And we're back with a brand new chapter. We now start the Invasion of Konoha Arc.
Peter watched silently as Sasuke and Gaara fought each other. As much as he disliked the Uchiha heir, he had to admit that the boy was really giving the Sand user a run for his money with his constant attacks. He was fast, not as fast as Lee, Haku, or even himself, but he still had some pretty impressive speed. He was disrupted from watching the fight as his spider sense gave a minor buzz about a minor threat. He began to let his eyes wander around searching for the threat and noticed what looked like several feathers began to rain down on the arena. He was confused as to who could have done something like this and why. It wasn’t until he noticed that several people were beginning to fall asleep that he understood. A Genjutsu. He noted, as he made a sign and began working on trying to break the hold that it had on him. He was still working on it when he felt several stinging sensations. He looked down at his hands to see several bugs flying away from him. The bites along with his own efforts was enough for him to throw off the rest of the Genjutsu.
He groaned as he came to, the Genjutsu had really knocked him for a loop. As he climbed to his feet he looked around to see what he could do to help. Kiba was running off with Tenten and Neji, Ino and Choji were strapping on discarded weapon packs and helping some Chunnin herd civilians through the exits, Sai and Hyo were helping the Sensei’s in battling ninja, Naruto, Sakura, and Shikamaru were chasing after what looked like Sasuke and the Sand Gennin. He saw Shino was heading after the group as well. He also noticed that a group of Sound Ninja were going after the two groups as well. If Gaara managed to do whatever it could break their defenses they had to stop the redhead from whatever it was that they had planned.
Peter sighed as he thought about what had just happened. Shino's competitive streak and need to prove himself had just activated again. One of these days that pride of Shino's was going to get him killed or severely wounded. If he knew the other boy as well as he believed he did, then he was pretty sure that the Clan Heir was wanting to start that match with the Puppet Gennin. He might as well back his Clansman up, as it wasn't likely that the other boy was going to stop for help elsewhere.
“Yo Shino, wait up!” Peter shouted as he leaped after the other boy. “Scuse me, pardon me.” He yelled, as he bounced off of the bodies of various sound ninja who were tossed to the side. He snagged one ninja with his webbing. “Here’s a little something I like to call the around the world.” He explained, as he pivoted on his heel while using the ninja he had grabbed as a weapons slamming him into several other ninja he then released his hold and let his opponent slam into a wall. He then rushed to Shino’s side.
Kakashi nodded his approval at the actions of his student which broke the formation of the Sound Ninja and created his own brand of chaos amongst their ranks. He was glad that he was able to point that chaos at his enemies. With their group now broken they now had a better chance of dealing with the invading group. “Asuma support the Gennin in the forest, Guy and I will lead the rest of the forces here in the arena.” He commanded, as the Senior Jonnin of the group. “Kurenai. I want you to search through the arena and find any unconscious Leaf Ninja and get them awake. It is our job to keep the forces occupied here before they can try anything else. We must protect the people, village, and nobles from harm though. The ANBU are dealing with the protection of the Hokage.” He added noting the group of robed ninja on the roof. The other Jonnin nodded as they began to move under the command of the former student of the 4th and former ANBU.
He turned to look at the other assembled Gennin that were awaiting their orders. The masked ninja decided to make some command decisions. “Haku, consider your probationary condition temporarily canceled. You’re now on full combat status so back Peter up.” He told his part time student. The robed ninja nodded and dashed after the disappearing figures. “Ino, Choji assists Kurenai with finding any other Leaf Shinobi and wake them up.” He ordered getting nods as the pair dashed after the woman. “Guy, let’s get to work.” The taller man nodded as they began attacking the various Sound Shinobi that had forced their way into their village and were attacking.
Shino cocked an eyebrow on seeing his clansman landing at his side. "What are you doing here?" He demanded in surprise, slipping slightly out of his usual monotone.
