Chapter 16 – Thirteen
Yagura stood above her body, her eyelids fluttering, signifying that she was trying to resist the genjutsu she'd been placed under. He narrowed his eyes at the blonde, agitated that she was able to mostly resist and change Kirigakure's most powerful genjutsu seals. Paper genjutsu seals weren't like the conventional, non-contact, hand seal genjutsus. By pumping foreign chakra into the system, or stopping the chakra flow suddenly cannot break the spell, as the chakra in the seal just pumps more of its energy into the target. So for the life of him, he couldn't figure out how this girl was disrupting it so much.
A spark of light suddenly caught his eye, a gleaming crystal peaking from the collar of her shirt. As her breathing increased from what he assumed was most likely a surprise in her genjutsu, the crystal appeared more from her clothing. The lightening shaped stone was swimming with blue and gold, however the power he felt radiating from it shocked him more than the moving crystal. Never in his life has he ever heard of anything being capable of storing chakra that didn't involve a seal of some sort. The very thought had his arm moving unconsciously to the centre of his chest, the seal that sat there intangible.
He reached forward to grasp the crystal, the chakra radiation warm as he drew near. Suddenly his hand felt incomprehensibly warm, warmer than it should as he hadn't even touched the necklace yet. Red chakra precipitously formed into a demented claw, slashing at his outstretched hand.
Yagura jumped back with lightning speed, his staff held before him in a defensive manner. Naruto's blue eyes were slit open and staring at him, the seal on her forehead split in two with what he recognised to be wind chakra. How she had managed to tear it through her forehead, as well as while under a genjutsu baffled him. Everything about her baffled him, which just further infuriated him.
He looked then to her palms, each forced in position to face the ceiling, half torn pieces of paper stuck over the top of them. The chakra supressing seal on the paper had been overridden, which had allowed the chakra to manifest outside of her body. Yagura grit his teeth, yet another seal he had to replace.
"It isn't polite to touch people's things without permission you know, not that I'm one to talk. I can be such a hypo…cr…"
"Hypocrite?" Yagura offered the word as she seemed to struggle over it. It wasn't due to her extreme exhaustion or confused brain, she seriously just didn't know the word.
"Yeah that one," she smiled as much as she could.
"What is that necklace?" the green haired man asked bluntly, not caring for politeness. Naruto looked to the charm that Kakashi had given her for her birthday, his warm chakra comforting as it tingled on her skin as if he literally had a finger pressed into her collarbone.
"It's a lightning bolt,"
"You know that is obviously not what I meant," Naruto sighed, she didn't really know what kind of answer he wanted.
"It's glass with chakra inside or something like that, I'm not good at this kind of stuff," Yagura's eyes narrowed at her answer, mulling over her words. He had never attempted to put chakra inside glass, different metals could conduct chakra, however he had never heard of glass being able to actually capture chakra.
"I've never heard of glass being able to contain chakra," Naruto sighed and moved to rub her eyes, her chained hands preventing her and simply moving slightly with a clang. She sighed and gave up, dropping her hands to rest again on the metal beneath her.
"The glass is made from the chakra it contains, super heat sand with chakra and it will stay inside," she thought back on how she had made Kakashi his necklace. It had been insanely hard to make it into a shape that didn't look like a clump or blob of nothing, but she had eventually made an Uzumaki spiral. Eventually.
"How do you keep getting out of my genjutsus?" Naruto frowned at his sudden change in question, also unsure as to how she should answer. She closed her eyes, seeking Kurama's advice inside her mind.
"Don't fall asleep!" Yagura snapped, one of her eyes opening and looking to him with sadness.
"I'm not falling asleep," no matter how much she wanted to do just that. The constant barrage of genjutsus didn't allow her much sleep as her brain was constantly kept awake from the onslaught of foreign chakra, she was completely exhausted despite wanting so badly to move from the containment of the metal slab that she laid upon.
"Then answer my damn question," he needed his answers, he needed this girl to crack. There were so many things he needed and the infuriating girl in front of him was not supplying him with the facts he so desired.
"I'm asking the Kyūbi for advice on how to answer your question," Yagura stopped at the thought of the girl conversing with the prisoner that she held within her. He looked down to his own chest then, he could almost see the giant turtle beast. He remembered when he first saw it, lying on its back, its three spiked tails suspended in chains. It was disgusting.
"How can you bear to talk to it?" he suddenly asked, Naruto's eyes opened completely then. Her pupils stared at the ceiling before slowly drifting to his small frame across the room, the movement creepy and unnerving.
"How can you bear to keep him hostage yet never even ask his name? I'm guilty of this and have learned better. The Bijū are not tools to be used, they are beings with their own conscious minds and personalities. They don't deserve what we have dealt them," Yagura looked to her with a scrunched up face of disgust.
"I didn't ask to be the vessel, it wasn't my idea. Why should I play happy with the thing that was forcibly put inside me?" Naruto's eyes were sad as she looked to him, his own eyes a perfect reflection of many Jinchūriki's she had met over time. She had met Yagura briefly once before, after he had died, sucked into the joined minds of all the Jinchūriki and their Bijū. He had been soft spoken and the aura of a natural leader, however he had had a quick temper. This Yagura however was obviously still bitter over being forced to be the Jinchūriki, as well as having much less life experience. Lessons he would soon learn with the war.
"Yet why should they be happy with the thing they are forcibly put inside of? Why should they play happy with the entire species that imprisons them? And yet they don't seek us out and kill us, it is us who seeks out them and traps them. Who is the one truly at wrong here?" she didn't want to turn another person against humanity like Obito from her time, however she needed Yagura to understand, from one Jinchūriki to another.
It was that thought that made Naruto suddenly freeze, she had assumed that because Obito's body wasn't there that he had escaped. She was furious with herself, the constant barrage of genjutsus made it impossible for her brain to think clearly until now. Her rage built up as she recalled the old and decrepit Madara down in the cave, his Sharingan staring at the scene before him. Yagura slapped two more chakra suppression seals on her palms, the Kyubi's chakra that had been slowly bubbling to the surface dissipated within an instant.
She had had enough of this crap, she needed a way out of this place and she needed a way out fast.
Yagura felt his hand dive into the pile of sand that he had dumped unceremoniously onto the floor of his private gym. Being the Mizukage of Kirigakure had some perks. He was irritated by the mess, but he had actually gotten sand to test the Kyūbi Jinchūriki's words. The thought of her caused his own seal on his chest to burn with fury, the familiar tingle of chakra condensed in specific lines on his skin. He knew he was going to be the Jinchuriki when he took up position of the leader of the Land of Mist, who better to control the beast than the Mizukage? However he hadn't expected to be burdened with the beast so soon.
First there was talk about two people from the Land of Lightening having full control over their beasts, this the village could live with. Kirigakure felt no threat from the Land of Lightening, they were all foolhardy, hot-headed mongrels, easy to dispose of. However the talk of a girl from Konohagakure having complete control over what was considered the most powerful and malevolent Bijū of them all sent the Kirigakure council into a frenzy. No longer could they wait, Kirigakure needed power to match Konoha. Kirigakure needed their own Jinchūriki. Yagura felt bitterness towards the girl currently held inside his nations Torture department. If it weren't for her presence, he could have lived many more years in peace without the monster inside of him.
