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Archive for May 3, 2014

Fanfic Recommendations 22

My own Fanfics:

Wind Monk Banishment & Spin- Offs


Fanfics that I have found interesting and have recently been updated:

Power Games 6

A Nanoha Fanfic

Summary: There’s no such thing as happily ever after. Life goes on – even dearly bought. All Precia’s plans may come to nought as shadowy actors take to the stage. But nothing unmasks a man like his use of power. Second of the Gamesverse series.

Fairy Dance of Death 27

An SAO Fanfic

Summary: What if Akihiko Kayaba had created the Death Game of Alfheim Online rather than the floating castle of Aincrad—a world in which the nine player races are in competition to escape the game, and player killing was not a crime but rather a predictable product of human nature and tribalism in the face of mutually exclusive goals? AU reboot of the SAO universe.

Symbiosis 33

A Pokemon Fanfic

Summary: In a different life Ash Ketchum looks upon his world from an unique perspective.

Loyalty 15

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: Sakura is ensnared in a world of deadly intrigue her last year in the Academy. As an unwilling agent of Oto, can she discover what it means to be loyal in a world that promotes deception? Will that loyalty conflict with her growing sense of self-worth? AU

Take 2 Round 2 9

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: What do you get when you cross several interdimensional god like beings, raw boredom, a world of Naruto that went wrong, several years worth of off screen training, common sense, insanity, humor, sarcasm, the Log, explosions, plot, and overall chaos? Apparently a lot of headache medicine for Tsunade. May the Games Begin. Sequel to Yet Again With A Little Extra Help.

Introverted 62

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: Being ignored and gazed at with hatred can lead someone to become a boisterous and loud orange-wearing shinobi, but it can also drive him to become a silent and invisible introvert. Of the two, Naruto takes the logical choice for a future in the Ninja World. Team Sai-Naruto-Sakura. No pairings. Future of bloodshed and grittiness assured.

Team 7’s Ascension 1 – 10

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: To Kakashi, the Genin of Team 7 were morons of the highest order. Despite that, he still saw the potential in each of them and he’d be damned before he let it go to waste. Features a strong Kakashi, a less forgiving Sandaime, and three terrified Genin. [AU]

Devil’s Advocate 1 – 13

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: An accidental meeting brings Zetsu into Naruto’s life as his tutor. With Zetsu intending to sway Naruto to his own philosophy of “the only one you can rely on is yourself”, Naruto discovers that the world isn’t as black and white as his tutor is, that there are at least two sides to every story, and that he has a lot to learn. Hints of NaruIno and NaruTen; grey!Naruto

The First Shifting Grains 1 – 13

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: Sabaku no Gaara lands in the past to a time where everyone feared him and his father was still alive. He realises this will force him to regain everyones trust when they still think he’s a blood-thirsty psychopath. Time-Travel.No pairing.

Harry Potter: Junior Inquisitor 25-26

A Harry Potter Fanfic

Summary: Before the start of fifth year Dumbledore changes the plans. Unfortunately he didn’t bother to inform Harry. At his trial, Harry realises that it is down to him to save his own skin. To do so his Slytherin side must come out to play, and once it’s out it sticks around turning life at Hogwarts on its head.

A Demon Among Devils 1 -6

A Persona 3 / High School DxD Crossover Fanfic

Summary: Igor had asked him to die for the world. She would ask him to die for her. Problem was, he didn’t really like dying, not for a second time, at least.



Wind Monk Banishment: Fox Chronicles #2

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment – Fox Chronicles

Chapter 2: Collateral Damage

Naruto Age: 14


Soft plops of falling droplets spoke of the sole ambient sound in the confined space of metal. The dreary autumn-colored illumination wavered from their endless duty of combating the encompassing darkness. Only two living creatures remained in the metal sewer, and they were currently facing each other down.

“Come on already,” Naruto felt tense as he continued his attempt to weasel info from his symbiotic resident. “Is it that hard for you to start spilling what you know about my parents?”

It had been roughly a few months beyond a full year since his induction into the Wind Temple. Hours upon creeping hours had been eaten away through meditation, inching himself further and further into gaining access to his mindscape. It was only recently that he could access it under his own power at will.

Despite his best efforts in co-existing with the fox, pride rankled it’s every fiber. It boasted a massive repository of knowledge and age, which engraved a sense of self-worth and pride beyond that of a human’s, yet was forced into such an unsanitary and confined space that it craved freedom. To have its pride be stepped on by its jailer’s mere existence did little to make the idea of a peaceful partnership appealing.

The Kyuubi snorted. “Once again, not until you do something about this confounded seal.

Rising frustration made itself known. Involuntarily, the corners of Naruto’s mouth sipped to form a grim pout. “I’m working on it, but the sealing style is made of two Four Symbol Seals that overlap. I just need to figure out which part of array is the most prominent in dealing with the mindscape appearance.”

The level of condescension the fox held to him revealed itself in the form of a smug grin that bared ivory fangs. “In that case, I may as well be waiting until you hit your mid-100s given your IQ. You only graduated from the Academy on a technicality and because of your reserves, not your brain.

“Cheap shot!” The jinchuuriki unleashed the tension by stomping. Furrowing his brows, he proclaimed, “You know damn well I was sabotaged by Mizuki and those lousy instructors. I’ve been flourishing in the temple!”

Shifting its shoulders, the chakra demon showed just what it thought about his progress. While his knowledge had been expanding, it was beneath a level that the ages old demon would consider flourishing. Comparing it’s jailer to it’s creator, it was barely noticeable at best.

The futility of his efforts ate away at his patience with the jailed creature. Fearing the dissolution of their minor tolerance of each other, Naruto turned his back on the fox. “You better keep your promise. You don’t want your coat to smell bad from soaking in it until the day we both pass away, do you?”

A twinge of malice rolled off the creature at the barb. Narrowed eyes bore down upon the miniscule human. “Don’t compare me to your kind. I am a superior being, and unlike your kind, I don’t lie.

The sudden change of disposition grabbed Naruto’s attention. He peered over his shoulder on observation. “Is that so?”

I only tempt. I offered you power when needed, and had you accepted it I would have destroyed whatever earned your ire in exchange for my freedom.

He arched an eyebrow. “But I’d be dead once the seal broke.”

The fox’s lips curled. “A minor detail I’d be willing to overlook.”

Naruto could only sigh at the blatant lack of concern over his well-being if the fox got out. “You see, its lines like that make me less that eager to take your help…”

At that, the world melted away and slowly faded back into reality.

Naruto sighed once again as he freed himself from his mindscape. His legs felt the numb after spending so much time in a lotus position, meditating in his room under the light and warmth of a lantern that fought the darkness in a struggle that would last until it was extinguished.

The change in the fox’s attitude told Naruto something new about its morals. Or rather, it had them. He would add it to the mental checklist he complied for his future interactions with it.

Stretching out his arms as he made his way to a small desk in his room, Naruto eyed the stack of books there. Generalized Seals for the Moderate Maker was the one he was currently focused on. He had taken to sealing in deference to its utility and out of remembrance of his clan.

Seals were versatile, but also a major pain in the ass. There was so much freaking math and planning involved in creating seals from scratch. Whoever said that it was just scribbling lines on paper and feeding it chakra should be beaten with a Bo…and then made to catch Tora endlessly…

It was difficult—more so than anything else he had ever done. Being the sole known survivor of a clan meant carrying the entire weight the clan’s past and being forced to be compared to them forever. You have to live up to their standards, and must carry the acts and duties of multiple generations on your back.

It helped him better understand why Sasuke always had a stick up his ass and the Uchiha pride thing…although, Sasuke had a brother responsible for said clan’s destruction. That couldn’t have helped things.

As he pulled out a brush and ofuda-sized slip, he began to work on another one. The Uzumaki was currently dealing with a seal for storing sand, on contact for complexity’s sake. It was practice that every night he would write a seal up that he memorized until the motions were done by muscle memory.

He’d like to do something cooler, but he couldn’t risk it while still inside the temple. Not after he screwed up the conversion symbol and didn’t adjust for the expulsion of the chakra, turning what was essentially a chakra venting seal into a bomb…

Or the time his reinforcement seal overflowed and blew up that training staff…

Or when he tried that barrier seal and it ruptured from an imbalance due to the faulty chakra redirection formula…

No wonder there were so few seal masters or creators. You fuck up once and it could be your last. He could swear some of the other monks-in-training were taking bets on when he would blow himself up trying body seals.

Even the process of writing them was difficult. Each stroke of a brush had to be infused with chakra for a reason—conservation of energy. Having an ocean of chakra didn’t help, as too much would simply overstep the bounds of the array code being written, so his reserves did little to aid it.

He eventually decided to just soak his ink well in his chakra and let it stew for a while, rather than trying to control the flow directly. He would get it eventually, but until then baby steps. Sealing was an art and to be learned over the course of a lifetime.

One interesting tidbit Naruto realized was why exactly scrolls were used for storing items rather than something like a bangle or solid object: Space. Items didn’t just vanish into the scrolls, they merged into it. They were broken down and actually integrated into the coding on the paper itself through a careful systematic formula array.

But they were fragile. If you so much as even cut a sealing scroll by a few centimeters, it would cause a catastrophic failure and botch the holding—possibly unleashing the entire payload and rendering the array inert. Something like steel would be better…so he would set that as a goal.

In the case of elemental or personal storage seals like they used for water here, the symbol in the center of a seal determined what was held. To hold things like water or fire, the array had to be fitted to store things like the properties, the molecules, and convert the states from an immaterial form to the solid materialistic form. That was what the center symbol was for.

Explosive tags for instance held not only fire, but force as well. They were tripped by chakra fed into the paper and triggering the intake to set up a chain reaction with chakra already stored inside, The invasive chakra merely pulled the pulled the pin, the stored chakra did the real work once it was converted into fire and kinetic force.

But seals that affected humans and animals were so much more complex. He had to get some lessons in human anatomy by Instructor Marin in her free time since the medical monk knew human anatomy like the back of her hand. Her figure reminded Naruto of Shizune, but with brown hair and eyes.

That wasn’t to say Naruto wasn’t making any advances on his own. He could make those seals now and kept them stored away for a time of need, but more impressively he could dissect more common and a few obscure seals that used the universal sealing code language in mere minutes and modify them to an extent.

Not to mention by experimenting with the arrays, he found his own personal abbreviated pseudo-code for his personal seals, reducing the size and time needed. He started by using the books they had and the common sealing formulas. It took over 285 nights of study and quick naps, but it was a start.

He needed more practice on custom ones though, not to mention familiarizing himself with various nations own array coding languages. Then again, that was only if he planned to work as a seal master, designer, or specialist for them. He could be a freelancer instead.

Looking at the Sand Absorption Seal, he took a bit of sand he kept in a small dish on the desk and placed it on the ofuda. One…Two…Three seconds later, it was gone. He must’ve screwed up the time-lapse on the contact…or was it the pressure sensitivity anchor of the array.

“Bah!” Frustration forced him to run his fingers through his hair. “Sleep now, bitch about what went wrong later…”

Next Afternoon

Naruto’s body felt heavy. The Four Limbs Weighting Seal forced his muscles to stay tense and strong as they were wrapped in prayer beads. He would deactivate them when he needed to by venting the chakra that kept the seal active, but for now they served an important role in increasing his strength.

It was training time and Naruto stood at the top of the huge cliff bordering the temple. The flat and solid surface was good for a change, and the abundance of boulders made for good target practice. Had he been alone, he would have crafted the Rasengan to see how long he could sustain the concentration for it while in use since he could do it without a clone now.

Extending his fingers, he pushed chakra towards the tenketsu at the tips until thin blue needles began to push outwards. You didn’t need to be a Hyuuga to attack from the tenketsu, only see them. Once they were out halfway, he pushed a block chakra out to fire them. The chakra needles—a technique used by the medical-focused monks for acupuncture healing—barely pierced the rock beyond the tip.

It hurt the first time he tried it and took a while to get the points used to processing the chakra being so condensed, but he got it after a month with the shape manipulation exercises. Naruto weaponized it to give himself a sense of armament, and while it wouldn’t do much harm to rock, it could go into flesh. If only he were better at using the Wind Chakra affinity he possessed.

Moving his right forefinger to the ground chakra flared and set his fingertip ablaze with cerulean fire. The superheated chakra of the Finger Carving Seal burned another count mark before Naruto cancelled it. Four months of practice and he could only hold it for ten second increments before it would give him a chakra burn.

Rasengan for close range and Chakra Needles for long-range, not nearly close to the usefulness of the clones he had, but good enough for now…baby steps. He had to focus on sealing instead and training his body. But for now, he rested and turned his attention the other person on the plateau.

He watched as a girl his age performed what seemed to be a Body Flicker. Her violet hair wrapped in a bandana as she touched the ground at one point, adjusted, and then appeared at the next point faster than an untrained eye could track. What was her name again…oh yeah, Mina.

However, he noticed it wasn’t a Body Flicker. That technique was simply vitalizing the entire body with chakra to move at a quicker pace than the eyes could typically track without chakra or experience. This was similar to it, but it didn’t allow chakra to flow through the entire body, just the legs and feet to work the bone and muscle.

Vital Step was what it was named. Since ninja monks had shinobi roots it was probably another variation or branch. Naruto found it difficult because it required turning your foot in a certain manner as you touched down and threw him off because of his ninja training. That led to him flying because he couldn’t stick the landing.

Not to mention their rationality. Monks would visualize the space between them and the point they wanted to go, and imagine the earth itself contracted to reach it in one step. The chakra would adjust accordingly if enough was present and bring them to it in a single movement. It was more about letting the chakra flow naturally with the earth rather than forcing it.

That was a clear contrast to the years of practice he did as a ninja.


The ringing of a gong symbolized the end of his training. It was time to meet with the monks and discuss a task to be done, requested by one of the minor villages that couldn’t afford to hire Suna to do it. Having heard about it this morning, something resembling anticipation bubbled up inside his stomach at the thought, and he made his way from the plateau shelf to the temple below…

Two days later

The assignment had been to simply assist a small village in reinforcing their homes to defend against the brutal windstorms that appeared annually. Their finances have to go towards paying the carpenters for permanent restructuring to avoid the constant reinforcing, and it left the villagers in a tight spot, so they appealed to the Wind Daimyo.

He sent the monks of the temple to assist. There were three elder monks, including Ashua, and twelve monks-in-training who had at least a year under their belt in the service of the temple, as well as a few more experienced ones, so they would be ensured to have the stamina necessary to endure any desert travel or other tasks.

“This reminds me of D-class missions,” Naruto mused out loud. “Is there any particular reason the Wind Daimyo asked this many of the monks do such a small task?”

“It makes the Wind Daimyo looks good because he’s taking care of even his poor villagers,” Mina stated, helping him carry some of the materials for the carpenters when they arrived. “After the last guy nearly caused a war, he needs to rehabilitate image of the position and get in good with the people before someone takes advantage of the situation and plan a coup d’état out of fear. ”

The fox decided to chime in. “Let’s hope it doesn’t go the way of your other missions…With your luck, it’ll be…a B-class mission by the end of it.

We’re in the middle of a desert,” Naruto retorted. “What’s the worst that can happen?

Right on cue, Instructor Diemia—the instructor for the advanced chakra control classes—appeared and shouted, “Everyone inside! A storm is coming!”

Not. A. Word.” Naruto warned the fox. His luck did not have effects over nature. He did not tempt fate.

The windstorm that came took hours to die down, raging against the walls of the building they housed everyone in.

Naruto decided to spend the time working on his chakra control by utilizing the Cube Exercise—shaping his chakra into a small, translucent cube that was hollowed inside. The technique was rumored to have helped in the development of the Second Tsuchikage’s Dust Element technique.

It goes that before Muu became Tsuchikage and was young, he infiltrated a village and was injured. His escape was facilitated when his ability to become a non-person with the Hiding with Camouflage Technique was just starting out, but he found himself within the care of a sect of monks on a pilgrimage. He witnessed their shape manipulation exercise before parting and worked into developing it to aid in manipulating his Bloodline Selection.

In was in the honor of the monk’s belief of separation from the physical plane and ascension to the spiritual, that he named the Dust technique Detachment of the Primitive World…although, there was sincere doubt that they expected him to go out and turn it into a technique that pounded the enemy into dust through the earth, wind, and fire elements. There was nothing physical to be attached to afterwards.

Once he fully developed it, numbers didn’t matter anymore. After all, reinforcements in battles only counted if they weren’t killed in one hit. The second Mizukage had his illusions to fall back on, which was the primary reason they killed each other. How befitting for the fate of two Kages.

Instructor Diemia was capable of creating boxes and barriers of various sizes, to be used as platforms and defenses. He was a middle-aged man from overseas getting along in years, with white-hair that was a bit shaggy and wore glasses. He oversaw Naruto’s development in the chakra control department along with his other students.

Naruto found shaping it into a box was easy compared to the Rasengan. The main difference was he was hollowing it out, which meant not filling it with chakra and molding what was present, meaning he needed better control. Actually separating the box from his body took concentration and a steady flow of chakra to maintain it—also, the durability was shot since it was so thin and not rotating.

He was in the middle of crafting a cube between his hands when another one of the monks-in-training tapped him on the shoulder. The guy went by the name Sabo and had a shaved head, emerald green eyes, and prayer beads around his forearms.

“Head Monk is calling for you,” he told Naruto and led him to the room.

Naruto gave a curt bow in respect. “You called for me, Head Monk?”

“It would seem some of the building materials were damaged due to the sudden windstorm,” Ashua spoke grimly. “Without them, I am afraid that they cannot continue their restructuring.”

It is not my fault, Naruto repeated the mantra inside his head. I don’t control the weather.

It was true this time. It was a random act of nature. His luck blowing up in his face would come later on.

“However, it would seem that they managed to get a contingency fee scrapped together to replace the funds and need someone to retrieve the supplies when the carpenters arrive in four days at Namisar, which dwells at the edge of the Land of Wind. Kino, Naruto, Mina, Sabo, and Instructor Diemia will also escort them along the way.”

“Ummm, why us?” Naruto asked.

“My reasons are as follows,” he faced Sabo. “Sabo has prior experience with the city itself, and can guide you through it. Also, I have no doubt he has people he wishes to see after so long.”

The monk-in-training laughed lightly and scratched his cheek. “It has been some time…”

“Mina and Naruto need to become more acquainted with the world beyond the five nations, and the culture shock will be a good experience. Also, Naruto’s new sealing slips will be needed to house the materials. They are impressive…although I worry when you deviate from the formula, so use the ones that are stable and I’ve reviewed, not the experimental ones.”

You blow up a few things and everyone’s a critic, Naruto mentally sighed, ignoring the fox’s chuckle. “Understood.”

“Kino will be acquiring space for the temple stand at the market, which will be put to use later this year as always.” He looked at his protégé and nodded. “To accomplish your goal, you need to familiarize yourself with the various tasks we do.”

“As you wish,” Kino nodded deeply. “I shall carry out my assignment dutifully.”

“Instructor Diemia will be acting in my stead,” he finished. “I trust you will contain yourselves?”

That was directed more towards Kino in relation to the whole shinobi-Naruto affair. The two barely spoke to each other unless required after that whole ordeal. Ashua had seen the slight trembles in his hand, the eyes always watching, recalling the killing intent he felt from the fox. He would have to do something about that. Fear breeds hatred. Hatred led to the path of self-destruction, and both of them needed to steer clear of that road.

They answered in unison. “Yes, Head Monk!”

As they left and he thought of a way to get them past their hurdle, he noticed the teacup he used had been cracked suddenly. “Well, that’s not an omen or anything…I hope.”

Two Days Later

As they ventured south, the endless sands gave way to patches of green, eventually becoming grass plains that bordered the stretch of sea. The salty sea breeze peppered their faces, and they basked in the scent beyond that of the dry desert. It had been so long since they experienced such a sight, if at all.

“Whoa…” Naruto muttered, his cowl dropping from over his head and exposing his hair. His eyes were fixated on the town as they peered at it from above. “This place seems different that what I’m used to. Not like Spring or Moon.”

His fox-state eyes—which the fox still wouldn’t come clean on fixing—observed the various buildings of all kinds of material, the roads, the people of different colors and clothing all wandering around. The main street led to a round-about that served as the market bazaar, where numerous people had gathered, while the alleys led into some less glorious appearing places hidden from the main street view. Canals divided the town into sections, and the beach was lined fine sand on one side and rocky outcroppings on the other.

“Namisar was named in remembrance of a foreign sailor who guided his ship here through a fierce storm and set up trade between the Land of Wind and the continents beyond the 5 Major Shinobi nations,” the instructor lectured him. “Because of the diverse population and culture, many different influences can be seen in the building structures, citizens, and stock they carry.”

Naruto frowned a bit when he thought about how such a place could have his identity exposed. The last thing he needed was for someone to give away his location on the off-chance some loon tried to kill him for revenge or turn him into a weapon. “Is there any chance that a Konoha shinobi could be there?”

“Not very likely,” Instructor Diemia nodded to ease his suspicion. “As a rule, the use of ninjutsu is restricted and all shinobi are required to register ahead of time before entering. You see, not every continent in the world is knowledgeable about ninjutsu or chakra.”

“Yeah…” Naruto scratched his head. “I met a guy named Temujin who said it was comparable to witchcraft. His power came from this freaky stone instead. He had armor and a sword different from a samurai or shinobi—and this really sweet retractable shield bracelet.”

“Even so,” Sabo chimed in. “It’s easy to smuggle yourself into this city, and if you don’t have a headband it’s easy enough to pass yourself off as a civilian and lay low. A lot of guys who want out of the shinobi game, need to disappear, or on an undercover mission might be hanging around.”

He leaned in close and whispered in Naruto’s ear. “Plus, a pretty shrimp like you might run into other problems, since there’s an active Skin Trade going on here due to all the foreigners—that includes your age. You’d fetch a pretty penny, so I’d suggest covering up.

Naruto gulped and proceeded to wrap his head and face up in the head scarf they carried whenever they crossed the desert during the worse heat or windy weather. Only his eyes and the bridge between them were exposed by the face mask. “Okay, I’m good.”

Kino only sighed and shook his head. Unnatural chakra or not, he was still a dunderhead. The monk-in-training wonder if he had been possessed or something at the time and the Head Monk purged it. “Whatever.”

Once inside the town walls, the group split. Kino went off on his own, while Mina and the instructor departed towards the dock to confirm the arrival in two days and then to ensure the materials had been prepared. That left Naruto alone with Sabo, who he barely knew anything about since he hadn’t been all that social with his studies and training.

“So…” Sabo broke the ice between them with a small jab. “Where do you want to go first?”

“I want to pick up some rarer supplies for a few new seals I have planned, but the only money I have on me is what I came to the temple with,” Naruto told Sabo. “That’s not much.”

“Well, how’s your luck at betting?” He noticed Naruto only grinned slightly behind the mask. “That good, huh? Come on then. ”

He led Naruto into a different part of the town, where ramshackle wooden buildings were thrown up with highly mismatched rooftops. Clothing lines and wooden beams ran between them, and the stones of the streets weren’t as polished. Tarps were draped over exposed parts, and windows were little more than uneven holes.

The atmosphere was different than the main street—less vibrant, more downtrodden. It reminded Naruto of the poorer areas of Konoha—even poorer than the apartment that the old man had gotten him, but roughly the same district. Not that Naruto minded the place; really it said more about what was really going on than what was on the surface.

Not too hostile, but not too inviting. It was comforting in a way.

Yet, Sabo was navigating through it like a native. He avoided women of momentary comfort, although he eyed a few along the way. The pickpockets—which Naruto was no stranger to, having been one himself to get by occasionally—smartly avoided the pair with their cloaks making targets hard to spot. Small detours were taken to miss the thugs that would only wind up getting their asses kicked collectively.

He finally stopped at the entrance of an alleyway that led to a brothel and pointed from behind the curb. There were a group of young men who were around a game of Find the Lady. “Easiest way to get the cash you want, but try not to cause trouble for us, because news gets around here.”

“That depends, is he honest?” Naruto asked, familiar with the game. There was a chance that the guys around were shills or he could pull a slight-of-hand.

Sabo only tilted his hand side-to-side, noticing a girl not too far from here. “He’s honest until about 2000 ryou, after that he starts getting slippery. Those guys are marks; since he knows how to use chakra he doesn’t usually need muscle if they get a little rowdy. ”

On cue, the three men gave up and went on their way to the brothel, now that their hopes of earning enough to get another hour of comfort were dashed. “See? Now go play while I go chat with a pretty lady.”

Naruto was ushered down the alley, while Sabo went to the right and met with the girl. Upon seeing the beads weighing down Naruto’s body, the dealer winced as if recalling a painful memory. Naruto put the money down and the game began.

The dealer’s hands were fast, but Naruto’s red-rimmed eyes were faster. Even when he got distracted, he took a lucky guess and came out on top. Eventually the dealer called it quits after Naruto cleaned half of his earnings for the day and gained a small audience filled with marks, leaving the jinchuuriki with more than enough money.

Making his way around the corner after storing his winnings away, he noticed Sabo talking to the girl in what looked like a blouse with shorts before she hugged him. Not wishing to pry, he stayed around the edge of the corner until they separated and he came back around to lead them out. Naruto noticed his shoulders were loose and relaxed, and his eyes didn’t dart around, waiting to catch someone ready to do something.

Combined with the ease of how he pointed to where Naruto could gamble quickly it made something clear. “Sabo, you’re familiar with this neighborhood, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I was an unwanted child who grew up on these streets,” he admitted without an ounce of edge. It was like it didn’t even bother him. “One day I woke up and learned my mom caught a boat back to her homeland and left me behind. Never knew my dad.”

“Sorry for bringing it up.”

“I’m fine with it,” he said. “It happened in the past and nothing I can do can change it…so, since we’re bringing up sensitive topics, how’d you join the temple?”

“They found me in the desert after I got banished from my shinobi village,” Naruto answered. “I underestimated the travel conditions.”

Sabo’s eyebrow rose at that. “What’d you do to get kicked out of a shinobi village?”

Naruto winced. “Completing a mission apparently. The paper came from the top ninja, and what she said goes…Old Hag.”

“That’s rough buddy,” he slapped him on the back in condolence. “Weren’t your parents upset?”

“I’m an orphan…” Naruto sighed beneath his mask. “So, how’d they get you?”

“When there was a pilgrimage that brought them by here a few years ago, me and a few guys tried to pick the pocket of an old monk. Got caught, got interested, and joined up. That dealer you played and a girl who I ran into back there also came along, but they couldn’t handle it. This lifestyle isn’t easy by any means, and while life in the Alley might not be easy, but it’s a whole lot more fun and profitable than temple life.”

“Yeah, to be honest it is a lot harder than I expected,” Naruto agreed. “I may not stay forever, but there’s merit to what they teach and I don’t have anywhere else to go for a few years.”

