Ch. 63: Border between Friends and Enemies
As the dust cleared, the ceiling stopped crumbling, and the worm left, Shikamaru and his squad walked out into the open pit it had created. Buildings had been reduced to rubble, there was almost no sign of life, and nothing remained of the city except its memory. Never before in the lives of the young ninjas had something so horrible been seen.
"The entire city, this is horrible…." Ino said in fear, sympathy, and shock of what she was seeing.
"I can almost smell survivors down here. I think they're pretty close by." Kiba said as he felt a twist in his gut. He felt disgusted in the Horde now.
"Let's start looking then. We can't wait for anymore Locusts to show up." Shikamaru said as he bowed his head in despair. Chaos had filled the hearts of each and everyone in and out of the hole.
The search began and those who were up top slowly began to descend into the pit to help those who sank with the city out. People were pulled out from under the rubble of collapsed buildings and rocks from the ground. Injuries were terrible on most and many had to be given immediate medical attention. The whole scene was more horrid than anything that could be imagined. During that time, Shikamaru's group met up with Kakashi, Yamato, Sai, Guy, Tenten, Lee, Neji, and Chouji to discuss what was happening and Konoha's next choice of action. Hopes and morale was low after the failed attempt at saving the city.
"Another capital sunk and carnage by the Horde because of it." Gai said with his head hanging low. He had lost his spirit after witnessing this. "What does the Horde gain from this? If they wanted to hurt us and the other nations, why not just sink their ninja villages?"
"This is the last capital probably. With every city sunk by the Horde there's nothing but a huge gap between each of the Five Great Nations." Kakashi said as he and some of the younger ninjas looked at the ruin with despair. The horror around them was just too much to bear. "Nothing but tunnels from here to our entire known world."
That's when an idea came into Shikamaru's head. Something horrible but it was the only explanation for what was happening.
"Wait, it all makes sense now." Shikamaru said as he took out a kunai and began to draw in the dirt with it. He put down an x for each city that sank on a circle representing a map of the world. "The Five Great Nations have one thing in common; their capital cities are perfectly aligned and make a complete circle."
"What are you getting at Shikamaru?" Yamato asked. He didn't like where this was going.
"What does the fact that the capital cities are in a big circle have to do with what's happening now?" Chouji asked.
"Every village felt a quake before the capitals of their respected nations sank. That would mean that the worm tunneling through the Five Great Nations has been going in a circle this whole time." Shikamaru said. "If that's true, then there is barely anything holding up the Five Great Nations right now. The only level ground now that would be keeping the nations above ground is the Hidden Rain Village. Should that sink or anything lower be taken out by the Horde, then….."
"Shit, they're punching holes around the Five Great Nations to sink them all at once!" Kiba said as he and everyone else around Shikamaru felt a wave of shock run through them as they realized the Horde's sinister intentions.
"We can't just stand here! We should send a party back to warn the Hokage!" Ino said. She never thought that she would live to see and discover such horrible things.
"Wouldn't do any good; even if Lady Tsunade is warned, it would be too late to evacuate the entire Land of Fire from the coming destruction." Kakashi said as he put his hand against his forehead and pictured the disaster about to come and Nazo laughing like a maniac during it all. "The only thing we can do is stop the Horde before they sink the Five Great Nations. There's no other option!"
Word got out and everyone in the pit began to speed up evac. Nothing could wait now. The entire World of Ninjas depended on Konoha and every other village stopping the Horde. However, just as things seemed to be going smoothly, another problem emerged as a survivor came running up to the ninjas still in the pit.
"They're killing everyone! Glowing Locusts are killing everyone who's still left down here!" The man shouted as bullets flew past his head. Everyone still in the pit stopped what they were doing and confronted the invading Locusts. At this rate, catching up with the Rift Worm would be almost impossible.
