A/N. Here's the 8th chapter. Enjoy!
To Ferdawg: Thanks and sorry about that, honestly I wanted to do a big fight seen, but then I decided it would be better to not reveal Nari's dojutsu just yet, that and it gave me the chance to introduce the potential of a love triangle between Sasuke and Shino with poor naïve Nari in the center of it all, it won't truly show it's colors until the Chunin Exams though, or at least that's what I'm hoping will happen anyways. Thanks again for the review and hope you enjoy the chapter!
To IndigoButterfly: Thanks, and mind you that I have no idea what that really means, though it probably hurts a lot if you're a guy from the reactions I've seen. And yes, it does get the desired results it seems. I'm glad you find this amusing and hope you enjoy this chapter as well, thanks again for reviewing!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto!
Episode 7: The Demon of the Bloody Mist!
After the attack from the Demon Brothers, Nari had, thanks to a determination born in order to prove that she wasn't going to bring the team down any more, taken the lead.
"You know you don't have to pretend to be brave dobe, just stay in the back like Hinata and let the big boys handle this." Sasuke said snidely, motioning with his head to where Hinata had been walking alongside their client, Tazuna. Nari growled in response as she suddenly turned on the Uchiha,
"SHUT UP TEME!" she yelled in his face, causing the whole group to freeze as they watched the two bicker.
"Looks like it was indeed a good idea to put those two on different teams after all. They're going at it like cats and dogs." Kakashi commented as he watched, the two genin yell at each other, or really Nari yell at Sasuke while Sasuke just grunted or gave one worded sentences.
"Yes, can you imagine having to deal with this almost every single day?" Kurenai answered back, heaving a sigh as she prepared to get the two to stop.
"I'd rather not."
"Ok you two break it-"-FROOORSH-BOOM-"-NARI!" Kurenai wound up hollering in surprise as she watched said kunoichi fling an orb of concentrated aura and chakra into the foliage running alongside the road they were taking, felling a tree and scaring the members of Team 7 and the client in the process. "What it the world are you doing?" Kakashi had one eyebrow quirked to show he was also curious about the girl's actions. Nari, instead of responding, narrowed her eyes and walked into the brush, coming out five seconds later holding a rabbit the ears in her hand. The rabbit was pure white and trembling in fear from nearly getting killed by the young kunoichi's attack.
"Um…Kakashi-sensei, isn't that a snow hare?" Kiba suddenly asked, eying the rabbit curiously. Hinata took a closer look before nodding her head in agreement,
"A-Ano, Kurenai-sensei, K-Kiba-kun is right. That's a snow hare." Hinata said giving her teacher a concerned look, "B-But it's s-summer, s-shouldn't it's fur be brown right now?" Hinata asked as she turned her gaze to her sensei. Kurenai was silent, expression contemplative as she eyed the rabbit suspiciously. Suddenly both jonin's eyes widened in realization,
"Everybody take cover now!" They all dove to the side, just seconds before as a large blade suddenly came whizzing through the air in their direction, before imbedding itself in the bark of a nearby tree. They all managed to eventually pick themselves off the ground, but not before a tall, well-muscled man wearing no shirt, grey pants, and winter camouflage leg and arm warmers landed on the hilt of the blade, leering at them as bloodlust rolled off of him in waves. Kurenai dropped into a defensive stance almost immediately at the sight of the man, kunai drawn and other hand poised and ready to cast a genjutsu over the genin and client in necessary. Kakashi stood, seemingly relaxed as he tucked his little orange book into a pocket in his flak jacket, seeming to appraise their new enemy before he finally spoke up,
"Well, well...Look what we have here, if it isn't Zabuza Momochi, the kid who ran with his tail between his legs from the Land of Mists!" Kakashi said, nonchalantly shoving his hands into his pants pockets, shifting slightly from one foot to another. Nari was about to throw yet another ball of aura, but Kurenai stopped her, grabbing ahold of her wrist to keep her from attacking,
"Nari stop. That's not someone you can take on at your current level. The Demon Brothers were one thing, that man is a completely different story. Go stand by the others and wait for your orders." The jonin ordered, motioning with her head to the other genin, who all stood in front of Tazuna. Nari was about to object, fell silent when Shino came up and grabbed hold of her other wrist, gently pulling her alongside him. Kurenai gave a silent nod in thanks, letting go of a now pouting Nari so Shino could take her back to the other genin.
"Ah, how cute." The man spoke, tone malicious as he slowly bent over and took ahold of the blade he was standing on, "Kakashi of the Sharingan Eye, I presume? If it wouldn't be too much of a bother, could you hand over the old man?" he asked. In response Kakashi reached for his headband,
"Team 7 and 8, assume the Manji Formation! Protect Tazuna!" Kakashi ordered as he slowly began to pull up the side of his hitai-ate that was covering his left eye.
