Chapter 34: Unwanted Distraction

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"Let's stop here."

Koji points at a stream of water. We do need to refill our water bottles. We've been making our way to the tower for the past two hours.

"Want to catch some fish while we're at it?"

Maru playfully suggests. I personally think it'll be fun!

"The more we stall, the more likely we'll run into enemies."

But Koji disagrees, as always. Sometimes I feel like this guy is way too serious. How did he ever end up with someone as superficial as Mari?

Speaking of the devil... Her and her team seem to have had the same idea as us. They're at the opposite end of the lake and don't seem to have noticed us yet.

"Let's go..."

Koji says in a low voice so that they don't hear us.

"Why? We're allies aren't we?"

Maru really wants to take every opportunity to talk to Hana.

"Huh?"

Oh great... Mari and the others spotted us thanks to Maru's loud voice... They make their way over to us. They all look at us with disdain.

"Well, well. Who do we have here?"

Mari sarcastically states. I don't think this is going to end well... Koji pulls me behind him. Is he trying to protect me? This is the first time he actually actively opposes Mari for my sake. Usually he just tries to ignore things. I see Mari frowning.

"Your ex-loser seems to have found a new toy."

As always, Hana doesn't filter any of her words. It's like she's constantly spitting venom every time she opens her mouth. I haven't really talked to her much before, but I've heard her talk to other people.

"Hey, Hana! Did you guys find your two scrolls? If you did, let's head back to the tower together."

I almost face palm in exasperation. Maru just doesn't seem to read the situation. Either that or he just ignores to read it for the sake of his love interest. On top of that, he just told them that we have both scrolls with us.

Jun then puts an arm around Hana's shoulders.

"Hana's mine, you hear me asshole? Don't even look at her if you care for your life."

That's just way too cheesy to even look at. Maru doesn't seem to think so. He actually looks really angry. This is bad. If this goes on, it'll turn into a fight. Then again, why is it bad? This will give me a chance to back at Mari. No! What am I thinking? We're in a foreign land and we should stick together as Sunagakure shinobi. Besides, the mission states that it is absolutely necessary that as many of us make it through to the finals.

"So you losers got your two scrolls already?"

Mari starts closing in on us. Hana and Maru follow her. I take out my kunai, putting myself in a defensive position. Maru and Koji do the same. This causes Mari's group to stop approaching.

"I guess you won't just cooperate and give us the scroll we need."

Mari and Jun take out their kunai as well. Hana takes out her oversized katana. So we have no choice. We have to fight or they're going to take the scroll we worked so hard to get.

"Mari, you've reached a new low."

"Shut up, Kiu! You're the one who keeps ruining my life!"

Mari starts charging at me. I get ready to fend off her attack, but Koji blocks it instead. Mari grunts and glares at him.

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