Summary: As Shikamaru battles to save a village and Naruto fights Sasuke to end his life and protect everyone he hold dear. Events back in the Leaf village are transpiring, which will alter both young men's lives in a most life-changing of way. Meanwhile, three members of the Konoha 10 have launched an attack on seemingly invincible opponent and one of them has perhaps given his life to defeat this unstoppable monster. Meanwhile, Sakura fights to save an unexpected loved one as the battle for Hiezu village rages on. Once again, our heroes will have to battle as never before, to protect not only their friends and loved ones, but also fight for their very lives as well.
Naruto vs. Sasuke: The Aftermath
Chapter 80 "Naruto vs Sasuke: The Rematch Pt.3"
Suddenly, a deafening monstrous roar pierced the air from inside the dust cloud. So loud was the cry, that everyone clamped their hands over their ears in an attempt to stifle the thunderous blast. A sense of fear and dread came over both Neji and Shino, as they looked at one another in abject horror at what this roar means. Then both shinobi became disheartened at what it might also mean for the fate of their friend Rock Lee.
As both Neji and Shino held their hands tightly over their ears, they both feared the worst for their friend and comrade. However, the monstrous roar that that had filled them with such distress suddenly changed in pitch and tone. No longer did it sound like a roar of anger or rage, now it had become pain-filled howl. Hope sprang forth in both Neji and Shino, as being warriors they recognized that what the gargantuan curse-sealed soldier was screaming was its...death wail.
Both shinobi rushed forward, as the dust began to settle and the sight that greeted them left them in awe at what they were seeing. Sitting atop the Oto beast with his arms plunged elbow deep into its chest was Rock Lee. Who rose to his feet and cried out in triumph, as he pulled his arms back to his body and a moment later a geyser of black blood erupted from the curse-sealed soldier, as Lee ripped its pumpkin sized heart out of its body. The green-clad ninja then thrust both his hands into the bloody organ and tore it apart casting both pieces away from him. He then jumped down off of the behemoth he had just slain and with his arms hanging limply to his sides turned to stare at the carcass, as Neji and Shino ran up to greet him.
"You did it Lee! Nothing is healing on that monstrosity, your plan worked, it's finally dead!" Neji shouted with unaccustomed joy in his voice to his teammate, as he scanned the creature with his Byakugan.
"A most well-earned and dare I say legendary victory against a virtually unstoppable monster you've achieved, congratulations." Shino stated in admiration, as he slapped Lee's back in friendly appreciation.
However, the response the insect wielding shinobi got was not what he was expecting, as Lee unmoving began to fall forward like a cut down tree. Both Neji and Shino shot forth to catch their comrade, before he face-planted onto the street. Abruptly, Shino pulled his arms away and grimaced in pain, as he exclaimed.
"Kami, he's as hot as fire!"
For his part, Neji merely grit his teeth and endured the searing pain in his arms, as he had dealt with the side-effects of the Forbidden Lotus technique in the past and knew what to expect, as he turned Lee over and gently laid him onto his back. He then turned to Shino and stated apologetically.
"It's one of the aftereffects of using the Forbidden Lotus technique. The power the technique generates super-heats the body of its user. I apologize, I should have warned you in advance."
"There's nothing to apologize for, there was no time for you to warn me, as we both just reacted to catch Lee, before he fell to the ground. Kami help us, is that another side-effect of the technique?" Shino asked in trepidation at what he saw.
Neji turned his gaze to where Shino was staring and saw what had shocked his fellow shinobi. The skin on Lee was dried out so severely that cracks in the tissue crisscrossed his teammates face. One would think they were looking at a parched earth desert landscape if they were to peer upon Lee's face. Neji knew that it wasn't just Lee's face pot-marked with these ugly fissures, but more than likely his entire body. He also knew that his bushy-browed teammate ran the risk of being permanently disfigured unless he received medical aid from a highly trained shinobi medic. Fortunately, he knew that a medic who was beginning to rival Tsunade's prowess in the medicinal field was just a short distance away, as he answered Shino.
"Unfortunately, yes it is. The heat generated from the Forbidden Lotus technique is terribly destructive to the users body. In fact, if Lee doesn't receive medical treatment soon from a highly skilled medic, he may be disfigured for the rest of his life. However, one of those medics happens to be available close by, but I need to get him to the Medical Triage center now. Shino, please lend me your coat."
The Aburame heir, immediately shucked off his coat and handed it to Neji, and watched, as the Byakugan wielding shinobi wrapped his teammate and friend into it, before he stood up and with Lee cradled in his arms and declared.
"I shall try to return as soon as possible."
"I appreciate that, but it is not necessary. My men and I can handle things here right now. Just get Lee to Sakura-san now." Shino replied, with a wave of his hand.
Neji nodded to his fellow Konoha shinobi in acceptance, before turning and racing down the street. Shino noted the awe struck faces of his men, as Neji ran past carrying his green-clad teammate at a speed that astonished them. Shino merely chuckled to himself that while Neji did run faster than the majority of Konoha shinobi could ever achieve. They would truly be stunned at the speed Rock Lee could attain. However, Neji's display merely reinforced the reputation that any ninja team trained by Might Gai would always be the fastest and most fleet of foot of all squads in the Village Hidden in the Leaves.
Sakura was exhausted, both mentally and physically. Not only that, but her chakra reserves were practically at zero due to Kiba's operation and the number of wounded she had helped to heal. It was at times like these Sakura wished she had the seemingly endless chakra reserves of Naruto. However, that was not the case, as Kami had blessed her blonde teammate with a chakra capacity that rivaled or dare say even exceeded Hokage levels. While she was given incredible chakra control, but very little in capacity.
Sighing to herself, Sakura realized it did no good to lament about things she couldn't control. However, what she could control at that moment was finding a small quiet corner somewhere, preferably with a cot that she could lie down and try and get some sleep, before the next calamity arose. Kiba was stable, but not necessarily out of the woods just yet. The pink-haired kunoichi wished she could transfer him to a more secure and medically upgraded facility. She felt confident that Kiba would live, but Sakura would feel much better if he was at the Konoha hospital under the watchful eyes of the numerous medical staff employed there. But she had no idea when that could happen. Looking around, Sakura saw that both Ryota and Kazane appeared to have the Triage center well in order and decided she would heed their numerous request for her to get some rest. Turning around to look for that quiet corner and cot, Sakura jumped in surprise when the main door of the Triage center was kicked open and someone shouted.
"Sakura, I need your help at once!"
The pink-haired kunoichi spun her head around to the voice and her heart seemed to drop into her stomach making her nauseous, as she saw Neji, but more importantly she saw who was being held in his arms. Tramping down the panic she felt, Sakura immediately leapt into action and shouted out.
"Neji bring him over here!"
Sakura swung open the cubical curtains of ironically the same table where she had performed Kiba's surgery earlier and watched with tears starting to brim in her eyes, as Neji laid Lee onto the table and removed the coat wrapped around him. The pink-haired medic took one look at her boyfriend and immediately recognized the injuries he was suffering from. Now the sadness she had been feeling was being replaced by a growing anger, as she asked through gritted teeth.
