Good News Everyone, I'm back! And I come baring the gift of a new chapter! But before we get into that, let's answer some reviewer comments:
darkWING360: Thank you, and you are correct.
Dragon and Sword Master: Thanks, I figure if I go one personality at a time, I should be alright. Well, with this being the start of the Wave arch, you'll get an answer soon. Don't expect much from the Demon Brothers though, I'm more focused on Zabuza and Haku.
drake202: Yeah, Sasuke would have made for an interesting Musketeer... or Zoro. I never saw much of Ronin warriors but I heard good things about it. There should be a channel like Boomerang, but for Anime.
Fan of Fanfics21: Yeah, I wanted to do something for Sasuke that would make him seem more human, less emo-ish. And you're right, Surfs up!... If only I knew how to surf...
1TroublesomeGuy: Yeah, I think one problem Sasuke suffers from is that things always come naturally to him. This was to show him that there are some things even he has to work for. And thanks for suggestions about certain cards.
blade of the night: Yup, that's me. And I would think most swords would be less annoying then Excalaber.
tsukiyomi83: No prob.
with an m16: Thanks. I don't think Sword will be flirting with the other cards. The way I see it, they're all like siblings, and they try to look out for each other. That's why Windy wasn't as mad at Shadow, he's still like a brother to her, and she's concerned. As for a prankster card hitting the Hyugas... maybe.
Shin'en of the Chaotic Destiny: Thanks, took me a while to think how to end that fight.
Baron von Nobody: Thanks, and don't worry, he will. I do have a vague plan for Big, but not until mid-chunin exams.
kid omni-man: Including this chapter, the Wave arch will take four chapters. But don't worry about the Clow Cards... they aren't gonna let Naruto get away from them that easily.
alteris: Thanks. I'm having a lot more fun writing Sasuke then I thought I would. And the battle between Shika and Shadow... well, you'll see.
Alright, thank yous to everyone who commented! This chapter marks the start of the Wave Arc! Including this chapter, I plan to have this arch last around four chapters. We'll see some pretty wild things in those later chapters, let me tell you. This chapter though, is more build up, and introduces a rather under appreciated Clow Card: The (in case you haven't guessed, skip this part) Wave. I would like state now; that the way I've written Wave's speech in kind of weird. Wave doesn't use punctuation, commas, or periods. Like a river, she just keeps running on. I have told you this to eliminate any confusion, and to prevent people from critiquing my grammar there.
I've also sown in some references to various things, see if you can spot them all! I would have had this out earlier, but between a wicked head cold, an Art Project, and an English Paper, I've been rather bogged down. Thankfully though, I was able to get this done and ready for you! But enough about me, let's grab our surf boards and catch a big one as we dive right in to the next chapter of...
Naruto: Card Captor
Chapter Seven: A Dangerous Mission Makes Dangerous Waves!
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Sarutobi took a deep drag on his pipe. He was currently engaged in a staring contest of epic proportions: On one side, himself; the other: Team Seven. It had been going on for nearly five minutes, neither side backing down (and if his hearing wasn't playing tricks on him, the office staff was taking bets on who would win).
Team Seven was apparently quite convinced that they were ready for a bigger, better mission. The Haruno girl had nearly damaged his hearing when she'd shouted at him (gotta admit, for that alone the girl had to have a steel pair between her legs). Naruto of course was right behind her, shaking his fist and hollering about injustice and whatnot (nobody but Sarutobi seemed to notice the strange key necklace around his neck). The Uchiha didn't say anything, but the way he was glowering and muttering to himself while gripping his sword would indicate he agreed with his teammates (Not that he would say it out loud of course; Uchiha code and all). And Kakashi… had stood behind them reading his orange book. Curse him, he knew that Sarutobi wasn't allowed to read Icha Icha Paradise around the office!
"Now then… what exactly makes you think you should have a higher level mission?" he asked, taking his eyes off the beautiful orange book.
"How about the fact that every mission we've done up to this point barely qualifies as a chore, let alone a mission to be done by trained ninjas." Sakura said, her indignation at having to clean gutters and walk dogs overcoming the natural fear she should feel at sassing the Hokage.
"We've had to catch that damn cat more times then the four of us can collectively count!" Naruto said, shaking his fist. He'd mention the fact that he was the one who always got scratched, but since they healed up in seconds anyway it would just draw unnecessary questions.
"Also, I don't think you can afford to keep replacing that window every time you send us to the Human Resource officer." Sasuke mentioned, schooling his features into one of nonchalance. He didn't mention that it was mostly his fault the HR guy kept breaking the window. That guy really needed to stop asking about his 'inner feelings'.
