Yuma spun around and growled deep in his throat as Naruto and the others looked on slightly confused. Standing in the new opening was a young women molten metal flowing around her ankles as she stepped forward carrying an elderly gentleman who appeared to be unconscious. Surrounded by Fire, much like Yuma, the only difference being that they were deep blue in color, and seemed to be nearly white at the tips, she made quite an imposing sight. In his mind Naruto could hear Kyuubi give a resigned sigh.
Ahh that explains it… Kokan Moeru, Lord… well I guess lady now… of the flame.
And What the HELL does that mean?
That means… well… I don't really know what that means to tell the truth. It IS significant though
Great, Just. Freakin. Great."Why are you Here Kokan Moeru? And why do you shield my prey?"
"YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHY I AM HERE! What? Did you think that I wouldn't notice? Did you think that I'd just let you GET AWAY WITH IT?"
What the hell are they talking about?
No clue kiddo, I'd say that it probably has something to do with the old guy there though.
"You always were a fool Yoma, but surly you didn't expect that I would just let the father of this body Die did you?"
Ahhh, THAT would explain it.
Um hello? Clue me in?In a minute
"They are both MINE! I don't know where you met the girl, but they are both my subjects, and I am free to call upon them OR TERMINATE THEM any time I see fit."Ooh. Stupid move Yoma, VERY stupid move What the Hell are you talking abou…
Naruto didn't get a chance to finish his thought however, because the girl, Kono, had begun to glow again, and the blue nimbus of Chakra flared up. To those still watching nearly invisible tattoo's that looked like overlapping scales suddenly began to glow all across her skin, and an image of a large lizard's head appeared in the air above her. Behind Naruto, Kurenai, Hinata, and Kiba had shielded their eyes, Naruto and Rin on the other hand widened theirs. Sharing a glance they both dove for cover, taking their teammates with them. A second later the entire area was awash in flames which ranged in intensity from the Normal orange-red of a campfire all the way to the Nearly Black looking blue of a sun gone nova. Everywhere the flames touched, things either burst into flame or melted. Naruto had called into being the full force of his Youki, which transformed him the rest of the way into a fox. Thankfully Hinata, who had grabbed Shino in an effort to protect him from the blast, missed the transformation.
Fucking HELL she's pissed. You could have warned me.
In his head Naruto seemed to see a picture of Kyuubi shrugging
You seemed to have everything well in hand. It seemed to be an unnecessary use of my time to warn you about what you could see.
Thankfully running on Youki, especially while protecting a relatively small area was a very simple feat. Without the effort of controlling two forms of chakra at the same time, Naruto was able to look around a little bit. He himself had just jumped in front of the people he wanted to protect, Rin on the other hand had been forced to grab Kiba and Kurenai and dive behind a nearby slab of fallen stone. Unfortunately however the cement the were hiding behind was slowly turning to molten stone and flowing away, already Naruto could see the cool white/blue of her chakra trying to hold it together, but the strain was evident on her face, the other two were helping where they could, but it was fairly obvious that Rin was doing the majority of the work.
Hmm, good thing we worked on endurance when we trained together.
I don't think it is going to be enough.Why is that?
… Feel the air kid, he's decided to try upping the ante.
Once again Naruto was going to respond when he felt a rush of power, and the flames around him changed, now instead of a seamless flood of fire, there were streaks of black flowing though the flames as well, and where they struck stone crumbled, and metal corroded.Ahh… I think I see now. SHIT, RIN? Can we sav…
It was just then that Hinata took a moment to look up, as she did she was confused, around her raged a see of fire, which was terrifying to behold, but beside her it was calm, a glowing red bubble had appeared which was keeping her from harm. Looking around she suddenly noticed her dear little fox Naruto. Without stopping to see what he was looking at she reached over and swept him into the same death grip she was keeping on shino, closing her eyes she buried her face into the reassuring warmth of his fur.
For a second he almost dropped the shield, NOTHING should have been able to reach them inside it, and as this happened it shrank considerably, lucky for Hinata she had her eyes closed or she would have witnessed her safety bubble receding inward at an alarming rate, Luckily Naruto realized what was happening and had returned his concentration to the shield. Twisting around Naruto managed to get his head out far enough to breathe again, and scanned frantically with his eyes, trying to find a glimpse of Rin and her group, unfortunately no matter how hard he pushed, he couldn't get his shield to expand back to its original size.
