Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.


The Heaven and Earth Bridge was over fifty kilometers from the island base Orochimaru and a few select Soundnins were staying at. The chakra from the fight still drew everyone out.

The Soundnins, aside from Sasuke, stayed concealed even as they came out and stared at the horizon; the vantage was bad, and everything was too far away to be heard, but the feeling of Orochimaru and someone else using insane amounts of chakra was unmistakable. Even fifty kilometers away, the air was thin and electric.

"What the fuck?" the sole woman of the group whispered, when a thin line of chakra so red it seemed black stretched up into the sky.

"Is Orochimaru-sama going to be okay?" a teenager asked, half a minute later, after spitting the taste of the red-black chakra out of his mouth.

"Don't be stupid," a man replied, having rejected caution far enough to climb onto one of the rocks just below Sasuke. "Who do you think he is?"

"But . . ." the teenager said, and gestured at the distance. No one replied.

Despite what the man had said, he breathed a sigh of relief when the triple gates went up. It lasted just as long as it took the other chakra to blow them apart.

"Fuck!" a second teenager swore, from where he was perched in a tree a few meters closer to the edge of the island. "What the fuck could do that?"

The man didn't answer.

They were still receiving no sound, but the second chakra disappeared all of a sudden two minutes later. The woman hesitated from where she'd been halfway to climbing onto the rock beside the man.

". . . Should we go?" the first teenager asked.

"No," the man said decisively, and jumped down. "Orochimaru-sama's chakra was there last. Go get ready for his return. Watanabe, you and Miyuki check the borders."

"Sir," the group replied, and everyone disbursed to their various tasks.

Up on the rock he was crouched on, Sasuke's hands were shaking.