Chapter Four: When does something as awesome sounding as the word "cannon" suck? In Naruto that's where! So, to correct this, we should refer to this story's timeline as bazooka, or… hadoken, or demon chicken of doom, or OH DEAR GOD ITS ON MY FACE!
I don't own Naruto, any of its characters, or any references in this story. If I did, horrible things would happen. Neither do I own any other anime that I reference. I do own all OC's and new Jutsu in the story as well as every ounce of pure awesome spawned by this.
o. o. o.
With the unfortunate trackers:
"Still nothing?" Sasuke looked back at Ino whose eyes were closed, not at all concerned with the fact that he and his teammates were sitting on a giant hawk that was flying above the ocean just below the clouds. His contract with the bird summons was unnaturally useful for travelling over long distances, which was convenient for tracking and keeping up with shinobi that could also fly.
"No." The Yamanaka sighed in frustration. "He definitely came this way, but as far as I can tell his trail really does just wanders about before going down and disappear around here. The ocean winds don't do us any favors either. We're probably dozens of kilos away from where it really did stop if not more, and that's if a storm didn't happen in the time between him and us getting here."
"As unlikely as it sounds, is it possible that Naruto actually wore himself out and… well…" Sakura looked down in the ocean.
"Possible? Yes." Kakashi nodded in a resigned tone. "Likely? More than I'd like to admit considering who he is. Even with his stamina he has to run out at some point."
"Meaning we're better off just searching all the islands and coasts nearby. We find chaos. We'll find Naruto." Sasuke concluded. He did not believe for a second that his friend had died so easily. His luck was too cruel to everyone to let that happen.
"Could he have landed on a boat?" Sakura suggested.
"No." Ino shook her head as she opened her eyes. "Naruto always pumps out huge amounts of chakra that lingers for his seventh sense, even when he's asleep or unconscious. He'd have to be sickeningly low to just vanish like that."
"Well it looks like we're island hopping then." Kakashi smiled as he took out a map of the area. "And personally it's not a bad place to get lost in if I don't mind saying… well so long as he's alive of course. We're far enough south that most of the areas here are quite well reputed for their vacation spots."
"Good thing we decided to check out Uzushio's ruins." Sakura nodded. Their first stop in the search for Naruto had come up far more fruitful than they had anticipated without actually encountering the target. The village had been covered with hints that he was there from his chakra enveloped the entire area, to the fact that there were more than a few recently triggered traps, seals, and bombs that were set off inside.
One building in particular had been particularly blown to kingdom come. No one in the group knew if it was because Naruto did it on purpose, or one of his ancestors really wanted to make sure no one went inside.
That had been three days ago.
From there, Ino managed to trace his unique chakra lacing the air moving south along the coast of fire country and across several small islands till they reached the point where they were now.
"Let's find a resort with a spa." Ino groaned as she stretched her stiff joints under her hooded tan cloak, identical to the ones that rest of the group were wearing. The cloaks weren't really meant for the cold as they were to prevent the team from being sunburnt.
As astounding as it sounds, there was little shade to be found on the top of a giant bird in flight. Sasuke learned that the hard way the first time he used his birds for long distance travel.
"As tempting as that sounds, we're tracking Naruto of all people remember?" Sakura raised an eyebrow. "Do you really want to accidentally encounter him while you're in the middle of getting pampered?"
Ino paused for a moment before shivering. Back during her vacation in Moon Country, she had been getting the full treatment in one of the biggest spas in the island when Naruto worked his magic on the casino in the same building. That had been a unique experience to say the least.
"Ok then." Kakashi looked at the map with his normal eye. "If upwind right now is… that way, then we want to be searching for islands in that general direction first. Islands part of clusters would be good since we could scan more of them at once. Ones with major trade cities would be good to get information from too. That being the case…"
o. o. o.
"I said I'm fine Shikamaru." Temari grumbled at her boyfriend while using her crutches to finally walk away from the hospital after almost two weeks of recovering from burns, broken bones, a concussion, and some bruised organs. "Honestly it's like you're the girl in this relationship!"
"Someone has to." Kankuro chuckled in good humor from several feet behind the pair before he had to duck as his elder sister in one swift motion popped up one of her crutches so that she held it like a club and swung backwards at his head without looking. "Oh shi-!"
"Just because I'm still recovering doesn't mean I can't kick your ass Kankuro." The blonde turned her anger towards her sibling. She would have pressed on for one last strike, but her body wouldn't move.
"As entertaining as watching you pummel your brother for the hundredth time would be, I'm going to have to put a hold on that plan." Shikamaru sighed with his shadow connected to Temari's. "You were in there longer than you needed to because you aggravated your injuries fighting with Gaara. Please don't give them a reason to take you back so soon. I was looking forward to finally spending time with you in a place that doesn't smell like antiseptic."
Temari glared at her boyfriend as her body slowly began to relax. "You're a real romantic, you know that?"
"I would have gotten you more flowers, but they're too troublesome on my wallet." The Nara shrugged as his technique ended as quickly as it had started... and then had to duck to avoid a slap upside the head. The sister of the Kazekage had recently taken to trying to get the teen to stop saying "troublesome" every other sentence and decided that physical motivation was the best way to do it. Kankuro likened the situation to an owner training his dog to stop a bad habit. "Oi! It's true! They're expensive as hell here! You said it yourself!"
"Idiot." The eighteen year old grunted as she shifted her bandages to reduce some of the pressure on her wounds. "You better have some nice place planned out for later." She shook her head and sighed. "Sorry. I've just been a bit stressed out lately. Akatsuki attacked and after I got hurt you guys were swamped with the collateral and the cleanup. I've barely seen or heard from Gaara since the attack."
"I doubt you'd want to." Kankuro sighed, a bit more somber now. "He's been working day and night to try and get things under control. Calming down the villagers, helping with the reconstruction of the roads, negotiating with the traders here that it's still safe to come. The attack did more than just mess with our security. If the traders and clients don't feel safe or confident in our abilities to protect our home, then they'll go somewhere else for shinobi services and other goods. To be honest I haven't seen him that irritated in a long time." He paused. "Well… excluding when he went postal during the end of the fight."
Shikamaru shivered at the memory. He hadn't felt that overwhelmed or insignificant since the time Shadow decided to show him some of what she could REALLY do with her powers. Of course comparing the immortal and the jinchuriki was like comparing the moon and the sun, but from the eyes of a small animal they were both impossibly large to the point that there was no real difference in terms of size.
"I still don't know why he went like that." Temari frowned. "He looked ready to give up when that bastard was holding the village hostage with that stupid dud, but then suddenly it was almost like he was a kid again and… well… you know."
"I think it's best if you asked him that yourself. He might take it the wrong way if you try to get it from someone else." Shikamaru didn't tell anyone that it was because of Naruto that at least half of Suna hadn't disintegrated in their homes. He himself would have had some trouble believing it if Gaara didn't tell him, albeit indirectly, that the blond was in his office the night of the attack. Not that he wasn't grateful mind you, but the idea of his friend running around unsupervised doing whatever the hell he wanted while being a bit more unhinged than normal didn't leave the Nara with warm fuzzy feelings.
The sole female in the group sighed. "That is if I can get to him. Like you said he's been swamped lately, more than enough to not even see me, his favorite sibling, when I was injured."
"Ignoring the lack of family love I am once again receiving." Kankuro began with an annoyed twitch of the eyebrow. "He has been trying to see you lately. He would have a few days ago if the Daimyo didn't send him that mandatory call to the capital to talk about the attack. Honestly, even though that fat piece of lard has stopped outsourcing our missions he's still a pain in our ass. We sent him a bird that told him exactly what the situation was, that we had it under control albeit still in recovery, and that we were still good for all the missions sent on our way, and he still took Gaara away when he's needed for the village's morale."
Morale. That indeed was an interesting topic of conversation in Suna. Depending on who you asked, you'd get a different answer. The civilians, who all had mandatory basic shinobi/chakra control training to improve their endurance and adaptability in the desert, were both proud and a bit terrified of Gaara.
Of course they were scared of him before, but this was the first time that the people en masse had seen their leader pull out all the stops for their sake. It was like seeing a wild puppy that scared you as a child become tamed, grow up alongside you for long enough that you forgot just how dangerous he was, and then go absolutely nuts on some guy that endangered you and show that he was far more dangerous than you expected or remembered.
Of course the negative reactions to Gaara's display of power were virtually crushed the following day where he had called the people of his village to make an announcement and then much to their surprise went on his hands and knees to apologize to everyone for the trouble he had caused and for the unfortunate lives that had been taken up in the crossfire.
The deafening silence had lasted forever to Shikamaru… that was until thankfully some fool from the audience laughed and said that if Gaara was really sorry they'd expect him to be able to move the entire village out of the way the next time a fight happened. Then another guy trying to be funny upped the stakes by saying that Gaara should instead simply levitate the village all the time. Things began to snowball from there until everyone in the village was under the belief (much to Gaara's horror) that their leader was a desert god and by the time he was done with puberty no enemy would be able to enter the land of Wind without getting slaughtered.
Gaara obviously knew better than to take the compliments to heart. He had after all met a genuine god before and knew without a doubt that he would never be able to reach that level of absurd natural authority.
Still despite all that had happened, it didn't change the fact that Suna had been attacked hard by shinobi who were capable of severely harming their home. The guards that had been posted on and around the border had been tripled and many of the locals were more than a bit jumpy at times despite their confidence in their leader. Shikamaru, being a foreigner and not that common of a face in the village, had been confronted no less than six times since the battle due to suspicions that he might be a foreign spy for the enemy before he informed them of his status as an emissary from Konoha.
"His sense of timing is abysmal, but it was bound to happen sooner or later." The Nara pointed out to Kankuro. "This was a big incident that could lose the guy a lot of face in front of other nations if not handled properly. More importantly though is what Gaara's next step is with regards to Akatsuki."
"Next step?" Temari raised an eyebrow as she inspected her boyfriend's face. She recognized the dark glint in his eyes instantly. He got it whenever he was doing long term planning and scenario evaluation. She never mentioned it, but she always got a shiver of excitement and fear whenever she saw him with that look.
"We've shown our hand." Kankuro connected the dots first. There was a reason he was a jonin after all. "You. Me. Gaara. Chiyo. Like it or not we're the pillars of Suna when it comes to individuals that actually have significant firepower, and now Akatsuki knows both that and our capabilities. We've revealed our skills and techniques to the enemy and we didn't even get a kill in the end. The next time they come, they're not going to be convenient and go through the front doors with only two people."
"True, but they probably won't act on Suna again for a while." Shikamaru pointed out. "They'll probably wait for an opening before trying anything else and focus on the other biju. Gaara's more than proven that fighting him on his turf is a bad idea and it's not like he's going anywhere. Unless they want to show the entire world that they are a threat to all major villages by trashing Suna with more than two members at a time and risk their cover of remaining anonymous, they won't try something over the top here again for a while. It'll give you time to fix that ridiculously huge armor puppet of yours."
"Weiss." The puppetmaster corrected. "Its name is Weiss and you know I designed it for heavy combat in mind, primarily Akatsuki. Considering it managed to get through at least one of Sasori's personal puppets, I'd say it was a damn good success."
"Yeah, only it takes you forever to fix and make it." Temari snorted. "The smiths in town nearly had a heart attack when you originally came with the part requests and the armor specs."
"Better a few crying smiths than a dead brother." Kankuro frowned.
"What was that?"
"Oi. Don't make me use my shadows on you two again." Shikamaru grunted warningly. It bugged him that he had to fill in Gaara's role as the moderator between the two siblings whenever they argued. The problem didn't occur that often when they were kids because they didn't want to risk irritating a homicidal jinchuriki, but now they seemed to be making up for lost time.
"Fine." Temari sighed, hobbling around the corner. "Sorry Kankuro. I'm just a bit annoyed about being stuck inside for so long."
"Eh. I should be used to it by now." The subtle jab was not left unnoticed, however before anyone could say anything the puppetmaster turned to Shikamaru again. "Back on the topic at hand though, I can tell there's something else that you're not mentioning. You tend to be tight lipped about your logic if one of the main parts' something you don't want to talk about."
Shikamaru barely managed to hold back muttering his favorite word. Only his closer friends and family members back home normally caught onto that bad habit of his. Apparently he had been spending so much time with Kankuro recently that he fell into the category as well. "The less people know the better, and before you ask Gaara agrees with me."
Temari scowled. "Since when does my brother trust you more than us?"
"Since he decided that he didn't want to concern his heavily injured and overworked siblings with information that they couldn't do anything with and would only give them more to worry about." The Nara answered without hesitation in a final tone.
"Goodie. Confidential international conspiracies." Kankuro sighed. "The movies make them sound so much more interesting than they really are."
