A/N: Well this chapter needed a few more decriptions in it...yes there were l;ots before but I found some parts to be a little hard tor ead even for me.
The rain was pelting down as if it was doing so just to slow his progress, as though it were aiding his pursuers. Nothing seemed to help, the trees only made it worse. Huge drops hit the ANBU as he ran through the canopy, as though his life depended on it. The only thing keeping the water from his eyes was the mask he wore over his face, not that it was much help, even in this pelting rain it still managed to soak his face.
Feeling he was losing who ever it was pursuing him, he allowed himself to slow down. At only twenty years of age he was still able to move far faster than the older shinobi on his team, giving him a larger advantage in stealth and assassination missions.
His gray white hair clung to the side of his head as though it too felt the rising tension in the air and tried it's best to cling to him for reassurance. Even he shook from the rising tension he felt was surrounding him, suffocating him.
Their mission was simple, infiltrate the hidden village of the Mist and steal important documents; one of which being a scroll filled with secret ninjutsu only performed by the utmost elite Mist ninja; and get out without being seen. Only right now it wasn't so simple.
Unfortunately half way out of the village they were noticed and had no choice but to run. The village was a maze of streets and alleys and although each had memorized the layout of the village as best they could there were still unmarked streets. This had proved to be quite the problem and near the outskirts of the village they had wound up cornered against a wall with no room for movement. How they had managed in that situation was beyond Kakashi. They had been trained not to allow that to happen but that very moment reminded him that nothing can be entirely planned for ahead of time.
So their only choice was to stay and fight, while one ran with the scroll. Of course being the youngest on the team, Kakashi was chosen as the one to take off with the scroll while the rest stayed behind to create a diversion. He knew they were done for but by choosing their fastest teammate they were hoping he would make it back to their village before being caught.
He had to admit this wasn't their usual mission; normally they took care of missing nin or anything that may endanger the security of Konohoa. This time though it was the one scroll Kakashi had on his back that was the security risk to his home village. Inside were jutsu that could be used to annihilate the entire village with minimum effort by the Mist nin. Now if only he could make it back and deliver the scroll to the Hokage that the village would be safe from any attacks the mist would throw their way for the time being.
Looking to his left he could have sworn he felt someone moving in on his position. Closing his eyes he focused all his chakra to his nose. But found nothing. There was no one there, he wasn't expecting to find any scent in this rain either but there was no harm in trying. Was it all his imagination? No there was something there but he couldn't put his hand on where it was. Who ever this person was they are good and gaining on him. He had only one choice left, he had to stop and make a stand; there was no way he could out run them in the rain like this.
Stopping on what Kakashi felt was a sturdy branch he looked around him slowly trying to take in his bearings. All around were trees, not a very good thing for him, since an enemy could appear out of any knock and cranny. The huge torrents of giant rain drops falling from their leaves wasn't helping his vision either, at this rate he might as well use every sense he can. Howeverthe rain drops themselveswere theworst of all, and had managed to hinder much of his progress. Soaking his clothes and getting into his mask he was losing all his flexibility, which meant he was unable to react quickly. He would have made it back to the village by now if it weren't for the rain drenching him.
I need to get out of this rain and away from the guy who's tailing me. He thought for what seemed the thousandth time.
Looking down he decided to not risk running by foot, it was far safer to travel in the trees than risk floundering in the mud.
That would be a bad idea they could easily attack me from above anyways and with the slick mud they could just wait for me to slip up and slit my throat with little effort.
He had seen the very situation himself; actually he had been the one taking advantage of it.
Of course staying in the trees was a far better idea but he was running out of energy and at this point putting up a fight would be the best course of action. He wasn't the youngest to ever be enrolled in Konahoa's ANBU for nothing, if he had lasted this long then he will make it through a simple fight in the rain.
But it's never very simple. He mused as he turned to his left tying to pinpoint his missing pursuer.
Suddenly a shadow flew to his left, interrupting his thoughts. Jumping to his feet in a flurry, he focused chakra to his sherigan eye. But still caught nothing. This was all starting to bother him. Even though he was the youngest ANBU member on his team he was also one of the most experienced and skilled. This person who ever they were had similar skills in tracking as he did and this was causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand up on end. It felt as though none other than himself was stalking him.
Realization hit. "Damn" He cursed and took off once more trough the trees. If they were so intent on chasing him then a chase they will get.
There is no way I will let this scroll leave my back with out a fight.
Twenty minutes passed and he could feel exhaustion creeping into his muscles. Soon he would have to stop and regain some of his chakra. Unfortunately his shadow was still following him. The only hope he had was to confront them and hope for an epiphany to hit while he fought off his pursuer. From the way this was playing out the others had been finished off, either that or one of the Mist nin saw his escape and followed.
Frowning deeply under his mask he looked for a safe, or at least a resting place that would give him an advantage if he were attacked. Finding one, he leapt to a large branch and leaned with his back against the mossy trunk.
