Chapter two: Where people’s positions are told, tools are sharpened and flashbacks are done in italics to make them harder to read.
Notes: An apparent problem with mediaminer is that it doesn’t seem to like long winded sections of italics. The flashback scenes are meant to be done in italics, but they currently aren’t. I’ll try and fix this asap
Flashback: One month prior
He flinched as soon as he heard her comment. How could she not know him, this was to be their fifth fight? Who else carries a frying pan on their back? Was she trying to take him for a fool? He stopped himself with that thought. That was exactly what she was trying to do. She showed up the second he spotted the shinobi performing the genjutsu, which alone was irregular for a ninja to do, but his prior experience against her showed that she never let herself get spotted, unless she had to. She was trying to distract him and he had to remove her as soon as possible and get to the one she was protecting; whatever that genjutsu was supposed to be, it was probably going to get in the way.
“Nice try girl, but how could you forget my handsome face?” he taunted as he threw three shuriken at her. From above, the Hidden Cloud ninja snorted to herself as her arm barely flickered, throwing four wooden kunai back at the direction of the mist ninja’s projectiles. As six countered each other, the seventh hurtled towards Danjuro, only to be stopped by another well aimed shuriken, thrown by another Danjuro ten feet away. The counter caused the last kunai to ricochet and fly towards the chuunin who was standing out in the open, performing his genjutsu, exactly as the real Danjuro intended.
It went right through him.
“What?” exclaimed Danjuro, as it dawned on him the nature of the chuunin tactics. The bushin was too open to be real, even for a chuunin, there was no way that a ninja would allow themselves to be that exposed. In the distance he heard a loud explosion, the forth truck had probably just been destroyed, two more should be scrap in just a moment. Nevertheless, he should make it a priority to remove the current opposition from the game. He was distracted by a laugh from above.
“I guess you are pretty cute,” the woman stated from above, ripe with sarcasm, “I probably should do something about that.” With this, she threw her next kunai, clearly aimed for his face. Danjuro paused for a moment as it dawned on him how much more effective wooden kunai were as opposed to metal ones. Why hadn’t he thought of that? They were lighter and probably just as sharp. Responding, he simply turned around and allowed the small knives to splinter against his giant frying pan. Even if they were metal, there was no way they were going to pierce through that.
“Kazeton:” he heard the woman shout, freezing slightly, “Oak cutting gusts!” The man cursed slightly to himself as he was forced to quickly react. Unhooking the belt that extended around his chest and onto his back, he grabbed the handle to the large cooking accessory on his back and propped it against his shoulder. As he looked behind his other shoulder, he saw nothing, but the sound was enough to imply the razor winds now heading towards him. He timed his distance just right in order to prevent the flight path interacting with the woman’s attack. At the right moment he stepped to the side and putting all his body into the movement, tossed the giant frying pan into the sky and at the woman.
He saw her eyes go wide with alarm, as the winds brushed slightly against his arm. He grinned, despite the pain, as his unique weapon of choice slammed underneath he. It removed a large chunk of the factory with enough force to propel her off of the building.. As she descended, she assumed a crash position, placing her arms in front of her head. Allowing his grin to take control of his face, he grabbed his last two shuriken from his holster and threw them at her. One thudded loudly into her arm, before the other one secured a position in her forehead. The kunoichi’s skull visibly lurched back, before the entire body disappeared in a puff of smoke.
“Kawarimi?!” Danjuro exclaimed loudly to himself, as the woman disappeared to be replaced with an object. Unfortunately for Danjuro, the replacement art of the Hidden Cloud Village was arguably the most effective variation of the technique, since the natural replacement for the clan was a large piece of rock. Danjuro looked on in horror as a 250lb slab of granite impeccably headed towards his location. How she had managed to aim such a large rock directly at him was beyond the jounin for the moment. As his legs finally registered what his brain was screaming at them, and thanking fate that he was not wearing his heavy weapon at that particular moment, he slammed his feet into the ground, releasing chakra from them and allowing his body to cross the distance required to prevent being crushed. He sighed heavily with relief as he heard someone step up about ten meters away from him. He cursed again as he discovered that she had never been on top of the building in the first place.