"You mean besides not letting you go after that guy halfcocked?" Peter questioned in amusement, as he fired webbing into another group of Sound Ninja, webbing covering their faces allowing the Leaf Ninja to take advantage of the distractions he was causing. "We really don't have the time to argue about it, so I thought that it would be easier to just back you up while you prepare to deal with puppet boy." Peter returned to the other boy. "Besides, my team is up ahead and they might need me as well. I also figured that you put more of your tracking bugs on the various competitors before the attack ever began, meaning you’ll be one of the best people to track them down right now."
Shino nodded his head in acceptance and turned back to chasing after the Sand Gennin, with Peter at his side to help keep other enemy ninja off of his back while he focused on his connection with his bugs.
“You’re always such a great conversationalist.” Peter joked, as he fired a web blast that blinded another ninja before leaping after his clansman. He idly noticed that Haku was coming up behind them and was throwing ice needles every which way as he quickly closed the gap between them. Once he was at their side he fell into formation as they began running through the treetops. Peter and Haku taking up the rear positions while Shino took point. Right now it was a large game of follow the leader. Sasuke was chasing the Sand Siblings, Naruto, Sakura and Shikamaru were following him, behind them was a group of Sound Ninja, and then came their group.
“So how long do you think we’ll have to chase these guys before they decide to let us catch up?” Peter questioned curiously as he bounced from tree to tree.
“Unknown,” Shino admitted, “however the ones chasing your team are not my primary concern. I intend to deal with the lead team though not the ones acting as a distraction for them.”
“Careful Shino, we’re not officially on a mission unlike they are. We should be acting as defense for the village.” Peter informed his clansman. “We don’t get to choose who we want to take on whenever we want.”
“I want Kankarou.” Shino returned with finality, “He shall be my opponent upon whom I shall prove my strength.”
“Great, you’re completely ignoring me.” Peter grumbled as he watched his clansman continue to move forward.
The trio paused as they saw Shikamaru on the ground facing off with 8 Sound Ninja. The Shadow user was holding the large group of ninja in place. “We should try to help him.” Peter noted to the others.
“Unfortunately we’re reinforcements for the others. I doubt that even our our combined power is going to be enough to take on all of the Sand Siblings. Particularly if we stop and help everyone.” Shino returned to the other boy.
Peter gave a stiff nod in agreement with his clansman’s assessment. “Alright here’s the plan then. Haku use your Needles of Death Jutsu on those guys. That should either weaken or wound them enough for Shikamaru to move out of the way or at the very least give him a chance to regroup. Shino and I will continue on and try and find the others and you catch up with us as soon as you can.”
The masked boy nodded as he launched himself out of the trees to land in a tree. The attack Peter was expecting never came though as Haku shifted his aim. “Secret Jutsu: Thousand Needles of Death!” Haku called firing into the trees. A final ninja fell Sound Ninja fell to the ground from the tree he had been hiding in. He was still alive but he was also incapacitated. While that was going on Peter created a net out of his webbing and Shino drained the ninja of some of their chakra.
“Go on.” Shikamaru grunted as he finally released his jutsu on the Sound Ninja and fell to his knees in exhaustion. The last of his chakra reserves used up. “Go help the others, they’re the primary mission. I would only slow you guys down after using up all of my chakra holding them down for you guys. I can handle these guys until someone comes along now though.” He assured them. “You have to stop Gaara though, from some of the things that this lot said he seems to be important to their plans somehow. You can’t let them do whatever it is their planning.” The trio nodded as they launched themselves back after the groups of Leaf and Sand Ninja with renewed determination to stop their enemy from carrying through with their plan. They passed a small battlefield, but couldn’t see any signs of survivors.
“This was Sasuke’s handiwork.” Peter identified knowingly. “He’s the only person amongst us that uses fires style to this level. The others could only agree and followed the path that the others seemed to be taking.
