Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor The Gamer. I own nothing, really.

Cover Art: Kissuli.

Chapter 105

"You know what to do," Eiji said when his team turned towards him because of Hidan's words. "All of you though."

"Eiji-" Temari started protesting.

"All, of you," He repeated, his lips slowly forming a smile. "I want to let loose."

There was silence then as he took a step and then another towards his opponent. The team, meanwhile, dashed into the woods. Kakuzu looked at their retreating shapes before giving him what he imagined was a raised eyebrow.

"That wasn't very smart," The S-Rank missing nin commented. "I'm not complaining though. People are bound to pay quite a bit for the Weaver's head. Especially Taki, after they learn of what happened."

"I'm sure," Eiji nodded, regarding his opponent the same way they were him. Instantly, a clone was made that vanished just as fast. He couldn't see much of Kakuzu's expression, but he was fairly sure that he looked amused by the action. Regardless, he hadn't interfered, and that was good enough for Eiji. "So," He started then, wires coming to life around him as his right hand gripped Nuibari. More and more threads appeared in puffs of smoke from Storage Seals. "Do we get started already?"

Kakuzu, for his part, did much the same as he did. Pitch black strings seemed to come out of his body. They spread behind him like ominous hair, waving around as if given life by the very wind.

"We could, if only you weren't dead already," Kakuzu mused, at the same time that Eiji felt a stab pierce his heart. Tsuchigumo growled inside him as he activated World Ender and she powered it herself. Eiji could feel it though, the way his little, adorable beast wanted to do more, to give him the power to destroy this foe, to pursue the other, to hunt the traitor.

"Not yet, girl," He whispered to her, calmly. "Soon, but not yet."

"I'm not that easy to kill," He said with a smile that grew wider at the same time as Kakuzu's eyes did. Then, instantly, he Flickered to the side, and then again to behind him. The third one put him still behind the Akatsuki member, but slightly to the side, channeling lightning through his legendary weapon he threw it at Kakuzu.

The bounty hunter tried to stop it with his own threads, but that was a lost cause if Eiji had ever seen one. Nuibari might be no Samehada, but it was a legendary sword all the same and he was not weak by any measure. It would take more effort than that to prevent the weapon from piercing through its target. In the end, Kakuzu was forced to dodge to the side, that part wasn't that difficult.

However, that bought Eiji the split second he needed to run through a few hand seals. Sunfire Cape activated around him, boosting him even more. He'd have gone for Senjutsu, but that'd take a little too much time to use in the middle of a fight such as that one. With the technique active, he pulled his arm back, recalling the sword back to him. He almost messed the action up, when his other arm suddenly gained a cut that hadn't been there before.

'How has the team not taken Hidan out yet?' He had to wonder.

His grin remained as he Flickered once more, lighting at his feet and fire around him. The place where he'd been standing decimated by dark threads, just like he'd known would happen. The failure didn't deter Kakuzu in the slightest though, the rest of his strings moving as if nothing had happened, some waving menacingly around while others rushed towards him.

He simply dodged this time, half the attacking threads missing because of the movement while the other half was stopped by his wires. Many powered through, but were sufficiently disturbed by the obstacles set that they didn't hit, at least. Eiji knew fighting that way would end in his defeat though. Fortunately, he had a lot more than just threads.

Immediately, the Sacred Flock came to life, spreading their cackling wings and rushing towards his opponent. Kakuzu wasn't phased by that either, it seemed, immediately blocking and hitting most of them with his threads. 'Earth is supposed to be weak against Lightning, what the fuck?!' Eiji protested in his mind. All his info said that Kakuzu's technique was Earth Release, had that been wrong or was this just another Naruto bullshit logic moment?

That was fine though, he could throw lightning birds forever thanks to Tsuchi, so they'd be a distraction and a dangerous worry to have around. That worked well enough for Eiji. It was slightly surreal though, when he thought about it, that he was in a level that S ranked jutsu were merely inconveniences and distractions.

It was what it was though.

