Chapter 8 – Hidden secrets (Part 1) 


Fuko Kirisawa rode her mountain bike down the narrow street, turned right and stopped. She looked about her and spots the rubbish dump. Just as Umi had told her. 1090 Misayate Street. That was the address that bitch wrote. According to what she hacked from the police files, the resident living alone at that place was by the name of Mdm Saeko.


I must thank Koganei for teaching me how to be a hacker.


She rode onwards to the left of the rubbish dump, expecting to find the house where the dark-haired, handsome stranger (whom Umi had excitedly described) lived but there was none.


Maybe I went the wrong direction


Sandy bicycle tracks printed themselves onto the stone cold ground. Vertically, horizontally and diagonally.


Where the heck am I going? It’s like I’m going around in circles!


She clicked a few buttons and placed the handphone next to her ear. There was no ringing tone.


No battery! Impossible, I just charged it this morning. Nani? No connection?


The flapping of a bird’s wings broke the quiescent surroundings. Fuko’s eyes darted upwards. It was a dove, greyish blue in colour. It was looking down at her. Its eyes were purple.


Heinous purple.


The dove then stretched its wings backward for a few moments and slapped them together, producing a gale.


A scream.

Crushing metal.

A wheel moans painfully. 



Kagero leaned against the wall of the long hallway, sipping muddy hot water known as coffee. At her last sip, she took a deep breath and blow heavily. It has been 2 months since the Akatsuki Clan had attacked Recca. Now, it seems like they have never existed at all. She looked up and sees Kurei standing in front of her.



“Ah. Just I’m relieved that Recca is showing sighs of gaining conscious.”

“So ka,” Leaning next to her. “Kagero, I want to ask you something.”


“Was my mother involved with the Akatsuki clan in anyway?”

“Absolutely not!” outburst Kagero, staring at him right in his eyes. “What makes you say that?”

“When I was defending Recca from that white-caped girl. A guy in sliver armour came to her aid. He said that something about keeping a promise to my mother 400 years ago. So, I’m wondering how mother is connected with the Akatsuki.”

“Can you trust his words?”

“Right now, I’m not sure. But Raiha & I managed to remember the symbol that the 2 armoured guys wore on their amour,” unfolding a piece of paper. “It’s something like this.”






“Anything you recognise?”

“Iie,” Kagero, shaking her head. “Frankly speaking, this symbol doesn’t make sense.”

Kurei sighed warily. “Looks like we are really stuck big time. Sometimes I seriously wish that Yanagi could just heal Recca at one shot so that he could tell us what actually happened to him.”

“She doesn’t have the strength to do so. And there are lots of nurses working this area. The less people know about Yanagi’s healing power the better.” Replied Kagero, pressing his hand.


“By the way, tell me. How did you know that Recca was going to be attacked by the Akatsuki Clan?”



“Itai …” groaned Fuko, removing her helmet and rubbed the bump on her head “If I wasn’t wearing this, I would be a goner. OH NO!!! My bike!! It’s in smithereens!!” Scanning through the sad pieces of metal, plastic and wire for possible survivors. A wheel creaked in response. 



“Nani o suru, Fuko Kirisawa?’

Fuko spin 80 degrees to the right and sees a dark-skinned woman, standing with a hand on a hip, dressed in clothing that revealed more than it hid. The scorpion-shaped medallion tied round her neck gleamed with pleasure.

“Suna Arashi…”



“The phoenix told you?”

“Yes,” nodded Kurei. “He came to me in my sleep…”


Kurei, son of the Phoenix. Heed to what I shall say to you. From 2 days from now on, your brother, Recca Hanabishi will die.

Die? What do you mean?

His death has been foreseen…


Then, white flames exploded from the ground and soared to the skies. Among the white flames, I saw a man. His posture was like a self-sacrifice saint. It was Recca. Before him was a white-cloaked woman, hair like midnight covering her pale face. She plunged her hand right into Recca’s heart. The white flames instantly fed upon Recca’s body, his skin, flesh and bone. His ashes fell at my feet. I knelt down and held a fistful of the glowing amber coloured ashes. 8 tongues of red fire seeped through the gaps of my fist and floated towards the open arms of the white cloaked woman.  The 8 tongues transformed into a globe and landed upon her hand…


Do you understand what you have seen, Son of Phoenix? It’s the destiny that the son of the Hokage dies.


