I cannot wait to showcase more of Mika's training, medical and personal, and the results thereof.
This chapter was so well done, I am proud of it.
I want to make Mika more of a person, more human than he's been in the past. I hope I succeed...
This chapter shows why I chose to make him join this mission. He will join at least one other C rank later on, I have it planned out..
Kakashi wasn't sure what to think of the addition to his team, Mika seemed unassuming enough. Thin and small, the boy made Naruto look tall. He looked exhausted too, with thick bags under his eyes that framed blue eyes. His skin, paler than milk, made all of his features pop out. His curly brown hair, his red lips. He looked like a tired porcelain or ivory doll to be honest... and he wasn't oozing much power either. Kakashi was no sensor but he had a decent grasp of feeling a person's strength, the boy did not seem to stand out...
Yet, he walked like a dancer, silently and gracefully on each toe. He didn't strut like Naruto or march like Sasuke, his every step was measured and thought out. It was the strangest thing, and yet Kakashi was familiar with it. Those that grew up in the war-torn era often walked like that, he knew it foretold a miserable childhood for the boy. He pitied him to be honest... Shifting his focus, Kakashi took in the boy's outfit. He was dressed like a Chunin, only his vest was grey. He had two pouches on his hips, one on each thigh, and a sword dangling from his waist. His headband was tied around his left upper arm. He looked more the part of a ninja than anyone in Kakashi's team, it was kind of sad really.
"Mika, what did they mean that you were a Level one Healer?" Sakura suddenly asked, her tone curious. Kakashi smirked, pleased that at least someone asked him that question.
Mika turned to her. "It means that I am permitted to acting as a healer beyond a basic capacity. All Ninja have at least some first aid training, my training allows me to perform more advanced procedures. I am also able to use the Mystic Palm now, which few Ninja are ever able to perform due to the advanced Chakra control needed for it. Even Kakashi would have trouble learning it I imagine, it requires that kind of control."
Kakashi nodded at the looks he got from his students. "He's not wrong, I can do it but it's hard for me. The control is insane, that Mika can do it all is a sign that he had chakra control comparable to a Kage or greater." Even Sasuke looked wide-eyed at Mika, who nodded. "A class One medic is allowed to act as a healer in the field, beyond normal confines. Mika mastered this in two weeks which suggests advanced talent as a medic and with the Mystic Palm, he can actually heal our wounds much faster and diagnose them as well. Just having a medic triples the survival rate of ninja on an A ranked mission. While I doubt we will face opposition, having a medic makes me feel all the safer."
"Wow... I didn't realize you were that good Mika!" Naruto said, eyes wide.
"I hid my skills Naruto, at least partially. Not everyone wants to shine all the time, it let me focus on working to evolve." Mika wisely said. "A friend of mine from the Hosptial, I volunteered there as a student, taught me chakra control exercises, medic taijutsu, advanced first aid and got me to read a variety of texts on countless subjects to prepare me for when I was taught to be a medic."
"Is it hard?" Sakura asked.
"Yes, it is. I am training to be a combat medic, which means I am training to be a regular Ninja atop of being a medic. That is rare due to the laws governing medics usually requiring Medics to shy from battle. I want to be the best of both worlds... and so I am trying to train to be both. It is tiring, but I enjoy the challenge. I rarely if ever felt challenged at the academy."
It was about here when something caught Kakashi's eye, if only for a moment. It was a puddle, randomly set in the side of the road.
'Not very clever of you, it hasn't rained in days and with this heat, there is no way anything would have survived this long. I wonder who they're after, us or Tazuna… only one way to find out.'
Kakashi wondered if any of his students would notice the thing... only to find that Mika turned to face it, his eyes narrowing. His mind was clearly at work as his eyes widened. He turned to Kakashi, who nodded. The boy's hands moved to his sword, ready to fight if need be.
And so, he allowed the attackers to wrap their chains around him, even as he replaced himself with a log at the last second. Quickly hiding in the trees, Kakashi watched as his students reacted to his death.
Sakura screeched, Naruto gasped his name, Sasuke looked determined and Mika looked at him directly for a moment before pulling out his blade.
