author note: CHARACTERS ARE ACCEPTED ONCE MORE, though the rules are on my profile, so please head over there for more information. ALSO, this is set AFTER PART ONE, but BEFORE SHIPPUDEN. You will see canon characters, and and some will be pretty important. Now, without further ado... I present the relaunched version of...
The Ninja Gaiden
Chapter 1: The Adventure Begins
Squatting was not a comfortable position. Really; it wasn't. My thighs were becoming sore, and I had only a limited range of sight as I could only turn my body so much to view my surroundings. Crap. I ran a hand through my mid-length dark red locks in a frustrated fashion.
If only I'd actually started thinking over my plans. Thoroughly. I mean, I had a nasty habit of coming up with an idea and acting on it mere seconds later before even considering how I would accomplish said plan…
…Which was kind of how I had ended up in my current dilemma; squatting behind a lumpy tree.
The lumpy tree bark was digging into my back, too, causing a frown to deepen on my tanned face. I didn't particularly like being prodded in the back- to be quite frank, I didn't particularly like being touched at all. But considering the fact that I was more or less screwed if I made even the slightest movement…
I continued to press my back against the bumpy tree, admittedly with a sour air about me. One of her hands gripped a kunai tightly, the other curling around the edge of the thick trunk. Footsteps were closing in, crunching noisily through twigs and crisp fallen leaves. My body stiffened at the sound.
They were heavy, I thought; definitely too loud to be Hiro. Hiro was the type to ghost over the ground, to sneak across the battlefield so quietly, one could hardly keep tabs on his whereabouts.
I gritted her teeth, taking a deep breath through her nose, and out of my open lips. It wasn't Hiro, so a head on attack could work. In theory. Just sitting around wasn't doing anything, anyway… Hmph. A few steps closer, and I'd attack.
I slammed the toes of my navy ninja shoes into the earth to propel myself forward, branding my knife tightly in hand. "Kya!" I cried, slashing the kunai across the gut of my adversary. The boy's hazel eyes widened in utter shock, as if the mere thought of an attack landing was unfathomable. Please. I was a freaking surgeon with a knife.
Only, within milliseconds of the knife meeting skin, the dark skinned boy exploded in a cloud of smoke. "Perfect," I muttered. Roka had escaped my grasp yet again. And the fact that I now had no idea where he had went didn't brighten my mood any, either.
I am so losing right now.
And… then there was Hiro. Perfect timing as usual—not.
Whipping around, I prepared to attack. The moment my eyes met Hiro's amber ones, however, I found myself staring down three large ice shards. Stifling a scream from ripping out of my throat, I quickly flipped out of the way, watching as the ice-spears dug deep into the poor tree that had stood behind my, prior to melting into water and retreating back to Hiro.
There was a small smile on Hiro's face as he kept his eyes trained on the area where his teammate had been seconds before rather than my new hiding spot, a perch hidden well in the tree leaves. Not that he didn't already know that I was hiding somewhere in that vicinity. Hiro was good at sensing people, just like I was.
Though, Hiro had managed to sneak up on me yet again. Frowning, I mentally went over the last few minutes, trying to remember if there had been anything to signify Hiro's appearance. Bewildered, I gritted my teeth again. I hadn't picked up on anything. It was like the boy had just appeared. Wasn't the first time, though, and surely wouldn't be the last.
"Akira-San." I froze. Did Hiro know where I was? That wasn't good. Slowly, slowly, I crept backwards on my branch in hopes of escaping. "Akira-San," Hiro called again, looking up into the trees. His eyes wandered some before stopping; right on me. He seemed assessing the sweat that ran down the sides of my face. But that was impossible. Hiro couldn't actually see me; there was no way. But then, there was always a way with Hiro. Always.
Before launching down, I tightened my grip on the kunai that I still had in hand.
"Got you now!" I cried, thrusting the weapon forward with the greatest amount of might she could muster. Hiro didn't bother to doge it. Instead, he let the knife slice his cheek prior to melting into a puddle of water.
Another clone? Seriously?
