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Leaf Chronicles: Chapter Two

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High above The Land of Fire, a perfectly porcelain moon crept overhead the sleeping countryside. Dark fields of grass whispered and hissed as pairs of soundless feet passed through. Two figures could be made out, moving through the tall growth at breakneck speed - shinobi silhouettes. It was only when the one leading came to an abrupt halt, signalling the other to stop, they ceased their relentless approach. The second runner, a blonde Genin boy by the name of Aethelm, quickly caught up to his comrade in front. The foremost sentinel, Alther, lowered his mask, green eyes narrowed on the blackness ahead, an impassive hunter's watch developed from years of studying under Sensei Chookcha.  After motioning to approach, Alther began to trudge into the void. Aethelm took a breath. 'Have we already reached The Forest of Death?', he pondered within his own mind. He dare not speak, for the mission bore too much secrecy. There was a soft jingle ahead - Alther's touch had found metal wire.

After passing the gate, they delved deeper into the forest to find a growing light. The swamp gases bubbled and belched beneath their feet as they ran, but they paid no mind. Aethelm let out a stifled shout, "They're here.", but Alther's two tomoe were already scanning the figures ahead. Seven of them stood in robes of white with red streaks, each of their faces guarded by masks of the most trusted Leaf Operatives. 

Among them,

Grim the Ubiquitous - an agent who had infiltrated the Brotherhood in its early days, his loyalty to The Leaf was proven through intelligence he gathered.

Karu the Silver Tongued - serving diplomat to Alther's band of terrorists (formerly Chookcha's students), his loyalty was proven through enduring the rogue's company in meetings.

Fuin of the Dojutsu - youngest, weakest, and all but prepared - Fuin had been forced into a life of rebellion when Lord First, Ushinawareta Sarutboi, had pardoned the woman who had killed his parents.

Asura of the Waves - a pureblood Senju, an individual that carried a unique set of abilities, Asura was a hardline extremist hidden beneath a mild manner.

Moody of the Foul Mouth - able to provoke any issue, this man was supposed to be the leader of The Hidden Leaf Village originally but he canNOT chill.

Jomer of the Beats - initially a member of The Sound Village Invasion, Jomer honed his sharingan and resisted the rogue temptations.

Matahachi Sarutobi - by happenstance, this rogue had woken up at four o'clock in the morning and found these kids about to kill a boss that the rogues would never let them kill during the day. He decided, in the most real moment, to not be cringe and to actually -help- us.

Also worthy of mention, Aethelm the Unhinged - one of the youngest of the group, this blonde lightning specialist served as Alther's bodyguard and sensory specialist. His loyalty was assured with each victory.

It was with this rag-tag team that Alther intended to carry out what only his Master had been able to accomplish. As provisions were dispersed, ANBU masks raised and hungry mouths fed, his watchful gaze never faded. After two weeks of planning, he had decided that the only time to strike would be at night, while the majority of rogue forces slept. The fable they sought was a basilisk - a scaled beast known to dwell in The Forest of Death. In this time the beast's power was pure, so great was it, that even an army of forty shinobi stood a chance of being slain just from the sight of its stone grey eye. For assuredly, some had accomplished the task of slaying basilisks - but not without an army. The fabled conquerors, Ko'taki Ryu and Akari Uchiha, had led a successful hunt of a sea serpent off the coast of Port Hachou, or so the farmers said.

With fewer powerful shinobi defending The Hidden Leaf Village, if they could not succeed here, they would never be able to surpass Chookcha. This was the final barrier he had left in Alther, Asura and Moody's training. Chookcha's departure came to mind, only for a moment, all he would allow. Alther looked upon each of the faces assembled in that grove, unaware that this would be the last night he would spend with all of his friends together again. 

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