Sarutobi sighed. Technically they were right, and they had done more then enough D mission to warrant a C… Oh what the heck. Pretty soon all the genin would be asking to go on better missions, and they'd never learn about the world if they didn't get the chance to explore it. Besides, they had Kakashi as a sensei. The man may be lazy, and perpetually tardy, and a pervert, but he was still a jounin. What was the worst that could happen.
Strangely, everyone in the room shivered.
"Alright, I suppose it is about time for you to get a higher mission. Kakashi, do you support your team?" he asked.
The silver haired scarecrow just looked up from his book and eye-smiled. "Oh I have the utmost faith in them, Hokage-sama."
"Well that settles it." he turned and riffled through some of the C-missions "Let's see… investigate so called 'ghost sightings at Karakura town? No… Security detail at the esteemed Youkai Academy? No… Ah, here we go!" he said, removing a particular scroll from the pile.
"Let's see here…" He said, purposefully drawing things out, just to see the looks of excitement grow one their faces. "Ah, yes, an escort mission." he said, turning to face his assistant "Please go and fetch Mr. Tazuna from the waiting room, tell him we've got a team for him."
Naruto started bouncing on the balls of his feet "So who's this Tazuna guy? Is he some foreign ambassador? A King returning to his homeland? Come on, tell me!" he begged.
Sarutobi sighed, "Actually…" at that point the door opened, revealing an old man in poor dirty cloths. He had on a wide brimmed hat, and his face was flushed from alcohol.
"This…this is the *hic* team I paid for?" he slurred "They don't look like they could guard a piggy bank. And that short one, with the goofy look on his face, is he even a ninja?"
Suffice to say, had Keros not been whispering death threats to him, Naruto was sure he would have jumped the guy and beaten him to death with the Sealing Wand. Instead, he just stood there and grit his teeth. "So… he's the guy we get to guard huh? Are you sure we can't take that investigation mission gramps?"
Sarutobi chuckled "Sorry Naruto. As I was saying, this is Tazuna. He's a master bridge builder in Wave country. Your mission is to escort him back to his home in Wave, and guard him while he finishes his master project." he explained, getting a round of nods. "Good, Kakashi, take it from here."
Kakashi nodded, putting away his precious "Alright, I want everyone to go home and pack up for a two week mission. Make sure you can carry it, because we're going to be in for a hike. Meet at the east gate in one hour." he turned to Tazuna "I assume you know where that is, right sir?" he asked. Getting a nod he eye-smiled "Great, alright team, go get ready for your first C Mission."
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Naruto had triple checked everything before zipping up his bag. This was it, his first big outing outside the village. He wondered what it was like out there, in the rest of the world. Were the people different? Or would he hardly notice he'd left. Keros also admitted to being curious about the world he'd left behind so long ago, and was eager to see what had changed in his absence.
He wasn't the only one either, all of the Cards wanted to see the world. He'd been worried about who would look after Erase while he was gone, but she had insisted (in her own mute way) that she was coming as well. She had no intention of being left behind by her master while he went gallivanting about the world. She made that quite clear, and made quite the impression for someone who didn't talk.
So with all his cards ready to go, he locked up behind him and made his way downstairs. And if he was lucky… ah, there he was! "Hey, old man!" he called, getting the man's attention.
The man's face was even more wrinkled then the Hokage's, though he had more hair. It was a silver, near white color that he had slicked back over the top of his head. Naruto wasn't sure if the old man owned the apartment building or was simply the oldest tenant, but he'd told Naruto once to always tell him if he needed anything.
"What is is boy?" the old man said, looking up from his long curved pipe. He was sitting on the stoop, waiting, as he was each day, for his granddaughter to get back from school. He'd told the boy not to call him old, but Naruto never listened, and he had just given up trying.
Not at all put off by the old man's cantankerous nature, Naruto happily explained that he'd be gone on a mission for a couple of weeks, and asked if the Old Man would look after his apartment for him (which mostly amounted to making sure no one broke in while he was gone).
"Fine, fine" he said, finally lighting his pipe. Naruto smiled and went on his way "If you see that lazy granddaughter of mine, tell her I'm getting tired of waiting!" Naruto nodded. Apparently the Old Man worked at some kind of scrap yard on the edge of town, and he guessed the granddaughter helped him get around. Probably needed it at his age. Naruto had been there once, but it didn't look like there was much there. The whole place was just filled with grey scape metal. The only splash of color he'd even seen was a blue box off in the corner. Oh well, the old guy was nice, and Naruto was always happy to be nice to those that were kind to him.
He wondered if he would be the first one at the Gate?
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Just as Naruto headed to the Gate, the faucet in his kitchen sink shook as something worked its way up the pipes. Slowly, the handle turned, and a water spilled from the tap. But instead of hitting the bottom of the sink, as normal water under the influence of gravity would, the water instead pooled in mid-air.
