There was complete silence in the courtyard.
Hinata stared hard at Shivani, trying hard to see if there was any sign of life coming from the girl. But she simply lay lifeless on the ground.
She collapsed back onto the ground, crying hard into her folded arms. She felt strong arms pick her up and pull her against him. She wrapped her arms around Naruto’s neck and continued to sob into his chest.
“Hina-chan, sweetheart, you don’t know if you killed her!” Naruto whispered in her ear.
“There’s no way!” she sobbed. “With the genjutsu, I couldn’t see anything! I missed and I killed her!” She was crying so hard that she had given herself the hiccups, and now she was making a funny choking sound every few seconds.
Up in the tower, Raoul had pressed his hands and face to the sealed window, staring out at his sister’s lifeless form. He shook from head to toe as he watched the doctors began to arrange his sister’s body, laying her on her back and folding her arms across her chest. There was a constant stream of words flowing out of his mouth in a harsh whisper. “No, no it couldn’t be; there’s no way they would; there’s no way that the gods would permit it; she has to be, she just HAS to be...”
On the dais, the Lady looked down in distain at the scene before her. Well, there went one annoyance gone. Now she just had to deal with the other ones. She stood up and went to the end of the platform.
“Do we have confirmation of Shivani’s death?” she asked.
The medics nodded. “There’s no pulse, my Lady, and she is not breathing.”
“Try to revive her! Why isn’t anyone trying to revive her!” Raoul yelled, banging his hands against the seal. But as no one even turned and looked his way, he realized that the sound was sealed in with them.
The Lady nodded, the turned to a member of the Honor Guard and held out her hand. The man stared at her as if he couldn’t believe what she was doing. She raised one eyebrow at him. His eyes narrowed in turn, and from behind his back he took a sheathed knife, which he placed remove in her outstretched palm. She smirked before turning back to the crowd.
She raised her arms up, holding the knife in the air. “Gupta Toril, you have failed your partner, and she is now dead. Kaze laws and your family’s honor demand that you make the same sacrifice she did.” She threw the knife down to him.
It clattered at his feet. Toril stared at the knife, and then up at the man who had given it to the Lady. “Father?” he whispered. The man continued to stare down at him with empty eyes.
Naruto and Hinata stared up in shock. He was supposed to kill himself NOW?
Suddenly, Toril’s gaze turned from shocked to furious. “No,” he said, crossing his arms over his bare chest.
There was a gasp from the crowd and a sudden burst of whispers. Sitting on the ground, still in each others’ arms, Naruto and Hinata looked on in a mixture of shock and amazement.
The Lady’s eyes narrowed. “What did you say?”
Toril gestured to Shivani’s corpse, still laying on the ground, but now covered in a white shroud. “I’m not going to kill myself just because that little bitch is dead!”
Anger surged through Naruto. “Hey!” he started, but he wasn’t given the chance to continue.
The Lady of the Wind did not tolerate disobedience. And while she wanted to deal with Sora and her brats, preventing an uprising always took priority. “Guards! Execute him!” she shouted, pointing towards Toril. The Honor Guard immediately started down the steps, as the Lady turned back towards her chair.
“You were the one who said you had made it so I couldn’t lose!” Toril yelled. Everything in the courtyard, including the Lady, froze. It was an accusation no one had dared to make in public before. “You said that they probably wouldn’t even make it to the fighting, but even if they did, you had a secret that would keep me safe. You told me I would be accused of using jutsu, and you said you would support me when I denied it!”
Slowly, the Lady turned around to face the crowd, her eyes murderous. “Do not further shame your family with these lies! Accept your fate!”
Toril’s face twisted in anger and he started running up the stairs at her, moving in a blur. “You miserable bitch!” he yelled as he threw himself at her, only to be caught by the other guards before he was able to touch her. “We’ve kept your fucking secrets for twelve years, and now you repay us like this! Who has been the one poisoning your enemies? Who has been out recruiting your ninjutsu users? You have certainly not dirtied your hands with that yourself!” His arms had been pulled behind his back as he was half carried, half dragged down the stairs by his father and fellow guards. “You promised that if I killed Shivani and Raoul, you would make me the Captain of the Guards. I should have known you would betray me!”
“Lies will not save you now, especially not ones as outrageous and slanderous as these,” the Lady said, settling herself back into her throne.
