Chapter 21: Battle in the Mists Part 2

Third Division, Land of Frost

The thick, heavy mist blanketed the entire area. Kakashi's eyes narrowed as the full lineup was in front of him...the entire lineup of Seven Swordsmen: wielder of the Kubikiribocho the 'Seversword', Mamochi Zabuza; the former wielder of Samehada the 'Greatsword', orange-haired obese shark-man Suikazan Fuguki; the wielder of long, thin giant needle Nuibari the 'Longsword' masked Kuriarare Kushimaru; the wielder of the ax-hammer Kabutowari the 'Bluntsword', dwarf-like Akebino Jinin; the wielder of the explosive tag rigged Shibuki the 'Blastsword', one eyed dual bearded Munashi Jinpachi; the wielder of the twin electric blades Kiba the 'Boltswords', the only female member of the team Ringo Ameyuri; and finally the former wielder of the double handled Hirameki the 'Twinsword' and by extension all seven blades of the Seven Swordsmen, Hozuki Mangetsu. And it got even worse, the late Yondaime Mizukage of the 'Bloody Mist' and the youngest Kage ever, Sanbi no Yagura (Yagura the Three-Tails). Yagura reached up and grasped his flower-staff on instinct.

"Where...where am I...?" Yagura asked as he looked around. Karin hid behind one of the Kumo ninja as she shuddered while carrying a kunai.

That guy's chakra...its...its enormous...and...there are two sources?! Karin thought as she gulped. One of the mini-Katsuyu's then attached to her as Sakura leaped down in front of Pakura.

Kabuto smirked at his location. Yagura is now basically the same he was in life...I sealed the genetic material Orochimaru-sama had gathered from the Sanbi into him...he could even fully transform if he needs to.

Kisame gave a chuckle. "Who would have thought that we'd meet again, Mizukage-sama? This really is like the old days..."

"Kisame?!" Yagura turned and saw the Seven Swordsmen he had assigned in the past. "...this is...the Nidaime Hokage's jutsu then. I thought he burned all knowledge of it."

"Apparently not, Mizukage-sama...and we're right in a war again," Jinpachi said as he grasped Shibuki. "Look at the array of ninja set against us, its not just Kirigakure is marshaled against us, but all five Great Nations."

"Whoever summoned us must be quite a challenge," Kushimaru said as he lifted up the Nuibari and felt the wire that was connected to it.

Ameyuri smirked. "Well then, I suppose we'll have to show why we earned our titles eh, boys?"

"...you're still sore you didn't get a boyfriend before you died didn't you, Ameyuri?" Mangetsu asked in a deadpan style.

"Shut up you watery bastard!" Ameyuri snapped as she twirled her Kiba blades. "Or I'll smash your face in like in the old days!"

"Kids these days..." Jinin muttered as he lifted the ax of the Kabutowari up and put it onto his shoulder. "We kind of have a job here don't we?"

"Yeah, we should just get this over with," Fuguki said as he lifted his Samehada replica. "I take no pleasure in it...but what do you say Zabuza?"

Zabuza didn't respond. He just lifted his arm up and made the mists he created earlier even thicker and grasped the hilt of his Kubikiribocho. His...colleagues looked at him in a bit of shock as Yagura himself lifted off his flower-staff off his back, his eyes hardened as he prepared for battle.

Kakashi lifted up his arm in a signal: enter Manji Formation with sensors in the middle. If they lose their sensors they'd be completely blind in this mist. Sakura went into Manji Formation with Rock Lee as well as a Iwa Kunoichi named Kuzoko Ami-the Haiton user from before and Karin. The former Taka sensor gulped while she held her kunai, her red eyes darted back and forth as she tried to keep calm.

"You've...fought the guy using Suigetsu's sword before, Sakura?" Karin asked as she clutched the kunai like her life depended on it.

"Yeah, my very first A-Rank mission when Naruto, Sasuke, and I were just fresh genin," Sakura replied as her green eyes darted back and forth. "Zabuza is a master of the Sairento Kiringu or Silent Killing. We can't see in this mist so Karin, use your sensing to the best of your abilities."

"Yosh! Then we'll retaliate before they can strike!" Rock Lee said as he grasped his own kunai, the wound he had gotten before had healed thanks to the Enkaku Chiyu Sakura was providing him.

"I will aid as well," Katsuyu said as her eye stocks raised and looked around. "I can sense my copies and they can tell me when..."

And at that moment, the carnage began anew. Several shinobi were suddenly ambushed by Pakura who had three orbs, small suns practically that floated behind her back. She engaged them in taijutsu and pushed out her arms and the orbs slammed into and through their bodies...which made their bodies dry up and mummify nigh instantly. She dodged two more attacks and sent her orbs smashing through her attackers' bodies before she kicked their mummified corpses away.

Gari himself was now engaged in combat with a group of Kumo Ninja which he deliberately broke their manji formation to do so. He dodged a punch from the big Kumo Ninja named Takiji, rushed into his guard and then smashed his fist right into Takiji's armpit. Blood burst from his mouth as he stumbled back...before his body glowed brightly and then exploded and took out the rest of his comrades in a shower of gore.

All over the battlefield, several shinobi tried fighting against the Seven Swordsmen. A group of five was then pierced by the Nuibari several times until they were strung together in a compressed ball with the wires enclosing in on them so tightly their flesh was rend from their bodies. Behind his mask, Kushimaru gave a smirk as he tugged and the unfortunate shinobi were killed by the pressure. He dodged several kunai and shuriken and used the Nuibari to block.

