20 Four + four?

"Hahaha, that hurt! Haha, more!" Hidan's arm was in a constant process of ripping apart and regeneration. The Newest Akatsuki member choked the miniature fox, holding its body in the air. "Hey, Old man, can I keep it?" He asked, unconcerned about the claws tearing into his flesh and potent chakra boiling the skin of his hand. "Hey! Stop buckling, or you won't get any treats!" Hidan tightened his grip.

"... Imbecile." His partner groaned, tired of Hidan's stupidity. "Neutralize the jinchūriki. We need to get moving!" Kakuzu ordered, pulling out a kunai from the inside pocket of the coat and aimed the blade at the unconscious monk's neck.

*Crackle*

"Huh? Dodge!" The masked man's long experience allowed him to leap away from a lightning bolt zapping his position. The thunder acted as if it had a mind of its own, avoiding his bounty and striking Hidan.

"Aaahh-Hahaha!" The overloaded nerves in Hidan's arm let go of the beast.

"Raaaoor!" When the attack reached it, the beast howled in pain.

"Who goes there?"

"Is everything with your friend okay there?" An unknown black-haired woman walked out from the bushes, tapping the side of her forehead.

"Haaah." Kakuzu dropped his head with a long sigh, "No, I presume his brain was discarded at birth, let's not get off-topic. You're going to die - no one had the guts to attack me and live to tell the tale."

"But!"

"What?" Kakuzu was astounded at the woman's sudden outburst.

"You got your arse kicked by Kana-chan and her husband'o! From what I know, they're still alive."

"Don't speak about this woman anywhere near me." He growled out.

"Nyahaha! So talking about Kana-chan is a no-go topic for you?"

"Who are you?!" The masked Akatsuki demanded.

"His teammate." Tōu pointed at the unconscious monk.

"I see, you're Tōu of the Limelight. Hmm, your affinity is lightning. Good, I do require it for myself." Hundreds of black tendrils shot out from Kakuzu's arm.

------

The clash between Naruto and Orochimaru ripped the bridge apart in seconds. Hinata jumped down the crevice after falling Sasuke. Catching him halfway down, she bounced off the wall and landed back on the ground level.

"... He is alive." She exhaled gladly, checking her friend's pulse on his wrist. "Sasuke-san?" Hinata put her palm on his forehead t, "His body is burning up at an alarming rate! What should I-" her eyes ventured to the fight on the second bank of the canyon.

Despite the powerup of Kyūbi's overbearing chakra and Kakashi's help, Orochimaru threw Naruto around like a ragdoll. Snake Sannin was playing around with two shinobis. Every time Hinata's sensei thought he got their enemy in a trap, Orochimaru somehow slipped past the incoming threat.

On the other hand, Hyūga's childhood friend was cooking himself from inside just beneath her feet. Hinata had to choose - providing her help in combat and forsaking one of her friends, or letting Naruto fight one of the strongest Konoha's ninjas in history, hoping for the best and trying to stabilize Sasuke's body temperature.

"Help me, Nee-sama..." she whispered, but no salvation came, 'Orochimaru's seal! I need to get further away to alarm Nee-sama. But..." Hinata watched Kusanagi's blade impaling her sensei's arm - poison quickly taking root, slowed the jōnin considerably.

"No!" she slapped her cheeks, "I have to do it! <Kuchiyose no Jutsu>!"

A white plume of smoke exploded in front of Hinata.

"I'm sorry for calling you Sōso-san. I need your help."

"Hinata-chan, you need to understand that you never have to be apologetic for calling me." A majestic white lioness with striking blue eyes walked out of the smoke cloud, greeting Hinata with a light headbutt to her arm.

"I'm s-"

"You're sorry that you're sorry, Hinata-chan?"

"Uh, a-are you teasing me?" her summon replied by exposing her fangs in what Hinata translated as a smile, "Please, take my friend out of the barrier we're currently in. I activated the seal on his body - once you're out, Nee-san will come to you. Tell her I need her help."

"Consider it done. Anything else?"

"<Suition: Water Prison>" a small ring of water covered Sasuke's neck, cooling his body. Pulling on Uchiha's arm, she threw him on top of the lioness back. "Make haste, please."

Hinata's summon turned her eyes towards the ongoing combat, "Orochimaru the Snake Sannin? As I said, you're much braver than you think you are, Hinata-chan. Good hunting!" With feline grace, Sōso leaped into the forest.

With securing Sasuke, Hinata activated the Byakugan and looked closely at the fight. 'Orochimaru's chakra veins are converging on his eyes and the back. They're almost like the ones in Uchihas and the Hyūgas. What has he done now?' Without any other leads, she did the only thing she could. Hinata joined the fight.

