NOTE: This, along with about six or seven other chapters are called “blowout” chapters, because they either reveal very important information, and are twice as long as others, or have fights that are very relevant.

This chapter also makes use of the term “Beauty is only skin deep.”

Dawn of a New Era

Chapter 10

Sinister RedRose

“Your punches still hit hard enough to shatter steel…” Hinata comments as Sakura breaks a boulder behind her, which Hinata managed to avoid.

“I know, training with Tsunade even longer after I had finished got me up to plate…” Sakura slamms the ground, causing Hinata to jump high into the air.

“And your reflexes are good as well.” Hinata says as she secretly shucks a kunai down at her opponent. Sakura moves her leg and it hit the ground. Moegi appears behind her throws a punch, but Sakura notices her and skips to the side.

“Wow, Sakura! You’re very good! Oooh!” Moegi awes.

Hinata stands in one position, punmmeling the air with hir hands, perfecting Heavenly Art: Gentle Trigram.

“It’s as good as done…”

In the cave…

a hologram appeared and faded. A figure was left standing in its place.

Koukishi smiled at the figure’s appearance. “Jun?”

The figure nodded and stepped forward in the light. Her hair glimmered white like a diamond in the sun. A tiny red rose was stuck in her hair like always.

“What are you doing in person, Jun?” Koukishi asked, again bewildered.

“Uto has told me to come.” A hologram appears behind them. Jun turns around simply and listens.

“Jun, so nice of you to come. Please, if you would, investigate the Hidden Leaf Village. I want to know a little bit more about it.”

Koukishi abruptly enters, “But don’t you know everything about it? I mean, that’s where you came from…so…?”

“Don’t interrupt, koukishi.” The hologram smugly grunts.

Jun nodds and disappears. A flower petal is left floating down in her place.

In the Training Field, Hinata and Moegi pack up what they brought and wave goodbbye to Sakura. They depart while Sakura continues to pack her things.

She feels a gentle wind and inhales the fresh air. She soon realizes it’s not as good as it seems.

“It feels different. I think somethings approaching…Ghhg!”

Flower petals appears on the ground before her. “Those weren’t there before.”

She begins to walk away, but as she turns around, a figureis standing there, glaring through her.

She drops her bag and backs up a step. “Who’re you?” She immediately notices the black cloak. “You-You’re an Akatsuki aren’t you?” But in her mind, she thinks, “But she’s so beautiful…”

“My name is Jun. I was sent here to investigate.” She says simply, in a crisp, gentle, but feminine voice.

“Then why are you here in front of me? Are you looking for a fight?” Sakura replies gruffly.

“No…I was just admiring how beautiful your hair would look…on me.” Sakura’s eyes grow big as she hears this maniacal comment.

She immediately readies her Chakra Scalpels after hearing how dangerous she may be.

“Oh, you don’t want to fight back. I don’t want to either…I don’t want to mess your hair up too bad.” Her hands begin to disappear in a spiral of red flower petals.

The fly around Sakura in a funnel, and Jun begins to disappear, her entire body turning into petals. Sakura gazed around at them. “These are similar to that girl’s on Crescent Moon Island…but…There’s no poison or Genjutsu involves here…Or is there? Release!”

The flower continue spinning. “Nope. Then I’ll take the direct approach.”

She charges forward, two scalpels in place and slices through the petals. She skids to a stop on the other side. Jun’s body begins to form in the middle of the shower of petals. “I don’t mind revealing my secrets to my opponents because I believe they won’t live long enough to get away…My kekkei genkai is being able to shift my molecules and turn whichever parts of my body to flowers whenever.”

“So she’s like Suigetsu, except with flowers…” Sakura says to herself.

Suddenly, an arm materalizes above Sakura, a kunai in hand and lunges down. Sakura slides to the side and hacks the arm with a scalpel. The arm turns into flower petals.

Jun still stands parallel to her, her arms gone in flowers.

