The next chapter of Revenge of The Fox Shippuden. Akatsuki looks to extract Shukaku from Gaara as Naruto and the others race to try and save him before its too late.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
"Get back here!" Kankuro shouted chasing after the fleeing Deidara who had the captured Gaara. "I won't let you take him!" He yelled at him determined to rescue his brother.
But suddenly a being rose out of the sand before him. "What the hell?!" He shouted as he looked on as it wore a similar cloak Deidara wore. "Damn it!" He shouted and summoned his puppets.
"Hmph, it's been a long time since I fought a fellow puppet user." The figure said to him and suddenly several puppets appeared.
"Who the hell are you?!" Kankuro shouted dodging a fired dart.
"I've used familiar puppets as the ones you've used before. But I must admit, I was beyond them by the time I was your age." The figure said effortlessly dodging a sickle thrown at him. He lashed out with several puppets firing poison needles at him. Kankuro brought his newest puppet up to block it and using his signature puppet fired poison gas at him from its mouth. It hit the man full force but he seemed to laugh it off.
"What?! But how?" Kankuro said as even a Jonin would be affected by that. The man laughed and smashed it making Kankuro's jaw drop.
"Die…" He said and a Puppet appeared and fired a flamethrower at him. Kankuro summoned his other puppet a giant lizard type and hid inside it to protect himself from the flames. He brought forth his other puppet lashing out at him with it looking to impale him. Sasori dodged it and opening his mouth fired poison darts at him
Kankuro dodged it but did not anticipate the next move. Sasori raised his tail out of the sand and struck him in the chest area. He cried out in pain as he felt poison inflict itself inside of him.
Making one last desperate move he used his chakra strings to try and attack with his puppets but Sasori stopped their attack easily. Kankuro fell down to the ground and slipped into unconsciousness.
"What a waste of time." He said with a spat. "Deidara, let's go." He ordered his companion who smirked.
"Zetsu has reported that they have taken the bait," He said referring to the Oto forces who were coming. "You might deal with taking the Kyubbi vessel, though the Uchiha might be upset if you get the one he's suppose to get." The Bomber said with a smirk.
"Enough, it doesn't matter. Let's go." Sasori said and the two went on their way.
"Kankuro!" Temari shouted shortly afterwards seeing her brother laying there not moving she dropped to her knees horror in her eyes. "C'mon wake up!" She shouted shaking him but he didn't move.
"We gotta get him back to Suna." Baki said to her. "We don't have the resources to try and heal him here." He said as a group of ninjas laid him on a stretcher.
"But what about…" Temari started to say.
"We'll figure something out to save Gaara." Baki said to her but she could tell by the tone of his voice their chances were slim.
A group of Shinobi traveled fast not stopping for anything as they made their way. Naruto was in the front his eyes steeled and focused as he lead them, they had been going nonstop for hours going on through the day and the night not stopping for food or rest as they used their chakra to enhance their speed appearing little more than flashes. The Eight Sound Shinobi moving through the woods as they continued on heading to Sunagakure.
"About another Hour before we reach their border." Naruto said outloud to the others informing them of their progress. Sakura was in the back watching him as she never thought she'd see him move with such focus and purpose as if his own life was at stake here.
"Naruto," Tayuya said to him. "This is likely a trap."
"Agreed," Dosu Kinuta said as well. "I have a feeling that Akatsuki's true target is you and they attacked Gaara to draw you out."
"If it's a trap then it's a trap." Naruto responded to them. "I'm not leaving Gaara to die, he's my friend and what kind of person would I be if I let him die without trying to save him?" He said to them. "You know I would do the same thing for all of you."
"The hell we know you would," Tayuya said to him with a smirk. "But I got a bad feeling about this, something doesn't seem right." She said and turned her head to look at the others. "Pick up the pace assholes you want to get there or not?!" She shouted at them.
"Let's go!" Naruto said and resumed running.
Sakura running beside Masanori plopped a soldier pill in her mouth to restore her stamina as they went on.
"Hold up!" Kimimaro said suddenly and they skidded to a stop.