He was speaking from experience. As a jonin, the son of one Kazekage and the brother of another, he was a frequent face in the village's government and as such had access to many confidential pieces of information that he was frequently tasked to go through at one point or another for negotiations and the like. While Temari tended to manage more of the diplomatic relation projects for Temari, Kankuro was more focused on the internal law bits.
Of course he had yet to go through the more interesting files like Pakura's betrayal, or the exact details behind Sasori's defection, but that was to be expected. He was only about seventeen after all.
"Like it or not, there's nothing much to do about it now." The shadow user shrugged as he glanced at a restaurant. "As corny as it sounds, let's unwind and get something to eat to celebrate Temari's dismissal from the hospital. Odds are she's itching for some real food by now."
"You have no idea." The blonde smirked as she went through a list of all the best places to eat were in the area. "We're going for gusto tonight boys. Gaara and I kicked that exploding bastard's ass and Kankuro managed to tear apart two of the legendary Sasori's puppets. That should be more than enough to celebrate hard."
"Hard my ass." Kankuro muttered, recalling his sister's alcohol tolerance. "You're a freaking lightweight."
"I agree. You shouldn't push yourself so much sister." Gaara nodded sagely from the other side of Temari, catching his siblings off guard by his sudden appearance.
"What the hell!?" Kankuro jumped back.
"Damn it! I told you not to do that!" Temari stumbled unevenly on her crutches.
"Glad you could make it." Shikamaru smirked, not at all surprised. "For a while there I thought that the boys in the office managed to bury you in paperwork."
"I may have been inclined to say some words that were considered somewhat impolite at some point." The Kazekage evasively admitted without shame. "Thankfully, I have recently come across a technique that makes my duties much easier to manage."
Temari and Kankuro noted that their brother, from their perspective at least, appeared to be pleased enough with said technique that he was virtually jumping for joy. Of course this in reality meant that his facial expressions were merely more relaxed and pleased than what he normally displayed.
"I bet you did." The Nara already knew what his friend was talking about. Troublesome jinchuriki and their troublesome chakra reserves and their troublesome clone spamming and…
"I don't know what you were thinking, but I have no doubt you were abusing the forbidden word in the process." Temari frowned with one of her crutches raised firmly in her hand. "Just for that you are paying for dinner tonight."
Shikamaru didn't say anything about the fact that he was already planning on covering her meal. If he did then it would only get…
"I mean ALL of our meals tonight. Kankuro and Gara included." The jonin smirked, enjoying her boyfriend's expression pale considerably.
"Whipped." Kankuro grinned.
"Without a doubt." Gaara agreed.
o. o. o.
Land of Moon:
"Here are the rules." Zabuza stated darkly at the shinobi that had accompanied him and the Mizukage to the resort. "If someone I don't know approaches me. I'll kill you all. If a suicidal fool attacks me, I'll kill you all. If an idiot's beach toy lands on me. I'll kill you all. If some brat interrupts my relaxation by yelling too loud. I'll kill you all. If you ask me a dumb question. I'll kill only you, your partner, and the idiot you work under for not doing their job training you, but it will be twice as painful and violent than if I killed you along with everyone else. If you ask me a smart question, I'll answer it, then likely kill you anyway."
"Right. What I said goes double for the Mizukage. Also, if any of you try hitting on Haku, I won't kill you all but I fully expect her to."
"I'll try my best Zabuza."
"No doubt you will. Any questions?"
The Demon of the Hidden Mist was meant with silence.
"Murdering by me will be refrained at this point in time so long as said questions are not retarded."
"Fine. Haku will be the judge of what qualifies as retarded."
Several hands rose up.
Their efforts were for naught however as their very violent superior was dragged off of his pedestal by his boss the Mizukage via his ear. "Please don't mind him. Just do your jobs as you normally do and enjoy yourselves during your time off."
There was a brief pause.
"However if my vacation is in fact interrupted by something trivial, I will kill you all."
The nonexistent sound of three teams of shinobi disappearing was made, leaving Zabuza, Mei and Haku alone with their beach equipment on the coast of Moon country. In the near distance, Chujuro and Suigetsu could be seen in their swimwear seemingly relaxing while in reality keeping an eye out for potential enemies… or girls. Either or.
"You two are such great role models." The ice user sighed as she unrolled her towel and put up an umbrella before taking off her large t-shirt to reveal the conservative one piece blue swimsuit she wore.
"I did a good job with you didn't I?" Zabuza snorted, wearing nothing but long shorts, sandals and wrapping around his hands and mouth.
"From what I was told about your travels, it was the other way around." The Mizukage smirked elegantly while in a deep blue bikini that did nothing to hide her bust. "Are you sure you wish to spend so much time in the sun Haku? It would ruin your beautiful complexion."
Konoha's Yuki-onna shrugged before lying down in the shade. "It is quite all right. So long as I'm not directly in the sun all the time my skin tone won't change much. I think it has something to do with my bloodline limit."
"How convenient. There are countless girls that would kill for that." Of course, the Mizukage didn't know of any that could actually kill Haku. The young adult was easily one of the most powerful females on the planet now, and any woman that possessed the firepower to surpass the ice user would have more self control and respect to fight for such a petty reason.
… Well, Shadow Oogakari was an exception to the rule, but she wouldn't go through with those desires. She had more bizarre and thus more entertaining ways to get adequate results.
"They can try." Haku obviously was aware of this as well. "It was quite nice of Prince Michiru to allow us to stay here free of charge for vacation while you, he and Koyuki-sama finalize that trading agreement between your countries."
The deal in question was made to establish a solid sea based trading route from Spring country in the far north to the trade heavy Moon country in the South. The deal would enable Spring country's wares and devices to be sold with a higher reliability to more clients in the south while giving Water country early access and a small discount to many of these wares. Kiri would in turn protect the ships and the route itself from potential pirates and shinobi that might attempt to steal their wares. It would be a pleasant change of things for the large country since as it was located on an island away from the other major nations it was frequently the last to be updated on many of the latest technological innovations in the world.
It was because of this early access to trading goods of Spring country and the resources of Moon country that prompted the Mizukage herself in addition to a full entourage of ANBU and three of the Seven Swordsmen to come for the deal. The heightened presence would be a message to everyone of how significant the trade was and that touching Kiri's newest allies would bring dire consequences.
Zabuza's and Haku's presence would in essence symbolize Konoha's approval and support for the deal even though the Leaf was technically not a part of it. This would indirectly improve relations between Konoha and Kiri since they would both be strong supporters and allies of both Spring and Moon country.
"Nice nothing." Zabuza snorted. "The second that gullible fool found out from Koyuki that you were solid friends with the whisker brat he went head over heels to give us the five star treatment. I haven't eaten this well in years, let alone more than a meal at a time."
"I was surprised how easy the final negotiations and everything else went after your friend was brought up." Mei agreed. "Everyone seemed to care less about formalities which made things much faster. You should use him in negotiations more often if he has that effect on people."
Zabuza and Haku looked at one another for a brief second before they shook their heads in tandem. "Not gonna happen."
"I see. A shame then." The woman smirked as she laid down on her own towel and pushed aside her extensively long brown hair to reveal her backside. "Zabuza, would you be so kind as to oil me up?"
The assassin was contemplating to say something he thought was witty, but the Mizukage's additional subtle gesture of raising her very appealing rear up into the air just a bit shot that mental process to hell instantly. With a half hearted sigh, the hands that had been responsible for countless deaths made way for the suntan lotion.
"You're such a dear." The woman smiled pleasantly.
"What are you, my mother?" Zabuza grumbled under his breath, ignoring the fact that he never technically knew his mother since both his parents had died in the second war leaving him an orphan shortly after he was born.
"What was that?"
"He said he's like no other." Haku came in for the save, knowing what would happen to Zabuza, and the beach, if things spun out of control. A brief look from the man was enough to convey his thanks.
"What she said. Now stay still while I rub this crap all over your body."
At the very least, no one could deny that the man had a way with words…
"Mmmm." The Mizukage sighed happily as her man began his work starting with her lower back. "Your hands at least certainly aren't like your tongue."
"You would know that better than anyone wouldn't you?"
"If you two ever have kids, I have no doubt in my mind that I'M going to be the one raising them." Haku sighed as she closed her eyes and attempted to get some rest. She didn't sleep. She never slept in such exposed conditions. Her body was too conditioned from being raised on the run to do that and it would always be a part of her. The fact that she was surrounded by about a dozen hidden shinobi didn't help either…
However the main reason why she was still conscious was due to the fact that for the past few days there had been an itch on the back of her head that she couldn't get rid of. It was subtle and she could easily ignore it, however it was without a doubt there. All she knew was that she could feel that something was nearby, and she didn't like it. She could tell that Zabuza felt it too given that he seemed to be in a pretty bad mood lately. He probably had a stronger feeling than she did that something was off given that he had yet to drop his guard since the sensation first made itself known.
"So long as I'm not the one giving the birds and the bees talk, you can do whatever you want." Zabuza snorted.
Haku shivered. "I will never allow you to give that speech to any other unfortunate soul ever again. EVER."
"I've heard of parents botching it up before, but was it really that bad?" Mei asked curiously.
"To put things into perspective, after captain sensitivity explained everything to me I spent the rest of my life until Konoha acting and behaving like a boy to the point that I sometimes forgot what gender I was unless I looked at myself naked."
"Didn't help your case that you were so damn androgynous looking until a few years ago. Made things so much easier too." The swordsman sighed.
"Well then, I guess that means I'm going to have to make any potential daughters as feminine as possible to prevent that from happening again won't I?" Mei chuckled. While most women would find what Zabuza said very concerning she knew better than to judge him. The life of a missing nin was difficult, especially for a high profile one. The fact that Zabuza had kept the young Haku with him alone and lived for as long as he did was an impressive feat. The fact that Haku had turned out as well as she did even more so.
"The hell you will." Zabuza shivered at the thought of being surrounded by a family of emotional females with shinobi training and makeup… and then paused.
This wasn't the first time the topic of having kids and starting a family with Mei had been brought up. Tsunade had even suggested making a political marriage between him and the Mizukage as a way of, at least partially, allowing him to be a Kiri shinobi again complete with political power and more diplomatic immunity. He'd represent both Konoha and Kiri's political ties in that sense while remaining a Konoha shinobi but returning to being one of the un-banished Seven Swordsmen, something everyone knew he silently wished but never admitted to anyone. In all honesty, he wasn't against such an idea either despite the work it would require, but that too was something he would not admit out loud.
The Oogakari joked that it was his tsundere complex going into overdrive. Assholes.
Hell it wasn't the first time he had pictured actually having a family in his head. The images were in fact coming far too easily for him to ever admit, and honestly while it did appeal to him there were so many things that could ruin that image… especially in the oncoming months. It was better not to dwell on something that might never happen. It would only get in the way of getting things done that needed to get done.
"Something wrong?" The Mizukage mused. "You stopped."
"Huh." He grunted as he noticed that he did in fact stop rubbing the lotion and decided to resume his work. "Can we scrap the kid talk? I spend too much time dealing with brats as it is. It's annoying."
Mei's green eye glanced at her lover briefly before closing again. "Very well then. Let us speak about our well deserved vacation then. I for one believe I will explore the casinos and spas in this lovely island."
"You would get along with Tsunade-sama perfectly." Haku smiled. "I'll simply take in the sights. There are many beautiful sight seeing spots in the mountains, especially during sunrise and sunset."
Zabuza didn't say anything, but almost predicted that Haku would do that. The girl was still rather uncomfortable in large crowds of strangers for long periods of time and preferred to stay in the woods by habit. It was part of the reason why she took to being a Konoha shinobi so quickly as opposed to him who didn't really adapt to any location that well.
"And what of you Zabuza?" Mei asked curiously, groaning slightly as the man inadvertently found a sweet spot on her back.
The large man frowned for a moment in thought before coming up with an answer. "I'm thinking of maybe exploring the waters around the island. Isobu seems to like the area so I'm humoring him this time."
"Humor my scaled ass." The biju inside of him grumbled. "You just don't want to deal with the people here."
"Do you want me to check out the area for you or not?"
"You probably won't have the time to do it anyways." The turtle's ominous warning caused the man to stop moving.
"Why do I have the feeling I'm going to want to hurt something when you're done explaining what you mean by that?"
"Zabuza? If you keep on stopping like this, I'm going to have to ask Haku to do the job instead." Mei frowned, irritated that her massage had once again stopped prematurely.
"Don't give me that human. You and the ice child could feel it days ago and it's only gotten closer since. You should at least be able to tell where it's coming from by now."
"Haku." The killer stated emptily as he looked around him and expanded his senses to try and see what direction the annoying itch was coming from. It took him a few seconds to realize that it actually had a source now and was coming from the ocean in front of him.
