Shattered Reflection-Chapter 17

As the day grew later, the Hokage's office was still full of Shinobi and Shadoai alike. For the past hour in a half, both Tsunade and Kageri Zangetsu had listened to the reports from Rin and any of the Jounin who had been patrolling the night before. They were both sitting in silence with only a few mere glances at one another. But neither one spoke as they just continued to listen to everything that was being said. There was a very serious look on the Shadokage's face as he kept his arm around his daughter. He was definitely in a fouler mood than he had come with. Tsunade only glanced over at him a few times, as if curious of what his reaction would be, but wasn't too surprised when all he showed was a calm look in his eyes. He hardly showed any emotions at all, except a rather hard look.

Finally after Rin explained everything to Kageri and hearing what the Jounin said about what Shinobi that were killed and how they expected Caligo even got into Konoha, the Shadokage let out a low sigh before tilting his head towards Tsunade, who looked back. "I think I know exactly how my older brother got into your village, undetected." He shook his head. "Caligo has had a nickname for numerous of years among our people. He was known as the Silent Death. Using the Shadow Step technique he could move anywhere without any sound at all."

"The Shadow Step?" Tsunade asked as she lowered her hands from her chin.

Kageri just nodded solemnly before looking down at Sen. "Dark Flower, why don't you explain." He told her. Sen just nodded as she sat up straighter, having to make her father lower his arm from her shoulders. She paused for a moment before standing. "It would be so much simpler if I can just show you." She then made a quick combination of signs before practically vanishing into shadows and the next few seconds, the door opened and she walked right back into the room, startling several of the Shinobi, except Rin.

Jiraiya looked a little freaked out of what just happened but did all he could to look impressed instead, which he was. "That was very interesting. How'd you do that?"

Sen shook her head with a faint smile before she tossed her long, glossy-black hair over her shoulder. "The Shadow Step is very much like the Body Flicker Technique. Only instead of leaves and smoke, we use the very shadows in the room. Think of stepping-stones and crossing a river. It's somewhat the same, only we can cross-shadows. We can walk shadow to shadow, even if it is in another room. Sort of a teleportation sort of jutsu. And it makes no sound at all. With each time you use the Shadow Step, you can step at least ten times from shadow to shadow and there is a distance limit. My limit is at least a yard apart. But the only problem with this technique, you have to know where you are going. If you did it blindly, you can seriously hurt yourself and drain every inch of your chakra. My uncle, Caligo, must have used the Shadow Step. That way, he could sneak up behind your Shinobi and kill them without raising alarm at all. He could do it at least six times in a row before needing to take a break."

"Thus explaining why it was mostly only six Shinobi guards he killed first." Ibiki Morino said dryly as he folded his arms behind his back.

Tsunade just folded her hands together again as she took everything into thought. She was definitely trying to come up with some kind of conclusion but wasn't having much luck. She frowned even more before turning her eyes onto Kageri. "You said that Caligo probably won't kill my assistant and Hinata Hyuuga. What makes you think that he won't?"

Kageri shared her emotionless stare but then he shook his head as he ran his fingers through his fine black hair. "Caligo does not like killing women. He really doesn't. He's a harsh man in some ways, but he's really against that sort. I highly doubt he will cause any serious harm to the kunoichi." He looked back at Sen as she went back to sitting next to him. "I know he's been threatening my Sen, here, but they really empty threats. He just wants Okami's diamond."

"This Okami, he's like the nine-tailed fox?" Tsunade asked with a frown.

Kageri just shook his head as he sat up straighter. "No. He's a bijuu, yes. But unlike Kyuubi and most of the other bijuu, Okami is not a bloodthirsty demon. He actually founded the Shadow Valley, himself, and he chooses the next Shadokage. But I suppose you've been told the story already." He glanced over at Rin, who slowly nodded to him.

Tsunade also nodded as she looked lazily at her desk, taking in all of the information. She didn't like it, everything that was going on. But things did seem to brighten up just a little now that the Shadokage was there. He was the Zangetsu Brothers' brother and he did know the two well. It was more than likely that he knew how to defeat them as well. "Shadokage Kageri," She spoke in a low voice as she turned her eyes back onto him. "I do have to ask, how willing are you to stop your brothers?"