Kyuubi snorted in amusement at Naruto situation, he personally was enjoying himself, but the kid had always had odd Ideas about what was and was not proper. Slowly the great fox counted down from ten, he knew the kid would realize the situation in a moment, it was just a question of when
Now what the hell do I… Wait.
Rolling his eyes upward Naruto realized that he could see the bottom of Hinata's chin. He stared at if for a second, he knew that it had to mean something, and probably something rather important… If he could see her chin, that meant that the to soft pillows on either side of his head where… It took him another moment to figure it out, but when he did his whole body grew a little warmer as his chakra blushed for him.You must be loving this aren't you fox?
Well yes, I must admit that I have been admiring these particular assets of hers, and the chance for a free feel is MOST satisfying.
Naruto blushed a little brighter at that
And I don't suppose you have had any brainstorms as to how we are going to get out of this one have you?
Haven't considered it really, There is too much Youki in the air to expand you shield any further, if is wasn't for the sick boy here we could just walk out but.
'sigh' Anything we can do about that? I can feel his body rejecting Yoma's chakra a little at a time, those bugs of his are pulling it out of him. But it's not nearly fast enough to save him.
In all reality there is no way he should have lasted this long.
… Yes, I figured as much when you told me what that blast does, now is there anyway to help him?I assume you want him to survive it?
Don't be so Optimistic you damn menace, I might think we have a shot at it.
I had a good teacher, now tell me what to do.
High above the burning city, inside his safely shielded out looking, Tanzaku Taguchi watched what could only be described as a true battle of demons. Never in his wildest dreams did he think that such a simple assassination would lead to one of his best forms of entertainment… a battle to the death between two powerful shinobi.
However, his fun was interrupted by the sound of the sliding door behind him opening. He was about to turn his head when he heard the voice of the 'intruder'.
"Tanzaku." The voice belonged to Azuma, and while Tanzaku was not happy about being interrupted, the fact that it was Azuma made him less nervous. After all, Azuma had recruited him personally. Within moments, the man stood behind Tanzaku.
"Sit Azuma, have some sushi and enjoy the fight." With that, Tanzaku handed Azuma a pair of metallic hashi (chop sticks). However, Tanzaku did not expect what happened next. Just as he himself reached for a piece of sushi, his hand hovering over the arm of his chair… a hashi suddenly pierced his hand, pinning it to the chair. The scream of pain that came from Tanzaku could only be described by Azuma as, "music to my ears."
Tanzaku was quick to dislodge his hand from the chair, and stumble away. And like the bumbling fool he was, he was quick to trip over one of his many tables that was lying on the balcony. However, he quickly righted himself, and called out.
"Guards! Are you asleep?! Get in here!"
However, as he opened the door he was shocked at what he saw. All of his men were dead. Some looked as if they had been killed by kunai while others looked as if they had simply died of fright. As he turned, he suddenly was thrown into the air, a kunai pinning each of his hands to the wall he stood by. He was barely a foot off of the ground, but he couldn't move. His entire body was numb. Even as he struggled a small portion of his mind told him that he was slowly losing control of his limbs.
"I see that you are starting to feel the effects of that."
Tanzaku attempted to respond, but couldn't speak, the poison having made speech impossible.
"That poison is one of Kim's. I hate having to use poison, but this is the only way to be sure that this works."
Tanzaku's face held what Azuma assumed was an expression of confusion and fear.
"You never knew this, but I am a master of all types of genjutsu. And while other people's abilities can sometimes be sufficient, I have spent half of my life creating and perfecting my own private genjutsu, one that is capable of doing what only ninjutsu and taijutsu were thought to be capable of… death."
Tanzaku's eyes widened in fright, terror setting in.
"Do not misunderstand. This is not personal, in fact, if it were, then I would be forced not kill you. But this is just business. With your help, I have been able to find enough people to rebuild Akatsuki… and because of your help, I will eventually become the new god of this world."
And with that, he extended his right hand, and his right index finger touched Tanzaku in the middle of his forehead.
"Gyaku Uta no Tengoku" (Inverted Song of Heaven).
In that moment, all that filled the room was silence, before Tanzaku's body went limp. Making sure to take both kunai that he had used to pin the man up with, Azuma felt a sense of joy as he simply strolled out of the place. With any luck, no one would miss the man before his body had rotted too much to tell just what had killed him… not that anyone would be able to tell anyway. Still, he couldn't have Yukio finding out about his treachery quite yet. He still needed a little more time to gather the necessary resources.
As he walked a way, he whistled an old tune that he remembered from long ago. The calm and yet sharp music always seemed to be a fitting little piece of music to represent him.
