Returning to the place where he’d first met his partner for the joint task force operation between Kirigakure and Konohagakure, Zurui suddenly found himself flooded with memories. They’d been through a lot of missions in the two years they’ve operated together, ranging from the benign to village level disasters. They’d even chosen to delve into criminal operations for a time, growing in prominence in both surface and under worlds. Still, even with all the work they’ve been through, they were not the most well known shinobi. Their methods had always been on the sly side of things, using their combined intelligence to account for what they lacked in raw physical ability, though now they were starting to see growth even in those areas. Zurui himself had seen specific improvement in his energy stores, which to him are as important as his mental ability, for his bloodline is one that is costly, and for this reason, he has thus far only used it sparingly. This was to his advantage, though, for the less that knew of his origins, the better. He knew there was value in his Doujutsu, that others, especially those like him, would seek it out. The fact that he’d managed to keep it a secret for so long only added to his security.
Not long from then, he knew, he’d have to unleash it in its fullest power. His body was not as trained as others, and this gap could only be brought so close by his mental prowess alone. The power of the Rinnegan would soon be needed to take on foes that would otherwise be well beyond his natural ability. Once that happened, people would learn of his eyes and he would become a target for those seeking greater power. His training was often done on missions, improving his mind and body while on task with something else. Rarely did he find time to dedicate to actual physical training, rather, he used that time to master techniques. These techniques, he knew, were his ace in the hole, things best left to secrecy lest someone else discover what he could do, thwarting his element of surprise and placing him in a less than ideal situation.
Other times, his solitary training consisted of quiet reflection. That was his plan for today, and why he came back to the place he’d met Akihiro for the first time. One might expect him to channel the connection developed by this place to meditate on the missions they’d been on together. In fact, he came there to dwell on all the missions and assignments he’d been on without Akihiro throughout these last few years. Being a Jounin of Kirigakure, Zurui had been on hundreds of missions entirely on his own, some more dangerous than others and a select few that caused him to call upon powers beyond this world. One mission in particular had been surprisingly linked to his heritage, and the first thing he wanted to focus on today was that one task that had brought about his inner power in a way that he’d never known before.
Though he keeps it dearly secret, Zurui is an Otsutsuki, one of seven born into this world with the divided powers of the Rinnegan. Each of these powers is labeled by a Path relating to the abilities each power holds. Zurui is of the Outer Path, perhaps the most unique of the others, because it ties him to the Gedo Mazou, the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path. As very, very few in this world know, this statue is the shell of the Juubi and is therefore eternally linked to the Nine Tailed Beasts. This makes Zurui linked to the Bijuu as well, though only by proxy, and because of this, he became the target for a specific client seeking to wield the power of one of these monsters.
Having unlocked the abilities of his Path at an early age, Zurui had let slip just one time his powers. He’d tried, even then, to cover it so that none could see, but one particularly keen eye caught just enough of the details to discern what he already suspected. This man knew that the Rinnegan had surfaced. He knew, somehow, the abilities of the Paths, and because of this, he attended every public event involving shinobi with hopes that he might witness this power and use the others to seek out the one Path of the seven that he needed. It just so happened that in the twelfth or so event, he happened to be in the right place at the right time to find exactly the power he sought. Some would call it fate.
The man waited years later, keeping tabs on Zurui in secret with hopes that he would train further in his Doujutsu to unlock the greater aspects of its potency. He did just that, but not to he extent desired. In fact, it became obvious to this mystery man that Zurui was far too secretive of his power to ever fully unlock it, but he could not force the boy to do so. Instead, he settled for tasking the mission to one who was woefully underprepared. The man submitted to Kirigakure a mission to the Land of Demons, where rumor held that a mighty beast lurked in the shadows, terrorizing nearby villages and travelers. The man was, of course, only posing as a resident of the Land of Demons; none know where he actually hailed from. He did name Zurui in the request, a boy with no name who had only just become Jounin. The Mist Village accepted, for the reward was great, and Zurui was tasked with the mission alone.
