Two Arms To Cross
Harama stood in the misty forest on the outskirts of the rukon district. He was doing his one-fingered push-ups "one thousand two hundred and five, one thousand two hundred and six...." He continued on.
Today was certainly not a day for Sachi Yamamura to enjoy her peace of the day, especially with several hungry-looking thugs nearing her as she attempted to walk by. Being anyone else, they certainly would've been intimidated by the muscle, sneering grins, and hidden weapons in the offensive-looking men's pockets. But, of course, she was not one of those people that panicked under pressure.
"You're in my way. Care to move?" She asked dryly, looking around.
Of course, they would not listen. But one did speak up, and that was directly from behind her, voice mocking and apparently attempting to be seductive. "Now, why should we do that, when there's a lone girl like you walkin' this part of town alone? Come with us..."
As she carefully placed her sheathed sword up-side down on her shoulder, that same man reached out and gripped the sides of her arms in an attempt to keep her from moving.
"We'll make you fe--"
With a flick of her thumb, the butt of Sachi's sword was raised upward, slamming into the man's chin with a good display of force. It made him stagger and yell out of surprise, before he fell disgracefully on his butt. As if on cue, the others started to grip for their hidden weapons, all the meanwhile swearing at her.
"We're gonna beat you till you cry like a fuckin' baby!"
An unconscious and irritated sigh came from Sachi's mouth as she unsheathed Benizakura a little more...
"Rip his throat out!" A fan screamed, dozens of extremely wealthy and evil spectators surrounding a caged arena. It was an undergroung fighting league, where those who were lucky enough to live...and keep all of their parts in tact, earned an unimaginable sum of money. But the real business lied with the spectators, sinister business men and women who payed sums exceeding billions on the winner of these deathmatches. No fighter had ever one more than one match, the battles being so horrifying that anyone who survived even one involuntarily clinged on to however many breaths they had left.
Most recently however, a single Shinigami competitor had broken numerous ring records, establishing a 12-0 record, but was now terribly scarred physically, as well as mentally and psychologically. Truth be told, he entered the competition to pay off a debt he acquired at the peak of his addiction to gambling. It had been quite some time since then, and he now had a family to care for, and when their life was threatened, he was forced into the competition to spare their lives. As he bit the throat of his last opponent, his formerly sane eyes were now bloodshot and flowing with tears.
"Is there not anyone that can stand up to the might of our champion?!" Roared the announcer.
Out of the shadows stepped what seemed to be a simple teenager, but the depth of his eyes told a much deeper tale to those wise enough to study them.
"Sir, you are a mere child, do you honestly wish to challenge our reigning and near-invincible champion?" He asked, raising the zeal of the crowd.
The black-haired teen paid no attention to the words of the man but stepped into the cage.
The announcer swallowed nervously, snugging at his collar. "...Alright, this will be a death match of course, all fighters discard any clothing you have!"
The champion was already half naked and bleeding to the core, but the willpower in his eyes fueled him beyond reason.
The teenaged cotnender tossed off his black over coat and tanktop, removing his boots as well. Suddenly the walls of the arena emmitted devastingly sharp spikes, irrevocably blood-stained. On the floor, every other foot's space was emcompased by equally lethal blades.
"No spiritual energy or supernatural abiltiies will be used in this deathmatch, just pure hand-to-hand combat until the other perishes."
As soon as the announcer finished his sentence the champion charged, his battle cry raging for his family. He jumped into the air, raising his fist with overwhelming force and thrust speed. The teenager simply side-stepped beautifully, not even grazing the spikes as his opponent passed. He quickly turned his pelvis and placed his hand on his opponent's neck, slamming his already momentum-controlled body head first into a blade in the ground, absolutely drenching the arena in crimson.
"...We have a winner!" The announcer cried in utter disbelief. "Here is your prize money!" He notioned the teenager.
"You all disgust me, this entire community is wretched to the core." He drew his blade from his waist, a jet black katana with ridges that were jagged for reason. On the blade illuminated in a bright and deep green was an ancient text.
"But, that carnage, it was beautiful, even you are a part of the art of pain!"
"That is why I do this, there is no harm if the tainted battle the tainted, no more devastation can be created." Said the teenager, and as he said, cries of unsurpassed fear rang throughout the building that night.
