Chapter 1: Violetta.
Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto, nor do I own Guilty Gear –provided if I will add any of their moves in here.
AN: Although Simplicity is Complexity is still incomplete, I wanted to post this story up because I had this idea in my head for quite a long while. I find it to be a complete waste if I don't post it up, and in that spirit, I guess posting it up now is a lot better than posting it later. For readers of SIC, I think the next chapter would be up in around a several more days. I am at the finishing stage, in which should not take very long if I have the time to finish it.
The title, given the translation in Chinese, means 'Don't Forget Me'. I truly wonder if the information I received is accurate.
In this version, Naruto is more or less inspired from Ky Kiske and Robo Ky of Guilty Gear X2 (not X2 Slash). I find him to be a very comforting character to play with. And obviously, I intend to use his moves to further expand my own Naruto character, who is a human and not an undead. Also, Kyuubi is once again a woman, because male Kyuubis tend to annoy the shit out of me with their undying coolness. Hopefully, I would be continuously inspired to write this story, and I pray to God that it wouldn't get that long to reach good romance parts. Wish me luck, people.
Anyhow, let's start the show.
(Outskirts of Konoha, Six Years after the Sasuke Incident. 6PM)
Konoha… it sure had been a long while. In fact, it had been too long, if anyone wanted my honest opinion that was. This was, technically, my home, and as politics would have it I was allowed to live here for as long as I wanted because I happened to be a citizen. My identification seemed to say so, but I believed none of it. Sure, that offer was deeply appreciated, yes, but I could not accept it. I knew when and how to appreciate generosity; for I was not someone who just knew how to take and receive without giving something back, but living in Konoha was no longer a luxury I yearned for. Needless to say, having a place called home did give me a very fuzzy and warm feeling inside, yet after living alone for as long as I had gave me a new outlook on life despite how negative and morbid it might be instead of the endless optimism some people manage to discover under all that filth. This outlook, as I would call it, told me that my destiny did not involve Konoha in it, and thus it was best if I broke all connections with this wretched hellhole if I wanted to live in the life I truly desired.
I desired nothing excessive, no, I thought it was quite a sober wish. However, politics did not see it my way.
Six years of absence surely did its damage overtime. Now, this place that was once considered my home was nothing more than a forsaken land of unfamiliarity and awkwardness. Not like I could not enter it or anything, but it brought forth this distinct, evident distress every time I imagined myself walking through those grounds as though nothing was wrong. I obviously knew better. If there was anything that I hated, it had to be the feeling of being farfetched. It drove me to my limits. I hated this shit. I had been working hard to calm down and act like a regular person who did not need to be loud all the time, but whenever I was faced with such crisis like unfamiliarity, I could not help myself but to explode in hysteria. Surely, this was something I needed to work on, but I would get around to that another time. Perhaps it was one of the only things I could do to release tension, and I felt so pathetic knowing how frail I still was in spite my drastic improvement in maturity.
Like I said earlier, Konoha was nothing but a forsaken land of defiling death in my eyes. Also, I did say that I wished for a new life elsewhere, and my destiny did not include anyone of this town. Then a contradiction came to surface. If I was not here to establish a new life here, then why was I in the outskirts of the town? Knowing me, I clearly did not come here for any sightseeing. Come on now, I used to live here; I had plenty of time to do senseless sightseeing and it made it even better if I had a camera! Besides, there were better places to look at than this crap. Civilization and architecture was not something I was especially fond at, and yet the physics of it did fascinate me to a degree where I could actually consider it as a hobby. I had bigger plans than simply watch pointless scenery that surrounded my home. If I ever wanted to waste my time, then I would prefer to spend it at a bar or something like that. Nowadays, alcohol made things very merry.
Konoha had something I wanted, and I would do whatever it took to get it.
I was a man who despised restrictions and rules although a shinobi's life was all about following rules, as my former mentor Kakashi famously quoted. In order to climb to the top to become a shinobi that surpassed many others, I had to play by the rules momentarily and endured much humiliation and regulations just to keep my ninja license. However, things changed when I had the power and influence to do something about it –and Jiraiya's death only complimented to my desires. Without that drunk and drugged alcoholic, I was able to do whatever I wanted in order to survive through the trials of life. Living accordingly to Jiraiya's rules was, as Shikamaru would put it, troublesome. I completed no missions whatsoever during my training period, and for what, I asked? Why must I put up with this unreasonable amount of boredom? When Jiraiya was still alive, he said that I was still an open target for the Akatsuki organization, and many intermediate to advanced missions involved with solo acts, in which I would be isolating myself from my protector, who barely did anything most of the time anyway aside from getting drunk and receiving pointless sex from shamelessly sex-loving sluts . Despite his lack of order, Jiraiya still had the intellect and mind to play it safe to keep my life from harm's way, somewhat –until he died one day from alcohol over-consumption. Perhaps he did some drugs while he was at it, or he was simply too old.
If you wanted my guess, I'd say the drugs killed him. Just offering my two cents, really…
Now completely alone, I was finally able to accomplish the successes that I wanted for years. I had a strange, yet undeniable, yearn for action, for experience, for new heights, and self-confidence. Besides, this was the only way I could earn money to keep living –I wasn't good at much besides completing missions that required some lives claimed in one way or another. After having the first three years enduring through pointless training on techniques and battle tactics, I spent the last three years improving on the experiences that could only be gained from the real fields. A shinobi was useless with mere theories when they did not know when or how to use it in real life. It was the same principle of an ideal student; it was pointless to have someone excel in academics but lacked the social skills to make friends. I, of course, being the competitive man that I was behind that deceitful cunningness, I obviously yearned for perfection, or at the least I wanted to be a balanced person who was actually useful. After spending so much time to balance out my chakra control and movement speed, I was just one step away from being a ninja that was worthy to be used.