The blood of the son of the Hokage will atone for the sins of his forefathers.

Then what about me, am I not a Hokage?    

In name you are but never will you be in status.


Don’t tell me that you have forgotten how the Hokage outcast you and your mother? How they deny your birthright as the firstborn of the flame? Reject you as the rightful 27th Hokage leader? The moment they did so was the end of your Hokage inheritance.

That was in the past. I no longer live in the past. All I’m asking is to know why are you telling me all this?

Simply because of your mother, Reina…

My mother? What does she have to do with this? Explain to me the meaning of the scene that you had shown me. What does it signify?

Ask no more, Son of Phoenix… ask no more… 


“… That was when I awoke. Afterwards, Neon, Raiha and I took the earliest train to Tokyo.”

“The white-cloaked woman that was mentioned in your dream. Is it the same white-cloaked woman who attacked Recca?”

“I believe they are the one and the same. What I don’t understand is how mother is related to the Akatsuki or what the significance of the dream. I don’t know about you, Kagero but all this secretive talk is starting to annoy me and…” Suddenly, a sharp pain penetrated into Kurei’s chest. His knees fell onto the ground. Beads of perspiration gathered at the sides of his face. Kagero rushed to his side.



Meanwhile, Fuko ferociously hailed showers of dagger-shaped winds onto Suna’s barrier. Suna pressed her lips tightly as she saw the hairline cracks darted across the outer layer of her barrier.  Muttering a vulgar word, she pulled out a bangle from her arm and chanted. The bangle enlarged and exploded in a large mass of dust.

Coughing heavily, Fuko waved streaks of wind against the blinding atmosphere. Like having a life of its own, the dust avoided the winds and flew straight in Fuko’s face, forcing to drop her guard. Acting swiftly, Suna grabbed Fukos’ left arm and pulled her forward. Bending her knees, she brought her right arm between Fuko’s legs and clasped her right leg. Her right shoulder drove into Fuko’s side. The scorpion medallion glowed in yellow colour as Fuko gets lifted up, wheeled across Suna’s shoulders and throw aside. A loud thud of a falling body was heard.

Not letting Fuko to recover from her fall, Suna wrapped her left arm round Fuko’s neck and pulled backwards while her right hand pushed the back of Fuko’s head forward. A choking cry came from Fuko while Suna completed her strangle lock by gripping her right elbow with the left hand.     



Observing the fight from a roof stop stood a man dressed in leather pants and linen shirt. His dark hair streaked with strands of silver tied in white silken ribbon. Boredom reflected in his grey eyes. On his left shoulder, perched the purple-eyed dove.


“Ne.. Mayonaka-senpai,” spoke the dove. “Seems like Suna Arashi has a better luck with Fuko Kirisawa than Kaze Yousei.”

“Based on what do you believe so, Nichi Hato?” Long fingers fingering the ends of the ribbon.

“Look at Suna’s bangles on Kirisawa’s arms and legs. They are preventing her from doing anything against Suna’s strangle lock. You see, by pressing the opponent’s throat with the left forearm and pushing the back of the head forward with the right arm. Suna’s arms are like a pair scissors. Very soon, the pressure on Kirisawa’s throat will increase and she will be strangled to death!”


“It’s too early to conclude a Sluth’s fight against a experienced fighter like Kirisawa.”


Fuko thought that her brain would burst open if she doesn’t do something fast. The dusty air was thinning and Fuko was able to see clearly. She sees the bangles on her arms and legs. No wonder I was not able to move. Closing her eyes, Fuko concentrated her thoughts on Fujin. Fujin responded and sent a whirly wind punch at Suna’s face. Her strangled lock loosened, the bangles dematerialised. Immediately, Fuko jammed her elbow right into Suna’s side, mashing her ribs.

Suna gave a cry and rolled over to one side. Her hand placed over the injured area. Fuko drew in deep breaths of air while she rubbed her sore throat.      


Kurei fastened a black belt across his waist, pulled out a drawer and took an object. It was wrapped in brown paper. While he was unwrapping the object, Neon slammed the door wide open.


“Kurei, are you alright? Kagero told me what happened back at the hospital….” Her eyes widen; she brought her fingers to her mouth. Kurei was dressed in his Uruha suit, in his hand was the unwrapped object – a facemask, painted with the symbol of the Hokage. 


