Sorry for the late update, people! I have a case of writer's block for this story, and not to mention the recent economical downturn, and I'm literally spending every single day just looking for jobs. And now, after an entire month, I'm still trying to find a job.
Disclaimer: Parts of this story will have settings and events taken out from various anime like Get Backers and Jigoku Shoujo, but I do not own any of them, nor do I own Naruto or any characters in this story save for OC characters
Chapter Three: The Prophecy
It had been nearly two years since then.
Two years since nearly the entire street gang Blade had perished in the city of Hagako. Two years since Namikaze Shiki had met Hyuuga Hinata and Hyuuga Neji. Two years since they have rescued the Sabaku siblings from the hands of Orochimaru. Two years since then…
And now, two years after everything has happened can find the six of them at the town of Nakawa, a small seaport town located near the sea. For the past week or so, their boathouse – Phoenix – was docked at the sea docks.
The first month after they have rescued Gaara, Temari and Kankuro, the three siblings have spent that entire month recuperating from their ordeal, with Shiki's godfather, Jiraiya, paying the three a visit. Fortunately for the three siblings, Shiki had managed to reverse the mutation process done to them just in time. Needless to say, Orochimaru was furious when his three 'samples' have escaped, but by the time that Orochimaru had found out about their escape, the six of them have long gone from the town of Hikawa.
In order to feed themselves and to get themselves by, the six of them have become mercenaries for hire, and Shiki had plenty of contacts all over the place and can easily get themselves jobs or even find jobs for others. This was how the six of them have been supporting themselves so far, and they never stayed long at one place in fear that Orochimaru or the ANBU may find them – for even though Shiki may only be defending herself and her friends back then, she still did commit murder in the end.
The group may only be ten years old right now, with a few of them being only a year or two older, but they were still nin-users, and once fact of this got out, people will be flocking to them like bees to honey. Hence the reason why the six of them usually kept quiet about their abilities, and they were all more than capable of defending themselves even without their nin-abilities…part of what they each had to go through growing up.
Gaara, Temari and Kankuro have also told them a little of their history, though Shiki was the only one who knew the whole story – since like the other two, they found Shiki easy to talk to despite her 'lone wolf' side, and somehow, something about her attracted people to her.
Both the Sand siblings' parents have died when they were small children because of the civil war, and they went on the streets then…doing what most children their age do when they were made orphans all of a sudden – becoming street punks. The three siblings were A-class nin-users like Shiki, Neji and Hinata, though like the three of them, they were bound to grow stronger in terms of powers once they're older.
It was getting late that night and rain was falling quite heavily, the raindrops pattering down onto the rooftop and the windows of the boathouse. The radio was put on, and music filled the entire boathouse, being switched to a radio channel which plays different kinds of music, something which all of them liked.
Hinata and Temari were huddled together on a couch on the first storey of the boathouse, discussing about nothing in particular. Neji and Gaara were having a game of shougi, being seated at the table in the 'kitchen area' of the boathouse. Kankuro was reading a book that he had with him whilst Shiki was seated on the windowsill, reading a novel, before she distinctly heard the sounds of bells, and her head jerked up, her eyes wide.
She knew the signs.
For some reason, Shiki can always detect the presence of other nin-users – unlike all the other nin-users that she'd met in the past. The sounds of the bells that only she alone could hear are the signs of a nin-user being in the vicinity. The louder the sound of the bells, the more powerful that they are.
And the sound of the bells that she'd heard a moment earlier was quite loud and clear – nearly the exact same sound that she'd heard the time when she'd met Hinata and Neji in Hagako. Shiki looked out of the window that she's currently sitting by, but she could hardly make anything out through the heavy downpour in the dark streets of Nakawa. Not one of them were willing to go out in this terrible weather as they have no wish to get blown off by the strong wind.
Everyone looked up and turned their heads around towards the direction of the door. Kankuro closed his book with a light clap, eyeing the door with a frown. No one knew that they were in Nakawa, not even Jiraiya, Shiki's godfather, who was the only one in the entire world who knew that they were together. Even Shiki's remaining surviving ex-gang members of Blade didn't know where she is, only that she's still alive.
