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alchemest1

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Username alchemest1 Gender Male
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Name:Echo
Age:28
Location: San Jose, Ca

Howdy all. I am Echo. Some of you may know or remember me as Kiba or A1, but that time has passed and with that I am now Echo. Anyway, I live with my partner here in San Jose, CA. I am a chill laid back kinda guy and easy to get along with. I love chatting and getting to know ppl and am always open for new friends. I may not be as active on here as I used to be, but that doesn't mean I won't be around from time to time. If ya wanna chat or get to know me drop me a line and I will get back to ya. I do on the rare occasion do the art, but I don't do requests, trades or such. Sorry. I enjoy lots of things: Anime, Furry, Sci-Fi, conventions, movies and books. Anyway, to all I say peace out and hope ya have a good day.

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nextguardian on October 27, 2018, 5:54:45 PM

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nextguardianYuji nodded, eyes closed, as Roukyou expanded on his point. He'd known what he was signing up for, though the feeling of being useless and somewhat out-of-the-loop would haunt him. There was, at present, no better idea than to hide himself. He took in Lord Second's expression, seeing nothing on the stern visage to give away his thoughts.
"That being the case, then, I'll spend some time researching ways to better tether Lord Second. No matter how capable a shinobi, having only one tether makes for a weak link. We've already established that, if he wants to, Lord Seventh could demolish me in combat, despite his reluctance to do so. With his propensity for finding loopholes and work-arounds, though..."
Yuji let that thought sit for a moment, then elaborated on his second point:

"I do trust her. Asuna- that's her name; she's a shrine maiden at Kekkou-Ji temple- is a capable martial artist in her own right. The miko at this temple also specialize in sealing. It's usually used for training purposes, but as they deal with life and death and chakra- all the things involved in the Edo Tensei Jutsu- she may have an idea how to strengthen it. But if we do this, we need to do it right. I'm guilty of being a little too vocal about Lord Seventh's methods; if I suddenly just disappear, questions will be asked. I hate to throw a shroud of secrecy on this, but I think it may be necessary."

Tobirama, arms crossed, shifted his gaze to Yuji.  "What are you planning?"

Yuji gave a self-deprecating smile. "Roukyou knows my medical history enough to know that I'm prone to anxiety and stress-related illness. Perhaps now would be a convenient time for me to have a nervous breakdown and need to be moved to a different location. Apparently a change of scenery can be therapeutic, and Asuna is quite adept at brewing special teas and remedies. I'm not saying I should have an episode in the middle of town, but maybe we spend the next couple days or even a week laying the groundwork to my needing to "take a vacation". I'd be inclined to build up to it more, but keeping Lord Second's presence a secret won't be possible."

Yuji closed his eyes. "Let them suspect all they want; Lord Seventh's ability to trust people no matter what will work to our advantage. He can suspect, but unless he can prove that I am responsible for Lord Second' re-appearance...short of a confession from one of us, he can't prove it. Simple as that. Though it doesn't sit well with me to utilize the very blindspot I want to close on Lord Seventh, I don't see a lot of choice. I'm certainly open to suggestions..."

