“Ouch! Dammit!” Once again I tripped over a stupid root and fell flat on my face. Being blind was really a pain in the ass. I was already walking for I don’t know how long through this thick forest but I had no idea where I was or in which direction I was heading. Maybe I was running the whole time in circles. But I couldn’t just stay at this clearing waiting for God knows how long doing nothing. Now I was simply hoping that someone friendly might cross my way or that I’ll come near a village. Though as blind as I was I would probably not even notice that there was a village.
I’m so screwed, I thought as I picked myself up from the hard ground once again. My knees were bleeding, my clothes were dirty, I was hungry and thirsty and tears threatened to fill my eyes.
No, I won’t cry. I won’t! I could handle the situation.
“Dammit!” I screamed in frustration and slammed my chakra infused hand on the earth.
Suddenly, I could see. I mean, not with my eyes but… it was more like I could feel everything around me. The trees, the root I’ve tripped over, the plants…
Confused I looked around. Everything was still black.
Careful I placed my hand back on the ground.
I concentrated some of my chakra into my hand.
The root I had tripped over belonged to a huge and old tree standing right in front of me. A group of ants carried some leaves to their home. A couple of meters away, a boar walked through the bushes. A bird hopped on the ground to pick up some food. A mouse ran into its hole.
I felt it all. It was amazing.
Leaning against the old tree I stood up and concentrated my chakra into my feet. Again I somehow ‘saw’ everything.
The bird flew away as soon as I moved. A spider let itself fall down on the earth while it was attached to a wire. A rabbit stuck its nose out of its home to see if there was an enemy nearby.
I was able to feel every movement of every living creature that was walking or sitting on the earth. I could feel every object standing in my way.
I started walking. But now I knew where I had to place my food. Now I knew when a root crossed my way. Now I didn’t fall as often as before.
A grin spread over my face. It was the first time since I have woken up that I felt something like optimism rise inside of me. Yeah, I could handle being blind. I could do it.
Even though I had cursed a million times at the forest for being so wild and thick, I was somehow glad about it. Because by now the sun was shining brightly and hot from the sky and I was really happy that I could walk in the cool shadow of the trees. Add the thirst and that I was already sweating without the sunshine, I kind of regret the curses.
By now I have figured out that I couldn’t only feel with my feet or hands if I concentrate my chakra into them. I also could to it with my ears and my skin. I tried it with my eyes but unfortunately that didn’t work. But now I was able to sense everything around me. It was really awesome; sometimes it was even better than seeing.
I mean, of course I didn’t want to be blind anymore but now I was able to feel every insect, every vibration, and every movement. Sadly the whole thing took a huge amount of chakra and I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to continue walking before I’d faint.
“Alright Akamaru, I think it’s enough training for today. We should head back, what do you think?”
I turned to where the voices where coming from. Someone was out there in the forest. A woman and a dog… No wait, the voice was different from a woman’s. Maybe it was a young boy…
The voices came from up the trees. So they had to be a ninja and his ninja dog.
“What do you say boy? You feel chakra nearby?”
Dammit! This dog could sense chakra?
Okay, what should I do? I had no idea where I was from, or where I was. I didn’t know if this boy belonged to my, an ally, or an enemy village. But I also couldn’t just ignore him and continue walking like this for God knows how long. Especially not since the dog has already discovered me.
No, I had to do something.
I reached up to my hair. My ninja headband was still tied around my head but because of my blindness I still had no idea from which village I was. Maybe I could ask this boy which symbol was on my headband, but if I am from an enemy village, he would attack me. Of course I could tell him that I was blind, but would it stop him from killing me?
I could feel the two of them coming closer.
Sighing I loosened the knot of my headband and… shit, what should I do with it? I didn’t want to throw it away; it might be my only clue of where I belonged. And I have had nothing with me as I had woken up.
After some thinking I bound the headband around my waist and pulled my loose shirt about it. I really hoped it would work.
One moment later the boy and the dog landed right in front of me.
“Hey, what are you doing here in the middle of the forest? Are you lost?”
Act like a weak, helpless, lost, powerless girl, I told myself. Well I didn’t need to act that much.
“Ah… yes. I have no clue where I am.” Embarrassed I scratched the back of my head and grinned sheepishly. I really hated the feeling of being so helpless.
“You’re near Konoha, the village hidden in the Leaves. I’m Kiba and this is Akamaru.”
“We’re ninjas, and if you want to, we can help you finding your way home.”
“Thanks.” The only problem was that I had no idea where my home was.
Konoha… I felt nothing when I heard the name. So I guessed that it was neither my home village nor in battle with it.
“Could you maybe lead me to Konoha? I’m really tired and exhausted …”
“Yes, of course. What’s your name?”
“Oh, I’m Tora.”
“It’s nice to meet you Tora.”
I smiled at him while I had to stop myself from fuming. This Kiba-boy really thought that I was a civilian! I could beat him senseless if I wanted to!
But I really needed his help so I swallowed my pride and played my weak child role.
I was in the middle of turning around so that Kiba could lead the way when he stopped me.
“Hey, Tora, what’s up with your eyes? Why are they so colourless?”
I turned away from him. I didn’t want to tell him that I was blind. I didn’t want to appear weaker than I already was.
“Do you also have some special eyes? Like Neji or Sasuke?”
“Oh, you’re right boy, she isn’t a ninja.”
