Chapter 7-Loyalty Shifts
Sephiroth stared at Haku for a long moment, as she stared back at him, the mask being ripped off by her own hands the moment they were in the Namikaze Estates, and the young girl looked at him now with tears overflowing from the eyes. She had not been pleased in hearing Sephiroth's words about how that Hyuuga girl had the potential to kill him and even less pleased with her Master encouraging the girl to achieve it!
What was he thinking?
"Why?" said Haku simply.
"Why what?" said Sephiroth seeing her face looking more pained.
"Why did you tell everyone around you that she had the potential to kill you? Why after making such a statement do you wish to encourage such a person to reach that potential?" said Haku seeing him smile gently at her.
"My words have several purposes Haku. For one, it will keep Hyuuga Hinata from being harassed by her clan, and get them to back off in using the Cage Bird Seal for a time. I also want Hinata to become strong enough to break through her timid shell and it can only be done by being trained under the tutelage of the Hokage. I have heard from some whispering Jounin that my Godmother has already started the training and I have seen the results of it in the Preliminaries," said Sephiroth seeing Haku's eyes widen.
"The final blow Hinata hit her cousin Neji with that gave her the win in the match. Senju Tsunade's superhuman strength!" said Haku seeing Sephiroth nod.
"Yes. Not truly perfected of course, but given the needed time, I have no doubt Hinata will master such a skill in record time, and everything else Tsunade teaches her. She will become a powerful force to be reckoned with and I will not see it impeded by anyone in this village," said Sephiroth seeing Haku's eyes become cold and fierce now.
"All the more reason for me to kill her so she can't kill you!" said Haku in a cold voice filled with venom.
"No! You will not. I forbid it," said Sephiroth seeing the protest in Haku's eyes.
"But why? She threatens your life with such potential and needs to be removed before she can achieve it!" said Haku looking him right in the eyes, begging her Master to give the order, and every muscle within ready to move to make it happen.
All she needed was the command from Sephiroth.
"Because I don't want Hinata to die. Just as I don't want you to die Haku. Can I trust you not to usurp my decision?" said Sephiroth, as the swordsman felt Haku latch onto him, and hugging his body tightly.
"I would never go against your wishes Sephiroth-sama," said Haku, as she held onto him, breathing in his scent, and rested her head on his shoulder.
It still didn't stop her from crying over the matter.
"I know Haku. Do not worry. I have no intention of dying anytime soon," said Sephiroth, as he stroked the woman's long hair, and let her cry on his shoulder.
'I know you won't because I won't let you,' thought Haku, as she wouldn't let anything stop Sephiroth from living, and Kami help anyone that stood in her way.
Because Haku was going to obliterate them from this world should they try.
(BBQ Restaurant-Several Days Later)
"This is troublesome," said Shikamaru, as he saw Choji eating his food happily, and saw Ino was eating a little bit more then usual now that the battle with Sakura in the Prelims had knocked some sense into her.
The Nara suspected it was also in a literal sense too.
Though in reality, Shikamaru wasn't really interested in Ino's revelation that watching her weight, and the latest look in fashion no longer taking priority over Shinobi training. It was the Prelim match that came last, which had his 200 IQ mind buzzing, and he wasn't the only one either.
"What do you think Sephiroth meant when he said Hinata had the potential to kill him? You think he meant it?" said Ino, as the statement that was heard by the One-Winged Angel had been spread throughout the Leaf, and many wondered if it was indeed true.
"Hard to say. When he was just Uzumaki Naruto, the guy was hard to figure out as it was, and now being Namikaze Sephiroth makes things all the more troublesome. I do know that since those words were spoken, the pressure Hinata faces in having the Cage Bird Seal placed on her head by the Hyuuga Clan has been lifted, and the Councils are now helping the Hokage in keeping her as an apprentice," said Shikamaru, as he had spoken to his dad about it, and the Nara Clan Head had admitted as much in the meeting they had mere minutes after the Prelims were over.
"You think its what he planned all along? To get people to support Hinata?" said Choji before wolfing down more food.
"Maybe. Though the look in his eyes when he spoke tells me that Sephiroth believes Hinata does have the ability to kill him in the future...and wants her to have that ability," said Shikamaru seeing his teammates eyeing him with surprise.
"I never thought someone as powerful as Sephiroth would be suicidal," said Choji now frowning at the thought with Ino doing the same.
"Considering how people treated him here when he was Uzumaki Naruto, I wouldn't be that surprised, and suspect he wants to die at the hands of the only person our age that cared about him. In his mind, to die at the hands of the closest person he could actually call a loved one being a good thing, and would most likely prefer it," said Shikamaru in a depressed voice.
"Damn," said Choji, as his food no longer appealed to his stomach, and put the chicken in front of him down.
"Hey! Get out of here! We don't serve students of that monster!" said the Manager of the restaurant at the Sound Genin team that entered the establishment.
"Some things never change," said Shikamaru seeing the Sound Genin not budging from their spot while the Manager looked ready to pick up a butcher knife and use it.
"Was this what we ignored until now? Was this what Sephiroth went through when he was Uzumaki Naruto?" said Ino, as she saw the Manager's face go red with anger to albino white at the sight of the figure that entered behind his team, and now backing away in fear.
"My students came here to eat because they are hungry. Surely, you wouldn't be foolish enough to deny them something to eat like you did me years ago, and cause a scene?" said Sephiroth seeing the Manager's body shaking in fear of him and quickly leading the four to a booth while the people around them whispered at the sight.
"Where is that masked girl that is always next to him?" said Ino whispering to Shikamaru since he didn't see her around.
"I don't know. Maybe he's giving her a day off," said Shikamaru, as he could see the four sitting down, and looking at menus.
"You want to go over and say hi? I mean...were not enemies right now," said Choji, as he saw Shikamaru run a hand through his hair, and once more thought about it.
"Later. Let them eat for now. We'll talk to them right before we leave," said Shikamaru seeing his teammates nodding in agreement while secretly eavesdropping in on their conversation.
"Now that I'm not in the Chuunin Exam Finals, I've been recalled back to Sound, and have to await further orders," said Kin sadly knowing that Orochimaru was going to use her for something.
"I know. I've spoken to him about it. I've convinced the leader of Sound to let you stay to help your teammates train and send over our albino friend for the Hokage to look at for possible treatment," said Sephiroth knowing Team 10 was hearing this, but didn't want them to know about the snake Sannin, and what was going to happen in a Month.
