Long time no see! First of all, thank you so much for all those lovely reviews and opinions and stuff! Thanks! It really made me happy! I really do hope I replied everyone properly, and also, thanks for either the fav. or alert or whatever your have done. Thanks for simply reading of watching! I am so very grateful! Many of your comment really inspired me.
Anyhow, I decided to upload this chapter (after being bribed by my unofficial beta) as a reversed birthday gift. I was told that if I did it today, I'd have an extra gift from my beta :P As you may have noticed, I decided to change the rating because of some parts. I really don't feel like having my 9 yrs. old sis read some of this.
This time, the slagging title refused to reveal itself. Damn you!
Warnings: Did you notice the change of the rating?
Disclaimer: I don't know anything but the plot
Chapter 5: New Discoveries
Kiba dodged the fierce attack as the huge missing-nin kept forcing him backwards. He had activated his jutsu, revealing a terrifying sight: his arms were covered in long, pointy needles much like a cactus, only these needles were about the same length and thickness as each of the man's fingers. He lashed out towards the genin, making them jump away just in time.
The Inuzuka had smirked first. It had seemed to be a short ranged jutsu, excellent in close combat, but his assessment had soon proved to be wrong when the ninja's arm had extended and his fist scraped his arm in the process.
"Damn!" Kiba swore as he landed next to Hinata, clutching his bleeding arm. Akamaru landed on the other side. "How the crap would I know that this psycho would be a walking torture instrument?"
The ninja lashed at them again, making them scatter.
"Hinata!" the Inuzuka yelled over the increasing fierce blows. "Try to distract him. I have an idea!"
"Don't think I will give you time to plan more games, Konoha ninja!" Sanji roared and swung his hand towards Kiba. "I'll tear your arms off!"
Kiba barely managed to dodge, hadn't it been for Wolf jumping to rescue. He and Akamaru grabbed each of his legs between their fangs and forcefully swung him downwards. The ninken then let themselves fall down to the earth and disappeared between the trees. When Sanji realized that his prey had disappeared, he lowered his hands until they had reached their normal length.
"Fools," he rumbled. "You can't hide from a plant-user between plants!"
Hinata gulped when Kiba barely managed to escape the blow. Luckily they still had Wolf on their side! She shot a glance towards the missing-nin. Kiba had mentioned something about a plan… She had to distract him somehow. She bit her lip. Long ranged techniques weren't her specialty.
Her eyes lit up when she spotted Kiba between the trees and activated her Byakugan. He hadn't suffered further damage from the blow and the missing-nin had seemingly not found him yet. With a determined nod, she focused her attention on their enemy.
It seemed as though the Kusa-ninja led his main chakra flow into his arms and hands in order to withhold the jutsu. This could actually be convenient. If she could manage to knock off the chakra flow to his arms, their problem could be solved. But that seemed almost too easy to be true. First of all, she had to get to Kiba. And in order to do that, she had to do something very stupid.
Hinata jumped out of her hiding place and steered for Kiba's hideout. But the moment she entered the glade, the moment did Sanji notice her.
"Found!" he roared and swung his arm towards her. She evaded the attack and continued her run in another direction. The ninja swung his other arm at her with howl, but she dodged again. Actually, Hinata found that whenever she just stayed on the ground, it was easier to avoid the attacks. Well, this could prove useful to her forth coming plan.
The Hyuuga avoided the blow as it collided with the ground and prepared for her counterattack. She flung a handful of shurikens towards the approaching arm, hitting the flesh directly. She dodged the blow as the missing-nin howled in pain.
"Excellent, Hinata!" Kiba yelled as he darted forth. For a moment Hinata felt torn between blushing at the praise and focusing on the opponent, which caused Sanji to land a blow on her. Hinata screamed in pain when she felt the thorns trail over her back as she was thrown against a tree.
But Kiba was quick. He and Akamaru had performed Juujin Bunshi followed by Shikyaku no Jutsu, so while the transformed Akamaru lunged for Sanji, Kiba appeared in front of Hinata, bracing her for the collision with the tree. He smirked down to her. "Heh, nice decision. A pity it didn't end well."