The shinobi known as Haku opened her eyes at the unspoken command and sat up. "Yes." She responded. It was not a question, but merely a confirmation that she was ready to receive orders.
"Hmmm?" Mei too opened her visible eye and tried to determine what was going on that had her lover suddenly so spooked.
"Take waterboy and the shaker and find out what's causing that damn itch." The jinchuriki demanded with a frown. "I'll leave the rest for you to decide."
It took a few seconds for the girl to determine what Zabuza was getting at before realizing that the off feeling she's been having recently had a source of origin now. Grabbing her shirt and a pair of pants that had had a standard pouch of equipment on the attached belt, the girl disappeared and reappeared fully, if not lightly clothed next to her temporary subordinates a good distance away.
Moments later (and a slap upside Suigetsu's head), the three were running across the ocean… well, more like two of them were. Suigetsu had fused with the water and only his upper torso was now above the water leading the group to where he no doubt was detecting some sort of odd chakra signature. While he was not under most circumstances a sensor, there was little that the hozuki couldn't find if it was in the same body of water as he was.
"Care to tell me what that was about?" The Mizukage asked as if bored and satisfying a curiosity.
She didn't fool Zabuza in the slightest. He knew it was an order, not a request. "Just checking out a gut feeling. Could be something. Could not. Haku will be the verdict of that."
"And our dear Haku had this feeling too while I did not?" The Mizukage's eye narrowed suspiciously.
"Consider it something we picked up after meeting a few people." He replied vaguely. "Isobu. This is going to be my last vacation and moment of peace before things go to hell. For the love of all that causes the fucking green hair to suffer, at least tell me if what I'm feeling is going to try and kill us or not."
The man sensed the biju remain quiet as it pondered what it should say. "You are familiar with the source. However… friend or foe, I cannot tell you with certainty. Odds are likely it would be for you to decide…"
"Me to decide? The hell is that supposed to mean?" The man grunted out loud in annoyance. "Fucking ancient existences. Why can't they give you a damn straight answer when you ask them something?"
"I believe they find us puny mortals' confusion to be amusing." Mei answered while relaxing on the towel again. This was not the first time Zabuza had wound up talking out loud to himself after a conversation with his biju, and she had long since gotten used to it. "Now do my bidding human slave and tend to your lord before she smites you."
Zabuza was very tempted to make a comment about smiting while she was pinned down beneath him and maybe a slightly more than playful smack upside the ass, but he decided against it. She tended to get pretty pissed whenever he did that with her subordinates watching… and like it or not the screams of Ghost Oogakari running away from acid using females managed to etch a very well founded fear into his soul.
"Eh. Might as well." He sighed before undoing the woman's top to get to the rest of her back. "There are worse lords to be the minion of."
Hence why he stayed as far away from Konoha as he could whenever Scab was around.
"Glad to hear it." Mei Terumi sighed contently. "It's a shame you'll be stuck on guard duty when you get back."
"It'll be boring as hell, but at least I'll have the space to cut loose every once in a while." He smirked. "The side benefits aren't too shabby either."
"Please. You'll have to earn those perks. You won't get them just by sitting around and waiting all day. I don't give out freebies."
"I'll think of something that you'll like and appreciate."
"No you won't. You'll probably just whine like a puppy for months until something happens or you god forbid actually get an idea. I have half a mind to ask Konoha to send over Kakashi to keep you company so that won't happen."
Zabuza's eyebrow twitched. "You dare do that and I'll have to reignite my past goal of killing a Mizukage. For dignity's sake mind you."
"I'll make a note of it."
Many of the ANBU secretly listening on the pair's conversation couldn't help but wonder why the hell the two weren't married yet.
The next hour went by without much happening. No outlandish sources of chakra were detected. No one attacked the Mizukage or anyone else of note on the island, partially due to the ANBU scaring away anyone that tried to get even close to said individuals, and Zabuza's hands roamed over parts of the Mizukage's body that would get anyone else murdered in painful ways that there were currently no words for.
All the while the itching feeling on the back of the man's head grew stronger and stronger to the point that he felt like he should be preparing for something big any second.
And then Chojuro came back panting and pale as if he just saw a ghost.
"Mizukage-sama! Hah! Zabuza-sama! Hah! Hah! We… we found… Haku a-and…"
"Boy. What have I told you about tongues and fools who stutter?" Zabuza grunted.
The man's junior swallowed heavily and forced himself to calm down. "That they don't need one another sir."
"Mmm. You are a bit crass with him, but you do get results." Mei mused, still relaxing on her towel with one eye open. "Don't worry Chojuro. I won't let him hurt you… not today at least. Now please do continue with your report."
Glancing back at the sea, the teen decided on what to say. "I think it's better if you saw it for yourselves."
Raising a skeptical eyebrow, the Demon of the Hidden Mist looked out past the boy and narrowed his eyes to see what the boy was getting at and appropriately blinked disbelievingly. "No. No. Fuck no. No way in hell. You have got to be shitting me. Son of the queen of infested BACK ALLEY DUCK…"
"Now that is interesting." Mei frowned as she saw Zabuza start to walk around while unleashing a very long and colorful chain of swears that would in most cases get him kicked out of any if not all places considered mildly civilized. Turning around to the sea and picking herself up (after resetting her bikini top of course) the woman looked to see what had set off the man as badly as it did. To her knowledge the only person that could invoke that sort of reaction out of him was Scabbard Oogakari, the infamous Hill of Blades.
Instead however she saw something that was just as surprising if not peculiar. Off in the distance she saw Haku and Suigetsu walking on the water next to what Zabuza had apparently sensed earlier… only instead of some sort of bizarre sea animal, shinobi, or summon, it was oddly enough a fox the size of a very young horse with two tails carrying a young unconscious boy with blond hair on its back.
o. o. o.
Somewhere in the land of Earth:
"I hear our guests have been rather… uncooperative since they regained consciousness." A rather unimpressive looking man in standard Iwa shinobi attire casually stated at the coffee table.
"You just heard that?" One of the other ninja in the room snorted as he took a sip of black gold. "The fuck have you been?"
"Here and there." The first man shrugged dismissively. "I only just told that we were hosting such prominent individuals earlier today."
"Yeah well you certainly got the longer end of the stick on that one. It would have been better for you if you kept on not knowing." A kunoichi grunted. "We should have kept them under. They're too much of a pain to keep watch on for my liking."
"In addition to chaining them to the walls, we have the strongest chakra suppressing seals we can find on them and on the room, AND keep them mildly sedated through their food and drink, but somehow they nearly managed to escape six times already. EACH." The coffee drinking man shivered. "It's like they know how to be tied up better than we do keeping them prisoner and how to escape. The only reason why we managed to get them back is either because they're too drugged up to fight their way out, and trust me when I say that's barely the case, or because they don't know how to navigate their way out."
"Sounds like a pair of high maintenance women."
"We've been forced to have a full team keep watch on them at all times to make sure they don't escape now. EACH." The kunoichi shook her head. "And considering how lacking of manpower we are here, we barely have enough time to sleep more than a dozen hours a week. Hell I just got off my shift. High maintenance doesn't even begin to describe them."
"I fear for anyone that decides to take them as wives. Have we at least gotten any information out of them?"
"Other than the fact that they supposedly weren't even in our country when they were ambushed, by whom they can't even remember for some reason, no. They are just as confused as to why they were in Earth country as we are." The first man shook his head. "Trying to get anything else is almost pointless. Most of us have trouble just staying in the same room as them when they're awake. Every time someone walks in for any reason other than giving them food, they give off this insane killing intent despite being drugged. I've never felt anything like it before. We actually had to split them up because the last time someone was in with them at the same time while they were up, he was blasted with enough of the stuff point blank to have a seizure. He lived, but he won't go anywhere near their cells now. Scared shitless of snakes and dogs now too."
The unimpressive man whistled. "Wow. I haven't heard of anyone being able to pull something like that off in a while. I guess their being considered for S rank status wasn't just for hot air after all."
"I say kill them now." The Kunoichi grunted. "They're a waste of resources and we aren't getting anything out of keeping them alive. Their bounties alone would be enough to support our funds for a good while. Plus if they do get free and proper muscle control again, I don't doubt they'd be able to kill most of us off before they were brought down. All we'd have to do is crush them in their cells from the outside."
"Hmm. You do have a point if they are that dangerous… though if we do go through with it, we might as well do it right. They are quite valuable so it would be best to execute them properly." He shook his head. "Still, I wish to see them for myself before anything is finalized…" He paused for a moment before noticing a concerned look the other male in the room was giving him. "Something on your mind?"
The coffee drinking shinobi grimaced. "The thing is… those two aren't worried for their lives. They're pissed, yeah, but confident too. It's one of the few things we got from them. When we tried to play mind games with them, you know the standard, threatened to kill and torture and the like and that their bodies never see the light of day as they would be buried under mountains of stone… non baseless threats considering our history, they merely laughed." He shook his head. "They claimed that if we did that someone in particular they know would find out regardless, find each and all of us, and murder us in ways that we've never heard of before scattering everything we worked for like dust in the wind. Literally."
"I'm telling you that's bullshit." The girl snorted.
"And I'm telling you they weren't shitting us. Not as far as they knew." The man grunted. "I worked in T and I. I can tell when someone was lying or at least masking their emotions. But those two, when they said it it wasn't in the form of what you see in most prisoners. No begging, warnings, threats, offerings, taunts, or anything like that. They spoke as if it was a simple fact. Like the sky was blue or that water was wet. Normally the burying in the middle of the earth threat gets some sort of reaction of some sort, even an emotional withdrawal to maintain self control." He looked somberly at his reflection in his drink. "Those two wouldn't be considered S ranked if they weren't somewhat intelligent. There's substance to what they said of that I have no doubt. Just how much I don't know, and that's what's bugging me."
"Could it be that they are simply going unstable due to the drugs that we are feeding them mixed with their situation?" It wasn't uncommon for that to happen. The stress from both the body and the environment have often cracked prisoners of war long before the interrogators got their hands on them. Hell. It was often the first ploy the interrogators used to soften the new subjects up.
"No." The man denied. "One's a medic and the other was THE Orochimaru's apprentice before he went missing. Their tolerance of poisons and drugs alone was insane enough that we're nearly tripling the dosage to make them manageable. The few conversations I had with them were enough for me to tell that they were still well within their right minds." He snorted. "Plus you couldn't break out of a jail in six different ways in such a short amount of time without having a clear head. If anything the crap we put in their food just makes them physically weaker."
"Hmm. You have a point there."
"Speaking of annoyances, who the hell are you supposed to be?" The Kunoichi asked skeptically. "I don't think I've seen you around here before."
The mood in the room grew tense as the still casual newcomer became the new focus of attention. "Let's just say that I'm no one you're supposed to know, yet someone whose job is to know more than you."
His answer didn't stop the pair from reaching for their kunai.
"Must you suspect me?" The man sighed, still not unsettled by his current situation and slowly pointed to a scroll on his side, all the while leaving himself obviously open to attack. "If it makes you feel any more comfortable with me, I am here to deliver information from Iwa including but not limited to the current smuggling routes so that ANBU don't catch us and the Tsuchikage's schedule for the next month. You can have a look if you don't believe me."
The pair looked at one another warily before relaxing their stances. "No. That's fine." The man shook his head. "We've been on edge lately. You know of the spy rumors."
"I don't blame you." The man shrugged. "But next time please be more careful about your assumptions. You know that we suspect the spies to be intercepting our messages and interfering with our operations near the main towns and cities in Iwa. They wouldn't bother with this far off base here."
"I doubt anyone would." The kunoichi snorted. "One guy calls this base "Fort Butt Fucking Nowhere"."
"Well at least it gets the point across." The newcomer turned to leave the kitchen. "If you don't mind, I have my report to deliver now in addition to a few other things."
"Fine." The coffee drinker grunted as he turned back to his drink. His exhaustion seemed to be apparent since he was already drop dead tired looking again. "Just don't be so damn suspicious around the others. Everyone's on edge after spending time near those damn women."
His walk around the base was for the most part unremarkable. The shinobi he had encountered weren't joking when they said that everyone was overworked. The few he had come across in the halls were either going to the bathroom or busy working on some important task that could not be interrupted lest he wanted a kunai to the face. He knew from experience that the seemingly random threats sometimes thrown between shinobi were occasionally not so random when their bluffs were called…
Soon enough though he came across one of his destinations, a prison cell with the door surrounded by four trained if not weary shinobi.
"Codename Merchant." He stated calmly to what appeared to be the leader of the group while showing a small emblem on the inside of his collar that proved his rank among the resistance. A damn high one. "I'm here to see the prisoners. Which one is here?"
