Island The Azure City, Chongqing

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" We are the rescue party, we need to know where they went...Point out a direction...We need to save them.... soldier....." The birdman voice died
The ibex arm weakly lifted towards the east, deeper into the forest. "If you follow along the path you just left..." He said. "You'll eventually reach an abandoned temple, I'm almost certain..." His voice trailed off, his eyes held strong; locking onto the soldiers.

From one of his pockets, he took an ancient and worn book, you could see how old it was because some pages had turned yellow. Shaarib began to turn the pages for the right verse for the situation. They had to pay their respect... It was going to happen soon and our hero never was able to manage this type of thing. They were lucky they had already dug a hole into the ground.
"Don't waste time." He stated, seemingly acknowledging his grim fate now. "Save her, she will mourn for me..." He gestured off towards the trail.

With a surge of memories he reached into his vest and pulled out a sheet of paper labeled 'Home' in an elegant handwriting matching that of the one in Shaarib's possession.
"She gave this to me." He said with a grim smile while passing it to the nearest marine. "She wanted help to find me first..."
"-But now, you need to go!"
He said with a slight resurgence of strength. The mink gave a nod of assurance to the two.

The eerie night surrounded the three of them, a dreary sea of thin clouds rolled across the sky; the moon would peek down at the three of them whenever the wispy curtain of clouds would allow. The dark, foggy atmosphere would feel akin to suffocation to a weaker-hearted person.

@L'Empereur
 
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"Don't waste time." He stated, seemingly acknowledging his grim fate now. "Save her, she will mourn for me..." He gestured off towards the trail.

With a surge of memories he reached into his vest and pulled out a sheet of paper labeled 'Home' in an elegant handwriting matching that of the one in Shaarib's possession.
"She gave this to me." He said with a grim smile while passing it to the nearest marine. "She wanted help to find me first..."
"-But now, you need to go!"
He said with a slight resurgence of strength. The mink gave a nod of assurance to the two.
- "Close your eyes dear soul... Lorsque la guerre des bêtes mènera le monde à sa perte,
La déesse descendra des cieux.
Des ailes de lumière et d'ombre se déploieront au loin,

Elle nous guidera vers le bonheur, de son don éternel." [Loveless Prologue]

Shaarib's voice was strong and full, prayers couldn't be enunciated with a wavering voice. The Vice-Admiral had lighted the crucify in the night with the blue flames. The Ibex deserved to see something nice before joining the skies. It did don't take long before the Ibex let out his last breath, he desperately clutched Genjo's hand until the end. The blond did not let go and whispered words to the mink the whole time. The partners began to bury the mink into the ground as soon as his chest stopped moving. They knew they had lost some time in their quest but it was what they owed to the escort. If Stein hadn't decided to escape, the Mink would've been alive.

- "You did good mate..." said Shaarib to his Genjo and the blond only nodded.

The fog was getting thicker so our hero changed into a phoenix and took Genjo with him for a flight. From the sky, they could see things better and to this day they did not hear about Flying Zombies. From their viewpoint, the marine could see the Sunken City in the background. Shaarib hoped none of those arrogant fools went out for a walk tonight. They weren't the main squeeze tonight. They followed the path and soon they finally saw the temple, in front, a buttload of stairs. Shaarib turned back into his human form and let go of Genjo’s shoulders. The climb was going to be a challenge. The stairs were made of stones and were worn with age, they were uneven, and looked slippery. They even had some statues still intact. They were carved in a rather complex way. Beautiful dragons… Was it the previous temple of Seiryuu ? The priest in him still had love and curiosity for the history and spirituality that surrounded these ancient structures. On their climb, Shaarib and Genjo called Troya to precise their position in case anything bad happened. The more distant they covered, the more the fog got thicker. The air was chilly and our boys had to get shoulders to shoulders. Shaarib did not want to lose another soul. They stopped in front of the Temple's main entrance and the Vice-Admrial pushed them open.

- " Heeeeeeey ! Have you seen a dwarf ?" said the marine, one of his hands already on a his fire dial
 
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The ibex understood these men were going to see him to his end, he was quick to embrace his end after learning this. He shut his eyes after one last look from Genjo. He leaned his head back a bit as he listened to Shaarib's words. It wasn't long before his breath ceased and he perished.
The partners began to bury the mink into the ground as soon as his chest stopped moving. They knew they had lost some time in their quest but it was what they owed to the escort. If Stein hadn't decided to escape, the Mink would've been alive.

- "You did good mate..." said Shaarib to his Genjo and the blond only nodded.
The grave sat in the center of the small clearing, marked by the broken crucifix used in his slaying. The wind blew with ominous force to the east, swaying the trees to-and-fro, gently pushing into a rolling fog.
The fog was getting thicker so our hero changed into a phoenix and took Genjo with him for a flight. From the sky, they could see things better and to this day they did not hear about Flying Zombies.
Shaarib, seeing the thickening veil of fog growing, took his comrade to the sky, post-burial, hoping for a better vantage (and safer journey).
The two strayed along the path, only low enough to keep it in sight. Searing blue flames streaked along through the fog, climbing above the treetops; eventually even making out the distant base of the Leviathan Pirates, previously visited by the vice admiral. With the speed of a phoenix pushing the two forward, it wasn't long before the two reached their destination; the abandoned temple.

Shaarib turned back into his human form and let go of Genjo’s shoulders. The climb was going to be a challenge. The stairs were made of stones and were worn with age, they were uneven, and looked slippery. They even had some statues still intact. They were carved in a rather complex way. Beautiful dragons… Was it the previous temple of Seiryuu ? The priest in him still had love and curiosity for the history and spirituality that surrounded these ancient structures. On their climb, Shaarib and Genjo called Troya to precise their position in case anything bad happened. The more distant they covered, the more the fog got thicker. The air was chilly and our boys had to get shoulders to shoulders. Shaarib did not want to lose another soul. They stopped in front of the Temple's main entrance and the Vice-Admrial pushed them open.
Aside from the bittering weather, the ascending path to ghostly temple was unobstructed by anyone, living or dead. The two men moved, with death still fresh on their minds. As the two of them would approach the summit, Shaarib would take the lead, marching up to the front entrance of the temple.
The phoenix pushed on the ornate doors open and with a hollow cry the lifeless interior revealed itself (if only slightly, in the dark) to Shaarib.
Vice-Admiral Shaarib would let loose a cry, rich with bravado:
- " Heeeeeeey ! Have you seen a dwarf ?" said the marine, one of his hands already on a his fire dial
To which no response would come from the empty halls. From behind Shaarib, one of the two large doors would slam shut letting loose a loud, echoing thud that reverberated off the walls of the temple's dark interior. As Shaarib waited for a response, he was met with only the finalized echoes falling away and the distant crash of a waterfall.

