The Bijuu Wars

Phoenix Rising, and a bit more!

Neokenshin: Oy this was a heck of a chapter!

Naruto: What do you mean!

Neokenshin:Well due to my PC needing to be formatted, I had to reinstall Word. However it seems that the Spell-check didn't install...and it decided to tell me about it at 1AM!!!

Naruto:That officially sucks man.

Neokenshin: Yeah so I'm stuck doing a manual spell check. So if there's typos and mispellings, please forgive me ok. I'll have Word fixed soon, but I had to get this chapter up.

Naruto: I'm sure people will forgive you. But I wanna see what's going on with Sasuke's team. So as everyone knows, Naruto isn't owned by Neokenshin! Enjoy the new chapter!Chapter 7: Phoenix rising…and some family revelations too.

Another 2 days had passed since the Phoenix Team had arrived in the Phoenix Village. Unfortunately they were all stricken by sudden heat stroke and were pretty much incapacitated. Luckily it wasn't fatal to any of them. However it would take a while before they were stable enough to recover from the heat sickness, though Hinata had a little advantage.

"Ok…next time Haku's coming out here." Hinata slowly awoke to find that it was now early morning. "Wow, how long was I out?" She felt her forehead and noticed she was still fairly warm, but not as bad as it was before. "Looks like my Water Illumina power helped cool me a little…but why am I in my underwear!!" She did notice that she was in a large bed, but her clothes were missing. Quickly pulling the cover back over herself, she turned to notice some clothes and a note by her backpack. The note simply said, 'Wear this. It will help keep you cool while you are here.' "Hmm, well might as well do what it says. The garment turned out to be a red and orange summer yukata. Hinata could tell the fabric was much different than anything she had worn before. She also noticed it was lighter than most fabric as well. "Wow, the note was right, I feel cooler already. Well, I guess I should try to find everyone else. Hopefully they're all ok."

She left the room she was in and wandered a little through the hallways. Even though she had cooled down, she was still somewhat disoriented, so she still had a few dizzy spells. "Ugh, guess I wasn't at 100 percent just yet." Leaning on the nearby wall, she made her way down to the living area. It finally came to her that she was actually in someone's home, instead of a medical facility.

"So you're up. Wondered when you'd come out of that heat sickness," said Mai as she sipped some tea.

"Wait, who are you? And where am I?" asked Hinata.

"You're in the Phoenix Village. Hard to believe a kitsune fell to heat stroke, considering you control Foxfire. Just what is my crazed sister training you to do anyway?" Mai laughed. "I'm just kidding. Come, have a seat. You must still feel fairly weak."

"I…guess so." Hinata said, accepting the invitation. She took a seat on the sofa where she finally took a good look at her hostess. "I'm not used to so much heat. I wonder what the temperature is here anyway."

"It's a brisk 125 degrees F. (A/N I hate converting from F to C, so I'm just gonna use F)" Mai told her. "Normally it gets a lot hotter, but that's mostly due to my chakra. Oh, I haven't introduced myself to you yet Hinata."

"You…know my name?" Hinata questioned, wondering just who this woman was.

"Of course. You're Hinata Hyuuga, heiress to the clan of Hyuuga, Second Princess of the Kitsune Clan, the Water Illumina Knight, and the betrothed to Naruto Uzumaki, my nephew." Mai explained. "Akane-chan explained all of it in her letter."

"Akane-sama's letter! That was only supposed to be given to…" Hinata was feeling distressed, considering that Akane told her to give the letter directly to the Shichibi.

"Me. My name is Mai Housenka, and I'm also known as the Shichibi no Houou." Mai said with a smile. "I apologize that your first time here in the Phoenix Village ended up getting you sick."

Hinata felt a wave of relief, knowing that her mission had not been compromised. "It's ok Shichibi-sama, I was just a little worried."

"Akane-chan was right. You are very formal. I don't see why, since I'm your future…oh wait, I am your aunt! Considering you are the Second Princess of the Kitsune Clan. So Aunt Mai will be just fine." Mai said. "But you are very polite. I see you were raised well."

"Thank you…Aunt Mai." Hinata was still confused, but she just decided to go with it anyway. "So where are we?"

"My home of course. Oh and no need to worry about your friends. I've made sure they're being well cared for. Though we did have to shave that very large dog. He wouldn't have made it in this heat." Mai explained. "Hope he won't be upset."

"You shaved Akamaru!" Hinata was a little shocked, but then she realized it was kind of funny. "Boy Kiba's gonna flip out over this one!"

"I see. Well, we can catch up on small talk later. If I'm correct, you're here to set up an alliance with my village in the hopes to stop Akatsuki." Mai asked.

"We are Mai…Aunt Mai. See, right now they're out to capture you and the rest of the Bijuu. We know they have the Yonbi and Hachibi, and are in the process of sealing Shukaku." Hinata started to explain. "We can't afford to have Akatsuki get a hold of any more Bijuu."

"Hard to believe Tsukune and Shinja were captured. But of course Tsukune was so hard headed, that he rarely listened to anyone, and Shinja was so caught up on her looks that she probably underestimated her opponents. Sometimes my I still wonder how they're my little brother and sister." Mai said in grief.

"So you Bijuu…really are related?" questioned Hinata.

"Yeah, we are. Kami created all of us, so he's pretty much our father. Basically there are five girls and five boys. You've probably already heard of Ryukotsusei, the Tenbi. Well he was the first one created, then Akane-chan was next." Mai explained. "Up next came myself and my fraternal twin brother, the Sanbi. Well his human name is Daisuke Enyou (Large Ocean). You'll like him, he's very calm and serene, and he was always the polite one too. After that it was my sister Rokubi, named Makoto Shimo (Frosty Sincerity) and Ichibi, the one called Shukaku, whose real name is Hiroshi Karai (Tolerant Cylcone). Mako-chan was always the tough girl. So what if she controlled Ice, she still had a frosty disposition and always wanted to do things on her own. And Hiroshi…when he and Tsukune were together, those two were downright crazy! Everything was a major competition or fight with those two."

"Wow, they seem similar of the traits that all of us possess. Especially Makoto-sama. She seems like the kind of person that Haku-chan used to be." Hinata commented.

"Oh! I remember her. Akane-chan said she was the quiet girl of your bunch for a while. Yeah she'd really hit it off with Mako-chan." Mai said. "Oh where was I, oh yeah. The last four that came after all the rest of us were Tsukune Kido (Chicken of the Earth), the Yonbi; Shinja Kaminabi (Sacred Serpent of the Forest), the Hachibi; Inuyasha Shiden, the Gobi; and Yugito Nii, the Nibi. Now Yugi-chan, she was the baby of the bunch, being the youngest, but she was so cute when she was a little kitten! It's been so long since I heard from her. I wonder how she is. And Inuyasha, well he was the proud one, always wanting to do things by tradition."

"Holy cow, my kitsune family is related to the Bijuu! This is unreal!" Hinata thought to herself as Mai continued her conversation.

"So there you have it Hinata-chan, you basically have a crazy bunch of family members. One of which is going to get some serious nit-picking when I get to Konoha." Mai said with a stern look.

