Chapter one; First encounter
The night was unusually still. The night time creatures had left the area earlier in the evening, sensing the unnatural creature’s presence. The forest was silent, except for the whisper of the wind as it gently played with the leaves. And the occasional slight rustle of leaves that signalled the only proof that there was, in fact, life in the forest.
The demon raised its head towards the sky, and inhaled deeply. He knew the time to strike was soon. His master was depending on him. He sensed movement behind him and tensed. There was no way the elite ANBU could have detected him yet. He’d infiltrated them perfectly, his disguise was flawless, he’d hidden his tracks relentlessly. It just couldn’t be possible! Slowly, he turned around to see who, or what, was behind him, and moulded his Chakra. He gasped at the being behind him. A yellow eye burned into his.
“Wha…” his voice caught as the creature, more deadly and unnatural than he, emerged from the darkness. Shadows peeled off him like cloth revealing a heavily bandaged face, with only one eye visible. The creature stepped forward into the moonlight. He was almost naked, except for the bandages that served as pants. His torso was slouched, and covered in an array of scars and seals. His hands held no weapon, but long, dirty fingernails, each one sharper than a kunai. This thing needed no weapons, he WAS a weapon. He cocked his head so far to the side it was almost upside down.
“Ryu…what are you doing here?” Nyoka asked the beast across from him. A chuckle escaped the creature, his voice sent icicles down Nyoka’s spine.
“Making sure you don’t mess up. Again.” Ryu replied darkly. Nyoka glared at his colleague. He doesn’t think I can do this on my own. He has no faith in me. Nyoka thought to himself. Ryu chuckled again,
“I cannot wait for you to undoubtable fail. My mouth waters in anticipation of the blood those vermin ninja who call themselves elite will shed.” He shivered, “It excites me greatly.”
“I hate to disappoint to, Ryu, but I will not fail this time.” Nyoka said defiantly. Ryu smiled under his bandage,
“We will soon see.” He scoffed and disappeared back into the shadows. Nyoka waited until he could no longer feel Ryu’s presence, then fixed his forehead protector and went to join his fellow shinobi, unaware that he was still being watched…
Kakashi Hatake crouched in a tree watching his squad await his arrival. He was often late for important things, but this was different. He wasn’t late, he was testing them. There were rookies among his squad this time, he wanted to see how well they’d respond to dangerous situations. So far, they were doing well. They stood in a circle formation, unmoving, and watching every direction. It had been two days since the Scroll of Summoning had been stolen by a group of mercenaries. Hokage-sama had already sent a Jōnin and his team to try and get it back. They’d failed.
Movement to the left caught Kakashi’s attention. He threw a kunai straight passed the big man’s head and it sunk into the trunk of the tree behind him.
“You should know, you can’t sneak up on me.” Kakashi said casually. The man laughed,
“Yes, I know. You should know, if I was going to sneak up on you, you’d be falling from this tree by now.” Kakashi smiled beneath his mask.
“What has Hokage-sama tricked you into doing this time, Akio?” he asked. Akio Eto turned to retrieve Kakashi’s kunai.
“He hasn’t tricked me into doing anything. He simply asked that I deliver a gift to you.” he said as he yanked the kunai out. Kakashi raised an eyebrow, although the man couldn’t see it beneath his mask. What kind of gift would Hokage-sama send to me? Surely it must benefit the mission, but I have no idea what it could be… Kakashi thought to himself.
“Well…what is it?” he asked Akio. Akio laughed haughtily,
“Not a ‘what’, a ‘who.’” He said. Kakashi frowned. No outsider has ever been allowed on a ANBU mission. And the only people who knew who the ANBU members were were Hokage-sama, the village elders and Konohagakure Root. It was obvious that Akio was just sent to find the squad in the forest, not Kakashi. Akio motioned and a hooded being appeared next to him.
“Good luck, shinobi.” Akio said, touched the person on the shoulder and disappeared into the night. Kakashi sized the ‘gift’ up. The person, a young boy he assumed, was slender, of average height, and didn’t look all that talented. Whatever Hokage-sama has planned, I hope it’s for a good reason.
“Well, c’mon then.” Kakashi said to the boy and jumped soundlessly to the ground. The boy followed suit.
