{{The Shadow Behind Your Eyes}} ~Shippuden~ Uchiha Sasuke - 69 (Pain Ravages Konoha! "Where Are The Nine-Tailed Beasts?")

FYI, there will be lots of POV-switching in this chapter. Just to let you know. ~KyuubisWhelp

Created by KyuubisWhelp on Monday, July 27, 2009

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Recap:
Within fifteen seconds the Six Paths of Pain and Konan were within Konoha. They barely stopped, flying off in separate directions at the whispered command of God Path.

"Find and secure the Nine-Tailed Beast twins."

************************************************************Naruto's POV************************************************************

Naruto shouted his glee when he deflected another one of Elder Fukasaku's kicks in midair. "Yes! Take that, old toad!"

"You're getting better at the frog katas, Naruto," Elder Fukasaku said.

"You ain't seen nothin' yet!" yelled the blond, going in for another kick. But his attack was cancelled when his Sage chakra ran out, making his toad eyes return to human blue and causing him to fall like a rock.

The old toad hopped over to the boy. "Five minutes is your limit, we've established that."

"But I can make it longer if I figure out how to gather natural chakra while moving," Naruto argued, getting to his feet.

"That's impossible," stated Elder Fukasaku flatly. "I've told you, there isn't a way to gather natural chakra while moving. That's like trying to look left and right at the same time."

Those familiar words made Naruto's brain turn on in a flash of neurons. "Oh! Wait! I can do that!"

"Huh?"

But before Naruto could elaborate on it, a tadpole popped from the river and bowed to Fukasaku. "We have a situation. Kosuke, the one sent to Konoha, has been killed."

Elder Fukasaku drew up short. "What? How!?"

"I don't know. His name has disappeared from the list."

"Could something be happening in Konoha?" murmured the old toad.

Naruto, however, didn't wait to hear an explaination. He quickly raced over to his hut and began strapping weapons to his person. The only reason something would be happening in Konoha would be either Orochimaru or Pain.

He was willing to bet big bucks that it was Pain.

He would get his revenge. Ero-sennin's killer would be brought to the blond's own personal justice.

"Naruto. Naruto!" yelled Fukasaku, coming up behind the boy. "Calm down. Shima's close, we can do a reverse summoning right into Konoha. But you have to have a level head!"

"I'm fine!" snapped Naruto, shoving more kunai and shuriken into his thigh pouch before strapping it on. "I can handle it!"

"Elder Fukasaku! Elder Fukasaku!"

Both turned to see a different tadpole coming up, leading a little white weasel dressed in a blue vest with a gold bell around his neck, toting a large scythe. When they came up, the weasel bowed. "I am from Benihime-sama's palace and have come to inform you that Sora is getting her weapon right now and wishes to make a joint summoning to Konoha," he said in one breath.

"Very well and good, but can't the weasels summon themselves to Konoha with one of their own?" asked Fukasaku.

The little weasel dropped his head. "Kiri was killed," he said sadly. "Her name disappeared from our lists."

This made the old toad also look to the ground in sadness. "I feel your pain. We have also lost one of our own in Konoha." Taking a breath, he nodded. "Very well. Take Gamakichi and have him set up the necessary things. We'll do a joint reverse summon."

"Very good. Thank you." The weasel bowed again before looking up at Naruto. "I'm Yuki. Sora says hello and hopes to 'see you on the flip side'."

Naruto smiled, letting his thoughts of revenge go for a second. "You tell her she better get there on time, or I may kick all the bad-guy ass myself."

"Roger!" Yuki saluted, then followed the tadpole down the mountain.

Fukasaku, however, was adamant. "Naruto, listen. If it is Pain, you aren't ready yet. You can't gather natural chakra without staying still, and since I can't fuse with you - "

"Relax," said Naruto, suddenly sporting a very wicked fox grin. "I'm all over it. Don't panic."

************************************************************Sakura's POV************************************************************

They had no warning. Nobody was expecting a blitz attack.

Well, that wasn't entirely true. They were expecting a blitz attack from Orochimaru within the week. But that was centered around an outside attack.

