Hurling himself through the air with a fluidity belying his size, Bee hit the ground at speed, skidding for several feet. Coming to a stop exactly where he meant to, Bee drew the last sword strapped to his back and buried it to the hilt in the sandstone. He had already finished the complicated set of hand seals and leaped into the air from a crouch with deceptive ease.
Bee grinned, already a step ahead of his Biju.
“Lightning Release: Thunder Binding!” Bee roared, feeling the Chakra rush through his body as it rushed to reach the eight swords arranged in a perfect octagon on the street below. As the Chakra reached the swords, they sparked violently, scorching the sandstone street around them.
Bee was on guard for an attack, but everything was silent. Only the distant roar of Kumo’s attack on Suna broke the calm, Jutsu regularly flying into the air.
“Did I get him?” Bee asked.
He heard Gyuki begin to respond, but his Biju was cut off as the street exploded. A cloud of dust, too thick to see through, rose dozens of feet into the air, and Bee tracked the sandstone chunks hurling through the sky without conscious thought. Seeing one falling straight toward him, Bee calmly slapped it aside. He didn’t even feel the impact, his body and skin reinforced as it was by years of using his Biju’s Chakra.
His hair whipped around his face from the force of the explosion but his eyes were protected by the glasses he wore.
Standing, Bee rolled his shoulders and stepped off the rooftop. Once he’d made his way over to the center of the street, Bee turned and pointed at the sand cloud, which was only beginning to clear. It was still too thick to see through, but Bee could sense the Jinchuriki within.
“I know you’re there… can’t hide from me… I’m Killer Bee!”
With every word, the grin on his face faded, and he folded his arms in front of him. A moment later, his cheery expression was gone, replaced with the stone-cold resolve of a Shinobi.
“Where is the Prince?”
Bee didn’t expect a simple answer, and he didn’t get one. A tendril of sand, thicker than his wrist, lashed out of the sand cloud, striking for his head. Unwilling to test how his body would handle a Biju-reinforced attack, Bee leaned to the side, letting it pass by.
He straightened instantly, punching the tendril as hard as he could. The tendril careened off course, crashing into a storefront, shattering the glass. As the Chakra holding the sand together was retracted, it fell apart, merging with the sand covering everything.
Bee wasn’t bothered by the Jinchuriki’s emotionless stare, the sand cloud having cleared enough to reveal the redhead.
As the boy’s bingo book entry had described, Suna no Gaara had a scar on the left side of his forehead. The Kanji for Love. From studying the Jinchuriki’s eyes, Bee could tell Gaara had killed more than many veteran Shinobi combined.
Gaara’s arms were folded in front of him, and he stood unmoving in the center of Bee’s eight swords. The only movement was the sand around him, revolving through the air around the redhead protectively. Bee had read the reports. The sand moved independently of Gaara’s will, and would protect him no matter what. It made him a formidable foe, but Bee was certain he could overpower the sand with raw speed.
Chakra slammed into Bee’s senses, and he glanced up toward the sky. Someone was plummeting out of the air, white robes whipping violently in the wind behind them. Bee couldn’t make out who the Shinobi was from such a distance, but the Shinobi was the source of the Chakra surge.
The Kazekage is here… Bee thought, noticing the enormous pillars of gold dust rising into the air in the distance. Playtime was over. He had to end this fight quickly and find the Prince. The Kazekage would shred through his comrades like a shuriken through pocky.
He would have to kill the One-Tails Jinchuriki. He couldn’t wait for the boy to lead him to the Prince as he’d initially planned.
Bee stepped toward Gaara and froze, his eyes wide.
Gyuki… Why can’t I move?
Gaara had taken his step forward as a threat, and the sand around him had begun to form into numerous shuriken. With every passing second, the shuriken spun faster, hovering in place.
I cannot allow you to kill the host of my brother.
Bee grit his teeth, straining against the invisible bonds holding him. Gaara flicked a finger, and the shuriken rushed toward him. He could override Gyuki’s control over his body, but in doing so, he had to cut off Gyuki’s influence entirely. Should the Kazekage notice his presence, he would need his Biju’s help. With every millisecond of hesitation, the shuriken drew closer.
Why are you only telling me this now?
Bee stumbled somewhat as Gyuki released his control. Chakra flooded through his legs, and Bee vanished, darting to the side just in time to avoid the sand shuriken. In his rush, Bee had poured too much Chakra into the move, and therefore couldn’t stop himself from crashing into the same building Gaara’s sand tendril had hit only moments before.
Tumbling across the floor, Bee hopped to his feet, unharmed. Before he could even take a breath, another tendril of sand erupted through the wall, heading directly for his neck. In a burst of Chakra, Bee leaped forward. He grabbed the tendril, his hand unable to wrap fully around it. Twisting through the air, Bee slammed his forearm into the tendril, dissipating it.
With a second to breathe, Bee instead chose to leap upward, his head impacting the roof and easily breaking through. Rising a dozen feet into the air, Bee landed on the rooftop. Four more tendrils coiled through the air, and Bee was forced to back up as two came through the floor beneath his feet.
