Hello everyone. Seeing as how I just got a review, I thought I would give you guys a little bit of an update on why my story hasn't been updated. First of all, I lost interest in Naruto in general for a bit. It's probably because I was a bit too obsessed with it in the first place, but whatever. Then, I started school at the beginning of August. Usually I wouldn't care, but this year I'm taking all these AP classes and crap, so I actually have to do homework. Plus, whenever I do have free time, I spend it on the Final Fantasy XI beta test…mwahahahah. But anyways, those are my excuses. Here's the new chapter ;). It might not fit well with the rest of the story, because I don't remember exactly what I wrote earlier. And I definitely don't want to read my own story…sooo, yea. Oh, and one more thing. Seeing as how Sasuke is now retarded and I hate him, I think that might change the way I write him…maybe.
"There is no escape," the guard announced with a smirk, as the genjutsu steadily took form again, making it look like the young ninjas were again in solitude. They all had a look of despair upon their respective faces, as none of them could think of anything reasonably feasible to enhance their situation. All of them, that is, except for Shino. He just stood there with his expression hidden behind his galaxy-black sunglasses.
Sakura, meanwhile, felt tears start to sting her eyes. She had failed her teammates, and she was now failing her other friends. She could do nothing for anyone, and she was wondering if she ever would be able to. Glancing at her situation, things were obviously not in her favor. Ino took note of her friend's tears and crept closer to her and offered her condolences.
"Listen Sakura, things will work out just fine. It will work out…don't be such a crybaby," Ino mused with a broad smile on her face. In reality, she herself was having just as many doubts as Sakura, but she had to be a pillar of strength, or the rest of the captives would be stuck with two useless female ninjas.
Shino, after trying to take in every aspect of the surroundings into account, decided it was time for the young nins to break themselves out of their prison. With a swift movement of his hand, he motioned Kiba to come closer to him, gaining the attention of all the other ninjas in the cell. With all eyes on him, Shino almost silently whispered his plan into Kiba's ear, gaining a "YEA!" as a seal of approval from Kiba. With the other ninjas watching, Kiba again concentrated chakra into his hands, while Shino backed up towards the edge of the cell.
"Let's do it, take two!" howled Kiba as he lunged towards the bars yet again. The genjutsu again unraveled, and the translucent barrier was seen again. This time, however, Hinata noticed something unusual. Right as Kiba hit the bars with all his force, the barrier in his strike area had momentarily become opaque, while the rest of the barrier had become slightly more transparent.
"S-so that's the plan," she deduced as Kiba's body flew against the opposite wall yet again, resulting in a loud yelp. Akamaru, crawled towards his human companion and started licking Kiba's face as Chouji frowned in disapproval.
"We'll never get out of here like that," he stated, as another guard laughed.
"Not 'like that'. More like, not ever," he sinisterly announced as the genjutsu again took form, as the images of the guards slowly dissipated into nothing. For the third time the captives were left alone, cold, hungry, and without hope. At least the majority of them, that is
Three stealthy figures flew wildly throughout the darkened caverns, searching for things lost, yearning for those things to once again be with them. They ran with disregard for the myriad of traps that they set off, as they now knew that time was of the essence, and that losing their friends for good would be harsher than any physical punishment that the vapid caves could inflict upon them.
They had been running in silence for the past few minutes, other than the occasional trap that sprung in the wake of their steps, as each ninja had been deeply engulfed in his own respective thoughts.
Shikamaru, while usually calm in every situation, had become angered. Not necessarily at the captors, and most assuredly not at the captives. He was angry with himself for not being able to protect his team.
"It was my job as a chuunin to protect them. Maybe I'm not as cut out for this job as they made me out to be," he thought, demoralizing himself. But even more than his professional failure, his personal failure is what chagrined him to no end. He had become increasingly closer to his team throughout the whole chuunin exam. Not only had he and Chouji become much closer friends, he and Ino…well, that was something even Shikamaru's genius couldn't figure out. Nonetheless, Shikamaru wanted them back, and that was all that mattered to him.
Sasuke, meanwhile, was having different thoughts. While he did take on the blame for allowing Sakura to be taken, and even more for being the one that Orochimaru was after in the first place, he wanted more than just having Sakura back. He wanted revenge. The thing that had dominated his life for years was turning two-fold. Not only would he enact revenge on his brother, he would also let Orochimaru feel his wrath, and get Sakura back during this whole process. She was one of his beloved comrades; one of the few people he actually cared for.
"I'll be damned if I watch the past events of my life repeat themselves," he seemingly ordered himself as his eyes shone with a flame that even the Demon Fox would be afraid to go near.
Naruto, on the other hand, was like the intermediate of the two. Like his two partners at the moment, Naruto sheltered much of the blame on his own shoulders. Not only for allowing Sakura to be taken after she had shown him affection for the first time since, well, ever; he also felt somehow that it was his fault that his other friends were taken.
"I let everyone down…but I'll make up for it! I'll get them all back. Even Kiba…well, maybe…but, maybe not. He does smell after all. And that Shino guy…those bugs are just creepy. But still…I'll get them back!" he assured himself. Even in such dire straits, Naruto's spirit could not wholly be suppressed.
The thoughts of the three continued until Shikamaru abruptly halted to a stop, holding his hands out to the side to gesture to Naruto and Sasuke that they should stop as well. After a brief moment of pause, Shikamaru then motioned forward and to the right. Ahead, one could barely make out the silhouette of a long, dark creature; one that had been alive for quite some time.
"What is that?" said Naruto in an exclamatory whisper. Naruto couldn't quite make out what it was, but he was sure it was something he had never seen before. Sasuke, like usual, just turned away. From his perspective, it was just a man-eating worm. No more dangerous than anything else than they had encountered during their trip, and he didn't really understand the reason for stopping. In his opinion, it would be much smarter to just continue on their sojourn. However, he also knew that Shikamaru most likely had a good reason for stopping, and he awaited it.
"Not that," Shikamaru refuted both Naruto and Sasuke's thoughts as he pointed towards the large worm. "Just listen," he commanded, as the other two fell silent. As they intently listened to the surroundings, a faint "hum" could be heard coming from the right, where Shikamaru had pointed in the first place.
"Well, what is that then?" Naruto asked, still clueless. This time though, Sasuke had pieced together the puzzle as Shikamaru had intended him to. As they waiting in the same position for a few more seconds, the hum got progressively louder, until it sounded just like…
"Bugs?" Naruto asked yet another question as he had received no answer for his second one, and the bugs could easily be seen. There were 6 of them in all, and usually would go unnoticed. However, these bugs were directly lined up, and were next to the young ninjas and didn't seem to be moving.
"Not just any bugs. Look closer," stated Shikamaru. Naruto did look closer, but he still didn't understand. Thus, Sasuke finally piped up, as his eyesight verified what he had previously knew.
"Those are death bugs. The same ones that Shino uses to battle with," he pronounced. As Naruto's dumbfounded look turned into a bit less of a dumbfounded look, but still dumbfounded all the same, Shikamaru decided to shed whole light on the situation.
"Those are Shino's death bugs. Have you ever heard the story of Hansel and Gretel? It seems he has left a trail for us…a trail of bugs."
"Hello? Hello, is anyone there? Anyone?" Kakashi asked questionably into his 2-way radio. He had told them that he would contact them…and he wasn't too late. Realizing that something must be wrong, Kakashi immediately started towards the Hokage's hut.
Eh, it was short, but whatever. It's late, and I have school, so ending it is a good idea if I want to update this in the first time in like 2 months….well, I hope you enjoyed, and I'll TRY MY BEST to get another chapter out soon….