More of the hair-like threads were coming his way, even as his birds assaulted where Kakuzu was standing. Flickering several times, away from the enemy strings, Eiji considered what to do. This was a tricky opponent, he knew. He had several plans to deal with him, especially once he started pulling his masks out.

The thing was, most of those plans involved him revealing cards he'd rather not. With as much information as he had, not using powers he wanted to be kept secret reduced his options dramatically. Senjutsu was something he suspected they knew though…

An almost instant hand seal had one of his wires Whiplash towards Kakuzu, who seemed slightly taken aback by the extra power that this specific thread seemed to carry. That was the opening Eiji needed. Several more of the same technique started rushing at the man after that split second opening.

Meanwhile, some of his wires moved on the ground, hidden in the loose earth in a way that would make Hachi proud. The woman huffed in his mind, but Eiji knew he was right. Regardless, he didn't pay that much attention, still busy dodging the pitch black tendrils that still waved through the air trying to get a hold of him.

Furthermore, he still had to take into account the wounds he received from Hidan. There hadn't been another wound from that, but Eiji didn't want to be caught off guard in case something happened. With any luck, his team might have already taken care of that particular problem.

Nuibari slashed at a few of the threads that were coming his way and Eiji made sure to pay attention to the cut bits. He didn't know if Kakuzu could control detached parts, but just in case he'd keep an eye on that. From the looks of it though, he couldn't. That could be useful if he confirmed it.

For the moment though, he didn't want to cut too much and find out that he could control that. Better to be on the safe side and continue dodging and blocking. All the while, he also tried to prevent a grimace from forming because he knew one thing for certain about the situation.

"This is going nowhere, Eiji," Kage said in his mind, agreeing with his thoughts without knowing, for once. He also was certain he had to do something before Kakuzu grew bored with the stale situation and upped his game. Things weren't looking all that well, it seemed. No, he needed to do something to change the situation or things would start going badly.

"Use the boosts," Hachi told him. "It's either that or Tsuchigumo," She added and he had to concede the point. With a grimace as he continued dodging, he prepared himself.

'Running, Free Running, Intermediate Taijutsu, Intermediate Kenjutsu, Bloodlust,' He activated then, instantly bringing up the hidden wires from the ground. Flickering through the threads, Web Sense helped him find the easiest way through the swaying threads. He needed to use his one chance well.

That's why Eiji dashed until he was in the right position over Kakuzu and stabbed Nuibari down in a very specific angle, diagonally through the man's back. Not only piercing his actual heart, but also the wind and water ones, if he had remembered the colors on the masks right while taking his notes of foreknowledge.

With those out, fighting Kakuzu without him holding back would be easy. He wouldn't have wind to counter his lightning or water to counter his fire. Eiji's repertoire allowed him to counter those elements if they were used the other way around, but he didn't like his odds in that scenario. Kakuzu had a lot more experience than he did, after all.

So, he made sure that part was out, using lightning and fire Chakra Flow through Nuibari, together with Stunning Thread. He also did it way overpowered, just to be on the safe side as much as he could. Eiji knew Kakuzu could stitch himself back together, but if the things were completely useless due to burning… Well, that should at least make things difficult, right?

He hoped he was right.

"What in the-?" The Akatsuki member coughed out swirling his threads in a way resembling the Hyuga's defense technique. "How did you even do that?" He asked through his teeth. "That wasn't a jutsu," He muttered through his teeth.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" Eiji asked back with a grin.

"I'll beat you and then I'll get the answer," Kakuzu growled. "Right before I get the money for your head. I'll make sure to deliver you alive though, so whoever hates you the most can have their fun."

Morbidly, Eiji wondered who that person would be. Taki, maybe? It could pay to find that out, just in case. That was a worry for the future though. The greatest threat at the moment was the one he was fighting against.

"I won't underestimate you anymore," Kakuzu said, as if it were a threat.

"If it makes you feel better," Eiji said, mostly to buy time. He just needed a bit more… "That happens a lot. So don't feel too bad when you end up doing it again."

"That won't happen," Kakuzu hissed.

"So you say."

"Just wait till I-" The Akatsuki member started, only to be interrupted by Nuibari being sent flying through the air at him. He dodged it though, right before it could pierce another one of his hearts.