Hinata blushed with a pained grimace. "Sorry," she mumbled. When Kiba released her and jumped to help Akamaru, she slowly came to her feet. She eyed her comrades and gritted her teeth. She wouldn't just stand back and be weak. She needed to keep fighting. And she knew just what she would do. Crouching in traditional Hyuuga-position, she focused her chakra into her hands.
Then, while Kiba and Akamaru distracted the ninja, Hinata ran towards him, dodging the swinging arms in the process and when she was just behind him…
The ninja spun a kick towards the genin, hitting her in the chest. But before Hinata was flung away, she managed to touch his shoulder with her right hand, sealing one of the chakra points.
Sanji roared in pain at the unfamiliar chakra being forced into his chakra point.
"Damn you, girl! What did you do to me?" he growled and lunged for her. Not having time to catch her breath after the kick, Hinata forced herself to jump out of the way. With having forced his attention towards her, Kiba and Akamaru had time to perform one of their jutsus. The huge ninja glared furiously at her when she avoided him again.
The roar made the ninja shift his attention towards the clones, but he didn't manage to avoid the attack before it hit him and flung him away several feet. He crashed through a handful of trees before hitting the ground, lying completely still.
Shinshi strolled over to the pierced body and tapped it with his foot. When the kunoichi didn't move, he turned his back to the corpse and faced his leader.
"Pity. And here I thought it'd be a fun chit-chat." He smirked evilly at Kuroki and gave a flick with his tongue. Kuroki didn't seem satisfied, though. He had been looking forward to a more intense fight, but all the kunoichi had done was to avoid every single of Shinshi's attacks. It did seem a bit suspicious.
Suddenly, a weird sound caught their attention. The mysterious crackling sound seemingly came from the corpse behind them, but neither made a move to check it out. But when the corpse started smoking, Shinshi knew what was going to happen.
"It's going to blow!"
But the corpse exploded faster than he could retreat, sending him forcefully into a tree and effectively knocking Kuroki down from the carriage. And the spot where the body had been, was now a mess of burnt grass.
Shinshi recovered with a pained grimace and studied his injuries. The blow had left burn scars over his arms and burnt his shirt on the back, leaving the fabric to melt into the skin. He slowly and carefully approached the burnt spot, tense in every muscle.
"What the hell was that?" he cursed confused. He shifted to look at Kuroki who – luckily for him – hadn't taken as much damage. The leader stood up and looked around with wild eyes. "Some kind of self-destruction?"
Kuroki shook his head confused. "I don't know." He reseated himself on the carriage with a wary look around.
"Well, whatever it was, we shouldn't be bothered by it. Though we won't get to cross-questionher about that Feudal Lor…" Shinshi was cut off immediately by a sharp kunai being pressed against his throat. Not enough to kill, but clearly enough to pierce the skin.
"Didn't your mother teach you to never turn your back on an enemy?"
The missing-nin froze in his motion. How the…? How was that even possible?
Kuroki was shocked.
Clearly, he had never seen anything in his life, and he had experienced something extremely weird through his missing-nin years.
The brown haired ninja had reappeared behind Shinshi in less than a blink of an eye, never revealing her presence to the two men. Now she stood behind Shinshi, kunai pressed against his throat, ready to slice it open. Her once dark brown eyes now shone.
He decided to smirk and stared at her with his wild eyes. "So, done dodging, huh?"
Kinai simply stared at him, not the least impressed. Shinshi carefully tried to move her arms, but she kept him in a firm grip, slightly twisting the kunai in warning.
"I may say that I'm impressed. How did you do that?" Kuroki tried again. He had to know everything about his future opponent.
Kinai didn't reply his smirk. Her eyes had darkened, shining almost blackly. "And why would I tell you?"
Kuroki mock-laughed. "Ah, because, clearly, neither of us will live long enough afterwards to remember."
At this, Kinai smirked. "That may be true," she replied coldly, almost sending shivers down her captive's back. Removing the knife from Shinshi's throat, she forcefully pushed him forward, making him stumble from the push. She licked the edge viciously.
