:: CHAPTER I - FIELDS OF HOPE::
In the shinobi era of the Fire Nation, Konoha was praised for being the Promised Land among the other Nations, protected by the grace of Gods' and nature Spirits and blessed with lush life and fortune.
In the depths of the Mount Myoboku resided the quintessence of their prosperity; the mother of fertilization and the symbol of life and virtue that protected the Village Hidden in the Leaf.
The nature`s regeneration came from the mantle of coral tresses that fluttered in the wind whenever she padded through the paths of the Cherry Blossoms from her garden. She was praised as the Priestess of Tea –their iconic figure.
Nomads and visitors nourished the tempting folklore legends as they felt the fragrance of oolong tea seeping through the cherry blossom trees whenever they traipsed through Konoha`s land.
Her fame in the local land was as mesmerizing as the conceptualization of her eidolon form. Some voyeurs claimed to have seen her and be granted a wish, while the others were worshipping her and sent their prayers to her name first, and she will always listen to their pleas and respond.
Their spiritual mentor was the source of smiles and the harmony and peace soothing people's hearts as she entombed the grace of their pulchritudinous Priestess.
She had her own festival during the Spring season when the entire nature metamorphosed into an abundance of flowers and life.
There weren't many who had the privilege to see her face, for she was a mystical creature with the beauty of a sylph creature and the aura of a Queen.
She could be limned as a Goddess in human form, enshrining the eternal beauty of innocence and effervescent radiance and for that reason alone, people were gracing her with their prayers and adulation.
Because she was the archetype of beauty and all that was solar and purity, in a world grazed by war, blood, unscrupulous machinations, and despotic ambitions. The Priestess will always protect this land where the leaf of the Tea was evergreen and highly aromatic. She will protect them from the hand of the enemy.
A noble silhouette was kneeling humbly before a statue of a solar deity. Her hands were intertwined in a praying mode. Tiffany digits were henna tattooed with beautiful intricate fractals colors. Her emerald orbs were garnet lucent and her glossy lips full of virgin roses as they were chanting prayers to Heavens for fertility and prosperity.
She bore the essence of people's Creed and beliefs and turned them into short missives to the Gods for them to have mercy on the villagers and grace them with strength, wisdom, and peace. Her virtue was untouched like diamond and pure as the first fluttering crystalline snowflakes.
A long silk and velvet embroidered kimono bedecked her evanescent curves, outlining the maiden façade of her beautiful veneering in a peregrine combination of lights and shimmering golden sewing. The airy ample folds of the kimono rode up to her elbows, unfolding princess delicate hands, stealing the exquisite beauty of the while lilies.
"Kami-sama, onegai shimasu," Sakura`s voice rippled along the melodious warm breeze that grazed over her margarite skin. "The land is withering and grieving for it hasn't felt the taste of rain in three weeks." She outstretched her hands to the sky, begging. "Bring abundance and have mercy upon the village and his inhabitants. Bring rain back into this village that writhes in agony."
The mesmerizing Priestess lighted the incense, watching it ooze of a soft sage fragrance whirling in smooth spirals of smoke across the temple, in a golden and silver encrusted holder, sculpted in bamboo in the form of a white dragon.
Large intricate floral and dragons motifs were sewed in lace and gold into the folds of the pure white kimono that dotted her form. The siren long tail rippled across the bamboo stairs of the Shrine as she padded with tiffany steps, descending.
Her wooden traditional geta sandals' click reverberated through the porch as the young priestess walked to the back garden, losing her form along the arcades of pink cherry blossom tree`s flowers and leaves, fluttering into the limbs of the floral breeze along the sinuous alley.
Her loose long tresses followed the enthralling languish cadence of the cherry flowers in the same shade, creating a fluttering effect of a bride's veil behind the curve of her slender back, brushing past her waist.
Content with the suave breeze that brought a comforting tranquility up the Land of Fire, the rose haired Priestess stroll to a small steaming onsen that cupped the droplets of thermal water from the pits of a silent volcano into an oasis of meditation and relaxation to rinse her form into the inviting water.
Her digits slide into the ribbon of her elegant kimono, loosening the intricate knot and tucked in the ample folds that dropped her naiad curves, and let it slide along her petite form. Instantly, her bare lithe skin began to glow akin to an eidolon in the crimson tangerine sunset.
She stepped into the lukewarm water of the pond like she was made of smoke, shadows, air and water, creating no ripples across the glossy surface like she wasn't even touching it with the tip of her toes.
"Dark times are coming... This land will soon face the vision of despair..." Her fingers span under the bubbling water, seeing the outline molding into a sweet blurry form.
She depicted something into those magical waters and an unnoticed frown stretched across her forehead. A pair of obsidian orbs roared into an amalgamation of fire and thunderstorms right back to her and she murmured in her nightingale inflection. "Beauty of a demon..."
Light rose tendrils fell in curls along the outline of her rounded shoulders and molded behind her arched spine as they spilled into the crystalline drops of water. A floral fragrance wind enveloped her evanescence silhouette and carried her on its perfumed limbs, as her tiffany form swayed with light steps along the way.
A small that defied the supreme virtue of virgin snow embellished her porcelain visage and she gazed to the velvet horizon, as it blamed tangerine-crimson, creating a splendid panoramic vista of the four mountains that encompassed the borders of the Leaf Village.
