Chapter 4: Betrayal and Death of Student
Both Naruto and Tayuya walked towards Konoha in relative silence as both of them were quite tired. Halfway through, after ensuring the blond boy's unawareness should she attack him, Tayuya slammed her flute to his skull with a force strong enough to break a skull and the boy fell down like a heap of meat to the grassy road below.
"Thanks for the offer, shithead, no thanks," the red haired girl said as she waved a hand, "Those guys are just dead weights anyway."
Then, she thought back to the mission she was given.
"Konoha's living weapon is a threat to our position should he stay alive. Your primary objective here is not only to decimate the group of bandits, but also ensuring the agent with the alias Konoha no Tsurugi's demise. You will be given ten chuunin's to do this. Should you not succeed, do not fail."
End of Flashaback
The stern voice of the serpent sannin was still clear in her mind. The last sentence meant: if he doesn't die, impair him. Then the foul mouthed girl approached the fallen boy and took out the pair of claws he had given her and raised it high to the air.
"So long, Konoha no Tsurugi," she said as she plunged the weapon to his face.
The attack would've killed if a wind blade didn't interupt the weapon's course and cut the sharp tip. Wobbly, Naruto stood up and glared at her in animalistic rage no one had ever seen before from the perpetually smiling boy who was healing at a frightening rate from his wounds.
The blond boy's aura went more demonic as blades of wind shot out at short intervals from all around him and more than a few struck the girl.
'Looks like this is it,' she thought. Looking at the face of the now red eyed juggernaut drained her hopes of surviving as he walked closer to her. He reeled his fist back to punch a haymaker to the brown eyed girl and shot it out faster than any kunai would.
But, mere inches from her face, the fist dropped and so did the boy as a talisman was placed on his nape. Tayuya looked at her 'saviour' that was none other than one of her subordinates that she was sure had died.
But, considering his present state, the man was as good as dead, seeing his missing arm and torn leg. "Run, Tayuya-sama. Don't let our sacrifice be in vain," he croaked out.
Not one to lose chances, the red haired girl quickly ran away to report back to her superior, the serpent sennin, Orochimaru about the situation. She didn't turn back even after hearing the chuunin's body being crushed and a bestial roar.
"Forgive me, Orochimaru-sama," the girl said, kowtowing to her superior as deep as she could.
"What's there to forgive? You didn't succeed, yet you didn't fail; just like what I told you," the effeminate man said, "Now leave, go to the infirmary and patch yourself up."
'So, he's still alive, eh? No matter. The pieces are being played as I wish it to anyway,' the pale man thought.
Konohagakure's ninja only hospital, three days later
Naruto groaned loudly, holding his bandaged head and scanned around his room. The hospital ward was plain white in every single spot, as if boasting its cleanness. Everything was white, the sheets, the curtain, the walls, the ceiling, everything. Well, everything save for the other occupant of the room who was reading a book.
"Sai," he greeted.
"Welcome back to the realm of the living," the dark haired boy said back.
"So, how are you feeling?" he asked as he stood up from his chair.
"I've been through worse," the blond said.
"I see. You know, Danzou-sama was quite worried about you for a while. But, after seeing those weapons you brought back, he surmised that you completed the mission," the smiling boy said. "By the way, what are you going to do now?"
"Plotting," Naruto replied.
Naruto's smile grew wider and more devious as he said one word, "Revenge."
The blond's life after his discharge from the hospital went the same way as it was before for four years, doing missions, killing people, scavenging and modifying weapons, learning new ways to harness his wind and air manipulation and his ever growing telekinetic abilities.
'Life's boring,' he thought from his spartan room. 'I wonder if today Danzou-sama's going to give me a more worthy challenge.'
In his boredom, the living weapon laid around on his bed, thinking about the many possible ways of modifying his weapons and the whereabouts of that red haired bitch, Tayuya who betrayed him those four years ago.
He was so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn't realize a knocking from his door. In a leisurely pace, he walked to the wooden door and opened it, only to see a messenger from his boss, Danzou with a letter on his hand.
