Hey there everyone! Decided to toss up another chapter for this story! A little small compared to the usual, but with an Extra to make up for it... Hopefully, at least!
Speaking of hope, I've mostly been working on the Undertale story I've got on my account and tossed a few chapters up on that. Feel free to check it out if that interests you! As with most of my stories, it's got some action in it.
Anywho, we're about to reach the end of the 'Training' day. Weird how it took, what, four chapters? Five? Something like that. But hopefully everyone enjoyed it so far! This also might clear up a few 'issues' people were having with Anko vs Ino, but we'll see. More at the bottom!
"Talking is like this."
'Thinking is like this.'
"Flash backs will be like this. You get the drift."
"Demonic Talking is like this. Other things may qualify."
'Demonic Thinking will be like this'
"Techniques like the Henge Jutsu will be said like that."
Jutsu may be given a name like this: Henge! (Transformation) if it is the first time it appears, has a complicated name, or is unique. Techniques like the Kage Bunshin will not be given that. If you're reading this story, you should know what Kage Bunshin is.
If you want a more in depth 'Jutsu Library' at some point, then tell me through reviews. If enough people say 'Yeah!' then I'll start adding them in... But I will never repeat a Jutsu.
Back in the forest with Team 8...
Kurenai wasn't really a "blunt" type of person. She tried to keep herself cool and collected at all times, because acting rashly often led to mistakes during a mission. Not to mention it could lead to misunderstandings in a conversation if she allowed her emotions to speak for her. Her Genjutsu relied heavily on her emotions as well, because a lapse in concentration could lead to her Jutsu being canceled very easily.
But for right now, she tossed that training aside as she stared at the scene before her, allowing her anger and surprise to fill her voice as she shouted. "What the HELL is your problem!?" while her eyes were wide with panic as she rushed over, her hands glowing a green chakra for healing, which were roughly pushed away by the target of her fury... Which was a certain purple haired Jounin sitting cross legged in front of her, resting her back against a tree.
"It's fine, Nai. She'll recover, I already healed her quite a bit." The woman dismissed, waving her hand slightly, earning a harsh glare from her partner.
"She's fine!? Anko, she's got a kunai in her..!"
"She's fine, it barely pierced the skin."
"That's not the issue here!" The woman snapped out, groaning as she ran her hand over her face and taking slow, deep breaths to clear her mind. After a few moments, she let out a heavy sigh, her expression neutral, but her red eyes shining with anger still. "What happened?"
Anko shrugged her shoulders slightly, looking to the side. "I... She got a good hit in. I reacted." Kurenai's eye twitched, along with her fingers, causing Anko to instinctively put her hands up in a defensive manner. "Whoa, whoa, Nainai, it's..."
"Do not call me that right now." The woman snapped out, causing Anko to flinch slightly and slowly nod.
"Okay, uh, so it's not that big of a deal. Okay? It's not a kunai holding her up or anything so..." Both women glanced over to the unconscious form of Ino Yamanaka, firmly held in place by wire wrapped around her body as she rested limply against the trunk of the same tree Anko was resting against. The girl's face was dripping with blood from a wound on her head and her left shoulder had a kunai sticking out of it, also sending blood dripping down slowly from her arm. The girl had a rather goofy dizzy expression on her face, most likely from the hit on her head, but the most noticeable wound was on her hands, which looked to be slightly burnt, making her have a black tint on her palms.
Kurenai growled slowly at the sight, then sighed as she realized it could have been much worse... 'She could be dead, after all.' The woman tried to reason with herself, turning her gaze back towards Anko with an irritated expression still playing on her face. "So why is the kunai still in her?"
Anko blinked at the question, blushing a bit and scratching at her red cheek slowly. "Uh, I kind of... ran out of chakra. Between finishing her off..." Kurenai twitched slightly and Anko tried to not notice, but couldn't keep the uncomfortable look off her face. "And, uh, summoning Kimura... and all then healing most of her wounds... I didn't take it out since it might send blood everywhere again, so..."
"I thought it barely pierced the skin?" Kurenai tapped her foot slightly and Anko gulped in response, grinning nervously.
"I, uh, was just being careful?" The hesitant answer made the woman sigh again, her hands glowing green as she placed them on Ino's wounded shoulder and head. She pulled the kunai out as she healed the wound, tossing the kunai aside and causing only a small bit of blood to squirt out, though she was glad to feel that the wound on Ino's head had been completely closed and healed. As annoyed as she was with Anko, she could still admit, at least privately, that the woman was sensible enough to heal the important wounds first and talented enough to heal them nicely.
The Genjutsu Mistress sighed as she ran her hands along Ino's bound body, feeling for any other wounds, while addressing Anko. "So what caused this? It's not like you to lose control." She looked over at her partner, her eyebrows arching at the embarrassed look on Anko's face, her legs squirming back and forth slightly. The strange attitude made Kurenai briefly forget her anger and instead felt a bit of concern for her friend... But also felt a strong urge to tease the woman, for the various instances where Anko had done the same.
So with a teasing smirk, Kurenai arched her eyebrows further at the woman. "What happened, Anko? Did she get the jump on you? Slither into your heart?" When Anko's face actually lit up, it took all of Kurenai's self control to not burst into a fit of giggles at the sight. It wasn't like the woman to get so embarrassed and to do something that made her blush that hard...
She'd definitely have to give Ino a reward. Maybe a special Jutsu or something...
Anko, aware she was blushing but unaware of Kurenai's thoughts, just waved her hand dismissively while looking away from the black haired woman. "Look, it doesn't matter. But, uh, we need to start swapping Taijutsu partners more." Kurenai blinked at that, sitting down in the grass beside Ino once her healing was done. She still didn't bother cleaning up the blood on the girl's body, though.
"What do you mean?" Was she not satisfied with usually fighting Naruto? Had something Ino done really been that great?
Anko sighed in response, rubbing her head slightly. "I kept thinking about what Naru-Chan would do when I was fighting Violet. I made mistakes and got too … comfortable." She sighed, her face no longer red, yet still holding an embarrassed expression as she turned it towards Kurenai. "I didn't think I'd get that rusty, you know?"
The red-eyed Jounin frowned, a confused expression coming to her face. "But you fight them all the time during training." Anko shook her head in response, leaning over and picking up the kunai Kurenai had discarded onto the ground, waving it around slightly.
