Naruto: Tetsuden - 020
Alright, now onto Gaara’s grandchildren…and Kankuro’s Sabure’s probably my favorite female OC, aside from Nakama and Inase, so I hope you like what I did with her Please enjoy
Here’s my previous chapters, for those who missed any:
Chapter 020: Gaara’s Bloodline Holds Strong
Deep within the training ground, just as the clock counted down on the seventieth minute of the Chūnin Exams’ second phase, a team of slightly older genin from the Rain village swiftly made their way through the trees of the vast forest, in search of a weak opponent from whom to procure their second scroll. After over an hour of virtually no contact with other teams, the trio finally caught sight of a viable target resting atop the branch of an exceptionally large tree, …recognized as one Ide Fujita of Team Sai. Wicked grins appearing on all three of their faces as they realized she was alone, they gradually increased their speed as the one standing at the center of their formation drew a kunai. Reversing his grip on it so that its blade rested beneath his clenched hand, he leaped forward onto the branch which Ide was sitting on, seemingly still unaware that an enemy was preparing to attack her from behind.
????: You’re ours now!!
Without either warning or disruption, the genin’s kunai found itself lodged in Ide’s back hardly a second later, virtually no effort made on the part of its wielder. Before the three could celebrate, however, they found that any and all efforts to remove the small weapon from their victim’s back were proving absolutely fruitless. At roughly the same time, what they had initially presumed to be the body of a young kunoichi gradually began to lose pigment in both its skin and clothing, until all that remained was a creamy white texture that still retained Ide’s shape. Caught completely off guard by this sudden turn of events, fear that they were now being watched was all that kept the trio from panicking.
????: What the…what the hell is this!?
Not even a second passed after the genin in the center said this when a shadowy figure appeared behind them, knocking his allies unconscious and sending them plummeting to the forest floor before he even knew he had done so. Turning his attention now to the last remaining genin, he leaned forward to whisper into his ear, concurrently revealing himself to be none other than the leader of Ide’s team.
Irezumi: …It’s a trap.
Roughly a kilometer away, Sabure, Ryūza, and their cousin Yatsuri were speeding towards the tower, a second scroll already in their possession, when they caught wind of the genin’s scream echoing throughout the nearby woods. The first sign of life they had heard from their competition in quite some time, Yatsuri seemed all too pleased by the sound.
Yatsuri: Hehehehe, sounds like someone just bit the dust.
Ryūza: (Nodding his head in agreement, his thoughts trailed back to Tenten’s monologue, just before the genin entered the forest.) The instructor made it clear to us that death was a very real possibility at this stage of the exams.
Sabure: (Her mind also focused on this subject, she presented her twin and cousin with a more bleak perspective on the topic.) Seems strange, though, doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to be in times of peace?
Finding the notion rather dismal themselves, Ryūza and Yatsuri found it somewhat difficult to respond. Eventually, though, the former managed a reply after remembering something that Gaara had told them once before.
Ryūza: Well, if Grandfather taught us anything, it’s to expect the worst in any situation. The nations might be at peace right now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t individuals who would still try to kill us for whatever reason they might have…and we should be expected to respond with the same intentions in mind.
Yatsuri: (Although in agreement, his slightly overconfident nature compelled him to smirk at the idea.) Yeah, but even if that were the case, who in their right mind would challenge us? You guys are easily the strongest genin in this competition.
Sabure: (Content with her cousin’s praise, in spite of her modest temperament, she nonetheless denounced his logic.) Hm, don’t be so quick to say that, Yatsuri. Besides, we’re probably one of the biggest targets here.
Ryūza: …We are the Kazekage’s grandchildren, after all.
Around this time, the trio began searching for a small fragment of open terrain where they could take a break from travelling, gradually making their way back down to the forest floor upon finding one. Immediately after his feet hit the ground, Yatsuri removed the straps that kept the large scrolls on his back in place before lifting his arms in the air, stretching his worn-out muscles with a great sense of relief present on his face.
Yatsuri: Yeah, I guess that’s true. Either way, it’s not like we’re in a rush now that we have both scrolls, so why don’t we take a breather for a-?