Nobody had planned on Pain appearing from above the village, multiplying himself, and preceeding to blow everything to high hell.

Sakura looked out the window of the hospital, watching her village explode in a crazy blast of smoke and fire. The wounded were piling up fast, and her healing alone wasn't going fast enough. The man under her hands had suffered a punctured lung and broken legs, in pain with every breath and twitch.

Suddenly a large creature shot past the hospital's windows, scaring everyone inside. Sakura knew one of Pain's six bodies summoned animals, having defeated a giant centipede earlier, but she shuddered to think what had just ran past them. She instead focused on healing the man.

The door burst open, revealing Ino and Izumi. Both girls were pretty beat up, but Izumi was worse due to her proximity to the main battle. "We gotta move the people out of here," said the Akuma. "It's too dangerous."

"Some of them can't be moved," Sakura grunted, finishing on her patient and checking on another person.

Ino grabbed her shoulder. "Look, Sakura, we have to. Izumi's got a bunch of guys on the way over who are skilled at doing this. They're gonna move them to the underground passages beneath the Akuma compound. You can supervise if you wanna." The blond girl looked out the window, lost in thought, then came back. "Dad needs my help at the cryptography center. I'll catch you later."

I'm not sure about that. "Sure," Sakura responded. "Catch you later."

Izumi stepped aside as Ino left and men hustled in to pick up stretchers. "Sakura, I'm heading back out. I can't find Kiba or his family, and I think I smelled Shikamaru's blood."

Sakura picked up her medic's pouch and belted it around her waist. "Take me with you."

Outside, it smelled of sulfur, blood, and mayhem. Akako skillfully maneuvered through the broken streets of Konoha, carrying her partner and Sakura along the best route to find the injured. Explosions continued to blast through the air, bringing with them more screams from the villagers.

Sakura felt her eyes tearing up, and not from the acrid smoke. Naruto.....Naruto, please come back. We need you....we need your help....please Naruto, get back here!

"I don't get it," murmured Izumi, nose twitching. "I....I smell animal blood. Fresh spilled."

"What do you mean? Plenty of pets were - "

"No, I mean.....summons' blood." The blue-haired dog girl sneezed. "It's fresh, within the arrival of Pain. I smell toad......and weasel blood." Her teal eyes widened. "Wait, wasn't there a toad left to summon Naruto back? And the weasel from Lady Sora arrived yesterday......"

Oh my god, thought Sakura in horror. They're dead. Kiri and Kosuke. They're dead. And without them....

The words came out of her mouth in a whisper of sheer terror. "We're dead."

And then the giant panda summon of Pain's descended, crushing everything underneath it. Sakura slid of Akako's back, pulling on her gloves. Terror became a cold rage, which gave her soul a hardness to match the force soon to erupt from her fists.

Izumi likewise hardened up. "I'm gonna find and help Kiba and his family. Good luck."

Luck isn't going to be enough, thought Sakura as she faced the pierced panda, green eyes locking with Rinnegan. We need a miracle.

************************************************************Kakashi's POV************************************************************

Gripping the blade blade tightly in his hand, Kakashi stared at the orange spiky-haired Pain, Sharingan raring to go. "I get it now," he said. "The others are a distraction. You're looking for Naruto and Sora."

Pain didn't respond. Kakashi motioned to Iruka. "Get out of here, and take the injured man with you."

"Good luck, Kakashi," said the younger man, getting the hell out of there.

Pain then attacked, going for a roundhouse kick. Kakashi ducked down and used Doton: Doryūheki (Earth Release: Earth Style Wall) to summon a wall made of dog sculptures to box him in.

But the black blade came from nowhere and stabbed Kakashi in the shoulder. Fighting off the pain, Kakashi formed Raikiri and lunged -

Rinnegan eyes flashed in the silver-haired jonin's mind. What the -

Pain was still alive. Raikiri had impacted the wall where his head had been. If he hadn't moved to the side, he'd be dead.

"Hatake Kakashi, the Copy Ninja," said Pain calmly, as if dodging death wasn't a big deal. "It's an honor to finally meet you. Where are the Nine-Tailed Beasts?"

