50 Signs and Entry

__________ POV Narration__________

"Wasn't your scout supposed to be around these parts Ken?" The Raikage asked as he looked around the barren base of the mountain range.

"Indeed... He said he'd be waiting nearby..." Ken took a deep breath and allowed his senses to stretch out all around him, focusing on every movement he could feel.

Every bird, every critter and every animal nearby. He could feel them, he could feel the vibrations within the earth, yet he could feel no trace of his subordinate.

'... Well now, this is rather concerning...'

"Do you think he was captured?" Killer B asked as he looked around as well.

The Raikage and A looked at him with a bit of scorn, not appreciating his input much. It couldn't be helped though, he was currently perceived as the youngest in the team, and the most inexperienced.

He was not even 18 after all, and he was still just a Chunin.

Alas, they had no way of knowing that Ken was technically not even a teenager yet.

"It's a possibility... But I can't feel any signs of struggle, not burnt ground or kunai fragments around, no traces of Jutsu being used..." Ken took off his mask a took a deep breath, scowling as he did so.

"There is the faint scent of blood... But it doesn't smell like my subordinate, though it is hard to tell..." Ken then dashed forward, and the three Cloud Shinobi just looked at each other and followed suit.

Ken then abruptly stopped, sniffing the air a few times before dragging his feet on the ground, pushing away some thick dust to reveal a rather large patch of dried-up blood.

The Raikage seemed shocked when seeing that. '... His nose is better than a summoned beast's...'

'His senses really are scary...' Killer B thought absentmindedly as he stared at the baffling scene in front of him.

'It's to be expected... I already told you he's a monster, don't compare yourself to him even if you're a Jinchūriki... You can think of him as a bloodhound if it makes you feel better...'

The Tailed Beast within B was less impressed, it had already expected that much out of what was essentially a nature-born 'tailed' beast.

Ken then crouched down and touched the dirty ground, the tips of his fingers dragging across it and rubbing against the blood splatter.

"It's already a few days old... It seems that someone with proper skill hid most of the traces of a fight.

They also likely created a dust storm or something similar to cover the blood, since cleaning it would've taken too long."

Ken then slowly stood up and licked the tips of his fingers his nose scrunching up slightly as he confirmed his suspicion. "Yep... It's not the 'Third Blade's' blood. Likely some cultist."

Ken then tapped his wrist and took out the long sheath of his blade, just the sheath.

The Raikage and A both seemed to understand what Ken was planning, they both moved back and A also dragged B along with them.

The Blind Swordsman then swung the sheath with unnatural strength, creating a gust of wind strong enough to blow away all of the dust nearby, sending it flying further away into the mountain range alongside some rocks.

The ground around them somewhat cleared, and now it became relatively clear that something HAD happened.

There were dried-up splatters of blood everywhere in the vicinity, it was a large fight...

"... It's also possible that this is related to some of their rituals, right?" The Raikage wasn't about to try and dash Ken's hopes of finding his subordinate alive though.

The Blind Swordsman wasn't exactly irrational enough to buy it...

"If your patrols haven't spotted the cultists before then it's unlikely that they carry out their rituals out in the open." Ken shook his head, his long spiky black hair swaying from side to side.

Killer B grimaced a bit, as A scowled and looked to the side, clearly not all that invested in the life of Ken's subordinate.

He was however still quite annoyed that they now had lost one of their information sources...

"My subordinate got a bit too close, he only has himself to blame, but I'll make sure to punish him properly when we find him..." The Bounty Hunter shook his head slightly as he reached to his belt and put his mask back on.

"But what if he's already dea-" B gulped a bit as he swallowed his words as the Raikage gave him a sideways glare.

"Hmmm. It's likely he died already... But they also might have captured him for one of their rituals, which means there's a chance he still lives."

The Raikage nodded when hearing that, before looking around the empty mountain range...

"So... Do we just scout the surroundings now? We don't exactly know where to find the entrance, without your scout we might spend some time just running around the mountain..."

A looked at his father before looking at Ken.

"This is a rather large blunder... I believe you would understand us if we plan to reconsider the amount for your payment in this mission, as it was largely dependent on the information you provided..."

A scowled as he spoke, not bothering to be respectful anymore, possibly emboldened by being in the presence of his father...

The Raikage looked at his son with a frustrated gaze, shaking his head slightly in disappointment.

'I thought I trained him better... At the very least well enough to recognize the usefulness of having someone like Ken around...'

He was about to open his mouth and disregard his son's words personally, as he was a man of his word at the end of the day, but Ken beat him to it.

"The contract we signed only consisted of hiring me personally, not the 'Dark Brotherhood', my organization.

The Third Blade's report was not essential to the contract in any way. Besides that, I can deal with finding the entrance to their hideout..."

A just scoffed, looking at the large mountain range. "How long will it take you exactly? This is the second largest mountain in our land..."

The Blind Swordsman just turned his head toward A, a small smile spreading on his lips.

Ken then tapped the hilt of his blade heavily on the ground, causing it to slightly cave in as cracks spread out all around him.

The Blind Child listened to the vibrations, he felt them as he crouched down once more to touch the ground.

