The Calm Before the Storm

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~Sasuke's POV ~

We were moving on to the last stretch of the race. Sakura was doing better and was able to keep her eyes open but she was still in no condition to fight. Idate was doing better as well thanks to Natsuki but he had to be carried by the black wolf. The image of Natsuki practically kissing that guy was enough to make my blood boil. I get that it was to save his life, but couldn't she of done something else?!

I looked over my shoulder to Natsuki, her eyebrows were tilted towards the center of her face in annoyance and determination. The rain had let up but she still looked like a drowned rat. I looked back to the front and spotted a bridge ahead.

We broke through the foliage of the trees and made our way to the bridge, we should only just make out the shape of the other runner.

"It's Fukusuke!" Idate called out. He and the black wolf picked up speed.

"Wait, Idate!" Natsuki called out a warning and before we knew what hit us, we were lying sprawled out on the ground with mild burns.

"You should all quit doing useless things. There is no way anyone can withstand this sword." The rain ninja -Aoi- said holding up an electrically sword. Small warps of lightening flickered around the sword's blade.

"The... Raijin no Ken..!" Idate choked out.

"You know the sword well, Idate. Well, I would hope so seeing as you were the one who stole it."

Suddenly, something went flying at the rain ninja. He opened his unbrella and blocked the attack. The substance dripped to the ground.

"A mud ball... That's how a kid would fight." Aoi spoke.

I looked back and saw Naruto and Natsuki clutching handfuls of mud, each with a hard expression.

"Sorry, but I seem to be a little short on kunai." Naruto said.

"I just thought it looked fun, so I joined in." Natsuki shot a smirk.

Naruto performed the Shadow Clone Jutsu and started to form a ball of materialised chakra in his hand. One by one, the clones charged forward to attack but were quickly taken care of by the rain ninja's lightning sword. When all of the clones disappeared, Naruto used the smoke as a cover to attack. But the rain ninja over powered him.

"Ninpou; Jouro Senbon." The rain ninja said and by spinning his umbrella, a wave of senbon needles flew into Naruto.

The rain ninja turned his attention to Idate and readied to kill him. Naruto tried to divert his attention but it didn't work. Just as Aoi was about to run Idate through with a sword, Natsuki tackled him to the ground.

The two ninja rolled along the ground fighting each other off. Natsuki over powered him and pinned him to the ground. Natsuki threw punch after punch at the opponent, her knuckles slowly started to bleed but she ignored it and kept going.

"Natsuki, stop!" I exclaimed but she made no sign she heard.

Natsuki pulled back her fist and I caught the glimpse of pure adrenaline and joy shining in her eyes. I almost didn't recognize the girl in front of me. Natsuki went to bring her fist back down on the enemy as a final strike but Aoi backhanded her, kneed her in the stomach, and kicked her off him. Natsuki rolled and went right over the edge of the cavern the bridge crossed.

"Natsuki!!" I exclaimed in panic and watched her white wolf almost in hast as it leaped over the cliff after the girl without hesitation.

I canned my neck to the enemy as he wiped the blood from his face. I activated my Sharingan and formed a Chidori. I charged at the enemy and thrusted my Chidori forward. The enemy blocked with his Raijin no Ken and he neutralized the attack.

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