Author's Note: I can only direct you to my profile for the Sayumayu Reference Site, if you have not checked it out already. Also, I do not own Naruto.
- ナルト- 幻脅威宴
Chapter Thirteen: Golden Lilies, Silver Lilies (Part One)
Tenten could not sleep last night. That explained why her bloodshot eyes were fixated on the ceiling above her bed. By her side, a certain nine-tailed Kitsune…snored.
Yes, those are snores.
Why could not Tenten sleep? That, of course, is Sayuri's fault, too. Her infodump (mostly involuntary) had made Tenten think. A lot.
That boy, Naruto, is the Yondaime's son, and he has the Kyuubi sealed within his body. Kyuubi is a silly little foxgirl with a ridiculous catchword. The Kyuubi from the future has come to kill somebody and to contact the present Kyuubi.
She wondered who else might know this information, or even part of it. From Sayuri's words she could infer the boy, Naruto, probably knew all this. If this was true, then the fact he was not insane yet was worthy of nothing but admiration. Also, he was doing a pretty damn good job at keeping things hidden.
She also thought about the weird explosion that blasted parts of the Hokage Mountain the previous day. She remembered that more than a few people were quick to blame Naruto for apparently no reason. Did they know about Kyuubi?
Of course, she doubted anybody in Konoha (besides Naruto) knew the current Kyuubi, the Kyuubi that attacked Konoha, was in fact a loli. Not even the Third.
Tenten felt sorry for the Fourth for some reason.
Even since that horrible, fateful night, Konoha had lived with the memory of the terrible monster; the merciless force of nature that could obliterate entire swaths of land with a swipe of any of its gargantuan tails.
In the darkness of her bedroom, while looking at the sleeping Sayuri, Tenten could only wonder: how the hell did THAT happen?
She considered telling someone, anyone. The question remained: what could they do?
"Hokage-sama, I have the Kyuubi from the future sleeping on my bed right now."
Tenten almost groaned at that thought. That sounded plain stupid.
On the other side, she had realized, maybe she did not need to mention the future Sayuri at all. Maybe she could somehow direct the Third's attention to Naruto; make him realize that Naruto had a friendship of sorts with the nine-tails.
If the truth of Naruto's relationship with Sayuri was revealed, that would certainly force Sayuri to reveal her full intentions. Both the present and the future one.
All plans died a horrible, horrible death when she opened the window of her bedroom with every intention to dash non-stop to the Hokage's residence.
She would never forget the…things she saw through that window.
Sayuri had trapped her, and her entire house, in the most disturbing jutsu ever conceived. Every single time she opened her window, it revealed something different.
The first time she saw the loveliest, most clichéd flower field, with a line of sheep jumping over a fence.
Every sheep that did so suddenly caught flame for no apparent reason.
The second time she came face to face with a person she had never seen before. The bespectacled, loser-faced young man seemed as surprised as her, at least until this long-haired brunette popped out of nowhere to deck him a terrifying flying kick.
Then the girl spontaneously combusted.
She closed the window after that.
Then there was the world where water was replaced by napalm, the world where everyone was constantly undergoing combustion, the world where the soil was composed of burning coals and the world where anybody who said "ni" spontaneously combusted.
Tenten was starting to see a pattern to these visions…but then came the tentacles.
The last time she opened the window (she wasn't sure why she kept opening the damn thing; anyway), she saw nothing but light and tentacles. Dark, slimy, abominable bulges of amorphous, protoplasmic matter as far as her eyes could see. Under a sky where stars were few and dim, Tenten felt as if she had reached the end of the universe, only to find this…slime entity. Because there was no doubt in her mind, that this sea of tentacles surrounded by globes of pluricolored light was but a single being, a creature of pure entropy, a being of alien intellect, a…thing so far beyond her understanding that any attempt at unveiling, or even worse, understanding its nature, would certainly lead to a fate far worse than death.
And then Sayuri, suddenly awake, popped up behind her and said "hey!"
Tenten could swear the endless creature writhed; its tentacles making a horrible, squelching sound that somehow seemed to say "yo."
And then the Kitsune and the entity beyond time, space, mathematics and abstraction began to drink tea and chat.
Don't ask how, they just did.
Tenten simply closed the window, undressed once more and climbed on the bed. Strangely enough, she found Sayuri soundly sleeping on the bed next to her. Not even bothering to look at the Sayuri outside the window, she curled into a fetal position and shuddered the night away
It was not strange, then, that she was filled with murderous intent (and a few other things, but mostly murderous intent) when the lovely nine-tails calmly woke up and yawned cutely, welcoming the new day with a smile.
"Hmmm…munya…mornin', onii-chan, Ma…hmm?" She blinked a few times. "Mugyuu? Whe-where…ah!" Finally, her radiant face met Tenten's not quite so radiant. "Runrun-chan…good morn-IGHCK!"
Like a vicegrip, the kunoichi's hands clasped around Sayuri's neck.
"Good morning my ASS! I couldn't sleep at all!" Tenten complained quite loudly as she wringed Sayuri for all her worth. "What the hell was that? It's going to be in my nightmares for the next ten years! AND MY NAME IS TENTEN! TEN! TEN!"
By the end of the entire ordeal, Tenten was on all fours on top of Sayuri, whose cascading hair draped over the bed like an additional sheet of golden thread. The nine-tails looked up at the human's raging eyes, not visibly worried about the sudden outburst.
On a side note, Tenten's head was on fire.
"Why did you do this?" Somehow Tenten could still keep her eyes open while cloaked in flames. Sayuri shrugged.
"I thought it might cool you down."
Tenten…Tenten slowly shook her head. "There…there are so many ways I could respond to that, it's not even funny. Just make it stop."
So Sayuri did.
"What was that?" Tenten repeated, this time a lot calmer.
"What was what?"
"The window thing!" The human girl's temper flared for a moment.
"Ah!" Sayuri smiled. She actually looked proud. "That was my jutsu!"
"Hmm! Jutsu! Nine-Tails Illusion: Evanescent Shrine Realm!" Sayuri explained, and then paused, also pouting. "Well, it's called an illusion, but it's more of a space-time jutsu…you see, it takes an area and creates a mini-realm parallel to this area, based on my dreams! It's…it's like…like…umm…mugyuu…I dunno how to explain it to humans…"
"That…" Tenten was not sure she wanted an explanation anyway. "…that doesn't matter. That means…what I saw…those were…those were your dreams?"
