The winds at the north-western border of the land of fire were harsh, despite it being summer. For the past three days, a sole figure clad in crimson armour had been dashing across the terrain, hunting for it's quarry. But now, it seemed, the figure had a lead. Stopping for the first time in what had amounted to sixteen hours of constant pace, the crimson armoured figure had finally ceased it's hustle. A black mask in the image of an otter, typical of the ANBU of the Leaf village covered their face as they perched on their knees at the peak of a hillside. Which overlooked a small, desolate outpost, which consised of a grouping of nine seperate wooden buildings. Their long, ebony mane flowing in the summer winds. With a set of deep black irises set in the eyes beneath the mask. It was a menacing sight to behold. It became even more so, once their eyes shifted and turned a bloody red, with three equidistant tomoe surrounding the pupil in a triangular formation.Hmm. Quite a few large chakra signatures down there, along with numerous others, though those are significantly more faint in nature. Probably two, maybe three Jounin. This could prove troublesome if I do not handle this correctly.
The figure thought, before removing it's mask for a brief moment. Revealing the soft skin and refined, flawless features of Ichika Uchiha. Her black brow furrowed to become perpendicular with her sharp cheekbones as she utilised her Sharingan to assess the situation in the rogue camp below. Most of the signatures seemed to be idle, as though they were waiting for something. I shall give you all something to make your wait worthwhile.
She thought to herself, before lowering her mask once more and beginning to slide on her back down the hillside.
As her speed quickened, a quaint smile came to Ichika's previously pursed heart-shaped lips beneath her mask before making the ram hand seal as the Uchiha woman descended rapidly towards the outpost. "Earth Style: Hidden in the Earth Jutsu."
She proclaimed to herself quietly, as she allowed her chakra to flow gently towards her body's earth release tenketsu point. Allowing her sliding form to fade into the ground beneath her back, but the crimson armoured ANBU operative lost no momentum as a result of this technique's use. If anything, Ichika felt as though she had gained pace due to a complete lack of surface tension and friction.
Now moving at incredibly high speeds, it took only a moment for Ichika to reach the base of the hillside, which in all actuality amounted to a small mountain. As she did so, she corrected her position and rose from the ground. Revealing herself once more. "Release!"
Once again she felt her body feel a little bit more 'real'. Ichika knew that she was perfectly tangible and still existed on a physical level when she utilised the Hidden in the Earth technique, but that didn't ease her feelings of bodily dissociation whenever she put it to use. It was a peculiar feeling, and one that she felt she would never get used to.
Instantly breaking into full sprint, Ichika readied her Kunai in her left hand with a reverse grip and quickly reached for her wakizashi, tearing it from it's sheath as she made herself ready for the coming engagement. Zig-zagging left and right, her tall figure became blurred as she moved with sickening pace, quickly closing the gap between the open ground and the outpost.
With little to no noise, the famed Uchiha slid on her knees into cover behind a short barricade to the outpost's southern quadrant. It was as she finished performing this action, that she heard the pitter-patter of a patrol group. That must be the three weak chakra signatures that I observed. Definitely Genin.
Ichika thought to herself, suppressing her own chakra so as to avoid detection by any potential sensory types among the defenders. Steadying her breath into silence, the woman readied herself. Awaiting the opportune moment to strike. "Man, I don't see why we always get put in patrol. We're vets! We should get to guard the main building while the big wigs plan our next move. Not those damn greenhorns!"
Came the voice of one of the men, who sounded as though he were nearing his forties and was certainly approaching her direction. An embarrassment as far as Ichika was concerned, approaching that age and not being Jounin level demonstrated either his complete lack of latent potential or an inability to commit to greatness. She wasn't certain which she deemed to be worse. Moments later, she he heard the footsteps cease, directly on the other side of the barricade. Here we go.
Ichika believed she did not have a moment to waste, formulating her plan of attack instantly. With two, hard bangs from the pommel of her wakizashi against the wooden defensive structure, she managed to arouse their intrigue. "What the fuck was that?"
Came the earlier voice, his husky tones growing closer as he peered over the edge of the barrier. Without the faintest idea what fate awaited him on the other side.
Blood instantly covered her shoulder as Ichika slammed her kunai into the underside of the man's jaw, quickly rising to her feet and using the force of her rising stature to twist her body and hip toss the man onto his back before vaulting over the structure which had been her victim's undoing. Leaving her kunai embedded in the gap between the enemy's throat and chin. In one fluid motion, Ichika ducked under an incoming coming blow from a kanabo as she vaulted the barricade, which to be honest was more akin to a fence than any sort of decent defensive structure. The menacing visage of her sharingan rising to meet the blue eyes of the man whose attack she had just evaded, pouring the chakra of her dojutsu into his mind; leaving him catatonic with her Sharingan genjutsu.