Legends sprinkled the missive that they were nesting the four elements in their quintessence, as four legendary Dragons once sacrificed their lives to help the starving inhabitants of the land and their mission has transcended the veil of time and graced their priestess to protect the core of elements and the people in need.
A suave petal of a cherry flower in bloom floated into her palm, in the same shade as her avant-garde locks. She studied its purity and the silk veneer akin to a precious pearl; her purity was emblazoned into the flower and nature recognized her as part of the cycle of regeneration and innocence.
The Priestess indulged into the charming jittering sound of the dream chasers and the bells from the embroidered uchiwas, fluttering in the wind in front of the shrine.
This was akin to the reminisce of Promised Land and she was the Guardian priestess of the fertility of their fields of rice and tea and their consort through hardship, harvest and nebulous times.
Rice fields encompassed the vast horizons of Konoha, serving as people's immensurable source of food and wealth. The grain of maleficent has long time ago transgressed the gates of the village. Legends claimed that the Priestess or the Maiden could be seen on summer nights like a phantom running through the cherry trees when they blossom then she will come from Myoboku Mountain were her shrine was located, and people call her Sakura of the cherry trees, her elegant name portraying her peregrine appearance as her essence was entrapped into the fitting name.
It was also claimed that she had magical powers, ones that she could cure the illnesses and purge a troubled soul.
People would go bare feet up to the shrine stairs and pray for her to help them. They came back cured and their hearts were cleansed from evil –this is how much the people of Konoha adored her and worshiped her symbolization.
The land was rich in rice fields and green tea plantations. Leaves were abundant as they bloomed in the forms of the finest tea selections and everyone from the other Nations will come to buy from them for the unique aromas. The village was prosperous because of that and the people were content and hardworking.
Sakura arched her neck to gaze at the angry puff clouds that could be seen into the distance and she furrowed her fine eyebrows, muttering to herself. "Dark clouds… the sky will be grieving soon." She felt a cool droplet of rain tap on the swell of her rosy cheek, announcing the much anticipated rain.
Not just rain…
"It looks like there is going for to be a storm!" An obstreperous man with the most golden spikes sticking to his temples in a boyish calloused way spoke loud to his companion that was galloping in front of him, as drops of heavy rain fell in stinging rivulets upon his shoulders that were bedecked with a dark cloak.
"It doesn't matter." A baritone voice that challenged the strings of the silkiest bass guitar spoke in a colder inflection than an icicle, betraying no emotion. "Soon we`ll be reaching the gates of the Land of Fire and once we get to the border," The male tilted his head for only his orbs to pierce through the maze that the showering drops were creating, for his visage was shadowed by the cloak that cupped his nimble silhouette.
Unlike his enthusiastic companion with big azurite orbs, he was the embodiment of a shadow, molding within the limbs of darkness.
His equally raven Arabian horse puffed flames through his nostrils as they speeded up ahead through the lush forest, defeating gravity and the opposing nature with the nonchalance of a demon.
His nimble silhouette was molding within the shadows, carried by the limbs of darkness spanning along the lush of vegetation as he flew through the night on his impetuous Arab horse.
The thirst for blood and power blitzing into his stormy eyes exuded from his demonic aura; dark chocolate inflections of his smooth voice augmented the Uchihas' penchant for dominance. He was terrible and fastidious, just like he was splendid in grace and moves and beautiful in looks.
The trees stood motionless before their transgressions of this foreign land, at their hunger for their land kept on in rising.
The silvery violet velvet sky was weeping pouring heavy drips on their forms that and did nothing to stop them. After conquering Oto, Sasuke was going for the biggest fish in the tank: Konoha - the Hidden Leaf.
Same leaves which were now dancing and swirling into the wind as they could see the meandering ranges of the sharp mountains peaks, swaying along the line of the horizon, protecting and creating a natural barrier.
The hoof of his terrific horse was hitting the rinsed muddy soil, leaving a trace of flames lingering behind, akin to a beast that came undone and the sole image of the man and the wild animal was implacable and made fear arise in the spine of his companions.
"There is nothing to stop us from conquering the Hidden Leaf." Obsidian orbs gleaming silvery-sapphire under the electric bolts of the occasional lightning blitzing and grazing the velvet stormy clouds, were darker than the bottomless abyss of a nebula, enfolding from under his tuft of slick wet raven locks sliding along his temples and forehead.
"What about their Hokage?" The golden haired man pressed, as they urged their horses to speed along the meandering narrow forest paths, paying attention not to lose their way.
Their small army of missing nins galloped faster than the speed of sound, washing the alleys and sinking into the forest that encircled the land, protectively, sheltering it from any transgressor.
But they weren't ordinary people; they were spirits of the Darkness tainting the soothing silence of that Holly Land and their leader was the child of the Devil himself. "Sarutobi Hiruzen was that dude`s name? The benefactor of Konoha and the strongest shinobi in the entire Land of Fire?"
Naruto stated as a matter of fact. He wasn't praising the man, nor was he afraid of him; he simply noted as his raven haired friend had his profile set straight ahead and the jaw sharp and firm aligned with the one of his indomitable horse, as the accomplishments of the Hokage didn't reach him in the bit.
Because Uchiha Sasuke had no concept of the word 'fright', in fact, he had no attachment to any feelings. His heart was engraved in stone where it became one with the lifeless cobblestone and forgotten in the sand crystals of time; one useless distant memory.
