Naruto: Shichiyo Gaiden LXXI
Chapter 71: The Operation is a...
“Kuchiyose no Jutsu!” Sakura summons Katsuyu, however she's smaller in the confines of the medical room. “Katsuyu-sama, I need you as a standby in case anything goes wrong alright?”
“Yes Sakura-san.” Katsuyu responds.
“Alright...lets begin.” Sakura makes five hand seals with the last seal returning to ram. The three shinobi medics over Maiyuri and Sakura hold their hands over Maiyuri and they begin the mystical palm healing technique. “Her chakra reserves are severely weak as it is...” she says aloud to herself. “Alright, I'll do the extraction, I just need the three of you to help me guide the chakra out of her body.” Rin and the others nod and Sakura's chakra in her palms begins to turn blue. She begins to lift her arms extracting a large portion of Maiyuri's chakra. The other three medics maintain their position as Sakura extracts the chakra. “Team 2 begin your preparations!”
The other three shinobi over at the table make a single unique seal resembling the bird seal and they begin chanting, “Tatsu, Tatsu, Mi, Tatsu, Tatsu, Mi” over and over. As they do the the chakra in their body begins to flow out as if aura were covering their bodies. After several minutes the medics change their seal to the tiger and begin chanting “Tora, Tori, Mi, Tora, Tori, Mi” Just then the glass jars begin to light with green flames as the aura around the medics changes from blue to green.
“Alright, cut it off now.” Sakura says to the medics aiding her. The three medics halt the extraction and stifle Maiyuri's chakra allowing for Sakura to rip the chakra away. Sakura makes the tiger seal and the chakra in her hands begins to flow into the center of the scrolls on the table beside Maiyuri where the other three medics reside. The process takes several minutes and once it's done a small blue flame of chakra appears in the center of the table.
“Sakura-sama,” one of the medics at the other table begins, “Is this all you're taking out?” The shinobi's reaction is puzzled.
“We can't afford to take out any more, otherwise we won't be able to stabilize her while you transfer your chakra.”
“But this means it's going to take much longer for us to get to an acceptable amount. Not only that but we'll have to use even more of our own chakra.” The medic says, “We have strong reserves ourselves but that still may not be enough.”
“This is all we have to work with. If we can't get enough of what we need, than we can't save her.” Sakura says, “This is procedure is already working with odds against her but we cannot focus on that, we have to put everything we have into this. We cannot afford to doubt ourselves. As medics, we have a responsibility to our patience and we need to see it through no matter what.” Sakura's lecture invokes looks of determination on every one of the medics present. “Now lets get to work!”
The procedure continues with Rin, Koji, and the other jounin medic regulating Maiyuri's chakra flow. They use their medical technique to slow down her flow and allow for minimal chakra passage throughout Maiyuri's body. Sakura acts as the pillar, monitoring Maiyuri's chakra flow and using pieces of her own chakra to compensate for the lack of flow throughout the rest of her body. The other three medics, at the round table make the boar hand seal and the flames from the jars begin to rise and their aura exits their body in a steady flow and begins to mix with the flames and head into the center where Maiyuri's sealed chakra is.
*Alright, now all we have to do is sustain her until the sealing division finishes fueling her chakra. Lets at least make it that far.* Sakura thinks to herself.
~Outside the Operating Room~
Koichi and Koga sit in the waiting room just outside Maiyuri's operation. Several minutes go by, both shinobi remaining silent. A few more minutes pass before frantic footsteps echo through the silent hallway where Koichi and Koga sit.
“Koga!” Masaomi yells, approaching the other two. Koga and Koichi turn their attention to see Masaomi and Shizuko coming towards them. “They said Maiyuri went into surgery early, what happened?!”
“Her chakra reserves had a sudden drop,” Koga beings, “They said if they waited any longer they wouldn't even be able to attempt the surgery, so they had to handle this now.”
“B-but I thought the medics were still going through training?” Shizuko's voice shakes out. “Are they ready, what if they mess up?”
“Idiot don't say that!” Masaomi yells, “Don't even suggest that!”
“Masaomi calm down, we need to keep a clear head about this!” Koga says, raising his voice.
“You're raising your voice too Mr. Clear head!” Masaomi rebuts.
