Author's Notes:

...This took an absurd amount of time. That's on me and I'm sorry for it. However, I hope the quality of the chapter's better then the previous ones.

On another note, I just wanted to say that this fic will be straying from cannon in terms of Kekkei Genkai, Dojutsu, Biju and ludicrous Chakra abilities. They will still exist, just at a limited capacity. There will not be any "god" tiered elements. Every technique will have its flaws and uses.

Nin will still be capable of becoming infamous and gaining strength. But, it will come with a sacrifice and the usage of intellect. For a Jutsu to exist and work in this fic, it needs to coincide and behave in accordance with science and mathematics to an extant.

An example of this would be regeneration. A character can only regenerate the lost tissue if they have the required biomass to support said regeneration. In this chapter their are two abilities that I had altered to better fit principles in nature.

Well, I hope that you all enjoy the new chapter. If you'd like to comment, discuss, or correct something within the chapter, please leave a review. They really help in the development and correction of future and current chapters.

Uchiha Clan Compound, Chief's Dwelling:

Steps clamored off of the cobblestone walkway. A raised hand falters in its meager wave. Yuki swivels his head away from the gatehouse and towards the compounds ornate courtyard. The man mindlessly admires the clan's lodgings in his sedate pace.

Pillars and beams of the houses stood out pristinely, their exterior stained a rich navy blue. The azure timbers contrast with the white walls and vibrant crimson of the houses accents and blood-grass. The foliage of Red Maples awaiting autumns embrace to burst into various tones of scarlet.

"Hm." Running his fingers through a stray limb of leaves, Minazuki sighs. "Oh, Shinko." He reaches into the pocket of his shorts and felt the cool steel of a plate. Its engraved leaf riveted to a strip of cloth. "Hm, can't do anything about it now."

Removing his hand from the item, he reaffirms his hold on a folder. Yuki turnd his gaze toward the end of the street. A humble manner, not unlike the rest lay within the compound. A large red maple stood proud at its front. Its massive trunk affixed to the center of the house's garden.

Stepping up the cedar porch, he pauses before the scarlet door. With a deep breath, the man raps a sturdy knock.

"Just a moment!" After a few mere moments, a raven-haired woman opens the door with an exuberant smile.

"Oh, Yuki. What brings you here?" He dips his chin to her as she wipes her hands against a rag.

"Hello, Miko. Well, I came to have a word with the family if that's alright." Noting the dirt staining the cloth, he rose a small brow. "Is this a bad time?" Quickly shaking her head to the contrary, she motions him inside.

"Oh, not at all. I was just tending to my buttercups." She leans into him and places a hand over her lips. A slight smirk evidently dimpling her cheek. "Don't tell the other girls. Alright?" Mikoto whispers.

"I'm not sure that I understand." Giggling at his perplexed expression, she sighs and waves it off dismissively.

"No worries, not many Uchiha's are fond of them. Uncouth or something. It's ridiculous I tell you." Together, they exit the house and enter the backyard. Reacquiring her position before a bed of the lemon-hued flowers, she proceeds to marl the patch of soil.

"So, what'd you bring?" She inquires. Her eyes glimpse to the packet within his arms. Retrieving a wad of moist marlstone paste, she needs it with a heap of composted manure. "You see. Um. Has Itachi not told you what's happened?"

The matriarch pauses in her work, the pewter hued ball affixed between her fingers. "Oh, has something happened?" He falters as he witnesses the fall of her smile. "Yes. The CID's taken an interest in him."

Mikoto drops the sphere and widens her eyes. "That can't be right. He's a good boy. I-" Yuki held his hands up to placate her.

"It's not that big a deal. The officer, just thinks he's covering for something. Probably a mistake." Inhaling, she shudders through her exhale. The Uchiha unclenches her fists and rubs her thighs. "A mistake?"

"Yea, she's giving him a chance to clear the record. He just needs to fix his AA-Report. If they match, then the investigations over. Honesty in their Nin is vital." She bit her lip and shook her head.

"But. Hm. That's not like him." Taking a seat atop the porch's steps, Yuki fiddles with the envelope.

"I know Miko, but you know what it's like. With what's happened, I'm not surprised." She grabs the ball from between her knees and wipes away a tear with her forearm.

"You're right. We can fix this." Troweling the soil away from a buttercups roots, she presses and weaves the globule into the earth. Silence soon overtook the pair, the clouds above drifting lethargically across the heavens.

As she finishes with her final buttercup, Miko places her trowel within her basket. Hesitating for a moment, she looks up to the sun. "The boy's should be here soon."

She stands up and brushes off the excess dirt from her knees. "Yuki, why don't you stay for lunch? We can get it done with today." The man nods in understanding.

"Of course. But, uh, what of Sasuke? There're things in here that. Well, I don't think they'll be appropriate." He opens the door for the woman. She dips her chin in gratitude and purses her lips to the dilemma.

"Don't worry about it. I'll take care of him. Hey, um. I'll be back in a few; feel free to make yourself comfortable." Venturing down a corridor, Yuki hears a shower spring to life.

He leans against the kitchen counter. Closing his eyes, he awards himself a few minutes to ease his shoulders. Amidst a sigh, the sound of a deadbolt clicking open garners his attention. Just as the front door opens, the swift pitter-patter of feet approaches his position.

"Mommy, we're home!" Appearing before the kitchen, Minazuki was able to take in the boy's appearance. A pair of knee-high boots, a tan vest and cap were situated onto him. Within his hands held a modest maroon Edo rod and tackle box. "Yuki?"

Stepping past the corner, Fugaku wrinkled his crown at the man's appearance. "Hey Sasuke, why don't you help Itachi take the gear out back." The father affixes his gaze back to the man.

"Okay, daddy!" Said child grabs ahold of his brother's hand and drags him out the back door. Stepping closer towards his son's instructor, he crosses his arms.

"So, why're you here, Minazuki?" Yuki merely sighs and retrieves a folder from within an envelope. Handing it to Fugaku, the man froze at the emblem situated at its center. A brass Shikoku emblazoned atop of a shield with a ring of text. "T-This is a CID folder. Why do you have one?"

The sensei exhales tiredly from his nostrils in response. "It's Itachi's. Kumi's looking into him for a falsifying an AA-Report." Fugaku tenses at the news, opening the folder to skim its contents. "The good news is that they're going to give him a chance. If his fix fits, then everything should blow over."

Exhaling in contemplation, the Uchiha runs a hand through his ebony tresses. "So he won't be court-martialed?" Yuki furrows his brow in thought.

"It's hard to say. It really depends on Kumi. If there's any friendly-fire or negligence then she could add an obstruction charge. It could be lenient penalty or-." Yuki left the rest unsaid as they devolve into silence.

The man braces himself against the kitchen island. His body shook as he stares out to his children. "Did you just come here to give me this?" Rising from his perch, Yuki places a hand atop of the Uchiha's shoulder.

"No, I'm here to help Itachi. He's a good kid. We can still fix this Fugaku." Said man took in a profound inhale, before relinquishing it.

"You're right." Hearing a set of steps fall behind him, he relaxes as a pair of arms encircle his torso.

"It'll be alright," Mikoto states as she separates from her husband. Her fingers interlace with Fugaku's. With a squeeze, she gazes into his eyes.

"Hm. I can make us something to eat. You two can help Itachi after lunch. That sound good?" The patriarch gave a subtle nod to her inquiry. "Yea, that'll do."

Perimeter Wall, Momiji River Bank:

A serene warmth encompasses the prone form of a child. The boy's eyes flutter open to find the world incomprehensible and dark. The pupils dilate as his heavy lids struggle to remain agape.

"Hm?" Removing his head from an encompassing valley, he peers up to a fissure of Tuscan light. Its diluted beams brought about a slight daze. He blinks and casts his sight back down within the soft trough between twin mounds.

In reflex, the child nuzzles into the velvety and balmy knoll at his side. Allowing himself a moment of reprieve, he opens his eyes once more. Gradually, the boy brought his misty blue eyes to bear before the rays. The pupils contract to the irritation and garner him the contours of his source of warmth.

He squints at the lightly breathing silhouette. Merely her crown and nose evident from the minuscule amount of light. Narrowing his eyes, he persists to stare at the obscure individual. Inching closer to woman's collar, the boy hesitantly sniffs.

After a few moments, he cocks his head. As he rears back, the boy peers at the teen before him and presses against her form. The modicum of force evokes a deep inhale of breath from the dormant woman.

"Hm." Her sternum expands to meet his cheek. She blinks at the presence of the obtrusive light peering between the canvas's folds. Her irises glimmer a rich cinnamon whilst they focused on their surroundings.

"W-What the hell?" Shifting her torso partially onto her back, the Hana opens the small opening. With a slight tug, the teen squints at the vibrantly lit landscape. "Gah."

She lifts a brow in response to the particular noise. "Huh?" The brunette peers down to her chest. Curled against her bosom, laid a child. A slight shudder wracking his lithe body. Placing a hand against his cheek, she drew his face towards her. As his honeyed hair gleamed in the sun's light, his wavering and squinted eyes peer around the rise of her breast.

"W-Wha-?" Noting the scars that branded either cheek, the girl's eyes widen. "Wait, I. O-Oh, right. Hm." Lightly caressing his scalp with her fingers, she inclines toward him. "Shh. It's alright Hun."

Her lips met with the crown of his head. After a moment, the teen severed the connection and snugly wraps him in the loose canvas. "That's good. Nice and cozy now aren't you?" She cocks her head to the side, her chestnut hair tumbling across her shoulder.

"My name's Hana, what's yours?" He squirms at the question. "N-No." His eyes avoid hers as he responded to the inquiry.

"No what, Hun?" The blonde bit his quivering lip whilst his eyes veer back onto hers. "No name."

Taken aback by the admission, Hana's gaze softened. "Really, none at all?" She whispers out. Hiss head burrows down into her valley. A few stray tears moistening her skin.

