Ahead of her, the group laughed.
She didn’t know exactly what about. The Cloud ninja hadn’t exactly been paying attention as they hopped through the trees on the way back to her village. She had decided to skip the whole Kabule thing, the town may have been closer, but the detour it meant she have to take would be pointless, especially when she could report the mission details by the end of the day, especially since she now had the intruder.
The intruder was known as Itame Danjuro, and was said to be one of the best trackers of the Hidden Mist Village. Despite this prodigious title, he had someone gotten three hundred and forty miles away from his intended destination, an impressive feat, since he did it on foot. It was him the group was laughing at, she couldn’t tell if it was with him or at him.
It was still bothering her, even now. The whole interlude with meeting him and fighting a little had distracted her, but the fact still remained that there were too many contradictions in the mission. Why her? Why so far away? Why Kabule? The most logical reason she could come up with was that it would be a pit stop for the genin, since they would be traveling most of the time on their way south, but they all still seemed okay, as did their new associates. The results took away the need to stop at the town, at least. That part would have to remain senseless and ignored.
The rest was stuck in her mind though, and for once she found she couldn’t get it out. Not caring about the details usually came with the job. As a tool for whoever was hiring, the shinobi couldn’t take the risk of knowing everything. Certain facts were hidden from their knowledge, their client would remain unknown unless absolutely necessary, the reason why they were attacking something would not matter in the slightest. All as preventative measures against interrogation. It had been a part of her life for all of her life and she had never had many problems with it, and the only times were when she was young and still learning not to care.
But even as they came to the final stretch before reaching the villages outer defenses, the now completed mission was in her head like a jackhammer connected to a dynamo. Her mind pounded with information that tried to rationalize the mission’s planning, and yet only served to contradict it. There were other ninja’s free. There were closer ninja’s free. There was no real reason to go to Kabule.
She almost forgot to acknowledge their location. Before they reached the first wave of traps. She clapped her hands lightly. Luckily, it was a quiet moment in the conversation the group seemed to be having and they heard the signal, stopping immediately and dropping to the ground. The female jounin approached the group with a stern look.
“We’ll continue the rest of the way on foot to the main path. If my village’s guards sense a group this large trying to sneak in the usual way, they’ll probably end up setting off a false alarm.” One or two of the genin nodded in understanding, as well as Danjuro. Ino looked a little worried and raised her hand. Sayuki looked on confused, not fully sure what the girl was trying to imply for a moment.
“Erm…sensei. Won’t it be bad for team 9 if they just try and walk through the village? You said that the guards were keeping strict checks during the exchange period.”
“Huh?” Sayuki replied, as she remembered what she had said back in chapter one. “Oh, that. That was a lie.”
“What?” Replied Ino, shocked.
“Wanted to freak you out for discipline’s sake.” As Ino gasped in astonishment, Sayuki noticed Danjuro jumping a little, excitedly.
“I’ve never been to the Cloud Village before. I’m getting excited, I get to look at all the strong fighters.”
“Call me Dan-kun. We’re so close after all.” Dan-kun felt a gush of wind, before his cheek started to bleed. He went quiet as she continued.
“Actually, I..ta..me-san.” She repeated with stress. “It’s probably best if you stay out for now, until I’ve told my lord about the situation.”
“What? Why?” Danjuro whined.
“Why do you think? Security risk, plus you’re annoying.”
“Aw.” He whined with tear-soaked eyes. “You’re so mean, Sayuki-chan.” His other cheek started to bleed slightly. He pouted loudly, before sitting down on the floor. “Fine.”
“Good, come on you br…lot. We’ll see if we can get you some food after I report in.”
“Actually, I’m kind of not hungry. That guy put me off eating for a while.” Kiba complained, as four unmoving marsupials came to mind.
“Whatever.” Sayuki replied, not interested.
“See you later, Dan-kun.” Kiba shouted to his sensei as they began to walk off. Without warning, a kunai snagged into the boy’s hood and propelled into a tree. He looked at the knife, and then at Danjuro.
“No male can dare call me that. Only girls, you hear me?” He shouted the last bit with falsified anger, signified by a growl. As the boy pulled the knife out, he became as quiet as Hinata and wandered behind the rest of the group.
need to include something here
The guard had been surprised to see her, probably for the two obvious reasons, she never tended to use the main gate and because she wasn’t expected back until at least tomorrow. However, he had clearly stalled her for as long as possible in both checking the genin and poor conversation. For what reasons, she was unsure.