"Stupid question," said Kakashi, dislodging the blade from his body and scooting back. Charging Raikiri again, he made for a kill shot - when suddenly he was pushed back by an unseen force and everything exploded.

************************************************************Konohamaru's POV************************************************************

Tripping over wreckage and his own scarf, Konohamaru raced through the broken streets, searching for anyone who was left behind in the mass evacuation. While he did so, his mind was fumbling to understand what was happening.

Pain had attacked Konoha. People had been running around like headless chickens before a squad of Akuma had come and ushered them towards the Akuma compound. Rather than cower in useless fear, Konohamaru had taken it upon himself to scour the village for anyone who was too weak or trapped to have been found in the first sweep.

That's what he had been doing - until he spotted one of the Pains (the Hell Path, though he didn't know that) holding two shinobi up by their throats. Ducking behind a building, the young genin peeked around the corner, willing himself to freeze and not give away his position.

"Where is Uzumaki Naruto? Is he in the village or not?" asked Pain.

The guy in his right hand choked out, "I don't know!"

"What of Akuma Sora?"

"You heard him, he doesn't know!" yelled the guy on the left.

Pain didn't move. "Then I will pass judgement."

The two shinobi's cheeks ballooned, like they were about to hurl. But when they opened their mouths, nothing came out. After a couple dozen seconds, the guy on the left stopped moving.

"You apparently didn't know," Pain said to the guy in his right hand, dropping both.

The hell was that?! Konohamaru panicked. He didn't even move, but now the left guy looks dead......I gotta get out of here! But in his panic, he forgot where he was. Instead of going down the alleyway, he accidentally ran face-first into a wall, making a very audible noise.

The Pain almost pursued him - if Ebisu hadn't popped out and engaged him. Konohamaru watched as his four-eyes sensei put of a short yet valiant fight against the Hell Path, only to be grabbed by the throat and lifted into the air. Again the question was asked; "Where is Uzumaki Naruto and Akuma Sora?"

You won't give up Naruto-nii-chan and Sora-nee-chan, will you Ebisu-sensei? thought Konohamaru, still cowering behind the corner.

************************************************************Ebisu's POV************************************************************

Pain tightened his grip, choking Ebisu further. "If you don't tell me, I'll kill you. Where are the Nine-Tailed Beast twins?"

Naruto.......and Akuma Sora....... Ebisu's mind went through a montage of images as oxygen was cut off to his brain.......

"What was the Third thinking, making those fox brats ninjas?! Especially that Akuma child!".......


"I heard they took out that Mist terrorist Zabuza! Team Kakashi!"

"I heard the Kyuubi kids were a big help!"

"Weren't they both dropouts? It was probably all Kakashi."........


"I hear the Kyuubi kids are going to take part in the Chunin Exams."

"Really? They're more talented than I thought."

"So long as the two halves don't get loose...".........


"That Kyuubi boy......he actually defeated that Hyuuga genius!"

"And the match was incredible as well! He's got talent, that kid!".........


"I heard they protected the village from Suna's Jinchūriki!"

"Who?"

"Uzumaki Naruto......you know, the Kyuubi boy.......and Akuma Sora, that Kyuubi girl, even made friends with him!"

"Not only that, but she brought back the Akuma clan as well to help repel the invasion and begin the reconstruction!"

"Really? Unbelieveable!".......


"I heard Naruto failed to bring back the Uchiha boy."

"I hope he doesn't take it too hard."

"I'm more worried about Sora. You know she's run away?"

"Hope she's okay...."........


"I heard that Akatsuki is after all the Jinchūriki."

"Does that mean they'll come after Naruto and Sora?"

"Don't worry, Naruto's got Lord Jiraiya. And Sora's got her entire family."

"Yeah, I wouldn't want to mess with the Akuma clan.....".........


"I heard Sora saved the Kazekage from Akatsuki! And she defeated Akusuna no Sasori one-on-one in a puppet battle!"

"Girl got skills!"

"I hope this means that Konoha and Suna can be allies again."

