The stones reeked of age. Experience. On them probably had threaded creatures no current soul could imagine. The events that had transpired within this ancient building had been decisive for the downfall or uprising of entire civilizations, the calamities of whole universes, the wreckage of the closest of families.
But surely, none of them were as ancient as the woman sitting majestically on the stone throne, just at the notch of an incomplete granite circle which encompassed nearly the entire room and double-functioned as a desk for hundreds of attendees coming to see their sovereign speak out to them and hear their discussions about the fate of the universe.
But today, the hall was desolate except for one, dark-blue haired man, facing the woman at the other end of the notched circle. Light streaming through a central hole in the roof that was neither solar nor lunar, casted fickle shadows on his face, although his head was facing downwards and stray locks hiding his expression.
The room was filled with obedience. The sheer aroma within every breeze disturbing the motionlessness of the happening was flavored with innumerable respect for the throne-seated. It seemed godless and simply insane not to crawl in the dirt at her feet. Yet, when the man lifted his head his eyes were twinkling fiery and a confident grin was glued to his face.
"I'm afraid we have a problem, Iwanaga-hime." Despite the seriousness of the honorific, the man's tone almost made a joke out of that simple sentence.
She met his gaze as he lifted his head, listening intently not to what he was saying, not even how, but for the message hidden beneath the platitudes of his honeyed words and mock obedience. But even with her impressive intellect and millennia's of knowledge she could not decipher what lie hidden the bottomless void that was this mans ---no, this was no longer a man, such a title was grossly inappropriate, this entity's soul.
Sōsaku Yawarakai. The very name itself a contradiction of the creation it embodied. When he first joined their organization she had paid no heed, thought him beneath her notice. But his actions as of late had warranted a secondary inquisition of this character. She had been intrigued, as would any being be when faced with a paradox such as this. Her curiosity all but demanded that she examine this creature, piece together the puzzle that contributed to his origins, to the nature of the events that forged him into what he is, and what fate would temper in the future. But she was not blind to what was in front of her. At the very least his intentions here and now were transparent, a rarity to be sure.
She recognized the look, after-all, those who amass power when met with a force greater than all the others will ask themselves, "What is the measure of my own abilities? Do they exceed that which lies before me?" To her ears, his words were hollow, but their nature betrayed their meaning. However, it appeared that he was content to continue this charade, this game of his. Yet her curiosity was peaked, a rarity indeed, so she would indulge him.
"A problem Yawarakai-san?" She said softly. "Truly it must be important if you felt the need to address me. Please, continue."
A shimmer of pleasure, nay, a memory of what once was a shimmer of pleasure flashed in Sōsaku's eyes. His voice was soft as silk, yet it struck like daggers into any man's ears. It seemed light had fled out of the room, except for a tiny, little mischievous spotlight around the curving of Sōsaku's lips. For a moment, the whole universe held his breath, and Sōsaku delivered his message.
"Idzumo is dead."
And with a majestic swipe, Sōsaku placed the disembodied head of a well-aged man on the cold stone. The man's eyes were fixed in a position of disbelief, of fear, with blood seeping out of his mouth and various cuts across the face. The final cut had been perfect; allowing the pitiful lump of meat to sit on the table without falling over. With abysmally small pupils, the man stared at Iwanaga, his former partner, as if he was asking her why she hadn't prevented this.
"I killed him."
Sōsaku leaned back, stretching his arms out to comfort himself. He yawned, tilted his head slightly and waited for Iwanaga to respond. His gaze was one of interest and smiling broadly, as if he was the only one to see the humor in this situation.
Iwanaga stares curiously at the lump of flesh that was once Idzumo. On one hand, the man had been an asset to the Jusanseiza in the past, however she found his lethargic mask to be an irritant at best. Her thoughts continued to dwell on the overall benefits and costs of this loss, and the person behind his death. Ultimately she came to the conclusion that his death, while a great loss in regards to the waste of resources, would not jeopardize the movements of the organization. He like any member could be replaced. If Sosaku had wanted praise or a reprimand, he received neither. If he had wanted to see any significant reaction out of Iwanaga, once again, he was disappointed.
