By: Finn Mertenz


Chapter 2: A New Student Arrives! Clash At The Schoolyard.

Tuesday 6:02am, August 16th 2020 A.D.

Opening his eyes, Naruto was sprawled in a cozy bed, resting with crimsons sheets and blood-tinted pillows. Barely able to see, Naruto's vision was hazy and blurred, distorted by sunlight from the nearby window.

I recognize this ceiling... A single phrase echoed through Naruto's mind.

Sitting up, a gripping pain surged across Naruto's bandaged stomach, wrapped in layers of white linen. Yanking the sheets off, Naruto's naked chest, shoulders and arms were put on full display.

Situated inside his bedroom, Naruto glanced from side-to-side, observing the tan-painted walls. Leaping out of bed, Naruto's bare feet clapped the wooden floor with a heavy thud.

Was that all a dream? Slurring his thoughts, Naruto investigated the window.

Pushing the green curtains to the side before throwing this glass surface open, sunlight invaded Naruto's room. Briefly blinded by these rays, Naruto held both arms over his squinting eyes.

Gazing down at his right palm, Naruto repetitively clenched his hand, popping several joints. Confused by his collection of strange memories, the emerald eyes of Sakura drifted through Naruto's mind.

Shaking these thoughts away, Naruto grabbed his phone before hastily turning some music on. Rushing into the hallway, Naruto ran downstairs before starting his shower, getting prepared for school.

Two hours later.

Rallied by the metallic beating of the school bell, Naruto strolled into class with a downcast face. Characterized by his white-colored ear-buds and concealed hands, Naruto always kept his distance from others.

Walking towards the distant window, Naruto eventually noticed that a petite girl was seated at his desk. Swollen with confusion, Naruto gasped as the pink-haired outline of Sakura came into view.

Dressed in the same schoolgirl outfit as Rin and Hinata, Sakura wore a short grey skirt with a matching bow around her neck. Overwhelmed by this radiant appearance, Naruto deeply blushed at Sakura.

"U-... Um, aren't you that girl from yesterday?" Naruto hummed.

Reaching out with one hand, Sakura gripped the collar of Naruto's uniform before pulling him closer. Forcing each of their nose to press together, the entire class gasped with gossip.

"If you make a scene... I'll kill you." Sakura hissed with a playful tone.

Swallowing a wad of spit down his throat, Naruto nervously nodded with agreement, embarrassed by his obvious blush. Afterwards, the nearby door swung open before Iruka entered the room.

"Sorry about that, I was having a meeting with the Principal." Iruka listed his excuse.

Quickly captured by the close distance between Naruto and Sakura, Iruka slammed a book against his own desk. Garnishing everyone's attention, Iruka coughed into a clenched hand.

"A new transfer student, I see." Speaking with a hum, Iruka narrowed both eyes.

"But aren't you a little old for 6th grade?" Stroking his chin, Iruka's interest was peaked.

Iruka had always heard the stories about Naruto, about his lack of friends and how no one ever talked to him. So now, for a strange girl to randomly appear inside Naruto's seat, Iruka was filled with disbelief.

"I'm completely lost without him. Please, don't send me away." Clasping both hands as she spoke, Sakura displayed a vibrant smile.

Pinching the bridge of his nose in response, Iruka shook his face from side-to-side. Dampened by a series of muffled whispers from under his breath, Iruka waved a dismissive hand through the air.

"Fine, but get out of Namikaze's desk. You'll be sitting behind him." Iruka sighed before tapping his board with chalk.

Slowly crawling to her feet, Sakura and Naruto became engulfed in a fierce staring contest. Allowing their bright eyes to match, Sakura eventually turned around before sitting down.

Four hours later.

Signaled by the bell for lunch, Naruto pulled a container of sushi and rice from his bookbag. Grabbing a piece of Naruto's food, Sakura shoved this rice into her own mouth.

"This is pretty good, what else you got?" Grumbling her words, Sakura rummaged through Naruto's lunch.

As Sakura shuffled through food, the twelve year old outline of Kiba Inuzuka strolled into view. Exposing his fair skin and black eyes, these pupils perfectly matched Kiba's spiky black hair.

Similar to all boys in class, Kiba wore a button-up grey shirt with grey pants, their iconic school uniform. Drawing attention to his face, Kiba's most prominent feature were the red triangles painted across each cheek.

"Hey... I'm the cool kid around these parts." Kiba bragged, inspecting his well-trimmed finger nails.

