The Next Ace of Aces

Chapter 14

Ok I KNOW this thing took a long time to get out, but trust me, at the end you'll completely understand why! I just hope you like the chapter.

Chapter 14

Hanabi and Nanoha had been in the bunker in the Forest of Death for a good amount of time, trying to secure any more information from the databanks as possible. Hanabi did find that it was very easy being around Nanoha, even though said mage was years older than she was. Plus Hanabi seemed to bond easily simply due to Nanoha being the younger sister in her family as well…and to also being about a year younger than Fate as well.

"So any luck on finding out what the other bunkers have?" Hanabi kept looking over some maps that Nanoha showed her to try and get exact pinpoint coordinates for the other bunkers.

"Well, I did find that two bunkers contain the Strike Cannons for everyone. Right now I've been searching all over to find Fortress and Sword Breaker." Nanoha was going full speed typing away trying to locate more data.

"What are those anyway? Some new weapons?" asked Hanabi.

"Yes. The Strike Cannons are a heavy power weapon that Special Duty Section 6 used during the Eclipse Crisis." Nanoha pulled up a graphical description of the Strike Cannon. "It's a dual mode weapon that can be used as a high powered cannon, or even for close range as a claymore-style sword weapon." Nanoha shifted to a second picture. "This is Fortress. It's my personal AEC Armament weapon that basically turned me into a multi range attacker. I could attack from long range, mid range, and even close range as well." She shifted to the next picture of an arm length glove, "This is Sword Breaker. It's Subaru's AEC that she used with Mach Caliber. The AECs and Strike Cannons had lots of power and could even shatter AMFs."

"Whoa, that's some serious weapon power. Do you think Hina-chan could deal with all of it?" Hanabi wondered.

"Maybe the Strike Cannon and Fortress since she's now synced with Raising Heart. Had Mach Caliber not been upgraded, then Hinata would have been able to use Sword Breaker. So now my plan is to sync it with you and Blitz." Nanoha responded. "Figured you'd enjoy a little bit of a boost."

"You bet she would! Sword Breaker would give you some serious power Hanabi!" Blitz was all excited over hearing about getting some new gear.

"Blitz is right. And considering what we're up against, we're going to need all the help we can get." Hanabi said, trying not to show any serious emotion.

"You're still worried about Neji aren't you?" Nanoha could see it in Hanabi. Even though Neji was now her enemy, he was still family to her.

"How do you know these things?" Hanabi was surprised that Nanoha read her so well. "But yeah, I am worried about him. Neji's better than this. But I don't blame him for a lot of it. I blame my family for causing this."

"Because of the whole Main/Branch system? I gotta say I find that pretty harsh as well." Nanoha was on the same page.

"Just because Uncle Hizashi was born a minute after my dad, it meant he had to live serving us. And that made things worse for Neji. He's one of the best shinobi we've ever had in the clan, but due to the system he couldn't reach his full potential. And those lame elders…UGH!" Hanabi slammed her fist on the console in slight rage. "All because they want to be a bunch of stuck up jerks and make people think we're the most superior clan ever, they caused Hina-chan to be expelled because she was what the clan image should be! Some days I wish I had never been born a Hyuuga because of them."

"Things really have changed over the years." Nanoha thought back to all of the things she went through at Hanabi's age. "I mean had you been alive in my time, you'd just be worried about getting your homework and chores done on time."

"Do you miss everyone Nanoha?" Hanabi saw Nanoha go silent for a bit.

"I really do. Not just Fate and Vivio, but everyone else too. I miss seeing Vivio come home from school and talk about everything she and her friends did that day. I miss spending time with Hayate and her family and I really miss Hayate's cooking! Even the trip we took to Carnaaji was so much fun. I loved those hot springs!" Nanoha sighed as she had to understand that the past was gone.

"Well, your family of the past may be gone, but you're still with your new family here." Hanabi assured her that she wouldn't be alone anymore.

"Thanks Hanabi. That means a lot." Nanoha was thankful to be found by wonderful friends. However the sentimental feeling was cut short as one of Nanoha's scans picked up some information. "Hmm, wonder what the system found?" Nanoha went to work checking out another possible location of some more technology.

