Chapter 49 ~ Reunited

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Rieka trudged through the dense forest, pain surging throughout her entire body, her vision fading as she climbed over a fallen branch. Silence mixed with the cries of near by birds was all the brunette could hear, the wind was blowing madly, the rattle of trees brought upon an eerie feeling. Her feet dug through the dirt, mud spattering everywhere, clinging to her combat boots, an uncomfortable squidgy sound each time she stepped.

She was on the edge of Konoha, crawling deeper into the Nara Forests, a sort of safe haven she had retreated to every time she felt incomplete.

And right now she felt beyond incomplete.

Rieka had purposely stopped taken the painkillers Tsunade had prescribed her years before for her wounds which still ached. When she did take them it was a soft throb, painful but not unbearable. But when she didn't, the pain was indescribable, hitting her across her body in merciless waves.

Why didn't she take them? Simple, she wanted to drown away all her sorrow. The rain from earlier had done nothing, neither had cursing her own fate or the fates of others. Her last resort was to distract herself with inhumane pain, allowing herself to turn numb, emotionless inside.

Rieka couldn't let Naruto see her in the state she was in, so Rieka escaped to her haven, deep within the Nara Forests. Her breathing was sharp, her senses alive and paranoid, eyes darting at any slight noise. Eventually she emerged from the thick nature, stepping into a canopy of some sorts, the sky hidden from view.

Dead in the centre was a murky lake, glistening slightly in the moonlight that poured down from the crack in the trees, lighting up the area. Rieka always came her in times of doubts, she came her as a child, hiding away from judging eyes as she cried over her parents. She came here when she finally accepted Obito as a friend, she even came here when she lost both Obito and Rin. 

It had been years since she last walked across this land, it seemed to have overgrown, the wild fern and trees crowding around the dank water. Rieka's sea-form orbs scanned the land, she felt a strange wistfulness, being thrown into her own memories, mostly pleasant ones with a few not so pleasant ones. 

She let out a sharp breath, collapsing to her knees, her fingers digging into the dirt. Rieka raised her hand, earth scrunched up in her palm, staring innocently up at her. She let it crumble from her grasp, slipping from her fingers with a rough stoke.

A jet of pain racked through her very bones, her eyes shot up at the moon as she muffled a whimper, almost pleading to be let out of her misery.

'Thats enough..'

With shaky hands she pulled the capsule from her kunai pouch, popping the desirable little pill into her mouth, crunching down hard. Rieka felt the effect immediately, her muscled un-tensed as she let out a sigh of relief, collapsing down into the dirt, staring up at the night sky.

There was a familiar light throb but all extreme pain was gone, as her muscles screamed in protest, she allowed herself to rest for a few moments. Rieka's breathing had returned to normal and she was completely relaxed, her eyes drooping as she found herself nodding off to sleep.

But moments before she could, a sudden snap sent her mind haywire, her alarm bells ringing. Rieka jumped up, instantly regretting it as a wave of pain rippled through her, she masked it quickly. She went to draw a kunai but stopped herself, staring up in fear and curiosity at the stranger.

It was clearly a man, standing quite a bit taller than her, clad in a thick dark cloak and strange a orange mask, with only one eye hole. But the thing that sent her alarm bells off, was the fact that she couldn't sense anything coming from him.

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