/simu/ - Simulacrum

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File: 1712356077469-0.jpeg (706 KB, 1920x2555, Kyoto.jpeg)

File: 1712356077470-1.jpg (103.85 KB, 335x503, Shirai.jpg)

File: 1712356077470-2.png (1.6 MB, 1485x1026, Kagemusha.png)

File: 1712356077470-3.jpg (379.62 KB, 1059x600, Air Gust.jpg)


>Date: September 13th, 2017
>Location: Kyoto, Japan
>Time: 11:00 PM [JST]

>Thundering sounds crash against the skies of the dark and rainy night. The city remains eerily quiet, with only the noise of the rain and thunder filling the skies above.

>Two figures quickly rush across the buildings of the city, weaving in and out of air ripples powerful enough to rupture the rain. Brief pockets of air serve to repel the rain droplets, a result of the sheer air pressure of the strikes being landed.

["Give up you fool! You will not deter me from my goal!"]

>An armored figure speaks in Japanese, with a distorted pitch to their voice. An unnatural and almost eerily calm determination can be felt in the figure's words - although their opponent remains ever resolute, steadfast in their resistance.

["Your aspirations will doom not only your family, but our entire country! Cease this nonsense Akito!"]

>Shirai, the supernaturally powerful shinobi, then leaps into the air - blasting the armored figure with a burst of condensed air.

["Again you insist on this rebellion, Ryozo. It is unbecoming of a Narukami - or have you forgotten that?"]

>The armored figure then draws his blade, a large black and red katana that seemingly glows with a faint red light.

>Instantly, the figure then slashes with immense speed - instantaneously producing a red glowing slash. The slash then seemingly cuts through the very air itself, bisecting it and causing the air pressure to immediately disperse across the area.


File: 1712357043952-0.jpeg (784.25 KB, 1300x1300, Kagemusha - 4.jpeg)

File: 1712357043952-1.jpg (352.51 KB, 800x1236, Shirai - 2.jpg)

File: 1712357043952-2.png (1.37 MB, 1916x1080, Ripple Clone.png)

>Shirai then braces for impact from the slash - watching as his entire body gets bisected in half….


>Suddenly, Shirai's body disappears into smoke, with only a log being left behind in its place. The armored figure's red lenses begin to narrow as he recognizes the maneuver.

["A feint. How cowardly of you, Ryozo."]

>Looking up slowly, he then turns around on the dark and wet rooftop of the building that he currently occupies. Holding his hands out in the air for added theatricality, he then reiterates.

["It is cowardly to avoid your enemies, Ryozo! Did your father teach you nothing of your family's customs! A Narukami is always to confront all circumstances headstrong!"]

>Lowering his voice every so slightly, the figure then says for clarity:

["Your mother's family has softened his edges - in addition to yours. The Hoyokazi family do not deserve their position as Japan's silent guide. The Tasogare family deserve that position - as we project strength and certainty!"]

>Suddenly, Shirai appears from behind the armored figure, drawing his sword and attempting to stab him in the back.

["You are a warmonger and a thief, Akito! You are not worthy of such a responsibility-"]''

>Unfortunately for Shirai, the armored figure sidesteps Shirai just as he speaks, and knees him in the chest. Knocking the wind out of Shirai's lungs, the white-robed shinobi then staggers backwards, grunting.

["I am Kagemusha, like my father before me. His father before him. Our ancestors before us. We are Japan's rightful leaders - and we have been cast aside from our position for far too long."]

>Kagemusha then looks at Shirai, watching as the figure quickly regains his strength and makes a brief hand gesture. Instantly, two plumes of smoke appear beside Shirai - revealing them to be two identical copies of him.

["Then let us see if you truly are worthy of your supposed title!"]

>The three Shirai copies then rush towards Kagemusha - as thunder strikes from above once more.


