Chapter 3-Best Laid Plans
(A/N: A fellow author named Raxius has an Epic Mickey challenge on his profile he would like all of you to look at if you are interested in taking it on. Please give it a look. ENJOY!)
Haku was walking through the forest area of Wave Country, wearing civilian dress that showed off her growing womanly figure, and attracting the eyes of male teenagers around her age. She came here to explore the forest for the medicinal herbs it had to offer, not knowing when the opportunity to do so, and without having to look over her shoulder for potential threats was there. Considering the potential battle that would soon be upon them while taking this assignment...it was better to be prepared. From what Sephiroth had told them, the Leaf ANBU could prove to be a problem, but most likely they would come specifically to extract the injured group assigned to protect Tazuna, and then refocusing their efforts entirely on him.
A blush went to her cheeks at the memory of what happened in his room earlier in the morning when she walked in to check up on him per Zabuza-sama's orders.
Haku knocked gently several times before slowly opening the door to Sephiroth's room to see if the young swordsman was up and about to do some scouting for the ANBU. It was planned to have Sephiroth walk around to have the Leaf ANBU show themselves with his appearance should they even be in Wave and direct them away from the other Missing Nin of the group.
The plan was to make enough noise that it would allow the Zabuza-sama, the Demon Brothers, and herself the time needed to take out the bridge builder at his home. Even if some of the group the old man traveled with were there, they would be no match for any of them, and would fall easily at their hands.
'He's not here. Did he go out already? Or is he...is he in the bathroom?' thought Haku, as she sensed warm water coming from the bathroom thanks to her bloodline limit, and was about to leave when the door to that room opened that made the girl's eyes widen with red cheeks that could make a cherry envious.
Before her eyes was Namikaze Sephiroth, currently wearing a towel, only a towel around his waist, and was coming out of the steam filled room with his upper body covered in moist droplets of water. Haku could see every detail of his muscled torso, the lean arms, and long dripping wet silver hair that shined with such greatness the girl thought she was staring at something heavenly.
"You wanted something Haku?" said Sephiroth seeing the girl looking at him with the gaping look and red face.
"I-I w-was...," said Haku, as she couldn't think to form a sentence when around him, and felt her mind freeze up any logical thought while another part of the brain had become active with various exciting ideas.
Ideas that involved things one found in Jiraiya's dirty orange books.
"You came to check up on me. Thank you, but there is no need. I was about to dress, and head out to continue with the plan to draw out the Leaf ANBU since they should be here soon," said Sephiroth walking towards his bed.
'Don't get dressed on my account. Wait! What did I just think?' thought Haku, as she just stared at him, and was quickly out the door when she noticed him looking at her mere seconds from removing the towel.
'Perhaps Mother should have stayed in my head a little longer to help me understand her gender more,' thought Sephiroth, as he got dressed, and put the strange look Haku had on her face out of his mind.
Haku smiled to herself at that memory, but even after looking back on it, the moment was embarrassing to the poor girl, and Zabuza-sama had instantly interrogated her after seeing the cherry red face. She could never lie to Zabuza-sama about anything no matter what, as that went against Haku's belief in protecting him from future threats, even if the threat was from herself, and told him exactly what she saw while also admitting that it excited her.
She remembered glaring at the Demon Brothers after she heard them both snickering at her and Zabuza-sama had to give the one thing he no doubt assumed would never be the one to give. It was the most dreaded, infamous, and evil thing a grown up could do to a child coming of age into puberty known only by two words..."the talk".
Again, the Demon Brothers snickered at her expense while Zabuza-sama spoke of such things like 'puberty', 'sexual intercourse', and other horrible things tied to the emotions she felt when staring at a recently cleaned Sephiroth. Of course she got them back after Zabuza-sama finished and they were limping right now from having so many senbon ice needles poking into each of their ass cheeks while telling them they couldn't be removed without new ones taking their place.
They were just going to have to wait until each of the ice needles melted.
'Besides, I doubt Sephiroth would never think of me like that, and wish to experience all those different things Zabuza-sama talked about with me. I'm a tool. A weapon, whose purpose is to serve only the strong, and protects them. But...Sephiroth is stronger then Zabuza-sama, right?' thought Haku, as she felt a sudden pain grip her heart, and the conflict of serving the man who made her what she is not to following that same man's teachings to serve another more powerful person.
Could she do that? If she had the opportunity to leave her Zabuza-sama's service in the upcoming battle that was surely to come soon just to follow another, would she take it? She did not deny that there were others in this world stronger then her Master, but so far had never met one that could challenge the man move for move, sword to sword, and in terms of overall skill until now with Namikaze Sephiroth. She heard how Sephiroth could command all the elements like he was an actual God, some saying he had helped in the creation to one of the three great optical bloodlines that possessed such mastery, and could make even the blood of the strongest of warriors second to him run cold with fear.
