Unknown Tales of Namikaze Minato: Konoha Shinobi's True Strength
Super early next release to compensate for all my delays. Enjoy!
Minato then leapt forward to confront Onoki, Rasengan in one hand while keeping a firm grip on one of his custom weapons in the other as his unflinching eyes kept their gaze transfixed on the elder. He was fully determined to quickly put an end to the battle.
Not a moment later was Kitsuchi upon Kushina and Kato, closing the distance with a frightening level of speed having already coated his right arm with rock, making it significantly larger and by default stronger than the left. His rock enhanced fist was immediately blocked by Kato's two hands though the Uchiha was thrown a great distance back by the attack. A long chain suddenly emerged from the ground and attempted to capture the Iwagakure shinobi but he evaded quickly by leaping upwards. His eyes found Kushina to be the one who had attempted to bind him with the chain which she sent burrowing through the ground. While still in mid air, he was met with a number of shuriken spinning towards him from every angle, having being fired from the skillful hands of Uchiha Kato. He batted the weapons away with his rock fist, the ninja tools being unable to match the raw strength of the chakra infused earth that coated his right arm though he failed to deflect a few of them and recieved a number of minor cuts as a result which caused him to wince. Being double teamed by the Uchiha and the Uzumaki was proving troublesome at close range. He landed on the ground and created some distance between himself and the duo.
Minato's Rasengan failed to connect with Onoki, the assault having being shielded by an Earth Golem. The damaged earthen humanoid, with the last of its strength, threw a punch at the blonde Konoha shinobi but only met air as Minato leaped a small distance backwards to evade the massive fist then the golem completely crumbled from the impact of the earlier Rasengan. Onoki, at this time, had already crafted another Dust Release and was aiming to fire at Minato, something that did not escape the blonde's eye.
“It's over Minato. This attack will end the battle.” the Tsuchikage stated calmly, a wide grin on his face as the tip of the glowing cone between his two palms was pointed at the Yellow Flash.
“I can just teleport out of its path. Don't underestimate my Space Time technique.” Minato retorted, his tone bland. He was confused by the amount of confidence the Tsuchikage seemed to have in his next move. At this point, the Tsuchikage should know that the Flying Thunder God Technique will allow him to evade any direct assault.
“That may be true...but turn around.”said Onoki as the smile on his face grew wider. He had no doubt about the fact that the victory would most assuredly be his, for he had set up a clever trap which he was certain even the Yellow Flash could not escape.
Minato slowly twisted his head around and was shocked by what he saw behind him: The Tsuchikage truly might have gotten the better of him this time because standing not too far away from him was Kushina and Kato, both in the direct path of the Dust Release attack as they continued to battle Kitsuchi. It was the old man's plan all along. Minato suddenly realised his lack of options in this situation: If he avoided Onoki's technique by vanishing from its path with the Flying Thunder God Technique, then Kushina and Kato's lives would be forfeit as they would be caught in the blast. Also, there was simply no time to weave the hand seals for the Space Time barrier as Onoki would simply obliterate him before he completed the sequence. Teleporting out of the way then reappearing at Kushina and Kato's location in order to grab both and teleport again would require too much speed even for him, the Dust Release would vaporize them all before he could accomplish this. He was faced with a choice; save his own life or attempt to save Kushina and Kato, a course of action which would most likely result in his death as well as theirs.
“I told you that Konoha's ideals were weak. A true shinobi would save his own life in this situation and abandon the rest since he was more important to the future of his village but alas, you are a failure. Your emotions will get the better of you. You will try in vain to save those two and just end up dying with them. Even you are not fast enough the save them from my Dust Release in time, I have managed to ascertain a good measure of the limits of your speed.” the Tsuchikage boasted as he remained suspended in the air, his dimmed round eyes looking down on his young opponent. He observed the sour look that was plastered on Minato's features and was pleased.
“Kitsuchi will also be caught within the blast. Are you willing the bet his life on this plan? If I decide to save my own life and teleport away from here then you would simply have killed him for nothing. Are you really ok with this?” Minato asked. He was hoping to play on whatever fragment of emotion that the Tsuchikage might still have for another human being. Certainly, the old timer hadn't grown so cold that the life of one of his own would mean less than nothing to him.
“Hmph. I've been fighting Konoha ninja long before you were born. You're all pansies, too much emotion. You would try to save those two, knowing it would be in vain. You can't help yourself.” Onoki replied coldly. “As for Kitsuchi, he would be happy to die if it means killing you who has been Iwa's bane in this war. I won't let emotion stand in the way of eliminating Konoha's trump card.” At this point the Tsuchikage's smile vanished. To think that Kitsuchi would have to die by his own hand in order for Iwagakure to be protected. The shinobi world truly was a rotten place though this wasn't any thing new to one as old as himself as the death of friends and loved ones was commonplace on the battlefield. Kitsuchi would simply be another casualty, another one of the countless braves whose lives were laid down in order to uphold Iwagakure.
Minato felt a twist in his stomach. Would this finally be the end for him? His dream to become Hokage? To have a future with Kushina? Certainly, he could opt to save his own life but would he be able to live with himself, having knowingly abandoned his comrades? The Tsuchikage's resolve was unshakeable so there would be no way to prevent him from following through with his heartless plan. If only there was a way to stop the attack. “I see you're even more empty than I thought.” said Minato, his tone making no effort to hide his disdain while shooting a hateful glare at the floating elder as he tightened his grip on the kunai in his hand.
Minato's last comment filled Onoki with rage as the elder's face twisted into a frightening grimace. “Die, Mina-” The Tsuchikage could not even complete the short sentence before a kunai was sent flying in his direction, the blonde having thrown the weapon. Minato and Onoki were positioned in close proximity so the weapon was quick to transverse the distance between them in less than a second. A split second before Onoki could fire the Dust Release, Minato teleported just above his arms using the kunai he threw as a beacon much to the Tsuchikage's shock and delivered an iron-fisted punch square to the elder's face, sending him flying and thus preventing him from unleashing the Jinton.
Onoki crashed to the ground with a loud thud, having received the full brunt of the Yellow Flash's strength. He grunted in pain and placed one hand on his face in an effort the soothe the sting of the attack. Minato, not intending to give the elder a chance to breathe, quickly armed himself with another kunai and lunged at the Onoki. The Tsuchikahe quickly realised that there was no room to evade his attacker due to Minato's sheer speed and opted to block the weapon with his arm. The sound of flesh being torn into was heard as the kunai dug into the Onoki's hand, even coming out on the other side and the elder growled in pain. He momentarily fought the sting of the stab wound and tried to grab Minato's arm, intent on taking advantage of their close proximity to attack the blonde using the Earth Release: Added Weight Technique which would render the Konoha shinobi immobile. Minato quickly realised this and leaped away before Onoki could make contact. The elder then hastily removed the kunai embedded in his arm and flung it away to prevent the Yellow Flash from using it as a beacon to teleport to him.
“I told you not to underestimate my Space Time technique.” Minato said, mocking the elder. “Its true that the greatest motivation for any shinobi is Konoha is to protect their own. We are all willing to die for those we love without a second thought. However,” the Yellow Flash paused as his eyes shifted to the cloudless night sky and a smile crept on his face, “this is not our weakness but our strength!”
“You brat!” Onoki cursed as he squeezed his wounded arm and cast a murderous glare on his young opponent. To think a youngster would get the better of him, Ryotenbin no Onoki!
“That wound combined with the amount of chakra you have used so far will inhibit you from using your Dust Release.” Minato informed as he casually placed one arm on his hip in a relaxed pose, his nonchalance serving to further infuriate his opponent. “Also, the blood loss will soon start to take its toll. This battle is over.”
“Damn it!” Onoki considered his current situation. He was wounded and losing blood fast and in addition, the number of failed Dust Release attacks he had attempted so far had deprived him of most of his chakra reserves. If he decided to be true to his stubborn nature and continue the battle, he would be at an overwhelming disadvantage. As much as he hated it, there was only one thing he could do. “It's not over yet!” he thundered and slammed both palms on the ground, cringing as a result of the pain the action had caused in his wounded right arm. “Earth Release: Moving Earth Core.” he intoned. The earth began to rumble and quake just before the portion of the ground directly beneath his subordinate Kitsuchi, who was engrossed in a taijutsu bout with Kato, rose up, carrying the Iwa shinobi high into the sky on a pillar of rock. Onoki then flew above Minato, Kato and Kushina towards the elevated Kitsuchi, who was still confused as to why the Tsuchikage had lifted him away from the battle he was engrossed in. The elder placed his palm on Kitsuchi's shoulder thus granting him the ability to fly as well. The two Iwa shinobi then flew away from the battlefield while Minato, Kato and Kushina could only watch on.
As Kitsuchi soared through the sky with Onoki, he was shocked to see the leader of his village in such a terrible condition; wounded in one arm and covered in dirt and grime while also sweating from exhaustion. “Tsuchikage-sama!” he screamed frantically.
“We retreat for now. We'll get them later but first, we have to deal with these wounds.” Onoki's voice was strained as he uttered the words, fighting his pain and fatigue as he surged forward through the sky.
“That bastard!” Kitsuchi cursed.
Kushina and Kato were immensely confused by the suddenly retreat of both Onoki and Kitsuchi. Kushina then casually strolled towards Minato. “We won!” she declared as she cracked a sly smile at the blonde and poked the blonde excitedly.
“No, we didn't. Onoki's still alive, isn't he? I consider that a draw. However, I'm convinced that he's the strongest I've ever faced.” Minato replied softly, his eyes still fastened on the sky as their Iwa foes disappeared from sight. He then turned to Kushina, “Onoki very nearly forced me to choose between my life and yours during this battle. No one has ever pushed me to the edge like that before. I hope we'll never meet again.”