Naruto took the letter graciously from the messenger and told him to wait for a minute for the boy to give him a tip. The white clad messenger told him it wasn't necessary, but the blue eyed boy insisted and the man waited for a while.
Just before the door shut, the blond boy strafed to the right before he outstretched a hand to pull the messenger in and slammed the envoy to the wall, pinning him.
"Did anyone follow you?" he asked.
"No, no one did," came the answer albeit a terrified one at that.
The living weapon gave a faint nod before digging his hands into his pants pocket and took out a weapon, shaped almost like Sarutobi Asuma's trench knives. It was a cross between a brass knuckle and a curved knife. The weapon had four spikes, one on each knuckle, each was an inch long and the metal grip was attached to a curved knife on top, near the wielder's thumb. The blade was so curved, it almost looked like a scythe. The weapons Naruto had a pair he called 'Kouga', 'tiger's fang'.
Without saying a word, he lodged the blade into the envoy's neck and pried it loose, spraying blood everwhere. After Naruto cleaned the blood on his fingers and weapon, he tore the envelope carefully, fearing he trigger a booby trap in it. Finding none, the blond took out the letter and read it: 'Momochi Zabuza spotted in Nami no Kuni. Assist team 7 and eliminate target. Go to mission assignment building and get detailed information regarding this matter and commence mission at this day, exactly one hour after information is given.'
The boy was intrigued. How come Danzou asked him to do this B-rank mission? Momochi Zabuza was a free nuke-nin, coming and going as he pleased, rarely attacked people or robbed. Then, he remembered; Nami no Kuni was a transit point for every ship and carrieage that connected Hi no Kuni and Mizu no Kuni.
Wasting no time, the blond strapped his gear and went to the mission assignment building.
Upon his entry of the building, Naruto came across a couple of frantic looking old men. Ignoring the sight, he looked towards the Hokage and stepped closer before he kneeled and asked, "Did you call for me, Hokage-sama?"
"Ah, Tsurugi-san, indeed I do. I trust you know about Team 7's condition?" the elderly man asked back. In professional terms, they always use Naruto's code name
"Yes sir, they are in a B-rank mission and encountered Kirigakure no Kijin, correct?"
"Yes. Now, for the reason why you were chosen as reinforcement…"
"Sir, permission to speak freely," the blond man cut him off.
"Allow me to guess, it's because Uchiha Sasuke is in team 7 and as of now is in danger. Am I wrong in any of this?"
"No, as a matter of fact, you are correct," the old man nodded.
"So then, my mission is to rescue Uchiha Sasuke and eliminate Momochi Zabuza and his accomplice if any?" the blue eyed lad asked.
"Yes, it would help if you make sure all of team 7 is safely back, but to the council, Uchiha is the priority."
"Hai," with that said, the blond boy stood up, turned on his heel and wallked out the building, taking note of the last information Sarutobi-sama told him, "In team 7, there is already a casualty. From Hatake Kakashi, as their jounin sensei's last report, he is seriously wounded and would die."
Nami no Kuni, Tazuna's house, two days later at night
Naruto knocked the door of the sturdy, yet seemingly run down residence of the 'super famous' bridge builder, Tazuna. When he got in, he was greeted by a beautiful woman of around 30 years of age.
"Excuse me, but does the ninja from Konohagakure live here?" the boy asked politely, showing his hitai-ate as an ID.
"Yes, come in," the woman said, "May I ask your name so I can tell them that a guest is expecting them?"
"Of course. Just tell Hatake Kakashi that Tsurugi is here. He knows about me," the blue eyed boy said.
Wordlessly, the masked boy followed the woman who identified herself as Tsunami to one particular room in the second floor. The black haired woman knocked on the door twice and got in. After explaining to the inhabitants of the room that a person known as 'Tsurugi' is there to see them, Tsunami went out again and told Naruto to go in, then she left to prepare dinner.
