Sorry for this very long overdue update. The truth of the matter is that I got stuck in the middle. It was so annoying; no matter what I tried it didn't feel right. So I moved on to my other stories and came back to this one every once in a while to try to get past my mental block. And here we are.
I really like what is happening in the manga. Sasuke is getting his ass kicked big time. But, I wonder why he hasn't tried suppressing his opponent's demonic chakra like he did with Naruto. Oh well, doesn't really matter as long as Sasuke gets killed. Then we can get back to the real star of the manga.
"I see," said Tsunade. She was in her office with Haku standing in front of her. Two days ago Haku had arrived in their village with three unconscious men. After Tsunade had checked them out, she had begun to question the teen on why he was in Fire Country. As it turned out, he was trailing a Missing-nin who had taken over a gold mining village. "So you believe that Raiga Kurosuki is the one in charge?"
"Very sure," said Haku. "Ever since the Rescue Sasuke mission, all Hunter-nins have been sent out looking for various Missing-nins. Raiga is one of the top priority cases that we are handling. I have been following clues and rumors for a while now and I was about to confirm it when I found those three floating in the river." Haku then let out a sigh. "Perhaps it's a good thing that I did bring them here. If Raiga were to catch me or find out I was on to him he would have either killed me or make a run for it."
"Sounds to me like you don't think you can beat him," said Tsunade. Haku lowered his head a bit.
"Perhaps," he said slowly. "It has been a while since he was last seen and we have no way of knowing if his skills has grown or diminished."
"In any case," said Tsunade as she leaned back in her chair. "We will have to take care of this problem as soon as possible. I'll send out a genin team as soon as possible."
"I'm afraid that my village has other plans," said Haku.
"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Tsunade as her eyes narrowed a bit.
"Raiga was one of the Seven Legendary Swordsmen," replied Haku. "In his possession are twin blades that are meant to be passed down from master to appetence and have been since the creation of the Hidden Mist Village. Getting them back is our top priority as well as ending the traitor's life. As soon as I arrived here, I contacted my village to inform them of the situation. Before I was called to meet you I was informed that a Mist team is waiting right in front of the gate. We shall be the ones to take care of this situation."
"Yet this is happening right here in Fire Country," said Tsunade.
"I can understand that," said Haku. "But we cannot just leave this in your hands. We must confirm the death of Raiga and make sure that we are the ones who have disposed of his body. I'm sure you would feel the same way if you found out that one of your Missing-nins was found in our country. You would want to make sure that none of your village's secrets were uncovered while we examined his body. In that, we are the same. If we leave this in your hands, your council might try to take advantage of the situation and…"
"Take the body and swords for ourselves," finished Tsunade. Then she smiled. "If I recall correctly, your team took some…souvenirs during chunin exam." Haku began to sweat a bit. He had to admit that she had them there. After all, they had taken Hinata out of the village.
"Very well then," said Haku after a bit as he considered his options. "How does this sound then. We will work together on this one. We will take care of Raiga and keep his swords while you take care of the small fries and keep the money."
"That sounds fair," said Tsunade as she picked up a sheet of paper. "I have a capable team of genins that are ready to go. So, who did your village send?"
Outside of the Leaf village stood Naruto and his genin team. Raiu was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed and a very bored look on his face. Meiga was staring at some insects that were buzzing around. Saki was admiring some wild flowers that were growing nearby. As for Naruto, he was pacing back and forth as he waited for Haku.
"Where is Haku?" demanded Naruto who was getting tired of waiting.
"Maybe we should go in," said Saki as she turned her head to face her sensei.
"Yeah sensei," said Raiu. "I don't see why we can't go in."
"Because," said Naruto as his eyes narrowed. "I don't like this hell hole."
"Why is that sensei?" asked Saki. Naruto turned his head to look away from her and look into the village where he had been born. The place that only held painful memories for him. For a moment he thought about telling them. Telling them about how he was treated only slightly better than an animal in this place. How he had left it and found a true home in the Mist village with his true friends. Should he? With a sigh, he knew the answer.
"Let's just say that I have a history with this place and leave it at that," said Naruto.
The looks that he was getting from his genins said it all. Saki's eyes seemed to widen slightly and seemed to shimmer which told him that he had hurt her feelings a bit by not telling her. Raiu scowled in annoyance before he turned his head away. Meiga, well, it was hard to tell his expression. The only thing that Naruto did notice was that one of his eyebrows rose a bit in interest.
"Well now," said a cheerful voice. Everyone turned to look into the village and saw that Haku was now walking towards them. "That's an interesting way to refer to your hometown." Naruto folded his arms.