Without pause Ichika turned her head to face the last remaining genin, her earlier deductions based on their chakra signatures had obviously been correct. These men amounted to nothing when compared to her, and she intended to demonstrate that to them before they died. The final hurdle, if this lowly rogue shinobi could even be called as much; had his no-dachi raised high above his head as he began to let out a roar to accompany what would probably have been an impressive strike, if not for the fact that Ichika's response would be to jam the point of her wakazashi into the man's now open mouth and through the tip of his spine. Killing him instantly and preventing any sound escaping from his mouth as he slumped to the ground, his lifeless body still attached to the Uchiha's blade.
Ichika decided she was safe for the moment, and left both of her blades embedded in her victims. Turning to the one she had placed under genjutsu. He didn't seem to be directly under it's effects any longer, but still he stood frozen in place. Silently, the woman sauntered towards him, meeting his gaze the entire time, before standing directly in front of him in utter silence. Observing his tan uniform and Sunagakure headband, which had been scratched out. Though not very well. Amaeteurs, can't they do anything right?
she thought to herself, before clasping her hands together in the snake seal.
Moulding her chakra into one of her most formidable genjutsu, the Demonic Illusion: Hell Viewing technique. Loose leaves and blades of grass began to surround the man, whirlwinding around the former Sand-nin as Ichika once again allowed her Chakra to flow into his head, placing her chakra flow between the synapses of his brain. This man was so weak willed that it was sad, in a way. The Uchiha pondered if she even needed to use Sharingan genjutsu on such a man. But as the leaves and grass fell to the ground around him. He did not flee in terror, or pass out as she had expected...instead he simply whispered under his breath. "There's... There's two of you, and that wasn't a seal for a clone...what. ARE you?!
Almost shocked, she had come to the realisation that this man must have known who she was. There was no other way. Otherwise he would not be witnessing an apparition of a second Ichika. She knew this, because the genjutsu she had just ensnared him within shows the user a vision of their greatest fears come true. Or, if that visage would not be realistic at that time, it would show them any generic horrific sight."The most terrifying thing that could happen to you was encountering me? How cute. Then you shall be the one I allow to live."
Whispered the Uchiha, before continuing. "Do not move from this position for three days. If you do, I shall hunt you down. Do you understand?"
She asked, being met with a horrified, silent nod as Ichika turned and removed her wakazashi from the mouth of her previous victim. Wiping the blood from the blade with her sleeve before returning it to its sheath.
No more words needed to be said, she knew that he would obey her command. It was rare to find one so weak willed, and so she had no doubts about his obedience. Deliberately leaving her kunai in it's temporary 'sheath', Ichika began a light stroll closer the main structure of the compound. Her footsteps absolute silent as she strode, before stopping roughly forty meters from entrance of the two tiered structure. Horse, Dog, Bird, Ox, Snake.
Ichika, under no pressure at all casually wove the seals for her mighty Earth and Stone Dragon Jutsu, infusing more than the necessary amount of chakra in order to create the largest dragon that she could without draining herself of chakra. After all she would need it for what she had planned. As the beast composed of the ground below her, and the rocks above it came into being it let out a harrowing roar. Attracting the attention of those guards whom were on the inside of the building's main entrance. As they came out, arms at the ready, they locked up at the daunting sight of the large conjured dragon."Earth Style: Earth and Stone Dragon jutsu!"
Ichika bellowed, before directing the dragon to slam itself into her enemies, crushing them beneath it's immense weight. "UUOOOOOAH!"
She screamed, commanding her dragon to continue it's voracious onslaught, pouring even more chakra out from the earth tenketsu point within her body as the dragon set about demolishing the foundation of the building and causing it to collapse before rising to a vertiginous height in the air. Slamming back down into the ruins. There is no way any of them survived that.
Ichika thought to herself, before releasing the jutsu, the immense quantities of earth and stone dispersing onto the annihilated remains of the outpost's main building.
Much to her surprise, two figures rose up from the debris, one female and the other male, huffing and panting. Wearing similar uniforms to that of the man she had placed under genjutsu prior to her vicious assault. Set upon the waist of the man, was a large steel container for a scroll, held in place by a series of ropes. It was clear that this was some kind of important information and not one for use in combat by the fact that it was apparently locked.
Raising her right hand level to the Jounin with an upwards facing open palm and placing her left hand just slightly below the faded golden tsuba of her wakizashi, gripping the sheath. Ichika flicked her fingers towards herself. Daring her two enemies to approach. "Come!"
the Uchiha taunted, Sharingan still active beneath her mask. A hellish vision in the faces of the two rogue shinobi.
Instead of responding to her taunt by charging her, the two former Sand shinobi kicked away some debris from beneath them and planted their feet. Both making bird hand seals. "Wind Style: Air Bullet jutsu!"
