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posted by [personal profile] blackwidow at 10:29pm on 22/09/2008 under , , ,
Title: Gorgon
Rating: PG-13
Pairings/characters: Gen. YoukoKurama-centric.
Warning: A little bit of gore. A little swearing.
Summary: Youko in the early days, before fame, fortune and strength. He had his own fair share of interesting encounters with creatures and myths.
Notes: Fucking with Makai is just too much fun. If anything doesn’t make sense, sorry, I haven’t seen the series in ages. I forget things easily. XD.
This is that Swamp People thing I was going on about earlier.

 
 Gorgon


His lungs burnt but he ignored them. His legs hurt too, as well as the muscles in his arms and the nice gash across his back, creating a nice red line from right shoulder to left hip. It stung a little, but his mind was on other things. Like keeping up with the speed with which he jumped from branch to branch, grabbing vines and rebounding off trunks in desperate high leaps in order to avoid being caught by his rather persistent pursuer.

His hair kept getting in his eyes and he kept losing his footing. The forest was still wet from the recent rain, it was a risk he was willing to take though, any lower and the path through the forest would be a little too easy. The naga tailing him wasn’t a breed of tree serpent, so it followed him from the ground. Kurama figured as long as he kept to the trees and kept moving he should be able to avoid it with relative ease.

Kurama fucking hated nagas. Their kind was insolent and thought of nothing but their stomachs. If they weren’t hunting they were laying around in the sun somewhere or in their burrows getting high. They had absolutely no ambition. No goals. They were the complete opposite to Kurama himself.

Well okay so he was a little arrogant, but not as much as they were.

He decided to hazard a glance at his pursuer between one branch and the next, flipping mid-air and landing facing the direction he’d came, crouched with his hand on the branch below him for balance when he landed. His hair had barely time to settle before the purple and white form came into view, and Kurama didn’t stick around to wonder what-the-hell kind of hybrid it was to have those gnarly claws and spikes where its hands should have been, the jaw that seemed all too wide and the eyes that bulged out of their sockets, as if its eyes were too big for its skull.

The fucking thing had wings too, for Inari’s sake, though made completely out of bones and decayed looking flesh.

He jumped up and pulled himself up onto the branch above and then began running again, this time laying careful hands against the trees as he barreled through, apologizing for the rough treatment the trees themselves were receiving. He’d heard quiet a few sickening cracks the few times the naga had attempted to climb up into the trees and follow him that way, the branches that got in its way it simply were torn off with its almost avian-like talons, then it slithered back to the earth with a disgruntled hiss-like snarl and followed on the floor of the forest once again.

“Come down here so I can taste your skin, stupid little fox,” it threatened, voice oddly hoarse. Adding a particularly loud hiss to emphasize its point. Apparently it was stupid enough to go after larger game like Kurama.

He was nowhere near as confident with his plants as he’d like to be, he’d need to do a lot of experimenting within the next few weeks before he was fully aware of his own capabilities, but he knew full well that he could take on the naga and come out on top. He’d done well for centuries before he’d been introduced to the full extent of his relationship with the flora of Makai.

Kurama was making his way for the marshlands, and he really hoped he was heading in the right direction because he’d only been there once or twice, he’d heard once that nagas disliked muddy and wild forest terrain. Their appreciation for the easy lifestyle had gotten to them centuries ago when they’d become attached to rich rainforests of northern Makai and the wealth of their family lines.

He knew he was getting close when the powerful smell of sulfur seemed to hit him like a disgruntled oni with a large plank of wood. It almost made his eyes water it was so powerful.

Unfortunately the trees also began to change, turning from thickly vegetated bushlands to scattered wide reaching mangroves and sludge-like mud beneath the shallow water below.

The naga became irritated, yet also strangely pleased. Kurama, still too close to be at all comfortable with the situation, could hear it coil up one of the thick trunks and begin the delicate, and yet also frighteningly fast, advance towards him.

