Yo, I have returned with yet another chapter of Crimson Void. And since you all asked so nicely here is the chapter detailing what is happening in the Kitsune realm!
...yeah not really.
Heh, once again this is a little dip into the life of our favorite Sabaku no Gaara. I know I'm gonna get killed but hey it's fun! Hope you like this chapter, remember to read and review, enjoy!
Chapter 15: The Blessings
Gaara tended to debate with himself.
It was a habit he had formed when questioning whether it Nobu or Naruto speaking to him. As well versed with the emotional switch between the two as he was there were those fine little details that he had trouble picking apart. Sometimes they drove him insane, those were the moments he swore to Kami that Nobu and Naruto switched off every other word just to mess with him. Even when he did confront the fused pair with his accusations whoever was in charge merely, and rather coolly, stated, "I have no idea what you are talking about."
While at the moment there was no Nobu or Naruto around, Gaara found his mind deliberating to the depths of pure insanity. Had he chosen correctly when he informed Hatake that Naruto was actually alive and rather well? He thought that his cryptic remarks were guarded quite well so he hoped that he hadn't said too much but in retrospect he knew he had laid all of his cards out on the table. It brought a small smirk to dawn upon his lips as he watched, through the magic of his third eye, how Kakashi calmly and casually brushed the repulsively green Jounin off.
Gaara couldn't tell whether the viridian clad ninja was happy with the return of his 'eternal rival' or not but in the end it wasn't his place to decide. For a moment his debate was set aside as the full accomplished feeling of his meddling weighed upon his mind and karma. Gaara couldn't help the low chuckle that rose in his throat, not only had he formed rather peaceful relations with the Yamanaka but he seemed to set the scarecrow back on track. If Naruto-sama could see him now he was certain the crimson haired baka would be proud of him.
"May I ask what it is exactly that you are laughing at?" Gaara's good mood couldn't be broken, not even by the rather heated comment from Osamu. "Oh it is nothing to concern yourself with Osamu-san," Gaara responded with a monotone that betrayed his obvious enjoyment. Gazing through his third eye Gaara scanned the forests repeatedly, keeping a watchful eye out for danger as he allowed his mind to wander once more. This pattern continued for a great deal of the trip, as they peacefully traveled through the country of Fire, Gaara would allow his mind to wander as his senses and Daisan no Me kept them safe…
It was late in the evening, the sun setting on the far horizon and turning Gaara's already imposing presence even darker as the silhouette of his Kasa reached his very throat. Briefly he was reminded that he had rarely worn the obtrusive hat during his stay in Konoha, his mood too merry to be hidden with the shade of his clothing. However when outside the walls of his new home village he felt a need for the hat, it aided in concealing his identity as well as unnerved many Shinobi when they addressed his shaded face. For a moment he considered removing the sheltering cap but the moment he felt a strong spike of chakra he decided against it.
Just as he had predicted from the shadows of the trees came a truly colossal rain of kunai, the darkening sky became a sea of black as a massive tsunami of bladed weapons came rushing for Osamu and himself. Osamu, usually stoic and detached, showed the very first sign of emotion since they had begun this little trip, his eyes widening to their maximum in unheard of alarm. Gaara, without a second thought, lowered his head with his chakra reacting on his thoughts alone.
In a tremendous crash the kunai landed, smashing the hapless businessman and gourd wielding Shinobi to thousands of tiny bits. Dust rose up from the mighty attack as well as from the hundreds of Kunai Kage Bunshin which vanished in puffs of smoke, their deadly purpose fulfilled. With multiple clouds of crushed earth still raising from the obliterated area several shadows sprung from the forest, a howling laughter filling the air like a thunderclap. "Yatta! We got him good!" rose the bellowing cry; a crowing the likes not even Maito Gai could reproduce. "Will you shut your trap Goro," came a silky smooth dagger, "Daichi did all the work." A low cackling chuckle accompanied the next voice, swift and edgy, "That I did Shinju, surprisingly easy for Konoha Shinobi." "Ah they're just weaklings is all," growled Goro, landing upon the ground in an earth shaking thump.
