Yup, I'm finally finished with the next chapter of "Shinobi Story". It's shorter then the previous chapters, but I don't really suppose it matter, since THIS IS THE LAST CHAPTER OF THE FIC THAT I'LL SUBMIT! Due to the lack of interest for last time, I've decided to DROP THIS and concentrate on the more successful works of mine.
Some of you will probably ask why submit this chapter then? Well, the answer is this: I didn't want to leave those who actually do read, review and enjoy this fic on ice and so I figured I'll finish Tamao's story before finishing. Normally this fic had quite a few chapters to go, but oh well.
However I do want to thank everyone who DID review the previous chapter. It really means a lot and I'm glad you guys liked this fic. Sorry for stopping it at the moment when it basically was about to speed up, but… I'm happy that this story managed to entertain you, if only for a little while.
And so, without further to do, here's the last (not from those planned) chapter of "Shinobi Story":
Chapter #18: Angel With Cut Wings – Tamao's story part III
Title Page: Out front there's Tamao, gathering her chakra into the tips of her fingers, prepared to perform Mitsukai Hokori, and in the background stands Naraku with angel-like wings made of ice growing out from his back
Tamao's finger moved as she slowly opened her eyes, which seemed to weight tons. But finally she managed to open them and immediately she noticed Naraku bending over her with a warm smile. "Welcome back, Tamao-chan" was all he said as he helped the girl sit up. "How are you feeling?"
"W-well…" she began shyly as her head was still slightly dizzy. "N-not so good, I'm afraid" and with that she lowered her head, but almost instantly she raised it again as Naraku placed his hand on her chin and softly made her look up.
"At least you've woken up" he announced, still smiling. "You don't have to worry, rest all you want. You're safe now, thanks to Naruto mostly…" he added, trying to calm her down, yet failed in achieving that.
The former stone-nin lowered her head again and very quietly, just so that he could hear her, she announced: "All I do is cause trouble… nothing changed it that matter. All I can do is put you and my friends in danger, Naraku-kun… just like those seven years ago…"
---Seven years ago in Iwa---
"The real purpose of inventing Mitsukai Hokori?" Naraku repeated confused as he looked at the Iwa leader. The man only nodded as he kept his eyes set on his daughter: "You see, because of the sealing method used to trap the demon inside her, typical attacks won't do. Basically, without having a demon element in his chakra, one cannot break through her defense…"
"So why Mitsukai Hokori?" asked the young Monodane, although he already figured out the answer. Ishido merely confirmed his suspicions: "Demons use chakra in its natural form. This is one of the reasons why they surpass human. However Mitsukai Hokori is also based on releasing chakra in its natural form, so to say it's the attack that's the closest to that of a demon. That technique, although a shinobi one, can break through Kaku's defense, leaving Tamao wide open…"
"So what do you need me to do?"
"With her defenses activated, I can't get near Kaku" began Ishido calmly as he picked out a scroll. "But in order to seal the demon away, I need to touch Tamao's forehead. It's a complex ritual, which you probably won't manage to perform at this point. Naraku, what I'm going to tell you now is very important" he announced, giving the boy the scroll he held in his hand: "Here you'll find all the details concerning the ritual, in case Kaku would try to get loose again. With it, you'll manage to stop him if that'd happen…"
"But Ishido-sama, why are you giving me this?"
"Because no matter what'll happen now, I won't live to see another day" he replied calmly, forcing a smile. The boy looked at him even more surprised, but the man just continued: "Listen, Naraku, I need you to use Mitsukai Hokori against the defensive sphere around my daughter in order to clear the way for me…"
"But I'm still incapable of using it correctly!" the boy reminded him as panic took over the young Monodane. "I might loose control and get us both killed, to skip the risk of destroying your village!"
