Kuro stepped through the trees, patrolling around the forest like the aimless wanderer he was, his faithful companion Vixie resting back near the village gate after some training. The fox really didn’t have much stamina. The day was truly beautiful, sun shining, birds singing, butterflies passing by now and again… It was possibly greater than anything he’d ever seen back in the snow. So full of life. As he walked in this beautiful scenery, a cry echoed a short distance away, the voice young like a child’s. Kuro rushed to the scene to find a child laying face down in a bed of flowers. “Hey, are you ok kid!?” Kuro knelt down and helped the child to their feet. “Ngh… wh-where am I?”
“Konoha forest buddy. You lost?”
“N-no… No this is the right place.” The child smiled up at Kuro and dusted herself off. “I just got confused when I fell.”
“Well, ok. Good to hear. I heard you scream though, guess that was from the fall huh? Well, if you need help getting back home I’d be happy to help. A kid like you shouldn’t be walking around all alone. How old are you?”
“Um… thirteen. It’s okay, I know where my house is. You can go away.”
“Well… all right, I am a stranger after all. But remember, if you need help, just shout and I’ll come save you. I’d never let anything bad happen to you.”
“Nope. I’m a good guy. I only help people and would never hurt anybody.”
“Promise. Want to hear a song?”
Kuro pulled his guitar from his body and began to sing for the girl, watching her just smile and stare at him as he played, she at least seemed to enjoy it. Once he was done she applauded him and laughed. “That was good! I’m gonna head home now though! Bye mister musician!”
The girl waved and began jogging away in a bit of a hurry, Kuro waving good bye in response before running up into a tree and following her. He wasn’t ACTUALLY about to let a little girl wander through the woods alone! That would be insanely irresponsible! Even for him! The girl continued to walk through the trees until she came to a small shack, hidden away in vines and foliage as if a hermit lived there. So there was a house… maybe the girl really did live here. Kuro watched her go inside and laid on his back. He’d escorted a girl to safety, he deserved a nap. Even if nothing had actually happened. He closed his eyes and began to sleep.
He was rudely awoken by the sounds of another scream, this one older and more mature sounding and coming from… inside the house? Kuro leapt down and threw the door open. “What’s going o-“ He froze mid-sentence. Red. It was everywhere. A woman lay on the ground, her face still twisted in a scream of pain and eyes full of fear, a kitchen knife sticking from stomach, the child he’d found earlier standing above the warm corpse with an inhuman smile, blood covering the front of her striped shirt and her right hand. The girl pulled the knife out of the woman with a sigh. “I thought I told you to go away.”
Kuro put a hand over his mouth as he tried to get a grip, his eyes wide as he took in the sight. This child had… she murdered… and he’d just been sleeping in the tree nearby… he’d played music to comfort her, watched her to make sure she made it here okay and she did… This!? Then he noticed a second body through an open door at the other end of the room, a similar bloody mess made by a man lying in bed. Two people. She had murdered these two people in their home… The ninja managed to get his focus and concentration back enough to speak to the smiling girl as she licked the blood from her knife. “Y… you… why? Why!?!”
The girl laughed and kicked the woman’s body aside. “Because it feels good musician. They had a great time too! Did you hear her scream when I gave her a stab? Wasn’t it great? You should TRY IT!” The girl rushed at Kuro, catching him off guard as the nice cut through his coat and came out his back… harmlessly. He’d managed to liquefy himself in time to avoid being injured by the blade. “Huh? Water?” Kuro then formed his shield against the back of his hand and smacked the girl across the face, knocking her away and onto her back. Kuro shivered and stepped back, terrified that he’d struck a child. But the girl just grinned and sat up, gripping her knife again. “Well, you’re made of water huh? That’s pretty… shocking.” She leapt up again, this time her knife began surging with electrical chakra, sparks flying from the blade. Kuro raised his shield and deflected the blow, hitting her back to the ground once again. This time the girl laughed as she rose again. “What’s the matter? Can’t you kill me? I’m a bad guy after all. If you don’t kill me, I’ll just keep killing people! Come on! Fight me for real, or are you too much of a coward to do what needs to be done?” Kuro gulped as the girl rushed at him again, this time slashing at him rather than stabbing. He deflected the blows aside with his shield, each time making it so the edge of his shield faced her exposed chest, finally closing his eyes after the third strike and crying out in frustration as he stepped forward and thrust the edge of his shield into her, slashing downwards across her body. The girl fell onto her back, blood covering his shield and her body. “Heh… there you go… I like to see what people are really made of before I kill them.”
Kuro then woke up to the sound of a scream, back in the tree, the house down below… that had been a terrifying nightmare, but he’d been woken by a scream! No time to worry about it, he had to help whoever had cried out! He leapt down and ran to the door, crashing through it with his shoulder. “What’s going o-“ Kuro froze once more. It… everything was… exactly the same… just like the nightmare… the girl licking the knife… the bodies… how could this be? “Welcome back, Musician.”
“Welcome… back? What… what is… my dream…”
“Mmm, so you have some memory still huh? What happened next then?”
“You… It’s fuzzy… what am I saying, it was just a dream!”
“Not quite musician. I’ll explain it to you. It’ll be more fun if you die knowing what’s going on. I’m not a human. Mostly not anyways. I’m a demon, this little girl is just my vessel. It’s my mission to end you humans. Some of you are strong though, right? So what if I run into one of you I can’t beat? Simple. I just turn back time a bit. It gets really easy to kill someone if you can figure out exactly what they’re going to do. Things only change based on what I do. As for your, dream? That did happen. But you can’t remember anything after that after you?”
“N… I remember your knife… that’s it.”
“Exactly. You can only remember bits and pieces, but as soon as I decide to kill you, that memory is erased. Can’t benefit like I do if you remember everything now can you? You shouldn’t remember anything at all actually, but you’re just special I guess. This happened a few times before… Maybe because you were sleeping. Heh, lucky you decided to take a nap musician.”
“…Why explain this to me if I won’t remember it?”
“Oh, you should remember most of this. What you’ll forget is my attacks.”
The girl then lunged forward with her knife, Kuro turning to water as she stabbed him in the gut. A sudden shock then shot through his body however, causing him to scream and fall back, blood gushing from the stab wound, his body forced to stay solid and take the hit by a sudden rush of electricity. The girl laughed again and slowly walked towards him as he tried to drag himself backwards away from her. “Like that! Can’t believe you just let me do that! What an idiot! Any last words musician?”
Kuro put his shield over his wound, covering it up as he used his basic medical jutsu to fix it as quickly and as much as he could but it was clearly beyond his abilities to fix in time to keep fighting… but if he could kill her and force her to reset time. Kuro smiled up at her and pointed a finger gun at her head, causing her to stop and frown in confusion. “Bang.” A water bullet shot from his fingertip and went through her head, her face frozen in an expression of surprise for what seemed like several seconds before…
Kuro woke up again, hearing the scream again. He remembered… the girl… demon… reset… find a way to stop her… being on the ground with a wound he couldn’t heal… “Don’t let her hit me... I don’t know why but… don’t let her… But that was a dream, wasn’t it?” Kuro hopped down and opened the door again… and he knew it wasn’t just a dream.
“Round three.” The girl dashed at him again, this time Kuro lifted his shield in front of him and knocked her onto her back without a second thought.
“H… How did you know to block!? You’re not supposed to remember!”
“Well… I had this weird dream… you were standing over me and I was bleeding… and I don’t usually bleed so, I had a feeling the dream was telling me something. Guess you must be a little too cocky for your own good.”
“Dammit!” The girl attacked and Kuro blocked with his shield, deflecting her slashes aside again until he tried to step forward and slash her with the edge of his shield. This time however, she managed to step aside, avoiding the attack. She then slashed at his head and he ducked, slashing her legs as he did so, knocking her onto her back again. “You won’t stop me forever… I will get past you! Every time you kill me I’ll just reset the hour!”
“Well, you seem pretty frustrated… Guess that means I’m doing a pretty good job huh?” He then finished her off by firing another water gun shot to her head.
Kuro woke up on the tree and hopped down, opening the door once again and finding his dreams to hold truth. The girl however was holding up her hands defensively. “H-hold up! This is the thirty something-th time! Can’t you just stop!? We’re just going to keep fighting at this rate! Just let me through! Surely you can’t enjoy waking up from that nightmare again and again.”
“…You know… it is kind of creepy… all these dreams within dreams… fuzzy details… but I think I’ve got an idea on how to make this fun. How about we sing as we fight?”
“Hey, I’m the musician right? Let’s sing and see how many times it takes to finish the song. You’ll have to tell me of course. This feels like… less than the tenth time for me. It’s hard to tell. Unless of course, You finally give up before the end of the song.”
“… Heh, no way. Love never ends.”