"I only toss things at Nata and Violet, and then when we fight as teams Nata is always the one on the front line and usually goes after you. I don't fight her much. Violet is always in the back." She shrugged, sliding the kunai into her pouch. "Girl isn't bad, though. She's not as wild or aggressive as Naru-Chan and seems to plan things out more... and..." She paused, a small proud smile coming to her face that Kurenai arched her eyebrow at. "She actually got me Kurenai. Rustiness aside... she actually tricked me... and we're the reasons she got that far." She chuckled lowly, an action mirrored by Kurenai who was also sharing her own proud smile as she looked up at the unconscious Yamanaka.
Kurenai shared Anko's proud thoughts, knowing that the Ino that came fresh out of the academy would have no chance against even getting close to either of them... The same could be said for the other girls, except possibly Naruto with how unpredictable she had been. The girl did impress Anko right away during their first little spar, though Anko had been holding back quite a bit during that time. Not to say she had not held back against Ino, which Kurenai was sure she did even with all her wounds. The platinum blonde would be dead if she didn't...
Shaking her head, the Genjutsu Mistress stood up, stretching for a moment with her arms going above her head. She ignored the exaggerated look Anko sent at her chest, which was having her eyes bulging out and a bit of drool coming out of her mouth, and simply stared at the woman with a neutral expression. "We should get going. I sent Hinata back to the training field, so let's go retrieve Naruto and head back for a break." Anko nodded her consent, grinning a bit while she cut Ino free, catching the girl as she fell.
Putting Ino onto her back, Anko straightened up a bit and held the girl up by the back of her legs, smirking a bit at Kurenai. "How did it go with Nata? And Naru-Chan isn't all smashed up is she? Kimura is prettttty strong." Kurenai rolled her eyes, smiling a bit. Anko's proud grin was almost too cute to put down so easily...
"Hinata did well. She still has a lot to work on. We need to teach them some Katon Jutsu, though. Not having one is a bit of a defect of the team." She hummed, purposely putting aside the rest of Anko's question for now, speaking up again once the two began to walk through the woods with Kurenai leading. "Also, if you'd like, we could start sparing with each other as well. To keep the rust off both of us... It has been some time since I fought seriously." Anko chuckled a bit, nodding her head.
"Sure, but we should get into sparing with the others too... Uh, not saying you're not enough or anything." The last part was hastily added and the woman shuffled a bit on her feet, straightening Ino up on her back. The girl in question groaned and kicked a bit, earning a confused glance from Kurenai while Anko already seemed used to the movement and continued to talk. "It's just... You know, everyone is different and..."
The red-eyed Jounin held her hand up, silencing the slightly sputtering Anko with a smile. "I understand, Anko. I wasn't thinking you were insulting my skills, or anything." She placed a comforting hand on Anko's shoulder, smiling kindly. "You're my friend."
The words brought a blush on the woman's face for the second time that day, though this one was brought with a large grin. A grin that instantly turned teasing just a moment later. "I was just making sure you knew you're the only girl for me, Nainai."
"Don't call me that." Kurenai instantly responded, rolling her eyes and sighing as she brushed her hair over her shoulder. Suddenly, she scowled slightly as a thought came to her head. "Don't invite Asuma, either. I'm not sparing with him." The Snake Mistress just shrugged at that, making Ino bounce a bit, with a slight smile.
"Still fighting?" The question had a curious tone, since Anko had only really heard bits and pieces of the rumor between Asuma and Kurenai. They had, according to her sources, dated from time to time and Kurenai had privately told Anko that she liked him. Asuma had also said something of that nature when Anko... "questioned" him, But...
"The bastard cheated on me." Came the angry answer, the woman's red eyes glowing in irritation. "I want nothing more to do with him." Anko nodded slightly, but privately she admitted that she had no idea if Kurenai's claim was the truth or not. All she had to go on with that was Kurenai's word that she definitely saw him flirting, and possibly kissing, another woman and the slight nervous attitude Asuma had around her. Asuma, to her knowledge, had not defended himself at all or pursued the matter once Kurenai started to ignore him, but...
Well, Anko would just go punch the guy a few times to get him to fess up, but Kurenai made her promise not to get involved with it. It was something she wanted to handle herself...
'By completely ignoring his existence, I guess.' The Snake Mistress thought in amusement, glancing over at her annoyed looking friend. Deciding to change the subject for her, the woman went back to the original topic. "So anyways, what happened to Naru-Chan? I hope my Kimura wasn't too rough with her." The way her friend's anger instantly defused and switched to an amused smile set Anko on edge and her eyes narrowed slightly. "What? What's with that look?"
Kurenai chuckled slowly, shaking her head. "I'm leading you to them now. It's best you see for yourself what happened... But a better question is..." She pointed at the still unconscious Yamanaka, shifting the subject once more. "Why did you have her tied up in the first place? Was that part of your attack, or..?"
"Oh, that?" Anko shrugged, bouncing Ino a bit again as the group reached long path filled with broken branches which they carefully stepped over while they traveled. "She's a kicker in her sleep, I guess. I'm not sure why, but she was struggling and moving around a lot while I was trying to heal her." As if on queue, Ino's leg kicked against the back of Anko's own leg, causing the woman to stumble briefly with a grunt. "Ugh, see what I mean? That wasn't a light tap, either."
Kurenai shook her head slightly with an amused smile. "It's your fault she's like that, so you have to bare with it." Anko clicked her tongue in annoyance, looking back at the peaceful expression Ino now wore on her blood covered face.
"Wonder what the hell she's dreaming about..."
Inside the mind of a Yamanaka...
It was a little known fact that the Yamanaka were a very terrifying and powerful clan, possibly one of the strongest in the world if you really thought about their ability. They held power over the one thing all people had (even if some didn't know how to use it)...
The brain. The control center for the entire human body.
It wasn't really known what caused the Yamanaka clan to have the ability to control the body of someone else, or their own so wildly for that matter. But no one really knew how bloodlines came to be in the first place. A mutation? Some demonic blessing? A mere twist of fate? No one really knew. But like all clans, the Yamanaka had honed their bloodline to a fine point, allowing them to do things other people could only dream of.
Emphasis on dream.
With their power, the Yamanaka had figured out a key power to train their bodies and mind inside their own dreams. They could fight their own imagination, or combine their minds with another Yamanaka to train in a mental space. Such training sessions could spend an entire day's worth of time training to their fullest, while only spending an hour at best in real time. Of course, this method of training came with a risk and reward.
