking a step forward and firmly planting her foot on the ground. "You should know better than anyone else what she means to us. To me. She's the only family I've ever known and I'll be damned if I let some two-bit copycat tell me that I'm using her as an emotional crutch!"

"And yet, you continue to deny your own feelings for her," The Nightmare Minami replies with a sly smile, taking a step forward and the Real Minami takes a step back. "You can't even admit it to yourself, let alone to her. You're so afraid of losing her that you would rather keep her at arm's length than risk losing her forever. You'd rather risk jeopardizing your relationship with her and pretend to uphold this 'strong and brave' older sister façade, than admit to yourself that you're just as scared as she is."

"That's... that's not... I..." The Real Minami stammers, unable to formulate a coherent sentence as she tries to come up with a rebuttal. Her eyes dart around frantically as she tries to come up with something, anything, but comes up short. She opens her mouth to say something, but no words come out. The Nightmare Minami takes another step forward, and the Real Minami takes a step back.

"Face it, Minami," The Nightmare Minami says, taking another step forward and the Real Minami takes another step back. "You are nothing more than a coward who can't even accept herself for who she really is. You're afraid of being rejected by your own sister because you think that if she finds out about your flimsy little front, she'll see you as lesser than herself. Inept. Unworthy. Quite unbecoming of what an older sibling ought to do, to be frank."

The Real Minami takes another step back and trips backward onto the ground as the Nightmare Minami continues to advance toward her. Her eyes are wide with fear and her heart pounds rapidly in her chest. She tries to get up, but her legs feel like jelly.

"But you know what?" The Nightmare Minami asks rhetorically, taking a step forward and the Real Minami scoots back on her rear until her back hits the lamp post. "She already knows. She's known for some time now that you're not as strong and brave as you make yourself out to be. That you're just as afraid of being rejected by your own sister as you are of losing her. That's why she keeps pushing you away because deep down inside, she knows that if she lets herself get too close to you, she'll only end up getting hurt. You're a cursed child, after all. I wouldn't put it past her to have a hint of fear in you. In us,"

Reaching her left hand outward, Nightmare Minami flicks its wrist and conjures a replica of the Real's katana with a black-tinted blade. "And that is why you must embrace that which dwells in the darkness within you, Minami. It's your duty. Your birthright. Your destiny."

"ENOUGH!" The Real Minami screams as she jumps up from her seated position and assumes a battle stance with her tanto. "I've heard enough of this bullshit! You're not me, and you never will be!"

"Oh, really?" The Nightmare Minami asks rhetorically, smiling as she raises her sword in front of her face and points it at the Real, anointing her weapon with one of the six iridescent fox fires. "Then why don't you prove it to me? Prove that you're not using her as an emotional crutch. Prove to me that you can stand on your own two feet without relying on others to validate your existence."

The Real Minami takes a deep breath and exhales slowly as she focuses on her opponent. She tightens her grip around the handle of her tanto and takes a step forward, preparing to strike, also anointing her weapon with one of the six iridescent fox fires. The Real Minami narrows her eyes and charges forward with a yell, swinging her blade at the Nightmare Minami's neck. The apparition parries the attack with ease, knocking the kunoichi off balance and causing her to stumble backward. It lunges at her, slashing at her torso but missing narrowly as she ducks out of the way, bending backward to avoid the incoming attack.

When the Real Minami's free hand touches the ground, she raises her legs to catch the Nightmare's arm between her thighs, throws it over her person, and slams into the opposing ground beside her with an audible thud. She rolls onto her feet and assumes another battle stance, preparing for another attack.

The Nightmare Minami gets up from its position on the ground and brushes itself off before charging forward with its sword raised high above its head. The Real Minami dodges the attack, sidestepping to the left and countering with a horizontal slash across the apparition's chest. It stumbles backward from the impact of her blade and clutches its chest, wincing in pain as black blood begins to seep through the wound.

"Is that all you've got?" The Nightmare Minami taunts as it recovers from the attack and charges forward again with another swing of its sword. "I expected more from you, Minami. I guess you're not as strong and brave as you make yourself out to be."

"Shut up!" The Real Minami shouts angrily as she parries the attack with her own sword and follows up with a swift kick to the Nightmare Minami's stomach, sending it flying backward into the wall of a nearby building. It crashes into the wall with a loud thud, causing the building to shake slightly from the impact.