"You're coming to Konoha? Does this mean…" Hinata said, thinking that things just got a lot better.

"Are you kidding? A group of freak shinobi are trying to use my brothers and sisters for their own evil purposes? I don't think so. Consider the alliance between Konoha and the Phoenix Village a reality. Every ounce of my resources are available to stop Akatsuki." Mai said with a burning resolve. "We're going to put a stop to this."

"Aunt Mai, that's awesome! I can't wait to tell everyone!" Hinata cheered. "By the way, where are my friends?"

"They're probably still recovering. I had a feeling that it was your Water Illumina Power that helped you recover so quickly, since it was able to help drop your body temperature much faster." Mai explained. "Though it's really bad since I don't get to do the 'scary demonic leader' thing."

"But you're not scary at all. You're actually quite beautiful." Hinata commented, putting a smile on Mai's face.

"You know, having you as a niece isn't a bad thing at all." Mai said. "But do you think you could help me do that, you know put a little bit of a fright in your friends? I don't get to have that much fun that often, since Akane-chan always said kitsune get to be the tricksters."

"Um ok, but what do I do?" asked Hinata. "I don't want to upset anyone."

"Oh it's simple. I'll just have some of my guard escort you to my office once the others are feeling better, do a little interrogation, make them think I'm not going to help you, threaten to destroy them in a pyre of white hot fire." Mai said nonchalantly. "Then I spring it on them and get a good laugh."

"Hmm, that doesn't seem so bad. Ok I'm in." Hinata agreed to the terms.

"Also it would be good to start things on a good note since Sasuke will probably not like me for a while." Mai said. "I plan to help him tap a little further into his Fire energy, and he'll probably not like how extreme I can get."

"Knowing him, if it means he can get stronger than Naruto from time to time, he'll do it. Just one thing." Hinata asked. "Can you go easy on Shiori-chan? I don't think she likes to be burned that often."

"Shiori? Who is that?" wondered Mai, since there were no other girls besides Hinata and Momoko.

"Well Shiori…is Sasuke's female half." Hinata said. "It's a long story behind that."

"Care to explain? We have lots of time." Mai replied. "Oh and let me get some tea for you. Shizuka! Can you bring another cup of tea and some rice cakes please."

"Of course Mai-sama!" Shizuka called out from the kitchen. "Be right there."

"Also before I forget, Shizuka is my retainer. She was the one that helped care for you when you first got here." Mai turned back to get comfortable in her chair.

"So she was the one I saw." Hinata thought to herself.

"Now about this female side that Sasuke has?" inquired Mai.

"How do I begin…" Hinata said, getting herself comfortable.Back in Konoha…

"At least we're home. It's a shame that we couldn't stop Akatsuki." Sakura said as the group walked through the gates.

"We did the best we could. They just had the time advantage, and Itachi-nii-san couldn't risk his cover. I know he feels awful for having to go through that whole sealing ritual." Kasumi commented. "Well, guess we should check in at the Training Center. Hopefully we can get an update on Sasuke-chan's team."

"That and get Naruto to a freaking bed! This lugnut is heavy!" Natsumi whined while she was carrying Naruto on her shoulder.

"But you're half of him. Shouldn't that lighten the weight?" asked Temari.

"I wish! I mean just a day ago he was perfectly fine!" Natsumi grunted. "Honestly if it wasn't for Kasumi's Kitsune Capsule, we'd probably be stuck camping for another week!"

"I still don't understand it myself, but how is it that you were able to feel the effects of the Capsule, but he wasn't?" Kasumi wondered. "Whatever. Let's just get to the Training Faciilty."

Kakashi headed back to his home while the team made their way back to the training facility, getting Naruto to the medical bay. Sakura decided to stay and monitor him while Kasumi, Natsumi, and Temari checked in with Akane.

So they have Shukaku." Akane said. "That makes three of my brethren captured."

"We did all we could, but Akatsuki just had the advantage." Kasumi explained. "I'm still surprised we managed to come back alive after the run in with Yonbi."

"You what! Please do not tell me you actually fought him!" Akane said, worried about what happened.

"We didn't…but me and Naruto totally unleashed some serious power against him!" Natsumi replied. "He never stood a chance against our new power!"

"Wait…you mean to say that you and Naruto took on Yonbi and survived? How did you do it?" asked Akane. She was now intrigued to hear that they actually survived the fight.

"Somehow Naruto tapped into a new level of his Illumina Power. He called it the Overdrive Form." Kasumi said, explaining what happened with Naruto. "Apparently when he was knocked into the chakra flow from Shukaku, his gem absorbed it and pushed his power to a brand new level."

"Yeah, we were able to even create a brand new attack, called Omega Cyclone! Oka-san, it was unreal!" Natsumi was still excited. "Only bad thing was that after we used it, we were completely drained."

"Hmm, we'll have to investigate this Overdrive Form in depth. For now I want you to head home and get some rest. Because when the Phoenix Team returns, we're in for some serious trouble." Akane said with a grim look.

"Why is that Oka-san?" asked Kasumi. "Oh yeah I also wanted to ask, is it true that the other Bijuu think of you as a sister?"

"How did you hear about that?" Akane inquired. "I've never said anything about that to any of you kids."

"Shukaku told me. He said that you were the overprotective one or something? That and Yonbi was like his twin brother or something?" Natsumi said, still fairly confused.

"Great. Just great." Akane said with a sigh. "Kasumi, Natsumi, in reality…the other Bijuu are my siblings…my younger siblings."

"Wait a minute…you mean to tell me we're related to the other Bijuu?" Kasumi said, shocked to hear that it was actually true. "Why haven't you told us this before!"

"It just slipped my mind! I mean protecting the Illumina Gems, raising you kids, dealing with Shadow Sasuke and Orochimaru…it was just too much!" Akane replied with a hint of grief. "When you're the most powerful Bijuu in existence…well with the exception of my older brother Ryukotsusei, you have constantly deal with so much…especially keeping your grandfather from trying to spoil the living daylights out of you kids. I swear he wanted to give all of you godly powers and make you nearly invincible shinobi, but I had to keep telling him that you needed to grow and learn your own inner power!"

"Uh Akane-sama, correct me if I'm mistaken, but did you just say what I think you did?" Temari asked, figuring it was just a crazy idea.

"You are right on the point Temari-chan. It's all true." Akane agreed with the former Suna kunoichi.

Kasumi and Natsumi just paused for a second, taking in all of the information when it finally became clear…"KAMI'S OUR GRANDFATHER!!!!!!"

"Yes, and what's worse is that your Aunt Mai is coming to visit when the Phoenix team returns!" Akane replied.

"Whoa, this is…I mean this is huge!" Kasumi said, trying not to get frantic. "We're the grandkids to the Creator himself!! Wait, doesn't that already make us demi-gods???"

"Yeah, if we have that kind of a connecton, why don't we just ask him to nuke Akatsuki for us!" Natsumi asked.

