In the seemingly endless sea of trees in the Land of Fire, there were two fleeting shadows in the dark, gloomy shade provided by the towering trees. Each figure moved from tree to tree so fast that one could barely catch a glimpse of them. Both of them had intense, focused expressions, each determined not to slow for any reason. They continued their run for hours, not wanting to give their pursuers any chance to catch them.

Finally, one of the figures stopped, unable to continue. She paused and knelt on a thick wooden branch, her platinum blonde hair soaked with sweat. The other figure continued for a moment before realizing that his partner had fallen behind. Immediately, the dark-haired man grabbed a branch with one hand and, in a feat of acrobatics, turned around and launched himself back to the branch where his partner rested.

"Emiyo." The dark-haired man asked the second he landed. "Are you ok? Is it the baby?"

Breathing heavily, Emiyo reached down and put her hand on her swollen belly. "Everything is fine, Daichi. The little guy must be enjoying the run. He hasn't stopped kicking for a moment. Takes after his father."

Daichi forced a smile onto his worried face but could not hide the concern in his eyes completely. "How do you know it's a boy? It could be a cute girl. Just like her mother."

"Trust me," Emiyo said. "A mother knows these things."

For a moment, everything seemed like it would be fineā€”just two lovers speaking of their future child. But then, Emiyo's green eyes tightened with worry.

Daichi's dark eyes hardened like steel. "How far?" He demanded in a low voice.

Emiyo closed her green eyes in concentration. "Seven or eight miles. Two squads of ten closing in on us."

Daichi's face fell upon hearing how many were behind them.

Looking at her lover, Emiyo said, "We aren't going to make it are we?"

Daichi gazed at Emiyo's face as if he were trying to brand every line of her face into his memory. "No," he gently said. "We aren't."

A shallow tear slipped out of Emiyo's left eye. She wiped it away before drawing a kunai from a small pack on her right leg. "We won't make it easy for them." She vowed. "Let's take as many of them down as we can."

Daichi reached forward with one hand and took the kunai away from Emiyo, and with his other reached up and flicked her forehead. "I said we won't make it. But, you and our child can. All you have to do is make it to one of the Hidden Leave's Outposts. There should be one about thirty minutes in that direction. I'll stay behind and slow our pursuers."

Emiyo's green eyes widened in horror, "No." she begged. "I can't leave you behind. They are after me."

Daichi pulled Emilio to her feet and put each hand on either shoulder. "You can. You must. Our child deserves a chance to grow up in safety."

"But you'll die." Emiyo tearfully whispered, hiding her green eyes behind her platinum hair.

Daichi gently reached and brushed Emiyo's hair to the side, revealing watery eyes.

"Before I met you, my whole world was full of darkness. But then I met you, and I was saved. I wouldn't trade these last two years for anything in the world. I can't live with the idea that you or our child might die. So please. Go. Live. Take our child and raise a supreme shinobi. Someone who won't have to hide in fear of his bloodline."

Emiyo tried to respond but was silenced and had a scroll pushed into her hand.

"Take this scroll," Daichi said. "When you get to the outpost, ask for my father. He may be a bastard, but he's an important bastard. Then, when you get to Konoha, find my mother. She will take you in and protect you."

Daichi reached up and cupped Emiyo's face, "And remember, don't ever let my father take our child to a place called the foundation."

Daichi pulled Emiyo in for a final kiss before pushing her away. "Now go."

Seeing Emiyo hesitate, Daichi shouted, "Go."

Emiyo's breath hitched as she tried to hide her tears. Finally, she turned and leaped off the branch heading in the direction of the Hidden Lead outpost.

Flying through the trees, Emiyo's pushed herself to the brink. Her only thought was to reach the outpost as quickly as she could. Maybe, just maybe, if she got there fast enough, they could send reinforcements to save Daichi.

As Daichi watched his pregnant wife flee towards safety, a weight lifted off him. Everything would be worth it as long as they lived.

The emotions on Daichi's face were stripped away as he turned in the direction of their pursuers. All that was left was a cold, ruthless look. It was the kind of face that warned the world that there would be no mercy. A face that had seen the light leave many people's eyes.

As Daichi's steely eyes examined the scenery, a battle plan quickly unfolded. He reached deep in his pack and pulled out a headband that he had sworn never to wear again. The headband was a statement. A warning that the wearer belonged to the Hidden Leaf and any slight against them was a slight against the Hidden Leaf.

But Daichi hesitated before putting it on. He had abandoned the Hidden Leaf years ago. Even after all these years, his name never appeared in the Bingo Book, where most deserter's names appeared. His father must have pulled some strings to make that happen, probably hoping to avoid the embarrassment.

Their pursuers were from the Lightning Dynamo's personal hit squad. Daichi was a little surprised that they had been dispatched in the middle of the war to take care of an old grude. That's why he changed his plans and made for the Land of Fire. Once they crossed the border he thought they were safe. But when they followed, he knew their only chance was to make it to the Hidden Leaf.

The lack of fighting the last few months had probably given them the guts to follow, But, he wondered what they would do if they caught sight of his headband. He doubted their orders extending to reigniting the fighting.