"If you really must know, I used the replacement jutsu before you even could prepare your attack." This almost made Shinshi gape.
"Of course, if I only had used a simple Bushin, or Kage Bushin, my little trick wouldn't have worked as well as this did. So, I merely used another Bushin."
Shinshi wondered. "A transformed exploding tag?"
Kinai smirked. "No, would have exploded the moment you touched it. I used a Bushin made from pure chakra, just as in a water clone. Only, with this kind of jutsu, I'd be able to control it with my mind as a Kage Bushin."
Shinshi sneered and transformed his hands into tentacles again. Then he flung one around Kinai's throat. "I'm going to choke you!"
The kunoichi placed a hand around the climber. "Unfortunately, you aren't." The missing-nin stared at her with piercing eyes.
"I have a question for you. How and what do you know about the Feudal Lord?"
At this, Kuroki merely laughed. "And why would you think that I'd just go around telling you?" The tentacle tightened around her throat but the kunoichi didn't move a muscle.
"Because it will be your death otherwise." This made the missing-nin laugh insanely.
"And, if I may ask this rudely, how in hell do you think you can kill us with a little corpse-blowing, hmm?"
The hand around the climber tightened. "Like this."
A gigantic electric source blasted through the tentacle and the owner, sending him to his knees screaming like a mad, before the source stopped and he dropped limply to the ground.
Kuroki stared at the kunoichi. For a moment Kinai thought she saw a hint of fear surge through those insane eyes, but the next moment it had disappeared only to be replaced by growing eagerness and a large, wicked smile which told the ninja that this man was utterly mad. The fisted her hands and spread her feet in a fighting posture.
"This is clearly going to be interesting."
Kiba and Akamaru transformed back as Hinata landed beside them.
"Is he…?" was all Hinata asked looking warily. Kiba shook his head. "No, I don't think so." Akamaru yapped as he and Wolf landed beside the two genin. The Inuzuka carefully approached the huge man and gently nudged him with his foot.
"Be careful, Kiba-kun…" Hinata said warily. When the man didn't move, Kiba turned to Hinata. "Let's go find Kinai…"
But as Kiba took a step towards his teammates, a large hand darted out and hit him hard in the back, sending him flying towards Hinata. The Hyuuga managed to catch him, but the power of the hit sent them both to the ground. Sanji rose from his spot and eyes the two teens with wild eyes.
"No one," he barked. "No one dare do that to me and get away with it alive!" He formed a few hand seals making the two genin step back in fighting stance. With an evil smirk he lifted his hand to his mouth. "Hari no shawa: Doku!" Then he took a deep breath and when he released it, a large storm of needles followed.
Hinata reacted quickly. Before the needles got too close, the immediately formed a counterattack. "Chakra Needle Technique!" she yelled with her Byakugan activated. When the needles got close enough, she started spinning, fast, sending small blasts of chakra towards the needles. The chakra perfectly cut off the attack, sending the many poisonous needles to the ground.
When Hinata stopped spinning the attack had worn off. She reentered her fighting stance with calm eyes fixed on the huge man.
"I see. You are of the famous Hyuuga clan," Sanji mused. "But that won't help you at all!" He drew a breath again and sent yet a cloud of needles towards them. Hinata started spinning again, cutting off the attack, but when she stopped spinning again the missing-nin was gone.
"W-where did he go?" Kiba asked as he stood up.
"I don't know," Hinata muttered and reactivated her Byakugan. "But I can find out." She felt her body waver a moment but managed not to fall. They really needed to end this soon, or else none of them would have any chakra left. It was a wonder that she could even stand!
"Don't push yourself," she heard Kiba mumble as she shot a look around. Nothing. Hinata furrowed her brow. The huge ninja had vanished like dew before the sun. She extended her vision and finally spotted something. It looked like a hole in the ground or something…
Kiba barely managed to jump out of the way before the big man darted out of the ground where they had been standing just a second ago. He roared and swung a transformed arm towards them, but missed by a few inches.
