Ok so here we are at chapter 3!
Hope you enjoy and comment bellow cuz I feed off comments xp
The trees fluttered outside the hospital as the window to Higanbana's room silently opened. There was a moment of silence as a figure stood at the foot of her bed looking over her small form watching her chest rise and fall.
Then as though some other reflex kicked in red glowing eyes shot open, staring straight into the eyes of the newcomer. Yellow slitted eyes widened a fraction as they met the bright red almost glowing eyes.
"So it is true. Minato has certainly brought an interesting little research subject into our little village."
Higanbana stayed silent, she didn't know who this person was, but something about him had her hair prickling up and her instincts on edge. She did recognize the look in his eyes, it was a look that she got from Mukai and others he had her entertain. But there was no seal on her now, she was not in her cage and she could defend herself well enough to at least get out of the door or window. But then what? Where would she go? What would she do? Where was Minato? She internally berated herself for that last question, she knew she couldn't rely on anyone, even someone as seemingly kind as Minato.
"A quiet one are we? Well, that is good I don't like unnecessarily chatty children they are annoying and a waste of time. Do you know who I am child?"
Higanbana remained silent, and without removing her eyes shook her head, no.
"Well then maybe it is best to stay that way until we are formally introduced little one. All you need to know is that I am also a ninja of this village, like Minato, the one that saved you from Mukai."
Higanbana's fists clenched under the blanket, if she was not alert before she was very alert now. Her eyes narrowed and she could feel her blood pumping faster as she braced for a fight of some sort, something was very off about this person.
"Good, good instincts little one. A Lot of people do not have that reaction to me, especially children. You will do well in your new program. We will be seeing more of each other in the future too, so it would be good for you to get used to my presence."
"What do you want." Higanbana said slowly and quietly
"Nothing from you now, but in the future? Who knows, you are a very interesting little anomaly that has just shown up on my doorstep. If it was up to me I would be picking you apart to figure out how you work, but unfortunately for me, your fate has already been decided by someone up above." the man shrugged, "So, for now, I will have to work with what leway I am given. I just wanted to get a look at my new pet project before things went into full swing."
The man had a light almost melodic voice that sounded pleasant enough and his physical stance gave away no signs of any immediate threat to her, but there was something in his yellow eyes that kept Higanbana on edge, eyes sharp for any movement.
Then in a fraction of a second, the man was no longer standing in front of her but instead was by her bedside crouched in the window frame. Higanbana's eyes could not follow his movements, and it made her heart beat faster. She could show him what she was capable of, she could defend herself to a point, but she was still in unfamiliar territory in this town. She didn't know this person's position or even what their name was, but she could tell that he was someone that she did not want to piss off. She learned with Mukai it is the quiet and controlled ones that often have the darker underbellies.
But so far, it did not seem like this person, no this ninja, wanted to hurt her. Well at least at this moment. "Ok well I am going to go back to sleep then, you were able to get in, you can get out." And with that Higanbana turned over to her side pulled up her blanket and closed her eyes. Her heart meanwhile was beating erratically. She felt as though she had a kunai put against her throat. But this person eluded that they would be seeing more of each other in the future, and showing weakness was never a good thing to do.
Crying, she had not cried in a long time. She did not remember crying when her parents died, or when Mukai took her, or when she was starving, or even when she was in pain from being the entertainment for him and his friends. But yesterday tears had come from her eyes. Why? But now was not the time to ponder, she had to be alert. She was ready to do whatever she needed to to to stay alive.
She stiffened as she heard the leaves rustle in the wind and the window close, but she was not alone. And now one of her immediate exits was closed.
Those gold slitted eyes sat in the darkness though watching.
She tried to calm her breathing, but her heart began pumping and she could feel the rush she would usually feel before a fight creep up on her. Then she heard it. The sharp metal blade of a kunai being pulled and thrown, a familiar sound.