"And Naruto defeated two other Akatsuki members all by himself!"

"Really? Wow!!".........


"Did you hear? Lord Jiraiya was killed by Akatsuki!"

"Oh my god! Naruto will be heartbroken."

"Do you think there's anything we can do for him? I mean, since Sora left for training, he's all alone again...."........


"Naruto's going to keep Lord Jiraiya's will alive!"

"I heard Sora even made contact with Lord Jiraiya from beyond the grave! That's the Akuma Shinigami for you!"

"They'll be able to do it. Those two never give up!"....


Those two......
Ebisu smiled in the face of Hell Pain. "Those two are citizens of Konohagakure. I have no intention of telling you anything, bastard!"

The Hell Path didn't change expression. The monstrous spectral King of Hell behind him, however, got ready to suck out his soul. "Very well then. Die."

But before it could happen, shuriken stars hit the Hell Path's arm. Both men looked over to see Konohamaru stand out in the open and yell, "Your opponent is me, ugly!"

************************************************************Konohamaru's POV************************************************************

"Konohamaru! Why didn't you run away!?"

The genin boy took a breath. "I made a promise.....to Naruto. I promised that we'd fight it out for the title of Hokage. So I'm not gonna run away!"

The Hell Path dropped Ebisu and raced over. Konohamaru jumped up, evading an attack, and threw another handful of shuriken. They buried into the Hell Path's back without any effect.

Can't let him catch me, the boy thought as he ducked, dodged, and kicked away from every grab Hell Path tried. If he catches me, it's all over. He'll kill me with that special technique of his.....

"Konohamaru!!!"

Hotaru!? He looked over and saw the little Akuma girl standing a little ways off, horror freezing her in place. The Hell Path made to attack her, and that's when Konohamaru made a fatal mistake. He took his attention off the Hell Path and focused on Hotaru's safety instead of his own.

The next thing the boy knew, he was grabbed around the throat and slammed against the wall. Before his eyes came a huge, evil-looking specter surrounded with black flames. Rinnegan eyes stared from both individuals.

"Konohamaru!" yelled Ebisu just before he was kicked back by the Hell Path.

"I'll ask only once. Are Uzumaki Naruto or Akuma Sora in the village?" asked the Hell Path. "Tell me."

I get it. You can only see that thing behind him once he catches you. Konohamaru gripped the Pain's wrist in an effort to lever himself up. In a daze he recalled the other two ninjas and how the one who didn't know was still alive. I'm starting to figure out his powers......

"Tell me," the Hell Path repeated. From the King of Hell's mouth came etheral hands reaching for the boy.

"I don't know!" choked out Konohamaru. A slimy serpent-like ghost came out of his mouth, further choking him. The King of Hell's hands reached for it -

"Let him go!!"

"Hotaru, no!" gasped Konohamaru as the little Akuma ran forward, her hands full of shuriken, Kanijinme eyes blazing.

"Sōshuriken no Jutsu! (Manipulated Shuriken Technique!)" She threw the handfuls of shuriken at the Hell Path, controlling their flight and directing them to slice the man's arms to ribbons. When that didn't work, she yanked the strings to embed the points in the Hell Path's body. She made a single sign and screamed, "Taste lightning, bastard! Raiton: Rairyūgeki no Jutsu! (Lightning Release: Lightning Dragon Strike Technique!)"

Lightning crackled down the strings and into the Hell Path. Unfortunately, it also went into Konohamaru. He screamed bloody murder - and then he disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Kage Bunshin, thought Hotaru before seeing two other forms appear behind the Hell Path, holding a spiraling ball of blue chakra between their hands. "Go, Konohamaru!!!"

Rasengan!

The little blue sphere of chakra slammed into the Hell Path with an almightly explosion. The enemy flew into the wall, utterly destroyed. Standing in front of his fallen adversary, Konohamaru yelled at the now-incapacitated Pain.

"I am a genin of the Sarutobi clan, named after this village! I am Sarutobi Konohamaru, and don't you forget it!"