He sighed, broken from his thoughts as he pumped his chakra through his hands. The heat had yet to rise to an acceptable temperature and his patience levels were dropping, his chakra coils becoming harder to control as his frustration overtook him, anger overcoming him. Ever since the beast had been sealed inside of him, his ability to stay calm and level headed had decreased drastically. Yagura's breathing increased, his chest heaving with breaths as the Sanbi's chakra bubbled inside his chest. He felt a tingling in his eyes, unknown to the bleeding of colour. The whites of his eyes pooled with red as his iris's burned with a glowing amber, his skin felt thicker as what looked like spikes protruded down his limbs, reminiscent of the Sanbi's. He had unknowingly entered the initial Jinchūriki state of the Sanbi no Yoko.
His spiked forearm raised in anger before smashing down into the ground in front of him, thorns of glass shot up from the sand, a cavernous crack trailing from the ground before him. The glass shined an emerald green, it's molten centre hypnotising. Yagura moved forward and stroked the glass with his fingertips, wrapping his hand around the stalagmite of green glass. He wrenched his arm back, planning to break off a piece of the beautiful object.
Then everything turned to hell.
A giant rush of the Sanbi's chakra blasted from the crack in the glass, quickly shaping into the figure of the three tailed beast. Yagura's eyes widened in shock as the chakra figure turned and charged him, three long tendrils of pure energy trailing behind it as it surged forward. With a deafening roar it leaped at Yagura's coiled body, the chakra suddenly dissipating around him, absorbing again into his body.
Yagura just sat in silence on the wrecked gymnasium floor, not paying attention to his subordinates when they ran in to inspect the commotion. His mind racing a mile a minute as he wondered what the hell just happened. Looking to the large shard in his hand, he felt the chakra moving inside, the Sanbi's chakra within him automatically flowing into the object to mix with the corresponding chakra inside. He stood quickly and shunshined to his office, his body appearing as a flicker of mist. He walked to his desk and pulled out a large pot beneath it, its ceramic surface was decorated with an elaborate seal: Kirigakure's container for the Sanbi.
Placing the glass swimming with the Sanbi's chakra beside the pot, the two objects began to resonate. Resting his hand atop the jar, he pushed his chakra into the design of the seal. The long tendrils of ink burst from the pot and wrapped around the glass beside it, sealing the broken, green object within its ceramic confines. Yagura smiled, ever since they captured the Kyūbi Jinchūriki, Kirigakure's luck had just been increasing. Everything was finally falling into place, and he had just the plan to weaken Konoha to the point where the city could finally be overthrown.
He knew exactly the pawn he wanted to use for this battle to end once and for all.
Kakashi's skin felt overly moist, his lungs struggling with the tremendous humidity of the air around them. Kirigakure had never been a favourite destination of his, his mask had become damp early on and his sweat wasn't drying. However this also played into his favour, the weather was perfect for a tracker that relied on smell, the particles easily travelling through the thick air. As much as he didn't like it, he was in his element. He felt the tap of warmth brush against his collarbone, the red swirl pendant Naruto had given him radiated with energy that coursed through him with a simple touch. The chakra pushed through the sensory coils on his skin, the healing properties which he found the necklace pulsed into him cured his aching muscles.
Kakashi's breaths were laboured and slowing from the comforting touch of the pendant, he had been running for so long now. There had been five of them originally: a clan-less chūnin woman, an Aburame jōnin man, the Chūnin Might Guy, Rin and himself. They had gone back to where the accident had occurred, searching the rubble for his teammates bodies. However to their dismay and relief, they didn't find any. His sensei had been oddly obsessed, they had no proof that Obito was still alive, however both him and Kushina vehemently believed it to be so. Something in their eyes showed a knowledge that no-one else seemed to know, a piece of information that made them sure he was alive. At least with Naruto he knew they had a slight clue through Kushina's bond that she could possibly be alive, however the thought that his sensei and Kushina were keeping information about Obito from him infuriated him to the point where he had blown up at the couple. Something he would never have done had it not been for the mark his two teammates had engraved so deeply into his soul.
The thought of his teammates being alive sent Kakashi's heart into a frenzy, his heart soaring at having them together again. He wasn't the same person ever since they were taken from him. He had already felt himself changing from being around Naruto, her mere presence had caused a giant rift in his very being from even way before any of their first kills. Back when most of them still had some delusion of a childhood. That delusion had been shattered for Kakashi when he was five and came home with the title of Chūnin and a dead body on his living room floor. But Naruto had brought it all back, given him light in a dimly light life.
Obito was the same, while Naruto and Obito were like two peas in a pod, Kakashi and Obito were more like two sides of the same coin. A sorry fact that Kakashi didn't realise until after the cheerful boy had been crushed before him, the left eye warm in his socket as a daily reminder of what a true friend Obito was. What a terrible friend and teammate Kakashi had been. He had failed again, which was why he was here. Stuck in the swamps of Kirigakure, the land hidden in mist, mist dusted with blood.
He could feel the tear in his heart, the missing piece which thrummed with his friend's absence. But he wouldn't fail Guy like he failed Naruto and Obito, he would get him out of Kirigakure, he refused to let him die at the hands of Kiri ninja. He would get him home safely at the expense of his life. The arrival of so many Kiri shinobi had been a surprise that no-one was expecting, as all reports had stated that Kirigakure had officially withdrawn from the war. So when there was evidence that people from Kirigakure could possibly be involved in a fight near where Naruto and Obito had 'died' was a shock, even more so when said Shinobi ambushed them.
"What in the world happened here?" the clan-less Chūnin woman—Hisano—asked. The crater before them was immense and at risk of filling with water as the thunder clouds rolled above them, rubble which had originally fallen on them those many months ago was now strewn about the forest. Ginormous rocks littered the land, from mere metres to a kilometre or so from the used-to-be cave. Kakashi darted forward and landed in the centre of the crater, the memories of that day playing before his eyes.
He felt his body move on its own accord, everything moving around him and playing out as if he were there again. He walked forward, everything in slow motion. Looking back he heard Naruto scream for him to run, her voice coming from the direction of the craters centre. Looking forward again he could almost feel himself pushed out of the way as Obito was crushed behind him. He looked to the pool of blood at his feet, with no accompanying body.
What in the world happened, indeed?
He felt a second of relief flood his body before clamping it down. Was Obito alive? Did someone take his body when they saw that he still had one Sharingan, despite the fact that it was probably crushed? This didn't prove that Obito was alive, but it sure as hell gave Kakashi a little hope that he would see his black haired teammate again. He lifted his head and smelt the air, the scents assaulting his nostrils as he tried to pick out the few he wanted. Walking forward he followed Obito's distinct scent, made stronger by his weeping wounds.
Kakashi's hand crackled with lightning, the threatening sound of a thousand birds engulfing the forest. He charged forward and ploughed his way through several metres of rock before the current dissipated from his fingers.
"Aburame-san, can you please look at this?" the quiet Aburame man jumped down into the crater and walked into the small tunnel Kakashi had created, the taller man having to duck into the opening. Kakashi uncovered his Sharingan eye and looked at the wall in front of him. He had been training relentlessly the past few months, familiarising himself with the eye as Minato had forbidden him from joining the search for his two teammates until he had control over its powers. With the Uchiha breathing down his neck, some of that time was spent working in the ANBU under strict tutelage from a trusted Uchiha woman that looked as if she were old enough to have put even Uchiha Madara under the hellish tutoring that Kakashi endured.
Many problems arose as other elders demanded his eye be removed and returned to the Uchiha, which was easily shot down after Minato reminded them that the eye had been voluntarily given to Kakashi. The fact did not stop most of the hostility a fair few of the clan felt towards Kakashi, however his ancient tutor—Uchiha Rekka—had no such qualms. She had told him once that she would prefer him to be an outsider that became excellent and made a name out of himself from the amazing power of the Sharigan, rather than an outsider floundering around and making a mockery of the clan's beloved dōjutsu. Her reasoning placated the percentage of the clan, but it did nothing to stop Uchiha Fugaku's hatred for him. Kakashi's mere association with the man's nephew had caused distaste, now that Kakashi had said nephew's eye in place of his own, the hatred had intensified.