"What happened to him?"
Neji exhaled a deep breath, as he could hear the growing furious tone of Sakura's voice, before he answered.
"One of the Otogakure curse-sealed soldiers had breached the walls and was causing massive destruction within the village. It was a monstrous beast of great size and strength and had already killed several of our fellow Konoha shinobi and villagers."
"That doesn't answer my question, what happened to Lee-kun?" Sakura asked once more, her rising fury becoming more evident.
"You have to understand Sakura, we had exhausted all means of trying to stop or kill this mutant demon and as I said, many Leaf shinobi lost their lives in trying to do so. We were finally able to stop it using a strategy Lee came up with. In fact he was the one who was ultimately able to kill it. Something I hate to admit, that none of us could accomplish...only Lee."
"How did Lee-kun kill it?" Sakura questioned in an icy tone of voice, which caused Neji to hesitate for a moment, before he finally stated somberly.
"He used the Forbidden Lotus technique."
"Damn it, I knew it! He promised me he would never use that technique again. He even swore it on his flames of youth!"
"I'm sure he didn't willingly want to break his promise to you. However, that's for the two of you to discuss. What I need to know is can you heal him?"
"Oh I can heal him alright and when I do I'm going to beat him within an inch of his life and then I'm going to heal him again and then beat on him some more for breaking his promise to me!" The pink-haired medic vehemently proclaimed, before she shouted out.
"Kazane, get over here and bring me a stimulant!"
While waiting for Kazane to arrive, Sakura's hands began to glow green with chakra, as she moved them up and down Lee's body to scan for any other injuries he might have received. As she did this, she openly spat in frustration.
"Damn you Lee-kun, why would you do this?"
"Don't ask such a stupid question, it's beneath you."
Sakura whipped her head around to glare at Neji with fury, before she then asked.
"What did you say to me?"
"You heard what I said and you can glare at me all you want, but deep down you already know the answer to that question. If you truly stopped to think why Lee would use the Forbidden Lotus technique to kill that Otogakure curse-sealed monster. He did it to save you!" Neji angrily declared.
"To, to save me, I, I don't understand?" Sakura stuttered in confusion.
Neji exhaled a heavy sigh, before he then answered in a more subdued voice.
"Sakura, when I said this monstrous beast that Lee took down was of great size and strength and had already slain several of our fellow comrades and villagers. I'm really not properly describing the horror that this creature was. We tried everything, but the beast was unstoppable and even worse it was heading directly here. And if it had arrived, it would have viciously killed everyone here including you. That's why Lee used the Forbidden Lotus technique and risked his life by doing so, because he would rather die himself then let any harm befall you."
A tear rolled down Sakura's cheek, as she listened to Neji, before she stammered in disbelief.
"He, he loves me that much."
"Yes he does and has for a very long time. Even ignoring my attempts to dissuade him of pursuing such folly and give up on you."
"You advised him to give up on me."
Neji sighed, as he pondered how to reply to Sakura, before he stated.
"Many years ago, yes I did. I'll be honest with you, back when we were Genin, I did not think very highly of you. I thought you were nothing more than a vapid Sasuke fan-girl who cared nothing about being a quality kunoichi and only cared about beginning a romantic relationship with that Uchiha scum. I also saw how you treated and abused your teammate Naruto, who like Lee professed his love for you only to be cruelly rejected by you time and time again. Much to my shame now, back then I actually enjoyed watching your treatment of Naruto, because at that time I saw how much pain it caused Lady Hinata seeing her true love treated so poorly. During that time, I still held much hatred towards the main branch of the Hyuga clan. And Lady Hinata being the princess of the main branch, I transferred much of that hatred onto to her."
A regretful visage spread across Neji's face, as he thought back to those times and in a remorseful voice continued on.
"As I said, I'm deeply ashamed of how I treated Lady Hinata back then, but that's another matter. As for you, yes I advised Lee to give up on you. As I could see your obsession with Sasuke back then was all consuming. And I didn't want Lee to waste his time foolishly chasing after someone who would only hurt him in the end."
Neji's words hit Sakura hard and brought forth memories of how she had treated Naruto back then and even some memories of her also treating Lee badly. Although she had never been as mean or as abusive to him, as she had with Naruto. Looking up to Neji, she spoke in a solemn voice.
"I'm sorry you feel that way about me. I can't really blame you for feeling that way, everything you said was true."
"Perhaps it is, but I didn't say that's how I feel about you now. I said that was how I felt about you then."
"What, what do you mean?"
"What I mean is how I felt about you then, is not how I feel about you now. You've grown over the years both as a kunoichi and a person. You're no longer that insipid Sasuke fan-girl I despised and I've watched you work hard over the past few years to strive and become one of the best shinobi you can possibly be. And as as a person, I've also seen you become someone who genuinely cares for others more than herself. So when you and Lee began a romantic relationship with one another, he never heard from me any argument against it. Because I believe you have become someone who is worthy of my friend's love and affection. This I swear to you upon the Hyuga name." Neji proclaimed with deep conviction.
Sakura gasped when she heard this, as from a past conversation with Tenten, she knew that when the Hyuga prodigy invoked the clan name in any declaration. That was tantamount to etching it into stone, as far as he was concerned. Sakura smiled, before she bowed her head in respect and replied.
"Arigato (Thank you) Neji-san, that's very kind of you to say. Although, because of my past transgressions I'm not sure I can agree with you of being worthy of Lee's love. I sometimes feel like how I reacted to when you brought him in that I'm not worthy of it."
"Don't be too hard on yourself, your reaction to me was nothing more that you seeing someone you love hurt and in peril. And as for your past transgressions, try to learn to forgive yourself, as all of your friends and comrades have already forgiven you."
"Thank you again, you are right about one thing Lee is in peril if KAZANE DOESN'T HURRY UP WITH THAT DAMN STIMULANT! Sakura shouted in frustrated fury, before she then commented.
"I wish you had stopped Lee-kun from doing this. He might not think it, but my life is not worth his."
"I did try to persuade him from taking this action of using the Forbidden Lotus technique. Not that I was opposed to saving you and the others here at the triage center. I've just seen what past usage of the technique has done to him and feared that one of these times that he uses it, he's not going to recover from it. However, Lee hit me with the one argument that I couldn't refute."
"What was that?" Sakura questioned.
"He said that he loved you as much as I love Ten-chan and then stated that were our situations reversed, I would do the same thing to save her."
Sakura stifled a giggle, before she said.
"I guess you couldn't refute that argument."
"No I couldn't and I was very annoyed that he had won the argument, he didn't use to. I'm guessing his relationship with you is somehow increasing his cognitive abilities. I find that quite irritating." Neji groused amusingly in complaint.
Kazane then arrived with the stimulant and Sakura then ordered the nurse.
"Finally, inject me with the stimulant and then assist me with this patient."
"In-inject you with the stimulant, I, I cannot." Kazane stammered in surprise.
"What do you mean you can't, give me the damn stimulant now!" Sakura shouted in growing anger.