“I was promised power! I was promised command! And I did everything you asked of me! I put up with having that stupid bitch as a partner! And every time you broke your promise, you said that it was just a matter of time! Time until I was old enough, time until you could figure out a way to poison Shivani! I suppose that in the end it was just a matter of time before you betrayed me!”
A number of the Honor Guard shifted uncomfortably in their places, daring to shoot glances at the Lady sitting there on her throne.
“Guards, execute him!”
But the guards hesitated. Whispers ran through the crowd, and Toril laughed. He could feel the support of the crowd swaying away from the Lady and towards him.
“I’m beginning to see some things a little clearer. Tell me, my lady, how many people have you promised to make Captain of the Guard?”
“Execute him!” the Lady yelled, pushing herself to her feet.
Again the man laughed. “You think I’m going to let myself be killed for you? After all you have done to me! After all you have done to us!” he asked incredulously, gesturing to the crowd around him.
“I don’t think they have a choice!” the Lady yelled. “Guards! I gave you an order!” She looked wild and slightly crazy.
But the guards did not move. Apparently, the man’s words had hit home. And, apparently, he saw this as the opportunity to seize the power he had been promised.
He pointed an accusatory finger at the Lady. “Twelve years ago this woman said she was going to save the Kaze from the corruption that the last Lady had brought upon us! However, while we have been wasting away, losing our power and influence, she has been playing us like puppets!”
He brought his hands to his chest and looked around the gathered Kaze. “We have all suffered under her lies! Now is the time to get rid of her!”
“And who would take her place? YOU?” one woman cried out. Hinata recognized her as Charu, the woman Sora had fought in the city.
Toril bowed humbly. “Should that be the wishes of the Kaze, I, as the one who finally exposed the wrongdoing of the Lady, would be honored to take the throne.”
She snorted. “I seriously doubt that we would be stupid enough to put you, who just admitted to doing all of the Lady’s dirty work, into power. Besides, we need a strong leader, and you just got trounced by a couple of outsiders.”
“One of those outsiders just used intention,” one elderly lady pointed out. “We should not overlook the chance to regain what we have lost.”
“So you would make someone who wasn’t even a Kaze the Lord of the Wind!” Charu asked incredulously. Naruto looked at both of them in shock. What the hell were they talking about! He didn’t want to be the Lord of the Wind!
The old woman fixed her with an icy stare. “I believe he just proved himself to be more Kaze then most of us, including you, Charu.”
“But what about Sora?” another woman said. “It cannot be doubted that she came back to save us! If they know intention, then she must have been the one to teach it to them.”
“No! There’s no way a mercenary could learn how to use intention,” said one of the Honor Guards, shaking his head. “Nori must still be out there.”
“Then he should return and be Lord!” yelled another man.
“I am STILL the ruler here!” cried the Lady. “I will NOT be dethroned by some lying child! I have done none of the things he has accused me of!”
Toril just pointed up to one of the towers. “The jutsu users are there,” he said.
The Lady paled, as if it had never occurred to her that she could be so easily exposed. Several of the Kaze started running towards the tower, only to watch as two men in long dark coats with high collars emerged from one of the windows, moving up onto the roof before jumping hundreds of feet down onto the ground.
“There!” Toril yelled. “That’s proof enough!”
“I have no idea who those men were!” the Lady said frantically. “You obviously planted them! You are trying to overthrow and discredit me!”
“It isn’t hard to discredit someone who is so corrupt!” Toril said.
“No more corrupt than you!” Charu yelled back.
“Are you saying that you support the Lady staying in power?”
“I’m saying I don’t trust you!”
Naruto sat on the ground, still cradling the crying Hinata in his arms. But even though he held her gently, inside he was getting madder and madder. What the hell was their problem?
“We should get the boy to talk and tell us about the intention before we do anything,” said the old woman.
“He must have learned it from Nori!” said another man. “He’s the rightful heir to the throne. He must have sent them to pave the way for his return!”
“He left us! There is no reason why we should welcome his return!”
“Sora is the one who came back! She’s one of the most well respected women in the West and now she has returned!”
And instantly the entire courtyard was once again filled with the sounds of arguing Kaze, each yelling who they thought the next ruler should be. Naruto looked around at the crowd, shaking his head and gritting his teeth. Suddenly, he felt Hinata slip away from his grasp, and, as he watched, she moved to sit at Shivani’s side, taking one of the girl’s hands in both of her own. She dropped her head to her chest and burst into fresh sobs.
