Hey there! The votes are in, and it was a very close race, but we do have a winning theme for the KakaIru Maze Challenge 2022! And that is…
The Supernatural & Paranormal!
Whether you think of ghost hunters, vampires, witches, demons, or cults, there’s all kinds of ways to interpret the theme; and we would like to hear about what it means to you.
What kind of things come to mind when you think of the supernatural and paranormal? What excites you about it? Is there anything in particular you would love to see explored in an amazing fic, or captured in gorgeous art?
If your mind is overflowing with ideas, or even if you just have one or two that work with the theme, please go to our form to submit your prompt suggestions for the mazes!
The last day to submit suggestions will be 31st May; and on 1st June, sign ups will open!
Now that the theme is revealed, we would like to kick things off with Part 1 of this year’s event fic, Liberation, which you can read below! Like last year, each part will be released in certain stages of the event; so make sure you keep an eye out on our posts!
If you have any questions, please contact us! Mod @kakairu-shrine is the one in charge, so it is best to go directly to her.
If this is the first you’re hearing of the KakaIru Maze Challenge, or you would like to be reminded of the rules & guidelines, please take a look at last year’s post! We will post this year’s version very soon!
We can’t wait to see your ideas!
Liberation: Part 1
Iruka walked silently along the dimly lit street, studying his surroundings carefully. It was dangerous for a human to be wandering around this time of night; and if he wasn’t on the top of his game, he could become a victim, too. That was why he was here in the first place.
Lately there have been a string of attacks from a rogue vampire that was not just thirsty for blood, but murder, too; and after others had failed to find and slay it several times now, Tsunade had finally sent him to dispose of it.
Iruka wished she had sent him to begin with, instead of the younger vampire slayers. Sure, they were quite skilled for their age, and did need to go on these kinds of missions to gain experience, but more often than not, in their excitement to kill vampires, teenagers tended to overlook things, and either got seriously injured or killed. And he didn’t want to see another body bag. Not when death could be prevented by sending someone like him, an expert , instead.
Suddenly, Iruka felt like he was being watched; and his hand trailed to his hip, where his holster was strapped, as he studied everything more carefully, more alert than ever.
He didn’t see anything unusual around him, but somehow, the shadows seemed darker, and the world quieter, as though nature knew there was a predator lurking about, and had crept back into safety, and was observing sadly, knowing that there would be another victim of the night soon.
But when Iruka saw a shadow leaping off a roof toward him from behind, he quickly side-stepped and pulled out his stake, ready to fight. Humans weren’t going to be the victim this time.
The vampire landed on all fours where Iruka had been standing seconds before, and turned its head towards him, bearing its fangs as it let out a ferocious snarl; and when Iruka charged right for it, going straight for the attack, it rose and dove for his neck, hungry, and eager for his blood.
Iruka stumbled back as it slammed into him, and pushed it away as it tried to bite him, but the vampire was strong and began to overpower him. If Iruka had to guess, it was newly transformed, considering how animalistic and desperate for blood it was - it would do anything , it seemed; and its lack of control, and strong will made it dangerous.
But a new vampire’s beast-like manner was also a weak point, Iruka had learnt. Sure, they were stronger in general, but they also weren’t as aware of their surroundings than adjusted vampires; and he knew how to use that to his advantage.
The vampire knocked Iruka to the ground in the struggle, and quickly gripped ahold of his shoulders tightly, holding him down as it went in for the bite, but before it could sink its fangs into his skin, Iruka mustered all of his strength and plunged his stake into it, stabbing it in the heart; and it stiffened and let out a guttural scream before going limp and falling heavily on top of him.
Iruka lay still, waiting anxiously to see if the vampire was going to fight back, but a few seconds later, it turned to ash; and he sighed in relief as his stake rolled onto the ground and the weight was lifted from him.
Iruka grabbed his weapon and put it back in place when he rose; and as he began to brush the ashes off his clothes, an evening breeze came by, spreading them across the land; and Iruka put a hand to his chest.
“You can rest easy now.” He said, watching the vampire’s remains scatter. “May you reach the place you’re supposed to be.”
When he had confirmed that everything was fine in the area, Iruka turned to make his way back to the vampire slayer hideout and report, but after a few paces, he heard a strange call, and looked up to see an owl flying for him, holding a small tube with its feet.
When it reached him, it dropped the tube, and flew up to the nearest tree to sit and wait; and Iruka opened the tube curiously, wondering why Tsunade had sent him a message when she knew he’d be returning soon.
I need you to finish your mission as quickly as possible, as there is somewhere else I need you to be.
About a week ago, I sent Kakashi to remove a small coven that has recently taken over the pub near the bank; and he hasn’t returned yet. I am concerned that the mission wasn’t as easy as it seemed, and that something has happened to him.
Please investigate his disappearance and rescue him, and aid him in killing the remaining vampires if you can.
Time is of the essence.
As Iruka read the message, his hands began to shake, and his heart dropped; and he began to sprint to his next destination. He had to leave. Now.
A week was a long time with a vampire.