"Who could it be?" asked Temari with a frown before Neji turned off the radio, and Shiki got down onto the ground and walked towards the door, opening it a slight crack with the chain latched to the inside of the boathouse still, quite wary of the visitor that they're going to get – the lot of them are nin-users, after all, and the lot of them were killers in a way.
"Who is it?" asked Shiki suspiciously.
A voice came through the door, and everyone in the boathouse heard what the owner of said voice said clearly.
Shiki's eyes widened, and the door came flying outwards without any warning, nearly smashing her visitor's face in. Thankfully, said visitor had quite good reflexes and stepped out of the way just in time.
Everyone could now see that their visitors consisted of a tall man with black hair and bandages concealing the lower part of his face, wearing a sleeveless black shirt and blue-gray pants with black boots with a zanpato on his back beneath a black raincoat with the hood currently down. Beside him was a dark haired girl around Shiki's age, wearing a dark raincoat, holding onto Zabuza's hand, staring at Shiki with wide eyes.
Shiki stared at Zabuza and to the girl by his side, then to Zabuza and back to the girl again. The bell chimes sounded once more quite loudly – as if it is ringing next to Shiki's ears, and she knew for sure that the girl is the nin-user whose presence she had detected some time ago.
"Zabuza?" muttered Shiki, staring at Zabuza, either not noticing or ignoring the rest of her friends who have came up from behind her, staring at the two curiously. "How did you find me? And what are you doing here?"
"I need a favour, Shiki." Zabuza stated, and Shiki frowned before opening the door fully and stepping aside to allow them in.
"Doesn't sound like something that we ought to speak about out here," said Shiki. "Come in." Zabuza and the girl with him entered the boathouse, and raised an invisible eyebrow at seeing the others inside. "These are my friends. Gaara. Temari. Kankuro. Neji. Hinata." She gestured towards each of them as she spoke, and Zabuza nodded. "This is Momochi Zabuza and…" Shiki trailed off, looking at the girl with Zabuza.
"Haku. Shisei Haku."
Hinata stepped forward, taking Haku by the hand. "I'll take her to get a fresh change of clothes and a warm bath," said Hinata before Temari stepped forwards as well, and the two girls led Haku up the stairs to the shower.
"We'll be in our room, Shiki," said Neji, getting the unspoken message that Shiki had sent across before gathering up the shougi set from the table before heading up the stairs with Gaara and Kankuro close behind him.
Shiki and Zabuza waited until they heard the sounds of their individual room doors closing before Shiki turned towards Zabuza and gestured him towards the direction of the 'kitchen area' of the boathouse and threw him a towel to towel dry his hair.
"So, what is it?" asked Shiki, brewing a hot cup of coffee before giving it to Zabuza to warm himself up. "And who is that girl? I never knew that you had a kid."
Zabuza nearly choked on his coffee when he heard this and looked at Shiki who was sitting on the kitchen counter. "No, she's not my kid," said Zabuza. "She's my friend's daughter – a former member of the Mist."
The Mist is an underground secret mercenary organisation for hire which members consisted of the best and strongest sword fighters in the world. But because that mercenary group is so secretive, very few knew of their existence, but their influence in the underground is equivalent to that of the ANBU.
Shiki glanced at Zabuza. "What happened?" she asked. "And how did you find me?"
"I utilised the usage of the Mist's spy network," said Zabuza with a shrug. "It wasn't easy to find you, I can tell you." He then sighed, before beginning to tell his story. "Haku…she's…Ayumi's daughter. A former member of the Mist. Ayumi left the Mist a few years in order to get married to her boyfriend who didn't know that she's a member of the Mist. But then, about six months ago, Ayumi wrote a frantic letter to me. She kept in constant contact with me even though she had left the Mist, and told me of her daughter's birth. A few months ago, Ayumi wrote to me, telling me that her daughter is a nin-user with remarkably powerful abilities over ice and water. Ayumi has no objections against nin-users, seeing as how we often worked together with nin-users back during our time as mercenaries during the war. Her husband, on the other hand, is not. I knew what would happen if her husband ever found out, and immediately rushed over to assist Ayumi. But I was too late."