"Would you be able to send some bugs down through these cracks and see where it leads, if anywhere? There seems to be wind currents coming through, but I don't want anyone going down there if it could collapse at any moment," the Aburame nodded as his skin appeared to suddenly turn black, however it wasn't his skin. Thousands of tiny black bugs crawled from the confines of his flesh, their bodies littering the surface of his arms and neck. They soon took flight and moved towards the wall, the swarm bundling together for a while before they found cracks and began to funnel their way through.
"We should continue searching the area while my kikaichū nestlings take over here, the northern Fire Country is now in storm season, so if you want to track that other teammate of yours, you may want to go know before it rains for days," Kakashi nodded in reply and made his way to the end of his makeshift tunnel. Hisano stood at the end when they emerged, her eyes worried as she glanced around at the towering trees.
"What's wrong Hayashi-san?" Kakashi asked as he quickly surveyed the environment, looking for anything out of place.
"I have been feeling signatures for the past five or so minutes, I can't tell whether they are animals or shinobi which is what makes me think we have some very skilled Shinobi trying to spy on us. I think we should be on high alert," Kakashi's ability as a sensor hadn't been anywhere near the genius of Naruto, however since she has been gone he picked up his game and trained his senses, determined to not be blindsided. However Hayashi Hisano specialised in chakra sensing, having a unique natural talent for the field from a young age had made her highly recommended for the team.
"Stay together, no-one wander off by themselves. You'll be an easy target on your own, let's continue our search," the Aburame said, his eyes hidden behind his tinted glasses, however Kakashi knew they were trained on his face and ordering him to continue his tracking. He walked over to the middle of the crater and leaned onto one knee, his fingers caressing the dirt which was still soft and unsettled after months. It was odd but he knew why, powerful chakra was used in very large quantities and stayed hidden between the grains. The spiral at his neck began to heat, the burning sensation borderline painful as he felt the glass pendant absorb and resonate with the chakra left over. This was definitely Naruto, and she had definitely used the Kyūbi's power.
"It is hard to tell which direction she went, by the amount of Kyūbi chakra left over in the dirt here it is likely that searching through chakra sensing may be hard since any boulder from here will have her chakra in it. We would be sent on a wild goose chase for every single piece of rock she caused to scatter with whatever happened here. I could try tracking by sent, but it has been too long, the only reason I can still smell them at all here is because large sums of blood was spilled and it has seeped into the dirt," Kakashi's voice was monotone and factual, he didn't want to think about what could be the cause—and what the outcome could be—of pools of blood big enough to leave a scent for months out in the open.
"I have a feel of the chakra, I could look for left over chakra nearby. When chakra ages and mixes with nature chakra it is easy to tell, I could have a feel around and see if there is any chakra nearby that is similar. This is a warzone, there's a good chance she got into a fight not long after getting out of here so there should be chakra residue everywhere. I just need to find the right one," Hisano replied, her voice sceptical as she obviously thought of this search as a wild goose chase regardless. She just couldn't see why such utter importance was placed on the girl since she was most likely dead after so long. They were in the middle of a world war, they didn't have time to be chasing after a preteen girl. Kyūbi powers or not.
Rin narrowed her eyes at the woman but held her tongue, refusing to cause distress between the group by snapping at the older woman. Hisano was professional and doing her part, despite it being obvious that she didn't think this mission was worth the risk. If there was the slightest chance that Naruto was alive, it is in even the village's utmost importance that they get her back. She isn't just their teammate and friend, she is in fact the Kyūbi Jinchūriki. Many villages would do terrible things to her for what she contains.
It wasn't long before Hisano found something, and what they found was astounding. Trees were smouldered and melted, earth was upended and pulverised, kunai and shuriken littered the ground. A very large battle with numerous shinobi occurred here, and Naruto's chakra that Hisano had imprinted into her mind from Konoha was everywhere. Hisano wasn't the only one that could sense the chakra that covered the area like a film of dust, even a fresh Genin would be able to pick this.
"She couldn't seriously have faced this many people," Guy said with amazement, his voice uncharacteristically quiet.
"'Faced this many people' and lived you mean?" Hisano interjected with a scowl.
"I can smell her blood going that way," Kakashi walked passed Hisano, his shoulder brushing hers threateningly. He held superiority over her, and even though he hated pulling the ANBU card, he would order her to shut up before he did something he would regret. He didn't want to have his ANBU tattoo burnt off and his ass thrown in jail or executed all because he couldn't contain his anger. Walking through the debris of the forest, the trees had finally begun to retake the area, old scars appearing on their trunks. After minutes of walking they hit a wall…literally.
"What is this?!" Guy rushed forward and placed his hand against the ash grey wall, the surface looked like liquid that had been frozen in time. Ripples and bulges indicated either a terrible builder, or a shinobi's jutsu.
"What?" the ninja's all looked to the Aburame, he gave away no emotion as he examined the wall.
"Yōton is an old Kekkei Genkai, but no-one really knows where it is from. There are many different versions of it, almost like a fingerprint as each user has a different type. Iwagakure has had the bloodline for many generations now, however that has always been in the form of quicklime. Similar to that is a man from Kumogakure named Dodai who made his own type of Yōton justu by adding fire and earth natures together. This however is neither of those. More close to the target is something more likeRōshi's Yōton from Iwagaure, the Jinchūriki of the Yonbi. It is actual molten rock, however I have never heard of him being able to release it as anything but large molten boulders. He has also been off the radar for years, so I doubt he would work with this many people now. This is different, this is pure lava," he pulled a kunai from his pouch and quickly slashed the rock, lava pouring from the wound before pooling and slowly setting from the exposure to the air.
"If it isn't Iwa's quicksilver techniques, Kumo's combination or the Jinchuriki's, then who the hell did it?" Hisano asked with irritation, waiting for the Aburame to get to the point. The Aburame reached into his pouch very slowly to annoy the girl, Kakashi would have found it hilarious that the man actually had a sense of humour if he weren't feeling just as impatient. Flipping through a few pages to the point where the ever patient Rin nearly snapped at him to pick up the pace, he stopped and held out the open page in front of their eyes.
"Terumi Mei, a girl from Kirigakure has recently been admitted into the bingo books because of her 'use of molten lava in battle'," a small whistling noise could suddenly be heard, one that even an academy student would recognise. The Konoha shinobi all scattered in different directions just as a kunai hit the wall of lava beside them, the explosive tag attached to it detonating from impact and spraying the superheated lava across the trees. Kakashi heard painful shrieks and looked over to see Hisano thrashing, her arms flailing blindly as the lava ate away at her flesh, her whole body alight with flames from the contact.
An ominous mist began to fill the clearing, and then it was obvious as to who was attacking them. Kirigakure no jutsu sure as hell wasn't named after Sunagakure after all. All the Konoha Shinobi crouched low to the ground, hiding as the mist began to overtake them. All were silent besides the screams still pouring from Hisano's throat, the wailing quieting as she drew her last breath. A high pitched ringing filled the absence her voice left, the mist caressing their skin like a slimy film.
The crackle and flash of thunder and lightning engulfed their senses, the sudden change in atmosphere causing all the Shinobi to clench their muscles with aching anticipation. Kakashi cursed, wishing that they had brought a Hyūga along with them. The mist was extremely thick and all his Sharigan eye could see was heavy chakra rolling around them. With the now falling rain it made it even worse, the excess water was easily captured by the users chakra and added itself to the pearly-white realm.
