Alright, new chapter! Whoohoo! Also, it is the forth new chapter I've posted for stories today. I had a couple almost ready before, but then I had issues with software and, in essence, could not access my files. That was annoying, but for my writing AND for Teamy classes, for which I REALLY needed access to my files! After I got it all sorted out I was behind on school work and had to catch up, which delayed my writing. But now it's time for exams, so I'm caught up, pretty much, and have a chance to post new chapters again. After this I'm getting married, but as we both like to write I don't think that will set me behind much.
Moving on, obviously we left off with Team 7 about to face Zabuza. We're getting into the wave mission, but it won't be finished in this chapter. It will take one, MAYBE two more. I'll try to keep it down to just one so we can move on. I know a lot of people get bored with the wave mission so that is why I will try to get through it quickly.
Hope you guys like the new chapter, just don't forget to review.
"Hm?" Hiashi looked up from his desk as his daughter stood in the entrance to his office. "What is it, Hinata?"
"Tou-san…Kakashi-sensei said something to us. I…was wondering what, what you thought about it." Her father nodded, gesturing for her to continue. "He, he said, a shinobi must look 'beneath the beneath.' Does, does that mean that we always have to use deception." Hiashi pursed his lips for a moment in thought. He never thought about questions like that. He had always just followed in line with what needed to be done. His daughter thought on an entirely different level than him. That was why he pushed her so hard, at times, to prepare her for his world, the world of a clan head. It was also why he trusted her to change the clan in ways he could not.
"At times," he said, "at times we are all called upon to use subterfuge. To make things appear different than they are. Many shinobi in our time are battle shinobi, meaning they are trained for a straight fight. However, men like Kakashi also get trained for tasks like assassination. These are the two extremes of clairvoyance and subterfuge, but a true shinobi will mix the two."
"So…we, we have to lie, to be good ninja?"
"…No, we don't. If you have enough skill you can overcome that barrier, but yes, most shinobi must have some degree of skill in tricking others. Naruto, for example, is a good mix," he said, pulling what he knew would be an inspiring example. "For all intents and purposes he is very straight forward. This allows him single mindedness in battle meaning that he will not hesitate on important decisions that require instant reactions. However, because of his role as your guardian he has also developed the ability to both deceive, and detect deception."
"Um, I, I don't understand."
"Hinata, my daughter, to protect you Naruto would face any enemy, and foe, no matter their strength. He would also lie to protect you. So you see, while lying is, strictly speaking, something we want to avoid, in some cases it can be used in a good way, to protect the ones we love. Do you understand?"
"Hai. I, I understand."
"I understand," Hinata said, stepping forward. "He, he must be really important to you, so please, take him away and, and leave. Please don't make us have to fight you again," she pleaded. The boy she was addressing jumped in surprise, not taking the time to lift Zabuza properly and instead just grabbing him and disappearing.
"Well, that's fantastic," said Sasuke. Now they've gotten away."
"I'm, I'm sorry," said Hinata. Her teammate was right. She should have attacked instead of talking, but as she had watched the boy in the trees, she could not help but see how important Zabuza was to him. Then, when he came down from the trees after 'attacking' Zabuza, lying to them of his purpose, she remembered what her father had told her, how Naruto would protect with his fists, and even with lies. This boy…must really love the man they called 'Demon of the Mist.' She could almost feel it in every twitch he gave while watching the fight, and she could not help but want them to live. She was far too compassionate to be a ninja, and she knew it. Why did she fight so much to be otherwise?
"Mah, calm down, Sasuke," Kakashi spoke up. "That kid was way stronger than you guys, and I'm about ready to fall over right now myself. Even with a bit of forewarning, thanks to Hinata's byakugan, it was a tough fight and using the sharingan wears me out. We weren't ready to attack them, and Hinata's words threw the boy off. He panicked. With any luck…well, with any luck we won't be seeing them again."
As Kakashi lectured Sasuke and then engaged Tazuna in conversation, the latter moving to support the weakened man, Naruto put a hand on Hinata's shoulder.
"Hinata-sama…I, I think you did the right thing."
"But, but how could it be?" she asked, trying to keep tears from her eyes, to not let her compassion betray her more than it already had. "We knew he was there and I, and I let him get away without even trying! I'm a failure."
"No," Naruto shook his head. "Don't you remember what we said at home? The power of your heart, Hinata. The power of your heart is your strength, and I believe that if you follow it, you will be a great ninja."
"I, I'll never be as good as you," she sniffed. Naruto laughed.
"No, you'll be better. Come on, Hinata-sama, we need to keep moving."
"Hai, we do," she said, feeling a little better. It was true. Her father had not only taught her of the important of deception, he had also agreed with Naruto's thoughts on her strength. It seemed like, right now, her compassion had gotten in the way, not allowing her to be as decisive as Naruto usually was, but perhaps there would be other times when she could use her compassion.
Thwack, thwack, thump, crack!
"Are you…okay, Neji-san?"
Thwack, thwack, thump, crack!
Thwack, thwack, thump, crack!
"NEJI!" The Hyuuga boy looked up as his female teammate shouted at him.
"What is it, Tenten-san?"
"Lee's been trying to talk to you for the past five minutes, and all you do is hit the training post over and over. What the heck is going on?"
Neji took a calming breath and looked up at the sky, spying a bird flying through the air. Hmph. True freedom. Like how I am supposedly free, but Hinata's life will always be worth more than my own. That is how it will always be. But that isn't what bothers me at this moment. No, what bothers me is I cannot shake the feeling that my brother is in danger. It's a simple C-rank. What could go wrong? He is safe. Isn't he?
