A/N: There is going to be a slight change in grammar from this point foward. For a start, "Jonin" is going to become "Jounin." Why is that? It's because you touch yourself at night.

Nemar was sweating. Just a bit anyways, and nothing that could be noticed. From the outside, he seemed calm, collected, the coolest thing since refrigerators, as always. But as the clicking of lady's heels got louder, his heart started to pound more and more. At some point in time all his inner organs moved up, so that his heart was in his throat and the empty space where his intestines should be felt all tingly. This, though not physically possible, was the only possible reason, being the coolest thing since refrigerators, it was impossible for Nemar to become nervous, anxious, or shy.

Then the owner of the clicking heels of organ-moving stopped in front of him. She was wearing a modest green skirt that showed only her stocking covered ankles over said clicking and organ moving heels, and a white blouse with short sleeves. She always wore the same smile, which showed teeth so white and perfect that Nemar had trouble looking directly at them, sunny blonde hair, and ocean blue eyes. With the bright colors added to the fact that she looked absolutely like a waitress from heaven, it was no wonder why the ninja couldn't look at her face. Instead, he looked at something else. Breasts.

Yes, Nemar had discovered that women had breasts. They were sort of like air to him, something you always knew was there, but just didn't really notice. Most women's breasts weren't really outgoing enough to notice, except for Kaori-sensei's, but he had never looked at her that way. He hadn't looked at any other girl that way, except this one. That was when the "air" around her became like magnets. It isn't like they were close to his teacher's in size, since Kaori's probably weighed the size of a small dog…each. Instead they made up for it by being perfectly shaped, well rounded even through the blouse, and most importantly, hers.

So the only reason he looked away from her face is because it was too awesome to behold. Maybe if Nemar kept telling this to himself long enough, it would be true. Mostly he just pretended to be almost completely illiterate and act like he was trying to read her name tag, which boldly said "Sora."

-Chapter Nine: Shattered Mountain: Part I-

The perspiration began almost as soon as they left the boarder of Fire Country, or at least it seemed that way to young Namikaze Minato. Moving through the country quickly meant skipping towns and main roads most of the time, meaning lots of camping and sleeping outside, eating poorly cooked foods boiled in pots, and having no restrooms. It just seemed very unbecoming of a ninja to have to deal with the pains of taking a dump in a pile of bushes. Though the stealth bit tried to make up for that, with how embarrassing being caught with your pants down in that situation would be. Literally.

The boy traded in his white hoodie for a white tee shirt with a blue stripe along the chest, and yellow trim around the collar and sleeves. His blue shorts had a shuriken holder tapped to the side, and held his inventory of other ninja tools in the pouch that hung behind him. His shoes were also quite comfortable for these long walks, being ninja-standard sandals. The brand didn't exactly pop right into his head, and he wasn't interested enough to look on the bottom of his shoe to discover it, but he was glad that Jiraiya had recommended it to him. Besides the form fitting padding, they left plenty of room for his pinky toe.

To his right walked Otonashi Katsu. His hair was raven black and tied into a pony tail that rested on his head, dark eyes looking blankly ahead. He wore a purple t-shirt like Minato, alas a bit more plain, and black shorts, noticeably tighter then Minato's. On his left arm up to his elbow he had a long glove that could only really be described as a light gauntlet, and strapped to his back was what seemed to be a sword encased in a large metal slab of a scabbard. Like any good ninja, he had his little ninja pouch and shuriken holder.

Trailing somewhat behind the two was Rokku Ryokumaru. He had short brown hair, tan skin, and brown eyes. Whereas Katsu and Minato seemed slim, Ryokumaru was athletic looking for his age, taller, and reasonably heavier. He wore kaki shorts with lots of pockets, housing his shuriken holder and ninja pouch. He wore a baggy cream colored shirt with a v-neck.