Higanbana moved on instinct. She threw the blanket up into the air in the direction of the kunai. The kunai slit through the blanket and into the wall. As the blanket fell to the ground, it revealed the girl was gone, golden eyes shifted around the room trying to find her.
In the top corner of the room bright red eyes flashed, there was a slit on her cheek, a line of blood dripped down until a drop formed at her chin. Another two kunai were thrown at the girl, and she dropped to the ground, one of the kunai passing through her long red hair narrowly missing her head.
As the girl hit the ground she quickly took a firm step forward motion, took both of her arms and arched them down then focusing on the body in front of her fluidly brought her arms into the air and flipped her hands backward. The ninja in front of her stopped mid-movement and was flung two feet into the air and contorted backward into an unnatural twitching form.
"Very interesting trick little one." laughed the yellow-eyed ninja.
Higanbana's heart was pounding, and her entire form hurt from the strain. She had only ever held a human down for a few moments before. She was in new territory restraining a person like this, but she wanted to make an impression on the ninja. The kind that screamed 'leave me alone'.
Higanbana walked up to the ninja, and in a fluid motion brought his face to hers. He certainly looked unique she thought, it was a face she would not forget. Pale white with purple streaks around his yellow eyes. It was the first of what she suspected of many new faces that she would be having to fight in some form or another soon.
She then flung the contorted form into the wall headfirst as hard as she could then bolted for the door. She was sore from earlier that day in interrogation and from what she had just done but she knew she needed to get out of that room. Confined spaces were not good for a fight, she needed cover, places to hide objects to fight with.
As she moved into the hallway two nurses rounded the corner. Both had brown hair and brown eyes. The first to catch sight of the little girl cursed under her breath a bit startled before calming down to something more professional, "Shit!... Where did you come from little girl?"
The other nurse looked at her a bit more analytically looking at the blood on her face and on her arm from where the IV was torn out, "Where did you get a cut like that from?"
Higanbana didn't know what to say, 'one of your ninjas snuck into my room and attacked me'? no thankyou she thought. She still needed to find cover. She looked down another hallway and saw one of the nurse's stations next to a dark hallway. Perfect, she thought and began to run down the side hallway away from the nurses and more importantly from her room.
The second nurse turned towards the first, "Go call Minato he's in charge of that girl and let him know that something's off. I'm going after her." And with that, the two nurses skirted off into two different directions.
When the second nurse rounded the corner she saw the girl jumping up and into the nurse's station, "Hey!" she quietly shouted, "You're not supposed to go back there kid!"
When there was no response she moved forward towards the nurse's station. When she got there she looked down and didn't see anything, but after looking around for a moment she saw a long trendel of red hair flow from around the corner of a dark hallway. "Hey kid you ok?"
The girl rounded the corner, and the first impression she gave off was that of a mad guard dog. She was crouched, her hair was wild around her, blood dripping from her face, and red eyes glowed. Higanbana also had a small kunai in her hand and was holding it face out with one hand in a manner that one could tell she had held one before. A chill went down the nurse's spine warning her not to get too close, but at the same time, she knew she had to get the sharp object away from the child.
"Why don't you give me that kunai hey, I won't hurt you so show me that you won't hurt me." the nurse said tentatively
"Stay back." Higanbana warned, she didn't recognize the nurse and was not about to start trusting just anyone after being attacked.
"Come one hand the kunai over." the nurse said gently but a little irritated
"I don't think you should do that." the other nurse said coming down the hall, "Minato is on his way over and he said to give her space."
Upon hearing Minato's name Higanbana broke a bit from her trance and looked to the second nurse. But this created a window in which the first nurse thought she could jump in and get the kunai away from her. Seeing the nurse lunge made Higanbana's senses turn on and she brought her other arm up pulling up and back and then out again.
During these motions, the nurse screamed as her arm contorted backward in an unnatural twisting motion pulling her whole body backward with her until Higanbana dropped her arm and the nurse fell to the ground. The second nurse looked on in horror at the scene before running up to the nurse on the ground whimpering.