But, on the other hand, if they chose to fight anyway, it led to more conflict between the Hidden Leaf and the Hidden Cloud. The Hokage might choose to deny his wife's entry into Konoha.

However, wearing the headband might make the hit squad hesitate for a moment. And a moment's distraction could give him an edge. After all, it was one thing to pursue two nameless shinobi into the Land of Fire and another to attack a Konoha ninja on their home turf.

Coming to a decision, Daichi took the kunai he had taken from Emiyo and pressed the tip to the metal plate of the Konoha headband. A long screech sound as he carved a line right through the headband. Now the Hokage would have plausible deniability if he needed to disavow the upcoming slaughter.

After tying the headband on, Daichi reached into his leg pouch and pulled out his ninja wire. In the shadows of the endless forest, wire strings were the ultimate instrument for an ambush. They were sharp enough to cut through skin and were so thin they were hard to spot if you weren't focused.

As Daichi started setting traps, he mentally kicked himself from being so sloppy. It had been years since he had used his skills, and it was evident that the blood on the wire had gotten there from nicking his arms when setting the traps.

With the traps set, he focused on concealing his chakra. Thankfully, this was a skill he couldn't forget if he tried. It had been hammered into him when he was a child. The scars on his back were a testament to the punishment his father gave him when he failed to conceal himself.

His father's voice telling him that he would one day be thankful for his training flashed through his mind.

Ignoring his father's voice, Daichi focused on concealing himself. There were many different techniques when it came to concealing someone's chakra. Of course, it wouldn't fool a chakra sensor, but real sensors were rare, and Daichi was betting that they were using a different method to track them.

The method of concealment he learned was mimicking the environment. The world was full of energy, and with enough time and skill one could learn to force their chakra to mimic that energy.

In a dark shadow of a looming tree, Daichi slowed his breath to almost nothing. His heartbeat followed suit and slowed down as well. A few hand signs with a slight infusion of chakra activated an illusion technique that concealed Daichi.

Daichi faded away, like a monster in the deep, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

Three figures landed on the thick branch where Daichi and Emiyo said their goodbyes a few minutes later. Soon after, other ninja landed on surrounding trees waiting for orders.

All the shinobi were dressed in black but had thickly armored vests the color of clouds covering their torsos. A mask hid each face.

One of the three on the thick branch had a hawk of some kind on his shoulder.

"They were here," the ninja with the bird confirmed. "No more than ten minutes."

Another faceless shinobi snapped. "Are you sure? We've been tracking them for days. Now we're deep in Leaf territory. If we're found, we could provoke an incident."

"Trust me," the ninja with the bird confidently said, "Koko can track any bloodline that he's tasted. There is nowhere that bitch or her offspring can hide. The Chinoike bloodline ends today."

In the darkness, Daichi's steely eyes glinted harshly. Having heard every word that was spoken, he changed his original plan. The bird had to die. Nothing that could track his wife and son could be allowed to live.

For a moment, everything was silent. As if the whole world was holding its breath. Then Daichi made his move.

The air made a faint whooshing sound as a sharp kunai cut through the air. There was an explosion of blood and feathers as the kunai hit the target.

A split second after the kunai had left Daichi's left hand, Daichi poured his chakra into the sword that had accompanied him since he was a child and slashed at the neck of the ninja who had the misfortune of standing a few feet away.

A spray of blood went flying as a masked head toppled from the cloud ninja's neck.

From the group of three, there were two different words shouted.

"Koko!" The bird handler shouted in horror.

"Ambush!" the leader shouted, already turning in the direction of the thrown kunai.

Knowing that to stay still equaled death, Daichi was already in motion.

He needed to draw them into his traps where they would be slowed, and he could take them down one by one.

A flurry of shuriken and kunai thudded into the spot he had been standing a moment before.

As Daichi fled into the dark forest, his sixth sense formed over countless hours of training and combat warned him of the danger. Pushing off from the tree, Daichi twisted in midair. A half-second later, a giant shuriken passed beneath him, slicing the edge of his jacket.

Twisted in midair, Daichi pulled out a shuriken and brought it close to his lips. Then, molding wind chakra into his breath, he skillfully funneled out his chakra breath onto the shuriken and launched it at the ninja who attacked him.

The masked ninja jerked to the side, thinking he had dodged the danger of the shuriken. Daichi smirked, not waiting to see the results. He continued to twist in midair, allowing his feet to contact a higher branch before launching himself towards his traps.

The masked ninja, who thought he successfully dodged the attack, screamed in sudden shock and pain as his stomach was almost wholly bisected, opening his guts to the air.

Even though he had dodged the shuriken, what he didn't dodge was the ready wind chakra silently spinning along the outside of the shuriken.

While most of the wind chakra on the moving shuriken was dispersed, there was enough to kill the female ninja behind the bisected one. The shuriken sank deep into her chest, not having enough energy to continue going through her, but having enough that it instantly destroyed her heart. Both ninjas fell down into the darkness one dead, and another soon to follow.

A cry of outrage made Daichi grimly smile. This was only the beginning.

