A Place in Time
Chapter 10: Poison Water
A/N: Taking a break from Empty Shinobi. Pending yet another re-write on it. It's a hard story to get written the way I want it to. I may go back and edit a few chapters of this story, as a lot of people are opposed to Naruto's record of his past life. I have my reasons.
WHY does he keep a record? To answer a reviewer who said "I will no longer read your retarded Naruto." He still wants to have a connection to his life; after all it was his LIFE. And although his new life may be better, he still wants to remember everything that went wrong while it was still fresh so he wouldn't forget. Although the scroll will NOT be around much longer. Its significance will die off very soon.
"They have taken our livelihoods…
They have taken our loves…
They have taken our homes…
And they have taken our Freedoms…
We will take their Lives."
-Matairo Gusishi to his Wife's Grave
Naruto and Kakashi were led by a small group of armed Civilians. They were headed towards the quarters of the infamous Bloodless Mizukage, Matairo Gusishi, or as they referred to him, Matairo-Kami, or Matairo-sama. To them, he was a messiah. Sent by God to purge the land of the unclean, of the ones who opposed him and mocked him with their unnatural demon abilities.
Beneath their masks the two Shinobi scoffed at them. Religion held no place in a Shinobi's life. "Thou shalt not kill." Commandments such as those opposed the very standards of Shinobi Life. Those that did believe in a God of some sort had their own notions of what he wanted. The most extreme being those of the Church of Jashin. More of a cult believing in the mutilation of their victims through an odd ritual involving their own mutilation to appease their blood-thirsty God.
Regardless, it was a few minutes before the two Shinobi were brought in front of the man in charge of the camp. The man known as the Bloodless Mizukage. The two Shinobi were… strangely underwhelmed by the appearance of the man. By all accounts he was a bear of a man who could withstand the force of the elements himself, and could merely lift his hand and they would be quieted by the sheer aura of power he radiated. When standing face to face with this man, the two shinobi could not help but wonder who it was creating these accounts. And how much of the Mizukage they had actually seen.
To them, it seemed as though it was not much. Gusishi was a man who stood at about six feet four inches. A man of considerable stature, but he was lanky and thin. He had some muscle yes, but nowhere near the body-building physique the stories made him out to have. His hair was a dark brown, long, hanging down to just past his shoulders, pulled back into a ponytail. He had a goatee surrounding his mouth, and dropping off of his chin a short ways. His fingers were long and thin, and his hands were quite bony. His face was gaunt and his cheeks and eyes were sunken and dark.
Upon meeting the two Shinobi, he rose from his chair and strode forward, long purposeful strides with a slight limp in his right leg. He waved a hand and dismissed the other members of the room.
"Good day good day to you. I have already heard of your plight from the messenger sent ahead of you by my associates. I do hope I am able to aid you in some way." His voice was deep and smooth, but it held a certain roughness to it, as though he was choking back tears on every word.
"It is good to meet you Mizukage-sama. My brother and I have been travelling a long time, seeking refuge after the atrocious crimes that were committed against us." The Inu mask was the first to speak. Gusishi nodded in response.
"Please, we are all brothers here. Call me Gusishi-san. I insist, but the others insist on referring to me as Matairo. I m so sorry to hear that your faces were disfigured by those horrid demon-spawn, bloodline users. May I ask why you have taken to wearing animal masks?" The Kitsune-masked one nodded.
"Certain Gusishi-san. As I am sure you are aware, our faces were disfigured by the attack. As such we were ostracized by our family and community. Everywhere we went, we were greeted with hatred and disdain, we were tainted they told us. We bore the marks of Bloodlines users. We acquired these masks to conceal our horrid faces, and we swore never to remove them until the day we could exact our revenge on those who did this to us. Our faces slowly began to heal from the grievous wounds inflicted upon us, and as such, the masks have become grafted to our skin. I fear even if we wanted to, the masks would be impossible to remove. They would at the very least, tear portions of our faces away, leaving us worse than before."
