Chapter Fifteen ~ A C-rank Mission

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"What's wrong?" Aiden asked as he noticed me stiffen, peace on the top of the hill disturbed.

I tugged myself away from him and stood, dusting my coat. "Kakashi," I greeted.

"What? Cashile, are you okay?" Aiden asked, propped up on his forearms and clearly perplexed about why I was speaking Kakashi's name. Kakashi hadn't yet appeared over the top of the hill.

I sighed, not feeling the need to explain myself. Kakashi explained for me, taking that moment to step into view. "Cashile," he replied.

"Is it time already?" I asked, picking at my nails in a bored manner. I knew this interrogation would go absolutely no where.

Kakashi nodded. "The boy is awake,"

"It," I corrected. I was promptly ignored.

"Come on, Cashile. Lets go."

***

So far, the boy refused to break. But now he was talking, so that was something new.

"You were the one we all tried to emulate," the boy said, no emotion in his voice and no soul in his eyes, staring at nothing in particular but clearly addressing me. "You were the one we wanted to be. Do you know what we called you? The others, the ones who weren't the Claw? The ones who were just kept in storage until it was their turn? Do you know what we called you?"

I stared at him, no interest in my eyes. Being near someone from The Rising Phoenix always did this to me, always made me more Claw-like, more--

"Mujōna," the boy whispered. "Soulless."

"What's in a name?" I replied flippantly.

Ibiki shot me a concerned look, studying me closely. He didn't know everything, I reminded myself. He didn't know everything I did, everything that was done to me.

"I'm telling you Ibiki, you aren't going to get anything from It," I restated.

"We have to try," Ibiki replied. "On my watch," he motioned to his team. "I'm going in again,"

"Good luck with that, then. My presence here is useless."

Ibiki ignored me, and I took that as my cue to leave. Damn. Well I wasted a perfectly good afternoon.

As I walked out of the hospital room, I tensed and shifted to my side, in a stance prepared to defend and attack.

I eased my stance slightly when the ANBU appeared in front of me. "You've been summoned by the hokage." He intoned, promptly disappearing once his message was delivered. Why were all ANBU such a talkative bunch?

"Aye aye," I muttered to the empty space in front of me.

I jumped from the window, noting the flickers of movement that were my ANBU entourage as I flew through the air. Two more had been added to my little protective team since the attack. With a sigh I enter the Hokage building, strolling up the stairs as though I had all the time in the world and was definitely not curious about what mission Team Ten would be given.

I knocked on the door as I opened it, ignoring Tsunade's glare of irritation.

"So?" I questioned. "A mission I presume?"

She raised her right eyebrow in a questioning manner. "And if I were to say no?"

"By your hypothetical question, body language and tone of voice I already know it is, so you can get to the point," I pointed out.

She sighed and rubbed her forehead. "Team ten's first C-rank mission. An interception. Do you think that they're ready?"

"Yes," I replied without hesitation. "Their skills have improved significantly and the experience wouldn't do them harm. And if anything goes wrong on the mission I'll always be there to do my job," I said.

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