“That’s two.” She said mockingly, as she kept her arms folded, waiting for him to get up, “When you hit three, it’s over.” Danjuro just tutted as he raised his hand, from inside the debris of the building, his frying pan trembled slightly before returning to him in a straight line. “Interesting.” Sayuki smiled.
“I’m more interesting than you realize, babe.” The water ninja said, causing the woman to burst out into hysterics.
“Raikage-sama? Raikage-sama!” It was out of mere formality that she hadn’t kicked down the door of her noble lord. Instead she had chosen to do everything listed underneath destruction of property in order to get the man’s attention. She couldn’t understand what had been going on recently, had it been something to do with the prior mission? Or had the Raikage simply been unable to assign her with adult genin like he had originally intended to?
After a few more moments of banging, the door opened slightly. Sayuki recognized the eyeball of the Raikage’s first minister, peering out in front of her. “Sayuki-dono? What is it, it is late enough as it is.”
“Where’s Raikage-sama? I wish to speak with him.” Her voice was urgent, her position tense. If he wasn’t under orders to ‘not let that woman in when she comes to complain’, he might have willingly opened the door to her.
“Raikage-sama is currently away on official business. He has no time to cater to your pathetic desires.”
“What? You mean he knew I was going to get stuck with little brats? You knew?” Anger appeared on her face for a second, and the minister considered migrating that very instant. Hell seemed like a good place to visit all of a sudden. He reaffirmed his position and closed the door slightly.
“Listen, woman!” he barked, gritting his teeth, “Raikage-sama simply doesn’t wish to see you, alright? Leave now before you cause further disgrace to yourself.” Sayuki paused for a second, as she realized she let herself out of control for a moment. She took a step back and bowed slightly.
“I… apologies minister, it’s a bit late and I…”
“Now you’re making excuses, get out of my sight and deal with whatever minor transactions you may have, in your own way. Some of us are trying to sleep.” The door slammed with a loud thud, preventing anyone in the area who was sleeping, from continuing his or her intended task.
“Damn women.” the Minster muttered under his breath as he headed back to his bed, “give them even a little status and they expect the world. It’s only because of Yamato-sama that those two got this far. She ought to have a man put her in her place.” The fully grown man giggled like a schoolboy to himself as he walked back to his quarters imagining what he would do if he was designated as the man to put her in her place.
Back outside, Sayuki rested on the base of the doorframe for a few moments, cursing her own stupidity. As she grumbled to herself, she began to figure out her next move. The Raikage seemed to be angry with her for some reason. Had he found her little outburst a couple of days ago offending in some manner? He didn’t seem to show it at the time. She paused as she realized the severity of this action.
“Of course, he didn’t show it. He specifically hides it when he’s offended. Damn it all.” He had clearly lied to her to teach her a lesson in humility over her refusal to join up with a team. She felt like destroying the village, probably could get away with half of it. No, it was better that she learnt her lesson, shinobi were supposed to be tools. She supported that more than anyone else. Most hid away from this fact while she supported it with most of her heart, the better a ninja she was, the more meaning she felt she had in her life.
She turned to the three genin who had been standing behind her this entire time with fixed looks on their faces, implying a feeling of nausea, and smiled. She thought to herself ‘and if a tool is ever broken or has some problem with it, the best thing to do is get it fixed as soon as possible’. Trying to cheer herself up, the kunoichi vowed to herself that this month wouldn’t be a waste. She decided that she would learn more from this experience than anything she had learnt recently. She convinced herself she would fix the problems that this tool was suffering from. She declared to herself that she would make herself like children!!
She just had to figure why they were looking at her like that.
“Br…brats???” Ino stuttered to herself as all respect for her new jounin went out of her window. As she observed this, Sayuki’s burning passion died down into a small pile of ashes.
“I hate children,” she stated loudly, not caring who was nearby.
“Are you absolutely sure….” Danjuro asked to the four small creatures in front of him, “that you can absolutely not walk on water?”
“Positive.” Kiba answered, without hesitation. It wasn’t really that difficult a question. It was like asking a rock if it could turn itself into spaghetti.
