Hidden Mist Village
the next day
"Man! Why can't we just find out where ALISAR's hideout is and kick their butts before they do something else?"
"Stop complaining Naruto." Squad seven was gathered together at the city center. Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura were hanging upside down with their feet attached to the underside of some tree branches by chakra. Kakashi on the other hand was meditating on a concrete block while reading Make-Out Paradise. They were like this for about an hour. Naruto of course was getting restless. He raised his hand and waved it eagerly in the air (take note that he is still upside down).
"Hey, hey, Kakashi sensei. Don't we know what ALISAR was stealing over the years?"
"In general, yes." Kakashi looked up from his book. "The vast majority of stolen materials had to do with philosophy and theories involving sound. But," he rubbed his chin in thought, "now that I think about it. When Shadow was working for Rasila, which probably changed its name into ALISAR, he was stealing books and scrolls involving old myths and ancient legends. Maybe ALISAR was looking for specific places of power so they could have not just one, but several, hidden bases. Now its looking into philosophy and Ninjutsu theories."
"Maybe they're trying to become more powerful," Sasuke suggested.
"No, I don't think so," said Kakashi, scratching his head. "They, at least those we ran into, don't seem to like power hungry types. But maybe they are looking for something to help them in planning something."
"Yeah, but what?" Sakura pondered.
A loud rumble and crash sounded out through the city. Naruto lost focus and fell to the ground from his upside down perch as Sasuke and Sakura landed on their feet. After climbing onto rooftops and running down several blocks, squad seven stopped at a scene of absolute impossibility, causing them to stop in shock. On one of the larger rooftops, were two very familiar figures. Ira and Razor, and around them were at least twenty unconscious or severely injured Mist ninjas.
"You two again?" Naruto shouted, pointing an accusing finger.
"Tsk, tsk; don't you know its rude to point?" said Ira, rubbing his head.
"Don't you know its rude to attack someone from behind while sealing their memories?" Sakura retorted, anger flowing into her voice. At this, both Ira and Razor froze, looked at each other, then burst out laughing.
"You-ha ha-you think that I-heh heh-I was the one you fought on your way to the Mist?" Ira inquired with bursts of laughter.
"Jutsus and headbands don't determine a person's identity. First off, our signature jutsus are all Kekkei Genkai."
"That can't be right," said Kakashi, "If your techniques were all Kekkei Genkai, then your look-alike wouldn't have been able to copy your Mirage Jutsu."
"Under normal circumstances, that would be the case. However, Kekkei Genkai and Kekkei Tota are both not the right phrases for it. Truth be told, its more like Kekkei Tayo. While we are part of the same family, our jutsus manifest differently and some of our jutsus can be passed on to others if certain conditions are met. To top things off, all of ALISAR can share certain abilities with the help of Blood Invocation. This allows us to borrow each others' jutsus."
"If you didn't attack Sakura, then who was that?" Naruto asked as Kakashi was thinking about what Ira meant by "part of the same family."
"Oh, he's coming. He is just checking the mail."
"Enough of that," said Sasuke, "what are you planning?"
"Can I answer this one brother?" asked Razor, hefting his sword.
"Hell no Razor," Ira answered, then turning his attention back to Sasuke. "ALISAR is a private organization who is charged with fulfilling their part of the Master Plan. Of course I'm not going to tell you what the plan entails but I will tell you this…this world is pathetic."
"Let me guess, you intend to destroy the world then rebuild it."
"Don't be ridiculous! Any form of destruction on a world scale would only lead to anarchy and chaos that will last for over a hundred years and cause humanity to forget everything that they had learned throughout history. Besides, you're not getting the big picture. Our overall goal is universal revolution. But in order to do that, we need to prepare this world for what is about to come."
"You're nothing but a power hungry cult!" Sakura yelled. "Now where is your look-alike that prevented us from getting here sooner?"
"Nice to know you share concern for me…Sakura."
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete]
That voice! That icy chill and overall vibe.
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 0:04]
Sakura looked behind her in time to see a figure, garbed in white with a head of wild black hair, before he rammed into her. They both went off the roof and onto the ground next to a fountain.
Sakura rolled to her feet as the figure in white simply jumped to his feet and eerily floated to the top of the fountain.
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 0:12]
"So glad to meet you again. My name is Avian, Seraphim of the Mist and warrior of water."
Up on the roof, the rest of squad seven were about to intervene before Ira held up a hand.
"Wait for a bit, let us see what happens." Naruto, Sasuke, and Kakashi all growled in frustration, but remained still.
"What the hell does that mean?" Sakura snarled, readying her kunai.
"Never you mind, especially with this bit of news on the line." He held up a message scroll. "This was on its way from the leaf. I must give my condolences."
"For the elimination of the Haruno clan of course."
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 0:39]
"What?" No way, that can't be true. It just isn't possible. But then why would he just…? "You…you bastard! I'm going to tear you to shreds!"
"If you want to do that, then use this." He tossed over a small sword in a black sheath, which she caught then unsheathed. "You won't come close to marking me with that puny kunai of yours."
"I plan to do more than that…Avian!"
"I look forward to it."
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 1:10]
They lunged at each other. Sakura swung the sword in her hands at Avian, who twisted in the air in such an elaborate fashion that it was like he was being controlled by a set of strings. She spun around and brought her foot toward Avian's head. Again he avoided her attack, this time ducking his head (while still in mid-air) and then leaping past her while throwing a batch of white-colored shuriken, which flew in a half circle motion, missing Sakura the first time but managing to mark her cheek and scratch her sides. She landed on the ground, threw some shuriken of her own at Avian, and lunged at him again. Avian appeared to be hopping on air as he avoided each and every one of Sakura's attacks.