"Hey. Shh, it's okay." Scrunching up her lips, she paused and thought over the situation. "What if. Hm. What if I give you one? How does that sound?"

The child adamantly shook his head to the contrary. "No. Tenten, promise." Hana braces her head against her palm. Her elbow affixed to the bed of canvas and pebbles.

"Tenten? What kind of promise?" The boy shifts as his hands twiddled with one another between their stomachs. "Give name."

Running her palm gently across his back, she gradually eased his fidgeting. "Tenten was gonna give you a name? Is she a friend?" He gave a subtle nod. "That's nice of her. Hm. Is she as big as me, or like you?"

"Me." Hana narrows her eyes at the answer. "W-Was she out in the woods with you too?"

"Uh." Placing a firm grip on his shoulder, she directed his attention to her eyes. "Last night, was she out there with you?" He whimpered at her palpable vigor.

"N-No, home." The teen's tension ebbed away at his words. "Home? She's at home?" A quick nod ensued her question. "Oh. Okay, that's good. Hew."

Bracing herself against the ground with both arms behind her back, she releases a shuttering sigh. She glances down to his prone form — a swift breeze eliciting a shiver through the child. Peering back down to her own exposed torso, she took on a light dusting of pink on her cheeks.

"Hm, how bout we get you cleaned and warmed up?" The teen slips herself out from the within the cocoon of covers. She scrounges through her gear and retrieves a set of steel pots.

Righting herself onto her feet, she ventures off to the stream. The boy shifts within the bundle of canvas and wool and peers out at the teen. Her hands busy scooping water into the glimmering vessels.

The boy averts his eyes from the Kunoichi and lingers on the expansive wilderness. Fidgeting with his hands, the child made to stand.

"This'll have to do for now." Her companion flinched at the sudden voice. Her feet carrying her back over to him. "Here. Why don't you stay nice and toasty while I finish this up?" Wrapping the article of wool around a bare shoulder, Hana gave his locks a gentle ruffle.

"Now, let's see. Hm." She steps off toward the tree line. With a light hustle, the teen gathers any parched brush or branches off of the river bank. In a light clamor, the brunette deposits the withered vegetation into a heap.

"This'll just take a moment." With her kunai at the ready, she proceeds to bore a cavity into the silt and pebbles. Fastening grass and twigs into a nest, Hana lays it into the hole. The ensemble was soon fitted with a bundle of Typha fluff.

"Now, where'd I put it?" Hana states with a huff, her hands scouring through her pack. She paused and quirks her lip in thought.

"Hm. Maybe." Taking a seat atop of the sheets, she concentrates on her fingers. The boy perks up at the sound of the snap. His eyes peek around the teen.

"Click. Click. Come on. Click!" The child looked on, his pupils reflecting the shimmer of sparks dancing about her fingers. Finally, a spark caught and took hold between her digits. "Yes!" A gentle flame flickers in the drafty midsummer air.

"Hm." Tenderly settling the amber plum into the white tufts, she folded the cradle of kindling over itself. In a matter of seconds, the nest smoked and flared.

"Come on." Quickly stacking small twigs and sticks atop of the cluster, a meager tongue of flame laps at the pyre of stems.

As the minutes drew by, the young woman affixed a collapsible grill and pot atop the rolling flames. "Hey, come here, hon." Situating the blonde atop of her lap, she dips a rag into the simmering pot. Lightly, Hana brushes the warm moist cloth against his cool and clammy skin. "Hm."

The teen smiles as he rests against her chest. "Heh. You like that?" She only receives a nod for her troubles. "Alright, let's get you cleaned up."

Scooping a dollop of Lye cream onto her fingers, she tenderly begins to knead it into his scalp and skin. "There we go. Hm. It'll sting if your eyes open." The child follows the hint and shuts his eyes. His breath evening as she strokes the suds over him.

Konoha's Outer Circuit, Western Woods:

"Come on. It was here. Right?" Bustling past another tree, Tenten examines the sprawling acres of trees. She squints through the canopy to the sun peeking through above. The girl jogs up to a small ridge and scans the plain below.

"There!" Once she slid down the rise, the child hopped off. Tenten gave a quick check to her surroundings before trotting off into a light jog. Minutes whisked by with every step. Daylight's embrace only increases in its intensity. Tenten placed an arm ahead of herself. Its presence allowing her to open her squinting eyes.

"Hm. Almost. Gyah!" With a sharp slip, she tumbles down a shallow bank. The brunette groans as her eyes peer up from the turf. From between her lips, she spat out traces of clay and leaves.

"Uh." Shaking her head, Tenten sat back onto her haunches. "Well, I made it." Shakily, the child makes her way up to her feet. Noting the open shelter, she cups her hands around her lips.

"Hey! I'm here!" Her feet brought her over towards the stick fort. It laid there, barren amidst the lush hill. Chocolate eyes turned towards the woodlands encircling the camp. "Hey! It's Tenten!" She leans onto her left leg as her fingers danced against her thigh.

"Hm." The chirps of birds and the tumbling brook were the only things that answered her. Acquiring a seat within the hut, the girl expresses a slight frown. There she stayed, fidgeting as the minutes drew her by.

Her gaze swung back over to a river birch. Its shadow gradually recedes towards its base. "H-Hey! I'm here!" Not receiving a response in the seconds that followed, she quickly maneuvers back up to her feet and approaches the creek with cupped hands.

"You there? Hm. Where are you?" Tenten lightly taps her foot in the silence that greeted her. Fingers fiddle with the hem of her top, a sniffle escaping her. "H-Hikaru! Say s-something. Please." A small tear drips with her choked plea.

Without hesitation, she dashes through the stream. Her eyes sway back and forth from within their sockets. Their pupils tirelessly scanning the woods. "N-No, no, no. Hikaru!"

Minutes soon tallied up to hours as a pair of scraped and dirtied limbs push back another bramble. Stepping back from the shrubbery, the child merely fell onto her rump. An endless stream of tears traversed her well tracked cheeks. One droplet veered onto that of a fresh cut.

Rubbing the pad of her palm against her reddened eyes, she chokes on another sob. Legs curl into her torso, her fingers rake and tightly tug at her own hair.

"Gah! No. No. No! Heh. H-Hikaru." Tenten squeezes her eyes shut while she shudders against shaky breaths.

"H-Huh?" A distant sound filters through the trees. Quickly, she forces herself back onto her feet. Tenten swiftly rushed through the trees and burst into a clearing.

"Heh, Heh. Wha-?" She steps back from the glare of the sun and shields her eyes. Refocusing, she squints to either side of the pasture before her.

A cream wall imposed itself over the field. Past its cherry-red roof, several other tiled buildings peaked over the structure. On either corner stood towers of a greater magnitude than that of the wall.

Tenten bit her bottom lip as her eyes spot a gatehouse at its center. The forest beckoned one more glance form the child as she ponders on the predicament. Not waiting another second, she ran towards the gate. Nearing the office fused to the barrier, guards could be seen milling about. "H-Help!"

Stumbling up to the entryway, Tenten came to a staggering stop. "Hey, you alr-?" Inquired a man as he kneeled before the girl. Yet, his words were cut short as she sprang into him.

She burrows her head into the nape of his neck. He held her firmly to his chest as sobs rack her body. "Hey, Shh. It's alright." Another individual approached the pair, his eyes scanning the woodlands.

"What happened, Shoma?" Glancing back up to his colleague, the downed man offered a small shrug.

"I don't know. Hm. Hey, sweetie. Can you tell me what's wrong? What's your name?" She merely hiccupped between her tears.

"Hm. How about we get you inside." The guard hefted her with considerable ease. His feet carries them towards the office. "N-No! Heh. Hika-."

Pausing mid-step, the man partially separates himself form the girl. "What was that?" Tenten brushes the moisture from her cheeks with her forearm. "Hi-Hikaru. I c-can't find him." The man furrows his brow at the statement.

"I-I see. And when'd you last see, Hikaru?" Reigning herself in, she eases her shoulders and steadies her breath.

"Yesterday." The man offers the girl a nod for her efforts. "Alright, good. Now, where'd you last see him?" Her eyes flicker past his shoulder.

"There." A finger points to the sprawling mass of trees bordering the compound. "In the woods?" Tenten's lip quivers and nods.

"Ah, shit. Yuji, call the police." With a hasty stride, said man proceeds into the gatehouse. Quickly making his way inside, the guard presses down onto a pad of a device with his finger. At the influx of chakra, a bulb situated onto it illuminates in a lime green light. A few seconds drew by till a sharp tone preceded the voice of a speaker.

"This is Hiroshi Dispatcher Rini, how may I help you?" Repeating his earlier action, he spoke into the mike.

"This is Officer Yuji calling from the Uchiha Compounds, East gate. We need a squad of Nin for a search and rescue. A child's gone missing in the woods." He glanced back to the girl in Shoma's arms. "We could also use a medic." Releasing the pad, Yuji paused at the static that met his ears. "Your request is in progress, Officer Yuji. What are the factors of the situation at hand?"

"We've recovered an injured female child. She's the one who reported her missing friend." As another hiatus met the pair, Tenten fidgeted within the Uchiha's arms. "Your requested sortie has been approved, fulfilled, and in-rout. Will that be all Officer Yuji?"

"Yes, thank you, Rini." Yuji released his finger form atop of the device. The light turning red as the line was severed.

Shoma propped himself on his knees in front of the Tenten. "Hey, you think you can answer some questions? That sound okay?" She fidgeted under the man's soft ebony eyes. "O-Okay. Like what?" Pulling up a chair, he takes a seat before her.

"Well, just some stuff that'll help us find him. You know, like the color of his hair, eyes, or skin. Is he tall, skinny maybe? Understand?" She quickly nods. Tenten's feet lightly kicks beneath her. "

He's small. Um. Pretty eyes. Oh, uh. They're blue." Shoma peeks to his partner. The man stood at his back. Hand busy scribbling down notes onto a pad.

"Very good sweetie. Now, what about his hair?" Tenten met his gaze as a light dusting of pink blemished her cheeks.