It was almost more than Naruto’s heart could handle. This wasn’t the way the plan was supposed to go. Instead of knocking Shivani out, Hinata had apparently killed the girl. They thought they would be able to get out and reveal that Shivani was alive before Toril was asked to kill himself. They thought there would be a period of time where they wouldn’t be under guard, when they would be considered members of the Kaze, where they could get Shivani out of the House. What she was going to do once she was separated from the Kaze, they weren’t sure, but it still seemed like the best option.
But now she was dead, and instead of having a calm, unguarded moment in which to sneak out, they were in the middle of a screaming match between all the Kaze.
Damn it! He shouldn’t have pushed the plan on Hinata. She had told him that she couldn’t do it; that there was no way for her to knock out Shivani without using her bloodlimit, but he hadn’t listened. And now both Shivani and Hinata were paying the price.
Anger bubbled up inside him as he watched Hinata cry over Shivani. Didn’t the Kaze understand? Didn’t they know that Shivani had died because she thought that it would save the rest of the clan? Why didn’t other people see things that were so obvious to him?
“You guys are a bunch of stupid idiots!” Naruto finally yelled.
The crowd gasped and turned around to look at him. He hauled himself to his feet, glaring at the crowd.
“Look at her!” He yelled, pointing a finger at Shivani. “She let us kill her because she thought that we had come here to start a revolution! She thought that Sora was going to overthrow the Lady once she was one of the Kaze again! We came here because two kids were going to be killed if we didn’t! Then you guys start talking about how Nori is going to return and save you all! Let me tell you, he’s not coming back! What the hell are you waiting for? Some sort of goddamn savior to come along and solve all your problems for you? No wonder you guys can’t use the principles anymore; you’re too goddamned scared to do anything! You sit around like a bunch of cowards too frightened to make the next move! Why would anyone want to save people who are too stupid to realize that they need to save themselves!”
He stood there, breathing hard as all the Kaze remained silent, most of them looking down at their feet. The silence in the courtyard was almost palpable, filling their mouths with a bitter taste.
“You stupid brats!” the Lady hissed. “This is my clan! These are my people! And I will not let you take them away from me!” Her hands jammed together and she started making seals. Shocked, the Kaze stepped back as they watched her begin a jutsu.
Hinata swallowed hard. Neither of them had anything left. If she attacked now, they were done for. Light started to blaze around the Lady as Hinata felt Naruto’s weight hit her and his arms wrap tightly around her. The earth underneath their feet started to shake.
She waited for the attack to come, but instead what she heard was an enormous crashing sound. The Kaze started screaming.
Naruto and Hinata looked up and were struck speechless by what they saw. The Lady’s Tower had completely collapsed, burying her and most of the Honor Guard completely in massive stone blocks. Dust fell over the courtyard as the Kaze stared at the tomb of their leader. Then they turned to look at Naruto and Hinata.
They looked at each other, just as bewildered as the rest of the Kaze. What could cause such a massive tower to fall?
And at that moment, Sora finally managed to make it through the seal. She and Raoul came flying out of the window, landing just ahead of the crowd and bolting over to where Shivani lay on the ground. Raoul landed on his knees with a hard smack, moving his hands to cup either side of her face.
“No,” he breathed, brushing a few errant strands of hair out of his sister’s face. “NO!” he yelled, putting his arms around her and pulling her up to his chest as she flopped in his arms. He clutched her close as he began to cry.
Hinata dropped the hand she had been holding and started backing away on her hands. “I-I didn’t mean to! I was tr-trying to kn-knock her out! But my aim...” her voice trailed off into tears.
The Kaze watched on in silent shame, their world in ruins around them. The crumbled tower lay in chunks down the stairs, their leader buried under the rubble, no doubt dead. They were divided, broken, and now completely without a sense of identity. The boy was right; they were cowards. And now they were paying the price.
“Raoul?” a man’s voice came.
He looked up at the man, still cradling Shivani’s body.
“Sir, now that the Lady is dead, along with most of her Honor Guard and council, there is no one in power. Because the Lady had no heir, as the Capitan of the Guards, you would be the next in line to be Lord of the Wind.”
Raoul shook his head. “I don’t want it.”
“What do you mean!” the man asked in shock.
“I don’t want to be Lord of the Wind. Nor do I think anyone else should be either.”