“I have to go, Neon,” walking towards her. “Someone is waiting for me.”

“Who?” Closing the door behind her. “Why? What does he want from you?”

“The less you know the better.”

“Then, must you go?” Trembled Neon, her voice quavering.


Without answering, Kurei placed the mask on his face and walked past Neon. His cold eyes broaden the moment Neon hugged him from behind. Her face buried in the red clothing, crying.


Placing his hands over Neon’s, he said, “Within 1 hour, I want you to leave Japan. There’s a plane ticket on the dressing table...”


“… Don’t go…”

“Promise that you’ll do this,” putting her hands away. “Please Neon…”

“NO, I won’t let you die!” She blocks Kurei with her arms. “Let me go with you…”

“You mustn’t, it’s too dangerous. The faster you leave Japan the better.”

“NO!” protested Neon, releasing her emotions. “I won’t leave you…”

“IF you won’t do this for me, then do it for the sake of our child!”


Neon stared at him in shock and disbelief, was Kurei lying? Yet, it sounded real and truthful.


Kurei removed his facemask; he looked so gentle and loving just like on the day of their wedding...


“Yes, it’s true, Neon. You are carrying our baby. The Phoenix told me when I was at the hospital. He also told me that they are after you because I rescued Recca. That is why you must leave Japan. They mustn’t find you. Please forgive me.” Wiping her tears with the tip of his red sleeve, he held her closer. ”Forgive me…” He lifted up her chin and gave her a long sweet kiss.



The running motor of a motorcycle echoed throughout the streets. Litters of dried leaves brushed aside by the roaring wheels. Umi was literally hanging on for her dear life.


“Tokiya! Slow down! Do you want to get us both killed?”

“Dekinai! Fuko might not be lucky like she was the last time.”

“How do you know that she is at Misayate Street?”

“She drew a big blue circle around an address that belong a customer who came earlier in the afternoon. Suna Arashi is her name.”


“The address happens to be 1090 Misayate Street.

“That’s the address of the last delivery that we were supposed to make! But the customer’s name was Taka…”

“Precisely. Furthermore, from what I check in the directory, the house numbers at Misayate Street is from 1070 to 1085.”



Suna Arashi groaned and slowly stood up. Her hand placed over the injured side. My ribs must be fractured. She looked at Fuko, who turned around and did some stretching exercises. The ore of Fujin shot a beam of light into her eyes. Her jaw clenched. Darn, if she uses Fujin, I may be done for. The most I can do is to avoid the attack, other than that…Fuko winked at her, her lips curled into a nasty smile. Tension thumped in Suna’s stomach. This is it…She’s using Fujin… nani?


To her surprise, Fuko pulled the lower lid of her right eye and stuck out her tongue. “Let me tell you that Fuko Kirisawa will not be easily defeated like the last time!” Waving her hand, “Jaa ne, say hello to Kaze Yousei for me. Tell him that I want a re-match, ok?”


What the heck is she doing?!? Suna still stunned by Fuko’s action. “Matte! Aren’t you going to finish the fight???”

“What are you saying? You’re injured. The fight is over.”


Fuko signed and shook her hand. “Look, sister. I don’t believe in killing your opponent to ‘finish’ a fight, ok? By the way, can you tell me who’s the bird that attacked me? Cuz it’s going to get payback for destroying my mountain bike!”

“I don’t believe this…”


Dull copper red rays and dark shadows coloured the rumbles of the fallen warehouses surrounding Shiroka. The silver-laced hood still covering her face. In her hand was 2 tiny urn-shaped transparent bottles one was grey the other dark crimson red, string together by an extremely delicate silver silk thread.


You know what to do Shiroka…


A smile curled at the corners of her pink lips while she tied the bottles around her neck, slipping them beneath her clothing. Sounds of footsteps were heard behind her. Stoical and impassive.


“Thank you for coming…” said Shiroka. 



“So, let get me straight,” Fuko scratched her head, “You are here so that you could be promoted to a higher level of Akatsuki?”

Suna swallowed her pride. “Yes, if you want to put it in that way. I’m considered as a Sluth, the lowest level ninja of the Akatsuki. Since Kaze Yousei couldn’t kill you before, I thought that if I could defeat you and get Fujin. My status will be raised as an Ohara or higher…”   



Nichi Hato gulped down drops of water fed by Mayonaka, who fondly stroke its feathers. “Seems like Suna is talking too much, what are we going to do anything about it?”


“Daijoubu dayo, Nichi Hato. Suna won’t last for long. Her skills are still crude and pathetic as ever.”

“You are so harsh, Senpai. You were once a Sluth before. Except that you become a Queth in an amazingly short time. Thank goodness that I’ve nothing to do with this political status stuff.”

“That’s because you are a Taraxen, a spy. There are only 3 of you, no more no less. As for that Sluth, her feeble attempts to reach higher will only shorten her life line.” Feeding a strip of raw meat into Nichi Hato’s beak. “We need not do anything about it.”



“Sou ka…” said Fuko, swinging her arms lightly. “So, there are basically 6 ninja levels – Sluth, Deshu, Ohara, Fukl, Maje and Queth. Apart from them, are Taraxen, in another word - spy. But there’s others levels higher than Queth.”  

“Yes, like Kamiga like Hogosya – sama and Goei – sama, they are bodyguards to protect our leader, Lady Yogen. She’s the one who wants your maudoughs.”

“Ok… I think I understand your little hierarchy. Why does this Yogen person want our maudoughs for?”

“It’s to do with the Kami no hitos.”

“Kami no hitos? Who the heck are they?”

“Every Akatsuki full moon, they will be 4 kami no hitos who will appear. We are supposed to find them and prepare them for the ceremony of uniting.”


“Ceremony of uniting?”

“It’s the uniting of…”


A strong gush of wind blew against the girls’ faces. The ore of Fujin dimmed at the sight. Tiny spikes of wind poked against Fuko’s skin. Grains of sand swept across the area towards Suna. A grain of sand scratched across her cheek. The tongue needs to be tightened. A sharp stinging blow slapped across her face. She fell face down. The grains of sand gathered themselves around her wrists and ankles, hardening every few seconds.  Fuko forced herself to take a few steps against the blowing wind Her hand touched something solid. She looked up. Her eyes widen in shock.


Surrounding her was a crystal-blue barrier.


“Thank you for coming…” Shiroka turned around and greeted the masked red-clothed man, “Kurei.” Waving her arms in a mocking gesture. “We didn’t get to introduce ourselves when we first met. My name is Shiroka. I suppose you have seen me in your dreams.” She glance at his arm, “By the muscle tension on that arm, I can tell that you didn’t expect this. What makes you think that I’ll not know what the Phoenix has told you?”

The bangles jingled at Kurei’s wrist. Shiroka curled a slight smile. “Your wife must be at the airport by now. What an obedient wife you have. Is that you can do to protect her? I can track her easily. It doesn’t matter where she goes…”

“Save the talk. I know your game.”

“It’s not a game, Kurei. I’m just stating the facts. Your wife is pregnant. That will give me an upper advantage. Even more when I’m done with you.” A fiery bow materialized by her hand. “She can run for all I care.”  She held up the bow, drew back the string until her knuckles gazed at the angle of her jaw.” I’ll hunt your whore down until she burnt into ashes!” Releasing her fingers, the fire arrow speed towards Kurei, who leaped just enough to allow his sleeve to have a neat tear. The arrow plunged into the ground, erupting white lava needles beneath Kurei.

Purple wings shot out from Kurei’s back and hovered themselves upon him, protecting him. Kurenai howled in triumph. Shiroka laughed cold laugher.


Finally, you appeared.


Fuko futilely pounded the barrier with her fists. “Suna! Suna! Daijobu ka?” Why am I so useless? Suna is injured. Who knows what Kaze Yousei might do to her? Fujin, why are you not responding to me? Fujin?  


Fuko helplessly watched the winds tossing and turning the grains of sand around Suna. Suna’s face turned. She groaned. Are you awake?

“Kaze Yousei…”

"You have disgraced us terribly. Not only that, you gave a little information of us to an enemy. Are you intending to become a traitor?

“No. I’m not. It’s just that…”


Denying won’t do anything, Sluth. Let me give your tongue a taste of what I would do to with people like yourself.


A thin whip-like figure appeared above Suna Arashi’s back, wavering up and down, before it strikes down like a cobra onto it a prey.


YAMETE!!!!” yelled Fuko, banging her fist onto the barrier.


Screams of torment pierced the atmosphere like shattered glass.



