Cheopo (035)

ZK

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Cheopo

With its particularly dense and dark forest Cheopo can seem a surprising location for the renowned Fire Temple, inhabited by a strict order of ninja monks. The forest however, just like the large rock formations that surround the temple on three sides, serve as a natural defense that shield the reclusive group from unworthy outsiders. A few mining and farming communities also make their home in the area.
 
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#2
[ Continuing ]

Miguel and Tulio ran from the outskirts of the sprawling city as they had finally lost the group that had been chasing them. All but Smith and Lorelei who they still didn't know was trailing them silently and hidden. Smith kept Lorelei a few feet behind him and slowly guided her through the dense forest leading her around and through the almost limitless tree-scape that plagued this area. Miguel and Tulio came to a clearing just about tripping over themselves as they fumbled into a vast open space free of tress.
Directly in front of them was a large sheer rocky plateau blocking off their path. Breathing heavily and nearly exhausted the two almost passed out leaning against the side of the plateau as they began to laugh back and forth so happy that they evaded the group behind them. Smith directed Lorelei to wait there as he exited the tree-line in view of the two now slowly and non-threateningly walking toward the two.

Miguel lifted his eyes and looked directly at Smith as he exited the forest as Tulio jumped up slightly making a hissing noise. The two seemed threatened by Smith's presence which he would know exactly why that was. They had just been running from a group of people trying to escape Keishi. He should have expected a hostile reaction. Be gone!
Tulio seemed to growl as if trying to seem more threatening than he actually was but in reality he just seemed awkward and out of place as he swung his arms around as if taking a defensive stance. It played out more like a joke then it did an actual threat. The two shifted closer as if preparing to fight Miguel was making sure he still had all of the treasure he had obtained from his earlier gambling exploits.


Smith would speak in a direct and non-hostile tone, more like a negotiator then an enemy. However that didn't stop these two from seeing him as an enemy. Was he here to obtain what they had stolen? Or was he here for information? They had been telling a wild story about an angel and a demon and riches and ryo. Could he be looking for information? Either way they didn't want to give him what they had, it took a lot of work and lying to get the few scraps of money they had additionally they had just obtained some kind of special map.
Smith lifted his arms slightly as he stopped about six or seven meters in front of the two. His hands hung at about head height as he continued to speak. His posture was immaculate, his stance pristine but most of all his tone was somewhat gentle. He didn't want to scare them off or make them feel threatened so he continued to suppress his chakra he didn't want them to see him as a danger.

I don't mean you any harm. I want to. Purchase your services. I hear you know things, and you learn things it can't be said any plainer. I'd like to put you on retainer. I'll pay you both in advance, I'll treat you with civility. You can even turn a blind eye to my business so you can have deniability.

Tulio's eyes perked up. The man was rhyming? It was something he did often. Miguel however was still hesitant, his eyes sank in disbelief. They had just tried to sell information to a Hangurian Black One and even they didn't want the story they were selling. What could this man provide them? His posture denoted nobility but his appearance didn't. He seemed to be bluffing in Miguel's opinion it was like one con-man looking at another. He thought that this man could be dangerous. Miguel spoke toward him with a reserved and guarded tone.

What are you offering?

Smith smiled slightly as he lowered his hands to his sides. They took the bait.

Ryo, fame? What do you want?

Their entire demeanor changed at the mention of ryo and fame. Miguel's reserved and defensive posture became slouched as Tulio softened up both looking toward each other. They responded together almost in unison to one another. They seemed to brighten up significantly almost forgetting their thoughts of hostility. They seemed greedy. This wasn't exactly a bad thing, it meant they could be bought and would be loyal as long as they were rewarded.
These two were the pair who had spread that narrative all around the world. They were already indirectly helping Sado even if they didn't know it, directly controlling their actions would compound their usefulness. Smith knew Sado himself would see the vast potential that had and would be all for paying them for their services. If they could feed information to these two influential merchants and have them spread it they could influence the flow of information in the world.

Miguel and Tulio both spoke in a rushed tone, looking at one another then Smith then back to one another.


