Chapter Five: Demon of the Hidden Mist
A few minutes later, I finally made it to the main entrance of the village. Surprisingly, I was the first to arrive. So at least I won’t hear Sakura complain this time around. Before long, everyone else appeared, including the client. The smug, vulgar, disrespectful old geezer named Tazuna. Once everyone was at the gates, and after checking to see that we had everything we needed, we began to head out. Not long after leaving the village, we were making our way down the long dirt road when I spotted a puddle off to the side. Glancing up, I could see the clear blue sky peeping through the trees. I also noticed that there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky either.
"Okay, there's a puddle on the side of the road and it hasn't rain in weeks. Sure… that's not weird at all." I thought with sarcasm.
As I continued to move forward, I glanced back at my brother, looking at him out of the corner of my eye. Without a word, he caught my glance and simply nodded his head. I knew that whatever was going to happen, I needed to be aware of everything and everyone around me. Suddenly I caught a strange sound in the air. Right after hearing the sound, two figures appeared. They were both linked together by a spiked chain as they flew down and captured Kakashi. With that, the two pulled the chain in opposite directions, slicing Kakashi into shreds.
"Kakashi Sensei!" Sakura screams.
Suddenly, both figures appear behind Naruto and start aiming their attack towards him. However, Sasuke was able to throw a kunai, along with a shuriken, to capture the two figures. By using their own chain to hold them in place, I quickly jump forward and land on top of their arms.
Then in one quick movement, I kick both my legs out, connecting with their heads. But as soon as the chain snaps in two, they both moved out the way. One went after Sakura and Tazuna while the other went for Naruto. While Sasuke heads over to Sakura and Tazuna, I turn on my heels and head over to Naruto. But before either one could attack the others, Kakashi appears and takes them both out in an instant.
"He can be such a show off sometimes." I thought as I release a breath of relief. Nonetheless, I was glad to see that he was all right.
Once the rouge twins were dealt with, we all turned our attention on Tazuna. With that, he began to explain the true reason for requesting escorts. As he did so, the others and I began to think that this mission was far more difficult than we thought. And it was going to become harder from here on out. But even with these thoughts in our heads, we all agreed to continue on with the mission. After all, we asked for a harder mission, and here it was. We’ve already started it, so now, we had to finish it.
A few hours later, we were able to make it to the Land of Waves with any more encounters with rouge ninja. At first, the area was completely surrounded by thick, blinding fog. But after exiting a long, dimly lit tunnel, we found the area clear. Not a single wisp of fog could be seen. Once making it to a nearby dock, we climb out of the boat and proceeded to move forward. Our next destination: Tazuna’s home.
While moving along another dirt path, I glance back to see a somewhat worried look in Kakashi’s eyes. Well, worried wouldn’t exactly fit the description. He looked more focused than usual. It was as if he knew something was about to happen and was just waiting for it to do so. Or maybe he was waiting for someone to appear. Either way, his expression told me that I needed to be very cautious right now. And before I could ponder at the thought any longer, that something, or should I say someone, finally made their presence known.
"Everyone, get down!" Kakashi yells.
Hearing that command, a large board sword appears from out of nowhere, aiming straight at us. Relying on our instincts, we all dropped to the ground as the sword flew over us, eventually embedding itself deep into the trunk of a nearby tree. Moments later, a tall man appears, standing firmly on the handle of the sword with relative ease. Seeing the new threat, we all jump to our feet, our attentions focused on the man before us.
"Well, now, If it isn't Zabuza Momochi. Rogue ninja from the Village Hidden in the Mist." Kakashi states in a low tone.
"Kakashi of the Sharingan eye; did I get that right?" Zabuza asks in a guttural tone. "It's too bad huh? But you'll have to hand over the old man."
"Now quick, manji formation… Protect the bridge builder. And stay out of this fight." Kakashi instructs in a serious tone. "I taught you teamwork, so it's time to use it."
With that said; Zabuza starts to use his enhanced skills and causes the area to become surrounded in dense fog. And it wasn't normal fog. I could feel chakra lingering though it. We quickly got into formation and kept our guard up as Kakashi fought him. But suddenly, Zabuza was somehow able to appear in-between us. Just before Zabuza could hit one of us, Kakashi appears and was able to stop him from advancing. As the fight between the two Jounin continues, Zabuza was somehow able to kick Kakashi into the water and trap him inside some kind of water prison.
"Heh, I will finish you off later Kakashi." Zabuza tells him as he turns his attention towards us. "But first, I'm going to eliminate these brats of yours. Water Style: Water Clone Jutsu!" While standing there, we spotted something rising from the water. It slowly began to take shape and before long, we found it to be a water clone of Zabuza.
"This… this is not good." I thought.