Since he didn’t have to care about unnecessary damage, Bee happily kicked off the roof at full force, cratering it.
Find the Prince, but you must do it without killing Shukaku’s host.
Bee pushed his confusion over Gyuki’s sudden and strange rules aside. He would have to question his Biju at a later time., preferably when he wasn’t running from tendril after tendril of sand. Glancing at the street below, Bee saw Gaara staring at him. The Jinchuriki still had yet to move, his arms folded in front of him.
Lightly touching down, Bee darted forward, avoiding a wave of sand eager to crush him beneath its weight. He kicked up a high column of sand behind him with every step, landing next to the closest of his swords. Quickly pulling it free, Bee slid it into its sheath on his back and threw himself toward the next one. A sand spike jutted into the air, narrowly missing him.
Bee kept one eye on Gaara as he collected all eight of his swords, the redhead never once turning to look at him. It seemed the reports were accurate, the sand moved with a mind of its own. With his last sword in hand, Bee drew a Kunai and experimentally chucked it at Gaara’s head.
He wasn’t surprised as sand leaped into the air, deflecting the Kunai. Gaara hadn’t even flinched. Turning away, Bee leaped into the air, his foot catching the edge of a roof and propelling him through the air. If killing the One-Tail’s host had been on the table, he had no doubt that he could end the fight within seconds. The sand was fast, there was no doubt, but it wasn’t fast enough.
However, since Gyuki would not allow him to kill the Jinchuriki boy, Bee couldn’t be sure that Gaara wouldn’t kill him before he managed to knock Gaara out. Fighting wasn’t worth it, and he was running out of time.
Darting to the side, Bee avoided a wave of sand that had risen into the air from the street below. The sand destroyed the building he’d been standing on within seconds. Once again, pouring Chakra through his legs, Bee exploded forth, cratering another rooftop.
He didn’t make it very far.
Bee was shocked at the speed at which a large sand wall rose into the air ahead of him, cutting off his escape. Already having leaped into the air, he was forced to kick off the sand wall, narrowly avoiding the immediately erupting tendrils of sand that tried to catch him. Bee skid to a halt on a rooftop below a moment later, kicking up the sand covering the roof around him. He whistled, impressed at the height of the wall.
He could jump over the wall, but Bee got the sense that was what Gaara wanted him to do.
Hearing buildings crashing to the ground to his left, Bee turned to see yet another sand wall rising into the sky, followed quickly by two more. Gaara had boxed him in. As the last wall had shuddered to a stop, Bee turned toward the One-Tails Jinchuriki, who was now floating on a cloud of sand in the middle of his walls.
Bee met the Jinchuriki’s cold gaze, mulling over his options.
Four tendrils of sand, thicker than Bee’s entire body, rose into the air around Gaara. With a wave of his hand, Gaara commanded them forward.
Tsukasa felt the chakra rush from her fingertips as she strained to maintain the Genjutsu over herself and Otobane. On top of that, they were both moving and not together. Dropping the Genjutsu, however, was not an option, and despite it draining her chakra reserves more than she would have liked, she maintained it.
She winced as she hit the shadowed rooftop with more force than she’d wanted, but remained standing. Not bothering to look up at the building bearing down on her from above, Tsukasa activated a Shunshin with seconds to spare.
A swirl of sand appeared on a nearby rooftop, and Tsukasa stepped out of it a second later, breathing heavily. She’d been forced to drop the Genjutsu, as maintaining it under a Shunshin was all but impossible. However, she could tell the Jinchuriki weren’t paying attention.
The building crashed to the ground, having been thrown into the air by the One-Tails sand wall. The force of the impact created a wave of wind that whipped her beautiful red dress through the air wildly. Tsukasa lifted her head and was shocked at the wall towering over her, casting the city in shadow.
A Jinchuriki’s power was not to be trifled with it seemed.
She sensed the Chakra in the air seconds before Otobane stepped out of her own swirl of sand. Tsukasa hadn’t seen a reason to bring it up, but the Shinobi under her command had finally uncovered details of Otobane’s past. Unsurprisingly, Otobane was a Kunoichi and a powerful one at that. A valuable ally, as Tsukasa had suspected. Additionally, her men’s reports had allayed her fears that Otobane would betray her.
If they were to succeed in kidnapping the Prince right out from under not only Suna’s but Kumo’s nose… betrayal within her organization could doom them within seconds.
“The Prince isn’t here…” Otobane said, her voice still gruff, genderless.
Tsukasa calmly steadied herself with Chakra as the ground shook from something within the sand barrier.
“The One-tails Jinchuriki was hiding underground when the Eight-Tails forced him to the surface…” Tsukasa said, voicing her thoughts aloud as she tapped her chin with an elegant, red fingernail. At the same time, Tsukasa also searched their surroundings for any wandering Shinobi.
“He might have left the Prince below ground,” Tsukasa said, finishing her thought. Otobane was silent, her cold-black eyes hidden beneath her large straw hat.
“It is dangerous to enter the ocean with the shark,” Otobane replied after a moment. Tsukasa was ready for that reply, already turning away from the sand wall, a grin on her face beneath her demon-like mask.
