The Shinobi of Legends
Chapter 11 – The Devil of the Mist
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters who are originally from Ranma 1/2 or Naruto… even if I could own them, I'd much rather prefer to just create my own characters that can rival them in every shape and form.
In any case, original characters in this chapter consist of Hyuuga Natsumi, and Uchiha Haruko, and they do belong to me. Maybe I should copyright these characters, too bad I have no idea how to copyright something (I'm just that dumb and clueless).
Summary: The return of a true monster.
"Now, prepare yourself… for the Art of Silent Assassination……"
"Silent, huh? For a fighting style that's supposed to be silent, you sure do yap a lot," Ranma taunted, as he perked his ears and reached for his katana.
The only response he got was a quiet growl from all around, 'Oh yeah, it's definitely Mizu-Bunshin…' The next thing he saw was a giant blade coming right at him, "What the fu…!!!" He quickly ducked under the flying projectile, but was forced back as he blocked another thrown sword with his katana. The strength of the throw forced him to skid on the ground before he purposely fell down, back-first, letting the weapon pass by him, then quickly jumped back to his feet to avoid being beheaded by a third blade.
"Zabuza-san, are you trying to kill me?!?!?!" He was answered with a swing of yet another sword from behind, which he swiftly jumped over and landed on, only to fall back on his feet as it melted into water. "That's it, enough playing damsel in distress!!! Ouragan (Hurricane)!!!" Ranma swung his sword and created a huge gust of wind which blew away a portion of the mist, along with several water-clones.
Unfortunately for the young ninja, this just left him wide open which Zabuza quickly took advantage of by commanding all his clones to throw their swords at once. "Ah crud," Ranma muttered as he saw giant shadows quickly coming towards him, and immediately threw his katana into the sky and made a hand-seal……
Zabuza smirked at the sudden silence and chuckled, "Hehehe, easier than I expected." When the sound of water splashing down filled the area, he quickly turned his head only to see a stream of fire headed towards him. He brought his sword down as fast as he could to extinguish the flame, and then looked around to see that his clones didn't have that same luck as multiple streams of fire set them ablaze.
The only reason he could even tell through the thick mist was because of the fire, but where was it coming from? Zabuza deactivated his mist jutsu, only to have his eyes widen in shock at what he saw, Ranma… several of them were standing on top of each other's shoulders, holding their katanas in front of them, making a circle-shaped pyramid. 'Interesting, they deflected away all the swords… that sneaky little runt.'
"Hell yeah!!!" The real Ranma hollered from the very top of the pyramid, "You can't beat me that easily!!!" Just then he saw a shadow rush into the pyramid and almost instantly the shadow-clones on the bottom disappeared, causing the pyramid to almost collapse. "…What now?" He looked down to see Zabuza in the middle, swinging his sword around, imitating a buzz-saw. Ranma quickly jumped off before he got chop apart too, and landed in front of the water-clone, who tried to cut him in half regardless. However, Ranma blocked the attack with his katana and then strongly kicked the clone in the testicles causing it to grimace in pain and explode into water.
"I can't believe it…" Ranma said, as Zabuza finished destroying the last of his clones, "When did you have time to make a water-clone?"
Zabuza just smirked condescendingly, "I made one before I canceled the mist-jutsu. It was my clone that did everything from there on in, figures that a stupid infant like you wouldn't be able to tell."
Ignoring the insult, Ranma threw several kunai and shuriken, which was immediately blown away from a swing of that massive sword. But that was exactly what he wanted the man to do, he use his speed to instantly reach Zabuza as the sword was brought downward and used a jumping side-kick to hit the man right in the face.
Zabuza flew off the ground, but cut his flight short by stabbing the ground with Kubikiri Houcho…… all according to plan.
"Bingo," Ranma smirked as his katana came down to pierce Zabuza on the top of his head, but he had no idea why he was so surprised when the man 'poofed' into a log.
He rolled forward to avoid being slashed by Zabuza's sword, then pushed upward with his hands to double-stomp the older man on the face, which was cleanly blocked by the giant sword. Ranma flipped back to his feet, and used a chakra string to pull his katana back to him.