nextguardian on October 4, 2018, 10:23:55 PM

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nextguardianTobirama considered what he'd just heard, and oddly felt a warm feeling. It's very much a mix of elder brother and myself I see in these two. The younger one...Yuji...he's prone to depression. Even now that I'm kneading chakra, I still can't fully read Roukyou. An interesting pair, to be sure. I'll allow their conversation to continue on this for the time being. If I'm to be involved, it would be prudent to take inventory of my resources.
"Your points are valid," Yuji admitted to Roukyou, without surprise. "For this to be effective, then we should work out a division of labor. Assuming we do recruit Lord Sixth, he and Lord Second should be the spearheads for this effort. I'm too young; your health isn't what it used to be. And there's two concerns I have. Pardon me, as they'll both sound self-serving to a degree, but that is not my intent. So, to point 1: If Lord Sixth should not accede, our choices are to face treason or fight. I'm not prepared to kill Lord Sixth over this. The age decides the man, as the samurai say. If the age decides I'm wrong, then that will be that, and there is no more fit a messenger of the age than Lord Sixth Kakashi Hatake.  Second, in war, we must protect an asset. In this case- me. I'm not an expendable asset. There is one very big flaw to that, one that I actually hadn't considered until now."
Yuji indicated Tobirama with his head, bowing respectfully.
"It is my chakra and will that keeps Lord Second bound to this world. As you'll both recall, the last war had an Edo Tensei caster who was caught in genjutsu and manipulated into undoing the genjutsu. I'm adept at genjutsu, but I'm hardly the best. If push came to shove and we lost Lord Second, our cause would be much more difficult. That's why I want to put forth a proposition that is very distasteful. Well, two propositions- one less distasteful but more resource consuming.
Proposition 1: I should sequester myself with defenses. I know a shrine where the miko are trained as warriors. I have a friend there, Asuna, whom I'm sure could help me erect some defenses. I could strategize, but mostly be relegated to playing defense. I'm not suited to be leading this anyway, so this is viable.
Proposition 2: (Yuji sighs)...We find someone who will before the Gedo Art of Rinne Rebirth on Lord Second and revive him in flesh and blood. Then I can be freed up to fight.  
Those are not my first choices, but I don't see any alternatives if we're to cover this particular flank..."

nextguardian on October 3, 2018, 11:59:57 PM

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nextguardianAs he listened to Roukyou and Tobirama speak, Yuji tried to remain impassive. It was pointless, of course- both men could easily sense it. It was an exercise in discipline that he indulged in regularly simply out of habit. 
He'd felt the tug of depression and hopelessness. Even in the face of this success, which was no small feat, Yuji felt little confidence. That was part of why he'd summoned a natural leader like Tobirama Senju. He himself desired it, but was intelligent enough to admit when he was at a disadvantage. The fact was, part of Yuji expected to be told off. Had he, in fact, become extraneous to the world? It was possible. A lot of people, but they were happy with that. They were content knowing that they were protected. 
And they don't need any protector besides Lord Seventh and the other Kage. Am I picking a losing fight- on purpose? No...Roukyou sees sense in this, as does Lord Second...It's my own strength and opinion that I don't have faith in. Is this all my conviction amounts to?
Yuji waited while Roukyou finished, organizing his thoughts. Roukyou had made a good argument; Yuji could see that Tobirama had been partly convinced. That left Yuji to voice his only objection, as it were.
Tobirama nodded sagely at Roukyou. "You see things clearly. That is an admirable trait. Even to my brother, I couldn't assign that trait. He could make his dreams come true out of pure strength and stubbornness, and just how amicable he was. The system he created worked, but only to a point. The question we need answered is: How blind is Naruto Uzumaki to the truth of this situation? Is he being ill advised? If so, then the son of White Fang is a good choice to introduce correction. As you say, he may have the current Hokage's ear."
Turning to Yuji, Tobirama indicated that he could speak. "You're young, so you don't have your emotions hidden. There's an objection or a concern you want to state. If you have had the strength and conviction to summon me, then you should stick out your chest and act on it. Speak your mind."
"If we're to do this, I'm not sure that we should spend that much time convincing Lord Sixth." Emboldened by Tobirama's instruction, Yuji was nonetheless somewhat sullen as he continued: "The rot has already set in to that generation and my generation. The next generation may be a better focus. Being certain that children are being taught correctly. Or, rather, offering that correct course ourselves. Let those who want to see the truth be the ones to live it. As it stands, aside from you, Lord Second, there isn't anyone who is a match power-for-power with Lord Seventh. Kaka- Lord Sixth, " Yuji corrected himself, "Is one of those who bequeathed the future to Lord Seventh. Recruiting him comes with the risk of being exposed before we've gathered sufficient strength."
Biting his lip, Yuji offered his own counter-argument. "Then again, our best chance may be a blitzkrieg. Make our point fast; drive it home as quickly as possible. If we take the time to amass more strength we risk discovery before we can cover our flank."
Yuji turned to Roukyou. "You've been in more wars than myself, Roukyou, and maybe more than Lord Second. My emotions aren't exactly in check on this. Lord Sixth would be a compelling leader...but would he be willing? And is a faster strike more beneficial? It sounds militant, put that way, but that's the best term I can ascribe to it."

nextguardian on October 3, 2018, 12:02:51 AM

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nextguardianYuji was aware of Roukyou's discomfort but was too busy disguising his own. No ordinary shinobi could perform Edo Tensei with any degree of effectiveness. Had he tried to control Lord Second's soul he would have failed; of that he was sure. A bead of sweat shot out of his temple. He ignored it, instead holding his position.
"Roukyou, if you don't mind sharing your observations as well. I'll start, but the benefit of your opinion may be key to this," Yuji said evenly, trying to sense who was outside the barrier. The downside to his style of barrier ninjutsu was that, while it was strong, it obscured the senses from both sides of the barrier- ideally he couldn't be detected but neither could he detect who was outside. 
It must be someone fairly strong to have found this through the chakra wards...
Tobirama addressed Yuji next: "You needn't worry about the ward- that's Kakashi Hatake. If he'd wanted to, he could probably fight the barrier off. He hasn't left, but he's making no move to force his way in. He'll at least grant you an audience. Now then:To craft a plan of attack- or defense, as it were- we need to inventory the available skills. I can tell that you possess at least two changes in chakra nature. Judging by the fact that you created water clones, you have some means of utilizing that as well. You don't lack strength, and you're smart enough to realize your own limitations. What you don't have is the influence you need. If you've resorted to treason like recalling the dead, then you're considering that the danger is imminent." 
Glancing at Roukyou, Tobirama inclined his head. "You're a bit more of a mystery. Your strength is there, but my advice would be to husband it carefully- if your body is so wracked with pain after exertion, a more cerebral role would behoove you."
Continuing, Tobirama added: "You're lacking manpower and influence, then. To do this peaceably, recruiting a small number of others to petition the Hokage would make sense. But you wouldn't have raised the dead if that option was readily available.  So now a question to both of you: What is my role in your plan? Am I strictly an advisor, or do you intend to utilize my combat skills? I realize that you're deferring to this stripling ((Yuji's)) plans, but I'd ask your answer first, Roukyou. Call me old fashioned for wanting to address someone more...contemporary to myself, first."

nextguardian on September 21, 2018, 10:06:07 PM

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nextguardianThe Second Hokage took in the words of the younger man, Yuji, giving away nothing. The argument was familiar, to a point. How many times had he told Hashirama to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best? At a glance it was hard to tell whether this was the nervous ramblings of a young man who'd found out his power hadn't been worth anything or if this was a man doing all in his power to fix things. Tobirama began to knead his chakra in such a way that he could better read Yuji. One more question should do it:
"Why summon me? Surely my brother and his power would have been of greater benefit, or Saru, with whom you've bonded on some level. If you and I met, it was only briefly during the war- surely not enough time for you to gain an opinion of me."
Yuji considered the question carefully, choosing his words. He'd asked himself this question plenty of times, so the answer was on the tip of his tongue. It seemed more prudent to think for a moment. Finally, Yuji said it: "I think, of the Hokage, you were the least idealistic and naive. All of you accomplished a great many things, but of them all, Lord Second, you were the one to see the reality of a situation. You didn't ignore it for dreams of the future; you didn't let someone else do the dirty work- you spoke bluntly of the facts and made your assessment based off that. That frankness and, kowtowing aside, wisdom, is something that I think the village would benefit from. The party has to end sometime and I don't think anyone is ready for it. You're the best person for the job, put simply."
Hmm...he believes he's telling the truth...I sense no holding back from him...But now that I'm kneading chakra, I feel something else...
The Second Hokage glanced at the door.  "You placed genjutsu traps? Were you aware they'd been tripped?"
Suddenly Yuji felt like a student again, and he'd forgotten to write his name on a test he'd otherwise have gotten an "A" on. How could he have let it slip from his mind for even a moment?! "I...was, Lord Second."
Tobirama decided that now would be a fair time to test the apparent autonomy he'd been offered. As he'd originated the Bringer of Darkness genjutsu, he knew how to end it.  He glanced at the two with him. "I've decided to help you. We'll need to address this interruption first. We need to secure the barrier or allow them in. I'll admit that I'm unfamiliar at just how much of a taboo it is to have used my Edo Tensei Jutsu..."
"A fairly big one. Treason isn't unthinkable," Yuji answered plainly. 
"Then strengthening the barrier it is. You've allowed me unlimited and unrestricted use of my chakra; I'll give us more time and reinforce the barrier. You, Roukyou- if you'll be so kind as to heal yourself, should this go poorly. Don't deprive yourself of those cigarettes."
--
The Second Hokage allowed his image to appear in the Bringer of Darkness genjutsu. It was a one-way mirror of a conversation: the other party could see him, while he could only sense them. So he spoke directly:
"This meeting bears no ill will toward the village and no crime has been committed. Wait patiently and an explanation will be offered at the conclusion of the discourse."