The tall thick man blinked momentarily before shaking his head. Given the rings under his eyes, he was in need of a good amount of sleep. "The snake. Crazy bitch is nuts. Keeps on saying messed up shit to us through the door when she's awake, but the moment we try and shut her up she somehow manages to escape or use that freakish intent of hers to scare us away. I wouldn't go in there if I were you. Don't think we finally managed to get all of her kunai yet. Hell we still don't know where she puts them all…"
"I'll manage, now please open the door and let me speak to the prisoner. I've never spoken to an imprisoned S rank before." He ignored one of the other shinobi on guard mutter some unkind things about his intelligence.
The leader only hesitated for a few seconds before relenting to the request. "Fine then. Don't blame me if you end up getting bitten by something. We still have a couple of men still recovering from snake bites from the first, third, and fourth times she tried to escape."
Not at all showing any trepidation as the heavy iron door opened completely for him, the Merchant casually walked inside the small prison room and took out a small sealing tag that did nothing but shine brightly in the dark room. Electricity was scarce in this part of the mountains and it was foolish to light a torch near shinobi from the land of fire…
"Oh? Are you my new playmate?"
Anko Mitarashi had clearly seen better days. Her clothes had clearly seen better days as they had been reduced to almost rags, covering even less than what they originally did. Her entire body, while still quite appealing, was covered in dirt, grime, cuts, bruises and other wounds, though somehow none were permanent so long as they were treated even mildly properly. Anyone with a small bit of medical training could tell spot that she had several ribs broken from the bruising on her chest, in addition to at least two fingers broken on her left hand and one on her right. Her right eye was blackened to the point that one might suspect her cheek bone was broken, and if one paid attention they would notice that she was missing a tooth…
Yet despite her injuries, being chained up to the wall in front of him, and supposedly drugged and starved for several days now… the Merchant had no doubt that this woman was still very much capable of easily murdering him in cold blood if he got too close.
What his eyes saw was completely in contrast to what the rest of his senses screamed at him as he made eye contact with the woman. Where his eyes saw a woman, his body felt a massive serpent coiled up, ready, and merely contemplating whether to strike at him or not.
It reminded him of the time he encountered Orochimaru for that one deal…
This woman in front of him was without a doubt more, and yet less dangerous than the snake sanin was at the same time…
Small wonder she had everyone in the building spooked.
Still, he was more curious than he was unnerved.
"Sorry, but I have a feeling that it would be in my best interest to turn down that position." He calmly let the words flow through his mouth, not at all showing a hint of fear or uncertainty.
"Pity." The woman sighed deeply, causing her already overexposed breasts to almost pop out of the torn fabrics that were her clothes. "And I was getting so bored too. You're already more interesting than the rest of the noobies here."
"Personally I share your view on that." He continued the conversation but not once let down his guard. He knew for a fact that monsters like this woman could literally strike at any time without so much as a hint of what they were planning. Hell, he had managed to pull it off a few times himself so it wouldn't be surprising to assume that the snake in front of him was expecting the same in kind.
"Oh?" The woman rose her good eyebrow, curious. "Not much of an interrogator are you? Already broke one of the first key rules. Don't answer the target's questions." She paused to breathe deeply again and rested her head back before laughing. "Ahahaaa… but you aren't a noobie are you? No, you would be pissing yourself now if you were…"
The murderous intent in the room doubled momentarily and just for an instant the Merchant had almost felt as if the snake in front of him had lunged for his throat…
And he merely stood in place and breathed in deeply. "Drugged my ass." He swore under his breath.
"Not my fault you guys use the cheap shit." Anko's dark and slightly delirious laughing continued slowly. "Believe what you want. We would have been long gone from this little hole in the ground if it weren't the case."
"So you can report on us to the Hokage?"
"The Hokage? Obviously. It's what you're supposed to do after getting out of things like this." She sarcastically retorted before her grin widened again, showing her bloody lip and missing tooth. "But you're more worried about the Tsuchikage finding out aren't you?"
The Merchant didn't grace the woman with a tell that she could catch. "Now that's a bit of a stretch isn't it? You're obviously in a prison in the land of Earth, captured by Iwa shinobi loyal to their village, and in a base. Don't play games with me about my loyalty. We are Iwagakure's soldiers."
"But you are not Onoki's." She stated as if it was obvious. "The doors here aren't as sound proof as you might think. So many people complaining about me and how the way things are done. Almost reminds me of home sweet home…"
"Keep this up and your memories will be all you have left of that place." He made a mental note to update the seals around the doors to not let sound in. Not for the first time he lamented not having the resistance's bases updated properly.
"I believe one of the men put it best when he mentioned that we were in the middle of the butt fuck mountain range."
"You do realize that many of the shinobi here are contemplating killing you and your friend for your bounties and wash their hands with you." He inquired. "The thought's more tempting since you are being rather difficult. Can't say I disagree with them."
The metaphysical snake's tongue shot out irritably. "Forgive me if I do not feel like being tortured for information I either don't have or won't give. I told you shits before, we weren't even close to your territory when I was ambushed by those annoying fucks."
"Ones that you can't remember even fighting."
"Oh trust me. I'd be more than willing to tell you who they were so that more people would be after them and it'd be easier to catch them, but believe it or not I don't remember shit other than they got the drop on us." The killing intent in the room spiked again. "I do so love payback."
The Merchant had no doubt that she was referring to more than just the people that ambushed her. "I've heard. Word was that you were quite ecstatic when Orochimaru was killed during the failed invasion of Konoha."
The woman's face put on a dreamy expression. "Ah… good times. Don't think I've ever gotten that smashed that long for a good reason."
"I wonder how many would celebrate on news of your death?"
The sobering question did not get the reaction the man had hoped as the captive put on a thoughtful, albeit dazed expression. "Hmm. How many… let's see. Ah. There's that ass who I jailed for trying to poison my food. Then there're a good number of guys from Kusa after I stole a ton of their documents and poison ingredients. Then there's my asshole neighbor who thinks I'm loose…"
"And the death of your Inuzuka friend?"
"… I think there are a few of her distant cousins are still holding a grudge after killing that prick of a cousin of hers. What was his name again?"
"You're not making this easy for either of us you know."
"Says the idiot who is trying to hold a conversation with a supposedly psychotic woman who is currently on more drugs than most would be able to handle without croaking."
"All the more reason to kill you here and now."
The woman blinked on both confusion and annoyance. "What? Right here and now? You're no fun. No dramatic build up? No giant crowd? People would pay big time to see someone as big as me get offed. Not to mention the statement your group of so called revolutionaries would make if you actually showed that you had the balls to do it in front of everyone. You obviously aren't taking this revolution thing seriously if you can't take advantage of having me as your live captive."
"And risk you getting rescued in the process." He frowned.
The woman shrugged. "No shit, but then again you can't show the shinobi world that you mean business without risking your life these days. More so if you want to make a big impact to get people to follow a cause."
"Fair enough." The Merchant relented. "Granted the risking your life bit is what supposed leaders of movements are for, but your point is made. Still, I can't help but think about what one of the others has mentioned when they talked to you. About some person that would… "end us all" if we do kill you."
"Yep. Complete and utter destruction and murder with a generous side of prolonged torture. I wouldn't be surprised if the entirety of your resistance disappeared in a single night if you killed only one of us." Anko smiled calmly and casually.
"Please forgive me if I express doubts that the entirety of Konohagakure would be capable of such a feat so easily."
"Oh well you're not wrong. I doubt that Konoha would be able to pull that off too."
The Merchant's blood went cold. It was always a bad sign whenever an unknown group made the scene, especially when they showed signs of already possessing large if not unknown amounts of political or actual power and yet no one had noticed yet.
All he knew right now was that it was best to keep the woman talking, learn as much as possible as he could about this new group, and most importantly keep both of them alive. For now at least…
He swore in his head. The woman had hinted about this supposed group on purpose. Now that he was aware of their existence and their connection to the women, he would be inclined to keep them BOTH alive for their suddenly far more valuable information instead of just offing one for the bounty money and killing the other in a populated location to rally the people against Onoki and Konoha. She had moved three steps ahead of him and cut him off of a potential negotiating route before he had considered it.
Cunning little bitch in the grass.
"Funny. I didn't take you for a traitor." He drawled out smoothly, attempting to at least grasp at any other possible pieces of data that he could use.
"Who said I was?" The Snake Mistress purred out innocently.
"And if I was to doubt the existence of this so called group? Where is the proof?"
"Oh?" Anko raised an eyebrow amused. "Don't tell me you haven't seen it yet? Then again, you little Iwa children were always so self absorbed that you never saw what was going around you. Probably why no one really likes you that much and you're stuck with the shit missions. So unreliable." She shook her head in mock pity. "Such a shame. And here I thought that you were one of the few with a brain in this country…"
The Merchant was having more trouble breathing calmly now. Normally he prided himself on being in the know on virtually everything big that was going to happen in the elemental nations. He knew that Akatsuki was going to move, but that would be against all of the shinobi villages. He knew of recent deals being made and of potential political assassinations in the next three years…
But this woman was hinting at something big. Too big for him to be comfortable with. And she wasn't lying either. She was hinting at something that should be easy for him to spot, but he didn't see it yet…
"Then again, you little Iwa children were always so self absorbed that you never saw what was going around you. Probably why no one really likes you that much and you're stuck with the shit missions. So unreliable."
Wait… could she have been insinuating that Iwa was the only major village that wasn't in the loop?
It hit the man like a freight train.
Kiri's regaining of their swords and the Sanbi. Not to mention the political activity surrounding Zabuza Momochi.
Kumo's slight increase in trading with the other nations and toning down their espionage activities on their rivals.
Suna's stronger ties with Konoha.
Konoha's recent generation of exceptional shinobi…
Within the span of a few years, the other shinobi villages have been becoming slightly more social with one another while making strides in one way or another to increase their strength while at the same time still demilitarizing. Individually the clues were all minor if not easily forgettable, but when combined…
The villages were preparing for something big… all except for Iwa…
… No… Roshi… Kurotsuchi… those two had undergone significant changes in the same time frame. Onoki had also been more productive recently in his job as well despite his increasing chronic back pain. Those couldn't have just been mere coincidences.
Why wasn't Iwa experiencing a bigger boom than the other countries? Simple. They weren't trusted enough by the other countries or whoever it was pulling the strings… by anyone… which meant that his home village was either being set up to take the fall or being left to themselves when the shit hit the fan.
Even so, this only gave more evidence that Onoki was incompetent at managing and maintaining Iwagakure.
But it also meant that if Iwa had any chance of maintaining its power and pulling ahead for whatever event came ahead, the resistance would have to pull off an absolute coup. One that would manage to not only gain them the government of the hidden village, but also the hearts, minds, and loyalty of the populace as well. A daunting task even if things had been going their way.
And thus… the two women in its possession had proved themselves to be of far more use alive than dead… for now.
"Oh I know that look." The Snake Mistress… no… the Leviathan Queen grinned hungrily as he returned to reality.
Now he could tell the difference between her and Orochimaru. This woman had far more teeth, a stronger bite, and had an air of confident, almost regal predator superiority to her that made you feel that not only she was always contemplating on whether to eat you or not, but it was perfectly natural for her to do so.
However her mentor was more cunning, intelligent, subtle, and his bite was far more poisonous. He was harder to predict in the way that he too always seemed to be judging you as prey, but in a more twisted and insidious way. Instead of regal, the white snake had more of an unnatural air around him.
The Merchant was still having trouble deciding who was more dangerous though.
"Darn. I do believe I've said too much. Oh well tell me what's going on in your mind. Do tell. I'm quite interested in hearing what you think you know so I can taunt you with what you don't later…"
o. o. o.
Land of Moon:
To say that Zabuza and Haku were a tad bit stressed out trying to keep the recently crowned King of Moon Country and the Daimyo of Spring Country out of the room in the castle they had put Naruto and the Kyubi in was a bit of an understatement.
Thankfully it wasn't impossible thanks to the combined efforts of Haku's and Mei's diplomatic charm… and a bit of Zabuza's presence.
"Ok. I'll bite. WHAT. THE. FUCK. FURBALL." Zabuza growled menacingly at the two tailed fox that was curled up casually in front of the unconscious boy's bed. Next to him the Mizukage and Haku were also silently wondering the same thing and a bit more. Mei had sent Ao, Chojuro and Suigetsu to run interference with anyone that attempted to get into the room.
The Kyubi snorted. "Sorry. It's just that you are just too adorable right now trying to intimidate me of all beings. It's quite cute."
"Oh don't you dare give me the Oogakari treatment you little rug." The jinchuriki of the Sanbi approached the fox menacingly while drawing out his sword. The twitch in his eyes was very hard to miss for everyone in the room. "Now tell me why you came here soaked like an overgrown ship ratcarrying our incarnation of chaos here before I make Isobu a veeeeery happy turtle."