This ball of water, shaping itself to look like an eye, looked over the apartment "Are you there?" a voice asked, though no one would be capable of hearing it if they were.
Receiving no reply, the water suddenly fell to the bottom of the sink, the tap turning itself off, leaving the apartment quiet….
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Sasuke carefully lit the incense before sitting down in a meditative pose. In the back of his apartment, far away from where any guest may stumble upon it, was a small room. In that room was a small stand, two candles, and a picture. In that picture were the two people that Sasuke could claim he loved most in the world. And he would never see them again.
Sasuke bowed his head in prayer "Mother. Father. I will make you proud. I promise." he whispered. And he would too. He had dedicated his life to making sure that when his parents looked down on him, he would be someone they would be proud of.
Okay, so he wasn't perfect. He was antisocial, snarky, a little bit mean and some might even say unbalanced (though frankly he had no idea where they got that). But there were some things a man just couldn't let go. Murder was one of those things. And he was sure his parents would understand when he hunted Itachi down and strangled him with his own eye stalks!
Calm… inner peace… There…
He had already taken care of everything else. Well, it was really only the one thing. He had needed to tell Tenten he would be leaving. So that she knew not to expect him of course. Yeah. She had wished him luck on his first C Mission, and had relayed some memories of what her first had been like (They had simply protected an old watch maker named Azmuth while he finished his work), and given him some extra supplies she thought he might need.
He wondered if she'd miss him?
Gah! Sasuke shook his head, wondering how he could think such nonsense at a time like this. Anyway, he really needed to get going! He had already packed, he just needed to do one other thing. He finished his prayer and asked his parents to watch over him and (something he added so quietly he wasn't sure he had said it himself) his team. From there, he gathered up his things and made his way out of his apartment, locking up behind him. He had already talked to the super, and he'd promised to keep a good eye on it.
He wondered if he'd be the first one to the gate?
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Sakura sighed as she took one last look around her room. She had just put the last item in her backpack (an empty journal, in case she had any… interesting dreams). She'd be gone for quite a while, and had so little time to pack. Most of her time had been spent getting teary goodbyes from her mother, who was convinced Sakura wasn't ready for such a big step like leaving the village at such a young age (wow, so much for support and faith in her).
She had packed every piece of ninja equipment she owned for this trip. Granted, that wasn't a lot, but there was enough for the duration of the mission. She had also grabbed a couple of the family's first aid kits, just in case.
Stepping back and seeing that she had almost more clothes packed then supplies was a little bit of an eye opener. Shouldn't she be taking this more seriously? What if something did happen, and her lack of preparation cost her or the team? She knew it was unlikely, this was just a C-Mission, but she felt she should be doing more. She guessed that with nothing but D missions, she'd gotten complacent. When she got back, she'd have to find a way to start proving her worth as a ninja. Maybe get a weapon like Sasuke or Naruto (she wondered if they shopped at the same store…) and really, really buckle down.
Hopefully though, what she had would be fine for this little mission. With that thought, she turned and rushed out of the house, a final goodbye from her mother following her out the door.
Sakura ideally wondered if she'd be the first one to the gate…
-Naruto; Card Captor-
The three arrived at the same time, a coincidence that was completely overlooked by the much greater surprise: Kakashi was already there! On time!…Early in fact!
"Um… Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura asked, uncertain what to make of their perpetually tardy sensei being there on time. Naruto and Sasuke were equally perplexed.
Kakashi just eye-smiled "What? You didn't expect me to be late for a big mission did you?" he asked.
The stunned silence that greeted him was a resounding 'YES'. Kakashi just sighed, loving the faith his students had in him. Deciding to ignore the looks his students were giving him, he turned to his client "Well Mr. Tazuna, if you're all set…?" he trailed off, getting a nod in conformation. When he had it, he turned back to his team "Alright then everyone, let's hit the road.
The three shared a look, before each of them cast one last look at Konoha. They each had their own thoughts: What they would miss, who they would miss, but most prominently what they thought they might see. So, with a deep breath of anticipation, they walked past the village gates, leaving the Village Hidden in the Leaves behind. What wonders would await them? Only time would tell!
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Oh! She was close, oh so close! She could tell, she felt Clow's Magic! She had to find it, she had to get to him… oh what was that! Where'd all these trees come from? Wait, where had it gone? And where was sister? Had she lost her? Wasn't she able to keep up… oh that's right! Sister said not to move! But how could she do that! She knew that Clow's Magic was right over… wait… where'd it go?
Three Hours Later:
This was not quite what they had in mind. So far they had spent all their time traveling along a single dirt road. Because they were escorting a civilian, they had to walk at a normal (read: slow) pace.