They bellowed in unison, which caught Ichika off guard, she was not expecting such a perfectly synchronised attack from a pair of despicable rogue shinobi. Pirouetting to her left at the last moment, Ichika was able to dodge the first two air projectiles, but almost instantly afterwards another pair came jetting towards her, one she managed to evade, but not the second. Which blasted a small hole clean through the armour upon her left shoulder and straight out the back. "This is going to be tougher than I thought..."
She thought to herself aloud grunting in pain from the damage dealt by the powerful jutsu, before dropping into a crouch and rolling backwards in order to avoid the next three bullets that came her way.
Upon stabilising her position, Ichika instantly dispatched her chakra to the earth tenketsu and got to work weaving seals. Tiger, Hare, Boar, Dog. "Earth Style: Earth Wall!"
Ichika declared, bracing herself to be hit with two more bullets. There was no way she would avoid the jutsu of these Jounin forever, she had to put up some kind of defense to force them to approach her. Then she could trap them with that
Sure enough, one air bullet flew directly through into her stomach. Though fortunately Ichika's armour had caused it to ricochet off in another direction. Though she paid no attention to which, for her mind was soley focused on raising as wide and high a barrier as possible. Moments later, the second projectile howled towards her mask, directly inbetween her eyes, though thanks to the Sharingan, she was able to make a slight adjustment to the positioning of her head at the last moment, causing the bullet to slam into but a portion of the mask, shattering it instantly but otherwise leaving Ichika unscathed. In that instant, a great wall of earth erupted from the ground, soaring twenty meters into the air.Now's my chance!
Ichika thought to herself, clasping her hands together to form the snake seal as she heard the sound of eight more projectiles slamming into her earth wall. "Earth Style: Hidden in the Earth Jutsu."
muttered the woman to herself before sinking into the ground beneath her feet and beginning to navigate the soil, finding her way into the wall that she had created. Slithering up through the structure, knowing full well that her adversaries would be attempting to flank her from opposite sides. Although they had no idea that she would no longer be waiting for them in that position.
Once she made it to the wall's apex, Ichika released her jutsu which had allowed her to effortlessly sneak her way there. She looked below, witnessing their visible confusion as to their attacker's whereabouts. It was time. Her plan for a counter attack had gone off almost entirely without a hitch. With a deep breath, Ichika crossed the index and ring fingers of both of her hands, conjuring two shadow clones and began flooding a large amount of chakra, possibly one third of what she felt she had remaining after the creation of her clones; into the tenketsu point which had been engaged since the beginning of this battle she wove two seals with flawless speed and precision. Her clones mimicking the action. Boar, Tiger. "WELCOME TO HELL! EARTH STYLE: SWAMP OF THE UNDERWORLD JUTSU!"
Roared the ANBU agent as she unleashed one of her signature jutsu, her clones doing the same. The resulting swamp was gargantuan, with almost the enitre compound becoming enveloped within it's radius. Thick, black mud took the place of the once beautiful green grass, with snakes and other creatures from the local ecosystem scurrying to escape it's clutches, but quickly becoming snagged in the thick mud, unable to move.
The two jounin looked up at Ichika and attemped to leap from the clutches of the jutsu, towards her position. However due to the sheer density of the new terrain, they were completely unable to remove their feet from the swamp's clutches. They began to trudge through the mud towards the earth wall, hoping to begin an assault on the Uchiha, whose otherwise beautiful face had now been marked with numerous small cuts from the destruction of her mask, which leaked small streams of blood down her pale white face as she ceased holding the tiger seal. Beginning to apply the slightest amount of her water nature transformation to her earth style. Ram, Horse, Dragon. "Earth Style: Earth Dragon Bullet!"
Ichika shouted, forcing some of the mud of her and the clones' swamp to rise up, and take the form of a dragon's head. It would not be long before Ichika had completely drained herself of chakra. She knew she had to finish them in this moment. At least, if her clones did not survive the encounter that was.
Instantly, the dragon's dripping muddy maw opened up, and spewed forth a barrage of projectiles which came crashing into the two Jounin. Breaking bones and forcing them deeper into the mud of the swamp. As this occured, Ichika released both of her clones, causing the swamp to begin to fade from existence. Shrinking from it's perimeter into the heart of the chakra-created swampland. In this moment, the Uchiha woman leapt from her wall, pulling her blade from its sheathe as she descended upon the male Jounin. A single fell stroke of her blade was all it took to finish off the now crippled bearer of the scroll.
His ally had fared no better in the aftermath of Ichika's relentless assault, and as the Uchiha claimed the scoll for her own; all of the strength that the other woman could muster only allowed her to mutter six words. "You're...Ichika...of the Black Swamp..."
She had said through pained, gritted teeth."Damn right...And don't you forget it."