"Her husband somehow found out about Haku's abilities and formed a mob in the village that they're staying in to kill his own daughter!" Zabuza banged one fist down on the table in fury. Shiki can understand why as well, seeing as how Zabuza and Ayumi were best friends and childhood sweethearts. She's met Ayumi once as well when she was about four, and liked her a lot. In fact, she knew that Zabuza had always liked Ayumi in the romantic sense, but unfortunately, Fate decided otherwise. "Ayumi tried her best to protect her daughter, but she failed. I arrived just in time to see Haku's ice abilities kicked in to protect herself, and she killed every single person that had came after her and her mother…killing her own parents in the process."
Shiki sighed. "I see…" she said. "I know what you intend to do by bringing her here. I'll take her in, Zabuza. And is the Mist still around, even after the war?"
Zabuza nodded. "Not all of us, actually. Kisame left too after the war. Said something about having enough to deal with the killings that we have to handle on an everyday basis during the war. I'm still with the Mist, but of the original seven that made up the Mist, only five of us are left."
"I ran into Sumaru and the other two a while back," said Zabuza, and Shiki tensed up a little. "I saw…the graves at Hagako as well. Sumaru told me everything that has happened. Is that the reason why you left?" He gave a jerk of his head towards the mark of a small white nine-tailed fox with red eyes and red tips to it's tails – part of the mark just visible above Shiki's right breast – partially covered by the shirt that she's wearing.
Shiki closed shut her jacket around her body, but knew that Zabuza had already seen the mark. The Mist is the one organisation that Shiki knew about that knew the most about the Bijuu Nine – the gods of creation – and the prophecy that they have left behind.
"…something like that."
"It has fully awakened then?" Zabuza stated more than asked, and Shiki nodded.
"It's only a matter of time before they start moving and start moving in on the cursed children," said Shiki. She then gave a bitter laugh. "The cursed children…the descendants and chosen ones of the gods of creation."
"And regarding 'that' which you have asked me and the others to check up on…" said Zabuza, causing Shiki to look at him. "The snake and the hawk are both starting to make their move. Even if you can find and seal all nine shrines away, it'll still only delay the inevitable."
"I know that," said Shiki with a sigh. "But it's better than doing nothing at all. Finding the shrines is easier said than done, though. We don't even have so much as a single clue. Where are we supposed to start looking?"
Zabuza looked serious at this point in time. "Shiki, about that…I think that it's best if you tell your friends about this," he said. "They're your friends, and they deserve to know about what you're trying to do. And I know for sure that they won't allow you to do it by yourself. Myself and the Mist are the same way when we're kids."
Zabuza then gave a sigh and got up. "The Mist will give you a hand. We owed you lots, Shiki." He sighed. "But be careful. I should also probably make a move soon," he said. "I have to get back to base."
"Why don't you stay for the night?" asked Shiki. "It's dangerous to go anywhere in this heavy downpour."
"Don't worry, I'll be fine," said Zabuza before tugging on his raincoat, and turning his head to look at Shiki. "Take care of Haku for me."
Shiki nodded. "May the Goddess watch your steps, Zabuza."
"And may she guide you in the shadows," said Zabuza before he left.
Shiki then sighed as the door shut before turning towards some random direction where she distinctly saw a sand eye hidden somewhere behind the curtains of the window even before Zabuza had started on his story. "Gaara, get the others down here now," she said. "I need to tell you guys something."
In a few moments, Gaara and the others were down on the first storey of the boathouse, along with one Shisei Haku, all of them looking quite sheepish at the fact that Shiki knew all along that they've been eavesdropping, not that they think that they can eavesdrop on Shiki and Zabuza's conversation without either one of the two knowing.