“Not even a little?” He asked once again.
“Not even a little.” Kiba confirmed, staring back at the man in front of him, beginning to wonder if the man had a brain and if he did, being nice enough to confirm it by ripping his own skull apart..
“You…can swim, can’t you?” the jounin felt that he had to ask this, just to make sure.
“Of course we can, we’re not babies.” Kiba almost shouted at this insult.
“Okay then, how about swimming to the water country?”
“Sounds fair, how far is it?” Kiba asked.
“About 500 miles, should take five hours.”
“What?” Kiba blurted with growing alarm, “that’s impossible, we can’t swim that much.”
“I see.” Danjuro said, more to himself than the three genin that stood in front of him, this was getting tricky, “How about you swim 100 miles and then take a break, then keep doing it like that?”
“If I may sir.” Shino interrupted. “We would drown after about sixty miles.”
“Oh I see, I’m not supposed to let you die am I?” He paused for a few seconds as he actually waited for an answer. “Man, you guys suck.” The remark wounded the pride of all three recipients of the insult. So far, to them, this program hadn’t been going very well. Hinata dimly wondered how any of the others were faring at this point. This new jounin seemed a little weird, to say the least. He had been rude to them in such a way that it seemed to be a polite introduction, as if it was totally natural for him to introduce himself in the way that he did. He stayed in a position that implied he was thinking, although Kiba seriously doubted it. After a few moments, the jounin brought his head up and looked back at his new students.
“I guess there’s no choice then.” he said clearly, “I’ll have to teach you the Skim Stone Technique.”
“What?” Kiba said in excitement. “You’re going to teach us an advanced technique?”
“Ya, sure, I’m a nice guy.” Danjuro said, laughing loudly. “And you are supposed to be learning from this whole situation.” Inside, the jounin cook grinned guiltily. The Skim Stone Technique was one of the weakest techniques taught back at the academy. It was simply designed to move fast across the water and traverse long distances, an essential ability to have as a ninja living in a country that was more water than land. “Although, this will be the only technique I’ll be teaching you. Can’t show you too much, you understand?” Inside, Danjuro laughed his guts out.
“Yeah, I get it.” Kiba commented, burning with passion at the ability to learn a new technique, especially one with such use. As an animal survivalist, he had as much a dislike to water as his canine partner did. “Isn’t this great Hinata?” he asked his female companion, swatting her lightly on the back.
“Ye… yes Kiba-kun,” the shy girl replied, causing Danjuro to stare at her. Seeing his stare, she blushed and looked away, tapping her fingers. He shook his mind and moved on.
“Okay, to help you with this technique, we’ll need something for you to stay afloat in.” He pointed to the trees that led off from the beach. “Your first task is to make a boat for us. Get some wood and whatever and make a boat.”
“Sensei?” Shino called out while raising his hand. “Why do we need a boat when we are learning a technique that prevents the need for a boat?”
“Ah a good question. Thank you for asking that, Shino.” Danjuro said before he stopping talking.
There was an audible silence as Danjuro just kept looking forward.
The silence continued on for a few moments, becoming quite loud.
Eventually, Danjuro squinted, as if he was checking his own existence.
“Get to work then.” He said finally, causing the genin to flinch harshly.
“You’re not going to answer?” Kiba shouted harshly.
“Huh? Answer what?” Danjuro asked, clearly confused. “Never mind, go make me a boat.” He ordered once again, pointing in a random direction as he turned around. “I’ll wait here until you’re done.” With that, the water ninja flopped onto the sand and lay back, getting himself comfortable.
“You’re not going to help?” Kiba shouted once again, getting sand on the jounin as he slid towards him. “What kind of ninja are you?” The boy looked down at the man before him. Rage filled him for a moment as he realized that his new teacher had already fallen asleep. “And what were you saying before about not being cautious?” he shouted loudly, in the jounin’s eardrum. As it reverberated through the cook’s body, it somehow translated itself into a lullaby, which only helped the man fall further into unconsciousness. Kiba grunted at this and went to kick the man.