“Why not travel around the world then?” Sabo asked when they were back on the main street.

“I don’t know…” Naruto muttered. “I might go to Uzushio once all this is done, but the world?”

“Look, see that building?” He pointed to the distance. “Meet us there in two hours. Until then, just walk around and get a feel for the different vibes of this town. It’s like a micro-scale of the world, so you can see just diverse it is.”

Naruto raised an eyebrow. “Where are you going to be?”

“Finding some more of my old friends,” he answered. “There are some places here I really want to go, but you’re a little too young for that. Try not to sell yourself by accident.”

And with that he used Vital Step to go back into the Alley. Naruto only sighed. “I have got to learn to do that.”

With no guide and two hours to himself, the jinchuuriki walked around the port town filled with canals. Konoha had a distinctive feel compared to that of the temple, but this city had a more robust and gritty appeal to it as well. They all had their own charms and follies in the end.

As he walked through the crowd of strangers in foreign clothes from all walks of life and vendors pitching unfamiliar items, Naruto’s nose picked up a strange scent and he wound up going over to a food vendor. He had never heard of a pizza before, but the scent was so tantalizing he bought one.

After he took his first bite, his eyes perked up. “This is my new second-favorite dish!”

Twelve slices later he wondered how far the vendor had to travel to sale the magnificent dish and how different things were there. How different was the world from what he imagined? The vendor had been happy to tell him, given the jinchuuriki had just been his best customer so far.

The vendor mentioned his journey from Itaria and his travels through several different countries with different lifestyles and cultures. Naruto was no longer a villager of the Leaf, he was free to go wherever he wanted. He was banished for three years, but he didn’t have to return.

Better yet, why should he? “Maybe I should travel around when I get older.”

Yeah, like you did when you entered the desert?” The fox chimed in. “That turned out well.

Oh be quiet,” Naruto told it mentally, before following a train of thought that led to him asking it a question. “Hey, Fox. Do you know anything about what Uzushio was like? If I’m going to go by the name I should at least know about it.

I was sealed at Konoha roughly a hundred years ago,” it answered with spite in its voice. “Your mother and distant relative never returned to there after they became jinchuuriki. However, my last host would often look upon a map in remembrance, so I merely know the location by proxy.

Nearly a hundred, huh?” Naruto imagined being placed inside a box and being denied his freedom for over a century. Isolated, alone, and miserable, if he compared it to the near decade of going through that as a child, he could see the fox becoming jaded and malicious to its jailer. “Sorry to hear that.

Apologies won’t grant me my freedom, nor my time back,” the fox growled. “It was a mistake for my Old Man to entrust us to your kind.

Naruto’s ears perked up at that. “Old Man?

The fox didn’t answer. Naruto took it as a hint to quit while he was ahead. He had inadvertently learned more about his apparent connection to the previous two jinchuuriki and considered it enough for the moment. “Thanks for the answers. I’ll go over the notes on the top layer of the Four Symbols Seal tonight and see if I can pick out the array for the mindscape appearance again.

It only snorted in response.

Walking further down into the bazaar roundabout, the wares changed from foods to foreign equipment. As he passed a wooden stand with a guy wearing a black cowl standing in front of a display of weaponry from across the sea—broad blades, kite shields, plate mail and helmets—he asked him if he had one of those shields that Temujin had.

“Hmm…” The man shifted through his inventory until he found something. He placed a cold-blue gauntlet on and pressed a button on the bottom, expanding three layers of diamond-shaped metal, extending the defensive wall to a little more than a foot. “The model you are describing is not native to my homeland, but this one was a standard for the assassins of my homeland to block arrows.”

Naruto decided it was good enough and would make it a personal project to have it spring open on command through chakra by having a seal trip it instead. Plus some seals to enhance it’s durability, since those were covered in his text already and he had less of a chance of shrapnel blowing up in his face. He squirreled it away inside a storage slip. “Pleasure doing business with you.”

The man nodded. “Likewise…”


A loud explosion occurred from one of the branching streets and reach Naruto’s ear.

At the scene

At the sight of the explosion was a wrecked mechanical puppet, several Nadeshiko kunoichi in cloaks with their headbands hidden, Kino, and the man who built the thing in the first place.

Kino had been making his way back to the planned meeting spot ahead of time when the puppet-user attacked the kunoichi known as Shizuka. She destroyed the thing, but in doing so had drawn a crowd towards them and earning Kino’s ire for being a shinobi. He had problems with shinobi, if it weren’t obvious, and thought to confront them.

This could interfere with the mission,” one of the kunoichi whispered into Shizuka’s ear. “This town doesn’t condone shinobi who aren’t registered and we did sneak in. Master Tokiwa hasn’t gotten back yet either.

“What’s going on?” Naruto wondered out loud as made his way toward the crowd to see what the commotion was about.

At the same time, another man was leaving the crowd, finding the situation a bore. He was an oddity with black hair that had green streaks in it in a zig-zag pattern, and a slump posture. His baggy long-sleeve shirt didn’t even rustle as he moved with a fluid grace. Once he parted the crowd, his lackluster gaze was drawn towards the gathering of kunoichi a final time, at the same time Naruto’s focus was on the argument between Kino and Shizuka’s supporters. The man bumped into Naruto on pure accident.

“Sorry about—” Naruto was about to apologize when the sound of metal hitting the stone pavement echoed through the street like the lone ring in a cavern. He looked down to see what it was, and his heart skipped a beat. “A shinobi’s forehead protector?”

The tension in his voice was from the protector being face down, meaning he could be one of the hundreds of Konoha shinobi he knew nothing about. It reached the ears of the trained kunoichi and they began to move.

Sensing the change in the atmosphere, the man dropped all pretexts of being a civilian and made the Tiger Seal to buy some breathing room and punish the fool that exposed him. “Water Style: Water Surface Slicer!

A jet of water spouted from the earth and tore down the street, catching Naruto in the unexpected blast along with dozens of others. The kunoichi managed to avoid it with minor difficulties, but the civilians and two monks-in-training weren’t so lucky. The force of the attack swept people into the air and shattered bones, while the stone shrapnel from the paved ground caught several with enough force to embed themselves firmly into bodies.

The resulting panic had the civilians fleeing in terror, pushing each other out of the way and trampling those who were too slow, leaving injured and dying in their wake—the puppet-user being one of them.

“Go aid the injured, I’ll take him down.” Shizuka commanded her followers as she tossed her cloak away and chased after the fleeing shinobi from above on the rooftops. This would not end well at all. What was supposed to be a simple assassination and capture had gone awry because of the puppet-user and ended with corpses and injured.

Once Kino regained his senses he noticed the battered bodies, mass destruction, and wails of the injured. A vivid scene of a burning village with corpses lining the street overlapped at that moment and rage filled him. Noticing the man fleeing ahead, he summoned his Bo staff from a seal scroll and chased him as well.

Owww…it hurts…Naruto thought. The world was spinning, and several spots on his body radiated pain from being at the focal point of the attack. Running his hand over the spots, he felt hard rock and sticky moisture, only to lower his gaze and see he had been made pincushion for a great deal of shrapnel. What…happened…?

A sense of nausea overtook him when his sense of smell returned and picked up all the iron from the spilled blood. The memories of the attack began to appear as his mind cleared from the disorientation. The screams of many in shock bought his attention toward the direction that the man had fled to. He had to get up. He had to stand.

A…little help, please…” He asked the fox and silence was received. In the place of a verbal response the wounds closed, after the body rejected the shrapnel that tore his cloak and clothes beneath it. The jinchuuriki stood up and sprinted towards the site, venting the chakra in his weighting seals. What he witnessed was a stand-off.

A woman was on the ground, bleeding out as crimson life blood seeped through the furrows in the ground and stained the stones red. A kunai dripped blood and was placed before the neck of a little girl, with a patch of red from a gash in her stomach, in the shinobi’s other arm. The little girl had tears in her eyes, and softly cried “Mama, it hurts,” repeatedly, hoping for a response but afraid of speaking out loud and being killed.

Shizuka’s eyes bore a twinge of regret at the sight. Kino’s glare became murderous, and his fingers gripped the staff tight enough to crack the grain. Eying them both, the man placed the kunai at her neck. “One step, and the brat will get worse!”

“My, my…” Instructor Diemia slowly approached with Mina and sighed at the sight of the man wielding a weapon against a hostage. “Is that really necessary? Was killing an innocent woman in front of her child worth it?”

“Can it old man! This isn’t a—” The man was cut off when a chakra construct formed a thin wall between the dagger and the girl, while another one sprang up at his feet and directly impacted the elbow of the arm holding the girl, releasing her. She was then sealed inside a final one and isolated.

No longer having a hostage, Kino allowed chakra to flow through his staff and thrust it like a spear towards the center of his forehead, piercing through it with intent to kill. There was no rain of blood of brain matter, but the body melted around it while turning clear blue, before collapsing in a puddle…with an explosive tagged kunai inside it.

“Get away, it’s gonna blow!” Naruto yelled as it caught fire.

A triple layer of chakra blocks surrounded the tag before it ruptured and the blast was restrained for the most part, but the shockwave blew Kino off his feet. “What the Hell!?”

“A Water Clone…” Naruto realized. “He must’ve pulled a substitution with it after he lost the hostage and took off! The seal on it wasn’t timed, but limited remote for detonation. Meaning he can’t be too far!”

Kino gritted his teeth and chased after Shizuka—who picked up the screams of panicking civilians to the west a split second beforehand—using Vital Step. Mina and Instructor Diemia worked to stabilize the girl, whose wound was made worse by the explosion and critical.

“Uzumaki, go after Kino!” The instructor ordered. “He doesn’t think rationally in these circumstances and may get himself hurt. Bring him back and let the guards handle this!”

Naruto nodded and took off with very little intention of actually doing that. That shinobi crossed the line.

Shizuka attacked the shinobi in a dead-end alley, next to a canal that was lined with several jerry-built three-story buildings that housed members of the poorer class. With a kunai in each hand imbued with the pale glow of wind chakra, they left luminous arcs as they flowed in an alluring pattern and targeted his head.

The metal forehead protector was pierced in two by the wind-coated kunai as it dug into the skull of the shinobi…only for it to turn into water and then burst in an explosion of force that sent her flying into the wall of the building at the back of the dead end alley. The Clone Great Explosion technique was more effective with a shadow clone because they had more mass, but water was a good medium as well.

Pulling himself out of the canal, he wiped the blood from his head and looked at the ruined forehead protector with a myriad of emotions. He had let his skills degrade to the point where even with a seal-less water clone and substitution he was too slow to avoid any damage. Now he had lost something that simply couldn’t be replaced by pride.

Pulling out two kunai, he sent a murderous gaze towards Shizuka. The kunoichi was stunned from the impact, her head slamming into the wall enough to knock her out. A stab to the head and heart would kill this stupid brat.

He took a single step forward…and then grinded his teeth as he sensed the arrival of another enemy and raised them above with earth chakra flowing through the blades to increase their durability. The kunai crossed each other and halted the hammer strike of the Bo staff as Kino dropped from above, the impact cracking the paved earth beneath the shinobi’s feet. With burst of strength he edged it past his shoulder and stepped in to slash at the monk-in-training.

Kino leaped back, fury in his eyes that called for blood. Extending his chakra flow, he used the limited shape manipulation taught to form a pyramid-shaped tip of hardened chakra at the end of his Bo, turning it into a spear. Then he attacked again.

The spear lashed out in streaks of ethereal blue. Each thrust invading his territory and being deflected by the reinforced kunai. Heart, throat, and forehead—the streaks were accurate to a point, targeting the fatal spots with every intention of killing.

A strained voice escaped the man’s lips in the face of the relentless assault by the monk-in-training. That last thrust towards his throat was deflected into barely passing his head by the left and then retracted. He was by no means an expert in close-combat…But he was a Jounin damn it. He stepped in, taking the range advantage away from the spear-user and getting in close. His kunai were black blurs as they moved in fluid arcs, intent of cutting the kid apart.

Kino had pressed his luck, the folly of thinking that he could match someone who put time, blood, and sweat even greater than his own lifespan and expecting to come out on top unharmed. The reality of the situation was showing itself as he was forced on the defensive, his weapon being chipped away, lacking the time to commit to any defense.

“Ngh—!” Pain exploded in his abdomen from a knee slamming into it, cracking a rib at the very least. Air forced itself out of his lungs and staggered him for but a moment…but that was enough. He could only watch as the kunai prepared to take away his life and cut out his throat—


—it was redirected, while the second came around and nicked just beneath his ribcage as the enemy stepped back and the kunai that was to tear at his throat had been sliced in two. Kino didn’t need to know why he was spared; only feeling resentment it was thanks to a shinobi that it happened. It was because Shizuka had gotten back on her feet and imbued wind chakra into a shuriken. Had he not stepped back, he would have died after killing Kino.

“Damn brats!” The man had had enough of these upstarts. Without a single hand seal, he spat out a blast of concussive water to knock the monk-in-training away and dodged the eight kunai that embedded themselves into the ground, up to the hilt thanks to wind chakra. He bit his thumb, made the seals, and cried “Summoning: Axolotl!

The smoke cleared to reveal a twelve-foot long, eight-foot high, obsidian-black salamander creature. It held gills and a long fin running down it’s spine, shaking as it stood on four legs. Shifting its wide head and lidless eyes, it noted the environment it was summoned into and gurgled as it dived into the canal next to his summoner.

The shinobi formed a hand seal as the Axolotl sucked water down it’s gullet with vacuum force, storing it in it stomach and lacing it with chakra. With a loud spurt, it spat out the regurgitate water at an angle from below and churned the surface of the water in the canal out as a wave, at the same time it’s summoner used his next jutsu. “Earth Style: Mud Spores!

The barreling wave of water became a muddy wash as it rode towards the pair. The panicked screams of those who resided nearby were nearly drowned out by the rushing water. The shinobi finished the collaboration technique with a final jutsu. “Earth Style: Earth Flow Spears!”

The wave hardened as it approached and formed spikes with his next technique, driving them forward into a wall of death at the duo. The cries of those who lived in the path of attack made it clear that if they dodged, more innocents would die. The pair stood in defiance of that outcome.

Shizuka pulled out a shuriken on the tip of finger and exhaled a thick layer of wind chakra, gracefully covering it with the Wind Style: Vacuum Blade technique. The spinning saw was flung, cleaving cleanly through the wall.

Virtuous Art:—” Kino spun his staff and streamed his own elemental affinity of fire into the weapon. The staff was set ablaze with roaring crimson that seemed to scorch the air. Holding it into a thrust position, he launched it forward. “—Agni’s Sacrificial Strike!

The burning missile was fired, streaking like a comet burning the horizon as it passed. It crashed head first into the mass of hard earth and ruptured with an explosion that shook the buildings and threatened to collapse them within the plume of smoke that rolled out as the rubble fell into the canal and onto the streets…with the sole exception of a single block large enough to smash a small hovel on the top of the building.

“Shit!” Kino swore as he prepared to intercept it when Shizuka pushed him down before they were both impaled by a lance of water. Neither would be able to stop the debris from causing more collateral damage…when the jinchuuriki appeared.

Naruto silently dashed across the rooftop and approached with the spiraling sphere of destruction in his hand. Leaping at the incoming clump of hardened mud and spikes, he pushed forward and shattered it. The rain of pebbles did little more than annoy those below as the jinchuuriki dissipated the Rasengan and chambered his hands.

Two swift sweeps unleashed a barrage of Chakra Needles towards the shinobi. The blue darts flew with lethal intent before they were knocked down by a spout of water, and Naruto charged forward, his makeshift mask hiding his expression barring the grim determination in his eyes.

The shinobi went on the offensive, summoning three water clones that ran forward with Water Whips in their hands and lashing out, while the summoning surfaced and used Water Style: Liquid Bullet to spit out condensed balls of water.

The spiraling sphere reappeared in his hand as he slammed it into the balls of water and dispersing them before he darted to the right to avoid the whips as they lashed. With a swipe of his hand another wave of needles pierced the clones and dispersed them as he sped towards the summoning and its master with burst of chakra behind each step.

The Axolotl spun around and lashed out with its tail, catching the jinchuuriki at his stomach and launching him backwards towards the other pair, who were briefly stunned by his sudden appearance. He rotated in the air and skidded to a stop on his feet, his tattered cloak ruffling as he stood again while the fox subtly healed the damage.

“So much for the element of surprise,” his slightly distorted voice came through the mask. “Kunoichi-san, who the hell is this guy?”

Shizuka bit her lips. At this point too much damage had been caused for absolute secrecy. She would tell them the bare minimum. “A missing-nin my village received a request to apprehend him from the Water Daimyo personally since the Village Hidden in the Mist was undergoing some…problems after the civil war. He’s been working for a certain man who runs the underworld here and sinking Land of Water and foreign ships that refuse to pay ‘taxes’ to him ahead of time.”

Left unsaid was how that certain man was in the tender care of her mentor as per a second set of orders to prevent this from happening again. Of course the evidence would only show he had a heart attack from an improperly cut blowfish. By the time the hired hands popped up to check on him, their meal ticket would simply be a cold corpse.

“His name is Mardius, former Jounin of the Hidden Mist. He’s known for his proficiency in water and earth techniques. Thank you for stepping in, but he’s my responsibility so I’ll deal with him.”

“And you’ve done a great job with it so far,” Kino stated coldly.

“Enough,” Naruto said as another a blast of water was fired by the summoning. The pulse of water had enough force to plow them through the building and would tear the arteries from the heart if hit through blunt trauma. Naruto pulled out a sealing scroll and unraveled it, revealing a water sigil in the center.

He had kept it for if they needed spare water at any time in the desert, having learned his lesson the first time. His chakra fed it, and the water from the attack was drunken into the scroll that rolled itself up when done. “Now, I was supposed to bring this hothead back and leave this mess to the guards, but since Kino obviously isn’t going to come back on his own and I don’t want to see anymore needless death, we work together.”

Let’s see, I have only one explosive tag since the Head Monk didn’t allow me to make more of them on principle, a barrier tag, a chakra venting tag…Damn, that’ll have to do for now since I wasn’t expecting a fight. Naruto looked at Shizuka and nodded. “Loan me a kunai will you?”

She tossed him a kunai and it spun in his hand before being reverse-gripped as he charged ahead. Shizuka watched as the masked monk-in-training charged ahead once again and tossed eight shuriken into the air after infusing them with wind chakra. “Wind Style: Rotating Shuriken!

The shuriken manipulated by Shizuka passed by him and tried to cut away at the shinobi’s flesh, but the Axolotl’s interference knocked them out of the air. The missing-nin followed up with a set of hand seals and water from the canal became a floating blob that darted out tendrils of water like striking snakes at the jinchuuriki.

Naruto flipped back before tossing an explosive seal slip into the blob, breaking the chakra mold that held the attack together, as a blur passed him in the form of Kino. In the monk-in-training’s hand was a jian with fire chakra streaming through it as he clashed with Mardius and his kunai streaming water chakra.

The Axolotl prepared to devoured the blade-user when Shizuka dropped from above with her leg wreathed in the glow of wind chakra. “Nadeshiko-Style Hardliner: Revolving Cut!” The attack came down and crushed the summoning, slicing through the head and scattering green blood and brain matter with bits of the flesh mixed in. As she took a minute to center herself from a lack of chakra, she heard the clashing of steel and observed the two monks-in-training facing off against the missing-nin.

Mardius bought a kunai up to parry the jian as he spun, lunging the other towards Naruto. The jinchuuriki dodge and thrust his borrowed weapon in retaliation, which was avoided as he shifted his leg and kicked Naruto into the canal—unaware that Naruto slipped a seal on his leg as he landed the blow. He then jumped and rotated his other leg to come down on Kino’s shoulder dislocating it only because Kino avoided having it shattered with a side step.

Before he could do anything else, blue chakra blossomed from the seal, pouring out like a raging torrent and draining him of his chakra. Chakra venting seal—normally used to vent chakra on things like restraining cuffs, so rather than simply blocking it until it built up, it would seep out. By weaponizing it, it acted as one large tenketsu and emptied the man’s reserves like water through a broken a faucet that was turned on. By the time he managed tear it off, he was near empty.

Mardius scowled as he used both kunai to divert the jian targeting his forehead upwards—leaving him open for Shizuka’s blow as she stepped in with a fist shrouded in wind-chakra. “Nadeshiko Style: Hardliner Gale Fist!

Pain exploded in his torso and the shinobi was sent flying down the alley mouth and struggled to stand. She took out five ribs with that blow. They weren’t broken—they were gone. “Fucking brats!”

He was a Jounin—an elite among the best in the system! Just because the guy didn’t have a big name like Zabuza, he was not a small fry. He would not be bested by a bunch of toddlers, two of which weren’t even shinobi! “Earth Style: Earth & Stone Dragon!

Earth grinded from beneath the paved stone and churned to create rose and formed a dragon that howled and lunged at the trio. While Shizuka and Kino were catching their breaths Naruto went forward, piercing eyes narrowed at the attack as he faced down the dragon of rubble.

On the rooftop above, Tokiwa sighed at just how much the collateral damage was going to cost to repair. She prepared to interfere with a kunai in hand when her eyes narrowed at the sight of the blond wielding the spiraling sphere of blue and charging towards the dragon of the missing-nin—smashing it with a mighty blow. “The Rasengan…?”

Shaking her head and putting it to the back of her mind, she used the distraction caused by the dragon’s destruction to toss the kunai at the missing-nin. Her eyes never left the target as his eyes rolled up into the back of his head, which had a kunai buried to the back of the skull.

Breathing heavily and looking at the woman on the rooftop, Naruto’s attention perked up to the surrounding. He noticed people in their windows looking at him in pure fright, closing them as soon as his eyes drifted upwards. Why are they looking at me like that?

Foolish boy,” the fox spoke up. “It’s not just you. They are afraid of all of you.

“What do you mean?”

Confounded child, it took just four of you fighting to demolish a portion of their home with your jutsu. Bodies of the uninvolved lined the street where he attacked, and the maimed and injured will be lucky to gain full mobility and senses. Not to mention their pathetic sense of security was now shattered.

You were told that many foreigners resided here. How do you think they would react to seeing such actions committed by things wearing the flesh of their kind?

Naruto realized then how the weak saw themselves in comparison. To the many who observed, they would spend their time wondering if the person next to them was a monster wearing a human skin. If shinobi thought he as a jinchuuriki was a monster, civilians thought shinobi were monsters.

You three!” Naruto, Shizuka, and Kino’s attention was grabbed by approaching guards, who brandished their weapons. “Don’t move! You’re under arrest!”

Oh sure, NOW they show up. Naruto thought as he noticed the woman had left. A somber exhalation escaped his lips and the jinchuuriki held his hands up in submission. “Head Monk isn’t going to like this…”

In the Guard Station

Shizuka, Tokiwa, and the rest of the Wind Temple group were at the Guard Station.

Things were tense with the Head of Namisar’s Guard forces as he opened a folder and began to put pictures down on the table of the various issues involved. “17 Causalities, of which included a mother who tried to prevent her daughter from being kidnapped, 26 Injured, some of whom will not be able to function productively in society, and the damage to our town was fairly extensive.”

He slammed his palms on the table hard enough to make the wood crack. “I. Am. Not. PLEASED WITH THIS OUTCOME!

Naruto and Kino winced. They hadn’t caused most of the damage.

The Head Guard rubbed the bridge between his eyes. “The Wind Daimyo will be coming in a week to assess the damage and since you three were involved, while Tokiwa-san was the Jounin leader of the mission, he will be expecting explanations in person to set up communications with the Water Daimyo.”

Focusing his eyes on the two monks-in-training, he nodded. “Given that the monks of the Wind Temple itself are known as practitioners of chakra, we were informed of your arrival purpose ahead of time, and your involvement was to prevent further devastation, we will most likely not press charges. That being said, I insist that you stay out of the public eye for the remainder of your time here.”

He turned to Tokiwa. “As for the kunoichi, the damage could have been mitigated had your forces been more careful and you did not inform us of any mission taking place in our home. By all rights, I should have you all locked away if it weren’t for the fact that you came willingly and the Water Daimyo’s signature seal verified the mission documents. Compensation will be demanded, and we will have to ask that all uninvolved in the upcoming meeting depart immediately.”

“Understood,” Tokiwa nodded. “Reparations towards the repairs, compensation for loss of life and injury, as well as the subterfuge shall be personally contributed by myself, if not through the Daimyo.”

Translation: The money she took from the vault.

The group was then allowed to leave.

“Punishment is in order once we return,” Instructor Diemia stated. “The only reason you are both alive is because that Jounin was out of practice.”

“That and stupid,” Naruto agreed. “He could have just transformed and fled. I think it was because that Nadeshiko kunoichi broke his forehead protector that he decided to fight. Hell, I charged a Jounin only a few months out of the gate in order to get mine back…”

“Why did the guy keep his protector anyway?” Mina asked. “If you were hiding, it was dumb to have the one thing that would confirm you as a shinobi, barring chakra levels.”

“Iruka-sensei often went on about how it was the pride of a shinobi,” Naruto told her. “It was proof of everything they went through, everything they aspired to, the sum of the efforts to become who they are in service to their village. Even missing-nin will have a little pride in their abilities and would hesitate throw it away—maybe scratch out the symbol instead to show they’ve abandoned it—but considering how much one has to go through to be a Jounin, he probably couldn’t justify throwing it away. Especially since from what Kakashi told me about the Mist graduation ritual before Zabuza’s time.”

Zabuza never scratched out his forehead protector because he loved his village. He was intent on overthrowing the Mizukage and ending the purges. Had he not met his death, he would have attempted and possibly succeeded before Mei did.

“Monk-sama,” Tokiwa called to Naruto from behind. “Are you by chance a shinobi?”

Naruto arched an eyebrow. “What makes you think that?”

“Just now, your voice spoke from the heart with no doubt in it, which meant you learned it firsthand and believed it. Also, the way you carry yourself is different than the others. Your stance is slightly more fluid and better suited for moving and using a kunai, in contrast to the rigidity of wielding a staff. Not to mention you used the Rasengan—which is an A-class technique known only to Jiraiya-sama and his apprentice, the Fourth Hokage…at least as far as the Bingo Book listed.”

“The Toad Sage?” Instructor Diemia looked at Naruto curiously. The instructors had been informed he was a jinchuuriki and previous shinobi, but they didn’t know everything. “One of the three legendary shinobi of Konoha?”

“…I have got to get a new signature move,” Naruto sighed, uncaring of how Kino flinched at his affiliation with the famous Konoha shinobi. “Konoha and I aren’t affiliated anymore, and unlike the idiot I left my forehead protector behind as proof. As for Pervy Sage, I’m not sure what he’s doing or even why you’re after him.”

Tokiwa smiled faintly. “I encountered him many years ago and witnessed his technique firsthand. We tried to capture him after he infiltrated our village to spy on several women for his erotica research alone.”

