Standard Disclaimer: I don't own Uzumaki Naruto! However, I do own Kyuubi! (SLASHSMASHCRASHROAR) Okay, maybe not. X.X;
Author's Notes: Kyuubi's painful to play with.
To the reviews!
Liliath: Slow torture? I'm actually moving quite fast for updating decent-sized chapters (weekly update at the very least).
TimeShifter: I'm not going to say whether NaruHina will be in the fic or not…but I will say that I support NaruHina. ;)
the essence of popsicles: Actually, elemental ninjutsu (spells based off the five elements Doton, Suiton, Katon, Mokuton, and Kinton, AKA Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, and Metal) isn't confined to any one village, although some villages specialize in certain types more than others. Kirigakure is pretty much all Water-based. As for Konoha…well, there's the possibility for all five types to be used. It just depends on the ninja casting the ninjutsu.
HikaruOfDreams: A reviewer of few words…or should I say word:P
Dragon Man 180: Welcome to Legacy! And thanks for the compliments!
tiggra: Not very talkative eh? Welcome!
jpthug12: (Standing on top of the Empire State Building) This up enough for you:P
BlackCoven: Don't worry…the battle will be nice and sugary. ;)
Might of the Pervert Sennin; Master and Apprentice Unite!
/Banshee's Gorge, Eastern Highlands, Wind Country/
Neji's eyes opened up. His white eyes dilated so he could see better in the dark; the Jonin got to his feet, ignoring the howl of the gorge. It was a miracle the Leaf ninja had fallen asleep here.
He quietly walked towards the entrance of the cave, passing by the sleeping Chuunin and Jonin…well, there was one other Jonin that was awake beside him; Jiraiya, who only SEEMED asleep. His back was against the wall, eyes peering quietly on the three body bags that held the corpses of Orochimaru, Kabuto, and Itachi.
The male Hyuga stepped outside into the cold night air…and he saw a familiar figure staring up at the full moon. A sigh escaped his lips. "Hello Hinata."
Hinata didn't turn around.
"I thought I heard someone step outside…" Neji stepped towards his cousin, his black hair fluttering in the wind. "Naruto. That's who you're thinking about, isn't it?"
Hinata nodded. "Y-Yes Neji-san…I am worried about him…"
Neji smiled quietly as he stepped to her side. "You don't need to worry about him…after all, he had enough chakra to use that Flying Thunder God technique. He's most likely in Konoha by now…and Tsunade's the best medical ninja around. Add Shizune and the other medical ninja in the village, and he'll be as good as new."
"…I know that Neji-san," replied Hinata. Her gentle frame seemed so much more formidable under the green vest of the Chuunin. Although she did not normally wear it, the battle in Konoha had required all of a shinobi's resources (that the vest had some armor plating inside it was also a factor). Her meek voice was barely louder than the wind. "I was just thinking…about the class reunion at the Academy."
Neji arched an eyebrow…that is, until he remembered the events that had occurred before the battle in Konoha. "Oh…THAT." Neji let a small laugh escape his mouth. "Naruto…quite the clown, wasn't he?"
"…yes," replied Hinata as a small blush came to her face. Even though Neji remembered Naruto's antics…she remembered it for a different reason. "Naruto-kun was very funny indeed…"
Neji's smile faded as the gusts picked up, threatening to blow the two away. "Let's get back inside the cave. These winds are too fierce."
"Okay Neji-san…" quietly whispered Hinata as she followed her higher-ranking cousin into the cavern. Her mind would not leave the memory of that day…
How close had it been…how close to her dream's realization? To be noticed…by him…
She smiled as she lay down to sleep. Naruto-kun…
Hinata fell asleep with a smile on her face.
/Hokage's Palace, Konohagakure, Fire Country/
Tsunade walked into her office with all the grace of a crippled moose. She didn't even bother using the doorknob; she just punched through them to get in. She was too frickin' tired to care.
Tsunade had exhausted almost all of her chakra trying to heal Naruto. Shizune had also succumbed to tiredness after expending most of her energy to heal Sasuke. Even though the boys were on their way to recovery, Konoha still had to be repaired…all the damage from the battle three days ago…wait. Scratch that. It was past midnight.
Technically, the battle FOUR days ago.