The dance-like movements of Ameyuri Ringo kept the Alliance Ninja off guard as they tried to attack her from all angles. She spun, ducked, and twirled out of the way of every kunai and shuriken toss as she pointed her Kiba blades out in opposite directions and lightning bolts streaked through them. She grinned and took a bow...before she spun at high speed like she was a top and began to slash through and bisect her unfortunate opponents. Even when the Alliance Shinobi tried to counter with Raiton Chakra Flow she effortlessly cut through their blades and beheaded them.

The dwarf Akebino Jinin leaped towards three Iwa shinobi who blocked his ax-end Kabutowari with their own katanas. Jinin gave a smirk and then swung the hammer on his chained sword and all three katanas snapped like feeble twigs and they were summarily decapitated by the ax-end of the Kabutowari. The sadistic little dwarf smirked maliciously as he was covered in his unfortunate opponents blood.

There were a series of explosions as Shibuki detonated roll after roll of explosive tags that had been attached to its blade. Unlike his comrades Munashi Jinpachi viewed the battle in a more strategic light and deftly dodged each explosion-and the gore that came with it as he slashed his blade. Several dozen shinobi leaped at him as he spun and had the explosive tags come out and lay at the ground...and then he severed them from the main source and leaped as there was a large blast which shook the surrounding area.

Suikazan Fuguki was surprisingly agile for his obese frame and he literally danced around the slashes and jutsus launched against him. He did a seal and his hair then suddenly hardened and he launched a barrage of spikes made out of his own hair into a group of Allied Shinobi. He then summoned a long, thin katana that looked like it was also made of scales like Samehada and he slashed through two opponents and stole their chakra.

"Thanks for that meal," Fuguki said as he then blocked a meat-cleaver blade from an Kumo shinobi.

Mangetsu himself took full advantage of his Hozuki Hiden and his Edo Tensei regeneration: he walked through a barrage of kunai and Dotons and instead of his body being blown into ash and paper he turned into water and became a puddle on the ground. Reformed from that state though he had all the weapons he'd ever need...and he lifted his hand up.

"Suiton: Mashin Gan (Suiton: Machine Gun)!" and with that he fired several hundred water bullets in quick succession in such away that his opponents neither had time to block or dodge. "All too easy..."

Zabuza himself was in his mind controlled state and he swung the Kubikiribocho around and appeared in the blind spot of a group of four Kiri Ninja. With one silent swing he beheaded them all and moved to the next group, his silent killing as lethal as ever. He would appear right in the midst of his targets without them knowing and kill them in one strike with his sword...only the sensors or Katsuyu mini-clones would give some advanced warning...which would be too late.

But by far the most dangerous and strongest of the enemy summoned there, even with Hoshigaki Kisame there was the Yondaime Mizukage Yagura. Water burst from his flower staff and he created three water mirrors which sent a mirrored clone of his attackers right back at them before he literally surfed on the water he created and then swung his staff and sent a blade of water into three Kiri and two Konoha shinobi and cut them in half diagonally. He was pulling the water from the mist and did five seals and created a Water Dragon, a giant Shark, and finally a dragon beast in the shape of a Giant Squid and he commanded his water constructs to attack as the Alliance Shinobi hastily constructed gigantic walls of earth in an attempt to block. But it all had been for nothing as the three tremendously powerful Suitons smashed through them like they weren't even there and a local rain shower of both water and blood in the area. If it weren't for Sakura and Katsuyu, the casualties would have been much greater.

Sai and Omoi had been one of those few survivors as several Konoha Shinobi immediately counter attacked and dashed towards the Yondaime Mizukage. They were from the Sarutobi clan and they did several seals and launched a gigantic Katon which combined into a fireball with tremendous destructive power. In response Yagura just stood there and a red aura began bubbling up around his body and he crossed his arms as the fireball streaked towards him and impacted with enough force to level an small town. When the smoke cleared the Yondaime Mizukage was still there...completely unharmed and surrounded by a bubbling red aura with three tails.

"...he is the Yondaime Mizukage after all," Sai said to himself as he used his Chōjū Giga to create giant snakes to yank away the Sarutobi Clan members before the Yondaime Mizukage could grab them with chakra arms that sprouted from his body.

"...whoever is controlling me is very good, he was able to get the Sanbi back into me somehow," Yagura warned as his chakra cloak sizzled around him. "I can't control my movements, if any of you have powerful attacks use them now since he'll probably force me to transform!"

Sakura had now intercepted Pakura's next attack and back flipped and dodged the small suns coming at her from all directions. Despite her tremendous agility though one almost closed in before a cloud of superheated ash shot right at it and detonated it and the Haiton user, Kuzoko Ami had came to her aid. The long brown haired, lightly-dark skinned kunoichi landed next to her. Karin also formed up with them, determined to put her sensing abilities and if need be, her healing abilities to good use.

"Thought you could use my help Sakura-dono," Ami said with a grin.

"Much appreciated Ami-dono," Sakura sad and grinned back.

"I'll pinpoint where the attacks are coming from and warn you in advance," Karin said as she grasped a kunai. I won't be useless here, I'll help!

"Glad for all the help you can give Karin!" Sakura said as she squeezed her hand into a tight fist and charged chakra into it. "Follow my lead!"

With that Sakura charged forward as Ami and Karin went into opposite directions. Pakura was forced to chose which to attack and she created yet another sun with her Shakuton and sent it right out to attack the pink haired kunoichi who immediately ducked and slid under it and barely avoided its heat. Karin tossed a flurry of explosive tags to cover and the Shakuton user shunshined away and avoided Sakura's punch which shattered the ground.

"Haiton: Bakuyaku Kaijin Shuha (Ash Release: Explosive Ash Wave)!" Ami yelled ad she did several seals and shot forth a wave of ash colored red from her mouth as Pakura landed on a tree branch.