To demonstrate, he gripped his mask and pulled on it lightly. The mask did not budge, as it was attached firmly to his face. The Mizukage nodded lightly. He glanced around the tent for a moment before stepping outside.
The two could hear him order the guards around the tent to leave. At their tentative questioning he nearly yelled at them, asking them if they thought their Mizukage was so incompetent as to be taken apart by two wandering fools.
The guards left soon after.
The Mizukage re-entered the tent a moment later. "I apologize for that. I would rather not have them listening in on our conversation, as I am sure it is a very sensitive subject for you two, am I right Inu-san, Kitsune-san?" The two nodded in response to the Mizukage's question. "Now, as I am sure you are aware, I was a jounin of Kirigakure before the Purges began, and as you may not know, it was the murder of my beloved wife that drove me into this war. I swore to avenge her death." The two shinobi stared ahead, controlled in their emotions, although inside they were swearing to themselves.
"Now, as a Jounin, I am aware of certain information pertaining to other Villages. Namely the fact that only Konoha Anbu wear animal masks. I can tell from a simple glance those masks of yours are no simple party favors. They're made to withstand combat and chakra usage. This brings me to my next question. What is your real purpose here?" The Mizukage gazed condescendingly at the two Shinobi who quite close to swearing out loud now.
"I promise you Gusishi-san, we have come here wi-" Inu began, but the Mizukage cut him off with a stern glare.
"I trust you are here in an attempt to de-rail our attempted coup, and subsequent takeover of Kirigakure? If that is indeed your true purpose, then I have a few choice words for you. Welcome to the team." The two shinobi were left gaping at the Mizukage.
"Gusishi-san, I'm afraid I don't understand! Are you saying you're a double agent, working for the Bloody Faction, attempting to cause your own coup to fail?" Inu spoke in a loud whisper.
The Mizukage sighed heavily. "As I told you, my wife's murder dragged me into this whole mess, but it wasn't just her murder. It was my child's murder too." The two shinobi were shocked. It wasn't uncommon for children to die in this war, but personal accounts were far different from tall tales. "My wife was pregnant with our child when we began our escape from Kiri. I wasn't able to protect her when a band of Bloodless thugs attacked her, thinking she had a bloodline, and was holding me captive to use as a hostage. If only I had left earlier, I was too darn stubborn thinking we could ride out this war without getting involved, and now my family is dead. I've sworn revenge against the ones who killed them, and that path eventually landed me in this position. I can do virtually nothing without being seen as suspicious, but you can do so much more."
The two shinobi regarded the Mizukage with a wary eye. He sighed heavily once more. "I am being completely honest. I need people I can trust in this damned place, and I need them soon. The men are getting riled up and want blood. Specifically the blood of Terumi Mei. The rightful Mizukage. However, she's holed up in the city, running low on supplies, while we're out here hunting the wildlife to near extinction since the men refuse to farm. Their attacks on the wildlife are their "training" they say. Preparing themselves for an inevitable bloodbath." The shinobi nodded.
"And what exactly do you want us to do to help you?" Inu asked. The Mizukage smirked.
"My men eat and eat and eat and do almost nothing else. They dine on meat and fish and any stray fruit they find on trees. They were wary at the beginning as agents of Kirigakure would slip outside and poison the wildlife and fruit in an attempt to cripple us. They eventually let their guard lower once the attempts ceased due to their dwindling resources. If you could slip something into their food, our job would be made so much simpler." The Konoha agents glanced at each other before nodding.
Kitsune slipped the pack off his back, before laying it in front of the Mizukage. Unzipping the main compartment, he revealed a large number of red powder bricks wrapped in cellophane. The Mizukage gave a low whistle.
"That's a lot of product. Although it'll leave a good number of them alive, it should weaken them considerably. I don't know how skilled you two are but-" Kitsune raised his hand, cutting off the Mizukage.