My cheeks colored in embarrassment as I roughly landed onto my feet before flipping away from the puddle and once again scanning the environment. "Damn it! Why do you guys keep doing this to me?" I whined. Honestly, I hadn't been expecting- or wanting- a response, but of course, Hiro chose that moment to step out into the light, wearing one of his too-pleasant smiles.
"Well, we are training right now," Hiro said calmly. "Aren't we, Roka?" My heart nearly stopped functioning when cool metal slid against my cheek, causing a thin stream of blood to glide from the newly made incision and down my throat.
"I win," Roka whispered in my ear, his warm breath tickling my skin. I wrinkled my nose at that, and before Roka knew what I was plotting, I rammed my elbow into his gut. He grunted, bending away from me and simultaneously loosening his hold on his kunai knife. I quickly snatched it from him and danced back a few steps, grinning devilishly at the black haired boy.
"You can't win against me," I laughed with confidence, taking in Roka's angered expression. Admittedly, his frustration brightened my mood quite a bit.
"Hey, that's not fair! You're supposed to give up the moment your opponent scratches you!" Roka cried, pointing an accusing finger at me. I just began batting my eyelashes in a childlike manner to annoy him further.
"Oh, but what cut did you land on me, Roka-kun?" I asked in an innocently mocking manner. Roka hesitated before leaning closer to me, his eyes zeroed in on the my face. Or more accurately, my cheek, which bore no sign of being sliced, cut, bruised, etc.
"… The hell!" The boy cried, stomping out of the shrubbery that had been between the two of us. "That's not fair! Not all of us have a healing reflex! You're cheating!" In a very mature manner, I stuck my tongue out at Roka, holding his knife in the air and dangling it.
"Come and get me, Roka," I teased. The boy jumped to the challenge, his anger obviously clouding his sense of reason. I slid a step back and released a quick jab to his gut. Roka twisted out of the way of the attack and reached for his knife. I snatched back again, but as Idid so, I stumbled over my feet and pitched backwards.
There wasn't a chance to fall, though- Hiro caught me. As usual.
"You should be more careful, Akira."
The smile he gave me was enough to make me blush with irritation- I didn't need nor want anybody's help. "Okay, okay, I lose." I then proceeded to thrash out of Hiro's arms. The boy blinked at me with a cheerfully clueless expression, his smile still intact.
"Are you both ready to go meet C-sensei at the dango shop now?" Hiro asked as he dusted off his dark grey t-shirt. Well, I wasn't really sure if it was a t-shirt exactly, as it had a hood attached to it that Hiro wore up on a daily basis, but, the older boy's shirt did have short sleeves, which was kind of the same thing. But anyway.
"Dango shop?" Roka asked, his mood brightening immediately. If there was one thing Roka liked more than attention, it was dango. Particularly, he liked dango that wasn't being paid for with his own money. Hiro simply flashed us his characteristic cool-boy-smile, which I was 98% sure he'd inherited from C-sensei himself. "Come on, Akira, let's go get some Dango!" Roka cried excitedly, hopping from foot to foot in anticipation. My eyebrows furrowed as I watched the dark skinned boy, his caramel colored cheeks lighting up as he bounced around like an idiot.
"What makes you think I want to get dango with you two?" I asked, crossing my arms, "I mean, Hiro's all socially awkward and you're… well, you're Roka." Neither boy took offense- Hiro simply didn't seem to care in the slightest, what with the way he continued grinning at me. Roka, on the other hand, was distracted by the prospect of free dango. In fact, the boy was rambling about it, completely oblivious to us.
"…This is going to be so good, I love dango! Especially free dango! Oh, I can already taste the warm, sweet, dango on my tongue…" To second that opinion, Roka's mouth began watering. I rolled my eyes, placing a hand to my forehead.
"Ugh, calm down," I grunted. Because if Roka gave me a headache, I was definitely going to kick his ass.
