“Tora, we still have a problem” Kazumi said suddenly with a serious tone. I preferred calling her this name because she didn’t like her original one and I didn’t think that she was cold as a stone, maybe strong and resistant like stone, but not as cold.
“What kind of problem?” I asked. I still had to overthink the information she gave me. I knew she told the truth, the description of those men sent shivers down my spine and I had been and still was afraid when I thought about the whole being a tortured test subject thing. That was creepy and most likely the truth though I still didn’t know who my punisher was or what exactly happened. Although a part of me told me to forget those things, another, bigger one, wanted to know everything exactly and to bring those horrible memories back.
But that had to wait; first we needed to escape.
“Pain still wants to kill me. He thinks I’m useless now that they found you, but I can’t just reveal some of my powers to him out of nowhere.”
Great, a few seconds ago everything seemed to go up once in a while, now we were again close to a downfall.
“So, if we want to convince Pain to spare your life, he has to believe that you’re not useless.”
“Yep, but how?”
An idea popped into my mind and I grinned. “Don’t worry, honey, just leave it to me.”
“So you’ve got a plan?” she asked curiously.
I only grinned wider. “Yes, but I won’t
Kazumi sighed. “As long as it keeps me alive, okay.”
In the very moment the door opened and emo-kid’s-brother entered the room.
“Are you ready?” he asked in an emotionless voice and like he didn’t care at all. Man, he really sounded like little emo-kid. Maybe I should call him big emo.
“Follow me, Pain set a meeting and he wants to see both of you.”
“Aright emo-kid’s-brother-the-big-emo” I said, stood up and brushed some invisible dust from my clothes. “No hurry, we’re ready.”
“You hopefully know that I’m not like Sasuke”, the big emo said to me with a menacing undertone that made me shiver slightly. “And if you won’t stop comparing me to him, I’ll teach you the hard way that we’re not alike.”
I forced my fear to disappear and just said as calmly as possible: “Yeah you’re right. You’re not like emo-kid, you’re much worse.” And with that I walked past him, hoping that he wouldn’t attack me. From behind me I heard Kazumi sigh but she followed me.
Itachi led us through several hallways until he stopped in front of a door which belonged to a huge room. Inside the room there were some shelves at the walls and a long table with chairs in the middle where ten people – probably the Akatsuki – were sitting on. Itachi guided us to two seats between Pain and himself. I already knew some of the people: Itachi, Kisame, the man who tried to blow me off, Kakuzu, Pain and the quiet woman Konan. The only one I’ve met who wasn’t here was that crawling figure that had poisoned me in the Forest of Death.
“So what is this fucking meeting about?” an arrogant and loud male voice asked. “I was in the middle of a damn ritual!”
“I set this meeting” Pain explained calmly, “because I’ve decided that Tora, the dragon spirit’s host, will be our new member.”
“Yippee a new member” a high-pitched voice yelled happily. “I’m Tobi it’s nice to meet you!”
“Shut up, un!” the bomber growled.
“What’s about the other girl?” the man next to the bomber asked with a bored voice. He was weird… His weight which I felt on the ground was not as heavy as it should be, and he reminded me somehow of that crawling figure, but his voice was not as deep.
“That’s the point” Pain said without a hint of emotion.
“You promised I could go” Kazumi said shyly, perfectly in her role.
Pain just sighed. “I can’t let you go. You know too much, and because of you’re no longer useful to us…”
“Can I sacrifice that bitch?” the loud-mouth asked immediately.
“Only when we’ll get the body” a normal/deep voice from one and the same man said. Man, those guys were really weird.
I felt Kazumi next to me wince and bet that she looked fearful by now. Time to safe her…
“If I’m a member now, I order that she stays” I almost demanded with my arms crossed. Kisame just laughed while I felt the angry stares of the other members on me.
“Brat, you’re just accepted, and not a full member” the light person said bored. “You can’t decide anything.”
“I agree with the blind girl” the kid-man said. “Maybe Tobi can keep pretty girl as a pet?”