In an instant the attackers rushed behind Naruto, ready to bind him but before they could, Sasuke pinned their chain to a tree with ease while landing on their claws, using them for leverage to kick each of them in the face. They severed their chains in that instant. As they flew back, both recovered in an instant due to sheer training and force of will. One rushed to Tazuna who was quickly guarded by Sakura, the other towards Naruto who froze in shock.
Mika threw himself forward, spinning to slice upward, carving a path through one of the attacker's sides. The man screamed and lashed out, growling as he tried to kill Mika. The boy dodged easily, clearly, his training in medical taijutsu was not wasted on the boy. He easily danced around the man's strikes before reaching inward and carving a bloody swath across the attacker's throat.
The man collapsed, dying in agony.
'I've seen enough.'
With a fraction of his speed, Kakashi collected the remaining attacker in his arms, saving Tazuna and a doomed Sakura all at once.
"Hi." He said. And it was clear that everyone was stunned, even the immovable Sasuke. "Naruto, sorry I didn't help you right away, I didn't mean for you to get hurt but I didn't think you'd freeze like that." Then he moved to the others. "Good job very smooth. You too, Sakura." Finally, His eyes moved to Mika, who was coldly looking at him. "You killed him... how are you handling it?"
"I've done harder things. This wasn't particularly difficult. He was slow and clearly unprepared to fight me. I am not even that skilled with a blade yet, only two weeks of training with it. He was far too easy prey."
"BROTHER!" The other attacker screamed, looking with hate and horror at Mika. "YOU KILLED MY BROTHER, I WILL GUT YOU!"
Kakashi squeezed the squirming man. "No you won't, you will give me answers or I will let the boy kill you too."
"Never, I'd rather die!"
"I can manage that." Mika said, wiping the blood from his blade. It was here that Kakashi noticed the horror in Naruto and Sakura's faces, both staring pale faced at Mika. Tazuna was oddly not moved by the death, a sign of things to come in it's own way. "I can gut him from brain to balls in an instant, I need the practice anyway."
The man screamed and tried to throw himself at Mika, only for Kakashi to knock him out with a chop to the back of his neck. "Tie him up, but don't kill him. The Hokage will want him interrogated."
Mika looked disappointed but obeyed him. That concerned Kakashi a lot...but he would ignore that for the time being.
As Mika tied up their attacker, he turned Naruto. "Fight, Flight or Freeze. There is no shame in freezing Naruto, it was your first time. Do better next time,b ut not now..."
Kakashi nodded, realizing he had been a bit cruel to almost mock Naruto for freezing. "He's right, there is no shame in that Naruto, just do better and be better. Simple as that...Mika, can you heal Naruto. He was scratched by their claws and I smell poison."Mika nodded and moved over to Naruto, his hands glowing green. "By the way Mr. Tazuna, we need to talk."
It was Tazuna's turn to look scared.
It took only minutes for Kakashi to scold the man for lying to them and revealing the scope of the mission to be B rank at the least...
And only a minute longer for Naruto to whine. " Come on, we can do this! I won't freeze any more believe it! I swear!"
Kakashi just sighed. "Very well, I do believe we are going to continue with this mission." Only to startle into action when Mika almost shrieked recoiling from Naruto with wide eyes. "Mika, report!"
"I... his body, it's filled with chakra, foreign chakra but not human... I never... I..."
Kakashi instantly grabbed Mika's shoulder and led him away. "We'll be right back," he told the others as he led Mika into the forest. "What you just sensed is forbidden for you to even know."
Mika was even paler than normal, shaking. "I was healing him and something pushed back, it healed him for me... purged the poison entirely. How is that possible? What is inside of Naruto?"
Kakashi sighed and leaned in, whispering. "Can't you guess? You're a smart boy."
Mika's eyes went cold, calculating. "Naruto was born the night of the Kyuubi attack and everyone hates him for some reason beyond his pranks. I am assuming there is a tie there?"
"Yes, there is..."
"Naruto has the fox sealed in him, or at least it's power... it's chakra. I read once that the Tailed Beasts were made of chakra, it would make sense that they were sealed away instead of killed..." Mika's face softened. "If that is the case, no wonder Naruto has been mistreated so deeply..."
"Right in one. However, as I said, you cannot say a word about it to anyone that is not in the know. Naruto only recently found out, so he is safe technically."
The boy nodded. "I understand... I guess I have to respect him a little, that cannot be an easy burden."
"No, it has not been."
Sighing, the boy turned. "I know my duty, but he deserved more than he was given, Kakashi, by us all... myself included."
"You're not wrong... keep it quiet."
"We will have to report your knowing this to the Hokage."
"I figured as much," Mika said.
Mika shook as they returned, the mere sensation of the Kyuubi's chakra lingering around him left him in terror. The beast's aura was pure malice, even for him it was terrifying. He had never anticipated any being being that... evil, cruel, insane? Was there a story there or was it innate... he would have to find out later, maybe through Naruto. Still, for the time being, he would treat Naruto better, the kid deserved that much at least.
Smiling, Mika walked past Naruto, turning to kiss the boy's forehead. Before Naruto could ask why, Mika whispered. "I know, about the Fox." He said, and Naruto paled. "Don't worry, I am on your team here Naruto. If anything it makes me like you more."
That made Naruto break out into the warmest, most giggly smile he had ever seen on the boy's face. "Thanks."
"Not a problem..." He turned back to Kakashi. "Shall we get going? We have a nation to save?" He did not want to go on this mission, it was impractical but he knew he had no choice. So it was more practical to grab this bitch by the horns and shake it until it mooed. " The best way is forward and we are burning daylight."
Kakashi nodded and they started forward once more...
"How did you not freeze up?" Naruto's voice, rough and gravley as they road the boat to Wave country. Oddly enough, Naruto's voice was actually in a rare whisper, like he understood the seriousness of their situation, which Mika doubted.
"What do you mean?" He asked Naruto.
Naruto turned, looking ashamed. "Back then, with those two guys,... how did you not freeze up? You fought back, so easily and killed one... "
Understanding the shame in Naruto's face, Mika smiled at the boy. "I am used to terrible things Naruto, I grew up in conflict. Who knows, without that upbringing what would have happened..."
"This fogs so thick, you can't see anything." Sakura's voice softly cut through the next bout of silence.
Mika nodded, not liking the lack of vision that came with the fog. He felt insecure and exposed, like any enemy could be watching and he'd never know.
The boatman spoke next. "The Bridge isn't far now, our destination isn't far ahead, the Land of Waves." And he was right, a massive bridge came into sight, clearly unfinished with signs of construction covering it. Pullies and cranes and pieces of metal and stone all over the place. It was an amazing sight, humbling in a way.
Mika reached over, grabbing Naruto's head into a cold grasp. "No yelling." Naruto's muffled yells made Mika smirk, he was so smart.
"Mr. Tazuna, before we reach the pier, I want to ask you something. The men who are after you, I need to know why. If you don't tell us, I am afraid we'll have to end this mission when we drop you ashore." Kakashi's declaration had everyone looking at Tazuna.
"I have no choice but to tell you, no I want you to know the truth. Like you said, it goes beyond the original scope of the original mission. The one who seeks my life is a very short man, who casts a very long and dangerous shadow."
Kakashi asked. " A deadly shadow. Who is it?"
"You know him, or I'm sure you've heard his name before. He's one of the wealthiest men in the world. The shipping magnet Gato."
"Gato of Gato transport. He's a business leader, Everyone knows him."
"Gato, is a very famous Tycoon of a famous company. With the same ruthless methods, he uses to take business and nations eh sells drugs and contraband using gangs and Ninja. It was one year ago when Gato first set his sight on the Land of Waves. He came to our island and used his vast resources to take total control over our transport and shipping. Anyone who tried to stand in his way simply disappeared. On an island nation controls the sea controls everything. Finance, Government, our very lives. But there's one thing he fears -the bridge! When that is complete that will connect us to the Land and that will break his control. I am the bridge builder."
Mika rarely cared for others, but in this his heart broke. He sighed though as clear flaws came to him. " "You do realize he could just blow up the bridge right?" They all turned towards Mika, who felt sort of uncomfortable. "If I was Gato, that's what I would have done. It would make a point and kill those working on it so no one else could oppose me."
Naruto's eyes were wide. "You would really do that?"
"If I were Gato, then yes. It would send a message, cross me and this is what happens. Really that he's allowed this to go on so long suggests that he is going to send a very big mission."
Sasuke nodded, looking pleased. "That explains why they were after Tazuna, Gato sent them after him."
"I don't understand, if you knew he was dangerous, knew that he'd sent ninja after you then why did you hide that from us?" Kakashi asked.
"Because the land of waves is a small impoverished nation, even our nobles have little money. The common people who are building this bridge can't afford an A or B ranked mission. It's too expensive. If you end this mission when you drop me ashore there will be no bridge. They'll assassinate me before I reach home. But don't feel bad about that. Of course, my sweet little grandson will be upset. He'll cry, grandad I want my grandad! And my daughter will condemn the ninja of the hidden leaf. Denouncing you for abandoning her father and living her life in sorrow. Oh well it's not your fault, forget it "
. Kakashi rubbed his forehead. " I guess we have no choice, we'll have to keep guarding you."
"Oh, I'm very grateful!"
"You really are manipulative, you know that right?" Mika said, looking at the smug older man. "But really, I think he'll go after the bridge if he's smart, so we might want to watch for that."
Kakashi nodded. "You make a fair point."
All went silent again for several minutes before they approached a massive tunnel under the bridge and the oarsmen said. "Tazuna. We have been very fortunate no one has noticed up so far."
"Nice going. " The old man replied.
And then they broke through the tunnel and the fog, only to see a beautiful sight. Countless raised houses, trees growing straight out of the water and a sense of peace that filled the very air itself. Rai felt at peace, despite the dangerous situation they had found themselves in just a day before.
Slowly, they made their way to a dock, where they all stepped off. "That's as far as a I go." The oarsmen said.
Tazuna, last off the boat, nodded. "Right, Thank you for taking such a risk."
"Just be careful. " And with that, he was gone, his boat taking him off into the distance.
"Alright, take me to my home and I mean get me there in one piece," Tazuna commanded.
Kakashi nodded. "Right."
And so they made their way past the main part of the village and into the woods where the Mist was thin. They made no small talk but everyone was on edge, except the oblivious Naruto. Mika felt his nerves ache in the silence, just waiting for the deaths to come. He was so wound up that he whipped out his blade as he heard a Kunai blasted out into the woods.
"It just a mouse." Naruto said, laughing lightly, having thrown said Kunai.
Mika was tempted to stab Naruto there.
Sakura screeched some nonsense he all but ignored, Kakashi warned him against using Kunai recklessly and Tazuna bellowed about being scared by an idiot like Naruto. Mika frowned, something felt... wrong.
'If Naruto is wrong, then why do I feel... off.' Frowning, he turned in each direction, feeling... something tingle against his skin. Like a magnetic pull only far weaker pulling against every part of him. Totally ignoring Naruto repeating throwing his kunai at what turned out to be a snow white rabbit, Mika focused on the strange feeling, following to where his eyes met something in a tree. " Kakashi..."
The man turned to him. "What?"
"I can feel something, not like Naruto being dumb but really feel something. A magnetic pull sort of under my skin, in that tree."
Kakashi frowned. " Are you a sensor?" He frowned, his eye widening. "Watch out!" He screamed before all of them ducked as a massive sword flew through the air, connecting with a tree.
The weird magnetic feeling strengthened, focusing like crazy as a man appeared on the handle of the massive butcher-like blade. The man was like a giant piece of magnetic rock and Mika felt drawn to him.
He would ask Kakashi about it later, but for now, he had to focus!
And focus he did, looking at the strange shirtless man. He was tall, with a thick build and cow-colored arm guards and grey pants. His face was covered in bandages and he had a mist headband on. He radiated malice, oozing it unlike anything Mika had ever encountered.
"Well if it isn't Zabuza Momochi from the Village Hidden in the Mist." Kakashi said.
Naruto charged forward, only for Mika to grab his arm. "Now's not the time, he's beyond us."
Kakashi frowned, turning to Naruto. " Mika's right, this guy's in a whole other league. If he's our opponent, then I'll need this." He reached up and grabbed his headband.
"Kakashi of the Sharingan eye. Did I get that right? It's too bad, huh, but you'll have to hand over the old man."
In an instant, the air changed and charged with something vital. Mika knew he could never forget this, for this was the true power of a shinobi. The kind of power that shaped their world countless times. The power that defined eras...
He would never forget it and only prayed that he lived long enough to become great enough to create this kind of presence one day.
Chapter end, tell me what you think in the reviews.
This was fun to write!
Love, your Ninja Overlord,