As they strolled down the main street, the reasons were becoming confusingly hazy. There had been a party here. Almost like an entire village festival that had taken place in the last two days, whilst she had been gone, but what for? She had heard nothing about this and surely everyone would have been told at least a week in advance. There were also no customs of any kind to happen in the next few weeks. As the kids chatted to themselves and searched for a Yakiniku Bar, she continued to figure it out. Surely, the people setting it up would need at least a day to set it up, unless it was done on the spur of the moment. As she thought this, it seemed more likely, there were no banners or major decorations up, the only signs of anything being a lot of rubbish and the odd drunk or two still around. Other than this, the streets were isolated. Most were sleeping off a party in some way, which was obvious by almost all shops being closed for the day.
IT was wrong. It was as wrong as what the past three days had been shouting to her almost non-stop, as if time itself was warning her of an upcoming change. Had something bad happened? No, that was stupid, it had clearly been something good, but what could be good enough to merit a sudden village wide party and the closing of business the next day?
They took a turn in the street and reached the Korean BBQ bar. Kiba, Ino and most especially Chouji screamed with joy as they ran up to the all you can eat meat parlor before disappearing through the swinging doors. The remainder of the group followed quietly behind, not too fussed to be eating for the moment. Sayuki decided to go in with them for the moment. The owner was a friend of a neighbor and she though of asking her what was going on.
As she entered last, the bar was just as empty as the street had been. The only occupants besides her group were the owner and her father, who was currently slumped unconscious at the far table, the smell of liquor everywhere around him. As Chouji kept demanding food joyfully, the owner looked annoyed, clearly not expecting any customers today and not wishing for any either. Sayuki coughed to get her attention.
“Sayuki-san?” the owner called out, with a look of surprise beneath her short cut black hair. Sayuki watched as her hand went under the table, and brought up a tumbler. Realizing the girl’s intentions, she shook her head.
“Actually Tatsuki-san. I just came to drop these kids off. I need to go report back to Raikage-sama as soon as possible.”
“Oh…I see.” Tatsuki said slowly, looking hard at Sayuki’s face as she did so. The jounin easily noticed the girl’s attempts to read her facial expressions. She ignored it for the moment and waited until the girl put her hands back up before walking closer. “Aren’t you supposed to be on a mission?”
“I finished early. Turned out it was just some moron. I figured there was no need to stay at Kabule, so I came home.”
“With guests, I see.” Tatsuki commented, as Chouji started banging the table.
“Ah, well some of them are…” She stopped. It was happening again. People, even those she was close too, didn’t really bother conversing with her. People were being nervous around her for some reason. She focused on it fully now and turned to face the owner full in the face.
“What is going on around here, Tatsuki-san? It seems like everyone’s had some kind of festival. She withheld the urge to whine that she wasn’t invited. She got the feeling that she wasn’t going to like the answer. The bar owner seemed to calm down at this.
“I thought you hadn’t heard, judging by the way you were acting. That’s a reli…” She stopped in mid sentence. It made the jounin irritated.
“What’s a relief? Haven’t heard what?” Her tone insisted on an answer. Tatsuki provided it nervously.
“It’s over Sayuki-san. The civil war is finally over.” Sayuki stared in bewilderment for a few moments, watching her friend’s calm smile as they looked at each other. A few seconds later, all the genin were looking on in confusion. Their confusion turned to astonishment as they saw Sayuki’s face beam a smile full blast in the owner’s face.
“Really?” She said, almost like a giddy schoolgirl. “Dejiro-sama finally won? I don’t believe it.” Without hesitating, she ran to the exit, before leaving she turned to face the girl again. “Thanks for telling me. Thank you so very much.” She then simply disappeared from the door, her speed proving too much for anyone inside to track.
“Wait, Sayuki-san!” Tatsuki screamed one last time.
“Hang on?” Mumbled Kiba. “Who’s paying?”
In the streets, Sayuki was practically bouncing everywhere, her excitement adding a spring to her step that chakra could never do. Turning corner after corning, bouncing from rooftop to fence wall, nothing stopped her, not even running into Megumi. She ignored her friend other than a quick ‘hi’ before continuing. In one final effort, she slammed chakra into her feet and made a thirty-foot jump over the municipal building, lading on the steps to the Raikage manor, where her best friend awaited.
