"Can we not have a cooler mission?" Naruto demanded. "We've been walking dogs and children and painting walls since forever!"

"We walked the dogs and babysitted the children." Sasuke hissed. "Who walks children?"

Beside the arguing boys, Sakura looked very thoughtful. "I feel I would like to do something different too." She announced. "I'm sick of cats."

Sasuke rolled his eyes in exasperation at his teammates but inwardly agreed. He shot Kakashi a look from the corner of his eye and dismissed the man as no help.

Minato sighed. "Well, why don't I give you something a little different, hm?" He smiled and passed them a file. "There's a C-rank, an escort mission."

The man they were to guard was a old bridge builder. Sakura returned home that day, feeling half happy and half unsure.

"Shika, I got I mission outside the village walls." She said.

Shikamaru looked up from where he had been lying down, reading. "Oh. Already?"

Sakura nodded. "Naruto-chan insisted and Hokage-san gave one to us. We're going to Nami no Kuni."

Shikamaru rolled over and sat up. "It's very humid there." He said. "You should take care of your scythe."

Sakura hummed, then reached over to grab her weapon maintenance kit. "That's a good point."

"Kunai and shuriken?"

"Oh yeah."

"Summoning scroll?"


"Do you have a first aid kit?"


"Change of clothes? Emergency food?"

"Good idea."

Shikamaru watched Sakura stumble around the room, grabbing the rest of her stuff, and sighed.
He really hoped nothing happened.

The moment she stepped out of the village walls, Sakura was reminded that the walls that had shielded her off from the rest of the world were really just that.

They were just walls, and there was so much more out there.

Her now nonexistent Jashinist temple was out here too.

Still, Sakura found she no longer really cared about that. The Jashinist part of her was satisfied with her kills and blood spills, and if her victims were a little anti dramatic and unable to retaliate, it didn't seem to care too much.

Sakura was satisfied and Jashin-sama was satisfied, so she was fine with way things were.

But that didn't mean she didn't yearn for more once in awhile, and she really didn't think anyone minded if she chopped up the two men who had sprouted from the puddle in the middle of the road.

Water, blood, puddles were puddles.

When the chains tore through Kakashi, Sakura was surprised. While her two teammates stiffened and let out shocked cries, Sakura was a little disappointed to admit that she really couldn't bring herself to care.

Not when a rush of red splattered the ground.

Her hand snaked out and she snached the next chain that flew towards them. The metal dug into her palm and all she felt was a burning longing and her recently forgotten thirst raised its ugly head.

To her, it was nothing short of beautiful though.

She yanked the chain towards herself and used the momentum to throw herself at one of their attackers. She caught sight of Sasuke and Naruto moving to deal with the other shinobi and turned back to her opponent.

There was no time to summon her scythe, not if she wanted this man to herself. Instead, Sakura drew a kunai from her pouch.

This was such a long awaited fight. She would tear him apart.

Sakura had to admit, she wasn't really interested in what the bridge builder had to say. She snarled at the pair of enemy shinobi Kakashi had tied up after he had popped out of nowhere to knock them out.

It was not fair.

It was her first time out in forever, and her first time in a long time where she could fight to her heart's content without restraint, because there was no Ibiki, no outside interference, or so she had thought.

The two shinobi glared right back and Sakura ran a hand over her throat.

Her eyes longed to see and her tongue yearned to taste blood. Her fingers missed the sticky sensation and her nails wished to dig into flesh.

Her mind was screaming for a fight and her body did nothing but edge her on.

Her team decided to stay, but at that point, she no longer cared how things went.

All she wanted to do right now was unleash her blade of death upon someone and send Jashin-sama a proper greeting.

Despite everything, even Sakura was aware that something was wrong as they ventured deeper into the humid land.

The bridge builder got more and more nervous as they went and when the blade came hurtling through the trees towards them, Sakura was a second earlier than her teammates in ducking.

The man that appeared on the handle of the blade, reeking of blood and leaking killing intent, something called out to her.

It was the blood, she could tell.

With practiced ease, Sakura summoned her scythe in a smooth, single motion. However, Kakashi seemed to know what exactly was going through her mind. "Stop."

Sakura froze and slowly glanced out at the man.

Was he trying to stop her?

A part of her wanted to ignore the man but the part of her that had grown since she had arrived in Konoha tried to hold her back.

Kakashi slowly released her arm and stepped forward to shield the rest of them. "This man is not someone you can hope to fight."

Sakura did not see what he did next, but he must have done something, maybe said something, because Naruto and Sasuke stepped up on either side of her and forced her to step back towards them and their client.

"Watch the client." Kakashi ordered.

There was something different with the man, something unlike his usual stance, and Sakura forced herself to stop.

The man standing opposite them gave off a wift of potential. She was fine with left overs, as long as there were leftovers.

She could wait.

Chapter twenty eight is here~

Darque: So, a little choppy, but we wanted to get to the good parts, so...

Raven: You wanted to, actually. I just went along, as usual.

Darque: Mhmm, but really. It'll get more interesting, and Sakura will pull some cool Jashin sheit soon.

Raven: Uh...okay, then.

Darque: Can't wait~

Raven: Okay...?

Read and Review~