"What's the problem?" Naruto said as he looked on and saw a group of Crow watching them. Kimimaro's eyes narrowed as he stared at them and suddenly sprouted a bone sword and threw it and killed some and they turned into smoke while the others scattered.
"They know we're coming, those crows have been watching us for quite some time and following after us." Kimimaro said.
"Than we really are walking into a trap." Katsuie said his hands reaching towards his weapons in case they were ambushed.
A giant fireball suddenly appeared coming at them. "Move!" Nene shouted as they scrambled to move out of the way as it exploded destroying the area where they had been standing at. A Wave followed it up as well soaking them and knocking some of them off their feet.
Naruto looked ahead and his eyes widened at what he saw. "What the?!" Naruto shouted as he saw Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki standing before them. "Their sending in the Big guns aren't they?" He said as he got into a fighting stance.
Kisame lunged at them with his sword and Naruto dodged it and slashed at him with his own sword which he blocked. The Shark man was silent as he overpowered him with his blade.
Naruto avoided an attack by him and suddenly saw Itachi appear behind him his Sharingan eyes activated preparing a Jutsu. "Oh hell no you don't!" Tayuya shouted and played a tune on her flute casting her Genjutsu and Itachi looked surprised when his arms spread to his side and saw that they began to melt before his eyes stunning him.
"Bone Release: Drilling Lance!" Kimimaro shouted and charging him with a giant bone taking the shape of a drill straight into his chest.
Kisame lunged at Naruto when Katsuie intercepted it and Nene threw a explosive tag at him knocking him back. He dodged a bolt fired at him by Masanori's crossbow and leaping kicked him away crashing him into a tree.
Sakura seeing a chance grabbed a branch and tore it off and swung it at him. He blocked it with Samehada and went to cleave her in two with it when Dosu appeared and activated his Melody Arm disorienting him.
"Rasengan!" Naruto shouted having taken that opportunity to charge his attack and threw it and it hit Kisame and knocked him down as he laid there lifeless
"That was almost too easy, I thought that two damn S Nins would be tougher than that." Tayuya said with a scoff as she kicked the dead Kisame. To her surprise his body suddenly transformed. "What the hell?!" She shouted as he was replaced with another person. The same thing happened to Itachi as well.
"Damn, this was nothing more than a trap to stall for time." Kimimaro said realizing the true purpose of it. These weren't the real Itachi and Kisame these were just doubles meant to stall them and prevent them from getting there.
"If these were the real Itachi and Kisame it would not be that easily, these two were used as a diversion and somehow sacrificed and given a portion of their powers, that's why they could use their Jutsus." Dosu said observing them as they wore Suna headbands. "I heard of such Jutsus but never really seen them before."
"Great every second we waste here, means their getting closer to killing Gaara." Naruto said in disgust.
"Well let's not waste any more damn time then, let's go." Tayuya said and they continued on.
The body of Gaara was dropped on the ground as Deidara and Sasori entered the Hidden Base that had been setup and used by them and Akatsuki.
"Contact the others." Sasori ordered his partner.
"No need their on their way, I can sense them coming." Deidara replied with a smirk.
A giant statue appeared in the center of the room, a statue resembling a demon. The two looked on as slowly the others made their appearance in the room appearing transparent and see through as all nine members were together. Konan, Zetsu, Kakuzu, Hidan, Deidara, Sasori, Kisame, Itachi, and Pein himself all members of Akatsuki.
"It's about damn time you two bastards got here." Hidan said to them.
"Hello to you too." Deidara said snarkly in response to him.
"Enough, the time has come to extract the One Tailed Tanuki from him." The Akatsuki Leader said to them. He leapt up taking his place on it and so did the others with the exception of one. "Itachi, what is the matter?" He said looking on at him who was silent.
"I feel that our process maybe interrupted, I sense that some rescuers are coming to try and save Gaara, The Nine Tailed Fox amongst them." Itachi said but he appeared unconcerned.
"No matter, if they come then they can die as well." He said as if it was meaningless. "If that fool of a fox comes he will be captured and the Beast inside him will be extracted as well. Though we'll have to keep him locked up as if we try to seal Kyuubi now the Statue will be destroyed and the ones we do have will be destroyed rendering all our efforts for nothing. Take your position." He ordered and Itachi silently did so.