Kiba saw his chance. "Dainamikku mākingu!" he yelled. Akamaru yapped and immediately darted off the ground and jumping over the enemy, peeing on him in the process. Sanji roared when the urine burned in his eyes. Hinata spurted towards the man and hit him a couple of places with her Juuken, disappearing before he could hit her.
"Akamaru!" The ninken obeyed his master's voice and landed on his back. Kiba formed some rapid hand seals with a strong look on the ninja. "Jinjū Konbi Henge: Sōtōrō!"
When Sanji could finally see again, he felt his anger burning on its highest. But when he turned to find the boy and his dog, he was instead met with the sight of a huge, growling and snarling two-headed wolf whose fangs were the size of each of his legs. And more over; the stupid little Hyuuga had managed to hit him again with her technique leaving his chakra points sore and unusable. The ninja cursed his luck and prepared for the upcoming attack
Kinai jumped out of the way as another thorny root shot out of the ground. Apparently, Kuroki mastered each of his teammate's techniques. How ironic. The root twisted and swung around in attempt to hit her, but the kunoichi easily moved out of the way.
Kinai landed on her feet and closed her eyes for a brief moment. The chakra within her roared and twisted like a mad stream of energy, blasting and twisting, eager to be let out. The kunoichi drew a shaky breath in attempt to calm herself. It wouldn't do to let this whole mission end up in killing everything within miles.
She barely managed to jump out of the way as another root lunged for her. This whole situation was getting more and more out of hands.
"Not so fiery anymore, are we?" the blond haired man sneered. He had managed to launch more attacks within the last twenty minutes than Kinai would even have thought of using in a whole battle. She felt her heart pound against her chest and eyed the wound on her upper arm. She had been reckless and had been cut by a poisoned flower petal from the blond ninja's latest attack. She knew she had to do something about it soon.
Four tentacles darted towards her forcing her to roll out of the way. She hastily formed a few hand seals as she got to her feet again and darted for the blond-haired man, activating her jutsu in the process. Blasting hands should do the trick. The jutsu covered the user's hands in a layer of raw lightning chakra making the user able to fight without having weapons. Kinai found it better to use than simple weapons at the moment to be sure she hit correctly. Just as she was about to hit Kuroki in the chest with her newly activated jutsu, the man disappeared, seemingly as dew before the sun. Kinai whipped around. Had she missed something?
But before the chunin could react, Kuroki appeared behind her and kicked her hard in the back before launching a new charge of poisoned flower petals. Kinai rolled away from the ninja and pushed off with her hands and had to do a flip-flop to avoid the venomous petals that cut through the skin like little blades. The front of herwaistcoatwas ripped by the sky of petals before they disappeared and she gained a foothold again.Kuroki did not waste a second and immediately launched for her, kunais in hands. Kinai raised her hands and folded her fingers around the sharp metal, silently thanking whatever god that was out there for her foresight. Kuroki's speed forced them both a few meters backwards before they stopped.
"Still full of surprises, are we?" he said.
"Always," the kunoichi spat back and kicked him under the chin with her knee. Kuroki rolled away and Kinai sank down to one knee. The poison was clearly starting to work. Her breath was growing ragged and shallow and a short glance at her hands told her that she was shaking slightly. Her eyes landed on the now standing missing-nin. He, too, was obviously affected of having fought her for this long, still he seemed to have some stamina left. He actually reminded her of a certain stubborn blonde who always refused to give up.
Just as Kuroki was about to attack again, a loud boom sounded to their left followed by a huge cloud of smoke and a pained cry. Kinai took advantage ofKuroki's momentarilyinattentionand darted towards him. He barely managed to block her attack with his kunais, but the force of the attack knocked him down so Kinai ended up straddling him.
"I'll only ask you one more time. How do you know about the Feudal Lord?" she asked through gritted teeth.
Kuroki smirked, but did not condescend to answer her.
"Last chance before I kill you as we killed your teammates."