He closed his eyes and waited.
His breath slowed.
Then with what his Sharigan had seen, he created his own mist. It was a dismal representation compared to what the well versed Kiri ninja could do, but he could feel his own chakra sliding through the realm. Kakashi swore as he heard a thump of a kunai slamming into the tree by his head, anyone adding to the jutsu would know roughly where the solid signatures are, but they too seemed to be blinded.
Reaching up, he pocketed the kunai and crouched low to the ground. Right now was all a game of cat and mouse, a true test to the stealth of a ninja. The mist he created still weaselled its way through theirs until he finally landed on a solid figure, whether it was friend or foe he didn't quite know, but he sure as hell intended to find out.
Another flash of lightning lit the mist to an eerie white glow before plunging them all into darkness only a second later, the thunder crashing only a moment later, signifying that the lightning was striking close by. Being stealthy in mud was one of the basic classes at the academy, you had to know how to sneak through all terrains as you never know when you will need it. Mud for example, became ten times easier to sneak through after learning the water walking technique as it might as well be the same concept. However it wasn't too hard for Kakashi to pinpoint the ninja that suddenly charged at his lowered figure, their feet squelching in the mire below them, not bothering to hide his position.
Kakashi charged forward and met them half way, his hand clamping around the ninja's wrist and twisting. Lightning lit the mist again, the white surroundings blinding as he looked to the figure below him. Kirigakure ninja, no older than himself, nowhere near as experienced as him. Good. He brought up his kunai and pressed it to what was likely to be a fresh Chūnin's throat.
"You're going to tell me what I want to know," Kakashi couldn't see clearly, but he knew the feel of an indignant and stubborn body. Moving the kunai he pierced the tip into a groove of his neck, precisely causing a rift in a jugular vein.
"That is no longer just rain you feel, on the right side of your neck I have pierced your right jugular vein, next will be the left. If you still don't want to talk, I will put these small punctures into your median cubital vein–" he pressed his kunai down near the boys elbow "–and your cephalic vein–" the kunai scraped down the Kiri shinobi's arm until it rest on an unseen vein at his wrist.
"If doing that to both sides doesn't work then I will move lower, believe me you do not want me anywhere near your femoral artery and vein," Kakashi could feel the boy shudder beneath him, yet no words were yet to escape him. He hated torture, he was very happy to leave it to the T&I department, a place which he never planned on being a part of. However being an ANBU, you are taught many things, and on the field and mid-battle torture to get information are just one of the few classes.
"I will make you bleed out slowly, I will even re-pierce the wounds when your body's defence system kicks in and the platelets in your blood begin to coagulate and stop the bleeding, I won't allow you to heal, I will make you suffer until I get the information I need. Now…Terumi Mei seems to have been around here lately, why?" the boy didn't respond and Kakashi pierced his left jugular vein with a cringe, the hole was small as the blood quickly oozed from the wound. The boy grunted, it wasn't necessarily painful as torture could be, but the idea of bleeding out slowly terrified him.
"She came on orders of the Mizukage to capture someone," he was shaking. Kakashi was happy with the information, however if anyone in Kiri knew the boy had spilled the beans, he will be executed under Kirigakure law. Either way the boy would die, if he had realised this, he should have chosen the path of dying in the field. Kakashi almost felt sorry for him, however he was inexperienced and was most likely only promoted to Chūnin because of Kirigakure's shortage of ninja's. He wasn't ready for the field.
"Who? Who was she sent to capture?"
"It wasn't just Terumi-san, nearly everyone from Chūnin up were sent to capture Konoha's Jinchūriki," Kakashi felt as if he had been punched in the gut and had a flood of relief fill him all at once.
"Where is she? Is she alive?" his voice was strong and demanding from years of training, however it took all of his might not to fumble over his words and whisper. His steady heart sped up slightly at the possibility of the boys answer. He didn't think he would be able to stop himself from gliding the point of his kunai through both of the boys femoral arteries if he said she was dead, it probably wasn't his fault if she was. He just wouldn't be able to control himself.
"She's alive in the torture dungeons," Kakashi grip tightened on the handle of his kunai, his thumb pressing into the wounds on the boy's neck. He couldn't heal the child as the green glow would alert them of his position, however he could do this much.
"Thank you Kiri ninja, I will let you go. I won't say whom I obtained this information from, however you are always welcome in Konoha if your life is in danger," Kakashi didn't tell him that if a treaty were to be formed with Kirigakure that there is a good chance that they will demand all their refugees back, but he wanted to give the boy a chance.
Lightning suddenly struck down, the two boys being blasted into the air. Kakashi's shoulders smacked into the spine of a tree, the hard wood behind him absorbing none of the shock from the impact. Lightning began striking down the area, the barrage of burning hot electricity didn't stop as the trees began to burn in a blaze. Kakashi raised his eyes just in time to see the boy he had interrogated burn to a crisp as a bolt of lightning thundered through his body. He swore as he leapt to his feet, the mist had dissipated as every shinobi had a free-for-all run from Mother Nature. Kakashi's body swerved through the thinning trees, his senses tingling as his lightning chakra reacted with the nature energy of the lightning that rained upon them. He had never been so glad to have lightning based chakra in his life as it reacted and gave him warning every time nature chakra began to charge around him, readying for a strike.
A scream came from before him, and he instantly knew who it was.
"RIN!" he called, dashing forward with new vigour, with clearer eyes he could see Rin and Guy ahead of him. Guy spun when he approached, his hands held up in a defensive position. Kakashi held his own hands up, the sight of his silver-white hair calming the green clad ninja. Rin's eyes roamed his body, looking for any injuries. When she didn't find any she visibly relaxed, but only for a second as a kunai sailed past her head and straight at Kakashi. With reflexes that were borderline inhuman, he plucked the kunai from the air and threw it back in the direction it came from. He heard a soft 'thump' followed by the collapse of a body, indicating that he had hit his target.
Kakashi's chakra suddenly stirred angrily within him, he had not even half a second before lightning would strike. No time to warm Rin and Guy, no time to get them out of the way. He only had one option, and that was to deal with the wrath of Mother Nature with wrath of his own. It seemed like no time had passed before Kakashi had his hand raised with the densest Chidori he had ever created engulfing his hand, the lightning struck only moments later. Nature chakra mixed with Kakashi's own, the lightning bolt stayed striking for numerous seconds, unable to make contact with the ground to dissipate.
"Get down!" he managed to yell to his comrades as small surges of lighting shot out from the collision, the area lighting up like a plasma globe a merchant had brought to the markets once. A toy that only children with lightning chakra could generate, despite finding toys below him as a ninja, he couldn't help but buy the contraption.
Kakashi's hand burned as the lightning charged through his body, the nature chakra surging through his coils. With a mind that felt like mush, he raised his other extremely dense Chidori powered hand and sliced it through the powerful bolt of lightning. The lightning surged out in different directions, aiming high and burning the tree tops. Kakashi fell to his knees, his right hand burned badly, the singed flesh pungent to his sensitive nose. His breaths were heavy as he looked around himself, the exhaustion of what he just did evident in his posture. Swaying as he stood, Kakashi managed to raise himself to his feet. A dozen or so Kirigakure ninja's slowly stepped into the clearing, eyeing him wearily.
A girl around his age stepped into the clearing: dark auburn hair, pale skin, green eyes. Kakashi instantly recognised her as Terumi Mei, the girl that could lead him to Naruto.
"Impressive, it is nice to find someone with skills to rival mine that isn't twenty years older than me," Kakashi's muscles ached but he stood straight, he wouldn't let them see his exhaustion.
