The sun was setting, its last rays illuminating a figure jumping from tree branch to tree branch swiftly. The woman, for that was what the figure was, was dressed almost exclusively in black, from her high-heeled boots to her short skirt and mesh shirt hidden underneath a long trench coat that hid the lower half of her face, as it was quite windy and cold. The only other color that could be seen on her was the white of the bandages that hid her face from the nose down and the ones covering her hands and forearms like fingerless gloves. Had she not worn her trench coat, an observer might have seen other bandages on her thighs and left shoulder, as well as on her chest, obscuring it from view and dissimulating several senbon needles in her cleavage. All of this would have indicated to a fellow ninja that the woman was a kunoichi and, judging from the ninjato lying on her back and the various well-furnished weapon pouches, she would not go down easily if attacked. All in all, only a well-trained eye could see her at the speed at which she was traveling, and even then, the ones who did would probably think twice before attacking her, for her tell-tale long mane of white hair and green eyes, as well as a certain ring and purple nails identified her as a member of the infamous Akatsuki.
The speed at which she traveled indicated that a) she had to get somewhere as soon as possible and b) it was very important. Now… what could it possibly be? A jinchuuriki to catch? A mission that went bad (or worse than it could have, like: from bad to worse)? A passionate rendez-vous that took too long? Or…something else? In this case, it was a "something else". A very serious "something else" that could get her killed very easily and very painfully, both of which would hopefully not happen.
Damn it, damn, damn, motherfucking DAMN! No matter how I see it, I'm screwed! Well, maybe not screwed. If it was that easy to get me six feet under, I would have been dead years ago. Still, things are not exactly peachy for me here. Damn him! I told him that a meeting face-to-face was out of the question! So help me, if the risks outweigh the profits, he certainly will find his ass kicked all the way to Snow Country! And seeing how much he owes me, he better have a good reason for making me take even more risks. Someone is in due need of a whipping, me thinks.
She soon stopped before a cliff that loomed over her. Not feeling any intruders around and making sure not to get caught in any trap, she rapidly dispelled the henge hiding the fissure that made the entrance of the cavern that stood in front of her. She slipped in the crack before stopping in shock as she saw two shinobi she recognized very well. Panic seized her at the thought that she had been set up and she strived to escape before any of the two sensed her presence. Unfortunately for her, their heads snapped to her brusquely and they stood up as one.
Doom settled heavily in the pit of her stomach.
"I don't want to ask this of you, but if ever you get caught, you must kill yourself before you are brought back. No one can know before all is over with. The contrary would be disastrous and could possibly mean the end of our world. You are our last resource. If ever something goes wrong or you get caught by anyone, everything we have worked so hard for would be forever doomed and any future mission would be compromised, which is why I don't have a choice in this: if you get caught, commit suicide. This is an order."
"Hai, I understand."
As she departed, she heard her shishou whisper: "I'm sorry I have to ask this of you, musume…Please forgive me…"
Without any hesitation whatsoever, if not with a little sadness and resignation that were hidden behind dead eyes, she molded chakra to her fingertips to create chakra scalpels and swiftly brought them to her neck in order to sever her artery and end it soon without any chance of forced survival.
The two shinobi's eyes widened and the older one threw some kunai that intercepted her blades before they could touch her neck while the other jumped at her and twisted her arms behind her back, keeping her from touching the silver band on her neck, which, they knew, would have killed her much more slowly and painfully. Without waiting for her to react, he threw her on the ground, a kunai at her throat. The impact cut her breath short and made her see stars when her head impacted forcefully on the stone floor.
"Careful, we don't want to hurt her."
The other smiled sheepishly, muttering that it was a force of habit and apologizing for his reflex.
The kunoichi struggled heavily, trying to get him off of her back, forcing him to warn her that he could either knock her out or put a binding jutsu on her to immobilize her. In the end, she chose to lie still, knowing that getting her back would take days and that she could attempt to escape or kill herself before they arrived to destination.
«No one must know, you understand? It is vital that this stays a secret. For all matters and purposes, this doesn't exist."
Seeing that she wasn't about to trash about anymore and that she dutifully stayed silent to his inquiries about her head, the younger shinobi asked, concerned : "Ne, ne, don't you recognize me? I know I changed, but still! Aren't you glad to see me, Sakura-chan?"
Musume: dear daughter
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