His chest bore an endless hollow hole that no one could fill, not even the thirst for power and dominance. There was no figment or grain of affection left into this man, no sparkle of anything beautiful, no grace, no colors and no sweet taste, none.
Not even in the form of a whispered missive, he was dead on the inside, putrid and cynic and so were his actions so far, spanning like implacable diseases wherever he went and nothing remained behind his back, only a pile of ashes and the pungent stench of despair.
He retorted back to his closest comrade and friend in the same low rich and cold manner; he was colder than the heavy drops of rain that seemed to flinch back from sensing the deviant fire that resided into his quintessence; it was like nature itself couldn't touch him.
"Once I have that decrepit old dinosaur into the range of my Kusanagi... I will kill him before he knows what hit him and then snatch his land."
The other men who were part of his counselors and most trusted companions heard and even tasted the acid scent of his resolution and they knew that Sasuke wasn't bluffing. If he set his shrewd scheming mind on something, then he will turn it from illusion into reality – into a nightmare.
"What about their local legend? Some sort of… Goddess is rumored to protect their land from hunger and illness or something troublesome along the lines. Their spiritual guardian, as they call it."
Shikamaru`s tone was serious but soaked in his peculiar languish aura as he seemed to drift between staying alerted and take a quick nap. "I heard a nomad back in the Sound call her the Priestess of Tea if memory serves me right." And by that, everyone knew that Nara`s mind was infallible and his word was precise as an arrow.
Upon getting a glimpse of something so intriguing haunting the minds of those mindless scared peasants, their leader`s thin lips stretched into a mischievous smirk as something naughty, corrupt and deviant started to stream through his mind.
"The Priestess of Tea… I will corrupt her innocent little wings and break her until she will only beg to me instead of her… God." With this new resolution blooming into him, Sasuke whipped his head back to roar to his men as another thunderbolt hit a nearby tree, illuminate his pristine face. "Hurry."
The night was lukewarm and the air filled the bell laughter reverberating through the lush night streets; a celebration of the tea was being held at the Village and every single breathing figure was populating the crowded streets.
Children dotted rosy cheeks and angelic smiles were watching through starry eyes at the impressive Parade of Dragons and tucked on their mothers' exquisite Yukatas, enthusiastic to taste the local specialties, dango sweets, and cotton candies.
Farmers were intertwined in rounds of sake and congratulated each other for being so proficient and hardworking. The celebration of spring caught everyone into a frenzy of rich colors of bright red and emerald green - akin to their rich fields of rice and tea- embellishing the costumes of the performers and street flamboyant dancers.
Hundreds of luminous Lanterns in the shapes of dragons were being maneuvered towards the shimmering starry night sky and set free to embellish the horizon, successfully creating an evanescent effect of millions fireflies soaring to the Heaven.
Romantic couple were enthralled into their times of amour, all getting jolly launching the Lanterns and paper origami boats to the lucent river, writing their wish on a small card and sailed the charms along the Golden stream which followed a meandering path up into the mountains, where the Priestess and Kami-sama will listen to their prayers and bless their love.
Everyone was happy and their hearts were inspirited. The sound of freedom and the atmosphere of the festival bedecked the cheeks of every single person in the Leaf Village, both shinobi, and civilians, from the eldest to the younger, all being enthralled by the frenzy of the stupendous moment.
And all oblivious to what was being orchestrated from behind the borders of their perfect life.
All except for a select group that was always cautious and on guard.
An old man was gazing through the panoramic window of the Hokage Tower at the inhabitants of his Village having fun, following the impressive spectacle of the hundreds of glowing lanterns being uplifted into the velvet sky in a shimmering dance. A content smile graced his tender features that were grazed by the passing years, tucking on the rim of his pyramid hat.
A brief knock on his door has made Sarutobi turn his attention from the Festival to the tall shinobi that traipsed into his office, bowing respectfully. "Lord Hokage," The young handsome shinobi dropped on his left knee, as his dark chocolate locks spilled across his forehead and temples concealing his pearl lucent orbs. "I am sorry to interrupt, but I am afraid that I am not bringing you good news. The platoon of ANBU that we have dispatched to the Northern border sent an emergency message half an hour ago. It looks like a very strong enemy has just conquered Otogakure no Sato and they have been spotted on the other side of the Valley of End."
The wise Hokage half turned from the taciturn Hyuga before him and stared down to the Village that roared to life, oblivious to the danger lurking from the night`s veil, letting his furrowed eyebrows slant in a deep frown, remaining silent. Neji took it as a sign to continue. "My guesses are that they are targeting Konohagakure no Sato."
"it looks like this indeed," Hiruzen spoke as soft as the wind, keeping his calm overcome, his experience in battle taking over and his wisdom shadowed Neji`s visible struggle to suppress his nerves. "What are we dealing with? Who is this powerful enemy who nurtures such an avid thirst for dominance?"
Because frankly, there were numerous enemies who tried in vain to ravage Konoha, but they failed every single time.
"They are most likely rogue shinobi, Lord Hokage. Judging from their methods of fighting and the damage that they did to the other villages, they are well versed in the arts of shinobi way." Which sketched the delineation of a violent collision upcoming.
"Strong shinobi, heh," Hiruzen peeped towards the rooftops of the houses and buildings and his stare softened thinking about all the children smiling and laughing without a care and the possibility of someone being maleficent enough not to care about that life that they were staining.