All the damage from the battle four days ago had to be repaired…and that meant more paperwork!
Oh, how joyous.
Tsunade just sat in her chair, looking at the mountain of paperwork she had to do.
With an ungraceful plop, she laid her head down on the desk, causing the papers to scatter. She didn't care right now. She needed to sleep.
Her mind started wonder as her body shut down for the night…
/Four Days Ago/
/Konohagakure, Fire Country/
Tsunade ran through the streets towards the closest battle site. Those who had advanced farthest into the village had to be dealt with first. Okay…they're very powerful enemies, so just because they're Nukenin doesn't mean I can underestimate them.
She leapt onto the nearest rooftop, getting a better view of the area. The southwestern portion of the village's outer wall had been demolished…and several summoned creatures were running rampant. Some of the animals included lizards, rats, and hawks. Tsunade frowned; she had to even the odds.
With a quick bite of her thumb, Tsunade quickly ran the blood along her arm. She leapt onto the ground below and slammed her hands onto the dirt. "Kuchiyose no jutsu!" The blood on Tsunade's arm shifted down onto the ground, forming a summoning circle. A bright flash of light emanated in the ground and the air.
When it faded, Tsunade stood upon a gigantic slug that was colored white with blue vertical stripes: Katsuyu the Slug Queen. "Katsuyu!"
Katsuyu's eyes stalks shifted so that the giant slug could see Tsunade. "YES?"
"I'm going off to help another section of the village. Attack those summoned creatures!"
"UNDERSTOOD." Tsunade jumped off of Katsuya as the slug slithered over to the attacking summoned beasts. The first creature that she encountered was a large rat, which hissed and fired a shower of fangs from its maw.
Katsuyu countered by dousing the fangs – and the rat – with a shower of acid.
Tsunade smiled; Katsuyu would be able to hold her own. She quickly ran off to find a battle to join.
After one minute of hopping over rooftops, she found one.
A Nukenin wearing nothing but a brown bodysuit was fighting Team Gai. However, it was clear that black-haired Nukenin was in his element…all because of the wooden houses around him.
"Mokuton; Kazehakuuki!" Over a hundred pieces of wood suddenly floated into the air, revolving around him like protective shield. "Wood Element; Windy Shower of Wood!" The one hundred pieces suddenly split off into thousands of sharpened splinters, swirling around the area in a frenzied wind. Maito Gai and Lee both grabbed sections of a fallen roof to shield themselves from the splinters. TenTen – who was a Chuunin – used two nunchucks to defend herself, spinning them around at such a high speed that all splinters that came near her were pulverized. As for Neji, he alternated between leaping from hiding spot to hiding spot and using his Kaiten to deflect incoming splinters.
The Nukenin smiled. "Pathetic…worthless…cowards…is this the best the Leaf has to offer? WELL?"
It was at the point that Tsunade's fist slammed into his head.
The Nukenin's skull was instantly pulverized. The force of the blow sent his body flying backwards, even as blood and brains trickled from his crushed head.
Gai popped out of hiding, only to gape at the sight of Tsunade. "Hokage-sama!"
Tsunade smiled. Her arms and face were bleeding; in order to get to the Nukenin, she had been forced to dive straight into the storm. "Don't worry. It's nothing." Her hands glowed with green chakra; after several moments of waving her hands over her arms and face, the wounds had disappeared.
TenTen flushed as she bowed. "Thank you Hokage-sama. You saved us."
"Don't bother talking," quickly interrupted Tsunade. "Our village is under attack by Nukenin sent by a dangerous organization known as Akatsuki." Gai and Neji's eyes widened; Lee and TenTen merely looked confused, as they did not know the truth about Akatsuki just yet. As a Jonin, Neji – who hadn't encountered Akatsuki personally like Gai had – was privy to that information."Your mission is to protect Konoha…and I will help in this mission! We must keep the Leaf safe from harm!"
"Yes ma'am!" Gai, Neji, TenTen, and Lee all stood at attention.
The Fifth smirked. "Shinobi…SPREAD OUT!"
At those words, the five ninja spread out to face Akatsuki's Nukenin.
