What do you want now? growled a drunken Tsunade. Surrounding her were Sakes bottles.
The sky outside her office was getting dark as grey crowds covered the sky. Sitting in the corner was Shizune tickling Nokuto, Narutos baby son. In front of Tsunades desk were three kunoichi; Ino, Ten Ten and Hinata.
We came here, Ten Ten began hesitantly casting glances at the other two, who nodded encouragingly. To request as reinforcement for the Rescue Mission.
Struggling to be sober, Tsunade frowned at all three girls before saying, The boys will be able to take care of themselves. Shikamaru and Neji are with them. So there is no reason to
Ino interrupted her former-mentor. But during the last mission, the boys almost die even though Shikamaru and Neji were with them! Especially Choji! He will eat those pills again and die!
Neji almost die, Ten Ten said in a worried voice, even though he was dubbed as one of the strongest ninja in Konoha!
Kiba tends to be so wild, Hinata said, that he and Akamaru will surely hurt themselves again!
Tsunade gave each girl a tired look. Shizune, who stopped playing with Nokuto, looked worried. Tsunade gave a sigh of resignation and said, Very well then! I dont want to repeat the same mistake again! She turned to Shizune. Summoned Shino and Lee! I believe they will be an asset to the mission!
All right Team, Lee cried in excitement, we will reach the Snake hideout in two hours!
Shino, Lee, Ino, Ten Ten and Hinata were at Konohas main gate as they prepare to set off. Shino was more than happy to lead the reinforcement since he was sulking about the last mission. Shino was silently thinking of the situation while Lee was impatient to start. Annoyed with Lees behaviour, Ten Ten punched him on the head.
Shut up you idiot, Ten Ten scolded Lee. Were waiting for Shino to give us instruction!
After a while, Shino said, We will follow Shikamarus example, we will go in a line formation! As the others gathered around him, Shino continued, Lee will be the first so he can counter any unexpected attacks, next will be Ino who will take control our enemies mind if outnumbered, third will be Ten Ten since she can use her weapons in offence and defence, follow by me who support attacks and Hinata will cover the back in case were surrounded. Any question?
Lee raised his hand. Yes! Shall we make the time limit to two hours or one hour?
Shino ignored Lee and addressed the girls, Right! Let hurry up before anything happens to our comrades!
With that, all five ninjas sprinted like the wind.
Do you see anything Hinata? asked Shino.
Shinos team was still going on for three hours. Hinata, who was using her Byakugan, reported, I see two figures lying in an open area. Not too far from here!
When they reached the area, the group was appalled. Lying inside a crater was the dead body of Jugo. The other body lying next to him was
Choji! screamed Ino as she and the others rushed to Choji. Using her medical Jutsu, she managed to revive Choji.
Choji groaned as he regained consciousness, Ino
What is it? asked Ino with tears of relief in her eyes.
food! he managed to say. Ino punched him in the face.
You idiot! she cried, I was at home worrying about you and all you can think nothing but food!
so sorry. Choji said as he rubbed his face.
Ten Ten and Hinata rushed to their side. Choji, where did the others go?
Choji frowned and then replied, I think they left to the East when I was fighting that guy.
Shino took command. Right! Lee, take Choji back to Konoha for treatment while we pursue the others!
Before Lee could salute to Shino, Choji jumped on his feet with painful efforts. I can still go on! Besides, I cant let anything happen to Ino while Im staying at home at ease!
Ino smiled gratefully at her husband while Shino considered Chojis request. Finally, he nodded, Very well, let us not waste time and make haste to our destination!
The group reached the stream as they encountered Suigetsus corpse and Nejis unconscious body. Terrified, Ten Ten rushed towards her husbands side, followed by Lee who was concerned of his comrade. Together, they gently pulled the blade out of Nejis body. Ten Ten was cradling Nejis head and wept while Ino healed Nejis opened wound. After much concentration, there was a low moan from Neji as he slowly opened his eyes. Ten Ten, with tears of relief in her eyes, hugged Neji tightly.
Ten Ten, Neji said in surprise, what are you doing here?
I asked Lady Tsunade if we could aid you as reinforcement, Ten Ten sniffed, She agreed. I cant bear to see you dying like last time.
Neji, Lee said with concern, are you all right? And did Naruto, Shikamaru and Kiba go?
Neji looked up to Lee despites Ten Tens bear hug and smiled warmly at his friend. Im fine for now. The others headed north from here.
Shino turned thoughtfully at the north while Choji stood next to him wondering how the others were doing. Shino faced his team mates and announced, Right! We will head north and aid the others as well as possible! Neji, can you still travel?