"Um!" Sayuri nodded. "Well, not just the ones from last night; I remember every dream I've ever had, you see."
"Even then one with the tentacles?"
Sayuri's eyes widened. "Ah! You met Sothoth-san!"
Tenten stared down at the Kyuubi. She stared for a long time. Sayuri, once she realized the girl was not going to say anything, continued.
"Yeah, Sothoth-san. He's all squiggly and yucky, and most of the time he's in a bad mood so he tries to kill me, but that's okay, I always manage to get away. Inari-sama and the other gods say he's a crazy figment of my imagination, but I know they know. They just don't want to admit it. Probably because they don't want to think about the consequences." Sayuri paused yet again. "Thinking about it, I really shouldn't be telling you this. Can I erase your memory?"
"How about no?"
"Mugyuu…not even if this knowledge may eventually lead you to a horrible fate as your realize that our very existence and experiences are but an illusion; a fragile bubble roaming pointlessly within a heartless, mechanical, uncaring and indifferent universe far beyond our control or even comprehension?"
"Mugyuu…you aren't even listening to me!"
"I am almost completely sure I will go irrevocably insane if I actually pay attention to you."
"Mugyuu…I'm not an Old One…"
"Will you stop it with the 'mugyuu' already?"
Sayuri did stop, allowing Tenten to move to her next question.
"Why did you do that, anyway? That…" A shudder. "…jutsu?"
"Well, I obviously couldn't let Kankan-chan warn her ninja friends while I was asleep, could I?"
Tenten froze. For a second there she could have sworn there was a hint of mocking amusement on Sayuri's eyes and tone. However, in front of her she could see nothing but the usual infuriating innocence the beautiful Kitsune irradiated.
"…so I'm stuck with you." Tenten stated.
"Yup. But just for today, until I meet younger me."
Tenten raised an eyebrow. "Then what stops me from talking the moment you leave me alone?"
Sayuri chuckled. "Hehehe, you silly Rinrin." She began. "Why do you assume I need to be right by your side to keep watch on you?"
The young kunoichi looked down at the ever-confident nine-tails, and then she sighed. "I hate you."
"Awww…you need a hug!"
"Ack! No! Wait! Agh, let go! And say my damn name right! It's Tenten! TENTEN!"
The couple did not hear the door soon enough. Well, Tenten didn't. Sayuri was fast enough to hide her ears and tails.
"Tenten, dear, what's with the ruckus so early in the—"
Three pairs of eyes met. Tenten's father was unable to finish his sentence; it is certainly hard to do so when confronted by the sight of your prepubescent daughter cuddling on her bed with a very beautiful and very naked girl.
And the door was closed a second later. Tenten's anguished face stared at the door for several seconds before looking back down at the foxgirl. Two brown-tipped ears and nine tails appeared under Sayuri with a burst of white smoke.
"'I want to die."
"I can erase his memory."
"Quiet you," Tenten hissed.
The girl stiffened once more. The voice behind the door continued.
"I just…well…just so you know…no-no matter…no matter what choices you make, your parents will always love you…" The voice, which to Tenten had always been a bastion of strength and adult maturity, had become awfully weak and unreliable. "…o-okay?"
Tenten closed her eyes, gritting her teeth harder with every departing step. She guessed her mother would learn of her daughter's new apparent sexual preferences in a minute or so.
"Fonfon-chan, you can always look at the bright side."
Sayuri was unfazed by the killing glare she got from the Genin.
"At least your new girlfriend's very pretty!"
It is a habit of the matriarch to be the last to go to sleep and the first to wake up. However, she was not the first to emerge for her resting place that morning. That achievement went, of course, to Yurine.
That does not mean, though, that she was the first one in the central clearing that morning. That achievement goes, of course, to the one that never slept in the first place.
Not that anybody knows this, however. Only her mother and grandmother know of Mayuri's chronic insomnia. Yurine, who is used to meeting her first time in the morning, thinks the little two-tails is just a very early bird.
"Morning, morning, Mayuri-chan," the five-tails greeted, stretching her arms to ready herself for the new day. "Slept well?"
She only got a stare in response; Mayuri's tired eyes surrounded by ugly dark rings.
"Hawaa…wanna go to the river with me? I need to wash my face before I start with breakfast."
After doing that they moved to finding breakfast. It was then that Mayuri had the chance to see something not many others had seen before. Yurine, despite her infantile mentality, still had a commendable skill with kudagitsune; a pale flicker of the laudable abilities she had once possessed. The mother of two summoned at least two dozen of the long-bodied, fox-like spirits, sending most of them to forage for edible fruits and useful herbs, as well as some to catch the early fish. The few she kept close she used for hunting.
Yurine had a great nose. The moment she saw a potential meat source (rabbit or bird), she sent a kudagitsune for the killing blow, not unlike a certain sannin uses his snakes. The spirit flew through the unaware animal's body, immediately rendering it lifeless. Yurine did not forget to send a prayer to the forest deities, expressing her gratitude and praying for the sake of the life she had just taken.
She lost Mayuri at some point during her foray. When they met again, the young two-tails had the corpses of two rabbits in her hands. Yurine did not think of asking how the little one pulled it off; she only praised her for her accomplishment and asked her if she had done the proper post-kill ritual (namely, the praying).
However, when they made it back to camp, they ran into a problem.
"Hmm…how…just how do I make a fire?" Yurine stated the question.
Mayuri held back a sigh. She should have known this would happen.
In Yurine's defense, she had once known how to make a fire by natural means. A long time ago, before she became a mother.
"I don't want to wake Yurimi-chan up," Yurine declared. "She might not be feeling too well…after…umm…after last night-huh? Ma-Mayuri-chan! Wait!"
Apparently, Mayuri did not give a damn, as she was briskly making her way to Yurimi's tent. Yurine made a frantic grimace before following the little two-tails.
"Hawawawaa…this isn't good…"
Strangely enough, Yuriyo awakened before her sister. Despite…whatever the matriarch did to her the night before, and despite her penchant for oversleeping, the fact that she was not used to sleeping in a tent outdoors drove her to an early start that day.
She felt like crap.
After the usual awakening protocols (yawning, rubbing eyes, blinking a few times and stretching), the first thing she noticed was her mother's absence. She correctly attributed it to Yurine's status as family chef.
