Chapter 32: Revelations
Tsunade sighed as she dismissed the nurse who had gone to her to report about the stubbornness of a certain patient she had ordered to be placed under special care. It was said that he refused to see any visitors, take any form of medication, answer any questions and had yet to touch his dinner, which was served four hours ago.
Tsunade glanced around her office only to find out she was left alone. She quickly took out a bottle of sake from her secret stash under her table and gulped the entire thing in one go. After letting out a breath that signified refreshment, she pushed herself out of her chair and headed for the door. It looks like a certain genius was in need of a bit more education.
Tsunade made a clicking sound with her tongue as she closed the door of her office. She hated having to take on the role of knocking some sense into people. But being a medic, she was almost always left in that position. She sighed. If only Jiraiya were still here, she could dump the task on him and command him to talk some sense into the kid.
A bitter smile formed on the Godaime's lips. Jiraiya had always been good at dealing with children. He always seemed to have that 'X' factor with kids. Children would always wander towards him, asking him to play with them or tell them stories. And he never said no to them either. He loved kids – something that most people found surprising. After all, being fond of children and being a womanizer at the same time wasn't the usual mix. What he had that kids loved, Tsunade never really understood. Perhaps he had the same intellectual capacity as they did? Or perhaps it was his child-like personality that always had him placed in near-death situations for being such an idiot?
Tsunade laughed to herself. Jiraiya had always and forever will be an A-class idiot. He was an A-class idiot that should have been the rightful Godaime if only he wasn't such a stupid bum about everything.
Tsunade made another clicking sound with her tongue. "Passing on the job to me… Stupid moron."
Tsunade stopped in her tracks when she realized she had reached her destination. Shaking her head to clear her thoughts of the perverted sannin, she began to crack her knuckles and twist her neck. If she didn't get the results she wanted, someone was going to get hurt.
After a deep breath, Tsunade forcefully opened the door and barged into the room. "Nara Shikamaru!"
Lucas was shaking. As for why, he wasn't so sure himself. Was it because he was enraged? Or was it because he was frightened?
Uchiha Madara was standing tall and proud right before his very eyes. Despite being outnumbered, he demonstrated such an air of confidence and indifference that it rattled him even further.
"What do you want?" He demanded. His words were laced with so much hatred.
A laugh was heard in reply.
"What the hell is so funny?" Griselda's eyes were wide and furious as she yelled. Her knuckles were beginning to turn white due to her firm hold on her daggers. Yue and Mifuyu stayed silent but both looked like they were out for blood.
Lucas tightened in hold on the hilt of his sword as he narrowed his eyes. "Answer me."
Another flash of lightning engulfed their surroundings followed immediately by a loud roaring thunder. In that short amount of time, all four were able to see the devilish smirk that was forming on Madara's lips.
"What I want…" Madara paused to chuckle slightly after reiterating Lucas's question with amusement laced in his tone. "Is it not obvious?"
Madara took a few steps forward causing all four to tighten their stances, ready to charge when necessary.
"Take one more step and we won't hesitate to attack." Lucas warned. "I'll ask again." He paused as repositioned his sword so that its tip was pointing right at Madara's throat. "What do you want?"
Madara smirked slightly at the attempted threat. "My daughter." He paused momentarily to savor the reactions his words had created. "I'm here to claim my daughter."
Lucas was shaking once more. But this time he was sure why. He wanted to slit the bastard's throat so bad it was making his entire body ache. "There is nothing…" He began, his voice shaking as well. "Absolutely nothing here…" He paused once more to change his stance into that of an offensive one. "For you to claim!"
In the blink of an eye, Lucas was right in front of Madara, swinging his sword from his right with every intention of slitting his enemy's throat. Without even flinching, Madara raised his left arm successfully blocking the attack with his arm gear.
"That…" Madara began. His eyes were covered by his hair. "Was a big mistake." Lucas watched in surprise as Madara's initial pleasant but dangerous demeanor turned into a serious and threatening one.
Madara forcefully pushed Lucas away and was ready to counterattack when he suddenly sensed another presence to his right. Raising his right hand to block, he turned his attention towards the direction of the assault. Two daggers were the first things he saw before his female attacker came into full view. Madara narrowed his eyes in annoyance. With his right hand, he swiftly unsheathed the sword resting behind his back, ready to delivering a finishing blow.
After fully unsheathing his sword, however, Madara found that he was unable to move his arm any further. Redirecting his attention towards his left arm, he found it to be tightly bound by a whip whose wielder was a few good meters away from him.
Madara prepared to attack both females who had arrogantly tried to detain him when yet another presence alerted him of an assault. Snapping his head up to look above him, he was surprised to see a large wooden staff aimed at his head brimming with infused chakra.