nextguardian on September 20, 2018, 10:14:04 PM

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nextguardianThe Second Hokage was adept at reading chakra, and he sensed no lies as Roukyou spoke. That a shinobi could still be alive and so active was...not surprising. Not anymore. There were no lies in his words...omission, perhaps, but nothing done out of disrespect.
"I see. Then it seems I should thank you for your service," Lord Second said, inclining his head slightly to a man he now marked as a colleague and an elder. Turning to Yuji, he kept his gaze neutral, deciding it was best to gauge his summoner before offering council outright. "You've summoned me, and your friend has set the stage for you. I'll ask for your explanation first, then decide whether or not my council is warranted. Before you begin, I will commend you both for bravery. Breaking the taboo and using a forbidden jutsu...I am not apt to trust easily, but I can sense neither of you are duplicitous. Now, Yuji Itou- explain yourself and your concerns."
Yuji was still partly in shock that a chakra as unworthy as his could be used so effectively. He decided that bravado was not the correct course with Lord Second, however- straight honesty. To the point, then.  "Lord Second, I spent my youth training in a variety of ways, including some time with Lord Third, however informally. During the previous war, many secrets were exposed. Dangerously, none of those leading now are utilizing those secrets to gain advantage. This apparently leveled playing field concerns me. There's always someone with an inclination toward war. Being perfectly frank, Lord Second- no one is prepared for that war. Least of all the Leaf Village."
Yuji paused here, pouring sake and tea for his...guests? He wasn't sure what to call them. Comrades seemed a pale term given the company he was keeping.
"Unprepared? How so? Does the Leaf not hold all the Jinchuuriki? What could be a more favorable position?" The Second Hokage took up a tea cup, deciding to act on the courteousness of his host while he challenged him.
Yuji was ready to answer: "There is no plan, Lord Second. The balance of power is Naruto as the Seventh Hokage, and nothing else. The other Kage take their lead from Lord Seventh, who is amicable...but if someone like me can conceive of war and see the gaping holes in the defenses of each village, someone more malicious could easily take advantage. The truth is that we can't read the hearts of the other Kage and their respective villages. But there are those of us...and I'll speak of myself now...who felt slighted by the last Great Shinobi War. For all my strength and training and effort, Lord Second- I was useless. There is no more dangerous a feeling for a warrior. Purposelessness leads to neglect, maliciousness, or thirst for power. Thus far, I have none of those...but only because I've chosen to be proactive and ask for help. I have no one to "borrow the chest" of, so to speak. No spouse, no children, very few I call friends. Yet I want to protect this village. My motives are transparent: I want to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. This is the matter on which I seek your council. Not regarding my personal training, but the state of affairs and how you view them."
Yuji bowed again, his forehead hitting the table. "The Seventh Hokage is well meaning, but he is guided by people who regard him as friends. I don't question their competence as shinobi, but as advisers. There is no plan, Lord Second. If we're attacked, either Naruto repels the attack or we fall."