"Is that all Yawarakai-san?" She asked bemusedly. "Surely you did not believe I would overreact over such a trifling matter? Your life, and the lives of every other member are precious, but insofar that you remain valuable resources. Please keep that in mind in the future Yawarakai-san, you are a gifted individual, truly it would be a waste were you to perish in the same manner as Idzumo."
Sōsaku chuckled. "Oh, but I never believe. It was only my humble opinion I should notify you of this... accident. Although, I must say, I doubt my death will be anything like this old fart's here." Dreamily, he let his fingers trace lines across the back of the gruesome head, muttering something vague, something inconsistent as he did it. But that moment was only fleeting, neglectful regarding the mental state of this wanted criminal.
With the grace of a ballet-dancer, Sōsaku raised himself from his seat, slowly covering the distance between him and Iwanaga, swiping across the circle while only stepping on the seams between the tiles, like a child would do. While keeping his eyes fixed on his stepping stones, he raised another conversation. "Actually, I came here with a sort of... question. It has recently come to my thoughts that our little organization doesn't do much of anything. Surely, with such a powerful leader as yourself we should already be painting the walls of Soul Society red with the blood of its civilians?"
Sōsaku did a backflip and landed flawlessly on the stone table, sweeping one leg across another, placing his elbows on it and letting his head rests in his head, staring at Iwanaga with a child-like, almost mocking amount of interest.
A cold expression hid Iwanaga's amusement in Yawarakai's accusations. She had always found the propensity of lesser lived species to measure their accomplishments in years and decades to be a rather annoying characteristic. Truly, they were an impatient group, but she summarized that it was their fallacy; they were not eternal, and thus were unable to change their perspective. Her plan for Soul Society's destruction has been in motion for over two-thousand years.
She knew that she could have marched into Soul Society and annihilated them, however there are two factors that prevented this. The first was Yamamoto himself, a battle with him would have destroyed Soul Society simply as collateral damage. However it was the second reason that stayed her hand, even if it was destroyed, it would endear those to seek to rebuild it. Even for one of her power, it would only be a matter of time before it was rebuilt. That was why if she sought to destroy that atrocity, its destruction must be complete, so that none will mourn its loss.
For over two thousand years, she has nurtured her assets, placing them into nearly every aspect of Soul Society. From the fields of Rukongai to the upper echelon of nobility to even the Council 46, there was someone, somewhere working for their cause, whether they knew it or not. Disinformation was key, it was necessary to keep many of her assets misinformed, some believed they were working for a local crime boss, others, at the request of a generous noble, or officer amongst the Gotei 13. While each cog in her machine worked oblivious of the other, in the end, they all contributed to the final conclusion the inevitable destruction of Soul Society.
"Destruction and creation, one begets the other, that is a fundamental law of how our universe functions. Soul Society is no different. Were we to destroy it now, its death would be temporary, fleeting, and in time they would rebuild anew." She began. Iwanaga rarely if ever gave such lengthy explanations for her own actions, and Yawarakai knew this. The fact that she was, spoke highly of her opinion of him. That or she had planned to give him one last explanation before he too joined Idzumo in his eternal slumber.
"However there is a way to ensure its complete and total destruction. Each member of this organization contributes to this goal, for they have their own organizations, followers and agents spreading their influence, and those agents have those that follow them, and so on and so forth. When Soul Society burns to the ground, our only direct action, will have been to hand them the torch."
"Well, it is a very exceptional event I've seen thou so chatty, Iwanaga-hime." Sōsaku's smile was one of a stuffed animal. Slowly, he reeled his hand through his hair, and sighed. Then, he gestured around him. "Surely, a delightful place, no? Do you know what it is, oh great mistress?" With a swift jump, Sōsaku was back on his feet. The man really couldn't sit still. "A remnant of the glorious city that once went by the name of Doubutsu Kato. Oh, I know, that city was ground till nothing but a few fleeting specks of dusts, and then those specks were ground too. In fact, the only reason this temple still exists is because I went back and brought it over. I thought it would be... fitting for this appointment."
