The battle between Naruto and the stranger ensues, and Yuna can't help but feel like she knows the teen in some way. What could it mean?
I watched one of the Naruto clones tried to attack the stranger in armor, but he was to dodge once again just like every other time. I thought that was the only thing he was capable of, as if stalling and waiting for some reinforcements, but it was going to be different this time around. Fed up with being unable to hit his enemy, Naruto landed on a rock and jumped right back towards him, hoping to land a blow on him this time.
"Why you," he growled; frustration was clear on his face and in his voice. Instead of dodging as I had expected, the boy swiftly punched Naruto square in the stomach. A horrified and stunned gasp escaped my lips. I had no way to anticipate that with how much he was dodging all of the attacks thrown at him; I assumed he was only going to keep dodging until help came, but to defend himself was a completely different ball game. My focus returned to the fight as another one of Naruto's clones came in for the attack, but his enemy moved to the side and elbowed the back of its neck, finishing him immediately. He quickly attacked every other clone that came at him with unimaginable speed, barely breaking a sweat.
That's incredible... I thought to myself. I've never seen someone move that fast in my life. His chakra must be pretty high if he's capable of that!
By the time the teen was finished, all the Naruto clones were defeated; not a single one was left on the battlefield to stand against him. The teen stood straight once again before looking over at me. My mouth was slightly ajar at the battle that had taken place in front of me, but quickly closed once I noticed him staring at me. He was just about to start moving in my direction, but something stopped him before he could take one step. I blinked curiously as I stood up straight, wondering why he had stopped in his tracks so suddenly. It did not take very long to figure out why. The ground beneath him immediately broke open, revealing Naruto who was about to uppercut his enemy in mere seconds. However, he was just as fast as Naruto was as he quickly moved back before Naruto could get the chance to land a punch on him. Then, he took the opportunity to kick the blond through the trees and into a large rock, crashing into it and breaking apart. Scarlet eyes widened with horror as I jumped out of the tree and back onto solid ground.
"Naruto!" I exclaimed, hoping to get a response. I looked back at the teen, a light yet unsure glare eminent in my eyes, while he had landed on his feet once again from his attack. However, as soon as it appeared, the glare disappeared as I took notice to a little bit of blood appear on his lips; even at the distance that I was standing from him, it was clear to see. He placed a thumb on the spot and looked at it for a brief moment, and then looked over at where Naruto was in surprise. I was unable to tell if he was upset that he was actually hurt, or if he could care less. My eyes moved toward the direction he was staring at, only to see Naruto gripping his stomach in pain, his glare stuck on the boy that had caused it. I watched with a look of amazement as he slowly got to his feet while keeping his unwavering glare clear in his blue eyes. "Are you alright, Naruto?!" I called out to him.
He did not respond back to me at first, but eventually he gave him a single, silent nod. He simply continued glaring at the boy, but at the same time wanted me to know that he would be fine. I soon took notice ninja stars in his free hand before he quickly jumped off one of the trees and threw them at the boy. A barrage of ninja stars were hurtling straight toward us at full speed. Looks like Naruto's got it covered from here/, I thought as I took a few steps back, glancing over at the trees nearby as if searching for something. /I better go find Sakura and see if she needs my help.
I was about to jump out of the way and go in search of my comrade, but I felt that same arm wrap around my waist and pulled me to the side in just a few seconds. I nearly shrieked as landed in his cold chest once again. When I looked at him again, I watched as a shield appeared on his arm and began blocking every single ninja star that came at him. He did not even hesitate for a second as he stood there silently, waiting for the barrage to cease. I became confused; it actually seemed as though he was protecting me from the weapons that were thrown at him. Then again, he probably did not want me to leave, which only confused me further. Why would someone I did not know want to protect me let alone keep me there? It was not as if I was important, at least that was what I told myself. He had nothing to gain if he kept me like some trophy; I would probably try to escape and return to my friends. However, something deep down told me that maybe, just maybe, staying with him would be best. Maybe I would get the chance to know him. At that thought, my eyes glared at the floor beneath me. What a stupid idea, I told myself. To think I would actually get to know someone who may have been my enemy...
After another moment, the weapons had ceased their attack against the teen, giving me the opportunity to look over at Naruto; he was running straight towards us with anger in his eyes just like before.
"Let go of her, damn it!" He exclaimed, gripping a kunai knife in his hand. The shield, soon, disappeared by the time the boy noticed and heard him. He, once again, did as Naruto had told him, but suddenly pulled out a small sword from out of nowhere; my eyes widened, once again, at his incredible speed. I watched as he pushed Naruto back a few feet from where we were standing; once he landed on his feet, Naruto started full speed towards us once more. "Yuna, get out of here," he shouted to me. "Find Sakura and Shikamaru, and get out of here!"
"But Naruto, I can't leave you here!" I responded. "I can't let you fight him alone!"
"I can't risk this guy taking you away!" He explained. "The others may need your help, so just go do it!"
