Puppet's Treasure

Chapter 7

Sakura stirred, before sitting up. She ruffled her hair. "Where am I?" she asked, looking around, seeing nothing but skulls and dark skies. She stood up and yelped in surprise, finding that she was standing on a platform make of bones, on top of a mountain of skulls. She looked around for the cloaked couple- or Ryou. The platform wobbled and rocked under her feet, before it suddenly gave away, and plunged down the skulls. She screamed, before she felt lifted, and set on another flat platform- the roof of a building. Ryou looked at her.

"Are you alright, Sakura? You're not hurt, are you?" He asked, worry written all over his face.

"I'm fine. Where are we?" She asked, and he nodded, as she shivered form the cold. He took off his cloak, and wrapped it around her. "Thank you." He nodded.

"We are in another world, Sakura. This is, I believe, the Death Lands. I'm not sure who rules this planet." Ryou told her, as he zipped up the coat he was wearing under the cloak. "We were separated by the portal, which was odd, but, we'll have to attempt to find the others, before we can actually make it towards the Castle. It's the safest course of action for the time being, I apologize." He said, and she blinked.

"Why are you apologizing?"

"Because having to look for the other two members of my team, will consume time, and then, it will take longer for you to get back to your original world." He told her. "Please, don't become separated from me. Even I don't know what is here, but until we regroup, it's dangerous." Sakura nodded, and Ryou looked over the edge of the building. "Hm…it's not that far down- I could most likely glide." She offered his hand to her, and she accepted it, and he picked her up in his arms. "Come, let's go." He smiled, a pair of wings, sprouting from his back, before he jumped over the edge of the building, and landed softly on the ground, setting her down, the wings vanishing. "Ah- it's almost nightfall." Ryou observed, as the sky turned a darker color. He looked around and found a small, abandoned inn.

"Could we possibly stay there for the night?" Sakura asked, and Ryou nodded, not minding that she clutched his hand with hers. They went to the inn, and it seemed safe. Ryou went behind the counter, snatching a random pair of keys, before they went up the stairs to the room that the key's matched. Ryou unlocked the door, to a room with a single window. Sakura cling to Ryou's arm, hearing skittering, and suddenly, a white orb of flame, appeared, before several more, and the retreating shadows revealed a large, centipede-like creature. Sakura stared at it in horror, but, one of the balls of white flame, took the form of a large dog, and attacked it, biting its neck and snapping down hard, before there was the sound of bones snapping, and the centipede fell limp. Ryou stepped aside, and the dog passed them, dragging its latest kill. Sakura went to the window, and saw the dog toss the dead insect into the filthy dust-cluttered streets, before there was a howl, as it vanished.

"This bed is in shreds-" Ryou said, Sakura turning around, Ryou standing next to the battered remains of what was once a luscious, queen-sized bed. "The Moths have gotten to these sheets and eaten them away. The room is slightly dust, but aside from the bed, everything is fine for staying the night." Suddenly, two orbs entered the bed, and it began to repair itself, before it was as good as new- with better sheets. "Is this acceptable, Sakura?" He asked, as the orbs flew around the room, and lit lamps, made a couch, and even fixed the bathroom. She went over to the bed and sat down on it, sinking in.

"Its fine." She told him, and he nodded.

"Alright. We'll have to go to sleep as soon as possible, just in case Sasori comes. Can't gave him knowing we're here-" Ryou said, the orbs floating through the windows, and making a clone of him and her, before they walked in the streets, away from the inn, and into the distance. "They make foot prints that Sasori will most likely follow." Ryou explained. "Have a good night, Sakura."

"Wait- you're not sleeping in the bed?" Sakura asked, and he sat on the couch, shaking his head in a 'no' fashion.

"No. I wouldn't dare sleep in the same bed as you." Ryou told her honestly. "I'm not like Sasori. I will only share your time when necessary, or when asked to."

"Then please share the bed with me!" Sakura proclaimed, making him blush. "I don't want to be alone if Sasori comes." Ryou blinked, but smiled happily.

"It would be an honor to sleep in the same bed as you, Sakura." Ryou said, getting up, and going over to the bed. She scooted over, and gave him room to lie down next to her. "Sweet Dreams, Sakura-Chan." He smiled, and she just stared at him blankly, as he closed his eyes and slept. She snuggled up to him, waiting for him to wrap his arms around her. But Ryou did not respond.

Sasori did. He's wrap her arms around her, whisper things in her ears, touch her. Ryou did none of these things. Then again Sasori yelled, and Ryou never once, had lost his temper, even since she had met him, in Sasori's world, where he had been a priest. Sakura gripped his shirt, and buried her face into the material.

~Next Day~

Sakura awoke to the sound of footsteps, looking up, to see two cloaked beings. "Ah, Sakura-Chan, you're up!" One spoke, pulling down their hood. The purple-haired companion of Ryou! She smiled. "Ah, so happy we found you!" She murmured. "We got lost, but then we found this place, and decided to try it out- awe! Look at poor Ryou." Sakura did indeed, and he was completely passed out, deep in sleep. "He must have been up all night, making sure Sasori didn't come. What a nice boy." Sakura looked at Ryou.

"I thought- he fell asleep." She admitted, and the woman shook her head.

"Did he do anything before the two of you went to bed?" Sakura thought about it.

"He made a clone of me and him, going another way, to fool Sasori." The woman smiled.

"It takes a lot of concentration to make them go away, and sleep." Ryou stirred, and the other cloaked being, looked at him, not saying anything. "I believe- this is the first time I've seen him sleep so peacefully." Sakura blushed faintly.

"Um- what is this place, exactly?" Sakura asked, and the other cloaked person perked up.

"Ah, we are actually, in another world called the 'Death Lands'. Ironically enough, this place is ruled by none other than Madara Uchiha." They informed her. "Here, we are to Collect the 'King's Earring', an emblem that will bring us closer to making the Crystal Heart."

"So- we have to ask Madara-San for his earring?" Sakura asked, but they shook their head. "Not all items needed be worn, but can be. Sometimes, they are viewed as 'hunks of junk' or vastly treasured." They told her. "It's a straight path to Madara's Castle, but, we must watch out for his Court, which is consisted of his most favorite Generals, who probably won't let you in. Then again, women are very scarce in this world, so, they will probably be more than happy to let you in." Sakura nodded, turning to Ryou, shaking him lightly.

"Um- Ryou- we have to go, wake up." Ryou stirred, opening his eyes, and smiled at her.

"I think- that's the first time you've actually used my name." He smiled happily. "I'm so glad."

"Ryou, this is no time! We have to convince Madara to hand over the King's Earring!" Ryou looked at the two cloak-wearing people.

"Ah, it shouldn't be too hard for you, eh? you know him- Mother." The purple-haired one flinched, and lowered her head.

"That's not fair, Ryou-Kun!" She pouted. "Its abusing my friendship with Madara-San! It's unfair!" She turned to the other cloaked person. "Make him change his mind." Instead, the cloaked person chuckled.

"Oh, he's my kid alright." They commented, and she looked at him with puppy eyes. "Ah- uh- Ryou, you shouldn't let your mom use her sexy buddy relations with Madara, to help us get the King's Earring!" They said, looking at her. "Yes, I think it went quite well-"

"Even better! You can easily seduce him, and then get it for us!" His mom pouted and looked away. "No, I will NOT!"

~Madara's Castle~

"Your Highness, you have visitors." Madara rolled his eyes, as a group came into his Throne Room, and he instantly perked up.

"Well, well, well, it's been a while, Ry-Chan!" Ryou's mother nodded curtsying. "Going formal just because I rule this place? Awe, you shouldn't have!" Madara leaned forward in his throne. "Now, what could I do for you, Ry-Chan?" She batted her eyelashes at him seductively.

"I just wanted to know if I could borrowthe King's Earring from you, Mada-Kun." She purred, and he leaned back, smirking.

"Oh? I'm sure you're aware that you'll have to work for it." Madara chuckled, and she ascended the stairs to his throne, before plopping down in his lap, and hugging his neck.

"Oh, I'm prepared to work for it. As long as my family gets lodging and I get that Earring." She said devilishly, and Madara frowned.

"I'd give them lodging, but, out of all my rooms, they have all been occupied by a friend of mine named 'Sasori'."