"I spotted considering this place as home when I left," replied Naruto. "Anyways, we're not here so I can face my past again. Did you tell the Hokage that we would be handling this?"
"I did," said Haku. "But she insists that they help out. The problem is happening here in Fire Country after all and it is only natural that she would like to have a hand in stopping Raiga."
"Well, maybe she should have been paying more attention to what has been going on instead of drinking sake all day," said Naruto. "I was about to go on a date with…"
"Anyway," said Haku quickly, interrupting Naruto. "We are taking with us a Leaf genin team and the clients on this joint mission. They'll be here at any moment."
A few seconds after Haku said those words, a cloud of dust came shooting towards the Mist-nins. The genins covered their eyes to protect them from the dust and when they lowered them they saw a new figure standing before them. This new person wore green spandex with orange arm and leg warmers and had a bowl cut.
"Creepy eyebrows," said Meiga. The other two genins nodded.
"Naruto," said the green clad genin loudly causing the Mist genins to wince. "It is good to see you once again on this youthful day! I look forward to working with you and perhaps, when this is over, having a rematch with you!" Naruto smirked.
"Perhaps," he replied as he shook Lee's hand. A moment later five more people showed up. Three of them were civilians, most likely the clients. The other two were Lee's teammates, a bun haired girl and a Hyuuga.
"Lee, you should have…" begun Neji but stopped when he saw Naruto. He then narrowed his pale eyes at the blond and let out a small amount of killer intent. "Why are you here?"
"I ask myself that every time I see these ugly walls," said Naruto with a smirk. "How is Hinata?"
"That's a good question," said Neji. "We have no idea where she is, but we have some ideas. Officially, she is MIA. However, you were the last one to be seen with here." Naruto's smirk became wider.
"Are you accusing me of something?" he asked as he reached behind him to grab the handle of his sword. "Because if you are then do it and stop wasting my time!" Neji looked at Naruto and then at the sword. Realizing that he would get his ass kicked, he backed down. Seeing this, Naruto let go of the handle. "This should be an interesting mission. Alright everyone, listen up! Haku has found evidence that the Kurosuki family has taken over the Katabami gold mine which lies near the border of River Country. Now, normally I wouldn't be interested in something like this except that the leader of the Kurosuki family is Raiga Kurosuki.
This mission has three parts. Part one will be to bring the clients back to their home. Part two will be to take down the thugs who work for Raiga. Parts three will be to take care of Raiga. Parts one and two will be handled by you guys while me and Haku take care of Raiga. If you have a problem with this feel free to whine while we walk."
"Hold on," said Neji. "Who put you in charge?"
"Neji," whispered Tenten.
"So, you think you should be calling the shots," said Naruto in an amused tone. "I didn't know that you knew Raiga's fighting style and jutsus. I didn't know you knew his habits. I didn't know that you had become a jonin since last we met."
"Fine," said Neji with gritted teeth. "You made your point."
"Good," said Naruto as he turned to leave.
Back in the Village Hidden in the Mist, the girls were taking some time off at the spa. Right at that moment Tayuya, Kin, Yugito, Hinata, and Isaribi were all getting the full body treatment. They were all in tubs filled with mud, wearing some kind of goop on their faces with cucumber slices over their eyes.
"Ah, it's been forever since I've done this," said Isaribi.
"We didn't have places like this in Sound," said Kin. "Right Tayuya?" Tayuya only grunted in response.
"Had one, but I never went," said Yugito.
"I've done this once before," said Hinata. "It was with some of the women from my clan."
"This is so fuckin boring," said Tayuya with a yawn. "Let's talk about something more interesting."
"Alright," said Kin. "Have you asked Haku out yet?"
"What?!" cried out Tayuya and Yugito at the same time as they both sat up suddenly with enough force to shoot the cucumber slices off their faces. Slowly the others took off their own slices and stared at the two girls. Although no one could see their faces, both girls were burning red with embarrassment.
"Well," said Kin, "that was unexpected."
"Damn you," growled Tayuya as she glared at Kin. "Next time tell us who you're talking to!"
"Right, right," said Kin as she began to relax again.
"I don't believe it," said Hinata. "I mean, Haku is the total opposite of both of you."
"Like you and Naruto," said Yugito.
"What's that supposed to mean?" demanded Hinata.
"Let's see," said Yugito. "You have the confidence of a kitten while Naruto is a tiger."
"Well I'm not surprised," said Isaribi before Hinata could say anything. "Haku's femininity balances out both of your combined tom-boyishness. I mean, you're both so blood thirsty and Haku is so kind and gentle that it makes a perfect match." A chill filled the room.
"Are you saying that we aren't feminine?" demanded Tayuya. "You have got to be shittin' me!"
