Haku was on point as team eight slowly moved through the dense fog. They had first noticed the phenomenon a few hours ago. The fog was a perfect defense for the Mist ninja and it was one of the major reasons that no village had been able to conquer the Mist village for so long. However, Haku knew exactly how to maneuver through the dense obstacle and had taken command.
"How much longer Haku?" Naruto asked as he continued to gaze in all directions. He couldn't shake the eerie feeling that they were being stalked.
"Not much longer Naruto." Haku said as she continued to concentrate on where she was going.
Shino stopped all of a sudden and looked to his right. Everyone was instantly on alert and gazed into the Mist. Shino's stance was wary, as if he too sensed something but was unsure of what it was.
"Shino?" Hinata asked as she pulled out a pair of kunai.
"…It's nothing." Shino said after a moment.
The others were not convinced but they continued on regardless. However, every one of them was on high alert. They hadn't walked that much longer before Haku saw a brief shadow out the corner of her eye. She turned swiftly but saw nothing.
"We're being stalked." Naruto said with a look of annoyance. Naruto was not much for stealth, preferring to attack an enemy head on more times than not. He of course could be stealthy if he wished, but he simply preferred a straight fight.
"So it seems." Shino said as a few insects flew out of his coat.
"Stay calm. Let's not make any rash actions." Hinata said softly as she put her kunai away.
"It is possible that they are simply from the Mist village and are curious as to our presence." Hinata added as the others looked at her.
"Then why haven't they come out and questioned us?" Naruto asked, still having a bad feeling about this.
Hinata didn't have time to answer before the group scattered as multiple kunai and shuriken appeared from the fog. They split up into two groups, Naruto with Hinata and Shino with Haku. Naruto pulled out his sword and was back to back with Hinata.
"Can you see them Hinata-chan?" Naruto asked softly to his girlfriend.
"There are four of them. Two are coming for us and the other two are going for Shino and Haku." Hinata said softly as she had already activated her byakugan.
"They must really be underestimating us." Naruto muttered as he saw two dark figures appear before them. The figure made no move to attack just yet and thus Naruto refrained from making the first move.
"What is your purpose in our land?" the figure asked in a suspicious manor.
"We are the envoy from Konoha. We were sent to speak to the Mizukage about a possible treaty." Hinata responded as she walked beside Naruto, she had deactivated her byakugan so as not to give away one of her secrets.
"We don't need the help of a village such as yours. Go back the way you came before we remove you ourselves." The second mist ninja said.
"Sorry, but we were given a mission and don't forget that it was your leader that asked for such an alliance. I doubt she would take kindly to you circumventing her commands." Naruto said with a smirk. If they thought that they could intimidate him then they were truly insane.
"Well, if something tragic were to happen to you and you never made it to the village, I suppose that she would never have to find out would she?" The first ninja said as both of them faded into the fog.
"How annoying." Naruto muttered as he put his sword away. He wouldn't need it. These two may have talked tough but they were not nearly strong enough to defeat them. Naruto waited for a moment before ducking. The first ninja had tried to circle around and strike Naruto in to back. Naruto didn't have to worry about retaliating as Hinata was already in motion. She struck the mist ninja in the chest with a jyuuken strike that disabled his lungs. He fell to the ground, desperately trying to breath.
While Hinata dealt with the first ninja, Naruto had straightened and was currently looking for the second. The fog was a lot like his piercing darkness technique. Naruto closed his eyes and waited as Hinata tied up the first mist ninja. Naruto turned and launched a kick to his left, catching the second ninja in the head and knocking him out.
"You guys rely too much on the fog to cover your movements. It doesn't work all that well against someone used to fighting when he can't' see." Naruto said as he grabbed the downed ninja and threw him over his shoulder. He walked over to Hinata and they waited for Shino and Haku to join them.
Shino and Haku had an even easier time defeating their opponents. Haku, like Zabuza, was highly skilled in the silent killing technique and thus the movements of the two mist ninja were as clear as day to her. She quickly disabled the first with a few senbon to his joints. The other tried to attack her from behind but suddenly fell to the ground as the insects Shino had released earlier drained him of his chakra.
"That was a bit disappointing." Naruto said with a look of annoyance. Naruto loved a good fight and the little skirmish that had just taken place couldn't even be considered a warm up to him. He blamed Anko's influence for his affection for a good battle.
"I do wonder what made them think that they could defeat us, being such low level ninja." Hinata said as they looked at the four tied up mist ninja.