Naruto shook his head in embarrassment. “Yeah, that sounds like Pervy Sage alright. Only he would spy on a village full of kunoichi for his orange-covered smut. Seriously, I met him peeking on women at hot spring on the back of a toad.”

Sounds like my kinda guy,” Sabo whispered to himself.

“So, did you maim him like Granny does?”

Tokiwa merely shook her head. “He fled on a giant toad. I managed to catch up and fought him, ending it in a tie, upon which a promise was made involving his disciple.”

“I think I was the only disciple that he had,” Naruto admitted. “He really doesn’t seem like the type to take students often.”

“Then I must request you duel Shizuka-sama…”

Non-Canon Jutsu:

Virtuous Art: Agni’s Sacrificial Strike – Using Chakra Flow to infuse his staff with fire, Kino throws it like a streaking comet and causes a fairly strong explosion on impact, decimating the staff in the process.

Wind Monk Banishment: Fox Chronicles #3

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment – Fox Chronicles

Chapter 3: Duel with Shizuka

With Naruto – The Past

Naruto’s eyebrow shot up at the request. “I’m sorry?”

“Allow me to explain,” Tokiwa went on about the promise of their apprentices dueling for each other’s hand in marriage…or death, and how Jiraiya had screwed him over in his younger years.

Damn you Pervy Sage! Naruto heard the Sabo chuckling in delight at that. “Listen, about that…”

“I must protest,” the Instructor interrupted. “As his representative, I cannot allow him to do so. The sins of a master cannot be transferred over to a student. In addition, Uzumaki is no longer a shinobi, therefore the promise his former master made can no longer apply to him.”

“Sorry, Tokiwa-san, Shizuka-san, but he’s right. What the pervert promised was only applicable if I was a Konoha shinobi and thankfully I’m not anymore.”

Naruto walked off with the others as Tokiwa looked on. She had no intention of giving up after finally finding the apprentice of that man. After all, it was for the good of the village and the only way for Shizuka to move on.

That Night

“So you were trained by a sage?” Sabo asked. The group in general was bundled together in a single large room, but the instructor was preoccupied with other business.

“Sage or not, I wouldn’t know,” Naruto answered while keeping his focus on the desk in front of him as he worked on more seals. There was a knife he picked up on the way back lying on the table as well. He needed something else in case he couldn’t settle things with a seal and wasn’t confident in his Taijutsu yet. His growth spurt hadn’t kicked in and he still lacked some power behind his punches. “I trained with him for a few weeks at best.”

“What was it like?” Mina asked out of curiosity. “Sages are rare and even monks rarely ascend to that level during a lifetime. Their balance with nature is said to be so in tune that the world itself empowers them and becomes one with them.”

“He never did anything that could be considered sage-like to me. He only taught me one jutsu and had me sign a summoning contract for Toads…then he tossed me off a huge cliff and into a ravine.”

Kino scoffed. “You’re kidding, right?”

Naruto leveled a stare at him. “I’m not. If I didn’t have enough chakra in my reserves to summon the Toad Boss, then I would’ve died. He took a gamble that just so happened to work looking back.”

“I call bull,” he rebutted Naruto’s words. “I’ve done my research on shinobi techniques and know that when you summon a boss, you need more chakra than normally available to most shinobi. No fourteen year old would have the amount of chakra needed.”

“I wasn’t normal,” Naruto said coldly, his finger set ablaze with chakra as he inscribed a seal into the knife’s blade. “The amount of chakra I have on a normal day could surpass an elite jounin. The cost was that my control was shot to hell and back—once I start pouring it into a technique, I couldn’t stop. That’s why I always do chakra control exercises.”

A lot of good it did you if you were kicked out of your village,” Kino muttered.

Thunk! Naruto stabbed the newly engraved blade into the wood of the desk in aggravation. He had good hearing. “Look asshole, I’ve been incredibly patient—for me anyway—and I’m trying to ignore those smartass comments you keep sending my way out of respect for the Old Monk, but you keep up the insults and I’m going to show you what it feels like to get hit by a Rasengan.

“You’ve probably got some sob story that I’m not privy to and it’s probably got something to do with Konoha, but I’ll be damned if I turn myself into a punching bag for you to work out your issues, not after that pink banshee. That Naruto died on his way into the desert. Now if you quit making jabs and sit down to talk about it, maybe we can discuss this like rational people.”

“I’ve got nothing to talk to you about,” Kino replied.

“Fine by me,” Naruto pulled the steel from the wood and sheathed it. Making his way to the door to use the bathroom at the end of the corridor, he continued. “Rather than being a coward, either you speak up or you keep your mouth shut.”

On his way to the bathroom, he crossed a corridor that passed by the garden and found Tokiwa waiting for him.

“So, that’s what you look like without a face mask,” she said calmly.

“Wow, you are persistent…” Naruto leaned against the railing with a blank stare. “If you’ve come to try and convince me to fight then I’ll have to turn you down.”

“I see,” her voice didn’t change but the friendly atmosphere wavered a bit. “Very well, then I’ll have to go to Konoha and talk to him about it. In the process, they may learn of your affiliation and begin to dispatch ANBU to ensure any secrets of Konoha are not unveiled.”

Naruto gritted his teeth. He felt the scarlet haze of anger wash over him, but he controlled his rage in order to play it off. “So you’ve decided to blackmail me with the knowledge that you know who I’m affiliated with. And here I thought you were fairly straight forward as a kunoichi.”

“I prefer the direct method,” she said with her voice straight-laced and crossed her arms. “As much as I would dislike interfering in your affairs, my village comes first and I feel that Shizuka-sama needs to realize herself through an encounter with you.”

“What make you think a former Genin would elicit enough attention to warrant their interest?” He asked. “I wasn’t anyone special or belonged to a clan. I have nothing beyond basic knowledge that any rookie infiltrator would.”

“While Genin are low in the system, they are a part of a military force,” she answered. “Being banished may have been the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge, but you still hold a strong connection to the Sannin to utilize one of their techniques. They won’t let such matters pass easily.”

Naruto clicked his teeth. The Rasengan was merely an advance chakra control technique but it still qualified. “Why the hell are you so intent on having me fight her?”

“For her, destiny has declared she will marry a disciple of the Toad Sage. Only by facing that destiny head on will she be able to grow and eventually lead our village to prosperity.”

“Despite the fact that we could kill one another?” Naruto pointed out. “Chances are she’ll kill me in combat. You’re willing to get someone uninvolved killed for the sake of your village?”

Her eyes hardened. “That’s what it means to be a shinobi or kunoichi. Innocent or guilty, we do what is best for our village, and Nadeshiko needs a strong leader. I won’t lie and say that the chances of her killing you aren’t fairly great.”

“I became a shinobi to earn respect,” Naruto told her. “For a village that ignores a child and kicks him out of an orphanage for simply living, I held no love for Konoha. There are only a handful of people even worth considering the village in a positive light and those were who I’d protect.”

He sighed. “It’s not like I’m getting anything out of this, but whatever. We won’t get anywhere with philosophical discussion, so I’ll do your stupid match. But the time and place are where I set them.”

Tokiwa agreed. “That is acceptable.”

Some Time Later

The sun peaked over the shoreline as Shizuka of Nadeshiko and her mentor Tokiwa made their way to the battlefield chosen by their opponent. It was a distant bank of sand that bordered the ocean, where the head wrapped jinchuuriki sat down, the cloak and cowl hiding his closed eyes and his breathing was calm. The distance from the port city ensured that no one sensed the battle that was going on and no one would get hurt besides the two combatants.

Shizuka subconsciously shifted the pouch containing her tools as she thought of the upcoming battle. From what she had seen at the previous battle he was an alright opponent for her skill set, but he didn’t demonstrate anything resembling an elemental affinity or weapon specialty—barring the typical use of a kunai, but he was a former shinobi so that was expected. What made him so special that her destiny said she would have to marry him upon losing?

She supposed it didn’t matter in the end. While she didn’t know how her mentor had gotten him to agree to this match, she had no intention of losing. If he was too weak, he would die and if he was strong enough to best her then she would follow the laws and duty of her village and marry him.

Shizuka had closed her heart after her beloved Sagiri’s death, quietly accepting that it was her fault in the end that he died. She went against her village’s laws, falling in love with a simple merchant rather than obliging her duty of marrying one stronger than her. If she hadn’t loved him, then he would have been a thriving merchant she was sure. He wouldn’t be with her, but he would have been alive. So she threw herself into training, becoming as strong as she presently was by the sheer determination to adhere to her duty.

As Shizuka took a position in front of the monk-in-training, who finally stood up, she measured the distance between them. It was six meters, hardly anything at all, and once the iron walls came crashing down courtesy of her mentor playing overseer and forming the perimeter of the battlefield, she nodded to her mentor to signal her readiness for combat.

Tokiwa returned the nod and then focused on the boy. “Are you ready, Monk-sama?”

“Anytime,” the boy said. Shizuka noted his voice held was rather calm barring a twinge of annoyance.

Tokiwa nodded and then began the match.

Naruto had to admit he really didn’t want to do this. He disliked having someone blackmail him and spent the time he had before the pair arrived going over the deal with the fox to ensure his cooperation. He immediately dismissed the notion of throwing the match since it was clear with the first move she made that she wasn’t going to hold back and, after having fought alongside her somewhat against that jounin from mist, they both knew she was far more capable than him in both short and long range.

What’s new there? Naruto mentally sighed. Since when hadn’t he been pitted against opponents who should by all rights be far above his skill level? After all, if he only fought people weaker than him then life would be fair and, for Naruto, that was like the moon reflected in the pond—even if such a thing looked close, it was an illusion he could never reach.

The kunoichi began with a dance of steel that rained kunai at him, a steady flow of projectiles that were frighteningly accurate and forced him to be nimble on his feet or suffer the consequences as the sharp steel occasionally punched through his cloak and grazed the flesh beneath. Trickles of blood flowed from the wounds before they were healed just as quickly until the rain stopped.

The jinchuuriki moved, sweeping his arms and unleashing a barrage of azure needles made of chakra as he spun. The first sweep went high and the second sweep went low. The sheer abundance of them ensured that he would hit and she could only avoid by jumping up or blocking. If she jumped, she wouldn’t be able to dodge as he fired from below again. Therefore…

Shizuka exhaled with puckered lips, wind-chakra lacing the expelled air. Her Gale Fan kicked up a torrent of sand that followed the surge of wind. It was a fearsome precision blast that would slam into him like a wall.

Naruto jumped to the side to avoid the stream of air and sand, only to have it follow him as she turned her head. So he kept running to the side, closing in at an angle and pulling out his knife. With a quick side dash he managed to get close enough to attempt to stab her.

Shizuka avoided the stab and slipped behind him to deliver a merciless round kick into his ribs and knock him against the wall. Her fist was laced with wind chakra and followed up with an attempt to crush his head. Instead her fist punched deep into the iron wall as Naruto ducked and spun on his heel.

He raised his knife to strike again and thrust to her face—

WHAM! He was sent spinning like a pinwheel as she shifted from a wind-chakra charged punch to upwards kick. Landing on all fours, he saw several shuriken hover in place with a layer of wind chakra coating them to expand their range and lethality.

Naruto charged as they were thrown towards him. Slipping into a slide, he sheathed the knife as he slid under the shurikens and their extended range. Once past them he went into a spin and unraveled a scroll.

Shizuka’s went wide as she recognized it and threw her arms up before a torrent of water poured out like a burst dam. The seal unleashed all the water it had absorbed from the fight against the missing-nin, effectively hitting her with the attack from before. It sent her tumbling onto the ground…where she noticed the expanding shadow beneath her.

Naruto descended with a Rasengan in hand, aiming for the center of her torso. “RASENGAN!”

She rolled out of the way as the monk-in-training slammed the spiraling sphere of chakra into the dampened sand and scattered it, splattering her wet figure and clothes with clumps of clingy and heavy sand. Her foot coated itself in wind-chakra and came around in a horizontal crescent, cleaving through the space as he leapt back to avoid the attack while unleashing another barrage of Chakra Needles.

Unable to avoid them all in her position, she shielded her vital organs and head, allowing them to bury into her flesh and draw blood. The attack as it was had too little penetrative power to do anything crippling as long as she didn’t receive a hit in vital spot or a pressure point. A quick flare of her chakra purged them and she stood, reaching into her pouch for another set of kunai.

“You’re going to run of tools and chakra well before I do,” Naruto told her in an almost bored tone.

“Then I’ll simply need to destroy your heart or head before then,” she responded.

With the opening of the match out of the way, the two really went at it.

Shizuka felt like her lungs were on fire. She took a deep breath of air as a drop of sweat fell from her forehead and trailed down her cheek. Her emerald eyes were focused solely on the boy in front of her, wondering if it had been minutes or hours since they had begun.

The opponent by all means should have been killed or at least incapacitated. He was a mere boy with some talent, but he himself seemed to regard this duel as merely unpleasant business that he would rather end now.

“Wind Style: Divine Down Current!” She continued her attack and a vortex of wind tore down the path towards him. He darted to the side, his cloak being caught at the edges and torn by the force of its passing as he pressed on and she made her next move to stop him from getting in close again. “Wind Style: Divine Wind!”

Several small tornadoes came into existence and began to circle the jinchuuriki, picking of sand and becoming a sand storm that closed in on him. Sealing him within a prison of spiraling wind that would grate and grind him from all sides, she—


—could only be shocked when there was a flash of azure charka so great it seemed like a newborn star coming into creation and scattered the sand and wind everywhere. She covered her eyes to avoid being blinded and took a step back—

“Ah!” Shizuka’s eyes widened as she found herself backed against one of the iron wall panels and the monk emerged from the sand spout with a knife in his hand and neutral chakra flowing through it. The knife drew a luminous arc as it tore into the iron walls, shearing a deep furrow into the metal and a few strands of Shizuka’s hair as she ducked.

“Enough!” Channeling wind chakra into her fist she drove it towards his chest. The blow was strong enough to completely turn his organs and ribcage into a mess of pounded viscera and powdered bones if he hadn’t intercepted it by catching the wrist with his other hand to redirect it, at the same time applying a chakra-venting seal patch to her skin that was hidden on his palm.

The blossom of wind chakra from the vent hindered her technique, but her sheer strength and remaining chakra was enough to knock him a good distance back on impact. The jinchuuriki went rocketing to the opposite side of the makeshift arena and slammed into one of the panels. The knife fell from his grip and blood spilled through his face wrapping on impact, seeping through from where he coughed it up and tasted the bitter iron flavor. He was really taxing his healing factor and he was damn sure he was going to be feeling it for the next few days. At least he managed to avoid having his heart torn from the arteries by directing the blow lower.

Shizuka tore off the seal and felt the creeping horror of chakra exhaustion consuming her. Her attention snapped to the sight of her enemy approaching, already on his feet with the sphere of coalesced chakra in hand. Forcing herself to stand she reached for her tools…only to discover she had indeed ran out.

The jinchuuriki charged sensing her inability to prolong the fight anymore, determined to end this in a single blow. “Eat this!

Gritting her teeth, she channeled the remnants of what chakra she had into her clenched fist. Pouring determination into her weary body, she let loose a battle cry as she charged with her fist chambered to meet the opponent head first. “Hardliner—

RASENGAN!|GALE FIST!” The crossing of chakra and chakra, one riding on a fist and the other spinning in hand, signaled the end of the battle. With her longer reach, she would strike deeper. She would win!

…at least she would have, if the jinchuuriki hadn’t abandoned his attack. Dissipating the sphere of chakra and leaning back deep enough to form a bridge out of his body, he avoided the lethal blow of the Gale Fist. And then he brought his foot up from below.

She saw it coming, but could do nothing to stop it. The kick struck her chin and snapped her head back, the whiplash of it enough to rattle her brain and drop her to her knees. As the world spun, she felt the despair of loss overcoming her once again and fell into a sea of black…

Tokiwa watched as the match ended with mixed feelings, her charge taken down after a surprisingly long battle and the boy who seemed to tank or skirt around any and everything she threw at him. With the match over she landed by Shizuka, whose consciousness was slowly returning.

“I…lost…” Shizuka wheezed as her mentor used a healing technique to alleviate the damage done while her enemy sat cross-legged next to her.

“Yeah,” he stated. “You might have been stronger than me, but you gave me too much time and advantage when you let me select the terms of the duel. All I really had to do was outlast you until you fell down to my level.”

She lost despite everything. The realization left her bitter. “The village law…”

“Has nothing to do with me.” Naruto finished for her. “Let’s get something straight. Say that we followed that law and got married, would that make you happy?”

“It wouldn’t,” she admitted.

Naruto nodded. “For starters, if you forced us into a relationship, there would only be friction between us because neither of us wants that. Besides, I’m not a shinobi anymore, so you didn’t lose to the apprentice of the Toad Sage. You lost to someone who’s fighting against a lifetime of misery and their destiny of being someone who swears themselves to a leader, village, or duty that they have no love for.”

Tokiwa listened in silently as the boy spoke, eyes weighing her charge’s reaction. So far so good.

“From my point of view, that law is what you should have been fighting against than rather than me,” Naruto said tiredly. “As long as it is in place, you or someone else will eventually run into the same problem again. Killing me would have only delayed the problem rather than fix it, an easy way out for the moment.”

“I…” The words didn’t come out as easily. She already knew that. She was but one of many who had been strangled by the hands of an outdated law that many others loathed and yet never sought to change. At the same time she would be condemning him as well to the shackles of a village.

Seeing as the conversation ended there, Tokiwa tossed a scroll to Naruto. When she saw his expression, she explained. “As you said, there was nothing for you to gain from that battle. So I’m offering the techniques listed on that scroll. They would probably be well suited to you.”

Naruto put away the scroll after browsing the contents and nodded. “And my status with the Leaf?”

“We’ve never met should there ever be an encounter between our two villages,” she confirmed and then left after lifting her future leader to carry away. “Live well, Monk-sama.”

Naruto replaced his face wrappings that formed a mask, retrieved his knife, and made his way back to his hotel. Boatload of chakra or not, he was exhausted and just wanted to get some rest.

“I’m going to make things right,” Shizuka promised her mentor as she faded back into the black. “I’ll get rid of the law and fight it. For Sagiri and the others. I’ll become a stronger leader for our village, to make it a happier place where I can fight for it out of love rather than just duty…”

“I know, Shizuka-sama…” Tokiwa stated softly. “I know.”

More Time Later

Naruto spent the rest of the time studying the scroll in private until the time for the meeting with the Daimyo came. He was a rather…well-fed individual, to say the least, and somewhat jovial during the meeting. However, the biggest shock that came was when he asked to speak to Naruto alone.

“So, you’re Naruto Uzumaki?” he said with mirth. “Come now, there’s no need for you to hide you face when speaking to me.”

Naruto took off the makeshift facemask and could only blink in confusion. “You know of me?”

“After that fiasco with the failed invasion that got my predecessor ousted? Of course boy,” he said. “One of the first things I did was read up on how the situation spiraled out of control and young Gaara’s report. Not many people are capable of summoning a Boss Toad and defeating Gaara…in addition, the Head Monk is very thorough in his reports on everyone’s progress since they may end up in my service at one point or another. Sealing experts are hard to come by.”

“I see…” was all the jinchuuriki could say.

“To be honest, you and young Kino have both been selected as potential candidates for positions in the Eight Wind Spades in the future. Please keep up your efforts, as I would not mind having you in my service one of these days.”

“I will, Damiyo-sama,” Naruto responded as politely as he could.

Before anything else could be said, a young woman entered the room. “Yes, sweetheart?”

“I want to go shopping,” she said.

“Very well,” the Daimyo consented and ended the meeting. “Until we meet again.”

Naruto put back on his mask and went to join the group and say goodbye to Namisar. It was time they got back to the other monks, where the Head Monk would be. Naruto doubted he would be pleased over the course of the events that had transpired and he himself found this entire fiasco a pain itself, but it was a necessary step for him to take in finding a direction in his life.

Wind Monk Banishment: Fox Chronicles #1

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment – Fox Chronicles

Note: Now that I’ve gotten some motivation for doing this series back, I’m splitting the flashbacks up.

Chapter 1: After Banishment

Somewhere in the Land of Wind

Naruto: Age 13

How long had he walked?

The desert winds ravaged the cloak Naruto had bought on his way past the border of the Land of Fire and Land of Wind. The few possessions he held were stored away, leaving only a bag slung over his shoulder, as he tried to face off against the desert wind. The merciless sun unleashed its wrath upon the former ninja from Konoha.

He had been banished by the one he saw as a surrogate grandmother, and berated by the one he would call his most loved person. Two women who made up the majority of his affection had sentenced him to banishment from his home nation. They took his home that he once swore loyalty to.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, he bought the water flask up to his lips in hopes of quenching his unbelievable thirst. Yet, all he received was a meager splash of liquid relief before the droplets ceased. He was out of water.

It was times like this he wished he had learned some water jutsu that could pull water out of the air. He was sure that the man who claimed to have copied over a thousand jutsu would know some paltry trick like that. Maybe if the man had actually spent some time teaching him some of those techniques, he could have relied on something other than the fox.

Not that it mattered away.

The blond looked at the array on the back of his hands. These seals spelled the end of any simple attempt of trying any technique that required hand seals. The dozens of times he tried to use his signature technique since they had been applied to his flesh, all ended the same.

Fire would wash over his hands, and the nerves would smolder in pain. As if a kunai had been shoved through even the bone, the pain would radiate, and agony would overtake him. The chakra control he utilized through the seals would flux, and all control would be lost.

The Rasengan was beyond him without the use of a clone, leaving him virtually nothing but the basic training, water-walking, and tree-climbing techniques. He couldn’t be Hokage with only those techniques under his belt. They had taken his dream away from him the moment they took his jutsu away…

Then again, why did he even wish to be the leader of the village?

Was it to continue to protect those who humiliated him? Those who shunned him? Those who tormented him?

Looking back, there was only one answer: Their respect.

Like a child coddling a phony ideal, he clung to the belief that he could receive the respect and admiration of those who saw him only as the demon fox reborn. He would’ve drowned carrying those ideals. Why should he spend his final days defending those who only saw him as a demon?

How he truly detested that word, along with being called a monster or the fox itself.

The number of people who truly cared for him could be counted on one hand since the death of his grandfather figure. The Ichirakus, Iruka, Shizune maybe, not Granny—not after what she did—and definitely not Sakura…So few people, out of a village of tens of thousands, if not more?

In anger, he threw the flask into the distant sand. “FUCK!

Why did he journey into the desert sands in the first place?

He couldn’t rely on Gaara, his jinchuuriki brethren still had people who loathed him. Yukie was busy as the Daimyo of the Land of Spring. Without his jutsu, what could he do as a ninja for either of their forces?

The answer: Nothing.

He never learned to cook, instead relying on the salvation of cheap ramen that sustained him whenever he couldn’t get to the Ichiraku family. He couldn’t go to Wave and help Tazuna, since he never learned a thing about construction. He never learned another trade at all besides being a ninja, since in a hidden village they were the ones who held the best but most dangerous jobs. Not to mention as a jinchuuriki he realized he never had another choice but to be his village’s weapon.

From the beginning, he could only be a ninja and nothing else. Now they had taken that away from him. The blond could feel an emotion he had long since tried to mask behind a phony smile: Hatred.

Spilling out like torrent of malicious fluid, it would not be completely bottled until it came down to an acceptable level. Years worth of anguish and misery embodied hate. How long had it been since he let it out freely and showed it on his face?

He would never again put on that mask for the likes of that rotten village. He would never return to their service should he survive the three years. The headband he left behind and the necklace that was once a promise to take the hat of the Hokage, were the two remaining things that tied him to them.

Grating his teeth, he attempted to hold back the anger inside of him. The best he could do was reducing the flow to prevent the tainted chakra of his tenant from flowing untamed. The reduced amount was enough to fixate his eyes to their fox state.

The desert winds had picked up now. The former ninja covered his face and pressed on. The flask was lost in his brief fit of rage, swallowed by the desert itself as a tribute.

Hours passed.

The sun was nearing it’s time to set, and the sky looked painted by a somber blaze. The winds carried sand and became a storm that battered against the jinchuuriki. As if not satisfied by his meager tribute, the desert wanted a greater offering.

The jinchuuriki fell to his knees tired, and thirsty. Smacking his lips for any moisture he could, his body begged him to simply rest. In a way, the desert was offering him a reprieve to his suffering.

Maybe…” The jinchuuriki gave a mirthless chuckle. “Maybe I should’ve thought this through…

With those final words, he fell over the dune that shifted beneath him and into the bed of sand beneath. The desert wind offered him a blanket that gradually took form. His eternal rest would be comfortable with the shifting sand fitting into a perfect coffin for him.

Hope and light faded, as Naruto Uzumaki of Konoha closed his eyes for what he assumed to be his final time…

I shall not perish like this,” a demonic voice echoed across his mindscape. Red chakra leaked from his pores and knocked the sand that blanketed him away—unleashing a gale that trumped the sandstorm. It strove to move the boy’s body, but while it could heal injuries, it could not stave off death by thirst.

“Head Monk—” A voice reached the fox’s ears and it dialed back the chakra. It would seem that luck or fate was for once not against the boy. “—someone’s here!”

The fox settled back down, unaware or uncaring of who the two figures draped in worn desert cloaks that trekked over to him were, so long as they saved the host that had become a more acceptable container.

The pair slipped a canteen to his lips to give him a minor relief from dehydration. The unconscious jinchuuriki coughed violently as it slid down his throat. Lifting him up before the desert could claim him again, they took him to his new life…

Two Days Later

Naruto opened his eyes.

The world was blurred and slowly coming to focus. The scent of vanilla wafted in the air, from a candle burning on the dresser near him. The light from the candle fought back the darkness of the enclosed space in a struggle that seemed never-ending.

“Head monk, he’s come to…” A young man’s voice entered the blond’s ears. It was followed by the creaking of a door, and harder foot steps against the floor.

“…Ah…” Naruto tried to speak, but his throat was parched, and it came out as little more than a tiny grunt.

“Drink this,” an older voice reached his ears. A figured stood above him, still blurred by the wavering jinchuuriki’s vision, and placed something cold and wet to his lips. Liquid mercy slid down his throat and quenched his dying thirst.

“…Thank you,” the jinchuuriki muttered weakly, as his vision finally cleared and revealed his saviors.

The older man had a rough face and bald head. A battle scar ran from his forehead across his face, narrowly avoiding his eyes. He was dressed in loose robes that were tanned.

The younger boy had his hair in a ponytail, with two bangs hanging in front of his face. His eyes peered down at the jinchuuriki in a mixture of contempt and concern. The tanned short-sleeved shirt and pants were plain, with the only thing abnormal being the strap across his shoulder that supported the Jo staff on his back.

“You were lucky,” the older man warned him. “Had Kino and I not been passing by, the desert would have claimed you. Most people would have died by then.”

