Let us continue the story of Sora! Hope ya liked the first chapter.

Once again: italic stuff thoughts

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An Expensive Present

Hinata laughed and attempted to catch the flying papers. Realizing she was fighting a losing battle, she let the papers she had caught fall to the ground.

"Mom this is?" The little girl looked up with questioning eyes. The smile on Hinata's face grew, and she nodded. Sora's face, if at all possible, lit up even more.

"SUKE! Look at all the stuff!" The girl pulled out what appeared to be a crayon box from the larger one. "There's color pencils, sharpeners, erasers, and watercolors! Crayons, regular pencils, markers," Sora listed all her presents on and on. "And……." She suddenly stopped. She carefully reached her small hand into the box and pulled another even smaller one. She traced the top of the small wooden box with her fingers.

"Charcoal pencils…………….." The blonde haired girl's voice hung with sadness. Hinata became worried.

"Don't you like them?"

"Of course mom!" The girl added quickly. "It's just…aren't these expensive?"

"Where would you get that idea?" Hinata was visibly shocked. Sora traced the gold letters that spelled "charcoal" on the box again.

(Months earlier, 10 minutes outside of Konoha)

Sora sighed as she fell on the soft grass. Her chest rising as it attempted to get more air; her heart beat slowly slowing back to its normal pace. The young girl closed her eyes as she lay in the grass, her blonde her flowing around her because of the wind. She liked this clearing, perfect for relaxing after an exhausting training like todays. Of course, she wasn't supposed to be training at all, as it meant she could be seen at any moment. Though, she saw no point why she couldn't. As long as she never stayed in one place for more than a week and took the right precautions, no one saw her. She sat up.

"Now, no need to get depressed." She scolded herself aloud. "I'll find a better spot tomorrow!" She didn't believe a word she had just said, but Sora stood up anyway, and walked toward to a tree near the edge of the clearing. On it was a little sun with 6 rays extending from it. This symbol could be found at quite a few clearings, but all the others had 7 rays, marking that Sora had spent her time limit there.

Sora had been named after the sky because of her looks. Her blonde hair symbolizing the sun and her blue eyes the sky itself. Though it was really the day sky she was named after, she enjoyed the night sky much more. It was at night she saw her mother, it was at night she needn't worry about being seen because the darkness acted as her shield, and it was at night she dreamt.

Sora loved her dreams, it was the only time she was free. She was never free in the day. Though she was trusted by her mother, and was able to do what she wished, her choices were limited. Always having to sneak around happy children and working parents, always hiding in the shadows making sure she was never seen or heard. Never being able to stay in the same training place or even talk to someone, let alone being able to play with some one her own age. Her mother never told her the reason she hid from the world, but she trusted her mother. She didn't trust the world.

That wasn't the only reason she loved her dreams. They were always realistic, far more realistic than her real life. She was sure she was different, because she was never in the dream. They were always about someone she's never meet, or someone that was only vaguely familiar. What was even stranger was every time she tried to tell her mother her dreams; her mother suddenly became pale and said they'd talk later.

"My dreams are different." Sora whispered as she added a final ray to the sun with the kunai she had taken from her mother's things. Her eyes shining in the light, but not like they normally did. "I know they are…"

Sora's face changed, suddenly brighter, losing whatever serious grip that had come over her. "Oh well!" She said in what sounded more like a four-year-old's voice. "Let's go see if the Old man is there again!" She turned and skipped off; leaving the clearing she loved for the last time.

"How much can I get for these?" A young woman asked an old man who owned a trading cart. Sora stopped behind a nearby tree a listened.

She didn't know why, but she enjoyed listening to this old man's business. He was very kind, and traded money or other goods to what ever travelers wanted to trade. He never cheated them, always giving them a fair price even if they were desperate enough to take whatever price was given.

"My, my." The old man answered. "Pure charcoal pencils, very valuable indeed. You don't see many of these around here."

"Hai." The lady said. "I'm not from around here and I bought these near the village hidden in the rocks."

The old man merely nodded, and named his price. Sora was only just learning how to add and subtract, but she knew numbers. That was a big number.

(Back in the present)

Sora read the box. 100 charcoal… it was the expensive kind… Sora looked back up to her mother with stern eyes. Hinata knew there was no point in saying they weren't.

"No, I bought them on sale." She lied. "Have you been outside the village?" Hinata quickly tried to change the subject.

"Don't worry, I wasn't seen."

"That's not the point, you could get-"

"Thanks mom." Hinata was interrupted mid sentence, but all she could do was smile.

"Get dressed." Now it was Sora's turn to be surprised.


"Get dressed, we're going out." Realization slowly crept over Sora's face. Hinata laughed.

"You mean it?!" Sora's eyes were back to their original state: bright and filled with excitement. Hinata laughed at how anxious the little girl was.

"Where are we going?! Are we going outside the village?" Hinata shook her head. Sora's eyes opened wider. "To the forest?" Another shake. "Somewhere INSIDE the village!"

Without waiting for the answer, she rushed off to the room she shared with her mother to get dressed.

Stay tuned for Chap. 3!

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Next: A Trip to the Graveyard