Jiraiya was up ahead wearing cyan hakama over his loose fitting white kimono. He wasn't wearing the brand of ninja sandals that he had recommended to all his students, but just thong sandals and tabi socks. Minato didn't know where his ninja equipment was kept, if he had any on him at all. Heine was passing some small chat with Jiraiya. Taking a good look at the man with the scruffy beard, Minato concluded again that he wasn't much of a sight. His hair was medium length, medium shade brown tied back into a very short pony tail, and he had on plain cargos and a muscle shirt, being the only one in the group wearing closed toe shoes. His body shape wasn't too bad, and being an archeologist was a good reason. He probably did a lot of lifting of rocks in his job.

The pay for this mission would most likely be good. C-Rank missions were charged by the week, with the first day counting as an entire week itself. They had already been on the road for several days, and would probably take them seven more for them to finish the mission, then the return trip. The Land of Earth was covered with a natural boundary, a mountain range. Though their objective lie on a mountain in that range, that was still a lot of climbing. With the first day being counted as a week, just so the village isn't cheated on pay, a week for to the Land of Earth and back, and another week in the mountains, Minato would make more then Sora did in over a month. He smiled. Though it got to be rough sometimes, the pay really was worth it. No more of this stupid D-Rank mission stuff, he was into the real deal now. The thought just made him more excited.

It also wasn't like there wouldn't be any training along the way. For the past four days Jiraiya had only had them do meager exercises, today he was going to go over Chakra Jumping. The concept was already understood by all of them, and a Shunshin could get the job done, but Chakra Jumping was just a bit more effective. It would probably prove useful when it came time to climb mountains, which according to the map, would be tomorrow afternoon, should travel go as expected.

Jiraiya broke conversation with Heine to drop back and have a word with the boys. "I promised Chakra Jumping to all of you, didn't I?"

Minato nodded for everyone.

"Well, the concept is really simple, so I figured the three of you could do it while we walked. Let me explain. Chakra Jumping is simply using Chakra to push the distance which your body normally travels when you jump. Simple, right? All you have to do is gather Chakra to your feet and repel against the ground or surface you're standing on. It gets tricky with balance, since you don't want your feet flying out in front of you."

"What about tree walking?" Katsu questioned. He was more interested in hanging off of a ceiling then shooting off of the ground.

Jiraiya shrugged. "I'm guessing you mean Chakra Climbing. Well, it's actually just the opposite. Instead of repelling the ground below, you force your feet to stick on it. Though, jumping will probably be better on mountains, and climbing a tree isn't as useful as being able to leap it in a single bound, trust me. I don't think we'll be doing much with Water Walking, since I know you're going to ask that next." Ryokumaru closed his mouth. "We'll probably be stationed around Fire Country, and maybe Earth Country, so not too many big bodies of water. Besides, if you really happen to be next to a lake, just don't fight on it."

"But Jiraiya-sensei! What if we get thrown at the water? Then we'd need to land on it!"

"Well, not necessarily. Chakra Jumping could also be used for like, a Chakra Swimming. Besides, if you get good enough at it, you can leap off the surface of water. If the three of you really want to learn it, it'll probably be best to figure out for yourselves, but for now, Chakra Jumping should be sufficient."

And so the rest of the trip seemed to go pretty well. The team got somewhat tired from all of the Chakra Jumping, but nothing so bad as to really slow down their traveling speed. Heine just watched, as if he was amused by the boy's dedication to perfecting a new useful skill.

Once the mountain range was looming over head, they stopped their practice and just continued to walk, keeping a close eye out for bandits and wild animals. Neither seemed to be an issue.

Though Ryokumaru did look oddly at one rock that they had passed, and caught up to Jiraiya to whisper in his ear. Jiraiya just nodded, and shrugged it off.

The terrain was different then that of the tropical forest of Fire Country. There was much more clay and dirt ground, and the trees weren't as close together. The grass they walked on was long and brown, instead of short and green. The air was also more dry, as well as dusty. Minato's sensitive eyes were irritated in no time, much to his discomfort.