Momentarily distracted by this sound, Sakura glanced over her shoulder before returning all focus to Naruto. Because of this, Kiba dramatically cried before sliding onto both knees.

"No! It's not fair! How could you score such a babe?!" Speaking with disbelief, Kiba glared at Naruto.

Casually shrugging both shoulders, Naruto's ear-buds distorted the conversation, filling him with music. Yanking one of these buds loose, Sakura breathed into Naruto's ear.

"I thought you would be more polite... After what we did last night." Sakura teased.

Caught off guard by these words, Naruto's entire face turned blood red, stuttering without end. Shooting up from his desk, Naruto's wooden chair hit the floor with a hollow thud.

"It's not my fault! It was my first time, I didn't know what I was doing!" Naruto nervously argued.

Swollen with interest, the entire classroom glared at an embarrassed Naruto, defined by the whiskers on his blushing face. Giggling in reply, Sakura lazily swung both feet from under her desk.

Seated in the background, a twelve year old Shino Aburame used one hand to push his black-tinted glasses. Dressed in the same uniform as Naruto and Kiba, Shino's grey sleeves were resting atop his desk.

Revealing his pale-skinned face, Shino's eyes were completely hidden behind dark glasses. Buried under strands of bushy brown hair, Shino quietly listened to the conversation.

The President of the school Science and Bug Institute, Shino was the top of his class. Shino had the highest grades, the highest scores, the best attendance and intense praise from the school council.

Woah... That new girl is hot! A twelve year old Ino was drooling in the foreground.

The iconic school lesbian, Ino would regularly flirt and chase after cute girls, especially Hinata. Denoting her status, Ino wore the same schoolgirl uniform as Sakura, complete with a matching skirt and bow.

Stroking her pale blond ponytail with one hand, Ino chuckled with a seductive tone before standing up. Exposing her pale skin and her pale blue eyes, Ino combed one bang over her face while walking.

"Hey... Why don't you lose that boy and get'cha a girl?" Biting her lower lip, Ino hovered over Sakura's desk.

"I really don't have time for this, all of you need to leave. I'm busy." Sakura sighed.

Crushed by the flat tone of Sakura's rejection, Ino faceplanted the stone floor with a climatic thud. Undaunted by this sound, Sakura continued to steal Naruto's food, gazing at the back of his head.

Something is seriously wrong with this Human... Even now, his level of Reiatsu is intense. Sakura analyzed.

I'm sure you have plenty of questions... But, they can wait until we get back to my shop. The memory of Minato spoke out.

Clenching each of her fists at this thought, Sakura downcast her face with a confused expression. Each time Sakura thought about Naruto, her questions would only raise more confusion.

And that man from last night. It was faint, but I definitely sensed Reiatsu from him aswell. Moving a mile a minute, Sakura's mind was racing.

But that's not all... It was very similar to this Human... Could they be related? Pondering her accusation, Sakura returned her focus to Naruto.

From the outside, Karakura Town appeared like some ordinary village, filled with average people. But in truth, Karakura Town was actually a Jūreichi, the main spiritual gate between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Because of this, Hollows would invade and rampage through Karakura, frequently patrolled by Soul Reapers. But recently, an increasing presence of Reiatsu was luring more and more Hollows to Karakura.

Ordered to investigate, Sakura was personally sent into the world of the living, looking for the source of this Reiatsu. And now, after barely a week of searching, Sakura finally found it, she stumbled upon Naruto.

Even if a Human did possess a high level of spiritual pressure, it would never be this dominant. Concluding these thoughts, Sakura wrinkled her nose.

Without warning, the classroom became polluted by a crippling presence of Reiatsu, resembling dense rain. This realization became magnified by a gasping Sakura, gazing at the nearby door.

An-... Another one?! It feels just like this Human! What's going on?! Gripping her desk with anticipation, the front door was swung open.

"Sorry about that, our bike had a flat tire." Rin apologized, trailed by Hinata.

Earning a cheerful wave from their teacher, these young girls both strolled towards their desks. Freezing mid-step, Rin and Sakura became involved in an extended staring contest.

Wh-... Where is she getting all of this spiritual pressure? A single phrase echoed through Sakura's mind.

Suddenly, Sakura sprang up from her chair before grabbing Naruto's wrist, dragging him behind her. Pulling this blond boy out the door, Sakura and Naruto disappeared into the hallway.

Five minutes later.

