"Hello." Someone else speaking

"Hello." Kyuubi speaking.

"Hello." Thoughts

"Hello." Kyuubi thoughts

Chapter 25

"This tunnel seems to go on forever." Choji said as he followed in the rear of their group. Shikamaru nodded as they continued down the path. "You think the others are okay?"

"I hope so…" Yumi said quietly. "I have a bad feeling about this guys…"

"When was the last time you felt good about anything the moment we stepping into this blasted cave?" Neji said.

"Quiet." Gaara said stopping making everyone else stop as well. After a minute Shikamaru walked up to Gaara. "I sense something… Let's keep moving. I must find out what this is…"

Soon they entered another huge room but this time there was an extremely long staircase that led to a light surrounded shrine with an object on it.

"There it is!" Choji said excitingly as he began to move towards it but Shikamaru quickly stopped him.

"Don't be so hasty. We don't know what we are getting ourselves into." Shikamaru said.

"Looks clear of any traps." Neji said looking over the entire room.

"Let's get this thing over with." Gaara said leading the group towards the artifact.

Each ninja kept looking around the room to make sure nothing out of the ordinary was happening when Shikamaru bumped into Gaara who had stopped.

"Gaara what is it?" Shikamaru asked as Neji and Choji stood behind him. "What's wrong?"

"This feeling…" Gaara said. "I have felt this only when…" Suddenly Gaara started to shake. "Oh no… Guys… RUN!" Gaara said as he grabbed his head and started to scream as he fell to his knees.

--------------------------------------------(Scene Change)---------------------------------------------

"Lee! Hang on!" Hinata cried pouring her own charka into his wounds which slowly began to stop bleeding and started to close.

"What now Akira?"

"Hang on…" Akira said closing his eyes. "I need a minute…"

"Better hurry…" Naruto said as their enemy started to slowly advance towards them. "Can't believe we are having trouble with just one of them…"

"Naruto-kun. its charka has decreased dramatically." Hinata informed them. "It can't be too much longer but we still have to be careful!"

"The only way to finish this quickly is with Hinata-chan's help. We need her gentle fist techniques to drain its chakra. Physical attacks are getting too draining and aren't effective enough." Akira said.

"But she's still attending to Lee."

"I'll switch with her." Akira said. "Distract it." Naruto nodded and ran at full speed towards his opponent drawing its attention to the blonde. "Hinata-chan. I'll take over you have to help Naruto with your techniques!" Hinata nodded as Akira continued to heal Lee's wounds who was now starting to wake up.

Hinata quickly jumped into action dodging an attack from a sword before striking the sand soldier right in the chest with her palm making a huge amount of chakra leave the creature but she was soon kicked away making her skid across the sand and was soon joined by Naruto.

"I need it to be still in order to perform my divinity technique." Hinata said.

"Then we'll do it!" An energetic voice shouted. She turned around to see Lee who had just opened 3 of his gate's and was surrounded by energy. "I won't stand by wounded if I can help it!" Akira nodded charging his own aura.

"Let's do it!" Naruto shouted surrounding his entire body with yellow chakra.

All three boys charged at their opponent so quickly that it had barely moved an inch before Naruto struck it hard with a punch to the chest making it stumble back as Akira followed up with a knee to its head with the same results as his best friend. Lee quickly ran forward striking it 5 times and kicking it once again so hard that it flew into a wall making it slowly start to move but a new figure soon appeared.

"Jyuukenhou Hakke Rokujuu Yonshou!" (64 points of divinity) Hinata began her divinity attack striking it 64 times and saw that its chakra was at a very low level but it was still operational. Hinata gritted her teeth seeing her palms were already bruised and blistering from attacking such a hard object. The Hyuga quickly crouched lower and started to rotate her upper body to the right. ""Hakke Hyaku Ni Ju Hashou!" ( 128 points of divinity) Hinata quickly became a blur as she continued to strike the monster with such speed that the boys had trouble following her. Hinata finished her attack and jumped back quickly. Naruto's eyes widened seeing the small craters on the sand soldiers armored chest as it started to move towards them again!