Meanwhile Zabuza was getting ready to slash the young boy in front of him, but Ranma managed to get his katana in time to block the attack, but due to the raw power of the swing, he was still thrown off his feet and made a deep crater in the floor.
The moment Ranma hit the ground, Zabuza made the hand-seals for Kirigakure no Jutsu (Hidden Mist Technique), and surrounded the area with a thick fog. "Geez, not this again," Ranma complained as he wearily stood up, and started using his own set of hand-seals.
"Doton: Retsudo Tenshou (Earth Type: Splitting Earth Force)!!!" Ranma slammed his hands on the ground creating several fissures in the earth, causing it to rapidly break apart and rise up. He was satisfied to hear the sounds of water exploding, 'Now for this mist…' and quickly used more hand-seals.
"Fuuton: Kamaitachi (Wind Type: Slashing Wind)!!!" He exhaled and created a huge burst of wind that blew away part of the mist, but then he kept slowly turning around to get rid of the rest as well. Just as the final portion of the mist was blown away, Zabuza made his reappearance from behind and quickly swung his fist to hit Ranma with the back of his hand. Afterwards, he roundhouse-kicked the boy in the chest, then jumped up to roughly stomp him to the ground, and to end it, Zabuza brought his sword down to behead him only to have him 'poof' into smoke.
The Mist-nin was pulled underground as two hands popped out from the earth, to drag him down. He saw Ranma rise out in front of him, who then ran forward to strongly kick the man in the head, the impact was so powerful that it ripped the man's head right off. As the decapitated head was flying off, it dissolved into water……
"Holy Crap…" Natsumi muttered in amazement. She was looking at the action through a camera lens, there was no way she was missing this opportunity!!! 'Oh man, these pictures are going to make a great inclusion for my photo book,' she excitedly thought.
"Su-sugoi!!!" Haruko exclaimed in excitement, she'd never seen a high-level battle like this before.
"……" Haku just watched silently with an emotionless expression.
"Bwahahahaha!!! Unbelievable, it seems like you're the one trying to kill me here punk," Zabuza amusingly taunted as he walked out of the forest. Ranma just chortled in response, "Yeah right, the only reason I'm going so hard is because I can tell which ones are water-clones. At this kind of level we're fighting at, the water-clones' chakra are too low to be really you. That's the downfall of Mizu-Bunshin, you can only put ten percent of your power into them." Haruko saw Ranma quickly glance at her from the corner of his eyes and realized the comment was meant for her ears.
Zabuza saw this action and quietly scoffed, 'Unbelievable, he's actually giving an impromptu lesson for that kid while fighting me at the same time…' He then grinned menacingly as the water around him started to boil from his immense chakra, "Hehehe, while this is fun and all gaki, I think it's time I end this little charade."
"End? Why do that Zabuza-san, especially when the fight's just getting to the good part," Ranma smirked and made his eyes glow red, the air around him started condensing and building up into steam due to his own chakra release.
"Ranma-dono… I never realized before…" Natsumi mumbled as she kept recording and held Haruko closer to her. The young Uchiha didn't notice as she was positively ecstatic that the ensuing battle increased yet another level, 'Fight, fight, fight, fight, fight…' was the single-tracked thought running through her mind.
"……" No change in Haku.
Both fighters quickly unleashed a giant fireball and waterball which blew up upon contact with each other. They ran through the steam, built up from the attacks, to meet mid-way and engaged in sword combat, which Zabuza had the upper hand since he was stronger and his sword was much, much bigger. Ranma bent over backwards to avoid a slash and used a rising-kick to send the sword upwards, then hopped up to head-butt the man in the face but at the same time, Zabuza quickly swung his sword back down to vertically slice Ranma in half. The 'poof' signified that it was nothing but a shadow-clone…
"Tempête de Feu (Firestorm)!!!" A voice cried out from behind. The real Ranma pulled his arms back and thrusted his katana forward into the air to create a huge firestream, surrounded by multiple feather-shaped flames.