-------

"Haah... haah... Holy pretzel! Die already, pretty please? What the heck are you two? Some kind of zombies?! WOAH!" Tōu jumped away, dodging the strike of the fox-like beast, "Hey! I thought we were playing on the same side!"

Fighting off two Akatsuki's members distracted her enough to find herself between the two dark-robbed shinobi and the chakra-covered miniature beast that acted solely by instinct.

Tōu watched the rage-filled eyes concentrate on her unconscious friend. With a single jump, the beast soared above Chiriku.

"Oh no, you won't!" Tōu quickly stood in front of Twelve Shinobi Guardian's leader and blocked the attack. The pain of the bones in her left arm breaking almost knocked her out, but she held out.

"*Growl*" the beast rumbled, starring into Tōu's face.

Holding back the beast's clawed palms, she couldn't dodge four dark tails that swatted her away.

With one less thing to worry about, the fox rose its arms above Chiriku's head to finish the man off once and for all.

"Hidan! The bounty!"

"Ou!" Kakuzu's partner was already on his way. Gripping his scythe in a reverse grip, he swung in like a baseball bat and launched the beast away from their target, "Bad girl! Leave the turd! Ouch! Biting back?"

"... Just to be clear, it's not a dog, you moron."

"Huh?" Hidan stopped pummeling the beast into submission, "Are you sure, old man?"

"You know what, you do you, I don't care." The masked Akatsuki groaned, "Now, what about you? How would you like to die?" his arm, connected to his body by dozens of tentacles, choked and pulled Tōu towards him.

"How?" she groaned out.

"Maybe four years ago, you would have a chance to repel us, girl. But challenging Kaname Uchiha forced me to up my game. I fought multiple jinchūrikis - this isn't Kyūbi's, way too weak to be one. Someone did Akatsuki a favor of creating some kind of pseudo-jinchūriki."

"Ugh. I'm going to kill him!"

"No. No, you won't." Kakuzu's hand ripped the skin, crushed the bones of her chest, and clutched the still-beating heart.

"AAAAAAhhh!" she screamed in agony. Feeling the pull on her heart and the lack of air, she knew this was the end.

"<Hien>!"

'Ah, so it's true - you see your memories before the death?' Tōu's consciousness slipped.

"How is Tōu-chan?"

"Unconscious and heavily wounded. I'll try to stop the bleeding, Asuma-sensei." Ino replied, taking care of the woman.

"Konoha's shinobi? They just keep coming..." the wound on Kakuzu's hand stitched itself. "Yet it doesn't change a thing."

"I'll deal with the Akatsuki. Shikamaru, Chōji, protect Ino."

"You alone? That's a stupid idea, Asuma." his student questioned.

"Just do as I ask, Shikamaru."

"I called for Kaname-sensei already. We just need to hold out." Ino added.

------

"When did you get your hands on Sharingan?" Kakashi gasped out.

"Fufufu, you noticed, Kakashi-kun?" Orochimaru chuckled. "I did it just to spite her. There are more useful tools in my bag. Oh- look who got her courage up to fight me."

"Huh?" Before the jōnin understood what the Sannin was talking about, Hinata jumped in from Orochimaru's blind spot and struck the man.

He dodged Hinata, the power behind her punch fell a tree in front of them. Once she noticed her ambush didn't work, she fled from the dangerous ninja, landed next to Kakashi, and quickly took care of the jōnin's wounds.

"Hmm, your strength gives me vibes of two women I hate. I can't let that pool grow anymore, girl."

"You won't touch her!" Naruto growled at him.

"And who is going to stop me? You, Naruto-kun? Hahahaha!" Naruto's jaw clenched tightly in anger, his eyes bled red. The chakra around his body started boiling, peeling off his skin, and instantly scorched it into dark smoke.

"I'll kill you! Even if it's the last thing I'll do! You will die!!" he shouted with a fourth tail sprouting behind his back, just before his body was covered in a cocoon of black smoke.

"At last! It's so hard to anger this boy." Orochimaru slowly clapped his hands in appreciation.

"What is happening to Naruto-kun, Kakashi-sensei?"

"I don't know, Hinata. Nothing good, I suppose."

"Huhu, the boy let his true nature out. He is nothing but a vessel to his Bijū. During my hunt, I saw it multiple times already."

"You're wrong. Naruto isn't Kyūbi, and Kyūbi isn't Naruto! They're two completely different beings!" Hinata shot back confidently.

"Fufufu. Wait till It comes out from the shroud and tell that to me again, girl."

"I-"

A low feral growl stopped Hinata. Feeling the danger, Kakashi pulled her away, just a moment before their surroundings exploded.

-------------

"We could do it tomorrow, mom!"

"Nope. You have long and beautiful hair! There are too many variations for me to test on you in a single day!"

"How long is it going to take? I have work to do."