"It's yellow. Hm. Maybe a little brown-ish." Offering a final nod, the man stood up and wiped the remnants of tears from her cheek.

"Don't worry sweetie, we'll find him. I promise."

Unknown Location, Office:

A withered and scared hand turns the page of a folder. Its owner's hazel eye glints in the morning light. The rays penetrate through the office windows. The individual then places the stack of parchments gently atop of the Buloke desk.

Even as it affixes its eye to a wall of tomes and scrolls by a window, its pupil dilated. Despite the moment, it quickly refocuses onto the figure stationed in the corner.

"Corvus, retrieve Mite." In a flicker, the individual beside him vanishes into the shadows. "Hm." Minutes trickled by the elder; his eye closes in thought.

Then in a whisper of displaced air, two figures emerge before him. As one kneels before the desk, the other resumes its post.

"You've beckoned for me, Sir?" Opening a lone eye, the figure zeroes in on its subordinate.

"That I did. Your team, what is their condition?" A porcelain mask tilts up. Fingerless gloves creak under the strain of tightening fingers.

"It's only been a day, Sir. They're still recuperating." The hazel orb in the shadows only narrows.

"That may be so. However, duty precedes such matters. It appears that we've stumbled across a matter of national security." The ceramic mask dips as the Nin's shoulders tense.

"I-I've overstepped. I-." A wave silences the man. "That you have, but your concern for your comrades is commendable. However, do not let it happen again." Shutting the file that laid atop his desk, he refocuses his attention on to the Shinobi.

"Despite your team's condition, I expect that the assignment will be fulfilled to the utmost of your abilities." The Officer didn't flinch to the man's piercing gaze.

"Of course, Sir. It'll be done" He rose at his Chief's behest. His hand acquires the folder from the man's hand. "Good. You are dismissed." Without another word, the Nin vanishes from the office.

The soldier strides through the corridors of the facility with purpose, dossier in the crook of his arm. After a few minutes, he arrives at the barracks. Landing at a non-descript door, the soldier steps in. A few pairs of eyes meet his own. One in particular catching sight of the document in hand.

"Mission already?" A teen sighs from a corner of the room. Allowing for his shoulders to relax, Mite merely releases a sigh. A hand ran through his hair while he takes a seat in the dorm.

"That we are." Mite opens the folder and removes his mask. For a few seconds, the man didn't utter a sound.

"Hm." A woman peeps up from her notebook at the sound. Noting his risen eyebrow, she creases her own.

"Something wrong?" He flips through a few more pages. His eyes filters through its contents.

"Not necessarily. But, it seems, we'll be recovering a child." The teen glances up from his book at the remark. "A kid? Who is it?" The woman places down a pencil and mirrores the boy.

"Unfortunately, I can't answer that?" The female frowns at his words. "You want us to find someone, but you can't tell us who?" Her voice taking on an inflection.

"It's not that I can't. It's just, we don't have the info." Flipping back to the front of the dossier, he focuses on the few listed details. "At the moment, all we know is that the kid's a male and has run away from the Benjiro Orphanage."

Mite peers up from the papers. His eyes meeting those of his kinsmen. "However, we've received a report of a male child that fell into a river last night. The incident's only a few miles north. They may be one and the same."

"Wait, the kid's dead?" Inquires the teen. "It's a possibility. But the report says that a female jumped in after it. As of yet, neither of them have been located. We're to ensure that the child's recovered dead or alive. However, the incident's provided us with a few details. From an eyewitness account, the boy's pale, dirty-blonde, and blue eyed."

The woman rose a brow to the description. "Hm. Quite the distinct fellow." Mite nods to her comment. A gruff voice pierces through the chamber.

"So, when's our sortie, Sergeant?" Leaning forward from a desk by the back wall, another man makes his presence known. "We depart at half-past ten."

The woman looks to the clock on the wall. "So seventeen minutes? Then, let's get to it." Standing upright, she swiftly begins to secure her gear into place. With a quick glance, she motions for the teen to follow suit. "Get your ass up boy. You can read later."

The youth sighs, but didn't voice his displeasure. Heaving himself out of bed, he starts to imitate his comrade.

A flare fire lit up the darkened room as the man in the back walked up to Mite. The greying male paid little mind to the embers falling to the floor.

"I take it we're going fishing first." The Sergeant wipes his hands against each other. Ridding the final traces of the dossier from his fingers.

"That we are." Mite states as he places a few holsters onto his belt. After a few minutes of prep, the group set off down the corridor. Reaching the ground floor, they exited into the light of a brilliant sky.

"Where to, sir?" Mite gestures toward the western side of the village. "Momiji River. From this point forward, keep verbal coms to a minimum."

With a slight wave of his hand, the quartet vanish from the field. Their feet leaving no marks upon the landscape.

Back in the office, the elder finishes writing onto a document. Placing the pen at the bottom of the page, he deftly marked his signature onto the processed linen. Once he's deposited the instrument back into its holster, the man swivels the chair around to look out his office window. After a few moments of pondering, he retrieves a watch from his suit's breast pocket.

"Hm. I have time." With some effort, he creaks out from his seat. Retrieving his cane and a book from a shelf, he lumbers to a glass pained door. "Shall I send for your tea, Sir?"

He pauses for a brief moment. A small quirk to his lip visible. "Yes, that would be delightful, Corvus. Oh, do have Ovis prepare her Asagao Namagashi."

"Of course, Sir." Without waiting for the man to leave, the old fellow pushes past the door. A stone terrace carved into the side of a rocky outcrop awaited him. Taking a seat in a weathered lounge chair, he crosses a leg over the other.

Once situated, he fixes the novel against his thigh. The minutes turned with the passing of the pages. A maple's leaves dance and flutter in a gentle breeze as it wafts by.

"How are you today, Ovis?" Said woman didn't pause in her work as she silently sets a tray onto a table at his side.

"I am well, Sir." With experienced fingers, she deftly prepares and whisks the Matcha into his tea.

"Good, Good." As she finishes with her work, she offers a small bow. "You may be dismissed, Ovis." Taking a bite from the delicate turquoise confection, the man permits himself a smile.

Momiji River Delta, Kagami Lake:

"Hana!" Cupping her hands around her lips, Izumi calls out once more. "Hana! W-Where are you?" She scans the beach and the neighboring woods.

Another voice repeats the call in the distance. Her eyes drift to the Nin dotting the river delta. The teen roughly runs her fingers through her matted hair. The surrounding river waters glisten in the noon light. The gentle fluid careens over the stones and occasional toppled tree.

She glances up to Saisu as scrutinizes the land from atop of a ridge. The teens piercing stare thoroughly inspects the winding channels of silt. With his gaze meeting Izu's, the boy motions her over. Izumi hesitates as she gives her portion of the outlet one more glimpse. Traversing up the grassy knoll, she came up to her pensive comrade.

"What is it, Saisu? You find something?" He nudges his chin towards the mass of sandbars around them. Their centers covered in a mesh of thickets and trees.

"She's not here." Izumi blinks and steps back from the teen. "W-What? You're giving up?" Kamano narrows his eyes at the girl. His fist tighten against his thigh. "No."

Turning his nose back toward the river outlet, he utters a soft sigh. Izumi frowns and furrows her brow.

"Then what're you saying? How isn't she here? She has to be!" Izu grits her teeth as tears descend across her cheeks. "If not here, then where? Tell me, Saisu!"

"She's further inland. Maybe a mile or two from the wall." Shaking her head, Izu waves her hands in front of her.

"No. No. No. We've checked it all night. We would've found her!" He scratched the back of his neck at her words.

"We did, but tell me. What's her main concern?" Taken aback by the question, Izumi hesitates as she muses over it.

"I-I. Um. The boy. She would've taken care of him." Nodding, Saisu crosses his arms. "Anything else?"

Izumi narrows her eyes and considers the question. "Um. They'd be wet. Uh. And cold. So, she'd warm him up?" Looking up to her team mate, she finds him nodding in agreement. "But, we still should've found her. Right?" He merely shrugs.

"It depends, we could've missed her. But, I know she wouldn't have come this far downstream." Izumi nibbles her bottom lip. Her eyes squeeze shut as her fingers rake through her hair.

"You sure? Like a hundred percent?" Quickly dipping his crown, he makes to step towards the lakes mouth. "Yes, we-" Before she could join him, a voice pierces through the air.

"Hey! We've found something!" Whipping her head back, the Uchiha dashes across the grassy rise. Swiftly, she made her way over to the gathering Nin.

"What is it? You find her! Hey, let me through!" Shoving past the Nin on either side, the teen found an Anbu at its center. His hand holds a torn thigh holster.

"Hm. It's Standard-Issue." Hesitantly, Izumi steps up to the pack. "C-Can I see it?" With a shaky hand, she takes hold to the outstretched item. Opening the holster, she filters through the damp collection of Kunai.

"Is it hers?" She turns toward Saisu. A choked sob escapes her lips. The tears brushed away by the back of her fist?

"I-I don't know. This has to be hers, right?" A gentle hand laid atop of her shoulder. Directing her view behind her, she finds Anko. Tenderly squeezing her shoulder, the woman pulls her in.

"It probably is, Izu. I need you to understand something. There's a chance. Hm. We may only be able to recover her?" Izu rips herself out from the woman's embrace. Her eyes wide and wavering. "W-What? How can you say that?"

With a teary snarl, she steps back. "Izumi, you're going have to accept-." The Uchiha halts and points at her instructor. Face red and creased.

"Don't you dare fucking say it! She's alive! Alright! Alive." Not hearing a rebuttal, Izumi whips around and sulks off. Noting as Kamano went to follow her, Anko releases a shuddering sigh.

"You alright, Mitarashi?" The woman briefly remained silent as her students shrunk in the distance.

"I-I always knew something could've happened. But for fuck's sake, we weren't even on a damn mission!" Though her body shook, she refused to shed a tear. "She may still be out there, Anko."