"Natsumi-chan, have you ever wondered why there are only five elemental lands and five main types of chakra?" Akane said. "Let's just say about 10,000 years ago the people of the Ice, Wood, and Metal countries apparently got too egotistical, and he got upset. And when your grandfather gets upset…well he's been known to erase more than a little bit out of existence. Plus he's not one to intervene unless he really feels it necessary, so good luck trying to ask him to do anything. And to answer your question Kasumi, you're not really demi-gods since we Bijuu don't have godly power. Kami kept all of that. He just created us with immense demonic power for the purpose of interacting and protecting this world. We can't do things like create matter from nothing, or ressurections. But Yugi-chan does have a connection to the shinigami, so she's probably the closest one who could pull something like that off. Pretty much all hanyou and regular demons that originate from one of us Bijuu are basically advanced humans."

"Ok ok, that aside…who's our Aunt Mai…wait…you mean the Shichibi!" Natsumi said in shock.

"Yes, Mai-chan is my younger sister. Well she's the second one in the chain of girls. You see, myself, her, Rokubi, Hachibi, and Nibi are all girls, while Tenbi, Sanbi, Ichibi, Gobi, and Yonbi are the boys." Akane explained. "Me being the oldest was the 'mom' figure for the girls, Mai-chan was the fun loving girl, Mako-chan was the loner, Shinja-chan was comparable to today's fangirl, and Yugi-chan…"

"Let me guess, she was the baby of the bunch?" Kasumi said.

"Baby, that girl was spoiled worse than anyone! If there was one Bijuu that could wrap Kami around their finger, it was her! She took the phrase 'Daddy's Little Girl' to a whole new level!" Akane said. "If you though Akemi-chan was bad, Yugi-chan wrote the book…literally!"

"Wow Oka-san, and I thought our family was crazy." Natsumi said with a laugh. "You guys take the cake!"

"Oh don't get me started! Let me tell you, back when I was around your age, that was about the time Yugi-chan was created. Of course she just had to be this adorable little kitten bijuu. And what was worse, I got stuck with diaper detail! Oh it was supposed to be shared between all the girls, but no!!! Mai-chan ran off to some other side of eternity with Hachibi, Rokubi stayed in her nice little arctic corner in Ice country before it was wiped out, and my brothers...like they were going to do anything!" Akane ranted. Looks like the subject of her brothers and sisters was quite touchy with her. "And then...there was the worst night of my life!"

"Wait, you had a bad night? Oh please, it can't be as bad as what we go through now." Kasumi said. She then had Akane staring at her, easily saying...it was bad.

"Kasumi-chan, do you know what happens when you have nine demon siblings spy on you when you go out on your first date with a human, and he has no idea what you are???" Akane asked. "If you thought your first date with Sasuke was bad, then you haven't seen anything!"

"Oh really? Enlighten us!" Kasumi said, crossing her arms.

"We were having dinner, and on accident the guy I went out with spilled a little bit of water on me. Nicest guy in the world, he offered to clean it up, was very sincere, but what happens? My idiot brothers are all spying on me! And when you end up seeing a giant dragon, turtle, dog, chicken, and racoon-dog all staring at the guy with blazing demonic auras...well let's just say I never got to enjoy another date for a solid millenium." Akane sighed. "At least I got lucky when I merged with Akane. That deal was the best I've had in ages."

Temari, Kasumi, and Natsumi just stood there, mouths wide open from being dumbstruck at Akane's story. As hard as it was to believe...there was nothing that could top that insanity.

"Kasumi...your family is insane." Temari said with a straight look.

"You don't have to tell me twice." Kasumi agreed. "Well Oka-san, just what is it we have to prepare for when Aunt Mai comes anyway?"

"Well, for a Phoenix, it has to be like this..." Akane began to explain.Back to the Phoenix Village...

A few hours had passed as Hinata and Mai talked. Mai had explained a lot about the Bijuu while Hinata had been filling her in with information about Team Illumina. After the two finished Mai recommended that Hinata rest for a little while longer so she would be fully recovered from the heat sickness. She had also told her that her seamstresses would be modifying everyone's clothes with special heat absorbant threads, designed to keep their bodies cool in the higher temperature. As Mai left to head back to her office, she left Shizuka in charge of making sure everyone else was ok. After a few hours when it had hit midday, Mai put her plan into action.

"Hinata-sama, are you awake?" Shizuka asked as she entered the room.

Hinata turned over, waking herself. After a quick stretch, she acknowledged the Phoenix retainer, "I am. Thank you for waking me Shizuka-san. And please, no need for formalities."

"I apologize. Mai-sama told me that you would probably be the same with the formalities. But she has asked me to retrieve you and your friends. Some of her guard is waiting outside to escort you to her office." Shizuka explained.

"Thank you. What about my friends, have they awoken yet?" Hinata questioned as she tied the sash on her yukata.

"Yes, they are all waiting in the living quarters. I have given each of them some more medicine to help regulate their body temperatures to our harsh environment. Also just to remind you, your normal clothes are in the hands of myself and Mai-sama's seamstresses. We are modifying them with the same material as your yukata, so you may wear them and not feel hot while you are here." Shizuka bowed in respect. "They should be done very soon."

"Thank you Shizuka-san." Hinata said, leaving the room. She followed the corridor back to the stairs to find her friends waiting. The first thing she did was try to keep herself from busting out laughing when she saw Akamaru!

"Go ahead, I know you want to. Just get it out of your system Hinata." Kiba said while rubbing Akamaru's shaved back.

"It's just...I mean he's so...naked!" Hinata said, trying to keep her composure.

"Yeah yeah, whatever. At least he's cool now. He told me that after he was shaved, they rubbed some kind of cream all over him to help keep his skin from sunburn. That and they gave him some special water as well." Kiba explained.

"I will say this, whoever gave us these clothes really knows how to pick them. Comfortable, cool, and cute. You can't go wrong there." Momoko commented. "But what I'm wondering is how I was even able to fall subject to this heat. I can normally handle it."

"Beats me. Neji thinks that it was something in the air that affected our senses and caused it. Oh well, at least we weren't the ones that got shot in the neck with a tranquilizer dart," said Sasuke. While the two girls had summer yukatas, the boys were actually given button up short sleeve shirts and shorts for their comfort, still made of the same material.

"Whatever. Well now that we are all awake, we need to hopefully get information. From what I heard from that lady that woke us, we are to be escorted to see the Shichibi. Let us hope that we are able to create a good diplomatic impression and receive the aid of the Shichibi." Neji commented, slowly taking a sip of the water given to him.

"If only you knew what Aunt Mai had planned, Neji-kun." Hinata thought to herself. She then cleared her throat and focused back at the task at hand, "Well, I was told that there are some guards waiting to escort us to the Shichibi's office. It would be best not to be late."

The group headed out of Mai's house to see two guards, dressed in standard ninja fatigues, except they wore short sleeve shirts, and their flak jackets seemed to be thinner. Of course the colors were red and yellow, but somehow the color changed according to their scenery. The most noticable thing on the guards was of course the flaming orange, red, and yellow hair, and the aqueline eyeshape. The guards led them across the heated village, while the Phoenix Team took in the sight of the village. They saw all kinds of people, all of the Phoenix race. To their surprise, not everyone had on red, yellow, or orange. Even outside in the heat, people wore all kinds of colors, though it didn't seem to affect them.

The group finally arrived at the center of the village where Mai's office was. After being led in, the guards led them to her office and said that she would be ready for them shortly.

