In the next morning I overslept because I threw the damn alarm clock against the wall as soon as it started ringing… and fell asleep once again.
As I woke up I quickly ate, washed the sleep out of my eyes, dressed into the same clothes from yesterday – I didn’t have others – and walked to the meeting place. I already was late, so why should I run?
The meeting place was on a bridge in the south of the village.
But when I arrived, only Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke were there. No Kakashi in sight.
“Where is this Kakashi-guy?”
“I don’t know”, Sakura answered, “He’s always too late, and it’s a habit from him.”
“Yeah”, Naruto said, “I guess that he’s reading his stupid books in the very moment, believe it!”
“But why are you punctual when you know that he’ll come late?” I asked confused.
I got no answer.
Well, it seemed that I could oversleep every morning from this day on!
I sat down on the earth together with Naruto and Sakura – I guessed that Sasuke thought he’d be too cool to sit – and waited.
“Oh hey” Kakashi said as he finally after I don’t know how long appeared. “I’m sorry I’m late but an old lady asked for a dance from me.”
“LIAR!” Sakura and Naruto yelled at once.
“Well, anyway, I’ve got some news for you.”
“We’ll do something else than catching cats?” I asked hopefully.
Kakashi chuckled. “Your mission for today is to train.”
“What? But Kakashi-sensei, that’s not a mission” Sakura complained.
“Make it to a mission. Every one of you has to train more, if you want to become a chunin. So take this opportunity because in the next missions as a team I’ll see your results and as soon as I think that you are strong enough I’ll convince Iruka to give you other missions.”
“But we can also train on a mission”, I argued. “So what is this all about? Does it have something to do with the mysterious letter the Hokage received yesterday?” I dug deeper.
Kakashi only sighed. “The jounin and chuunin have an important meeting with the Hokage. And while we’ll discuss about something that shouldn’t interest you, you’ll train to be fit, alright?” And with a poof of smoke he vanished.
“Hey Sasuke, should we train together?” Sakura asked Sasuke immediately. I only rolled my eyes and didn’t wait for the answer but dragged Naruto along with me.
“Where are you going?”
“I only ate a small breakfast, and now I’m hungry. I guess that you won’t have anything against a short break at Ichiraku’s?”
“Ichiraku’s? Yeah let’s go to eat some ramen!”
I grinned. This was so easy.
We were almost there when I felt someone come closer – but not on the regular way.
“Hey, that’s bushy brow.”
One moment later the strange person who seemed to walk on his hands stopped on our side. “Naruto, Tora, it’s nice to meet you.”
I needed some time until I recognised the voice. “Lee? Is that you?”
“Yes of course it’s me: Rock Lee, Konoha’s green beast!”
“What are you doing bushy brow?” Naruto asked. I had to grin at the nickname.
“I train to gain power so that my flames of youth will burn brighter and that I’ll be able to beat Guy-sensei!” Lee yelled. “Do you want to join in my passionate training?”
Walking through Konoha on your hands? Forget it; I was far too lazy for this. So I only replied:
“No thanks, but we’re heading to a ramen shop right now. You know, to fuel our fire with some fatty food.”
“Alright, then I won’t stop you. Let’s train separately, so that we can fight against each other in the future. Only through combat we’ll see who the better one is.”
“Of course I am” I answered grinning widely while I thought: When this guy always trained so much and hard, what could I do against him?
As we reached the ramen restaurant, there was already a person sitting at the table eating.
“Hey guys”, he greeted us with a full mouth as soon as we sat down.
This time I knew instantly who the boy was. Of course it only could be Choji.
“Hello Naruto”, a male voice greeted my new friend. The voice came from in front of us so I guessed that it was the owner, Ichiraku himself. Man, Naruto really had to be often in this restaurant if he was greeted like an old friend.
“Is this beauty girl your girlfriend?” I needed some seconds before I understood that he meant me. Why couldn’t you just be friends with a guy without someone thinking that you must be a couple?
Wait, did he just call me beautiful? Should I be thankful about this?
“Eh… no, Tora is my teammate, believe it!”
“Oh, sorry; anyway, what do you two want? Naruto the usual I guess?”
“Yes of course, believe it! Cook fast, noodles, I’m hungry.”
“And what do you want, young lady?”
I brushed some strands out of my face. “The same as Naruto, please.”
While the noodles were cooking we chatted with Choji.
“Why are you here so early in the morning?” I asked even though I had an idea.
“Asuma-sensei gave us the day off” the friendly boy informed us. “He said he had to go to an important meeting and that we could do whatever we’d like to do until he’s back.”