Kurenai spread open her wings and pelted fire at Shiroka, who quickly transformed her bow into a shield to defend herself. While doing so, she used her right index finger and scribbled wavy lines onto the ground. Chalky-coloured mist spontaneously surrounded Kurei. Shiroka proceeded to twirl her finger. In response, the mist, like cloth, bind itself around Kurei. The white larva once again, erupted beneath and wrapped the bounded Kurei into a ball.

Purple fire swirled around the larva ball and cracked it. Fiery wings of the Phoenix flapped themselves towards the skies, bearing them was Kurei. Shiroka tightened her fist. For a brief moment, Kurei looked like fiery red-clothed warrior behind the setting sun.


So, you can fly Kurei. However unique that a flame caster can combine himself together with his fire creature. Then again, it is possible for 2 souls – his and Kurenai’s – to combine as one. But that doesn’t stop me from getting what I want.


With a single jump, she leaped herself higher than Kurei, her right hand holding a fiery jagged–edge dagger. She strikes down but Kurei parried her blow with his right forehand and gripped her right wrist. Moving in behind her, he pulled her right arm straight towards her rear and locked her neck with his left arm. His wings enclosed themselves, stinging the edges of Shiroka’s cloak.


“Explain to me,” hissed Kurei. “What does that silver-armoured guy who saved you the other day meant by keeping a promise to my mother? What does she have to do with you people?”


“You should have kill me when you had the chance.”


She dig her left fingers into Kurei’s left arm, out came 4 thin needles that stabbed right through his arm – Bone and skin.  Kurei released his hold at the excruciating pain. Shiroka turned around and punched her fist into Kurei’s stomach, spin around and thrust her elbow into his back. Kurei felled downwards to the ground. His injuries would have been more severe had it been not for Kurenai who caught him in her arms and landed him softly on the ground. Kurei tightly held his bleeding left arm, his lips set in grim position as he watched Shiroka’s feet lightly touched the ground.


“You have become soft, Kurei. How pathetic, I thought that you would provide a more exciting challenge than Hanabishi.” A staff materialised by her right hand. “As for you, Kurenai, your new master awaits you!”


“What do you mean by that?” demanded Kurei, still enduring the pain of his left arm.

“Oh please, Kurei. You mean that the Phoenix didn’t tell you everything,” she smirked. “After all, why should he? He isn’t the real Phoenix.”

Kurei’s eyes widen in shock. “Then, the Phoenix that appeared to me was just…”


“A simple copy of the original. In order to let you believe that the Phoenix is telling you the truth. You believe in him the moment you saw me attacking your baby brother. It’s an old trick. That’s right, Kurei.” She held out her staff in front of her. “If you’re smart enough, you’ll realised that I’m not after Neon. I’m after Kurenai.”  


Making weird movements with her fingers, she chanted.


“Through the wings of time

 To the ancient ancestors of Akatsuki

 Grant me my desire

 The soul of Kurenai

 The angel of Phoenix

 The soul of unshed blood”



From his sleeve, Kurei took out some sharp-curled circled darts. He raised his arm to strike. I rather die than let you take her away from me. A warm touch was felt on his raised arm. He looked up and sees Kurenai. Her face looked so peaceful and yet sad.


Enough Kurei. No more bloodshed

Kurenai? Is this your voice I’m hearing now?

Yes, my love. It is. On the day I died, our souls unite as one. You made my dying wish come true. I’m grateful for that. Today, you’re lifted from your promise.

No! You are not going to…

Even though the Phoenix that Shiroka created had tricked you, one thing can be certain. Neon is carrying your child.


She took her the mask off Kurei’s face and gently brushed her fingers against his scar  

I love you Kurei. I always have since the day I first met you. And I want you to live as a normal person. Live the life that I couldn’t have. Your child will need you as his father. Let him not bear the sins that you have carrying upon your shoulders. As for Shiroka, if you kill her, you’ll destroy the key to your answers about your mother. For your child, I’ll give myself to them. You need not fear for I’m already dead.


But your soul…

As long as I know that my love is alive and has a family who loves him, it’ll be enough to endure any kind of hell.


Kurenai opened her wings for the last time and charged towards Shiroka. White flame burst in several directions. Her hood fell off, causing her black to fly about wildly about her face. Her eyes turned white.


“May her soul bring about what thou had foreseen.

 As the pure child of the flame.

 Which destiny thou have chosen for me

 I command the fiery spirits of Akatsuki

 To take her to the mystical world

 Where thou awaits her.”