"So, any guesses as to who the creator of my powers is?" asked Sasuke.

"Sasuke, what do you mean by that?" Kiba wondered in confusion.

"He means, is the Shichibi a male or female. You know, like Akane-kouhi?" Momoko replied.

"Oh yeah...hmm, I wonder. If it's a girl, you think she's cute?" Kiba said with a hint of drool coming from his mouth.

"And of course this is coming from the single guy of the bunch." Sasuke said with a sigh. "First of all if it is a she, then she's probably like Akane-sama. So she'd most likely look old enough to be your mom. Second, this is the Fire Bijuu we're talking about. Come on, do you really think she would even give you a second glance at something like that! She'd probably incinerate you in a heartbeat!"

"Sasuke is right. It's best we focus on our task. Hinata-chan, do you have the scroll from Akane-sama that we are supposed to deliver?" asked Neji.

"Yeah it's right...well I thought it was with me! Oh no, I think I lost it!" Hinata lied, obviously knowing that Mai had the scroll already. "I'm sorry guys."

"Doesn't matter. We have our Illumina Power as proof, and besides, we have 3 royal family kitsune here." Sasuke said with confidence. "We should be ok." He then heard a voice telling them to enter the office. "Well looks like we can go on in."

The group entered Mai's office, which strangely looked just the same as Tsunade's office back in Konoha. Only one major thing was different, you couldn't see any large stacks of paper anywhere.

"So, looks like we have some kitsune in our village." Mai started her charade. "What brings you to the Village of the Phoenix?"

"It is a girl! The Shichibi is a girl after all!" Kiba blurted out, before Momoko smacked him in the back of the head.

"Yeesh man, we haven't even introduced ourselves and you're already gonna get us killed!" Momoko said, hoping nothing bad happened.

"Shichibi-sama, we are shinobi from Konoha. We have come on behalf of the Kyuubi no Kitsune to ask for your help in establishing an alliance with our village." Sasuke began.

"And why is it that I should help you?" Mai questioned. "Matter of fact, why should I even consider helping Kyuubi in the first place? Has that fox been outsmarted? Not only that, but who are you to begin asking me questions when you don't even introduce yourself!"

"Forgive me Shichibi-sama. Before I begin, my name is Sasuke Uchiha, Second Prince of the Kitsune clan, and betrothed to the First Princess and Heir of the Kitsune Clan. To my left is Hinata Hyuuga, heiress of the clan of Hyuuga, Second Princess of the Kitsune Clan, and betrothed to the son of the Kyuubi." Sasuke started his introductions. "To her left is Momoko Kusajishi, Sixth Princess of the Kitsune Clan, and one of the Four Generals of the Kitsune. To my right is Neji Hyuuga, cousin to Hinata, and proud member of the Hyuuga Clan. To his right is Kiba Inuzuka and Akamaru, tracking and reconnasiance specialist."

"Shichibi-sama, we come with urgent news. A group known as Akatsuki has been capturing the other Bijuu in the hopes of gaining their power. From what we have learned, the Yonbi, and the Hachibi have been captured by them and sealed." Neji explained. "We have also learned that in the desert areas of Suna, the Ichibi known as Shukaku was captured and is in the process of being sealed as well."

"And what does this have to do with me, per se? Those fools were careless enough to let themselves be captured." Mai brushed off the comment. "As far as I'm concerned, this Akatsuki has done nothing to disturb me or my village."

"But Shichibi-sama, that's the problem! We have reason to believe that one member is trying to find the village in the hopes of capturing you. That's why we wish to form the alliance. Kyuubi-kouhi believes that with your strength, you can give us more power to stop them." Momoko pleaded.

"So Kyuubi is now showing weakness? Then she deserves to be captured herself. Besides, what proof do you even have of your identities? How can I be sure that you're not some ordinary kitsune." Mai asked.

"Because only the children of the Kyuubi would know about the Illumina Gems." Sasuke said, flicking his wrist. Neji and Hinata followed suit to reveal theirs as well. "Especially the one wielding the gem you yourself created!"

"The Illumina Gems, how did you little whelps even know of such a thing!" Mai exclaimed in a false shock.

"Because we were chosen to be the wielders of this great power. We have trained for nearly three years and to this day continue to train ourselves so that we may fully control this power." Sasuke explained. "Without it, we might not have been able to accomplish many of the things we have done so far."

"Like what, kill rogue ninja?" Mai smirked.

"No, they've used the power to stop Orochimaru from his twisted scheme. If it wasn't for Illumina Power, then Sasuke never would have been able to destroy his demonic clone." Kiba said. "Not only that but because of Illumina Power, it has been able to help all of our ninja teams grow stronger."

"So, Sasuke, you're the one that wields the power of Fire? What makes you think you are worthy to control the Phoenix Flame?" Mai asked, wondering just what Sasuke would say.

"I am worthy to wield the Fire Gem because I use it to protect my friends and family, my village, and my fiancee." Sasuke said boldly. "That's why I even ask for your help in tapping further into my power so that I may become stronger."

Mai simply stared at the group with a burning stare before she started her final act. "You insolent little whelp! You come in here asking me to forge an alliance with that no good Kyuubi, and then you even ask me to help you with Illumina Power, that of which I had no say in granting you?" A white flame surrounded her as she put on an enraged look. Of course it did start to burn the desk, but not by much. "I should incinerate all of you right now in a white hot pyre of flame."

"Shichibi-sama, please! We mean no disrepect! We only ask for your help!" Momoko pleaded one last time.

"My help huh..." Mai's flame grew larger. "Well then..." In an instant the flame died out. "Ok. I'll be glad to help. Only if Sasuke-kun releases Shiori-chan first."

This instantly put Sasuke, Neji, Momoko, and Kiba into a stupor. Hinata on the other hand started immediately laughing.

"Hinata-chan, what's so funny!" Neji asked.

"It's nothing really, except that Aunt Mai's performance was brilliant!" Hinata laughed.

"Aunt Mai!" said the other four in question.

"Yes. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mai Housenka, the Shichibi no Houou, and younger sister of the Kyuubi no Kitsune." Mai said with a smile. "That's right. Sasuke-kun, Momoko-chan, say hi to your Aunt Mai!"

"But...but...wait a minute! What in the world is going on here! How did Hinata know about all of this!" Sasuke said in confusion.

"I woke up much earlier than all of you due to my Water Illumina Power. That's when I met Aunt Mai. She explained everything to me. And the scroll...she already had it. Before any of this was even set up, she agreed to the alliance." Hinata explained, leaving the group feeling even more stupid.

"So all of this was a joke." Neji asked.

"Yeah...well except for shaving Akamaru. Now that was real. And I gotta say Kiba-kun, he's got a lot of fur!" Mai replied.

"Uh ok." Kiba said, deciding it would be better to stand there and look dumb.

"But in all seriousness, Hina-chan and I talked about everything and decided that it is too dangerous for Akatsuki to roam freely. Adding in the fact that they have my little brothers and sister right now, I can't stand by and watch that continue." Mai said. "That's why I agreed. Also I do plan on training you a bit Sasuke. Akane-chan's message explained that you are proficient with Fire Arts, and I can even help you strengthen your Illumina Power as well."