Although, dodging might be the wrong word for it. It was actually more like… his body separated around the sword. His arm and shoulder tearing apart from the rest of his body with only a few threads connecting them. They took the mask Eiji had been aiming for with them too, before completely detaching from the main body.

Eiji Flickered back then as the Mask that had separated shot a small fireball his way. He didn't remember anything about that, but he knew Kakuzu wouldn't send something weak his way. Especially then and there, which was why he Flickered again. Sure enough, upon hitting a tree, fire exploded everywhere, singing him even with the distance he'd put in between. World Ender took care of that though. Once the fire subsided, Eiji summoned as many clones as he could, all of which dashed all around in an instant.

The original Eiji charged straight at Kakuzu's main body, now only holding the lightning heart. Evidently, he didn't need his own main heart to use Earth Release though, which was a bummer. He'd half hoped that taking out that one would stop him from using his main technique. That was more wishful thinking than anything though, and he'd known that.

Eiji's clones, for their part, divided themselves between Kakuzu and his Mask. Some stayed at a distance, using shurikenjutsu and ninjutsu to hit from afar. Others ran right up to them, a few taken out by the threads in their reckless charge, others dodging and blocking. The original, for his part…

"Tsunade style?" Hachi asked in his mind as he pushed through the threads with just the sheer amount of buffs that he had on himself at the moment. It was easy, way too easy to reach Kakuzu. Or, at least, it was for him. He rather doubted other people would think the same.

Threads pierced through Eiji when his opponent noticed that he couldn't stop him. It didn't matter. World Ender would take care of the wounds and he could still power through that too. He just needed to end this fight and end it before his Energy Points ran out and he lost a chunk of his buffs.

Thus, even with Kakuzu trying to get away and dodge, Eiji's fist collided with the man's chest. He did his absolute best to aim for where the remaining heart was. Maybe he wouldn't kill someone like Kakuzu with just that, but he could damn try and hope that he at least affected him.

The numerous threads that dug into him instantly told him of the foolishness of that but he didn't stop. His clones were still barraging the Akatsuki member and now Eiji himself with attacks, and they didn't stop. The boy himself pushed through the attempted restraints and punched again, and again. Tsuchigumo, in the back of his mind, pushed against the strings as she powered World Ender.

"You won't kill me like that, boy!" Kakuzu growled and Eiji felt the shift instantly. There was a split second to realize what was going to happen, as a slight crackle of lightning that didn't come from him reached his ears.

Then electricity exploded from Kakuzu's mouth. Their surroundings were bathed in light as the beam made of lightning pierced through the location, destroying anything in its path all the way towards where sight couldn't even reach anymore. It lasted a few seconds at most, and then there was only silence all around.

"Is… that all?" Eiji asked, blood trickling its way down from his lips and nose. Kakuzu's eyes widened. "What? You thought you two were the only immortal ones around?" The boy said, a smirk forming on his lips as his opponent regarded him with disbelief.

The middle of his torso, now showing a hole the size of a head on his right side that went straight through him from front to back, slowly closing as his body tried to regenerate. It'd be a struggle though, since Eiji didn't have the mass to regenerate all that. He'd need to eat something and soon to give his body something more to work with. Even World Ender couldn't make that just disappear in an instant thought. What's more, Tsuchigumo was giving the technique as much chakra as she possibly could, desperate to have him recover quickly. Meanwhile, his chakra coils burned with the excessive amount of energy now constantly flowing through them.

Around his vision, a considerable number of screens appeared.

[New Skill Acquired: Lightning Resistance]

[Lightning Resistance has gone up a level.]

[Beast Chakra Resistance has gone up a level.]

The level up ones were repeated over and over again.

Trembling, his body sagged for a moment before Hachi and Kage pushed through the pain and the exhaustion to keep him up. "Thanks," He thought to them, pulling himself back together so that he could continue.

"We'll be right here," Kage told him, just in case.

"What the actual… How?" Kakuzu asked before he tensed up as Eiji made a single hand seal. However, when nothing happened, he seemed to grow even more unnerved. Eiji simply grinned at him though, his teeth stained with blood. A smile that only grew larger when his opponent screamed. "No!"