Lucas watched as the staff collided with Madara causing the entire room to collapse. Pieces of wood were flying in every conceivable direction. Smoke and dust were heavily interspersed in the air.
Yue coughed slightly as he clutched his staff and heightened his senses for any possible ambushes. Yue raised his staff in front of him before pulling it outwards creating an air pressure that forced the smoke and dust to dispel. He cautiously scanned the area in search for any human presence. Not soon after, two simultaneous loud crashes were heard followed by coughing.
"Griselda! Mifuyu!" Yue called out as he carefully approached them, still weary of a surprise attack.
"You idiot! Were you trying to get us killed? Some sort of warning would have sufficed!" Griselda angrily scolded as she punched Yue upside the head.
Yue clutched the back of his head in pain. "You survived anyway didn't you! And besides, do you expect me to yell 'This is a strong attack so brace yourselves' before I actually strike?"
Griselda was about to argue further but another loud crash silenced her.
"Lucas!" All three simultaneously yelled in relief.
At the mention of his name, Lucas immediately took his defensive stance and scanned the area for any possible attacks. "Where's Madara?"
"I can't sense him anymore." Mifuyu began. "It's either he's left or…"
"I doubt he's dead." Yue scoffed as he scanned the area nonetheless. "Bad pests are hard to kill."
"Are you alright?" Mifuyu asked worriedly as she inspected Lucas for any wounds.
"I'm fine." He replied as he glanced at the rest of them. Not once did he let his guard down. "Are any of you hurt?"
"No, we're all fine." Griselda replied. "Except for the fact that one of us tried to kill all of us."
"Hey! You're all alive now, right? Who's trying to kill anybody?" Yue annoyingly replied.
"Well isn't this a nice scene?"
All four froze.
"I find it insulting that you're this lenient despite my presence."
All four directed their gaze at a figure standing idly up a tree a good twenty meters away. Without wasting time, all four of them took up their stances once again.
"How?" Lucas managed to blurt out.
"How?" Madara repeated with a chuckle. "How did I get from there to here?" Madara jumped down from the tree and began to walk towards the four, who only tightened their defenses. "Why I've been here the whole time."
Yue narrowed his eyes. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"You lot are not very bright are you?" Madara stated with a bored look on his face.
"What did you-" Griselda began but was cut off. "Did you already forget what you saw the first instance I showed myself to you?" Madara smirked.
Lucas's eyes widened in understanding. "The Sharingan…" He replied silently but vehemently as if cursing it with all his might.
Madara's smirk grew. "Now you're getting somewhere."
"So the one we fought…" Mifuyu began but couldn't bring herself to say the next words. Yue finished it for her. "Was a fake."
Griselda gritted her teeth as she spit out the name of the technique she hated the most. "Genjutsu."
Lucas mentally cursed. How could he have allowed that to happen? He gripped his sword tighter when he heard Madara chuckle in amusement.
"So…" He paused to point at himself. "Am I the real Madara?" He smirked as he glanced at the frustrated faces of his opponents. "Or am I another fake?"
"I came to issue a challenge."
Tenten looked at Sasuke with wide eyes. Out of all the ridiculous things he did and said, this one definitely took the cake. If he were a normal comrade, she would have laughed at his ridiculous attempt at humor. But no. He was Uchiha Sasuke. 'Joking' was not in his vocabulary.
"Have you gone mad?" Tenten replied with mirth evident in her eyes.
Sasuke raised an eyebrow in annoyance. "I don't believe I said anything funny. Nor did I say something that would serve as an instrument to question my sanity."
Now it was Tenten's turn to raise an eyebrow. "You are aware that I am currently confined in the hospital right?" She paused before a look of understanding crossed her face. "Oh! Well, Uchiha, this place? It's called a hospital. And a hospital is where sick and injured people usually stay in so that they could get all better and be able to go back to what they used to do with-"
"Don't. Mock me." Sasuke's eyes were now narrowed in anger. "Think you're funny?"
Tenten folded her arms in front of her chest as she glared at Sasuke. "No. I wasn't trying to be funny. But I admit I was mocking you. Want to know why?" Tenten paused for a while as she tilted her head to the side. "Because I don't know what's going on in that head of yours that actually makes you want to challenge someone, who isn't even able to walk properly, into a fight."
Sasuke scoffed. "I never said I had to be right now."
That got Tenten to shut up.
"I came here to tell you that I want to fight you. Anytime. Anywhere. As long as you assure me that it will happen." Sasuke stated in a low but menacing voice.
Tenten brought her arms down to her sides and clenched her hands into fists. "Why the hell do you keep pestering me to fight you? What's your reason? Your motive?"