"I said stay back." The girl warned coldly her eyes narrowing on the two. At the scream, other patients began coming out of their rooms and looking around and a few other nurses came around the corner. Some of the patients were ninja and were on alert coming out of their rooms weapons drawn looking for the source of the panic.
Higanbana's heart, racing as it was, began beating faster as the number of potential enemies grew.
The nurse's hands glowed green and moved across the arm of her coworker, "You're gonna be fine, you're gonna be fine." the nurse kept saying to the other whimpering nurse, she looked up at the small group of people forming in the hallway, "Is there a jonin here?" she asked
"Yeah." one brunet man said, taking a few steps forward, "What's the situation."
"That little demon almost tore my fucking arm off is the situation!" the nurse gritted under her teeth
"We are waiting on Minato." the other nurse said, "He should be here soon, but I don't know what else this girl might do."
"Nothing." Higanbana said pointedly, "Just stay away from me and I will do nothing."
"Right well kid, you can't go around doing this to nurses without any consequences. Now put the kunai down. I think it is time you had a time out or something." the jonin said sleepily
"Do not come any closer to me." Higanbana warned crouching down into a ready stance to fight, holding her kunai in one hand and putting the other on the ground. She analyzed the situation and the jonin in front of her. The jonin in front of her seemed to have an injury on his leg. And if she could follow his movements she could stop his movements.
Then the jonin lunged towards her and Higanbana did the same before quickly sliding herself under one of his feet and propelling herself up into the air. She turned just as he did, and she reached out her arm bending both of his ready arms down and forcing him to his knees she brought the kunai down from the air towards his jugular.
Just as it was about to make contact with the jonins throat a large hand grabbed her tiny wrist. "Higanbana!" Minato yelled sternly, "What are you doing!"
As Minato held Higanbana's hand relief washed over the faces of everyone that was on-site, and the nurses began showing people back to their rooms and calming others down. But Higanbana was still focused in on the jugular of the jonin in front of her. Just a little more and the kunai would be lodged in his neck. Then blood would be everywhere, then she could really protect herself.
But Minato's grip tightened, and he pinched a nerve making her drop the blade where Minato quickly grabbed her by either side. "What are you doing!"
Looking down at Minato's grip on her Higanbana began to struggle to get out, "Let me go! Let me go!" she began repeating, looking around at all the faces she didn't know which one was going to come after her next or where the first man was.
After a few moments of shock watching this crazed look take over her features and her eyes darting frantically Minato quickly knocked the young girl out.
"There was an incident at the hospital last night Hokage." a masked ninja reported in the circular office.
"Mmm. I'm guessing it had something to do with our red-headed guest."
"And I am guessing that there is a reason that one of Danzo's Anbu is reporting this to me rather than through the normal means."
"Yes, Hokage." The masked ninja reached behind him and produced a scroll.
The Hokage took a moment to look over the scroll already anticipating its contents.
"So the council and Danzo has already decided then." the Hokage said to himself putting the scroll down. "Thank you for delivering the message. You are released.
As the Anbu left the Hokage stood from his desk and turned around to look out of the window of his office. As he looked over the town he pondered the timing of this girl's appearance and how quiet her recuperation had been until this night. He had already heard the report from the hospital about the incident that night. It was gruesome to think about a young child going berserk like that. And it had been decided that the poor girl would barely have a month more of recuperation before being taken by Danzo. After that, she would be entirely out of his control whether he liked it or not.
He looked down at the village. He decided it was time to at least see this young girl. So, with two jonin following behind him as guards he made his way to the hospital.
It was not hard to find the quarters of the young girl there were two more jonin standing guard on either side of the door. He stood there for a moment looking at the door before sliding it open. Inside as a sliver of light entered the dark room, it shown on yellow-haired and a green jacket wearing jonin sitting in the corner of the room. There was not a lot of light in the room other than from the few machines that were running. Minato looked up, his blue eyes looked tired.