But suddenly, the sound of chimes...
It bounced off the walls with such a haunting, ghostly effect that one couldn't be sure where they were originating from in the temple, only that they were certainly coming from within the temple somewhere. The floor-plan of the entrance was pretty open, with no indication of there being any floors beneath them, only above; it seemed likely the sound was originating from a higher floor.

@L'Empereur
 
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But suddenly, the sound of chimes...
It bounced off the walls with such a haunting, ghostly effect that one couldn't be sure where they were originating from in the temple, only that they were certainly coming from within the temple somewhere. The floor-plan of the entrance was pretty open, with no indication of there being any floors beneath them, only above; it seemed likely the sound was originating from a higher floor.
The boys looked at each other, an ominous sound been heard. The fog was gone, the air was more sinistrous. Behind the veils, Shaarib's eyes went ablaze. He began to scan the area the best he could. They were only one way, and it was going upstairs. So they moved. They had to move anyway. The floor cracked at each of their steps. The temple was desolated, for a country so proud of their culture, it was weird. Countrymen of Chongqing were deep into their cult, they believed in Seiryuu too much. The dragon was their guardian, their mighty protector and mainly one of the reasons why they were so happy to be independent. They didn't need soldiers when a deity was always available. A deity that chose not to eradicate the Jiangshi, a deity that chose to let the Leviathans keep the population away from the Temple. The intel they precised that the temple was the habitat of bandits. They were no traces of them in any of the rooms, they went by. The temple was inhabited but Shaarib had goosebumps. All of this situation was fishy... They were too many unspecified variables...He knew that if this was the Jiangshi's headquarters it was an opportunity to seize. If the marines were able to dam the flood, the country was going to repay them gratefully...

- "Genjo, are you sure we are alone here ?" began Shaarib nervously, the kid had been in his bubble since they buried the Ibex. Last time, Shaarib and him got together, the blond ended up in the hospital for a month. Bullets went through his torso. One of the reasons, that forced the Vice-Admiral to go for a vacation far from the 169th. Today, Shaarib had the feeling it was going to end the same way.
 
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The duo moved along to investigate the ominous chime; carefully moving along the forgotten floors of the temple. The marines moved together, pushing through the eerie ambience as one. As the two began up the steps, the second door fell shut with a softer closure than the previous door.
- "Genjo, are you sure we are alone here ?"
The marine asked his comrade while deep in serious contemplation about Genjo's safety. The temple let loose another natural moan that any old, decaying building would give off. Shortly before Shaarib and Genjo reached the second floor of the temple another chime, identical to the first, rang out to meet the soldiers' ears.

The second floor, as Shaarib's head poked out from the staircase from the below, was alit with very dull lantern light. The amount of lanterns alit gave just enough ghostly glow to let shadows flickering through the gloomy interior meet the vice-admiral's eyes. The bouncing figures producing the shadows remained unseen to Shaarib at this angle (but he likely remained unseen to them as well, for now).

Bouncing shadows moved along the wall in Shaarib's view, showing they were on a patrol of sorts; but with no predictable pattern...The jiangshi were simply 'protecting'. As the vice-admiral would consider his next actions within the haunted temple, a third chime would ring out.

And with that chime, a light quake centralized on the second floor let loose alongside a multi-voiced guttural cry. Something horrific was happening on this floor!

@L'Empereur
 
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The second floor, as Shaarib's head poked out from the staircase from the below, was alit with very dull lantern light. The amount of lanterns alit gave just enough ghostly glow to let shadows flickering through the gloomy interior meet the vice-admiral's eyes. The bouncing figures producing the shadows remained unseen to Shaarib at this angle (but he likely remained unseen to them as well, for now).

Bouncing shadows moved along the wall in Shaarib's view, showing they were on a patrol of sorts; but with no predictable pattern...The jiangshi were simply 'protecting'. As the vice-admiral would consider his next actions within the haunted temple, a third chime would ring out.

And with that chime, a light quake centralized on the second floor let loose alongside a multi-voiced guttural cry. Something horrific was happening on this floor!
# The commodore put a hand on Shaarib's shoulders, they had to move with more caution. The shadows were moving at a normal speed, you could hear the tinklings of the iron attached to their feet. The two marines looked at each other and Shaarib began to whisper in the ear of Genjo. The guttural cry they heard was normal for Shaarib now that he had met two of the beast Jiangshi. But he forgot that the blond had never heard the noise. Hearing the souls coming from the belly of that monster could put fear in anyone. Shaarib himself had been a little freaked out by the shit. The mouth on their belly was like a dimensional portal, it could eat anything, and the quantity did not matter. The only way to defeat the monster was to burn it. Vlad tried to cut them but, they still kept going forward even though they were limping.

- "We need to announce ourselves....but on an other hand it's an extract mission...."

Shaarib was not one for stealth, they were in an unknown location and he didn't trust Genjo to be safe alone with the Jiangshi. He wanted to cause a ruckus and attract their attention while Genjo would look for Sein and Yuki. But he feared, the green-eyed one... If the commodore were to meet with their leader, he wouldn't survive. So they settled on trying to move with stealth and moved toward the noise. #
 
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The two marines looked at each other and Shaarib began to whisper in the ear of Genjo. The guttural cry they heard was normal for Shaarib now that he had met two of the beast Jiangshi. But he forgot that the blond had never heard the noise. Hearing the souls coming from the belly of that monster could put fear in anyone.
Shaarib's recollection was spot-on, though it would be hard for anyone to forget the psyche-rending howl of a Jiangshi Devourer; disparate souls stitched together in some sort of unholy abomination.