/Outside Sunagakure, Wind Country/
Upon the Obsidian Seal, the five members of Akatsuki and Gaara watched silently as the new arrival advanced toward Naruto. Akira raised an eyebrow out of confusion. "Who the heck's that dude?"
"That is Jiraiya," replied Itachi.
"One of the Three Legendary Leafs?" asked Koumorimaru out of surprise.
"Yes…" answered Shuu. Ogi-Daimyou also spoke up. "Not only that, but he is capable of summoning Gama-Bunta, the Boss Toad. Three years ago, Gama-Bunta held is own against Shukaku the One Tail - of all demons - with the help of the fox boy…that frog is a formidable opponent."
Hiroto nodded quietly as he gazed at the old man walking towards Naruto. "He seems old…but I assume he's much stronger than he appears."
Itachi concurred. "He is." After all – the last time he had met the Sannin – he had been forced to use his Divine Illumination technique in order to escape him. Let us see how he and the demon vessel fare against Deidara and Sasori…
And all the while, Gaara silently watched on.
Naruto smiled as Jiraiya stepped at his side. "Yes! About time you got here!" His lips contorted into a cocky grin. "But then again, I was doing awesome without you. You probably shouldn't have wasted time coming here!"
"OW!" yelped Naruto as he rubbed a sore spot on his head. "WHAT WAS THAT FOR?"
"FOR GOING OFF HALF-COCKED, YOU PATHETIC ASS!" roared Jiraiya, his fist clenched tightly.
Naruto seethed. "WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO YELL AT ME?"
"BECAUSE YOU'RE AN IDIOT WHO RUSHED OFF TO FACE AN OBVIOUSLY SUPERIOR ENEMY!"
"SUPERIOR?" Naruto snorted. "DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH!"
Meanwhile, Sasori and Deidara were sweatdropping. The former Sand ninja chuckled. "My my…such poor chemistry. All to our advantage, nonetheless. Deidara?"
"Way ahead of you…yeah," replied Deidara as she reached into one of her bags of clay. The mouth in her left hand swallowed a good portion of the pliable substance. Heh…let's give those two a wake-up call…yeah.
All the while, Jiraiya and Naruto were continuing their bickering. The Toad Sennin roared, "YOU OVEREAGER FOOL! YOU REALLY THOUGHT YOU COULD TAKE AKATSUKI ON YOUR OWN?"
"YEAH! AND I'VE ALREADY KILLED ONE!"
AHEM. GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE.
Jiraiya snorted. "DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH, YOU PATHETIC LIAR!"
Naruto immediately pointed towards Kisame's body. "Then start laughing!"
Jiraiya eyed the corpse…and his eyes widened. He remembered that man; he had encountered him over three years ago when Itachi had burned through his Toad Mouth Enclosure technique with the Divine Illumination jutsu. He had possessed a blade that could cut through chakra…
Impossible…this squirt beat him on his own?
Naruto grinned, drinking in the pleasure he got from Jiraiya's stunned expression. "Heh heh heh! Speechless, huh?"
PARDON MY LITTLE INTERRUPTION OF THIS TIRADE, BUT YOU MIGHT WANT TO DODGE.
Naruto looked around him to see hornet-shaped pieces of clay buzzing toward them at high speed. Naruto immediately grabbed Jiraiya's robes and yelled, "HIRAISHIN NO JUTSU!"
Both master and apprentice disappeared in a yellow flash. The hornet projectiles all collided, exploding in a flash of red.
Deidara smirked as she saw both of her targets in one piece…ten yards away from the sight of the explosion. "Heh…they managed to evade my explosive clay hornets…yeah…"
Naruto grimaced as he let go of his teacher's robes. "Rrr…why the heck are we fighting, you idiot? We have a fight to win, don't we?"
"Agreed," muttered Jiraiya, swallowing his pride for once. "I'll take the clay-using female."
Naruto smirked. "Heh. I'll get the puppet guy. That girl seems boring anyway."
Sasori smiled. "Yes…it seems the demon vessel wishes to face me."
"And the Legendary Leaf wishes to face me…yeah. I wonder how my clay will perform against him…yeah," uttered Deidara as her right hand ate clay from a large bag labeled 'C3'. "I'll try the third level of potency…"
Naruto and Jiraiya suddenly split apart. Sasori and Deidara did the same.