Weaving his way past his traps, Daichi reached out with one hand and grabbed a tree stopping his momentum. Using the tree as cover, Daichi watched his traps, knowing he needed to time this carefully.

The first ninja to run into his traps was lucky. He caught a wire to the throat. The gurgling sound as air escaped from the new opening in his neck quickly fell silent as he bled out from the main artery in his neck.

The following two ninjas filled the forest with painful screams as they got caught up in the traps. The razor-sharp wire quickly ripped into their bodies, shredding muscle beneath the skin. Their deaths would be slow and agonizing.

Daichi readied his blade, determined to end the next to show their masked face.

When no one appeared, he realized something was wrong. A slight flashing movement off to the side was the only warning he had been surrounded.

One ninja made a few hand movements, and a wide beam of water shot towards the tree Daichi was standing on. Two other ninjas added to the elemental jutsu, only they didn't summon water. Blue electricity joined with the water coming right at Daichi.

Even as he pushed off the tree, Daichi knew he wouldn't make it in time. His teeth felt like they may break as the electrified water beam caught his shoulder, sending spasms of pain through his body. Then, having momentarily lost control of his body, Daichi plummeted towards the ground.

Having only nearly hit Daichi, the electrified beam of water continued and smashed into the tree. There was an explosion of wood, and the top half of the tree toppled over in the direction that Daichi fell.

On the ground, the partially paralyzed Daichi panicked as the tree toppled over. Then, with a supreme effort of will, he managed to roll out of the way of the thick trunk.

Daichi frowned as he felt a burning sensation in his left arm. His bicep had been pierced all the way through by a sharp branch. Gritting his teeth, Daichi snapped the branch and pulled the rest out. Warmblood seeped down his arm as he tied it with a tourniquet.

Hearing that they were searching for his body among the fallen debris, Daichi decided he needed a distraction. Feigning death, Daichi curled on the ground waiting for someone to approach. With his eyes shut, he listened for any movement.

As Daichi waited, he mentally scolded himself. He was rusty from years of inaction. Eight years ago, he wouldn't have gotten surrounded. Banishing the unhelpful thoughts, Daichi prepared his next move. It had been years since he put someone under a genjutsu. Too many shinobi underestimated the usefulness of genjutsu. If you were skilled enough, there were endless possibilities.

Daichi didn't react when he heard soft footsteps approaching. Instead, he waited like a snake preparing to strike.

Wary of a trap, the masked ninja kicked Daichi in the ribs. Seeing no reaction, the ninja relaxed, reached down, and turned Daichi onto his back.

It was then Daichi struck. With his hand on the ninja's throat, Daichi forced his chakra into the shinobi's mind.

Almost zombie-like, ninja stood and called out. "He dead."

Three others approached the genjutsu-controlled ninja, unaware that Daichi was manipulating everything he was seeing.

As the three drew nearer, Daichi manipulated his target's mind, making him believe that the three of them were Hidden Leaf Ninja here to kill them. Without warning, the controlled ninja attacked and slashed the throat of the ninja closest to him.

"Leaf scum." he viciously jeered.

He moved on, attacking the next shinobi.

Realizing what happened, the shinobi spat, "Genjutsu."

Before the third ninja could assist, Daichi was up and sprinting as fast as he could towards him while infusing his sword with wind chakra turning it into one of the sharpest weapons in the shinobi world. One that could cut steel like it was butter.

Daichi dispatched the first cloud ninja with ease. Turning, he moved like the wind splitting the spine of the second ninja while he was fighting with the controlled ninja. With a final swing, Daichi left the three bodies behind. With their deaths, he had taken care of over half of his wife's pursuers.

A small flame of hope flared within him. Maybe he could survive this after all. But, as he moved out of the debris, that hope faded away when he found himself surrounded by the remaining ten ninjas.

Everything was silent; no words needed to be spoken between them. Each group was determined to kill one another.

A half-smile appeared on Daichi's face as he imagined his wife holding their future child.

Was his life worth saving them?

Yes, absolutely.

With a scream, Daichi charged his enemies, determined to sell his life in exchange for theirs. The shinobi, once known as the Blade of Death, showed his enemies why he was to be feared.

Daichi killed the remaining ten one by one. A cut here, a slash there. Trading wounds for kills.

When only one enemy was remaining, Daichi could barely stand. He had been slashed to ribbons, and his lifeblood poured from his many wounds. He charged towards his last opponent with a final roar, determined to end the final threat to his wife. With all the pursuers dead, her enemies would lose track of her. Emiyo would be safely hidden. Free to raise their son behind the safe walls of Konoha.

Having killed the final threat, Daichi collapsed to the ground. Then, as the darkness closed in, he uttered his final words.

"Worth it."


A/N

What to expect in this stroy. OP main character-eventually. New and interesting bloodlines/Kekkai genkai. A slew of new OC both good and bad. Original story arcs not simply rehashing the original story. Some timeline interference. Exploration of the Shinobi World. Warning. This won't be instant op character, don't expect a five year old taking on S-ranks. Also, not a complete Fix-it story. Bad stuff will still happen. MC isn't a god who never makes mistakes and he is only one person.