Artist: YYH OST - Song: Monster Suit - Word Count: 1,432
Law slowly walked the length of the partly dismantled street. Hundreds of people ran by him in the opposite direction, screaming, fleeing for their lives. Looking up at the sky that had just a few minutes ago suddenly turned black above his head, he could see, very faintly, that the center of the phenomenon was slightly darker than the other bits of sky, and so he was making his way there. The scent of smoke filled his nostrils, and he noticed a bright flicker in the distance. The city was on fire. He was unsure if this was the work of the artifact, or if the people living here had simply started something ablaze in their panic. The incessant screaming was beginning to get on his nerves so he started to actively filter it out. Just ten minutes ago the sun had been out, now he made his way closer to the source of this catastrophe guided only by the light of the fire raging somewhere further into the town. The electrical grid must have been damaged somehow in all of the confusion, the only things still on were a few battery powered radios. Law heard them occasionally coming from the ruins of houses, or beside a mangled bench that sat on the sidewalk. The closer he got to the center of the disturbance the more uneasy he felt. His instinct told him that to continue forward would be a poor decision, but he brushed these doubts aside. He'd tracked this mess all the way here, he wasn't about to start the whole process over again. At this point Law drew his sword, an Odachi nearly as long as he was tall. From here on out it would probably be best to pay close attention to his surroundings, and to be ready to fight at the drop of a hat. To his relief the crowd was starting to thin out, the screaming gradually fading into the distance.
As he neared the end of the street he heard a scuffling, scraping sound in front and to the left of him. He made every effort to conceal his arrival, and peering around the corner he saw several bodies strewn about. Slightly further away he saw the silhouette of what appeared to be a hollow. That was to be expected, with everything that was going on a hollow would likely find this place lovely. Law noted that the hollow appeared to be relatively weak, but he prepared himself as he would with any other opponent. He was able to get fairly close to the hollow without being noticed, so he stopped and studied it a bit. There was something off about it, upon closer inspection. He'd faced many hollows in his time, but this one moved in the oddest fashion, he'd never seen anything like it. It drug itself along, moving stiffly, almost like a primitive robot. After a moment Law could see that it had noticed him, but before it could react he began to move towards it. He planned to let it attack him a few times so he would be able to study its strange behavior for a bit longer, but when it turned around he instantly changed his mind. The hollows entire head was grotesquely deformed. Closing the distance between himself and the hollow as fast as he was able, Law waited for it's slow, clumsy attack, then sidestepped and delivered a swift blow to its malformed head, which split open like a pumpkin. The hollow fell to the ground, motionless. As he hit the ground Law noticed a sort of gas, or maybe some kind of spores spilling from the hollows split head. Holding his breath he quickly leapt back a considerable distance, and kept his face covered.
Law didn't have to wait long for whatever it was that was coming out of the hollows head to dissipate, but he still kept his distance. This was nothing to take lightly. After waiting a few moments he approached the hollow once more, but this time it had no surprises left in store. As he bent down to look at the thing more closely he felt himself forced forward, almost losing his balance. Quickly turning he saw the conclusion to the explosion which must have come from whatever had been on fire. The hollow had little else to offer him, and the explosion had come from the direction of the catastrophe, so he left the thing there and began to move once more. More cautious now, he kept his sword drawn as he wasn't sure what kind of strange things could be waiting for him. It was slightly lighter after the explosion and making his way forwards Law looked up into the sky. He could see a spiral now, forming above where he imagined the artifact must be located. The closer he got to the spiral the more destruction he found around him. Walls were broken down, roofs collapsed, more bodies lay in the street, and with every step he took the feeling he'd felt initially grew stronger. The feeling that this was not a place to be. Unfortunately his path to the epicenter did not take him by the fire, so he wasn't able to investigate what had gone on there, but at least he was still able to see by its light. From what Law could tell, it would be around fifteen minutes before he arrived at his destination.
After seven or eight minutes of walking Law began to hear a buzz. He wasn't sure what it was but it was incredibly loud and moving towards him. Preparing for a fight Law stood his ground, and held his sword in front of him. Moments later he discovered the source of the noise. Locusts, thousands and thousands of locusts. Maybe one hundred thousand? Law couldn't be sure, but they seemed to pass by him endlessly. As soon as he ascertained that there was no danger, Law began to walk again. The locusts swarmed by him for the rest of the way, only just beginning to thin out as he reached his destination. He had reached a large open area, most likely a park. A long staircase directly in front of him lead downwards. He could see three others, coming from each direction, all leading to a lowered center area that was fairly large. In the middle of the area sat a small pedestal that had been elegantly carved to resemble an arm and hand, it sat at around three feet high. Law could see in the palm of the hand a dark, shimmering orb, which contained the artifact. It appeared that the artifact had either become smaller or been broken somehow, because what was in front oh him was only a third the size of the artifact that he'd recovered. As he began to make his way down the staircase several silhouettes came in to view atop the staircase directly across from him. One of them appeared to be an elderly man, his frame fairly frail, but the others were hulking goliaths, standing at least 8 feet tall. He peered behind them, and unfortunately he could see many more of the giants in the distance, as well as a plethora of weaker hollow and demons who'd been affected by whatever strange power the artifact held. He continued down the stairs however, and as he did so the old man seemed to mirror his movements, until they both stood directly in front of the pedestal. Law attempted to use his ability to bring the artifact to his hand, but whatever the strange orb was kept him from tampering with it in any way whatsoever.
Staring in to the old man's eyes, Law could see an unbridled hatred there. The man must have known what he had been up to. He returned the stare, but said nothing. He'd do everything he could to retrieve the artifact, if only because it was what Urahara would expect of him, but this felt like another suicide mission at the moment. In the background he could hear some kind of commotion, perhaps the hollow and demons were fighting among themselves, or even better yet, maybe a few of those giants would take care of one another. He quickly put the others out of his mind though, focusing all of his attention on the man in front of him, who seemed about to speak. He could tell, despite appearances, that the old man was stronger than he was, and it wouldn't do to become distracted at the moment.