Crossover Fan Fiction / Crossover With Non-anime Series Fan Fiction / Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ NAvatarUTO ❯ Danger in the Forest of Death! ( Chapter 9 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Chapter nine: Danger in the Forest of Death!

The time came to enter the forest of death. As instructed, the gaang immediately turned right. Not five minutes in, they were reached by team seven.

“Why are you still so close to your gate?” Sasuke interrogated. “Were you just walking along in plain sight waiting to be killed? Pick up the pace, we need to find cover.”

“Who made you the leader?” Naruto complained.

Deeper in the woods, Sasuke stopped the group. “Taro. Tell me what kind of scroll you have.” He demanded.

Aang stepped back. “What? Why?”

Sasuke held out his hand. “Our mission is to keep you alive. The faster we finish the exam, the faster we can get you out of here. Besides, you will be in less danger if you do not have a scroll.”

Katara shook her head. “I'm not sure I understand your logic. If you go to the tower with your two scrolls, then you will have to leave us in danger. Even if we have no scroll, the other teams won't know that and will attack us anyway. The only way to get us all out of here is if we have two sets of scrolls.”

Sasuke nodded. “That's even more reason why you should tell me which scroll you have. It might be the one we need to complete our set and then we can concentrate on protecting you for the remainder of the time.”

“Or,” Sokka reasoned, “If our scroll compliments yours, then you could give your scroll to us so that we can reach the tower and get ourselves out of danger and you would have the rest of the time without having to worry about us.”

Sasuke narrowed his eyes.

“Why do you want to take this exam anyway?” Naruto asked. “Kakashi sensei said that they're only letting you because you are the Avatar. So what's so special about the exam that makes you want to pull rank?”

Inner Sakura face palmed. What the hell was Naruto doing just blurting that out? Ninja's don't just outright ask their targets for the information sought!

Unaware of Sakura's mental outburst, Katara saw this as a perfect opportunity. “Naruto's right.” She spoke up. “Why are we doing this?”

Aang smiled, “Well, for one thing, to make friends, and-”

Sasuke cut him off. “To make friends?” He exclaimed. “You take refuge among mercenaries and partake in one of their elite tests of battle skills and survivability to make friends? You're stupider than Naruto.”

“Well we got to meet you guys right?” Aang offered.

Sasuke was slowly encroaching nearer the Avatar. “You think this is all fun and games? Do you even think of how your actions affect others? What a burden you are to us? We protect you because it is our job, our duty, not because we want to. You are my charges, guests of The Leaf. I would never call you a friend.” He spat.

Sasuke's teammates looked at him shocked. He had never gotten this out of line before. Usually it was Naruto who took up beef with the costumers.

Toph crossed her arms angrily. “Look here, grumpy grudge.” She said. “We never asked for your protection and with an attitude like that, we wouldn't want to be friends with you anyway.”

“Uhhhh… I'm gonna take a leak.” Naruto excused as he walked off into the woods.

Sakura glanced between the two groups: Sasuke and everyone else. “F-For all we know, we might have the same scrolls, so…” She trailed off and a tense silence hung in the air until the exuberant orange came back from his bathroom break.

Naruto walked back over to the group. “Ah, that was a lot! I was able to write my whole name!”

“Grrrr!” Sakura growled, “Naruto you are such a pig!” Suddenly Sasuke threw a shuriken at Naruto. He dodged it, throwing himself into a roll.

“What was that for?!” He yelled. “Are you just mad at everyone today?”

“Shut up and tell me where the real Naruto is!” Sasuke ordered.

“What are you, crazy?” Naruto yelled. “I'm right here!”

The gaang looked at each other. He looked just like Naruto to them. Sounded just like him too. Maybe Sasuke really had gone mad.

“Wait.” Toph said. “He's right, something's off about this guy. His vibrations are way different from Naruto's”

“And the real Naruto has a scratch on his cheek from the examiner.” Sasuke added. “Not to mention that he keeps his ninja tools on his right leg, not left. He also would never dodge a shuriken with a roll.”

The fake Naruto smirked. “You got me.” There was a puff of smoke as the jutsu was released. The hidden rain ninja growled through his mask, “Now tell me which team has a heaven scroll, or I'll take you both out starting with the benders.” In a flash, he was behind Aang, with a Kunai at his throat. Aang took a deep breath and blew downwards propelling him ten feet in the air. Sakura launched off the ground and caught him mid flight and set him on a tree branch. She stood in front of him with her kunai drawn.

Sakura yelled down to Sasuke, “You handle this guy, I'll protect Taro.”

Sasuke was already on the job. As soon as Aang was out of harms way he had begun to attack the rain ninja. Their blades clashed in combat and they sprung away from each other. They heard a yell in the distance. It was Naruto.

“A little help here?” he cried.

The rain ninja chuckled, “better keep your attention on the battle.” He swung at Sasuke who dodged.

“You too!” Katara yelled and hit him from behind with a blade of water. The rain ninja melted into a puddle and Katara shrieked in surprise. “Did I kill him?”