As the team yells between each other, Koichi sighs and bangs the back of his head against the wall. Three small sections of sand suddenly materializes around the mouths of the three shinobi. They turn their heads to Koichi who simply looks at them, placing his index finger to his mouth, “Shh!” The three shinobi calm down and they sit down on the bench beside and across from Koichi. Koichi retracts the sand and lets it drop to the ground. “Normally I'm the one who's riled up in these types of situations but...I just had some sense knocked into me. Sometimes we just need to be patient and think things through a little bit...” The silence in the room returns after Koichi's words and Koichi looks down at the floor, *Koji...when this is all over...* a look of remorse comes onto the shinobi's face. In the silence of the moment, Masaomi glances over towards Koichi.
~Four Hours Pass~
The operation continues, the medics still on the first part of the procedure. The team of medics adding to Maiyuri's chakra show signs of fatigue as they continue to pour their own chakra into Maiyuri's. The other team maintains the flow, though all three, especially Koji are showing signs of difficulty in maintaining their concentration.
*Damn it I was afraid of this. She's starting to get weaker as we continue to force her chakra flow to slow down. On top of that, four continuous hours of constant control and fueling, these guys are starting to get fatigued.*
Suddenly a thud is heard on the ground, “Sakura-san!” Katsuyu says. Sakura turns her attention to the shinobi on the table beside Maiyuri's and she sees one of the medics on the ground.
“I...I can't move.” the medic says.
“Damn it, you used too much of your chakra.” Sakura says as the shinobi trembles on the ground.
“Forgive me...I didn't think I would just suddenly—”
“It's not your fault,” Sakura says, “What is the status of the chakra?”
“We've barely managed to gather a quarter.” One of the other medics says.
“After four hours?!” Sakura says with shock. *I expected nearly half...her case really is severe.* Sakura gazes around and notices the fatigued expressions of the other two medics and at the other teams difficulty in focusing. *This isn't going to work.* “We have to stop.” Sakura says. The others turn their attention to Sakura in surprise. “This surgery is a failure we have to call it off.”
“This is putting everyone of you in danger if we continue! We're only a fraction of where we need to be!” Sakura begins, “Not to mention, even if we continued all the way through, Maiyuri won't last long enough for us to even get the chakra back into her. It's simply too late.” Her voice tones down as she shakes her head.
“We're not stopping.” Koji says bluntly, “Until there's absolutely no chance left.”
“You don't get it, there isn't any chance left at this point!” Sakura says, “Looking at everybody's current conditions and the progress we've made—”
“The current condition is: we're all still going. Just because one of us can't keep it going doesn't mean the rest of us can't.” Koji says calmly. He turns his attention back onto the procedure and takes a deep breath. His focus becomes stronger and Rin and the other jounin medic follow Koji in re-establishing their focus. “I know being a medic means you have to be practical, but wasn't it your own teacher who set up the guidelines for the current medical practice...the one who said a medic pillar of life for their comrades?”
“He's right Sakura-san,” Katsuyu begins, “Tsunade-sama said that a medic cannot afford to die because they need to be the ones to save their comrades. In other words a medic only gives up in death. There is no excuse to give up before then.”
The memories of Tsunade's last words to Sakura return and Sakura lets out a sigh, “You're right...both of you...Katsuyu take him out to get some rest.” Sakura says. “We'll continue through to the end.”
Katsuyu heads over to the fallen shinobi and the shinobi manages to get his arm around Katsuyu and they head out of the room. *Shishou...*
Katsuyu exist into the waiting room with the medical shinobi who is nearly passed out at this time. Koichi and the others shoot up as they see the slug. “What the hell?” Koichi says, “What...what is that?”
“Please, take this man to get some help. He needs to rest.” Katsuyu says.
“A talking slug?” Koichi says. Koga goes over to the shinobi and puts him on his back.
“I'm Katsuyu, I'm the personal summon of Sakura-san.”
“Sakura? Wait did something happen? Isn't this guy one of the medics helping out?!” Masaomi asks.
“Yes he was, but he couldn't continue, he exhausted most of his chakra and collapsed.” Katsuyu explains. “The surgery overall isn't looking too good. They're nowhere near where they need to be and everybody else is showing signs of fatigue. Maiyuri won't be able to last much longer at this rate.”
“Oh no!” Shizuko begins crying, throwing herself into Masaomi's chest.
“God damn it!” Masaomi says with tears flowing down his face, holding Shizuko tightly. Koga grits his teeth as he heads down the hall with the shinobi, trying to fight back tears.