"Alright! That's really gonna give us a heads up on Akatsuki." Sasuke said. "Now all we gotta do is report back, and we'll be in good shape."

"No need. I already sent one of my fastest falcons with my reply to Akane-chan. I also told her to get ready since I plan to go to Konoha with you. Having two Bijuu in one place gives a better advantage, and I don't think Akatsuki wants to deal with two of the more powerful ones at one time either." Mai said. "Now where's Shiori-chan? I know she's probably cramped from the trip, so bring her out Sasuke. I have a gift to give my niece anyway."

"Uh alright, I guess." Sasuke said, forming some quick seals. "KITSUNE REI WAKEDORI! (Fox Spirit Sharing/Division). In a puff of smoke, Shiori now stood before the group. Unfortunately she was still wearing her normal kimono and the heat hit her instantly.

"Holy cow Sasuke! Why did you bring me out in a place that's so hot!" Shiori whined. "And what's worse is that I don't have anything to change in!"

"It's ok Shiori-chan. Here, go into my private bathroom and change into this." Mai said, handing Shiori a yukata just like Hinata's. "This will make you feel much better."

"Thank you Aunt Mai. I appreciate that." Shiori replied, taking the yukata and heading to the bathroom to change.

"Sasuke, she's cute. Wonder how she compares to Kasumi-chan." Mai said, instantly slapping Sasuke with a hint of blush. "You know I've heard that you have the ability to transform into Shiori for extended periods of time as well. Ever had a slumber party with my niece yet?"

"N-n-no way! I don't think of Kasumi-chan like that!" Sasuke said, defending himself.

"Even after she saw you naked that one time, hmm??" questioned Mai, turning Sasuke another shade of red.

"How did you know about that!" screamed Sasuke.

"Sasuke-kun, there was no way I couldn't tell her about that moment." Hinata was still cracking up. "But as Aunt Mai said, we don't have to worry. We have her on our side and now Akatsuki is gonna have a harder time getting to her."

"For now, I know you all have had a long trip. We'll spend the rest of the day in relaxation. Plus it gives me a chance to finally do something I've wanted to do for a long time!" Mai said, with a sneaky grin.

"What would that be Mai-sama?" asked Neji.

"I finally get to spoil my nieces and nephew!" Mai said, pulling Hinata and Sasuke into a tight hug.

"I take it this is just the beginning, eh Hinata?" Sasuke said, trying not to suffocate from Mai's death grip.

"Yeah...can't wait till the others meet...Aunt Mai!" Hinata grunted out as Mai tightened her hug.For the next week, the group took in the sights of the Phoenix Village while Sasuke got a hardcore course in some new fire jutsu for his arsenal. Mai even showed him how to start drawing upon his Fire Illumina Energy to enhance his basic fire jutsu as well. Of course that left him burned quite a lot...especially since Shiori just sat back and watched.

"You know, it's really good that I get to learn all of the new techniques that Aunt Mai is teaching you." Shiori said while she ate a snow cone. "Not only that, but I don't have to worry about getting burned either."

"You know...sometimes you're just like an annoying twin sister." Sasuke panted after another training session. Shiori just stuck her tongue out at him. "I still wonder how we're the same person, yet completely different."

"That's what happened. When you first became me, I was able to slowly manifest into my own self. What, do you regret doing that?" Shiori asked with a slight smirk on her face.

"Sometimes. You do get a little annoying from time to time." Sasuke replied.

"I do not!" Shiori whined. "You know what, I'm telling Kasumi-chan when we get home! That way she won't give you any kisses, and I'll get them all to myself."

"That's if I don't merge with you before we get back." Sasuke laughed, as he took a sip of water from his water bottle. "Then I get to spend all the time in the world with Kasumi-chan."

"I don't like you anymore Sasuke," sulked Shiori. "Aunt Mai, Sasuke's picking on me again!"

"You know something, if you two are this funny, then Naruto and Natsumi will probably have me on the floor in stitches." Mai laughed. "But Shiori-chan is right. You two act just like twins. You know, have you ever thought of using a Life Stream Seal on Shiori-chan?"

"A Life Stream Seal? Aunt Mai, what are you talking about?" asked the kitsune girl.

"Well you see, I knew about Akane's Kitsune Rei Wakedori a long time ago. She created it for when she wanted to come down here to the human world and interact with humans. What she did was merge with a human to take that form, and then she could walk around as if she was a normal human." Mai explained as she sat beside the two. "Once she merged, she could easily supress her demonic presence. Then she would stay in the human form she chose for whenever she wanted. She always said it was a good learning experience for her."

"Wait, if she could do that, then wouldn't she have been able to separate from Naruto's mother Akane?" asked Sasuke.

"Unfortunately no. One thing that she told me, was if she ever merged with someone on the brink of death, the merger could become permanent. However I think when she did merge, it was something she truly wanted. You do notice how happy she is, right? She has all of you kids, and nothing puts a smile on a mother's face than her children." Mai replied, dreaming of the day when she would have her own kids. "That's why I really envy her."

"Yeah, Akane-sama is amazing." Shiori commented. "Now what was this about a Life Stream Seal?"

"Oh that. You see, one thing that Akane-chan had to do whenever she did a merger, was to place a Life Stream Seal on her host. What that meant was if she separated the merger, the host would not suffer any negative effects from having so much demonic energy and chakra separate from it." Mai explained. "However I think in your case Shiori-chan, it would essentially sever the spiritual connection you have to Sasuke-kun. Since you said that you and Natsumi-chan have been training yourselves to become stronger with the boys, it may be possible for you to separate from Sasuke, while he retains all of his chakra that he normally gives you. Then with the seal, it would cause the chakra you have of your own to increase, becoming your own chakra supply."

"Aunt Mai, just what are you saying?" Shiori was even more intrigued.

"Well, you'd truly become your own person. You would no longer be bound to Sasuke, and would literally be a true kitsune hanyou girl." Mai said. "However there is also one dangerous side effect."

"What would that be?" Sasuke had to know. If something could separate him and Shiori, and there was a negative effect, then he needed to know so she wouldn't get hurt.

"If a Life Stream Seal fails on you two, it would essentially destroy your soul completely. Not even Yugi-chan's connection to the Shinigami could save you." Mai said with a grim look. "But right now let's not worry about that. We can talk to Akane-chan once we get home. Something this serious needs a lot of thought behind it."

"If Sasuke and I completely separate, I'd be my own person...but what would that mean for Kasumi-chan! I love her too much to give her up!" Shiori thought to herself. "Uh, Aunt Mai, do you think there's any way that I could be separated from Sasuke without severing the spiritual link?"

"So...you're worried about what will happen in the case of Kasumi-chan, am I right?" Mai replied, causing a blush on Shiori's face. "You're worried that if you completely separate from Sasuke, you won't be able to be with Kasumi anymore."

"Well I...it's just that..." Shiori stuttered, getting another laugh out of Mai.

"It's ok sweetie. You can still be in love with Kasumi-chan all you want." Mai said, giving the girl a hug. "There's not a thing wrong with that. Sasuke will just have to learn to share. Isn't that right Sasuke?"

