DISCLAIMER: I do not own Naruto nor Claymore.

Hi guys. Apologies for the late update. My laptop conked out on me and I had to save up to repair the logic board or something.

Thank you, once more, to all my reviewers.

This chapter will be pretty short. I'm still trying to find back my rhythm. Anyways…

Onwards…

Chapter 5

The hunter gritted his teeth and gripped the handle of his katana in frustration. He closed his eyes and calmed himself down.

"I will find you wherever you run…Uzumaki Naruto," he promised as his mangekyou sharingan spun with anger.


Beep…Beep…Beep…

"How is the patient?"

"Still no change…"

"Maintain round-the-clock nurse on standby."

"Yes, Hokage-sama."


The cool midnight breeze interrupted her slumber. She woke up to find herself alone, with his cloak covering the length of her body. She was surprised to find herself disappointed by the absence of his warmth.

She stood up, wrapped the cloak about her bare body and went to search for him. She somehow sensed that he would be by the fire and headed there to confirm her suspicion.

She had been right. He had squatted by the fire, the bodies of yoma already reduced to ash, and wood logs had been used to feed the fire.

She sat down beside him, gazed at him curiously for a moment, then rested her head on his shoulder.

Nothing was said.

Nothing needed be said.

He let out a deep breath, and said, "Teresa…keep calling me Gray…even around Clare."

"Why?"

"There are some people after me. My real name might leave a trail for them to follow."

"Don't worry. I'll protect you," she smirked.

"These are very powerful people."

"I'm rank 1."

He chuckled lightly at her stubbornness, closed his eyes, and leaned his head on hers in turn.

"What happens next?" he asked of her.

"I'm abandoning my organization."

"Why?"

"I'm following you wherever you go now, Uzumaki 'Gray' Naruto..."

"It is not safe to be with me."

"And why is that?"

"…"

"Tell me…please…" she urged.

"…There was an organization named Akatsuki… They were a group of very powerful shinobi bent on world domination. Although small in number, they controlled seven large demons. The five shinobi villages formed an alliance to counter the threat. We've reduced their number to two. But these two were the ones controlling the demons. And they sent their army to destroy my village and the rest of the alliance. I strongly believe they were able to add a new one into their arsenal…the strongest one I know of…the Kyuubi no Youko

I'd heard rumors that demons also existed in the far lands of the West. That's why I've come here…perhaps the Akatsuki have also come here to add more demons into their army …They wear black cloaks with crimson clouds…"

"I haven't seen or heard of any."

"That's good to hear. I planned on heading eastwards. Are there many towns there?"

"I thought you went where the wind was blowing?" she smirked.

"Um…yeah. Well, I was just being cautious then."

"And now?"

"I trust you...I'll protect you…and I'll protect Clare…And I will never leave you both."

"No," she stated seriously and with certainty. "You won't."


The organization member sat and waited on a large boulder while holding the proposal with both hands.

The night was quiet and calm and the moon bloomed in full. He had been waiting for three hours in this very spot.

Numbers 2 through 5 of the ranks had been summoned.

Number 5 was Noel, an acrobatic fighter.

Number 4 was Sophia who relied on brute strength.

Number 3 was Ilena of the quick-sword. Her wielding of the claymore is fast, and an enemy will not have seen her drawing the blade to strike.

And last was the newly certified number 2…Priscilla of whom little is known. She was quite recently promoted to this rank after only a few months of joining the organization. The member knew little about her.

Soon, he heard the slightest noise of someone approaching. The first to arrive was Ilena of the quick-sword.

"Would you know where the others are?" asked the organization member.

"I sense them…they are not far…about another quarter of an hour and we will all be here…"

"Good…Do you know why ranks two to five have been summoned?"

"Yes…I've been informed by my controller. It is to kill rank 1…Teresa of the faint smile."


The hunter had been resting on a boulder by the roadside. His breathing was labored, and his face gaunt from exhaustion.

The constant use of the mangekyou was draining him…but he would never admit defeat. It was beneath of an Uchiha to do so…

He had been on the hunt for a week now, but it felt more like a year.

He belted his katana, took a swig of water from the waterskin pouch he bought from the last town, and continued on…the next village entrance not far off.

Upon entering, he saw a man carrying a barrel from what seemed to be a storage house.

"Excuse me, sir. I'm looking for a friend." He took out the picture and held it for the man to see.

The man looked at the gaunt traveler, and then squinted at the picture. He placed the barrel down, and took the photo to have a closer look. The picture was that of a young blonde kid, grinning from ear to ear.

"Well…I'm not quite sure. There was a guy who left yesterday who could be this kid's father. They even had the same scars on each cheek! Guy in a long gray cloak…"

He felt more than saw the traveler's head jerk up in attention.

"Would you know where they were headed?"

"I overheard them talking about heading for the village behind the mountains. The cloaked guy was guiding a kid and a Claymore. He mentioned that there's some sort of pathway on the mountains."

"Thank you for your time."

"No problem", replied Elias as he returned the photograph and picked the barrel up again.