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Travelling to Kiri – now that was going to be an adventure. She still didn’t know the exact reason why she was going there. Maybe she would sort some things out with Ayakashi or something. But she planned on remaining under the radar. She wasn’t in anyone’s Bingo Book nor was she on anyone’s hit list, so everything should go smoothly. But just because they should didn’t mean they would. She was aware of that and for that reason, she was prepared. Soul Cutter was well hidden and sealed away in a scroll, so there wouldn’t be much of a problem there. She would take all the necessary precautions in order to keep herself alive. And if worse came to worse, there was no shame in running and admitting defeat, should she need to. She knew when to give up and call it quits at this point in her life. Maybe a few years back she would have been too hardheaded, but life had taught her enough lessons already for her to believe that her past mindset was outdated and unnecessary.

The young mercenary packed the bare essentials into a small bag. She had her weapons and a change of clothes. She had already notified Tsuyo that she would be gone for a few weeks. It would likely be less than a month before she returned, but she had told him that she had no set dates on when she would be back. He knew how to call her if she was needed anyways. And so Gin would travel to the Hidden Mist. She hadn’t been there in years. The last time she had stepped foot in that village was for the Mizukage’s inauguration and Sero Osada’s funeral. It had been a long time ago, at least five or six years since that had happened. Looking back on it now, she still thought it made no sense that she was called by the daimyo of the Water Country and given the honor of handing the village’s leadership to someone new.

Gin supposed that the reason behind that was purely political, so that the Hidden Sand and the Hidden mist could form ties and possibly a military alliance that would come into play in future wars or invasions. But Gin was just one woman, one soldier. She never thought that her authority and image would mean so much to her country, that she would become a sort of ideal for people to follow. And because she had refused to be molded into the ideal that the politicians wanted, she forced into exile. The world was cruel and unfair, but the young woman had learned that long ago – likely when she was fourteen and her first love had been banished from his home for something that she had done.

But now was not the time for such thoughts. She was travelling and needed to concentrate on exerting all of her speed and driving her body to the limit in order to reach the village in under two days. Breaks weren’t an option, so she had taken a number of food and energy pills with her in order to keep herself going. She was only human, after all. With her weapons securely sealed into her scrolls and weapon pouches, she set off. In a few moments, she had passed the gates of Iwagakure and entered the surrounding forests. Yes, in two days, she would reach her goal. After that, she could relax in Kiri’s hotsprings. She looked forward to it.

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Naruto and Naruto Shippuuden belong to © Masashi Kishimoto.