Oblivious to me until later on, I supposed that I did reach that goal. Nowadays, numerous of villages would send me mails personally whenever they required my aid, in which usually involved A-class level or higher missions. B-class worked fine, too, no doubt, for I was gave the impression that I was a dedicated man who was always on the job, but my heart obviously felt otherwise depending on my mood. Believe me; you wouldn't want to meet me on a bad day. I had no liking for anything simpler, but sometimes it just couldn't be helped if cash became an issue. In that spirit, I worked with whatever I had and rarely complained. To put it more optimistically, it was not a good sign to have a village always having an unreasonable amount of missions that were waiting to be completed. The fact that missions exist was because each mission was a dilemma, a crisis that was too 'important', so to speak, to ignore. Missions were problems no matter what angle people looked at it from. It was hard being popular sometimes, because all the shit always ended up shifting to me to deal with. The good side to it all was that I could always ask for more pay, since I was, in all honesty, discarding my interests to offer my assistance. Needless to say, I wouldn't make it so downright clear that I was a greedy jackass; however, there were boundaries that I set up and it wouldn't open unless some of their offers suited my purpose to a reasonable degree. Up to this day, no one figured out my nature yet, and I intended to keep it that way for as long as I could.
Seeing how there was no point in lounging around and merely plot out my entire advance, perhaps it was actually more realistic, if not helpful, if I took some decisive action. The philosophy that said, 'Nothing could be accomplished if you just sit on your butt' truly made its shine here. Without further adieu, I wrapped my mask to hide the bottom half of my face; used my silvered lining cloak to hide my entire body, which was wearing an articulate, unique, dazzling set of dark leather hide armour; and finally put on the dark hood that came with it. Now, I was truly hidden. I did not mean to copy Kakashi with his mask in the means of being fashionably accepted, nor did I really have a want to promote to society that wearing masks was the newest trend in fashion. Unlike him, however, who I accused him of wearing a mask for the sake of it, I actually needed one to protect my face from the extreme cold weathers from the northern lands. Without this thing with me, I might have lost my nose and lips from frostbites by now. Of course, this mask of mine also served as a tool to make me look mysterious, in which was always a sweet little bonus that I shouldn't simply discard.
This town had something I wanted, and I would trample over anyone or anything in order to claim it. That didn't mean that I wanted any attention though, because that would be a little too troublesome for a Hunter like me to deal with on my own. Subtlety and cunningness seemed to be the key… I could handle that no problem. As the number one unpredictable shinobi, I guessed it was my responsibility to show them how cunning I really was although no such task was given to me from above. I liked volunteering sometimes; for it always brought on some sort of thrill, an element of surprise even.
In that spirit, I headed for Konoha.
Very first thing that caught my attention were the gates, for it, surprisingly, gave off a dangerous sense of unity despite these defences were nothing but inanimate objects, and yet, it seemed to be showing off a healthy amount of humane attributes –which included superiority to the fullest degree.
This place looked much more fortified than before. Instead of wooden barricades and a matching gate, they upgraded their walls with dense concrete, and moreover they added plenty of watch towers within thirty meters apart from the next one. Inside, I could see that they used these watch towers as, well, a resting place and a sniping post for archers or crossbow-users. I presumed that Tsunade made it official that shinobis in this village must have basic skills in archery in a form of self-defence. Besides, discoveries had it that new, special, unique jutsus and other techniques could be used with a bow, and some newly trained shinobis, who were searching for their own unique style of combat, decided to become archers to become that crucial support fighter that took care of other snipers and traps when the melee attackers charged in from the front. Specialized medium ranged fighters were always appreciated in a squadron; for it made it complete. The walls, in addition to the concrete improvements, also added a coating of titanium alloy, in which served as a minor, but helpful, barrier to block certain jutsus from penetrating the fortifications. I scanned the twin gates, in which one was always closed and the other one was opened for entry and exit, and I almost winced at the metal that was used. One word suited that defensive gate well, and that would be 'dense'.
I took a deep breath to calm myself down. I had to keep in mind that I had a mission to do, and my intention was not to stay here any longer than necessary. Once I was done, my connections to this place would forever be gone, and yes, I was relishing this outcome with drooling ambitions that made undead abominations look foolish. There would not be a need for me to come back, and nor do I really want to. I had to make a dedication immediately; that would be to devote myself only to this mission and not get distracted by anyone, or anything, else. The moment I got sidetracked, who knew what sort of knowledge and influence I could spread? If I desired to not have my presence known, then perhaps it would be wise not to create so much attention. Keeping that in mind, I advanced further towards the fortifications that protected this village so well. To be honest, it did look somewhat intimidating, since if I were to become an enemy to Konoha during this visit, those archers up there would have my hides.
To my comfort, there were no guards down here to greet me. I knew the snipers were up on the walls, but why haven't they noticed me? I did mention that they used their guard towers as a resting post… right, somehow I suddenly realized what was going on. Everyone was slacking off, to my convenience, and it was just absolutely perfect for someone who actually had the motive to sneak in. My assumptions were somewhat correct, these new defences were something that brought out the inferiority from any invader; it gave them a reason to think twice before commencing any assault on these walls. With that in the back of everyone's heads, the guards clearly knew any suspicious people or dangerous individuals were few, and it wasn't very likely that someone like me would suddenly appear on a gorgeous afternoon such as this. However, that was when I decided to strike. Never would I have thought re-entering this place was this easy.
