WARNING: THIS CHAPTER IS PRETTY GRAPHIC (IT'S RATED M FOR A REASON)

**** Previously ****

Kotetsu's eyes widened as he found the source of the noise, a single black arrow embedded within the great gate that lead to Konohagakure. He elbowed Izumo and pointed towards the object, "Is that… an arrow?" he said incredulously.

Izumo seemed to be in a state of shock as he answered his best friends question, "Yes… Yes I think it is... But what is it doing up there?"

"I don't know my friend… I don't know"

The pair never noticed, too far in their bewilderment, four cloaked figures that used the distraction to quickly dash above the Konoha gate. Moving so quickly that it was both invisible to the naked eye and to the chakra field that surrounded Konoha. They had done it. They had successfully infiltrated Konohagakure, the Village Hidden in the Leaves.

**** With The Four Figures (Inside Konohagakure) ****

The four cloaked figures quickly landed in a crouched position on a shadowed roof, unseen by the ANBU patrol that passed over them as they headed towards the commotion at the gates. A man, who was obviously the tallest of the group, chuckled as he watched the group of ANBU head towards the gate before he stood into the light. The man was wearing a long hooded black coat with dark red stripes on his sides. He lazily rested his hand right hand on the blade handle that was sheathed at his hip as he stared at one of his companions with his dark brown eyes that could barely be made out from behind his fearsome ebony coloured panther mask, "And here I thought that getting into one of the five major shinobi villages would be difficult. Seems like Konoha has been slipping on their security doesn't it Karasu?"

A second man, who was an inch or two shorter than the first, stepped up next to his partner. He was wearing the same cloak as his partner as were his other comrades yet he was wearing an elegant midnight black crow mask. His eyes flashed red for a second, seemingly an illusion to any other than his team that might have seen it, before returning to his natural onyx black eyes as he looked around the village. "Hn… Indeed it has Pansā… For such a village to rely so heavily on one technique to protect itself from intruders…" he expressed in disappointment whilst shaking his head, "To rely heavily on something as a shinobi would lead to one's death." He stopped as he felt someone lay their hand on his shoulder.

"Well think about it… It just makes it easier to do our job and get out doesn't it?" said a voice humorously from behind him.

Karasu turned around to stare at the man standing behind him. The man was about his height but would be seemed to be the more laid back and aloof of the group due to his body language. However Karasu knew, he knew that this was just an image that the man projected to lull his enemies into a sense of security. Unlike Pansā, the man in front of him was only brutal when he needed to be. However if the situation ever came up, like they so often do in their line of work, the man would be brutally effective in completing his mission which was complemented by his silver snarling wolf mask. In fact, he was almost as cunning as their leader…

'Almost being the key word,' Karasu thought as he nodded towards the wolf-masked man. "Indeed Ōkami... This would be a perfect chance to complete our mission without being detected Kitsune", Karasu hinted towards the man that was still standing within the shadows.

The man finally opened his eyes as he stood and walked into the light next to his team, his dark cloak billowing in the wind. He gazed at them with icy eyes from behind his dark red fox mask, a stare that was known to be able stop his enemies' hearts the second they looked into the unforgiving maelstrom that was his eyes. He glanced at the men standing around him who were waiting for one thing, his orders. "We have four minutes to finish this mission before the village goes into high alert after they detect that we've broken through the barrier. Four minutes…" the men started chuckling. "More than enough time… After all…" he continued as a large smirk formed underneath his mask, "We only need two."

With that statement the four seemed to blur out of existence whilst leaving a single afterimage as they each dashed in a different direction, intent on finishing their mission. After all, when Kitsune said that they could finish the mission in two minutes they all knew it was an exaggeration.

They would get it done in one.

****In The Goldengrass District****

A woman, who seemed to be in her late 40s, sighed as she walked down a street in the Goldengrass District. She was shorter than most people, only 4'11", and had dirty blond hair along with dark brown eyes. She was Kikkawa Maemi, the matron of the Konohagakure Orphanage. The woman sighed once again as she reached her house, remembering what had happened at the orphanage earlier that day. The Hokage, along with some of his most trusted ANBU, had arrived at the orphanage for a surprise inspection. As she walked into her house and took her coat off and placed it on the coat rack she remembered how the Hokage had discovered that a slow stream of money had been secretly embezzled out of the orphanage into the deep pockets of the staff for years. She trembled as she remembered the fury of the God of Shinobi as he demanded that she and her staff return every single ryo that they had taken away for the orphans along with a hefty fine of 200, 000 ryo (1 ryo= $1) per staff member along with further surprise inspections during a two-year period. She had had to endure a long staff meeting immediately after the Hokage and his party had left, spending hours trying to calm down her staff who were panicking over paying such a fine. After the meeting she had to sort out stacks of administrative papers in order to destroy possible evidence that could incriminate the orphanage and, more importantly, her further. In fact, by the time that she had finished sorting and destroying the documents, it was already midnight.

'Not that I'm worried,' she thought as she walked up the stairs towards her bedroom. After all, she had made a large amount of money from selling unwanted children from the orphanage. It was a true business transaction. She sold the brats, she got a large sum of money and she didn't ask questions. And if that wasn't enough money, the deal she had struck years ago had payed well.

It was an easy deal, she simply had to kick out the demon brat on the 10th of October for a million ryo. She jumped at the chance not only to make a large sum of money but also to get back at the demon who had been such a thorn in her side when she had tried to traffic the other rats off. It was satisfying to be able to kick out the brat, right into the arms of the mob that would form later on during the night for their annual 'Fox Hunt'. She received much pleasure from the deal, knowing what had happened to the demon. She heard that he had cried and screamed for mercy as the mob came upon him. She laughed as she had solidified a customer that would be continuously willing to buy more of the rats from her due to her compliance. She had made enough money to live in the Goldengrass District, one of the richer districts within Konoha. Her husband thought that they should've lived in the Silver Dragon District, the richest civilian district in Konoha, however that would've drawn too much attention to them. After all, what kind of an orphanage matron makes that kind of money. In fact most of the money that she made from selling the useless rats was kept under her bed, in case of an emergency like needing new clothes. 'Or escaping Konoha,' she thought with a smile as she walked into her bedroom seeing her husband laying there asleep on their bed, facing away from her. She gently sat down on their bed as she called out to him, "Koi… Wake up." But he wouldn't stir. Frustrated at the lack of reaction from her husband, she reached out, only to stop as she felt how freezing cold he felt. A sense of dread suddenly as she turned him around to face her. Only to scream as the lifeless yet horrified eyes of her husband stared emptily back at her, as he clutched his heart as if in pain.

A chuckle echoed around the room as a figure cloaked in black stepped out of the shadows, his black panther mask striking fear into her heart. He walked towards her lazily, counting the money that was in the chest that he held in his arms. The same chest that she had used to store her money under her bed. Maemi shakily took a step back as the man crept ever closer. The man seemed amused with her fear as he humorously questioned her, "5 million ryo… That's a bit much for a matron to earn, isn't it?"

Maemi quickly grabbed a breadknife that was on her bedside table, pointing it threateningly at the man as she quickly tried to retreat towards the door. "I-I'm warning you…" she stuttered, "D-don't take a-another step closer."

The man laughed as he sealed away the chest of money in a scroll, storing the scroll away in a hidden pocket in his cloak as he drew his sword. "Or what?" he asked as he took another step forward.

Maemi hurled the knife as fast as she could towards the man, hoping to distract or injure him in his surprise. She turned quickly and threw open the bedroom door and ran down the first flight of stairs. She had thought she made it to the second flight of stairs when she tripped over her own feet, sending her body crashing down a flight of stairs.

As she lay there, knowing that she had broken her spine which was brittle due to her age, she could hear his steps as he slowly walked down the stairs. He sniggered as he looked at her lying helpless before him. "Didn't your mother ever tell you to never run down stairs?" he questioned as he leaned down to look her in the eyes. He could see it in her eyes. He could hear it in her ragged breathing. He could feel it as she continued to struggle to get away, even when her body refused to listen to her commands. In fact, he could taste it. He could taste her paralysing fear as it oozed of her. "Do you want to know how your beloved husband died?" he asked as he circled around her, a predator looking down on his fallen prey, "He was just getting up out of bed. Apparently he decided to sleep in for the day." He chuckled as he once again looked down at her, "You should've seen his look of surprise when the first thing he saw when he woke up was my mask." He kneeled down next to her once again, "He didn't put up much of a fight… One punch…" he said as he touched the centre of her chest, "Right here. Shattered his bones and sent them into his heart and lungs. He just lay there as you are now…" The man stood up as he looked down at her before placing a foot on her neck, steadily increasing the pressure as she started to choke, "Watching the world go by as he slowly died."

