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Chapter Five: Orochimaru's Ambush

Naruto and the others strolled through the city streets, enjoying the sunshine. The village bustled with activity, and Sora took special care to keep up with Naruto. He stopped though when he heard a girl’s voice call his name.

“Hey there, cutie. What’s your name?” Sora turned to see a girl with long blonde hair looking at him with a giggle. She walked to him and leaned at him with her hands behind her back. “You from around here? If not, I’m sure I could show you around…”

Sora blushed and stumbled on his words. “Um, well, I, ah…” Naruto came just in time. He glared at the girl angrily.

“Geez Ino! What’s the matter with you? Keep away from my buddy here! Go chase after Sasuke or something!” Ino glared back at Naruto, then blew Sora a kiss and zipped off. Sora stood there in a daze before Donald jumped up and whacked his head with his staff.

“Eeyouch! What was that for, Donald?” Donald just rolled his eyes and went back to Goofy. Naruto put his arm on Sora’s shoulder and smiled.

“Don’t worry about her. That’s Ino, and she’s usually chasing after guys in this village, but mostly Sasuke. I’ll show him to you later.” Naruto grinned again when he saw an elderly man in a long cloak with a wide-brimmed hat standing on a high balcony with a small brown-haired boy. Naruto turned around and pointed, “Hey guys! That’s the Third Hokage! Come on, let’s go say hi!” He ran up the side of the wall towards him, and Sora, Donald and Goofy wobbled after him.

The Third Hokage glanced over and noticed Naruto hop easily onto the balcony. He also noticed Sora and the others straining to pull themselves up over the side. When they finally made it up (with a painful effort), he smiled.

“Hello Naruto. I see you’ve made some new friends.” He turned to introduce himself. “I am this village’s Third Hokage. Pleased to meet you.” He was startled when the brown-haired boy appeared on top of his hat, grinning like a chimp.

“Gramps! You forgot to introduce your own grandson? The name’s Konohamaru, the future Hokage!” Before he could say anymore, Naruto yanked him off the Third Hokage’s head with a crash. The two argued with each other rather loudly.

“Whaddya mean YOU being the future Hokage? That’s gonna be me you little brat! Believe it!”

“You big creep! Everyone knows I’ve got Hokage blood! I’m a shoo-in!”

“Oh yeah? I’ll give you blood, you mangy little-!” Sora restrained him from continuing further. The Third Hokage chuckled.

“You never know who could be the next Hokage, Naruto.” He walked over to face the four enormous stone faces that oversaw the village. “The Hokage is always one who is strong enough to protect the entire village, and willing to risk his life. To be Hokage means to recognize that this whole village is your family, and they must be protected at all costs.”

Goofy sniffed and blew his nose. “Gawrsh, that’s beautiful.” Donald whacked him on the head with his staff again.

Naruto grinned again and replied, “That’s exactly why I’m gonna be Hokage! Believe it!” He waved goodbye to the Third Hokage, then leapt off the balcony to the ground. Sora uneasily looked down to where Naruto landed, and slowly slung one leg over the side to go down. Donald accidentally bumped him, however, and Sora grabbed onto Donald for support, who in return grabbed Goofy. This incredible chain reaction caused all three of them to crash onto the street below.

Naruto, who had the unfortunality to be right under them, crawled out from the pile dazed. A sweet voice came to him just as his eyes focused.

“Oh! A-are you okay, Naruto?” His eyesight focused to reveal a pretty black-haired girl with beautiful white eyes offering a hand up. Naruto shook himself awake and jumped to his feet. He put his hands behind his head and grinned, “Naw, I’m okay Hinata! Thanks anyway!”

Hinata’s expression saddened. “Oh…th-that’s okay Naruto…” At that moment Sora and the others were managing to scrape themselves off the ground. Sora rubbed his head and groaned.

“Ooh, my head…” He noticed Hinata talking to Naruto. “Hey Naruto, who’s that?”

Naruto turned. “Oh, her? That’s just Hinata. Oh, forgot to introduce these guys. This is Sora, Donald, and Goofy!” Hinata smiled weakly, but she seemed on the verge of tears.

“H-hello…” She sniffed a little, then zipped off.

Naruto looked puzzled and shrugged, “Wonder what’s wrong with her?”

Sora shrugged back. “You got me.” Donald shook his head. Naruto’s expression changed suddenly, and a face of fear replaced his carefree one.

“Guys, look out!” They dove out of they way to avoid an explosion that blew up the wall behind them. As Sora materialized his Keyblade, he saw several Heartless coming from the hole, with the Shogun Heartless leading them. With them this time, however, was a pale-skinned man who seemed reptile-ish, and had a constant smirk that reminded him of what an anaconda probably looked like before it devoured something.

Naruto immediately recognized the girl on the Shogun Heartless’ shoulder. “Sakura! Guys, we have to rescue her! Come on!” Naruto held a kunai in hand as he and the others charged.

The Heartless met the attack in full, and the scene soon erupted with the sounds of swords clanging and magic blasting. After a few moments it was just the Shogun Heartless who remained. The pale-skinned man laughed villainously.

“I applaud you on your ability to fight off the Heartless. It’s quite amusing to watch your futile little attempts buy you fruitless victories. It’s a shame I’ll have to kill you.” He motioned, and the Shogun Heartless set Sakura down next to him, then charged with its blade raised high.

Sora blocked its swing with a clang, and sparks shot off as he pitted his strength against the Shogun’s. Donald blasted it with a shot of Graviga, and its sword slammed onto the ground, too heavy for it to life anymore. Goofy threw his shield like a boomerang, and it smacked it in the head with a blow that sent it reeling. Sora charged and slashed its upper body with several combos, and Goofy and Donald ran in to deliver the final blow.

