Island Valley of Peace

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Valley of Peace #19
@Sea

The Catacombs
The walls told a story. A story imprinted perhaos centuries ago. A story depicting an incident Akira would recognize; it was his own story. The invasion from the pirates, the fires, the hooded figure, the deal taken, the bloodshed. It all seemed too familiar, ending with the boy being rewarded with Muramasa, a symbol of the blood he spilt. The aura that the sword carried permeated, turning and taking grasp on the boy’s soul. It seems to be a story told in the past, of the future. A reality that would shock Akira. A reality that really came to question whether he was the ancestor of Kurai Takeuchi or Kurai Takeuchi himself.

The boy could not consolidate the reality, and questions followed.

[Boss Wolf] “The ship? The island? I-I-I do not know. This was certainly written centuries ago. Who manned the ship and how Valley of Peace looked then, has been lost to time.“
[Boss Wolf] “One thing is clear to me… this is how Lord Takeuchi obtained Muramasa centuries ago. The forgotten text.”

Boss Wolf looked intently at the pictures. He went on to explain that the technology to imprint glowing hieroglyphics was lost to time - they could not copy it now. A wolf who only spoke based on fables, rumors, and mythology. His conclusion was as baseless as Akira’s own. What was the actual truth?

The Catacombs was a long trek, one filled with hieroglyphs to follow. The story tracked Akira’s past, down to the use of the mask. Finally, the group would come across a giant door. A door made of unknown material, as heavy as a mountain, unmovable. A door that bore paintings of the same two warriors with Muramasa and Twilight’s Edge. Yet, they were not fighting. The Twilight’s Edge holder held the Muramasa holder from behind with care. The holder of Muramasa, face shrouded, wept.

In eye level of the group was a hole that grew small and thin as it went inward, with odd markings all around it. There was a text inscribed in language they could read.

[Symbol] Grim Slayer, the prison’s power is yours to claim. Beyond the One gate lies the Spirit Realm. Over the One gate only the Goddess holds sway.
A riddle. A gate that seemed to beckon Akira… the Grim Slayer.
 

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VoP #20
@Ichimonji

His question went unanswered as Akira poses a history question to Boss Wolf, it seems that he was not privy to such information. Perhaps such information can be obtained somewhere else with a proper archive. But for now it seems that much of this island’s history seems to be selectively removed, for the lack of better words. Or at least the way Akira sees it, history seems to be mixed and match as Boss Wolf is clear that that art accurately depicts Kurai and Muramasa. Perhaps a mere coincidence. While in Akira’s past. La Spada did not give him a sword, as young Akira used the sword that was merely dropped on the floor in an attempt to kill the pirates and similarly when given the ultimatum. That said, his memories are quite fuzzy – details could be wrong. A memory not fully clear to the boy such details.

Letting the question go, the boy knew that history is well-connected to him even if he could not fathom how. The prison is not the only objective. He needs to get to a library of sorts, or well – someone as old as Oogway to piece the history together. Continuing to follow the pack of wolves in the catacombs, the group would eventually reach an obstacle – a giant door, heavy and made of unknown material. The door bore paintings of two warriors, each with a different sword though one in which is Muramasa, red – and of course this is Kurai’s prison. The second however wasn’t known but Akira could only assume to be the sister sword. Here the painting paints a slightly different version of the apprentices that Oogway first spoke about. The apprentices were supposed to be at war with each other yet this one shows a different light. Sadness and tragedy. It is unlikely Oogway would lie nor give a different version of the events.

The boy thought for a second.

The end? Is this the ‘end’ of the war? Not that it is a different version but the ending. But he would not understand anything of this painting.

“What about this one? What is this trying to depict?”

The boy asked, considering how Boss Wolf is very much a fanatic of this Kurai and perhaps with that he may shed some light upon this. Before he would continue on with what may be behind this door he should at least ask a question before he couldn't.
 
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Valley of Peace #20
@Sea

The Catacombs
The Catacombs told a story. A story hauntingly familiar to Akira’s own, down to the blood he has shed. A story painted centuries ago. The One Door had the two apprentices, one in embrace of the other. Muramasa glowed red. Twilight’s edge glowed blue. Polar opposites. Yet, here, the two had come together. A story first seen. A story that would jerk the wolf pack. They all stood in awe, mimd racing. Akira posed the first set of questions.

All he had to do is listen in for the answers, as the pack discussed what they saw.

[Wolf #1] “Could this depict how Lord Takeuchi and the other apprentice came together? How they settled the land?”
[Wolf #2] “That’s just a guess. These images have never been depicted in any paintings we’ve seen. We’ve no access to the Vault at Jade Palace, but nowhere else has this been depicted. The apprentices are always seen fighting!”

Always seen fighting. Akira had seen proof of that. In the lighthouse, the two depicted were in a clash, with all the animals and nature in awe. The symbol of balance in their background. Now, it was different. Master Oogway had left a significant chunk out of the story. But why? Was there a reason to leave Akira in the dark? Every step Akira took, he unraveled the story in Valley of Peace, one scattered through the island. The Vault in Jade Palace, mentioned by one of the wolves, stood out.

The wolves continued, now taking a closer look at what those depicted wore.

[Wolf #1] “One thing troubles me. Do you see it too, Boss?”

[Boss Wolf] “Yes. The holder of Twilight’s edge is wearing a mask and some sort of suit of armor. In all the texts and paintings, the second apprentice is never depicted with either of them.”

A mask and some sort of suit. Images that Akira would immediately recognize. The one depicted holding Twilight’s edge, not Muramasa.

The riddle beckoned the group in.
 

