Another Chapter another disclaimer disavowing any ownership rights.
Peter walked about the village, relieved that he was finally cleared from any wrong doing. Being targeted for doing something that he hadn’t done had brought a particularly bad taste to his mouth. It had also caused images of a man with a thin mustache chewing on a cigar and of men in blue uniforms, suits, and sunglasses, and black armored figures, all of them were waving around various weapons. Weapons that he seemed to have the hazy memory of being pointed at him for some, reason despite the fact that he was pretty sure that he was doing his best to help people. It was all rather confusing, and the more he tried to think about it the more about of it that seemed to disappear from his mind leaving him with fewer and fewer images. About the only one that didn’t seem to leave was of the cigar man, and something about that one brought about so many mixed emotions that he wasn’t even sure if the guy was supposed to be comforting or not.
Being blamed for having done something to the Old Man had been a real blow as well. He still couldn’t believe that they had even suggested that he had done such a thing to the village that had taken him in and given him purpose. The Third had trusted him with a lot since he had first appeared in his office. Sure he knew that the man had given the excuse that his potential far outweighed the risk, but a part of Peter had always thought that had merely been words. He always thought that the Third had seen or felt that he was worthy of the trust that he was offering to him. The pain of losing the man also felt familiar somehow, as if he had gone through this all before in some way or another before. His memory kept bringing up the image of another old man. The words of his ninja way also kept echoing through his head. “With great power comes great responsibility.” He didn’t know why those words seemed so important right now, but he was determined that he was going to find a way to get back at Orochimaru for all that he had done. The Sannin was going to regret taking the Third away from them.
Peter looked up from his internal musings and was surprised to realize that he had wandered over to the Main Gates. He was even more surprised to see Naruto and Master Jiraiya standing at the gates going through an equipment check. Last time he had talked to his friend, he hadn’t mentioned any missions, and if they were going for secret or on the sly missions then Naruto seemed like a more questionable person to be on the team. Unless he was part of the distraction he mused. Then again, it could be something else entirely. Jiraiya seemed to have taken a liking for his blonde teammate, despite the fact that the pair had a rather odd team dynamic.
Peter rolled his eyes in exasperation as he saw Naruto was standing beside a pack that was taller than the blonde, three times as wide, and looked like it weighed more than Choji. It was amazing that his friend had managed to get it down to the front gates. How he intended to travel with it he wasn’t sure since he doubted that he could move for any length of time with all that weight holding him back.
Jiraiya did not look happy if the annoyed expression was anything to go by. It looked like his friend had packed his entire apartment into the oversized bag. “Naruto, you know that you can’t carry all that right?” Peter asked, as he lifted the entire bag with his friend still attached to it out of the way of the main road and off to the side.
Jiraiya let his jaw drop in disbelief. Of all of the ninja he had known, the only one he knew that would have so effortlessly moved that bag like Peter was doing at that age was Tsunade. She was the only ninja that he knew that had the raw strength to do that when she was still so young. It almost made him shudder when he thought of what this spider boy might be capable of once he finally got older. If his raw strength was already at this level, then there was no telling what it might be like when he got older. On the plus side, he doubted that the boy would be punching him for some half-baked reason that didn’t really make a whole lot of sense either. The woman should have realized that he was paying her the highest of compliments when he was trying to use her as a basis for his next book. To do that though, he had to do lots of research to make sure that everything was just right.
“Naruto buddy, come on, you know better than to pack like that.” Peter admonished his friend. “Kakashi-Sensei has taught us how to pack our gear already. Hell if Iruka-Sensei saw that he’d hit the roof. Probably with your head I might add.” He informed his teammate in amusement.
“Yeah,” an embarrassed Naruto returned, scratching the back of his head. “I got a bit excited about this mission, and Pervy Sage promised to teach me some super cool new jutsu. He said it’s even better than the Chidori.”
“I told you not to call me that anymore.” Jiraiya reminded the boy, wondering how long it would take for the boy to remember that he was not to be called that name. He got an annoyed look on his face though when he realized that neither of the two boys were actually paying him any attention.
“Fine, when you get back we’ll just have to have a contest.” Peter decided with a smirk as he crossed his arms at his friend. “Whoever’s jutsu does the most damage to a series of targets is the winner.”
“Deal.” Naruto agreed with a confident smile. “Pervy Sage’s jutsu is going to totally destroy your Chidori.” He boasted at him. Jiraiya smirked as he listened to his student.
Peter shook his head bemusedly at his friend. Naruto was getting stronger every day, soon his various jutsu would put him on near even keel with Peter’s physical abilities. As the pair of them quickly threw together a new pack he decided to get in another dig. “You’re lucky that I’m here to drag that mess back to the apartment or you’d have to pay for a D Rank mission to get it done.” Naruto blushed while the guards snickered in amusement at how quickly Peter had his friend on the ropes.