"They can't be any higher than genin. What are they doing protecting the Mist's borders?" Haku said thoughtfully. Shino was silent though he had a contemplative look on his face.
"What happened here?"
Team eight turned as a squad of Mist hunter ninja appeared out of the fog. Their sudden appearance had caught all of the members of team eight by surprise, except for Shino. These were the ones that he had sensed earlier. There were five of them in number and the leader was in an aggressive stance.
"Attacking a group of Mist ninja is a serious offense." The leader said in a cold tone.
"Would you like to explain why you allowed a team of genin to attack another village's ninja on a peaceful mission?" Shino asked to the leader, showing no fear.
The other members of team eight were surprised with Shino's statement, though they kept their surprised reactions to themselves.
The hunter captain actually gave a slight chuckle at the question and nodded his head as his members walked over to free the captured ninja. Team eight moved back and allowed them by, though none had lowered their guard.
"My apologies, we have only recently begun to promote new ninja. They seemed eager for a fight and I was content to allow them to learn their lesson the hard way." The leader said.
"And you also wanted to observe our skills yourself." Naruto stated in a stony tone.
The leader of the hunter ninja gave no reply though his silence was answer enough.
"Follow us. We will lead you back to our village." He stated as his group turned and began to move through the fog. Team eight had hung back for a moment before following.
"I don't like this." Nauruto whispered. He didn't like being made to jump through hoops and the fact that they had just gone through what amounted to an audition for a group that they were trying to form an alliance with irked him.
"It's the way of the world Naruto-kun." Hinata said with a sigh.
'Allies shouldn't be so suspicious of one another.' Naruto thought to himself.
'Don't be a fool boy! Despite the fact that you are trying to form an alliance, it is very possible that they see you as a future threat. If this treaty doesn't get made then at least they have some information on your team. This is the thinking of your world. Trust no one, not even potential allies. In fact, it is your allies that are the most likely to betray you in the first place.' Kyuubi said with a snort at Naruto's idealistic thoughts.
'Whatever.' Naruto thought as he continued to walk behind the Mist anbu.
It wasn't long before they appeared at the gates of the Mist village. The anbu talked silently to the gate ninja before the leaf ninja were allowed in the village hidden in the Mist. The four leaf ninja observed the village with its numerous cylindrical buildings and the mountains in the background.
For Naruto, Hinata, and Shino, it was a new experience. However, for Haku is was simply a scene that brought forth painful memories. Haku couldn't help but look around and remember the pain and suffering that she had gone through before Zabuza had found her.
Shino walked beside her and she took comfort from his presence. He didn't want to show any outward affection just yet as they were unsure of who was watching. It wouldn't do for potential enemies to know that they were so attached to one another.
"Follow us. We will escort you to the Mizukage." The anbu captain said.
Team eight followed behind him and they noticed the attention they were drawing. Many of the civilians were giving them guarded looks. It was rare that foreign ninja were seen in the mist village and they were both curious and suspicious of the Konoha shinobi.
They walked on until Naruto suddenly stopped and turned around. He could have sworn that he had just felt a hint of killing intent directed towards them. However, it had vanished quickly and he couldn't determine where it had come from with so many people around.
"Naruto-kun?" Hinata asked at his hesitation.
"It's nothing." Naruto said softly as his eyes narrowed. He had a bad feeling and it was only getting worse.
"Hurry up. Mizukage-sama doesn't like being held up." The anbu captain said as he opened the door to the largest building that must have served as the Mizukage's personal quarters.
A mist jonin looked on from the crowd and his eyes narrowed slightly. The blonde chunin had obviously noticed the minute killing intent that had been sent his way. This showed that he was highly trained and not an easy target.
'No matter. I'm sure that those genin have at least some information about their fighting styles. I'll see if I can't obtain whatever they found out.' The jonin thought as he followed the group of anbu that were taking the genin in for questioning.
Team eight walked up the tower until they came to large double doors that were the entrance to the Mizukage's office. The anbu lead them inside and ordered them to wait while he told the Mizukage of their arrival. The leaf ninja were sure that they were being watched and the fact that they were left alone was simply a test to see whether or not they would try and gather information that might be scattered around the office.
After a few minutes, the door behind them opened and team eight turned to look at the entering occupants. There were three in number. Two were men and the figure in the middle was obviously the Mizukage, wearing her robes and kage hat that covered her face.