The Jonin only shook her head in the negative. "It's been what, over twelve hours? For all we know, she probably hit her head on a rock and drowned." She pinches the bridge of her nose and squeezes her eyes shut. Through grit teeth, she spoke. "Eta, message Hiroshi's Dispatch. We're going to need a Dive Team."

Hesitantly, said man refrains from activating his radio. "You sure about this, there may still be a-."

Anko tightens her eyes at the Anbu. "Chance? We've scoured the area for hours! We would've found her by now. Now do me a favor and call them in." With her piece said, Mitarashi ventures off to a toppled tree and sits atop of it.

"Hiroshi Dispatch, this is Delta43-Eta. Over." Not paying the Anbu any mind, Anko places her head within her hands. Slowly fissures breached the damn of tears bursts as they traveled past her chin and plopped onto the sand.

"Izumi, wait." The girl ignored Saisu's plea. "Izu." Stopping mid step, she squeezes her fists at either side and swivels around.

"What do you want?" The boy walks up to her side and takes hold of her hand. She stiffens at the contact. Her head darts up to his. For a brief moment, nothing was stated between the two.

"We'll find her, alright?" Fastening her eyes, Izumi gives him a small nod. A slight tug elicits her to press forward once more. Their feet travel through the patches of grass. Easing her grip, she doesn't make to sever the contact

"Saisu?" Asked Izu as the pair wade across a channel to another bar. "What is it?" His head slightly turns to her own. "I. Um. Where are we going?"

"A few clicks up stream. She should be there." Izumi bites her bottom lip as it quivered. "H-How are you so sure?" He ponders on a response for a few seconds. His eyes look up to the sparse canopy of pine and birch.

"It's the logical choice. She's smart. Hana would've bundled up." Shaking her head, Izu utters her thoughts. "You really think so?" He shrugs as they plodded up Momiji's bank.

"It's what I'd do." That muted any further inquiry from the teen. Repositioning her hand, she intertwines her fingers with Saisu's. She awaited a response from the boy, but one never came. Together, they proceeded alongside the gliding river. Their eyes raking over the pebbled shore.

"Alright, keep your eyes peeled." Izumi blanches at the abrupt penetration of his voice. "Huh?" Saisu gestures to the shorelines lining the river. The village's walls peeking over the horizon.

"She'd be around here." Releasing her hold on the boy, Izumi clasps her hands around her mouth. "Hana! Hana!" Saisu sprung up from his position and onto a nearby tree. While Uchiha called out across the divided woodland, her companion examined it from above the canopy.

"Izumi." Said girl snaps her eyes up to the teen. "Let's keep it moving. The more ground we cover, the better." With a nod, she jogs on ahead. Kamano swiftly follows her lead through the trees.

Uchiha Clan Compound, Chief's Dwelling:

"Are you sure that's it? Nothing else?" Fugaku inquires. His arm lays upon his sons back. Its corresponding thumb tenderly rubs the boy's spine.

"Yes, father. Th-." A quick set of raps against the front door strips their attention away from the report. "You expecting someone, Fugaku?"

The Uchiha rose a brow to Yuki's remark. "I. No. Hm. I'll be right back. You two keep at it, alright?" Rising up from his seat, he makes his way over and opens the door.

"Shoma?" The gate guard straightens whilst in the man's presence. However, the slight movement behind the Nin drew Fugaku's eyes.

"Sorry for the intrusion, Sir. But, uh, an incident's occurred." An emerald eye peeps from around the officer's arm. Fugaku kneels down before the child behind the man.

"I see. Does this, incident, have anything to do with the little one?" Shoma places a hand against the girls back and brings her into the light.

"Hey, there's no need to hide." The senior, of the two, merely expressed a benign smile. His pupils focus on the scrapes and dirt marring her.

"Oh, what happened to you, dear? Are you alright?" The girl only whimpered as she leanes into his outstretched hand. "Hm. Why don't you come on in? That sound alright to you, dear?"

"O-Okay." He quickly stands and offers the girl his hand. "Okay, good!" Placing her hand into his own, he then leads the child into the house. With a slight tilt of his head, Fugaku calls back to the Officer on the porch. "Shoma, you coming in, son?"

Making to follow the two, the guard ventures into the house. Itachi turns an eye toward the new arrivals. His pupils zero on the child attached to his father.

"I thought we weren't having any visitors." Fugaku momentarily pauses mid step as he looks back to the pair.

"Well, things change. Hm. Can you two handle things for a few minutes?" Yuki nods to the man. "Of course. Don't worry about it." With a dip of his head, Fugaku departs toward the backyard.

Through the door, the trio make their way on to the porch. As Fugaku steps onto the deck, his eyes land on Miko's back. Her posture slightly hunched over their son.

The head of the house smiles as she instructs the boy on kunai throwing. Her hand meticulously adjusts his grip and posture whenever he strays. Treading over the trimmed lawn, he lightly embraces his wife with one arm. "Papa?" Sasuke questions as he lowered his kunai.

"Hey, Miko." She blinks and takes on a pink tint at a chaste kiss on her cheek. "Fugaku?" He pulls her closer and softly utters into her ear.

"A situations come up. Could you lend me a hand?" Drawing her head back from her lover, she rose a manicured brow. "I suppose so. What's happened?"

He glances down to the girl behind him. "That's what I need to find out? But, she going need a bath and a change of clothes." Her gaze follows Fugaku's as he brought the child out into her line of sight.

"Oh my, what's happened to you?" Mikoto inquires as she kneels down to the girl's level. "I. Um."

Sasuke cocks his head at his parents, and walks around his mother to find the petite brunette. "Hey. Who're you?"

She flinches at the brash tone. "I-." Miko levels a stern glance to the boy and silences any further questions. "Hm. Come on, let's get you washed up sweetie.

From within an ornate tiled room, two individuals resided. The marble floor taking on a sheen where wet feet had once stepped. Sitting atop of stool, Tenten opens her eyes as Mikoto runs a fine-toothed Ivory comb through her hair.

Her half-lidded eyes converge on the instruments sibling within her hands. The girl's fingers trace the intricate carving of Indra. Of the deity's four arms, a pair held his wife, Shachi.

As the woman tied a Raksha band around one of his limbs, Indra held his remaining arms at the ready. His right clasps his lightning imbued Vajra, the left wielding his Nayar, Kaakam. The blades crescent tip partially conceal his Vijaya strapped to his back. Storm clouds and lightning filling the background.

Mikoto smiles at the child's fascination with the comb. "Hm. You like it?" Tenten blinks and focuses at the sudden sound. Her eyes glance up to the mirror.

"Yea. It's pretty." Carefully disentangling the ends of a knot, Miko pulls the comb through.

"You know, my husband made them for me." Tenten smiles at the thought. "Really?" Nodding, Mikoto took a moment to marvel at its counterpart. The comb's intricate depiction of Indra and Shachi holding their infant son Jayanta in a bundle between them. The Moon and Sakura tree blooming framed the pair.

"Yes." The woman giggles to herself and shakes her head. "Oh. You should have seen him try and be all secretive in his little workshop." Tenten snickers at her words. "You peek on him?" She shook her head in the negative. "No, I could never! It would've ruined the surprise."

"Hm. The day we spoke our vows. He declared that our love would rival Indra's and Shachi's. Through conflict or peace, we'd stay unified. Loved." Tenten looks down to her lap and twiddles her thumbs. "A-Are you still? You know."

Miko's smile falters, but she quickly redeems it before Tenten could catch sight of it. "I would say so. Hm."

Finishing with her hair, she deftly places both combs back into a plane ivory box. The interior is lined in in a soft red velvet cloth. As she closes the lid, the case's top reveals a detailed flower in bloom. A brilliant round cut ruby inlaid at its center.

Despite the smile that Tenten expressed, it gradually falters. Though she picots her head away from Miko, it did little to stop her from hearing her sniffles. With a tender swiftness, Mikoto enwraps the child within her arms.

"Shh. It's alright, sweetie." Tenten shook her head. "N-No." The woman creases her brow. "Why not? Is it Hikaru? Don't worry, sweetie. We'll find him. We'll bring him home. I promise."

Quietly, she murmurs out an intelligible phrase. "What's that?" She bites her quivering bottom lip. "No. Th-They'll hurt him."

Mikoto swivels the chair around and kneels before the shuddering child. "Who'll hurt him, sweetie?" Her thumb lightly brushes away a few tears as she held her cheek.

"H-Himari. He. S-So many." Pursing her lips, Miko drew her a little closer. "Come on, sweetie. You can tell me. So many what?" Her fingers soothingly run through Tenten's hair. The brunette closes her eyes at the woman's touch.

"S-So many. When I washed him. He cried when I touched him." Having an inkling as to what she was referring to, Miko prods further. "Tenten, I need you to tell me the truth. D-Does this Himari beat him?" She chokes out a sob and nods.

"I-I tried to save him. Now he's gone. I-It's all my fault. I-." Without a second thought, Mikoto drew the girl into her chest.

"Oh no, sweetie. Don't Say that. It's not your fault. It's not." Tenten tightens her hold on to the woman's blouse and buries her head into the crook of Miko's neck.

With a gentle heave, Mikoto lifts the girl into her arms. Taking a seat before her vanity, the Uchiha lightly rocks the weeping child. "Shh. Don't worry, sweetie. It'll be alright. No one's going to hurt him. Never again. I promise."

Delicately forming light circles on her back, the woman releases a tired sigh. As the minutes ticked by, Tenten's breathing gradually evens out. The girl's breath lightly tickling her collar.

With slight hesitation, Mikoto slowly lifts her up. Slowly, she walks across the room to her bed. Laying the girl down, she lightly places a blanket over her.

After a few moments, Miko plants a supple kiss atop of her temple. Peeling herself away from the youth, she quietly closes the door.

With heavy steps, she ventures towards the deck. A pair of scarlet tinted eyes look up from their report. The pupil's glancing back toward his mother's bedchamber.

Opening the rear porch door, she leans against its frame with crossed arms. Her eyes land on Sasuke. His attempts at hitting the wooden target bringing forth a smile to her strained lips.