"If Kaku won't be stopped, Iwa will be doomed anyways" the Tsuchikage announced painfully. "Besides, the ritual requires time to prepare… even with my speed, I won't managed to perform it fast enough after I used Mitsukai Hokori. Kaku's defensive sphere would manage to regenerate itself before I could finish the seals. That's why I'm begging you, Naraku, to help me. Use that technique here and now… and please, do your best to not lose control, so that my daughter would live after this…"
At first the boy didn't reply. He got terrified. But as he glanced at Tamao again, into her black holes that replaced her eyes, as he looked at her pale skin and her thinner then normal body, and above all the shivers that embraced her, he narrowed his eyes and with a quick nod, he announced: "I'll do my best…"
Ishido only smiled and then he bite his finger while picking out a scroll, and began writing on it with his blood. Meanwhile Naraku took few steps forward and closed his eyes slightly; the aura that was now surrounding the young kunoichi was terrifying. Even more terrifying then he could've imagined. Slowly he began gathering chakra in the tips of his fingers and instantly felt a strain put on his body.
With a loud cry he suddenly charged, extending his right hand forward, which was now surrounded with white aura. However the instant his fingers touched the defensive sphere of Kaku, an incredible pain shoot from Naraku's hand.
The boy clenched his teeth in order to keep a yell of pain inside as he felt like beneath his skin thousands of red ants found their lair an began biting from inside. A sudden blast of his own blood, that exploded from his hand, made his eyes widen in surprise. His hand started shaking as veins on it became more visible.
Naraku felt an incredible blood pressure inside his body and then a barely hearable crack reached his ears. Most likely one of his bones just broke. He kept on pushing forward, ignoring the pain, and finally, when his vision began getting blur, the orange chakra surrounding Tamao's body suddenly seemed to fade away. The boy only managed a smile as he collapsed to the ground.
In a flash Ishido appeared and writing a strange symbol on his daughter's forehead, he placed his hand on it. Instantly veins grew visible on the man's hand as it too began shaking. The Tsuchikage began sweating heavily as he glanced over his shoulder at the missing-nin, who was barely conscious: "Naraku, this is where it ends. But in order for it to end, you'll have to do one more thing… in the scroll I gave you, at its end, there's a big symbol drawn there. It's the one you must write on Tamao's forehead with your own blood once I'm done. If you won't, Kaku will run loose right after she regains consciousness. Do you understand?"
The boy only managed a weak nod. For some reason words didn't seem to come out of his mouth. The man forced a smile on his face and then continued: "I also have a favor to ask you. You already did plenty, but this is very important to me. As I told you, I won't live to see another day. That much I know for sure. Tamao was always hated because of the demon sealed inside her, but since she was my daughter, people restrained themselves from attacking her. But, once I'm gone, they won't hold back anymore, especially when they'll find out that Tamao was the one that caused my death…"
"She caused your death?" Naraku repeated, regaining his voice.
"She can't stay in the Iwa" Ishido announced, his voice growing weaker. "And therefore I'm asking you, Naraku, to take her with you" and at hearing those word the young Monodane's eyes widen.
"Me?" he asked surprised. "Why me?"
"Because you're the first one, besides myself and my wife, who haven't treated her as a monster, even when you learned her secret" Ishido replied, smiling to him. "I'm really grateful to you for that. Also, I know you'll take good care of her…"
"But if she'll go with me, it'll be dangerous!" Naraku opposed, even though he would really prefered not to. "And with my hand as it is now, I won't be able to fight to protect her!"
"There's a way for that" the man replied, catching Tamao, who just lost her consciousness. "In Ibano, a town near here, not long ago appeared a woman with huge breasts. She's one of the Legendary Leaf as your people call them. Her name is Tsunade and she's thought to be the best medic-nin there is. If you'll manage to find her, she might be able to save your arm…"
"Legendary Leaf…" Naraku repeated, narrowing his eyes. "But how will I recognize her? From what I know she left Konoha long ago…"
"Well, although she's around fifty years old by now, she's hiding behind a genjutsu that makes her look young" the Tsuchikage announced. "She loves to gamble and as I already told you, she has huge breasts. I'm pretty sure that if you'd ask the men around, they'd manage to tell you something about her current whereabouts…"
The boy hesitated for a moment. On the one hand he'd really like to take the girl with him, however he also knew what awaits on his journey. He then glanced at Tamao, who now laid in her father's arms, completely exhausted. Her skin was as white as snow and her body incredibly skinny. It was obvious that the girl's body has just suffered a lot of stress. And for some reason, that view was what made Naraku make his decision.