Sōsaku turned his back at Iwanaga, raising an arm to point at the intricate chiseling above the columns that supported the massive stone ceiling. "Look, foxes!" And indeed, various portraits of the ancient and mischievous kitsune adorned the stonework, depicting the entities fighting, playing, their tails interlocked and intertwined, their jaws dripping with ferocity, their eyes shrewd like only those of foxes could be.
Ripping his gaze off the artwork, Sōsaku coughed and smiled playfully. "Sorry, I got distracted again. About that organization thingy... I'm afraid I may have been killing and burning a bit too much lately, cause they're all dead, ya know. When earthworms try to crawl out of the mud, you have to stamp them back into the dirt, where they belong." With obvious overacting, Sōsaku slapped his hand before his mouth and gasped. "Oh no! Would that mean I have unwillingly outlived my usability for this organization? 'Cause, you know, my "influence" over Soul Society is rotting away along with the corpses."
Reaching into his pocket, Sōsaku flipped open a lighter and illuminated a cigarette that had apparently appeared out of nowhere. As he blew out the smoke he suddenly seemed to remember something, and a second cigarette was between his index ad middle finger. "Care for a smoke?"
Her eyes blazed with fury. "Do not test me Sōsaku by making an effort to snuff your life. Suffice to say that you could not comprehend the power I have at my command. Were I to show you even a glimpse, it would awe you, humble you, and probably destroy your reason." Iwanaga's curiosity had soured. As she suspected, he was the same as the one's before him; arrogant, disrespectful, and wholly confident in their abilities to defeat her. She pondered for a moment, how such beings could even conceive of the thought. Alas, her answer was and always has been the most obvious.
For an entity who has lived for thousands of years the repetition of having to deal with creature such as Sōsaku once a century was akin to the annoyance of hearing the incessant wails of a child every few minutes. The fact that he attempted to sabotage her efforts was of a lesser note. His actions were no more significant, than a single mortal trying to empty an ocean one bucket at a time. Her influence was entrenched into the very foundations of countless organizations, blindly moving towards her goals. Perhaps if he had spent a thousand years attempting to cripple her influence, it might have drawn her attention, but this?
Still his current tactic was rather transparent; invoke her anger so that she would respond with force. Her response of course, would be force, but it would not be out of anger, and would occur on her terms.
Her tone was not one wrought with fury, but of indifference. "If you have nothing else Sōsaku, then leave. I have matters more pressing than your pride. Rest assured, you will be dealt but only when you have actually become a threat. Until such a time, I would advise that you amuse yourself with fending off Idzumo's followers. No doubt there are many who will attempt to obtain his former position. Some equally as strong as him, if not more so." She chastised, as though speaking to an unruly child.
Sōsaku stood up, the last bits of his cigarette slowly burning away. "Too bad." With a careless gesture, he flicked the cigarette in between himself and his mistress. When it touched, the world erupted. Flames of untold magnitude suddenly whirled through the chamber, their sheer power so immense that, wouldn't it have been for the level of the goddess and the fox, their existence would sure have ended right then. Within this inferno a man stood, his muscles as impressive as the fiery output of his abilities. He slowly turned his towards Iwanaga, eyes narrowing from dull surprise to anger and hate. The heat of the fire suddenly peaked, the stones themselves beginning to crack, the whole building crying in agony.
Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto
The appearance of such an unlikely personage would certainly at least move Iwanaga. And this was not the wrinkled, hunch-back Yamamoto either. This was the god-shinigami in his prime, powerful and dangerous as ever. And as he drew the blade at his waist with hands shaking with resentment, his own fires suddenly engulfed him and he vanished - just as suddenly as he had appeared.
Had it been an illusion? No, certainly not. The stone table had cracked, the fires themselves were still dying it due sudden lack of fuel. And the reiatsu... It had undoubtedly been the real Yamamoto, probably summoned by the azure-haired man in the same way he had brought back the ancient temple.