That treasure pile you're coveting. I saw you scrape it up off the ground. It's about what? Thirty ryo? Forty at the most? I'll pay you one hundred now and fifty every time you bring me information or spread information for me. If you spread information through the world in the form of stories like the one you spread before-... you'll grow to become renowned. Think of the fame, the women, the free drinks! Eventually you'll become famous as entertainers, information brokers, and maybe with time something more.

Miguel and Tulio's eyes were lighting up with the potential. A whole world of possibilities was stretched out before them and Smith picked up on that fact. They wanted to live the high life. They were used to living on the street. Promises of fame and fortune played directly into what they wanted. They didn't care about the war, or shinobi. They cared about themselves they were the center of their own universe.

Miguel spoke first.

Hmm what would we have to do?

Followed by Tulio who merely reiterated what Miguel had said.

Yeah what would we have to do?

Smith began to grin he had them.

For now just remain in or around Keshi and live the high life. With time I'll seek you out with objectives. You do things for me, I pay you. It might take some effort but you'll always be compensated, women, wine, food. You won't want for anything as long as you remain in my service. Also how about you let me buy that map from you?

The two seemed to nod in agreement as Smith tossed them their initial payment.

Ok.

Miguel replied but Tulio seemed to agree.


NPCs and Clone ELM from LM 007
 
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#3
Smith explained to the two that they should remain near the noticeboard, or in the marketplace and wait for further correspondence. The other two men made their way back toward Keishi once they were completely gone Smith would signal Lorelei. She had seen the merchants, but they had never seen her. This was by design, Smith wanted those two as in the dark as possible in case they were ever turned against him. They knew nothing but their objectives which would be explained to them later on.
After this he whistled heavily a loud deep whistle motioning his left hand up swinging it forward twice as Lorelei walked out of the forest and toward him. Smith and Lorelei would continue onward toward the Tea Peninsula nearly to their destination now. Lorelei and Smith had both been noting everything they had seen and Smith had been sending all of the information back to his main body.
Before moving on to the next land he would make sure to send a message explaining everything short, sweet and to the point. He included reports of all the landmasses they had seen thus far, their names, their structures, population, etc as well as the fight in Zhouhua and the merchants that were now working for them. He gave their names and their objectives. He also mentioned the map he had bought from Miguel and Tulio. He thought it may be a valuable asset, the ink seemed to shift and change depending on the placement of people in the landmark the map was in additionally the shape of the land changed with the landmark. It could be useful.

From this point on, the real danger begins. Be careful, always pick your words carefully, and most of all always be ready to run. Leave me behind at the first sign of danger, I'm an extension of myself. As I've mentioned I'm temporary. You on the other hand only have one life, don't waste it foolishly. Got it?

Lorelei replied in a somewhat somber tone. She was saddened by the way Smith spoke about himself.

Got it.

They moved forward leaving the lands.


All NPCs and Clone LLM
 
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The second clone, from now on referred to as Greg alongside his massive three-headed snake which had a hut strapped to it's back slithered through here rather quickly trying to be as inconspicuous as a massive snake could. Greg was silent the entire time. The NPCs inside the hut were fucking amazed at what was going on right now. A literal giant snake was carting them across the Ninja World in a hut that was bigger on the inside. It was crazy, the children were playing, inside the massive structure while the parents and elders were trying to figure out just what in the hell was happening.

Greg and the NPCs ELM from LM 024 | LLM
 
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#5
Arriving from Keishi [SUP](07)[/SUP].​




Shayde barreled through the dense forest of Cheopo with reckless abandon, his mind alight with countless excuses and reasons why the dead would be rising. Was it someone's idea of a joke? Right before the hallowed celebration of the dead, they mock them with the sudden appearance of "zombies" in the heart of a City burned to the ground? Were they truly reanimated from the dead? Was the guy just drunk, or looking for an excuse for why he had returned without any loot from Chungsu? The latter was impossible. From the look on his face to the shakiness of his voice, and the seriousness of his tone, the thief's words sounded true. Whether or not they actually were... That would be discovered soon. Faced with the prospect of a definitive answer of his parents fate, Shayde made a beeline straight for Chungsu...