"You can shag Utakata later."

"I'm not talking about that. I need to bring Naru-chan back."

"I know you could just teleport him here in an instant. He has got your seal on him. I want to have some fun too, you know, Little Butterfly?"

"Ugh, does it have to be at my expense?"

"Yep. Sucks to be you to inherit the beauty after your mother."

"Narcissistic much? Oh?"

"What is it, Little Butterfly?"

"I'm sorry, I need to go. I got two pings, one from Sasuke's seal and the other from Ino's."

"You aren't lying to me just to bail out?"

"Nope. I really need to go, mom."

"Haah... Okay, neither would call you if it was something they could do on their own. Go kick some ass."

"Heh, will do. Take care of Haru and Kushina. I'll be back in an hour at most. Love ya~!"

"Love you too, Little Butterfly." Without a sound, the braid in Sachi's hand evaporated.

-----

"Sōso-san?" Kaname teleported right in front of the albino lioness's head.

"No time to explain, Kaname-san. I have one of your cubs on my back. He was wounded and most likely poisoned by the Snake Sannin."

She jumped around the feline and pulled Sasuke out of her back. "Again? Mother fucker is just fooling around now."

While working over breaking of Orochimaru's seal, Kaname felt the ground beneath her feet tremble. "They're fighting there?"

"Yes, Hinata-chan's hunt turned even tenser a minute ago. The ground was constantly rumbling ever since. There was also a large explosion just a moment after I evacuated the cub."

*WHOOOM*

A flash of light blinded Kaname for a second. She knew what could produce an explosion of that scale. "Shit!" Kaname put a lot more effort into dealing with the seal poisoning Sasuke's chakra. After a minute, she put her two fingers up in a handseal, "<Kai>!"

Quickly checking her dubious work, she turned towards the lioness, "It's a makeshift job but should keep him alive. I'll leave a shadow clone with you to protect Sasuke-kun."

------

Kakashi was wounded by the last blast - his back was scorched by the nearby explosion covering Hinata from it.

"We need to help Naruto-kun, Sensei!"

"Look out!" The jōnin pulled her to the ground just a second before something exploded nearby.

"GRRRR."

'That's Naruto?' Two glowing white sclerae turned towards her. A miniature fox with four dark tails, a fanged mouth, and claws crashed nearby.

"RRAAAAHH!!!"

Instead of fear, Hinata only felt pity. Her feet took the first step without her thinking. But before she took the second, Kakashi pulled her back.

"Where are you going? Don't you see it? Naruto isn't in control of his body. It would crush him if he hurt you."

"No, Sensei. It's still Naruto. Don't you hear his cries? These are not the roars of anger but cries of pain. I need to be there."

"Uh, I can't move yet. When it gets dangerous, you're to fall back, understand?"

Hinata nodded and flickered away.

'Her actions really do resemble Kana-chan's when she was young. No, Hinata-chan is even braver.'

...

"Naruto-kun, stop it!" Hinata admonished him, confidently walking towards the chakra-shrouded beast.

"GRRRR."

Without fear, she jumped towards Naruto, standing at an arm's length away from him, "It's okay, I'm not going anywhere. You won't hurt me, Naruto-kun."

"RRRRAAAAAAOOO!"

Hinata put her hand on his cheek and slowly caressed it.

"RAAAA-aaaahh!" The dark shroud retracted from his face, uncovering bloody, skinless flesh.

Barely conscious, Naruto opened his eye, trying to smile back at his girlfriend. He didn't expect to notice Orochimaru swinging down his sword down at Hinata's back. Before he warned her, a red blur zipped past them, snatching the Sannin off his feet.

*Boom*

"Wha-?" Hinata looked to her right, "Kaname-neesan?"

Kaname was on the other side of the crevice, her hand deeply hammered inside the cliff and Orochimaru's lower body sticking out of the wall. Hearing someone calling her name, Kaname turned her head towards Hinata and winked. The young Hyūga noticed the hole her sister made glowed in red chakra, a second later, the Snake Sannin's body loosened off.

"Tsk... A clone."

Kaname jumped back towards the ground.

"Why are you here?!" Orochimaru walked out of the forest.

"To kill you? Isn't that a given?"

"I was so close! Why?!"

"What were you trying to do, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Several things. I would kill all of them in the end." Orochimaru replied.

"Just so you know, Kyūbi is Sharingan resistant. Protected by Uzumaki's level seal."

"So you know? Fufu, that's why I wasn't able to take control of it."

"Yeah, I'm still testing the limits of Fugaku-san's Sharingan. Perfect battle premonition is a scary weapon in your hands. But it doesn't make you invincible. Time to end it."

"Yes, it is, Kana-chan." Orochimaru clasped his hands together, "<Mokuton: Deep Forest Emergence>!"

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