Kuroki merely laughed. "You think you have won? I'll tell you otherwise." After having said that, the blonde ninja slowly seemed to fade into the forest floor. Kinai stared. The force holding her hands in place didn't lessen until she used all her strength to slam her fists into the ground where Kuroki's head had been seconds earlier. She darted to her feet and shot a look around.
Kuroki materialized a moment later next to Shinshi, who he grabbed and disappeared. "We'll meet again, Konoha ninja!" was the last Kinai heard him laugh before the glade turned completely silent.
Kinai dropped the ground, panting like a mad and clutching her wounded arm. A couple of footsteps were heard, but Kinai could already identify who it was. Hinata sat down next to her and looked at her with worried eyes.
"…Sensei?" she asked carefully. Wolf appeared on the kunoichi's other side and gave a small whine. Kinai dragged a hand over her sweaty face. "Damn," she whispered. Kiba and Hinata exchanged a puzzled glance.
The chunin turned to the two genin. "Are you two okay?" Besides looking pale and extremely tired, the two genin didn't look that bad. Kiba's arm had been torn by something ragged and sharp, as had Hinata's back, it would seem. Other than that they had only gotten minor wounds. And she herself had also been let off quite cheaply.
Kiba shot a glance around with a furrowed brow. The glade had suffered greatly under the battle against Kinai and the two missing-nins, but looking back at the bad shape they had left the forest in… he really wasn't surprised. But one thing struck him.
"Where're the ninjas?" Kinai looked at the Inuzuka and sighed.
"It seems as though we have been played with. When I fought their leader, he suddenly disappeared." Hinata rose with a grimace, but managed to look stunned nonetheless.
"That man we fought… He disappeared too… Kiba-kun and Akamaru-kun had just performed their Garōga on him, but when he moved to stand and prepare a counterattack, he suddenly vanished," she said and Akamaru yapped in agreement. Kinai nodded and rose as well.
"Where did you leave the old man?" she asked.
It was Kiba who answered. "We hid him a bit from here together with our stuff, under a genjutsu. We tied him up, should he feel the need to run off."
Kinai examined her wound a bit closer. It was starting to leak other fluid than blood and it certainly didn't look good. "Let's just hope the missing-nins don't find him before we do. Let's go find him and then have a look at those wounds, shall we?"
The man was still where Kiba and Hinata had left him, but before they approached the hiding place, Kinai ensured that no one had followed them or was anywhere nearby. The man was still unconscious and before Kinai decided to wake him up, she injected an anti-vial in her thigh to remove the poison. Kiba and Hinata started tending to their own injuries as Kinai wrapped gauze around her upper arm. Then she crouched in front of the unconscious man and slapped him twice in the face to make him wake up.
The old man jerked awake. His eyes darted from one ninja to another, seemingly afraid his last hour had come. And as soon as Kinai had removed the gag in his mouth, he started blabbering about all and everything.
"Please, I beg you, spare my life, I have wife and children, starving to death! I have always been a decent man, well maybe I have cheated sometimes, here and there, but who hasn't? Who hasn't? Please, fair ninja-lady, spare my miserable life, I swear I will do anything you ask me to, just please don't kill me!"
Kinai considered replacing the gag more than once and given the irritated look of Kiba, the Inuzuka reflected upon the option as well.
"We are not going to kill you. We just need to ask you a few questions."
The man cast a sidelong glance at Kiba and Hinata, then looked back at Kinai. He was seemingly weighing his options. They could easily kill him if they wanted. He gulped. "What is it you want to know? I will tell you anything." Kinai wasn't so sure he meant all he said because he had a wary look in his eyes.
"Those three ninjas… what was your business with them? And what do they, and you, know about a certain Feudal Lord?" The man eyed her first in wonder, then his surprise vaporized as dew before the sun, replaced my confusion.
"I cannot answer thy question, fair ninja-lady, though I would like to."
A very sharp, very dangerous-looking kunai appeared in the woman's hand.
The old man gulped. "On the other side…"
"Cut the formalities and answer. Or else I will kill you. Who were those three men?" the kunoichi sneered and held the knife just a tad closer to the man's throat. He gulped and eyed the weapon.