nextguardian on September 19, 2018, 7:22:29 PM

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nextguardianSilence reigned for what seemed like hours, though only a few seconds had passed. The only movement was Roukyou kneeling, Yuji bowing, and, finally, the body of the Second Hokage turning his head.
"...A jutsu I developed and then sealed away has been used again...Who performed the jutsu this time?"
The gruff voice of the Second Hokage caused Yuji to look up, though he did not yet make eye contact.  "I am responsible, Lord Second Hokage. Please forgive the intrusion."
The Second looked at Yuji, then at Roukyou.  He narrowed his red eyes.
"You...if you're injured, you should heal yourself," he said, speaking to Roukyou. "A chakra as old and powerful as yours shouldn't be overtaxed very often. You've assisted this stripling, I assume, for a reason?"
Yuji felt a dull seed of anger in his mind. I performed the summoning, and I don't even get a talking to? His anger was replaced by questions he'd long had about Roukyou, and an admiration bordering on jealousy. Of himself and Roukyou, if he had to chose with whom to converse, it would be Roukyou.  But I'm not here for glory, or for Lord Second's favor, so long as we get his council.
"Lord Second Hokage, I apologize for-"
"If your reason is sufficient, one apology is adequate. Speak your name."
"Yuji Itou, sir."
"Itou? Not a clan I'm familiar with, though it's been...I'm not sure how long it's been since I was alive. It can't be so long since the last time I was summoned."
"My clan is not distinguished, Lord Second. Perhaps it's for that reason that I have the gall to summon you. I have information, and I would ask your council, should you see fit to give it."
The Second Hokage looked at Yuji, who had still not straightened.  "You're humble. You've manners, I'll give you that. Your intention is to seek my council?"
"That's correct. As proof of my sincerity, I've placed the control tag for this jutsu in front of you. I will not, at any time, attempt to circumvent your wishes. If disturbing your rest means my death, I will accept it upright. If your wish is for me to undo the summoning, I will do so immediately. I would ask that you hear me out. I have concerns about the village, as does Roukyou. I have no wish to seize power, but I wish to help those who currently have it. If you'd care to, please sit- I've prepared tea, or sake, if you prefer."
I'm Edo Tensei, I don't need nourishment. This man, the caster, is aware of that. This is done in my honor. And that other shinobi...I'm a sensory type and even I'm unsure of the scope of his strength. The seal tag at my feet is genuine, and I know that it can't be duplicated. I feel no chakra hold over me, either. Could this young man be speaking frankly? In this era, so far as I've seen in my last visit, holds any number of surprises.
The Second Hokage sat down, indicating that the others should join him.  "I'll hear your case, but you'll need to speak of yourselves, first. You- Roukyou, was it?- I'd hear you first, as the senior shinobi."
Yuji deferred to that, sitting himself formally on the floor. 

nextguardian on September 19, 2018, 12:11:05 PM

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nextguardianThe shinigami drew closer to Yuji, its chilling breath seeping the energy from him. Its glowing red eyes bore into Yuji's. Yuji refused to look away. He couldn't; not now! Not when he was so close.
The worst thing that happens is that you get to meet all the people you've admired. The best case scenario is already partly done. I've got to finish this!
The clinging presence of the Zetsu began to fade; Yuji felt his strength returning. He blinked, and the shinigami had turned its focus toward the mirror. A blue-ish energy and what was unmistakably a partly liquefied Zetsu was struggling against a seal into the mirror. The break allowed Yuji to focus, once more. He hadn't lost his genjutsu over Zetsu, clamping it now he forced it to give an outpouring of chakra, luring the shinigami closer. Now, Yuji had to squint to see the shinigami at all- a good sign, as only the caster of the jutsu should see the shinigami.  As it faded from his site, he saw it takes its sword and thrust it into the Zetsu in the mirror. 
The mirror shattered, sending shards of glass outward with a surprising degree of force. Yuji felt his happuri getting scratched; small cuts began to appear all over his body. He covered his eyes and neck but made no move; he could have used ninjutsu to swat it away but he didn't want to distract the shinigami.
There was one last, soul-rending scream from Zetsu before the room began to warm again.
Yuji paused in place, torn between two thoughts: Who was the intruder that had disrupted his genjutsu traps, and- had he succeeded in reviving the Second Hokage. He saw the body, still standing. Its head raised slowly, and the body straightened up, standing with arms crossed- the apparent preferred posture of the Second Hokage.
Yuji looked to Roukyou, suddenly stuck for words. He settled for nodding his thanks to his friend, guessing by feel of chakra that the exercise had taken a toll. He would have to make it up to Roukyou somehow. Then he waited for the Second Hokage to address them. Yuji's clones maintained the Obsidian Barrier, which was dettering whatever or whoever had sprung his genjutsu trap- for now. As much as he wanted to rush things, Yuji knew etiquette well enough to know that he should wait to be addressed, and that he wasn't about use his chakra, lest the Second Hokage mistake him for an enemy. What he DID do was lay the kunai with the spell scroll for controlling Edo Tensei summons on the floor near the Second Hokage's feet, hoping that was good will enough to at least allow him time to speak.  

nextguardian on September 19, 2018, 12:24:18 AM

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nextguardianYuji let his body relax- to tense now would mean slower reaction time.
As he spoke the words, he timed it just right. A genjutsu activated, and his words became that of one of the Zetsu. Yuji stopped short of making the hand signs himself, instead coaching the Zetsu through the genjutsu. 
That was when things started to go wrong.
The White Zetsu, with it's Hashirama Senju cells, resisted the genjutsu. While incapable of senjutsu, their power was formidable. Yuji frowned, focusing, utilizing a hand sign to help balance his power. This would be tricky, the timing would be delicate.  The Zetsu stood, jerked like a puppet.
You will go toward the other, Yuji's mind commanded. The imagery he shared with Zetsu was that Yuji was surrounded by lava- lava that began to spread. Zetsu's legs jerked toward it's counterpart in an odd gait. It's head bobbed with each step. Some part of it was resisting. Yuji couldn't tighten his focus anymore...
Why? What's distracting me? I have an ally...something tripped my genjutsu traps. I either need to abort this, or move more quickly. Damn; there may not be a second chance; I have to risk it.
Yuji pushed everything else aside and pressed his marked palm to Zetsu's forehead. They each began to make handsigns. At first, Yuji was leading Zetsu, forcing it to follow, but then the programming of the genjutsu he'd snared Zetsu with took over, and Zetsu's signs outpaced Yuji's.
"Edo Tensei!" Zetsu declared.
A wooden casket shot up from the ground, exhaling dirt as it stood upright (in the background, the second Zetsu screamed in agony and disappeared in swirling dust). The coffin lid fell to one side with a thunderous boom. Yuji, so intent on seeing who had been revived, lost track of the Zetsu. He could see...A Happuri and a fur collar! 
He'd done it! The Second Hokage, Tobirama Senju, had been summoned!
The first Zetsu, the caster of the jutsu through Yuji's control, seized it's moment:
"Brat, I'll sacrifice us both! The shinigami will slice us both open!"
White Zetsu turned into a putty, streaming toward Yuji. It should have been easy to dodge, but Yuji found himself rooted to the spot- literally. Roots had sprung from the ground, winding around his legs. Only now did he see the White Zetsu he'd been controlling had buried part of itself underground.
The candles went out suddenly, leaving only the small crackling fire beneath the brassier for light. A chill wind filled the room- the tea cups rattled; the empty bottle of sake smashed on the ground.
This...is the embrace of the shinigami. Amazing that Lord Third could resist so well! I can't hold out forever! I need it to take Zetsu instead of me. 
Zetsu had managed to snake itself around Yuji, pulling his arms back in a way that was agony. Yuji's eyes could see the shinigami, though it was blurry, very blurry, as though seen through a filter. From what the texts said, only the caster could see the shinigami. To Yuji, it was like seeing a projection- the shinigami had no substance. It focused to the right of Yuji- on Zetsu.  
Yes! Yuji cheered. Success!
Then it happened- Zetsu merged with Yuji, and the shinigami came into focus. A chill took Yuji's strength, wracking him with shivers. 
It's...merging with me. It's going to sacrifice us both! Damn it, I've got to get away! The mirror-
But Yuji couldn't see the mirror. The shinigami, now perfectly clear, blocked it. That left Yuji with no way to cast a protective jutsu on himself as he'd planned. Zetsu was battling him for control, trying to force Yuji to be the target of the shinigami's sacrifice. He didn't have much time, but his body wouldn't respond...
The still-soulless body of Tobirama stepped out of the casket, partially hunched over. The eyes held no life yet. Yuji had summoned the body, but not the soul. And if he didn't get free of Zetsu, he never would. He'd be sacrificed himself for only a partial Edo Tensei...
 

nextguardian on September 18, 2018, 9:02:17 PM

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nextguardianYuji nodded, at first because he was surprised beyond words. He'd planned for a fight, if he'd been honest. Then he was nodding in gratitude. Roukyou was a valuable ally.
"Alright. This is what I plan: I'm going to increase the security of this room with barrier ninjutsu. The Hokage can sense chakra, but I've made it a point to practice barrier ninjutsu frequently enough to where it shouldn't alarm him. Anyone else short of the Uchiha elite should be prey for the genjutsu.  Once I'm done with that, I'll bring out the White Zetsu. I have a defense set up, but I'll trust you to interfere at your discretion if it seems like I'm losing control."
Yuji reached into the summoning scroll and pulled out a full-length mirror. He set it on the wall opposite an area that he'd cleared up on the floor. He'd cast the jutsu facing it. If the Zetsu proved problematic, he could utilize the mirror for genjutsu. He hoped he wouldn't need it.
"Next, I'll perform the summoning. From there, it will be up to Lord Second- and to you.  What happens after...well, between the two of us, we can convince Lord Second of how dire things are. After that, I believe you should follow Lord Second's lead. I'm sure you know the Reaper Death Seal or something equivalent. If not, I'll have it in a sealed scroll. If he directs that I'm to be killed...then that's what will happen."
Yuji produced a bowl of water next. Standing over it, he made a series of handsigns. Followed by: "Water Style: Water Clones!"
Four clones emerged from the bowl, nearly emptying it. The four of them were identical to Yuji, bearing even his grim expression.  Yuji held out to them two smaller dishes, one with black contents, the other with red. Each clone went in turn, using two fingers from each hand and dipping them into the bowls, then marking their faces below the eyes with one line each of the concoction.
"I think you knew, Roukyou, that I never quite managed to achieve all the changes in chakra nature naturally. I DID learn how to utilize catalysts. It rather makes up for me not having as much chakra as I could. That's why I used water clones. Less chakra than shadow clones, since I can form them from something.  The red is a mixture of my blood and pure water; the black is ashes from a fire from shinboku. All of it should enhance the jutsu, as well as serve as a defense. My method has...risks."
Yuji painted his own face next. First the ash, then the blood. Finally, he took up a brush and began to ink his palm.
"In this case, the death god may mistakenly release the Second Hokage to my body, where our souls will battle for control. That's what these wards on my hand are for. The ones on my face augment my power. My clones will form an Obsidian Barrier ninjutsu. Between that and my genjutsu traps, if this goes wrong, it should be contained."
The four clones took up positions at the corners of the room, facing out. They were all on one knee, hands clasped together. The barrier activated, and the room darkened. The flickering candlelight became more pronounced.
"Summoning Jutsu!"

Two bundles, wrapped in talismanic cloth, appeared. Two White Zetsu. Yuji took his specially marked senbon and threw it into the center of the forehead of one of the Zetsu. The senbon had a red tail upon which a jutsu had been inscribed.
Finally, Yuji made one more set of hand signs. He looked at Roukyou, nodding once more. 
"Thank you for this. I know this goes against your judgment somewhat. Mine, too. But I have to try. That said: Ninja Art: Edo Tensei!"

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