“I’m made of the love of death after all. The sight and taste of blood… I’m a spirit of love for murder. And just like your silly human stories go, love never dies~”
“…All right then. See if you can help me remember all that for our song.”
“Heh, I’ll start singing as soon as you come in. See if that helps.”
“Hey, if you start it, how could I resist joining in?”
“You’ve got a deal musician… I think you’re my favorite human to fight yet.”
“Thanks.” Kuro then dashed forward and slashed at her with his shield, the girl letting him kill her as she reset everything once again. The next time Kuro opened the door, the girl cleared her throat and began to sing, Kuro creating a heavy mist to give himself an advantage as he entered the house, joining in as he listened with his own song, eventually able to sing along as soon as she started, the words seeming to stick with him from his dreams, as if they’d repeated again and again. The two singing as they fought until the girl was unprepared for his next attack and he killed her once again, their fighting looking like a dance to anyone who could see it. They kept up the cycle until finally…
“Here we are again, just me and you musician, right?/ “It’s a beautiful day outside.
With your finger gun, your water shield?/ Birds are singing, flowers are blooming.
You had better be prepared cause soon…/ On days like this, kids like you…
Your Last Hour strikes!/ Should be burning in hell!
One step left now, it’s almost time,\ “This is the end kid, It’s such a crime,
Show you what my determination has still Left for you to get back to/That I’ll have to go back on that promise that I made to you,
You should prepare to just die,/ But you stepped over that line,
Like this happy couple you’ll have a really good time!”/ And now friend you’re gonna have a bad time.
“But guys like you, are always just fools./ “But kids like you don’t play by the rules,
Come at me, try to kill me with your fancy tools./ And guys like me, it ain’t easy to be played for fools,
Let’s go now the room gets chiller,/ So let’s go, let the room get chiller...
Let’s go, you’re just another killer./ Let’s go dirty couple killer!
Go ahead, kill me again I see you’re able,/ Go ahead and try to hit me if you’re able,
But inside you know the end can’t be evaded./ Guess you’ve figured now that mercy’s off the table.
I can tell you’re getting tired of this fighting,/ I can tell you’re getting really sick of trying,
But I’ll even come back after dying!/ But I think you’re just mad you keep dying!
Why not let me win? You can’t dodge forever!/ You’re not gonna win, we’ll be here together,
Even if this pain is more fun together./ Fighting in this hidden house forever.
You know I will just reset and come back newer,/ I know you just reset each time I beat ya,
And with every try I’m getting even faster than you are!/ But I’ll always be right back here to meet ya!
I am made, O-o-o-o-of Lo-o-o-o-o-ve~/ I know you’re made, O-o-o-o-of, Lo-o-o-o-o-ve~
“This is where it sto-o-ops~/ This is where it sto-o-ops,
This is where it e-e-e-nds~/ this is where it e-e-e-nds,
You keep telling me those words/ If you want to get past me,
And hope that I will understa-a-and/ Well you better try aga-a-ain.
But even if I hear you,/ But no matter how I stall you,
I won’t give up my atta-a-ack,/ You won’t give up your atta-a-ack,
Can you just not see the truth,/ Do you just like the feeling,
Or can you not see what this all mea-a-ant?/ Of getting knocked flat on your ba-a-ack?
Go ahead, kill me again I see you’re able,/ Go ahead and try to hit me if you’re able,
But inside you know the end can’t be evaded./ You should know by now that mercy’s off the table.
You think I might decide to stop if you stay patient,/Think that you can try and spare me like I’m some pawn?
But I am getting you with my determination!/ Well you didn’t spare that couple so don’t think that I’m done!
You know I want to make everyone disappear,/ I know you wanna make everyone’s lives disappear
Erasing all their lives, this is why I’m here./ But everything they care about is why I’m here,
I will keep FIGHTING,/ I am their MERCY,
You should be DYING,/ I am their VENGEANCE,
That is your DESTINATION~/ I am DETERMINATION~
I am entirely made, / I know you’re made,
O-o-o-o-of Lo-o-o-o-o-ve~/ O-o-o-o-of, Lo-o-o-o-o-ve~
But I’m sure I’m stronger than you~!/ But I think I’m stronger than you~!
Kuro caught the girl’s wrist as she slashed at him again, both of them panting and staring at each other. “Well… That was fun… how long did it take?”
“…eighty seven resets… Eighty seven times you killed me… this is our first time getting this far.”
“Ready to give up yet then?”
“Of course not.”
