"What can you do by yourself? Everybody around you is dead. Even the village hero, Uzumaki Naruto is lying dead for protecting you from my attack."
Sakura gritted her teeth. Tobi was right. Every shinobi of the Shinobi Alliance was dead. Including the pink-haired girl's nearest friends. Sakura herself was barely standing, her body battered with cuts and bruises all over, and without any chakra she couldn't even heal herself. She was the only one standing in front of Tobi, nearly powerless from all the fight as well. There were no more tears to cry, no more energy to fight, and no more hope to live. What could she do by herself?
"Don't worry. I'm not going to kill you when you're going to be alive again anyways."
Huh? "What do you mean by 'You're going to be alive again anyways'?"
"Alright, I guess telling you won't do any harm." Tobi stated arrogantly. "I need nine bijuu's for my Moons Eye Plan. But because, Uzumaki Naruto died, the Kyuubi also died along with him. Therefore, my Moons Eye Plan became a failure this time around."
"Pfft. Good for you!" Sakura spitted out. Sure she was weak and powerless, but if she can't harm Tobi physically then might as well try verbally. Wait. Did he just say 'this time around?'
In a flash, Tobi closed his hands on Sakura's neck. "Listen to me. I'm going to use my time-space jutsu to travel my soul in the past and start all over again. I will eliminate all my enemies while I can! This fight, your dead comrades have fought for nothing! Even if I fail, I can try all over again. Your dead friends? They stay dead."
Tobi let go of his hold on Sakura's neck and started to do hand signs. Sakura's eyes widened as she saw a flash of purple behind Tobi's back. It was Ino, she was struggling to stand up.
I have to stop him before he realizes Ino. I can't lose her! I will use my last energy to attack Tobi's heart with a scalpel. 3-2-1 Now!
"Shintenshin no jutsu!"
"Time-space seal kai!"
Three people thought the same thing at the same time. If this doesn't work, it's over!
Tobi just finished his seal at the same time Sakura's medical scalpel penetrated through his heart. Behind Tobi, Ino's lifeless body fell to the floor, blood trickling from her mouth.
"Sakura wake up!" Iruka tapped Sakura's sleeping form on the shoulder. "Even if your test grades are excellent, sleeping through class is unacceptable!"
With Iruka's constant nudging, the pink-haired girl grudgingly opened her heavy eye-lids. However the first word that came out of her mouth was neither "Sorry, Iruka-sensei" nor "Excuse me!"
"Where's Tobi!" Sakura shouted out. She immediately stood up from her chair and looked around to detect Tobi, but then stopped when she caught sight of Iruka and gasped. "W-why are you alive? You're supposed to be dead!"
The class became dead silent. A vein popped on Iruka's head. "Unfortunately for you, I am alive. Thank you very much. I appreciate if you would kill me in your dreams only, Haruno Sakura."
With that the whole class was laughing. Sakura looked down in embarrassment. Why is Iruka-sensei alive? Why am I in the academy class room instead of the battlefield. Sakura looked towards the back of the classroom. That's Shikamaru and Choji. Why are they so young? To the right, that's definitely Kiba and Naruto! Naruto! He's alive! He died taking Tobi's attack that was aimed for me! What is going on here?
"I am sorry, Iruka-sensei." Sakura turned forwards to her sensei. Her voice somehow seemed younger too.
"Apology accepted." With that Iruka went on with his lecture.
When the class ended, Sakura was still stuck in her seat while the other kids rushed back to their homes. There were so many mysteries to why she is in the academy classroom, why all her friends are alive, and why they are all so young. Was the Fourth Shinobi War a dream? She must've dreamt of being in the same team with Naruto and Sasuke too. But then why did the dream feel so real, and the reality in front of her feels like a dream? Sakura's thoughts came to a halt when she felt somebody nudge her shoulder. She turned around to see a standing Ino.
"So…seems like my shintenshin no jutsu was a success."