"Suiton: Daibakufu no Jutsu (Water Type: Explosion Skill)!!!" Zabuza created a large cyclone-shaped tsunami from the river to counter the fire-blast. There was a brief power-struggle before both attacks eventually fizzled out.
Ranma and Zabuza both ran around the steam dome, only to jerk back when they saw that their opponents were missing. "Hey, where'd you go!!!" Ranma shouted. "I'm right over here you idiot, who told you to go over to the other side!!!" Zabuza shouted back.
"Well I didn't realize there were rules to a fight, you stupid baby devil!!!"
"What'd you call me, you snot-nose dumbass punk!!!"
"You heard me, you spiky-teeth brainless meathead!!!"
"Why you gutless little bitch, come over here and say that!!!!!!"
The three ninjas sweat-dropped as they watched the ninja fight transform into a kindergarten-level shouting match, 'They're just like little kids…'
Having enough with just yelling profanity, the two fighters jumped over the fog, and went back to beating each other up, this time with their fists. Both their punches collided in mid-air and the impact forced them to fly backwards, but each landed on their feet and skidded on the ground before quickly running towards each other again.
Ranma leaped forward to strike with a jumping side-kick, which was parried by a punch. Zabuza tried to take advantage by using an uppercut which was blocked by a foot, since Ranma turned his body around and landed on his hand.
The boy then flipped back to his feet and tried a reverse spin-kick which Zabuza ducked under, and the older man attempted another uppercut, which directly hit its target this time. As Ranma's head was forced back, Zabuza kicked at his mid-section causing him to fold up, then grabbed him by his hair and kneed him in face, and finally just back-handed him across the ground.
Ranma tumbled on the floor before stopping with his hand and back-flipping onto his feet. "Colombe du Feu (Fire-Dove)!!!" Using his katana, he slashed the air in an X-pattern, which tore open a hole in the air and soon hundreds of firebirds flew out of it.
Zabuza counter with his own jutsu, "Suiton: Suikoudan no Jutsu (Water Type: Water Shark Blast Technique)!!!" and made a water-shark from the river which immediately engulfed the fire-doves, and went speeding towards Ranma.
'Oh crap!!!' Ranma used the 'Invisible Swing' to instantly swing his sword downwards and before anyone knew what happened, the water-shark suddenly split into two before exploding around Ranma, harmlessly drizzling him with imitation rain.
"……" Even Zabuza was impressed by this feat, after all it wasn't everyday that he saw a giant shark get cut in half.
"……" Haku was the same, but his facial expression showed that he was surprised as well. This only reinforced the fact that Ranma-san definitely deserved his respect.
"……" Natsumi and Haruko would have said something, but couldn't at the moment since their jaws were dropped down to the floor and their eyes were as wide as dinner plates.
"Alright then…" Ranma gasped after sheathing his sword and taking off his wet shirt, "Let's continue, Zabuza-san." He immediately disappeared and skidded to a stop behind Zabuza, who wasn't caught off-guard as the Konoha-ninja hoped and quickly used a backwards thrust-kick. Ranma somersaulted forward to dodge and landed on the extended leg with his hands, then rapidly spun around to kick Zabuza-san several times in the face. Afterwards he twisted his body to land on his feet, and shot himself towards the fallen man, only to hop back to avoid a downwards-slash of Kubikiri Houcho.
The two ninjas met eyes and a silent message was formed, this was it…
"Katon: Karyuu Endan (Flame Type: Fire Dragon Blast)!!!" Ranma shot off a giant fire-dragon from his mouth.
"Suiton: Suiryuudan no Jutsu (Water Type: Water Dragon Technique)!!!" A giant water-dragon erupted from the river behind Zabuza.
Both dragons collided right between the two combatants. Each ninja tried to overpower the other, but they couldn't find the strength to maintain their attacks and the dragons instantly combusted, sending Ranma into the trees and Zabuza into the raging river.