"I'll take her with me" he announced as he walked over to the two slowly. "And I promise that never again will Tamao-chan have to suffer what she just did. No matter the costs, I won't allow Kaku to take over her body again!"
"Glad to hear it, Naraku" Ishido announced, smiling once more. "I hope you're the man of your word" and with that he collapsed to the ground. The young Monodane checked his pulse, though he knew what the result would be. The Tsuchikage was already dead.
After a short moment Naraku opened the scroll the man gave him and biting his thumb he began drawing the symbol on the girl's forehead. Once he managed to complete it, he lifted her up and placing her on his back, he slowly began walking towards the exit of the village. The sooner they'd get out, the better.
"And that's pretty much it" concluded Hinako after a moment of thought. "Some time later Naraku-sama managed to meet me and then located this whole Tsunade person, who fixed his arm. After that the three of us went on our way…"
"Now I wonder if meeting with Naraku wasn't something that made Tsunade-oba to act the way she did to ero-sennin's proposition" Naruto thought out loud. "Hearing what that Tsuchikage dude did and that Uchiha incident took place again might have made her doubt in the point of protecting the village…"
"You meet Tsunade as well?" the former cloud-nin glanced at him surprised with her eyes widen as the blonde nodded in response: "Basically I helped ero-sennin convince her to become our Godaime… even though I didn't like that" he added with a smile and after a moment of silence he got up, heading towards the door.
"Naruto-kun, where are you going?" asked Hinata as she looked after her crush. The Kyuubi vessel stopped halfway and without turning around, he replied: "There's something I need to do… I'll see you guys later" and with that he left.
"What was that all about?" asked Hinako confused, but the Hyuuga heiress only smiled under her nose. To her, it was obvious what the whisker-marks thoughts were.
At that time, in the hallway, Naruto stopped and lowered his head, placing his right hand on the wall. As he recalled the story he just heard in his head, his hand clenched into a fist as anger slowly taken over him. Anger directed mostly towards himself: "That time… Naraku didn't hesitate to bet his life to save someone important to him and me? Just like that I forgot about my own promise… just because I couldn't do it, I've decided to give up and take the easy way… but no more! I'll bring Sasuke back! But to do so, I need to get stronger… much stronger…" and with that thought he headed down the hall.
---Some time later in Suna hospital---
Naraku exited the room, nearly bumping into Yari, who was just reaching for the door. After a short moment of silence, the blue-haired girl finally decided to speak up: "So, how does she feels?" she asked, giving the former leaf-nin a demanding look.
"She's resting now" the boy replied with a little concern in his voice. "Regaining her strength after the demon tried to take over will certainly take a while, but now that she's woken up, everything should be fine. And I should go find Naruto… if I recall, I still failed to thank him for that time. Any idea where he is?"
"Well, the last time I saw him, he was asking Gaara-kun for some favor" Yari replied and received a thanking nod from the young Monodane as he walked down the hall. The kunoichi hesitated for a moment and then speak up again, gaining her companion's attention: "You know, Naraku-kun… since that time you fought him, I wanted to ask you something… why did you choose to actually take him along?"