“I could just take advantage over you here, my arms just harassing you for the rest of the match.” She loooks up, her face expressionless. “But what’s the fun in that?”

Sakura grimaces at this.

Jun steps forward. The petals begin to come back to her arms where her hands are gone. “Flower Art: Drill of the Rose!” The petal begin to mold, harden and sharpen, creating two large drill-like spears.

“How should I kill you with these?” She debates with herself. She suddenly charges forward.

Sakura deftly eludes the sharp attacks, the drills slamming into the ground and splintering it, also making it hard for Sakura to land after jumping away from an attack. Finally, Jun slammed the ground with both drills and caused a huge tremor to throw Sakura backwards.

“Flower Art: Sifting Lily!”

The drills evaporate into the air. Jun closes her eyes and the petals levitate in mid air, aim at Sakura and glisten.

The petals then shoots in armies of arrows at Sakura, who was lying on the ground. She hopped up only in time to see the attack awaiting her. She used the Sub Jutstu to escape death.

She appeared by the Memorial Stone, panting. “I could attack close up…” She then bolts towards Jun. Once she gets close, she jumps into the air, still going forward, and flips upside down. Forming a couple hand signs, she screams, “Earth Style: Mud Wall!”

Sakura opened her mouth directly above Jun and spit the mud onto her. The wall stretched into the air, encapsulating Jun inside. She landed straight up and wiped her mouth.

“I knew it would come in handy soon.” She then hit her fist to her palm and aimed down. “Take this!” She threw his fist down with all her might and the whole earth below her exploded, the mud wall caught inside.

When the smoke cleared, pieces of hardened mud and Sakura were seen in a small crater. “That was harsh…Did I get her?”

Suddenly, a large vine with a pod attached grows out of the ground. Aburptly, the pod opens to reveal a bodacious rose, spread open to reveal it’s beauty. But, from inside, A hand stuck out, then an arm and then the body of Jun.

“Flower Art: Rose Summoning Revival. A techhnique I love. If there’s moisture and nutrients in the ground, my rose can grow anywhere and protect me from any attack. Do you like it?” But Sakura had already charged forward, he Chakra Sword glowing from her hands. She hacked the stem into two and the top where Jun resided toppled over. She disappeared in petal as it hit the ground.

“I don’t like to me fooled around with, you which.” The flower petals began to form in front of Sakura now. Jun appeared, the rose in her hair wrinkled and her cloak ripped a bit.

“Perish by the hands of flowers. Flower Art: Sunflower Seed Overgrowth!”

The ground shook and four buds shot up from the ground around Sakura and hovered over her. The buds bloomed and bright sunflowers opened up.

“SOmething about those make me uncomfortable.” The sunflowers suddenly started shooting seeds down at her. The seeds exploding upon contact with anything it hit.

“Gah, exploding seeds.”

“Those seeds are infused with a bit of my chakra, allowing them to explode. They are very volatile. Be careful not to touch them!” Jun chuckled slightly.

Sakura continued to avoid the seeds and knocked one flower’s head off the stem. the seeds continued to follow. she began to notice that when she knocked a sunflower out, the seeds from the others began exploding harder.

“The chakra must be shared, so the more are killed,” she jumped, “the more powerful others are.”

Sakura used her chakra sword to extend her reach and hacked down a third one. The final one was left. It reared its head and released with full force one more seed.

Sakura sliced the seed in half with her swords, but they exploded when touched. Jun smirked when the explosiong occured.

“Finally, it seems as if she is dead. Let’s see if I can find any of her ha-” She felt a grasp on her foot as she stepped forward.

“Earth Style: Head Hunter Jutsu.” Jun was yanked underground and then thrown up eith tough force.

“Now!” As Jun fell from the air, Sakura released a stream of “mud” from her mouth and covered Jun in it.

As Jun hit the ground, the mud hardened. Sakura jumped over her and released more, covering her and now creating the Mud Wall.

