It happened almost too fast the follow, the rotating 'shuriken' of wind chakra that surrounded the attack proper sliced clean through the tree without any sense of resistance, the millions of blades shredding the wood in an instant as it passed through unimpeded, the top of the tree began to fall down but the cut was perfectly clean so it fell straight in the brief eye between the blade and the core of the attack itself.
The Rasengan hit, the sphere made up of uncountable microscopic blades of wind whirling in a chaotic, ever changing, vortex. A normal Rasengan was made to grind, erode the target by constant bombardment by the chakra but the Rasenshuriken was more akin to holding the target against a chainsaw as the material was ripped away by the uncountable wind blades. The thin sheen of chakra that had been holding the attack together ruptured less than a millisecond after impact. The once contained wind blades had a way out, the concentrated chakra that had been so tightly held suddenly made it's bid for freedom, the expanding sphere reaching the rotating 'shuriken' a infinitesimal moment later and blasting it outwards, turning it into the chakra equivalent of shrapnel as the minute blades were hurled outwards by the force of the explosion.
The bright white sphere of chakra was easily two stories tall, managing to engulf most of the tree and what was left dropped down into the blinding light before it finished dispersing. Still gaping Yochi numbly counted five seconds. Five whole seconds it took for the attack to peter out.
When it did it left a perfect crater in its wake, the tree was gone, there was no evidence of it at all. Whatever had been caught in that sphere none of them could see no trace of at all, the branches of the surrounding trees and even the trunk of the closest one had been caught in the expanding sphere and like the ground what had been engulfed was missing, it almost reminded Yochi of the fairy tales about Typhonna's Ebony Void and how it just seemed to erase things from existence.
Naruto was standing on the edge of the crater panting heavily, his arm dropped to his side, shaking slightly as signals tried to pass through the ruined nerve network. There was no external bleeding, the cuts were too small to ever reach entirely from vein to the surface, but he was sure there was plenty of internal problems, if he'd cared to look he would have seen spots on his skin darkening slightly were blood was pooling inside his body. Still he couldn't keep the proud grin off his face as he turned to face his girls he could see the shocked awe on Tora and Hikari's face, Yochi was by far the most dumbstruck of the three as she understood magic enough to have the vaguest idea of just how much power that attack must use, just how skilled you would need to be to pull it off. Shion's face was blank but Naruto swore there was an approving, even lustful, glint in those alien eyes as she got a good look at what her chosen king could really do if he wanted something dead.
"Pretty cool isn't it?" He laughed happily, taking a step forward; he sucked at sensing chakra, his own reserves masking any signal he would be able to find, but one didn't survive long in the shinobi, or Pokégirl, world without a finely tuned danger sense and his suddenly started screaming. Acting instantly to even just a gut feeling he threw himself forward, ducking into a roll and skidding around to face the spot he'd just been standing. In flight a sharp crack of thunder rent the otherwise peaceful morning air and a bolt of lightning struck the spot he'd been standing, incinerating the grass in a small radius and blasting a tiny, but deep, crater in the suddenly white hot soil.
The bolt snapped his girls out of whatever stupor they'd been in, Shion moving to race to Naruto's defence, her and Tora both slipping around the boy, one left and one right, to form a shield that would protect their master, claws and blades fully at the ready, Hikari yelped in surprise but quickly scrambled to a combat ready pose, a hand awkwardly coming up to retrieve a kunai from the seal in her collar.
All eyes were scanning the skies for the source of the attack when Yochi went white "They're here." she whimpered softly. Her new form granted her somewhat more confidence but evolution was not a blank slate nor had it wiped clean her various scars. Still she shifted in a ready casting position even if her limbs were visibly shaking.
Other than Yochi only Shion's eyes were capable enough to pick out the source of the attack, silhouetted as it was against the sun her multifaceted gaze allowed her to stare up at the bright orb in a way that would blind those with conventional sight.
A slight tensing of her body told Naruto Shion had found their attackers and he followed her gaze to find them too, using his good hand to shield his gaze from the sun as best he could he could just about make out three dark dots and he couldn't help the curse that rolled from his lips. Storm, and those other girls he'd seen that stormy night. It must be them! But how did they find him? He'd relaxed after escaping from the tunnel sure they'd been unable to track him underground. It took only a moment for him to realise what it had been. His Rasenshuriken! Of course! He'd basically just lit a beacon for their perusers! The next curse he spat was decidedly more bitter and self deprecating.
