Foxhound Chapter 1: Part 3
“Ha! I got this one ero-sennin! All I gotta do i-“
“Kill your advisors and use the rest of your guys as bait while you escape.”
To their credit, despite being caught off guard neither Naruto nor Jiraiya were in the same spot before the man’s first syllable ended. By the time the stranger started his second word, both student and sensei were already in fighting stances and ready to defend themselves. Both the man and his partner were more than a little surprised at the speed they moved. Expecting them to be stunned, it was disconcerting to see both the target and his guardian ready to fight at a second or two’s notice.
No one said a word for several tense moments. The larger stranger again spoke, to break the silence.
“What? Not gonna demand to know who we are or why we’re here?” He asked.
“I know who each of you are and exactly why you’re here. I’d been led to believe Akatsuki wasn’t coming after Naruto for another year. Seems I was misinformed,” Jiraiya’s voice was cold enough to make hardened Hunter-nins hesitate. Odd. The man prided himself on his information gathering skills and it wasn’t in the profile for him to shrug off a failure in his information network.
“Yep, that would be us spreading some misinformation. You need better spies, Jiraiya-san,” The Akatsuki man said. The Sannin across from him said nothing, nor did his face even flicker in response. The stranger was surprised to find it hard to keep eye contact with the white haired man.
“Yeah…We got lucky you’re training so far away from anyone…Yeah,” The woman (man? It was hard to tell…) spoke for the first time. Again, neither Leaf-nin said anything. Even the abnormally loud blonde remained silent. That definitely didn’t fit any profile. The Kyuubi-vessel was just staring at him with icy blue eyes that came close to his sensei’s glare.
“Well, I guess introductions are in order,” The man said as he pulled his hat off, revealing a bald head that looked like it was carved out of granite. He bore a scratched Hidden Cloud forehead protector and there seemed to be some sort of huge sword strapped to his back. He continued, “My name is Koutetsu Tsurugi and my partner is-“
“Who gives a shit?” Naruto growled and tossed a handful of shuriken at the missing-nin to shut him up. To the criminal’s surprise, the steel projectiles moved far faster than a mere genin should be capable of. Even one taught by a Sannin shouldn’t be capable of this, he thought as he dodged to the side quickly. There was a split in his cloak where a shuriken had nicked it, even though he evaded the attack at considerable speed.
“I don’t give a fuck who you are. Shut up and fight or leave,” The blonde demon-vessel growled in a surprisingly canine way. It was unusually intimidating, even coming from a fourteen year old. This was not going the way they’d expected. Both target and guardian were far more prepared than they’d anticipated. No matter, they’d simply adapt. It still annoyed Tsurugi though, that the plan was already experiencing mishaps.
“Fine, I hope your sensei’s been preparing you brat,” The Akatsuki growled. He rushed at the blonde the same moment Naruto charged him. The two exchanged a quick flurry of blows before Tsurugi leapt back a few paces. The kid was good, but it wasn’t enough by far. He began making hand seals and wondered for an instant why the kid wasn’t doing the same.
“So it looks like I get to kill you…yeah,” Jiraiya’s lip curled in disgust at the arrogant smirk on the woman-man-thing’s face. He/She wasn’t making any real moves towards him, so he was paranoid of some sort of trick. That trick appeared right next to his face an instant later in the form of some sort of clay bird.
The explosion knocked Naruto off balance and he rolled with it rather than fighting to stay upright. Glancing up, he saw a hail of metal passing right where he had been moments ago.
‘Looks like his name really is a pun. Steel, huh?’
Another seal and more metal flew towards him. Naruto really couldn’t make out what the objects were, but his neck crawled with a danger sense so it was probably a good idea to get the hell out of the way. Gathering what little remained of his chakra, he did a super-jump backwards over twenty feet and landed at the base of a large pine tree. His opponent grinned and whistled at the blonde’s little stunt. Naruto wasn’t so pleased and had to fight to keep himself from panting hard. That had been it. He was totally out of stamina, except for the little he needed to stay alive. He couldn’t even make a single clone with his favorite jutsu, Kage Bunshin. His best skill, the wind technique Rasengan, was totally out of the question. He’d have to somehow beat this guy using only tai-jutsu, which wasn’t his strongest area.
“Here it comes brat!” The man yelled and drew his sword. It was as long as that shark-freak’s Samehada, but the metal was smooth and dark-gray. Naruto didn’t know this, but it looked just like a claymore great sword from another era…albeit, a claymore that was a foot wide. The man pointed it at the blonde, who narrowed his eyes trying to anticipate what the guy was gonna pull next. Was he so fast that he could cover thirty feet with that thing? The man made a few one-handed seals and Naruto got his answer.
“That got you…Yeah. No way you could have lived…Yeah,” The androgynous Akatsuki said. The missing-nin’s smirk took on a look of confusion when the dust settled. Instead of a dead body or parts of a body, there was a bizarre, white pin-cushion where the Sannin had been standing. As she watched, the spines relaxed and turned into hair, before the whole mess retracted into Jiraiya’s normal hairstyle. The man hadn’t changed expression through the whole scene, giving the Akatsuki agent the same icy glare as before.
“You’re pretty stupid,” Was all he said as he rushed him/her. Clay birds and spiders flew every which way, blasting apart the ground and trees surrounding them. It didn’t escape the missing-nin’s notice that none of them came close enough to do more than singe the hermit’s outlandish robes. As he rushed her, Jiraiya was already gathering whirling chakra into his hand, forming a glowing blue-white sphere that vibrated with barely restrained power. He thrust his palm out at the man-woman who quickly tried to-
Ducked out of the way as an enormous sheet of metal erupted form the man’s sword and shot across the camp. It passed over Naruto’s head, coming close enough to nick a tuft of blonde hair off his scalp and kept going into the tree behind him. Or was that, trees? The genin spared a quick glance behind his shoulder to see that not only had the tree right behind him been sliced through and was falling over, but at least five, maybe ten more were all cut through and falling in various directions. He looked back and rolled to the side as another wing of metal impacted the ground where he had been crouched.
‘Damn! He’s acting pretty gung-ho for someone who wants to capture me. Why the hell is he trying to kill me?’ Naruto thought.
The man performed his attacked again. Naruto dodged, but at the last moment was screwed up by the ground shaking to near earthquake levels as all the falling trees finally hit earth one after the other. It didn’t screw him up too bad, but even that relatively minor error was more than enough for the attack to land a serious slash along his side. The flesh and muscle ripped deep. A loud, wet splashing made him thing for a one horrible instant that he’d actually been eviscerated, but it was just blood gushing out. Sickened from pain, he dropped to one knee and almost missed the dark, but welcome presence at the back of his mind.
“Stupid brat. Why must you always get us into these situations? You’d better appreciate this.”