The Shadokage looked just as lazily back at her before he dipped his head into his chin. He let out a low sigh before shaking his head. "I am no longer close to Caligo and Sei, Tsunade-sama. I only wish for the safety of my little Dark Flower, here. Any assistance you need, I will guarantee it."

"Then you will be willing to enlighten us with what their weaknesses are." Tsunade said, making it sound more like a question.

Kageri just frowned at the idea but then he shook his head. He wasn't sure what he could tell the Hokage about this part. He knew their weaknesses, yes. But there was a chance that over time that Caligo and Sei had overcome their weaknesses. "I wish I could say, Lady Kage. In the beginning, before my brothers left, I knew their weaknesses. But now, I'm not sure. It is possible that they have gained much strength from their weaknesses." He told her.

Tsunade just moodily looked down at her hands as she tried to think but she couldn't come up with any idea at all of what she could do. So she lift her eyes to Jiraiya. "Jiraiya, call for Shikamaru. I want to see him right away." She told him. A few of the others, especially the Shadoai looked surprised but Jiraiya and Lord Hyuuga. They seemed to understand exactly what she had in mind. So the white haired ninja just nodded as he was already leaving the room. "All right, Tsunade. I'll see if I can find him." He told her before he was gone. Tsunade then looked around the room at the visitors, her eyes mostly on Kageri. "Lord Shadokage, for now, we'll leave it at that. Both our Shinobi and your Shadoai will have to search the forest for your brothers, of course. I will want Kakashi and Gai on the search. But for now, why don't we attend the summer festival." She glanced over to Rin. "Rin, if you're not too busy, deliver the message to Kakashi and Gai to get together Jounin and search for Shizune and Hinata. I want them found ASAP." She told her.

Rin nodded before she turned away. She paused when Sen stood up as if to follow and that made her turn around. Sen looked rather serious as she just stared at her friend before she turned to her father. Their dark eyes met one another's, both looking serious. "Father, as much as you want me to stay safe, I wish to participate in the search for the medical ninja." She told him.

There was a startled silence, though Kageri looked rather serious about the whole ordeal. His head dipped down a little as he just stared at his daughter. The Shadoai looked just as stoic as he did. They knew that they couldn't say anything. Chiro was the only one who wanted to protest. Even Rin did but neither one said a word. After a moment, Kageri shook his head. "It would mean putting yourself in danger, Sen." He told her.

"Father," Sen said sounding reproachful. "I did not go through all that training just to be sitting around doing nothing. What was all my training for if I can not use it?"

Kageri couldn't stop the smile from curling onto his face. He just closed his eyes and shook his head as if he was very amused. And it was clear that he was. But after another moment, he slowly nodded. "Very well. Sen, you may take part in the search party. Stick to Rin and Chiro though. Prepare yourself though. You are not exactly dressed appropriately. Chiro, why don't you go with her? When you are both ready, join the Leaf Shinobi in the search party." He ordered. Both Sen and Chiro nodded before bowing to him.

"Shadokage Kageri, do you think it would be wise for your daughter to join the search? After all, it is her that your brothers are searching for." Tsunade said with a frown. She only frowned more when Kageri just forced a smile as he looked over at her. She even saw Rin look away. "What? Am I missing something?"

Slowly Kageri nodded. "I'm afraid we have deceived you at least a little, Lady-Kage." He waved a hand when she started to glare at him, almost demanding for an explanation. "Please forgive me and my daughter then. As you know, Sen is the next in line to become Shadokage. Therefore, she has been trained as a Shadoai. That is why she knows the Shadow Step. She is not just some noble girl who cannot defend herself. No." He smiled almost mischievously. "No, she actually can defend herself very well. If you wish for proof, then have one of your Shinobi test her. Have a little test, if you must." He told the 5th Hokage. "She's actually very brilliant. One of the number one Shadoai of her age."

Tsunade just frowned before looking at Sen, who smiled innocently and placed her hands behind her back. "I will definitely want an observation of her skills." She glanced over at the door when it opened and in came Shikamaru with Jiraiya behind him. "In fact, why don't she test her shadow jutsu against our own Shadow expert."

"!!" Shikamaru hummed in surprise as he looked around the room with alarm. He was definitely taken back. His eyes fell onto the Shadoai and he frowned. He had yet to meet Sen and Chiro but he had heard about them from Naruto, who had been telling everyone about how he, Sakura and Sasuke helped rescue a Kage's daughter.

Kageri turned his eyes onto Shikamaru next, who was still looking rather curiously around the room. "Hmm?"

Tsunade just smiled as she waved for Shikamaru to move forward a little, who lazily did so. "Shadokage Kageri, this is one of our Chunin, Shikamaru Nara, of the Nara Clan. They have a great similarity to your people. They are experts in the Shadow arts and have learned a great deal about Shadow jutsu. Shikamaru, this is the Shadokage of the Hidden Village in the Shadows, Kageri Zangetsu and his daughter, Sen." She told them.

Shikamaru just frowned but then bobbed his head into a greeting to the both before letting his eyes travel over the Shadoai. He didn't look it, but he was curious about them. He had heard of these ones. Tsunade just nodded before she motioned to Sen again. "Shikamaru, you will be testing Sen's ninja abilities in a sparring match. I want to see what she can do." She told him.

"What?" Shikamaru asked as his eyes shot back to her, looking at her with surprise. He hadn't been expecting that one. He looked right at Sen, who was looking him over with curiosity. "Me? I have to fight a girl?" He immediately slumped, looking as if it troubled him terribly. "Oh, how troublesome." He groaned, earning a dark look from both Sen and her father. Tsunade just groaned herself as she placed her face into her hand and shook her head. "Oh, kuso, Shikamaru. Just do it!" She said with annoyance.

Shikamaru rolled his eyes as he folded his arms and looked away. He was definitely a little annoyed with the situation. He really did not want to fight a girl. He knew that he was only underestimating girls again but he really did not like doing it. As if he hadn't had enough of facing off with Temari whenever she visited the village. But now he was going to face off with a complete strange girl, whom he just barely met. How troublesome was this?! "Fine. I'll do it. But it's always so troublesome. When should I test her?"

"Some time today. Maybe at the festival. They are having a small sparring tournament for some of the Genin. Genma is running the event today. Why don't you stop by there and do it then." Tsunade told him.

Shikamaru just rolled his eyes but nodded. "Fine." He looked to Sen, who was still smiling as innocently as she could. "Meet me there, why don't you?" he asked moodily before turning to leave. "This is so troublesome."

"Actually, there was another thing I needed to talk to you about, Shikamaru." The 5th said straightening. She felt like throwing something at him when the Chunin groaned before turning back to look at her. She had to ball her fist into a tight ball to try and keep her temper at bay. But instead, she looked around the room at everyone else. "I would like to speak to him and the Shadokage alone. So everyone leave us." She told them.

Sen and the Shadoai looked to Kageri, who nodded for them to go. "Yes. Leave us. Sen, why don't you just prepare yourself for your match. Later tonight, when the Shinobi and the Shadoai go out for the search, you may go with." He told her. Sen nodded before she reached over and kissed his cheek. She then turned around and quickly left the room with Rin, Chiro and the Shadoai, leaving the two Kages and the Chunin genius.

"All right." Tsunade began. "Shikamaru, we need you to come up with a very good strategy for us to be able to defeat two very dangerous Shadoai and to rescue the captured medics."

Rin found Kakashi right where he said that they should meet. He was staring up at the stony face of Minato, looking rather thoughtful. He didn't even seem to notice that she was even walking up to him, that is until she covered his eye. He tensed for a second, as if he was going to attack whoever snuck up behind him. But then he relaxed when he recognized the soft hand covering his one eye.

"Guess who." Laughed Rin as she just kept her hand over his eye and then clutched onto his shoulder with her other hand.

Kakashi chuckled to himself as he reached up and took her wrist. He paused for a moment before he suddenly whirled around, spinning a startled Rin around until her back was against him and he trapped her there. "Hey, Rin-Rin." He told her, pinning her one arm down at her side while keeping her hand trapped in his and across her chest.

"Hey! Stop calling me Rin-Rin. You know I hate that name, Kakashi." Rin pouted as she tried to pull free but Kakashi wouldn't let her go. She then smiled and shook her head. "And you're still stronger than me, I see."

Kakashi shrugged before he let her go so she could turn around but his hand remained on her waist and he kept her hand in his. They just met eyes as they faced one another. "Well, I have been in ANBU once. And I have been very busy over the years. You, you're just lazy." He teased. Rin scowled at him before trying to push him away from her. "Oh, if you're just going to bully me……." She was saying.

But Kakashi stopped her again. He had reached up and pulled down his mask before capturing her lips against his. There was a short, startled pause before Rin practically melted into it. She kissed him right back while laying her hands onto his chest. For a long while, they shared their kiss, looking into one another's eyes. But then they pulled away, smiling at one another.

"That's kind of what I want to talk to you about." Kakashi told her. "What are we going to do about us?"

Rin stared into his eye for a moment before looking away. She didn't know what she could say. It was true that she still had feelings for him. And it was obvious that he now had feelings for her. But wasn't it a little too dangerous to be a relationship right now? Especially with Caligo and Sei. She knew that if Sei ever found out about her and Kakashi, he would be blow up. "I don't know. Truth be told, Kashi, I still…..well, I still have strong feelings for you. I've thought of you so many times on my journeys. But I also thought about Obito, so many times." She sighed sadly. "I just….well…."

"You just don't want to hurt him, even while he's dead." Kakashi said just as sadly but he kept her hand trapped in his. He knew how she felt. He felt the same way.

Rin slowly nodded as she looked back into his eye. She was smiling but it was so faint, almost forced. "Yes. I know Obito loved me, Kakashi. I was stuck up a little back then. I loved him but it was….complicated. And now, now that all of this is happening, I just can't help but feel that I will betray his feelings if I…..you know." She told him. Kakashi looked away. He still understood what he was trying to say. "Obito...he loved you, Rin. He really did. We both know that. But I truly believe…..I really believe he would approve our relationship." He looked back into her eyes with a kind look. "I've been selfish about several things, Rin. But when it's coming to you, I will be very selfish. I am going to take you for myself."

"Kakashi," Rin said smiling slyly. "You're making it sound so dirty, you pervert."

Kakashi grinned as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her against him. He couldn't help it this time. It was just the instincts he felt inside. He really wanted Rin and he wasn't going to let her go. "Well, I do read Icha Icha." He joked.

"Eww, Kakashi." Rin half scowled, half laughed. But after a few minutes of laughing together, she looked sadly away. She saw Kakashi tilt his head to the side, looking rather curious. She only shook her head. "I just wish there was some way we could find out if Obito didn't mind us." She told him. And she felt Kakashi tense against her, making her look up at him. There was a very surprised look on his face as he was slowly reaching up and touching his forehead protector. "Kakashi? What is it? Is the Sharingan……"

"It's crying." Kakashi slowly said before he gently pushed it up. And he was right. The red and black eye was slowly tearing up, and it was the only one of his eyes to be starting the water works. But it wasn't just that. There was a feeling swelling up in his chest, in the eye. He felt…….happiness. "What….."

And something even more happened. A gentle breeze picked up all around them, carrying petals on it. The petals began to swirl around Kakashi and Rin, surprising them. They couldn't help but just look around and watch as the petals practically dance around them. After a moment, they both knew they had just gotten the sign that they had been waiting for.

"Obito….." Rin whispered as she started to smile before looking up at Kakashi's eyes. She could almost see Obito in the Sharingan, reflecting a smile at her. It was if he was saying it was okay. She smiled before looking at Kakashi. "Kashi, he says its okay."

Kakashi just smiled right back before he cupped her chin, slowly nodding. "I know. I heard him too." Then he kissed her again.

At the festival, Kakashi and Rin finally caught up with everyone else, watching some of the sparring matches. Naruto was not looking particularly happy due that he wanted to be out searching for Hinata right now. But he wasn't saying anything. Sakura and Sasuke kept glancing at him, but neither one knew what they could say to help soothe his nerves. As for Shikamaru, he looked like he was in a very bad mood, just looking around. He was not very happy that he had been shoved into having to test some girl. However, that was what caught Rin's attention. Her two friends were still missing.

"Hmm?" The Kunoichi hummed out loud as she looked around. "Where is Chiro and Sen?"

Shikamaru looked away, once again looking like he was in a worst mood. He was really not enjoying this. Sakura on the other hand shook her head. "They're not here yet. Shikamaru said something about having to spar against Sen." She now looked a little worried. "Rin, can Sen even fight?"

Rin just smiled as she reached over and touched the pink haired girl's shoulder. "Oh don't you worry, Sakura. She can fight all right. She's really good. She might not have shown any techniques but that's because she doesn't like fighting very much." She smirked lightly as she looked over at Shikamaru. "Especially boys."

