Hearts of Heroes
Awesomoisawesome does not own Naruto or Avatar the Last Airbender
Chapter 4: Shadow vs. Earth, Fire Nation Spies They Are Not!
Shikamaru watched the blind girl for a moment in his thinking mode, as he prepared a battle strategy. She was the perfect opponent for him, even if he doesn't like the idea of fighting the blind. But her strange earth jutsus were causing problems for him.
"Are you going to start or wimp out, little baby!" To be honest with herself, she needed a breather for a second and was glad that he was just crouching in front of her. Their combined attacks had done some damage, especially that whip one had warped her senses for a bit and her left arm still couldn't move.
"Time to end this…" said Shikamaru as he stood, he had realized that she must be hearing his movements so if he was quiet enough she wouldn't be able to sense him and he could finish this one off quickly.
Shikamaru jumped back silently and with all the grace ninjas had, moved behind her. Toph just stood there, trying to hide her laughter, and listened to the vibrations the guy she was fighting create. He was almost as good as twinkle toes, almost.
'This is too easy…' thought Shikamaru as he shot his shadow straight towards her back. Toph noticed for the first time that this guy's attack must be some sort of snake that slid on the ground. She could feel the slightest movements of a line racing towards her.
"Nice try but that's not going to work this time." she sidestepped it, Shikamaru was shocked that she could sense his shadow move but luck was on his side. She was just like Naruto, always jumping the gun.
His shadow circled back and connected, Toph was surprised that he could do that and now she was completely frozen. She struggled for a moment, not sure what to do. Before she could just stomp the ground and it would be over but now she couldn't move her feet at all.
Shikamaru sighed, his other attempts to capture her had failed because every time he had her, she would just stomp and spilt the ground. This would cut his shadow and his connection with her. To avoid this, he had added more attention to her legs than the rest of her body.
"Shadow Imitation Jutsu, successful." smirked Shikamaru, it was over and he didn't even have to hit a girl. Why was it always him who had to finish the girls.
Toph struggled and cursed, "Damn it, why… you little… Let me go you Fire Nation scum!" Being caught by the enemy wasn't what the group needed at the moment. Hopefully they wouldn't notice the fact that she was one of the Avatar's friends.
"Fire Nation? What are you talking about?" This didn't seem right…
"Yep Yep that's us, Fire Country all the way!" shouted Naruto as he laughed, the hit to the head had done some damage. Hinata and Sakura tried to cover his mouth, Shikamaru just shook his head.
"See! You guys are Fire Nation spies!" shouted Toph as she struggled more
"Come on, if we were spies do you think we would tell you that so bluntly. We wouldn't be that stupid." calmly said Shikamaru. Man, she was just like Naruto, this would be troublesome. Luckily for Toph though, he didn't notice the fact that she had gained the ability to move one finger.
"I don't know… but he seems like an idiot." They all agreed, even Naruto who was laughing again to himself. Toph was having second thoughts, mostly because of the fact that none of them used fire bending and even with their sharp knives they didn't have any other Fire Nation armor or weapons on them.
"I'm sure you can tell by now that there is something wrong with this fight" he didn't notice until it was too late, the girl had used her finger to send a rock at him, breaking his concentration for just a second. Toph launched herself back as she felt the binds on her lift.
"I'm not that easy, you Fire Nation scum. Now prepare to fight the world's greatest earthbender, Toph Bei Fong!" She cried out as she sent a giant wall of rock towards Shikamaru.
"This is so troublesome." he tossed a kunai with an explosive tag wrapped around it at the wall. It exploded as the wall and Shikamaru disappeared. Toph was knocked back, she figured it was some sort of fire bending that had caused the explosion. Shikamaru had rushed behind a building were he could watch the blind girl still.
Toph smiled, she loved it when the enemy played hide and seek. She tapped her foot and let the vibrations flow through the lands. It was not hard to notice the guy standing behind a building, since most of the villagers had ran once the battle had begun.
"Your not very good at hiding." smiled Toph as she slammed the ground with the only fist that she had left. Shikamaru just barely had time to jump as the ground around him collapsed. She notice that he had jump back farther than before, something that made her want to laugh. He was running away from the fight, she knew he was a wimp just like all fire nation soldiers.
Shikamaru had made an important discovery in the way she was sensing things, she wasn't using sound. He had been just at the right distance, far enough to see an opponent but way too far away to be heard, to notice that even if she had super hearing there was no way she could of heard his heartbeat or breathing. Also her attack had been perfectly accurate again, almost as if she knew were to attack.
He was starting to have a few theories about her senses, for one thing it must be some sort of radar effect that she must have. Other things were a factor too, such as her "earth bending" and the way she reacted to their attacks. However he didn't have long to figure this stuff out since the sun was about to set, which meant that he would be a his top potential soon and then his attack would be worthless. Nighttime would also be a great advantage to a blind person and he doubt any of them could beat her if they were in that scenario.
'Troublesome, how is she… that's it!' thought Shikamaru as he picked up a few pebbles. Toph was still launching pillars of stone towards him, and he couldn't stand still or hide for a moment.
