Night had already fallen when Hideo had finally landed in Tokyo. But something was wrong. His teammates were gone, their prize? Missing. What'd happened in Hokuto? The young man seemed heavy-hearted, as though it went without saying. His every step weighed a ton as he made his way slowly through the pristine courtyard. He took special note of it this night; all of his years in this enclave of a city, he'd have hardly considered himself the sentimental type. But for some odd reason, this particular evening, he could appreciate the ruins of the mansion that was, so contrary to the nature of his state, in perfect condition. From the ground around him, without a stone in sight, to the white walls that appeared washed or freshly painted. It was like the preservation of history, as though there were some meaning or memory in the rubble that was so carefully attended to. Yet it was where the catastrophe of Heaven and Earth had begun.

A cough. His vision blurred.

A glance to the hand that'd risen up to his lips had shown a deep red against the glove. Though his eyes were unsurprised.

"It seems you're dying. Would you like to me to put an end to your suffering? Speed up the process of death?"

A familiar voice of conviction whispered behind him, just like it was yesterday. Had Hideo been the type to care he'd have noticed the casual pop clothing the business man wore and the vicious smile his lips held.

"Failure wasn't an option, so please DIE!"

Tch, as though he really needed this right about now. As the voice called out and his senses rang like sonar in distress, the young platinum haired man spun around to meet it. The flick of his left hand threw itself up just outside of his shoulder blade as his bone structure surged with an abrupt alteration in chakra. Ejecting, more like a machine than flesh and bone, the broad porcelainesque weapon slid against his nimble fingertips. As his body spun, his right food gently applied pressure against the stone at his feet throwin' himself back, away from the outsider. There was a weird silence that filled the air of tension between the two.

It wasn't gonna be as easy as the ol' amateur hoped. Even with his dullin', sick body, he'd have a fight. The bone itself, lit bright blue, was spun toward the approachin' sword. The shallow counter-clockwise motion was assisted by the slightest pivot of his hips glidin' his position just about four inches to the right of the parry, glancin' the sword up and out of range beyond Hideo's left shoulder. Pretty swift, movin' nimbly and with grace that others dreamed to achieve.

Followin' the parry was an abrupt counter that brought their viable odds to a more even standpoint. The sharp bone protrusion he effortlessly wielded cleaved diagonally against the upper torso, a masterful cut delivered by an adequately trained assassin. Concurrently his left knee soared at buddy's right side and tossed him into the sky and into the ground several feet from Hideo's standpoint. Pretty shameful, he layed there twitching for a few seconds, unable to cope with the pain of the intruding chakra dancing through his veins and harshly burning his flesh.

Another cough and the once pristine stone was mixed with both his blood and the blood of his wounded adversary.

"Still gonna kill me?" Hideo joked, jerking himself upwards to view the stars in the sky, hiding in the darkness above.

"They're here...the entire family is coming for you, Kushinada. You'd better run why you have a headstart, cousin."

Hideo closed his eyes and let his cousin's final words soak. He could hear them moving in the shadows, steadily approachin' with that same persistence they'd been raised with since birth. They were pretty hungry for his blood. Oh well. He turned on his heels and headed off into the mansion nostalgically, awaiting the punishment of his failure. Somehow though he figured there was more to his impossible request and imminent failure that he hadn't been told, but he figured he'd find out soon enough. Without a vested interest in his fight with his family though, he wouldn't linger long.