"Konohamaru!" he heard before Hotaru almost flew across the short distance between them and flew into his arms, hugging him tight. "Thank gods you're all right!" Tears started leaking from her eyes. "I was so scared.....I saw what he'd done to the other shinobi and I thought that - "

"I'd have lived. I told the truth," said Konohamaru, stroking her hair to calm her. "His technique only killed if I lied. I don't know where Naruto or Sora are."

Her blue eyes widened in horror. "I knew," she whispered. "I know where Sora-nee-sama went. If he'd gotten me...."

But he hugged her close, silencing her panic. "Shh. It's okay. We're okay now. Calm down."

"But where are Naruto-nii-sama and Sora-nee-sama?" whimpered Hotaru, burying her face in his shirt front.

That's a good question, Konohamaru admitted, looking around the wreckage that had been the village. Where are you guys?

************************************************************Tsunade's POV************************************************************

The blonde Hokage stared in shock at the spiky-haired God Path of Pain. "You're.....that kid....."

"It's been a while, Tsunade," said God Path. "I see you still remember me."

The masked ANBU to her left whispered to Tsunade, "Lady Hokage, do you know him?"

Tsunade's mind spun. She knew this man, back when he was a boy. She recalled Jiraiya - dammit, my chest should not still feel tight when I think his damn name, she cursed silently - after they fought Hanzo in Ame, staying behind to teach three war orphans how to survive. But this one couldn't be Yahiko - he'd died years ago, she thought. They all had.

Hadn't they?

"I am the god who will return order to the world," said God Path, bringing her back to the present. "Now where are Uzumaki Naruto and Akuma Sora? Where are the Nine-Tailed Beasts?"

A snarky grin crossed Tsunade's face. "Who knows...."

God Pain obviously had no sense of humor. "I've captured nearly all the tailed beasts. The ninja countries have lost what equilibrium of power they possessed. It's no use trying to hide the Nine-Tailed Twins.......the war will start soon. And we will control it. If you cooperate, we can help you. I'm sure you're aware of our power and your own situation...."

"Don't underestimate the 5th Hokage, bastard!" screamed Tsunade. "Akatsuki are just terrorists working to destroy the peace our forefathers worked so hard to create! Nothing you say can ever - "

"Don't be so haughty." The ANBU with Tsunade shuddered as the full force of Pain's Rinnegan slammed through them. "Your idea of peace brings violence."

"Not everything Konohagakure's done has been right, I'll admit that!" she replied. "But I don't agree with your methods!"

"Watch your mouth." Pain came closer. "This is your last warning from God. Tell me where Naruto and Sora are."

But Tsunade stood firm. "We will fight you with all we've got. And you're wrong; you will never get what you want."

"If you think Konoha shinobi can protect those two forever - "

"That's not it." Feeling her trust in the two of you blossom within her, Tsunade smiled in the face of Pain and God. "Naruto and Sora are both strong. And when they are together, they are invincible."

God Pain made to respond, but something passed through his eyes. Closing them, he appeared to think for a moment before opening them again. "So.......they aren't even here. He's in Myobokuzan, the frog village...........and she's in the weasels' village, Kazekishu Hayashi (Forest of Wind Riders)." He shrugged and turned around. "Then there is no point in staying here any longer."

How the hell did he know that?! Tsunade thought, paralyzed in shock.

One of the ANBU whispered in Tsunade's ear, "Lady Hokage, we should let him go. We need the time to strengthen the defenses of the village."

"And one last thing. That chakra in your feet - I assume it's to repel my attacks, which means, thanks to Kakashi, you know my powers." God Path didn't even turn around. "It makes no difference. Everything is meaningless in the face of great power. You five shinobi nations have proven that time and again."

He waved offhandedly, as if dismissing them. "Peace has made you foolish and thoughtless. You think you're the only ones who matter. You believe you can put off death. But this is the harsh reality. Kill someone, and someone will kill you. Hatred is a chain that binds us all." God Path looked back again. "War brings pain and hatred and death to all."

Then Tsunade finally lost it. "Enough of your bullsh*t!" she yelled. "The great nations have suffered as well! Don't make such high-and-mighty accusations!"