Hello, I stood right beside him! Why were they talking about me as if I wasn’t there?!
“So, why do your eyes look so different? Tell me.” That Kiba guy was way too curious. But maybe I just should tell him.
“Alright, I’m blind, okay?” My voice sounded angrier than I wanted it to be.
For a minute it was silent until Kiba once again started bothering me with his questions.
“Oh, I’m sorry… How long have you been blind?”
Sighing I gave up and told him a part of my story: “I woke up this morning in a clearing, blind and with lack of my memories. I have no idea where I come from, who my family is or how I got here. I don’t even know why I’m blind.”
“So you walked the whole time blind through this forest?” Akamaru winced slightly.
“Well yes, I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing.”
“You can call yourself lucky that you met Akamaru and me.”
I just nodded. “Can we head to Konoha now please? I’m really tired.”
“Yes of course.”
Suddenly I felt a hand touching mine. “Don’t worry, I’ll guide you so you won’t trip or run into something.”
Again I just nodded. It was kind of sweet. Even though I was still a little bit upset about Kiba calling me practically a civilian I was really glad I’ve met him. He seemed to be nice and I already liked him.
Panting Kenta leaned against the trunk of a tree while holding his bleeding shoulder. He tried to stand up, but his feet gave in and he fell back on the bloody ground.
His body was covered in dirt, sweat, bruises, cuts and blood. The old scar on his cheek started to itch.
That’s it, Kenta thought as his grip on the Kunai in his hand tightened. This is the end. Today I’m going to die.
Frightened to death Kenta looked up into those glowing yellow eyes. They belonged to a dragon made of water. It stood protectively in front of the little girl. Some of the cold lake water which the girl had used to create this dragon formed small puddles on the red grass of the bank. It mixed up with the blood from Kenta’s fallen comrades who were lying motionless on the ground. Some of them were still moving slightly, but others were long dead.
Kenta and the others have had the mission to track the girl down and to bring her back. The elders had warned them of the huge power inside the thin thing. They had told them to be careful, to not take a risk.
In Kenta’s group were six well-trained jounin. All of them had been defeated in an instant.
Eyes widened in shock Kenta watched as the girl formed a few handsigns. The dragon disappeared; the water fell back into the lake. The girl stood on the lake’s surface.
Kenta was 38; he had a wife and a son who had the exact black hair like him. Kenta was a jounin, but never in his life had he seen so much power before.
They had started the fight as a closed group with several tactics and plans. They had used different kind of ninjutsu, genjutsu and taijutsu. They had used weapons as distraction. They had tried to trap the girl. Up to that point everything had worked, the girl didn’t have any chance against them. She had several wounds, none life-threatening of course because they had to bring the girl back alive. Kenta had tried to convince the girl to give up. But then she only had smiled while blood was running down from her mouth.
And then she had summoned this dragon. First it had been a stone dragon, wrapping its hard tail around her body to protect her from any more damage. None of their weapons had made it through this shield.
Then the dragon had attacked.
A fourth of his group had been defeated after the first attack. The formation had been broken, their attacks had become wild and without thinking. The dragon had forced them more and more into defensive. Even though Kenta’s group had used all five types of chakra nature, the dragon had counterattacked while changing its form from earth into wind, fire, lightning and, finally, water.
Kenta’s group didn’t stand a chance against this mass of power.
Once again Kenta tried to lift himself up to his feet. Even though he was all alone, even though everyone else was defeated, even though he was wounded; Kenta wouldn’t just give up. He was the team leader. He would fight until the very end.
Slowly the girl walked toward his shaking body. She walked past his fallen comrades and then stopped right in front of her. Only a few centimetres separated her from Kenta. He still couldn’t believe how such a young and small girl was able to defeat them all.
Kenta looked at the girl in front of him. Her red hair was messy, her skin bruised and her once white dress was tattered and bloody. Kenta couldn’t help himself but feeling guilty for attacking her. After all she only summoned the dragon to protect herself from them.
The girl looked up at him. Her caramel brown eyes looked deeply into his silver ones.
He always wanted to be shinobi. He had never let one of his comrades alone. They were a team and he was responsible for them.
He was so proud, proud of being a father. He tried to be at home as often as possible, but it didn’t work. He was a chuunin, he had to work all day but he didn’t want to give up being a ninja. He knew his son missed him, and felt very guilty about it. But if he was at home he spent all his time with his son and his beautiful wife.
His son made it into the academy. He was proud, so proud.
He became a jounin; a team captain. His wish came finally true. But it also meant that he spent fewer hours at home with his family.
Desperately he tried to ignore the hurt and sad looks from his wife and his kid.
He felt so sorry; so guilty.
Should he quit his job as a jounin? Should he give up everything he had been working for?
He had no idea.
The girl blinked. Her stare was so intense it sent shivers down his spine. Kenta still held the Kunai in is hand but he knew that he couldn’t kill the girl. Even if she did hurt and killed his comrades; he just couldn’t. She was only a child.
Suddenly the girl smiled at him. She must be beautiful without the dirt and blood, Kenta thought.
“Don’t give up trying to spend more time with your son. You’re a good father.”
Confused Kenta looked at her smiling face. How…? How did she know that?
But before he could ask, the girl turned around and walked away, away from the lake, away from Kenta, away from the bodies on the ground.
For a few seconds Kenta just stood there and looked after her. Then his feet gave in and he fell on the ground, unconsciousness.