Sakura's eyes widened. "S-so then, it wasn't a dream? Y-you were the one behind Tobi aiming that attack?"
Ino's smile grew. "Yep."
"Please tell me! Please tell me why we're here? What happened to the war? Why are we young!" Sakura exclaimed, her fists tightened turning white from the pressure.
"Geez! Sakura calm down. I'll explain it to you in a minute." Ino took the seat beside Sakura and proceeded to sit down. "The Fourth Shinobi War was real. I think you remember all of us fighting Tobi?"
"Yeah, everybody died fighting him. I remember him stabbing you in the chest and then you fell. I thought you were dead."
"I pretended I was dead." Sakura opened her mouth but decided to close it again. "It was necessary for everybody to believe I was dead while I was silently healing myself. I was planning to play dead until I can find an opening. "
There was a moment of silence until Ino continued again. "Unfortunately by the time I was able to heal myself and nearly move again, everybody was dead except for you and Naruto. Then I saw Naruto jumping in front of you from Tobi's attack. Naruto having his heart taken away died instantly. It was then that I finally realized how critical the situation really was."
Tears threatened to fall down Sakura's face, as the memory of her teammate jumping in front of her to take the attack in her stead came back in full force.
"With an opponent like Tobi, I knew there was only one chance to do something. While I was thinking on plans for what to do, Tobi started speaking about his plan to travel his soul back to time."
"The moons eye plan." Sakura muttered out.
"Exactly. Instantly, I knew this would be our only chance. I had to make a bet. Die trying or die regretting."
"Your bet was that, if you used a soul transfer jutsu the same time Tobi used his soul travelling jutsu, it would be YOUR soul that will go to the past instead of Tobi's. Am I correct?"
"Perceptive as usual. I didn't want to go to the past, but it's much better than letting Tobi go to the past isn't it? And there might be a chance I can save the world."
"I have one question. Why am I here? The last memory I have is stabbing Tobi's chest with my medical scalpel."
"I could only guess."
"Go on." Sakura urged her friend to continue.
"My theory is this. Your body was connected to Tobi's by having your hand in his chest. I think because of that, my shintenshin no jutsu had an effect on Tobi and you as well. But because of my exhaustion and chakra depletion, my soul transfer jutsu could only take over Tobi's. Being unable to hold down your soul, the soul travel jutsu had an effect on both of us."
It took time for Sakura to swallow in that information. "So then Tobi is…"
"Dead. I think it's safe to assume that. When my shintenshin no jutsu takes over, the targets soul will be shuffled further into the subconscious. Assuming that his body is dead from your scalpel attack, his body will die along with the soul within him." Ino looked towards Sakura, her face filled with sorrow. "I'm sorry that I had to take you to the past with me Sakura…."
Sakura held out her hand. "No apologies are needed. I should thank you for taking me back. I have a chance to make things right now that I know my future mistakes. Looking at the class calendar, I guess we're in our 10 years old body. That's more than enough time to correct everything."
"However….this is merely the past. Things will repeat right?"
"There will be Tobi in this timeline." There was dread in Ino's voice.
Sakura contemplated for a moment. "We shouldn't tell this to anybody. If somehow Tobi catches about us, we are screwed."
"Then how do you expect us to survive this time?"
"WE are going to be the ones to stop him. We fight him and kill him."
"You're kidding right?" Ino looked at Sakura like she grew a second head.
"Dead serious. I don't want to see my comrades die in front of me, neither die to save me. There was no hope for me then. Now that I have a second chance….failure is not an option!" Ino nearly opened her mouth to lash out how stupid her friend was. But then seeing the determined eyes of her friend, she decided to shut her mouth. The blonde closed her eyes to recall all the important people she had. When she opened them, they had the same determination that she saw a moment before.
Sakura held out her hand towards Ino. "So what do you say Ino?"
"Mission: Kick ass girls kick the asses of the badass. Lets proceed." Ino took Sakura's hand and gave it a firm shake.
"Please Ino. That mission name is so NOT cool!"