“I'm...I'm sorry,” The shinobi says before he passes out.
Koichi clinches his fist and squints his eyes, “I'm not letting this happen!” Koichi bursts through the doors and heads towards the operating room.
“Wait, you can't go in there!” Katsuyu says as she begins after Koichi.
Koichi enters the room getting the attention of Sakura and the others. “Koichi get out of here!” Sakura shouts
“Tell me what I can do to help!” Koichi demands.
“You can help by getting out of here and letting us handle this. This isn't a game this is serious!”
“I'm being completely serious, you guys look like you could give at any minute so we have to get this thing going before that happens.” Koichi says, “I'm not going to sit around if there is something I can do.”
“There is nothing you can—”
“Sakura-san, there may be something.” Koji says.
“What are you talking about?”
“We need a mountain of chakra fast and Koichi can give it to us.” Koji explains.
“That's right,” Sakura says, coming to the realization. “But how? His chakra control is nowhere near that of a medics, nor does he know the chakra transference technique.”
“Let me act as the medium,” Koji says, “I can act as the medium while he gives me the chakra. I can sync with him easier since he's my brother.” Koji says.
“But what about this? We need a three way control to maintain the flow.” Rin says.
Sakura contemplates silently for a moment. “I'll have to step in for him.” Sakura says, “We won't have a pillar which would mean we'd have to get this done faster if we are to save Maiyuri from dying from lack of chakra compensation.” Sakura explains.
“Isn't this being a bit risky?” One of the shinobi asks.
Sakura smiles, “If I've learned anything from Tsunade it's that the medical practice is all about risks.” Sakura states. Sakura moves from her position and goes over to Koji's position and puts her hand over Maiyuri and closes her eyes. “Alright you can go.” Sakura says, “Katsuyu I need you to monitor Maiyuri's chakra for me and keep us updated.”
“Yes Sakura-san.” Katsuyu splits off a smaller piece of her and it slithers up to Maiyuri's head and attaches to her. Koji and Koichi head over to the table and Koichi places his hand on Koji's back.
Koji begins the chanting, causing the blue flame of chakra and in the glass directly in front of him to start and the aura of chakra begins to form around Koichi. Koji then switches the seals and the chants and the aura around Koichi turns green as well as the flame. The chakra begins to flow from Koichi through Koji and out into the seal. Several minutes go by and the other two medics fueling feel even more fatigued.
“Koichi, we need more chakra, they won't last much longer.” Koji says.
“I'm pouring it out as fast as I can!” Koichi says.
“We almost have half the amount we need...but I can't hold out much longer.” One medic says.
“Damn it...” Koichi says. Koichi closes his eyes and he suddenly finds himself in dark dimly lit room with a large box before him. “I've never done this before...but I know that whenever I see this that it's more than just a dream. You're the Shukaku aren't you.” Koichi says facing the box. A grunt is heard from the box and nothing more. “Look I'm not to thrilled about you being stuck inside me either. Actually I hate it. I hate what this has made me out to be by my people but we're both forced to deal with it, so we might as well cooperate.” Koichi says. Another grunt comes from the box. “Stop being so stubborn, if you're not going to talk to me at least give me some of your chakra so I can help my friends!”
“You want some of my chakra your best bet is to release that seal.” The Shukaku's says.
“Nice try, I'm not as stupid as you think I am.” Koichi says.
“hmph, It makes little difference to me what happens to your friends. As it stands, this damned seal keeps me completely under wraps, I can barely move let alone use my chakra. Only way for you to pull it out of me is to release the seal some...or all the way.”
“Not a chance, I'm not letting what happened last time happen again.” Koichi says. Suddenly a pillar of earth shoots up beneath Koichi's feet, bringing him within reach of the seal. “I only need a little bit of your chakra.” Koichi places his hand on the seal at the opening in the box and the chakra begins to flow out tearing the seal slightly.
In the real world, Koichi's chakra begins to flare even faster and stronger than it did before, the aura around him turning slightly red while still maintaining a green essence for the most part.
“What the hell?!” One of the medics says. “The chakra signature just spiked up and incredible amount.”
“Where are we?” Sakura asks turning her head slightly to the others. She immediately notices the red essence of Koichi's chakra and realizes what's going on.
“We have well over 50%” the shinobi says, “nearly ¾ of the way there.”