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VoP #21
@Ichimonji

Another question posed by Akira, asking them about this particular confusing piece of history. They are fanatics, they should know of it. Yet, the conversation between wolves came to be not what the boy hoped for. The wolves themselves were equally stumped by it, but one important piece of information quickly came into light. While these particular pieces of painting is nowhere depicted, the wolves however mention the royal palace archives, something which Akira himself has thought about getting access to from the very start of his arrival essentially. He wasn’t taken aback by it. He has been more or less expecting something like that, making it all the more important to find access into their archives at a later time. They would continue to talk, with Boss Wolf involving himself into the discussion at hand in regards to the user of this ‘Twilight’s Edge’, a weapon glowed blue, the opposite of Muramasa in almost every other sense not just their colors. Not planning to ask, however what happen to Kurai Takeuchi in the effort to not antagonize them with this particular painting’s depiction, the boy continues to listen on.

However, the topic at hand isn’t the swords. It is the user of the sword. A figure donned in black armor and a mask. The wolves themselves did not understand. But that. Akira knew. It is his raid suit. How? The armor itself borrows from neither historical references nor inspiration. The boy crafted the suit to create an armor of dread and fear. It is made to for only one purpose that is to perpetuate the myth of La Spada, a ‘shadow’ that would act as the power of La Spada. To create the reputation of La Spada, that she could kill anyone anywhere without actually being there. Even should he ever been known, the boy only have to remove witnesses to continue the role. Though such actions have not been fully gone through for the boy have never killed civilians as the Shadow, well if not counting his past. Yet this shocking coincidence became a terrifying thought to Akira. What is going on? His eyes widen at the revelation, a lightheaded sensation overtook the boy momentarily.

Huff… Huff… Huff…



Whispers of short but exhaustive breath could barely be heard. The boy’s head throbbed in a dullish pain as if ‘reality’ quite literally hits him like a truck. His hands palmed on one side of his face as the boy closed his eyes. One may see this as a form of overreaction. But to the boy, this made absolutely no sense – logically speaking. The boy isn’t a determinist or a very superstitious person, which can be ironic considering his given role. Meaning to put, Akira does not believe in fate and destiny. Yet what he has seen up till now wildly confuses him and affirming his own beliefs became difficult to do. The boy couldn’t conclusively come up with an answer logically outside of the fact someone having the ability to peer into the future of sorts. What is he suppose to believe?

Slowing his own breath, the boy composes himself. This is not the time for self-reflection. He needs to finish whatever business he has with the prison castle before getting caught. After a long sigh, the boy focused on what’s before him, regardless of how the wolf pack would react from his uncharacteristic loss of emotional control. The boy read the riddle.

“…..”

Keeping himself calm, the boy wasn’t taken aback by the riddle, perhaps having seen the absurdity of what he has experienced so far, he just have to take things in stride. Regardless of what development his actions have led him to. The boys just have to play along with the flow of things. It is simply put, easier to deal with. Alongside the riddle a small cavity could be found as if beckoning something to be placed within it. Odd markings further accentuate that idea. The boy took a short moment to think before pulling the black bandages tying up Muramasa, allowing the boy to withdrew the sword from its sheathe. Ignoring the fact that it states ‘Grim Slayer’ and ‘Spirit Realm’, the use of the word prison’s power and more importantly the ‘goddess’ would only gave the boy one answer. The boy slowly tries to insert the sword into the recession, tip of the blade first into the hole. They called Muramasa a Goddess. Thus Muramasa isn’t just a weapon but also functionally serves as a key. That is what the boy believes to be the case. If it would not work, the boy would try a different manner, sheathing Muramasa back into the its scabbard and completely removing the bandages before inserting the weapon again essentially the same exact way.
 
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Valley of Peace #20
@Sea

The Catacombs ———> Chorh-Gom Prison - Lower Level
The One Door stood between the group and the other side. The riddle beckoned the boy, nicknamed ”The Grim Slayer” that only the Goddess held sway. In the Catacombs Akira was confronted with a story that gave significant Implications, down to the aura of the swords depicted, red and blue. The whole story, however, was still lost to the assassin. A puzzle, and Akira only had the corner pieces. The door promised to lead to another piece, mentioning the “Spirit World”. Even the wolves did not know what it meant - this was supposed to be the secret way into the Chorh-Gom prison.

Akira drew Muramasa from her sheathe. The blade was inserted tip first, sliding perfectly into the slot. Upon the hole reaching the pommel, the glyphs surrounding the hole lit up, the same blueish-hue seen in the WG camp. Next came a click, as if the key slotted in place. If Akira would turn the pommel of Muramasa like a key, the group would hear the clanging of locks, latching open. With a gentle push, the door would slowly open, lightning up both the glyphs and the way.

The Goddess Muramasa was the key.

[Wolf] “Imcredible… this is the lower level of the prison! Boss, do you feel that aura? It’s unmistakable!”

Upon the door opening, a sweeping aura of pedantic and strength swept the group. An aura of one matching a Mayhem of the Spada Pirates, determined. If moved forward, the group would find no more symbols existed in the narrow corridor, only able to fit one person at a time. The hallway was ptch-black, but-for the light from the glyphs behind them. Soon, the hallway led to a rock. Boss Wolf would knock on it, finding it hollow. With a tug and pull, Boss Wolf pulled the rock aside quietly. On the other side, the prison greeted them.

The prison was as dark as the hallways, with torches being the only light source. The prison was a built on an abyss, never seeing bottom. A single platform was in the middle. Connected to the platform was a rudimentary elevator. Surrounding it, spiraling up, were bridges carrying hundreds and hundreds of soldiers. These were not fodder. Surrounding the platform were ballista, aimed at the center and ready to fire.

The platform held a terror bound.