Shaarib was not one for stealth, they were in an unknown location and he didn't trust Genjo to be safe alone with the Jiangshi. He wanted to cause a ruckus and attract their attention while Genjo would look for Sein and Yuki. But he feared, the green-eyed one... If the commodore were to meet with their leader, he wouldn't survive. So they settled on trying to move with stealth and moved toward the noise. #
The second floor seemed simple enough, at first glance (and properly assumed) it was a long four-turn hallway surrounding a central room.

Shaarib and Genjo, with emphasized caution, moved from the stairwell in time with the leaping shadows. The quiet was useful, the extremely faint crash of the waterfall outside could be heard as well as a very shallow continuous set of breaths, inhaling...exhaling...The low breathing got louder and louder as the duo creeped forward towards the source of the previous howl, arriving squarely at sliding dojo-style doors; already cracked open, revealing the gruesome interior...
Revealed by the consistent low-light of lantern glow was (most immediately noticeable) a horrific, putrid stack of at least fourteen human bodies carelessly thrown atop one another. The limbs of these apparent sacrifices were fastened together with basic rope. With no respect, the human bodies (eyes open in every visible circumstance) lie like slaughtered livestock deriving of every age and gender, but notably not a single mink corpse.
A putrid puddle of decomposition-liquid pooled at the base of the horrendous stack of previously valued life. All of this further painting the already-stained floorboards in fresh crimson...

A Jiangshi Devourer sat, hunched over itself, in the center of the room. The stomach of the beast breathed in tandem with the gruesome maw on its face. All along the walls were numbered (about) twelve Jiangshi in total...And right beside the newly arisen monster was the green-eyed Jiangshi... or...?

This green-eyed Jiangshi looked completely different from the last. This one's physique was differing from the last, and had a unique hairstyle...

As all of this imagery flooded the marine(s)'s eyes...!

Without warning an undead creature threw itself from the shadows with a left leg aimed at Shaarib (being the closer of the two) and immediately after a second shadow-cloaked Jiangshi would spring from the opposite direction using the same maneuver against Genjo!

vs Genjo :: Tiào tī(跳踢)- The undead Jiangshi use their forward, bouncing moment to transition into a jump kick; aiming for their target's head/neck/upper torso. DPR: B (61 Strength, 41 Chinese Kenpo)
81-100: 3. Large Building Level + 2 (DPR: B) = Town Level!!(x1)
vs Shaarib :: Tiào tī(跳踢)- The undead Jiangshi use their forward, bouncing moment to transition into a jump kick; aiming for their target's head/neck/upper torso. DPR: B (61 Strength, 41 Chinese Kenpo)
81-100: 3. Large Building Level + 2 (DPR: B) = Town Level!!(x1)

The Jiangshi's eerie, unpredictable route seemed to circumvent the caution and care that Shaarib had hoped for. The undead patrol was upon the marines.

@L'Empereur
 
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Blues flames roared into the obscurity, the wings of the Skypiean turned to dust and were replaced by wings made out of blue and orangish flames. The flames spun around the marine and each of them went to meet one of the jiangshi. Both things caught a leg and went out to threw them to the other side of the room.

Shaarib's STR is 120 ==>120: 5. Town Level + 2 (Haki) ==> 7 ==> Clash :
  • Attack is 2 DPR higher: Overwhelms the weaker attack but loses 3~DPR ==> 7-3 ==> 4.101-119: 4. City Block Level



They had been found already but Shaarib was lost. The fire covered the rest of his body and he took his hybrid form. His muscle doubled in size, the wings took a more clear form, and they lost the feather they had. His tails was still present illuminating the night. Before the helmet covered his face, Shaarib turned back to look at Genjo. Veins were bulging on the Vice-Admiral's forehead, the veil had fallen on the ground, his red eyes were blazing with hate. The spectacle in front of them was horrific... But the moment the Skypiean saw the green-eyed Jiangshi his attitude changed.

- "Watch my 6 and don't get in... if anything happens, I want ya to turn back and run...Vlad is on his way so in two to three hours, he shall be there... But eh, I they get me, ya better leave the island our ask for a Buster Call... " said the man with his childish voice



Shaarib took two steps forward, the helmet ate his face and he was ready. He was one move away from dealing a critical blow to the Jiangshi... The monsters had killed enough people, the sight of the blood dripping on the wooden floor had done the job. A horrendous smell was coming from the corpse. Shaarib was going to make them pay, he forgot about Yuki and Stein, he was going to erase the room. The noise may have alerted them, but our Vice-Admiral did not care anymore. His right arm had been covered with iron cloud like the day before. Around the white alloy, spun fire and lighting at high speed. Soon they fused and it looked like the sword was made of light. The blade kept elongating and Shaarib had to carry it with his other arm to keep it in balance. With a guttural yell, he brings the sword down diagonally, unleashing a laser beam on the jiangshi carrying all the pent-up emotion of the day.


- "TAKE THAT ! "

Eisen X Flame X Lightining : Combining his three dials , the user forms several tendrils of lightning and fire that join in a large circular energy ring in between them. Then, by swinging the created sword, they then unleash the energy in the form of a thin, highly concentrated laser-like beam that can pierce through flesh in an instant (S+) ==> 5 + 5 + 3 ++> 13.Moon Level


 
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Blues flames roared into the obscurity, the wings of the Skypiean turned to dust and were replaced by wings made out of blue and orangish flames. The flames spun around the marine and each of them went to meet one of the jiangshi. Both things caught a leg and went out to threw them to the other side of the room.
The movements of the flagrated man were far too hastily executed to be matched by the inferior reaction timings of a Jiangshi. The wings, aglow, effortless caught hold of the two incoming attacks and sent them onward, with a heroic boom of force, into the opposing walls. The walls held strong, despite the sounds of dismay they let out; and due to that...the bodies that were thrown into them paid the price.

The bones of the Jiangshi shattered and cracked...Their bodies slumped into the walls and then into piles on the ground...