“Fine, can we go already?” Jiraiya pretty much demanded as he grabbed Naruto and dragged him out of the village.
Peter shook his head as he then grabbed the giant bag and hauled it back to their apartments. The guards shook their heads in disbelief as they saw that the boy didn’t even seem to be straining against the load that his friend could barely move. In fact, it looked like there was a bounce in his step. After dropping the pack off at Naruto’s apartment, he walked into his room glad that he was free to move back in. He winced a bit as he noticed that everything had been roughed up from both the Invasion and from ANBU members searching his quarters for incriminating evidence on where his loyalties were. Once he had gotten that cleared up, he began checking the rest of the building for damage. He knew that it was likely that others had already examined the building, but figured that it wouldn’t hurt for another set of eyes.
While the ninja worked he was surprised as Haku shunshinned in front of him. “Peter.” The boy nodded in greeting.
“Haku where have you been?” Peter asked the Ice user.
“The hospital needs all the help that it can get right now.” Haku returned. “I have been mixing the various healing medicines up as my mission assignments.” Peter nodded his understanding at that. “Come,” Haku commanded, “we need to get to Kakashi’s apartment. He has been injured in a fight.”
Peter nodded worriedly as he ran and threw himself off of the building, Haku followed by leaping to the nearby ones. People raised their heads and watched as Peter using his webs began swinging overhead while Haku who was running at near full speed was slightly behind him as he jumped from building to building.
“This way.” Haku ordered as they approached the apartment building where the Jonnin lived and he leaped at one of the walls. As they ran they nearly slammed into Sasuke Uchiha of all people.
“You.” Sasuke growled darkly.
“Yep it’s us.” Peter returned uninterested in whatever stick that the Uchiha had up his ass today. “Now get out of our way, we’re in a hurry.”
“Whatever,” Sasuke shot back stonily while refusing to move. “Where’s Naruto?” He demanded of the pair. “You Team 7 Ninja always seem to be doing things together.”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but he just got a mission out of town with Master Jiraiya.” Peter returned.
“Where are they going?” Sasuke demanded
“They didn’t tell me so I didn’t ask.” Peter returned icily. “Keep asking questions like that and they’ll take you in for questioning.”
“You’re useless.” Sasuke huffed as he blurred away.
“You’re welcome.” Peter grumbled as the two resumed their dash to check on Kakashi. Both boys were sticking to the outer wall then ran towards one of the unlocked windows. The pair slid it up and ducked inside. The boys looked up to see Guy-Sensei, Asuma-Sensei, and Kurenai-Sensei all gathered around the bed and an unknown Jonnin standing in the doorway. The boys looked at the bed and saw that Kakashi was lying on the bed unconscious.
“Sensei.” Peter whispered, as he knelt beside the bed.
The Jonnin looked uncomfortable as they saw Kakashi’s students come to check on him. If any of them had any doubts about either of the boys loyalties before. This ended them once and for all. The pair had come faster than any had expected for them to.
“A most youthful group of students that you have Kakashi.” Guy told his rival approvingly, as he watched the boys take up their own places in the room. The Jonnin then turned back to their previous conversation. “We need to send someone after Jiraiya and Naruto. We find them we find Sasuke and Itaichi. Considering he did this to Kakashi I’m hoping for a bit of payback.” The spandex clad Jonnin told his companions.
“You are the best one to send since you’ve trained to counter the sharingan.” Asuma noted in agreement. “The rest of us would only get in your way.”
“Itachi did this?” Peter asked in shock as he looked up from his comatose Sensei. “As in the Itachi Uchiha, the Murderer of the Uchiha Clan?” Peter had met the infamous ninja a few times before he had destroyed his clan and been forced to flee, and had even heard more about the ninja and his amazing skills. The man still held nearly every academy record that there was, even if most people didn’t want to admit it. The fact that he had created those records when he was 7 was even more amazing.
Haku who was a master of keeping his emotions controlled looked uncomfortable at the thought of confronting the Missing Konoha Ninja. “The story of how Itachi slayed his entire clan except for his brother was a story that has traveled to all of the Elemental Countries. Even I have heard of the way Itachi Uchiha decimated his entire clan in a single night.” The boy spoke in awe. “Master Zabuza was most impressed upon hearing the tale, and considered going to search for him to test his might before deciding that there were other things that he wanted to do at the time.” The idea that Zabuza hadn’t wanted to fight with the Uchiha was surprising when you considered everything that the man was known for.
“Never thought I would ever consider Sasuke of all people as the good brother.” Peter mumbled.