The three shapes dropped down and drew closer "Scatter!" Naruto barked remembering Storm's dive attack from last time "Tora, keep an eye on Hikari!" he didn't have to see the Eva to know that his command hurt the girl's pride but better a slightly wounded ego than having her gouged by those talons.
Naruto and Shion went one way, the insectile girl predictably refusing to leave her liege's side, whilst Tora, Hikari, and Yochi went another, surprisingly it was Yochi who was slowest the dark memories and raging fear numbing her body and mind. After all despite everything she'd long been taught, been shown, that there was no victory against her tormentors.
Seeing their targets scatter and unable to make major adjustments at their full diving speed the three girls landed in a rough triangle; Storm was accompanied by another Thundrix and a different flying girl Naruto didn't recognise, the second Thundrix had a slightly larger chest than her sister, qualifying as probably an A cup as opposed to Storm who wouldn't even require a bra even if she wore clothes. Her eyes were also different, a darker shade of yellow appearing almost muddied, the same duller yellow was present on her feathers making them blend better with the blackness of the rest of her form.
The other girl was definitely avian just like the two Thundrixs were, in fact her body shape was so similar that Naruto was forced to guess they were in the same evolution line, maybe she was their evolved form? Or some other branch? She was taller than the other two, only by an inch or two, her body mostly humanoid aside from her wickedly taloned feet and the wings that grew from her back, her chest incredibly generous compared to the two lightning attuned girls, but still calling her large chested would have been a lie, she was at best a B cup. Oddly her nipples were a bright red that matched her smouldering eyes, her body covered by light brown feathers each of which possessed a flickering red highlight that seemed to dance even as the girl was still giving the disconcerting illusion the girl was silently smouldering. In addition to the natural highlights tribal patterns looked to have been tattooed, or dyed, onto her arms and legs in a much darker red. The swirling lines running up to her knees and elbows before petering out. On first glance Naruto was ready to assume the girl was a fire type, that cut him off from most of his wind techniques but with his arm out of order he wasn't going to be using jutsu any time soon anyway so it wasn't as big a blow as it could have been.
But despite this Storm herself drew his attention the most, her once pristine feathers tattered and messy, in many places they seemed to have been torn straight out of her skin leaving bald patches of pale white flesh speckled with red marks that had once been the anchor point of the missing feathers. It had only been a day or two so the cuts from Naruto's storm of blades were still rather fresh, some wounds were newly scabbed over or in the process of doing so but others seemed to still be open and festering as if someone had deliberately prevented her body healing and tried to infect the wound, the dozens of still open cuts oozing pus and, occasionally, blood when the muscles beneath them were exerted. Her body was covered in bruises too numerous to count but the worst were around her wrists and neck, all three impressive bruises telling the world she'd been choked badly and restrained by someone incredibly strong with little to no regard for her safety, if Naruto's gaze had slid between her legs for any amount of time he would not that her womanhood was heavily bruised and swollen too, the feathers there did a good job of hiding the stark reddened welts of a whip or crop that had been applied to her sex. And finally, perhaps most obviously, was the brand across her chest, the feathers having been torn out to expose the bare flesh first before the word Failure had been burnt into her body, writ across both her breasts. It hadn't been a clean job either as the blackened skin and cauterised blood that clung to the brand suggested the words had been carved into her with a red hot blade rather than merely pressed into the skin with a branding iron. Storm's gaze was frenzied, mad, and filled with hatred her face twisting into a feral snarl as her white hot gaze locked firmly onto the boy that was her target "You!" she snarled lowly "Look what you did to me! I'll kill you!" gone was her teasing and confident superiority, the girl seemed little more than a rabid animal for the others to aim.
She shot forward towards Naruto her body streamlined as it could manage to be on the ground, drawing both her arms back as she moved, a slight trembling of her muscles and wince in her eyes betraying the pain she was suffering to fight in her current state.
"This is the boy who Storm lost to?" the fire bird sneered, amusement clear in her tone "He doesn't look like much."
"He doesn't" the second Thundrix agreed readily "But he was able to keep up with Storm when they fought, he's a martial artist or something. Don't underestimate him Sun."
Sun rolled her shoulders in a languid shrug "I'll just burn his stupid ass then, he can't karate chop his way out of a fire now can he?" she seemed pleased to have an excuse to burn her target alive and her eyes danced with malicious joy at the thought.
