|[Sep. 18th, 2013|11:23 pm]|
Ryouma cracked his knuckles and straightened. “Remind me to show you a real party when we get back to Konoha. Guess this’ll do for now.”|
“I’ll hold you to that,” Katsuko said, and hurtled off the rock. She hit the ground in a sprint, Ryouma keeping pace with her. The wind whipped past as they arrowed towards the mine.
Suppressing her chakra always felt like smothering the ocean behind concrete walls. It was a relief when they closed the distance and Katsuko could finally release the iron grip she had on her coils. Her chakra roared outwards through the barrier of her skin with a nearly audible snap. Deep beneath the earth, more than a dozen alien signatures flared in response.
She flew through the seals for her bunshin, heart pounding. Energy coalesced into ten clones, then fifteen, then twenty. Her copies closed around her and Ryouma like a wolf pack on the hunt, hands snapping up in sync to catch the packets of explosive tags Katsuko tossed at them.
Ryouma cast a quick look around at the clones and gave Katsuko a nod. As the mouth of the tunnel loomed up before them, he stopped and raced through his own seal sequence. He slid into his battle stance, leveling his right palm straight ahead with his left hand supporting the opposite elbow. Katsuko felt the surging pressure of his chakra gather itself in his right hand, a red haze around his fingers that made all of her instincts scream danger. He spoke through gritted teeth. “I’ll take the first one.”
Katsuko stared into the darkness of the mine, remembering how very small the Fujiyama girls had been in her arms. She curled her fingers around the hilt of her katana. “Make it hurt,” she said.
An unearthly screech echoed down the tunnel at them. The demons came boiling out of the shadows, feet scuttling over the ground and maws bristling open. Light shone off of lacquer-black carapaces and gleaming eyes.
The first demon to reach them was almost the same size as the scouts they’d encountered in the forest. The barbed scorpion tail arched towards Ryouma, but the fanged mouth and claws went for him first.
Ryouma waited until the demon was about five meters away before firing. Red chakra sizzled through the air and hit the beast dead-on. It managed half a pained shriek before crumpling like used paper, hitting the ground with the unforgettable sound of liquefied organs sloshing.
Katsuko crowed in delight and threw a hand up. Her clones saw the signal and shot past her, meeting the wave of demons with steel and fire.