"All of you stay out of the fight, do as Kakashi says and protect Tazuna!" the woman ordered the members of Team 8, tone warning as she crouched ever lower to the ground then she had before. "This fight is going to get very rough."
"Now…Shall we?" Kakashi said, left eye revealed finally, shocking several members. His left eye was a vivid red with a thin black circle around the pupil and three tomoe.
"Ah, to face the legendary Sharingan Eye so early in our acquaintance, I'm honored…" the man, Zabuza, said, voice mocking as he continued to leer contemptuously at the small group.
"What the heck is Sharingan?" Nari suddenly interjected loudly, resulting in Kurenai glaring slightly at her student in disbelief.
"Shinobi who have the Sharingan eye..." Sasuke explained before anyone could actually reprimand the girl, "…have mastered a form of ocular ninjutsu that enables them to penetrate and see the reality behind any illusion or spell and send that power back at the one who cast it. It is one of several types used by the masters…And there's more." Sasuke finished.
"Like what?" Nari asked, turning to face the Uchiha heir,
"Heh heh…Yes, there is indeed more. Most incredible about the Sharingan eye is its ability to discern and then duplicate it's opponent's greatest skills." The enemy ninja chuckled out, "When I was an assassin for Kirigakure, I possessed the usual bingo book, a who's who of our enemies. It possessed quite the entry on you Kakashi, along with you female companion. Kakashi Hatake, the man known to have penetrated and copied over a thousand jutsus. And then of course there is the kunoichi with the red eyes, Kurenai Yuhi, the Queen of Mirages. At the mere rank genin, you had already become quite well known for your prowess in the area of genjutsu, which supposedly matched even those of the Uchiha Clan." He finished eying both jonin like a pack of meat. All six of the genin gaped at the two jonin in complete and total awe.
"Now enough! As pleasant as this conversation has been, I'm on a rather tight schedule to polish off the old man. Time is money after all, and the more we waste talking, the less likely I am to get paid!" he stated, yanking the large blade from the tree finally and disappearing from view. All six genin immediately went on high alert, surrounding the old man on both sides. Nari, still facing the direction in which Zabuza had been suddenly yelled out without turning around,
"Kurenai-sensei, Kakashi-sensei! He's on the river!" Both turned to see that Nari had in fact been right. Zabuza said nothing, expression contemplative though as he encompassed the whole area in a thick mist. Kakashi glared as he watched man wearily, 'Clever…He's built up a fairly large concentration of chakra, this must be…'
"The finest of the ninja arts…the Kirigakure no Jutsu." Zabuza said as he disappeared into the veil of mist.
"Everybody be on high alert! Zabuza Momochi is a master of the art of the silent killing, letting your guard down will buy a quick trip to heaven around him!" Kurenai yelled out in warning as she raised her kunai so that it was level with her face.
"There are eight targets; throat, spinal column, lungs, liver, the JUGULAR vein, the subclavian artery, kidney, HEART…Hehehehe…So many choices, what vital, vulnerable place shall I choose?" the rogue ninja's voice could suddenly be heard, seeming to come from everywhere at once. Sasuke himself began to tremble as both jonin began to dish out killing intent as well, he seemed about ready to kill himself when Kakashi spoke up,
"Sasuke, calm down. Even if he does wind up getting the both of us, we'll continue to protect you guys. Neither Kurenai nor I will let our comrades die." The jonin said reassuringly, causing Sasuke to relax slightly,
"I wouldn't bet on that." Suddenly Zabuza appeared right in front of Tazuna, blade reading to slice all of them all in half. Nari suddenly struck out, turning around in seconds with an aura infused fist, only to be caught by the man and dangled into the air.
"Nice try kid." Zabuza said before throwing her aside and into the surrounding brush, pulling his blade in front of his body as Kurenai tried to stab the man with her kunai. "I must admit, that child is very strange. She's able to tell where I am without having to turn around…I wonder, could it be that there are still members of that clan running about. She doesn't look like one of them though…" He didn't get to finish verbalizing his thoughts however, as Kakashi also made to attack.
"Hinata, quickly go find Nari!" Kurenai ordered as she joined in the fight between the rogue ninja and Kakashi.
"H-Hai!" Hinata darted off into the brush as well, but froze just before she could fully step in, the sound of two people landing in water making her pause. She slowly turned around, only for her eyes to widen at the sight. Both Kakashi and Kurenai were in the river, with Zabuza looming over them both. The enemy ninja ran through several hand signs before sticking his hand in the water, before bring it back, hand encompassed in a sphere of water with both jonin inside as well.
"Suirō no Jutsu." The man said as everyone took on looks of pure horror. "Hehe, this jutsu creates inescapable prison out of water, the only downside being that I have to keep one arm inside of it at all times. But rest assured, my mizu-bunshin should be more than enough to take care of you brats." The man said, sneering at the remaining rookie ninja as he summoned two water doppelgangers.
"Blast it all! All of you, take Tazuna, find Nari, and run!" Kurenai ordered from her place inside the prison.
"No buts! Don't be fools, this man is way out of your leagues. Go! We'll be fine!" they all seemed to hesitate, until Hinata suddenly screamed out, ducking low to the ground as several orbs of energy came flying out from the foliage behind her. Hinata slowly backed up as Nari came out, hands glowing with pure aura and chakra fused together, eyes glowing in a strange, purplish color. Slowly and gradually, her hair began to turn an angry, burning red color, almost taking on the appearance of fire itself. Zabuza began to chuckle in amusement at the sight of the transformed genin, expression one of excitement.
"So there was one of them still running around. Oh well, this just makes things all the more exciting." The man chuckled out before sending his bunshin to attack the genin. They didn't get far however as Nari punched the ground, splitting it right underneath one of the bunshin's feet and causing both to back off, suddenly weary of the child's almost inhuman strength. Kurenai worried her bottom lip, concern etched on her face as she watched Nari confront the bunshin on her own.
"Strong as Nari seems to have suddenly gotten, there's no way they can all take on Zabuza!" Kakashi looked just as worried, if not more, "Nari stop! Go with the others! Take Tazuna and run! Protecting the client is more important than winning a stupid fist fight!"
"Nari, Kurenai-sensei is right! We need to go, c'mon!" Kiba said, hoping to convince the angered Uzumaki to listen for once and leave the battlefield.
"NO! Kiba, do you plan to run away from every difficult battle that you face for the rest of your life! Mission be cursed to the seventh layer of hell! You may be willing to, but I'm not! I refuse, absolutely refuse to abandon Kurenai-sensei! Not if I can help it!" Nari said turning on the Inazuka heir as she drew a kunai from the pouch on her thigh and threw into the ground, imbedding it almost up to the hilt. "I will take him on alone if I have to, but I'm not abandoning any member of this team! Those who disregard the mission may be trash, but if you abandon your teammate, you are lower than scum!" at that point Nari spit at the ground, further proving her point of view on the matter. Kiba and the others all looked at each other uncertain for a few seconds, before turning to Tazuna,
"What? Why are you all looking at me? I've lived a good long life, if I die here, well that's my fault, but I'm not going to have you all be burdened because I lied about something. So go ahead and save your senseis!" the old man said with a grin. Kurenai groaned, heaving a sigh of exasperation as her expression took on a look of morbid acceptance. She may have emphasize the point of team work a little too much, to have both her and Kakashi's word thrown back at them like that was a huge slap in the face. She was a fool to think that Nari would so easily abandoned them in order to save her own skin. She wasn't so low a person to do such a thing. Kakashi couldn't help but give a dry chuckle,
"You taught her well Kurenai, better then I could've hoped for concerning the concept of team work."
"Yes well, I may have taught her too well. It means nothing if she gets herself killed!" Kurenai said, an urgent tone to her voice.
"But Kurenai, which is better, to die knowing that you tried your best to protect those you hold close, or to die not doing anything at all?" Kurenai didn't answer Kakashi's question, resigning herself to the fact that there was really nothing she could do about it now, she'd reprimand Nari later for insubordination, just to get it across that that was not something the girl should make a habit of. For now, all she could do was pray that they didn't get themselves killed in this new bout of idiocy.
All six genin got ready for battle, falling into their respective family taijutsus if they had any at all. Sasuke and Shino both stepped forward to stand beside Nari, who now had the air thrumming with energy as she began to emit aura from her body.
"Hinata-san, Sakura-san, stand back and protect Tazuna. Kiba and I shall neutralize the clones, Nari and Sasuke, getting our teachers free is your job!"
"Yeah, yeah, quite ordering us around!" Kiba said getting onto all fours as his nin-dog Akamura jumped off his head and onto the ground, hackles raised and growling. Both Hinata and Sakura immediately took their positions in front of the client, while the other four steeled themselves for battle.
