Disclaimer: Naruto and all associated creations are not my intellectual property. This work was written in homage.
So it was that six months passed in a weary haze of for team seven. They blazed through team training exercises and D rank missions like wildfire and poured their very souls into their personal training... Whether they wished to or not. For their tutors the best thing was that they each had reasons to try to out-do one other, and so pushed each other to even greater heights...
They lived a harsh life but a good one. Something close to the best life a Shinobi could ask for, and it was a heady time of peace, growth, rivalry and optimism...
Then fate struck.
Chapter 3: Death Specialists
Naruto brought his hands together into a short sequence of hand seals careful not to give away his new hiding place. His upper thigh still throbbed from where Jiraiya had caught him with a low kick. The man was so massive that his low kicks sometimes hit Naruto in the waist. The blond Genin shook his head.
"Tajuu Batsu Bunshin no Jutsu!"
He had since gotten used to the additional Chakra he had to pump into his first semi-original Kinjutsu which added a weak Chakra shell to the epidermis of each Bunshin. The drain was horrendous putting the Jutsu out of reach of anything but a Chakra fiend like him.
He felt the tug on his Chakras as twelve newly formed Bunshin materialized out of thin air. Immediately he used Kwarami on the branch of a nearby Mahogany tree switching places with the wood. The leaves rustled slightly as he settled into position while eleven clones fanned out beating the brush in an attempt to locate the legendary Sannin.
Perched on his vantage point Naruto didn't have to wait long. Jiraiya rose up from a section of tall grass just fifteen meters from a Bunshin that got too close. Better that than suffer the indignity of being flushed out.
The Bunshin was only a scant distance from his teacher. Naruto silently admired the skill it must have taken for the man to remain undetected that close given the meagre cover. He had less admiration for the startled expression on his clone's face as Jiraiya destroyed it with just one well-placed uppercut rendering the effectiveness of his innovative Chakra shields moot.
And I always get a headache when I have to absorb too many of their death memories.
Naruto frowned. With an instinctive mental prod – guiding his clones was more like guiding ghastly limbs than anything else – the Genin sent an attack wave at Jiraiya, and became tense as he watched Jiraiya engaged his doubles. Although Taijutsu styles took years to master Naruto was quickly gaining expertise in his and it showed as his Bunshin organized venomous group attacks, and launched striking solo forays against his mentor.
Quickly Jiraiya decimated them all leaving only one. The last clone had already taken a slight hit from the Sannin and Naruto knew it couldn't take another. Surprisingly it didn't turn and run – they shared his personality and that sure as hell was what he would have done faced with such odds – but rather charged his tutor. Naruto sighed as he pondered the folly.
The Bunshin went in aiming a powerful roundhouse kick for Jiraiya's neck, but Jiraiya blocked and grabbed the offending leg. Not ready to give up and quaking in terror the double twisted forcefully the opposite way and brought its other leg around with an audible snap. It was a textbook application of the adaptable ferocity the Tiger-crane style.
But rather than block the attack Jiraiya let it land barely wincing at the impact as his neck muscles strained against the blow's force. His pain threshold was unreal, yet Naruto smiled despite the clone's imminent destruction. Jiraiya already looked irritated. Well he was about to get pissed.
As Jiraiya smashed the offending Bunshin into the ground his eyes betrayed his increasing frustration as it also dissipated. He had already tagged it – he had bragged to Naruto that his Chakra shields were useless against him – and he hadn't expected a suicide attack. He had thought he had his true apprentice cornered.
Then Naruto got a surge of memory as the last of his clones dispersed. The one he had ordered to 'prepare the terrain' so to speak.
Let the games begin. He couldn't help but grin.
Jiraiya was ambling in his direction as if he could smell his sweat and adrenaline. Despite his best efforts at subterfuge it was hard to coordinate a focused attack swarm without giving out some clue as to its origin.
Climbing down from his hiding place Naruto saved him the bother. The Sannin spotted him coming down but didn't hurry his leisurely pace. Not for the moment.
When he was set Naruto threw a lazy Kunai at his mentor. Jiraiya hesitated for a fraction – it was an obvious opening ploy – but as expected he couldn't help but pluck it out of the air. Elite Shinobi were show offs like that and Naruto had been counting on it. Because his mentor had been occupied with the subconscious mathematics involved in pulling off the feat with ease he didn't notice when his footsteps took him into Naruto's newly laid minefield.
"Got ya pervert," Naruto scrubbed his boot against the priming seal close to him with a violent movement igniting the exploding tag.
The rush hit him first as the air was sucked into the centre. Then there was an outpouring of power which blew him of his feet. Flame and smoke shattered a goodly area of land as his buried explosive tags went off. Over a hundred explosive tags arranged in such a manner that one detonation would ignite the next.
Naruto choked on dirt and smoke as he looked up from his ass. Secondary explosions were still going off. Acrid burning plant and animal matter made him want to puke. The stench was abhorrent.
I hate to think what subconscious urges that clone was saddled with! He scrambled to his feet. He felt elated. He couldn't detect Jiraiya's presence meaning the plan had worked perfectly, nor hear the Sannin over the roar of the flame... Meaning...
Sensei! The initial destructive blasts had passed and Naruto rushed into the burnt out sector. A haze of smoke clung to the air just below the treeline. He forced a spare cloth against his mouth.
"Sensei!" the cry came out loud and garbled – a confused mix of his anxiety and fabric-stuffed mouth. Finally he saw him.
Sure enough Naruto saw Jiraiya's bedraggled remains lying on the ground and he stood rooted. What meat that was left was charred and melded with the stranded bits of his former garments, yet oddly enough there was no smell. Just as this thought penetrated Naruto's brain the cadaver dissolved into a burst of smoke.
How could I have missed his Kwarami?
Naruto's eyes widened in understanding; Jiraiya had used his own new technique against him. The dead body had been a Batsu Bunshin feigning. Dread settled in his stomach undigested. He felt Jiraiya loom up behind him.
"Dammit Naruto I taught you better than this," there was an evil chuckle in Jiraiya's voice. It didn't even shock Naruto. He had been expecting it.
Naruto tried to dive forward but Jiraiya cuffed him by the collar. His heart was pumping and he knew he had to change location as quickly as possible. The blond drove an elbow back into his mentor's gut winding him slightly. He chambered a foot stomp which Jiraiya dodged and their feet weaved a deadly ballet as they tussled. Then Jiraiya pulled back on his vest driving him to the ground. Naruto had been counting on it. His Sensei was a bully at heart.