The Statue opened its month and slowly a group of Dragons appeared from it and began to encircle around Gaara beginning the extraction process.
"What would you do?" Naruto asked Sakura Haruno as they took a short break at an Oasis as they were nearly at Suna just a few more hours and they'd be at the village. Naruto wanted to keep going forward but fatigued was starting to set in on them and they couldn't keep going at the pace they was without collapsing "Tell me, if you saw a wolf chasing after a rabbit. You see it happening right in front of you, who would you help?" He said to Sakura.
Sakura looked at him not understanding. "I guess I would help the rabbit." She replied thinking it the obvious choice. Naruto only smirked at her words.
"Really? I would help the wolf." He responded to her.
"Huh? Why?" Sakura asked not understanding.
"For all you know that wolf hasn't eaten in days and if it doesn't catch it, it will starve to death. By saving the rabbit you are robbing it of its right to live as well."
"That doesn't make any sense." Sakura replied and his smirk grew.
"Not everything's black and white Sakura, there are two sides to everything. For example, most people paint me as a monster who attacks villages in the dead of night and eats their children whole which is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. They seem to forget that I've donated money and spent a lot of my time fixing up roads and buildings, making things easier for people to travel too, there are no bandits on the roads and mishaps rarely happen."
Sakura shook her head. "That's confusing as if everything you do has a negative impact no matter what you do." She said to him.
"That's the way life is I'm afraid." He told her.
"Well what would you know, you've taken the lives of hundreds of people." She said to him with a frown and he looked at her amused.
"Still refuse to see me as anything but a monster? In my eyes Konoha and the Leaf are the real monsters, they held their noses in the air for so long and looked down at anything that doesn't fit their view as proper. Although I fight for Orochimaru-sama to control the land and will give my life for his cause I don't believe in total destruction." He said surprising her. "No I'm fighting for a world where an orphan doesn't get looked down on and spat at. Where a man's true strength and value comes from his work ethic not just based on his blood or lineage. So that whether you have a Kekkai Genkai or just a the son of a peddler you have equal opportunities and will be looked and judged based on what he's done. That's what I'm fighting for, I'm not fighting for annihilation as there's no gain in destroying everything. If I must I will slaughter my foes to achieve my goal." He said to her and went to join up with the others.
Sakura looked at him as he did and frowned. Who was he really trying to fool? Did he think she'd actually believe his words?
"C'mon let's go we're almost there." Tayuya said and they went on the sight .
At the Hosptial…
"Nothing's working, any antidote we try just at best slows the poison down but doesn't remove it." The Medic said to the Jonin.
"Keep trying there must be something that can remove the poison." Baki said looking on at the unconscious Kankuro.
"This is none other than the work of the Scorpion of The Red Sands, Sasori." An elderly voice said and they turned and looked and saw an old woman enter the room. Many immediately bowed their head and paid respect to her as she made her way.
"Sasori you say Lady Chiyo?" Baki asked her. The old woman was a respected medic as well as a Puppet User herself. "He hasn't been seen here ever since he went rogue." He mentioned as Sasori was once a respected ninja and puppet user but the fact that he never knew the love of his parents who died when he was young had affected him mentally and made him become a missing nin.
"He likely won't survive the night," Chiyo said as she looked at his body and the poison. "Sasori has improved on his already formidable skills, his poisons have surpassed my ability to heal them." She said solemnly and Baki lowered his head and closed his eyes. "I'll do what I can, but it likely won't be enough to save him. What about that bomb? Any luck finding it?"
"We are looking but we haven't found it yet, the village has been evacuated with all the civilians taken out. We are looking everywhere for it. If we fail…" He paused and shook his head. "If we fail to find it, it could destroy Sunagakure."
Chiyo narrowed her eyes as she looked down at Kankuro who coughed weakly. Temari her eyes hardened turned and walked away not wanting to see another sibling die.
Suddenly there was a commotion and they turned their heads and saw that The Sound Nins had arrived at last.
"It's about time you have arrived." Temari said looking up from Kankuro's bed at them.