Haku knew her Master was afraid of Sephiroth, but kept it hidden to make sure the other two in their group didn't think about backstabbing him for the Angel of Death, and yet the Demon of the Mist respected more then feared the other. She had no doubt Sephiroth knew of Zabuza's fear of him, but didn't say, or do anything about it. Though Haku knew that Sephiroth would destroy Zabuza should the Demon of the Mist try to betray him and was simply going to retaliate when such betrayal happened.
It was actually a brilliant strategy if done right, as the enemy gets in close to spring their trap, but you know the trap is coming, and thus springing a trap within the trap to catch the traitor in your crosshairs before gutting the baka like a fish.
Shaking those thoughts from her head, Haku found the spot where herbs she knew would help in healing existed, but froze at the sight of another doing what appeared to be the same thing. It was that girl with the Leaf! The Hyuuga girl that Sephiroth knew from his days from before in the Leaf and yet could not kill. What was her name? Hinata! Why couldn't he seek to harm a single hair on her head? Was she some kind of threat to him? Did she possess some kind of power aside from the bloodline her clan possessed to make Sephiroth stay his hand in bringing about pain like he had brought about with the others? Cautiously, Haku continued to walk towards the girl, calculating her odds in using this opportunity to eliminate the Hyuuga with a simple choking maneuver, or perhaps a quick snap to the neck?
"Oh! I'm sorry. I didn't know anyone knew about this place," said Hinata, as she detected the person behind her while looking for herbs in this area Tazuna's daughter Tsunami had explained were known to possess healing powers if used correctly.
Knowing the current condition her teammates, as well as her sensei were in along with her cousin's team, Hinata couldn't let this opportunity pass, and requested to get the herbs knowing they weren't far away from the house in a secluded area. Kurenai was against it, but Gai being the one with seniority had told the Hyuuga girl she could on the condition she was extra careful, and use her bloodline during exploration of the area.
"It's all right. I didn't know anyone else knew about this area either. Mind if I join you?" said Haku while mentally cursing the girl's bloodline limit for detecting her and the now missed opportunity to remove the Leaf Genin from the equation.
Still...information was a nice consolation prize.
"I-I don't mind. My name is Hyuuga Hinata. Do you know this area well?" said Hinata, as she picked up an herb she needed, and saw Haku do the same.
"That is a lovely name. As for your question, the answer is no, I just learned of this spot not that long ago, and has only become a recent sanctuary to my private life. My name is Haku," said Haku while cursing herself for not having a last name to give and hoped the soon to be enemy would drop it.
"Your name is lovely too Haku. Could you help me with these herbs I need? I'm making medicine for my friends and they need this badly," said Hinata seeing Haku smile and nod.
"Your friends must have gotten into quite a fight if you need so many. What happened?" said Haku seeing the girl look hesitant in answering, no doubt instructed to keep such information a secret, and keep Gato's spies away from hearing about the groups defeat.
"There was a...family affair that got out of hand and now my cousin along with two of his friends he considers family are in considerable pain," said Hinata, as she didn't want to specify anything, and hoped Haku would drop it.
"That is horrible to hear Hinata. I do wish your cousin and his friends a speedy recovery with their injuries," said Haku while pretending to find some more herbs while using the morning dew from the ground to secretly come to her hand and help form an ice needle needed to stab the Hyuuga girl in the throat.
"You're lying," said Hinata, her voice becoming serious, and looking at Haku seeing the girl leap away.
"So you know. How?" said Haku though she guess it was those eyes that were the source of Hinata's discovery.
"I saw the change in your walk after you noticed me. I saw your hand on the ground was secretly molding chakra to manipulate the water, which I can only assume is a bloodline limit from a nearly destroyed clan, and would have learned to control while traveling with Zabuza," said Hinata, as she put her bag down the moment Haku leaped away, and went into Gentle Fist stance.
"Your clan's eyes are everything they've been rumored to be in terms of potential. I must also commend your skills in deducing my bloodline revolved around water from noticing the simple fact I was manipulating the morning dew to my hand. After being hit by my senbon needle in our last encounter, you must have realized it was made of ice, and saw what I was doing here to help piece it all together," said Haku, as she saw Hinata nod, and also being cautious in terms of being ambushed by the others.
"Surrender. You cannot win," said Hinata while expanding the range of her Byakugan to its limits for any of the others in Haku's group and more importantly...Sephiroth.
"Neither can you. I only need a small sample of water to make senbon needles and can by keeping my distance of your Gentle Fist Taijutsu. I have no real wish to fight you in this fashion either so I propose a temporary truce until we return to our respected camps until a much later time when we may do battle," said Haku seeing Hinata was not going to let down her guard simply because she made the offer.
"How do I know you won't try anything?" said Hinata seeing the girl smile at her.