The monster described was hardly anything to be concerned about. The details put it at giant size but with no unique powers to speak of. Zurui thought himself easily capable of handling it alone, until he got there. It turned out that the Land of Demons was indeed being plagued by a monster, though only the people that ventured towards the center, where rumors abounded of a terrible beast killing all that came near. Only those foolish enough to ignore the warnings were slaughtered. This threw up a red flag in Zurui’s mind, because he was specifically told that villages were being wiped out.
Still, he continued the mission and sought out the monster, only to find he had no real way of doing so. He ventured into the center of the Land of Demons and practically lived there for nearly two weeks and nothing happened. It was as if the beast knew to avoid him. Eventually, he was approached by the very man who submitted the mission in the first place, who told him of his power and offered guidance to using it. As it turned out, the monster was somehow aware of Zurui’s purpose there and actively sought to avoid him. Zurui followed the strange man’s guidance and unlocked powers he knew nothing of, techniques he’d not even thought of applying yet found them so practical for his natural abilities.
After a few weeks of training, Zurui left his makeshift camp in the center of the Land of Demons to hunt out this monster. With the training he had done, he felt even more confident in his ability to handle it, but he was wrong. Very wrong.
To start, Zurui fashioned a sealing formula on his person that scrambled his chakra signature. He suspected that the monster should only be able to avoid him so well because it could sense him. While he couldn’t erase his signature completely, due to a certain technique he needed to track the thing, he could work to make it more difficult. By now, the monster will have memorized Zurui’s specific signature, so he changed it to make it unrecognizable. Then, he created another seal, one that would throw the monster’s senses off even more, by making it appear as though Zurui were everywhere at once. This would eliminate specific positioning, so that the monster would no longer know who was coming and from where. Little did the newly appointed Jounin know that it was his emotions that were being sensed.
Ready to leave, Zurui prepared the technique he would need to track the beast. It was a jutsu that relied on his bloodline ties to seek out sources of Otsutsuki or Tailed Beast energy, something he’d never tried before and had only the stranger’s word to go on for efficacy. Still, he practiced it in earnest even if only theoretical, and now that the time came to actually use it, he found it more than functional. He could see the tip of reddish orange energy swaying behind a mountain miles and miles away. It would be a long walk, but knowing that his training was paying off gave him a morality boost that pushed him on.
The journey was long and tiresome. Along the way, Zurui crossed paths with another stranger. This one had much less mystery about him that last one, though, but his presence in this area was concerning. Everyone he’d spoken to thus far was well aware of the dangers of lurking this far inland and made every attempt to avoid doing so, yet here was some man, sitting at a campfire in the middle of an open valley. It looked from Zurui’s mountainside vantage point that the little man wanted to be caught. The Jounin worked his way into the valley with intentions to speak with this person, but the man went on the offensive immediately. Zurui retaliated, overwhelming him with rudimentary hand to hand combat, for while Zurui was a skilled shinobi, he was no Taijutsu expert, but this person had no fighting skills whatsoever. He was a persistent one, however, so the Jounin was forced to pin him down. Calling upon his considerable anatomical knowledge, Zurui identified the particular places on the man’s body that would isolate movement and, with a few swift strokes, pierced them all with black receivers. A quick burst of chakra from that point shut the man down, paralyzing his body.
From there, the Kiri-nin took matters a bit further than was perhaps necessary. He began to inscribe seals onto the receivers in order to seal away any chakra that the man might be hiding, just as a security measure to prevent any surprises. Once finished, Zurui knelt down in front of the hunched over paralytic and asked the reason for this behavior. It turned out that the man had come here from another land and was ambushed by the monster here. It killed his children and very nearly did the same to his wife. She was dying, holed up in a cave a ways away from the center of the valley. He’d erected the campfire in the open with the hopes that someone would stop by so that he could ambush them and use their blood to help his wife recover, for she was on the brink of death at this point solely due to blood loss.