The fight had begun.
Naruto quickly performed a set of katas as Sasori circled around him. "Konohaito no jutsu!" Leafy cords immediately began encircling the former Sand ninja.
The man sneered as panels in his arms opened up, revealing knives that shredded the cords into nothingness. "Pathetic…I shall rend you limb from limb, for I am the greatest master of puppet no jutsu in the world! And I will show you…" He crouched down into his customary position. "…why I am known as the Scorpion of the Red Sands…because I will make this desert red with your blood…"
Naruto smirked. "You can try."
"And so I shall." With that said, Sasori's tail suddenly extended, lashing out at the Leaf ninja. Naruto leapt up high into the air, only to suddenly find Sasori in front of him. Fast!
DIDN'T YOU ALREADY THINK THAT?
Tiny daggers popped out of Sasori's fingers, becoming claws that the former Sand ninja used to strike at Naruto. The boy grimaced as the daggers slashed the side of his thigh, causing blood to spurt forth. Just as quickly, however, the fox boy grinned.
Because he had his hands on Sasori's left leg. "Take THIS!" Naruto heaved the Sand ninja towards the ground.
Akasun Sasori was not worried. His tail suddenly sped downward, slammed into the ground, and shot him backward up like a metal spring. One moment later, his knee met Naruto's gut.
"OOF!" grunted Naruto as the air escaped his lungs. Seconds later, he met the ground, causing the sand and dust around him to fly up. "Ow…"
A REAL DOWN-TO-EARTH EXPERIENCE.
I ONLY HOPE IT TOOK YOUR EGO DOWN A FEW NOTCHES. IT WAS GETTING TOO NOISY HEARING YOUR BOASTFUL THOUGHTS 24/7.
NO WITTY COMEBACK? HOW SURPRISING…YET FORTUITOUS FOR MY EARS.
"Hmm hmm hmm…" Sasori chuckled as his tail twitched. "I've gotten excited…please make this battle worth my while…"
Jiraiya leapt to his side as a bird-shaped piece of clay crashed into the ground where he had been moments ago. A shower of sand and dirt was kicked up.
Deidara quickly threw four more pieces of clay, shaped like pigeons. "Come now…don't run all the time…yeah. It makes the fight too boring…yeah."
"I'll give you a fight," muttered Jiraiya as he performed a set of katas while on the move. Finally, he yelled, "Aboushita no jutsu! Palm of the Frog's Tongue!" He thrust both palms forward, and from each one materialized the tongue of a frog.
Deidara directed the four clay pigeons toward Jiraiya. One of the tongues shot forward, swatting the four pigeons. As the pigeons exploded – taking one tongue with it – the other tongue grabbed Deidara, wrapping itself around her body. The former Stone ninja grimaced as she was slammed into the ground repeatedly.
Jiraiya smiled. Easy so far…but this can't be all she has to offer.
Jiraiya paled as his second tongue exploded. "Wha?"
Deidara broke through the remnants of the tongue and landed on the ground, chuckling softly. "Heh heh…when I threw the pigeons, I also threw tiny chunks of clay shaped liked winged ants…yeah. They got onto your tongue when it appeared and blew it up…yeah." Deidara calmly reached into one of her bags; this one was labeled 'C4'. "Now to kick it up a notch…yeah."
A large stream of clay suddenly shot out of her mouth, formulating into the visage of an eagle. Performing a quick set of katas, Deidara enlarged the one-foot tall figure into a ten-foot tall beast with a twenty-foot wingspan. She hopped onto the eagle as it flapped its wings, taking to the sky.
Jiraiya grimaced as Deidara took to the clouds. This just made things more difficult…
Naruto barely managed to dodge two knives that were sent flying at him by a spring-loaded launcher implanted into the wood in Sasori's thigh. The living puppet immediately followed this up with another attack. Two wooden panels in his shoulder blades suddenly opened, revealing two more spring-loaded launchers that flipped upward, aiming over his shoulders and at the boy.
Naruto gulped as thin needles were launched from the launchers, aimed straight at his arms and legs. He quickly slammed his hands onto the ground, roaring, "Hibashira no jutsu!" A column of fire rose in front of Naruto, albeit a smaller one; there was no need to waste chakra needlessly.
The needles were vaporized. Sasori did not follow up with another attack.
Naruto chuckled. "Hah! Having second thoughts? I could torch your wooden body without any trouble at all! HIBASHIRA NO JUTSU!"
Sasori was silent as he felt a rumbling occur beneath the ground beneath him. Without hesitation, he leapt to the side a mere moment before the ground he had once stood on erupted into a column of flames. As he landed, the former Sand ninja chuckled. "Hmm hmm hmm…puppets are so misunderstood…"
NOW THE VILLAIN GIVES A STORY OF WHY HE DOES WHAT HE DOES. HOW CLICHÉ.
YOUR RETORTS HAVE BECOME BORING. WHERE'S THE PIZZAZZ?
"Most people think that puppets are just flammable tools, useful for only distraction and surprise…but it is that very misconception that drove me to become the greatest puppet maker…" A sneer formed on his transformed mouth. "It is also why I was driven to turn my body into this…"
"To prove a point?" mocked Naruto.
Sasori's eyes narrowed, forming a dangerous glare. "For the practicality of it all." His sneer formed into a smirk at the sight of Naruto's raised eyebrow. "Think about it. Most ninjas use their chakra for ninjutsu spells, genjutsu illusions, and physical taijutsu…and through battle, their chakra is slowly, yet surely drained. Usually, most ninjas cannot battle longer than fifteen minutes with the continuous use of their chakra…but that is not true for me."
Naruto snorted. "What makes you think that?"
"I KNOW that because of what I've become," replied the Akatsuki member. "Although I have altered my body, I am still capable of moving with my own bones, muscles, and skin. It requires no chakra on my part to move. I only require chakra to open the wooden panels on my body…and since a majority of my projectiles are loaded into spring-loaded launchers, I don't require any chakra to fire them. I only use chakra to activate my weapons…to aim my launchers…and in THIS case, to move like lightning!"
Two wooden panels on the side of each calf suddenly popped open, revealing metal wheels that slid down to the sides of Sasori's feet. A wooden platform joined the protective inner hubcaps of the wheels on each foot together, and it served as a platform for Sasori's feet to stand on. In essence, he had now formed two-wheel skates. "Hmm hmm hmm…and last but not least…"
A wooden panel embedded into his very spine opened up, revealing a katana that he pulled out with one hand. Sasori grinned maliciously as licked the flat side of the blade with his tongue. "Chakra…to use my sole ninjutsu technique."
Naruto blinked. He uses a ninjutsu technique?
YOU MUST BE DEAF. HE JUST SAID THAT.
BANTERING WITH YOU HAS BECOME DULL.
"It's a fairly common technique among high-ranking Sand ninja…but it is very deadly…and with a blade as a focusing tool, it becomes even more so…add my speed…and it shall become apparent that this fight is futile!" Sasori held the katana lightly with one hand as he performed katas with the other.
Suddenly, the metallic wheels began to whirl.
A cloud of dust and sand was kicked into the air by the sheer force of Sasori's propulsion. Naruto paled; Sasori had been fast before…but now he was unparalleled.
In the span of two seconds, Sasori had gotten behind Naruto. The fox boy quickly prepared to use Hiraishin no jutsu-
"Now demon vessel…try THIS. Kaze no yaiba!" Wind began swirling around Sasori's katana. "WIND BLADE!" Without hesitation, he swung.
The blade-shaped current of wind dug into Naruto's back…and the blood came forth in a thick spray of red.
Deidara gave the term 'carpet bombing' a new meaning.
Jiraiya was having a tough time navigating his way through the figurative mine field Deidara had set up. The female Akatsuki ninja was forming more and more clay explosives, throwing them down with an ever-increasing speed, and at an ever-increasing rate.
Jiraiya snarled. He had to even the odds…and now. A smile adorned his face as he dodged another bird-shaped clay explosive. Hm…one of the main exports of the Wind Country is iron ore…and a majority of the country's ore is located near the many underground rivers. And since Sunagakure was built over a large underground river… He quickly performed a set of katas. "Kinton; Kinryuudan no jutsu!" The ground underneath him began to rumble. "Metal Element; Metal Dragon Blast!"