I stood there silently, my legs once again locked and frozen into place just like before, preventing me from leaving. I did not want to leave him not only because I was afraid something would happen to my best friend, but that feeling to stay and learn more about the mysterious teen overwhelmed me as well. After a long moment of standing there and waiting for something to happen, though, my legs quickly got a mind of their own and forced me to leap into the trees, sprinting off in search of Sakura. Maybe I would even Shikamaru along the way, gaining an advantage at finding Sakura and helping Naruto. After a brief moment of time, I quickly turned around to see what was going on, but by the time I did just that, the tree top canopies had already obstructed my view of the fight. With a worried gaze and feeling, I looked back forward and kept my eyes out for either of my comrades. However, it did not take me long to figure out where she could have been located.
As I continued to move, a shriek suddenly resonated through the air, causing me to stop and look over my shoulder in the specific direction. It did not take me very long to figure out that it was Sakura who had shrieked, giving away the universal signs that she was in danger. As much as I did not want to, I chose to defy Naruto's wishes - in a way - and turned back toward the duel, hoping to find Sakura at least close to the battle. As I made my way back, I was able to spot the familiar orange of Naruto's clothing, but realized that he had become distracted; he, too, heard Sakura's shriek for help, but it also left him wide open. The boy made an attempt to attack him with his own blade, but Naruto was able to return his focus, noticed him and quickly moved out of the way of the attack. Without even a second thought, he immediately went off to find Sakura, followed by myself while remaining in the trees. I was not sure if Naruto actually saw me, but at the moment I did not care. My focus was more on Sakura and her safety than whether or not I listened to Naruto. Besides, I assumed his mind was more focused on his comrade as well.
A couple minutes went by before she caught my eye, and I was in for a shock. Golden eyes widened as I saw that she was being held by one of the large armor guys from before; the only recognizable was the open wound on its arm, signifying that it was the same one I had fought before it disappeared. My eyes narrowed. So that's where he ran off to...
"Sakura!" Naruto exclaimed.
My ears perked slightly at the sound of rustling trees behind us, and I immediately looked over my shoulder to see that the boy was right behind us, seconds away from attacking Naruto. Thinking quickly, my hands form several hands signs - the same ones used for my Arctic Ripper - and waited a few seconds for the ice to form. However, I moved too fast in an attempt to protect Naruto as I pushed him out of the way, raised my arm and blocked the attack. My teeth clenched as the blade landed on my skin, breaking through the ice and catching it, but fortunately there was enough formed around it to keep from losing my arm. Pain coursed through my forearm, but held it in as I pushed him away, landing on the ground with a skid. I looked at my arm, noticing the vertical cut that was made by his blade, but instead of worrying about it I returned my focus to the problem at hand. I looked up to spot the teen land next to his own comrade at about the same time that Naruto stood next to me. He noticed the wound that was inflicted on me, but I sent him a quick smile to assure him that I was alight.
"Naruto! Yuna!" Sakura exclaimed before kicking the guy in armor multiple times and struggling to break free. "You jerk! Put me down right now!" Clearly, the giant armor did not listen to her at all; it looked like it did not even hear what she just said.
Naruto glared in their direction and shouted at the teen, "You coward! Let her go, pal! It's just you and me!" He glanced over his shoulder at me for a split second before looking back at him. "And Yuna shouldn't have anything to do with this, so leave her alone and don't even trying taking her away from her friends!" I looked at Naruto with a bit of surprise, but it quickly disappeared as I looked back at the enemies. He sounded very protective as he spoke his words, but that was how he always was towards his friends. He cared about them deeply, and he would never let a grudge go if something happened to them. However, there was something different when he was referring to me, but I could not put my finger on what that was. Today was really having its ups and downs, and frankly it was a little too many in just one single day.
The boy simply kept a blank expression at Naruto's words. From where I was standing, I was unable to see his face and figure out what he was going through his mind at that moment. However, despite that, I could sense he was planning something. What it was I had no clue. Instead, he responded with a simple, "Humph…" Naruto growled at the response; he did not appreciate the subtle and wordless remark, since it sounded as if the teen was feeling a little over confident in his abilities. Then again, I was too far to read his expression, so I did not know for sure.
"I MEAN IT! I WON'T ASK AGAIN!" Naruto snapped at him. I stole a quick glance at Naruto's fuming form before looking back over at the large guy in armor, immediately noticing that Sakura was now gone. My eyebrow raised; how did she escape without us knowing? Before I had the chance to scan the area for her, I noticed the armor move toward the teen with its weapon. My eyes widened; my mind clicked for a split moment, as if something came over me and just took over.
"Look out! He's about to attack you!" I shouted suddenly without even thinking it, immediately bringing my free hand to my lips in a futile attempt at stopping myself. Realizing this, the boy immediately leapt out of the way of the attack, while the armored guy's weapon slammed into the ground, creating a large hole in the ground where the boy once stood. He landed a meter or two away from the guy and looked back at me. Now I could sense that he was thankful, yet his eyes still looked hurt, which only confused me. The second I realized he was safe from harm, though, a small headache started to form. The feeling that someone, or something, took over vanished entirely; it was as if it left behind an empty carcass and moved on to its next victim. I blinked; this was really shaping up to be an odd day for…well, everyone.
"Yuna, what were you thinking," exclaimed a shocked Naruto. I looked at him with wide eyes as he went on. "You just helped the enemy!"
"I-I didn't know!" I frantically tried to explain myself, stuttering over my words. My voice was filled with uncertainty as I continued. "I-I just acted on instinct! I don't know what came over me! I'm sorry!"
Naruto did not seem to answer me after my words; I had the feeling that he must have believed me, but was still trying to figure out or comprehend what just happened. For some reason, even though I openly admitted to being guilty for helping the teen, I did not feel that way entirely. Instead, I felt more relieved to know he was safe from harm, which was a bit confusing for me to think such a thing. Since he was our enemy and literally tried to harm Naruto, I should have kept my mouth shut and allowed him to be hit and defeated by his own comrade, but instead I did the opposite and helped him. /What came over me to do such a thing/, I wondered, red eyes narrowing curiously. Instead of worrying about it any further, though, I decided to push the thoughts out of my mind. There would be other times to worry about that, and now was not that time.
I looked back at the guy in large armor once again; it started to move several seconds later, raising its oversized weapon in the direction of the teen. I began wondering what it was doing, but my question was soon answered by a familiar voice.
"Naruto, Yuna, leave that one to me," Shikamaru's voice sounded from out of nowhere, probably from the nearby brush. I sighed when he spoke up from the emptiness of the forest, glad that he arrived when he did. It was very fortunate for the both of us, and Sakura, that he did.
"Right," Naruto answered him, confidence and determination filling his body; I did not answer. I did not what to say at the moment. My emotions were all over the place, and I kind of felt a little speechless. "Yuna," Naruto spoke up in a calm tone of voice, breaking me from my chain of thought.
I slowly looked at him and asked, "What is it?"
He glanced at me; his face was straight, yet calm.
"I need you to get out of the way," he told me. "This is gonna get ugly."
My eyes widened slightly.
"I don't want you to get hurt, so I need you to stand back. As far away as you can." He explained. I stared at him with a confused look in my eyes, but nodded nonetheless. Without another word, I jumped over to the trees that were close to a nearby cliff, hoping that my distance was enough to give him some room. "I don't care who you guys are..." Naruto started as I looked back at him, "but I'm gonna take you all out at once!"
Blue chakra suddenly began to surround him as he quickly called out his shadow clones. They appeared around the boy in great numbers, surrounding him and blocking out any possible escape routes - not that he wanted to, judging by his calm demeanor. He did not appear shocked or frightened by the fact that he was greatly outnumbered by shadow clones. Instead, he slowly lifted his sword and moved it over his chest. A small symbol immediately appeared in it as the blade passed over it. Just then, while I was staring at the symbol, I started feeling lightheaded all of a sudden, a strong sense of déjà vu overwhelming me. My eyes began closing all of a sudden, yet I did my best to try and stay awake. Why do I feel so…so drowsy all of a sudden? I asked myself, placing my hand on my head while the other, once my ice sword disappeared, fell against the trunk of the tree. In an attempt at dispersing the vertigo, I looked at the teen's blade, which was glowing a strange bright green color and appeared longer than what he had before. I could tell that he did not switch it for a better weapon, for the hilt was the same as the one I saw moments ago. After scanning the blade, I glanced over at Naruto and his clones as they were going in for an all out attack from all sides. /It was going to work/, I told myself. One way or another, Naruto was going to win this fight. I had to have faith in him.
Suddenly, the boy raised his blade and swung it toward every single one Naruto's clones. I was not sure what exactly was on the sword, but glowing part of it spanned out and destroyed every single shadow clone that was in his way. One by one, the clones went up in smoke and vanished into nothing as the clones disappeared from their defeat. My eyes widened, amazed by what was taking place before my red eyes. He was just standing there, defeating the clones without even moving his feet. While the clones were being eliminated, a large cloud of smoke formed over the area; I could no longer see what was going on at that point. On instinct (and fear of something crashing into the tree), I leapt off of where I was standing to watch the fight and ran into the smoke, hoping that Naruto was alright and that he did not get hurt by the blast. I coughed as I searched, and I could only see within a few feet in front of me in the smoke. Nevertheless, I did not give up in my search for my best friend.
While scanning the smoke and dust, I immediately took notice the teen looking about as well; obviously, he was looking around for his opponent, but was unable to see me. Suddenly, he looked up at something that caught his attention; I followed his gaze to see Naruto jump out of the dust. There was a blue orb in his hand; my eyes widened as a smile grew on my face. I knew immediately what that meant. Alright, Naruto! I thought to myself with a grin as I quickly began running out of the way of what was going to happen between them. As I was escaping, though, I could easily hear two words, two commands that I could hear from both boys: