Only two pillars remained; one each for Tenten and Sakura. They both knew that, with each passing second, more and more people were falling to Marunomi’s jutsu. They rushed as fast as they could.
Finally, they were upon them, both reaching their pillars at approximately the same time. Tenten pulled out a large mace, while Sakura reeled her hand back, ready to deliver one last punch. They both struck the pillars, demolishing them. With all the pillars gone, the giant dome flashed several times, and then, sure enough, began to dissipate. Soon, the entire dome was gone filling Tenten and Sakura with immense relief. They both headed for the village square to check on the villagers.
Lady Sushi stared up at the sky where, just moments ago, the huge dome had encapsulated her village. While many of the villagers cheered, she herself was unsure what to think. Did this mean that the ninjas had been defeated Marunomi?
“Lady Sushi!” cried a voice from a fair distance.
She looked to the source of the voice and saw that it was Sakura, who rushed to her side.
“Are you alright?” Sakura asked.
“I’m fine,” Lady Sushi responded.
“Lady Sushi! Sakura!” cried another voice.
Lady Sushi and Sakura looked up to see that it was Tenten. In a matter of moments, she joined them.
“You two…destroyed the barrier, then?” Lady Sushi asked.
Tenten and Sakura nodded.
“So…then you’ve defeated Marunomi?” she asked hopefully.
Tenten and Sakura paused for a moment, doubtfully. “We’re not sure,” Sakura said. “Temari and the others went off to fight Marunomi while Tenten and I destroyed pillars.”
“WHAT?!” Lady Sushi cried. “No, no…”
“Lady Sushi?” Tenten said uncertainly.
“Why did you stay behind? You all should have gone off to fight her!” yelled Lady Sushi.
“Lady Sushi, please,” Sakura said. “We couldn’t leave you all to die like that.”
“No, you don’t understand!” Lady Sushi cried. “The effects of the jutsu are temporary!”
“What?” Tenten said.
“Everyone who’s been turned into chakra will be back to normal in less than an hour!” Lady Sushi explained. “You all should have combined your strength to defeat Marunomi! Then you could have freed us afterwards!”
Suddenly, a horrible realization entered Tenten’s mind. “No...is this what she wanted?” Tenten asked.
“Tenten?” Sakura said.
“She wanted to divide us,” Tenten said. “She wanted to split us up and we fell right into her trap.” She clenched her fists in frustration.
Having calmed down a bit, Lady Sushi replied, “No, it’s my fault,” she said. “I should have told you everything I could about the jutsu.”
Lady Sushi’s words did little to alleviate Tenten’s anger. The fact still remained that they had been tricked; that they had failed. And now who knew what Marunomi was doing and-
The voice snapped Tenten out her anger. She raised her head and saw that it was Sakura.
“If that’s true, then we need to rejoin Temari and the others,” Sakura said.
Sakura was right, and Tenten knew it. She calmed herself down and rose to her feet, as did Sakura.
“Yes...you're right. Let’s go,” Tenten said
“Leaf ninjas,” Lady Sushi said.
Tenten and Sakura turned to her attentively.
“You must destroy the Behemoth’s Tongue,” she said.
“Destroy the Behemoth's Tongue?” Sakura repeated, surprised. “But Lady Sushi, you said-”
“I know,” she replied. “But I know now that that…monstrosity cannot be allowed to exist anymore. So please, I beg you…destroy it.”
Though a bit apprehensive at the idea of destroying an artifact, Tenten and Sakura were not ones to refuse a request from their employer. Especially if it made their jobs easier. The two turned to each other, and nodded.
“We understand,” Tenten said. “We’ll be back.”
And with that, both of them were off.
“I hope you will,” Lady Sushi muttered.