The group tensed, as Sasori appeared from around a corner, and Sakura hid behind Ryou. Madara was silent, as Sasori smiled, waving, "Hello!" Ryou's mother glared at Madara, who frowned. "Don't blame him; it's just a favor for a favor." Madara lowered his head. "All I wanted was all his extra rooms- and my Sakura." Sasori said, looking at Ryou, who glared right back, and shifted his footing, so that he was covering Sakura even more. Sasori raised his hand slightly, all the metal in the room, melted and regrouped above the small group, and took the form of daggers.

"RYOU!" His mother yelled, attempting to withdraw from Madara, but she couldn't move, Sasori looking at her, as she looked at Madara in horror.

"Ah- that's right. I promised him he could have you in exchange." Sasori grinned, the other cloaked person, jolted, as Madara stood up, his guards surrounding him as he fled the scene, Ryou gritting his teeth, as his mother was kidnapped. "Well, I'll kill you both in one shot, and I'll take Sakura back with me." Sasori said, stoic, before he looked at them. "Good bye- Ryou." He brought his hand down, and all the daggers rained down on them at the same time, with amazing agility, slamming into the ground as well, causing a smoke cloud. When the smoke cleared, Sasori blinked, Ryou still there, a pair of large wings, sheltering them all, all the daggers that would have hit them, penetrating the thin flesh of the bat wings. Sakura was under his left wing, and the other cloaked person, had been pushed to the ground, under his right wing. Ryou got to his feet with great difficulty, and flapped the wings, the metal daggers, were absorbed by his wings, and they glistened in the light. "W-What?!"

"You don't get it, Sasori. Sakura could leave me at any moment, for you. But when I asked her, she choose me." Ryou looked at him, his eyes now vibrant violet. "I will- murder you- if you ever touch her again, in such a way that you did! You don't deserve a girl like her, Sasori." Ryou told him honestly, the ground cracking and splitting. The Cloaked person, grabbed hold of Sakura, and jumped back, as Ryou was surrounded with a dark and eerie black chakra. He got down on his hands and knees, his clothes ripping, and a loud screech filled the air, before Sasori was thrown against a wall. The Cloaked person, put Sakura on their back, and jumped between Ryou and Sasori, and down the hall Madara had ran down.

"W-Wait! Ryou-!" Sakura stammered, and they interrupted, "He'll be fine. Just a little tired." Sakura looked at the cloaked person, but, looked back, and watched, as Sasori made a move to follow them, but Ryou appeared, slamming Sasori into a wall, holding him by the neck, before tossing him into the ground, and bashing his head into the marble. Sakura winced. Was that REALLY Ryou? She watched as Ryou picked Sasori up again, Sakura jabbing him through the stomach with the poison-tipped cord, Ryou looking down, before looking back at Sasori."Graaaghr!"Ryou roared, before grabbing the cord, and ripping it out of Sasori's body and his own, snarling like some sort of angered monster, before he tied Sasori up with his own cord. The cloaked person turned, and the last Sakura saw, was Ryou getting punched in the face. They suddenly came to a room were Ryou's mother was lying on the ground, and Madara was in the corner, passed out, half the room destroyed. Sakura was set down, the cloaked person going over to Ryou's mom, who struggled and sat up a little, holding something.

"I got it...King's...rring-" She collapsed, the Sakura went over to her as well. The Cloaked Person picked her up, and she coughed up a little blood.

"She over-worked herself again. Stupid woman." They muttered. "Anyways, Ryou should be about done with immobilizing Sasori, and we should take a quick leave-"

"W-What about him?!" Sakura asked, pointing to Madara.

"Don't worry about him, he's just unconscious. As a King or Queen, its decided by power here, and she knocked him out. He'll be out for a long enough period of time, for us to safely make our escape with only the rare obstacle of Sasori." They explained, and they both ran back to the throne room, Ryou standing there, Sasori not in sight. "Ryou?!" Ryou looked back.

"He escaped just now..." Ryou muttered, and Sakura grabbed his hand, making him look at her.

"Um- w-we don't have time, let's just go, because your mom got the thing!" He blinked, but nodded, picking her up a black hole appearing in the ground and the four of them hopped in, before vanishing.