"I assure you Gusishi-san; we have far more than just this to eliminate the members of your faction with. All we need is an opportunity, and the product will be appropriately administered to all of them. However, this particular agent requires water to work. Can it be assured that all those who ingest this will be drinking shortly thereafter?" The Mizukage smiled.
"Of course. I would appreciate it if one of you would propose a toast to me. To "inspire" the men, and get them to drink. I am not entirely sure how you two will avoid ingesting the product." The two nodded. They would have to be careful at the feast whenever it was held. "I will order the preparations for the feast to begin. We should be ready by tomorrow night at the latest. Be sure to be there. I must warn you though. If this attempt fails, the men will no doubt overrun Kirigakure. My official reasoning for this feast is a celebration of our attack on the city." The two nodded once more, both understanding the agreement. "Please, go and rest. Some of the others may wish to speak with you. Entertain them. I encourage you to rest well tonight. Tomorrow may be a difficult day to stomach." With that, the Mizukage showed the two out of his tent, before once more retreating inside.
"Inu-san. Why, pray tell, did you not tell him about the blue powder?" Inu glanced down at Kitsune for a moment.
"It did not seem pertinent at the time. And truth be told, I am a bit apprehensive about why we were given separate products. There is obviously something to these powders. What, I do not know. Obviously their effects are meant to be fatal, but I cannot help but wonder why they were distinctly separated. One for the cannon fodder, the other for the elites. Something just seems off about it." Kitsune frowned underneath his mask. Inu was right.
They arrived at their designated tents, having been briefed earlier before their meeting with the Mizukage. They crawled inside their separate tents, preparing to settle down for a good night's sleep. Inu fell asleep with practiced ease, learnt from years of working in the field. Kitsune had a harder time falling asleep. He too had learned the same technique, but his body was too untrained to comply. He lay in his tent, thoughts of the effects of the powder filling his mind.
Why would there be two different powders? Was the blue one possibly more potent? Chakra triggered? The possibilities seemed to be endless. Naruto eventually surrendered that train of thought and allowed himself to drift into a dreamless sleep.
It was almost noon by the time Naruto awoke from his slumber. He yawned before stepping outside of his tent, not needing to shade his eyes from the bright sunlight, the mask doing all the work for him. A quick glance over at Kakashi's tent told him that he had already left for somewhere else. Naruto decided to meander about the camp for a while to get a feel for it.
As he began walking, he noticed very few people were around. There were the occasional small groups of friends laughing and drinking some beverage or other. There were the young, small children who laughed and ran about the camp, many almost Naruto's age. The old and the infirm could also be seen milling about the camp. They had very little physical strength, and many were along simply to provide support for their friends and family.
It made Naruto nauseated to think of these innocent children and elderly persons' deaths. They would undoubtedly be caught in the firestorm that was to be the poisoning of the food supply. With a heavy sigh Naruto kept walking until he came to the edge of the camp.
He had wondered why the Mizukage had told him that the day would be hard to stomach. He honestly hadn't had any idea. When he reached the edge of the camp, he found out exactly why.
A few groups of people were beginning to emerge from the forests, carrying their kills with them. The proper way to hunt was to respect the animals and give them a painless death, and to only kill what you needed for food.
These hunters had thrown every single rule out the window.
They were coated in blood and grinning viciously. They carried kunai and knives, some dull and beginning to rust, caked with drying blood. They carried parcels of meat and had the coats of the animals strung up like flags, or being used as coats. Several groups were even dragging in animals that were still crying and slowly bleeding out from shall wounds. The hunters themselves appeared incredibly self-satisfied, as if this was what they had been made to do. To slaughter defenseless creatures and parade them about like carnival toys.
Naruto was nearly sick at the sight. Resisting the urge to throw up, Naruto walked past them into the forest, some of them shooting him smiles and sympathetic glances. Naruto had to admit. Although the acts that these men were committing were deplorable and a crime against Nature in a very literal sense, it was nice to feel accepted.
Terumi Mei sat in her office, hoping that the two agents Danzo had sent would be able to pull off the mass killing. She hoped that at least some of the civilians would survive the ordeal and would come to accept her as Mizukage, and to accept Bloodline Users. Mei had already seen a small flow of agents returning to Kirigakure. She was pulling back all remaining forces that she possibly could. She had a bad feeling about the other villages.
The current Hokage she knew, was quite old but still capable. It was obvious he would need a successor soon. The boy she sought to turn to her side would have made a possible candidate provided the old Hokage lived long enough for him to mature. All other likely prospects seemed daunting. A lazy perverted Jounin who was long past his prime due to wallowing in his own sorrow and was best known for his infamous Father, or an old war hawk with a penchant for things that were best left alone.
Suna presented other problems entirely. In the past they had worked together as both had used questionable morals. Suna for sealing Shukaku into a new born child with a faulty seal, simply to give themselves an edge over other villages, and turning their enemies into weapons through preservation techniques. Suna seemed to have more of a penchant for human weapons than Danzo. Kiri had always been known as the Bloody Mist for atrocious Genin exam and slaughter of their enemies.
Kumo was run by a muscle-headed body builder whose patience was only matched by strategic ability. Preferring the Strong Arm approach, he blindly rushed into any situation and attempted to pummel everyone he could. Their two Jinchuuriki, Yugito Nii and Killer B, brother of the Raikage no less, showed Kumo's love of the "Kill first, don't bother with questions." policy.
Iwa was mainly an enigma. Their new Tsuchikage was rumored to be incredibly powerful, and ran his country well, but he refused all diplomatic meetings and engagements, and isolated Iwa from the rest of the Elemental Countries. No one knew exactly what was going on in Iwa, and no reports could get out, and no spies could get in. It made any diplomat or politician very wary. There were even rumors that Iwa had over thrown their Daimyo and had taken control of the entire country and turned it into a Military State, more so than it already was.
Mei knew that if a conflict were to rear its ugly head, Kiri would be an easy target for resource expansion. They had prime location and were currently very weak. Mei needed to have all the capable Shinobi she could in Kirigakure, and getting her contacts out was important too.
It was true that she would lose some knowledge of what was occurring in other villages, but it was those spies that started the first Three Great Ninja Wars. Sure on the surface it was an intrusion into territory that later escalated, but underneath that were the politics and the subterfuge that fueled what would normally be overlooked as a misstep into an international conflict.
The First Great Shinobi War sprung up between Suna and Kumo. It was stated publically that Kumo had made several cursory attempts to acquire abilities found in Suna, such as Bloodlines and the Puppeteer Arts, through underhanded tactics. The truth was that Kumo's Daimyo had only half-bowed to the Daimyo of Suna who took it as an offense and wished for war. In reaction, the Raikage of the time ordered his spies to attempt to assassinate the Kazekage who retaliated by killing them and stating they had been attempting to steal Suna's techniques.
Attempted assassination of a Kage made for a good reason to declare war, but the politics that ensued were terrible. Suna would have lost prestige since the spies were able to reach their Kage, and although they were killed, the fact that they may have succeeded was fact enough for the tides of politics to turn.
The Second Great Shinobi War was started between Iwa and Konoha when the Nidaime Hokage, Senju Tobirama, had insulted the Sandaime Tsuchikage for how he trained his Shinobi. The Tsuchikage attempted to undermine Konoha's Academy afterwards, in response to which Konoha destroyed every major supply bridge in Iwa leading to war.
The Third Great Shinobi War broke out between Kumo and Konoha after Kumo blatantly attempted to steal the Byakugan by targeting Hyuuga Clan members that left on the village on missions. Needless to say, Konoha hadn't taken it lying down and had threatened Kumo. Iwa, seizing the chance that Konoha was distracted to the North, attacked from the West in an attempt to get revenge for the Second Great War. They were soundly thrashed by Namikaze Minato.