"Actually Kurama and I never really bothered one another. He was a prick to everyone but I never really cared much about…"
"Don't you DARE correct me now turtle or I swear…!"
"Haku?" Mei sighed tiredly as her boyfriend started to rant out angrily and randomly swinging his massive sword in no particular direction.
"Yes Mei-sama." The teenager mimicked the older woman and briefly went through some seals and encased her father figure completely in ice save for his head.
"What the hell?!"
"You need to calm down again Zabuza." Most of the time it took a lot for the man to snap like this. He was a professional assassin after all. Being cool headed and collected to the point of outdoing most of the Kage was an unspoken requirement. However among the things that got under his skin unusually quickly were significant random factors that he had no control over, especially ones that were technically on his side that popped up for no reason at all when he was trying to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. The Oogakari and Naruto were at the top of that particular list.
"Ah. I missed that." The Kyubi chuckled. "It would have been quite convenient to do that on the idiot on more than one occasion in the past few years."
"It's good to see you again too Kyubi-sama." Haku bowed politely. "I am somewhat surprised that you are outside of Naruto. I take it that means he has finally mastered your power."
"You could say that." The strongest of the current biju grinned savagely. "While I do have access to all of my chakra once more, I find it pleasant to be able to go out on my own in this state on occasion and partake in some of my old pleasurable activities from a new angle."
"I am guessing that so long as the bulk of your power is inside your jinchuriki, you are able to leave without causing him harm then." Mei surmised as she looked at the infamous Feral Gale sleeping undisturbed in front of her. He was a bit pasty and thin from being in the water for so long and malnourishment, in addition to clearly suffering from sleep deprivation, but otherwise seemed pretty healthy. Not all that bad looking for a kid either.
"I can leave with my full power anytime I wish." The fox stated as if it was no big deal. "The idiot is strong enough to last some time without me. However I find it enlightening to experience the world though a more… scaled perspective. Crushing prey like ants does get boring after a while, and I have grown fond of feeling more from each of my targets."
"Tell me about it." Zabuza smirked, still trapped in ice but no longer attempting to create new chains of swears. "Blasting away the masses is good and all for crowd control, but there's nothing like getting it done with your bare hands… or claws in your case."
"Pardon the interruption, but if I may?" Mei interjected, knowing full well that if two personalities like the fox's and Zabuza's got started on the subject of killing there would be no progress anytime soon. She made a mental note to never let the man in the fox alone with one another for any amount of time. "Kyubi…sama. We would still like to know why exactly you are here in Moon Country, much less in the manner you came. Even you must admit that the situation is rather peculiar."
The fox stared at the pleasantly smiling woman for several seconds skeptically. "… I'll answer, but you aren't fooling anyone with that face you know human. I can literally feel how irritated you are at me."
"Kyubi-sama. Please?" Haku asked pleadingly, silently giving him gestures to stop while he was ahead.
Kurama grunted in irritation. "Fine. The brat was planning on coming here on vacation to milk your gambling dens for all they were worth. Unfortunately, due to his stupidity and lack of direction, he got lost on the way AND forgot to eat again before making the trip, so he ended up passing out in the middle of the ocean. Once again, I had to save his ungrateful hairless ass to safety. It was a mere coincidence that I felt Isobu's chakra nearby and went straight to it since it was a good indicator of where land was." The Fox blew out a bit of air from his nose. "I was carrying that idiot through the water for at least three days before I made it here."
"Through the water?" Zabuza blinked in confusion. "Don't you mean on the water?"
"When you're normally an existence that dwarfs even mountains in size, you tend to not need to know things such as water walking." The biju deadpanned. "I only knew enough to stand on stable water. The ocean on the other hand shifts too much for me to stand on until I was near the coast. That being said, I actually just went in and came out of the brat again to get rid of all that salt in my fur. You humans have no idea how irritating being covered in that blasted stuff can be when you have a pelt."
"Understandable." Zabuza nodded in agreement.
"Hold on." Haku frowned. "How was Naruto trying to get here by himself? Don't tell me he tried to water walk all the way here?"
"Of course not." Kurama rolled his eyes. "He flew… though it didn't make much of a damn difference in the end."
Mei's eyes widened in surprise. Shinobi capable of long distance flight were after all exceptionally rare. "He flew? On what?"
Zabuza on the other hand frowned. "Damn. So he finally got it down eh? Figures. He was already absurdly good with his wind element. Should have known he would have mastered it to that point when he got back."
"Mastered what?" Mei asked the swordsman with a hint of irritation in her voice.
"Flying woman. Flying. You know. Like what birds do." The frozen jinchuriki deadpanned. "Only instead of using wings, he uses chakra control and wind manipulation. No mounts. No extra or warped body parts. Just going up and down whenever he wants. He was working on it before he left a few years back before he left, but then he had trouble just hovering."
"Why do I have a feeling that it's going to be more of a bad thing than a good thing?" Haku sighed, already picturing all the chaos her friend would be capable of now that he wasn't limited to the earth like all of the other "incompetent ground dependant peons".
"To master flight with just ninjutsu and not a mount of some sort, and over such long distances…" Mei frowned. "No one has managed to do something like that since the masters of the Dust Release. And to be the jinchuriki of the Kyubi as well…"
"I'm right here human." The Fox frowned, his tails twitching a small bit. "Do remind yourself of who you are speaking about."
"She meant no disrespect Kyubi-sama." Haku attempted to placate the fox while subtly giving Mei signs to be more careful. Between her, Zabuza and Mei the ice user was certain that they could at least give the fox a good run for his money in his current state, but not before causing tremendous and unwanted collateral in the process. "… Come to think of it though, didn't you arrive with Ghost? I don't see why Naruto would be out here alone. It doesn't sound like something Tsunade-sama would permit."
"She didn't." The Fox yawned and closed his eyes to apparently sleep. "The brat ditched Oogakari as soon as we arrived and has been doing his own thing since. Conveniently enough, he has come across some very interesting things in the process."
Zabuza groaned as he felt a headache coming. He had spent the past few years helping to ensure that virtually all the jinchuriki in the world were at least reasonably hidden or protected, and then the idiot goes on to just decide and go out on his own without any backup. He could already tell how badly this could end up.
"You both do realize that you have nine S ranked criminals after you and that your decision is not the most… intelligent given the situation." Mei frowned in concern.
"Not my decision, not that I care." Kurama opened an eye to looked at the woman directly. "The brat is strong enough to hold his own. Besides, Akatsuki still don't know he's back yet, let alone know where he is. They're focusing on the others right now."
"Damn…" Isobu grunted inside Zabuza's head.
"They have started already?" Haku frowned worriedly.
"From what I've heard they got Saikon, the Rokubi, recently." The Fox elaborated carelessly. "Would have gotten that idiot Shukaku, the Ichibi, a week ago in Suna, but the brat lent a hand without getting seen." There was a brief pause before he began to laugh. "… And then a little while later Naruto blew up Shukaku's head."
"… What?" The other biju and humans blinked in confusion.
"Best. Container. Ever." No one missed the gleefully savage smirk on the fox's maw. "Not that I'll ever admit it to him."
"Kyubi-sama, can you please not do this?" Haku moaned with her face in her hands. She was really hoping that spending too much time with Ghost had not given the fox his sense of humor, otherwise they were all doomed regardless of became of Akatsuki and Madara. "We will have to deal with it enough once Naruto wakes up again."
"Oi. Kurama. Wanna trade humans? This one's just as bloodthirsty as you are and he isn't that mentally unstable." Isobu asked hopefully.
"Hell no." Both parties on the outside grunted at the same time.
"Excuse me." Mei spoke up. "As much as I'd hate to interrupt your socializing, but can we get back to more important topics? Such as who was it that attacked Suna?"
"The puppet user and that not mindwalker blond that somehow loves explosions more than the one behind me. From what I could tell, both managed to survive but the puppet took more damage. The container of Shukaku's managed to impress a good deal of his people from how he drove them out in the end. I'm almost surprised you haven't heard of it yet."
"Deidara and Sasori, the latter doesn't seem to be an immediate threat at the moment." Haku translated.
"So Kisame wasn't with them and Utakata is most likely dead by now…" The Mizukage frowned. "I will have to send word back to Kiri to prepare a larger guard around the trap now for preparation."
"Have fun with that."
"You're not helping?" Haku asked worriedly.
"He said the brat's on vacation, and who knows when the shark will take the bait." Zabuza pointed out. "Besides, having Naruto in Kiri for extended periods of time would be disastrous for both political and stability reasons. Do you REALLY want him doing whatever comes to mind there?"
"Come now Zabuza, he can't be that bad." Mei chided.
"On second thought, I wish you a grand experience on your time off." Haku smiled sweetly, causing the Mizukage's face to fall drastically.
"I stand corrected apparently."
"You have no idea."
"Tell us straight furball. Are we safer in mind and body with you being able to do whatever the hell you want here, or with him awake and doing his thing?" Zabuza asked seriously, nodding his head to the unconscious teen behind the fox.
"Did you really have to ask him that?" Haku asked her father figure, crying tears of despair.
"We all needed the closure Haku, no matter how much we may not like the answer."
"I didn't know you had a flair for the dramatics Kyubi-sama." Mei smiled politely, ignoring the other two human's reactions.
"Can you three be silent? I'm still trying to figure out the answer to the question."
o. o. o.
Somewhere in the city below the castle:
"Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit!"
A lone former wandering shinobi now royal guard slash maid was running through the lively city that served as Moon Country's capital.
The twenty five year old Karenbana… though many still thought she was in her early teens, was not having a good week. See, after a couple of years of doing humiliating chores and serving as the current prince's bodyguard, she had been finally been appointed as one of the main members of the castle security, complete with higher security access and benefits. Both of which she had accessed liberally.
The kunoichi didn't actually mind her current employers, or their benefits at least. While they were a bit stupid and overly honest in her opinion, they did compensate her quite well considering she had been part of the group that almost killed them when they first met. Heck she was actually getting along quite well with the recently crowned king's family now that the new queen was kicking her husband's ass into shape. She was actually beginning to see why the woman actually fell for the lazy slob in the first place. He actually looked pretty good once he shed that extra hundred x pounds of fat.
However it did not do much to satisfy the shinobi inside of her. She wanted more. More money. More power. More freedom. More danger. More respect…
The plan had been relatively simple. Kiri's, Spring's, and Moon's governments were still recently stabilized within the past five to ten years. This of course meant that there was bound to be a least one or two sizeable resistance groups left somewhere in their respective countries just itching for a chance to get some revenge. So, being the resourceful individual with great access to Moon's cashes, she had managed to contact with said groups and let them know that she wouldn't be against leaking a bit of information and providing a place to stay in case they had something in mind… and that the other groups would be interested in perhaps taking advantage of the festivities.
Between the numbers of mercs in Moon, the armor in Spring, if a bit out dated from what she had heard, and the missing nin of Kiri, the groups would stand a solid chance against the mere few dozen shinobi that were here for images' sake. Even if the former great Demon of the Hidden Mist and the current Mizukage proved too much, which she was currently banking on, they would still have more than enough numbers to take over the castle and get a bunch of hostages who would no doubt fund their cause in exchange for their lives…
Of course, they wouldn't get the King's family. She would, unknown to the rebels, hide them away before anything else happened to improve her standing and then simply just wait as the Mizukage and her forces destroy the uprising.
Karenbana was ambitious, not stupid. Working as a royal guard was the best and most stable job she could hope for. Hell it was why her group had originally jumped onto Shabadaba's boat to take over the country in the first place. She wasn't going to get rid of that just for a quick extra small fortune if it meant having to live on the road and on the run again.
She had of course never used her name, and she had used a combination of modified castle guard armor and a specialized poison to elongate her vocal chords and make her voice deeper to hide her identity. She was after all the only shinobi in the King's employment. Any seasoned ninja could tell when a genjutsu was being used nearby if nothing was happening…
It was still annoying to have the king mock her for her deep voice while the poison wore off. She only had so many paid sick days to use per year damn it.
But all her plans for the near future were shot when that blond brat showed up. Even though he had been snuck into the castle, she had been one of the few, being part of security, to see who he was.
Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze. The Feral Gale. S Ranked at the age of fucking thirteen, a feat that has only been topped by the Sharingan wielding Genjutsu Monster known as Itachi Uchiha. Oh she knew who he was all right. She had remembered his face when his team had come to the island the first time and absolutely murdered her own teammates as it they were nothing.
Even if the blonde did little while she was around the first time, she was now quite aware of the rumors of being a jinchuriki and the fourth Hokage's son. Hell it was hard to find a shinobi in the elemental nations that DIDN'T know of it by now. Plus she'd swallow a dozen of her poison senbon before thinking that the fox that carried the brat in wasn't related to the Kyubi in some way.
