Hello all! Sakura911 is back with another fan fiction. This fan fiction was inspired when I was randomly listening to music and BAM! I had to write a new story. Again this one is a Naruto theme one. It seems that I am getting back into that anime again. I hope that you all like this one – I have big plans for this one! So please read and review, I love to hear what you have to say about it. I would appreciate it. :3

A shout out to my special uncle who edited my fanfiction, I love you to death and will look to you for future guidance!

Naruto doesn't belong to me – I wish, if I did then he would have gotten together with Sakura already.

Summary: Five young maidens descend into the fiery world of demons to compete for the title of "Maiden of the Mizu Shrine." They will face dangers and horror's unimagined. They will need all their training and courage to face the evil and malignant creatures that dwell there, thirsting for their flesh and blood. One will prevail in a world where failure means death.

Rating: Teen

Love Like This by Amy Pearson~

I thought I had the whole thing figured out, til I found you.
I didn't wanna waste my time just, lookin' for love.
I thought that I was better off alone,
but I was wrong.

Chapter 1: The Hundred Year Tradition

Just as the sun set behind the rolling hills, a new beginning commenced. In an enormous shrine on the outskirts of Japan, a festival was being held. The night sky shimmered over the clearing where the booths were positioned. Balloons and party streamers coated the shrine walls and ceilings in traditional fashion. The strong aroma of various types of cuisines intertwined with one another creating an oddly pleasant blend. Enjoyable old folklore melodies were being performed for all to enjoy and reminisce in the past.

A glorious celebration to behold, it was filled with liveliness and vigor. Many of the inhabitants poured onto the holy grounds, to do anything to be a part of this festivity. It was time! The rein of the old generation was coming to an end, and the new generation would be taking over.

The elders of the village spoke of a group of women who would be competing over Lady Tsunade's duties as the Priestess of the Mizu Shrine. It would be an honor to witness a tradition that only happened every hundred years.

When the guests arrived at the sacred domain, they strolled through the enormous Torii gates that towered over them and climbed up the stone steps. Ascending to the peak, a well filled with purified water awaited the guests to the left of the stairway. It was common courtesy to bathe your hands and mouth to cleanse one's self before approaching the main shrine. Thoroughly washing themselves, the guests continued their journey.

Not only the Konoha Village, but all the neighboring villages got to witness this prestigious ritual. This opportunity was a once in a life time experience. Time did not move quickly enough. The wait was almost excruciating.

The best thing they had to look forward to was when the ceremony ended, they would welcome the victor to their sanctuary – a place where they prayed for their loved one's well being and offered tribute to the deceased. She would be the woman they would pray to and worship for the next century.

The Head of the Konoha Village ambled her way to the heart of the crowd. She held her posture high as she gracefully stood, demanding respect from her kin. All the descendants bowed their heads in admiration. She lifted her hands in the air as a signal for silence; the music halted and not another word was spoken.

Kurenai faced the audience. "It is time for Lady Tsunade to step down and relinquish her place as the Shrine Maiden of the Mizu Shrine. The trial for the Shrine's new guardianship will be underway shortly!" The crowd cheered and hollered joyously in anticipation. She lifted her hand and silence filled the air once more. "Lady Tsunade has been our guardian for many years. Please, pay your respects to her as she reveals those whom she has deemed worthy in participating in this ritual."

A young woman sauntered along the path the villagers created for her. Five young ladies trailed behind her, their faces concealed with an ivory cloth that kept their identities a secret for the time being. Lady Tsunade waved and smiled at the children that stared in awe at her youthful complexion. It was amazing that she has not aged a single year since the day she became the village's priestess – one of the many benefits of being the Mizu Shrine's Maiden. The older villagers bowed in respect to this wondrous woman who had granted many of their wishes – they did not deserve her divine benevolence.

Kurenai dipped low towards Tsunade in high regard, there had only been a handful of times that she had actually met the priestess, but this had been the first time she has been this close. The God that the Shrine housed did not allow many to seek her presence. "Please, reveal to us the women you have chosen."

The fair-skinned woman turned to the gathering villagers and beamed warmly, her maple eyes glancing over each villager's hopeful expressions. "First off, before I begin my speech, I would like to thank you all for coming to this most important day – it makes me incredibly happy that all you care so much about this celebration!"

The volume of cheering and clapping from the crowd intensified. Just by being in her company, they felt more alive and free! Words could not describe the sadness they felt because of her leaving the shrine.