"Miko?" Shifting her gaze to a bench, she finds Fugaku and Shoma. Not receiving a response, Fugaku rose and approached her. "Hey, something wrong?" Meeting the gaze of her husband, she quickly brushes away a tear. "We need to talk."

Momiji River, Northern Hillside:

From within the branches of an Oak, a matte ceramic mask peers over the river delta. The limb, the Anbu was perched atop of, jostles ever so slightly. Soon, another mask joins the first.

"Permission to speak, Sir." Mite sighs and removes his pensive gaze from the Nin, scouring the river bank.

"Granted, what is it, Alba?" Repositioning herself, she took a seat and bent a knee to her chest.

"You really think the target's still alive?" He eases his frame at her prodding. Soon, he too sat alongside her. His back propped against the tree's trunk.

"It's hard to say. Hm. With how thorough they've combed the banks, not likely." The pair devolved into a silence. A light gust ruffles the surrounding canopy.

The woman glances off to the side. Her eyes seemingly search the wildernesses underbrush. Then without warning, she scoots herself closer to the Sergeant. In a matter of moments, Alba found herself roughly leaning against the man.

"Alba. This is neither the time nor place for such behavior." Ultimately, she didn't budge from his words. A light smirk hidden beneath her mask at his lack of action.

"Hm. It's been, what, an hour since you sent them off? We'll be fine." With a slight shake of his head, he laid it to rest on the trunk. Begrudgingly, he wraps an arm around the woman's waist. "Keep your eyes peeled then."

Her smirk devolves into a lopsided smile. Alba's pupil-less alabaster eyes shifts as circular outlines of a pupil momentarily forms. "I will. You have my word." With her piece said, she lays her head onto his shoulder.

At the bank of a trickling stream, two masked figures are inspecting the location. Bending down before a small fort, a large man turns over a few bundles of clothing. He brought one such article up to his nose. After a few deep inhales, he replaces it with another.

"Hey, Shepard! You find anything?" The man sighs and tosses the garment back into the shelter.

"Runt, quiet yourself." The teen bristles and refutes it with a muted whisper. "It's Drosera, get it right for once."

The brunette gave the heap of sticks and brush a dismissive glance. "Well?" The teen questions. With a course exhale, Shepard raises to his full stature.

"There are two juvenile scents, one male's and another female's." Taking a look around the camp, Drosera analyzes the terrain.

"Hm. You think it's our mark?" Instead of responding outright, the elder kneels down and sniffs the underbrush. He paces to and fro across the turf. Every measured step eliciting another inhale.

"Probably. It seems that they've gone their separate ways." Drosera places a hand to rest atop the soil and shuts his eyes.

A pulse of chakra pierces through the earth and traverses through the mesh of roots and foliage. The oscillation of energy courses through the surrounding vegetation.

"Hm. There're two trails. But one's a little, uh, hectic." Shepard narrows his eyes to the remark.

"And which would that be?" The teen nudges his head North-East. Standing up from his crouch, the Anbu gestures for the pair to traverse North-West.

"Huh. Then what's with the girl?" The man brushed off the subject and advanced toward fort Hiroshi in the distance. Bounding after the Anbu, Drosera came up beside the man.

"Really, Shep? Not curious at all?" From behind his mask, Shepard rolls his eyes. "She's of no concern to us."

"Mite." The Sergeant looks away from congregation of Anbu. His eyes shift down towards the woman laid against him. The woman's gaze drifts off back towards the village.

"What is it? See something?" Lifting off of her companion, Alba sharpens her focus toward Momiji's river outlet. "Alba?"

With a cocked head, she leans back. "Hm. The Genin just left my range. I think there headed back to the village."

Mite ran a hand through his hair and straitened his posture. "Well, it seems that things are finally wrapping up around here." The woman's shoulders slumped at the statement and gave a lengthy exhale.

"I'm going fishing aren't I?" A chuckle met her ears. "I would say so. If anything, we still need to retrieve it." With his part said, Mite drops himself off of the branch.

Noting his silent stare back up to her, Alba sighs and follows suit. Together, the pair gradually slink off towards Kagami's coast. As the two trek across the pebbled and overgrown bank, Alba grunts. Her feet keeping away from the rippling green water.

"You sure we can't get a specialist?" The Sergeant only shook his head at the comment. Retrieving gear from a pack, he tosses a leather suit to his partner.

"No time. Plus, you're more than special enough." A light scoff brought a smirk to his lips. "Really, Alba? It's just water."

The withering blank stare from her plain mask was his only response. With a huff, she strips off and begins to shimmy into the suit. Finishing with the full-body leather piece, she turns to her companion.

"It looks good on you." She snarls and chucks her porcelain guise at him. "Just shut up and give me the damn mask."

Mite simply snorts and flings her a glass and metal imbedded leather mask. Approaching the covered woman, Mite starts to probe the seals littering her gear. His fingers lighten up the array fuinjutsu matrices as he crossed them.

With a jolt of chakra, the gloves, boots, hood, and seams sealed themselves. "Hm. Everything seems to be in order."

Mite took a moment to analyze the headgear and places a hand on either side of her mask. "Alright, let's get you into the water and go through final checks." Alba nods and heads into the frigid waters.

"First thing, how're the gills?" Dipping her head into the lake, two metallic filters and runes on either cheek, dimly glowed blue. As she lifts her head, she displays an okay sign.

"That's good." He notes a slight shiver from his companion. "Has the regulator kicked in yet?" A quick shake of her head brought a frown onto his features. "Hm. Come here. Let me give it a look."

Probing at the seal matrix on her back, he tinkers with a rune. After a few minutes, he observes as Alba's shoulders lose their tension. "Better?" A quick nod answers him.

"Alright, first we'll do a sweep of the north end." As she sinks further into the water, Mite wrenches a radio out from his pack. "Before you go, set the com to channel six. Remember, radio check back every five minutes."

With the Okay hand gesture, she wades into the water. In a matter of moments, her entire figure disappears under the rippling surface. Placing the radio up to his lips, Mite activates it with an influx of chakra.

"This is Mite. Alba do you copy. Over." After a brief pause, she responds. "This is Alba. I Copy. Over." The woman states as she kicks away from the shore.

"Proceed with radio check. Over." Alba placed two fingers against her temple. A rune ripples and glows as she spoke. "Roger. Radio strength is acceptable. Over." Up on shore, Mite conceals himself in the branches of a tree.

"Proceed with the sweep. Mite. Out" At the order, she focuses chakra into her eyes. Two light pulses tore through the surrounding water. The twin cones of energy radiates out and rebounds off of the submerged terrain. The returning waves elicit a grey-scale image within her mind — the bright edges contrasting against the dark faces.

Momiji River, River Bank:

Bundled up in clothes a few sizes too large, a little boy munches on the remains of a roasted Gray-ling. His head rests against the teen's collar. A hand lightly caressing his scalp as the blond sits atop of Hana's lap. She lifts her head up to the roaming sun. Eyes narrow as the light veers towards its apex.

"Hm. We'll have to head out in a few." Stretching her arms, Hana releases a relieved sigh. The boy nibbles on his bottom lip. His eyes peek up to the young woman holding him. Stripping his eyes from the teen, he gazes out to the foliage at the edge of the bank.

"Huh?" The boy exclaims as he is lifted and deposited onto the shore. "Just give me a sec, and we'll head back home. Sound good?" Not receiving a response from the silent child, her smile falters ever so slightly.

With a shake of the head, Hana went about gathering her belongings scattered around the sandy turf. The blonde squints at the female. As she stashes various articles into her pack, the boy quietly creeps back toward the edge of the forest.

He scans the pebbled beach. Quickly spotting and retrieving a knife from an open pouch. The boy holds the blade near his chest. Silently, he makes it to the edge of the tree line. Yet, before he could spring into the underbrush, a distant voice whispers across the valley.

"-Na." The Inuzuka blinks and swivels her head south. "Huh?" Rising to her feet, a broad smile fastens itself to her lips at a clearer call. "-Ana." Said teen jogs up to the water's edge and cups her hands around her lips. "Izu?"

A few seconds pass before a teen swiftly rounds a turn in the bank. "Hana? Oh, Kami. Hana!" Izumi waves and bolts across the sand towards her position. Wiping a tear from her eye, she trots over to her friend. Despite Hana's attempt to ease her pace, Izu did little to thwart her own momentum. "I-Izu?"

"Oof!" In a mess of limbs and bouts of sporadic laughter, the pair came to a stop atop of the sandy shore. "I-It's really you?" Perched atop of her comrade, Izu stares down at Hana.

"Yea, it's me." Incapable of holding herself back, Izumi leans down and embraces her partner. She shudders and releases a volley of tears as she nuzzles into Hana's cheek.

"I thought I-I'd lost you." Not allowing for Izu's affection to go unanswered, Hana tightens her hold on the smaller girl.

"Shh. I'm fine. I'm still here." Pressing the teen back, Hana cups her cheek. "I'm not going anywhere. Got it?" She briefly nods before reattaching herself to the prone girl. Hana merely held her atop of the sand and strokes her back.

The loud crunch of gravel and sand brought her eyes to an approaching figure. Saisu's eyes soon met her own. "It's good to see you, Hana." His mild simper meets her own.

"It's good to see you too." He gave a subtle dip to the statement. The boy's eyes travel to Izumi.

"I believe you've smothered her enough, Izumi. Let's get her off the sand?" However, the teen had yet to relent.

"Come on, Izu. I'm fine. See." The Uchiha bit her quivering lip and pivots onto her haunches. For a moment she fidgets with her knees before rising to her feet. Without warning, she glomps onto Saisu.

"Wha-?" Taken aback by the sudden embrace, he looks to Hana. She just giggles and offers the teen a shrug. Placing her lips against his ear, Izumi mumbles. "Thank you." His features soften to the gratitude and lightly pats her on the back. "Of course."