Tenten received no answer. The Uchiha prodigy was simply looking at her straight in the eyes with a calculating look. His eyebrows were furrowed slightly and his eyelids refused to blink. Tenten, not wanting to have her question left unanswered, refused to back down from the avenger's gaze.
After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, Tenten began to grow tired.
"Well?" Tenten paused as she swiftly looked Sasuke up and down. "Aren't you going to answer my question?"
Not once shifting his gaze off her, Sasuke narrowed his eyes. "What are you trying to hide?" He paused to study her reaction. Her eyes widened for a fraction of a second but immediately returned to their narrowed state.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
Sasuke crossed his arms in front of his chest. "What are you so afraid of?"
Wanting to annoy the Uchiha prodigy, Tenten imitated his pose. "Again. What the hell are you talking about?"
"Why do you keep avoiding fighting me?" Sasuke asked once more, this time more forceful than the others.
"Why do you keep answering a question with another question?" Tenten replied equally frustrated.
Sasuke closed his eyes for a few seconds to keep his cool. Why did talking to this girl always make him want to go berserk?
"Do you accept?" He said slowly.
Tenten raised an eyebrow in confusion. "What?"
"All I want… Is a yes or a no." Sasuke reiterated. He was losing his patience.
Tenten scoffed in annoyance. "Didn't I make it clear?" She paused for a second to glare at Uchiha prodigy. "No. I won't."
Tenten braised herself for an outburst but received nothing. She narrowed her eyes at the suddenly quiet figure of the Uchiha prodigy. His eyes were concealed by strands of his hair and he remained immobile for what seemed like the longest time.
"Look. If you have nothing more-"
Sasuke snapped his head up to reveal bloody eyes. Tenten began to panic. "What the hell are you-"
Not even given the opportunity to finish her query, Tenten suddenly felt her entire body falling down what seemed like an endless pit of nothingness. She raised her hands in front of her face in defense as a strong gust of wind blew against her small frame. Black. Everything was black. She couldn't see even her own human figure. Where was she? How did she-
Tenten let out a grunt as she landed on solid ground harshly. The seemingly endless fall fell to a stop. Ignoring the aches of her muscles and joints, she forced herself up into a standing position. She glanced around in search for anything, anything at all that would give her eyes a break from all the darkness that engulfed her. But there was nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Tenten bit her lip and cursed. She was careless. Now she was trapped inside Sasuke's Genjutsu – a Sharingan weilder's genjutsu to be exact. She desperately closed her eyes in concentration as she formed a seal with her right hand. "Kai!"
Opening her eyes, she clenched her fists in frustration. She was still greeted by the same dark and gloomy atmosphere. She cursed again as she tried to release the genjutsu once more but to no avail. She knew it was pointless. His Sharingan was way too powerful. Kakashi's Sharingan would fail to even compare despite the fact that the copy ninja was holding back when he tried to place her inside a genjutsu.
Tenten clenched both of her fists. There was only one way to get herself out of this situation. But that would mean-
Tenten screamed as she punched at nothing in particular. She was trapped alright but she would never reveal her secret. Not to anyone and especially not to him. She had no idea how long time had passed in the real world but if he was going to be stubborn about things, then so was she.
Tenten plopped herself down comfortably on what she would consider as the floor. She was going to wait until someone found out about the Uchiha's presence in her room and stop him from proceeding any further. Tenten sighed. She knew that was asking too much. But she would not, in her life, reveal to Sasuke her true abilities. Death would have been a better choice.
But before Tenten could even begin to consider the prospect of dying, her surroundings began to melt. Black drops of goo enveloped her and before she knew it, she was drowning in a large melting pot of black gunk. It would have been tolerable of course, if it only hadn't begun to boil.
Tenten screamed as she struggled against the scalding viscous liquid. She watched in utter shock as her skin began to melt and peel off. She let out a strangled cry. "Stop it…" Bubbles began to form on the surface of her skin before bursting out oozing blood. She fought back the tears but failed miserably. She had to endure. She wouldn't, shouldn't lose to the Uchiha. Never! She clenched her hands but gasped in pain and horror when she saw that they had lost most of their skin and muscles, leaving nothing but bones enveloped in blood and remnants of what used to cover them.
Tenten let out a strangled cry. How dare that bastard! How dare he do this to her! She let out another scream as she felt her face melting off. She raised her bony hands up to cover her face wishing that it would take away the pain only to fail miserably. Her hair began to fall off flowing down her face and shoulders, mixing together with the black goo and her own pooling blood.
"Make it stop!"
Tsunade stood at the end of the bed, taking in the appearance of the Nara genius. His eyes were directed up the ceiling, his body wrapped under the blanket while his hands lay limp on his sides. Not once did he acknowledge her presence nor did he even bother to answer any of her questions.
Tsunade clenched her fists. "So this is how you're going to be?" She paused hoping to get answer but received nothing. "Giving up?" Again there was no answer.
Fed up, Tsunade stomped her way towards Shikamaru and grabbed him by the collar of his hospital clothes. She pulled him out of bed and slammed him onto the wall. "I asked you a question! Shikamaru Nara!"
Tsunade tightened her hold on the Nara genius when he still refused to give her even a slight reaction. "What the hell are you acting all depressed for, huh?"
Suddenly, a nurse barged into the room in shock. "G-Godaime-sama!"
"You may be blind but there's still a chance that we may be able to find a cure!" Tsunade began before being cut off by the nurse. "P-Please Godaime-sama, the patient-"
"Did it even occur to you to think about why someone would do this to you? Why someone would go through all the trouble to incapacitate you? Why you, out of all the shinobi in Konoha, were targeted?" Tsunade argued. She was satisfied when she finally saw something flicker in Shikamaru's eyes. Drawing herself closer, she began to whisper in his ear. The Nara genius's eyes grew big at the Godaime's words.
"I believe some sort of conspiracy is going on. A potentially great danger awaits Konoha… I don't know exactly why you were targeted. But I believe your incapacity serves beneficial to whoever is behind this."
Tsunade drew herself away before dropping the Nara genius down back onto his bed. She smirked. He looked livelier than he did when she had first entered his room. "So while we're working on trying to figure out a way to get your sight back, I suggest you get your act back together." Tsunade gave the Nara prodigy one more look before heading back to the door. The nurse immediately made her way to Shikamaru to check for any additional injuries.
After opening the door, Tsunade paused as if contemplating something. "That's an order." Turning around to looking straight at the Nara genius face, she stated his name firmly. "Nara Shikamaru."
The Nara genius could only direct his head to where he thought the voice had come from and nodded his head. "Understood."
Satisfied with his answer, the Godaime left the room with a small smile gracing her features.
Lucas embedded his sword on the ground leaning on it for support as he fell on one knee. He struggled to catch his breath as he glared at his enemy. He was standing a few good meters away from him but the look of boredom and disinterest was evident in his face.
Lucas cursed. He was much stronger than they had anticipated. He glanced to his right to see Yue standing beside him. His breathing was ragged and he was struggling to keep his body upright and ready for battle. His eyes, filled with hatred, were glued on the enemy and the grip of his right hand on his staff was tighter than ever. His left hand lay limp and immobile on his side bleeding profusely.
"Yue, can you still fight?" Lucas asked as he struggled to get on his feet, eyes darting back to glare death at his enemy.
Yue grunted in annoyance. "What kind of question is that?"
Lucas glanced momentarily to his left and shifted his attention towards the two female members of their clan. Directing his gaze back to the enemy, he took his stance once more. "Will she be alright?"
Mifuyu let out a desperate breath. "It was a pretty deep wound. Most of her vital organs have been hit. I'm doing the best that I can. But I don't think she'll be able to fight any-"
"Shut the fuck up Mimi…" Came Griselda's silent but forceful hoarse voice. "Death is the only thing that will stop me from fighting."
"If you do keep on fighting you really will-!"
"So be it Mi!" Griselda paused to cough out blood. "I'd rather die knowing that I was fighting for everything I believed in rather than to live only to have my pride sullied."
An amused grunt was heard.
"The hell are you laughing at moron?" Griselda struggled to raise her head slightly to glare at the idiot who was stupid enough to find their situation amusing.
Yue simply grunted in reply.
"We'll buy you sometime." He began as he took his stance. "You better be up and kicking by then or else there'd be nothing left for you to beat up." He paused before giving Griselda an arrogant smirk. "You see, I got dibs on his head."
Griselda snorted. "Airhead."
Yue directed his attention back to the Uchiha adversary as he grinned widely. "You better not die on me till then."
Before Griselda could reply, Yue was gone in the blink of an eye charging towards their sworn enemy. She grunted in annoyance. "As if I'd die that easily."
"Lucas-" Griselda began.
"On it." Lucas disappeared in a flash, joining Yue back in the battlefield.
"Is there anyway that you can hurry Mimi?" Griselda began, her eyes not leaving the fight. "They're both pretty beat up. If we don't get back there…"
"Give me five more minutes." Mifuyu stated firmly, momentarily garnering the Earth bender's undivided attention. Determination was shining in her eyes. "We'll be back and ready to aid them in five minutes."
Griselda shifted her attention back to the fight only to see Yue and Lucas thrown back against a tree; their joint attack failing to even scratch the Sharingan master. Griselda clenched her fists in desperation. "I don't think we have five minutes."
