I laughed derisively. "Yeah. A dishonored swordsman, regarded as the weakest member, by a mile. You attempted to use Zabuza's failed assassination as an excuse for your own defection. The whispers though say you saw an opportunity to escape your shame as the weakest."
"Don't you mention that cursed name around me! All of them were sinners! I was by far the weakest member. Those are all lies!"
I sneered. "The words of a failure and weakling." Raiga's chakra roiled with rage and shame. Bingo. Those rumors were true then. "You couldn't hack it as one of the only loyal swordsman, the pressure to lead and rebuild too much for a failure like you. You tucked your tail and bolted at the first opening. You're pathetic. A disgrace."
Raiga roared in bestial rage and charged forward. I raised a finger, firing off a single laser. It narrowly missed his head, taking a chunk of the greasy black hair that hung lank across his scalp. He halted his charge, glancing back, eyes widening seeing the perfectly spherical hole in the cloth knapsack that hid his young passenger.
"That was a warning shot. I aim for the heart next time which will easily pass through your lanky frame, right through the head of the boy. Put him down, and fight me. I will not hold back because of a child." I said in an emotionless monotone, staring at the missing ninja with deadened eyes.
"Ranmaru and I are a team! We fight as one!" Raiga's patienent reply came after only a moment's hesitation. His chakra was in turmoil.
Fear. Hesitation. Rage. Concern. Doubt. Hatred.
This hodge podge of emotions was doing things to my mind. My thoughts were slightly clouded, the haze of euphoria slowly taking hold.
I smiled savagely.
The demons were awakening from their slumber.
"Then so be it." I announced imperiously.
I rushed the sword weilder. He raised his swords in preparation. When I was within striking distance, I disappeared from his sight, reappearing in his blindspot to his right. I lashed out with a lightning coated kunai, my grin widening as it drew closer to the target.
I felt the chakra on his back spike.
Raiga instantly spun, without hesitation, easily blocking my killing strike with unnatural ease. His own insane grin splitting his face while mine turned to a frown.
Raiga lashed out, but I was already gone. I reappeared thirty feet away, eyes narrowed in suspicion.
'A sensor? If so, he's a naturally powerful one. His chakra usage was too large for a simple sensing technique. I wonder…' I ended my internal musing, plan in place. I sent a small surge of chakra to one of the seals on my gloves. Four senbon appeared in my dominant left hand.
I made eye contact with Raiga, drowning out the noise spewing from his insane lips. My chakra glided easily through my pathways, molding in the all too familiar way I had grown accustomed to. With only the barest of thoughts, I disappeared from view. Near instantly, over 100 copies of my smug mug were surrounding Raiga and his passenger. Raiga's smile slipped, his eyes widening. His gaze searched around frantically, eyes darting left to right. He was muttering something, but I couldn't make out what he was saying.
Mirror feelings of sheer panic invaded my senses.
I grinned widely in satisfaction, my tested theory proven correct.
I threw one senbon and moved. The second. The third. The final senbon. Each coming from a different direction. The first one in Raiga's blind spot. The following senbon from areas that would become a blind spot when he turned to repel the attacks.
One, Two, Three, Four. All blocked with pinpoint precision.
I reappeared directly in front of Raiga.
"The boy has an eye technique." I stated out loud. Not a question. A definitive fact.
"H-how do you know that?" Raiga asked in disbelief.
"You blocked my first attack from your blind spot with relative ease. It was too perfect. There is no way you should have reacted in time to my attack. I felt the boy's chakra spike right before you turned. At first I assumed he was a sensor, a powerful one at that. I crafted a theory and tested it. An eye technique is the only plausible answer." I smirked in confidence.
"What theory? What test?" Raiga asked, licking his lips nervously.
I internally rolled my eyes. This guy was former ANBU? Either Kiri was just that trash of a village, or Raiga had lost a lot of what made a shinobi a shinobi.
