[sneaking Nightmare] Omi lead the team as they stepped carefully through the forest. The thick foliage had blacked out most of the light in the sky, and the rain was barely breaking through the trees. The air had a smell of wet leaves that always came after it had rained. Omi had detected another scent in the air, in fact even her two young genin had detected it by now. There was a sort of metallic smell mixed in with the damp, the smell of iron, the smell of blood. For it to be this strong required more than a few drops on a leaf. Somewhere close, there was definitely a large pool of blood. Omi shifted her glance backwards to Shuzo who was beginning to look uneasy. Shuzo's gaze was darting left and right shiftily. His muscles were tensed, sweat dripping across his brow. He felt nervous. No. It was worse than that. Fear was creeping through him, gripping him tightly, he felt like it was getting harder to breathe. The smell of blood was nauseating, but more so it conjured horrific images in his head. He was aware that Yu had given him a look of concern but he didn't register it fully. His mind was only half in the present, the other half flashing through memories of his past. As they all stepped through into a large clearing Shuzo's eyes widened as the fear inside him finally paralyzed him, stopping him from stepping any further forward. The clearing was dark and damp, the sun had finally set and turned the night sky into a black abyss. The rain was falling down in large pools of black. The darkness had coloured it black but there was no mistake that the pools were of blood, not rain. Across the clearing from them a figure was posed against a tree stump that had been uprooted and placed in the centre of the clearing. The figure was soaked in blood and had been pinned to the tree stump by an assortment of bladed weapons including kunai, shuriken, needles and even short katana. Omi was now on high alert, it was abundantly clear now that her team were not safe. "That's our man." Omi explained, "...the placement of the body, the positioning within this clearing...they wanted him to be found." "Sensei, I think this is a trap." Yu said quietly, looking around. "No shit." Omi replied before turning her gaze to Shuzo. "How are you holding up?" she asked him. There was no reply. Shuzo was staring at the body intently, his gaze wide and unblinking. His entire body was shaking due to how much his muscles were tensed. He could hear Omi speaking but it sounded muffled and distant. He wasn't sure where he was. Something was wrong, he felt alert and yet incredibly drowsy and confused. Something washed over him and suddenly his surroundings disappeared, replaced by a dream. [Hidan] Shuzo was stood in a pool of blood that stretched far out in front of him. The crimson water was so deep it reached his ankles. As he looked around frantically he realised that he was alone, and there was nothing but blood for as far as his eyes could see. Beyond that there was only darkness. He began to run, sprinting through the bloody floor, causing it to splash up his legs, splattering over his hands and face. He kept running, despite the burning in his chest. He ran for what felt like hours. Still he saw nothing but a sea of blood. Finally he fell on to his knees within the pool. He looked down into the blood and at his own reflection. But the reflection was not his, it was instead the face of his former jounin leader, Ine. "Shuzo!" [Glued State] Shuzo suddenly snapped back to reality. Omi was stood in front of him, her lone eye was fierce as she stared into his. He turned his head to see that Yu looked quite concerned with him. He turned back to Omi, she was still staring at him intently. "Is there a problem?" Omi asked him directly "Uh..." Shuzo stammered, "N-no...i'm fine." "You don't look fine." Omi replied quickly. "This is a bad time to start freakin' out kid. Stay sharp. I need to go check the body. You two need to cover my back. Got it?" "But...what if it's a trap?" Shuzo asked. "You cant just walk over to it." "No choice" Omi replied, "The enemy know that the scroll is a decoy. This whole set up means they know exactly where the information is..." "What do you mean?" Shuzo asked, cocking his head to the right. "Doesn't matter." Omi said sharply, "Just cover each other, cover me. We need to stay alert." With that Omi turned around and began to approach the body. She moved slowly but with purpose. She had already scanned the area for wire traps. There was no need for them. The enemy wanted her to get to the body. They wanted her to do exactly what she was going to do. As she reached the body she reached out and touched it around the neck. A pulse. It was faint but it was there. The man was still alive. This didn't give Omi any comfort though. The man wouldn't survive much longer. There was no way to save him. At most she could have offered him a quick death, but alas, even that was impossible. The information this man carried was in the form of a memory. As far as Omi was concerned it would be better if the memory died with the man, however, the Hokage wanted otherwise. She had no idea what the information was. Nor did the man in front of her for that matter. The memory was sealed within him using a special ninja technique. The sealing jutsu was used to lock a memory inside the mind of any person, however that memory was not available to the container until another jutsu had been performed, one that only the most elite of ninja would know. Omi did not know this technique, however, she did know another. She placed her right hand firmly over the dying man's head. Her left hand formed a seal and suddenly black markings appeared on the man's head, crawling across his face like writing. What is she doing? Shuzo wondered to himself. Omi had finished her preparation. She paused for a brief moment, considering