She was willing to risk pissing off one hidden village with this scam of hers since said village would only assume that the enemy was just trying a last ditch effort to reclaim their home. They'd take the blame for everything since they obviously had the motivation. She was betting on that happening. The Mizukage probably wouldn't even ask any questions. Heck she had a feeling Zabuza would make an effort to avoid a situation where that could happen personally. He certainly seemed happy enough to do that even without provocation the last time she saw him.
But two? And giving a good reason for the latter to send only their strongest and most insanely powerful shinobi to investigate probably everything that happened here? No thank you.
As far as shinobi outside the main five villages were concerned, Konoha's greatest strength in terms of combat was their guerrilla tactics. Their ability to fight in the trees and bushes that pervaded nearly every country on the planet was unmatched and annoying as hell since they kept on escaping using that damn log of theirs. Why else was the village so damn hard to invade despite the fact that it was seemingly the least defended by the natural terrain compared to the other major hidden villages? It was also the main reason why any shinobi fighting them tried to draw them out in the open first before actually fighting. Konoha shinobi were far easier to take down in the open than they were in their element.
However one of the leaf's greatest assets was their information gathering and tracking capabilities. Hyuuga. Inuzuka. Yamanaka. Aburame. Uchiha. Even Nara. Most of their clans had the very annoying ability to see and pick up things that most others couldn't, which was one of the main reasons why most missing nin avoided the land of fire. You couldn't hide in the damn place without getting caught by the locals at some point.
Kiri's hunters were the most ruthless, but Konoha's hunters were always considered the hardest to hide and get away from, and from what she could remember the Uzumaki had at least a member of most of those clans in his group the last time he was here, meaning he had connections.
Karenbana did not want to risk Namikaze's head in her scheme. His bounty wasn't worth her exposure, and in the case he did wake up she had heard enough about his exploits from the Spring Country's Daimyo and her own boss to know that the brat would royally screw things up for her anyways by just breathing. He was as much of a jinx for his own side as he was for his enemies. Numbers and chakra armor were nothing to him. Heck she was somewhat surprised that she lived the first time he came around.
Stopping in front of the meeting area, a bar on the edge of town that was frequented by the slightly less orthodox but still not overly obvious population, the kunoichi in her armor regained her composure and walked inside.
She didn't have to bother to check if she was followed or not by the ANBU. She had left by a hidden entrance to the castle so no one knew who she was. In addition to that, the building itself was being watched by groups of the visiting missing-nin hiding or staying in the nearby buildings. In addition to that they had set up small seals to prevent conversations from being overheard in certain areas for private talks. She'd sneak away by a hidden door in this building later and change clothes before coming back to the castle.
To the back right were her contacts playing poker and bored out of their minds. Jumpy too if their darting eyes and reaction to her armor were anything to go by, but a shallow but telling nod from her put the ones that spotted her to slight ease. Obviously these were the local idiots that didn't have any significant training save for one or two of them, and they were too drunk to notice anything at the moment. She could probably take them all out without any chakra if she wanted to even though they looked to be three times her physical size.
"If it isn't our dear young friend from way high up." The first man grunted as he drew two cards, the small bit of sweat on his bald head giving it a near mirror sheen. "I thought you were going to let us know about the job closer to the date. You're early."
"The job's a bust." She stated darkly with her modified voice while pulling up a chair to look like she was about to play too. "There's a new factor that just showed up that makes it too dangerous."
That caused the players to pause. "The fuck?" Another man, this one tattooed over his entire upper torso. "What's got you so spooked? We were going to stall against the Mizukage and three seven swordsmen in the first place. What's making you pussy out now? Don't tell me you got caught."
"The Feral Gale." She replied without hesitation and got the reaction that she herself had when she had seen him enter the castle. All the faces around her paled considerably.
"You're shitting me." The eldest one there grunted. He looked to be in his mid fifties. "That little nut's back? Nobody's seen or heard from him in years and he just happens to show up here and now?"
"I saw him myself. Second time actually." Karenbana grunted back. "Trust me. It's him. The Demon of the Mist and the Snow Woman both confirmed it too. Quite vocally I might add."
"Why is he here at all?" A rather slutty woman drawled in a way that told everyone she didn't really get how warped the situation was now, complete with huge tits, dyed red hair and a cigarette in her mouth. The Kunoichi didn't like her already.
"From what I know, he was coming here on vacation but got lost at sea. He was carried here on top of a two tailed fox from the sea like a dead rat, passed out and everything. Still going to be unconscious for a while from what I can tell."
A snort was heard from the table. "What? You mean to tell me that you're scared of some half dead little shit?"
"That half dead kid managed to get an S rank classification at thirteen you idiot. No matter how badly you want to make your name known, you don't get something like that without pulling some serious shit off and it being confirmed without a shadow of a doubt." She was getting annoyed. Considering the fact that many of the people in on the plan were just nameless grunts that at best would become B ranked bounties, she had hoped that they would easily get the scope of how bad of a decision it was to mess with an additional S ranked force next to the two they were already dealing with.
Apparently she was wrong.
"He's been gone for years and just mysteriously shows up again? Odds are likely he'd be able to tear us apart as easily as the Mizukage could the second he wakes up now. Plus that fox with him… I didn't like the feel of it when it was near me." She shivered as she recalled the very brief moment that she had made eye contact with the creature. In that instant she had felt as if she was being sized up as prey and nothing more. Even her instincts were telling her to accept her position as the creature's possible food as there was nothing she could do that would change this insurmountable fact. "That was no standard summon, I can tell you that much."
"What would you know about summons?" Snorted one of the men there that was clearly a bit drunk. "You're just some citv guard."
"Shut up. He's right." Another woman muttered as she contemplated the situation, this one a kunoichi if those suspicious marks on her arm were anything to go by. "I saw him once in action. Back when we botched up that assassination attempt at the movie premiere. The brat was no joke then and probably is less so now if he's actually here. Could tear through chakra armor like it wasn't even there, and he had a ton of crowd controlling jutsu under his belt. All things considered I'd hazard to guess that grabbing the royals and the daimyo wouldn't help our situation in the end."
"All the more reason to also take him when he's out cold." One of the drunk man snorted. "The longer we wait the more likely he's going to wake up and find us. It's not like we can run away now at once and not get noticed. We have a golden chance to get an S rank bounty on our hands in addition to a kingdom's worth of gold. Why the hell don't you just kill the brat and his fox? Make a pelt out of the thing."
"I tend to be wary of making enemies out of talking animals that can fit my head in their mouths and leak as much killing intent as most shinobi I've met when it's bored." The disguised Karenbana growled in annoyance. She was not going to play ignorant if these idiots kept on pushing their luck. Fortune favored the bold yes, but death welcomed the foolish just as easily.
"Surprised you even know what killing intent is. That's not something you hear most nameless guards talk about." The drunk kunoichi snorted as she poured herself more booze. "No matter. All we have to do now is double our efforts on separating the royal shmucks from everyone else when we get started and move up the time table a bit and it'll all be peachy." She glanced at the disguised woman. "Unless you're having second thoughts on the whole thing all together now."
She clicked her tongue in irritation. Things were going downhill fast and unless she wanted to confess her part in everything to the Mizukage in person at some point there was little she could do. At the moment the best she could do was damage control… speaking of which…
"If you're going to keep on with the plan, at least give me a fucking suit. Considering I'm practically going to be at ground zero when everything happens, I'd like to at least have a shot at actually living."
Several of the people at the table glanced at one another warily before the man with tattoos on his arms snorted. "Feh. Sure. Why not? You've earned that much at least. We don't have enough for everyone obviously and most of what we have are the older models, but you'd at least be in a good spot for us. Hell you're already more useful than more than half of the idiots we brought."
"Speak for yourself." The inebriated kunoichi smirked in a daze. "You know how long it took me to set up these privacy seals without the ANBU from Kiri noticing?"
The disguised woman silently planned out her next few moves carefully as she ignored everyone telling the woman to shut up about how hard she worked before being told when and where to pick up her suit. She'd have to give them her real measurements unfortunately, but she could at least wear a boy's suit to keep her cover somewhat legit. It was one of the few benefits to still being flat as a board…
That settles it. The first thing she was going to do with her bigger paycheck if she managed to live through this shit was get some work done on her body. If she was going to be a shrimp, she might as well be one that won't be mistaken for one half her age anymore.
o. o. o.
"We are so lucky Scab isn't here to see you like this again."
"Seriously Midget. Remember the last time he was around when you were like this? It took you weeks to recall what each body part of yours felt like without your nerves on fire."
"Your argument is invalid. You know Scab doesn't care about your love for these things unless he's making a profit off of it in some way."
"For the love of my ears will someone stop that racket!?" Tsume Inuzuka yelled as she stomped towards the source of her migraine followed by Kuromaru, Kiba and Akamaru to see Ghost and Shadow Oogakari walking around the corner… with Shadow's arms occupied with three adorable, rather still, and either docile or absolutely terrified red pandas. The squealing woman's eyes were warped into giant hearts and her mouth was in the largest mindless smile that Tsume had ever seen.
In Shadow's defense though, the creatures in her arms were pretty damn fucking cute.
"Yo Tsume. Kiba. Kuromaru. Akamaru. Long time no see." Ghost nodded while leaning on his crutches. His body was still half encased in casts and wrappings after being healed by Tsunade AGAIN after his family maimed the ever loving shit out of him… again. "Sorry about this. Sis likes cute fuzzy things."
"Fuuuuuzzzzziiiieeeeezzzzz!" The clearly deranged woman drooled as she nuzzled the adorable creatures in her clutches.
"I don't know whether to be relieved or insulted that she has never reacted that way to any of my kin." Kuromaru rasped with his animal like accent.
"Relieved." Kiba replied, knowing Shadow better than his mother and the wolf. "If you value our sanity in the slightest, you are relieved."
"They're so soooooooooft." Shadow crooned, still rubbing her face on the animals. How the woman was making hearts float above her head was anyone's guess, but no one would ever bother to ask her.
"You do realize that given who you are, I could ring you up for animal cruelty." Tsume said to the clearly not listening woman.
"Good luck with that." Ghost snorted.
"You could help you know." The mother of one of his girlfriends stated factually. Kiba and Akamaru shook their heads knowingly.
"Good luck with that." The immortal repeated himself. "I know better than to get in between this one and her obsessions. She maims me enough as it is."
"As opposed to what I would do to you?" The Inuzuka matriarch questioned skeptically.
"Have you paid attention at ALL to what we DO to one another?" The immortal looked at her as if she was an idiot.
"We try not to, and it has been a while since we witness you getting destroyed." Kiba shrugged. "It's become more like background noise at this point. Kinda like Gai-sensei's rants."
"I was under the impression that your magnificent ignorance to social and decency standards would bleed into that as well." Tsume ignored her son.
"You can't claim vengeance on things you are completely unaware of."
"As fascinating as this conversation is, can you please make the woman stop now?" Kuromaru growled as he laid on the ground and put his paws on his ear and ear hole. Akamaru whined next to him and mimicking his position. "Nails on a chalkboard are nothing compared to this."
"Fine." Ghost sighed before shifting over to reach into one of his pockets and pulled out a handful of pink taffy-like substance and shoved it into his oblivious sister's mouth. Said sister then began to chew the substance eagerly and somewhat quietly, however she otherwise did not change in the slightest. "You happy?"
"Much." The wolf nodded as he stood back up again.
Tsume blinked as she realized that the man just gave his sibling candy to shut her up. "That's it?"
"Yep." Kiba nodded as this wasn't the first time he had seen Shadow being shut up this way. "She's just like the pups. Get her a treat and she completely forgets what she's doing. The trick is to get your hand near her mouth without her biting it."
"Tell me about it. She's as bad as Crypt sometimes. Besides I'm in no condition to give her an ass kicking if that was what you were expecting." Ghost shifted his crutches back to their normal positions.
"Not that exactly, but admittedly something along those lines yes." The woman glanced at the oblivious woman in front of him. Honestly Shadow Oogakari was still the one member of the family that absolutely no one in Konoha actually got…
… Well no one but Shikamaru Nara if rumors were true, but he supposedly was as tight lipped as the Oogakari themselves when it came to the woman.
"Glad to see that we can still be surprising." The immortal smirked briefly. "So you know when Hana and Anko are gonna be back? As you can see, I have a dire need for a pair of nurses. Preferably kinky and sexy ones."
"Oi. We're right here." Kiba frowned.
"They'd break you in half in your condition, though I doubt you'd care that much given who you are." The mother of one of the potential kinky sexy nurses frowned slightly.