[Boss Wolf] “I can’t believe we made it! The one who would become the Dragon Warrior, our leader… Tai Lung.”

 

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VoP #22
@Ichimonji

The boy placed Muramasa into the hole, perfectly fitting without seemly any resistance or blockages of any sort. Then, a click happens, yet nothing would happen yet until the boy turns Muramasa like a key that clanging sounds would finally indicate the success of Akira’s actions. A gentle push is made and finally the door in front of them opens up. An aura blew through the catacombs like a wind as the door opens, a powerful aura which one of the wolves would comment upon it. An aura of power and dread that matches the Shadow’s own, though not that the boy consciously is aware of his own. What came wasn’t light from the door. Perhaps actually somewhat surprising. All it came to view is darkness. Only that glyphs lighted behind them are all that the source of light remains. The boy was quickly told to be the lower level of the prison, not the ‘Spirit Realm’. Though wasn’t fully sure what is going on the boy did not hesitate much upon following the Wolf Pack, he came for the prison after all to find the truth. A rock would eventually be found on the hallway’s end – prompting Boss Wolf to pull aside the rock which would eventually revealed the prison.

The prison is completely dark; torches are the only light source that would give any sort of visual to the surroundings. Above them various movements and structures could be seen though not that the boy could really see what is what. His eyes take a while to adjust to the darkness at hand. But in front of them, the boy knew someone is there. Unmoving but someone powerful stood in the darkness. The Boss Wolf would quickly seemly rejoice in the fact that they made it, and he would introduce a new figure to Akira, Tai Lung – his leader. Those words took Akira aback, he wasn’t aware of having another leader to the pack, presuming that Boss Wolf is the sole leader. That said, whatever this prison is, is strangely created in terms of structure. An underground prison perhaps much like Impel Down, the exit therefore is at the top.

“Dragon Warrior?”

Akira asked, never did he heard of this title or term. Yet is referred to their leader. That said, the boy would look around the prison, not willing to head straight into the centre platform yet as it would seem to be a terrible idea to just walk into the prison. Using the bandages, the boy quickly covered his face once more – noting the darkness of this prison would likely cover his identity and Muramasa with relative ease. He would look for alternative pathways such deeper down into the abyss, escapes routes if possible, even looking to see if the way they come in isn’t just a one-way street. He did not like that Boss Wolf mentioned another leader. Not that he cares about being a leader or whatsoever, his only reason is letting another villain walk once more, the other being Akira himself. Selfish and hypocritical one may think so. There’s no need to put forth more issues and chaos at hand. He has no intention to free their leader unless some value is posed to the boy, after all this Tai Lung is in prison for a reason. But such intentions are not mentioned. Obvious of course.
 
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Valley of Peace #21
@Sea

Chorh-Gom Prison - Lower Level
The group stood in the wall, peering into the fearsome creature bound. Tai Lung, he who would be the Dragon Warrior. Boss Wolf called him their leader. If Boss Wolf was a Commander, Yai Ling would be the King. Both leaders, yet Tai Lung was the highest, imprisoned here. It became more obvious that the wolf pack wanted to free their leader, and the heir would be the perfect person to do it. After all, without the key, without Muramasa, they could have never infiltrated the prison.

Boss Wolf spoke quietly, avoiding detection in the echoing nature of the prison.

[Boss Wolf] “Hear me, brothers. Remember why we’re here. As long as we free Lung, victory will be ours. He will lead us and take back the Jade Palace. The Vault will be ours, and we’ll be able to take over this land for Lord Takeuchi’s sake.”

Boss Wolf rallied his troops. They were less than innocent. The group aimed to free their leader and strike against Jade Palace. They sought the Vault, the Dragon Warrior epiteth, and to rile over the land. To rule the land as Lord Takeuchi did centuries ago. With heir in hand and Dragon Warrior in sight, the group told themselves victory was at hand. The group moved from the hold and spread out around it, holding the earth, climbing. Boss Wolf stayed at the mouth of the hole with Akira. They took positions, while Boss Wolf spoke.

[Boss Wolf] “Remember your training. We’ve practiced this many times. For Chorh-Gom…”

All of them prepared, taking off climbing equipment and weapons. They would intend to free Tai Lung.

If Akira looked down, past the platform, he’s see something that would draw his eye. In fact, Muramasa squirmed, pointing downward by herself. The darkness would flutter. For a moment, it looked like a mirror, like a portal, shimmering back and forth. If Akira asked the wolf pack, he’d find no answer - the group was too focused on freeing their leader. Words to remember.

[Oogway] “Believe in Muramasa and sister. Let them guide you through the hate. But first, you must believe. Believe, my dear apprentice“
 

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VoP #23
@Ichimonji

The boy poses a question towards the wolves, but he would not be met with any response as they became focused upon rescuing their leader. Their goals also quickly become exposed to the boy. While not expecting the wolves to have such ambitions, they are from the prison after all, thus not truly surprised with whatever goals they might have, kept hidden till now. He would get rid of the wolves now that they seemed to no longer possess any value to him but as more information has been uncovered with this journey east. Akira ultimately chose not to do so, leaving the wolves be to their work – it has been mutually beneficious for either side up till now. As they have yet to betray Akira, for now there is no reason to do the same to them.

As the boy observes his surroundings, before eventually peering beneath the platform – Akira felt something beneath them. Muramasa squirmed, this time uncontrollably as compared to the previous time, as if Muramasa herself is moving on her own completely as if trying to bring herself into the abyss. This is the first time Akira has lost control of Muramasa in this manner. For a moment in his observation, something shimmering back and forth. Something is drawing Muramasa in. The boy remembered Oogway’s words, no matter how cryptic it is. He mentions trusting Muramasa and her sister. Right now the path leads to nowhere but the wolves’ goals. Looking back, they are seen preparing to release Tai Lung. And as for Akira he has to make a decision. To continue with the wolves or to trust in Oogway’s words.