"Don't make me laugh." Pain suddenly spun to face her. "I shall make you feel pain, think about pain, accept pain, and know pain. For those who do not know pain can never know true peace." And he suddenly leapt high into the air.

Dammit, does he still have something up his sleeve?! Tsunade thought desperately, watching him gain altitude.

************************************************************Kiba's POV************************************************************

"HAHAHAHA!" laughed Tsume, Kiba's mom, as she leaned against Kuromaru. "That Pain bastard was so scared, he ran away!"

Yeah, just like with Dad, Kiba thought as he rolled his eyes. By doing so he caught Izumi staring after the Preta Path, horror in her Kanijinme. "Izumi? What's wrong?"

"He's not running away," she breathed, watching as the Preta Path disappeared in a puff of smoke. Akako suddenly howled, taking a few unconscious medics in her teeth and dove for cover.

"Get down!" Izumi screamed. "Get down now!!"

Kuromaru and Akamaru instantly dove while Tsume yelled in confusion. Kiba jumped off his ninken's back and shielded Izumi from whatever was coming.

************************************************************Konohamaru's POV************************************************************

"Hotaru?" Konohamaru had never seen the tan-haired girl so still before. She was staring at the sky with her Kanijinme, almost like she was looking at a bird as it flew higher and higher. "Hotaru, what's wrong?"

"There's a man in the sky," she said, almost in wonder. "A man with a ton of chakra......just like that man....." Without looking away she pointed at the remnants of the Hell Path.

Or, more precisely, the crater in the wall where the Hell Path had been.

Konohamaru's body knew what was coming before his mind did. Grabbing Hotaru tightly, he quickly dragged her under a lean-to of debris and prayed that they'd be all right.

************************************************************Shino's POV************************************************************

"Why is she leaving?" mused Shibi, Shino's dad, as Konan suddenly poofed out of existance.

Shino looked around. "I don't know, but I don't like it."

************************************************************Ino's POV************************************************************

Ino stood crying over Shizune's lifeless corpse. The image of the Human Path ripping the soul from the aide's body replayed over and over again. Her father, Inoichi, stood next to her and let her sob.

"Ino! Ino!"

The yell came from Tomi. Running up to the grieving girl he grabbed her hand and tried to pull her away. "C'mon we gotta get out of here!"

"What are you talking about?" Inoichi demanded, staring at the Akuma boy angrily. "Release my daughter!"

"I'm telling you, we have to - " Ino looked up to see his Kanijinme eyes widen just before he tackled her and her father to the ground.

************************************************************Neji's POV************************************************************

"Okay, let's take a breath!" yelled Gai, bringing his team to a halt in front of a small food stall.

Neji was about to ask Tenten if she wanted anything to share when Lee suddenly asked, "Gai-sensei? What's the matter?"

"Those birds." At his words everyone looked up. A bunch of birds shot across the sky like rockets, as if...... "It's like they're running from something. Something in the direction of the village."

Something twisted in Neji's gut. "I've got a bad feeling. We should get back there now."

"WHAT?!" yelled Tenten, pissed. "But we just stopped!"

"All right!" said Gai. "Let's go!!"

************************************************************Elder Shima's POV************************************************************

The old lady toad stared at the burning village. "What is going on?" she whispered, horrified.

"Elder Shima!" came a voice behind her. A couple hops later, a young frog came up and bowed respectfully to her. "Elder Fukasaku sent me to tell you - "

"We need a summons," she finished, placing her groceries on the ground. "On it."

"There's more. The weasels are participating as well." The little frog was shaking, but whether from excitement or fear was hard to tell. "The other Nine-Tails - Akuma Sora - is with them."

"All right!" Elder Shima yelled, jumping high into the air.

************************************************************Konan's POV************************************************************

When she appeared in the clearing, she spoke directly to the Animal Path. "What on earth are you doing?"

"I'm doing that," was the curt reply.

Panic raced through Konan. "You can't! It will shorten your lifespan! Nagato, don't - " But her pleas failed when the other five bodies in the clearing collapsed, drained of their chakra.