The man on the left had blue hair and was wearing attire similar to what Haku had worn all those years ago in Wave country. This man was obviously part of the Mist's anbu and his stance and aura revealed him to be a seasoned and experienced ninja. He had a talisman in each of his ears and a strange patch over his right eye.
The other man was younger and he seemed nervous. He was slumped over a bit and his eyes would dart away from team eight's faces. He also had blue hair and wore a striped long sleeve shirt and camouflage pants. The most interesting thing about him was the strange object on his back. It looked to be a double-handled sword wrapped in bandages. Although he seemed unsure of himself and a bit nervous, his aura was powerful.
"Mizukage-sama, we thank you for allowing us to enter your village." Shino said as he bowed before the Mist's leader. Despite how Shino felt about the Mist, his voice showed nothing but respect. The rest of the leaf ninja bowed as well.
The Mizukage didn't reply though she did observe the team before her. While they couldn't see anything descriptive about her as her robes and hat concealed her features, she could easily see them and was assessing the team before her.
The blue haired female seemed powerful and unless she missed her guess, she would say that the girl was a Hyuga with her pale skin and lavender eyes. The one who spoke to her was obviously an Aburame as she had heard from her anbu about his use of insects. The one in the middle was a mystery to her. He was the tallest and from what she had been told from Tsunade, this was the boy that was like a son to the leaf leader. She was sure that Tsunade told her this for two reasons.
First of all, it was a gesture of good faith as Tsunade was telling her that she trusted her son under the Mizukage's care. However, there was another reason. It was also a warning that should anything happen to the blond or his team, then Tsunade would unleash the wrath that only a mother could achieve against the Mist village.
The Mizukage turned her eyes to the last member of the team. She had black hair and was oddly familiar to the mist leader. The Mizukage walked over to Haku and the leaf ninja tensed for a moment as the Mist's leader seemed to stare at Haku.
Shino moved closer to Haku as Naruto and Hinata both shifted ever so slightly in a way that would allow them to defend their two friends. The hunter ninja and the strange young man were not oblivious to the movement and both seemed to tense in preparation as well.
For a few seconds there was utter silence as everyone watched the Mizukage.
They were all surprised when she wrapped her arms around Haku with a delighted laugh and swung the poor girl around happily.
"Haku-chan!" The Mizukage shouted in joy.
'What's going on?' Everyone else thought with a sweat drop.
The Mizukage lowered the young girl once she realized that Haku still didn't recognize her and removed her hat and robes, despite the hunter ninja's sudden outcry at her revealing herself so openly to foreign ninja.
The Mizukage was a slender attractive woman. She had ankle length, auburn hair that was styled in a herringbone pattern at the back, a top knot tied with a blue band, and with four bands at the front. Two were short and covered her right eye. The other two were long crossing each other over her chest. Her eyes were a light green.
She wore a long sleeved blue dress that fell to her knees. The dress only covered up to the upper part of her arms and the underside of her breasts. Underneath, she wore a mesh shirt that covered more of her upper body but stopped short of covering her shoulders and left a sizable amount of her cleavage uncovered. She wore blue shorts with mesh leggings underneath them that reached under her knees. Furthermore, she wore high heeled sandals and shin guards that reached up over her knees.
All in all, she was a striking woman that rivaled Tsunade's beauty.
"Kaa-san!" Haku shouted as she hugged the red haired Kage.
'Kaa-san!' Once again, all of the ninja in the office were stunned silent by the display of the two women hugging one another while laughing happily.
"Um, Haku would you mind explaining what's going on?" Naruto asked as he tried to process what had turned from a possible combat scene to a family reunion.
"Yes, I would like an explanation as well." Shino said with a frown. Haku had always told them that her parents' were dead. Zabuza had become something of a father figure to her but she had said nothing of a woman.
Haku let go of the Mizukage and turned to address her friends. She knew that Shino was feeling a tad bit hurt that she hadn't shared this with him and was quick to correct that oversight on her part.
"Let me explain Haku-chan. My name is Mei Terumi, the fifth Mizukage. As for how Haku knows me, well who do you think showed her how to use her kekkei genkai? Zabuza-kun has no idea how they really work and only someone with experience in using blood limits could have taught her." Mei said with a smirk.
"Mizukage-sama!" The anbu said in a shocked tone. He was shocked that his leader was not only so close to another country's ninja but she had just practically told them that she too had a kekkei genkai.