Back To The Present
Out from the secret entrance to the building came the teenager, forced into leaving his blood drenched overcoat behind and only wearing his tank, exposing his muscular arms.
He heard voices and a loud racket from a near alley, and causally walked over there to round the corner, seeing an armed woman being attacked by armed men.
Harama could feel the spiritual pressure of Sachi Yamamura and flipped off the ground and onto his feet "Well, I may have left this place, but a duty is still a duty." He vanished in that instant with a huge flash step covering half the distance to where Sachi was at and with another he was there sitting above the group. He lept down and fell down ontop of one of the men felling him. He sat ontop of him "You know, its not nice picking on little ladies."
Echo sighed, feeling slight amusement out of the situation, and leaning against a dumpster to watch.
Having been the victim of Sachi's unsheathed blade, the first thug let out a scream as his chest was torn into two parts. His blood sprayed into the ground, and he could only step back once before he collapsed, now a lifeless doll.
As if on cue, the pigs in guises lunged at her, knives twirlin'...
However, it was only one step that they got to.
SHING! SHING! SHING!
A dozen flashes of white rang and shook the air around both the thugs and the blonde woman, their chimes ringing in the spectator's ears like porch bells in the wind. It only lasted for five seconds, which afterwards, Sachi re-sheathed her blade and fastened it to her waist.
Like old paint, they all fell apart, guts and internal organs splashing onto the ground, and their bodies seperating into two halves. The entire alley seemed to be stained with a bright red, despite the fact that it was foggy out.
Sachi's only response: swinging her sword to get the blood off, then resheathing it as if nothing happened.
Echo felt a pang of regret for leaving his overcoat, now that he wasn't the only executioner of the day. He merely tilted his head, glimpsing past Harama at the bloodthirsty woman. "Beautiful tenchinique." He muttered.
Harama stood up from the man he had knocked out. He walked towards Sachi "You didnt need do that. They were weak thugs and didn't need to die. Theres no honor in fighting someone and killing them if they are weaker." He sorta didnt care but went with it anyway.
Her piercing gaze directed itself towards him, regarding him for a tense moment as she rested her hand on her hilt. Thankfully, she didn't look like she would draw it...yet. "If I didn't, what they would've done to me would've been far below honor." She replied. "Though, I suppose the both of you saw what was the matter?"
Echo finally spoke up, regretfully bored enough to attempt conversation. "You did what was necessary, if not you they would've victimized another being." He said, recalling the building he left full of unrecognizable corpses.
Harama shook his head "Good thing I left this place. To many things like this happen. I dont care for the way this place is governed anymore. Thugs like that should be stopped before they start." He sat down and started to just look up at the sky. He didnt really take interest in the others, but was bored enough to just make do with the clouds and talking to them.
"This group won't be doing anymore damage, then." Sachi said. "But, if I may ask, who are you two?"
Echo hesitated, but honestly needed some time spent on other things besides personified justice. For a mere second he regretted leaving hell, but then remembered exactly why he left and spoke suddenly. "You may call me simply Echo." His deep blue eyes shone brightly, and could easily be lost in, but within their depth rested a deep cunning, often dangerous.
Harama didnt care who knew him and who he knew so just said "Harama Usagi, I am a vizard, and you little miss are?"
In a moderately quick motion, Sachi bowed her head. "Yamamura Sachi." She said, whatever small hostility in her tone now disappeared, replaced by a mild politeness. "Pleased to meet you both, I suppose."
Relectuntly, Echo dipped his head in return, folding his arms. "The pleasure's all mine, Sachi."
"Well, arent you the little model of a arostacrat family. I bet its nice living in the big house while these people live out here in shambles." He never liked the higher ups like the royals, they seemed so stuck up to him and being from the rukon and working so hard to get out, he just never liked them.
His voice made Sachi gaze up at him, a slight frown on her face. "Oh?" She asked, with her own choice of sarcasm. "I suppose a commoner like you would enjoy being in my position, at least for a moment."
"Hmph." class made no difference to Echo, so this conversation had no meaning to him.
"Yea I am a commoner and damn proud of it. I worked harder then you could have imagined, for some time at least. However what matters is that those people deserve to live and learn from their wrong doings, not die like dogs." He was a bit mad and started to get more serious.
