A/N: Time for the conclusion. Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: Flying zebra broom! (I do not own Naruto)
It was the dark of night as Anko and Kurenai fled the cave that had been their prison to head in the direction of their village. Anko's curse seal still was fully active, and a helpless Masuyo Karyuudomi, body limp from a powerful neutralizing tranquilizer still hung over her shoulder. The two kunoichi were moving as fast as their legs would permit them.
This however apparently was not fast enough, as was noted by Masuyo, "He's closing in on us and he's not alone…"
"What?! But how?" Anko asked in frustration.
"More importantly who is he with? It isn't Orochimaru, is it?" Kurenai asked as coolly as the situation would permit.
"No, Orochimaru wouldn't some here. He lost interest in Kaizo and all of us some time ago. No this presence, it's someone like me…" Masuyo said showing what seemed to be fear.
Anko let out some curses as Kurenai took on a forlorn expression, they were running as fast as possible but their adversary it seemed was even faster. It was of little surprise to either woman than, when they found their path obstructed by the person of Kabuto Yakushi.
"Now now, ladies, you think you can just run away? That isn't very nice you know." Kabuto said with an amused grin as his former captives came to a halt.
"Kabuto! I won't forgive what you did!" Kurenai shouted angrily, as fierce and heated as you'd ever see her.
"Oh what? I didn't do anything to you Kurenai. Besides it seems my good friend's drug wasn't all it was made out to be. I'm rather disappointed really; your curse seal was supposed to rage out of control." Kabuto said in a quite caustic manner, obviously angered that such an escape could occur under his supposedly watchful eye.
"No one but me can control my power." Anko said with vehement anger before placing Masuyo to the ground.
"Oh, is that so? You say that even though it was my master who gave you that power. It is that very mark on your neck that keeps you even now bound to him." Kabuto said still offering a malign smirk.
"It may have been Orochimaru who gave me this mark, but it was Kurenai who validated it, it was Kurenai who unleashed its power. It was Kurenai who gave me purpose." Anko said offering a deep-rooted stare of hate at the Sound ninja as she prepared for any movement. At her lover's words Kurenai was filled with a sense of pride.
There was then silence, save for a quite twisted laugh offered by Kabuto. It was Masuyo who next spoke, in an insistent tone she demanded, "Where is she? Where is Nobuko?"
"Oh, so you can sense her? Even though those eyes of yours are failures, it seems your other senses are as sharp as ever." Kabuto said, expressing little surprise. He then turned toward the other direction and ordered, "Come, child."
Slowly a young girl emerged from the darkness. Unlike Masuyo and the other of Kaizo's experiments who had appeared more gruff and ragged this girl had more of an order about her. She wore a calm smile and looked to be about fifteen. She had long pale blue hair and was dressed in clean black robes. Her eyes seemed to glow a pale gray.
"Hello Masuyo. Have you been well?" The girl designated as Nobuko said courteously though malicious intent was obvious beneath her words.
"Nobuko Komatsuzaki…" Masuyo said with a sure acidity to her voice.
"I retrieved Nobuko as she would make it easier to transport you three. Of course now it seems I'm in even greater need of her power." Kabuto said with a slight laugh as he stepped behind the young girl.
"Aren't you going to fight us yourself, you coward?" Anko shot hatefully at the man.
"Eh, no, I think I'll just be an observer for this one. Of course if it comes down to it, don't think I'll let Nobuko lose." Kabuto said with usual mannerisms as he took yet another step back. Then with a soft smile and a forcibly warm tone he addressed his ally, "Now Nobuko, it looks like you get to avenge your beloved master."
"Do you really mean it?! Does that mean I can kill them?!" Nobuko's smile became full as she spoke with naïve hopefulness.
"Hmm, sure. It doesn't look like Anko's going to be able to be any use to us after all, and I know Lord Orochimaru would be angered at the thought of any of his own power being used against him. Go ahead, kill them both, and Masuyo too while you're at it." Kabuto said with malice.
"Thank you. I'm so happy. Not only do I get take revenge for the man I loved, but I get to dispose of that disgusting freak he always hated so much." Nobuko said quite contently.
"You're not killing anyone!' Anko shouted as she charged forward at full speed in the young girl's direction.
