Dawn of a New Era

Chapter 9

Effortless

Temari’s face was red with anger and embarrassment as she headed to the West side of the Village.

In front of her as she stopped, stood the Sungimo Estate. The sunken statue head with the red mark was slowly sinking still.

“This is the entrance…” She strolled over to the head and placed her hand on the red mark and rubbed around. The sand around her feet started to move outward. “Sinking sand, felling beliefs, carnage of death, sand revealing…!”

Temari took a back step and the sand formed a small tunnel. She slid down carefully, landing in a large pit underground. The sand above her sealed away, leaving darkness and a small unsourced amount of sunlight.

“Is he down here still?” Other tunnel intersected with the one she had landed in.

“Temari? Why are you in here?” A voice echoed across a sand tunnel.

Her face brightened as she saw his face. “Ga-Gaara?!”

She dropped her coolness and dashed towards her broth in the hall parallel to her. She embraced him tight, as did he.

“Nice to see you again. Again, what are you doing in the Sunagimo Tombs?”

Temari stood straight and looked him straight in the eye. “I understand your new occupation. But our teams that ventured out to the Terrace Valley came back with horrible results. Two people were killed and Tenrai came back brutally injured. And we require your assitance. I need you as a guard and reconnaisance mission. If any Akatsuki members attack, I also know I can count on you to aid us in every way.”

Gaara closed his eyes and nodded. “All right.” He said with a hand onto her shoulder.

Temari beamed. Gaara led her out of the tombs and back into the mansion.

As he entered the office, he whispered to himself, “I haven’t been in here in five years…”

Matsuri stood in her office and turned as the duo approached. Her eyes began to sparkle as Gaara entered.

Gaara!” Matsuri sang.

Matsuri dashed over and embraced him as tight as Temari had before, a bit more thrust than before, however. Matsuri pushed off and smiled.

A dark environment shrouds figures standing around each other…

A woman’s crisp voice pierced the air in the darkness.

“Hakujou and Hidan have arrived, Uto.”

Another, manly, but clean voice replied, “All right. So no casualties on our behalf. Is everyone here?”

Silence.

“Good. Now, Kakaze?”

A fire flickered, casting a red glow upon the ground and faces inside the darkness.

“Light.”

The flame sparked and spit into many different directions. In mere seconds, torches illuminated a room. The room was very large with three other passageways. Koukishi stepped in from one of the passageways and placed his hand onto the wall.

The floor under the Akatsuki broke into pieces. The holograms of three people faded away.

A large cave was revealed to be hidden outside the room.

“A special, physical genjutsu. My favorite.”

Three pillars rose up from the ground. The scrolls were each placed on them, and Kakaze set the one that had just been stolen.

The scrolls now cast an eerie light upon the face of the cave wall.

“We’re almost there…” A hologram stated as it appeared suddenly.

Koukishi smirked. “Don’t you think we should just bloodrush the other villages with numbers on our side? We’d get the scrolls easily, hohoho.”

“No,” the hologram returned bluntly. “Suna and Konoha are very powerful villages. Their defenses are high and their ninja are strong. Konoha withstood the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Great Ninja World War, as well as Orochimaru’s Invasion 18 years ago, and many other things. We need to go in high numbers. Suna won’t have to wait quite as long…Let’s get to work.”

A flower petal float gently above the cave opening at the top and soars down easily.

“Flowers are a beautiful part of nature…” A hologram states as it appears by Koukishi.

He grunts and holds up a hand. “I suppose.”

In the Forest of O…

A bright and eerie light is glowing from atop a tree limb.

The weakened body of Jinrai steadily rises to his feet. “I…shall…not…let myself…die again!”

The limb crackled apart as he jumped away from it. His expression was blunt and tough. “I’ll kill you…girl!”

In the Hokage Mansion…

A Mist bird landed on the Window sill. It grabbed Shikamaru’s attention and he slipped the message from its case on its back.

