The Hero's Brother Chapter 12.5 Extra
Disclaimer : I do not own Naruto or anything else I may have used.
Author's Notes : And after more than a year, I'm back! Here's a 10k words chapter as an apology! But please note, this is not the continuation of the previous chapter. To be honest, I'm kinda caught up in my Harry Potter story currently so I haven't had the time nor motivation to write a new chapter for THB. Even more so, I recently took a part-time job in the night while I'm studying in the day. Yeah, life's a bitch like that.
These are some stuff I wanted to add in to the story, but either forgot about it, or decided to drop it. Have fun!
T.H.E. H.E.R.O'S. B.R.O.T.H.E.R
Wave Arc, before Chuunin Exams.
"Yosha! This is going to be so sweet! I'm going to kick so much ass!" Jin loudly exclaimed as he punched the air in triumph. "Father finally decided to give us a C-rank mission, even if it's escorting some old dude." Jin finished, as he and Team 7 walked along the main route that led to Konoha's North Gate.
Tazuna eyed the boy in thinly veiled contempt. When he had first been introduced to Team 7, Tazuna immediately received a less than warm welcome from said team. More specifically, the brown-haired boy who was complaining to the Hokage, pointing out that Tazuna was in fact not the princess the boy had expected. While gesturing at him with the condescension only nobles were privileged with.
Any attempts at retaliation towards the arrogant brat, be it physically or even verbally, was met with threats to cancel his mission from the Hokage, who he quickly learned was the brat's father. It seemed that gave the boy the impression that Tazuna was from then on free game, for he had to endure taunts and insults, mostly about his disheveled appearance and constant inebriation.
"R-right, Jin-kun." Hinata shyly responded with a blush resting comfortably on her vanilla soft skin.
Shino glanced at Jin, his trademark Aburame stoic features not revealing in anyway his thoughts. "It is crucial we approach this mission with seriousness and not reckless abandon, Jin." Shino had noticed he have become significantly more vocal than he was before he joined Team 7. It must have been due to the constant amount of times his two teammates tested his patience. He had no clue how Namikaze Jin had acquired the position of Rookie of the year, with his less than mediocre physical attributes, along with complete lack of talent in any of the shinobi arts.
The Jinchuuriki had attempted to assert his dominance upon him on numerous occasions. Some of them even included potentially lethal attacks, especially his reckless use of the Rasengan. It took every Aburame bone within Shino to not retaliate whenever Jin launched an attack at him. It was not as if Shino had trouble with Jin, no. It was merely an inconvenience, really, and rather rude as well. He doubt Jin could really stand any chance if he decided to seriously fight back one day.
"Huh!? Do you doubt my prowess, bug boy." Jin threatened, cracking his knuckles menacingly. Shino gave a soft sigh, before turning back to the road, not willing to exhaust any energy in this completely pointless confrontation. That was how it always been in Team 7. No matter what, Kakashi-sensei would side with Jin anyways. Even during training, more attention was piled upon Jin than the rest.
"I-I'm sure no matter w-what comes up, Jin-kun will be able to defeat them!" Hinata exclaimed softly. Shyly peering at Jin, who was staring at her silently for a moment before laughing loudly and put his arm around her shoulder roughly.
"Hinata's the only who understands. Doesn't matter what comes up, I will beat them down!" Jin announced loudly, as if challenging anyone to prove him wrong.
Amongst all the noise, Kakashi was taking point, walking in an almost paranoid caution that was perfected to look laid back. His mind repeating the last words Minato-sensei told him before they left. 'Protect Jin, Kakashi.' For the man who has saved his life more times than he could count, and restored his mental stability, no task was too difficult. And Jin will be protected, no matter against what.
In fact, to protect Jin was Kakashi's most important mission. Minato-sensei had not only pulled him out of ANBU Delta division, the most elite and mysterious squadron, to merely teach a team of Academy graduates. His primary objective, was to protect Jin from anything that could potentially harm him. His secondary objective was to teach Jin everything he knew so the Jinchuuriki could protect himself as well, but currently to no avail.
Then, Kakashi's eyes spotted a puddle of water, his mind instantly connected the dots. Thrusting his right hand to the side to stop his team from continuing, Kakashi flashed through handseals, "Raiton : Jibashi." A wave of electricity sped out from Kakashi's hands to the puddle. Two figures jumped out of the puddle, revealing it to be an illusion, but was too late to fully avoid the lightning jutsu. Each being electrocuted at their legs.
The raiton jutsu did not fully incapcitate them, but effectively disabled their use of the legs.
"Again… Raiton : Jibashi." Flashing through the same seals again, now pumping the maximum amount of chakra needed, thicker and darker blue electricity ripped through the ground, and its sharp edges pierced into one of the two shinobi. It was a painful, unnecessarily prolonged death in which the shinobi could only feel an intense burn throughout his entire body for a moment before his was liquified.
His hands still crackling with electricity, Kakashi reappeared in front of the only surviving shinobi, and stopped his hands an inch from him. "Tell me, now." Kakashi's face, was set in a deathly glare, his sole eye hardened and turned murderous. The menacing blue electricity glowed darker, there was to be no mercy…
"Please…" the shinobi weakly muttered. Kakashi's eye narrowed.
Thrusting his hand against the mist nuke-nin's chest, identified from the scratched Kiri headband, a pulse of electricity ran through his body, extracting a painful scream. The electricity was significantly weaker than the previous two, only being lightning chakra instead of an actual jutsu.
"What's your name." It wasn't a question, it was a demand.
"G-Gozu." The mist nin's rebreather scrambled his voice, but one could still hear the utter hopelessness and helplessness in it.
"Why are you here."
Gozu hesitated, big mistake. Another current of electricity ran through his body, he screamed bloody murder once again.
"Do not test me." Kakashi bit his tongue, he hadn't wanted to show this to those kids, but to protect Jin, what was a few children's mental wellness. It was a sloppy interrogation, loud and messy, but it was the quickest way to ensure accurate information extracted from a victim fearing death.
"T-the b-rrr," The electricity dulled Gozu's motor skills, "b-bridge buil-builder. We w-were sent to kill him."
At this, Kakashi's eyes widened. He had thought their target was Jin. Kami knew how much the Mist hated Minato-sensei. It was commonly known that the Mist had remained neutral in the Third Shinobi World War. But why? Why would they miss the opportunity to crush the supposed strongest shinobi village along with their ally the Hidden Sand.