A weak, humorless grin etched itself across his face. “Since when did I have good luck?”

A frown graced the older man’s face. “I take it your past has been unpleasant? Not surprising given your career choice. Your body is fairly above average in strength and I sense chakra within you. What village do you hail from?”

“Konoha—” Naruto noticed Kino’s hands ball into fists, but paid it no mind. He struggled to lift his own hands. Staring at the seals on the back of them, his fox-like eyes simmered with a raging warmth and hue. “Formerly of Konoha.”

The older man nodded slowly. “You are searching for a new path in life?”

Naruto closed his eyes in thought, before he nodded. “I can’t leave behind the life I had, since it is all I know…but I do.”

The older man exhaled deeply. “When you feel able to move, there is food on the dresser to your left. Regain your strength, and we shall speak of a possible path. You will find us downstairs. I am Head Monk of the Wind Temple, Ashua, and this young one is Kino.”

“My name is Naruto Uzumaki,” he returned the courtesy. “Thank you for saving my life.”

The pair left and Naruto weakly reached over for the meager meal. Despite not tasting like Ramen, it was filling. He would soon gain back his strength…

An Hour Later

The stone steps leading down the stairs were quickly traversed, as Naruto made his way down them. Upon stepping down the last one, he found himself in an open room. It was filled with various monks, all sitting lotus style with the Head Monk at the front.

As if sensing his arrival, Ashua opened his eyes and pointed to a door at the opposite end of Naruto’s current location. The former Konoha shinobi nodded in understanding and silently made his way to it.

The office held two cushions for the Head Monk and a guest to sit as he addressed matters, with candles dancing on their wicks in a sultry manner. A Monk’s Spade hung on the wall by two hooks, serving as a reminder of a distant past. The scent of vanilla wafted in the air and soothed the rage beneath the surface of the jinchuuriki, whom sat down on a cushion and waited.

His patience was rewarded, as Head Monk Ashua entered the room with a serene calm. “Have you regained your strength?”

“Yeah, a bit…” Naruto bowed to the monk. “Once again, thanks for saving me.”

“It was what anyone should have done. Think nothing of it.” Ashua waved him off. “More importantly, what do you think of becoming a ninja monk.”

“Is that different than a regular ninja?”

Ashua nodded. “When ninja are called into a matter, they are normally to be used as a weapon—a kunai to strike down a target—good or evil are not relative. Wartime is…unpleasant, since many your age are sent to kill and be killed. The last one was particularly cruel. Ninja monks act as a shield for the weak, using violence as a last resort above all else.

“For example, there are numerous smaller villages that require aid yet cannot afford the prices offered by the major hidden villages. We offer our service to nearby villages free of charge, and when we pilgrimage around the continent, we assist them as well.”

Naruto recalled one of Iruka’s lessons—that he was forced to listen to under the threat of no ramen otherwise—and asked, “How can you afford to maintain everything if you don’t take any money?”

“Our supplies are paid for through donations, but the majority comes from the Wind Daimyo.” Ashua closed his eyes in thought. “The last one was a man who bought a major village to its knees simply because of a disagreement with their leader and greed. He paid no mind that this led to the tragic loss of life during the attempted invasion, nor the rippling effects felt all over the Land of Wind. Desperation led to many degrading to violence and theft, leading to death and sorrow. For that, he was deposed of his title, and a new one has taken his place.”

Naruto filed this information away, putting the facts to the face of his fellow jinchuuriki. He could somewhat understand how desperate they could have been to attack the Leaf. “What about Sunagakure?”

“We don’t have many ties with Sunagakure,” the Head Monk shook his head. “We are neutral. Otherwise, we might have found ourselves involved in a battle that only propagated bloodshed and death.”

That sounds good I guess…Naruto thought.

“Basic clothing and food will be provided, and you can study alongside the others here seeking a path between a role of virtue and a defender of the weak. However, you may be called upon to assist in matters that may or may not require violence as an absolute last resort.”

“I’d like to, but…” Naruto showed him the seals on his hand. “These seals will prevent me from doing any jutsu, so I don’t know how much help I would be.”

“I see,” he nodded. “The dodecagon in the array outline covers the basics used by shinobi in general, with the inward markings covering specific ones. The seals will activate all the pain receptors in your hands, using them to overwrite any attempt at control…but they burned it directly into your nervous system, so I don’t think I can remove it without taking off your hands. Still, it won’t hamper the lessons we will teach you here if you decide to become a ninja monk.”

“Wait,” Naruto stared him in the eyes. “You’ve seen this before?”

“One of the minor subject taught here are sealing arts and I have a hobby in it, since they have many uses in the lifestyle of the desert dweller, such as sealing water to prevent repeated trips to an oasis…” He looked at Naruto with a disparaged face. “As an Uzumaki, I would have expected you to be aware of such things.”

Naruto was dumbfounded. “Why?”

“The Uzumaki clan were renown for the expertise in sealing. All those who study sealing will eventually run across such information. You even carry their spiral on the back of your orange jacket. Did no one in your village inform you?”

The blond gritted his teeth. “No. I didn’t even know I was a part of a clan.”

How dare they not tell him he was part of a clan—extinct or not. That he had a legacy, or something he should have strived to. If the Uzumaki were so close that Konoha bore their symbol on his back, there was no way the older generation shouldn’t have known by his name or even asked him.

Naruto showed cold steel in his eyes. “Sign me up…”

A Few Days Later

The sand lightly blew across the desert dunes, with the wind howling as it passed. The Wind Temple was located at the bottom of a U-shaped plateau, offering it protection from the desert winds in three directions. It also severed to offer shade and keep the sweltering heat of the desert at bay.

The temple itself only appeared to be a three-story building, made of desert stone and illuminated by candles and lanterns to compensate for the lack of windows and power—barring the medical area. However, in truth it had several lower levels that were used to house supplies and other things. The absolute bottom led to a small reservoir of water for daily living.

Currently, Naruto was in the back of the temple. He was carrying a boulder roughly half his size up the side of the plateau that surrounded the temple, until he hit the point marked as the stopping line. It was basically the Tree-Climbing exercise mixed in with strength training.

So far, life at the temple was calmer than it was in Konoha. The ninja monks-in-training were more reserved and pretty nice, although Kino seemed to avoid the jinchuuriki like the plague. Naruto didn’t know why and had other things on his mind, so he couldn’t be concerned with the other monk at the moment.

He woke early like the rest, at 5 AM. Taking off his nightcap and slipping into the plain clothes given to him—much better than the jumpsuit for desert weather—they would gather on the ground floor and warm up with stretches. This limbered the monks-in-training up.

Next they would go out for a morning jog around the entire plateau, taking roughly an hour to complete it twice. They ran on the sand the first time through, constantly adjusting to the loose sand and maintaining their balance while going at a set pace. The second time, they would run along the wall, perpendicular to the ground using chakra to cling to the surface. The morning chill and breeze, before the sun baked the sand, felt great on the jinchuuriki’s skin.

After washing, each monk-in-training would train in a different method of chakra control. Some would use pure chakra to spin a coin on their finger tips, while others went through more physical activities. Naruto focused on trying to recreate the Rasengan without the use of clones. It was going slow.

That was followed by an hour of meditation, and then lunch. Afterwards was more free time devoted to things that could benefit their fellow man. Some took medical jutsu lessons from a healer that used to work in Suna named Marin. Naruto was using the reference texts they had to learn more about the art of sealing in all its glory.

Then sparring and drills to work in their forms and taijutsu. Naruto never was strong in the taijutsu department, mostly relying on straight up numbers to mob the opponent until they were down, trickery to lower their guards, and finishing with the Rasengan…In retrospect, he really should have more aces up his sleeve.

To close they would meditate once again, eat dinner, and then have an hour’s free time before going to bed.

Despite the grueling training and calm setting, Naruto couldn’t ease the creeping malice in his heart. Konoha betrayed him, and kept the fact that he belonged to a clan of seal masters a secret—if he had to guess, it was so he didn’t tamper with his own seal. In a way, they denied him his heritage.

Had he known his mother or father—whichever one was an Uzumaki—were part of an extinct clan, he would have worked on restoring it like Sasuke kept going on about. It was sad, in a way. He could relate better to the Uchiha now, after denying him the opportunity to do the same by dragging him back to that hellhole.

Still, better than allowing him to go to the Snake Bastard’s side. The snake would get his comeuppance for the Old Man’s death too. Eventually.

Upon making it towards the point marked for the boulder, Naruto made his back down the rock face. He was excused from sparring practice since they were using weapons, and Naruto wasn’t particularly skilled with anything more than the basic kunai.

“Naruto,” the Head Monk walked over with Kino in tow. “I’ve decided to have Kino instruct you on how to use the Bo Staff today, since the others have been at it for longer and he’s the best we currently have with most weapons. However, given your…small stature, we will be using the shorter Jo Staffs in their place.”

The Head Monk then produced two wooden Jo Staffs from a seal and handed them off. The jinchuuriki nodded, and looked over to the monk-in-training, who had a barely visible scowl on his impassive mask of a face, before examining the staff and noticing the sealing array on them. Ashua, on the other hand, seemed to pick up on Kino’s thoughts and whispered something into his ears, getting a small nod in return.

“If you’ll excuse me, I have…paperwork.” The monk’s face slightly frowned at that. Nobody liked paperwork. He went back inside and left the two in the shade of the plateau.

Kino snapped his fingers to get the blond’s attention. With the wood at the ready, he began the lecture. “The Bo Staff is one of the staple tools of the wind monks—only second to the body and the Monk Spade. It is your shield, your sword, and your primary instrument when dealing out justice and punishing the wicked. The path of the Bo leads to the Spade and Spear, and until you master it, you will touch no other instrument barring your own body.”

He spun the wood between his fingers to start. The staff became a blur as it circled his body in a demonstration. It spun in his hands, around his arms, and then his body, flowing in a circular pattern that would be an even more magnificent sight if on fire, at night.

He planted the staff into the ground when done, holding it erect. “To start with, get into position. Hold the staff horizontally at the center, with your right hand facing up, and the left facing down. Put about a foot of space between your hands and don’t put them both up or down, those are advanced techniques. This grip allows for rapid strikes and stabs.”

Naruto did as he was told, feeling the weight that lurked in the center. “Now what?”

“Get into a stance with your legs,” he slid his foot across the sand so that his legs were apart, just past the length of his shoulders. “Bend them for better balance and support.”

They began with the basic strikes, blocks and thrusts. Kino corrected his stance dozens of times, and pointed out what not to do by speaking slowly, like Naruto was an idiot. Part of this was because he never had a form aside from the academy basics, and they weren’t really suited for more than being a stepping stone.

Eventually, Naruto snorted. “Dude, you don’t have to speak to me like I’m an idiot.”

“You address the person teaching you here by the title of ‘Instructor’ or ‘Master,’ not ‘Dude.'” Kino sighed, before muttering under his breath, “Then again, I suppose manners aren’t required for murderers.

He was unaware the jinchuuriki had fairly good hearing when he wasn’t distracted.

Naruto scowled. “Who are you calling a murderer? Didn’t your parents teach you not to slander people!”

The monk-in-training winced, before twirling the staff, and getting into a fighting position. “Something tells me you learn better with a hands-on approach.”

Naruto’s fox-like eyes narrowed. “Bring. It.”

Kino moved. The first strike was actually a combination of the basics. Right to the head, left to the ribs, a thrust inwards—which became a downward rowing block, and then an overhead smash, by changing his grip to both facing down.


The first blow was blocked by the same strike, followed by the second. The thrust was avoided by stepping to the side, and then countering it with a thrust of his own. Unfortunately, the blow was shifted off by the downwards rowing block, and freed his head up for the counter. The jinchuuriki staggered and avoided a blow to the temple, taking it on the shoulder instead.

Gripping the struck spot that was sure to bruise, Naruto chided the monk-in-training. “No fair! You said changing the grip wasn’t allowed!”

“For you.” Kino made the eternal gesture for ‘Come get some.’

The blond charged, and Kino unleashed a thrust towards his forehead. Maintaining his grip, he came in for a cross strike. Raising the staff up to divert the thrust, it came across and aimed for the monk-in-training’s jaw.

“Useless!” Kino used another rowing block in an upwards position, turning and stepping, while shifting the position of the staff. The counter was an immediate low strike using the step and nailed the side of Naruto’s leg—narrowly avoiding the knee.

Ignoring the sting, the jinchuuriki struck from above. His strength and weight were put into the attack, in aggravation at being nailed so many times. The strike would hit the left shoulder and dislocated it at the minimal on impact—smashing the entire region and possibly crippling him otherwise at the most.


Kino raised his staff like a steel bar, forming a barrack between his body and the weapon. The monk-in-training shot his knee up. Blunt force slammed into the jinchuuriki’s abdomen and sent him staggering back. “The staff is part of your body, and the body is a weapon. Don’t become fixated on simply what’s in your hands and leave the rest unprotected or unused.”

The monk-in-training went on the offensive. His left hand guided the staff, as he quickly withdrew it and shot forward in succession, thrusting at the vitals numerous times. If the weapon had been a spear, each stab would have been fatal. Changing the grip to the basic he showed Naruto, he began to strike fast and hard.

Naruto blocked as best he could. The impact of each blow between the colliding wood resonated through his body, and made his arms quavered. After a left strike, he spun and leaned into a side kick, allowing the staff to pass overhead and then deliver a blow towards the monk-in-training.

Kino batted the leg aside hard, before coming in with another overhead strike. When the opposing staff was raised, the two clashed. Naruto’s bad footing, because of the smack to the leg, made him fall on his ass.

“Is all you’ve got?” Kino had a calm, but tense air about him. The hostility was obvious to Naruto, given he had long since been on the receiving end of it from the citizens and shinobi of Konoha. But to anyone else, it would probably seem like he’s being a strict instructor.

So Naruto decided to fight dirty. Grabbing a scoop full of sand, he tossed it towards Kino’s face, causing the monk-in-training to turn his back to avoid it. He wouldn’t be able to turn in time to strike the jinchuuriki, who rushed in with the staff above head.

GHOP—!” Naruto stopped cold, as his own strength was used against him. The monk-in-training had slipped the staff under his own armpit, stabbing the point into Naruto’s solar plexus. The jinchuuriki vomited from the blow, and fell to the ground, clenching the struck part.

“If this had been a Spade or a Jian, you would’ve been killed.” The buried anger had surfaced at this point, as he looked down on the former shinobi. “Your pathetic little tricks won’t do you any good here, Konoha Dog.

The monk-in-training’s disdain for the former profession and home the jinchuuriki held was now clear as water. Eyes that reminded him of the Uchiha when he met his brother told Naruto of what lied behind that impassive mask. With a blur, the staff came around again to shatter his collarbone, effectively taking him out of this fight—


—but Naruto was faster. His fist came up and made contact with Kino’s face in a moment of surprise from the feral roar and faster movement, sending him flying a few feet. Naruto snarled at the young man, his whisker marks becoming pronounced and nails sharpening.

Bearing fangs at the young man who was his elder in the lifestyle of a monk, his grip on the staff became stiff. “I don’t care what problems you have with that village, BUT DON’T YOU DARE TRY TO TAKE IT OUT ON ME YOU SON OF A BITCH!

A red coat of chakra began to wash over the jinchuuriki, imparting the wood in his hands with chakra flow, and reducing the welts from the impact of solid wood against flesh to nothing. Anger and hatred, years repressed by the jinchuuriki, baited an even greater source. One that surpassed the life of a human came to the forefront and blasted over the monk-in-training.

A killing intent that dwarfed any other he’d seen, Kino felt fear for the first time in years. Kill or be killed. Those thoughts drove him to use chakra flow to strength his staff. It would unleash a killing blow towards the skull of the jinchuuriki.

The two young men charged, each bring their staff towards the other’s head with the intent of crushing the skull of the other.


There was a blur that got between them. Wood met flesh, and rested in the luminous palms of chakra-coated, strong hands. The Head Monk had interfered. Grabbing hold, he twisted and sent the two flying into opposite directions. “Restrain yourselves. AT. ONCE.”

His tone left no room for argument. The coat of chakra vanished and the features retreated—minus the eyes. Both youths laid down their arms, and Ashua wanted answers. “What happened?”

By the time the recollection was through, the Head Monk looked down upon his protégé. “I am ashamed at your behavior. I instructed you to teach him, not take out you aggression on him for your past.”

“But he—” Kino started, only to be cut off.

“ENOUGH!” Ashua was furious and disappointed. “He stated he was a former resident of Konoha, you slandered him for a minor mistake based on his past, and more importantly—WE DO NOT DISCRIMINATE BASED ON OCCUPATION, OR NATIONALITY! HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT?”

The monk-in-training flinched.

Seeing he got the message across, the Head Monk sighed. “For one who claimed to wish to take the title of Head Monk, you have taken several steps back today. Go to your room. We shall met out a punishment later.”

Kino closed his eyes and nodded in acceptance, walking back towards the building. Naruto looked on as he walked, his thoughts on the matter not yet solid. Then he noticed the Head Monk facing him.

“First off, I will apologize for Kino’s behavior.” Ashua told Naruto, but his face was just as stern. “He has a bad history with Konoha shinobi and I purposely put you two together so that he could perhaps get over it. I foolishly thought he would have listened to me and followed my instructions with bringing his emotions to the front. I failed you there and you nearly unleashed the tainted chakra of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. ”

Naruto looked at him in shock.

“Do not underestimate my knowledge, young Uzumaki. I have heard whispers of what has happened during the invasion of Konoha, and I have seen the young container of the demon raccoon. You carry similar traits on your face. Not to mention when a pilgrimage group passed through the Land of Fire and Konoha a few weeks ago, the medical instructor overhead a few of the citizens speaking openly of a blond, demon fox-possessed, boy.”

Fucking loudmouth villagers! Naruto swallowed. His secret was exposed. “Are…are you going to make me leave now?”

“I will not turn away someone who seeks a new path in life, but I cannot allow you to endanger anyone in anger. No matter how painful your past was, do not let it happen a second time. If you need to leave the temple in order to vent your rage, do so with my permission. But never again attack another member here with that tainted chakra.

“As for your tenant, I have instructed the Marin to keep it quiet for now. However, it would be grossly incompetent for me to not inform the other instructors of this. Should any show you hostility, they have not ventured far enough into indifference as I had hoped and see me immediately. Do not cause a commotion.”

A cynical part of Naruto’s mind bought the next words to his lips. “You sure you want to shelter a demon child?”

“You are no demon child. Merely one filled with justified anger. Hopefully you will find the peace of mind you seek here and quell your anger, before it consumes you.”

“Easier said than done,” Naruto was decidedly honest. “They lied to me, used me, abused me, and betrayed me. I’m starting to understand why Sasuke was willing to leave the village for revenge—it’s starting to sound like a good plan right now. To me, it was more about who he was going to.”

“Rather than seek vengeance, why not seek indifference?” Ashua offered his opinion. “Vengeance is done out of hatred. To hate something is to acknowledge you feel something beyond a casual relationship. By showing indifference, you sever your connection with it entirely. It is the same advice I gave Kino when he arrived years ago.”

That worked out magnificently, Naruto thought sarcastically. “I’ll give it a try.”

Ashua nodded, before pulling out four beaded bracelets. “Now, about your punishment. Both you and Kino attempted to cause permanent damage to one another. Therefore, you shall both suffer the consequences, regardless of who started it.”

Naruto eyed the bracelets placed on his wrists and ankles. “…You’re punishing me by having me wear bling?”

“Four Limbs Weighting Seal,” Ashua pronounced, and suddenly the prayer beads felt heavier than he could have possibly imagined. As if his limbs were encased in solid steel, it weighed him down.

The Head Monk smirked. “Those will stay on for the next two weeks. This way you get further body conditioning, and a punishment all in one.”

Realizing how much of a nightmare the extra weight was going to be, Naruto sighed. “Well played, Old Monk.”

A Month Later

Naruto had fell into a routine after his first, and so far only, lesson with Kino solely. The two rarely communicated with each other and rarely showed that either one was aware the other existed. The jinchuuriki acknowledged it to be an improvement over the hostility, but it reminded him a bit about how the others would ignore him in his childhood…leaving him watching as the children left with their parents from the swings.

No! Focus! Naruto mentally snapped himself out of his memories. He was supposed to be meditating, to reach enlightenment of some kind, while on top of a boulder and basking in the setting sun. Unfortunately, being the unpredictable teen he was, his trip on the path of enlightenment was hindered as he stepped into his mindscape.

Looking around, he sighed. “I was going for enlightenment, not sewer…”

Foolish kit,” the Kyuubi snorted. “The seal links your mindscape to here. You can never reach said enlightenment.

Naruto glared. “Oh great, the fur ball.”

Arrogant child!” The giant fox roared. “You will show me the respect you owe me and never address me by that title again!

“Respect is earned!” Naruto snapped back. “I owe you nothing!”

Have you forgotten?” The giant fox looked down upon the former ninja. “The leader of these outcast humans said he found you in time, but do you think he would have if I had not cleared that sand away? To think you would be so careless and enter a desert without proper supplies…

“Because of your help, I got kicked out of the village in the first place!”

Without my chakra you would have been cremated, and had your name placed on the stone of the lost, unlike your parents…

The jinchuuriki’s eyes narrowed. “You knew my parents?”

A menacing grin etched itself across the fox’s face, revealing fangs that could penetrate steel. “…That is for me to know, and you to find out. Now…GET. OUT.

And just like that, he was thrown out of his own mindscape…with enough force that he fell back in the real world and off his boulder, onto the sand with a yelp, and disrupted the others. Thus earning him another meeting with the Head Monk in his office, where Naruto explained what his tenant said.

“I see…” Ashua nodded and closed his eyes in thought. “I can’t say that I fully trust this chakra demon inside of you…but have you ever thought of making peace with it?”

Naruto blinked. “Why would I try to make peace with a gigantic demon fox that’s been related to as a natural disaster?”

“It spoke, correct?”

Naruto raised an eyebrow in curiosity. “Yeah…”

“The ability to communicate, especially with a species different than yours, is a sign of intelligence. From what you’ve told me, your relationship is more parasitic than symbiotic.”

Naruto pouted. “Yeah, he’s leech…”

The Head Monk shook his head. “I was talking about you. You are stripping the chakra demon of its chakra and offering it nothing in return. As a chakra demon, you’ve basically been feeding off his life force, and seeing as how the seal is purifying it into your own…you’re killing it. Is a little respect too much to ask for?”

“But he caused a lot of death and stuff!”

“True, his attack on your home in the past was devastating,” Ashua rubbed his chin in thought. “But you’ve only heard about what others have told you, and then pushed the blame onto you. Have you heard it from the fox itself?

“No. Things got heated…” Naruto admitted sheepishly.

Ashua sighed tiredly. “I’m not telling you to be best friends with it, but I imagine a portion of its rage stems from the fact that a once free, intelligent creature is now trapped—in a sewer of all things. You can’t release it obviously, but you should find some way to alter it into something more comfortable at least. It would make things better for you both if you take the first step towards coexistence.

“If you study the seal on your stomach, you can probably learn how to arrange the mindscape…providing you’ve been making an effort in learning about them?”

Naruto nodded. “I’ve been working on the seals lessons, and I spent all night trying to get how a storage seal works. It’s basically working on the same principles of space manipulation jutsu in some aspects…”

The jinchuuriki trailed off into a long, detailed deconstruction of the process and Ashua blinked in surprised silence, before putting in his two cents. “First, don’t let me hear about you staying up too late again. Second, you managed to figure out the principles of a storage seal that fast, rather than just learning to write a predetermined formula?”

Naruto nodded.

“You truly are an Uzumaki…” The Head Monk smiled somberly. “Such falls in line with the your clan’s talents. Now if only there was another around to teach you more, I have a feeling you would blossom into a great seal expert.”

Naruto cheeks took a sanguine color. Being praised was nice in the end. But it still only reminded him that he had been denied a heritage, and his loathing of his village slowly grew further in the shadows of his heart.

Wind Monk Banishment: Beetle Chronicles #2

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment – Beetle Chronicles

Chapter 2: A Tale of Seven-Tails – Part 2

Fuu: Age 10

Fuu stood unnerved in front of the fresh corpse of a Grass shinobi that dwelled on the outskirts of the forest, blood staining the grass red as it seeped from the gaping wound. Suien was there as well with his curved Water Slicing Blade perched on his shoulder, blood from the tip flowing down the length. His eyes surveyed their surroundings, briefly passing the merchant’s corpse that was barely obscured by the brush as he had killed the shinobi before he could destroy it.

“Find any stragglers,” he ordered the jinchuuriki. “Before anymore merchants are lost.”

Fuu shook herself out of the macabre allure of blood staining the grass. She recalled and enacted the gesture for the Insect Gathering technique and place her palm down in the moist grass that had dew lingering from the morning mist hours ago. The chakra web extended once more that day, linking her to the anthropoids that dwelled within the area that had yet to be touched by her intentions and chakra.

“The web is too short,” Suien said as he noticed it barely reaching half the scope of his vision. “Make it bigger.”

“I don’t have enough chakra,” she said, the pangs of exhaustion upon her. The melding of physical and spiritual energy was a process she still lacked refinement over and as such much was wasted, leaking free from its vessel like heat loss until what she had remaining was very little at this point.

“Then pull more from the seal,” he said curtly. “Hurry up.”

I need your help again Mr. Beetle King, Fuu mentally whispered to the resident dwelling inside her. While there was no verbal response, as there hadn’t been for the last year or so, Fuu was certain that her words reached the chakra demon within as she felt a minor burning sensation where the seal was. The foreign charka formed a light lining of luminous green overlapping her web and becoming extensions that spread further than her eyes could track.

As the web spread and then leaked chakra like radiation, various types of insects fell under its thrall as it permeated them with the Beetle King’s chakra. Like an empty black sky that was suddenly illuminated with hundreds of stars that grew with every passing second, the full scope of the diversity in such a small portion of the forest boggled her mind and expanded her options for information gathering.

With compounded eyes the flies that were lingering around a squirrel corpse set out to search for any other humans. Spiders waited on their webs for anything to brush past the fine hairs on their legs, female mosquitoes traced the trail of carbon dioxide to find the source of warm lifeblood that they craved, and butterflies fluttered in search of what their wings could touch, all of them sending information pertaining to if they found something that met the general criteria she set.

As the scattering of insects brushed the shrouded forms or traced their breath or registered the almost silent sounds and scents, countless signals and sounds native to each insect’s species, flowed through the connection the chakra provided and reached the jinchuuriki. So much information, so much noise, it was all causing her an immense headache as her mind scrambled to decipher it all in terms that a human could properly interpret.

She was unfamiliar with having so many under her command, so many soldiers in her army, so many scouts reporting back information, she couldn’t micromanage them all, not with her little experience. Supposedly once she had enough control over the demon she could share their sight and hearing in real-time, as well as direct each one individually rather than in mass, but considering how much of a strain doing this alone was she couldn’t imagine such a thing.