It was strange that she hadn't noticed, but suddenly he was standing in front of her, a radiating blue gun poised at her forehead. For a man to catch one of the most powerful beings that the universe had ever given birth to must mean he could displace himself at incredible speeds. Still, that power was feeble compared to what Iwanagi could accomplish, but at least it was something...
Sōsaku's smile was as wide as ever, and the shimmering of his cocky eyes revealed he wanted to say something before shooting. Choosing for once doing the wise thing over doing the cooler one, he simply let out a curious "Mhmm" while he pulled the trigger, kick-starting the process that was now oriented on blowing a hua-made bullet directly into Iwanaga's skull. Should it have been any other shinigami, hat attack in itself would be fatal, but Sōsaku it would probably not even leave a scratch on his adversary. Yet, it was this unique opportunity that also gave him the chance to observe how his powers stood their own against this elevated caliber.
And while one hand was pulling the trigger, the other was behind his back, the center of a slowly-forming pool of red-energy. Sōsaku smirked.
"I'll be one lucky bastard if I survive this."
Iwanaga had no way of knowing the mysterious power Sōsaku commanded, nor the danger of the rapidly forming bullet of energy within his gun. His speed was truly magnificent, he was almost fast enough to have momentarily escaped her field of vision, let alone her enhanced senses. But she did not react to his attack, for their was no need. Her reiatsu alone was more than sufficient to defend against such simple tactics. The second the barrel was pointed at her face, the very moment the intent to attack was registered, her reiatsu sprang to life with almost baffling speed to intercept and divert the attack.
With a single pulse, Sōsaku's arm was shoved, violently at that at an upwards angle, the shockwave washing over his form with rippling vibrations whose power was enough to cause the earth beneath him to shatter into tiny bits of rock before dissipating into dust, and perhaps disrupt his own follow-up attack. With his trajectory displaced, the bullet fired off wildly hitting the wall behind Iwanaga with a thunderous roar, causing a large section of the wall to crumble sending dust and debris into the air, obscuring the both of them.
"I hope that you found the time to vacate the immediate area Sōsaku." She said mysteriously. "Tearing you apart from the inside due to unintentionally inhaling a bit of dust would be an unfortunate end to one of your caliber." The dust blanketing the air immediately slithered back, hovering around Iwanaga in a thick sinuous cloud, much like a serpent hanging in the air. Still, she sat in her earthen throne, her arms resting comfortably with fingers laced together on her lap, while she gazed with disinterest at the space in front of her.
"Well, is there anything else you'd like to say or do before I end this exchange Sōsaku?"
"Yeah" His smile was a scar, a canyon, a volcano with bubbling red foam wreathing it. In a swift jerk, he pulled his arm down, the shattered bones within audibly reforming and resetting themselves underneath the pale skin. "Rise, oh scarlet sun. Bathe the world in the supreme light. Deny all shadow, all cover. A sly sacrifice passed on by the fox, more than a soul cannot be offered. In the end, what I only ask for is to announce your existence, and bring upon your purpose." And, in an ultimate act of defiance, Sōsaku quickly raised his eyebrows, showing off his excitement. In what seemed to be the very same moment, his other arm, blackened and with crimson lines carved, was raised and pointed at Iwanaga, from it erupting no mere tip, but a whole blade, the tsuba twisting itself around Sōsaku's person like the sun it was spoken off. And the blade shot forward, not towards the heavens as one would expect, but towards that pitiless embodiment of rock and stone, the dust that was her shield evaporating long before the spell was even near her. In that nanosecond, it seemed the blade would completely engulf her and shoot through the remainder of the ancient ruins as well, so a distant watcher would surmise giants had drawn fiery swords at each other.
Only, it had no chance
As the wall crumbled under the pressure of the monstrous Hua, said energy melted away to reveal the projectile's actual core. A small metallic sphere, engraved with a string of miniature kanji continued its pathway for only a moment more before a burst of energy ripped through its skin, darkness only a hopeless world can spring flowing out to meet the fiery blade erupting from the nether end. Right behind the goddess, the shapeless took shape as an ink black wall, catching the red projectile and enclosing it along with Iwanaga within a perfect black box. Crucifixes grew out of the box, only to be pressed back again in what was the fulfillment of the set-up.