Absentmindedly, she fixed the strap of her babydoll that slipped down her right shoulder. Yawning a second time and acknowledging the fact that she would not be going back to sleep any time soon, Yuriyo focused her attention on her sister.
The sleeping girl was the reason Yuriyo had not switched to fox form to sleep that night. It was her warmth and the comforting feeling her presence offered that converted an insufferable sleepless night into an uncomfortable light sleep.
A finger gently traced the few loose golden locks that fell down Yurina's forehead. The half-Celestial's body was turned to her left, towards Yuriyo. Cautiously, very cautiously, the dark-haired sister played with Yurina's soft hair, enjoying the feeling and the visage of the sleeping beauty's lovely smile…until the hand went deathly stiff.
"K-Kuh…" Yuriyo grimaced, futilely trying to pull the hand away. It did not budge. She tried to put all her willpower and determination into it, but that quickly was replaced by alarm when her nails rapidly gained an unnatural and frightening black tint.
Yuriyo closed her eyes, but that quickly proved to be a mistake, too. The Whispers from the Void filled her mind with sacrilegious, immoral lines, luring her to do things she would never agree to.
Alien to her sister's inner battle, Yurina peacefully slept.
It was a lovely place, an endless meadow of greenery soft as her finest kimono. Her feet were almost floating; her eager pace like feathers dancing in the spring breeze. She could see her destination closer and closer: the single patch of white in this world out of an alpine paradise.
He was waiting for her, elegantly seated on the large white sheet. Even from the distance she could sense his placid, beckoning smile, under those eyes made of the sky itself.
She had to start decelerating a good ways before she reached him, otherwise her trip down the slope could have resulted in a rather embarrassing accident. By the time she got to him, the elation she felt, added to the adrenaline in her veins, made for a rather flustered young Kitsune.
"Ah…" She needed a while to settle down her breath. "…umm…he-hello."
The boy did not say anything. His smile grew slightly wider as he offered the white sheet for her to seat down.
"Um…um…tha-thank you…" The blushing Yurina fidgeted with her indexes while she sat down in front of the orange-clad human, her knees almost touching his. She felt awfully self-conscious; the way his eyes did not seem to leave her face, the way he stared…it made her heart beat very, very fast.
His smile did change, however, becoming awfully tender and comforting in a way that made Yurina almost squeal.
He had yet to open his mouth, but when he tilted his head and looked at her with a silent question in his face, she knew exactly what he was inquiring. She knew, and her body went rigid. Her left ear twitched, and so did her tails, as if anticipating what was to come.
It was so embarrassing!
With her head dropped to hide her outrageously bright blush, Yurina nodded weakly.
"U-Um. P-P-Please…please do."
Yurina thought she heard him chuckling, but it was so quiet it could have been the wind playing tricks on her. She said nothing else, her body stiff as it eagerly waited for his hand to reach the crown of her head, and from there the back of her ear…
On the bright side, the single word completely drowned the Whispers from the Void. On the not-so-bright side, it made a vein pop out on Yuriyo's forehead.
The sleeping Yurina was twitching her ears cutely, at the same time her two tails wagged up and down like a very obedient dog.
It really, really pissed Yuriyo off.
"Yurina, I love you," she declared as her face darkened. "More than anything in this world. But if you pull out the 'Hawaa' again, I swear to all the gods out there that I'll kill you with my bare hands!"
"Alright, that's it!" Yuriyo cracked her knuckles. "Go to Heaven with the guilt of having turned your sister into a cold-blooded killer!"
Less than 50 feet away, Yurine was happily stirring her rabbit-and-bird stew, having decided to save the fish for a later occasion. Mayuri peeked on the unfinished meal very closely, even her usual lethargic nature driven wide awake by the appealing smell of her aunt's cooking. Yurine seemed very pleased by this.
"Everyone's taking so long to wake up…" She grinned childishly. "…at this rate we'll eat this by ourselves, Mayuri-chan!"
While her expression did not change, the way her tails flapped from side to side showed Mayuri did not particularly disagree with the prospect.
Yurine suddenly paused, before turning to look behind her. "Of course, Yurimi-chan too!"
Yurimi's usual expressionless gaze seemed to be laced with an additional layer of ice, to the point that it made Yurine's expression falter, but the cook just shook it away and refocused on the meal.
"Now, I'll just stir a little more, and it will be just right—HAWAH!"
Yurine had to duck out of the way of a beam of golden light.
"Yurina!" A certain half-void yelled inside the tent. "Stay still while I beat the 'Hawa' out of you! I swear I'll do it, even if I had to rip it off your DNA!"
"Wha-wha-Riyo-nee-chan! Wha-what are you—STAY AWAY!"
There was a flash of light inside the tent, for an instant revealing the silhouette of the twins. Yuriyo's shape, distinguishable due to her lack of clothes, threateningly descended upon her hapless sister.
"You won't become like our mother! I WON'T LET YOU!"
"Hawawaa…" Yurine's ears dropped as the five-tails pouted at her daughter's words. "Yuriyo-chan, you're too mean…"
Mayuri would have patted the woman's back or something, but she was too busy scooping out sips of that oh-so-glorious stew.
A few steps away, seated on the grass, Yurimi quietly stared at the flame she had created.
Ayame woke up with her neck in pain. She was just not used to sleeping on a couch.
She had returned quite late, for several reasons. After considering joining Naruto on the bed, she decided against it and let herself fall on the largest (and softest) piece of furniture in the place. She wasn't really paying attention to anything (it was late, and she was tired), so it comes as no surprise that she was quite shocked by being greeted by a certain four-tailed Kitsune calmly seiza-seated on the corner closest to Naruto's bedroom.
"Good morning, Kokoro-chan, Ayame-san."
"Kotonoha." The human rubbed her eyes, shaking her head a few times to dispel the drowsiness. "Why are you here?"
"Fulfilling my role as Naruto-sama's servant, of course."
"Right," Ayame mumbled. "Naruto?"
"Sleeping, I presume." The taller woman tilted her head. "I was surprised you did not try to join him."
Ayame shook her head dismissingly. "I'm better than that. Besides, he is too used to sleeping alone. Imposing on him would just upset him."
"Hmm…" Kotonoha had a knowing smile which thoroughly bothered her sister. Ignoring the seated Kitsune, Ayame stood up and stretched her dulled muscles.