It took an instant to reach the top, the ninety steps proving nothing for her in her jovious display of happiness and the two guards barely registered her as she flew past them. As they took chase, Sayuki ignored them. For once, she just simply didn’t care, as they would be dismissed in a moment anyway. The possibilities of allowing this lax in defense evaded the mind of this security conscious woman for just a moment as she continued down the hallway. She would just have to explain to Raikage-sama why she was back early, and then she could enjoy herself with…
“Niro?!” The girl exclaimed in shock, as she observed the man in front of her. Standing at just five foot, the man regarded her with curiously for a moment, as if trying to remember her. Sayuki, on the other hand, could never forget. ‘Why was he here?’ She thought for just a second before realizing that she didn’t care. Actually ripping the kunai out of pouch, allowing the rest to drop to the floor, she pushed herself in the direction of the horrible creature in front of her, screaming the antithesis of everything she had felt just a moment ago.
“Niro?” Ino asked, as the boys guzzled a vast a mount of food next to her. “Who’s he?”
The owner of the Yakiniku bar glanced at her for a moment at this question. “You’re not from this country are you?”
“We’re part of the exchange program.” Ino answered simply, believing that revealing her actual town was not a smart move.
“I thought as much. If you’re from the country of Lightening and don’t know of Niro or Dejiro, then you have to be an outbacker. The term went over everybody’s heads as the woman continued talking. “Niro is, simply put, now the new ruler of the country of Lightening. As of four days ago. Although, they only told us all last night, hence the party.”
“Ah, so you won.” Ino commented. “Congratulations, we haven’t a war for years in our country but…”
“Actually, we sort of lost.” The owner interrupted as she started to laugh nervously. It was as if she was still trying to rationalize it herself.
“What? Then why are you celebrating?” In her mind, the spy in training asked why were they even still around. She would imagine the village destroyed if it had lost.
“Apparently, the higher ups negotiated.” Tatsuki began to explain. “It’s a little complicated, so I’ll explain from the beginning. There were basically five different major groups fighting for power over the entire country. There were others, but they often started and disappeared just as fast, bit like May bugs and there would be stupid internal disputes that got nowhere. Anyway, out of the main five, the two most powerful were Niro and Dejiro’s forces, whom together held the majority of the country. However, they were both always at each others throats for political reasons, of which, most of us didn’t keep up with.”
“Sounds lazy.” Shikamaru said contradictorily.
“Sort of, it’s hard to keep track of news in this country because most of it is mountain. We don’t have direct communication and messages can take a few weeks between towns. Most of the ninjas here are usually considered more postmen than fighters and spys.”
“Anyway, we were basically sided with Dejiro. He simply wanted to unite the country and improve communications and relations with the other countries. It’s not too bad now, but it could be a lot better, like I said.” During the conversation, she had started adding more meat on Chouji’s side of the barbeque. It was getting scary how much he was having. She broke herself out of staring to continue.
“We had been with Dejiro-sam… Dejiro for many years now and had maintained relative piece. With our help, Dejiro went so far as to remove two of the other big powers, integrating them both under his army. However, Niro-sama had done the same with the other nation and most of the minor nations.
“Which made them equal?”
“Almost, after all, Dejiro had the village under his command. Practically all of our jobs came from his army. The others had to rely on ninja from other villages. Apparently there was a recent big battle that Sayuki-san got involved in with Mist ninja’s because of the way this was all going. She barely made it out alive.”
“So wait. “ Ino said, getting into the story, almost forgetting it was reality, as children often did with wars. “Dejiro had most of the country, the village and pretty much everything under his power. What happened?”
Tatsuki appeared very nervous for a sudden, clearly the concept of telling stranger such stories had just entered her mind. “Well…i…er.”
“Dejiro-sama got his head chopped off, that’s what!” The voice came from a table at the back of the bar. Everyone turned to face the now-conscious, still clearly drunk man, as he stood up a little and spat out nothing.
“Father?” Tatsuki complained a little. “Should we be telling them?”
“Bah. They’ll find out regardless. The news and rumors are probably going to spread around the world by the end of the day.”
Shikamaru leaned over to get a better view of who was talking. He wasn’t too old, around forty and well built. He had probably been a ninja at one point and if he weren’t missing one of his arms, probably still would be.
“What happened old man?” Shikamaru asked politely, as if he was speaking on someone of his own age.
“Nothing more to it than that.” The man spat out as he downed another sake cup. “Niro planned a sneak attack, and got fifty of his best inside Dejiro’s main camp. Slaughtered the lot of them, including Dejiro.
“But even if you just take the leader. It’s unlikely that no one else wouldn’t step in.”
“Ah, you would think. But Dejiro’s ambition was so big, that nobody could even begin to fill his shoes. A few have tried already. Most of them have already been executed. In fact, out of all of Dejiro’s commanders and advisors, there’s only one left.”
She was being held down, hard. The force laying on top of her was actually preventing her left lung from collecting air as it pressed down onto her. Other than flailing her legs helplessly, the only other part of her body she could move were her eyes. She had never felt so helpless before, as the man she hated more than anybody else stood before her with a grin on his fat face.
“Calm yourself Sayuki. There is no reason for you to fight.” The old voice above her stated. It felt calm and reassuring, however for the first time, she felt a sinister edge beneath it. She grasped at a few words.
“Raikage-sama? What… are you talk…ing about sir? He’s the enemy!” Sayuki screamed her last words, as she found herself trying to pull away for a moment, anxious t ripping the little man apart.
“I admire your zeal to carry out your orders Sayuki.” The old man above her began to explain. “But those orders have changed. Niro-dono here is no longer our enemy. In fact, he is now the new Shogun of the country of Lightening, and as such, an honored guest.”
“Sir, but what…how…” She stuttered incomprehensibly for a moment. “I’m confused.” She said finally calming down. The Raikage waited a moment, before getting off her. She took a huge breath of air, to make up for her collapsing left lung, and slowly got back up.
“Is this the girl you have been telling me about, Raikage-dono?” The short, fat man in front of her asked. She took his appearance in for a moment. It was nothing like she imagined it. He was actually quite strong in comparison, and the fat toad who slaughtered children in her mind had a regal and respectable air to him.
“She is one of my best shinobi sir, please do not refer to her as just a girl.”
“Ah, ah, of course, of course. Excuse me.” The man said, with a clearly mocking tone directed at Sayuki. She kept herself frozen. Raikage could kill her in an instant and if he was willing to defend this man…
“Raikage-sama.” She said, focusing on her initial plans, to get away from the pain of confusion that was hammering her brain, her hand going up to rub it as she talked. “My apologies sir, I completed my prior mission as I asked, but the details of the mission brought up a priority on coming back as early as possible.
“I thought it might have been something like that.” Raikage said expressionlessly. “No matter. None of your current missions matter now. There is a time for change coming in both our village and our country. All you really need to know is that Dejiro is dead, and that Niro-dono here is now the leader of the entire country. As the leader of the Hidden Village of Clouds, I have decided that we shall support him.”
Sayuki said nothing, did nothing, she even stopped breathing, her eyes stared at the ground as her pulse rate doubled in speed and her teeth bit her cheek. Raikage kept on talking, as did the new leader. She heard it all, but couldn’t grasp what the words meant. They were just sounds now, waves, vibrations. They passed through her as if she were a sheet of paper, effortlessly, without meaning.
A few minutes later, her honorable lord dismissed her. She walked out of the building without a sound.
“Thanks, come again.” Tatsuki called out as the kids left the Korean barbeque bar. She loved euthiastic customers most of the time, but that boy had devoured half of the next weeks supply/ It just didn’t seemed logically possible. Now he was more full of energy that before. It didn’t help that she gave them a discount in the end either, since Hinata and Ino hadn’t ate all that much and Ino had been an excellent haggler.
“So, where now, the blond haired girl asked loudly as they began to walk through the streets of the Hidden Cloud Village. The sun was still shining as heavily as it had over the past few days and showed no signs of letting up. Shino seemed uncomfortable about it, as did the pale Hyuuga girl.
“We could play a game of something,” Kiba mused. “What time is your jounin expected to come back?”
“She didn’t say, thinking about it. Did she?” She turned to Shikamaru to ask this. He was being harassed by Chouji who was still hoping around in an energetic manner.
“We should probably go find her.” Hinata said weakly, going unnoticed by Ino, who carried on talking over her.
“It’s been about an hour now, thanks to Chouji.” She grumbled this last bit. “So she’s probably done with reporting the mission. Where would she go, she just ran out afterwards.”
“I get the feeling she won’t exactly be in a good mood when she finds out the truth of what’s happened here.” Kiba mused out loud. He wasn’t really talking to anyone as he walked on, It was more a case of whoever answers would answer.
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Well, she seemed really hyped that this ‘Dejiro’ guy had won. When she finds out that he hasn’t.”
“We probably should avoid her for a while.” Shikamaru butted in. “Women tend to be a hassle when they’re in a bad mood. Especially when they get like you.” Ino turned to face him.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” She shouted, forcing him to stop walking. The inability to stop moving forwards was as tiring for Shikamaru as it would be to start up again. He groaned at this.