“Gentlemen.” Kakashi greeted them as his squad turned to face him, “shall we?”
“You there! Identify yourself!” commanded a member. Kakashi smiled, he’d forgotten about the boy already. He turned to see the boy standing silently beside him, still hooded. The boy began to remove his hood as Kakashi, now in close proximity stared in disbelief and interest at the definition of the boy’s body.
“My name is Sayu Umari.” Not a boy after all. Hokage-sama… Kakashi thought as his squad was in uproar. Kakashi stared at this young girl. Her black hair cut short to just above her shoulders, her deep violet eyes were sharp, and although her face was charmingly stunning, she looked dangerous, even for a rookie. Kakashi was undoubtedly interesting in this young girl.
“Not only is she a girl, but she’s a rookie Chūnin!” one said. Sayu didn’t say a word. She just stood there in defiant silence, face blank.
“Hokage-sama has giving instruction that she be here! Suck it up!” Kakashi told them all.
“Sir!” they complied and fell silent. Kakashi narrowed his eyes,
“We have a mission to do, I have not lost a member of my squad yet, and I don’t intend on changing that any time soon. You are elite shinobi, so start acting like it! For a reason unknown to me, Hokage-sama has put this girl on our team, so you’d better honour his decision!” He looked at each one of his five members, “Let’s go.”
Sexist bastards. Sayu thought to herself as she raced through the trees with the ANBU squad. But I guess they have a point. I am just a girl… Sayu shook the thought from her head, No, I’m not JUST a girl. I am a Chūnin and a kunoichi. She narrowed her eyes and increased her speed to catch up to the squad leader. As she passed the squad members, she sensed a strange and disgusting chakra. The squad leader made no movements that indicated he’d sensed it too. Perhaps she was just being paranoid…perhaps.
They made it to their destination in no time at all and split into two teams to infiltrate the storehouse where the Scroll of Summoning was being kept. Team A, which consisted of 3 of the squad, would take the east entrance. Team B, which consisted of the squad leader, Sayu and the remaining 2 squad members, would take the west. When both teams were in position, they would move in together, killing anyone in their way. Sayu studied the squad leader while they waited. He was a tall, muscular man and had spikey silver hair. Although she couldn’t see his face, she assumed from his voice he was only a few years older than her, and so he must have been an exceptional shinobi. She was glad that he’d wanted to keep her close. It would make her job much easier. She loosened the forehead protector around her neck and pushed it up onto her head, checked her shuriken holster and tightened it. She really needed to replace the strap.
“Sir, we’re in position.” said a voice over the intercom.
“Move out.” He said. They raced silently towards the storehouse. One of the members threw a smokebomb through the window as they burst through the door, dangerous, ready to kill. But the sight that beheld them, stopped them dead in their tracks. The mercenaries they were supposed to dispose of, were hanging from the banisters, skinned. Some had limbs missing, some were hung by their feet as their heads had been removed. Entrails and blood covered the floor. Sayu used every ounce of her strength not to vomit and run out of there. No. Don’t fall to pieces yet. Not yet. Be strong.
“Sayu…” the leader said, “Look away.” She realized she had taken a few steps and was now ahead of the team. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and squared her shoulders.
“No.” she said and continued walking. She was going to finish the task assigned to her by Hokage-sama himself, no matter what. As she made her way through the carnage, careful not to touch the bodies, or slip in the blood, she noticed something odd. Hm..what? There’s that chakra again… Suddenly the storehouse was filled with terrified and painful screams. Sayu pulled out two kunai’s, just as the leader moved in front of her blocking an attack. The creature came out of nowhere! The leader knocked the creature flying backwards, it landed effortlessly, unscathed.
“Sayu, stay back.” The leader said. Sayu frowned, and moved beside the leader. She stared at this thing in front of them. It looked human, with more than half its face bandaged, only revealing one yellow eye. She could tell it was tall and lanky, even though it slouched heavily. It was naked except for bandages that served as pants, no shoes, no armour. No weapons. How was it planning on killing them if it had no weapons? And then she saw. It’s fingernails were long, sharp and covered in blood already. Was this the thing that slaughtered those mercenaries? She thought.
