AN: Well its been a while since I've updated. If you don't want to read my excuse please skip to the next paragraph. I, as much as I don't like it, am still in school and finals were a couple weeks ago. Turns out big ass tests are a great way to kill off my inspiration, go figure. It also did not help that it took me three days to find an online version of the Clash of Ninja in the Land of Snow movie, as I didn't remember most of it, and the one I did find was only the first half of the movie, which is about where this chapter ends.
Anyway, I find that this chapter is a little sloppy, but that's just me.
In other news, I find myself overtaken by the sudden urge to write more stories. Doing this may quicken or slow down my updates, I have no idea so we'll just have to find out. I'm already in the making of two Naruto-centric stories. I'm making at least one of them a harem because I want to try that out, but I may make both of them one. They will be crossovers as this story is the only one I feel like doing in the Naruto world for now.
Next, I feel that it is necessary for me to say that I'm an idiot. I was trying to find a sword style from some other anime or something for Naruto/Kisuke. I didn't want to do Zoro's (One Piece) or that one from Rurouni Kenshin as I've never seen that anime and they're both overused in fanfiction. It was only while I was writing this a few days ago that it hit me, I don't know how I never thought of this before (He uses a goddam shikomizue for christ's sake!). If you watch the anime/read the manga that the style I gave Kisuke is from and you are a serious fan, you should recognize its small premier in this chapter. If you don't recognize it, Google it or something.
Anyway, enough with my boring intro.
Read & Review
Burning in Snow
"Why did it get so damn cold all of a sudden?" Kisuke shouted out, rubbing his arms in an attempt to stay warm as he stood on the bow of a decent sized ship, absently channeling Chakra to his feet as not to stumble on the ever-changing seas.
"What were you expecting? A desert? It's called Snow Country for a reason." Yoruichi remarked from the pale-blonde's right. "And despite that you're wearing little more than pajamas. You don't even have socks on, let alone a coat."
"Well sorry, but I didn't have time to buy a coat while trying to keep nine insanely powerful strangers to not kill themselves or each other." Kisuke then suddenly sneezed violently. "Even better I'm sick now. Since when could I get sick?"
::Since I was no longer in your gut keeping your scrawny ass healthy.:: Benihime chimed in, sounding amused.
"I'm ignoring you." Sneezing again, he gave Yoruichi a dry look. "And why aren't you suffering like I am? I don't see any socks on you either, and that's my coat!"
"First of all, you gave this coat to me and I'm starting to like to orange so there's no way I'm giving it back to you. Secondly, Kaminari no Kuni is almost completely mountains, surrounded by ocean on two sides, and so far north that the only trees you see are evergreens, so it's fairly cold up there."
Kisuke grumbled quietly, unable to think of a comeback. "At least it's not snowing."
"It will probably start snowing in the next few minutes based on the clouds." A random crewmember said from behind the two teenagers.
"Quiet! You're not helping here!" Kisuke snapped, pointing his cane at the man and ignoring the giggle from his purple-haired companion. He probably would have continued ranting had he not sneezed once more, giving the stranger enough time to leave and get back to his work.
Kisuke, Yoruichi, and Lisa, the former two having to be convinced by the latter, boarded the transport ship set to disembark to Yuki no Kuni in pursuit of Fujikaze Yukie, a.k.a. Kazahana Koyuki, the rightful ruler of the country. They had been sailing for a little over two days now and were close to the island nation, as evident by the sudden drop of temperature and, by extension, Kisuke's numerous curses on his hatred for said temperature.
"You should have brought a coat kid." Called out another random person, this one obviously a passenger as he had not been doing anything except sleeping for the entire trip, and looked too old to do any strenuous labor. "As your girlfriend there said, what were expecting? We haven't even gotten to into the windy area yet, you'll die of frostbite before you get anywhere of importance."
"Just shut it, Jiji. And she's not my girlfriend." The man shrugged and lay back down, pulling his straw hat over his face and seeming to go back to sleep. Turning back to the churning sea, completely missing Yoruichi's rather depressed look, Kisuke continued his conversation with the girl. "You know what, I blame Lisa for this."
"For you being cold, how do you figure that?" The dark-skinned Shihoin asked.
"Yes, how do you figure that?" A voice suddenly said from between the two, getting one to stiffen and flinching away in surprise and the other to give a scream and sneeze at the same time, generating a rather strange series of sounds.
"Don't do that Lisa!" Kisuke yelled at the woman who appeared just between the two of them without either realizing.
Lisa just gave the pale-blonde a blank look. "Are you going to tell me why you blame me for you being cold?" She asked, completely ignoring what he just said.
With a slight twitch in his eye, Kisuke answered. "If I recall correctly, you were the one who said to just make the trip in what I had on. And, in case you have not noticed, you're wearing a damn miniskirt and you live here, so I figured 'Hey it can't be that cold'. Oh, and you were also the one who dragged me on this trip in the first place!"
Lisa gave him another blank stare before blinking once turning and leaving, her sword held in one hand as she refused to use a strap of any kind to hold in place for her.
"I hate her so much." Kisuke glared at the retreating form of his bespectacled comrade, only to sneeze again. "So very much." Turning back to the sea once more, he planned to start up another conversation when he saw something in the distance, his gray eyes narrowing in an attempt to focus. "What is that?"
"Looks like an iceberg." Yoruichi commented. "But there's something else, a boat maybe?"
"How can you make that out, all I see is a shadow."
Yoruichi gave Kisuke a cheeky smile. "Because your eyesight sucks."
The pale-blonde grumbled something unintelligible, then sneezed again. "I hate the cold."
"Wear a coat." The old man, who was once again awake, called.
"I don't have one dammit!"
It was about now that Lisa came back to the front of the ship, her eyes focused on an orange book in her hand that looked familiar to Kisuke for some reason. "What are you arguing about now?" The brunette asked, not looking up.