"There is always a war going on in the world, just like the first Hokage Hashirama-dono wisely said. Ambition... Is a double-edged sword." Why would someone desire to perturb the flow of peace and prosperity was someone with a rotten heart; a broken soul.
"Lord Hokage-sama," Neji patiently waited for the Leader to spill words of wisdom before resuming his message. "What is it that you order?"
"Neji, you are the leader of Konoha's troops of shinobi. What is that you suggest?" Milky lunar orbs that shone brighter than pearls, surrounded by tiffany veins bulking along his temples shot up in surprise. The Hokage was asking for his advice and trusted his young intuition, despite the fact that Neji had combat experience? What an honor!
He bowed deeply in respect and convoluted his disarray thoughts into a short and to the point scheme. "That we strengthen the striking force at the borders and prepare for an eventual direct confrontation. We must protect this Village at all cost. Our future depends on it. Rumors circulate that the Village Hidden in the Sound has been destroyed and it now lies underneath a pile of ashes and ruins. They took everything and destroyed everything, leaving nothing behind, but pain and death."
"So Konoha's was their real target from the very beginning..." Sarutobi smartly guessed their intention. He turned his small profile fully to an expecting Neji." Is it Orochimaru again?" Though that was less probably since Neji has stated that someone has destroyed the village that was orchestrated by Orochimaru himself from the shadows, but he bears a grudge on the Leaf.
His husky voice held a semblance of remorse in it because he failed to stop his dear student before he betrayed the Village and left. "Is he heading here to take revenge on the Leaf for the death of his parents?"
"I doubt it, Lord Hokage-Sama. They weren't wearing the symbols of Sound on their forehead protectors, in fact, their only visible trademark sign is the dark cloaks."
"Dark cloaks?" Hiruzen didn't like how it sounded. There were many nasty rumors swirling around some strong shinobi wearing dark cloaks to mask their identities and they ravaged everything along the way.
"They seem to poses some sort of special ability. Very rare and... unique. Most probably a Kekke Genkai of some sorts." A bloodline limit? Recently, more dissipated members of prodigious clans have turned their backs on their respective villages, for various reasons and used their special abilities in the service of doing bad stuff and this situation was rapidly escalating to alarming levels around the Fire Country.
The simplest figment of very skillful wielders of special abilities passed through the genes within a certain clan having a get-together, united by a common corrupt purpose, was disastrous and horrendous.
Hiruzen didn't want to phantom something like that fall upon his old shoulders, but he will always stand up and fight with all his might for the benefit of his people.
And a quick look into Neji`s moonlight orbs assured the Hokage that his subordinate was ready to do the same, unconditionally.
"What type of special ability?"
"We don't know for certain, but it seems that they didn't let anyone behind to give more details and our spies didn't get much closer to them to notice, albeit,'" A droplet of cold sweat shivered down his temple as words left his lips and Hiruzen tilted his head to him, observing his reaction closely. "it appears that they are skilled enough to have killed Orochimaru himself. "
"Nani?! The old man lost his tranquil demeanor for a moment and his orbs held the same puzzlement as his slightly raised voice. He clicked on his tongue, stooping his head low to face his chest, successfully hiding his orbs under his large hat. There was an amalgamation of emotions that swept through his chest at the unexpected news. "Someone strong enough to kill my former student... Who was it?"
There was regret knotted into his voice and he couldn't shake it off. Neji didn't comment, out of pure respect.
"We don't know for sure, Lord Hokage-sama. They never saw his face clearly, but they said that he had very good control of lightning and fire elements. And he seems to be proficient with swords. Other than this, he simply used an unidentified technique to take his opponent down. Orochimaru just dropped to the ground dead when he delivered his last unsuccessful attack, but apart from the injuries left from the chakra infused Kusanagi attack, there were no other visible physical scars."
Which automatically implied that the mysterious figure did something to Orochimaru`s mind.
"This is bad... "Hiruzen mumbled more to himself than to the splendid shinobi that was crouched before him, nodding once. "Very well. We will do as you suggested. If the time will come for them to strike and try to penetrate our Village, then we will summon all of our force and fight with all our might–"
"Old Gramps– I mean… Lord Hokage," Konohamaru slammed the door against the wall even before the Hokage had the chance to finish his command, with a horrified expression on his young face, as rivulets of hot sweat were dripping from his messy hair along the curve of his jaw and neck as he stammered fighting to gasp for air.
"Big trouble!" Konohamaru, Sarutobi`s only grandson has been dispatched to the North Border that was the hardest and the trickiest one to safeguard, for it was the only one that wasn't naturally protected by the ranges of sinuous mountains and left in the clearing to be the subject of any potential attack.
"What is it Konohamaru?" Sarutobi fetched an eyebrow up at the panicked look on his grandson`s figure, while Neji frowned upon sensing the tumult in his atmosphere. Something was definitely not good and he knew it; he felt it and honestly… he panicked.
But not for himself, but rather for something more precious that popped to his mind.
"We are under attack!"
The Hyuga didn't waste a heartbeat to upshot from the ground, all the humbleness and etiquette being forgotten in the span of that turbulent news as both him and the Hokage snarled low on their chests. "Nani?!"
"They are already here, no!" Neji almost shrieked, gaining the attention of the other two males. "but how?! This is impossible! No way! They weren't supposed to get here until tomorrow morning–"
Hiruzen cut Neji short sternly. "We can't afford to lose any more time. Gather all the most skilled shinobi and meet me at the top of the Hokage Mountain!"