Storm was especially single minded as lightning gathered and began to crackle around her wrists, her gaze not shifting from Naruto even as Shion and Tora both began to move towards her to strike. The static in the air built as the girl gathered energy for her strike, but it was a race against time now. Shion had been right next to Naruto and the Killerbreast was dashing to meet the attacker, blades dripping her most potent venom, the two girls were four paces apart, three, it became apparent Tora wasn't going to reach them before they clashed so the Tigress shifted targets to the other two aggressors, two steps, one. Storm fired. Shion swung.
With a sharp crack and the thick smell of ozone two bolts of lightning shot straight past Shion at Naruto who had been expecting Storm to cancel her attack to deal with Shion so his attention had been on the other two, ready to keep them interfering. Dodging lightning at anything less than long to extreme range was already all but impossible but Naruto had not been tensed and ready to dodge, hastily throwing himself to the side he managed to avoid the bolt that had been aimed at his heart but the second, more central, attack still caught his side and blasted him backwards. Unlike before Storm hadn't cared in the slightest about leaving the blonde alive so the voltage had been considerably higher, raw agony lanced through the ninja's mind and for a moment his entire body felt like it'd been doused in fire. Darkness danced before his eyes then the shock passed, and the world resumed moving, his momentum sent his crashing to the ground and rolling across the dirt, all pretence of grace stolen by the shock that had cut off his ability to move as muscles twitched and stretched of their own accord.
Storm paid the price for her attack though as Shion showed her characteristic amount of mercy. The single minded girl doing nothing to defend herself in her mad race to hurt the blonde had made it almost too easy for one smooth slice to rip open her throat and sever the major artery located in the neck, Shion's stop venom freezing the Thundrix's body in place as every muscle in Storm's body locked up. Stop was relatively short lived, lasting a minute at most, but it didn't matter. Storm would be dead from lack of oxygen or blood well before then, all it was doing was preventing the girl thrashing around and struggling before death took her.
The remaining two girls seemed unflustered by the demise of their partner "Hmmph, bitch could of at least taken one of them down with her." Sun snorted disdainfully
"What do you expect she failed to kill even one human last time, she was never going to be useful." the Thundrix responded "I was always stronger than her anyway, Mistress just made her the leader 'cause she was the best at sucking up."
Sun laughed, a barking harsh, noise, "True that. She couldn't even count right either it seems, this guy has three girls not two."
"Well the bastard got hit pretty good by Storm's attack so we can finish him off at our leisure, which of his fuckrags do you want to kill first?"
"I don't know, it's always great fun to watch girls when we kill their tamers in front of them... but then it's delicious to watch their fear when they wake up with their entire harem dead." she seemed to almost be purring "Decisions, decisions."
Whilst the two had been talking Naruto's girls certainly hadn't been still, Hikari and Yochi rushing to Naruto's downed form, Hikari fussing over him as he slowly tried to push himself upwards on his one good arm, his body refusing to listen to his demands and his limbs still shaking. "Damn I hate lightning users." he groaned "First the Chidori now this, I really need to learn some defensive techniques."
Yochi was standing just a little distance off but worry clear on her face though she couldn't keep her gaze from constantly shifting back to the remaining foes.
Shion had hesitated in indecision for a moment before seeing Hikari and Yochi going to defend her liege; that was enough to convince her she was safe to remove the other threats. Tora had frozen mid-rush when Naruto had been hit but seeing he was alive had allowed her to move once more and she had a good head start on Shion so it wasn't surprising that she was the first to reach the two, lunging at Sun.
A great flap of her wings and a hop backwards allowed the lightweight girl to avoid Tora's brutal slash but Shion flowed past the Tigress like water her wings generating a low buzzing hum as they worked pushing the insectile girl up off the ground as she lunged at the airborne opponent. Of course being winged made being caught mid-jump a lot less dangerous and another flap spun the girl away from Shion letting her land on the loamy soil her talons digging in and quickly arresting her momentum "Wind!" she barked at the remaining Thundrix "Take the kitty, I can't stand the smell of burning fur. I'll deal with the bug bitch!"
Tora was aiming to support Shion and take out Sun together but a bolt of lightning cut in front of her as Wind joined the fight; stretching slightly, more for show than anything, she grinned at the Tigress "Do try and make this interesting, ok." she taunted.
With a low growl of anger Tora focused in on her new target "I'll make you eat those words bitch." she rumbled out her reply, tone deep and threatening "Don't you know not to mock those higher on the food chain?" she gave a grin that showed off far too many of her sharp teeth.