"I used chakra to unseal four senbon. I then continuously used chakra to perform my 'Body-Flicker Dance' technique. The entire time, both of your chakras were panicked and in disarray. Had the boy been a powerful sensor, he would have been at least able to follow me to a degree. I move too fast for all but the most powerful sensors to track me. I move too fast for all but the absolute strongest eyes to follow me."
I then threw those four senbon at your blind spot, predicting where you would turn to keep attacking from outside your peripheral vision. An eye bloodline may have not been able to keep up with my location and speed, but they would easily pick up the projectiles I threw. You keep him in that knapsack, preventing the world from glimpsing him. However, he also has no way to see the world around him. Unless he has enhanced vision. Vision with powerful penetrating abilities…"
I narrowed my eyes dangerously at the man. "If that boy is a lost member of the Hyuga Clan, I will personally break you, then drag you back to Konoha to allow our T&I clan, as well as Lord Hyuga their own opportunities to have their way with you."
"He's not a Hyuga! I swear!" Raiga's panicked voice called out before I had even finished my sentence.
"Good. Then I'll feel only slightly guilty when I put a hole through his head."
Pure. Primal. Fear.
I took a deep breath, savoring the emotional turmoil I had caused.
I opened my eyes and grinned evilly at the older man, disappearing in a burst of speed.
*********************************Kenta is BACK!****************************************
"He's the absolute real deal." Haku said out loud.
Sakura hummed her agreement.
"He's certainly dramatic. He could have ended this fight a dozen different ways already." Sasuke grunted in annoyance.
"He could have. But I think…" Sakura trailed.
"What is that, Miss Sakura?" Haku asked quietly.
"This is his test for himself to make sure he's mentally ready to use his tactics when the fights really matter. This Raiga guy, as Sasuke put it, should be dead a dozen times over. Kenta is toying with him. Using that silver tongue of his to cause as much emotional and psychological damage as possible. I just hope this is his Kiba bluff all over again. You don't think he'd actually kill a child, do you?" Sakura's face pinched in worry, her voice mirroring her body language.
"No. He isn't that far gone." Sasuke said, not elaborating further.
"I will agree with Lord Sasuke. He may make the threats, and he might actually make it believable, but I do not think he would actually harm an innocent. Kenta can be… vicious. But he is not a monster." Haku quietly said.
Sakura heaved a pent up sigh. "You're both right. I guess he still makes me nervous. I can't read him anymore. One minute I think we're back on track to being friends, the next I'm walking on eggshells and biting my tongue. I hope this goes away."
"It will. He just needs time to trust you again. Kenta isn't a blind optimist. He's a realist. Give him no reason to doubt you and he'll eventually thaw out. The fact that he still jokes with you should show you that he's leaning on the side of forgiveness." Sasuke shot a quick smile at Sakura before his eyes snapped back to the one-sided slow burn slaughter. His crimson orbs attempting to absorb every detail.
"Sasuke?" Sakura called out hesitantly.
"What do you think about Kenta? What is he to you?"
Sasuke glanced over at Sakura before returning his eyes to the fight. He seemed to take a few moments to gather his thoughts.
"I think it would be easier to answer what Kenta isn't to me. He's many things. A rival. A goal. An infuriating source of annoyance. A comrade. A friend." He paused and this time locked eyes with Sakura. "My first and best friend at that."
Sakura's mouth slightly opened in surprise. "I didn't know you two were that close."
Sasuke snorted. "The annoying blonde bastard didn't give me any choice. We started out as sparring partners after wave. From there, we'd just have small chats here and there. Eventually those small chats grew more personal. Before I knew it, he was the first person I thought of when I needed to get something off my chest. The first person I knew to go to when the anxiety and loneliness were too much to push away on my own. I don't know how. I don't know why. We were never close as kids. The nicest way I can describe our relationship was a grudging respect for the other. In the real world, this relationship shouldn't have been possible. For whatever reason though, it is. The only thing I truly know is that without Kenta, I wouldn't have grown into the man I am today."
"Sounds like someone is in love." Sakura teased lightly.
