She couldn't smell her through the smoke. Her ears were filled with a low ringing and the crackling of flames and the beating of her heart and her ragged breaths.
An unsteady step from the tree sent the world spinning again and she stumbled to the ground, a clawed hand finding itself in flames.
Yuuko had laid the trap, he knew what could happen. If he had guessed that his sister would follow the woman, had either wanted the girl safe or wanted to keep her from reaching the sennin... then she was safe.
She had to put her faith in the boy and instead focus on the chaos around her before it spread too far.
Her head turned towards her hand in the flames, feeling the heat on her face, fire chakra surrounding flesh to protect against burns....
Her voice was a quiet murmur as she blindly pondered the flame, steadying and calming herself as scales covered the remaining patches of skin along with her clothing, her hair trading places with two straight, subtly curved ivory horns jutting back from her skull.
And then her chakra spread from her hand, fueling the flames, drawing them as if they were her own, so much like how she would with electricity... before she reabsorbed the chakra, feeling the heat around her hand snuff out.
Was it worth the risk?
Her lips curved into a fanged grin.
Why the hell not?
She rose to her feet, wobbling until a silver tail grew from the base of her spine and she leaned forward slightly, using it to better balance after the blow to her head.
And then... flames exploded outwards in the radius of a mere few meters, drew in the ones that existed, burned them out, and she withdrew the chakra, gasping for air until she focused fuuton into her mouth, nose, and lungs.
If she could master this, use it to put out all the fires.... The first attempt left a noticeable impact on her chakra supply, but if she could reduce that when she absorbed it, like he had done in their past battles....
If she could make it instinctual, reflexive, automatic....
She was in the next area within a few steps, her own fire burning out the fires from the explosions before being snuffed out, pulled back in, a little less wasted.
She was ignoring the hunt now, instead focusing on burning out the fires and fine-tuning her chakra absorption, allowing the wind to blow away the smoke naturally. The burned parts of the forest would regrow, with time, bringing new life to the place, but she was determined to make certain that the current life was marred as little as possible by the man-made fire... and she was focused on this different kind of training, as well, discovered in the midst of the dangerous test she was willingly taking.
(Kudos to Arzur for making the pic! ;D )