what she was about to do. She couldn't help but have admiration for the way this trap was designed. Her two genin probably didn't realise it but this kind of trap was inescapable. There were no walls, barriers, wire traps or anything of the sort, but she was certain that they were being watched. If she had ordered her Genin to flee, there was no chance they would make it without being ambushed by their enemy. Still the mission required this information be retrieved without failure. To lose it altogether was perhaps more dangerous than allowing it into enemy hands. The beauty of this trap was the enemy knew that this man did not know the seal to transfer the memory within him. By leaving him here they had lured another team in. It would be safe for the enemy to assume that the team would have a ninja that knew the neccesary transfer seal, in case it was impossible to rescue the captured ninja. Once Omi performed the transfer the enemy was going to trap her there. She may not have known exactly how but she knew it was unlikely she could escape easily. This meant that this mission's fate rested within the hands of her students. Ideally she would rather fight instead of them, she was far more capable, but she was the only one who knew the jutsu required. This was it. "Ninpou: Third Eye Transferal Jutsu" She said quietly. As she did so the black ink began to slide off of the man's face, travelling down on to Omi's palm and along her wrist, up her arm and under her clothes. It re-appeared coming out from under her mask, reforming in a similar pattern on her own face, with a strange symbol of an eye on her forehead, which then slowly faded away until nothing was there. No sooner had she finished she had heard the soft sound of movement within the forest. She went to move but it was far too late. [Kouen] Omi felt her legs lock to the floor and looked down to see that a black liquid had emerged from the ground. The liquid was rapidly travelling up her body, stopping her from moving. Her eye widened in shock as she came to a realization. She knew this technique. She knew the ninja that used it. A feeling of dread rose within her as the black oil began to rise over her shoulders, she was now completely trapped. She fell forwards on the ground, struggling to break free but she knew it was no use. This ninjutsu was the 'Black Oil Abyss Jutsu' a complex technique performed using a chakra infused oil-based substance. Only one ninja was known to use it. The Black Eyed Beast of the Hidden Rain... "Gekko Mori!" Omi snarled. Rising out of the ground behind her, emerging from the oil, was a man who was at least 6ft 5 inches tall. He was wearing black ninja sandals and black trousers, a dark purple chunin jacket. Over his shoulder he was wearing a black cloak that was currently dripping with the oil he had emerged from. His hair was black, greasy and slicked over to the right, with the left side of his hair shaved off. He grinned wildly as he pulled a large blade from a strap behind him, a double edged broadsword with serrated edges, resembling a hacksaw. He held the sword behind Omi's head, poised to strike, before stepping on her back with his right foot. His gaze turned to the two genin and they both noticed his most significant trait. His eyes were entirely black, with only thin, yellow circles to signify where his pupils were. Yu took a deep breath and watched this man carefully, "You should let her go." He said, his voice calm but stern. "Oh really?" Gekko replied, still sporting his wicked grin, "Or what, boy?" Yu reached over his back and pulled the parasol from its sling on the back of his coat, "Or you can deal with me." Yu replied calmly. "Oh? I like the confidence boy. It's probably best that you keep your mouth shut though." Gekko said with a smirk. He dropped down and picked up Omi, slinging her over his shoulder. "I'd love to test your metal but I have an appointment to keep. I'll leave you with some entertainment though. Kurin! Mugen!" Suddenly two flickers of movement shot in front of Gekko. The figures stopped at either side of him. They were both shorter and younger, only slightly older than Yu and Shuzo. The ninja both had long, waist length hair, each with the same spikey style, except the one on the right had snow white hair, whilst the one on the left had jet black hair. They were both wearing similar black jumpsuits, the black haired ninja wearing a white jumpsuit, the white haired ninja wearing a black one. Their mouths were covered by breathers but they each shared the unique trait of a pair of light purple eyes. Clearly they were twins. "Gekko-sama!" The black haired one spoke, his voice metallic and muffled through the breather, "Should we take out the trash?" "The one with the red hair is mine, Mugen!" The other, Kurin, replied, "He looks fuckin' scared! It's pissin' me off!" "Quit bickering and kill them. Join me when you're finished!" Gekko spat before turning round and leaping into the trees with Omi, disappearing into the darkness. The one called Mugen advanced forward, drawing a pair of short-poled glaives and rounded on Yu. Meanwhile Kurin dashed toward Shuzo, his speed far surpassing his brother's, he was at Shuzo in less than a second, lunging forward to stab him with a kunai. Shuzo hadn't even moved, he was frozen to the spot once more. [Guren] "I...Ine-sensei!" Shuzo gasped for breath "Calm down Shuzo" Ine replied. Shuzo once more found himself on the floor, weak and unable to move, his former sensei standing above him, staring out into the distance. "I'm sorry that things have happened this way...I won't try to sugar coat it...we're in serious trouble." "Sensei...who are they?" Shuzo asked weakly. "I wish I knew..." Ine replied, "...Shuzo...I might not get to talk with you like this again. Please...whatever happens...never surrender. You have to be