And then, as was all too familiar to the vice admiral, both the bodies contorted forward nonetheless. The zombies, both with sheets of ceremonial cloth dangling afront their faces, writhed forward with unnatural, disgusting movements...Unwilling, or unable, to forbid their duties. The bodies, though now useless, lurked forward from the shadows...Unrelenting against their invaders (despite the damage being more than enough to incapacitate any living being) they dragged themselves with broken legs and wasted torsos.

They had been found already but Shaarib was lost. The fire covered the rest of his body and he took his hybrid form. His muscle doubled in size, the wings took a more clear form, and they lost the feather they had. His tails was still present illuminating the night. Before the helmet covered his face, Shaarib turned back to look at Genjo. Veins were bulging on the Vice-Admiral's forehead, the veil had fallen on the ground, his red eyes were blazing with hate. The spectacle in front of them was horrific... But the moment the Skypiean saw the green-eyed Jiangshi his attitude changed.

- "Watch my 6 and don't get in... if anything happens, I want ya to turn back and run...Vlad is on his way so in two to three hours, he shall be there... But eh, I they get me, ya better leave the island our ask for a Buster Call... " said the man with his childish voice
All motion remained COMPLETELY unchanged in the center room, all proceeded as if nothing had happened outside the doors...EXCEPT the head of the green-eyed Jiangshi. While the room remained "still" (excluding prior writhings), only the face of the Jiangshi moved to meet the noise (as if the room was completely under this one being's control).
The green-eyed Jiangshi looked on expectantly as Shaarib's emotions seemed to bubble over and overwhelm the vice admiral!

Shaarib took two steps forward, the helmet ate his face and he was ready. He was one move away from dealing a critical blow to the Jiangshi... The monsters had killed enough people, the sight of the blood dripping on the wooden floor had done the job. A horrendous smell was coming from the corpse. Shaarib was going to make them pay, he forgot about Yuki and Stein, he was going to erase the room. The noise may have alerted them, but our Vice-Admiral did not care anymore. His right arm had been covered with iron cloud like the day before. Around the white alloy, spun fire and lighting at high speed. Soon they fused and it looked like the sword was made of light. The blade kept elongating and Shaarib had to carry it with his other arm to keep it in balance. With a guttural yell, he brings the sword down diagonally, unleashing a laser beam on the jiangshi carrying all the pent-up emotion of the day.


- "TAKE THAT ! "
The slightest aproximation of a smile crept across the Jiangshi's face before the magnificent display of strength obliterated intelligent, zombie-like being in it's path (as well as the Devourer) ((As well as both walls behind the being; leaving a clean sight into the nighttime scenery outside.)) Effortlessly, the green-eyed Jiangshi was vanquished...?

The beam-like attack punched effortlessly past the intended target, eventually clashing with a far-distant mountain-side in the horizon (now visible due to the damage), and sputtering off alongside with a piece of the beautiful mountainside...Shaarib's strength could be unquestioned.

Without much time to ponder any ramifications, the ten living Jiangshi plunged into uncoordinated madness. Four forcing themselves at Genjo, six pitting themselves against Shaarib Hassan. With feverous haste the lifeless bodies sprang from sitting positions into feral attack positions of unregulated pattern:

vs Shaarib: Unnamed Attack DPR: D(x6)
81-100: 3. Large Building Level x6

vs Genjo: Unnamed Attack DPR: D(x4)
81-100: 3. Large Building Level x4

Aside from the immediate carnage, the building remains standing; with a third floor remaining above the two. The clean strike of Shaarib's attack left the building standing...But now alight with a roaring glow of fire... Fire was spreading rapidly from the residual effects of the Skypiean's hugely powerful, haki-infused, strike.

@L'Empereur
 
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e slightest aproximation of a smile crept across the Jiangshi's face before the magnificent display of strength obliterated intelligent, zombie-like being in it's path (as well as the Devourer) ((As well as both walls behind the being; leaving a clean sight into the nighttime scenery outside.)) Effortlessly, the green-eyed Jiangshi was vanquished...?

The beam-like attack punched effortlessly past the intended target, eventually clashing with a far-distant mountain-side in the horizon (now visible due to the damage), and sputtering off alongside with a piece of the beautiful mountainside...Shaarib's strength could be unquestioned.
Shaarib was difficult because he was volatile. For the newcomers of the 169th he was a lunar person. Either Cold as a brick or acting funny. For Genjo hos been a part of the unit since Shaarib was still a captain, the skypiean always has been emotional, through the years, he learned how to bury it deep during mission. The emotions always came back to the surface because the Vice-Admiral was easily angered. « Angered » was a big word, now, the man was completely submerged by anger but he used logic. Shaarib used logic and it was frightening, the birdman muttered something under his breath and took out a dial Genjo could recognize as his Water Dial. His attack had caused a fire and the birdman released probably half of the water contained in the dial. Waves of water came from it and tried to bury the jiangshi under the flow. The water with Shaarib’s experienced hand ended the burning and went through the hole. Shaarib turned and pointed the hole to Genjo, maybe an incentive to run already and lunged upwards creating a hole through the second-floor ceiling. Shaarib was actively looking for something and was not going to leave without it. The blond clenched & unclenched his fists, trying to find courage, and make a decision. It was time to prove his worth ! Using Geppo, he bounced on the air and entered in the same hole Shaarib went. He didn’t hide his stupor when he saw that Shaarib had already left the room, he had made a hole in another wall. Genjo, slid the door of the room and began to search for Stein and Yuki…



[Attack is
Waterfall : This technique extends water over a large scale, surges, and rises up to several dozen meters high. Then it streams down to the ground in one big cascade, much like a gigantic waterfall.
AOE
Requirements: 100 Mastery, 100 Strength
Destructive Potency Rank: S ==> 5 + 4(S) ==> 9, 4 since the damage are halved (no Haki) still 1 tier above their attacks. More used to wash them away than kill them
]
 
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Waves of water came from it and tried to bury the jiangshi under the flow. The water with Shaarib’s experienced hand ended the burning and went through the hole.
The explosive torrent of water surged from a shell-like device in Shaarib's palm. The water purged away his fire, as well as the sins of the room. The lifeless bodies were first to be carried away, the living dead attempted to resist the current shortly before being swept up and carried out of the growing hole in the temple's structure. It seemed as though no damage had been done to the Jiangshi due to the water, it wouldn't be long before they'd prepare to return to their assault against the marine invaders.