Goro was an ogre of a man, towering over any and all with bulking muscles and a monstrous clubbed mace casually held over one shoulder. His head seemed miniscule in proportion to his body which, while rather comical, also proved he was much more brawn than brains. Landing next to the gigantic Goro was a small and lithe female, her movements graceful with an edge of deadliness that could only be cultivated within the life of a Kunoichi. Her skin was pale, the shade of bleached paper, reflecting the moonlight with a dazzling effect. Landing opposite Goro from the female known as Shinju was Daichi, a rather average sized man who dressed himself in wanderer's rags. Visually, he seemed to be the weakest of them all but his raging eyes, psychotic smile, and shockingly large chakra levels said another.
As the dust began to settle Goro laughed loudly once more, "I say after we get the head of that Osamu guy we better break off the head of that Shinobi! He might be worth something!" Daichi cackled to himself, nearly laughing out in hoots of laughter as well, "He might be onto something for once." A seductively serpentine smile graced the lips of Shinju, "I concur." Just as they were about to take a step into the haze of dust they reflexively jumped away, their collective minds reacting to incoming chakra sharply. In a blur of movement a solid tendril of sand lashed out from the thick cover of the dust.
Several feet away the trio watched as a brief gust of wind caught the cloud of particles and blew it away revealing Sabaku no Gaara and Osamu, both standing safe and sound beneath a gargantuan canopy of sand. "I take it you are after Osamu-san," Gaara coolly spoke, the aforementioned man no longer revealing any emotion, merely watching with a pokerfaced stare. Had Gaara seen the expression he might have been flattered that the man had such confidence in his abilities, but as it was he was already busy identifying their opponents. "Akimoto Goro, class B Nuke-nin from Amegakure. Left Ame after deciding that Ame should be more like Kiri by forcing their Genin to take the same brutal graduation exam that even they banned. Known strengths are substantial physical stature and impressive Taijutsu," Gaara offered a small grin beneath his hat, "weakness, his inability to think."
Goro growled dangerously as his partners chuckled at the direct insult. Gaara turned just barely to face Shinju, "Higurashi Shinju, class B Nuke-nin from Amegakure as well. Departed from a noble clan after finding life to 'boring' for her talents. Strengths are her incredible usage of Genjutsu." Gaara turned to Daichi, ignoring Goro's pointed looks for skipping over Shinju's weaknesses while his were brought into light rather bluntly, "Genji Daichi, class A Nuke-nin from Kusa. Departed from Kusa after butchering the entirety of their newly graduated Genin for no other reason than, quote, "it was fun." Should be treated with utmost caution due to incredible chakra reserves and famed ability with Bunshin techniques." Daichi let a sick smile grace his lips as he hissed out, "And I will say it again, the most fun I have ever had. They squealed so loudly."
Gaara's stone face persevered, his raging hatred of the man not breaking the surface of his skin, "For your crimes against this world and the next you will be executed." Goro laughed throatily, "Whacha gonna do Suna-kun? Slap us to death with your frilly little sand?" Gaara let a small grin pass his lips before stifling it swiftly, his shadowed grin never breaking the darkness of his Kasa, "I offer you to attempt a strike at myself or Osamu-san." Despite the open offer Osamu remained composed; his lips even parting in a small mocking smirk knowing something was up this Chuunin's sleeve.
Goro grinned, his hand tightening around the handle of his gargantuan mace as he spoke, "Don't mind if I do!" In an instant Goro was a mountainous blur, racing toward Osamu with the intent to kill the businessman then swiftly dispose of Gaara. Bringing his club down to decimate the traveler he was only able to catch the smallest trace of a smirk on Osamu's normally blank face before the giant was engulfed within a thick carpet of steel hard sand. Gaara watched with the brief flash of an amused grin as Daichi's insane smirk was temporarily forgotten and Shinju's slithering smile was completely erased from her features. Standing behind Gaara was a massive sculpture of shattered rock, Goro's humongous form trapped within what seemed to be barely an inch of sand, motionless.