Blood met blood.
Sasuke stood frozen, unable to mask his shock. This couldn't be real. This wasn't real at all! He was the sole survivor – the last of his clan! How could someone else possess his clan's pride? How could someone else possess the power of the Uchiha clan?
Finally getting over his shock, Sasuke allowed nothing but pure rage to take over. "Why?" He demanded in a low but menacing voice, his eyes never leaving identical ones that stared back at him. "Why do you have it?"
Tenten clenched her fists. She felt nothing but loathe for the man right before her eyes. "You wanted the truth, didn't you?" She spat out bitterly, anger laced in every word. "Now handle it!"
"Why?" Sasuke demanded again as he began to move towards Tenten. For every step he took, she mirrored as well only she took them backwards. It wasn't long before she found her back against the wall.
"How is it possible…?" Sasuke whispered incredulously before he pounded his right fist on the wall next to the weapons mistress' head. His eyes never left the same bloody ones that stared defiantly at him.
Cornered, Tenten angrily aimed a right hook at the Uchiha prodigy's face. Sasuke caught the assault with ease, establishing a firm hold on Tenten's right wrist. Ignoring the pain of her muscles, she tried to do the same move using her left hand only to have it imprisoned by Sasuke's right hand as well.
Glaring at the Uchiha avenger, Tenten pulled at her wrists. "Let me go."
"Why do you have the Sharingan?" Sasuke asked once more. His voice was calmer than before but the rage and confusion lay bottled beneath.
"I am not obliged to answer your questions."
Sasuke pulled at Tenten's wrists causing her to collide with his chest only to force her back against the wall. Groaning in pain, Tenten glared death at the Uchiha prodigy ready to deliver a counterattack; however, the sound of rushing steps caught both Sharingan wielders' attention.
Not soon after, the door to Tenten's room bolted open. "What's going on in here?"
Tenten snapped her head towards the voice only to be met by Shizune's panting figure. She directed her attention back to where her intruder had once stood only to see nothing but the smooth flowing curtains on her window sill.
"Tenten?" Shizune asked anxiously. "What happened?"
Tenten, realizing how ridiculous she looked leaning fully against the wall, pushed herself off as her hands reflexively went to caress her wrists. "N-Nothing… I was just having a bad dream."
Eying the weapons mistress up and down, Shizune wasn't sold. "Was someone here with you?"
Trying to look as innocent as possible, Tenten shook her head. "No. I was alone." Heading for her bed, she thought of a way to sell her lie. "I remembered something… From the past…" She paused as she sat on her bed, her back to the Godaime's assistant. "It was… A very bad memory…"
Shizune eyed the slightly shaken girl anxiously as she hugged her knees to her chest. "It's the type you'd wish you could erase from your memory… Just forget it. Forever."
Making her way towards the weapons mistress, she sat beside her and gave her a comforting pat on the back. "Are you alright?"
Tenten nodded as she rested her forehead on her knees, successfully hiding her face from Shizune's view. She wasn't entirely lying. What just happened was definitely something she wished she could erase from her memory forever. "I will be. Just as long as I don't fall asleep again…"
Shizune shook her head. "You need to rest." Shizune stood up and began to guide Tenten back to bed.
"I'll be fine." Tenten pushed on. "I've had enough rest." Looking elsewhere she began to wonder. How ever would she tell her senseis?
Shizune shook her head once more. "You still look horrible. You need more."
Tenten's inner self fell into depression. Did she really look that horrible?
Sensing the sudden change of mood, Shizune laughed nervously. "I-I'm not saying you look bad! I'm just saying you need to rest more if you want the bags under your eyes to disappear completely."
Taking any opportunity to change the topic, Tenten brought her hands to her eyes. "I-I have eye bags?"
Shizune chuckled at the young girl's reaction. "Yes. Now you need to rest some more." She paused to fully tuck the weapons mistress into bed. "After all you won't be able to get as much rest after you get out of the hospital."
Tenten smiled a bit. "I'm sure I can find ways."
Shizune grinned as she made her way towards the door. "I don't think so…" She paused as she opened it. "You see…" She turned around to give Tenten one more look. "Jounins don't get that much free time." With that, she shut the door.
Tenten lay back down in bed contemplating what Shizune had just told her. "Jounins don't get that much-"
Shizune waited outside the door and counted.
"I'm promoted to Jounin?"
Shizune grinned. "Eight seconds. She's pretty slow."
Making her way back to the Godaime's office, her demeanor changed into a serious one. She could have sworn she felt Uchiha Sasuke's chakra inside Tenten's room. But it was so faint she couldn't tell if it was real or if she had imagined it. And if he really was there, what could he have possibly wanted with Tenten? Or better yet, why would she lie to her about his visit?