The lanterns in the room burst from their places in the walls and the only remaining light was that of the phoenix. The macabre furnishings were gone now and Shaarib was quick to resume his duty after his cleansing of this dreadful place.

Shaarib turned and pointed the hole to Genjo, maybe an incentive to run already and lunged upwards creating a hole through the second-floor ceiling. Shaarib was actively looking for something and was not going to leave without it. The blond clenched & unclenched his fists, trying to find courage, and make a decision. It was time to prove his worth ! Using Geppo, he bounced on the air and entered in the same hole Shaarib went. He didn’t hide his stupor when he saw that Shaarib had already left the room, he had made a hole in another wall. Genjo, slid the door of the room and began to search for Stein and Yuki…
Shaarib was far quicker than his young comrade, he launched himself from his newly-crafted entrance to search the interior of the topmost floor. Behind Shaarib, his younger comrade sought after to assist his superior.

Genjo, upon finding a set of doors, would go to fling the sliding door open. The door didn't budge...It didn't even make a noise. Even the floorboards beneath the marine's feet squeaked and moaned with any amount of pressure; this door was different.

Upon closer inspection a few things could strike Genjo:
This was one of many different rooms on this floor; the layout was different than the second floor of the temple. There were multiple sets of sliding doors connected to the hallway Genjo currently found himself in.

Additionally:

This door seemed the most important, the young man's instincts may have been correct. The sliding doors were decorated with beautifully painted cherry blossom branches, dotting this one particular door with vibrant splashes of rosy color. Above the doors hung a row of papers, each with a unique character inscribed onto it. None of the other doors seemed to be given the same respects...


Shaarib, meanwhile, blazed ahead, leaving a hole (with only a faint hint of cinders) behind him in his wake. The phoenix looked around at the quiet, deserted room he found himself in. The room was a bedroom of sorts, though nobody alive seemed to find use in it. The cot was occupied by a skeleton, long-dead of a cause lost to time. The inside of the door had jagged marks, possibly dug in with fingernails...

In the somber quiet he would hear the quiet sounds of the undead gracefully leaping through the lower floors. The enemy was surely approaching the source of the commotion. It wouldn't be long before the two would find themselves amongst a fresh horde of Jiangshi.

@L'Empereur
 
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Despite his age, Shaarib had seen a lot of corpses, half of them, died because of him. This one was basic, the corpse had been laid on the bed for years. It decomposed peacefully. Shaarib still inspected the corpse and the cot to see if the skeleton had any intel. Jiangshi were mindless zombies, it was weird that this skeleton had not been preserved to become one. The scratch on the wall were signs that the room’s tenant tried to escape but never succeeded. The phoenix let out a sigh and came back to the main hole. The Jiangshi’s were assembling and were on their way to their position. He didn’t see Genjo and hoped the blond ran away like ordered to. He was not on par with the green-eyed zombie. He had to prevent any of them to get trough their opening. With the eisen dial, he cut a block of iron and clogged the link. The Birdman decided to try to open the door in front of him and it refused to budge. He tired twice with a little more strength and the door still resisted. He looked around and decided to destroy it. The Vice-Admiral put his arm back and hit the door with most of the strength his cursed permitted him to.


[In case the door breaks]

Shaarib looked around once again, trying to see if anyone reacted to the noise the destruction caused, and advanced through

[In Case the door do not breaks ]

Shaarib will go through the one of the other doors with a character.


Genjo had a dilemman he had to choose whether to try to find a lock to open the door or to keep going through. He had tried to slide the door open and it didn’t work. He could hear the Jiangshi coming straight toward them for the floor below. He looked at the other doors, the ones with the characters. He couldn’t understand the language they were written in. So he chose randomly and yanked one of the doors open and slid through.
 
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Shaarib gave a quick search of the corpse and its holding area. The human skeleton was feminine, likely a woman in life...
Aside from that glimpse of information, not much could be gleaned from this grim sight.

During this, Genjo moved on from the elegant doors; seeing no way to stealthily penetrate into the room.
He could hear the Jiangshi coming straight toward them for the floor below. He looked at the other doors, the ones with the characters. He couldn’t understand the language they were written in. So he chose randomly and yanked one of the doors open and slid through.
Sliding into the nearest door, Genjo bunkered down into the nearest available room. The lack of lantern light in the room became apparent as the door was slid shut behind the marine. Darkness instantly overtook the small quarters, leaving the marine to his other senses. The light drone of flies buzzed out in this room and the smell was rancid; shadowed away in the darkness was a young woman lying in bed...Far along into the process of decomposition.
While not a skeleton, she was certainly skeletal...Her ghastly visage lingering just beyond natural sight in the blackness.

The Jiangshi’s were assembling and were on their way to their position. He didn’t see Genjo and hoped the blond ran away like ordered to. He was not on par with the green-eyed zombie. He had to prevent any of them to get trough their opening. With the eisen dial, he cut a block of iron and clogged the link.
Shaarib's Eisen Dial produced an iron-cloud wall big enough to sufficiently close off the entrance he had made to the floor, leaving only whatever ladders or stairwells that were already present for the Jiangshi to navigate to the floor. With the immediate breach risk seemingly solved, Shaarib took his chance at the same door Genjo had tried (and had given up on for the moment).

The Birdman decided to try to open the door in front of him and it refused to budge. He tired twice with a little more strength and the door still resisted. He looked around and decided to destroy it. The Vice-Admiral put his arm back and hit the door with most of the strength his cursed permitted him to.
After being met with the same resistance that had frustrated Genjo, the phoenix reeled his muscular arm back and delivered a swift blow aimed at the sliding doors; the reaction from the set of doors was that of an iron door having a rubber ball thrown at it. His arm bounced back from the surface and didn't seem to even properly touch the threshold. There was some sort of mystical barrier in place, no doubt.

The marine took in the magical resilience of the door before turning his back to it and observing the other doors. None were marked like this door was, instead Shaarib took to a nearby room (separate from Genjo). The lack of light in the room was trivial considering the devil fruit power that Vice-Admiral Hassan possessed.

