So, after being hit by a very bad case of writer's block mixed with just being busy, I decided to get back into writing. Sorry for making you guys wait for so long but know that I am a hundred percent going to finish this story.
Naruto: Making of a Hokage
Ch.41 Back in Action
Trying her best to ignore the explosions and shock waves coming from the ruined village, Tayuya led a nervous Mio through all of the fighting. They weren't out of the village just yet, and it showed as she could make out several battles around them. Thankfully all the ninja didn't seem to notice her.
It wasn't lost on her that only a couple of years ago she would have probably jointed the Sound ninja in their attempt to fully wipe out the village for good, with her anger over being locked up for so long fueling her.
Even so, she had to say that being locked up ended up being more pleasant that living with other Sound ninja even with her position of power. No one was safe from the fucked up Kabuto showing up one day randomly and dragging someone into a lab. None of them ever came back, that's why she was always trying to make herself useful in any way possible and fought hard to prove herself in every mission.
A tight squeeze on her hand broke Tayuya out of her thoughts. She looked to her side, at the frightened gaze of Mio who was barely keeping up with her. As much as she disliked the idea, the annoying girl that would always follow her around had grown on her. Not like a friend, she would never admit that, but like a small puppy that kept on trailing after her.
"Miss Tayuya, we can't keep running away!"
"There's too many of them," Tayuya answered, her eyes darting around the area to make sure they were safe from the eyes of any ninja. "The two of us can't even put a dent in their numbers. I'd rather get out of here than get fucked up by a bunch of Sound dickheads."
Mio frowned, "But if we don't help, then they'll hurt people. Look around us! There's no one here to help except for us. We might not put a dent in their numbers but if we work together with the other ninja then we just might!"
"I said no!"
"Then I'm going to go help! I don't know where my family is, and I'm not going to go hide while they could be in danger!"
Tayuya gritted her teeth. Couldn't this dumb kid see that this was no game? They were in the middle of a fucking war zone. People were dying around them.
"Miss Tayuya you have to-"
Mio was cut off when Tayuya suddenly tackled her just as a large clear blast of condensed chakra exploded against the spot they had just been standing in, leaving a large crater behind.
"Wow! You actually dodged it! Here I thought I would finally get my first kill of the day," a young kunoichi no older than twenty laughed while sitting on top of a wall with her right arm stretched out.
She was a little taller than Tayuya, had a lean frame, and was wearing standard ANBU armor but with a Sound headband hanging loosely from her neck. Her short brown spiky hair swayed with the wind as her green eyes watched the two in amusement.
Tayuya watched the kunoichi closely. This was no one she had ever seen during her time in Sound.
"Who the fuck are you?"
"Oh my, such language," the kunoichi laughed while holding a hand over her chest in mock surprise. "My name's Kotone, one of the Sound ninja sent to destroy this cute village but..." she looked around with a pout, "Looks like someone beat us to the punch. But that's okay, we can still kill any survivors."
Tayuya put on a fighting stance, knowing that there was no way for her and Mio to get away from this crazy bitch. To make things worse, she had no idea what sort of freaky ability she had since almost all Sound ninja had freakish abilities.
"You're going to fight me?" Kotone laughed. She stretched out her right arm, showing off a large metal glove that went from her hand up to her shoulder, "Fine, have it your way., but I have to warn you..."
With that, a powerful shock wave blasted out of her hand with such force that anything on its path was blown away, even parts of the concrete were blown off.
"I'm pretty strong~"
Tayuya clicked her tongue in annoyance. Of course this bitch was strong, just her fucking luck. But still, she wasn't about to roll over and die, her training wasn't just for show. She would bet the annoying smirk out of the crazy bitch's face.
The first thing Ino saw after waking up was the face of a tearful Sakura.
"You're okay Ino," assured the medic nin with a relieved smile.
Ino could see the exhaustion on her friend's face. From her half open eyes, to the slight dull in her usual vibrant green eyes.
She had a hard time recalling what happened and why was kneeling next to her. The last thing she remembered was leaving with Shikamaru and Choji to go help Naruto...
The name triggered her memories and she sat up quickly, her eyes wide in worry as she furiously scanned the area for a sign of any of them.
"Ino, calm down," Sakura said as she held her shoulders firmly to keep her in place. "I know you're worried but you just woke up."
"What happened to them?"
Sakura bit her lip.
Truth be told, she had no idea what happened. One moment Naruto was fighting the Akatsuki leader, and the next everyone was miraculously revived. Maybe it was a sign that her teammate had managed to win, but she couldn't tell Ino for certain.
"Relax, he's most likely okay. Knowing him, Naruto wouldn't let himself be captured so easily."
"That's right! There's no way an honorary Team 10 member would lose!"
Ino's breathing stopped as she slowly turned her head and let out a gasp. Standing in front of her, looking a bit worse for wear, but completely and fully alive, were Shikamaru and Choji.
"Y-You're okay," Ino let out quietly, her eyes stinging with tears.
"We'll have time for crying later," Shikamaru said with a grin, but turned serious as he looked to the side, causing the others to do so as well.
They saw Kakashi standing over an Akatsuki member who was kneeling on the ground with her head lowered. Other than her red hair they couldn't make out any other feature under the Akatsuki robe.
"Whoever that is, Kakashi knows her."
The copy ninja overheard their conversation and grimly noted that Shikamaru was entirely correct. He did know her, and he was so flabbergasted that he couldn't even open his mouth. There were so many questions running through his mind that he couldn't settle on one.
Instead he stood there. Watching her crying lessen until she wiped her eyes and sniffed.