"Not all Missing Nin are without honor. You are protecting people precious to you and I am preparing to do the same for the battles to come. Its not easy being a Missing Nin Hyuuga Hinata. We live off the land, feeding on whatever scraps we have on hand, sleep with one eye open knowing our lives could be ended by Hunter Nin at any moment if they catch us, and have to look over our shoulders during the day knowing the same could happen then too. I am using this time to prepare a means to heal those close to my heart when the time comes to heal them from their injuries just as you are gathering herbs to heal the injuries of those close to you now. Besides, if I were to make the attempt at destroying you now...he would be upset with me, and no doubt end my life for my rash behavior," said Haku knowing Hinata would understand just who she was talking about.
"Sephiroth," said Hinata in near whispery voice and seeing Haku nod.
"You need not fear him coming here Hyuuga Hinata. He nor anyone of my group are near here. I came like this because everyone is looking for a Missing Nin and the only way to fool people of that is to not be dressed like a Missing Nin," said Haku smiling at the girl in front of her and saw Hinata smile to in accepting the idea was in fact brilliant.
It was hiding in plain sight.
"When can we expect your group coming after us?" said Hinata, as she was going to get some information out of this, and would know if it was reliable.
"I don't know. If anything, Sephiroth is waiting for the ANBU from Konoha he knows will be coming here, and is waiting for the right moment after that to strike," said Haku seeing Hinata's eyes widen with worry knowing that the ANBU were most likely going to come today if the message sent to the Hokage reached her as planned.
"They will want to extract us before they choose to engage him," said Hinata, as she saw Haku nod, and kept her guard up while the other slightly older girl walked backwards.
"He suspects as much. Still, we can't let them leave here with you, and the others of your group. At least not yet," said Haku, as she smiled mischievously at the girl, and loved how confusion was showing on Hinata's face.
"Why?" said Hinata, almost pleading with the enemy before her, and wished to know what Sephiroth was planning.
"Again, I don't know. I can understand people better they do themselves, but not even my skills of deduction have been able to get inside Sephiroth's head, and learn of what it is he is planning to do," said Haku seeing Hinata narrow her eyes in trying to determine if what she just heard was a lie.
"I'll let you go then. Take what herbs you need. I'm done here," said Hinata, as she slowly lowered the one hand to pick up the bag, and took steps back away from Haku until she got enough distance between them to turn around running.
'Interesting girl. I wonder what she is to Sephiroth?' thought Haku, as she decided to take what she needed, and go back to report her findings.
(Tazuna's House-Hours Later)
"This is bad. Very bad," said Kurenai, as she sat up on the bed offered to her by the client while biting her thumb, and looked at Hinata with the girl's head down.
"I agree. Sephiroth knew what we would do before it even happened," said Yugao, as she along with the others of the ANBU came in during the time Hinata was out, and healing the two groups with the Medic Nin of their group.
"Most of the injuries to each team has been healed for the most part. Their Jounin sensei aside, Team 8 is healthy enough to continue on this mission to protect the client, but all of Team 9 needs to be brought back to Konoha for further medical attention," said the ANBU wearing a boar's mask.
"Damn it!" said Yugao, as she saw her ANBU teammate give a "huh?" since he didn't understand, and Kurenai herself was shaking her own head.
"Sephiroth damaged the stronger team, the senior Jounin leading the group, and knows that we're in a lose/lose situation. Yugao told me that she's to extract us from Wave, but in doing so leaves the client a sitting duck, and will be killed before we even leave. If one Genin team stays, which will be the weaker team, then Zabuza's group will kill Tazuna after decimating the opposition," said Kurenai knowing that no matter what they did in terms of deciding how to proceed...they were doomed.
"Considering Gai is now out of it after giving him a sedative and the stab wound he has on his leg from Sephiroth's sword...how do you want to proceed? I could make it for you, but you are officially the leader now of this group, and it rest entirely on your shoulders," said Yugao, as she saw her friend sigh, and land back on the bed with her head hitting the pillow.
"Has Sephiroth been spotted around the town?" said Kurenai seeing Yugao nod.
"We did. He didn't even bother trying to hide any of his features. Many are afraid of him and giving him a wide berth while he's walking around. Its almost like he's taunting us. Its like he wants us to find him and engage him in battle," said Neko seeing Kurenai frown in thought.
"Sephiroth probably wants whatever number of ANBU were sent here to engage him at some point while Zabuza's group attacks us here at Tazuna's house. To divide and conquer us if you will," said Kurenai, as she was glad the class in strategic warfare when she was at the Academy had paid off, and helped think on some level as their enemy.
Shame the class was removed due to "budget cuts" and left to Jounin senseis of Genin teams to teach this.
"Again, how do you want to proceed? Your injuries are not long term. You could stay here with your team now that the ones injured in it are properly healed. The problem is, you're going into a one-sided fight, and I'm using the word 'fight' lightly," said Yugao with a clear concern in her voice.
"I know and yet...," said Kurenai unsure of what it was that seemed to fill her with hope.