"Stop playing dumb!" Sakura shrieked, shoving Naruto against a chain-link fence.

Standing inside an isolated schoolyard, the period for lunch just ended, encouraging students back to class. But instead of returning, Sakura loomed over Naruto, squinting her emerald eyes.

Sliding to the dirt-covered ground, Naruto's buds were knocked loose from his ears, falling to his lap. Seated in front of Sakura with a downcast face, Naruto's back was propped against the fence.

"There's no way you can't sense that level of Reiatsu! It's all around you!" Clenching her fists in protest, Sakura's green eyes sparkled in the sun.

"If you say so..." Naruto muttered his reply.

Enraged by these words, Sakura reached out before grabbing the collar of Naruto's uniform, pulling him close. Exposing the empty and hazy expression in Naruto's eyes, Sakura completely froze.

"Now, now, children. Play along." Minato cut in, tapping his cane on the stone sidewalk.

Waving a pair of freshly-printed pages through the air, Minato just finished checking Naruto and Sakura out from school. Walking in front of these wrestling kids, Minato rested his cane atop one shoulder.

"Let's head back to my shop, we got a lot of work to do." Humming his words, Minato strolled out of sight.

Inspired by this declaration, Sakura shot up before grabbing Naruto's wrist, pulling him with each step. As this occurred, a distant Rin and Hinata watched from the school window.

Ten minutes later.

"Wait... I thought you were a ghost, like all the other spirits? Why could my classmates see you?" Naruto slurred his question.

"No! I'm not some average ghost! I'm a Soul Reaper! A bridge between the living and the dead!" Sakura argued.

Standing inside the front entrance of Minato's shop, wooden shelves and dressers lined the floor. Filled with candy, toys, collectibles and the occasional manga, Minato sold various items.

"And that's because you stole all my Reiryoku. I'm basically stuck here now." Crossing both arms in front of her flat chest, Sakura leaned against a dresser.

"But how can a dead soul come back? I don't understand." Murmuring with confusion, Naruto scratched several whiskers.

Interrupting this conversation with a distinct cough, Minato opened a sliding door at the back of his shop. Encouraging Naruto and Sakura inside, each of these children took their shoes off.

"When a Soul Reaper goes to the living world and loses their Reiryoku… Their physical body is temporarily turned back into a Human." Minato explained.

Comedically pulling a white-board out from no where, Minato yanked a red sharpie from his Haori. Doodling a set of circles, Minato hastily scribbled a chibi depiction of reality.

"Ordinarily, when passing between the Soul Society and our world, Soul Reapers can only be seen by beings with spiritual pressure..." Coloring his artwork, Minato smiled.

"But, by losing their Reiryoku, or suppressing it into an item, Soul Reapers transcend this barrier." As Minato spoke, he drew a chibi-version of Sakura.

Sitting down in the center of the room, Naruto pinned both knees against his chest, illuminated by light from the ceiling. At the same time, Sakura also sat down, clapping the heels of her sock-covered feet together.

"I feel like this raises more questions than it answers..." Naruto exclaimed.

Without another word, Naruto quickly recognized the propped outline of his Zanpakutō. Defined by crimson thread around the hilt, this fabric perfectly matched Naruto's sheath.

Inspired by this revelation, Naruto crawled onto both feet before investigating this blade. Also, Sakura fell into her own moment of crisis, enthralled by Naruto's Zanpakutō.

Wh-... What?! Sakura gasped in an anime-like fashion.

They say a Zanpakutō is a gateway into the heart... What is his soul hiding? Studying Naruto, Sakura narrowed both eyes.

"Hey, I remember this." Gripping the hilt of his Zanpakutō, Naruto raised this sheathed-blade towards the ceiling.

"You're acting way too casual about this!" Sakura shrieked.

Leaping to her feet, Sakura pointed at Naruto with an accusatory glare, allowing her emerald eyes to glimmer. As this occurred, Minato continued to doodle in the background.

"I've been dead for thirty years, and I've never met a Human that was so calm about this!" Stomping one foot, Sakura's skirt rustled.

"Why can I see ghosts? What are Hollows? Why are monsters trying to kill me? These are questions that a normal Human would ask." Snorting with contempt, Sakura was met by silence.

Inspired by Sakura's words, Naruto lowered his sheathed-Zanpakutō to the floor. Muffled by the sound of metal denting wood, Minato was finally pulled from his drawing.

"Yea, I know... It's just, what's the point? I don't really need to know any of it." Muttering his reply, Naruto glanced over one shoulder.

"You said you needed me... So I helped, I would do again, if you asked." After speaking, the conversation was interrupted by a hollowfied howl.

Radiating through the air, this demonic cry was soon followed by screaming girls, filling Naruto with alarm. Grabbing his Zanpakutō, Naruto rushed out the sliding door without a second thought.

"Wait! You don't know what you're doing!" Sakura protested.

Attempting to chase after Naruto, Sakura was abruptly crushed by Captain-level Reiatsu, resembling heavy rain. Forced onto both knees, Sakura struggled to breathe as Minato leisurely stood beside her.

"Don't move, please... I want to see what happens." Minato declared, using one hand to tilt his hat down.

Five minutes later.

Running through a schoolyard, Naruto gasped as the collapsed wall of his class came into sight. Revealing an empty room with damaged desks, Naruto swelled with concern.

"Help! Help me!" Rin pleaded.

Held by a tree-sized Hollow with an ape-like body, this demon stood on three limbs while holding Rin. Characterized by rotten skin and jagged brown fur, this Hollow was known as Shrieker.

Like all Hollows, Shrieker wore a unique mask, complete with a skull-like nose and an indented forehead. Also, Shrieker had a circular void carved through his chest, denoting his status as a Hollow.

Jutting out from each of his discolored arms, Shrieker had a pair of bat-like wings, tinted black. Despite his odd, twisted and demonic appearance, Shrieker's most prominent feature were his beady red eyes.

"Soul... A tasty soul." Groaning with an angelic voice, Shrieker unhinged his jawline before lunging forward.

Because of the sudden eruption, the entire class and all teachers evacuated from the school. While everyone else blamed the commotion on an unseen explosion, Rin and Hinata were attacked by a Hollow.

"No!" Hinata screamed, sliding to her knees before closing both eyes.

As Shrieker's drooling mouth approached, Rin's auburn eyes swelled with horror, fueled by Hinata's screams. However, at the last moment, red blood was spewed across Rin's face.

"Are you alright?!" Naruto slurred, crouched atop Shrieker's wrist.

Shielding Rin with his Zanpakutō, Naruto's bleeding arm was partially lodged inside of Shrieker's mouth. Ignoring this harsh injury, Naruto gazed at Rin with hazy blue eyes, the eyes he always displayed.

"You're bleeding!" Stating the obvious, Rin wiggled in place.

Yanking his Zanpakutō from Shrieker's mouth, Naruto's sliced through a pair of Hollow teeth. Damaging his mask, Shrieker dropped Rin before staggering backwards, crashing against a three-story school building.

Falling to her backside, Rin rubbed her sore butt before Hinata ran into sight, grabbing her childhood friend. Pulling Rin away, this brown-haired girl glared back at Naruto with unblinking eyes.

Piercing the air with a demonic screech, Shrieker scrambled onto three limbs, demolishing half the wall. Afterwards, this hunched behemoth surged towards Naruto, sundering the earth with each step.

Startled by the speed of Shrieker's approach, Naruto gasped before being swatted away. Hurled through a distant school window, Naruto shattered the glass on impact, leaking blood from his scalp.

Propped on his back against a demolished window-seal, Naruto panted for air as crimson liquid stained his hair. Eventually, this stream of blood poured over the left side of Naruto's face, forcing him to close one eye.

Why me...? Focused on his catchphrase, Naruto struggled to sit up.

As blood stained the grey fabric of Naruto's school uniform, Shrieker unleased a demonic cry towards the sky. Polluting the horizon with dark clouds, the sparkling sun was concealed from view.

Why am I even fighting back? What's the point? Questioning his purpose, Naruto crawled onto one knee.

Surging for this injured boy, Shrieker unhinged his jawline with an unending screech. Rippling through the mid-day air, Shrieker's voice was muffled by the sound of pierced flesh.

Spewing foreign blood across his face, Naruto gasped as a trembling Gaara stood in front of him. Using his own body as a shield, a bundle of Hollow teeth were dug into Gaara's right shoulder.

"Are you alright?" Gaara repeated the same words that Naruto once asked.

Despite his frantic twitching, Gaara didn't even react to the demonic teeth inside of him. Instead, Gaara gazed at Naruto with hazy and distant eyes, eyes that he understood all too well.

"Why?! What are you doing?! You should be running away!" Shrieking his argument, Naruto was basically yelling at himself.