She narrowed her eyes as she calculated possibilities. Perhaps the Godaime would want to know about this.
Sasuke jumped from tree to tree with no real destination in mind. He was confused, angry, frustrated but most of all, he felt betrayed. What he believed in all his life was a lie. There was another survivor of the Uchiha massacre. But how could that have been possible? How could he not have known?
He stopped running for a moment to punch a hole through an innocent tree. Why the hell did he not know a thing about this? What else was he unaware of?
Not knowing what to do anymore, Sasuke pulled out his katana and began an all out slaughter of Mother Nature. Trees fell down one after the other, not one standing in his way had any luck of being spared. Hours passed and not once did the Uchiha avenger cease his assault.
Finally, after clearing a path for himself, Sasuke found himself facing a waterfall. The light of the moon made it look ethereal, untainted by humanity. Ignoring his body's cry for oxygen, he made his way towards it. He felt the water travel up from his feet to his ankles as he moved further before falling on his knees.
Staring as his reflection, he cursed. He looked the same way he looked that night – desperate, lost. It was the night he would have given anything to forget but also; he never wanted to forget a single moment of it as well. It was what kept him going all this time. It was the only thing he had left - the memory of the night his clan was erased from the face of the Earth.
Sasuke fell forward causing the water to displace violently. He didn't know what to believe in anymore.
Lucas breathed heavily as he blocked another one of Madara's attacks. It was getting harder and harder to fair against him using only one hand. Glancing momentarily at the figure he held securely on his left shoulder, he made a move to distance himself from his adversary.
Ceasing his assault, Madara glanced at all four of his opponents. "Pathetic."
Griselda clenched her fists and charged to attack but was silenced by Lucas. "Don't let him get to you!" Huffing, Griselda stayed put beside the fire bender. "Then what the hell do you suppose we do then?"
"Calm down Zelda…" Yue coughed as he struggled to get on his feet.
"Being lectured by a half dead idiot doesn't really seem that convincing…"
Glaring at the female Earth bender, Yue scoffed. "Who was the first one among us who was actually half dead?"
Before Griselda could yell a reply, Lucas silenced both with the wave of his sword. One threatening look was all it took to silence both of them.
"I know what you're all capable of." Madara began, successfully garnering the attention of his opponents. "I know all about your clan and their abilities." He paused to savor the shock faces of his adversaries. "Why else would I have chosen that woman to bear my heir?"
Lucas tightened his hold on his sword. "Do NOT talk of Nadeshiko-sama that way."
Madara chuckled a bit. "So that was her name."
Gently placing Mifuyu down on the ground, Lucas slowly brought his sword up before bringing it down forcefully causing it to light up in flames.
"Lucas…" Griselda whispered anxiously as she glanced at the color of his flames – blue.
Lucas brought his sword down to touch the ground causing a trail of blue flames to form creating a circle around the entire battlegrounds.
"Lucas." Yue reprimanded with desperation evident in his voice as he eyed the growing blue flames. "Calm down."
Raising an eyebrow, Madara eyed the red-haired man with interest. "I seem to have struck a nerve." Then he smirked. "Let me guess, you were in love with her?"
In a flash, Lucas appeared in front of Madara swinging his sword with unbelievable speed, every slash intended to brutally massacre anything in its way.
"He's lost it! What do we-" Yue paused as he looked around for Griselda. "Zelda?"
Glancing momentarily at Mifuyu's still unconscious body, he frantically looked around for the female Earth bender once more. "Griselda!"
Griselda opened her eyes only to feel that she was flying in the air. Still not able to grasp the situation, she landed hard face first on a tree. "Oww! What the hell-"
Doing as the voice commanded her, she crouched down only to find that a large Fumma Shuriken was now embedded on where her head once laid. Before she could even eye her surroundings, another order came her way. "Close your eyes! Don't even think of looking anywhere!"
Doing as she was told, Griselda scrunched her eyebrows in confusion. "Mimi?"
"Now find something to tie over your eyes! You can't afford to open them! Are you listening to me Griselda?"
Tearing a portion of her clothes, Griselda nodded. "I am! I am!" After successfully blindfolding herself, she felt Mifuyu's presence beside her. "We're against the real Madara." She began. Her breathing was ragged and her voice was strained.
"Are you alright?" Griselda asked in worry only to be ignored.
"Lucas and Yue are still trapped under his Genjutsu. I've been trying release all three of you from it but he's just too strong. My hands are full just fighting him and trying to protect all three of you."
Nodding in understanding, Griselda drew her daggers out. "How long have you been here fighting him?"