"Impossible!" Lee said getting back into his fighting stance. But the bowl haired teenager relaxed seeing the sand beginning to fall off their opponent until it was a small heap. "Thank goodness…" Lee's eyes rolled back before he collapsed onto the ground followed by the other three teenagers who were panting.

"Used my curse seal too much…" Akira barely let out he ate a solider pill, before falling onto the floor unconscious to regain his strength. Hinata was about to crawl over but found her vision beginning to blur as well.

"Take a rest Hinata-chan." Naruto whispered. "I'll keep watch." Hinata nodded as Naruto placed Hinata's head on his lap as he kept watch over his friends.

-------------------------------------------------------(Scene Change)----------------------------------

"Gaara what's wrong?" Choji asked going up to the boy quickly.

A huge spear of sand in front of Gaara soon shot out towards the teenager who jumped back slightly and punched it as hard as he could blowing the sand everywhere. Gaara continued to scream and grip his hair as Neji ran forward to try and stun the teenager but his fingers only met with armored sand as he jumped back to prevent himself from being impaled.

"Everyone get some distance." Shikamaru said taking Gaara's advice before he fell into his current state. The shadow user jumped away followed by Yumi, Neji and Choji to see Gaara begin to transform making their eyes widen with horror. He was on all fours as his body began to get bigger with each second making each teenager spread out.

"What's going?!" Choji asked as Gaara's voice got deeper and deeper and his eyes turned yellow with a glint that made the teenagers blood turn cold. Within moments Gaara was a huge and yellow badger like demon.

"Well well well…" A deep voice said making each teenager shiver a bit. "A snack… I was wondering how long it would take this foolish boy to eventually make it here…"

"Shuukaku…" Yumi whispered. "We are in trouble."

"Of course you are little girl…" The demon said chuckling as the entrance to the cave sealed itself."

"If we can get the artifact somehow hopefully whatever transformed Gaara will be nullified." Shikamaru thought.

Suddenly one of Shuukaku's arms flew out towards Choji making the teenager quickly transfer some of his chakra. Shuukaku's eyes widened in surprise when the fat teenager's arm grew at least three times it size and caught his paw.

"Don't underestimate me…" Choji muttered having already ate one of his clan's green pills giving him extra strength and chakra. Choji then disappeared and reappeared right behind the demon striking it hard in the back making the creature hit the wall. A huge wave of sand made it's way towards Choji when Neji jumped in front of it.

"Kaiten!" Neji shouted as he spun rapidly send the sand in different directions. Shikamaru tried to send his shadow to hold the demon but it simply jumped away and flew right towards Shikamaru!

"Watch out!" Yumi shouted tackling the shadow user out of the demon's path just in the nick of time.

"Thanks." Shikamaru muttered and saw a huge line of sand coming for them.

Yumi slapped both of hands together in a fist gathering chakra to her hands.

Choji looked in horror as the sand engulfed both of them both and then hardened.

"Shikamaru!" Choji shouted as Shuukaku laughed. The teenager yelled in rage as he ran towards the demon and tried to punch him but the monster jumped away still laughing at the dome in the middle of the room.

"What's so funny?" a female voice asked him. "Katon! Karyuu Endan! (Stream of fire) The demon screamed in pain as it was flung into a nearby wall constant bombarded by fire.

"Man…" Shikamaru said as he jumped out of the sand.

"Shikamaru! How?!" Choji asked looking at his friend.

"Yumi created an earth shield for me that absorbed chakra and right before it closed she slid out and must have ran behind Shuukaku."

"We need to get that artifact." Neji said. As Yumi's fire jutsu ended and the demon looked at all of them with hatred.

"You bastards!" The demon yelled as blisters seemed to show from its body. Suddenly the ground underneath Choji start to shake making the boy run as a spear erupted from where he had just stood.

Neji ran to the right dodging as he went until he was close to the demon and tried to attack it.

"Stupid ninja…" The demon laughed as a spear erupted from its shoulder and struck Neji right in chest.

"Neji!" Shikamaru said but sighed in relief when his friend erupted into smoke. Yumi got closer making the real Neji who had made a Kage Bunshin earlier run up towards the right.