"Uh...well?? I guess so??" Sasuke said, confused at the whole conversation.Outside the gates of the Phoenix Village, the two guards were left in a pool of their own blood. Standing over them was a figure dressed in a black robe with red clouds.

"Pathetic. Do these worthless fire users think they can hold up to me?" Kisame said as he placed his large sword Samehada on his back. "Looks like I'm going to have fun getting myself a Bijuu.""I see you have definitely improved in your defensive abilites of the Juuken, Hinata-chan." Neji commented after having his own attack deflected. "Taking your Shuugo Hakke Rokujyuu Yonshou to a new level...impressive."

"It's simply what you did before Neji. I just added more speed to make it more dangerous." Hinata smiled while she wiped off her forehead. "But I have to say I like that new Hakke Kusho of yours. To be able to use a Juuken strike from long range is exceptional. I bet Otou-san is very proud."

"Ok ok, both of you have gotten really good." Kiba said, giving Akamaru a rubdown. "So when are we headed back home anyway? We should probably try to get back before Akatsuki gets wind of this village."

"Kiba is right. It's better we get home. That will give us a better chance of keeping Mai-sama safe." Neji said. "I believe she is with Sasuke and Shiori at the stadium."

"Then let's..." Hinata said, before she heard screaming coming from outside the dojo. "What's going on?"

"I don't know, but we need to hurry up and check it out!" Momoko said, as the group ran outside. When the got out there, they all noticed the strangest thing.

"What is it with all this water? A place this hot shouldn't have it scattered out like this?" Hinata commented. "Something isn't right."

"You got that right! There are four chakra signatures at the stadium. I recognize Sasuke, Shiori, and Mai-sama, but the fourth one is huge!" Neji said, releasing his Byakugan.

"Large chakra...water...oh no!" Hinata said, suddenly realizing what the situation was. "Akatsuki's here!"

"Akatsuki! How!" Kiba exclaimed in shock.

"I'm not sure, but if I'm correct, the one we're dealing with is Kisame Hoshigaki, the absolute worst possible choice of an Akatsuki!" Hinata replied with a flick of her wrist. "With all this water, Neji is essentially rendered ineffective with his Lightning Power, and Sasuke may not have enough strength to stop him! Plus we don't even know if he has a Hoshi no Tama!"

"Then what can we do Hinata? We can't let him get a hold of Mai-sama!" Kiba asked.

"Ok look, I have a plan. Neji, you and Momoko work on getting all the people here to safety. I know I would rather have you fighting with us Neji-kun, but one good lightning bolt would kill all of us in all this water." Hinata said, getting a nod from Neji. "Kiba, you come with me. It's possible we can try to get a jump on Kisame."

"Right behind you Hinata." Kiba said, summoning his own transformer. "Ready Akamaru?"

"Arf!" Akamaru roared.

"Let's do it then! WATER PRISM ACTIVATION!" Hinata said, upgrading to her knight form.

"ILLUMINA ARMOR ACTIVATION!" Kiba said, summoning his Anbu Style Illumina Armor. Akamaru was even decked out in a special body armor as well, giving the ninja dog extra protection with high mobility.

"Be careful you two. If it gets dangerous, contact me. I can still help you without my Illumina Power." Neji said.

"I will Neji-kun." Hinata replied as she and Kiba jumped on Akamaru's back. The duo rushed towards the stadium at full speed in the hopes of preventing Akatsuki from getting another Bijuu.Meanwhile...

"Dammit! All this water is making it hard for me to do anything!" Sasuke said, already having merged with Shiori to access his full power. He even went into Knight form, but Kisame had gotten the upper hand, flooding the entire stadium with water. "Anything I throw at him, he simply counters with a water shield."

"Sasuke, fall back. Let me handle him." Mai said. She already tossed aside her kimono for a different look. She now wore a sleeveless and backless red kosode, with matching hakama, bound by a yellow obi. (A/N She wears a red version of Soifon's outfit when fighting in Shunko stance). "Alright you fish faced freak. What business do you have coming into my village unannounced and attacking my nephew?"

"He's not the one I'm after. I'm here for a seven tailed bird, and you fit the bill." Kisame replied. "So now if you'll come with me so Akatsuki can seal you away, I'll go about my business."

"Like that's going to happen. So you're the Akatsuki that I've heard about? Well why don't I tell you this. I'm going to go to Konoha with my nephew, and you're going to burn in hell as a smoldering pile of ash!" Mai screamed, quickly forming one seal. "HOUTON: HOUHANE NO JUTSU! (Phoenix Style: Phoenix Feather Jutsu.). Instantly Mai summoned two flaming wings on her back. Flapping them quickly she flung a barrage of flaming feathers at Kisame.

"Looks like I'm going to have fun with this bird. SUITON: OZUMATOI NO JUTSU! (Water Release: Great Whirlpool Entwining Technique)" Kisame said, causing the water he was standing on to swirl around his blade. With one fling he sent the spiral towards Mai, extinguishing the flaming feathers in the process. "I'm not done yet! SUITON: SUIRYUUDAN NO JUSU! (Water Release: Water Dragon Blast)" The water spiral instantly formed a dragon, intent on crashing straight into Mai.

"Oh please, a simple water dragon against me?" Mai said, folding the wings in front of her. "HOUYOKU NO TATE! (Phoenix Wings Shield)" The water dragon struck the shield, but unknown to Mai, there was more going on than she knew. She started seeing water seep through, but couldn't be sure why. "What...what's going on? Why is water getting through my shield?"

"You don't get it do you! I've had you trapped the moment you set foot on my water lake!" Kisame laughed as he forced more chakra into his water blast. It was just enough to overtake Mai and consume her in the surge of water, leaving her soaked and weakened. "It's all thanks to my friend Samehada."

"What are you talking about? What trap!" asked Mai as she tried to dry herself with her chakra. Unfortunately she noticed it was weaker than normal.

"As long as I am in contact with water, I can use it as a channel for Samehada. You see my sword has the ability to absorb chakra, no matter how much it is. Not only that but I can even use that chakra against my enemies! You've been strengthening me ever since the battle started!" Kisame laughed. "Not only that, but thanks to Pein-sama, Samehada has been enhanced to counteract Bijuu chakra with a purification agent. All this time you've been standing on the water watching your precious little fox boy fight, the two of you have had your own demon chakra being purified constantly!"

"No wonder I felt so weak!" Sasuke said to himself! "Just what is this guy!"

"Now, get ready to feel my blade!" Kisame said, rushing in at Mai. Luckily reinforcements had just shown up.

"TENSOUGA! (Transmission Fang)" screamed Kiba as he and Akamaru formed a humongous spiraling drill of chakra. The duo crashed high speed into Kisame, drilling at least 10 feet into the ground. Of course the water instantly filled the hole, lowering the water but still keeping most of the stadium filled.

"Holy crap! That's one of Kiba's new moves!" Sasuke said in surprise.

"Too bad he missed. It would have really hurt if that had hit." Kisame said, rising from the water after using Mizu Bunshin to protect himself. "Now where was I?"