Frozen in mid swing Goro stood above Osamu, a small smug smirk on the wealthy mans lips as the Konoha Shinobi reached behind him. Gaara's hand was held out to Goro's immobilized body, his eyes still staring into the twisted gaze of Daichi as his finger just barely twitched, "May Kami be kind to your soul." A loud snap filled the area, Gaara's sand twisting sharply breaking Goro's neck like a pair of chopsticks. Daichi just barely winced at the sound while Shinju noticeably jumped. Gaara had the sudden distinct impression that she hadn't killed before. Eroded someone's mind until they couldn't stand to live possibly, but never taken the life of another with her bare hands.
Never the less in a brief twist of Gaara's wrist his sand slid from Goro's body, tossing the mammoth man to the side like a bag of trash while his river of crushed rock vanished into his gourd. Goro's corpse landed with a thud, his head spun around to face his teammates with a look of sheer terror in his eyes. It was an amazing sound Shinju could make with her lungs, her voice screeching out a horrified symphony of emotions. Her eyes were locked with Goro's fear-filled orbs, remembering all the times she had seen that look upon their enemies. Now Goro, a brainless oaf who hadn't even known the word dread, was staring at her in death with the most fright she had ever seen anyone produce.
Gaara's assumption was actually correct, she had never killed, only tricked and deceived while Daichi and Goro preformed the actual slaying. At the very most she had destroyed a few minds with her innate Genjutsu skills but on a whole she was rather innocent when compared to the cold blooded heartlessness of her partners. It wasn't that big of a surprise when she turned tail, her eerily pale skin shining in the moonlight, and ran like her life depended on it. Had she stayed to fight it might have but the moment she left Gaara's sight he no longer targeted her, his focus was upon Daichi and the sins he had committed.
Gaara stared upon the repulsively grinning Daichi with a growing sense of rage and disgust, anger once long forgotten bubbling up once more from the pit of his stomach. Suddenly he took a slow, deep breath, pushing his wrath back the way it came he clapped his hands together in prayer, "Daichi, you have committed atrocities that not even the afterlife can cleanse you of. The sins of your soul are too great to comprehend as only demons may be the only ones to show you pity." Daichi let out a howling cackle, his voice shouting out, "You sound like a damn priest!" Gaara froze for a moment before nodding, "Kannushi Sabaku no Gaara is my official title." Daichi grinned, his ragged and decaying teeth showing, "I'd say your commitment just ended when you killed Goro-baka Kannushi-sama! So go off and guard a shrine, I have business with the man behind you."
Gaara didn't move in the slightest as he responded, "I have been given a special ordinance to rid this world of deception and evil." Gaara's eyes snapped open and in a flash his sand lashed out to his rear, demolishing the several mud clones which had attempted to ambush Osamu, "I have been blessed, I have been through the trials. It is all I could do to atone for my own past sins." Daichi sneered, his clones being destroyed by a simple whip of sand, "Sins, what sins could you possibly have Kannushi-sama?" Gaara looked up to Daichi, ignoring the question as he spoke, "May Kami be kind to your soul."
In a flash of movement Gaara's sand exploded from his gourd, racing towards Daichi with a speed unheard of to the clone Shinobi. Daichi's eyes shot open in surprise the moment the sand made contact with his skin, easily sheering through his soft flesh. Suddenly Daichi's surprised expression shifted to a wicked grin and he dissolved into a pile of mud. Gaara didn't curse, all he did was speak to Osamu softly, "Osamu-san, get as close to me as you can. I have a promise to uphold and I will not allow it to be broken." Osamu swiftly joined Gaara, near enough to protect but far enough as to not constrict the Chuunin's movements.
From the sky they came, dozens of clones made of chakra, mud, water, and various other materials Shinobi had shaped into clones past and present. They all let out a piercing scream, each of their hands gripping a pair of Kunai tightly as they rapidly descended upon the sand priest and his charge. Gaara merely nodded in their direction, his sand flashing into the sky under his incredible control and slicing through the clones as if they didn't exist. His blade like material tore asunder the enemies advance, turning the various clones into puffs of smoke, globs of mud, or splashes of cold water.
"Shuriken Kage Bunshin!" echoed a shout from multiple directions at once, several hundred shuriken flooding the air and heading for the pair at deadly speeds. Gaara nodded and whispered quietly to himself, "Suna no Muya." Gaara's sand jumped at the obvious order, his massive well of crushed rock leaping to cover his and Osamu's body in a thick shell of chakra compressed sand. The cocoon was pelted by the numerous shuriken, covering its surface so much that it turned a shimmering pitch-black in color.