Maemi couldn't breathe, her throat starting to freeze solid, her lungs starting to burn because of the lack of air as black started to crawl around the corners of her vision. Yet she couldn't move to save herself, couldn't move to struggle to breath. As her old body finally gave out the last thing that she saw and heard before the black finally overcame her was a laughing Panther masked man as he looked down upon her.

Pansā sighed as he looked down upon the dead body of his target. "You didn't deserve this…" he muttered, "You deserved far more." And with that he blurred out of existence, leaving a dead man in his bed along with his dead suffocated wife at the bottom of their staircase.

****In The Redlight District****

The streets of the Redlight District was silent during the time of night. Everybody had already turned in or were having their own private fun. That was until a man got roughly thrown out of a nearby brothel. "And don't come back, you teme (bastard)!" the matron screamed out at him before ordering the two bouncers who had thrown the man out to shut the door.

The man stood up, a furious look etched upon his face. He was 5'5" and seemed to be averagely built, with dark brown hair and eyes. He wore a white elegant kimono that had been stained by the sake that had been thrown on him when he had struggled to stay inside the brothel. He walked up to the door and started banging angrily. "You can't do this to me! Do you know who I am?" he shouted furiously, "I am Yoshinobu Shojiro and I am a civilian councilman! If you don't let me in I will make sure that this place will shut down and that none of your girls have anywhere to go other than to come with me. Do you hear me?"

But he was faced with silence as he continued to glare furiously at the closed door of the brothel. He punched the door in anger before deciding that he should go home, as he looked up to the dark sky. He grabbed a half empty bottle of sake that had been lying next to him and started walking slowly down the street, stumbling as the drinking that he had done had finally gotten to him. He grumbled as he walked on, none of them appreciated what he had done for them almost three years ago. He should be worshipped. It was thanks to him that they had set the perfect little trap for the Kyuubi brat. Allowing for the demon to be cornered with ease, due to the amount of bribes he gave out to the ANBU that were supposed to be looking after him. He had even managed to send the demon-loving ANBU away on a faux mission in order to give enough time for the proceedings. But then again, he was rewarded well. Being able to take the anger and frustration of losing his wife during the Kyuubi attack on the demon itself was satisfying. Along with getting his revenge by scarring the Kyuubi's back so that it would never forget, he had also been payed handsomely by the mastermind of the plan. After all, who could say no to a slice of cold revenge and being payed 2 million ryo.

He sighed as he continued to struggle towards his house, he had spent most of his money on gambling, alcohol and at the brothel. 'Not that it was a bad use of money,' he thought took another swig of the sake bottle he was holding. Luckily his house was only around the corner, as the council demanded that he should be close to the subjects of his department, gambling and entertainment within Konohagakure. He stumbled up the steps towards his door, as he fumbled around his pocket for his keys. He fished out his keys, only to drop them onto the floor with his fumbling fingers. He bent down to pick them up again only to, in his drunken state, smashed his head into his front door. He swore as he dropped his sake bottle, which shattered when it hit the floor, as he grabbed his head in pain. Swearing loudly as the alcohol in his system finally numbed the pain, he once again knelt down. This time not only managing to not hit his head on the door, but also pick up his keys from amongst the shattered glass remains of his sake bottle on the floor. After struggling a few seconds to raise himself into a standing position, he finally succeeded by laying his body weight heavily on his door and slowly pushing himself up to stand. He finally managed to unlock his door after stabbing his door multiple times due to his drunken state. He stumbled into his house, his hands fumbling to untie the knot that held his kimono as slowly staggered towards his bathroom.

He grabbed the edge of the sink to prevent himself from falling on the floor. He turned the tap on and splashed his face, in order to try and make himself more aware. He glanced up to see what kind of damage the bouncers had caused when he saw some movement behind him with his bloodshot eyes. Adrenaline pumped into his system as he spun around quickly, grabbing the extended arm of the figure that had tried to stab him. He could see the surprise in the figure's eyes, before he drove his knee right in between legs. He grabbed the kunai that the figure had let go off as the figure clutched his most important treasure. Shojiro quickly kicked the man in the back of his legs, making his fall onto his knees, as he placed the man into a headlock with the kunai in his hand, ready to slit the figure's throat at a moment's notice.

He smirked down at the figure in victory, "Didn't think that a simple councilman would be able to defend himself did you now…", he whispered as he forced the man on his feet before slamming him into the sink, making sure to keep the headlock as he forced them to look into their reflection in the mirror. "You made the same mistake as all the others who tried to kill me," Shojiro said grinning, "Guess that I'll have to bury you out the back tonight with all the others that found out my plan." He soaked it in, the look of fear in the man's onyx eyes that he could see past the man's crow-like mask. He would take the mask of the man after he had killed him. 'After all,' he thought as he prepared himself by taking a deep breath, 'it will make a perfect trophy for my wall'. And with that he pulled, the kunai slicing the neck, spraying his mirror with blood that gushed out of the wound.

Yet something was wrong… Very wrong… He looked down at the man who had been slumped dead next to his sink, only not to find him there. He clutched his neck in pain, feeling liquid gushing onto his hand. He looked into his mirror and, to his horror, saw that blood was rushing out of the deep cut out of his neck. His vision darkened as he saw the same figure behind him in the mirror, leaning on the door way staring back at his with his red eyes. Shojiro fell to his knees, the blackened edge of his vision increasing, as he stared into the only thing he could see behind the crow mask of the man, his gloating red eyes. The darkness finally filled his vision as he fell on his back. 'Genjutsu', he cursed as he finally saw no more.

Yoshinobu Shojiro had died on the floor of his bathroom in a puddle of his own blood, still clutching the bloody kunai that he had used to cut open his own throat.

Karasu stared impassively at the dead body of his target that lay on the floor, blood starting to pool beneath him. He glanced at the bloody mirror, watching as his eyes bled back from the colour red to onyx black. He silently sealed the man's secret stash of money before looking back once more at the body, wishing that he could've taken longer to enjoy the kill. With that his body burst into crows, which silently flew out the open window into the night.

****In The Underground Network****

Footsteps echoed through the dark, damp tunnels hidden beneath the village hidden in the leaves. Various paper lanterns hung on the walls of the tunnel, lighting the tunnel enough for a person to barely see where they were going. The source of the sound finally stopped moving, resting near a lantern which illuminated his figure whilst he was catching his breath. The man was fair skinned, with dark, shiny brown hair that was styled as a Mohawk along with vivid green eyes. He was wearing weathered, dark blue shinobi pants along with a plain white t-shirt underneath his slightly tattered ninja flak-jacket. The man would be about 5'9", that was when he wasn't slouching like usual. It was something that he had picked up from the early years of the Ninja Academy and it had helped him in his ninja career, allowing him to appear as a seemingly weak ninja and someone who could easily be overlooked. Something that he had exploited without any regrets whatsoever, after all he had been allowed to take anything he wanted. 'Well…', he thought, 'Almost anything'. This was Haruno Itsuki, older brother of Haruno Mebuki and ex-Chunin of Konohagakure, a man who was presumed to be dead.

Itsuki sighed as he started walking down the tunnels once again, glancing at his left bicep where his old hitai-ate was tied. He had been able to get away with nearly anything during his shinobi career due to his faux image that he presented, from leaving his post to being able to steal a few valuable jutsu from his fellow shinobi and from leaking highly sensitive information to civilians and other villages to drugging and raping unsuspecting females and then wiping their memories', he had been able to do it all. Due to this image he had always been underestimated by his fellow shinobi and enemies, which was an advantage that he exploited like any Genjutsu master should. In fact, he was pretty sure that no one in the village had known that he specialised in the art of Genjutsu, a very useful set of shinobi techniques especially in his line of work.

He had almost been able to even rape the beautiful red-eyed Kunoichi named Yuhi Kurenai through skilfully slipping drugs within her drink with his quick sleight of hand and subtle use of Genjutsu. 'Genjustu Mistress of Konoha my arse,' he thought as he continued down tunnel. He had almost been able to taste those red lips of hers and take her beautiful, buxom body while he looked into her blood-red eyes that would've been filled with fear as the drugs and Genjutsu finally wore off and she noticed that she was tied to his bed as he had her way with her. And he would have had if not for that demon child. Itsuki snarled in anger as he remembered how he had been thwarted from his prize by the Kyuubi, Uzumaki Naruto. He had been in a hurry carrying Kurenai, who was leaning on his shoulder in a drugged state, down a dark alley towards one of his safe houses in order to tie her up before the drugs and Genjutsu wore off and have his fun when he had all of a sudden felt a sharp, agonising pain between his legs. He had immediately let go off Kurenai as he fell to his knees, clutching what was left of his balls in pain almost passing out due to the amount of agony he was feeling. Itsuki had somehow managed to look up in order to see who had attacked him so cowardly and looked directly into the rage-filled eyes of Uzumaki Naruto, the demon child, who was supporting Kurenai on his left shoulder while holding the weapon that had inflected him so much pain, a long and thick branch from a dead tree. The last thing he saw was the look of fury on the Kyuubi's face as he swung the branch at his head, hitting his temple and leaving him knocked out on the floor of the dark, dirty alley.

Itsuki's body shook in rage as he remembered that moment. The brat had managed to completely crush one of his testicles while the other was severely damaged. His package had also been rendered useless, as he could not become aroused without feeling agonising pain from it. In short, the demon brat had completely destroyed any way for his to enjoy himself in the future. He had heard that the villagers had gotten some revenge for him after Kurenai had lashed out and knocked the demon out and ran away after the drugs finally got out of her system, leaving the brat completely defenceless in the hands of the villagers. The villagers along with a few shinobi had tied the Kyuubi to a post near the outskirts of the village surrounded by flammable hay. Itsuki smiled as he continued walking down the tunnel, he had heard from his friends that the demon had only become conscious just as they had lit it on fire with a Katon jutsu and that its screams that filled the air were like music to their ears. Unfortunately the demon's suffering had not lasted as long as they would've liked, as twenty minutes into the torture a squad of ANBU had been dispatched to see what had caused the disturbance. The demon lovers had immediately used a Suiton jutsu to put out the fire and quickly cut the demon brat down, an ANBU quickly taking him to the hospital, while the rest of the squad attempted to arrest crowd as they tried to escape.

However this act had only enlarged Itsuki's want for revenge against the brat for what he did. 'And it was so satisfying,' he thought with a low chuckle. He had gotten it two years after the event but it was worth the wait. He had been struggling in those two years, with constant spasms of pain hindering his ability to hide what had happened from others in order to not get found out about his crimes, and had taken a lowly job as an Academy teacher who taught brats for low pay. Luckily he had been approached by a local yakuza leader, named Kageya Hiroto, who he had bought the sedative drugs from previously. Hiroto had known what had truly happened that night two years ago and had offered Itsuki a deal that he couldn't refuse. 'Not that I wanted to,' he thought with a smirk. After all, who would refused 2.5 million ryo along with a change to deliver the revenge he had been wanting for years. And so he had accepted, feeling no regret whatsoever, and had enjoyed actively participating in the most brutal beat down that the village had given to the demon child. Sure he was weirded out by some of the actions that were done to the demon but he didn't really care. After all he had gotten to stomp on the brat's head multiple times and had been able to slowly pull his nails out one-by-one from his hands.

"Unfortunately all good things must end sometime," he sighed as he neared his destination, remembering what had occurred to end the celebration of defeating the Kyuubi. The demon lovers squad had finally arrived from their faux mission just as someone was about to end the brat's life after an hour's worth of torture, completely decimating and arresting the mob with no mercy as an ANBU member rushed to the hospital, carrying a husk of the demon child. Itsuki had barely managed to evade capture through his quick and skilful use of Genjutsu. However, the danger of being discovered was not over for Itsuki as the Hokage announced that all ninja must undergo mental examination to find any who were involved. As such, he needed to disappear before he was found out.

A week later Haruno Itsuki had died with his team just outside the Land of Fire's borders, their bodies' were never found. It had been surprisingly easy, he had simply waited until it was his turn to watch for the night before placing a subtle Genjutsu on his three teammates before slitting their throats as they slept. He had then burned the bodies and belongings of his teammates before throwing a few jutsu around the camp to make it seem like they were attacked. Itsuki then quickly travelled towards the agreed meeting place where he would meet Hiroto once again. It was there that Hiroto had offered him a job, to help him smuggle things into and out of Konohagakure. He had accepted and for the past three years he had helped smuggle multiple things into and out of Konoha, from weapons to enemy ninjas and spies and from drugs to children and women to be sold as slaves, in exchange for a hefty wage and a drug that helped ease the pain during his times of pleasure.

In fact that was why he was here so late at night, he had to meet a client that he would smuggle into the village. From the information he had received from Hiroto-sama, he was smuggling a ninja spy from the newly created village of Otogakure. Not that he really cared about what or who it was, all he cared was about getting payed and getting his drugs so that he could have another taste of the range that Hiroto-sama had hidden in his mansion. 'Maybe I'll have a taste of Sakio-chan tonight, I've heard that she still squirms and screams while they're going at it,' he thought, rubbing his hands in anticipation as he walked towards the door that lead to where he usually met his customers. He casually opened the door and walked into the room, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the room as it was slightly darker than the tunnels. When they finally did, Itsuki gasped in shock at the sight before him as his pupils dilated in fear and he started trembling uncontrollably. Laying there on the floor in a pool of his own blood was his client. His neck that had twisted in an unnatural manner allowed Itsuki to see the Otokagakure headband that had been tied on his head. Itsuki slowly back stepped away from the body towards the door in order to escape, before he froze as he heard a voice coming from behind him.

"Ara, ara", came the voice lazily, "I see you have found Ishin-san. Don't worry we were only having a conversation. In fact, he was answering some questions.". Itsuki immediately turned towards the source of the noise only to gulp and back away in fear as he saw who was behind him. He stared in fear at the man before him as he immerged from the shadows immediately recognising the snarling silver wolf mask, after all any shinobi would recognise him as one of the few shinobi with such a high bounty on their head. He froze and fear filled his body as he listened to the lazy monotone of the man while he stared at the three silver tomoe in each eye as they glowed in the darkness through the eye-holes in his mask. "He was telling me a story about a dead Konoha shinobi by the name of Haruno Itsuki. You wouldn't know anything about him, now would you?"

This question snapped Itsuki out of his fear induced paralysation as he quickly whipped out a kunai, throwing it at the man in order to create a distraction as he quickly ran down the tunnel that his clients usually use. The masked man lazily tilted his head, avoiding the kunai, before slowly walking after the man in a predatory gait. Itsuki ran as quickly as he could, cursing himself for his low stamina due to not training for three years, knowing that the masked man slowly but surely gaining on him. He suddenly doubled over as pain flared up in between his legs, causing him to go tumbling forward. He could hear it now. The slow, predatory footsteps as the man came closer and closer. He got himself onto his knees and, ignoring the agonising pain in between his legs, crawled towards a nearby door. He leaned heavily on the door, struggling but finally succeeding to push himself into a standing position before he glanced behind him, his eyes widening in fear. For there he was, slowly walking around the corner with his hands in his pocket, still slowly walking towards him. His mind screamed at his body to move as he felt the oppressive and confident air that seemed to ooze out of the masked man walking lazily towards him, his body freezing under the pressure, costing him precious seconds, before he hastily opened the door and slammed it shut behind him. Itsuke's mind whirled into action to try and find a way to weasel out of his current situation as it had so often during his shinobi career, his mind quickly estimating how much time he had as he used the multiple locking contraptions on the door. He quickly glanced around him, mentally than Hiroto for implementing his ideas, as he quickly waded into the room to make sure everything was in place.

He chuckled as he went inside an adjacent room that was hidden by Genjutsu, his fear finally fading away from his body as he noticed that everything was in fact in place. He had nothing to fear. After all, he would survive. And his so-called hunter? Well he would learn, just like all his other enemies, that underestimating him would be a fatal mistake. And so he waited. He waited in anticipation, his breath becoming ragged as he imagined what was going to happen. The look of surprise on the man's face a few seconds before he died. And then he heard a loud crash, the noise of the wooden door of the room that he had been in being broken down, and then the sound of slow steps of the man as he lazily walked into the room.

'Walking to his death.' thought Itsuki as his hands slowly formed a single hand sign, his body shaking with anticipation. It would be glorious. It would be quick. And, best of all, the wolf-masked man would die. His last thought would be that he had been bested by one man, Haruno Itsuki. All it took was a single second. All it took was a single word. "Katsu!" he whispered as he flared his chakra.

