"Lord Maboroshi . . ."

"Is that all you wanted?" She nodded. "Okay." He turned around and started to walk away.

"Wait . . .! Apologize."

"I'm sorry."

"Not to this one . . . To her. And explain, in case she doesn't already know."

"Fine," he said. At that point, he decided to turn his charm back on. "You know, by the way you give orders, it seems you almost forget that I am technically the one in charge of you."

Hayden rolled her eyes when he flashed a smile back at her. "Get out of here."


The stinging of her eyes and the urge to blink was nearly unbearable while laying on her belly. It was probable that holding a staring contest so close to the dirt, with a cat, no less, was not the best idea of Krystal's after all. To add pressure, she felt the eyes of everyone else on her and Luna, as there was not much else for even mild entertainment.

There were, however, two shinobi who were not paying attention. Tsume was busy, scowling as she opened two cans of juice in front of her, both seeming to be a type of orange-flavored lemonade. Sasuke was watching her, though she did not realize it as it was only a side-long glance. Her behavior was quite peculiar, as from pink pigtails, coy amber eyes, and cat-like curiosity, she should be more bubbly-especially at twelve years old. There was a look in her eye that he knew particularly well: the look of someone seeking revenge.

For a moment, she looked at the crowd to check that they were still occupied; Sasuke had diverted his look momentarily, but he looked back just in time to see her pull out the roots off a Ninja Wolfsbane in a plastic sandwich bag from her kunai pouch. The roots were crushed and then she sprinkled some of them into one of the open cans before putting the bag away. There was a rustle of bushes that suddenly lightened her face as she pounced up.

"Maboroshi-sama, you're back!" she exclaimed and trotted over to him, hugging his arm to lead him back. Quickly, before anyone noticed, Sasuke switched the drinks. "It's been quite a day. Please . . . have a drink. I even opened it for you!" Tsume offered the can she thought was poisoned to Maboroshi.

With a charming smile, he accepted, "Thank you. Tsume-chan," and bumped cans with the one in Tsume's grasp before they both began drinking. Tsume finished hers in one huge gulp, smirking at Maboroshi.

Yeah, that's right Maboroshi-sama . . . drink up. It's all your fault that they're dead. Takashi, Kakuju, Akakana-sama, Mizumaru-all of them are be- Suddenly, she could no longer feel her lips or skin, yet there was an intense pain racking through her entire body. She could hardly breathe, and as she had her hands clenched around her throat, that did not help. Everyone's eyes were on her, wondering what was going on. N-no! Th-the poison! But . . . I know I grabbed the right one! It can't be!

The poison traveled through her small body quickly, to quick for Ino to get over to her and see what the problem was to solve it. Can crushed in her hand, she collapsed, Luna pouncing on her back to protect the body soon after. Ino checked Tsume's pulse and shook her head; the Moon Village ninja, was dead. "From the looks of it, she was poisoned by the Ninja Wolfsbane, but I don't know where she got it from or who poisoned her with it . . ."

Sasuke reached into Tsume's kunai pouch and pulled out the plastic bag with the roots, explaining how she had poisoned the drink before handing it to Maboroshi, but he switched the cans.

"Wooooooow! You're so cool, Sasuke-kun!" Ino exclaimed, her eyes sparkling with hearts.

Maboroshi placed a hand on Sasuke's shoulder in thanks. "I owe you my life, specially, it seems. What can I do to repay you?"

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