Yep, those guys were definitely weird, and some of them had a great lack of brain.
“My decision stands” Pain said coldly. “We don’t need any useless persons.”
“Also it will just cost us money that we don’t have” Kakuzu added.
“Yeah, but if you didn’t recognise it by now, I’m blind!” I waved my hand in front of my eyes. “I can’t read books, or scrolls, or maps, and I only can see on earth, but not on water or on a tree; so except one of you morons wants to help me the whole day I suggest that Kazumi will become my personal assistant.”
“Maybe we should first teach her some respect” Kakuzu said angrily with his deep voice. “She doesn’t seem to have much of it.”
“May I do this?” the loud-mouth asked. He really was about to get on my nerves.
“Pain” the woman, Konan, addressed the leader, “do you remember my suggestion? Maybe this would be the solution.”
After Pain’s sigh Konan asked Kazumi: “You knew certainly a lot about the dragon spirit and the host; why?”
I felt Kazumi shrugging her shoulders and she replied with thin voice: “I heard some of the ninjas in our village talking about it though I didn’t understand everything.”
The bomber snorted. “Stop lying, un. Danna and I had been in the village too to gather information, the shinobi were really careful to not pass anything out. We are S-rank ninjas; you’re just a normal girl. How should you get to the info?”
“They don’t suspect me because I am just a little child and not a threat. People are not careful around those who they consider as weak. You on the other hand look threatening. Surely they would be careful what to say in your presence.”
Kisame snickered. “In your face, Deidara.”
“Shut up, un!” So the bomber’s name was Deidara.
“I think it’s decided then” Konan said determined. “Kazumi will stay as Tora’s assistant but to prove her usefulness she’ll be our spy beside Zetsu. Or do you have anything against it, Pain?”
Another sigh was heard from Pain. “No, I agree.”
Wow, that Konan just changed his mind and helped us. Maybe she wasn’t that bad after all.
“What?!” the loud-mouth complained. “And what’s about my sacrifice?”
“No one cares about your damn sacrifices and your shitty religion, Hidan” Kakuzu told him.
“Eat a dick you-!”
“Silence!” Pain said still calmly but with a threatening undertone. Everyone listened to him while I completely enjoined the whole scenery. It’s hard to believe that they really were murderous criminals.
“Even though we let you live you are, like Sasori said, not fully members. Therefore you won’t leave the hideout without our permission and at least one of the members will keep an eye on you. If you betray us in any form, we’ll kill you. Am I clear?” We both nodded.
“Good, Kazumi, you’ll stay with Itachi and sleep in his room. Sasori, you’ll be in charge of Tora.”
I didn’t complain, because I didn’t know this Sasori well enough to decide if that was bad or good. But in that way I could find out why his body weight was that light.
“What’s up with you? No complaining, no threat to kill or beat him for what he has done?” Kisame asked me in a confused voice.
I just looked at him dumbfounded. “Why should I? I’ve never met him before.”
There was an awkward silence and I had the feeling I had missed something. Luckily Kazumi got it and whispered into my ear: “Sasori is the one who participated in your capture. He poisoned you. What you felt back then was his puppet in which he hid; he’s a puppet master and a puppet himself.”
I needed a second then: “You stupid damn idiot puppet poisoned me!”
Before that Sasori could say anything Kisame started to laugh loudly while Hidan meant: “Stupid blind bitch is- Ouch! What the fuck was that for?!”
I just looked innocently at him with my blind eyes while slowly pulling my foot back. I had made the earth move so that Hidan’s chair had been suddenly pulled forward and his head had smacked onto the desk. Of course I was still pissed because of that stupid puppet but I just didn’t like it if one considered me as weak because I was blind. Hidan only hit a nerve and so I’ve decided to let my anger out on him. Besides, if I really had to stay with the doll I’d have enough time to pay him back.
“Be careful Hidan, I also had made the mistake to underestimate her and she managed to strike me”, Kisame said with a grinning tone.