They walked in a simple diamond formation; Tazuna being in the center, with Kakashi behind him, Naruto on his left, Sakura on his right, and Sasuke taking the lead. There had been surprisingly little conversation, given that this team Did have Naruto on it. Sakura was sure he would have been running his mouth a mile a minute. Sasuke wasn't naturally a talker, and while Sakura was more then happy to have a one-sided conversation with the last Uchiha, even that could only last for so long. She had tried talking to Tazuna, but the old man had gotten progressively drunker until it was all he could do to put one foot in front of the other. Rather rude if you asked her… which of course no one ever did.
What Sakura didn't know was that Naruto was talking, but only in his mind, and only to things Sakura couldn't hear. Right now he was engaged in a lovely conversation with the Clow Cards about the things he was seeing. While the cards had some sense of the world around them, the world had changed a lot since they'd walked the earth, so this was just as new to them as it was to him. He had to admit, hearing them talk about Magic made him wish he could learn it. Maybe next time they were alone he'd ask Keros if it was possible for him to learn.
Finally Sakura grew so desperate to break the monotony that she had no choice but to attempt conversation with Kakashi-sensei. Hopefully she'd get a real conversation and not a series of enigmatic answers.
"Hey Kakashi-sensei." she started, getting his attention.
Kakashi looked up from his book, but did not respond, prompting her to continue "If Tazuna's village is in Wave, why not use ninjas from there?"
Kakashi blinked. It was a good question "Well Sakura, its because that they have no ninja of their own, as the land of waves has no ninja village in it. However, it is a part of the Land of Water so…
What proceeded was a twenty-two minute lecture on the geo-political state of the Elemental Nations, the Five Villages, the Kages, and the prominent land masses. Frankly it was downright informative… if you'd never heard of ninja and had fallen into their world from the sky with no knowledge. But for the three teenagers who had already learned all of this at the academy (even Naruto wasn't so brain dead as to forget the basics of his own country) it was a tedious bore. What on earth possessed the one-eyed man to tell them all of this? It didn't even really relate to what she'd asked him anymore!
The three each made a mental note to actively try not asking Kakashi-sensei open ended questions ever again…
-Naruto; Card Captor-
As the walk entered into its forth hour, it looked like there would be no relief from this tedium.
And then in the distance… the puddle.
It was such an ordinary thing… a puddle. Kakashi gave the thing a glance, and thought.. well we all know what he thought. Sakura gave the puddle no thought; after all what was the importance of a simple puddle? Sasuke noticed it, and felt the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. Something was off about that little pool of water, but he wasn't immediately sure why. Naruto would have gone the way of Sakura, had Keros not leaned down and whispered about how odd it was to see a puddle there; a covert way of telling him to be on alert.
And then…. they walked past the puddle. And nothing happened.
They moved on, the puddle unmoving as any collection of water. The teens unconsciously let out a sigh of relief.
The next second, they heard a a grunt and saw a flash of movement from the corner of their eyes, all of them turning to see their sensei and mentor bound in chains. Before anyone had so much as a chance to cry out, the chains were pulled taught, and Kakashi was shredded into pieces.
His murderers? Two shinobi, clad in black cloaks, wearing a Kiri head band with a slash on it, designating them as missing-nin. Each had a large clawed gauntlet on one of their arms, and both looked like they knew how to use them. And now that the strongest ninja there was dead, it was time to turn their attention to the kids.
The two dashed towards the genin, revealing that the two were connected by the long sharp chain. As they rushed the kids, there was a moment when none were sure what to do. Keros, seeing his charge freeze up, gave the top of his head a good smack.
Naruto blinked, moving into action the same moment Sasuke did. The last Uchiha hurled a shuriken that pinned the chain to a tree, while Naruto aimed his staff and unleashed the fury of Windy to batter them around.
The two must have had a trigger in their gauntlets, because they freed themselves in a moment, though the one on the left did get knocked off his feet by Windy. He quickly regained his foot and charged Naruto. Naruto switched the controls on the Staff, and planned to let Erase at him. This man had killed Kakashi-sensei, why not let him taste oblivion? However, for better or worse, Naruto had slipped when changing the dials. Instead of Erase, it was Sleep that blasted out of the Kyubi's mouth. Granted, it was a powerful blast that would likely leave the man comatose if left untreated.
Sasuke took the other one (Sakura had 'valiantly' taking the position of standing in front of Tazuna), and tried to sweep him off his feet. But the black cloaked shinobi jumped and thrust his claw at him, forcing Sasuke to lean back. However, he was able to use his sword to deflect the claw into the ground, leaving the brother open for a shot to the kidney's. While the man grunted in pain, Sasuke backhanded him into a tree.
The missing-nin looked like he was ready to try again, when a figure materialized behind him. The next thing they knew, the sensei they thought they'd killed had them in a choke hold. Crud. It would take a miracle to get out of this…
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Yes… there it was! So close! Now there was no escape! She'd found a body of water nearby for swift transport, and now she could finally get to the source of the Clow Magic! Hehehehehe!
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Naruto heaved a sigh of relief when he saw Kakashi. He was so relieved to see his sensei hadn't, in fact, been brutally murdered. Now that he was here, taking these guys out had just gotten way easier. Naruto had to admit, he was kind of worried when he'd frozen up, but thankfully had managed to prove himself by kicking some serious ass, if he said so himself.
Kakashi eye smiled, keeping the the nin in a choke hold while eyeing the unconscious ninja in front of Naruto. "Very impressive Naruto, nice work." he turned to Sasuke "And Sasuke, nice Taijutsu" He turned to Sakura, and even Tazuna thought the smile looked strained "And Sakura… good job protecting the client. That is job one on this mission." though it was phrased as a compliment, Sakura deflated all the same. She knew she had been useless, did he really need to point it out?
Kakashi extracted some ninja wire from his belt "Now then, lets get these two tied up so we can ask them some ques-" Kakashi was cut off by the sound of roaring water. Kakashi stood straight up, looking around, knowing that the nearest body of water wasn't close enough to sound so loud. So that could only mean "Everyone watch out!"
There was a beat, and everyone froze, even the Demon Brother not under Sleep's spell (Gozu, if you're curious). And then with a crash, it was there: A wave of water breaking through the trees like someone had destroyed a dam. However, instead of wild and crazy like a random tidal wave, it was controlled and concentrated. And heading right for Naruto.
Naruto couldn't react in time, and so was swept off his feet immediately, only barely clinging to the Sealing Wand, knowing he was dead without it. But then things got worse.
Tazuna didn't know why he did it. But having seen the kid rush to defend him earlier had made him respect the kid a little. And seeing him get swept up by the water… it reminded him of another man he'd known so long ago. He'd just wanted to help. He grabbed the kid as he was being grabbed by the water with the intent of pulling him out, but got swept up in the current the apparently sentient water was making.
And in the next second they were gone, pushed past the tree line. Kakashi would have gone after them, but the Demon Brothers decided this was just the opportunity they needed. And when Naruto was stunned by the water, Sleep's spell had been broken. That meant that Gozu was up in a moment to join his brother.
Kakashi cursed, hoping that Naruto could hold on long enough for him to get him. Clearly there was a third ninja he couldn't see, and whoever they were, they were gunning for Tazuna.
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Naruto struggled to both keep his head above water, and keep Tazuna from banging into trees as the water swept they along. He could take being slammed into trees, because even if it hurt, he would heal way faster then the old man would. It didn't help that every time his head went below the water, he was sure he was hearing voices…
"Oh wow I can't believe it I finally found him Man Master got old but hey wait if he's Master why does he have no power hey does that kid has the Sealing Wand in his hand why would he wait did Master get an apprentice or could it be oh my god master turned himself into a hot blond boy good for him I guess and I Hey hi Keros!"
Naruto was saved from the rambling voice when he was suddenly jerked upwards by the back of his shirt along along with Tazuna. Looking up, he saw Keros beating his winds furiously, his strength having greatly increased since he woke up, and getting stronger with each card Naruto caught. Below them, the water surged and twisted, lengthening and becoming snake like, a large bulb of water on the end seeming to act like a head and 'looking at them'.
"Well kid, looks like we've got another one our hands." Keros said. Naruto would have panicked at Keros revealing himself, until he saw that, by some luck, Tazuna had been knocked unconscious.
That is an amazing coincidence, Naruto thought, before realizing what Keros said "What! You mean a Clow Card followed me out of the village!" he shouted, waving his arms in annoyance, which was not helping Keros at all.
The plushy finally had to set Tazuna down on a tree branch high above the ground before looking at Naruto with a droll stare "Kid, the Cards are going to be drawn to you wherever you are. Now that you have the Sealing Wand, the Cards will always know where to find you, and they will be drawn into your proximity. They may not always engage you, but they will feel compelled to be within a certain distance of you." Keros explained, before stopping "At least, I think that's how it works. I guess there are probably some cards that won't come to you…" his eyes moving back to the water that was circling the tree. He would be surprised that they hadn't been attacked yet, but considering who this was, he supposed it made since. She had always been rather polite, even if she was a chatter box.
"Alright…" Naruto said, steeling himself for the battle to come. He should have expected that things wouldn't be quiet, just because he was on a mission. "So, what are we dealing with?"
Keros noted the change in Naruto's voice, and was glad the kid was taking this seriously. "That's Wave. She's a hyperactive spirit, who really doesn't know her own strength. She can control water, but she can't create it; there must have been a river nearby that she used to manifest herself." Keros explained as quickly as he could. Wave had started to stretch her body out, trying to reach them.