"What?" said Yugao seeing the look on Kurenai's face.
"I think Sephiroth is waiting not only for the ANBU team from Konoha to arrive, but a message from us, and a way to deliver it. I also think I know how!" said Kurenai, as she hoped this was what needed to be done since she clearly remembered what Sephiroth had done to them, and had not raised his sword to kill them like they all thought he would.
Injure them? Yes. Kill them. No.
"What do you have in mind?" said Yugao, as she was all ears, and saw the grin on the Jounin's face.
"I need a pen, paper, and...Akamaru," said Kurenai, as she knew Kiba was going to hate this, but if this worked out the way she planned...they may get out of this alive, and in one piece.
The young warrior smiled to himself, as his plans were coming to fruition with the plan he had created, and set in motion to bring about the enemies around him together. To weed them out, to gather them in one spot, and then decide who among them were his true enemies before removing such scum from this world.
He sensed the ANBU from Konoha watching him. How they tried to conceal themselves by acting like the people here, but couldn't due to their faces not showing the same kind of suffering the natives of Wave Country had, and could easily remove them with a flick of his wrist. But where would the fun be in that? Besides, their deaths were not part of the plan, and to diverge from it now would be bad for all parties.
A barking sound of a dog quickly caught his attention before turning slightly to see the dog Kiba had with him when they fought in the forest.
'So they sent the dog to be their messenger. Interesting,' thought Sephiroth, as he saw the paper on Akamaru's collar, and took it before motioning for the animal to leave while he read the message.
We need to talk. All of us. Meet us at the bridge tomorrow.
Yuhi Kurenai-Jounin Sensei of Team 8
"So they put her in charge. One again I'm interested," said Sephiroth smiling to himself before letting out a small chuckle and then left the town to report this to Zabuza.
"You think it's a trap?" said Zabuza knowing it could be if the opposition used a dog to deliver a message.
"No. Well...not entirely a trap anyway. But that's not what Gato will think after we let him know we're going to the bridge tomorrow to take care of Tazuna and the others. We need him to think this is the perfect opportunity to destroy all of us in one moment that he won't dare pass up," said Sephiroth seeing Zabuza nod since Haku had infiltrated Gato's hideout after gathering herbs and had learned of the businessman's plan to not pay them what he owed.
"This could still go bad for us," said Zabuza, as he didn't like this, and the others were in full agreement.
"This is part of the risks that come with your profession Zabuza or have you forgotten?" said Sephiroth hearing Zabuza growl at him under those bandages.
"I haven't forgotten. I just want us to get out of it alive. I have an ambition to achieve and its kind of hard to do it if I'm dead," said Zabuza seeing Sephiroth nod in understanding.
There is much to risk depending on the ambitious goals one wishes to accomplish.
"You think he'll show up with the others?" said Kiba, as he was glad Akamaru made it back in one piece, and feared the worst.
"I don't know Kiba, but stay sharp all the same, and keep an eye out for anything," said Kurenai, as she looked to Hinata, and saw she was nervous in meeting Sephiroth a third time.
"They're here," said Shino seeing the mist roll in unnaturally around them.
"You didn't bring your ANBU buddies with you. Brave, but foolish," said Zabuza, as he appeared with his group in front of them, and Sephiroth appearing from behind.
"We had to ensure the client and our remaining Genin team were kept safe until this was over," said Kurenai, as she glanced behind her at Sephiroth, and saw his face showed no indication of arrogant joy in hurting Genin Team 9 she half expected from him.
"That was a smart move considering they are not capable of fighting here today beside you should we wish to fight," said Sephiroth, as he took a few steps toward them, and saw the Aburame along with the Inuzuka focus on him.
"But you don't," said Kurenai simply.
"Hence why we're here. The mist Zabuza has created is merely to keep Gato from seeing what we're doing. As far as he's concerned, we are currently fighting to the death, and no doubt has a small army of thugs with him to take us all down in our weakened condition," said Sephiroth smoothly seeing Kurenai frowning at him and then looking at Zabuza to see him nodding too.
"So this whole plan was to take down Gato? But...you work for him?" said Kiba before he scratched his head in confusion.
"We did. But then Sephiroth felt we should keep ourselves open to the idea of keeping an eye on Gato in case the bastard tried to backstab us. After Haku met your female student, I had her go do a little infiltration at Gato's base, and she overheard him planning to have us all killed so he could collect the bounty on our heads. As it turns out, my silver haired friend behind you is worth more then all of us put together, and Gato would not doubt wish to make some money by profiting from our demise. And I do mean all of us," said Zabuza with disgust at how greedy the man was just to get money.
"How do we know you won't try anything while we wait for your trap to be set?" said Kurenai knowing she only had a few seconds to cast a Genjutsu to get her team off the bridge to safety.
"If I wanted to kill you Kurenai-san, I would have done it back when we first fought, and simply completed the act we were hired to do," said Sephiroth seeing the woman nod her head knowing such a thing was true.