"Kisuke's eyesight sucks." Yoruichi chimed in with the same smile as before.
"First of all, screw you. Second, there's a boat over there." The male of the three said, pointing at the aforementioned location.
The Yuki native still remained looking at her book. "That's nice, now will you two stop arguing like a married couple." Lisa then turned and left to go do… whatever it is she has been doing with that book. Kisuke's eye twitched slightly while Yoruichi's cheeks darkened.
"Now you can see where I got the girlfriend comment from." The old man said, chuckling.
Kisuke was about to yell back when a man in the crow's nest of the ship called out. "Everyone, look alive! There are some of Doto's men coming this way!" At the call, most of the crew started scrambling around, trying to hide anything that might bring on the wrath of the servants of the wayward Daimyo. Kisuke and Yoruichi stopped all argument. Lisa had told them that the man was their enemy, for all they knew they might have to fight soon.
Said Yuki native did not react, just looked around until she spotted the incoming people, three to be exact. They were all at least into their twenties, one female and two males. They all had pale-blue body suits and gray hats, a ninja headband one the front decorated with snowflakes. They were running atop the water, much to amazement of a few of the crew, and were headed in their general direction, though it did not appear they were trying to board the boat. This was proven when they ran past the boat, not even giving it a glance.
But something caught Lisa's attention. One of the males, a tall man with pale-purple hair tied in a ponytail, a scar under his right eye, ran past the boat with a person slung over his shoulder. It was the person the man was carrying that got Lisa to freeze in her tracks. "Koyuki-hime." She muttered in a daze as the rather attractive dark-haired woman was carried right passed the boat, quickly moving out of sight.
Acting on impulse, Lisa dropped her book and rushed to side of the boat, about to jump over the side if a hand on her shoulder had not stopped her. "Whoa Lisa, what's the rush?" Kisuke asked, only for Lisa to smack his hand away, an almost scared look on her face, a thing not seen before by the pale-blonde.
"That was Koyuki-hime!" She shouted, her voice rushed. "If those three get her to Doto then he'll kill her!"
Recognition shown in Kisuke's eyes. "That was the lady we were supposed to protect?" He did not get an answer as Lisa already jumped off the boat, running atop the water after quickly disappearing enemy ninja. "Well shit." He cursed, jumping over soon afterwards, running to keep up. "I'm so glad Tessai taught me how to walk on water."
"Lisa! Kisuke!" Yoruichi yelled after them, but they did not seem to hear her. "Why can't they just wait for me?" But despite her annoyance, she quickly followed as well, easily staying atop the ocean surface.
Almost a minute later, the three members of the makeshift team were running next to each other, the three of Doto's soldiers still far ahead. "Lisa, we can't catch them like this!" Kisuke shouted at the girl, trying to be heard over the rough ocean winds.
"What do you expect of me?" Lisa yelled back, her desperate face looking very un-Lisa-like. "It is my sworn duty to protect Koyuki-hime, what else am I supposed to do?" While she knew she was holding her sword rather tightly, Lisa could not see that the sclera of her eyes had become black.
The pale-blonde suddenly smacked Lisa on the cheek, stopping her in her tracks and nearly causing her to fall in the water. "Dammit Lisa calm down and listen to me! This is not the time to go Hollow!" He yelled at the older female. "For now I am the leader, so listen to what I say, got it?" The Yuki native nodded, her eyes back to normal and her face the old expressionless figure it usually is. "Good, Yoruichi, you're the fastest out of use, go around and attack them from the other side."
"Got it." The Shihoin said, sprinting away at her top speed.
"Now then." Kisuke then pointed his right index and middle fingers at the running enemies. "If they are any good then they'll dodge this, when they do, go after the one that's carrying Koyuki." He instructed Lisa, getting a nod in return. "Caller of storms, passing of thunder, bid south for the mountains peak. Strike true with black clouds. Call out the beast's fear of the blue scar. Hado no Yon: Byakurai (Way of Destruction Number Four: Pale Lightning)!" From his out stretched fingers, a large beam of bluish lightning shot out, heading straight for the running enemies. As Kisuke expected, all three of them jumped away just in time, completely avoiding the blast. Yoruichi suddenly kicked one of the males mid-air, knocking both of them away from the other two. "Go."
Not needing any more to be said, Lisa sprinted away as well, her target the man carrying the rightful Daimyo of Yuki no Kuni, a man by the name of Roga Nadare.
"Guess that leaves me with the lady." Kisuke muttered, not very excited about fighting a woman, sparring enough with Yoruichi and Hiyori could do that to you.
The man that Yoruichi kicked away landed on the water with a light grunt, rolling away and jumping to his feet with practiced ease. He was a middle-aged man on the larger side. He had onyx colored eyes and short purple hair, though it was lighter colored than Yoruichi's own. He had large metal shoulder pads and his left arm was in some kind of gauntlet. In the center of his chest was a machine decorated with a green and white Ying-Yang symbol.
The Shihoin landed nimbly on her feet facing her opponent, sizing him up.
"Who the hell are you?" The man asked, rather rudely.
"Call me Yoruichi, now can you tell me your name?" She replied.
A little surprised that she actually answered him, the man responded. "Mizore. Fuyukuma Mizore. I honestly don't care what you're here for, but it's obvious you want to fight. So let's stop the talking and get on with it girly."
Yoruichi's eye twitched at the nickname. "Gladly."
Suddenly, the man's hand detached from the rest of his body and shot at the girl, the sound of steam rushing being the only warning. Not expecting anything like this, Yoruichi was only able to jump out of the way just in time to not be grabbed. Only then did she realize that it was not Mizore's arm, but the metal hand of the gantlet that shot out at her. It was also noticeable that said hand was connected to the man via chain.