“The shark isn’t in the ocean, though, is he?”
Lightly dropping to the street below, Tsukasa took off, Otobane at her side, easily keeping up.
“If I remember correctly, there is an entrance near here,” Tsukasa said. Without warning, she vanished in a blur of red. Otobane followed close behind. Neither of them tried to hide their movements, stealth was pointless. No one would notice them beneath the auras of the two raging Jinchuriki above their heads.
High in the Sky, Sunagakure, Land of Wind, EN.
The wind howled in Rasa’s ears as he plummeted through the clear sky, his Kage robes whipping violently behind him.
Rasa slammed his open palms together. Chakra exploded out from his body, forming a halo in the sky before diving toward Suna a hundred feet below. A split second later, it reached the streets of Suna and passed through the ground. Splitting off, the Chakra raced toward the three huge deposits of gold dust buried deep beneath the city.
With a flick of his hand, Rasa commanded the dust to obey his command. The buildings above the deposits soared into the sky as the massive columns of gold dust exploded upward. As if unaware of their size, the pillars twisted through the air with impossible grace, changing directions so as to slam into each other.
Upon contact, the top of the pillars broke open, as if crashing into an invisible barrier between them. The dust created a disk-like shape against the unseen wall.
Rasa roared soundlessly into the wind as he strained against the magnetic forces holding back his gold dust. The massive tendrils shook violently before giving in, slamming against each other with incredible force.
“Gold Dust: World Method!”
The two magnetic fields created by Rasa’s Kekkei Genkai were desperate to break free of each other. Increasing exponentially in their rush to get away, they created a repellent force that rapidly scattered the dust across the sky. With ease, Rasa directed the spikes, which seemed to branch off irregularly toward the battlefield below.
Racing against each other, the gold spikes reached the battle almost immediately. The Suna Shinobi scattered across the streets froze, knowing that moving would kill them. Numerous Kumo Shinobi tried to turn and flee the Jutsu, but the gold spikes impaled them repeatedly, leaving their corpses hanging in the air as the jutsu continued to expand.
Rasa caught himself on a cloud of gold dust, and he leaped toward the gradually slowing World Method without pause. As if sensing his presence, the gold spikes shifted aside, allowing him to pass unimpeded through the thick maze. He hit the ground hard, but Rasa didn’t notice the impact.
With a quick glance around, Rasa saw the bodies of the Kumo Shinobi who had tried to escape hanging in the maze above him. Some, however, had frozen, from either fear or watching his own men. It didn’t matter. With a wave of his hand, Rasa opened up paths through the maze for his men and waited until they were all clear.
Rasa closed his fist.
The air was filled with screams.
Baki’s relief nearly killed him. He’d noticed the gold dust rising into the air in the distance, and Darui instantly took advantage of his lack of focus. Only just managing to raise his wind blade in time, Baki stumbled back from the force of Darui’s swing. Feeling his weapon beginning to fade, he drew on what little Chakra he had left, and the Wind Blade surged to life once more.
His Jutsu wasn’t a taxing one to use, that had been the way he’d designed it. However, Baki had never once in his life been forced to use the Jutsu for so long, or so intensely. Every second he was forced to fight for his life, or Darui would end it.
On top of that, Darui’s swings were deceptively powerful, and many times Baki hadn’t poured enough Chakra into his blade to withstand the strike. If not for his years of training and honed instincts, he’d be dead.
A glance behind him revealed what Baki already knew. There was nowhere left to run. Darui had forced him far away from the battlefield, and his back was against a wall.
Darui’s sword sliced through the air, bearing down on Baki’s head. Leaping to the side, he narrowly avoided the blade, and it instead cut cleanly through the sandstone wall. His skin tore against the rough sandstone brick street, and Baki groaned. His sword vanished into thin air as he was forced to dispel it, or risk slicing open his own throat.
His breathing was heavy as he tried to pull himself across the ground, his senses locked behind him on the monster that was Darui, the Kumo Commander slowly walking towards him. Darui’s sword twirled through the air, the sound filling Baki’s mind, and he strained to move.
He was beaten, and they both knew it.
The fight had raged for what felt like hours, and Baki had used every tactic he knew. Nothing had come close to even bothering the Kumo Commander. Now he was going to die, and there was nothing he could do about it.
Baki closed his eyes, his body sagging as he waited for the final blow.
“Wind Release: Wind Cutter Technique!”
Facedown in the sand, Baki’s eyes widened, and with a strength he hadn’t realized he had left, he threw himself to the side. However, there had been no need. The blade of wind passed harmlessly over his head, speeding toward Darui.
Darui swung his sword through the air, cutting the blade down the middle, the edge of his blade sparking violently as the chakra types collided.
The two halves of the wind blade continued past Darui, slicing deeply into the nearby buildings before dissipating.
With a sigh of relief, Baki looked up to see his savior. It was a Kunoichi, a small fan in her hand, and a war fan strapped to her back. She was wearing the Wind Daimyo’s Guard uniform.