Upon being illuminated, a sight extremely similar to the first room he (and now Genjo) encountered. The far-gone corpse of a nameless, female victim trapped in a bedroom-esque prison cell. This whole floor could likely be filled with dead/dying prisoners...


The dull thud of an attack meeting the iron-cloud barrier in the hall could reach the marines during their separate quiet investigations. Upon discovery of this blockage, a group of Jiangshi began to attack it from below; while a separate pack of undead began moving for the two separate stairwells upward. The living corpses moved en masse from any perceivable angle towards the third floor...The order had been given:

"Eliminate the invaders."

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# Shaarib eyes widened at the contact. Going with strength had been the wrong choice. He had hoped his fist would go through the door but instead, it rebounded and the force nearly made him lose balance. The door was protected by magic or some ancient power. This was troubling, if the green-eyed Jiangshi was hidden behind this door; Shaarib would have to burn the whole Temple down if he wanted to kill it. He turned back and went to open another of the door in the corridor. He found the same thing that he had previously : a female corpse. It didn't take long for the Vice-Admiral to link the dots together : The 3rd Floor was the prison for the Jiangshi. The problem was to know when the woman was kidnapped ? If they were seized at the same time as the WGs employees, Shaarib and Genjo would be in deep trouble. The birdman acquiesced one time and destroyed the wall in front of him. He would go through all the cells before the rumbling got closer. With his speed and strength, it was not going to take long.

- "God damn Zombies..."


Genjo on the other side, stopped in his track. Vomit was up on its way and he was fighting for his life. The smell that welcomed it was ridiculous. He wasn't seeing anything because of the obscurity but he could hear the flies buzzing around him and smell a body in current decomposition. His eyes got used to the dark after a little bit and he was able to move with more ease in the room. The blond walked with caution until his foot hit a bed. On it, he saw a female body. Too broader to be the one they were looking for. Deprived of his sight, his other senses of Genjo's got ameliorated. He flinched when he heard a huge noise. Someone had made another hole in one of the walls, the marine scurried to the hall one more time and saw nothing. He decided to open another door. #

- "Sheeesh..."
 
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The birdman acquiesced one time and destroyed the wall in front of him. He would go through all the cells before the rumbling got closer. With his speed and strength, it was not going to take long.
After a moment of consideration the vice-admiral made up his mind and charged forward through the wooden walls. Smashing through cell after cell, not stopping to observe whomever or whatever was resting within them. The phoenix merely gave cursory glances at the ominous rooms; all similar to one another.
Shaarib burst from the other side of the center-set of rooms. From this vantage, Shaarib could now see a stairwell leading down with undead already within his view. Upon sight of the temple's intruder the Jiangshi shot forward with uncoordinated viciousness. They sought to fufill the orders of their master, their entire minds focused on the single task of eliminating the marines within their haunted landmark of Chongqing.

Jiangshi (x10)
Level 50
Race: Undead Human
Strength: 80 + 10 = 90
Speed: 50 + 10 = 60
- Reaction Speed: 60
- Movement Speed: 60

Vitality: 70 + 10 + 5 = 85
- Durability: 85
- Stamina: 85

Martial Arts: 50
- Chinese Kenpo: 100

- Cannot use Haki.
- Requires Haki in order to harm the Jiangshi
- Burns in the day, thus only seen at night.
- 'Not Alive' thus does not feel pain regardless of damage inflicted.
- Hops around.
The Jiangshi furthest in the lead, without warning, changed right before Shaarib's eyes. Right as it was beginning to approach striking distance of Shaarib, its face flickered and from the hollows within the Jianghi's face came the sickly green glow that Shaarib was growing familiar with.
Instead of taking the predicted jump kick that it seemed to be bounding up for; the newly-possessed Jiangshi tucked into a well-trained low stance with an extreme level of agility (still well within Shaarib's range of perception). The green-eyed Jiangshi spun defensively upwards and in towards Shaarib before attempting to plant an open palm to the marine's temple with a swift hook of the right hand.

Èyùn pāi jī (厄运拍击)- The possessed Jiangshi swiftly hooks their opponent with one of their arms in the side of the head. Upon contact the master Jiangshi's mystical power will imbue into the inferior Jianghi's attack thus inflicting the "Scared" status effect on the target. DPR: A (81 Strength, 100 Chinese Kenpo) | Scared: affected is nauseated, has reduced observation Haki and finds it hard to concentrate on anything but the thing scaring them. lasts for 3-6 turns. Requires at least 71 mastery
81-100: 3. Large Building Level + 3 (DPR: A)=City Level!!


The others wasted no time during this transaction, bounding up and away from Shaarib onto the third floor. They didn't attack, instead (just within Shaarib's view) the varied Jiangshi bounced in place almost soundlessly. They seemed to be awaiting further orders from their master.

...Genjo, alone in the dark (likely hearing whatever was proceeding in the hall) had a choice to make: continue the investigation or assist Shaarib.

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Shaarib's anger was receding. No solution was coming in sight, he wasn't advancing anymore. He went to destroy the walls of each jail cells he saw and he still wasn't able to get to Yuki and Stein. For the latter he understood he wasn't going to see him, but the woman was still recognizable. After destroying the last wall, the birdman come to meet with stairs leading to the second floor. He heard and saw the incoming zombies. They were racing to see which one would get to him first. The iron cloud, in his hand took the form of a sword again. he braced himself, he wanted to cut their legs and see them ramping. At the last time, he saw green light flickiring in the eyes of one of them. The leader was present once again. Except, like the previous night, he was fighting with the body of another Jiangshi. The iron cloud turned red and the blade began to sizzle. Shaarib threw his arm forward and let the blade expand. He was going to push backward and burn all of them.


- " Heat and Eisen : Fouet ! "

Fouet : The user covers his arm with iron cloud and makes a pole, instead of hitting a target like with Masse, he whips it in a circular motion to clear out anything in their immediate vicinity. (AOE)(50 meters I think ?) ==> B Rank ==> 5 + 2 + 3 ==> 10. Large Country Level with Moderate burn: using the burned parts hurts and will cause slight extra damage each turn (D rank). lasts for 3-4 turns. Requires at least 51 mastery

Clash ==> Attack is 4 or more DPR higher: Overwhelms the weaker attack and is largely unaffected.