Separating herself from her teammate, the Uchiha took a moment to help Hana to her feet. Now off the embankment, Hana brushes off the sediment stuck to her. "I'm not complaining, but what're you two doing here?"

Izu frowns at the remark. "What're we doing? Hana, we've been looking for you! For Kami's sake, a whole platoon's still is!" A deep flush blossoms onto Hana's cheeks.

"R-Really? I didn't think it was that serious." At that remark, Saisu rose a rugged brow. "Seriously? Hana, half of them think you'd died! A-Anko-." Tears proceeded to fall as Izumi chokes on her words.

Yet, the teen's sobs were muffled within Hana's arms. "I'm sorry, Izu. I-I didn't know. I didn't think about any of that. I was just thinking about the boy." At her admission, Saisu gives the area a cursory glance. A grim frown apparent on his lips.

"I take it the tyke didn't make it?" Separating from Izumi, Hana creased brow looks at Saisu. Her gaze swivels back towards the campsite.

"What are you-?" She trails off as her eyes fail to find their charge. Her eyes widen at the barren bank of sand and pebbles before her.

The blur of foliage whizz past an obscure figure. Dashing across the forest floor, a pair of wide eyes scan the uneven terrain. Without hesitance, the child vaults atop of a toppled trunk.

As the boy leaps further into the web of branches, he ventures higher into the canopy until he breaches the vegetation's ceiling. Blinking away the blinding rays of the sun, the blond took heed of his surroundings.

Yet, the sight of the ever-present wall stood out in the distance. Its imposing form towers over the rolling hills and woodlands.

"T-Tenten?" He whimpers out to the vast carpet of trees. The distance did little to quell his fidgeting. However, an outcrop of rocky terrain intersected with the cement barrier.

"Hm." With narrowed eyes, the boy tightens the cord of his pants and places Hana's kunai between his teeth. His body drops from the higher branches to a shallower limb. Treading forward, he leaps onto a neighboring branch. The child's stance quickly develops into a quadrupedal gait.

Leaping to another branch, he bounds off onto an adjacent log. Every step made only served to increase his velocity. Over the turf, he charged forwards. His frame weaving through the mesh of brush, trunks, and limbs. Pupils solely fixed North-East.

With every heave, ragged breaths tore through his nostrils. The pitter-patter of his limbs struck the earth. The woodlands gradually devolve into a blur of olive and chestnut. As he dashes around a tight bend, his eyes widen as a stray thicket collides with the boy.

"Thwack. Gyah!" The blond cries as he tumbles over the bush and rolls across the forest floor. "Heh. Heh. Oh." Shakily, he rose onto his elbows. Scrapes and dirt coat his limbs and torso. A stream of tears burst forth along with a few sobs.

Dragging himself over to a trunk, he props himself against it. A sniffle accompanies a hand as it smears a tear away with his fist. "Hm. Up." With a slight tremble, the youth positions a knee below him. A hand reaches up and grasps at a knob of wood.

"U-Up!" Squeezing his eyes shut, the child drags himself onto his feet. After taking a minute to steady himself, he takes a step forward. A wince overtook his expression on his next step. Limping, he endures ahead into the unforgiving wilderness.

Uchiha Compound, Chief's Dwelling:

"Are you sure? We can go over it-." Itachi places a tender hand on either of side of Mikoto's shoulders.

"It's fine, mother. I appreciate the concern, but it isn't necessary." A strained smile spread across her face.

"I-If you say so. It's just. Hm. You're right. Everything'll be fine." With a nod, he turns over to his father. The man's hand finding purchase on his shoulder. Its grip tightens ever so slightly.

"The report should be good. If everything goes well, the most they'll do is a minor penalty." Seeing his boy scowl at the comment, he clarifies.

"You know the top brass is all about procedure. It'll probably be a few D-ranks to instill discipline. Nothing too bad. A little dull, but not bad."

The expressionless stare of his son soon devolves into an exasperated sigh through his nostrils. "Hey. Whatever it is, we'll get through it together. Okay?" Dipping his head, Itachi revolves to Yuki. "You ready?"

As the adult's convers and head off to the front door, another pair of dull eyes observed from the couch. "Hm." Sasuke groans as the group finally moved on. In the midst of this, a rouge hair fell to cover an eye. "Pfft. Pfft!" The curl refused to budge at the puffs.

Grumbling to himself, he forcefully tucks it away with his fingers. As he did so, his eye spots the shut bedroom door. Sasuke quirks his lip. The boy's eyes dart back over to the gathering by the front porch.

With a hop, he swiftly bolts off of the couch. Coming up to the closed door, he ventures a quick peek behind him. Not seeing a soul, he quietly opens the door and sneaks in.

Softly sealing it behind him, Sasuke glances about the room. That is when a lump on the bed caught his eye. Stepping around the bed, he discovers the girl from before.

Her chestnut hair draped around her neck. The girl's eyes closed off to the world. With every steady breath, the sheets rose and fell. Laying his head atop of his crossed arms, he peers at the girl with narrowed eyes.

"Hm." Cocking his head to the side, the Uchiha stares at the child. Slowly, a grin spreads itself across his cheeks. He pulls a hand from underneath himself. The limb procures an index finger as it approaches the girls face.

Coming to a stop before the brunettes button nose, he lightly tickles it. Tenten crinkles her nose at the sensation.

"Hm." With wide eyes, Sasuke hastily ducks behind the edge of the bed. Once the noise died down, he tentatively peeks over the side. Noting that her eyes were shut, a devilish smile buds. He then reaches across the mattress once more. His little index finger softly tickles the tip of her nose once more.

"Huh?" Again, he drops behind the bed. He snickers against his hand. Hearing nothing from the child above, the boy tries another look. Yet, a pair of jade eyes met his own. Their noses just a hair away from touching.

"Gyah!" Sasuke cries as he fell backward onto his rump. A fit of giggles succeed his little tumble.

"Hey! What're you laughing at?" Tenten rose an eyebrow at the perturbed child. Her snickers gradually dying down.

"You, silly." She states with a triumphant grin. Before Sasuke could utter a retort, the door to the room abruptly opens. The boy pales to the sight before him.

His mother took one quick glance around the room. Eyes narrowing on the prone form of her son. "Sasuke. I thought I'd told you to let her sleep?"

"Uh. I-." At the stern look, Tenten rose up from her position on the bed. "I'm fine. I'm not tired anymore." The woman sighs to the girl's rebuttal.

"I see, are you feeling better?" The girl gives a timid nod. Then her eyes turn up to Miko as she bites her lip.

"D-Did you find him?" Shaking her head, Mikoto places a hand on her shoulder. "Not yet, sweetie. It might be a while before we do." Her head droops at the news.

"Oh." Sasuke looks between the two. His brow furrowing at the look on Tenten's face. "Hm." Lifting himself up, Sasuke came over and bounced atop the bed.

"Kyah! Wha-?" The girl fell back to the sudden tackle. A fit of giggles coming from the boy. "The day's too awesome to be pouty!" She stares wide-eyed up to the exuberant child.

"But-." Sasuke wags his finger in the negative. "Uh-uh. No excuses!" With his piece said, the boy sprung off of the mattress. "Come on. Oh! You wanna be a Ninja? I can show you how! I got kunai and stuff."

Tenten blinks at the outburst. "I. Uh." She turns her gaze over to Mikoto. "That sounds like a great idea. What do you say, Tenten?" Her words did little to hamper the smile adorning Mikoto.

"Okay." Not waiting another moment, Sasuke takes hold of her hand. However, before he could drag her off, Miko caught the eager boy. Pulling him into a quick embrace, she kisses his cheek. As she releases them, Miko shoos the pair off.

"You two have fun now." With a quick rub to his flushed cheek, Sasuke tugs Tenten along. Together, the children made it out to the expansive back yard once more. Eyes glance about the pristine field. Tenten's attention momentarily zones in on the decorative maples and clusters of flowers dotting the landscape.

Feeling Sasuke stop, Tenten spots a circular object not too far from them. "Um, Sasu-?" The girl questions.

"Sasuke." The boy fills in for her. "Right, um Sasuke. Uh, what's that?" She inquires, her finger-pointing over to a slice of wood situated atop of a stand. Its outer diameter a full meter, while its thickness measured six inches. Yellow, red and blue rings were painted onto its surface. Its face marred with impact discolorations and numerous punctures.

"Oh, that's our target." Sasuke shook his head at her rose brow. "Hm. I'll just show you." Grabbing a blunted kunai from a Cedar bucket, he chucks it to the slab of Paulownia. The girl's eyes swell as the blade sinks into the red ring.

"That's so cool! C-Can I try?" Sasuke mirrors her exuberant smile and fetches out six more kunai.

"Yep. Here, take these." Taking hold of the three daggers, she gives one of the ringed knives a look over.

"So, I just throw it?" He walks over to her throwing arm. His hand takes hold of her arm. "Yea. But. Uh. What did mamma say? Um, Oh! You kinda wanna flick? Like this."

"Flick it? Really?" The bewildered girl asked. "I don't know. It's what mamma told me. Just throw it already!"

Tenten only giggles as he turns away from her. "Okay. Hm." Narrowing her eyes, she aims for the yellow center. She rears the blade back. With a quick snap, the knife flies across the yard and buries itself into the dirt.

A pout embellishes her face at the results. "Don't be like that. The more you do it, the better you get. So, uh, throw another one." Lining up another shot, she launches the knife just shy of the target. "See! That's a lot better. Now, try again."

Adjusting her aim, she lets the last knife fly. A thunk echoes across the field as the dagger finds purchase in the targets edge. "I-I hit it. I hit it!" She squeals as she glomps Sasuke.

Perimeter Wall, River Outlet:

"No. No. No. No. No! Shit, he was just here!" With every word, she sprints back to the campsite. Skidding across the sand, Hana came to a stop by her pack.

"The kids alive?" Asked Izumi as she jogs up behind her. "Yes! I-I just-." Saisu kneels down by Hana's belonging. The boy's eyes scanning the sand.