The Hokage took a few steps into the room, and Minato stood and greeted him.
"Good morning Hokage sama" Minato said quietly bowing to him
The Hokage held up his hand in response, "You seem tired Minato."
"Yes, Hokage. I wanted to be here when she wakes up."
"I see, she is still asleep."
"Yes, Hokage. I assume you are already informed on the situation."
"Yes. Though it is hard to believe such a thing occurred looking at the girl now." The Hokage turned to the sickly frail girl. Her red hair was splayed around her juxtaposing her pale white skin. There were handcuffs on her wrists connecting her to her bed. They were small metal bindings even for a girl her age.
"Hokage, someone entered her room and attacked her while she was under my watch, so this is at least partially my fault," Minato said hanging his head
"Do not think too hard about it Minato, what is done is done. And now we know that this girl is a danger to those around her."
"She didn't know what to do Lord third. She was scared. I could see the fear in her eyes, the panic. She was not out looking for blood."
"But that does not negate the panic she stirred up, nor the harm she caused to innocent staff, and on top of it all she almost killed a jonin of this village."
"She was attacked lord third." Minato whispered urgently, raising his head walking over to her bed he pointed to the wall where there was a crack in the wall, "This is a mark left by a kunai. Right where her head would be."
"Yes. That was mentioned in the report." the Hokage said calmly
"So then what are we going to do about it? I know there are two jonin at the door guarding the hospital from her but who is going to guard her from whoever was able to get in here?"
"Minato calm yourself." The Hokage said quietly but sternly, trying not to wake the girl, "Let us talk outside."
The two quietly made their way out of the room. "You seem to have grown slightly attached to the girl. It is my first time seeing her but just from the look on her face one could see she has gone through many trials already in her short life."
"Hokage I fear that restraining her to the bed and confining her to her room is not the best way to go about this situation."
"Oh? And why would you say that Minato? We have to do what is necessary to protect the people around her. In fact, I do not know if the hospital is even equipped to deal with someone like her."
"When I first found her she was in a cage, one no bigger than one for a large dog. If we try to restrain her she might start to look at us the same way she looked at Mukai. She might grow to resent the leaf as well."
After a pause, the Hokage started, "Well then why don't you take the girl in. That way you can keep your eye on her and she will not be confined to this hospital. We will give you a small stipend for the duration of her stay, and will provide you with whatever else you need until she is ready to be replaced somewhere else."
Minato thought for a moment, "I don't want to make any decisions without talking to Kushina first, but it is better than having her locked up in the hospital Hokage sama."
"Well then go make your decision quickly before I change my mind and decide to have her sent somewhere else." the Hokage said
Minato nodded and looked down the hallway before hesitantly looking back at the door. 'I see he doesn't even want to leave her alone in her room' the Hokage thought. "Do not worry Minato I will have someone stationed inside of her room while you are gone as well."
Minato nodded and with that, the yellow flash disappeared out a nearby window.
The Hokage watched the young man leave before looking back at the door. He took a slow breath before opening it and going inside and quietly shutting the door behind him. Quietly he walked over to Higanbana's sleeping form. The sounds of the equipment running was irritating but he had grown used to the sound over the years.
So this was what Mukai was hiding all these years. He had been in the bingo book as a missing-nin but any other information had been left blank. "What were you training this girl to do?" the Hokage whispered.
The Hokage shook his head and moved over to the chair. He had some free time. There were few places that he could not be bothered and unless there was an emergency no one other than Minato would be coming through those doors and knowing Kushina that wouldn't be for a while.
The Hokage rested his head back on the wall as he sat. His eyes closed as his mind wandered to the sick plans Mukai must have had for the young girl. Then there was a shift in the air and he opened his eyes brown meeting a groggy red.
