It has been a month since Team Seven and I had miraculously came together and, as Kakashi told us later, become the first team to ever pass the test.
"You all should be thanking Quorra" he told the team, since I was the one who put the pieces together. I had to admit, it felt good to figure something out for once.
Since then, we had been training most days. I improved on my stamina, mainly, and showed some signs of proper chakra manipulation. I'd also improved on controlling my only jutsu, the single shadow clone.
I had more physicals and blood tests taken to see if there were any changes. But alas, it was the same. Same blood samples, same questions, same non-conclusions.
On a brighter note, I connected more with Team Seven. Naruto and I get ramen at Ichiraku's after every training session. We often compete to see who could eat the most ramen. Of course, the Ramen King himself, always won.
I even gone shopping a few more times with Sakura; though she mainly talked about Sasuke. She gave me the cold shoulder for the longest time before she allowed me to explain to her that I wasn't a 'heart-stabbing bitch' as she put it. Eventually, she believed me and got over it and all was right in the world again.
Surprisingly, I managed to form some sort of bond with doom-and-gloom Sasuke. We often sparred together, as a fulfillment to our deal. I helped shoo away vicious girls and he helped me train and gave tips for fighting strategies. Even if he tended to kick my ass, I've been learning a lot. I was trying to be a true shinobi, even though I was not one, officially. But I promise, I got a few good moves in.
It had gotten to the point where I could write jokes on my notepad and he would express the slightest smirk. This was a lot coming from a guy who openly admitted his desire to murder someone, whoever he/she was.
Yeah, that's right, I wrote the jokes. As in, my voice still had not returned. What kind of bullshit was that?
But, the strongest relationship that I formed was with Kiba. We hung out whenever I was not training, eating ramen, shopping, or being mauled by she-devils. We often argued over the dumbest shit but it was all in good fun. He loved to joke about my cruel faith with the monkey bars for which I returned him with a brutal punch of some sort.
Kakashi was doomed forever for making up such a story, but I couldn't complain too much because he does allow me to go off on my own, even if that was against the Third Hokage's orders.
Oh, and I constantly get nightmares, almost every night, leaving poor, dead-eyed Kakashi checking up on me all the time. I would say that was an everlasting punishment for him but, obviously, I wasn't enjoying it any more than he was. They were so vivid, so realistic that every time I awaken, I fear my pounding heart will one day explode.
Today, for whatever reason, Team Seven and I were gathered by the front gates of Konoha. Kakashi was talking to the two shinobi who patrolled the gates. I couldn't hear what they were conversing about, but Kakashi was currently talking to the one with some sort of bandage across his nose. The other shinobi, who wore this forehead protector as a bandana, seemed to be agreeing with them as he casually nodded from time to time.
The four of us were a small distance away. Naruto was rocking from side to side as if the five minutes we have been standing here had, in reality, been five hours.
"Man! What's Kakashi Sensei talking to them so long about! I really want to go get ramen!"
"Kakashi Sensei is an important jonin, Naruto. He has important business to attend to," Sakura lectured. Sasuke stood a few feet away with his arms crossed and a look that screamed, 'I do not care'.
I wondered what Kakashi was talking to them about. I tilted my head and strained to hear anything but the only sounds were coming from Naruto bantering. If only I could read lips.
"Ugh! But miso ramen sounds so good right now. Kakashi won't notice if I'm gone for a few minutes." Naruto said as he attempted to sneak away.
"Naruto, you idiot!" Sakura yelled simultaneously as I heard a womp. I assumed it was a solid punch to Naruto's head.
"Oi! Sakura!" Naruto was holding his head. "Why do you have to punch so hard?"
Sakura snorted. "Well, if you weren't such an idiot, I wouldn't have to. Now would I? Isn't that right Sasuke?"
Cue cricket sounds.
Still rubbing his bruised cranium, "I wonder if I should have just one bowl of ramen with extra pork or two bowls without extra pork. Oh, who am I kidding, I could eat three bowls right now." Sakura groaned in defeat. "But should I have extra pork? Quorra what do you think?"
Only half paying attention, I was about to shrug my shoulders when, just beyond the gates, a groan caught our attention.
We saw a young shinobi crumbled in front of the gates and ran towards him. Sprawled on the ground was a boy with ash blond hair, dressed in a black shinobi uniform. He had his hands over his stomach as blood flowed between his fingers and pooled around him. He looked up at us, eyes bright blue and scared. Bruises covered his face and a split lip oozed blood and dribbled down his chin. His forehead protector didn't have the leaf symbol on it, which meant he wasn't from the Fire Country. Either way, I couldn't help but worry. He was just a kid.