"Hana." Despite his remark, the teen-only persisted in turning up the beach for answers. "Hana!" She whips her head around to Saisu. "What, Saisu?"

Motioning to a patch of sand, he waves her over. "Come here." She crinkles her brow to the command but did as she was told. As she stoops down by his side, Saisu trails his finger along a path of disturbed sediment.

"Is that?" Saisu nods to the unasked question. "Yep, I think I know where he's run off to." Both of their eyes trace it to the tree line.

"Damn it! You've gotta be kidding me." Getting off the ground, Hana dashes towards the forest. Yet, a hand grabs onto her wrist. The offending appendage forces her to halt in her tracks. "Wha-. Izu? Let me go! I have-." The teen said as she tries to yank her arm out of Izumi's grip.

"No, Hana! You've done enough." A low growl emanates from the teen's throat. "Izu. Let. Me. Go." Despite the tone, Izumi only tightens her grip. "I'm not gonna lose you again!" Before Hana could retort, an orange flare streaks up to the heavens.

"Huh?" The pair exclaim in unison. Saisu pulls his fingers away from his lips. The beacons trail of smoke drifting away from his position.

"Saisu?" Hana inquires in a perplexed tone. "Look. I know you want to find the Tyke. So do I, but no one's doing anything till we meet up with the Platoon. Are we clear?" Hearing static on his radio, the teen presses the bud closer to his ear. Hana made to speak, yet was silenced by Saisu's finger.

"Break. Break. Break. This is Delta43-Eta. I repeat this is Delta43-Eta. Orange flare has been spotted to the North-East. Gamma7-Mu and Rho25-Delta, advance on the local. Over." A brief pause came over the com. "This is Rho25-Delta. We copy. Out. This is Gamma7-Mu. We copy. Out."

"This is Delta43-Eta. Beaconer, do you copy? Over." Pressing his finger up to the device against his throat, Saisu pulses chakra into the mike.

"This is Genin-Kamano. We copy. Over" He released the mike and glances over to the girls. For the moment, both had eased their stances. However, Izumi had yet to release Hana.

"What is your emergency? Over." Glancing over to Hana, he meets with her pleading gaze.

"We've located Genin-Inuzuka. She's alive and well. The minor is still missing but is believed to be alive. He's run off into the Senju forest. Over." Releasing the mike, he motions for the pair to join him.

"Understood. Stay put. The platoon will converge on your local. Out." An Anbu drops his hand from his mic, his head swiveling towards the Nin around him. "Jonin-Mitarashi, the Inuzuka's alive and well." Said woman's eyes widen to the news.

"W-What? Th-." Quickly, she swivels toward the remains of the wafting flair. Without hesitation, Anko launches off towards the smoke trail.

Exhaling a relieved sigh, he motions for the team to pursue her. While the group trail after the Jonin, Eta reactivates his mic. "This is Delta43-Eta. All units converge on flair. Come in, Genin-Kamano. Are you still present? Over."

He didn't have to wait but a second till Saisu broke through the silence. "This is Genin-Kamano. Affirmative. Go ahead. Over."

"Launch a fresh flair. Over." The squad of Anbu cross a sandbar as static drowns out the com. Another squad of Anbu came around another channel and merge into a single force.

"Roger that. Stand by for launch. Over." Within seconds, another beacon of orange light and smoke screeches up through the blue sky.

"Coordinates set. Headed to your local. Out." Together with his group, they veer off towards the orange streak. "Alright, the Genin are about five Klicks out. Increase the pace to fifteen Mets."

Eta took point of the two squads. As the groups sprint across a channel, its waters spray about with every footfall.

Sat atop of the beach, Hana grumbles to herself as a glowing palm hovers across her body. "I'm fine. I've already checked." The Anbu by her side merely nods to her insistence.

"That may be so, but procedure must not be compromised." Another Nin approaches from the group inspecting the edge of the forest. "Phi what's the status of the Genin?" Releasing her control of the emerald chakra, said Nin dusts off his hands.

"Well. Outside of minor bruising and scrapes, she's in good health." The man ran his masked eyes over the prone teen. "I see." He then stoops down before the girl. "The boy that you recovered. What state's he in?"

"Oh, um. I've dealt with most it, but he's still recovering. I performed CPR, treated his ribs, and a couple scrapes and bruises." The Nin appears to ponder over the information. However, the sound of incoming feet drew his head to the right. Hana's gaze follows the officer's. Her expression brightening when she spots Anko and a team of Anbu at her rear.

"Sensei I-." Maneuvering past the medic, Mitarashi seizes the teen within her arms. "Just shut up and come here." Embracing the girl, Anko presses her head against her students.

"A-Anko?" For a few silent moments, the woman held her. "Hey Phi, she's in good health, right?" She asks as the Anbu nods. "Good." Pulling away from Hana, she smacks her on the back side of her head.

"Ah! What the hell, Anko!" The woman didn't do much but smirk at the youth's outburst. Gripping at her head, Hana glares up to her instructor. Mitarashi gingerly pats the teen atop of the head.

"That's for being a dumbass. Be happy I didn't do any worse." As she rubs against the welt, the medic places a radiant hand against her scalp.

"Mitarashi. I'm trying to keep her healthy." She waves the man off and stands up. "Hm. She can handle a bit of tough love." Once the Anbu finished his work, Hana rose to meet her.

"Whatever. I've had enough of waiting. When are we heading out?" Anko shrugs and studies the Nin grouped around Eta.

"Hm. I suppose now would do. Go and get your things." Grabbing the remaining items littered about, Hana quickly stuffs them into her pack.

"Need any help?" She turns up to the voice to find Izumi above her. "No, I got it." With a heave, Hana secures the bag to her back. A flicker of movement in her periphery catches her attention.

Her eyes scrutinize the kicked up sand and the flutter of a few shrubs. Half of the platoon having vanished from the beach. Only two squads remained by their side. From the crowd, a Nin approaches them.

"Alright, Mitarashi. We'll be heading off. I've already informed Hiroshi of your impending arrival." Hana furrows her crown to the news and whips her eyes over to the Anbu. "W-What?"

River Basin, Konoha Perimeter Woodlands:

A coarse groan resonates from a small child. His lips gasp for air as he leans against the trunk of a tree. Unfocused eyes glance about the area. Pressing a palm against the mast, the boy attempts to push himself forward. Despite his efforts, he only manages to topple himself onto the ground.

"Gah. Heh. Heh. U-Up." The child states to himself. After a few attempts, he pauses in his struggles. Shifting his head around, he peers through the canopy. A lone eye observes the drifting clouds in his periphery. The ethereal burls of moisture churn through the atmosphere.

As the blonde lays there, another pair of eyes observes the child. Narrowing its teal orbs, it twitches at an unseen presence. The figure cocks its head off to toward the south.

A breeze shifts the leaves to reveal greying chestnut hair. The left ear twitches at a rustle of movement just below it. Turning towards the sound, the individual witnesses the frantic boy's actions. He forces his tremoring muscles to fight against gravities influence.

Through the force of will, the child claws and drags his body forward. Peeking back, the boy whimpers. "N-No."

The turquoise orbs soften at the struggling youth. "Hm. Troublesome, lad." The being leans forward and falls towards the earth. It promptly rights itself and lands into a crouch.

"Gah!" The child cries at the figures intrusion. His eyes widen to the male's towering silhouette. Without delay, the man plucks the boy from his position. Despite his struggles, the elder's vice like grip didn't falter.

"Hey, quit ya squirming there, lad. I ain't gonna hurt ya." Coming up to a large Oak, the man gingerly sets the child within the valley of two of its roots. "Now, look here. If ya wanna hide. Then keep your trap shut."

Not waiting for the boy to still, the man carves the bark away from a valley between the Oak's roots. He then deposits his leather pack by his side.

"Just give me a moment, lad." He digs through his bag and retrieves a tree sprout out of a pouch and a translucent green gel from a cylinder. Drenching the sapling in the congealed fluid, another hand radiates a mixture chakra into the plant.

The hand holding the sprout expels a direct current into its physiology while his raised hand hovers over it. The extremity saturating it in a Kilohertz frequency. Together, the forces stimulate and coax the plant. The sapling quickly grows and merges with the gash notched into the tree. Drawing it down to the soil, he gradually caresses the sapling into morphing into a sturdy root.

A small whimper drew the man's gaze to the teary eyes of the child. "Shh. It be aight. There ain't a need for them waterworks." Within a matter of minutes, all signs of the child vanished behind the hollow tuber.

He leans back to exam his work. The racket of disturbed foliage and footfalls catching his ear. Patting the enclosure, he lifts himself back up to his feet.

"Hm. Now ya just sit tight. I be back in a jiff. Aight?" In a flicker of movement, the forest turned still once more. From within the cavity, a pair of eyes finds nothing in the utter darkness. Reaching up, the boy feels and scratches at the barrier before him. His voice breaks as he chokes back a sob.

"No. No. No! O-Out!" No matter the onslaught, the thick root holds firm. "T-Ten. Tenten. He-Help. Out. Ten-." The thunder of thuds meeting the turf slowly grew in volume — blue irises widen and waiver in their sockets.

He halts in his assault and presses himself against the base of a root. His feet curl up to his chest. Squeezing his eyes shut, the child turns away from the sound.

Outside of the hollow, a group of Nin ran into the small break in the trees. Though a few members quickly slow or halt in their tracks. An Anbu turns back to face the immobile squad.

"You find something, Mu?" Said man analyzes and sniffs the terrain. "Give me a moment. Kappa, Beta, what of you two?" Both Nin shook their head. Kappa squats by an Oak and smells about its roots.

"Hm." Mu rose to his feet and crosses his arms. "Well?" Sighing, Mu turns back to his fellow Nin. "The trail's gone cold, Tau." Said man cocks his head to the side before looking up. His eyes narrow to the network of branches above them.

"Hm. You think the kid's gone into the trees again?" Kappa swivels away from the root. "Hey, Sergeant. The boy's sent ends on the tree."