the strongest you can possibly be...for Konoha...and for me." "Sensei!" Shuzo cried desperately, "I don't understand! Please!" "It's too late!" Ine replied, "They are coming!" and then Ine shot off into the distance, out of Shuzo's view. Shuzo tried to move, tried to stand a get to his feet. He pushed himself up, finally managing to get to his knees. Already he felt too exhausted to go any further. Just when he was about to give up something gripped on to him from either side and hoisted him to his feet. The forest had gone. So had Ine, running into the distance. Shuzo was now stood in darkness. He looked to either side of him. To his left a boy with a long, shaggy haired mohawk. To his right a a girl with blonde hair that was held back in a hairband. They were both smiling softly at him. "Teiru..." Shuzo whispered, his fists shaking with rage and grief, "Mitsuko...Why? What's going on!?" "We came to help you up, aniki!" Teiru said with a grin "But...you aren't here..." Shuzo replied, "You're dead!" "Shuzo..." Mitsuko said as she rubbed his shoulder softly, "we know that. But we can still help you. It might be too late for us but...we can help you stand strong. So you can protect them!" she said before pointing forward into the dark. Shuzo looked up to see Omi and Yu walking in the distance. Yu turned around and looked to Shuzo. "Are you coming?" Yu asked "You should go" came another voice. Shuzo turned around to see the person behind him. Ine was smiling back at him. "Remember what I said? You have to be the strongest you can be, Shuzo. Never surrender. Never stop fighting for those important to you." Shuzo turned back towards Omi and Yu who were beginning to disappear into the distance. He took one final look at his old team. He nodded slowly in agreement. "I won't give up." he said, "There's still a chance we can fix this. Me and Yu...we can figure this out together." Shuzo gave a soft smile to his former team. Then he went off at a run, chasing after Omi and Yu, quickly gaining on them, until he was nearly at their side. [The Raising Fighting Spirit] Kurin was inches from Shuzo's throat when suddenly Shuzo moved, gracefully swerving away from the blade, spinning on his left heel, twisting his body around so that Kurin had completely bypassed him, before coming right back around and forcing back his elbow into Kurin's back and sending him crashing into the dirt. Kurin quickly recovered, landing with his hands and flipping forwards to gain some distance before turning to face Shuzo. What the fuck!? Kurin thought to himself, This guy...his reflexes...he predicted my movement and overcame my speed! What is this guy!? Shuzo turned to look at Kurin, his eyes wide, confident and wild with fury. "Don't underestimate me!" Shuzo snarled, before changing his stance so that his left foot was forward, his fists held steadily at either side of his waist, leaving his upper body completely open. "You fuckin' loser!" Kurin roared, "I'll make you suffer!" he cried out again before lunging forward once more, drawing two more kunai and advancing on Shuzo. This time as he reached him he stopped short of his lunge, clashing horizontally at Shuzo who simply leant backwards and avoided the swipe before arcing his waist around and coming back up to strike Kurin twice in the ribs before bringing his arm up to block an incoming strike from his right. He gripped Kurin's arm tightly and struck it with a left hook right at the joint between his upper arm and forearm, followed by a loud crack. Kurin began to scream in pain but he was cut off as Shuzo's fist connected with his jaw, sending him up into the air briefly, before he came crashing back to earth with a thump. Kurin was down but not out. Shuzo had to act fast. Yu leapt forwards without warning, holding his parasol behind him in one hand as he ran. When he was within range of Mugen he thrust the weapon forwards, the sharp barb in the centre, stabbing at him. Mugen dodged to one side and tried to strike Yu in response but as he tried to attack, Yu spun the parasol around and opened it, the enemy nin's glaive clashing with metal. Mugen pushed backwards as he heard footsteps advancing from his left. he managed to block Shuzo's flying kick with the flat sides of his glaives, forcing him back before Yu advanced once more, causing him to duck to avoid the strike and leap backwards to create distance. He prepared himself to fight both Yu and Shuzo, however, Shuzo had already motioned for Yu's attention. "Yu, I've got this" Shuzo said confidently, "You have to go after Omi-sensei!" "Are you sure?" Yu asked, his eyes on the enemy ninja. "Not exactly" Shuzo replied, "But if you dont follow that guy we'll loose Omi-sensei! I don't care about the mission or whatever! Yu...we can't let her die...trust me...we can't give up!" Yu hesitated but he saw the look in Shuzo's gaze and knew he could delay no longer, he turned his back on his comrade and leapt up into the trees, after the leader of the trio of ninja, and their sensei. Mugen went to run into the trees after Yu but Shuzo had already pressed his hands together to perform seals. "Doton: Moving Earth Core!" Shuzo said as he activated his ninjutsu. Suddenly a large chunk of the earth rose up under Mugen's foot, causing him to stumble in his movement. Then as he stumbled another, larger piece of rock shot up in front of him, which he narrowly avoided taking his head off. Mugen turned back around to face Shuzo. Kirin had also re-emerged, clutching his broken arm but ready to fight. "Are you sure this is what you want?" Mugen asked him, "We're twins. We may be strong separately, but together we cannot be stopped. We haven't even begun to fight!" "Fine with me." Shuzo said with a confident smirk, returning to his fighting stance, waiting for his opponents to strike. "Come at me then, unless you're all talk?"