“Every time Sasuke ignores you or refuses you in whatever way, it ends up in you screaming or shouting or mourning as if your mom had died. If she’s had a friend die, she’s probably going to be the same.”
“Here is your chance to discover for yourself.” Shino said sternly, as monotonous as ever. Shikamaru looked at him confused for a moment before following the boy’s near non-existent gaze to a woman walking down the path.
“Hey Sayuki-sensei!” Ino called out as she realized who it was and ran towards her. Taking chase, the genin followed, reaching her in a moment and standing in front of her to greet her. She disappeared.
As the kids looked in front of them in shock, they heard light steps behind them. Turning, they saw the jounin walking, as slowly as before, her arms hung, her neck down.
“Sayuki-sensei?” Ino called, loud enough to hopefully bring the jounin out of whatever trance she was in. It failed to work as the woman just pressed on. Confused, the kids just followed, Hinata, Shino and Chouji trailing behind as his brain finally told him that he has more than had his fair share.
Following her was slow, almost as slow as if they were tracking a snail that was on horseback, galloping back to his hometown. Further attempts at communication failed except to cause her to disappear again. From what the genin could tell, it had to be extreme speed, but even Hinata couldn’t pick it up. She just appeared a second later in front of herself, before pacing along, as slow as ever.
What had to be a full twenty minutes later, with Shikamaru finally giving up and going to rest against the side of a building with Chouji and Shino, who was clearly disliking the intense heat, the jounin finally left the village and headed into the undergrowth of the trees surrounding her home. Despite the thick, almost tropical conditions of the area, the woman never slowed down nor sped up, even through areas that the others had difficulty getting through.
“Where’s she going?” whispered Ino, who for some reason had convinced herself it was taboo to talk.
“No idea.” Said Kiba, also in a hushed voice. “I just hope she isn’t going to go jump off the side of the mountain or something.”
“Eh? Suicide? Sayuki sensei would never do something like that.” Despite her distress, the girl was still able to keep her voice down.
“How do you know? You’ve only known her a few days. Besides she apparently just received very bad news.”
“Sayuki-sensei isn’t he type to kill herself, for whatever reason.” Ino was hissing now. She had taken quite a shine to the new jounin-sensei and, like Sasuke, she was prepared to defend her idol at any cost, regardless of what the idol themselves wanted.
“We should just follow for now.” Hinata pointed out, strangely loud, considering the others were whispering. The other two nodded and carried on walking after the high level shinobi. Wherever she was going, she seemed to have a definite destination, her twists and turns appeared definite, although she still hadn’t lifted her head up.
It would be another ten minutes, before the woman finally stopped in her tracks. Her lack of movement actually surprised the children as much as her previous actions were doing.. She had stopped in a clearing. The kids instantly knew where they were.
“Where is he?” The more talkative genin asked out aloud. It took a few seconds for their questions to be answered as the man known as Danjuro jumped down from the trees, stupidly large frying pan in tow.
“Yo.” He greeted them simply, as he stood up from the crouching position where he landed. Not entirely sure what to expect when everyone came back, he certainly wasn’t expecting nothing. The kids wandered through, believing everything to be safe. Sure, some of it wasn’t making sense, but one of the jounin would have said something by now if there was something wrong.
“So what’s up gal. Am I allowed in your house yet or do I have to…” Hinata saw Sayuki’s fist shudder at the word ‘gal’, as Danjuro got close up to the jounin. She had the feeling he was going to try something unnecessarily weird again to Sayuki. He didn’t get the chance, the woman’s fist slammed into his jawbone with an incredibly intensity, brought on by the high speeds behind it. He felt the entire jaw fracture in three different places, before flying back against a tree. He stood up almost instantly, fists now clenched, unsure to expect nothing except the clash of her thunder.
She wasn’t even looking at him.
Her eyes were still facing the ground, neck bent, arms slouched, no other real movement. Danjuro had to actually question whether he had just actually been hit or not. Judging by the faces of the genin, he had. His blood also gave him a huge hint. He turned to face his opponent again.
“You want to fight then huh?” He challenged her more strongly than he had before. For once, her personality seemed more serious than it had been before. Was this the serious fighter he saw before him, or something else?
Finally, the woman moved, slowly. Her head lifted up as if several men were pushing it up like a boulder, it creaked slowly to face him, her eyes were half close and she was barely looking at him. She appeared sick with a fever and her hair had become mangled. He watched as her mouth slowly opened and spoke calmly.
“I’m going to kill you.”
End chapter five
(a main point of this fight will be the grass)
(Nature doesn’t conform to your wishes, you conform to natures wishes)