Lightning danced across Darui’s blade as he stepped forward, his sword resting on his shoulder.
“Kanade of the Searing Winds…” Darui greeted, dipping his head slightly.
It took all of the Chakra he had left, but Baki managed to activate a Shunshin a split second before Darui drove his sword through his chest. He appeared on a rooftop a couple of blocks away, tumbling to the ground, his breathing heavy.
Deep Underground, Sunagakure, Land of Wind, EN.
His ears were filled with the roar of his beating heart, his eyes locked on the boy lying motionless on his cave floor. Kawaki tried to calm himself down, his eyes wide as his chest rose and fell rapidly. Only a moment before, Naruto had been stumbling toward him, arms outstretched.
Naruto had broken into another one of his fits. As usual, he’d covered his ears and waited for it to stop. However, this time the sand restraints had fallen, and to Kawaki’s surprise and terror, Naruto had gotten to his feet and begun wandering around the cave. Screaming the entire time, his arms waving wildly through the air. At first, Kawaki had been afraid Naruto would slam his head into the wall, but then Naruto had turned toward him.
He’d been too terrified to move, backed against the wall. Thankfully, Naruto had tripped over a chunk of sandstone from the ceiling and slammed his head against the ground. Kawaki could only imagine how much that had hurt, but everything was once again blessedly quiet.
Finally, steadying his breathing, Kawaki slid down the wall until he was sitting down.
What is happening! What is wrong with him? Kawaki wondered, but he couldn’t figure out any explanation for what had just happened. How could he see me? He’s wearing a blindfold!
Shaking his head, Kawaki tried to adjust his matted hair out of his face and got to his hands and knees. As he crawled across the floor, he kept his eyes locked on Naruto’s face, which had regained its calm, emotionless expression. He expected Naruto to start screaming again, but he needed to get the pale-skinned boy back on the slab.
He shuddered to think what Gaara would do if he saw Naruto on the floor, dozens of feet from where he’d left him.
As he drew closer, Kawaki could hear Naruto’s heavy breathing. Reaching out, he froze only an inch from touching Naruto’s shoulder. Kawaki’s head whipped around to stare at one of the many tunnel entrances lining the cave wall.
Something was clicking in the darkness, something he hadn’t heard before.
Kawaki barely restrained a gasp of fear as a light flicked around a bend down the tunnel. Scrambling to his feet, Kawaki sprinted across his cave as quietly as he could before diving into another tunnel. Pressed against the floor, he dug his hand into his pocket and deactivated the crystal. Darkness cocooned him, concealing him from view.
His gaze was locked on the tunnel entrance on the other side of the cave. The light drew steadily closer, and Kawaki saw Naruto’s shadow, outlined by the torchlight.
Who is coming to my cave? There’s a battle on the surface, isn’t there? Why are they down here? Kawaki wondered, trying to think of some sort of plan. If Gaara wanted him to look after Naruto, were these the people he wanted him to keep Naruto away from? I can’t fight.
Kawaki flinched as the light shone from the tunnel, the person carrying it having rounded the corner and begun to enter the cave. He backed up as quietly as he could, afraid of being spotted. Finally able to see who the intruder was, Kawaki realized that he’d been hearing heels clicking against the sandstone. The intruder was a woman in a red dress, her face covered by a demonic-like red mask, though her mouth and chin were exposed.
He couldn’t tell if she was a Kunoichi or not, but it didn’t matter, Kawaki doubted he’d be able to fight her and win. However, any hope he might have had was crushed when a Shinobi, clothed in black, stepped out of the tunnel behind the red woman.
The Shinobi’s clothes were as black as the darkness of the cave, and only their large straw hat stood out in the light from the torch the woman carried. His blood froze as the Shinobi turned, and though he couldn’t see their eyes, he knew the Shinobi was staring right at him. Fear gripped him like a vice, preventing him from moving even if he’d wanted too.
“I was right, there he is!”
Pulling himself away from the Shinobi’s stare, Kawaki’s eyes widened as he saw the red woman pointing at Naruto, who was still lying motionless on the floor. The woman’s exclamation drew the Shinobi’s attention away, and Kawaki silently thanked Kami.
“Hello, Naruto Sakamoto. You’re coming with us.” The red woman said as she crouched next to Naruto, ruffling his hair with her gloved hand.
Sakamoto? Kawaki was shocked, the pieces sliding together in his mind. That’s the last name of the Wind Daimyo… Is Naruto the Prince? Why does Gaara have the Prince? Shouldn’t he be in Kazedama… where the Daimyo lives?
Kawaki was instantly confused again, the answers only forming more questions in his mind. The woman nudged Naruto with her foot as if suddenly realizing that Naruto was unconscious. Rope in hand, the Shinobi next to her stepped forward and began to tie Naruto’s hands and feet together.
Seeing the woman look around the cave, Kawaki resisted the urge to go back further into the darkness.
“I’d thought we’d find the groveling little sand eater around here,” the woman shrugged, “I guess he scurried off.”