Leaving Landmark, heading to Qindong [SUP](24)[/SUP].​
 

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#9
Coming from here: [x]. This post will also mark the beginning of the mission questline: Powering the Weapon Core, Part I (The Candidates, 2) (S-Rank).




Travelling into a much darker environment compared to the bustling marketplace, Ozymandias ponders on the possible uses of the core he carried. The shadow he had encountered spoke briefly of its power, claiming it to be strong enough to raze an entire city. Such a power could not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. His mind briefly flashes back to the scene where him and his best friend parted ways, on the edge between land and sea, where one man had parted the very ocean itself with his power. From time to time, he wondered how life was treating that person...

The sound of distant crashing and screaming pulls the distracted pharaoh from his dreamlike trance, and his eyes dart to the source of the sound. The darkness of the forest, caused by the dense canopy barring the entry of most light, meant that Ozymandias couldn't clearly identify what was ahead of him, but he knew that it was the site from where the loud sounds came from. Walking with quickened pace, he eventually comes to a clearing, and the sight which greeted him was that of chaos. The dirt ground was dotted with fire and debris of various sizes, it was the image of a battlefield, not an isolated, tranquil community. Bodies were strewn around the area, the buildings observable being demolished, or in the process of. Out of the small structures came masked individuals clad purely in black.


Some of these masked men were in conflict with robed monks, whom were attempting to prevent further damage by neutralising the cloaked attackers. It would be a good opportunity to try his hand at filling the core, at the very least. Forming a single seal, Ozymandias radiates chakra around his being, superheating it to create a snake made of flames which coil around his body. Upon mental command, the fiery familiar surges forth, its head splitting into multiple smaller ones to target the several cloaked individuals who were engaging the monks. The monks did not lower their fighting stance, but their expression became one of confusion as the black men they were fighting were caught within the maws of crimson snakes, their bodies being lifted into the air as if they were weightless, and flung away from the houses on the end of the street. Their bodies crumpled at Ozymandias' feet on impact, bones no doubt broken and impaling their vital organs from within. Dispelling the First Decree, he walks from the five corpses and towards the monks, who had turned to see who exactly it was who had come to their assistance. He stops mere feet from them, keeping his eyes fixed on the center monk.

Type: Offensive / Defensive
Rank: A
Range: Short - Long
Chakra: 30 (-10 per turn)
Damage: 60
Description: The user will concentrate their fire chakra (and make 4 quick handseals) within their body and form a fiery cobra that loosely coils around the user’s body. This fire cobra can be mentally manipulated, allowing the user to control it without any sign or warning for the opponent. Whilst wrapped around the user, the jutsu is considered in resting position, and possesses defensive ability in its greatest capacity. Whilst coiled around the target in resting state, the snake will have slight gaps in its body, enough to provide the user with sightlines on the opponent whilst being thin enough to ensure maximum protection without letting anything in. Due to the chakra being condensed, giving the fire tangibility, it is able to defend easily from attacks of both tangibility and intangibility. Weapons such as kunai, shuriken or swords will easily be deflected, whilst elemental attacks interact with the technique according to the S&W scheme. Upon command, the fire can be manipulated to attack a target in any manner, as a whip, a surging beam, or even as a coiling snake to constrict. This being said, the fire is capable of dealing physical damage characteristic of blunt force and sharp-edged objects, even piercing through objects, due to the tangibility of the fire. The fire is capable of splitting off into branches in order to attack multiple targets, but will not suffer from any rank or strength decreases, as the branches are still connected to a singular structure. Whilst commanding the snake to attack outside of mid-range, it uncoils around the top half of the user’s body, leaving them vulnerable to attack. Though, the snake can be controlled to return to the user at any point, as quickly as it left. Even when coiled, it is still easily taller than any normal human being. When lashing out and pursuing targets, the snake moves at high speeds, making it dangerous for opponents in close quarters and escaping to far ranges alike.

⇒ Lasts 3 turns
⇒ Usable 2x per battle



"I'd assume there to be more, for this level of destruction."