After a few seconds, he stood back up and turned to the three confused cloud shinobi.

"... We are above a network of caves, it lays deep within the ground. I can find an entrance to it if we walk around the mountain range for a few minutes..."

A was instantly silenced by that sentence, as the Raikage smiled confidently. "As expected of you, Red Dot, you do deserve your reputation at the end of the day...

I'm sure we'll find your subordinate, better start looking quickly, the sooner the better. Don't worry about the contract, by the way, it remains as initially established."

The Raikage was quick to praise and reassure the Assassin as he patted him on the shoulder.

Ken's entire body shook at the strength of the tanned man's arms, but he didn't complain.

A looked a bit bitter, but he stopped complaining when seeing how his father treated Ken.

'Heh... I guess that's why you don't question professionals...' B also chuckled a bit internally, already expecting something like that to happen.

'Well, he did just manage to smell a few days old dried-up blood splatter from a few hundred meters away...

I'm guessing he is the best sensor in the world, though I could be wrong... He's certainly better than me...' The 8 Tails within B also commented on the scene.

The Tailed Beasts were also able to act as sensors, and quite good ones at that. But Gyūki was quite sure that none among his brothers and sisters could match Ken when it came to their sensorial powers...

'Such is the way Nature Energy works... Though I still fail to understand how the body of this 'Ken' actually functions...' Gyūki pondered for a few moments as Ken started moving.

The Raikage and the rest followed suit, dashing through the cloud of dust that Ken had raised with confidence in their eyes before they were filled with dust.

Ken didn't have any issues, as he wore a mask, it wasn't like he had any eyes that dust could affect though.

The Raikage and A just used their Lighting Style Chakra Mode. Killer B was a bit less fortunate, having to cover his eyes with an arm as he ran forwards.

In the end, it didn't take Ken more than a few moments to find the entrance to the hideout, more specifically, he found a 'less underground' part of the cave system, a place where they could create an entry.

A's eyebrow trembled a bit when Ken had managed to find a potential entrance so quickly, but that did also raise another question in his mind.

"... If you're able to find an entrance so easily, then why did you send someone ahead of time?" It was a rather decent point, but it also assumed that Ken had sent 'The Third Blade' to look for an entrance.

"My man was only here to keep an eye for any movements... He was never meant to get close enough to discover any entrances..." Ken slowly walked around a bit before finding the perfect point to create a cave entrance.

"Enough with the interrogation A... We'll have a talk about your behaviour again when we get back home." The Raikage had also gotten fed up with his son's willfulness.

He hadn't expected that much arrogance out of the one he had prepared to become the next Raikage, it was shocking to see that Killer B was more behaved than him...

A just looked to the side and mumbled something, while B just sighed and scratched the back of his head.

"...Soo... Are the three of you ready? We're going to be fighting quite a few people, the numbers of this organization are actually rather staggering, certainly greater than the ones of the Grass Village from what I can sense..." The Blind Swordsman said as he turned his head to the ground below them.

"Heh... To think such a force was hiding in our midst..." The Raikage spat out with a scowl on his face and frustration in his gaze.

"No need to fuss over it... We'll handle everything now."

Ken spoke out as he tapped his wrist and took out his long blade, brandishing it with one hand without any difficulty.

He also placed the sheath of the blade back into the seal, as he wasn't planning on using it.

"I'll make the entrance," Ken said as he signalled for the three of them to stand back.

He then grabbed his long sword with both hands, covering it in chakra as it sparkled with lighting, looking as if it had just gained life.

The Masked Assassin then jumped to the sky, twisting around a few times and building momentum with ease.

The wind around him twisted and turned, as he swung his blade down to the ground below, sending a sizable flying slash towards the ground.

The entire ground shook and caved in, as the flying slash fragmented the earth all around them with the Raikage and the rest having to jump up in order to not lose their balance.

The dust that rose up to engulf all of their surroundings disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared, as Ken swung the blunt side of his blade and blew it all away.

B was almost blown away alongside it, but he managed to hold on by forcefully landing and sticking to the ground.

Now they all had a clear view... Below them was a rather large drop, leading to a gigantic hall, one that had been carved out from stone.

Hundreds of cultists were already looking up at the crack in their ceiling, and many people within the cave system were alerted to the tremor as soon as it happened.

Further inside, one man with two pairs of eyes slowly opened them, tattooed all across his body were the signs of Jashin, not one part of his skin was left uncovered, and the signs also seemed to be tattooed on his eyes.

'So we have more visitors... Huh?'

The man then slowly gestured to some of the people that stood kneeling inside the room, as a confident smile rose to his face.

"Devout followers of Jashin... Those who have gained his blessing and those that have proved their adoration...

Go out there and make sure that our Lord's most sacred grounds are not tarnished by these dirty heathens..."

The man spoke out with authority, and a dozen men and women of different shapes and sizes all got up slowly, each wearing long robes and carrying different red weapons.

"We shall paint the halls with their blood..." The 10 devout followers chanted as they then took off, each faster than the last.


Hope you liked the chapter!

Mad cultists incoming! Tho the intruder squad this time around is pretty stacked(good luck to them basically, they'll need it)

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