"Ahh…so! Time to wake up that lazy brat!"
Kotonoha's sparkling eyes calmly followed Ayame as she walked to the bedroom door, mumbling something about the breakfast menu. A hand reached for the knob.
"Alright, Naruto, get your cute ass off that—"
It was as if the gravity around Ayame had suddenly increased. Kotonoha almost expected cracks to appear on the floor under her feet.
"Kokoro-chan, I must ask you not to disturb them," the guardian requested; her calmly amused smile never leaving her face. "I must also ask you not to break the doorknob."
"…you…you are enjoying this, aren't you?" Ayame growled darkly.
"Now what makes you think that?" Kotonoha responded, raising her left hand to her cheek.
"Did I make fun of you while Makoto was fucking every damn thing with tits and a pussy?"
"You were too young at the time; you have no idea what you are talking about. Now, allow me to remind you that I am the one with the katana."
Ayame soundlessly mouthed a trail of very nasty words, but carefully closed the door, allowing the two inside to rest peacefully. With her hand still on the doorknob, she spoke.
"How did this happen?"
"Yuria-sama formally claimed him last night."
Ayame did not move for a while.
"…Yuria," Ayame repeated.
"Yes, sister, Yuria-sama."
Slowly turning around, Ayame sat back down on the couch.
"…what happened to Yurimi?"
"Yurimi-sama did not act swiftly enough."
"Huh." The ramen waitress gently rubbed her temples, fighting a monster only she could feel. "And when the hell did Yuria meet Naruto anyway?"
"Last night," Kotonoha repeated.
With steps as stiff as her muscles, Ayame got back on her feet, this time to go to the kitchen.
No, there is no punchline this time.
Higashiyama Yuri calmly and elegantly cupped her hands to hold some drinkable water from the river near the camp. Of course, using the words "calmly" and "elegantly" is almost redundant at this point, as this is the way she does pretty much everything.
After the morning briefing, she was alone in the forest. Well, if we do not count Kurosaki Sayoko, her eternal companion. The girls had the day for themselves, with the sole condition that they all had to be back in the camp and properly groomed up for dinner by sundown. Yuri only said that dinner that night would be very special.
Oh, she had no idea.
After departing, Yuri could not help but take some moments to think about her family and the latest turn of events.
Yurimi was still obviously shaken by Yuria's stunt the previous night, but after a lengthy conversation they had last night, in which Yurimi finally figured out why Yuri had backed up her sixth daughter's claim, she seemed to have regained at least most of her composure. It helped that nobody else commented on it, especially not Yuriyo, who was precisely the kind of woman who would not miss the chance, being older than Yurimi and therefore having nothing to fear from her.
Speaking of Yuriyo, she seemed to have recovered awfully well from yesterday's "punishment." True enough, she had not gone too hard on the girl, but still, Yuri did not expect her to be her usual perky self so soon. Was this also the power of the Void?
However, if she couldn't control it…
"Sayoko-san, I will ask you to take care of Yuriyo-chan for me…" The matriarch frowned when she received no response. "…Sayoko-san?"
A sweatdrop was the result of watching the dark-haired Kitsune kneeling by the shore, head dunked into the cool running torrent.
"Please spare me from your suicide attempts today, Sayoko-san," Yuri pleaded as she pulled the other woman by the back of her purple shawl.
Leaving Sayoko to her pouting, Yuri turned her thoughts back to her daughters and granddaughters.
The twins, who surprisingly had not awoken to witness the claiming last night, seemed to have recovered from…whatever Yurie had done to them yesterday. They did not seem very interested in the situation, as they were not interested in males in general. It was a good thing, true, as they could be worse than Yuriyo in that respect, but Yuri still greatly lamented Yuriko's and Yurika's rampant lesbianism.
Now they were on the loose, and Yuri already was sending prayers to the poor human fools who would become their next victims. She only hoped they picked their targets carefully. Ninjas could be a tricky bunch.
Mayuri, Yuri could tell, had not slept last night, either, or at least she had not slept anywhere near enough. However, she calmly and wordlessly followed her mother to Konoha; her hand tightly seized by Yurisa's, who tried to permeate their mood with enthusiasm she did not truly feel. It was almost tear-jerking.
Then there was Yurine and her daughters. Yuriyo seemed quite interested in exploring a human village for the first time. Yurina, while nervous about the prospect of being surrounded by so many humans, was obviously as interested as her sister.
According to what Yurimi had told her, Yurina had shown to be as delighted by mundane petting as her mother. It was very rare for a Kitsune to act so much like…well, a dog, and even rarer for someone else to figure it out. How, or more precisely, why Uzumaki Naruto had resorted to such actions so quickly was worth evaluating.
Evidence pointed towards Sayuri, of course.
Yurine would follow her daughters like a caring mother…or a faithful puppy. Yuri trusted Yurina to take care of her sometimes-mentally-challenged mother.
What the young lilies ignored was that they were being tested.
"Hmm…I wonder how they'll do…" Yuri began speaking to herself…or to Sayoko. It's hard to tell at times. "While those girls think they know plenty about human culture and behavior, being there in human territory is a different matter. Really, I wonder…"
Each of the foxgirls had received a certain amount of ryo for them to spend freely that day. The catch was that, except for Yurisa, they had all received an almost negligible amount of money, enough for little more than a loaf of bread or two. However, the value of human money was one thing the lilies had never learned, so there was no way for them (except maybe Yurine, if she remembered) to know this until they tried to use the money they had been given…or until they started checking out price lists. Then, they would face the choice of whether to live the day penniless (possibly skipping lunch in the process) or to use their wiles to get cash.
Yuri's kudagitsune were invisibly trailing the lilies. She wanted to see the different ways in which the young Kitsune dealt with this little trial.
"How do you think they'll do, Sayoko-san?"
"Sayoko-san, please stop it already!" The tall seven-tails hurried to drag her best friend out of the water again.
"Onee-chan…" Yurina moaned, clinging to her fraternal twin's right arm. "Really, this is so embarrassing…"
"Oh, come on," Yuriyo retorted, the half-Void walking proudly with her head high. "They're just humans; it's expected of them to admire us."
"Hawaa…" Yurine, two steps behind, mumbled. Indeed, the trio of Kitsune easily caught the attention of those around them, drawing stares of more than one kind from both men and women. While Yurine was a very beautiful young woman all over, it was obvious most looks were directed at her prominent cleavage, poorly concealed behind her modified white kimono shirt. As for the twins…
"Onee-chan, really…this dress is too short…" Yurina complained, futilely trying to pull down her clothes.
While their usual one-piece attire looked like the kind of thing that a kunoichi might wear, there was no denying that, with its thinner, softer, flimsier material, as well as the fact that the skirt part it was almost unforgivably short, it made for a natural magnet to the most lustful, prying eyes.
"I'm sure everyone can see my panties…"
"Oh?" Yuriyo raised an eyebrow. "You wearing panties?"
"Eh?" Her sister blinked. "Of course I'm wearing—YOU'RE NOT WEARING ANY!"
"Oi!" Yuriyo hissed. "You wanna make a scene or what?"
"Bu-bu-b-b-b-but, onee-chan!" Yurina continued, making sure to keep her voice down. Behind her, Yurine, too, looked worried. "Aren't you embarrassed?"
"Hmph." The black-haired beauty flung her hair obnoxiously. "It's not me who should be embarrassed. It's them who will embarrass themselves trying to peek up my clothes."
Yurina understood. Despite the shortness of the garb, anybody interested in glimpsing the treasure concealed underneath would certainly have to make his (or her) intentions quite obvious.
The half-void, however, suddenly looked quite thoughtful.
"Well…of course, I could always do something like this."
Yurina's eyes almost popped out of their sockets when her sister made a very spirited twirl.
An instant later, the blonde had flung the ebony-haired over her shoulder and ran away as fast as humanly (well, Kitsune-ly) possible.
"O-Oi! Yurina! Wa-wait, I was just joking—I'm really showing everything like this!"
"Gyaaaaaah! Gyaaaaah, gyaaaaaah, gyaaaaaaaaaaah!" Yurina's panic attack drowned all other sounds. Their mother could only watch until the twins disappeared from sight; a trail of dust tracing the half-Celestial's frantic run.
"Hawaa…Yurina-chan, so fast…"
Of course, many other eyes followed the doublet until it disappeared, but they quickly dismissed as yet another of many odd scenes that took place in Konohagakure. In the end, it was only Yurine who kept staring at the distance…at least, until she realized she was alone.
Almost ominously, a tiny silver ball popped out of the single hole in that wheel-shaped container. After bouncing a few times with a very distinct "plink" sound, it came to a rest on the tin platter underneath. There was a heavy silence, marked by the audience of about nine or ten people who mutely watched the inanimate sphere.
Those same eyes followed a tiny, fair-skinned hand, which seized the metal ball and presented it to the single man behind the table on which the wheel and the platter rested.
With that simple action, Higashiyama Mayuri broke the silence.
"Uoooooooooh—winner, WINNER!" The man in the sleeveless purple gi mercilessly swung a copper bell. "We have a winner!"
A few minutes later, Mayuri, still surrounded by a small crowd, presented her mother with a big wad of cash. It was not precisely a fortune, but it was plenty enough to fare comfortably for a few days.
Yurisa could only sweatdrop as she received the money, added it to the measly amount Mayuri had received from the matriarch, and began to count it.
"Ahahaa…Mayuri, I don't think this is what Mother had in mind when she set up this test…"
"Oi, little miss!"
The white-haired two-tails turned to look at the man in charge of the lottery.
"Seems like you're blessed by Benzaiten-sama, little miss." The man flashed a toothy grin. "Wanna try for the golden prize? It's a trip to the placid beaches of Tea Country, all expenses paid!"
After three seconds of quiet staring, Mayuri turned away from the man. She had no interest in travelling. What she needed was cash, so she got cash.
"Hmmm, there's plenty of money here, Mayuri…" Yurisa muttered, still counting. "So, what do you want to do now—eh?"
The blonde mother's eyes quickly found her daughter's departing figure.
"Ma-Mayuri! Please wait for me!" With a quick bow to the man behind the table and the few witnesses of Mayuri's little achievement, Yurisa departed, hurrying to follow after her mute daughter.
"Ne, ne, Tuntun-chan!"
Tenten, who had been in the middle of closing the door to her bedroom, finished the action in a sudden and overly loud manner.
"What?" Her voice came out as a dangerous growl. She had just returned from a very silent and VERY uncomfortable breakfast with her parents. Her mother was a crying wreck and her father was disturbingly content about the whole thing. Needless to say, none of them believed that the naked beauty resting in her bedroom was anything but their lesbian daughter's ridiculously beautiful lesbian lover.
"Was this always here?"
Sayuri from the future was standing (in all her glorious, naked, nine-tailed self) by Tenten's dresser, looking down at a…
"What the heck is that?"
"It's Justice-san!" Sayuri responded excitedly while she picked the overly pinkish wand. With her words, it came to life.
Excuse me? Milady, I must ask from where you know my name, for I am quite certain we have not met before.
Tenten blinked exactly once. "…it talks. And what kind of language was that anyway? And how the hell can I understand it?"
"It's Englush!" Sayuri answered joyfully.
English. And it's obvious Master can understand it. She had no problems understanding Raisin—OW!
"Yeah, that! Ahahahahaha!" Sayuri laughed forcedly, while she slammed the wand on the dresser before it said too much. "Mou, Justice-san, what was with all the formality, anyway? We're friends!" Sayuri paused. "Well, we'll be…sorta…it's complicated." She paused again. "Wait, Justice-san can break the Fourth Wall?"
I was created by Inari-sama as a gift to the Katsura family. Like all his Kitsune children, I have been gifted with The Power.
"Huh." The nine-tails' mouth made a cute little O. "…cool." A third pause. "Wait, 'Master'?" She had just finished that last word when her face lightened with realization. "Ah! So it was today!"
Sayuri immediately presented the magic tool to the kunoichi.
A shuriken lodged itself on Sayuri's forehead a moment later.
"NOW YOU'RE ADDING SYLLABLES!"
"Mugiii!" Sayuri cried when a cute little fountain of red arched its way out of the wound.
"Wow, it even made a rainbow…how does that work anyway?" Tenten looked at the optical marvel in amazement.
Such a blunt and violent Master… The wand sobbed. It's so nostalgi—OW!
"You're not Raising Heart!" Sayuri growled at the wand she had just slammed on the dresser for the second time. "Mugyuu…" Turning back to Tenten, she pouted, pulling off the ninja star with no effort. Tenten did notice but paid no heed to the wound closing almost instantly. "Konkon-chan, that hurt…"
"You're the frickin' Nine Tails, you can deal with it."
"Yeah, but still…" Sayuri was rubbing the no-longer-existent wound. "It's not nice…"
"Nice, you say…" Tenten hissed.
Umm, excuse me, milady…
I cannot help but notice that the young lady has, indeed, nine tails. Are you really one of the Chosen of Inari-sama?
"Um! I'm Sayuri! Higashiyama Sayuri!" Sayuri nodded. "I've got nine tails! They're pretty!"
I see…of course, I've been kept in the box for many years…Higashiyama Sayuri-sama…so the Great Ghost Clan has a Kyuubi…is Kougon-sama still the Celestial Chosen?
Hmm…but, for Sayuri-sama to be a Kyuubi…when did Fubuki-sama pass away?
"She hasn't. I'm the third."
Three-three Chosen! Bu-but that's impossible! How did that happen?
"Kitsune Poker Night."
…I beg your pardon?
"Kitsune Poker Night," Sayuri repeated and then grinned. It was, curiously enough, the perfect poker face.
…I…this is one of those things this worthless self should not bother with, is it?
"Mou, don't say that about yourself, Justice-san."
The attention of both Kitsune and mystical magical girl artifact shifted to the girl still standing by the bedroom entrance.
"Are you done talking as if I weren't here?"
Sayuri seemed to ponder the question for a moment. "Hmm, I am."
"Good." Tenten nodded. An instant later, her face assumed an expression of alarm. "So what's this about three Kyuubi?" And she pointed to the wand. "And what's with the talking stick?"
A gasp could be heard from the magic tool.
A stick! A stick she calls me!
Sayuri gently patted it. "There, there. Don't mind that silly Blingbling-chan; she'll come to love you."
Tenten felt like pulling her hairs out. "Argh, just answer me already!" Crossing her legs after sitting on the bed, she shot a fierce glare at the nine-tails. "Now."
"Muuu…" With a childish pout on her lovely face, Sayuri looked down at Heart of Justice. "Should I really? I mean, Yurimi-chan already explained this; the readers might complain about getting repetitive or some silly thing like that; you know they complain about everything."
Well, that was all the way back in chapter six, so they could use a reminder…but it would help if Sayuri-sama spices it up with some plot and stuff. Or maybe the author will just end the scene and Master will get the explanation off-screen.
Sayuri's expression brightened notably. "Okay!" She turned to her host. "So! Sonson-chan!"
"Yeah, that. So, like, Inari's the one who choose who gets to become Kyuubi. But one of the Kyuubi was always the…the…how was it called again?"
"Mugiii!" Sayuri almost jumped an entire yard up. "What is it? You scared me!"
Sayuri-sama! Referring to Inari-sama in such an informal manner!
The honey blonde stared at the magic wand with a face that obviously said "and you yelled at me for something like that?"
"Mou, it's not like he even cares…just tell me how it's called already! The leader of the Shinkirou Clan! Sayuri forgot."
The Bodhisattva, you mean? It represents an Enlightened Being, you know.
"Pfft, yeah right."
This time Tenten was absolutely sure. Sayuri's expression had seriously darkened for a moment there.
"Anyway! Yeah, this Bodhi-whatever of the Shinkirou Clan was always one of the chosen Kyuubi!"
Sayuri blinked. "Huh?" And then she noticed. "Ah! I mean is! IS! Mugyuu…"
Tenten was actually more amused than anything else. "Idiot…"
I…am missing something important here, aren't I?
"What the hell was that about?"
"Haa…haa…haa…o…one…onee-chan!" After regaining her breath, Yurina proceeded to properly scold her sister. "S-S-Such a shameless display!"
"You showed them more by flinging me over your shoulder and carrying me like a sack of potatoes!"
The blonde twin's eyes widened as she realized that, indeed, her sister's words were true. "Oh…oh my GOD! I'm sorry! I'm so very sorry! Really!"
Yuriyo rolled her eyes before her pleading sister. "Yeah, yeah, whatever. So, where are we now?"
"Hmm, I dunno…" Yurina mumbled, looking around until she realized their numbers had dropped to two. "…we lost mom."
"So we did," Yuriyo said as she looked around, also acknowledging Yurine's absence. "…so, wanna do some window-shopping?"
"Onee-chan!" The Darling Lily cried in outrage. "Aren't you worried about her?"
"What, why? She's an adult; she can take care of herself."
Yuriyo met her sister's heated gaze for the better part of ten seconds. In the end, an uncomfortable Yuriyo had to look away.
"Okay, so we need to look for mom."
"Good." Yurina nodded.
"But we also need to do something about this money problem you mentioned." The half-Void crossed her arms under her chest. "Seriously, what a pointless hassle."
Yurina nodded. "It is obvious this is a test of sorts."
"Yeah, yeah…" Yuriyo's smile grew as she wrapped an arm over her sister's shoulders. "But you figured it out so quickly! That's my sis," she complimented, rubbing her nose on her sister's golden hairs.
"Ahaha, onee-chan…" Yurina giggled cutely.
"So, since you noticed the problem, let your sexy sister take care of it, okay?" Poking the tip of Yurina's nose, the black-haired succubus winked saucily. "Be a good girl and don't move."
"Ah, oh-okay…" It was hard for Yurina not to feel a little nervous when her gorgeous sister got all affectionate like that. She actually caught herself following the enticing sway of Yuriyo's rear as she walked away.
Yuriyo quickly turned to her right, disappearing into the gap between two adjacent buildings. Yurina waited for whatever it was her sister intended to do. However, after several minutes of nothing, she began to worry. Just where had Yuriyo gone? What did she intend to do?
Yurina wanted to go after her, but Yuriyo asked her to stay there, so she waited. Of course, she would be more than eager to move at the first sight of trouble.
The twin-tailed blonde seized this rare chance to take a better look at Konohagakure. It was a surprisingly bustling village; not precisely matching her image of how she thought a ninja village should be like. It was like any other human settlement, only with a higher percentage of individuals formally trained in the use of chakra. Every once in a while she noticed a roof-hopping patrol. Those you did not see in other human villages, she guessed. She also guessed that these patrols were but a small percentage, meant to further conceal the rest of the vigilance forces; the ones that actually remain invisible.
At ground level, however, the village burst with humanity. Before Yurina's eyes, the everyday of Konoha developed, blissfully uncaring of her presence. Wives greeted in the middle of the street to share gossip. A young courier hurried to deliver a package. A group of men loaded construction materials to a large, plain wooden cart tied to a pair of donkeys.
She had long ago noticed the broken monument; the fallen center point of Konoha. She guessed it made for an impressive sight when intact. That morning, however, it just looked depressing. The leftmost face and the third from left were completely unrecognizable, and the second one had a really bad hair job. Only the rightmost face remained unscathed. Whatever had destroyed the monument had also reached the nearby edifications, and Konoha was now beginning a frenzy of reconstruction work.
Motion in the corner of her right eye brought her attention back to the place where her sister had disappeared. She could only gape at what she saw.
A rather well-dressed middle-aged man had disappeared; his kidnapping unnoticed by anyone else. In the blink of an eye, Yurina had seen her sister glide out of the shadow of her narrow hideout, seize the man by his clothes and drag him into the darkness with her.
"Onee—" No more sounds came out of Yurina's mouth.
This was followed by yet another insufferable period of uncertainty. Unlike before, however, Yurina had absolutely no intention to go after Yuriyo. It did not help that her bright mind was conjuring all sorts of disturbing imagery. She was shuddering by this point.
Not soon enough, Yuriyo emerged from the alley, wearing a smile of satisfaction as she counted cash.
The smiling black-haired beauty took one of Yurina's hands and placed the money on it.
"You probably can manage this stuff better than me."
Looking over her sister's shoulder, Yurina noticed the man's reappearance. Satisfaction did not describe the look on his face. He was wearing a grin far more suitable on somebody ten or twenty years younger. Yurina went deathly stiff when she noticed he was walking in their direction, only to be further stunned when he walked past them without even acknowledging them, walking down the street with a fast, confident stride.
Yuriyo was fairly amused by her sister's reaction. "Close your mouth, Yurina. I'm supposed to be the stupid one of the two."
"Eh…uh…eh? No!" The blonde quickly corrected herself. "That's not true!"
The half-Void, unable to stop herself, ruffled with her sister's golden hair, much to Yurina's annoyance. "You're too cute, Yurina."
"Ah…" The blushing girl quickly changed the topic. "Wha-just what did you do to him?"
The black-haired succubus smirked. "Well, he thinks I just gave him an epic blowjob." She paused. "There might have been some breast action involved, too."
"Wha?" Yurina suddenly looked like she had taken four shots of tequila at the same time. "ONEE-CHAN!"
"What?" Yuriyo shrugged. "It was just an illusion: he was lost in his giddiness; he never noticed me emptying his wallet. Then it was just an issue of setting up a compulsion for him to go on his way without stopping to look at anyone. He got his blowjob, I got my cash; everybody's happy!"
"Bu-but, onee-chan, that's like…that's just like a prostitute!"
"An illusory prostitute," Yuriyo clarified.
Yuriyo clasped a hand on her sister's left shoulder. "Yurina, enough."
Yurina went quiet, but her eyes still openly displayed her dissatisfaction.
"Act your age, sis." Yuriyo's narrow glance became even sharper than usual. "Regardless of what some people might think, I have too much pride to offer my body for money. Really, if I were as eager to fuck as Yuria thinks I am I would still be in that alley screwing his brains out." She paused. "Actually, we would just be getting started with rough foreplay."
"Onee-chan…" Yurina muttered, noting that Yuriyo was deviating from the issue at hand.
"Anyway." Yuriyo cleared her throat. "What does it matter if this guy now has a memory of me giving him head? It's no different from a dream; people often dream of themselves in erotic situations with friends and other people they've met. You know this as much as I do."
"So he'll remember you…"
"Of course he'll remember!" Yuriyo smirked saucily. "It might have been an illusion, but it was still the best damn blowjob he'll ever have!"
"Onee-chan…" Yurina held back a sigh…really, her sister could be so…
"Well, the compulsion wouldn't have worked if he didn't remember just why there's all that prolactin in his bloodstream."
"But what about when he notices he lost his money?"
"Well, he'll definitely try to blame me, but he won't be able to figure out when I ravaged his wallet. My hands were kinda busy, if you know what I mean." She winked.
Yurina's blush, which had been slowly fading, quickly regained its original intensity.
"Anyway, just forget about it," Yuriyo concluded, wrapping an arm over her sister's shoulders as she turned to face the same direction as her. "I would have already if you weren't whining so much. We got cash and my chastity remains intact."
Yurina found her chance to get a little payback.
"Unless we count Yuria-san's tails."
Yuriyo's proud shoulders slumped down a bit. "Quiet, you."
Yurina held back a giggle.
What the fraternal twins did not know (yet) was that, while the victim of Yuriyo's prank had disappeared from their lives, their natural, youthful beauty still drew a few glances.
"Tch, how troublesome…"
"Oh, come on, stop whining like that, Kiba! You're sounding like Shikamaru!" Yamanaka Ino crossed her arms behind her head. "You know many guys would love a chance like this."
"Many guys are not yet exposed to your wonderful personality," Inuzuka Kiba muttered bitterly. Ino shot him a glare.
"Pfft, you wouldn't know a cute girl if she stripped and shoved her breasts on your face."
"See?" Kiba shrugged. "You just proved my point. You don't have any breasts, so you're not a cute girl."
In the face of such unshakeable logic, Ino could only hiss and fume. "You're helping me carry the stuff, and that's that."
"Tch, what a pain in the-eh!" Kiba stumbled a step back right in time to avoid bumping into his male teammate's back. Aburame Shino had been walking ahead of Kiba and Ino for a while. "What the hell, Shino? Don't stop so suddenly like that!"
The beastly boy's expression immediately hardened. Even Akamaru, who had been resting on Kiba's head all this time, went unusually tense at the sound of Shino's voice.
They knew that tone. It was Shino's unconscious means to announce to his team that he or his insects had noticed something.
But, that kind of alarm, in the middle of Konoha?
"What is it?" Kiba responded, a tense hand reaching for a concealed kunai. Ino was shooting odd looks at the two. She noticed the sudden change of atmosphere, but she was unable to interpret it.
"…epic booty at one o'clock."
Kiba facefaulted. "Damn it, Shino!"