Sasuke pinned the girl with a flat stare. "Hardly. One, despite the rumors, I am not a fan of the same sex. Two, even if I was, Kenta and I would kill each other. The only reason he was able to worm his way in is because he's so versed in psychology. He knew what to say. When to say it. When not to say anything. I don't know why he decided to befriend me, but the way I was after graduation, he was the only one capable of such a miraculous feat. He's never pushed me to open up more than I was comfortable with. Never pressed me for answers I didn't want to give. He took what I gave him and was content until we next spoke. He had the happiest childhood, full of love. Yet somehow, someway, he understood me."
"I get it. Kenta is an enigma, yet so easy to read. His love for the village extends to every single person that lives in it. He saw a lonely boy in pain. He reached out to you. However, you give him too much credit. If you truly weren't looking for such a connection, you wouldn't have let it happen. Consciously or not, you reached out to him when extended the branch of friendship. I'm happy for you, Sasuke. I'm glad he was there when you needed him most." Sakura said softly with a small smile on her face. She turned towards her former crush and shot him a mischievous smirk. "We all owe Kenta a lot. Without him you'd still probably be an antisocial, moody bastard."
A giggle sounded to Sakura's left, causing her to turn wide eyed toward the third member of their little gathering.
"Haku! I am so sorry. We completely ignored you!" Sakura said in rush.
Haku waved her off with a light laugh. "It is fine, Miss Sakura. I was enjoying the conversation. I'm much more a wallflower than a social butterfly." Haku explained. "Besides, Kenta's fight is growing boring. He truly does seem to be practicing his craft more than actually attempting to finish this fight. I never thought I would see myself feeling sorry for such a repulsive creature, but Kenta is being exceptionally brutal today."
"He's finished playing with his food. This fight should be ending soon." Sasuke announced, eyes trained back on the fight.
********************************Cute Scenes Are Lyfe!***********************************
I sneered at the panting man across the clearing from me. I had been bombarding the man with disparaging remarks and cutting words for nearly an hour, wearing down his body and spirit. The demons roared inside, telling me to finish him. I was pleased that their influence was much easier to keep at bay than I initially thought.
"I think I've had enough practice. The rust has been shaken loose. I wish to see my friends and family, so I will be performing your funeral now." I called out to the cornered beast.
"You! You! I will kill you!" Raiga screamed in outrage.
I rolled my eyes, injecting chakra into one of my seals. I was going to finish this. In the most dramatic way possible.
I charged forward, Raiga mimicking my moves.
I was within striking distance, my habits causing Raiga is downfall. He twitched, ready to spin and intercept my blindside attack.
I didn't vanish this time, I continued straight forward. Raiga's eyes widened, he lashed out with his left sword. I ducked the sloppily thrown strike, spinning out of the way of the hasty stab he made with his right arm. Letting my momentum carry me, I pivoted on my heel, driving the senbon I had palmed deep into the tricep muscle on his right arm. I flashed back, flashing a smirk in victory.
"Game over." I called out.
His answer was a crazed howl and bull rush forward. He made it six steps before he stumbled. Three more steps and his face was in the dirt. I stalked forward towards my prey, the promise of death in my eyes.
"W-what d-did you do to me?" He asked weakly.
"Paralytic." I said quickly. I lunched forward with my kunai, his eyes widened in panic. I slashed the knot holding the bundle on his back. It sprung open a terrible small and frail child blinked up in terror at me.
I felt my heart clench. He was Kono's age. His tiny clothes hung loose on his skeletal frame. Hallowed cheekbones and gaunt eyes stared back at me. He was pale, and not just from his terrified disposition. This boy was on death's door.
The demons inside me called for blood. This time, I complied.
"What is this?" I hissed at Raiga in righteous fury, arm holding the boy in place, shaking him ever so slightly to get my point across.
"Ranmaru," he replied weakly. "He is… Precious to me. Please, do not hurt him."
I snarled like a diseased animal. "You pathetic piece of shit. Don't you lie to me. This boy has one foot in the grave. He's sick! He needs medical attention. He needs food! Do not spout to me the lies you fed to this boy and yourself to justify your insane actions."