The monk nodded in confirmation of the pharaoh's statement. The entire street before them burned, and there was still the rest of the village which continued to do so, its people being accosted and murdered by the masked ones in dark cloaks. "Indeed. There are many more up ahead, at least a hundred..."

Aside from being the same number which the spirit specified when he'd briefly manifested before the pharaoh, Ozymandias found it strange. Why attack a remote village with this many people? Were there more of these monks nearby, and their presence necessitated the greater number of soldiers? It was a likelihood, which then begged the question; why were they here anyway? The pharaoh supposed that he would find the answers upon confronting the other group of soldiers.

"Stay here. Focus on the evacuation of the rest of the civilians in this part of the village. I will eliminate the rest of the masked ones here."

Ozymandias walks from the monks before they have a chance to respond, making his way to the main street of the village. The destruction became greater as he progressed, with more and more bodies appearing, even entire houses were collapsed. Before long, he'd reached the village center, where the fires were at their strongest. Filled not only with destruction, but also the ones wearing dark cloaks. Ozymandias viewed his surroundings, unfazed by the great number of men that were gathered. They all stared at him eerily, their faces entirely hidden by the mask and fabric on their head. Exchanged between them were words of a foreign language, that which Ozymandias did not understand. It mattered not. Forming a string of seals, Ozymandias manifested two constructs of electricity, their form being that of ornate scimitars bearing a blue shine, each being held in his hands.


Type: Offensive / Defensive
Rank: A
Range: Short - Long (varies on application)
Chakra: 30 (-5 per turn)
Damage: 60
Description: The user will form a sequence of 3 seals, and gather chakra from their circulatory system. This chakra will manifest as a single or numerous shapes of solid lightning chakra, resembling weaponry such as swords, spears, axes etc, of varying sizes that can be controlled by the user. There are 2 distinct usages of this technique. One of them being, upon mental command, the weapons can shoot, akin to that of arrows fired from bows, towards their target at high speeds at a continuous rate from wherever they spawn. The second usage, is to manifest one or two weapons, wielding them as melee objects in close combat. Due to the lightning itself being tangible in nature, it is able to be held by the user and deal damage similar to that of normal weaponry, in addition to electrocution and mild burns characteristic of Lightning Release effects. While these usages are separated, the user is able to enact the projectile usage after the melee construct(s) has been created, though at the cost of a move in this case. While the weapons of the projectile usage will last until the end of the turn they are created, firing for the entire duration of it, weapons of the melee usage will last up to 3 turns upon creation, unless destroyed or dispelled upon the user ceasing chakra supply to sustain the weapon(s). Should the weapons be discarded, but still maintained on the field through chakra fuel, they can be mentally called back to the user. When interacting with other objects or techniques, the weapons will release blasts of electricity to act against their force, effortlessly repelling normal weapons and reducing the momentum of oncoming jutsu which collide with it.

⇒ Usable 3x per battle
⇒ No A-Rank or above Lightning techniques upon deactivation



Ozymandias looked around him, using his peripherals to keep the enemies on the edge of his vision and beside him in check. To both his flanks were the great multitude of soldiers that the monks spoke of, as well as a smaller group which were congregated around the entrance to a larger building. Each and every last one of them turned to face the golden king. These soldiers would be a sacrifice to his cause. It didn't matter to him why they were there. He dismissed his earlier thoughts on why they could be here. He only needed their blood. Forming a sequence of seals, Ozymandias manifests two sky-blue scimitars in his hands, and tenses his body, ready for the battle to come. The masked figures say nothing, instead, only inspecting the armed pharaoh where he stood, resembling curious birds which were examining something of interest. Without warning, the soldiers converge on him in a mad scramble, weapons drawn. Ozymandias simply jumps straight to the group ahead of him, slashing through their armaments and bodies like butter. Blood splashed along the walls of the building behind the men as they were cut down, falling easily before the weapons which hopelessly outmatched their own. In a whirlwind flurry of swordplay, Ozymandias had decimated the ten who stood before him. The core, at this stage, would only require the deaths of eighty-five more. The large group of soldiers to his left and right, who were stampeding towards him, had confidence in their numbers. They would be mistaken in placing their faith in such a thing. Releasing his grip on the two swords, they hover in place briefly, before he mentally commands them to fire off in the direction of both groups. Ozymandias was wary not to use techniques of a large scale, as it could result in the village's destruction. Forming a single seal, Ozymandias generates several humanoid familiars possessing a radiant blue color, their form resembling armed soldiers.