As things were getting gruesome back with Konoha's forces, Inagojo and the other Horde members were underground in the lower parts of Nexus that hadn't reached the surface. Inagojo was unmasked now as were the other Horde leaders since they were in the privacy of their lair. Inagojo was looking for Nazo; she had a lot on her mind involving Hinata, what they were doing, and how it was affecting what she believed about not only the world but herself too. Inagojo went to Nazo's room in the castle of Nexus changing his burnt cloths from his fight with Itachi.
"Oh my queeney, are we getting a little perverted? I know I'm irresistible but I'm afraid you can't have me. I don't like girls who don't have a sense of humor." Nazo said as he finished buttoning his coat. Nazo now wore a purple suit, purple gloves, a new fake flower that could squirt his horrid gas and acid creations, boots that were almost like dress shoes to match the suit, and he wore an orange and green stripped shirt beneath his coat. "I think I'm gonna dump the mask from now on. It's lost its appeal and the world needs a face they can fear."
"Very funny." Inagojo said sarcastically. She didn't like Nazo's antics in times when she was being serious. Inagojo looked away for a moment and tried to gather her thoughts. She wanted to explain what she was thinking in the best way possible to Nazo. "Nazo, I need to talk to you about something."
"What is it? I got some things I gotta do." Nazo said as he walked out of his room and travelled through the halls of Nexus.
"First of all, I'm starting to think more about what we've been doing. And I'm starting to worry about what's going to happen especially to RAAM and Skorge." Inagojo said as she followed Nazo. "I mean, we're going to war against them when we already have a crisis with the Lambent."
"RAAM and Skorge are fully aware of what they are doing and haven't complained. This will all be over soon once Skorge gets back. As for RAAM, he's got nothing to worry about with the Lambent; he's a big guy he can handle himself." Nazo said as he turned right and approached a descending staircase.
"I know but, what if, what if things don't go according to plan?" Inagojo asked.
"Plan? HA! There was never one to begin with remember? Harvi flipped a coin and we decided we were gonna go through with this!" Nazo laughed.
"If that's not important to you then at least try to understand this." Inagojo said as she prepared to speak the next thing on her mind. "The other thing bothering me is that Hinata girl we brought here. Ever since I fought her, my feelings about everything have changed."
"Your point?" Nazo asked.
"Nazo, I feel like my meaning in life is different after meeting her. I feel like what we're doing is, is, I feel like it's not the right thing to do anymore." Inagojo struggled to say. She knew Nazo wouldn't like this. "You once told me that I shouldn't be looking at myself so negatively anymore and now I feel like my duty in life isn't what it used to be."
"And what the hell is that supposed to mean?" Nazo said as he stopped and turned around to face Inagojo. "We have come too far to just give up! We have all worked too hard to make it here and come close to creating the world Anarky sensei dreamed of! A world that would not only be for us but for your people as well!"
"I know but Hinata has made me think that maybe I should try to rethink my duty in life." Inagojo said. "I've been very faithful to the Trinity but I'm suffering because of it. I think there is some sort of change I can take in life."
"Well good for you. TAKE IT THEN!" Nazo shouted as he got up close into Inagojo's face. "For too long have I had to deal with these 'normal' people and their wishful thinking and bright hopes. For too long have I put up with all the bullshit in this world!"
"Nazo you're going mad, madder than before ever since you fought Naruto in the mines! What is going on!?" Inagojo said as she pushed Nazo back in fear of what he would do if he got his hands on her. Nazo was frightening when he was angry. "I thought I was having problems but now it seems like you're the one with problems!"
"And what kind of problem would that be!?" Nazo said as he began to walk towards Inagojo angrily and forced her into a corner. "The problem you have is you're switching your loyalties on not only me but Harvi, your kids, the Horde, and everyone who's put their lives into doing this! If you don't stop now, then later you'll realize your mistake and suffer even more because you've given up on everyone who cares about you."