Sabure: YATSURI, LOOK OUT!!
No sooner after they hit the ground did the three genin find themselves in the middle of an ambush, as kunai after kunai, each equipped with explosive tags, began darting in their direction. By the time the smoke finally cleared, however, their adversaries hiding in the trees were shocked to find an enormous barrier made completely out of sand in their wake. Shortly afterwards, the giant wall slowly began to deteriorate, revealing Yatsuri and his cousins once again, all of them without so much as a scratch on their bodies.
Yatsuri: …Phew…thanks, Ryūza.
Ryūza: (Having used a fair amount of his chakra when creating that barrier, he quickly began breathing heavily, all the while scanning the tree line for the ones who threw those explosives.) Huhh…huhh…yeah…huhh…don’t mention it…huhh…Sabure, you holding up alright?
Sabure: (Still in a small state of shock, she almost didn’t hear her sibling’s concerns.) Uh, yeah. …Thank you, brother.
Ryūza: No worries…huhh…you gonna hide all day or come out and face us, cowards!?
Without hesitation, a total of nine genin, all wearing forehead protectors which bore the symbol of the Grass village, emerged from the trees and surrounded the young trio, all of them bearing wicked grins and chuckling under their breath.
????: You asked for it, kid.
????: Now, let’s see just how much of the Kazekage’s blood you really have in you.
Hoping to invoke some fear in them with these threats, they were both surprised and enraged to find that their only response was three confident expressions.
Yatsuri: So, what’ll it be? Three for each of us?
Ryūza: (Already eager to begin fighting, he didn’t hesitate to agree to the terms set by his cousin.) Hmhmhm, I don’t see why not.
Sabure: (Not nearly as fond of fighting as her brother and cousin, she set some conditions of her own, in case the worst were to happen.) Let’s make this quick. And Ryūza?
Sabure: …Please, no killing.
Ryūza: (Somewhat offended that she felt it necessary to remind him, he nonetheless gave her his word.) …Got it.
As this exchange transpired, the nine genin around them silently listened on, their rage increasing with each word spoken until, at last, the leader among them snapped.
????: Oh, so you think you’re real tough, don’t ya!? Well, just wait until you get a piece of THIS!! All at once, guys!
Without hesitation, all nine shinobi closed in on Sabure and her team, prompting the three of them to leap out of the way before preparing their respective techniques, starting with Yatsuri. Reaching into the large pouch which rested below the three large scrolls on his back, he quickly pulled out six smaller scrolls one by one before arranging them in a hexagonal pattern with him at its center. Once this task was completed, he promptly bit his right thumb, releasing blood from the wound, before forming three signs and slamming his open hand against the ground.
Yatsuri: Summoning Jutsu!
In an instant, six very familiar-looking puppets, each of which shared the same appearance with two of its five brethren, emerged from thin air, positioned above their respective scrolls. In the second that followed, all six suddenly began floating through the air, held there by the chakra threads wrapped around Yatsuri’s fingertips. Noticing the worry now present in the expressions of the three genin closest to him, he smiled in satisfaction before acquainting them with the names of his puppets.
Yatsuri: A few trinkets handed down by my grandfather, allow me to introduce…Crow and Black Ant!
Wasting not a second more, he immediately sent his army of marionettes after his opponents, causing them to take off in different directions, trying desperately to avoid both Crow’s numerous projectiles and Black Ant’s elongated arms. Managing to escape these attacks for a few minutes, each genin nonetheless found himself ensnared by the limbs of one of Yatsuri’s Black Ants, prompting him to aim several of Crow’s hidden weapons towards them as a last resort, should any of them manage to escape his puppets’ grasp.
Yatsuri: Heh, and I was barely getting started.
Only feet away, the Grass shinobi battling Ryūza continued their desperate attempts to break through his shield of sand. However, no matter how many weapons or explosives the three threw his way, the barrier remained intact, any holes which they placed in it simply being refilled with more sand. When it seemed as though they had ended their endeavor, Ryūza lowered his defenses slightly and formed a hand sign, the area around his eyes gradually darkening as he prepared to use his technique.