And there you had it. Two of the most powerful kidō spells combined to make for one of the deadliest combinations ever displayed. And as the paradox that was Sōsaku, glitching between both destruction and construction, laughter like never before boomed from his throat, beyond the walls, beyond the world.
A sound unlike any other tore itself through the hall, like jagged steel smashing against an iron wall. This was followed by another thunderous crash, and another and so on, drawing the attention of Sōsaku. Before his very eyes, a spectacle played before him that would have crushed any other fighter, brought them to the deepest pit of despair, as he watched the ultimate spell crumble.
As though awakened by some ancient primal god, an earthen fist ripped through the black box, the sound of shattering glass echoing throughout the halls. Soon it was joined by another, as the pair began to rip the spell apart at its seams, and with one final push, tore the spell apart. There in its remnants, stood Iwanaga, her throne obliterated and her clothes bearing the faintest traces of soot.
"You wish to do battle against a force of nature itself? How utterly foolish. Very well then Sōsaku, we shall the see the true measure of your capacity." In that moment the earth began to groan, as the walls and ceiling shook and the floor cracked, mere moments before they were engulfed in a sea of stone.
An earthquake shook the chamber, tearing it apart at its very foundations, as the walls crumbled into dust, fissures ripped across the ground with upturned plates of earth. In its wake a fierce maelstrom whirled into existence; shrapnel and jagged rock sheering anything and everything within. Rising from the rubble, and untouched by the overwhelming destruction was Iwanaga, floating in the sky as rock and boulders the size of small houses orbited around her like celestial bodies. Motionless, and silent, the earth beneath her erupted into massive stone spires; these earthen flowers burst into creation, each one an attempt at eviscerating Sōsaku where he hid, all the while he was caught in her furious earthen storm.
Another thunder tore through the battlefield, this time a thousand screeching birds flocking away from impeding doom. The next moment, all earthen spires fell apart, having been damaged so ferociously they had been reduced to dust. And there, behind Iwanaga, stood their destroyer. Head down, eyes closed and his swords pointing to the ground at a symmetrical angle, he might as well have been the poster for the newest Ninja Assassin. But before any camera would have been able to process his position into a picture, he was gone already, the swords tearing the air and filling it with the rumble of a tornado.
Appearing again on one of the boulders, Sōsaku could sense how the rock immediately aspired to crush him into nothingness. With a wordless kidō, blue fire suddenly crawled around his foot, smashing through the rock like paper. Strings of muttered japanese filled the air as the normally so reckless Shinigami protected his own body with amassed spiritual particles. Upon touching the wicked man, they lighted up a vibrant blue, immediately forming a protective layer around the man no normal Shinigami could reach.
Fortunately, this was no normal Shinigami.
As the dual katana became surrounded by blue as well, Sōsaku initiated a series of swordplay at a level few would have ever seen before. The term, "Hōkaigan", was heard only after its performance, although Sōsaku's lips weren't moving at that time.
The first attack was from behind, aimed at the neck's blind spot. As the swords came down, some of the energy detached and flew forward. As was the case with the second strike, a little closer, to the belly. In that same window of time, Sōsaku launched 42 strikes, all of them connecting at the same time.
Then the blades broke, and Sōsaku jumped back.
From the center of the madness and chaos that was Sōsaku's attack, a power unlike any other, dwarfing whatever feeble concepts of spiritual strength, density and its very nature erupted. It felt nothing like spiritual energy, so much so that he was momentarily at a loss as as to what energy she was even using, was it even a type of spiritual energy to begin with? It was as though he had been dumped in a massive void, an emptiness not unlike the sea of stars in the sky above, so vast with a seemingly limitless depth, no being no Shinigami should be capable of approaching this kind of power.
There, Iwanaga stood, an expression of pleasant surprise on her features following Sōsaku's attack. Her earthen defenses; more powerful than even the strongest of Shinigami magic, had been so easily torn apart by the strange power Sōsaku possessed. His blades, thickly coated with its hungry tendrils had smashed into her body with every blow, and for the briefest of moments she felt something she had not experienced in a thousand years.
It was such a strange feeling, rare was the opportunity, no the circumstances that would make her feel this way. It wasnt particularly potent, but for an entity who rarely experienced emotions at all, it was sensational;
During the eons of her existence there were a few individuals whose powers went above and beyond that of their peers, they alone possessed a power potent enough that in a mortals terms equated to, "challenging her", though from her own perspective, all this had really meant, was that she had grown from a mild passing interest, to having her full attention---a rarity indeed.
Her garb had remained largely intact from Sōsaku's attack, the compression of her spiritual power grew exponentially as one grew closer to the actual physical body, granting her a secondary sort of barrier against attacks of this level. Unfortunately he had created several tears into her garb, from which massive winds and power was released.
She moved her hand which glowed with a faint light over the damaged areas of her garment, kniting the cloth back together. As the tears were sewn shut, the massive power that she was releasing dwindled until it returned to her normal level of just overwhelming spiritual force.
Iwanaga's head turned upward, that cold and emotionless gaze traveling up the arrogant form of Sōsaku. "It would behoove you to reconsider tearing this garment Sōsaku. It is the only reason you are still alive at the moment, otherwise your existence could be torn apart simply by the release of my full power."
The explanation was damning if there ever was one. Even with all of his newly acquired power, Sōsaku was only fighting an Iwanaga whose power was restrained. Would it stand against the full scope of her power? Better yet...
She shifted her body, turning ever so slightly to face him. "I must admit, that I had not been prepared to face that unique energy of yours. It has been many years since I last faced a mortal who could command its power to the heights you've achieved Sōsaku." She cast a sideways glance at the devastation wrought by their warm-up. Truly he had surpassed the last fool who dared to use such force against her.
"Surprised Sōsaku? You are not the first to tap into that power, nor will you be the last. So before I put an end to your meaningless existence; struggle, reach deep within the recesses of your soul, and bring out every ounce of power you possesses till not even an iota is left. Only then will you have a chance at surviving long enough to realize the folly of your actions."
The lonely hilts fell to the floor as in slow motion, rattling the sound of death as they touched down. Kanji lighted up for a final time, spreading a faint light that traveled unseen beyond the wrecked place of battle, to dimensions where serenity and peace ruled. But, like a dream, nothing could follow after it. The light was fickle and egoistic, it went forward without minding anything, disturbing anything it came across.
Just like Sōsaku.
Slowly, like the ocean turning between the tides, the light dissipated. Posing himself on a boulder, all of the bloodlust he had shown seconds before had suddenly disappeared, as did any effect Iwanaga's words might have had. Peeling away some dirt from under his nails, he stared at Iwanaga in curiosity. It was not curiosity behind her power or her claims, but behind something possibly only Sōsaku could see.
"Tell me, Iwanaga-san. Are you alive?" He said genuinely interested. The blue-haired man stood up with a twirl and started walking around the temple, carelessly stepping over fissures, boulders big as houses and other displays of the earth goddess' power. "I of course don't mean the whole 'human thing before we got here', oh you greatness. I mean existing, breathing in a metaphorical sense. After spending uncountable years waiting and doing nothing, how come you know your body hasn't shriveled away already, and what stands in the mirror is nothing but a faint memory, an illusion? How come you're certain your body isn't being mourned by your appraisers in a desolate graveyard, sleeping for thousands of years already?" With a flicker, Sōsaku was floating inches away from the goddess, not fearing any of her powers. With a hideous smile he stared into her eyes and hooked one finger behind one of the buttons of her garb. Slowly, he flicked it open and proceeded to the next one. "Prove to me your alive, Iwanaga-chan."
Iwanaga stiffened at the contact, eyes widening in utter shock at the man's actions. So surprised she hardly even registered as he flickered closer still, unbuttoning her blouse with a sadistic zeal. Millennia of combat could hone the senses, but it did little to prepare her for the untoward advances of another. As quickly as her surprise came it vanished in the next instant, fleeting and transient like any emotion, cold ruthless logic settled into her thoughts as she replayed the words he spoke.
The insinuation that she was nothing more than a common whore she could ignore, it would not be the first time another being has made that comparison. But it was the second comment, so flippantly off-hand she doubted Sosaku even understood it himself, that she, Iwanaga Yamatsumi, had been at any point in time a mere human?
Disgust and revulsion smeared her features, the air suddenly becoming thick and heavy like the weight of a thousand mountains came crashing down as her fury reached its peak. This pathetic, cretin was nothing more than a mere vapor in the tapestry of her existence, barely even worth a thought, and he would dare compare her!? A Goddess! To those blithering mongrels!? Porcelain features transformed into a sneer, and when she spoke her words were a like a thundering roar, a booming cry of rage piercing into his head, and causing the very world to tremor around her.
"Learn your place mortal - at my feet!" She snarled, her reiatsu roaring with the fury of a god, slamming into Sosaku with such force it had blown the earth beneath her into nothing, the air turning scorching hot as in response to her indignation. "I was ancient when your ancestors were little more than talking monkeys!. I am Eternal! I am Power! The feeble energies you command are but a flicker of a candle and I am the burning glory of the sun!"
Sōsaku was lying in the middle of a crater, a modernly artistic stroke of blood creeping outwards below him. Like a little kid who was being pressed down by a bully, he tried to get back up on all fours, but was only slammed into the ground again, his head cracking like a fresh walnut. With a shriek unlike anything that had ever existed, he flipped around, slowly moving his limbs up and down to make a snow angel in his own blood while he stared into the sun floating above him.
His mouth opened, revealing only a few teeth still shining behind. Maniacal laughter fizzled out between the gagging of blood, barely recognizable due to the fox's tongue being only half-present. A pointed rock had found its way through Sōsaku's chest, and with every staggering breath blood sputtered out, a horrific fountain. Just above his hairline, another point of impact reached down to his right orbit, a white, slimy substance oozing from the wrinkled eye. Several angles not present in human anatomy indicated various broken bones, and should Iwanaga have felt the sudden desire to massage Sōsaku's feet, she would be disappointed that the left one was missing.
Blue energy began to flow out of the blue hair's various orifices, nestling itself in the ravaged parts of Sōsaku's body - not that there were any other. But even though he had suffered enough injuries for a dozen's men deaths, Sōsaku's laughter had not ceased. And now that his silver tongue had been forged once again, nothing was stopping to reply to Iwanaga's god-like claims.
"No, you are not. The only way of defining ourselves is by saying what we will become, and as for us that is both dead. We are but letters in a book no one will ever bother to read, Iwanaga. Please, deny it, say it ain't so. But you cannot kill me, Ōhime. Corpses can only lie besides each other."
The blue-haired had become the blue-cloaked. He was radiating with that strange energy, uniting with it. With the effort of the world he raised himself, a bone completely escaping his arm as he put the latter down for support. But the madman only laughed at this event, and soon the energy laced the bone back where it belonged. It took several minutes before Sōsaku was on his feet, but Iwanaga didn't seem to act on it. Was it out of... disgust? A very probably chance.
A whip cracked and Sōsaku flickered away, but he hit Iwanaga like a brick wall and could only prevent falling again by holding on to her garment. His left foot was still missing, and his right knee was almost touching his spine. With the strength only a madman could summon at such a time, he raised himself until his eyes were at Iwanaga's level.
"I wonder, why can't we simply get along, Iwanaga-chan? Surely we both have likings to be satisfied and offers to be made." As he spoke, blood spilled on the goddess's porcelain skin. Trembling as an old man, he moved his other hand to her ivory throat, and with a quick flash of blue, slit it open. Not a deep cut in any way, but blood still spilled out slowly, mingling with the blood that was dripping out of the fox's broken snout.