Disclaimer: I do not Own Naruto or any of the franchise.
Author's Note: Sorry I'm late; I had to keep a burning building from catching fire. Now truth is told, this took far longer than I was expecting to figure out. One idea, I didn't like, so I thought of another and another but I was getting nothing. Now I have this chapter. My goal now is to figure out the rest of the wave arc as well what I can do afterwards. There is one idea I have for Hinata that I really want to do but I'm still trying to work out what she needs to know how to do before hand. Then there is the question of how to each Naruto. After all, he and mimic just about anything for a limited amount of time. Can you imagine how hard that makes it to learn something? If this feels rushed to anyone... don't worry, it might have been.
Now here is a question for my readers. 8, 16, 24 Trigrams Heavenly Asura, A move under development. Can you guess what I'm planning?
You know what scares me... The next chapter should be easy to write yet it's giving me just as much a headache as this one was.
Naruto: Art of Mimicry
Chapter 7: Second Wave
It was quiet, the gentle sound of water being moved felt loud in the ears of the occupants of the single boat they were all in. The man paddled as quietly as he could to avoid drawing any attention to himself. The occupants of the boat looked into the dense fog that had covered the water seemingly waiting for some kind of danger. One pair of eyes had veins bulging from around them apparently giving their vision an extra boost.
"Find anything Hinata?" a young male voice spoke up before taking his eyes off the water to looking at the young girl in question.
"It's clear…" She responded in a near whisper. Their sensei could only shake her head mentally. She finally got the girl to give clear stutter less responses while on the job but in straight conversation, the girl was still a wreck.
"Alright brats," the strong cheerful yet commanding voice of the purpled haired woman spoke up suddenly. "Remember your orders. The moment we land, we go ahead to make sure everything is clear. So what does that mean for us?"
"We are to look for enemies and traps between land and our destination." A monotone voice of the resident bug user answered. "Traps should be disarmed if possible and enemies subdued. If one or the other cannot be done then measures must be taken to assure the safety of the client and escort team."
A snort drew their attention to the dark haired boy on the boat with the uninterested look on his face. "This is a waste of time."
"Excuse me?" a voice responded with a little bit of agitation.
"There are three jonin and six genin here." The boy sounded a bit argent before he looking at them frowning slightly. "If anyone was foolish enough to attack now, they would be crushed."
"That may or may not be true Sasuke." The lazy sounding ninja next to him spoke up without lowering his book from his face.
"Why is that sensei?? The blond kunoichi questioned.
"It's simple Ino." Kakashi replied peeking over the top of his book for a moment before putting it up. "We are not certain that we have the larger force. Also, if the enemy is prepared, traps and well selected ambush points could give them an advantage." The blond girl nodded before she noticed Naruto flinch suddenly.
At that moment, Hinata's Byakugan reactivated and the sound of Shino's bugs could be heard taking to the air. The genin of team seven may have not known how team five worked but each of them was smart enough to something was immediately wrong based on how they were reacting.
"Ah, little Naruto." The boy in question had to keep from screaming out in a childish rage at being called little and just turned slightly to look at Mai who just seemed to smile in his direction. "Do you or your friends know how to walk on water yet?"
"Walk, on, water?" he blinked in response suddenly wondering if that was possible.
"I see," she paused before smile grew wider and sweeter somehow causing the sound a heavenly chorus to sing around her while white fluffy clouds and a bright sun like light shined behind her creating a disturbingly innocent looking scene. "You can use your youthful talents to get Tazuna and everyone to safety on land."
A soft frightened squeak erupted from Hinata before Naruto could respond to the woman's statement. In the time span of four seconds, the boat suddenly split in half being struck from underneath by a very large sword. The jonin hopped onto the water standing, seven blond clones appeared grabbing the boat driver, the bridge builder and every genin except for the creator himself before standing on top of the water. With only a glance at their sensei, each clone took off with their cargo towards land. The jonin their selves were already armed as their assailant landed on top of the water himself.
"Well look at what we have here." The sword wielding figure spoke up sounding very confidant. "The Copy Ninja and the Snake's…"
"Finish that and I will turn you into a woman." Anko hissed out with a distinct aura of death.
"Right…" coughing to hide the moment of fear induced by her outburst. "Your little brats know when to run, too bad they won't escape."
"Don't worry, I shall ensure the safety of your youthful students!" Mai yelled out and turned to rush after the genin only to stop as 9 figures rose up from the water at once. Each figure sporting black cloaks with read clouds.
"Now I can't allow a pretty woman such as you get involved in what is going to a bloody battle." The center figure put a charming smile on his face. "Gansaku the False, the greatest missing ninja of Iwagakure and the most handsome man on the face of this world is waiting to sweep you off your feet."