Mei wanted Kiri to in no way be responsible for the outbreak of another war. Kiri had no agents in other villages, or at least they wouldn't once the extraction process was finished and all agents had returned. Kiri could then sit out of the war as long as they wished and intervene on either side whenever they felt it to be appropriate, although Mei suspected they would end up facing Konoha no matter what diplomatic maneuvers they attempted.
If all went well, Naruto would turn traitor to Konoha and join Kiri. Harboring a Missing-Nin and accepting them into your Shinobi Force was a major diplomatic no-no. It was considered wrong because you were openly harboring a known criminal, which could possibly be overlooked depending on their Rank, and the fact that the Shinobi would hold valuable village secrets.
These village secrets ranged from something as simple as an uncommon way of forging a kunai, to as high as having information to blackmail the daimyo or Kage of the country, of course depending on Rank usually. There had been instances when a Genin in the wrong spot had been declared an S-Class Criminal.
The ranking system of the Bingo Book is often misunderstood. The ranking doesn't simply denote skill and strength, but it is also decided based on the severity of the crime. Kiri was a leader in that respect, in that they had only had a few A-class criminals, and no S-class. Konoha was a sore loser with more S-class Criminals originating there than from any other country.
In any case, avoiding war while simultaneously building up forces was a tricky task. Often it was required for a Missing-nin to change their appearance and mannerisms, and quite obviously their names, in order to better blend into a new village while still maintaining the plausible deniability of being from a different village.
There was no way that there that many vagabonds wandering throughout the continent with Shinobi Training, but there was often no way to tell.
Sighing, Mei looked out at her village once more. She had been doing so more and more often lately. There were so many problems that needed to be solved and they couldn't even begin to start fixing things until the other Faction was crushed, and it wasn't looking too good. She could see the swirls of smoke curling out from the camp in the distance, the soldiers no doubt preparing a feast in preparation of some attack.
Mei turned back to her desk, glancing at the few sheets of paper lying on its surface, turned once more and exited the Kage's office. As she walked towards the door of the tower, she turned to her secretary.
"Order all the active Shinobi to meet in the Town Square in a quarter hour." The secretary nodded at her Kage's instruction before preparing the message. Mei walked out the door, her blue dress' tail following slightly behind her.
She began to head for the Town Square, intent on making tonight the last night that this Civil War would go on.
Naruto sat next to Kakashi as they watched the civilians finishing the preparations for the feast. They had already distributed the powders amongst the chefs earlier, Naruto claiming the red powder to be a form of seasoning, the chefs, welcoming anything to change the flavor of the meats, as they had been without herbs or spices for some time now, graciously accepted. Kakashi had instructed that the Blue powder was exclusively reserved for the officer's meals, and was to be added just before they were served in order to prevent any mix ups concerning the food.
The two were seated at one of many long wooden tables, each one with a long wooden bench on either side. The tables were lined with plates, some of them cracked or broken, but still usable. Men around them sat talking and cheering jovially. At the head of the tables was a smaller table where the officers, and Gusishi, were seated.
They watched as they servers finally brought out the huge platters of food. They carried out huge slabs of venison and boar. Stuffed birds and marinated rabbits weren't far behind. Platters of fruits and vegetables followed after, large trays of berries and apples and pears and even several bananas. Platters of smoked barbecue dripping with sauce and large steaks, the fat sizzling were carried out. An entire roast pig, an apple customarily stuffed in its mouth wasn't far behind the rest of the food. The parade of meats and sauces continued for several minutes, the tables becoming crowded with huge platters, sauces threatening to spill over, hands itching to tear into the soft flesh of the animals, mouths salivating at the delicious aromas that swirled upwards from the plates.