Naruto looked at the condition of team 7 and analyzed them; Hatake Kakashi: current status: chakra depletion, time required to recover: give or take another three days; Uchiha Sasuke: perfectly fine, other than fatigue and several bruises; Haruno Sakura: quite shaken, no visible physical ailment; Kagechiyo Seki: cuts amost every where, but will live through.
"Tsurugi-san," Kakashi greeted. "Nice surprise, I never thought Hokage-sama would send you here."
"Kakashi-san," Naruto replied, "Bad surprise, not only did you lie to the Hokage and I at an extent, your first team looked battered."
"Well, I have no other way. If we didn't ask for reinforcement, no doubt one of them will die," the silver haired man said calmly, gesturing to his team. The three genin's were shooting the tall jounin dirty looks, which he ignored.
"Very well, but I will only help if you are near death. Now then, please excuse me," the blond replied, exiting the room.
"Who was that guy, Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura asked.
"That guy is someone you don't wanna mess with," the silver haired jounin said.
"Is he just short or is he young? He looks too short for an ANBU," Sasuke asked, enquiring further information for this potential ally or potential foe.
"Oh, he's young. Around your age, I believe."
"WHAT? Around our age and an ANBU?" Seki yelled. This outburst gained angry looks from everyone in the room, which he shot back with a confused, "What?"
Kakashi sighed in annoyance and shook his head, "Seki, didn't I tell you back when we fought against Zabuza, 'there are people younger than you, but stronger than me'? That guy, Tsurugi is one of the concrete proofs."
"Then, just how strong is he?" Uchiha asked.
"If he doesn't hold back, not even the whole Konoha ANBU force would survive," the copy nin said ominously.
Dinner, Tazuna's house
Sasuke was eating like a starved man, so did Seki who wolfed his food down like there was no tomorrow. In less than thirty seconds, they finished their plates and puked them out soon afterwards.
"Hey, if you can't keep it down, don't eat. You're wasting food," Sakura reprimanded.
"No, I need food to continue training," Sasuke said back.
"Yeah, me too," Seki agreed.
Their 'peaceful' dinner was cut short by a short boy wearing a bucket hat and overalls of around six years of age who said tauntingly, "Why do you keep trying? You guys will be killed by Gatou and his men anyway."
"Shut it, kid, we're not like you," the brown haired Seki said.
"That's right; you don't know what pain is," the black haired boy said, "If I were you, I would just give up."
Kakashi decided to cut the argument short as he told them, "Well, you don't need to worry. After all, aside from me, you also have Konoha's living weapon on our side."
"Aside from me? Then what the hell are we? Chopped liver?" the pink haired genin whispered to both her teammates who nodded in agreement with both boys showing different emotions: Sasuke with anger in his eyes and Seki with annoyance.
In irritation, the boy whom Tsunami later intorduced as her son, Inari stood up from his chair, excused himself from the group, and went to the roof for some alone time after telling them how futile it was to fight against Gatou.
Roof of Tazuna's House
Naruto was standing on the tip of the roof with his blue eyes closed and let the night air hit his face in full force, as he had taken off his mask and hood. The blond boy inclined his face upwards, looking at the moon that shone brightly in the sky.
Hearing footsteps, the living weapon turned to the staircase that led to the roof. He saw Inari climbing it with his arms and almost lost his grip.
The black haired boy looked at the mysterious stranger who stood atop his house and asked, like any ordinary people, "Who are you?"
The blond ignored the question and disappeared into the lack of the night, leaving only a swirl of wind and leafs in his wake.
The next day
Kakashi flexed his hand and saw that they worked properly, not limited like before. Then, he tried walking without his crutches and suceeded as well. He left the house and told his team to follow him and Tazuna to the bridge with one thought in his mind, 'The time is near.'
Sasuke and Seki had both succesfully ran up the tree Kakashi told them to climb with their chakra. Sasuke first and three hours later, Seki. Both of them didn't care about the time and returned to Tazuna's house where they rest and recuperate, preparing for the battle that would take place on the next day.