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Mission Assigned! Locate the Snake!
It was an beautiful morning in Konoha. Shujitori had offered to take his sensei out for dumplings. "You know, of course, this isn't a date, right, Shuj, eh?" Anko winked at him as she munched on another dumpling, then patted his back.
"Yeah, yeah, sure... hahaha..." Shuji, not amused to find this out, blushed, having hoped that maybe she would have. He silently ate his food, wondering when they'd finally get a good mission, when suddenly Reijobiki came running up to the two of them.
"Anko-sensei, Shujitori..." she gasped, having been running quickly. "Aunt Tsunie w-wants to" she gulped, still breathing heavily "She wants to see us!"
"For another of her crazy training missions I suppose... probably cleaning out the gutters or some other grunt work" Anko mumbled. "Alright, kiddies, let's go!" She thrust her hand up in the air with much gusto, and then, as it fell back to her side, she started walking towards the Hokage's Mansion.
Shuji looked over at Biki. "Isn't she wonderful Biki-cha-?"
"Shuji, shut it" Biki commanded, then started walking after their sensei. Shuji followed the two closely.
The group arrived at the mansion to find Ryuu waiting for them. "Took you all long enough... come on, let's go in..."
They all entered Tsunade's office to find the Hokage herself... fast asleep.
"Aunt Tsunie? Um... we're here..." Biki whispered sharply.
Shizune shook her slightly. Tsunade woke up with a yawn. "Huh? Oh, hey there... pardon me..." She stretched, yawning. "I suppose y'all are here for your mission, eh?"
"The Susukage's a better kage tha-" Biki elbowed Ryuu in the stomach before he could finish that statement. He glared at his squadmate before putting on a faux smile and looking at Tsunade. "I mean, yes, m'lady..."
"Ryuu, I'm the leader here, I'll talk with the Hokage..." cautioned Anko. She turned to Tsunade. "Like this one here said..." she ruffled Ryuu's hair with a hand "... we are here for our mission. What is it?"
"Ah, you'll all be happy to know it's NOT cleaning gutters." The entire squad sighed in relief. "However... it is a bit dangerous." Shuji moaned at this, but Biki and Anko suddenly seemed perky. "Eh, danger, huh? Go on..." Anko said.
"Right. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to hunt down a three-headed serpent that has been seen terrorizing farmers in the Grass Country - and no, it's not Orochimaru's." She quickly added that last bit after seeing Anko tense up. "It hasn't been seen for a few months, but it seems to attack the farms that supply the Hidden Grass Village."
"So, basically, we're hunting a big snake?" asked Ryuu. "Seems easy enough..."
"Not exactly," Shizune replied. "We want to study it to trace it back to it's source."
"So, we find it, attach it to a summoning contract, then summon it when we get back here?" asked Anko.
"That's correct, Anko. So, do you accept?" asked Tsunade.
"Um, I don-" Shuji was interrupted.
"Of course!" shouted Anko, excitedly.
"Aw, sensei, don't you think this is a bit dangerous?"
"Shuji, like I said to you before, grow some backbone. Besides, the danger only makes it more fun."
The squad had made it to Kusagakure. They had hitched a ride with a band of merchants coming from Tanzaku Town. Right now, they were standing on a narrow tree branch, which gave them a better view of their surroundings.
"Alright, maggots, listen up! We're going to split into two groups. Biki, you're with me. Shuji, Ryuu, you two are together. You two will search the east side of the country, we'll search the west, but, remember to stay within a mile of the other group."
"Um, why exactly?" asked Ryuu.
"Because, dummy," Anko remarked "we have to be able to contact the other group if we find the thing."
"Alright, you all got that?"
"Um... I guess..."
"Alright then, MOVE OUT!"
As the squad split up and went their separate ways, two beady eyes peered out from a bush.
"Konoha... ninja... they must be here for... it... I'll have to deal with them..."
Search for the Giant! Where Could it Be?
Anko and Biki decided to first search around the hidden village itself. "After all, sensei, snakes do seem to like the dankness of civilization, even though they seem to detest most humans..."
"Biki, I know you're an animal enthusiast and all, but..."
"I knew that. You forget, I've been coined Konoha's Snake Mistress, y'know!"
"Oh, right, good point."
As the both of them laughed, they walked by a row of trash bins. Out of one of the bins jumped a boy. "Who are you two people?"
"Is that any of YOUR business, kid?" inquired Anko.
"Not really, but I demand you tell me!"
"Why do you wanna know anyway?" Biki was rather confused about this child. Something about him didn't click with her.
"Heh... wouldn't you like to know?" He started walking forward, but tripped over a tree root. "GYAAH!"
Anko rushed forward and stopped him from falling. "You okay, bud?"
"Yeah, but I think I cut my neck..."
Anko looked at his neck and saw a trickle of blood. She couldn't help herself. She licked her lips, then licked the wound, lapping up a little of his blood. "Mmm... so heavenly..."
The boy freaked out. "WHAT ARE YOU, A VAMPIRE?!"
"What did you call me punk?!"
"A VAMPIRE! And you!" he pointed at Biki. "You must be a complete dunderhead if you are her student!"
"Oh, that does it you cretin!" Anko pulled back a hand, about to punch him in the face, when Biki stopped her.
"Sensei, this creep's not worth out time."
"Yeah, you're right, Bik. C'mon, we gotta find that snake..."
The two women walked off. The boy rubbed his neck, and then smirked. "So... these are my opponents? Heh... too easy..." He sneaked off, into an alley.
"Ryuuuu... I'm hungry..."
"Shujitori, shut it."
"BUT RYUU, it's been twelve hours-s-s-s!"
"I swear, you claim yourself to be a survival expert, yet you complain after going without dinner or breakfast? Pull yourself together."
"But we haven't slept ALL NIGHT!"
Squark shrieked, breaking up the squabble. The two young men harrumphed, and kept quiet as they trekked across a grassy plain.
"Hey, Ryuu, look there!" Shujitori had seen a tall figure on the horizon... and it was approaching... quickly.
"But Anko-sensei sai-"
"That's not the snake though... it's probably a monster, or some-" As the figure came closer, the three saw that it was in fact a Giraffe, very common to the Grass Country. It looked at them, confused at their previous loudness, and continued on, presumably trying to find a herd. Shujitori looked at Ryuu.
"Looks like I'm not the only one who overreacts, eh, dragon-boy?"
"Shut it Shuji."
"We don't have time to run! DEFEND YOURSELF!" Ryuu decried as he unsheathed his faithful sword, The Last Fencer. Shuji complied, stretching out his hand and shouting out "Striking Shadow Snakes!" A squadron of snakes stretched out from his arms, wrapping themselves around the lioness. She broke free of the snakes, biting through them with her powerful maw. Ryuu leaped forward, trying to find an opening under her hardened fur.
"C'mon..." he then noticed a patch of soft fur on her side. "NOW!" he ran towards the beast, and ran his sword into her side. She tried to attack her prey, but she fell over.
"Ryuu, move over..." Shuji said as Ryuu pulled his sword from the foe, inspecting the blade, stained with blood. Shuji tended to the wound. "She won't be able to hunt for a bit, but, she'll survive... Ryuu, c'mon, let's keep looking."
The both of them sped on, Squark following.
Snake Found? Mysterious Boy!
Anko and Biki found themselves outside a large cave. "Well, animal girl, tell me- what do snakes love most?"
"... moistness and darkness."
Anko chuckled in approval. "Exactly. The big guy may be in here... throw me that piece of wood there." Biki complied, and Anko ignited it with a low-level Katon. "C'mon, follow me..." The two explored deep into the cave, coming across several bats, smaller snakes, and spiders. Then they heard a loud wind.
"Um, what was that?" asked Biki. "Could it be the-" A second loud wind.
"Hush" said Anko. A third loud wind. Then a fourth, a fifth, a sixth... It seemed to be coming from the passage to their right. "In there!"
The two went inside, finding the slumbering giant snake! "It seems to have three heads, and no bones about it, it IS a giant."
"Heh, well then, Biki, since you ARE a summon-nin... you have any spare summoning contracts?"
"Oh sensei!" Biki giggled. "Of COURSE I do! I AM the world's greatest summon-nin!"
"Heh..." She's just like me at her age... she thought. "Well then, Miss Summoner, hand one over!"
Anko signed her name in blood on the contract, then made a small cut on the slumbering giant, then signed its name on the scroll. What was its name? Why, "Giant Three-Headed Snake", of course!
"Alright Biki... could you get one of your little friends to go get Shuji and Ryuu?" Anko asked.
"Yep, sure." Biki made the proper handsigns as Anko wrapped the slumbering giant with her own snakes. Biki slammed her hand on the ground. "Summoning Jutsu: KAPPA!" A smog of smoke, and her kappa friend, Pluto, appeared. His head-bowl was full of water.
"So, who do you need killed? That big brute, or did your sensei finally snap from all your craziness and you want me to-"
"No, no killing. Take this smoke bomb," she said, handing him a gigantic smoke bomb,"and throw it into the air outside the cave, okay? Then stay outside, and when Shuji-kun and Ryuu-kun get here, bring 'em to sensei and me."
"... what am I, a messenger? NO WAY!"
"I'll give you all the cucumbers you can eat..."
"... outside the cave, right?" asked Pluto, having a change of heart.
"Right!" Biki snickered. What a one track mind... killing and cucumbers... she thought.
Ryuu and Shujitori arrived within the hour, then were lead to the center of the cave by the grumpy kappa. When they got to the center, they found the three-headed beast wrapped up as a result of Anko's Striking Shadow Snakes jutsu. "Alright boys and girls, time to go!" Anko said, rolling up the contract and putting it in her belt.
"... not ssssso fasssst!"
The beady-eyed boy from before jumped out of nowhere, presumably the ceiling. "Oh, YOU again?" yelled Biki.
"An old friend?" asked Shuji.
"... Shuji, would the Biki we know YELL at a friend?" asked Ryuu in a mocking tone.
"Indeed, I am NO friend to you losers!" mocked the small child. "I am Pytonus! LORD OF REPTILES! King of SNAKES, and Emperor of Lizards! I command these supreme members of the animal kingdom with an iron fist! NOW, my pets, ATTACK!"
Two overgrown komodo dragons appeared form behind the team. Pluto instantly looked happy. "Fodder, the lot of them!" He instantly charged at them, hacking into them with his scythe. They fought back valiantly, but they still ended up, sadly, dead.
"WHAT?!" Pytonus looked shocked. "HOW? ... why?"
"Alright, pest!" Anko shot at the boy with a few snakes, constricting him. "You're coming with us! Under arrest, of course..."
"Damn you ninja...." Pytonus glared at them all with his beady little eyes. The team and their prisoner went back to Konoha.
Pytonus was apprehended, and taken back to the Leaf Village along with the snake. Anko, Biki, and Shuji were assigned to keep the snake calm while it was studied. It was discovered Pytonus was controlling the snake to terrorize the Grass Country because he was upset that his parents were executed because of their illegal experiments, and he was using the snake for revenge. As it turns out, the fruits of their experiments was his ability to control reptiles and amphibians. Anko felt pity on the boy, and convinced the officials to have him sent to the academy rather than jail.
"So, Shujitori-kun... how did your mission go?" asked a small white-eyed academy student.
"Well, Hanabi... it went well..." he was walking her back home to the Hyuga estate, under the orders of the Hokage. Apparently, an assassin had tried to take her life while Team Anko was gone, but failed miserably. He was assigned as her bodyguard until the culprit was caught.
"Oh, and, um, Shujitori-kun, guess what else?"
"There was a new student today... he seemed kind of lonely..."
"Well... I asked him to play with me during recess, and it made him so very happy."
"Really? ... good..." Shuji smiled. Anko smiled too, having listened to them while eating some dumpling with other jonin.
"Anko, what're you smiling at?" asked Kurenai.
"Nothin'..." Anko continued smiling. "Just glad... is all."
"Heh, good..." said Kakashi.
Anko looked up into the sky, and sighed happily. That kid, Pytonus... is gonna be a good ninja, I know it...