The Heartless reeled back and forth, and weakly raised its blade for one last attempt at victory. The wounds inflicted were fatal though, and the heart that created it floated upward as its body spasmed into darkness. With a final hiss, it faded into nothing.

Sora turned to see Naruto struggling to fight the pale-skinned man. Naruto swung with fierce blows, but the man seemed to dodge all his attacks. Naruto growled in frustration.“Stop running you coward! Stand and fight me like a man!”

The man laughed cruelly and replied, “You want me to retaliate, eh?” He suddenly charged forward and slammed Naruto in the face with a cruel fist. He laughed as Sora and the others rushed to Naruto’s aid. He motioned, and another squadron of Heartless appeared. Sora weakly raised his Keyblade, but he was worn out from all the fighting. He braced himself as a Heartless leapt, but suddenly it was struck and vanished. The other Heartless met the same fate, and Sora’s eyes darted around in alarm.

A powerful boy seemed to appear right in front of the pale-skinned man almost instantaneously. He had long black hair, and wore a black jumpsuit with bandages on his arms. He scowled at the villain coldly. “All right Orochimaru, let Sakura go and leave, or I’ll have to escort you out with my fist halfway down your throat!”

Orochimaru chuckled. “Well now, Sasuke. Does the girl mean that much to you? Or do they matter more?” He motioned, and a Heartless jumped from behind Sora and the others, ready to kill. As Sasuke raced over to destroy it, Orochimaru opened a dark portal, and prepared to enter with Sakura in tow. When he turned to reach her, however, Sasuke zipped by and grabbed her. He stood over by Naruto cradling her in his arms.

Orochimaru cursed himself. “I keep forgetting your incredible speed, Sasuke. Oh well. I’ll be back for little Sakura again. Until then…” He walked inside the dark portal and vanished.

Sora and Naruto wobbled to their feet. The first thing Sora wanted to sat was ‘Thank You’, until Naruto put his own word in.

“Sasuke, you big jerk! I had ‘em right where I wanted ‘em! What’d you have to go and do that for?”

Sasuke tossed his hair out of his eyes and scoffed. “Please. I’d hardly believe lying on your butt would do anything. Like usual, it was up to me.”

Naruto growled angrily, but Sora restrained him. “What Naruto meant to say was ‘Thanks.’ Orochimaru almost had us there.” Sasuke smirked again, just as Sakura began to come to. She rubbed her eyes and groaned, but her expression soared when she saw Sasuke. She jumped up and threw herself onto him.

“Oh Sasuke! You saved me! Thank you so much! That was so brave!” Sasuke showed his obvious disdain when trying to peel her off him. Naruto rolled his eyes.

“You know, WE helped out a little too!” Sakura’s eyes shot daggers at Naruto, but she looked puzzled when she saw Sora, Donald and Goofy.

“Hm? Who’re these guys? I’ve never seen them before.” She finally released her death-grip on Sasuke to go meet Sora. Sasuke brushed himself off while Naruto sulked.

“Hi, my name’s Sora, and that’s Donald and Goofy.” She seemed a little freaked out at how Sora’s compadres were talking animals. Just as the introductions were finished, a familiar masked figure zipped into the clearing. Kakashi surveyed the battleground, then turned to Naruto and the others.

“Is everyone all right?” Naruto grinned as he ran over to Kakashi. Kakashi seemed to smile under his face mask when Naruto retold an ‘accurate’ description of the event.

“Wow, Kakashi sensei, you should’ve seen it! Me and Sora kicked those Heartless and that Orochimaru guy six ways to Sunday! And the bestpart is, we rescued Sakura!” He pointed proudly over to where she stood.

Kakashi chuckled, “From where I was standing, it looked more to me like Sasuke chased them off.” Sasuke smirked and Sakura giggled. While Naruto stood defeated, Kakashi’s view shifted over to Sora and the others. He glanced at the sun and replied, “It’s getting late. Sasuke, take Sakura home, and be on your guard. It’s not going to be safe at night around here for a while. Naruto, go straight home, and take Sora, Donald, and Goofy with you.” They nodded. Sakura blushed and smiled at Sasuke.

“Sigh, it’s so romantic when a big, strong hero protects me from harm!” Sasuke turned red, and turned away.

“Sakura, it’s not like that, all right? Keep yourself together until we get to your house, got it?” Sakura nodded dreamily, which only made Naruto even angrier. When Sakura and Sasuke began down the path to Sakura’s, Naruto motioned for Sora and the others to follow.

Goofy objected. “But um, didn’t Mr. Kakashi say to go straight home? I think we should probably listen, seeing as how Orochimaru’s probably gonna hunt us with Heartless now.” He shook nervously.

Naruto put a finger on his lips. “Shhh! Quiet! I know what Kakashi sensei said! I’m just, um…making sure Sasuke doesn’t try anything sneaky to Sakura on the way to her house! Yeah, that’s it!”

Sora shrugged, “What do you mean, ‘try something sneaky?’” Donald groaned and whispered in Sora’s ear. Sora’s eyes bulged, and he smacked Donald across the face. Donald yelled angrily.

“Waagh! What’s the big idea? I was trying to help you out, ya creep!” Sora looked down on him disappointed.

“If Daisy knew thoughts like that were in your head, I’m pretty sure she knows how to get inside the castle armory!” Donald mumbled angrily, and Naruto motioned for everyone to follow.

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