Heaving from exhaustion he moved the scroll to a better position and pulled out his katana. He knew they were after the scroll, why else would they chase him this far?
There was no way he was going to be finished off without a fight, whoever this nin was he was going to take them down with him, scroll or not. He would finish this mission even if it cost him his life.
Heaving a heavy sigh he closed his eyes and focused on the forest once more. There definitely were several ninja in the forest that much he knew and some he recognized as from the mist village searching for him.
A smile suddenly crept across his face, just a few kilometers off there were a few from his village, he could barely sense them but he knew there was still some hope for success.
At least if I get into a fight hey may notice and give me some back up. He thought hopefully, but he knew full well if this nin could keep him from detecting them this long, the chances of escaping or even lasting till his comrades came would be very slight odds. Odds he often thrived on. Something deep down was trying to tell him that his enemy was close by but something was very off.
What's this feeling? He thought as he opened his eyes and took in his surroundings once more. Luckily his strength was returning.
"This guy has no intent to kill? This is very off." He mumbled under his mask. "Show yourself there's no point in hiding from me." He called bluffing. This was a mistake and he knew it.
As if on cue a mist nin appeared to his left, where he wasn't expecting, "Damn" Kakashi cursed as he flung himself off the branch to the right and allowed himself to fall, to avoid the attack.
"You wanted me to appear so here I am, and now I will finish you and take back what you stole." The nin cried as he launched himself at Kakashi.
Kakashi said nothing in return but instead put away the katana and pulled out his kunai readying himself for the attack, chances were he could win if the enemy actually thought he would fall for an all-frontal attack. Letting himself fall back off the branch he attempted to keep a constant amount of distance from himself and the shinobi as he long as he could so he could perform the replacement convincingly. But gravity was working against him since his opponent was far heavier and also actively pushing himself off of branches to get as close to the falling ANBU as he could. This was all turning out to be a very bad day.
It was only a few more inches before theMist nin came close enough and Kakashi was ready with the replacement technique when the man flying at him suddenly flew off to the right with a sickening scream. Blood flew all over Kakashi and soaked the near by tree. Flipping in mid air and landing on a lower branch Kakashi looked up to where he had last heard the deafening scream. Sure enough the Mist ninja was definitely dead and he was no long in any danger of attack from him.
With cat-like reflexes Kakashi launched himself close to where the dead shinobi was.
There's no way I'm going any closer to investigate this, the enemy could be expecting me to get closer, and if I do he'll take the chance to do much the same. It's got to be a trap. He smiled. This shinobi was good they were planning their movements ahead of time and still allowing room of changes in the events occurring around them.
Reluctantly he jumped to an even closer branch, he was going to have to inspect this if he was to know what to expect if he were to be attacked by the hidden shinobi. Reaching a branch as close to the tree as possible, he saw a large fuuma shuriken pinning the man's neck to the wood. Blood was flowing freely from the man's forehead where a katana held it in place. Obviously it was the sword that was the killing move, he thought as he lunged forward to grab the sword. If only he could examine it closely before being attacked, he might be able to glean enough information to live long enough for backup. Reaching closer he couldn't help but feel the hair on the back of his neck stand up once again.
I swear this feeling is a warning. He frowned. It was getting unnerving.
'THWAK' Kakashi drew his had back in time as a kunai landed just where his hand used to be.
Hmmm interesting, you don't want to kill me but you don't want me to touch your weapons either. He was sure this was the ghost that was following him. "Hmm from the trajectory you should be to my left and about three feet up." Kakashi said more loudly hoping his savior had heard him. But he got no reply.
Turning his head slowly he was still waiting to hear the whistle of an incoming kunai aimed for his head. Surprisingly none came. Instead he saw a lithe figure up a few feet to his left, right where he said they'd be. "Well looks like I was right." He said stoically.
Just a few inches shorter than he, the nin wore a similar white armor; actually it was the same armor he noticed. Strapped to his back was the sheath for the katana that was holding the dead ninja to the tree next to Kakashi, and at an odd angle was the second. It wasn't unusual for a ninja in ANBU to carry two but to have the katana strapped at a low angle meant this ninja had skill. What worried him most though was the mask the nin was wearing. The mask was that of a bird but not as frightening as the ANBU bird masks worn by those among Kakashi's people. This mask had an eerie glow and strangely made his nerves relax just from the sight of it. This was bad he couldn't allow himself to fall into a false security like that.
This guy may have saved me but he's not from Konohoa which means if he saved me like this then he wants the scroll and would probably kill me in an instant if I fought back. He knew he was at a disadvantage; there was no way his kunai would make it up to his enemy before a counter attack reached him. His soaking wet clothes weren't going to help much either, as soaked as his clothes were it would be easy for his enemy to predict his movements from the way his muscles moved.
Who ever this guy was he was good enough to follow him without being seen or sensed. But he had noticed their presence and from the way they stood they were not very pleased about it.
"Let me guess you want this." Kakashi asked almost teasingly as he moved to ready himself for an attack. Why not tease them for a bit, they already caused me enough trouble.
The nin still made no response. Kakashi was really starting to get annoyed. What does he think he's doing just standing there? Won't he at least move? Still even as he thought this, the nin just stared at him and made no move not even a twitch.
"Well it was nice being here and all but I should really get going, there will be more like him coming after me." Moving to the right he noticed the ninja's quick movement to compensate for his. Damn they're not mirroring me but they're hunting me…wait a minute a hunter. From Mist? Now panic was taking hold, if this was a hunter he was done fore. I don't see a mist symbol on the mask, then not a hinter from mist. Who the hell is this guy? He's intense.
Without a warning the nin suddenly took off towards him. Crouching low Kakashi brought up his kunai in a defensive position and waited for the strike. But none came.
Instead the ninja landed right next to him and pulled the katana out of the dead Mist's head. Placing it back in it's sheath on his back, the nin then pulled off the shuriken from the tree and held the man's body for a moment as he looked to the ground.
What is he up to? Kakashi thought as he stood next to the nin and waited as if frozen. What are you planning, are you even on my side? He had to many questions and right now he had to push them aside and analyze the situation.
As it stands he was just about out of chakra a few moments ago and was about to fight to the death. A Mist nin had tried to kill him, and probably could have. But then he was saved by a shinobi from somewhere he didn't know, and killed the Mist ninja with amazing force and efficiency. All this happened in less than two minutes. He was definitely an equivalent to ANBU or a hunter nin, there was just no way even a simple jounin could act with such efficiency.
Now he stood only a few feet apart from the guy who saved him, watching him hold dead weight against the tree as if he were waiting for something. The only question was what.
Still he could see nothing that would distinguish the shinobi in front of him from any other ninja. Tied low was a bundle of brown hair and a few strands hung in front of the mask. The clothing hung loosely enough to allow for perfect flexibility, so not much different from himself. The swords reminded him of another ANBU member but nothing to major. But as he looked once more to the bundle of hair there was something that caught his attention. Pinning the hair in place were four pins each with a distinct color. Normally he would have thought of them as hairpins but two of them were coated in what looked like blood. Could he have been in a fight and some splattered on them? Or was there something more? This meant he had already killed someone else before this guy.
Unlike him they had managed to remain dry. Wait a minute they're dry and he's soaked. Was this a cruel joke? Was this guy using his chakra to keep the rain off him? No that would be impossible he would need an amazing amount of chakra just to accomplish that for so long.
Obviously there was a cue from somewhere since the ninja in front of him suddenly dropped the dead man. To his surprise they had dropped the man onto a few of his comrades causing them to scatter and lose concentration.
He knew they lost concentration since the rain stopped and he suddenly felt much lighter and drier than he was. Looking down at his clothes he realized he was trapped in a genjutsu, designed to slow the opponent or prey of the caster.
Very cleaver. I was slowed down because my mind was reacting to what I saw. Next time I won't fall for it. Too bad I couldn't see them activate it though; it would have come in handy.
Kakashi couldn't help but feel relieved to have all the weight lifted off him.
Caught off guard the nin next to him suddenly gave him a very swift push knocking him clear off the branch and a few feet back onto another one.
What the hell was that? He just pushed me? Was his sudden thought but he realized why as soon as he saw five ninja from mist come straight for the man who had just saved him a second time. He was too far away to help the guy now, and from his actions he knew they wanted him to keep going.
So you weren't after the scrollin the first place...but why save me? That question seemed to run through his mind over mind over. The chances of finding out was very slim but maybe just maybe they were called in for backup...or just passing by and noticed the fight...No that would be quite the coincidence if it were true. Shaking his head Kakashi decided he'd deal with it later.
Making a final glance back he couldn't help but smile, who ever this guy was had a sense of humor almost worthy of his appreciation. He was glad he wasn't fighting this shinobi now that he saw what they were capable of, even if it wasn't much at all that he saw.
Several of the Mist nin wound up tied up and hung by ropes but the funny thing was they weren't hanging by their legs but by their arms. Now that was ingenious, they could no longer perform hand signs as long as they were tied up like that. This obviously was angering a few of the Mist ninja since they shook and spat at the shinobi watching them. Only one was able to get out but was killed in a second by a single swing of the katana at the shinobi's hip. It was as if he was daring them to get down and attack or even run. There was no escape from that trap. It was almost as if they were in a web. The more they struggle the more tired they get, easier for the picking, and the more they fight and manage to get away the better the target.
Smiling Kakashi looked to the path ahead of him, there in one of the trees where three ANBU, one was missing but that could mean anything, it was obvious they were waiting for him and so he left reluctantly.
It's going to be very hard to explain this one. I can't wait to see the Hokage's face when I tell him I was saved by an unknown shinobi that looked like one of us. He smiled. No one would believe him, they never did. He actually didn't really care either, he just wanted to get home and read his favorite book.