Yoruichi turned back to Mizore just in time to have his right fist buried in her stomach, launching her back some, but she still managed to land on her feet and skidded to a halt. "Kami he hits hard." The Shihoin thought, idly rubbing her stomach where she was hit. "But it doesn't feel like he broke anything, this time at least. Still, there's no way I can beat him in a battle of strength, and I can't use Shunko on water or else I'll just electrocute myself and anyone else nearby, ally or not. Guess all I have is speed on my side. Then in that matter this should be similar to when I spar with Kensei."
With no more thoughts on the subject, Yoruichi rushed at the man, ducking under a right haymaker and bringing her own punch to his chin. Mizore took the hit with only a small grunt of pain, quickly sending a flat-footed kick at his smaller opponent, who jumped back to avoid it. With another jet of steam, the man sent his chain hand at Yoruichi once more. Recognizing the sound, she jumped high into the air and avoided the strange weapon, which crashed into the water with a large splash. Flipping in midair, Yoruichi came back down with an axe kick, which was blocked by the man's right arm. Acting quickly, having been in a similar situation with Kensei before, Yoruichi grabbed the man's other hand that he tried to punch her with and used that as a pivot point to get behind him and wrap her legs around his neck. Bringing her hands up and interlocking the fingers, she hit him directly atop his head with a double axe handle, earning a cracking sound.
Jumping away as Mizore tried to grab her again, Yoruichi landed on her feet once more. "How much can this guy take?" She could not help but question, seeing blood slowly travel down his face and his angry expression. "Why haven't you used any Ninjutsu or Genjutsu yet?" She questioned Mizore, using the time to stand and catch her breath.
"Why haven't you?" He countered, seeming to rest as well.
"The only thing I have even resembling Ninjutsu isn't helpful to use on water." She then scowled slightly and mentally added. "And I can't learn any Kido."
"To bad for you even if you did use them they wouldn't do much."
Yoruichi gave the man a confused look. "What do you mean by that?"
Mizore had a knowing grin on his face. "You don't need to know, girly."
Kisuke gazed at his own opponent from under his hat, leaning on Benihime, which somehow did not go through the ocean's surface, and giving what he thought was a disarming smile. "Ohayou! How are you doing on this cold day?"
"Cold?" The woman asked with a raised eyebrow. "You're not from around here are you? It's warmer today then it usually is."
Kisuke's smile dropped, along with his jaw. "You're joking! It's freezing out here, how is it a warm day?"
The woman barked out a laugh. "Definitely not from around here." She was a young woman with pink hair and yellow-green eyes. Kisuke wondered for a moment if she was related to Sakura, but forgot that train of though soon after. She had the same blue and gray skintight suit as her teammates and had ponytail-like wrapped hair coming out of the top her hat. On her back was an unknown device with a green and white Ying-Yang symbol and two bars sticking out of the top. "Maybe you should wear a coat."
Kisuke gave her a dull look. "I'm going to forget that you just said that." Shifting the cane in his hand, he held it bottom without unsheathing it, wanting to try a different way of fighting for now. "My name is Urahara Kisuke."
The woman gave the teen a strange look. "I didn't ask for you name."
The pale-blonde's smile came back slightly as he shifted his right foot forward. "I think that it is important to know the name of someone you fight with."
She laughed again. "Alright, I like you kid. You can call me Fubuki." She then made a Tiger hand sign. "And this is where I got the name from. Hyoton: Tsubame Fubuki (Ice Release: Swallow Snowstorm)!" Out of the water below them, a large flock of swallows made from ice flew up, circling around before diving at Kisuke.
Reacting quicker than the Yuki Kunoichi thought he would, Kisuke switched his cane to his other hand and put his fist against the ocean's surface. "Hado no Roku: Ridatsu (Way of Destruction Number Six: Break Away)!" A shockwave emanated from where his fist met the water, sending up waves that intercepted the ice swallows, throwing up a cloud of mist upon contact. He then put his hands together in a cross. "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique)!" An exact replica of the teen appeared on either side of him, not that Fubuki could see with the waves and mist in the way, and each grabbing one of his arms and throwing high into the air in the direction of their opponent. "Hado no Go: Ittenki (Way of Destruction Number Five: Turning Point)!" Holding his free hand up, Kisuke swung it down in an arc like one would a hammer; he sent an orb of energy at the woman. Fubuki jumped out of the way, only for the orb to make a sudden turn and hit her again, throwing up a cloud of smoke.
With a slightly wider than normal smile, the pale-blonde fell back to the water.
"Hyoro no Jutsu (Ice Prison Technique)!"
A pillar of ice began to form out of the cold water at an alarming rate. Only the quick use of a Shadow Clone to throw him away saved Kisuke from being caught in it. His clone was quickly encased in ice and unable to move, dispelling it.
The real Kisuke landed back on the water just as the smoke from his attack cleared to show the woman standing with a hand on her hip and a smirk on her face, not a single scratch on her. "You're better than I thought you would be, kid."
"What the hell?" He asked before he realized it. "That hit you, how are you still standing?"
Fubuki's smile grew, if only slightly. "You don't need to know that."
Kisuke frowned. This fight just got a lot harder.
"Roga Nadare, I can honestly say I do not like having to meet you again." Lisa said with an uncharacteristic frown, eyeing the man carrying her princess.
Nadare looked back with confusion, not seeming to consider the woman a threat. "Do I know you?"
"Probably not." Lisa unsheathed her sword and got in into an odd and slightly sloppy sword stance with her blade in her right hand and scabbard in the other, both held at eye level. "But I have seen you once before."
The male of the two looked at Lisa, trying to remember her, but drew blanks. "Oh well, it does not matter. I can guess what you're here for." As if to prove his point, Nadare held the woman he had over his shoulder off to the side, as if to drop her into the freezing ocean, not missing Lisa take a step forward. "See? You're here for Koyuki-hime, how predictable."
