Part 1: Kunai and Shurikens
"There are … so many of them…"
The sea breeze caressing her face did nothing to soothe the lump that had appeared in her throat, nor the bright rays shining upon the glittering surface of the green waters. She felt a bead of perspiration trickle down her flushed cheek, as she bit her lower lip to keep her fear at bay and took a step back in Chouza-sama's looming shadow. Within the next minute, as she witnessed the terror on Hiashi-sama's stricken face, the butterflies in her stomach fluttered around more quickly than before. Somehow, it was not the stupendous numbers of the wax-like, white-skinned abominations that had caused him to stagger backwards but the fact that the resurrected form of his dead brother was lying just a distance ahead under the blazing sun.
"Hizashi-sama! Neji's …"
Witnessing Hiashi's reaction had somehow caused Tenten to gather her wits. While she was still shaken by the thousands of enemy soldiers that had appeared right before the rocky cliffs, seeing Neji's dead father in this outrageous form sparked the fire in her belly. Here they were, on the brink of a battle that was supposed to protect Naruto, and their enemy had actually resurrected the bodies and souls of past shinobi, shinobi who had given their lives valiantly in battle. She thought of the way Neji's father had sacrificed his life for the sake of his clan, and the way Neji's life had turned topsy-turvy after that, and she felt the strength returning in the form of anger rising in her chest.
"If Neji were here, he would be so confused seeing his father in this… this manner," she cursed inwardly, her posture now ram-rod straight. "These… these bastards!"
The last word was spat out in disgust, drawing a stunned look from the two Konoha adults standing beside her. Tenten's eyes were now gleaming, her brows furrowed as she scowled. Her hands moved down to the holster around her waist and lifted the two scrolls out, her gaze never leaving the army of White Zetsu clones surrounding the area. Chouza managed a wry smile before turning his eyes back to the battlefield, glad that the teenage girl's initial fears had been overcome so quickly and so easily. Guy had taught his students well indeed.
Tenten imagined hearing the booming sounds of war-drums in her head, standing at this heightened level on the treacherous cliffs. She knew her role was once again to provide back-up for Division 1, attacking the Zetsu clones with the myriad projectile weapons stored in her twin scrolls, now slightly unfurled in her hands. Her mind wandered off slightly as she once again remembered how Guy-Sensei had once compared her to the legendary child-god Nezha who rode on wind-fire wheels and tearing up the skies with hundreds of weapons at his disposal. She managed a slight smirk at this memory, recalling how Lee had exuberantly jumped into the discussion by adding on that she did indeed resemble Nezha in the sense that she wore her hair in Chinese-style buns as well. Of course, she'd had to cuff Lee almost immediately after he'd said that could explain why she seemed to be behaving like a tomboyish child.
She could sense every fibre in her body come alive as the scene below took a sudden turn. General Darui had begun attacking the enemy, and Tenten expelled an almost inaudible gasp as she felt the air below crackle with energy.
"Amazing!" she heard Chouza mutter. "He's summoned some sort of black lightning! C'mon, Hiashi-san! We need to get ready to move!"
Darui's Black Panther lightning attack had electrocuted and taken down scores of Zetsu clones near the beach, but now, dozens more were attacking from the air. Tenten did a quick back-flip, transferred some chakra to her feet and planted them firmly on the cliff's wall surface, before unfurling her scrolls and summoning a barrage of shurikens and kunai that flew straight at the approaching enemy. The sharpened objects cut through the breeze and pierced into the Zetsus, causing dozens of them to fall from the air into the waters below. She heard a resounding "GO!" from the ground troops as they charged forward but she was already in her second wind, taking down more air-borne Zetsus than ever. Chouza managed a "Good job, kiddo!" before rolling down the slopes with his cudgel, while Hiashi had already leapt forward moments before.
"He's probably going to battle Hizashi-sama," Tenten was frowning at this thought, wondering how the battle between the two Hyuuga men would turn out… well, one man and one resurrected zombie. Once again, she was relieved that Neji was not present, even though she missed him and the rest of Team Guy, as well as her Konoha peers immensely.
Right now, there was no time for sentimental reminiscence though. Division 1 was wholly engaged in a heated battle with Kabuto and Tobi's army of White Zetsus and Edo warriors. Be it on the beach, in the waters or the precarious cliffs, men and women of the Shinobi Alliance were using all their skills, tactics and prowess. The battlefield was filled with fireballs, water spouts and weapons flying all over, each fighter from this particular division skilled in some form of mid-range attack. The Zetsus were in no way incompetent though, as each clone had the clout to apply some form of vicious attack on the enemy in various ways. With a wide range of tactics, these fearsome monsters, through sheer numbers and in a variety of ways, were cutting down shinobi almost just as quickly and efficiently as they were being taken down.
Barely ten minutes into the battle, Tenten was already starting to use some of her more vicious attacks. While the barrage of projectile weapons she had initially fired had been superbly handy in cutting down the numbers of clones reaching the cliffs, it was inevitable that after the first wave, more of the Zetsus had found ways to avoid the kunai and shurikens dispatched by the shinobi from the cliffs' walls, some even using the lifeless bodies of their fellow clones as shields to get past the weapons. With her ever vigilant eyes scanning the vast area, Tenten's pulse quickened as she saw how many of her fellow comrades who were supposed to hold the fort by providing aerial support had either run out of weapons or had been ruthlessly brought down by the enemy. Many using elemental or Kekkei Genkai abilities were running low on chakra levels, switching positions with their partners to regain or replenish their chakra.
"I didn't expect… to have to use my more advanced weapons so quickly," the brunette thought as she saw yet another two comrades a few feet down caught unawares from behind by clones that were seemingly absorbing or draining their chakra. Without a moment to lose, the Konoha Chunin released two kunai with explosive tags, sending them zooming straight at the two Zetsus and blowing their heads up.
"Tenten-san!" came the voice of a male Suna Chunin whom she had befriended a couple of hours back when the divisions had gathered before being dispatched by Gaara to various locations. Takuma landed nimbly just behind her, obviously out of breath from being involved in close-range combat, even though he was supposed to be part of the Sealing Team in charge of handling the resurrected Edo Tensei zombies. "Your weapons… we need them… above… we're… we're being cut down like flies! Too many clones… overwhelming!"
Slightly surprised by the request, Tenten nodded without turning around, concentrating on summoning more explosive kunai and sending them to aid her comrades-in-arms, those close enough for her to help anyway. Her eyes were still watching out for more air-borne Zetsus approaching the cliffs, but by now, most of the clones were already directly engaged in more close-ranged combat with the shinobi all over the place. A quick glance to the areas below told her that Hiashi continued to be locked in battle with his dead brother, while the gigantic form of Chouza was causing havoc among the enemy. Feeling secure that her friends' fathers were more than capable of holding their own ground, Tenten now followed Takuma to the plateaus above, holding on to a gleaming katana that she had summoned from her scroll.
"Be safe… Hiashi-sama… Chouza-sama… Be safe, everyone!"