"You think the Hokage can heal him? I doubt she'll want to considering," said Dosu, as he knew from when Orochimaru spoke of his female former teammate that there was no real love between the two, and that Tsunade would sooner punch the snake Sannin's head clean off his body.
"Senju Tsunade's oath as a doctor will not let a sick person go untreated if there is still a possible treatment available and all four of us here have seen our dear friend getting sicker by the day," said Sephiroth, as he saw the trio nod, and had seen the signs of the Kaguya coughing more with several cases of blood leaving his mouth every time they saw him.
"When is he going to arrive?" said Zaku curiously.
"Tomorrow. He'll be staying at the Namikaze Estates for the duration of his stay here in Konoha when not being treated by Tsunade. Hopefully, the Hokage's new apprentice will help find out what's wrong with our friend, and help Tsunade cure him of his disease that much faster," said Sephiroth seeing the trio nod and went about eating their meal after the One-Winged Angel used his powers to purify it of any form of unhealthy things possibly put in their meal.
"Hey!" said Shikamaru, as he walked up to them, and saw Sephiroth look at him calmly while his Genin were on edge.
"Yes?" said Sephiroth seeing Team 10 approach them.
"Its been awhile since the Academy," said Shikamaru while kicking himself for being so obvious.
"That it has. I see you three haven't changed much," said Sephiroth smiling at the Leaf Genin in front of him.
"Changing is troublesome," said Shikamaru simply.
"Indeed. How has your team been doing since the Preliminaries?" said Sephiroth, as he saw the Nara shrug, and made a wavy hand motion indicating it was so-so.
"Hayate-sensei gave us a few days off. I've practiced with a few clan Jutsu and I know Choji has been trying to use more of his family's own," said Shikamaru casually before he was hit in the back of the head by Ino.
"You forgot about me baka!" said Ino glaring at her teammate.
"Oh and Ino is doing...whatever it is Ino does," said Shikamaru getting another hit on the head for not making her sound important.
"You're not helping!" said Ino shaking her hand at him.
"Sephiroth-sensei, we've finished eating," said Dosu, as he saw Sephiroth look at him, and then the plates on the table.
"Good. Zaku. Dosu. Go train for the Exam Finals. Kin, I want you to see the Hokage, and inform her of the future patient I need to have examined. If she says no, then please tell my Godmother I have no problem paying for her time, and treatment of our dear friend arriving tomorrow," said Sephiroth, as he saw his three students nod, and head out before taking a look at the bill given moments later by the waitress.
"And don't come back demon filth!" said the waitress before turning to leave his presence quickly.
"This bill is outrageous! That's three times the correct amount of the price for the food here," said Ino seeing the bill handed to Sephiroth, who merely smiled, and put the bill down, and simply rose from his seat before leaving.
"You're not going to pay it are you?" said Shikamaru simply.
"Would you?" said Sephiroth with a raised eyebrow.
"No," said Shikamaru.
"If they start complaining, they can always send me the correct bill for the food, and then I will pay it," said Sephiroth before walking out and ignored the smug waitress walking over to collect money off the table that wasn't there.
"That bastard! He didn't pay!" said the waitress, as she was going to report him to the Manager, and get him in trouble with the Hokage.
"Kind of hard to pay for a bill that is way beyond the normal price," said Shikamaru seeing the waitress glaring at him, but it didn't intimidate the Nara one bit, and held his ground.
"He's a demon! A monster! Things like him pay what we tell them to pay and they have to suck it up like the abominations they are," said the waitress not wanting to go into the reasons behind the Leaf's actions.
"Sephiroth thought differently when he decided not to pay for the meals. You can make a case out of it, but I doubt the Hokage will take your side on the matter, and ask Sephiroth to pay for something that was not priced properly," said Shikamaru, as he saw the woman sweat slightly at this, and knew the waitress was blowing smoke about reporting this.
"This isn't over!" said the waitress before storming off.
"You know what's scary about that statement? She's right and not for the reason I know she's thinking about," said Shikamaru seeing his friends nod their heads in agreement.
It was not over. Not by a long shot.
The moment Sephiroth entered his home, he was tackled by Haku, who had been tied up by a spell that kept her bound until his return, and glared at the One-Winged Angel for not letting her come with him. If she didn't care so much, Haku would have struck him, and then scolded Sephiroth on the purpose she had in protecting him.
"Why did you go outside without me?" said Haku finally seeing the swordsman merely smirked at her.
"Because you needed to rest and relax. I imagine things were never this tense with you when traveling with Zabuza," said Sephiroth seeing the woman shake her head no since it never was this tense for her.
Then again, Zabuza never went into one of the five major Shinobi villages during the Chuunin Exams, and walked around like nothing could hurt him.
"I understand," said Haku, as she had been tense since being here, and feared for Master being attacked at any second of the day.
Or night for that matter.
"Kimimaro is coming here tomorrow to receive medical assistance to combat his disease plaguing his body," said Sephiroth deciding to change the subject.
"Do you think she can cure him?" said Haku knowing this disease Kimimaro had was progressing at a dangerous rate.
"If she can't then I will with my healing spells. I don't want to give our friend a quick fix simply to have him become Orochimaru's new vessel," said Sephiroth knowing that was going to happen upon Kimimaro being cured and the swordsman couldn't let that happen.
"Are your men in position?" said Danzo, as he looked at the Root ANBU Captain in front of him kneeling submissively, and nodding his head that the men were.
"Yes Danzo-sama. All Root Shinobi have taken up key positions around the Namikaze Estates ready to strike on your order," said the Root ANBU Captain.
"Good. Tell them to proceed and attack tonight. If they can't capture the boy, then go for the girl, and bring her to me," said Danzo, as he would have his new weapon one way, or another with the means to overthrow the Hokage.
"Yes Danzo-sama," said the Root ANBU Captain before vanishing to do his duty.
'Soon, the One-Winged Angel of Death will be mine to command, to control, and then the Elemental Countries will fall in line once I unleash my new pet upon it,' thought Danzo, as he would relish using his new tool, and become an unstoppable force that no one could oppose.
(Namikaze Estates-That Night)
Sephiroth knew something was amiss when multiple chakra signatures were detected by himself and Haku soon after before they headed off to sleep. Each signature was mild at best, but such a vast army of them, it was clear their Master, whoever it was, preferred to use quantity over quality in terms of strength, and didn't really care that such people were sacrificed.
Nodding to Haku to get ready, Sephiroth walked out of his home, Masamune in his hand, and saw the loyal Root ANBU Captain with his own sword drawn along with the other Shinobi around him. Sephiroth knew there would be no talking like civilized people with this group, as this army was here for the single purpose of defeating, capturing, and/or killing him.
"You're trespassing. Leave or be destroyed," said Sephiroth deciding to give these fools one small chance to run away.
"Surrender or be destroyed," said the Root ANBU Captain.
Shame they had to waste it.
"I choose neither option. Die!" said Sephiroth, as he was soon upon this army, moving through them smoothly, and the swarming army of Root Shinobi trying to subdue him.
Summoning water out of nowhere from his spell Waterga, the One-Winged Angel of Death covered the area around him with an incredible amount of water, and had nearly drowned the enemies around him in a flash flood. Those closest to him had actually died from such a thing from so much water in their lungs while others gagged for air after coughing up the water they had.
Above on the Namikaze Estates, Haku saw the quick nod by her Master, and instantly went through one handed hand signs before stomping her foot down hard to activate the Thousand Needles of Pain Jutsu that struck the Root Shinobi below. No surprisingly, some of the Root Shinobi didn't go down, as they had more tolerance to such pains, and tried going after Haku instead of the original target upon the remembrance of secondary orders by Danzo.
Haku immediately threw wave after wave of senbon needles at the Root Shinobi with her foes slowing or falling down completely before they got within close Taijutsu range. She easily knocked several back that got in her way before hitting another getting within that range with a senbon to his neck that dropped the Root Shinobi like a bad habit. Sensing someone behind her, Haku spun around, and punched the Root Shinobi so hard in the face that the man's mask cracked from the force behind it.
When the battle was over, Sephiroth was standing among the piles, and chunks of bodies around him with Masamune dripping blood down onto the ground thanks to the power of gravity. Above him, he saw Haku had defeated her own group of Root Shinobi, and had a live one to interrogate for information.
Throwing the man down on the ground before Sephiroth, Haku quickly hit the man with senbon needles so the Root Shinobi's limbs were immobile, and then walked over to her Master's side. Kicking the man over, Sephiroth walked around the man, and saw the Root Shinobi looking back with a blank look on his face.
"You will tell me who sent you. You will tell me your Master's name," said Sephiroth simply, but his voice was cold, deadly, and spoke of intense pain beyond measure if he was denied answers.
The Root Shinobi however, did not speak due to the seal on his tongue, and did not bode well in the presence of the angry figure that was Namikaze Sephiroth. You see, Sephiroth was one of two different types of angry people see in the world, and try to avoid at all costs. The first type of anger is explosive anger, which causes people to lash out at people in brief moments before calming down, and then acting happy once the anger is faded. Then you have the second type of anger, which is suppressed kind someone buries down deep inside themselves for days, Months, and even years before all that anger comes out in a form that no one wants to be in the path of when it comes out.
Sephiroth was the latter of the two and he had plenty of pent up anger in him regarding Konoha that spanned well over a full decade.
In short, the Root Shinobi was screwed, and it was all Danzo's fault with that seal.
(Konoha Hospital-The Next Day)
Tsunade looked at the figure wearing thick robes to cover his person no doubt to keep his appearance from people when he made his way here and saw Sephiroth watching things from the corner of the room. Slowly, the figure removed the robes to reveal himself to be Kaguya Kimimaro, and loyal bodyguard of Orochimaru.
Though Sephiroth was going to see the man's loyalties to the Sannin did not last.
"A real live Kaguya in the flesh standing before me. If I had made a bet years ago after the clan was wiped out saying none were left with that bloodline I would have lost," said Tsunade, as she stood with Hinata beside her trying to be professional, but it was hard for the Hyuuga to do in the presence of Sephiroth, and yet still kept trying to focus on the task at hand.
"Sephiroth-sama has told me that your knowledge as a medic may have the power to cure my body," said Kimimaro seeing the woman nod and turned to Hinata before nodding.
"Byakugan!" said Hinata, as she used her eyes, and saw the internal organs of Kimimaro.
"What do you see Hinata?" said Tsunade, as she wanted her apprentice inside on this, and the Byakugan was a great asset in seeing what normally couldn't be seen.
"Its his lungs. Kimimaro-san's lungs are showing signs of damage with scarring and are being damaged on a microscopic level," said Hinata, as she saw the disease at work, and it was quite the sight to see.
"Tuberculosis," said Tsunade simply, as she had a list of the symptoms Sephiroth had given about his friend, and seeing where the Kaguya Clan came from it made perfect sense.
"That disease...it has been the bane of my clan's existence since it was founded. It attacks only the most powerful of the Kaguya and I just so happen to be that person when I was just a child," said Kimimaro remembering how his own family feared his potential and locked him away in dark moist cell when he was a child.
"Can he be cured?" said Sephiroth seeing Tsunade running a Diagnostic Jutsu over the Kaguya's chest and do her own assessment of the man.
"Maybe. In a few Months such treatment would be impossible given the current rate of this disease in his body. If we are to have a remote chance of success, I need to start my regime for treatment now, and not a day later," said Tsunade looking at Sephiroth seeing him nod.
"Make the arrangements. I'll also need all your medical notes, procedures, and anything else for treating Kimimaro's disease for Haku to have when we continue his treatment outside of the village after the Chuunin Exams are over," said Sephiroth seeing the busty blonde nodding.
"I'll prepare a room for him. Come Hinata!" said Tsunade, as she saw Hinata looking at Sephiroth for a moment, and then followed out of the room.
Seconds later, Haku appeared via ice mirror, and saw Kimimaro move to sit down on a nearby chair.
"To think, I Kaguya Kimimaro of the Kaguya Clan, its strongest member to have been produced in ages could possibly be destroyed by something small, and the naked eye could not see! Thank you for convincing Orochimaru-sama into letting me come here Sephiroth-sama," said Kimimaro bowing his head slightly in the swordsman's direction.
"Don't thank me yet Kimimaro-san. There is a price to be paid for such a treatment and it maybe too steep for you if asked to pay it," said Sephiroth seeing Kimimaro frown in confusion.
"What price?" said Kimimaro seeing Haku looking uneasy since she knew this could blow up in their faces.
"We wish you to denounce Orochimaru and to no longer serve him," said Sephiroth seeing Kimimaro's eyes widen and then narrow in anger.
"How can you ask me that? It is because of Orochimaru-sama that I have a purpose!" said Kimimaro, as he saw Sephiroth shake his head, and walk towards him.
"A purpose that will end the moment you are healed. Orochimaru will make you his new vessel, destroying your soul while his takes over your body, and then in the three years time...he will take a new body without so much as a look back at the one person out of all the Elemental Countries willing to give up their life for him. The man has no honor. The snake Sannin is a parasite, who feeds off others because he fears death, and the judgment that awaits him on the other side," said Sephiroth seeing the albino Kaguya growling at him in denial.
"You lie! It is through this Curse Seal that a part of me will stay alive with Orochimaru forever!" said Kimimaro, as he was moments away from unleashing his fury, and the only thing stopping him was the fact it would ruin Orochimaru's plans.
"Is that what he told you? Because if it is, then what Orochimaru told you was a lie, and a deceitful one at that," said Sephiroth seeing Kimimaro's eyes wavering a little under his own stare.
"H-He wouldn't! I have proven myself time and time again that my loyalty was his and he promised me," said Kimimaro seeing Sephiroth's eyes narrow in anger at the albino's words.
Not angry over Kimimaro saying the words, but the fact Orochimaru promised that he had claimed the lie was true, and played on the Kaguya's insecurities at the time.
"It was a promise he couldn't keep. In fact, it was because me, and not Orochimaru that your body can possibly be cured of its disease. The Sannin you've served for awhile now had refused to take you to see Tsunade when she was wandering around the Elemental Countries because of his pride? He would have sooner bleed your body and loyalty dry, then have her heal you if it wasn't for my way with words, and lying when I explained that he could use you for his new body right away after being cured," said Sephiroth seeing the man in front of him shaking his head before falling to his knees whispering that it was all lies.
"He speaks the truth Kimimaro-san. Sephiroth-sama would not lie to you like this. That is not his way," said Haku seeing Kimimaro shaking almost violently now before he just stopped and looked up at the One-Winged Angel of Death with serious deadly eyes.
"The price you are asking me is indeed steep," said Kimimaro plainly.
"I know, but the alternative is not something a warrior of your status should have to go through, and in all honesty Kimimaro-san...you deserve better," said Sephiroth seeing the albino slowly bow his head until it touched the ground.
"I renounce my loyalty to Orochimaru. My life...is now yours to command...Sephiroth-sama," said Kimimaro, as he looked up at Sephiroth, and saw the command to stand up.
"You won't regret this Kimimaro. Haku, I need you do take a look at the library, and look at some medical scrolls to expand your knowledge in healing. I have a feeling we will need all your skills in the future long after Kimimaro is healed," said Sephiroth seeing the girl nod in understanding.
"There is something else you need to know about Orochimaru's invasion plans for the Leaf and it involves the Kazekage of Suna. Or rather...him being the Kazekage of Suna," said Kimimaro seeing Sephiroth's eyes narrow slightly.
"Tell me everything. Leave no detail out," said Sephiroth seeing Kimimaro nod and begin the explanation of the plan to invade Konoha.
(Chuunin Exam Finals-One Month Later)
Orochimaru walked up to the Hokage Booth under the disguise of the Kazekage, who he was now impersonating to get close to his former teammate, and now the first female Hokage. Things had not gone exactly as planned for his invasion of the Leaf, as he had expected Sasuke to be strong enough to advance this far, and leave him open during the invasion to grab to take back to Sound. Second, Kimimaro's treatments in secret for his lung disease by Tsunade had required the albino stay the whole Month, and even then it required that the Kaguya stay until the day of the Chuunin Exam Finals before he was ready to leave for Sound. Another problem was the increase of security around the Leaf after the fool Danzo sent an army of his Root agents to subdue Sephiroth and ruthlessly slaughtered by the swordsman. It was unknown if Sephiroth got any information about Danzo from the Root Shinobi brought before him alive, but the end result brought about increased security, and a tighter leash on all the Council members including the snake Sannin's secret partner in crime.
'The stupid old man was too eager to subdue Sephiroth using the tools I gave him from the different experiments carried out in my lab. Now Tsunade has made things even more difficult to get information from my spies and move my forces into position. I'll deal with Danzo soon enough after I crush Tsunade when the invasion is over,' thought Orochimaru before putting on the façade of the Kazekage now greeting the Fifth Hokage.
"Welcome Kazekage-sama. How was your trip here?" said Tsunade smiling at the cloth covered face of the fake Kazekage.
"It was pleasant. You never truly realize how hot the weather around Suna is until you've been outside the village," said Orochimaru while pretending to be happy in front of his old teammate.
"Agreed. Though I'm sure you are excited about seeing all three of your children in these exams," said Tsunade seeing the "Kazekage" nodding in agreement.
"Yes. My eldest Temari, my oldest son Kankuro, and youngest son Gaara brought me great joy when I was informed by their sensei of their accomplishments. I hope to see all three of them advance to Chuunin soon and then to Jounin shortly after that," said the fake Kazekage not knowing that Tsunade had caught onto him since the Fifth Hokage knew that the real Kazekage never called Gaara his son.
'So you are Orochimaru in disguise. Well, it's a good thing I've prepared for this thanks to your former loyal subordinate Kimimaro, and the details behind the invasion,' thought Tsunade, as she had recalled Jiraiya back to the Chuunin Exams after putting in a coded message stating the snake was in the sand, and preparing to strike the Tree Slug in the Oasis.
Hopefully, Jiraiya would keep taking down Sephiroth on hold for now, and deal with Orochimaru's invasion.
"Who is fighting first?" said the "Kazekage", as he sat down in his chair, and awaited the matches to start.
"See for yourself," said Tsunade, as they both saw Sai getting ready to fight Akado Yoroi in his match, and saw the eyes of the fake Kazekage looked instantly bored.
"I suppose its only appropriate if not fair the host village gets to have two of their Shinobi fight first," said Orochimaru trying to sound like this was fine when in actuality it wasn't.
And so the two watched the match with Sai using his ink drawings to battle Yoroi, who was trying to get close enough to drain the pale boy's chakra, but was unable to get close due to the ink drawings that were in the form of fierce flesh ripping animals that did a good job of imitating their real flesh, and blood counterparts that lived in the wild.
Needless to say, Sai was the victor of his match, and started things off in a very bloody fashion.
The next match came and it was Abumi Zaku VS Sabaku no Kankuro with the middle child of the Sabaku family forfeiting his match in order to save his puppets for when the invasion started. The next match that soon followed was Nara Shikamaru VS Sabaku no Temari with the lazy Leaf Genin preparing to forfeit since he didn't want to face a girl for a second time had Dosu not secretly pushed the boy over the railing into the arena on the orders of Sephiroth with the One-Winged Angel knowing the Nara would sooner forfeit his match then fight the Suna girl. This was soon followed by Temari getting inpatient at the Nara's lazy behavior and attacking the boy before the proctor could announce the start of the match.
Given Shikamaru's luck with women, namely his own Mother, and Ino on his team...he didn't really stand much of a chance against Temari. The blonde pig tailed woman was almost as smart as him, more powerful then he was, and there was no real way for him to manipulate his Shadow Possession Jutsu to take the eldest of the Kazekage's children down.
What was even more scary was Shikamaru suspected it was the youngest of the three siblings, who was the strongest of them, and the Nara didn't want to face him during the Chuunin Exam Finals.
So it wasn't a really big surprise that Temari not only dominated the match from the start, but that Shikamaru forfeited, and just before woman brought down her iron fan on top of his head that stopped mere inches from it.
"Wimp!" said Temari before walking away and hearing the crowd booing at the outcome of the fights so far.
The Leaf had won against one of its own via kill, Sound won against Suna via forfeit, and now Suna won against the Leaf in the same manner.
Next came Kinuta Dosu, who was facing Sabaku no Gaara, but the Sound Genin had been secretly ordered by Sephiroth not to fight the demon vessel, and Dosu forfeited his own match. Of course, it made the people watching get upset, but those that knew of Gaara's reputation understood why Dosu didn't fight, and that the Sound Genin was playing it safe.
"Why is everyone forfeiting their matches? Don't they have any pride in being Shinobi? Are they all that weak!" said Sasuke his voice filled with anger at the act the Leaf wasn't showing off its potential and that he wasn't down there to make it happen.
"Now calm down Sasuke. From what I understand, Gaara severely brutalized Lee in his Preliminary match a Month ago, and I'm sure Dosu doesn't want to have his own body nearly destroyed. After all, Sound doesn't have someone of Tsunade's caliber to heal their injured, and a minor village values their Shinobi due to so few of them," said Kakashi next to his student and then looked over at Sephiroth not that far away currently sitting with Haku along with a robed figure sitting next to them.
After Lee's battle with Gaara, the mini Gai clone had been told by the Hokage he would never be a Shinobi again due to his injuries, and that the damage was too extensive for even her medical skills to heal. The opening of the Chakra Gates, the brutality of Gaara's manipulation of the sand, and the seemingly bloodthirsty nature that transpired during the match had crippled the Leaf Genin beyond repair.
At least, that was what people were told until Sephiroth came to pay the Leaf Shinobi a visit like a Godlike figure or the preverbal Devil coming to make a deal in exchange for one's soul. No one knew what was spoken between them, as Sephiroth had made Lee promise not to reveal what was said on his honor, and soon after the Leaf Genin found himself completely healed by the swordsman's hands. Lee himself didn't know what Sephiroth did to heal his injuries due to the One-Winged Angel putting him to sleep before healing the broken body.
It was also rumored that Sabaku no Gaara had also encountered Sephiroth near Lee's room, but that moment was much shorter, and had left the Kazekage's youngest child somewhat shaken.
Though what caused it, again no one knew the reason, and rumors spread like wildfire.
"What about that one Suna Shinobi? Surely that one sibling of the Kazekage could have taken on the one from Sound rather then forfeit. Something about this is very wrong here Kakashi," said Kurenai a row above them watching from the stands before glancing over at Sephiroth with narrowed eyes.
'She has a point. A Shinobi like that puppet user should be more then a match for that one from Sound even if Sephiroth was the boy's sensei. Puppet users are known to have more then one puppet at their disposal and I'm sure the son of the Kazekage has quite a few of them to take down his opponent. So why forfeit?' thought Kakashi, as he narrowed his own eye at Sephiroth, and saw the swordsman looking down at the arena with his usual calmness that was constantly unreadable.
"You think Sephiroth is up to something Kakashi-sensei?" said Sakura, as she saw her Jounin sensei look at Sephiroth, and had that serious thinking pose on his masked face.
"Maybe. Stay on guard," said Kakashi, as he turned to the next match, which he sensed made Kurenai nervous, and for good reason too.
Hyuuga Hinata was now fighting Sabaku no Gaara.
'That's why Dosu forfeit! Sephiroth told him to so Gaara would fight Hinata in the next round since she was to face the winner!' thought Kurenai, as she glared at Sephiroth, who was now showing a smirk on his face, and it was taking considerable willpower not to go over to him before punching his lights out.
"This is bad. If Gaara is anything like he was a Month ago, Hinata doesn't stand a chance against him, and he'll rip her apart," said Kiba with Akamaru barking in agreement while Shino watched silently though his bugs buzzed noticeably around him.
"Neji?" said Tenten looking at her teammate looking at the matchup carefully.
"I do not know if Hinata-sama can win Tenten. She had been studying relentlessly with Tsunade-sama, but one Month worth of preparation may not be enough, and Sabaku no Gaara is not one to show mercy to his opponents," said Neji fearing for his cousin and saw Lee nod his head in agreement.
"Nevertheless, if Sephiroth-sama believes in your cousin Neji, then we must have faith that such a belief had merit, and trust her to prevail where others could not," said Lee seeing his teammates and even sensei look at him in surprise at referring to Sephiroth with such respect.
"Why are you referring to him with such respect Lee?" said Tenten seeing Lee looking at the match with his well trained eyes.
"Because Tenten, I wouldn't be here, as an active Genin of the Leaf if it wasn't for him, and he had earned my respect for doing something he didn't have to from the start. After my battle was over, I remembered him clapping in the balcony above me, and applauding us both for showing our skills in being Shinobi before I became unconscious," said Lee seeing Gaara now unleashing his sand upon Hinata with the young Hyuuga girl moving around with flexible grace her clan was never known for while trying not to get caught in the tendrils of sand that wished to devour her.
