Snap Back To Reality 22
When I went home the next morning, I was tired and confused. I had been led out with a bag over my head and then dropped discreetly a block away from my house. The other children weren't taken back, so they were either considered dead or orphans no one really cared about. I felt a little guilty. They were back there, and I was here, outside my home. I shakily walked up the side wall and got in through my window. I didn't want to go through the bakery right now. No one needed to see me.
I paused at the window to see Yua sitting on my bed, her green hair in disarray. Her tired eyes went wide as she looked at me and then back at the kunai in her hand. I awkwardly closed the window as I entered, pushing my matted hair out of my face, and straightening up. Her deep viridian eyes glanced at me and winced.
"I failed again," she whispered.
"Seriously," I groaned. "Look, I—I don't know what to say—"
I expected a look of disgust maybe, but I didn't expect her to get up from my bed, fall on her knees in front of me and wrap me in a hug despite her too-big stomach. I froze in confusion, my first instincts having been embarrassingly enough, to grab my kunai and defend myself. I felt something wet drip onto my neck, and then it dawned on me that she was crying.
"Maa, getting all worked up like this can't be good for the baby," I tried desperately to bring her back from her emotional outburst.
"They hurt you—just like they hurt Hina," she cried.
"I am Hina," I said in growing worry. Was she becoming unhinged or something?
"This is wrong… we need to leave. We can leave the village—"
I stiffened considerably. I jerked out of her hold and held her mouth shut, my eyes going wide. Then I looked around desperately and paled when I smelt bloody kunai on the roof. I looked back at my mother and hoped desperately that she saw my expression. I decided to mouth it. 'Shinobi listening,' I said mutely, moving my lips and hoping she understood. Considering her expression she probably did. I held her hands and mouthed breathing, doing a visible in and out technique that my old mother had taught me, and after a few moments of following my movements she calmed down too. She was still spooked, and honestly so was I.
"I just had a troublesome training session was all. Nothing to worry about," I said smiling falsely at her.
She blinked, and then wiped away the tears in her eyes before nodding. I moved to my table and took out a pen and moved to write. A sudden blinding pain shuddered through my body and it took all my will power to not fall to my knees. My tongue burnt and the pain shot through my throat. I gripped it, gasping mutely for breath.
I held out a hand in distress and staggered out of my room and down the hallway toward the bathroom. I only stopped once I was inside and I fell to the floor, gasping for breath. My lungs burned painfully as I coughed and hacked, vomiting on the floor. The seal had—oh kami, that was agonising. I hissed angrily at myself. Of course there were safeguards against writing information regarding ROOT. I wasn't even going to write anything incriminating, just give her a warning about dangerous shinobi on my tail, but even that was apparently too much information. I bit my thumb and slumped against the cold tiles. What was I going to do?
"Hina, are you okay?"
It was dad. I coughed the rest of the pain away before opening the door and giving him my best grin. Dad looked down at me with a worried expression and Yua followed behind, her skin still visibly pale.
"Everything's fine tousan. I had a special training session. It was to evaluate my progress," I said.
"So then it wasn't Inuzuka-san that did this to you?" he asked, only looking mildly relieved.
I turned my attention to the mirror and realised that yes, I looked like absolute shit. The visible part of my arm was littered in bruises, my right eye wasn't swollen, but it was still slightly blue around the skin and bloodshot. My hair was matted against my forehead and my skin almost looked like I had drained all the blood from it.
"No Sensei's too soft," I snorted.
"Then who did? I need to have a talk with them?" Dad growled.
I hesitated and then tried to think of something, anything and I couldn't think of anything, so I just sent mom of all people, a look calling for help. To my relief she put a hand on dad's shoulder and pulled him away.
"Nori, let's go give her some time to rest. She looks like she needs it," Yua said sternly, a hint of desperation in her voice, signalling something was wrong.
What the heck was I thinking? I needed to be more discreet. If they found out—if they found out ROOT would most definitely assassinate them. They weren't like Sensei, or Shikaku, they were civilians with no real way to defend themselves. I closed the bathroom door again and bit my lip. It suddenly felt like the whole world was crashing down on me at once. Yesterday's day out at the festival almost seemed like an impossible dream.