"I'm not… lying." He said, eyes swimming with tears.
I turned to the bow, eyes softening. "Ranmaru, right?"
He nodded hesitantly.
"We're going to get you out of here. We're going to take you back to Konoha. We'll get you medical treatment. I promise you I will take care of you." I said in soft voice. The boy's fear, which had moments ago had me on cloud nine, had my stomach roiling in disgust.
"W-what about Mister Raiga?" He asked in a small voice, concerned eyes glancing at the downed man. "He's not a bad person, I swear."
"I know you think so, Ranmaru. But I promise you, he is a very bad man. Once we get you better, we'll have a grownup discussion. Do you know what Stockholm Syndrome is?" I asked in a kind voice. Arms rubbing his disgustingly skinny arms to warm the shaking boy.
He shook his head. "N-no. But… Will I be hurt in Konoha? The village I grew up in… everyone was scared of me because my eyes were strange. They said I was a demon. Mister Raiga was the only nice person to me, ever. I… I don't want to leave him." Tiny little tears were leaking from the boys eyes.
I glanced up at the three comrades standing in the tree line. I motioned for them to come over. Ranmaru jumped at suddenly being surrounded by three more shinobi. His eyes ignited in a crimson glow, the pupil becoming a vertical line.
"S-stay back! Please don't hurt me!" He cried in desperation.
Waves of agonizing sadness poured off Haku. This was the newly named director of the pediatric wing. The man loved kids. He knelt down slowly in front of Ranmaru, not making any kind of sudden movements.
"Hello, Ranmaru. My name is Haku. I am a medic of Konoha. Your eyes are very pretty, did you know that?" He spoke to the poor in a kind tone, sending soothing and calming vibes towards the tiny child.
He shook his head and answered Haku in a low voice. I tuned them out momentarily turning to Sakura.
"Do you know what those eyes are?" I asked the resident budding bloodline expert.
She nodded enthusiastically. "The Ketsuryūgan. I thought it was completely extinct. It's a very powerful Eye Bloodline. On par with the two we have in Konoha. Kenta… If we bring him back to the village and they learn about a new eye bloodline…" She trailed off, her face pinched in anxiety.
I nodded. "I won't let that happen. Besides, Lord Fifth is one of two surviving members of a clan with an Eye Bloodline. Do you really think he would subjugate the boy to that?"
Sakura's eyes widened and then her face crumpled in relief. "You're right. I apologize for the negative thoughts. Orochimaru told me stories and I-"
"I get it, Sakura. There will be push from a few of the power hungry councilmembers, but it will be just background static. We'll protect him. I promise." I said in a low but kind voice to the concerned woman. I turned to Sasuke and motioned with my head towards the boy. Sasuke sighed dramatically.
He walked over to the quietly chatting duo of Haku and Ranmaru.
"Hey, kid. I want to show you something. Don't freak out." Sasuke demanded. Sakura cleared her throat and sent the boy a withering glare when he turned her direction.
"Um… Ok, mister." Ranmaru replied anxiously.
"I'm going to close my eyes, when I open them, you'll see we weren't lying about your eyes." Sasuke explained in a MUCH kinder voice this time. He shut his eyes, a heartbeat later, he slowly opened them, revealing his own crimson colored orbs.
Ranmaru gasped, and the first smile we had seen on the boy lit his face up. "Miss Haku was right! There are others like me! Your eyes are very cool, Mister…"
"Sasuke," he supplied. "Your eyes are also… very cool." He grimaced at the use of slang.
"Ranmaru." I called out.
He turned to me, his eyes wary, but no longer fearful. "Yes?"
"Would you like to come with us? Would you like a real home?" I asked with a smile.
His face lit up once more. "Yes, sir! That sounds amazing!"
I laughed loudly. "Ok. Would you be uncomfortable if Miss Haku or Miss Sakura carried you?"
He shook his head rapidly. "I don't mind at all." He turned towards Haku. "I can ride piggy back if that's more comfortable for you. I know I don't look it, but I'm strong enough to hold on for a bit."