Shion was doing a good job of harassing her opponent, Sun's avian wings meant she needed some forward momentum to be able to take off but Shion was using her own insectile wings to dart around the other girl and prevent her from being able to take off, her blade in constant motion but not yet managing to get the cut she needed for her stop venom to take effect.
Sun was getting irritated as the Killerbreast kept her grounded, once she was in the air she could fly faster and higher than Shion's wings could hope to take her, Sun knew she could stay airborne longer too. But she just couldn't get off the ground like this! Hearing Wind's insult hit the mark with the Tigress she bit out one of her own hoping the rage would cloud Shion's mind enough for the girl to slip up "Come now, at least tell me you're not going to go down as easy as your trainer."
"No one insults my king and lives." Shion wasn't really capable of producing a threatening growl but her tone carried the distinct presence of anger and her eyes were burning brighter with the urge to hurt Sun.
The sharp crack of lightning rent the air as Wind fired off four quick bursts of power, not really aiming them, merely looking to slow Tora down before the Tigress could reach her. She wasn't stupid and she knew her species wasn't made for close combat so instead she turned and took to the skies, her wings carrying her up before she turned to strafe Tora. Who cursed bitterly and, lacking any ranged attacks to speak of, was quickly forced into a purely defensive role until she could find some way to ground her aerial opponent, dodging the bolts that were rained down at her by using Wind's wide turning circle against her.
Sun was weaving around Shion's blades. Duck the high swipe. Jump back from the slash. To the left to avoid the shot to her wing, no, it's a feint dip right to avoid the true attack. There. Both arms were extended buying her a precious moment before each was able to be withdrawn for a fresh attack. Sucking in air she prepared a flamethrower, at close range there was no way the stupid insect could avoid it! It'd definitely buy her the time she needed to get airborne and into her element if it didn't end the fight outright.
Shion wasn't an idiot though and, like Naruto, had pegged her foe as a fire type, seeing her take in an unnaturally deep breath she drew the conclusion that an attack was about to be launched, probably fire based but she didn't want to have to find out.
Before she could finish taking in the deep breath that would fuel her flamethrower Sun felt Shion's knee drive hard into her stomach forcing her to expel her gathered air in a wheezing breath, a rain of harmless embers the only remnant of the attack she'd been preparing to launch. But Shion's counter wasn't without drawbacks, the Killerbreast's style was almost exclusively built around the natural blades on her arms so the knee had been rather awkward by her standards and had left the armoured girl slightly off balanced. A fact that Sun was quick to exploit as her hand was engulfed in flames with a soft whooshing noise, she couldn't project fire from her hands but she could grab and burn the little bee somewhere were her armour was guaranteed not to help. That pretty little face.
Shion recognised the intent and pushed herself backwards, her own wings helping move her out of range of the grab but she still felt the heat radiating from her opponent's hand, uncomfortably hot even with the inch or two of clearance she'd managed to create.
Yochi was trying to cast her entangling roots spell but every time she stuttered or slipped in saying the command word of a bad memory surfaced and ruined the clear concentration she needed to cast. But then that had been part of the intentions of Mistress and her goons in abusing the Elf turned Elfqueen, they couldn't force her to forget her magic so they ensured the mere sight of them induced enough fear and despair that she would be unable to use them.
Naruto finally managed to get himself to his feet shaking off the worst of the powerful shock, well aware that if it took him more than a moment to shake off it would have taken a regular person hours to recover even if it didn't knock them unconscious or push them into shock. His dominant, right, arm still hanging uselessly at his side and he could feel very little from it. Thinking about it the powerful shock had probably diverted a lot of his regeneration to fixing up his nervous system and repairing the damage left in its wake and so the cuts in his arm had lingered and been allowed to do far more damage than they normally would.
"Your arm!" he heard the gasp and his blue eyes flickered to Yochi who was looking worriedly at the useless lump of flesh that was attached to his right shoulder.
"Don't worry I'm good!" Naruto offered her a reassuring grin, stumbling slightly as he began to walk towards the fight but catching himself before he fell, stupid lightning. Stupid lightning techniques.
I hope this chapter can help people understand why the last had a slightly odd cut-off point, my first instinct was to cut it off around where Naruto's danger sense tingled, and have that be the last line but I've been rather over-using cliffhangers so I wanted one chapter that didn't have a real one =)