WARNING: Hey, darkest story you will ever see me write, coming at you. This is your last chance to turn back.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, or The Mask

"Well, that was disgusting" said Naruto, shaking the slime and snake guts off. "But I really need to find Sakura and Sasuke. Who knows where they could be by now." Taking on a dark look, he continued talking with himself. "Knowing them, they probably even went on without me." Taking a step forward, he fell flat on his face as his foot caught something on the ground.

"Ah, damn roots!" he shouted in frustration. As he rubbed his head from where he had fallen, he looked back to see what his foot had hit, only to find that it wasn't a root of any tree, nor was it a rock or plant in any way. What was jutting up from the dirt was indeed made of wood, but what was visible was a slightly curved edge of some kind, maybe half an inch thick. Curious, Naruto touched it, feeling the slightly gnarled wood. There seemed to be something, some type of energy that he could feel from it. That sparked when he touched it. Within his mind, behind a giant wall of bars, two giant eyes opened at feeling the power.

"What do we have here?" Naruto whispered to himself, beginning to dig the strange wooden object out of the dirt. When he did, his confusion only grew. The thing was a brownish-green in color, with a metal strip going about half-way down. It looked like a mask of some kind, as indicated by the strange facial features the wood bore. At first he thought it may be an old ANBU mask, but that thought was shot down as he remembered that ANBU masks were based off animals, while this was not. Blowing the dust off, he saw a strange glow emanate from the inside of the stranger item.

For some reason, part of his mind told him to just leave the thing where it was. But another half wanted to put the thing on, for sheer amusement. There was something about it. It seemed like it was meant to be worn...and that he was meant to wear it. Slowly, his hands began to move toward his face, bringing the mask up with them. The closer it got to his face, the more he couldn't shake the feeling that something was happening. It was as if the mask were being pulled there, rather than him bringing it there himself. Just before the ancient-looking wood touched his face, he could swear he could hear a dark voice chuckling within his head.

Putting the mask on, his eyes widened and he instantly tried to pull it off as it began to warp and stretch over the rest of his head. Part of him wasn't truly in it though, as he was almost entranced by the power pouring into his being. Wind began swirling around him as a dark cloud formed directly above his head, stretching down to form a small tornado around him. Lightning cracked around the surface, showing on several occasions, Naruto's skeletal structure.

As this was happening, Neji Hyuuga of Team Nine stopped in his tracks, before snapping his head in Naruto's direction. His Byakugan active, he looked on in awe and curiosity as a strange green aura permeated the area he was looking at.

"What is it Neji?" asked his teammate Tenten, who had nearly run into the Hyuuga after his sudden stop.

"I'm not sure" he replied. "All the same, we should try to avoid it."

"I agree" replied the third team member, Rock Lee. "If we do not hurry, we put ourselves in danger of losing our scrolls. We should continue on." Nodding as one, the group continued onward to their target location.

At the same time, another Hyuuga stopped. Seeing their female team member suddenly turn, staring intently off to the side with her Byakugan, Kiba Inuzuka and Shino Aburame stopped as well.

"Hinata, what do you see?" asked Shino. He was actually nervous. Whatever it was that put their teammate on edge seemed to be doing the same to his hive. Turning, he noticed that it was also doing the same to Kiba's dog, Akamaru, the young pup backing away and growling, obviously afraid.

"I don't know" replied the Hyuuga heiress. "All I see is a green light shining off in the distance."

"How far off?" asked Kiba.

"A good two kilometers, at least" she said. "But I never was a good judge of distance. Maybe we should keep looking for our other scroll. I don't like this. The light looks so bright but feels...like cold darkness."

"Right" said Shino. "It's decided, we continue on." With that, they too headed for the center of the forest.

In yet another part of the forest, another team stopped, their red-haired, bespectacled teammate frozen in her tracks. "What is it?" asked her teammate, obviously the one in charge of the group. "What are you sensing Karin?"

"I have no clue" replied the girl. "This chakra, this energy...It's unlike anything I've ever felt before. It's dark, it's...wild, it's...Chaotic."

"Where is it coming from?" asked her other team member.

"From the left" she said, before she felt it on the move. Her eyes widened when she realized what direction it was moving. "It's headed this way, faster than anything I've ever felt before." At her words, the group entered fighting stances, as there was no chance of avoiding what was coming straight for them.

"Get ready" said Karin. "Here it comes." The bushes rustled a bit before a deer peaked out. Karin looked surprised, while her teammates looked annoyed.

"Are you feeling alright Karin?" asked the team leader. "Is something up?"

"I know what I felt!" Karin snapped back. "I don't know how, but somehow it's concealing itself from my ability."

"Or maybe your ability isn't all it's cracked up to be" replied the second teammate. "You shouldn't get us worried for noth-gaaah!" He screamed as he was impaled from behind, a Katana sliding cleanly through his heart.

"Oh come on" said his attacker. "You can't blame the girl for trying." His teammates looked in horror as their now dead comrade was thrown across the clearing, crashing into a tree, revealing who was behind him.