While this was happening, Haku focused on Hinata staring back at her with the Byakugan eyes, and a look of intense strength she had never seen in the timid girl before. Sephiroth seemed to believe that this girl from the Hyuuga Clan showed great potential, but from what Haku could see, it was restrained by something inside, and only the silver haired swordsman seemed capable of bringing it out.
'What are you to him? What is he to you?' thought Haku, as she didn't know why her mind was even asking these things, and wondered what this feeling was in her chest into thinking the two could be more then she first thought?
Was she...jealous? No! It couldn't be. Why should she even be jealous of this Hyuuga girl for something that may not even exist? Why did she even care that? A tool does not become jealous! A tool does not feel jealousy!
And yet...this feeling within Haku's heart was the only thing the word seemed accurate when it came to describing such a thing. Did she want to feel that connection to the silver haired warrior of an Angel too? Twice, it seemed this Hyuuga girl could have been slain by Sephiroth's hands, and twice she was spared death by him. Why? WHY?
"Haku! Control yourself. You're leaking killer intent all over the place. Its putting the Leaf Shinobi on edge," said Zabuza, as he didn't know why Haku was getting this way, but it was freaking him out, and no doubt doing the same to Team 8.
"Sorry Zabuza-sama," said Haku before doing as he asked.
'That girl wearing the mask named Haku. She was so angry mere moments ago and it was aimed mostly at Hinata. Why?' thought Kurenai seeing her student was shaken, but would not bend to the masked girl's anger, and steadied herself.
"Zabuza, its time. Kill the mist," said Sephiroth while looking at Zabuza, then Haku for a second, and manifested Masamune to his hand.
"Right," said Zabuza, as he did just that, and sure enough Gato was standing there with his goons, and looking rather smug.
"Well Zabuza it seems for all your boastful talk, you are just a little baby demon in a big demon's world, and can't handle what needs to be done. Even the rumored Namikaze Sephiroth on your side, the bridge builder lived, and the Leaf Shinobi are all alive. How disappointing. Then again, you get what you pay for, and I think I'll get my refund from your hide. I'm sure the Mizukage in Mist would love to have a word with you and the Demon Brothers. Not to mention the Leaf village is also willing to pay big money to just about anyone capable of bringing down the supposed One-Winged Angel of Death who killed the Sandaime Hokage. Personally, I never believed those rumors about you having a angel's wing, and think you're probably just some freak half bird experiment that went wrong," said Gato with his thugs laughing with him.
"Such a foolish person you are Gato. You were so eager to see us near death and not pay Zabuza his fee...that you didn't even bother to notice that we're all very healthy," said Sephiroth walking towards Gato and his thugs.
"What?" said Gato, as he noticed that Zabuza was uninjured, same with Haku, and the Demon Brothers were in fact Water Clones of Zabuza under a henge.
"Even now, the Demon Brothers are raiding your base, and seizing all your finances that you possess. By the time they are done, you won't have a single form of currency to your name, and won't have the means to even pay the boat man across the River Styx after you are killed" said Sephiroth, as his smile left his face, and a cold serious one now filled with anger had made itself known while his power seemed to radiate around his body.
"Is it me or does Sephiroth look angry to you?" said Kiba to Shino, who was shaking now from what he felt, and Akamaru below them was whimpering in fear.
"He looks angry," said Shino, as he heard his remaining insects crying out inside the hive that was part of his body, and feeling their fear of this man-no...this God that was barely 10 feet from them.
"Kill the freak! You'll get triple your usual pay," said Gato, as he saw the thugs hungry for cash, and triple the amount was something they couldn't pass up.
As one they charged.
As one they fell...into a big bloody mess.
'He is a God amongst swordsmen,' thought Zabuza, as he saw Sephiroth was behind the now bloody mess of bodies, and staring directly at Gato currently on his knees begging for his life.
"Don't kill me! I'll give you whatever you want. I have connections. Strong connections to any country you want to go. They all owe me favors and can grant you sanctuary from your pursuers. Zabuza too!" said Gato hoping that this monster before him would show mercy and spare his life.
"Such false acts of groveling at my feet. How I hate people like you. At least when I got this from Tazuna, his words were pure, and true when he begged me to spare his life. I granted his wish for that reason due to it having merit and what he was asking of me was to help a noble cause in restoring hope to an otherwise hopeless place. You don't know the meaning of the word mercy Gato because you have never granted it and never wanted to give it. In my eyes, you have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found...wanting!" said Sephiroth before walking away from the business man and not even looking back to see Zabuza behind Gato while ignoring the sound of sword now slicing through flesh with the thump sound that followed with the fool's head hitting the ground.
"Good riddance," said Zabuza knowing how things could have turned out had Sephiroth nod been with them during this whole event.
"And now that just leaves...you!" said Sephiroth, as he looked at Team 8, and saw them tense his words.