Haku knew that Zabuza had left her with Shiki for her own protection, but it didn't make things any easier for her. The only thing that comfort her is the fact that all of them here were nin-users like her, and that Zabuza had told her during their journey here that she can trust Shiki. And her own mother had told her countless times in the past that she can trust Zabuza and his judgement as well.
Now, half-an-hour later, all of them were staring at Shiki with wide eyes and opened mouths at the story that she'd just told them which almost seemed like a story out of some book. The only thing that told them that Shiki is completely serious and that that's the whole truth is the fact that all of them knew that Shiki won't lie about this sort of thing, and that she's got a deadly serious expression on her face.
Gaara rubbed his temples, feeling an oncoming headache. "Let me get this straight," he said. "Orochimaru and this Danzo guy – the leaders of the Oto (Sound) and Ne (Root) organisations respectively have been trying to gain the power of the nine gods of creation under their control, but have been unsuccessful so far, and that you've been trying to find a way to stop them as well?"
Shiki nodded. "Something like that," she said. "Originally, the nin-users are people with powers granted to them by the Bijuu Nine themselves – the gods of creation. But as time went by, the people forgot about this fact and the sacrifice that they've made for us, and started treating the nin-users like freaks and monsters." She sighed. "And the prophecy that they've left behind…" She glanced at Kankuro. "Kankuro, do you know of Loveless?"
Kankuro blinked, hearing Shiki speak of this popular play which book that he's never seen Shiki without once. "Loveless? That tragic play? Yeah, I know of it. But what about it?"
"Do you know that Loveless is originally a prophecy?" asked Shiki solemnly, and everyone blinked. Haku frowned a little. Her mother had often told her the stories regarding the nine gods of creation as bedtime stories, and the Loveless play had came up once, and her mother had said the same thing that Shiki did. "It was written over two thousand years ago by the gods of creation themselves – the Bijuu Nine."
"The duel between the friends," said Kankuro slowly, his memory kicking in regarding one of the last parts of Loveless which he'd read. Unlike Shiki, he's not a Loveless maniac, and had only ever read Loveless once, but didn't like it much because of it's tragic story. He looked up at Shiki. "One flies away, one dies, and the last becomes a hero. But in one of the last parts of the story, the two survivors fought. The two friends duelled."
Shiki nodded, and the rest of her friends looked from her to Kankuro. "And how did the duel ends?" asked Neji slowly, nearly afraid to know the answer.
Shiki gave a light shrug. "No one knows," she said. "The last act is still missing. But there are several variations of the ending, since Acts Four and Five of Loveless went something like this:"
My friend, the fates are cruelThere are no dreams, no honour remainsThe arrow has left the bow of the goddess
My soul, corrupted by vengeanceHath endured torment, to find the end of the journeyIn my own salvationAnd your eternal slumber
Legend shall speakOf sacrifice at world's endThe winds sail over the water's surfaceQuietly, but surely
Even if the morrow is barren of promisesNothing shall forestall my returnTo become the dew that quenches the landTo spare the sands, the seas, the skiesI offer thee, this silent sacrifice
Everyone stared at Shiki as she ended the poem, and Kankuro finally broke the silence. "Damn Shiki, did you swallow the book whole or something?"
Shiki developed a tick on her forehead, and everyone laughed, hence breaking the sudden tense atmosphere. Hinata fell serious, and looked at Shiki with a solemn expression. "Then the experiments performed on Gaara, Temari and Kankuro by Orochimaru nearly two years ago…" She trailed off. "Could it be…?"