The enemy ninja were upon them before Minato even sensed their presence, being too preoccupied with his own internal thoughts. Katsu seemed to be in the same boat, but Jiraiya and Ryokumaru reacted just fine. Three bronze shuriken flew from the west at Heine, but were quickly knocked off path by three more well thrown shuriken thrown by Jiraiya. From the east, a kunai flew sharply at Heine's head. It was caught mid throw by Ryokumaru. He turned it over in his hand. The shape was identical to a Konoha kunai, which was no surprise, but he noted the bronze, yellowy brown color to the weapon, and the red ribbon that was tied around the ring at the bottom.

"Rock-nin…" He said to himself, but loud enough for everyone to hear. Strangely, Heine didn't seem concerned, as his eyes darted around to see who threw the weapons.

Minato quickly analyzed the situation.

There were ninja on either side of the gravel road, and two more who walked out in front of it. It was also in the afternoon, broad daylight as they would call it, meaning they weren't completely intending on a stealth attack. Ryokumaru seemed to have recognized the different metal used in the weapon making, and proclaimed them from the Hidden Village in the Rock. He looked to his left. There was a man standing, wearing an ivory mask resembling a demon's face. It had two pairs of small horns, two pairs of sharp eyes, and a vertical mouth filled with sharp teeth. Of course, it was all just a brilliant work of art, but it was still intimidating. It was topped off with a symbol on the forehead to mark the village of origin. Ryokumaru was right even before he saw them. They were from Rock.

The man himself had a mane of orange hair that was visible though he wore a mask. His outfit was a dark brown and decorated with light bronze plates. He wasn't a tall man, shorter then Jiraiya, and seemed to be slimmer then he was sturdy. The armor and clothing design reminded Minato of ANBU, but from a foreign country.

He didn't have time to examine the one to his right before the two in front started talking.

"Kirai, it has really been a while," said the one who was approaching him. His mask had the same symbol as all of theirs did, showing their village, but was different then the man with the orange mane. It had a huge mouth with very sharp teeth, and spikes all around the outside, and two large eyes covered in red paint. There were slash marks, either by design or old combat marks, and other red marks that Minato wasn't sure were from paint. Mainly, instead of being fastened to his head like an ANBU mask would, it was chained to him. Once again, Minato didn't know how the ninja could see through the mask, but how he would eat from it was easy. The mouth was actually a hole, and through the shadows you could vaguely make out the man's lower facial features, but not very well.

His armor was very similar, but much darker, almost black, and covered with razors and jagged edges.

The man behind him didn't wear any armor, just a brown kimono, sort of like Jiraiya's, with a white sash and trim, with no hakama. His mask was by far the most demonic, looking like a face twisted in pain with huge horns twisting from the forehead.

"Don't call me that, Akuma."

The ninja who was speaking withdrew what seemed to be his weapon of choice, a whip made of bladed chain links that was previously wrapped around his arm. He let it drop and uncoil, and it wasn't exactly fast either. Just from watching it fall, Minato estimated it being at least five feet in length.

"Why are you here!" The voice beckoned as he neared. It was deep and raspy, the kind that you'd expect to hear in your nightmares.

"Why should I tell you." Heine countered. Akuma growled.

After a certain distance Jiraiya withdrew a kunai that seemed to have been hidden up his deep sleeve. "Watch it buddy, I wouldn't want to have to hurt you." He said, holding the weapon out while standing between him and Heine. He straightened his forehead protector and smiled.

"Ashikaga Jiraiya." He said, recognizing their sensei. "A Hi-Jounin from Konoha. What is someone as skilled as you doing guarding a traitor like him?"

Minato looked confused, but Katsu voiced his question. "Hi-Jounin? That isn't even a rank. Besides, Jiraiya-sensei hasn't been a Jounin that long."

There was a laugh from three of the four Rock ninja. "He's been a Jounin in the bingo books ever since he met the requirements. Or did he not tell you? He refused to become a Jounin for years." Said the one from Minato's left, with the four eyed mask.

"According to the bingo book, I'm only a Hi-Jounin if I'm holding a sword, or have one on me, which I don't." Jiraiya said himself, truthfully.