"What about us? We're not your enemies anymore," said Kurenai, as she could tell the masked girl was itching for a fight with Hinata, and just might get it should Sephiroth or Zabuza give the word.
"That is correct. However, those you serve are my enemies, and thus creates a problem for me," said Sephiroth, as he walked up to Haku, and put a hand on her shoulder to make the girl calm herself.
"We serve the Hokage!" said Kurenai simply in a defiant tone.
"I know you do. However, its whom the Hokage serves that bothers me, and those that are loyal to people like him. You see, the Kyuubi has shown me some very interesting memories the past couple of nights in connection to him being sealed into my body, and has shown me just who in the Leaf are my true enemies," said Sephiroth, as the fox had heard all the Council members arguing with the Clan Heads about what to do with him after the sealing happened mere hours ago, and heard the voices of the Toad Sannin Jiraiya talking to the Sandaime about how the highest authority in Fire Country that was the Fire Daimyo himself giving them all approval.
"So what does that mean for us?" said Kiba not know whether to attack or to flee.
"You will leave Wave Country after this bridge is completed. Then you will tell your Hokage the mission was a success and the old man is no longer in danger," said Sephiroth knowing that they would tell the Hokage everything about what happened here.
"And what about you? Even if you leave here, Leaf Shinobi along with every enemy your Father made in the past will come out of the woodwork, and attempt to destroy you," said Kurenai, as she knew from what Yugao said that Sephiroth was now public enemy #1 in almost every part of the Elemental Countries.
"That's not your business Yuhi Kurenai. I suggest you focus on the business at hand and that is looking after your students. Especially you Hyuuga Hinata,?" said Sephiroth, as he pointed at Hinata, and saw the shock on everyone's faces.
"Me?" said Hinata, as she was nervous in being in his presence, but to be acknowledge by him was something else entirely, and for what reason still baffled her.
"Yes. Out of all the members of your Genin team, you have the greatest potential of all, and I sense it is just begging to come out," said Sephiroth seeing Hinata blushing slightly at his praise and sensed Haku was slowly increasing her killer intent again.
A quick look in the female ice users direction stopped that.
'What could he mean by greatest potential?' thought Kurenai, as she knew Hinata had the ability to be a great Shinobi, but Sephiroth made it sound like the Hyuuga girl could one day be Hokage, or at the very least an ANBU Captain.
"Until we meet again. Come Haku," said Sephiroth, as he turned his back to them, and Haku obediently followed though he sensed the girl wanted to look back to quickly glare at Hinata.
"We should kill them now. Make an example out of them for the Leaf," said Haku, which surprised herself with such words, and wondered why she was suddenly filled with the need to spill blood.
Was this because she was jealous of the Hyuuga girl's praise received from Sephiroth?
"We will do no such thing to them Haku. There is a time and place for spilling blood. Our time here doing that is over," said Sephiroth with a tone of a scolding teacher in his voice, as they left Genin Team 8 on the bridge, and went to see what the Demon Brothers were up to at Gato's base.
(Konoha-Hokage's Office-Several Days Later)
Senju Tsunade was not pleased with the report given to her by Kurenai and even less by the ANBU Captain she entrusted to keep things from getting out of hand. The first part of mission given to Neko's ANBU squad had been for the most part only half successful and didn't expect the situation to spiral out of control. Granted both teams and Tazuna lived through the situation, but it was enough to give Tsunade grey hairs behind the Genjutsu she put around herself.
The complexity behind her Godson's actions were also baffling too, as she read how the boy had created the illusion of being employed by Gato to kill the bridge builder, only to be the businessman's very downfall, and assisted in his death with Zabuza performing the killing slice. What's more was Sephiroth, along with his new allies had commandeered Gato's Yacht to leave Wave Country while Team 8 had to wait until the bridge was fully complete, and give the silver haired swordsman a good head start to Kami knows where.
Even more disturbing was how her Godson interacted with Hyuuga Hinata on the bridge and how the masked girl named Haku seemed to be angry at such interaction. Going over Hinata's file, Tsunade didn't know if what Sephiroth saw was actually in the girl, but her Jounin sensei seemed to think there was something to the One-Wing Angel's claims, and the female Hokage decided to look into this herself.
Hence why the timid girl was sitting in a chair in her office.
"Do you know why you're here Hyuuga Hinata?" said Tsunade looking at the Hyuuga girl trying to sit up straight in her chair in front of the leader of the Leaf village.
"I-I respectfully do not Hokage-sama," said Hinata knowing that being in the presence of the most experienced Medic Nin now Hokage in all of Konoha for a personal meeting was a great honor.
"You are here because I went over the mission report your sensei along with Gai gave me. I found it to be very...enlightening reading material though not all of it was pleasing to read given what happened. What I did find interesting was how your medical creams and knowledge of herbs helped in the healing of both groups. It seems you have a skill for the healing arts," said Tsunade with a hint of pride in her voice knowing that it was so rare to find such a rare skill in one so young.
"T-Thank you H-Hokage-sama. M-My clan doesn't r-really s-seem to t-think so," said Hinata feeling depressed at the memory of the Hyuuga Elders sneering in contempt at the thought of using the Byakugan to help heal others.
The Hyuuga Clan is a clan of invincible elite warriors. Not nursemaids. To speak of such things is heresy and will not be allowed.
"Oh really? Well, you can tell your family, I think you have great potential that is not going to waste, and if they still don't like it then they can be reminded that Namikaze Sephiroth himself thinks so too," said Tsunade smirking at the thought of those snooty Hyuuga Elders being put in their place knowing that to denounce Hinata would bring about the fear of their words reaching the One-Wing Angel of Death and him paying them all a visit.
"Y-You know about that?" said Hinata blushing at the praise from Tsunade and the memory of Sephiroth stating she had such potential to do great things.
"By now, its spread throughout the entire village, and will no doubt get you a lot of attention from people," said Tsunade seeing Hinata being nervous about that, which would have to be corrected soon, and the female Hokage knew how.
"I-I don't think I'm special," said Hinata seeing the Hokage frown.
"We'll I think you are and so does the last Namikaze gone rogue. Not to mention your team along with Gai's truly appreciated what you did for them. In fact, how would you like to learn from me in being a Medic Nin? Personally!" said Tsunade knowing it would get her out of the office and away from the damn paperwork.
"A-As in being your a-a-apprentice?" said Hinata in surprise knowing such an honor was given only to one other person currently outside the room.
"Yes. Your Byakugan combined with what I've seen here in this report regarding the medical creams shows a potential that is borderline in being that of a prodigy if not that. Now while I have my own dislike for prodigies due to them being arrogant, I see none of that in you, and would like to see what someone with your potential Hyuuga Hinata can do under my teachings," said Tsunade seeing the girl slowly nod her head before doing the one thing that came naturally to her shocked mind.
(Underneath Konoha-Root HQ)
Danzo scowled hard despite the pain he was under from his old battle wounds and the surgery done to him to achieve what was done to him. Inside his bandaged face was the Sharingan eye of Uchiha Shisui, having been acquired after the man's death, and his right arm had been given the power of the Shodaime's Senju bloodline thanks to Orochimaru's experimental research on the matter with Sharingan eyes surgically implanted into the arm. These two combined would have given the leader of the officially disbanded Root organization the power to control the Kyuubi at will, making the fox become enraged when desired, and calmed when needed to be calmed.
In truth, Danzo would have wielded power of a Godly force, and thus making him a God amongst men to lead his vision of ruling over the Elemental Countries. However, such a vision was no longer possible now with the fox vessel no longer in the village to even try anything, and even then the influential power behind these two bloodlines may no longer be able to influence this new threat. It wasn't the first time that Danzo had cursed the late Sandaime for not giving him the boy to mold into a weapon and now realized that his old rival feared that such an action would possibly bring forth the old prophecy involving Sephiroth's return to the world.
"Sai!" said Danzo before his loyal Root agent came forward.
"Yes Danzo-sama," said Sai seeing the old man looking at him with his natural eye now narrowed at him.
"How is the Uchiha fairing in his training with Team 7?" said Danzo, as he used the hole Sephiroth created to get Sai into Team 7, and keep an eye on the Uchiha.
"Not well Danzo-sama. The Uchiha is arrogant. He constantly demands people train him in their Shinobi arts so he can become more powerful. In fact, it was only because of my assistance in the bell test that Kakashi even had an excuse to pass our team, and begin our training," said Sai knowing that the Uchiha's development had taken priority now that the weapon Danzo wanted was no longer capable of being his to command.
"I see. What of your third teammate? This...Haruno Sakura," said Danzo looking at the file in front of him though it was pretty slim.
"She is cannon fodder at best Danzo-sama. Haruno Sakura fully expects the Last Uchiha to save her when trouble happens. She has book smarts from what I've learned from the time spent at the Academy, but no real physical training due to Sakura's Father being on the Council, and the Mother spoiling the pink haired girl silly," said Sai, as he had done his information digging well, and knew to keep nothing out of his report.
"Very well. Keep me informed. My Root agents will see to it that certain missions the Hokage gives out require Hatake Kakashi and Team 7 to help stimulate the Uchiha in a way to unlock his Sharingan," said Danzo, as he originally had planned for that C-rank mission to Wave Country go to Team 7, but Tsunade had decided against it, and sent two other Genin teams instead.
"As you wish Danzo-sama," said Sai before leaving his Master.
"So you want to part ways from us," said Zabuza simply at the One-Winged Angel of Death seeing him staring out at the sea of water before them with an unreadable face.
