“Lord Hokage I do not think it is a good idea to pair a junior ANBU and a genin for a mission like this.” A man dressed in ANBU attire and a monkey mask says.
“And what do you suggest we do? All of our teams are busy for the moment and I need all of the anbu on call. They are the only two available.” Hiruzen replies taking a long drag off his pipe.
“Th-this a mission more suited for upper level ninja! What happens if they fail?”
"Hmph. Trust me. I do not think these two will fail. They’ve shown great promise.”
“Lord Hokage I’ll argue one more time… the junior ANBU and that kid you adopted haven’t had the proper training.”
“Enough Takagichi, my decision is final. Summon the both of them here.”
The anbu sighs, “Yes Lord Hokage.”
The troubled anbu exits the room leaving Hiruzen alone. An hour goes by before a young boy no older than thirteen enters the room. He has black hair with a couple of white spikes that stand out against the black. He also wears a ring with a yin-yang symbol on it, lavender shoes, a black shirt, and white shorts.
“Hello Ryu.” The third Hokage says.
“Hey…” The young boy solemnly replies.
“Whats’ wrong? Something bothering you?”
“Just sad that I couldn’t go on that mission with Asuma and the others.”
Hiruzen chuckles, “No need to worry boy. There will be plenty of others, trust me.”
“Heh. If you say so.” Ryu says while slightly grinning, “Why’d you want me here anyways?”
“I actually have a special task for you. We’re just waiting on one other.”
Several more minutes go by while Hiruzen and Ryu talk to each other about small things, mainly about Ryu’s training and other little things going on in the village. There’s a knock on the door as another person walks in. They seem to be a kid wearing a lizard mask and anbu attire, which includes the typical armor piece for the torso, arms, legs, as well as black ninja sandals. His spiky black hair extends almost all the way to his lower back.
“Thank you for coming. Please, take off your mask.” Hiruzen says.
“Yes Lord Hokage.” The young anbu replies, slipping off the mask.
“Shizake?” Ryu says examining the kid he knew before becoming a genin.
“Oh. Hello Ryu.” Shizake replies almost blankly.
“I’ve been wondering where you went seeing as you never joined a squad.”
“Oh yeah… there were too many people so I guess I kind of just ended up here.”
“It’s good to know you’re still doing good though. Really, I thought something bad happened.”
“Nope. I’m good.”
“You two are probably wondering why I brought both of you here.” Hiruzen interrupts.
The two kids nod their heads.
“At the moment all of our teams are busy. Even some of the anbu are out on missions. It’s not that the rest aren’t available but they might be needed in a moments notice and I want to have them ready in case anything happens. As you know the chunin exams are in the coming month. Tensions run extremely high during these times so we need the village security to near maximum.”
“So then that means you have a mission for us?” Shizake asks.
“Precisely. It’ll be just the two of you.”
“That’s a little unorthodox for missions right?” Ryu questions.
“It is but this mission doesn’t require a full squad. It’s special. So please, read over the mission scroll.”
Hiruzen hands them a brightly colored yellow scroll, one that’s not usually seen among the common array of scrolls. The top of the scroll reads “Joint Op”. It stands for joint operations referring to Shizake who is in the ANBU and Ryu whom is a genin in the academy.
“We believe there’s illegal experiments being preformed on humans outside of the leaf village.” Hiruzen explains taking another heavy drag from his pipe. The sweet smoky aroma fills the air making Ryu cough while swatting away the smoke. Shizake stands there still at attention, ready to listen.
“H-humans?” Ryu replies.
“Yes. It’s very grim. Not only humans, we believe whoever is behind this is developing illegal jutsu as well.”
“What do you need us to do sir?” Shizake asks.
“Infiltrate and dispose of this garbage. If you find out who’s behind this then dispose of them as well. Scum like that doesn’t deserve to live. Any one still alive in there will need to be extracted too.”
“We’ll get right on it Lord Hokage.” Shizake says.
“A-are you sure about this grandpa? It seems pretty dangerous just for us two. Plus you know I don’t like to kill…”
“Like I said, we’re busy at the moment. I picked you two because you show great promise as shinobi. I know deep in my heart you two can complete this task. As for killing… I know Shizake will complete the task. I know it makes you uncomfortable Ryu but I want this threat gone immediately. Anyone in need in the land of fire needs our assistance. Do not worry though. The ninja I had track him said he appeared to be an amateur. He didn’t cover his tracks well but when confronted he had a dark aurora about him. ”
“If you say so grandpa. I trust your judgment.”
“Please be careful. We have no idea what kind of monster is behind this. And Shizake?”
“Yes my lord?”
“Keep my grandson safe as well.”
Shizake glances at Ryu then back at the leader of the leaf village, “You got it.”
The two young shinobi then make their way out of the bright red building. Shizake stops in the street and turns to Ryu.
“We’re going to do this right. Gather your supplies then meet me at the front gate. We have a two-day journey ahead of us. Luckily this place is in fire country.”
“Ok. Oh and Shizake, it’s good to see you again.”
Shizake nods his head before making his way to his place while Ryu runs off to his place. The sun slowly makes it’s way across the sky as the day goes by. Both Ryu and Shizake make it to their abodes and gather their supplies into a small pack. Only the essentials are needed but enough to survive for a couple of days. Soon enough the two meet each other at the front gate and embark on the journey well ahead of them.
Like any other travel, it is made on foot and in fire country it is usually made from one tree branch to another. Through small chakra fueled leaps, many miles can be traversed quicker than most forms of travel.
The day goes by in a blur. The trip was mostly quiet; the only time the two talked was to make slight adjustments in direction so that they will arrive at the right place eventually. Shizake and Ryu then decide to set up camp once the sun begins licking at the horizon. Both manage to set up a good-sized fire and set the tents up just as the sun disappears for the night. Soon enough the pink and orange glow of the sky begins to darken and darken until it’s pitch black. The creatures of the night begin to come out and the crickets begin chirping their songs.
Shizake pokes the fire with a stick, staring into the embers and losing himself within the fire. Ryu looks at Shizake with a puzzled look on his face. He remembers Shizake when they were younger. He was depressed after the massacre yes but he still remembers Shizake smile and laugh and play with the others. Something seems off to him, so he decides to speak up.
“Shizake. Can I ask you something?” Ryu asks.
Shizake glances up from the fire, “Yeah, go ahead.”
“Well… you…you just seem different. I remember you being more outgoing and happy, even after the… uh… well you know,” Ryu says, “You seem blank now. Almost… emotionless. What’s wrong?”
Shizake a bit taken back tries to search his brain for what to say, “I uh… n-nothing. I…well I… I’ve just been busy with the anbu. I haven’t had time exactly…to well… I haven’t had time for friends. The anbu really changes you as a person. As much as I try to fight it…”
“Everyone misses you. Especially Naruto, and the others too. I’m sure even Sasuke misses you.”
“Sasuke?” Shizake asks, perking up, “H-how is he?”
“I’m not… the greatest of friends with him. He’s still cold and closed out to everyone.”
“But don’t worry Shizake, I know he’s doing good.”
Shizake seems to relax, “Good… I miss everyone else also. I wish I could’ve gone and been on a team… the anbu have taught me a lot but… you know.”
“Don’t worry Shizake. I’ll tell everyone that you’re alive and well. I’m sure it’ll make them happy. I’m happy as well.”
“You have a kind soul Ryu. I’m glad to have someone like you as a friend.”
“No problem Shizake.” Ryu says while smiling.
“Um…how about you? How are you doing?”
“Me? Good I suppose…”
“You all right after the incident with that Daichi character? You were incredibly brave that day.”
“Oh that… I don’t like to talk about it. Thanks though.”
“I never got around to thanking you… for protecting Sakura. She helped me a lot after the massacre, emotionally that is.”
Ryu, flustered, says “ Oh, it was uh…it was n-nothing. I’m sure you would’ve done the same.”
“Yeah but to the extent you did? I snuck into the village archive and read the report about what happened. You endured hours of torture via mind jutsu. Not just anyone can survive through that. Especially receiving it from a trained shinobi to a kid who wasn’t even a genin yet.
Ryu bites his lip remembering what he had gone through that day. He closes his eyes and shakes the memories, pushing them back into the recesses of his mind. The pain and agony that day was unbearable.