He dropped the scroll after reading it and his face became pale. “The Kirigakure scroll was stolen?!”

Minutes later, TenTen, Yamato and Kiba were in his office, due to being called.

“Kirigakure’s scroll was stolen, so I want you three to go and collect information. Reconnasaince Mission.”

The small team set off towards the Hidden Mist.

Training Field…

Azuma continously punches a a tree with his knives, one punch after another. The marks were deep and he didn’t move on to another until the one he was hammering was hacked apart.

“Can’t…fail…another…mission!” He threw a punch hard enough to knock the top of the treestraight off the stump and send it into the water.

He sighed and calmed himself.

“Azuma.” A voice called out gently from behidn him. He whirred aruond to face Sasuke, smiling.

“Sasuke-sama…” He smiles.

“You’re strong Azuma, you know that. But you need to keep control of your temper and focus on what you’re doing, how you do it, and when you do it.” Azuma nodded, showing Sasuke had his full, undivided attention.

He points to the stump. “The air chakra you forced through the knives is powerful, you just need to learn how to control it better. Let’s see…Throw a punch with air chakra around me.”

Azuma backs up, slips on a knife and thrusts on hand forward. The air slices around Sasuke, barely clipping a lock of his hair.

“Good…Hrm. Now, deflect…”

Sasuke, in a blink of an eye, drew the Kusanagi and threw it at Azuma. Azuma lunged up with his knife before the sword got close and it was deflected with a sharp edge of air.

The sword landed in Sasuke’s grasp. “Great.” He stopped as Suigetsu emerged from the water.

“Sasuke, you sure can be surprising. Tell me exactly why you’re tutoring him?” Suigetsu put forth.

sasuke shrugs. “Because I want to. Why’s there a need for questions?” He opens one eye and watches Suigetsu fom behind him.

Suigetsu crosses his arms and rolls his eyes. “Nevermind. Have you seen Karin?”

Sasuke nods. “She was shopping in the Village earlier. She’s probably still there.” Suigetsu nodded and disappeared.

Azuma sighs and puts his knives away. “Thanks, Sasuke-sama, I needed that bit of practice!” He smiles and puts his arm around the back of his head.

Sasuke smiles and starts to make his way out of the field. On his way out, he meets Sakura.

“Oh, hi Sasuke.” She waves.

Sasuke smiles back and passes her. “Come on Moegi!” She calls out behind her.

A woman appears running after her.

She keels over, hands on her knees, and gasps, “Sorry…Sakura…I’m here…ack.”

Sakura helps her up. She glances behind her. “Where did Hinata go!?” Sakura flusters.

In the Dumpling Shop…

Hinata Hyuuga sits eating a stick of dumplings and sipping a cup of tea. Sakura explodes inside, an angry expression.

“Hinata! I thought you were coming to the training field with us?” Sakura asks, keeping her anger inside.

Hinata frowns. In a small voice, she answers, “Sorry, I was hungry earlier when you saw me, but you left before I had a chance to tell you I was going here. I’ll come, I promise.”

Sakura nods and sits next to her. Moegi follows shortly.

The woman catering there noticed two new people and brought them complimentary tea.

As she set it down, she saw the face of Sakura. “SAKURA?!” The woman exclaimed.

“Ino? Hey, long time no see!” Ino smiles and dashes away. In a minute, she comes back and sits down.

“Break time. Anyway, I haven’t seen you in forever. Where have you been?”

Sakura scoffs. “Question is, where haven’t I been? I’ve been around everywhere, learning moer about medical ninjutsu and things. Now, I’m a Top Medical-Nin.”

Ino shifts uneasily in her seat. “Really…? Interesting…Oh, where’s Tsun-”

Sakura frowns. “I don’t know. We started out together, with her teaching me about Medical Ninjutsu and my power…But I don’t know where she went. About half-way through our journey, she just…left. Shizune went with her. She could be anywhere.”