She had long since had a conversation with her daughter about her relationship with Ghost, primarily regarding the fact that the man was indeed confirmed to be suicidal. She still didn't like it, no mother in her right mind would. Hell, she still didn't understand how such a relationship could even work between both parties, but at the moment she knew it was still a battle she knew she couldn't win without more information seeing as Ghost, Hana, and Anko truly seemed to be linked with one another. So for now she still regarded the man with some distaste but nothing more than that. Even she would admit that he could be trusted… to a degree. "But to answer your question, they should have been back a few days ago from their mission."
"Confirmed time table that is known by the public, but fairly long duration of leave. No need for constant updates to superiors. No sound of urgency…" Ghost was ticking off the facts out loud. "I'm guessing some sort of recon mission outside of the land of Fire. Either that or non vital escort mission."
"The former. Still it's unlike them. Hana and Anko are among our best field operatives these days. They also go out on medical and missing-nin hunting missions too." She left out the bit that it was mostly due to Ghost's aid that they were this strong. She preferred to not inflate the man's enormous ego whenever she could. "Problem is that they are late. They are normally back early from such basic jobs like this one."
"Eh." The Immortal shrugged. "They're big girls. They can take care of themselves." He paused before donning a lecherous grin. "… In more ways than one. Heheheh."
"Once again. Right here." Kiba spoke up even though he was being ignored.
"Makes me wonder why they even need you anymore." The mother evenly commented.
Ghost winced. "Ow. Couldn't you wait a few more days before unleashing that sharp tongue of yours? I'm still recovering here."
"Too bad. It comes with snagging my daughter and making that nurse comment in my presence."
"You're not worried at all about her are you?"
The immortal smirked. "I've helped her and Anko grow powerful myself Tsume. If they progressed if at the rate that I predicted, there should be exceptionally few forces on this planet that would be able to take them down, and the girls are more than capable of identifying such sources." He paused before looking at Kiba skeptically. "You… still need a few more years."
"Oh come on. You haven't even seen what I can do yet."
"And that just shows how many years you still need to improve if I can already make that statement." The man grinned…
An instant later Kiba's claw was out and holding down the bottom end of one of Ghost's crutches.
"You are really tempting me to consider harming a cripple you know." The teen grit his teeth without breaking eye contact with the man. Neither of them seemingly paid attention to the fact that both the crutch and Kiba's claws were glowing with wind and earth elemental chakra.
… Nor the fact that the wind chakra on the crutch was extended to just shy of Kiba's inner thigh. A killing blow.
"Really? We should find a shrink for you to sort that out." The immortal's demeanor didn't change as he lowered his crutch again and ignored both the tiny drop of blood fell from one of the teen's fingers and the silent but glaring Akamaru that was now standing right behind him with glowing red claws. The large white dog had not made a single sound since he moved from his position next to Kiba. "Like I said, you still need a few more years."
The seemingly unused crutch that Ghost was leaning on began to glow with wind chakra, making the scythe like blade extending from the back of it and ended in front of Akamaru finally visible. The dog may had been silent initially to get behind Ghost unnoticed, but it was clear why he had yet to move when he finally got into position.
"Both of you."
Kiba sighed in resignation as he pulled back his hand and flexed his fingers to get used to the light pain in them. Even after strengthening his claws with a modified elemental version of his family's transformation technique he was still cut by a half hearted attack from the man. Nothing vital was cut, but his fingers would be aching for the next few days. He very briefly glanced at his hand for a moment to see the number two etched on his palm, making his eyes widen in mild surprise before he laughed and pocketed his limb. "Damn. I had forgotten how scary you can be when you want to sensei."
"Really?" He tilted his head to the side innocently before turning to his sibling. "Have you been slacking off sis? I mean he's been spending so much time with you guys while I was gone, but I was still underestimated."
"Murhonoaoaaaaaah." Shadow drooled incomprehensively as she continued to coddle the animals in her arms, completely not caring. Clearly she was in Avalon if her facial expression and the small bit of drool from her mouth was anything to go by.
"Is it wrong for me to trust you even less when you talk and act like this?" The woman's eyes narrowed suspiciously as she watched the visible blades of chakra disappeared, scent and all. If she was honest, she had been caught completely off guard by the man's sudden attempted sneak attack, however her son apparently had been expecting it even if he wasn't as prepared as he might have assumed.
"Who knows?" Ghost's grin widened, indicated that the conversation was greatly amusing him. "It may not be a case or right or wrong, but simply a sign of wisdom."
"You're calling me old aren't you?"
"Now that's just your senility showing."
"I'm going to walk away from ground zero now." Kiba began to slowly back up from his mother and his sister's boyfriend. His mother had been getting a bit jumpy about age comments lately since she was approaching her fortieth birthday. Granted it was impressive since she was one of the most active maternal kunoichi in Konoha, but it didn't do much for her self esteem to see virtually every kunoichi she passed above the age of seventeen be more appealing to her every day. She knew she wasn't young per say… but she didn't want to be considered "old" just yet. Even if her daughter was already at the right age to consider getting married. "You know… because I value my health."
"You never learn do you?" The woman growled as her hands turned into claws. She knew that in a fight the man would utterly destroy her, but he was always helpless when he was receiving a well deserved maiming. She had deduced that it was his most likely suicidal tendencies acting up. Next to Crypt, Ghost was the Oogakari that was most often harmed and in the greatest amounts in their merry making...
… No. Crypt may be injured worse, but in hind sight Ghost was harmed far more frequently and by a greater number of people. It was just easier to ignore given how he simply brushes off the events. She knew she shouldn't support these tendencies as they were the very things she disliked about the man, but damn it if she didn't admit that putting down the smug bastard didn't give her a warm fuzzy feeling on the inside.
Ghost merely smiled pleasantly. "Oh I learn. I just weighed my options and determined that my actions were worth the consequences."
Tsume's fangs grew about half an inch and her face turned more primal. Warm fuzzy feelings indeed…
"… Yep. Still totally worth it."
Only to take in a deep breath and slowly calm down, relaxing her features in the process.
"… Still worth it, but now slightly confused." Ghost skeptically rose an eyebrow before yelping in surprise as the woman easily picked him up over her shoulders. "Hey! What the hell?!"
"Uh mom? I don't think Hana would appreciate this." Kiba skeptically pointed out from a safe distance.
"Get your head out of the gutter Kiba. I'm simply doing your teacher a favor." The woman smiled pleasantly. "I smell several of your students nearby and thought that it would be good for you all to catch up since they most likely haven't seen you in a while Ghost-san. In fact I do believe that young Hinata is among them."
It was well known among Hinata's inner circle that she was less than pleased about Ghost losing her boyfriend and the fact that she had been so far unable to get a solid conversation out of him. It was also well known these days that while the girl was far more pleasant to be with than most of her family, she was also noted to be among the most terrifying to anger.
Ghost's confident demeanor instantly shattered like glass and began to struggle in the woman's grip. "Changed my mind! Not worth it! Totally not worth it! I give up! I'm sorry! You're in the prime of your youth! In fact I do believe that Gai is secretly scheming to steal some away from you out of sheer spite! Did I mention that your ass looks wonderful from this angle and showing no signs of age at all? Unhand me woman!"
"Nonsense." The future mother in law chided. "I am merely aiding the injured boyfriend of my daughter to his students so that they can have a pleasant and civil conversation."
"Pleasant and civil my perfectly toned ass!" The immortal struggled, sloppily trying to trip his captor from behind with his crutches and failing miserably. "I just got out of the hospital! Do you know big my bill already is?!"
"That's never stopped you before." Kiba pointed out casually.
"Waltz went out on a job this week! I don't get discounts if he's not here!" The blind man countered while flailing wildly. Silently he cursed the fact that he was dating someone whose mother was physically stronger than him and knew how to use it. "That means the whole bill goes to Scab again! You know what he'll do to me if he finds out I racked that much debt again so soon?! Science! Science damn it! Now let me go!"
Shadow, forgotten by everyone, didn't react to her brother's plight in the slightest. She was far too occupied by more important matters. Primarily the fuzzies and the sweets.
o. o. o.
Somewhere around Iwa and Kusa:
Invisible to the naked eye and to most of nature, a small section of the air began to contort on itself. Colors and patterns that were not natural or comprehensible to the world around the small section of space, growing and folding onto itself in an undecipherable kaleidoscope of phenomena until it stretched several meters across…
At which point it seemingly meshed reality back to its original state without any issue, only there were five humans now.
"Lo and behold… trees." One of the men stated dryly as he looked around from behind his clean glasses and tidy hair. Dressed in a fairly dry black and white business suit and tie, the Caucasian looked more like he was ready for a company meeting than exploring.
"It's called a forest." Another male snorted. He appeared to be ready for a rave, dressed in loose torn jeans and an open dark blue vest with no shirt underneath it. With fairly long blonde greasy hair, he looked pretty much like a college dropout if it weren't for how physically cut he was or the massive blocky metal knuckles he had on each hand. "Ugh. What the fuck's that smell?"
"It's over there." An attractive Hispanic looking woman with long black hair and blue highlights dressed in a ratty cloak that hid her figure pointed out. Everyone turned to see the pile of rotting half eaten Chinese food, complete with vomit and excrement, no doubt from the local animals. "The savages here obviously have never heard of "leave no trace" before."
A snort of laughter from the other woman there caught everyone's attention as they walked away to somewhere that smelled more bearable. "Is something the matter?" The eldest man there asked. He was bald, poorly shaven, had closed eyes, clearly been shrinking for years and had some liverspots, but he was still in solid shape given from the firmness of his body structure and the pieces of light but worn armor he had on his arms and chest and the thick padded army pants around his legs.
The woman in question continued to laugh lightly with a hand to her mouth. She was beautiful in an elegant way, with long gray hair and a balanced figure that was barely visible behind the casual but modest clothes she wore: Dark blue pants, a white undershirt with a blue, black, red, and tan colored diamond patterned blouse.
"Hahaha. Oh. It's nothing. Don't mind me." She smiled genuinely. "It just reminds me of something that I find rather amusing."
Her violet eyes that occasionally changed colors did not miss the section of the pile that indicated that something had dragged itself from underneath it at some point.
"Whatever." The rave man snorted, clearly not too keen on her answer before turning to the businessman. "Oi. Etch. You find out what the deal with this place is yet? I mean it's not often that a universe gets completely shut off from outside access without a solid reason. Not like there are many things that would cause a God or one of the major players out there to go through with it. You'd think it would be easy to tell what they were trying to hide." He glanced at the laughing woman. "Unless chuckles over there knows and isn't telling for some reason. Damn God Class' are all twisted like that…"
"Now now. There's no need to be rude." The old man admonished in good humor. "We were the ones that asked her for help after all. We would never have been able to make it without her. Discovering blocked off worlds is hard enough as it is, accessing them without significant aid is nearly impossible." He turned to the woman. "Once again, you have my thanks, Sylvia of the Stained Glass."
The woman smiled pleasantly. "Oh don't thank me. I was planning on coming here sooner or later regardless. Your request merely sped things up." She shrugged. "Of course if this minor fold in the barrier was not present, I don't think that even I would have been able to get you through with such ease." Her eyes darted to the Chinese food again. "It seems as if the one who made it was too occupied to address it after he went through."
"A barrier that even you have trouble with?" The Hispanic woman rose an eyebrow and hesitantly licked her lips. "There must be something pretty damn valuable here if that's the case. Physical or informative."
"If there is I'm not seeing it." The businessman frowned as he looked around at things that no one else seemingly couldn't. "All things considered this world is rather low ranking on the threat scale. More spiritual than technological, though their progression on biological theory is quite far. The humans with powers are weaker… but unusually flexible. There're not many restrictions on what they can or can't do outside of power and knowledge requirements save for some genetic keys. As for threats, there are some abnormal creatures and a good number of Upper Class humans, but that's about it as a standard. From what I can see, there are only a handful existences here that could pose us any possible trouble. Mid level Holy Classes at the most, but that's it. All in all not impressive. I doubt that any of the hicks here have even heard or theorized of the multiverse."
"So long as they have plumbing and an easy way to make cash I don't care." The rave man shrugged.
"Oh trust me. Plumbing would be the least of your concerns if you ever decide to visit a primal fiendish realm." The old man chuckled. "Brings new meaning to the term "scared shitless" those places are."
"Yeah yeah. I know the story. An eternity of pain and suffering theoretically crammed into every nanosecond of existence." The other male waved a hand dismissively before looking around. "There's really jack here huh? Guess that means whoever traveled here doesn't want to attract attention to themselves."
"That's a first." Sylvia giggled to herself.
"You say something?" The other woman asked.
"Just talking to myself. Don't mind me."
"I'll try not to." The muscled man grunted, clearly not trusting her more than he had to. "Still that means we're going to have to do a little digging in order to find out where anything decent is hidden."