"What did you do to her?" Lisa demanded, seeing as the princess was not moving and her eyes were closed, the rolled up cloth in her mouth not helping to sooth her thoughts.
"She was getting loud, so we gagged her, but she kept kicking, so now she's unconscious." Nadare then put the woman back over his shoulder. "Now then, what are you willing to do to get her back?"
"More than you know." The brunette rushed her opponent, starting with a diagonal slash with her sword, which Nadare sidestepped. The man then brought up his free hand to block a kick from Lisa. He then did something unexpected, and threw the unconscious Koyuki into the air. Lisa gasped, her eyes following the form of her princess, causing her to miss the punch that met her collarbone from Nadare's now free hand.
"That's what I expected to hear." Nadare said as he effortlessly caught Koyuki with Lisa stumbling back. He then charged at Lisa, who saw it and brought her sword up, ready to stab the man. Just before she struck, the man once more threw Koyuki, only this time at Lisa. Surprised once more by the action, Lisa stopped her attack and spread her arms, as if to catch the other woman, only for another punch to be met in her ribcage. "You would never hurt your dear princess, would you?" Nadare asked rhetorically, catching Koyuki once more as Lisa tried to recover from his hit. He gave a confident smirk. "Just like all of those other idiots. This won't even be a challenge."
Lisa glared at the man. He was using her princess as a meat shield and had the gall to say it was stupid of her to not try and harm Koyuki? Oh that was the wrong thing to say to Lisa, and that annoying smirk made it even worse. Now some months ago if this happened, Lisa would not have much of a reaction. But now, with the work of one Aizen Sosuke, her temper was always a problem. If anyone of the Visored had seen her when the whites of her eyes turned black, they would either get the hell out of dodge or knock some sense into her before it escaladed, much like how Kisuke did. But with the only two people in a fifty-mile radius of her that knew of the uncontrollable power she had being busy, there was no one to stop her. As such, the glare she gave Nadare was very intimidating.
::Oh this will be good.:: The unnamed voice in Lisa's head said, purring out the last word in a manner similar to a cat, followed by some kind of buzz.
White particles began to from atop the skin of Lisa's face as she glared at her opponent with her new eyes. A small growl escaped her lips and her grip tightened on her nodachi.
Kisuke rolled to side, challenging his Charka control by staying atop the water, dodging a volley of kunai with small blue orbs tied to the end. When he first saw the orbs, he questioned why they were useful, then one hit the water and exploded, not with fire, but with icicles the size of a large tree.
"That shield of hers is getting more and more annoying." He cursed and dodged another Ice Jutsu. "I need to find a way around it."
::Do you even have the slightest idea on how it works?:: Benihime's voice sounded in his head. ::'Cause it will be kind of hard to get around it otherwise.::
Kisuke ducked under a wild kick from his opponent. He hooked the end of his cane around the offending leg and twisted it in a way that was obviously uncomfortable, based on Fubuki's face. He brought his foot up and was about to stomp on her head, only for the woman to kick him with her other foot and jump away.
"It's a Chakra-based force field originating from the machine on her back. It seems to block out all foreign energies that are not that of the user, making Kido, Ninjutsu, Genjutsu, and any kind of long-range Fuinjutsu useless. The only method of attack left is Taijutsu. The most prominent way to remove the protection would be to destroy the machine or remove it from her person, but is secured to the rest of her armor and made of something very hard, so I have no way to do either of those." The pale blonde responded, never once losing his attention of the battle.
He could almost picture Benihime's surprised face. ::Wait, wait, wait! How in the name of hell did you get all of that?::
"Did you really think that all of those pointless Kido I've been using were meant to do damage?"
::W-Well… Of course not! I-I mean who would think that? It was so obvious that they had another purpose…::
"You okay? You sound a little flustered?" Kisuke asked, wondering if the Bijuu could get sick.
::I-I'm fine just- DUCK!::
Listening to her without thinking it, Kisuke just dodged a pillar of ice rising out of the water behind him at an angle that would have taken his head off. "Thanks." He said, blocking a punch from the Yuki Kunoichi.
::… No problem.:: She said back, not used to being thanked.
"Anyway…" Kisuke pushed back on the woman and went onto the offensive. "As I was saying, the Kido just proved that I couldn't go through the barrier. And I know that I cannot break metal with my bear hands. But add to that she gets hurt whenever I punched or kicked her, I can still do damage."
::… You are a genius.::
Kisuke could not help the smile that spread on his face, only for it to leave when a kick met his gut, sending him back. "Thanks." He coughed up blood and saliva as he stood back up, eyeing his opponent. "Now if only I had a way to break it."
::Why not just cut it?::
"How do you propose I do that?"
::With the sword in your hand.::
The pale-blonde teen blinked and looked down at the cane/sheathed sword in his hand. "Oh yeah."
::… Tell me you didn't forget about me.::
He gave a nervous chuckle. "Well… sort of."
Grabbing the cane with both hands and twisting the handle, Kisuke pulled out the sharp blade, much to Fubuki's surprise. The next moment the Yuki Kunoichi was forced to block and slash with a kunai she had taken out prior. She was unprepared for the large amount of strength behind the attack, thus she was promptly knocked onto her ass after being thrown off balance. Thankfully, she had good enough Chakra control to not fall under the water, and then rolls away when the teen tried to stomp on her.
Flipping back to her feet and going through the hand signs once more, Fubuki sent another flock of ice birds. Only this time instead of dodging them, Kisuke did a quick flurry of sword slashes and destroyed all of them as soon as they got close enough. Not pausing, Kisuke ran at the surprised woman and thrust Benihime in the form of a standard stab. The blade met flesh, but Fubuki was able to just move enough so that it only cut the side of her arm instead of her lung.