"Nice try Kannushi-sama," Daichi screamed, his shrunken beginning to vibrate, "but I've got a better trick up my sleeve! Shuriken Bunshin Bakuha!" It was an explosion of immense proportions, a cloud of fire rising to the sky as a concussive wave toppled several trees along the road. All at once the cloned shuriken erupted in balls of flame enveloping the orb of sand in its powerful explosive force. As the eruption of fire dwindled so did Daichi's laughter grow, "That was a good game Kannushi-sama but I'd have to say I win!" From the shadows of the trees came three Daichi's, each one of them carefully stepping into the blast zone as if waiting for another of Gaara's tendrils to envelope them.
With a strong gust of cold wind the scene was revealed, it was most certainly not pretty. The cocoon of sand had been completely obliterated, some parts of the orb still standing while the majority of the bubble was nothing but useless sand upon the ground. In the center of the demolished shield was Gaara, his body face down as blood pooled around his lifeless form. His carcass was cracked and bleeding in several places while his breathing was all but nonexistent. A few feet away was Osamu, roughly in the same position as Gaara but multitudes worse in terms of damage. His left leg was absent, in its place was a dark bloody stump, while his entire cadaver was covered with multitudes of gashes and cuts the likes no civilian has ever seen.
One of the Daichi's laughed throatily, turning to the trees it called out, "They're dead!" From the trees sprang Daichi, a sick grin upon his lips as he casually sauntered over to the fallen priest, "Oh too bad Kannushi-sama but it seems evil was just to damn good for you!" From the sleeves of his ragged robe came a kunai, gripping it tightly he raised the knife high above his head for a righteous blow, "Goodbye Sabaku no Gaara!" In a swift downward slash Daichi's kunai fell, cutting through the air with a harsh whistle as it dove for the fallen priests head. The moment the kunai touched Gaara's head Daichi knew something was wrong but it was far too late for him to react.
The sharp weapon split through Gaara's head easily, cutting through what should have been flesh and bone as if it were water. Daichi watched as the fallen Gaara and Osamu began to melt, the motionless bodies disappearing into pools of viscous sand. Before Daichi could react the shivering sand engulfed his arm, gripping him tightly and burrowing into his skin with several sharp talons of crushed rock. In a flash of movement Daichi was up in the air, a massive tentacle of sand reaching from the ground, swiftly whipping him around like a boneless ragdoll.
The sand swung Daichi against a tree, his body producing a sickening crackle as well as a loud pop from the strain put upon his now dislocated shoulder. Daichi howled in agony but was quickly silenced as the shifting appendage of sand viciously thrashed, slamming him to the ground with an incredible force. In the blink of an eye the sand promptly compressed, crushing Daichi's arm until his bones were little more than dust wrapped in flesh. The agonized ninja screamed in pain, his banshees wail tearing through the peaceful night. From the gloom of the trees came Gaara, unharmed with a trailing Osamu behind him.
Covering Gaara's clothing were bits and pieces of dirt and mud, his proficiency with Doton no Jutsu no where near enough to keep him completely clean during his underground travel. However true to his word Osamu was spotless; a small bit of sand was easily brushed from his collar showing he had traveled beneath the earth through Gaara's incredible power. Not bothering to brush himself off Gaara approached Daichi, his hand raised toward the cowering criminal, "You will pay for your crimes today Daichi." Gaara could see the total and utter panic in Daichi's eyes, he felt no sympathy as the mystic sand slithered over the Nuke-nin's prone form, "No, no! Please Kannushi-sama!"
It was seconds before Gaara's sand encased Daichi from head to toe; Daichi's panicked visage the last bit of skin to view from the desert coffin. Gaara, hand still raised to the captured ninja, used his remaining hand in prayer for the criminals' corrupt soul, "May Kami grant you peace in the after-" In a flash Gaara's movements and words stopped as his eyes opened to the size of saucers. Daichi's bloody and broken form grinned down from his earthen prison, "nice knowing you Kannushi-sama! Bunshin Bak-" The clones words froze on its lips, its body crushed into the cloud of chakra from whence it came with Gaara's solemn whisper, "Sabaku Sousou…"
He winced with a painful snarl, "Damned Kannushi! He spoiled all of my fun with his cursed sand!" Feeling the rush of memories from his fallen clone Daichi fell to his knees upon the branch, his body slowly draining itself through his wounded arm. He felt unimaginable bolts of torture through the limb, having just barely been able to Kawarimi away after Gaara's emergence from his underground escape. He had switched with one of his clones hoping that he would be able to explode the Kage Bunshin and eradicate both the target and that…troublesome Gaara.