For the entire couple of seconds it took the Shinobi to tie up Naruto, Kawaki held his breath, expecting Naruto to scream again. He wasn’t disappointed. Once finished, the Shinobi hoisted Naruto over his shoulder as if the boy weighed nothing. Kawaki covered his ears as Naruto’s ear-splitting scream filled the cave.
Already sprinting down the tunnel, Kawaki felt his hair stand on end, barely able to hear the woman speaking over Naruto’s screams.
“Don’t waste your time, Otobane. The little runt isn’t worth the trouble, we have the prize.”
Kawaki glanced over his shoulder regardless, fully expecting to see the Shinobi right on his tail, but there was no one.
I have to tell Gaara!
There was little Gaara hated more than prey that was faster than his sand. It was only a matter of time, however. He’d already erected walls, and there was nowhere left for Eight-Tails Jinchuriki to run. He could always resort to collapsing the sand walls inward and crushing the black-haired Shinobi if need be.
With a flick of his wrist, Gaara commanded a wall of sand to rise in the Jinchuriki’s path, cutting off his escape from the sand tendrils racing after him. To his annoyance, rather than smashing into the wall as he’d wanted. The Eight-Tails Host sprinted up the side of the wall and slipped over the top.
Gaara’s face remained emotionless, his annoyance not showing. The Eight-Tails was refusing to fight him. Instead, he was trying to flee at every opportunity. Gaara refused to allow it.
In a tremendous burst of speed, the Eight-Tails host vanished. Gaara’s eyes widened, and he turned around for the first time.
The Eight-Tails host’s fist struck his chest before Gaara could react, and the only reason his chest wasn’t instantly caved in was the sand armor covering his skin. Regardless, he was violently ripped from his sand cloud and sent soaring through the air.
Gaara grimaced, all the air in his lungs gone, straining to command his sand to catch him.
He hit his own sand wall… and passed through it.
Sand raced through the air, desperate to reach him. Seconds before he would have hit the street below, it caught him, forming a bed of sand. Groaning, Gaara pushed himself up, staring at the walls of sand in the distance as they crashed to the ground. No longer held up by his Chakra, they fell apart.
Breathing heavily, Gaara ignored the tendrils of sand rising off his sand cloud, repairing the cracks in his sand armor of its own accord. Unsteadily getting to his feet, Gaara strained his senses to locate the Eight-Tails Host. He could feel his sand’s anger. It was never happy when he got hurt.
About to command his sand to lift him into the sky, Gaara paused, his eyes locked on the grime-covered face of Kawaki, peeking out from behind a street corner. The boy was waving at him wildly, and upon realizing he’d gotten Gaara’s attention, cupped his hands in front of his mouth.
The air was filled with the sound of crackling lighting, and Gaara could see a bright light rushing toward him out of the corner of his eyes. He ignored it, straining his ears to hear Kawaki’s shout. It was pointless, he couldn’t make out Kawaki’s words.
Without his direction, sand leaped up in front of him, stopping the lightning ball from reaching him and grounding it.
Gaara’s eyes narrowed, and Kawaki stepped back fearfully.
The growl started deep in Gaara’s throat, and as he turned, became a roar of pure rage. The sand fell away, revealing the Eight-Tails Host speeding toward him, his arm raised to punch the wall that was no longer there. Gaara glared at him, anger boiling in his veins.
“Suna Shigure!” Gaara roared.
Chakra exploded into the air, creating a shockwave that forced the Eight-Tails back. Obeying his command, the sand making up the very walls of the buildings around him broke free. Dozens of buildings collapsed within seconds, the sand rushing into the air, forming into thousands of highly condensed sand pellets, each slightly larger than Gaara’s fingertip.
Gaara forced himself to remain calm and folded his arms in front of him.
The sand pebbles launched through the air, narrowly avoiding Gaara. The Eight-Tails host was forced to back up or be riddled by the sand. Gaara didn’t care which, he wasn’t paying attention. As he’d commanded, his sand had lowered him to the ground, and with a flick of his hand, sand leaped up around him.
Within seconds, he was covered in an impenetrable dome of sand.
Gaara didn’t react as the dome quaked, breaking through the street and rapidly drilling into the ground.
Once underground, the dome blasted off, moving through the sand at impossible speeds.
Enhancing the strength of her arm with Chakra, Tsukasa effortlessly lifted the wooden panel above her head. The shelf resting on top of the panel teetered for a moment before crashing to the floor. The fresh air was a relief, and she hurried to hop out of the tunnel and into the small shack.
Tsukasa groaned in annoyance as she saw the ruined state of her beautiful dress, and began to brush off as much as she could. Otobane quickly followed her into the small shack, the Prince tied and gagged on her back. For some reason, the boy seemed to be experiencing a nightmare that he was unable to wake up from.
It didn’t matter though, she only needed Naruto alive.
“I never want to do that again,” Tsukasa complained. She’d noticed her hair was also full of sand and gave up on trying to break it all free. Nevertheless, she silently resolved to take a soaking bath as soon as possible.
Otobane adjusted the ropes tying Naruto to her back but otherwise said nothing. Tsukasa almost expected Naruto to try to scream again, but the pale-skinned Prince was silent.