Jumping back to create some distance, she panted and eyed her opponent, stupefied by how good he is with a sword, especially compared to how evenly matched they were before he drew it.
Both her thoughts and Kisuke's were interrupted when an aura of something similar to death fell upon them. Kisuke's eyes widened and his head snapped in the direction where Lisa was fighting.
"That's not good." He knew the many things that one could do under the influence of the Hollow mask, and none of them were good, or even sane for that matter. "Sorry, but it looks like this will have to end early." He said to Fubuki before sprinting away.
Fubuki disappeared in a burst of speed and stopped directly in Kisuke's path. "I can't let you do that, kid."
Strangely enough, Kisuke only sighed, not stopping. "I guess I have to try this out sooner than expected."
She tensed, expecting him to attack her, only for the teen to run right past her. Confusion was quickly replaced by annoyance, then anger, at being ignored. She turned and was going to yell at him before giving chase when she felt a strange itch over her torso.
"Requiem La Banderole (Requiem Stream Cut)."
As soon as Kisuke's words were heard, blood flew from a long diagonal gash over Fubuki's chest and another across her back, destroying the Ying-Yang symbol. The Yuki native could only blink in surprise as her Chakra that kept her afloat along with her legs gave out and she fell into the freezing waters. She felt no pain as she floated there, not able to move.
"I didn't even see him strike." Was all she could think before consciousness left her.
Roga Nadare was not in a good mood. Having to dodge faster than he thought he could from a possibly insane woman who suddenly had an aura of death and did not seem to care for her own wellbeing could do that to you. Jumping to the side to avoid another slash, he was only met by a roundhouse kick to the temple that knocked him back even more. Looking at his increasingly annoying opponent, idly noticing the princess he was carrying had a few cuts and bruises from where Lisa missed, he saw a white mask covering the left half of the Visored's face.
The ninja instincts that Nadare had developed started blaring in his head and he jumped away just as someone else stabbed where he just was with a sword. Looking at the attacker, he saw the green-wearing teen that was fighting Fubuki. That could only mean that the Kunoichi had lost. Cursing lightly, Nadare moved so that he had both of his opponents in his sight. Just when it seemed they were going to attack the distinct sound of an engine could be heard. All attention was drawn to a large blimp in the sky.
"I have never been so happy to see that before in my life." Nadare mumbled, then yelled at his still fighting teammate. "Mizore! Grab Fubuki, we're leaving!" The other Shinobi nodded and jumped away from Yoruichi, shooting his metal hand to grab his pink-haired teammate, and made it to the deck of the blimp. About to join them, Nadare had to jump away just as Kisuke stabbed where he just was, he then ducked under a kick from the now opponent-less Yoruichi. "Dammit, I need a distraction."
A strange yellow light shone over the three fighters. At first Nadare thought that it was the sun coming out, but squashed that thought when Kisuke and Yoruichi shared a scared look before running away. Confused, Nadare looked around until he saw Lisa, the mask covering most of her face, and an orb of yellow energy being formed in front of where he assumed her mouth was.
Lisa gave a demonic roar as the orb exploded in a blast of energy, separating the seas in its rampage to destroy Nadare.
Just before this happened, the Yuki Shinobi, desperately trying to survive, threw the princess he was carrying as high as he could, freeing his hands. Going through six hand signs as fast as he could, the water below him bulged and erupted.
"Hyoton: Ikkaku Hakugei (Ice Release: One-Horned White Whale)!"
An enormous narwhal of ice shot out of the ocean and met the beam of energy straight on. The explosion of power was enough to cover Nadare as he jumped aboard the blimp as it flew away. Yoruichi, using her superior speed, was able to catch the airborne Koyuki and move far enough away to not be caught in the blast.
Once the smoke cleared and the seas calmed, the blimp could be seen too far away to chase after, except maybe for Yoruichi, but none of them were in the mood for more fighting. Kisuke sighed in relief and sheathed Benihime. Yoruichi checked on the woman in her arms, now that the fight was over.
Unfortunately, both of them forgot about one thing, which they soon remembered as another demonic roar sounded again. Snapping their heads in the direction of their third teammate, who, in a power-crazed bloodlust, attacked the nearest living thing she could; Yoruichi.
The Shihoin managed to roll away just as the water where she once stood exploded from a mere kick from the Visored. Seeing this, both she and Kisuke knew that Lisa could not turn back on her own, which meant that they had to beat her. Oh joy.
Kisuke made a quick clone to take Koyuki from Yoruichi so they could both fight and unsheathed Benihime once more. "This is may be the best day I've ever had in my entire life." He said, his voice dripping with sarcasm, and then sneezed once more. "Yep. Best. Day. Ever."
At that moment Yoruichi landed next to Kisuke. Lisa seemed to be eyeing the two up, though it was hard to tell as the mask now covered her whole face. "You think we can take her, Kisuke?" The dark-skinned teenager asked her friend, wishing she could use Shunko.
"No idea." Kisuke then gave her his infamous drunken smile. "But I know one way to find out."
Yoruichi returned the smile, neither of them taking their gaze off of Lisa. "Then what do you suggest we do if she fires another one of those laser things? It was only luck that she wasn't aiming for use the first time."
"You mean a Cero (Zero)?" The Shihoin gave her friend a confused look. "That's what the Visored call it. Apparently it's from some forgotten language." Kisuke said with a shrug.
"Like those sword moves of yours?"
"Kind of. They're both from forgotten languages, but not the same ones."
"Right." Yoruichi turned her attention back to Lisa, not even bothering to ask how they knew a forgotten language. "Let's get this over with, I'm tired and need my beauty sleep."
Before Kisuke could retort, Yoruichi disappeared in a burst of speed. "Oh the things I could have said to that. You ready, Benihime?"