What wasn't commonly known was that Minato-sensei had single handedly crushed the vanguard forces Kirigakure had sent. A battalion of over a hundred Mist elites, slaughtered down to every last man and woman. It was a warning, one that sent every Mist-nin thinking of participating in the war running back to the safety of their village. It was a forceful and violent deterrent, but one that worked.
"Who sent you."
Gozu coughed out one word, "Gato."
Kakashi frowned, before electrocuting the mist nin once more, this time fully rendering him unconscious. Rising up from his crouched position, he slowly turned to face the now rapidly paling Tazuna. "Why would the multi-billionaire Gato send assassins against a bridge builder. And I assure you, if your answer is not to my satisfaction, we are well within our rights to leave you here and move your name to our Banned Clients List."
"Y-you can't leave me here!" The bridge builder cried out, taking a step back as Kakashi reappeared infront of him.
"Then answer me."
Whether it was the cold fury Tazuna could hear in the man's voice, or the demonstration of his abilities, but Tazuna knew he had no choice but to reveal everything.
"So you hid the true nature of your mission, and risked the lives of everyone on this team just to avoid having to pay more? Unforgivable, your actions might have gotten one of us killed. Team 7! We're turning back to Konoha." Kakashi ordered, preparing to leave.
"Wait, Kakashi-niisan! This is our first C-ranked mission, how can we just turn tail and run after coming so far?" Jin pleaded.
"The situation is too precarious for you three to handle. We risk facing A-ranked missing nin, shinobi that could kill you in the blink of an eye! We are leaving." Kakashi said. Though he appreciate Jin's enthusiasm, there were too many unexpected certainties, too many factors that could risk Jin's life.
"A-ano, Kakashi-sensei. I think we're more than ready to handle any challenges we might face. We have Jin-kun after all." Hinata timidly said, though steadily growing more confident.
Shino raised an eyebrow. "I disagree. Like sensei has said, we are not skilled enough to be risking our lives against high-level shinobi, at least some of us aren't." The hostility in Shino's voice could have surprised even his own father.
Jin glared at him, "Well then the rest of us will pick up the slack for those who can't, bug boy!" He turned back to Kakashi, "We can do it, Kakashi-niisan. Believe it! Right, Hinata?"
Kakashi glanced between Jin and Shino and sighed, "While, it's two against one."
"Yosha! We're definitely going to kick some nukenin ass!" Jin loudly shouted. Hinata merely grinned brightly at Jin.
Shino shook his head, why did he even bother, the outcome had already been decided.
Tazuna looked estatic, "Thank you! My daughter and super cute grandson will be so glad."
Jin looked at him in distaste, "Shove it old man, we aren't doing this for your sake."
The bridge builder frowned slightly but couldn't say anything less they changed their minds, "Yes, yes, of course."
Kakashi looked in the direction of Nami no Kuni, he had a bad feeling about this…
T.H.E. H.E.R.O'S. B.R.O.T.H.E.R
They had been walking for a few hours now, and another hour after they crossed the river on a boat belonging to Tazuna's friend.
The atmosphere had not been as tense as Kakashi would have preferred. Instead, Jin and Hinata looked to be as carefree as they were on D-ranked missions. Shino had been using his kikaichuu to scout their surrounding environment per his instruction, though Kakashi had been slightly proud to find that Shino had already been doing so without needing his order. He would have instructed Hinata to use her Byakugan to look ahead as well, but she had such a painfully small Chakra reserve, that using any more would render her useless in a real battle.
"Sensei." Kakashi heard Shino breathe out before widening his eyes. He immediately pulled Jin and Tazuna down while Shino dragged Hinata down to avoid the large swinging blade that flew out of the forest and would have sliced them in half without their timely evasion.
A swirl of wind and water occurred on top of the sword that was currently embedded into the trunk of a particularly thick tree after it had decimated several others. A figure emerged out of the miniature typhoon and stepped on the handle, his hands still in the last handseal for a shunshin. The man took one look at them and smirked, "Hoh… Copy-ninja Kakashi. The man of a thousand jutsus. No wonder the demon brothers failed. Tazuna must have paid quite a sum to employ an elite ANBU like you as a bodyguard."
Then his gaze turned to the three genin who stood rooted to the ground in front of Tazuna, their grips on their kunai shaky and trembling. The killing intent being released by the man was breathtaking, and not in a good way. "Are those… they are. Hahaha, Kakashi, have you been reduced to a Genin sensei? Hahahah, how the mighty have fallen. The former ANBU captain, released from duty to babysit a bunch of brats? PATHETIC!"
The wind and water finally dispersed, to reveal a tall, muscular man wearing tight form-fitting white and grey sleeveless shirt. His forearms were wrapped in thick, dark leather, leaving his muscular biceps exposed. His pants were the same white and grey color, probably to blend in to mist, but was instead baggy to allow mobility. The lower half of his face was covered in the same strips of dark leather, with a scratched Kiri headband to hold up his hair.
Kakashi stood silent, his body tensing up for the battle that was surely inevitable. He didn't want to allow his mind to wander, but Zabuza had been right. Even he had questioned Minato-sensei's decision to pull him out of ANBU in order to protect his son. It was pathetic, for a man with over three hundred confirmed kills and several successful S-ranked missions under his belt to become the sensei of three, rookie genins still wet behind the ears. But even so, he would not allow himself to shirk from any mission given. Erasing those thoughts from his mind, Kakashi shifted his form, to prepare for the clash between two A-ranked shinobi.
Zabuza stepped down from the sword and forcefully ripped it out of the tree, splinters wood flew out. Zabuza turned around to deflect a slash from Kakashi's tantou, taking advantage of the opening Zabuza had given him when he had turned back to pull out his sword.
Zabuza grinned, even if Kakashi was a genin sensei now, he still hadn't lost his edge, to close that distance between them in that short instant. If he was a lesser shinobi, that would have already ended the fight. However, he wasn't a lesser shinobi, he was Momochi Zabuza, Kirigakure no Kijin! With that thought, he easily pushed Kakashi back, and with a roar, swung his blade back.
