Naruto: The Weapon Master
Chapter 33: Getting Back What's Been Taken
It was the crack of dawn over Konoha, Tsunade was sleeping at the office as she pulled an all-nighter to deal with the paperwork since Shizune was absent due to being assigned to a patrol team outside the village. She asked Hiruzen for some help but the old Sarutobi simply said no with the excuse that hee was far too old and had enough of paperwork…she could have sworn that he had a look of mischief as he left. She was suddenly roused from her sleep upon hearing the sound of knocking on the door as she looked up to see Izumo and Kotetsu enter the room while carrying stacks of documents with them.
"Oh good morning boys," said Tsunade, though the inked text on her right cheek and drool leaking from the corner of her mouth told the story.
"Huh?! You were fast asleep were you Hokage-sama?! You made us go fetch these heavy documents while you just sit there taking a nap?!" said Izumo in disbelief.
Tsunade chuckled sheepishly "No I wasn't," there would have been if not for a ninja bearing marking which signify that he was from the Inuzuka clan came running into the room.
"Hokage-sama, we have an emergency!" said the ninja with urgency.
"What is it?" asked Tsunade.
"I was patrolling the village this morning with my ninken when I came across this," he held out a headband to her "There were signs of a fight and recognize the scent from the headband to belong to that of Sasuke while I picked up several foreign scents which I didn't recognize,"
Tsunade's eyes widened in shock as she stood up from her seat "Are you sure about this?"
"Without a doubt, Hokage-sama," said the ninja.
"I can't believe it, he's already making his move," thought Tsunade as she recalled what he said the time they had met before Jiraiya and Naruto found them.
"In addition to grabbing all I desire, this time around I'm going to grind the Hidden Leaf village to dust," those were Orochimaru's words.
"Grrr, so that's what that wrench is after. He's going for the Uchiha's powers," Tsunade sat down to come up with a plan "Izumo, Kotetsu! There's someone that I need to see…,"
"Yes Hokage-sama," the Chuunins responded.
Tsunade was waiting patiently since the Chuunin left to call on the person whom she requested his appearance when the door was knocked upon a couple times before opening to reveal Shikamaru who came walking inside before standing before, though by the looks of things he didn't really want to be here.
"I'm glad you're, there's an important that we need to discuss," said Tsunade.
"What is it Hokage-sama?" asked Shikamaru.
"Late last night, Sasuke Uchiha has been kidnapped from the village and we're sure that Orochimaru is the perpetrator," said Tsunade.
"What? But why is he being targeted?" asked Shikamaru.
"He purposely marked Sasuke in order to obtain the power of the Sharingan. I've decided that it's time for your first mission as a Chuunin, Shikamaru," said Tsunade.
"So all I gotta do is bring Sasuke back?" asked Shikamaru "As long as there aren't many enemies, it shouldn't be that big of a deal,"
"Yes, that is your mission but it must be accomplished without delay. But it may be as difficult as you think due to the likely chance of him being guarded by Orochimaru's ninjas,"
"Damn, this is gonna be a real pain in the ass," thought Shikamaru before speaking up "Well if we're going to be facing opposition, I'm gonna need to request a team composed exclusively of Jounin and Chuunin,"
"I can't honor that request," said Tsunade with a small frown.
"You already know the answer, most of the Jounin have been sent out on missions while only a handful stay behind to defend in case of an attack. Go and round up any genin which you feel are up for the job, you have thirty minutes to leave the village,"
Shikamaru turned round and began leaving the room then stopped "This whole thing's a drag, but I do know the guy so I can't just let it go…guess that's the way it is,"
"Hold on, there is one person I strongly recommend. Though he's recently returned from a mission, I'm he won't mind helping you out," said Tsunade with a smile.
Shikamaru had followed the directions to a mansion and was knocking on the wooden gates a couple of times, he hasn't really been paying attention back then but now he recognized the place as the Yondaime's home where Naruto was living, and what's this about having returned from a mission?
"Oh man, thinking about this too will be a drag. I already have a lot on my plate," he made to knock on the gate again when he heard footsteps at the other side before one of the gate to reveal Naruto wearing his pajamas and a sleeping cap while holding a steaming mug of coffee with a drowsy look on his face.
"Hey Shika, what brings you over this early in the morning?" asked Naruto tiredly.