She then looked up at him slowly, recognition flashing briefly on her face but quickly disappearing.
"Naruto," she said. "H-He's alive."
Finally his brain decided to work, "Yes."
Kushina nodded and stood up, "I see."
A pregnant silence passed between them as she tried to gather herself as best she could. Her hands were shaking, her throat was dry, and there was also the feeling of guilt crushing down her soul.
"Was he happy? Growing up here..."
Kakashi sighed, "You can ask him that yourself."
Immediately she shook her head, "What right do I have?" Tears rolled down her cheeks, "I abandoned him. He must have been lonely. But I was too stubborn to let myself give up on some stupid revenge!"
"You see those ninja over there?"
"What?" Kushina looked at him as if he were crazy, not understanding why he brought them up, before she turned her gaze to the ninja he pointed out.
"They are Naruto's precious friends. Earlier, they all gave their lives to help him, and I'm sure he would return the favor in a heartbeat," Kakashi explained, "Though I'm still not sure what exactly happened here."
Kushina shook her head, "It doesn't matter. I know how hard it must have been to grow up in this village...all alone."
Kakashi sighed, "That may have been the truth years ago, but it doesn't matter anymore. Naruto, your son, is happy now. Most of the village sees him as a hero and he's close to a lot of people here. He's happy."
Her lips trembled as a small smile formed on her face, "I see."
"What are you going to do now? Are you going to meet him?"
An Anbu member with a white mask resembling a cat's face, landed on a roof briefly before using the momentum to jump high in the air just as a bolt of lighting struck the tile and left a gaping hole on the ceiling.
As he sailed through the air he brought his arms up, causing two pillars of wood to rise from the ground and block an incoming Sound ninja who was using some type of earth jutsu to cover his arms with rock. However, the Sound ninja broke through the wood only moments later and the Anbu member fought back a groan.
There were two Sound ninja fighting him. One who used long-range lightning jutsu and the other was more of a close-range attacker who relied on earth jutsu.
He had to admit, as someone who preferred his teams to attack with combinations, he was impressed with how the two Sound ninja covered each other's weaknesses and brought out the best of each other. Still, while he may be impressed with how they fought, they were still enemies that he needed to take care of and, unlike before when he had been trying to lose them when the Kyuubi had appeared, he didn't need to run anymore.
Now he could go all out against them without worrying about the jinchuuriki.
With that in mind, the Anbu raised his arms – causing another couple of wood pillars to emerge from the ground – and slapped his hands together. Both pillars collided together but the Sound ninja managed to get out of the way just before they could be crushed.
"Looks like he decided to get serious, Ichirou" one of the Sound ninja said.
"That's good, I was getting tired of chasing him. We'll get serious too Jirou," the other said.
The Anbu frowned as the Sound brothers were enveloped in vile purple chakra that exploded around them and changed their features. Both of their skin turned dark purple but there were some major differences in their body typed. The one known as Jirou became taller but retained his lean frame, while Ichirou became a hulking monster with muscular arms and legs.
He knew all about the Curse Seal so there was no doubt in his mind that things just got a lot more complicated.
Lightning flashed and cackled across Orochimaru's dark throne room. Even Kabuto had to take a few steps back to avoid being hit by whatever Sasuke was preparing.
The Uchiha smirked.
After using a genjutsu on Orochimaru, who was now standing still with his eyes closed, Sasuke wasted no time in preparing his strongest attack, one that he had developed for years now.
He raised a hand in the air, releasing a powerful stream of lighting that tore through the room's ceilings and reached the stormy skies.
Blue lighting came down from the sky and exploded against the are where Orochimaru had been standing, causing a powerful shock wave that blasted apart the walls of the room and sent both Sasuke and Kabuto hurling back.
A massive cloud of debris covered the area as Sasuke and Kabuto took a step forward to see nothing but rubble and a massive crater on the floor with no sign of Orochimaru being there.
"He can't be dead," Sasuke said.
"I agree, even in a genjutsu, Orochimaru would not die so easily," Kabuto added with a frown. Knowing Orochimaru, he had most likely slipped away while he had the chance, planning to strike back when he was ready. "Disappointing. I hoped to get rid of him today."
Sasuke glanced at the medic before turning away with a scoff, "He can run if he wants. I'm done with this place."
"Don't be like that Sasuke, I thought we had a good partnership going on," Kabuto smirked but received no response as Sasuke left. "Such manners."
It was about time for him to leave as well. Now done plotting in Orochimaru's shadow, it was time for him to make his move.
The ninja villages. The Akatsuki. The remnants of Sound.
They would all fall in due time.
Ino frowned as she watched Kakashi talking to the Akatsuki member too far away for any of them to hear. Just like Shikamaru has said, it was obvious that the two knew each other and, while she was curious about that, she knew that she shouldn't be resting here.
The Sound ninja were still attacking the village, she could tell by the echoes and explosions in the distance. While she wanted to find Naruto and make sure he was okay, she couldn't just ignore the battles going on in the village.
So she stood up and looked at the others, "We have to go help."
"You can't just go Ino," Sakura said. "You just got better, I don't think you're in any condition to fight."
"I feel fine," Ino brushed her off.
"Just in case she doesn't, we'll help her out," Choji said with a grin while clapping Shikamaru on the shoulder, who sighed at being included.
"Fine, I'll tag along."
Sakura frowned when seeing that they were serious and then clicked her tongue, "Okay, you guys win but I'm coming too."
Ino smiled before taking off with the others following behind her. They would protect what was left of their village.