The blur of information was jumbled as she finally managed to interpret enough to state. “The bugs are saying they can’t see them, but they can feel them. The Hiding with Camouflage technique you told me about. There are three to the south, south-east, and south-west.”

“Direct them to enclose on them and seal their movements,” Suien ordered. “I want them blind, deaf, and mute as well—all at the same time so they can’t signal one another.”

“I…I can’t do it all at once,” she said. “They’re too far away and—”

“Manage,” was all he said. Then he was gone into the brush to find and kill his targets.

Fuu strained her head to try and divide the amassed number, over a million when you considered the sheer number of ants in the colonies that were around, and then sent the new commands, first directing those already in contact with them to slowly encroach so they didn’t notice anything suspicious until the rest from the other directions touched by her web arrived and swarmed them as one. It was too much and felt like her mind was splitting until they suddenly did what she asked as the Beetle King silently directed them in her stead upon hearing her intentions, easing the burden on her mind. She quietly thanked it as the chakra fueling their army reinforced their natural functions and they moved to accomplish their mission.

The first of the Grass shinobi to be hunted only knew he had been found when he felt the number of mosquitoes birthed from still waters of the minor ponds nipping at him, slipping under his clothes to take their fill of blood, joined by a third of the horde that descended like a cyclone and encompassed his figure, countless bites and agonizing stings piercing his flesh as they snuck beneath the fabric or chewed through it. Concentration proved difficult as moths and butterflies tried to smother and blind him by shrouding his head, alongside large spiders that bit down and threatened to crawl into his mouth if he opened it.

Then Suien made himself known, appearing behind the first shinobi in a Body Flicker and immediately rammed the length of his sword through the ribcage from behind and through the heart and lungs. The death wail was muted by the insects pouring into his mouth to bite and sting the tongue and throat. Suien twisted his weapon inside so that the curve of the blade was facing outwards as he tore through it from the side and moved to find the next target.

The second was near several ant piles that came out at the behest of their new and greater queen. They were joined by termites inside a rotting tree and tiger centipedes in crawling along the ground. They went up his combat sandals and into his pants before they began their assault. He tried to move, to run from the pain, only for the wasps to attack his face, targeting the eyes, nose, and throat while beetles tried to chew through his mask to get inside his mouth.

Unable to see as parts of his body began to swell from the agonizing and debilitating wounds, he flailed around helplessly. His suffering was finally ended as Suien swooped in and decapitated him with the Water Slicing Sword cleaving through his neck in a charging strike. The head rolled on the ground as the body followed, both soon to be devoured by the ants to feed their numbers.

The last proved his savvy as he noticed the swarm of bees and wasps suddenly becoming active as he passed by their hives and broke out into a Body Flicker, escaping the approaching horde with deft quickness. He abandoned his hiding technique now that it wasn’t viable as more of the horde quickly found him afterwards and pursued him with renewed vigor. His fingers formed three seals and ghost-like flames danced around. His Ghost Lantern technique was launched to devastate the beetles that darted towards him alongside the wasps and moths.

The Beetle King took the man’s resilience as a personal challenge as the information flooded in and started moving the army in accordance to his own will rather than at the behest of the container that held it. They were coordinated to a degree far greater than a human could every hoped to accomplish. They split apart, half the surviving and flying horde scooping up spiders and having them weave their silk lines as thick as possible while chakra reinforced the lines, while the other joined their brethren and spiraled in a twister that isolated the area so any attempt to cross it would through such a rudimentary technique as Body Flicker would have him flayed alive.

The Grass shinobi released more Ghost Lanterns, but for every hundred burned more took their place as the Insect Gathering technique was further unfurled and its radiation of chakra leaked through the earth and air as well. Adding to the numbers of their forces above and below, more chakra poured from the seal and Fuu tensed in pain as her own control took a backseat. She could only register what was happening while the chakra strain was immense, afraid she was losing herself as the sensation of having too many insects to count ran rampant over her mind until the world seemed to be buried in crawling insects. But at the same time she was willing to hand over control since if she let the shinobi escape Suien would be mad with her and would treat her with silence and harsh training until she did it right.

The shinobi decided to cut his losses rather than expend anymore chakra on the numbers as the horde closed in. He took to the ground, using an earth technique to try and escape death from above. He fell prey to the millions of ants lurking there in the pathways carved out by the workers while fueled by the Beetle King as their new master, the hundreds of thousands relentlessly biting and stinging as he found his path down had dug his own grave when the horde from above unleashed their payload of silk-bearing spiders to add their poisonous bites to the ant sting toxin, silk weighing down his limbs as it slowly encased him in a cocoon that would remain and serve as nourishment for the future soldiers in the Beetle King’s army that lurked beneath the ground, spreading out as their tunnels expanded.

Suien arrived to see the swarm petering out at the command to disperse and make up their lost numbers for future incursions. He confirmed the kill by collapsing the entrance underground the shinobi had made. Then he made his way back to his weapon-in-training, the jinchuuriki, who was slumped on the ground as exhaustion finally took her and she was tottering on the edge of unconsciousness.

“Did we get them all?” she asked, her eyes heavy as she felt the influx of demonic chakra overlapping her own fading and the individual insects moving in concert with its mind connected to hers disappearing from her senses.

He nodded. “For the moment. Most of the merchants managed to reach the village, barring the three that were killed and their supplies burned. It’s only a matter of time before they try again.”

It was inevitable in the long run. Their village was named for being Hidden in the Waterfalls and they required merchants to move their goods and import as well, so they weren’t so much hidden as they were well-defended. To this point they had never been invaded, despite the astonishing low number of shinobi, because while Grass had long since lost their treasure, the Box of Ultimate Bliss, Waterfall still had theirs in the Hero’s Water as well as a jinchuuriki. So they tried sabotage instead, with pilfering and destroying supply lines being the latest attempt.

“Then can I go to sleep now?” Fuu asked. She was tired in body and mind after everything.

“Not yet,” he said, gesturing for her to follow. “First we have to deal with the spy who told them the routes the merchants were taking. It’s one of the duties of the jinchuuriki that we’ve been putting off until you made it past your first year of training.”

With her body weary she stood and followed him past the water basin of the waterfall. She noted that trash had gathered along the edges and would have to be cleaned. From there they kept going until they reached a small breach in the cliff-side at the ground level. Suien made some hand seals and then touched an impression on the stone surface.

The breach widened. Whether an illusion or otherwise, it became the entrance of a cave from which a cold breeze flowed as it descended downwards. Suien ventured into the darkness below and Fuu, while hesitant, wrapped her hands around her arms and followed her instructor for over the last year. It had been a crash-course considering that the shinobi of their village normally learned over the course of three or so years and she had been forced onto the field after only one.

“This is the Worm Pit,” Suien told her as they passed by hollowed out cells of earth, large gouges carved in the stone too neatly to have been done naturally. Lights were strung up by cords on the ceiling, stalactites occasionally dripping water down from their points to the where puddles formed in the path way. “We bring criminals and those who are to be interrogated here.”

“Most of the cells are empty,” Fuu noted.

Suien kept his pace as he nodded. “Taking prisoners isn’t something we do often and if you’ve committed a crime worth getting down here then you’d be executed instead to save on resources and such.”

Fuu wondered if that was the case for whomever it was that had vandalized her house. Were they caught and then charged before being released. Or were they executed? Did those in charge even seek out who did that to her home?

She supposed it didn’t matter now. It had been over a year since she was allowed to go into the village or see Shibuki. The one time she tried, to complain about how unrelenting the training was, she was caught by some jounin in a net of webs and then sent straight to Suien. That hadn’t been fun and she was told to wait until he visited her, not the other way around.

“Was the spy one of us?” she asked. Despite how distant she was from Shibuki, what if they did something to hurt him. He was her only friend… although she guessed Suien was sort of nice occasionally, like when he called it early on training and gave her some cookies. The rations they were sending her weren’t exactly filling to her sweet-tooth.

Her mentor shook his head as they reached a steel door affixed to the wall. “The enemy doesn’t seem to have an accurate count of our forces. The spy wasn’t a shinobi or kunoichi, but one of our civilians that was turned and still resided in the village until we found them.”

He opened the door to reveal a chamber that had various tools that were blood-crusted and was filled with the scent of iron. A rather large man in clothing that was somewhat above the modest ones most of the villagers wore was chained to a wall, his eyes sunken to where he looked ill. Was he poisoned or something?

“This is the traitor,” Suien told Fuu. “Or at least one of them. Some of the information wasn’t this merchant’s to give, so we know there are a few others. He’s been hesitant to talk, according to my compatriot, so we’ve decided to use this opportunity to show you how we coerce answers out of him.”

Fuu noted his choice of words. “We?”

No sooner than she said that did three people enter. One was a young boy, with brown hair and eyes matching the large man on the wall. Another was a woman who had black hair and a few wrinkles. They were both bounded by gags of spider silk and webbing that formed bands around their arms.

“I’ve brought them,” said the third person. He was a man with short green hair that was darker than her own, and black eyes with no eyebrows. His expression was flat, almost bored, as he pushed them down onto the ground.

“Good work, Suika,” Suien said as he faced the merchant. “Now, about those friends of yours. Let’s talk about them, hm?”

“You can’t do this,” the merchant snarled. “They’ve done nothing wrong. They don’t know anything.”

“You should have thought of that before you sold that information to Grass,” Suien countered, before gesturing to Suika.

The shinobi made the seals for the Summoning technique and smoke encased the area around him to reveal a cocoon the size of Fuu. It split open and hundreds of thumb-sized spiders emerged, the same hue as those that were in the pit that Suien once threw her into and she was saved by the Beetle King. It also explained that he was the shinobi that captured her before, which she didn’t notice because it was dark at the time and she was trapped so quickly.

“You see, my friend who works here uses spiders,” Suien explained. “These all have necrotic venom. So here’s the thing, you’re going to tell us who else is a part of this or you’ll see firsthand the effects of the venom on your family.”

The merchant was hesitant to believe it. So was Fuu. Weren’t they supposed to protect the people? That hesitance cost him as Suien glanced over his shoulder and nodded once to the other jounin.

They swarmed the woman and the screaming began. The merchant cried out for him to stop them from attacking his wife, unable to do anything. Her son looked on in horror as well, the webs that were infused with chakra leaving him unable to cover his eyes from witnessing his mother’s death. Even Fuu backed away as the screams resounded in the room, watching as the woman was bitten over and over.

“Get used to it, Kid,” Suika said, noticing her reaction. He was almost apathetic to the fact that he just set a swarm of flesh-rotting spiders on an innocent woman in front of her husband and child. The screams didn’t seem to bother him either.

And the villagers called her a demon or monster? “We’re under orders and if we have to do this to root out spies so we don’t get invaded then that’s what we’ll do. Besides, it’s no different than what you did to those Grass shinobi, is it?”

There was no curiosity in the question, making it rhetorical. But it made her think about the dead shinobi from Grass that she helped kill. Did they have families like that merchant too? Did they think about them while they were being flayed and devoured by her bugs? Was it this horrifying to see in person?

“Learn to stomach it,” Suien ordered as the screaming turned into a choked gurgle once enough of the venom was in her system to shut it down. Suien turned his gaze to the crying boy and then his weeping father. “The boy won’t last nearly as long as she did. Fuu…”

Her eyes widened as she realized he was expecting her to do the same next. She backed away, shaking her head, only for Suika to push her forward until she was in front of the bound boy who had to be her age or younger. Did she really have to kill him?

“Please,” the merchant begged. “Not my son too…”

“Names,” Suien demanded. “Names of your accomplices, how you communicate with the Grass, everything you know. The more you talk the better.”

Fuu could see he wanted to believe them. He was desperate and had lost one of his beloved family members, so he was willing to believe the jounin in order to ensure his son didn’t die. Fuu honestly hoped he would talk so that she didn’t have to kill the boy.

He talked. There were five others. Suika left out to get them, by the time morning came the Worm Pit would be filled with everyone who he named. That left Suien and Fuu alone with the two civilians and the corpse that was already starting to turn into a flesh-bag of melted viscera that the spiders were goring themselves on it.

“I told you everything,” the merchant said. “Now please, let my son go. Kill me, but let him go.”

Suien looked to the boy who was hoping that he would. Fuu was already reaching for a kunai to cut him loose of the webbing. He said six words she never wanted to hear. “Your orders still stand. Kill him.”

“But they talked!” Fuu argued as the pair’s eyes went wide with fear. This wasn’t what he told them would happen. “Why?”

“Village policy,” Suien stated. “You may not like it, but these are the rules of the village that have been in place since before I was born. No one who’s taken to the Worm Pit leaves alive, which is the reason why it isn’t common knowledge to anyone but those who work here or are higher up in terms of village management.”

Was this the village that Shibuki and his father were supposed to lead? They condoned that sort of killing? She, as their weapon, was supposed to carry out those sorts of things for the village that didn’t even like her? Screw that. She took a step back.

“This was what it means to serve the village loyally as one of their shinobi, one of Shibuki-sama’s, just as I did for his father,” Suien told her. “The only mercy you can afford the boy is to be quick about it.”

Fuu weighed his words. She…if she didn’t, would Shibuki be mad at her because this was her duty? She didn’t want to kill the boy, but if she didn’t uphold the village policy…would he hate her?

The kunai felt heavy in her hand as she drew it out and approached him. The father’s cries for her to stop drowned out the hammering of her heart. The blade descended and blood soon flowed onto the floor…

And something inside of her broke, something shattering like glass as she remained motionless over the fresh corpse while looking at the weapon she used to end his life.

“You’ve done your service to the village for the day,” Suien told her. “Go get your sleep.”

Without a word or looking up from the ground, she let the bloody weapon slip from her fingers as she made for the exit. The screams of the grieving father haunted her even as the door was shut behind her and she went back to camp. The nightmare as she slept offered her no escape either. Her duty to the village had taken her innocence away as easily as the blood seeped from the boy whose life she ended.

And, within the depths of her heart, she cursed the village’s name.

End Note: Suika is a villain from a filler episode of Naruto Shippuden (#236) and made an off-comment about Insect-Users when beating on Shino. This leads me to believe he encountered Fuu in the past since she’s the only potential insect-user aside from the Bee-users of Iwa and Shino’s clan from Konoha. So I thought ‘Why the hell not?’ and added him.

Wind Monk Banishment: Beetle Chronicles #1

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment – Beetle Chronicles

Chapter 1: A Tale of Seven Tails – Part 1

Fuu: Age Eight

It was raining that day, the droplets filtering in through the canopy plopping down into the large lake centered in the nexus of the village. The moisture in the air sucked away the heat and left a small child with tanned skin and green hair clinging to the fabric of the hooded jacket she wore for her shelter. It was all she had, her home within the village having been vandalized again by the time she left from the private wing of the hospital after she complained that the strange mark on her back hurt.

Fuu was her name. At least that was what she was told by the village leader that her parents wanted to name her that before they left, never to be seen again after she became something he called a Jinchuuriki shortly after she was born. But only Shibuki called her that, ever since his father drank that Hero’s Water stuff and didn’t wake up again.

Grrrrrrggghhh…” went her tummy as she continued to walk through the rain, hunger having taken her in lieu of her trying to ignore the cold biting at her skin. Night was falling at this point, so it would only get colder as the light faded away.

“Settle down,” she said childishly, rubbing the spot. While she sought to fill her tummy, her stipend would only last so long for the month and she couldn’t spend it recklessly or Shibuki would scold her, despite him being a wuss and a shrimp.

Walking along the southern side of the village, she went towards one of the few bakeries in the village and entered through the door. Warmth hit her instantly, knocking away the nipping chill from her skin, as did the sweet smell of bread that could easily fill her tummy. The gurgle that followed was one that eagerly awaited that to come to pass, as if it had a mind of its own.

“Tana-san, can I have a full loaf?” she asked, presenting her money to the brown-haired man who stood on the opposite side of the counter. He nodded and did so, but there was a frown on his face that seemed out of character for the joyful older man she knew. It worried her. “What’s wrong?”

“This will be the last time I can service you,” he said, his tone somewhat bitter.

There was stunned silent before she asked, “Why not?”

“Because the number of customers has dropped since that rival bakery opened up on the other side of the village and I can’t do anything that would harm my business further,” he told her. “It’s nothing personal, but my livelihood is more important to me. Sorry.”

So just like the others, another place stopped serving her. Taking the bread and pulling her hood over her head again, she muttered, “Thanks until now then.”

She left then, with tears in her eyes that stung more than the cold rain or impending night, for a safe place somewhere that she wouldn’t feel the palpable hatred within the glares of those who could see her. With no other recourse as night fell in the village, without fully understanding anything or why this was happening to her, the small child did the only thing she could. She went around to her hidey-hole that no one but Shibuki knew where it was.

The little hiding spot was literally a hole in the wall of the village, just small and deep enough that she could fit inside of it and cover the entrance with some materials found around the place. Once inside she ate the bread that had gotten a little soggy from the rain in silence, lamenting her life and the loneliness she felt and wondered, as she often did, what was it she did that was so wrong?

None of the kids in their small village would let her play with them, except for Shibuki. Even then, after his father died some time ago, she rarely saw him as often as before since he was to be trained to be the next leader of the village. The old guys who looked after him made it hard to reach him when he was at the building too, so the only time she really saw him was when he came to her.

With half of her bread gone now, Little Fuu felt a gentle brush against her tiny feet and looked down. There was a large roach there, its antenna tickling her to the extent that she felt a little ticklish, seemingly comforting her as though it could feel her sorrow. She broke off a portion of the bread, ground it up in her hand and let it drop by her feet so that it could eat. “Here you go.”

That alone seemed to trigger a reaction as more of the insects came out in short order and took what they could while the green-haired child watched them scurry about unbidden. She really didn’t see what was so frightening about them that scared people. They were just trying to survive as best they could despite being unwanted and looked at in disdain, just like her.

Coming to that train of thought, Fuu let loose a somber sigh unbefitting someone her age. Now she was preoccupied with the thought of finding somewhere else to get good food from now that she couldn’t go to the same place as before. It upset her that she was rejected from someone she trusted for their own sakes. The words that followed in her somber state were those of a spurned child, selfish and self-centered, but they reached that which dwelled inside of her as she muttered, “Stupid Tana-san…I wish all his stupid bread was eaten by you guys…

It was then something strange happened and she felt the sensation of something leaving her body, which she would later learn to be chakra. It left her feeling tired and she fell asleep as it seeped out while more and more of the insects heard the call of the Beetle King, who they amassed to serve as the Tailed-Beast responded to her wish. Its army was never-ending, its kingdom infinite, and its subjects innumerable.

With the legions of the earth-brown colored insects amassed, they surged out under the veil of night towards the now-closed bakery. The building was infiltrated through every crack, crevice, nook, and cranny. Dough, day-old bread, flour, and even wood, empowered by chakra they loitered and devoured everything in stock at the directive imparted on them without exception as the moon sank into the twilight and the dawn came around.

Ignorant of what transpired, Little Fuu slept well until the morning when someone shifted aside the cover of her hidey-hole and a familiar voice called her out of her dreams. “Fuu, wake up!”

“Chibi-buki?” She rubbed her eyes and squinted until clarity and the world un-blurred, revealing the short boy with ink black eyes and short brown hair that had yet to grow. “What wrong?”

“There’s been an incident,” he told her. “Were you here all night?”

She nodded. “Yeah. My place got messed up, so I came here after getting some bread…what’s wrong?”

“There’s some kind of infestation of roaches at Tana-san’s bakery,” he explained, “thousands of them are eating everything there and the villagers are blaming you. The council sent a shinobi out to find you and bring you in. But it wasn’t really you, was it?”

“I…” She trailed off after recalling her wish last night, only to have found it had come true somehow. All she knew was that it was what she wanted…or at least what she thought she wanted. But if she told Shibuki that, would he leave her alone too? Hate her like the others?

In the end her words felt forced. “It wasn’t me, I promise. You have to believe me!”

He nodded and reached down for her to grab his hand. “I do, Fuu. Now come on, you can stay with me until this blows over and they fix your place, okay?”

Fuu nodded in silence and reached up with small fingers to take his hand as she emerged from the tiny hiding spot. Grasping his hand tightly, she pulled her hood over her head and they started to move when the empty space next to them was suddenly filled and they crashed headfirst into a pair of long and sturdy legs that felt like a brick wall. “Ow!”

Rubbing her forehead, Fuu’s eyes trailed up from the standard set of shinobi sandals and grey pants to a dark blue jacket. Ascending further they came upon the bored visage of a man with a goatee and dark eyes with beady pupils. On top of his head was a tan bandanna to keep his long and spiky hair out of his face.

S-Suien!” Shibuki croaked out feebly while flat on his rear. While Fuu didn’t know the man, it seemed like he did and it was as though he was looking at his own personal boogey man. “Why…why are you here!?

He reached down and picked Fuu up, tossing her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes while she protested by flailing her limbs. Suien ignored the weak effort and merely turned his back to the boy, gathering his chakra to jump. He only paused when he felt the slight tug on the bottom of his pants and cast his beady dark eyes over his shoulder towards the boy.

“Wait!” Shibuki begged as he held fast to his teacher while still on his knees, a posture unbecoming of his status as the future leader. “She didn’t do it!”

He only said, “The council. If you have a problem, take it up with them.”

Then he moved. Taking Fuu along with him at speeds she was unfamiliar with, he bound across the lake in the middle of the village to get to the other side. He didn’t slow down until he approached a large building that was easily three stories high and strolled through the front door with the girl too dizzy to protest further as she tried to regain her bearings. It was only when he plopped her down in a large conference room on a chair that was taller than she was that she managed to pull herself together as the shinobi said, “I have brought the jinchuuriki.”

Fuu looked up from her chair at the assembled council, a gathering of five people who Shibuki’s father had amassed to handle the various aspects of the village that one man alone could not. Even as a small village they were a lively one, and in the event of his death they were to hold the reins until Shibuki came of age to lead the village with their counsel. Fuu found the eyes of the members heavy and uncomfortable, so she turned her head to see the baker sitting across from her.

His eyes were seething with anger and betrayal, like they were a pair of daggers coated in poison that stabbed her in her chest and caused her to flinch. Hatred. It was the same set of eyes she had seen time and time and again, now on the face of someone she hoped to never see them on.

Clearing his throat, the elder who sat at the center of the gathering, Juren, placed his hands on the table and interlaced his fingers before he spoke. “I trust we all know why we have gathered here at this moment?”

“I was told that…that something happened at Tana-san’s Bakery,” Fuu said feebly.

Lies!” Tana snarled in a manner that made Fuu jump in her chair. “It had her be her fault. There were thousands of them, eating everything! They didn’t even scatter when I approached or crushed them. They just kept eating and eating and eating without concern for anything else! It was unnatural, and we all know what the demon is capable of!”

His words hurt, cutting her deep in her heart. They seemed so uncharacteristic coming from the man who often served her bread with a smile. Was this what he had been pressed to by the loss of his livelihood, or his true nature?

Fuu fought down the upset in her stomach at the thought and said, “It wasn’t me.”

“Be silent,” Juren told her, before turning his attention to the victimized baker. “Did you do anything to warrant such an act?”

Tana shook his head. “I merely stated that couldn’t service her any longer. As you know, being a private business owner, I reserve the right to deny service to whomever I choose so long as it is vested in the survival of my livelihood and competition with the neighboring baker has left me in a state where I couldn’t favor her as I did before. I thought she would be reasonable about it and find somewhere else to shop, but when I awoke I came to see everything I had worked for being swarmed. The losses will leave me in poverty.”

“It wasn’t me!” she pleaded again before him and the elders. “I didn’t do anything! As soon as I left the Bakery I went somewhere to sleep.”

“My business has been ruined,” he stated, turning to her with eyes that smoldered with hatred. “After everything I did for you, the moment I was of no use you turned against me. I can only imagine that the others who warned me such a thing would come to pass were laughing at me when the news broke.”

“Reparations can be arranged for your losses,” Juren stated. “The question is the matter of what should be done with the offender. Given her age and status, we must—”

“Please, stop!”yelled a voice from the window, drawing the rest of their attention it. Shibuki was there, soaking wet after having been using the Water Walking technique to cross the distance and falling in part way and being forced to swim the rest. His effort at scaling the building with the Wall Walking technique wasn’t much better, hence why he was clinging to the window’s edge for dear life. “If Fuu said she didn’t do it, she didn’t do it!”

A moment of silence followed as they all looked him in a minor bout of disbelief until, with a silent sigh preluding it, Suien asked, “What are you doing?”

“The lady downstairs wouldn’t let me in from the fro—whoa!” Shibuki gave a sharp yelp as he lost his grip and almost fell until Suien managed to grab him by the back of his shirt.

No wonder the village has become weak, the jounin thought to himself as he set Shibuki down inside. He shook his head as he looked at the feeble child on his hands and knees, panting. This was who they were supposed to follow in the future as leader?

“I know Fuu,” Shibuki declared after catching his breath, “and she would never wish for something bad to happen to someone else. Not even if they wronged her!”

Fuu almost smiled earnestly at Shibuki defending her. He was a good person, even though she now felt worse because she did wish it while upset. But before she could say a word of thanks, more hurtful words that chipped away at her came from the baker.

“With all due respect, don’t lie for this monster, Shibuki-sama!” Tana stated.

“Are you calling our young leader a liar?” Suien cut in with a sharp grin on his face, wanting this to end. “The honorable son of the former leader, who sacrificed his life to protect the village when under attacked by Grass, has vouched for his little friend. Such an act would not bode well for your business once word leaves these walls, even if it hadn’t been destroyed before.”

Tana clamped his mouth shut, settling his lips into a thin line as he shook his head. Their bloodline was that which guarded the Hero’s Water and Shibuki was their village’s treasure, much like his father before him and his father’s father. Calling him such a thing out loud was tantamount to denouncing a saint as a sinner.

“…Very well,” Juren spoke. “If Shibuki-sama would vouch for her then we must declare that this was simply an unforeseen incident. No punishment will be incurred, but reparations will be made for the loss of the Bakery and its contents.”

“Thank you very much,” Shibuki said to the elder with a small bow following it. He quickly took Fuu’s hand and led her to the door. “Come on, Fuu. I still have breakfast left at my place we can share if you haven’t eaten since last night. I came rushing out when I heard the news, so hopefully it won’t be cold…oh, and your birthday is coming up soon, isn’t it?”

“Yeah…” She grabbed his hand and followed. While heading out it, she spotted Tana’s eyes and fought down the urge to cry. He had been good to her for so long, and now he was turned against her just like the other villagers calling her a monster and a demon. Her grip on Shibuki’s hand almost wavered as she thought that one day too he would look at her with those same eyes as they did. But she tightened her grip and tried to swallow that horrible fear down, shutting the door behind her.

Once a minute had passed and the children were out of the building, Juren addressed the baker. “I understand your grievances today. Despite the ruling we know the pests all had traces of the demon’s chakra. I assure you that something will be done, so would you be so kind as to go to the receptionist desk and ask for the related documentation to fill out for your losses?”

With tense nod Tana complied and left the room to do so, leaving Juren and his council with Suien. The elder of them all leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers together, a tired sigh escaping his lips. “Though our previous leader was great, his methods were too soft when dealing with the jinchuuriki and in his absence this has unfurled. While I believe this was an unconscious act on the container’s part, the question now is what should be done about it before it gets worse….”

Suien took that as his cue to speak. “Although Shibuki-sama would not approve, the jinchuuriki is the village’s weapon and must be treated as such, despite its age. We must act now and teach it to control its power before it goes out of control. We must sharpen the weapon to be used against our enemies before another incident like that which claimed our leader’s life happens again due to our lack of a deterrent barring the Hero’s Water…”

Juren took a moment to nod at that. “Shibuki-sama means well, but he is young and lets his emotions sway him. That is why, until he reaches maturity, we are the ones who oversee the village’s wellbeing. While he will not approve of it, in time he will understand his duty as the future leader is to protect the village and that this is exactly what must be done.”

Nods came from the other members of the council all around. “As for the container, it will be relocated to a camp on the outside of the village. The bare essentials will be supplied once the relocation begins in a few days time and it will remain there from henceforth to guard the area while being trained.”

“In that case, I would volunteer for the duty,” Suien stated. “I will train the jinchuuriki to be what our village needs.”

Among the council there were murmurs. Volunteering for the job was something no one did in the past, especially when the fate that had befallen those angered the container prior to the demon’s release and resealing. Juren plainly asked, “Why?”

“As you stated, the last incursion from Grass had left us in a fragile state at present. As jounin and trainer of the young leader, it would only be prudent of me to shape the jinchuuriki into an adequate weapon to serve under Shibuki-sama before such an event unfurls again. Am I not worthy enough?”

More whispers and murmuring occurred, before the elder of the group spoke again. “You have done this village a great service to this day and served the former leader loyally. Your skill will not be doubted and should it be necessary you may subdue the jinchuuriki by force before it goes out of control. Therefore we will allow you to train it as you see fit then…”

Suien bowed deep before the council and vowed to do his best, while a smug and victorious grin formed on his face at that moment.

Fuu: Age Nine

The forests surrounding the Takigakure were dense with fauna, moisture in the air from the stream and falls. Life pulsed within it as squirrels scampered across the tree limbs, sailing through the space between two parallel branches above, while the lowly caterpillars were crawling along the underside. It was peaceful, for all extensive purposes.

Yet none of that mattered as the child ran with tears in her eyes, her body was bruised and her fingers caked in blood while clenching the chipped and battered Water Slicing Sword. Crimson fell from the cuts that lined her flesh, shallow enough that she didn’t by some chance bleed out but debilitating enough that every step hurt. But all she could do was weather the pain and suffering and run, because he was coming. She had to get away. She had to survive.

You can’t escape,” echoed from around her as she entered a clearing, leaving Little Fuu to look around in a panic, wide eyes that were red with tears streaming down her face. “This isn’t a game of hide-and-seek. You’re a kunoichi, act like it.

That’s right. She was a kunoichi now, a weapon they said. After Tana-san accused her of doing something bad they moved her out of the village and told her the forest was her home now. They wouldn’t let her enter anymore unless she had permission and they made Suien train her.

You have three seconds to trace the source of my voice,” Suien warned her, his voice still coming from all over. “Three…two…one…

Fuu tried to spot him, but couldn’t in time and the clearing was ruined as water ruptured from beneath the ground in a streaking line. She leapt back only to see a shadow being cast from behind her, turning her head to see those cold eyes peering down at her with the curved Water Slicing Blade in hand.

“Poorly done,” he said, his voice cold, and his blade descended like an executioner’s axe, only to be met with the blade that Fuu held over her head at an angle to slide the point down. His own blade smashed through it as he regulated his strength to allow the tip of his blade to shear through the top layer of flesh on her shoulder and inflict another shallow wound. Then his foot rose and caught her in the abdomen.

The child was sent careening along the torn ground, being covered in the mud of the water technique that was left behind from tearing through the earth. When she came to a halt the left side of her body was folded over the right. She didn’t get back up.

Suien sighed, before melting away after turning translucent and then into liquid. It was a Water Clone. The actual jounin emerged from the direction of the previous water technique and proceeded to skim over the damage she had sustained, despite intentionally holding back. When it was evident no lasting damage had been done, he pulled out some smelling salts and held it to her nose until she snapped awake.

Upon seeing him hovering over her, Fuu shot onto her hands and feet and backed away until she ran afoul a tree.

Such weakness was unbecoming of him, making his mouth twist into a frown. “You failed a simple exercise.”

“I-I tried to find you, but—” her excuse was cut off as he snatched a beetle out of the air and held it up in front of her.

“You failed to take into account your environment,” he stated, before crushing the beetle within his grasp. “You’re the jinchuuriki of the Seven-Tailed Horned Beetle. The forest is its kingdom and every single arthropod within it is its army, your army, more so than any Aburame or the First Tsuchikage that was a member of the Kamizuru. Call to them with its chakra and they would be your eyes and ears, which you should have know if you read the information provided for you.”

She fidgeted under his gaze. “I did, but it was late and…I just forgot. Even when I call, it doesn’t come.”

“I’ve been tasked with correcting immediately,” he stated, before leading her to a small pit that was teeming with crawling spiders that he had amassed over the course of the night prior. It looked like a mass of brown carpeting that moving. “Inside this pit are spiders with necrotic venom, meaning your flesh will die and rot off the bone if you’re bitten. Your only means of survival are to have the demon’s chakra take hold and protect you.”

She backed away, clearly terrified, only for his calloused and rough fingers to wrap around her forearm. He lifted her up and over the pit, his face an expressionless mask. There was nothing she could do as he then dropped her in.

NO!” Panic ensued, fear of death flooding her she registered them swarming her flesh and preparing to bite. That fear reached the Beetle King and its chakra flowed through every tenketsu of her body until she was shrouded in a small veil of viridian chakra and the Beetle King’s declaration was heard. The spiders left the confines of the pit at that, chakra enabling them to traverse with greater speed than allowed, and they surged towards the jounin, who merely looked on in boredom before he smited them with a lightning technique.

The child looked horrified as she climbed out of the pit and realized that he was going to blame her for that. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to—I just wanted them not to bite me!”

“In this world, strength is all that matters,” Suien stated as he approached her slowly. “You have the demon inside of you, making you the strongest weapon at the village’s disposal. That’s all you are to them, a necessary weapon, and nothing is going to change that. They won’t care about what you feel or your intentions, they’ll only care about the amount of control you have over your demon’s chakra and how useful you are as a weapon…”

Fuu looked as though she was about to cry again as he stood in front of her, trembling in place. Was he going to hurt her more? Bringing her hand over her head, she curled up in fear as he reached inside his pouch and pulled out something.

“Regardless, progress was made today,” he said, a plastic wrapping that contained a large cookie in his hand. “Even if those had really been poisonous spiders like they suggested, rather than another variety, you succeeded. Get cleaned up, go back to your tent, and get some rest.”

“Th-thank you,” Fuu said as she took it and left quietly, the tears coming down her soiled face a combination of happiness and sadness. It had been so long since she’d been allowed to eat something satisfying besides the small rations they gave her, but to get it she had to…Fuu shook her head to banish the thoughts and simply relished what had been offered to her.

Suien smiled to himself as he watched leave towards a stream to clean herself. It would take some time but he was sure that this was the approach he needed to take—the carrot and stick method in a nut shell. Suien made it seem as though the village spurred him to use this method to teach her, pain and suffering that slowly chipped away at her humanity.

The village itself punished her through him, while he rewarded her to earn her loyalty because they would not. It also helped that their council was taking much of Shibuki’s time in teaching him the ins-and-outs of the village management. So much so that the two hadn’t seen one another in quite some time and the less time they spent together, the more distance would lead to her relying on him.

Isolate her, make her reliant on the small measures of comfort he provided, and then he would have the biggest weapon Waterfall had to offer next to the Hero’s Water. Of course, he planned to take that as well in due time.

Ignorant of the overarching plan, Fuu washed up and arrived at where they had set camp for her. It was a small set up, a tent with a sleeping bag and some other things she could survive with as long as she didn’t gorge herself before they bought her the weekly amount. Feeling tired after everything, she carefully removed the hair decoration she had gotten from Shibuki’s dad before he died and curled into the sleeping bag.

The quiet around her was the only lullaby she needed to get to sleep, but as soon as she closed her eyes she could remember the sight of all the spiders and shuddered. If it hadn’t been for the demon, even if they weren’t really poisonous like he said, then she would have died because the mean village council ordered Suien to do it…so she could be their weapon…

Did Shibuki know about that? Fuu wondered to herself. While she couldn’t imagine he would order such a thing, didn’t they do everything under Shibuki’s authority? The politics of it escaped her, so she just didn’t know.

But she did know she needed to be polite. “Umm…Mr. Beetle Demon…sir or ma’am? If you can hear me, I just wanted to say…thank you for stopping them from biting me…”

Silence followed and was the only response she got, but her words did reach the Beetle King.

Wind Monk Banishment #10

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment

Chapter 10: Convictions

Author’s Note: Canon has proven two things. The first is that Madara was so overpowered as a villain that it took a literal Deus Ex Machina in the form of the Sage of Six Paths. The second is that Gai is a monster. You’ll also note that this chapter is shorter than normal because I removed the flashbacks that made up half of it. They’ve been moved to Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment – Beetle Chronicles.

With Hinata

Hinata Hyuuga sat atop a cushion on the floor in picture perfect posture, her long hair curled into a bun via two hair chopsticks made of steel and decorated with the imagery of Lilies. Her eyes were placidly straight ahead, focused on the esteemed individuals seated atop a platform within the confines of the private conference room within the Hyuuga estate. They were the elders of her clan.

There were five of them total, each one adorned in silk robes and their personal ceramic cups that had been filled with a rather exotic tea blend. Each had drunken some the tea with grace and elegance instilled by their teachings prior to her arrival. Hiashi was not present, leaving the sixth place vacant.

“Your father seemed to have taken ill and will not be joining us,” one of them mused before activating a seal on that wall. Despite their faces being stony and unchanging, their animosity towards her was palpable in light of her current actions. Thus she had been summoned at this late hour as she guessed she would and her father had confirmed earlier. “What is discussed here will not be uttered to anyone else, barring him and in private.”

“I understand,” Hinata stated. She already knew that, as this was their personal chambers of deliberation and it contained sensitive papers and important decisions. They were shielded from those all-seeing eyes of others and any escaping sounds were muted by an expensive seal, only known to them in design.

With that out of the way the de facto leader of them nodded and then began. “Hinata Hyuuga, your actions have shamed our noble clan as of late. While we understand your loathing of the Kyuubi, you allowed your emotions to overtake your judgment and attacked a fellow member of your unit. You have been discharged from Konoha’s forces in a dishonorable manner and you have cost this clan much in terms of monetary losses as well as the esteemed reputation we have worked hard to cultivate. Do you understand this?”

“I do,” she admitted. “Whatever punishment you’ve seen fit to discipline me with, I will accept.”

“There are suitors,” the female member of the elders said, somewhat stiff and perhaps feeling her age. She didn’t show it though. “All of whom have agreed to pay a rather large bride token without necessitating a dowry. While not the most savory of individuals, all of them have proven to be modest in terms of their temperament upon investigation by our own means, including your father—after all, having ties to one who would abuse one of your pedigree would not bode well on the reputation we have.”

“I am to be…wedded?” she asked for confirmation, noticing that the elder on the right was slightly sluggish as he reached for his cup. “Would I not be able to pursue another path towards amendments towards the clan?”

“Are you going back on your words just now?” asked the elder in the center. His throat felt strained, so he took a sip of the tea and allowed his eyes to narrow and display his conviction.

She lowered her head. “Not at all. I was simply hoping that I would be able assist in the hospital as a medic with the skills I have attained so far.”

They talked amongst one another in clipped and low voices before coming to a decision. “That is for you and your suitor to decide upon. Certainly, your medical skills would yield some result in that field.”

“The Caged Bird Seal will be a necessity, regardless,” the female elder added, the stiffness now spreading further. She maintained the illusion of being fine to hold onto the image she wished to project. “While we have no intention of activating it, the fact remains it is the only means we have of sealing away your Byakugan should you pass away and as a sign that you no longer hold the same position you once did. Fortunately Hanabi can still be groomed to be the heiress…”

Hinata fidgeted at that. Not the mention of the seal, but her sister.

“Do you…” The elder in the center’s throat felt like a stone was wedged in it. He feared that the others would notice, that he was feeling so tense rather than maintaining the prim appearance he maintained, but none of them spoke or showed any sign of noticing. “Do you understand…?”

“I understand,” she stated, her head bowed low. “If I may ask, which of the suitors will I be meeting with first?”

No words came. Despite her inquiry, none of them responded at all. Instead they simply looked to her with the stony and stoic nature their family had cultivated. They did so in silence for a full minute before Hinata’s head rose and she slowly stood to her feet.

It seems like the paralysis has set in, Hinata thought to herself. If she were truthful she was worried that they would have noticed they had been poisoned, but it would seem that her time under Shizune and Tsunade had proven beneficial. It was a shame that the rift between them was now too vast to be mended.

While the tea itself wasn’t poisoned, as it had been checked prior to her arrival as a safety precaution, they failed to notice that the bottom of the cups had a thin layer of poisonous paste applied and then dried to leave what amounted to a small glaze that matched the glossiness of the cups. The moment the hot water from the tea touched it, it broke down the paste and mixed with the tea’s already strong and exotic taste. They had grown complacent in their positions it seemed and failed to predict the chance of such a thing coming.

Even as loathed as the main branch was by the side branch, the animosity between them paled in comparison to ones who perpetuated the system—namely them. For all her demeanor when it came to the Kyuubi, she still treated her cousin and the branch family well enough to have sympathizers to her cause and have them apply the poison while doing the housework. While she couldn’t say that she liked the actions she took by ensuring the elders’ death, after all wanton murder and assassinations were never something she reveled in, she couldn’t forgive them.

She still recalled it vividly, how they taunted and tormented her for her ignorance of the demon’s nature until they had culled her into what they considered their near-ideal heiress. Her fondness for her cousin and the branch family was still something they had yet to have taken from her, but she knew that if she allowed the cycle to continue they would condition Hanabi to that same nature that led to the animosity between her cousin and herself prior to the Kyuubi’s intervention.

Its reasons for making that pledge to change their clan were for some sinister purpose no doubt. Perhaps to make her more loyal to it in the long run by reading her own intentions and then twisting those into something perverted later on, like foxes were rumored to do in legends. But it still had merit and their clan had to change.

While she was no longer in a position to do it, the removal of these five would present more of an opportunity for Hanabi to have less poisonous words being whispered in her ears. It was all she could do for now, besides eliminating the Kyuubi tonight. That way it could no longer trouble the village or twist any more lives than it already had—including her own.

Making for the door as though she failed to notice the minuet tension in their bodies as they desperate struggled against all muscles in their bodies becoming so tense and rigid that they tore themselves apart, including their hearts, she gave a small bow once she reached it and said, “Farewell, Esteemed Elders.”

With that said she excused herself and warned the guards on the exterior that the council was in deliberation and asked not to be disturbed. With the seal in place, no eyes could gaze upon the room and only her father remained as one who could enter without permission. By the time the poison that induced his sudden bout of sickness was flushed from his system in the morning, she would have accomplished her goal or died trying.

Her father’s chambers were being guarded at the moment by her cousin, what with him ill and vulnerable. That was to be expected from her poisoning him while they met earlier for a private discussion, although there were no overt traces of it in his system and the symptoms induced matched those going around the village at this time of the year. Even for a man as vigilant as he was, he dropped his guard around his daughter and she often prepared tea for him as her mother did, so no one suspected anything and he didn’t interfere or end up caught in her assassination plot should it have failed or something went amiss.

Hinata made for her sister’s room instead, across from her own. Both had privacy seals a step below those of the elders, commissioned by their father to ensure their modesty from what may have been unscrupulous or untoward family members. Her sister was sound asleep inside, resting on her futon.

Hinata kneeled down and gently brushed her younger sibling’s hair aside so it was parted, revealing her sleeping face. It looked so peaceful and content. She took a moment to just watch her, pondering what type of future Hanabi would have without her there to watch after her.

Would she be the savior to their clan and free the branch family? Neji-nii-sama and she were both close, so it was possible. Killing the elders at least ensured their venom would not pass to her, but there would be many who preferred the old ways and change was scary.

Would she become a kunoichi that would make father proud? Certainly she was more talented that Hinata had been at that age. It was a very likely possibility.

Would she grow to find someone she loved? Taking a moment to look around her otherwise Spartan room, she noticed that Hanabi had left dried woundwort in a mortar and pestle on the top of her dresser. Thinking about how flustered she was when handing the balm Hinata taught her to make to Shino (she had her eyes active at the time) put a smile on her face. It reminded her of that time during the preliminaries of the Chuunin Exams, when she gave…

She shook her head at the memory that was tainted by the realization of what he truly was. While her own heart had been shattered and betrayed, Hanabi was different. While there was something of an age difference of five years, once she reached adulthood there was always a chance if their father didn’t oppose the decision and if Shino-kun would return her feelings. A small chance the way things were now that she was to be the heiress of the clan, but a chance nonetheless.

I do this as much for myself as for you, Hanabi-chan, Hinata thought as she leaned down and gave her sister a small kiss on the forehead. The kiss failed to wake her, leaving the youngest of Hiashi’s children to her dreams as Hinata stood and left, closing the door behind slowly and then making her way to her room.

Once there she pulled out an ink well and brush to begin drafting letters to her father, sister, and cousin. She knew that by the time this was all over she would most likely never see them again, even if she survived. Then she dressed herself for combat, her tools, her pouch, her jacket all adorned her. She reached for her banana that normally adorned her neck, but it was gone after attacking Shino for the sake of killing the Kyuubi.

She then left out of the compound and proceeded to walk down through the streets of Konoha at night. It was late and few people were out, so she didn’t expect to run into anyone she knew. As such, when she found Akamaru carrying her teammate out and about, she was somewhat concerned. Did he somehow know she was planning to kill the Kyuubi?

The thought died when she saw that he was swaying on top of the large ninja hound and he spoke, “Hi-ii-Hinata-chan?”

“You’re inebriated, Kiba-kun,” Hinata said, her tone somewhat placid but carrying a hint of admonishment.

Kiba raised a finger at that. “O-only a littttttle, but the-there’s something I want t-to tell youuu…so-something im-important…”

“You should go home and rest,” she told him, walking to his side as Akamaru lowered himself. “We’ll talk in the morning.”

“Hinata…I…” Kiba shook his head, slapping his cheeks to make sure the words came out clearly like Shino told him. “I love you. I always have, so…”

Silence followed as confusion briefly took hold of her. “Are you…serious?”

He nodded more so than necessary.

“Why didn’t you tell me sooner then?” she asked.

“I was all-always afraid you wouldn’t like me,” he admitted as he brought his hands to his eyes and rubbed them. “And t-there was never time…but now…”

“Kiba-kun…” She ran her fingers along the side of his cheek to cup them. Then she leaned in slowly and gave him a kiss on his lips, ignoring the taste of saké and putting effort into it. It was one of the last things she would be able to give him.

Akamaru gave a surprised grunt as Kiba remained stunned by the abrupt action, before allowing himself to sink into the kiss. It was absolute bliss for him, a warm pleasure flowing into his body and pushing aside the inebriation of alcohol with the intoxication of intimate affection. Semi-Drunk or not, it was the single best thing he would remember as she broke the kiss and gave him a gentle smile.

“Thank you for telling me, but it would be best if we discussed this when you’ve sobered up,” she stated, brushing his cheek again. “Go to bed as soon as you get home.”

“Suuurre,” he said, his world spinning as the heat from the kiss lingered and made his head lighter.

“Get him there quickly, Akamaru,” she told the loyal canine, gently patting the ninja dog’s head. “I’ll see you both tomorrow.”

“Yes!” Kiba whooped as Akamaru walked down the street while carrying him, elation in his voice as they departed.

Once they were out of sight, Hinata’s smile dropped as a sort of lamentation crossed her mind. While he was rough around the edges, Kiba had so many of the same elements that drew her to what she thought was Naru…the Kyuubi’s mask. Loyal, hard-working, somewhat robust and joyous despite his bouts of fierceness.

She took a moment to wonder what could have been between them if she had known earlier and hadn’t been so enthralled by the Kyuubi’s whims. It was just one of the many things she would never know, more regrets to join her between never seeing her sister again and having to poison her father. In the end, what she did may have been crueler than simply denying his feelings since nothing would be waiting for him tomorrow. The promise she made just now meaningless as things were already in motion.

Goodbye, Kiba-kun, she sincerely thought. Then she activated her Byakugan and spread her vision to avoid any more surprises. There were protected buildings that were shielded from her sight, but of them all only one in particular would be able to safely house the Kyuubi and warrant the presence of so many ANBU gathered upon a single spot. The Senju Complex was the most logical choice then.

Predicting a path to take with her eyes noting as many ANBU and civilians she needed to avoid, Hinata Hyuuga ventured to kill the source of her pain and suffering.

On the Outskirts of Konoha

Itachi Uchiha stood within the forests of outside his home village, atop a sturdy tree limb that allowed the moonlight filtering through the canopy above to shine down on him. He had a few minutes before the patrol crossed this location in particular and saw it fit to just look upon his home and allow for nostalgia to take him for a moment. With how his eyes had deteriorated it was more of a mess than he could sort out, but his mind filled in the blanks.

It was strange, Itachi mused. Despite nearly being blind, something that all doujutsu-users tended to fear, he was at peace with it. He wondered if it was because he was already dying from illness that he lacked the drive to acquire the means to revert the problem. Or was it because he loved his brother so strongly that his family’s curse drove him to making Sasuke hate him for the sake of gaining power, enough to kill him even.

He wanted his brother strong, so much so that he violated his mind and practically forced him into Orochimaru’s clutches. While he had no doubt Sasuke would usurp the madman, it was still such a risky decision to make in perspective—albeit one that would potentially allow him to manifest the Mangekyo Sharingan so he could bequeath his brother his eyes.

For a moment he mused on the possibility of them exchanging their eyes so both had their Eternal versions. But the thought died when he realized most ended up attempting to kill one another to acquire it. Since such a thing required absolute trust, something that shinobi rarely had due to their lifestyles with few exceptions, it would inevitably fail.

After all, it would be easy to keep the eyes as spares, which he suspected Danzo and Tobi had done. From the reports on the aftermath of the massacre he “borrowed” Itachi noticed so many bodies had gone missing. Most of them were the ones he allowed the masked Uchiha to deal with while he had to kill his parents. Then Shuishi had lost one eye to Danzo and bequeathed the other to him, so there was little doubt he did it to others.

As he activated his Sharingan, Itachi could barely make out the blurred shell outline of the sensory barrier, its color registered in his mind from the moment he first awakened his Sharingan. While it was deactivated during the festivities of the Chuunin Exam when he last visited, he had no doubt trying to cross it from above now would set it off and they would find him sooner than he’d like and force a fight. He had to conserve his strength to accomplish his goals and enough innocent blood had been spilled for the sake of his cover.

He thankfully knew a few alternative routes for getting in. They were the same ones that Danzo’s agents used. They would lead him straight to the man. Once there, Itachi of the Leaf would fulfill his final duty to Konoha tonight…

And he would do so by eliminating the rot that was set in its roots.

Wind Monk Banishment #9

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 9

Author’s Note: Yes dammit it, I’ve finally split up the flashback chapters away from the main story. But only because the stories keep piling up in my head to where the next ten chapters would be flashbacks. Now the damn muse wants to return.

Chapter 9: Future Plans

In Suna – Hospital

Time seemed to drag on as the silence of the hospital room was rhythmically broken by an I.V. dripping fluid into the patient who had yet to awaken and the sound of the guest in the room straining to stay awake.

Fuu of Taki, the jinchuuriki of the Seven-Tailed Beetle writhed silently in her slumber, sweat lining her brow as she underwent the trial of facing herself in her own mindscape. Gently dotting her forehead with a cool and damp rag was the elegant Daimyo of the land they were in, the Land of Wind, Kanna. Two women who found themselves enamored to the same man, both having met with him in the past.

Settling the rag on her forehead, Kanna sat down in the chair next to the jinchuuriki’s bed and sighed. She had been a patient woman when she had to be, as she had been trained by her father, so she could wait until her opposite awakened. But it did little to unease her heart knowing that Naruto had been captured by Konoha.

There was also no doubt she was exhausted, not when the room seemed to blur continuously. She futilely rubbed her eyes, hoping to ease the strain, and sighed as the hours seemed to crawl by without any signs of improvement. It was only the sound of the door creaking open that made her perk up to appear somewhat attentive, as befitting of one of her status.

Taking slow and steady steps into the room was an elderly woman with a patient expression of her own on her face as she arrived to check up on the child that still slept. However, sparing a glance at the Daimyo, she couldn’t help but state, “We’ll have to bring another bed into this room to put you in at this rate. Exhaustion in the desert is not something that should be taken lightly, even in a hospital.”

“With all due respect, Elder Chiyo, I want to hear from her mouth what happened in that village from a source I can trust before the impending meeting,” Kanna stated. She couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe they managed to somehow permanently injure him or broke him in some way, perhaps using some shinobi art to affect his mind so that they could chain him within his former village and she wouldn’t see him again. “I can’t trust what was said on scroll or reports from the main village chasing after him.”

“These things take time, Dear,” Elder Chiyo told the young Wind Daimyo. “She will awake when she is ready. Depriving yourself of sleep won’t speed things along.”

“Perhaps,” she admitted, “but it’s all I can do for now. There’s no other way I can contribute, despite my position. If anything, my position leaves me a liability that can be used against all of us. ”

“I suppose that is one of the risks of love,” Chiyo mused. “In a way, it is an even more merciless than war between shinobi. It is a source of pain and conflict no matter who you are, and wounds brought forth from it never truly heal. However, if you think the risk is worth it, then continue to walk that path of thorns with caution.”

To that Kanna nodded. “I shall take your counsel to heart…”

Fuu’s Mindscape

Within the representation of Fuu’s mind, the Village Hidden in the Waterfalls was now a silent graveyard beneath a rotting canopy, instead of the majestic place where water surrounded the tree that rose to the sky and filtered the warming rays of the sun below. The large tree that remained rooted for centuries and produced the Hero’s Water was now withered and dried, the sparkling waters surrounding it littered with the countless carcasses of bug remains and hollowed out exoskeletons that floated on the surface and dyed the waters a shade of hyacinths. The homes of the villagers that were once whole were now hulls that housed skeletons, no scrap of flesh left behind as maggots that writhed about.