“This time…It’s personal. Herculan Earth Rush!” Sakura slammed both fists into the ground next to the wall and the entire area erupted downwards into a creater, the rocks cracking and jostling upwards, creating rifts in the earth. The mud was obliterated, along with its contents.

Red petals float dazzily onto one of the splintered up rocks. A figure appeared from them, on its knees and panting. Jun’s cloak was no longer on her body.

“Hmph. If you didn’t notice, the flower petals are my life source. They are also whatever is connected to my body. Some of the petals you just destroyed were connected to my robe, but the robe was destroyed as you killed my petals.”

Sakura smirked to the side. “So I could kill you by destroying your petals…!”

Jun dashed forward before Sakura finished speaking. Sakura stepped forward and slung her chakra swords at Jun, which she had just created.

Jun dodged the attack and formed a spear of petals. She thurst the tightly wound spear to Sakura, but she dodged it by a bit. A hair was cut off in the commotion.

Jun happened to catch the falling hair and grin wildly. “One step closer to that sheek hair of yours. Come here!” Jun now thrust her spear forward, slicing Sakura’s left leg.

“Ack…!” Sakura fell to one knee, her swords dissipating.

Jun’s petals started swirling around her. “I guess I will kill you here. Flower Art: Deep Ebony Bind.”

Vines from undergound started poking up and wrapping around Sakura. “What!?” The ivy contained thorns that prickled Sakura as they wrapped around her.

“No, this is bad!” The vinaes continued to move up. Once they reached her back, it forced her to the ground, only for her arms to be wrapped as well. “I can’t let it end like this.”

Jun pulled out a kunai as the vines moved towards her face and stopped. “Let me cut off that beautiful hair of yours before you die, pretty!” A gleam in her eye was cast of the kunai in the sun as she licked the kunai solemnly.

She started edging down towards her hair ever so carefully. Sakura closed her eyes as the vinaes wrapped her mouth and pressed tight.

Suddenly, a kunai pierced one of Jun’s petals. The rose on Jun’s head lost a petal and it wilted in mid-air and disintegrated.

She grimaced and tightened her grip on the kunai.

“What do you think you are doing?” A bold voice approached from behind.

“Hmm…Ugh, your hair is ugly!” Jun shrieked as Rock Lee stood poised behind her.

Lee shrugged it off and glanced at the wound Sakura on the ground. Sakura motioned her eyes as a signal to her arms. The chakra was poking throughm silently and easily cutting the vines. Lee gave the slightest of nods.

He suddenly rushed forward. The petals formed a wall around Jun. Rock Lee span forward with his Leaf Hurricane 4-Speed and crashed through the wall. Jun threw the kunai held in her hand at him. Lee dodged it and kicked Jun in the stomach. She dissipated in petals and stood, mid-sectionless and frowning.

“You are getting on my nerves. Could I at least have her hair?” Jun pleaded.

“No.” A crisp voice greeted from behind. She turned around and at that second, Sakura through a crushing blow to Jun’s now reapeared mid-section. Time bended for a moment and Jun was thrusted forward with might and crashed into the stone cliff-side parallel to them. As she made contact, her body disappeared in black rose petals.

Sakura panted and crossed her arm over her abdomen. “Thanks Lee. If it weren’t for you, I would have been done for.” Lee holds a thumbs up.

“Not a problem for you!” Lee smiled and winked.

Lee walked sakura out of the training Field and then left her as he made sure she was all right.

“The damage to the field is pretty bad though!” Sakura joked.

Some time later in the Cave…

The black rose petals gathered at the base of one of the stone pillars and Jun was formed, the rose on her head now black.

“I failed.” She fell forward, passing out from exhaustion.

“It is all right, Jun. It’s quite all right…”

“Wasn’t she only supposed to do a little recon? I mean seriously, getting in a full-on fight to the death is kind of harsh.” Koukishi commented.

“Just be quiet for the moment.” The hologram replied bluntly.

Koukishi nodded and crossed his arms. “At least things are starting to come to fruition…”