Kakashi and Naruto, although both trained Shinobi, were finding it hard to resist such a generous offering of food. Naruto then realized something. They were still wearing their Anbu masks. They were supposed to be disfigured. There was no way that they'd be able to eat without exposing themselves. Naruto shot Kakashi a glance that he could feel through the mask.
Kakashi chuckled momentarily. Before, they had eaten in private, removing their masks, but that wasn't possible now. Kakashi knew Naruto didn't have the experience to consume his food near instantaneously like he did, so Kakashi was forced to reveal to Naruto the secret eating method of all Anbu.
Bending over to his height, Kakashi whispered to Naruto the secret of how Anbu ate with their masks on. It was possible for the mouth piece portion of the mask to be removed. Naruto shook his head at the incredibly simple solution.
Turning to Kakashi he whispered to him. "And how exactly do you expect me to remove a single portion of the mask?" The Inu mask seemed to grin at Naruto as the portion covering his mouth split down the middle and slid into the interior of the mask, revealing his mouth.
"Just channel your chakra to the one portion of the mask. It'll do the rest on its own." With a quick nod, Naruto followed Kakashi's instructions, the mask opening, allowing him to eat normally.
Before the feast could begin, Matairo stood up, and all eyes turned to him as the noise quieted to nary a whisper. He stood tall, his gaunt face and limbs seemingly filled with power as he stood before the assembled men. He cleared his throat before he began.
"I, just as you all have, have been waiting for this day to come for years." A cheer went up in the crowds of men at those words. "We hold this feast, to fill our bellies and our spirits with energy and with vigor. For tomorrow we cease this senseless siege. We have held them in their city for months now, and what have they done? They've cowered like rats and vermin in the streets! They don't even dare to make attempts on our forces now! They've grown weak and pitiful from lack of food and fresh water while we've built our strength on good food and drink. For too long have we allowed them their lives! They have taken all from us! They have attacked our friends and our families! They have attacked our foodstuffs and our pets! They have torn at our dignity and our spirits! And what has been our response? To sit here and pick off the straggling demon that exits the city! Well I say no longer!" An even louder cheer went up from the crowd.
"We will take the fight to their doorstep, to their home! We will run them down like the pitiful insects that they are, and crush underneath the heels of our boots! Their blood will run in the streets, and it will paint the cobblestone paths red! Their bodies will hang from the trees and the buildings, strung up just as they strung us up! Not one of them will escape! And when it is finished, Kirigakure will be reborn! As a pure nation! One of pure blood! One without the taint of demon spawn! These bloodlines users have been a taint on our lands for far too long! It is time we took them down like the vile beasts they truly are!" The crowd roared with excitement at his speech. "I beg you now, not as my comrades, or as my soldiers, but as my brothers and sisters, take up your arms with me this night! We are here to write history! Take these arms as your pens, take this ground as your paper, and take their blood, their tainted blood, as your ink!" The crowd roared their loudest yet, as he delivered his speech.
"But before we strike, we must feast! So I urge you know my brothers and sisters. Fill yourselves on this plentiful bounty, and tomorrow morning we strike them down!" The crowd gave a final cheer before they tore into the meal. Matairo gave a final glance at the two masked figures that were tearing into the food just as voraciously as the rest of them, praying that they knew what they were doing.
An hour later, the meal was dying down. There was still quite a bit of eating occurring, but the food frenzy had died down into civil conversation and cheerful chatter of the blood that would be spilled the very next day. Naruto glanced over at Kakashi before Kakashi nodded at him. Nodding in return, Naruto stood up, holding up his glass and a kunai. Tapping the kunai against the glass, he gained the attention of the camp.
"I would like to propose a toast, to our fearless Mizukage, the great Matairo Gusishi!" The crowd roared drunkenly in appreciation to the toast. "The man who so valiantly has led this crusade to make the world safe for children! The man who has made this day possible, who has helped us rise from the ashes of the fires that those bloody demons began! The man who has inspired us to be what we are today! To Matairo!"