"Huh?" Naruto asked, his attention now caught. "She doesn't like fighting boys? Why not?"

Rin just smiled before she looked over his shoulder when she realized that the Shadokage had arrived with Tsunade. And the spoken person accompanied them. She smiled when she folded her arms and looked right at her young friend. "So you're finally here, Sen. Just be nice, okay? Don't make any boys cry, all right?"

"Oh, come on. Boys always think they're so tough. Someone's gotta put them in their place."

Everyone else blinked in surprise before turning around. Shikamaru definitely being one of them. He really hadn't liked that remark. But once his dark eyes landed on the "Shadow Princess", he froze.

Sen Zangetsu might have been wearing a black kimono before she had arrived in Konoha and had spent most of the time just looking more like a noble than a ninja, but she certainly didn't now. Her black hair was pulled up into a knot at the nape of her neck with chopsticks holding it up, leaving only her bangs hanging over her dark eyes. She was now wearing a black standard ninja outfit; black pants that run down to below her knees and a sleeveless top. (ooc: if anyone knows Ayame from Tenchu, that's how I picture how Sen looks like.) Around her waist was her Shadoai forehead protector, the black diamond glistening in the light.

"Oh wow!" Sakura said smiling. "Sen, you look good as a ninja!"

Sen smiled brightly at her as she bobbed her head. "Thanks, Sakura." She then turned her eyes onto a gaping Shikamaru and she grinned at him. "Okay, shadow boy. Let's see how good you are." She jabbed her finger towards him and practically posed. "I, Sen Zangetsu, Daughter of the Shadokage, challenge Shikamaru Nara to a sparing match!" She called out to get the crowd's attention.

It captured their attention all right.

Everyone around the sparing platform turned when they heard her and looked right at the two facing one another. Shikamaru was actually looking very embarrassed, and with Naruto now laughing and pointing at him, he wanted nothing more than to just kick his ass right now. "Heh, whatever. Let's just get this done and over with." He muttered as he moved towards the sparing platform. Sen rolled her eyes as she followed, looking a little moody that he wasn't reacting the way that she wanted him to. She had wanted him to act like everyone else but he didn't. She swore she was going to make him some how.

Both Shikamaru and Sen stepped up onto the sparring platform, looking at one another. They didn't even seem to notice the gathering crowd around the stage. They just stared at one another as they stood ten feet apart, with Genma looking between them and chewing on a senbon as always. "All right then." He began. "Rules are the same. Fight fair, no hitting below the belt, girlie. And the match ends when someone gets knocked out or gets thrown out of the ring. Have fun." He said as he turned and stepped off of the platform. "Begin."

Both Sen and Shikamaru looked at one another once the match started, though one looked terribly bored. The Shadoai Princess, however, was smiling as she stepped back one and snapped into a fighting stance. "Try not to get too upset when I beat you." She told the lazy Shinobi. Quite a few of the audience started laughing while the procrastinated Shinobi gave her a dry look as he just continued to stand there. "Whatever. Are you going to just talk or fight?"

"Fine, shadow boy. You've asked for it." Sen said smirking before she made quick sign signs and with a blink of an eye, there were three Sens standing all around him. The three of them smiled at him sweetly before they quickly rushed towards the shadow expert. Shikamaru frowned as he quickly backed away from them, throwing his hands together into a sign; his Shadow Imitation jutsu. His own shadow lashed out towards the three Sens. He wasn't sure which one was the real one but he'd figure it out in a few seconds. The three Sens looked sharply down at his shadows before they jumped high into the air to avoid getting caught. Shikamaru just smirked as he dipped his head lower and threw his shadow right into the three shadows onto the ground, capturing them. "Checkmate already."

"Wrong." All three Sens said at the same time as they practically froze in the air, then all three of them exploded into clouds of smoke. Out of the smoke, fell three logs.

Shikamaru's eyes widened in surprise, as did anyone else's. He looked at the logs with alarm before jerking around, trying to locate Sen. So far, she was no where to be seen. She had completely vanished. With a frown, the Chunin quickly formed a heart like sign with his hands, trying to think of what just happened while keeping his eyes out for any movement. He quickly recalled what Sen had done before the three clones had appeared. He remembered the hand signals. What hand signals were those?! He didn't recognize two of them but most of the others she used he had. They were simply the signs to make a clone. But what about the other two?! He quickly searched his mind for what those signs might have been. But that's when he noticed something.