"That was a very dangerous thing you did there, cutting that lightning like that. I feel as if Chidori is too…girly a name for a technique that can cut lightning. Perhaps Raikiri would be a more suitable name?"
"What I used just then and Chidori are two different techniques despite looking very similar, Terumi-san," Kakashi made conversation, trying to buy him time to recover and gain back some strength. He could see Guy on the verge of passing out near a Kiri man, Rin however was on the ground closer to himself and easier to protect in her vulnerable state.
"Huh, well I still think it should be called Raikiri, who wouldn't want at least one technique with the word 'Kiri' in it eh?" Kakashi kind of wanted to roll his eyes at the girl, but being the ever stoic ninja he was renowned for he decided to keep up his reputation.
"Talking about Kiri, I have heard a particularly nasty rumour that you have one of Konoha's ninja's captured despite Kirigakure formally being withdrawn from the war," Mei widened her eyes in mock surprise. The woman would never be an infiltration expert, her acting was atrocious.
"Well we are still a ninja nation, if someone comes into our territory or gets in the way of a mission, of course we will take them in. As would Konoha," Kakashi raised an eyebrow and raised his arms to indicate the terrain around them.
"You can't seriously think that this is your territory can you? This is Kusagakure's territory, Kiri isn't even close to here," Mei scowled at Kakashi, her delicate face still attractive despite the contortion.
"Well obviously whoever it is you are looking for got in the way of a mission," Kakashi and Mei stared at one another, neither wanting to admit defeat. Despite being outmanned and on the verge of collapsing, Kakashi would not yield until he had both Obito and Naruto back. Right now, he was very close to finding at least one of them. Lightning struck a tree close by, the ninja in the area jumping from the sudden noise. Kakashi and Mei stayed where they were, their eyes fixed on the other. Neither backing down.
"So, with the amount of Shinobi you have here right now, you seem to be on a very important mission. Perhaps a search and capture mission?" Kakashi highly doubted that Naruto would have attacked the group of ninja's in front of him, even she was smart enough to know that it would give them free political reign to take her into custody for interrogation.
"Classified," Mei replied, her green eyes boring into Kakashi's dark grey irises.
"Well I must inform you then, that you have quite greatly interfered with a Konoha mission. That tends to happen when you attack us out of nowhere. So Terumi Mei, by the law of the great nations, Konoha has jurisdiction to capture and contain you and your merry men. Do not resist or you will force my hand, and we don't want that now do we?" Kakashi stated as the air around him charged with energy. He didn't channel enough chakra to form a Chidori, and nowhere near the amount needed for his newfound Raikiri, but it was enough to wave the air around his arms and heat the pouring rain.
"We are in a time of war, those laws do not strictly apply. Every man for himself out here Hatake, you're in our way, we're taking you in," Kakashi sighed, his hands warm as his chakra flow through his fingers.
"Kirigakure pulled out of the war quite a while ago," Kakashi stated before he let the lightning chakra inside of him bubble to the surface. Kirigakure Shinobi may all benefit from the water with their prominent water affinities, but the Hatake line was originally from the farmlands of the land of Lightning. Like his father before him, he had lightning on his side.
Water was the perfect conductor.
Mei scowled as Kakashi rounded on her, she was the only one in the group that seemed to have any strong Earth affinities so he needed her out of the picture early. He didn't have enough chakra to form a Chidori–not without causing himself to collapse right there from exhaustion–however he generated enough electricity through his fingers that when he hit, it was sure to hurt. A Kiri man convulsed slightly when Kakashi landed a hit to the side of his jaw, the burn marks left behind were red and scarring.
It wasn't long before the exhaustion caught up with him, his body wasn't like Naruto's, so a day with non-stop movement and no sleep in well over 24 hours was dragging him down. He was crouched on the ground next to Rin, frozen in place as he watched a man hold a kunai to Guy's now unconscious neck. Blood dropped into Mei's eye, a cut Kakashi managed to land across her brow bleeding profusely.
"He'll do," she muttered with outrage, her head nodding in Guy's direction as she turned and walked away from Kakashi's drained form. His legs shook as he stood, he wasn't letting them take Guy. He couldn't let another one of his comrade's slip away from him.
Just as Kakashi was determined to possibly drain the rest of his chakra in a last ditch attempt to release Guy from their grip, his vision was blurred with blackness. Hundreds of insects flew past with a deafening roar, their tiny wings beating erratically.
Kakashi watched with wide eyes as the bugs did next to nothing besides follow the group, none of them even attempting to bite into their flesh and drain them of their life energy. The silver haired teen spun on the spot, looking everywhere to find the only person he knew that would be close by that could cause such a feat.
It wasn't long before the Aburame stepped into sight, his head bowed as if it would protect him from the lightning that still occasionally struck a nearby tree. Kakashi's eyes lit with fire when they landed on the older mans hunched figure, wounds slowing his movements despite none being visible.
"Where were you this whole time?" Kakashi said calmly, his nerves were shot and his insides were tearing apart. They had taken Guy, he had no idea what he was going to do.
"My nest returned, they have found a lead on Obito. His chakra was present in a cave underneath the collapsed rubble. He however was no longer there. I have no idea where he is now, he could be anywhere," Kakashi turned and pounded his fist into a tree with infuriating force, the bough buckling under the chakra induced force. He looked to his bleeding and burned hand, prying the fingerless glove off slowly.
Through everything that just transpired, he goes and breaks his hand on a damn tree.
Taking deep breaths, Kakashi managed to calm his racing heart and clear his mind. Rin had woken up by that point, her honey brown eyes still foggy from unconsciousness. They found cover away from the storm before deciding the best move was to rest, they were no use to their teammates if they were going to collapse.
Now their main priority was to find Guy. They knew he was alive, they just had to go get him.
The friends he keeps letting slip away from him was rising.
He didn't know what to do.
"Who is this?" Yagura asked, looking down at the green monstrosity strapped to the interrogation table. Guy stared blankly into the void as a genjutsu coursed through his coils, Yagura was just glad that at least he couldn't break from them.
"This is Might Guy, a high Chūnin. He went to school with the Kyūbi Jinchūriki, same graduating class, very loved by many of Konoha. A bit stupid, but I think it is better that way," Mei tried to make her voice strong, however she could hear the quiver from her throat every time her Mizukage looked at her. His eyes were cold as he turned his face up to look at her, despite being taller than him he made her feel as if he towered over her.
"I specifically asked for either the Hatake or the other teammate, not some dim-witted buffoon in spandex," Mei cringed away from his eyes.
"Hatake Kakashi would sooner kill himself than go back to Konoha after this, Nohara Rin is the same–"
"And you don't think that this one will? He looks like he commits social suicide every day, I don't think he would be all opposed to the actual thing," Yagura watched Mei bite her lip with furrowed brows. He didn't want to frighten the girl, but she had to an extent let him down.
"Hatake Kakashi has a lightning affinity, most of us have water affinities and we were caught in a lighting storm. He had unlimited amounts of water for conduction and could almost use the lightning to his advantage. I swear to the Rikudō Sennin himself that I saw him cut a freaking lightning bolt in half,"
"That boy is a stone cold killer Mei, I do not put it past him to kill this boy with the first chance he gets," Yagura sighed as he moved the jar of sealing onto the table, giving in to Mei. She always held a sweet spot in his heart and always got her way with him, not that he would ever let her on to this weakness.