Sarutobi ordered, as both Neji and Konohamaru straightened their shoulders and nodded twice. "This is a state of emergency of the highest level!" Having one of his hands tucked on his Hokage robe, Sarutobi yanked it out of his form and unveiled his shinobi attire. "Have Yamanaka Inoichi convey this message to the barrier team. Do not allow anyone to break through it and have the civilians hidden inside the-"
A violent explosion roared at the front gates of the village and shook everything from its foundation, like the wave of an earthquake rippling under the ground.
Immediately, the vibrant jolly music stopped abruptly and cheers and laughter turned into wails and horrified screams, all the festival atmosphere being forgotten. "Lord Hokage, they are-!"
"Go!" Hiruzen fully turned to look wide-eyed at the huge smoke that whirled like a tornado and raised into the air, interrupting Neji. "I will meet you there!"
"Osu!" Both Konohamaru and Neji bowed to the Kage and disappeared in a puff of smoke, resuming their position.
Sarutobi clicked on his thumb that was grazed by small bit scars from all the years of practice and waved the signs at the speed of light, patting his fingertips onto the floor as the familiar intricate symbols swirled from under his palm as he shouted. "Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
The Monkey King Enma, his Summoning animal has popped up in a puff of smoke, quickly transforming into the Adamantine Staff that Sarutobi maneuvered in his skillful hands, roaring as he leaped from his office to the top of the Hokage Tower`s roof.
"Whoever the transgressor is, I must protect the village from him at all costs, even at the expense of my own life! He vowed to the glowing dusk as it suddenly bleeds dark claret and violet saturation. A thick veil of smoke aroused in the air, surging from various places of the village.
Opalescent jade orbs peeped down the Village feeling the sudden shift in the jolly atmosphere and her forehead corrugated in a slight frown. "They are here." Then she threw a glance towards the Four Horizons, as her virgin pink tendrils whirled behind her back, fluttering in the wind that was intertwined with the heavy rain droplets of rain. "Please protect the village, Kami-sama! Don't let them bring the darkness upon us once again. "
"Who are you?" Hiruzen demanded from the group of strangers before him, as he landed gracefully like a puma in front of the amassed expecting Leaf shinobi balancing on his dominant foot, while Neji Hyuga was already dropped into his peculiar fighting stance. "What is your purpose?" Silence met him from the three tall silhouettes as the rain was soaking them all wet. Their dark cloaks ruffled by the gush of wind traipsing through their clothes, concealing their faces.
But the menacing aura that exuded from their outline that molded into the darkness around was menacing. Hiruzen could feel the fright of his shinobi oozing through their pores but he, on the other hand, graced them with vast battle experience and courage.
The man from the middle who seemed to be the tallest out of them retorted arrogantly after a while. "My purpose," A sinister voice, finer than rich cognac and silkier than velvet echoed through their spines like akin to an icicle. Everyone tensed suddenly upon hearing the robotic inflection of this man. "Is to restore the glory that you once stole from my deceased clan."
"What are you talking about, who are you-" Hiruzen`s words halted when the man cupped the rims of his cloak and tucked it down his temple.
Raven spikes flew unhinged at his nape defying gravity, while long tendrils of the most raven locks spilled along his eyes and temples and Hiruzen found himself losing his breath for a moment when he found himself staring straight into sizzling ruby eyes staring right back at him.
"I am here to avenge the Uchiha."
An Uchiha... Everyone gulped and gasp audibly upon hearing his smug determination, staring into his Sharing like enthralled into a nightmare. In a nanosecond, he materialized before Hiruzen and he took a step back in the last moment avoiding a possible attack.
But instead of lunging forward, Sasuke drew his sword slowly, allowing the metallic click of the expensive blade slide from under the purple rope belt that keeps his lilac shirt on the place, as the sharp material reflected the claret red sunset sprinkling bleeding rays along his form.
Hair and cloak fluttering into the wind as he balanced on his feet and had it secured in his left hand raised against the Hokage throat a clear sign of war declaration. He was there to kill and his blood thirst was overwhelming and insatiable. "An Uchiha… but how? I thought they were all... they are-"
"Extinct?" Sasuke finished for him hissing the words, albeit showing no other emotion on his handsome face, only darkness. "Your arrogance should vex me, old hag, but it doesn't. In fact," Just as a sinister smirk rose on his lips, Sasuke infused his katana with an electric discharge. "It amuses me deeply."
As soon as Sasuke spat those words in their faces, his other two companions revealed their faces. A blob of golden spikes shining like the very sun rays and set of the most aquamarine blue eyes were encrusted on a tanned whiskered face. The other one was the famous rogue genius tactician that every nation would kill to have amidst them, Nara Shikamaru, the son of the deceased Shikaku Nara.
While the other shinobi`s hands trembled on the kunai and shurikens that they were gripping for dear life, sweat dropping under their ninja attires, Neji than felt his blood boil and his temples thump.
What a shame for those traitorous to show off their smug faces like nothing happened and threaten their Hokage. "Uzumaki Naruto," Sarutobi`s orbs shuffled from Sasuke`s still smirking arrogant figure to the two boys beside him, frowning. "Nara Shikamaru!" he was confused as in how in the world have those boys strayed from their path so much.