Some distance away, the man's detached Mask was pierced right through by Nuibari. Eiji had sent the legendary sword along with Whiplash and Chakra Flow at that moment. He chuckled to himself, an action that only made more blood come out of his mouth as his body struggled to regenerate.

"Didn't expect that, did you, Stitch?" He asked.

"What, what even are you?" Kakuzu said, his voice tinged with… something. "Do you have any idea of how long I've lived? The things I've seen? And yet, you… What the actual fuck are you?"

Eiji simply laughed again.

"I'd like to know that myself, sometimes," He replied, taking a step towards the Akatsuki member. "Now, die, would you kindly?"

And with that, he dashed back to the man. He was wary though, another attack like the last one would probably actually kill him. Especially if it hit something important. He'd actually only survived the first because his heart, spine and head were still fine. There was only so much that World Ender could make him live through though. The technique needed a body somewhat functional to power the regeneration, after all.

'That was entirely too close,' He thought to himself as he attempted to hit Kakuzu once more. Nuibari flew about powered by Living Thread and the occasional Whiplash when he could get away with a hand seal. Kakuzu was now just as wary of him though and with only a single heart remaining, he was unlikely to put his guard down in any way.

"I know your tricks now," Kakuzu said then. "You can't be able to keep that up for long. You'll run out of chakra soon and then you are dead," He threatened.

Eiji just laughed, even louder now that he was more and more healed by the second.

"You ain't seen nothing yet," He said grinning widely as Tsuchigumo barked in his mind, affirming his words. He almost wished he could just let her out and really let loose. Or maybe that was just her projecting her own emotions. Regardless, it was oh so very tempting. That would have to wait though. "And you never will," He added, Flickering up to Kakuzu as he let out another Sacred Flock at the man.

It did little, of course, but little was enough. Every piece of damage he did stacked on top of the other. Kakuzu could stitch himself back together, of course, and Eiji knew that. He also knew that he'd win the battle of attrition. Tsuchigumo could outlast this guy and Eiji was much more confident that he could fight Kakuzu for a while now. With all but one of the guy's Masks out, it reduced the danger considerably.

Eiji's fist connected with the man's stomach. Nuibari cut through the side of his chest. Another punch met the man's clavicle. The sword pierced through the left side of Kakuzu's torso. 'Really covering for that one weakness, huh?' Eiji noted, more than a little frustrated.

"I can do this all day, Stitch, can you?" He said, a grin spread over his face. No longer was blood coming out of his mouth, his wound getting better and better as the time passed. It was straining his body, to regenerate so much from basically nothing, but he could manage. Energy Points were tickling down, but Kakuzu was getting weakened too… "Because I don't think you can."

[}-o-{]

[Yugito Nii]

"God damn were you annoying," Tayuya complained, loudly and unnecessarily. She'd learned not to bother with the redhead too much though. It was both a lost battle and not worth the effort in the first place. Besides, Hidan had been very frustrating to fight against, even if the fight wasn't difficult or long.

There was also the fact that Yugito was growing to respect the girl, much to her dismay. Foulmouthed she might be, but Tayuya was an accomplished genjutsu user. So much so that even with Matatabi's help it was becoming difficult to keep her illusions away from her mind. The Bijuu had taken that as a challenge though, so there was fortunately little chance of Tayuya getting too powerful.

"Are you sure we shouldn't go help Eiji?" Fu asked hesitantly, looking towards where that particular battle was going on. Yugito couldn't really blame her, after that lightning attack had occurred, even the usually stoic ex-Sound members looked at least slightly concerned.

"Eiji said not to," Kabuto said, although Yugito couldn't help but think that it should have been Temari the one to respond to that. "His clone confirmed it. We wait here," He added, frowning down at where Hidan laid on the ground, restrained not only with wire and seals, but also with Kabuto over him pumping him full of drugs to keep him down. All of them thought it a bit overkill. Even Eiji had when they'd discussed the containment plan. However, none of them wanted to risk doing less than that much.