"Pu-pulease," he sputtered. His split lip bled further, reopening the wound that was desperately trying to heal. "Please help. My team has been ambushed." He coughed, "The attackers are ruthless. I'm the only one that managed to escape, but..." His body began convulsing. "But please help. I beg of you. Who knows what these men will do if they have her. It would be devastating."
Naruto chimed in, thoughts of ramen were forgotten. "Her? Who's her? Is she in danger?"
Before the young shinobi could answer, he used the remainder of his strength to point us in the general location. Then, passed out cold.
"Okay," Kakashi said. "If what he is saying is true, we have to check it out. They are incredibly close to the village and any possibility of an attack needs to be checked out."
"Hai," everyone said. I nodded my head affirming.
"Kotetsu, Izumo. Take him to the hospital and alert the Third Hokage that Team Seven is going to check a potential threat out," Kakashi ordered.
"Hai!" they both yelled as they gathered the young shinobi, with them on each of his side, and vanished.
Still in command, "Alright team, let's go check it out."
"Yes! Let's go kick some ass!" Naruto screamed enthusiastically.
"Oh, bother" Sakura sighed.
"Hmph," from the vocal Uchiha.
Everyone started to take off and I was about to as well, but I was hesitant. One of the conditions I had with the Third was that I remained in the village at all times. But, I was also supposed to stay with, or relatively close, to Kakashi. So following one of the rules would mean breaking the other. I stood by the gates, biting my nails, in anticipation.
Kakashi noticed my hesitance. "Quorra, there's no time to lose. We can worry about what the Third Hokage will say later."
He's right. This is an emergency. With that being said, I rushed to catch up with the team.
This was the first time, since Kakashi found me, that I had left the village. I wondered if this would be a better experience than the last time…
We quickly leaped through the trees towards the general location where the shinobi directed us. Soon enough, we knew we arrived because shinobi were sprawled out in what looked like a major bloodshed.
Naruto summed up the entire perspective. "Shit."
Shit was right. Whatever happened here was no child's play. These shinobi were not as fortunate as their comrade. That young shinobi should be blessed for escaping.
"Search for any clues that can give us an idea of what happened here," Kakashi declared.
We split up and searched for anything that could give us a tell-told sign of what could cause this. We each followed our own path and I did the same. I was hoping to find a survivor who could tell us what was going on. This is so awful. What the hell happened here?
My ears perked as I heard Naruto yell that he found someone. We immediately rushed over to his location.
When we regrouped, we found that Naruto did find a survivor, but it was not a shinobi. In fact, it was a girl. No older than thirteen, hiding in a hollowed tree.
The little girl was shaking as if freezing in a desert at night. She was crouched in a ball. Her knees brought to her face and her arms wrapped tightly around them. Her long purple hair hiding the rest of her features.
We all stared at each other in disbelief and uncertainty. What is a girl doing in the middle of a blood bath?
"Um, excuse me?" Naruto said. Hesitance in his voice.
The girl jolted resembling a match that struck under her. She yipped, "Who's there?! Please don't hurt me!"
Confused as to why she said who, I realized that when she lifted her head, her eyes stared up in freight but they also had a cloudy film over them. She can't see us.
"It's okay." Sakura reassured and she crouched down. "We're shinobi from the Land of Fire. We are just here to help. Can you tell us what happened?"
At this point, I wanted to search more. There has to be more here than it leads on.
As the group listened to the shaken girl, who we soon learned was named Violet's, explanation. I walked through the cemetery of the fallen.
"I was being escorted, to the Land of the Rock." I heard Violet explain. "But there was an attack. I don't know what happened," she said on the verge of hysteria. "I could only hear the screams and clashes of blades," now sobbing.
Poor girl. I could only imagine what it was like hearing a battle without any knowledge of what was going on.
The team comforted her as I traveled deeper into the massacre. Dozens of shinobi were dead left and right. Many with various weapons embedded in their chest. One in particular caught my eye.
A middle aged man with ginger hair, thick bushy beard, and bulbous stomach laid against a tree. His cause of death was obvious. An arrow pierced through his neck; a clean shot in one end and out the other. However, that wasn't what caught my eye. It was the weapon the deceased was welding, a sword.
Intrigued, I crouched to get a better look. The weapon was unique as it seemed to be plated in gold. It was a golden sword. Intricate carvings and details were engraved in the hilt in some sort of symbols. Jewels were encrusted around the symbols as well.
Some fancy ass sword you got there buddy.
Rustling from behind me seized my attention. On instinct, I grabbed the closest weapon to me, the fancy sword and turned around. I was greeted with a clink sound coming from another sword clashing into mine.