The Shakuton user leaped out of the way as the wave of ash smothered the tree and the forest behind it before it exploded. Sakura met her in the air and smashed her fist down at Pakura who managed to Kawarimi out of the way. Karin managed to pinpoint where she'd reappear and shunshined herself and stabbed Pakura on the side with her kunai. Paper and ash burst from the Shakuton user's side and she backhanded Karin away right into Ami who readied yet another attack.

Pakura was faster and sent one of her suns at Karin who barely rolled out of the way and Ami countered with her Haiton but the other two suns went after Sakura. The medic avoided the first just as a damp cloth wrapped around the other and completely extinguished it and Kiri Kunoichi named Ruka and a Suna kunoichi-a sealing specialist named Maki arrived in a Shunshin. Pakura's eyes widened and narrowed.

"Maki...and you're working with a Kirigakure kunoichi now..." Pakura said as she straightened up and faced the team of kunoichi directly.

"Things have changed from before sensei, the entire world has united to defeat who is controlling you and his partner," Maki said as she unraveled more of her sealing cloth. "And we're going to defeat you here."

Pakura's eyes darted back and forth. Tsunade's apprentice is by far the most dangerous of this group, and the Haiton user has ranged attacks that can counter my Kajōsatsu and to make it worse, a Suiton user can extinguish them as well...

Sakura then charged forward again and took out her smoke bombs. Pakura jumped back as the pink haired kunoichi tossed them at her and the bombs burst and a fragrance like cherry blossoms entered the Shakuton user's nose. Sakura then did several seals.

"Magen: Sakurabana Naraku (Demonic Illusion: Cherry Blossom Hell)!" Sakura yelled and activated the genjutsu she developed in her training with Kakashi.

Immediately Pakura was then pulled to a realm of pink colored trees and a strong gust of wind blew through them and the petals began to...attach onto the Shakuton user's body. Her eyes widened and she tried getting them off, even tried to burn them off with a Katon and her Kajōsatsu but it did nothing. The petals then became sharp and launched themselves at her body as the sky turned red.

And in the real world Pakura was left completely vulnerable. Before she could even break the genjutsu she was under Sakura slammed her fist into the Shakuton user's body and it was shattered with a huge gaping hole and her Kajōsatsu dissipated and what was left of the Edo Tensei smashed into and threw scorched tree. As her body regenerated Pakura looked as Maki jumped right at her and wrapped her in a sealing cloth before placing the tag on it.

"If you two hadn't shown up, that had been a lot harder," Sakura said with a grin as an explosion in the distance broke their reverie. "We still have a job to do! Split up into teams of two and begin working in trying to corral these Swordsmen!"

"Right!" Ami said with a grin and punched her fist to her hand. "Karin, you're with me! That sensing of yours is amazing!"

"Thanks Ami-san," Karin said with a grin and both of them shunshined in the opposite direction to join the main fight.

"We'll go aid Kakashi-san," Maki said and she and Ruka both leaped away and left Sakura alone.

At the same time Rock Lee was engaged in a fierce battle with Gari once more. The Bakuton taijutsu user was extremely skilled and he could barely get close. Even with his weights gone Gari was able to not only keep up but match his speed. He also had to be very careful of Gari's explosive kawarimi's or even getting touched by the man due to his Kekkei Genkai.

He back flipped away and vanished in a flash of speed to avoid the next punch which sent blasts of shrapnel flying right at Konoha's Green Beast. Rock Lee caught the shrapnel between his fingers and tossed it away as he went for a Dainamikku Entorī (Dynamic Entry) flying sidekick right at Gari and managed to smash his chest hard enough to make him skid back.

"Gonna have to do better than that kid," Gari said with a smirk and Rock Lee instantly backed off.

Looks like I have no choice! Rock Lee thought as he landed by a group of sealers.

Rock Lee crossed his arms and focused and the veins on his head bulged. His skin turned red and then his hair levitated with a burst of chakra around his body and his pupils vanished from his eyes...the ground quaked and shattered at his feet as his chakra began to wrap around the taijutsu master. Suddenly the aura turned green as he entered Keimon, the Sixth Gate of Joy. The explosive burst of chakra completely cleared the surrounding area of the mist and allowed the shinobi around Rock Lee to counter and fight back against the Seven Swordsmen that were attacking them.

Gari lifted his arms up to shield his eyes as he flew back from the shockwave of chakra Rock Lee had unleashed and his eyes widened in shock. Six gates?! This kid can open six of the celestial gates?! How the hell is that possible?!

"Here I come, Gari-san!" Rock Lee announced and in a burst of speed he completely vanished from Gari's field of view but his ears could ear several dozen sonic booms following.

Gari's eyes darted back and forth as he tried to predict where Rock Lee would materialize. The microsecond he looked in the other direction Konoha's Beautiful Green Beast appeared, his shin and foot on fire as he kicked the Bakuton user right into the sky with such force he broke the sound barrier several times. As ash and paper flew from Gari's chin Lee appeared right in front of him with his arms out and his hands glowing.

"Asu Kujaku (Morning Peacock)!" Rock Lee yelled as he launched a barrage of punches that were moving so fast he created massive, hot fireballs from the friction. The barrage shattered and burned Gari's Edo Tensei body as he was sent crashing to the ground.

Lee landed at the same time Gari impacted the ground. In the shallow crater as his body began regenerating, the Bakuton user gave a...thumb's up to his younger opponent. Before he could finish regenerating, sealing clothes immediately wrapped around him and the tags were placed to seal his defeat. Rock Lee gave a grin and he looked around, if not for Sakura's constant healing chakra he would have started to feel the effects of using Keimon by now.

Yosh! Now time to aid the others!

Kakashi was now engaged in a fierce battle with Zabuza and Haku. Even with their minds wiped, the two's teamwork was almost completely flawless. The second he went to attack either he'd be on an the receiving end of a counter attack from either Haku or Zabuza. His Sharingan worked overtime as he tried to predict and counter each counterattack while remaining on the offensive himself.