"Akira-San, not to sound rude, but do you really have a right to be telling Roka-San that? I mean, you have the most… um… colorful mood on this team." I glared at Hiro, feeling the familiar burning sensation in my eyes. That happened whenever I was in battle, though sometimes when I was angry as well; the color of my irises changed to a pale grey as well. It was my kekkei genkai. Erm, kind of, anyway.
Hiro wasn't affected by my obvious anger, and instead, smiled even wider. "Oh, don't take offense to that," the pale boy said, "I rather like your personality. I'm merely pointing out a fact that-"
"Do me a favor, and shut up." Hiro's smile turned into a ghost of a smirk, but otherwise, he didn't react.
That was a-okay with me. I rather liked being able to snap at people and having them actually listen. It was empowering. Meanwhile, Roka impatiently tugged at Hiro's shirt sleeve.
"Come on, guys! We're gonna get some dango!" I snorted at Roka's impatience- though, once again, I had no place to talk. Ultimately, I trailed behind him as my two teammates exited the forest-like training ground on the mainland of Kumogakure. As I walked behind the boys, my eyes darted around the village like they always did. It wasn't a very colorful place, but I'd grown accustomed to it.
I still thought Kumo was pretty, what with all of the clouds and mountains.
"Hurry up, Akira!" Roka called over his shoulder, dragging me out of my musings. Hiro glanced back at me, like a worried mother duck looking after her duckling. I gave him a reassuring smile before hurrying after them.
In a matter of minutes, we made it through the graying streets and to the dango shop, just as the sun touched the edge of the horizon. Waiting inside for us, was none other than C, shaking the cup in his hand around and around a slow and steady circle. C looked rather relaxed at the moment, dressed in the typical neutral-colored attire of a Kumogakure jounin, his face in its usual serious expression. When he saw us, the side of his mouth lifted into a sort-of smile.
"Hey," I greeted, and started to take a seat across from the young man… but Roka beat me to it.
"Um," I started, "you're in my spot." Roka looked up at me with a mischievous smirk.
"I don't see your name on it." Grr.
"Roka, if you do not remove your ass from my chair I swear I'll-"
"So, you guys finally made it," C intervened, giving me a pointed look. I glared at C before choosing another spot, pointedly making sure it wasn't next to Roka. Said boy just smiled at me.
"Um… Hello, Sensei," Hiro greeted, bowing slightly. Hiro always bowed- whenever he saw somebody for the first time that day or just met them or something… he was a respectable kind of guy.
"Where's the dango?" Roka barked, nearly leaping over the table. C ignored Roka and instead turned his attention to Hiro and me.
"How was training?" C asked.
"It was pretty nice. Though, I think Akira-San needs to learn how to concentrate more," Hiro mused. To which I glared.
"Nobody likes a snitch, Hiro," I muttered under my breath.
C ignored me, as he usually did and let his eyes gaze at each of us. "I have some exciting news for you guys," C began, lifting his cup and taking a drag from the grey object.
"If it doesn't have anything to do with the arrival free dango and/or shipping Akira out of the village, than I am neither listening nor interested," Roka commented, keeping his tone serrated and edgy. I twitched.
"Hiro." My pale teammate turned to me. Still smiling, by the way.
"Yes, Akira-San?" Hiro asked lightly. I nodded my head towards Roka and pouted before I started my whining fest.
"Roka's being mean to me. Can you do something about it?" Hiro watched me closely, his blue eyes flying over my pouty lips, wide, tearing over eyes and flushed cheeks. Probably wondering if I was truly upset or not."Please?" I decided to add, for good measure.
"Are you serious?" Roka grunted. "She's obviously faking."
A short moment later, said boy was rubbing the back of his head, grumbling in irritation and pain. Hiro's bandaged hand was hanging in the air, a few centimeters from Roka's wild hair. He turned to me and smiled, ignoring how my mouth fell in a flabbergasted "o".
"Was that good?" Hiro asked me, placing his hand to the table as though he had never raised his hand to strike Roka.