“Oh, sorry to hear that.”

Hinata dropped the last stick on her plate and paid the bill.

“So, Moegi, Sakura, were we going to the Training Field?” Hinata asked, a bright and eager step in her voice.

“Yeha, sure!” Moegi clapped her hands and pulled Sakura up. Ino smiled.

“I have to get back to work. See you later!”

Sakura, Hinata and Moegi left the shop and Ino got back to her business.

In the cave…

Koukishi sits upon the pedestal, watching over the scrolls.

“Three here…hohoho. I can’t wait until we have them all. Even though it may be a hassle getting them, the end result is always good. Hm?” From up above, a figure drops down in front of him and collapses.

“Jinrai?” Koukishi can’t help uttering, clearly bewildered.

Hakujou and Kakaze appear and notice the body laying on the ground.

“So he isn’t dead…Shame, or a good thing?” Hakujou jokes.

Kakaze picks him up and takes him down a hall. Koukishi continues to sit there, whistling a tune. Hakujou frowns at this.

“Are you…whistling? How un-proffesional of you!”

Koukishi turns his head. “Pardon me? Couldn’t hear you!” And continues to whistle.

Hakujou thros his arms up in despair and leaves the room. “Fine then, you polite bastard,” he mutters to himself as he departs.

In Kirigakure…

Ao finishes answering questions to the recon mission Shikamaru dispatched.

On their way out, Yamato speaks to the crew. “He looked uneasy, like his life was on the line if he stepped one step form his spot.”

“Maybe it is.” TenTen suggested. “Maybe he said something to someone wrong, or maybe…” TenTen’s eyes grew big. “Maybe he was the cause of the theft. He must have failed, or he wouldn’t have been so on edge as he was.”

Kiba nodded in agreeal. “And everytime he’d answer a question, I could hear him speaking under his breath. ‘How could I…Why…Why was I weak…?’, and things like that.”

Yamato signaled to head off and they started through the swamps once again.

As they exited the final marsh, Yamato stopped them again. “That makes three, right?”

Kiba counts the scrolls from the villages. “Yup. There are only two left…So what exactly happens, anyway?”

In the Hidden Leaf Forest…

The wind blows stronger than usual. Leaves start dangling and dropping from the trees.

“An omen.” Neji says simply.

Shino remeains quiet.

Hokage Office…

Yamato relays the information they gathered after their team arrived. When Shikamaru passed it off as passed, they departed.

Leaf Hospital…

Sasuke finds Sauno’s room and enters. He notices Sauno up, speaking with Hizuka and Uzuna.

She waves to her father. “Sauno, I see you’re all right. I also see you used the Chidori.” His sharp eyes pickes up the burn marks on her palm.

“And the Flame Armor acticated during your battle. You’re lucky you didn’t die. That kekkei genkai only activates when your life is in trouble. In this case, you had a bit left in you before it activated. Must have been a tough match.”

Sauno nods. “But I’m sure the Chidori killed him. Uzuna said he looked deader then dead before we left. Oh, and I’m also set to get out of here by tomorrow.”

Sasuke grins. “Great. Have you seen your brother?”

Sauno looks astonished. “Well, no actually. I haven’t paid much attention, but now that you think of it…I haven’t seen him in forever.” Uzuna and Hizuka agree with her statement, as they had not seen him around.

Sasuke stood to the side as Karin appeared at the door and smiled at her daughter.

She handed Sauno two black gloves. “I wanted you to have these.”

Sauno sets them on her nightstand. “I’ll wear them when I get out, thanks.” Sauno gives a grin.

Uzuna and Hizuka leave together, along with Sasuke. Karin stays for awhile and chats with Sauno. But Karin soon leaves as Sauon lulls to sleep.


Well, I admit it took a bit longer to get this one out, but it’s not speed that matters, it’s quality and how well the story impacts the reader! Hope everyone enjoyed it.

See ya, next time for Chapter 10

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