“You’re very clever, child.” It said to her, its voice causing every hair on her body to stand on edge. The leader began creating hand seals rapidly. There’s that unpleasant chakra again… She glanced at the leader, Could it be…?
Kakashi glared at the creature in front of them. You will not get away with this so lightly, my friend… The demon laughed,
“It is time…” he said and disappeared back into the shadows. Kakashi waited until he could no longer sense the demon before turning to Sayu.
“Are you hurt?” he asked her. She shook her head,
“Your men…” she began. Kakashi turned and began sprinting towards where his men were. Only one was left still alive.
“You two, carry the dead.” He said to the remaining members.
“But sir…” one started. Kakashi knelt beside the shinobi who was barely alive,
“No one gets left behind.” He hoisted the man up over his shoulder and carried him out. They made it back to the meeting point in no time.
“You two will take the dead back to camp. Sayu and I will tend to him.” Kakashi said and looked up at Sayu who was standing over the injured man’s body, in font of Kakashi. She nodded. When the men were gone, Kakashi told Sayu to stay with the shinobi while he went to find some herbs for his wounds. What the hell was that thing? My attack didn’t have any effect on it at all. It was almost like it allowed me to send it flying. It had no weapons except it nails, which were probably poisoned. And where was that foul chakra coming from? Was the owner of that chakra the thing that attacked and killed my men? What the hell is going on?! Kakashi was too caught up in his thoughts that he almost didn’t notice her behind him.
“Thought I told you to stay with him?” he said calmly.
“You did.” She replied.
“Why didn’t you obey?” he asked. He heard the slight clink of shuriken. Is she going to attack me?
“You may be an ANBU squad leader, but you are not my Sensei or Hokage-sama.” She replied. Kakashi smiled, this girl was tough.
“Why did he send you here? Surely it wasn’t because of the Scroll of Summoning?” Kakashi asked.
“Hokage-sama said you were a smart one.” She replied. Kakashi frowned. Surely she doesn’t know…
“You’re Kakashi Hatake, right?” Sayu asked. Kakashi froze.
“Otherwise known as the Copy Ninja.” She continued. She…knows who I am.
“So, the beast was right. You are smart.” Kakashi said, making his voice sound calmer than he actually was. He began to remove his mask. If she knew who he was, if she could follow him without him detecting her, she must be powerful. He knew that he couldn’t beat her with just his hand-to-hand skills or normal ninjutsu. He had to use his sharingan.
“And you are one of the most talented shinobi the world has seen. So, you should already know my reason for being here. Right?” Sayu said. Kakashi smiled again, of course he did.
“There’s no possible way the Scroll of Summoning could be stolen by mercenaries. Nor would there be any way that Hokage-sama would wait two days to get it back, or send in a Jōnin and his team to retrieve it. He’d also never send a 16 year old rookie Chūnin on a mission like this.” Kakashi said.
“Correct.” Sayu said.
“So who are you really?” Kakashi said.
“My name is Sayu Murasake, and I’ve been sent to capture the traitor to the ANBU.” She said. Sayu Murasake? This year’s number one rookie Chūnin? Well, that makes more sense… Kakashi smiled,
“I take it then you’ve found your target?” he turned to face her, a smile still planted on his face as he readied himself for an attack.
“Yes…” She said and loosed three shuriken.
Sayu’s gaze never shifted from her target as she spoke,
“And I never miss.” She watched as Kakashi pulled out his kunai to deflect the shuriken, and smiled as they sailed passed his head. He smiled again,
“You missed.” Sayu smiled back, still watching her target. There was a grunt of pain from behind Kakashi. He spun around.
“No. I didn’t.” she said triumphantly. She walked forward to stand beside Kakashi.
“You didn’t think I meant you, did you?” she asked him teasingly. He grunted as the traitor stood slowly.
“So, Ryu was right. You are smart. But tell me,” he said as he removed his mask to reveal black eyes, and a snake-like face, “how did you sense me, when the great Kakashi didn’t?”
“I can sense chakra’s up to 10 miles away, once I’m aware of them. And yours is disgusting, demon.” Sayu spat. The demons eyes flashed at her. She’d pissed it off.