“Ki… Kiba-kun!” Hinata blurted out, stopping him. He stared at the small, black haired girl. “I…I think….i.” Kiba raised his eyebrow at this, before sighing. It was obvious what she was going to say.
“Yeah I know, no use trying too hard.” He walked forward towards his nakama and carried on walking past them into the forest where boat-making trees could be found. “Come on guys. Let’s get to it already.”
As they walked up the steps that had been carved into the side of the mountain, Ino sighed realizing they had finally reached their destination. Her moaning was cut short as she took into account her surroundings.
“Here’s where we’re going to do our first piece of training.” Sayuki said simply, with a smile. Her initial emotions had finally disappeared with the joyful step climbing exercises that she so thoroughly enjoyed. She now tried to stick to her original plan of getting on with the children and work well with them. So far she had figured that the best way to do this was to boss them around and not actually pay attention to them. Something else in the back of her head told her that this type of view suffered many problems, but she was sure she would figure it out on the way.
“What?” Shikamaru groaned with annoyance. “It’s just a large mansion.” This was, indeed, the truth. It was a large mansion. It appeared to have five visible floors, with an attic and a door leading underground confirming the existence of a basement. The walls of the house appeared to have been originally white, but they had decayed over time, giving them a bleached impression. From what could be seen inside the mansion, it had been stripped bare and nothing but simple, dark brown wood remained, slowly fraying, slowly falling apart. Even the windowsill had been ruined and in some places also, the place showed signs of being burnt.
“Yes.” replied Sayuki. “It is the mansion that belonged to the old Raikage-sama, about twenty years ago. Our village is very traditional. We believed the mansion should be as high as possible to signify Raikage-sama’s strength and determination. However, in twisted irony, a lightning bolt struck it one night. Unfortunately, there was a large library at in the attic. The whole place caught fire very quickly. Still, out of general respect we’ve kept it standing although it’s long since been abandoned. Anyway, onto the training. First off, tell me. What are the three basic missions that a ninja is given?”
“What?” replied Ino, “you mean like D rank, C rank, B rank and so on? That’s five.”
“You’re thinking about it the wrong way girl. Anybody else?” She was becoming amazed about how teacher-like she was sounding. Maybe she had a natural talent for this? One more and then she would say the answer and impress them all, winning respect.
“The three basic mission types are usually espionage and information gathering, as in discovering and understanding the enemy plans, sabotage as in delaying the enemy’s plans in some manner, and assassination as in eliminating those who appear as a threat to you. There are also dumb ass minor jobs, which they give us as genin. These are often stupid and troublesome.” The boy to the left said all this without a pause, yet gave the distinct impression that he was about to drop dead halfway through the sentence. Sayuki fumed with anger and jumped at him.
“Curse you boy,” she shouted angrily, “upstage me will you?” She stopped before she leveled her fist at him, realizing that she might be losing her temper. She stopped and coughed to herself. “That’s right Shikamaru….-kun. That’s one point to you.” The three genin stared in what was either an appalled, confused manner or outright terror. “A lot of groups tend to focus on fighting skills, sabotage, finding the weak link in the enemy plans, but ultimately one of the most major jobs of a ninja is to obtain information, often with the enemy not noticing this. Now, can anyone tell me why it is important for the enemy not to notice?” She paused her monologue, waiting for an answer.
“Because if the…”
“Because if the enemy notices you,” she continued, not allowing the black haired boy to interrupt her again, “if the enemy notices that you have entered their building in any way, be it through mild suspicion, directly seeing you or you leaving a trail behind, then it is more than likely that the enemy will change their plans. Thus, the information you steal will have been useless, and all that pain will have been for nothing. Understand?”
“Yes, miss.” all three students groaned annoyingly, having heard all of this in the academy.
“Good, tonight’s mission should be obvious then.” She began as she pulled out a small scroll from her lower left pocket. It was a simple brown scroll and didn’t appear to have any particular markings on it. “We’re going to role play.”
“Role play?” asked Ino.
“That’s right. Let’s say you three are ninjas, say from the Hidden Leaf Village, and I’m a high-ranking general, say from the Hidden Cloud Village. You three have been told to obtained my secrets, and you have been told that they’re in a brown scroll that looks like this one.” She held the scroll behind her head and threw it far, through the second floor, right hand side window of the mansion. There was no windowpane there. “Simply put, go get!!! Failure results in no food tomorrow!!”