"Let's show her blood thirsty!" yelled Yugito.
A half an hour later the spa had to close to some much needed repairs. (AN: It has taken me all this time to get past this scene!)
"Starting to get dark," said Haku. "Maybe we should make camp soon."
"Yeah," said Naruto. "That might be a good idea."
"There is no need," said Lee loudly. "Up ahead is a place where we can stop and rest. I have been there before." Lee then began to tell a long story about how he had ran a ridiculously long time and was healed by some curry. Saki listened to him in awe, taking in every word.
"That's amazing," she said. "This Curry of Life sounds incredible. Naruto-sensei, could we stop and get some?"
"I don't see why not since it's on the way," said Naruto.
"Since we have some time," said Neji, "we should be getting ready. Uzumaki, what can you tell us about this Raiga."
"He's insane," said Naruto as if it were common knowledge. "I only met him a couple of times before he left the village and I was young. What I remember about him is that he uses lightning bases jutsus and his swords act like lightning rods making him insanely powerful during a lightning storm. He also has this nasty habit of giving people funerals while they are still alive."
"Why does he do that?" asked a shocked Tenten.
"In his mind," said Haku, "it's the best way to remember the good times he had with the person he is burying. He even cries while he recounts the times that they shared."
"I remember back when I was younger my parents telling me that if I misbehaved Raiga would bury me in the park," said Meiga. "I believe that many parents did that as well."
"Yeah," said Naruto. "After he left, kids began to see him everywhere. Shinobi were dispatched almost nightly because some kid thought he saw Raiga coming out of his or her closet with a shovel. They would start screaming and when the parents arrived in the room the kid thought that Raiga used a genjutsu to hide himself." Naruto then let out a chuckle. "Pity they didn't know that Raiga was never really all that good with genjutsus. Might have saved some of us a trip."
"I remember one time I was called out to see if Raiga was hiding in some kids tree fort," commented Haku.
Soon a small building came into view up ahead. It was a restaurant with a large sign that read Curry of Life. In front of the building was an old woman. Upon seeing the old woman, Lee ran towards her, grabbed her, picked her up, and began twirling her around while crying out "Baa-chan!" The old woman laughed, happed to see the green colored genin.
"Lee, it is good to see you again," said Sancho. She then noticed the others walking towards them. "And I see brought friends. How wonderful! Come in, come in." As she hustled them into the curry shop, one of the clients pointed at the nearby mountain.
"Just over that mountain," said the client, "is the Katabami gold mine."
Once inside the curry shop, they were quickly seated and then served. At first, no one wanted to eat it as it looks to be a little too strong. However, Lee dove into with. Just after one bite, his face turned bright red and continued to eat. With a shrug, everyone else began to eat as well. However, after one bite everyone began to scream in pain and went right for their water glasses. Well, everyone else except for Saki who was eating it like it was nothing.
"This is most excellent," said Lee when he was finished. "Oh, where is Karashi? I haven't seen him since we arrived."
"He left shortly after we meet you," said Sancho. "I think it was because he met you that he was inspired to become stronger. When he left he said something about joining the Kurosuki family." At that, everyone became very still.
"I'm sorry to hear that," said Haku.
"Naruto," cried Lee. "We have to do something. Karashi is in great danger!"
"I agree," said Naruto as he stared into his empty glass. "It is our job to take him out as well as the rest of the Kurosuki family. And that is what we will have to do."
"But sensei," cried Saki. "Maybe we could…"
"Listen," interrupted Naruto. "He willingly joined them and helped them take over the Katabami gold mine. He is willingly helping them oppress and kill the people living there." Naruto then looked at Sancho. "I am sorry, but he must face the consequences of his actions. The best you can hope for is that he was never able to join or is elsewhere at the moment."
"I see," said Sancho quietly. She then looked out the window. "It's getting late. If you want you can stay here for the night."
"We don't have time," said one of the clients. "One of my friends was buried only a few days ago. We can still save him!"
"He's dead by now," said Naruto. "Most likely he ran out of air a few hours after they buried him. And even if he hadn't, he would have died due to dehydration. Your friend is dead."
"No," sobbed the client. "You're wrong! I know he's alive!"
"Baka," muttered Naruto under his breath.
Later that night, the client left the curry shop and made his way to the mining village. As quietly as he could, he began to search the graveyard for the spot where his friend was buried. When he found it, he fanatically began to dig him up with his bare hands.
"Well, look who's back," said a voice. The client looked up and saw he was surrounded by men in dark cloaks. Behind him, the one who had spoke to him, was Raiga. "Looks like we'll be having a funeral!"