"It can't be helped. If what Yuhi Kurenai said is indeed true, then I am now the most wanted man in all of the Elemental Countries, and everyone will want to have a piece of me," said Sephiroth with his hands behind his back looking at the water's surface.
"Yeah, I suppose it can't be helped is the correct thing to say. The only upside from this, is that the Mizukage will be distracted, and send most of his Shinobi forces away from us over time to come after you. By that point, who knows what will happen, and if I can overthrow the bastard to call off the hunting," said Zabuza before seeing the sad look in Haku's eyes.
"Yes. By that point, I will have no choice, but to show my enemies what it means to cross me, and to defy what cannot be defied," said Sephiroth, as he thought about his Mother, and what she told him before the transformation into what he was now.
"I would pay good money to see that," said Zabuza letting out a laugh knowing the boy's enemies were in for a whole lot of trouble when facing him.
"I imagine you would Zabuza. Until then, I must take my leave of you, and say goodbye for now," said Sephiroth, as he created the one white angelic wing from his back, and began to ascend to the air while ignoring the shocked looks from the four people around him.
"Sephiroth wait!" said Haku, as she latched onto him, and stopped his rise to the sky above.
"Haku! Get off of him!" said Zabuza, as he sure hoped this wasn't Haku acting boy crazy, and wanting to be with the kid.
"What is it Haku?" said Sephiroth, as he slowly descended back down, and looked the slightly older girl in the eyes.
"I-I just...I-I w-wanted t-to um...please take me with you!" said Haku just came out saying what she felt, as she couldn't hold off in asking him, and saw the raised eyebrow that showed his surprise.
"Haku!" said Zabuza shocked that Haku would ask Sephiroth this.
"Why?" said Sephiroth while ignoring Zabuza.
"I don't know. I just feel deep down that I should. I feel compelled to join you. I'm not weak! I won't slow you down and if I do...you can kill me," said Haku ignoring Zabuza words to let go of the winged boy and to regain her sanity.
"Are you sure? The pace I set is very demanding. Do you think you can keep up?" said Sephiroth, as he had proven that already, and even now it took a considerable amount of Haku's energy to keep up with him in terms of plans.
"I have a good reference and like I said...if I slow you down you can kill me," said Haku, as she wasn't afraid to off her life up since it was already offered every time when serving Zabuza, and was nothing new in terms of a price.
"Zabuza? What do you think?" said Sephiroth, as he looked from Haku to the Demon of the Mist, and saw several different emotions going through the man's head while the two Demon Brothers were a little nervous in possibly seeing them duke it out while they were currently in the middle the ocean.
"In all honesty? I don't know what I can tell you. Haku is her own person despite all the training I've pounded into that skull of hers to say otherwise in being my tool I can throw away on a whim. I taught her all I could in being a Shinobi, but she's never killed anyone with this knowledge, and yet has been invaluable to me when I needed her most," said Zabuza, as he saw Haku look back at him with joy in her eyes, and while the whole "she's never killed anyone" was a possible problem for Sephiroth it seemed the silver haired warrior didn't mind.
"Do you still need her by your side?" said Sephiroth knowing that if Haku still had value to Zabuza it would be best to have her stay with the Demon of the Mist.
"No. I don't need her with me. The money we got from raiding Gato's base is more then enough to finance what we need to overthrow the Mizukage. Plus, we left a nice chunk with the people of Wave Country so they can get out of their economic stump they're in, and hopefully will be willing to open up some trade with Mist once I'm Mizukage," said Zabuza, as he saw Sephiroth smiling in approval, and knew it was from thinking ahead.
"You're learning to think more with your brain then with your sword. Nicely done. As for you Haku, it seems I have found myself a partner, and thus you now belong to me," said Sephiroth seeing the girl hug him tighter while he raised an eyebrow at Zabuza currently giving him a shrug.
'She's not my problem anymore. Not that she was one to begin with. If anyone was the problem it was me and way of doing things when it came to clients. I just hope Haku doesn't become pregnant from this soon after I have her 'the talk'. I still can't believe I was the one to give her that,' thought Zabuza, as he wondered if a part of him was getting soft, and saw Haku like a daughter.
"I won't let you down Sephiroth-sama. I will make you proud of me," said Haku, as she looked back at Zabuza, and whispered "thank you" to him before she felt herself leaving the ground into the sky.
To what location only the One-Wing Angel of Death knew.
(A/N: YAY! Another quick update. Damn I'm tired now. LOL! I've been getting a lot of mixed reviews recently regarding this fic. Most of them sort of the negative ones from anonymous people (you guys all suck!), but some are not, and feel that because I turned Naruto into Sephiroth its not really Naruto anymore. WTF! It's called reincarnation and that means if Naruto is becomes the reincarnation of someone then he has the right to take on the name of whoever I want him too! You don't like it THEN DON'T READ! As for the rest of you, I thank you for your continuous praise, and support of this fic. Until next time...PEACE!)