“Koichi, what are you doing?” Koji asks.
“I'm doing what you said, getting this done quickly.”
“You're messing around with the Shukaku's seal, be careful or you'll end up breaking it completely.” Koji scolds.
“Don't worry about it, I have this under control.” Just then one of the other shinobi fueling the chakra stumbles backwards, his concentration being lost.
“I'm done...I can't keep it up.” The shinobi says staggering to the wall to stay up on his feet.
“Damn it...” the other shinobi says. His flow of chakra begins to fade for a moment but he quickly re-establishes it to a steady pace but it fluctuates.
“Give it a rest.” Koichi says, “No use in you staying in until you collapse too. Koji and I can handle this from here.”
Koichi and Koji maintain their focus for a few more minutes before Katsuyu speaks, “Sakura-san, Maiyuri is slipping, she needs more chakra.”
“Damn it, just a little longer!” Sakura says. “Koichi, Koji how are you guys doing?”
“We're almost at 75%” Koji says.
“Damn it.” Koichi closes his eyes and returns back to the Shukaku's cell. “I just need a little more.” Koichi tries to access more of the chakra and the seal tears even more and the foundation of the box begins to crack. Koichi's chakra flow bursts violently and it catches Koji off guard.
“Damn it, Koichi stop!” Koji
Koichi's pants as his face bares an expression struggle. His right eye bares that of the Shukaku and sand begins to form from thin air and immerse him slowly.
“Koji, hurry and stop Koichi before he breaks the seal completely!” Sakura demands.
“No...I still have...control just a moment longer!” Koichi begs.
“Too late!” The Shukaku says. Koichi completely blacks out; in his subconscious the seal tears completely and the box shatters and falls around the area as well as the pillar dropping Koichi. Koichi lay on the ground now unconscious. “WAAAHOOOOO!” The Shukaku bellows. “I'M FREE AGAIN!” Just as the Shukaku goes to stomp on Koichi, a loud whistle in the air is heard and a golden area flies through the shoulder of the Shukaku, causing it to stumble backwards. “WHAT?!” Shukaku looks in the distance, and his eyes widen with anger. “YOU AGAIN?! DAMN IT ALL”
A hand waves and the last reminiscences of the seal begin glow and the entire seal reform before the Shukaku and the seal and cage are quickly re-established.
In the real world Koichi suddenly drops to the ground, the sand dispersing and his chakra aura disappears.
“Good job Koji.” Rin says.
“But...I didn't do anything.” Koji says looking puzzled at his brother *Did you—*
“Koji!” Sakura says sharply, snapping Koji back to the task.
“Oh right,” Koji scopes the chakra sealed and notices it's at full capacity, “We're ready!” Koji makes four seals and the flames in the jars go out as well as the flame center in the scrolls.
“Increase the flow!” Sakura and the other medics increase the flow of Maiyuri's chakra and they begin focusing it into all her injuries. “Her injuries are still too serious...” Sakura hears Tsunade's last words in her head again and she gets a look of determination. “Koji take over again, I'm going to make this works.” Koji comes back and quickly takes back his position. Sakura then makes the tiger seal and orders Katsuyu to the center of Maiyuri where the severity of her injuries are. Katsuyu's main body connects herself to Sakura transfers her chakra through Katsuyu “Sozo Saisei (Creation Rebirth).”
The major damage areas in Maiyuri begin to regenerate the dead cells and tissue from her injuries as Sakura channels her chakra through Katsuyu.
*Amazing...*runs through the minds of all those in the room. Sakura ends her technique after a short while and she stumbles from fatigue.
“Sakura-san, her chakra has been depleted we need to seal the chakra in her body.”
“R-right.” Sakura says. Sakura makes to seals and the scrolls on the other table come and cover Maiyuri and the chakra flows into her and the others stop. “Katsuyu...” Sakura says. The room goes deathly silent awaiting Katsuyu.
“She's stable, the operation is a success.” Sakura and the others smile and let out a sigh of relief.
~Konoha's Medical Corp~
Naruto sits outside the operating room with his arms crossed and his eyes closed, deeply in thought. A brief moment passes and Ino exits the room pulling out her hair tie. Naruto stands before her and looks Ino in the eyes. “So...”
“It was a success.” Ino says though in a glum tone.
“Then why do you look so down?”
“Because...there is another problem now.”
To Be Continued...