"Every century, the current priestess of the shrine must test those who might be a suitable replacement. I will test these young ones to determine if they have what it takes to obtain my place in this demon infested world. What these women experience will test their spiritual abilities, their endurance, and their will to survive– if they lack in any of these categories then they will fail." She paused to make sure that she had everyone's absolute attention. "One-by-one I will announce the chosen ones."

The group of teenagers lined up in a neat and orderly manner, and knelt.

Tsunade advanced to the first teen. "The first one I have chosen is Ino Yamanaka."

Ino slipped off her cloth to reveal striking cerulean eyes. The Yamanaka Clan applauded noisily. They just knew she was going to be selected, how could she not? The blonde brushed her locks out of her face and stood up to bow at her awaiting public.

"Karin Uzumaki."

The redhead ripped the cloth off and began waving coolly at her clan who bawled rowdily. Tsunade flinched at the degree of the volume of their shouted praises and congrats. Karin adjusted her spectacles and grinned arrogantly. Unfortunately, the Uzumaki family was utmost known for their loud and unpredictable nature. The priestess still did not know if it was a good or bad trait for a maiden to have.

Sighing heavily, she proceeded on, before she could utter a word the pallid teenager had already let the fabric flop to the ground and beckoned the crowd to cheer wildly. Tsunade's eyebrows twitched in irritation. Why were kids so impatient these days? No respect. "The third is obviously Kin Tsuchi."

Shaking her head, she moved to the next contestant. "Hinata Hyuga."

Timidly, the girl's hands trembled uncontrollably as she withdrew the cloth and bowed deeply to the villagers. "Please take good care of me." Her cheeks flushed scarlet from the attention that she had received from the audience. From the Hyugas that actually came, their voices were swallowed up by the crowd's heavy applause. Like a curtain, she allowed her navy hair to block their stares in embarrassment.

Tsunade nodded her head in approval; it was a good decision to select her. She was so sweet and pure, the perfect blend of a fair maiden. Breaking her train of thought, she declared the final girl, "And lastly, Sakura Haruno."

The crowd suddenly went silent. Abruptly, the atmosphere became solemn.

Sakura slid the silky material that hindered her appearance to the side, allowing her rosy mane to spill across her shoulders. A sweet smile spread upon her face. Emerald orbs stared back at the judging gazes. She was accustomed to this kind of treatment.

The villagers began to mumble amongst themselves.

"Lady Tsunade chose her?"

"Hey, isn't she the daughter of-"

"Shh! That is unspeakable!"

"What in the world?"

"She better not win or we're doomed."

"Silence!" Kurenai bellowed harshly, "Allow Lady Tsunade to speak!" The mumbles turned into petty whispers. "Now, please continue."

"Thank you." Tsunade circled the anointed ones. "Those of you, who have not done so, please stand."

Everyone stood shoulder to shoulder, keeping their poise and standing graceful and straight. All were dressed in traditional priestess robes which consisted of a red hakama and a white haori.

"Are you all prepared for what is about to happen?" she inquired folding her arms behind her back.

"Yes, Lady Tsunade." They spoke in unison.

"Do I have your word?"

"Yes, Lady Tsunade."

"Excellent." The priestess bobbed her head and stared at the villagers. "The trail that I have chosen for them is –" A moment of tension overflowed the space. "They will be sent into the demon realm where they must survive an entire year there and create a bond with a demon that will become their familiar."

The audience gasped. Why would she pick that trail? Of all she could have selected, why the most dangerous one of them all?

"She cannot be serious?" Ino's father, Inoichi, shouted angrily. "My daughters being sent to such a dangerous place, I forbid it! She's too delicate for that!"

Tsunade rubbed her temples, a headache swiftly approaching. The Yamanaka men were very hardheaded and difficult to deal with. "It is your daughter's decision if she wishes to continue, no one is keeping her here against her will."

Ino crossed her arms and scoffed. "Father, please, I want to do this. I want to bring honor to our clan's name." Inoichi hushed down as his wife gave him an evil glare to remain silent. "Lady Tsunade, I apologize for my father's rudeness."