"Low level technology and predominantly Japanese culture with access to powers. Wonderful. The calling cards of a world run by prideful government officials that don't listen to anyone and the general population is xenophobic to a degree, enforced by their hired guns that tend to coral the populace to their wishes. To the bars and whore houses it is then." The elderly man sighed and shook his head in depression. From the way he spoke, he was more irritated with going to the bars and brothels than he was about the state of the local society.
"Heh. You may be strong old man but even you can't hold your own against a woman or beer at your age anymore." The Hispanic woman chuckled and patted her companion on the back with mock pity.
"Please. He couldn't hold his own against them a thousand years ago." The businessman snorted condescendingly before glancing in the direction of Ame. "Hmm. There's a city a few hundred kilos in that direction that possesses a large number of high level individuals… for this world at least. It may be a problem if we go there…"
"Best we avoid them for now. Don't want to lose the resources that being anonymous can gain." The elderly man nodded knowingly before turning to the supposed sensor of the group. "And I could have still drink your sorry ass under the table until eight hundred years ago thank you very much."
"Of course you could. I'm only a hundred and fifty seven." The sensor shrugged unconcerned, not at all paying attention to the fact that he at the oldest looked to be in his late twenties.
"Where's the nearest place that looks like we can get something?" The cloaked woman tilted her head. "I'm all for info gathering, but I'm also for sleeping in a bed."
"Hmm." The businessman mused as he looked around before settling on a direction which would be towards Iwa. "Most of the threats seem to live in specified cities. There's another one of those with some large sources that way, but with several minor towns along the way that seem to be well populated and supported in one way or another. We should go to those first."
"Sounds good enough." The raver shrugged. "Flying's a no go?"
"From what I can tell, it is an exceptionally rare ability among the populace. Not unheard of, but it would attract far more attention than we would prefer." The sensor sighed helplessly. "Accelerated movement on the other hand is all well and good so long as we're not seen."
"Hopefully I won't slow you children down." The elderly man chuckled in good humor before pausing to see that their ride was looking in another direction. "I assume that you are not coming with us? You're more than welcome to."
"Sure she is. While we're at it, we can have her gossip about the other God Classes, like Gurren Lagann, Kaleidoscope, The Silver Surfer, Superman, Shiki Ryougi, or even better, the Second Origin." The muscled man sarcastically rolled his eyes.
The God Class woman shook her head apologetically. "No. I believe I will venture out on my own for a bit. Besides it would do no good for me to do that. Most of them are out of your league even if you knew everything about them, and to be honest I don't need dear Shadow to have another reason to murder me in cold blood. She's unfortunately never that happy when she learns that I'm around. She's tried to kill me a few times to be honest." She looked around curiously. "I apologize for being rude, but I am going to explore for a bit. I'll be sure to meet up with you again to grant you passage out of here. Until then…"
The world folded and contorted around the pleasantly smiling woman as if she was moving through the liquid cloth called reality, and within moments she was no longer there.
The group stared silently at the place where the woman disappeared. "… One of THE True Gods is after her head?" The Hispanic woman asked out loud warily. "How the flying FUCK is she still existing?"
o. o. o.
Omake: What happens when Waltz and Scab get very high together:
Yoshi was minding his own business at the thrift shop in town. There weren't many in Konoha due to the fact that as a shinobi village, many of the things that might be donated or sold to him may be on the wrong side of illegal and may or may not cause his store to explode.
It wasn't unheard of for shinobi to sell or get rid of their old vests and clothes and forget about a hidden self made pouch or slit that held explosive tags.
It had been overall a good day. He had sold a few sets of used but still quite useable shinobi equipment, some pants, and a bunch of random civilian clothes, and it was a little after lunch when he heard it.
"What what. What. What. What.
What what. What. What. What."
"Huh?" The man blinked in confusion as he heard seemingly light music come from outside and someone saying the same thing over again. "The hell is that?"
"What what. What. What. What.
What what. What. What. What."
Just as he was about to walk outside, the music changed to what he remembered was a saxophone playing with some drums to a lively if not odd tune. Unfortunately the music was the last thing on his mind as he saw what was approaching his store.
Scabbard and Waltz Oogakari were strutting in his direction dressed in what he could only be described as the most fuzzy and flamboyantly colored clothing he had ever seen, and he was very well aware of what Naruto Uzumaki used to wear.
The fact that Waltz was almost literally twice the height of Scabbard only made the image even more bizarre.
Decked out in purple, yellow and red suits with wide hats, both men were walking with jeweled walking sticks in one hand and a roach of marijuana in the other.
And then Waltz began to sing.
"I'm gonna pop some tags,
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket.
Looking for a dollar.
This. Is. Fucking. Awesome."
What followed next was the most bizarre, musical, and largest purchase from his store that Yoshi had ever experienced as Scabbard, who also sung in his own bizarre way most of the time, bought out virtually half his store while clearly stoned beyond all known reason.
The store owner did learn that day why the shinobi populace was so terrified of Waltz ever getting high though. He also had to temporarily close his shop so he could get more donations.
Now if he could only get that damn song out of his head and the smell of weed out of his store…
o. o. o.
A very brief summary of how multiversal power ranking works:
Class and Rank: The four main classes in increasing power are Base, Upper, Holy, and God. Each class is divided into ranks, F to S rank. "Power" can be a subjective term, as this system also addresses overall capability and ability to break or ignore the fundamental rules of reality. Because of this, it is not unheard of for higher classes or ranks to be fundamentally weaker than someone of a lower standing.
Note: True Gods Classes are not a part of this system and are for the most part considered above the standard God Class S rank.
Note: Genuine gods are not addressed by this system. For all intents and purposes, a real god will always land somewhere in the mid rank god class area in terms of power at the very least.
For power scaling: Upper class = building destroyers. Upper Class = Town/City Destroyers. God Class: Reality warpers/ world destroyers and above.
For Reference (more or less):
Base Class E-D rank: Standard human.
Base Class B rank: Standard Mook with powers
Base Class A-S rank: Most fully evolved Pokemon (not counting insane ones like Garados and overly trained ones)
Upper Class E Rank: Standard Chunin. Standard Bleach Shinigami, every reasonably powered up mook.
Upper Class D Rank: State Alchemists, Most King level Storm Riders from Air Gear.
Upper Class C Rank: Standard Jonin
Upper Class A Rank: Most Standardized advanced Mobile Suits without outstanding equipment, Natsu from Fairy Tail at the end of the tournament arc, Ichigo Kurosaki (Bankai), Magneto, Teresa of the Faint Smile, Power of average properly summoned Servant from Nasuverse (Without specifically destructive NP's)
Holy Class F Rank: Standard S class Shinobi, Marakov from Fairy Tail,
Holy Class E Rank: TTRT Gaara, TTRT Naruto Uzumaki without Biju or Sage Mode, Standard for Members of the 7 Warlords of the Sea, Post timeskip Monkey D. Luffy, Gundam Wing 0, Standard captain Class Shinigami
Holy Class D-C Rank: All 9 Biju, the 3 Marine Admirals of Marineford, Standard level of most adventuring type Reality jumpers (give or take), Nagato.
Holy Class B Rank: Madara, Hashirama Senju, The 4 Pirate Emperors
Holy Class A Rank: Destructive potential of Gilgamesh (Ea partially powered), Aizen (final form), 1st Captain Yamamoto (bankai),
Holy Class S Rank: Most TYPES, Beatrice.
God Class F Rank: SS3 Goku, Gilgamesh (Ea fully powered), Sage of 6 paths With Juubi, Zelretch (in his prime)
God Class E Rank: Superman, SS4 Vegetto (Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, Superman would still win this fight), Burnkestel, Lambdadelta.
(Note, at the following ranks and onward, it is possible for the users to significantly affect the universe or even the multiverse itself if they apply their powers properly.)
God Class C Rank: Silvia of the Stained Glass, Shiki Ryougi's 3rd Personality, Every god damn Fairy from the Fairly Oddparents.
God Class B Rank: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Crypt Oogakari, Madoka's wish potential at the end of Puella Madoka Magica.
God Class A Rank: Scabbard Oogakari, Demonbane, Zetta's wish granting potential in Makai Kingdom as a book.
God Class S rank: Waltz Oogakari.
o. o. o.
Yes. I know. I added more OC's and put in my ranking system. Please bear with me on this. I have my reasons. Almost all of the OC's introduced are not going to last here. They are just for a reference on just how powerful the standard fighter outside the naruto-verse is, since I personally believe that just throwing in characters from different worlds together and just say "welp. They're together and there's no way that anyone else is going to jump in for no reason whatsoever" or "welp, the biggest good guys in existence are here so might as well dredge up their long lost enemies there to keep things epic hur durr" is stupid and overdone.
These guys are standard Reality jumpers. The everyday adventurers and treasure hunters that just so happen to come from the same society/background as the Oogakari.
Please remember that in most anime that has powered up fighting these days, the standard characters can completely trounce most Naruto characters.
Please rest assured, I'm not going to spend much time on them. They are more like a plot device than anything to add more chaos to the world that the locals cannot provide, and personally I believe my use for them will be better than most of the stories here that use filler episode material in their stories for NO DAMN REASON AT ALL.
That being said, Sylvia is an OC I have worked some time into developing and as you can guess has a very colorful history with the Oogakari... in more ways than one. She's not really an enemy of theirs, but she kinda is.
… You'll see.
Sort of like catwoman to batman, only batman is more of an asshole in this case. She's also going to be used to balance things out plot wise since… well… yeah even I admit I may have juiced up the good guys a bit too much.
… Just a bit.
But you know what? That also means I'm gonna tweak out Akatsuki in the near future too. Now doesn't that sound interesting?
And if you haven't noticed yet, I am making this FAR more darker than YAWALEH. Still chock full of chaotic comedy yes but I've always intended to make this story somewhat deconstruct the whole "godly stranger helping out a world in trouble" shtick. Not completely, but enough to make it blatant that everything isn't all puppies and sunshine.
I'm not going down the grimdark path. Well, not more than a few steps every here and there, but there will be extremely depressing moments that are deeper than the "oh someone I'm close to died and now I'm sad and feel guilty" or "oh now I see that world peace isn't truly possible and now I have no meaning in life" bull that pervades most shonen stories.
Fuck. That. Shit.
I'm talking Gen Uroboshi level mind fucking soul crushing moments, because it's THOSE moments that make characters really stand out in their decisions because no answer in those situations will lead to a perfect or even decent ending at times and prove that they are in the end human on a fundamental level.
And there ARE characters in this story who have gone very far down this path.
As for Ghost finding out about Hana and Anko… just wait. I almost did it here, but I realized that it was too soon in the timeline to pull it off. I have plans you see. Big plans. With destruction. And explosions. And free for alls. And people not knowing what the hell is going on.
On other news. WOOT! RWBY! RWBY! RWBY! RWBY! RWBY!
Ehem. And on OTHER other news:
My Project Management training's been interesting lately, and by interesting, I mean we switched to a new teacher who does nothing but half assed info dumps. Wonderful. It's especially helpful when he's the one that's preparing us for two extremely important certification exams.
Each exam was with different material. Each exam was a week apart. Each subject was studied in a week. The latter test we needed to cram 5 books of random info into our heads.
And my grad school midterms were taking place during this time… and a massive paper was due then too.
I would have had this chapter out weeks ago if it weren't for that cluster fuck.
Thankfully the first test we passed (I got a perfect score… somehow) since everyone got a list of all the possible questions and answers and we just studied the hell out of them for three days straight since there were 160 possible questions we would come across. The second one…
Only half of us passed, and was not for a lack of trying. Thankfully I was one of the ones that made it.
So I now have a ITIL and a Business Analyst Certification in addition to my Electrical Computer Engineering BA, an oncoming Certification in Power engineering when my current class is passed, and maybe a masters in power engineering in a couple of more years if things go well. Yay diversification.
Lessee… Oh! Forgot. TV tropes. I know I harp on this occasionally, but this one's been bugging me for a while. Can someone set up a character's page for YAWALEH/TTRT? I think it would really help clean things up in general as well as put more focus on everyone else in the story, and I've seen too many tropes focused on my OC's with respect to everyone else despite the effort I took into developing them as well. That way I think we can cut out a lot of the main page and not make it so damn massive when you open stuff up.
On other news, they've decided to make an anime based on the Heaven's Feel route of FSN, which is AWESOME, RWBY comes out every Thursday, I paid my friend to make me a new comp which is far superior to my old store bought one (SSD AND Harddrive bitches! Hahahaha!), and… well I'm just really damn tired lately.
And now to do homework. (slams head on the desk and instantly begins to sleep.)
So REVIEW! WORSHIP THE LOG! BE CAREFUL OF PUTTING SWEETS NEAR SHADOW'S MOUTH! AND REVIEW AGAIN!