She looked far, far away, to where the real Nagato was hiding. "So you're really going to do it....Nagato......"

************************************************************Tsunade's POV************************************************************

"Pain!" she yelled, leaping to meet him, the ANBU right behind her.

High, high above her - too high to stop - Pain spoke in a voice of doom. "I shall give the world more pain."

SHIT! "Katsuyu!" Tsunade screamed, forming a seal. Infūin: Kai! (Yin Seal: Release!)

************************************************************Elder Shima's POV************************************************************

Once she reached the correct height, Elder Shima focused her chakra downward. Kuchiyose no Jutsu!!

************************************************************Pain's POV************************************************************

Pain watched as Tsunade and her lackeys leapt to engage him. But it was too late for them to do anything.

"I shall give the world more pain," he promised them. And then he aimed his palms downward.

Shinra Tensei!

************************************************************Katsuyu's POV************************************************************

The Slug Queen barely had time to have all her divided slug selves envelop every citizen of Konoha within her protection before a shockwave of pure repelled gravity pulverized the village.

************************************************************Pain's POV************************************************************

Pain watched as his attack flattened the center of Konoha and destroyed the rest of the village. And now, they know pain as I have known it.

************************************************************Sakura's POV************************************************************

Fighting free of Katsuyu's protective but suffocating goo, Sakura looked in horror at the pile of broken wreckage that had once been a powerful shinobi village. Tears fought free of her eyes as the sheer hopelessness of the situation overwhelmed her.

How did this happen? Why.......why.......WHY!!!!!!!

In desperation she threw her head back and screamed, "NARUTO! HURRY BACK, PLEASE NARUTO!! NARUTO!!!!!!"

And that's when the second smoke cloud appeared inside the crater.

************************************************************Elder Shima's POV************************************************************

The old lady frog felt some hope return when she saw the three huge toads Gamabunta, Gamahiro, and Gamaken stood ready for battle. Atop Gamabunta's head sat his son Gamakichi. And on top of Gamakichi was Naruto, with Elder Fukasaku standing in front of him. The last three had their arms crossed imposingly, and Naruto's eyes were different. Instead of their normal blue, the irises were gold with a short, thick black horizontal line in the center.

Toad's eyes. Sage's eyes.

But even more imposing was the hundred-foot-long rust-colored weasel in front of the toads. Wearing an onyz-black gold-trimmed vest, the kanji for Princess stitched over her heart, Benihime was crouched in front of Gamabunta and his toads like a rodent watchdog. Strapped on her back was her famous gold-bladed scythes, one as long as her body, the other just half of that. And standing atop her head was a purple-haired girl holding a weasel on her arm like a falconer with a hawk.

That must be Akuma Sora, Elder Shima thought as she descended. And I must say, she cleans up nicely.

(A.N. - Again, courtesy of Hapuriainen's character creator on Deviantart:

sorabattle-1.jpg

You had undergone a change, and your outfit wasn't the only thing. Something about your face was different; it seemed older, more sure of yourself. Shima smiled to herself as you looked back at Naruto and started to engage in, what some people would consider, an oddly-timed reunion talk.

"Hey Naruto! Lookin' sharp!" Your tone conveyed the surprise of seeing him with yellow eyes. "Investing in color contacts, are we?"

"And you! The hell's up with that outfit?" he shot back, pointing to the exposed skin. "You look like a girl!"

"There is a reason for that!"

"Hoping to impress a certain Uchiha, are we?"

You slanted your hips, one hand on your hip. "We must've been channeling each other to have matching jackets."

Gamabunta grumbled beneath Naruto. "You two can shoot the breeze later. Where the hell are we?"

Shima landed in front of her husband and Naruto. The former immediately asked what the deal was. But before she could explain, you leaped to Naruto's side.

"Bro," you said, Kanijinme eyes wide with horror, rage, and something a little more vulnerable, "I don't think we're in Konohagakure anymore......"

Leaving Shima to say the six words that she really didn't want to say.

"No. You are back in Konohagakure."


OMFGWTF!!!!! Epic battle coming up! Rate and message!!!!

A little pause for a while, please be patient.

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