As Azuma disappeared into the shadows, his voice drifted lightly on the air, "What a fitting funeral tune for this empire."
CON – the tune is 'Twisted Nerve' from the Kill Bill movies.
Yoma couldn't believe what he was feeling. This high was something that he had never experienced before! His power seemed to have no limits! And the body it was holding up better then a human body should. Everything began to go straight to hell however when He suddenly felt a burning sensation inside his chest. With a mighty heave… he vomited up a massive stream of blood. Looking at the pool of blood on the ground, as well as his stained robes, Yoma was suddenly terrified.'YUKIO! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!?'
Yukio's voice sounded within their shared mind space.
'It seams that time is up.''What do you mean, time's up?!'
'I mean that this body is about to die.'
Suddenly fear spiked in Yoma. If Yukio died, then so would he.
'It seems that I will be forced to find another Youki… Pity, I was becoming rather attached to you too.''What do you mean FIND ANOTHER YOUKI! You just said that you were dieing!'
'I am sorry Yoma. Well… no, no I'm really not, but I'm afraid that you've outlived your usefulness. The amount of power you are feeding this stolen body has caused it to deteriorate… My jutsu will no longer support it… Goodbye, and good Riddance'
And with that… Yukio vanished leaving behind a Brain dead Body and a panicking demon.
Kono could feel the power constantly climbing around her.
'Damn! I though that if I struck first I would be able to flood the area and make him unable to summon his power!'
'I apologize. I thought that he was just human. I never imagined that Yoma would be here.'
'It isn't you fault… it is mine… my body cant take the strain of your power, and to top it off, I can't even sustain it for long!'
'Do not give up hope… the body that he was in seemed to be worse off then yours.'
With that, she pushed with all her might, expending all of the power she could handle. Then suddenly… all of Yoma's power vanished. Kono was so unprepared for all of the youki to disappear that she faltered. Then, suddenly out of the flames and smoke, 'Yukio' appeared. His open right hand smashed into Kono's face, knocking her off her feet and into the air. Then suddenly, his left and right hands lashed out at her exposed chest. Sending her flying at incredible speed back into the twisted pillars of metal.
Rin, Kiba, and Kurenai were relieved when the overwhelming heat suddenly vanished. But before they could react, the stone behind them broke apart. Kono having used Youki to protect herself from the Razor sharp metal spires and ricocheted before she continued her course. This unfortunately sent her smashing into both Kurenai and Kiba. Her elbow smashing into Kurenai's head, rendering the older woman unconscious, Kiba was then struck by her head, knocking both of them out. All three continued forward, Kurenai and Kono landing on a demolished pile of rubble. Kiba on the other hand, flew into a wall with enough force to cause an indentation before falling limply to the ground.
Rin looked up in shock, staring at the man who proceeded to climb through the opening. He was completely stained in blood… most of which seemed to be leaking out of himself. Blood was flowing out of his eyes, mouth, and ears. Every orifice on his face seemed to be leaking blood.
However, just as she was about to retreat, the man reached out, grabbing her by her throat. Yoma, fully in possession of the body left behind by Yukio lifted Rin into the air by her throat, cutting off her air supply. Rin tried to fight back, but was unable to do anything. As she watched, his right hand began to jerkily form one-handed seals, so fast that she couldn't keep up. Then, his hand suddenly stopped… only to lash out, catching her right over her heart. Suddenly, she felt a rush of power, flowing into her body. As she looked at her attacker's face, he spoke,
"I am allowing you to keep something that is quite precious. Don't get yourself killed before I can regain enough strength to contact you."
And then, the power that flowed into her suddenly stopped. With that, she fell into unconsciousness. With the conscious having deserted it, the now completely dead body spasmed violently, flinging Rin aside, her limp body landing next to Kiba's.
Itachi sat inside the cloud of smoke within the bar. Sitting in the far corner, away from all of the other patrons as possible, he was filled with utter disgust at Kisame's actions. Sitting at the bar itself, surrounded by women and fellow drunks alike, Kisame continued to weave false tales of over enthusiastic battles against overwhelming odds… at least from what the drunks knew.
The truth behind the tales tended to be less heroic, and much darker. Instead of defeating immeasurable numbers of warriors for the good of the innocent, and the betterment of mankind… instead, he was usually our to kill those innocent people. Or… that was what he wanted to everyone to think. The truth of the matter was that he was out for himself. Unlike most of Akatsuki, Itachi was completely loyal to Yukio.