Hinata knew from the start what Gaara's sand could do, as she had witnessed its brutality under his command, and how it killed others in terrifying ways like she saw him do in the Forest of Death with the Ame Genin team. Even if she got close enough to his him, the Hyuuga Heiress wasn't an foolish enough to believe her Gentle Fist Taijutsu could pierce through the thick layer of sand he'd throw up to defend himself, or the layer of sand that Gaara wore over his own skin like body armor. Even the Kaiten was out of the question if she could perform it, as Hinata knew the ending of the spin would leave her temporarily vulnerable, and Gaara preyed on such things during battle.
If Hinata had a remote chance of beating Gaara much less surviving this matchup with him, she knew the only way was to use the skills Tsunade taught her, and quickly before the tendrils of sand became a wave that consumed everything in its grasp. Leaping back a safe distance, Hinata slammed her fist down onto the ground, causing the area around her to shake violently, and surprising everyone that she learned Tsunade's Super Strength technique so soon in a Month's time.
As the ground shook, Sabaku no Gaara found himself finding it hard to stay standing due to the unstable ground his opponent had created, and a fissure produced from the quake heading his way. Leaping away from the fissure now moving past him, Gaara was soon surprised again when Hinata used the skill to make large chunks of rock to jump in front of her before kicking them hard towards the surprised son of the Kazekage. The sand of course came up, shielding the red haired boy from Suna of the smaller rocks sent his way, but could do little to stop the one mass of stone Hinata shot towards him that was roughly his size in height with the same width of his body plus the gourd holding the sand.
The massive projectile hit Gaara right in the head with sand skin armor, which was his last line of defense being the only thing preventing the boy from having a major head trauma aside from a small concussion. The sand skin armor cracked from the impact of the massive rock, which shocked the Suna siblings, and their sensei since only Rock Lee had been able to do such a thing before Gaara nearly killed him.
Seeing her chance to weaken the seemingly invincible boy from Suna, Hinata continued the assault, using her damn near perfect chakra control to create more projectiles, and then shoot them at the stunned Sabaku. She didn't relent either, as Hinata shot wave after wave, and shot after shot until not even Gaara's sand could be focused to stop them all.
"She's doing remarkably well Sephiroth-sama," said the robe covered figure beside the swordsman.
"As I knew she would given her teacher," said Sephiroth smiling at Hinata and seeing the power he knew was always there.
Haku saw it too, but unlike Sephiroth, she did not smile, and instead frowned behind her mask while thinking up ways to counter such skills should the need arise to remove this threat to Sephiroth-sama. She had heard his command to not kill the Hyuuga Heiress, which Haku would honor to the end of her days, but there was absolutely nothing from stopping the female ice user from coming up with a means to protect Sephiroth-sama from such a powerful threat, and figuring out how to neutralize it, right? No! Haku would do her duty while skating along the edge of not disobeying her Master and simply find a way to keep the Hyuuga girl from ever using such skills against Sephiroth-sama.
"Sephiroth-sama, it's almost time for Kabuto to make his move," said the robed figure, as he sensed Kabuto's chakra signature, and preparing the Jutsu to knock everyone out.
"You know what to do Kimimaro, but remember not to overexert yourself, and do not toy with your prey," said Sephiroth seeing his robed figure that was the albino Kaguya nod in agreement before silently heading out.
'Where is he going?' thought Hayate before coughing at the sight of the white haired man next to Sephiroth get out of his seat and walking away.
The idea of leaving his students to continue surveillance on the robed figure was tempting at the moment, but Hayate decided not to since his students would no doubt get involved, and they may put themselves in a position beyond their pay grade. For now, he would let the secretly roaming ANBU do their job, and trust in his love Yugao along with her team to take care of things.
A scream of unimaginable pain echoed throughout the arena, which broke Hayate from his thoughts, as he looked down to see Gaara holding the side of his head before looking down at his palm, and saw his blood on it. His blood! Not Hinata's. Not Lee's. And not some stupid Shinobi assassin his Father sent to kill him shortly after turning six years old.
"MY BLOOD! YOU MADE ME BLEED! NOW YOU DIE!" yelled Gaara, as he was done playing games with this girl, and formed a circular ball of sand over his body with a single eye materializing to look around while he was inside it.
"This is bad. He's going to use that now?" said Kankuro worriedly since that was not part of the plan.
"Doesn't matter. Its already starting," said Temari seeing the feather's descend from the sky and the people falling asleep in the stands.
The invasion of the Leaf had started.
An explosion in the Kage's Booth had alerted the Shinobi not under the Genjutsu's power began to fight off Suna and Sound Shinobi around them. Surprisingly enough, Sephiroth of all people was striking down all three that stood in his path, and so was Haku since it was now time to cast aside such loyalties to Sound village. From where he was currently standing, Sephiroth could see the Sound Four get into position around Tsunade, and the now revealed Orochimaru knowing they were moments away from putting up the barrier Kimimaro told him was going to be used.
"Time to intervene on my Godmother's behalf," said Sephiroth, as he grabbed Haku by the waist, and vanished from the sight of those around him only to appear in-between the two former teammates mere seconds before the barrier came up.
"What are you doing here Sephiroth? You were suppose to go find Jiraiya and kill him!" said Orochimaru seeing the young swordsman look at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Oh, I will Orochimaru-san, but you seem to be mistaken me for one of your submissive subordinates, and misunderstood my agreement to hunt down Jiraiya being a mission I would carry out on my terms. Not yours," said Sephiroth, as he saw the Sannin glaring at him, and pulled out Kusanagi from his mouth to his hands.
He could have the Sound Four lower the barrier, but by now an ANBU squad had arrived to attack the moment the barrier was down, and Orochimaru knew this could be the only time presented to him to kill his former teammate. Besides, it wasn't the snake Sannin didn't have an ace of his own up his sleeve, as there was this one summoning Jutsu he had been working on to give him a solid edge over opponents rivaling his own strength, and he had something in mind for Sephiroth that went perfectly for his fight against Tsunade.
"I won't go down without a fight and I will have my revenge. 'Summoning: Impure World Resurrection!'" said Orochimaru, as he went through the hand signs, and summoned three coffins to rise from the ground while mentally patting himself on the backup plan to use those three Fuma Clan members to be his sacrifices for this Jutsu since Kin was nowhere to be found while the other two Genin had advanced to the Chuunin Exam Finals.
