It had been a while since Sakura had received a mission. Day-to-day training with Tsunade and studying healing jutsu was fine and all, but Sakura was really itching for an opportunity to stretch her legs and put her jutsu to good use. For days she had begged Tsunade for a mission, but, aside from some D-rank missions, which would have been a waste of her talents, there just wasn’t anything coming through. Until, finally, it seemed Sakura’s prayers had been answered.
Having been summoned by Tsunade, Sakura stood alongside Hinata, Ino, and Tenten. They were all gathered before the Hokage to receive their mission briefing.
“There has been a report of a rogue ninja that may prove to be a threat to a neighboring village,” Tsunade explained.
“Apparently, the ninja has stolen an ancient artifact of some great power. Your mission is to capture the ninja alive if possible, and return the stolen artifact.”
“Yes, Tsunade-sama!” Sakira confirmed excitedly. Finally she was getting the mission she had long-awaited. She couldn’t wait to get back in the field and lead her own team of…
“As for the team leader,” Tsuande said, interrupting Sakura’s train of thought. “Since this is an A-rank mission, and due to potential danger involved, I have contacted the Sand Village and recruited Temari to act as team leader.”
Sakura was a bit disheartened by the news. She had hoped that, as the Hokage’s apprentice, she would have been trusted to lead the team herself. But, nevertheless, she knew she would have to comply with the Tsunade’s commands. Besides, team leader or not, any mission was better than no mission.
“Is that all understood?” Tsunade asked
“Yes, Tsunade-sama,” Sakura and the others replied in unison.
“Good,” Tsunade said. “You will meet with Temari outside the village in one hour. After that, you’ll straight for the Village Hidden Amongst the-”
“FOOD?!” Ino cried. “What kind of a name is that for a village?”
“Now, Ino,” Tenten said. “Tsunade said they’re a very respected village. Some of the world’s best cuisine has come from them.”
Ino sighed. “Yeah, I guess,” she said. “So how much longer till we get there?”
“It shouldn’t be too much longer now,” Temari said. “Hinata?”
Hinata nodded and activated her Byakugan. Though the village was impossible to see to normal eyes, Hinata could see it clear as day and, as Temari had said, they weren’t too far from it.
“We’re coming up on it soon,” Hinata said. “It shouldn’t be more than another 10 or 15 minutes.”
The group had been travelling for close to three hours and, understandably, they were all getting a little anxious. Sakura, for her part, had been mostly quiet; still a bit disappointed that she hadn’t been allowed to lead the mission.
“Sakura?” Hinata said, snapping Sakura out of her daze. “Is everything alright?”
“Oh, I’m fine,” Sakura said, trying to sound positive. “I’m just really focused on this mission. And I’m really interested to see what the Village Hidden Amongst the Food has to offer.”
“Yeah, I’m sure,” Ino said.
“Hey, I hear they’ve made some great strides in medicinal research,” Sakura said defensively.
“Yeah, well, just make sure you don’t make any strides to the all-you-can-eat buffet,” Ino retorted.
“Ino!” Sakura cried indignantly. “You-”
“Enough!” Temari yelled. “The mission is our top priority.
We’ll be at the village in a few minutes and we will all respectful. Understood?”
Sakura, Ino, Hinata, and Tenten all nodded.
“Good,” Temari said.
Not another word was spoken until they arrived at the village.