But in stark contrast… Kisame was only loyal to his brother swordsman. Out of all of Akatsuki, he was not the most dangerous, but he was up there. He himself wasn't the true danger; it was his fellow swordsman and him together that was the danger.
Kisame's drunken voice rang out, cutting straight through Itachi's thoughts. "ANOTHER BOTTLE OVER HERE!"
'This is the one…'
-----------------The dark room was filled with hundreds of scrolls, and various other tomes of knowledge. In the middle of it all, sat Yukio, as he poured looked through a 'book, as he had called it. His voice suddenly fluttered across the room, its regal energy flowed through Itachi, making him freeze. "Itachi…"
"You are going to be paired with Kisame, a former hidden mist nin, and also one of the 'seven swordsmen of the hidden mist'."
Itachi did not respond. He knew better then to question the leader of this organization.
"The reason for this is because I know that I can trust you. You are one of the few here that I would trust to do exactly what I said to you, regardless of what you wanted. You would follow my orders exactly, and would never betray me. For this reason, you will do what I am about to tell you to do."
Itachi stood silent, never moving or showing any emotion.
"You will steal all of the information that Kisame receives from his 'samurai' contacts. He has forsaken his shinobi village, but he is still loyal to his samurai clan. Every month, on the same day, he will take you to a bar in the city of Minosabori, at the border of the fire and thunder countries. While there, he will receive a message written on the bottom of the inside of a sake bottle"
"Not a fully written message, only a symbol. This will tell him exactly where a scroll is hidden. This scroll contains all of the information for that month. Also, in response to this message, he will write down everything that he has learned that month, and place it in the opposite spot. You will use your sharingan to copy both scrolls, you will then deliver them to Kim the next time you see her."
Yukio, who all this time had been adamantly moving various information sources around, as well as writing in a scroll and book… suddenly went still. He had been facing away from Itachi the entire time, but now, his head suddenly wiped around, his blood red eyes catching Itachi off guard, causing him to flinch.
"You will not fail me! If you do, I will cut out your precious eyes, and then cut off both of your hands. I will then hand you over to your village, to await execution."
All of the fury suddenly drained from his voice, "I only make this threat to emphasize how important this information is. Without it, one of the many factors that must be considered… will become a blind spot. And a blind spot the size of an entire country… no, an entire continent, cannot be allowed. However… when you use your sharingan to see the symbol in the sake bottle… if it is ever… an Ouroboros… then never let Kisame out of your sight. That symbol is his 'immediate evacuation' symbol. It says to him, 'get out of that land… no, get off of that continent, and come home immediately!'
If you ever see that symbol, then you must keep him from leaving. Or, if that is impossible, you must convince him to let you come with you. That is your mission. Never forget it."
As the bartender set the bottle on the bar, Itachi prepared for the only moment that he would get to see the symbol before Kisame destroyed the evidence. Just as Kisame tilted the bottle, Itachi activated his sharingan. In that moment, the world slowed to a crawl, and Itachi's vision began to warp. Twisting from the rim of the bottle, and down its throat. And that was when he saw it… the symbol that he had never wanted to see…
And in the instant he saw it, he lost his concentration, and the world returned to normal. The bottle, now tipped, did not possess any sake to pour, as such, Kisame held it up to his eye, and then shouted loudly, "WHAT! HEY, BAR TENDER! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL!" And with that, he threw the bottle, missing the bartender's head by a mere centimeter. Itachi knew that, while Kisame seemed to only be in a drunken rage…
But, Itachi knew that inside, Kisame was likely terrified. The man never showed any fear, but Itachi had been with him long enough to know when he was afraid. And right now, he was terrified. He saw Kisame scanning the bar, looking for him. However, he would never see Itachi's true form as long as he held up 'that' genjutsu.
After a few minuets, Kisame stood up, mumbling to his 'little' group of friends something about going to the bathroom. Then, he stumbled drunkenly toward where the little room was located. After turning down the corridor, when he got out of sight, he bolted for the back door, dropping a bottle with the kanji for fire on it, just as he opened the door. Just as the alarm sounded, the bottle shattered, sending intense fire in every direction. Kisame could hear the screams of the people as the fire suddenly rushed down the hall and into the bar. He the bottle had been nearly empty, so they should have enough time to escape before the bar was completely ablaze.
As soon as he was in the back ally, he moved the to where it dead-ended against the back of another building. Reaching down, he took hold of the metal cover for the city's sewer system. He didn't like it, but in this circumstance, with Itachi so close… he couldn't risk any other means of travel.