“Yes.” Asuma noted, watching the two boys carefully while the others were debating what actions they should take. “Kakashi was struck by a particularly powerful Genjutsu that the doctors can’t do anything about right now. Nothing that they’ve tried has been able to pull him out. They even tried injuring medicines and canceling it. All for nothing. Whatever Itachi did was beyond their ability, and until we know more we’re going to have to wait for him to come out of it on his own.” He explained to the pair of Gennin.
“And the person that did this is now after Naruto?” Peter demanded getting an agreeing nod from the smoker. “I guess that explains the Emo King wanting to know where the knuckle head is.”
“What, Sasuke is trying to go after him now to?” Kurenai-Sensei questioned in disbelief. “He’s not ready to face a ninja of his caliber.” She noted worriedly.
“Agreed.” Asuma returned.
“Fine, Haku you stay with Kakashi-Sensei I’ll head out with Guy-Sensei.” Peter told his friend.
“Understood.” Haku nodded, as he took Peter’s place at Kakashi’s side.
“Whoa, what makes you think that you’re going?” Guy argued with the Gennin.
“You need someone fast to watch your back which leaves a Jonnin, Haku, Lee, or myself. We’re currently spread too thin for a two man Jonnin retrieval team at the moment and Lee isn’t here right now. Haku is the best medic out of the two of us, so he’ll watch over Kakashi-Sensei while we save Naruto and give the Toad Pervert a warning as to what’s coming. That and stop Sasuke from doing anything dumber than usual.” Peter explained to the ninja.
“It is the best response.” The unknown Jonnin agreed. “And the kid is right, we don’t have the resources to assemble a mission like we normally would for this kind of situation.”
“Well let’s hope you’re up to it then.” Guy returned. “If Sasuke manages to get out of the village then I won’t cut you much slack.”
“You’ve seen my record.” Peter returned with a shrug. “I may not be in Lee’s league, but I can go faster than Neji. I can also dodge better than either of them can.”
“I just got the report Sasuke managed to get over the walls.” A ninja called out.
“Fine,” Guy relented. “Let’s go, we’ll need to check with the Elders first though, and find out where we need to go. If you can keep up with me while I confirm where we need to go I’ll let you accompany me.” He offered, Guy then took off while Peter followed after him. The two moved to the Hokage’s building as nothing but two brightly colored blurs as they bounced off of building and whenever it seemed as if Guy was gaining a lead Peter used his webs to swing between a street overtaking the ninja. Once there Guy nodded his approval to the boy as they barged into the office.
“We need the location of where Master Jiraiya is heading. Naruto Uzumaki is being targeted by Itachi Uchiha.” The bowl cut man informed the Hokage’s old teammates who were overseeing mission assignments.
“What is the meaning of this Guy?” The old woman demanded in annoyance. “Jiraiya is on a top secret mission right now.”
“A thousand pardons.” Guy replied, bowing to the pair respectfully, “but we’re in a hurry. We have confirmed that Kakashi Hatake was disabled by Itachi Uchiha.”
“Itachi? He’s not been heard from since his murder of the Uchiha Clan though.” One of the Elders noted in surprise.
“Indeed, why would he come back now?”
“Unknown Elders.” Guy returned to them. “What I do know though is that he and his companion are after Gennin Naruto Uzumaki of training Squad 7.”
“Then there is no worry, he is with young Jiraiya. He will not allow any harm to come to the boy during his mission.” The old man explained in an unconcerned manner.
“That may be Honored Elders, but Gennin Sasuke Uchiha of Training Squad 1 heard of his brother being after Gennin Uzumaki and has taken off after them in the hope of confronting his brother and settling the matter of honor that exists between them.”
“Blast.” The old man growled. “The boy is nowhere near ready to take on a ninja of Itachi’s caliber. Guy, find the Uchiha boy and bring him back before he gets himself killed. The village cannot afford to lose a ninja of his potential to be destroyed in a battle that he is in no way ready for.”
“Parker-Aburame you have been cleared of any wrong doing in the invasion so you will accompany Guy.” The other Elder noted, as she looked over some papers.
“Thank you.” Peter replied, bowing his head in thanks. It seemed that as far as the Elders were concerned since he had proven himself it was all forgotten. Still he couldn’t help but think of an old man with a flat top style of hair when he looked at the pair. That was something to consider later though, he thought as the two ninja then rushed out the door and headed for the Main Gates.
The two traveled fast, the trees seeming to blur as they ran. Peter knew that this was putting even his abilities to the test, but he couldn’t rest yet. He continued to move forward, intent on finding the person responsible for wounding his sensei. While he would love to be able to hurt him like he had done to his own sensei he would be just as happy giving Guy-Sensei support during his attack.
