"Weigh anchor!" Sirius called out.
Xander rubbed his ear. "Don't yell, I'm right next to you and even with the wind and cold I can hear you just fine."
"I know but it's tradition."
Xander used a leather strap to tie the wheel in place while the ship slowed to a stop despite the wind blowing its tattered sails.
"The compass says we're directly over her," Sirius told him. "The walled town is surrounded by enemy forces, so we'll have to sneak in and out."
"Can't we teleport?"
"Yeah, it's only two miles," Sirius agreed, "but I don't know the area, so we'll have to take a carpet down."
Xander plucked the crystal ball they used as a compass off the wheel while Sirius made yet another flying carpet, something he was so familiar with he could do it in his sleep.
"Won't they see that and kill us?" Xander asked.
"Kill us?!" he asked alarmed.
"They're in the middle of a war and surrounded by enemies. I'm thinking shoot first and ask no questions is the standard."
"You may have a point there," Sirius agreed. "How about we just enchant an item to teleport her and her loved ones to a safe area, far away and send that to her?"
"As long as she knows her prayers are being answered by Aphrodite we're good," Xander agreed. "Once her and her family are safe we'll be done and can look around."
"How about-" Sirius began as the two brainstormed what to do.
Hinata Hyuga smiled happily at the sight of Naruto as he arrived at the welcome home picnic she'd organized, not even noticing he had Sasuke in tow.
Sasuke looked around the park, surprised to see the rookie nine, their instructors, and Team Gai had all come to a party to welcome him home. Stepping forward he drew a deep breath, ready to give a heartfelt apology when Hinata all but shoved him aside to get to Naruto and he noticed there were quite a few people here he didn't know but knew Naruto did. Apparently it was a joint party.
"I-I have some cards," Hinata stuttered her heart pounding as she stood in front of Naruto. They'd written to one another when they could and taken the first faltering steps towards a possible relationship, but being this close to him still made her nervous.
"Cards?" Naruto asked, noting that Hinata had developed into the kind of young woman that Jiraiya would peep on to write his novels.
Hinata nodded and took a deep breath to steady herself. "I've gotten advice on what I should do from some of the more experienced girls. Step one:," reaching up Hinata put a hand on the back of his head and pulled his face into her cleavage.
"Anko!" Kurenai growled.
"I didn't tell her to do that," Anko excused herself.
"Ino?" Sakura asked.
"Not me," Ino said.
"It was me," Ayame the waitress from Ichiraku's ramen said. "I know Naruto, sometimes you have to rub his face in things."
Tsunade laughed and watched with some amusement as Hinata led Naruto off to dance. Even in the midst of war he had the ability to make her smile.
Xander examined the fist sized pearl and the intricate rune work they'd carved, for mistakes. "It looks good."
"Right down to the heart symbol," Sirius agreed.
"That's not a heart symbol," Xander said with a smirk.
"It sure looks like one," Sirius said with a frown.
"It's upside down," Xander explained. "You see that symbol was never meant to be a heart, but prudish groups perverted its original intent and claimed that's what it symbolized."
"What was it then?" Sirius asked curiously.
"It's the Roman symbol for Aphrodite goddess of love," Xander said. "It's a pair of hanging balls."
Sirius burst out laughing. "That explains why it looks nothing like an actual heart."
"Yep," Xander agreed, tossing it to Sirius and collecting the books, pages of calculations, and dirty limericks that were scattered across the table in the galley. "Charge it up and let's see how she works."
"At some point I'm going to teach you how to charge things," Sirius said.
"I'm not a mage," Xander pointed out.
"You've got more magic than a squib," Sirius countered as he ran his fingers over the runes causing them to glow brighter and brighter until they couldn't look at it anymore. "Bombs away," Sirius called out, tossing it overboard. "And this is something a squib could do with enough training."
"I'll make some more amulets and we can practice on them," Xander decided, as he untied the wheel and turned the ship towards one of the approaching armies, camped a dozen miles away.
"Where we going?" Sirius asked curiously.
"You need practice spell casting because of your increase in power and we have an entire army nearby that has never suffered a rain of women's underwear covered in chocolate followed by giant ants attacking them," Xander noted.
"I do need to practice my lingerie storm spell," Sirius agreed with a huge smile.
"Look, a shooting star," Ayame said as a speck of light fell from the heavens.
"It's going to impact right here," Shikamaru noted, diving for cover to avoid the explosion, causing everyone else to follow suit as he rarely exerted himself except in an emergency.
