Miku has gone missing and it's up to Ino to find her sister before something horrible happens.
Volume 1: The Girl with Two Names
Chapter 3: A Sister’s Heart
Shadows played across Hiruzen’s private office in his residence. Something felt off about it, not from any killer instinct but the chakra involved was almost tainted like the nine-tails but subdued. He made his way to the door leading to his library, something landed at his feet. A small pink ball landed on the ground at his feet. When he looked up the chakra he sensed was gone. His eyes looked over where his scrolls were stored mentally checking to see if anything was missing. Wait... the forbidden jutsu scroll, it’s gone. Minutes later an alarm sounded throughout the village.
Ino had almost reached her sister’s room when she heard the alarm. Sometimes Miku’s nightmares lasted a few nights afterward, but something felt strange tonight. She knew Miku wasn’t in the room before she even opened the door. Visual confirmation followed a crude pile of pillows under her blankets. Ino didn't even notice her father until he spoke.
“Ino you and Miku stay here and protect your mother… “, he stopped as he reached Miku’s door. Why hadn't he noticed sooner, he could tell even Ino was surprised. With quick strides, he was by her bed and saw it, a small tag when sent out a subtle amount of chakra. It was enough to fool him into thinking Miku was still in their home.
“That’s the strange chakra I sensed… I thought that she was not having a nightmare for a change.”
Inoichi could hear her voice breaking and hugged her. “You stay here… I’ll bring Miku back” He was certain the alarm had something to do with this. Had someone figured out about nine-tails?
He was gone before Ino could speak up about the tag, it was familiar somehow. She knew enough to dispose of it and felt honored that her father left it to her, but when she picked it up she began noticing small things about the tag itself. Having worked in their mother’s flower shop both Miku and Ino had gotten used to being able to read people by just their hands alone, along with other body cues. Both of them thought of it as great training since it worked so well with the Yamanaka clan secrets that both of them considered it a rite of passage.
That training returned to Ino as she looked at the brushstrokes on the tag itself. Subtle hints about the person began to emerge. Mizuki-Sensei? This was his handwriting; all of the subtle variations she placed on his characters were there. She had seen it enough during her time at the Academy, professional but with certain ticks that reminded her of anger in it. She didn’t need to interpret the writing to notice the anger, every girl in the class noticed it, but he was a teacher so they didn’t bring up what they noticed and just avoided him where they could. There was no way that Miku would willingly turn to Mizuki for such a tag. She had to tell her father.
She had just found a place to hide and read the scroll, and wouldn’t you know it? The first technique dealt with clones, a jutsu she struggled with. “I am going to master you” as she read and started practicing the hand signs for her she didn’t notice Mizuki watching from the distance.
The Hiruzen had given Inoichi a sign “after the briefing” as the available ninja gathered around the Hokage in response to the alarm. So the Hokage things this involves Miku as well.
“A few minutes ago my personal library was broken into and a scroll was taken. Whoever did this knows us far too much for my comfort. The walls have not been breached so I want you to spread out in pairs and find the intruder before he can escape.” The Hokage absently squeezed the pink ball he had found. He was sure Miku was involved but couldn’t imagine why, or who would have put her up to it, it seemed out of character. “Once you’ve found the intruder report and observe.”
As the ninja branched out he held back Inoichi handing the pink ball to him.
“This is Miku’s, I thought her to use this as a distraction when she was five. I found a seal attached to her pillow that mimicked her chakra, enough to fool me. ….”
“Daddy!!!!” the Hokage and Inoichi looked over to see Ino running towards them as quickly as she could “the seal was written by Mizuki”
“Ino why aren’t you at…”
Hiruzen raised his hand quieting Inoichi, as several disturbing thoughts started clicking together in his head. The Trouble that Mizuki had before the Academy suddenly came into view again. The Hokage thought that finally joining the Academy had settled him down but there were some lingering issues. “there is more to this.”
Ino looked nervously from her father to the Hokage, sure he had been around quite a lot but this seemed more professional than she was used to. The thought that Miku might be in danger calmed her “He’s creepy. None of us wanted to say something since he’s a teacher so normally we just avoid him, but he looks at you in this strange way as if he’s trying to figure out how to manipulate you. He’s done something to her I know it” her eyes pleaded with both the Hokage and her father to believe her.
“Inoichi pass the news find Mizuki at all cost…. Now, Ino if your sister wanted to hide somewhere, then where would she go?”