Zurui was understanding of the situation, perhaps more than he should have been, so he agreed to help. The Jounin extracted a blood sample without freeing the man, for doing so might cause some resistance. The Jounin then considered how he would go about remedying the situation. He was a medic, sure, and blood transfusions were no problem to him, but the way he envisioned the wife being, he doubted he would be able to get a sufficient amount from this man without killing him. So he created a seal using the principles of the mystical palm technique, using the strokes of his finger to mimic the flow of chakra that the hand seals of the jutsu would normally cause and then infused his medicinally enhanced chakra into the seal once it was finished being created.
Once the seal was done, Zurui sealed the blood into it and then released the man. The man, who still hadn’t introduced himself for some reason, perhaps out of haste to get the situation resolved, led the Kiri-nin back to the cave which contained his wounded and bleeding wife. One glance told him that the situation was dire. She had maybe half a day left in her condition, and though the wound had been surprisingly well taken care of, she was obviously almost out of blood. Zurui opened up the seal he’d used to preserve the blood sample, noting that it had been preserved successfully. He then took a sample from the wife and look at the both of them in his hand, using chakra to manipulate them and hold them in place. Keeping watchful eyes over them, the Jounin used his chakra to cut the cells in half and then mended them together, creating a more successful variation of sample for a blood transfusion. He was unable to determine the specific blood types and how well they would react to each other, so this was the best method to test how the infusion would occur.
He waited a few moments to ensure that the newly formed cell would not simply die from the combination. Upon seeing that it did not, he started to flood the sample with medical chakra. The cell was forced to divide and regrow, over and over again until the sample become too large to hold. He placed his hand on the wife, in the spot where he drew her blood, and continued to force the cellular reproduction until the sample was large enough to flood her system with as blood as she needed. Zurui then connected with her chakra system to force the transfusion to drain from her energy stores to continue reproducing. She wasn’t a ninja, so she didn’t have much, but it would be enough to sustain the process so long as she continued to rest.
The Jounin stood up, seeing that his work here was complete. He’d helped them but was doubtful if they’d make it with that monster still lurking about. He would need to deal with it, and quick, before this happened to anyone else. The Kiri-nin left the cave and continued on his journey. The valley weather was much nicer than the mountains he had crossed thus far. He gave some thought to staying there and resting for a while. It’d been a long journey already, and he had so far still to go. He dismissed the idea and continued on. He didn’t have the time to waste on stopping when there was still so much to do and the more time that passed, the more people that the monster would kill and that would just be troublesome.
Moving on along the mountains, through worn and weary trails, some easily missed and others overgrown, Zurui pressed on for hours and hours until he was finally there. It was less a valley and more a crater, a spherical hole between four of the largest mountains Zurui had ever seen. There, at the bottom, towards the center of the crater was the monster. It was massive, easily the largest thing Zurui had ever seen since he first…did that summon. The Jounin looked around, considering his options. He was suddenly concerned with the entire plan. Simply seeing the beast was enough to change his opinion on its efficacy. This was going to be less a swift fight and more a full size war, if he even survived the first minute.
There wasn’t any time to waste on this. Zurui got as close as he dared and unleashed one of his most powerful techniques right off the bat, something he himself considered forbidden for fear of others discovering his unique ability. He closed his eyes and focused his mind. When next they opened, no longer were they the soulless black that he bore every day. Now, they were alive and brilliant, shining a violet brilliance that could only denote one single bloodline. Zurui reached out his hand, and from its palm fired a chain of seemingly indefinite length coated in a horrific purple energy that lashed out like flames. The chain wrapped around the beast’s neck. It awoke. The creature roared fiercely, shaking the very foundations of the mountains, but it could not struggle against that vile chain. It remained in place, shaking, but unable to move. Its power was entirely suppressed, as the stranger said it would. Zurui then moved on to the very next item on the list.