Kakashi ducked under the slash and sped forward in a burst of speed to stab his tantou into Zabuza's gut, only for it to collapse into water. The real Zabuza reappeared behind Kakashi, bisecting him horizontally, only for it to burst into a small cloud of smoke.
A kick to the face launched Zabuza away, who landed on one hand and pushed himself up. "Interesting, Konoha's dog still has his fangs. But you're still a little puppy at best, Hatake!" In a burst of speed, he dashed up to Kakashi and immediately had him within striking range. His first slash was dodged, the second barely deflected, and the third clipped Kakashi on his right shoulder, barely grazing it.
Zabuza grinned, he had drawn first blood. Continuing his relentless assault, each slash came closer to beheading Kakashi than the previous. Tired of merely dodging, Kakashi twisted his body to avoid Zabuza's swing, and dropped to the floor to deliver a kick to his abdomen.
The mist nin shook off the kick like it was nothing. Spend a couple decades training your abs, they would eventually become as hard as a block of granite. But the force of the blow knocked him away, putting some valuable distance between them. Now with a comfortable space, Kakashi turned to his specialised art : Ninjutsu.
"Katon : Goukakyuu no jutsu!" Without needing handseals, Kakashi launched a large ball of fire at Zabuza, who easily knocked it away after infusing come chakra with the flat side of his blade. However, the Great Fireball only served to block his vision as Kakashi had already finished his last hand seal, "Katon : Gouryuuka no jutsu!"
A large, dragon head-shaped fireball exploded out of Kakashi's mouth, much bigger and stronger than his previous jutsu. Zabuza stuck his sword into the ground and flashed through a couple handseals, "Suiton : Suijinheki." Water flew out from the river behind Zabuza and clashed together infront of him to form a wall. The immensely powerful fire jutsu exploded into steam upon crashing into the wall of water.
Not relenting on the jutsu battle, Kakashi continued, "Katon : Kasumi Enbu!" He spewed out a large mass of gas which upon contact with the small fire that still scorched the ground, ignited into a large fireball.
However, Zabuza had already been forming handseals himself, "Suiton : Suijinchu!" Zabuza kneaded the chakra inside the body, converting it into water before expelling it in a dense, curved torrent, creating a barricade that protected him from the less powerful fire jutsu. Unhappy with the current defensive position he had assumed, Zabuza lashed out with his sword, splitting the leftover steam in half and launched himself forward towards Kakashi.
Immediately abandoning the jutsu he had been planning to use, Kakashi settled into a tight taijutsu stance, his left arm behind his back white his right hand infront of him. Mentally thanking Gai for all the taijutsu spars between them, Kakashi's right fist snaked past the oncoming sword and landed on Zabuza's face, knocking him backwards once more.
"Not finished yet…" Kakashi huffed out as he continued with a heel kick downwards that landed on Zabuza's shoulder and another elbow towards his solar plexus. Kakashi then spun once more, intending to finish the fight with a solid kick to Zabuza's temple, only for the man to reach out and grab it. In a classic, Judo toss, Zabuza tossed Kakashi backwards… into the river.
Already saturated with his chakra, Zabuza hadn't even needed handseals to move the water in the river, "Suiton : Suirou no jutsu!" An orb of water encompassed Kakashi and trapped him within. Kakashi cursed and struck the water prison with his tanto, a large cut opened it, but was instantly resealed by Zabuza's chakra.
"Kakashi-sensei!" Hinata shouted, tossing several shuriken at Zabuza.
Smirking, Zabuza summoned several water clones rose up from the water that was already dense with his chakra. The shurikens were easily blocked by one of the clones.
"Now, all that's left are the three brats." Zabuza said, his clones stepping menacingly towards the trio.
"Run!" Kakashi shouted at his students, while futilely slashing at the water prison.
Shino took a step forward, "Those who abandon their comrades are worse than trash, sensei. You taught us that." With that, a large swarm of kikaichuu buzzed angrily and emerged from the sleeves of Shino's coat.
"An Aburame? Then you will stand no chance against me." A simple water jutsu that could be performed by even a water clone blew away the swarm that got too close to one of them. Against most suiton or katon users, Aburame members tend to lose way too many of their hive for any victory to be worth the loss.
Jin took a step forward as well, he had been shaking throughout the entire battle, this was the only time had had face any true danger. When Kakashi had been caught, he had seriously contemplated running. But… like Shino said, those who abandon their comrades were worse than trash!
Forming two shadow clones, Jin began to focus chakra into his palm. The time needed to form his Rasengan had been drastically shortened, due to his hardwork while training. From a whole 20 seconds to a short 18 seconds. But this was no time to feel triumphant, however much he deserved it.
Zabuza had seen the brown-haired boy summon two shadow clones, judging from when he had yelled out his jutsu's name loudly. It was an impressive feat, and that was the only reason why Zabuza allowed the boy to continue forming his jutsu, whatever it was.
"Yosh…" Jin started, and glared at Zabuza, "Eat this! Rasengan!"
The Demon of the Hidden Mist clones tensed, preparing to deal with anything the kid might pull out. But all he did was… run. Painfully slow at that, all the while yelling at the top of his lungs, arm cocked back with a glowing blue sphere in his hand.
As amusing as the scene was, Zabuza preferred not to kill anyone from a major shinobi village if he could help it. Lest the kid was someone important's child, and they sent hunter nin after him specifically as vengeance. His clone easily sidestepped the attack and another jumped forward to kick the boy's gut, making him fly back. While the first clone swung his sword to leave a nice long cut on the boy's face as he flew back.
"Jin-kun!" Hinata yelled out as she ran over to catch him.
The kick had knocked all the air out of Jin's lungs, but he was still coherent enough to form some semblance of a sentence. "W-we ha-have to ru-run!" Climbing up on his feet, and wiping away the streak of blood that was rapidly dribbling down the side of his chin, he grabbed Hinata's hand and started running away.
Shino widened his eyes as he watched Jin run off with Hinata, abandoning his third teammate and sensei. He turned back to Kakashi who was watching them as well with a hollow look in his eyes. Then, his sensei turned to him, and his features hardened. "You must go too."
"Now!" A step back turned into a full blown sprint out of the area, Shino turned back to watch the clones laugh and close in on his sensei.
Meanwhile, the real Zabuza was laughing aloud, "They were smart at least, I would have killed them as well other wise. Must be disappointing, huh? To see your students abandon you like that. Worse than trash, right?"