Naruto just nodded, the first hint of a plan forming in his mind "Alright, I don't see any water around here. Let's try and spread her thin!" he said, before leaping from his perch and making a hand sign he hadn't made in a while "Shadow Clone Jutsu!"
Immediately the air was filled with a dozen Narutos falling from the sky. Each of them brandishing a Sealing Wand, but only one of them worked as anything other then a club.
As soon as he and his clones fell from the high reaches of the branch, Wave was already in action. Like a bizarre tree, her body sprouted a multitude of tentacles, each moving to try and catch the falling ninjas. Some of the Narutos batted the water tentacles away, and started bouncing around to confuse the liquid monster. Others weren't so lucky, and were caught before quickly getting popped by the water's strong grip.
Naruto flipped over the arm that came his way and headed for the base of the 'tree'. Pointing his Wand at it, he called forth Windy's power; which shot from the wand and hit the trunk full force. The ripple traveled up the whole of Wave's body and she popped like a ballon, the water that made her up coming down in like rain.
"Hey! Naruto!" speaking of Rain, the clow spirit had been trying to get his attention ever since he'd relayed the plan to the rest of the cards. "Stop ignoring me, dammit!" He'd just been a little busy to hear her out.
"What, Rain? I'm kinda busy here!" Naruto snapped back, nearly being thrown off his feet as the water all around him started to coalesce back into a body. Looks like this wouldn't be as easy as he had hoped. The water had just wrapped around his legs, and was keeping him from jumping away.
"Let me out! I know what to do!" Rain cried frantically, even as she saw her new master unleashing another blast of Wind at it, but Wave would put herself back together faster then the idiot could shoot.
Naruto would have balked had he not been so busy. He'd freed his feet, but now one of his arms was caught, and water was coiling around him like a snake trying to give a bear hug! "I hardly think more water is what we need right now!" he said exasperatedly.
Rain cried in frustration; why would this idiot not listen! "Naruto, please!" she said, her voice taking on a tone Naruto had never heard her use before "I know I can maker her stop but you have to trust me! Please…" she said, trying to force her way out of the Sealing Wand. Sadly, that wasn't the way the Wand was designed. It required the user's permission. Naruto had to give her permission to intervene.
Naruto blinked, not even noticing as the water drew itself closer to him, though the crushing pressure brought him back to reality. "Ok" he said, simply. He considered the Clow Cards to be a part of his family (however odd that sounded), and he knew he had to trust them. "If you say you can do it Rain, I believe you." he said, using his unbound hand to change the dials on the wand.
The Kyubi's eyes flashed blue, and a large cloud billowed out of the mouth. That cloud quickly took the shape of a familiar girl, and boy did she have fire in her eyes.
"Wave!" she shouted, hands on her hips. The water creature stopped, and turned its 'head' to look at Rain, its whole body stilling as it recognized a fellow Clow Card. Then, like an uncoiling spring it leapt from Naruto and encased Rain, who looked just as surprised as Naruto did.
Naruto was about to attack, but Rain held up her hand and stopped him. She opened her mouth to speak, but only bubbles came out. Clearly, Wave wasn't listening, even as Rain tried to talk to her two more times. Finally, Rain lost her patience. Raising her hand inside the water bubble, she snapped her fingers.
Above the creature, a cloud began to form. A cloud made of the nearest water source: Wave's body. As the cloud got bigger, Wave got smaller; until finally she was closer to Naruto and Rain's size then a towering water phantom.
Wave tilted its head confusedly, and Rain sighed "You were doing it again Rain. I've tried to tell you, you need to listen more." Wave bowed her head, embarrassed. "Now I think you owe someone an apology" she said sternly, pointing to Naruto.
Wave moved towards Naruto slowly, tentacles coming up and slimming to resemble hands. Naruto looked to Rain, who nodded, so Naruto didn't move as Wave placed the water over his ears.
"Oh my gosh I'm so sorry I didn't mean to I just got so excited 'cause I woke up and I didn't know where I was and I was like wow this place is so amazing I can't believe it and then sister said we needed to stay safe until Father Clow came and got us and then I felt the Sealing Wand and I thought he was nearby and what could it hurt to come to him so I left but there was no water for a long time so I was invisible but then I found this lake and then I really really really really wanted to say hello so I ran as fast as I could but I may have run to fast because I think I knocked that old guy unconscious hey is that Father Clow wow he got old oh please don't tell him I said that but wait if he's Father Clow why do you have his Sealing Wand did you take it from him wait no you wouldn't do that sister Rain likes you oh are you Father Clow you look so young that's okay its alright to have some work done when you're your age" Wave stopped expecting Naruto to have followed that long train of thought.