"Because... You need me." Gaara exclaimed, traumatizing Naruto with his tone.

Though neither of them knew it, Gaara and Naruto were almost the same person, because they shared the same past. Isolated, depressed and alone, Gaara could never find his purpose in life.

If you're not going to run away... Then you need to fight. Sakura's voice boomed through Naruto's mind.

Forcing his visible right eye to bulge, Naruto hastily leapt over Gaara, raising his Zanpakutō with both hands. As Naruto hovered in the air, a rampaging Shrieker tossed Gaara to the side.

Swinging his massive Zanpakutō towards the earth, Naruto's spiky hair and whiskers wavered against the wind. Bisecting his demonic opponent with one slice, the separated remnants of Shrieker fell to the ground.

Landing on this quaking surface with crouched knees, Naruto dramatically panted for air. Forcing himself to stand up, a steady stream of blood poured from Naruto's scalp, sprawled over his left eye.

Losing his balance, Naruto fell forward before Gaara caught him at the last moment. Wrapping one arm around his schoolmate, Gaara propped Naruto against his injured shoulder.

"My, my... You really caused quite the mess!" Minato chuckled, appearing in a blur of speed.

Poking the disheveled remains of Shrieker with his cane, this limp corpse promptly dissolved into black ash. Dispersed by a gust of wind, Shrieker's entire body disappeared from view, as if he was never there.

"Now let's get back to my shop, before the cops show up! I have my own supply of medicine." Pulling his hat down, Minato led Gaara and Naruto back to his shop.

Thirty minutes later.

"Sorry about this... I don't want to be a burden." Naruto mumbled.

Seated inside the living room of Minato's shop, the back-half of his store was actually a house. Shrouded by Minato's shadow, this young man was using a wet rag to wash Naruto's scalp.

"Don't worry. I'm used to this, it's like taking care of my own son." Minato chuckled.

"You got lucky though. If that glass cut you any deeper, you would've needed stitches." Wiping the blood from Naruto's forehead, Minato stood up.

Stretching in a dramatic and overextended fashion, Minato's yawning face was partially obscured by his hat. As this occurred, a shirtless Gaara was sitting in the background, surrounded by a six year old Konohamaru.

"Why do I have to stitch him up? I'm just a little kid!" Konohamaru argued.

Dressed in surgical gloves with a blue-tinted apron and mask, Konohamaru was stitching Gaara's shoulder. Characterized by fair skin and black eyes, Konohamaru's hair was spiky and brown, jutting towards the ceiling.

"Stop trying to hid behind your age. You're a top-ranked medical student, everyone knows that." Minato sighed.

"At any rate, I'm surprised both of you are still alive... That Hollow was pretty tough." Waving his cane through the air, Minato hummed with boredom.

Without warning, the nearby sliding door was thrown open before Zabuza Momochi came into sight. Carrying a large stack of cardboard boxes, Zabuza walked towards the back of the room.

"Wh-... I didn't know you work here?!" Naruto slurred, earning a groan in reply.

"Work here? I live here, that man behind you owns the entire neighborhood." Zabuza exclaimed.

Throwing a distant door open, Zabuza walked into the kitchen before disappearing from sight. Enthralled by this declaration, Naruto glared at Minato with unblinking eyes.

"Heheh-... He's too modest... I only own like, half the neighborhood, tops." Minato giggled in response.

"Does that mean you're my landlord? I always thought Zabu-..." Cut off midsentence, Naruto was startled as Minato grabbed his scalp.

Combing one hand through Naruto's spiky blond hair, Minato laughed like a drunk father. However, after several seconds, this laughter abruptly stopped before Minato became stern and stark.

"Sometimes, your thoughts will betray you." Speaking with a cryptic tone, Minato narrowed both eyes.

Finishing the last stitch on Gaara's back, Konohamaru jumped for joy, cheering like a kid. At the same time, Gaara stood up before sliding his school shirt on, pressing each button together.

"Anyway, I have a few errands to take care of... So you kids need to run on home." Pushing Naruto and Gaara out his store, Minato quickly locked the front door.

Isolated inside a narrow and dirt-filled alleyway behind Naruto's house, Minato's store was surprisingly close. Because of this, Naruto strolled across the ground, encouraging Gaara to follow.

Suddenly, the grey clouds overhead unleashed a light drizzle of fresh rain, bombarding Naruto and Gaara. Forced to run, these young schoolmate's dashed to Naruto's front door, hiding under his awning.