Haku laughed lightly. "We will start with a piggy back ride and adjust as we need to." He knelt down in front of the boy. "Climb onboard the Haku express!"
Ranmaru laughed in childish delight, complying with the request. Haku stood up and looked to me for direction.
"You three go on, I'll catch up." I murmured quietly so that Ranmaru wouldn't hear. He was talking animatedly with Haku who kept one ear open for the boy.
My three minions nodded, and vanished as quickly as they appeared. I turned towards Raiga.
"Heh. Not such a hard ass as you pretend to be are you?" He had a drunken smirk on his face, the paralytic strong enough to dull most of the facial muscles.
"To innocent children, absolutely not. I'm a big brother after all." I said with no inflection in my voice.
Raiga's face softened and he glanced towards me. "Thank you. For taking care of Ranmaru. He… was the only good in my life. Give him a good home for me, will you?"
The demons unleashed the rage that had been building. The calls for blood echoed like war drums in my ears.
I flickered over to the paralyzed man, a mask of sheer and unabashed hatred on my face. I grabbed him by his disgustingly greasy hair, and pulled hard. His grunt of pain was only the beginning of quenching the flames of rage that had been stoked.
"You do not get to pretend that you actually cared for that boy. You are a disgusting, worthless, piece of shit. I have more empathy for the bacteria that cling to my sandal after stepping in a pile of animal shit. That boy is neglected, malnourished, sick, and shows absolutely abhorrent signs of mental abuse. You would have rectified at least one of those things if you truly cared. I will make sure you suffer. Your reign of insane terror ends today, Raiga." I threw him away, his face impacting the ground hard enough for the sounds of cartilage snapping to be heard.
I pushed chakra into a hidden 13th seal on my gloves. A senbon landed in my palm. This one was different than all the others. I only carried one on me at a time. It was only for the most vile pieces of shit on the planet.
I turned back to my helpless victim, primal pleasure coursing through my veins at the thought of what was about to happen. I waved the senbon in front of him. It was a matte black in color. Slightly thinner than my normal throwing needles.
"I have a surprise for you." I whispered in his ear in childish glee. "You're only the second person to ever receive this gift. Do you know what it is?"
"Poison, I'm guessing. Good luck. Kiri made me immune to the vast majority of toxins that grow naturally in the world. Also, most animal venom." Raiga sneered.
I clicked my tongue. "You should use that wittle bwain of yours. If you were immune to them, would my paralytic have worked so quickly or potently…?
I grinned viciously at his widening eyes as the gravity of my statement sunk in.
"Since I was three years old, I helped my older brother and mother raise plants. By the time I was six, I was advanced enough to begin crossbreeding my own plants. I excelled at it." I explained, my manic gaze never leaving his. "There are only three ingredients in this lovely little brew. Unlike the rest of my poisons, this one is extra special. The ingredients were made from my own personal breed of flora. Flora I have been cultivating and improving for over a decade."
I shuddered as the creeping sense of foreboding began to permeate the air. He understood the implications.
"Basilisk Venom," I whispered in his ear. "That is the name of this marvelous creation."
I jabbed the needle into his calf muscle, the furthest area from the heart. I wanted this to hurt.
"The first symptom you will begin to feel is a slight tingle in your skin and the numbing of the roof of your mouth." I changed my tone. My clinical tutor voice coming into play. "Within twenty minutes, max, the tingling will become a slight itch. Within the hour, that slight itch becomes maddening."
I savored the unease and fear coming from the man in increasing quantities.
"For the next 3 hours, your entire body will experience an overwhelming sensation of complete and utter maddening irritation. Every inch of skin will scream its need to be scratched. Normally, you would be able to oblige… Scratching and scratching until you begin to break skin and create abrasions all over yourself."
I withdrew a different needle, jabbing it into his left arm.
"That, is my strongest does of paralytic. It's just weak enough to allow the lungs to expand, but strong enough that you won't even be able to utter a scream." I explained to the quickly panicking man as I removed the second needle.