"From the very moment we realized it was a genjutsu."
If only she wasn't blind folded, Griselda was sure her eyes would have popped out of their sockets. "From the- But you were there with us the whole time!"
Mifuyu made a clicking sound with her tongue. "Genjutsu, remember?"
Before Griselda could answer, a large ball of fire was shot in their direction. Jumping out of the way, the two female benders were separated.
"I'll keep him busy. You try and get those two lazy assess back here." Griselda ordered as she escaped another ball of flame.
"Will you be alright?" Mifuyu asked anxiously.
Griselda snorted, slightly insulted. "Have you forgotten what my element is? Blind fighting is what I'm all about!"
Mifuyu mouthed an 'Oh' in understanding. "Right!" She replied before heading towards the ice barrier she had formed to protect Yue and Lucas.
Madara stared at the blindfolded Earth bender in indifference. "What do you think you will achieve by fighting me alone?"
Grinning like an idiot, Griselda replied with arrogance. "Your head." Raising her right leg up in the air, Griselda let out a forceful cry before bringing it down to stomp on the ground. Simultaneously, hundreds of fist-sized rocks rose into the air.
Unperturbed, Madara watched as the rocks slowly formed into sharp needles. Without warning, Griselda sent them flying towards the Sharingan wielder.
Griselda narrowed her eyes as she felt all her needles pierce through her enemy. He couldn't have been that weak.
As if answering her doubts, Griselda felt hundreds of fire bolts raining down from the sky. Braising herself for the attack, Griselda furrowed her eyebrows in confusion as every single one missed her. How could that have been- She gasped in shock at the realization of Madara's real target.
Hearing her name, Mifuyu immediately turned around as she forcefully bended water out of trees within her reach. Pulling the massive water supply above her, she blew onto it successfully turning it into a thick wall of ice. She grimaced as the force of the fire bolts began to tear through it.
Unsatisfied, Madara immediately began to form hand seals. If fire wouldn't do the trick, he had tons more up his sleeve.
Mifuyu's eyes widened in shock as her ice defense was broken into pieces. Particles of ice began to fall onto her as she watched Madara form hand seals once more.
"This time, I won't miss-"
Madara's eyes widened in surprise as four large boulders from different angles charged right at him. Narrowing his eyes in annoyance, he sped up to avoid them and headed right towards the female water bender. Drawing out his katana, he immediately made a move to finish off his opponent only to have the ground below him rise up and swallow him whole.
Mifuyu stood there in shock until a voice snapped her out of her reverie.
"Now Mimi! Get Lucas and Yue now!"
Blinking, Mifuyu nodded and rushed towards the two male benders she left under the protection of her ice barrier.
Feeling the ground shake, Griselda narrowed her eyes in annoyance. He was one tough bitch alright. Raising her arms in front of her face in an X formation, she closed her eyes and concentrated. Pieces of metals from the ground slowly began to accumulate in her arms and legs. After forming a suitable armor, Griselda knocked her fists together before charging towards the source of the vibration.
Not soon after, Madara broke free from the ground, his mask of indifference changed into a slightly annoyed one. Sensing an assault, Madara immediately turned around only to see a large metal hand ready to bust his face open. Raising his katana in time, Madara narrowed his eyes in annoyance. He didn't expect the attack to be that heavy. Sensing his feet slide slowly against the ground, he eyed his blindfolded adversary with contempt.
Wanting to draw Madara further away from Mifuyu and her comrades, Griselda began to release a barrage of punches and kicks at a new found speed and power. Blocking every attack with his katana, Madara's annoyance grew as he was pushed further and further away by the force of the Earth bender's attacks.
All of a sudden, a loud explosion was heard from where Mifuyu's ice barrier once stood. Madara narrowed his eyes. They were free.
Griselda, distracted for a second, turned her head towards the explosion and grinned. Now the real fight was going to begin. Taking the distraction to his advantage, Madara swiftly crept up behind the unknowing Earth bender and aimed for her exposed back.
Falling onto the ground, Madara watched coldly as blood began to pool around the seemingly unconscious fighter. Turning his attention back to his other opponents, he watched as all three blindfolded fighters took their stances.
Lucas waved his sword to the side drowning in flames. Mifuyu drew her whip out and circled it up in the air before threateningly snapping it on the ground and taking up her stance. Yue spun his staff around his body as he prepared for an assault. Concentrating, he pointed his staff right at Madara releasing a strong gust of wind.
Caught off guard by the pressure, Madara reflexively closed his eyes – a grave mistake. Opening his eyes, he was surprised to see the back of the air bender standing a few feet in front of him, shooting the water bender up in the air with his hands. About to take the chance for a finishing blow, Madara's eyes grew big as he felt an assault coming directly below him.