The staff morphed itself into a portal-like shape, glowing in amber red. Shiroka opened her hands in a receiving manner. “Yes, Kurenai,” watching the angel flying towards her. “Come, they are waiting for you… nani?”


Fresh wave of purple flame penetrated through Kurenai and its direction straight at Shiroka. However, the portal, which is in front of Shiroka, sucked the flame. High pitch scornful laughter was heard. Shiroka smirked in pleasure. Then, hellish screams followed. Nani? Her jaw clenched at the sudden pain. Bile and blood was on her tongue. They are affected by his flame. But how? No physical flame can touch the spirits. She snarled at Kurei, who was panting continuously while enduring his loss at the time. Desperation yet determination shook in his eyes.


“I won’t let you take her away from me.”

“Fool! It’s already too late…”


“Even so, Shiroka,” Kurenai’s voice whispered in her mind. “I’ll not let you hurt Kurei.” Kurenai grabbed Shiroka from behind. Her wings enclosed around Shiroka. She smelt the smell of burning clothes.


You went behind me when I was distracted by Kurei.    

Like I said, I’ll not let you hurt Kurei.

And you won’t defeat me.


Like having a mind of its own, the portal closed itself and went in Shiroka’s body. She threw up blood. A left silver armoured hand merged out from Shiroka’s back and into Kurenai’s chest, absorbing her. Caustic pain gripped Kurei’s heart.


“KURENAI!!!!” screamed Kurei, releasing every single power that he has at Shiroka. Another portal materialised in front of Shiroka, spitting out tiny globes of silver. Diminishing Kurei’s flame as they flew. Before he could evade them, each tiny globes shot through his body, limbs by limbs, bursting each of his vital veins. Dark blood spurted like water from a burst pipe. The last one aiming for his forehead. Kurei helplessly stared at it, his heart pounding with every second closer to death. Then, long black sleeve covered his eyes, knocking him down to the ground. When it was removed, Kurei weakly looked at his rescuer. It was woman, wearing an unusual earring, holding extremely long and thin needles. The tiny globe, knowing that it has missed its target, make a turn and dived in striking position. With confidence, the women threw her needles at it. With one perfect hit of the needles, the tiny globes into pieces.


“Kagero…” murmured Kurei, coughing up more blood.

“Be still,” commanded Kagero, wrapping strips of cloth over the wounds. A howling interrupted her causing her to turn. Her eyes broadened at the sight. Half of Kurenai was already absorbed in the silver armoured hand that had merged out of Shiroka’s back. Her cloak was burning under the intense heat that Kurenai made in her struggling attempt to escape. She was kneeling down, her face sweating heavily while she concentrated. Despite her hair blocking the full view of face, there is something familiar about her.


Giving a war cry, white fiery flame engulfed both Shiroka and Kurenai. Howls of defeat trembled the ground, followed by eerie laughter. Kurei groaned in agony, Kagero instantly place the hilt of her dagger into Kurei’s mouth to prevent him from biting his tongue. She gasped at the sight of hot steam rising out of Kurei’s scar. She turned around and sees a massive beam of blinding light coming towards them. Kagero threw herself over Kurei like a shield. The blinding light covered them as quickly as it did came. Then, there was silence. Kagero lifted her head and looked at the unconscious Kurei. Shock widens her eyes.


The scar on Kurei’s face was gone.


Meanwhile Fuko continued to bang on the barrier in frantic despair while she watched Kaze Yousei torturing over his prey. Angry red whiplashes scarred the flawless skin, horrifying Fuko every second, her legs collapsed. Her fists losing strength, sliding down against the barrier bit by bit. Suna’s screams ringed constantly in her ears. Tears swelled in her eyes. A drop felled onto the ore of Fujin.



A crack of the whip.


Another scream.



Fujin glowed at her sudden strength. A typhoon of wind exploded from the ground, tearing down the barrier. Gusts of clear smoke paved her presence.



“Mo,” said Nichi Hato, pecking his wings. “Kaze Yousei is not going to be happy about this. Ne? Mayonaka-senpai?”

Mayonaka imperturbably arranged tied up his hair and said, “Maybe.” Standing up. “I’m going off now.”

“To where? Aren’t you going to stay and watch the fight.”