“No, He was just a water clone.” Sakura yelled out. “I thought you benders could sense your element.”

“Stop believing your eyes and listen to your other senses.” Sasuke advised.

Katara closed her eyes and thought. “Toph! Watch out!” Toph had gone to free Naruto when a water clone struck her from above. As she fell to the ground, a heaven scroll rolled out of her robes. Using her seismic sense, as soon as she felt it hit the ground, she made the earth envelope it.

“You Dirty bender! Give me the scroll!” The ninja screamed, preparing to kick Toph still on the ground. Naruto, still tied, jumped up and head butted the clone who turned into water on impact. Expecting more resistence, Naruto lost control and fell bellie first into the puddle of mud the clone had become. Flopping around, he yelled for someone to untie him and Toph told him to hold his horses.

Sasuke turned to Katara. “Do you sense any more water clones?” he asked.

Katara shook her head. “No. Now that I think about it I don't think the real one was ever here.”

Sakura and Aang hopped down from the tree. “Like I said,” Sakura repeated, “No use fighting if we both have heaven scrolls.” Toph stomped the ground and a scroll popped out of the earth. Katara caught it.

“Since I'm blind, I figured I'd hold the scroll in case it fell open and showed its contents.” She explained. “But maybe it's best if you hold it.”

Over in the distance, the group had drawn an audience of two. A grass ninja melted into the background and a sand ninja wearing a mask like Kakashi's hid in the branches. He had not anticipated the Avatar being assigned guards. This was going to be harder than he thought.

“We need a password.” Sasuke stated. “Something only the seven of us know. I'm only going to say this once, so pay attention. The question will be; when does a ninja strike? And the response will be; a ninja waits until the time is right, when the enemy sleeps and drops his guard, when his weapons lay forgotten in the stillness of the night that is the moment for a ninja to strike. Got it?”

Naruto grumbled. “You got anything shorter?”

“I thought you ninja were great at memorization.” Sokka teased. “Otherwise you'd get constipated.”

“Yea well, I just thought it would be a pass-word not a pass-sentence.” Naruto retorted.

“Why can't the question be when does a bender strike?” Toph complained.

Sakura sighed. “Because no one's supposed to know who you are. The fact that that rain ninja's clone knew you were benders means that we need be more carefull.”

“Okay, then how about when does a guy with a boomerang strike?” Sokka offered.

Suddenly a huge wind blasted the group sending everyone flying. Aang engaged his glider and swung around to catch his teammates, but by the time the wind died down, Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura were nowhere to be seen. The hidden masked ninja smiled. Perfect.

“Are you guys all right?” Aang asked worried.

“We're fine,” Toph answered, “but what was that?” The gaang looked about at the destruction around them. It was like the wind had come out of nowhere. The enemy was good. It almost seemed like they intended to separate the two groups.

“We need to find the others.” Aang thought out loud. “They could be in danger.”

Katara shook her head. “They'll be fine. This is what they have been trained to do. We need to stay sharp. The enemy separated us from our guards for a reason.”

Sokka thought for a bit. “I think Aang might be right. We may not be the targets here. If we were, the enemy would know that Aang could protect us from the wind.”

“If that's so,” Katara reasoned, “Then we should stay here. We'll wait until the others fight off their opponent and come to get us. That's their job.”

They all looked up as they heard an ominous laughter from above them. “You should worry less about your friends, and more about yourself!” The masked figure cried as he lunged at them. The figure landed behind Aang and made a grab for him. Aang jumped away.

The gang looked at the assailant. “Kakashi! Why are you attacking us?” Aang screamed. His head spun, trying to make sense of the situation. There was little time for thought, however, as Aang was soon attacked again.

The figure laughed as he knocked away Sokka's boomerang. “I didn't think you were that stupid Avatar.” He growled.

Katara gasped as it finnaly hit her. “This was your plan all along!” She realized. “You never meant to protect us, you were sent to capture Aang. You had your team lead us to you, then pretend to be blown away.”

“That makes no sense, Katara,” Sokka yelled as he dodged a kick from their aggressor. “Why would he intentionally take us on alone?”

Toph was thinking hard. This person's fighting style was familiar, but who was he? She had never witnessed Kakashi fight, so she had nothing to compare it to. Then, in a flash, it came to her. “Guys!” She warned. “This isn't Kakashi, it's-” Her cry was cut off as a huge fireball exploded towards them. They were knocked back by the force of it and fell to the ground coughing up ash. When the flames died down, there among the smoke and charred shrubbery, stood Zuko. He pulled down his facemask and tore off his Sand Village headband. He walked closer and stood over them menacingly. However soon the triumphant smile on his face suddenly turned to one of horror. Katara turned to see what he was looking at. Behind them was a giant centipede clacking its enormous pincer jaws. With the rustle of a hundred legs, the big bug came at them with amazing speed. Toph stamped her foot making a hole big enough to swallow them all up. It closed over their heads and they were left in pitch-blackness listening to the rumble of the centipede above them.