Looking down, he felt a large iron fist collide with his jaw. "How could it have been-"
Turning his eyes towards where a limp and bloody body once lay, he was surprised to see it slowly breaking up and turning into soil.
Shot up the air, Madara winced as he prepared to counter attack only to find out all his limbs to be immobile. Glancing down on his body, he was shocked to see himself covered in ice. In the corner of his eye, he saw the female water bender smirk in satisfaction as she slowly descended to the ground.
Before he could break free, Madara sensed yet another assault coming at him from above. Directing his gaze up in the air, he saw a mini tornado coming right at him. Before he could blink, he saw the air bender's staff collide with his abdomen, breaking the ice that once imprisoned him, sending him spiraling down to the ground.
Lucas, not once glancing at the joint assault on Madara, disappeared from where he stood, only to reappear directly under the falling figure. With his gaze still straight ahead, he drew his sword up in the air, savoring the feel of it colliding with flesh.
Mifuyu, Yue and Griselda immediately surrounded Lucas, all the while eying the limp body hanging on his sword. Not once letting their guard down, they watched as Lucas brought his sword down, before roughly pulling it out of the seemingly lifeless body faced down on the ground.
Using his foot, Lucas forced the body to face them. "Any last-" He froze, unable to speak or even move.
Yue, Griselda and Mifuyu looked in disbelief at the coughing figure lying on the ground nearing death. They could not believe their eyes.
The figure smirked smugly. "Resistance is futile. Uchiha-sama always gets what he wants." With those last words, all four benders looked in shock as the unknown dying man set himself up to self destruct.
Fleeing as far as they could, a loud explosion erupted engulfing everything in its way in flames.
Getting the fire in control, Lucas immediately made his way back to where the man once lay only to find nothing but cinders left as a reminder. Clenching his fists in anger, he cursed out loud.
Yue fell on his knees and punched the ground below him with all his might. He was frustrated. "Damn it!"
Mifuyu fell on the ground and remained silent, eyes not leaving the ashes that lay mocking them on the ground. She couldn't believe it.
"All this while…" Griselda began as she gazed at the cinders wide-eyed. "We were fighting some idiot… Who wasn't even Madara?"
Lucas turned his back on the ashes, not wanting to see anymore.
"What the hell is this supposed to mean!" Yue yelled as he clenched his fists on the ground.
"We were stupid to think this was the end…" Mifuyu whispered on the brink of tears. She glanced at her balled fists on her lap. They were against someone who wasn't even Madara yet they were this beat up?
Lucas sheathed his sword. Bottling his anger up, he began to walk away. This was only the beginning.
Eyes opened to reveal blood.
Smirking in satisfaction, Madara stood up from the cliff he'd been meditating on. He was defeated. But it didn't matter.
"I underestimated them." He paused as he replayed the battle in his head. "30 percent wasn't enough."
He jumped down from the cliff where he once stood and landed on a prairie. Adoring the rising sun, he smiled to himself. Things were finally going to get interesting.
A figure stood on top of the Hokage Mountain, eyeing Konoha closely like a hawk. He was wearing a black mask that made him look like a cat and his outfit was that of a trained assassin. His hair was flowing with the wind but was reprimanded by a small black tie near its end. Glancing to his right, he watched as a figure similar to him landed a few feet behind where he stood.
Getting down on one knee to pay his respects, the newly arrived figure began to speak.
"Captain…" He began.
Without turning around, the figure referred to as 'captain' nodded his head in acknowledgment. "Report."
"Yes, sir." The figure paused to bow his head. "Uchiha Sasuke was spotted sometime around midnight at the Konoha Hospital. He entered a room I've verified as room 301 through the window. The inhabitant of the room was-"
"I'm aware who the inhabitant is." The captain stated with a hit of annoyance evident in his voice. "What was his business there?"
Nodding in understanding and slight surprise, the figure continued his report apologetically. "I-I was unable to hear the conversation nor was I able to see what was occurring in the room. A step further would have caused the Uchiha to detect me, sir."
Letting out a breath of impatience, the captain raised his hand. "Leave."
With one last bow, the figure disappeared without a trace.
Clenching his fists, the captain narrowed his eyes in annoyance. Raising a hand up to his mask, he slowly pulled it off to reveal piercing white eyes. "What the hell is that Uchiha after?"
MERRY CHRISTMAS! This is my Christmas gift to all you guys! I'm so sorry it's been more than a year since I last updated! I apologize, really. I've just been very busy! But for you guys I wrote this almost the entire Christmas day because I really wanted to give this chapter as a gift!
Thanks so much for supporting my stories! I will update as soon as I can!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!