::Do you need to ask?::
Kisuke shook his head and sighed. "Guess not. Awaken, Benihime!" The blade and scabbard disappeared in a burst of red and was replaced by the black and bronze one-sided sword that he knew so well. "This should be fun."
"Chichiue (Father), where are you?" A dark-haired infant wearing a tiara and kimono yelled.
"In here, Koyuki." The girl walked into a room where a kind smiling man stood outside of a rind of large mirrors. "Come, stand in the mirrors."
The little looked confused but did as asked, so transfixed on her numerous reflections that she almost did not hear her father.
"Koyuki, do you know what spring is?"
"Spring?" The girl tilted her head to the side in confusion.
The man gave an embarrassed chuckled. "I guess you have never seen spring before have you?" The girl just looked at her father. "Spring is a beautiful time of rebirth. It does not exist in Yuki no Kuni."
"Will I ever get to see spring?" She asked, eyes shining with hope, getting a warm smile from her father.
"You will Koyuki. Someday you will bring spring to this frozen country, I know it."
The Kisuke-clone looked at the woman in his arms when he felt her shifting. Moments later, the dark-haired beauty opened her eyes groggily. "Ugh, what did I drink last night."
The clone gave a confused look, not expecting that of all things to be the first words out a supposed princess' mouth. "Well judging from your breath I'd say some kind of tequila." He said, trying to not breath through his nose at the smell of alcohol. It was not that she reeked of it, but his senses were better than most.
Koyuki looked up to see a rather pale boy who could not have been more than fourteen at the most. "Who are you?"
Before an answer could be given, something crashed right next to them, though to Koyuki's surprise, water was thrown up, soaking her and the teen carrying her in the cold liquid. She screamed in surprise a struggled in the teen's surprisingly strong grip, but he would not drop her.
It was then that Koyuki took in her surroundings, only to find she was surrounded by water on all sides. "What… the… fu-"
Another splash erupted right next to her and a dark-skinned hand sprang from the water's surface. The hand came down and landed on the water like it was a solid surface, followed by another hand and then the soaked body of a dark-skinned girl. The girl stood on top of the water and shook the water off like an animal would. "That was not pleasant." The girl hissed out, taking off her large coat and ringing out the water as best she could, leaving her in a backless midnight blue skintight outfit that was obviously not meant for the cold environment.
A roar drew both, three if you count the clone, to where two people were fighting. Koyuki just grew more confused seeing two humanoid figures, one wearing a white mask and moving like an animal, the other weaving around in strange patterns with red energy trailing behind like it was alive.
"Tsk." The dark-skinned girl said. "This is becoming a pain to not mortally wound her."
"Why aren't you using Shunko?" The Kisuke-clone asked.
"We're on water, Shunko is made by channeling lightning Chakra, do the math." She said as she waved her orange coat, darkened by the water.
"The why don't you channel element-less Chakra, like you're doing to stand on the water?"
The girl froze, when she spoke her words were rushed. "You're a genius! Here hold this!" She threw her still soggy coat at the clone, where it landed on its head and ran back toward the battle, missing the twitch of the clone's eye. Halfway to the fight, bright energy exploded from her person.
"Who the hell are you people? What's going on here? Where am I?" Koyuki finally found her voice and yelled at the much younger teen holding her.
The clone looked down at her, Yoruichi's coat covering half of its face. "Well I'm a clone of Urahara Kisuke, the boss is over there." He tilted his head to the battle not far off. "The woman just now was Yoruichi. Both boss and Yoruichi are currently fighting a comrade of ours who is… not herself." Another roar seemed to argument his words. "Yep, that's Lisa."
Koyuki snapped her head up to look at the clone. "Lisa? Yadomaru Lisa? She's okay?"
The Kisuke-clone arced an eyebrow. "You know Lisa-san? Well she did say she was from Yuki no Kuni so I guess that makes sense."
"Why are they fighting Lisa?" Koyuki sounded more like she was accusing someone of murder by the anger in her voice.
"Um." The Kisuke-clone looked around nervously. "Well like I said Lisa-san, um, isn't herself so, um, we kind of, um, have to- SHIT!" Just then the clone jumped away as a large beam of yellow energy nearly killed them. "Because she's trying to kill us with that!" The clone shouted as it landed on the relative safety of the ocean surface.
Koyuki stared at the where the blast just went by, unable to look away. "Lisa… did that."
Apparently, when the Kisuke-clone shouted just now, it drew the attention of the Hollow-masked Lisa. Now this would not be very bad in most cases, but with the normally calm woman acting on little more instinct than an animal would use at the moment it was bad, very bad. To Lisa, the clone and Koyuki looked much more helpless than the two she was fighting, so thus they were an easier target. With this going through her demonic mind, she roared and charged the two easier targets.
"You have got to be kidding me." The original Kisuke shouted as he gave chase, Yoruichi taking another moment to realize what happened before she too ran after Lisa.
The Kisuke-clone jumped away just as Lisa crashed onto the water. Koyuki looked through the cross-shaped slit in Lisa's demonic mask and locked eyes with the other woman. She saw none of the usual knowing carefree look in Lisa's eyes, just bloodlust.
"That's… Lisa." She said weakly.
"Shibari, Benihime (Binding, Crimson Princess)!"
A large black net with purple-reddish trim wrapped around Lisa's form, binding her limbs to her body. This was soon followed by the real Kisuke jumping at Lisa from behind and wrapping his legs around her waist while pressing Benihime against her neck with the blunt side of his sword to choke her and holding her arms back with his elbows. Now having Lisa unable to move for the moment, Kisuke took a deep breath and threw his weight backwards, taking Lisa with him. They fell back, but Kisuke channeled no Chakra to hold himself above the water and they both fell into the ocean with a splash.
Sinking in the dark waters, Lisa thrashed about wildly in an attempt to escape the strange grasp, much to Kisuke's annoyance. About a minute later Lisa's body went limp and the mask shattered before fading away.
