A/N: This story is dedicated to my good friend, Hol. Without her, this story would have never even happened. As long as you like this story, then it doesn't really matter what everyone else thinks. This is my little way of showing you how much I value our friendship. I don't think you know how much I look forward to our daily conversations about Pre-Konoha characters. Thank you for your friendship! :) MadaMito our OTP forever! lol
But on that note, I don't mind critique on the story at all! hehe Enjoy!
The scent of sulfur filled the air faintly. It was time to take charge.
"The smell of smoke. The Uchiha are approaching," I announced to my squad.
"Or the smell of their gas," my little sister snickered beside me.
I threw her a glance that could kill but she wasn't affected. This was her first battle and she had no idea what she was getting herself into. She was talented, very talented. She had a knack for all the techniques our clan had to offer and I had to admit, one day soon she'd surpass me. Unfortunately for her, she inherited all the talent and none of the discipline.
"You'll do a fine job getting yourself killed, Miku." One of my elder cousins warned.
He always had a way of saying to my sister what I was too afraid to say. I feared if I said it, it would come true. The last thing I wanted was for my sister to become another statistic in these never-ending battles between the Sage Descendants.
"Puh-lease, I ain't afraid of no freak-eyed Uchiha."
The cocky smirk that came across her face made my stomach churn. How could my father even think of letting her join this battle? What if one of the notorious Uchiha were here: Izuna, Hikaku, or heaven forbid... their leader Madara. The only man that could bring him down was Hashirama and he was nowhere near this site of the battle. We'd all be doomed.
"According to the last scout that got in touch, there are 20 Uchiha approaching. None too worrisome are amongt them. I'm sure there will be a few high-ranking officers and the rest will be mere soldiers." My cousin spoke again as my right-hand man.
I was tempted to scold my sister about shaping up but it was too late. I had no time as I saw their figures slowly come to light in the horizon. It was time for me to lead my force.
"Their 20 against our 30, I like those odds," I said coolly. One powerful Uzumaki could take out 20 weak Uchiha if they knew the right technique.
Despite that, I was nervous. I was always nervous before battle. I always felt as though I could lose my balance and my knees would give at any moment. I nervously ran my hands over my hair buns, making sure they were tightly in place for the upteenth time.
"Charge on my command," I held my left hand up, giving the signal to my army behind me to prepare for attack.
I, along with many others, began reaching for weapons and scrolls.
With squint eyes, I waited until the perfect moment to command the charge. We can't charge too soon, it'll prepare them easily for a surprise attack but we can't wait too late. Most of us needed time to write in our scrolls.
My left hand slowly fell to my side, long, heavy moments later and my right sprung up with a scroll in hand, ready to launch my first attack. That gave everyone else the signal to do the same. The battle had begun. One I was confident would be over with soon enough if we played our cards right.
Our offense fighters charged in less than a second and just as quickly the others had their scrolls out, scribbling down kanji like mad. Our taijutsu and ninjutsu users would distract them long enough for us to launch enough chakra draining attacks to leave them in the spot they stood.
"Miku, launch the fuinjutsu: Chakra Whirlpool and stay back... Miku! ...Miku?" I stopped just one stroke short of my finished seal and looked to my left only to see the space was empty. Where had my sister gone?
I frantically looked around and didn't see her. The bloodshed had begun and now the battle field was covered in gray from the Uchiha fire style.
"The looks of that smoke, are you sure there's only 20, Mito-Sama?" One of my clansmen asked after launching his sealing barrier. "That looks much too thick for 20."
I analyzed it as well, he was right. "That or... someone powerful is out there."
There was no time, I had to move forward, my sister was missing and I needed closer to the enemies to strike them with an offensive seal.
"I'm going outside the barrier, keep launching the attacks!" I spoke and took off running towards the core of the action.
I ran as fast as my sea blue yakata would allow. Usually I would stay inside the barrier and lead my squad from inside the safety, since I was not a combat fighter in the least. But my sister was missing and something about this smoke was not right.
As soon as I reached out of the shield barrier I was bombarded with the stench of smoke and blood. Uchiha blood, my clansmen blood. It was always a disgusting sight, especially to see the two mix.
I dodged a shuriken that flew my way and a fallen Uchiha that was smacked into our barrier. I had good evasive skills due to my medic training, but that was as far as my taijutsu went.
I bent down to one knee and immediately activated my first seal. "Ninja art: Whirling Dragon." I mumbled as the seal's ink spiraled off the paper and came to life. It lashed out and killed three Uchiha who were too close to me for comfort.