Nazo left after scaring Inagojo to death. Inagojo looked at him with a scowl feeling abused by Nazo. Instead of hearing her out, he only frightened her and lectured her not caring at all about what was happening. Inagojo then left to find Harvi; maybe he still had enough sanity to hold a conversation with. Inagojo traveled through the upper parts of Nexus until she heard a coin flip. She knew it was Harvi. She quickly followed the noise to a dark room Harvi had locked himself in and watched him catch his coin and flip it onto the back of his hand.
"It's official; Neji Hyuga will arrive here and I will kill him." Harvi said as he held up his coin and showed it being heads to Inagojo. "I'm going to avenge Miyuki and put an end to the memory of Hizashi Hyuga. Neji will wish he had killed me when he had the chance."
"Harvi, you're starting to get bipolar again. You were fine before but now that you've started thinking about Neji consistently, you're becoming more violent than usual." Inagojo said as she felt uneasiness come over her.
"Oh yeah, that's right! The good spirited cheerful me is what everyone wants to see!" Harvi said as he got up and smiled sarcastically. His face then changed back to being serious, gloomy, and sadistic. "I'm not even sure if that's even the real me, even after all these years, I think it was all just a show I put on subconsciously for your kids. I just don't know anymore."
"Harvi…" Inagojo didn't know what to say.
"Once Neji Hyuga is dead all remnants of Hizashi Hyuga will be gone. Then Miyuki can rest in peace." Harvi said as he walked out of the room to get away from Inagojo. He didn't want to talk about his problems.
"Harvi I'm really starting to get concerned about you, Nazo, and what's holding us together. I get the feeling we're going to fall apart at the very end." Inagojo said. "You two were fine until recently but now you're holding on more intensely to your grudge and Nazo is becoming more chaotic. Why are you holding onto your pain so much harder now?"
"Well why don't you tell me why you've gone and gotten soft on all of us!?" Harvi shouted as he turned around and faced Inagojo. He was angry but he didn't get into Inagojo's face about it like Nazo did. "If anything is going to tear us apart it's gonna be you! You and your new obsession with that girl we have locked away! Why don't you worry about taking care of that first before you worry about me and Nazo!?"
Inagojo watched shouted out in frustration with the men in Nexus. Nazo and Harvi were both being unreasonable and wouldn't listen to her or talk to her about what was going on with them. Inagojo let out an angry sigh as she walked off to her own room in Nexus at the bottom of the castle. She arrived at her room and changed her cloths. Inagojo then grabbed a smaller mask instead of her usual one for intimidation; it was like an Anbu mask but had the Trinity of Worms emblem on its forehead and looked as if worms had coiled around its eyes. Inagojo then sat with her legs crossed and entered a meditative state. She was entering her dream realm to escape everything.
Inside the dream realm, Hinata sat in a corner curled up leaning against the wall. Her mind was very uncertain and struggling to think of anything. Out of all the times she had been taken captive, she had never been kept away like this. Being trapped in a dream realm seemed awkward to Hinata and she wasn't sure what to expect. She knew that whatever they needed her for would require her to be alive so she had no fear of being killed. But if her captors weren't going to kill her then how long would she be kept like this? Hinata didn't know and she didn't want to think about it. To make herself feel better, Hinata began to think about Naruto. She thought of what it would be like when he finally arrived to rescue her. But the moment Hinata finally had something come into her head, her thoughts were interrupted by loud music playing somewhere in the realm.
"What the-!?" Hinata jumped up out of the corner she was in and began to follow the noise. She found a room in the castle and saw Inagojo standing in front of some sort of stereo system made of rock with death metal blasting. Inagojo let out a scream of frustration as the music burst through the entire realm. "Oh my God! You're actually listening to this!?"
Inagojo silenced the music telepathically and covered her face with her hands to look over her shoulder. She saw Hinata and then slid on the mask she brought along on to her face.
"It's you." Inagojo said.
"Why must you wear a mask wherever you go? Why can't you talk to me without it on?" Hinata asked out of a bit of annoyance. She didn't like how she could never see the faces of her other two captors, Nazo's she never wanted to see again.