“It’ll be over in less than 5mins,” answered Mayonaka in dull tone. “There’s somebody I have to meet.” He walked away and disappeared.


“Over in less than 5mins?” repeated Nichi Hato. “Jaa, boku wa minakereba narimanai (Then, I must see this)!”


Kaze Yousei resentfully looked at Fuko who was feeling Suna’s wrist for a pulse. Yokatta, she’s alive! Glaring at Kaze Yousei, she said, “Though I may not be able to see you. I’ll make you pay for what you done to her.”


“Doushite (why)? She’s not even your ally.”

“Nor is she your enemy. What kind of a person are you who injures his own comrades?”

“Watashi wa watashi desu (I am that I am) And your Fujin is mine!”


Wind spirits materialised in front of Fuko; each of them had a butterfly-shaped wing, having a figure of half-woman, half-bird, and all of them smiling at her with murderous intent. Fuko grinned with anticipation. Fujin, ikou!  She jumped up. “Fu… what is this? I can’t move at all!”

Sniggering at her were the wind spirits, each of them blowing a thin frail of wind thread at her. Fuko examined her situation and discovered that she was at the middle of a wind spider web. One by one, the wind spirits came closer, making Fuko unable to move with each minute.

“Surprised?” gloated Kaze Yousei. Fuko felt a cold breeze on her cheeks. “Since I could not defeat you with the fake Fujin illusion before, I decided that maybe this will. I won’t waste time like I did before.” Hatred tinted in his speech. One wind spirit responded to him and placed her lanky fingers on the ore of Fujin, creating a small barrier around it as she slowly took out the ore out. Fuko cursed.



“It’s useless. Fujin won’t work in my presence you already know that. As for you, my prisoner, I shall need you alive until Fujin unites with me. Afterwards,” he laughed wickedly. “It’s revenge.” Cracks darted across Fujin maudough. Kaze Yousei laughed even louder joined by his spirits. A gust of wind snatched maudough from Fuko’s arm and tossed in the arms of the wind spirits. With each toss, bits of the maudough fell off. Fuko, powerless and too overwhelmed by this sudden twist, could only watched the tormented play. It hurt her and cut her deeply, as her beloved maudough became nothing than worthless dust. Kaze Yousei happily glee at his new amusement.  


“Let’s go, my spirits. We have a new toy to play now.”

“Matte!” said a greyish dove, landing next to Suna Arashi. “What about her?”

“The Sluth? She can die for all I care. Nichi Hato.”

“Guess I’ll have to clean up this mess,” sighed Nichi Hato, extending his wings over everybody. Soon, they were transported back to the Akatsuki fortress, leaving behind the ruins of the battlefield.



Kagero gently touched Kurei’s face. His entire face was smooth and firm. There were no traces of the famous scar that had once engraved fear into the souls of any rivals when Mori Kougan was alive. Unbelievable.  Kagero turned around and looked at the black-haired girl. Her white cloak had reduced to ashes. Her skin slightly scorched. She was dressed in a ninja suit, 2 tiny urn-shaped transparent bottles were dangling from her neck. She was taking in deep breaths as she tries to recover as quickly as possible.

Unbelievable that she has the strength to defeat Karyu and Kurenai. Kurei’s scar only indicates that Kurenai is in the hands of the Akatsuki. The same thing must be applied to Recca as well. But why? Why do I have this feeling that she looks like somebody I know?


A staff materialised next to the ninja girl, who uses it to help her stand up. Still leaning against it, she turned and looked at Kagero, who instantly gasped in shock.


“Reina!? Impossible,” Kagero standing up as her eyes stared intensely at the ninja girl. “You’re alive? But how?”

“No, Kagero. My name is Shiroka. Reina was my mother.”

“Mother? Impossible,” argued Kagero, staring at her uncanny resemblance. “Reina has only one son – Kurei. How can it be that she could have another child?”

“My birth was never made known. Reina knows about this. Yet she didn’t acknowledge me as her daughter. She chose Kurei instead of me. If I was chosen, I could have been the next leader of the Hokage,” White flame slowly merged around Shiroka. “She chose Kurei over me. She chose him over me.” Rancorous hatred blazed in her dark eyes. “Tell him that I will be waiting for him.” Shiroka vanished together with her flame.     


Kagero slumped to the ground, transfixed by Shiroka’s words.


“Reina has a daughter. And she is a flame caster. A Hokage flame caster.”