Kisuke broke the surface and stood atop the water once more, holding Lisa in a bridal carry. "Yoruichi." He said, knowing the dark-skinned girl was within hearing distance.
"I hate Yuki no Kuni."
The ragtag group is once more on a boat, only a few things are different. Kisuke was now inside one of the cabins, wrapped in four thick blankets, and had so much snot dripping from his nose it could flood the room. Yoruichi, now coatless, once more stood on the bow of the ship waiting for said clothing to dry, and she still did not seem to mind the cold. Lisa was still nowhere to be found, that was the same, but now she had someone looking for her, namely Koyuki. Whether Lisa was avoiding the princess/actress or not could be argued, but she was fine… probably. The boat itself was different then before, this one belonging to the director of the Princess Fu movies. Despite the small setback, as he called it, the director was still determined to film to movie, much to his assistant's disbelief and Koyuki's manager, Sandayu's, relief.
In a brief moment where Lisa showed herself, she told the manager and director that Kisuke and Yoruichi were allies, then promptly disappeared. Now Sandayu was suspicious to put it lightly. When he asked why they were helping they had different responses.
Yoruichi said, "I consider Lisa a friend, or at least a comrade in arms. Besides, we would not be able to stop her from coming here and with her… condition anyone who died would be on my conscious. I don't want that."
While Kisuke said, "Well *wipes nose* I'd like to find out if *snorts up snot* there is a way *sneeze* to hold back Lisa's problem. *sneeze* It could benefit many people *sneeze* later on."
Sandayu asked both of them what was the 'condition' or 'problem' Lisa had, neither answered, well, Kisuke sneezed but that constitute as an answer. He asked Koyuki what she thought of the two.
The actresses answered with a simple "They saved me, I have nothing against them."
Sandayu then asked if she had any idea what was meant by Lisa's condition. Koyuki got eerily silent and went back to searching the ship for said woman.
Kisuke stopped his talk/argument with Benihime when he heard a knock at his cabin door. Before he could answer, the door opened and Koyuki walked in, not caring that she was not invited in, and stood beside the bed Kisuke was laying in, facing the pale-blonde.
She just stared at him, making Kisuke slightly uncomfortable.
"Yes?" He finally broke the silence.
"Why are you here?" Koyuki said back after a moment.
Kisuke gave her a confused look. "I'm here with Lisa."
"That isn't Lisa."
He only looked more confused. "What?" He sat up and tilted his head to the side.
"That… that… thing that you were fighting was not Lisa." Koyuki finally said, struggling with her words. "I don't know who you are, but tell me right now if you had anything to do with Lisa turning into that thing."
Kisuke was silent, trying to think of how to say the correct words. "I did, have a part in it I mean." Koyuki looked about ready to attack him. "I was the one who saved her life." That froze the actress in her spot, her face becoming a cross between shocked and confused. The younger of the two continued, knowing what she would ask. "She and eight other people have that mask, it would have killed them one way or another long ago if I didn't stop it." He gave Koyuki a light glare. "How about this, why are you here?"
The look Koyuki gave him was so confused it looked like it would belong on a child's face. "What?"
Kisuke gave a sigh, knowing this talk would be annoying. "You are Kazahana Koyuki, rightful heir to the throne of the ruling family of Yuki no Kuni. Or so Lisa tells me." Koyuki schooled her features, trying not to show her surprise that this teen knew. "Yet you have no desire in the slightest to take up the spot, even though the current ruler, your uncle, is a ruthless dictator trying to kill you! So I ask you again, why are you here?" He borderline yelled the end, causing the princess to cringe and look away, one hand going to the necklace she wore, something not missed by Kisuke. "Or is he after your life?"
Instead of looking shocked again, Koyuki turned to leave but a hand gripping her arms stopped that attempt.
"What is he after?" Kisuke asked. "I'm going where Lisa goes for your sake and as far as I know, she believes Doto wants you dead. But if that were true then the Shinobi we fought would have just killed you."
Koyuki eyed Kisuke without fully turning to him, then sighed. "You're not going to let me leave if I don't answer, are you?" The pale-blonde gave her a large, goofy smile that made him look drunk. "Didn't think so." Not fighting anymore, mostly because she just wanted to leave and go look for Lisa, Koyuki reached behind her neck and unclasped the necklace, holding it out. It was an oddly shaped bright purple crystal roughly two inches long hanging from a simple black sting. The crystal had many small white bits of light floating inside of it, making it look like water. "He's after this if what the ninja who kidnapped me said is true. It's called the Hexagon Crystal."
Kisuke gave her an incredulous look. "Is that really the best name they could come up with?"
Koyuki had the decency to look sheepish. "I don't know what it's for, but with my uncle's ambition to take over the five main ninja villages, it should be relatively easy to guess."
"I see." Kisuke said, holding up his hand. "May I?"
Koyuki hesitated for a moment before giving the necklace to Kisuke. The pale-blonde looked at the crystal, moving it in his hand before putting it in his pants pocket. "What are you doing?" Koyuki yelled at him, getting a confused look in return.
"If this is what that guy, whatever his name is, is after then it's safer for me to hold onto it." Kisuke said, looking like he was expecting a comeback.
The actress looked like a child who just had her favorite toy taken away while her breathing was on the verge of hyperventilation. "B-But it belonged to my father, I've had since I was little."
Kisuke looked at the woman, who was looking at his hand that was still in his pocket, and sighed. "I can't tell if she's acting or not." Grumbling something unintelligible, Kisuke took the necklace back out of his pocket and gave it to Koyuki. "Fine, just hang onto it."
Koyuki took the necklace and almost instantly had it back around her neck. "Thank you."
Just then someone else came into the room. "Doesn't anyone knock?" Kisuke asked, though neither seemed to hear him.