“….”

The wolves aren’t necessarily looking at the heir they have found. Their leader took precedence. A soft sigh came muttered under his breath. He has been through hell and back, though not in a literal sense. But going through darkness and to meet the unknown strikes Akira’s mind and heart. There’s no telling this feeling is even going to work and that he would be plunging straight to the depths of the prison face first onto the ground. There is no vision to be had in those depths, no matter how much time has pass in darkness his vision would still not be able to see what is ahead. Yet…

The boy pushed his body downwards as he leapt. A
leap of faith that Akira took. A risk, he would believe in the words of Oogway. Whom probably serves as the most reliable narrator so far. He would not transform into his Zoan form for the time being, after all – he would place his trust in Muramasa’s actions. Not even giving a single warning to the wolves, Akira left them alone. And alone the boy would continue his journey into the abyss. Where would Muramasa take him? Only following this 'destiny' that Akira has seemed to be set upon the path by fate that he would find the answer.
 
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Valley of Peace #22
@Sea

Chorh-Gom Prison - Lower Level
The group huddles around the hole, taking position. Tai Lung raised his head slightly, those red glowing eyes tracking the wolf squad. Boss Wolf held his hand up, giving directions to his pack. Meanwhile, Akira focused on the darkness beneath the platform. It called to him. It called to Muramasa, who squirmed and inched towards the darkness. It took a few moments to decide, with Master Oogway’s words in the background, before Akira took a leap of faith.

As Akira’s body passed through the darkness, Boss Wolf’s voice echoed, the pack moving to free their leader.

[Boss Wolf] “NOW!!

The darkness enveloped Akira like a swaddle. Akira would feel his entry through a door that felt like water. Immediately after passing, he’d feel the air heavier. a flash of light could be seen at the bottom, growing closer. Akira would land in floating pieces of a bridge. Around it would be a large tree on a floating platform with cherry blossoms on the floor, the branches devoid of flowers. It was the same blossoms Oogway disappeared into, now fallen and rotting. On the other side were temple pillars in a similar hue. All around the two were floating pieces of rocks and cement, rotting. The air was heavy and the light enveloped by green darkness. The Spirit Realm.

Importantly, slabs of human-sized stone were floating around the area. They depicted animals of all shapes and sizes, all in a kung-fu stance. In the center was a stone of Oogway, as if petrified.

[Kai] “Finally, the seal has been broken...”
A voice called out, echoing in the realm. Atop the Temple pillars was a large shadow, cast down on Akira. If the boy looked up, he’d meet a Admiral-sized bull standing on two legs. Horns stood out of his leather helmet. The bull had long hair that draped his body, over the rough fur that enveloped him. The bull had two small blades on his hip, wide and staunch. His eyes and weapons glowed green, the same color as the darkness enveloping the plain. With him was an aura similar to Akira’s own, strong, yet much more older, or so it appeared to be.

The bull spoke again with that deep commanding voice.
[Kai] “Took you long enough to return to the Spirit World. I knew we’d meet again, Takeuchi-boy.”
 

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VoP #24
@Ichimonji

The boy made a leap of faith down into the abyss., and beyond this darkness Boss Wolf’s words echoed through the darkness, whatever they planned to do – they have started but it is no longer of Akira’s concern for the time being. As Akira free fall down, his body felt heavy, as if trying to push through water acting against him. The air felt heavy, and a flash of light starts to glow, expanding towards Akira though whether this is due to Akira falling into this glowing light or the light itself is catching the boy or even a mix of both is debatable. But this is likely what Muramasa is drawing into and the boy is sure of her intentions. A flash of light would eventually envelop Akira as he passes into the light. Beyond that, a strange world awaits Akira. As if the boy himself is hallucinating a different world. Landing upon the bridge, floating in pieces as with what seems to be a shattered world in essence. Is this this Spirit Realm that is written upon the plaque? Cherry blossoms, temple structures are all seen floating about with pieces of rocks, rotting. This world however seems like it is covered in green.

Around him were floating human-sized stones, depicted with animals of various species and sizes in a stance though what quickly came to the boy’s attention however is Oogway himself. There wasn’t context so the boy wasn’t exactly sure why such statues are over here in the first place. But before he could fully explore his surroundings, a voice came from above. Speaking about a broken seal. Turning his attention towards the source of the voice came a large bull, a Mink. His eyes and weapon glowed green, the apparent same colour to the world around. A powerful aura permeates from the bull, before he would eventually speak once more, calling Akira out that he returned to the spirit world, and that they met again. Likely confirming the Spirit Realm existence at the same time. The bull spoke as if he knew who Akira is. But the same cannot be said for the boy for he has no idea who is the bull. In response, the boy questioned the bull, though not showing any aggressive actions immediately.

“Who are you?”

The boy asked. His left hand gripped the sheathe of Muramasa tightly. His body tensed, ready to unsheathe his weapon at any time if there is any need.
 
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Valley of Peace #23
@Sea

Spirit Realm - Chaos Version
The area had turned from a dark prison to a green hued Spirit Realm. The expanse went on for miles, unable to see the end. Floating platforms, rocks, trees, and pillars stood, slowly moving. A quick glance led to the conclusion the pieces could be connected, could be pieced together to make beautiful building and garden. However, under this hue, under this new darkness, the area was fragmented. Floating above the petrified stones of kung fu masters was a symbol, exactly the one Akira saw in the lighthouse. This time, the dark side, green in hue, was filled considerably more than the other side, tinted yellow, like Oogway's aura.