“Your bloodline makes you uniquely able to battle the Sharrigan.” Guy noted as they ran. “When we get there I want you to cover your eyes and let your bloodline guide you in your fighting. While I don’t expect you to win, you might be able to distract him long enough that we can drive him off.”
After running for a half day the pair came upon an outpost town. The two ninja heard an explosion and rushed towards the building. Once there they crept up to it and Guy using the reflection form his Leaf Headband was able to figure out where their opponents are. “There are two of them over someone else. We’re going to move hard and fast. I’ll take the big guy on the left side while you try and tie the one the right up.” Guy figured that if Peter could keep the swordsman distracted long enough, he might have a chance at taking Itachi down if he could move fast enough. “Remember to cover your eyes.” He told Kakashi’s student. Peter nodded as he pulled his headband over his eyes.
“Go.” Guy commanded and the two swung into the room.
“Dynamic Entry!” Guy called.
“Web Swing!” Peter called as he swung in on the webbing. He felt himself strike his target and bounced off whoever it was and began spraying webbing onto the figure.
“Peter stop.” Guy called out. “Its Master Jiraiya and Naruto, not Itaichi.”
Peter stopped and lifted his headband to see Naruto was being held down by several layers of webbing. “Um whoops.” Peter noted, while Naruto gave him a death glare. He drew a knife and began slicing his friend out of the webbing.
Guy and Jiraiya talked and they even noted that Sasuke appeared to be suffering from the same symptoms that Kakashi was.
‘“What about Kakashi-Sensei?” A stunned Naruto asked.
“Itachi got him with the same Jutsu.” Peter grumbled angrily, as he looked the figure over. “Guess he never had to ask if he was his brother’s keeper.” He muttered as he looked the boy over.
“It will take a healer of extreme skill to counter whatever was done to them.” Guy explained to the two. “It pains me to know that my eternal rival has been reduced to this condition.” He added bitterly.
“Your right it does.” Jiraiya said with a smug smile. “That’s why we’re going after the one woman capable of such a thing.”
“Woman?” Guy said in shock. “Then that means…”
“That’s right.” Jiraiya told him with a cocky smirk, as he cut the Jonnin off. “We’re going after Tsunade.” Guy seemed to approve and even seemed relieved on hearing this bit of information.
Guy, Peter, and Sasuke stayed the rest of the night at the hotel. The next morning both groups took off on their own. Guy would take Peter and Sasuke back with him while Naruto and Jiraiya would continue on with their mission.
“The two of you are gutsy, so I think that the two of you should have these.” Guy decided, as he reached into his flak jacket and pulled out two spandex suits. The suits were just like the ones that Guy and Lee wore. The man then began talking about how great the spandex was in training. Naruto was overjoyed while Peter merely looked uncertain on the outfits.
“Personally I’d rather if you could convince the Kunoichi to wear them.” Jiraiya cut in as he looked at the outfits with distaste.
“Kind of reminds me of the uniform I showed up in.” Peter returned as he thought of the red and blue spider uniform that he had appeared in.
“At least one of you sees how wrong those things are.” Jiraiya noted with a sigh. “Why it couldn’t be the blonde I don’t know though.”
Once they returned, they took Sasuke to the hospital and reported back to the Elders. “This is interesting information.” The old man noted. “A part of me thinks that Jiraiya should have sent Naruto back with you. On the other hand a moving target is harder to strike and Jiraiya is now aware of the threat so will take precautions. I suppose it’s for the best for the time being.” The old woman nodded her head in agreement. “Guy if you would gather up your team there is a scouting mission that they will be going on.”
“Of course.” Guy returned, and with a bow he quickly left.
“As for you Parker-Aburame if you’ll wait we had already summoned a team that you need to be on.”
Peter nodded and waited, he grinned with relief when he saw Sakura and Haku appear. At least he was going to be on a mission with people that knew him. Along with them came Kurenai-Sensei, Hinata, Shino, and Kiba. Huh, working together and they hadn’t even had to fight each other to accept that they needed to do that what a novel concept. Peter frowned, wondering where that thought had come from. It seems like a waste of resources to fight someone before you worked together. Peter looked up and noticed that one of the Elders had risen to begin speaking to the assembled shinobi.
“With your own Sensei currently indisposed Team 7, you will work with Jonnin Kurenai and Team 8.” The Elder explained. “Your mission is a B rank guard duty mission of a trade convoy.”
“As long as it’s not like our last C Rank.” Peter noted with a shrug.
“Kurenai has a bit more common sense than Kakashi does.” The Elder replied. “I highly doubt that you will find yourself in that level of trouble while under her command.”