"You don't hold a candle to my precious Gai." Mai held her hands clasped together as if dreaming as sparkles appeared around her and in her eyes causing everyone watching to twitch. "The most perfect, handsome, youthful, elegant, beautiful man to ever hold my heart and stoke the fires of my youth."
"Umm…. Right, I guess after we clear out the trash here, we can go join up with the brats." Anko stated cracking her knuckles before a grin broke out over her face.
"You don't seem worried about your students." Mai stated without looking.
"I trust my brats enough to be able take out anything these idiots can dish out. So get the moron twins out of hiding so I can kill them."
"Just DIE!" One voice spoke flying out the water follow by a second dashing towards the woman with clawed gauntlets stretched forward to impale her. She only laughed as she dashed forward grabbing a gauntlet in each hand pushing down as she leapt over their claws and kneed them both in the face causing both to fall back and sink into the water.
"What are you all standing around for?" She yelled out grinning in mild insanity. "LET'S GET STARTED!!"
For all accounts, they were running fast, or rather Naruto was. The fact that he was running on top of the water however was deeply confusing to two member of team seven.
"Put me down!" the blond kunoichi screamed out much to the annoyance of the clone carrying her. It didn't help that she was struggling so viciously in his grasp that she threatened to disperse him right there. "Why are we running?"
"We are running in order to get the client to safety on a surface that we more capable of defending ourselves on." Shino spoke up calmly while waiting for the hyperactive clone to reach land.
"What do you mean? This is just shallow water isn't it?" Ino questioned honestly confused.
"LET GO!" Everyone looked back as the rookie of the year viciously struck the clone holding him dispersing it only to splash into the water a second later.
"Troublesome…" The third member of team 7 mumbled before another clone appeared and grabbed hold of the partially submerged and now angry member of his team. "Ignore your pride Sasuke or we will never get to land before Naruto forgets how to do this."
"What?" Sasuke looked confused as well as Ino at Shikamaru's statement. Ino herself knew nothing about the blond boy other then the fact that on occasion he pulled pranks the teachers at the academy. Sasuke himself completely ignored the blond and for the most part the rest of his class seeing them as being nothing of importance.
"If you had been paying attention rather than worshiping Sasuke, you would have noticed that Naruto can copy just about anything someone does around him for a limited amount of time." Taking a look at Naruto and his clones while they ran, he already sees the memory fading as each step was less stable on the water. "Troublesome… Are we close Hinata?"
"There is someone waiting for us." Shino finished pushing up the glasses on his face. "Tazuna, we are going to send you around as far as the clones can take you. Be sure to tell Naruto where you need to go, in detail. We will follow once it's clear."
"Shino?" Naruto spoke up trying to figure out what he was planning.
"I believe you will understand after a moment. Just send a few clones and make sure they do not stop moving and avoid all fights along the way."
"Ok, if you say so." Within a moment, seven more clones appeared around the bridge builder and the boat owner before they split off from the group.
"Good, now we..." In that moment his attention turned to Hinata who suddenly drew several kunai and shuriken throwing them ahead only to frown as the sound of metal hitting metal echoed in her ears.
"IN THE WATER!" The true Naruto suddenly stopped walking on the water diving in as the clones unceremoniously dumped everyone they were carrying into the water. Before anyone could protest, they saw just what Hinata seen as what looked like white birds drove their selves into the clones in a swarm before the clones puffed out of existence. Glancing at the few birds that were driven into the water before the clones dispersed, what they saw was not a true bird but a neatly folded paper dove.
Ino rose up from the water partially and was about to scream before a hand covered her mouth muffling her voice. "Shut up Ino unless you want us to die." Sasuke hissed as he pointed up to the small swarm circling the air. "Shino, why can't they see us?"
Glancing at the winged seemingly living projectiles circle, he lifted a hand out the water to allow an insect to land on his finger a moment before it flew off. "It appears our opponent is waiting for us."
"That's fine but we can't just sit here nor can we move to shore with that army waiting to kill us." The lazy boy spoke up with mild irritation before looking at Naruto. "Can you transform your clones into us?"
Silently, she waited. If any survived her birds, then she would eliminate them here. While looking across the water, she brought a hand to face brushing the scar hidden by the mask. To preserve the life of her mistress, she would kill thousands if needed, yet she was ordered to spare the lives of the genin if it was possible. To kill as a last resort was an option, one she wasn't used to having. She wasn't quite sure if she could make a choice like that.
"RIGHT THERE!!" The loud yell brought her attention back to the water as a blond body rushed out the water with kunai in hand while his friends either followed or yelled for him to wait. In truth, it was foolish to really rush someone like her head on. Especially with the way she was trained. When he was within to feet she moved holding a strip of paper that was neatly folded to look like a small blade. It was an act of pure speed as she avoided his stab and slides the paper blade into his neck from the back.