While the body itself could not get stronger through the process, the muscles could "remember" the movements given. Chakra control could also be improved through the training and new techniques could be mastered, but the chakra amount could not be increased. Not by the training, at least, but using the chakra to sustain such a state usually increased a Yamanaka's chakra amount by a very small amount. Not enough to really matter, though.
Another key feature of the ability is to redo training in their mental state they had already done, in order to recall what exactly they had learned. It offered none of the growing perks, however, since it was like recalling a memory. Some Yamanaka did this unconsciously, remembering old "dreams" as soon as their body went to sleep... And Ino was one of them.
When Ino had landed her "attack" on Anko, it had temporarily stunned the Jounin, giving the girl time to briefly taunt and twist the two in the air to land on a safe area... But that was, more or less, the last thing Ino remembered before her body exploded into pain. Her vision went dark, her body screamed in agony, and finally she slipped into a blissful unconscious state. In order to protect her further, her mind refreshed itself with an older dream...
A dream of her father, training her just a few days ago while their bodies slept.
The two "met" in a field of flowers, walking up to each other in matching light gray robes with a purple tint on the bottom half, past the red cloth tied around their waists to keep it closed. Ino's, however, had an open slit on the left and right, allowing her slender legs to slide out as she walked, a testament to how she saw herself. Inoichi, on the other hand, had his robe tied tightly and had everything except his head more or less hidden.
With a nod, the two simultaneously went to their knees just a few inches away from each other with a square pillow appearing below them right before they hit the ground. A wooden table soon appeared as well with a steaming kettle of tea and two cups appearing on top of it. Silently, Inoichi poured a cup of tea for his daughter, handing it to her and smiling as she nodded in thanks and took it from him. As he poured his own tea, Ino took a sip of her own, but lowered it soon after with an amused expression on her face.
"I don't know why you always pour tea. It's not like we get refreshed by it." She quipped with a slight grin as Inoichi sipped his own tea, smiling against his cup.
Lowering it did not remove his smile, nor did his soft chuckle. "Perhaps, but we can remember the taste and enjoy it, allowing our minds to relax before we get to business." Ino shook her head and shrugged, sipping again and questioning her father's mentali-tea.
"Mmm... We could just meet up and do this, you know..." Her eyes twinkled slightly, a grin spreading across her face. "I prefer reali-tea."
The pun made Inoichi cough up his own tea, making him pound his own chest a bit before he let out a hearty laugh, giving Ino a wide smile that matched her grin. "I see you've caught onto Anko's humor. She always did have quite the funny bone." He chuckled, shaking his head slightly while Ino stuck her tongue out, not agreeing or denying his claim. "I'm glad she became your Sensei. I don't think I could have put my Princess in better hands." Ino stared in surprise at that, her head tilting slightly to the left while she placed her cup down onto the table.
"You know Anko-Sensei? I mean... I know she talked to you about the whole... moving out thing, but..." Inoichi nodded cutting his daughter off as he put his own cup down.
"Indeed. I met her many years ago, before you were even born. We hit it off quite well, even though she's a bit younger than me." He chuckled softly, smiling wistfully at the memories. "We didn't talk much, since she wasn't on my team, but we kept talking every now and then when we happened upon each other... Until..." He paused, his smile fading into a tight frown and the entire world shook slightly at the sudden shift in emotion.
Since the world was a creation of both their minds together, Ino felt the shift and glanced to the side with a frown as she saw several flowers wilt and...
'Was that a snake?' The girl thought to herself, watching a black tube-like shape slide between some of the wilting flowers. Her thoughts were not broadcast to her father, since their minds were only sharing things they either could not hide or did not wish to. Since her thought was only a fleeting curiosity, it didn't register in Inoichi's mind at all.
Despite this, he seemed to realize his daughter's confusion and distress, quickly adjusting his emotions accordingly. The flowers that had wilted disappeared and were quickly replaced with colorful counterparts instead as he let out a low chuckle. "Sorry, that isn't really my story to tell. Just know you can trust that woman, no matter how crazy she acts. She might rough you up some, but she does it because she cares." His words received a quick nod from Ino, who's grin fell into a small smile.
"I know she does. She's really loud, like Goldie, but I keep catching her staring at us with a lot of warmth in her eyes and..." A soft blush appeared on the girl's face. "She's really talented. I don't think any of us have really beat her or landed a good hit. If there's a female Jounin to look up to, she's definitely up there." She laughed a bit, scratching her cheek slightly with her left hand, while her right continued to hold her cup. "Kurenai-Sensei is like that too. I think they're really good teachers... I've learned a lot." Inoichi nodded his head in response, taking a sip and making a mental note to thank the two women for being such good teachers.
Outloud, he said... "That's good. I'm glad to hear your training has been going well." He hummed as a passing thought came to him. "How about your teammates? I hope they're not being mean to my Princess." His smile grew at the annoyed glance Ino shot him, but he pretended to not notice it with another sip of his tea.
Ino just shrugged slightly, her annoyed expression disappearing as she considered her father's question. She hummed and waved her hand to the right, creating a full-scaled Naruto in her usual outfit beside herself, grinning wide. Inoichi arched his eyebrow at the image, slightly confused at when Ino had learned to do that. He had been the one to start the "joining" of their minds, after all, and hadn't told her she could just create whatever she thought up yet...
'She's got an instinct for this sort of thing, I suppose.' He thought with a small proud smile.
Ino, unaware of the man's thoughts, started talking while gesturing towards her mental-Naruto. "Goldie is always loud and excited, like Anko-Sensei. But she's probably the nicest person I know. She's also really strong for some reason..." She shook her head, lowering her hand to the table. "Might come from how often she seems to pick fights... Like with Sasuke-Kun in the academy, and then Ami-baka, and then she even picked a fight with both of our senseis!" Inoichi chuckled at the annoyed expression on his daughter's face, watching the Naruto's expression shift to her tongue sticking out.
He couldn't help but question what she told him, though. "She picked a fight with both of your teachers?" At her nod, he let out another hearty laugh. "It's a shame I haven't met her yet, then. She sounds like a funny girl." Ino laughed a bit at his words, nodding her head in agreement.
"Yeah, Goldie is great. I could ask her to come over to the house, but..." Inoichi shook his head, dismissing his daughter's offer.
"I'm afraid I won't be at the house for quite some time. That's why we're having your family training here in your mind, don't you remember? Perhaps once my work load gets smaller..." He gave her a regretful smile, which she just shrugged at with her eyes closing.