"What did you find Nanoha?" Hanabi came over to look at Nanoha's discovery.

"It's a Device that just went online, and it's close too." Nanoha started triangulating the possible coordinates of the new Device. "Hmm, let's see what Device it is. Wouldn't hurt to have another one on our side." The computer continued to go through a list of devices until it came to a match. "No way!"

"What is it!" Hanabi was getting more tense.

"These readings say that it's the Tome of the Night Sky! If that's gone online then it's possible Hayate-chan's other devices have gone online too!" Nanoha immediately started searching for other energy signatures while the Tome's location was being triangulated.

"Hayate…she was the 3rd Legendary Mage, right?" Hanabi tried to think back to all of the information she had heard.

"You could say that. Before the Great Mage War, technically she was the strongest mage between her, myself, and Fate-chan. Her raw mana output was so immense that she had to have a huge limiter placed on her, and it was harder for her to have her limiters released." Nanoha kept up the search. "The reason why is because of the Tome of the Night Sky."

"But I thought mana output was something natural, like chakra output." Hanabi was not more confused.

"It is, but a device helps you focus that output and even adds to your own reserves. Back when Hayate found the Tome, it was called the Book of Darkness. She was actually going to be used as a way to destroy the book. When she found it, it was incomplete. It needed to fill all 666 pages before it could even be close to be destroyed. But the problem was that once the book was destroyed, it would regenerate and the cycle would continue. When Hayate took complete control, she reprogrammed it, eliminating the need for it to be destroyed. When she reprogrammed it, the main features were all redesigned." Nanoha explained best she could so Hanabi could understand. "The defense program was corrupted and we had to destroy it. The master control program sacrificed itself and was reformatted into Hayate's unison device Reinforce Zwei. And the Knight Protection Program was separated and no longer linked to the book. The fact is, we need to get that device now!"

"Any idea where it is?" Hanabi kept watching the screen as it triangulated the location.

"Almost…got it!" The computer finished and gave the location of the Device. "This looks like it's on the east side of the village. Hanabi, any idea where this is?"

Hanabi took a minute and looked carefully at the map. "Yeah, that's in the old Uchiha district."

"Good. You're gonna have to lead the way." Nanoha took Blitz from Hanabi and set it on the console, doing a quick data transfer. "Blitz doesn't have the scanning features that Kerykeion has, but at least she'll be able to recognize the signature that the Tome is putting off and let us know if we're getting close or not."

"I'll do my best guys!" Blitz knew she had to do her best to help the others find the Tome.

"Then let's get going." Nanoha ran full speed out of the bunker as Hanabi put Blitz back around her neck and followed suit.

Ino had been sitting down, watching a spar between Choji and Shikamaru. Ever since she heard the news that Sasuke, Neji, and Sakura all defected, it really had her start thinking about things.

"I never thought Sasuke would turn traitor like that. He had so much going for him here, but I just don't get it." She looked at the ongoing spar. "Sakura's even more unusual. I know she liked Sasuke, but I didn't think she was that devoted to him that she would run off with him." Ever since the defection incident, the Genin teams had been completely turned around. Ino's team was fine as nothing had changed, but with Sasuke, Sakura, and Neji gone, Kiba and Shino were now without a third teammate, and Lee was now solo. It started to make her question just what she would do now. Sakura was someone she actually considered a friend, even though they fought over Sasuke.

Choji and Shikamaru had taken notice of Ino's change. Usually she was fairly bossy and sometimes loud, but they noticed she had been more quiet and melancholy.

"Choji, Ino really hasn't been the same since Sasuke defected, has she?" Shikamaru easily took notice of her change in personality.

"What do you mean she hasn't been the same?" Choji was slightly confused as he took out a bag of chips and started munching.

"I mean she hasn't been as bossy, she hasn't yelled at us for any reason, and do you remember when we went out to eat for barbecue a few days ago? She actually didn't care that you were stuffing your face full of food!" Shikamaru gave a few examples. "Seriously this is hitting her really hard."

"So what do we do?" Choji asked.

"I dunno, but it has to be something. I hate to say it, but I kind of miss the old Ino." Shikamaru replied as he noticed Ino getting off the ground. "Hey Ino, everything ok?"