It was all ruined. The macabre facsimile of the stout tree at the crown of the village now acted as a post as Fuu remained tethered to it by spider silk. Her eyes were vacant. Her body was flaccid and unmoving. Fuu had fallen and was subdued, the battle in the mindscape ended with as little success as Naruto’s would have without unforeseen intervention.

Arachnids continued to weave the bonds around her, crawling along her flesh and hair and releasing fresh webbing from their spinnerets to thicken the bonds. As their protein ran low other minor bugs were cannibalized to replenish it and production sped up through chakra that still laced them from the source that continued looking down at the sight, Dark Fuu.

The shadowy manifestation mused that was another difference between Naruto and her true self, aside from the fact there had been no help forthcoming or safety nets established by overprotective parents here. What happened was that the strong had beaten the weak and would consume them, just like the less useful and weaker insects were fed to the spiders. But, despite being her darkness given form, Dark Fuu had no intention of merely usurping the original as the dominant force…

Or rather the cowardly mask she put on to make herself more appealing to Naruto that eventually took on a life of its own. Somewhere along the way she became the mask, as they would say for shinobi who became so invested in their cover that it became real. As tempting as it was to shatter that mask, she didn’t want to destroy that part of her that held the more positive aspects of her life in the form of memories and experience. Rather, it was union that was her goal, the assimilation of the past and present by acceptance of the truth to become someone new.

Darkness that encroached from the outer rim of the village was slowly bleeding in, a representation of who held the reins now. Once it finished cascading in and dying everything in her color, the mask would be dropped in and melded alongside the shadowy manifestation of her past, turning it all into a new being. The personality of the mask would be stripped raw, left hollowed out to be filled by herself, but the memories would remain as they were—locked away and treasured.

While not exactly what she was going for, there was no other choice since Fuu refused the truth and kept denying what they were. Worse, the mask kept insisting that her true self wasn’t part of her and fought against it, which was akin to saying that an uncertain future would be enough to drown out so many years of loneliness, hatred, and bitterness.

Foolishness at its finest. That future that she hoped for, that empowered that living mask, was shattered by the Leaf as their home went up in flames. So she had lost and Dark Fuu trapped her within a prison of her own making, forcing her to replay her past and face what she was until the assimilation was complete.

Choumei sat on his perch outside the general darkness. He was hesitant to act as Kurama had done so earlier with the Hokage and his Wife. There was nothing for the bijuu to support or maintain within the mindscape, no side for him to take between the two.

Attaining the purified chakra required one to come to terms with the darkness and acknowledge it, but what if the darkness merged with them and became whole? Would the new being be able to use it? Would the new ‘Fuu’ that emerged need it?

One way or another, it would end soon…

In Konoha – Tsunade’s Office

Hiashi Hyuuga had felt fear few times in his adult life. Once was when his daughter was nearly kidnapped by Cloud. Then was when his brother offered to take his place, leaving behind a nephew that loathed his own family and the cursed destiny of twin branches they had. Currently he was now fearing the wrath of a woman who could beat him to death with her desk if she so chose. Of course, he didn’t let it show on his face. He was the head of the Hyuuga after all.

The clan heads had gathered in response to their children’s major injuries and the mess of a mission that spiraled out of control. As Hokage, she didn’t owe them answers at all, she was in charge and this wasn’t a democracy after all. But she allowed them to know why their children suffered damage between Akatsuki, Orochimaru, and Naruto.

And then they left while Tsunade asked Hiashi to stay behind. Once the door shut, she steepled her fingers in front of her mouth and began slowly. “I was not pleased with your daughter’s actions during this mission. Not pleased at all, Hiashi Hyuuga.

“The initial objective was to capture Naruto Uzumaki without using lethal force. When Orochimaru showed up along with Akatsuki, the objective should have been to work together to neutralize the more imminent threat or retreat. Did these not seem like clear objectives?”

Hiashi nodded that they were.

In a flash Tsunade slammed her hand onto the desk and broke it in half. “Then why do I have a report about her disobeying orders and using lethal force right from the get go! Not only that, but she actually attacked one of her allies—a fellow leaf-nin—in order to continuously attempt to kill Naruto Uzumaki! It was her actions that actively began a second-stage transformation and all the resulting damage from it!”

Taking a deep breath, she sighed. “Now, these actions alone would warrant imprisonment, if not death. However, her teammates pleaded with me that she hasn’t been mentally stable in light of several factor and neither of those solutions will stop what has been set in motion. Regardless, I’ve had Inoichi himself do a deep scan of the girl’s psyche, only to learn that she was not only not fit to be on this mission, but even be an active kunoichi…and that this information was found out beforehand and hidden from me when it involved one of my kunoichi, whose loyalty and responsibility is to the Hokage.

“What say you of this, Hiashi Hyuuga?”

Hiashi closed his eyes as he spoke. “I have no reason to justify my actions as they did not—at the time—have any consequences outside that of the Hyuuga clan. Now that the issue has come to light, steps can be taken and reparations made.”

“Hmph…” Tsunade settled back in her chair. “I will not make it a secret that I dislike what I’ve read on her mental evaluation. However, this is now an internal matter of the Hyuuga clan and, as part of the original rights of the clans that make up Konoha, I will not raise my hand to deal with this as Hinata Hyuuga is no longer a kunoichi—barring reparations from your clan towards the damages caused to the developing village. Is that understood?”

Hiashi nodded silently.

“That being said, I’ve issued a standing order to ANBU. If she comes within 150 yards of Uzumaki, she dies. No questions asked and no quarter given,” Tsunade warned him. “You are dismissed.”

With Kiba & Shino

Hinata’s former teammates made their way out of the Hyuuga compound, allowed a brief and rare visit to the extensive domain of one of the most prestigious clans in the entire village. Such an opportune moment was rare, to the extent that Kiba left Akamaru behind and bathed…thoroughly.

“…It would seem she is doing well given her circumstances,” Shino said, his tone neutral as usual.

Kiba nodded. “Yeah…I figured she’d be more bummed about being kicked out of being a kunoichi. But…”

When the Inuzuka trailed off, Shino looked at him and gave a silent nod. The message was obvious. She no longer cared about being a kunoichi, nor her fate or what that would entail afterwards. Considering the most people either were relieved of the burden of the duty or disappointed to various measures, the absence of any strong emotion was downright disturbing…then again, her behavior lately hadn’t been all to stellar in that field either.

“It is indeed troublesome and concern-worthy,” Shino said after a pause. “But there is little we can do about it at the moment.”

“Yeah, I…” Kiba blinked and caught a scent that was one similar to Hinata’s. He turned his head to the clan compound’s wall, where he was sure someone was watching them through it. “Hanabi, you can come out now.”

Stepping into sight was a long-haired and petite Hyuuga girl who bore a faint resemblance to their teammate. Fairly young and only recently graduating into a team. She gave a small bow to the pair. “Good evening, Inuzuka-san…Aburame-san. How are you both?”

“We are well,” Shino stated.

Pressing her fingers together in a manner that reminded the two of her sister at that age, Hanabi refused to meet the gaze of the hooded insect-user. “I…wanted to…to apologize for Onee-sama attacking you.”

Reaching into a pouch, she pulled out and presented a container. “It’s a healing salve. I had Onee-sama teach me how to make it some time ago. The herbs I used shouldn’t bother your companions at all.”

Shino raised an eyebrow (not that anyone could see him do so beneath his hood and shades) as he accepted the gift. Very few ever accepted their insects as comrades rather than disposable bugs. “You have my thanks.”

“Then, please excuse me.” With haste she made her way into the compound, hoping the blush on her face wasn’t visible to the pair. Quite pointless, considering who the pair was and her the body giving off signals that they both recognized.

“Heh…” Kiba gave the insect-user a smug grin once the girl turned a corner and was out of earshot. “Looks like someone has a crush on you…”

“It is…perplexing…” Shino said with a slight sigh. “However, it is merely precocious. It will pass.”

“Keep telling yourself that,” Kiba teased. “If Hinata dropped you with a single move before just to get your gear, imagine what she’ll do when she hears about this?”

“Yes. It is a good thing that such an event will never happen,” Shino said calmly. “For, if it did, I can imagine that a great deal more fleas will just so happen to find their way into your bed and that of your partner. The flesh-eating kind…many of them…”

Say what you wanted about Kiba, but he knew when to draw the line when messing with Shino. “Message received. It never leaves the two of us.”

With Neji Hyuuga

At the same time as the pair left the grounds, Neji Hyuuga returned to his home in time for him to see a young branch family girl being crowded by few other members of the main family. It looked as though they were about to cross a line that he wouldn’t allow.

“What do you think, you’re doing?” he said.

Tch…it’s Hiashi’s favorite,” one of them muttered as they walked away. He was a jounin and not someone to be trifled with, even by members of his own clan. Activating his seal was the equivalent of a death sentence as Hiashi would react with tranquil fury at his nephew’s unjustified torment.

“Are you alright?” Neji asked once they had left.

The girl gave a polite bow, but her eyes showed no gratitude when she raised her head. There was only an envious and spiteful visage that was well-masked by their traditional, stoic upbringing. “Thank you for your assistance, Neji-sama.”

As she walked off as well, he said nothing. He understood her source of discomfort and anger all too well. He was the only one whose treatment was better. The rest still suffered and nothing overall had changed. He did not allow himself to think otherwise at all.

I wanted to change the fate of the Hyuuga, but can it really be done as I have been doing so far? Neji contemplated. Even if my own treatment has improved, it hasn’t been the same for others who bear the mark.

As long as that seal of submission existed, the Hyuuga would always be divided and true equality would be beyond them. Thinking back to Naruto’s offer, he could only wonder if once the jinchuuriki awoke he would be willing to make a deal and how he would implement the change without risking a civil war.

For now he would check up on Hinata-sama.

With Itachi Uchiha

Itachi Uchiha had received his final orders from Pain: Eliminate Danzo & Prevent Tobi from unleashing the Nine-Tailed Fox.

His orders had been well in line with his own goals. For too long Danzo had been poisoning the roots of the leaf village thinking that he was the cure for the rot that existed, rather than the cause. As for the jinchuuriki…well, he had been doing well to keep him out the masked man’s hands for this long. He would simply have to hope that Konoha could keep him in check and that his replacement was incompetent enough to stave off his capture.

Although he would set a final plan in play and leave the rest up to his brother. Sasuke had become strong in his own way. In the end, he found his own path that would keep him away from the curse of the Uchiha and the masked man’s manipulations.

As Itachi stared at the water from the harbor of a small village, getting ready for his final journey, he paid no mind to the footsteps that came up from behind him and rested at his side. From the sound and presence he had already deduced that it was his partner, Kisame. The pair said nothing for a few moments, the only sound between them being that of the crashing waves.

“So…” Kisame started out to break the silence. “Finally off to die, Itachi?”

He nodded. “The medicines I’ve been taking have lost quite a bit of their effectiveness, and my vision has degraded to the point where I would qualify as legally blind. My worth as a shinobi and usefulness to Pain-sama would have been reduced to nothing had this come any later. Everything that lives must eventually die.”

All Kisame said was, “I see…”

Itachi placed the straw hat on his head and turned to walk away to his fate, stopping for a moment to say his final piece to his partner. “Kisame. For what it’s worth, you were an excellent partner despite our differences. I wish you well in your endeavors.”

A small, slight grin on Kisame’s face formed as he came to accept the decision. Though they were close, there was no other end befitting ones such as them. “…Die well, Itachi.”

Wind Monk Banishment #8

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 8

Chapter 8: Light in the Darkness

Alright, fight’s gone on long enough. I’m going to go a bit faster to wrap things up. This chapter sets up a lot of future plot points.

This time I’m recommending AMV’s on Youtube. [Naruto AMV] Loss of A Sensei by GhOsTxAMV and Naruto Shippuden AMV – Far From Over [Blood Prison] by Vegeto30294

On The Sea

Kabuto witnessed his master, the only person to acknowledge him, be sealed by the Uchiha. That day he swore vengeance on the Uchiha brothers. Orochimaru’s will would live on through him, and one day he would surpass his master…

With Gai

The Green Beast and Demon Shark clashed after the beast unleashed his Maximum Entry upon the man. Both were bleeding as fists and jutsu met under the rain, until the cawing of crows caused Kisame to leap back at the arrival of his partner.

“Kisame,” Itachi stood between the Green Beast and Demon Shark with his eyes deactivated, and the dried blood trails obviously marring his face. “Our objective is complete. We’re leaving.”

“But—” Kisame shut up when he saw his partner sweating, obviously exhausted from his endeavor. Despite his love of battle, he acknowledged Itachi more as a comrade, and their mission was complete. “Right, let’s go.”

Gai flexed his muscles. “Do you think I’ll let you escape?”

Itachi pointed to the pillar of darkness rising into the sky. “You have other issues to worry about, considering Naruto-kun has entered a second stage transformation. Have you forgotten your mission?”

Gai stared at the two for what seemed like hours, but only three seconds passed before—

(Music Recommendation: Rev. Theory – Far From Over)

“GATE OF JOY: OPEN!” A blue aura burst from his body, as six gates were unleashed. With a powerful leap that created a huge wave, he took to the sky and flew towards the battlefield. Kisame and Itachi looked on as the Green Beast ascended until Kisame scratched his head.

“He is really an Odd Beast.” Itachi closed his eyes and nodded. The pair then left the island.

Gai’s initial jump sent him nearly all the way back towards the battle beneath the single clear point in the thundering skies and rain, where he watched the three chuunin flee on hawk back. He bit his thumb and made a set of seals above his head, as he reached the summit of his climb. “Summoning!

A plume of smoke gave birth to a huge, red ninja-tortoise, which looked around randomly until he noticed Gai beneath him. “You haven’t summoned me for years and then you do it in mid-air!

Gai flipped upside down and chambered his legs on the bottom of the tortoise. “Ningame, I need to borrow your shell!”

“What? Wait you better not d—” Gai kicked off the bottom of the tortoise shell and dove towards the jinchuuriki gone mad, while sending the tortoise flying sky high until he was a gleam in the sky. As he descended like a comet, he flipped upright as the friction the air set him ablaze.

“TAKE FLIGHT, MY FLAMES OF YOUTH!” The flames transformed into the shape of a blazing bird of legend, and he slammed into the Six-Tails from an angle. The flames transferred onto the beast as Gai impacted, and the blood cloak was burning with the jinchuuriki that was sent flying. “NIGHT PHOENIX!

A sonic roar was unleashed and wiped away the flames, before a sweep of the claw was enough to stir the winds into a Nine-Tailed Fox Twister that swallow the Green Beast. Trapped inside the gale he shattered the rubble that was blown into him with powerful strikes, while the Six-Tails trailed its sight on the fleeing target.

It dashed towards the pair housing the Hyuuga on hawk-back in a feral manner, before it skidded to a stop ahead of them with a burst of speed, and threw its hands out to kill the unconscious girl. The length and hands of the arm boiled over and branched off, into dozens blood and orange colored arms that slithered towards the Uchiha and Aburame for their payload, in the clear portion of the thundering sky created by the initial transformation.

“Shit!” Sasuke swore as he steered his hawk backwards and further up. The arms climbed as well and began to overtake them, so the Uchiha used his bloodline to predict the attacks and narrowly dodge. But the trio were thrown for a loop when the fox’s upper body emerged from a grouping of arms above instead of the bottom, and threw its arms out to attack from above this time.

“Wood Style: Wood Spears!” A group of large wooden outcroppings were sent into the sky above the jinchuuriki…to reveal two Kakashis with lightning streaming through their hands, riding on the bottom using chakra to cling to the surface. They released their hold on the surface, and the lightning that ran through their hands connected.

“Lightning Transmission!” The chain of lightning cleaved through the arms, which fell to the ground and melted into a black mass. Armless, the beast reared its chest back and another body emerged from it. It stretched like it was made of rubber to cleave through the clone and original.

The claws pierced the clone and the original through their chests and a spray of red mist spattered downwards…before turning into lightning and arching through the cloaked body. The mad jinchuuriki howled in pain as it fell to the ground. The real Kakashi popped out of the ground next to Yamato, exhausted and breathing heavily.

I’ve got it in me for one last move before I’m spent, Kakashi estimated as he slipped a military rations pill underneath his mask and chewed.

The Six-Tails howled as it noticed the hawk getting further away. Its tails curled near its mouth. It reared its head back, as positive and negative chakra gathered and took form.

“He isn’t…” Yamato looked on as the mass of chakra began to gather together and form a dark clump.

“He is! It’s a Tailed-Beast Bomb!” Kakashi’s eye took the form of Mangekyo. He centered his vision on the gathering Tailed-Beast Bomb, and the air started to distort. “KAMUI!”

The ball was sucked into another dimension as Kakashi fell to the ground useless, and a red and white blur sped towards the jinchuuriki with a hellish black ball of flames. “Sorry Naruto! Fire Style: Great Flame Rasengan!

The Six-Tails shot its tails out to impale the sage. They ran through his body and mud appeared, but not before the sphere of hellfire slammed into the beast, while the original Jiraiya had summoned the elders to prepare sage mode. Driven back and set aflame once again, the beast was forced out of old Uzushio and towards the barrier, before it stopped itself by burying its tails into the ground.

A demonic howl shook the earth as it grew in size by five times, and the skeleton expanded over the body. Muscles appeared and wrapped the bone to begin the partial transformation, as hollow holes in the muscle bound skeleton had yet to boast eyes. Its tails numbered…

“Seven Tails…” Shizune noted while healing Fuu. The interior bleed had stopped, and the shifted organs from shock wave of the explosive tag were back in place. Her eyes widened as positive and negative chakra quickly gathered with the enhanced form, and became a sphere that was swallowed.

“Naruto…don’t…” Fuu muttered as Choumei warned her about the radius of the attack, even if it weren’t a direct hit. The fox’s mass became denser, and it swelled, before it belched out a stream of light that flew above old Uzushio and towards the hawk.

The light grew brighter as it closed in and parted the sky. The shockwave dislodged stone, rubble, and rock, and pushed a wave of destruction outwards. It threatened to bury them all.

As Shizune looked at the incoming wave of death, she felt despair as she cradled Fuu in a vain attempt to protect her. “Naruto…do you intend to kill her as well!”

No…” Fuu weakly pulled out the last of the scrolls that Naruto had given her before the battle. “Barrier…Use…

Shizune unraveled it on the ground, before slamming her palm into it and flooding it with chakra, and chains emerged to produce a barrier. Neji watched from inside the safety of Tenten’s summoned shell with the injured and Sakura, while Iruka produced a barrier of his own to protect the Ino-Shika-Cho, and the wood-user created a wooden dome to house Kakashi and Asuma. Gai was nowhere to be found, while the trio above was batted out of the skies even though the hawk avoided a direct blow, and they fell from the sky to their deaths.

“If I die here, it was only because I failed to stop Hinata from crossing the line….” Shino managed to wrap his insects around the unconscious Hyuuga and Uchiha, in an effort to have them lighten their fall, but it would still leave them severely injured.

“Katsuya, grab them!” A voice cried from the skies, and larger-than-human-slugs jumped from below and swallowed the falling trio and hawk summoning into their soft, mushy bodies to cushion their landings. The shadow beneath the Seven-Tailed Fox grew until it looked up to see a massive, whitish blob descend and crushed it.

Jiraiya looked up in Sage Mode to see that the Slug Boss had arrived at the beckoning of its mistress, riding on top of her head. “Tsunade!”

“Katsuya, divide and scour the island to uncover everyone from the rubble using your acid! Transfer my chakra to heal them and get them out of here!”

“Milady, I fear we may have a problem!” Katsuya warned, as a portion of her split off and swallowed her mistress, before a sonic roar unleashed a shockwave that caused a Great Slug Division. The smaller slugs scattered to get to the rest of the injured and escape with their loads to a safer area.

The fox emerged even larger than before, with muscles fully formed and eyes that glared at the older woman with unbridled rage. It sported eight tails.

“Eight…Tails…” Jiraiya said somberly. “Any further and the seal will completely break…”

“Jiraiya-boy, is that your godson?” Ma asked.

“Yeah Ma, but if he goes any further…”

“We have no choice then,” Pa sighed. “Use force, while Ma and I ready a song.”

Jiraiya steeled himself and began his assault. He slammed his foot onto the ground, and the earth parted to give birth to a fissure, which ran beneath the giant fox. Fire flowed from his lips into the earth, and it boiled and bubbled into magma. With a clap of his hands, it erupted into a spout of lava. “Fire Style: Exploding Flame Crater!

Molten rock made contact with exposed muscles and burned them, as the massive fox howled in pain.

GATE OF SHOCK: OPEN!” A pile of rubble exploded outwards to reveal the bloody form of Might Gai, who opened the Seventh Gate and took to the air. His hands made a seal and he punched the air, which transformed into a tiger’s mouth. It slammed into the burned fox. “ROAR, MY YOUTH! AFTERNOON TIGER!”

The force of the attack sent the partially transformed Bijuu into the barrier, and pressed him against it, until it exploded in a massive concussive explosion and dislodged the ground around the sealing anchors. The barrier was disrupted and faded, as the out of control fox was sent flying through the buildings and rubble lined the ground.

“Stand down Gai!” Tsunade ordered as a Mini-Katsuya landed on his shoulders. “You won’t be able to fight for much longer. Instead, go help unbury everyone caught in that last attack!”

Gai nodded and took off.

“I feel Tsunade-sama’s chakra…” Shizune opened her eyes and looked around, to see a Mini-Katsuya was hanging on her shoulder. “Katsuya-sama.”

Milady, will be pleased you sustained less injuries than the others. Their own defenses were unable to block the full force and several will need our assistance.

Shizune rose to see her patient gone in the aftermath of the attack. “…Where did she go?”

In Naruto’s Mindscape (Music Recommendation until the end of all the battles: Broken Inside – Broken Iris)

You made a horrible mother!” The spear tip of a chain grazed Kushina’s face. Another grazed at her waist, and a light splatter of blood hit the swamp. “Passing along your burden to your child!

“I bore the same curse as Naruto did!” Kushina argued with the dark manifestation. “I know the pain he suffered!”

Damn humans calling me a curse,” Kurama looked on at the struggle. Kushina had to stop her son from breaking the seal that rose from the swamp, while dealing with the darkness that took her son’s form. While she was badass by human standards, it was the third factor that hindered her performance.

You weren’t treated as a monster in human skin as a child! You weren’t isolated and hunted down! You weren’t afraid that your next birthday would be your last!” Kushina’s chains created a barrier around her, but the demonic chains erupted from below and cut into her arms. “How nice it must have been for you to have had some semblance of security!

“That’s…” The minor wounds were nothing. It was the words that hurt her more than anything. “What about your god father?”

The smut peddler never even checked on us until we found him peeping during the Chuunin exams!” Dark Naruto told her as she abandoned the barrier, and shot a chain from her hands to wrap her son heading for the seal. A demonic chain from Dark Naruto intercepted it. “He never told us anything! We only learned of his relation to us through your memories.

To have something with the same face as her son call her out hurt more than anything. “Sarutobi?”

The Old Man couldn’t watch us everyday! Not even his ANBU could let go their hatred completely! He died defending that fucking poor excuse of a village!” Twenty demonic chains, with sharpened sides, arched from his body and fell from the skies, to eat into his mother’s flesh.

“No…” The words hurt. She wanted her son be raised with love, so his hatred didn’t twist him. The words distracted her and her performance suffered. “Tell me that’s a lie…”

You weren’t starved! You weren’t kicked out of a fucking orphanage as a child for just living! You didn’t have to teach yourself the basics of how to survive before even being old enough to go to school” Dark Naruto howl as a tsunami of demonic chains rose from the ground and surged towards her. “YOU KNOW NOTHING OF OUR PAIN!

Tears fell from her face uncontrollably, as she stared at the dark incarnation of her son with the wall of destruction headed towards her. “I…didn’t…”

As the Dark Naruto unconsciously shed tears, the original Naruto reached up for the seal to unleash the remaining portion of the tainted chakra, and a strong hand stopped him. A yellow blur neared Kushina and a Tri-pronged kunai flew beyond Dark Naruto. There was a yellow flash, and the Uzumaki were in the hands of a former Hokage.

“Minato?” Kushina wiped her tears as her husband reappeared, holding her and their son’s empty form in his arms.

“Kushina, how long—”

As much as we love family reunions, we’re kinda in the middle of something here with trying to deal with your former sensei, lazy student, and a bunch of other people now,” Dark Naruto cut in. “To save time: It’s been about 17 years since your death, We’ve had a shitty life up until we were banished by Old Hag Tsunade, Old Man Sarutobi was killed by the Snake Bastard before he could tell us about our heritage, Kyuubi’s working with us and showed us Mother’s memories, Toad Sage was a horrible godparent who spied on you and used you in his smutty books, and after we’re done here we’re going to destroy Konoha and this entire shitty system, so that the world will know our pain and nothing can ever hurt us again!

It took Minato roughly five seconds to digest the information, and then looked at his wife for confirmation, before glaring at Kurama.

Why does everyone blame me?” Kurama rolled his eyes. “Look at this from a reasonable perspective. You sealed me into the Kit after numerous lives were lost and let people know that he existed at the request that they treat him as a hero. Now, between a dead village leader’s wishes, or the grief and sorrow of losing their loved ones…What do you think happened?

It took Minato about three more seconds to put two and two together, before he muttered a silent swear and looked over to the dark embodiment of his son. “I know you have every right to be angry at me, but not your mother. I did it because—”

Balance of Power, Masked Asshole—” Dark Naruto waved it off. “Yeah, we got it, but it doesn’t ease the pain we suffered. That’s why we’re going to destroy this system, and the world that has been created by it, and that masked bastard too. Mother sought to interfere, but once her chakra runs out she’ll fade away, as will you Father. You can either spend your time left here with your wife, and stay out of the way, or we can simply punish you as the source of our pain.

“Naruto, spreading your pain will not ease it.” Minato tried to reason with him. “The villagers were scared and they were looking for a way to take out their anger and misery. I’m not condoning their actions, and I’m not asking you to forgive them, but do you really plan to destroy the world for the sake of simple destruction? Destruction with nothing left behind?”

Kyuubi and his kin are the legacy left behind by the Sage of Six Paths,” Dark Naruto pointed out. “They are his legacy. This world he created filled with the ninja that kill each other pointlessly needs to be destroyed, and as one wielding their power, I have the right!

“Kyuubi—” Minato looked at the fox. “You and the other Bijuu are the legacy of the Sage of Six Paths…Are you content with your power being used to destroy the world he created and leaving nothing behind? Was this what your father wanted? Mindless destruction, that only brings misery and sorrow?”

Kurama stared at the man in silent thought.