"They didn't ever reveal much to me, but I found out about things on my own. They are missing ninjas from Grass, as you have maybe already noticed, and they hired me to spy on… things… that they needed to know about. Something involving your Feudal Lord."
"What kind of 'things' exactly?"
"Jeez, lady, I really don't know! Um, I mean, I was supposed to listen to a specific target group, mostly soldiers from here and there and travelers and such."
"And what did you find out?"
"About that Chichiya-sama resides in Mountain for the moment and that some ninjas from Konoha are supposed to escort him to the Marsh Country…" Kinai's face darkened. "Wait, those ninjas, that isn't you… is it?" The hand around the kunai tightened alarmingly.
"Continue," the kunoichi said.
The man looked perplexed. "Well, I had to report to Kuroki-sama…, Kuroki, to protect myself and my wife. I swear that's all I know."
"Are you sure?" Wolf appeared beside his mistress, fangs barred and bristles raised. The man gulped again.
"A coup…" he whispered. "I think it is a coup d'état-gagh!" Suddenly, his eyes widened and his mouth opened in an unvoiced scream. Foam gathered in the corners of his lips before it filled the mouth and started running down his throat. Smoke slowly emitted from his nose and eyes, which became bloodshot and looked like they were starting out of his head. Kinai jumped to her feet.
"Get out of the way! He's going to explode!"
The ninjas had barely managed to flee before the man exploded and burned on the spot, only leaving a burnt mass where both he and the tree had been and a foul stench of burnt flesh. Hinata hid her face in her hands and Kiba covered his sensitive nose in his sleeve. When the smoke cleared, the Inuzuka stepped up to their captain.
"What the heck was that?"
"Jukei no jutsu," Kinai answered. "I have seen the case before. The jutsu is transferred to the victim to prevent him from spilling serious information. Seemingly, it didn't work as well this time… It seems as though there is more to this whole incident than I thought."
Kinai folded her arms over her chest rethought what the man had said. A coup d'état… who would have guessed. But they couldn't be completely sure about an old man's words, could they? But on the other hand, Jukei no jutsu had been made to prevent commoners to spill valuable information, but had been categorized as a forbidden technique, so something in what he said had to be correct. And if that was the case, then this B ranked mission was slowly turning into an A… and she wasn't equipped for an A mission, neither were the kids. She cast a short glance on the two genin. They had both been hurt in the fight with the missing-nins, but they would survive. As far as Kinai could see it was only superficial, though she probably should use a little medical field training on Hinata's back to prevent infection. Mountain was still far away, and if she should run around like this all the way back to Konoha, she could easily catch a fever.
"Kiba-kun…" the kunoichi called out, catching the Inuzuka's attention. "Take Akamaru and Wolf with you and patrol the area and make sure nobody is following us while I tend to Hinata-chan's back. Then be ready to take off again. We have already wasted too much valuable time here." Kiba saluted and disappeared with the two ninkens.
Kinai kicked some dust over the burnt space where the old man had been moments ago. They needed to clean this mess up, too, before they could leave. It would be best to hide every trace of battle for the Rain, but since their time was scarce, they had to hurry.
"What do we do now, sensei," Hinata muttered shyly. Kinai smirked. "We won't be doing anything until I have had a look at your back," she said and activated a healing jutsu.
"Take your shirt off."
Thank you for reading. And no, don't get stupid ideas about the last sentence. I'm sorry if it sprouts weird thoughts in your minds about bad hentai, but that is plainly not the point.
I am sorry to say that the next chapter may be a little while before being uploaded as I have taken on somebody's advice and have begun to rewrite the prologue as a beginning. I didn't agree in everything, but that somebody was kind enough to point out some major flaws that I had no idea off. I can see that now, since my knowledge about this fandom hasdeveloped, so I'll be striving to correct my mistakes. I won't, however, change my view on Minato, since at this point I don't know much about him, and have to pinpoint the art of artistically freedom. I realize that some of you find my Japanese translations a bit annoying, but I just can't imagine Kiba shouting: Dual Piercing Fang…
Jukei no jutsu : Punishment technique
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