Ino was lost in herself and her thoughts and didn't pay much attention, "Huh? Oh I'm fine. Look I'm going to go for a walk. I'll talk to you guys later." She took her leave from the training field and went towards town. The whole time she kept mulling over the situation with Sasuke and Sakura. As she walked through town, she didn't wasn't paying attention and it ended quite painful for her.

"Ow, hey watch where you're…hey you're Hinata's little sister aren't you? Hanabi, right?" Because she was lost in thought, she didn't notice Hanabi running and nearly got run over by the young Hyuuga.

Hanabi had to wait a split second before she remembered that everyone was supposed to believe she had nothing to do with her sister. "Who? That exile that used to be my sister? I know of her. What about it?"

"Sorry, you just looked similar to her." Ino dusted herself off and got up and attempted to help Hanabi up as well. "Sorry I wasn't paying attention to where I was going."

"It's ok. No harm done." Hanabi dusted herself off as well.

"Lady Hanabi, we need to go. You'll be late for training." Nanoha knew full well of the situation as well and played along.

"Thanks Nanoha. Look I have to go. I'm in quite a hurry." Hanabi still kept up her mask perfectly.

"That's good. Hey, you're that new Jounin Nanoha Takamachi right? The one that's been helping with the reorganization of the training, right?" Ino had heard of Nanoha but due to missions and other training, she hadn't had time to formally meet her.

"I am. If I remember correctly you're Ino Yamanaka of the Yamanaka clan. I had the chance to meet your father Inoichi." Nanoha gave a slight bow. "It's nice to meet you. I'm sorry we can't stay and chat."

Ino returned the bow. "It's ok. Maybe some other time." Both sent each other a smile and Ino watched Nanoha and Hanabi run off. "She seems like a really nice person." Ino turned and continued walking through town. She figured anything that would take her mind off Sasuke and Sakura would help, so she headed toward the Hokage Tower to possibly get a small D-Rank mission.

As Nanoha and Hanabi kept running toward the Uchiha District, they kept up a small conversation. "I really hate acting like that. Ino seemed really down for some reason." Hanabi thought about how she had to act all smug and stuck up.

"I think she has a lot on her mind. Wasn't she friends with Sakura?" asked Nanoha.

"I think she was. Ten-chan and Hina-chan talked about it. They used to be rivals and didn't like each other until the Chuunin Exams. After they had a match against each other, they seemed to patch things up." Hanabi replied.

"Hmm, I think I know how she might feel. I remember when I was a little girl and had met Fate. We didn't hit it off but after the incident with the Jewel Seeds things got a lot better until Fate had to go into protective custody. We were away from each other for almost a year, and tried to keep in touch through video and letters, but it wasn't the same as being together in person." Nanoha sighed as she remembered her past. "We should keep an eye on her just in case. You never know where you may find potential friends and allies."

Hanabi shook her head as she heard Blitz chime in. "Hanabi, I can feel it! It's the energy signature of the Tome!"

"Blitz, where does it feel strongest? That will lead us in the right direction." Nanoha asked.

Hanabi took Blitz from around her neck and moved her around slowly in a circle. "Not there…not there…not…wait, go back a bit!" Hanabi turned and moved more slowly in the opposite direction. "Almost…there it is! Go that way!"

Hanabi saw they were pointing in an eastern direction. She looked at Nanoha and the two kept up pursuit.

Gaara looked up at the ceiling in his room. For the first time ever, he felt more refreshed and relaxed than ever before. "So this is what a good night's sleep feels like. I quite like it." He stood up and stretched, loosening his muscles. As he looked in the mirror, he noticed the black rings around his eyes had slightly faded. They were still there, but not as dark. As he prepared to head to the bathroom, he noticed an extra visitor quietly sleeping on the end of his bed. Rose had apparently come to his room after he was sleep and fell asleep herself, even though she had a makeshift bed in Temari's room. Gaara thought to himself that just a day before, the small device was a rampaging demon that was sealed inside of him, constantly tormenting his very thoughts. But now she was calm and peaceful and had devoted herself to protecting him. Gaara just smiled as he entered the bathroom, "You need not worry about protecting me Rose. It is you who will be protected, for you are another of my precious people."