Naruto and I groaned. “Why can’t Kakashi-sensei just give us a day off?” Naruto complained. “Why do we have to train? I don’t need training, because I’m the strongest ninja in Konoha and the future Hokage, believe it!”
“But if you have to train” Choji said “why are you here?”
“I was hungry” I answered. “And because I didn’t want to go alone I dragged Naruto with me.”
“I wanted Shikamaru to join, but he was too lazy and preferred looking at clouds and sleeping.
May I have another bowl, please?” Choji ordered.
“How much does he already have?” I asked Naruto quietly.
“Seven” He whispered back. “But I think I’m able to beat him. My record has been fifteen bowls of ramen.”
I only looked at him in disbelief. “You’re lying, aren’t you?”
“No I’m not! Believe it! My stomach never gets full of ramen!”
“Excuse me but when are they finished?” Choji asked Ichiraku. “I’m hungry.” I really heard his stomach grumble after his statement. After he had seven bowls of ramen! “It’s too bad that I let my potato chips back in the house.”
“Don’t worry boy” Ichiraku calmed him. “The noodles are soon cooked.”
A couple of minutes later, three hot and delicious smelling bowls with ramen and extra pork were standing in front of us.
“It’s ramen time, believe it!”
“So we’re going to search for a fucking dragon because this bitch told you about this?” Hidan asked while glancing at the silent girl who was standing beside Leader.
They had a meeting that Pain had ordered. All members of the Akatsuki were present in a dim room in the main hideout. The room was spare; there was only a large and huge desk that stood in the middle of the circle of Akastukis. On the desk a huge world map was placed, along with scrolls, papers with information about the bijuus and their jinchuuriki, smaller maps, a bingo book and a few books.
Since some of the members namely Zetsu, Sasori and Deidara were on a mission as their Leader called the meeting they were only present as holograms.
After the girl had left Pain’s office he had ordered Zetsu to spy on the Leaf village. The plant man should find out if there was a blind girl with short black hair present in the village. According to Zetsu there was indeed one. She lost some of her memories, was apparently a genin and was in the same team as Itachi’s little brother Sasuke and the Jinchuriki of the Nine Tails. She was weak because she had only a little amount of chakra which she used to feel her surroundings.
When Zetsu told him that there was nothing special about that girl except for her blindness and that she used somehow chakra to feel everything around her, Pain started do doubt if this girl that Itachi brought to him really had told him the truth. However, the story about the dragon spirit seemed to be true because Zetsu said that every higher ranked ninja in Konoha was alarmed because this spirit had escaped.
But could it really be that this blind girl was its host? The people in Konoha didn’t seem to think so.
Nevertheless he would send his men out to catch the girl. If the girl lied to him he would let his anger out on her.
Sighing, Pain answered to Hidan: “Catching the dragon spirit is very important. It will help us to gather all nine Jinchuurikis.
Kisame and Itachi, you’ll head to Konoha to catch the girl. Sasori and Deidara, you two are going to fly to this dragon village. Try to find out some more information about this spirit and its host. Hidan and Kakuzu you stay here to watch over the girl” he pointed to the quiet small child who stood next to him with her hands crossed in front of her. The whole time during the meeting she didn’t say a word. She only looked either to the ground or into the eyes of some of the Akatsuki, but she always just held eye contact for a couple of seconds before she once again lowered her head.
“And Tobi?” the newest member asked. “What shall Tobi do? Can Tobi go with Deidara-sempai?”
“Forget it, un!” his blond partner hissed. Pain only had partnered him up with this hyperactive masked member for four times, but to Deidara those four times had been more than enough. He never wanted to work with this pain in the ass again.
“Tobi, you also stay here with Hidan and Kakuzu.”
“Yeah Tobi will be with the pretty girl!”
“What?!” Hidan yelled. “No way, I wanted to eh… watch… over her.”
“Since when do you like it to do baby-sitting?” Kisame asked grinning.
Hidan only smirked back. “If it’s a hot chick…” He let his gaze wander over the tiny girl: Her long hair, her well-formed body, and her wide caramel eyes. She was a hot chick and Hidan really wanted to be alone with her as long as this stupid motherfucking Tobi wouldn’t interfere. Hidan wanted to have some fun with her, only for a few hours. He really hoped that Pain would allow him to sacrifice this bitch. Lord Jashin would be me more than pleased with her.
In this very moment the girl looked up, like she felt that he was watching her the whole time. Her caramel eyes met his lust filled violet ones.