"I'm, I'm sorry Sakura-sama, but I cannot. I thought the stimulant you ordered was for the patient not yourself. You've already depleted much your chakra in saving Kiba-san and several other wounded shinobi. And I know you've already taken several stimulants since the start of this battle. Anymore stimulants placed into your system could have serious detrimental affects to you." Kazane stated in a nervous tone of voice.
"I am not asking you for your opinion, nor am I asking you for the stimulant. I'm giving you a direct order to give me the injection now! I need to replenish my chakra to save Lee-kun and I don't have time to argue with you about this. I also don't have the time to physically take the stimulant away from you, but I will if you don't administer it to me right now!"
"I do respect you Sakura-sama and I will not disobey a direct order from you. So, I will give you the stimulant, but you should know I'm following this order under duress and I will be reporting this matter to Lady Tsunade upon our return to the Leaf village."
"Do whatever you feel you need to, just give me the shot! Sakura growled out.
The pink-haired medic closed her eyes and felt the immediate rush of the drug, as it entered into her body. Taking a moment to collect herself, Sakura rubbed her hands together and they began to glow an even more vibrant green than Neji had seen earlier. Taking a step back to get out of the way. The Hyuga prodigy watched with fascination, as Lee's girlfriend worked at a feverish pitch and began healing all of the cracked tissue that covered his teammates body one fissure at a time.
Hinata's pregnancy had been uneventful with nary any problems or difficulties throughout it, up until today. However, the birth of her and Naruto's child was proving to be anything but uneventful and had presented two nasty problems that Tsunade needed to find solutions to and quickly. The Slug Sannin felt confident that she could get the baby pointed in the right direction. She had done it many times in the past by using a repeated gentle massage to get the baby turned around.
However, the most recent scan taken an hour ago on Hinata and the baby had shown that somehow within the last 24hrs, the child's umbilical cord had become wrapped around its neck 360 degrees. Fortunately, this appeared to be a Type A Nuchal Cord dificulty, which meant it was free-moving and may come undone naturally. Unfortunately, they didn't have the time to wait and see if it would unwrap itself naturally. Hinata's body seemed to be on a mission to deliver this baby today and if it was birthed with the umbilical still around its neck. It could cause the cord to tighten around the baby's neck cutting off all the oxygen, blood, and nutrients being fed to the developing fetus. Which could leave the child with permanent birth defects or even possibly death.
Tsunade had administered the drug Tocolytics to slow or stop Hinata's contractions of her uterus for the time being. However, the Slug Sannin knew this was just a temporary stop gap measure, as she needed time to figure out a solution for Hinata to give birth without damaging or possibly killing her baby.
The blonde Hokage had racked her brain for the past hour for an answer, as she thought to herself.
'Kami damn it, there has to be a way to solve this.'
Then Tsunade half-jokingly said herself.
"If only there was a jutsu that could shrink my hands and arms and also give me the vision of a Hyuga. Then I could just reach inside Hinata and unwrap the umbilical cord myself, ha ha."
A moment later, the Slug Sannin suddenly bolted up from her chair, as a solution popped into her head. It was a bold answer to the problem, but also risky, as she pondered the pros and cons of the idea she had come up with. After a minute, she finally decided, as she shouted to Shizune.
"Shizune, get over to the Academy right now and pull students Hanabi Hyuga and Cho Akimichi from Iruka's class and bring them here at once!"
"Han-Hanabi Hyuga and Cho Akimichi from Iruka-san's class, but why? Shizune stammered in confusion, as she wondered why Tsunade would want those two during a crisis like this. Hanabi maybe she could understand, as she was Hinata's sister and wanted her there to for comfort and support, but what could be the reason for an Akimichi child to be there? Before the first apprentice could ponder this any further, Tsunade's angry gruff voice bellowed once more.
"Don't question me as to why, just go get them! I'll explain everything to you when you get back! Now hurry up, time is of the essence!"
"Hai (yes) milady, I'm, I'm sorry." Shizune quickly replied while bowing, before she turned around and raced out of the birthing room.
"L-Lady Tsunade, wh-what's going on? Why do you want my sister and that other student here?" Hinata stuttered in query, while the Naruto shadow clone gently wiped her forehead with a cloth.
"I'll explain everything to all of you when they return Hinata. But if I'm correct, with their help, we should be able to deliver your baby as healthy and as happy as we can." The blonde Hokage answered with a comforting tone of voice and a reassuring smile.
As Kakashi and several Leaf shinobi behind him leapt from building to building. He silently prayed to Kami that they would reach the Medical Triage center in time to help protect it and stop that Otogakure monstrosity before it arrived there. The one-eyed legendary shinobi shuddered, as a disturbing question kept trying to worm its way into his mind.
'What if they were too late?'
No, he refused to allow that thought to dominate his brain. Instead, Kakashi tried to focus and have confidence, as he knew he had three of the Leaf village's finest up and coming shinobi already at the scene in Shino, Neji, and Lee. The silver-haired Jounin just needed to have faith that those three would come up with a way to delay monster long enough for he and the rest of the reinforcements to arrive.
'Just have faith.' 'Just have faith.' 'Just have faith.' Kakashi kept thinking in a repetitive mantra to himself, as he picked up speed to reach them.
When the silver-haired Jounin arrived at the battle scene a mere two blocks away from the Medical Triage center, he saw his faith hadn't been misplaced. When Kakashi landed on the street, he scanned the area and the first thing he took note of was the Otogakure monster he had come to stop or die trying. A smile broke out under his mask, as he saw the beast lying unmoving with a sizable hole in its chest. Even more pleasing to infamous Jounin was that it was not regenerating and healing the wound. In short, this mutant monstrosity who had killed more Leaf shinobi in this battle than any other curse-sealed Oto soldier was...dead.
To say Kakashi was impressed would be an understatement, as he immediately started looking around for Shino, Neji, and Lee. He was positive it had to have been those three who had taken this beast down. Something Kakashi hadn't even thought in his wildest dreams they would do. He recognized that all three were talented and exceptional young shinobi, but he wasn't confident that they could kill the creature. Because he wasn't sure that even he could kill it with their help and the reinforcements he had brought with him to help. Quickly spotting Shino, but not seeing either Neji or Lee, which brought a twinge of concern, Kakashi shushined over to the Aburame clan heir.
When Shino saw Kakashi suddenly appear in front of him, he snapped off a formal salute to his commanding officer who asked.
"Give me Sit-Report Shino, what happened here?"
Shino quickly gave Kakashi a detailed yet concise report of the battle that had just taken place earlier. After he was finished, the silver-haired Jounin was impressed with how thoroughly Shino had conveyed his report. As Kakashi had very few questions to ask except about the health status of Rock Lee.
"How seriously was Lee injured?"
"I don't know for sure, as I've no experience in seeing or dealing with someone injured by their use of the Forbidden Lotus technique. However, I got the impression from Neji that Lee would be able to recover fully provided he received immediate medical attention from a highly skilled medic. And as you know, Sakura-san is here."
"Hai, I remember. I was going to reprimand Naruto after this battle was over for bringing her here to save Kiba. However, it appears that was a most necessary action he took to save not only Kiba, but also Lee and several other of our shinobi comrades."