"Yeah," said Shiki with a nod. "S-class nin-users are extremely rare. The highest class that most nin-users can reach are A-class. There is a reason for it." She looked at her friends. "S-class nin-users refer to the nin-users who were the chosen ones by the nine gods of creation – the Bijuu Nine. They're the direct descendants of the gods of creation themselves. The reason why Orochimaru went after Gaara, Temari and Kankuro is because the damned snake knew that they're the direct descendants of the Ichibi no Shukaku – the god of wind and sand of the Bijuu Nine, and their abilities proved it. Those direct descendants of the Bijuu Nine were called 'Guardians', and they are given stronger nin abilities compared to all the other nin-users. That's probably why Orochimaru targeted them. Haku, Hinata and Neji…you're the direct descendants of the Nanabi no Orochi – the water god." Shiki sighed. "Your powers…haven't fully awakened yet. That's why their Mark hasn't appeared on you yet."
"And you?" asked Temari carefully. "What…is your power?"
There was a long silence before Shiki answered. "The greatest of the nine gods. The Creator himself, and the leader of the Bijuu Nine." She pulled down part of her shirt to show the mark that she had just above her right breast. "The Kyuubi no Youko – the master of the mind and manipulator of the five elements. But it's precisely because the powers that were granted to me were too powerful that I can hardly control it. I learned how to when I was around six or seven. That's when Blade was formed, and I…came to Hagako."
"And Orochimaru and this Danzo…" said Haku slowly. "What do they plan to do?"
"The Demon God," said Shiki. "They plan to revive him by using the power of the nine gods of creation. While the Bijuu Nine is the 'ying' of this world, the Demon God is the 'yang'. His power is equivalent to the power of all nine of the Bijuu Nine. That's how powerful he is. The Demon God…the Fallen One. He was spoken about only in legends, but he's very much real. Even if I can stop Orochimaru and Danzo from executing their plan, I can only delay the inevitable. It's in the prophecy that the Bijuu Nine have left behind. 'The Demon God will return one day.' Even if I can come up with a way to stop the Fallen One from reviving, it can only delay the inevitable."
"What is that way?" asked Gaara carefully. "The way to stop the Demon God temporarily."
"Find all nine of the Bijuu Nine shrines and seal it away," said Shiki. "Each shrine is created by the gods themselves when they were still around. Hence, it's protected by all kinds of wards and barrier magic so that most humans can't pinpoint it's exact location. But they'll allow the chosen ones of the Bijuu Nine entry. The only problem is finding it. Those are the shrines of the Bijuu Nine, after all. Finding it can't be easy."
"We'll give it a try," said Neji, speaking up. "Nothing is impossible as long as we're together. But first…"
Shiki nodded. "Yeah. We have to find the other descendants of the Bijuu Nine. We have the Kyuubi, the Nanabi, and the Ichibi." She ticked the points off on her fingers. "Even if we can't find all, it's enough if we can find at least five of the descendants of the Bijuu Nine."
It was nearly three in the morning when the rain finally stopped and Shiki decided to take a walk around the beach of Nakawa. The stars were out and shining like diamonds in the velvety black sky. It was a clear night without any clouds, especially since it was so soon after a heavy downpour.
Looking at the sea and listening to the sounds of the waves always calms Shiki down, probably part of the reason why she'd decided to build a boathouse and go travelling.
And it was when Shiki was standing at the beach, looking at the waves, when she heard a sweet melodious voice sounding through the air.
Wasure taku nai koto naraOboeyou to shinaku temoWasureru koto nante naiSou shizuka ni kanjiru
Are wa aru samui hi deTsuyoi ame no nakaBoku wa tada kimi dake oMachi tsuzukete ita
Moshi ima ga boku no owariDatta to shitara sore demoKamawanai to omoeru hodoNani mo kowaku nakatta
Shiawase ni warai auHitobito ga boku noSugu soba o nando demoToori nuketa kedo
Hitori kiri kasa mo nakuTachi tsukusu boku waDare yori mo odayaka niHohoende ita
Kogoeru te o kazashiteArawareta kimi o miteNakidashi sou ni natta no waKanashimi no sei ja nai
Bokutachi o isshun noHikari ga terashitaKorekara no yuku michi oIwau kano you ni
-Rainy Night by Ayumi Hamasaki
Shiki followed the sound of the voice only to led her straight to a certain raven haired ice maiden seated by the cliff of the sea, her knees drawn up to her chest, singing the song that Shiki had just heard a moment earlier.
"That's a nice song," commented Shiki, and Haku gave a start and turned around, startled, as she didn't expect any audience to her singing. "Don't stop. That's a nice song."
"Yeah. It's my favourite song," said Haku softly as Shiki sat down beside her, both girls looking at the waves. "My mother taught me several songs, and this song was my favourite as we used to sing this together. I loved music ever since I was a kid."
"Me too," said Shiki before Haku gave a start and stared at Shiki before the girl in question drew out a small silver flute with the ends in blue, and a dark blue tassel braided rope hanging from the end. "My old gang members knew this too, and about a year before they were killed in the tragedy at Hagako, they made this for me. Or at least, Riku did, and the others scrimped in whatever money that they had to get the materials that Riku needed to make the flute. This is my last memory of them."
"I'm sorry," said Haku sincerely, and Shiki shook her head, placing the flute back into her pouch.
"Don't be," said Shiki. "It wasn't your fault." She then got up and dusted off her clothes. "Come on, let's go back."
A week later found the seven of them in the city of Hakawa, a place with the same reputation as that of Hagako. It was raining lightly when the boathouse drew into the ports, and the skies were dark with dark clouds.
Getting off the boathouse after locking it up and securing it properly to the docks, the seven of them decided to do the usual – scouting, getting food supplies, and maybe any job offers for them to do. Temari, Haku and Haku paired up together whilst Neji went with Kankuro and Gaara went with Shiki.
And it was whilst Shiki and Gaara were both heading towards the western side of the city when the sounds of bells started going off in Shiki's head, and she froze in her step. She wasn't the only one. Gaara had frozen in his steps as well as there was an unmistakably strong surge of nin-power and energy in the air – something which no one but a high A-class, maybe S-class nin-user was capable of doing.
A couple of teenagers several years older than them ran past them just then, majority of them screaming something about 'Lightning Hands', and covered from head to toe in lightning burns. Shiki and Gaara exchanged looks.
They have heard about the Lightning Hands of Hakawa City.
The Lightning Hands is the leader of the most feared gang in Hakawa City with both gang and leader having a reputation like that of Shiki, who was known as the Tenkou (Queen of Heaven) back then, and Blade in Hagako City.
Gaara and Shiki both then caught the sound of lightning cackling, and lightning started flashing across the skies before both exchanged looks and walked towards the initial direction where they knew the person emitting the energy was at. In fact, Shiki was surprised that ANBU hasn't came here yet when there was such a powerful nin-user in Hakawa. Then again, they were probably fried alive by this particular nin-user if they did come here.
Soon, Gaara and Shiki came upon the sight of a creamy blonde haired girl who seemed a year or two older than them standing in the middle of the street, dead bodies lying all around her, and lightning and electricity was cackling around her.
Shiki frowned. She knew instantly who this girl is – one of the Guardians – the descendants of one of Bijuu Nine.
'So that's the Lightning Hands, huh?'
The girl looked at Shiki and Gaara both, and Shiki frowned inwardly at the cold and dead look in her eyes. It reminded Shiki herself of what she was like back during her days in Blade before she'd met Hinata and Neji, then followed by Gaara, Temari, Kankuro and Haku. However unwilling she might be, those six still managed to get through to her icy heart and thaw out her icy interior.
"Who are you? Are you enemies of BOLT?" asked the girl, and from within the shadows, a teen older than her stepped up next to her, casting Gaara and Shiki wary looks. "If you are indeed enemies, then I'll advise you to leave…" Lightning started cackling around her. "…if you don't want to die."
The guy with the girl threw a blade at Gaara and Shiki both with alarmingly fast speed and accuracy, but not fast enough as the two managed to see it coming, and Gaara quickly covered both himself and Shiki with sand.
The eyes of the girl and the guy widened in slight shock and horror, and the girl allowed her lightning to die. "A nin-user?" she muttered. "Are both of you nin-users as well?"
