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    Reborn's Avatar
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    Naruto: Shichiyo Gaiden LXXII

    Chapter 72: Purple Hearts


    Koichi comes to in the dim room within his subconscious, his mind muffled and vision blurred for a moment as he tries to comprehend everything. *Wha...what happened?* he begins to think, staring at the ceiling of the room. *That's right, I blacked out and...Shukaku...he got free again.* It takes a moment for him to process his thoughts, but when he does, Koichi shoots up realizing what occurred. “Damn it!” Koichi turns to see the seal back up and the box cage is re-established. “Hey Shukaku, you in there?!” Koichi says loudly.

    “Where the hell else would I be you idiot?!” The Ichibi says irritated.

    “Was that...was I just dreaming? Wait how could I be, isn't this all inside my head or...Uhh I don't know?!” Koichi confuses himself.

    “It wasn't a dream brat, you pretty much handed me my way out when you were trying to be a hero. I managed to force through the seal after you released a good amount.”

    “If that's the case how come you're back in there?” Koichi asks. Shukaku grunts and doesn't say anything in response and Koichi just scratches his head, confused. Koichi comes out of his subconscious and wakes up in the real world, finding himself in a hospital bed. “Where—”

    As Koichi brings himself upright in the bed a kunai flies towards him. Koichi reacts quickly by stopping before his head gets into the line of fire and he quickly breaks out in a cold sweat, “Well you're reflexes seem healthy.” Koji says sitting in a chair on the other side of the room.

    “Will you cut that shit out?!” Koichi yells with irritation, “One of these days you're actually going to hit me!” Koichi pauses for a moment regaining his train of thought, “Say, what happened, why am I in a hospital bed?”

    “Because you passed out after nearly breaking the Ichibi's seal,” Koji begins, “I don't know how you did it but you manged to re-establish the seal before Shukaku could do any damage.”

    “I did?” Koichi says puzzled.

    “Well the seal was put back somehow and I certainly didn't do it.”

    Koichi puts his right hand on his head and begins shaking slowly, “I can't remember anything, I just remember blacking out while I was trying to...” Koichi pauses for a moment remembering Maiyuri's surgery. “Wait a minute! Maiyuri, what happened with the surgery?!”

    “She's alright, that last surge of chakra you mustered up skyrocketed the chakra to the point we needed. We repaired her injuries and sealed the chakra inside her and now she's in recovery.” Koji explains. Koichi sighs a sigh a relief, “next time don't be so reckless, you could have ended up going berserk again.”

    “But it all worked out right?” Koichi says.

    Koji shoots an angered glare at Koichi which cause the chuunin to shrink, “And what if it didn't? Now knowing that you have no recollection of putting the Ichibi back in check means that something that was probably a rare fluke managed to do it for you while you were rendered helpless. Luck is an unexpected and rare luxury that you shouldn't put your faith into! By doing reckless things like that you may have very well ended up jeopardizing the very operation you sought so hard to achieve.” Koji scolds.

    “Without a risk there was absolutely no chance for us to save her. I did what I thought was necessary and the end result was—”

    “You just don't get it do you.” Koji says, shaking his head, “End results based on chance alone usually never work in the intended favor.”

    “And results based purely on statistics will rarely see the goal through until the end.” Koichi rebuts. “There's a balance between the two but neither of us are at that point where we can see it. Though I'd rather be where I stand, at least I know that's...” Koichi stops himself before he says something he regrets. Koji sighs and gets up from the chair. He walks past Koichi without saying anything, taking his kunai out of the wall. He walks out without saying a word in response to his brother. “Damn it...that's not what I wanted to say to him.”

    Koichi slams his head back into his pillow and stares at the ceiling. A few minutes pass before a knock on the door gets Koichi's attention. Koichi turns his head as Ryoko enters the room. “How are you feeling?” Ryoko asks leaning against the wall beside the door.

    “Lousy,” Koichi says out right.

    “Does it have something to do with a Koji?”

    “*sigh* We just can't see eye to eye...but I know where he's coming from.” Koichi begins, “I don't know what it is?”

    “Afraid to admit he may be right about somethings?”

    “He's the same way, he won't admit his faults or whenever I'm right about something.” Koichi says.

    “But why does that stop you from admitting yours?” Ryoko says rhetorically.

    “I get it I get it, be the bigger man and all that.” Koichi says.