“We the Kaze were long one of the most powerful and well respected clans in the West. And we embraced that fact, and made it the center of our lives. However, we also forgot what it meant.”
“What do you mean?” one man asked.
“Many people have tried to duplicate the Kaze partner training, but few have succeeded because they don’t understand what it was that made the partners strong. Being a partnered pair does not make you two halves of a whole. Being a partnered pair means realizing that one plus one doesn’t always add up to two. Sometimes it adds up to more.”
“We lost that sense somewhere along the way. We became willing to make ourselves just one more gear in the clockworks, willing to do whatever our Lady told us to. That was when we lost who we were; when we stopped thinking for ourselves and let the Lady think for us. That’s not being a clan; that’s being drones.”
Raoul looked down at his sister. “We cannot remain deluded about the fate of those who place absolute faith and power in one person. We need to start thinking like a clan.”
“And what is your suggestion as to how to do that?”
“Re-elect the council and put our power in them.” There were gasps of shock from the crowd.
“There has always been a Lord or Lady of the Wind! And they have been the ones to appoint the council!” one man protested.
“And look where it got us!” Raoul yelled. “Look where we’ve ended up! Our powers diminished! Our numbers depleted! We’ve made a mockery of ourselves with our Lady buried underneath her own tower!”
Suddenly he seemed to deflate, all of the energy simply draining out of him and into the ground. “Please. I wasn’t even able to keep my sister safe. Go back to one of your heroes. One of them will surely save you.”
The Kaze shifted uncomfortably. The idea of a hero who would save them had somehow lost its appeal. And while the five people who stood in the center of the courtyard, sweaty and sad, didn’t look exactly like saviors, the Kaze somehow knew that they were the best hope their clan had for rebuilding.
“Will you at least preside over the election of a new council?” the man asked. “You are the only person who’s even remotely qualified to do so.”
Raoul stood, still cradling Shivani in his arms, head bowed to look at her face. He started to walk away towards the exit to the courtyard.
“Raoul?” the man asked.
“I will preside over the election of the council,” he said quietly.
“It needs to be done-”
“Hey!” Sora interrupted. The man turned to look at her. “Shut up, you idiot,” she said, walking to follow Raoul out of the courtyard. Naruto ushered a crying Hinata along behind them.
They moved down the hallway and into a small, sparsely-furnished sitting room. Raoul sat down in a chair, still clutching Shivani. He just stared at her, almost as if he was dead as well.
Hesitantly, Sora moved towards him. “Raoul, put her down,” she said, placing one hand on his shoulder.
He shook his head and refused to even look away. “I won’t let her go!” he whispered fiercely.
Naruto held Hinata tighter, burying his face in her hair as she cried.
Sora looked down at the girl wrapped tightly in her brother’s arms. Something was off. Sora had seen a lot of dead bodies, and something about this wasn’t quite right, nagging at the edges of her brain. Something she hadn’t been able to see until she was right up next to the girl. She tilted her head to one side, as she discreetly ran through a series of seals to activate one of the medical jutsus she’d learned from Tsunade. She stared for a good thirty seconds before it happened. A small breath and a single heartbeat.
“Hinata?” she asked, still staring at Shivani. Hinata sniffed and looked up at her. “What exactly were you trying to do?”
Hinata sniffed again and wiped her nose with the back of her hand. “I was trying to seal off the chakra to everything but her brain and slow her heart down. Enough blood and charka would get to her brain to keep her alive, but the beats are so far between that it’s hard to pick one up. It looks just like death, even on relatively close inspection.”
Sora rolled her eyes. “Hinata, if it looks like death even on relatively close inspection, then why didn’t you do more than a relatively close inspection?”
Hinata’s eyes went wide. “You mean...”
Sora smiled and reached over to lay one of her hands across Shivani’s collarbone. She closed her eyes and shoved a jolt of charka into the girl.
Shivani took a deep shuddering breath before she started to breath normally. Raoul’s eyes went wide as he watched his sister, still lying limp in his arms, begin to breathe quietly.
Sora yawned and stepped back, dusting her hands off. “Sorry kids, that’s all the chakra I have left from taking down that damn seal.”
“She’s alive?” Raoul questioned, barely able to believe it.
“’Course she is. Hinata just sealed her up.” Sora shook her head. “Girl doesn’t have enough confidence in herself. She did it even when she didn’t believe she could.”