Iruka Umino sensei parried another attack, his right arm dangling from the various cuts, his other injuries just as bad. He had been fighting ever since reaching Tsubaki’s home founding 4 rogue ninja attacking his friend, toying with her much as a cat would toy with a mouse. The first didn’t see him until it was too late, unprofessional, but the other three proved to be far more capable than Iruka expected. Now, only one of the rogue ninja stood, but Iruka had taken severe damage in the fighting. He wasn’t certain if he would be able to defeat this last one.
“Orochimaru sends his regards” The Rogue ninja hoped the statement would create the opening he needed to finish off the konohagakure ninja in front of him. He has to be a Jonin, there was no other explanation, he was too skilled to be a simple Jonin, maybe even Anbu without the mask.
Iruka hesitated, what was going on here. Why was one of Orochimaru’s ninja here and after Tsubaki. Was Mizuki a spy?
The hesitation was all the rogue ninja needed, as he threw his Kunai at his opponent, but wait nothing left his hand. The rogue ninja felt a heaviness as his vision began to blur a bit. His arm. It was by his side hanging limply, the Kunai by his feet. It was then he noticed a blade sticking out from his chest. When had…
Iruka could see Hayate Gekko standing behind the now falling body. He coughed “What is going on Iruka?”
“Orochimaru.” Iruka limped over to where Tsubaki lay on the ground. She was Still alive but worse shape than he was in. He needed to get her to the hospital and fast, but he also needed to get word to the Hokage. He lost balance only to feel something furry holding him up.
“They are both in bad enough shape. You go inform the Hokage and I’ll treat them.”
Iruka couldn’t see who was speaking but he knew the voice, Hana Inuzuka which means it was one of the three Haimaru brothers who caught him. The Inuzuka specialized in fighting alongside specially trained ninja dogs. Hana, a medical-ninja, would be able to stabilize them long enough to transport them to the hospital. She had already sent one of her dogs to bring bore medical-nin to assist.
“Hana…” Iruka coughed up blood “Mizuki…”
She tried to calm him “You don’t need to speak right now, let me work”
“it’s… “ Iruka couldn’t seem to stop coughing “Mizuki is”
“Mizuki is involved. We know that’s why Hayate and I came here, now you rest and let me work”
The Hokage had sent Ino back home, but something was bothering. Not only that but Miku was in danger, Ino couldn’t just go home without helping her sister. She remembered another place her sister might hide, the Hokage would be busy and she was a genin now. Not far from the Konoha memorial was a very good place to train, by the river that flowed through the village. Ino was certain now that Miku would be there. She was rewarded with her faith to see her sister by one of their favorite napping places practicing something. Clone technique?
“Miku what are you doing? Everyone is worried” she stopped in front of her sister who looked up at her with the biggest grin she’d seen since the two were toddlers and Miku had swiped a cookie from their father.
“I did it… I’ve mastered the technique Mizuki suggested. Yeah, he’s creepy as all get out but his suggestion worked. I’ll show you” Miku was just too excited to pick up on the situation. She didn’t notice the sound of something heavy being thrown, several heavy kunai.
“watch out” Ino moved without hesitation embracing her sister twisting and putting her back between the kunai and Miku. Ino felt three kunai bury themselves into her back and side as the two landed on their sides.
Miku couldn’t believe her eyes, her sister had moved so fast. She was covered with blood what was going on? Miku looked now to where the kunai had been thrown and there stood Mizuki Sensei. What the hell?
“Give me the scroll now, It won’t do you any good anyway demon fox.”
