Resolve of the Heart
Warnings: Violence. Blood. Gory scenes. Murder scenes. Lemon scenes.
Disclaimer: Part of this story will have settings and events taken out from various anime like Get Backers and Jigoku Shoujo, but I do not own any of them, nor do I own Naruto or any characters in this story save for OC characters
Chapter Thirty Five: Resolve of the Heart
Bijuu ShrineForbidden Forest
In a rather large circular room with several levels to it, Namikaze Shiki could be found squatting at the edge of the rather large pool in the middle of the room, peering into the aqua blue-green waters.
Like everywhere in the Forbidden Forest, even this place felt holy. It is bound to be, since this is the birthplace of the Gods of Creation, the sacred shrine that is holy to the nin-users – the only safe sanctuary for them. Several large coloured crystals hovered in mid-air around the pool, held up by seemingly nothing.
Namikaze Shiki sighed, as she got to her feet, approaching the largest crystal of all that nearly reaches the second level of the room, being a mixture of aqua-green, blue and dark purple in colour. The crystal hovered above the waters of the pool, where there were large statues of the Gods of Creation around the pool.
The redhead said nothing for several moments, as she stared at the middle statue among the nine statues that depicted a majestic-looking and powerful man with hair reaching down to mid-back. And like the other statues, his face was impassive.
"Is this what you'd meant back then, Kyuubi-sama?" Shiki nearly whispered, her hands clenching itself into fists. "Is this my punishment? Or is this karma? Tell me."
But there was no answer. And she didn't expect one either.
Soft footsteps echoed just then, and Shiki half-turned in her step only to see Gaara approaching her, an impassive look on his face.
It had been nearly a week ever since they've brought the ANBUs here, and there was already an uproar back in the city about a 'mass desertion from the ANBU'. Thus far, Shiki had shut herself in the Bijuu Shrine, only allowing Gaara, Haku and Neji to enter. Ragnarok knew from personal experience that when Shiki had that look on her face, you'd do well to obey. The ANBUs – especially Rendoku, had to learn the hard way just what they had meant.
"Haku sent me in to ask you something." Gaara answered the unasked question. Ragnarok had taken it in turns to do some guard duty around the perimeters of the Forbidden Forest as well as the Bijuu Shrine itself. Not that they think anyone can find the Forbidden Forest, but you never know. "She wants to know if we should tell the ANBUs anymore about what we've been doing. Her brother and a few of the ANBUs have been asking questions. There's only so much that we can evade."
Shiki was silent before she answered again, turning her attention back towards the statues of the Bijuu Nine. "They have to know," she said at last. "They have to know what they're getting themselves into. Let them in."
"Okay." Gaara then turned and left.
Shiki sighed as she looked up at the statue of the God of Creation once more. "Am I doing the right thing here?" she wondered. "This war…will be the last. I'll end it— I'll end it with me."
Tension between the ANBUs and Ragnarok, along with the few members of Baled who occasionally popped by is still up in the air. Nearly a decade of fighting and hatred isn't something that can just be shrugged off.
Akatsuki got along better with Ragnarok, though not to the point of bosom friends, with both merely having mutual understanding and respect for each other. Though that is all that it is. Rendoku, on the other hand… Most of their members were young and hotheaded. And it is all that Itachi, Kisame, Haku, Shino and Hinata could do to stop the younger ex-ANBU agents and Ragnarok from killing each other.
Though one thing that all former ANBU agents have in common is that they all wanted answers. And with Ragnarok's captain disappearing into the Bijuu Shrine less than two hours after Uchiha Itachi had returned to the world of the living, with Ragnarok refusing to let anything disrupt her, they were all on pins and needles.
And now, the former ANBUs were all a tad bit nervous as they tagged along after Gaara and Haku as they led the way to where Namikaze Shiki was, with Temari and Tenten taking over as guard duty for the Bijuu Shrine.
Namikaze Shiki was standing at the edge of the pool in this large circular room when they've arrived, her back to them, arms folded across her chest. Haku and Gaara remained on either side of the entrance of the circular room, leaning against the walls, watching the former ANBUs critically.
For several moments, neither side said anything before Shiki broke the uneasy silence as Kiba was about to open his mouth.
"What do you want to know?"
Sasuke stepped forward. "What is happening now?" he asked the question currently on everyone's minds. "Who or what is the Demon God, is Madara? What are the nin-users? What has the Bijuu Nine got to do with everything that is happening now? You know something, don't you? I know you do. We have a right to know!"