"Um…" Naruto started intelligently "I'm not Clow Reed… sorry." Wave tilted her head, confused "My name is Naruto Uzumaki. I opened the Book of Clow, and Keros gave me the Sealing Wand.
Wave said nothing for a long time, and all Naruto heard was the sound of water circulating through her body, and the sound of his own heart. Then Wave's body vibrated, like she was sighing "I guess that means that Father Clow went to take the Long Sleep huh" she said, the clearest he'd heard her yet.
"Yeah…" Naruto said, guessing how she was probably feeling "he did. I'm sorry."
"Why?" Wave asked "Its not your fault and we all have to go sometime and Clow Reed was really happy when I saw him last so I guess he was probably happy when he took the Long Sleep but thanks for being concerned I guess if sister Rain and Keros like you you must be okay and I kind of like you too you seem really nice and you protected that old guy I hope he's okay I didn't mean to hurt him please don't be mad at me!" Wave said, getting faster and faster with each word.
"Okay, okay!" Naruto said, holding up his hands to calm her down "I'm not mad. It was an accident, so I forgive you" Naruto said, and as soon as he did, he found himself in a full force hug that he worried would make his back crack.
"Oh thank you thank you thank you-"
"Wave…" Rain said warningly off to the side, which got Wave to calm down and let go of Naruto. Wave took a step back and looked at Naruto. "You can go a head and seal her now, she's ready to see the rest of us." Rain explained.
Naruto nodded, giving a smile to the patient Wave. Then, with what was quickly becoming practiced ease, he sealed the Wave card. He turned to Rain, who looked very satisfied with herself. He dismissed her, and watched as she turned to smoke and flew back into the Sealing Wand. Then, he placed the newly acquired Wave card into the Wand, knowing that right now Wave would be getting a warm reception from the rest of the gang.
The quiet clam was broken by the sound of snoring. Naruto looked up to see Tazuna still in the tree, sleeping off both his alcohol and possible concussion. Once Keros got him down from the tree, he'd have to carry him back to the others.
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Naruto got the surprised of his life when Sakura hugged him when he walked back to his team with Tazuna slung on his back. No matter what she may have thought of him, that didn't mean she wanted to see him hurt. Naruto explained that he'd filled the 'water summon' with exploding tags and blown it to kingdom come. Thankfully he'd substituted with a clone to keep him and Tazuna safe. Kakashi applauded Naruto's use of technique, and Naruto felt his heart ache a little as yet another lie was stacked on top of the others. He was beginning to wonder how long he could keep this up…?
Kakashi had managed to defeat the Demon Brothers, with a little help from Sasuke, and had them tied up to a tree with Chakra sealing rope. The one eyed man had even had the opportunity to interrogate them a little bit, and what they had to say gave him a couple of questions to ask Tazuna. Once the old man was woken up, he found himself facing a rather irate group of ninjas.
"Hello Tazuna" Kakashi said, rather pleasantly, which only made the old man all the more afraid. "I was just having a pleasant chat with our new friends, the Demon Brothers over there" he says, pointing at the bound assassins "and they told me some very interesting things… like how they were hired to kill you." Kakashi put a hand on Tazuna's shoulder, in what to an outsider might appear to be a comforting gesture, but to those taking part, it was most certainly not. "Now, Tazuan…. I think there might be something you're not tell me." he eye smiled "And I'd really like to know what it is."
Maybe it was the way he asked, all polite and nice. Maybe it was the feeling of guilt he had about asking these kids to risk there lives. Or maybe it was the pressure Kakashi was putting on his shoulder. Either way, Tazuna the bridge builder cracked like an egg.
"Ok, so I lied! I didn't have enough money for a higher ranked mission!" he cried.
Kakashi took his hand off Tazuna "And who exactly is trying to get you? They must be someone wealthy to have hired assassins like these…"
Tazuna sighed "His name is Gato" he answered, making Kakashi go wide eyed at the name of the famous shipping tycoon.
"Tell me everything" he said, his voice deadly serious.
So for the next half hour Tazuna explained that Gato was a greedy dick who had taken over Wave country, and was bleeding the land dry with his evil ways; which included everything from extortion to slave trade, and all sorts of other nasty, horrible things. Tazuna then went on to guilt trip them about how he'd likely be horribly murdered, along with his family (assuming they weren't sold into slavery and prostitution). But in no way should they feel obligated to help him. (Seriously, we all know Tazuna's backstory, so I'm not going to be in depth with it).
Kakashi ran a hand through his hair. No matter what Tazuna said, this mission was still more advanced then they'd signed on for. He wasn't sure how his team would fair against the enemies to come. However, he also knew the egos that made up his team, so he figured they at least deserved a choice:
"Alright team, its up to you. Do we stay on, and finish the mission; or do we go back to the village?"