Rolling her eyes, she preceded with her speech. "As I was saying, creating a bond with a demon is not an easy task to accomplish, by no means. The first thing is making sure that you absolutely want them as your eternal companion. After all, once you have bonded with your familiar is it an unbreakable connection that not even the God of the Mizu Shrine could rip apart." She glanced back at the young adults. "And one more thing ladies, by all means, do not allow yourself under any circumstance to develop feelings for your familiar. Such an act is forbidden and frowned upon. Do I make myself clear?" There was a dark glint in her gaze that left no room for argument.

A brief period of silence ensued. "Yes, Lady Tsunade." The girls bowed rapidly, fearing their mentor's wrath. Their teacher was a force to be reckoned with. Almost instantly the rage vanished and was replaced with glee.

She rested her palms on her hips. "Outstanding answer." Gazing up to the heavens, she called for her familiar. "Shizune!"

In a dark flash, her trusted partner appeared before her. Long, elegant, ebony wings folded behind Shizune as she fell to one knee. "Yes, my lady?"

"Prepare the demon portal." She commanded.

"As you wish." The crow demon vanished in a flutter of feathers leaving everyone awe struck.

She turned her concentration back to the crowd, "This leaves thirty-minutes before the portal is ready. Allow this time to be used for your farewells." She paused. "You never know if this will be the last time you all might see these young ones." Leaving it at that, Tsunade marched into the main shrine.

In a huge stampede, the villagers raced to their loved ones. They did their best to provide their attention and support. During this mayhem, Sakura slipped away and advanced to the back of the main shrine.

"That girl is so weird. She doesn't even say goodbye to any of her friends or family." Karin whispered. Even when they were away training in the shrine, Sakura never received any gifts or letters from her clan.

Ino squinted her brows, and shook her head. "That's because, idiot, she has no family and friends."

Scarlet eyes gazed in disbelief. "Psh, whatever you say." She huffed, stumping to her awaiting family members.

Ino sent glares towards Sakura. There had to be something special about her for Tsunade to have chosen her, but what was it?

Walking along the path, the Blossom saw an enormous tree, not too far in the distance. The gigantic tree slowly approached her as she preceded closer and closer. The bright rays made this tree incredibly magnificent. It was perfect in every way, not a branch or leaf out of place, pink flowers dotted the bulky branches in random disarray. With the wooden bucket she carried, she emptied the water into the dry dirt. "Hello mother, it's good to see you again. I see it's been sometime since someone had watered you, I apologize for my laziness." Once all the liquid drained into the thirsty soil, she placed the bucket down. Lifting her hand up, gradually she touched the rough bark of the tree. Bark met flesh. "In just a few minutes, I will be sent to the demon world. Can you believe it? It's the same trial that you had gone through when you were my age." The wind blew some of the leaves off its branch. "I promise to do my best to make you proud."

"I'm sure that she's proud of you right now."

Keeping her gaze with the tree, she replied. "Lady Tsunade, it's unbecoming of a priestess to eavesdrop."

"So is talking to trees." The priestess crossed her arms over her abdomen, a slight smirk twitching from the corner of her mouth.

Dropping her hand to her side, she switched her interest. "Is there something that you need?

"Yes, there was." Tsunade began to dig around in her kimono sleeve, pulling out a tiny pink box.

"This belonged to your mother. She gave it to me a long time ago and I'm sure that she would have wanted you to have it." Placing the box in Sakura's hands, she jerked her thumb behind her. "Plus, this kid was searching all over the place for you."

"Sakura nee-chan!" The young child screamed as he raced to her side. "Please don't go! I don't want to lose you!" He clung tightly to her pants, digging his tear stained face into the fabric.

Sakura released a breath. "Konohamaru, you know that this is something I have to do." She embraced him closer. "I will be back soon. Don't worry, I will not die."

"You pinkie promise?" He hiccupped. She was the most important person in his life.

"I promise." Sakura hooked her pinkie over his. "Have I ever broken a promise before?"

He shook his head.

She playfully ruffled his brown hair causing him to giggle. "I will come back alive and well. Now dry your tears, it's not suitable for a man to cry." Konohamaru swiftly wiped his face dry, a big grin beginning to form.

"You better win this!" He clung onto her waist.

"I promise to do my very best." She returned the hug.

His brown orbs gazed up and found its way to the pink box she held. "What's inside that box, Sakura nee-chan?"

She had almost forgotten about it. "I don't know." Sakura glanced back at him with a smile. "Let's take a look." He bobbed his head. Excitement filled him for this would be the last moment he would share with his beloved Sakura for a year. Untying the red ribbon that kept the container sealed, the box unfolded itself. It uncovered a pink ribbon with a blossom attached to it.