The Hokage watched as the girl tried to force herself to be awake despite the medication that was pumping through her system. She did not address him first, she instead looked to her wrists trying to pull them from their bindings but she didn't have the leverage or the strength to do it. Or so he thought as the girl pulled silently eyes darting around the room in her struggle. Then he heard a crack. He didn't know if it was the bed or her but either way, it was not good.
"That is enough child." The Hokage commanded.
The strong commanding voice coming from the near silence broke the girl from her panic.
"Who are you child?"
The girl just stared at him for a moment analyzing him and unsure of what he was really trying to ask. She did not see any weapons on him and he didn't look like he was going to attack, so Higanbana tried to rationalize the situation and calm down some. "Who are you?" Higanbana repeated back at the older man.
"Just some old man I suppose. But everyone addresses me as the Hokage. I am in charge of this village."
Higanbana took a moment to try and sense the older man's intentions. He seemed calm and controlled, and there seemed to be no intent to attack her. She couldn't see any weapons on him, but she assumed he was armed anyway. "So then you were the one that sent the pale ninja last night?"
"No, though I may be in charge of the wellbeing of this village I do not control every part of it, and there are even some parts where I have little to no control over."
The girl was quiet for a moment before speaking, "So what you are saying is that the ninja from last night was not under your control."
"You are a bright little one. He was not working under my orders, that is correct." The Hokage stood gently aware that any quick movements would be taken as aggressive, "Still you were attacked by someone under my watch and by one of the leaf's ninja for that I apologize." The Hokage gave the little girl a small but meaningful bow.
Higanbana's eyes widened a fraction. She had never received an apology for anything before. Mukai certainly never did and neither did any of the other people or ninja she met through her travels with her old master. It felt weird in her stomach. She didn't know how to react, and she didn't like the feeling.
"Now would you mind telling me what your attacker looked like?" the Hokage said sitting once more, he wondered if they had been one of Danzo's Anbu or a root member but they usually wore masks, and she had just mentioned that it had been a pale man.
Higanbana tried pulling her arms in but the metal bindings held her arms in place, after a moment of her silent struggle she looked back to the Hokage. "Undo this first."
"While you are in this hospital you will remain restrained. We can not have a repeat of last night." the Hokage took a breath, "There is a possibility that you could stay in this village, under a watchful eye or two. I know that you may not see it right now, but there are a lot of good ninja and civilians that are leading good lives here. And they could welcome you with open arms if you give them a chance. But we will get to that later but now I would like to hear it from you. Who was it that snuck into this room last night."
The young girl went quiet again for a moment just staring straight at the older man. "He was pale, almost white skin. He had yellow slitted eyes with purple lines around them. Thin feminine nose and a narrow jaw and chin. He had black pants and a black shirt on. That is all I can remember."
With every detail, the Hokage felt a sting in his chest. He recognized this description. It was one he hoped would have been far away from this girl. His student had taken a turn in the last few years, no even further since after the second great shinobi war ended he had been dabbling in things that he should not have been. Is it possible that he finally may have turned to Danzo for backing? And even if that wasn't the case, he attacked a hospitalized child no older than 6. He had always known there was something dark in him he supposed he still had yet to find out just how far his old pupil would go. The Hokage made a mental note to have some anbu make an effort to track him for a while and see what his old student was up to. No matter Orochimaru's reasons he especially didn't want it getting out that one of the legendary sannin would be willing to attack a child.
"Child do you know how to keep a secret."
"I know how to keep my mouth shut. But why should I? And what would be the point." The girl narrowed her eyes thinking back to that dark room and the man with his long blond ponytail, she was sure he introduced himself but she couldn't remember his name after what followed. He entered her mind; he filed through memories that she only saw in her darkest of nightmares."
"While being Hokage I have found that the dangers from other villages or rogue ninja are just a small factor of protecting this village. There are other threats and dangers inside that if revealed could do as much damage as any outside threat… Do you understand what I am saying?"