There was a loud bang, the explosion shaking the room like a magnitude 8 earthquake. Itsuke was sent flying onto his arse as he wasn't quick enough to adhere his feet to the floor. He once again thanked Hiroto for applying the seals onto the walls of the room to strengthen them. Itsuke paused, his mind finally catching up with what had occurred. He started to chuckle insanely stumbling towards the iron door that lead to the exit, falling to the ground and leaning his back against the door as he failed to control his laughter. He had done it. Once again another enemy ninja had fallen into the same trap of underestimating him and once again they had payed for it. After a few minutes his laughter had finally subsided, allowing for him to finally control himself and think. There would be a huge fallout because of what had occurred. The tunnel would have to be collapsed, all evidence linking it to him or Hiroto would have to be completely destroyed. The smuggling ring would have to stop and lay low for at least a month to let this whole thing blow over and to make sure that no one else was out hunting for members of the syndicate. That would make them lose a lot of money. Or more specifically, it would cost Hiroto a lot of money. Kami, would Hiroto be mad about this. Itsuki shuddered as he remembered what happened to the last person that had failed and angered Hiroto. The poor bastard barely lasted the night long torture session, delivered from Hiroto personally, before his heart finally gave out at sunrise. He paled as he remembered how he had to personally clean the room, its walls painted red with the blood of the man, and how it took hours to scrub the blood out.

Not that he would need to be worried about receiving such a harsh punishment from his boss. After all, he had worked hard for almost three years too climb the ranks of the syndicate, through sabotage and blackmail, to become the second-in-command. And he had been the one that had been attacked after what he would presume to be an information leak from within the organisation, he had also neutralised the threat that had come after him. At most he would get a long severe tongue-lashing from his boss along with being cut off from the supply of women that Hiroto had for a month. Whilst being cut off for a month would be mildly annoying, he could always try his luck within the village after casting a Genjutsu upon himself. Suddenly Itsuki's eyes lit up as he got a brilliant idea, he could give the bounty of the man that he had just killed to Hiroto. His boss would be so pleased about not only covering his losses but also gaining a small profit that he would reward him instead of punishing him. Maybe Hiroto might even reward him by letting him choose a few untouched prizes to keep for personal use from the next supply that they would receive.

Itsuki grinned at the prospect before he started laughing insanely once again. He would be rewarded handsomely for his efforts, all he would need to do is get anything that could identify his kill to collect the bounty. He calmed himself once again, putting his hands on the floor to push himself up in order to go see the carnage he had created in order to kill the man. At least that was the plan, that was until Itsuki felt a sudden and sharp pain pulse from his abdominal region. All thoughts of celebration and triumph ceased as he slowly looked down, his body starting to go into shock as he looked on in horror at the grey spear head covered in his blood that had sprouted from his stomach. His shaking hands reached up to grab the shaft that was coming out of his stomach, his eyes widening as he felt the cool metal on his palms before he weakly tried to pull it out of his body. He realised in horror that he could no longer feel his legs, only feeling sharp feelings of pain suddenly as if he was being stabbed by pins and needles. His head snapped up, almost hitting the metal door being him, when he heard a low chuckle echo through the door he was leaning against. It was not just any voice. It was the voice of the man that he had run away from. The man who he thought he had killed.

Leaning on the other side of the metal was Ōkami, lazily glancing in a direction. He tutted as he glanced at the scroll that he was holding in his left hand before starting to speak to Itsuki in a monotone, as if he was talking to a little child. As if he hadn't just stabbed him through the spine and stomach. "Tut tut tut… Only managed to steal away 5 million ryo from your boss? What a weak effort for a retired shinobi like yourself, Gensō no Itsuki (Itsuki of Illusion)." he spoke as he sealed the scroll away in his cloak. Ōkami didn't even have to see Itsuki to know that he had immediately stiffened at the mention of his moniker. He then glanced at the nails on his left hand as he continued to speak to Itsuki as disgust started to filter into his voice, "Look at how far you let yourself go. You could've easily pulled of the escape and hit six years ago. When you were a real ninja and not just lost in two of the deadly sins for shinobi, lust and greed. I could hear your excited and uneven breathing from the corridor, your footsteps as you quietly ran into the room you're in, your rapid heartbeats as you waited in anticipation. You forgot all your shinobi training within the last three years, haven't you?" he muttered out with a sigh before placing his right hand on the handle of his spear. He could feel the vibrations of the trembles that rocked through Itsuki's body as the man's brain tried to find a way to get out of his situation.

"P-p-please. S-spare me. I'll d-d-do anything! J-just name the price." It seemed that Itsuki had reverted to begging, seeing no other way to escape from his current plight.

Ōkami growled in repulsion as Itsuki pleaded for his life instead of dying with what little honour he had left. He gripped the shaft of his spear firmly with his right hand, the only hint of his currently fury-filled mind. He spoke with a deadly calm voice that made the blood still running through Itsuki's body freeze, "Did you show mercy to the countless girls that you have raped and sold? Did you spare them? When they were begging you not to do it?"

Itsuki started to tremble even more as he knew. He knew that he wouldn't be escaping the dark tunnels underneath Konoha. Tears and snot started to stream down his face. This would be the end for him. This would be where he, the one who had tricked death so many times before, would die. Alone and cold. In the dark. He heard the voice reverberate through the metal door, "What can I say Itsuki-chan? They say karma is a bitch after all." And with that he felt the man behind the door flare his chakra before he started screaming in in pure agony. His body twitched and spasmed, limbs being bent in ways that it shouldn't whilst his mind was clouded in mind-numbing pain. He could only take the torture for a few seconds before he felt a large amount of pain emerge from the middle of his chest before his head slumped against it. It was the pain of his heart exploding from the amount of pressure it had undertaken. And so, Haruno Itsuki died in the deep, dark tunnels underneath Konohagakure. Laying there in his own pool of tears, snot and blood.

On the other side of the door Ōkami casually tugged on the shaft of the spear, the spear easily coming out of the now dead body and metal door. He held the spear head up to see, the spear head still discharging streams of silver lightening, before sealing it away in his cloak and quickly disappearing in a burst of silver lightening. After all, he had a place to be and Kitsune would not be pleased if he was late… Again…

****In A Compound In The Silver Dragon District****

A gentle breeze swept through the Silver Dragon District, towards a mansion hidden within the forest nearby. The trees in the forest gently swayed in the breeze, some leaves falling gracefully to the ground. Covering the already leaf-filled ground with another blanket of amber leaves. This was when he appeared, unseen to the guards surrounding the mansion who were on lookout. The Kitsune-masked man stood on the swaying branch of one of the trees, his eyes quickly cast a fleeting glance at the mansion before him, analysing the smallest details that his sharp eyes picked out as he found every single weakness within the mansion.

From a single glance he saw everything, the weaknesses within the structure, the holes in the guard shift, the few traps spread around the walls. His eyes narrowed as it was drawn towards a caravan that was slowly making its way through the gates and into the mansion. Another gentle breeze swept through the forest, making his cloak gently flutter in the wind as an exact copy of the man appeared next to him. The clone glanced at its creator before nodding and disappearing into the breeze, as if he wasn't there in the first place.

He glanced at the base once more, double checking that he hadn't missed anything. Not that he had, but it was something that had been drilled into them by their teacher and had saved their lives on numerous occasions. He sighed as he started running along the branch, one minute on the clock. 'More than enough time,' he thought as he leapt of the tip of the branch, not using any chakra in case there were any sensors within the compound or any chakra detecting seals outside the walls, using his arms to catch himself on the next branch before using it like a swing to shoot himself up towards one of the highest branches. Or to be more specific, the highest branch which so happened to be close enough to allow him an easy infiltration into one of the guard towers of the compound.

He gracefully landed on the roof before slipping into the tower, making sure to stay on top of the ceiling beams. He glanced around to get his bearings straight, noticing that there were three guards standing by the door talking. He sighed before he swept his right arm away from his body. As he did so a small gust of wind suddenly broke forth which sent a couple of picture frames that were hung on a wall come crashing down.

The three guards neared the door, lazily checking that everything was in place. "Patrolling in the freezing wind, give me a fucking break." one of them complained to the others. The one on his right just nonchalantly hummed his approval whilst the one on his left seemed to be mere seconds away from killing him as his hand, for what seemed like the millionth time during the patrol, twitched towards his weapon. "And do you know who doesn't have to patrol… In the freezing wind… In the middle of the night?" the guard continued, seemingly unaware of the danger coming from his left as the man's eyebrows started visibly twitching in irritation, "Benjiro! I bet Benjiro is sleeping with one of the goods right now. Back in the room, with his big fucking melon head on a soft pillow!" After hearing the same complaint for so many times, the man on his left finally reached his sword and was about to unsheathe it and behead the moron when a crashing noise interrupted them. This noise put them on alert and on edge as they pulled out their choice of weaponry, surrounding the door.

They glanced at one another before the irritated guard glared at his companions as he grumbled out, "You guys wait out here, I'll go check what's making all the noise." With that he gave one last deadly glare at his complaining comrade, who seemed not to notice, kicking the door down and storming into the room to get it over and done with. The man stormed into the centre of the room as he got ready to release his frustrations on whatever he found. He stomped around the room trying to find what had made the noise, not paying any attention to his surroundings. He was confident in his abilities, after all he had been training to be a samurai within the Land of Iron before he was lured away by the temptation of money and women. It was a shame that he left before being trained to fight ninja, one of the final things taught before becoming an official samurai for the Land of Iron. If he had maybe, just maybe, he would have noticed the figure directly above him as he came to a stop in the middle of the room. Maybe he would've noticed the figure hang upside down, noticed his impending doom as hands reached down. But alas he never noticed until the hands grabbed the sides of his face before he knew no more as there was a sharp movement of his head accompanied by a sickening cracking sound, falling to the ground as if he were a puppet with his strings cut.

Kitsune gracefully landed down on the ground without making a sound, not even sparing a glance at the dead body next to him as he started walking towards the door. His hands reached up to his shoulder blades, smokelessly unsealing two sabres as he sensed the two opponents who were past the wall in front of him. He sensed that they seemed to be relaxed, leaning on the wall as they were confident in the abilities of their comrade. He sighed at their stupidity, it was one of the reasons that they were grunts and not anything else.

Outside the man was still complaining to his friend who just kept on nodding nonchalantly. "The dick took all of my info duty shifts when he told Boss. I was just joking when I said that. Now because of the prick I get stuck with patrolling duty for the next 3 months and being cut off for a month." the man grumbled as he looked towards the forest surrounding the walls of the mansion. "And you know what else sucks? The fact that nothing ever happens! We never get attacked since we're so well hidden. You know what. Since we're not going to be attacked, how about we just head back? I bet you no one would notice that we aren't doing our rounds. What do you say Kota?" the man asked as he turned towards his friend only to find him leaning on the wall whilst facing away from him, looking as if he was asleep or just resting his head. He walked towards him, sighing as he did. Of course Kota would fall asleep on the job, he was the laziest person he knew in the mansion and always complained. The guard reached out and grabbed his shoulder, turning the man around to face him only to gasp in shock. For his friend was smiling back at him with the bloody smile that had been etched into his neck from ear to ear. He stepped back, about to yell in fear and warn the others in the mansion, when a strong hand covered his mouth, muffling his voice. He was about to struggle out of the hold when a large pain suddenly erupted from the middle of his chest, his eyes were attracted down to see the beauty of a single red blade sprouting from his chest as blood spurted out. He slid off of the blade, falling painfully face down on the ground as blood started to pool around his body from his chest. He couldn't move, he couldn't scream and he couldn't breathe. All he could feel was the pain in the middle of his chest as a cold numbing feeling started to creep from his limbs. He was nudged over by the man, turning his body for his final glimpse of the sky along with the terror-inspiring mask of his assassin. The mask from which icy eyes stared down at him as the light in his eyes faded and, finally, he saw nothing.

Merciless cold eyes stared down at the body of the man its' owner had killed, etching the dying visage of the man into his mind. Kitsune sighed before subtly twitching his left ring finger, the bodies of the two men that he had so brutally and efficiently killed disappearing before his eyes leaving no evidence of what had occurred for any other guards to find other than a pool of blood on the ground. Not that there would be any guards left to discover it after he was done. '50 seconds left,' he thought as he blurred out of existence, appearing behind a building as he used it for cover. He glanced around the corner, seeing one guard standing guard at the top of the tallest guard tower located near the centre of the compound who would have full view of his route to both the mansion and the guardhouse in front of him. He sighed as he brought the handles of his two swords together by aligning the indents that were part of the handles, clipping them together as a long piece of wire attached itself from blade tip to blade tip. He gazed at the weapon in his hand, the blood-red bow subtly glowing in the moonlight. He would need to be quick and true with his aim to avoid detection from the guard. After all, time was still ticking down and the window of opportunity would be closing. It all happened in a blur, one moment the guard had been carefully looking for anything suspicious and out of place. The next he was lying on the wooden floor of the watchtower, an arrow buried into his eye when he had turned around to continue his patrol.

Kitsune had already been moving towards the watchtower as soon as he released the arrow, his aim would be true after years of practice in conditions that people could only dream off. He scaled the structure within seconds and stood there, at the highest point within the compound, his eyes analysing both the guardhouse and the mansion as he silently pondered on his decision. His eyes snapped towards the guardhouse again though when he heard a high-pitch scream of a girl echoing from the building, immediately blurring out of existence as he made his way towards the building. He appeared in front of the building, quickly scanning the building for points of entry whilst extending his senses to confirm how many signatures were coming from the building. His eyes narrowed as an open window on the third floor caught his eye. He slowly breathed out as he closed his eyes before disappearing, fading into the wind.

He took a deep breath of air in as he glanced around, taking in his surroundings, as he made sure that he had in fact arrived in the room with the open window. His ears twitched as he heard the doorknob turning and the door slowly opening, disappearing into the shadows as soon as he heard the noise.

Light flooded the room through the doorway as a heavily-armoured man stepped into the room, his steel boots clonking loudly with each step that he took. The man grumbled under his breath as he walked towards the window, "Fucking Benjiro… Always too lazy to do anything himself… Too busy using his whores to even do his fucking job…" The man suddenly sensed something moving behind him and quickly turned around whilst trying to draw his weapon, even though there was a deep sense of dread in his stomach. His eyes widened as he was confronted by the figure standing behind him, cloaked in blood red, glaring at him from behind the grinning fox mask that invoked terror within his enemies. The man tried to shout a warning, to try and warn the others of the threat, for he knew that he would not be getting out of the situation alive. However, despite his noble intentions, he simply did not react quickly enough. Within milliseconds of the man opening his mouth Kitsune had driven his fist into the man's throat, crushing his windpipe and rendering the man unable to speak. Kitsune coolly watched on as the man struggled to breathe as he clutched his throat, slightly impressed that he had managed to stay on his feet, before jumping up and mule kicking him with both feet, sending him out the window. There was a muffled thump as the body hit the floor, head first.

Kitsune's cold eyes glanced out the window, watching as a pool of blood surround the dead body of the man he had just killed, before turning and heading towards the door. He slowly turned the door-knob glancing out into the corridor. Seeing no one, he stepped out into the corridor whilst extending his senses. His eyes narrowed as he sensed multiple life signals coming from the floors below him, quickly focusing on two signals close to each other. One distressed and full of fear, the other perverse and full on lust. Time was of the essence, he would not let another one suffer if he could help it. He moved swiftly towards the stairs, descending silently to the second floor.

He cautiously stepped onto the second floor, his eyes searching for small minute details that he could use to his advantage. He could hear the laughter coming from down the stairs to his left, presumably from what he guessed was a bar, but his ears were drawn to the noises coming from the door in front of him. He edged towards the door, reaching out and slowly turning the handle as he opened the door slightly to take a glance inside. His blood boiled as he saw what was happening, opening the door more before silently slipping into the room and closing the door behind him. He felt the sudden blast of heat hit him from the fireplace to his right but his cold eyes remained focused on what was happening before him.

Minako had tears streaming down her face from her forest green eyes, as she struggled against the ropes that bound her down to the bed. Her eyes widened as she saw the fat slob of grease that had done this to her come towards her from the bathroom, doubling her efforts to escape from this terrible nightmare. She screamed as the man reached for her clothes, only to be slapped harshly, her blond her covering her face. The man reached out before painfully holding her jaw as he forced her to look at him. "You know you might as well give up don't you Mina-chan… It's going to happen either way, whether you struggle or not… So why don't you just give up… Make it easier on yourself and just service me…", he said in his disgusting perverse voice as his eyes roamed up and down her body. Her response was immediate as she spat directly in his face, sending the fat slob reeling back in disgust. He slowly wiped the spit off of his face, flicking it away, before glaring at her furiously "That was a mistake Minako and you know it…", he said as he slowly reached for her belt as even more tears streamed down her face as she closed her eyes, not wanting to see what would happen to her.