"NARUTO!" Taking notice of the loud blond girl, she only preformed a single hand seal causing the forgotten swarm of birds to fly down from the sky and dive at the little band of ninja.
Fire Style: Great Fireball Jutsu!
The sudden swell of heat behind her caused her turn from the scene in front of her to see a giant ball of fire rushing towards her leaving extremely little time to react. She left out a muffled scream before the flames washed over her and every single bird burning the paper little more than ashes. The clones disappeared into the flames as well dispelling into clouds of smoke leaving no trace that they where there.
"Nice job Sasuke." Ino cheered on before looking at the burning remains. "Did we get her?"
"Replacement… She is still here." Naruto stated while Hinata turned her head to look off to the side in the ready stance of her clan's taijutsu style.
"Smart…" she spoke in an emotionless voice as she looked at the genin in front of her. The two blonds, a white haired girl and a black haired boy. Four opponents to eliminate. That left a question as to where the bridge builder was. "You set decoys to draw my attacks and give you a chance to destroy my birds."
"And you fell for it. So what you plan on doing now!" The blond boy responded holding up a clinched fist in an effort to look more threatening.
"I am sorry, but for the sake of my Mistress, I must eliminate you." Three rapidly formed seals later, her backpack opened up releasing a storm of paper into the air which quickly gathered on the ground around her creating various cat and dog like animals. Each animal standing equal to her height clawed restlessly at the grown leaving deep cuts into the ground before they took off with a great deal of speed towards the band. In response they stated nothing as they scattered to escape the wrath of the paper animals. The two blonds fell first as a cat leapt on them slashing only for them both to disappear into a puff of smoke.
"Clones?" The girl and black haired boy appeared in front of her leaving her to wonder about her paper pets which suddenly collapsed into theirseleves becoming nothing more than harmless sheets of paper once more. "How?" Before she could attempt to anything else, her body stopped moving completely leaving her even more confused as to what was going on. "
"Shadow Imitation Jutsu a success." Shikamaru spoke lazily. "Your turn Hinata."
"Right…" She hesitantly walked over to half masked girl. "S-sorry about this." She timidly whispered out before striking several points not only cutting of the chakra flow through her body but knocking her out in turn. Before the girl could collapse to the ground painfully, Shino caught her and set her down being sure to allow his bugs to return to him from the remains of the paper beast.
"How long?" Naruto spoke up looking at the downed girl.
"We should be sure she is securely tied up before she awakens then question her."
"What would be the point?" Sasuke spoke up with his arms crossed.
"The point Sasuke would be to find out whom she works for and if there are more enemies we will have to worry about." Shikamaru answered before muttering something under his breath.
"Well how are we post to find that out. It's not like she is just going to happily give up information." Ino stated placing a finger under her chin thinking about it. "If you plan to get something out of her, it would require some kind of torture but we can't do that. I mean none of us ever tortured anyone before."
"You have if you count the amount of time we had to listen to you talk."
"WHAT DID YOU SAY SHIKAMARU!"
"The idea is the old her until our sensei returns."
"N-Naruto?" Hinata spoke questioning the blond who at the moment had yet to say anything. In fact he was looking around looking very uncomfortable. The veins on the sides of her eyes bulged signifying the activation of her eyes but even so she still couldn't see what had him so unnerved.
"I know someone else is here..." He whispered…
"A-all I s-see is m-mist." Looking around, the truth was there was a lot of mist forming making it more and more difficult to see.
"This mist isn't natural. It's far too thick." Sasuke spoke up holding a kunai ready.
"There!" Hinata prepared to throw the kunai in possession only for her hand and the hands of everyone in the group to be pierced by a needle. The sound of metal hitting the ground echoed until just as quickly as the mist had arrived, it was gone along with the girl.
"Troublesome, they got away." Looking lazily over to the bug user he voiced the question that on the minds of half the team. "So what now?"
"HA!" The power house of a kunoichi yelled out as she struck her enemies reducing them to water only for more to appear in their place. "This is getting very tiring…"
"Then I guess you will have to give up and join me on a nice dinner date then?" The one that spoke turned into water suddenly as she struck it. "I guess not. Stubborn woman doesn't know what she is missing out on."
"Stop flirting and kill her!" The bandaged man screamed as he swung the giant sword in his hand at the copy ninja forcing him to leap away or be cut in half.
"Who would have guessed the great demon of the mist would be teamed with a shameless flirt." Kakashi taunted as he evaded yet another slashing attempt on his life.
"SHUT UP!" He swung again feeling aggravation as the copy ninja evaded once again.