"This was the ribbon that your mother wore when she first started out as a priestess. She gave it to me as a good luck charm." Tsunade appeared at her side. "I'm sure that she would have wanted me to pass it down to you when you started your journey."

Konohamaru noticed something amiss. "Sakura nee-chan, are you crying?" he inquired alarmed. He has never seen her shed tears before.

Instantly she brushed the tear to the side. "No, I just got something in my eye." Holding the ribbon to her chest, she stared into Tsunade's loving eyes. "Thank you, Lady Tsunade."

Sending a wink back, she shrugged. "No problem. Put it on."

Blossom undid the white ribbon that kept her hair bound. This allowed her lengthy, rosy locks to ripple onto her back; she quickly captured the escaping strands and placed them back into a low pony tail. Feeling a burst of happiness, she twirled around to reveal the new addition to her wardrobe.

"It suits you, Sakura nee-chan!" He cheered.

"You are such a gentleman. How could have Moegi have rejected your confession?"

He puffed out his cheeks and turned his head. "Hmpf, that stupid girl, I don't even know why I did that. Girl's have cooties!"

Both the women laughed at his comment. To be young and innocent was a blessing in disguise.

"I'm a girl too. Don't I have cooties?" she teased.

Konohamaru appeared baffled as if he wasn't expecting that response. "Ummm…." He avoided eye contact; the burning in his cheeks didn't seem to help the situation either.

"Well?" she beckoned.

Suddenly, the sky that surrounded them began to darken. The portal to the demon realm had been opened. The moment of resistance had arrived.

"I believe it is time, Sakura. Let us return to the shrine." Pulling into a grim expression, Tsunade advanced back to the holy sanctuary.

"It looks like you were saved by the bell, Konohamaru." Sakura followed suit. "Let's go." The child rapidly latched onto her hand, afraid to let go, as though he would lose her forever. "Goodbye, mother."

A gust of wind picked up, cherry blossoms scattered and blanketed the ground like snow.

Good luck, my daughter.

For a brief second, Sakura stalled, then continued her journey.

The villagers emerged through the entrance of the main hall in a tedious, but orderly manner of two-by-two, finding themselves in the location where the almighty God was enshrined. Forming rows, they sat over wooden floors, revealing their submission. They bowed their heads in prayer. All of them prayed to the God in hopes that he would grant their wishes that their loved one would become the champion.

The enormous golden dragon statue that sat at the base listlessly stared at them, ignorant of their desires. The heavy smokes of the burning incense filled the room with the scent of rain and moister leaving a relaxing aura. Tall amber and azure pillars circled them. Jade sculptures of the river deities sat majestically atop of them. Paintings of past guardians and memorable events clad the walls in a vivid arrangement.

Two young priests appeared by the dragon's side, with each step they rung a miniature bell that echoed in the silence. The chimes would linger then dim, after that, the bells would ring again repetitively. In order, the young students stepped in tune with their mentor. This was the moment they all have been waiting for since the day they had been selected for this honor.

"It is time!" Tsunade voice boomed. The people of the Konoha Village lifted their heads, their gazes solely on her. "Shizune!"

The crow appeared before them, startling a few villagers. "Yes, my lady?"

"Reveal the portal."

Shizune plucked a feather from her wing, and with precise stealth, she threw the feather at the feet of the statue, jabbing itself into the wooden floors. At first there was nothing. No movement, total stillness.

The feather began to glow a faint green. The light began to intensify as the moments went by. The rays blinded them. Sakura's palms were placed over her eyes, trying to block the illumination, but she failed miserably for the beams leaked through her delicate fingers. Suddenly she felt a deep wrenching sensation. Something was wrong. But what was it? All too soon the light abruptly halted leaving behind a dim florescent glow.

Everyone gaped a moment longer, waiting to see if another strange phenomenon would occur. Just as they suspected, it began to expand to great lengths until it became the height of Tsunade. Intense colorations of violet, indigo, and crimson mixed together into a swirling vortex. The noise of water splashing and sickening demonic groans suddenly filled the room. People began to cower in fear, scooting away from this vile entity. Images of disgusting and horrid demons flashed over the vortex opening almost as if it was searching for a safe place to halt.