She wished she had never gone outside that late in the night… She wished she hadn't had that argument with her mother and stormed out into the night… She wished she had listened to her gut feeling and turned back as soon as she stepped outside the door… She wished she didn't have a body that men started to leer at her for… She wished she had heard the footsteps coming from behind her before it was too late… She wished she knew self-defence so that she could've fought the thugs... She wished… She just wished that someone would come and save her and take her away from this nightmare…

'Someone… Please… Help me…' she thought as she clenched her closed eyes as tears streamed down her face as she waited for what now was the inevitable…

"It's ok now lady, you can open your eyes," came a voice which was different from that of the disgusting voice of the fat slob. No, instead it sounded melodic, as she opened her eyes to see who had spoken. Before her was a man wearing a Kitsune mask, who was quickly cutting away her bindings and freeing her. Her eyes glanced around the room, trying to find the fat slob, as the man kneeled stood beside the bed waiting for her to sit up. The man had noticed what she was doing because he softly said, "It's ok lady… He's gone now… He can't hurt you anymore… You're safe now…". Her eyes welled with tears before she launched herself at her saviour, holding on as if he was her life-strand as she sobbed into his chest. Kitsune wrapped his arms around her as he whispered sweet nothings into her ear to try and calm her down. She suddenly slumped in his arms, seemingly passing out due to the stress of the day and shock. He gently laid her back down on the bed before taking off his scarlet cloak and wrapping her in it. A gentle breeze blew through the room as a clone appeared next to him, nodding at his creator as he held onto the girl before they faded away into the breeze. He unsealed a new blood-red cloak and wore it before turning around and heading towards the door as a gust of wind blew through the window, extinguishing the fire. As he opened the door, he could still hear the laughter echoing up from the bar downstairs. His eyes became colder… For the sins they had committed, he would not spare them… Not a single person in the compound would be leaving alive… And for those that begged? Well it was tough luck, because he was all out of mercy… He closed his eyes and took a single breath before fading as if he had never been there.

30 seconds left

And the blood-curdling screams began…

****In The Mansion Inside The Compound****

Kageya Hiroto jumped awake as screams echoed through the compound. His grey eyes widened as he deduced what was happening before quickly jumping out of bed and sprinting towards his office in the mansion, ordering the two guards at his door to follow him… Well sprinting as quickly as a man of his obese size could go… He reached his office, signalling the two grunts to guard the door as he went inside, walking over straight to the huge painting of himself on the wall behind his desk. If it had been any other situation he would've stopped to appreciate the fine art. Appreciate his slicked back black hair… Appreciate slim and toned body… Appreciate his smirking brown eyes and lady winning smile… Appreciate how handsome he was and think about how women just seemed to fall for his charm… It is a shame that the artist who had painted it for him, the famous and well-renowned Sakamoto Koichi who he had kept prisoner along with his daughter for years, had killed himself after his daughter had decided to service him and had died from the amount of pleasure he had given her. However, he had made sure that he punished the guards that were supposed to be looking after his guest and allowing him to leave by torturing them for the day to vent his frustrations.

He snapped himself out his thoughts as he realised that time was off the essence, as he grabbed the painting frame before taking off the wall and placing it to a side to reveal a vault. He quickly opened the vault grabbing multiple scrolls, stuffing them into his kimono as he kept glancing at the door. He finished placing the final scroll into his kimono, turning around to get towards the bookshelf which hid his escape path through which he would escape to a safe house hidden in the forests of the Land of Fire…

Well he would have if he didn't turn around to find himself staring straight at a snarling fox masked man standing who had been standing silently behind him. He opened his mouth to scream for the guards at the door when the man interrupted him, "Don't bother calling for your guards… They're already lying in a pool of their own blood outside…", came the chilly, ruthless voice of the cloaked man. Hiroto stepped back, shivering in fear, until his back was up against the wall as the crimson cloaked man stepped closer and closer. "What do you have under your cloak Kageya Hirito?", the man asked, sending a ray of hope into Hirito.

Hirito's hand scrambled as he quickly reached for the scrolls in his kimono, pulling them out and placing them on the table to his side, "Here you can have them… Just take them and spare me…", he said as he stepped away from the table he was gesturing towards. It would hurt him to lose most of his money but he had enough stored away at the safe house to get his business up and running again in another country, maybe head to the Land of Waves to meet up with his business partner. It would not matter how much money he would lose and how much time he would have to stay underground in his safe house as long as he lived, he would be able to rebuild his empire. The empire that he had built after that fateful night three years ago where he had hired multiple people in order to get his revenge on the demon brat for killing the multiple goods that he had stored away for use during the night that it attacked Konohagakure. His revenge was so well planned that he was impressed with himself for thinking of it. And whilst the cost to hire people was high, he had ensured that he had multiple loyal contacts. It also helped that he had been able to use the demon brat to vent his frustrations and that the actions of his plans had ensured that the demon was not seen in the village for three years and counting. This had allowed him to create his booming business without worrying about being possibly found out by the Hokage, as he was too busy running the village in a stronger dictatorship.

So lost in his thoughts, Hirito did not notice that Kitsune did not even spare a glance in the direction of the scrolls and had instead walked up until he was directly in front of him. He did not notice until it was too late… Until Kitsune had grabbed him by his throat and lifted him off the ground before smashing him against the wall, sending cracks through the wall. Hirito grabbed struggled in his grip, grabbing the hand holding him as he struggled to breath. "Unfortunately… I'm all out of mercy…", Kitsune said as he changed his grip, instead using his right forearm to choke the man as he grabbed the Hirito's left hand. Hirito did not seem to notice, too focused on trying to find a way to breathe easier, until he felt a sharp pain that resonated from his hand. He looked in horror as he saw that his hand had been nailed into the wall by a kunai before starting to cry in pain. He struggled even harder as Kitsune grabbed his other hand before driving another kunai through it into the wall before stepping away to look at what he had done. Hirito lay there slumped, suspended from the kunai that had been driven into his hands, his head down as he had passed out from the pain and shock. Kitsune sighed before forming a ball of water in his hands and splashing Hirito in the face with it, waking the man up. Hirito whimpered in pain as the tears on his face started falling into the pool of water, tears and urine that had formed beneath him. "Do you know what would make this complete Hirito?", Kitsune asked as he drew one last kunai. Hirito started mumbling incoherently for mercy as he saw what he now knew as his executioner had in his hand, the mumblings growing louder and more desperate as Kitsune stepped closer and closer. He knew that this was the end, that Kitsune would drive that kunai in between his ribs and end his time in the world. He closed his eyes and waited for the end to come…

It didn't…

He opened his eyes to look directly into the eyes of Kitsune. It held so much fury, anger and disgust but he knew deep down through his eyes that Kitsune was smirking and enjoying his current situation. He watched slowly as his executioner drew his arm back, waiting for the end to come. He watched as it thrust forward, hoping that it would finally put him out of his misery and that he would not have to live in pain anymore. Well… That was before he felt a sharp pain in between his legs… Hirito screamed in pain as he looked down in horror to see that a kunai had been driven through his pants, where his gift to women was, right into the wall. Shock started to set into his body, as tears and snot ran down his face, his mumbling getting louder and more incoherent.

Kitsune stepped back, looking once more to see what he had done, "You will never harm another person again," he said before turning away and walking over towards where the scrolls were. He sealed the scrolls away in his cloak, glancing back to snivelling man that was hung up on the wall, "I guess this is where I say goodbye… Thank you so much for this business transaction Hirito… You have been very helpful…", his chilly voice echoed through the room before he vanished into the breeze, leaving a whimpering and snivelling shell of a man behind. Hirito, through the cloud of pain, noticed he had left and started to struggle to get himself out of his situation and get himself some help. In his struggle he did not hear a minute hissing sound that was coming from the kunai between his legs…

*Boom*

And the whole compound went up in flames as explosives that had been placed around in it went off as if it were a well-timed orchestra, sending smoke billowing up into the air…

****At Ichiraku Ramen Stand****

"How could you leave without telling me! Don't you know how sick and worried I was when you suddenly disappeared! Do you know how I felt when I heard you left from Hana?", yelled the extremely irritated Ayame as she reached over the counter and smacking him on the head with a wooden ladle as she pulled onto his ear.

"Itai! Itai! It hurts nee-chan! I'm sorry. Please let go.", yelped Naruto in pain as he tried to get Ayame to let go off his ear. He could see that Kakashi and Iruka were both trying to keep hold of their mirth, as they struggled not to laugh. Akane on the other hand had no intention to keep control of her mirth as she laughed at the scene before her. Their laughter soon subsided as Ayame turned her attention to them after finally letting go of Naruto's ear. Well… Turned her attention specifically to Kakashi, who seemed to wilt and try and make himself smaller.