"Call your great-grandmother, I have a part of a beast for her to seal into this boy," Mei nodded and scurried away in search of her only remaining blood family. He wasn't waiting long before an extremely elderly woman stepped into the room, her burgundy locks speckled with fine grey hairs. She was extremely old by civilian standards, however she was down-right ancient by Shinobi standards. With the woman she was however, she aged gracefully, her hair not seeing a single grey until her only grandchild had been born.
"What crap are you dragging me into now Yagura?" she asked. The man felt a small amount of resentment at her voice, she was in fact the woman that had sealed the Sanbi into him after all.
"Always a pleasure Uzumaki Mei," the woman grunted in response, pushing her very long hair over one shoulder. Though any Uzumaki could wear their hair as long as they liked, it was tradition for the women of royal blood to grow their hair long. The woman barely spoke and asked no questions as she sealed the energy of the Sanbi into Guy's body. The power was uncontained and unstable as it settled inside him, unless he was trained by either an Uzumaki, a Senju or another Jinchūriki with power over the beast, Uzumaki Mei knew that he was a ticking time bomb.
"You plan on having the boy lose control in Konohagakure don't you? What happened to pulling Kiri from the war? After the fight with the late Sandaime Raikage, don't you think we lost enough Shinobi? Pulling the islands back into the war is suicide, we have enough civil riots as it is without you pulling us into more fighting. First you should take care of your own people before trying to take over other territories," She turned to walk out the door, her eyes warming at the sight of her great-granddaughter as she walked past.
"You're just scared because you know there is at least one Uzumaki in Konoha. I know she is your great-niece, but I refuse to let my people die as the ocean rises. The land of Fire has plenty of territory to spare, they'll live," Uzumaki Mei scoffed at the poor choice of words.
"No, that's just it. They won't live, and that is exactly what you want, for an entire nation to fall,"
"I am trying to make theirs fall so as mine doesn't! You and you're family would have done the same if it meant that your country didn't collapse to ruin," Mei looked to her Mizukage with wide eyes as her great-grandmother turned, her face composed with the practice that only the highest of trained Shinobi could produce. A Shinobi that had lived through all the Shinobi World Wars.
"We Uzumaki's ran a peaceful nation, we would not commit genocide for our own sake," as she turned to leave, her face morphed with sorrow. She knew how empty her own words were, if she could see any of her family happy and safe again she would commit unspeakable crimes.
"You and I both know that when it comes to family, the Uzumaki's would do absolutely anything. Which is why you fell, all because you had to help out the Senju's, putting Uzushiogakure in the bingo books. But there is no time to mope, I called you here for a reason. We're not done Uzumaki-san, I have another problem you're sealing abilities would come in handy for," Uzumaki Mei stopped, her hand resting on the door frame.
"Of course Mizukage-sama–" she stepped through the doorway and turned back to Yagura's approaching form "–it is always my pleasure," Uzumaki Mei didn't say anything in rebuttal to his claims, because everything he had said were true. Her great-granddaughter followed after them, her footsteps light as she shadowed behind. When they walked further down into the torture dungeons of Kirigakure and stopped outside of a heavily vaulted door, Yagura motioned for the young girl to stay outside. She already knew what laid within however, she had in fact brought the Kyūbi Jinchūriki here herself.
Her grandmother smiled to her slightly before walking inside, shutting the chakra filled door behind her and their Mizukage.
"Pretty, young, radiating with power. Which Jinchūriki is this?" Uzumaki Mei asked, her eyes scanning the pile of torn paper around her holding cot. She looked up to see the paper seals on her palms and forehead suddenly tear through with wind natured chakra, easily cutting off the genjutsu.
"She is the Kyūbi Jinchūriki," Uzumaki Mei's head shot up at the news, she knew exactly who the real Kyūbi Jinchūriki was, and it wasn't this child.
"You seem surprised," Mei bowed her head and stared at the girl as she stirred, coming out of the genjutsu.
"This is my problem, she is somehow manipulating the genjutsus you created. These are Kirigakure's Torture and Interrogation Dungeons, yet your genjutu's are doing nothing but creating unpleasant dreams," Uzumaki Mei scowled at the man. The girl looked truly beaten and tortured. She has been unable to move from the cot, she was an absolute mess in her own filth and grime. The whole room smelled foul, she did not need any more torture, her life these past months already resembled a hell.
She walked forward and looked down at the girl with pitying yet suspicious eyes. If this girl truly was the Kyūbi's Jinchūriki, then that meant her darling great-niece Kushina was dead. She placed her fingers to the blonde's temples, the girl's crystalline blue eyes opening wide from the touch and staring up into Mei's violet eyes.
Through the look in her eyes and her fingers on the girl's head, she learned a few things.
One: this girl was in fact the Jinchūriki of the Kyūbi no Yoko.
Two: Uzumaki blood and chakra flowed through her body with the force of a tidal wave.
Three: her chakra held the very same properties of the Uzumaki Royal line as her great-niece Kushina, therefore this girl was somehow a direct descendent of the Royal Uzumaki bloodline.
"Leave me with her," Mei demanded, her head turned slightly in Yagura's direction. She did not care that he was the Mizukage, he was very right to assume that Uzumaki Mei would do anything for family, and the fact that Uzushiogakure was gone, the words never rung so true.
"I beg your pardon?"
"I said–" she turned to the man, both the same height as Mei grew smaller with age "–leave. If you want me to rectify this, then leave me in peace, this room is disgusting enough to concentrate in without you here," Yagura seethed at her words, completely dumbfounded by the woman's insolence. However she was a very valuable asset to Kirigakure, so he would do as she wished.
Uzumaki Mei waited until he was away from the room before approaching the girl again. She took an unused cloth from the sink that sat in the corner of the room, wetting it under the sink and placing it across the girl's forehead, causing a sigh of contentment.
"What is your name?"
"Naruto," she replied quickly as Mei moved the cloth down her face, moving back to the sink within mere moments since she was that filthy.
"No child, what is your family name?"
"Uzumi," she whispered almost hesitantly, Mei looked at her with sceptical eyes.
"You and I both know that that is a false name…unless you are completely unaware of your Uzumaki heritage?" Naruto's eyes widened with immense surprise, it had been so long since she had heard her true name used when referring to her. The glee almost overtook the shock she felt.
"So you do know about your heritage. You have features that remind me so much of the Uzumaki women in my family, however your hair is quite different to what I'm used to. The red in our hair is generally quite a prominent trait, even when we married people with black hair, sometimes the bright red locks would dominate," she smoothed the towel over Naruto's greasy hair, the blonde looking more like a light brown through all the grime.
"I'm know of my heritage, but it's safer this way. It's safer if certain people don't know," Mei smiled sadly at the girl, she could understand. There was a reason the Uzumaki's were the target of genocide, they truly were a clan to be feared, for both their techniques and natural advantages. Uzumaki chakra could not be replicated, there was no other chakra so pure and ageless, its powerful propertiesallowing the Uzumaki's to live far beyond their brethren Shinobis'. Especially those of Royal chakra and blood.
"Tell me, I need to know how you are the Kyūbi Jinchūriki. The last time I saw my great-niece was when my brother sent her away to be used as the next vessel, family is everything to me, so I could not be a part of a family that would doom such a life on one of our own. What happened to Kushina? How have you come to be?" Naruto's eyes widened at her mother's name, for some time now Kushina's Jinchūriki status had been highly classified. No-one knew that she had contained the fox demon, Naruto happily taking the burden from her.
"Kushina-san was still alive and well the last time I saw her. I don't know how long I've been here, but before I left, she and her husband Namikaze Minato were married. I only contain a part of the Kyūbi, Kushina still is the original Jinchūriki,"
"Wow, my beautiful little great-niece is married to the Yellow-Flash, wife of the Yondaime Hokage. She is really following in Mito's footsteps that girl," Naruto's head jerked in surprise then, a smile donned on her beaten face.