Hinata was shaking from head to foot, staring at Shivani. “You mean I didn’t...”
Sora dismissed her fears with a wave of her hand. “Nah. Give her a few days for all her chakra holes to re-open, and she’ll be fine.”
Hinata stood there for a second in shock, before her knees gave out on her and she collapsed in tears once again. Naruto managed to catch her just before she hit the ground. He looked down at the girl in his arms, then up at his sister. She too, he noticed, was crying just a little bit. Even Raoul was crying.
He looked at the three of them. They were lucky he knew it was cool to cry when you were happy.
Hell, he was crying too.
Naruto and Hinata wandered around the halls, trying to find their way back to the dorms. Even after a week, they hadn’t quite been able to grasp the layout of the compound with its mazes of corridors. Normally, they would have just stopped someone and asked, but tonight, everyone was partying.
For the first time in eleven years, the Kaze felt they were back on their feet again. In a moment of weakness after having discovered that his sister was indeed alive, Raoul had agreed to be the next Lord of the Wind, although with a far more limited scope of power than his predecessors, at his insistence. The council had been elected, the debris from the tower cleared, and the bodies buried, along with more than a few ghosts.
Hope finally had come into view at the end of the tunnel, and the Kaze were celebrating. The ban on wearing anything but uniforms had been lifted, and now the people were an explosion of color and pattern. Music blared loudly as people danced and children ran around playing and laughing until they finally slept in exhaustion. Everyone had been stuffed to the limit and the alcohol had flowed freely. After an extensive argument with Sora and a promise that they weren’t going to tell anyone back in Konoha, they had been permitted to try one glass of wine each, which seemed to make them more sleepy than anything else. The party had gone on and on into the night, and was currently showing no signs of stopping.
Having tired of watching a rather tipsy Sora dance around with every eligible man in the Kaze while constantly being shadowed by Shivani, and knowing that the sun was just about to rise, Naruto and Hinata had called it quits and begun the long search for their dorm rooms.
What they found instead was the ocean.
“Wow,” Hinata murmured, looking out over the water. The sun was just starting to peek out over the ocean, illuminating the land and sea to their left.
“It’s beautiful!” she whispered, before taking in a deep breath of sea air. The wind blew off of the sea and the strands of hair that had fallen out of her bun fluttered in the wind.
Naruto was too busy watching her to watch the sunrise. Somehow, even standing there hunched over the railing, with her bun falling out and her eyes sleepy, she looked like a lady.
He wondered if trying to kiss her right now would be a perverted thing to do.
He was shaken out of his thoughts by Hinata’s voice. “I can’t believe we did it.”
It took a moment for her words to sink in, but when they did, he grinned, and shook his head. “Of course we did it! You just need to have a little more faith in yourself, Hina-chan.”
She smiled up at him. “You seem to have enough faith for the both of us.”
He blushed red and rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. “Yeah, well, I’m good at that.”
She stared at him incredulously for a second, and then burst into a peal of giggles. It was so true, so like him, and just so darn cute for him to say that.
He grinned at her smiling face and bent down to kiss her on impulse. She started, and then tentatively started to return the kiss, happiness rushing through her. Life didn’t get much better than this.
They finally broke away, smiling at each other, still wrapped in each other’s arms.
“You wanna stay out here for a while?” Naruto asked. Hinata’s smile widened, and she nodded her head.
Naruto hopped up onto the balcony railing and pulled Hinata up in front of him. Being careful not to touch her in any way that might be perverted, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his chest, leaning against the wall. She settled back into his arms happily, laying her arms over his and entangling their fingers.
They were almost asleep, when Naruto suddenly noticed something about the top of her head. “Hey, you’re not wearing those hair stick thingies.”
She yawned, allowing herself to turn her head so that it nestled into his shoulder, her head tucked under his chin. “I’m afraid I might break them, and they’re so pretty. I’m saving them for special occasions.” She yawned again, and fell asleep in his arms.
He frowned as he drifted off to sleep, pulling her closer to him. He was going to have to get her more.
“Damn it! My camera’s back with my stuff in that hotel!” Sora complained.
Raoul shook his head. “Don’t worry; we’ll send someone to pick it up tomorrow. If anyone is sober enough, that is.”
Sora chuckled and looked back at the pair, sound asleep on the railing. “We should probably move them, or they’re going to fall off.”