He twirled his kunai and charged it with a Raikiri and blocked the Demon of the Hidden Mist's Kubikiribocho and chipped the blade while simultaneously ducking the Yuki Senbon that Haku had created from the midst. Kakashi tossed several dozen Raikiri charged kunai right at the Hyoton user who immediately disappeared into one of his Ice Mirrors to avoid the attack.

If these two fought like this on the bridge that day, Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke and I would have truly been completely wiped out, Kakashi thought as he dodged the overhead swing of from Zabuza. I need to separate them...there's one technique I can use to deal with one now...

Kakashi's Sharingan spun as he activated his Mangekyo Sharingan, the image of a spinning three-bladed shuriken appeared in his iris. With Sakura constantly healing him, he wouldn't have to worry about the chakra limit at the moment but he still didn't want to use Kamui liberally at this time due to how long and big the War was going to rage. He chose his target and moved at high speed with a his Raikiri charged kunai in his hand.

Predictably Haku flew at him from an ice mirror in the sky as he went to attack Zabuza. He spun upwards and looked. "KAMUI!"

Instantly a small tear in space time opened up on Haku's forehead and sucked him in like a black hole would. Due to the speed Haku attacked with and the split second timing of Kakashi, the Edo Tensei Hyoton user had been completely consumed by the Kamui he had used. Kakashi still suffered an after effect from sending a full sized human to the Kamui dimension...just as Zabuza slashed him diagonally down the chest.

"Damn it!" Kakashi jumped back, his flak jacket's steel underlay protected him from most of the slash but blood splashed out of the wound he had suffered. Immediately it mostly stitched close from Sakura's healing but it still hurt like hell. "At least there is one down..."

He jumped back and formed a formation with a Yamanaka and Nara who were coordinating with a group of sealers. Ensui and Santa glanced at him as Kakashi formulated a new plan to deal with Zabuza-the damage already dealt to the Kubikiribocho had regenerated from the copy ninja's own blood.

"Santa-san, first up switch your mind with mine with your Shintenshin, and Ensui-san use your Kagemane to follow my shadow," Kakashi ordered as his brilliant mind formed the perfect plan to deal with Zabuza. "When I've damaged him with my Raikiri immediately capture his shadow and use Kage Nui to further restrain him. Tsuno-dono, then you move in and seal him! Understand?!"

"Yes Kakashi-daicho!"

Immediately the plan went into action, Kakashi's mind and shadow respectively were replaced and taken over by Santa and Ensui. With that, he charged with his Raikiri charged kunai still in hand and engaged Zabuza in combat. Without Haku to help him, nor with a water source nearby most of the Demon's arsenal was neutralized but he was still an extremely dangerous opponent. Santa controlled Kakashi's body to avoid the horizontal slash from Zabuza and then thrust his lightning charged weapon forward.

Before Zabuza could react his wrist was severed from the Raikiri kunai and his chest was impaled by the weapon. Ensui then immediately transferred his shadow to Zabuza's as Santa released the Shintenshin. As the Demon of the Hidden Mist's body began to fall apart from the damage it received and the regeneration tried to take hold, Tsuno, the Suna sealing ninja that was nearby immediately wrapped him with the cloth and sealed him. Kakashi breathed in and out through his nose, his eyes narrowed in anger. During the entire fight he could remember how the Wave Country mission went, with Naruto's words that he liked Zabuza and Haku despite being enemies with them at that time. He grabbed the fallen Kubikiribocho and squeezed the handle. The blinding mist cleared throughout the battlefield as the sun began to shine once more.

"For the first time in years, I am truly enraged," Kakashi said as Ruka and Mari arrived. "Everyone stand back and be prepared, the Copy Ninja, the master of 1000 Jutsu is going to go on a rampage!"

Kamui Dimension

Haku's Edo Tensei body fell onto a block with a thud and his body regenerated from the damage that was dealt by the transport. Slowly, every so slowly Haku mind...returned to him and the controlling Fuda was forced out of his head due to the signal no longer being there. The Hyoton user staggered and he blinked in surprise.

"I can't...feel that man's influence anymore..." Haku said as he looked around in surprise. "...though...where the heck am I...?

He jumped from platform to platform and began a journey to try to find where exactly he was. The fuda that had been controlling him previously rolled off the platform he landed on and fell into the black depths to be lost forever.

Mountain's Grave, Kabuto's location

Kabuto looked up in surprise. Haku's piece had just...completely vanished. There wasn't even a trace of him left on the board. If he had been sealed the spymaster would have sensed it. His eyes narrowed as he knelt down further in front of his game board which represented the battles that were in progress.

What did Kakashi's jutsu actually do? From my intelligence it shouldn't have been able to completely remove Haku... Kabuto gritted his teeth though he composed himself. "No matter, I'll just have to figure it out later...time to wrap this battle up after all."

His trademark smirk appeared on his face again as he looked at the pieces he still had on the board. Despite losing his initial four Edo Tensei that were there, he still had plenty of powerful ones. Worse comes to worse, he'd fall back and shift the battlefield into the forests around the area.

"Lets kick this battle up a notch."

Third Division, Battle of Frost Country

Yagura suddenly looked up as his mind was crushed. His Version 1 cloak began to spin around him as a massive amount of chakra was expelled from his body, the very ground itself cracked and shattered. His face became more...bestial. Kakashi who was nearby had to shield his vision as the chakra began getting a bit more...caustic and the very air itself heated up. And then the Yondaime Mizukage let out a loud roar as he was covered in a dark dome...and when the smoke cleared he was in the Version 2 state. The shock wave sent dozens of shinobi off their feet as Yagura settled onto all fours and gave a low growl. Despite his mind being crushed...the beast inside wasn't.