Nobuko quickly dodged and countered as if it was nothing, and though Anko blocked this initial strike, she found herself on the end of a brutal follow up which was so swift it seemed invisible to her. If it wasn't for the strength of her curse seal she would have keeled over in pain, but resolute she instead took a leap back and collected herself in a battle stance.
"Masuyo, What is this girl? She's stronger and quicker than you!" Anko shouted, surprised and infuriated.
"Kaizo Karyuudomi's most recent experiment, she was still in the final stages when he died. She had the same treatments done to her body as me, yet instead of starting as nothing, she was already a full fledged chunin, a rogue ninja of the Sand, when she was altered." Masuyo explained acridly.
"So what you're saying is that this girl had the same adjustments to her bodies strength speed and everything as you and on top of that she's a highly trained shinobi?!" Kurenai said in shock as she contemplated what this new opponent was truly capable of.
"Exactly. She was designed to be a perfect, loyal, and indestructible soldier." Masuyo had a hint of fear in her voice.
"Still. We defeated Kaizo! We can win this one too!" Anko shouted with fiery passion as she charged forth once more.
Nobuko had drawn two curved battle kunai and held one tight in either hand as she took a defensive pose in preparation for the incoming attack. She blocked Anko's strikes effortlessly with her knives and then delivered a combination strike, stabbing Anko twice, once through the right arm, and another time through the same shoulder.
Anko had little time to prepare before her opponent had moved to continue her assault, another flash of knife led ft a deep cut at her stomach, then there was just a blaze of motion and when it stopped, nearly every inch of Anko was colored either the black of her seal or the red of her blood.
Staggeringly, underdressed and still weak from her earlier torture Kurenai stepped forward in hopes of aiding her beloved. She drew her own kunai and launched it at Nobuko. It was caught without effort and returned with such accuracy and force, that had Kurenai not been able to manage a last second, impossible duck it would have found its way clean into her skull.
"Stay back Kurenai. You can't fight her." Anko yelled, paralyzed with fear at seeing Kurenai's life almost end right before her eyes. She struggled to her feet and shook of some of the blood from her cuts.
"Neither can you. Face it, our only chance to win this one is if we do this together. We have to think it through like we did with Kaizo." Kurenai responded forcefully, though she was obviously clearly shaken.
"My beloved Kaizo was a very wise man, but he wasn't very strong. Just being able to beat him doesn't mean anything in regards to me." Nobuko taunted in an oddly proper tone.
"She's right. Her power's on a whole different level, even from the monstrous version of Kaizo you fought that day." Masuyo warned earnestly.
"We still have to try. I have someone who needs me now." Anko said definitively as she seemed to recover her strength, her eyes now seemed to burn with a fire that was only intensified by her pain and struggle.
This time Nobuko charged forth at Anko, and this time it was Anko who managed a dodge, even if it was slight. Then with the smallest window she could imagine Anko unleashed a fierce combo of strikes, several punches, and then a barrage of shuriken followed finally by a fiery flame jutsu. Only about ten percent of the attacks found their target.
Nobuko didn't alter her peaceful expression as she removed the two shuriken that had lodged themselves in her body and examined the slightly burnt flesh along her left arm. She outright smiled as she made her counter, slashing out once more at her highest possible speed.
The slashes were hard and deep, cutting Anko to the bone, they were numerous and gave cause to copious levels of flying blood. When Nobuko stopped, she was satisfied that the deeply bloodied figure at her feet was very dead, turning instead to seek out her other opponent. When Kurenai was nowhere to be found, she turned back and was surprised to find that the dead Anko disappearing into the air as well.
Then from behind Nobuko Anko emerged alive, and in much better condition then her illusion had been, leaping forward with shear determination she thrust a kunai hard into Nobuko's back, causing the girl to cry out in pain before violently throwing Anko off.
"You think you can best me with such tricks? I won't let you get another chance." Nobuko seemed for once angry.
Nobuko was once more on the assault, opting for several power attacks rather than the quicker less precise attacks of before. These were easier dodged for Anko, but the few that made it through were the root of far greater pain than anything previous. Anko with enough speed and effort, coupled with Nobuko's strength waning in the face of the kunai lodged in her back became capable of eventually keeping up with the other and delivering her own counters.