Ino decided to just follow Shino's stare, and she actually had to make a double-check. She caught herself staring at the two girls in the identical, revealing maroon dresses. It was not hard to notice the resemblance to Ino's own outfit, sans the lack of bandages and the presence of long sleeves. And the shorter skirts.
"…no way," The blonde kunoichi muttered. "No way a girl that young can look that hot."
"Allow me to state my utmost intention to use that sentence against you in the near future," Shino promptly declared.
"Wow," Kiba shared his thoughts as he got back on his feet behind Shino. "Hot damn, who turned Konoha into Hot Babe Central and didn't tell me?"
Shino's only response was to allow his feet to move forward.
"O-Oi, Shino!" Ino blurted out, skipping honorifics in her hurry. "What do you think you're doing?"
"They move on their own," Shino explained. "My body demands to be closer to such glorious glutei."
"Did he just use the word 'glutei'?" Ino muttered quietly; her eyes fixed on her friend's back.
"Who cares?" Kiba retorted. "Let's go!"
The most skittish of the two; Yurina was the first to notice Shino. The boy in specs frowned when the twin-tailed blonde quickly interposed her sister between herself and the approaching group of humans. Yuriyo, however, simply rolled her eyes.
"Oh, for God's sake, Yurina…" She muttered before turning her attention to the humans. While Shino's appearance almost made her raise an eyebrow, she soon became aware of the real reason behind her sister's discomfort.
"Stop right there!" She tried to sound commanding, but her voice came out half an octave higher than desired. Yuriyo mentally kicked herself. Was she really so weak?
Her words, however, accomplished their intended purpose. Shino stopped on the spot, and so did Ino and Kiba a few steps behind him. The latter was taken aback when a thin index finger pointed at him.
"Wha—I'm not 'that'!" Kiba complained, and Akamaru barked as a bonus.
"'I-It talks!" Yurina squeaked behind her slightly taller sister.
"Of course I talk."
Shino tilted his head imperceptibly. "…what about Kiba?"
Yuriyo shook her head dismissingly. "Kiba, Fido, Wanko; I don't care what its name is, just get rid of him." She made a rather ugly grimace. "Damn, that's one ugly dog."
Let it be known that the author feels no personal dislike towards one Inuzuka Kiba.
Ino actually shot a look of pity to the half-dejected, half-outraged young man. She switched to a look of alarm when Shino actually turned around, cracking his knuckles as he approached his teammate.
"The hell, Shino!" Kiba exclaimed. "We're teammates, for Kami's sake! Packmates!"
"Don't use that word ever again." Crack, crack. Shino's neck made perturbing sounds.
"You're going to betray your TEAMMATE for a girl you don't even know just because she has the finest piece of ass I—I mean, we've ever seen?"
"I'm still here, you know," Yuriyo noted, before winking at the kunoichi. "Thanks for the compliment, though."
Shino actually paused to look at his female colleague. "That is, indeed, a very accurate description of the current situation, Ino. Good job."
Ino gaped. "WHAT KIND OF NINJA ARE YOU?"
Shino stopped once again. "I wear a trenchcoat. And sunglasses. And I use chakra-eating bugs to fight. What kind of ninja am I?"
The girl's face went flat dead as she pondered the retort. "…whoa." Crossing her left arm to let her right elbow rest on the palm, Ino scratched her chin with her right hand. "…you got me there. Seriously."
The three ninja blinked in unison. In the same way, they turned their heads to look at the lovely Yurina, whose own head peeked out from behind her sister's back.
"A-Ano…p-please don't…umm…please be nice to each other!"
There was a heavy silence for a moment.
"…wow," Ino mumbled.
"Wow indeed," Shino added.
"Serious déjà vu," Kiba finished.
"Ah?" Yurina squeaked when she found herself the center of so much attention. "Kyah!" Her head disappeared behind Yuriyo's back.
"Aww, come on! I wanted to see the weird specs guy beat the crap out of the mutt!" Yuriyo complained, ignoring the glare she got from Kiba for that.
"Onee-chan! That's not nice."
"Oh, come on! You're shaking, I can feel you!"
"Still…" Yurina explained. "…it's not right to beat Dog-san just because it's ugly and scary…"
Somehow, coming from Yurina, it really, really hurt. For a second there Ino thought Kiba had been made with a different, lighter color palette.
"…besides…" Yurina continued. "…Riyo-nee-chan is shaking, too."
"I am not!"
"Yes, you are."
Even with Yurina behind her, Yuriyo could still feel her big carmine eyes drilling through her skull, almost challenging her to defy her. Even if she was the stronger sister, both in skill and personality, Yuriyo just could not win against her sister's all-seeing (at least in regards to her) eyes.
"Alright, alright, so the dog doesn't get a beating. So what now?"
"Umm…" Hesitatingly, the blonde emerged from her flimsy hideout to face the human trio. "…well…we…we're new to this village, so…we could use some help…maybe?"
"Eeee~eh?" Yuriyo whined. "You know, I'm not against having tour guides, but, really?" She stated; her left arm extended towards the three humans. "I mean, look at them! It's the ugly mutt…"
"…the creep that looks like he's gonna flash us anytime now…"
Shino raised an eyebrow.
"…and Miss I-act-like-the-cutest-girl-in-town-but-I'm-really-not!"
"I mean, really! Anybody would be better!" Yuriyo paused, as an idea suddenly sparked in her mind. "Maybe that Naruto would be willing to give us a tour…"
"Eeeh?" Yurina squeaked (again), her face suddenly going awfully (yet cutely) red. "Onii-sama?"
Yet another uncomfortable pause followed, as this time even Yuriyo turned to stare at her sister.
"…who the hell is 'onii-sama'?"
"Ah!" The blonde twin's eyes went very wide when she realized what came out of her mouth. "Ah-aaa…auuu…" She moaned dejectedly.
"You…" Ino spoke very softly. "You two know Naruto?"
Yuriyo's eyes brightened at those words. "Ah, so you know the guy too? Great! Be useful and show us where he lives."
"That's not a nice way to ask for things, onee-chan…"
The humans, however, were looking at each other, sharing similar thoughts.
"That Naruto…" Kiba mumbled. "…he needs to answer some questions…"
"Just 'some'?" Ino contested. "I'll go with 'a lot' myself."
"He might have just become my new God."
Everyone stared at Shino very, very oddly.
CHAPTER 13 END