"Time...to CRUSH..."

Kakashi lifted up the Kubikiribocho and charged a Raikiri through it. "Everyone, focus on containment! We have to wear him down!"

"Easier said than done," a Kiri shinobi said with a gulp and grasped his own katana.

"We're having a hard enough time with the Seven Swordsmen, now we're going to have to fight the Yondaime Mizukage while he's using his Biju's abilities?!"

"Even though it makes it harder, we're gonna win," a tall, muscular one armed Iwa Shinobi named Monga said. "Just like Kakashi-dono said, we have to contain him and then wear him down!"

And at that moment Yagura vanished in a blur of speed and grasped two of the shinobi from Kumo and Suna by the head and smashed both them to the ground. They screamed as coral-like growths grew onto their faces and the Mizukage squeezed his hands into tight fists and everyone heard a sickening crunch. Kakashi immediately leaped into his own attack and slashed with the giant Kubikiribocho and Yagura grasped the lightning charged blade with one hand before he slammed the Copy Ninja in the chest with his tail with such force he was sent into the sky.

Kakashi coughed up a bit of blood but managed to recover and landed on his feet. He signaled with Monga and the two did a two tiered Doton jutsu, the muscular armed Iwa Shinobi smashed his hand to the ground to raise up a thick earth wall as Kakashi created three others to trap the Mizukage in. Monga then attached a dozen explosive tags to the wall he created and then launched it right at Yagura. The stone exploded and showered Yagura with shrapnel.

"Did we get him?" Monga asked as the shrapnel and fireball did...absolutely nothing to the Mizukage Jinchuriki.

Yagura then unleashed a roar which sent a pulse of chakra all around him and blew through the Dotons that Kakashi had created. The copy ninja gritted his teeth and charged up a Raikiri and then dashed forward at full speed. The Yondaime Mizukage spun and Kakashi stabbed forward and the lightning blade barely dented the Version 2 cloak and then Yagura grabbed him with a chakra arm. Kakashi barely managed to Kawarimi out of it and landed back at Monga's side.

"Just like Naruto's, no getting through that cloak conventionally," Kakashi said, breathing in and out through his nose as he grabbed the Kubikiribocho once more.

"Why don't you use that technique that you used before?"

"That still takes far too much chakra out of me," Kakashi said as he lifted up the blade. "Even with Sakura constantly replenishing my reserves, I need to conserve Kamui for when I really and truly need it."

Monga nodded. "I see, do you have a plan then Kakashi-daicho?"

"...working on it," Kakashi said as Yagura then wrapped his tails around him and unleashed them in a chakra shockwave.

At the same time Sakura was engaged in combat with Ameyuri Ringo of the Seven Swordsmen. The spinning, dance-like style that Ameyuri utilized made it hard for the pink-haired kunoichi to counter. She flowed Raiton through the tanto she had earned when she had became a Chunin and blocked the Kiba blades as best she could.

"Oh you're good at this!" Ameyuri said as she dipped and unleashed a kick while she swung her left blade.

Sakura jumped back and avoided the slash and the kick. "I'll take that as a compliment..."

Ameyuri grinned and bore her shark-like teeth as she then slammed her blade down to the ground. "Raiton: Raiko Tenkin (Lightning Release: Lightning Transmission)!"

A blast of lightning then traveled through the ground at Sakura and she cried out and received a painful shock. She stumbled backwards and Ameyuri pounced and stabbed the pink-haired kunoichi through the stomach and impaled her to the hilt while she sent another shock through her body and finished with another spin-kick. Sakura tumbled back as blood burst from her mouth as her wound sizzled and closed from the Sōzō Saisei.

Her Raiton...its like Sasuke's... Sakura thought as Ameyuri flicked her blade to clean off the pink-haired kunoichi's blood. Its like she's trying to short out my healing with each burst...

"Come on, entertain me a bit more!" Ameyuri yelled as she charged at Sakura again and let lose a burst of Raiton through her blades.

Sakura dodged the lightning bolts that were launched at her as Ameyuri spun and tilted, swiping her blades at the pink-haired kunoichi. Sakura dodged and ducked as her eyes darted back and forth and tried to see what foot she'd lead on. Ameyuri then switched her stance and punched Sakura right in the jaw and sent her skidding back before she leaped and slashed once again.

Sakura dodged...charged chakra to her fist and smashed it right into Ameyuri Ringo's stomach. "I am NOT backing down here!"

The air was forced out of Ameyuri's lungs...and then her body was blown apart from the expulsion of chakra. Sakura panted as her fist dropped low and she wiped the blood off of her lip. Ameyuri had been really strong and her style harder to predict...it was almost sheer luck that Sakura had managed to decipher the weakness of it and land the only blow she'd need.

As Ameyuri regenerated a cloth wrapped around the seven swordsman and sealed her before she could get back up and fight again. Her Kiba Blades hadn't been sealed...and Sakura lifted them up and twirled them and got a good feel for them. Since she was a Raiton affinity...they'd do well for her. Just as she thought of that there was a gigantic impact in the distance and Katsuyu looked up on her shoulder.

"Kakashi-san and Monga-san are struggling against the Yondaime Mizukage...he's entered a state similar to that of Naruto's!"

"They're going to need backup then," Sakura said as she put her new blades to her hip and jumped into the air to back up her sensei.

And at the same moment, Rock Lee was fighting Fuguki Suikazan and Munashi Jinpachi at the same time. He was still in the sixth gate so he was holding his own against both incredible opponents and Suikazan's Samehada replica managed to shave a bit of the chakra released whenever he dodged. He jumped back and avoided Jinpachi's Shibuki slash which caused an explosion that rocked the entire area.