The group paused as they saw Sasuke preparing to deal with Kankarou, even as Temari grabbed the unconscious Gaara and fled. The two boys were now preparing to battle with each other.
“Hold on.” Shino called out breaking the element of surprise that they held a moment ago forcing both fighters to turn and look towards them. “I’ve got dibs on him first Sasuke.” The Aburame heir stated to the Uchiha heir in a tone of voice that broached no argument.
“What do you want?” An annoyed Kankarou questioned, even as he tried to figure how long he could slow all of these Leaf Ninja down.
“Shino,” Sasuke greeted ignoring the other members of the group. “How did you find us?”
Shino held his hand out towards Sasuke. “I planted a beetle on you as you left the arena, a female beetle. She gives off a very faint scent. Nothing that you could detect, but the male of the species can.” Shino explained to the other boy. “He has a very strong sense of smell, and he would follow her anywhere.” As he spoke the others noticed that more and more bugs were appearing around them. “Sasuke Uchiha,” he spoke formally, “its Gaara that you’re really after. That is because your match against him was left unfinished. Well I have similar unfinished business with Kankarou. Because our match never even started. He’s mine, leave him to me. Go and take these two with you. Just in case anyone else decides to get in your way.” He added waving to his two companions.
“Did you really just give us away?” An amused Peter questioned his Clansman.
“I did.” Shino replied shortly, not even bothering to sound guilty or look at his companions. All his attention was on the Sand Ninja.
“Shino, are you sure about this?” Peter asked curiously, the humor gone from his voice even though he already knew the answer that the Clan Heir would give him. The warning Shikamaru had given them about Gaara echoing in his ears. “This isn’t going to be a submission fight.” He warned the other boy. “This is the real deal.” He reminded him.
"Go." Shino ordered. "I’ll handle this one. "
Sasuke smirked knowingly at Shino. "Well if you’re sure."
"Don’t worry," Shino returned stoically," give me ten minutes and I’ll come after you to see if you’re okay."
Sasuke sneered. "Don’t waste your time, by then my work will be done to." He then shimmered out of view. The other two boys sighed before they followed after the dark haired youth. Their greater speed making sure that they would be able to keep up with the other boy.
The trio moved on silently as they raced after their prey. Sasuke ignored the two additions to his group for the most part, but couldn’t help but be impressed with the seeming ease that the duo were using to keep up with him. They paused as they saw the two remaining Sand Sibling stop on a broad tree branch. The red head swatted Temari away, as if she was an annoyance and turned to face the group that had tailed them.
“You sure you want to deal with guy on your own?” Peter asked, as he eyed the redhead cautiously.
“Just keep his sister out of my way.” Sasuke returned, as he moved forward to talk down to Gaara. “I have no idea what you Sand Clowns are up to, but I’m going to stop you.” He declared. “Besides I’m dying to find out what you really are. Maybe they’ll even let me see the report after they slice you open.” As he talked, they all noticed that the Sand Armor that protected Gaara was starting to crack.
Temari seemed to be the only one aware of what was going on and actually appeared to be afraid. Gaara. Her eyes widened in fear, as Gaara started trembling in pain. “No Gaara, remember our mission.”
Gaara ignored the older girl as he focused on Sasuke. “We’re so alike Uchiha. I don’t have strong allies like you have.” He noted, glancing toward Peter and Haku. “But they’re not what makes you strong, it’s your purpose that does it. In that way we’re alike.” He declared, as he released a burst of Killer Intent. “But mine is the stronger purpose. For only by destroying you and all you represent can I even prove that I exist. Only by killing you may I know what life is.” He glared at the Uchiha boy. “You, you are mine.” He declared. “He then fell to his knees screaming in pain. “You are my prey, my prey!” As he screamed, the sand swirled around part of his body forming an odd organic sand substance around him covering the right half of his chest, face and arm. All these features giving him animal like features and a large claw like arm.