“You make it sound like your C Rank wasn’t that great.” Kiba questioned with a smirk. “What’s the matter, did Naruto get you guys in trouble?” He mocked.
“Big talk from a guy that never made it to the finals.” Peter returned in an even voice, causing the boy to freeze in anger and embarrassment.
“If I had fought Naruto I would have won.” Kiba grumbled getting an agreeing bark from Akamaru.
The members of Team 7 looked dubiously at the wild boy, but didn’t respond to the challenge that the other boy had given. “We’ll take the mission.” Peter declared with a shrug, getting agreeing nods from the other two members of his group.
“Good.” The Elder returned, while everyone ignored the sulking Kiba. “This mission was supposed to be a part of the graduation ceremony for any Chunnin that we had. The Hokage thought that such a mission was a good way to induct ninja into the life. As their first responsibility, it was a good one.”
Kurenai smiled sadly at this. “I remember my first convoy guard mission as a Chunnin I was so excited at the time.”
“Yes, but now life must go on.” The Elder explained to her sadly. “The convoy is waiting for you down by the Main Gates.” The group bowed before the Elders before leaving.
The group got outside where Kurenai stopped them. “This is a relatively easy mission. Take only basic load outs of everything you usually do.” She commanded. “I want you all at the gates in an hour.” The group nodded and quickly departed to gather their equipment.
Once they returned, Kurenai looked over the wagons that they would be guarding. 6 wagons were being used to transport various goods. This was going to stretch the two teams a bit more than she liked. “We shall have one ninja beside each wagon she ordered. You will also be on alternate sides of the wagon. Therefore if the person in front of you is on the right you will be on the left.”
“Yes Sensei.” The group agreed.
Hinata, Kiba I want you to take the first two wagons with Hinata’s eyes and Akamaru’s nose hopefully you’ll see or smell any threats before they become a problem. Peter, they say your Kekkai Genkai gives you the ability to sense danger with that in mind I want you to be in the rear guard, Haku you shall be next to him and offer support. Shino and Sakura will be guarding the middle wagons. Shino, be careful using your jutsu near Haku, his Ice Style could flash freeze your bugs without him even trying.” She warned the boy. “That’s why I want Sakura between the two of you.”
Shino nodded his understanding and headed toward his wagon.
“Shino is a good ninja, just a bit standoffish.” She warned Team 7 who eyed the boy with interest.
“Yeah that’s one way of putting it.” Peter agreed with amusement, as he headed for his rearguard position.
Kurenai smiled in relief, glad that none of the others appeared bothered by their teammate’s outward attitude. She herself would be moving up and down the line to make sure that each of the Gennin was doing alright. She had heard of the skills of Team 7 from Kakashi, and knew that each member was skilled. Even the extra student he had taken in Haku Yuki was a source of pride for the usually standoffish Jonnin.
The mission went as planned and there were no unexpected problems. After hearing the horror story of Team 7’s first C Rank, she couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. Sure it had been upgraded to an A Rank upon their return, but the truth was untried Gennin should never have been put into the situation that Team 7 had been put in the first place.
Kiba of course had thought that mission had sounded great, and merely complained about their own not being anywhere near as impressive in comparison. Their guard mission had gone peacefully and quietly without any problems. And their second one which had been to collect money from someone who hadn’t paid their debt had also been easy despite the fight that they had attempted to fight back. Thinking that a woman and a bunch of children weren’t much of a threat. Their opponents had at best been B Rank fighters nothing to become too worried about. Peter, Sakura, and Kiba had been the strong arm of their attack while Hinata, Shino, and Haku had acted as defenses.
After watching the group, she could believe that they had managed all that they had after seeing what Naruto himself was capable of. She doubted that her own team could have handled fighting with a member of the 7 Swordsmen. This team though was one of the more skilled ones that she had seen in a while.
The guard mission had taken two weeks travel, and they were now headed back to the village with an accomplished mission. The only action had been when they had been forced to scare off a group of bandits, but that had been rather simple with Kurenai leading the team. A few well-placed illusions had frozen them long enough for the Gennin to deal with the group.
“So how long will it take us to get back Sensei?” Sakura asked curiously as the group gathered around a fire.
“If we’re lucky it will only take three or four days if we can move at the pace that my team normally manages.” The red eyed Jonnin explained to the Gennin who nodded her head in acceptance of the estimate.
“Can’t deny that the job was a lot better than having to guard some drunk who thought that he was the most important thing around.” Peter told the others. Sakura smiled in agreement.
“I am thankful that I did not have to deal with that part of the mission.” Haku returned. “On the other hand, I had to deal with Gato and his mercenaries. They were unpleasant at the best of times.” The boy explained with a scowl, as he recalled the small man and the things that he had tried while he and Zabuza were working for the minor crime lord.
“Can’t really argue with that one.” Peter nodded in agreement, getting a nod from Sakura as the pair recalled the man that had ordered their deaths.
The group was interrupted as a flash of light blinded them. When the light was gone. The ninja were on their feet with weapons at the ready. In the midst of the group there were figures like they had never seen before. A pink skinned woman in an odd green battle dress slung over shoulder was a quiver of odd green weapons and on her arm was a giant glowing red gem, a blue furred woman like being, next to her was a being with a white face and wearing a skin tight body suit and a cape, following that there was a large blonde man that was larger than most ninja easily standing at slightly over six feet* in a blue and yellow uniform. Not even Asuma was as tall as this man was and he was the tallest of all of the Jonnin. When you didn’t count Kakashi’s hair that is. With the group was a man in a black suit with a weapon bandoleer and a satchel was on the same shoulder. The last member was a woman with skin darker than anything any of them had seen.
“Whoa that was a rough ride.” The blue girl snarked in amusement.
“Disable the intruders.” Kurenai ordered, as she lunged toward the pink figure.
“Ah nuts not again.” The white faced figure complained as he dodged Kiba as he made a swiping motion.
“Try not to hurt them.” The pink girl ordered, as she disappeared through a portal only to reappear several feet away. She was forced to draw one of her weapons though and bat several kunai that came at her aside.
“That’s easy for you to say.” The blonde man with the long hair complained as Sakura chased him up a tree and began swing her bokken at the man as he worked dodging her strikes.
The dark skinned woman closed her eyes and then the group of ninja all stepped back as she turned into some sort of white furred creature. “I will handle this one.” Shino told the others as he raised his arms and suddenly several bugs poured from his sleeves and surrounded the animal like being. The creature roared as it tried to bat the swarm of attackers away.
“Uh guys be careful.” The blue skinned woman that was trading blows with Hinata warned. “They may be kids, but they’re tough.” She huffed as she held her arm where the Heiress had struck her. She did a backflip away from the lightning fast strikes of the girl
“Hang on I’m coming.” The tall blonde man responded.
“I think not.” Haku countered, as he raised his hands. “Secret Jutsu Ice Spear.” A spear of Ice materialized before him and launched itself at the man. The man seemed to grow even bigger as his body changed from flesh and blood to some kind of shiny metal. The ice spear then shattered upon striking the crossed arms of the man.
“It’ll take more than that kid.” The man explained.
Peter looked around and tried to figure out who needed his help the most. All of them were being easily countered by the strange beings, the only people having any real luck were Kurenai, Shino, and Hinata. The others were mainly throwing attack after attack at targets that were brushing them off.
He leaped at the blonde guy with the bandoleer swinging his arm blades at him trying to slice him apart. The man tried to get out of the way by leaping into a nearby tree. Peter didn’t even hesitate as he kicked off another tree to push himself up alongside of the man. The man blocked his arms by drawing a pair of knives that caused sparks as he was forced backward. Peter performed a follow up swing that missed and the blades embedded themselves into the side of a tree. Peter grumbled as he realized that his weapons had gotten caught in the trunk. Really not what he needed right now. He thought as he began working on pulling himself free.
The blue woman began walking backwards up a tree her eyes lighting up in amusement that quickly changed to shock as Hinata followed her up as her own feet stuck to the trunk. “Anyone else feeling like we’re in over our heads?” She questioned her companions.
“That is what happens when one faces off against Ninja of the Leaf.” Shino explained as dropped from a tree.
“Ninja world?” The blue figure questioned in surprise, as she back flipped away and landed beside her companions.
“This is not the way that things should be.” The pink skinned woman returned. “Calvin I need a distraction.”
“You got it.” The man agreed, as he performed a hammer blow on the ground. The ground around him shook.
The ninja responded by leaping back. With the moment of breathing room the unknowns gathered together and the pink skinned one did something and they disappeared.
“What was that all about?” Kiba asked as he slumped against a tree. The white skinned one had caught both him and Akamaru with several powerful strikes.
“Unknown.” Kurenai admitted as Hinata began treating Kiba and Akamaru with her healing salve. They had been lucky, not a single one of their attackers had looked overly concerned. In fact they had seemed more surprised than anything else and had not pushed the battle very much. Had they gotten serious she wasn’t sure how many of them would have survived the fight. Also their attacks hadn’t seemed to be doing all that much to their opponents. Hinata had scored a few lucky hits and Shino had surprised the large creature with his bugs but for the most part it had been a delaying battle. “We should be more careful from now on.” She declared. “Shino, set up a perimeter.” She told the boy who nodded his head in understanding. He held his arms out and more bugs poured from the sleeves of his jacket and scattered around the forest. The group then tried to get some sleep after having been attacked it was unknown how many of them would get any sleep.
“Something’s bothering you?” Peter questioned as he looked at Shino as the pair of them took up positions in the trees over the heads of the others.
“Indeed.” Shino returned neutrally. “Our opponents were odd ones. You may not be aware of it, but not a single one of them used chakra.”
“What?” Peter asked in surprise as he thouht of all the things that they had been doing.
“Yes.” Shino assured. “I think that Hinata is aware of this as well, but is trying to understand what it could mean. People should not be able to fight on the level that they did without chakra though.”
“Except I do it all the time.” Peter pointed out reminding the boy about his own abilities. There was also the part about nearly each of the people that they had confronted had caused flashes. He remembered a metal man but he had dark hair and was standing along with the claw man, the blue girl had reminded him of a male version, the animal like creature had seemed wrong to him like he thought that the color was wrong, even the guy he and Sakura had been fighting had seemed familiar in his own way. The only ones that hadn’t caused him to flash had been the pink girl and the white thing.
“Indeed, which makes me wonder who or what it is that they are.” Shino muttered, as he stared out into seeming nothingness.
Peter knew better than that though. He knew that the other boy was communicating with the beetles that made up his particular style of Ninjutsu. “Were you able to tag any of them with a female?” He asked curiously. If a female beetle was with the group then they could track them if the need came up.
“No I’m afraid not.” Shino admitted. “I was more concerned at the time with keeping that creature distracted from the others. I was also somewhat surprised to learn the creature was not a Genjutsu. It was like nothing that I had ever seen or heard of before.”
“It was worth a shot.” Peter replied with a shrug, as he considered what their other options might be.
“Did you manage to slip one of your trackers on your opponent?” Shino questioned curiously, having seen the electronic versions of the tracking jutsu that he used.
“Nope, I’m afraid not. Whoever those guys were they managed to make a clean get away.” Peter returned.
“What about you Kiba, did you and Akamaru manage to catch their scent?” The two boys looked behind them where Kiba was standing hidden in the shadows. Neither of them seeming to be surprised at seeing the feral member of their group waiting in the dark.
“Not a thing.” Kiba grumbled in annoyance. “The big guy that Akamaru and I were fighting didn't even have a scent. There was nothing for me to track. The others left faint scents that Akamaru might be able track, but the one that we fought left nothing.” The ninja looked angry that their surprise visitors had managed to disappear so completely from his senses without any chance of getting another chance to go at them unless they stumbled upon them like they had earlier.
“A scentless shapeshifter, a teleporter, a beast shapeshifter, a metal shapeshifter, and who knows what the other members of the group are capable of. The blue one and the one in black seemed to be just as agile as Peter though. Shino noted thoughtfully, as he cataloged their enemies skills and abilities. “Add in their lack of chakra, and they leave more questions than answers.”
“Think that these could be my original people?” Peter asked curiously.
“It’s a possibility that’s crossed my mind.” Shino admitted to his clansman. “We would need more information before we draw any form of reasonable conclusion though.” The other two nodded as they looked out at the moon.
Sakura huffed as she examined her bokken. Despite all of her training nothing se had done had seemed to be of any use. A loose rock had appeared under her foot and then the bark on the tree she was standing on had ripped each time forcing her to focus more on where her foot was than where her opponent was. It was as if no matter what she did she had bad luck, and the longer she fought the strange man the worse it had gotten. Peter had switched off with her and a tree branch had been rotten forcing him to move out of the way. Either the man had a powerful Genjutsu that made it seem as if everything that could go wrong could, or he had some sort of Ninjutsu that effected the area around him. Either one of which was impressive.
“I don’t understand I couldn’t find any of their chakra coils.” Hinata whispered, as she stared at her feet in depression. “It was like they didn’t use chakra.”
“How could that be though?” Sakura wondered out loud. “I mean consider the speed that they were moving at, they had to be using chakra only Peter and Lee can move that fast without using chakra.”
“Indeed,” Haku nodded in agreement, “to do otherwise could be extremely dangerous yet they did not appear to be even pressing themselves while in combat. It is a most distressing puzzle that we find ourselves with. My own opponent had physical strength greater than any I had ever seen and the metal skin jutsu that he had made it impossible to so much as scratch him. I thought Gaara’s Sand Armor was the true ultimate defense, however the metal skin that I saw may actually have been even stronger than the sand armor.”
“Something even more powerful than the Sand Armor?” Sakura asked in disbelief as she considered just what that could mean for them. She recalled just how tough it had been to battle with Garra of the Desert, and it had only been because they had been a team that they managed to beat the Sand Ninja’s most powerful weapon. If they had members potentially stronger than Garra, she wasn’t sure what chance they would have if they chose to fight them and try to win instead of the defensive battle that they had. Because despite everything that they had tried, it was rather obvious that it had been a defensive fight and that meant there was still much that they could do to them.
Kurenai smiled at the two groups as she saw that they were trying to figure things out. She noticed that they were busy trading notes between themselves. In the morning she would wait and see if the groups changed any, and if they had come up with any potential strategies to use against them. She had her own ideas, but she would wait to see just what it was that the Gennin under her command would come up with before she made a final decision. There was a chance that they would manage to come up with something that she had not thought of yet. Even if nothing else came of this, it was a good training exercise for them to work with. Before her own team had become adept had seeing through her Genjutsu’s she used to do similar exercises.
In the morning the team gathered their gear and resumed their return to the village. While a part of Kurenai had wanted to search for the unknowns, her mission orders were to return back to the village as quickly as possible. They needed all members of the village ninja core to be ready to defend the village should someone else decide to try and finish the job that Orochimaru had started. She knew that many of the ninja villages out of respect for the Third had chosen not to take advantage of the village during his death. That being said, there were still plenty of others that would be more than happy to make a stab at the village while they were trying to recover from the injuries that they had received. She somehow doubted that Itachi Uchiha would have dared to return to the village had he known that the Third was still there. No, the Missing Ninja had crept in while they were busy in recovery for whatever reason that he had, and had decided to threaten Naruto of all people. Now though, they had to get back to the village, there were other things and more missions for them to do.
She was brought out of her musings as several kunai suddenly came out of nowhere. “Ambush!” She warned the group, even as she was leaping back to block several of the blades. She was impressed with the reactions and skill of Kakashi’s students. Sakura had drawn her bokken to deflect blades while Peter had performed a flip that caused all of the blades to miss him. He then shot a webline that pulled him up into the trees. Haku had let his two giant sebon needles drop into his hand and deflected the kunai away. Her own students had done well also. Shino had created a barrier of insects that stopped the attack before they could hit him. Hinata had drawn her own kunai and deflected the blades away before they could hit her, and Kiba had managed to throw himself to the side before they had managed to hit him or Akamaru. “Hinata?” She questioned, even as her own eyes were scanning around for signs of their attacker.
“Right,” the girl nodded in understanding. “Byakugan!” She called out, as she gathered her chakra and the veins around her eyes bulged. “Two o’clock.” Hinata explained, pointing through the brush. Kiba, Akamaru, Sakura, and Shino remained standing in guard position around Hinata while Peter and Haku rushed the area that the girl had pointed at.
The two leaped onto a tree to see a figure with several kunai dodging several of Shino’s kikaichū beetles that were making it impossible to get free. “The way out isn’t that way.” Peter joked from his perch slightly overhead of the ninja. “Trust me, you don’t want to try and go that way. Those beetles have a nasty habit of getting you where it hurts.” Peter assured their attacker. “Now then, you want to us why you thought that we would make good target practice?”
“Not right now Leaf Ninja, maybe another day.” The ninja answered, as he threw a smoke bomb and seemed to disappear.
Peter rolled his eyes as long as they had Hinata with them there wasn't very many places that this guy could run. They could actually see the guy and took off after him. The others joined them a few moments later.
“After him.” Kurenai ordered the team. The group nodded as they spread out and increased their speed to overtake them. The ninja managed to keep just ahead of them for a while. They finally reached an opening in the forest. “That’s far enough.” The Genjutsu Mistress ordered, as the team formed a half circle around him. “There’s nowhere else for you to run.”
“Running, who’s running?” The ninja questioned her mockingly. The group finally got their first real good look at him. The man was wearing gray ninja armor that looked like it had seen better days, but it was still in excellent condition. He had a weapon’s pouch on either hip, and a tanto blade strapped onto either leg. “In fact I now have you exactly where I want you.” The ninja proclaimed.
Peter frowned as he listened to the figure there was something about the guy that was bothering him. He felt the tell, tell buzz of his spider sense and leaped with all of his strength tackling Hinata and Sakura.
“Four Violet Flames Battle Encampment!” Several voices called out. The Leaf Ninja turned to see a disturbingly familiar looking purple wall rise up all around them encasing them in a box.
Peter swallowed as he realized that the wall was coming up right where he had been standing a moment ago.
“What is the meaning of this?” Kurenai demanded, her eyes flickering back and forth between the ninja and the wall.
“Simple really Leaf Scum. You've just been captured.” The Ninja explained with a smirk.
For those who haven't figured it out yet the group got visited by the Exiles.