"Quite the speedy kid," Jinpachi said as he twirled his Shibuki. "Using the Celestial Gates..."

"And Goken as his primary fighting style," Suikazan added as he bent forward and launched a barrage of needles from his hair.

Lee dodged and blocked with kunai as he jumped back. "And you two live up to your legends! Like with Gari-san, its an honor to fight you both!"

Rock Lee charged forward at full speed, his feet ignited as he launched two kicks at both Swordsmen. Fuguki and Jinpachi blocked and repelled him and Lee jumped back and pulled out two metal tonfas that ended in dragons. He spun them quickly and charged his chakra through them before he pushed them forward and sent a shockwave out. These were the custom weapons made for him for the War...the Tsuin-Ryu Tonfa to compliment the best nunchucks his sensei had the Sōshūga.

"Now I am going on a full offensive!" Rock Lee announced as he then dashed forward at full speed and vanished.

Fuguki's eyes darted back and forth before Lee reappeared and smashed his left tonfa right into his back. The corpulent swordsman stumbled forward as ash and paper flew off his body. He slashed backwards with his Samehada replica and Rock Lee blocked with his right tonfa before he did a spin kick-which ignited his feet and smashed into Fuguki's chest. The air was forced out of the corpulent swordsman's reincarnated lungs...and then he was lit on fire and sent right into Jinpachi.

Jinpachi managed to leap out of the way and unraveled a bunch of the tags on his Shibuki and created a circle around his body. Just as Lee entered it he detonated the tags and he was caught in the full force of the explosion which sent him flying into the air covered in burns and scratches. He gritted his teeth and the explosive swordsman didn't give him a chance to recover and shot out a blast of water.

Lee jumped to the side but he received a slash on his side from the water blast. Katsuyu transferred more of Sakura's healing chakra to him but it still hurt.

Jinpachi's sword is the most dangerous here! Rock Lee thought as he winced, the wound sizzled closed but left a nasty scar.

Jinpachi then charged him. "Do you have more boy? Since I am just getting started!"

He drove Lee backwards and slashed at him several times and tried to corner him or make him block. Even with the Sixth Gate active, Jinpachi was nearly as fast with his strikes and his sheer skill made up for the physical difference. Rock Lee managed to land on his back foot and spun and aimed for Jinpachi with a side kick. The explosive swordsman dodged just as Lee saw dozens of spikes launch at him from. He twirled his Tsuin-Ryu Tonfas like a fan and blocked the spikes before he jumped back and dodged Fuguki's overhand slash with his Samehada replica.

Fuguki grinned. "If I had been alive, that attack would have put me down for good. Nice one kid!"

Rock Lee skidded back and ducked the horizontal slash from Jinpachi which severed some hair from his head. He then kicked up and managed to hit Jinpachi in the chin but it didn't do nearly enough damage and just sent the explosive swordsman backwards and he landed near Fuguki.

"Bout time you recovered you fat idiot," Jinpachi said as he flicked a fresh roll onto his Shibuki's cutter.

"You looked like you pretty much had it handled. Don't forget, I was Mangetsu's second in command and wielder of the strongest sword."

"Shame your sword is now being wielded by Kisame back there," Jinpachi pointed out and he looked right at Rock Lee.

"This replica is just as good...it seems it was made out of Samehada's own cells," Fuguki retorted and the two nodded at each other. "Time to finish this up though."

"Good point. Least you're more agreeable than Kushimaru," Jinpachi said as he spun his blade.

There's no choice! With these two opponents...I'll have to go beyond Keimon! Rock Lee thought as a blood vessel appeared on his forehead. No time to worry if I can handle it or not! Seventh Gate of Shock...Kyōmon...OPEN!

With that, a new burst of chakra went through his body and his very sweat began evaporating around him...creating a deeper green aura. The release of all that chakra cratered the ground immensely as Rock Lee sank into it and he threw out his arms and unleashed a destructive shockwave that upturned large slabs of rock and shattered trees behind him.

"I...can...DO THIS!" Rock Lee yelled as he then vanished at high speed and before Jinpachi could even counter...Lee's tonfa smashed right into his cheek and he crashed right into Fuguki with such force they flew through a few large trees.

That power...this kid...can even open the SEVENTH gate?! Jinpachi thought as paper and ash flew off his body. He didn't see, due to the speed which they were thrown, the Tsuin-Ryu were thrown up in the air and Lee appeared right before them and made a single hand seal which seemed to...glow around his fingers.

"HIRUDORA (Daytime Tiger)!" Lee yelled and he mimicked the moves that Gai had taught him and pushed his hands out...the aura of a white tiger surrounded him as the attack went out.

The tiger shaped aura condensed and smashed right into Jinpachi's chest and sent both him and Fuguki backwards through the forest before the roaring tiger...detonated in a massive dome that sent a shockwave through the entire area. The sealers which had observed the battle had to use chakra to secure themselves to the ground so they wouldn't be sent into the air. Lee panted as he lifted his hands up and caught the Tsuin-Ryu Tonfas as the Hirudora detonation subsided and he dropped to one knee.

"Hurry, that won't keep them down for long," Rock Lee ordered the sealers who immediately leaped into what remained of the forest and before Jinpachi and Fuguki could finish regenerating and were sealed.

"Lee, are you alright?!" Katsuyu asked as Lee swayed a bit before he straightened up.

"I...I will be! Gai-sensei will be overjoyed I managed to unleash Kyōmon and Hirudora!" Lee replied enthusiastically and the fire appeared in his eyes. "And I can rest after this battle is over too!"

At the same time Kakashi and Monga were pushed to the limit as they tried to battle Yagura. The Mizukage's Version 2 Cloak just shrugged off everything they tried. Even the Copy Ninja's Raikiri had bounced off of it and the only damage he was able to do against it was using a kunai charged with said Raikiri to increase its penetration power. And even then all it managed was a superficial damage.

"This isn't going well Kakashi-daicho..." Monga said as he panted a bit. "Its like he's just toying with us..."

"Agreed..." Kakashi said as he weighed his options. "Might have to use another Kamui again..."

Before he could continue that train of thought Yagura suddenly attacked and charged both Kakashi and Monga. The two then crossed their arms to brace themselves...and then a pink, yelling blur appeared above them. Kakashi grabbed Monga and pulled him back just as Sakura herself landed on top of Yagura.

"SHANNARO!" she yelled and smashed her fist right into the Mizukage's back with such force he crashed into the ground and his Version 2 Cloak shimmered and burst away from the point of impact. "I'm here to help Sensei!"

She jumped back and avoided the retaliation from Yagura's tails as his body regenerated from the punch. The durability of his cloak had managed to make most of the impact from Sakura's punch null though the ground had been cratered underneath him. Sakura looked at him and remembered the times Naruto himself had entered that form and she felt a dull...ache on her right arm where Naruto had swiped at her in the four-tailed form.

No need to worry about that now... Sakura thought as her eyes narrowed. I have to focus on the matter at hand...

"Sakura, I'm surprised you aren't quaking in your boots at this form," Yagura suddenly spoke...this time in Kabuto's voice. "Has this mean, gasp, you have become a better kunoichi than the pathetic one I saw on Tenchi Bridge?"

"...Kabuto..." Sakura said as her green eyes darkened.

"You know what? I'll use this new found respect for you to give you your...greatest challenge yet," Kabuto said and he laughed through Yagura's mouth. "Yagura...time to fully transform."

"What?!" Sakura, Kakashi, and Monga yelled as there was another surge of chakra from the Mizukage.

The Version 2 cloak grew as Yagura himself began to roar and then grew to tremendous size. Rocks and other debris seemed to levitate from the expulsion of chakra as the ground started to quake. The cloak seemed to fade and was replaced with a dull blue shell and the three tails whipped behind it. The Biju appeared fully...nearly 50 meters long and 25 meters tall as the chakra from the release caused rocks to fall suddenly. Now the Sanbi stood right before Sakura and closed one of its eyes and stomped forward.

"This...this is bad," Sakura uttered as the Biju gave a loud roar and dispelled what was left of the mist from earlier.

A Kiri ninja blinked seeing the form Yagura took. "Shouldn't it be much bigger? And its color's wrong!"

"Yeah I know, is Edo Tensei limiting and changing the form?" another asked as the Sanbi opened its mouth.

"Very astute...this isn't the true Sanbi. That is still being kept at Akatsuki headquarters...this is an experiment Orochimaru-sama and I created after gaining some of the Sanbi's chakra and cells in an attempt to capture it..." Kabuto explained through Sanbi's mouth. "This 'juvenile' Sanbi is one of our pinnacle accomplishments and its power is no less than its parent as you'll see."

Black and white chakra then swirled at Sanbi's mouth before creating a solid black ball right in front of the juvenile Sanbi's jaws. Sakura, Kakashi, and Monga barely moved out of the way before the Bijudama was shot at them and tore and melted through the ground from the sheer heat and power of the projectile. The three skidded to the side and glanced back as a small mountain in the distance was hit by the Bijudama and was engulfed in a gigantic dome which ate through a mountain beside it and left a crater nearly six kilometers wide. The mountain that wasn't in its direct path crumbled after losing so much mass from the Bijudama explosion.

"Holy..." Monga whispered as the shockwave hit the battlefield from the Bijudama.

"Think about it later, we need to take this thing down first!" Kakashi ordered and Sakura was already on the move towards it.

The juvenile Sanbi then curled up in a ball and began to spin at a high rate before it launched itself at high speed at the division. Sakura jumped right in front of its path and charged chakra through her arms, hands, and feet and pushed her hands out. She caught the spinning ball which the juvenile Sanbi had turned itself into and she used all her strength and chakra control to stop it despite being pushed back a considerable distance.

She charged her fist with lightning and reared it back. "Raiton: Raiko Raido Ryu (Lightning Release: Lightning Vortex Fist)!"

The lightning swirled around her fist and smashed it right into the juvenile Sanbi's shell and it cracked and dented as the lightning was forced into its body. It gave a loud roar of pain as it jumped back and uncurled. Sakura didn't let up and charged as her new Kiba blades clanked on her belt and she smashed her fist right into the young Biju's jaw from below in an upper cut and sent a tooth flying out. In response the juvenile Sanbi smashed one tail into her back hard enough to sent her into the ground and crater it. She spat up blood before the other two tails smashed into her.

Kakashi created a clone and the two rushed forward and charged a Raikiri between them. "Raiden (Lightning Transmission)!"

They wrapped the lightning chain into one of the tail segments which had hit Sakura and pulled it away before severing it at the weak point in the joint. The juvenile Sanbi howled in pain as Monga punched a rock filled with explosive tags right into its open mouth and it swallowed it and the tags all detonated at the same time. Sakura rolled away as smoke wafted from the young Biju's mouth and she stood up and panted as the damage she received was repaired.

She wiped the blood from her jaw and cracked her knuckles. She pulled the Kiba blades out and switched her strategy as lightning charged them. Kakashi pulled out the Kubikiribocho and jumped by his student and the two communicated via hand seals. With that Kakashi charged and jumped in the air and charged a Raikiri through his blade and slashed at the still stunned juvenile Sanbi.