"Relax Ao. If we are going to be allies then we shouldn't be so suspicious of one another." Mei said as she looked at her anbu captain.
"Yes, but…" Ao said before Mei appeared before him in an instant.
"You aren't about to ruin my reunion with my daughter are you Ao?" Mei said in a sweet tone. She had a smile on her face but the killing intent that she released was enough to even impress Naruto.
"No ma'am. Forgive me." Ao said as he bowed.
"Mei-sama, this girl is your daughter?" The other young man asked, still shocked by the revelation.
"Yes she is Chojuro. She might not be related to me by blood but she is undoubtedly mine." Mei said as she released her killing intent and spoke to the young swordsman. Chojuro blushed brightly under the gaze of Mei. It was obvious the young man had something of a crush on his leader.
"I'll take over from here Kaa-san." Haku said as she turned to address her friends.
Haku went on to explain how she had come to meet Mei. Shortly after Zabuza found Haku and realized the girl had a kekkei genkai, he began to train her hoping to turn her into a powerful weapon to use against the current Mizukage. The fourth Mizukage, named Yagura, was a powerful yet evil man that seemed possessed in regards to wiping out all those that could wield kekkei genkais.
Zabuza had no stomach for what the man was doing. While the Demon of the Mist had no qualms about killing other ninja, he found it foolish to kill those in their own village. It only weakened them and made them look weak. Also, though he would never admit it, it was after finding the broken and nearly dead Haku that Zabuza decided to do something about Yagura.
Zabuza discreetly went around finding those that held a similar mindset as he and that is how he met and Mei. At first he was suspicious as she had always been a high ranking member of Yagura's cabinet. That she would want to betray the Mizukage was not something that Zabuza would have expected. However, she like him couldn't stand what was happening to the people of their village and agreed to work with him. Mei was introduced to Haku and she had taken the young girl under her wing and began to help her develop her ice abilities. Slowly, Mei and Zabuza began to gather more and more people to their side.
However, things quickly turned south when Yagura heard whispers of a coup taking place. He began to investigate all of his ninja and Mei came under his direct scrutiny. At a meeting held with all of the swordsmen of the Mist as well as his high ranking shinobi, Yagura began to question Mei and seemed ready to have her executed just in case.
Zabuza had acted quickly and proclaimed that he was the leader of the group and attacked Yagura. Mei of course was shocked by the action, which didn't go unnoticed by Yagura and effectively ended his suspicion of the woman.
Zabuza quickly fled with the Mist ninja on his heels. He gathered up Haku and the demon brothers along with roughly half of their forces and tried to flee. However, Yagura and his forces came down upon them and the only ones to escape where Zabuza, the demon brothers and Haku. Zabuza and Haku had tried to keep tabs on Mei and the continued resistance but lost contact with her not long after and both came to the sorrowful conclusion that the red haired woman had been killed, despite Zabuza's performance.
"After the attack, Yagura had locked the village down so tight that almost everyone was being watched by the hunter nins. I wasn't able to contact them until more and more ninja began to turn rogue and Yagura had to send out the hunter ninjas on missions." Mei said as she began to fill in the blanks on what had happened after Zabuza had fled.
"After that happened, I began to gather our forces and it was easier than I before. Most of the newer generation of shinobi began to resent Yagura and only the most die-hard fanatics continued to support him. It was only a year ago that I was able to finally take control from him. Even then we weren't able to capture him. He fled and we haven't heard a thing about his whereabouts." Mei concluded the story as she went to sit down in her chair behind her desk.
"By the way Haku-chan, where is Zabuza-kun?" Mei asked in a strange tone. It seemed to be inquisitive, hopeful, and slightly fearful all at once. She had heard that he had perished in combat against leaf shinobi and also believed that Haku had fallen with him. However, as her daughter was still alive, she was hopeful that that stubborn man had survived as well.
"He is alive Kaa-san. He is currently in Wave country. That was the last mission that we went on before we met my friends and he told me to go back to Konoha with him as Yagura was still in control of Mist and he didn't want to be found." Haku said with a smile as she noticed the gleam that came into Mei's eyes.
Haku was sure that there was always something going on between Zabuza and Mei, though Zabuza refused to acknowledge it. Zabuza was always a cold heartless man until her met Haku and Mei, he then slowly began to change. However, when he believed Mei to be dead, he had cut himself off emotionally from even Haku.