Now, I was one step closer in achieving what was justifiably mine. My second move was to establish a hideout. If there were any temporary failures, it would be a prudent decision to regroup, so to speak, and continue off from there. From what I could gather, this operation might take around a week –if not, less. Despite my knowledge in strategy making, I found plenty of problems in my plan. Perhaps it was a fortunate thing that I noticed these holes, or I would be commencing a mission where I could get myself killed, and after receiving the fighting abilities that I discovered during these six years. Still, the question remained; where could I possibly hide? If I stayed at my old apartment, that might arouse suspicion since that place had not been occupied for ages. In addition, what if that place was sold to someone else? My old home was obviously not wise. A public inn in Konoha would not be good either, since Tsunade could easily track down the amount of guests that have been checking in or out. Besides, this was not the tourism season, and I safely assumed that I was the only traveller that this village had seen in a long time. Damn it all… I truly despised anything that had association with public access.
Knowing that Konoha was a shinobi influenced village, the outskirts and other forest areas were obviously occupied during the day with Jounins and genins. Every sector was a training area, so to speak, and there wasn't a moment where those vicinities were not used. If I hid there, it would take a less than a day for someone to discover it. Next, they would open their big mouths to Tsunade and report that a suspicious individual had entered Konoha with a purpose that was currently unknown. In reaction to the news, the Godaime would immediately order a tightening in defences, in which was extremely dangerous for me, since I would not be able to get out without being seen.
Everything seemed so fucking hopeless!
What was wrong with my thinking? I could no longer ponder about anything. My stomach suddenly growled before I clutched it with a little bit of pain. I realized that I was famished, and with any luck, perhaps the reason to my inability to think was due to my extreme hunger. I persuaded myself with this flattery. Maybe some food could do me well, for I needed it anyway. With that said, I ventured through the trade districts of town where most of the business shops were located. I seriously doubted Konoha's geographical layout would be any different after six years. The shops, however, were another issue. I prayed that most of the things stayed the same, I hated being ignorant.
I lost track of the time ever since I came in town, and unknowingly, I found myself at Ichikaru Ramen, in which was now a small shop than just a stand. In other words, I wasn't too far away from my old place. I knew I got distracted somewhere during my walk, I just knew it. At first, I was seriously planning to just eat at any restaurant in the trade district, but somehow, or someway, I decided that I wanted to have a short walk in the memory lane. I banished my hunger aside and became curious of my surroundings. I recognized some of the old places I used to visit, and awed at the new shops that were opened after I left with Jiraiya. I had to admit, though, that I was moderately disgusted at how the amount of night clubs has increased. Perhaps this town was being overpopulated by perverts, and with any luck, these perverts were giving birth to perverted kids. Like I said, six years seriously did its damage, and it was so evident, too.
Just as I was about to enter, three young women walked out of it, in which caused me to stop in my tracks and took one step to retreat to make room for them to pass by me. Strength came in numbers. The identities of these three women did not go unrecognized. They were Haruno Sakura, Yamanaka Ino, and lastly Hyuuga Hinata. I might have recognized them right on the bat, but fortunately for me, they didn't even detect that I was there as they continued to chat away.
Or at least, that was what I thought.
When one girl stopped, the other two halted with her. I had no intention to find out why they suddenly stopped whatever they were doing when they were having such a good conversation a second ago. In a somewhat cowardly fashion, I quickly slipped into the shop and vanquished all thoughts about the wonderful looking ladies, in which were once my friends, and focussed on the meal ahead before I found a private seat and sat down. However, that didn't mean that I didn't concentrate my chakra into my ears to have temporary ultrasonic hearing. My purpose, needless to say, was to catch what Hinata, Sakura, and Ino was talking about after I came inside. I had to be extra cautious after all, especially when these were people that I once knew.
I didn't like what I was hearing.
But someone just so happened to interfere.
"You are going to be nosey again, Naruto?" the presence in my mind called out as she appeared in my subconscious in her humanoid form. She was as beautiful as ever in her leather dress and all. For a demon, she was fairly conservative, but it didn't always have to be that way. There were times that she was the exact opposite, and that was when the fun began, according to her anyway. "You know that it's not nice to listen to other people's conversations, you know, this was considered abuse of power, in which I did not teach you to do."
"I know you have been my demonic guardian ever since Jiraiya's death, but you don't need to pamper me with these kinds of subjects. Besides, must we make small talk every time we pass?"
She frowned unhappily. "Are you tired of me? You almost make me look like a bother… Wait, am I bother to you?" Hysteria was approaching a tad too quickly for my liking.
"No, why do you believe that?"
"Your response was cold," she simply stated, like a baby who was sucking their thumb. Then again, she was quite a baby sometimes. "I am sad because of you. Now cheer me up."
Instead of obedience, in which she expected, I was laughing. "You do know that you almost make yourself look like someone who has multiple personalities, right? You notice that, don't you?"
"Well, it's your fault that now I am sad," my demon guardian insisted, nodding proudly at her own justification. "And so, why are you using your ultrasonic hearing anyway? You know better than anyone that you have a huge dislike for those who abuse their powers just because they have it. If you want my opinion, you make yourself look like a hypocrite."
"I am doing this in order to protect myself, Kera," I called my demon guardian by her name, in which was something she always loved to hear. "We are planning to come in and out of this village unnoticed, remember? I don't like to eavesdrop either, mind you, but this is the only way to gather information."
"You can always just be a man with open arms, you know what I mean?"
"Are you trying to get me killed? That defeats the entire purpose to be subtle!"
"I kid, I kid," Kera, my demon guardian joked, "But have you thought of how you are going to proceed with your task?"
"I thought of too many holes," I replied, silently admiring her features without her knowing. Somehow, however, she kind of knew what I was doing despite the insignificance of my actions. It sure looked like I could use more practice. "And the more I think about it, the more hopeless my situation becomes."
"Whatever happened to the Uzumaki Naruto that never gives up?"
I snickered for the sake of feeling better, in which had minimal results. "It's hard to be optimistic when all odds are against you. Where do we hide? Have you thought about that?"