Tsukasa stepped over the fallen shelf and made her way over to the door. It gave way easily beneath her kick, and she smirked in satisfaction as it hit the street beyond and skid for several feet.
I can wash my hair after we get out of this mess, Tsukasa thought, trying to console herself and ignore the gritty feeling of sand against her neck. However, the feeling was secondary to her excitement. The Prince was in their grasp. All that remained was to escape Suna unnoticed, and with the city now little more than a battlefield, that shouldn’t be hard.
If anyone saw them, however, they risked that knowledge getting back to Suna or worse, Kumo. Tsukasa’s plan relied entirely on no one knowing where the Prince had disappeared too. Because if they did… she shuddered to think of the hell that would descend upon her. Her organization, while powerful in its own right, would tumble like a house of cards before the might of the Land of Wind. Let alone the Land of Lightning.
“We need to move,” Otobane reminded her gruffly, standing beside her. They were both scanning the nearby surroundings for any chakra signatures. Tsukasa hadn’t been sure where the tunnel would exit, but they were closer to the wall than she’d hoped.
This might be the easiest kidnapping I’ve ever done in my life, Tsukasa mused, surprised.
Her instincts screamed at her to move.
Leaping to the side, Tsukasa saw Otobane do the same but in the opposite direction. Eyes locked on the spot she’d just been standing on, Tsukasa skid across the ground. The air became heavier, and she strained to get to her feet under the pressure.
The One-Tails Jinchuriki rose slowly out of the sand, his pale-green eyes locked on Otobane. How is he here? He should be fighting the Eight-Tails! Tsukasa thought frantically.
Forcing her fear aside, Tsukasa drew a Kunai. Her plan was in shambles, but she couldn’t pass up this once in a lifetime chance.
Steeling her resolve, Tsukasa cursed quietly and made eye contact with Otobane. Understanding her signal, Otobane turned and leaped onto the rooftop behind her. Dashing toward the Jinchuriki, Tsukasa tried to ignore the fear that rose with every step. She knew she couldn’t distract the Jinchuriki for long… but she could hope.
As she raised her hands to begin weaving a Genjutsu, everything descended into chaos.
The Jinchuriki turned and looked at her, his cold, emotionless eyes staring into hers, and the pressure in the air rose tenfold. Tsukasa collapsed to her knees, straining to even breath. She closed her eyes, expecting to feel the cold embrace of death claim her. Instead, the Jinchuriki looked away, raising his hand toward Otobane, who was dashing away as fast as she could.
Gritting her teeth so hard her jaw creaked, Tsukasa forced herself to raise her head. The Kunai shook horribly in her hand, but she managed to throw it at the Jinchuriki’s head. She only needed to distract him long enough for Otobane to escape.
Tsukasa’s heart sank, the Kunai not even getting close to the Jinchuriki before a tendril of sand leaped into the air, wrapping around the Kunai’s handle. Despite seeing the tendril forming before it slammed into her, she couldn’t avoid it.
She cried in pain as the force of the blow sent her flying through the air, and she gripped her side. Tsukasa could tell her ribs were cracked, if not broken.
A dozen feet away, she hit the ground, sending another surge of pain through her body. Tsukasa almost screamed.
Barely able to move, Tsukasa turned her head. Otobane was doing her best to avoid the multiple tendrils trying to catch her, but Tsukasa knew that the One-Tails would get her eventually.
She’d never wanted to draw her war fan more than right now, but she couldn’t. With the Prince strapped to her back, and the One-Tails not giving her a second to breathe, there was no way in hell she’d be able to draw it in time. Moving slower than usual, Otobane darted to the side, avoiding the tendril of sand bearing down on her from above.
Twisting through the air, Otobane pulled the Prince out of another sand tendrils’ reach in the nick of time. It was apparent that the only reason she was still alive was that the One-Tails Jinchuriki wanted the Prince, and because the boy was strapped to her back, he couldn’t kill her.
More Chakra poured through her legs as she leaped backward, avoiding another tendril that exploded out of the roof beneath her feet. There seemed to be no end to them.
Otobane’s eyes widened beneath her straw hat as she felt something gritty and thick wrap around the Prince. Glancing beneath her, Otobane saw another tendril that had risen out of the street below. Self-preservation kicked in, and she finally cut the ropes holding the Prince against her back with a Kunai that appeared out of thin air in her hand.
As she fell toward the roof below, Otobane grunted as her arm snapped taut. One of the ropes tied around the Prince’s chest had wrapped around her arm, and her shoulder screamed in pain. Knowing she had only a split second before she was impaled with a sand tendril, Otobane relaxed her hand, the rope sliding free, tearing her black glove off along with it.
Using the tendril wrapped around the Prince as a springboard, Otobane narrowly avoided a second tendril as it rushed to impale her through the ribs. Deflecting a barrage of sand shuriken with the Kunai in her hand, Otobane sprung off the roof as soon as she touched down, arm outstretched.
She didn’t expect to make it. The One-Tails Jinchuriki would never let her reach the Prince again, but somehow she wove through the tendrils spearing towards her, her now-bare hand closing around the Prince’s dangling wrist.
Chakra flooded through her gloved hand, covering the edge of her Kunai in condensed wind as she hauled herself through the air by the Prince’s arm. There was no way to know if she could dispel the Jinchuriki’s sand tendril, but she hoped.
Inches from burying the Kunai in the sand, everything vanished.
Darkness consumed her. She felt weightless. Turning left and right revealed nothing more than unending darkness in every direction. She couldn’t even see her own hands. Whirling sharply, Otobane felt her breathing quicken. She’d felt something behind her… something full of dread, anguish, and despair.
Yet again, she turned, straining her eyes to see the source in the darkness. For a brief moment, there was nothing. She could sense nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing.
Otobane blinked and abruptly found herself standing on solid ground. Hearing hundreds of screams, each full of terror, Otobane spun around, and her eyes widened beneath her straw hat. Instead of the tan-colored streets of Sunagakure, holding onto the Prince’s arm, she was now standing in between little brown thatched huts, the tops of which barely reached her waist.
Small creatures, looking like little gremlins, their skin a deep red, sprinted between the small huts and past her. She was shocked to realize the tiny creatures were the ones screaming. Raising her head, Otobane realized the sky was green. However, that realization was secondary to the discovery of a massive wave of fire rushing toward her. It reached hundreds of feet into the air, the fire curling in on itself like the surf.
Her eyes drifted downward, and she froze, her body suddenly refusing to respond.
At the front of the flame wall, casually strolling toward her was a man… his skin as pale as bone. The man’s hair fell below his shoulders, somehow even whiter than his skin. Almost as if forming a crown, jutting out in seemingly every direction, were huge horns, rising a foot into the air above the demon’s head.
Her heart beat loudly in her ears, but she couldn’t hear it over the voices in her head. Murmuring, screaming, garbling together in their rush to speak over each other. Otobane felt as if she might pass out, her own fear feeling minuscule to the terror and anguish flooding her mind.
Otobane felt her heart stop. The demon’s pale, pupil-less eyes had turned towards her, staring into her own.
Suddenly finding herself able to move, Otobane stumbled backward, tripping over a hut in her desperation to get away from the demon. She tried to scream as the demon raised his arm, the wall of fire crashing to the ground around him and racing toward her.
Within seconds, the wave of fire reached her, and then she did scream.
She was still screaming when she hit the ground, and then her screams stopped, as all of the air in her lungs was expelled sharply by the impact. Taking a huge breath, Otobane groaned. Her eyes shot open, and she sat up instantly, looking around fearfully for the demon.
It was gone, and she was once more in Suna, the sight of destroyed buildings meeting her eyes.
Someone shouted her name, and Otobane got to her feet unsteadily before turning toward the voice. Tsukasa was laying in the sand several dozen feet away, her face wracked with pain as she pointed at a dome of sand off to Otobane’s left. The dome was rapidly descending into the sand, and after a couple of seconds, it was gone.
Every step was a struggle, and Otobane felt like she would pass out at any moment, but she eventually made it to Tsukasa and fell to her knees. Tsukasa was gripping her side, and Otobane could tell that her ribs were broken.
“What happened?” Tsukasa demanded, hissing through her teeth at every word.
Otobane raised her head, turning to look back at the spot where the dome had vanished into the sand, and echoed the voices still faintly repeating in her head.
“The destroyers are coming for us…”
Blackright’s Notes (Child of the Kaminoki: Book 1: Blind Sight, Wednesday, May 27th, 2020)
Thank you. I cannot express my appreciation enough that not only did you click on this story, but you read it all the way to the end, and NOW, you’re reading this as well!
I want to immediately address some concerns so that you don’t feel like you need to leave a review that will just leave others mystified. Because I’m incapable of responding to reviews in a public fashion here on ff dot net.
What is Blind Sight? It is the first book in a long series that is the Child of the Kaminoki (COTK). Some of you, in fact, a lot of you, probably read my first story, which, unsurprisingly, was named Child of the Kaminoki. If you haven’t read it… uhh, don’t.
It wasn’t very good, but it also wasn’t terrible.
Many people have brought concerns to me that this story has lost elements that they enjoyed from the original, and while I’m certainly trying to stay true to the original theme of COTK, I definitely have changed some things. Many elements are not lost, they’re just coming later in the rewrite. If I’ve ruined the story for you, I do apologize, and if you’re willing, I try to give readers every opportunity to give me feedback, but you’ll need to join my Discord Server for that. (Server Join Code is: yewTGGX)
Anyway, why am I writing this story?
Ultimately because storytelling has been my ambition for as long as I can remember. Of course, like so many others, that wasn’t clear to me immediately. I knew I liked to tell stories, and I believe somewhere around eleven years old, I did try to write.
I wrote a couple of chapters of a story simply called, “Ethan.”
I don’t remember much about that story, but my mother assures me that I had big plans for it. However, for whatever reason, I ended up giving up and deciding that writing was not something I enjoyed.
From there, I got into video editing, and then eventually 3D Animation.
Storytelling, but with a lot more steps.
I’m a very visual person, and I think part of why I gave up writing is because it was words, and having a complete lack of artistic talent, I thought that animation was the path for me. It wasn’t, of course, but I did enjoy it for several years before eventually giving up.
That was about when I finished watching the Naruto Anime, and, like many others, I disliked the ending of it. So I got into reading fanfiction for the very first time, searching for a better ending. I quite literally tumbled down the rabbit hole. Luckily, I’m not nearly as addicted now, as that need for stories is filled by writing stories instead of reading three to four entire stories a day.
Shortly after beginning my obsession, I got the desire to write a story but had no clue what kind. So the idea went on the shelf. Eventually, I got the inspiration for Child of the Kaminoki from a story called “The Village of Chakra,” by KillerPanda666. However, my idea was not complete, and it all only really came together for me when I read “A Date with Death” by QueenMimi.
Both fantastic stories, and I’d recommend checking them out if you’re bored.
I’m getting off-topic.
Writing Blind Sight was a challenge, and I want to thank everyone who helped me finish this book.
First, I want to start by thanking Tensleep, and Qibolu.
They are both fantastic beta readers and gave me constant feedback that not only helped me keep the story consistent but encouraged me when I felt like it was all pointless.
Next, I want to thank the people that helped refined COTK into the storyline that is now Blind Sight. Those people are TheLegendaryOne, Kryvo, Antex, EmpoweredHotcakes, EnderReaper, Hellman, Kirow, Shikamaru, and Doomqwer.
They helped hone the storyline you just finished reading tremendously, alongside several month’s worths of conversation with Tensleep.
I also want to thank the hundred+ people that chose to join my Discord server and support me in my writing. I greatly appreciate it and I hope to keep bringing you all content as consistently as I can.
And I can’t forget about you two, and you know who you are. TigrezzTail and Nagi92, thank you! You both consistently reviewed my story every time a chapter came out, and I cannot express how helpful it was to read your reviews and see that people were enjoying my work. So thank you, to both of you.
Lastly, I want to thank the creators of the Original Characters in this book that I didn’t invent myself.
For those of you that don’t know, you can submit your own Original Character to me at any time by joining my Discord Server, and there is a fair chance it will be included in the story at some point.
In Blind Sight, nine OC’s that others submitted to me were used. These OC’s were designed and submitted by Grimtruth, Shikamaru, and Doomqwer from my discord server. Thank you!
Currently, I have twenty-one books roughly planned out for the Child of the Kaminoki Series. Blind Sight is the first in the series, and the next book will be coming out as soon as possible. Stay tuned!
Also, if you want to read more recent work by me, check out “Jin Arashi: The Storm Amongst the Mist.” It’s a story I’m co-authoring with TheLegendaryOne and is based in the Child of the Kaminoki Universe, in the Land of Water.
If you’re still interested, I’d also like to share my thoughts about Naruto… as a character, which are complicated. I know some of you have wondered why I didn’t just give him an original name, and I’m going to be honest… it’s because hardly anyone would have read this story if the main character wasn’t named Naruto. The majority of you would never even have found it!
On a more specific note, I wanted Naruto to have zero control over his life, from the very beginning. I wanted him to be constantly pushed and pulled by those around him, despite being decently powerful in his own right. Too many Naruto Fanfiction make Naruto too powerful, too in control. Life ultimately doesn’t work that way, and even if you have god-like powers, life will still throw curveballs at you… just god-sized ones.
I’m sure you all have many questions. Who is Naruto really? What is the Stone of Legends? Why did Naruto go into a coma right at the end of the book? Can Gaara be trusted? What does Torio know?
All great questions that you’ll have to wait till the next book to read. (Peeps on discord get access to chapters roughly seven weeks before the chapters get posted here, so…)
Are the Otsutsuki still in this story and the answer to that question, is yes. I’m just being a lot less on the nose about it this time around. I realize I might be shooting myself in the foot by doing that, but I feel it’s necessary.
I’ve learned so much about writing since I threw in the towel on COTK Classic, and if you have questions, feel free to contact me via the Discord Server and I’d love to share with you. I won’t go into it here, because I’d get sidetracked, and then I really would be padding my word count at that point.
Anyway, if you enjoyed this book, please give it a review, favorite, and a like. Your kind words and encouragement help any author. I will continue to the next book whether you provide an AMAZING review or not. However, it might get done a tad bit faster with the encouragement 😉
Want to comment on your favorite scene, comment, event, mystery, or character for Blind Sight? Do you have ideas for what should be in the story going forward?
Join us on the Discord Server, the code is yewTGGX.
Multiple software were used in the writing of this story, alongside thousands of cups of coffee. That software being Quip, Scrivener, and Flowstate.
Book Cover created by VEN_ARTWORKS on Instagram. Give her a follow and tell her I sent you!
Blackright709, May 27, 2020.
For a complete list of Blackright709’s Child of the Kaminoki Universe books, please join the Discord Server.
Child of the Kaminoki Series Titles Include:
Blind Sight (01)
Jin Arashi: The Storm Amongst the Mist (01)
This list will be updated with every new book.