He glanced sidewards at the Kunoichi, Rin, and saw that she was smiling as if she knew exactly what was going on. And he knew she did. She knew what technique Sen was using. He frowned as he quickly followed her eye line and saw that she was looking down at the shadows. His frown deepened as he looked straight at his own stretched out shadow, wondering if it was possible. He wondered if she might be hiding in his own shadow. But just to make sure, he grasped for anything within it. Problem was, he didn't feel anything.

"Uh-uh! Not there!" came Sen's voice.

Shikamaru's eyes widened with surprise and he jerked around to see Sen jumping right out of the shadows from the tree behind him. He cursed when he realized that there was a branch's shadow on the platform. She was leaping at him with a flying kick, which he quickly ducked under and captured her shadow with his. Sen squealed with annoyance as she landed and looked at him. It was obvious she was caught. "Oh, you! So I was right. You do know the Shadow Imitation Jutsu. Impressive. I didn't actually guess." But then she smirked at him as she turned completely around and folded her arms, showing that she was not trapped by his jutsu at all. It obviously surprised Shikamaru when he saw that she wasn't trapped at all. But then he noticed how his shadow, even his own shadow, just simply slipped away. "But the thing is, you have to have a shadow to perform that technique.

"What the…..! Where did……?!" Shikamaru muttered as he quickly looked around.

Sen smiled sweetly as she waved at him as more Sens just stood up from the ground, showing no shadows at all. "Shall I explain?" She asked in a sweet tone. Shikamaru looked at her, rather seriously but he dipped his head once. He did want to know how she had done that. So Sen nodded right back. "It's really easy for us, Shadow Experts. The manipulation of shadows technique, Shadow Imitation only works when there are shadows. However, when you did your own shadow, it wasn't yours to control. I already used my technique, the Secret Art of Shadow Puppets. So all of the shadows you saw and tried to use were my own. You didn't even have your own shadow at the time. I just played with your smart head to make you think that they were yours."

Shikamaru gave her an annoyed look as he remained in his stance. "Very clever. I see you're smarter than I thought. But if there is one thing you've forgotten, it's the fact that no matter what you do, there is always a shadow of mine that you can't touch." He told her before he whipped his hands behind his back and he yanked out the borrowed knuckled blades he took from Asuma. He crossed the blades right in front of him before throwing them hard down to the ground, blade first. A thick string was attached to the handle and to Shikamaru's hands, which he immediately threw back into the hand signs for his Shadow Imitation, the shadow under the string immediately shot forward and trapped all of the Sens. "All right. Let's see which one is the real you." Shikamaru said smirking before he turned to the side, making all of the protesting Sens turn. Then he threw out his hands in front of him. All of the Sens all screamed as one or the other shoved each other right over. There were smoky poofs and the clones vanished, leaving no Sen. "Wha-?!" Shikamaru said before he whirled around only to come face to face with the real Sen.

Sen was holding a kunai blade up to his throat, but looking amused. She had her head tilted to the side, in a cute way. "Game over. This was rather fun."

Shikamaru was still staring at her uneasily before he straightened himself and took a step back. Surprising to all the audience, so did Sen. Her hands dropped down to her side, matching Shikamaru's very stance. Only then did everyone look down to see that their shadows were connected. The young Chunin had the Shadoai Princess trapped. She could not move at all, other than what Shikamaru would make her do.

"I have to admit it. You did almost have me there." Shikamaru announced as he turned around, making Sen turn around. He walked straight towards the side, while Sen walked right off the platform, yelping a little when dropped down. She stumbled against Chiro while Shikamaru gave the release and turned around and folded his arms. "Not bad. I'd say you had a very good strategy there. It almost had me." He told her.

Sen rolled her eyes as she folded her own arms, then smirked. "Actually, I did." She told him. Then burst into smoke and shadows. A shadow clone!!

Shikamaru blinked in surprise before he heard a thud behind him, making him jerk around. But it was too late. He felt something swipe his feet right out from under him and he went crashing to the ground. The air was somewhat knocked right out of him and it didn't help when Sen sat down on his chest, pinning him down. The audience all burst into a fit of laughter though, some cheering loudly. The one laughing the loudest was obviously Naruto. But still, they had had a good show right then and there, even if it was somewhat a short one.