“How dare you talk to me, the great Nyoka, like that you petulant child!” he hissed. Sayu just smiled. Nyoka’s clothes began to melt off him as he transformed into half a snake.
“Oh, thiss iss going to be fun.” He hissed as he started towards them. He charged at Kakashi first. Kakashi jumped high into the air, only to have Nyoka appear above him. He hit Kakashi with his tail and sent him crashing to the ground. Kakashi flipped at the last second and landed safely. But Nyoka was fast, and was already in front of him before Kakashi could stand. Kakashi was sent sailing. Nyoka began created hand seals.
“Shurikenjutsu!” he yelled and threw an arms-length shuriken at Kakashi. NO!
“Kakashi!!” Sayu screamed and leaped into the path of the shuriken. Nyoka laughed as it sunk into her back. He then moved his fingers and the shuriken flew out of her back and hit her again and again. Blood sprayed from her mouth onto Kakashi’s cheek.
“Sayu…” he said catching her as she fell.
“Kill him.” She coughed.
Kakashi closed his eyes and stood up. When he reopened them, Nyoka could almost feel the electricity. For not the first time tonight, he was nervous.
“My turn.” Kakashi said devastatingly. He began rapidly making hand seals, so fast Nyoka couldn’t keep up.
“LIGHTNING CUTTER!” Kakashi roared. Nyoka stared, terrified and in disbelief. He could actually see Kakashi’s chakra forming in his hand… Im…Impossible! Kakashi began sprinting towards Nyoka. I have to move. Move. MOVE! Fear had frozen him. He couldn’t move. “Hmm, looks like you messed up again, Nyoka” he heard Ryu’s voice in his head. That was enough to snap Nyoka out of fear. He knew what he had to do. There was no way he could win against Kakashi. Not when he was this mad. He began forming hand seals as he bowed his head.
“Last resort.” He muttered.
Kakashi was furious. He ran at Nyoka with blind anger. Nyoka would pay for what he’d done! As Kakashi came nearer, he noticed Nyoka creating seals. Seals he’d never seen before. He stopped running when Nyoka looked up at him, smiling hopelessly.
“My only hope is that I take you with me.” He hissed. Kakashi’s eyes widened. He was going to blow himself up. Kakashi stopped his technique, spun on his heal and started sprinting back to where Sayu was bleeding on the ground. He got to her just in time and flung himself over her to protect her from the blast. She threw her arms up around his head, to somewhat shield it from any flying shrapnel. When the smoke had cleared, he slowly pushed himself up. Sayu’s hands arms were still around his neck, and for some reason, he didn’t mind. He looked down at her. Her deep violet eyes were already focused on him. Her face was dirty and bloodied, a small amount of blood was still seeping out of the corner of her mouth. How had he not seen it before? In those few hours of their knowing each other, he’d never seen how truly beautiful she was. And now, covered in dirt and blood, she was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. His lips parted slightly as he lost himself in her eyes. She leaned towards him, and he focused on her perfect lips.
Sayu was surprised at how handsome Kakashi was. Though he was only a few years older than her, his eyes seemed to have seen many tragedies, and too much death. This close to him, so close she could feel his warm breath on her skin, she began to feel something stir inside her. This man, this terrifying, incredible and mysterious man, was making her feel…love? Love? Love is foreign to me. And yet, I want to protect him, this man I barely know, with my life? What has happened to me? Kakashi noticed her conflict, but confused it with being in pain.
“Are you hurt?” he asked softly. He looked worried. Worried? About me? Sayu, don’t be ridiculous. She smiled up at him,
“I’ll be fine.” He smiled down at her, his mask had be torn when he was fighting Nyoka. She slid her hand from his neck to his face, where his mask was ripped and pulled it down, exposing his face. He was breathtakingly handsome. She almost stopped breathing for a moment. She pulled him down closer to her face, kissed his cheek and released him. He stared back at her, surprise in his eyes.
“Thank you.” She whispered.
“For what?” Kakashi asked. Sayu smiled.
“You’ll see. In time.”
(I do not own Naruto nor the characters from Naruto, just my characters, Sayu, Nyoka, Ryu and Akio)