Fix up your shit Hina. You can die, but if you fail your family again, you'll be worse than trash.
I shoved all my worry down into the pit of my stomach and got into the shower. Once I managed to get all the crusted blood, sweat and dirt of I walked out of the bathroom and back into my bedroom. I took out my turtleneck khaki shirt and threw it on, along with full length pants. No one could see the bruises in this. I needed to—I didn't know what to do. I had a confirmed ROOT agent tailing me. I couldn't go to anyone suspicious. I wanted to run to Sensei and Nami and be dogpiled by all of Yama's puppies forever and never do a shinobi related gig again but going to Sensei so soon would be suspicious. The next two people I wanted to see would either be too suspicious or not useful enough. Hanami was related to Shikaku, and knowing how deep ROOT ran, I was sure Shikaku was on their shit list. Guy was calming and great, but he wasn't some important shinobi, or related to anyone important. I didn't think anyone but me, his dad and maybe Kurenai and Asuma would miss him if he were gone. I couldn't risk him.
That left me with Kakashi.
"Hina, where are you going?" Yua asked.
I turned to mom while I put on my jacket and I sent the window a wary glance before smiling stiffly at her. She looked worried, which normally would have been something I'd been overjoyed about—because apparently, she didn't hate me, but right now I just didn't want her killed.
"I'm going to visit a friend. Hatake Kakashi, I'm not sure you know him. We'll probably go out fishing again," I said casually, taking my normally slouched position.
"Ok, take care," she said with a frown.
I waved casually at her before leaving.
Kakashi, was an extremely lonely kid. He didn't talk much, probably not because he didn't like talking, but he just wasn't used to it. So of course I found him ﬁshing- which in my opinion was an old man hobby. I had sniffed out his scent after buying some mochi to bribe his company. It worked because when he turned around with an annoyed expression, I held up the bag and he instantly patted the rock next to him.
"Are you stalking me?" Kakashi asked raising a brow.
"Please, I have more important things to do with my time," I snorted.
"Uh-huh, and that explains why you know where I am."
Oof, he got me there. I conceded the point silently, not agreeing or disagreeing. His eyes trailed down to what little skin uncovered over my hand. He didn't ask. I let out a grateful sigh. Kakashi was the only one I really trusted to ever see underneath the underneath. He may only be 7 but he was a strangely intuitive shinobi.
"How's training?" he asked.
I blinked in surprise and sent chakra to my ears. I heard the minute shuﬄing of feet about 100 meters away. I was still being tailed.
"It's so boring. I hate training," I grumbled rather childishly.
Kakashi stiffened and I did a little internal cheering. I'd never say I hated training. I was the one who always begged for more. I just wished he weren't so easy to read. Thankfully, he relaxed his posture soon after.
"Maybe some training with Minato-sensei will help."
"I can't say it will. I don't want to train more remember," I said pursing my lips.
I didn't want to meet Minato directly. I just needed to get him suspicious enough that something was going on. Then I'd let the adults do their thing. They had ties and connections and lifelines that I did not have yet. While I would love to personally torture the imbecile Danzo myself, I just didn't have the power right now. As far as I was concerned, I was playing the long game right now. I would just have to treat this as a long term involuntary undercover mission with an emphasis on sabotage and intelligence gathering. If I played my cards right, Danzo would be eating the force of several very powerful ninjas ﬁsts.
"Want some more mochi?" I asked.
Right now I would focus on ﬁshing.
After bothering Kakashi for what was the next three or so hours, I found that the day actually had about six hours in it, six hours I had no idea what to do with. It was cold, but it was only going to snow next month, and even then, barely because this was known as the land of fire for a reason. It wasn't as hot as Suna, but it was close. I didn't feel comfortable enough going to Sensei or Hanami just yet. I just needed a moment alone with my thoughts, and so I went to the river near the Uchiha compound, the one I liked to frequent with the children. There was a pretty good dango stand there after all.
There was always one couple or the other leaning down together on the red bridge there, surrounded by Sakura trees on either end. The river itself was quite beautiful, and with how out of the way this place was, people only really came to sit down and relax here. I laid down on the grass and looked up at the fluffy clouds. Huh. One of them kind of looked like a really fat rabbit. After about two seconds of doing this I got right back up out of boredom and then began walking around the area. A bright red SALE sign caught my attention and I turned to see a bookstore. I used to love reading books as a child, but it had always been fantasy. After… Josh—well I remembered why I stuck to books that needed to be read.
"It couldn't hurt could it…"
I guiltily opened the store door and entered the bookstore and my way up to the fiction section. I scoured through the library and then fell onto a rather bright orange cover. The spine read, Icha Icha, and I looked around a little flustered before picking it up. Oh kami, I hoped the ROOT agent watching me right now didn't judge me. I was curious as to what exactly was the appeal of this porn novella that made future Kakashi of all people read it around like an addict. Once there weren't any people around, I opened up the book and began reading.
About 20 minutes in…
What the fuck? This was brilliant! The characters were all instantly likeable, and the girl Sachi was so freaking pure—well in the sense of pure only a dominatrix with a heart of gold could manage. It also took the perfect amount of time building up to the sex, and when it eventually did happen, I found myself giggling.
I snapped the book shut and spun around face flushed. How exactly had I not noticed someone come up behind me? I looked at the unimpressed cashier and felt the start of a blush.
"This isn't a library. You have to buy the book to sit here and read it," she said fixing her glasses, before her eyes fell on said book and I felt my face heat up considerably. "That is for adults only. Maybe try that section."
She pointed at the children's books section, and I felt a tad bit indignant. Technically I was an adult, by this world's laws too, and so I just tapped my hitaite with a frown and the woman paused, sending the book in my hand a mild seething look.
"Well if you insist on erotica, may I suggest something more tasteful?"
"… Um sure?"
She scanned the section and plucked out three books. I took them from her hands and skimmed through it. It was romance novels for sure… but it lacked the quirkiness that I'd just read from simply the first page of Icha Icha.
"Ne, thanks for the um—suggestions, but can I buy this one?" I asked holding out the orange book.
She looked mildly affronted, although whether it was because a 6-year-old was buying explicit porn or because she didn't approve of my taste in books, I didn't know. She gestured for me to follow her to the desk and then she checked the price tag on the book and asked for the money. I bent over to my socks and pulled out a wad of emergency cash I always kept in there. She looked at me oddly for a second, but didn't say anything, so maybe she was used to shinobi weirdness.
"Come back once that book is done, and I'll guarantee I can find better erotica for you," she said a little too passionately.
"Ahhh… ok," I stuttered, biting down a blush.
I pocketed the book as discreetly as I could into my jacket pocket. There was definitely no way I would read this in public. I wasn't like future Kakashi, or Jiriya—I guess I was a closet perve then. The thought made me a little depressed and then I bowed lightly to the woman before hastily making my retreat. I jumped on down the road and decided I may as well take a stroll, considering tonight would no doubt be another gruelling training session in ROOT. I should use this week of recovery free time before it was over, and I'd be training with Sensei and ROOT at the same time. The thought of that made me shudder.
My nose sniffled the air as I caught the scent of a familiar dog. I barely had the time to dodge before I felt Yama leap onto me, pinning me on the road and then promptly sitting on me. A few startled passers-by jumped out of the way and began milling around me. I groaned as my aching body was sat on by the heavy dog. I hoped Sensei wasn't around, but if Yama was here, then he would be here also.
"Yama get off," I grumbled.
"Yeah, yeah your ambush skills are amazing. Now get off ya mut," I grumbled amusedly, twisting my body and pushing his snout until he began panting excitedly and backing off. Sensei barked a laugh from behind me and I grumbled. Yama was a rather powerful dog. It annoyed me that an animal was Jounin level and I wasn't, but I tried not to let that get me down.
"Hina—" Sensei began before he saw my face and the smile died in his eyes. Shit. I looked down and dusted myself off, angling my face so he couldn't see the discolouration on the other side. I scratched my nose awkwardly. "Ah, you tracked me down for something didn't you?"
"I wanted to know how the evaluation went. I was going to come find you yesterday, but I thought you'd be at the Winter festival. Seems like you were training instead," he said pursing his lips.
I winced. I couldn't tell him about ROOT, and Sensei honestly didn't have a clue that it even existed. He only knew that someone on the Council was shady enough to want me dead. I jolted in shock when Sensei leant down and pulled the collar of my shirt down. I gripped it back up and jumped back with an indignant squeal. I was going to diffuse the situation with a joke about him being a pervert when I looked up to see his eyes had darkened, and he looked like silent fury himself.
"Who did that to you?"
"I- ah, um…" I tugged at my collar nervously briefing a glance toward the direction the ROOT nin tailing me was at and I felt a shiver of fear run down my spine. I didn't expect Sensei to track me down today. What was I going to do? I needed to keep my involvement a secret for the most part! If he found out about ROOT, he would be discreetly disposed of!
"Hina, who did this?" he asked again, face uncharacteristically still.
I backed down, shoving my trembling hands into my pocket. I jerked to tell another lie when I felt the weight of a hand on my head. I craned my neck back to see Orochimaru behind me, a smile curving on his face. Sensei stood up straight and then the tension in the air became unbearably thick.
"It seems I may have been too harsh when I trained Hina-chan last night," he said, giving us a rather unnerving smile.
I froze. What? I jerked my attention to him and then to Sensei who looked more than angry now, a dark emotion I couldn't quite pinpoint because his face went as impassive as a rock. His normally kind brown eyes trailed down to me for a second before falling right back on Orochimaru.
"Hina, come here."
I made to move, but the weight on my head where Orochimaru's hand lay got heavier in warning and so I just stood my ground. Sensei looked pissed off now.
"No need to get so mad Inuzuka-san. It was just some extra training. I'm sure a little prodigy like her could use some extra help."
"Those wounds don't look like extra help, it looks like healed broken bones," Sensei replied, his eyes narrowing further.
"I-It's ok! I asked Orochimaru-sama for help, and he said I could get stronger this way!" I butted in quickly, sending both the adults' attention back to me.
"Don't talk right now Hina. I'll have a word with you later."
Sensei looked pissed. I instinctually backed down, feeling entirely too much like an admonished child—which I was, but the situation was serious. Orochimaru was working with Danzo, ergo the cover story of me training with him would actually explain my late-night escapades and injuries. It didn't matter whether Sensei liked it or not, he would have to accept this either way. I had to put my foot down, despite all the childish instincts within me telling me to submit to the will of my elder.
"No," I said rather adamantly. "I will not stand for mediocrity. You've done a lot for me Sensei, but Orochimaru-sama can do more. It's not about your pride, it's about power."
The look of hurt in Sensei's eyes made my stomach twist into knots. I would never… I would never hurt him like this if I could help it. Sensei was like a second dad, or a really cool uncle and I loved him. He was family. I wouldn't hurt family. No, I was only doing this to protect him.
I'm only doing this to protect him
Yama whined and I turned my attention to the dog who had somehow managed to close the distance between us. He must have sensed my emotions because he tilted his head to brush up against my shoulders. I wanted to cry from relief. I couldn't take Yama hating me too. Sensei didn't look the same though, his expression was still dark, and without a comment he turned and left.
"Do whatever you want."
I ignored the stabbing pain in my chest at those words. Yama leaving made it only worsen. I wasn't out of the woods yet. I turned my full attention to Orochimaru, who suddenly looked rather irritated. His innocuous hand on my head fell to rest on my shoulder as he leant down to my ear.
"That was quite a little show you put on there, but I don't believe you. Follow me and act natural."
I just nodded, putting on a smile and giggling like he hadn't just subtly threatened me, but had instead told me a joke. Orochimaru backed off the smile on his face a mixture of pleased or impressed, I was never quite sure with him. We began walking, and it didn't escape my notice that we were going to an excluded area close to the Hokage mountain. He didn't look at me once during the whole trip until he abruptly stopped by the base of the mountain.