“Fuck me,” he swore and reached into his hair quickly and extending his energy into it until it grew into a long, healthy and perfectly alive whip. With it coiled around his right hand he estimated the distance between him and the naga, then scanned ahead, having difficulty staying above the sludge below that was slowly becoming deeper and deeper, its surface covered in green, most likely acidic, algae. He had to act soon, and he had to hit his enemy with a single strike, or else he’d be in a shit of a situation. Well, shit-er anyway.

Weighing up his options and jumping a little higher into the steadily thinning trees, he realised rather unhappily that he’d have to make sacrifices if he wanted to get the right shot. With a frown, Kurama bounded off a few more trees, slowing, before jumping high in the air and turning himself face up mid air, slashing up with his whip.

He lost control of his fall when the sharp pain of the wound on his back began to sting like a bitch, possibly because his body had finally found a chance to pool its recourses and heal as quickly as possible to stop the infections that only ningens were capable of getting. He twisted awkwardly, trying to land somewhere other than head first into the water below. He managed to catch a glimpse of the flailing naga as it impaled itself on one of the sharp ends of an almost hand-like mangrove branch, the wood boring a hole right through its stomach and skewering it right through, green blood almost exploding from it in a great flood.

He landed in the water on his side. He had the presence of mind to take one last panicked breath before the blackness swallowed him up and encased him in what felt like normal water at first, but then the deeper he went the thicker density it seemed to become. He floundered, keeping his eyes closed and trying to figure out which way up had been before he lost his breath. He didn’t want to get any of it in his mouth or eyes let alone lungs or stomach.

Even when he had his hand above the waters surface, he was only sure it was the surface because of the fact that the temperature was slightly colder, even then the dark brown mud kept him from feeling temperature with any normal extent of his senses. He rose from the depths and took a long, deep gulp of air, coughing slightly at the smell that immediately returned, though this time it was all over his skin, caking him with a wet film of thick mud.

Pushing his sudden hair from his face with an irritated scowl he not quite swam to the shallows not too far off to his left, where he’d intended to land before he’d lost control of his fall.

He snorted, uttering, “Perfect,” under his breath as he made his way from the deep waters.

Once he was able to stand on somewhat solid ground he slipped his useless shoes from his feet and used his toes to help him stand in the mess that was the black muck on the bottom of the swamp. He shook his hands and then his head, swinging mud everywhere. He felt like he’d been dunked in a barrel of fucking tar. It most probably was, Makai was well known for mimicking many Ningenkai geographical features and turning them into demonic creations that rarely made little sense in form or function.

He shuddered slightly and flicked his tail violently, rubbing his thumbs over his ears, wincing at the thick sludge that stuck to his thumb as he made long passes over them, collecting the black shit and then flicking it down to the ground where it landed in an almost pancake-like fashion, flattening and then leaking back down towards the greater body of water as if it had a mind of its own.

Kurama watched, half interested, thinking back on the myths about the demons from long ago that had been lost in the marshlands and had never really appeared again once it started to get infected with the mystery sulfur smelling sludge. The demons, once some sort of nymph or satyr, had supposedly become one with the land through speciation.

He attempted to wipe the mud from his face as much as he could, pushing it from his fingers and then swiping from his eyes nose and mouth, the using his palms to clean his cheeks and forehead.

A muted groan had his ears prick and his eyes snap up to the mangroves and sludge before him. Perfectly quiet. Perfectly still. Nothing but the muted grey bark of the mangrove trees, the black sludge of the earth and the dark cloud of the incoming electrical storm slightly to his left.

Cautiously, he flicked his tail again, not moving otherwise, keeping his hands cupped before his face and his feet roughly shoulder width apart. Some of the hair at the back of his neck slipped down his back, the mud weighing it down, sliding over the gash in his back and the cut in his clothing.

Shortly after the excess mud from his tail had splattered onto the solid ground below there was another deep moan. Almost like a tree groaning, though husky with an almost-voice box while wet at the same time. Kurama’s ears flicked back, identifying the source.

Behind him.

Lowering his hands a little and curling his fingers closed, he summoned a thorned version of the whip he’d used easier and turned his head slowly, then his torso. Moving slowly, very slowly, he turned to face the previously mythical bog demon.

It was huge.

