Chapter 3

As Team Daizu worked their way silently and cautiously through the forest, Kidoumaru had time, unfortunately, to think of his last forest mission. The irony of the fact that his team was also Team Five was not lost on him, and he had no desire to relive the unfortunate fate that befell the Oto-Five.

Suddenly Sousuke stopped, motioning downward before leaping to the foot of the tree they were in, and pulling a scroll from amongst the roots, fittingly, it was the Earth Scroll. After a brief, silent pat on the back, the group headed on.


Hiro reached into a small opening in a group of boulders, and pulled out a Heaven Scroll, before vanishing back into the earth. He continued to speed forward underground, unseen and hopefully safe from any who would rob him of his scroll and his life.

Now, I just need the Earth Scroll...


Kidoumaru noted a few other Genin teams as they passed, unheard and unseen, through the thick forest, he had no desire to attack them, unlike certain others. They continued on until he noticed something from the corner of his eye, and halted his confused companions. He pointed to a thin, almost invisible line of wire, then motioned them back. He sent out a Chakra string, attached it to the wire, and pulled. The resulting explosion leveled a circle of trees, leaving only licking flames. He frowned at the noise, and motioned the others toward the left, and took off.


Hiro emerged from a tree trunk and snatched the Earth Scroll from a bird's nest.

It's odd, the Heaven Scroll was found in the earth, and the Earth Scroll was in the sky...

He moved down the tree into the earth and continued on.


Kidoumaru sighed.

Being a good guy sure does make the game harder.

He motioned the others to stop, and lept to the ground.

Maki was half-sitting, half-fallen against a tree, sweating profusely. He looked at the newcomers in alarm, but really couldn't do much about them.

"What happened?"

"Something... Bit me, some kind of bug. It must have been poisonous." His voice was weak and shaky, and he was obviously having difficulty seeing, not to mention breathing.

Kidoumaru shook his head, Who teaches these guys? Do they want them to die? "What did it look like?"

"It was a beetle, a gold... beetle."

Kidoumaru pulled out his medical kit, and found the anti-venom for the Golden Death Beetle." "Okay, I'm gonna' give you a shot."

He rolled up the boy's right sleeve and injected the anti-venom into a vein.

"How long will it take?" Kai asked, he was all for helping people, but he wanted to get out of the forest before his fiftieth birthday, too.

Kidoumaru addressed his answer to Maki, "It will help immediately, but you won't gain your strength back for a while." He looked around, "Where's your team?"

It was a stupid question, an injured ninja was dead weight, they'd left him behind.

"They left, I don't blame them, we didn't have any medicine for poison..."

Unprepared and ignorant of the dangers here, his sensei must be a true fool!

Kidoumaru sighed and draped the boy over his shoulders, "Okay, then you'll come with us, but you have to keep quiet. We're trying not to talk at all until we're out of here."

Maki nodded. "Hey, you want to know something about bugs? Kankurou's terrified of them..."


Hiro walked out of the tower, he'd been the first to finish. He looked around, but no one else had made it yet, but, of course, no one else in the exams could travel through the earth like water, not that he knew of, anyway.

I hope the others make it. He thought to himself as he slid back into the ground.


Sousuke indicated what Kidoumaru already knew, they were being followed. Maki had no idea what the hand signs meant, but was too sore and tired from the venom to care. Kidoumaru motioned quickly and they dropped gracefully to the ground. He set Maki in the cover of some thick brush and Team Five began setting a trap for their pursuers. A few moments later Honshu and his team appeared.

"We should be getting scrolls, Honshu!" One said.

"We'll take their's once we kill them." They were whispering but not quietly enough. "Now with that dead weight, they'll be slower, and have to stop more." Honshu stopped a few feet from the trap, and knelt on a large branch, "They stopped here. Then took to the ground, I hate to admit it, but these guys are good." They lept to the ground, and right into the second trap. The ground beneath them vanished, and Honshu's two companions fell into a dark hole lined with webbing. Honshu cursed as Kidoumaru and the others emerged.

"Don't worry, they're not hurt," Kidoumaru smiled, "Surrender?"

Honshu replied by throwing a smoke bomb and, rushed forward to strike Kidoumaru with his kunai, only to meet with the hard wood of a large, winged puppet. Maki stood shakily and the puppet grasped Honshu tightly, picked him up, and threw him into the hole with the rest of his team.

"Good work, Tenshi."

The puppet took a theatrical bow, then vanished.

"Thanks, Maki." Kidoumaru looked toward the pit, "They don't have a scroll, pity. The webbing will break down in a few hours, you idiots, I'm not leaving you to die. But I probably should. Honshu, you, at least, are too stupid to live."

With that Team Five vanished into the forest again.

To Be Continued . . .