The crowd was alive, positively buzzing with energy, after the last fight, which had been between Naruto Uzumaki and Shino Aburame. It was going to be a hard one to live up to, and Sakura was dreading it as she saw her name come up on the big match screen, and saw the names of the remaining shinobi in the tournament flying by faster than she could read them underneath hers. She watched with building anticipation as the names began to go by slower and slower, until eventually she could read them, she watched Negi's go by, which was good. Then was Hinata's and Kiba's. Also good. Hinata was almost as good as Negi now. Then, it stopped, she could tell because the halt was announced by a sharp beep, which resounded throughout the stadium, and she stared up at the screen, her green eyes full of nervous anticipation, and read the display.
"Terth Novanas?" Sakura read the name aloud, "Who is that?" She asked, turning to Naruto, who had just come back up the stairs from his match with Shino. He had several cuts on his face, and his clothes were ragged and dirty. His blonde hair was full of dirt, but was still sticking up from his head like always, and his eyes were still vibrant and full of life as always.
"How should I know?" He said, in his usual ignorant manner, "I've never heard of him."
"Really?" Sakura asked, nervously flicking her strawberry pink bangs back out of her face, "I wonder who he could be..."
She looked down the line of Shinobi. There were seven in all, all eagerly awaiting there chance in the stadium, or recovering from the first two bouts. There were two that still hadn't fought, and both were from Konoha, which was surprising to her, because she'd never seen either of them. One was standing in the corner, leaning against the wall, and the other was seated cross-legged on the bench playing with what looked like a deck of tarot cards. The one in the corner was tall, and he was wearing a long black jacket that almost brushed the ground while he stood there, and a pair of heavy black boots with silver buckles all over them in place of the laces. His blonde hair stuck out at odd angles from behind his forehead protector, which he wore on his forehead like Naruto, and which bore the distinctive leaf symbol of Konoha. His eyes were an intense, burning emerald color, and she felt like he could have borne a hole in her skull as he stared at her.
The other, who was sitting down, had brown hair, which was slicked to the left side of his head, and ice blue eyes. He wore a black leather vest over a black sweater, and a pair of black sandals. He was playing with his tarot cards, and then he turned and whispered something to the other. The other nodded, and then made his way towards Sakura.
"I guess you would be Terth, then?" She said as he approached.
"You should quit now," He said, "While you still have the chance."
"You should quit now," The boy replied, "You don't have a chance. The only reason I didn't withdraw last round was because I assumed they would give you the bye, since you're the only female shinobi here."
"Why...you..." Sakura said, feeling the anger well up within her and push her to the boiling point, "I'm going to..."
"Just who the hell do you think you are?" Naruto asked, stepping between Sakura and the boy, "Going around telling people that they have no chance?"
"I am Terth Novanas," The boy said, "And I am telling her for her own good. Because, if I can avoid it, I would like to avoid any untimely deaths."
Untimely deaths...The words echoed inside Sakura's head like someone shouting down a mine shaft. How the hell could he be so ignorant? Who the hell did he think he was? Did he think she was some kind of weakling? She had to admit, since becoming a chuniin she hadn't really gained a whole lot of confidence in her own abilities, though she had improved considerably in the last few years. After all, that was the whole reason she had decided to go through with her entry in the Seven Dragons Tournament anyway, wasn't it?
"Well, Terth," Sakura said, "I won't be withdrawing. So, let's do this. If you want to chicken out though, I completely understand..."
"Very well," Terth said, "If that is you decision, then so be it. However, I accept no responsibility for the consequences of that decision."
"Terth," said the other boy, appearing suddenly behind him, "You can't go through with this. If you..."
"I understand, little brother," Terth said, "But she has decided her won fate. I had nothing to do with it."
"I see..." the other boy replied, "Very well...But take it easy."
Sakura was beside herself. How on earth could two shinobi, who were both younger than her, and who she doubted had ever even gone to the Ninja Academy, be telling her that she was out of her league, and telling each other they had to take it easy? She was more annoyed than she could ever remember being, even more annoyed than Naruto usually made her.
"Let's just go," Sakura said, "Before I kill you here and now."
"Hey, Sakura," Naruto said quietly in her eat, "Watch yourself out there. I'm sensing an enormous chakra from this guy."
"Shut up, idiot!" Sakura whispered back, "I'll be fine. You don't have to watch out for me anymore, got it?"
"I...Okay..." Naruto said, "Sorry...Jeez."
Sakura leapt over the railing and landed on the ground. Then, walked over to take her position at the starting line on her side of the judge. The boy did the same, arriving a few minutes after she did, and they stood there, facing one another in what she was sure was going to be one hell of a fight. She could sense his enormous chakra as well, but she wasn't about to let that scare her. She'd picked up a trick or two in her training, and she was at least going to give the fans a good showing.
The sky was overcast, and it began to rain as they prepared to start their match. Puddles quickly formed in all of the pockmarks and craters that had been left from the two previous matches, and the crowd was somewhat muffled by the sound of falling rain. She kept her eyes on the judge, and her opponent, who was merely standing there as she was, watching her, trying to read her facial expression, and waiting for the match to begin. Then, the judge put up his hand, and the match began. The boy made a series of three hand symbols when the match started and then muttered something Sakura couldn't hear. Then, she sprang into action.
The roar of the crowd, even though it was muffled by the rain, filled Sakura's ears as she rushed towards her opponent. She tried to drown it out, but instead it got louder, along with the steady sound of the rain, pitter patter, pitter patter, so she decided to ignore them both and just move on. She reached down and pulled a kunai from the pouch on her right leg and put it out in front of her, wielding it like a knife. Then, she put on a burst of speed and rushed at him. He made a series of three more hand signs, and then jumped back as she came up to him, again saying something she couldn't hear over the roar of the crowd. Then, her vision blurred, probably from the water running down her face, so she strained her eyes, trying to see where he'd gone, but then her vision got worse.
"Oh no..." She said, "What's going on? Is it genjutsu? "
She strained her eyes more, trying to find him one last time, and her vision went blank. She saw nothing but black. She was blind.
"Do you see now why I told you to give up?" The boy asked from behind her before a foot impacted the back of her head and sent her flying forward, flipping end over end, until she hit something solid, probably the wall and lay there in a heap. She strained her ears until the sound of the crowd was so loud that she couldn't bear it. Then, she had no balance, she tried to stand, but couldn't. Her hair felt like it weighed a ton, so she shook her head, and she could feel the dust and dirt and debris from the wall she'd just hit as it fell down her body. Just how hard had she hit that wall anyway? The thoughts she was having were interrupted however by the roar of the crowd getting even louder. She clapped her hands over her ears, trying desperately to drown out the sound of the crowd, but it didn't get any quieter, not even a little. She couldn't take it anymore, it had to stop. He had to be using genjutsu, there was no other explanation. She took her hands away from her ears and made the best approximation of the sign for releasing that she could without seeing it.
"Release!" She said. Nothing. The noise was still there, and it got a little louder. She tried again, this time making the sure the sign was perfect by feeling where her fingers were, but still nothing.
"That won't work," The boy said, she was surprised that she could hear him over the roar of the crowd, maybe she could use that to her advantage. She swiped her kunai in the direction of his voice, but felt a stabbing pain in her arm instead of contact with something else. Maybe that wasn't such an advantage after all. She collapsed onto her knees, squeezing her head so hard that she thought it was going to pop, and still the deafening roar of the crowd became ever louder.
"STOP IT!" She screamed, now unable to hear her own voice over the roar of voices, "STOP IT! STOP IT! MAKE IT STOP! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!" But it didn't stop, it just got louder. She screamed again. Then, felt something hit the back of her neck, then everything faded away, all feeling all sensation, everything. The roar of the crowd was no more, but her vision was still black. She felt herself slipping into unconsciousness and let it happen, too tired and fed up with this one-sided fight to deal with it anymore, and before she totally slipped away, she heard two words.
"Comenosai," Terth's voice said, "Watashino comenosai..."
Naruto watched the fight unfolding before him, and from the moment that Sakura-chan and the mysterious boy, Terth he had said his name was, began to fight, he could tell that something was wrong. Sakura was wandering around aimlessly, or so it seemed, but then as it went on, Naruto began to get more and more worried that Sakura couldn't see. He visibly flinched as Sakura took a bone-shattering kick to the back of the head and went flying end over end, like a football towards the fall wall of the stadium where she collided with it, making a crater the size of three of her in it. He was really worried now, the fight hadn't even been going on for three minutes, and already Sakura was in trouble. He had never known her to be beaten so easily, even during the chuniin exams, when she had taken on three Ninja from the hidden village of sound at once, she had at least held out on her own until help had arrived in the form of Ino, Choji, and Shikamaru, and the four of them had eventually driven them off and successfully protected an unconscious Naruto and Sasuke. Naruto had always been more appreciative of Sakura after that, and now that they were older, he had more trouble keeping his more...private...thoughts out of his mind while she was talking to him.
He watched helplessly as Sakura forced herself to her feet, made the sign for releasing genjutsu twice, and then dropped back to her knees. Terth was now standing on the wall above her, parallel to the ground. Then, for some reason, Sakura Stabbed herself in the arm before she grabbed her ears writhing in agony.
"STOP IT!" She screamed in a high, shrill voice that Naruto had never heard her use before, "STOP IT! STOP IT! MAKE IT STOP! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!"
"What the..." Naruto said, "What in the hell is going on down there?"
"We told her..." The smaller kid, who had said he was Terth's brother, said, "We told her that she should just concede the match. We weren't trying to scare her, you know, we were serious..."
"Serious about what?" Naruto asked, every fiber of his being dreading the answer he was about to get.
"My brother," He said, "His techniques, are...far too powerful for anyone to handle normally. I can handle them because I hae techniques to counter his...but I'm afraid that if you don't know them, then there is no way you can win, and you'll probably have to find something to do with your life other than being a shinobi when he gets don with you...If you're lucky..."
"What are you saying?" Naruto asked.
"He can't control himself," The boy said, "All the people he's fought...They've all come out of the fights severely injured..."
"What kind of injuries?"
"The worst kind."
"There are many things worse than death in this world," The boy replied, "Far worse."
Naruto's throat had suddenly gone dry, and he could barely get out his response, "Like what?" he croaked hoarsely.
"Blindness, deafness, loss of one's mind," The boy replied, "and that's just to name a few."
Naruto watched as Sakura collapsed, and then passed out as Terth gave her a chop to the back of the neck, and he felt the rage within him building, to the point where he could barely control it. Then, he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he turned around to see Tsunade-sama standing there.
"Calm down, Naruto," She said, "The last thing we need right now is you losing your temper."
Naruto did as he was told, burying the rage he felt deep within him, locking it in a cage right next to kyuubi's.
"Don't worry," She went on, "Sakura's tough, you and I both know that. She'll be fine."
Naruto wanted to believe that more than anything, but something told him that this time, things would be different, that this time, everything wouldn't turn out okay, and if it didn't, he didn't know if he could face Sakura afterwards. He turned away, he couldn't look at her as they carried her out on a stretcher towards the hospital, but he vowed revenge on the boy, Terth, and he swore that he would get it, no matter what.
Story notes: Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Nor Do I own any of the characters, the names, or anything affilliated with it in any way. I am merely a fan writing a fanfic.
Chapter notes: ** NOTE: THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS IN HERE, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED UP TO EP 220(That's shippiden 20) AT LEAST, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T READ THIS!!! **
Chapter end notes: So yeah, that's chapter 1. I'll post more later if enough peole seem interested...Anyway, hope you liked it!