"To Matairo!" The crowd roared back. With that final note, all but two people in the camp threw back their heads and drained the dregs from their glasses. For a moment, the camp was entirely silent. No one moved, and no one made a single sound.
It was as if time itself had come to a standstill in the camp. Then with a sudden lurch, time seemed to kick back. A man sitting a few tables away from Naruto and Kakashi suddenly began coughing. A man rose next to him intent on helping him, but suddenly began gasping for air, grasping at his throat.
All around them, similar scenes began occurring. People's eyes and ears and mouths and noses began to bleed, their screams filling the air. One man's cries pierced the air as blood oozed from his pores, coating him a bloody crimson. Another man began clawing at his face, tearing away pieces of flesh and blood, his face becoming a disfigured mask of horror. All around them, chaos began to erupt in the camp.
People began keeling over dead, all from different causes. Some seemed to go mad before slashing their own throats; one man could be seen lunging awkwardly with a kunai, attempting to stab anyone near him, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. Another man furiously clawed at the ground before repeatedly smashing his head into a rock on the ground, caving in his skull.
Some men began foaming at the mouth, their bodies convulsing into awkward positions, some crashing into each other with such force, the crack of bone could be distinctly heard. A quick glance at the officer's table found the Mizukage and his Officers seemingly untouched by the effects of the blue powder. Naruto gave a quick questioning glance at Kakashi who could only offer a blank stare in return.
With a quick burst of chakra, they sealed their masks shut once more, and began moving towards the Mizukage. Suddenly, next to the Mizukage, one of the men's arms began turning a dark red while the rest of his body began to pale. His breath began coming in rapid short breaths before his arm began to swell and quickly burst in a spray of blood and gore. His horrified shriek rent the air asunder as attempted to move his arm, now only bone with small pieces of gore still clinging lifelessly to its surface.
Naruto and Kakashi leapt towards the Mizukage, intent on saving his life, as it seemed he was unaffected by the blue powder, as were most of the other Officers, aside from the poor man whose arm was victim of a violent explosion. As they approached, they could tell that something was happening with the Officers.
Their veins began to turn a thick inky black, and their skin began to pale. The man who lost his arm was no longer bleeding and seemed to no longer register the fact that his arm was now missing. A moment later, the bones forming his limb began to twist and bend and elongate eventually settling on a long hook like form. This new appearance shook the two shinobi, who attempted to formulate a plan of action, an enormous group of dying men behind them, grotesquely transforming men in front of them.
The Officers' limbs began to twist and contort into various shapes. Some forming blades or hooks or mallets of sorts, some of them their legs twisting and contorting into small spindly points, unable to support their upper bodies which began to expand, borrowing mass from the other portions of their bodies, they toppled over, making every attempt to drag themselves forward.
The Mizukage glanced over at them, his eyes filled with regret, as the veins began popping, his eye slowly bleeding into black. The main difference with the Mizukage was that it seemed his body wasn't using mass from other portions to augment a single one. It was an overall growth of his body, forming the man into a large pale skinned behemoth with bulging black veins.
His legs lengthened, his torso thickening, his hair simply falling to the ground leaving him bald and grotesque. His teeth grew longer to form enormous fangs. His body contorted and cracked, muscle tissue piling on top of muscle tissue, the thick fibers intertwining underneath his thick skin. Once him body had finished its odd transformation, he stood at over nine feet tall, leaning over on his large knuckles, his thick but somewhat stubby legs supporting his body almost like a bulldog. His eyes were pure black, large fangs protruding from his thick pale lips. He snorted, glancing around, his large nostrils sniffing the arm.
Kakashi leaned over to Naruto. "Kitsune. Run." The younger of the Shinobi needed no more prompting than that as he turned and bolted, Kakashi not far behind him. As they ran they noticed that some of the regular men who had ingested the red powder weren't dead. Some of them began to stand up, missing limbs or other portions of their bodies. Their eyes blank and dead, their skin a mottled red and grey from the blood and dirt, some of them looking more like the dead than living men.