As Gaara was following his morning routine, Hinata and Temari were already making breakfast for everyone. Temari was surprised that Hinata had been up so early, actually before she had awoke, and had already started tea.

"You know, you're a guest. You don't have to do any of this Hinata." Temari was busy washing some fruit while Hinata was slicing vegetables.

"It's ok. I'm happy to help. Plus I wanted to try out a new recipe that Kyu-chan had taught me. It belonged to Naruto-kun's mother, Lady Kushina and I hope I can honor her by preparing it well." Hinata finished slicing the vegetables to a fine dice and placed them in a bowl. "I think you'll like it."

"So what exactly is it that you're making?" Temari asked as she began to peel an orange.

"Kyu-chan said it was a western style dish that Lady Kushina made. She called it an omelet." Hinata said as she started cracking open eggs in a bowl. Since it was a lot to work on, she actually made a clone to help her prepare some other things. "What you do is take some eggs and place them in an iron skillet, then add various vegetables, meats, cheese, etc. and cook it all at the same time. Kyu-chan told me that Lord Minato said it was one of his favorite breakfasts from Lady Kushina."

"Really?" Temari was more interested in seeing how it would look so she started taking mental notes. Hinata kept up the work and soon enough the entire kitchen was filled with a pleasant aroma. "Hinata, you're right, that does smell good."

Of course the smell was good enough to start bringing down everyone else. "Hey what smells so good?" Kyu was the first one down, rubbing her eyes to help her wake up.

"Hey Kyu-chan. Just finishing up breakfast. Will you go make sure everyone else is awake and washed up?" Hinata said with a calm smile.

Kyu finally had her eyes open enough. "Huh, uh ok." She turned back and headed towards everyone else's rooms to wake them.

"You know, you really didn't need to do all of this Hinata. Especially since we should be thanking you for what you did to Gaara yesterday." Temari was still set on the fact that Hinata was a guest in her home and didn't need to do anything.

"Like I said, it's no worries at all." Hinata had just finished up the cooking and had her clone lay out a place setting for everyone. The rest of the group had now come down and all had breakfast on the mind.

"Oh man, what smells so good?" Naruto licked his lips in delight as the smell of breakfast ran through his nose.

"Something your mother thought of Naruto-kun." Hinata took a seat beside him. "I hope you like it."

"Wait, you said it's one of my mom's recipes? Oh now I know it's gonna be great!" Naruto was even happier to hear that. However before everyone could eat, the biggest shock came in the room. "Oh hey Gaara…whoa! What happened to you last night?"

"Naruto's right, you look different!" Kankuro noticed the same thing.

"I have to thank Rose for this. I can honestly say I had the best night sleep of my life last night." Gaara's demeanor was much brighter than before. He felt more calm and relaxed after finally getting to sleep. "Now let us partake of this excellent breakfast."

Everyone started eating the omelets Hinata made and before you know it, there were questions of if more were made.

"Hinata-chan, this is absolutely delicious!" Naruto said as he finished his last bite. "Oh man, I hope you keep cooking like this because my mom would be proud to see her recipes come out so well!"

"Yeah Hina-chan, you outdid yourself on this one. I mean I knew you were good, but man! Putting Lady Kushina's recipes in your hands means we'd never starve!" Tenten was just as happy over the breakfast. "I know you gotta agree with me, right Bardiche?"

"Yes. Lady Hinata's meal was excellent. She has very good culinary prowess." Bardiche gave his compliments though when he did, every other guy just stared at him. "Uh did I say something wrong?"

"Naruto, if I'm right he's a guy correct?" Kankuro asked. Naruto just nodded in agreement. "Ok then why did he say it like he was Prince Charming or something?"

"Bardiche is just a gentleman, that's all." Tenten ruffled her Device's hair with a smile. "He doesn't have to change a thing about him."

"Well on to other matters, what else do you have planned to do while you're here?" asked Temari. "I'm sure just coming to help Gaara wasn't the only thing you had planned."

"I guess while we're here we can check some things out. There may be a bunker here that we can get some more information, and also we can help Gaara get used to unisons with Rose." Tenten replied.

"Unison with Rose?" Gaara looked at his Device partner and looked confused. "What do you mean by that?"