"And how could you take him away without letting him say his goodbyes? How could you be so insensitive!", yelled Ayame as she kept repetitively smacking Kakashi on the head with her wooden ladle until her laughing father grabbed her arm to stop her.

"Come on Musume (daughter), that is no way to treat a family friend who has returned after so long.", Ichiraku Teuchi mock scolded his daughter as he took the wooden ladle away from her before serving the ramen dishes he had prepared for his customers.

"Yeah, Ayame-hime you should give them a break. They just returned after all and they both did say sorry. I'm more curious about hearing the details from your three-year trip. Especially how you met this young lady, otōto.", said Iruka as he turned his attention to the two family members he hadn't seen for a long time whilst nodding towards Akane whom they had been introduced to, seemingly not seeing how Ayame's face blushed red.

Kakashi and Naruto, however, both noticed this even though Ayame had only blushed slightly red, almost unnoticeable. "Mmm… That story would take a long time to tell… Maybe we'll tell it to you some other day. After all Naruto and Akane, here, have to get up early tomorrow to go to the Academy", Kakashi said as he ruffled Naruto's hair as he pouted. "What I am more curious about is whether you two are dating.", he commented as he gestured towards Iruka and Ayame, who blushed a deeper, more visible, red. Naruto chuckled at the reaction, before bursting out laughing as Akane took her first bite of ramen and became immediately addicted to it whilst Teuchi beamed in pride as he knew he had another life-long customer in the red-head.

Iruka and Ayame glanced at one another, seemingly telepathically communicating with one another, before Ayame nodded at Iruka with a soft smile, causing him to smile in return as he reached over and held her hand. "We kind of found comfort in one another after you two left. Just helping each other out with the Academy and with this stand. It was inevitable that we would fall for each other with the amount of time that we spend with each other.", Iruka said sheepishly smiling. "We've been dating for around about two years… And it's been the best two years of my life… And I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I recently proposed to her a month ago.", he whispered as he smiled at Ayame as she showed her engagement ring to the three.

"Well I believe congratulations are in order," said Akane as she gazed at the ring before smiling happily at Iruka and Ayame, "You both deserve each other and make a great couple from what Naru-kun told me about you two."

"You definitely do. Congratulations Iruka and Ayame-imoto. However, if you hurt her Iruka…" Kakashi threatened before he was comically hit over the head by Ayame who had somehow stolen the wooden ladle back from her father.

"How did you manage to win over Teuchi-oji's (uncle) favour Iruka-nii? I mean, I remember Oji-san was really protective of Ayame-nee. So much so that some people would consider it overprotective…", asked Naruto before he himself was hit over the head with the wooden ladle that had magically appeared in Teuchi's hand causing Akane to erupt into another fit of giggles.

"It's a pretty long story so maybe I'll tell you some other time," Iruka replied, mimicking Kakashi, which made Naruto pout. "Oh don't be sad otōto… I'll see you tomorrow early in the morning in the academy… As in you'll be there on time… Won't you otōto?", Iruka said whilst using a jutsu to enlarge his head to comical proportions, freaking Naruto out as he quickly nodded his assent. Anything to make the big freaky head go away…

Kakashi noticed that it had finally stopped raining, "Well it's pretty late. We better head off and turn ourselves in, we all have a big day tomorrow after all.", he said as Naruto and Akane said their goodbyes as they stood up beside him before waving and vanishing with the two teenagers in a shunshin.

Iruka chuckled as he looked at where they had been, shaking his head, before turning back to see the beautiful smile from Ayame. "It's really nice to see them again after so long.", she whispered as she sat down beside him, leaning on him slightly.

He smiled, "It really is, isn't it?" he said as he wrapped an arm around his fiancée as he sighed and enjoyed the moment...

Only to have the moment interrupted as an ANBU officer dropped right next to him in a kneeling position, "Hokage-sama has ordered you to come to the Tower for debriefing."

Iruka sighed before nodding, "I'll be there in a few minutes," he replied before turning to his worried fiancée, "Don't worry hime… I'm sure it's nothing dangerous... I promise I'll be home in an hour.", he promised as he gave her a loving kiss before disappearing in a blur of speed. Ayame sighed as she felt him leave her, she couldn't help but worry when he was called away like that. She glanced up when she felt a hand resting on her shoulder to see her father give her a reassuring smile, smiling back before standing up to help her father with the cleaning and closing of the stall for the night.

They didn't notice a shadowed figure watching them from the roof. The figure reached for his radio before muttering, "Kitsune, it's Karasu here. They're on the move. Heading towards the objective now." He glanced back at the pair of people standing inside the Ramen stand before blurring out of existence going towards his destination in order to finish the mission.

His destination?

The Hokage Tower of Konohagakure…

****With Kitsune****

Kitsune dashed quickly across rooftops, his blood red cloak billowing in the wind, as he made his way towards the Hokage tower. He had finished the first part of the mission within the minute but had gave away that there were intruders in the village, which would have the shinobis and kunoichis of the village on high alert searching from him and his group. However, this had been all planned… The explosion at the compound on the other side of the village would provide for a perfect distraction as the group converged on the tower. No one would suspect a thing… After all who would guess that the intruders would be gutsy enough to strike the Hokage tower, the most secure building in the village that was located in the centre, when they had already lost the element of surprise. However, he did not take into account that a group of ninja may locate and follow him as he tried to get to the tower.

Kitsune sighed as he came to a halt, sensing three ninjas coming towards him very quickly. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath and looked down, his hood casting a shadow over his face, as he sensed them land in front of him, blocking his way to the Hokage tower. He opened his eyes to gaze at the three ninja before him, he would only have to hold them off until his teammates reached the tower. It wouldn't be too difficult for someone like him, in fact he wouldn't have to lift a finger.

Of course he recognised the ninja that stood before him, it was difficult not to when he had memorised every single person in the Bingo book. The man that stood on the right had jet black hair and a beard wearing the standard Konoha jounin uniform, oozing his laid-back attitude as he smoked on his cigarette. However, he knew better than to underestimate his opponent. The man was Sarutobi Asuma, a man who was skilled in close-combat with the use of his trench knives that were probably hidden away in his flak-jacket and the manipulation his element, wind. He was skilled enough that he was hand-picked to become one of the Daimyo's guards, part of the Twelve Guardians as shown by the grey sash with a red 'Fire' symbol tucked into his waist, and was a high A-rank shinobi with a 35 million ryo bounty on his head. A worthy opponent.

The woman on the left had purple hair tied up as if it were a pineapple. She was wearing a purple skirt with a mesh undershirt and trench coat, which he guessed was intentionally meant to be provocative and distracting for her opponents. Her brown eyes had a seductive look in them as she ate her dango stick whilst twirling a kunai in her right hand, however he knew that she was analysing him for any hints about who he was and what skills he had probably using her skills that she learned from working in the Torture and Interrogation Unit. Not that she would learn much, his group wore a cloak for a reason. The woman was Mitarashi Anko, a Tokubetsu Jounin with the moniker of the Snake Mistress of Konoha, skilled in snake related Ninjustu, hebi-style Taijustu and interrogation. Part of the Four Ice Mistresses of Konoha. Low A-rank ninja with a 20 million ryo bounty on her head, held back in rank only due to the discrimination she receives due to being the former apprentice of one of Konoha's biggest traitors, Orochimaru.

The final woman, who stood in the middle of the group. She had lush, black hair and was glaring at him with her deep, red eyes, which could be mistaken for a sharingan. She was a bandage-looking dress with thorn like patterns with mesh armour under her red blouse with only the sleeve being seen, which he knew could be distracting in a fight, and had bandages on her arms and thighs. This was Yuhi Kurenai, a recently promoted Jounin with the moniker of the Genjutsu Mistress of Konoha. She was also a member of the Four Ice Mistresses of Konoha. She was a specialist in, as her moniker suggested, the shinobi illusionist art of Genjutsu. However, she seemed to have neglected the other main shinobi arts, only being high Chuunin-level in the art of Taijutsu and Ninjutsu. This weakness could be exploited by people who were immune to Genjutsu and excelled in any close range shinobi art. People like him…

"Halt! Identify yourself.", said Kurenai as she glared suspiciously towards the cloaked figure in front of her. She waited for a response before seething in anger as the man stood still, not even acknowledging her question.

Asuma sighed, seeing that the frustration was getting to Kurenai which would make her more susceptible to make a rookie mistake as a newly instated Jounin. He moved quickly as he saw her control slip as she reached for a kunai, "Why don't you just tell us who you are, friend?" he asked in his usual laid-back tone, waiting for the man to identify himself. The man glanced up, finally revealing his snarling red Kitsune mask, making Asuma gasp in recognition. Anko and Kurenai noticed this and immediately became curious, wanting to know what the significance of the mask was that it could be identified easily.

