A Change of Heart
Chapter One: After the Tree is Cut Down, The Petals Continue to Fall
Aoki Kawazoe sat on the bench in the park, and yet his mind was a thousand miles away. "What is this?", wondered the Cloud ninja.
"Why am I here?", he wondered out loud. "Just what am I doing, lying around like this?"
"I was under the impression that you were preparing for our meeting with Raikage-sama, Aoki." The swordsmaster looked up, and was startled to see his comrade, Hibiki Kaizen, leaning on a nearby tree. "Comrade," Aoki thought, "is that really me talking?"
"When did you..."
"...Arrive?", finished Hibiki, smiling so widely, Aoki thought that his head must surly split in two. "What a nusiance"", Aoki thought. There was simply no way that this man had evaded his site. But then again, Hibiki was very skilled in stealth tactics, so why should he be surprised?
"I arrived a few minutes ago, but since you seemed so very deep in thought, I decided to hang back until Manami gets here."
Aoki did not respond, he simply continued to look on, as shrewdly as possible without actually closing his eyes. Hibiki stood at about Aoki's height, but was 3 inches taller, at roughly 5 ft. 11 in. He was also three years older than Aoki, at 18 years of age. with dark brown hair, and shady brown eyes, he reminded the former Mist ninja of his father. Or rather, his former father. Right now, the Raikage was the closest thing he had to a father, and Hibiki as the closest thing he had to a brother, except his friend fromerly from the Hidden Grass Village was too tactless to be aware of it.
Aoki was about to ask Hibiki if he had used a jutsu to get around his field of vision, but was interrupted when an unmistakable personage slammed into his side, knocking him off of the bench. With a loud thud he fell into the grass, a large opponent in hot pursuit. Pinning him so that he couldn't lift a even a finger, Manami Nara began to wrestle Aoki into face-down position, and promptly yelled out; "So, did ya miss me, Aoki-kun?"
The blue-eyed shinobi and the green-eyed kunoichi just stared at each other for a moment, and then Aoki sighed. He felt all wrong today. His senses were off, and even Manami, the former Leaf ninja, had caught him off of his guard.
Manami was shorter than Aoki, and yet mopre aggresive for that. The dark-haired beauty was almost as annoying to Aoki as Hibiki was to Manami.
"Manami... could you.... do something... for me?" gasped Aoki, for lack of oxygen.
"Of course, Aoki-kun!" shouted Manami, looking as though Christmas had come early, "You know I'd do anything for you!"
"Could you.... get off.... can't breath!" Aoki sputtered, and of course, Manami did, even as he began saying it. She was always like this, ever since they had met. Aoki still remembered when they had been introduced, and how Manami had begged to be able to stay with him, that she had testified how badly she wanted to be with him.
At the time, Aoki had laughed in her face, and walked out on all of them. But, in time, that bloody Mist cleared from his mind, even as it had done for his former village. He had Raikage-sama to thank for that. Despite the fact that all three of them were jonin level in rank, their powers paled in comparison to their leaders', and yet, he had not tossed them aside. He had confidence in them, and he told them so, at their very first meeting.
"Hey, you two, it's probably a good idea to leave all that mushy-gushy love stuff for later," Hibiki was saying, as Aoki jerked back to reality.
"Hey, no fair!" Manami yelled, "you had alot of time with Aoki-kun on our last mission, now it's my turn!"
"Listen," Hibiki said, straitening up to his full height, "When Raikage-sama calls, that means we're supposed to come, got it? Even such a dumb, busty girl like you outta know- ouch!"
Aoki looked again, and saw that Manami had taked up with her favorite past-time, and had started to bludgeon Hibiki with her sandals.
"Hey, you two," muttered Aoki, "stop fooling around, or we're gonna get stuck with cleaning out the bathrooms again, or some other lame mission."
"Alright, since you said so, Aoki-kun," Manami mumbled.
"Yeah! Lets go! You two both know how Raikage-sama hates it when we keep him waiting," Hibiki shouted, "to the kage's mansion!"
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Next Chapter: Tremors Stir the Fallen Leaves, The Messenger Arrives!
Last edited by ItachiAnbu : 04-02-2009 at 01:03 PM.
Chapter Two: Tremors Stir the Fallen Leaves, The Messenger Arrives!
The cracks in the pavement. The angles of the stairs. The exact size, shape, and density of the Kage's Office door.
These were the things that Aoki noticed on the way up, to the Raikage's office.
He had always liked walking up to the office. It had made him feel, well, powerful. As if there was a higher power, and he was about to surpass it.
But that was nonsense. He wasn't anywhere near powerful enough, not yet. And he certainly wasn't close to surpassing Raikage-sama. He hadn't been powerful enough to stop Suigetsufrom leaving his old village, and he wasn't powerful enough to beat him now, not yet at least.
"So, you three" Raikage-sama was saying, "Even though your last mission was to clean the stables, I think you've learned your lesson, so you're going to be allowed to get back on the misson roster. And, I have a client who has requested a mission, and an audience with you, Aoki."
Aoki blinked. No one, with the exception of his teammates, ever requested to see him. Mainly because many inside the village viewed them as outsiders, and those outside the village viewed them as traitors.
"Who is it, Sensei?"
"Just a messenger, with some interesting information on your old teacher" remarked the Raikage mysteriously.
Raiga-sama? thought Aoki franticaly, Whats happened? Whats he done? Why has he suddenly appeared after after all these years? I need to know!!!
He may have thought these things, but on the outside, he simply said: "Yes sir, Raikage-sama."
Manami and Hibiki looked around at him nervously. None of them ever got contacts with old associates from their villages. Hibiki's family and friends had already been killed when he came to the Cloud village, and Manami was in exile.
"Enter," called the Raikage.
Aoki's eyes widened in shock. He had been expecting Kisame, as Zabuza had long been dead. He got the next best thing. Kisame's colaborator, Tatsuki.
Aoki tried to remain un-emotional as Tatsuki approached him.
She was the person who had helped Kisame kill suigetsu's older brother, and take his sword, Samehada.
"Hello, Aoki" Tatsuki said, smiling.
The next words to come out of her mouth shocked him, and changed his life forever.
"Raiga-sama is dead."
Next Chapter: The Flower Blossoms, The Mission Becomes Clear!
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Chapter Three: The Flower Blossoms, The Mission Becomes Clear!
"Raiga-sama is dead?!"
Hibiki and Manami shifted around uncomfortably. Aoki had told them all about the Seven Swordsman of the Hidden Mist, how cruel and powerful they all were. Especially Raiga.
Aoki was shaking. This was the last thing he had expected. Raiga, the invincible, near immortal swordsman, was just dead!? Well, he didn't want to think about that right now. That wasn't important.
"Who?" asked Aoki quietly.
"Planning to avenge your old teacher? Thats so like yoiu, Aoki. So immature, and naive."
"He asked who did it!" yelled Manami, "answer Aoki-kun right away, or you'll have me to answer to!" Hibiki said nothing, but it was obvious where he stood.
"Some group of brats took down your precious teacher and his famed Kurosuki Gang," she said, "they were a bunch of trash. And apparently they were a group of Genin from the Village in the Leaves."
"Well then," said Hibiki, "I guess we're going to kill them, huh Aoki?"
"You're all getting ahead of yourselves" said the Raikage, "I haven't given you your mission yet. You are to go to Lightning Pass, and steal Raiga's swords. You shouldn't have too much oposition, so this is probably only a B rank mission."
"If we're only stealing a pair of swords, how is this a B rank mission?" asked Hibiki.
"Duh, Hibiki," Manami exclaimed, "we'll have to worry about the rest of the Seven Swordsmen, not to mention that stupid Suigetsu!"
"Is that all, Raikage-sama?" asked Aoki tentatively.
"Yes Aoki" said the Raikage, "All right you four, scatter!!!"
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Next Chapter: A Deadly Duo, Rush to the Swords!
Another chapter today!
Chapter Four: A Deadly Duo, Rush to the Swords!
"All right you four, scatter!!!"
As they began running, leaping, and jumping, Tatsuki began to lag behind.
"Hey, Tatsuki-chan," cried Hibiki, who was the only one behind her, "get your perfectly round *** up there and..."
Just outside Aoki's line of site, Manami moved to the side, but he sensed her going backward.
"Hit him with both sandals for me, willya?"
"Yeah, sure thing."
And even as he heard Hibiki's yells, Aoki thought to himself; "This is going to be a long trip..."
Kaito thought it was such a waste. Raiga had been such a weakling, did it really matter whether they had his swords? Was it worth all of this work? Besides, he hated traveling. He let his enemies come to him, and thats why he won.
"Hey Haruto," he yelled, "Why's old man Mizukage makin' us do this, anyway?"
Haruto said nothing.
"Tch, what a bore." muttered Kaito. Haruto might be annoying, but he was good to have around. Being the only one of all the Seven Swordsmen to use Wind chakra, he was a great asset to their organization.
"We need to do this," said Haruto, "Raiga may be dead, but there are plenty of people put there who we cannot allow to get these swords."
"If it's so important, why didn't Ryouichi come as well? He's our most powerful member, and we might need him. With Kisame serveing directly with Mizukage-sama and the Akatsuki, Ta***i on a seperate mission, and Zabuza and Raiga dead, we simply can't afford not to have him here!"
"Listen, all we need to do is get the swords," said Haruto, "anything else that may or may not happen is just a distraction. Our orders are to get the swords, and not to engage the enemy unless absolutly nessecary."
"Yeah yeah, I hear ya," grumbled Kaito, "lets just get the swords and leave, and if anyone trys to stop us, we slice 'em to peices."
Haruto shook his head. "I am disgusted by the nessecity of fighting."
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Next Chapter: A Clash of Arms, Battle in the Sky!
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There's another chapter coming in today, or maybe tomorrow. If you've been reading, please continue to do so!
Chapter Five: A Clash of Arms, Battle in the Sky!
They had been traveling for hours now. Aoki was tired, but not just because he was carrying his own weight. Manami was leaning on him as well. Hibiki insisted that he wasn't tired, but that was just stupid. Even Tatsuki's pace was slowing.
"Hey Aoki!" shouted Hibiki suddenly.
"Yeah, I feel it too," Aoki yelled back, "keep moving!"
Suddenly, Aoki was aware of a presence that he hadn't felt in years. He looked up. There, sitting in the branches, was Kaito, his former superior in the Hidden Mist's Swordsmen.
"Hey, little Aoki, long time no see."
"Water Style: Four Headed Beast Jutsu!"
Aoki looked around, as the four of them got into formation. They were surrounded by four pillars, of equal height, boxing them in. Each pillar was roughly one kilometer in distance from the two other pillars to which it was adjacent, and was about a mile up.
"Come on, Aoki!" Hibiki shouted, as he dove towards the Swordman.
"Water Style: Ten Thousand Blue Dragons!!!"
Hibiki stopped. Surrounding them were ten thousand real water dragons!
"Shadow Possesion Jutsu, success."
Aoki looked at Manami, who had formed the sign of the Rat. All this time, he hadn't seen Kaito weave a single hand sign.
"Wait, Hibiki, Manami! I think I know what going on! He must have prepared this barrier beforehand, and activated it when we got here. That would mean they anticipated us coming!"
"Wait, what are you talking about?" yelled Hibiki desperatly.
"What do you mean "They", Aoki-kun" asked Manami carefully.
"He means this." said a voice from behind.
The three of them turned, just in time to see Haruto slice off Tatsuki's head.
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Next Chapter: The Battle Comences, Hibiki's Power!
Last edited by ItachiAnbu : 04-18-2009 at 11:59 AM.
Chapter Six: The Battle Comences, Hibiki's Power! Part One!
It seemed to take Tatsuki's body forever to fall. Haruto didn't even blink.
"She was just trash, and traitorous trash at that. And Kaito, how did that little girl capture you? She's as weak as the rest of them." Manami grinned.
"It's because of what Aoki-kun said. The same thought was going through my head as well. Your partner wasn't signing. Hand signs are nessecary to create jutsu. Therefore, that isn't a jutsu, it's something else, perhaps an illusion. Or, it's like Hibiki's technique, and it's refracting light, showing us something thats not there."
"Well well, aren't we the anylitical one," Kaito shot back, "but I don't see you doing anything. Don't take us lightly, or we'll kill you just like that worthless girl!!"
At that, Hibiki leaped, and shot towards Kaito. "You," he muttered, as he jumped, "are in no position to make threats." Signing quickly, he sidestepped behind Kaito, and exclaimed: "Earth Style: Glass Mirror Jutsu!"
A thousand reflections appeared; a thousand Hibiki's, Manami's, and Aoki's. Haruto raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Is this your jutsu? A mirror technique? Well, if thats all, then finish him, Kaito."
"Tch, quit giving orders, willya? I swear, you're as stupid as these kids! I can't even move, you idiot, what am I supposed to do?!"
Haruto looked on calmly. "Well, if thats all you need, why didn't say so?" he asked. Then he vanished.
"Where is he, Hibiki?" shouted Aoki.
"Hold it-- wait, above!!" shouted Hibiki, even as the enemy reappeared.
"So, you can locate objects contained within the mirrors, huh?" questioned Haruto, "what a joke." Aoki blinked.
"Move, Manami!!" he shouted desperatly.
"Too late." Haruto muttered. He began to sign, and then chanted; "Wind Style: Divine Wings Jutsu." Right on cue, two large angel-like wings sprouted from his back. He shot down, and then up again. He twirled about without supporting himself, effortlessly floating through the air.
"So thats it, huh?" asked Manami, "thats your ability It would explain a whole lot."
"What do you mean, Manami?" asked Aoki.
"I noticed from the very beginning, he was the fastest person here. He took out a Jonin level ninja in only one second. His speed is unparalleled by anything I've ever seen. And he whips around that long, heavy sword like its nothing." Turning to Haruto, she asked; "So, you've been manipulating the wind all this time, huh?"
"Yes," responded Haruto, "your anayisis was correct. I use this technique to enhance my speed, strength, and power. My sword is ultimately more powerful than yours, for conducting my chakra through it enables me to swing it at incredibly high velocities. Any earth or lightning type attacks are useless against me."
"Yeah, now how about freeing me, huh?" shouted Kaito impaciently.
"Sorry, but I don't think so," said Hibiki, "you're both to dangerous to live. We'll take you down, one by one."
"You just don't get it, do you?" asked Haruto, "I can fly as high as I please, and all of those mirros of yours are one-dimensional, aso I can see right through your stupid little technique."
"Heh, but thats the point," said Hibiki, "I can MAKE my mirrors multi-dimensional. Manami," he whispered to his companion, "How much longer does your Shadow Possesion have on it?"
"I can maintain the technique for another two minutes."
"Good," responded Hibiki, "Aoki, you work with me. We'll finish them by then."
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I'll post Part Two as soon as I can!
Last edited by ItachiAnbu : 07-30-2009 at 11:14 AM.
Chapter Six: The Battle Comences, Hibiki's Power! Part Two!
"Lets go, Aoki!" yelled the thousand Hibiki's. Haruto sighed.
"Even if you have all of these fancy mirrors, they can still be broken, yes? And no matter how many of them there are, I can still see you, so I can still make my attack, even if it isn't the real you. What next, kid?"
"Nothing." chuckled Hibiki, "But you don't seem to realize the full extent of my powers!!"
"Haruto!" shouted Kaito, "Behind you!!"
"Lightning style: Lightning Fangs!" chanted Aoki, and he leaped around the swordsman. Haruto swung his blade horizontally, and it connected with the lightning, causeing it to dissipate. Aoki smiled. All of a sudden, a second blast of lighning hit Harutos' back, causeing his knees to buckle.
"See, its not all about evasive maneuvers," the former rock ninja was saying, "I can aso make duplicates of jutsu and terrain as well. Essentially, anything within my field of vision could be an illusion, and theres no way for you to tell the difference."
"Haruto, you lazy idiot!" shouted Kaito, "These kids are no joke!! We have to retreat now, or--"
"I'm... not... losing... here..." Haruto gasped, "Not while I have orders from Mizukage-sama himself to tkae these swords!" He looked up. There was another twelve mirrors or so above his head. "How can you make this many? Kaito can only make four, no matter how big they are! Just how much chakra do you have??"
"I told you, you have no idea as to the extent of my abilities." said Hibiki, "I don't have much chakra, it's true. But, I don't need it, because I can make mirrors of mirrors! Illusions within illusions!"
"I see." said Haruto, "That makes sense. However, if I shatter the originals, what becomes of your technique?" Haruto swirved sideways, and chanted, "Wind Style: Art of the Wind Tunnel!" A huge, swirling vortex of wind and debris opened up, engulfing a third of the battlefield in side the four giant mirrors. The tunnel struck Aoki and Hibiki, though thankfully not Manami.
Once the field had cleared, Aoki looked around. Most of Hibiki's original mirros had been engulfed in the blast, and Hibiki himself had been thrown side ways into a large tree, and he was resting on one of the branches. Manami had not been hit, though she had been unseated. Aoki jumped over to her.
"Hey, Aoki-kun," she said, standing up, "How are you, didn't you get hit?"
"Yeah, I'm ok, don't worry about me." Hibiki groaned, "I'll just lie here."
"You'd better," said Haruto, "Kaito, lets go, we're leaving." Kaito, who had been freed by the blast wave, was more than happy to comply.
As they leaped away, Haruto spoke to Kaito. "We're splitting up. I must go back and inform Mizukage-sama of this new development. you go on ahead, we'll send backup for you."
"Whatever, I don't need it." muttered Kaito, as the two of them went their seperate ways.
"Hey, Manami," Hibiki said, as he leaned on Aoki's shoulders, "I'm glad you didn't get hit by the blast."
"Why thank you, Hibiki," responded Manami, though Aoki noticed that she was edging her left foot slightly out of her sandle, "Thats nice of you."
"Yeah," muttered Hibiki, "I figure you look cuter with your panties on."
Even as he heard Hibikis' yells, and the sound on Manami abuseing her teammate, Aoki turned away, and sighed.
"Some things never change."
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Next Chapter: Aoki's Indignation, The Original sin!
Last edited by ItachiAnbu : 07-03-2009 at 06:33 PM.