"Ao, send someone to fetch Zabuza for me. It's time he and I finished some business." Mei said with a smile.
Ao muttered something under his breath and in Mei's mind she heard him say something about her being too old to marry anyway.
"Ao, I would shut up if I were you, unless you want to meet and early death." Mei said with a wide smile and surgery tone. Ao quickly rushed out of the room, knowing Mei's temper. Naruto chuckled as she reminded him a bit of Anko.
"Now that that is taken care of why don't we get down to discussing this treaty?" Mei said as she smiled at team eight, though the killer edge had faded from her eyes.
'Maybe things will go better than I thought.' Naruto thought with a smile as team eight presented Mei with the terms Tsunade had given them and they began to negotiate.
A male mist jonin walked into the jailhouse that housed a multitude of prisoners. Many of them were ninja who had fought with or believed in Yagura's doctrines. After Yagura's retreat, his men were given the offer to either surrender or die. Many chose death but a majority of them were captured alive and placed in prison.
The male jonin calmly walked down the halls ignoring the shouts and screams coming from the inmates. He was here for a specific person in mind. He came to the cell and nodded to the hunter nin that were keeping guard.
"You are wasting your time." One of the hunter ninja stated.
"You never know. Having him with us will help out greatly." The jonin stated with a smirk as he entered the cell and looked at the bound man before him.
The prisoner was spread eagle with his wrists and ankles wrapped in thick, chakra draining chains. The man had long green hair that fell to his shoulders and his jade green eyes bored into the jonin's. He was a large man and had three distinct scars that ran from his hairline to his chin on the right side of his face.
"What do you want? Surly you haven't come to try and convince me to join the Mist under that woman's command?" The green haired man said with a snort.
"And If I was?" The jonin calmly replied.
"Then you truly are an idiot. You think I'm going to willingly serve a woman that wants us to change the way things have been for years? The Mist was known for our brutality and blood thirst. Smaller countries trembled at the very mention of us! Yet she takes power and the first thing she wants is for us to make peace with others. Peace is a dream. Only power matters in a world like this." The man said as he smiled showing his sharp pointy teeth.
The jonin looked at the man before him. His name was Yukio and he truly lived like what his name meant. He was a man that denied himself nothing. If he wanted it then he sought to attain it. However, what he normally wanted resulted in the deaths of quite a few people. He was a man that was ruled by his impulses, regardless of the consequences and was one of Yagura's biggest and most powerful followers. After all, Yukio was one of the seven swordsmen of the Mist. He was so powerful that it was Mei herself that had defeated the man and placed him in jail.
"Indeed. And what would you do if you were ever allowed to leave?" The jonin asked in a neutral tone.
"I would first take my revenge on that red haired woman that dared to fight me. Next I would take my revenge on all those that supported her and made our village into the weak laughing stock that it is now." Yukio said without a moment's pause.
The jonin sighed and began to drone on about how Yukio should reconsider. However, his words were empty as his hands began to slowly sign a different message to the bound man. The jonin's name was Gihen and he was one of the three ring leaders that wanted to overthrow Mei. He, like his two comrades, had at one point believed in Mei's idea until they realized what she was doing to the village. They believed that to ask for an alliance with another country was insane, especially one that held kekkei genkais in such high esteem.
He began signing their plan. They would need the help of a few powerful ninja. They didn't plan on raising a large force. They instead were going to recruit a few powerful ninja and quietly take out Mei and her top supporters. Once they were out of the way then it would be easy to retake control.
Yukio gave an evil smile as he continued to play along by yelling and cursing Gihen. From what he was interpreting told, Gihen had a plan on getting him out of here. Once that happened, Yukio smiled brightly at the possibility to finally put Mei in her place. His smile grew lustful as he imagined the things he would do to the woman once he had beaten her.
After all, he would deny himself nothing that he wanted.
Team eight walked around the village after their meeting with Mei. Things had gone very smoothly as the red haired woman was willing to do just about anything to form an alliance with the leaf after she heard that Haku was living there. They had left the ice maiden to catch up with her mother figure as they walked around the village.
Despite Mei's enthusiasm, the rest of the village seemed at best indifferent and at worst suspicious of the leaf ninja. Naruto had caught more than a few people looking at Hinata for a bit too long. Some of these gazes were from men who were captivated by the blue haired beauty. Others were from people that seemed to know, or suspect, that she possessed a bloodline limit. Needles to say, Naruto was on a constant guard.