"I was going to say that we're pretty busy with training and stuff anyways. Our sensei are kind of slave drivers." Inoichi chuckled a bit at Ino's matter-of-fact tone, sipping his own tea once again while Ino began to pour herself another cup. "Anyways, though... Hinata is pretty nice and she's really fast when she's serious... But I think she's a little too nice sometimes... She's also got it bad for Goldie." She smirked in amusement, shaking her head slightly from the thoughts of the blushing Hyuuga.
"Got it bad?" He repeated with a questioning tone, not entirely sure what she meant, though he had a good idea.
"Mhm." Ino nodded her head, placing her cup onto the table while her grin widened. "I think Goldie and maybe Kurenai-Sensei are the only ones that don't see it. Hinata turns completely red whenever Goldie-Chan is nearby, or if she does something like hugging Hinata close then the girl faints on the spot." She laughed, placing her hand up to her mouth to hide it slightly... A laughing habit she got from her mother, who came from a "refined" family, though she tended to only do it at the table or in her father's presence. "It's kind of cute, most of the time. I just hope she doesn't do it during an important mission..."
Her father let out a soft laugh, a fond smile coming to his face. "That reminds me of when I met your mother, actually." Ino rolled her eyes, starting to already tune the man out as his expression changed to a wistful smile. "Ah, those were the days... When I first met your mother, she'd always get the cutest blush on her face whenever we spoke." He chuckled lightly, shaking his head. "I wasn't any better, though."
Ino rolled her eyes a bit, letting her father reminisce always making her feel a bit bored. Mostly because there weren't many stories she hadn't already heard. But she knew there was no way to stop him once he started, so she allowed him to keep going while carefully tuning him out, focusing on her own memories instead. Memories of spending time with her parents, specifically, since it was the first thing that came to mind.
Learning to cook with her mother, learning how to take care of plants with her father, running the store after getting done with the Academy... But all of those had been years ago; she had not even taken care of the store for at least a year now, due to her fathering telling her to focus on graduating since it was her final year. After that she got so caught up in training that the last time she actually had a conversation with her father up close was when Anko took her home and even that was very brief. All of the times before that, she either left before he woke or he simply didn't come home during the night like he usually did.
'Been awhile since I've actually talked to either of my parents face to face, huh?' She hummed quietly to herself, glancing up at her father, who was still talking about how he had first met her mother. 'Even this is just an image of him... and I haven't even seen Mom for two years now.' She sighed to herself, thinking of the brown haired woman that was her mother. That woman was also a Ninja, just like her father, but apparently left the village quite often according to Inoichi. Those two apparently saw each other quite often, since Inoichi was who she reported to, but the woman tended to avoid the house for the most part.
'I wonder if she even stayed around the house when she was having me.' Ino shook her head slightly, an amused smile coming to her face. 'Probably not. I bet she went to the park a lot to mess with the flowers.' According to her father, it was the flower business the Yamanaka were into that originally brought the two close. They both loved flowers quite a bit.
The girl shook her head a bit, realizing her father had finally stopped going on about how he first met his wife. He was also gazing expectantly at her and got a slight pout, which was just a slight furrowing of his brow, when she yawned slightly. "Mmn, sorry Daddy. I've already heard that story before, you know?" She sent him a warm smile, making him sigh softly with his own smile coming to his face.
"Oh, I know. But..." He shook his head. "Anyways, I think we have probably wasted enough time, no?" He slowly stood up, stretching a bit despite the mental-body not actually having muscles to pop. He grinned down at her, putting his hands on his hips. "So! Let's get training. You know that Rai-on Ju-su, righ-?" Ino nodded in response as the world began to crumble around the two, though she paid it no mind, responding to her father instead.
"Ye-, I know it. Rai-on: Para-..."
Her words were cut off as the world, and memory, suddenly shattered into pieces... A blinding light filled the now empty void...
… as Ino opened her eyes, groaning from the sudden rush of sunlight in front of her. The memory of her training session with her father was still fresh in her mind, though she didn't end up getting to the training session from the memory, and she felt a brief moment of confusion from the sudden change in scenery and the concerned expressions of her teammates, Naruto and Hinata, staring down at her. With her eyes half open, the girl started to sit up before falling back down onto the grass as a wave of her most recent memories hit her.
She had been sparring with Anko and tricked the woman into substituting near her, instead of just dodging out of the way of her attack... With Anko distracted and not expecting an instant attack after swapping her position, Ino had jumped on her and then...
A blinding pain washed over Ino as her head was struck hard by Anko's fist slamming down on her. The woman had let out a very loud scream while she attacked, as well, making Ino temporarily have a hard time hearing as well. With the loss of her senses for that brief moment, she had no way to react as kunai and senbon seemingly exploded from Anko's body, stabbing her on both shoulders and sending her flying backwards.
Since they had been in mid air during the exchange, Ino was sent flying back towards the branch she had leaped from, only this time she was in no position to latch onto it with her chakra. The back of her legs slapped harshly against the branch, forcing her body to flip backwards from the hit. With her body flipping over the branch, Ino got a good view of the light leaking through the tree tops before Anko's form suddenly appeared above her.
A fist was the last thing Ino recalled before everything faded to black...
… Which was now mirrored in her current situation, due her eyes were shut tightly from the rush of memories and pain. The latter, however, was mild and seemed to only be around her left shoulder for the most part, but also a strange stinging sensation on her palms.
'Probably just because of my overuse of Parusu.' A part of her mind offered, reasoning that all that electricity she used earlier might have burned her skin. 'I need to get a better Jutsu to use for my techniques... Anko-Sensei probably knows one...' A throb of pain echoed through her body at the thought of the sadistic teacher, reminding her of her current situation, which caused her to let out a groan of annoyance.
"God... dammit..." She let out as her eyes slowly cracked open, allowing her to see the worried expressions of her teammates once again. They seemed to be saying something too, most likely commenting on her words, but she couldn't really make it out through the slight buzzing that started to go through her head. The buzzing started to fade after a moment, but Ino started to close her eyes again, not wanting to deal with the irritating light shining down on her. The lack of buzzing allowed her to hear what her teammates were saying as they stood over her.
"...-ink she said something. Is she okay?" Ah, that was Naruto, without a doubt. The concern in the girl's voice definitely touched Ino's heart.
"H... Her chakra pathways s... seem normal, t... though a little burnt on her hands..." Ino noted to herself that Hinata seemed to improve on her stuttering habit. The Hyuuga usually let out three or four more for long sentences like that. "I... I'm not sure An... Anko-Sensei healed them like she said she did..." Ino wished she could snort in annoyance at Hinata's words.