"You think by wearing that headband, you can call yourselves ninja." Zabuza chuckles insanely. "When you harbored between life and death so many times that it doesn't faze you, then you may call yourself a ninja. But the only way you'll be a true ninja is when your name is in my bingo book. However, the four of you are nothing but a joke."
We watch silently as Zabuza causes the mist to shadow around him, instantly making him disappear. He was nowhere in sight and there was no way we could sense him. We were in his territory, his playing field. And because of this, it placed us at a major disadvantage. When we finally spotted him, he had already attacked Naruto, landing a devastating kick that sent him flying back. The force was able to knock his headband off in the process.
"Naruto!" Sakura and I exclaim after witnessing the attack.
"Listen! Get the bridge builder and run! You can't win this fight! He's using all of his power to keep me in this prison." Kakashi explains. "So he can only fight you with his water clone. He's water clone can travel so far, so the farther you're away from him, he won't be able to get to you. Now, run away!"
"Run away? He wants us to run away? No, no I can't. I won't! That is not an option!" I thought to myself as I clutched my hand into a fist, tightly. "No." I said quietly. "No, I'm not running away!" I grabbed a hold of my sword, drawing it from its sheath.
"You really think you can take me on?" Zabuza laughs as he grabs the hilt of his sword.
"It's like you said: Ninjas who violate the rules and fail to follow orders are considered trash. But those who do not care for and don't support their fellow teammates are worse than trash." I thought. "So I'm not leaving you behind, Kakashi sensei!" I growl. "Ninja Art: Shadow Clone Jutsu!"
With that, four clones appear beside me, grasping a sword as well. Without hesitation, we rush forward to attack Zabuza. The five of us jump into the air, simultaneously, hovering over Zabuza’s form with our swords ready. My clones attacked first, but with ease, Zabuza was able to eliminate them all with a single swing. I finally came down, aiming my attack at the rouge. But before I could land a hit, he counters my attack and was able to knock me back. After flying through the air for a few seconds, I eventually strike the ground. For a few moments, I found myself skidding across the dirt until I finally came to a stop.
"No, Kazumi-chan!" Naruto yells as he pushes himself up.
"Kazumi!" Sakura and Sasuke exclaim together.
"I'm fine." I assure them as I sat myself up, supporting myself up on one knee. "He's strong, that's a fact. But I think we can take him on if we work together. That's the answer, teamwork."
"You're right, Kazumi-chan." Naruto agrees. He suddenly takes off and heads right for Zabuza. But once he did, the clone knocked Naruto back. He slid across the ground, landing just feet away from me. When he sat up, I saw his headband in his hand.
"Naruto, are you all right?" Sakura asks.
"Yeah." He says as he places his headband back around his forehead. "If we are to save Kakashi sensei, we need to work together."
"So… Uchiha? Are you in this time or are you out?" I ask. My back was facing him while I looked back to lock eyes with him. To answer my question, the Uchiha walked forward and stood beside Naruto. "All right then."
"Then if we all agree on working together, I have a plan. You both can hear me, right?" Naruto asks as he straightens himself up.
"Yeah, I can hear you." Sasuke replies.
"As can I." I tell him. Glancing over at my raven-haired teammate, I couldn’t help but let a smirk firm on my face. “About time.” I thought.
"Ha, so you're finally thinking about teamwork, huh?" Sasuke asks him.
"Heh, like you're one to talk, Uchiha." I mumble to him. Sasuke just ignores my comment. We both listened as Naruto explained his plan.
"All right you two. Let's bring this guy down." Naruto states with a smirk.
"Yeah." Sasuke and I say together.
Just as we were about to put our plan into action, Zabuza comes forth and strikes Sasuke back. While he was pinned down, Zabuza than struck him dead in the stomach. Seeing Sasuke in trouble, Naruto and I turned to each other. We nodded and began to act.
"Ninja Art: Shadow Clone Jutsu!" Naruto and I yell.
I was able to create six clones while Naruto created an army. Zabuza got off of Sasuke and directed his attention onto us. Naruto's clones rushed in first while mine stayed back. With Kunai knives drawn, Naruto's clones came down, hard and fast, as they aimed for Zabuza. They all collided, landing right on top of him, surrounding him. Bad sadly, Zabuza was able to strike them, sending them all flying back. Naruto and his clones slid across the ground. The clones slowly disappeared, one by one. While Naruto got ready to put the second part of his plan into action, I got ready to act as well.
"Kazumi-chan! Now!" Naruto yells.
"Right!" I reply back as I shift myself into a ready position. "Let's go!" I state as I rush forward. My clones joining me. While this was happening, Naruto had revealed a large windmill blade. He tossed the weapon over to Sasuke, who successfully caught it. In the meantime, I was able to catch Zabuza's undivided attention. I managed to distract him long enough for Sasuke to act.