Before anyone had time to say anything, Sayuki disappeared in a puff of smoke, which slowly trailed into the mist that was covering the general area, making it hard to say whether or not it truly disappeared.
There was silence for a few moments, as the three lower shinobi just stood there. The silence was finally broken by Ino.
“Geez, what’s her problem,” she complained, “it feels like her minds changed five times on us since we met her.”
“Just ignore it, Ino.” Shikamaru muttered. “Let’s get going.” He began to walk a few steps but was stopped again by the complaining girl.
“Go? Go where,” the girl continued, as Shikamaru wished her own hair would drown her. “In case you haven’t noticed she hadn’t told us anything.” With hands in his pockets, Shikamaru stared back at her, his left eyebrow shaking slightly.
“Isn’t that the point?”
“What? How can we do anything if all we know is ‘go get’? We don’t know how dangerous that old place is or anything. It looks like it’s falling apart.” The girl was close to screaming at this point; her point was accompanied with the frantic waving and pointing of her arms, followed by her placing her hands on her hips.
“Of course we know nothing, Ino. We’re meant to be in enemy territory, with little information, little advantage and a limited time frame. We’ve got to turn the first two around in the space that the third one gives us. Just because we get told enemy numbers and get given full diagrams in previous training exercises doesn’t mean we get given them here.”
“Oh.” replied Ino, surprised at Shikamaru’s outburst. As Shikamaru became surprised as well, he let out a huge sigh and fell to the floor for a moment.
“Ah, this is going to be too much of a hassle. This sucks.”
Inside the mansion, on the top of an open brown scroll, stood the cloud jounin, listening intently to the conversation below. Looks like things were already going badly, but at least she was right in her assumption about the one called Shikamaru. He had already figured out the basics to this exercise. Of course, most could do that. What mattered next was how he went about the whole situation, planning out a strategy for infiltration should come next, followed by an assessment of the face value of the location, to see if there were any discernible traps or areas they could use to their advantage. Afterwards would come….she stopped in mid thought as she caught a glance out of the window. Had he fallen asleep? What a lazy bum…..
She stopped herself and grinned, in a way, it reminded her of that man.
Flashback: :two weeks sometime or other.
She couldn’t believe how hard she was laughing, she rarely, if ever engaged in fits of hysterics, yet this man had nearly brought her to tears with his pathetic macho attitude. Maybe it was because he was weak compared to her, or simply because it felt like he was actually trying to make her laugh. Reasserting herself, she reminded herself that it didn’t matter. She moved her mind back to the mission and playfully scolded herself on her attitude.
“Moving on…” she said casually, as her hands became a blur of animal seals. She could see him staring at them, in order to guess what she was going to do next. In truth she had already done it, she just had to wait for the air pressure to build up. She hoped silently that he wouldn’t hear the rumble.
“What on earth are you doing, woman?” the man asked, as he stood prepared. He cursed himself for not taking advantage when she was laughing her head off. In truth, he was insulted at her reactions. How could she resist his charms? Why was he even trying to charm her? She watched him carefully as he looked around, hearing the whistling wind above them. She figured that he knew by now that she was stalling. It was an unfortunate liability that this particular technique took so long, but just another moment and he should…
“Shit,” he shouted loudly as he finally caught a glance upwards. She grunted without looking, already knowing what was there. Above them both were a large batch of rocks, brick and various other materials that had been on the top of the roof. He had probably realized that they came as a result of his attack on the roof earlier, which had knocked many pieces aside. Now, being kept in the air by the Kazeton: Whistling Winds technique, was a huge assortment of debris. She swore, as she realized that he had finally noticed.