"Yes," said Shiki with a nod. "We'd just gotten into town, and we thought that we detected the energy and power of a remarkably powerful nin-user and decided to investigate." That wasn't the complete truth, but it wasn't a lie either.
"I see…" said the girl slowly. "In that case, it'll be rude of me to not give my name. I'm Yugito. Nii Yugito. And this is my friend. Kirabi."
"Gaara-san and Shiki-san…it might sound rude of me, but what are both of you doing here?"
"Taking a vacation."
The looks on Yugito and Kirabi's faces told them that they didn't believe a single word of it.
"Yugito." Yugito turned towards Shiki who had spoken. "Your power…you can't control it, can you? The lightning marks…" She gestured towards the lightning burns on several parts of the streets and the buildings. "It shows that you can't control your power."
"I don't need you to tell me that!" snapped Yugito. "My power…it scares me sometimes. I not only can control the lightning. There are two other powers that I can use, but I'd rather not tell you since I can't be sure if you're friend or foe just yet. But when I started using my powers…if I give in to it too much, I'll black out, and when I 'wake up', I'll find people telling me things that I'd supposedly done when I'm out cold."
Shiki knew instantly what Yugito was going through since she'd gone through the exact same thing as well before she managed to get her powers under control. Total Submission. It's a case that happens when a nin-user is unable to control their powers effectively, and their subconscious took over their body temporarily.
"Then Yugito." Yugito looked at Shiki and raised an eyebrow. "Do you want to come along? Are you not lonely? Even with your gang, you're totally alone, aren't you? No one understands you and believed you when you said that you never meant to harm anyone. They're afraid of you, aren't you?"
"I…can't leave," said Yugito hesitantly. "And they need me here."
"I see. I'll be around if you ever change your mind."
With that, Shiki turned around and started to walk back to the boathouse with Gaara by her side.
"You really want her to join us?" asked Gaara hesitantly once Yugito and Kirabi were out of earshot. "I mean, that Yugito girl isn't like any of us. She wasn't abandoned or in dire situations like the rest of us. She has a life here, though I admit that it's not much of a life."
"I'm just extending an invitation to her," said Shiki. "She'll join us soon enough if what she saw earlier is true."
Gaara stared at her. "What do you mean?" he asked.
"I can read minds, Gaara, you know that," said Shiki, and Gaara nodded. Mind reading is a power that Shiki closed off most of the time, and she only used it when she has no other choice. "Yugito's power isn't only lightning. She has two other powers – kind of like myself in a way. Her god is a special one – one of the three gods of the universe – Nature, Creation and Death. Yugito…has the power to see the future. The moment that she saw us, she saw a horrible future awaiting her own gang. That's why she turned down the offer to join us and why she seemed so apprehensive and uncomfortable earlier."
"What did she see?"
Shiki's answer nearly gave Gaara cardiac arrest.
"Death and total elimination."
One week later:
"Yeah," said Shiki, nodding, pulling on her raincoat in the boathouse, with the rest of her group sitting on the couches on the first storey of the boathouse, with Hinata trying to ease the major migraine that she's currently suffering from. "Hinata has the power of healing. Likewise, she can sense spirits, and is empathic, in a way, which means that she has the ability to sense emotions. A while back, she sensed a great number of spirits suddenly departing, and the strong negative feelings of a particular powerful nin-user. Fear, anger, revenge…lots of them. And there's only one known nin-user that we knew of in Hakawa right now."
Gaara answered that unasked question. "Yugito."
By the time that Shiki arrived on the scene whilst hiding within the shadows, she saw that most of Yugito's gang members were lying dead on the ground, their blood splattered on the ground, with the raindrops pelting down on them.
Shiki shut her eyes to shut out this image as it was almost the exact same thing that had happened to her back then in Hagako when Blade was attacked. There was a scream just then, and Shiki looked up to see the Kirabi guy take a knife in the gut for Yugito who was cradling one of the bodies of her gang members, and the attacker had on a uniform that was extremely familiar to Shiki…
Shiki's face contorted in rage. 'Ne…'
Yugito turned rage-filled eyes towards the only survivor of the attackers since majority of them lay dead on the ground, with lightning burns all over their bodies, and Shiki knew instantly what had just transpired to them.