A metallic dragon's head erupted from the sandy ground, roaring at Deidara with an unearthly ferocity.
The former Stone ninja blinked. "Well that's just peachy…yeah…" She leapt off of her clay eagle as the metal dragon head devoured it. With a thought, the eagle exploded, taking the metallic dragon with it. As she fell, she was quickly digging into a clay bag to create another form of transportation.
Not so fast, thought Jiraiya with a smirk as he slammed his hands into the ground. "Ninpou; Atsuensansui! Art of the Rolling Hills!" Using his chakra, Jiraiya created vibrations in the ground, creating a rolling wave of sandy hills just as Deidara neared the ground.
The moment Deidara created a clay hawk and enlarged it, a hill of sand threatened to engulf her. Without hesitation, she roared, "Bakuha no jutsu; EXPLOSION!"
A ball of chakra erupted from the mouth in the palm of her right hand, crashing into the wall of sand that threatened to crush her. The chakra ball exploded, creating a hole in the rolling hill.
However, much to Deidara's surprise, Jiraiya was above the hole, his hand holding an orb of swirling blue chakra. "Huh…?"
"If you haven't had enough yet…then my Rasengan will blow you away!"
Sasori wheeled around for another strike at Naruto.
Speaking of Naruto, several cuts had been made on his back, arms, and legs by the former Sand ninja's Wind Blade. Thankfully, they were all being healed. Man…that Wind Blade is getting annoying…
I'M FORCED TO HEAL YOUR PATHETIC HIDE. HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL?
WHERE'S THE CREATIVITY? FOR SHAME.
IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP, I'M GOING TO SHAVE YOUR TAILS OFF AND STICK EM' IN YOUR MOUTH!
AH. THAT'S BETTER. YOU MAY NOW COMMENCE GROWLING OUT OF IRRITATION.
OH, AND HEADS UP.
Naruto looked up to see Sasori swinging his katana. The fox boy impulsively jumped up to avoid the blade.
The former Sand ninja smiled. Impressive…for all intents and purposes, he should be dead…but the chakra of the Nine Tails is healing him…and the Kyuubi is even preventing his body from being cut apart to the point of limb removal. The symbiosis of their chakra is astounding…fighting a demon vessel is truly a pleasure…but I must end this now. "NOW THIS ENDS!"
Uzumaki Naruto scowled as Sasori charged again. Crap…he's gonna try and knock me out now…I've got to get rid of those wheels! He quickly pulled out two shuriken…as well as something else. He quickly performed some hand seals. "Kage bunshin no jutsu!" Five clones appeared beside Naruto.
Sasori snorted. "THAT WON'T HELP AT ALL!"
Two of the clones smirked. "Hiraishin no jutsu!" The two clones disappeared in a flash of yellow. Naruto and his other clone both threw one shuriken each at Sasori, while two other clones just stood there.
Akasun Sasori adeptly ducked under the shuriken. "WORTHLESS! KAZE NO-"
The Scorpion of the Red Sands tilted his head back to see the two clones grab the thrown shuriken…and then they threw them back, this time at the legs. Sasori, however, jumped, avoiding the shuriken yet again. "I told you…IT'S WORTHLESS!"
The two clones that had done nothing grabbed the shuriken. As for Naruto and his first clone…they held string.
String? thought Sasori with a frown. Then, he paled as he glanced down at his feet, seeing string wrapped around the back of the wheels. He paled out of shock; string had been tied to both shuriken...the boy had thrown the shuriken to get the string wrapped around his wheels! That meant-!
Naruto and the three clones pulled both ends of the two lengths of string.
Sasori yelped as both of his feet were brought upward into the air; his tremendous forward momentum sent him flying forward…
…and into Deidara, who had been sent flying by Jiraiya's Rasengan.
"OH YEAH!" cheered Naruto. "SCORE!"
The two Akatsuki ninja were silent. Jiraiya remained on guard, nevertheless. "…"
Then, both of them stood. Deidara muttered, "It seems we've underestimated you…yeah."
Sasori finished by saying, "This means we have no choice but to use our combination attacks…prepare yourselves."
To be continued…
Two-on-Two! Double Combo Attack!
Author's Notes: This battle concludes in the next chapter!
See you soon, and please review!