Shiki was silent for several moments before she half-turned to face them. "Before I tell you everything that is happening now, I have to first start from the very beginning – the origins of the world, the birth of the Bijuu Nine and the one now known as the Demon God, and also the rise and fall of the time period known as the era of the gods," she said. "How much do you know about the time period known as the era of the gods – nearly ten thousand years ago?"
"Only what was said in legends," said Shikamaru with a shrug, and everyone nodded. "That the very first living creatures were the Bijuu Nine themselves – each of them born from the elements of the world, with the God of Creation being the most powerful of them all, being born from the will of the world, holding unlimited power."
Shiki sighed. "Well, that isn't wholly wrong," she said. "To understand what is going on now, you have to first understand the entire story circulating around the Gods of Creation and the God of Destruction, also now known as the Demon God. The world itself, the Universe, gave birth to the Bijuu Nine, or the Bijuu Ten, as they were originally known as. The more tails they have, the more powerful they are. Thus, Kyuubi, the God of Creation, the Nine Tails, is their leader, and the most powerful. The God of Destruction, also now known as the Demon God, Madara, is special. He is the Zero Tail."
"Zero Tail…" Sasori murmured. He met Shiki's solemn eyes. He had never seen eyes like that before – so full of sorrow, loneliness, weariness, heavy with the world's burdens, and also so full of…regret. "What is he?"
"If Kyuubi, the God of Creation, is the god with the unlimited power, the Lord of the Gods, then Madara, the God of Destruction, is the god with limitless power." Shiki explained. "If the One through Nine Tails are the ying of this world – the positive energy, then Madara is the yang of this world – the negative energy. Balance must be kept at all times. Thus, the Zero Tail holds power comparable to nine of the gods. That is how powerful he is. But unlike them, he wields negative energy. The Bijuu Ten created the world, created all things living. Created everything that we now know. Along with Kyuubi, Madara created the humans. But he is also the most feared god because of his fearsome power. He is the God of Destruction – he destroys. And soon, Madara became known as the Demon God."
"Demon God…" Konan muttered. "What is he?"
"He is known by many names, depending on which part of the world that you're in." Shiki sighed. "Hydra. Jormungand. White Snake. Yamato. Along many others. He is one of the most powerful gods, and was one of those responsible for the creation of the world. And also responsible for the near destruction of the world."
Everyone's hearts turned cold at this statement. Near destruction of the world?
"W-What do you mean?" Lee choked out.
Shiki glanced over them before turning her attention back towards the statues of the Bijuu Nine. "Madara is the Zero Tail, the God of Destruction," she said simply. "He is the yang, the negative energy. He represents the bad part of everything. Thus, even though he is responsible for what the world is today, the humans don't see it that way. They adore the other gods of the Bijuu Ten, and on Worship Day, it is always the other gods who gets the best worshipping parts. He only gets the worse. He…is the most hated god. Anything bad that happens, Madara is always the one blamed, never the other gods. He bore it for as long as he could. But even there is a limit to how much he can take. One day, he finally snapped."
"The war of the gods." Itachi muttered, realising just what it meant now.
Shiki nodded, turning her attention back to them. "That's right. Madara left the world of the gods, and turned against the world, the gods, the humans. It resulted in what we now know as the war of the gods, the greatest war ever waged that had nearly resulted in the destruction of the world, and ended the era of the gods. The war lasted for ten full days, and at the end of it, Madara was sealed away at the expense of the very existences of the gods themselves in the mortal plane. He which fell from Heaven became one that despised Heaven itself."
Deidara gasped, having heard this phrase once from one of his band mates, Seto, who is quite religious. "The Fallen Angel!" he gasped. "Impossible!"
"Heaven. Earth. And Hell. These three worlds have a never-ending cycle of hatred. The gods have pure souls and hearts. At the time of his birth, Madara has one too. And when he gave into his anger and hatred, he became a demon god. A being holding powers of a demon and a god. He became the darkness itself. The very evil that is always hiding in humans' hearts, whispering evil thoughts into our ears. During the war of the gods, chaos wrecked the world as Madara created his ultimate army by preying upon the darkness. Darkness always existed in humans' hearts after all. We just never wanted to admit it. Thus, it isn't difficult for Madara to create his ultimate immortal army." She glanced at the shocked expressions on their faces. "That's right. His immortal army was created from the humans who fell prey to the darkness and his promises. Once you fall under Madara's spell, you become enslaved to him forever until he could be vanquished for good."