Pudgy with what almost looked like rolls of excess skin, dripping with large globs of mud and water, sleuthing over the slick surface, passing the deep receded holes where all four of its beady yellow eyes watched him silently, hands (if you could call them that) held out to the sides, in it’s left hand the cripple corpse of the naga, still dripping with blood, its long tail spasming slightly. It must have been at least two storeys high easily. Towering over Kurama as if he were an ant.

It opened its mouth wide and forced the naga in, hand seeming to sink into itself before extending from within its limb once more until it appeared as if nothing had changed. Kurama could hear the distinct loud crunching of the naga’s bones as they were snapped and crushed by the demon’s deceptively powerful jaws.

Had it spotted him yet?

Slowly, Kurama reached into his hair, but then swore and dived away as the beady yellow eyes seemed to snap to him and a large hand rose, fist clenched and made to smash into the ground beside him, mouth opening again to let out an extremely odd sounding roar. As Kurama rolled away, he threw a few mud covered seeds at the monster, making sure to aim for its mouth. It didn’t seem too intelligent. There wasn’t an overall surplus amount of yoki coming from it, though deep inside Kurama could tell their was something else, which was why he aimed for the mouth, hoping that the seeds would end up in the demons stomach -- if it had one.

Dodging the other hand that seemed to smash into the ground beside him he twisted and touched a hand to the blackness of the muck beneath his feet making it so difficult for him to move about and narrowed his eyes, searching for those seeds.

He found them, close to whatever that greater strength was, and with a great burst of his own yoki he forced them to grow and bloom at an extremely advanced rate. The petals widened inside the demon, slicing through its stomach on all sides, dozens of red-orange leather-like petals within its belly. Then the whole demon promptly seemed to spontaneously combust, going up in flames like an uncontrolled wildfire in the summers.

Kurama watched carefully, that yoki wasn’t disappearing nor even weakening. Rather it was splitting into six and forcing out from the flames. The great bog demon seemed to screech and then fall backwards, its knees bent backwards, and then topple onto its side, creating waves in the surface of the swamp.

If it didn’t smell putrid before, then it did now… with the added bonus of burning not-quite flesh on top of the wonderful smell of sulfur, infested sludge and naga blood. Foul.

Then something quick, vicious and sharp flew at him, forcing him to lash out with his whip without getting a proper look at whatever the hell it was flying at him. He twisted away, straining to make the distance, ending up face down on his hands and knees, looking up at the creature rising to its feet before him.

It wasn’t a demon it was…something else. Whatever yoki had existed before it had split into six and spread wide around the swamp seemed to have disappeared entirely, and it couldn’t possibly have had the mind or even the intelligence to do so.

It was thin, little more than bones and odd looking black mud for flesh, dripping with water still, reaming down the sharp bones and facial features, nothing more than a skull imbedded in the head, and very faint expressional capacity. It had no hair, instead almost root-like strands grew from its cracked skull, some spewing from eyeless sockets. Its teeth where not teeth at all, two incisors, top and bottom jaw, neatly placed between insanely long canines.

It made an odd, gurgling sound as it rose from where it had landed, its joints twisting at impossible angles and its fluid grace becoming clear almost immediately. Its hands were nothing but bones, its fingers extending into long and incredibly sharp looking blades.

Youko barely had time to growl quietly before he flipped onto his back and slashed at the other creature that ambushed him from behind. Then he jumped to his feet and slashed at the other he’d been eyeing, and then the four others seemed to appear from nowhere, all of them snapping their jaws at him and slashing their long fingers at him, splashing black muck everywhere and making weird, almost furious sounding gurgles all the while.

Youko would have said something had he been in the mood, but honestly he couldn’t think of anything to past swearwords, so instead he stayed silent and kept slashing at them until he was fully aware of what they were capable of. He received no wounds other than the occasional lost strand of hair or a close call with one of the fingers that came clean off one of the demons with a particularly forceful slash after he’d almost lost his footing due to his momentum not agreeing with the directions he needed to be going in.

Then he began to tire, the wound on his back taking much effort to keep clean than he was used to -- possibly because of the swamp -- and effecting his ability to perform at the level he needed. The creatures began to score shallow cuts on his skin, and before long he looked like he’d dove headfirst into a rose bush and rolled around for a while. Covered in shallow cuts and reeking of his own blood, his clothes slowly shredding to nothing, Kurama began to lose the tight hold he kept on his temper.

Then one managed to close its jaws on his forearm and tear into his arm, nearly shredding it with its gnarly teeth. Distracted by the pain, he had little time to protect himself against the others as they pounced on him like he was nothing but a pound of flesh and they were the starving beggars.

He fell, taking the creatures with him, and he tried his best to force them away with his hands and legs, kicking and throwing their lightweight frames away quite easily until they began to work together to still him while they made to bite into his flesh. Literally intending to eat him alive.

“Flesh eating swamp mud,” he growled, punching one of them away, his fist landing right between its eyes. The sounds of its skull cracking would have been loud even to human ears. “Certainly I’m worthy of a more formidable opponent.”

His arm was killing him, he could see the tendons in his arm past the hole in his flesh the creature had left when it’d refused to let go and he’d taken to forcing it off by shaking his arm as if he’d touched something painfully hot. No mater, he’d been through worse.

One made a go for his throat and he elbowed its head into the mud beside him, snarling as another’s blade-like fingers pressed against his chest and tried to sink its canines into his ribs. Somewhere along the line he’d killed three of them by separating them so completely that they couldn’t rejoin like they did when he sliced their torsos clean in half, which left only three left.

He could have set them on fire had he the seeds to do so. No instead he’d have to chop them up nice and good and then figure out another way to set the whole marshlands on fire. He’d be doing demonkind a favor by wiping out the foul excuses for demons. A myth they would remain. Then perhaps if he did a little digging he’d be able to take that gorgon necklace that naga had been wearing and keep it for himself.

Half of his clothes were gone, torn away by their gnashing jaws of their sharp fingernails. The thin scratches covered his body. They healed quickly however, and left only blood as evidence that he had ever been cut. Still, it irritated him. Silk was hard for him to acquire, he didn’t have the expertise in thievery just yet that it took to ambush the merchants who often had hired men of their own.

It was rare that he’d find a fool who had pure white silk, untouched in wide sheets of untouched cloth, and had not hired a guard to help them on their way back and forth from villages.

Ah, he’d annoyed himself with that train of thought.

He was filthy, tired, and not in the mood to play around.

Eyes flying wide his back arched off the ground and his yoki exploded, taking with it the creatures, shrieking as if they had been set on fire. Everything seemed to turn blue for a moment, and freeze. Then started again with great speed, for Kurama anyway. Everything else seemed to have slowed down, or perhaps it was just him. He never knew.

He jumped to his feet, sliding gracefully, and began to flit from creature to creature tearing them apart with his bare hands, and his whip. Mud caked strands of hair whipping around as he too spun with his weapon, keeping up the momentum he’d built.

Then he stopped suddenly, only when he was sure they were all dead, sliced into so many pieces that couldn’t possibly get back up within the time I’d take them to find the other shattered pieces of their bodies that it took him to burn them all. He staggered disgracefully, then huffed and set off towards the bog, wading quiet a way out, towards the mostly disintegrated, by now anyway, bog demon and punching a hole in its side. He shifted around for a moment, searching for its stomach blindly, wrinkling his sensitive nose at the smell of it all, then clawed his way through more organs and sludge until his fingers brushed against something hard that wasn’t bone, and he yanked his hand out of the dead mass, too disgusted to leave it in for much longer.

The naga’s necklace gleamed in his ink-black mud covered hand. He smirked for the smallest of moment, before he looked up again, realizing his surrounding and then began trudging out of the marshlands, a scowl set permanently into his features for a good half a mile. He’d go home, clean, then come back with a few seeds, and burn the whole of the marshlands until even the water was gone, and all that was left was scorched earth. In fact, he remembered – albeit faintly – an old youko spell for cleansing.

It could finally be put to good use.
Music:: When Worlds Collide - Powerman 5000
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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