The green zombie moved forward and got hit by the iron cloud expanding and was pushed towards the back. The marine get walking forward, trying to push the zombies as far as possible. If none of them attacked from this floor. It meant their leader was there and not hiddent behind the magically barrier. The Vice-Admiral walk until he got to the last stair and let out a highly concentrated cry. Not strong enough to inflinct damage to the undead army. But strong enough to destroy the stairs. He was going to take the fight to the ground floor.


Tristesse : In his phoenix form, he let out a cry which create a burst that blast things around him.
AOE
DPR: B, requires 61,41,41 == > 5 +2 ==> 7. ==> But for story purpose we shall reduce it to 4 or 3 maybe 🤔


Genjo heard the ruckus outside, Shaarib was probably fighting the jiangshi. The Vice-Admiral didn't know about the blond's presence. This was the marine's chance to inspect the other rooms without someone to bother him.
 
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Before the Jiangshi could elude the superior reactions of Shaarib Hassan, the Skypiean launched into his attack!
Just as Shaarib would send his burning whip out to meet the undead ranks, he would catch another sneer from the head Jiangshi.
The iron cloud turned red and the blade began to sizzle. Shaarib threw his arm forward and let the blade expand. He was going to push backward and burn all of them.


- " Heat and Eisen : Fouet ! "
Blasting away the oncoming punch with ease came forth an explosive thrust of haki-infused fire. The unpossessed Jiangshi were caught alongside their master (inhabiting a host). As the Jiangshi bodies toppled backwards and sideways over themselves down the stairs, Shaarib traversed the cindering steps behind them slowly. The World Government soldier reached the bottom, meeting the rancid, burning pile of once-life.
The Vice-Admiral walk until he got to the last stair and let out a highly concentrated cry. Not strong enough to inflinct damage to the undead army. But strong enough to destroy the stairs. He was going to take the fight to the ground floor.
Sure enough, the already-weathered, wooden staircase washed away in the magical cry of the legendary phoenix. As the fiery blast radiated out around Shaarib it seemed to also disintigrate the wasted Jiangshi...A few however, didn't wash away and were in-fact still twitching and sputtering towards the marine...

Worse, from somewhere below could be heard cries, multiple cries echoing out together in a hellish chorus. Countless Devourers, possibly headed up, possibly waiting down below...

The remaining Jiangshi bodies, broken and burnt with their faces were almost entirely scorched away, reached out towards Shaarib pathetically, it wasn't due to lack of effort on their part; the phoenix-man could hear the dull splintering of misplaced and broken bones being disturbingly pressed against each-other and relocated into new positions as their muscles strained out for their target.
The legs of the undead, though broken and melted, spasmed in such a way to indicate they were attempting to hop at Shaarib.

Shaarib was given little-to-no time to regard the sad sight before him before another set of Jiangshi rushed at him from the large center room (that Shaarib had put two large holes through).

Bouncing the whole time, as one of the Jiangshi would flank left, the other would flank right. The zombies were utilizing crude strategies, but it was beginning to feel as if the main goal being implemented was merely to wear Shaarib down or possibly stall for time. The two were persistent on attempting to keep the phoenix's attention; they waited for any movement in Shaarib's eyes; if they saw any such movement, one of the two zombies would sweep in for a roundhouse kick to the Skypiean's upper-back, directly across the wings.
Hǔ dǐng(虎顶) - The Jiangshi, aiming to strike at the opponent's back, engages in a hooked roundhouse kick strong enough to break steel bars.

81-100: 3. Large Building Level + 3 (DPR: A)=City Level!!

Suddenly, Shaarib felt a weirdly firm grip around his ankle; the green-eyed zombie had inhabited one of the melted husks from before and latched onto the marine's leg, attempting to catch Hassan off guard and assist his underlings in an attack!


During the violent commotion, Genjo (listening carefully to the scuffle) would hear the pattering feet of Jiangshi that had breached Shaarib's iron cloud wall. They were hastily leaving after Shaarib though, it seemed Genjo had gone unnoticed and would have the third-floor to his own devices.
The eerie, dark halls were illuminated only by the traces of fire left by his commanding officer, and the dull lanterns glowing on the walls. There were still unchecked rooms, namely the one with a magical barrier...Though entry was nothing but a mystery. Every other door posed a vile threat against the young man's psyche, all holding the bodies of women; locked away before, during and long after their deaths...

Genjo would be forced to investigate the nightmarish interior of the third floor of the forgotten temple; perhaps there was a way to remove the magical barrier without killing the Jiangshi's puppeteer...

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# The second floor was now the place to be. Shaarib's stood around a flock of zombies. He didn't need to move his head to know they were slowly surrounding them, Shaarib could hear the cuffs at their feet. He could hear the cacophony, the souls' pleas coming from the floor under them. The beasts were amassing too. The smell was appalling, the burned corpses were moving around and the more they moved, the more the smell was getting potent. Hands were trying to catch his legs and wings. He was concerned by them. he was attentively looking for the green-eyed zombies. He had yet to show himself again, the others were waiting for a signal, maybe they wanted Shaarib to move first. The Vice-Admral got himself in a bad situation, he needed to keep the temple in optimal conditions. Fighting waves of zombies while checking his power output was tricky. The hole he had made was a proof of that. Suddenly one of the grips around his leg got tighter. The birdman looked down and saw green. The sword still sizzling came to life and the zombies lunged at him. Shaarib instead to whip his sword forwards, sent it through the floor. At the same time, the blade was divided into branches and resurfaced over the whole area intending to pierce most of the zombies around.


- "Heat ! Eisen : Ferronimbus Cimetierre ! "


The cloud expands underground and comes from it as blades.
Requirements : 100 strength, 100 Mastery
DPR : B (AOE) ==> (AOE) (50 meters I think ?) ==> B Rank ==> 5 + 2 + 3 ==> 10. Large Country Level with Moderate burn: using the burned parts hurts and will cause slight extra damage each turn (D rank). lasts for 3-4 turns. Requires at least 51 mastery

Clash ==> Attack is 4 or more DPR higher: Overwhelms the weaker attack and is largely unaffected.