File: 1712357495604-0.jpeg (303.81 KB, 1457x1949, Kagemusha - 2.jpeg)

File: 1712357495604-1.jpg (103.85 KB, 335x503, Shirai.jpg)

File: 1712357495604-2.png (1.37 MB, 1916x1080, Ripple Clone.png)

File: 1712357495604-3.gif (1.04 MB, 500x282, Fire - 5.gif)

File: 1712357495604-4.jpg (379.62 KB, 1059x600, Air Gust.jpg)

>Kagemusha engages in hand to hand combat with the first Shirai clone, as his sword effectively sheathes itself remotely. While doing so, he pays close attention to the other two Shirai clones in the vicinity.

["You cannot best me in a direct fight, Akito! I have trained far more extensively than you have!"]

>After making a series of hand gestures, Shirai then blasts a huge conflagration of searing hot flames onto the rooftop where Kagemusha is.

>However, Kagemusha suddenly increases his speed, sidestepping the Shirai clone that he is directly fighting, and sweep kicking it into the oncoming flame blast - destroying it.


>Before Shirai can respond, he feels a sharp pain in his left arm. Barely noticing the slashing motion - he first only feels somewhat light in his center of balance. Then, the sharp pain finally catches up with his supernatural movements as he realizes what's happened.

["When did you - AHHH!!!"]''

>Blood spurts from the open wound where Shirai's left arm used to be. Clutching it as he falls to the ground - he can only watch as Kagemusha approaches him - slowly walking through the flame.

["I have told you before, Ryozo. You are not properly equipped to challenge me. Neither are the rest of your family."]

>Kagemusha then turns around, as he notices another sound - barely reacting in time to the large plume of smoke that is created around him.

>Scowling, he then waves away the smoke with one hand - only to find both Shirai and his severed left arm completely gone.

["….Well then. The hunt will commence."]


File: 1712358414089-0.jpeg (92.39 KB, 600x600, Kagemusha - 5.jpeg)

File: 1712358414090-1.jpg (352.51 KB, 800x1236, Shirai - 2.jpg)

>Kagemusha spends the next few minutes slowly searching the lower levels of the city streets of Kyoto. Despite all of their combined noise, the city still seemingly remains oblivious to the occurrences around them.

["Come out, Ryozo. I will spare you if courage is demonstrated."]

>Hidden behind a dark corridor with a series of steps, Shirai continues patching up his body - healing himself with a supernatural energy that he generates. Gradually, his body begins to heal itself - perfectly regrowing his arm and his clothing.

>Panting slightly, he then looks at his clone who nods - charging the severed arm up with faint blue energy.

>Kagemusha then gets tired of walking, and instead remains in place, crossing his arms.

>Then, he sees something.

[''….Wonderful. You have heeded my advice."]

>As Shirai leaps into the air from a nearby street - he lands on the same street as Kagemusha. Landing on both feet effortlessly, he then rises up, gripping both of his swords in his gloved hands.

["Why must we confront each other like this, Akito? You are not obliged to continue the ways of the Tasogare family! That blade is an aberration - a corrupting presence! My ancestors have spoken of it, and their words betray any possibility of benevolence for that blade!"]''

>Shirai then points one of his blades at the blade currently holstered in a Kagemusha's sheathe.

["Remove the influence of that hostile weapon, Akito! It is not too late to reject its power!"]

>Kagemusha looks down at his armored gauntlet of a hand, carefully examining it as he feels the power continue to surge through him.

["That, I'm afraid, is not negotiable my friend. I must continue the work of my father and my ancestors. Japan will belong to the Tasogare family. Either you choose to aid me - or you choose to lose your life in defiance of me."]''


File: 1712358854462-0.png (1.6 MB, 1485x1026, Kagemusha.png)

File: 1712358854462-1.gif (5.08 MB, 640x266, Blast - 3.gif)

File: 1712358854462-2.jpg (103.85 KB, 335x503, Shirai.jpg)

File: 1712358854462-3.gif (1.52 MB, 500x290, Water.gif)

>Shirai and Kagemusha then continue their clash once more - both of them moving so quickly as to completely shatter the sound barrier. Their movements, now faster than the human eye can even perceive - continue fighting across the streets of Kyoto, flipping and vaulting across obstacles in their way.

["How much longer do you believe you can continue your rebellious ways, Ryozo? That Narukami family were always our closest confidants. Your family was the collective sword - which we used to strike down our shared enemies!"]''

>With a quick flicking motion of two fingers - Kagemusha generates a powerful surge of thin red light, powerful enough to completely slice through the large concrete wall that Shirai has just summoned with his powers. As the dense object falls into two bisected halves, Shirai moves back once more.

>With another series of hand gestures, Shirai then generates a massive plume of water - seemingly from nowhere. The massive surge of water then begins to quickly carry cars and vans throughout the street towards Kagemusha.

["Another admirable effort, Ryozo. However, it is not enough."]

>With another another swiping flick of his hand, Kagemusha generates another bright red thin slash of light - which cuts through the mass of water itself.

["What?! Impossible!"]

>As the water continues to flow - but now bisected in half, Kagemusha casually walks toward Shirai.

["The power of the Eien no Yoru exceeds your comprehension - I am aware. Fortunately, you will not need to concern yourself with its abilities for much longer."]


File: 1712360587171-0.jpeg (303.81 KB, 1457x1949, Kagemusha - 2.jpeg)

File: 1712360587171-1.jpg (352.51 KB, 800x1236, Shirai - 2.jpg)

>Irritated, Shirai then looks at Kagemusha as he states:

["This has gone on for long enough, Akito! If you will not relinquish the sword, then I will take it from you by force!"]

>Quickly moving towards Kagemusha with a surprising burst of speed, Shirai then draws his sword once more, now charging it with flames.

>Caught slightly off guard by the maneuver, Kagemusha raises up his sword to defend against the attack. As their blades collide, Kagemusha then says:

["I would rather avoid spreading more bloodshed. Pledge your loyalty to me and my family - as your father once did. Or face the penalty of betrayal on behalf of the entire Narukami family - and perish along with them."]

>Straining against the force of Kagemusha's strength, Ryozo instead opts to amplify the strength of his supernatural flames - pushing Kagemusha back slightly.

{"He is far too strong for me! I must retreat! But he can sense my energy as long as he does not break contact…."}

>Out loud, Shirai says:

["You will not make me abandon my family! I would rather die than submit to you!"]

>Kagemusha then begins pressing the advantage, generating plumes of black and red flame to counter the orange flames of Shirai's blade.

["Then I will offer the same accord to the head of your family. Either Hiyuki Hoyokazi surrenders to me, or every other Hoyokazi falls to my blade."]

>Anger then flares up in Shirai's eyes, as they begin to transform. The pupils of his eyes shift and alter their form, while his sclera turn from white to a deep red.

>Interested, Kagemusha then states:

["Ahh, your eyes. You do have the imprint then after all…."]

>Suddenly, Shirai begins perfectly mimicking Kagemusha's physical movements - fighting far better than he did a few moments ago. Caught off guard by this, Shirai then disarms Kagemusha, knocking his sword away and then holding it to his opponent's face.

>Another moment of silence fills the air, as the sound of the rain and the thunder continues from above.

["Well? Have you not decided on a course of action? I am defenseless. Strike me down and prove to me that you deserve to be considered a warrior."]

>Shirai hesitates, his arm beginning to struggle as he slowly begins shaking it uncontrollably.

["You have your enemy at your mercy, and yet you still do not act? Unthinkable. You are not a true Narukami then. For you have much to learn."]

>Suddenly, the blade from afar begins to operate on its own - quickly flying back to stab Shirai in the back. As he begins coughing up blood, he then falls to his knees in pain.


File: 1712361005561-0.jpeg (92.39 KB, 600x600, Kagemusha - 5.jpeg)

File: 1712361005561-1.jpg (103.85 KB, 335x503, Shirai.jpg)

File: 1712361005561-2.jpg (267.41 KB, 1000x805, Blood.jpg)

File: 1712361005561-3.jpg (104.31 KB, 865x505, Explosion.jpg)

>The blade then removes itself from Shirai's back side, quickly hovering over to Kagemusha's outstretched hand - where it rests in his grip. Now holding out the blade in front of Shirai's weakened form, Kagemusha then says:

["I ask you again, Ryozo Narukami. Renounce your allegiance to the Hoyokazi family - and honor the last pledge of your father. If you do not? Then I will make demands of your matriarch - Hiyuki Hoyokazi."]

>Now stabbing the blade slowly into Shirai's shoulder blade, Kagemusha watches as Shirai begins screaming loudly in pain.

["Either Hiyuki becomes my wife and integrates the Hoyokazi family into the Tasogare family - or the entire Hoyokazi family perishes by my blade, one strike at a time."]

>As Shirai is still screaming from the blade slowly cutting through the side of his body - his vision starts to go dark. Only for him to see his remaining clone quickly leap into action.

["Again you miscalculate, Ryozo."]

>Not even looking, Kagemusha makes the same flicking motion with his fingers as before - completely slicing the Shirai clone in half. Kagemusha then watches as both halves of the Shirai clone then disappear into smoke. However, a single object finds its way towards Kagemusha from the smoke.

["What would that be?"]

>Looking down, Kagemusha then realizes what he sees - the severed arm of Shirai, glowing brightly with blue light.

>Immediately, he reacts - making a gesture with his hand and speaking quickly.


>The charged energy arm then completely erupts - ripping apart a nearby small shop and completely destroying its wooden exterior.

>The blast is so powerful, it can rupture the entirety of the street that they're both on - sending Shirai's bloodied and beaten body flying.


File: 1712362852450-0.png (1.6 MB, 1485x1026, Kagemusha.png)

File: 1712362852450-1.jpg (352.51 KB, 800x1236, Shirai - 2.jpg)

File: 1712362852450-2.jpeg (152.88 KB, 850x971, Weaver.jpeg)

File: 1712362852450-3.jpeg (304.28 KB, 1920x1200, Space-Time.jpeg)

File: 1712362852450-4.jpg (299.16 KB, 1920x1200, Bright Light - 2.jpg)

>As the dust settles, a glowing energy barrier surrounds Kagemusha. As it slowly dissipates, the armored samurai figure then looks around.

["It seems that we have an uninvited spectator, Ryozo."]

>Looking up, Kagemusha then sees an armored figure crouching on the side of a nearby rooftop. Their gloved hands are arranged in a specific way as to seemingly activate an effect. The new figure's ornate and spider-like webbing pattern immediately identifies him to Kagemusha - who laughs in amusement.

["….Hah, Weaver. I should have known."]

>The figure, Weaver, then holds out his hands, performing a quick series of gestures. As he mutters something, a series of lights begin to form around Shirai's body - protecting him.

["False prism - scatter."]

>With three simple words, Weaver then causes the entirety of the Kyoto city streets to shatter into fragmented prisms. In that moment, the truth is revealed - with the true Kyoto making itself apparent.

>Impressed, Kagemusha then says:

["Your skills have improved, Weaver. If you can shatter a supernatural Echo like that, then you are no longer a gnat."]

>Drawing his sword once more, Kagemusha then notices Shirai standing up. Looking over, he sees the figure faintly glowing with blue light - as he repairs the damage to his body in seconds.

>Still clutching at the side of his shoulder, Shirai then looks up at Weaver and shouts:

["I have heard of you! I accept your aid, Weaver!"]

>Nodding, Weaver then turns back to Kagemusha and says:

["Judgment will come to you, Akito Tasogare. Soon, the karma of your decisions will reach you - and the rest of your family. Until then, stay as you are."]

>In a flash of light, Weaver then disappears, with Shirai having taken the opportunity to disappear in a space-time distortion of his own.

>Now alone in the middle of the raining streets, and outside of the pocket dimension - Kagemusha then says:

"If that is how this game is to be played - then so be it. I will have this land, and all that it entails soon enough."

>Kagemusha then presses his hands together, and instantaneously disappears, leaving only a brief plume of pressurized air in his wake.

[To Be Continued In - "The Light Beyond"]

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