    Ryoko shakes her head smiling, “You're both such little kids at times.” Ryoko says.

    Just then another knock on the door catches the attention of the Suna chuunin. Masaomi and Shizuko enter the room. Koichi's expression goes south, anticipating the more of Masaomi's ridicule.

    As the two genin enter the room, Koichi notices the uncharacteristic expression of guilt on Masaomi's face, avoiding Koichi's gaze. “Masaomi, Shizuko, I thought you guys would be with Maiyuri.”

    “We were but...we thought we should come see you too.” Shizuko's says in as timid a voice as ever. As she speaks she doesn't make eye contact with Koichi.

    “You didn't have to—”

    “Yeah, we did.” Masaomi says, cutting off Koichi. Masaomi's gaze remains averted from Koichi, his stare full of intensity and remorse. “I don't know much about this whole Jinchuuriki thing...how the village does its thing, but I do know that it's something you don't have a say in.” Masaomi begins. “I also know that you're not the thing that hurt Maiyuri, if anything you've proved it by going so far out of your way just to help her and us.” The room goes silent for a brief yet seemingly long moment. “That thing inside you, it's not something you can control is it? But it's not your fault either,” Masaomi continues. Masaomi looks up and into Koichi's eyes with complete sincerity, “With everything I've said and done to you and the things done for me...what I'm trying to say is I'm sorry, and thank you.”

    “We can't tell you how grateful we are to you.” Shizuko says bowing her head.

    “Well I wasn't the only one...Sakura and Koji, and the other medics—”

    “Said if you hadn't came in when you did, Maiyuri wouldn't have made it.” Masaomi says. “I know, even before this situation with Maiyuri, that the two of us never saw eye to eye. I mean before we never were really involved with one another. I want that to change though,” Masaomi beings. “We are comrades of the Sand.” Masaomi extends his hand out to Koichi and looks him in the eyes.

    Koichi, stricken with shock, at Masaomi's hand of friendship, hesitates as he comes to comprehend everything. Koichi closes his eyes after a brief moment and smiles as he goes and shakes Masaomi's hand. “Damn right we are.”
    ~Shichiyo Residence~


    Koji opens the door entering his house. The silence and the emptiness of the house resonates throughout Koji's body as he hesitates to proceed in the lonely domicile. He begins walking through the house towards his room, the path he walks seems like a trek through the hostile and endless desert of the Wind Country. He recedes into the recesses of his mind as he walks to his destination.

    **Flashback**

    (Just after the missions in Otogakure and Jomae)

    “We need to keep an eye on the Anbu and the only way to do that is to create a faction with a jurisdiction beyond the classification of Anbu's top secrecy.” Gaara says.

    “A faction? How are we supposed to do that, the only people who know about this are you, Matsuri, Koji and myself. None of us besides Koji can move very freely.” Kankuro says.

    “It's all we have though, we can't afford to let this go and hope to have leads fall into our lap. We need to do something before we fall apart from the inside.” Gaara says.

    “So what are we going to do?”

    “The extent of my capabilities in this matter will be maintaining records and covering your tracks. The same goes for Matsuri. Kankuro you would have to keep an eye out in the village, as for you Koji,” Gaara turns his head towards the young shinobi, “You are everything outside the village. I'm going to be giving you everything involving Anbu movement outside the village. I'm going to trust that you find a way to conceal yourself from any sort of suspicion or trail. You're one of the most insignificant personnel in Suna...and at the same time the most important.”

    “Gaara, are you sure that's the smartest thing to do? Koji is skilled, however you're basically asking him to spy on our village's most skilled and secret division. These shinobi have been specially trained to do exactly what you're asking of Koji while Koji himself is very inexperienced.” Kankuro turns his head to his student, “I'm not trying to undermine you or anything Koji but—”

    “I completely understand sensei and I agree, I don't believe my abilities can successfully handle a task like this Gaara-sama.”

    “It's premature but there is nobody who has this inside knowledge. Deception is your game Koji, your genjutsu has done more than make you a master of illusions. I have my own doubts about this but the gamble is the only thing we have to rely on.” Gaara begins, Gaara stares more intensely at Koji, “We need you to do this and we need you to be successful. The entire village is riding on this including Koichi and Ryoko.”

    Gaara's words cause Koji to freeze, molding over the importance of the task in relation to the two closest to him. The room remains silent for a moment as Koji comprehends the situation. A moment passes and Koji closes his eyes and sighs, “I'll do it for the village...and for them.” Koji says without reluctance.