The beast side opened its eye revealing a golden orb. “Now,” the thing growled, “let me feel it.” Gaara leaped into the air. Sasuke who had been confident and arrogant in his ability to stop Gaara was now shivering in fear. Gaara was coming, closer drool flying from his mouth as he extended his sand arm. He struck where the group was standing slashing through the tree they had been standing on. Peter and Haku landed alongside of Temari and waited.
“Should we help him?” Haku questioned.
“Wish we could,” Peter returned, “but I think we’ll get in his way as much as help right now. We need a plan on how to deal with him. Maybe if we figure that out we can do something to him. Sasuke may be the only thing that can buy us the time we need to figure something out. *What I wouldn’t do for a giant vacuum cleaner right about now.* maybe we could freeze the sand or maybe turn it into glass. If we can channel enough chakra into the attacks that is.”
While the two planned, Temari cowered behind them trembling, Gaara continued to destroy trees while searching, and Sasuke dodged attack after attack with increasing desperation. “Why do you hide Sasuke Uchiha, do I frighten you?” Gaara questioned in amusement. “Are you shocked by my true form? Come out, come out Sasuke Uchiha. To live I must kill, and you are my prey.”
They all watched as Sasuke attacked only to get batted to the side. They were all surprised as the substitiution puffed back into a log. The wood shattering as it struck a tree. Sasuke appeared above the thing that was Gaara and launched two sets of kunai at Gaara only for the redhead to raise his sand arm and block the incoming attack. Sasuke caught a tree branch on his way down spun around on it and launched himself back into the air. While this was happening, the kunai were slowly sinking into the sand arm.
“You can have them back.” Gaara shouted, as the blades suddenly shot out of his arm at a much faster speed glowing as some of them slammed into a tree branch causing it to explode. The other blades whizzed right through Sasuke.
“Only a clone.” Gaara snarled, angry at having struck out at the simple Genjutsu. “What’s wrong Sasuke Uchiha? Why do you run and hide why don’t you attack?” The monster screamed, and then leaped at a tree slashing through five different trees in a row. As the dust settled, he could see Sasuke who had been hidden behind him. The Uchiha boy disappeared as quickly as he had appeared though.
“Not good, if he keeps taking out all of the cover were not going to be able to try hit and run tactics.” Peter noted,d as he watched the boy.
“Then there is his strength, which may actually be greater than your own.” Haku observed.
“Yeah, I think that the last time I tried I was only ever to take out one tree. He just took out five.” Peter nodded in agreement. “We won’t be able to out power him, it’ll have to be speed and numbers to win this fight.”
They waited as Gaara continued to taunt Sasuke, calling him a coward and challenging him to finish the battle that they had started. They all felt a spike in the chakra level in the air. “Good, now we’re going to have some fun Sasuke Uchia.” The creature called out in anticipation.
Sasuke suddenly appeared and four earth pillars rose around them. Gaara roared in defiance and charged at Sasuke.
Sasuke waited as each of the pillars charged ever higher. His eyes glowed red from using the sharrigan, as he took in every last detail with his eyes. At the last moment Sasuke released the pent up energy and the blast from each pillar struck. “Lightning Style: Four-Pillar Trap!” The attack disrupted the hold Gaara had on his form and he fell to the ground in pain.
“Gaara!” Temari called out worriedly, shocked that the Uchiha had actually hurt him.
“Did he get him?” Haku asked hopefully.
They got their answer as they heard Gaara start to cackle as he sat up showing no signs of having even been hit. “I see, so that’s what your power is.” Gaara decided, as he rose to his feet.
“Amazing.” Temari mumbled in awe. “After all Uchiha has been through he still managed to counter Gaara’s attack.”
“Now I see why I was looking forward to this.” Gaara declared, as he rose back to his feet clutching his sand arm where the lighting had struck the hardest. “This pain. What a thrill it will be to crush such an opponent capable of wounding me so badly is to be truly alive.”