"Mito-sama, it's too dangerous to be out here," my cousin warned, appearing beside me.
"Miku-chan," I choked.
"You are the future clan leader." he reminded me. As if I could forget about my own sister!
"We must evacuate. Now." He said after only a split second of silence.
Continuing to examine the strange smoke, I awaited him to continue.
In that instant a fire ball jutsu came flying at us. One so powerful and great it engulfed the rest of the fire and even took the smoke with it.
My cousin and I gasped and I knew I didn't have time to ask him questions.
The fire cleared and I saw the shadows in the distance with red eyes all around. Foreboding demon eyes that sent fear into me. Even though I knew we had our cousins, the Senju, on our side to keep us safe, I still feared those eyes more than anything.
"That man, with the wild hair... he's..." My cousin began through heavy breaths from the smothering fire.
He took a deep breath and I lost mine the moment I saw the worst case scenario. My sister. In the middle of that blood bath. In trouble. She was furiously writing away in her scroll and attacking Uchiha, not even caring that death was kissing her every second she stood out there.
I felt as though a bolt of lightning struck me just by hearing those words. Him? But how? Before I knew it my feet were on the ground and running in the direction of that man. Only because my sister was also there. I couldn't imagine her getting killed by him. If she did, I'd have no way to avenge her. No one in this clan could stand up to him.
"Mito-sama, the evacuation!" My cousin yelled.
"Tell everyone to evacuate and call the Senju! Let them know!" I commanded and headed off into the erie cloud of smoke.
The churning in my stomach was gone and adrenaline was kicking in. I had to get my sister and get out. This was not a battle that could be won. We would be lucky to escape with our lives.
I came to a halt as I entered the eye of the storm. The circle where there was less commotion and no smoke. I looked all around me to see fallen Uchiha and mostly comrades. Yuki, my sweet childhood friend, laid there lifeless and painted in red. I held back a tear at the look of horror etched on her porcelain face. No one deserved to die a death so terrifying. Cousins, clansmen, they laid in their red pools of blood that perfectly matched their hair.
Then I heard it, the cries and struggle from what I knew was my sister. I frantically looked around to see the sound. If the thought of her fighting an Uchiha headon would give me a heart attack, seeing the life being strangled out of her by one should have surely struck me dead.
Her long red hair flowed down her back and I watched as blood dripped from it, like her hair was dripping red paint. I prayed it wasn't her own. Her feet were barely touching the ground and her arms were wrapped around the man's arm in a futile attempt to get free.
Something snapped inside me and before I knew it, my hands were moving on their own and activating one of my premade scrolls. Green Sea Wind it was called, named after the sea we Uzumaki took on quite often. It was some of the harshest, cruelest winds you would ever see. This had to be pre made in advance by someone with wind nature.
There I went, activating the most offensive scroll in my collection and I shot it directly at this wild man. I didn't care what would happen afterwards, so long as I could spare her life. The wind came hurtling out like an out-of-water whirlpool to the red eyed demon. I saw the shock on his face as it hit him spot on. I felt relief, a direct hit like that would surely kill him.
Somewhere in the confusion he dropped my sister as I watched her crawling to freedom. My feet moved on cue and I found myself embracing her and making sure she was safe. She seemed unharmed for the most part but she was coughing from the interval without air. Before I knew it, I was ushering her to her feet and trying to get her back to the barrier.
The cracking sound of a branch breaking caught my keen attention and I turned around. It felt as though that jutsu had hit me instead when I saw him. The man with wild hair, standing there, staring at us. He calmly touched his cheek with his hand covered in black gloves, feeling a trace of blood dripping down his face.
"Impressive little scroll you had there," is all he said through red eyes that held the look of a rabid animal.
Without thinking, I pushed Miku hard in the direction of the barrier. "Go," I said lowly as my eyes never left that man's.
Before she could protest to me in her overly-cocky tone, I pushed her again and threatened to hit her. It pained me to see the sullen pain on her face. Tears welled in her eyes as she began to crawl away to safety like a whimpering puppy. Considering I was sure I would then die, I was surprisingly calm as he approached me. I wondered if I would die with horror on my face like sweet Yuki.
When he lost interest in me and looked in the direction of my sister, I called out to him. I had to become a human sacrifice to make sure my sister and clansmen had a chance of escaping. "Don't worry about her!" I yelled over the battle cries starting to die down more and more by the second. "I'mthe future clan leader of the Uzumaki, take my head and let the rest leave."