"Demon Wind Shuriken! Windmill of Shadows!" Sasuke states in a somewhat calm demeanor. He quickly jumps into the air and throws the blade forward.
Just as he releases the blade, Zabuza strikes me and my clones hard. The force of his attack sends me flying through the air. Ultimately, my back, as well as the back of my head, collided hard against the trunk of a nearby tree. Sliding to the ground, I just sat down with my back leaning against the tree. Forcing myself to lift my head, which felt heavy by this point, I watched in silence as the Windmill flew right pass the original Zabuza. But I quickly found that another one had appeared, aiming to strike Zabuza. However, before this one could hit the rouge, Zabuza had no choice but to jump away, which lead him to releasing his jutsu, freeing Kakashi in the process.
"Heh, the plan worked. Good work, Naruto." I mumble quietly before lowering my head. With that, I blacked out.
I wasn’t sure as to how long I've been out, but when I regained consciousness, I found myself moving. But the strange thing was the fact that I wasn't walking. I carefully lift my head to see familiar blonde hair on my right. After taking a second to register this, I quickly realized that Naruto was carrying me. I looked forward and saw Sasuke, Sakura and Tazuna carrying Kakashi. I didn't say a word as I kept my eyes forward. Without alerting Naruto, I carefully sat my head back down on his shoulder and blacked out again.
"Hn…. Ugh." I moan quietly as consciousness slowly returned to me for a second time. "Huh? …..W-Where am I?"
I carefully lift myself up from the ground and looked around. I was inside what looked like a bedroom or some kind of guestroom. As I became more aware of my surroundings, I felt something tight wrapped around my abdomen. Lifting my shirt, my eyes widen slightly when they spotted bandages covering me from the waist up. Along with my abdomen, my right hand and left shoulder was also bandaged up. I knew these injuries were caused during the fight against Zabuza. I just pulled my shirt down to cover the bandages once more. But as I did so, that’s when I realized that I wasn’t wearing my shirt. Instead of the regular blue shirt with light grey patching, I was wearing a solid black t-shirt.
I was wearing my clothing, with the exception of the black shirt. That’s when it hit me. I quickly brought my hand up to my face but quickly calmed down after finding my mask was still in place. My undershirt was gone, but to my relief, I still had my mask. While sitting there, enjoying the silence that surrounded me, I suddenly started hearing a commotion going on in the next room. Allowing curiosity to get the best of me, I slowly got to my feet. The action causes pain to flare up, forcing me to freeze and wince. After standing in place for a minute to allow the pain to subside, I straightened myself up and moved closer to the door.
As I moved closer to the door, I could begin to make out the voices. One voice in particular catches my attention. It was Kakashi. I didn’t know who, but I could tell that he was talking to someone. It wasn’t until the individual started to yell that I figured out who he was talking to.
"Sensei! What's a little training going to do?!" I hear Sakura yell. "Our enemy is a ninja you struggled against, even with the Sharingan!"
At that, I look at the door with half-lidded eyes, "Great. I regain consciousness and the first thing I get to hear is Sakura's annoying yelling." I thought sarcastically.
"Hey! Every bit of training counts. So I'm in!" Naruto states back in a determined tone. "Let's get our training started Kakashi sensei!"
After a minute, it got quiet. I quietly open the door to find the room completely empty. As I stood in the doorway, the sound of footsteps approaching catches my attention. I quietly move forward across the room and approached the next door. Just as I was about to open the sliding door, it slides open on its own. Standing there was a young woman with long black hair.
"Oh good, you're awake. Thank goodness." She says. "My name is Tsunami."
"Hello, Tsunami. I'm Kazumi." I say, greeting her back. "Um, if you don’t mind me asking. Where am I exactly?"
"You're in our home. Your teammates brought you in after your battle." She explains. "I wrapped your injuries for you and one of your teammates was kind enough to give you one of their shirts to wear."
"Oh? Who was it?" I ask in a slightly curious tone.
"The young blonde named Naruto." She answers with a small smile. "In fact, he was the one who carried you here."
"Oh, I see. Well thank you for allowing us to stay here. And thanks for wrapping my injuries." I tell her as I carefully bowed to show her my respect.
"It's no trouble." She assures me. "After all, you're helping my father, Tazuna, by protecting him as he finishes the bridge."
"We're ninja. It's what we do." I tell her. "Speaking of which, have you seen where my teammates disappeared to?"
"Oh, they're all right outside. They were about to start some training lesson." She explains.
"Okay, thank you." I say quietly.
Once more, I send Tsunami another respectful bow before walking by her so I could make my way outside. As I open the front door, I step outside to find Kakashi, Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura standing out in the yard that was near a large group of trees. Assuming that they were about to get started, I quietly moved forward to join them.