'Did she even heal me at all?' The wounded blonde thought, letting out another slight groan, realizing she had a sort of dry feeling on the top of her head. 'Ugh, that's blood, isn't it? That shit is hard to get out. It's also a good thing I don't live with Daddy anymore, or he'd flip.' Her eyes slowly tried to crack open again, though much slower, to the point where she could only make out her two teammates to be black blobs. Their voices still came clearly, at least.
"At least they gave her a pillow." Naruto pointed out, making the groggy blonde shift her head slightly out of instinct, noticing that Naruto was correct and there was indeed something under her head. It didn't feel that soft, however, and not exactly like the pillow Ino was used to laying on, but...
"Er... That isn't.. um... That isn't a pillow, Naruto-Chan. That's uhm..." Hinata's voice paused and so did Ino's body as a cold dread began to set throughout her body, just as her eyes opened enough to see the nervous expression on Hinata's face and Naruto's confused one staring at their blue haired teammate. "That's uhm... a snake." She muttered the last part, but its impact was loud as Ino suddenly felt her body shoot up to its feet.
Her teammates stared at her with wide eyes, both clearly not expecting such a sudden action, and were caught off guard when Ino suddenly shot past them in a sprint. Despite the amount of pain going through her body from moving so suddenly, the girl continued to move briskly towards the edge of the training field. With her eyes wide open as well, Ino felt them burning from the light, but made no attempts to close them as she kept her gaze locked on the destination ahead.
Her mind had only one thing to add to the situation.
Her teammates, and one large grass colored snake that was easily as long as Ino was tall, could only stare.
Chapter... END! But wait, that's not all!
Tales of the Kunoichi Extra: A Blooming World
Part 1: Flower Petals
There were many places to go in the Land of Fire. Different towns, mountains, villages, and even castles were littered across the land. People filled these locations to their breaking point and even more traveled between them; either to sell their wares or to simply explore the world. Others stood on the side, only entering towns when they wished to refresh themselves, and instead focused on gaining a profit by those that traveled between them. Typically through violent means, which left the travelers in a state of fear and panic whenever they stepped out of town.
That's where Ninja came in.
Though most of them worked only for profit, it was a profit many were willing to pay so long as it meant the safety of their bodies... and especially the valuables they had to sell. Despite this, most merchants or travelers would only buy a Ninja for one trip and then buy another for a different trip. Keeping a single Ninja, or a group, so busy for so long was very pricey. This is why escort missions were more common than guarding missions; only the well off merchants could reasonably afford such a price, at least for an assured defense.
But that didn't mean guarding missions were very uncommon, either. There was always a handful of Ninja outside their respective villages guarding important figures. Either people that didn't want to die, shouldn't die, or were under heavy fire and expected to die. The latter was typically considered a suicide mission for Ninja, unless the threat was well known to the point that there was no reason for them not to take the fight to the ones going after their employer. Such a job was usually sent to the Samurai of the Land of Steel, or whatever Samurai happened to be serving a the Daimyo of the land the guarding job was taking place. They were widely considered to be better body guards than Ninja in most situations, since they always put their employer above their job, unlike the Ninja who valued being paid than defending their honor.
In most situations, at least.
This led to a rather difficult relationship between Samurai and Ninja. Some compared it to the ire that stereotypical cats and dogs had with each other. The Cats, which were Ninja, always wandered from master to master, serving whoever fed them. The Dogs, which were Samurai, stood at the ready to defend the first one that had offered them a home. Despite this difference, they ended up working together quite often for the very rich who could afford them. Which led to some Samurai becoming friends with some Ninja, and vice-versa. Something most didn't even consider to be a possibility, unless they saw it themselves...
"And here you are! Two Storm Beers, straight from Rain Country!" A burly bartender laughed, slamming two large glass mugs down onto the counter in front of himself. The man rubbed at his beard with another laugh, looking past the two he had just served to the rest of his large bar. As expected, it was noisy with a jaunty tune playing from a large jukebox in the corner, though the music could barely be heard over the laughing and yelling of the various men and women taking part.
There were at least forty, if not more, people drinking in the bar, each being seated at large round tables with food and drink being served to them by scantily clad women who danced across the floor with trays held above their head. Some people tried to grab at the waitresses while they danced across the floor, but were easily brushed away by the girl's free hands, or roughly tossed across the bar itself if they attempted to try anything too forward. This always happened, regardless of who tried it, because anyone who could actually get past the swift hands of the waitress typically didn't want to anyways. They were better than that.
But just because it always happened didn't mean anyone learned their lesson. So there was always at least one person flying across the room, never landing on another customer's table, but always landing awkwardly on their back, laughing the whole time. This exchange, along with a mixture of other things, led to the bar becoming rather famous over the years, until it was now one of the largest and most popular buildings in all of the Land of Fire.
The building itself was a massive tower with five floors to it, each reinforced with metal to keep them steady from any form of damage. Large windows with gold edges were on the third and fifth floor, with regular and smaller windows on the first, going out to the street of the town it resided in. The larger windows at the top floor showed nothing but a very regal looking hallway with various paintings lining the walls of famous lords and kings from other towns.
The third floor, however, had a clear sight of the bustling bar and its many patrons. While no noise escaped the building, the light and laughing faces were more than enough to attract even more customers, even those that believed themselves to be above such a thing. Some noble born men that thought they were too important to be seen, or heard, laughing with a crowd of ruffians that spent most of their days sleeping on the dirt.
But once you stick a drink in a man's hand, it'd be hard for him to not drink it down like one.
This was shown to be the case as one of the two whom the bar keep just served grabbed his mug, tipping his head back and chugging the thick blue liquid that filled it. A quarter of the way down, he slammed his mug on the table, letting out an audible gasp from the electricity running through his system now from the drink. He shuddered, briefly running his fingers through his short black beard and shivered, his bright gray eyes blinking in an attempt to regain his focus.
"What a strong flavor it has..." He muttered to himself, straightening up in the stool he sat in. He was one of the men that no one expected to be in such a bar, even one as famous as this, and his outfit alone was explanation enough as to why. He wore a long dark blue kimono with a gold outline to it and a gold sash tied around his waist, glistening slightly even in the dim light to show off its worth. Wooden sandals covered his feet and his kimono's front was opened slightly, showing off the man's well muscled chest to some extent, and the sash on his waist had a long blade strapped to it. The sheath's end tapped against the ground with every movement he made, or at least against the stool he sat on.
But the most notable thing, or at least the first thing anyone would notice about his person, was the top knot he had his hair pulled back into, creating a ball on the back of his head that slightly drooped down in the back. The second thing anyone would notice was the golden symbol plastered onto the back of his kimono, which was a large gold flower with five petals, each pointing sharply in different directions at their ends. The center of the flower had a even smaller flower inside with five petals as well, pointing towards the petals that made up its outline.
This made it clear to anyone that saw him that he was not a normal man. He was a Samurai. One that lived and would die by the blade. Not only that, but the marking on his back made it clear that a very powerful house had made their claim on his person. He was owned by the Golden Flowers of the Land of Fire, a powerful organization and family that held the reigns to most merchants in the country. That alone made him someone to be avoided, because anyone with connections that high would have ways of getting rid of someone.
Either with their own hands, or simply by telling someone else to do it.
This resulted in the previous customers that were sitting at the bar to have distanced themselves, each going off to an empty or already occupied table to get away from the man. The one exception to this was the one who came in with him, who gave him a coy smile while she sat on his left, her eyes full of mirth while she stared over at him.
"You invited me to drink without having ever tried it? I'll admit, that's quite adorable." The woman cooed out with a soft chuckle escaping her lips, using the back of her hand to hide her mouth. This woman had no marking on her body or clothing to indicate she was associated with the Golden Flowers, yet she had walked beside the Samurai as an equal. She was wearing a long black dress that had black straps going over her shoulders, curving over her decently sized chest and having two long slits across the sides for her legs to slide out of. Her backside was also nicely outlined by the fabric, leaving just enough to the imagination for people to ponder over it, yet still enjoy the sight as it rested upon the stool under her, while her feet were covered by thin heels that clang slightly against the pole holding the stool up. The dress shimmered in the light that hit it, typically shining at the same time as the woman's emerald earrings that hang down, both being simple oval shaped gems being held by a gold chain to the woman's ear.
She had long and soft looking brown hair that hung down her back with the left side going completely down that half of her face. This left her eye, and ear by proxy, covered up by her silky smooth hair for anyone that viewed her from the left. But for the Samurai, he had a clear view of her warm brown eyes staring at him, along with the amused smile she wore on her almost diamond shaped face with a rounded chin, causing his own face to flush red appropriately.
"Hm! I was merely expecting a... thinner flavor, that is all, miss." He cleared his throat, glancing over at her with a stern look on his face... which was slightly countered by the red filling his cheeks. "Besides, as I recall, it was you who insisted upon dining at this establishment and testing my experience in such situations." His words were met with another soft laugh from the woman, her hand sliding up to cover her mouth with her wrist before she lowered it once more, grabbing the handle of the mug in front of her.
"Indeed I did, but I do not recall claiming you should get one of the stronger drinks they had... For both of us, no less." She told him with her lips tilting up into a larger smile, looking down into the blue filled glass for a moment. "But do not fret. I have no reason to not accept." The woman leaned back, unknowingly gaining a lot of admirers when her chest stuck out, and began to drink from the glass. But while her pace was slower than the man beside her, the drink seemed to disappear even faster without a drop spilling onto her form. After half of the mug was cleared, she lowered it from her mouth, her eyes sparkling with pleasure from the drink's strong flavor. "Mm... It is quite strong. The name is certainly fitting."
The Samurai gaped slightly at the sight of the woman, who was much thinner than he was, taking in a larger amount of the drink itself without batting an eye. His face glowed red in embarrassment and the knowing smile she sent his way made it clear she was fully aware of her victory over him. He let out a huff of indignation, grabbing his own mug again and nodding his head. "Indeed. But I will say it still lacks something in the regard of filling my stomach." The woman rolled her eyes a bit at his round-about way of speaking, watching as the man looked up towards the bar keep, clearing his throat slightly. "So for that, I would like to order some food, if that is something this establishment does." The Samurai's request was asked in a very formal tone, something one would expect from a man sitting at a Lord's table; not one sitting at a bar's counter.
But if the owner was annoyed by the formal talk, he didn't show it. Instead, he gave the Samurai a hearty laugh with a broad smile on his face, nodding his head. "Certaintly! What'll ya have? We got various meats from places 'round the world, so just take yer pick." The large burly man boasted, getting a slight nod from the Samurai.
"Then I'll have..."
"We'll have the Crescent Platter, if you would." The woman interjected, resting her elbow on the counter and letting her chin rest in the palm of that arm. The large man gave her a grin and a thumbs up, walking off into a doorway behind the bar, between several shelves full of bottles, and disappeared. The Samurai gave her another huff, his eyes closing and his arms crossing.
"I do not recall requesting that you order for me. Nor did I plan on ordering that." He grumbled, making the woman chuckle softly, since she was aware he had no idea what to buy. But she kept that mostly to herself, instead regarding the man with an amused look before turning her gaze back to her drink.
"Mm... Perhaps, but I know you. We've been at this for awhile now... I know you'll like it. It's all fish." The man's eyes opened wide for a moment before closing again quickly, coughing into his fist.
"A.. Ah, I see." He exclaimed, his face flushing and he felt the woman's smirk burning his cheeks, which is why he kept his eyes closed so he didn't have to look at it. It irked him that she was able to read him so easily. "Sushi, is it? I had thought you weren't fond of that type of..."
"It's not sushi." She corrected, interrupting the man who frowned a bit in confusion. She lightly drummed her fingers on the handle of her mug, her right leg briefly sliding up and then crossing over top the left. "It's..." The door crashed open and both looked up at the sound, though the Samurai only cracked an eye open, staring in bewilderment at the large tray of fish being placed in front of him.
"Served!" The burly man who placed it yelled, a wide smile on his face. "Hope you enjoy! Just give me a holla' if you need anything." He began to walk off without waiting for a response, his loud voice echoing across the room when he began to greet another person at the bar.
The Samurai stared at the platter and slowly poked it with his fingers, a frown on his face. "What... is this, exactly?" He asked, turning his head to look at his partner who smiled at him, using a pair of chop sticks on the platter to stab into the food and then slowly cut it apart by spreading the two sticks away from each other. The sight confused the man even further, for he could sense that there was not a lick of chakra in her movements and the chopsticks themselves were just simple pieces of wood, as far as he could tell.
"It's fish. Eat up." The brown-eyed woman replied, giving him a smile before lifting up a square piece of fish with a gentle grip of her chopsticks. She popped the food into her mouth and chewed, while the man looked down at his dish with a wary look in his eyes. It was only the slight smirk she sent his way, just for an instant, that made his confusion die down into an urge to defend his honor and he began by mirroring the woman's previous movements, cutting the fish slowly with the chopsticks.
The reason for his confusion was due to the "Crescent Platter" being completely different than he had expected. Instead of a plate of different cooked fish he expected, it was a massive fish that was curved nicely into the shape of a crescent moon. The scales had already been removed from it, but still left a silver glow to the meat of the fish, which was already silver to begin with. The tail was also cut off, leaving just a curved tip with the head following suit, leaving both at a sharp point that curved inwards, all served on a silver platter.
If not for the thickness of the fish and the slight curve of its mouth and eye sockets, which were lacking eyes, the fish may have passed for just a painting of the moon.
The platter also had three small cups, each about the size of a shot glass, in the area where the fish's body curved away from the center of the platter. Each cup seemed to have a different liquid glowing inside it, with one being a dark red color, another being a gentle yellow, and the last being a creamy white. The chopsticks had been placed delicately on that side as well beside the cups, but now they were held by the man's hand, hesitantly raising a piece of the fish up to his mouth.
He gave the woman another glance, watching her dip another piece of the fish into the dark red sauce, quickly putting it into her mouth before it dripped down. He frowned at the sight and let out a sigh, putting the fish in his mouth and slowly biting down. The Samurai stiffened, expecting a lot more resistance than he got, but he kept biting down regardless. The sudden explosion of juice, covered in a strong flavor that was amplified by the electricity of the drink still lingering on his tongue, made the man visibly recoil as if he was just struck.
The samurai gulped down the juice and meat, looking over at the woman with his eyes wide. "My word!" He gasped out, earning a slight chuckle from the woman who hid her mouth with her wrist, keeping him from seeing her amused smile. He continued regardless, too lost in the rush of pleasure to care that she was laughing at him again. "I have never tasted such a flavor filled fish before. How does such a creature hold such power, yet is able to be cut so easily by my chopsticks?" His question was met with another chuckle from the woman, who slowly put her hand down with her chopsticks slowly cutting into her own fish again.
She waited a moment before answering, gulping down the bit of fish that had been in her own mouth and smiled, also enjoying the flavor the fish gave her. "It's a special type of fish found in the Land of Lightning, near the top peaks of the high mountains. Its body is very light and fragile, like paper, letting it fly through the air and use the clouds that cover that land like streams to find new places." She held up another cube of the meat, dipping it down into the creamy white liquid this time with an amused look on her face. "They're quite interesting creatures, aren't they? They're deceivingly light, but they can retain a lot of liquid, which mixes well with some herbs from Mist and Fire."
She moved her chopsticks to the side, slowly dipping the meat into the yellow sauce, mixing the two sauces together on her meal while the Samurai watched on. "They take the herbs and mix them together into a special broth, then fill the fish itself up with it. The fish absorbs the broth greedily in its light body, then they pour out the remainder and use it as a coating, before finally cooking the fish after its flesh tightens to retain the broth. They cut the parts off that don't contract and thus, the Crescent Platter is made." She held up the sauce covered meat with her chopsticks, letting some slowly drip down onto the plate. "If I had to accurately describe the flavor, I suppose it would be like eating a bubble of juice... if the bubble was chewy." She chuckled softly, glancing over at the man who was staring at her with wide eyes, to which she arched an eyebrow at with her ever present smile growing slightly in size.
The Samurai jumped a bit, his face flushing again while he quickly looked away, realizing he had been staring at the woman a bit too much. "Ah, I was... I was not aware you were familiar with such fine cuisine." The woman laughed a bit, covering her mouth as always, to which the man frowned at, starting to pick up another piece of his own fish.
The woman just rolled her eyes slightly, wiggling her chopsticks slightly in the air above her plate. "Sorry for laughing, dear, but there's a lot you don't know about me. Despite our years together, this may be only the third time we've been able to speak freely." The woman's remark was met with a slight cough, followed by a much heavier one as the man choked on the fish in his throat, to which the woman just stared at. She watched as he grabbed his mug, chugging the thick liquid quickly and gasping once he pulled it away, putting it gently on the counter. "You alright?" She cooed, already knowing the answer, but enjoying the flush to his face as he sent a mild glare her way.
"Yes. I would not be defeated by such a small creature." He boasted with a huff, starting to cut up another piece of the fish, though he continued to speak regardless. "And what are these sauces? You seem keen on trying all of them." His remark was mostly due to the woman dipping her already dripping food into the last cup, coating it in all three sauces and watching with an odd look to her eyes as they dripped slowly onto her plate.
"I'd hope you were alright." She stated, leaning back slightly in her seat with a smile. "And as for the sauces... They're rather typical. Red is several fire leaves from the northern part of our country. Yellow is the mild tangy sauce from Earth country, made from some of their stranger flowers... and the last I'm not sure of the direct source of, but I am certain it is made from the eggs of chickens. Possibly some from Lightning." She shrugged, popping the meat into her mouth and chewing, a pleased look coming to her face from the mixture of flavors exploding in her mouth. "They're quite good." She muttered with a mouthful of food, starting to cut up another piece while she chewed.
The man stared for a moment before nodding his head, beginning to dip his own fish piece into the white sauce. "Hm, I suppose I will try them as well." His statement was met with just a slight nod from the woman, as if she didn't expect anything else, and the two began to sit there, enjoying each others company and ignoring the loud crowd behind them...
… At least until five minutes later when the doors were suddenly kicked in and a large armored man walked into the room, effectively silencing the entire room with his sudden entrance. The waitresses and bar keep paid him no mind, going about their business without a word, but almost everyone else's eyes were on the man as he walked forward. The man's iron boots clanged heavily against the ground and his black iron chest piece shined in the light, while his helmet hid everything from sight, including his eyes which were hidden by the shadows of the metal plate that went over them, leaving only the smallest slit for his gaze.
Despite this, it was clear to everyone that this man was a man of action. Not only was he clad in heavy armor that he moved about in with ease, but his stride was purposeful and proud. The biggest thing that set everyone on edge, however... was the man himself, because there wasn't a single person in the room that didn't have to look up to see his face. The man's broad shoulders and tall legs demanded that all be below him...