"Minato-sensei is now Hokage?" she laughed with happiness, some things in the past just didn't change. She knew he would make it to Hokage one day, he was one of the best Shinobi around.
"Sensei?" Mei asked. She was still trying to wrap her head around Naruto, the girl was confusing her. The only way the girl could contain the same chakra as Kushina would be if they had an absolute direct relation, which meant she was either Kushina's sister or daughter, neither of which seemed plausible.
"Yeah, I'm on team Minato. Every week we would go over their house and eat Kushina-san's awesome cooking, her ramen is to die for it's that delicious!" as far as Mei was concerned, her niece and nephew died in the fall of Uzushiogakure, there was no way that they could have had another daughter unless her nephew Kaito had in fact survived and gone on to have another daughter. Naruto was obviously not a full biological sister of Kushina, however a half-sister she could definitely believe.
"What relation do you have with Uzumaki Kushina?" she asked bluntly, her hands stilling as Naruto stiffened below her.
"She is family," Mei sighed and continued her ministrations across Naruto's skin.
"She is your half-sister isn't she?" Naruto's eyes widened in surprise, which Mei took as an affirmative. Naruto was in fact surprised that the woman knew that she was at least that closely related to Kushina, it didn't take a genius to know that Naruto was looking into the eyes of her great-great aunt. This fact caused the surprise to dull when she looked into her great-great-aunts violet eyes, the very same shade of her mothers. Her own great-grandfather's sister. Never in her wildest dreams did Naruto even consider that she would meet anyone from her family besides her Mother, she just didn't think it would ever happen due to their being so few Uzumaki's left in the world.
Tears fell from her eyes as she looked up to yet another member to add to her growing family Mei wiped away the tears from Naruto's cheeks and leant down, kissing the saltiness and not even caring about the grime that she was unable to fully wash away.
"I promise you, I will get you out of here my little great-niece. I will get you home to Konoha and back with your sister," Naruto smiled around her tears and whispered out a small thank you. Before Mei left she dowsed Naruto's entire body in water to clean her, not being able to do much more. She really would do anything for family, and right now she would do anything to make the girl more comfortable.
Drawing a seal directly onto her forehead, she watched Naruto's eyes close slowly as the peaceful genjutsu overtook her, taking her away from the terrible torture chamber she has had to endure for months. Mei cast her own genjutsu over her, making her look just as ragged as before.
"I have drawn a genjutsu seal directly onto her forehead, she cannot split ink in her skin with wind chakra. She will not be coming out of this one, not until I say so or my chakra runs dry. You and I both know that that won't be happening any time soon, the Uzumaki blood is, and always will be strong," Uzumaki Mei said it almost as a warning to Yagura. He was unaware of her relation to the girl in his possession, and she planned on keeping it that way. However she was all for foreshadowing, she would subtly let him know that that girl is a force to be reckoned with.
Uzumaki Mei took her great-granddaughter by the arm and steered her away from the Mizukage, feeling as if her treasonous thoughts would be readable across her face. Once they were in a safe room, far away from Yagura, the older woman turned to the girl she practically raised. The girl that was named after herself.
"I will be getting that girl out of here," Mei's eyes widened in surprise as she yanked her body away from her great-grandmother.
"What are you saying? Are you mad?!" Uzumaki Mei's eyes lowered in sadness, but she knew Mei would understand, the girl had lost most of her family from a very young age. She had drilled the importance of family into her head from the moment she was able to understand her, and even before then.
"Like you are my great-granddaughter, she is my great-niece. You are family Mei, she is in a way your cousin, or even aunty. She is in the Bingo Books is she not? Under the name Uzumi? Uzumi is close to Uzumaki, it is the perfect name to get used to quickly. Close enough to her real name so as it feels natural, but different enough that she cannot be associated with the Uzumaki," Mei shook her head at her great-grandmother, there was no way that that girl was her distant family.
"No, how could you possibly know that?" the young girl clutched her arms around her torso as if they would keep her together, her only living family was telling her of her plans to commit treason.
"She has the exact same Uzumaki chakra as my other great-niece Kushina. If I died, and Kushina was no longer around, you and her would be the only Uzumaki's left that held Royal blood," Mei's eyes widened, her arms falling limply by her side.
"Just how much of an Uzumaki is she?"
"At least one of her parents is a full blood Uzumaki, or very close to it,"
"So while I'm practically only one-sixteenth Uzumaki, she is half? She doesn't even look like an Uzumaki!" Mei would never admit it, but she was jealous of the girl. The fact that the Jinchūriki had so much Uzumaki blood in her veins made her feel as if she were more closely related to her own great-grandmother than she was.
"Family Mei, family is the most important thing. You have Uzumaki features however our chakra dulled by the time it was passed down to your father, you are very much your mother's daughter. This girl however is the closest thing we Uzumaki's have to passing on not only our Royal blood, but our Royal chakra. It is as strong in her as it is her sister Kushina, I love you Mei. I will always love you more than anyone else, but I cannot turn my back on family," Mei cast her eyes down to the floor, when she raised them again however, pure determination shined through her green irises. Her great-grandmother Mei was no longer the only family member she had left, she found another and she would be damned before letting her rot away in a dungeon.
She had family to save.
Kakashi and Rin were utterly confused as they ran with Guy between them. Getting into Kirigakure, finding Guy and getting him out again was too easy. Way too easy. The Kirigakure Shinobi that followed them were also barely trying, simply following them and pushing the trio forward as they threw kunai and shuriken that went embarrassingly wide from their supposed target.
"I don't understand, what the hell is going on?" Rin asked without missing a step, her mind sharp despite the whirlwind of questions running through her thoughts.
"They seem like they're herding us, but that doesn't make sense, we are in the land of fire already. It feels as if they are leading us back to Konoha," Kakashi was in a similar state to Rin, unable to comprehend what exactly the Kirigakure ninja's were planning.
The Kiri shinobi were simply playing with them, one of them would come within a metre of them, only to laugh and fall back again when either Kakashi or Rin would lash out. When either of them actually landed a blow on them, the other Shinobi's would laugh and jeer their comdrade as if they were all part of a dare or practical joke. One thing they knew for certain though was that they were greatly outnumbered, so if they truly did try to attack them, while trying to protect an unconscious Guy, they would most likely not win the battle.
"So they want us back in Konoha?" Kakashi didn't answer and instead looked down at Guy's still unconscious body, suspicion evident on his face.
"Turn north-east now," Rin did as Kakashi said and started heading north-east towards the Land of Hot water, but before they would reach even there, Kakashi and Rin would sooner run into the bridges that connected the Land of Fire to the Land of Whirlpools. Kakashi watched the reactions of the Kiri ninja's, paying close attention as they all suddenly became alert at their change in direction.
Guy suddenly groaned between them, his head lazily rolling as the jostling of their journey shook him into consciousness. Shuriken and kunai abruptly rained in front of them, forcing the trio to turn left and begin heading north-west again. It was then that Kakashi was certain that for some reason, they wanted the group to go back to Konoha. Looking to their barely conscious friend, he had an inkling that it had something to do with the green clad boy.
"Leave me," Guy managed to rasp out, his throat coarse and gravelly.
"Are you crazy?" Rin exclaimed in frustration, after everything they had gone through to get him back, they were not willing to just leave him. Kakashi signalled for Rin to turn right again, heading north-west towards Uzushiogakure. Their path was once again stopped by a bombardment of weapons and jutsu, forcing their path back towards Konoha.
"They sealed very out of control energy inside me, I will destroy Konoha," Kakashi and Rin paused for only a brief second before continuing on their path. It now made a lot more sense as to why they were being herded back to their home, Kakashi's suspicions leaving dread in the pit of his stomach.
"Tell me exactly what happened," Kakashi said monotonously, he needed to know.
"They sealed some stored energy from the Sanbi in me, I am a bomb waiting to burst," Rin snorted and rolled her eyes, her honey irises landing on Guy's worried face as he built up his energy to run on his own.
"Please, Naruto was able to control energy from the Kyūbi sealed in her while running for her life. You can get help to control it Guy, you are strong enough to control it," Guy simply shook his head in dismay, the sullen boy a stark contrast to his usually optimistic and exuberant self.
"I don't think there is a single person out there quite like Naruto, Rin. I can't be compared to her," Rin almost felt like crying at the look of the broken boy they had just rescued, this war had taken so much from them, but the life it had taken from Guy was devastating.
"Right!" Kakashi said again, the trio turning in unison, guy capable of stumbling along on his own with much less help from his teammates.
Everything happened so fast.
Warning weapons assaulted the area in front of them, however Guy did not stop. He charged forward right into the line of fire, intent on ending his life and releasing the energy here, far away from any villages or civilisation.
Kakashi also continued without a second of hesitation, his arms outstretched to catch Guy by whatever his fingers could grab. A shuriken sailed towards him, its shiny metal surface new and unused. Deadly.
Sailing right for his chest, the small sharp edges hit their target right between his collar bones. Yet he felt no pain, no prick or stab of the sharpened blades.
Until a shrill shrieking filled the clearing. Kakashi covered his ears with both palms, everyone around him dropping to do the exact thing. It did nothing to placate their eardrums as the sound wasn't around them, it was blasted directly into their skulls.
Kakashi's spiral pendant suddenly rose from his neck, a small crack at the bottom projecting the immense sound. Red chakra began to leak from the crack before bursting forth from the broken glass, the chakra taking shape of a horse sized Kyūbi before annihilating the environment. Rin and Guy lay by Kakashi unharmed as the chakra Kyūbi trashed the area, burning through the Kirigakure shinobi with rage.
The trio gasped as the beast turned towards them, charging at their vulnerable forms. Cowering as the beast came closer, Kakashi threw up his hands before feeling a powerful warmth engulf him. His collarbone stung as the pendant heated, the chakra beast absorbing back into where it had come from.
The three Konoha Shinobi all looked around their bodies as their cuts and bruises suddenly began to heal, their eyes wide with astonishment as their bodies rejuvenated. Kakashi sighed a heaping breath as the warmth coursed through him like a blazing inferno that filled him with so much serenity despite its massive power, a feeling he had felt so many times before when Naruto had passed her chakra onto him. Chakra transfer was an extremely hard thing to muster, however Naruto did it as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
He sat stock still, never wanting the energy to stop its course. However the energy soon faded into his own chakra coils, filling him up again after so long with lowered reserves.
Rin and Guy whispered in unison, their own bodies still tingling from the aftermath.
"Guy, what you just saw there was a small amount of power from the Kyūbi no Yoko…being a Jinchūriki is not the end of the world, the power of the beasts can be a truly beautiful thing," Guy swallowed thickly as the Kyubi's power resonated with the power sealed inside himself, the Sanbi's chakra quieting into a more subtle roar inside him.
"I don't doubt the beasts' powers, I doubt my own. I really don't feel comfortable going back to Konoha right now, I do still feel like an explosive tag," after a moment of thought, Rin leaned forward and placed her hand over his, her tender eyes soft with camaraderie.
"We can take you to the Ruins of Uzuzhiogakure, it became Konoha's territory after the fall. You will be safe there, they had a lot of knowledge on seals and Bijū, everything you will need to research control. We will send word to the Hokage to explain the situation. Minato-sensei will understand," Kakashi cringed at the thought of the report, with their Aburame teammate still sneaking around Kirigakure with his bugs, there was still very little information on both Naruto and Obito. They had accomplished very little throughout the whole ordeal.
"We'll figure this out Guy…You'll be okay," Kakashi's words were softly spoken, the boy very rarely showing much emotion towards his friend. However he felt as if Guy needed it…As if he needed it.
Terumi Mei moved swiftly as all the Shinobi's were distracted by the duo that had suddenly attacked the Dungeons. No-one was particularly surprised, they were completely aware that they would be coming after their teammate. What they were not certain of however was whether or not they would risk going after Uzumi Naruto–or Uzumaki Naruto as Mei had newly learned.
She was fast as she ran towards the girls holding cell, no-one paying any attention to her as she glided past. There was absolutely nothing suspicious about the Mizukage's favourite little pupil going to protect the whereabouts of their most high-class prisoner. Mei almost wished the scenario to be true, it would be far less complicated.
"Momochi Sandayū, what are you doing here?" the man jumped a foot into the air, his hand flying to his weapons pouch and coming back up brandishing a kunai. Mei simply raised her hands as a sign of good faith, the man in front of her seemed to have the exact same goal as she did.
"I would rather die trying to rectify the debt I owe her, than die without even a single attempt," Mei didn't drop her hands, in front of her was the perfect opportunity to fulfil her objective with little to no harm to come to herself or her great-grandmother.
"I'm not here to stop you Momochi-san, I'm here to help," Momochi Sandayū didn't drop his weapon, he knew many tricks in the Shinobi world, and putting your enemy into a false sense of security was one of them.
"Why should I believe you?"
"Because if I wanted you dead, you would be dead," Momochi's eyes darkened as his tilted his head slightly forward, he knew what she said to be true. Despite her young age she was already an exceptional Shinobi, taking greatly after her mother with her strong fire and earth affinities. She was hot in many senses of the word.
"Why would you possibly want to help? You're the one that captured her!" he whispered frantically, his eyes darting behind her at every noise.
"There are very few Uzumaki's left in the world, even rarer are Uzumaki's with both royal blood and chakra. Many people in the higher class families–yourself included–know that my great-grandmother is one of those rare few. The girl behind that door, she is another one. If there was one thing my great-grandmother taught me, it's to protect your family, especially when they are so sparse…I am more so doing this for my great-grandmother over myself, she can't bear to see anymore of her family fall," there must have been something in Mei's eyes, or maybe even her short monologue, but Momochi Sandayū suddenly lowered his weapon back to his side.
"What are we doing? What are we going?"
"We are going to sneak her out of here through the north islands, however we aren't going anywhere. You however, will be taking her where no-one will think to look for her. While all of our Shinobi are concentrated on the three Konoha ninja's headed west, you are going to take her north-west…To Uzushiogakure. You're going to take her home."
To that extremely horrid review a guest left, calling me a 'retard', 'moron', 'horrible writer' etc. I just want to first off say thank you, because on the plus side, you got me to 400 reviews and helped me realise a few things. I also want to apologise to everyone that has been waiting for the next chapter. I was a little taken aback by a small amount of the reviews I got from the last chapter and I am a little ashamed to say that it stopped me from writing for a while. But HEY! Kyūbi attack next chapter! The mystery surrounding Obito and what not shall be answered!
Once again on a sombre note, I can't make everyone happy, some people get annoyed with me because I stick too closely to the original story, whereas others get mad when something is different from the cannon. Not everyone can be happy with this story, but I am. But there are still differences, things are still happening but in different ways, different things are causing the same things to happen, all of which is a lesson to be learned.
Sorry for the rant and I am terribly sorry for how long this has taken to write. I have many excuses but I won't go into details. Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you.