Ryūza: My turn. Now, …take this!
Expecting an outburst of power after such a bold exclamation, his opponents were shocked to find absolutely no change in their surroundings. Turning back towards him with deviousness now present in their eyes, the wicked grin on Ryūza’s face quickly removed most of these positive emotions, those that remained suddenly depleting once the three realized that they were sinking into the ground beneath their very feet.
????: H-hey! What the hell is this!?
Ryūza: (Ending his technique once all but their shoulders had sunk into the ground, he stood back up as the dark lining around his eyes vanished.) Hmhmhmhm, that’s my own special twist on my grandfather’s jutsu. By applying my sand manipulation abilities to a specific point on the ground, I can not only create more sand, but I can even take it a step further…and make it into quicksand. As you can see, it comes in pretty handy when I have to deal with a more…unintelligent foe.
They heard every word that escaped his mouth, including the subtle insult he placed at the end of his explanation, but at this point, the three were far more focused on trying to wiggle free than retorting. Noticing their comrades’ failure from afar, the three genin surrounding Sabure quickly began to doubt their own abilities, as well, though their opponent’s harmless façade gave them enough confidence to believe that they could still succeed. Using different tactics this time around, they immediately began bombarding Sabure with shuriken and kunai, none of which landed a hit, before reverting back to their explosives, an act which prompted Sabure to leap back out of their range. To her surprise, though, even after they hit the ground, none of the tags went off, bringing a smirk to her face as she looked back at her opponents.
Sabure: (…Duds?) Hnh, looks like your bombs don’t work so well, after all-
????: Fire Style: Fireball Jutsu!
Not even realizing what had happened, her view of them suddenly became engulfed by a large stream of scorching flames, heading towards her at high speed.
Sabure: (They tricked me! …Dang it, I’m too close in range to get away now! Looks like I’ve gotta-)
With only one option still available to her, she quickly clasped her hands together, activating a single technique just before the flames consumed her entire body, leaving no trace of her visible to her attackers. Once the genin reached his limit, the spout of flames emitting from his mouth came to an end and he collapsed in exhaustion, held up only through the assistance of his teammates.
????: Hey! You doing alright?
????: Huhh…huhh…hehehehe…one down...huhh…two to go.
Looking over at Ryūza and Yatsuri to see their reactions to Sabure’s demise, all they found in their wake were confident smirks, causing the three of them to quickly redirect their attention back to the sea of fire before them. Just seconds later, when the flames and the smoke which they produced finally cleared, Sabure reentered their view, now covered in a crystalline material which coated her entire being.
????: Whoa! W-what the hell is that!?
Before the genin could receive an answer, Sabure dashed forward at top speed, laying all three shinobi out on their backs in a matter of seconds. Once this task was completed, she retreated a few feet back and formed another hand sign, causing three random points on her body to reform and expand until three long protrusions with pointed ends were produced, each positioned just millimeters from their target’s neck. Seeing that his sister had successfully restrained her opponents, Ryūza took it upon himself to answer the genin’s previous question.
Ryūza: That’s Sabure’s kekkei genkai. …Glass Release.
????: So, it’s true, then. …The Kazekage does have a bloodline technique.
Ryūza: (Finding amusement in the naivety of the genin who said this, who was still submerged within the ground, he chuckled in spite of himself before responding to his assertion.) Hmhmhm, not at all. She’s able to merge the elements of fire and earth in order to create a highly durable glass compound tougher than most metals. It’s something that only she can do, but not only can she create it, she can also mold it into whatever shape and density she desires. In other words, she can control just how large and how strong the glass becomes. …Heh, they used to say our grandfather possessed the world’s only perfect shield, but quite honestly, …I don’t think there’s a genin in this competition that stands a chance of breaking through hers.
This battle now virtually over, Sabure and Yatsuri inched their respective weapons ever closer to their victims’ flesh, while Ryūza slowly began wrapping his sand around those parts of his opponents which still rested above the ground. Since Sabure had forbid him from killing anyone during this competition, he figured that the least he could do to appease himself would be to make the genin believe he was going to, anyways.
Ryūza: Now then, …let’s end this.
Before this act of theirs could be taken any further, the three were halted by a strange, low noise slowly emerging all around them. Growing ever louder over the next few seconds, they were eventually able to identify the familiar sound as-
Sabure, Ryūza, and Yatsuri: (Whimpering?)
????: Please don’t do it. …I’m begging you.
????: Please don’t kill us, please! W-w-we’re sorry!
????: SOMEONE HELP US!! ANYBODY!!
Left speechless, not to mention in utter disbelief, Yatsuri and his cousins stood there in silence for nearly a full minute, listening to their opponents’ cries for mercy as they continued to grow louder and more desperate.
Yatsuri: You’ve gotta be kidding me.
Ryūza: (Unable to listen to this any longer, he tightened the clasp his hands had on one another as he began drawing on more chakra for his technique, no longer seeing any point in keeping his promise to Sabure.) How pathetic.
Sabure: Brother, that’s enough.
Stopping the progression of his technique just before the sand could completely consume its victims, Ryūza and his sister were drawn into a short-lived staring contest, the silence of which was eventually broken by Sabure’s continued pleas.
Sabure: They’re obviously not worth killing. …Just leave them. You promised you would.
Ryūza: (Still sickened by the prospect of having wasted time fighting such cowards, he returned to his previous doings, the lack of any intention of living up to his word clearly present in his eyes.) Well, they’re not exactly much use to anyone alive, either-
Sabure: Brother, please.
His mind practically made up, he almost didn’t even look at his sister this time around, but a strange sound coming from her direction eventually forced him to do so. His gaze was met by a fourth protrusion now forming out of her right side, gradually increasing in length as it made its way closer and closer to Ryūza’s chest. Realizing that Sabure was willing to act in order to preserve their lives, he shut his eyes in irritation, the dark rings around them disappearing by the time he opened them again.
Ryūza: Fine. …Let’s just go.
Not bothering to free the three genin still trapped by his technique, he waited idly by as Yatsuri emptied his puppets of their prisoners and cancelled the summoning jutsu which brought them here, while Sabure wasted no time in ending her own technique, causing the glass compound surrounding her body to deteriorate back into the chakra from which it was formed. Taking a moment to ensure that the six genin whose movements were not restrained wouldn’t dare retaliate, the trio took their leave and continued their pursuit of the tower. It didn’t take long afterwards for Ryūza to finally voice the complaint which his sister had been waiting for all this time.
Ryūza: You’re so humanistic, Sabure.
Sabure: (Still disappointed in him for allowing his ego to supersede his conscience, she didn’t even bother looking at him as she responded.) No. …You’re just too cold-hearted, brother.
Ryūza: (The incident now done with, he looked back on his actions and slowly began to understand her reasoning for speaking out against them.) Huhhh…yeah, perhaps.
Ending their discussion on that note, the three slightly quickened their pace, hoping to reach the tower within the next hour without further hindrance.
Not even two kilometers away from the tower, Team Naruto and Team Suzaku had all but completed their goal of besting Gaara’s record, with only twenty minutes standing between them and failure. Having come into contact with no one since their run-in with Team Katame, Inase was quite surprised to see someone nearby when she scanned the landscape with her Byakugan, quickly informing the elder of her triplet brothers of what she had seen.
Inase: Airon. There’s a single unit roughly five hundred meters behind us and approaching fast.
While the rest of their group was rather shocked to hear this after such a long time without any encounters with other teams, Airon made no effort to respond to Inase’s forewarning, either verbally or through a change in expression. Upon noticing this, Minto decided to take it upon himself to break the ice.
Minto: Well? …Do you recognize them?
Airon: Don’t bother, Minto. I know exactly who it is.
Looking over at Airon in hopes that he might explain himself, it didn’t take long after seeing the wicked smile on his friend’s face before he began to understand himself.
Airon: (Hmhmhmhm, you just couldn’t wait, could you, …Manako?)
Sabure’s team advances towards the tower, meanwhile Airon’s group encounters a rather unexpected foe!!!