"We need to stop the coffins from rising," said Tsunade, as she made the necessary hand sign to negate one of the three coffins while Haku mimicked it to stop the second coffin, but the last one rose without opposition, and then the lid soon fell to reveal the person inside of it, and made the two of three pair of eyes watching the figure widen in surprise at the sight of him.
It was the Yondaime Hokage in all his glory.
"Interesting," said Sephiroth seeing his Father step out of the coffin and look back at him with an indifferent look on his face.
Haku fell to one knee, as the chakra used for the Jutsu she along with Tsunade did to stop the majority of the coffins had been taxing on her body, and looked at Sephiroth to see him take a few steps forward to indicate this battle was his alone. Haku knew this the moment she saw the Yondaime come out of the coffin, as the battle between Father, and son was something long overdo even if it was never meant to happen.
"So you became what the prophecy stated. My plan to stop it failed," said the Yondaime seeing Sephiroth before him and did not look pleased.
"It was going to happen whether you tried to stop it or not. All you did was give me a reason to become what you and everyone else feared in regards to the prophecy. The piece of your soul inside of me, as a failsafe learned that the hard way after Kyuubi tore you to shreds, and he was most thankful to have his revenge. Now...I will have mine," said Sephiroth seeing the Yondaime scowl further not understanding for a second before the realization hit him.
"I see. Then I will just have to do what I didn't have the courage to ask Jiraiya or even the Sandaime do before and kill you myself," said Yondaime seeing Sephiroth smirking at him.
"You will try and you will fail!" said Sephiroth with his power swirling around him like a storm and the killer intent coming off his body was nearly bone crushing.
"Enough talk! Kill him!" said Orochimaru, as he put the tag into the Yondaime's skull, and the man's body returned to its normal healthy self.
"Tsunade, I will leave Orochimaru's demise in your capable hands," said Sephiroth, as he sensed his busty Godmother nod, and charge towards her former teammate while leaving the returned Yondaime Hokage to him.
"The family ties that bind us together will finally be severed today my monster of a son," said Minato simply.
"There are no ties between us. There never was," said Sephiroth seeing his Father bring out his sword and the two rushed the other with their swords clashing.
"Isn't it wonder to see such family disunity Tsunade-chan? The chaos manifesting itself thanks to my genius and the Leaf's past arrogance?," said Orochimaru grinning wickedly at Tsunade.
"And what of us teme? What do you hope to accomplish by fighting me?" said Tsunade, as she saw him grinning wider, and hated the sight of that smile.
"Why the epic battle between good and evil! Of the Saint VS the Sinner. Of course being the serious one of our old team, you never did learn to have any fun, and go along with things Tsunade-chan," said Orochimaru seeing the woman scowl at him.
"I'll show you fun when I knock your head clean off your shoulders!" said Tsunade, as she rushed forward at her former teammate, ready to knock him into his own barrier, and into next week.
Not that far away, Sephiroth was in a sword battle with his own Father, who being the ever infamous Namikaze he was, had been able to hold his own against his son, and was doing all within his power to take younger Namikaze's head clean off. Sephiroth in turn was doing the same knowing that his dear Father wasn't going to be easy to kill like the Sandaime was since the old man tried reason during the last moments of his life and did not have the strength the Yondaime did to push the One-Winged Angel of Death back.
"Before we continue this blood feud any further, I wish ask you one simple question about your parentage, and if you feel offended then by all means please let me know," said Sephiroth, as Masamune sparked against Minato's unnamed sword, and saw his Father's looking at him with narrowed eyes.
"What's the question? Speak before I slay you," said Minato, as they broke apart, then clashed again with clashing blades, and shook the ground around them.
"Did you know Jiraiya of the Sannin was your Father?" said Sephiroth seeing the wide eyed look of his Father and knew the answer to his question.
It was no.
"It doesn't matter," said Minato, as he saw Sephiroth smirking, and then push the man back before gliding back in a retreating manner.
"It doesn't matter? Did you know your so called Father secretly kept an eye on you just in case it was you, who was the child of prophecy, and planned to take your life in the event it was true?" said Sephiroth seeing Minato frowning further for a second in disbelief.
"That...cannot be right," said Minato, as he was confused, but why was he confused, and why did it hurt him so that Jiraiya would have such plans in effect.
What Minato, the one currently standing before Sephiroth didn't realize, was that mere thought of possible betrayal by his bastard Father of a sensei had effected his mind, and the seals on the tag in his skull further influenced his mind. They seemed to prevent the rational part of the Yondaime Hokage from seeing what he would have normally saw from his own point of view, which seemed less likely now due to the fact a portion of his soul that was once in his son being destroyed, and further making the man see things in a way that he normally wouldn't in the past.
Just because the piece of Minato's soul that was once in Sephiroth body was gone, did not mean the link between the two was severed, and had in fact had unexpectedly caused the younger Namikaze's feelings on the matter to be pushed into his sire's mind to be felt. To be understood by the Father on what the son went through with such betrayal and that such things were unfair in its entirety.
"So now do you see? Now do you understand what I feel in my heart? What you did to me out of your own fears? You were, in some strange way just like me, and the betrayal of someone you trusted without question. You were watched just like I was. Kept an eye on with someone in the shadows lurking to take your life should you be what they now know I am. It hurts doesn't it?" said Sephiroth seeing his Father frowning, the tag in his mind fighting him for control to obey Orochimaru's commands, and fighting some other entity within the older Namikaze.
The Shinigami that was summoned that night over a decade ago appeared above nine of them. Tsunade, Orochimaru, Sephiroth, the Yondaime, Haku, and the Sound Four looked up seeing the only being capable of sealing up the Kyuubi within another.
"Who dares try to manipulate the soul that I devoured 13 years ago? A soul only I am allowed to command!" said the clearly pissed off Shinigami.
"He does," said Sephiroth calmly, as he pointed to Orochimaru looking up fearfully at the Death God, and backing away in fright.
"You? I have had enough of your meddling in my affairs you filthy snake! It is high time that you faced your long overdue and forestalled judgment at my own hands!" said the Shinigami, as he had ignored Orochimaru until now was because the rules in placed by all the other Gods in the whole stinking Universe prevented him for doing something, and only by the Sannin's meddling in using one the souls he owned could the Death God interfere.