The three genin of team seven shared a look. They knew this would be hard. They knew this would be dangerous. And yet…
"I'm in" Sasuke said, his Uchiha pride not allowing him to quit halfway through. Besides, this would be a good training experience, and he could not allow a little thing like the high probability of death slow him down.
"Me too, believe it!" Naruto shouted giving a fist pump (and getting smacked on the head by Keros for using his catch phrase). Naruto had always had a strong sense of right and wrong, and he didn't think he could live with himself if he didn't help the people of Wave.
"I-I'm in too!" Sakura said, though she sounded much more nervous then her teammates. Unlike them, she didn't have a famous bloodline, or a special weapon and a butt-ton of chakra. But maybe this would be a chance to prover herself, both to her team and to herself, that she deserved to be here.
Kakashi nodded, having guessed this would be the outcome. Looks like they were headed to Wave after all. Before they left, he made sure to send a note back to the village to pick up the Demon Brothers. Didn't want them breaking free and coming to finish the job.
And so, Team 7 and Tazuna set off for the Land of Waves, and were determined to face whatever lied ahead, head on!
-Naruto; Card Captor-
Some Time Later:
Gozu and Meizu awoke a few hours later, and found to their chagrin that they were bound in chakra suppressant rope. How had it gone so wrong? It was supposed to be a simple job; kill one old man, get paid, that was it! Who would have thought those brats would prove to be so tough? It was actually very embarrassing; what would the boss say?
Oh Kami! The Boss! What was he gonna do when he found out? Would he kill them? Or have his freaky little side-kick put them on ice permanently? Of course that was assuming Konoha didn't kill them or hold them captive until they could be sent back to Kiri… where they would then be executed as traitors.
It was as they contemplated their future that a thick fog rolled in, surrounding them and obscuring everything else from view. As it closed in, the brothers shivered. Gozu turned to Meizu "Think this is Zabuza?"
Meizu looked back "Must be, you know he loves this dramatic shit" he whispered back. Of course there was only one way to find out "Hey Zabuza-san is that you?" he called out to the fog.
All was silent for a moment; and then "Where is she?"
The Brothers looked at each other. Had they misheard?
"Where" the voice said again, sounding agitated "Is. She." the brothers weren't sure, but it looked like the mist was roiling and actually getting closer.
"Who?" Gozu asked, the more talkative of the two (also, conversationally, the dumber). "We don't know what you're talking about."
"But" Meizu picked up where his brother left off, hoping to turn this to his advantage "If you let us go, we can help. Plus, I'm sure our boss would be more then happy too-"
"Shut. Up." the voice interrupted. There was a long pause "I know she was here… but now her aura is gone. What happened? Where did she go? I promised big sister I would protect her!" another pause "I can't waste my time here anymore." the voice got colder, and the brothers felt an instinctual fear, and began to struggle all the harder against their bonds as the voice spoke for a final time "Good-bye. I will try to make this as painless as possible."
And then the fog closed in, and the screaming started. The brothers struggled, but by the time the mist that composed the malevolent fog had eaten through their bindings, it was certainly to late for them.
A minute later, the mist moved on, leaving behind a spot without trees, grass, or topsoil. The only thing out of place for anyone to find was a pair of horribly burnt and corroded skeletons.
-Naruto; Card Captor-
For those of you keeping track at home, Naruto's current Card Count now consists of:
Windy, Fly, Rain, Float, Erase, Sleep, Sword, Wave
Well everyone, I hope you all enjoyed that. The journey to Wave country has truly begun now! We got to see more Sarutobi, a look at Team 7's lives at home, and we made fun of Kakashi's episode long speech about the World of Naruto's geography and politics. Finally, we got the Demon Brothers and Wave. Wave was fun to write, for me, because she strikes me as this kid on a sugar high that can't really focus on anything for too long. She means well, and doesn't mean to cause trouble, but... Finally, we got a taste of what's following on Naruto's heels as he heads off into the next chapter.
Alright, if you enjoyed this chapter, please let me know by leaving a review. If you didn't sorry (but please no flames!), maybe next time. And if you liked this story, maybe you should try one of my others like...:
Guardian of the League
Deadliest Warrior, Season X
The Many Faces of Naruto Uzumaki
I Don't Know How To Deal With Youkai Academy
The Lantern Chronicles
Naruto In Hell
All of these lovely stories await you just inside my profile! Go ahead, and take a look!
Thank you all for taking the time to read this. Once again I hope you liked it, and will review if you did. Next time, things really get dicey as Team 7 meets up with not one, but TWO deadly foes, and Naruto finds that his secret may just be exposed!
Next Time On Naruto Uzumaki: Card Captor
Chapter 8 - Beware the Assassin and the Mist!
Until Next Time...