Sen smiled down at Shikamaru, who was still a little stunned from what just happened. She was enjoying this, there was no doubt. She knew she had lost the match either way, because her clone did touch the ground outside the ring but she had showed this Shadow expert not to underestimate a Shadoai. "Nice work too. If you want, I can teach you that move." She told him before she stood up and offered her hand.

"…….hmm." Shikamaru hummed before he decided to take her hand and let her help him to his feet. He brushed himself off before glancing around at the laughing crowd, then went into a foul mood. "Man, I can't believe I let my guard down. I'm never going to hear the end of this from that blockhead." He grumbled glancing over to Naruto, who was rolling around on the ground. Sen only smiled as she glanced over at the blonde before she turned back to the Shadow Expert then grabbed his hand, lifting it above their heads. "Nara wins! He's beaten me, the Princess of the Shadoai!"

That shut Naruto and most up.

Several in the crowd cheered though, applauding for Shikamaru and Sen. They were cheering their names, while some still laughed. Shikamaru only glanced over at the girl next to him, before freezing when his eyes looked past her. He saw his smirking father in the crowd. Feeling very embarrassed, he pulled his hand away from hers and started to walk away. Sen blinked in surprise but followed him, her hands behind her back as they both stepped off the platform. "Hey, you still want me to teach you that move, right?"

"Whatever. I don't care." Shikamaru said dryly.

Sen laughed softly as she spun on her heel and blocked Shikamaru's path, forcing him to stop abruptly before he ran into her. She just tilted her head in a cute way and smiled at him. "Hold on a minute. My father would like to say something to you." She told him before looking over to the side just as Kageri Zangetsu was walking up with Rin, Chiro, Kakashi and Tsunade. Asume and Kurenai was right behind them, both smiling. And shortly after them came his father, still smirking as if amused that he had gotten outwitted by a girl.

"Very impressive, Shikamaru Nara." The Shadokage said as he approached them and folded his hands behind his back. "You are far more skilled than I imagined. I didn't expect you to be so well skilled." He glanced over at Asuma. "I've been talking to your sensai about you during the match while observing you. He tells me you have the IQ of 200, and the most intelligent of your generation, other than Sakura Haruno." His dark eyes glanced over at his daughter. "That's why I want Sen to work with you from now until our departure back to the Shadow Valley."

Shikamaru blinked in mild surprise before crinkling his nose and glancing at Sen, who smiled brightly. "Are you kidding?"

"No. In fact, I think you two might get along just fine. For she is the smartest of her generation of Shadoai. And perhaps the entire Shadoai Village. Her IQ is 197. Not as intelligent as you are, but she is nearly there." The Shadokage said fondly. "I've already talked to your father since earlier this day. He's agreed that you are trained by my daughter. And myself."

"What?!" Shikamaru asked, completely astonished, his lazy exterior immediately falling.

Shikaku Nara nodded as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. His lazy but amused eyes flickering over to the Shadokage who was smiling. "That's right, Shikamaru. You're about to be trained by a Kage. He was curious about our family while you were getting ready, or shall I say cloud watching again, and he came to ask me about our Clan. When I told him that we are in a way connected to the Shadoai, he decided he wanted to teach you more Shadow techniques. There's no better teacher for the Shadow arts than a Shadoai." He told him lazily. He glanced sidewards at Asuma, who was puffing away on his cigarette. "I've already made the arrangements with Asuma. He agrees that it'd be all right for you to learn a few new tricks by another sensai. So from now on til the Shadoai leave, you're going to be learning from Master Kageri and his daughter."

Sen smiled as she nudged Shikamaru's elbow, getting his attention. "This is going to be so much fun. I'm definitely going to have to teach you the Shadow Step, Shikamaru!" She told him. Shikamaru frowned with confusion. He hadn't been present when she first explained it to the others about the Shadow Step. "The Shadow Step?" he asked. Sen grinned before she grabbed the front of his shirt and turned sharply dragging him with her with a yelp. Before anyone else could even blink, they vanished.

Kageri sighed shaking his head before looking at the surprised look on Shikaku's face. He was obviously surprised by what just happened. "Don't worry. She'll return him once she's done teaching him the Shadow Step. They haven't gone far. They'll probably be back in an hour or so. But in the mean time, we should try and enjoy ourselves." He told the Shinobi. Slowly everyone nodded and went back to watching the festivities. They just didn't know that they were going to have visitors very soon.