"You've caused me quite the bit of trouble. A little girl like you, as smart as you are, is of no use to me, so why is it that I have to cover for you?"
His voice became dark by the end and I barely had a moment to think before he grabbed me by my neck and hoisted me up into the air. I gasped at the pressure around my throat, kicking my feet in struggle as my small hands went to grab his in a desperate bid of struggle. My eyes locked onto his unearthly yellow slits in absolute terror. His presence filled the air like a dense fog. This was—this was what the presence of an S Class shinobi was like.
"It's a pity you possess no bloodline worth mentioning, or you could have been of use."
With that he let go and I dropped to the ground in a heap, coughing and gasping for air. I gripped my wounded throat in pain and tried to come out of this intense bone chilling fear. A feeling of utter powerlessness threatened to crush me under its weight. Orochimaru had the presence of a predator, and I was the prey, nothing but a hare in the grasp of a cobra. I couldn't possibly think of standing up to that.
Run run run run run!
My instincts told me to run and yet I grounded myself where I was out of sheer stubbornness. I had told myself I'd be strong, that I wouldn't be worthless… and yet I thought of running away? No, I refused. I looked up into those sickly yellow eyes of his and I remembered what it felt like to be useless, to be a human sack of shit not even worth looking at. I wasn't anymore… I wasn't! Yet those eyes—they reminded me what I truly was. Those intelligent eyes I had once secretly admired looked ugly to me now. I felt the heat of hate rising in my stomach.
"Revolting!" I spat at the ground in front of him, gritting my teeth. "You and Danzo both!"
Orochimaru's irritated expression grew even more unnerving when it turned into a smile. I felt my body shiver as he walked towards me and pulled out a kunai. I was going to die because I couldn't keep my stupid mouth shut.
"I was wrong about you being smart. Clearly you don't value your life. Well then, shall we begin our first lesson?"
I gasped as Orochimaru drew close and put his hand on my head. I didn't expect the start of a burning pain to crawl through my body. It increased in heat and intensity until all I could feel was the fire licking at my skin, my insides and slowly to every part of my body until my gritted teeth finally opened and I let out a scream I couldn't hold back. I fell to the ground, shutting my eyes which were burning, and I dug my fingers into the dirt as the pain continued to grow and grow until I wanted everything to end. Then abruptly, as if I weren't on flames just a moment ago, it ended, and I was left gasping on the ground.
"That's just a taste of a genjutsu I created myself," Orochimaru chuckled, his fingers running mockingly sweetly through my hair. "It's such a pity a little prodigy like you couldn't dispel it. Why don't we try again?"
I made to move away but he began again.
I rubbed my raw throat and narrowed my eyes. I was exhausted and I didn't want to move. The ugly feeling in my stomach persisted and grew the longer I lay on the dirt ground looking aimlessly at the sky. Orochimaru had made his point. He had thoroughly demonstrated where he stood on the pecking order. The anger and hate I thought I was feeling for the man were not for him. It was for me. I wanted to slit Orochimaru's throat because I didn't have the right to slit my own, because even after all the terrible things Orochimaru and Danzo had done, they weren't a failure like I was.
I could still feel the lingering touch of the flames on my skin, burning through my body, unrelenting in its pain. Genjutsu truly was frightening. I couldn't break free, not for the second or third time even when I knew it was a Genjutsu. How much more useless could I be? I had passed out before I could do anything, and that in itself was unforgiveable.
I bit my lip and shut my eyes tightly. Somehow the usual drive to get better, to overcome these weaknesses didn't come up. I felt lost and scared instead, like a fucking child and not the adult woman I was. I woke up and the first thing I wanted was for Gaku-sensei and dad to be there to hold me and tell me they'd protect me. It was honestly pathetic.
I shakily pulled out the Icha-Icha series from my jacket pocket and decided there was no use dealing with my recent torture. I need something, anything to distract from the pain I had felt… the utter uselessness that trumped the lingering burns from more than the pain itself.