Above, Genjo had been in his third cells, nothing had changed between them. He was seeing prisoners in decomposition. His nose was clearly not affected anymore. The awful smell was now normal. He did not find any keys, and he could hear zombies roaming around, hunting for his head. The young man sat on the floor and pondered, what if they were no keys ? They were in a temple, he had seen pieces of paper above each door, maybe he had to collect them and say some prayer.... He had to try, so the soldier got out of the room and began to use his agility and assassin techniques to evade the zombies and riping the papers of the walls.
 
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As the crippled puppet being controlled by the master Jiangshi latched to the ankle of Shaarib, the Skypiean's cloud sword sizzled with fiery energy. Shaarib's eyes moved down to meet the threat and with haste one of the Jiangshi hopped in for his strike, however in breakneck retaliation, Shaarib would counter with a technique of his own; it far surpassed what the lowly Jiangshi would present.
The hero thrust his haki-coated blade down into the ground, through the struggling husk at his feet and then into the floor beneath him.

The sword still sizzling came to life and the zombies lunged at him. Shaarib instead to whip his sword forwards, sent it through the floor. At the same time, the blade was divided into branches and resurfaced over the whole area intending to pierce most of the zombies around.

- "Heat ! Eisen : Ferronimbus Cimetierre ! "
As the flaming, haki-imbued iron cloud spread through the gap between the ceiling of the first floor and the ground of the second floor, the temple let out a horrendous cry as it was beginning to take extreme structural damage. It was no sooner that the sword's branches extended that the sheets of paper in Shaarib's possession would alight (alerting Shaarib to the peril Yuki was now in).

As the ground crumpled away around Shaarib, he would be forced to fly or use Geppo to remain at the upper footing against the undead masses below.

They were in a temple, he had seen pieces of paper above each door, maybe he had to collect them and say some prayer.... He had to try, so the soldier got out of the room and began to use his agility and assassin techniques to evade the zombies and riping the papers of the walls.
Genjo moved along, reading for opportunities to move along in his investigation of the haunted temple. As he moved he could hear the creaking and moaning that the temple was letting out, warning everyone of imminent collapse. He would grab small paper ornaments from the walls, all seemingly of the same character; the only unique papers were at the "locked" doors. Genjo would pull at one and it would buzz as if charged with electricity.

If released,
it would pull back firmly into its place as if it were never touched...

If plucked past the point of buzzing,
Genjo would face an ungodly chill. A blast of arcane energy surged out at Genjo, freezing his hair strands together and his eyes shut shortly (assuming he shut them in response to the blast). His exposed skin was revealed to the worst of it, going immediately numb and lifeless for a time.
It was as if he was just exposed to hours of freezing cold in less than a fraction of a second!

...However, the magical paper would pull away with an audible snap and final surge of electricity as Genjo's frost-bitten fingers plucked it away.

Seal Tag
Description: A sheet of paper. There must be more to this.
Inflicts damage solely to the one who disrupted the tag. The paper releases an enormous wave of freezing energy into the target.
Inflicts Deep Freeze:
Deep Freeze: frozen part hurts a lot and will become unusable if used twice while still under this effect, the user will take extra damage each turn (C rank). lasts for 3-6 turns. Requires at least 71 mastery
101-119: 4. City Block Level

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# Shaarib's eyebrows rose at the same time, the building was sentient. It had let a guttural yell. The damage Shaarib had done to the second floor was enormous. He had destroyed the stairs, made a giant hole through one of the walls, and now had destroyed the floor. The jiansghi fell to the first floor while the birdman used his wings to keep himself stationary. The birdman looked at the ceiling and muttered some apologies. He had not predicted that.

- "I'm sorry... I promise.. When It's all done Imma rebuild ya"

Shaarib looked at the zombie under him and wanted to dive into the fray and finish the fight one for all. On his torso, something began to burn. He usually didn't feel the heat but a piece of paper was burning, it was crumbling even. It was Yuki's Vivre Card. Something was happening to her ! Shaarib did not hesitate, he had to go back to the third floor. He made a promise and with access to the 3 rd and second floors blocked. Shaarib could take a little pause. The Vice-Admiral flew back and illuminated the corridors. He saw the difference between his first arrival and now. Someone took the pieces of paper on the doors. Maybe the house was finally giving him hints, the faster he would get the hostages and the faster he would leave. Shaarib kept walking until he arrived in front of a locked dorr with an ornament. With his wing, he went to cut the charm and was assaulted by the protection. A jolt went through the Vice-Admiral's body and he winced. (Normal Damage) He muttered an insult and looked again at the ceiling. Shaarib shook his head and went to open the door. Praying to find Yuki.

- "I thought we were friends !" he yelled at the house

[With his fruit, he is not affected by cold and burns]

__

Genjo had done a meticulous job, he tore the pieces of paper one by one. He went back on his steps and even was able to see the chaos Shaarib had done by destroying the walls of the Temple. Taking all the precautions he could, he dodged the Jiangshi. The blond continued on his path until he came in front of another locked door. He remarked the fact that the characters on the wall were different than the ones he had assembled. Using Geppo, he was able to maintain himself in the air and tried to tear the piece from the wall. When Genjo touched the paper, he got electrocuted so the Commodore took back his hand. Something was behind that door and he had to try to open it. Genjo slapped himself once and tried again to tear the paper. With a hard yank, he took the ornament and immediately crashed into the ground, his body squirming. The boy's body went cold immediately after the tore the paper, he was shivering and his teeth were chattering. He had made a mistake and got caught by the trap the Jiangshi left for him.

-"D-D-Damn..."
Clash ==> Attack is one tier above, so quite effective

Genjo was suffering on the ground, his clothes weren't made to fight against the cold. He tried to manage his breath and got up. He was wincing but he had to keep moving, he had made some noise by falling. It was going to attract the Jiagshi. He let out a sigh and pushed open the door with all the strength he could muster. Shaarib was fighting an army on the lower floor, what would he think Genjo if some freezing damages were able to stop him ? #
 
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