In a desperate plea I lowered my head to the ground, expecting him to do just that. Considering he was supposedly TheMadara Uchiha, I was positive he'd be astounding at beheading people.
I have no idea what happened but after that, everything went black.
Next thing I knew, I was being chucked on an uncomfortable surface.
"Eh, what do we have here?" I heard a man's soft voice call out.
"Madara-sama said to bring her back here." I heard a gruff voice reply. I wasn't even sure if I was dreaming or not at this point.
"He did... Did he say what use she is to us?" The soft-spoken man asked again. I began to find his voice very soothing more by each word he spoke.
"Uzumaki clan heiress, she was confiscated at the battle one the way to meet the Senju." Gruff man replied.
When I heard my own title being announced I fully bloomed from dreaming to wide-awake.
"Hmmm..." was all he replied for a few long moments. Seeming to genuinely think on this matter. "I still don't see the purpose, must be something to do with Hashirama. It always leads back to him with Madara." His footsteps were as soft as his voice as I heard him approach me. I started to feel my heartbeat in my neck. Had I really been captured by the Uchiha?
The footsteps stopped right beside me. His shadow now blocked the sun beating down on my eyes but I could feel myself starting to sweat. I was sure I had died, why was I alive? If I were captured by Uchiha, then surely I would have much prefered the honorable death at the battlefield.
His slender fingers traced a cut on my cheek. I winced in pain, not even realizing it was there. "Seeing as she doesn't feel like speaking with us, carry her on to the medical building and have them bandage those cuts.
My purple eyes shot wide open as I heard the man approach me. When what I assumed was gruff man tried to pick me up, I kicked at him and tried scooting back on the musty couch. Trying to keep an Uchiha away with a simple kick was much like trying to tear down a cliff side with a single punch, utterly useless. I must have looked like a weak wounded animal at my sad attempts to keep them away.
Within a second he had me flung over his shoulder in a secure grip. My hair had fallen out of its buns long ago and I was thankful. Or they would have seen my face turn an embarrassed color that matched my hair.
"Don't worry Uzumaki-san, we're not going to hurt you." the soft voice called out as I was being carried away.
"If that's all then, Izuna-sama," Gruff man said, nodding to him.
I flung my hair back and looked to him. I was surprised to see a man known for such evil things looked and sounded so... sweet? His hair was wild on top but pulled back in a neat low ponytail that trailed down his back. His plain navy blue qi pao and upright stance was definitely one of the most shocking things I had seen. It wasn't what I would have ever expected in the second most feared Uchiha in the world. And that soft voice and face...
"Before you go, Uzumaki-san, what's your first name?" He called as I was being escorted out butt first.
I flung my hair in defiance, a very out of character moment for me. But I wasn't about to let his facade fool me into giving away any information that could harm my clan.
He gave a simple "Hm," as my head finally left the room. His face bothered me, I didn't like people that concealed true nature. Seeing such a monster wear a nice man's clothing. It was disgusting, it was disgrace. It was typical of the Uchiha.
I was positive I gained more injuries from the bumpy ride to their poor excuse of a medical building than on the battlefield. A pang stung my heart as I remembered, only god knows how long ago I was on a battlefield taking on Madara Uchiha in an attempt to save my sister. Did she escape? Is she okay? I cried for the rest of my clansmen but my sister was the first on my mind. If I am doomed to being killed by the Uchiha then it was she that must lead our clan one day.
Gruff man walked into the rectangular building and immediately dropped me to my feet inside. It was the first time I had stood in I wasn't sure how long and I felt like a baby calf standing for the first time. I regained my standing knowledge quickly when I felt he was about to carry me again. He motioned for me to walk forward. I looked to his face etched in stress wrinkles for a moment, before slowly walking in front of him towards a room in the back.
The building was plain and smelled of peppermint ointments. I could tell just by quick glances that Uchiha had poor medical care. Probably the result of training everyone to be soldiers and putting no efforts elsewhere.
When we approached the back room, he opened the door for me and allowed me to walk in first. The room was dimly lit with no windows. I saw an old woman stitching up a young man's arm. I cautiously walked just in the doorway and stood to the side as gruff man explained why I was here. She only nodded and never looked at him, focusing on her work. I was tempted to point out she was doing it all wrong, but these were Uchiha and I wasn't the type to question elders.