"I wonder if Natsumi-chan fucks Takeo-kun or Yuroichi-chan," I mumbled before opening the book.
I remembered why I lost myself in fictional works… why I had allowed myself to start watching anime with Cat instead of constantly working to make up for my existence. It was a reprieve from all the issues I had, a weakness I found myself retreating to every time I needed to escape from it all. But reading Icha-Icha didn't give me the same joy I felt when I had been watching anime with Cat all those years ago… because with her I felt I deserved it. I had lied to myself, pretending I had any right to be happy, pretending like if I just protected my family like Josh had protected me, I'd be worth anything.
I put everyone in my family in danger. It was my fault that ROOT was even remotely aware of the Suzuki family, or Gaku-sensei. It was because I thought it would be a good fucking idea to get myself into this accursed career to make a name for myself, to ensure that my family were wealthy and happy. Why had I been so stupid? Yua hated me because I became a shinobi and my family wasn't happier because of it. If I really wanted to, I could have failed all my tests and be thrown into an administrative position somewhere useless and remain mostly a civilian. I had duped myself into thinking becoming a shinobi was the only path, because I wanted to be worth something, because the power it provided would be more than I could get as a baker's daughter. I thought I was immune from the darker side of this world because I was in Konoha and not Iwa or Kiri.
I had assumed so many things and now I was going to drag my family into it.
I threw the book away and punched the ground in anger. Why? Why was I such a screw-up? I felt the tears prickle at my eyes, but I pushed them back. I didn't have the right to cry, like I was the one who was allowed to be in pain when all of this was my fault.
You're being pathetic Hina. No, you are pathetic, but there's never been any room for stopping to feel sorry for yourself before. Now people's lives are on the line. If you screw this up…
"N-no, failure is not an option."
That's right. Failure wasn't even on the table. There would be no one dying in the end of this but myself, and even then, I would try and live because I didn't deserve to die the hero. The only death I deserved was the meaningless kind. I deserved to die choking on a vegetable, because that proved I wasn't good enough for more. I wouldn't ever be good enough for a proper death until I fixed this. I shakily stood up and took in a deep breath.
"Failure is not an option."
Right now what I needed to do was run through my options. Gaku-sensei was off the plate. I didn't want to involve him in this dangerous game. Letting him go and allying myself with Orochimaru, no matter how reluctant he was to take me on now was my best option. Shikaku was the only one I could viably alert somehow, and he was already suspicious of something happening in my life. Even if he did know, I had to take into account that he couldn't pull me out. We were in the middle of a great war. The Foundation had an unknown amount of potential enemy shinobi compromising every aspect of Konoha's administration and rank. It could very well mean the Hokage could tell Shikaku to desist when it came to dismantling a project that aided Konoha in the moment. Not to mention if Danzo decided to call an internal attack on Konoha at this moment, we would be too crippled after to win the war.
Sarutobi had allowed a private army within his own walls dedicated to the darker aspect of Shinobi life so the rest of Konoha could live in relative peace, but I refused to pay the price that came with this. I couldn't care less about Konoha's interests. I just wanted my family out of this mess. I would have to alert Shikaku somehow and see if he could do anything, but I'd need to gain the Foundations trust before I could send him a message without it being intercepted. That could be months in the making. I only had one option of beating Danzo on my own…
"Fuinjutsu," I whispered.
Fuinjutsu would be the way to go. I'd need to study the seal on my tongue discreetly and prepare a way to disable it. Once I did that, I could continue pretending to be an agent and find the right moment to come up with a more in-depth plan.
I felt the earlier hopelessness leave me. There were things I could do. I wasn't really some little kid caught in the grasp of unforgiving adults. I was a smart independent adult woman with years of experience. This life was mine, and no one fucked with my family. I needed to get up and stop being so fatalistic.
I patted my coat down and cursed myself for wasting time going through my thoughts of failure instead of acting. I had to go to ROOT, I had to convince them of my loyalties, and I would have to wait until I could find the right moment to strike them down. That was my mission and there was no such thing as failure because it wasn't allowed.
Hina's always been a prideful character, so she's finally learning to let go of that pride, and maybe think about the consequences of her stupid decisions for once XD She's got a plan though, even if she's going to be acting on emotion for a while rather than being coldly logical about things.
The reason Orochimaru is pretty pissed off here will be explained later on in an Orochimaru centric chapter. I honestly can't wait to post up those two chapters. I think it's chapter 26-27 so it's a bit away but still, will be worth seeing your thoughts on that. I'm finding it hard to write in first person because sometimes Hina doesn't really understand why other people are acting the way they do, and she can't read their thoughts, so I'm basically writing what she sees and thinks. I was really tempted to write from Gaku's perspective, because sometimes characters think one way and act another and this was one of those moments ToT I totally limited myself by writing in first person, but I have OCD and I like having a set structure.
RandomPasserby96- While the root arc won't be short, the abuse parts I only write once. It happens a lot in the background, but I honestly don't enjoy writing kids getting abused, so I just mention it in the passing. Thanks for always reviewing!
Abdur Rauf Aymaan- Yeah I don't enjoy ROOT too much either but it does give Hina a reason to do something interesting things she otherwise would have never done… (ڡ) And yes, I'm definitely a sister (girl)!
RileyBlue00- Omg thanks Riley! Honestly, the fluffy parts of this story don't really go even when ROOT comes in, because Hina still goes back home unlike the other children! Yeah I wanted a character who had a personality before she was reborn! Thanks for always reviewing!
ita123- THANKS ٩(ᴗ)۶
topsyturvy- OMG You looked at my art! I'm so happy! You're making me blush! Hina is actually definitely based of Itachi's design. I absolutely ADORE Itachi. I also wanted her to be a low-key funny kind of character and what better way than making a vege themed character who's afraid of a vegetable?! I'm so going to make her joke nickname the Deadly Broccoli! Yeah her and Kakashi are depressed little cuties in that scene. Kakashi honestly is such a bundle of trauma that I want to wrap him up and keep him safe from the world ಡ_ಡ I also want to kill Danzo soooo bad, but I have to hold myself back because when it does happen I want it to be a glorious moment!
Logargon- Thanks for leaving a review!
Apperatus- Actually that was the last flashback! There will be a few dream sequences in the future, but they're not flashbacks, just some really trippy stuff. I've only written one so far! So yay, no more flashbacks!
Sally- OMG the praise is too much! I'm so glad you like this story! Honestly the amount of love and support in this community is amazing!
Hi Exclamation Point- Reading your comments always makes me smile ‿ I agree with this comment so much! The ROOT arc is practically tailored to Hina's character that I just had to do it! It made the most logical narrative sense for her journey! She's going to end up very morally dubious/evil (depending on how you view her actions), but ROOT practically forces her to come to a conclusion on what kind of person she is. It forces her hands and you see her true colours! I'm so happy that you consider this a good story! It warms my cold cold heart!
Epro987654- Your comment made so much sense that I just had to go back and change some things that I wrote! Honestly thanks for reminding me of this. I did write in some reasons as to how she plans to overcome ROOT, but when I went back to read it, I realised I hadn't really explained it too well so I rewrote a lot of my paragraphs to better phrase things! Thanks for reviewing!
Lirg123- Yup Hina definitely has a plan, but she's being monitored at the moment so it might be a hot while before she can make her first move without being suspicious.
Nikkless- Actually Kakashi is probably only a year younger than Obito and Rin. He graduated early and they graduated around the normal time Academy students do.
Isuckatfanfiction- Will do!
Immortal Potatoe- Definitely one of the reasons why I like ROOT. Without Orochimaru being a part of ROOT I definitely would not have gone down this route with any enthusiasm, considering I find the Foundation itself boring without Orochimaru's involvement!
Guest- Thank you so much for leaving a review!
M2R- Hina is definitely going to do something interesting to ROOT… but it's unfortunately a long way away. For now small victories is all she can manage, but she does have a master plan later!