Kakashi closed his eyes in silence. There was only one chance to escape. Kakashi prayed Zabuza's arrogance would allow him the chance.
"You would have made a fine opponent, Hatake Kakashi. You disappoint me." Zabuza solemnly said as a clone heaved up its sword and prepared to cut into the water prison.
"But… to take the head of the copy-ninja, the bounty would be enough to feed me and Haku for years! Any last words?"
Kakashi remained silent with his eyes closed, he would require absolute concentration for this.
"Nothing? Very well. Good bye, Sharingan no Kakashi!" The clone swung his sword at the water prison.
The moment the sword made contact with the water prison, Kakashi's eyes immediately snapped open. 'Kaimon Kai!' The rush of chakra as well as the release of the inhibitions on his muscles allowed Kakashi to barely dodge the the incoming blade and jump out the opening the sword made.
"Shit!" Zabuza cursed, releasing his hold on the water prison.
Kakashi turned to Zabuza in mid air, and formed three hand seals. "Doton : Moguragakure no jutsu." Diving into the earth as if it was water, Kakashi immediately dug in to the ground, escaping safely.
"Fuck!" Zabuza turned to the bridge builer who was left unattended by the escaped Konoha Shinobi. "Well, at least I'm still getting paid by Gato." A single swing silenced Tazuna's screams.
T.H.E. H.E.R.O'S. B.R.O.T.H.E.R
"I can't believe that Gato tried to double cross me." Zabuza gumbled as he used his sword to cut through the thick vines of the forest.
"We should have expected something like that, Zabuza-sama." A soft, delicate voice replied. Zabuza clenched his teeth and back handed the person who spoke.
"When I require your opinion I will ask for it, weapon."
The person who had fallen down picked herself up, nursing her bruised cheek. Her large, dark brown eyes turned to her master as she desperately tried to control her emotions. "Hai, Zabuza-sama."
The Demon of the Mist eyed her with disdain, "Tch, if not for your kekkei genkai, I would never have brought you with me. Learn your place… Haku."
"My apologies, Zabuza-sama." She repeated again, bowing apologetically.
Grunting in response, Zabuza continued cutting his way through the dense vegetation.
After returning with the head of the bridge builder he had been sent to assassinate, Gato had not only denied him the reward promised, but was driven off by two other A-ranked nuke nin. Rokusho Aoi and Kurosuki Raiga. He normally would have easily killed both them with Haku's help, but with the fatigue that was quickly kicking in from his fight with Hatake Kakashi, and the fact that they were ambushed with Zabuza receiving a large Gash from his left hip bone to his right collar bone, courtesy of Rokusho Aoi's Raijin no Ken.
With him heavily injured and slightly paralysed from the lightning sword, it ended up as a two versus one scenario with the two blasting Haku with lightning and water jutsus. An inherently suiton shinobi, Haku stood no chance against both of the combined and was forced to retreat while carrying him off. Using her kekkei genkai to form a mirror, she was able to escape with both their lives intact, but Zabuza's pride shattered.
Rokusho Aoi and Kusosuki Raiga pursued them relentlessly, chasing them from Nami no Kuni and was forced to seek refuge in Hi no Kuni's thick forests. They eventually lost them with the use of clever traps that used up all of their remaining exploding tags. Zabuza took consolation in the fact that he heard one of them scream loudly in pain as they were escaping.
After a few weeks living in a forest, Haku's extensive knowledge on herbs and medicinal plants allowed him to make a full recovery. But now, they were stuck in Hi no Kuni, trapped by the constant ANBU patrols. They had only managed to sneak through the border through complete luck, accidentally finding an opening in Konohagakure's normally tight ANBU patrol schedules. The intense heat coupled with the constant lack of food, except for the occasional game caught by Haku, was beginning to test Zabuza's patience, which was why he was now even more tyrannic towards Haku than before.
Zabuza continued swinging his sword before he sudddenly stopped. Why? He had caught sight of a two vines hanging from a tree, cleanly cut from each other. He had been here before. He spotted another two vines and a few vegetation that was left in the same condition. They were going in circles…
Zabuza formed a battle stance, his sword held ready in front of him. Haku slipped out several senbons as well, though not fully understanding the need to.
The Demon of the Hidden Mist turned to his apprentice, "We've been going in circles you idiot! There's a genjutsu, Kai!" The trees around them started to blur before completely fading away. What they noticed first was a team of shinobi standing on the branch of a tree infront of them. They were a genin team, definitely. Three of them looked as young as Hatake Kakashi's team, while their sensei looked to be as old as 70.
Zabuza was now cautious. One did not live to the age of 70 as a shinobi without being able to carve out the years he had lived with hard earned skills and experience.
The blonde one spoke first, "You took way too long to break out of that simple genjutsu, Zabuza Momochi. Your senses has been dulled."
Zabuza gritted his teeth, this fucking brat dared to lecture him on breaking out of a genjutsu his sensei probably casted. However much he wanted to mutilate the little blonde shit stain, after years of experience, he had learned to choose his battles.
First off, with the lack of sufficient food and water, Zabuza was significantly weakened. Next, though his injuries have completely healed, they still left a sore spot. Third, they were in a jungle, without a single water source around, Suiton jutsu was completely out of the question unless he was willing to sacrifice what precious hydration his body still possessed. Finally, they had been walking for the entire day now, and had been for a few days before, fatigue was already kicking in.
He needed to escape.
Forming quick handseals, Zabuza expelled whatever water he still had left in his body along with his chakra, "Suiton : Kirigakure no jutsu!" Instead of a slow thickening of the air around him, Zabuza instead expelled thick gusts of mists instantly, before turning to run.
The blonde shinobi grinned before jumping high into the air. "Fuuton : Taifu Doroppu!" Rotating blades of wind surrounded him as he flew downwards in a spiraling motion and landed on his two feet. The gusts of wind blew away the thick mass of mist, revealing Zabuza and Haku who were in the process of escaping.
"Raiton : Gian!"
Zabuza and Haku was forced to separate by a spear of lightning.
"Raiton : Kaminari Kawarimi!" The blonde boy reappeared between them in a loud clap of thunder, and kicked them both away with a spin kick. Turning to Zabuza, he flicked out a pair of butterfly knives. His slashes was rapidly blocked by the mist nin's large sword, even with the wind chakra he was channeling in to the knives. Long white blades now lengethened the knives' reach.