"About to deal with the true power of water! TIDAL BLAST!" Hinata screamed as she came in riding a giant wave of water. "See how you like this!" She jumped off the wave as it crashed down on Kisame with force, but she wasn't finished. "Now to add the finisher, HYDRO STORM!" Hinata's water cannon flew high speed, adding more damage and hopefully giving her a win.

"Hinata! Am I glad to see you!" Sasuke said, as he helped Mai over to the side. She was still feeling the effects of Samehada's poisoning but could still stand. "Be careful though, Kisame did something to the water!"

"I overheard him. That's the best thing about my Bankai. I create water from where I'm standing. So his tainted water won't come anywhere near me." Hinata said, holding her hands over the two. "Time we get you and Aunt Mai taken care of. AQUA HEALING!" She quickly formed a small cloud over the two, bathing them in a shower of healing water. "Plus I think Kiba and Akamaru should be getting out of the pool here in a bit." And true to her word, the boy and his dog quickly swam to the top, getting to their friends.

"Oh man Akamaru, that was some fun, wasn't it!" Kiba cheered as his dog barked in agreement. "I knew that sucker couldn't stand up against our Tensouga."

"Kiba that was freaking nuts man!" Sasuke said, tapping fists with Kiba. "Oh man Naruto would be going insane if he saw it."

"Yeah that was a little something Akamaru and I cooked up. If you think that was big, you should see it when we enter Double Wolf Mode." Kiba laughed. "So do you think we got shark boy out there?"

"I'm not sure. I can't see his chakra signature? But as large of a chakra capacity he had, it shouldn't be hard to spot him?" Hinata said, scanning the area. "There's no way he can hide all of that chakra."

"Do you think he's spreading it out along the water?" asked Mai. "It may be possible he dissipated his chakra to throw off your Byakugan."

"I don't know, but it's really not..." Hinata said, before she was suddenly pulled underwater. Kiba and Akamaru were also dragged underneath as well.

"Hinata, Kiba!" Sasuke screamed. Upon taking a good look, he saw the three down there...with Kisame!"So that girl thinks she can control water? Time I show her what dangers the creatures of the deep have." Kisame said to himself as he sent out five large water sharks.

"Oh great! He's attacking! And now that I'm underwater I have to do something!" Hinata thought. "That's it!" She quickly looked at her transformer, and focused some of her energy into her power gem, causing a blue water shield to form around her. Once it formed, she could now breathe again. "Wow, guess being the Water Knight has it's perks." She then turned to notice Kiba and Akamaru struggling to breathe. "Oh no! I forgot that Kiba only has Haku's Ice Enhancement!" She quickly swam over to the two, evading the water sharks as best she could. Once she got to the two, she pushed more power into her water shield, expanding it around Kiba and Akamaru.

"Wow, thanks Hinata. We were almost goners there." Kiba said, coughing out some water. "Good thing you were here."

"Yeah well, we better get out of here. He's already started draining and purifying my chakra. All I can hope is that he doesn't know any lightning jutsu." Hinata said, turning to see her worst fear."Uh Kiba...how fast can you get to the top!"

"Why do you ask!" Kiba wondered, when he saw the grim look on Hinata's face.

"Because he knows a lightning attack! We're gonna be fried here!" She screamed as Kisame's body started glowing a bright yellow. "It's just like an electric eel! We gotta go now!"

The trio started swimming as fast as possible and almost made it to the surface when Kisame made his move.

"Now time to face the force of the electric eel!" Kisame said, discharging all of the built up electricity in his body. With water being the perfect conductor of electricity, Hinata, Kiba, and Akamaru were immediately caught in the shock the moment they hit the surface.

"NO!!!" Sasuke screamed as he saw his three friends being electrocuted from the shock. It was quick but it left all three unconscious and barely breathing.

"Sasuke, quickly help me get them off the water." Mai said, as she grabbed a hold of Hinata. Sasuke got Kiba off and the two hurried to move Akamaru.

"Aunt Mai, this is bad. What are we going to do against this freak?" asked Sasuke. "Our Fire attacks can't do a thing, and he even took out Hinata! If he knows lightning attacks then Neji wouldn't be effective either!"

"Sasuke-kun, don't worry. We're not doing anything." Mai said calmly while she tended to Hinata. "You however, are going to obliterate that excuse of a fish."

"But how?" Sasuke wondered. "I can't even get close enough to hit him with my Bankai attack."

"Then it's time you go beyond Bankai. Sasuke, you're about to take your Illumina Power to a whole new level!" Mai said, as she began to pulse in a red glow. She took hold of Sasuke's Transformer and started pushing her chakra into his Illumina Gem.

"What are you doing?" Sasuke asked, thinking of how he was going to go higher than his Bankai form.

"Sasuke, didn't you say that Naruto had asked what would happen if a Knight came in contact with the Hoshi no Tama of it's matching Bijuu?" Mai asked. "Well let's say it would push their power to a godly limit. However your body can't handle that much power. But it can handle enough of my chakra to ascend you to the next level."

"Really? Oh boy...Naruto's gonna be jealous!!!!" Sasuke said. "When he hears I can go higher than Bankai, he's gonna go insane!"

"Probably not Sasuke. I have a feeling he might have gone through the same thing since he went after Shukaku. Now Sasuke, start drawing on the chakra I gave you and push yourself to the next level." Mai said as her glow faded. "I'm going to make sure these three are ok." With that she once again summoned her Phoenix Wings and covered herself, Hinata, Kiba, and Akamaru from the coming onslaught.

"You got it Aunt Mai." Sasuke said boldly as Kisame appeared on the water surface again. "So are you ready to end this freak?"

"Still don't get it do you, kid!" Kisame laughed. "You can't beat me! I stopped all of your fire jutsu and attacks. I took out your little water wielding friend with no problem. You're no match for me!"

"You're right. I was no match for you in Bankai form. But guess what? I have a new form! One more powerful than Bankai! Get ready to burn Kisame! FIRE OVERDRIVE!" Sasuke screamed, exploding in a pillar of white flame that immediately started drying up the massive reserve of water. As the pillar died down, Sasuke was now pulsing in a red and white glow. His eyes were now glowing red with the same aura as well.

"How did you dry up all my water?" Kisame asked.

"That's easy. When you compare elements on the Illumina Level, Fire and Water are opposites. Meaning if Fire is stronger, it will overpower Water every time!" Sasuke said, launching a massive fireball from his hand at Kisame. Kisame tried to block with a water jutsu, but the moment it came in contact with the fire, it evaporated. "Oh trying to use water are you? Seriously the only water that will stop me is Hinata's water attacks or the Sanbi!" He started walking towards Kisame, and what really added to the effect was the footprints Sasuke left.

"His footprints are leaving trails of magma!" Kisame said in shock. "What is this kid anyway!"

"You want to know what I am! I'll tell you! I am the Second Prince of the Kitsune Clan, Heir to the Uchiha Clan, and master of Fire! I am Sasuke Uchiha and you are about to die!" Sasuke screamed as he slammed his fists into the ground. When he pulled them out it looked as if he had a mini volcano around his fists. "Now time to show you the full power of Fire! PHOENIX MAGMA BAZOOKA!" With that a large stream of pure magma shot straight towards Kisame, melting everything in its path. "DIE FISH BOY!"

"I can't win here. Time for a tactical retreat." Kisame said, quickly melting into a puddle in the ground as the magma stream shot over him.

"That's right. Run you freak." Sasuke said, as his aura faded. He soon fell to his knees very quickly. "Wow, that was intense!"

"Sasuke, are you ok!" Neji shouted as he and Momoko ran into the stadium. "We got everyone to safety and decided..."

"What in the world happened here!" Momoko said, noticing the trail of magma. "Sasuke, what did you do?"

"I'll...explain it soon. Go check on Aunt Mai...ok." Sasuke said, breathing heavily.

"I'm ok Sasuke-kun. So are Hinata, Kiba, and Akamaru." Mai said, releasing her wings. "What about Kisame?"

"He's gone. Most likely retreating." Sasuke said, as he was helped over by Neji. "But we stopped him."

"That's good. So, how did you like that new level past Bankai?" asked Mai.

"Sasuke, you went to a level above Bankai?" Neji asked, wondering more about what happened.

"You bet. Let me tell you, the rush was insane. Plus my new Phoenix Magma Bazooka...that's what you call real firepower!" Sasuke laughed. "Kisame will think long and hard before taking me on again."

"Then I guess our mission is a success. Looks like we should get patched up and head home." Momoko said.

"Absolutely. I can't wait to get to Konoha." Mai said with a smile.

The group spent two more days recovering from Kisame's attack while the village was repaired. After everyone healed up, Mai left the village in charge of Shizuka while she was away in Konoha. She did say that she would stay in contact weekly by falcon. Of course Shizuka was nervous, but Mai assured her she would be just fine.One week later...

"So this is Konoha? I must say it's a very beautiful village." Mai said, taking in the beauty of the village. "I wonder if I'll get to meet this Iruka that Akane mentioned."

"Aunt Mai, you wanna meet Iruka-sensei?" asked Shiori.

"Of course. From that picture I saw...he's cute! And I heard he's single! This bird is gonna try to get herself a man!" Mai cheered.

"Then we're gonna have our hands full! The other girls are gonna love this!" Hinata said. "Come on, let's hurry to the training center. Everyone's waiting."

The group quickly got to the training center, meeting up with the rest of the group that was there. Of course they asked Mai to stay back a bit so they could introduce her.

"Welcome back nee-chan!" Hanabi said, quickly hugging her sister. "Looks like you weren't hurt very badly out there."

"Well I got a little bruised up, but I'm ok. So how did the mission with Shukaku go?" Hinata asked.

"Unfortunately Akatsuki was successful." Naruto explained. "They now have three Bijuu. But I did get something good out of it."

"Let me guess...you got access to your Overdrive Form?" Sasuke asked, getting a shock from everyone else.

"Sasuke, you too? Crud, I thought I'd be able to say I was stronger for a while." Naruto said in defeat. "So what's your new attack? I call mine Omega Cyclone."

"Mine's the Phoenix Magma Bazooka. Wanna test 'em out against each other?" Sasuke said, hoping to get Naruto excited.

"Let's not go overboard boys. We still need to look at your Overdrive Forms a little more in depth." Akane explained. "For now we don't know what all it will do to you."

"That's just like you isn't it Kyuubi-nee-chan?" Mai said, entering the room. "Always the worry wort. I swear I still remember when you used to be the one wanting to take risks. What was that...oh yeah that little prank that backfired and ended up having you locked outside your bedroom in your underwear??"

"MAI-CHAN!!!" Akane screamed in embarrassment.

"In the feathers! Now, where are all my nieces and nephew! I got some hugs to go around!" Mai said with open arms.

"Aunt Mai!" Kasumi, Haku, Akemi, Natsumi, and Hanabi all screamed. Of course Naruto just stood back and watched the glomp fest.

"Ok now to make sure I have them all correct, the silver one is Kasumi-chan, the light blue one is Haku-chan, Akemi-chan is the fiery redhead, Natsumi-chan is the blonde, and Hanabi chan is the lavender one." Mai said, getting more hugs.

"It's so good to finally meet you! How was your trip!" asked Kasumi as she helped Mai up.

"It was good. I'm glad I could finally come to meet all of you. Plus what's a first time meeting between an aunt and her nieces if she didn't bring gifts!!!" Mai said, quickly taking out a scroll. She opened it and summoned five boxes for the girls, all containing summer yukatas that Hinata, Momoko, and Shiori already had. The girls quickly ripped them open and were already going crazy.

"These are beautiful Aunt Mai! Thank you so much!" Akemi said.

"I can't wait to try mine on! Come on, let's go change!" Haku said as the bunch ran to change.

"And I couldnt' have forgotten about you Naruto-kun." Mai said, handing him a gift as well. "I gotta say, you're one handsome young man."

"Thanks Aunt Mai." Naruto replied with a hug. "Glad to see you're safe."

"So, what's the first thing on the agenda? Akane-chan embarrassment fest, or lunch?" Mai said, quickly getting tackled by Akane.

"Mai-chan, do you have to start already! It's bad enough you already started spoiling them! But come on, not the embarrassment thing to my kids!" Akane cried. "Please Mai-chan, no stories!!"

"Oh alright. But under one condition!" Mai said.

"Anything! I'll do anything!" Akane pleaded.

"Introduce me to that hunk Iruka!" Mai said with a smile.

"Deal!" Akane said in haste, causing everyone else to start laughing.In Ame however, things weren't going over too well with Akatsuki.

"Worthless piece of...who the hell does that kid think he is!" Deidara cursed. "I swear if I find him I'll blow him to hell!"

"Deidara, calm yourself. Yes it was a shame that we lost Sasori, and that you were injured, but do not be at loss. You will get your chance again. You've already done a wonderful job at capturing three of the Bijuu, and now that Hidan and Kazuku have returned with the Sanbi, our plans are progressing nicely," said Pein as he walked out of the shadows. "Besides, I have a new partner for you anyway?"

"Who do you...oh come on, not him!" Deidara said, when he saw an orange spiral mask. "Did you have to give me Tobi!!"

"But Tobi is a good boy! Tobi will be glad to help Deidara-sempai!" Tobi said, trying to get on Deidara's good side.

"What the hell Pein-sama! Are you trying to punish me or something! I've captured three damn Bijuu and for what, this!" Deidara complained.

"I know of your acheivements Deidara, but this is to help you until we can get your arms repaired by Kazuku. Even after you have them reattached, you will still need time to heal, and I need you to move quickly to your next target." Pein explained.

"And what would that be?" asked Deidara.

"A pesky little cat called the Nibi," said Pein with an evil look.

So Mai now arrives in Konoha, Akane gets ready to suffer the embarrassment fest, and Akatsuki captured the Sanbi from right under their noses. What's going to happen now that Akatsuki has nearly half of the Bijuu? What about the plans to capture Yugito, the Nibi??? And how will everyone get used to the fact that the Bijuu are their own family members! Not only that but what about this Life Stream Seal? Will Shiori want to be separated from Sasuke permanently?? And what more will Mai tell the kids about Akane!!! All this and more in the next exciting chapters of The Bijuu Wars!

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