"You can stay here until the rain stops. It's the least I can do." Muttering these words, Naruto unlocked his house before walking in.

Taking two steps inside, Naruto froze as the giggling silhouette of Sakura came into view. Seated on Naruto's couch, this Soul Reaper-turned-Human was gleefully watching cartoons.

Dressed in her schoolgirl uniform, Sakura's skirt was spread across the blue cushions of Naruto's couch. Also, Sakura had a neatly-stacked pile of soda cans on the counter, organized by color.

"Di-... Did I give you a key?" Murmuring with confusion, Naruto was met by a disapproving nod.

"Nope, I let myself in! Since you stole my powers, and my path home, you owe me." Sakura proclaimed.

Swollen with delight, a sudden realization surged through Sakura, forcing her to spring onto both feet. Running to Naruto's kitchen, Sakura retrieved a grape-flavored juice box before dashing back to the couch.

"Here! Open this! I forgot how they work!" Pleading her orders, Sakura shoved the juice box into Naruto's hand.

"How hard can it be? You just find the hole and shove the straw in." Naruto cut in.

Enthralled by this statement, Sakura gripped her petite waist with both hands, highlighting her emerald eyes. While this occurred, Gaara was nervously standing in the background.

"Then why can't you do it? How you never plugged a hole before?" Sakura teased.

Caught off guard by Sakura's choice of words, Naruto's entire face turned blood red, matching the sheath on his back. Dismissively waving both hands through the air, Naruto accidently bit his own tongue.

"That's not what I meant! I've had those juice boxes for weeks, but I've never opened one!' Naruto shouted with embarrassment.

"Besides, if you're some immortal ghost who died thirty years ago, shouldn't you be older?!" Trying to change the conversation, Naruto continued to blush.

Sticking her tongue out in response, Sakura used one finger to pull her eye-lids down, mocking Naruto. During this, Gaara scratched his head with confusion, shedding a handful of crimson strands.

"Obviously, you don't understand anything. Soul Reapers don't age! That's just stupid!" Sakura protested.

"I'm thirteen years old because that's when I died, but don't let my age fool you!" Entering a dramatic pose, Sakura poked Naruto's nose.

"My name is Sakura Haruno, Lieutenant of Squad Thirteen!" Grabbing glitter from her bookbag, Sakura tossed this sparkling bundle into Naruto's face.

Gagging on this mouthful of glimmering paper, Naruto hastily ran to the kitchen, trailed by Gaara. Enthralled by the sound of a choking Naruto, Sakura downcast her face before sinking into memories.


"How does a Human like you know my rank?" Sakura slurred, standing over the unconscious outline of Naruto.

Shoving this sleeping boy into his bed, Sakura pulled the covers over Naruto's whiskered-face. Afterwards, the outline of Minato came into sight, concealed by his stripped bucket hat.

"My, my... You're a young one, for a Soul Reaper." Minato replied, poking the Division Badge on Sakura's white shihakushō.

"How long have you been apart of your division? Five years? Ten?" Humming with interest, Minato tipped his hat down.

Stomping her feet in rage, Sakura clenched each of her fists while glaring at Minato's mischievous grin. Sakura knew that Minato was hiding something, but she couldn't figure out what.

"I joined Squad Thirteen seven years ago... And I've been the Lieutenant for almost three years." Sakura explained.

"Oh my, that is impressive." Minato spoke with an ear-wide smile.

After speaking, Minato turned around before walking away, strolling out from Naruto's bedroom. Chasing after him, Sakura surged from Naruto's bed before running downstairs.

"How does a Human like you know so much about the Thirteen Court Guard Squads?!" Sakura demanded to know.

Confronting Minato beside the front door of Naruto's house, Sakura wrinkled her nose with anticipation. Clapping the floor with his wooden sandals, Minato came to a brief stop.

"As a Lieutenant, you should know that transferring your Reiryoku to a Human is punishable by death..." Speaking with a hush tone, Minato concealed his eyes.

"I'm strictly prohibited from using my Shikai in the Human world... Either way, I was going to die." Sakura admitted.

Instead of responding with words, Minato pushed the door open before shuffling outside. Leaving Sakura alone with dark thoughts, this weakened Soul Reaper gazed at her trembling palm.

Sakura knew that her extended absence from the Soul Society would soon warrant an investigation. And, after realizing what Sakura had truly done, there would be no going back.