"How about a little smoke and mirrors!" Nari called out, a broad grin on her face as she slammed her fist again, cracking splitting the ground and kicking up dirt, dust, and debris, providing a decent cover for the four attacking ninja. Sasuke, Shino, and Kiba quickly flashed through hand signs and then leapt through the smoke, going on the offensive quickly as they launched themselves at their opponents. The smoke eventually cleared, revealing that Nari had disappeared.
"Sasuke now!" Kiba said once he had one of the doppelgangers in a grappling match with the help of his partner. The Uchiha nodded, leaping onto his back and then the bunshin's shoulder, using both as leverage to get himself high into the air. He drew a giant shuriken, flinging it quickly while calling out its name,
"Demon Wind Shuriken…Windmill of Shadows!" it sped toward Zabuza only to be caught by the man's free hand. Thinking he was safe, he mocked the genin until he was taken by surprise when another one revealed itself from underneath the first. Sakura cheered thinking they had beat him, but Zabuza leapt over that one as well, causing it to miss to. The giant shuriken kept flying until it unexpectedly popped, revealing itself to be a transformed Nari, hands already in a familiar cross,
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" she called out as four shadow clones poofed into existence. All five of the Nari's fists began to glow with aura, and they launched the concentrated orbs at the man. Zabuza seeing no other way to dodge released his jutsu and dove out of the way, barely evading the barrage of energy spheres. Zabuza growled in anger as he prepared to kill the little pest for getting in his way and making him drop his jutsu. He was blocked however by a now freed Kakashi. Kurenai knelt on the ground sopping wet, but free as well, glaring daggers at the man who had threatened her students.
"That's enough all of you. Great job, you've all grown very much. Leave the rest to us." Both Kurenai and Kakashi rejoined the fight, while Nari swam to the safety of the shoreline and away from the most of the fighting, exhausted and worn out from all the energy she had expended.
"Good job…Nari." Shino said as he helped her out of the water. Sasuke joining him,
"Yeah, you did pretty good, for a dobe." Nari growled at the insult, but let it slide, too tired to do anything at the moment.
"Oh shut up…" she managed, before collapsing on the ground finally. Sasuke snorted in response, watching with a strange gleam in his eye as Shino helped Nari stand, allowing her to lean on him while they observed the battle going on between their jonin instructors and the rogue ninja.
(A/N. The rest of the battle is canon, only with Kurenai helping. Sorry but honestly I doubt it could get any more different then it is now, so I'm skipping this part, and jumping straight to just as Haku appears.)
Shino stood, observing with slight shock as a boy, no older than most of them save for maybe Nari herself, took down Zabuza all on his own with just a couple of senbon needles. Nari probably would have commented about it, that is if she were currently conscious to do such a thing. At some point her body had finally had enough and passed out on him, forcing him to have to carry her in what most would describe as a princess carry. The boy himself was apparently a hunter nin from Zabuza's home village, having been tracking him down for some time. Shino wasn't sure if he completely believed him or not though. Sasuke didn't want to accept it easily but was stopped by his sensei before he caused something they'd all wind up regretting.
"Sasuke, it's fine, there will be ninja out there who might even by younger then you yet stronger than me, just take it with a grain of sugar." Said jonin said in a warning tone.
"I thank you again for your assistance, but I must make my leave now so that I can dispose of Zabuza's body." The newcomer said, lifting up Zabuza's body onto his shoulder and disappearing as he shunshinned away. Kakashi sighed as he and Kurenai turned to their students and the client who had until now been for the most part silent. Kurenai herself walked up to Shino, kneeling down to check on the still unconscious Nari, face scrunched in controlled concern. Their attention was drawn towards Tazuna for a bit before anyone could voice their concern as he laughed, scratching the back of his head as he spoke up,
"You all must feel humiliated! Don't worry though, you can all lick your wounds at my place. It's not that far from here!" he said tilting the straw hat on his head.
"Yes thank you Tazuna-san. I'm especially worried about Nari here." Kurenai said in gratitude as she placed her hand on the girl's head, getting small noise in response but no others signs that she might wake up. Sighing the jonin stood up, only to jump slightly in surprise when she heard somebody hit the ground. Turning around she heaved yet another sigh at the sight before her, "Looks like you overdid it huh Kakashi? Well c'mon, let's get going so the both of you can get some rest." Kurenai said as she took ahold of Kakashi's arm and flung it over her shoulder to help the man walk. Kakashi just nodded in thanks as they set off. His mind was elsewhere, more concerned with the sudden physical changes that one Nari Uzumaki had just gone through in the middle of that battle, and something else. Something that didn't feel quite right about Zabuza and that hunter nin.
A/N. Ok, thanks for reading and I hope you guys enjoyed the chapter! Remember to review and see ya!