"So that's where his immortal army came from." Shikamaru gasped. "No wonder we could never manage to kill them all. We kill one, and another one appears."
"And with the world in the current sorry state that it is now in, it is no problem for Madara to increase his army." Konan added.
"During the war of the gods that lasted for ten full days until Madara was defeated and then sealed by Kyuubi, the now Bijuu Nine came to a realisation. Like them, Madara is an immortal, a god. He cannot be killed. Not in the normal way, at least. When they realised that, realised that there is always a chance, no matter how small it is, that Madara will be able to revive, they decided to create the nin-users – the humans carrying the N-Gene, the Potential – their descendants carrying a fraction of their power to prevent Madara's release and revival. That is why nin-users existed until today. There is where our powers came from." Shiki turned towards the shocked former ANBUs. "As long as Madara existed, the legacy of the nin-users will carry on. But as time passed by, the nin-users soon forgot about the reason behind their powers, and why they even have them in the first place. I am a direct descendant of the God of Creation, the Kyuubi. That is why my powers are stronger than most nin-users. The Ragnarok members are direct descendants as well. Descended directly from the other gods of the Bijuu Nine. That is why our powers are stronger than most nin-users, and why we are more in tune with our powers, the earth, and the gods. More than any other."
"Wait a moment." Sasuke put up a hand at long last, having felt as if an eternity had just passed by, suddenly finding it very difficult to breathe, with all the shocks that he is getting one after the other. He never dreamed that Ragnarok would be involved with the Gods of Creation themselves. Never imagined that their battles are involved with the affairs of the gods. "I've just remembered something." He frowned. "I remember a long time ago, you've mentioned once that you are after Shimura Danzo, the head of the Roots organization. You said that…he is planning on reviving the Demon God, the same thing that Orochimaru wanted, but failed to do so when you…killed him." He glanced at Shiki nervously, almost afraid of what she will answer. "What…is Danzo planning to do with Madara once he'd revived him then?"
Shiki sighed. "The same as any old fool," she said tiredly. "World domination. Basically, building a new world where he holds all the power."
There was silence for a very long time.
Sasuke grunted. "Why am I not surprised?" he muttered.
"We've been keeping an eye on Danzo and Roots for a very long time, as well as the few survivors of Orochimaru's old Sound organization. For a long time, both Orochimaru and Danzo have both been trying to find a way to harness Madara's power. Fools." Shiki shook her head. "Foolish enough to think that they can enslave a god. And Madara is not just any god either. No mortal can harness or control Madara's power. Hell, even we have problems with controlling our powers when we were little. It took us years and years of training before we managed to harness and control our own powers to stop it from going out of control."
"But the Bijuu Nine might have just unleashed a greater evil than the one that they have tried to seal away when they created the nin-users." Shiki muttered, turning her attention back towards the gigantic crystal hovering just above the waters of the pool. "The gods are powerful, yes, but they are not omnipotent." She took one step closer to the edge of the pool, studying the crystal with an unreadable expression in her eyes. "He is living proof of that."
Kisame blinked owlishly as he glanced around the circular room at the several different coloured crystals hovering in the air, without any clue whatsoever as to how they are doing that. He then turned his attention back towards the largest crystal in the room – the one that Shiki is studying right now. He frowned, squinting his eyes as he could vaguely see something within the crystal.
"There's…something in it." He said slowly.
"Yeah." Shiki nodded. "These crystals contain the preserved bodies of some of the first nin-users of the world."
"What do you mean by that?" Itachi gasped.
Shiki glanced at Itachi, but said nothing, as she then turned her attention back towards the crystal that she is standing in front of. "Tens of thousands of years ago, the Bijuu Nine were the protectors and gods of this world. The nin-users, as their descendants, were their 'voices' of sorts. They carry a fraction of the power of the Bijuu Nine, depending on which god that they're descended from. They are the chosen ones. But researchers grew curious about the powers and abilities of the nin-users, and their unlimitless potential, and wished to harness the power for their own." Shiki clenched her hands into fists by her sides, this story bringing up some unwanted memories of her own to the surface of her mind. "Hundreds and thousands of nin-users were hunted down and dissected alive. All in the name of research."
"What?" Lee was scandalized. How could anyone do such a thing?
"I've heard this story from my grandfather as a kid." Kiba muttered, going quite green in the face. "So it's true? I thought that it's just a story that he told me to try to scare me."
Shiki shook her head. "No, it's true," she said. "It is a horrific part of our own dark history that is better off left forgotten. And because it had happened so long ago – happening during the time of the first nin-users of the land, by now, it has all been long forgotten. And to those who still remembered, they were thought of as mere myths." She glanced at them. "You have to understand. Back then, the powers and abilities of the nin-users were relatively unknown territory. And furthermore, the gods could no longer guide them or protect them like before. Thus, the humans are more or less left on their own. They wanted power. And what better way to do that than to harness the power of the nin-users? This is what the researchers thought at that time."
"And back then, there was one researcher that broke taboo." Shiki breathed heavily, rubbing at her eyes. "He found a nin-user with the power of the Demon God." There were gasps at that. "Madara created the humans as well. Of course there will be some humans who carry a fraction of his power. It isn't common, but not that unusual either. The researcher found a nin-user who carries his power, the first that is discovered at that time, and the researcher…conducted 'research' on him."
All former ANBUs flinched at that.
They knew what it meant, and were mortified to realise that something like that had happened in the past. If they thought that Orochimaru's experiments were bad enough, and the sites of his experiments were enough to make even the most veteran ANBU puke, then they do not want to know what had actually happened to the poor nin-user. If the Demon God is as hated as he seems to be, then anyone carrying his power is bound to be treated as some freak, as something not human.
"The Demon God's power is far too much. It cannot be controlled by just anyone, and even then, is too much for any mortal to control. The power…went out of control. Everything was eliminated in an instant. Everything living was obliterated. Even humans." Shiki sighed. "Only a handful survived. The researchers then sealed away all traces of their research in the one place where no human can go to and find unless they carry the blood and powers of the Bijuu Nine."
Shikamaru's eyes widened in realisation, and he then looked around the room. "Then these crystals are… And this place is…"
Shiki nodded. "That's right. This is the Bijuu Shrine. The birthplace of the Bijuu Nine, and one of the few sacred places that had withstood the greatest wars and greatest tragedy that had ever happened in the world. Within these crystals are the preserved bodies of the first nin-users. The larger ones surrounding the pool contains the original bodies of the Bijuu Nine – the bodies that enables them to come down to the mortal plane, and which they have to give up after the war of the gods. And within this crystal…" Shiki turned towards the largest crystal that she is standing in front of.
"…is the nin-user from tens of thousands of years ago, right?" Shikamaru stated more than questioned. "The first nin-user discovered to wield the powers of the Demon God. A nin-user more powerful than anything else."
Shiki closed her eyes briefly. "That's right." She walked along the edge of the pool slowly. The former ANBUs however, couldn't seem to tear their eyes away from the gigantic crystal hovering above the pool. "And now, we are repeating the same mistakes from thousands of years ago once more."
No one even realised it when Shiki appeared on the second level of the circular room. No one, but Gaara and Haku who mimicked her actions silently.
"How…horrible…" Konan whispered. "The nin-users…"
"In that sense, I do understand just why Ragnarok did what they did." Lee muttered, not being his usual boisterous self.
"Huh?" Sasuke cocked his head to one side, frowning as he could have sworn that he saw the gigantic crystal move. "Did that crystal…just moved?"
Itachi stepped up next to his brother and frowned, squinting his eyes at the crystal. "I don't see anything. Your imagination, maybe?"
Both brothers then heard a strange whispering echoing voice that seemed to be coming from the crystal that they're standing in front of just then.
"What?" Sasuke's eyes widened. And judging by the expression on his brother's face, Itachi had heard it as well.
"What's what?" Nagato turned towards the two brothers with a quizzed expression.
"That voice…" Sasuke turned towards the redhead. "Didn't you hear it?"
"What voice?" Kisame was confused.
"There it is again." Sasuke stated, turning back towards the crystal.
Itachi narrowed his eyes, trying to narrow down the exact location of the voice. "It's…coming from the crystal?" he realised with shock.
On the second level, Shiki looked down at the former ANBUs with impassive looks. On either side of her, Gaara and Haku watched on. "Let's see if they'll survive this." Gaara stated, and Haku and Shiki both nodded. "Our battle with the Demon God and his immortal army is no joke. We'll be boxed in on all sides by Madara, his immortal army, and even the ANBU themselves. They have to be prepared to do anything in the upcoming war."