"Where'd your friend go? She's trying to catch me in another illusion, isn't she? What are you planning?" It seemed the fight had finally turned as the collected Nobuko now seemed to be the one in fear.
"Ha! You'll just have to see! See if you can keep up that is!" Anko said playfully as she began to run around her opponent at top seeds.
Nobuko tried to follow Anko's movements with her eyes, but soon her motion became confused. It became quickly apparent that encircling her was not one but three Ankos. Laughing the trick off, Nobuko hurled her knives simultaneously at two of the images of her opponent watching intently as they both vanished into smoke. With a faint smile she charged the final image with a rough tackle.
As it hit the floor Nobuko found it too had vanished to nothing. She turned at once to find a fourth Anko leaping toward her as before with a kunai. Prepared this time she hit it hard with her fist only to find it had vanished like the others. She turned around once more to find this time she was once more surrounded by three visions of Anko.
Each Anko unleashed a torrent of shuriken that Nobuko forced herself to block expertly. She then unleashed her own barrage of the small blades to disperse of all three illusions. However this time her reflexes were slow, and she soon became aware of a strange presence wrapping itself around her legs. She twisted her neck to view Anko who stood before her laughing as the snake she had summoned twisted Nobuko hard into its constraint.
Then the head of the snake changed, revealing itself to be not a snake but really Kurenai, who immediately, after her arms had materialized from within the beast, allowed her kunai to find it's mark in Nobuko's back once more, stabbing the girl deep, countless times through the spine.
Satisfied as she felt Nobuko's body give out, Kurenai released her genjutsu, allowing the rest of her body to fully materialize. She was hard on breath as Anko rushed to catch her in her arms. Nobuko collapsed lifelessly to the floor.
"I thought you said you wouldn't allow this to happen." Anko said to Kabuto, herself short of breath after pulling off such a rigorous combined effort. Supporting Kurenai's weight soon put a strain on her weakened and injured body and she had soon fallen to her knees. Soon after Anko felt her curse seal recede.
"Oh, don't you see its not over?" Kabuto said as he pointed to the fallen Nobuko, still alive, and still struggling against the weight of her body.
"Even if she's not dead, you think she'll be able to last much longer?" Kurenai asked with high confidence, trying not to sound as broken as she felt.
Kabuto gave a vicious laugh before settling into a evil grin, he sad venomously, "Who said anything bout her lasting?"
"What do you-?" Anko began unsteadily.
"Nobuko, unleash the power inside of you!" Kabuto commanded forcefully.
On the floor Nobuko struggled to balance herself upright, in a deeply weakened voice she argued, "No one…. c-can command me…. except… m-master … No one but my… K-Kaizo."
"Orochimaru has always been your master! And I act on his authority! Now unleash it!' Kabuto was shouting in a craze.
"Alright... For master. So I can avenge master. I'll, I-I'll, I-I'll do it." Nobuko struggled to say as she crawled toward the still weak and huddled Anko and Kurenai. Soon she began glowing an ominous green.
"What's happening?" Kurenai questioned frantically as the eerily glowing girl drew nearer.
Masuyo struggled upright so as to project herself, she yelled to the two women, "Run away! Nobuko has been implanted with a self-destruction device. She was created to be unwaveringly loyal to her masters so as she could be commanded to sacrifice herself when most convenient."
"Oh shit. Kurenai, we have to run! Hurry!" Anko yelled hastily as she reclaimed her feet.
Kurenai got up after her, but as her chakra was for all purposes completely depleted at the moment she barely managed a step before returning to the ground. With the sad air of departure Kurenai said, "I don't think I can make it on my own. And you couldn't make it if you tried to carry me in your condition. Please, live on for me, my love."
"No. You know I can't do that." Anko said as she rushed back toward Kurenai and draped her over her less painful shoulder. She realized right away there was no way she would be able to move fast enough to escape.
"Kaizo…" Nobuko said dreamily before it happened. Energy poured out from inside her with a vicious explosion. The girl that had once contained the blast was incinerated in an instant and Kurenai and Anko were resigned to face the same fate. That was until, at just the right instant they were forcefully tossed aside by a great strength.