Within milliseconds the tiny knife he kept attached to his left wrist with ninja wire snicked out of its mini sheath, and dexterously he slashed it across his palm. Now that the blood covenant was activated he felt his Chakras surge in anticipation.
Naruto hit the ground with a jarring thud and his teeth rattled like so many dice subjected to the stress of Jiraiya's throw, but his palm made contact with sweet earth.
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!" He spat blood as he invoked the Toad contract. The huge drain as his Chakras fuelled the summoning of his creature and the pain from his master's attack rendered him unconscious for a fraction, but he regained clarity inhaling and widening his azure eyes. A sudden rush of air pushed him back against something soft, so unlike the stone and dirt he had just been smashed into.
"Naruto you son of a bitch you know I hate sparring with Jiraiya!" Naruto blearily noticed that they were headed for the treeline. His new ride had already taken off with a mighty spring. Disorientated as he was Naruto was almost unseated, but he managed to clutch on to the fur covering the collar of his friend's biker vest.
"Shut it Kachi! And what did I tell you last time. You need to buy some reins!" He forced some bravado into his voice. It wouldn't do for Gamakachi to notice how badly he was extended. The coward would cut and run.
They landed just short of the trees and Naruto managed a quick glance backwards. Thankfully Jiraiya hadn't also resorted to using his array of summons. The blond had an almost panoramic view of the city beyond as they leaped again sailing into the copse's mid line.
"I'm not gonna wear reins you... you douche bag!" Gamakachi swivelled an eye back to glare at his rider. He clutched on to the trunk of the tree using the oversized Kunai he had gripped in his right forelimb, and the powerful suction cups on the pads of his other three appendages.
"He's coming," Naruto said – voice scarily calm. Now that he had taken a few hits his danger sense was on full charge.
"What's the play?" He felt more than saw Gamakachi's limb tighten on his Kunai. The balance of his friend's perch switched to high alert.
"One two punch," Naruto replied. Then Jiraiya was on them attacking with six Bunshin. Something told Naruto they were Batsu Bunshin, and he rued the fact that he did not yet have the control, nor the endurance to use his new technique and Kuchiyose at the same time. They were outnumbered.
"Uh... Naruto? How many one-two punches was that?" Gamakachi sounded almost plaintive.
"Evade!" Naruto screamed. The Toad didn't need to be told twice. He shot off the tree with horizontal thrust leaving indents in the bark. He landed on another tree and then immediately set off again this time shooting up towards higher boughs. Jiraiya's clones followed and converged with graceful bounds of their own.
"Just let me go already! Take the beating on your own!" Gamakachi wailed as one of the Jiraiya clones let loose with a stream of Kunai. The Toad deflected the few coming his way with his own weapon and then his tongue shot out with pulverizing force catching the double square in the chest.
The enemy was sent reeling away but now Naruto was sure it was one of his new special Bunshin because it did not dissipate. There was no time for speculation however. Gamakachi took off with another bound just as some kind of fire Jutsu scorched their former perch. The enemy converged in pursuit.
I've only got one long range attack... Naruto stood on Gamakachi's back and began weaving seals although it raised his profile, increased drag reducing their speed, and was disorientating considering their omnidirectional manoeuvres. He used his rapidly dwindling Chakras to attach his boots to his mount.
"Turn and go right through them! … … Now!" Naruto commanded. Despite his Chakra acting like glue and keeping him in place he was almost yanked off as Gamakachi powered into a new vector changing direction and heading straight for the now startled Jiraiya clones.
"Tajuu Shuriken Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" he screamed. Screamed to activate the Jutsu and screamed because his Chakras were dangerously low. So low that he felt physically ill, but there was no time to ponder the agony.
His arms flashed out immediately after the intonation and he threw two Kunai and two Shuriken at his attacker. Naruto noticed how a couple of them tried to evade the storm that was coming – braking and weaving.
But it was too late. A maelstrom of metal death materialized. Duplicates of the four weapons Naruto had flung without aim at his pursuers. Over a thousand copies of the original weapons shredded the foliage and those Jiraiya clones closest to Naruto. It was a gloriously violent sight, but one that the young Genin couldn't take in fully.
His eyes became blurry and he no longer had enough Chakra to enforce the Toad contract. Once Gamakachi noticed his weakness he was off without a good bye, or even the grace to drop him off neatly on a tree branch. His supposed friend dematerialized in billowing smoke leaving Naruto hanging in thin air - literally.
As he tumbled down towards the earth Naruto felt the sudden delayed onset of Chakra exhaustion and he lost more seconds to black out... But he still felt pinpricks of pain as his form denuded the branches of their leaves.
It felt like an hour but in reality it was only a couple of minutes. Naruto's eyes shot open and a stray lock of Jiraiya's unkempt hair poked him in the iris. He yelled squirming and then became stock still realizing that there was a needle in his arm. His whole body was battered and a sharp ache began to build.
"First Aid... In other words a soldier pill but I've melted it down. Administering it like this makes it work quicker," Jiraiya said. "Hold still."
"Dude some of your hair got into my eye," Naruto complained.
"Hold still," Jiraiya said absently. Naruto barely noted the thrust of the hypodermic needle. Then the Toad Sannin fell silent until he had finished bandaging the spot where he had injected his student.
Jiraiya leaned back onto his hunches and looked at Naruto with a pensive expression. The Genin managed to get into a sort of seated position bracing his body up on his elbows. Those startling azure eyes blinked at his Lord before he looked away in discomfort and allowed himself to slump back to the ground.
"I really need a bath," Naruto said hoping to draw a chuckle. Instead he got more silence.
"How would you rate your performance?" Jiraiya finally asked cocking his head in curiosity. It was a question they had both known was coming. "Pretend you're Mikio," Jiraiya said.
"That uber-sadist?" Naruto snorted. "If I were him then... Abysmal."
"Yes I thought so too," Jiraiya agreed somewhat placidly. He stood up and stretched. His demeanour became somewhat sombre.
"I'll be leaving for about a month... maybe longer on some business I have to take care of," his mentor said. His face lacked the perverted grin which alerted Naruto to his Icha Icha rampages.
"Going to go promote the new Icha Icha?" Naruto asked anyway. Belatedly Jiraiya remembered to plaster the silly look on his face.
"Ahahaha something like that," the Sannin giggled scratching the back of his head. Naruto knew he was lying and Jiraiya knew that he knew, but whatever his mentor was up to was probably above his level of clearance.
The fact that he was letting Naruto know about it probably meant that the Sannin's investigation had something to do with him. Naruto shuddered, and Jiraiya smiled and nodded seeing that his student understood. It was an unspoken order for Naruto to go to ground if Jiraiya wound up dead in the near future.
Naruto stood up fully now that his thoughts had turned morbid. He didn't quite know what to say so he settled for staring his thoughts down Jiraiya's throat.
"They aren't ready for this," Kakashi stated bluntly. He would have attacked the two older men if he didn't know that it was suicide and more importantly treason. Heck he would have attacked the Hokage himself!
"All this time training them and for what? To throw them into the grinder? What does the wave have anyway? Or don't tell me this is about the same crystal mines Gatou's been cornering."
"My student is ready," Mekakushi wore that irritating smile of his. Old people were so irritating. Kakashi had to force himself to sit lean back into his seat. Had to force himself to look away from the Hyuuga and Jiraiya long enough to take in the dazed writhing forms of the night club's patrons. The blaring music rendered conversation impossible for anyone who was not a Shinobi.
"Naruto is ready as well," Jiraiya joined in. "but I suspect our students are not the problem One Eye."
"This isn't about Sasuke and his Sharingan. In fact the danger level is ideal for it's activation... They aren't ready because they aren't a team. Look from the information Zabuza's been palling around with these twins and the hunter-nin for going on five years now. How long has Team Seven been on the books?"
"Irrelevant," Jiraiya dismissed him with a wave. Mekakushi settled for a snort. "Are all the younger generation so faggoty?" He asked Jiraiya rhetorically. For some reason Kakashi really, really wanted to kill him.
"Fine one of you take them then," he said. "I'm not doing it. I have enough blood on my hands."
"We have far more blood on ours boy," Mekakushi snarled, and Kakashi understood that his smile, voice, and disgusting appearance were all of a mask; one worn to hide the real monster inside.
"Now, now... Let's settle down," Jiraiya actually looked worried. He made placating gestures and then took up his drink downing it. Not content with that he signalled a waiter and ordered more, and they all had to wait until the man had finished serving before they could continue talking. The likelihood of him hearing enough to understand was remote, but habits were habits.
"Let's round up then. I'm too old to be seen in here," Mekakushi growled.
Kakashi couldn't help but snort as he had suggested the meeting's location. The last of the tension diffused.
"Kakashi you know that the mission would be no challenge if either of us took them and this is going to happen regardless. Better you take them than some random Jounin brought in on emergency who'll have at most three weeks to familiarize himself with them -"
"That short?" Kakashi interjected. He was seriously considering turning down the mission and as a result the team. There would be repercussions of course but the damage wouldn't be too lasting.
"Yes that short. I mean from the mission parameters you guys should be gone by the day after next. We don't have a large window to work with here and trust me... I know you're thinking the punishment will be light but..."
Uh oh. "But?" Kakashi asked though he already knew.
"Let's just say you'll be made an example of," Jiraiya said, and his smile whilst light had a thread of evil running through it.
Naruto woke up at four A.M two days later. He began to dress slowly shaking the sleep from his eyes and forgetting to shower.
Belatedly he poured water and soap on his armpits and face before pulling on the rest of his apparel and armour making sure to wear neutral colours. Jiraiya had left sometime the night before. Naruto had come back late after spending three hours lost in thought at the peak of the Hokage monument alongside similarly discontent Konoha Shinobi. It was something of a tradition it seemed.
After checking and then double-checking his equipment Naruto made two quick and sloppy bowls of Miso Ramen which he devoured ravenously. Then he brushed his teeth and left home.
Checking a small timepiece he saw that it was only four forty five. The team had agreed to meet at five thirty so he had time to spare. He scratched a wandering itch as he walked down the gravelly path taking in the morning scent. There was so much dew and condensation because Jiraiya's compound was highly vegetated. Naruto's thoughts drifted to Mikio and the issues that had been bugging him last night.
Maybe he can talk me through it... Kami knows he's smarter than Jiraiya! That guy only cares about pussy.
Shutting his door behind him he headed for Mikio's house. As usual the insomniac man was wide-awake and working on his own small but wondrous garden. Naruto couldn't remember the first time he had woken up early and wandered out here just to see and talk to Mikio-Taichou. However it had become something of a habit for him to come here when there was something bothering him (though neither of them had ever acknowledged the existence of these clandestine meetings.)
Naruto watched Mikio work for a few minutes simply admiring the gardener's efficient technique before he decided to broach the topic.
"I'll have to kill tomorrow," he said hesitantly. Naruto caught the gardener's eyes as the man looked up from his bent back, and then he looked away embarrassed.
"First Mission?" Mikio groaned as he straightened up from his work - rotating his back with his hands on his hips to stretch out the kinks.
"So they are finally moving you lot on from catching that cat," he stated.
Kakashi made his appearance. No one even bothered glaring at the errant Jounin. They had been waiting for him for several hours - as usual. Kakashi had since proved he was incorrigible when it came to deadlines, but they were aware that the one day they turned up too late would be the day he turned up early, and there was no doubt he would levy a hefty fine on their basic wage. If your Jounin-sensei wanted to fuck you over he could. They had learned that much.
However for once Kakashi skipped his usual insincere apologies and instead silently handing a fairly bulky dossier to each of them.
"Let's find somewhere a little more comfortable," Kakashi said in a monotone. Following his orders they quickly relocated to a nearby roof reminiscent of their first meeting place.
"The Hokage has decided that it is time to test the combat plausibility of Team Seven," he said.
"Meaning?" Hinata inquired with an arched eyebrow.
Sasuke and Naruto glanced at her briefly and then back at their leader. They wanted to know as well.
"This is our assignment," Kakashi indicated the dossier in his hand of which they each had a copy. "It's a B possibly A rank mission."
"A rank? You weren't joking about being the new Sages were you?" Naruto tried not to sound too concerned. Leafing through the pages in the file, he stopped to regard the visage of an elderly but buff man with glasses. He was flanked by a young woman, and also a boy.
"A family? Targets or a rescue mission?" Numbness began to spread up from his toes. Whichever it was it was sure to be bloody.
"Memorize everything in here," Kakashi ignored Naruto's rhetorical question.
Something seemed different about the Jounin. Perhaps the months spent training the children; Sasuke in particular had really been an extended holiday for a battle worn fighter who was scarred, yet too potent to stay benched for long. Now it was back into the fray.
"Everything is in there so I'm not going entertain any stupid questions," Kakashi continued his narrative. "Known techniques, names, frigging star signs it's all in there and I expect you to cover all bases -"
"Could we please run through it orally?" For some reason Kakashi found it hard to deny Hinata when she was polite.
"Briefly then..." Kakashi sounded annoyed.
"Morimo Zabuza is a Jounin from the Mist and the biggest threat in that file. He's the reason for the high ranking. My job will be to engage and kill him. Once he's out of the picture the mission drops to about C rank... Watch out for his crew - a pair that go by the moniker the Demon Twins, and Haku Zabuza's apprentice. Expect thugs as well to make up the numbers."
"Mission parameters?" Sasuke asked as he stared at a grainy photo of Zabuza taken as the man fled after his failed coup d'état.
"The mission is in two parts, a hostage rescue and then an assassination, Wave country has recently come under the control of Gatou a western business man. He has taken over the country's shipping economy and the population is suffering under his rule. Tazuna a bridge builder decided to bypass his authority by building a bridge to connect the country to the main land. In retaliation Gatou hired Zabuza and his thugs to capture and execute Tazuna and his family to make an example out of them," Kakashi explained.
"If he wants the man dead then why are they being held hostage?" Several snapshots of Gatou, probably taken by a Konoha operative, showed the man at different points in his business career. There was one pretty damning picture of him laughing as his goons executed a rival businessman.
"Good question Hinata. Gatou himself is currently inspecting his operations to the west. He's due back in the Wave Country in a month or so. Knowing him he would want to watch his enemy die, though of course he doesn't quite have the guts to pull the trigger himself." Kakashi's tone indicated his obvious dislike for this Gatou character. Feeling reassured that they were actually after a bad guy Naruto continued the questioning.
"Alright this is probably a stupid question, but what's the plan?" he asked.
"Nothing survives first contact with the enemy, but this is what I was thinking. Firstly we need to rescue the Hostages. I will confront Zabuza directly while Sasuke you take Haku and Hinata you take the demon twins. Naruto I want you to eliminate all the lesser thugs, evacuate the hostages and then aid either Sasuke or Hinata depending on who needs your help.
"If all goes according to plan and we defeat Zabuza's people Gatou should arrive with only a light bodyguard detail..." Kakashi paused and ran one hand roughly through hair. "The three of you will act as my support while I handle the actual assassination… Any other questions?"
"Yes just one. If the Wave is in such big trouble how could they afford a B rank?" Kakashi sighed as he saw the look on Naruto's face; the boy was going to be stubborn about this.
"Well Konoha has not been paid in full; however they have granted hypothetical trade concessions to the fire country if we accomplish our set objectives." Naruto's frown deepened as Kakashi spoke. He replied with narrow eyes "So they're just exchanging one master for another?"
"It's not like that Naruto…" Kakashi didn't bother to elaborate although he had his own misgivings concerning the mission. They were all Shinobi paid to do a duty and if this runt couldn't understand that there was nothing to it.
"Sure," Naruto's tone indicated just how unhappy he was with the implications of the situation.
"Listen kid it's a mission, its best you just do your duty and leave the politics to the politicians." concealing his own misgivings cut Naruto off. The boy had been about to issue a retort.
"-Expect conditions to be foggy in the Wave so dress in neutral colours, I expect you to memorize that dossier by tomorrow morning when we leave. Group dismissed."
"Well it's in the job description." Mikio-Taichou's eyes were grim.
"Taking a life... cutting off someone's future and making their past deeds worthless... I'm not sure I can handle it Taichou," Naruto admitted. It felt good to get it off his chest. Every newly minted Shinobi's worst fear was that when it came time to turn practice to reality they would freeze.
"And if it's a choice between you and them?" Mikio sounded angry.
"If it's a choice between the life of a friend and that of a stranger? If taking that life can prevent the death of many more?" he asked.
"But… If I kill what makes me better than an animal? I mean isn't that what makes us human? if I actually take a life tomorrow… What makes me better than, than…"
"Better than who Naruto?"
"Better than the Kyuubi…" It barely came out as a whisper.
Naruto expected several reactions. Maybe Mikio would react in shock and horror realizing what Naruto was, or the old man may protest insincerely that he and Kyuubi were separate entities - a fact Naruto already knew logically if not emotionally.
What he wasn't expecting was what happened next. Moving at a speed that Naruto wouldn't expect from the old man Mikio dealt Naruto a vicious backhanded slap which sent him reeling back to fall over into one of the gardener's favoured flower bushes.
For once however Mikio didn't give a damn about the state of his shrubs. His whole body was trembling with suppressed anger.
"When I agreed after thirteen years of retirement to teach you I did it on the condition that you proved to be worth my time..." The tactician paused clenching and relaxing his fists.
"Though you're no intellectual prodigy you're determined enough that it has been a pleasure to instruct you, but if you're truly stupid enough to truly believe you and the demon sealed in you are one then you and I are done."
Naruto stood up slowly wiping a small streak of blood from his cut lip
"I know that I'm not the Kyuubi, but somehow still I feel responsible for all the deaths it caused..." Frustrated Naruto refused to allow the tears to flow, "I mean for fuck's sake people pass by me every day and they don't even know what's inside! Somehow I have to atone to this city for what that beast did."
In future years Naruto would look back on what Mikio said next as one of the defining moments of his existence.
"Listen Naruto," Mikio replied with a tone softened by understanding.
"Humans... Shinobi especially are built to kill," He peeled back his upper lip and showed Naruto a canine
"It's a higher calling. We are predators. Ending life is in our very nature. The truly important thing motive," Mikio paused and stared at the Genin intently. He seemed to want to drill his views into the boy's very core.
Naruto... once you became a ninja you gave up the option of a peaceful life, and sometimes Konoha WILL call upon you to be a monster. Sometimes it CAN be your duty to kill an innocent, and at times like that all that will help you retain your sanity is remembering WHY you kill... Not from choice, but because of DUTY. When you kill all you are doing is hastening the inevitable. Death comes for us all."
Naruto stood for a moment absorbing. Mikio-Taichou gave him one final glare. Looked like he was about to add something else and then shook his head in a rueful manner. He bent back to his gardening.
Silently Naruto left. His cheek still stung from the slap he had received, and he didn't fully agree with everything the gardener had said, but the words still offered him some small measure of comfort. He didn't fully agree with everything the he had heard, but the words still offered him some measure of comfort.
As he headed for Konoha's main gate he resolved that HE would never become a monster. The day Konoha forced him to kill an innocent would be the day he threw away his forehead protector.
After a few minutes of walking the almost deserted streets of the village he came to the gates. Despite his early start he was the last to arrive. For once Kakashi was on time. He wore his usual Jounin uniform - perverted book in hand. Sasuke and Hinata hovered in his shadow. He could see from the tense lines on their faces that they were as anxious as he was.
They had changed their attire sticking to their commanding officer's orders. Hinata was wearing a traditional Hyuuga battle Kimono, but it was dark grey instead of the traditional white. The tailoring was such that only a noble could afford as it fitted her form perfectly without restricting movement. Sasuke on the other hand seemed to have done away with his usual high collar shirt and shorts. He was wearing full-length trousers and military boots. His shirt was somewhat loose and V-necked showing a large portion of his chest. Everything was black.
Naruto's eyes were drawn to the weapons strapped to his teammates' left thighs.
Sasuke's was about the half the length as a short sword, and the blade of the dagger was also much thinner than usual. It had a plain black hilt and horizontal cross guard. It screamed assassination.
Hinata sported her own addition. A sai – a three pronged sword with a strong center-line.1 From looking at it Naruto guessed that she could probably use it to snap Sasuke's stiletto in half. That's what it was designed for.
"I just knew that if anyone was ever going to be later than me it would be you kid," Kakashi's single eye curved into a smile. "Let's move out. The Wave is twelve hours away at forced march pace. So we should be assaulting Zabuza's stronghold within the next twenty-four," he said.
He raised his hand as an unspoken signal to the gate guards. With creaks and groans the massive wood and metal portal began to open spreading the verdant forest beyond the walls before them.
The journey to the wave was mostly uneventful. They approached their destination at a fast pace using the tree boughs rather than the dirt road. At the land border Kakashi called a pause to confirm that all of them had mastered the water walking exercise. The individual nature of their training meant that their progress was accelerated so he wasn't surprised that they all knew it.
They waited for the cover of darkness. Sasuke had been a douche bag and professed ignorance, but joined them on the waves at Kakashi's cold stare. The inevitable smell of sea salt and grit assaulted them as the spray marked their progress. A mist sprang up and laid its head atop the narrow sea.
Running across the water they avoided the tiny dilapidated bridge which linked the island to the continent. Tazuna wanted to replace the puny thing with a magnificent structure. So he said – it was in the dossier - they saw the shadows of Zabuza's thugs as they patrolled the town's 'only' access point.
The team was slightly the worse for wear when they finally arrived at the impoverished town that was the Wave Country's capital. Using Henge as cover they booked a room in the only inn still in operation.
After a short while Kakashi went out saying that he needed to touch base with his contact. He advised his young Genin to get some rest, and they did so. None of them noticed when he crept back into the room and spread out his own sleeping pallet.
Silently they rose in unison at four in the morning. The children couldn't help thinking that this was something they had practiced for all their lives as they rose and got kitted out.
Naruto looked to Kakashi for approval. He couldn't help it. In a sense he was the most coddled member of the team because he had known Jiraiya's 'love' whilst Hinata obviously had her own issues and Sasuke... Enough said about that.
Sasuke was handling the pressure best out of all of them. He had the bravado to break the silence with words.
"Different day same?"
"Shit," Kakashi his 'personal' Sensei grinned.
They used Henge again and exited the inn. Kakashi's spy had given them the location of Zabuza's hideout. In times of prosperity it had been an elaborate spa - the building located in the middle of a large lake surrounded on one side by wooded forest, and on the other by a marsh that had been converted into a hot spring, yet recently degenerated back into its natural fetid existence.
Once they were out of sight of the town they dropped the Henge and moved quickly towards the location of the hideout. When they were within range of Hinata's Byakugan they stopped and waited for her to activate it so as to scan out the area.
Naruto looked at her lavender eyes as they suddenly without warning became encircled by bulging veins. He was pondering uses for the Byakugan intimidating appearance when Hinata just as suddenly shut them off and motioned for them to come closer. Using the standard sign language that Konoha Shinobi learned in the academy and Jiraiya had taught to Naruto on their journeys she quickly outlined the situation.
"There's a guard at each of the four bridges connecting the building to the mainland everyone else in the complex, the prisoners are in the complex and there are four large Chakra signatures."
"OK here's the plan," Kakashi signed. "Naruto I want you to sneak in through the marsh. Sasuke go with him and eliminate the guard there as quietly as possible."
The boys nodded.
"Sasuke after you slip through get rid of the body and re-join Hinata and I. The three of us will attack directly via the northern bridgehead. We'll stop concealing our Chakra so Zabuza and his flunkies rush out to confront us leaving Naruto to get out the hostages.
"Naruto once the hostages are gone I want you to rendezvous with us at the bridge and help take out Zabuza and his ninja.
"Sasuke, Hinata... Zabuza himself is a tough opponent so I'm gonna have to trust in you two to hold off his people until I either finish Zabuza, or Naruto returns to tip the scales in our favour. Understood?"
They all indicated that they did, and then the children immediately deployed. Naruto and Sasuke circled around to the swampy location whilst Hinata tucked herself into Kakashi's shadow.
Naruto waded knee deep into the fetid water crouching further still so that his nostrils were forced to absorb the awful stench whilst Sasuke across from him positioned himself on a tree bough directly overlooking the bridge, and more importantly the hapless guard who was dozing lightly.
Sasuke looked down at his target and tried to pounce but found his legs wouldn't move. The bough was slick with dew and he almost slipped having to re-attach himself with Chakra.
He shook his head angrily. This was his first kill and he could feel the bile rising in his throat as he imagined cutting the man's throat in cold blood. Suddenly he remembered THAT night; Itachi standing there calmly while his parents' blood glistened on his sword. Had Itachi felt this feeling then? Had he ever felt it before or was he...
Drawing his stiletto in one smooth motion Sasuke leaped down silently – his teeth clenched into his cheek were the only things preventing the scream of frustration he wanted so badly to release - a scream that would have surely given his attack away.
Sasuke landed astride the much larger man's neck and his descent sent them tumbling off the chair upon which he had been reclining. In the commotion of limbs Sasuke yanked the suddenly alert and panicked man's head to the side exposing his neck.
He plunged his dagger into the artery and felt the force of suddenly pumping blood trying to expel his weapon. He dug in harder and twisted just as they collapsed together in a heap on the bridge's slats. The chair lay abandoned to the side.
Taking this as his queue Naruto slipped completely into the rancid water swimming towards the building and trying to keep from vomiting violently. After a while the dirty waters of the swamp gave way to the cleaner waters of the lake itself.
Naruto swam until he was at the foot of the spa complex and then waited. What seemed like an eternity passed, but was in reality it only took Sasuke thirty seconds to dispose of the body, and nine and a half minutes to re-join their leader and Hinata.
Naruto felt them flare their Chakra. That was his cue then. The four Shinobi inside must have already been awake because he felt their startled presence and then an ominous silence. No doubt they would be rushing out to meet his compatriots.
He reached his destination. Naruto hauled himself out dripping rank water and sea weed. He brought his hands into seals.
"Batsu Bunshin no Jutsu!" Fifteen lookalikes sprang up by his side some being forced to drift and manifest in the lake he had just exited. So it began.
Kakashi felt Zabuza's team approach as he and his remaining two Genin stood on the bridgehead next to the body of the other slain guard. This one they hadn't bothered to hide. Hopefully the sight of him would enrage the enemy into making mistakes.
The Demon Twins arrived first heading straight for Kakashi. His Konoha Jounin vest screamed threat. They were wrong to underestimate Hinata though as she leaped out from her hidden spot behind her leader to step with both legs on the connecting chain they wielded.
Her actions drove them to a painful halt. One brother was flung to the earth and his momentum pulled his brother off balance. Seizing the initiative Hinata drove forward attacking with her sai, but her thrust was repelled by the twins' recovery.
They turned on her with snarls as she evaded their frantic and instinctive counterattacks. The one that had lost his footing fanned out towards the water drawing his brother with him and she followed – skipping off the bridge and onto the lake.
Meanwhile Zabuza and his apprentice appeared simultaneously both of them also going after the Jounin. His reputation went before him and they obviously wanted to take him down relying on ferocity and concentrated force.
Kakashi barely managed to weave out of the way of Zabuza's humongous sword. The strike buried itself deeply into the bridge's bulk, yet was not slowed as Zabuza launched a swift combination – pulling his weapon out of the wood with sheer strength, and inscribing a deadly cross through the air Kakashi vacated just in time.
His apprentice backed him up scarring the already assaulted bridge with pinprick strikes as he hurled Senbon at Kakashi, but he did not count on Sasuke. Fluidly taking position to cover his mentor's exposed flank Sasuke parried many of the flying needles with Kunai gripped firmly in each hand.
The two young prodigies closed in and exchanged blows. Sasuke was as fast as Haku dodging a sequence of Senbon strikes before managing to plant a right hook on Haku's painted mask. The other boy was sent flying off the bridge across from Hinata's still raging battle. Unwilling to relent Sasuke followed at speed.
"Copy-cat Kakashi, I will enjoy killing you and your students." The tall missing-nin garbed in leather and bandages leered at Kakashi.
They were locked in place weapons straining one against the other. Just as Kakashi reasoned that he would not be able to hold up against Zabuza's decapitation sword with a mere chakra-reinforced Kunai the man pushed him back with his murderous, monstrous strength and a mad cackle. his blade whistled forward in a deadly downward arc.
As that scene unfolded Naruto was deploying his clones around the spa building. Taking a deep breath to calm his frantically beating heart, and trying his best to block out the rising sound of his teammates in combat he moved forward at a run and broke through a glass window.
All became pandemonium as his clones followed suit – some of them barging down the door whilst others followed his lead breaking other glass portals and following in behind. They had the mercs surrounded. Though many were awake, and even armed they succumbed to astonishment.
Naruto rolled two smoke bombs on to the floor adding to the confusion whilst he marked out an exit. It was a staircase descending to an access point formerly used by the spa's employees. Such a service exit would probably link through the rest of the complex.
A mountain of a man stepped into his path. Although his clones were all engaged Naruto was surprised by his appearance. He was even more surprised by the fact that he barely hesitated throwing an instinctive Kunai into the man's throat.
Naruto winced slightly at the man's gurgled scream as it penetrated. Then he remembered Mikio's words and steeled himself. Everyone here was a combatant, and they were in between him and his duty. The only thing in his power was the granting of swift and painless deaths. Brushing past the now still cadaver he headed for his objective ignoring the pandemonium he was leaving in his wake.
At the other side of the passage he paused. He stood at the head of a channel leading down towards the structure's sub levels. Two of his Bunshin shadowed his back, but he had already felt the 'deaths' of seven. His losses so far were minimal as the mercs had been unprepared for his assault, yet that would soon change. Gritting his teeth against his dwindling Chakra reserves he summoned five more to reinforce his group upstairs before pressing onwards.
Creeping through the dank basement Naruto tried not to gag against that damp musty smell which pervades all long disused areas. Hot water boilers - remnants of the buildings days as a spa loomed above casting their shadows conveniently for him.
He had detailed one clone down a side passage and upon dispersal learned that it was a dead end. The other had followed suit, and upon its suicide the way was revealed to him. Now he was edging towards a door behind which the hostages were being kept captive. Stealing up quietly he could barely here people conversing in low tones on the other side.
"Fuck is going on man. Zabz rushing out like that… Taking all his people with him!"
"Kami would shit if I knew. Just assume an enemy is coming," a garbled reply came.
"More ninja? My pops was killed by one of those sneaky fucks."
"Ota, Buki - fucking can it. Ota check the damn hostages. Any Shinobi getting past that bastard Zabuza will feel my cleaver," a deep baritone came. From the authority behind it Naruto suspected it came from a heavy set man.
"Tch. You never talk like that around the boss Tiny. 'Specially when he's cleaning you out at craps."
"FUCK YOU BUKI!" Naruto heard a loud crash and the sound of metal being unsheathed. The sudden imminent violence was typical amongst mercenaries of this sort and probably wouldn't amount to much. Only to a severed finger or toe at the worst.
Taking his chance Naruto burst through the door Shuriken in hand.
Adrenaline always seemed to bring a strange clarity to his thought. There were the hostages tied and gagged – leaning tiredly against the far wall.
Naruto's brain was operating at a mile a minute as he threw the Shuriken at the man checking the hostages – Ota.
Ota had been busy turning his head from his assigned duty to view the rising conflict between Tiny and Buki. He paid dearly for his interest as he died in an instant manner.
Three of Naruto's deadly projectiles penetrating his skull while the other two embedded themselves an inch above the head of the smallest hostage whose kid eyes widened in fear.