A few seconds later, the fighters dragged themselves out of their respective predicaments, moaning and groaning, then got back to their feet, exhaustedly gasping for breath. However, the looks on their faces sent chills down the backs of the three onlookers.
"I don't understand, they're smiling…" Natsumi whispered in shock, "How can they look so happy after beating each other to such extents?" Haruko was just blinking a lot with a look of confusion in her eyes.
Haku uttered a single word for the first time since this fight began, "… Incredible."
'It's been too long…!!! This is how a real fight is suppose to be!!!' This was the single thought running through both these ninjas' minds.
"Hahahaha…" Ranma and Zabuza grinned in anticipation and charged each other once more. But just before their fists could make contact, a blur quickly appeared in front of them and parried their punches, then spun on her hands to kick them off their feet.
"I think you boys have had enough fun, after all I think the kids have had enough excitement for one day," Natsumi whispered while staring down the two grounded ninja, and activated her Byukugan, "Or do you have any objections?"
Ranma shook his head, while Zabuza just growled. Neither objected, of course, since they were both seriously low on chakra. "Bah whatever," Zabuza grumbled, "It figures that you'd have to get saved by a girl, after all you kunoichi have to look out for each other huh, Ranma-chan."
The only response he received was a twitch of the left eye and a pulsating vein on the young ninja's forehead. "Yeah right…" Ranma waved his hand in a 'shooing' motion as he got up, "Zabuza-san was the one who got saved by Natsumi. Look at you, you can't even stand straight, must be that touch of arthritis at your old age."
"My legs aren't the ones shaking like a little chicken's, kozou (brat)…"
An anger-mark appeared next to the vein on Ranma's forehead, "Well at least I'm not wheezing and gasping like a 100-year old granny, but then again it's good to see you finally acting your own age."
Zabuza gritted his teeth and clenched his hand into a tight fist causing multiple veins to pop out, "Well this granny would have kicked your ass, if it hadn't been for that Hyuuga girl!!!"
"………" Ranma growled.
"………" Zabuza glared.
"YOU WANT FIGHT AGAIN, OLD MAN/PUNK!!!!!!" They simultaneously yelled at each other before Natsumi, who had enough of the testosterone, roughly punch them in the stomach causing them to lose consciousness. "Boys…" She sighed out, before kicking them towards the campsite, right into their respective sleeping bags.
"Wow… you've got great aim, Natsumi-san," Haruko whispered.
"Hehehe," She bashfully laughed and rubbed the back of her head, "Oh that was nothing, come on Haruko-chan let's get some breakfast." Natsumi turned to the forest and yelled out, "Haku!!! Come on, I'll make something for you too!!!"
Haku slowly walked out and towards the girls, all the while starring at the snoring men……
"You awake, gaki?" Zabuza asked as he shifted to a more comfortable position on top of the bag.
A grunt was heard from next to him, verifying that the brat was still conscience. "Geez, we must have busted each other pretty badly if Natsumi was able to get the jump on us," Ranma moaned as he settled on his back to stare at the sky. "Ano…" He became a little worried when his companion said nothing, "Why are you so quiet? Usually you'd say something about how nobody could ever surprise you"
"You know…" Zabuza started to say as he turned his head to glare at the young boy, "I hate it when my opponents hold back against me, whether it be in a real fight or a sparring match."
Ranma's eyes slightly widened in surprise, "Huh, what the hell are you talking about?" He sat up and looked the man right in his eyes, "Don't you think I have more respect for you than to insult you by doing something as degrading than that? I know you care more about your pride than you like to show, why would you even accuse me of something like holding back anyway?"
The mist-nin turned to look at the other three ninjas on the other side of the campsite, Natsume was currently doing her best to try and teach Haruko and Haku the proper ways of seasoning a fish, while dicing up some vegetables and fruits. "Because I saw how your attention turned away from the battle to that small girl, even if it was just for a second. If you were really taking it seriously then you wouldn't have done that, not even for that brief a moment."