She faked her pondering. In short, all she was doing was place a hand under her chin like a stereotypical philosopher, or a wise old… person… yes… Her acting could use some work, if I must admit. "No. But I have thought about your old apartment."
"What if someone else is living there?"
"And what if no one is living there?"
"What are you saying?"
Kera just smiled before pulling me into a gentle hug. I knew this was her way of being supportive, in which was always nice. At times like this, it was practically given that I should give in to her affection and listen to whatever she had to say. "You can be such a little moron sometimes," she giggled and made fun of me out of my expense. "Why not check out your place just once and make sure if there is anyone living there, right? You do have Eagle's Eye, hunter."
"Or you could turn into your hawk form and scout ahead, little druid,"
"You're getting lazy, you know,"
"I might need you to do some of the geographical research for me instead," I suddenly told her as she opened her eyes widely at my request. Kera didn't mind doing tasks if I asked her to, but analysing places was my strong suit and not hers, if only smelling was involved, in which was rare unless if it was a search and destroy mission. Kera's sharpness, if not indoctrinated mental instincts, told her that my decision was a disadvantageous one, and thus it would be wise for me to reconsider when we were still in our planning stage.
"You're the hunter, Naruto," she reminded kindly, and just to see if I went insane without her noticing earlier. "You should be doing that yourself, right?"
I snickered before I actually laughed. "How informative of you," I said with a load of sarcasm coming along like a companion I could not live without. "I forgot to tell you that the favour I ask from you will only be necessary if things go a little out of hand."
Kera blinked with confusion –and with a very good cause. "Get out of hand? What do you mean? We seem to be doing a good job at hiding ourselves, don't you think?"
My lips formed a grin, but not one out of good nature though. "Perhaps we were overrating ourselves a little bit, little Kera," I told her as I finally sat down on a table as silently as a mouse. The waitress, in which I assumed was Ichikaru Ayame, hurriedly came over with a slight panic in her actions before placing a menu in front of me and retreating away swiftly, as though she found it uneasy to find such a dark customer in a safe town like Konoha. She seemed afraid, but not like it was a concern I would mope about, since watching out for my own safety certainly proved to be a lot more useful as long as I was within territories of uncertainties.
"What went wrong? Did we do something that gave it away?"
I gently stroked her cheek as I gave my reasoning. Kera blushed adorably to feel my touch on some of her more sensitive areas, and every time I intended to make that shade even deeper than it originally started out as. "I am sure that it isn't us, but the kunoichis and shinobis of this place do have considerable talent for awareness. Why do you think I am activating my hearing? It's becoming a game of cunningness and so we could see who can deceive another better. I plan to claim every advantage possible, if you don't mind."
Understanding was reaching her expression in less than instant, and it wasn't long before she devilishly smiled at my plan. "So, that's how you are doing it, is it? I'll be watching you carefully in the shadows."
"Perhaps you wouldn't need to realize this now if you weren't overly excited about this whole execution, Kera," I said, now taking my share of teasing to make her feel embarrassed. "Whether you like having the instincts of a shinobi or not, we at least need to have those of an assassin, because that is who we are. In this town, as negative and hopeless as it may sound, it's whether to kill or be killed."
Suddenly, something sparked to her delight. "I can kill them? That makes this operation so much better then."
I knew her childish and innocent acting was only a tool to conceal her brutality before it was unleashed. However, it was easily tamed. "Kera, don't get too anxious, we don't want to make such a big commotion, you know. We should only take out lives if it becomes a mandatory thing, and yes, I am fairly itchy to shoot someone, too, but we have to remember our purpose here."
She nodded promptly and with a small dark grin across her lips. "I understand. Oh, I await this operation with burning anxiousness."
"It's good for you to see things my way,"
"Our way, my dear,"
"It would be best for me to get going. I'll find you later, okay?"
"Not a problem,"
"Don't keep me waiting,"
"I'll be with you as soon as I can,"
And our conversation ended before too much of my concentration on the other girls began to fade. Luckily, I got some of my grip back and my situation took hold once more. At the same time, my meal came.
"Thank you, Ayame-san," I gave my share of gratefulness before I feigned my prayer.
"How did you know my name?" asked the young waitress, who was truly gorgeous.
She knew when to stop, since it was plainly obvious that I had no intention to keep our little chatter alive or bloom into something more. My ears were all giving their strength to the gathering outside.
"Did you feel that?" I heard Hinata asked softly. Her voice was so…gentle, and beautiful, yet it carried a great length of suspicion and mistrust over the subject.
"Feel what?" Sakura inquired, sounding very confused.
"You're being silly, aren't you," Ino laughed as she spoke. "You have always been the sensitive one, if you remember. Don't tell me you suddenly have a six sense again. Come on, Hinata, you are too serious."
"No," insisted the dark indigo haired young woman, "I felt a familiar aura… or rather… some of it was familiar… and yet… it felt so different."
"If it's someone you haven't met," elaborated Sakura, sighing at the persistence her friend had, "Of course it would feel different, as you kindly stated. We really need to get moving. Neji and Tenten reserved a spot for all of us at the local bar to have a gathering. It would be rude for us not to be punctual as guests."
Ino agreed with Sakura completely. "Sakura is right, we should get going. Besides, we haven't seen Neji and Tenten ever since all of us got so much busier these days. I am really wondering why the academy has not been pumping out more shinobis. The genins could really do most of the lame work… but due to the lack of them even chunnins and some jounins are needed to participate to clean up those small fries…"
Hinata, however, had other ideas. "If you want to go, then go ahead without me,"
"You're not serious!" Sakura asked with outrage and stun.
"Why not come, Hinata?" Ino chimed in.
"I see them daily –Neji-ni-san especially," Hinata replied, smiling kindly. "He wouldn't mind if I didn't go, since he and Tenten really planned this out for you guys. Indeed, it would quite rude for you two not to show up. Really now, don't worry that much about me."
"And what do you plan to do now?" Sakura questioned. Hinata did not make much of a sound, but I heard a faint 'mmmph,' in which was implying to me. This was the point where I prayed that their conversation would continue so they would leak further information carelessly. I silently cheered for success when Sakura resumed. "That is dumb, Hinata. Why would you stay here? Come on, you really need to mind your own business. You would look really weird if you went back inside Ichikaru-san's place after eating here less than fifteen minutes ago."
"I'll just say I am hungry," reasoned Hinata, failing to see Sakura's logic fully. "It'll be fine."
As much as I would love to eavesdrop further, when three voices talked at the same time it was not much different from screeching. I would grow deaf at that rate. To preserve my hearing, I merely deactivated my ability and ate my meal in peace, or fake peace due to the worries that were surfacing when Hinata, without Sakura and Ino, came back inside a minute or two later, sat at a small table some yards behind me and asked Ayame to fix her a small bowl of fried rice.
She was onto me alright.
Every second she had… I knew she was watching me.
Hinata received her order the instant Ayame came back out from the kitchen, in which was practically twenty seconds later, and coincidentally, the two of us finished our meals at the same time. To make things less obvious, Hinata asked for a cup of milk tea to wash out the rice aftertaste that lingered in her mouth for a bit longer to her liking. Ayame prepared her drink swiftly and gracefully, leaving no indication that she did it in a rush, and finally placed it in front of Hinata before they made friendly small chats. I didn't know whether it was a wise move or not, but I was definitely certain that staying any longer at this point served as a disadvantage over anything else. Without saying a word, I left a five hundred yen bill on the table and proceeded to leave. I may have walked out, but I definitely picked up my pace gradually the moment I reached the dark outside.
I knew Hinata was going to come out soon, too, and therefore, I made a turn the instant she had one foot out of the restaurant in order to be out of her sight range. Remembering her wretched bloodline ability, I hurried my pace and engaged another hidden technique; the ability to sprint, thus increasing my movement by a drastic amount for a short period of time.
"Shimata!" Hinata cursed, "I should have activated my Byakugan… Damn it…"
Her cursing was music to my ears. Victory was mine. Still, if she did activate her cursed eyesight, my stealth would not last for too long. To escape, I enhanced my speed further as I swiftly leaped into the woods before vanishing my presence to the human eye. Hopefully that would be sufficient, but there were no guarantees.
"I think we lost her," I said to no one in particular as I made a ferocious leap forward to the next series of branches before jumping again. Was I insane enough to speak to thin air? Of course not, for Kera was always a good listener.
"Don't count on it," Kera replied quickly, voice filled with cynicism.
"What are you saying, Kera," I said, snickering, "She didn't even catch us."
"I would be more cautious if I were you. She's faster than you can imagine,"
"I would only expect that, dear, this is Hyuuga Hinata we are talking about, and if I remember correctly, she was the most promising one amongst the rookie nine."
"That girl? Really? You had your eyes on her the entire time?"
"You make it sound like I have interest in her romantically or something," I laughed chillingly, "She is striking, I'd say that. I always found something special… just didn't imagine I would need to deal with it now. Geez, so much for a quiet entry, ne?"
"Don't tell me you are thinking what I think you are thinking…" Kera spoke with dread. "This isn't funny, Naruto…"
"Like you said, she is fast," I replied a little playfully as I sensed Hinata's chakra presence drawing closer from my rear. "Sure, I could escape her with a bit more speed, but then she would return to Konoha's headquarters and announce my existence. I can't have that now, can I? I might as well deal with her now and get it over with."
"You are going to kill her already? I wasn't expecting that you would be killing a somebody than a nobody."
I laughed out loud this time, but not without that tint of lust for combat trailing gently behind. "That would depend on my mood, Kera. As regrettable as it may sound, extreme measures do call for extreme actions… wait, how does that go again? Forget it, just work with me here."
Having that said, I shut out Kera's presence in my head before I focussed on the task at hand. Damn it all, Hinata had gotten even closer. Perhaps I really should not have been chatting when my focus was so desperately needed. After gathering a small ounce of chakra to my feet, I literally ejected my whole body forward for another wild leap to increase the distance between the two of us.
A minute or two later, I found myself jumping out of the woods when I expected to land on a branch or something of such. With reflexes like a cat, I made a mid-air flip to prepare myself for a landing than crashing face first. The very first thing I did by then, after landing safely, was to look around. In all honesty, I didn't know whether I should be smiling with joy or cringe angrily at the fact that I arrived at Team 7's old training place where Kakashi passed us to be his genin students. By us, I was referring to Sakura, Sasuke, and myself. Given, my mind was like travelling in a reverse time warp with all the memories flying by like no-man's land or whatever metaphor I could come up with, but I shook it away as quickly as I could once I remembered why I was running away in the first place.
Simultaneously, a spiritual energy ejected from my body right before the energy took on a humanoid form. From beside me, my demonic guardian revealed her beautiful form, something that she loved to do when she was alone with me. Kera was always a shocking one, in terms of beauty and wit. She was always one of those girls that did not require the time to fix up herself and yet the charm and sensuality never seemed to leave her. Definitely, that was something many girls prayed to God to achieve, and yet sadly enough, Kami-sama never bothered to answer any of those requests. Kera loved red, the crimson bloody red, but she said that looked too dangerous for her hair, and so a shade of cherry blonde was more than suffice. Moving to her eyes, I had to say they made quite a resemblance to mine, but hers was definitely more attractive and alluring due to their crystal like clearness. As for her skin, hey, she was a woman, and it was only natural for her to have skin more purified, so to speak, in comparison to mine. It made her look European than Japanese. Moving on… Did I dare to look down? Why, yes, I did, for her cleavage behind that cerulean feathery leather dress offered a very decent view, and I really didn't mind if it showed more. To be sincere, I have seen more than enough, and I wouldn't mind if her gloved hands started to remove her clothing to offer a show. Unfortunately, I couldn't see her legs for her dress reached down to her feet, but I knew she had a pair of black, high-heeled opened toe shoes to match this outfit. Although I didn't admit it out loud often, the slimness of Kera's legs would make a professional model envious. Also, as someone who had lived that long with her, I had to at least pick up her taste in dressing, and not to mention her physical attributes.
"Beautiful as ever," I complimented, taking her hand with my own and planted a small kiss. "Kera, what are you doing out here?"
"I feel bored," Kera moaned sensuously, "It's boring having to look through your eyes all the time. So I decided to come out." She then clung onto me by the arm and held onto it tightly. I knew she wanted some attention in return, but definitely this was not the right time to do it when I felt the opposing energies coming in closer. Kera always put her wants before her needs, but I was always too kind to complain it out loud when she had good intentions behind her actions. Even so, however, there were times that I should have said something, probably it would have been better if I noted it out loud during our first days as true companions. Now, this had become like a bad habit that I could've prevented.
"It wouldn't be advantageous for us if Hinata knows about your existence, Kera. You should go back in my mind and hide."
"I like it here," she whined as she kissed my cheek tenderly. "Besides, what is she going to do? Kill you? I am sure that she is not even good enough to touch you."
"I am not that confident about that assumption, you know that,"
She giggled before putting up a more serious face. "Have more confidence in yourself. You didn't become as strong as you have just to be incompetent."
"I guess you are right. And… Kera, you really have to let go. She will be here soon."
"Oh, fine," she grudgingly accepted the facts and removed herself slowly. Of course, she still stole a kiss or two as she did so. "You want me to leave, too?"
"Yes, that would be fantastic. I wouldn't want Hinata to know there are actually two invaders instead of one. You need to keep yourself more hidden."
"But that is hard though…" she said with her finger poking her lips.
"I know, because I am so sexy, correct?"
"Get out of here!" she exclaimed with a thick blush. I found great amusement to see her weak side sometimes, and that was since she was really pretty with that shade of pink. She never looked in the mirror at those times, unfortunately, or she would realize how effective that method would be in order to seduce men. Kera looked at me again, and a sense of realization hit her, and that would be having her to escape now so Hinata would not figure out her existence. "Right… I have to leave…"
Hearing her objection, I simply closed my eyes with a passive look and paused for a moment that seemed like a several seconds. When I opened them again, they were very slightly closed to reveal a coat of dangerous heartlessness that people would only see in the most vengeful murderers when they had received too much. As I moved my iris to look at Kera, even that got her a frighteningly cold shiver to her spine in spite that she was the one supposed to be in control. "I'll eliminate all obstacles."
A little reluctant to follow my orders, she still jumped to the skies before she disappeared with a warp to land elsewhere, where as I remained at my spot waiting for my prey to arrive. And she was a lot quicker than I thought. At the same time Kera made her escape, I found myself having to jump as well when thin beam rays shot out from somewhere in the woods. They were almost like lasers that could cut through anything, and I was not going to simply stand there and see for myself what would happen if I ever got hit.
That would be annoying, indeed.
After making a several flips in the air to show off a spectacular performance, I found myself actually having the need to flip for real when the beams were now aiming at whatever location I was in. She was really trying to hit me; what a persistent girl. Whether her efforts were worthy of some praise, I couldn't give her that much credit if I was quick enough to perform my evasions without much hesitation. While I landed with a gentle step, my dodging was even better on ground. Impulsively, I reached my hand from under my cloak and yanked out my primary weapon before giving a lightning fast swipe to neutralize one of the many attacks that were about to hit me before I hid it as though I never revealed it in the first place. Knowing Hinata, however, I was sure she managed to take a peek nonetheless.
"Oi," I called out intentionally, "Kunoichi-ojo-san," I pretended that I didn't know her name. "It's not like I don't know you are here. You might as well show yourself and save both of us the trouble."
The response wasn't too immediate, yet I picked up no intimidation whatsoever when she did reply. "Oh, very well," Hinata said back as she slowly and carefully stepped out of the forest with her eyes fierce and staring at my own –provided that she could actually see my eyes with my hood over my head.
I took this moment to examine Hinata for bit. Was she beautiful? That was a question that I couldn't answer just yet. Unlike Kera, I barely had any feelings for this Hyuuga princess, nor did I know her well enough to even bring myself to compliment her like I would do so with my demon guardian. From my first impulse, Hinata did change, and I meant changed for the better. An aura of confidence was clearly present, that was for sure. And she didn't stutter, which was also a good bonus. As for her looks, she definitely matured into a very welcoming young woman. Her face was gentle (yet fierce because she was not too thrilled right now,) a bit longer than before to keep her natural cuteness, and at the same time it showed the maturity that came with age. If I didn't know her at all, I would've thought she was simply, well, gorgeous. I analyzed her hair, for she let her hair grow to her shoulders or so, in a hidden way it was an effective method to elaborate on the silkiness of it, and also it did a marvellous job to make her appear very attractive.
Moving downward… what could I say about her choice of clothing… I guessed that even though Hinata did make changes to her emotions and attitude, she was still shy about other things, thus I supposed I couldn't blame her if she still wore a similar beige jacket (without the hood) along with the Hyuuga symbol badge near her left shoulder, in which hid all her, I assumed, heavenly body from waist up. The difference, however, between this jacket and the one from six years ago was how it did not seem to be too thick, and how it did convince me that her choice of clothing were chosen to match the four seasons. Back then, I really wondered how Hinata managed to survive the heat of the summer wearing something that people would wear during the late fall to early winter. Now, thank goodness this attire actually gave off a sensual feel, and her hands also appear to be so soft to the human touch, too. To be even more conservative, I noticed she now wore a very delicate, light leather belt around her waist to carry her weapon pouches that were on her back. The belt, in all honesty, did little if anything. To Hinata, maybe, just maybe, it was her way of displaying authority or something within those lines. If I gave my opinions, this belt was useless, since human actions always spoke so much louder than the appearance of an object.
Once more, I focussed a little further downward to examine her legs. Sincerely speaking, I did not detect much difference in the colour of her pants, which were still a very dark indigo, but the tightness of them wasn't something that someone with a vision couldn't pick up. It outlined her goddess legs well, and so well, in fact, that it had the potential to light up any emotional fires in people before it tempted them to rip off that interfering clothing. If her legs were this enticing, what sort of riches was promised on her upper body? Silently abolishing any thoughts about an acquaintance like that, I took a look at her feet. Surprisingly, or perhaps I exaggerated that, she wasn't wearing traditional shinobi sandals. She wore a type of sandal nonetheless, but it had heels like Tsunade's that added a very womanly touch to her conservative nature.
Overall, I still thought she grew up to be a very lovely woman. Perhaps I could tell her that when she was in a better mood –or worse, if she was still alive to hear me say it.
"You are annoying," commented Hinata very directly as she slowly had her arms in a subtle battle stance. "Do you know that?"
"Honto-desuka? (Really?)" I faked my surprise using striking sarcasm. "And what you were doing that wasn't annoying?"
"Oh, shut up,"
"Kunoichi-ojo-san, I wish for you to leave me alone."
"I am afraid I can't do that. Konoha cannot allow suspicious individuals walk so freely until they have spoken to the Hokage herself in order to gain permission. If you do not mind the trouble, you would come with me and prove that your identity is not hostile to this place."
I snickered in my hood and made a nearly unnoticeable chuckle. "I have no intention to do that."
"Then I must take you back the hard way."
"I thought you would never suggest that, ojo-san. I was getting annoyed that you actually dared to stalk me from that restaurant."
Her eyes narrowed a little bit, but it maintained that needed confidence or I would begin my interrogation to crush her spirits. "I have another question for you."
"What makes you think that I would answer you? Oh well, let's just say it's a free gift from me before you see hell. Please, do ask ahead while you still can."
My sarcasm did not affect her at all. Perhaps she thought I was just saying that for the sake of talking, yet I was more than delighted to show her in action that I meant every word. She would know that soon enough. I swore on it. "I saw another woman along with you. Where is she? She is under suspicion as well. Don't make it any harder on yourself, mister, and if you obey my request I will guarantee you a very safe visit in Konoha."
"I have no intention to answer that," I replied with my hands in my pockets behind my cloak, my entire body somewhat bent down and my head completely looking downward in a devious laugh. It began as a weak laugh, and then it gradually gotten louder, and a second later it was close to a frenzied cackle. "Naïve girl, you are way too demanding. Do you even realize who you are dealing with here? What makes you so sure you would stand a chance to her in comparison to me? Forget it. It doesn't matter now…"
Her confidence still did not fade despite the dangerous aura I was enveloped with. In fact, she seemed to be wanting to challenge it with her own unique sense of justice. Foolish woman, she clearly did not know which grounds to tread on. "You think that you can kill me? Think again."
"Of course not, Kunoichi-ojo-san," I said so sarcastically that it could kill people if it were a physical weapon. "I am not going to kill you, no, I just don't want you to be alive… anymore." In all honesty, I've had enough of this chit-chat, and thus, I reached under my cloak and pulled out the primary weapon I had hidden for this long, in which was an energized sword with a forty-eight inched blade while fortified with a cerulean handle that had a stylish blunt end. Surely enough, this sword did look ordinary, but its powers were immense. Normally it was a two handed sword, but I was skilful enough to wield it with just one hand given the circumstances. Hinata certainly did not like these odds, and even more so when I centered my blade facing upward and had both my hands gripped onto it before I charged it up with my chakra to activate the lightning effects which now surrounded the sword.
"Kuso…" I heard her curse.
The legendary "Seraphim" was not something to be underestimated. It was not called legendary for nothing, and it was something definitely worth stealing. If a country did wish to possess such a powerful weapon, then hire their own shinobis to do the job than to hire an outsider. As soon as I had it within my possession, the money I was about to receive for retrieving it just was not worth it anymore. Whether I needed money quickly or not, I knew my endurance would bare fruit if Seraphim was by my side –and my theories did prove to be undeniably correct. Life indeed had gone a lot easier with it, and due to that I mastered my skills to become an adequate swordsman.
Giving another chuckle, I pulled away my cloak just to allow her to see how I truly looked like behind that thing, and in addition my fighting abilities were limited if I wore excessive clothing. I doubted that she could even recognize me. Firstly, my whiskers were gone to make myself look human and normal. Secondly, at the age of eighteen, my short height before was a long subject of the past, for now I stood at least seventy-one to seventy-two inches. Surprisingly enough, my whole body from face to legs were very slim, and my tall height only complimented it as a perfect body for I was physically fit as well. In spite of that, did I find myself sexy? Not really, no. I had no time to think about it although Kera did praise it often enough when she had the spare time. She thought I was handsome. My hair did change over the years. In order to keep myself from being noticed, I kind of forced my hair to flatten out to something more natural, but the front was still spiked a little outward, and that, shockingly enough, provided a very suitable hairstyle for a young man. My blue eyes were the same as ever, perhaps it contained a clearer blue-ness, so to speak, to spark up any features to a further depth. As my age caught onto me, like a disease than a help, my choice in dressing also went into a wild change.
I had no idea what my twelve year old self was thinking at that time. Seriously, why would a ninja wear a colour as noticeable as orange? Was I trying to get myself killed? I probably was, actually, just for the sake of any attention –even if it might endanger my life. It was definitely a miracle that I was still alive, and when my mature mentality kicked in, I was so urgent to get a new set of clothes. Following Kera's precedent, I found myself wearing reinforced leather armour instead of mail although I was a swordsman. I found it too heavy for my taste, and so I tired to maximize the amount of protection leather armour could provide without affecting my general movement. Currently, I was armed with a pair of black boots, which were armed with a secret knife that I used to stab people with using a kick, that reached my upper ankle for the sake of preventing my legs from minor injury. I had a set of matching coloured black pants with no stylish designs or stitching whatsoever and a kunai holster equipped on my right leg, and right above it I had a silverish belt that I truly had to use to keep my pants from falling. This time, however, I wore it for the sake of being cool. My chestguard was nothing but a zipped up dark leather jacket with the sufficient pockets to hold scrolls for combat like a jounin's vest (but a lot thinner and less protective) while underneath I compensated that weakness with a usual shinobi armour that most shinobi's didn't wear due to the protection the chunnin vest already gave. Finally, I topped my whole look with a long, thin white trench coat that reached at least my knees that had a thick enough black outline surrounding it as a design. Surely enough, I could've exaggerated my outfit further for the sake of a good fashion sense, yet doing so, however, could risk me having to trip over my own clothes during combat.
That would look utterly stupid.
When I looked over at Hinata again, I felt myself stop. My will, my emotions, and the previous desire to take her life… everything just came into a freeze when I saw her no longer in her stance… She was just watching me, as though my appearance mesmerized her in more ways than I could imagine. Hinata was just… damn, she was just watching me! Something told me that was true. After a minute's worth having neither of us doing anything to another when I promised to take her life, the moments and tensions between us became a devastating nuisance to my mentality.
Perhaps I really should not have taken off my cloak…
"Ojo-san," I called out, trying to snap her out of that intimidating, although she had no negative meaning in it, stare. "What are you doing? Don't just stand there. Do something."
"You look… familiar…" she mumbled her response, barely conscious of herself actually speaking. Cautiously, I took a step back when my ears picked up no hostility whatsoever. Instead, her voice was coated with the gentleness I remembered so long ago. In fact, a moving touch of loveliness was added to elaborate on her delight. Delight… she was delightful at a time like this? Those eyes… the Byakugan eyes… even though they were not activated, I still felt like they could see through anything they wished –especially fear and the deepest secrets of any human being. Nothing seemed to be able to escape it. My whole body felt like it was breached, and I did not like it. Aside from that, Hinata could actually bring herself from complete readiness to battle back into the sweet girl she originally was just like that? Knowing a shinobi, they could not dare to put themselves into such a situation in combat, and yet merely looking at me was able to shock her this badly. This was a remarkable advantage, and I truly wanted to scold myself for not taking it properly. Something else was on my mind though; why was my existence able to halt her from her tracks so quickly? Something was clearly missing from this puzzle.
"You speak of nonsense," I told her in the deepest, most creepiest voice my vocal cords could project, and still she was observing me thoroughly with gentleness. "Don't think that I won't attack you just because you decide to stand still." And I dashed for her with Seraphim in a striking position.
I didn't know what truly happened, but in a whirl, I found myself being hugged by the girl I was planning to attack. She did not care whether I wanted to hurt her; it appeared that if she was able to complete whatever was on her mind, dying would not matter anymore. Unlike me, she had no devious aura around her, thus I knew her embrace was genuine. Hinata grinded as much of her body into mine to feel my heat, and in response I got to feel hers as well. This was indeed awkward and strange. Here I was, holding Seraphim in my right hand while my target was right in the middle of it all embracing her predator… How could I attack her now? Whether I had any normal feelings for her or not, she was still someone that I knew; besides, her sudden boldness did spark some curiosity! I couldn't do it… as heartless as I was, I couldn't bring myself to slaughter someone that affectionate for a reason that I did not seem to understand, yet I was more than willing to comprehend.
"Ojo-san," I choked out as my grip on Seraphim weakened drastically. My eyes widened in stun when I felt her small hands tightening around my body to have a better feel. "What are you doing… This is not something a shinobi should be acting like… hey, are you listening to me? Ojo-san! Hey, ojo-san!"
She didn't reply right away. Hinata just stayed like that for another minute or two, burying her head in my chest, inhaling my scent as much as she could while silently and subtly hinting me to return her hug, in which I obviously did not do. However, when she spoke again later, I felt my heartbeat came to an immediate halt. "It really is you, Naruto-kun…" I heard her murmur in my chest.
My world immediately turned black, like a bullet train just trampled over me over and over again.
AN: What a long first chapter… Do I really need to cut down or what? At any rate, it would be a pleasure if you can offer up suggestions given that this is the very first chapter. It's much better for me to fix up any errors or notice any spots of improvement or the fiction itself would go downhill as time goes along. It would be greatly appreciated this time around.
For those who are actually wondering why my updates are so shatteringly slow, well, the answer is actually quite simple. I have work Mondays to Fridays this July from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, so I think my reasons are legitimate enough. I am totally drained after a day's work, and it's even hard for me to play UFS under fatigue. Now you want me to write fictions… woah, calm the fuck down. Like I said, I am trying to update, but give it some time. Hopefully, chapter 21 of Simplicity is Complexity would be out by Thursday or Saturday. It will depend on my hectic schedule.
Sayonara, minna-san. I am very weary…