The falling star stopped dead, five feet from the ground and spun around, looking like a twenty sided die, carved out of blue glass and filled with light so bright it hurt to look directly at it.
"Messenger of Aphrodite, I am," it 'spoke' implanting the concepts of its words in their minds. "High Priestess with lavender eyes requested miracle."
The various nin came out from behind whatever cover they found or created.
"What is it?" Tsunade asked Hinata, a picture of Hinata lingering in her mind, projected by the icosahedron.
"I … I prayed to the goddess Aphrodite for a way to save…" Hinata blushed heavily and poked her fingers together.
Images taken from Hinata's mind and the associated feelings were projected to everyone there. If Hinata was able to she would have died from embarrassment.
"And how would you save them?" Tsunade asked.
Concepts of bent space and power casts balanced with time factors were broadcast and Kiba whimpered while Shino and Shikamaru both showed interest.
"That amount of area is insufficient," Shino noted and a sequence of equations concerning sustainable resources was shared from his mind.
"So adjusted values would need to be," Shikamaru said before falling silent and sharing the corrected equations with everyone, finding the link to the glowing messenger to be more convenient than talking.
"Insufficient power," the messenger decided.
Sasuke had copied a chakra sharing jutsu from one of the medics and quickly put it to use laying a glowing hand on the messenger and transferring over half his chakra to it.
The equations were broadcast with an additional ten feet of space added in all directions. "Insufficient power," the messenger repeated.
"I can lose a few pounds," Choji joked swallowing one of his families green food pills and finding no jutsu needed as the messenger read his intent and absorbed the newly generated chakra, quickly adjusting the amount and speed as Tsunade's mind joined the link.
One by one they all offered up chakra and joined the link, excepting Naruto and Hinata who'd been a bit preoccupied.
Tsunade tapped Naruto on the shoulder to get his attention, as he and Hinata had been provided a private link by the messenger as it read Hinata's desires and emotions and acted on them. "Give me a shit-ton of chakra," she ordered.
Naruto held out a hand and started feeding it chakra, not paying attention as he and Hinata communicated mind to mind.
The equation rapidly altered as Naruto's chakra poured into it, the amount of space the messenger could store and the length of time increasing rapidly.
Naruto and Hinata remained oblivious, wrapped up in one another.
"I can't believe you invented a spell to cause a storm that would transform everyone's clothes into lingerie," Xander said.
"Believe it!" Sirius said proudly. "It earned me an outstanding on my arithmancy exam, though I was told you'd need at least a dozen wizards to power it."
"Wanna go harass the army on the other side of the city?" Xander asked.
"Are you kidding?" Sirius said with a grin. "I have prank-siege spells that were created just for this situation!"
"Seriously?" Xander asked doubtfully.
"You have no idea how boring arithmancy was for me," Sirius assured him. "I spent a lot of time inventing unusable spells!"
"Where did the village go?" Xander asked as they turned and saw a gaping hole where the ninja village used to be.
"I don't think I put nearly enough power into it to do that," Sirius said.
"Maybe some spells are easier to cast here?" Xander guessed.
Sirius finished casting a spell that would turn every squirrel with a twenty mile radius into a crazed leg humper while increasing their size by a factor of four. "It's possible, either that or our rune work was a lot more efficient than we thought."
"I wonder where it moved the village to," Xander said curiously.
"Probably an island in the south Pacific or its equivalent," Sirius guessed. "The main thrust was somewhere safe and except for the occasional storm the islands are about as safe as it gets."
Xander nodded, neither one of them noticing as the glowing blue icosahedron returned to the ship behind them and zipped inside.
"I say we grab some random forest sections just to check, and because one of them may end up close enough so we at least have a tree to pee on rather than a ten minute ride to the nearest bathroom," Xander said after a moment's thought.
"There's a bathroom on the ship," Sirius pointed out.
"Spitting isn't the only thing I don't do into the wind," Xander said bluntly.
Sirius chuckled. "Yeah, it's little better than an outhouse and, especially when high up, the wind can cause problems."
"OK, let's grab some random areas of forest and see what happens!"
"Let's grab some far away from the armies down below, I don't think we need to accidentally bring any of them on board."
"Agreed. And can we find a small island or two and see how that goes?"
"Island?" Sirius asked.
"I miss the beach," Xander admitted.
Typing by: Bankrupt Samurai!