"And you insist on defending the people who strive to make others miserable..." Sachi muttered. "They made their choice, and they recieved their punishment. No use defending corpses."
"True, but you were in the wrong here, not just them. I know how these people feel better then you ever could. You almost have to do these things to get by, maybe not resorting to forcing yourself on a young woman, but theft is very common, all in order to have a drink of water or a crumb of bread, while you fat cats live it up in the seireitei. You may look cute but your of a disgusting kind of people."
"That's enough." spoke Echo, standing up straight. "What's done is done, she did what was necessary for her well being, and justice was dealt by her hand."
He didnt look over to echo "Justice is a fine word coming from someone who stinks so heavily of blood. What were you doing before you got over here?"
"Whatever it was..." The blonde interrupted, taking her time to walk past Harama and out of the alleyway. "should it be any of your concern? If you really care so much about those thieves, say a prayer for their safe passage to Hell."
"My kind of business would break your kind. Just as pathetic as the worthless sympathy you shed, life isn't about free passes. It's about action and consequence, and nothing more." spoke Echo, maintaining an essence of sincerity without the use of passion.
"A cut throat how nice" He said to each as he slightly turned to Sachi "What are you? Your not a soul reaper, yet you carry an obvious zanpuktuo."
"I'm not." She admitted, stopping her feet and looking over her shoulder. "But my father was."
"Hmm, a half-breed, how interesting." remarked Echo, his indifference lightly glazed with amusement.
"Half-breed? Which of us, her or me?" He walked over to the man he knocked out and rolled him out of the way of where the three were at "I got this strange feelin that somethings kinda off here."
This time, Sachi remained silent, although she pushed a strand of her long blode hair from her eye and looked at the man in question.
"Why would it possibly be you?" Echo didn't bother to glance at the man, instead resting his cold gaze towards the sky.
"Well, its not as if I am of one species am I? A shinigami with the power of a hollow, not exactly pure is it?" He noticed Sachi's silence "I guess that must have been directed towards you then. I wonder, if your father was a shinigami and your not a pure blood, then you must be adopted, either that or your an intruder, much like I could be considered one."
"You speak of the Shinigami as if they were an actual race." Sachi replied, tilting her head to the side a bit. "They are simply Pluses that were taught the ways of the Gotei 13. I'm not adopted, or an "intruder", as you put it."
"Compared to my kind, Shinigami are a race." remarked Echo.
"I often feel that way as well." He stood up and leaned against a home "So what did bring you two out here? I mean a plus thats from a royal family out here along with a blood soaked, whatever."
"I merely needed some alone time..." Sachi stated. "At least, for a little while."
"I was asked by an old friend to discretely hit every major contributor to a large underground fighting league." Echo figured the two could handle the fact that he was a professional murderer.
"Boo yea, called. I knew you stunk to hell of blood." He laughed as he pointed at Echo. "ah...." He wiped a tear from his face "Now I am getting kinda bored."
"Aren't we all?" sighed Sachi, her own boredom beginning to take place. "Not even the smell of this alleyway's reaching my head anymore, sadly."
"What a shame, I was actually hoping to find a bit more amusement out of this little situation." Echo sighed.
"I bet Echo, you still got that whole blood lust thing going on and all." Still no threat being felt by either of them.
However, Sachi looked a bit thoughtful, studying the two carefully. Idly, she had realized her hand that had drawn and sheathed her Zanpakuto had still rested on the hilt, even as she was seated upon the closed trash can. A certain curiosity was getting the best of her, the two standing before her looking more and more like its target. After all, all they had known about each other was their names and nothing else.
It would go against her principles. But, it was worth taking a risk wasn't it?
She decided to speak again with a simple question. "You wanted for something to ease this boredom, right?"
Raising an eyebrow, Echo noticed a twinge of anxiety in Sachi, her sword arm slightly tensed. "Indeed." he commented, more pleased than his image would profess.
Harama simply lay back on the ground "Eh, lazy is my middle name and a lazy afternoon sounds bought right. Anyway didnt I say it wasnt honorable to fight those weaker then you?" He lay back closing his eyes, he realized things may turn south so his guard was still up even with his eyes closed.
"Oh." Sachi raised both of her eyebrows slightly. "That's a shame. I was hoping you'd take yourself a bit higher, instead of calling yourself weak..."