"We've reached the harbor of the mainland, get ready to disembark." The crewmember said before leaving.
Koyuki gave Kisuke a small nod before leaving as well, leaving the teen alone. "Guess I better go too. Hey, I've stopped sneezing, maybe I'm not sick anymore!" It was then that he gave the loudest sneeze of the day. "I hate Yuki no Kuni."
Koyuki collapsed in the snow, unable to run anymore. In hindsight, maybe she should have worn more than a robe with how cold it was, but it was too late now. She did not regret running away, even if she died right here. Even against death, she refused to go any farther into the heart of the snowy country. Maybe she could see her father again in the afterlife, maybe even her mother as well, and she might even see this 'spring' her father always talked about.
Just as she closed her eyes, the sound of snow crunching disturbed the peaceful quiet of the ridge. Turning her head weakly, she saw the green-clad teen that annoyed her so much. "How did you find me?" She asked quietly.
"My clone told you before, Koyuki-san, you smell like tequila. That's a hard scent to mask in the snow." Kisuke responded with a rare frown. "Come on, let's get you out of here." The next thing the actress knew she was draped across the teen's back as he carried her back up the mountain.
"You're not going to give me a choice are you?"
A few minutes later they entered the tunnel, being the quickest route back to the caravan, and all they knew was darkness.
"I'll just run away again." Koyuki persisted, not having the energy to do much else besides talk.
"And I'll just bring you back again."
"Why?" Koyuki finally asked after a long silence.
"Why are you doing all of this? It isn't your mission, this isn't your home, the only person you even know from this country is Lisa."
"I don't like to leave things unfinished. Call stupid if you want but I don't care. I already saved you once, twice if you count just now, and I intend to keep doing so until you're either dead, can protect yourself, or have an army to defend you as a Daimyo."
Koyuki had nothing to say to that so she just rested her head atop the Teen's head, the hat he was wearing was rather uncomfortable against her cheek, but she did not feel like doing anything about it. Both of them suddenly noticed that they could see, if only slightly. "What the?" Kisuke said aloud as he stopped walking. "We're nowhere near the exit." Turning, and by extension turning Koyuki with him, he saw the light was coming from behind him. He was acutely aware of the slight shaking of the ground below them and the bluish glow of Chakra running through metal railings below him. "Any idea what's going on?" He asked Koyuki while looking back down the tunnel in the direction of where the light was coming from.
Koyuki was just as confused, that is, until she heard a horn echo from down the tunnel. While Kisuke could not see her eyes widen in horror, he could feel her grip tighten on his shirt. "It's the train!" She shouted over the horn.
"What's a train?" Kisuke shouted back, just as a large metal thing went around the corner, smashing through any icicles in the way and showing the light was coming from a bright spotlight on the front of the machine.
"That's a train!" Koyuki's shout was almost drowned out by another blow of the horn. "What are you doing?" She stared at Kisuke as he just stood there in a daze. "Stop staring at the train and RUN!" That knocked him out of his stupor, but the train was damn near about to hit them. "DAMMIT KISUKE, RUN!"
Without thinking a moment longer, the teen turned and sprinted down the tunnel the way they were going before. He somehow got enough of a jumpstart to not get rammed into by the train, but it did not look like he could keep it up. Kisuke pumped as much Chakra into his legs as he could and then some, but it was not enough. The train was slowly gaining on them and he knew the exit was nowhere nearby, Koyuki nearly strangling him with her grip while screaming at the top of her lungs was not helping.
"What the hell is that thing?" Kisuke shouted at the princess, hoping to get her to try and destroy his eardrums.
"SHUT UP AND RUN!" No such luck.
The train was so close he could feel the heat of the light on his back, or maybe that was Koyuki, he did not bother to find out and he could not keep this up much longer. He had plenty of Chakra, but his legs could only handle so much of the life energy flowing at once. So, the curious personality shined even now as he did something he had not done since his fleeing from Konoha; he channeled Reiatsu through the pathways in his legs, to his feet. Only this time he cut off the Chakra beforehand so as not to mix them. Strangely enough, he ran faster than before, if only slightly. So, he pumped more Reiatsu into his feet. It seemed to work for a moment before one of the strangest things to date happened to him.
His world exploded with white.
The sudden sensation was hard to explain. One second he was in the dark tunnel running for his life, the next there was a rush of wind and he was then blinded by a bright light; the sun!
Unfortunately, it seemed he kept the momentum as the sudden mix-up of footwork caused him to trip over the train tracks and go tumbling head over heels, something he was surprised did not break his neck.
Groaning loudly, he stood up and took in his surroundings. He was back on the ridge where the caravan stopped when they found that Koyuki had run away. The caravan was not there anymore, but he knew this was the place. The train tracks, still glowing with Chakra, were under him and the cave behind him. Hearing another groan, he looked and saw Koyuki kneeling on the ground, looking just as confused.
"Was that a Shunshin no Jutsu (Body Flicker Technique)?" Kisuke wondered before a, now familiar, horn echoed from the cave behind them, a light just visible within the tunnel. "Damn!" He tackled the now standing Koyuki onto the snow just as the metal monstrosity that was the train of death rushed by.
The screeching of brakes drew the attention of the two as Kisuke rolled off of Koyuki. The train stopped a short distance away.
"Hello, Koyuki-hime." A microphone-enhanced voice spoke, coming from a figure standing on a platform atop the train, the greasy arrogance of the one speaking not lost.
Even from this distance, Koyuki could still make out the face of the speaker and by the frown marring her naturally beautiful features it was obvious she did not like what she saw. "Doto."
Kisuke groaned as he stood up. "This day just keeps getting better and better."
As if to prove his point, something could be seen moving over the hills. It was an army of men in rusty samurai armor wielding swords.
"Oh I hate Yuki no Kuni."
::You've already said that.::