The Real Minami charges forward, preparing to finish off her opponent when suddenly a hand reaches out from behind her and grabs her by the shoulder. She turns around to find herself looking at another Nightmare Minami standing before her with a sinister grin on its face. Next, the Real Minami stifles her voice as a searing, sharp pain courses through her abdomen before it spreads throughout her body. To onlookers watching the spectacle, the Nightmare Minami had sunk its blade into the Real Minami's abdomen. "I will always be a part of you."

The Real Minami screams in agony as she feels the blade pierce through her body, causing her vision to blur slightly. She tries to pull away but finds herself unable to do so as the apparition continues to hold onto her shoulder tightly. Her legs begin to tremble and she collapses onto the ground with a loud thud.

"You can't escape from me," The Nightmare Minami says again as it pulls out its sword from her body and looks down at her with a smirk. "I will always be there, waiting for you in your dreams."

The Real Minami coughs up blood as she tries to get back on her feet, but the pain is too much for her to bear. She looks up at the Nightmare Minami and glares at it with hatred in her eyes. "You're not real... You're just a figment of my imagination."

"Oh, but I am very real, Minami," The Nightmare Minami replies, taking a step forward and placing its foot on top of the Real Minami's chest, pressing down hard enough to cause her to wince in pain. "And so are all the other nightmares you've had over the years. They are all very real, and they will never go away. No matter how much you try to deny it or pretend that they don't exist. They're always there, lurking in the shadows, waiting for their chance to strike."

The Real Minami continues to glare at it defiantly as she tries to get back on her feet again, but the apparition presses down even harder on her chest with its foot, causing her to cry out in agony. "Why are you doing this?" She asks through gritted teeth as she struggles against the Nightmare Minami's grip. "What do you want from me?"

"I told you already," The Nightmare Minami says as it leans forward and places its face inches away from hers. "I want you to embrace your destiny as a Kitsune. I want you to accept who you truly are and what you were born to do."

"And why should I listen to you?" The Real Minami asks, still glaring at the apparition.

"This again," The Nightmare Minami clicks her tongue. "Defiant to the very last, even with the odds stacked against you. I admire that tenacity of yours, Minami, but it's also what's going to get you killed one day. If you keep on fighting against me, then eventually I will win, and when that happens, you'll have no one left to blame but yourself."

"You're wrong!" The Real Minami shouts as she struggles against its grip, trying desperately to free herself from its grasp—to no avail—before she clumsily reaches and grasps her blade. "I won't let that happen! Not now, not ever!"

"We'll see about that," The Nightmare Minami says before bringing up its sword and plunging it toward the Real's Chest. The Real Minami, with what little strength she can muster from the droplet of adrenaline in her veins, assumes a middling Iai posture with her arms and observes the Nightmare's motions until the blade comes downward. Cocking up her non-dominant foot, she quickly pushes against the ankle of the Nightmare's, throwing it off balance, and delivers the coup de grâce with a nigh-imperceptible slashing motion along the apparition's arm, dismembering the ligament holding its sword together with a burst of explosive fox fire.

With a powerful thrust, Real Minami impales Nightmare Minami through the chest, piercing its heart. "Heh," The Nightmare Minami chuckles as blood trickles out of its mouth. "I guess you're not as weak and pathetic as I thought you were." The Nightmare Minami looks up at her with a smirk on its face and laughs weakly before it dissipates into a cloud of black smoke. The Real Minami watches the smoke disperse into the nightmarish subspace before she drops her weapon. The fight left a lot to be desired. Predominantly how she perceives herself in the grand theater of life. To others. To her family. To herself. Even after the ordeal, the epilogue of the prior confrontation feels hollow. As though she only bought herself more time to escape from the inevitability of her fate. To succumb to what others perceive her to be or embrace who she's become. Questions for another day, most certainly.

For now, her fight is over.

As she struggles to get on her feet, Minami assesses her otherwise fatal wound. While the pain is excruciating, the wound in and of itself isn't life-threatening, considering the nature of this place. She hovers her hand over it and attempts to accelerate the natural healing process of her body to fully stitch the wound closed and whatever organs were ruptured from the impact. Although she accomplishes the latter, the latter, the former leaves a perceptible scar but heals the wound closed, regardless. With Hikari rendering whatever aid she can at the moment, Minami reflexively refuses to have her render any aid. Likely out of subconscious embarrassment.

"I'll be fine, dreams have a weird way of making the body believe things that aren't real. It's not like I'm actually bleeding out," Minami remarks with a smile as she gets back up on her feet and dusts herself off. "Speaking of believing, I think I saw something in the distance earlier. Like it was watching us. I don't know what, but I have a sneaking suspicion it's connected to all this."


WC: 3,390
TWC: 6,300/3,875
TMWC: 11,522/15,500
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