"Once the itching fades, you will send your prayers to the gods, thanking them for ending your nightmare." I met his gaze. "You will soon begin to pray that the itch returns. The second step to my poison will over stimulate your entire nervous system. A gentle breeze that we savor on a sweltering day will feel like knives raking across your skin. The clothes touching your skin will feel like the coarsest sandpaper you've ever felt. The grass beneath your face will feel as though spears are piercing your flesh bit by bit…"
I walked over to a tree and began to rig a trap. "Before I continue to explain what my poison will do over the course of the next five days, I just realized. The worst part of stage two is all those little abrasions you gave yourself over your body from the maddening itch will feel like untreated gaping wounds. I'm setting this trap to launch the antidote when the itch reaches its climax. A well trained shinobi may be able to resist the urges as the sensation builds over time. I can't have you missing out on the best part!" I cheered happily.
I brushed my hands off, happy with my little antidote delivery rig.
"Now, stage 3. This is where it gets really fun. The poison will continue to overstimulate your nervous system, but the itch will return! Isn't that exciting!?"
I laughed in pleasure at the sheer terror the man was experiencing now.
"Oh I can feel it. You know what that means, so I won't explain myself. Stage four. Hmmmm… What was stage four again?" I paced back and forth, attempting to "remember" what stage four was. "Oh yeah! The true purpose of this poison. After 24 hours, the poison will begin to target your chakra. It will corrupt and poison it slowly over time. Eventually, the poison will have reproduced enough that your entire chakra system is compromised. As it circulates your body, it will fill your cells with its life giving energy." I smiled darkly at the man, wishing I could be here to witness this part.
"Its true purpose is to halt the natural occurrence of cellular division. After 48 hours, you will begin to painfully and quickly die; cell… by… cell."
I wish I had a word to describe the feelings I was bathing in at the current moment. Terror wasn't strong enough. I don't think there was a word for the waves of absolute mind-shattering horror rolling off the man.
I laughed loudly. Savoring the feeling one last time.
I bent down, scooping up the Kiba Blades and storing them away.
I turned on my heel, taking one last look at the soon to be corpse.
"Savor it, Raiga. The fear you feel now is only a fraction of what your victims you buried alive felt. The wicked will always be punished. It may not be immediate, but the cries of vengeance from the pure lands reach our plane at some point. Goodbye, Murderer."
And with a slight gust of wind, I left the clearing. Mind already tossing the doomed man I left to rot out the window.
The demons quieted for now, their bloodlust sated.
Hopefully one day, I could quiet the demons permanently. I hoped that one day, I could become who I was before I lost my father.
Today was a big step forward. I dove back into the darkness, and I this time I didn't lose myself.
My father would always be in my heart and memories. I will continue to strive to make him proud. I knew the only thing he truly wanted though was for me to never fall to darkness.
I would not settle for anything less than perfection. I would not let my father down.
How was it? As bad as I thought it was? Let me know! Don't hold back!
Kenta's Mancrush list! This will be worked into the story as a running gag (if you haven't figured it out)
Legacy Members: Minato Namikaze. Hiruzen Sarutobi. Shisui Uchiha. Itachi Uchiha.
Fifth Place…. Gaara!
Fourth Place…. A!
Third Place…. Nagato!
Second Place…. DADDY Shark! Kisame :D
And the winner… Kaka-Sensei!
Should we have a scene where Kenta declares his eternal love to Kakashi?
I asked where y'all thought Kenta would fit in Hogwarts… We had some diversity, but it seems that Slytherin was the most mentioned, which I completely agree with. Kenta is a total Snek.
This week I SHOULD be able to have an actual POLL. GO VOTE!
Question! Which Hogwarts house would NARUTO UZUMAKI be in :D
Thanks for all the love, support, critiques, everything. You all are amazing.
See you next week.
Remember, my PM box is open to anyone for ANYTHING. It doesn't have to be story/Naruto related. If you just need to vent to an unbiased stranger, I'm your dude.
Have a great week, Kenta Fans! Stay safe. WASH YOUR NASTY HANDS!
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.