Then he returned back to look straight into Sasuke`s obsidian eyes. The Uchiha cocked his head in a haughty manner that gave him a smug askew glance. "I know that you probably didn't know about my existence... Hokage." Uchiha taunted, but his mocking tone never reached the venomous glare in his eyes.
While Naruto grinned in his peculiar obstreperous way, Shikamaru merely yawned languidly like he would rather be somewhere else, like all this bored him till depths. "So I will personally introduce myself to you so that you will know what name to take with you in the Afterlife since I am not positive that the two of us will go to the same place." His velvet voice faked concern and pity, for Sasuke was bound to only go to Hell and pay for all his sins.
For the moment, he was enjoying himself deeply, nourishing from their exuding fear emerging through their widened orbs and the tremors of their spines. He loved the scent of their apprehension when they realized who they were dealing with. A force to be reckoned with.
The buzz of thousand birds chirruping snapped the Uchiha`s audience back to reality as the rivulets of rain creating a tiffany barrier around their forms, the wind picking up his pace, while the length of his blade filled with electrical sparkles iridescent and menacing pointed to the Hokage before him.
His eyes took the pattern of fractal star shape swirling like a mini tornado in his blizzard eyes when he pointed it to Hiruzen`s throat. "It's Uchiha... Sasuke."
Said man's orbs widened in shock learning about the raven haired male`s true identity. "Itachi younger brother, no!" As far as he was concerned, Itachi didn't let any survivor behind when he erased the Uchiha from the people`s minds in a bloody massacre, no one should have survived and now that Itachi himself was dead and pretty much forgotten as the worst traitor, they should have been just a distant memory.
Clearly not since their heir was pretty much alive and stronger than ever, haunting this land to take revenge. His eyes screamed into his face that he was here to make them all pay for their sins.
The last thing before his sword collided with Sarutobi`s Adamantine Stick was Neji`s courageous bravado as he hollered to the shinobi that stood petrified behind him waiting for a signal. "Don't waver for a second, minna-sama, they are being outnumbered!"
The Hyuga stretched his limbs to the fearsome fighting stance of the Hyuga as his milky orbs popped like lucent pearls boring into their very souls and aiming to their chakra net, clenching his jaw as he took in the exorbitant chakra that those people had. Especially Uzumaki and Uchiha.
'I give you my word that I will not flinch back from the enemy and I will come back victorious! Believe me, Hanabi-san!'
Sasuke, Naruto, and Shikamaru couldn't help but smirk.
Half of a day.
This is the span of the time that Sasuke`s horde of rogue shinobi needed to bring the flickering light of the village into the abyss of Hell and pulverize it. In less than twelve hours, they changed the veneering of the place and turned laughter into agonizing tears, replacing hope with despair and dancing and celebration, with a funeral atmosphere.
Embers of fire danced in hallucinating limbs from the ashes of the houses; spirals of grey smoke enhanced the putrid stench of death, burned flesh, fresh look driving from lethal wounds, sweat and tears from the running inhabitants has and the hollers in desperation of widows and mothers holding their children dearly into their chests.
Crocodile tears were streaming from the puppy big orbs of the orphan children, weeping for their mothers and not comprehending the violent change in the scenery. Their feet were stained by mud, their hands and rosy cheeks stained by the smoke and their tears washed off the impure from their innocent eyes.
Agonizing shrieks intertwined with the clashing of metal from the ones that still fought echoed like an orchestra of decadence and misery along the deserted streets. And Konoha's streets became unrecognizable. The life and prosperity became a phantom of its once glory; a blind skeleton traipsing headless through the decaying lifeless corpses of shinobi.
In less than a week, Kami-Sama has breathed life towards the Village of the Leaf. In half the aforementioned time, a handful of rogue shinobi has destroyed it without remorse. The sky has been reduced to a silvery amalgamation of heavy burned charcoal and showered light drops of rain, weeping, and grieving.
Where was Kami-Sama now?
Where was the Priestess of Tea?
She was crying. Her emerald orbs were praying and crying along with every each of them. Half of their tears streamed from her scintillating eyes. She wailed and... waited.
In the dawn, Konoha has been defeated up to the last standing the shinobi. And the ones who were allowed to live stood in a semi-circle of shame, humiliated, injured beyond recognition, half death, and half alive, present in the only spirit, tied up with Chakra restraining ropes by their hands and legs and dropped on a bowing stance on their knees.
Among them, two have been tossed into the soaked mud as a handful of the strategists and Jonins who were fighting to keep on breathing behind them, but those two characters were the most prominent. The civilians that scurried out of their hideouts were watching horrified the grotesque spectacle that was undergoing. Once was a celebration of happiness of turned in a carnage.
The heavy rain washed the streets of blood and the pungent stench of burned flesh mixed with misery and wails of pain shown the swell of decadence.
Neji Hyuga, the Army commander and the Hokage himself, Sarutobi Hiruzen have been the last shinobi to fall into the hands of the enemy after a heroical fight. The symbols of strength and hope now stood before the missing in and refusing to bow their heads and beg for mercy.
Their clothes were tattered into racks and barely cupping their muscular frames. Their blood was mixed with the purple bruised skin of their ribs and limbs, skin peeling because of the heavy lacerations of swords while swirling rivulets of fresh blood entwined with dirt oozed from the wounds, requiring medical attention.
Their forms were rinsed in sweat and their harsh pants echoed from the grave heavy silence. But their iridescent orbs remained undefeated betraying the spirit of warriors.