"Stop jumping around and just die!" she shouted as she unleashed thousands of cracks into the ground. Shikamaru add a little bit of his chakra to his legs and jumped a little higher than normal to land on the roof of a building. This seemed to confuse her for a second as he watched the puzzle look on her face.
It didn't last long though, as she started to toss boulders the size of carts towards the house he was on. 'One shot at this…' thought Shikamaru as he tossed the pebbles far away from him. His eyes focused straightly at her face.
Her reaction was slight and to the untrained eye they wouldn't even notice it, but she had felt the pebbles somehow and he was sure of it. This meant that she probably could feel anything that touched the ground, something that troubled him greatly as he abandoned the building and ended up in a tree.
Toph was getting annoyed, she liked a good chase but this was ridiculous. The boy wouldn't stand still and he was moving all over the place. She had a terrible feeling that he had discovered her secret sense, but that was impossible.
Shikamaru had started to throw trip wires every where, making sure that they were connected gentle and without much vibration at all. She seemed to not of notice, in fact it seemed like she was getting frustrated with him losing her focus. Something that would play out to his advantage greatly.
Toph was getting fed up, the entire battle area looked like someone had gone through there with a wrecking ball. Houses and buildings, carts and shops, where all destroyed and scattered all over the place. She unleashed another wave of rocks and again the boy side stepped them.
"Damn it, just stand still!" Shikamaru smirked, it was clear to him now that she didn't see the trip wires he had placed. Now it was time to get his plan into motion.
'What would work on Naruto…' "My God, what's wrong with your aim. It's horrible, but I guess I should of expected it too be. You know since your… a girl." Toph's face contracted slightly, the boy had the audacity to make fun of a blind person about aim and calling her a girl was a first class ticket to painville.
"Why you son of a bi…" she couldn't finish as she felt the strange vibrating line travel towards her. She wasn't going to be caught again, that's for sure.
Toph dived to the side as it sped towards her, however she failed to notice the trip wires that Shikamaru had set up and was completely tangled in them now. The metal wiring cut her skin and they were unpleasantly cold to the touch.
"Checkmate." smirked Shikamaru, Toph looked stunned with the metal wires wrapped around her. She didn't see it coming, she had underestimated this guy and now was about to lose. Well she would be about to lose if she was any other earth bender.
"Don't count your chickens before they hatch…" Using her metal bending she snapped all the wire that was wrapped around her. Shikamaru looked stunned, he hadn't been expecting her to do that.
The young earth bender pulled herself up and smiled, "Time to start round two!" Shikamaru nearly collapsed, he had put most of his chakra into that last attack. It looked up to Hinata or Sakura to finish this opponent.
Toph was on her last leg, they had put up a fight and their little battle royal had lasted nearly half a day. Even if she had the willpower that made her unstoppable, her body just couldn't give her much more.
Nether of them expected a long pink tongue to wrap around the both of them. Jiraiya was smiling on top of one of the large frog's heads and he seemed perfectly okay for someone who had just been knocked out.
"I think we need to talk and get things straighten out." smiled Jiraiya as Naruto and the rest of team Jiraiya walked up to the giant frogs. Toph was too shocked to do anything but nod.
Zuko shook his head, he had been traveling for nearly a week and they were not any closer to finding Aang. Mai and Ty Lee had been getting on his nerves too, something that shocked him since Mai never got on his nerves. They had been arguing which way is the best way to go to find the Avatar.
"I think it's this way!" shouted Ty Lee as she pointed down a road that looked awfully sunny and pleasant with flowers blooming everywhere.
"I'm sure it's this way…" whined Mai as she pointed down a road that looked gloomy and everything seemed to be dying.
Zuko didn't want to go down ether path since they both seemed… well crappy. He sighed and notice a pair of old gentleman travelers walk pass them, they seemed deep in conversation. It wouldn't hurt to see if they knew something.
"Hello there, I'm sorry to bother you but… hmm… have you guys seen anything strange lately?" He knew it sounded stupid, but they might know something important.
"Hmm…Well I'm not sure you could call it strange but…" started one of the old men.
"We saw a giant bison in the sky!" shouted the other, he seemed a little bit off.
"I see…" The three just looked at the old men wondering if they were crazy, until Zuko remember something important about the Avatar's group. He grabbed the girls and whispered in their ears.
"Bison, giant bison, doesn't the Avatar ride on one of those?" Ty Lee looked out of it so she was no help and Mai shrugged her shoulders, she hadn't been playing that much attention to the group.
"Don't listen to him, he's just a crazy old man!" said the first old man.
"Your older than me…" said the second old man. They stared at each other for a long time. Zuko sighed again, it was turning in to a long day.
"By chance did you happen to see were it was going?" The first old man looked at him like he was crazy and the second one started to laugh.
"Of course, it's hard to miss it when it's a flying byson." giggled the second old man as he pointed towards the sunny and cheerful pass. Mai sighed as Ty Lee jumped for joy. Zuko just smiled, finally they were on the right trail and it was only a matter of time before he found him.
Next Chapter… Clarity
Team Jiraiya meet with the Avatar and learn of the terrible situation they are involved in.