"Asuma-san. You seem to know who our guest here is. Care to enlighten us?", asked Anko as she twirled the kunai faster before grabbing it by the hilt, holding it in a reverse grip, as she glanced over towards her comrade before focusing back on the masked man before her, not letting a single movement escape her notice.

"This man is Kitsune, a low S-rank nin with a 60 million ryo bounty on his head. Known for combatting and killing a couple of the Seven Swordsman during his participation in the Kiri Civil War, playing a major role in helping the rebels win the war. He is also well known for multiple high-class assassinations, presumably most recent being Kageya Hirito, the wealthy business man." Asuma replied gesturing towards the smoke of in the distance, "But what he is most well-known for is for being the leader of the group called the Hidden Shadows…", he said as he saw a small glimpse of a red sash around his waist, "…Which means that the others are also in the village."

"A very good deduction Asuma… I see that time away from the Twelve Guardians has not dulled your abilities.", commented Kitsune before he sighed, "I'm afraid that I can't stay for long to chat as I'm getting late to the meetup." Kitsune glanced away towards the Hokage tower as he prepared to leap, "I assume you have everything handled here?"

"What do you mean 'everything handled here'? We're not done with you yet, big boy." Anko said as she stepped forward, only to watch him disappear in a gust of wind. Swearing, she turned around, "Come on guys, we ne-", before she was interrupted by Kurenai's body crashing into her. Anko groaned as she sat up, looking for what had happened only to widen her eyes as Asuma lowered his raised foot. The foot that he had used to kick Kurenai into her. "Asuma? What the heck do you think you're doing?"

Asuma simply smirked as he took his battle stance, ready with his trench knives, "Well I am just… How do you put it? Ah yes… Handling things."

Kurenai quickly overcame her shock as she stood next to Anko, both in their stances and ready to defend themselves, "You dare betray Konoha? The village run by your own father?!"

Asuma reached up, grabbing his cigarette before throwing it to a side, "I wouldn't call this betraying… Think of it as a simple spar.", he said lazily before dashing forward to engage two of the mistresses of Konohagakure.

****Inside the Hokage Tower****

Sarutobi Hiruzen stood there, looking through his window to see the village that he looked after. The legacy of both his senseis and predecessors but also his successor, the Yondaime Hokage. Each and every single one of them had put their life on the line to protect this village, in hopes that it would grow and prosper. He sighed as he felt four presences appear behind him, just as he had ordered. He waved a hand and dismissed the ANBU that had been guarding the room and activated the privacy seal before turning around to face them.

The four figures kneeled before him, each wearing the standard ANBU gear and their corresponding masks. Each was the most skilled within the corps in their field. First there was Kuma (Bear), a master of torture and interrogation. He was able to get any information that the village needed out of their captives, should he have enough time to complete his work. Unlike most members in the T&I department, Bear did not specialise in physical torture to draw out information. No, whilst he did use this on some occasions, he was more experienced in the art of mental torture and was so skilled that he could get information out of his captives without harming a single hair on their body.

Kneeling next to him was with her face covered in a snow leopard mask was, Hyō. She was his master spy, the best that he had next to Jiraiya. She was highly skilled in genjutsu and medical ninjutsu, which she learned in order to make unnoticeable poisons. She had completed multiple high S-rank missions, giving him the information that he needed in order to protect the village. Her missions varied, from being strictly information gathering only to gathering information before successfully assassinating her target.

The third figure kneeling in front of him was Iruka (Dolphin). The man had risen quickly through the ranks in the last three years, going from being a rookie to a complete elite in his field. He was an expert in tracking and was Hiruzen's best Hunter Nin. He had successfully collected many bounties of high ranking ninja, providing the village with money but also securing the safety of the village by eliminating threats. He used a jutsu, as hinted by his mask, that seemed to mimic echo-location in order to find his target when he was close enough. Dolphin currently had an impressive record, only failing to collect four bounties in his whole career.

Hiruzen knew the last figure that kneeled before him well… After all he had only just dismissed her a couple of minutes ago. Before him knelt Neko, his most trusted ANBU agent. She had quickly risen through the ranks during the time that Naruto and Kakashi had been gone, quickly becoming a name to be feared by Konoha's enemies. She was part of the ANBU who patrolled the village, ensuring its security. However, she was more than just a simple ANBU. She was his best assassin in the whole village, able to assassinate any of the targets that he assigned to her. She had the highest rate of successful assassinations in the whole of ANBU. He knew Kakashi would be surprised to see how far she had gotten.

Hiruzen gazed at what were his best ninja in the whole village before clearing his throat, "It has recently come to my attention, by a report that was-" he said before a loud explosion sounded through the village, his head snapping back immediately to look out the window. He saw smoke billowing up from, what he knew, was a somewhere in the Silver Dragon district. "What is goi-", he started before he was interrupted once again by a messenger who rushed in, closing the door behind him.

"Hokage-sama, we detected an intrusion in the barrier a minute ago. We are still trying to figure out how many intruders there are and locate where they currently are in the village." said the out of breath messenger as he took deep breaths of air.

It was at that moment that everything erupted into chaos…

The door blew in and nailed the messenger in the back sending him flying towards the ANBU and the Hokage, all of whom jumped away quickly. The messenger was not so lucky as he crashed right into the Hokage's table, knocking himself out at his head collided with it with a sickening thud. The ANBU quickly pulled out their weapons, ready to defend their Kage at all costs as the room filled with smoke. But it was too slow… Way too slow… Before they could even move they were they were hit and incapacitated.

As the smoke cleared to reveal the carnage that had occurred, Hiruzen looked around to see what had unfolded. He saw that Kuma was on the floor, being held down by a foot of a panther-masked man whilst the man had his sword resting threateningly across Hyō's neck before she had even realised it. Dolphin was incapacitated as he was currently on his knees, with his own hand being twisted to point a kunai into the back of his head by a man with a crow mask. Neko had been disarmed, her swords laying on the ground, as a silver wolf masked man twisted her arm around her back from behind whilst he held a kunai to her throat, ready to slice at a moment's notice to stop her from struggling. His attention was grabbed by a clapping noise coming from right in front of him, looking on as a man cloaked in a blood-red cloak wearing a fox mask walked into his office.

"This is the best that Konoha, the 'strongest shinobi village' has to offer? Pathetic.", Kitsune gowled out as he walked in.

Hiruzen knew who these men were… The Hidden Shadows… An exceptionally skilled group of shinobi. He watched on as Kitsune drew his bow and aim directly at him, drawing an arrow back which elicited desperate noises and struggles from his ANBU before they were quickly stopped by the rest of the Hidden Shadows. He knew this moment was coming… He had known for a long time… He watched as Kitsune released the string… He watched the arrow fly true towards him… He watched as it came closer towards him directly at his head, as if the arrow was coming in slow motion. He watched on as the arrow came closer… And closer… Before…

*Thump*

It made its mark…

Hiruzen turned around to glance at the dead shinobi laying on the floor behind him, laying in a pool of his own blood, the 'Ne' symbol representing Root ANBU clearly visible on his mask.

"I guess we have a lot to work on, don't we?" muttered Kitsune signalling to his teammates, who let go off their hostages and joined him in standing in parade in front of the Hokage. Kitsune gestured towards the unconscious messenger nin.

Hiruzen nodded as he woke up the unconscious nin with a small water jutsu, "Go stop the fight between Asuma, Kurenai and Anko. Tell them that the test is over and to report to me tomorrow."

"Hokage-sama? What is going on?" asked a confused and suspicious Neko as she rearmed herself, not wanting to repeat the same mistake again as stood ready to defend her Hokage again as her fellow ANBU took defensive stances. She only became more confused as the Hokage chuckled, hesitantly standing down along with the rest of her comrades when he gave the signal. Hiruzen chuckled before gesturing towards the men standing before him.

"ANBU captains may I introduce you to your commanders, the elite Hidden Shadows."

Hey guys it's MaelstromsLastStand here. Holy sh*t did that take a long time to write. 15, 550 words. It was pretty difficult to write as I struggled a bit with a few parts in this chapter, which was why I took so long. Sorry about that. Anyway I'm going to be taking a (well-deserved) break for a while. The next chapter that I will be uploading will probably be a chapter of my new fanfic since I want to get that up and running as well. Anyway, hope you enjoy your day.

Please review,

MaelstromsLastStand