Ranma just scoffed and flopped onto his sleeping bag while closing his eyes and rubbing his eyelids to try and relieve some stress, "you're getting bent out of shape because of that? Geez, when did you get so sensitive? Is it that time of the month for you or something?" He slightly jumped in a startle when Zabuza slammed his fist into the ground beside his head and opened his eyes to see the older man glaring down at him in a crouching position.
In an instant, Zabuza grabbed the front of Ranma's shirt and roughly pulled him to his feet. "Quit joking around!!!" He angrily growled, "What the hell were you thinking?! I don't give a damn if you were the 'Bloody Rain' of the Fire-Earth war, nobody plays around with me!!!!!!"
Ranma just stared coldly at his fellow shinobi then grabbed his wrist and twisted, forcing Zabuza to let go, "I told you before, that name… belonged to someone else…" He sat back down on his bag and laid down then sighed, "Also if you had waited a second or two, I would have explained…"
After several minutes of silence, Zabuza's lips twisted into a scowl when he saw Ranma starting to whistle, "Well, what's the hold-up? Aren't you going to explain?!"
Ranma just smirked and then started to dramatically wheeze and gasp, "Well I would love to, but it seems like my throat was recently hurt when someone roughly manhandled me like the shit-eating gorilla he is." He started laugh hysterically when Zabuza took a stomp forward then waved his hands in front of him to ward the older ninja away. "Okay, okay, I'll talk. Seriously, get a tadpole, totem pole, whatever the hell that thing is called that you women use for this time of the month."
He let off a few more chuckles before clearing his throat, "Anyway the reason why I looked away for that tiny brief moment was because I figured that time would be a good time to show my kohei (student) the weaknesses of Mizu-Bunshin since she uses it as well. After all, we were in the middle of witty banter, I figured what would hurt to take a quick second, well not even that it was more like a millisecond to send my cute, little Kaijuu-chan that message."
Zabuza simply stared at the younger boy for a few more seconds before he started chuckling, "I never thought you would be capable of properly teaching anyone from the things about your brother."
Ranma jumped to his feet and pointed his finger at the laughing man in anger, "Hey that was not my fault!!! That little brat just sucks at learning!!!" Then he simply turned away and sat down and started mumbling to himself about how a shark-man who dresses like a mummy shouldn't be criticizing others about teaching.
"Hey, brat… just what did you mean before when you said the name 'Bloody Rain' belonged to someone else?" Ranma took a small peek over his shoulder to see Zabuza looking down at him with a serious expression, before looking down, "If I recall correctly, 'Bloody Rain' was the title given to a five-year old who massacred an entire village of Hidden Earth ninja spies."
Ranma's eyes widened in horror and he started to breathe heavy as images of hundreds of bloody people flashed in his head, "That wasn't me… I didn't mean to, they all… they just suddenly came up to me, carrying weapons and before I knew it everything went red." He clutched his head in an effort to drive the images away, but all it did was make his headache worse, "It couldn't have been me, it just couldn't have!!! I promised my parents that I would never take a life, Uzumaki Ranma never breaks a promise…"
Zabuza just scoffed and began walking towards the river, "Face it brat, it was you, you of all people should know that you have to accept the things you've done in life, whether they were intentional or mistakes. As for why you can't remember, well you were a kid, a young, inexperienced stupid kid out in real combat, it's not surprising that your tiny brain kept things locked up to prevent you from going insane. As for how you killed hundreds within such a short period, again yet another easy answer… fear! It's simply amazing what a person is capable of when they pissing their pants in fear, especially when they're young."
Zabuza started laughing out loud, "Oh god, it's even better when they're young because the victims are never expecting it!!! The look of shock and disbelief on their faces just before they die are hilarious!!! Gyahahahahaha!!!!
Ranma just curled up into a ball and tried his hardest to keep the tears from falling, "… Damn it, just goddamn it."