"Just what did they ever do to you?! I'm the one that you wanted, right?! You said that you wouldn't harm them!"
The attacker smirked. "You took too long to make up your mind," he said. "Thus, our leaders decided to give you some incentive to…hurry up."
Yugito's face contorted in rage. "Damn you…!" Lightning started cackling in her hand, only for her to stop when she saw that Shiki had the guy down on his knees, one hand around the back of his neck, ready to break it in a moment's notice, faster than the eye could see.
"Don't move," said Shiki calmly.
"Don't interfere!" Yugito nearly screamed. "He's my prey!"
"You're not the only one that his master has done this to," said Shiki calmly, understanding Yugito's rage right this instant. "His master gave the orders to have my entire gang killed as well…two years ago." Yugito's face changed to one that of shock, and Shiki turned her attention towards the guy that she had in her grasp. "Is Ne working with Oto and Orochimaru?" She pulled down the collar of the coat only to see a black tattoo on his neck – part of the mark that branded Orochimaru's people – only that this mark is a fairly unusual mark with both Ne and Oto's marks combined as one.
"Like hell I will tell you!" The man spat.
"I see…" said Shiki calmly before turning towards Yugito. "Would you like to do the honours?"
"With pleasure," said Yugito coldly before a fairly ominous aura started surrounding her, and Shiki frowned inwardly. "You might want to step back. I can't control this very well yet."
Shiki nodded before stepping back, and she watched as the same ominous aura started surrounding the dead bodies on the ground before the bodies rise up on their own accord. Yugito snarled at the frightened man who looked as if he's ready to shit his own pants.
"You killed my people, so I think that it's wise if both my people and your own comrades killed you with their own hands!" she snarled. "I'm not known as the 'Death Animator' among my own gang for nothing!"
Shiki watched as the man was literally torn apart from limb by limb by the bodies that Yugito had controlled by using her powers. 'I see… So this is the power of the chosen one of the Nibi no Nekomata…the Goddess of the Underworld and the Dead.'
The bodies that Yugito was controlling fell to the ground then, and Shiki saw the messed up remains of what was once a human male. She turned her attention towards Yugito only to see the blonde on her knees in the middle of the blood-soaked and rain-filled streets, cradling Kirabi's body in her arms.
"…Kirabi…" Yugito nearly sobbed. "…I'm so sorry…! I'm so sorry!"
"…it…wasn't your fault…" Kirabi managed to choke out, knowing extremely well that he's dying. "Live…on…Yugito." And his eyes closed, never to open again.
Lightning flashed across the sky.
A long while later, Yugito felt a hand on her shoulder and turned around to see Shiki standing behind her, her hand on her shoulder, an understanding look on her face.
"I'll help you bury them at the local graveyard," she said. "If you would like my help, that is."
Yugito bowed her head slightly. "…thank you."
"…and…" Yugito looked up at Shiki only to see that the girl had an outstretched hand to her. "Would you like to come along?"
A/N: Phew! This chapter is finally done! And I hope that this gives you more insight into Yugito's past than the previous version of Blood Red Moon. Anyway, to anyone who is wondering about Itachi, don't worry, he'll make an appearance soon, but not just yet.
Preview for next chapter:
"This is your last warning… Leave and don't return…if you don't want to die."
"The ANBU in the past…they weren't always like this."
"I hate those people…those who look down on others."
"Aburame Shiri was the elder brother of Aburame Shino. The ANBU killed Aburame Shiri during the war."
"I don't understand… That guy…is he not afraid to die?"
"Shiki, when you first come here…you've got the eyes of someone drenched in cold rain."
"Why should the nin-users suffer because of the arrogance of the humans?!"
I'll list the powers of the others once the other members come into the picture, and I hope that you like this chapter, and please read and review!