"Um…" I blinked, feeling confused and at an utter loss for words. "Well…" Hiro was just blankly looking at me, smiling still. What the heck, I resolved with a quiet sigh. "Good job, Hiro. Couldn't have don't it better myself!" I laughed. Hiro laughed with me, his tame chuckle a lot less irritating to Roka than my peals of laughter.
Roka turned to me to say something else, yet before he could, C interrupted him.
"Geez. Being with you guys is like trying to teach math to a bunch of three year olds," C snapped, "you're distracted by everything." The thought silenced us- for the moment anyway. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, C pounced on the window of time to speak (scold, nag, beg, etc.) us. "Anyway…. Roka, you're kind of in luck. The news I'm going to tell you actually does involve Akira leaving the village."
Okay, that wasn't funny. I grinded my teeth together.
"What?" I cried, my finger nails digging into my palms to form angry fists.
"Yay!" Roka exclaimed, throwing his hands up into the air. It was like he had just been given the best gift in the world. Stupid jerk.
"Um," Hiro started, scratching the side of his face, "Sensei?" C ignored our reactions, barreling right on.
"Well, of course, we're all gonna to be leaving as well." At first, I could feel my eyes cooling from the burning hot grey to a manageable grey-brown, just a hair or two away from their usual hazel color. C wasn't trying to mess with me. Good. Then, I was confused.
"Huh?" I asked, feeling my fists unclench; the small crescent scrapes in my palm healing before I even released them.
"Aw," Roka grunted. His hands fell down heavily.
Hiro just leaned forward, curiosity making him tilt an eyebrow at C. C looked at each of us, studying our faces through his excited eyes.
"You three and I are going to Konoha to go through the Chuunin Exams." There was a pause as this news settled in. It seeped into me slowly, keeping me still. It seemed that the same affect was happening for the rest of my team as well. Hiro sat, wide eyed and tilting his head, 'hm-ing' as he thought over the news. Roka sat erect, his arms crossed tightly against his chest as he stared, eyes turned into slits, at C being very, very still…then…
"Oh my gawd, REALLY!" Roka cried, slamming his palms down on the table so hard that C's drink toppled to the floor. I hardly noticed.
"We're really going to Konoha?" I asked. C nodded his head. I had heard a lot about Konoha. Some good, some bad. C-sensei didn't particularly like Konoha, and often muttered about how everyone made a big deal out of a regular old village, but at the moment, I was very much interested in the idea of going there. I mean, the natives of Konoha… they were all so different… and some of the most dangerous criminals came from there.
"We'll be leaving at dawn and riding a boat to get to the Fire Country. That will take about 3 days or so…Then, we will travel on foot, being guided by some Konoha shinobi to the village hidden in the leaves, which will be about a two hour journey and then…" C shrugged his shoulders slightly as he reached for his cup before remembering, a bit grudgingly so, that it had been knocked over. "Then," C continued, trying to keep from reacting, "I'll tell you what's next if we can make it that far."
"If we can make it that far?" I asked. "Why wouldn't we be able to make it that far?"
C's black eyes rested on me, flashed to Roka, and returned to me all in about two seconds. I knew exactly what the blonde had been insinuating.
"I can control myself," I huffed. Everyone, even Hiro, gave me a dubious look. "What? I can!" I cried. It took all I had not to let my eyes glow grey. Even when I stopped the knee-jerk reaction, it was hard to keep the anger from showing… it burned even more to keep it harbored just behind my irises, blurring my vision at the edges.
"Woah," Roka whistled, obviously amused. "You're face is turning red—now you're head really is as fat and round as a tomato!"
Ah, Screw it.
I lunged for Roka's throat, fangs open wide.
Being on a boat for 72 hours with Roka without killing him was definitely going to be a lot harder than I thought.
Like before, I will post drawings of Team C (Akira, Roka, Hiro) on DeviantArt soon so that you'll know what they look like and because I've been trying to draw them.
PS, C is a real character from Kumogakure- I just decided to use him as a sensei, since he was never introduced in part one and that doesn't alter the story line.
So I only own:
Akira, Hiro, and Roka thus far.
Everything else belongs to Kishimoto!