Natsumi and Haruko slowly walked out in shock from where they were hiding in the bushes and tried to consult Ranma. "Ranma-dono, it's going to be alright," She started as she put her arm around his shoulders and rubbed his back, "There are many shinobi who block out the horrible memories of war, you just need to…"
She gasped in surprise when Ranma jumped up and look at her in anger, "That's just it!!! I didn't forget!!! How could I!!! I remember everything of what happened that night!!! I remember every single head that came off, every single arm or leg I ripped away, I remember that I kept screaming to myself in my head to stop, about how I just wanted to stop. But I couldn't!!! My body just kept acting on its own…"
Natsumi looked on in worry as Ranma started to shake, while Haruko adopted a wide-eyed expression as she drop the flowers that she was carrying. "Zabuza-san was right, it's amazing what fear can do to a person, it can even force the body to act on its natural instinct to just live and ignore all signals the brain gives it." He looked at his hands in shame, "Time and time again, I tell my brother that if you're not ready up here," he tapped his head, "Then it doesn't matter how big these are," he squeezed the muscles on his arm, "The only thing you'll be is an oversized meat bag for the wolves."
Ranma covered his face, "Oh god, I wish I was stronger back then… god, how I wish…"
Natsumi looked away as she noticed Haruko began crying too, she kneeled down and took the young Uchiha by the shoulders who jumped slightly at the contact. "Haruko-chan, its times like this that he needs us to be strong," She softly said, "But most of all… he just needs us."
Haruko looked in confusion at Natsumi then at Ranma before she picked up the flower she dropped before and started to take small steps towards her distraught teacher. "Ranma-san… I, umm… picked these flowers for you as thanks for all you've helped me with," He looked at her in surprise before tentatively reaching for the flowers, "Also I just wanted to say I'm sorry for what happened to you, but you shouldn't blame yourself for something you had no control over because it wasn't your fault. It might seem that way, but it just wasn't."
The child fiercely hugged the man and buried herself in his chest, all the while mumbling that it wasn't his fault. He stared at her in shock and confusion for a while before he made the connection to this burst of emotion as he made eye contact with Natsumi. 'She's thinking about the Uchiha Massacre,' He thought in realization as he hugged the girl back and started rocking her back and forth, 'She's still blaming herself for how she couldn't do anything to stop Itachi.'
"And you, you shouldn't blame yourself either Kaijuu-chan," Ranma gently pushed Haruko back at arms' distance and leaned his forehead on hers, "No matter what, never blame yourself for things that were out of your control…never…" He pulled her back into a hug and let her cry some more, then he looked up as Natsumi came around and hug the young girl as well and began whispering words of reassurance into her ear.
'God…' He thought bitterly to herself, as he stared at the beautiful bouquet the young girl in his arms gave him, 'Life is just so fucked up…'
Author's Comments (R&R)
Well, it seems like I'm continuing this story so I implore all my faithful readers, please don't complain about too many original characters in the future because it's going to include plenty more (and believe me, they're going to make a ton of sense since I'm filling in all the stuff Kishimoto-sensei left out, so just be patient and take a leap of faith.)
And rejoice for all those who hate Harem-fics because I just realized… I suck at romance!!! So I'm going to change some things so that only Anko and Kurenai are the only lovers of Ranma and the only romance you're really going to see is a few kissing scenes, mentions of people going at it, and of course embarrassing situations for our hero. Besides, while Tsunade may be hot… come on, she's really a wrinkled prune in her real form. I can't even begin to imagine how much chakra she must really have to keep in that fake form 24/7.
You know, the ironic thing is that the only reason I even started this fic was to pair up Ranma with a whole bunch of women, but the more I thought up the storyline the more I pushed the romance away for drama and action/adventure. So rejoice for my lack of interest in all things romance outside of real life!!!!!!
Sorry about this chapter being so short, I'm working on my own original manga/s and with college, well my brain hasn't has time for anything else. But just to let everyone know I'm going to redo some past chapters just to make it flow better and to exclude the sexual stuff with Tsunade. And my thanks to those who kept bitching and moaning about how unbelievable it was to have a shinobi who doesn't kill without a "real" reason, how I couldn't think this up without incentive simply astounds me.
Also I'm going to continue working on my Ranma/One Piece story… but I'm going to have to change a lot of things on that, so be patient about that too.