Holding the chain firm, Zurui called upon a creature he’d feared to even think about it since he was young. Behind him appeared a statue, enormous in size and bound in shackles, blinded by a massive fold of cloth. The Otsutsuki then activated the technique known only to those with his unique power, and the statue came to life. The fold fell from its face, revealing nine eyes all closed tightly shut. Its mouth, formerly closed, now opened, and from it emerged a series of phantom dragons which took hold of the beast, biting into it and lifting it into the air. The beast roared again, this one less a threat of violence and more of terror. It knew what this meant, what that statue meant, what would happen to it once this process was over. It struggled, fiercely, and unfortunately, Zurui was unprepared for this. He’d never used the jutsu before and had a hard enough time holding it steady within a fully powered monster struggling against it. The jutsu failed.
The beast shrugged free of the dragons, which receded back into the statue’s mouth. The mouth closed, and the statue remained unmoved. Freaking out by know, fearing that his chain, too, would fail, Zurui attempted to use his Fuuinjutsu prowess to imitate the same effect. It was probably a bad idea, but he was in a very bad spot and needed something to at least try and get him out. He slapped a seal onto himself, generating what he best thought would contain a Bijuu while mimicking the primary aspects of the Outer Path. What option did he have? Sealing in himself would at least contain the threat. So from that seal emerged a single dragon and it bit into the beast, much like the others, but this one was connected to Zurui directly, so he felt that he would have more control over it. This was a mistake. The beast’s power, now linked to him, overpowered him much more easily, for it was contending with a mere human, and not the mighty Gedo Mazou.
The technique was shrugged off easier than the other. Still in a panic, Zurui chose to reinforce, now using the chains of the demonic statue to try and further reinforce the seal. A stronger seal worked better on stronger monsters, right? He was wrong. Even with the additional chains, the beast broke free. Zurui simply wasn’t strong enough to handle this on his own. Now that he’d used so much chakra, the statue no longer felt bound to him, and it vanished in smoke. All that secured Zurui from the monster was the chain he used to bind its neck and suppress its power, but now that he was failing so much, his control began to falter, and the beast grew in confidence. It broke the chain in Zurui’s moment of weakness and lashed out, releasing a shockwave that knocked Zurui right into the mountain wall. He crashed against it, feeling his body break from the inside. Frantically, he reached for a vial he’d been given by the stranger, something meant to revitalize him, but he found only shattered glass and spilled liquid. Quickly, the Jounin gathered up as much of the stuff as he could and ingested it, but it had hardly any effect. He needed more. So he tried his best to analyze it as fast as possible while the monster regained its bearings. Right when it was nearly too late, he had completed his process and swiftly used his medicinal knowledge to generate more of the liquid using his chakra. Ingesting that as fast as he could, Zurui suddenly felt the wounds within patch themselves up.
As soon as he had the energy to, he fled. This was one of very, very few times Zurui had failed any mission. He was lucky to have survived at all and only did that by hiding and sneaking over the course of days to return to the boat that would take him home. It was this experience that molded his perception that the bloodline he carried, potent though it was, was not terribly dependable, at least not on its own. He’d need to rely on and develop his own power, and only then would he be able to wield his birthright as intended. Until then, he’d be better off hiding it, never using it if he could at all help it. And this is what he continued to live by, a code he reminded himself as he sat in the forest, meditating on this bad memory.
The Jounin rose. Now finished with his meditation, he left the area, to continue on in developing himself for the sake of achieving his birthright, one that only seven in this world even had the opportunity of. Only time would tell if he could ever be worthy of it.
Demonic Binding Chain Spell -C-Rank Custom
Pressure Point Binding Prison -A-Rank Custom
Satya of the Forbidden World -A-Rank Custom
Sealing Technique: Suspended Preservation -D-Rank Custom
Sealing Technique: Phantom Dragons Nine Consuming Seals -S-Rank
Sealing Technique: Phantom Dragon Consuming Seal -S-Rank Custom
Binding Demonic Chain Seal -S-Rank Custom
Distortion Seal -B-Rank Custom
Scrambling Seal -C-Rank Custom
Banshou Fuuin -S-Rank Custom
Alchemical Genesis -A-Rank Custom
Cellular Fusion -S-Rank Custom