A rapid combination of stabs, thrusts and slashes kept Zabuza busy blocking each and every of the blow. The strikes weren't as heavy as Zabuza's, but they were fast, unpredicatble and each struck with a deadly accuracy. Each attack targeted a vital point, and not just his organs, but his joints, key muscles, and one of them was even close to slicing off his left ear.
In his weakened state, Zabuza could do nothing but attempt to block all of the boy's attacks, but even he knew that he didn't have the stamina to continue holding off the konoha shinobi's relentless assault.
"Ninpou : Senbon Kage Bunshin no jutsu!"
A seemingly cloud of needles flew at the blonde shinobi, seemingly intent on turning him into a pincushion. He was forced to break off his assualt on Zabuza and jumped away from the needles intended trajectory.
Zabuza looked relieved to have had the boy forced to back off. The kid was good. "Not bad, boy. What's your name." It was merely a diversion to allow him to catch his breath, but the kid bought it.
The blonde boy smirked, his blue eyes glittering in the sun, "Namikaze Naruto, remember it."
"Rasengan!" The blue spiraling sphere drilled into Zabuza's muscled body with ease. The large man flew back and slammed into a tree, gasping for breath as all the air in his lungs were knocked out. Zabuza looked up weakly at the boy calmly walked towards him.
What was supposed to be an easy battle against a genin turned out to be that blonde boy just playing around with him, Kirigakure no Kijin. Now, his face was cut up by invisible blades of wind. His torso scorched and broken by fists of fire. His limbs close to breaking from heavy kicks and punches. The boy could have finished him at any point of the fight, Zabuza knew, but instead he prolonged it to a full hour of training with him as a training dummy.
Zabuza glanced to the side, where Haku stood and watched. Dozens of times, he had called out to his apprentice for help, but to only receive a blank stare. His Kubikiri Houchou stabbed into the tree where he was resting, wielded by the blonde boy.
Naruto smirked, "As fun as this was, it's time to end this." Hefting the ridiculously heavy sword, Naruto positioned the blade to behead the missing nin, his bounty would be a significant increase in his wealth.
Zabuza glared at him futilely. His chakra was depleted, there wasn't even enough energy in him to say a single word. His body was broken, his pride beaten down and dignity shredded. Turning to Haku, her dark brown eyes filled with pity and satisfaction was the last thing Zabuza saw before darkness claimed him.
"Well, that was kinda boring…" Naruto turned to Haku, who immediately settled into a taijutsu stance with senbon in between her fingers. "You must be Haku, I presume."
Haku's features hardened, "With the death of Zabuza-sama, I've lost my purpose. Kill me if you must. You have the right to take my life, but know I will also take yours." Her grip tightened on the senbon.
Naruto smiled, "We have been watching you for awhile. I saw how he treated you. Why does the death of such a man cause you to lose your purpose?"
Haku, now devoid of any real purpose to keep her alive, told the story of how she escaped the blood purge of Kiri, and how she met Zabuza. How they survived numerous encounters with Mist Hunter-nin and the apprenticeship she received. And how he slowly started becoming more violent and abusive, started to treat her more of a weapon than a human. His promises soon faded to lies, and whatever patience she had regarding him was soon lost.
"That's a moving story, however, let me repeat my question. How does the death of such a man causes you to lose your purpose in life." Naruto repeated.
Haku glared at him, "Don't you get it, Zabuza-sama save me from a life of emptiness and cruelty. He gave me a purpose, to be his apprentice. I would have followed him to the ends of the earth if he asked."
"Yet, you let him be killed by me while you watched silently."
Haku gasped, it was true. She did allow, no, even encouraged Naruto to kill her master by staying silent throughout the entire fight.
"What.. Why did I…?" Haku muttered, devestated that she could allow her savior to be killed, while doing nothing to help him.
"Because, you knew. You knew that he doesn't deserve you, neither your skills nor your loyalty. You knew that the only thing he still deserved, was death."
Haku's legs buckled and she fell to her knees, tears streamed down her cheeks. "Then… I no longer have anything… worth living for." She turned to Naruto. "Kill me."
Naruto walked towards her, his hand reaching for Haku's face. The girl closed her eyes, ready to accept death with open arms.
A finger flicked her forehead, causing her to yelp and rubbed the spot. "Wh-what?"
"Ahou. Do you really think someone's life can be so expendable. Your mother gave birth to you and gave you your life. Don't betray her and everyone else that has cared for you by allowing yourself to die so easily." Naruto said blankly, his fingers still in the 'flicking' position.
"Hmph," Haku scoffed, "The only people who has ever cared for me, my mother and Zabuza-sama, are both dead."
"What about me?" Naruto suggested.
Haku's eyes widened, "Wh-what about you?"
Flicking her forehead again, causing her to yelp adorably again, Naruto stood up straight and stared at her blankly, "If I didn't care for you, would I be talking you out of dying right now. So if you allow yourself to be killed right now, you would be betraying me as well."
'He cares for me?' The thought repeated in her mind, causing Haku to blush beet red. "Th-th-then, I won't die… for you."
Naruto smiled, "Good. You probably have nowhere to go now, huh?"
Haku nodded, not trusting her speech capabilities right now.
Naruto took on a thinking pose, "Well, I'm sure Konoha would welcome you with open arms," He looked towards Danzo, who was standing with the rest of his team, "right?"
Danzo nodded. Naruto grinned, "Come back with us to Konoha, find your new purpose with me."
Haku looked up at him, with the sun shining at the back of his head, he looked positively angelic. "Hai… Naruto-sama."
T.H.E. H.E.R.O'S. B.R.O.T.H.E.R
Team Ten found themselves amidst a field littered with corpses.
They had been sent on an A-rank mission almost immediately after returning from their previous B-rank mission. It was only two weeks away from the chuunin-exam too, the Yondaime probably wanted to keep them away to prevent Naruto from joining. Fortunately, Danzo was able to easily smuggle Haku through the gates with the aid of his Root underlings, and she was put up in a Root complex before Naruto was forced to leave for his mission, not without saying goodbye.