    “You understand what your responsibilities are now right Koji?” Gaara begins, “From this moment your existence outside this faction is nothing more than a mask over what you really are now. Just like you mask reality behind your illusions. Nobody outside this room will know of this...nobody.” Gaara says.

    “Yes...I understand.”

    **End Flashback**

    Koji lay on his bed looking at the ceiling, with his arm dangling over the side of his bed. “Konoha was a failure...” In Koji's hand is a folder, which drops out of it a files with the picture of a shinobi in Anbu gear and his records.
    ~Konoha Medical Corp~


    “What do you mean he can't mold chakra?!” Naruto says.

    “Quite a few of his chakra points have been shut down completely and that's severely affected the chakra pathways in his body that allow him to access chakra.” Ino begins, “Hinata said that if he tried to force chakra through the disconnected pathways it would probably kill him.”

    “Damn it! How is this happening, I thought you fixed him?!” Naruto says frustrated.

    “It was Kakashi's Raikiri,” Ino begins, “The amount of electricity that was generated, it should have immediately killed him but it didn't. Instead of his body having a complete shut down from the overload of electricity, it only managed to shut down a partial amount of his body. The results are what we have now.”

    “Damn it!” Naruto slams his fist on the wall, “Damn you Kabuto.” Naruto grits his teeth and stares angrily at the ground with a sense of helplessness.

    “Naruto,” Ino puts her hand on Naruto's shoulder, “We saved him, that's the most important thing.”

    “You're right,” Naruto pauses for a moment and then looks up, “Is he awake?” Ino nods and she leads him into Shikamaru's room.
    ~Kazekage Residence~


    “So what happened with Koji?” Gaara says, facing Kankuro as he sits at his desk.

    “The shinobi he was trailing got away from him,” Kankuro begins, “he got too far into the mission to retrieve Sakura, and lost the shinobi.”

    “I see...did he give you a time?” Gaara asks.

    “A few hours after Sakura requested him. Koji tried to keep a scent on him and on his way back with the others to Suna, he said he managed to slip away with his genjutsu without anybody noticing. However by the time he retraced his steps he had lost the target.” Kankuro explains. “He reported to me as soon as he came back to the village.”

    “So that leaves approximately a day and a half unaccounted for, the shinobi's return wasn't too long ago from the mission I sent him on,” Gaara says, taking out the same file Koji had in his room, “Code name: Miroku.” Gaara reads the name to the side.

    “I told you that Koji wouldn't be up for the task,” Kankuro says, “He's lucky he didn't leave a trail of his own to be picked up on.”

    “This only means we have to keep Miroku's file under the heavier consideration until we can find evidence that gets him out of our sight. Until then we keep him in the pile.” Gaara says.

    “But so far everybody is still in the main pile...we haven't gotten anywhere.” Kankuro complains, “Gaara, this is too severe a situation!”

    “Then what do you suggest we do Kankuro?” Gaara says sternly. Kankuro pauses for a moment to contemplate the situation but doesn't come up with anything, “I understand the severity of the situation but we don't have any other choice. The success or failure of this is dependent on all our parts, and Koji knows that all too well. We can't do anything else but let this ride out. We have no choice but to trust him.”

    Kankuro sighs and looks down, “I know...”
    ~Several Hours Pass: Underground Stronghold in Suna~


    Several shinobi dressed in all black garb and white porcelain masks with individual streaks, stand in a line before a single Anbu shinobi. “Some of you have been hand selected by the Kazekage and other higher ranked officials,” the Anbu shinobi says, “others have chosen to take these exams for whatever reasons they have, nonetheless, these exams are to test your worth to become one of Suna's elite. Those of you who pass these entrance exams will from there on be amongst Suna's root. We are the black operations and we maintain the stability of our village in the world.” The shinobi paces past each of the shinobi, his voice lacking all signs of emotion. “With that being said, the following tasks you will be expected to complete will be more rigorous than any task you've ever faced before.”

    The Anbu shinobi stops in front of one of the recruits with a black streak down their mask. He turns and looks at the recruit, the two masks facing each other blankly, hiding the true feelings which lay beyond. “Many of you will die...” The Anbu says plainly as he continues to walk through the line.

    *Failure is not an option...* Ryoko, waring the black marked mask clinches her fist in determined anxiety as she stands with her other test mates. *I will not fail.*

    **Flashback**

    (Earlier in the Day in Suna's Medical Corp.)