"Show me your resolve." Shiki murmured. "Prove it to me."
"Kill…revenge… Human… Comrade… Fellow…nin-user… Vengeance…"
This time, everyone in the room could hear that voice. Acting on sheer instinct alone, all former ANBUs took several steps backwards as there was the sound of a loud crack, and light immediately started to stream out of the long crack in the middle of the crystal.
"Oh my god!"
"Shiki!" Itachi looked around wildly before turning his head upwards to the second level only to see the three Ragnarok agents looking down on them coolly.
"Show me your resolve!" Shiki shouted to them.
"Show me your resolve." Shiki repeated her words. "Defeat him." The crystal cracked further, and everyone could see an inhuman hand peeking out from within the crack – a limb belonging to something that doesn't seem human any longer. "He's a nin-user from centuries ago, and he holds a fraction of the Demon God's power. If you can't defeat him, you can't beat Madara. Show me your resolve."
"But…" Kiba bit on his lower lip with uncertainty. "He's a nin-user! One that has…"
"Darkness has clouded his heart." Shiki cut him off. "He no longer has control over his mind. He is human once, that is true. But he is one no longer. It is the darkness that is controlling him now. Put him out of his misery. Show me your resolve!"
Itachi gritted his teeth before he stretched out his right hand and called upon his abilities over fire. "What the hell are you people doing?" he shouted. "Call upon your powers! Are you nin-users or not?"
Sasuke bit on his lip before mimicking his brother. "Watch out! Here it comes!" he shouted as the crystal gave one last loud crack before it shattered completely.
Gaara gave a low appreciative whistle as he eyed the battle currently going on below him. "Nice," he said. "I didn't think that they could really do it. When the seal nearly came undone five years ago, it even gave us some problems trying to contain him."
Shiki sighed, glancing at Haku. "Haku."
Haku nodded before she leapt down to the first level, closing her eyes and beginning to sing, her voice sounding as pure and melodious as an angel's singing.
(Pray, Yevon-juDream, Child of PrayerForever and everBring us glory)
Nagato watched, enchanted, as the waters of the pool seemed to almost possess a life of it's own as it weaved and waved around Haku, little blobs of water dancing about in the air, each blob of water glowing with a soft silver light.
The…creature that they were fighting earlier was also slowly dispersing into several spirit particles, slowing dispersing into the air. The once malicious air soon cleared up, leaving behind an air of holiness.
Haku sighed as both Shiki and Gaara leapt down to the first level. "That's one matter settled then." Haku stated, and Shiki nodded.
The redhead then turned towards the ANBU agents, majority who were pale in the face. Sure, they've fought nin-users before. But monsters? That is their first time! Not unless you count the Demon God's immortal army.
"Sorry about that. But I need to see it with my own eyes."
"Are you trying to kill us or something?" Kiba bellowed.
"No. I needed to see your resolve." Shiki answered simply, and they blinked. "To see if you indeed have the resolve to face off against someone who had lived for millennia, to see if you indeed have the resolve to fight someone who had been one among those who are responsible for what our world is today. I wanted to see if you will back down against a greater power – against one of the gods of creation. I wanted to see it with my own eyes."
"That was a test?" Sasori questioned, and Shiki nodded.
"I'm sorry about that, but I needed to know. This is no joking matter. If you join the fight half heartedly, you'll die. Plain and simple. You are either in this until the end, or you stay the hell out of it." Shiki stated bluntly.
"That voice…" Deidara said slowly. "It's…so full of suffering…and pain…"
"Nin-users that holds a fraction of the Demon God's power is not common, but not unusual either," said Shiki simply. "When the researchers did what they did, they only succeeded in pissing him off. Even if he can't be freed from the seal that the gods placed him in ten thousand years ago, that doesn't mean that he can't do anything. In a sense, it's our fault – the humans' fault, that the world is now in the sorry state that it now is in."
"Most nin-users that carries the Demon God's power either went insane because their power ended up controlling them, or they became one of the most powerful." Shiki sighed. "But still, after the Demon God's fall, people believed that those with his power are evil. That Madara's power is evil. Bunch of crap." She shook her head. "There is no evil or good. It really depends on just how you use it. Thus, because of this belief, nin-users who carry his power were hunted down and exterminated until today. Probably, this is what began the Hunts from back then – the hunts and burning of nin-users during the warring ages – the ostracizing of the nin-users."
"How do we stop the Demon God?" Konan asked. "You have some idea, right?" She asked hopefully.
The three Ragnarok agents exchanged looks between themselves.
"When the Bijuu Nine sealed Madara away, they created nine seals." Shiki answered. "One for each of them. That's why they say nine is the magic number. Then the Nonary Game that I was involved in thirteen years ago…" She mused, her eyes darkening over. "Nine of us were involved. Nine numbered doors… Nine days to escape…" She muttered as if she wasn't aware of the others. "The number nine is everywhere. And now, with Ragnarok, there are nine of us." She gestured towards herself and the other two. "The Akatsuki – nine of you before Itachi left. Nine again." Akatsuki looked startled at that. "And now, we have nine days before Madara gets even half of his strength back and start looking for the seals."
"Nine…" Sasuke mused.
"Question here: how do we do that? How do we stop Madara? Where are the seals?" Sasori asked.
"Good question. We don't know where all of them are." Haku said patiently. "Those seals are the nine Bijuu Shrines themselves. So far, we've only found five of them, with four more to go. It is said that once we seal all nine, we will find two books. One seals the realm of the gods. The second gives us the power to kill the Demon God. But who knows if it's just a myth or not?"
Somewhere ElseUnknown Location
"Danzo-sama, should we pursue?" A Roots' operative questioned as the intruder leapt into the dark waters of the sea with a loud splash.
"No, leave him be." Shimura Danzo stated. "With the seriousness of his injuries, he won't live long anyway."
Several meters away from the large ship that is the headquarters of the Roots organization, a head broke the surface, coughing and gasping, the long white hair plastered to his head and cheeks. Jiraiya gasped and wheezed for breath, trying to breathe despite his crushed lungs and windpipe.
"What…a sorry end to the great Jiraiya," he wheezed, his vision going dark. He smiled weakly despite coughing up more blood. "I'm sorry, Shiki. I can't fulfill my promise to you. The bond of fate that binds you to Danzo via your parents' deaths…you have to end it yourself. The rest…is up to you."
On a nearby speedboat, Fuuma Arashi closed his eyes briefly, seeing Jiraiya sink below the ocean. "I'm sorry, Shiki," he whispered. He clenched his hands into fists. "But with this, we can no longer turn back."
Bijuu ShrineForbidden Forest
Hours after the rest of Ragnarok and the former ANBUs have retired to bed, Shiki stared up at the majestic statue of the Kyuubi, the God of Creation himself.
"This is your answer, huh?" Shiki muttered. "The war of all wars. This will be the last. Will this war make this world?" She clenched her right hand into a fist. "Or will it end it? Is this another one of your tests?"
The redhead sensed a powerful presence behind her, but didn't bother to turn around, since she knew who or what it is. He had always been with her, ever since she was a kid, ever since she had awakened to her powers. But that fickle god only appears when she doesn't need him, and when she needs him, he is never around. And all he does is speak in riddles.
Shiki closed her eyes briefly. "The humans aren't that weak," she said. "You gods have lived on practically forever that you've forgotten the one simple thing that all humans have that can be more powerful than anything in the world. It is simply the power to believe."
"If there is anyone that can stop the God of Destruction, my child, it might just be you. My direct descendant. The human, Namikaze Shiki." Shiki felt a slight drape of wind pass her neck. "I have faith in you, my child. Prove to me that my trust and faith in you isn't ill-placed."
Shiki closed her eyes briefly. "I don't know if I can do what you're asking of me, but I'll try. I like this world. I want to change some aspects of it, but that doesn't mean that I want to see it's end. I'll do what I can."
The powerful presence from earlier vanished, and another one took it's place. But unlike the first one that seems warm and comforting, this new presence seems more dangerous, and simply leeks of malice.
"The gods might be on your side, but you're just as mortal as any human." He hissed. "You can't kill me."
Shiki took a swipe at the air with her hand. "Be gone," she muttered, finally turning around only to see that she's all alone in the room. She sighed and looked up at the majestic statues of the Bijuu Nine. "Yeah, I'm mortal after all. I know that better than anyone else. It isn't like time is on my side anyway." She whispered. "I don't intend to return alive. If at all. If I have to die…" She clenched her hand into a tight fist, determination in her eyes. "You're going down with me. I'll take you with me as I go."
I won't regret this. This is the path that I've chosen.