The mission itself was rather complicated, with vague information and limited time to plan. They were to intercept a squadron of 'unknown' shinobi trespassing in Hi no Kuni territory. The unknown shinobi were spotted by a squad of ANBU patrolling the borders. After spying on them, they had reported that the unknown shinobi would be cutting across Hi no Kuni. Confident of their abilities, they engaged the squadron of foreign ninjas, only to be annihilated, not before sending what they have learned back to Konoha.
Why the Yondaime had sent a genin team after a full squadron of foreign shinobi that killed an entire ANBU squad, Naruto had a rough idea. Each time Naruto returned from a high-ranking mission, his father had looked increasingly displeased. It was only strict regulations that prevented him from sending Naruto's team on a suicide, S-ranked mission.
Using Sai's ink birds and dogs, they had quickly located the foreign ninja. When Team Ten found them, they had been resting in a clearing. Naruto was sent in to scout in advance, using the Mayfly technique. The ANBU had clearly done some damage against them, as many of them spotted heavy wounds and were exhausted. Only around half of them were in fighting condition, and even less were in perfect form.
One particular shinobi had caught Naruto's eye, however. A pale skinned teen with shoulder length white hair and two dots on his forehead, wearing loose combat garb. Naruto had seen him ordering the shinobi around, now identified as Oto Ninjas judging by the musical note on their headbands, clearly he must have been their commanding officer.
The resting Oto shinobi had were given two hours to rest, more than enough time for Team ten to plan an ambush. After Naruto returned with the information, Danzo had drilled his gaze into Shikamaru and instructed him to form a plan. Not that the old war hawk was unable to think of a strategy, he wanted Shikamaru to practice forming tactical plans.
The plan itself was simple, they would have to attack as soon as possible, so as to not allow them any additional moment of rest. There were 20 of them, however half were already too wounded to fight, while only a handful were in perfect condition. They needed to take down the ones who were not injured first, taking advantage of their surprise attack. In the confusion, Naruto and Sai would unleash their more devastating jutsus on the rest of the ones who could still fight. The following chaos would allow them to easily eliminate the injured ones, and even take a prisoner or two.
Things did not go according to plan. First Shikamaru, Naruto and Sai had swooped in from above, on Sai's ink bird, planning to assassinate the ones who were still in perfect condition. Sai and Shikamaru were successful in their attack, cutting down their two targets without them even noticing. Naruto, however, had some trouble. He had been targeting the white-haired teen, whose reflexes he had underestimated. The pale teen was able to sense Naruto's attack and deflected his slash with a white sword or something.
Naruto instantly backed off from the teen, and continued with the plan. Sai quickly drew out five ink dogs who managed to take down an additional two shinobi. While Shikamaru, without any hard hitting techniques, used Shadow Blade to cut through an unarmed shinobi. Naruto formed four handseals and unleashed a fury of wind and fire, tearing through four more ninjas.
By now, the squadron of shinobi had already come to their senses, but it was too late. Continuing the slaughter, Shikamaru and Sai each used their own respective techniques to rampage through the rest.
Naruto, however, was locked in a sword fight with the white-haired teen from before. 'Shit, this guy is stronger than I thought!' The teen was surprisingly skilled in swordplay and managed to force Naruto on the defensive for a long while. Each stab and slash was unexpectedly heavy, judging from the teen's thin limbs. The teen's kenjutsu was admirable, his bone-white sword flowed fluidly at times, while reaching dangerously close to Naruto's flesh at others.
Naruto's kenjutsu was admittedly not the best, something he had promised to himself to improve on in the future. Seeing as how each attack was getting closer and closer to his face, Naruto abandoned his sword by swinging wildly at his opponent before throwing it like a spear at him. The blonde then settled into the Wind Stance of his Five Elements Style. His opponent was fast, Naruto just had to be faster, the wind stance was perfect for delivering fast and rapid strikes.
The blonde smirked slightly, he had equipped his taijutsu gloves made of steel mesh. It had been a gift from Danzo after he learned that Naruto had mastered the Five Elements Style. Naruto was reluctant to use a gift from Danzo, but he could not deny its usefulness, and it's deadliness when used in battle. The tight steel mesh provided his hands ample protection against sharp weapons, and also gave his punches the a sharp edge, allowing his fists to shave off flesh. Against a kenjutsu user, these gloves were perfect.
The white-haired teen noted Naruto's dropped weapon with slight interest before returning to their battle. Initiating the combat, he sped forward, and readied his sword to strike. "Tsubaki no mai." He then stabbed chaotically and continuously at Naruto. Once again, the blonde was remindede of his opponent's agility and dexterity with his sword, as several stabs had forced him to use Kazenui to avoid the sword.
Tired of evading, Naruto stepped forward disappeared, reappearing by the teen's flank. By the time Kimimaro turned towards him, Naruto had already delivered three jabs and a hook to his face that knocked him away. Unrelenting on his attack, Naruto dashed forward. Dodging the continued stabs, Naruto reappeared infront of the teen, performing a dozen quick jabs to his torso before twisting to the right to avoid his blade.
Naruto struck several key points of the boy's left arm : the wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep and shoulder, expecting him to cry out in pain. However, not a single flinch was rewarded even when his punches tore through his skin. That was when Naruto noticed a layer of white underneath his skin, not the usual pink and red bloody flesh.
His hesitation was taken advantage upon as Naruto was forced to block the incoming slash with both his hand. Caught off guard, Naruto had to jump backwards to avoid the slash that wold have taken his head. Settling into a defensive guard, Naruto now had the opportunity to fully examine his opponent. Naruto's initial punches had shredded his opponent's clothes, allowing Naruto full contact with the skin underneath. And though the skin was shaved off in many spots, not a single injury was bleeding, all had a white layer of protection underneath.
Naruto had also finally noticed his opponent's weapon. Instead of a regular katana or ninjato, his enemy was holding onto a short, bone hilted short sword. Remembering his studies, Naruto instantly realized what his enemy was. "A Kaguya, huh? Weren't you all extinct already?"
The Kaguya looked at him with unhidden disgust and distaste.
Narrowing his eyes, Naruto charged forward. Obviously his wind stance wasn't doing any significant damage to his enemy, with the bone armor underneath his skin. Naruto flashed through two handseals and his skin darkened. 'Doton : Domu!' Taking a firm stance, Naruto delivered a strong punch that broke through the Kaguya's block and sent him flying ten feet away. The unexpectedly strong attack had caught him unaware, it was a surprise Naruto could only take advantage of once.