"No! I won't let you. Stay back! Back!" said Orochimaru, as he swung his sword wildly at the angry Death God, and it only seemed to make the Shinigami angrier.
Not the wisest thing to do.
Within moments, the Death God was upon Orochimaru, and ripped out the Sannin's soul with such cruel force that you could hear the tearing sound made from the body. Those around the Shinigami watched Orochimaru's soul get devoured, hearing the sounds of the demonic figure munching on his soul based meal with relish, and then turn towards the two members of the Namikaze Clan.
Haku seeing this quickly moved in front of the Shinigami with her back to Sephiroth ready to protect her Master even from the Death God himself. However, what surprised everyone around her was the Shinigami laughed at Haku's actions, and almost had a gentle look on his face, and was now staring him right in the eyes.
"It is not your time yet young one. As much as I would like to take your soul right now, the Fates tell me no, and to applaud you for your courage. Watching over him is your duty and not even I will tempt my hand in stopping your purpose in life my dear. As for you Yondaime Hokage, I know what caused the prophecy regarding the One-Winged Angel's return was partially your fault, and the fault of several others. I am going to enjoy punishing you for your arrogance and stupidity that led to his return!" said the Shinigami grinning at his whimpering property before the man's body began to decay.
By this point, the Sound Four at lowered the barrier, and saw Sephiroth stare at his now repentant looking Father giving the son a weak smile that clearly told the younger of the two Namikaze that the man was sorry for his past actions. Not long after seeing the body of the Yondaime Hokage turn to ash, did Kimimaro appear, kneeling before Sephiroth, and reporting that Kabuto had been eliminated.
"Suna's forces are also pulling back upon learning Orochimaru's hand in the Kazekage's death while Dosu, Zaku, and Kin are out of the village heading for the rendezvous point. Gaara was not pleased by this, but I did as you instructed, and quickly reminded him not to provoke you into unleashing your anger," said Kimimaro, as it stopped Gaara from unleashing his one-tailed demon out on Konoha, and causing unnecessary damage.
"Kimimaro? What are you doing? Did you help betray Orochimaru-sama?" said Jirobo, as he saw Kimimaro glaring at the large man, and made him flinch.
"Orochimaru betrayed me! Sephiroth-sama brought me to the Hokage to heal my body of the disease that plagued it while Orochimaru kept me from such a person out of his own selfish pride. My loyalty is to the One-Winged Angel," said Kimimaro, as he watched the other members of the Sound Four look at Sephiroth cautiously, and now wondering what would happen to them since Orochimaru was no longer among the living.
Before any real thought could be put into the idea of what their purpose was now, a figure moved at blinding speed towards Sephiroth, and before either of his loyal "bodyguards" could stop the figure that was Jiraiya of the Sannin...he struck surprised swordsman in the chest with a glowing right hand. Jiraiya then went through one handed hand signs and was nearly complete with his Sealing Jutsu he had prepared for his Grandson when Haku snapped out of her shock before stabbing the free hand with senbon needles to stop what it was the Toad Sannin was doing. Kimimaro quickly struck Jiraiya in the face with a spin kick to disconnect the man from his Master and caught the swordsman now gasping in pain at what the Sannin did to him.
'Damn! The poison induced sealing I hit Sephiroth with is incomplete. Considering how many hand signs I went through, he must have got...60 percent of the dosage in the seal, and can recover if given enough time,' thought Jiraiya, as he moved to attack again, but surprisingly Tsunade now stood in his path, and she punched him right in the face with a pissed off look that she hadn't sported since the time he was caught peeping on her in the hot springs.
"Sephiroth-sama!" said Haku, as she looked at his pained face, and at the warped seal that she could tell was hurting his body.
"H-Haku. I feel...weak. Cold," said Sephiroth, as he felt his body was suffering, and was losing strength fast!
"We need to get you out of here," said Haku, as she along with Kimimaro holding onto him, but were soon surrounded by ANBU, and other Leaf Shinobi with weapons drawn.
"Namikaze Sephiroth, you are under arrest for the murder of the Sandaime Hokage, and will surrender for the impending trial in front of the Fire Daimyo himself," said Kakashi among his fellow ANBU while getting ready to summon his Rakiri should it be required to take Sephiroth down.
"Earth Style Barrier: Earth Dome Prison!" said Jirobo in a sudden unexpected move that trapped it's the Leaf Shinobi.
"What the fuck are you doing fatso?" said Tayuya seeing big guy using that Jutsu.
"Picking a side Tayuya. Besides, we can't stay here in the Leaf. They will crucify us just for being Orochimaru's bodyguards, and torture us for information!" said Jirobo, as he saw Kimimaro help Haku carry Sephiroth away to the edge of stadium roof, and prepare to leap away.
"He's got a point! I don't know about you guys, but I value my freedom, and I'm not about to be locked up by these guys," said Kidomaru, as saw the Leaf Shinobi not caught in the dome now trying to stop Sephiroth from escaping, and shot sticky gold webbing from his mouth to impede the Leaf Shinobi further.
"Great! Just fucking great! We go from serving the Uchiha loving pedophile to this crazy cocksucker!" said Tayuya, as she along with the others quickly joined the two escaping with Sephiroth, and heard the weakened swordsman whisper for them to follow him to Wave Country since Shinobi don't normally go there.
"He's getting away!" said a Jounin from the Inuzuka Clan.
"It doesn't matter. Securing the village does. Lock the village down now!" said Tsunade, as she saw them nod, and then disperse before turning to face an angry Jiraiya now in her face.
"You just made a big mistake Tsunade. In his weakened condition, I could have subdued Sephiroth, and the other two before the others got involved," said Jiraiya, as his red angry face was now covering up most of the bruise on his face, and made it seem like the injury wasn't as bad as it looked.
"I don't care. Report what I did to the Fire Daimyo. Remove me from being Hokage and effectively weaken the Leaf further. I. don't. care!" said Tsunade, as she left a shocked Jiraiya looking back at her, and went to speak with Shizune along with Hinata
They needed to have a serious talk.
(A/N: YAY! I updated. I'm sure you're pretty freaked out now that Sephiroth is in trouble thanks to Jiraiya and that stupid seal he tried to put on him. Until next time...PEACE!)