"It's not exactly a skip and a hop to here you know blondie." Tayuya replied to her.
"Enough both of you," Naruto said stepping in between them before the two started to fight. "Where have they taken Gaara?" He said looking at them.
"It is good you are here," Chiyo said stepping forward. "We now may have a chance to save him, but I fear it's too late. We already have one who will not be with us much longer." She said turning her head looking over at Kankuro. "He too will be dead soon as there's nothing we can do.
"Let me look at him," Sakura said walking over to the prone Kankuro.
"There is nothing that can be done child." Chiyo told her but Sakura wasn't paying attention. Focusing herself she laid her hands on his chest and they began to glow green as she concentrated. She gritted her teeth and focused all her chakra and strength as Kankuro's body began to glow. "I don't know if I can do this, but I'll give it my best shot." She told them as she began doing what Tsunade had taught her.
Sakura closed her eyes feeling across his body and stopped just above his heart, slowly she reached down and pinching it began to the surprise of all including Chiyo pull out and extract the poison that had been inflicted onto him.
Kankuro coughed and let out a moan but he appeared in less discomfort now.
"His vitals, they are returning to normal." Baki said looking on and examining them. "The poison's gone!"
Sakura put the poison in a vial and put a cork on it and wiped the sweat from her brow as that had taken a lot of effort. If it hadn't been for Shizune the past three years as well as Tsunade's teachings the past months she would never be able to heal him. "I did it…" She said with a smile.
"Kankuro," Temari said stroking her brothers head.
"Where the heck am I, and where are my puppets and Gaara?"
"Easy, you can tend to your dolls later. Just get some rest." His sister said with a smile as he was healed.
Sakura put the vial in her shorts pocket and was surprised when a hand was placed on her shoulder and she saw Nene smiling at her.
"Great job Sakura," Nene told her with a smile. "It's stuff like that the reason we have you with us."
"Indeed you may save many lives in the future thanks to your abilities such as this." Katsuie said to her. Sakura smiled back and rubbed the back of her head.
"Where have they taken Gaara?" Naruto said to them. Despite having removed the poison there was no time for celebration.
"There is a trail that has been found and our scouts are looking into it. About three hours from here," Baki told him. "But there is a bomb as well and we have been looking for it, that is also a priority to deal with. If it goes off it could destroy the village." He said to him.
"Well then, Naruto what are we going to do?" Dosu asked him. "We could either try to save Gaara while we still can or go after the bomb, it's one life versus hundreds that could be lost." He said to him.
Naruto was silent as he thought about what he should do, if that was true the bomb could inflict damage on Suna that it may never recover from but Gaara's life was slipping away with each passing moment. What would Orochimaru do? What would the Heroes of old do in this position? Each choice presented itself before him.
Grabbing a map he sprawled it out and circled around Suna with a pen and made marks and lines while everyone looked on.
"Dosu, Nene, Katsuie! I want you to aid Suna and find that bomb and disable it. Do whatever it takes to remove it."
"On it." Dosu said to him in response.
Tayuya, Kimimaro! You are with me, we'll take the route and come up on their hidden base." He said as he made motions on the map.
"Alright then, about time we do something." Tayuya said and Kimimaro nodded his head.
"Masanori and Sakura, your job is to go this way and look out for traps and ambushes that can hinder us, we'll meet up here and then we'll go in and rescue Gaara." Naruto said finishing giving out orders.
"Masanori and Pinky will do it!" The goggles wearing ninja said strapping his small jetpack on. Sakura nodded her head as well a bit surprised he gave her such a task.
"Our success of this will rely on speed and efficiency, not only one life but several others will be at stake here depending on what happens. We cannot fail this mission, we will defeat Akatsuki, Save Gaara and show the world our strength!"
"Right!" The members of SILENCE said at once.
"I want everyone to spread out and searching anything, even if it's a well." Dosu said to them. "The bomb can be anywhere and our job is to find it, that's our only priority." He said as the group began to go and try to find the bomb.
In The Kazekage's office, beneath his desk an explosive with an silent alarm on it was shown. Despite its size it was powerful enough by itself to destroy the entire building and it only needed for the switch which its maker currently had to be pressed to begin the countdown.