Completely different from the Wind Stance, the Earth Stance was almost purely defensive, relying on a rock solid guard and heavy counter attacks to take down enemies, in combination with Earth Spear, made the earth stance one of Naruto's most relied upon taijutsu style. Taking a rigid, defensive stance, Naruto glared at his opponent, daring him to approach him.
While Naruto and the Kaguya had fought, Shikamaru and Sai had already cleaned up the rest of the enemies. With only the injured left, it was a simple task to knock them unconscious to take them prisoner.
The Kaguya picked himself up, eyes narrowing. Realizing the blonde was not going to come for him, he went for Naruto instead. The white-haired teen's attacks fell futilely against Naruto's rock hard skin. Naruto sent a kick straight at the Kaguya's calf when an opening appeared, bringing him to his knees, allowing Naruto to aim a vicious kick right at his Adam's apple, intending to crush his throat. It would have worked, if not for the thin layer of bone the Kaguya had formed throughout his body that protected him against external forces.
The kick merely sent him flying and left him gagging for a few moments.
Naruto again took on a penseive look. The bone armor was becoming rather annoying, and since it covered his body almost completely, taijutsu seemed to be useless aginst the Kaguya. Releasing the Earth Spear technique, Naruto turned to his favourite ninja art, Ninjutsu. Forming a few handseals, Naruto took a deep breath and his chest and cheeks swelled up. 'Suiton : Teppodama'. A large, high speed condensed water bullet flew towards the Kaguya, smashing him against a tree.
Naruto immediately continued, flashing through handseals and smashing his palms on the ground, "Doton : Ganchuri (Earth Pillar Prison)!" A dozen rock pillars rose vertically around the Kaguya, trapping him within. Following up with a sealless jutsu, Naruto cried out, "Doton Raiton : Iwachuuseki Raikinko (Earth Pillar Lightning Imprisonment)"Bolts of lightning flashed between the pillars before striking at the Kaguya, causing muffled screams of pain.
Before Naruto could finish him however, the pillar exploded outwards, as a figure jumped out of the prison. Now with definite scorch marks and an angry glare, the teen exploded towards Naruto, eyes promising pain. They exchanged quick strikes, the Kaguya with his sword and Naruto with his fists.
The Kagya suddenly dashed into Naruto's guard, way too close for comfort, "Yanagi no mai" Abandoning his bone sword, several long and sharp bones grew out of his palms, elbows, knees and shoulders. The attack took Naruto by surprise, allowing one bone on the teen's shoulder to puncture Naruto's own right shoulder as the Kaguya dashed forward.
Spinning in his place, the Kaguya's bones left two more nasty gashes, one on his torso and the other on his left bicep. When the white-haired teen continued with his attack using the bones protruding from his palms, Naruto caught his wrist and snapped a kick that should have broken his ribs, but only launched him away.
Immediately attempting to heal his wound his a medical ninjutsu, Naruto turned to glare at Sai and Shikamaru, who had taken a step forward when they saw Naruto injured. Shikamaru was slightly surprised, after so many missions with Naruto, he had never once seen him injured. Naruto put a hand up, signifying them that this fight was his and his alone.
The pale Kaguya got up and realized that all his subordinates were all either dead or captured. This was not good, Orochimaru-sama would be so disappointed. At the thought of disappointing Orochimaru, the Kaguya frowned. Taking off his top that was already torn up in most places, he focused chakra into the cursed seal on his chest. Immediately, the seal branched out and spread throughout his body, covering it in a rip-like pattern.
"You are rather skilled for trash. My name is Kaguya Kimimaro, and you have inconvenience me long enough." The now identified Kimimaro's body arched and unleashed several bones that protruded through his skin. Now, his body was covered in bones pointing outwards. "Karamatsu no mai." Was all he said before he launched himself towards Naruto.
Realizing it would be dangerous to engage in close combat, Naruto flashed through two handseals, Tiger then Dog. "Fūton: Shinkū Taigyoku (Vacuum Great Sphere)" Naruto inhaled deeply and expelled a single, large crushing sphere of wind chakra that smashed against Kimimaro. Who, to his credit, was able to stand against the unrelenting force and dispersed the technique with a sharp swing of all his bone blades on his body, receiving a few dozen cuts in return.
Not allowing Kimimaro to continue on, Naruto flashed through handseals again, Rat, Snake, Horse, Snake, Dog. "Fūton: Shinkū Renpa (Vacuum Serial Waves)" This time, Naruto took a deep breath and exhaled several large blades of wind at different angles, by rapidly moving their head in various directions. This forced Kimimaro to further power his Karamatsu no mai with more chakra, creating even more blades of bone. Turning in an elegant circle, Kimimaro fended off the unyielding wind blades.
This gave Naruto some precious time, he fished out a kunai. Muttering, "Fūton: Shinkūjin (Vacuum Blade)" he exhaled wind-infused chakra onto kunai in order to increase its sharpness, range and lethality, turning it into makeshift scimitar. Just as Kimimaro deflected the last of the wind blades, Naruto dashed forward and delivered a long gash at his shoulder that nearly sliced off Kimimaro's right arm.
Widening his eyes in shock and pain, Kimimaro jumped back, knowing his right arm was now useless.
Naruto refused to let Kimimaro have any time to rest. "Katon: Hōsenka Tsumabeni (Phoenix Sage Flower Nail Crimson)" He unleashed a volley of shuriken with one hand while at the same time forming a tiger handseal with the other, exhaling fire-infused chakra to increase the weapons' destructive potential by making them capable of inflicting severe burns upon direct contact, furthermore propelling them forward with much higher speed than before.
With only one hand to deflect the shurikens, Kimimaro was forced to allow one or two to cut his body, while blocking the rest with the bone spikes still protruded out. The wound was instantly cauterized with the shuriken still embedded in the flesh. The excrutiating pain caused Kimimaro to grunt in agony.
The Kaguya turned his attention away from the pain when a sudden bright glow filled the clearing. Naruto was holding on to his right hand as a mass of focused, blue lightning chakra covered it. Naruto turned towards Kimimaro and looked into his eyes, before pushing forward in a burst of speed, yelling "Raikiri!"