Temari looked fearful as her eyes darted back and forth between the two fighters as if unsure of which one she should be more afraid of.
"While he’s distracted." Peter ordered and the two masked boys ran at Gaara. The Sand Ninja sneered as the sand arm came up and blasted Haku knocking him off to the side. Peter managed to side step the arm only for the cork on the sand gourd to pop open and blast him with a new sand attack. Peter crossed his arms and blocked the worst part of it and then swung his fist which connected with a wall of sand. The sand wrapped around his arm before flinging him away.
“Stay out of my way.” Gaara ordered.
“He’s right.” Sasuke shouted. “Gaara is mine.”
“Don’t be an idiot.” Peter returned, as he twisted in the air and landed on the tree trunk that Haku had been slammed into. “This guy is a heck of a lot more than even you can hope to defeat.”
“This is my fight.” Sasuke returned. “You’ll only get in my way.”
They all watched as the bottom of the jar on Gaara’s back broke and the remaining sand leaked out of it. The sand then attached itself to the back of Gaara forming a giant ringed tail covered in spikes like tufts of fur. Gaara then grabbed onto the branch with the tail and his arm and slingshot himself toward Sasuke.
“It’s just like your attack.” Haku said in awe, never having seen anyone mimic Peter’s attack had so effortlessly.
Peter could only nod in stunned disbelief as he watched Gaara fly at Sasuke, shattering the thick tree branch the boy had been on moments ago. Sasuke only had time to leap into the air and stick upside down to another overhanging tree branch. Gaara then twisted in the air and grabbed onto another branch stopping his flight and allowing him to come flying back at Sasuke.
Sasuke quickly began rushing through a series of hand seals. “Fire Style: Fireball Jutsu.” He called out, shooting a large ball of fire at the creature. Gaara laughed, as he caused his sand limbs to protect him in a sand ball completely ignoring the hit and then unwrapping himself to continue to charge at Saskue. Saskue only had time to raise his arms up in a block before Gaara’s punch hit him. Gaara’s blow to Sasuke ripped him off of his perch and sent him through several midsized tree branches before he slammed into the trunk of a tree leaving a large dent in the wood. The boy then slid down in a boneless manner deeper into the hole.
“Is that it?” Gaara demanded of him. “That was the best demonstration you could make on the value of your existence? That’s just pathetic. Truly.” He taunted the other boy. “Your hatred, it’s weak. You’re far too soft and forgiving. The greater the hunger for revenge the greater the hate. He lectured the fallen ninja. And it’s the power of hate that gives you the strength to kill. You’re hatred is weaker than mine, far weaker.”
“Shut up.” Sasuke ground out.
“You know what that means don’t you?” Gaara asked mockingly.
“Just shut up!” Sasuke shouted at him defiantly.
“It means that you can’t win.” Gaara shouted gleefully. “You are weaker than I am.”
Sasuke grit his teeth and pushed himself out of the hole. A moment later the pillars that surrounded them began charging once more. Gaara charged intending to put an end to Sasuke once and for all. Gaara’s monster eye shown with a golden light were met with the blood red of Sasuke’s Sharringan. The blast struck only this time Gaara kept moving forward despite the blow. After he passed he landed on a nearby tree. Sasuke fell to his knees though as the effect of the attack got to him.
Gaara on the other hand merely laughed even as his sand arm fell off. The sand on his body recovered his arm, restoring the armor that Sasuke had managed to destroy. Turning around, Gaara leaped again intent on finishing the job. As he got close though, a foot struck him in the face slamming him away while he was flying through the air webs grabbed him and swung him towards another tree where several blades of ice began raining down on him forcing him to curl up into a ball as he tried to block the incoming attacks. Sakura meanwhile had landed alongside of Sasuke with one of Kakashi-Sensei’s dogs and was examining the fallen Uchiha heir.
“What took you guys so long?” Peter wondered to his teammates as Team 7 came together.