Minato could almost feel tension coming from Jiraiya. He was still angry with his teacher's refusal to teach him how to fight with a katana.

"But you seem to know a lot about me, and me not much about you." The confrontation was more or less at a stand still right now, but no doubt everyone was evaluating each other while they talked. "Ryokumaru, why don't you tell me what you know."

The blonde looked to his brunette friend, who was staring intently at the man with the large horned mask, in the kimono. "That man is only known as Akuma, a Hi-Jounin from Rock Village. They're Team Oni, a group of hunter nins feared for their combat capabilities over stealth. I noticed a rock back there that was metamorphic, not igneous, like the rocks here should be. I guessed there could have been a reason for it, but when I told Jiraiya, he brought up the fact that they could be enemy ninja hiding."

Jiraiya nodded. "So, Akuma, why would hunter ninja be targeting us? We're not here on an aggressive mission. Actually, we're here for a purely archeological purpose."

"If I had it my way, I'd hunt down and kill everyone who walked past the boarder. Unfortunately, I don't. But that man with you is a Nukenin from our village."

All of the boys looked accusingly at Heine all of the sudden. Only Ryokumaru spoke. "Kirai…that was the name of one of the members of Team Oni…Heine, you lied to us!"

He gritted his teeth when the boy accused him.

Akuma continued. "Turn him over, and be on your way. None of you have any business with our village's affairs."

Jiraiya paused.

"You all have until nightfall to decide whether or not you're up to throwing away your lives. Konoha ninja are somewhat known for doing this though, but I'd rather not have to slaughter brats who can't even put up a good fight. Though…I can at least hope that I will have the honor of killing the son of the Nidaime."

Now the boys looked accusingly at Jiraiya for many long moments. All of the enemy ninja quickly started to retreat at Akuma's hand motion, but Jiraiya gave a command of his own. "Follow them!"

Minato jumped to his right and took off across the plain towards the shinobi he didn't have a good look at. He wasn't sure what Ryokumaru and Katsu did, but he did hear what Jiraiya said next. "A couple of Oni are no match for Ronin!"

That brought a smile to Minato's lips, and he pursued his chosen target without question of why or what to do. He knew that Jiraiya wasn't going to let them think that they were afraid of some hunter nin. And he was right. Minato wasn't afraid one bit.


She was miles ahead of this brat. Just some stupid wannabe ninja kid under orders to try and follow her to what, show her that he meant business? He was probably shaking in his size-small boxers! Though, Dokueki couldn't pretend she didn't have interest in anything else that might be in there. She licked her lips behind her mask.

The mask itself was much narrower, sharper if you could say, then any of her comrades. The eyes of it were long narrow slits, and the mouth was a shallow impression that had fangs, like that of a snake. Actually, a snake mixed with a woman, mixed with a demon was the appearance she was trying to get when she chose the mask. The only other difference was that it had long threads of black hair that dropped down to her undersized breasts when she was standing. Her real hair was mixed between streaks of purple and green, something that was much easier to remember, or spot, then the simple fake black hair. She wore a plain black body suit, much different then the rest of her teams, with no covering for her feet, besides a strap between the toes and heel, and her hands, which only had a loop that stretched up and around her middle finger.

Though as the mere child started to catch up to her, she was reluctant to admit that he was the same size as her. She, a woman in her twenties, was the same size as a brat that couldn't be older then thirteen!

A steel shuriken shot threw the air and she whirled around to block it with one of her bronze kunai. She only carried four, but she had wasted one earlier. No matter, three was more then enough. She didn't understand how he had thrown it so well though. He was moving, she was moving, and there was at least a hundred feet between them!

She landed on the branch of a tree. They were in the woods, which was pretty thick considering the lack of trees in most other parts of the country. However, it looked bare, maybe skeletal due to the lack of leaves on the trees. They were probably about as cold and dead as the rocks that she was raised on.

She turned around and looked angrily at him, though it wasn't like he could see her face. Him, this little brat had the muscles to throw that far and that accurately! Why couldn't she be gifted with something like that? No, her muscles had to be small and petite, like herself. Kunoichi definitely had it harder. At least, she in particular did.

The kid stopped about a half a dozen trees away from her, a kunai in one hand. He had pretty blue eyes, nice and large, beautiful even, and nice blonde hair. Geez, now she had to fight a blonde? This was just stupid. Blonde envy aside, he was a cute boy.

"What is it, boy!" She hissed, "You think you could take me down? I'm a Chuunin, brat, not a pathetic Genin like you!"

It was true. She'd been a Chuunin for six months now. But still, she was in her twenties when she was finally able to become a real ninja. All of her class had already moved on, some became Jounins, and others had the honor of dying for their country. And what was she doing! She was polishing rocks or fixing uniforms or sewing! And it wasn't because she was a woman either. It was pure discrimination. Just because she was more frail then the average girl didn't mean she wasn't cut out to be a ninja!

"I don't think taking you down is necessary. All I have to do is make sure you stay far away from my village's client, and that you don't have time to regroup to attack us before we reach our destination."

Oh, a smart ass. How grand. Even he thought he was better then her! Everyone did, after all. All the other girls had curves and pretty shoes, or blonde hair! What was she left with? Definitely not curves. And shoes? She was better at climbing barefoot! But what really killed her on the inside was the lack of her blood. She never had her monthly blood. Never! There was a time that Dokueki remembered when she thought she got it, when she was in the shower. But she had only plunged her fingers too far inside of herself. She was so excited when it happened, watching the blood run down her wet leg and then the drain. But no, she was still barren as ever. So instead, she made a habit of slicing herself with kunai every month. Y'know, just so she'd be like other girls and bleed. It was only normal

It was so hurtful, so lonely, knowing that no one your age would look at you, seeing other women who were younger then she was make families! Instead, Dokueki found herself attracted to people who weren't her age, even if they sadly weren't attracted to her. They were the same size as she was. She really liked those little boys, small and innocent, fun to play with. Best of all, they couldn't compare her to anyone else. It always gave her goose bumps of joy when she thought of it.

But now a nice, cute young boy stood in front of her, and he thought he was better then she was! How dare him. How dare him!

She frowned. "How about…no!" She yelled diving at him and throwing a kunai at his feet, and with her other hand, slipping one from behind her back and throwing it at where he would jump back to.

But the first kunai hit his foot and passed through it. She realized that it was a buunshin. That little fuck!

She landed on the branch he wasn't actually on, and grabbed back the kunai in the tree, while taking out another to hold in her hand. Shit, now she only had two. She looked down to see the boy bounding off of a lower tree branch and then body flicker next to her. He slashed, but it was easy to duck under and leap back. See! Being small was helpful. After jumping back and balancing vertically on the tree trunk using Chakra she bounded out and slashed at him with her dual kunai. He dodged, pretty well actually, until she landed on her fists and flipped behind him. It was easy to kick his knees out from under him, and as he started to fall, she moved to slash him.

He dropped flat on his belly to avoid it, and then rolled off of the tree trunk. Once he landed, he threw shuriken upwards just as she was about to jump down onto the other branch which he had landed. This gave him time to draw a new kunai for himself.

Dokueki leapt down herself with her foot forward, and felt skin press to skin as her bare foot smashed into his cheek. He dropped to the ground, but not before she slashed with one hand, catching him slightly on the shoulder. Part of his shirt fell open. He was on his back, but flipped up quickly. She examined the kunai. The once bronze tip was now black from the point to an inch up.

"Lucky you, boy, I probably didn't get enough into you for any serious damage." Unlike the bronze parts, the black bit seemed to be somewhat chipped and jagged.

He looked at his inch deep slash before covering it with one of his hands. "I…don't understand. What is that kunai?"