"Neji! Give us an answer, darn it!"
The boy fixed his stance once again as he prepared to practice on the post again.
"It is nothing. I was just…thinking. You may return to your own positions. I am fine."
"Neji," Tenten muttered, sighing as she and Lee walked away. "You're a horrible liar. Why can't you tell us what's wrong?"
"So sensei, do you really think we'll be able to beat that other kid with just this training."
"Of course not," Kakashi said smiling, causing Naruto to slump. "You'll need to use all your training to manage that, but I think you three will take care of him just fine after you have better chakra control. You won't tire as easily and you'll have fewer useless movements. Of course, you clan training the three of you have head has already put you on a level or two above that of your average gennin." Naruto brightened.
"Sweet! That's awesome, sensei. Won't that be cool, Hinata-chan?"
"Y, yes, Naruto-kun," she nodded, smiling at his cheeriness. He always seemed to lift the atmosphere wherever she was. It was something she hadn't noticed as a child, but had latched onto, that feeling he carried around with him. She wondered if that was when…
"Eh? Hinata-sama? You feeling okay? You look kinda red," Naruto commented, putting a hand to her forehead. Her face temperature increased. "Wow, maybe you should lie down. Tsunami-san, do you have some soup Hinata-sama could have? She looks to be getting sick. Hiashi-sama would kill me if she got sick on a mission."
"I, I'm fine, Naruto-kun," Hinata protested, trying in vain to stave off his attempts to care for her. It only made the blushing worse when he was that attentive…but then again, that was Naruto for you.
"I think she'll be fine," the woman commented, though she went ahead preparing some soup for the Hyuuga. "It looks to be a very temporary fever." She winked at the girl. She managed to fight off the blush this time at the woman's knowing smile.
"Oh, Inari! You're finally home. Where have you been? Grandpa's home." The ninja turned to see a small boy with overalls and a hat walk into the house. His gaze was empty, even as he walked across the room to give Tazuna a hug.
"I was watching the ocean."
"I see. Well, it's good to have you home," she said. "Why don't you go get ready for dinner? We'll be eating soon." Instead Inari stood next to his grandfather, staring at the shinobi, even as Tazuna greeted him exuberantly.
"They're gonna die."
Tazuna's eye's widened like saucers and he surprised everyone by putting a hand over the boys mouth and fake laughing loudly.
"Ahahaha! What a joker! That's our Inari for you! Now, go along; get ready to eat. Hey! How about I go get ready, too! I'm pretty dirty, hahaha! Let's go," he said, lifting the boy in his arms, mouth still covered and rushing from the room.
Crap! I hope Inari doesn't say that again. I might not live if he does. That Naruto takes offense at any suggestion the Hyuuga girl will even get hurt. What am I supposed to do if he gets convinced she'll die if they stay here?
Meanwhile the occupants remaining in the room stared at the open doorway.
"That was…odd," his daughter commented. "I wonder what made father react like that? He's usually so…calm around Inari, no matter what he says."
"Hmmm, I think I have an idea," said Kakashi, "but that's a man's business. I think it will all be fine. In fact, I may even agree. But no matter, you said it you were about to prepare dinner? If you need any help, just ask my gennin. While you don't need them I think I'll be going over their training for the next week."
"Of course, Kakashi-san. And thank-you, again, for bringing my father safely home."
"Mah, mah, it was our pleasure, right, my cure little gennin?"
"It is good you can already move like this," Haku said, "but really, you shouldn't let him get to you. It will slow your healing." Zabuza grunted as he released his hold on the kunai hidden by the bed sheets.
"I'll be fine. I'm looking forward to my rematch with Kakashi."
"…he knows we're coming."
"Eh? Really? Didn't you fake my death for a reason?" Haku nodded slowly.
"Yes, I did, but he did not believe me. I think he must have been tired. It seems they knew of my presence the whole time."
"Really? I wonder why…"
"I believe…that the girl is like me," he replied.
"What?" Zabuza waved a hand…or tried. Really he only lifted his fingers in a waving motion. "That can't be right. They're from Konoha, and I've never heard of them having someone with your bloodline. I don't think there is anyone else."
"No, I think you are right, Zabuza-sama, but I did not mean that. I meant that she has a bloodline. It was her eyes. If she didn't so clearly possess the ability to see, I would have thought she was blind, given the paleness of her eyes."
"Aaaah, so that's it," Zabuza said. "Of course. A Hyuuga. They have a byakugan with them. No wonder they seemed ready for us." He grunted. "That's a problem. My mist will obstruct vision for everyone except her. She won't be affected at all. Then again," he licked his lips, "it could be a fun challenge," he mused.
"I see…if you tell me more, perhaps I could help prepare, master."
Sweet, that's it for now. Chapter over, and Tazuna's fear of Naruto's protectiveness has delayed Inari's and Naruto's confrontation. Of course, a MAJOR difference here is Naruto's knowledge of the past. How will this impact his reaction to Inari's story, eh? I'm gonna have a little bit of fun with that. Personally looking forward to getting that written.
Also, what are Zabuza and Haku planning? They know Team 7 knows they are alive, and that the byakugan could be a problem, so what will they try to do to counter it?
"All this and more, on the next episode OF: Dragon-Ball-Z!"
Oops, wait, wrong show...