The men were silent, silent like the empty coppices that enveloped them with their bony ligneous limbs. There was neither song like calls of the birds in these woods nor rustlings of the leaves in the trees by the silent breeze. No woodland animals about in their sights, only them on their horses, waiting. The men were like statues, unwavering figures as they watched the line of foliage for life, for a sign of movement. Their horses stamped about nervously in place, whining and neighing as their riders sat on them rigid.
The sun came out and glared upon these subjects with its mid-day heat as the day blossomed. Its waves of radiation burned and boiled the men’s leather tunics and steel armor, causing them to pour streams of sweat from their pores, staining their woven shirts beneath.
The occasional breeze was dry and hot like the sun itself, sacredly any comfort to these soldiers’ faces only providing amusement to the waves of feathered grass that flowed before them like a sea of amber. It played only with the weathered strands, causing them to sway and dance like golden ballerinas amongst the overgrown dead beeches bleached white with sunbeams.
Tension grew as the day progressed and waned; the men grew restless as they looked on to their leader for something, anything to relief them from the heat’s torment and the growing anger in their hearts towards their contact. The first to break the instilled silence was the general’s young lieutenant. The lieutenant ushered his horse to the side of the general to question him quietly; the general glanced at him inquiry before returning his gaze to the meadow.
“What if he doesn’t show? It’s been hours past the arranged time and still no sign of him or his ‘promise’. That snake is notorious for ambushes and betrayals.” The general cleared his throat in response to the lieutenant before speaking quietly.
“He will come, he knows better than to toy with the Nemuresu clan.” The general spoke watched the woods as he had replied to the lieutenant, not letting his eyes move away again, even when his lieutenant let out a discouraging grunt and fallen back to his original position in the platoon. The general had to keep his eyes trained for the man they waited for and his known treachery.
The snake was infamous for his experimentation on humans; he wouldn’t be against trying to take some of the general’s soldiers for some foul underground lab. He watches the lines carefully, noting each oak, maple and beech as they swayed to the sudden humid breezes that passed through them like shades of the past. Suddenly, an arrow flew into the tree next to the general spooking his horse and causing the man to pull and regain its senses; the scout in the western trees sees someone approaching. A dark silhouette appeared in the shadows of the lines of trees across the meadow. The general tensed his grip on his reign as his eyes followed the figure’s movement that slipped and flowed with the swaying shadows branches of oak and the leaves of maple as he moved. His long ebony strands danced with winds like velvet silk snakes as his tunic bellowed and tumbled like a dull mustard flag. The man walked as if he were the shadows themselves, hidden but, changing, threatening, unnerving. The sunlight recoiled to his parchment skin casting an eerie glow upon it as he emerged finally from the shade of the copses. His yellow silted eyes gleamed dangerously as he walked into the clearing that was between him and the Nemuresu leader, he scanned the general’s group and smirked, he mocked the general openly with his uncanny silken voice.
“How interesting general is that you bring so many men to such a simple exchange where as I have brought none, do you not trust me so to honor my words?” The lieutenant scoffed and glared with his chocolate irises at the pale man with venom, forcing his horse forward to face the yellow eyed man and again spoke out of line.
“Your words are as assuring as a snake promising not to eat a hatching from its nest! Your scheming treachery knows no bounds, you…!” The general held his hand in front of his outraged lieutenant to silence; his outburst was dangerous to the men’s morale and his authority.
“Lieutenant that is enough, Orochimaru do you have what we want? Be warned, we Nemuresu do not take kindly to being meddled with, where is the child?” The snake laughed slightly, allowing his unusual long tongue slither out of his mouth in a sicken matter before replying.
“So direct and concise… proper actions for a general but tell me this general…” Orochimaru chuckled, “Surely a Nemuresu general has no fear of just one man or such a general would be unbecoming of the clan with its reputation...” The Lieutenant’s face was livid; he had been in many battles with his general and would have charged his horse at the man for insulting his leader if it had not been for the general raising his hand to stop him once more.
“Lieutenant I expected more control from you. Stand back with the men, I will not have any deaths on my head.” The ebony haired man laughed as the bronzed skinned lieutenant gritted his teeth and complied to his leaders order; the Nemuresu were deadly but, proud people, having one of their strongest being insulted was an insult upon themselves and was inexcusable to ignore; he couldn’t understand why the general still choose to deal with the serpent after his slandering. He watched in silent anger as he waited for the snake to continue talking and laughing.
“My, my, general, your clan is going too soft if a lieutenant has to be reminded of his place…” The general interrupted the man with a snort.
“Enough talk serpent, do you have the child?”
Orochimaru smirked and turned partially to the forest and signaled for someone to come forward. From the pearly trunks appeared a violet haired woman carrying a small child. She walked alongside the shadows of the forest like her master and stopped right next him, at his side.
The child she carried was small, only of four years for the child was too small to be of an older age but too big to be a babe’s. The child was a young girl with long pinkish blonde hair. The hair was like pale straw at its roots but pastel roses on the rest, giving an unnatural look on the child then for it made her seem paler than she already was with her pearl complexion. The girl was drugged asleep in the young woman’s arms as Orochimaru gestured at the girl.
“Here, a young girl from another realm just as promised.”
“We shall see about that.” Prompted the general as he turned in his saddle to signal his men, one of the men in the back brought forth a boy of ten or more age to the general. The small boy trembled under the general’s gaze as he came closer to the general. The general scowled at the boy for his shivering, and spoke sternly, “Tetsuya, is that her?”
The ice eyed boy looked over his shared horse and stared intensely at the sleeping child. “She too young, my sister would be twelve like me now.”
The general sighed and made his look sterner at the boy making him tremor more in terror, “Her age is not relevant, and where your traitorous mother could’ve sent her could’ve had different length in time then this world. The dimension she was in could’ve been for seconds there but years here, now are you sure she is not your twin?” The blond looked again at the girl as he tried to think or see a way to tell if she seemed to be the one or not.
“I don’t know, we both have matching birthmarks on our belly but, they only show up when you put chakra to them…” The general grimaced and turned to face Orochimaru with a darken visage, “Give us the girl to examine, we cannot be certain just upon looks if this girl is truly from another realm or not.” Orochimaru laughed raspy at the request.
“First my part of the bargain, what you do with the girl is not my concern…” The two men stared at each other as the demand hung in the air, heavy like syrup dripping from a maple. Tension grew and tumbled forth between parties as the silence grew long like the shadows in the dying sun. Both men’s gazes were locked on each other’s, both wills grinding and crashing against it each other, waiting to see who first would break and tumble.
Orochimaru knew he wouldn’t be able to take all of the men present with the general even with the aid of his minion...There were many with abilities he did not know and there were some hidden the trees that would try and pick him off if he charged or ran away with their ranged weapons. He wasn’t worried about these but, he didn’t like tempting a war with such a powerful clan nor having such a set back on his plans. It would become a draw back on his goals for the future if such a trifle occurred as he thought, so he smirk his signature smirk and broke the silence, “well then general, I believe we are at a disagreement…perhaps this will show my “good” intentions and change your mind…” Orochimaru signaled his henchman to go forward to the center of the meadow away from the cover and safety of the shadows of the copses and her master. She looked at him confused at first but, complied with a confident stride to out in the open.
The soldiers immediately tensed and brandished their swords and spears at the teen’s movement. The leader however saw the gesture for what it was and signaled his men to stand down. Perhaps the snake understood the gravity of the situation...He snorted at the notion and signaled his own lieutenant to follow suit with the boy to the center but, off their horses. They dismounted their coal and chocolate spotted stallion and quickly and strode fully to the magenta spiked woman.
The lieutenant wore a face of harden stone unlike the torrent of fear that was on flooding the boy’s as he was forced forward to his Guren, Orochimaru noted with amusement. He might be tempted to steal the boy just to see that terror in the boy’s eyes as he experimented on his body and genes…It was tempting but, it seemed that the boy was a valuable asset to the clan and wouldn’t be let go so lightly; he’s then not worth the effort then for the same reason why he broke the stalemate, Orochimaru mused again removing his lazy stare from the terrified child to the general once more. The general signaled the lieutenant to tell the boy to give Guren the scroll as she gave him the girl. She moved to return to her master when the lieutenant stopped her after setting the girl down next to the boy.
“First we confirm what you claim, and for you and your master claim this brat to be, you best hope she is.” The teen looked alarmed and looks back to Orochimaru for command. He looks at the girl then, the lieutenant, “If or if not she is not the child you desire is none of my concern…I found this child from a different world, whether you believe me or not; Guren come, we got what we came for.”
Before the lieutenant could retort, the boy cried out from kneeling over the sleeping child, “It’s not her; it’s not my sister!” The lieutenant looks from the boy to the snake triumph as the general looked at the snake with a venomous glare. “So, be it, open fire.”
Guren was first to react to the words; in the split second it takes to blink she rushed the lieutenant and kicked him back in the gut and knocked the boy aside with her forearm. As they got back up and the arrows and kunai flew straight for her and her master’s person, she scooped up the girl and darted back for Orochimaru as he too fled through the now twilight darken woods. In moments they disappeared in the brush with sun almost dead from its fall from the sky.
The general halted his men from pursuing; night was upon them and he had no interest in losing men to that slithering snake in the dark. The lieutenant protested at first with thoughts on the forbidden scroll the snake took and the disgrace he had given them till the general silenced him with a single reminder, that the justu was useless to the man unless he had the royal Nemuresu blood coursing in his veins. More so the snake was not worth the risk and time they had.
He then turned his attention to his men and orders the retreat back to the clan headquarters. He had to report the failed findings back to their daimyo and for he was not a patient daimyo. Time was running out for them…they needed to find the Michi brat before her seal breaks….and eventually kill her.
So what did you guys think of the Preface? It’s like the prologue of a story. My beta suggested it and at first I was so against the idea but, now I got where she was coming from and found it fairly helpful to the chapters ahead on what’s coming. So this means do not forget about this OC characters! They will be crucial farther into the story, but they aren’t coming way into the future, so make sure you make a note on that. Also for future notes if I use a Japanese or some other foreign word, I will post at the bottom what it means and I used it instead of a English word. Some words are just better in a different language to get their meaning through. Also I’ll be using italics and bold font in the future for certain meanings and reasons so read the chapter notes for what they mean in the future when they are applied; just a fair warning to ya. Well chow till next chapter and don’t forget to review!
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Chapter notes: Hello and welcome to the revised, revamped version of A Seeing Beauty…I don’t know if you, the current reader has or has not read the older version of the story, but upon the idea if you have, I am not following my old plot, so don’t read it (if you haven’t) or expect the same exact plot. I have a new path I’m taking, though I am keeping certain aspects of my old story, there are new ideas and new characteristics to the OC characters I’m introducing. There are lots of new things that are going to happen and the old events that have occurred have been rewritten to an extent that pleases me finally. I have to give thanks to my beta for the most part, for giving me good criticisms where I need them. Oh and for the sake of legal liabilities, I, CKL, am in no way in shape or form the owner of Naruto and its merchandizing corporations, or anything affiliated to Naruto. I don’t own the characters or the story line because if I did it would not look the way it does now. So I do not claim it as my own in anyway way conceivable. Now that being out of the way, read, enjoy, and let me know what you think of, of the new and finalized version of A SEEING BEAUTY.