Neji gently pushed Ten Ten away from him and stood up, supported by his wife. I can. I will not let this mission fail this time!
Shino, his respect on Neji increased, said, Then team, Operation Save Sakura must be accomplished!
Come on out you bastard! cried Karin.
As Karin was trying to locate Shikamaru, Shikamaru was hiding behind the tree trunk to avoid her. So far, every time Shikamaru tried to trap her with his shadow Jutsu, Karin can sensed where he was, forcing him to change location. He was cursing why he always ended up fighting with girls when he heard Karin saying, I know youre behind that tree! You cant hide from me you coward!
Look as if I have no choice but to fight close combat with her, Shikamaru thought grimly. He armed himself with a kunai knife and before he could charge at her, he heard a feminine scream and insects sounds. He dared take a look. To his surprise, lying on the floor was the body of Karin with beetles devouring her flesh and surrounding her was Shino, Lee, Ino, Ten Ten, Hinata, Choji and Neji. Shikamaru hurried towards them, relief plain on his face.
What are you guys doing here? he asked with gratefulness.
We were ordered by Lady Tsunade to assist you in your mission. replied Shino.
Shikamaru scratched his head. Thanks.
Choji and Ino greeted him. Were glad youre okay. said Ino and Choji cried, I knew that you could handle it!
Shikamaru became modest. No guys, I was about to be turn by mincemeat by that witch when you turned up.
Hinata rushed to Shikamaru. Shikamaru, wheres Kiba and Naruto?
Shikamaru, now concern appearing on his face, said, I told them to continue further north while I distracted that evil woman, Kiba and Naruto should be at Sasukes hideout by now.
Fear clouded on Hinatas face as Shino declared, Very well! Although Lady Tsunade appointed me captain as reinforcement, you take command of us Shikamaru.
Although it is troublesome, I lead the way. yawned Shikamaru.
Kiba and Akamaru were struggling to stand up even though they were covered with vicious cuts and their chakra had been spent. Surrounding them were undead ninjas who were moving slowly but deadly towards them with rusted katana and ninja sword. Standing behind the unholy lines was Kabuto who was grinning like a mad lunatic. Thinking it was impossible to survive, Kiba regretted that he didnt kiss Hinata goodbye. Just when the zombies were about to leap on Kiba and Akamaru, they suddenly stopped and, strangely, turned to Kabuto. Kabuto, surprise that the table have turned, performed a hand signature and all the undead crumpled to the ground. Before Kabuto know whats going on, he found himself immobilised.
Well, said a familiar voice, looked as if youre too busy on killing your foe that you didnt notice someone behind you.
Kiba, with some effort, caught a glimpse of Shikamaru behind Kabuto wielding his hand signature movement. To his amazement, Shino, Choji, Lee and Neji surrounded Kabuto and bound him with ropes after Shikamaru released the Shadow Jutsu. He was even more surprised when Hinata ran to him and buried her face in his bloodied body while Ino and Ten Ten tended to Akamaru.
Thank god! Thank god! sobbed Hinata, her face now smeared in Kibas blood, I thought youre going to die in front of my eyes! Thank god you live! I almost lost you!
Hinata, Kiba smiled weakly, It was nothing. Really!
As if Kiba was a burning touch, Hinata pulled herself away from Kiba and her Byakugan glared at him that he involuntarily flinched. What do you mean It was nothing? You and Akamaru were almost torn apart by zombies and you called that nothing!
Now Hinata, Ino interrupted, Let me heal Kiba before you lecture him.
As Ino healed Kibas wounds, Shikamaru and Shino approached him. Wheres Naruto? Isnt he with you? asked Shikamaru.
He went inside the hideout without me. Kiba said as he gestured at the entrance.
Shikamaru sighed and then said, Then we should follow Naruto in!
Everybody nodded in agreement. Neji said, Hey! Wheres Kabuto?
Completely forgotten about Kabuto for one second, Shikamaru spun around only to find cut ropes on the ground. Before anyone could say anything, they heard a familiar voice, You may have this small victory! But you will not hear the last of me!
After a few moments of shock silence, Kiba cursed. Why does that guy always slow us down in missions?
Should we go after him? asked Lee.
No, said Shikamaru, he wont do anymore harm. Besides, rescuing Sakura is our top priority.
Kiba stood up and declared, Right! Let get down there and kick some
No! cried Hinata, You havent recovered yet
Hinata, Kiba said gently to her, I cant let a comrade perished while I sit here moaning about injuries. Naruto and Sakura need us!
Hinata looked deeply in her husbands eyes and then nodded. Youre right, we must help them.
So together, everyone entered the domain of Uchiha Sasuke.