"Sit down, child, I'll be with you in a moment." She said oblivious to anything but her sewing job.
I simply obliged and sat on a mat closest to the door. I was a medic nin myself, I could heal myself if I truly wanted. The only thing that stopped me was the secrecy in what abilities I had. Last thing I wanted was them knowing anything else, they already knew too much.
A few minutes passed and the white-haired woman finished her hack job of stitching on the wounded soldier and he was out of the way quickly. He sent me a questionable glance that caused the hairs on my neck to stand. Reminding me that I had no safety here.
I stepped forward and helped her clean up her mess a bit. It was habit for me to help out elderly and I wasn't really injured.
"Stupid boy, he got himself cut training, he's gonna die as soon as he sees a real battle." She chuckled lighting a pipe.
I tried to pretend that the smoke didn't bother me and send flashbacks of my last battle through my head. I couldn't help but wonder what kind of medic smoked on the job.
I stiffened a bit as I noticed her look me up and down a few times. "You don't look injured to me, just extremely frightened."
She had that right. I simply kept staring, keeping a coy face.
"A bandage for the cut, a bath and a change of clothes is what you need." She smiled through her old black eyes to me. I wish I could have been polite and returned the favor, but under these circumstances, I was just trying to survive.
"Go to that closet and pick out a yukata, then walk in that room to the right and take a bath. And be quick."
I only nodded and did exactly as she told. She seemed gentle enough and the longer I stayed in her company the less I would have to see any terrifying, young Uchiha. I picked out a navy blue yukata from the small closet and frowned at the itchy fabric. Ugly color, ugly fabric. Did the Uchiha have anything good going for them?
Undressing for the ready-made bath I took a chance to sigh. Just a deep, heavy sigh that made me feel better for a moment. If you told me a week ago I'd be fighting Madara Uchiha, being kidnapped by him and bathing at the Uchiha compound, I'd politely smile and think you were out of your mind.
My blue battle kimono was covered in blood and dirt, completely ruined. As I unwrapped the loose obi I noticed my scrolls and weapons had been confiscated, even in the secret places. Places that only I should be near. I shook my head, not even wanting to think about it. I just hoped I could survive this thing and still have eligibility to be married one day.
I unwillingly eased in the cold bath and tried my best to keep my composure while being alone for the first time since I arrived.
"It's about time," She said finishing up what had to be her third pipe. I didn't think I took long at all, but I could tell by the smell that Uchiha did not value baths as much as the rest of us.
Standing there erect, I coughed awkwardly. What was I supposed to be doing now? Looking over, I caught the shriveled old woman looking my way, more so, at my hands. "You're a healer," She stated.
How did she know? I kept my astoot composure, not giving away any signs of shock.
"Good, you can be a useful hostage then." She laughed struggling to stand up. I didn't even politely offer to help her. Me... healing Uchiha while they kept me hostage? I don't think so!
As I was courteously having a fit inside my head, she approached me and chucked a weaved basket full of supplies in my arms. I stared at it blankly.
"Let's get moving, we have a baby to deliver!" She laughed way louder than necessary and urged me out the door.
The bombshell caused me to move like a zombie towards our location. And to my surprise, gruff man was standing outside the door the whole time. Seemed like it was his job to accompany me everywhere now. Not that I was surprised, I'm sure they assumed I was plotting my escape every moment. If only I were so bold.
Delivering a baby wasn't new. She was right, I was a medic, I had done this before. I recalled the time I delivered my aunt's bouncing baby boy with strawberry hair. I always found watching a woman give birth as something so magical and beautiful. I dreaded and looked forward to my mother who would give me talks of when I, too, would have a baby one day. I tried to come off as annoyed, but really, what girl didn't fantasize about being a perfect wife and mother.
Of course I wasn't in command during the delivery. The elder woman, who was referred to as Akane-san, was planted in front of the woman about to give life. I was tasked with doing the frivolous chores like fetching hot water and holding the woman's hand during birth. Her husband was out on the battlefield killing my comrades, no doubt.
I never witnessed a birth where I felt so mixed. On one hand, the look on the black haired woman's face as she gave birth was so heart-warming and joyous, like any proud mother from my clan. On the other hand, when I looked at the baby boy, Ichirou, all I saw was a future killer with red demonic eyes.
When she looked and at me and smiled, thanking me, I felt as though my heart tightened. I smiled back politely and tried not to let my emotional baggage become known. This was just the tip of the iceberg with my emotional whirlpool that was the Uchiha clan.