    Masaomi and Shizuko leave the room shortly after Koichi and Masaomi make amends. As they leave, Ryoko remain in the room with Koichi and she smiles slightly.

    “So everything worked out huh.” Ryoko says with a smile. She heads over to the other side of the room to open the window.

    “Yeah it did,” Koichi begins. Koichi pauses for a brief moment and then his face loses his smile as a new subject pops into his mind, “hey, aren't those entrance exams tonight?” Koichi asks curiously.

    Ryoko opens the window, keeping her back to Koichi, however her expression has also changed, losing the smile she once dawned. She says nothing for a few seconds but eventually speaks, “Yeah,” her tone is soft but it still reaches Koichi past the sudden wind that blows through her hair.

    “You ready?” Koichi asks. Ryoko doesn't respond, unsure of herself. “Look regardless of what happens—”

    “I won't fail!” Ryoko says in an annoyed voice.

    “Just don't die!!” Koichi shouts over her a moment after. Ryoko widens her eyes after Koichi shouts, surprised at his words, “Just make sure you don't do anything reckless alright.” Koichi's tone is lower this time.

    A smile comes on Ryoko's face once more, she bows her head slightly out the window, “If I didn't know any better I'd say you cared what happened to me.” Ryoko says.

    “Idiot, I do so you better get your ass back here in once piece after those exams got it?” Koichi smiles.

    “Yeah...alright.”

    **End Flashback**

    *No...I won't die.* Ryoko undoes her fists and the tension in her relaxes.

    The Anbu shinobi gets back in front of the new recruits and glances over them one last time in silence, “Alright...lets begin!”

    To Be Continued...

    Author's Note:
    Forgive me for the delay everybody, I got worked up with my new project and forgot to proof read lol. Shichiyo Gaiden chapter 72 marks my 99th official chapter of Fanfiction on Narutobase. This new project I'm working on is my 100th release which will be a special. So for the next chapter of Shichiyo Gaiden, expect a special chapter . Please read and comment, I'd really appriciate it. If I get past this little block I'm having, you can expect the release early next week. ^^ Until then enjoy.
     
         
    Last edited by Reborn; 12-08-2012 at 06:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Rikudo Sennin ~Uzumaki~'s Avatar
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    Re: Naruto: Shichiyo Gaiden LXXII

    Ryoko's taking the ANBU exams? Hope she makes it. But then we won't see much of her anymore. Did Gaara just give a genin instruction to SPY on ANBu. O_o Yeah...this is definitely going to be interesting. What's with Shikamaru not being able to mold chakra?! Well, he's not exactly one of the ¤ost powerful fighters out there but still.....Anyways, great chap. It really has been quite a while.
     
         

  3. #3
    Reborn's Avatar
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    Re: Naruto: Shichiyo Gaiden LXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Uzumaki16 View Post
    Ryoko's taking the ANBU exams? Hope she makes it. But then we won't see much of her anymore. Did Gaara just give a genin instruction to SPY on ANBu. O_o Yeah...this is definitely going to be interesting. What's with Shikamaru not being able to mold chakra?! Well, he's not exactly one of the ¤ost powerful fighters out there but still.....Anyways, great chap. It really has been quite a while.
    Next couple of chapters will tell the results of the Anbu exams.

    Yes Gaara gave Koji that mission, nobody else can do it within the confines of the knowledge . As you can see it didn't go to well so far.

    Shikamaru's abilities were the equivalent to a Kage before his accident. I'm going to be developing his character more with this injury. He's such an important character and once you see what I have in store for him you'll be like damn .
     
         

  4. #4
    Rikudo Sennin ~Uzumaki~'s Avatar
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    Re: Naruto: Shichiyo Gaiden LXXII

    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    Next couple of chapters will tell the results of the Anbu exams.

    Yes Gaara gave Koji that mission, nobody else can do it within the confines of the knowledge . As you can see it didn't go to well so far.

    Shikamaru's abilities were the equivalent to a Kage before his accident. I'm going to be developing his character more with this injury. He's such an important character and once you see what I have in store for him you'll be like damn .
    Cool. Then I can't wait man. wease:

    I think she'll get in, and help Koji somehow from within. :scorps: I think Ryoko and Koichi somewhat like each other, when's Koichi gonna tap that a...I mean are they going to get together?
     
         

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