Finally, an image of a forest was present. It looked serene and peaceful, but the students knew it was a pretense of security. The demon realm was everything but safe. The demonic aura emancipating from it was overbearing, even those without spiritual abilities could sense its power.

"Now, my students let us go into the other world." Tsunade was the first to disappear into the whirling opening with Shizune close behind.

"Ino, my daughter, we love you and please don't allow those scary demons to frighten you!" Inoichi exclaimed, waving his arms in the air like a cheerleader. The Yamanaka Clan followed suit in harmony.

"I'm not scared of any demons." Ino whispered harshly. Without another word, she swiftly departed before her father could embarrass her further.

Another moment later, Karin and Kin leapt right after.

Hinata stood there like a deer blinded by a bright flame. She was scared. Scared was an understatement, more like terrified. Never before since all her training had she faced a demon in battle. Was she ready? What should she do next? Should she enter the portal or renounced her title? This was all too much to take in.

She jumped when Sakura placed a hand on her shoulder. "Calm down." She spoke gently. "You were chosen for this trail. Don't let Tsunade's faith in you wavier." The Blossom held out her hand. "Come, we can walk in together."

Hinata gave a sad smile. "Why are you doing this? Aren't we supposed to be rivals?"

Sakura nodded. "Yes, we are."

"Then why help me?" she questioned.

"True as it may be that we are rivals, but what kind of rival would I be if I didn't at least push you to compete. Tsunade chose you over many others, show your gratitude by doing this and giving it your all."

Hinata stared at her in amazement. If it were Ino, Kin, or Karin that stayed behind than she was sure they would have encouraged her to stay behind, but Sakura was different. Even in their years of training, she had always been very kind to her. The timid girl clamped onto her offering hand. "Thank you."

"You're welcome. Let's go." Sakura pulled Hinata through the entrance first.

"Sakura nee-chan!" Konohamaru screeched over the ruckus of the villagers weeping over their departures. "You better kick some demon butt!" She turned back to the crowd, and gave him big thumbs up before she evaporated into the abyss. "Goodbye." He murmured.

They were in the demon realm!

Hinata and Sakura arrived on the other side, and the murky darkness made it difficult to identify their location. The mist floated dreamily through the path of the trees. The putrid scent of death and blood surrounded them. The girls covered their nose with their kimono sleeves attempting to prevent the putrid odor from violating their nostrils.

The only light provided to them was the rays of a lantern coming their way. The illumination bounced back dully from the tree bark. Shizune waved the lamp high off the ground with the stick it was attached to. She led the group to the two last minute arrivals.

"What took you guys so long?" Karin snarled, resting her palms on her hips.

Hinata bowed her head in shame. It was her fault they were late. Sakura was surely going to blame her.

"I was feeling a sense of cold feet, but no worries I'm better now." Sakura replied. Lavender orbs jerked towards her in surprise. She was covering for her? "I apologize for my tardiness, Lady Tsunade."

"It was only a couple of minutes." She brushed it off and ushered them back into the depth of the mist. Shizune shined the light over Tsunade's head as the others fell into step with her until they came a good several feet away from the opening, away from possible spectators from the village who could have been eavesdropping. This conversation was meant only for the priestesses.

Her expression turned serious once she felt they were far enough away. "No more games, ladies. In just mere moments I will release you all into the wild, but before that I have a couple of things that I need to explain." Tsunade stared at each of them, she lifted her pointer finger. "First, be very careful of who you pick as your familiar, you never know if it could come bite you in the butt later." She lifted another finger. "Second, the trial is not about who comes out the most powerful, but who comes out the most enlightened at the end." The third finger rose. "Third, your all officially priestesses now. That means while you're here be very cautious when confronting a demon – some of these monsters believe if they consume the flesh of a holy woman their powers double."

"Is that true?" Ino quickly responded.

"I don't know. No one has ever lived long enough to tell the tale." Tsunade answered.

"Question?" Kin raised her hand. "How do we create a bond with a demon?"

The Shrine Maiden heaved a sigh. "I explained this before, but I'll explain it one more time." The special emphases on 'one more time,' made Kin cringe. She was never good in the listening department. "Creating a bond with a demon is simple. All you have to do is recite the mantra of the Mizu Shrine then touch the demon that you have chosen as your partner. The more intimate the touch, the stronger the bond it creates."

Karin pushed her glasses up the bridge of her noise with a smirk. "How intimate was your touch when you bonded with Shizune?"