"Naruto," Kimimaro said as they went down the route that had been discovered that would take them to the Akatsuki hideout. "I cannot help but feel that this is a trap. They weren't after Gaara, I feel they are after you. You should return to Oto at once."
"No way in hell Kimimaro," Naruto responded to him as he went. "If they want me they got me."
"Understand that if you are captured or die Otogakure will lose much power with your loss, that would be an invitation to our enemies including the Leaf Resistance to try and attack us with you gone."
"If I was afraid of dying I would have never become a ninja Kimimaro." Naruto said to him. "I made my choice to always fight no matter the odds, like you I work for Orochimaru-sama's goal and I shall never back down from any challenge no matter who it might be, that's my Nindo my Ninja Way and I shall never break it. Leave if you want and go ahead but I'm not going anywhere but forward."
"So I see, I shouldn't expect anything less from you." Kimimaro said and a smirk showed on his face.
"Let's move, if you two are down with your homosexuality we can finish our mission." Tayuya said and Naruto let out a laugh.
"Glad you're here with me Tauya," Naruto said to her. "You're the only person who I'd always want with me anywhere."
"Hmph, you can say that after I save your ass as usual." Tayuya said but smiled at him as they went on.
"Masanori is in command!" The scatterbrained ninja said leaping through the area he was told to go through. "Masanori will lead! Yes…" He said as he was followed by Sakura as they were to look out and deal with any potential ambushes Akatsuki may have setup to hinder Naruto and the others.
"If your in command than go ahead and command." She said to him following after him. He stopped and skidded to a stop and she unable to do so in time bumped into him knocking him off the sand dune to down below. He popped back up instantly surprising her.
"Hmph, you no tell Masanori what to do, Masanori is in command!" He said to her.
Sakura sighed and brought a hand to her head trying to hide her irritation with working with such a twit. "Fine…what are your orders?" She asked slowly to him.
The Sound nin put on a look that suggested he was thinking (Or at least as close as it would look like he was actually thinking) before coming up with a decision.
"Masanori will scout the perimeter and Pinky will aid him." He said and went on. Sakura shook her head, just how dim was this guy. She could make a run for it now and join back up with the others and tell Jiraiya what she knew but she understood Tsunade's plan. She had to stay for now.
"Hold," A voice said from behind and Sakura turned and saw Chiyo approaching her. Despite her advanced age she had no problem leaping and going through the trees. "I'm coming with you Sakura, you'll need my help with what your up against. This foe will be too dangerous for you to face just yourself." She said to her and Sakura nodded. "I maybe old but I still have one last fight left in me, remember, even though a Medics task is to tend to the wounded there are times where she ignores orders to stay behind and must take to the field, understand?" She asked her and Sakura nodded her head again.
"Let us go." She said and went on ahead and Sakura went to join with her.
"Sasori, Deidara," The Akatsuki Leader said to them. "Go deal with our friends and unexpected guests. I sense their approach. We shall handle continuing to extract Shukaku, capture The Kyuubi Jinchuurki, kill the others but leave the vessel alive." He ordered them. "We'll deal with this."
"Let me cut them down," Hidan interrupted. "I shall deal with those maggots." He said as he gripped his scythe.
"That sounds like a good bet to make." Kakuzu said with a smirk underneath his mask.
"This is not your place Hidan, They shall deal with them. Do no fail." Pein ordered them who nodded.
The two leapt down and went on preparing to deal with them as the process was nearly complete. Shukaku would soon be extracted from. As they left Deidara revealed a small detonator and that when pressed would set off the bomb he had setup and destroy part of Suna, a special surprise in store for whoever showed up.
"Let's have some fun shall we Sasori-danna?"
"Hmph, we're not here to have fun." Sasori responded. "Though I suppose I could add some new ones to my collections." The puppeteer use said as they prepared to deal with the would be saviors and exited the room while the extraction continued on.
In the background Shukaku was being seen being removed from Gaara as the process was nearly complete and once finished would end in his death.
A/N: That's it for this chapter, review please.