Despite his painfully crushed arm, shattered ribs, and sparse chakra he was actually feeling quite good. Surely Shinju hadn't fled completely and once she healed his broken body they would be on their way. Of course once he ratted that sand wielding Chuunin out to his superiors he was certain that there wouldn't be the same troubles a second time around. The delusional psychotic chuckled darkly to himself, his eyes staring down the way he had come as if daring the priest of the sands to follow him. He glared into the dusk, his mad grin cutting through the night as he spoke, "Beware Sabaku no Gaara, I will destroy you."
"Worry about the devil before you worry about the priest!"
The last thing Genji Daichi ever saw was the bright shine of the full moon on finely polished metal…
It took considerable restraint to remain by Osamu's side, the Suna priest's muscles and chakra tensing sharply, awaiting the insane ninja's return. Hovering about his battle ready form were heavy clouds of chakra laden sand, awaiting their master's call for deadly force. When after several long minutes no adversary returned Gaara forcibly relaxed; muscles falling slightly lax as his chakra releasing its death grip upon his weapon of choice. In a slow, practiced movement Gaara's hands came together, clapping in prayer as his sand reacted to the magnetic pull of his tremendous gourd. In seconds the clouds of sand were no more, Gaara and Osamu were the only ones to remain among the shattered battle field.
Taking a brief glance around, Gaara came to terms with the true destruction that he and that psychotic Daichi had wrought upon the land. Trenches of torn earth, dozens of kunai and various other items littering the ground along with several piles of mud and puddles of water. Gaara let out a soft sigh, the suffering of nature apparent from a mere glance of the demolished land. His hands still held together he offered a prayer, hoping the gods would forgive him for the destruction caused as well as allowing the escape of wickedness from his sight. Feeling his task complete he once more stared out into the darkness, attempting to sense where the villain had fled. Suddenly a bright spark came to his eyes, a small grin dressing his lips as one of his hands fingered the tags encircling his neck.
"Gaara-san," spoke a voice that Gaara almost hadn't recognized for it had been quite some time since it had made itself known. Turning slightly Gaara faced his charge, the businessman actually smiling to the moderately stunned ninja, "I must say I am rather impressed." Gaara chuckled despite himself and the situation, bowing to Osamu as he spoke, "It is my job as a Shinobi of Konoha to see you are safe Osamu-san." Osamu nodded toward the bowing warrior, "And you do a remarkable job of it. As long as you are within the walls of the leaf my travels shall be yours as well." Slightly confused Gaara spoke, "What exactly does that mean Osamu-san?"
Osamu smirked, "I mean Gaara-san that I wish for you to be my personal body guard for my engagements." Just as Gaara was about to refuse the offer Osamu held up a hand and continued, "My trade is based in Konoha so you will remain a Konoha Shinobi but I wish to have you available for my many journeys around the world as often as you can." Gaara was dumbfounded for a moment, his mind barely processing from both a slight lack of chakra and the implications of Osamu's words.
Osamu was obviously a man who had traveled the open road often, while he conducted his business Gaara could very well meet up with Naruto's 'contacts' and gather their information at his leisure. At the very same time Gaara would be pulling in an incredible income from this man, both benefiting Naruto's ambitions and the village of Konoha. Gaara bowed before Osamu, his voice clear and even as he spoke, "I accept your proposal Osamu-san."
"Good," Osamu said with a smirk and a wave, "now shouldn't you be off killing that ninja that attacked us? He might return to whomever is after me and be prepared for you next time." Gaara stood once more before Osamu, an unnoticeable smile laced within his voice as he spoke, "I do not believe in abandoning the man whom I must guard. That and I have no doubts Daichi has already met his end." Osamu regarded Gaara with a raised eyebrow, "Is that so? How do you know?"
"He's talking about me," came a gruff call from the woods, the gloom of the untouched trees just barely touching the monster of a man, "and he's right, that idiot walked right into me and Haku." The individual speaking was a beast, tall, garbed in a tight sleeveless black shirt and thick black pants. Around his mouth were wrappings of bandages, his face concealed from his cheeks down with the pure white gauze. His hazel eyes were frightfully intense but there was hint of amusement in those fiery orbs. Wrapped around his head crookedly was a long headband, the plate upon the cloth depicted the visage of a fox with a mark across its brow. Resting quite comfortably across his back with the aid of a leather sling was a gargantuan sword, a massive head cleaving blade of enormous proportions.
Gaara turned to face the man, his head tilting up so the shadows of the night no longer covered his small smile, "Zabuza-san." From the darkness of the forests came another figure. Much smaller in proportion than the monster of a Momochi they stood beside, this new arrival held an aura about them that could be called 'pure ice.' Their clothing was rather loose and flowing, a formfitting sweater beneath billowing robes of the most resilient material available; the sandals upon their feet silent despite the wooden bottoms. Their face couldn't be read, it couldn't even be seen for protecting their identity was the elegantly artistic mask of an Oinin. Resting over their shoulder was the pale body of Shinju, a small twitch of her leg proving to the priest she was yet to join the afterlife. Those words, however, could not be said for the cadaver hanging from Zabuza's clutches; in one gargantuan palm hung Daichi's body while in the other swayed the decapitated head of the psychotic Shinobi.
"Haku-san, it's very good to see the two of you," Gaara spoke with a smile, turning to face his charge who could only offer a bemused grin to the sand priest. "You sure do keep some interesting company," Osamu said with a curious grin. Gaara nodded; waving a hand behind him he spoke, "Momochi Zabuza and Momochi Haku, friends of mine Osamu-san." The only indication Osamu recognized the names was a small raising of his eyebrow and his calm collected voice saying, "I knew you were a good choice for my bodyguard."
A few more words, a quick sealing of the decapitated corpse, and they were on their way to the land of waves. Gaara and Osamu were assured only a few hours travel at most to Nami to which Osamu readily agreed and pushed for them to continue. Gaara led the pack along with Haku, Osamu following the stoic pair while Zabuza brought up the rear with his imposing presence and the unconscious Shinju over his shoulder. It was silent for quite a while, only the soft scuffling of sandals against earth resonated through the peaceful night. "Haku," Gaara suddenly spoke, a single emerald eye gazing out from the darkness of his hat to the Shinobi beside him, "how are Zabuza-san and Tsunami-chan getting along?" A soft chuckle later Haku's words drifted through the air, "still fighting like children…"
"I heard that!"
Oh, I do believe I am some kinda genius! (Not counting the fact that it took me several attempts to spell genius.) Since I don't have much to say it's time for Q & A!
Q: This chapter better be (should have been) Hinata based or the plushies die Rambo style!
A: I have already placed said plushies in the PPP (plushie protection program) so I dare you, try to find them all!
Q: Where was the OC (Nami) in the last chapter?
A: Notice the brief flashes of blonde hair and blue eyes that show up every so often.
Q: Has Hinata been trained yet?
A: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes she has. I just haven't shown it because I wanted to give you a surprise but fine, you'll get it when I get to it!
Q: I like the way you portray Gaara!
A: Um...yeah, hope I didn't ruin it for you this chapter.
Q: Will Naruto show himself to Kakashi at some point?
A: Who wouldn't like to give the scarecrow a good scare?
Q: More Hinata training questions!!!
A: Wait for it damn it! You have less patience than an ADHD infected squirrel on a sugar high!
Q: Wasn't Naruto's existence supposed to be secret?
A: Yes and in a way it still is. Since when has Kakashi gone and blabbed to anyone about anything?
Whelp that's all we have for Q & A, I hope you enjoyed this all and keep reading. We're gonna have some fun in the future, I can guarantee it! Remember to review or this fiction might just go under, I have been known to have bouts of ADD and might forget all about this particular tale. Hope you all enjoyed and remember to spay or neuter your Kitsune! Later!