41 Thugs in the Store

Ignoring Yamaha-sensei, Malaria jumped onto the drivers seat before urging the men to take the wagon forward. He couldn't keep these riches in the center of this bustling village without fear of someone stealing something.

As Malaria left, the team led by Kusa Debu all stared at him envously. Even an idiot would know that sort of cargo would be sold like hotcakes inside the village. Seems like they have to find someone else to help them plow the fields.

In the Mission Center in the center of Kusagakure, Danzo was seated with three other men. They were the heads that kept Kusagakure running, strangely enough one of them was a red-head from the now 'extinct' Uzumaki clan. They were all celebrities in the local area, often taking on the hardest missions for the village.

Supposedly, now that the war had been going for quite some time in the Land of Grass as one of the battlefields, they wouldn't have been interested in a meeting. Their country was rife with strife, the people getting killed at every moment. But, Danzo had insisted that they should come.

"Old Danzo, what are you up to exactly?" The Uzumaki couldn't help but ask. He didn't partake in any of the underhanded shady business with Iwagakure, as he knows his original clan was 'indebted' to Konoha. Then again, anything the Darkness of Shinobi had in mind can't be anything good.

"Nothing at all!" Danzo poured a few drinks for them and said, "I've invited you here partly to catch up with you, and partly to mention something about a junior. The moles in Kusagakure from Iwa are already under strict supervision, so this meeting isn't exceptionally important." he said.

Mujō, the master of Hozuki Castle, thought for a moment and asked, "Is it the young man you asked us to not fight over once he settles in the village? His name was Malaria, wasn't it?" Team Suzuki that entered Kusagakure wasn't any secret to them, especially when Danzo himself with his Root already took control of the Iwa-ninja in the village.

Danzo nodded with a stiff smile. "Yes, precisely him. If possible, I want him to stay in this village for the majority of the time during this ongoing war. He will be joined by two of his squadmates soon after their mission is complete, and I require your 'permission' for that."

"Two more brats?" Mujō rolled his eyes. It wouldn't make any difference to them, they were still Konoha's staunch ally and most of their income comes by referal from the Land of Fire and Konoha. If they can't even accept some brats opening a store in their village for a time, what sort of ally are they?

Danzo sighed, as if he had the ability to be embarrassed, "It's rather embarrassing. I was only interested in Malaria as an apothecary at the start, but that jackass managed to hoodwink two little girls. So, I want them to stay together to better manage them."

The other three from Kusagakure laughed aloud immediately. Danzo has always had a reputation that nothing ever goes wrong, but here's one of his juniors fooling around with multiple girlfriends. How exhilirating that this bastard 'Darkness' had such a scandal happen to himself.

"Old Danzo, you must teach your juniors a proper lesson. Not only was he apparantly with two girls at the same time, but I've heard he also created many scandals in Konoha? It's no wonder you sent him here to cool off, that brat does seem too shameless." The Uzumaki clansmans remarked.

"Old Danzo, not that we're blaming you, but you're supposed to be an educator for the Anbu. How can you allow a junior do all those things in the village? He should learn from our Kusa Debu to behave." Hyōgo, the third member of Kusagakures leadership commented. He felt that this matter seemed somewhat fishy, but he wouldn't expose Danzo for it.

"Our society is truly degenerating, and you are partially at fault, Old Danzo." Mujō said, as if he would take a few minor actions to make sure Malaria could straighten out.

"Yes, yes, you're absolutely right…" Danzo accepted their criticism with his head lowered, but secretly scorned them, wondering when they'd show up at his doorstep to cry. When he heard that Yamana had accepted the Yamanaka inheritance, he knew their clan didn't want to sit still anymore and would emerge stronger than ever.

Hikari on the other hand, was the daughter of that 'witch' Kagura with the honored bloodline of the Ōtsutsuki on the moon. Konoha had some records shared with the Hyuuga and knew a few details about the power those nutcases hold in their hands. It's one of the reasons the Hyuuga clan has been without any 'incidents' so far.

With Yamanaka Yamana, Hyuuga Hikari and… Malaria, his Root Anbu would definitely become much more powerful than it already was.

In the village down below, Malaria had managed to get his wagon do a full round-tour of the entirety of Kusagakure. Finally finding someone who knew where his 'shop' was, he got the guards to keep running his wagon in the right direction. After parking outside, Malaria strode into the shop to prepare his daily necessities and have a meal.

The guards glanced at the cargo on the wagon enviously. "I wish I had all sorts of rare herbs to sell."

"Stop daydreaming. That brat will definitely be a someone powerful in the future, not to mention he's from Konoha. One of their Chunin can almost battle our Jonin to a stand-still." Listening to eachothers grumbling, they couldn't help but feel that their lives are bleak.

Malaria entered the hall of the shop and found a lot of ninjas from Kusagakure looking around everywhere. Some of them were discussing their plans for upcoming missions, some guys were bragging about their wealth to girls and asking if they wanted anything from this weapons store.

A pretty girl in clerks uniform approached and said politely, "Sir, would you like to browse our wares first, or to communicate with everyone in the hall for some mission? We do have food and beverages in the back."

Surprised that mad-woman Kagura had already got the shop running, even including a bar-service, Malaria was about to answer when Hikari called out, "Malaria, over here!"

Malaria turned his head, only to see Hikari waving her hand at him from a couch. "Could you please take my food there? I'm going to have a meal first." Malaria nodded at the clerk and walked over to Hikari.

"Malaria? He is Malaria?" The uniformed girl looked at Malaria's back, stunned. She had been working in this store long before Kagura had bought it with a sack of cash just yesterday. Malaria was supposedly the co-owner of the store, but what's with this tiny little brat? She expected a handsome hunk to tag-along the beautiful Hyuuga woman.

At this point, the shinobi doing shopping inside the store, who heard Hikari calling out to Malaria turned their heads to observe him, too. They had inquired about the Hyuuga Goddess and her daughter and knew she was supposedly single, but was here with someone else. Not expecting the co-owner to just be a little devil surprised all of them.

"Why are you here alone? Where's Yamana?" Malaria asked curiously as he sat on Hikari's opposite side. Hikari jerked her chin at somewhere not very far away. Malaria immediately saw Yamana patrolling the store with a few Kusa-brats similar to that Kusa Debu.

Whenever she found a desirable candidate doing window shopping in the store, she would beat them up and coerce them into joining her group to gather information for their mission.

"Well…" Malaria's lips twitched. She was doing it more blatantly than a gangster recruiting lackeys in an alleyway! How would she possibly remain incognito with these rag-tag brats in tow?

"Malaria-sama, please check if the food agrees with you." The uniformed girl returned with a tray of food. She had also lowered her shirt to reveal some cleavage, hoping to attract this little adolscent. Her life would become a lot easier if she could seduce him for higher wages and shorter work days.

"Thanks!" Malaria accepted the food and ignored the girl. Noticing Hikari eyeing her with a funny gaze, she could only leave in disappointment. Perhaps he's still too young to even care about such things?

"She sent herself to you, and you somehow let her go. This is not like the usual Malaria I know." Hikari couldn't help but tease. At any other point in time this brat would've been the first to play along for extra 'service'.

"True gentlemen are allways immune to temptation." Malaria rolled his eyes with a smile. "Besides, with you sitting next to me, why would I possibly be interested in another woman?"

"Lecherous scoundrel!" Hikari glared at Malaria but still felt a tinge of happiness. Any girl would be happy to hear flattery, even if it came from a shameless scoundrel.

Right then, they heard Yamana roar in the distance to a group of customers, "Are you asking for trouble, boy?"

Malaria and Hikari both turned around, only to see that a young man who had multiple more times the lackeys behind himself than Yamana did. They were having a staredown, clearly at odds about something.

"Your name is Yamanaka Yamana, right?" The Thug smiled, "It's not a good thing for you to recruit people in my place. However, if you are willing to be my girlfriend, we'll definitely help out to solve your 'task' together." Sporting a lecherous grin, the goons of the Thug whistled from the back.

"Uh-oh, that Thug is in serious trouble now." Hikari covered her eyes. Those who flirted with Yamana after her powerup had already reached over a dozen, most of which are now hospitalized due to heave migraines.

Of course, Malaria was the only exception.

"Hehe…" Yamana's lips curved into a cold smile not fit for a girl her age. She slowly raised her arm, and a terrifying power seemed to be brewing somewhere unseen. "Go to hell!" Yamana bellowed and slashed her arm in a downwards motion.

The Thug's pupils constricted. He extended his arm, and a kunai jumped out of his sleeves from his wrist before he tried to parry whatever it was he felt was coming at him.

'BOOM!'

Following a rippling sensation, a small explosion came out of thin air and swept outwards with the two of them as the centre. Flinging customers flying, some almost crashing into the merchandise.

"Ouch…" Their faces were full of fear after they landed on the ground. This girl named Yamana was terrifyingly strong, just her 'fist wind', as they thought, had such power!

"Awesome, boss!!" The lackeys behind Yamana cheered for her excitedly. This was the reason they followed her instead of the Thug, her strength was incomprehensible.

Malaria was rendered speechless. Those people truly had no backbones, did they forget who beat them up and forced them to be her lackeys just a few minutes earlier?

The Thug was squirming on the floor that had cracked from the earlier explosion. His head was beating with pain, as if his heart had rellocated to the inside of his skull. Pain and shock were all over his face. He didn't expect that he couldn't even resist a Chunin-level Konoha-brat's swing of an arm.

Had he known that Yamana was so strong, he wouldn't have tried to parry that mind-force with a kunai like an idiot. "Boss, are you all right!?" The goons behind him were aghast and angry seeing him get smashed like that.

"Take her down!" The Thug gnashed his teeth in pain and anger.

"Understood!" His lackeys nodded and roared, "Let's go and avenge our boss, beat up that wench!!"

"Beat her up!"

Dozens of people charged at Yamana overwhilmingly while they yelled and cursed. "Hehe, you don't know what you're doing!" Yamana snorted and leapt backwars while printing handseals for the Mind Derangement Technique. That way, they could stay there beating eachother up.

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[A/N: I've caught some sickness for a few days now (not the c*vid, just a stomachache into fever kind of deal) and will need a break on releases for a bit (out of stocked chaps). I tried writing despite feeling bad, and it was a delirium ridden mess. I will come back to write as soon as I can! Thanks for your support!]

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