Naruto had already guessed who Tiny was. He would be the huge man with a disgusting expanse of a beer belly grasping an insanely large meat cleaver…
Tiny and Buki turned with varying expressions of shock. Tiny was obviously the stupid one, for he was still staring at Ota's slowly descending corpse whilst Buki seemed to be the brains of this particular gang.
Buki looked nimble of step and it showed as he came forward – his dark brown ponytail streaming behind him. Charging forward he flung a dagger at Naruto before deploying an oddly shaped sword – thin and long like an overgrown needle.
The man was probably a good fighter, but Naruto was a Shinobi. Dismayed at how easy it was Naruto slipped to the side of the thrust – the long dodged dagger already forgotten – and jammed his knee into the crook of his opponent's leg.
Forced downwards Buki barely had time to muster a pained expression before his descending neck met the Kunai Naruto had pulled. The soft whisper that followed was the only indication that a man had died. That and the blood that foamed out of his slit throat.
"You… You! You killed them you!" Tiny's rage was a massive thing. It was an overblown thing that spluttered his words and turned his face a curious shade of pink. Naruto pitied him.
"YOU MOTHERFUCKING RUNT!" Naruto couldn't help but gaze in fascinated horror at the roils of the man's belly as he came to meet his death.
"I'LL END YOU!"
Tiny's hatchet swung down powerfully, but it was too slow. Way too slow. Naruto judged the approach and evaded at the last possible instant. Leaping he gripped the mountainous man's skin – digging his fingers into the muscle and fat for leverage as he plunged the already bloodied Kunai his other hand grasped into Tiny's chest.
Roaring Tiny dropped his hatchet. Naruto had just missed the heart – put off as he was by the untrained attempts Tiny made to dislodge him. Grunting and pressing forward Tiny wrapped his hairy arms around Naruto and squeezed attempting to put an end to the young Nin's life, and career, by breaking his back.
"I'LL END YOU!" Tiny groaned out once more. Panicking Naruto managed to extract his Kunai. Then he began to plunge it into Tiny's gut - again, and again, and again.
Tiny's fetid and stale breath seemed to suffuse him and Naruto retched as he continued to stab. Tiny's grunts were becoming feeble as he struggled to maintain pressure whilst Naruto grit his teeth against the scream his back was frantically urging him to release. Tasting the tangy iron of his blood Naruto refused to cry out in pain. Refused to give in as he bit his own tongue and stabbed again, and again, and again…
Suddenly as suddenly as it started it was over. They crashed to the floor together in a heap, but pinned as he was Naruto felt Tiny's hairy grip on his career slacken.
Pushing the man off of himself Naruto tried to not dwell on what had just happened. After all no one ever told him being a Shinobi and killing would be clean work.
They said it would be glorious though. They lied about that.
He approached the hostages slowly. The way Jiraiya had taught him to stalk wild animals as part of his basic training. Even at that he was saddened by the look of pure terror the small boy shot his way.
Kami… He probably thinks he survived by luck. Naruto remembered the two Shuriken that had strayed perilously close to the young lad. Perilously close from the perspective of anyone who wasn't like Naruto. That wasn't a Shinobi.
Looking away uncomfortably he laid eyes on the mother and was surprised by the compassion writ large on her beautiful pale visage.
Huh. I'm surprised she isn't yelling at me for almost slicing up her kid.
Naruto did his best to assume his reassuring smile, but after everything he had been through the going was rough. He was still getting occasional 'death pings' meaning that his clones were still in pitched battle. The blond guessed three were left, but it hadn't been easy keeping track whilst engaged on his own part of the mission.
"We need to go back the way I came," Naruto said facing the older gentleman, yet addressing them all.
"Please follow fifty paces in my wake and do not speak. This is a standard rescue procedure. I need silence to work," he added.
The man answered with a nod although they all looked pretty shaken. The small boy refused to meet his eyes, so Naruto gave up and turned away. He began to lead them back through the boiler room and towards the channel he had come through. Signalling the civilians to stay put he moved upwards cautiously. As he gained the last stare he was hit by his last clone's death memory.
His grin was far from heartfelt as he did away with stealth busting the door down with a raised boot and sallied forth.
His eyes were confronted with tiny heaps of ash where his clones had been destroyed and over a dozen scattered and broken human corpses.
There were five bandits left and Naruto's gaze quested around.
I have to conserve my Chakras…
His searching came to stop at the sight of a weapon – a mace. It was nestled in between the morbid lovers' pose two of the dead cadaver's had settled into.
Naruto picked it up slowly looking at the remaining bandits – who were creeping forward anxiously – with the most menacing smile he could muster.
"Hi," they quaked at his wide grin, and at the fact that it didn't reach his eyes.
Sasuke blocked another Senbon thrust with his stiletto and risked a glance towards the bridge. Somehow it had become shrouded in mist, and he couldn't see Kakashi or Hinata.
That glance cost him. The she-male kicked him in the groin hard and Sasuke collapsed to the water powerless to stop Haku from shoving his head under. His assailant quickly formed some half seals. "Makyō Hyō Yari!" Somehow water spiralled up into Haku's free hand forming a frozen spear with a wicked looking barbed head.
OK, so this doesn't feel like a position I should be in…
Sasuke brought his elbow back ramming it into Haku's ribs hard. The jolt loosened long hair's grip and Sasuke capitalized - stopping the flow of Chakras that kept him afloat. He dived under water paddling frantically and narrowly dodging the thrust of Haku's newly formed weapon. Haku was quick to follow in pursuit, and for a time they danced a strange underwater battle – struggling with spear and stiletto to kill each other.
Running out of air Sasuke performed a desperate manoeuvre bringing his Stiletto down hard in a stabbing motion. He nearly shouted in glee when Haku blocked by holding his ice spear horizontally in both hands, but to do so would have been to invite choking gouts of dirty lake water into his mouth.
Caught in the heat Sasuke let go of his stiletto and also grabbed Haku's spear. Then he brought his legs up and under like a gymnast and booted the other boy powerfully in the face with both feet.
Hit by the sudden pain and shock Haku let go of the spear and it dissolved deprived as it was of his form giving Chakras. Sasuke saw Haku sinking into the deep trailing streams of red blood from his now shattered mask. Surging powerfully Sasuke made for the surface.
As this was going on Hinata was leading the Demon Twins through an intricate dance. Spinning backwards for the umpteenth time she dodged as they tried to snare her with their chain – the better to wrap her up and then rip her to shreds.