The women turned to see their savior vanish into the bright green blast. Masuyo Karyuudomi was smiling as her bandages unfurled into nothing, allowing her eyes, stained in full the color of blood, to form tears as they once more stared at the last image the girl had ever really seen. Frozen in her vision as she disappeared into nothing was the smiling face of a loving father, as he brought comfort to his precious daughter.
The blast cleared and Anko and Kurenai were left without words. They could only gaze forward at the lifeless area surrounding where Nobuko had just been, hoping that something at least remained, though there was clearly nothing.
"Why would she do that? Sacrifice herself for us?" Anko asked with a tear in her eye.
"She was a broken doll that had lost its owner. This way, her fragile life at least in the end had some meaning to someone." Kurenai said in a cool, somber way.
"But she didn't have to die." Anko said disdainfully. She broke her grief to turn instead to anger as she searched out the man from the Sound, "Kabuto! Where are you? Why go this far?"
"Eh, should you really be so emotional, Anko? As your lover here said, these girls really are just dolls, things to be used however my master wishes. It just happened that after Kaizo failed him and then betrayed him to act on his own, he lost interest in the whole set completely." Kabuto said wickedly.
"You monster! So you intended to eliminate both of them from the start…" Kurenai exclaimed with a sickened expression.
"Ha, maybe so." Kabuto smirked.
"Your going to pay for what you've done…" Anko started angrily as she got to her feet. The pain still made everything hard.
"Do you seriously expect you can win as you are now?" Kabuto asked mockingly. He smiled his evil smile before concluding with a smug and cocky tone, "As I see it you both are going to die right here by my hand."
"I beg to differ. You aren't killing anyone that is unless you believe you can take us all on." A familiar man's voice came to the ear and the rescue of the two injured women.
To their surprise soon countless familiar faces were between them and Kabuto. It was Kakashi who had been the one who spoke, and beside him was Asuma. Gathered in a group at his side were Kurenai's three chunin disciples, Hinata, Kiba and Shino.
"Hmmph. I suppose I have no choice but to withdraw for now. But don't expect to rest easy so long as you possess that power." Kabuto directed his final words to Anko before retreating in a puff of smoke.
"Are you alright sensei?" An obviously overwhelmingly relieved Hinata said as she approached Kurenai's side and smiled.
"I'll be okay Hinata. I'm sorry. Were you all worried." Kurenai said in a soft voice as she felt her own lips form a smile.
"I was so scared after what happened the other day; after telling Anko, when I caught up to where you all had been and no one was there anymore, It just really scared me. I had to find you ." Hinata's eyes teared up as she bent down to hug Kurenai.
"After Hinata told the Hokage what happened we all were sent after the two of you right away. It's honestly been a real tough one trackin' you and we didn't know what to expect when we found you." Kiba said, failing to constrain his own emotions.
"You two sure look like you've been through a lot." Asuma said with a deep sigh as he examined the women's injury ridden bodies, Kurenai still was naked save for Anko's coat and a few strategically placed shreds of what used to be her clothing.
"I'm just glad it's all over. Now here, help me up." Kurenai said; this last order was directed at Kakashi even though Asuma was closer. Kakashi obliged and lifted the woman onto his back. Anko made a reluctant, almost apologetic motion and the other jounin did the same for her.
"We survived another one. Now I can't wait to just get home." Anko said as the group began the walk toward their village. A jealous part of Asuma, remembering Anko's home was now with Kurenai, felt like dropping the woman, but he didn't.
A/N: That's the end. This fic was interesting. As my first sequel, I knew it would be different. For my original fics the real story is the romance, for sequels the couple has already been established and thus the focus is instead solely on the story and how it maybe progresses the couple. As such the main story of this fic was Masuyo's more so than it was Anko or Kurenai's.. Now as a chapter I think this turned out fairly good, I'm satisfied with the fight. The conclusion could have been better, but I think it works nicely. As a whole I think this fic could have been better, but it was still pretty good. I think it's an improvement over the original, Enchantment. Anyways, thanks for reading and expect more from me soon. I've pretty much decided to go with the sequel for Delusions of Bliss for my next thing, so expect that soon. See ya.