"Well Gaara, since she is now your Unison Device, the two of you have the ability to merge together. You'll be able to access all of her chakra and even a few of her abilities for your own." Kyu explained. "Do you remember about the seal you had that kept her bound originally? Well the DCS changed that into a siphoning seal."

"Siphoning seal? So he's going to be draining me?" Rose asked in question.

"Simply put…yes. You see Rose, right now if you were to be assigned a mage rank, you would be approximately a high SS rank mage. I'm the same way. But since we were extracted from a host, the seal that had us contained was changed to something new." Kyu began to explain. "The seal we have is a special seal that slowly transfers our mana or chakra in this instance to our previous host. Basically it will weaken you, but it will make Gaara much stronger. Plus if you keep training with him, you actually won't notice the chakra being gone."

"Are you ok with this Rose?" Gaara asked his new partner.

She took a bit to think it over, but shook it off. "It's fine. If it is to help you in any way, I'll do it." Rose said in agreement. "All I really want is to make up for the things I did to you and show you I can be a strong partner to you Gaara."

"As I said, you need not apologize. Shukaku was the one that tormented me and did me wrong. You are not Shukaku. You are Desert Rose, my ally who has done nothing to wrong me. Never forget that."

"Unbelievable. Just one night and he's changed so much. Shukaku did a lot to him but now…I really think things can improve for him." Temari was happiest of all to see that things would be getting better for her little brother. She hated to see him so dark and angry all the time, having people fear him. But now even with the small steps he's taken to change all of that, she felt that this would be a huge leap for him and for people to see that he's not a monster, but a human being.

With breakfast over, the day's events began to move forward. Naruto worked with Gaara on how to do unison with Rose. It was tricky at first, but once Gaara got the feel of being able to merge, it started to catch on like second nature. He did take on some noticeable changes when in unison mode. His hair changed from red to a sandy brown color, and the rings around his eyes did darken a little more. His clothes also changed from the dark red color to a more sandy brown color as well. Gaara did say it was interesting to know that Rose could also help him control his own chakra as well, making it easier for him to fight. Naruto told him it would be something he'd enjoy having as he had problems with his own control but thanks to Kyu, his control has improved. Gaara also enjoyed the fact that he could now communicate telepathically, though he figured it would probably annoy Temari to a bit. But he didn't care at all.

As for the others, Tenten and Kyu had been working to check the area for any hidden bunkers in Suna. The search pulled up nothing, but when Tenten expanded the search, she located a bunker about 50 miles south of the village. Since the group was not used to the desert terrain, Gaara volunteered to travel with them to help.

After a few hours of travelling, the group arrived to the coordinates that had been locked in, but found nothing but sand.

"Ok if the bunker's here, where is it?" Naruto kept looking around trying to find out why there was no bunker.

"It's probably hidden under the sand. Remember the other ones we found? They were covered up by some natural formations." Tenten replied. "But how are we going to move all of this sand? None of us are Earth types."

"Leave that to me." Gaara said. "Rose, would you help me with this?"

"Of course Gaara." Rose said happily.

"Very well. Desert Rose: Unison Set!" Gaara engaged her unison program, becoming one with his partner again. "Now, to get rid of this sand." He placed his hands on the ground and began to concentrate on pushing the sand away. Everyone just watched until they felt the entire ground begin to quake.

"Whoa, what in the…holy cow!" Naruto saw the very ground begin to split as Gaara continued to focus on pushing apart the sand.

"Unreal! This is nuts!" Tenten was just as surprised as the sand continued to part. Slowly enough, what looked to be a doorway began to be revealed from the sand. "Hey Gaara, just a little more." Gaara continued to focus until the door was completely clear.

"Whew, that was tough." Gaara took some deep breaths to relax as he released his unison. "Rose, are you ok?"

He looked upon his Device who was breathing hard herself. "I will be fine. I just need to rest." Gaara took his water bottle and held it to her lips, allowing her to drink. He then placed her on his shoulder so she could continue to rest.

"It would have taken us a while to find this one. Thanks Gaara, we couldn't have done it without you and Rose." Tenten said as they approached the bunker doors. Just like the other two, their devices were recognized and the group was allowed entry. This time they wondered what would be found here.