… and yet the two sitting at the bar paid him no mind, still happily eating the fish and drinking from their mugs as if they had not a care in the world. The armor clad man stopped beside them on the woman's left and he cleared his throat once before speaking. "You two are hereby ordered to come to the master's chambers at once. It is a matter of most importance." His voice was just as loud as his armor, echoing across the room with ease and some assumed it might have done that regardless of the silence filling their location at the moment.
But the other two continued to ignore him, both taking a bite of fish in unison and grinning from the taste.
This caused the much larger man to bristle, annoyed at being ignored, and he began to reach out towards the woman's shoulder. "I said..."
A blur was all he saw as the woman disappeared from her seat and he briefly began to turn his head to look around when he saw a piece of wood suddenly enter his vision, forcing him to close his left eye out of instinct. His other eye was wide open, staring at the woman who stood with one leg on the stool she was sitting on while the other was resting upon the bar counter beside her plate, allowing the already tall woman to tower above him. She stared down at the normally imposing man with a cool smirk on her face, her eyes half open and full of amusement.
The tall man shivered, but did not pull away, knowing that such a movement would be his death. Sweat went down the side of his face at the same time a drop of sauce left on the chopstick threatening his eye dripped down onto his cheek, made him shiver from the hot feeling mixing with the shame and fear he was feeling already. The woman smiled upon seeing him shiver, her free hand raising up and gently cupping the side of the man's helmet, grabbing on to a piece of the black metal with her slender fingers.
Slowly, she began to speak, with each word coming out as a silky, yet firm tone, as if a snake was speaking to him. "I do not... follow orders. I accept requests. Now... If you'd kindly rephrase and rethink your position, I may just listen." She leaned down, giving him a good chance to see the outline of her chest, but his eyes were locked onto the brown orbs staring down into his through the slit of his helmet and he felt the chopstick briefly poke against the lid of his eye. "Flower or not... Do not think I will hesitate in plucking off a petal..." She whispered softly, licking her lips slowly at the sight of the man's whole body shivering in fear.
It took a moment for the man to find his voice, and even longer for him to properly use it, feeling as if each one brought him closer to death's door. "I... I h...humbly request that you... you join the master in his quarters, m.. miss..." He stuttered out and let out a heavy sigh of relief when he felt the chopstick being pulled back and he shivered again from the woman patting the side of his head.
She smiled at him, her gaze still staring down at him like he was nothing more than a child. "Good boy. Run along now. You may tell your master that we'll be along shortly." She declared with a small wink, watching the man hastily nod and turn around, stomping out as loud as he came. The woman watched him go with a smirk before slowly lowering herself back down to her stool, chuckling gently while she grabbed at her mug, starting to drink the last bit of her Storm.
The Samurai beside her sighed, shaking his head with a light flush to his cheeks, swallowing the last piece of fish he had on his plate and giving his partner a half-lidded stare, ignoring the murmuring and bustling of the other patrons beginning to start up again. "Must you do that every time he gets a new messenger?" He questioned with an amused, yet tired tone, having seen the woman intimidate many messengers that attempted to order either of them around. Although the Samurai himself had no reason to be upset by the commands, the woman always responded in a negative fashion, typically by threatening them with the end of their life.
To which she just shrugged, letting out a pleased noise after she finished off her drink and put her mug down, beginning to stand up with a smile. "One day one will learn his place and bow to my feet before attempting to speak to me. Until then, I will simply ask that he know his place and only request things that come from our so called 'Master.'" She boldly exclaimed, turning her head towards the bar keep and snapping her fingers once to get his attention. When he turned his head, she smiled at him and gave him a wink, "Place this on my tab, Kiro." The large man gave her a thumbs up in response before turning away, speaking to another customer about their order.
The Samurai just shook his head a bit, slowly starting to stand with her and he sighed, watching the woman walk out of the bar. He placed his hand on the hilt of his blade while he walked, unable to take his eyes off the sway of the woman's long brown hair. A stray thought slowly drifted through his head, one that he may have squashed if he was completely sober, but he wasn't, so it drifted by almost unnoticed.
'You are a wild woman, Yamanaka Serow.'
A little bit of a world building one instead of a focus on Konoha like I have been doing. The length, being 8 pages surprisingly, was also to make up for the very short chapter. Now for a bit of trivia stuff I guess.
For the extra itself, it was meant as a world building and set up for later junk, but it was actually something I planned on doing later. Then I got down here and realized that I had no real reason other than trying to figure out "when" this happens to not do it. Of course, it kind of got rid of some of the "surprise" since I put the mention of Ino's mother in the same chapter she's somewhat introduced. Hopefully the conversation and junk was enough to make up for that loss of surprise.
Although I'm curious if anyone didn't guess who she was by the end. I felt it was pretty obvious!
Trivia about her name: The Serow is a Japanese animal typically found in the woodlands of Japan. It's a goat-antelope creature. The name itself was originally going to be Raion, for Lion, making her a "Lion among the Mountains", but I decided to go with "Serow among the mountains" due to some information I read about the animal often being confused with a Boar.
I thought the idea of her being confused for her daughter, who is "Boar among the mountains" to be rather cute. Hell, if she had blonde hair and blue eyes, they'd look exactly the same! Though Serow is older, so maybe not quite exactly the same, and their hair-swoop is on the opposite side... Hm.
Her appearance is also based on the anime-only showing of Ino's actual mother. Only this one has lost the pompous look and, instead, a more regal one. A lady of the night, if nothing else.
More of her stuff will be gone over later along with some more world building while I set up stuff for the next "real" arc. That being said, we're pretty close to that, but at the same time I haven't actually got to writing it. Weird, huh? Anyways... For stuff about the actual chapter...
Hopefully that "fight" up there cleared up what happened between Ino and Anko and why the woman was so rusty. To clarify, though, the two Jounin haven't actually sparred or been out on serious missions for quite awhile. While they do light katas and junk when they're getting ready for bed or after they wake up, it's not exactly the same as sparring... Plus most of their free time is taken up by training the girls now, too.
Fun stuff though: Anko is actually better at healing Jutsu than Kurenai. Even though Kurenai has better chakra control for her Genjutsu, she's just not quite as knowledgeable about the human body like Anko is. But anyways...
What extra do you guys want for the next chapter? More world building, probably with Ino's mom, or some Naruto Clone stuff? Ibiki won't be touched for awhile, but I've got a few plans for Rat and Mouse at least. They're cute, although I'll say you'll probably only get one or two extras regardless of whatever you pick. I've got one planned for later already.
Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed! Sorry it takes so long to get these out.