Useless... Sakura Haruno thought to herself as she stumbled her way down the crowded streets of Konoha. She sniffed pathetically as tears pooled down her face, the words that Sasuke had said to her repeated in her mind over and over again.
"You're just as bad as Naruto," He'd said when she'd tried to flirt with him, "Even his skills are better than yours!"
The look of contempt on Sasuke's face had been too much for her, she'd already known that she was weak compared to him and Naruto, his words had pierced through her heart like daggers.
Who does that bastard think he is?! Inner Sakura growled, We should go up to him and-
And do what? Sakura sighed, Sasuke's on a whole other level compared to me, I'd never land a hit on him.
Well...we could at least try to hit him! Inner Sakura shouted. You never know, maybe we'll get lucky!
Sakura sighed again; Inner Sakura probably wasn't going to let Sauske's insult slide any time soon.
"Huh?" Sakura blinked in confusion as she suddenly found herself standing in an unfamiliar alleyway that had a dead end. She figured that she must have wandered in here when she was arguing with Inner.
Sakura whirled around to see that three, tall men were blocking the way out of the alleyway. The three men seemed to be identical, their faces were gaunt and bony, their beady eyes were practically shrunk into their skull. They wore white jackets that were zipped all the way up to their necks and white face masks.
"H-hello..." Sakura stuttered. "What do you want?"
"You see my brothers and I were just passing by when we saw you crying," the man in the middle of the group said in a reedy voice, "Naturally we were a bit curious, so we followed you into this alley."
"It broke our heart to see a young girl like you crying her eyes out," The man on the right side of the man in the middle said in a gruff voice, "So we thought that we'd...cheer you up."
It was obvious by the way the man licked his lips that 'cheering her up' was the last thing they were thinking about. Sakura discreetly pulled out a kunai from her pouch, if the men got too close to her then she'd use her remaining kunai for defense.
"Now, now, let's not resort to violence."
Sakura felt someone grip her arm with an extreme amount of force, causing her to drop her kunai to the ground. She turned to see that the man who had been on the left side of the man in the middle had suddenly gotten behind her.
"Like my brother said, we just want to cheer you up," the man behind her whispered into her ear, "If you keep your mouth shut, you might even enjoy it."
Before she even had a chance to scream, she felt a sharp jab to her neck. Her vision dimmed as she fell to the ground in a heap.
"Did you really have to do that?" Sakura heard one of the men complain "You aren't supposed to damage the goods."
"Would you have rather let her scream?" the man that had hit her scoffed, "We're trying to be discreet, remember?"
"I guess you've got a point..."
"So how much do you think we'll get for her?" Sakura felt someone run a hand through her hair, "Pink hair's pretty exotic, I bet we can sell her off for 200 ryo, hell we can probably get even more than that!"
"Well we'll have to bring her to the market first," one of the men said, "Then we'll see how much we can get."
The market? Sakura thought to herself as she laid on the ground. From the way the men were talking, it sounded like they were planning to sell her off as a slave.
We're not going to let that happen! Inner Sakura shouted, Come on, get up!
Sakura grit her teeth and tried to push herself off the ground. It was a struggle to get an inch off the ground. Her arms wouldn't stop shaking, and her legs felt like they were made of lead.
"Uh, it looks like she's trying to get back up." one of the men said, "Should we stop her?"
"Don't worry, she's going to fall back down in a moment." the man with the reedy voice said
Sakura's arms gave out underneath her and she fell to the ground.
"See? Didn't I tell you she was a perfect target?"
"I guess you were right, I don't think I've ever seen a Konoha nin this pathetic."
Useless... Tears pooled down Sakura's cheeks, I'm so useless!
Suddenly, another man rushed into the alleyway, he was wearing a green jacket with reddish edges, green shorts, and green lace-up boots.
"Leave her alone." The man said, "Or else I'll-"
"You'll what?" The man that had hit her confidently marched up to the man wearing the green jacket, "I can already tell that you're not a Konoha nin, you're a civilian, so why don't you run along and leave us alone?"
"Even if I'm a civilian, I'm not going to stand by and watch you sell a girl so you can make a quick buck." the man in the green jacket frowned, "People like you aren't anything to worry about anyway."
"W-why you, I'll have you know that I'm a Genin!" The Genin scowled at the man in the green jacket, "That means I can kill a civilian like you in a few seconds!"
"You're a Genin?" The man in the green jacket blinked, "Are they just handing out forehead protectors to anyone these days?"
"Y-you bastard!" The Genin grabbed Sakura's kunai off the ground and thrust it towards the man in the green jacket, "How dare you insult me!"
Sakura closed her eyes tightly; she knew that a civilian would stand no chance against a ninja. Even a rookie Genin could kill a civilian with little effort. The man was going to die trying to protect her, if she wasn't so weak none of this would have happened!
The pained shout of the Genin caused Sakura to her open her eyes, and she looked up to see that the man in the green jacket had caught the Genin's arm in a vice grip.
"Like I said, people like you aren't anything to worry about." The man said as he tightened his grip on the Genin's arm, causing him to drop Sakura's kunai. "I've met plenty of people like you who could talk a good game, but never back it up."
"Agh, let go of me!" the Genin shouted, "If you keep this up you're going to-"
The man snapped the Genin's arm like a twig, causing the Genin to let out a howl of pain. The man let go of the Genin and turned to look at the other two men, who had huddled together in the back of the alley.
"P-please don't hurt us, we'll turn ourselves in!" One of men stuttered, "We'll even tell ANBU where the market is!"
"You promise?" The man in the green jacket asked.
"Y-yes, we promise!"
"Okay then, but if you break your promise..." the man in the green jacket smirked, "Then I'll hunt you down and kill you."
"Eeek!" The three men shrieked and ran out of the alley.
The man shook his head and turned to Sakura, "Can you get up? Do you need help?"
"I-I can get up." Sakura managed to push herself off the ground and she shakily got to her feet. "Thank you for your help, Mister...?
"You don't have to thank me; I did what any normal person would do." The man smiled, "And you can drop the 'Mister', my name is Gon, Gon Freecss."
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