"Then of course, you have the demon brothers and it's well beyond obvious they are useless." His voice sounded rather smug as he spoke. "First taken down by a bunch of children and now Anko there is dancing around them like they are nothing more than a couple of common academy students."
"I told you to SHUT UP!"
"Then again," Kakashi continued ignoring him while dodging his assaults. "Seeing how you are fighting right now, it's no wonder you enlist such weak help."
"DAMN IT, YOU WILL SHOW YOU WEAK YOU ONE EYED BASTARD!" All at once he reattached his sword to his back and rapidly preformed seals.
Water Release: Great Waterfall Jutsu
All at once a massive rush of water washed towards Kakashi only for the copy ninja to move out the way of the watery assault much to Zabuza's anger. The bandaged ninja didn't realize his mistake until he saw the wave crash over Gansaku and his army of water clones wiping them all out and leaving the man drenched.
"What the hell was that for?" the cloaked man screamed in confusion before he felt a cold chill suddenly. "Oh no…" He turned his head just in time to have a foot connect to his face, chest, left shoulder, stomach, right shoulder, neck, and face once so quickly that if he wasn't in pain, he would have thought she had multiple legs. For Mai's part, after the first volley she switched legs almost instantly targeting the same points in rapid succession before switching back to the other leg once more except leaving the final kick striking his stomach before switching one last time kicking his chin in a near split kick resulting in what sounded like a bone breaking as he soared through the air splashing down in the water dying it red with the blood coming from his mouth.
"Phoenix Fanning Wings…" Mai stated in a whisper as she held one leg up bent at the knee as if preparing to deliver another round of kicks should her opponent rise again.
"I guess that's my cue." Anko spoke up with a grin before avoiding another assault from the demon twins and flipping a good ten feet away. With a grin she cut her hand and preformed a few hand seals before slamming her bleeding hand onto the surface of the water.
The brother's paused for a moment to see what happened but all they saw was smoke then a happily grinning Anko. They didn't have much time as the world went dark. In their place were two snakes, both with a lump sliding down into the water.
"What was that?"
"I said you were lucky. But I will be sure to change that next time we meet Kakashi." Zabuza growled
"What makes you think there will be a next time?" Kakashi questioned before turning into water suddenly. "Especially when you are going to die right here" A lazy sounding voice spoke behind Zabuza causing the man to spin while grabbing his sword to slash behind him at nothing. Next thing he knew his sword dropped into the water as a pair of kunai dug into his arm at the elbow.
"ZABUZA!" Kakashi leapt back as out the water rose Gansaku armed with the fallen sword. Thrusting the weapon into the wounded mans still good hand, pushed him away and turned rushing at the leaf jonin in what looked like a suicide charge. "Meet my special technique. Shrapnel clone jutsu!"
"Damn, GET BACK!" That was all the time he had to say as Gansaku started to glow then explode into a hail of shuriken, kunai, and needles. Once the smoke from the explosion cleared, all that was left was the jonin, each sporting cuts and lacerations from the various weapons that could have easly killed them if that clone was any closer then it was. "Eh, so he's gone." Kakashi stated lazily as he covered up his eye and looked towards the land where they were going to have to walk.
"Think the kids are ok?"
"Of course rival of my beloved. Their youth burns far too brightly to be put out by any simple missing ninja." Mai proclaimed before sticking her thumb out and exhibiting a bright sparkling smile.
"Yeah, what she said, now let's get out of here before something else happens." Anko commanded before walking off in a huff.
"Ah, my eternal rival, shall we race to land?"
"Mai, there is something stuck in your hip."
"What?" Mai looked and patted her hip feeling nothing out of the ordinary before looking up and noticing Anko was gone and had a good lead. "My hip rival has pulled a fast one over me. DO NOT THINK I SHALL LOSE EASLY!" With that she took off after Anko leaving an annoyed and slightly confused Kakashi behind.
"Isn't it too early for this?" He shrugged and pulled out his surprisingly dry book and started reading while walking.
"That was a close one. Man you are one lucky…" Gansaku suddenly found himself staring at the loop that happened to rest on the giant sword. It just so happened that his neck was in it.
"Keep talking and I will take your head off." Zabuza growled in his anger before releasing the man. "I underestimated them. That's all.
"It seemed that everyone did." A fully masked figure appeared holding the unconscious girl in hand.
"The brats beat your little pet did they?" Zabuza sounded amused. "That can't make you very happy can it Haku?"
"Next time she won't lose." Zabuza just snorted in response before turning to walk back to their base.
"Once I recover, I will kill them all myself."
Gansaku sighed as he watched the two walk off before looking in the direction the leaf ninja went. "As long as you stay under the radar, I'm safe."