Climbing down into the small cramped hole, the rank stench wafting upward from below, he reached back out and pulled the cover back over the hole, sealing the hole.
High above, Itachi looked on, knowing exactly where he was headed. He shook his head with disappointment. Kisame had somehow known that he was there, but he hadn't know exactly where… but to use the Himizu, that was unusually stupid of him. Especially since he was able to manipulate flames as though they were living extensions of his body.
The fact that he was running in sheer terror meant that someone else had to have tipped off Kisame's informers, and in tern, they had called him back to…. where ever they were. Turning, Itachi disappeared, moving toward where he would intercept Kisame.
The land surrounding her was completely frozen. There was nothing but the ice, and the frozen remains of one of the ancient civilizations that had once had a city here. As her cloak billowed around her, she was reminded as to just how cold it really was. Taking another step toward her destination, she immediately jumped back, as the ice began to crumble skyward. Within moments, the flurry of snow and ice cleared, revealing a massive insect. However, as it lunged toward her, she was unsurprised as another massive form came swooping toward the beetle like insect. Moving backward, she removed herself from the range of the two battling titans. The attacker was one of the weaker dragons in the area. The simple fact that the insect had burrowed through the surface here meant that it had to be relatively young. The longer the creatures lived, the smarter and stronger they got.
Within moments, the battle was over. The dragon had simply ripped through the weak hide of the monstrous insect. As a result, all of its stored 'heat', as it was referred to, was pouring out of it. The dragon simply ignored it, as it began to devour the flesh that was under the hide.
She, however, moved toward the pooling liquid like gel. Pulling out a scroll, she pricked her right index finger, and wrote out the necessary seal. As she ended, she activated the spell, and all of the 'heat', was pulled inward. Within moments, all of it had been sealed inside of the scrolls, peripheral space. The amount of 'heat' she had collected would last both her and… Him, for while. For creatures like the native dragons or other demons that lived here, it wasn't necessary. But for humans… it could mean the difference between life and death.
Continuing on, she moved toward one of the towering monoliths of the old times. Even buried under massive amounts of ice, it still towered over everything else, reaching up and into the very cloud cover. Moving forward, she attached her hand to the stonewall using her chakra. She then proceeded to pull back, causing the stone to swing outward, revealing a descending set of stairs. Stepping inside, she pushed a stone button on the wall. The door instantly snapped shut, and she could hear the grinding of stone against stone as it sealed itself as well.
Descending the stairs, she continued to plan for what was coming. Soon, they would be leaving this place, and would be returning to the world that they had known for so long. And while that was a thing to rejoice over, it was also a focal point for disaster.
As she entered the main chamber, she noticed something odd. He wasn't sitting inside the seal that he normally was. Normally, he would sit in the seal night and day, constantly in a trance, his hand pointing westward and glowing with a bright blue aura. The fact that he was not there, could only mean one thing…
"So, you have returned."
She was slightly startled by the voice, and spun to see him sitting in the food perpetrating area. He had cut open their storage cell, and it seemed like a feast was prepared, as all of their food sat around him, already cooked or other wise prepared for consumption.
"Is it time then?" Kim asked, her soul both pleading to hear the confirmation, and yet dreading it at the same time.
"Yes, it is. I have already contacted transport, and they will be arriving within the next couple of days to transport us back to the 'capital'. Once there, we will make our way to the shipyard and then to the continent of the elements." His face was darkened in a scowl as he explained all of this.
"What is it?" was Kim's response to the look on his face.
"My intuition is telling me that something is wrong… something big. I can only surmise that either one of the tailed beasts is dead… which would be the worst thing that could ever happened… or that Azuma has finally made some sort of move against us."
"You never should have trusted that damn genjutsu specialist. He is more trouble then he is worth."
"Normally I would agree with you, but not now. He has served his purpose… his barriers have prevented shinobi from discovering any of our safe houses. And yet, you are also correct. He has been weaving his own web, all of the time that he was moving in the name of this group, he has weaved a web of his own influence."
"So, what shall we do then, Yukio-sama?"
"We will stick to the plan, and make our way back to the elemental continent. Once there, we can call a true meeting of Akatsuki. And it is there, before 'their' faces that his deception will be laid plane as day. It is under 'their' gaze that he will face his punishment, and it is there, that his deception will end… forever!"
With that, he brought his fist down, smashing part of the wall and causing the floor of the next room over to collapse as well. Kim did not feel pity, she would never feel pity for Azuma. Her only thought about him was, 'I hope he likes cool climates, because when he was sent to hell, that is where he would find himself.'