"I'm not ready to show my face to anyone yet. It's sort of a pact I made with my comrades a while back. We didn't want the world to see our faces until the right time. I'm not ready to show mine to you just yet." Inagojo answered Hinata's second question. However, Inagojo did want to show her face to Hinata now; she was tired of hiding. "What do you want?"
"I thought it was only Nazo and my boyfriend who listened to this crap but you do too!?" Hinata said in disbelief as she let the thought of Inagojo's face leave her mind for the moment.
"I'm frustrated. Why does it matter to you how I express it?" Inagojo asked as she crossed her arms showing her arrogant queen like side. Inagojo was in a bit of a mood after having to put up with Nazo and Akumu.
"B-But why you of all people, why would someone like you listen to let alone enjoy this kind of music that Nazo blasts during his threats?" Hinata asked in confusion. To her this seemed out of Inagojo's character. "People like you generally aren't into this sort of stuff."
"What do you mean people like me? What kind of person am I to you?" Inagojo asked. She wanted to hear Hinata's opinion on her.
"Well, I," Hinata thought back to the fight she had with Inagojo back in the mines but then remembered all of the horrible things Inagojo had done before that with Nazo and Akumu, "for one thing I don't think that you're as villainous as you make yourself out to be, and second I think you're too elegant of a person to like this death metal crap."
"You think I'm too elegant to death metal?" Inagojo laughed. "My sensei raised me and my squad on it! It's relieving once you get used to it."
"But if you listened to music like that constantly then you'd become brutal like you are now!" Hinata said.
"So? At least I have something to motivate me to become stronger." Inagojo said. "When I hear it, I can imagine myself being better, stronger, and with all my fears beneath me."
"This is why you've become so cruel! Your strength comes from becoming mean spirited! You've been listening to violent music and been corrupted by Nazo's antics!" Hinata said now hopeless in her attempt to convert Inagojo over to some sort of sanity. "You could never be a good person listening to such garbage. You'd be, you'd be…."
Before Hinata could gather her thoughts, Inagojo began to laugh. Hinata now felt insulted.
"What's so funny!?" Hinata said.
"It's nothing. It's just that you remind me of myself when I was about your age. You're thinking that to be strong, you can't be yourself anymore." Inagojo said with a smile beneath her mask. She was now beginning to warm up to Hinata more and she felt much more relaxed and relieved talking with her now than listening to music. "I used to be like you but it took me a while to realize that I was too uptight at times. You should try to loosen up, trust me it's for your own good."
"You used to be like me?" Hinata said almost shocked. She couldn't imagine Inagojo ever being like her; shy and struggling to become more assertive without the help of her boyfriend. Then Inagojo did the unthinkable. Out of some sort of newfound trust, or maybe even an attempt to comfort Hinata, Inagojo broke off the bottom portion of her mask and showed her smiling face to Hinata.
"Don't be afraid to assert yourself more, it won't hurt you. The person most precious to me once told me that those who are truly strong are those can put up a good fight but also keep a good character." Inagojo said. She now felt like she was more at peace with herself. "You have a good character Hinata and the way you've been able to hold on to it for so long is amazing. That in itself is true strength."
Hinata began to blush a bit. She had never been complimented like this before, not even by Naruto or Kurenai. Before Hinata could say anything, Inagojo disappeared; she had left the dream realm in a calmer state and feeling much better. However, they were both troubled by this. Hinata was beginning to become attached to Inagojo and Inagojo was beginning to be friendly with Hinata and overall was becoming a different person somehow.
WHAT DID I FUCKIN' SAY!? I TOLD YOU I WOULD BRING THIS BACK! HOWEVER, the next chapter won't be up for a while so savor this chapter while it lasts. I'm college now kiddies and I took time out of school to finish this. So please be extremely patient with me on updating this story. I still got other stories I want to do too. As for the After Show, I'm afraid there won't be one this time because i got too much work. Sorry guys. Next chapter, I promise.