They gazed blankly ahead, shallow breaths barely supporting their bodies as they tried to shamble towards the behemoth creature in front of them. Some of them picked up rocks or other discarded tools from the ground, groaning in some mixture of noises that sounded halfway between anger and sorrow.
Kakashi and Naruto watched in horror as the two sides suddenly came to a clash. The grotesque pale creatures, bulging with dark veins tearing into the men who could only be described as single minded. They weren't dead as their bodies spouted warm red blood, some of it landing on Naruto, as he could feel its dense heat seep through his clothing.
The less numerous pale creatures mobbed their way through the group of smaller enemies, tearing them to pieces without a single thought. They could see one attempt to fling a smaller creature off its back, only for it to dig its fingers into his flesh, attempting to tear chunks of it off. It swung its massive hook around, goring the creature on its back, as a large group mobbed it from the front, tearing into it, taking it down.
The blood splattered across the ground, the black ink like substance hissing and boiling wherever it hit. Kakashi and Naruto turned and kept running, the sounds of the battle behind them. Both were in shock at what had just occurred. The powders hadn't been simple poisons. They had done something to these men.
The red powder seemed to force the men's bodies into some kind of force battle lust. They wouldn't give up as long as their bodies could be forced to move. The blue powder seemed to transform the men, almost like Orochimaru's Curse Seal.
Naruto's eyes widened at that realization. Orochimaru… Naruto had a sudden inkling as to where Danzo had gotten the powders. He didn't have time to dwell on it as he and Kakashi drove onwards toward the gate of Kirigakure.
As they reached the wall, they channeled chakra to their legs, giving an enormous leap, landing partially up the wall, sticking to it with chakra; they ran the rest of the way up before flipping over the opposite side, landing amongst a group of armed shinobi, lead by Terumi Mei.
The female Mizukage blinked as she examined the two Konoha operatives she knew would be coming.
"The Bloodless Army has been defeated?" The Mizukage's first words were strictly business, as the two weren't supposed to report until the army had been destroyed. Panting heavily from the exertion, Naruto gasped out an answer.
"There were… complications… We've got…. kind of a large… problem on the… other side." A sudden loud boom echoed throughout the city as something pounded on the large metal gates that guarded the city. "Get back!" Naruto's shout echoed throughout the army as the gates began to bend and buckle if only slightly.
Taking charge of the situation, Mei began barking orders. "Fall back to the interior! Prepare all invasion precautions! Start the fires and warm the oil. Though they may breach this wall, they shall never reach the tower and lay claim to Kirigakure!" Naruto muttered to himself.
"I don't think they want the tower…" The Mizukage shot him a questioning glance, but before she could receive an answer, the gates buckled more, their hinges shrieking against the strain of whatever was beating on them.
With a final creak and an ear shattering crash, the doors to the city fell, and the battle for the City began.
And so it goes. Got some interesting plot development going on in this chapter. I know the whole transformation thing is somewhat odd, but as I said in the story, it's linked to Orochimaru and Danzo. You'll just have to keep reading to find out more. We're nearing the point where you'll find out for sure exactly which summon Naruto picked and how he reacts to the entire Kirigakure situation.
There is also a chance that this story will conclude before Chapter 15 before picking up with a sequel, or I can continue this story and not make it into two separate stories. Let me know your opinions because depending on which route you guys want me to take will have an impact on the actual storyline.
Up next, Chapter of People of Wood and Puppets of Bone! This just recently had its first chapter re-written, so check it out!
Also, check out my One-Shot Did You Say Uzumaki? And let me know what you think of it! Always looking for more reviewers for my lesser known stories!
Enough shameless self-plugging! Hit that button down there and make me a happy author!