"It's a drag but I need you onboard for an important mission," said Shikamaru.
"What's it about?" Naruto raised the mug to his mouth and took a sip.
"Sasuke's been kidnapped by Orochimaru's lackeys and we need to bring him back,"
Naruto turned his head to the side and spat out the coffee from his mouth before turning towards Shikamaru with a look of disbelief "Are you kidding me? I just spoke to the guy yesterday!"
"Well we need to hurry and get back and we got 30 minutes to do so," said Shikamaru.
"Geez, this early in the morning and there's already problems,"
"Tell me about, what a drag,"
"Hang on, I'm gonna go and get myself geared up then we can set out," Naruto ran back to the mansion and into his bedroom where he put on his clothes and packed up a few storage scrolls containing ninja tool then holstered his Muramasa blades and ran back out to the gate "Okay let's go!" the duo took off down the street as fast as they could.
Back at the mansion, Fu came walking out of her room with a loud yawn as Haku emerged from her room as well.
"*Yawn* what was all ruckus, it woke me up," said Fu drowsily.
"I don't really know, but it seems like Naruto has been called out for something important since his bedroom door is open and his swords are gone," said Haku after looking at said place.
Fu pouted at that "Awwww, that's no fair. Naruto-kun just got back from a big mission and now he's gone again,"
"Yeah, we really miss him!" said Chomei in agreement.
"I'm sure that he won't take long like the others, though we may have to explain to Sakura and the others when they come over,"
"Yeah, they're not going to be happy though,"
Back with Naruto and Shikamaru were still running along the streets with the latter in the lead, Naruto decided to ask him about any current plan at the moment.
"So do you have any idea of whom to recruit for the mission?" asked Naruto.
"Yeah I do, we're heading there right now," Shikamaru and Naruto their way towards one of the clan houses with the latter recognizing it to belong to that of Akimichi clan. The Nara heir began knocking at the door for someone to answer it but to no avail "Wake up, will ya?" he continued knocking but still no response.
"We're pressed for time here Shikamaru," Naruto tapped his feet impatiently.
"Guess I have no other choice, time for plan B," Shikamaru reached into his ninja pouch to take out a bag of potato chips much to Naruto's confusion.
"They're barbecued flavored, feel free to help me eat them," Naruto shrugged his shoulders and joined in eating the chips, soon it was almost gone as Shikamaru held the bag upside down and let the last chip drop to his hand "Now…" the door was suddenly opened to reveal a pissed off Chouji in his pajamas as he rushed to snatch the last potato chip and the bag then skidded to a stop to look at the duo intensely.
"Even for a bag of potato chips, I refuse to let anyone have the last bite," Chouji looked as if daring them to try and take it from him.
Naruto sweatdropped from his friend's declaration "Wow…intense,"
"That was quite unexpected," Chinami was taken by surprise.
"An Akimichi takes anything food-related very seriously, getting between them and food is akin to endangering your life," said Kurama, recalling back when she was in Kushina's seal.
"Chouji and I have been on the same team for a long time, we work well together so asking him is a no brainer," Shikamaru explained.
"I get the gist of it, so who's next for us to-" Naruto noticed something heading their way very quickly and it seemed to be targeting Chouji or rather the potato chips.
Chouji frowned at its intentions "Not in your life!" he chomped on the trip, causing the attacker to slow down as everyone could see that it was none other than Akamaru.
"If Akamaru is here, then that means…," Naruto looked ahead to see who he was talking about.
"Hey guys, what's going on that you're all here?" asked Kiba Inuzuka.
"I'm guessing they're in right?" asked Naruto.
"Yup," Shikamaru responded.
The group of four plus one dog were running down the street once more after Chouji dressed up then the new additions were filled in on what's happened as they were on the move.
"So that's what's going on, well it's a good I woke up early to take Akamaru out for a walk. Time to get my teammate back," said Kiba.
"What about Shino?" asked Chouji curiously.
"He's off on a special mission with his father since a couple days ago,"
"Well that rules him out, is there anyone else we could recruit before leaving?" asked Naruto.
"I wish we had time to find some more members but we're late already, if we don't run across anybody else on our way out of the village then I suppose that it will just be us," said Shikamaru.
Along the way however, they encountered Neji who was accompanying Lee after his surgery. They filled him in on what's going on and Neji agreed to join in, Lee was a bit down at not being able to come along but the Hyuuga advised him to do what he must do which restored his spirits to a certain level before telling the others to go on without him. Soon the group had arrived at the now open gates of the village.
"Now that we're all here, what's the game plan Shikamaru?" asked Naruto.
"That's unexpected Naruto, I figured that you would want to take the lead now that you're Chuunin and all," said Kiba with a quirked eyebrow.
"Maybe so, but Shikamaru is a better strategist than I am plus Tsunade-baachan assigned him as platoon leader. I would leave the planning to him in any mission which we would take together," Naruto explained.
"Then in that case, perhaps you should start coming up with some sort of plan. From the look of things, the enemy would be likely to ambush us," said Neji.
"Well for starters this is a rescue operation so we'll be in the position of pursuit, which means that the enemy already has an important advantage over us. That said, I'm arranging us in a deployment formation that can respond to any assault by the enemy. If any of you don't follow my exact orders, we're all gonna die," said Shikamaru, making everyone sans Naruto realize the gravity of the situation.
"Alright Shikamaru, lay it on us," said Naruto while crossing his arms to listen attentively.
"Okay, we'll go with a single file strike formation. As we all know, the most important position is the spearhead so that's gonna be Kiba. You and Akamaru are the most familiar with the Land of Fire's terrain and with that sensitive nose of yours, you'll be able to track Sasuke's scent while sniffing out any booby traps the enemy might have set. Moreover because we'll have to sets of eyes up front, you and Akamaru will be more effective our single file line from an assault,"
"Alright then, Akamaru and I got it covered," said Kiba with Akamaru barking in agreement.
"Second in line will be yours truly, platoon leader. From that position, I'll be able to direct everyone behind me using silent hand signals and because I'm so close to Kiba, I'll be able to react to any situation," said Shikamaru "In the middle, the number three position is Naruto. The middle of the line is the perfect location for you because you're the most capable of using quick moves in front of you or behind, you're the cornerstone plus your ability to summon any kind of weapons for a specific situation makes you a literal bag of tricks,"
Naruto smirked in response "You certainly got my number, I got your backs on this,"
Shikamaru continued "Fourth in line is Chouji, you might not have any speed but your striking power is the greatest of the platoon members. Kiba, myself and Naruto will launch a surprise attack then you'll swoop in and finish them off, you're the second wave of our assault,"
"Alright Shikamaru, leave it to me," said Chouji in affirmation.
"Finally, on the end will be you Neji, your position will be the most difficult which is the rear lookout. I want you to use your Byakugan to constantly scan ahead for weakness in our ranks,"
"Understood," said Neji.
"Alright then, take a look at this," Shikamaru went down on one knee as he took out a blank scroll and pencil before sketching up a diagram of the team formation for the others to look at "This diagram shows exactly what part of the perimeter you're responsible for. Kiba watches the front, I am responsible for a wider forward view, Naruto's got the left, Chouji the right, and Neji using your Byakugan; you cover the entire area to the rear," he rolled up the scroll and put it back into his ninja pouch "Alright, now I think I should familiarize myself with our arms and weaponry. I'll need to check out the ninja tools each of you plan on carrying into battle that way I'll know what we have, are there any questions?"
"I have to say that I'm impressed with the formation and strategy which he has come up with," said Kurama appraisingly.
"Indeed for one so young, the choice to make him Chuunin was a wise one," said Chinami.
"We got none but I've got to give these to you guys before we leave," Naruto detached the rings from his bracelet and held them for the others to take.
"What are these for?" asked Neji curiously.
"These rings are linked to the bracelet and have the power to summon a weapon to the wearer without requiring me to be nearby to use tag mode," Naruto explained.
"So we get to use those weapons of yours? Sweet!" said Kiba.
"Yeah but there's a limit, you can only summon one weapon and the ring chooses for the bearer based on their battle style or the situation. I can also track where they are as well as communicate through them like radios,"
Neji nodded in understanding "That makes things less difficult,"
Shikamaru then spoke up "Since no one has anything to add, I've saved the most important thing for last. For as long as I've known him, Sasuke and I haven't been close buddies and in fact I don't like him at all…" this drew surprise from the group "…All the same, Sasuke is a ninja belonging to Konoha. He's a comrade and I'll put my life on the line for him, that's the way of our village. I know I usually seem like a pretty lazy guy but not today, because now I'm responsible for your lives too,"
"Wow, I never thought I'd see Shikamaru act like a Chuunin. Very impressive," said Kiba, obviously feeling so, Chouji smiled with pride of his best friend.
"Truer words couldn't be said Shikamaru, let's get moving and save Sasuke from those bastards," said Naruto with a foxy grin in full support.
"Okay then, we'll go as soon as we check our gear. Show me your weapons," said Neji, the members brought out their ninja pouches and opened them to show their inventory.
"Alright, let's move out," said Shikamaru with the others nodding in affirmation before leaving the gates and beginning the mission to retrieve their captured comrade.
Meanwhile in a certain part of a forest, the Sound Four were walking through with Jirobo carrying what appears to be a barrel-like coffin sealed with a black lid and held in place by five seal tags strapped to his back.
"That little shit was a real pain in the ass, to think he refused to follow Orochimaru was utter bullshit," said Tayuya with a frown.
"Well I certainly had fun knocking him all over the place before bringing him in," said Kidomaru while smirking.
"Whatever you say, shithead,"
"Tayuya, women aren't supposed to speak like that," said Jirobo.
"Oh go blow yourself fatty!"
The four suddenly stopped in one place as they sensed something heading and frowned at what it is.
"Looks like we've got company," said Sakon.
"I'm sensing one…no two," said Tayuya.
Kidomaru called out to them "Get ready!"
Two blurs rushed towards them from behind, the Sound Four attempted to escape but were intercepted by the blurs which were revealed to be Genma who was the referee for the Chuunin exam finals and his partner Raido.
"I recognize these guys, they work for Orochimaru," said Raido with a frown.
"And judging from the path these four are taking, I'm guessing they just came from Konoha," Genma observed the group and noticed a certain oddity about them "What ya got in the coffin?"
"Fighting two Jounin as once…I tremble at the prospect," Kidomaru smirked as unknown markings spread from the side of his neck throughout his face and arms with the same occurring to the rest of the group, causing the Jounin to narrow their eyes at the sight of it.
"They all have curse marks," thought Genma.
"You might wanna think this over, it won't be like last time you jumped us all by surprise," said Raido.
"Yeah you're right you shits, you won't survive this time!" said Tayuya.
"Trust me you pawns of Orochimaru, you do wanna mess with the Shinobi of Konoha," said Genma.
Sakon summoned a kunai in his hand and charged forward whilst throwing it with Genma charging back right back and spitting the senbon from his mouth to deflect the incoming projectile, signaling the beginning of the battle between both sides as sounds of metal clashing echoed throughout the forest.
Back with Naruto and the others, they were jumping along the branches with Kiba in the lead when Akamaru began sniffing the air and let out a whine which caught his partner's attention.
"What is it Akamaru?" asked Kiba.
"What's up Kiba?" asked Shikamaru.
"He smells blood somewhere nearby,"
"Can you narrow it down for us?" asked Naruto.
"Hang on for a minute," Kiba and Akamaru sniffed the air for about a minute "Okay here's what happened, the scent of two newcomers converged on the scent of Sasuke and four others. the two have stayed behind while sasuke's group have moved on,"
"Sounds to me like someone tried to intercept them but were defeated and left for dead," said Shikamaru.
"So what does that mean for us?" asked Naruto.
"If we go to the spot where the battle took place so we can gather some valuable information concerning the four who kidnapped Sasuke, but we can't just rush in as it might be trap. So we get close enough, we'll go into full reconnaissance mode and take it slow,"
"And while we're doing that, Sasuke's capturers who have carried him beyond the borders of the Land of Fire and out of our hands," Neji pointed out to the others.
"We're at a crossroads Shika, which path do we take?" asked Naruto.
Shikamaru was silent for a few moments before speaking up "We continue our pursuit, however we must also be cautious. Those guys have already been in a battle so they'll be on their guard. Unless they're complete idiots, then they'll have to know there's gonna be more ninja on their trail,"
"Which means they might have set up traps or ambushes ahead of us," said Neji.
"Right, so we must proceed with caution from this point and put all your senses on full alert. If you detect anything out of the ordinary, sound the alarm. We need to find these guys before they find us,"
"No prob, got some new jutsu which I'm dying to try out on some poor saps!" said Naruto with a smirk.
Kiba frowned upon hearing that "That Naruto, he's always getting stronger every time I see him. Just when I thought that I was catching up with him, he keeps pulling ahead of me," then he suddenly picked up the scent of the enemies "The enemy's scent is here…all around us!"
"Everyone stop!" Shikamaru quickly called out with the group landing on a tree branch at once, then he glanced up to catch sight of something "Look up there," the rest did so to see an explosive tag stuck to a tree trunk above them.
"An explosive tag and I'm sure that there's five more of them, they must be using a perimeter barrier," said Neji.
"A perimeter barrier?" asked Chouji.
"It's a type of trap Ninjutsu which has a time delay after the it has been breached long enough for the intruder to arrive at the center before automatically triggering itself. I read about it from my father's scrolls," Naruto explained.
"Ugh now we gotta waste time going around it," Kiba grumbled.
"We don't have much of a choice but to go through while watching out for more traps," said Shikamaru then he jumped off the tree to the ground "Let's go this way,"
Naruto and the others followed after him while walking cautiously along the ground, they could see numerous trip wires along the way and made sure to avoid making any kind of contact with them as they moved on.
"Man, this whole place is crawling with booby traps," said Kiba.
"Yeah, but luckily they're easy to spot. These guys are moving fast and getting sloppy," said Shikamaru.
Naruto was also avoiding the trip wires but something was bugging him, surely Orochimaru sent elites to capture Sasuke and yet they're using this level of trappings? The blonde carefully looked at each tripwire as he passes over when he noticed something out "Hey guys, don't move!" this caused the others to stop in their tracks.
"What is it Naruto?" asked Chouji.
Naruto crouched down on one knee as he looked at the tripwire before him "Take a closer look at this," they gathered at his position and looked at the wire, there they saw another one but thinner and almost impossible to see from a distance.
"They've created a trap within a trap, how clever of them," said Neji.
"So they made those tripwires visible to make us less aware in a way before catching us off guard with hidden triggers, it might mean that they're not far from here," said Shikamaru.
"I'll scout ahead, Byakugan!" Neji activated his Dojutsu to scan ahead of the team before speaking up "I've located them,"
"Alright then, time to bust some heads!" said Naruto.
"First we make a plan and get it right, then we can nail those bastards so I can go home and do less troublesome things," said Shikamaru, he gathered them together and proceeded to tell them of his plan as they listened attentively "…that's it. Kiba, the timing of those smoke bombs is absolutely crucial got it?" the Inuzuka nodded in affirmation "So, split up and let's go,"
They set out with Naruto, Chouji and Kiba going in one direction while Shikamaru and Neji went another way, they stealthily moved through the bushes as quietly as they could with Neji leading the way until they were several yards away from a small clearing where they saw their targets resting.
"Looks like we caught them napping, hm?" Shikamaru noticed something odd "Hold on, where's Sasuke?"
"He's inside that coffin," said Neji while using his Byakugan.
"You don't think he's dead do you?"
"It's been sealed with a barrier jutsu that's hard for me to see through clearly. Considering they went through all that trouble to get him, I can't believe they'd be so willing to kill him so quickly hence earning Orochimaru's ire,"
"Let's just hope you're right,"
Without warning, the blue-haired sound nin stood up and threw a kunai in their direction to hit a tree right behind, they looked back and gasped in shock upon seeing explosive tags attached to it and already triggered, forcing them to jump out of the bushes right as they detonated. The shockwave of the explosion sent the duo skidding along the ground till they slowed to a stop then they looked up to see the sound nin looking down at them.
"Well well, I thought I was flushing out a snake out of the bushes but all I got are a couple of mice," said Sakon with a sneer.
"Oh man, this has just turned into something very very troublesome," thought Shikamaru.
This is Hussbek online with the latest chapter, this is the very beginning of the Sasuke retrieval arc. I apologize for the absence of a fight scene here after so long but I'm seriously planning a lot for this arc to avoid too much similarities to the canon plotline. Each of the members would surely wield a weapon from the bracelet with the only question being which? If you have suggestions for each character then be sure to PM me along with your reasons for the requirement. Next chapter will not disappoint you.
Read and Review as always.
This is Hussbek from Ghana.