Tsunade flushed red. "We are not getting into that again!" Said familiar chuckled behind her. "Don't you dare say anything!" she pointed at her in warning.

The crow demon bowed low. "I would never embarrass you, my master." A tender expression spread over her pastel complexion in amusement.

Becoming sober, she cleared her throat. "Is there any more last minute questions before I release you?" She inspected their movements. When no one made a move, she continued. "No? Well, I relea –" The priestess was interrupted by a horrendous roar.

"What was that?" Ino screamed, she could feel her heartbeat ringing in her ears. Demons were disgusting creatures that left knots in her stomach.

Tsunade grinned. "Good, I haven't slain a demon in months." She glanced at the black bird. "Do not interfere."

"I would not think of it." Shizune replied.

Massive stomping could be heard moving their way. The sounds of trees being torn from their roots were unnerving as it neared.

"I smell it. I smell the flesh of a priestess!" An enormous Cyclops emerged from behind a tree that hindered his sight. Small pieces of bark rained around them. "There you are." A slimy tongue peered betweens its lips, saliva dripping down his chin. "It must be my lucky day." He cackled.

Maple orbs narrowed to slits. "Hmpf, you're nothing more than a D-class demon. Not even worth my time."

The monster bared his fangs. "I will consume your flesh and grow in power!" He bolted towards Tsunade.

"Lady Tsunade!" Karin screeched in fright. "Move!"

A dark look flashed in her eyes. "You really believe that you can take me?" she smiled wickedly as she took a stance.

"What is she doing?" Ino hissed.

"Look closely." Sakura stepped next to her. "Do you notice something about that stance?"

The blonde scowled at her. "What are you talking about? It looks to me like she is – oh! I get it now! She is using that weapon: the sacred arrow!" Ino could feel chills running up her spine. She finally had the opportunity to witness the awesome power of a full-fledged Shrine Maiden. "Wait." She turned back to Sakura. "How did you know that?"

The pink haired girl shrugged. "I remember that stance because we trained often." Staring at her in disbelief, Ino reluctantly turned back to the fight.

As the demon neared the woman, she stayed perfectly still in her position as if nothing could break her concentration. Her arms were in a position like she was holding a bow, and she pulled back the imaginary string. Almost instantly, said weapon began to materialize right before their eyes. Violet rays of spiritual energy formed the bow and arrow – it was amazing how skillful Lady Tsunade was.

"You're mine!" The demon wailed.

Tsunade took aim. "In your dreams you pathetic weakling." Her spiritual powers manifested the arrow in a light lavender glow as it streamed towards its target.

He released a disembodied howl as his remains burned into ash.

"Amazing." Sakura whispered in astonishment. It was unreal how powerful she was. Someday, she would harness and master that technique just like her mother and Lady Tsunade.

"Damn, that was awesome!" Karin bellowed. "I wanna learn that!"

Ino glared at her. "Yeah right, as if you could master it."

Karin glared back, rage burning in her chest. "What's that supposed to mean?" She jabbed her thumb at herself. "I'm clearly going to be the victor here."

The blonde's eyebrow twitched in irritation. "What! No way, I'm gonna win! "

"No, I am! I'll beat your sorry asses" Kin appeared in the middle, flipping her long onyx hair over her ear.

Tsunade clenched her jaw. "Will you all knock it off?" She barked. They held their tongues. "Good lord, let's get this over with." She made a noise in her throat. "I want you all to learn how to survive, become one with your instincts. I want all of you to grow in wisdom and experience new things. I want all of you to carve out your path." Pride swelled deep within her. "Now, I feel that you are ready. I release you into the demon realm." Suddenly, a huge gust of wind whipped around her. "I have complete and utter faith in all of you." Turning her heels, she advanced the direction they came from with Shizune close behind. "Good luck." She waved without looking back.

The lantern light became dimmer with each step the crow demon took, until they were once again consumed by darkness. Their world in the darkness was not meant to be, as the sun began to rise into a sensational sunrise. This gave a clearer view of the landscapes that boxed them in. Brushes and trees stood tightly together excluding the corner the demon torn to pieces.

"What do we do next?" Kin scratched the back of her head.

"I assume that we go our separate ways." Hinata muttered avoiding eye contact. She found playing with her thumbs to be less nerving.

Kin opened her mouth to make a rude remark, but was interrupted by Sakura. "I hope that we see each other again on our journey." She sauntered through the opening.

Karin pouted. "She thinks she's so cool."

"Yeah, she's a real freak. The only friends she seems to have are nothing, but little brats. I mean, come on, what a weirdo." Kin sneered.

Ino roughly bumped her shoulder into Kin. "At least she has the right idea of getting a head start."

Kin growled. "Whatever."

Ridicule was something Sakura had learned to tune out at a young age. Being made fun of for your hair and wide forehead made it rather easy to ignore their loud rants. She continued through the path of disfigured and crumpled tree remains.

Mother, I hope you are watching me from heaven right now. I know that it is my destiny to walk the same path that you once did. I promise, I will find a strong familiar and grow more powerful with each passing month just like you.

As she marched on, Sakura failed to sense the demonic aura that had been trailing her since her departure.

"Hehehehe, a young priestess girl, a fine find indeed." His acidic saliva dripped down his lips onto the ground. The soil below him began to melt drastically producing a dire green smoke.

"Lady Tsunade, did you think it was wise to pick Sakura as a candidate?" Shizune pondered.

The priestess turned to stare at her familiar. "What would make you say that?"

"You of all people know of Sakura's heritage – what she is." She stated. "Wouldn't it be a huge risk of her finding out the linage she comes from? After all, he resides in the demon realm."

Tsunade nodded. "I suppose, but I feel that she needs to experience this."

"If I may, Sakura has powers and abilities that she herself doesn't even know she possesses – powers that you never trained her to control. I feel that she is a danger to the other girls." She replied.

"I understand where you're coming from, my friend, but there are things in the world that just can't be taught by a mentor." She glanced over at Shizune's worried expression. "The fact of the matter is she needs to discover by herself what she is capable of. Once she does, I'm sure that she will make a phenomenal priestess." She turned her gaze to the now sunny sky. "I know it may be my naivety speaking, but I truly feel that our little Blossom will someday be loved and gain everyone's recognition by the end of this."

"Lady Tsunade, good of you to finally return."

Both the priestess and the crow saw a familiar face hanging by the vortex. The woman was leaning against a tree with her arms crossed over her abdomen. It appears that she was irritated at something. Thick streaks of blond locks spilled over her front, curling at her waist into miniature spikes.

Tsunade smiled at the demon. "I see it didn't take you long to sense our presence."

The woman rolled her bright viridian eyes. "Don't insult me. Of course I sensed you. I also sensed the young ones that you let go in this forsaken hell which, I might add, are all pretty pathetic picks, if I do say so myself." She shrugged. "Well, except for that pink haired girl." The demon fell silent. "She's her daughter, isn't she?"

"Yes, Sakura is her offspring."

"I knew it, I could feel it the minute she stepped foot on this land. That level of spiritual energy could only belong to one woman – my deceased master. It's only fitting that her flesh and blood gains that trait as well." She stood to her full height and strode past the two. "Thank you for the information." Great ivory wings expanded behind her, she crouched down low, ready to take flight.

"Temari." Tsunade called.

The white bird halted in her actions. "Yeah?"

"Please keep a close eye on Sakura for me."

Temari gave her a droll expression. "What kind of demon do you think I am?" She stretched her wings high and thrust them into the ground, giving the push her body needed to take flight. "No duh, it is my duty to watch over that girl." With each flap, she grew in altitude. "You know she'll be in good hands!" Her shouts were hard to make out from the distance, but Tsunade understood. "Sayonara!" Pushing more power into her wings, the demon gradually disappeared from sight.

"See, Shizune, Sakura is going to be just fine."

"I guess."

Tsunade laughed. "I wonder what fate has planned out for our young students." Her eyes sparkled with excitement, just like the day when she was released into the demon realm. "Whatever it is, I know it will be an adventurous one."

Well that is all for now. Did you guys like it? Yes, no, maybe so? I know that I put a little bit of Inuyasha action, but I could not come up with a catchy name for the arrow.

Review! I mean if it's worth the favoring then it's worth the reviewing! If I don't get any reviews then I feel that it's not worth pursuing, so if you like it, review!

And if any of you notice any grammar errors, please tell me. There are things me and my beta sometimes don't catch. I will work on the second chapter this week, but don't expect it right away. It will take me at least two weeks to complete it. I'm a bit of an OCD writer.

Stay tuned for a big surprise is coming up in the next chapter. :P

Sakura 911 out!