Blood, it was everywhere: his hands, his chest, the ground, the spike, the victim in front of him.
The pain he felt was like ecstasy. It was amazing, so fucking good. It rushed through his veins and gave him the ultimate kick.
He only laughed when his sacrifices in front of him screamed: Men, women, children. It didn’t matter, as long as Lord Jashin would be pleased with them.
He would kill them all: Every one of those damn fucking heathens, especially this shithead Kakuzu. He felt their pain while listening to their pitiful screams. This had to be heaven.
The spike dug deep into his flesh. The hot blood ran down into the circle with the triangle which he drew: The sign of Lord Jashin, the sign of his God.
Sometimes he didn’t just sacrifice those pitiful heathens. Sometimes he went farther and gave himself an extra kick while fucking them. Of course only when it was a hot chick. He loved to see the pain in their faces; he loved to hear them scream and when they begged him for mercy which he would never give to them.
This was so fucking good.
With wide eyes the girl looked at him.
“Ha, the chick is fucking scared of me” Hidan laughed as he saw the fear in her eyes.
“I would rather say that she is disgusted of you” his partner, Kakuzu said calmly.
“No one fucking asked you about your damn opinion, you money whore!” Hidan screamed angrily.
“Enough!” Leader demanded. “No one is going to harm the girl unless I say so” Pain looked every one of his followers into their eyes, especially Hidan.
“The meeting is over. I’ll inform you as soon as there will be news.”
With that he left the room together with Konan.
“Come on brat let’s go” Sasori said to his partner Deidara. “I hate it to be kept waiting.” The artist duo also vanished, followed by Zetsu; and Tobi run yelling out of the room.
“We’ll head out in ten minutes”, Itachi informed his partner who just nodded in agreement.
After they left, Hidan turned to the girl with a wide grin while Kakuzu walked out of the room pulling his money out of his pocket. “It looks like we’re fucking alone now, bitch.”
Oh yeah, the Immortal really looked forward to the moment when he would pierce her little heart, but before he’d sacrifice her innocent soul he would have his fun with her hot body. He would hear her scream.
A cool breeze brushed over my face as I lay on my back on the earth while panting heavily.
After the stop at Ichiraku’s, Naruto and I had headed to one of the training fields but we decided to split up so that none of us would see the miserable failures from the other.
So Naruto went to another training area. Mine was a little clearing, with some trunks to throw my weapons into. Trees surrounded me; the grass was here and there gone so that I could feel the blank stone underneath my feet.
The problem with being blind was that I couldn’t see my results of training. I had no idea if my clones did improve, or if I hit every target with my weapons. Also my low amount of chakra was a big problem because I had used most of it to find my way through the village. There wasn’t so much left to use for fighting.
Sighing I brushed some hair out of my face. I really was a failure as a shinobi.
I hit the earth hard with my palm. Again and again, out of frustration, I let my hand come in contact with the hard ground.
Why was I so weak? Why couldn’t I be strong like Lee, Sasuke, Neji and the others? Why had I become blind?
Once again I slapped my hand onto the ground. It hurt. Why did it hurt? Why was I weak? Why couldn’t I be as strong as the ground?
Little stones dug themselves deep into my palm. I didn’t stop. I only gritted my teeth in anger; grabbed the earth with my hands while looking into the darkness that was supposed to be a blue sky.
A small tear escaped my eyes.
I needed to control myself. I couldn’t change the fact that I was blind; that was a matter of fact. So instead of lying on the ground crying I should rather stand up and train. I’d become stronger. After all I was a ninja, right? I wasn’t that weak.
I sat up. I formed my right hand into a fist. And let it crash into the ground.
It hurt, my knuckles bled, the ground was vibrating… and it gave in. Yeah, the hard, solid, ground made of stone and earth, just gave in as my fist touched it.
Surprised I let my hands move over the little hole that I had created. I didn’t even use my chakra because I only had a little amount left.
I calmed my breath and the surprise turned into curiosity. Again I placed my hand onto the ground. My breath became silent and stable. The sounds of my surroundings disappeared. The wind, the rustling leaves, the birds, the sounds from the village; it all moved into the background. My whole concentration was at the little earth beneath my hand.
I felt the stone. I felt the earth. I felt it vibrating. I felt it soften underneath my touch.
Taking a deep breath I pulled my hand back into the air, and pushed it into the ground, my fingertips first. They dug deep into the cool earth. It didn’t hurt. I didn’t even feel resistance. My fingers slid into the earth like it would be only mud.
There was only one word that came across my mind as I carefully pulled my finger out of the stone, leaving a slight crack: