I was so inspired today... sorry for the upload dumps.
Love you all!
Mika learning the Hidden Mist jutsu and the Hiding in the mist technique is why he is on this mission entirely... I thought it was the perfect way to teach him this and it made so much more sense.., rather than have him learn something he already knows or learn a big jutsu like the Chidori, something that is supportive and defensive but not chakra intensive made more sense to me.
I hope you like it and it makes sense to you.
Mika danced in the mist, the cold power washing over his skin, his own chakra smearing his senses. It was harder to sense through the web of his own power, but still he managed it. He could feel Naruto's clones within the mist, amusingly blind to him. They were the perfect targets to learn to mix sensory abilities with the Small fifty feet of Mist he could conjure. Their raw blinding light made them almost visible with his budding sensory powers. Carefully, he slashed out with his blade, slashing through the clones easily until they were all gone. He laughed as the mist faded, leaving him to see the results of his work. He had missed four of the sixteen clones, and had barely hit the other clones at all... still, it was an improvement over the few hours. He was no Zabuza, but he was making improvements all his own. He would master this trick and make it his own.
"Naruto clones, thank your creator for sending me the clones to fight. I really appreciate it."
"Sure!" They all said, looking terrified.
Mika just smirked, enjoying their fear. It made him feel powerful, even if he was barely amateurish at this technique. Hell to call him an amateur would be an insult to actual people who worked on this technique. He would be no match for Zabuza or his accomplice but hopefully, by the weeks' end, he would have enough skill to take advantage of their Mist or use it to his advantage.
"Can you have him send me... oh fifty more clones? Smaller groups now, I need to get used to one and one, and to fight people with less raw power."
"Sure, we'll see what we can do."
"Great! We'll practice another hour or so, then I guess I'll work on the water manipulation portion... and when I've lowered my chakra levels, I will work on meditation or taijutsu I guess."
Clapping drew Mika to Kakashi, at the edge of the clearing he was working in. "A good idea... but keep this in mind. Since you and Sakura have mastered this technique already, you will be guarding Tazuna on the bridge while he works tomorrow. You cannot be training all the time, we are on a mission."
Mika scowled. "I know this, that is why I am capitalizing on this as much as I can. And I can still work through my Katas on the bridge to keep me loose."
Naruto's clones frowned. " I thought you called it Chakra?" They all said as one.
Mika sighed. "Katas are movements that one goes through when learning a new taijutsu or kenjutsu style. I am learning both, so I need to practice."
An hour or so later found Mika sitting against a tree, with a leaf in his hands. He was focusing hard, trying to extract the water from a leaf. It was not an easy process, actually, it was extremely difficult. He focused hard, pushing his chakra into the Leaf. For a while, nothing happened, but eventually, he felt the liquid respond. Slowly, tiny droplets like dew formed on the leaf.
That was the most Mika could do, even by the time he went to bed, that was the best he could do. It was quite frustrating, but all he knew of elemental training told him it was insanely hard and took a long time to learn. Really any progress was to be celebrated. Still, it was rather frustrating to make a leaf sweat and fail...
"I wonder what my chakra element actually is... I guess I can buy a chakra paper when I go back. I hope it's water, so many applications for defensive support type jutsu like this that can help me... I wonder if I can make the mist poison... so many ideas... so little time... maybe I should dedicate some time to just mixing my ideas up... ah... never enough time."
True to his word, the very next day found Mika on the bridge with a yawning Sakura, moving through his taijutsu katas. He had gotten up around dawn, as usual, and started to work through his exercises with his sword and was now working on his taijutsu katas as to not become rusty. Sakura on the other hand did nothing, just yawned lazily.
"You always this lazy?" Tazuna, carrying a large metal beam, walked by them on the massive bridge. His attitude hadn't really changed despite them saving his miserable life. "Where's the Weird blonde kid and the one with the attitude?"
"Their training, climbing trees." Sakura's tone was almost smug, it grated on Mika's ears.
"Too tough for you?"
"No in fact I'm the best, that's why he sent me here to guard you."
Barely resisting the urge to roll his eyes, Mika turned to Tazuna. "I already knew this technique, so I did not need to be taught it. Kakashi settled for teaching me a unique and simple technique that will allow me to reach new heights. Tactically, I imagine Kakashi will send the others to watch over your family while we are here once they finish since your family could be used against you." He saw the man's fear, the sudden wave of concern in his eyes and he realized that if he didn't comfort the man at least a little he was liable to freak out. "Don't worry, Kakashi is with them and he is powerful. You saw what he could do and Zabuza is too weak to attack. All should be fine."
The man let out a long sigh of relief, just as a worker came to him carrying his hard hat.
That left Mika with a very annoying Sakura and they both watched as the man, Giichi, quit on Tazuna, leaving the old man in a miserable slump.
"Sakura... do you want to learn how to walk on water?" Mika said, turning to Sakura, gaining her full attention. "You might as well do something useful while you are here."
Sakura would end up figuring it out in minutes... and mastered in within an hour, leaving Mika unable to get the girl away from him any longer. Pity really... Still it showed real skill on her part, she mastered chakra control so quickly, far quicker than even he had. It was an enviable skill.
Nearly ten hours later, when the sun began to set, Tazuna led them off of the bridge and towards the village. "Where are we going?" Sakura asked once they reached town.
The horrors of the town were clearly lost on her simple mind. A man carrying a sign to do any kind of work, tons of thin twitchy people, a kid stealing from a shop and running away with calls of thief towards him... a sense of dread filling the air.
"You want Dinner right, I need to collect some food," Tazuna said as they passed by some weak kid, kids whose chakra was so low he could just barely sense it like a tiny buzz against his skin. They were starving and they were going to die... his heart broke for them, he had been then once upon a time. "Here we are. " Tazuna said as they reached a shop.
"Welcome. " A man said as they entered, his voice weak and scratchy. His body was thin from not eating enough food. His selection of food was miserable, only a handful of vegetables of each type... it was depressing and it hit home how hard this town had been harmed by Gato's evil.
"YOU PERVERT!" Sakura's bellowed out, making Mika pull out his sword and turn just in time to see her kicking a man hard enough to knock his teeth out.
"Your wrong I..." then he passed out on the ground, bleeding from his mouth and nose.
Mika laughed, turning to a stunned Tazuna. "He's lucky. Even a weak genin could snap a man's neck with a single kick."
The man shuddered as they hurried and bought the food before leaving the store.
"Girls around here don't fight like that." Tazuna said, his tone hesitant but impressed.
Mika felt a little smug. "They should, no one should be at the mercy of another person. Man or women." he bumped Sakura a little, smirking at her. " That was a hell of a kick."
He enjoyed her flush. "That was nothing." Her eyes went wide suddenly and she turned, ready to whoop ass only to stop when she saw a small child, thin and in rags.
His heart broke at the sight of that very kid, holding out their hands. "Please?" With the most beautiful smile.
He reached into his bag and pulled out some jerky that he had stored with him, Sakura did the same pulling out candy. Both of them placed it in the kid's hands.
"Thank you!" The kid's face was radiant even as they ran off to enjoy their prize.
Mika's cold heart ached for this place.
"This is how it's been since Gato came here. The children suffer and the adults are afraid to stand up to him. They lost all hope that's why we need to finish the bridge. It will bring commerce and trade but much more importantly that bridge is a symbol of courage. We must restore the spirit of our people. When the bridge is finished people will start to believe again. They will believe they can live with dignity. We can't let Gato stop us."
"NARUTO, SASUKE ENOUGH!" Naruto and Sasuke both froze, looking at an enraged Mika. Both boys had been stuffing their faces with bowl after bowl. "This country is starving as it is you will not make it harder by eating them out of house and home. Both of you ought to know better!"
Some time passed and they started to drink some tea, the room quiet except for the sound of Tsunami doing the dishes.
This was interrupted by Sakura. "Hey, this picture is torn. Is there some reason for that?" Naruto may have struggled to read the room but he could easily tell there was something wrong. "Inari, you kept glancing at it through dinner, it looks like there was someone else in here but they were torn out."
"It's my husband." Tsunami said, her voice quiet and pained.
"He was once called a hero in this land," Tazuna said and with that Inari left the room, eyes shaded in shadows from his hat.
"Inari where are you going?" Tsunami followed him as he left the room, stopping at the door to turn to her father. "Father you can't talk about him like in front Inari you know that."
"Inari's so… what happened to him?" Sakura broke out, not reading just how much pain was in the room.
Mika said nothing, needing to know what had happened as much as the rest of them.
"He wasn't his real father he came into our lives and he brought so much happiness...he used to laugh and smile all the time and then... " Tazuna started to cry. "...All that ended. He never laughs or smiles anymore. Ever since that day, everything changed. The word courage was stolen from this island, we were left feeling powerless, hopeless and Inari suffered the most. Ever since that day, ever since it happened."
Kakashi's voice didn't change much but Naruto felt like it sort of did, like Kakashi felt warmer and quieter than normal. "Tell us, what happened to Inari."
"To understand, you need to understand the man, his father. The man who taught us the word courage, his father."
Mika pity grew for this land as he heard the tale of Kaiza, the pain in every word was practically visible. The man cried as he spoke, weaving the tale further and further, and with each word he understood just how much courage the man before him had.
'To think, he is willing to work on the bridge despite what happened to Kaiza, and right in front of him. I disagree though Inari is not the one who suffered the most. He still has a family, food and a roof. So many others have none of those things... in a way, he is actually quite lucky.'
Mika kept that thought to himself, knowing it would not prove fruitful for himself...
When it was finished, Naruto stood up. "I'm going to prove it, prove to Inari that heroes do exist." And then he left the room, leaving them all to look at the boy with a sense of pride and purpose they just lacked before.
Mika just sighed though, not believing in heroes himself... people needed to fight for themselves or they would be perpetual victims... and this place oozed that sort of energy. It might just be their fate to be victims.
Chapter end, tell what you think in the reviews.
This was beyond fun,
Love, your Ninja Overlord,