"My father has spoken quite highly of both her and Hinata-san and has stated that their medical skills have progressed so highly the past few years that they now rival the talents of both Lady Tsunade and her first protege Shizune-sama." Shino commented in admiration.
"Indeed they have." Kakashi replied, before he then touched his earpiece radio and called out.
"Lt. Nara, this is Kakashi, do you read me over?"
The radio crackled a moment in static, before a voice answered.
"I read you Commander, over."
"What's the status of the battle, over?"
"Status is good, we've had no more breach entries and the Oto curse-sealed soldiers still left are contained within the walls. And most of them are too wounded to put up much of a fight anymore. We should be able to mop things up within the next 20 minutes or so, over."
"Excellent Lt. Eliminate the remaining Otogakure curse-sealed soldiers as you see fit. However, keep a few of them alive. Lady Tsunade expressed to me awhile ago the need of some more specimens for her and the other Leaf village scientists to study and experiment with. I'll let you choose which one's to keep alive for her, over."
"What a drag. How am I supposed to choose which one's to keep? Have a beauty pageant for them, they're all ugly bastards, over." Shikamaru replied in complaint.
"I really don't care how you decide Lt, put that genius level IQ of yours to work and figure out which soldiers would be the best for our esteemed Hokage to poke and prod and gain the most useful information from, over."
"Troublesome." The Nara clan heir muttered to himself, before he then asked.
"Am I to assume Commander that you don't require any more assistance to take down that big nasty you went after sir, over?"
"No, it turns out your fellow comrades in the Konoha 10 already took care of that problem before I arrived. Truly exceptional work by them I must say. Lt. could you use any additional manpower to help with your cleanup, over?"
"I'm not one to turn down additional help for a job assigned to me sir. Can you spare them, over?"
"No, I didn't think you would turn down help." Kakashi quipped in amusement, before he then ordered..
"I can spare them, I'll be sending Lt. Aburame's squad and the reinforcements I brought with me back to you. Put them to work to help finish this fight once and for all."
"I copy, will you and Shino be returning as well, over?"
"We will return shortly. I want to check on the Medical Triage center and see how they've held up during all of this, over."
"I copy, Lt. Nara over and out."
Kakashi then turned to Shino and ordered.
"Get your men together and tell them to prepare to return to the front-lines. They're to report to Shikamaru and be assigned under his command. You and I will go and check on the Medical Triage center to see if everything and everyone is alright. Once we've done that, we'll be returning to the front-lines as well."
"Hai Commander." Shino replied with a crisp salute, before he ventured over to his squad to give them their new orders.
Meanwhile, Kakashi ordered the shinobi he had brought with them to return with Shino's men to the front-lines and report to Lt. Nara upon their arrival. He then commanded two of those shinobi to follow him, as he began walking towards the deceased Oto curse-sealed soldier.
Looking down at the grotesque face of the monster, Kakashi suddenly activated his signature jutsu the raikiri. And with the sound of a thousand birds filling the air, he swung his arm down in a savage arc and severed the head of the beast from its body. He then turned to the two shinobi standing near him who were stunned in amazement at having witnessed what their commander had just done. They were brought out of their stupor by his voice who ordered with conviction..
"You two, find a box or bag or something to put this head into, as were bringing back to Konoha for Lady Tsunade and others to study."
"Y-yes Commander Hatake." Both ninja stammered, before they raced off to search for some type of container to carry Kakashi's...gift, back to the Leaf village and their Hokage.
As the one-eyed Jounin watched them scurry away, his thoughts turned to the Medical Triage center and more specifically to his former student Sakura. Kakashi heaved a lamentable sigh, as he thought back and realized that removing himself as her sensei years ago had been the best thing to do to allow the pink-haired girl to grow and become one of the most exceptional kunoichi in the Leaf village. Sadly, he had not been around to see her mature the past few years, as he had concentrated on teaching and training Naruto during that time. However, upon his return to the Leaf village, he had heard nothing but glowing praise about how skilled a kunoichi she had become and how much she had grown as a person.
The silver-haired Jounin often wondered if she had forgiven him for so harshly casting her aside in that hospital waiting room, while Naruto fought for his life from Sasuke's attack.
Sasuke, his greatest failure Kakashi thought, as he shook his head in disgust of himself. The student he had favored most over the two students he should have been helping instead. And why did he do this Kakashi silently questioned. Because in his warped thinking, he felt it was the best way to honor his deceased teammate Obito and because Sasuke in many ways reminded him of himself at that age so long ago.
It sickened the legendary Jounin, as he thought back to his time, as the sensei of Team 7. If he had just taken the time to think about his choices back then. He would have recognized that Sasuke would not have been the person Obito would want honored in his name, he would have wanted Naruto. And using himself as a role model for Sasuke had to rank as one of these worse things Kakashi could have done.
Because aside from his accomplishments on the battlefield and as an elite Jounin. Take all of that away and Kakashi judged himself as a complete failure of the highest order. He had failed both Obito and Rin in his youth and growing into adulthood had not brought him any wisdom, as he'd failed not only his revered sensei Minato, but also his son and Sakura as well.
So knowing what a failure he truly was, what possessed him back then to think that he was someone Sasuke should pattern his life after. That decision was doomed from the start and in many ways, Kakashi feels some guilt and shame over what part he might have played in turning the Uchiha youth into the deviant evil bastard he is today. Kakashi was brought out of his regretful musings when he heard Shino's voice ask.
"Are you ready Commander?"
The silver-haired Jounin looked and saw that his shinobi had found a large trunk to place the gargantuan head into. He told the two ninja that trunk and its contents were to be delivered to Lt. Nara when they returned to the front-lines. If he asks what is in the trunk, just tell him it's a gift for our Hokage and I'll explain more in detail to him upon my return. Turning to the Aburame clan heir, he finally answered.
"Yes, I'm ready."
Both shinobi then disappeared in a swirl of leaves.
As Cho Akimichi sat in Iruka Uminos classroom, she wondered why she even bothered to attend the Shinobi Academy anymore. Even if she managed to graduate, because of her medical affliction, it's not like she would be assigned to a Genin team. The sad truth was that she knew deep in her heart, was that she had no purpose in life nor any future as a Leaf shinobi. No, her only purpose now and for the rest of her life was to continue to be an embarrassment to the Akimichi clan.
'It might be better if I just quit the Academy and save myself and the clan any further humiliation when in two weeks I'm supposed to show one of the my clan's signature jutsu to Iruka-Sensei and in front of the rest of my classmate's. Quitting would be better than showing the world how I've turned my clan's infamous jutsu's into a joke.' Cho silently thought to herself.
Which is why Cho was so shocked when the esteemed assistant of the Hokage had suddenly burst into the classroom and announced to Iruka that Lady Tsunade had ordered that she and Hanabi Hyuga were to be escorted by Shizune to meet with the Fifth Hokage immediately. As Cho rose from her seat and began walking down the steps towards Iruka and Shizune. She looked across the room to see Hanabi doing the same. As their eyes briefly met, both young students bore the same confused look upon their face as the other.