“Well, then I guess I’ll have to try something else… I’ve been thinking while we were fighting… You only reset when you die. And you always go back to the same spot… So I think the only way to end this, is put you in a state where you can’t hurt anybody.”
“And just how are you gonna do that?”
Kuro twisted her arm, making her cry out in pain and forcing her to drop her knife. He then threw her onto the ground, face down, and fired a water gun shot into the back of her spine. “Well let’s see if this works.”
The girl cried out again then attempted to get up, freezing as she realizes just what he’d done. “I… I can’t feel my legs…”
“Should slow you down enough to let people get away… I’m done fighting you.” Kuro sighs and turns around, walking out of the house, pausing at the doorway.
“W-wait! You can’t leave me like this! I’ll still kill people! This doesn’t solve anything!”
“Not by itself it doesn’t, no. But that’s not all I’m doing.” Kuro then stepped outside and opened his thumb up to let blood flow out, quickly drawing a seal and summoning Garroth. The hydra leaned down and listened to him as he explained what he wanted. “Don’t let her get out of here, but don’t kill her. I need you to do this because I know most everybody else would get mad and kill her before enough time passed. You’re a big softie. Once the sun starts to set you can kill her if you want, but not until then.” Garroth nodded and began digging into the ground with his jaws, slowly tearing up a huge trench around the house. Once there was no way for the girl to climb away from the house, the hydra sat down, ready to guard the girl and make sure no one came by and attempted to help her. The girl looked at Kuro from across the trench and grit her teeth. “I’ll just do it myself!” She reached back for her knife but couldn’t find it. Looking back at Kuro, she watched as he dropped them all in a pile on his side of the trench, just out of her reach. Kuro smiled at her and winked as he turned and walked away, pulling out his guitar and playing it as he left. She could only reset the hour when she died and if she was already trapped and paralyzed an hour before she died… well, everything would be fine. And if this plan had a flaw in it… either she’d be paralyzed forever, or she’d reset him and let him know this plan wouldn’t work… but he still wasn’t waking up so it seemed like a everything went well.
Kuro made it back to the village gates, sitting down and petting vixie, the fox laying her head in his lap as he closes his eyes. “Hey Vixie… I know you were napping… think I’ll join you though… my head is just… really tired.” Kuro then dozed off, finally able to rest without waking up to the scream of a dying woman.
Garroth meanwhile, sat and watched the girl as she frustratedly falls down into the trench that he had created. She’d start trying to climb back out of the pit, but the enormous hydra just very gently nudged her back down, the ground slipping under her and causing her to slide back down to the bottom. “Damnit! Move you stupid lizard! I’m gonna get out of here a kill you! Kill the musician! Kill everyone! You won’t stop me! I love ending peoples’ live and you can’t stop love!”
Garroth shifted uncomfortably and lowers himself down to speak to her. “Um… I don’t… I don’t know if I should be talking to you… but I don’t think what you’re talking about is love. I mean… I think there might be different kinds… You keep saying you love killing people and stuff but… I don’t think that’s the same kind of love that can’t be stopped or whatever. I mean… look at you… you got stopped… you’re probably gonna die from exhaustion or something… and your love isn’t gonna save you. You can love murdering and killing and much as you want, but it’s not gonna help. I think the love those stories are about… it’s different. It’s love for another person right? For someone else? And it’s like… loving them enough to LET yourself die for them. If you loved someone like that, and they loved you, they would come help you… but the love you talk about doesn’t really… it’s not the same thing I think. So um… just… stop? Please?”
The girl looked up at the massive hydra, her expression blank as she reflected on what he said until she frowned again and looked away from him. “Shut the hell up you stupid lizard. You’re just a big… stupid reptile.”
“O-oh… yeah… sorry… do you… um… never mind, sorry, I’ll be quiet. You don’t wanna listen to me anyways.” Garroth turned away from her and looked up at the sky, watching the sun slowly descend in the sky. The sky turning from blue to purple and then reddish orange. A few hours had passed and the hydra looked back down to the sleeping girl in the pit. He didn’t want her to have to lay in a hole for days until she died… He started to lift a foot to crush her then pulled it back away. He didn’t want blood all over his foot. Instead, he carefully lowered his head and slowly closed his jaws around her, quickly tossing his head back and swallowing her along with a large amount of dirt. “Bye angry little girl. Sorry you had the wrong kind of love.”
TWC - 3810
854/5k Garroth into --> 4664/5000 +500 from event item thing in inventory so 5164/5000 for Garroth
Chakra: 100 (+10 from senju dna)