Akira looked up at the bull, meter of the realm. A simple question. A question that made the figure chortle in amusement.

[Kai] “Ha! Who am I? Did Oogway not tell you? What a fool! He sent you here clouded! All his prophecies are dead! Now, he sits in the Spirit Realm of my domain. Now, all of the kung fu master's chi are mine! Soon, I will take the rest in the Valley Realm!"
As the bull spoke, he pointed towards the stones floating in the realm. He made note that he had taken the chi of the kung fu masters in the domain. The result was them being petrified, held fast in the Spirit Realm. A realm that was neither present, future, nor past. A realm where kung fu masters went after death, to continue the ever battle of ying and yang. Yet now, the bull made note that the "seal" had been broken. The bull made note he would now take the rest of the chi in the Valley of Peace.

A seal Akira had unwittingly broken.

Ichimonji said:
[Symbol] Grim Slayer, the prison’s power is yours to claim. Beyond the One gate lies the Spirit Realm. Over the One gate only the Goddess holds sway.
The bull jumped down from the top of the pillar to a piece of the broken bridge. A large thump signified his power, weight, and aura. The bull looked up at the sky. Like before when Akira jumped, there was a shimmering wave, a portal, now open. The bull chuckled, before turning to Akira once more. He would introduce himself, again referencing Akira as Takeuchi, the one lived centuries ago, and pointed at Oogway's stone with his jade blades, glowing green.
[Kai] “I am General Kai. I fought by his side, Oogway. I loved him like a brother. And he... betrayed me. Betrayed me for his two apprentices. For you. Well, now I will destroy eveything he has created!"
The last quote, but-for "I am General Kai" and "for his two apprentices", is an actual quote from Kai in the movie.
 
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VoP #25
@Ichimonji

Akira asked a question, having no clue who Kai is. Yet the boy would only receive a scornful response from the bull. A laughter that came with contempt. A lot of words are spoken by the bull, most notably that Oogway did not tell him and thus sending him unaware of the circumstances. And that he now sits in his spirit realm and thus, all other kung fu master’s chi are his. A declaration to conquer the rest of the island in his response. Such words are more or less lost to the boy, but he concluded one thing: these statues weren’t statues if his words are true. He would not question his logic of how and when. Boa Hancock have such powers to turn beings into stone, nothing at this point is far-fetched to the point of disbelief. As he pointed to these floating stones, Akira barely looked away from Kai, only spending a few seconds to see his ‘work’ upon this realm.

The bull jumped down from atop the pillar to the broken bridge. A heavy thump signifying well… his weight for the most part. But his power and aura are menacing enough to put an opponent into fear, though someone like Akira would already experience and is used to it, such power and aura only shows how strong his opponent is. Finally, Kai would introduce himself, a general and a comrade/brother to Oogway, yet he was betrayed by him. Yet Kai still somehow managed to bring Akira into the conversation, that he would destroy everything. That said, the boy didn’t seem to care too much on Kai’s objectives beyond that he did not like it. Kai is right. The boy has no idea what is going on, and perhaps Oogway is wrong to entrust things to him. His facial expression did not change – though his face is mostly covered by the bandages to be seen. But one thing is clear.

Whether Oogway did not tell him anything, or that chose to withhold parts of his story or even sending Akira seemly into situation and circumstances without any background to note – it became irrelevant. Whether or not his prophesies accounted for this situation with Kai did not matter to Akira, one way or another the boy would find the truth to his history, and perhaps greater than that - his destiny that Oogway spoke so much about. Kai said that Oogway’s prophesies are dead, even Oogway turning into statue to further prove his words. But.


“Does it matter? Whether he told me everything or not?”


It was rhetorical. It did not matter to Akira. Moving Muramasa towards his face in a horizontal position before slowly unsheathing his sword – lightning crackles around the blade and sheathe as the boy fully withdraws Muramasa. A sign of a conqueror. No one, and even likely including Kai – would understand what Oogway believed or foretold. That much, with his brief moment with the tortoise tells him that much. Oogway must have knew that this is inevitable, his words led him here after all. Spinning his blade in a graceful display single handedly before pointing Muramasa at Kai. Kai stood between Akira and the history he must figure out, now even deeper than that he would realize. Perhaps this is what Oogway wanted, but even if he is playing into the hands of Oogway, the boy cannot allow Kai to destroy everything.

The conversation:

 
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Valley of Peace #24
@Sea

Spirit Realm - Chaos Version
In the Spirit Realm, Chaos reigned. Kai had siphoned off the chi of the king fu masters in the realm, including the best of them all: Master Oogway. The tortoise had set Akira on this path, but, as Kai noted, left out many key details. Whether that was intentional or the ramblings of an old man, was anyone’s guess. Whatever the reason, Akira did unlock the Spirit Realm, and was exactly where he needed to be. The General boisterous statements painted a different picture, laughing at the man’s predicament. To destroy everything Oogway had created, Kai would absorb the remaining chi of any kung fu masters.

Akira, a man of few words, drew his blade in a threat. Kai chuckled.

[Kai] “Bahahahah! That blade won’t even touch me…"
Kai recognized the sword, his eyes trailing the blade and its features. Yet, unlike every other person who came across it, he was not impressed. Kai made a resounding statement: Muramasa won’t even touch him. The bull sheathed his jade blades, the chains wrapping around his thick waist, and looked upwards to the shimmering sky. Kai spoke again with that deep low voice.

[Kai] “I will absorb the chi of the Jade Palace masters. Then, the Jade Palace Vault will be mine. The prophecy will die will Oogway!”
[Kai] “Since you released me, I won’t kill you. Your lover is dead - you’re no threat to me now. However, if you follow, your chi will also be mine.“
A warning. Kai bent his knees and vaulted from platform to platform with an agility that should not be possible with a being his size. The next to last platform was the one next to Akira. If he wanted to stop Kai, now would be the time. Otherwise, Kai jumped to the last platform above their head and vaulted towards the shimmering sky. To the Chorh-Gom prison.

In the background, that word “lover”, would force Akira to remember a phrase left unfinished by a foe not too long ago.

At this proximity, the crocodile could very clearly see the pattern on the hilt of the blade. A hilt he had stared at for months in the stone replica the statute had. A puzzle he never figured out. The Crocodile coughed up blood before he tried to speak, trying to convey a message to his troops before life waned.

[Croc] “D-D-Do not shoot… the… lo-”

That last words, a descriptor, seemingly important, was never uttered. The Rear Admiral was dead.
 

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VoP #26
@Ichimonji

Unsheathing his blade, the boy knew he have to prevent Kai from leaving this place – death is the natural method of prevention of course. Yet Kai did not seem worried, even laughing at the notion of Akira’s intention. The blade would not touch him, Kai laughed. The bull would not bother – he would leave this place as given the chance to return, sheathing his blades as he did so. Akira wasn’t sure by ‘the blade won’t even touch me’ part that Kai scoffed at. Would Muramasa not strike him? Or is Kai in a state where he is virtually ethereal? Or is this a bluff to get away? The boy is genuinely confused but maintained his facial expression – his face would not betray his thoughts. Kai would speak once more, he would attempt to enter the vault and end Oogway’s prophecies and that he would not kill Akira, especially since his lover is dead, a threat-less boy. Kai would look at the sky, prompting attention from Akira as he jumps, vaulting from platform to platform.

“…..”

Lover? The boy thought. He has no lover. Yet he would recall a certain situation outside with the Reptila marine. Perhaps both are saying the same. But the boy has no time to think and reflect on what Kai just said. Despite what Kai warned against Akira, the boy did not seem to take the words of Kai regarding the blade not able to harm him seriously. Jumping straight towards Kai with Muramasa in tow, the boy swung his blade horizontally against the bull. There is something about this lover thing that the boy does not understand yet. But he knew he would not receive any answers from Kai. Focussing on taking him down proved to be more of a priority than history at this moment to the boy’s thoughts.
 
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Valley of Peace #26
@Sea

Spirit Realm - Chaos Version
In the Spirit Realm, Chaos reigned. Kai had siphoned off the chi of the kung fu masters in the realm, including the greatest of them all: Master Oogway. The green hue enveloped the realm, with green dark veins over the floating platform. General Kai, a brother in arms to Oogway, centuries ago, would end his prophecy. Kai would have the Jade Palace Vault. Thanking Akira, the bull began to jump towards the shimmering barrier.

Akira, pulling at Muramasa, went to intercept. The blade pulled back the first tug. On the second tug, there was no resistance. However, the blade shook, as in fear or with excitement. Kai did not stop his charge. His eyes trailed the blade, coupling the stare with a satisfied grin. Time seemed to slow. In slow-motion, Muramasa came a few inches from Kai’s belly. Whence it would made contact, Muramasa continued. The blade could not even touch him. The blade passed by Kai’s belly, a shimmering green trailing the blade. Kai was not corporeal.

Kai jumped upwards towards the barrier with one last message.

[Kai] “You’re a fool, just like Oogway. Come to Jade Palace - I will end your story there."
With those words, Kai disappeared through the shimmering barrier. Muramasa had no effect. The way the blade passed through Kai, Akira had seen it many times before. The way the body was not corporeal, filled with a foul aura; he knew it well: the soul of a villain. One Akira could not touch, even with Haki, even today. In the Valley of Peace, the similes were numerous, profound, and shocking.

Kai’s words stayed on the realm. Where would Akira’s story end? What now?
 

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VoP #27
@Ichimonji

The boy chased after Kai, his mind harboured a strong feeling – he should stop Kai. And with that the boy practically spend no time in going through with that motion. Aiming to intercept Kai, the boy tried to take down the bull in one swift strike. But before he could even hit Kai, the blade tugged with resistance, as if not willing to listen. Such powerful weapons like Muramasa, many would consider them not to be just a weapon. Soul. That those would understand much like an actual sentient entity, are not well understood. For the boy, he would not understand the hesitation. She squirmed since the beginning of his journey in this island. But she did not seem to act out of control in such resisting manner. Yet after her first intent, a second tug came with no resistance. Yet she would squirm once more. The boy is confused but did not put too much thought with the incoming Kai. He would swing his sword.

Shinnnng

The blade would swing towards Kai’s belly. But in that instance where the blade would make contact with Kai – and should hit the bull, instead Akira saw Muramasa’s edge merely passed through Kai, causing his eyes to widen in reaction. Like a ghost. Kai in essence, passes through Akira like a non-corporeal being, leaving only a shimmering green trail at the end of Akira’s attack. A ghost. As he would conclude. Perhaps he could have utilized Haki, but the boy doubt that would have changed anything. Immediately turning around as he passes through Kai, the boy steps onto the broken piece of a bridge to pivot his turn. Kai was already getting away, though not before leaving a message. To the Jade Palace to meet his end. With those words spoken Kai disappeared from the Spirit Realm.



Damn it.

The boy cursed under his breath. A dreadful feeling, not only that a second ‘villain’ escapes from the prison but Kai’s soul felt familiar in a bad way. A foul aura that the boy knew all too well. They are similar, evil in a sense. He would clutch Muramasa tightly for a few moments before giving a deep breath of sigh. Observing the surroundings, now filled with greenish aura that saturates the realm, dark green veins creeping through the platform that presumably which he stood on. Staring at Muramasa, the boy wondered if the corporeal form of Kai is a by-product of the realm itself or that the interaction between his weapon and Kai himself. Muramasa definitely possessed history with Kai, thus her seemly resistance.