"Avian isn't even touching the ground!" Naruto exclaimed from the his spot on the roof. "What jutsu is he using?"
"He isn't," said Ira. The others turned to look at him, mostly out of astonishment. "His own ability, he calls it Wind Stepping. He lives up to his name in the process. Avian Seraphim."
The duel seemed to go on forever. Sakura would seem to be winning, then Avian, then back to Sakura. They seemed evenly matched, even when Avian drew his pale blue sword. This made Sakura shake her head half way through.
No way, she thought, he was just toying with her.
No! He's not!
Sakura blocked an ice-fused attack from Avian just in time before leaping out of the way.
Come on, don't just stand there! Use your family's power!
Their swords clashed again. Avian followed through by kicking Sakura in the stomach, forcing her through the wooden doors of a storehouse. He landed in front, remaining still…before having to make wall of ice by sticking his sword in the ground just as a wave of blue energy blasted the fragmented door of its hinges.
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 4:52]
Sakura rushed back into the open, her body enveloped in what appeared to be sky blue flames.
"Don't look at me!" Kakashi said. "I don't know what's going on either."
Their swords clashed again and again in a quick succession of movements. But then Avian deflected one of Sakura's upward, followed by a powerful side-kick which made Sakura float in the air just as Avian stabbed his sword through the left side of her torso, right below her chest.
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 5:11 / pause]
"Sakura!" screamed Naruto, Kakashi, and Sasuke.
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 5:11 / resume]
"It looks like Korinotsurugi made up her mind," Avian stated, Sakura still being held in the air. "But no matter; like what Ira-elder said: we must uphold our part of the Master Plan."
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 5:29]
At these words he tossed Sakura high into the air (and pulled his sword out of her) then launched after her, thrusting his sword again and again. Each new thrust making a new cut on her skin. She fell down to the ground, bleeding profusely, and got to a kneeling position as Avian continued floating in the air.
"Time to end this," he said raising his sword to reveal that it was letting off an eerie blue light.
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 6:01 / pause]
Hello? Big sister?
Sakura blinked and now saw that she was in a mist-filled world that was completely white. She was still bleeding, but wasn't feeling as much pain as she was earlier. She felt and heard a presence behind her, but didn't bother to look. She was exhausted and still needed to fight Avian.
I'm here, if this is where I think it is.
"sigh" Listen Sakura…Avian is telling the truth. The Haruno clan has been extinguished. But more on that later. Right now, you need to stand up.
A slight wave of pain rolled over her as she slowly stood, gingerly holding the sword in her hands.
Have I met you before? For real?
Yes, more than once. But now focus on getting me back from him. Okay?
Back from him?
Be safe…big sister.
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - 6:01 / resume]
Sakura yelled and swung her sword in an upward motion, releasing an arc of white light into the air at Avian. He deflected the it but got his face marked with a small gash across his cheek.
"What in the world!" Everyone gasped as Sakura's hair grew to its original length (to the length it was before she had it cut in the series) and turned white. Her eyes turned light blue and her sword appeared to be emitting bright blue fire.
"You're the one going down Avian!" And with that, she launched into the air. She actually appeared to have mastered Avian's Wind Stepping ability. And right when things seemed to be getting unbelievable enough, Sakura began…
Another Sakura appeared, then another and another until there were at least ten Sakura's total. They surrounded Avian, circling in mid-air. Avian kept turning this way and that, sword raised in defense. One of the Sakuras lunged forward and attacked. Avian blocked her sword but suffered a sword cut on his arm as another Sakura came in from behind. This pattern continued until Avian was just as cut up as Sakura was.
"This is for the destruction of my clan!" All the Sakuras yelled in unison, before all the clones went ahead and attempted to make one last mark each before they vanished. While the real Sakura surged forward and swung her sword.
["Advent: One-Winged Angel" - end]
There was a large flash of bluish-white light that slowly faded away. Still in the air, battered and bleeding, were Sakura (now looking like her normal self, hair cut and everything) and Avian.
"Did she get him?" Naruto asked out loud.
"I think this shall go down in history as a stalemate," Ira responded, actually sounding concerned.
Up in the air, Sakura's sword shattered. After which, she coughed up some more blood, then fell forward to earth. Almost in unison, Avian coughed up something into his left hand (his right still holding his sword).
"Oh crap…" he said the fell to Earth as well.
Neither one of them hit the ground. Both ALISAR and Squad Seven rushed forward and caught their respected fighters.
"Well, that was something I never expected."
"Neither did we," responded Ira, addressing Kakashi. Naruto gently his thumb across Sakura's face, removing some dried blood from the cut on her cheek.
"Huh?" Naruto looked at Avian, his eyes barley open as he addressed him from Razor's arms (a little note, Razor is a big guy, so he's the one who usually caries the injured).
"When she…regains…conscious…ness…tell her…she is better…than me by…a long shot…"
"I'll tell her," said Naruto.
"Until next time then?" Ira asked.
"Yes," said Kakashi. And with that, Ira threw down a smoke bomb and the three members of ALISAR vanished in a cloud
of white mist.
"She's still alive, right?" Kakashi placed his fingers on her neck. "Yes Sasuke, she's still alive." Naruto wasn't listening. He remembered during the Chunin Exams, Sakura went from the one on the sidelines to another genuine shinobi. During the day after the Hokage's funeral, Sakura explained that she made the change herself because she hated feeling helpless while seeing all that happened from behind others like Rock Lee, Sasuke, and him. Know he understood how she must have felt. Now it was exactly the opposite, with everyone else one the sideline, she has become helpless against actual enemies.
He stood up, carrying Sakura in his arms, her head on his shoulder. Don't worry Sakura, he silently promised, you won't have to go through that again.