Its eye then looked up and blocked Kakashi's attack with its tail and sent him backwards however the Copy Ninja then shot a blast of flame right out of his mouth at the young Sanbi. He aimed right for the visible eye and hit it with the full force. The young Sanbi stumbled backwards and howled again in pain as Sakura made her move.

She skidded right below the young Sanbi and stabbed one of her Kiba blades right into its stomach and penetrated it slightly. She then reared her hand back and charged up another Raiko Raido Ryu and smashed it right onto the pommel of the blade. Like a nail the blade was forced all the way into the young Biju's body and electrocuted it internally...and the Kiba blade flew out from its back in a large exit wound.

Kakashi caught the blade while he was still in the air as the young Sanbi thrashed and roared in pain and before it could lose control of its transformation it created yet another Bijudama and fired it towards Sakura. She charged chakra to her feet and shunshined away as the blast careened through the ground and through the forest before hitting yet another small mountain and completely vaporized it. Sakura landed right at where Monga was and Kakashi regrouped with them.

"Did we do it sensei?" Sakura asked as the young Sanbi continued to thrash in pain and stumbled backwards.

"I believe so..." Kakashi said and he breathed in and out through his nose.

The young Biju fell backwards and receded back into Yagura's body. The gigantic creature shrank back into its host and left him on his back and still suffering from the damage he received from the battle. The Mizukage himself was regenerating from the damage it had took as the sealers moved in...but a coffin then smashed around Yagura and disappeared.

"Looks like Kabuto is unwilling to let that pawn go away," Monga commented as the battle continued to rage in the background.

"Then lets finish this off," Kakashi said as he swung his blade.

With that, the three charged into the mass of shinobi which were still engaging the remaining Seven Swordsmen and Kisame. There were corpses everywhere from the battles and the stronger ninja showed the wear from their recent battles with the reincarnated but were still determined to win the battle.

Mountain's Graveyard, Kabuto's location

Kabuto frowned, he hadn't expected Sakura to do so well against the Sanbi clone, much less defeat it with the help of Kakashi and Monga. He still had uses for it and Yagura so he had to withdraw it before it was sealed. The battle had swung against him in general with his initial Edo Tensei being sealed, or in Haku's case...wiped out of his range of control. He decided for a change of tactics.

"Time to move into the forest...engaging them in open battle at this point is unfeasible," Kabuto said as he redirected the pieces into the forest. "Strategic withdraw for a guerrilla battle for the night...I'll draw it out as long as possible."

He reached into his pack and thought of his neck move and licked his lips. He smirked and prepared a few more Edo Tensei for later...he had decided that it would be time for Akatsuki itself to take to the field. A bit earlier than expected but he did have a few places where it could be of use. Supply lines between the medical camps and divisions had been set up...ripe for ambushes. They were constantly being monitored by White Zetsus who used their Kagerō technique to avoid normal sensory detection.

He placed two on the field at one area...Kakuzu and Uchiha Itachi. It was going to be a good test run when the next convoy arrived...

To be continued...

Author's Notes:

Whew! That is done! This was a fun chapter to write since it showed off both Sakura's and Rock Lee's growth, and showed why Yagura was the Yondaime Mizukage. Hope you liked what I did with Haku too, have a plan for him later now that he's independent of Kabuto's control. And also hoped you liked Sakura gaining new weaponry for herself and the plan which stopped the cloned Isobu (Sanbi).

Konoha 11 Rankings from Strongest to Weakest (Barring Naruto and Sasuke):

Haruno Sakura (High-Kage Level): Pretty much self explanatory at this point. She's surpassed her teacher, held her own against a Kazekage Candidate and even a Biju, managing to defeat both with help. Overall she has extremely good offensive abilities via her chakra control Taijutsu and Raiton, as well as even better support with her Remote Healing.

Hyuga Neji (Mid-Kage Level): Best Taijutsu user of his generation next to Rock Lee and overall stronger despite not being able to use as many gates as Lee. His combination mastery of Jyuken and Goken, his Byakugan mastery, and his Suiton element makes him a tough opponent to fight.

Rock Lee (Mid-Kage Level): Self explanatory given his performance. Best taijutsu user of his generation with speed second only to Naruto and Sasuke, and strength that approaches Sakura's.

Hyuga Hinata (Low-Kage Level): With her Keihatsu Byakugan, Jyuken mastery (given she can use Kaiten, Hakke Rokujuyon Sho, and Jūho Sōshiken), and her Rasengan and Rasenyari, she's become quite the fighter now.

Akimichi Choji (Low-Kage Level): He'll be gaining his canon abilities here, so he earns this place due to his Karorī Kontorōru (Calorie Control) and Akimichi technique mastery.

Aburame Shino (Low-Kage Level): With his mastery of both Kikaichu and the nano-insects, it makes him a nightmare to fight at both long AND short range. He can drain the chakra from multiple enemies and with a single tap turn them into purple mush up close.

Nara Shikamaru (Elite Jonin Level): With his mastery of the Nara Clan techniques and high intelligence, he earns this place. If he has prep, he can be ranked much higher and fight outside his weight class.

Yamanaka Ino (Elite Jonin Level): Mastery of Yamanaka Clan Telepathy and its various techniques, improved taijutsu, and extreme sensing she easily ranks here.

Inuzuka Kiba (Jonin Level): Kiba's got good mastery of his Inuzuka Clan techniques but he needs more than that. He's primarily a tracker and is a good leader (given he leads Shino and Hinata in Kurenai's absence), and despite having the third best speed of the Rookie's he just needs a bit more.

Tenten (Jonin Level): Her complete weapon mastery leaves her with way to open to futon users, but the sheer spam of it which she can use it makes her valuable support for Rock Lee and Neji. Not to mention she has enough chakra to wield the Bashōsen (which we'll see in a later chapter) would give her a lot of options if she used jutsu other than that.