“I guess there’s no point forcing you to fight him.”

The boy muttered under his breath as he starts to sheathe Muramasa back into her scabbard. Even if she showed no further resistance afterwards, there is no reason to force the weapon, it would eventually backfire either way. Whatever is the reason, the connection with Kai is not known enough to understand her intentions. Looking around, there is not much reason to stay in the Spirit Realm further. He would need to chase him. Yet the boy looked around, his eyes peered at the floating stones – Oogway in particular. This is just Oogway trapped in stone, based on Kai’s words. Looking up towards the shimmering skies, a louder voice came from the boy with few words.

“You shouldn’t have entrusted your prophecy to a stranger like me. I’m not who you think I am.”

The boy spoke to seemly no one in general, but loud enough for his surroundings to be heard. Yet perhaps, and regardless of who could listen – it is nothing more than just the boy talking to himself from an outside perspective. A cold tone, but a hint of hesitation could be felt coming from Akira.

“…..”

The boy holstered Muramasa onto his hips, his arms transforming into a pair of large wings as the boy transforms into his hybrid form. And he would jump up to the shimmering skies the same way as Kai did.

“Sorry.”

Akira spoked very softly. But he would quickly focus his attention into the skies, aiming to get out of the spirit realm the same way Kai did, believing that Muramasa is still the key that allows him to exit the realm. After all, he came in from the skies, thus likely to be a two-way door. Him entering his Zoan form only meant that should he managed to get back out to the prison, he would need flight to ensure he would fly back up from the abyss.

He wasn’t sure about the state of the prison, the wolves may have left with their leader – perhaps even throwing the prison into chaos, which also would mean making it easier for Kai to escape. But the boy could only figure it out when he returned. There is too much for Akira to really figure it out. And everything soon will become even more chaotic. The boy could sense it.
 
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Valley of Peace #27
@Sea

Spirit Realm -———> Chorh-Gom Prison
The bull jumped to the shimmering sky. Muramasa tried to hold back, but it’s blade went for Kai. The General was not wrong; the blade did not touch him. Passing by General Kai, the blade missed - the hull was a soul. The large being dissapeared in the sky, leaving Akira in the Chaos Spirit Realm, alone. Or he would be if the statutes were not there, stoic and frozen in time. Oogway was one of these, looking down on what remained of the Spirit Realm. Akira was chosen, placed on the trail by Master Oogway. Yet, now, all there was to show for it was having released General Kai into the land and freeing a fearsome criminal in Tai Lung.

The Spirit Realm was chillingly quiet to Akira’s words. Alone.
The boy grew wings and took flight. Behind him, when he could no longer see, a flicker in Oogway’s eyes shined - believe.


Time is a fickle thing. Time runs linear outside the Spirit Realm. Inside it, however, was not so. Such was the realization when Akira passed through the portal. It had only been a few minutes in the Spirit Realm. However, outside it seemed to be much more. Stepping into the platform that once held Tai Lung, the assassin could see bodies littering the prison. The blood was dried, maroon black. There were claw and bullet imprints on the walls. Banners were strewn. The prison seemed largely abandoned.

Akira had two paths. Either go through the same way he came in, through the tunnel, now with cobwebs, or fly up. In the tunnel, the assassin would see wolf tracks going back the opposite way inward to the tunnel. However, the claw marks went upwards. Lastly, there was a single rhino at the top of the prison sitting near a crackling fire, his shadow cast down. Even here, underground, a green hue could be seen if one stared deep into the cavern crevices, like a virus taking the land, a virus that had spread since Akira was there last.
 

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VoP #28
@Ichimonji

Leaving the Spirit Realm, the brighter skies immediately became dark like the void itself, transitioning almost instantly as the boy faces the water-like door once more, but this time with a power of flight in his hands, a burst of speed would allow him through quicker and smoother just by flapping his wings once. And soon, no longer is there the bright skies but all that remains are darkness, his vision wasn’t used to the darkness, but he remembered the outline of the ground and the general layout enough to make an educated guess and with that the boy would soon found himself where he was – where their leader Tai Lung was originally kept. Except, time seemed to have pass for quite some time though unknowing for the boy. Despite the blood splattered throughout the prison, bodies littering as claw and bullets imprints could be seen anywhere. Carnivorous tracks could be seen heading towards the tunnel that he came from whilst the seemly quiet abandoned prison has claw marks tracking upwards. The wolves themselves seemed to have went back to the tunnels, which would make sense considering it’s one of the way to safely escape from. But the claw marks aren’t something that Kai would be able to do biologically speaking. Perhaps Tai Lung. For now, there is no reason to pursue either of them. Kai is the priority. But he has no idea which direction the bull has went to for no obvious footprints allowed him to track down.

A green hue would start to glow underneath the abyss. As if Hell itself has been opened. Things are changing rapidly and the boy starts to feel the dread of his actions, his stomach churned. Will this be a repeat of his own home? The terrible idea invading his thoughts. Up there, the boy noticing a casting shadow upon the crackling fire. Despite the chaotic mess he now sees himself in, he has yet to notice that time has long past his perspective of it. The darkness did not help either. Even with the green hue and the fires, it is not easy to see from a distance and the boy did not have the thought of inspecting more closely. He would presume time to be the same regardless of the realms. A single rhino sat just near the fire. Another entity though whether dead or not would be difficult to conclude from where he stood. With a flap of wings once more the boy jumped and flew to the rhino, landing rather gracefully, almost with no sounds. Light-footed.

His first cue was to indeed check if the rhino is still alive, though unsure if a prison guard or a prisoner, though given the lighting of the fire emanating closely its clothes can be easily concluded. Should the rhino possess a sign of life the boy would walked closer – maintaining his Zoan form. Likely this would have alarmed the rhino given his form is what created the trouble outside. Cautious, yet the boy asked the rhino – attempting to gather information. He is far behind, further than he would realize.

“What happened?”
 
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Valley of Peace #28
@Sea

Chorh-Gom Prison
The plague had been fully released. Unwittingly, Akira had issued a death sentence on the island of Valley of Peace. Akira was touted as Lord Takeuchi, the apprentice who in times past represented the dark, the shadow. Was this the young boy’s destiny, to cast the island in shadow once more? Time had travelled many, and the green aura and virus had spread even deeper. With the two exits, the assassin chose to fly upwards, admiring the dried blood path leading up to the entrance. The entrance of the prison wasa large crumbled gate. In front of it, a small fire burned. A rhino sat in front of it, aura strong like the Crocodile Marine.

The Rhino wore the garments of a prison guard, one of high rank, possibly the Warden or Vice-Warden. His face was downtrodden, wounds all over his body, claw marks, them long since coagulated. With one hand he tended to the fire. With the other he drank a large container of booze, odor strong. The rhino barely glanced at the assassin as he landed, responding quickly with a deep sigh.

The Rhino responded after taking a big swig of rum.

[Vachir] “Tai Lung escaped. After he took down my thousand-strong army, he made way for the Jade Palace. That was two weeks ago. As the prophecy foretold, the island rots.”

The Rhino took a swig of the jug again, hiccuping; he was drunk. In his stupor, he spoke much, not realizing who was in front of him. He believed it was another mink, a bat, but he cared not. The Rhino was downtrodden. He offered the jug to Akira. If the man took it, he could sit. If the man did not, The Rhino would take another swig, spitting on the fire to make it grow. His eyes stared deep into the orange flame.

[Vachir] “I was entrusted Tai Lung’s imprisonment. I failed. Dishonor on the Vachir name.”
[Vachir] “I don’t know why I tell you this, stranger. Perhaps I need to say it out loud. I have failed the people. I have failed Master Flying Rhino.”

If Akira would think back, he had seen a Rhino petrified in stone at the Spirit Realm - Chaos Version. It seemed everything was connected, even by a single thread. Two weeks. What had happened during that time?
 

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VoP #29
@Ichimonji

The rhino sat on a small fire, his odour reeks of booze – though not something repulsive enough to deter the boy especially having lived abroad a pirate crew whom likely has worst stench to say the least. The rhino spoke but not before taking another swig of his alcohol – a new revelation now came into light. Two weeks. Akira is behind by two weeks. Two weeks that Tai Lung has escaped. The boy widens his eyes in surprise prompting him to quickly assess his surroundings once more. Upon closer inspection, blood that are visibly clear are dried including the injuries of the Rhino – they are not fresh as he originally assumed to be. The boy cursed in his thoughts. Not only he is behind in terms of the history of the island but even in the present he is behind in its current events. Time between Spirit Realm and this physical world is different, but how much different in relation to their time? How much is one second over there compared to here? The Rhino continues to speak. Introducing himself as pretty much the warden of the prison whom failed to properly imprison Tai Lung. He would offer his jug to Akira but the Rhino would soon find it not accepted, leading him to continue his drunken stupor.

The boy knew, he is technically the reason all these happen. By all means it is his fault that trouble began. At this rate, the island will fall before he figured out his own past. The name Flying Rhino came about but he wasn’t aware of the identity of it. Yet he would quickly garner from the word ‘master’ that would allow him to make a guess and of the connection. The boy would question the rhino if he ever saw a bull appearing but he has a feeling that rhino is unlikely to be able to answer. There is short amount of time between Kai and Akira leaving the Spirit Realm, thus there is high chance Kai could be even days earlier than him. The green aura has propagated further, though likely slow but ever-increasing. The boy kept quiet for a moment. Oogway’s prophecy has gone wayward. Further affirming his own beliefs that Oogway shouldn’t have entrusted his desires onto him. But right now, Akira has to stop two different entities, Tai Lung and Kai – though both at the Jade Palace yet he wasn’t sure if he could actually do so. Not alone anyway.



A deep breath.

“Then let’s not hesitate to bring Tai Lung down.”

The boy spoke as a stabbing sound could be heard near the crackling of the fire. If Vachir would pay attention to the source of the sound he would find a sword stabbed upon the ground – its blade stained in blood. Someone like him would recognize Muramasa, just like the wolves and the crocodile. He would more than likely make that connection – Takeuchi.

“The wolves came here upon my request to find out about my history. And it is to my being that led to this.”

Anyone on Akira’s perspective would realize that telling an enemy not just who he is but also the reason for his failure would be a stupid idea to say the least. But to Akira, it is unlikely he could deal two beings like this, though he possibly could regardless. Yet the boy would not take that risk, thus he would take up upon a greater risk by getting allies to deal with not just Tai Lung but also Kai. He has no intention of helping marines, or the men from the World Government for that matter. He did not even intent to ‘reveal’ himself thus the original idea to kept himself hidden under the alias ‘Raven’. Yet a completely change in direction, yet whether or not Vachir would make that connection is not predictable for the boy. But he did not care.

“You are a warden are you not? The safety of everyone in this island depends upon you. Or are you going to let the lives of everyone fall into this prophecy?”

“Prophecy is merely prediction of the future, not the conclusion of it. The island can be saved.”


Whether or not Vachir reacted negatively in any way, the boy didn’t really care for that outcome. He is leaving this place, with or without the rhino.
 
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