Naraku stopped at that. He didn't turn around and settled his gaze on the floor beneath his feet. As his eyes slightly narrowed, he turn around and placed a smile on his face before replying: "Honestly… haven't got a clue!" but seeing that the girl was not satisfied with that answer, his face became serious again: "You're not gonna buy that, are ya?" he asked rhetorically and then went on: "In actuality, it was his eyes… I can't really explain it, but that time when he used the Rasengan, I saw something in them… and it was that thing that effected me. If I had to give an exact reason, I'm not sure if there was one, but in that one instant I felt that the two of us were somehow bond together…"
"I thought you didn't believe in fate…"
"I don't…" he admitted. "It was something else… I mean, didn't you ever had this strange feeling that when you looked at someone, you knew that there was something binding you together?" and at this point the blue-haired girl looked away. "It's true that I didn't considered him as someone strong enough to confront my brother or Juusan Akuma, but after all this time, I see that I was only half right. Naruto may not be the strongest person in the world, but everyday he grows stronger… and sooner or later, he'll surely surpass me" and with that he began walking away. "And what's more, I'm positive it'll happen sooner then later…"
"Naraku, before you go" Yari stopped her friend, gaining his attention once more. "I have a message for you from Gaara-kun…"
---A little later, elsewhere---
Naruto breathed heavily as sweat run down his face while he rested his hands on his bended knees. He glanced up at Gaara, who was standing few meters before him with his sand swirling around him. He didn't seem exhausted at all, yet a good eye could see that his breath became faster as well. "You almost had it that time" the redhead announced calmly, making the blonde smile widely.
"Yeah well, almost won't do" he replied, standing straight again. "Back in the Leaf, when we fought, I had a trigger… and now I need to be able to go all out even without such trigger. If you can still go on, I wanna give it another shoot…"
The Kazekage only nodded as the blonde went into his fighting stance, but just then they were interrupted by Naraku who walked into the room. "Training, I see?" he more announced then asked as a tiny smile appeared on his face. "Sorry for interruption, but I need to talk to you, Gaara-san" and as the redhead turned towards him, he continued: "Yari told me about your fight with a member of Juusan Akuma. I want to know if it's true what she said… were they after the Dog symbol you're protecting?"
"That was their reason to come" the Godaime replied simply. "For most part…"
"Then all I can do is thank you for your hospitality" the young Monodane announced, bowing slightly. "I'm afraid I'll need to take my leave very soon. I'd like to ask you to keep Tamao-chan protected during my absences. Normally I'd wait for her to recover, but this time I cannot wait…"
"What's the rush?" demanded Naruto, completely confused.
"I don't know why Juusan are after the symbols, but if they are, they should be stopped" Naraku replied patiently as he turned towards the blonde. "I doubt my brother would make an effort to get them just to have a collection, so there must be some purpose for him to want them all… and it just so happens that I know the one who has the Rooster symbol from Konoha…"
"And who might that be?" asked Gaara, still not showing any sign of curiosity at all.
"My younger sister…"
---That time in Lighting Country---
"There you go, Akamaru, eat up" a boy wearing a dark blue t-shirt and pants in the same color said to his white-furred dog, placing a bowl of food before it. He boy had hazel, dog-like eyes and spiky, brown hair. But the thing that drew the most attention in him, besides a hitae-ate with the Leaf symbol on it, located on his forehead, were two, red, fang-like tattoos on both his cheeks.
The boy's eyes narrowed as he glanced at the sky, where storm clouds began to gather. "Those clouds… it's almost like a premonition of something bad. And this weird feeling I've been having since yesterday… I wonder what all that means. And there's always those two from before…"
And as he was trailing off in his thoughts, two figures observed him from afar. The one with spiky, brown hair and green eyes, with a hitae-ate with a slashed, Grass symbol on his forehead turned towards his companion and asked without any trace of emotion on either his face or in his voice: "That guy… he has the Leaf headband. Do you suppose he may interfere with our plans, Henkou?"
The man wearing a violet cloak didn't even looked at his companion. In stead a tiny smirk appeared on his face as he replied: "It doesn't really matter, Toge… if he'll get in our way… we'll just kill him…"
---storm clouds gather once more… the real battle is about to begin---
And so this chapter ends, taking this fic with it. Once more I'd like to thank everyone who read and review this story. It's been fun. Sorry to drop this fic without getting to the end, but what can I say? I can always encourage you to try out my other, "Naruto" fics.
Thanks everyone and take care!