"So any idea on what we'll find here? Any new devices, weapons, maybe someone else from Nanoha's time?" Naruto asked, hoping to find something interesting.

"I don't know. All we can do is look. Though it would be pretty shocking if we found any more of Nanoha's friends still alive." Hinata said as they continued into the bunker. "It might give us more leads to the other Bijuu Lost Logia as well."

"Looks like we're in. Better get to work." Tenten said as they finally entered the inner sanctum of the bunker. Just like the others, it looked more like a lab that was covered in dust. Everyone split up as they began to search for any type of clues. Kyu was over at the main computer console trying to see if she could log in and get any type of information.

"Any luck Kyu-chan?" Hinata was watching as Kyu was doing her best to get access.

"None. I've tried everything possible to power up this system but nothing works. It may be damaged beyond repair." Kyu shook her head in defeat.

"What about places where our devices might act as keys?" Hinata asked, hoping that might give a little light on the investigation.

"I've checked that. I don't see any place you could put a device in." Kyu said.

"Well, we have to keep looking for anything. Do you have any ideas Raising Heart?" Hinata asked her device.

"Nothing at the moment. I haven't sensed anything that would respond to my frequency yet." Replied the device.

"There has to be something we can go by." Hinata began to think herself of what could be done. Maki was on her shoulder looking as well when she spotted something.

"Hinata, look at that!" Maki pointed over to a console with a strange looking cylinder.

Hinata turned to look and wondered what it could be that Maki found. 'What is that? It looks like some kind of capsule or something."

"That's a Device Diagnostic and Repair system. It looks like it's a portable one too." Maki flew over and started doing a round to examine it. "This may still work. We'd have to have Lady Nanoha look at it first."

"It doesn't look like it's bolted down to anything. Is it connected to a power supply of some kind?" Hinata was looking for any cords or plugs or even battery packs that might be connected. "I don't see any. Hey Ten-chan, do you have a spare storage scroll?"

"Sure. Use this." Tenten took a scroll from her pouch and threw it to Hinata. "But we should wait before we seal anything in case we find more things. That was we can seal them all at once."

"Good idea." Hinata held on to the scroll as everyone kept searching. "Anyone else had any luck?"

"Nothing over here." Naruto was on the other side of the lab with Gaara. "You seen anything Gaara?"

"Nothing. The only thing unusual was a triangle on that wall over there." Gaara pointed the left wall. "It doesn't seem like anything else is of value."

"Triangle?" Tenten looked a bit confused. "What would a triangle…" as she was talking she caught a slight glimpse at Bardiche's hand and saw the triangular shaped piece on his glove that represented his previous form. "Bardiche, go over and take a look at that wall."

"Of course my Lady." He nodded and flew over to look at the indentation. "This does match the shape of my former form. It seems as if I were supposed to be inserted into this indentation."

"Try channeling some of your energy into it. That might do something." Tenten said.

Bardiche nodded and began to focus his energy into the indentation for a few seconds until a strange click was heard. "It seems that is all I can do at this point."

"I want to know what that click was. Something had to have unlocked." Tenten started looking around for anything of suspicion. "Check for any doors, drawers, or storage containers you can find."

While they were all looking, Kyu noticed something. "Whatever you did Bardiche, it looks like it gave me something as well." She looked over and saw a cartridge slide out of the console. "This may be the information that was on this unit, but we won't know what it is until we get back to Konoha."

"Hey look at this!" Naruto called everyone over to where he was. "I think this is what was unlocked." He had opened a cabinet and inside was a hidden compartment. "It looks like it's a locked case." He looked over the case and only saw what looked to be a thumb pad. "Any ideas on how to get it open?"

"That looks just like the case that was left for Nanoha when we first found her. Maybe she's the only one that can open it." Hinata commented. "It doesn't look like we'll find anything else here. We should head back."

They took the case, the cartridge, and set it over by the Device Repair system, and sealed it into a scroll before taking their leave. As a precaution, they asked Gaara to cover the entrance back up with sand so no one else would find the bunker.

Nanoha and Hanabi had been in the Uchiha district for over an hour trying to locate the Tome of the Night Sky. It proved much more difficult considering Blitz Caliber didn't have the full scanning properties that Kerykeion had and they had to use Blitz as a dowsing tool instead.

"Sorry I'm not making this easier Hanabi. I'm doing the best I can." Blitz said in disappointment.

"Why are you apologizing? You're trying to do something you weren't designed with, so we're not upset." Hanabi told her Device. "We just gotta keep looking. As long as you point us in a right direction based on what you sense, that's all that matters."

"Hanabi's right. Don't be so hard on yourself Blitz." Nanoha added some extra comfort. "Let's take a minute and get our bearings before we try again."

"Ok." Blitz took a minute to slow down and focus back on the energy signature. "Alright the signature feels stronger to my left." Hanabi began to slowly turn so Blitz could better pinpoint the signature. "Right here, it feels stronger here. Head in this direction."

Hanabi and Nanoha continued to head in the directions that Blitz called out, stopping every time she felt the signature get weaker until they kept on the right path. Eventually they ended up in an abandoned library.

"It's in here! I can feel it and it's really strong!" Blitz called out.

"Then leave the rest to me. If I'm right, I should be able to see it with my Byakugan." Hanabi engaged her bloodline. "If that thing is giving off a strong chakra signature, I should be able to see it." She took a few minutes to scan carefully, looking for everything possible until she saw what looked to be a large bright mass. "Over there!" She pointed over to a bookshelf and the group began to examine. "Nanoha, what's this thing look like?"

"It was a brown book I think." Nanoha started skimming over the books on the shelf. "Unfortunately why did all of these other books have to be brown books?"

"Will this tome give off something to show us the right book?" Hanabi cringed in frustration as she still couldn't pinpoint the exact book. "Right now all I see is just this large mass of chakra but I can't figure out what it is!" She hit the bookshelf in frustration, causing it to slightly shake. In doing so however, she knocked one book loose…namely the one she was looking for.

"Guess sometimes it pays to get a little angry." Nanoha picked up the book that fell and upon opening it, knew it was the Tome of the Night Sky. "We found it."

Hanabi deactivated her Byakugan and looked over the book. It did have some dust on it but she did see that it was filled with immense words of spells and history. "So what do we do now?"

"Well, this is just one piece of the puzzle. Reinforce won't be complete until we find Hayate's staff Schwertzkreuz, her unison device Reinforce Zwei, and Rein's personal book, the Book of the Azure Sky." Nanoha explained. "For now, let's get back and report this to Lady Tsunade."

"Good plan. I also wanna ask her if there's anything that can be done to help Ino. I'm still worried about her." Hanabi said in concern as the two headed out of the library.

So Gaara's getting used to his new partner Rose, the group has found several helpful things in the bunker, and they now have one piece of the complete Reinforce. But what exactly was in the box that Naruto found? And what was on the cartridge? Only time will tell.

On to more important matters.

You may be wondering why my updates have come very slowly...well as I said at the beginning of the chapter, this will clear things up.

Let's face it, real life just plain sucks. Well…my case was a little different. Back in October 2009, I re-connected with a friend from college that I hadn't seen in almost 10 years. (I'm not THAT old! I'm only 30…that means I better not get a single "old fart" joke out of you RasenganFin, because I know you're the type that would do it!). Well for those of you who had been with me from the start, I suffered a pretty bad emotional breakup and fanfiction helped take my mind off of the breakup for about 3 years. But enough of that part. Well meeting this friend again was a really good point in my life because she was a wonderful person to me and to meet back up after 10 years was pretty interesting. So I spent most of my time connecting back with her for a good year and in November 2010, we met up in person for the first time…and next thing you know we're dating. Well fast forward to August 2011…I proposed to her and she said yes. So the last 9 months have been spent going absolutely MAD prepping for the biggest event of this author's life…As of May 26, 2012 there will officially be a Mrs. Neokenshin at my side. Yep, it's crazy.

So I wanted to give all of you who have been with me since 2006 an update and let you know where my life is headed. In no way will I discontinue my three main stories. It just means updates will come pretty slow, but they'll still come. Plus they may look a little better because my fiancée is an English Teacher so that may help! But thank you all for reading my stories, favoriting them, and even adding me as one of your favorite authors. I hope to give you many more exciting chapters in the future!

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