Dokueki laughed, very happy to answer this question. "Standard kunai in my village. The kunai itself is all lead, with a special bronze paint that serves two purposes. One, it makes it look like a normal metal kunai. Two, it holds in some of the sharp pieces under it. But what makes it special is that it disintegrates when it comes in contact with blood, so the lead pieces get caught in the enemy wound. Ever hear of lead poisoning?" The thought was amusing to her, that a rock could be as venomous as a snake bite.

But there was a huge downside. Because kunai and shuriken were made of lead, they were extremely heavy compared to what other villages used. This is why a strong throwing arm was valued in the Village Hidden in the Rock. This is also why Dokueki had so much trouble using such weapons.

"Lead poisoning…I see." The boy spoke. The hand on his wound started to glow, and then spark, until it was covered with a fine layer of electricity. Suddenly, little specks of lead seemed to cling to his fingers. He moved it away from the wound, and then stopped it, as the small pieces dropped like black dust. Dokueki cursed.

"Using Lightning Manipulation to remove the lead? That's impossible."

He shook his head. "It isn't impossible, just hard. And there is a difference. My Chakra Manipulation is a subcategory of the Lightning Affinity: Magnetic Manipulation. I simply have to assign the metal a polarity and repel or attract to do what I want. I will admit though, that it would have been easier if it was steel, but since the lead was in my body, removing it safely isn't too difficult."

And then the boy seemed as if there was no pain at all. She didn't even notice when he dropped the kunai in his other hand to swipe shuriken from his pouch and hurl them at her, until the very last minute, when she narrowly dodged them.

"That's it! I'm not going to be outsmarted by a little runt like you!" She yelled, throwing the kunai hard, and then watching it miss him utterly. She still had one left, no problem.

The boy and her both ran forward, and their kunai met with a clang. But as he quickly moved to punch her with his free hand, she dropped down and kicked his feet out from under him. As he fell, Dokueki brought the kunai down hard and felt, as well as saw, it sink inches into his lower back, directly on top of the kidney. She smiled as she saw the blood splash from the impact and then pour out of him. He dropped his weapon and seemed to go somewhat limp.

Dokueki kneeled over him, grabbing his head so he could look into his eyes. They were dilated. "Aww, is the poor little boy too tired to go on? Well, isn't that a shame. Too bad I'm not tired at all, darling." She said with a strong hiss and even stronger evil intent right before the blonde Genin passed out.


"A couple of Oni are no match for Ronin!"

The boy in purple dived after Kunou, who quickly made hand seals and seemed to split into five different copies, which all went their own ways. The boy had no chance of catching the orange-headed man now. And Akuma couldn't consider it red, it was vibrant orange. And as much as he wished he would hide it a bit, all the years he had known him he would refuse. Kunou had been a part of Team Oni ever since it started, though he used to be the rookie. Now he was the second oldest member, second to Akuma, of course. It was really sad, considering that he was still the youngest. Kunou was only a child when he joined Team Oni.

When it started, it was Akuma, Kirai, or Heine, or whatever he wants to be called now, Kunou, and a man that went by Rage. Years back, Rage died during a mission to kill Rock Nukenin that were seeking refuge in Wind Country. There were sympathetic Sand ninja, or rather, ninja that wanted Rock Village secrets, were protecting them. It was a hard battle, but since it was a national security matter, failure wasn't an option. Then there was Kirai. Kirai had left the village on his own, something having to do with an archeological hobby gone wild. Akuma never really understood the details, just that his right hand man left him. Rage was replaced with Zaiaku, who was currently behind himself, and there was a vacancy in Team Oni for about a year before they were assigned Dokueki, who had only been with them for about six months.

Akuma grabbed the tip of his chain, which was marked with a palm sized metal ball, decorated with some nasty looking spike.

The boy with brown hair seemed to be sweating hard, yet Jiraiya stood in between both him and Kirai, as well as Akuma and Zaiaku. Did he really think that he could stop his whip?

"Ashikaga, I admire you're courage, but it will only get you killed. Put down that pathetic kunai of yours and turn Kirai over to me.

"How about you get out of my way and I don't kill you."