He was about the same age as them both, but was an inch or two taller. He wore a tight black sleeveless shirt, with a black leather jacket. He wore the normal Shinobi-sandals and pants covered in pockets. At his side was the sheath for his now bloody katana. It was his face that garnered the most attention. His entire head was covered by some sort of strange green mask, which almost appeared to be flesh itself. His eyes were red with slits for pupils, and he had fangs for teeth. He had no hair, but instead wore a black hat with an abnormally large brim. Around the hat was a forehead protector like many Shinobi wore. However, carved into his was a stylized face.

"And such a pretty young thing too" he continued, licking his lips with an abnormally long tongue.

"Here's our scroll" said Karin's living teammate, placing an earth scroll on the ground before backing away slowly. "Take it and go away." The green-faced man merely laughed.

"You can keep the damned scroll" he said. "I'd much prefer your head." Turning toward Karin with an evil smirk, he continued. "Or maybe I could even keep the little red-head as a plaything."

"Fat chance of that" said the leader of the Kusa team, snatching up the scroll, before he and Karin dashed off. The green-faced man merely chuckled.

"Oh yes, run" he said. "I do love a good hunt." His form flickered before disappearing.

As Karin and her teammate dashed away, hoping for safety, Karin felt their attacker's presence disappear again. Looking behind her, she saw nobody, so she relayed the message to her partner, who decided to stop and hide, in order to come up with a plan. Ducking behind a few trees, he cast a genjutsu over the two to conceal their presence.

"Who is this guy?" Karin asked.

"Like I would know that? I didn't see him enter the exam. And he had no village symbol" replied her teammate. "Do you think maybe he's part of this test?"

"I highly doubt that" replied Karin, skeptically. "I don't think that Konoha would deliberately let loose a guy like this among a bunch of genin."

Off in the distance, the genin team from the Hidden Sound heard everything they were saying, even with the genjutsu, as the sound-waves still carried. They just became ignored by those affected by illusion.

"Well, well" said one with bandages covering the majority of his body, wearing a large metal device on his arm. "Did you both hear that interesting little tidbit?"

"Sure did" said the other male member of the team. "Looks like we've got a rogue, murderous psychopath in the forest. He shouldn't be any trouble to us though."

"Yeah" said their female teammate. "Besides, we have a mission to complete."

"Right" said the other two, before turning and walking away.

"We need to be careful" said Karin to her teammate. "We don't know whether this guy will move on, or come after us." She stopped at the dark chuckling sound.

"My guess would be the latter" said the disembodied voice of their green-faced enemy. Karin's teammate caught a glint of something down by the red-head's neck. His eyes widened, before he jumped up and shoved her out of the way. The glint turned out to be a wire, which as soon as he got close enough, snared him, wrapping around his neck and pulling him into the air. Looking up, the two saw their assailant standing on the side of the tree, holding the wires.

"And then there was one" he said, pulling the wires across his body. Karin screamed as her second teammate's head came clean off his body, the blood spraying everywhere. Karin turned to try and run, but the green-faced man was already behind her. Grabbing her by the neck, he held her up against the tree. He noted the look of horror on her face and smirked.

"I know what you're thinking" he said. "What is he going to do to me? I'm not going to kill you, don't worry. But when I finish with you, you'll wish you were dead." Seeing his hand move, her eyes widened when it slid down her pants. She tried to scream, but could only let out a muffled whimper as he trapped her mouth in a kiss, his tongue shoving its way into her mouth. Rearing back her arm, she sent as powerful of a punch as she could, right into his temple, knocking him back a bit. She tried to use the temporary distraction to escape, but had her arms grabbed by two more green-faced attackers. All three chuckled.

"Well, well, you are a feisty bitch" said the first, punching her in the gut. "But let's try this again, shall we?" The copies forced Karin to the ground and held her there. This time, she was allowed to scream. By the time it was over, the red-haired girl was naked and covered in bruises, as well as a few bite marks, and the Green-masked man had made a few more copies of himself.

"Head back to the house, boys" he said. "I have a bit of business to take care of. It won't take long. Oh, and take our new pet with you." At the mention of the word 'pet,' Karin flinched, tears streaming down her dirty, mud smeared face.

"Sure thing, Boss" said one, giving a mock salute, before grabbing Karin, and calling up a miniature windstorm around its body. When the wind dissipated, the clones and Karin were gone, and the man reached behind his head, gripping any bit of mask that he could.

"I don't care how you do it, Fox" he said, a dark smirk planted on his face. "But you just make sure the kid doesn't remember anything…and that as soon as this part of the exams finishes, he puts the mask on again. He's been hiding me for so long, it feels good to get out and stretch." With those final words, he frantically tugged, pulling and pulling, until the mask, trying to cling to his face, popped off and returned to its wooden state. Dropping to his knees, the form of Naruto fell unconscious, into a fit of awful nightmares.

Chapter end

So, a lot darker than normal, but hey, I warned you. This basically happened between Naruto's snake escape, and finding his team, so up til next chapter, things will go mostly cannon

Peace to all my Fans

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