Shizake noticing he has brought back bad memories apologizes, “ S-sorry. I just… thanks. For protecting one of my… one of our friends. You’re a true shinobi.”
“I’ll protect her at all costs.” Ryu slips out.
“You like her don’t you?” Shizake asks with no emotion or hint of curiosity in his voice.
“M-me? Well n-no but… I-I.”
“Don’t be embarrassed about it. If you like her then go for it. Life is short… it could end any moment. Keep the ones you like close because you’ll never know…”
Ryu stares blankly at Shizake unsure of what to say to something dark like that, “W-well… I suppose your right.”
“Trust me Ryu, she’ll be lucky to have someone like you around.”
“Thanks Shizake… w-who do you keep close?”
Shizake looks at Ryu, blinks, then looks down at the fire and then to the side.
“I haven’t had time for those things. The anbu take up most of my time. I would say Sasuke but we rarely see each other. The times we do are short. He hasn’t much to say. The only thing we can really talk about is our unrelenting hatred for our clan’s killer and how we plan on exacting our revenge.”
“Oh…I’m sorry Shizake.”
“It’s ok. As long as I know you all are doing ok, I can be happy.”
Ryu stands up and holds out his hand. Shizake, confused, stands up and sticks his hand out as well. The two clasp hands, a sign of friendship, brotherhood, and understanding.
“We have a long day ahead of us Ryu. I’ll take first watch.” Shizake says.
“You got it. Wake me up when it’s my turn.”
Shizake climbs into a tree and conceals himself among the thick leaves. Ryu glances up at Shizake in the tree before going into his tent and laying down. The night plays on as the two eventually switch out for keeping watch. Ryu, taking the last half of the night is the first to see the sun rise. When the sun’s halo is fully visible, he decides to go and wake Shizake up. The two shake the sleepiness off while gathering everything into their pack. With the campsite cleaned up the two continue heading southeast, the objective slowly coming closer.
“What exactly are we looking for Shizake?” Ryu loudly asks through the wind.
“Well. We are looking for some sort of illegal lab. I assume it’s going to be hidden though as these types of things usually are.” Shizake says back.
“What’s the plan then? It isn’t going to be an easy walk in, take down, and leave.”
“You’re right. We’ll have to survey this village. The scroll here says it’s a sort of rest stop village for long travels to other villages. It isn’t going to be huge but won’t be small either. We’ll have to ask around probably and with extreme caution. If one person catches on to us it’ll compromise the whole mission.”
“Jeez the anbu sure do teach you a lot huh?”
“You wouldn’t believe half the crap they make us go through… but it’s for the safety of the village.”
“Then I’ll follow your lead.”
Shizake nods his head, “Lets stop for a second.”
The two take one last jump onto a branch and then down on to the forest floor simultaneously. Then Shizake turns to Ryu while holding his pack.
“Yeah so… we’re going to need to change clothes.”
“Well considering what I’m wearing, someone will become suspicious. They’ll see your leaf headband, which will also set off some red lights. Seeing as your headband is sewn into your pants, you’ll need to change those. Lastly you need to change out of those ninja sandals too. The tiniest thing could alert someone. Here take these geta sandals.”
Shizake hands Ryu the wooden block looking sandals, which Ryu quickly puts on, stowing away his ninja ones in his pack as well as exchanging pairs of pants.
“Me on the other hand, I brought a change of clothes because I’m a dead give away with this armor. I’m going to have to seal it away though, I don’t have room in my pack for all this armor.”
Shizake throws all the separate armor pieces aside on the forest floor leaving him only in an undershirt and boxers. Out of his pack he pulls a black and grey t-shirt and some dark blue shorts. He too throws on some geta sandals completing the normal citizen attire. Finally he pulls out a scroll and seals away the anbu armor pieces.
“Now we can continue.” He says.
Ryu nods as they both leap back into the trees and continue the journey…
Story notes: Not really a point to posting on this site anymore. I've pretty much moved over to wattpad. Shizake19 is the username if any of you care. Anyways this is a crossover between my OC Shizake Uchiha and Sasaui Uchiha's OC Ryu Sarutobi. Enjoy.
Chapter notes: Part one