Hinata jumped gracefully off the branch and dodged the flames directed at her. She whirled in mid-air and thrust her palm out.
"Hakke Kusho!" she screamed.
A burst of pure, blue chakra erupted out from her palm and hit the man chasing her squarely in the stomach. The man crumpled like a leaf and collapsed. As he fell, the dying light of the day light glinted off his hitai-ate. In the dim light, one could see the depiction of clouds on it.
Whirling again, Hinata landed heavily on a branch. Blood spurted out from the multiple wounds on her leg and she buckled down onto one knee. She also had multiple cuts on her arms and a single, deep wound on her back. If she didn't stitch them up soon, she was going to die from blood loss.
She tried to activate her Byakugan to scope out her remaining chasers but discovered that she didn't have enough chakra left to do so. She searched her pouch for soldier pills only to find out that she had lost them in one of her many skirmishes. The last two days had been hell for her. She only hoped that her team had survived the ambush that had been intended for her. She had led the ambushers away on the hope that they would leave her team alone. At the very least, it would nice to know that her death had not been pointless.
She considered ending her life then and there. Death was a much better fate than what awaited her if she got captured. She would, most probably, be forced to bear children and after enough had been born, her eyes would be harvested.
She pulled out a kunai and held it against her stomach. The tip pierced her skin and a thin trickle of blood dripped out. She held it against herself for a few moments before her nerve failed her. She had taken many lives already in her eighteen years of life. Why couldn't she take her own?
A noise jolted her out of her thoughts. Five Kumo-nin had appeared. It was time to run again.
She ran. She ran like she never had before. Blood was pouring out of her leg. She knew wasn't going to last very long. She saw a clearing up ahead and decided that that was a place as good as any to have a last stand. As she leapt onto the last tree, her leg buckled under her and she fell forwards onto the clearing. She landed heavily on the ground and rolled a couple of times to reduce the impact. She stopped near the base of a tree.
Sitting at the base of the tree was a blond man.
"Run away," she told him as she tried struggled to stand up. She would have to try and save this civilian as well now. The man had to be a civilian. She couldn't sense his presence even though he was just a foot away from her.
With five soft thumps, her pursuers landed in the clearing. Shakily, Hinata took the form of her clan's taijutsu style. All the Kumo-nins drew their katanas. Against five jounin, she stood no chance at all. She was about to go on the offensive, when the blond man stepped in front of her. He was dressed completely in black. He had a ponytail hanging behind him. He also carried two swords which Hinata noticed were arranged in an unusual manner. One was slung on his right shoulder and the other at his left hip.
The man spoke in a calm voice.
"Although I hate to admit it, I still have a tiny lingering loyalty for the village of my birth even though I have left it many years ago. The lady here happens to be from there. I don't really like fighting and so I request you to leave and forget her. I don't want to have to resort to violence."
Derision emitted from the Kumo-nin.
"As if we would abandon a mission like this. Move away civilian or we'll kill you."
"What are you doing?" Hinata cried. "They are shinobi. Get away before they kill you. I'll hold them off for as long as I can."
The man turned his head slightly and stared at her with an eye. They were the most strikingly blue eye she had ever seen. The corner of his lip twitched upwards for a second before he turned away.
"I'm sorry for what I am about to do then. I'll make it quick and painless," he directed at the Kumo-nin.
His reached into his pouch and pulled out a tri-pronged kunai. If one looked closer, one would see that the kunai had a complex sealing array painted on its side.
The blond man flung his blade casually at the leading enemy with a flick of his wrist. The Kumo-nin instinctively ducked under it. And that was his mistake. And as he learned a second later, it would be his last mistake. As the kunai whistled harmlessly over him, the blond man simply disappeared and appeared instantaneously, above him holding the kunai in one hand and a sphere of pure blue, rotating chakra in the other.