Upon reaching where Shizune stood, Cho decided to speak up, as this had to be some kind of mistake. There was no earthly reason that she could understand, as to why Lady Tsunade would wish to see her. As for Hanabi Hyuga sure, there were numerous reasons why the Hokage would request her presence. That girl was not only heiress to the most powerful clan in the Leaf village. She was also ranked as the number one kunoichi student in the class. But to request her, the joke of the Akimichi clan, Cho couldn't fathom any reason why the Hokage would want her and said.
"Umm, Shi-Shizune-sama, I think there's been a mistake and you have the wrong Akimichi."
"Are you Cho Akimichi?" Shizune questioned.
"Hai, I am."
"Then there has been no mistake, milady specifically requested that both you and Ms. Hyuga accompany me to meet with her as soon as possible. Leave your books here, we'll send someone over to get them later."
"I'll take care of it." Iruka openly stated.
"Thank you, now hurry along you two and follow me. Lady Tsunade expressed that time is of the essence. Shizune declared to the two young kunoichi's, before turning around and sprinting out the classroom doors.
Both Hanabi and Cho paused a moment to look at one another, before they simultaneously shrugged their shoulders and then raced out out of the classroom hot on Shizune's heels.
When the trio of kunoich's arrived at the Konoha hospital, Hanabi and Cho were surprised, as they had thought they were being escorted to Hokage Tower. They became even more confused when Shizune brought them to the obstetrics wing of the hospital.
"Wait here while I go get Lady Tsunade." Shizune ordered, before she entered a birthing room, number four to be exact.
A moment later, Tsunade stepped out of the birthing room. The blonde Hokage was dressed in hospital scrubs and was wearing a face mask, which she pulled down and said.
"Oh thank Kami, you're both here."
"Uhh, hi." Cho meekly greeted with a small wave of her hand.
Meanwhile Hanabi immediately bowed in respect and she asked in a reverent tone of voice.
"How may I serve you Hokage-sama?"
Cho noticed this and quickly bowed as well, while she inwardly chided herself.
'Way to go Cho, you're such an idiot! You don't even know how to greet and address the Hokage properly. Another example of why this has to be a mistake. There's no way Lady Tsunade would want to see me, I'm nothing. She must be confusing me with another clan member.'
"Oh stop bowing, we don't have time for that formal crap. Tsunade commanded in an annoyed voice, before she indicated to both young kunoich's to follow her into an empty waiting room near by.
Once inside the room, the blonde Hokage swiftly turned around and stared directly at Hanabi, before stating in a stern voice.
"Hanabi, I need you to remain calm and be strong for what I'm about to tell you."
"Hai Hokage-sama." Hanabi replied with a nod of her head.
"A little over an hour ago, your sister went into premature labor."
Upon hearing this news, Hanabi sucked in a small breath, but other than that showed no visible physical or emotional reaction. Although inside, her emotions were in complete disarray. Ever since Lady Tsunade had assigned Hinata to be her personal trainer and tutor. The two sisters had managed to rebuild their once fractured relationship. And Hanabi couldn't remember another time in her life in which the two of them had been closer with one another, as she asked in a hesitant voice.
"Is, is she alright?"
"Yes, Hinata is doing fine, you needn't worry about that. However..."
"However what?" Hanabi quickly asked, cutting off Tsunade mid-sentence.
"It's her baby. Some complications have arisen, that could be dire for the child if not taken care of, Which is why I've called for you and Ms. Akimichi to be here. I believe the two of you can help overcome these complications and Hinata can then safely deliver a healthy baby boy or girl."
It was at this point that Cho spoke up and declared.
"Excuse me Lady Tsunade, but there must be some mistake. I have no medical training and don't know anything about birthing babies. You must have me confused with another Akimichi clan member. I can't see how I can help to save this child in anyway."
"There's no mistake Ms. Akimichi... Cho. You're exactly the one that can help save this child."
"But, but how?" Cho queried in puzzlement.
"By using your unique gift with the famous Akimichi clan jutsu the Bubun Baika no Jutsu."
Cho felt tears brimming in her eyes after hearing this and turned her head away to look at the floor, before she spat in anger and grief.
"Gift? It's not a gift, but a curse! It makes me nothing more than the freak of my clan!"
Tsunade was taken aback by this response. She had no idea this young girl felt this way in regards to her unusual use of the Akimichi clan jutsu's.
The blonde Hokage remembered when Chouza Akimichi the leader of his clan had sought her out and spoken to her about the strange ability Cho presented when using the clans jutsu's. Because for whatever unknown reason, whenever the young girl attempted to use any of the infamous clan jutsu's. The results were the opposite of what the jutsu was supposed to do.
For example, when Cho would try to use the Bubun Baika no Jutsu, instead of her fist and arm growing larger, they would instead shrink in size. And this would happen with any of the clan's multi-expansion jutsu's she tried to activate. Chouza desperately hoped Tsunade's renowned medical skills would be able to diagnose the cause of this problem and be able to help Cho.
The Slug Sannin agreed to look into the matter and Cho was brought to the hospital under the pretense of getting a normal physical. Which gave the Hokage the opportunity to acquire all the various biological samples she would need to study Cho's condition.
Unfortunately, after several months of research by Tsunade and several other medical specialist and scientists. The reason for Cho's problem was deemed not to be of any disease or even biological in nature. No, the cause was determined to be a genetic issue. In short, there was a quirk or defect within Cho's Akimichi DNA that prevented her from using any of the clan's multi-expansion jutsu's as they were intended. Sadly, because the issue was literally molecular in nature, there was nothing that Tsunade could do to fix this problem. And even if there was a solution, Tsunade was loathe to even try, as this issue was not life threatening and other than this, Cho was a perfectly healthy young girl otherwise. The blonde Hokage was was broken out of her remembrance, when she heard Hanabi plead to her classmate.
"Cho, I, I don't know what Lady Tsunade means about your gift and to be honest, I don't care. But I beg you, if she says you can help, then please help to save my sister's baby."
"I'm not unwilling help, but I just don't see how my gift can help." Cho replied, as she spat the word gift with derision.
"It can help this way." Tsunade began to explain.
"I'm not going to lie. What I propose is unique and has never been done before...obviously. What has happened is that within the last 24 hours is that Hinata's baby has suffered a Nuchal Cord complication. Which, before you ask, it's a condition when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby's neck 360 degrees. And unless we get that cord unwrapped, there is a genuine danger that if we attempt to deliver the baby with the cord still wrapped around its neck. It could strangle the child cutting off all the oxygen, blood, and nutrients being fed to it."
The blonde Hokage exhaled a deep breath, before she then stated.
"However, using your special abilities Cho, you can manuever your hands through the birth canal and into the womb. Once there, you should be able to unloop the umbilical cord from around the baby's neck and when that is done. Hinata can then safely deliver her child without fear that it may strangle to death upon delivery."
It was at this point Hanabi piped up and asked.
"What is this gift or special ability you have Cho? What Lady Tsunade just described seems impossible to me."
"Will you show your gift to Hanabi?" Tsunade politely requested.
Cho didn't say anything and stood motionless for several seconds, before she answered in a voice filled with resignation and defeat.