“They hide you well and lied to you. You aren’t a Yamanaka and you are too stupid to realize it. Haven’t you wondered about the nightmares? Why you keep seeing things from the perspective of Kurama?” Mizuki had found all the reports on it, they were well hidden, but not enough if you looked in the right places. He could tell she was at a breaking point; he’d force Miku to release the nine tails and be gone. Ino would make a very good hostage with all those injuries. He could already see the faint changes in her eyes, red highlights beginning to show in her hair. “It’s clear the Yamanaka clan adopted you. Why? To use your power to make you think you were one of them. They would never have told you about your real parents… “ something near Miku distracted Mizuki. what? Ino was moving
"You bastard” Ino lifted herself up to her elbows while Miku sat there stunned. “How dare you manipulate my sister.” With strength, Ino didn’t realize she had she lept up to the branch Mizuki was standing on. The Kunai he hit her with pulled out, a trail of blood flying on Miku as her sister hit Mizuki as hard as she could, the momentum knocking both off the branch. Mizuki landed hard on the ground his left arm and right leg folded under him as he absorbed the impact for both of them. With his good hand, he punched Ino in the side and while she coughed he grabbed her by the neck. This was bad, broken leg and arm and he was certain some of his ribs were broken as well. Already his vision was shifting. He just didn’t expect such an attack from Ino. The same girl who gushed over Sasuke like the other girls at the academy had just sucker punched him and just about killed him. “Miku run... get away from him”
He could tell Ino was hurt from the exchange but her mind wasn’t on the injuries as she kept trying to fight back against Mizuki. He could still get away, he only needed to get the scroll. He looked up to where Miku was now standing; the look of pure rage from her burned into him, but the nine tails wasn’t to be seen in her. She was Just an angry girl who looked like a blonde Kunisha reborn.
“Let my sister go!” Miku screamed as she quickly went through the hand signs as expertly as a chunin releasing the jutsu, multiple shadow clone technique. One moment Mizuki was looking at a single angry girl, the next what seemed like a thousand doppelgangers.
Mizuki stood in shock hearing Ino gasp in his arms. Clone techniques were difficult as it is but to create a thousand, and they weren’t just shadow, they were solid. One clone stepped on a twig breaking it. Mizuki felt a pain in his right arm as something bite into it and hard causing him to release Ino who was caught by two of the clones. Fangs? He looked closely at the doppelganger who bite him. She alone had all red hair with fox like ears on the top of her head as well as human ears. She had the eyes of a fox and it seemed chkara was pouring out of the tiny fox like whiskers on her face. The Fox clone bit down hard as she reached up with clawed hands raking at his arm. Mizuki screamed as the clone’s teeth and fangs touched he flew to one side and his arm sailed away in the other. There was a puff of smoke and the fox-tailed doppelganger was gone. Mizuki couldn’t focus on this as wave after wave of doppelganger rushed in punching and kicking. Please, I surrender make it stop. Two impossibly large hands immobilized him.
Inoichi just arrived the moment Miku released her multiple shadow clone technique, who taught her that? His concern was with Ino who was being held by Mizuki. He was about to join the battle when he noticed one of the clones was different than the others. It was like looking at Kunisha Uzumaki all over again. That Fox like clone tore into Mizuki with all the anger he remembered seeing in Kurama, not again. I have to get to them. He leapt from his hiding spot rushing to Miku just as two of the clones brought a very injured Ino to her sister. In a moment he was kneeling by the two embracing them “you two are safe.”
“Daddy we’re genin now not little children” Ino spoke in a whisper as she buried her head into her father’s shoulder. “I had to save Miku... she’s my sister and I love her” Both girls were crying now and clutching to their father.
“no matter how old you girls will be you’ll always be my baby girls” out of the corner of his eye he could see the fox doppelganger stop after biting through Mizuki’s arm and look at him and finally vanish. A moment later he could see Choza’s expansion jutsu attack slam Mizuki into the ground pinning him there. The answer to the earlier conversation with the Hokage was now in front of him, he would have talked to Miku. Part of him wished he had told her sooner, the shock wouldn’t have been so great. Still, he was proud of his two daughters, they protected each other and looked after each other regardless of genetics.
Mizuki wasn’t sure how long he was unconscious; when he came to he was lying on a table with a medical-nin tending to his injuries. They want information from me, looking around he could see he was surrounded by anbu, Konohagakure’s elite ninja. They weren’t taking any chances. He could hear a door open and close but couldn’t see who did it. What he did see chilled him. The anbu ninja, men and women used to being sent to on the hardest of missions flinched and took several steps backward. The medical-nin stood her grown, he could see now it was Hana Inzuka, not even hellfire would get that woman to flinch.
“I’ve met some stupid people before, but you win hands down” Hana spoke to him as he heard menacing footsteps move towards the table. He still couldn’t see who it was. “Only a fool would hurt his daughters and you are now patched up enough to answer his questions. Kindly die afterwards”
Hana moved to the side of the room quickly followed by the anbu who looked like they would rather be elsewhere right now.
Mizuki gulped looking at the face of Inoichi Yamanaka who had a look on his face that would likely have terrified the nine tails itself. Suddenly Mizuki wished with all his heart the fox-tailed clone had killed him.