Mu didn't say a word for a few moments, his eyes lingering around them. He then walks up to his fellow officer. "What about two-man cells? Divide and search the area." The Nin nods to the suggestion.

"That'll do. Alright, you heard him! Let's pair up. We'll do a sweep at three klicks." In a matter of seconds, the group departs from the vicinity.

An eye opens from within a dark pit. The orb swivels to and fro. "Huh?" For minutes, not a sound penetrated the shell of wood. Yet, the boy flinches at a light rap beats against the barrier.

"A-Away!" The noise did not abate at his cry. With a loud ensemble of creaks and cracks, the root was pried from the tree. Blinking at the intruding light, the child takes a moment to focus on the bearded man before him.

"Now look here, lad. Ya want to get away? Right?" The boy furrows his brow in response.

"I. Uh. A-Away?" Shaking his head, the man taps his fingers against his knee. "Yes, laddie. Now away or not? We ain't rich in time. Away or stay?" The kid looks to the man with wide eyes and bites his bottom lip.

"Um. Away." At that, the elder pulls his leather bag from his back. Plopping it onto the ground, he hauls out a large wooden cylinder. "Hm. This'll do." He grumbles to himself and turns to find that the boy had yet to move from his little crevice.

"Come on, lad. Hurry it up." With a calloused hand, he draws the child out from the enclosure. "There ya go." Taking a breath, the man exhales as his shoulders sag. Opening the jar's lid, he frowns at its contents.

"Gah. Here, put this on ya." The boy blinks and tilts his head to the command. "Huh?" Almost dropping the vessel, the graying fellow shakes his head. "It be the only way. Them sniffers will find ya, if ya don't. Now, put it on ya."

An eyebrow rose above a glimmering blue orb. "Oh for the love of Kami!" He hisses out between snarling lips. Taking one last glance to the jar, he grits his teeth. His hand raises over the boy's head and dumps the viscous and translucent green fluid atop of him. "Gyah! Wha-?"

Before the child could utter another sound, a hand clamps over his lips. "Keep ya voice down, Lad. Won't be having ya put me sacrifice in vain. Ya hear?" A cross between a pout and a snarl spreads itself across the child's slime-covered face.

"Oh, quit ya whinin and smear it over ya." At the lack of a response, said man air washed himself. "Come on, lad. Ya gotta put it on." Narrowing his eyes, the boy offers him his arms.

"For Kami's sake. Pft. Forget it." Wide-eyed, the boy looks on as the man stalks off into the trees.

"H-Hey!" The boy exclaims as he quickly rubs the goop over his skin, hair, and clothing. Partially turning around to the approaching blonde, the man creases his temple. "What is it, Lad? Haven't I done enough?"

"Me. Uh. Where, go?" He shrugs to the child's query and makes to leave. "Ya've got a head, figure it out for ya self, Laddie." Readjusting his pack, he proceeds to walk off.

Perimeter Wall, River Outlet:

Hana gawks at her sensei with wide eyes. "What is it, Hana?" She stammers and points to the woods. "W-What is it? He's in the woods! A-And you wanna head back? We've got-."

"To do nothing. Hana, you've done plenty. Now, let's go. The Anbu can handle it." With her piece said, she proceeds to walk off towards Konoha. As Saisu made to follow her, Izumi turns back to find Hana rooted to her position.

"Come on. We gotta go." She tries to grab the Inuzuka's wrist, yet the brunette tore it free.

"H-Hana?" Mitarashi pivots her gaze back to the pair. Hana's feet step away from the team. A prominent glare chiseled onto her features. Tightening the straps of her pack, Hana revolves on the balls of her feet.

She walks off towards the woodlands. With wide eyes, Izumi reaches out to the girl. "Hana. Where-?"

"Hana!" Anko barks out to the teen. "Get your ass back here. We're-."

"No! I'm not going back." She said with a wave of her hand. Her feet inching towards the tree line.

"Hana! Take one more step, and I'll NJP your ass. Circumstances be damned." Whipping her teary gaze back around to her sensei, Hana snarls to the woman. "Really? He's still out there! I've gotta-."

"You don't have to do anything! There's a platoon looking for him. He'll be back in Konoha before you know it. Now. Let's. Go."

For seconds on end neither moved nor did they break eye contact. With a tilt of her head, Hana broke the engagement. Crossing her arms under her chest, she walks on ahead of the group.

"It'll be alright, Hana. They'll find him." Anko presses as she places a hand on the girl's back. But, a quick jerk of the teen's shoulder, did away with the contact. Izumi attempts to say something, yet remained silent.

As a unit, they trekked across the sandy river delta. Falling back into her cell, Hana drew her eyes to the crop of trees. Her lower lip quivering under her teeth. Forcefully swinging her head forward, Hana drew in a sharp breath. "H-He'll be fine. Please be fine."

Landing on the swell of a root, an Anbu scans the surrounding wilderness. His comrades touch down in the foliage at his rear. A finger presses against the com at his throat.

"This is Delta43-Eta. Gamma7-Mu. Come in. Over." He motions to the Nin at his back to proceed. As they spread across the terrain, the radio came to life.

"This is Gamma7-Mu. Go ahead. Over." At the click of the mike, Eta responded. "What's your status? Any markers? Over." Looking over to a fellow Nin approaching his position, Eta eases his stance. "What is it, Xi?"

"Sir, there's nothing in this Sect." The Lieutenant sighs to himself. His hand reaches out and kneads the bridge of his nose from underneath his mask. "I see. Hm. Well-."

A crackle in his coms tore his consciousness away from the soldier. "That is a Negative Lieutenant. Over." With a shake of the head, he looks to his gathering squad.

"Alright, how'd we lose the damn kid? For Kami's sake, what is he? Eight? Nine?" A Nin steps up to her commanding officer.

"Sir, what if we've missed something?" The man blinks and focuses his slitted mask towards the woman.

"Missed something?" She nods and motions to her right. "Yes. What if Mu overlooked something?"

He follows her gaze and seemingly ponders on the matter. "Perhaps." Inserting chakra into his mike, he calls out to the other unit. "We're headed back to Center-Point. Increase radial sweep to five klicks. Out."

With a quick twirl of his finger, Eta gestures for the squad to proceed right. "Will comply. Out." Nodding to himself, the Lieutenant trails after his departing team.

Steadily, he surpasses his fellow members until he nears the center of the group. With their destination in mind, the Anbus vanish into the wilderness.

The coarse marks of a pencil grate against a clipboard. Every stroke evoking a twitch from a pair of ears.

"Alright, Miss Inuzuka. It appears that most everything is in order. But, for the week, I'll have you prescribed an Allium salve." A haggard sigh erupts from Hana. However, a muffled giggle accompanies it.

Shifting her pupils toward the sound, she scowls at the raven crowned teen beside her. "What are you laughing at? You're gonna have to deal with the smell too." Izumi blinks at the revelation. Her lips pursed in thought.

"I. Uh. Well, shit." Hana merely snorts and rolls her eyes at her companion. "Be that as it may, we can't have your wounds reopening and getting infected now can we? So, for now. I'll need for you to apply this over the new tissue till it fully recovers."

Hopping off of the chair, Hana picks up her Alice Pack. "Alright, um. Is that it?" He quickly scans the file and nods.

"Yes, that would be all. Well, I hope you two have a swell day." After a shake of the hands, the pair follow the man out. "You too." Promptly heading to the front desk, Izumi gives a final wave to the man.

"Finally. You ready to head home?" Hana shakes her head to the sentiment. "If only. We've still gotta do our AA-Report's" Scowling, Izumi splays her arms out.

"What! B-But it wasn't a mission. They can't do this!" A sweat drop falls past Hana's temple at the exclamation. "Izu, it turned into one. Everything Anbu does is a mission."

Despite the reason, Izumi's grumbles didn't cease. The act elicits a meager smile on Hana's lips. Yet, as they pass around a bend, a frown mares Mitarashi's features. Her hand holds a wired radio receiver to her ear. Its cord attached to desk Com's unit.

Applying chakra to the mike, she speaks through it. "You sure? Uh. I-I see." With a creased brow, Hana treads over to her instructor.

"A-Anko, what's wrong? Something happen?" She briefly glances up to the Genin. "Alright, well, thank you for informing us. You have a good day too. Alright, goodbye." Setting the speaker down, Mitarashi frowns. Her hands held her up against the table. "Anko?"

From within the forest, the mask of an Anbu is visibly tilted under its canopy. "-Over." He kneeled before the base of an oak. A fellow Nin approaches him from behind.

"What are your orders, Lieutenant?" Reaching out, Eta brushes his hand against the little alcove nestled between a pair of roots. Its cover just off to the side.

"Hm. Hard to say, but this changes things." Rising to his full stature, Eta crosses his arms before his chest. "Contact Mu and notify him of the development." With a quick nod, the woman activates her com.

He then steps away from the officer. Briskly thumbing the radios dial, he switches onto a neighboring channel. "This is Delta43-Eta, to Hiroshi Dispatch. We are in need of a Chakra Sensor. Over."

Author's Notes: (Repeat)

...This took an absurd amount of time. That's on me. However, I hope the quality of the chapter's better then the previous ones.

On another note, I just wanted to say that this fic will be straying from cannon in terms of Kekkei Genkai, Dojutsu, Biju and ludicrous Chakra abilities. They will still exist, just at a limited capacity. There will not be any "god" tiered elements. Every technique will have its flaws and uses.

Nin will still be capable of becoming infamous and gaining strength. But, it will come with a sacrifice and the usage of intellect. For a Jutsu to exist and work in this fic, it needs to coincide and behave in accordance with science and mathematics to an extant.

An example of this would be regeneration. A character can only regenerate the lost tissue if they have the required biomass to support said regeneration. In this chapter their are two abilities that I had altered to better fit principles in nature.

Well, I hope that you all enjoy the new chapter. If you'd like to comment, discuss, or correct something within the chapter, please leave a review. They really help in the development and correction of future and current chapters.