Before Kimimaro could react, Naruto rammed his hand into the Kaguya's chest, his hand reaching emerging through his back, penetrating through the bone blades as well as the bone armor. Kimimaro looked down at the hand that was buried in his chest up to the elbow, as a trail of blood dripped down his chin.
Naruto tore his hand out of Kimimaro's chest as a gout of blood splattered across his face. Turning away from the Kaguya, he smirked as he heard a loud thud, signifying the teen falling on to the ground. He took a few steps before hearing something from behind.
"Not… yet… Trash…"
Widening his eyes, Naruto turned back to witness something akin to a transformation from human to monster as Kimimaro slowly stood up. The rip-like pattern was now gone, his pale white skin was replaced by a dark brownish red color. His originally white hair turned dark grey dark markings covered his eyes, which had turned from vivid green to eyes with a black sclera and a yellow iris. Furthermore, several large bones protruded from his back along with a dinosaur-like tail. The wounds he had received were now partially healed, looking like raw, nasty scars. The large wound in the middle of his chest was now sealed up with a white substance, most likely liquified calcium, Naruto assumed.
Kimimaro reached back and gritted his teeth as a bone hilt slowly pushed its way out of the back of his neck. "Tessenka no Mai: Tsuru (Dance of the Clematis: Vine)" Gripping it, the Kaguya ripped out his entire spinal column, instantly regrowing a new spine to replace it. The cartilage in between the vertebral cloumn allowed the spine to bend as if it were a whip as Kimimaro pulled back and it whipped across the field towards Naruto.
With the wind-chakra imbued kunai laying nearby stabbed in the floor when Naruto abandoned it to perform the fire shuriken, he rolled towards it and to slice in to the whip as it reached him. Naruto continued, slicing up the Kimimaro's spinal column as he continued towards him. Once Naruto was within reaching distance, he abandoned the kunai while the other hand formed a familiar ball of chakra. However, the technique looked fairly similar to an ordinary Rasengan, except it had four small white blade like protrusions surrounding it. "Fūton: Rasengan!"
Slamming it against Kimimaro's torso, Naruto pushed him downwards on to the ground, letting the full effects of the wind elemental Rasengan dig in to his body. With all the air knocked out of Kimimaro's lungs, he quickly spat out blood as the technique continued to rotate sharply against his gut. The ground underneath Kimimaro cracked and a small crater eventually formed as the Rasengan slowly losed power, revealing a bloody, and bruised wound.
With a sigh of relief, Naruto took a step back, only for Kimimaro to suddenly sink in to the ground.
'I'm sorry Orochimaru-sama, I might not be able to return to you…' With a burst of the vile chakra from Orochimaru's cursed seal, Kimimaro shouted from beneath the ground, "Sawarabi no mai!" Countless bones as tall as trees burst out from underground, thousands, no tens of thousands of them.
The technique had completely caught Naruto off guard, allowing one to shoot up next to him, cutting in to his right chest. Both Shikamaru and Sai had jumped up before the root ninja created an Ink bird for both of them to land on.
Naruto fell to one knee, nursing the large gash that opened up his chest. Next to him, Kimimaro emerged from one of the trees of bone, his right arm covered in a drill made of bone, enhanced to the highest degree of maximum strength and solidity, "Tessenka no Mai: Hana!" The shout alerted Naruto to Kimimaro's precense, his body half way out, his weapon ready to skewer through him.
Forcing his body to the limits to react, Naruto strained half the muscles in his body to twist towards Kimimaro, flipping out one of his butterfly knives and parried against the bone drill, the sharp buzzing of wind chakra the only thing that prevented the enormous drill from crushing the tiny knife. Naruto cursed and jumped on to one of the large bones. Time and time again, he had landed a fatal attack, only for this Kimimaro to get up again and again. But not this time…
Running up the bone tree, Naruto jumped high up in the air and formed two kage bunshin beside him. The three Narutos flashed through handseals.
The first kage bunshin finished and yelled : "Katon : Hiryuu Entei!"
The second kage bunshin finished and yelled : "Raiton: Rairyuu Kaminarikou!"
The original finished and yelled : "Fuuton : Fuuryu Kaze Ou!"
A massive dragon made of sharp blades of wind burst out from looking like a dragon made of typhoons and hurricanes. Another was looked like it was made of solid lightning, it's entire length covered in crackling yellow lightning. The thid was formed completely of fire, an unbearable wave of heat swept through the area, signifying how strong the fires making up the dragon was.
The three crashed together to fuse into a single titanic mixture of wind, fire and lightning. "DIE ALREADY! Katon Raiton Fuuton Combi : San Genso Ryu Arashi! (Three Elemental Dragon Storm)" The massive inferno of white hot flames, thunder and lightning reduced the clearing into a field of scorched earth, incinerating the vast forest of bone. Shikamaru and Sai was lucky to have flown away when Kimimaro had used Sawarabi no mai, or even they would have been caught up in the monstrous firestorm.
Naruto landed on the top of the single bone tree still left standing, before mustering all his chakra into his leg muscles and jump towards the ink bird that was currently flying towards him. Once Sai caught him, Naruto fell on his back, breathing heavily. That was the single most difficult fight he had ever experienced. 'Kimimaro Kaguya huh…. I will remember you.'
As they flew away, they did not see a young man with silver grey hair wearing a pair of circular glasses slinking away, wondering how he was to tell Orochimaru his right-hand man, Kimimaro had been killed.
T.H.E. H.E.R.O'S. B.R.O.T.H.E.R
And that's the end of The Hero's Brother Chapter 12.5. Hope you enjoyed it! I really liked writing the fight scenes, though it has been awhile so the actions might seem a little awkward. I'm not sure when the next chapter for THB will be released. As stated before, I will be rather busy throughout this year, and the next. School, work, studies, tests and exams, thus is the life of a student. Thank you everybody who supported this story since the beginning, and especially those who has been sending me PMs demanding for a new chapter. I really don't mind it, on the contrary, I think it's very flattering. For those of you who are sick of waiting for a new chapter, and likes reading Harry Potter fics, check out my HP fanfiction, Shadow of the Snake! Love it, Hate it, Review it.
Well if you don't, I know where you live. I know where you sleep. And your parents won't recognize you when I am done. (Evil Laughter)