He nodded his agreement, but neither of them moved to do anything. They just stared at the couple nestled up together.
“There was something odd about the tower where the genjutsu users were supposed to be,” Raoul said finally.
“What do you mean, odd?”
“There were two bodies – strangers, not Kaze – that were found. It seems they had been killed sometime during the day. Toril is being completely uncooperative, but I’m getting the feeling those weren’t the men he hired who escaped.”
“Really?” Sora pondered this for a second, trying to figure out what it signified. “So you think there was outside interference?”
He shook his head. “I don’t know what it means.”
“That was a damn good seal they had on the window,” she said.
“Yeah, I know.”
“Are you thinking they’re the one’s who killed the bitch?”
“If so, you have a potentially rough road ahead of you.”
They were silent for a moment.
“What are you going to do about Toril?” Sora finally asked.
Raoul sighed and dragged a hand over his face. “We’re not doing anything with him for right now, just like with the rest of the Lady’s followers. I doubt that many of them will be elected to sit on the council, and they won’t stay long once they realize that no one trusts them enough to give them any real power.”
“Not worried that they’re going to corrupt the rest of the clan and start another coup, are you? Maybe you should bail anyways.”
Raoul was silent for a long time before he finally spoke. “When my mother was dying, I almost took Shivani and left. What was there left for us here in a clan that persecuted us? But when I told her of my plan, my mother shook her head and told me I couldn’t do that. I protested that the clan was poisoned and slowly dying, just as she was.”
He shook his head and took in a ragged breath. “But she told me that you couldn’t poison a clan because a clan is not one entity. People within a clan might be poisoned, but the whole clan itself cannot. Somewhere within the clan there was someone whom the poison did not affect and as long as they were there, the clan was not lost.”
Sora smiled. “And so you stayed.”
He nodded. “And so I stayed. And so I ended up with a royal mess on my hands.”
“Still, the fact that you stayed seems to me to be a pretty good indicator that you’re the right person to clean it up.”
“And what about you?”
“What about me?”
“Are you really planning on rejoining the clan?”
Sora just snorted.
Raoul smiled and leaned back against one of the columns. “You know, you wouldn’t have to actually become a daughter of the Kaze again. You could just hang out around here for a while. The kids could learn some of the advanced stuff; it would be a shame to have the only intention user of this generation walk out our doors without working with some of the older members who used to be able to use the principles.”
“Yeah, well, there are certainly a lot of other things that he could learn in places other than here.”
He tried going at her ego. “You know, now that they’ve passed the test, they’re technically the same rank as you.”
Sora rolled her eyes and shook her head at his strategy. But at the same time, it was starting to seem like it might not be such a bad idea. Watching a clan try to rebuild was undoubtedly a very educational experience. It was a chance to get them exposed to real life politics, rather than all the theory she has been making them learn. Especially since Hinata was going to become head of her clan (as Naruto continuously told her) and Naruto was to become Hokage (as Naruto continuously told everyone else).
Plus, she could brush up on a few things.
And the food was good.
“You’re not gonna try and make me wear one of those damn uniforms, are you?”
Sitting out on a cliff overlooking the palace, two men watched as the Kaze celebrated in the courtyard.
“I hate to say that Itachi was right, but they did come out of their rabbit hole,” one of the men said in a low, gravely voice. His huge shoulders shifted under his cloak as he settled himself onto a rock.
“Still, we were the ones who found the boy,” said the other man, pulling his hat down closer to the collar of his cloak. “And I, for one, am not inclined to tell Itachi he was right.”
The man started in surprise at his partner. “Are you saying we shouldn’t tell the others, Shiraku?”
The man sniffed and turned away from the scene in front of him. “Why should we tell them? They will never come looking for them here, and I doubt Sora is going to want to advertise her presence.” His voice lilted as he walked smoothly down the path away from the Kaze.
The larger man stood and took a few big, heavy steps to catch up. “So we leave them there?”
Shiraku nodded and continued to walk along. “I am intrigued by the technique he used to counter our genjutsu. If he learns to focus the energy of the Kyuubi, that could be something we could pull out of him when the time comes.” He laughed softly in a high, tinkling voice. “Just think about the interesting things we could do with that, Nadare.”
“So we’re leaving without them?” Nadare asked.
“We’ll just let them sit tight for a while and keep an eye on them. Let them taste a little happiness before we tear them down.”