However, he didn't feel the slight killing intent that he had felt when they had arrived. He deduced that this meant that it had truly only come from one person and a ninja at that as no civilian would have been able to restrain their killing intent so quickly once Naruto had gained notice of it. He got an agitated feeling from both Kyuubi and his sword and this kept him on edge.
Hinata observed the village in a different light. While she was very aware that many people were suspicious of them, she also noticed that some were accepting and even cordial to the ninja. She was happy that they had another ally and knew that eventually the Mist villagers would become accustomed to the alliance and they would warm up to the leaf village.
She caught a few men giving her appreciative looks and was careful to ignore them. Naruto was as overprotective as he was passionate in his love for her. He had sent more than a few leaf inhabitants to the hospital for getting far too friendly with her. She tried to explain that she could take care of herself but Naruto simply couldn't help himself.
Hinata looked down as a ball rolled in front of her. A young girl ran up to retrieve it, though she stopped a few feet from the leaf ninja giving an uncertain look. For a moment it seemed that time had stopped as the nearby villagers watched with tense breath.
Hinata grabbed the ball and kneeled down to the girl's level. She held the ball out with a soft smile and the young girl instantly lost her frightened look and ran up to grab the object from Hinata's hands. Hinata patted the girl on the head as she caught up to her male teammates. The atmosphere seemed to ease as those watching smiled at the kind nature of the young woman.
Maybe these leaf ninja weren't so bad, they thought.
Haku looked around Mei's small home with a smile on her face. She had never thought that she would once again see her mother. Mei had been a huge influence for Haku after Zabuza had found her. The female kage taught her how to use her kekkei genkai and was also there to comfort and help her grow as Zabuza at the time was still his cold and unemotional self. Haku had completely shut out everyone but Zabuza until Mei had torn down her walls and taught her to trust again.
"Haku-chan, is something wrong?" Mei asked as she sat down on her couch and looked over a small scrap book that she had made back when they were all working together.
They never knew if or when Yagura would discover their plot and destroy them all. Thus Mei had taken as many pictures as she could to capture priceless moments. She was currently gazing at a photo where Haku had created her first ice mirror. The young girl had been so happy at finally achieving this that her face broke into a huge smile. Zabuza had said simply that it would suffice though Mei had grabbed the girl and twirled her around in joy. She had chastised Zabuza for being so cold, though she would slowly begun to fall for the cold hearted swordsman and worm her way into his heart along with Haku.
Mei's eyes began to tear as she remembered thinking that they had both perished by Yagura's hands and it only fueled her burning desire to defeat the man and create the village that they had all hoped for.
"I'm fine Kaa-san. It's just so good to see you." Haku said as she sat beside Mei and looked at the album.
"Likewise, my daughter." Mei said as they continued to look at the memories.
"Haku-chan are you happy in Konoha?" Mei asked after a few minutes.
"I am very happy there Kaa-san. It has become home for me." Haku said as she thought both about her village as well as the people that dwelled there.
"Wouldn't you like to stay here?"
Haku looked up to Mei in shock. She had truly never thought about returning to the Mist village. It had held so many bad memories for her that she had nearly wiped its existence from her memory.
'But what about now? Kaa-san is the leader, Tou-san will be arriving soon enough as well, and the village is finally turning into the peaceful and united home that I always sought. Could I really turn my back on the leaf and Shino-kun?' Haku thought as she grew very conflicted on the issue.
Mei, noticing this, wrapped her in a hug and comforted her.
"It's alright Haku-chan. I'll support you no matter what you decide to do. Just realize that I would be overjoyed if you would return to the village." Mei said as she rubbed Haku's back like she used to.
Haku relaxed slightly, though she was not at all sure what she was going to do.
Gihen walked up to his other two partners. He looked at the two as they were once again bickering. One of them was the man that had gotten information from the young genin team about the leaf shinobi. He was an unremarkable man with short black hair and brown eyes he had a small beard but was otherwise average. He had one of "those" faces which made him very good at infiltration. His name was Noi and the weakest among them, though he was still a jonin.
The man he was yelling at was a tall man with dark blue hair and shocking red eyes. His name was Kano and he was the most powerful of the three of them. He had been one of Yagura's main advisors and the man desperately wanted to Mist to return to its previous glory.
"It was foolish to release killing intent towards those ninja. What if they had spotted you?" Kano shouted at Noi.