"I feel faster!" Neji thought. "Of course Yumi's presence makes me faster and stronger." He saw Yumi get close to give Neji some of her aura as she glowed yellow and red.

Neji quickly kicked the demon in the head before flipping as the Hyuga tried to strike the demon with his technique making it scream in frustration. Within moment the demon had struck Neji and pinned the teenager into the wall making Neji cough some blood from the force of the impact.

"Die!" The demon shouted but he was soon cut off when he was slammed into the wall, picked up and slammed into the ground by a huge hand.

"Don't forget me!" Choji shouted. Neji got to his knees trying to catch his breath as Yumi threw a dagger with an explosion tag attached to it into Shuukaku's back making a loud explosion.

"I've had enough of all of you!" The demon shouted.

"Shikamaru get the artifact!" Neji muttered. "We'll try to keep him distracted."

Shikamaru nodded and gave one last look at Choji who was just struck in the stomach and thrown away by Shuukaku but the demon was stopped in its tracks when Yumi appeared in front of it kicking it twice jumping away just in time to avoid being hit by a spear of sand. Neji appeared at the demon's back.

"Jyuukenhou Hakke Rokujuu Yonshou!" (64 points of divinity) Neji shouted striking the demon from behind making it grunt in pain but half way through the attack Neji saw its chakra beginning to rise and jumped away just in time as spikes erupted form all sides of it like armor.

"Can't even complete my attack…" Neji though frustrated.

"Watch out!" Yumi shouted. Choji's eyes widened when he saw what Neji had just attacked become a heap of sand. "Choji behind you!" Choji tried to dodge an attack that he knew was coming from behind but screamed as a huge spear of sand pierced his shoulder and began to lift him up but Neji quickly jumped to the base of the sand and cut off the chakra that was hardening it making it let go of his comrade.

"Choji!" Shikamaru cried going up to his friend. "Are you okay?"

"I'll be okay." Choji replied digging into his back pouch with his uninjured hand and brought out a pill that he ate as Yumi and Neji distracted the demon. Within moments Choji's wounds began to heal but the boy was still panting heavily. Neji suddenly saw an opening and drove towards the side of the demon that turned just as Neji moved. Yumi saw the glint in its eye and saw moment to the side of Neji.

"Neji!" Yumi shouted but it was too late when the sand formed a hand that wrapped itself around Neji's leg stopping his movement and constricted making Neji cry out in pain before swiping at the sand taking the chakra away from it and freeing himself. Neji grunted as his broken leg gave away making him fall to the sand and looked up just in time to see the demon laugh and lunge at him! Choji attempted to get in the way but was engulfed in a huge dome of sand.

"Choji!" Shikamaru shouted looking at the sand that was beginning to lift his friend and then looked at Neji who could do nothing to prevent the demon's attack. Suddenly Yumi jumped in front of Neji and stuck out both of her palms.

"Rakurai no Jutsu!" (Bolt of Lightning) Both of Yumi's palms began to glow as she pointed them at the demon. Two bolts of lightning soon erupted from her palms striking Shuukaku throwing the demon across the entire hall! Shikamaru's eyes widened seeing the result of her lightning jutsu but he also noticed that she was panting a bit as well.

"She must have poured a lot of chakra into that technique. We have to get that artifact before its too late… But with Neji hurt we can't split up!" Shikamaru thought.

"You little brats!" Shuukaku shouted. He then looked at Choji who had freed one arm. "Its over for you fat ass!" Suddenly sand began to swirl around the teenager who struggled to get free but knew it would take too long.

"Shit!" Choji cursed barely able to reach into his back pouch before the sand surrounded his entire body.

"Choji!" Shikamaru shouted the sand suddenly hardened. "No!"

The demon began to laugh hysterically.

"One down, three more to go…"

Hello again everyone… It's been a while I guess huh? Sorry about that, but a long time ago my old laptop gave out on me and the motherboard got messed up. So I was a bit demoralized when 6 chapters of this story were erased. That was about 70 or so pages of work on word so I decided that I was gonna stop the story, but recently I decided to get back into it so here where it left off. Currently I'm only 2 chapters ahead so I'll try to update as soon as I finish the latest chapter. Thanks! See you around!