As it was, the mission this time had been… easy, Yugito thought. At least from her side. She didn't know how Eiji was doing on his front, but she was reasonably certain that he was fine. He was scarily good at dodging attacks sometimes, so hopefully he'd dodged that one they'd seen and felt.

"What about the traitor?" Jirobo asked this time, looking unusually angry. His brows were furrowed and his lips threatened to pull into a snarl. That was probably the most emotional Yugito had seen the boy be, actually.

"Eiji has that under control too," Temari replied, looking shaken but visibly trying to pull herself together. She was really worried that something might have happened to Eiji, Yugito realized. She could see the gears turning in the girl's mind, probably thinking how they'd proceed if their leader had truly fallen.

"I do," A familiar voice said from above them, on the trees. When she turned towards him with the rest of the team, Yugito felt her blood freeze inside her veins. "Take care of this for me, will you?" Eiji added, letting something fall to the ground.

They barely paid any mind to Kakuzu's body, which seemed to be sewed and tied up by Nuibari. A lone thread making its way up to Eiji who seemed to be channeling Chakra Flow through the wire. The man looked more than a little unconscious though.

Those were minor details, at best.

Their whole focus was on Eiji as he cracked his neck and took a deep breath in. Then the boy looked down at his upper clothing… or what remained of it. There was a big chunk of it and his armor missing on the right side of his chest. 'No way,' Yugito thought, an idea of what might have happened there flashing through her mind. From there, his outfit was torn in lots of places, with holes, slashes and burns. In one motion, he shrugged off his upper clothing.

It was after that when Yugito noticed something that she had missed. There was a hole in Eiji's torso. On his right side, there was a hole the side of a fist that was closing slowly.

"Well?" He asked, taking a bite of some rations that he'd taken out of one of his pouches. His red eyes focused on them and Yugito wasn't the only one to stand straight and immobile under his gaze. "I'm waiting."

"We… will take care of that," Kabuto said, slowly and hesitantly.

"Good," Eiji said, his voice never having carried the weight it carried at that moment. Then it became even worse as they all felt his bloodlust wash over them, like the coldest of rivers was flowing around them. "I have a traitor to find," He said, looking ready to just Flicker away before he paused and gave them another glance, this time it was like his eyes were seeing right through them. "Kabuto, you are in charge."

And then he was gone.

Yugito and the rest of the team remained frozen though, only their temporary leader moving to secure Kakuzu the same way he had Hidan. The rest of them still couldn't shake the cold in their bones and the fear in their minds. They all knew Eiji Satou was no normal ninja, but they'd been shown a completely new monster that day.

"Need any help?" Tayuya asked, voice more subdued than Yugito thought she could sound. Although, to be honest, she was surprised the girl could even talk at all at that moment.

She herself felt stuck, unable to move. Her mind worked faster than ever though, remembering a conversation she'd had with their leader. Words that she hadn't placed too much weight on until that moment. Words that even her superiors had all but dismissed according to the response she'd gotten to her report.

"The Nations may not want peace, but they fear war too much."

"If it'll keep the people I care about safe. I'll do my absolute best to be everyone's reason to keep the peace."

Back then, Yugito had thought that was an exaggeration. She'd always known Eiji was strong, of course. She held a healthy respect and fear for him. However, surely one person wouldn't be enough to cower the world into peace, right?

At that moment, Yugito realized that it was entirely possible that Eiji could achieve just that.

[} Chapter End {]

Hey guys! How's it going?

You know, I've noticed, whenever I write a fight scene the only one that truly gets their ass kicked is me.

And that's it, because I'm sure people don't want to read me complaining about that. So, hopefully I did a good enough job. Maybe people will be annoyed that I finished the fight off camera, as it were, but I thought it was better that way. With any luck, you guys will agree.

Hope you enjoyed the chapter.

As always, if you can't wait until next week for next chapter, there's up to three new chapters in my Pa tre on:

P a treon . com (slash) AdrianKing

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Random Question: How do you move around? If I'm by myself, mostly walking. I used to use a bike a lot when I was younger though.

See you.