"Fine, I guess it doesn't matter if I reveal how utterly pathetic I use my clans jutsu's in front of a classmate or she learns about it two weeks when all of the students have to demonstrate the ability to use a C grade or clan jutsu proficiently to Iruka-sensei and the rest of the class. I might as well become the laughing stock now, instead of waiting until then."
Cho then went through a series of handsigns, before she called out.
"Bubun Baika no Jutsu!" (Partial Multi-Size Technique)
Hanabi gasped in surprise when she saw Cho's right arm and fist begin to shrink instead of expand in size, as she had expected them to do. Soon her arm and hand shrunk to a size of a small child, before the young Akimichi shut down the jutsu. It was eerily silent in the waiting room, as only the Hokage seemed unfazed by what had just occured and asked.
"Can you shrink your hands and arms to an even smaller size?"
Cho nodded her head, as she kept her gaze affixed to the floor. Waiting for her Hyuga classmate to burst out laughing or to make some snide or insulting remark about how ridiculous her jutsu was. When nary a word or sound came from Hanabi and tired of waiting for it. Cho angrily snapped at the girl.
"Go on already! Go ahead and laugh and tell me how stupid and pointless my jutsu is. I've already heard it from some of my own clan members. Why should you be any different!"
After a moment, Hanabi finally spoke up and stammered with sincerity.
"I, I don't know what you're talking about. I think that is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I understand now and think the Hokage is right. It's the perfect jutsu to save my sister's baby's life. Which once again I beg you to do."
Cho was absolutely floored upon hearing this and searched Hanabi's face for any sign that the Hyuga girl was lying or just playing around with her. However, she saw no such sign of either, just a face filled with hope and pupiless eyes that still conveyed a pleading visage to her. Looking up to stare at the ceiling for a moment, Cho exhaled a heavy sigh, before she dropped her head back down to gaze at Tsunade, as she stated in a worried tone of voice.
"Ok, ok, let's say I do this. But even if I reach the baby, I won't be able to see what I'm doing, and I don't want to be fumbling around in there. I might accidentilly poke an eye out or do something even worse."
"No, we don't want you fumbling around inside the womb either, but you won't have to. That's where Hanabi comes into play by using her Byakugan.
"I, I don't understand?"
"You see, the Byakugan among its other uses is like a real time x-ray. By using it, Hanabi will be able to verbally guide you on where you need to go. Essentially, she will be your eyes during this procedure. The Slug Sannin explained with assurance.
"Can you do that?" Cho asked, turning towards Hanabi.
"I can do it! I promise I will guide you safely. So you shouldn'y worry at all that you might injure my little niece or newphew. I have full confidence in you and I know we can do this together. Hanabi declared in resolute determination.
After a moment, Cho blew out a deep breath, as she said.
"Alright, I'll do it. Besides, if were successful, it will disprove something I've believed in most of my life."
"What is that?" Hanabi queried in curiosity.
"That anything good or positive could ever be achieved by my gift, as you all call it."
"Well get raedy for it to be disproved, because we are going to be successful, I swear it!" The Hyuga clan heiress decreed with zeal, before she, Cho, and the blonde Hokage exited the waiting room and made their way to birthing room #4.
"Hurry up you troublesome slackers! I want all of our wounded to get to the Medical Triage Center immediately. I also want this area secured before Commander Hatake returns. Now move it!" Shikamaru growled out with authority, as he watched the last remaining curse-sealed soldier be dispatched by his men. The arrival of Shino's squad and the reinforcements Kakashi had taken with him had sped up the final demise of the last remaining curse-sealed soldiers.
The Nara clan heir then ordered some of his shinobi who specialized in Doton (Earth) style ninjutsu to create a very thick 20x20 foot earthen box with a cap to keep the four injured curse-sealed soldiers he had chosen to bring back for Lady Tsunade to study. Included in those four monstrosities was the creature he had winessed display rudimentary intelligence and thinking earlier in the battle.
As Shikamaru observed from atop the village rampart the four lab rats get tossed into the box and then sealed within it. He then ordered the two shinobi carrying Kakashi's gift to Lady Tsunade to place it by the earthen prison as well. Once all of this was done, he exhaled a weary sigh, before turning his attention to the field outside of the village. Where Naruto was fighting Sasuke. Unfortunately, their battle had carried the two combatants further away from Hiezu village.
Shikamaru wished Neji with his Byakugan was with him at that moment. Because no matter how much chakra he channeled into his eyes to try and see what was happening between his two former classmates. It was to no avail, as all could could glean was a black colored dot and an orange colored dot far off in the distance. However, what bothered him the most of this vision was that the black dot was slowly moving towards the orange dot who was not moving at all.
Shikamaru didn't know for sure what this meant, but his genius mind could spectulate, as a growing sense of concern began to slowly brew in his stomach. Which caused him to say to himself in a worried tone of voice.
"Come on Naruto, you can't lose to that bastard, you just can't."
Tsunade had to admit it was a totally audacious idea she had come up with to save Hinata's baby and wasn't even 100% sure it would work. Which is why her chest swelled with pride and joy, as her extraordinary idea had worked, Cho and Hanabi working in tandem had been able to unwrap the umbilical cord from around the child's neck. Also, Cho had been able to confirm the Hokage's diagnosis that the cord had not been looped tightly and had not cutoff the oxygen, blood, and nutrients being fed to the baby by it.
So it had been relatively easy with Hanabi guiding her for the young Akimichi girl to maneuver the umbilical cord to a safe area and allow the birth to happen without endangering the child. She was even able to get the baby turned around to its proper head-first position, thus eliminating the breech birth complication. After that, Cho moved to the other side of the room, while Tsunade administered the drugs to kick start Hinata's contractions once more. Meanwhile, Hanabi moved to the other side of Hinata's head and took up her hand. Providing additional support and words of encouragement to her sister just as the Naruto clone was doing.
Hinata was exhausted and her indigo-colored hair was drenched in sweat. The Hyuga woman wasn't sure she had the strength to carry on, but Tsunade's next words filled her with hope.
"Come on Hinata, I know you're tired, but were almost there. The head has crowned, so on the next contraction, I want you to give me a really big push."
When the next contraction hit, a particularly strong one. Hinata followed Tsunade's instructions. Grunting in pain, as her head lifted off the headrest and her back arched, while she pushed with all her might. When the contraction passed, Hinata's head and back flopped back down, as she panted heavily from the exertion. A few seconds later, a resounding smack echoed through the room followed by the wail of a newborn baby. Hinata lifted her head to peer down and saw the blonde Hokage rise up cradling a crying child in her arms, as she announced out loud in happiness.
"Congratulations Hinata! You and the gaki are now the proud parents of a healthy baby boy!"
Tears of joy began to leak from Hinata's eyes, as she stammered in a weak voice.
"Oh thank Kami, can, can I see him"
"In a moment my dear. Let's get our little future shinobi cleaned up a bit first."
A few minutes later, the blonde Hokage brought over to Hinata a small squirming baby wrapped up in the swath of a blue blanket. Carefully placing the newborn child into his mother's cradling arms. Tsunade watched with tears rolling down her cheeks, as Hinata leaned down to gently kiss her son on his forehead.
"You did it onee-san (sister)," Hanabi squealed with delight.
"Yeah, you were awesome! The boss is going to be so proud of you." Naruto's shadow-clone proclaimed with fervor.
"Well it looks like he got his father's hair." Hinata openly commented, as she noticed the small shock of blonde hair atop her son's head.
"I wonder who's eyes he got?"
"I don't know, let's find out." Hinata stated, before she leaned down and cooed softly to the baby in her arms.
"Hello my precious baby boy. Can you open your beautiful eyes for momma to see. I know you can, please let momma see."
As if truly understanding his mother's request, Naruto's son turned his head slightly to the sound of Hinata's voice. Then his eyelids slowly rose until they were fully wide open and he stared up with a small smile on his face at his mother displaying the distinctive pupiless eyes revealing his Hyuga heritage to the world.
"It looks like he got your eyes my dear." Tsunade observed out loud.
"A little bit of his father's as well. Look closely Lady Tsunade, my eyes are lavender tinged in color, but his are tinged light blue. Matching Naruto-kun's gorgeous azure colored eyes."
"I believe you're right." The blonde Hokage agreed, as she bent down closer to gaze at her great grandson's eyes.
As the newborn child looked up to see the smiling faces of his mother, aunt, and great grandmother gazing back at him with such love and adoration. He seemed to smile even wider, before he yawned and his eyelids began to slowly close and a moment later he had fallen asleep in his mother's comforting arms. It was then that Naruto's shadow-clone pulled off his face mask and began stripping out of his hospital scrubs and asked.
"If you don't need me for anything else Hokage-sama. I should get back to the boss and deliver this news."
"No, we don't need you for anything else. I agree, you should get going and let the gaki know what has happened."
"He's going to be so pumped when he gets this news!" The clone excitedly declared, as he looked over and framed a perfect picture in his head of Hinata smiling and cradling her son in her arms.
Naruto's clone then whipped a kunai out and twirled it once in his hand, before he then stabbed his chest with it and disappeared in a puff of smoke.
As Sasuke stumbled forward walking towards Naruto, he inwardly cursed, as he was still feeling some aftereffects of Naruto's nearly fatal attack upon him. Had it not been for his curse-sealed demonic powers and his desperation to live. Naruto's attack might have indeed been fatal and that angered the Uchiha prodigy greatly. When Sasuke finally reached his former friend and teammate, he saw the pain and anguish on Naruto's face, as he struggled to get his body to move. A smirk spread across Sasuke's own face, as he realized Naruto was completely helpless and all he had to do was deliver the killing blow that would end his life once and for all.
As he watched Naruto continue to struggle to reclaim control of his body. The Uchiha almost toyed with the idea of giving Naruto the time to do just that. However, in a begrudging show of small respect, he decided Naruto had already proved to be much too dangerous to him and that it was better to eliminate the threat he posed here and now.
Besides, there was also the added bonus of killing him now, as the Uchiha thought about how many of his ex-comrades and the people of the Leaf village had come to look upon Naruto as some sort of savior for them. Now when they learned of his death and of who had killed him. The sorrow and despair they would all feel left Sasuke giddy with excitement, as he spoke to his soon to be victim.
"Well dobe, it looks like our little dance is finally over. I'll admit you put up a hell of fight, but in the end you had to know that the superiority of the Uchiha would triumph, as it always has. Even your noble Namikaze clan proved to be no match for my clan."
'Oh Kami, please Kurama tell me you've got me fixed. I can't stand to listen to another speech about the superior Uchiha clan from this fucker one more time!' Naruto pleaded in thought to his bijuu tenant.
'I wish I could Kit, but you might be better off letting bastard talk. I'm still having trouble getting your nervous system and chakra pathway system back up and running so you can move again. So I could really use the time right now.'
Unfortunately, Sasuke was not going to give Kurama that time and raised his sword above his head. Suddenly, Naruto's eyes shot wide open, as he just received the memories of the shadow clone he had left in Konoha, including it's final memory. The image of a obviously worn down, but smiling Hinata holding a new born baby wrapped in a blue blanket in her arms nearly brought tears to Naruto's eyes.
"A son, I, I have a son." Naruto said to himself in almost a whisper, as the magnitude of what he had just learned had stunned him to his core.
Sasuke with his kusanagi blade poised above his head ready to bring it down in a murderous arc and end Naruto's life. Paused for a moment, as he had seen Naruto say something, but hadn't been able to hear what it was, so he asked in curiosity.
"What was that dobe, what did you say?"
"I have a son." Naruto repeated a little bit louder, still in almost disbelief of the news.
"What, I still didn't hear you fool, something about a son." Sasuke stated in confusion and irritation.
"I HAVE A SON!" Naruto suddenly roared out to the heavens, before a massive chakra explosion erupted from his body.
So powerful was this chakra blast that it slammed into Sasuke like a freight train and sent him flying over 100 yards away from Naruto. As the Uchiha landed in a heap, he groaned in pain and was positive had he not been in his cursed-seal two form. He would have surely been crushed by the force of the impact of that explosion. Lifting his head to look across the field at his former friend, he was shocked by what he saw.
From a distance, one would almost think Naruto entire body was ablaze in fire. However, using his demonic chakra to enhance his vision, Sasuke could see it wasn't fire covering Naruto, but a light-yellow almost white colored chakra that was tinged with orange at the edges that encompassed his former teammate body from head to toe now. Looking up to gaze at Naruto's face, Sasuke was even more shocked by what he saw.
Naruto appearance had changed, as he now sported a strange orange pigmentation around his now yellow eyes. Even more peculiar were the vertical pupils that now adorned his eyes, which were reminiscent of the eyes of a toad. But even more disturbing were the nine chakra created fox-tails that swished back and forth behind him in an almost menacing fashion.
However, what caused a feeling of uneasiness welling up within Sasuke the most was not these noticeable physical changes, but the fierce look of anger and determination, Naruto now bore upon his face, as he directly glared at him from across the field. Sasuke audibly gasped in apprehension, as Naruto began to move towards him. Not by walking or even running towards the Uchiha, but by literally...floating to him. So powerful was the chakra emanating from Naruto now, it caused him to levitate off the ground, as he slowly approached his ex-teammate.
Not waiting to see what Naruto was going to do. Sasuke immediately leapt up to his feet and quickly flashed through a string of hand signs and then called out, before proceeding to blow a large jet of fire from his mouth.
"Karyuu Endan!" (Fire Dragon Flame Projectile)
Sasuke smirked, as watched this plume of flame heading directly at Naruto. The reason for his arrogant confidence was that this was no ordinary Karyuu Endan jutsu. Because he was still in his cursed-sealed two form, that jutsu now bore within it demonic chakra, which made the flame many times more powerful and hotter than it's normal form. So Sasuke was positive this jutsu would at the very least stop Naruto's approach, if not injure him.