And right before them stood the source of their doom, arms crossed in all his demonic glory, having his onyx eyes dipped to assess them and a conceited atmosphere about him as he merely had some unimportant scratches on his alabaster skin, but apart from that, he barely sweated.
Sasuke Uchiha was now reputed to be the shinobi who managed to defeat the legendary Hokage and he barely looked affected by their incredible fight, smirking in victory in a curl of lips entombing the sinister howls of deprived demons.
How can this be? Was all that swooshed through Sarutobi`s mind, while Neji`s thoughts drifted to his pregnant fiancé, Hyuga Hanabi, who he has sent away off the Leaf Village in a carriage, accompanied by her sister and his cousin Hyuga Hinata and two servants. They didn't manage to capture them, did they? And what if they did? What will they do?
Were they still alive? The mere thought of these monsters before him laying their filthy hands on the most important women in his life… they made Neji`s stomach churn in disgust. He could even feel the acid swirling back into his throat and amass with the metallic taste of copper when horrid images invaded his mind.
All their splendid shinobi have been crushed up to the last standing warrior. All of their higher ups remained soaked in their own blood in total disgrace. What about the Council of Elders, Sarutobi wondered for a start? Have they been defeated as well?
"There is one more thing left for me to take now, apart from this Village." Sasuke broke the abominable silence that hung in the air like a guillotine, as he once again tipped his blade under Sarutobi`s chin that hung low and forced him to look into his star-shaped ruby Sharingan. The lustrous silver edge lacerated the skin right above the Kage`s jugular." Where is the Priestess of Tea?"
He demanded rather than inquired and he couldn't help but basked into the insane pleasure that shot through him in the swell of empowering and dominance when he took in the way their orbs widened in horror at the mention of that name alone.
So it wasn't just a myth, huh? He held in his smirk for the moment and betrayed nothing about how he felt on the exterior.
"She is… the symbol of life and prosperity. She is people's guide and the source of their faith-" Sasuke fought the urge to roll his orbs in his sockets as hearing Sarutobi`s useless emotional ramble, taking in in sheer disgust how the old man coughed blood spraying from his mouth. "For what purpose do you wish to play with the strings of fate and challenge what is above your powers?"
It was Kiba the one to lose his patience completely and with a brazen scoff of his eyebrows he snorted and shrieked. "Just kill this old decrepit fart already Sasuke, he only talks shit!"
While his insult was praised with acclamation from his rogue peers, Sasuke didn't even remove his pinning glare from Sarutobi as he snarled venomously. "Quiet."
Kiba frowned and cursed the Uchiha under his breath, while the others immediately shut up their mouths, feeling the way his chakra spiked up and the evil aura glowed around his lithe form.
"I asked you where she is and not for a fatherly advice. But… if you absolutely must know about my motive," Here is when Sasuke`s taciturn visage turned into a sinister smirk. "Fine, I will tell you. I will take her as a prisoner and make her my concubine." His men snickered and whistled perversely along when hearing his declaration.
"N-No, you wouldn't dare-" Sarutobi started horrified, but he immediately halt in his plea when Sasuke shoved the tip of his blade deep into the cord of his neck, not killing him but making blood spray and nearly staining his clothes. He merely flinched.
"Don't you dare to order me around. If I want to capture her and fuck her ruthlessly in front of the entire damned Village, I will do it without feeling any sort of compassion and you will not be able to stop me. None of you will."
"You monster! You will pay for this with your life and beyond!" Neji couldn't help himself but holler at the Uchiha who in turn, didn't even flickered his orbs to him.
Suigetsu, who was standing somewhere close watching the spectacle with the smirk of the century plastered across his face kicked him in the ribs and that sent the pale-eyed Hyuga face flat into the mud for talking like this to their Leader.
"I will keep my pretty mouth shut if I were you, buddy. That is… if you don't want us to cut down your limbs and skin you like a fish." Suigetsu talked lightly with a side smirk casually like he was discussing the weather.
Meanwhile, instead of being a witness to this rather pathetic spectacle that Sasuke and their companions were putting up, Naruto`s attention diverted to something that flickered at the corner of his eyes and he turned his head over his shoulder, almost gasping.
His azurite orbs widened like saucers and a violent pang on his chest almost knocked the wind out of his lungs. An angel... a naiad silhouette was being held captive by one of their Sound Nins who joined their party after taking Orochimaru down, a little too harsh as she struggled to get away from the pig that was rubbing himself off her tiffany curves, breathing her in as she was splendid and beautiful like a bell-flower.
Then as if on cue, she stopped the feeble attempt to haul her hands off the painful grip of the man and flickered her unique orbs to him, locking gazes. The lavender lucent pearls shimmering of tears clashed with his blue azurite ones and Naruto felt his clock stop counting the time into his chest, his own orbs unable to peel away from her.
There were so much misery and pain written in every droplet of crystalline tears that spilled from her exquisite eyes, that it made him ache with the desire to run to her, cup her in his arms and run a hand through the silk of her raven-violet long tendrils that fell askew against her porcelain cheeks.
Who is this angelic woman?
She was silently pleading him with those indescribable lunar orbs of hers for him to do something and help her, but he couldn't do anything now for it will make them lose credibility and power in front of the ones they have just defeated, but the mere thought of what his comrades will do to her later on –as they did to all the females they captured- made him taste his last meal on his tongue.
His digits clasped into a furious ball as his fists trembled on his side in pure rage. He peeled his orbs from her and gave a quick perusal around to make sure that no one has seen him interact with the enemy woman and came to a sudden realization when his cerulean orbs fell on Neji`s figure; they were related.
What would it look like the face of a monster, Sakura asked herself as she runs from her Shrine to the thick virgin forest that led to the Leaf Village, not able to hold back her worry for whatever atrocious things were transpiring there.
Probably hideous as his putrid soul, carved by scars and stitches akin to the ugliness of his malevolence, eyes penetrating and bottomless as the abysses of Hell, she reasoned in her mind. A stalwart grotesque form wrapped in opulent clothes to enhance to power and appetite for luxuries.
Nails deformed like claws, split long nails curled like a beast as it sunk in the fresh flesh, claws instead of teeth to bite from the souls and swallow them, demonic eyes, and display long hair sticking to his abhorrent ugliness.
Maybe a horn protruding from his wrinkled forehead or a tail to whip his enemies along the way, she cringed visibly and the bubbles deformed to her most succubus nightmare.
An encounter with such a monster would only result in a petrifying sensation along Sakura`s spine. And Kami only knew what that man was capable of when he will see her and find out that she was such a strong liaison to those people's hope?
Will he... Oh Heavens, he will touch her with his blood stained hands. Her skin trembled like the leaves that fell on the steps of his horse perishing into nothingness. Sakura knew she had to face her fate with dignity and be strong for the Village, even though every fragment of her sanity urged her to run away from there as fast as possible.
She was pure and young, untainted and untouched like the first snow blanket and equally fragile and inexperienced. And oh, so evanescent in grace and forms and beautiful in soul and features -the most tempting prize and such an easy prey for demons.
The Virgin Maiden in the claws of the devil... The wind from North suddenly stirred and fluttered across the bells from the already faraway shine. Emerald orbs followed the velvet contours of the cloudy horizon.
"He's here." She knew that he was because there was a thick blanket of smoke oozing from the Village as a clear sign of someone attacking it, but every sound collided into a cobblestone silence. As long as her light still shone even faintly, as long as she won't give up hope, then this village will never perish nor will it lose light. As long as she survived, then the village will renew its strength to fight back and win.
She had to remain strong no matter what might happen to her. She couldn't run away now because they were bound to find her right away. And Sakura knew it.
Whoever this descended of the Uchiha clan was, Sakura knew that his heart was putrid and rotten and his spirit decayed and it has slowly been swallowed by the abyss of darkness.
There was no hope remained into his hollow chest, no heartbeat to tick for his beloved ones, no ray of love, no hope and no sentiment, only an immense nebula that nourished his third for revenge and lasts for power. What she couldn't see clearly was his face. She didn't know who he was, but she was positive that she will instantly recognize his signature.
She picked up her pace and flew at top speed through the maze of wet branches and slippery leaves.
Uchiha entombed the purity of a demon warrior into the carcass of an angel of darkness. His unholly beauty was only topped by his petrified corrupt soul; he drank from it and embraced it as its only source of life force his life purpose and sole comrade. It was the quintessence of his frightening power and wisdom, one that spanned along the Nations with his terrible reputation.
She could feel it through every breeze of the wind - the lupine thirst for blood, the concept of vengeance and the pendant for power and control and it was scorching like the eternal charcoal of Hell. He was close and so were the thunderstorm clouds that roll in cascades over the velvet sky.
His terrible reputation sprinkled access the Five Nations that fell prey to his unforgiving katana; he was no ordinary warrior; he was a shinobi; a well-versed man skilled in the arts of silent killing, and versatile with weapons and molding Chakra but what was even more terrific, was his Kekke Genkai.
The abominable Inheritance of Uchiha clan's most reputed bloodline limit - the Sharing. Those unforgiving eyes that bore into the quintessence of one's soul and depicted even secret and nothing pierced through them.
She knew he was coming to their village, it was written in the stars. Every leaf and cherry flower was trembling in dread and the crystalline rivers secured with tears and grieve.
But the light... the luminous flicker of the candle of hope must remain untrained by the stains of darkness. She was the ignition of the Village's light and soothing even if they out her in a golden cage, Sakura was conscious of her role.
It had been her destiny to be the prisoner of the Devil but she must remain unrestrained and ineffable, just like the gleam of the snow sprinkled atop the infinite peaks that guarded the Land of Fire.
The quintessence of faith and their last prayers were ultimately sent to the Priestess of Tea. Sakura was the temple in their hearts and the caress of their tears when they grieved. She hummed a bell song of harps and mandolin chirruping like a nightingale. The intricate tattoo crayoned along her spine and encompassing the curve of her hip bone shone in a stunning filigree pattern on the four dragons and a cherry blossom branch, sewed on her opaline skin.
The color of virgin pink embroidered on bright emerald, blood red, golden and silver like a pearl contoured a mesmerizing portrait of a Priestess. She conjured the winds to be her ally, she played the harmonious melody of nature itself.
Any break on a branch and am a flutter of the leaves were alerting her of any transgression. And she sent those subtle missives to the Village, but this time she has been too late or rather… the enemy has been too fast. The wind blew sharper and colder than before and she knew that it was a warnin that turbulent times were coming.
But one thing was certain: she will fight the enemy and not give up so easily.