He hit the man's head with the sphere, obliterating it completely. As he landed in their midst, he slipped the kunai back into its pouch and drew the sword on his back. With a vertical slash, he cleaved the second Kumo-nin into two lengthwise. Spinning, he drew his other sword and sliced the third enemy into two.
"Don't let those swords touch you. He's using Fuuton techniques," one of the two remaining shinobi shouted.
The blond man danced back to avoid the two slashes directed him. Taking a step to the left, he attacked the fourth enemy. He channelled wind chakra into his sword and swung downwards. A sword was raised to block his blow. His blade cut through steel and flesh as if they were made of butter.
The fifth enemy stood still for a few seconds with a look of shock on his face. Then with a scream of fear, he turned and ran. The blond man watched him run away with a blank look on his face. He bent down and wiped his swords on the vest of one of the dead shinobi. Sheathing them both, he calmly walked back to Hinata.
She finally got a good look at his face before she passed out due to the pain.
Hinata woke up and stared at the blue sky above her. A sky she had never expected to see again. She admired it for a few seconds before trying to get up. Sharp, shooting tendrils of pain streaked throughout her body.
"Hinata! Don't you dare get up! You're injured," a female voice called out.
Ignoring the pain and the commanding voice, Hinata sat up. She was in the clearing where she had met the blond man. The clearing where he had slaughtered the Kumo-nin chasing her. That same clearing was now the location of a small camp.
"Kurenai-sensei, Kiba-kun, Shino-kun! What are you doing here? How did find me?" asked Hinata softly as she espied her dear teammates surrounding her with looks of concern.
"We followed your trail. We found you here with all your wounds bound up and these dead guys," said Kiba, jerking a thumb towards the place they had discovered the fallen Kumo shinobi. "Was that you?"
"No. That wasn't me."
"Kiba! Don't bother her. Let her rest. We can find out everything in due time. Now, Hinata you go back to sleep," Kurenai commanded. With a gently hand, the team leader nudged her student into a sleeping position.
Hinata obliged her sensei and fell back. Sleep came to her almost instantly. Her body clearly needed it. She dreamed about the blond man with blue eyes.
A Week Later
Sarutobi stood up in surprise.
"Are you sure?" he asked earnestly.
"About what?" Hinata replied.
"About the man who saved you. Blond hair. Whiskers on his face. Two katanas. Tell me. Are you sure?"
"Yes. I'm sure."
Sarutobi slumped back into his seat and lit his pipe. There was a look of triumph on his face. He took a few drags before talking again.
"Kurenai, your team is the best tracking team we have. I know you guys just got back and that Hinata is injured but I'm giving you a new mission. You have to track this person down at all costs. I don't care how long it takes. Failure is not an option. Once you reach him, do not engage him at any cost. I repeat! Do not fight him. You stand no chance at all. Give him this and say it is from me."
Sarutobi pulled out a scroll and began to write steadily. He finished it in a few minutes and rolled it up. He gave it to Kurenai.
"Get me Ox and Owl," he said to his secretary. The two ANBU requested for arrived in a few minutes.
"Your teams will be Team Kurenai's backup. They have to track a certain person down. Do NOT engage him. If the target attacks, your sole job is to get Team Kurenai out of there safely and get away without incurring any damage. You got that? Ox will be in overall command."
"With all due respect Hokage-sama, I think we will be able to handle a solitary target with two ANBU teams as well as a jounin squad. We can go for a grab," offered Ox.
"No. The only person currently capable of fighting him in this village is me. Do you think you guys have the skill to kidnap me?"
An awkward silence was the only response Sarutobi received.
"I thought so too. This man is beyond your current skill levels. Now, make your preparations and start moving as soon as you can," he ordered. Once they had filed out of his office, he walked over to the window and stared out over his village.
"Naruto. I hope you agree to come back."
Naruto was resting against a tree as the rain started to fall. With a sigh he got up and started to look for cover.
My second story. Hope you enjoy it. Review please. I need all the feedback I can get with such a different take on the universe.