Somewhere in Sunagakure,
Inside a round building made of clay and stucco. A person with auburn hairs and dark eyes knocks the door.
"Chiyo-Baasama… Chiyo-Baasama… are you there?"
The door shakes for a while before an elderly woman with black eyes and lavender coloured hair tied in a bun opens the door. The lady wears a dark coloured, loose-fitting outfit with a poncho-like top.
"What's the matter?… Why are you disturbing the rest of this old lady?"
The old lady remarks as she recognizes the visitor.
"Chiyo-Baasama, I have a favour to ask from you… if you would please."
The visitor requests her.
"Rasa… you know Chiyo and I had retired a long time ago after the Third Shinobi War. We can't help you with any matter."
An elderly man with heavy-lidded eyes walks out from inside the house. The old man has a turban wrapped around his head and his outfit is similar to Chiyo.
Rasa greets the old man.
"Rasa… both me and Chiyo had already retired from the Suna Elder Council a long time ago. I am the leader of the Council only in the name. Our retirement was in hope for the new generation to look out for themselves without being reliant on the previous generation."
The Old man stands besides Chiyo as he faces Rasa.
"But… Ebizo-jiisama and Chiyo-Baasama… I need your help for the betterment of Sunagakure. As such, I am here to request your assistance." Rasa insists.
"Rasa… you are the Fourth Kazekage, and there is also the Suna Elder Council to help you make decisions. Tojuro is the second in command after me in the council… I am sure you have already consulted with him." Ebizo calmly replies to Rasa.
"That's true." Rasa nods his head.
"The thing which I am about to discuss is of much importance for Suna's future… so it is better to talk inside," Rasa explains.
"Very Well… let's talk inside." Chiyo nods her head.
Inside Chiyo's house,
Rasa is sitting in front of Ebizo and Chiyo as he reveals his plan.
"Ebizo-jiisama and Chiyo-Baasama… recently one of the Sannins Orochimaru approached us and offered a deal to us. He wants to ally with us and face Konoha in a battle…."
Ebizo frowns as he interjects.
"Rasa… Orochimaru is a traitor of Konoha. As far as rumours going around in the Shinobi World, he was cast out of the village by the Third Hokage. It would be a foolish decision to trust such a person."
"I agree with my brother… Orochimaru or not… Konoha has various top-tier shinobis among their ranks. The Third Hokage is still alive, then there is White Fang."
Chiyo clutches her fists tightly as the memories of the Second Shinobi War freshens up in her memory.
"Also, don't forget about that 'slug girl Tsunade' who is also the current Hokage. I have heard the new generation of Konoha has quite a bunch of fearsome shinobi among their ranks… unlike Sunagakure."
Chiyo snorts as she closes her eyes.
"True… I agree with Chiyo… such matters can't be taken lightly." Ebizo agrees with Chiyo.
"Jiisama… Baasama… what choice do we have?"
Rasa slams his palms on the table as he recounts the sufferings of Suna.
"Suna suffered a great loss during the Third Shinobi War. We suffered a huge loss of manpower and resources during the war. The wounds of the war are still open up to this day."
Rasa clenches his fists as he continues.
"To further rub the salt on those wounds… The Daimyo of Land of Wind outsourced all the missions meant for Suna to Konoha. With such a blow, the village is pushed to the brink of poverty. Ninja barely had enough resources to make arrangements for the already scarce missions."
Rasa takes out a scroll from his pocket and tosses it to Elder Ebizo.
"Here is the list of missions outsourced to Konoha."
Ebizo opens the scroll and notices the number of missions.
"That's around seventy percent of the missions."
Elder Ebizo's expression turns ugly.
"Not only this… the only missions available are too high of a rank for common chunnins and genins to complete. As such, the mortality rate has increased significantly."
Rasa takes out another scroll and passes it to the Elder.
"This is the list of fatality of Suna ninja in the previous ten years after the Third Shinobi War. Only a handful of ninjas survived the brutal missions which were rejected by Konoha.
While the citizens of Suna are suffering from this economic blow… Konoha had already recovered from their loss and has even prospered further. Konoha is feeding on the resources meant for our people."
Rasa clenches his fists tightly as his the sound of snapping of bones echoes in the house.
"To stabilize the economy of Suna, I had to sell my 'gold dust' to gather the required funding to pay for those Shinobis since the losses out cost the profit."
Ebizo sighs and closes the scroll.
"Sunagakure has fallen to this extent. There is not much these old bones can do now."
Ebizo closes his eyes and rests his back against the seat.
Chiyo picks up the scroll as she questions Rasa.
"So… you came here to inform us about the attack on Konoha."
Rasa nods his head.
"I was hoping for your and Ebizo-jiisama's assistance in this venture."
Chiyo takes a deep breath as she picks up a framed picture of a man and woman from the nearby table.
"I had already lost everything in the war. Now nothing interests me anymore. I just want to spend the rest of my old days together with my brother. He was my only family left alive in this world. So, go away… I can't help you anymore. The matters of the Suna are yours to deal with."
Rasa's expressions turn ugly as Chiyo and Ebizo deny assistance.
"Go away. I won't entertain you anymore."
Chiyo hushes him out of the house.
Rasa dejectedly walks out of the house. He turns around last time as he notices the picture frame in Chiyo's hands.
An idea forms in Rasa's mind as he leaves with parting words.
"Chiyo-Baasama… this might be your only opportunity to avenge your son and daughter-in-law."
Chiyo holds the picture frame tightly in her hands as some cracks appear on the frame.
Rasa flickers away from the elder's house.
Some days later,
Izuna stands at the entrance gate of Konoha as he patiently awaits the arrival of Sunagakure's group.
"It has been a week since the representatives of all other villages have arrived in Konoha. Only the entourage of Sunagakure has yet to arrive."
Izuna rests against the wall as he closes his eyes.
'As far as I remember, Sunagakure allied with Orochimaru to lay waste to Konoha during the chunnin exam. Multiple participants arrived from Otogakure and I checked every one of them and there was no trace of Orochimaru.
Also, Naruto and Sasuke won't be participating in chunnin exam this time around… so there is that.'
He takes out a list from his pocket with the names of the participants of the chunnin exam.
'Interesting enough… some names on this list sounds familiar, especially these few.'
Izuna circles the names with a brush.
'The first phase of the chunnin exam will start two days from now. I am really curious to see the performance of these few individuals.'
Izuna pockets the scroll as he detects some chakra signatures moving close towards Konoha.
"They are here."
He informs Kotetsu and Izumo.
"You guys know what to do?"
"Yes… yes… Senpai." Kotetsu and Izumo hurriedly nod their heads.
The entourage of Sunagakure finally arrives as Izuna greets them.
"Welcome to Konoha, guests from Sunagakure. All of you must be exhausted from your long journey. Here… Kotetsu and Izumo will direct the participants towards their accommodations meanwhile I... Izuna Uchiha will lead the elders and the representatives to the inns especially reserved for them."
Izuna greets them with a smile.
'Damn… I am not doing this again. It is too much for me.'
Izuna has an awkward smile on his face.
"I have heard a lot about you, Izuna Uchiha."
A tall man walks in front of Izuna. The man has two distinctive red markings on the right side of his face. He wore a turban-like headgear with a sheet of cloth hanging off from the turban covering the left side of his face. He dons the standard attire of Suna ninja with a forehead protector and jounin flak jacket.
The man extends his hand as he introduces himself.
"I am Baki, one of the head jounins of Suna and a member of its advisory council. It's nice to meet you."
Izuna shakes hands with Baki.
"It's nice to meet you too, Sand Grudge Baki."
"I am sure most of you must be exhausted from the long and tedious journey. I will now lead you to your accommodation."