Through her active Byakugan she could see how they both used their Chakras to sharpen the edges of the otherwise dull chain. She was zoned into the gauntlets each wielded. If she could destroy just one she would cripple their ability to fight back.
Acting decisively Hinata swept in on one twin, and his brother sensing danger came forward trying to sweep her feet. Flipping over his leg she used one finger to balance on the waves for a crucial second before righting herself just in front of her target.
This twin aimed a hooking blow with his single exposed fist, but she leaned away once again dodging the attack by a fraction. Converting he simple lean into a backflip she kicked her target in the throat as she sailed over to land behind his brother who had rushed forward in an attempt to grapple her.
Blessed by her all seeing Byakugan his ploy was obvious and she thrust forwards with her sai partially severing his left hamstring. Screams of anguish and pumping acrylic blood doused her battle stressed senses.
The twin whirled enraged and she saw her chance. Moving with him – almost sticking to his shadow she tapped the Tenketsu directly above the gauntlet on his arm. She channelled her Chakras and they exploded into his system like so much shrapnel. His former cry of pain turned into a panicked squeal, and his eyes were wide as he managed to thrust forward against her forcing Hinata to cart wheel away in order to avoid a solid blow.
"You Bitch!" His brother snarled. She hadn't heard either of them speak before but his voice was unbelievably harsh and low. He didn't sound completely human.
"That's princess bitch to you," Hinata replied with a calm that she did not quite feel. Chemically and emotionally she was keyed into the fight.
"Time to end this," she declared as she came forward again to attack the uninjured brother.
Sasuke would not admit it but he was glad Haku had survived their underwater duel, and though he didn't know it Kakashi's personal training had paid off immensely.
Haku was faster than Sasuke had ever been before meeting and sparring against his Jounin Sensei's Sharingan, but he was faster still. Now they stood on the bridge and as it was Sasuke had gotten the better of all their exchanges.
"You're no ordinary Genin," Haku admitted grudgingly. His shredded mask hinted at an overly feminine face.
"And I still can't decide if you're a guy or girl which by the way is really weird," Sasuke smirked. "Rank means nothing... Especially when it concerns me – the last Uchiha."
"An Uchiha… I guess I'm lucky you don't have the Sharingan," Haku replied to Sasuke's well concealed fury.
"This fight has gone on long enough," The ice wielder declared as he glanced aside to monitor the stalemate between their mentors. "Zabuza-sama requires my aid."
Sasuke restrained his body and his tongue as Haku burst into seals. He was curious to see what the boy thought he could pull out of his ass in order to change to destined outcome of their duel.
"Makyō Hyō Shō!"
Sasuke didn't like the hisses of surprise that began to manifest within him as mirrors made out of ice began to form a restrictive perimeter around him. Not willing to risk anything further he reacted with Jutsu of his own.
"Heh let's see how your ice stands up to an Uchiha's fire," Far more talkative during battle than outside of it Sasuke sped through hand signs of his own.
"Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu!"
He exhaled a large stream of fire at one of the still forming mirrors. To his shock and consternation however he did not obliterate its existence, and to conserve Chakra he had to let his flames peter out.
the mirror continued to exist only melting slightly.
"Surprising isn't it?" Haku's voice seemed to come from everywhere. Sasuke wheeled vainly trying to pinpoint the source, but then slowly came to a horrified standstill as Haku's reflection came forth from every single mirror.
"Impossible," he whispered breathlessly.
"These mirrors are reinforced with my Chakra… Basic fire Jutsu won't even stain them," Haku stated quietly yet the set of his reflection, and the raised fists he brandished each wielding slim ice Senbon screamed triumph.
"This is the end… Uchiha."
A streak of blood appeared on Sasuke's arm where none had been before. It took a while for the pain to reach him as a dull echo.
A hit? When?
Another stab of pain came to him – this one sharper. Sasuke's hand shot out instinctively to grasp at the ice needle that had pierced his upper back. He spun lashing out with his arsenal of blades in every direction.
"I can travel in between my mirrors instantaneously. You can't keep up," Haku mocked him as his weapons bounced harmlessly off the durable ice mirrors.
Itachi is still alive…
Multiple hits rained in on him. Struggling to protect his vitals he began to resemble a cushion, and not the comfortable kind.
Straining his eyes Sasuke thought he saw a blur as Haku went from one mirror to the other throwing a Senbon that caught him in the neck despite his best efforts to dodge.
Almost… I can almost…
Hinata on the other hand was now handling the Demon Twins with consummate ease. She was the epitome of one of those Kunoichi - women who could dominate in a man's world.
The Twins recoiled from her blazing fury fighting a running battle that took them ever closer to the spa complex.
While traditional Hyuuga techniques were essentially defensive in nature – geared towards protecting the sensitive Byakugan of its wielders - what Mekakushi was teaching her…
What he was teaching her was aggressive.
It was free.
It thrust her into danger in the same manner birds of prey dare the air currents and the cliff's face. '
It was nameless.
Hinata had decimated their movement and blocked a handful of Tenketsu points on each twin's body. They were all but done, and she was searching for closure but for some reason the twins seemed as confident now as they had been when they had first attacked Kakashi.
They stopped moving when they had their backs firmly against the building. Suddenly wary Hinata shied away and remained where she was standing on the water. She risked a supernatural glance back at Kakashi – who had very early one shredded apart Zabuza's conjured mist – his particular battle was still undecided. Hinata focused pearly all seeing eyes on her own enemy.
Hinata didn't know it, but the twins she faced were Siamese in nature. Instead of sharing a conventional body part however what they did share was an exceptionally powerful mental link and physical compatibility… as an aside…
They were insane.
Ke big me do you think she is bluffing?
No small me maybe we should use that technique.
That technique I hate that technique.
It doesn't matter I wanna see her blood.
I love blood!
I know small me that's why we're gonna use THAT technique.
OK but can I be top this time?
You're always on top.
Hinata's petite brow narrowed as the demon twins started to form seals and their Chakras twisted in a way she had never seen before.
"Ke little -"
"Girl it's time we -"
"Got serious with you so -"
"We're gonna -"
"Show you why -"
"They call us the -"
"Ninpo kyuukyoku oni kaihen!"
To Be Continued.
Ninpo kyuukyoku oni kaihen (Final Demonic Transformation): …
Tajuu Batsu Bunshin no Jutsu (Mass Combat Clone Technique): An improved version of Kage Bunshin which adds a thin Chakra shell to the skin of each Bunshin increasing their durability.