“Release!” she shouted as she formed the last seal and began to jump out of the way. The water ninja copied her movements and did the same, getting as much distance from her as possible. using chakra to speed up his movements as the extremely heavy rain fell down around them. He had noticed far too fast for her technique to be of any affect, which she found unpleasantly annoying. Still, it did not matter as far as she was concerned. Her mission was simply to stall. If she killed him, then there’d be many a bonus, but she needed to wait about three more minutes, if any of the tactical artillery weapons were going to survive. The man finally stopped moving, seeming to believe that the worst of it was over, which amused Sayuki because of the large rock directly above him. She watched, grinning as it slammed into the jounin, crushing him underneath it. She blocked to her left immediately, as he jumped her with a small frying pan. He stared back in confusion, amazed she had spotted him.
“What?” he said, surprised, “how did you…?”
“Oh come on,” she commented, “you just made it stand still, of course it was a water…” she didn’t have time to finish the sentence. His speed was faster than her eyes for a second, and before she knew it, she was flying across the field of rock and debris with a painful wound in her left side. As she looked, she was amazed to see him at the end of a swing with the large frying pan. She felt her insides begin to bleed as she landed. She turned to inspect her wound and went white as she saw the note with kanji attached to where the pan had hit her.
From this came a loud explosion, covering at least a three-meter radius and covering the man with rubble. The inferno pursued its rampage upon the ground where the woman was standing for a few seconds before eventually dying down. The water ninja looked sad for a moment as he observed the battered remains of her clothes. He made a point not to let himself relax. A dead corpse didn’t mean anything to a ninja, especially when it wasn’t necessarily a dead corpse. He spun round to find no one standing there. Had he really just blown her up? It didn’t feel right, the silence echoed across the green outside the factory and the only thing making a noise was the small battle to his right. For a second, he wondered if she had taken that moment to actually participate in this small war and was just about to turn to look in that direction when he had no choice but to freeze in place. He felt the wires, thin yet just as deadly as the explosion he had just incurred upon her clothes . He twisted his neck slightly, as he finally picked up upon her location. Judging by her heavy breathing, the explosion note hadn’t been a total waste, at least he got to see her half naked.
“You bastard!” she commented out loud as she stepped into view, wearing nothing more than a slightly embarrassing sports bra and multiple bruises scattered around her body. He couldn’t tell what was further down than that due to a rock she was conveniently standing behind.
“Woohoo.” He shouted mockingly. “Take it off, take it all off.” She flinched hard at this. Having finally had enough, she pulled out what had to be an endless reserve of wooden throwing weapons and aimed them towards him. Her hand flickered, and so did he. “Too slow” he shouted at her as he back-flipped into the air, going as high as possible, the wires that once surrounded him having already been cut. As he flew, he started to perform his own seal technique, finishing the monkey seal as he landed on the largest rock of them all.
“Suiton: Suikoden no…” He never got time to finish it, as something grabbed his legs and tripped him up. It got on top of him and appeared to smile at the turn of events.
“I love it when a trap comes together.” The rock bushin said, weighing around three hundred pounds at the moment, trapping him underneath. “It took long enough to get you to stand in the center of my symbol” Reacting to this, he glanced around, to find the many rocks, forming some kind of alchemy pattern. He didn’t know too much of the subject himself, since it was mainly myth. His mind stopped and focused on the ragged ninja, kneeling upon the ground and forming yet another set of seals. “See how you like this,” one of the two Sayuki’s said, he wasn’t sure which. The one not on top of planted her hands firmly onto the ground. As if responding to the impact, the rocks and bricks and debris bounced slightly into the air and refused to come down, as if transparent pillars were supporting them. It took but a moment for them to all but disappear, as they spun round the water ninja and the stone bushin at an accelerating speed. Soon, grass and mud was picked up. Everything in the area now levitated except for the cloud ninja, but she was out of sight, only her voice remained, its echo mocking his defeat as it whispered in the wind.
“Kazeton: Formless Prisons!”
End chapter 2
Why do I get the feeling no ones read this far? Maybe it’s because the chapter manager said that only two people got to chapter 1, maybe it’s paranoia. Maybe it’s because I haven’t put in any stupid couples. Okay kiddies, next week it’ll be Hinatax erm…..Haku yaoi. Yeah…figure that one out….I’ll certainly be trying.
I haven’t really included a glossary in this one, as you should know most of the terms by now if you’ve read the last few glossaries. I’ll probably include one later.