Type: Offensive / Defensive / Supplementary
Rank: D – S B
Range: Short – Long
Chakra: 10 – 40 20 (-10 per turn)
Damage: 20 – 80 40
Description: Hand of Anubis allows the user to create familiars composed of Dendera Light in either it’s flame-like or plasma-like state. These familiars are controlled by the user, acting as minions to serve various purposes on the battlefield. Their shape and size are at the behest of the user, and can be made to fight directly alongside the user as smaller humanoid figures or as larger beings, up to the size of the Great Stone Golem, and can be shaped according to the user’s desire. These familiars are able to utilise Dendera Light techniques up to their own rank (e.g. an A-Rank familiar can only use A-Rank Dendera Light or below). Due to being composed of the element itself, they are capable of utilising techniques of Dendera Light on the level of an Apex Handseal specialist. The familiars themselves are able to passively shape certain parts of themselves into appendages resembling weapons etc, even after they have manifested. Additionally, the user is capable of manifesting these familiars around his person, similarly to that of Susano’o, with the user floating in the chakra anywhere in the body of said familiar. Unless otherwise stated, the user will always be located in its head. Familiars of B-Rank and higher require seals (B - 1 , A - 2 , S - 3) and all usages above B-Rank can last up to four turns at maximum. Once an S-Rank usage of this technique ends, this technique cannot be used again for one turn to create a familiar above A-Rank strength. S-Rank usages can be performed thrice per battle.



With his blades slicing through several of the masked ones, and the familiars following suit, Ozymandias would merely stand still as his techniques whittled away at the enemies around him. Once they had all fallen dead, his familiars making short work of them, Ozymandias instructed that they carry each body to the front of the building, placed in a large pile. The blood which poured from their bodies would form a great puddle beneath the carcasses, allowing Ozymandias to drench the core in the crimson liquid. Then, he entered the large building which the black warriors were gathered outside. Perhaps they were preparing to enter before he'd arrived? Feeling a disturbance inside the core, he takes it out and holds it in his palm, noticing that the stone had become less translucent, and it appeared to swirl inside. Had it recognised and responded to the deaths of the hundred men that Ozymandias had killed? Looking straight ahead again, he sees a small girl sitting in the corner of the largely empty room. This building appeared to be a town hall of sort. Making his way to her, clutching the stone tightly in hand, he crouches down to make level with the girl. Her clothing was ragged, her arms slightly bruised and scratched, but she was otherwise unharmed. She continued to back up into the wall, even though she no longer had room to move, her instinctual fear causing her to forget the fact, tears running down her face. The pharaoh speaks to her with an unusually soft tone. "Do not worry, you have nothing to fear from me."

The girl sniffles, the fear of the men outside, though now dead, still in control of her. "Th-they came from the north. I don't know why or when, I just hid here when I first heard the screaming, I-..." she began to speak uncontrollably, the shock causing an erratic response. Her breathing quickens, to which Ozymandias responds by placing a hand on her shoulder, trying to calm her down.

"It is alright now. The ones outside are gone. Your village is safe now."

The girl's breathing slows, and her expression grows calmer. Exhaustion gets the better of her, and she passes out from the fatigue and trauma. Taking the core out, he slowly holds it to her cheek, ensuring that it would capture one of the tears. It passes over the surface of the stone, lingering atop its smooth surface before being drawn into the stone, a white color pouring outwards from the darkness. The stone grew brighter in color, signifying a change in its contents. Satisfied, Ozymandias stands up and leaves the church. He awaits the reappearance of the shadowy figure, so that he may continue in unlocking the secrets behind the stone.
 
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