“Ts, it’s no fucking surprise that a little blind kid could hit your ugly damn fish f-“
“Ouch, the fuck is wrong with you?! I’ll sacrifice your fucked up body to Jashin-“
BANG! There was a lot of cursing and laughing as I didn’t pull his chair forward but backward so that his chair overbalanced and now he lying on the ground.
“Tobi thinks the girl is funny, can Tobi keep her?” the high voice Tobi asked.
Kisame exploded in laughter while I heard the bomber Deidara snicker, Kazumi chuckled slightly next to me and I even felt the auras of some of the more serious members lighten up. In the meantime Hidan fought his way back onto his feet, cussing of course, and started to walk toward me. I was ready to send him into the wall, but suddenly Kakuzu moved as well and a second later Hidan was pulled back, it seemed that something held him back.
“What the fuck Kakuzu, let me go you money whore so that I can cut that bitch into pieces!”
“Hidan, that’s enough!” Pain finally
said. It took him quite a while; I guessed that even he enjoyed it. “Like I
said before, Tora is now our new member and not to be harmed.”
“Fuck you, you can’t tell me what to do or not!”
“Shut your mouth Hidan” Kakuzu growled while he stood up and went along with his cussing partner to the door “Or I’ll cut your head off and put it in the freezer for a week.”
“Kakuzu, eat a dick! Jashin will punish you and your heathen money!”
And then the door shut and they were gone.
Somewhere in the Sound country in a dim lit bare room that was placed under the earth a figure that was surrounded by shadows was sitting on a throne-like chair. His black long hair melted with his surroundings perfectly, the only thing that was seen was his pale white skin.
It was almost completely quiet; tough if the figure listened hard enough he could hear the screams of his captives who were imprisoned in cells underneath the room. Though they didn’t bother him, they reminded him of his last promising test subject who had escaped a few weeks ago. It had been a great loss, a setback, and it had crossed through some of his plans. But luckily he found a new way how to replace the lost power.
Suddenly the door opened and a man entered. With the help of the light coming from the hallway behind him and the large candle burning next to him one could see his grey hair bound into a ponytail and the glasses he was wearing. He pushed the glasses up his nose before he bowed with respect to the figure.
“Lord Orochimaru, like you suspected the Hokage cancelled the Chunin-exam this year because of Akatsuki’s actions.”
The figure, Orochimaru, shifted slightly, a hissing noise came from him. “That’s indeed no surprise, though it doesn’t change anything. We’ll continue like planned.”
“But are you sure this is smart my Lord?” the visitor asked carefully. “If the Leaf is warned now, they’ll be more careful.”
“Don’t worry Kabuto I’ve planned every step in detail. It doesn’t matter if we attack during the exams or during the Akatsuki threatening the village, the safety rules will be high either way. But with our new allies it should be no problem and I know Tsunade. She’s broken, trying desperately to forget her pain with alcohol and work. She won’t be a great match and even if Sarutobi will help her, he is nothing but a senile old man. After all that’s the reason why he quit as Hokage and chose Tsunade for this. They are nothing compared to my power, that’s the reason why they’ll fall.”
Kabuto bowed, giving in. “What’s about her? Do you think the Akatsuki really have her?”
“Maybe, maybe not; either way she’ll show herself at some point, we just have to wait patiently until then and strike when the time comes.” Like a snake he thought and smirked.
“Alright my Lord, I’ll prepare everything so that we can start soon.” With that he left the room, closed the door and the little light disappeared.
Orochimaru leaned back into his chair. He was still angry and disappointed that the test subject managed to escape. She had been so promising and he had hoped that with further experiments he would be able to create more people like her, of course without the failures like lost eye-sight and missing memories. But he was sure that he would catch her back and then he would complete his work.
But before he would take his precious little Tora back, he had to do something first.
He would attack Konoha in a few days and crush the Leaf.
And even if he wouldn’t be able to experiment on her afterwards he already had a new test subject in sight, with a new promising experiment.
A long tongue slid out of the figure’s mouth as he licked his lips in anticipation.