However, as the jet flame was about to strike him, Naruto made no move to dodge it, which puzzled Sasuke greatly. For his part, Naruto merely waved his hand in the air in front and him and when the flames hit, they parted as if it had struck an invisible knife that split the jet stream of fire in two. Both halves of the stream passing harmlessly to both sides of Naruto, as he continued to get closer to his Uchiha foe. Sasuke was beyond furious that Naruto has so casually and easily brushed aside one of his strongest attacks. But what he failed to realize was that Naruto had become during his travels with Jiraiya and Kakashi the most proficient and deadly Fuuton (Wind) jutsu user in all the elemental nations, if not the entire world. So Katon (Fire) jutsu's were rendered essentially useless against him now.
Unfortunately, Sasuke did not recognize this fact and merely shook his head in disbelief. However, what Sasuke did realize was that he had no idea what to do next. So in a panicked state of mind, the Uchiha gave one mighty flap of his claw-shaped wings and shot straight up in the air and with each powerful stroke of those leathery wings, he attempted to put as much distance as he could between himself and Naruto. To allow himself some time and regroup to try and figure out what to do next against this new... deadlier version of his former friend.
As Naruto watched Sasuke rocket into the air, he grew slightly annoyed for a moment, before he said to himself in a voice, which had gotten darker and more menacing in tone.
"No, not this time teme! You're not going to escape your well deserved fate, not while I'm still here! As what has happened today, I know now I can no longer allow you to live! Today is the day you die Sasuke and may Kami have mercy on your soul, because you'll get none from me!"
Naruto then began to channel chakra around his feet and a few seconds later the air around them began to rotate in an ever increasing speed of cyclonic fashion. Before Naruto slightly bent his knees and then as if a mini-tornado exploded under his feet. The young blonde Jounin leaped into the air at an even faster rate of speed than Sasuke had and within 30 seconds was already hot on the Uchiha's tail much to the Uchiha's ever growing... fear.
Author Notes: Yes, I'm still among the living, barely I sometimes think, but I do live on, Lol. I apologize for the wait on this chapter. I could list numerous reasons as to why, but the reality of it just comes down to one thing. Life can really kick your ass at times and dealing with that shit puts other things on the back-burner such as timely updates. So just know that it isn't a case of laziness or that I've grown disinterested in continuing the story that causes the delay. Now, if I was actually getting paid to write this, I can assure you the chapters would come out much faster, Lol.
Whew, that was quite the chapter wasn't it. Now I know some of you might be annoyed that I didn't finish the Naruto/Sasuke battle yet. My reason for not doing so is I thought it better to resolve the cliffhanger's involving Rock Lee and Hinata first, before I ended the fight. I also feel that the ending or climax of Naruto and Sasuke's epic struggle should also be the end of this five chapter arc of this story. And you know it is going to be the end of this arc, because I don't know if you noticed, but I have zero cliffhangers in this chapter, Lol. Another new addition from me in this chapter is that of an original character I created. In general, I've never been a fan or proponent of original characters having prominent roles in stories. However, in minor roles they do have a place where they can help in a story. As for Cho Akimichi, I don't have at the moment any major plans for her in the future for this story. But you may see her pop up from time to time, as the story progresses.
It took awhile and I battled a bit of writer's block at times, but overall I pleased with the final draft of this chapter. As with the last chapter, I wanted to focus on the important events happening not only in Hiezu village, but in the Leaf village as well. As both Shikamaru and Naruto's lives have now changed drastically this day. In case you're wondering, this chapter was around 12,259 in word count. Overall, As I stated earlier, I'm pleased with how the chapter turned out, but once again, it was very time consuming.
Anyway, I hope everybody enjoyed the chapter and I'm anxious to see what your reviews will be for it. I had a really low turnout for reviews on the last chapter, so it was difficult to gauge if people liked it or not. Although I will say of the ones I did get most readers seemed to have enjoyed it. However, I still wish to thank everyone both old and new readers who did take the time to leave a review on the chapter. I enjoy reading many of your reviews, so please leave lots of them, as they do help a writer get a sense of the thoughts and opinions of the fans of a story. They also can help lift the spirits of an author as well. Also, to any readers who are staff members to any C2 communities, please feel free to add my story to your community if you feel it is worthy of it. I won't mind, I swear. I'll even pinkie swear if I need to?
Also, please check out the rest of my Author Note, as there is a question I ask that I need votes on to win or lose a bet depending upon how the votes turn out. Thank you. :)
I asked this question a few chapters ago, but I've gotten very few votes from people. So I really need a lot more votes this time around, before a winner can be declared. Here's the question.
I recently got into a friendly debate with a buddy of mine about the existence of Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, whatever you want to call it. So we made a wager and your votes will decide the winner. And to keep it fair, I won't tell you which side of the argument I'm on. So if you would at the end of your review, please give me a "Hell Yeah!" if you believe the hairy skunk-ape exists or a "Hell No!" if you think he doesn't. Thanks! :)
Now, for a reader favorite for many of you, Kingkakashi's rants yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! My rants as stated last chapter will focus on the ten issue Gaiden, which came out after the end of the Naruto manga and is titled.
NARUTO GAIDEN: The Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Shining Moon
Chapter Four: Chance Meeting: Part 2
This chapter starts off with Naruto beginning to fight the albino Uchiha who's name we learn is Shin. After a brief skirmish, Shin is ordered to retreat by some weird Sharingan eye creature, a messenger from Shin's master. Shin and the creature then disappear using a space-time jutsu. Chouchou then ask Naruto if he is her father because he rescued her and Sarada. Naruto basically ignores the question and points out that he thinks Sarada was the intended target of the attack.
Naruto then decides that it isn't safe for Sarada and Chouchou to return to the village and has them come with him to meet up with Sasuke. Note, he doesn't even scold them for following him. They decide to pause and have lunch, while Naruto attempts to describe what Sasuke was like growing up. They then resume their journey and nearly reach the tower where Sasuke was to meet Naruto, but take a short break upon Chouchou's insistence. Sarada doesn't want to wait and ditches Naruto and Chouchou to get to the tower first. She finds Sasuke, but he doesn't recognize her and thinks Sarada is an enemy like Shin and prepares to fight his daughter and the chapter ends.
Overall, the chapter is not bad, but it's still a bit boring. The only highlight of it is the humor of Naruto's description of his and Sasuke's rivalry growing up. In fact, the biggest part of this chapter is the lunch scene with Naruto, Sarada, and Chouchou. So like a said, a decent chapter, not a lot of content, but still an ok read.
One of my readers sent me a PM about a story he/she thought I might enjoy reading. Well they were right, as I'm about 10 chapters into it and it's kept my interest so far that's for sure. It's a tale based in the Yu-Gi-Oh-GX universe. And while I admit I'm not as familiar with that manga/anime, as I am with others. I haven't felt lost in reading this story, as I have in other stories in genres I wasn't really familiar with. So if you're a fan of that universe or just want to checkout something different, this is a good story to read.
Yu-Gi-Oh NGX - The New Generation Next By ToMyMaster
Definition: To cause to lose hope, enthusiasm, or courage : to cause to lose spirit or morale.
Etymology: New English 1590-1600a.d.
Part of Speech: Adjective