The man lowered his eyes in a subservient manner. "Yes, my lady."

"Good. The Phoenix will rise again, Riyuji. And on that day, it will rise under my command."

I filed the information away. The Phoenix was obviously some sort of organization, and this woman must have been the leader. She held power; I could see that much. But was she herself powerful, or was she only powerful through the people that followed her, who fought for their cause? She clearly could maneuver easily and manipulate well, pulling and weaving strings in a perfect picture.

In other words, I realized, we were much alike.

If I could somehow work my way into her favor, fake sympathy, or even use my own powers of manipulation to turn her army against her...

I could escape.

They couldn't break me.

I would have to try.

***

Oh God. Oh God. OhGodohGodohGodohGodohGod.

I would be screaming the words, but my throat had long since been damaged beyond the point of any noise escaping.

The woman was completely vulnerable and I was unchained, but I couldn't do anything to attack. I couldn't do anything except concentrate on the smallest trickle of air bubbling through my throat and hope that it wouldn't cease. My cheek was pressed into the floor and I was eye to eye with my dismembered pinky.

"You'll have to reattach her finger," I heard the woman's voice float past me, "I don't want it to interfere with her functionality."

My breath stuttered and I wasn't sure if I was praying for it to stop and let me die or if I still clung to the skin of this life, fighting for survival.

A small, pitiful, inhuman noise escaped my torn lips as I was yanked upright by my long pigtails. The flap of skin that once covered my right cheek fell open and away from the muscle, igniting new levels of pain in my already battered body. I knew, I knew that eventually it would be healed, leaving a scar but not a disability, but that didn't help any.

"Who are you?" The man growled, shaking me slightly.

I felt each cut, each exposed, raw burn, the throbbing stump that was once my pinky, the swollen mass of flesh that was once my eye, the chapped and torn lips that once made such stupid, sarcastic responses, felt the broken leg and sprained ankle and dislocated toe and missing fingernails and toenails and something inside of me died.

As the realization overcame me, a tear slipped out of my one functional eye, stinging my destroyed cheek as the salty water made contact. I opened my mouth, and it took me a while to work the sentence from my raw throat.

"I... Am... Nothing."

__________________________

Heyyyy.

Wow. This is it. We've finally posted the sequel.

Do you like the cover? I made it myself (as I do all my covers lol). This is one of my absolute favorite covers so far though. I dunno, there's just something about it I really really like. What do you guys think? Like it? Don't like it?

Btw I do make covers for anyone who requests it. I just ask that you let people know it was me who made the cover. A follow is nice and always appreciated but by no means do I ask for any payment other than credit.

ANYWHO.

What do you guys think? Rather short, so we'll try to get the first chapter out as soon as possible. Comments help with motivation!!!

Well, I sincerely hope you enjoyed this prologue. Fanart is lovely: just PM us for any details on how to send it to us!

Alrighty then!

Comment comment comment!

gaara119

Alright! You guys have no idea how excited I've been to post this prologue!! We know you guys have been waiting, and thank you for your patience! I really hope we lived up the expectations you guys have for this sequel and more!

What do you think about Cashile? I know, the descriptions of her injuries make me flinch too. (MUAHAHA I made my writing partner flinch ~gaara119) But alas, it had to happen, this torture involves strong methods.

ANYWHO

fan, vote, comment!!!! Encourage us to post  chapter 1 if you liked this prologue!!

Thanks again!!

-S

Comment, Vote and Fan!

Ja ne!

Insomniac_Lullabies

The Strength of Humanity (A Naruto Fan Fiction)Read this story for FREE!