Echo ignored the dispute. "War is a delicate art and like any other art takes work. Laziness is not an excuse or a shortcut, it's a flaw." he preached, his eyes lost in another world of his past sins. "Underestimation is only a sign of arrogance, and until one's abilities are proven means absolutely nothing." Said the teenager, brushing his shoulder and stretching a bit. "So prove your worth with action, not pointless speech."
He make his hand into a mouth "Blah, blah, blah. I cant even if I wanted to, id rather not have your deaths on my hands. I dont have anything made up to keep you living once I strike you." He stood up and unsheathed his sword and placed the blade on his left forearm and the hilt on his right forearm "Bite and posion, HEBI!" He released his zanpaktuo. He stood there now in release form, the two wrist blades extended away from his wrist about a foot or so "Now if you look carefully..." He swung at a near by rock not even doing more then grazing it when it started to melt "Hebi's ability is to poison those it strikes with a deadly poison, which I have no anti-dote for at the moment. All id have to do is get even a slight cut into you and within an hour you'd be dead." He looked at Sachi "And id hate to kill such a good looking young woman."
"...." A slow, but sure smile came across the blonde's face. "Don't worry. You won't get the chance to." Her hand went back a bit, thumb pressed on the bottom of her hilt.
"I realize your calibur of intellegence may be a bit less than what I'm used to, but I shouldn't have to repeat myself, talk is useless." said Echo, tapping the hilt of his concealed weapon with his index finger, the small action causing an ancient energy to slowly leak out.
Harama thought to himself "Man, how do I end up in these situations. I didnt even do anything wrong.... for once." He turned to Echo and held out his hand palm facing upward "Hakudo #31, Shot of Red flame!" A large red energy ball shot out from Harama's hand, while all he did was stand there.
The battle wasn't turned towards her...yet. but she kept her guard up, eyes focused on Harama, and sword ready to be drawn at any minute.
Echo didn't draw his weapon yet, rather pointing the index and middle fingers of his opposite hand at the blast. A small wisp of black energy darted into the orb, a black smoke-like substance trailing it. Seemingly nothing happened, but as the orb neared him it began to what looked like rot, it's energy quickly disentigrating until it was a small spark that died before it reached his body. A trail of strange cinders remained on the ground, trailing back to the corruption point. He had no comment, only folding his arms, his hand dangerously close to the hilt on his belt.
"So he seems to disrupt reishi with another form of energy. If I am to do anything against that I will have to catch him off guard." He turned around and waved to them "Well If you want to continue youd better give chase." He was gone in the next moment darting off into the forest near by "I cant allow any of the people in the rukon distict to get hurt."
Sachi easily restrained the urge to roll her eyes at the antics, watching his retreating form for a moment. It was quite annoying having to run after her opponent instead of sticking to one spot to make it easier. But, if she wanted to get anywhere with her plan, she would have to follow him. She pushed herself off of the trash can, gave a brief look towards the remaining male, and vanished into thin air to follow.
Frowning in disappointment, Echo stepped forward, walking casually before vanishing in their direction with a powerful trail of sonic disfrequency. But, the cinders left behind from the previous attack were still glowing ominously, now spreading a grid-like pattern across the concrete...
Four Arms To Draw
Harama stood in an out crop in the forest, out a ways from anyone. "This should be quite adeaquite." He razed his spiritual pressure ever so slightly to make sure they followed him and dint go raging threw the forest and hurting it. "Ye lord! Mask of blood and flesh, all creation, flutter of wings, Ye who bares the name of man!" He started the incantaion and stopped in the middle, holding onto it. He now waited for them and his moment to finish the incantation.
He didn't have to wait long.
At first, it appeared as if a simple animal such as a bird had jumped from the trees. The slender and slightly lanky figure could be easily confused in the shadow of the trees. However, it was the figure of the blonde woman, having just come out of a final Flash Step to confront the man once more.
As if he had been there all along, Echo stepped out from behind a tree, casually dragging his finger across it as he passed by. A cool gust of wind swayed his bangs lightly across his forehead, and was the only noticeable movement that had occured on his face as of yet.
His spiritual pressure went back down to normal "Ok so, how did this happen, I don't care to much for being tag teamed..." He looked over at Sachi "Unless its by you and another lady." He stood there waiting for his moment to use his kido attack but would have to hold onto it for a few more moments "You know in truth it took you two way to long to get here, you not so good at flash step or something? I honestly just dont want to use that damned mask, it gets itchy and tends to force me to make a mess." He was being talkative, still trying to find that moment.
A tired sigh came from Sachi's lips, but she decided to remain silent, eyeing the Kido attack for a moment. It was very obvious he intended to blast at least one of them with it, but she had a lot of patience. The question was, would it be better to wait it out, or make the first attack? Either way, there'd be the possibility of the other man standing a few ways from her attacking, so she'd have to be on her guard.
"There are certainl velocities that are quite difficult to express mathematically." noted the black haired teenager, seemingly oblvious or rather uncaring of the trap set before them. He doubted the female would attack, she seemed more of an observe and react styled combatant, quite similar to himself. "Your kind disgust me." he muttered bluntly. "Shinigami possess every aspect possible in terms of improvement, all it takes is exstensive training. But as of late, hollowfication is the choice shortcut for clawing at power. But real power doesn't come from clawing to the top, real power is born, not achieved. Power is the rarest of thoughts that is accessed by few minds, a thought that becomes a way of life that demands superiority." Echo responded.
He once again held his hand up like a mouth "yada yada yada, Ive heard it all before. I know that, and even as a vizard extensive training is needed to become ever more powerful. You act as if I havent trained a day in my life. You dont achieve kido bases like this without training. Inferno and pandemonium, the sea barriers surges, march onto the south." He holds hands up towards both of them "Hado #31 shot of red fire." He shot off two red orbs, the orbs veered down blasting the ground in front of them. Diversion tactics, the best way to learn something new. He flesh steped right behind Sachi and thrusted forwards with his wrist blades, they were atleast a foot and a half long blades so they were coming in quick and aimed at the flesh at the ribs.
One touch, and she could consider herself finished.
But, her reflexes acted much faster. In a flash, she had drawn her sword out, one underhand gripped on it as she spun around to face her attacker head-on. For the moment, she decided not to use two hands, allowing for her swing to simply clash with the oncoming blades in a parry. But her counter-attack was a twisting of her wrist, in an attempt to get under Harama's guard and slash his own ribcage.
Echo vanished, reappearing over their clashed weapons and performing a quick but vicious double-sided whirling kick to both to separate them. As they both flew backwards, Echo drew his own sword, and as he did so cryptic voices rang throughout the forest, a power beyond this realm crying out in terror. He took an elegant but simple stance, defying his airborne enemies to attempt retaliation.
"I can see that he really wants to be pushed for some odd reason." He scratched his head with the tip of his blade. He then dusted off his top and gave them a serious look. "Ok, you want to be pushed then lets get this thing rolling." He jammed his wrist blades into the ground "BANKAI!" The wrist blades shattered into the earth "Devour them hole Kyojin Shikon Hebi!" The earth started to shake as Harama leapt back and into the air. The earth around both Echo and Sachi started to fall inward as a gaint brown snake started to press upward devouring the earth under them in an attempt to swallow them hole.
So they weren't on teams, obviously. And already one of her opponents was pushing himself to his Bankai state.
Careful analysis ran through Sachi's mind as she leaped out of the way, just enough so that the monstrous snake was within reach of her sword. Then, with two hands, she thrust herself into the air. Thrusting her sword outwards, she allowed the sharp tip to cut deep into the earthen skin and through the neck, nearly severing half of its face. With an elegant flip, she skidded back onto the ground, her gaze turning towards the other opponent on the ground.
As the wild explosion of earth diminished, the teenager had apparently vanished among the clouds of dust and smoke. Yet despite Echo's supposed absence, the whispers of death continued to ring aloud.
The snake didn't move when struck it just started to become a lighter shade of brown till suddenly it fell to the ground in a clump. At the site of the wound you could see all the way into the body, but it just so happened to only be the skin it had shed. Before the other two had moved out of the way Harama had vanished from site his spiritual pressure was coming from everywhere, Suddenly Sachi's leg was wrapped up by hebi's tail, Hebi wrapped tight and lifted her into the air and proceeded to throw her threw the trees.
Even as the woman felt herself unwillingly ascend, her expression merely changed to that of slightly widened eyes. As she arose to the top of her peak, her sword had already been positioned in a fencer-like strike. Then, the tip of her blade thrust into the tail, releasing hidden reiatsu just above her captured leg. The result was spontaneous; as the energy tunneled, it broke apart the tail that held her to pieces of stone, allowing her to Flash Step freely away.
However, she still kept on her guard. Now that her second opponent had disappeared from sight, she had to be ready just in case.
Suddenly Echo reappeared, and though his body was without motion, an unnatural carrying of matter trailing him implied he was moving at an incredible velocity for a certain reason. Noticeably after, the whispers grew louder, as well as the glow of Echo's sword growing more prominent.
Still there was no sign of Harama, his presence masked in everyway, like that of the snake sneaking on his prey. Suddenly Hebi appeared grabbing a group of trees with the end of its tail and throwing them at the pair.
The blonde only had a split moment in order to think. Those same whispers that she had chosen to ignore were now ringing in her ears like Hell's bells. Each one was even more unnerving than the last, with seemingly no end to them. Back at the alleyway, she had noticed those same shapes of Echo's energy that had not dissipated immediately. It was only a matter of time before the whispers reached a breaking point, and a possibly that she would be seeing that same energy again.
The question was to her now: what would it do?
Turning her back on the projectile, her figure shimmered for a split second, before it vanished along with the wind. The tree could only strike the spot where she once stood.
In a strange simplicity Echo raised his forearm in a gesture to brush the forestation aside, destructively bisecting several of the flying trees. Echo didn't expect a look of surprise from his opponents, mortal objects stood no chance against even the most basic of shinigami, definately not an elite demonic creature. He spun his sword skillfully and raised it high into the air, causing the empty night breeze to be flooded with a heavy, chilled, escence of power. The earth began to fissure and twist, the forestation now wilting yet growing through what seemed to be spiritual parasitics.
Echo glanced at Harama to catch his expression, not ignoring Sachi's absence.
He looked at Echo and spit on his face "You know you suck." Hebi twisted around Harama and tranformed back to his shikai state "I am tired of you ya freak and the pretty girl is a bit nerve racking to." He cocked his arms back and thrusted them forward sending a wave of poisonus slime and smoke everywhere. If either of them came in contact with either they would be poisoned to the point of paralisis in moments.
Her blade pointed straight at the mass of poison as it sped towards her from her location. With her free hand, she grabbed her wrist and prepared herself with only two words: "Manipulate... Benizakura." Her blade slowly shifted, transforming itself into the dreaded demon wing that was its true form. All of that poison suddenly found itself meeting a match - once they made contact, the blade began to slice through and dispel whatever miasma that assaulted her.
"...Finally." Echo tensed his arm as the air around him crashed inwards, forming a massive vortex shimmering with a coat of energy deeper than hell. "Corrupting O2 is a difficult task that takes time, and must be done delicately to enrapture every molecule." The slime that collided with the vortex intertwined in its wild flow. "And just so you know, the gaze of a beautiful woman is only as powerful as her intent." Echo sliced horizontally within the vortex, whirling as he did so to disperse the cyclone and send newly demonic slime to evaporate into the atmosphere.
Echo's blank expression was nullified by the surges of energy flooding his supernatural eyes.
As the evaporated slime raced upwards, Sachi couldn't help but turn her gaze toward it. She frowned, narrowing her eyes at the introduction of even more toxins into the field. Her own attacks would probably just add more to the atmosphere, and considering what Echo had just unleashed, that certainly wouldn't have been a good idea. She stepped forward slowly, as if she wasn't currently in a fight with two others.
At least she could say their abilities were quite...interesting, to say the least...
Out of the thick miasma a swirling vortex started to appear. The sky darkened around the group as the area begain to over saturate with spiritual power. Suddenly the poison in the air started to suck inward towards where Harama had been at. Out of the dissappearing smoke came Harama wearing his hollow mask. The green of his mask complimented the surrounding forest as his black eyes pireced the rather light colored mask. "I dont care how powerful you think you are kid, your no match for someone whos got a truly righteous path to walk." He was standing right behind Echo within the last sylabal as his blades ripped threw the very air itself pouring out a much more potent venom.