"They didn't and I was able to at least get some information on them. It's obvious that while they may be chunin in rank, they're much stronger than that in actual skill." Noi responded.
"Fine, just don't let it happen again. What did you find out from the genin." Kano muttered in annoyance.
"One of them obviously uses bugs so he's most likely an Aburame. The girl is a hyuga if her eyes are anything to go by. The blonde doesn't seem to be anything special, though there's something strange about him. Finally, the other girl seems to be somewhat skilled in our methods as she was easily able to track the team through the mist." Noi said as he began to tell everything that he had found out.
"Gihen, what do you have to report?" Kano asked.
"Yukio will fight with us." Gihen said softly.
"Excellent. Having him on our side will help our chances greatly. What about the others?" Kano asked with a smile.
"I have a few more that will join, but most have been swayed by the Mizukage's words and actions and refuse to even think about dissention." Gihen answered.
"That is unfortunate. While the ones that we have on our side will be good for a distraction, we still don't have enough power to defeat Mei, her advisors and the leaf team. We need something more." Kano said to himself.
Suddenly, all three of them fell to their knees as a great chakra came over them. They began sweating and looked up to see a figure walking through the mist towards them.
"W-who are you?" Noi asked.
"I see that this small amount of time that we've been apart hasn't improved your skill." The figure said as he removed his cloak. The three men turned their gazes to the ground as the chakra receded.
"Yagura-sama, it is good seeing you again." Kano said in a submissive tone.
The former Mizukage looked over his followers. Yagura had a boyish look and unkempt gray hair. He had purple eyes and a visible scar that ran from under his left eye down to his chin. He wore a grey undershirt with fishnet sleeves. He also had a large green scarf around his shoulders and a large staff with two hooks on each end.
"I believe that it is time that I retook my throne and teach those traitors what it means to defy me." Yagura said softly as he stared off into the mist, just barely able to make out the tops of the buildings in the village.
"Here is what we're going to do." Yagura said as he looked at his three subordinates.
What none of the three could see was a dark figure in the distance sitting in a tree as he gazed down at Yagura.
'That's right my puppet. You will be a perfect subject to test the strength of the Kyuubi container.' The dark figure thought with a short chuckle as he simply vanished.
Yukio smiled softly as he heard a commotion begin to take place outside his cell. The plan to release him was simple enough. It involved starting a riot and allowing a few inmates to escape. He would sneak out during the confusion. It was a bit simple, but it was normally the simplest things that were the most effective.
Yukio looked up as his prison door was blown in. He saw Gihen walk in, as the anbu that used to be guarding the door were on the floor. Whether dead or unconscious, Yukio didn't know.
"It seems that even anbu can relax their guard after they get used to your presence." Gihen remarked offhandedly. He walked up to the bound prisoner and began to release his bonds.
Yukio fell to the ground with a groan as circulation finally returned to his limbs. He flexed his body and felt his chakra slowly return to him. He looked at Gihen as the man pulled out a nodachi. The long Japanese blade was pitch black in color from its handle to the blade itself.
Yukio's eyes brightened dangerously as he grabbed his blade. It had been far too long since it had been bathed in blood and he knew the perfect target to start with.
"Calm down. It's not yet time for us to mobilize. However I did think you would like to know that one of the Konoha shinobi is very close to the Mizukage. It's uncertain what their relationship is, but the young girl has been seen spending a lot of time with our beloved kage and it's obvious that they care deeply for one another." Gihen said in his normal tone as he turned to leave.
'Is that so? Well it looks like that my first target has changed. I'll destroy your spirit before I destroy your body Mei. Though I do wonder, what does this young woman look like?' Yukio thought darkly as his mind began to go through several vile scenarios on what he could do to Haku that would also hurt Mei.
Gihen didn't turn around as he heard Yukio's dark and slightly demented laughter. He was busy observing the various inmates that had been released and were currently freeing more of their comrades and attacking the guards.
'Yes this will do nicely. The Mizukage's attention will be diverted for a time and that is all the time we need to finish our plan. Yagura-sama is wise indeed, especially with the few changes to our plan that he ordered.' He thought as he called for Yukio and together they snuck away in the shadows as Mist reinforcements came to try and quell the uprising.
Mei awoke to an urgent knock on her door. She opened and was confronted by Ao.
"Mizukage-sama, there has been a jail break. Currently, scores of inmates are escaping their cells and have taken the staff captive. They had demanded that they speak with you or they will kill the staff." Ao said in a calm tone that Mei could tell was forced.
"Very well." Mei said as she put on her cloths and turned to the still kneeling anbu.
"Also, get the leaf team for me. I would like them to see how this plays out." Mei said as she walked past Ao.
"Ma'am?" Ao asked in confusion. He didn't believe that foreigners had any business seeing such an act.
"This will help with the treaty as they will see that we truly aren't as blood thirsty as we used to be." Mei said simply as she took off towards the jailhouse.
Ao shook his head as he went to the hotel that the leaf shinobi were staying at. It was not what he would have done but then again, he wasn't the Mizukage. He was actually a little weary of the konoha shinobi as he feared that Mei's affection for the brown haired chunin would cloud her mind from any deceptions the leaf may have had. In fact, how were they to know that the leaf ninja didn't have something to do with this incident?
Ao kept this in mind as he came upon the hotel.
Haku answered the door and was surprised to see Ao standing before her. Haku had got the distinct feeling that the hunter ninja was not very pleased with how close she was to Mei. However, he was still polite when he delivered Mei's request for them to be present.
Haku turned to her quickly dressed teammates and told them what had been requested of them.
"I wonder why she wants us to come." Naruto said as she scratched his head.
"Perhaps to show the villagers who have undoubtedly heard about this incident that we can work together?" Hinata said in a thoughtful tone. Shino remained quiet though Haku could tell that he had other ideas on his mind.
Shino had not been terribly pleased with how much time Haku had been spending away from them. He seemed overly suspicious of Mei but was wise enough not to speak this out loud. However, Haku could sense that he was a bit distrustful of her mother figure and that certainly wouldn't change when Haku got around to telling him about Mei's proposal that she remain in the Mist village. Haku still hadn't decided what she truly wanted and it was causing her to stress a bit.
Shino seemed to sense this and could tell that it was tied to Mei. This in turn made him even more suspicious of the Mist village.
"Well, let's go and see what's up." Naruto said as he grabbed his sword and instantly felt a rush of caution. Hinata looked over to him quickly, signaling that she too had felt something from her daggers.
"What is it?" Shino asked as Haku looked to them as well. As Naruto and Hinata become more attuned to their special powers, Shino and Haku had to rely on second hand knowledge with what they felt.
"Not sure, but something big is going to happen soon." Naruto said in a low tone. Hinata nodded as well.
"We'll worry about it later. Kaa-san wants us to be there as soon as we can." Haku said, and though she wasn't looking at him, she could feel a flash of irritation from Shino with how enthusiastic she was to meet the Mizukage.
The Aburame heir kept his mouth shut however and the team quickly exited to room to meet up with Mei.
(Outside jail house)
Team eight knew something was wrong the moment they met up with Mei and her squad of Mist ninja. There was a heavy silence among them and the few civilians that were crowded around were giving the leaf ninja intense looks.
'Well isn't this a cheery party.' Naruto thought.
'It seems that they have something on their minds.' Kyuubi supplied, much to Naruto's annoyance.
'You don't have to state the obvious.' Naruto thought to the fox.
'Oh? I was under the impression that you needed everything spelled out for you.' The demon said with a chuckle at the rush of anger that his container felt.
Naruto ignored the fox. While he and Kyuubi may have shared a mutual respect for one another, that didn't stop the fox from being a pain in the rear now that he was aware that he could read Naruto's thoughts and communicate with him freely.
Naruto was broken out of his thoughts when he heard a murmuring among the crowd as they began to stare hard at Haku, Hinata, and Shino.
"Silence!" Mei shouted as she walked in front of the leaf shinobi.
"Is there a problem, Mizukage-sama?" Hinata asked politely.
"The inmates have taken over the jail and they have only issued one demand." Mei said with a dark look on her face.
"And that would be?" Naruto asked as the bad feeling he was getting tripled in intensity.
"That I send one of the kekkei genkai wielding leaf shinobi to them in exchange for the hostages." Mei said grimly.
'Sometimes I hate being right.' Naruto thought as he saw the crowd of shinobi and civilians look at the leaf shinobi with expressions that were less than comforting.
Here's chapter 2. I'm very sorry for the lack of action but I assure you that the next chapter will be full of battles, as the conspirators and their allies move against Mei.
Who will be sent inside the prison? How will Yagura's and Yukio's presence change the tide of the upcoming battle? What will Haku's decision be?
That is a secret! Till next time Kyuubi123, out!