Snap Back To Reality 7
Between cooking, ﬁxing up the outpost and spending my only 2 hours of spare time training with sensei, I was bummed out. Even without all the war and ﬁghting I had expected to see, this was by kami the most tiring thing ever. Every single second spent in the company of people. A constant workday, not even an hour to spare on yourself besides taking a shit. Even bathing was done in the company of others and with a speed rivalling only the best shunshin.
I was about ready to collapse. Shisui, Yugao and Hayate were tired too. I had made a tentative friendship with them. They were amiable enough, and while I was sure Yugao didn't make friends often, it was clear that she respected my professionalism. I was a goddamn scientist in my previous life. If I didn't know how to keep work separate to life, then I'd be kicked out. Oh Kami, how I missed my research, my lab... all those beautiful science equipment's and computers. I missed computers and the internet so much. Oh how I had taken easily accessed information for granted. It felt like learning anything in this world was an achievement in and of itself.
Speaking of learning, I had mastered the art of wild herb cooking. I was put on cooking duty indeﬁnitely, which you might think was an easy task, but when taking into consideration that there were more than 50 people to feed, 3 times a day... well it was a shit show. With Shisui and Yugao's help it was only mildly better. Unfortunately Hayate couldn't join in because no one wanted a coughing child around food prep. We were already at risk of dying by sharp objects, we didn't need to get sick on top of it.
All in all, I was beginning to see why people looked constantly exhausted here.
After 2 boring weeks of absolutely nothing interesting happening, other than the muscle definition I was beginning to see grow, everything went to shit. It was a normal enough day. A lot of the Chunin and Jounin around were complaining that I wasn't on cooking duty today, because apparently the wounded Chunin who got stationed there, sucked ass at cooking. I agreed, his food tasted like shit. I was stationed outside with sensei on watch. Shisui and Yugao went with their sensei too. It all a well and good break from cooking if it weren't for the shitty fact that everything had to go to shit today of all days.
It all happened so suddenly. I felt a blinding pain on my arm and then Gaku-sensei's body collided against my as we ducked behind a tree. It took me a moment to realise through the blinding hot pain that a kunai had been jabbed into my arm. Yama barked angrily, teeth showing as he growled in a low rumble.
"Push your chakra onto the wound," sensei ordered before yanking the kunai out without warning.
I made a sound of pain, gritting my teeth as I shut my eyes and did as I was told. Fuck it was happening. No months of mental preparation could change the fact that when the fighting did begin, it was still disorienting. Once I'd managed to direct my chakra to my arm, I pulled out my shuriken, and stood to attention, my senses focused. I could sense 5 Shinobi coming, two of which had a larger pool of chakra than the others. I cursed silently, breathing heavily through my nose as I peered past the tree to see Gaku-sensei fighting off an enemy nin. Iwa, I recognised. It wasn't like the long elegant spars between two powerhouses like I imagined it to be. It was brutal and quick how sensei disarmed the man and ripped out his throat with his bare fists. Oddly enough I didn't feel like puking, I just felt the adrenaline tell me to keep focus.
"Sensei 3 o'clock!" I shouted quickly.
He spun around expertly to throw a kunai at the man who jumped down. It was blocked easily enough. Oh no, that was the guy who had the high chakra levels. This was not good. I remembered the whole Zabuza/Kakashi fight in Naruto. I oddly remembered that fight with clarity. It was a fight between two Jounin, and I had no chance against that level of skill.
"Sensei, there's 3 more in hiding," I said.
"Tsk, not good. Hina, go alert the camp."
"You're not going anywhere little girl."
I twisted my body, and the kunai that had been thrown at me cut through my cheek shallowly. I narrowed my eyes at the sole woman of the group. Fuck, she was right. Not even sensei could hold off 4 shinobi, and I had trained for this. I would not let him fight alone. I got into stance and sensei nodded, breathing deeply.
"Shikyaku no Jutsu"
I'd never seen sensei use this jutsu before. It was a collaboration jutsu with Yama. He got on all fours, low on the ground, and his teeth sharpened, eyes narrowing into slits and his hair stood on end, buzzing with energy. Yang release. Kami, this wasn't the time to be jealous of your sensei's nature affiliation. I got into my Tiger Palm stance, shifting my back feet slight behind my other in preparation to change quickly to the more versatile Circle Walk style. If I was correct though, the woman would get past sensei and come for my throat, so I only needed to limit my chakra slide to close range.
It happened quickly, too quickly for me to plan further. Sensei sprung into action and so did the other Shinobi. I barely had time to breathe before the woman jumped at me. I threw a shuriken, missing her on purpose. She wasn't grinning anymore, her eyes narrowed. My heart thudded in my chest as I waited, waited until her blade was close to my neck and then I substituted myself for my kunai, popping up in smoke behind her. She was no doubt taken off guard by my affinity to kawarimi, as substituting with a small moving object required intense chakra control, which I had in spades. It didn't stop her though, her agile body twisted and her kunai now in reverse grip slashed at me. I managed to use chakra slide to back away, but my shirt was cut, and I felt the sting the wound.
"Not bad kid."
Then she came at me again. I didn't have the time to talk, just move. I used my chakra slide to jump into an aerial maneuverer, aiming for her neck with my palm, she stepped aside grabbing me in a side hold. Not fucking good. I reversed her grip, catching her off guard by kicking off the ground in a backflip and holding her arm so it would twist with my body. What resulted was a pained cry as she was forced to let go of her kunai. I jumped at her.
Tiger Palm: Second Style Beast Flare Form
A stupid name I know, but it wasn't something I made up, and it was a deadly subset of the Tiger Palm style. My short arms barely managed to get within her reach, the only thing really keeping me in taijutsu combat with the woman being my chakra slide. She was easily besting me in this match, and she kicked me in the gut. I flew into a tree with a grunt before using it as momentum to shoot back at her. She jumped away but I managed to slam into her block, pushing her away and at the least bruising her arms. She pushed my clawed palms away and I grinned, her chest was wide open like I planned.
Fire Release: Flame Bullet!
The oil I had been gathering in my mouth finally released in a burst of chakra that depleted at least half my reserves. The woman in front of me screamed in horror as the fire bullet, small as it was, condensed into a flaming ball that hit her chest and burnt her. Using the distraction, I pulled out my tiger palm, and aimed for her eyes. I grabbed her face in her pain and pushed my thumbs into it. Satisfying. Fuck! I didn't stop, even when she screamed and threw me to the ground in a bid of struggle to keep herself alive. I let out a pained cry as her knees hit my chest. I didn't let go though, instead focusing my chakra onto my hands to enhance their strength. I didn't stop until her skull cracked and her body went limp above me. I didn't even stop after she died.
I threw her off, gasping in pain as I stood up and ducked away from an earth bullet technique. I turned around to see sensei panting, his claws out. Yama was heaving next to him, coat drenched in his and others blood. I threw a shuriken at a kunai that was about to hit sensei. In the larger scheme of things, it didn't really matter. A few kunai were already lodged into him, and he looked about ready to kneel over from chakra exhaustion.
"Run Hina! Alert the camp!"
"No! They're already probably being invaded right now! They'll know of it!"
"Stupid brat," the enemy Jounin huffed, and his eyes narrowed. I was right. Gaku-sensei sent me a glare that screamed, 'I'm going to kill you, if you don't listen to me right now', but I knew what he was doing was stupid. There was no way I was going to let him die for my sake. No one would ever die for my sake again. I wasn't some kid. I had signed up for this war knowing what I was getting into. The recent kill didn't debilitate me like I imagined it would, and the current fight didn't make me freeze up in fear like I had anticipated. Oh yeah, I was quaking in my boots right now, and I was beyond terrified, but there was no way in hell that I would back down. Whining about dead loved ones, and forever regretting that I didn't die with them sounded unappealing.
I was selfishly unselfish sometimes.
"Sensei, I'm going to fight!"
He didn't have the time to dissuade me, and so he was reluctantly forced to accept as I used Circle Palms aerial manoeuvres to rush at the enemy Chunin. I would let sensei deal with the Jounin. No way in hell was I capable of helping him there. The only thing I could do was try and stay alive and distract this man while sensei focused on the bigger threat.
"You think you can kill me gaki?" the enemy scoffed as he dodged my kicks and blows.
"I have to!" I replied with a frown.
Shadow Clone Jutsu!
I made 4 clones of myself, all of us zigzagging away. I needed him to be distracted, if not slightly confused. He would figure it out soon enough, which one of us was real, but even a moments distraction was enough. He grinned at me, and I couldn't help but chuckle back nervously. Fuck, my heart was beating fast, and my breath was already laboured from the previous fight. The enemy pulled out several shuriken and shouted out a lighting release technique I didn't recognise. I barely had a second to think before projectiles all shot out simultaneously at me and my constructs.
Circle Palm: Triple Aerial Manoeuvre!
I shot off the ground with my suddenly depleting chakra reserves and twisted as gracefully as I could through my rough breathing and tired bones, as I twisted in the air dodging the Shuriken. The electricity bounding off the metal instantly popped my clones and I found my plan failing tremendously as the enemy jumped at me punching me in the gut before punching my face. I crashed into a tree, and I felt the bubble of liquid in my chest rise up as I coughed out the blood to stop myself from chocking.
Fuck that felt too much like a broken rib. I wanted to pass out from the pain, but the blurry image of a kunai coming at me made me hold out my hand just in time to use it as a meat shield. I pulled out the weapon, letting out a cry of pain as I stabbed it into the hand coming at my face. The Chunin let out a hiss before bringing down his other hand. In a last-ditch effort, I used chakra slide to push my feet off the ground instead of sliding it forward. I aimed straight for the man's dick. Not exactly the coolest thing to do in a fight, but fuck it, I'd rather break a dick than die. The man let out a cry of pain, and I stumbled to my feet, swaying as I winced.
Fuck that hurt like a bitch
I don't know how anime characters did it, or even how anyone was expected to hold back the pain. My head felt fuzzy, I blinked back the black spots in my vision. I was low on chakra but hell if I was going to die here. Sensei would kill me. My family… they would probably kill me too—or at least dad would. I would not die for Taichi. Maybe this is what drove all those anime characters from the brink of death to continue. They had no choice but to win. Losing wasn't even an option.
He came rushing at me and I used circle step to jump over him, and when I stepped down, I felt the bubble of red liquid squirm up my throat again. This time I wrapped my legs around his neck, taking out a kunai when he began crushing my hips. I stabbed into his skull again, and again until his body went limp and we both fell down.
I tasted dirt as I coughed up more blood. Oh god is this what death felt like because I'd rather choke on a vegetable again than this. Man, I didn't even get to patent a vegetable peeler. I was about to close my eyes when the sound of my name being called out in panic made me blink back awake.
I coughed as sensei picked me up in his arms, his dark eyes looking me over wide and concerned. I turned my head to see the enemy Jounin dead, an arm ripped off and a kunai through the eye. I looked back at sensei and smiled, coughing out some more blood that wouldn't stop coming out of my throat.
"W-we won," I gasped.
"We did, you little idiot," he said, voice cracking.
"I think a few rib's broken'," I rasped out, my breaths becoming more and more laboured.
"Don't talk. Swallow this and concentrate your chakra to where it hurts ok. I'm going to take you to a medic."
I didn't even have the energy to nod. I just opened my mouth obediently and swallowed the solider pill. I felt my body seize up for a second as my chakra coils tightened and a surge of energy followed. I concentrated to channelling it to my ribs. Without my natural affinity for chakra control, I wasn't so sure this would have worked. I'd probably die. That was a horrifying thought. Knowing my luck I'd probably end up in purgatory or Attack on Titan. Either option sounded scary.
"Have you reinforced the wounds Hina?"
I nodded, gritting my teeth. Sensei furrowed his brows in worry as Yama limped behind him, whining at me. I gripped the larger man's hands to show him I was fine. I really wasn't. I felt like someone was running me over with a truck. We didn't stay still for long though. Sensei picked me up and my body jostled painfully. Then he began sprinting to camp, and honestly, I was too caught up in keeping myself alive, that the pain became an afterthought. The border post hadn't fared any better. I saw quite a lot of dead bodies, Konoha and Iwa's. I was taken to the makeshift infirmary where a dozen or so Shinobi lay with various levels of injury. A woman with dark blue hair pulled up in a bun and sweat sheening down her temples walked briskly up to us.
"Possible injuries?" she asked briskly.
"Internal bleeding, broken ribs most likely punctured the lung."
The woman cursed silently, looking me up and down. I let out a cough, spitting out more blood before I let out a heavy sigh. Fuck this was probably not going to be a fun experience. With everyone else all injured too, I had no idea what would happen.
"I don't have enough anaesthetic to treat her with. I'm sorry, but we will have to do without it. You will need to keep her awake for this," the woman said sternly. "Make sure she doesn't move."
Sensei frowned but nodded. I let out a whimper and found my hands moving to his out of sheer fear. What the heck did she mean by 'no anaesthetic'? Was she going to cut me open while I was awake to set my bones or something, because I don't think I could handle that? To my utter relief no scalpel was taken out. The closest thing to a blade that came by my body was scissors, and that was only used to cut off my shirt and somehow the metal mesh underneath. I didn't even have the energy to feel embarrassed about being topless in front of Sensei in a bunker full of other Shinobi. I was only 5, my brain supplied to me, so it wasn't my most scandalous moment. I didn't need logic right now, I needed this to end.
I was wrong about the whole scalpel thing being better. The green jutsu had been warm and fuzzy at the start but once the woman had done her diagnostic over my torso, and muttered out my numerous injuries, she put her palm over my bruised ribs, under my breast and I screamed. I could feel it, the tiny strings of burning hot chakra, forcibly entering my insides. It was when it reached my bone that I felt my body jerk in blinding hot pain, and my screams got breathless as I panicked.
"Hold her down!"
I felt a weight fall on me as sensei whispered calming words into my ears, but the pain was too much and I was sobbing and shaking my head in utter agony as those chakra tendrils pushed my bones out of my lung which was burning, and as that bone cracked back into place, a searing hot energy slowly twisting it inside of me. It felt like hours before the pain ended and I was panting harshly, face drenched in sweat, my voice coarse and rough from the screaming. I could feel sensei's palm on my forehead, pushing away my sweat drenched hair as I gasped for air, my limbs shaking from the aftershock of that intense pain.
"She's still awake…"
"Is that bad?" sensei asked.
"No, just surprising. We need to keep her awake. The pain might last for a while, and some patients can go into shock and die from heart failure, but we're over the worst of it. Keep an eye on her heartbeat for the next 3 hours. If there's any irregularities find me."
Sensei didn't speak, but I heard the lady walk away and suddenly the screams of the other Shinobi sent pangs of fear into me. I winced in sympathy. My body was still shaking from the pain and my breathing was still laboured, but I managed to keep my eyes open. I didn't go through all that to die here.
"You did good, you did good," sensei mumbled, and in a rare show of affection, kissed my hand which he had been holding as if I would disappear.
"I-I kicked ass," I agreed forcing a smile.
"You did kiddo, you certainly did."
I didn't die of a heart attack, which made me immeasurably relieved, because I was more than certain life hated me enough that I would probably die in an inane and stupid way again. I refused this time. At least death by choking on vegetables could make my loved ones laugh down the line. Death by heart attack after surviving the worst of things was just tragic and unfortunate. Once my three hours of painful waiting as my body shivered and burnt uncomfortably, was over, Sensei had to leave. Apparently while the attack had been won on our side, our numbers were heavily depleted, and we needed a Jounin to get word back to Konoha for reinforcements that may or may not even come. I hated that Sensei left. I selfishly wanted him here, but Yama had to do, I guess. I was absently patting the wounded dog who had broke his leg, when familiar faces rushed up to me.
"U-Uchiha-kun," I greeted out with a raspy voice which contradicted my smile.
He looked down at me and averted his eyes quickly. I looked down and realised… oh yeah I was half naked, the only thing covering me being some thinly wrapped bandages, which would be ok for an adult to look at because I was a kid, but not for another boy my age. I didn't care about that though. What was a little nakedness when I was grateful to just be alive?
"Did you fight Suzuki-san?" Hayate asked.
"I did," I said nodding with pursed lips. "Sensei and I were ambushed by 5 Iwa Shinobi."
"F-five?" Shisui asked in shock.
"You were out on patrol weren't you… so that meant—" Yugao summarised silently.
The 3 Genin fell into silence and I shifted awkwardly, wincing as I moved my bruised abdomen. I let out a sigh through my nose.
"What about you 3?" I asked.
"We were at the post when the attack happened. There must have been like 30 Iwa-nin," Hayate said absently, eyes in a faraway look.
"We were told to stay back, but we managed to take out someone together," Shisui said, ruffling his hair uncomfortably.
"You mean, you took him out and we just sat back," Hayate retorted, a hint of resentment in his voice. Whether that was for Shisui or for himself I didn't know.
"Are you ok?" I asked him, the concern coming out sincere.
"Yeah, I broke an arm, but nothing so bad," he said softly, his eyes trailing back to my wounds for a second.
I wondered why Iwa attacked this post. I mean I understood why there was a border post here. It made sense to situate border patrols around every border in Hi no Kuni, but it made no sense for Iwa to attack here. Not only would they have had to travel through Suna—oh—ohhh. Well that cleared things up. The war was escalating to new heights. I thought that the famine going on in Suna currently had thrown them out of the war but… it made sense. The reason the war had even happened in the first place was because Konoha's economy remained strong. We had more missions, more clients, and more food than ever. Suna was ravaged by natural forces, not even they could help. Kumo, who had been a superpower, was threatened by Konoha's rise in its military power. Iwa was desperately trying to keep itself afloat as a top contender. Konoha was certainly not making any friends anytime soon and being in the middle of 3 enemies was like being the opposite of Switzerland. How did we even win this war in the story? Clearly, we were on the losing side here.
"What's your favourite sweet?" I asked abruptly.
"Huh?" was their dignified response to my sudden random question.
"Your favourite sweets? I want to know because I'm craving some sugar about now and all I can do is fantasise."
Really, I just wanted to not think about what just happened, how it made me dread the future a little more. I didn't want to remember pushing my thumbs through enemy eyes or stabbing a kunai into a man's brains, because it made me feel… jumpy. Not sad, or disgusted, or even scared, I felt jumpy, in what was an odd mix of adrenaline fuelled thoughts, and a thrill I felt during spars that I had no right to feel when killing. I wanted to think of inane things like sweets, and buying a new sparring outfit, because I didn't want to confront the uncomfortable thought that came into my mind.
Am I a bad person?
A/N I guess people didn't like the backstory of her previous life all too much, but… I wrote like 30 chapters already and it is somewhat important. There's like 3 flashbacks at the most and even then, it all ties in with Hina's state of mind so I'm not changing it. I personally think that it's unrealistic that you have an oc that is not at all affected by their first life, because while they are building character now, but they've already lived a whole life before and ignoring it seems weird to me.
Also I originally wrote this story for the fun of it, so I didn't take the audience as much into account for it I guess, or I would have gone down a more traditional route. Because I'm writing this as a stress reliever, if somethings in the future seem a little AU and not canon it's because of that. One example being I totally ripped of a Demon Slayer move that shouldn't even exist in Naruto, but hey it's fun so I'm going with it, was my thought process XD This is a fanfiction and so it's not like I'm obligated to continue writing it, and so whatever I post up online is only there because I consider it fun. In saying that all criticism is valid, and I'll take it into account for future chapters.
OgFrosty- Ah yes, I knew that Shisui was younger than Kakashi and Guy, but honestly, I just love his character too much, so I took creative liberties with him XD