"Yes." Higanbana said, her face eerily unchanging and her eyes were sharpening as the medication began to weaken, "When I was with Mukai, he was always thinking about people coming after him... But he also knew that he had to be careful around me. That if he let his guard down or if a seal was removed incorrectly then I would have fought back or run." Higanbana paused and looked out the window, "Minato told me that there are many different types of ninja in this village. I guess you have some that you might be worried about getting out of their cages too."
"I wouldn't like to think that any of the people in this village are in a cage, in fact, it is because they are not that it puts me into various troublesome situations." the Hokage huffed. "I can not guarantee that your life here will be perfect or quiet but it would be a place you can call home. And you are still a child. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to play and train with others that you know wouldn't be your enemy?"
Higanbana closed her eyes and was silent for a few moments thinking before her eyes opened duller than they had been before as though resigned to her idea she responded to the Hokage, "I am not going to be allowed to leave this village am I?"
"You are still a child, and to let you.."
"I am not a child." Higanbana said coldly, cutting off the Hokage, "You and Minato and the others keep saying that. But I am not a child or a kid or some baby. Mukai taught me that I was not, he showed me what children are like. They are weak, defenseless, easily manipulated, and even more easily killed. I am not a child."
"And yet you are. There are other children like you who are powerful despite their age. We even have a place here where special children like you might go to cultivate their skills. Though it is a place that is out of my hands it has developed some of the best shinobi."
"If you are not in charge of it then who is?"
"There is a man called Danzo. Your fate is more in his hands than mine."
"Danzo." Higanbana repeated, she mulled over the name something about it sounded familiar but her groggy mind could not place it, "What kind of place would it be?"
"There is much I do not know about it. Almost all of it is behind closed doors, but I know life there is not easy, and you will not be treated like a child there as you seem to desire."
There was another pause as Higanbana tried to read in between what the old man was saying. "Does Minato know?"
"No. And he would not be able to know what you are doing or who it would be with. Which brings me back to my earlier question. Who are you? What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"I want to have enough strength to never be under the thumb of anyone ever again."
"You might have to fight for that kind of future. Are you prepared for that?"
Higanbana's eyes bore into the Hokage's' with her answer lying within them was a sharpness that he had never seen in a child so young. "I asked earlier why I should keep my mouth shut, keep your secrets... It seems as though I am not going to have a choice. Minato, he saved me and he serves this village… so in some sort of way this village also saved me even though there are some here that might attack me. But if I can learn more to grow stronger here so that in the future I will not have to worry about being caged again then I will."
The Hokage felt a slight sting in his chest of guilt knowing that in some way she would be going from one cage to another by joining root, but other than handing her over to Minato for a while there was nothing else he could do for the girl. Hopefully, they would form a bond that would get her through her time there. Maybe one day in the future she would remember this conversation and resent him for not simply setting her free into the wild on her own. But who knows what fate would bring to a child in the wild. And were she to end up in another village during these times of war, she would be a valuable weapon used against them instead of for them.
With that, the Hokage nodded and got up from his chair.
"Will you take these off of me now?" Higanbana said, pulling at her restraints. "I don't like them."
"Yes. They will be removed soon, so be patient for a bit longer." and with that, the Hokage left the room with two red eyes glaring at his back.
Once he had exited and closed the door he turned to the two shinobi, "One of you go and sit inside with the girl. When Minato comes you may give the keys to him and the girl is allowed to go free and only once she is free and in Minato's care your mission over."
The two guards nodded in response and bowed as the Hokage left with his attendants.
OK so here we are
the third Hokage I never saw him in a completely nice light but he's not a bad guy either so i tried to get a bit of each into his character when writing him, because in my mind if he like reeeaaaaly wanted to do something about getting the girl out of root I think he probably could it's just too complicated in his eyes it's just too much work in the middle of a war idk what do yall think? would he be able to get her out of root if he really wanted to?
please let me know what you think I love getting feedback!