Akuma chuckled, then threw the lead ball swiftly at Jiraiya. He barely dodged it. And that was in good respect too. Akuma had spent almost all of his ninja career learning to use his chain whip.

However, Jiraiya seemed to be a bit stunned. "That whip…"

"…it's huge!" The boy behind him finished.

Akuma answered their unspoken question. "Every time I kill someone, I add a single link to this chain. So far, it's made of two-hundred and fifty-seven links."

"Which tops out at almost eight feet." Jiraiya finished for him.

"Good observation, Ashikaga. Maybe you should take a closer look." Now that the chain was stretched, Akuma surged Chakra into it and swung his arm viciously to the side, sending the whip repelling off the ground and towards Jiraiya. With all of his training, and Chakra manipulation, Akuma was now able to control every link of his weapon.

Jiraiya tossed his kunai lightly into the air, forming five hand seals, and then catching his kunai, all under a second, and then slashed behind himself, hitting the ball of the chain whip and then ducking, as the whip-lash just passed over his head. His kunai was now a good three feet in length; a short sword now.

The boy in purple was diving at Akuma though, who had been paying attention to Jiraiya. The kid must have realized he wouldn't catch Kunou, so came back to assist here. This is where Zaiaku finally decided to step in. He body flickered behind the boy, in mid air, and close-lined him with his arm. The boy landed hard on his back, and when Zaiaku came down, he planted a fist into his stomach.

Akuma pulled back on the chain to retrieve it as Jiraiya jumped back, and the brunette boy jumped forward, kicking at Zaiaku, who dodged it, and moving to help his friend out of the way. Jiraiya stabbed the long-kunai into the ground and drew two more, tossed them up into the air, and made similar hand seals; twelve this time. There was a puff of smoke, and then he had two other kunai based weapons. One was a four kunai that seemed to share the same bottom ring, but were extended to about foot long blades, a large shuriken in all practicality, and the other was literally just a giant shuriken, one that Jiraiya could barely hold in his hand, different then the long-shuriken that resembled a sword.

Dropping his friend next to Kirai, who was merely standing, the brunette jumped forward, still holding Dokueki's kunai.

"Ryo-chan! Get back here!" Jiraiya yelled at him, but it was too late. Ryo, as Akuma assumed, was headed straight at Zaiaku, who was standing calmly. Ryo slashed, but Zaiaku stepped back with ease.

Akuma spun around swiftly and threw his arm out in front of himself, as the chain slowly follow the motion and shot quickly at Jiraiya. He dropped the shuriken-kunai and took the great-shuriken with two hands, and stabbed it into the ground, then picked up both the recently dropped shuriken-kunai and long-kunai. The whip smashed into the great-kunai, with force enough to leave cracks in it. Then Jiraiya jumped on its top, then leapt into the air. Akuma quickly pulled on the whip for it to return, but Jiraiya was faster. He threw the shuriken-kunai at the ground sharply, and nailed the chain onto the ground. Akuma wasn't happy when he had to let go of his chain to dodge the long-kunai's slash when Jiraiya came sweeping down.

"Hmm, no whip. I guess that means I win."

Akuma was pissed. "No, it means that you still have until nightfall." He swiftly body flickered behind Jiraiya, kicked his legs out from under him, and grabbed the end of his whip. When he landed on his feet again, he pulled on the chain and quickly wrapped it around his arm as he manipulated it, then dodged a slash from Jiraiya's long-kunai.

When Akuma looked over, Ryo was on the ground, and Zaiaku was in possession of the kunai. The boy had bruises, but that seemed to be about it.

"Let's get out of here." He commanded, and then dashed off to the west after Kunou. Neither boy nor Jiraiya tried to pursue.

-End Chapter Nine-

Having concluded my overhaul, I can say that I basically forgot anything I knew about Japanese words and lingo. I can probably manage the honorifics, but besides that, it's gonna have to be full blown English anyways. I don't even know why I bothered with translators in the first place...

Preview – Chapter Ten: Shattered Mountain: Part II