Enough.” Dark Naruto stated before glancing at Kyuubi. “If you will not help us, then don’t interfere. As for you, Mother, Father, while we had some lingering emotions for you, this whole affair was only because of you and the masked man. You chose the village over us, and the village has made us suffer. You made us suffer. We were willing to overlook it, as long as you did not interfere, but now we will eliminate you.

“Wipe your tears away Kushina,” Minato told his wife. “This is my fault, but now we have to save our son from himself. I can’t do it without you.”

“You…never could do anything on your own…” Kushina sniffled and wiped away her tears. It wouldn’t do for the bloody habanero to cry on the battlefield. “Thank you, Minato.”

In Reality

Sage Art: Sage Flame Rasengan!” The Toad Sage unleashed a hellfire Rasengan, larger than his body at the fox, and flames were unleashed. They spread and consumed the parks, buildings, and roads with a roar.

New Uzushio was burning.

Tsunade roared as she batted the fox’s head towards the side with the broken spire and her inhumane strength. The Tailed-Beast Bomb that was about to be unleashed was knocked off course, and flew towards the hill at the edge of the village. It took out another chunk of the landscape. “Katsuya!”

The numerous smaller slugs leapt and reformed in the air. The large slug dropped from the sky and landed on fox’s body. The fox struggled and glared ahead with furious eyes at the Sannin pair. Positive and Negative chakra gathered into its mouth and compressed once again as its cheeks swelled.

Earth Style: Earth Wall!” Jiraiya slammed his foot on the ground upon completing his hand seals, and a huge pillar of earth rose from the ground and struck the fox from below to drive his head upwards. The towering pillar of light that could be seen from miles away rose in the sky and parted the storm clouds around the island.

Another sonic roar was unleashed and the Slug Boss was blown into several miniature versions again, which were scattered in a rain of slugs. The earth pillar that held its head up was blown into dust by the force of the shockwave. The flattened ground ruptured, and rubble flew through the remaining structures in a downpour of destruction.

The Elder Toads clapped their hands. “We’re ready for our song—”

Milady, Jiraiya-sama, look towards 10 o’ clock!” The Mini-Katsuya on Tsunade’s shoulder alerted the Sannin. They looked on as the green-haired jinchuuriki of the skies wobbled towards the beast from the air, and reached out for him once her wings gave out.

Naruto…” Fuu made contact with the fox…

In Naruto’s Mindscape

The clash of chains continued with a noticeable change of tune, as the battle changed in favor of the parents. Desperate, Dark Naruto unleashed a chain from his palm and jerked his other self from his father’s grasp. He tossed him to the seal. “BREAK THE SEAL! RELEASE THE REST OF THE CHAKRA!

Before Naruto could do so again, slender, caramel arms wrapped around his body from behind and hugged him tightly. “Naruto, that’s enough! Please, stop! I don’t want to lose you…please, just stop…”

Move Fuu!” Dark Naruto roared. “We are doing what we have to! Look at our future! It’s burning because of them! We have to have our full power to kill those monsters of Konoha!

“Naruto,” Fuu looked at the dull blue eyes. “Do you regret meeting me? Do you…not love me? Is that not enough…are your feelings for me that shallow to the point that they can’t reach you?”

“I…” the color dimly returned to his eyes, as hatred conflicted with emotions. Love was necessary to combat the hatred. “I—”

NOOO!” Dark Naruto roared and demonic chains lashed out towards the female jinchuuriki. They speared towards her with intent to kill, as they targeted the vitals from behind and above.

“Minato—” Kushina fell in front on the two and crafted a barrier to protect them. “Now!”

“You’re right, even as the darkest part of my son’s heart—” Minato dashed forward with a Flying Thunder God Kunai in hand “—I share the blame in your fate, but for you to take it out on the world will not be the legacy left behind by his name!”

Why are you two still here! You should’ve used up all the chakra needed to stay in the seal! Unless—” He went silent when he noticed their eyes had become slits, and glared at the fox. “Kyuubi…Why are you sustaining them? We had a deal that benefited us!

“…You are not the Kit I agreed with,” Kurama said coldly. “You have yet to refer to my name, which I have given him. The Kit would never threaten one of his mates through force, barring sparring matches—much like his father and my previous host, he is… ‘Whipped,’ as you humans say.”

“Hey!” Minato denied the claim.

The Kit laments the fate of the Bijuu and their containers, and sought to oversee that we shall not be made slaves again to the extent we could not think for ourselves…you have only sought my power to crush Konoha and the world mindlessly—you are no different than Madara or the masked man.

We. Are. Naruto Uzumaki!” Dark Naruto roared. “I. AM. NARUTO UZUMAKI!

You. Are. Not.” Kurama rebutted. “You are not the whole, merely the darkness he has retained. I don’t mind aiding the Kit when it benefits us both, but you’re just rampaging around—what vision do you have of the future that my Old Man secured by sealing the Juubi and creating us Bijuu? My chakra is already tainted enough by such actions, and I am missing my yin chakra that has yet to reform…” he glared at Minato.

“You attacked first,” Minato countered. “You think I like having my soul sealed inside the Shinigami’s gut doing battle with it for eternity? I can’t exactly reverse it from here.”

The day I told the Kit my name was the same day he realized how twisted the system my Old Man created had become, and realized there were no difference between before he created modern ninjutsu and the war-torn past…Even if only a small village of peace, his views were closer to that of my Old Man’s than those of yours. He sought a place where pain and rage could subside, and others would not know his pain…you seek to spread pain and only leave misery.

Minato flung the Flying Thunder God Kunai and flew through hand seals. One split into ten, and then a hundred, as they landed around the darkness given form. “Shuriken Shadow Clone!”

Dark Naruto had two words to say. “Oh, fuck.

There were countless Minato’s as he teleported around and attacked from all sides, batting the darkness around, before kicking Dark Naruto into the air after tagging him with a seal. A flash of yellow was seen as he appeared above the darkness and Rasengan-ed him into the ground from above, and then jumped to his location for a second blow. “Flying Thunder God: Double Rasengan Dance!

I’ll be back…” Dark Naruto muttered as the second Rasengan slammed into him. The force of the blow unleashed a shockwave that wiped the swampland away, and it became green plains once again.

In Reality

Chains erupted from the Eight Tailed Fox and bound it tightly, to pin it to the ground, as the body writhed while it shrunk, now that it was no longer under the control of Dark Naruto. Naruto was on his knees in Fuu’s arms, while she was upright unconsciously cradling him. His skin was greatly burned off and he was no longer moving.

“Oh Thank God…” Jiraiya sighed.

Ma looked on. “Looks like we won’t have to strain our throats now.”

“Katsuya, get them!” Tsunade told the summoning on her shoulder. “Transfer the majority of my chakra to start regenerating his skin cells and repairing any internal damage!”

“Yes, Milady.” The Mini-Katsuya on her shoulder transmitted the order to a larger division, as it prepared to take them into her body.

In Naruto’s Mindscape

“I AM SO SORRY!” Naruto got on his hands and knees, bowing with his head in the grass towards his parents and lover. “I-I DIDN’T—I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW SORRY I AM!”

Kushina walloped him on the head, in keeping with her personality. “Honestly, young man, you had all three of us worried!”

Kurama chuckled darkly as Kushina lectured him about attacking those he cared about, and giving into his hatred. Minato was slightly more forgiving. Fuu just looked at the two parents lecture their son as if they had never died.

“So, now that that’s done…” Kushina hugged her future daughter-in-law with Choumei in the background. “You’re the girl my son nearly tried to destroy the world over? I’m his mother, Kushina Uzumaki.”

Fuu blushed. “I-I’m Fuu from Taki…” she pointed to her tenant. “This is Lucky-Seven, Choumei. Technically, I guess I would be his main wife…”

“Main…?” Kushina gave a quick glare at Naruto. Minato raised an eyebrow.

Dude has two honeys—” Choumei added fuel to the fire. “Fuu-girl is the main lover, the mistress is this hottie known as Kanna!

“Mistress!” Kushina looked at him and her hair split into tails.

Naruto raised his hands in defense. “It doesn’t go any further! I’m not Pervy Sage!”

“Now, now,” Minato held her back. “I’m sure he treats them both well…”

“Yeah!” Naruto nodded. “They’re two of the most important people to me.”

As entertaining as this is,” Kurama broke up the family moment. “You two won’t last another few minutes in the time of the mindscape, and in about three seconds the Kit is going to be bound up by the large slug in reality. I’d rather not have to deal with the darker version of the Kit again so soon, so if you could impart some words of wisdom or something so this doesn’t happen again?

“I think we can do better…” Minato rubbed his chin before whispering something in his wife’s ear. She nodded before heading over to Choumei, while he personally spoke to Kurama.

I see…” Kurama gave a moderate glare. “You hope to give them a head start…

I’m down with it,” Choumei’s single tail reached over until it was above Kushina’s cupped hands, and a drop of chakra fell into it.

“We’ll use the last remaining portions of ourselves to purify this tiny amount of tainted chakra…” Kushina’s body began to fade. “The amount is so small; the power gained will only last for a minute at the longest…”

“It should be able to give you enough of a jump to understand what you’ll be capable of, should you tame your hatred and the Bi—Choumei and Kurama’s,” Minato smiled as he shared the same fate as his wife. “Naruto, I may have been a bad father for placing such a burden on you, but even if you don’t want to return to Konoha, the Will of Fire still burns inside of you.”

“Fuu-chan,” Kushina gave the girl a final smile. “Look after my son and make sure he goes down the right path. As well as that other girl, you two are the ones who’ll need to keep him straight like I did Minato.”

“Hey!” Both the blonds responded.

“Of course,” Fuu bowed to the woman. “Mother, Father. I’m glad I got to meet you.”

“Naruto, you aren’t wrong about the system and world created from it, but humans are instinctive drawn to hate and fight.” Minato warned him. “No matter what path you take, it will be a long and hard one…”

“I know…” Naruto swallowed. “About what the Darker-me said…I can’t lie and say I don’t hate you to some extent for your hand in my life…but I was proud to be your son—not as the Fourth Hokage, but the son of Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki—and I was happy you put everything on the line for me. All parents and children go through rough spots, but that’s what makes us family.”

The older pair smiled and embraced each other, as they faded away in an uprising of shimmering particles, and left behind two small orbs of pure, untainted chakra that hovered near the Bijuu themselves. They were locked in a hexagonal prism with a seal lock on it, while Naruto silently wept at losing his parents a second time and Fuu held him.

“Thanks Fuu, for everything…” Naruto kissed her until Kurama cleared his throat. “I only wished I asked the formula array for Hiraishin…”

Is that all?” Kurama rolled his eyes. “Between the current battles, I should have memorized the portion I’ve witnessed. It will not be enough to replicate the technique, but you may be able to implement it into the current formula you have.

It’s time for Fuu-girl and you to return to reality,” Choumei wrapped Fuu’s portion of the chakra in its tail. “The next time you return to our mindscapes, you’ll be trialed by the chakra itself. The purpose will be not only to gain access to the smaller portion, but to learn the steps necessary to purify bits of it over time.

You won’t be able to completely tame the hatred that lingers in our chakra until you can tame your own darkness,” Kurama snorted. “However, should you manage to access this portion your overprotective parents left behind; it would be the first step and show you the path to walk…

In Reality

The jinchuuriki pair snapped awake as the larger Katsuya division was on their backs.

Take care of Kanna for me—” Naruto whispered before activating the parallel array on her seal. “Boundless Orange Step: Version 2.”

“Nar—” Fuu vanished in a flash of orange, as Naruto struggled helplessly against the encroaching slug.

“Naruto, stop resisting!” Jiraiya told him. “Even you can’t go on any further without dying from a lack of chakra.”

“Like you care…” Naruto wheezed before the slug swallowed him completely. The light faded as his head was taken into the dark, moist space. “It didn’t stop you from leveling my home! Look at what you’ve done to this village for the sake of your—”

Naruto was cut off as he was completely assimilated inside the slug division. The slug inched its way to Tsunade and nodded. “It is done, Milady.”

“Sorry brat,” Tsunade turned to deal with the injured and lead the team back to Konoha. She looked down to see the cracked and broken symbol of the Uzumaki, and sighed before leaving the destroyed village in her wake. “I really am…”

In Suna

Gaara was in the private section of the hospital with Lady Chiyo, his siblings, and several doctors, who wanted to know what they were doing there with the Wind Daimyo. Naruto’s message told him to get to a hospital and prepare to take care of Fuu, among other things he would personally see to later on. There was an orange flash and Gaara’s sand erupted to form a cushion for the falling figure that appeared.

Fuu wheezed as the world spun and she saw Kanna’s blurred face. Before she passed out, she whispered three words. “Konoha…has Naruto.

“Well?” Gaara looked towards the doctors, who were still recovering for the sudden appearance. “Start. Treating. Her.”

They placed her on the treatment bed got started overlooking her condition.

Mission Overview

S-Class Mission to reclaim the Kyuubi Container was a success. The primary objective of retrieving Naruto Uzumaki was a success, but the secondary objective of retrieving the Nanabi Container, Fuu, was a failure and her current status is unknown.

Several members of the retrieval team undertook severe damage, including Yamato and Kakashi Hatake, sustaining injures and exhaustion that have left them out of commission for the next estimated week as a result of the unexpected arrival of Orochimaru and two of his followers, one of whom was killed, while the S-Class missing-nin Orochimaru was sealed away in what was believed to be a permanent genjutsu by another S-Class missing-nin, Itachi Uchiha, who vanished along with his partner in the aftermath.

All members of the retrieval team have been sent to Inoichi Yamanaka for mental evaluation at the request of Shikamaru Nara and have found Hinata Hyuuga currently unfit for duty due to mental instability at the hands of several parties. Her status will be discussed with Hiashi Hyuuga at a later date.

The developing village found near the site of the battle had been decimated, and the island itself has been declared off limits to any and all personnel from Konoha until further notice. The Fire Daimyo has requested the presence of a high ranking official from Konoha to meet with the Wind Daimyo and a high ranking representative of Suna. Both parties will be expected to arrive within a week of this date.

Current date is three days after retrieval…and Naruto Uzumaki has yet to awaken from a coma believed to be induced by the stress of the battle and unleashing Eight of Nine Tails. All attempts to stir his mind awake with the Yamanaka Clan’s abilities are met with resistance caused by the Kyuubi itself. He is currently inside the Senju Complex under watch, with the details of his arrival kept secret from all unnecessary parties.

Estimated recovery date is…unknown.

Signed, the Fifth Hokage

Tsunade Senju

In the Hokage’s Office

“The Clan Elders are more than a little upset that their children were bought in with enough injuries that a few would be out of action for possibly a month or longer.” Shizune addressed her mistress. “The Council—both civilian and ninja—want some answers.”

Tsunade sighed. “I’ll personally talk to them in my office, I’m not calling a meeting nor am I informing those three council Elders.”

“And the remaining civilian council members?”

“This isn’t a civilian matter.”

“Noted,” Shizune nodded and left.

Tsunade looked over to the windowsill to see Jiraiya there. “Naruto…he’ll forgive us, won’t he…?”

Jiraiya sighed. “It wasn’t the village this time. We personally oversaw his capture. We personally led to the destruction of his home with our jutsu, and dragged him back to his own personal hell. If—No, when he wakes up, he won’t be happy to say the least.”

“It’s not too late…” Tsunade tried to convince herself. “I know he’ll go back to being the blond brat we all know and love. I just have to tell him I’m sorry and that it’s for the best. We can repair the village…”

Tsunade, even Minato had a limit to what he could tolerate…Naruto’s the same, Jiraiya told himself before lying to the one he loved. “Maybe, but either way I can’t do a thing about his seal without a few more days after the meeting. Naruto rigged it so that if I try to alter any of the seals on his body or place any on him, it would forcibly release the Kyuubi—I need a few days to come up with something to stop the cascading effects and fix the seal…In fact, the only reason it hasn’t broken out is—if I had to guess—was because it doesn’t want to yet.”

“Oh great, we have a timed explosive tag, but we don’t know when it will blow…” Tsunade sighed. “Anything new outside the village I should know about?”

“My spy network has picked up that all but one person in the Demon Lantern Castle aka Blood Prison had been killed…it looked like a lot of in-fighting but the one who survived stated it was the work of a genjutsu-user with some kind of mask and a fly-trap…thing? They stole something, but everyone is keeping tight-lipped on it. Before anymore questions could be asked, she left the village as a missing-nin to pursue them…”

“Her name?”

“Ryuuzetsu, I think.” Jiraiya shrugged. “Also, the Kazekage, his siblings, the Wind Daimyo, along with a member of the Eight Wind Spades, were heading to the Land of Whirlpools. I had a shadow clone run interference and try to ascertain if the girl Naruto was with was safe, for his sake when he eventually wakes up…”

They both knew that Naruto would have trusted Gaara considering they first heard the rumors there. Neither party was stupid on that front. “I take it that things went badly?”

“Well, in more formal words, the Kazekage and Wind Daimyo told me to fuck off and expect to be paying off the damage to the island, which she owned, and she’d discuss it with the Fire Daimyo—who will be expecting either me or you—and then the Wind Daimyo pulled a chair out of a bracelet and beaned my clone with it when I bought up Naruto’s name and tried to tell her we had no choice.”

“Ah,” Tsunade nodded in understanding. She more than once used her desk as a makeshift weapon. “A girl after my own heart.”

In The Underground Vault Beneath The Ruined Village

Gaara, his sibling, Kanna, and the monk known as Kino, who dressed in cloak with a thin long sleeved shirt beneath it and pants, along with combat sandals, were gathering everything in sight. Naruto had given them access to it in order to retrieve the priceless artifacts and legacy of his clan before Konoha tried to using their ‘Former’ alliance with the village.

“It was a bit…surprising to see someone as composed as yourself do something so…unexpected,” Gaara admitted.

“She wasn’t always this mature.” Kino shook his head. “She had a thing for hitting people with chairs when she gets really frightened or angry. Hell, she used one on the guys who tried to kidnap her more than once. While Naruto and I were part of her guard we helped her get out of the habit until she stopped.”

Kanna shook her head. “He said I was no different than the pink-haired banshee that Temari-dono maimed.”

“That’s how you know when she’s frustrated or really mad, despite how calm she is…Naruto was actually the one who made that storage seal bangle as part of a gift for her birthday…although we weren’t expecting her to load it with chairs among other things.”

“Out of all the gifts, I loved this one the most.” Kanna sighed as she recalled receiving it from him.

Kankuro’s eyebrow furrowed. “Wait, you’re a hot Daimyo, with people kissing your ass and trying to get into your dress—no offensive—and were lavished with the finest gifts…yet somehow a simple storage seal bangle won you over?”

“It was the thought that counted,” Kanna told her. “I mean, between the minor Daimyos and noblemen, one of the most personal gifts given to me was a simple thing, from someone who noticed my habits by and I came to trust. Unlike their trinkets, it was actually practical and useful.”

Kino nodded sagely. “I guess that may have been the reason I found him in your bed the next morning.”

Temari and Kankuro both paused at the statement and looked at the blushing Daimyo.

“Well, we knew each other for three months, I was nearly kidnapped, and he got stabbed a week beforehand, in case you were forgetting.” Kanna crossed her arms and pouted. “And then you accused me of leading Naruto down a road of sin!”

“Monks are supposed to be virtuous. I could overlook it if you were wedded to him, but instead the situation as it stands has him following the path of the perverted, and left the temple’s service only to be frolicking with you and another woman. The woman from Nadeshiko at least offered herself as his bride. You should be grateful I did not tell your father of what transpired.”

Only Naruto could give a woman who has everything a plain gift and come away with a victory…Gaara thought. When we get back in contact with him maybe I can ask him for advice on what to get Matsuri…

“Still…” Temari changed the topic. “It is a shame about the village and all that hard work.”

Gaara nodded. “Naruto probably won’t be able to hide here anymore when he escapes.”

“Don’t you mean ‘if’ he escapes?” Kankuro asked.

“No.” Gaara answered.

Kanna sighed. “We’ll rebuild the village above, and use it as an annex of Suna for food as well as plant cultivation…possibly even as a secondary location in case the village needs to be vacated. The contractors can be paid with funds from my account for anything Naruto didn’t cover and I’ll have Konoha reimburse me. For now let’s just seal everything in this facility before Konoha gets any wise ideas until the upcoming meeting.”

In the Hospital – Konoha

“GIVE ME ONE GOOD REASON I SHOULDN’T CANCEL OUR CONTRACT!” Ningame roared at his summoner in a hospital bed, strapped down by orders of Tsunade so he didn’t do something stupid, like try to train after opening the Seventh Gate.

While the retrieval group as a whole had recovered to an extent, some of them had more severe injuries that required them to stay in the hospital. Among them were Gai, Lee, and Kiba. On the other side of the wall, and speaking in a lower tone, were Kiba and Shino.

“Kiba…” Shino called him. “I do not think Hinata would make an appropriate kunoichi anymore.”

“Is this because she attacked you?” Kiba scrunched up his nose. “She said she was sorry, and she didn’t do anything permanent.”

“Hinata was apologetic for attacking me…” Shino acknowledged. “But she endangered the mission…for needless retribution of all things. She almost got herself killed because of the false beliefs her clan instilled in her head.

“Her actions led to the near full return of the Kyuubi, and the near death of all of our comrades, because she intended to kill them no matter what. We hold some of the blame for not doing what we could to help her…But after what has happened, I cannot say that she is well anymore.”

“Really…?” Kiba rubbed the back of his head. “Yeah, we dropped the ball, huh? What’s gonna happen to her?”

“She will most likely be disposed as the heiress…and possibly used as a political piece. Tsunade-sama probably won’t kill her, but their clan will suffer both reputation-wise and financially given her actions were directly responsible for the damage undertaken during the mission, along with both of the Sannin, who have already begun utilizing their own funds. At worse, her clan may have her executed in silence.”

Kiba snarled at him. “Me, her cousin, and her sister would never stand for that!”

“Then she may be forced into an arranged marriage to solidify their clan’s ties with the village.” Shino pointed out rationally. “Given that her figure is appealing to most men, I can imagine a few of the wealthier merchants who would…partake in such a matrimony. They would probably seal away her chakra and Byakugan to be safe.”

“Fuck that!” Kiba scoffed. “Hinata isn’t some trophy wife that some prick can just fuck whenever he wants. If someone put her down to that status, I’d kill them and—”

“Become a criminal?” Shino asked. “Politics isn’t exactly your forte, but I should have expected that reaction from you in a hypothetical situation. Nevertheless, if that’s how you feel then you should make the first move already.”

“Huh?” Kiba asked.

“Kiba, in the years we have known each other, you have always treated Hinata with more respect than any other woman, even the Hokage. I wear these shades, but I am not blind to matters of the heart… You and Naruto have that much in common…” Shino admitted. “You focus on Hinata as much as Naruto did Sakura but ignored her before he was banished.”

“Don’t compare me to Dead Last!” Kiba shook his head. “Even if he isn’t the fox, he’s a fucking traitor who tried to kill us when we only wanted to bring him back—”

“To a village that routinely tormented him as a defenseless child and burned down the village that was to be the new home of his clan?” Shino stared at him. “Kiba, we were following orders, but even you can see that we’ve wronged him on a personal level.”

“He hurt Akamaru and tried to kill Hinata!”

“We invaded his territory and he gave us a warning, before which Hinata used lethal force in an attempt to kill his mate. The two were close both emotionally and…physically, given how they reacted to the situation. Otherwise my words would not have reached her and my bluff would have been called…she would have likely killed Hinata before I could’ve stopped her somehow…

“I dare say I am a little jealous that Naruto found himself someone such as Fuu-san…and they found the Isle of Insects. I hope I can eventually tell my father that it does exist.” Shino sighed. “But the idea of introducing elemental chakra into my clan’s comrades has spurred me into researching it.”

Shino headed towards the door before giving Kiba some parting words. “Hinata was never brave enough to tell Naruto how she felt, and her affection for him was lost along with any chance of being reciprocated. If you wait too long to tell her how you feel…it may be too late.”

In the Senju Estate

Sasuke sat in a large bedroom, next to a bed housing the unconscious jinchuuriki. When the door unlocked and opened, he looked up to see Tenten walk in. The scent wafting from the box she carried was appetizing.

“I bought you Tomato Ramen,” Tenten handed Sasuke the take out and smiled wryly. “Ayame is worried since you hadn’t been back from the mission and says to see her soon. She also told me to give you a kiss on the cheek, but we’ll let that slide unless you feel like rekindling the whole Sharingan vs Byakugan debate with Neji.”

Sasuke chuckled. “Even I’m not sure I could take jealous, angry Neji.”

“I think I’d like to see that,” Tenten sat in the chair on the other side of Naruto’s bed. “Still, there are a lot of ANBU around.”

“It’s because Tsunade isn’t taking any chances with someone leaking information or trying to off Naruto after all that,” Sasuke told her. “There are ANBU stationed outside, and they rotate in shifts, but the inside is off limits to all but Yamato, Kakashi, Jiraiya, Tsunade, Shizune, Neji, Shikamaru, you and I, and whoever else is personally escorted in by them, unless something is going down. So far that’s only been Ino’s dad flipping out because the fox kicked him out of their mindscape and threatened to devour him.”

“Given how most of the evaluations showed that Naruto isn’t everyone’s personal favorite right now, can’t blame her for trying to be safe. I’m allowed in because Tsunade-sama noticed from the reports I tried to reason with him, and got one of the more reasonable outbursts from him…” Tenten tapped her chin. “I believe she wants us to try and convince Naruto the village isn’t as bad as it is.”

“Good luck with that.” Sasuke told her plainly. “Those damn Hyuuga elders managed to fuck with Hinata’s head to the point that she tried the hardest out of all of us to kill someone she had a huge ass crush on for years. How the hell he didn’t notice I’ll never know—she stalked him for God’s sake, and now she’s like the Itachi of the Hyuuga. I’m surprised she hasn’t killed off a few of them for ‘The benefit of the clan’ at this point.”

“Yeah…” Tenten looked down. “It’s really sad when you think about it. I personally want Naruto to come back since I feel for him, and took an interest in seals, but to condemn him to a place with a past like that…”

Sasuke chowed down on his ramen before addressing her. “We can’t change the past, only atone for it. He’ll be forced to stay in the village, but I’ll let him have one of the houses in my clan’s district, and if anyone gives him a problem, I’ll take care of them.”

“Comments like that keep people believing they placed you under a genjutsu to serve Naruto…or you’re in love with him.”

“…If I hadn’t run off this whole damn mess could have been avoided. I was the unknowing harbinger after all…Once I thought about that, it was hard not to be on his side. On the plus side, it allowed me to get to know Ayame. She’s my kind of woman, and I’ve been on her father’s good side lately—plus, cooking is pretty interesting in the end…”

Tenten chuckled. “Ah, the Uchiha prince has a soft spot for an ordinary civilian chef?”

“As long as it doesn’t leave this room,” Sasuke smirked. “I’d rather not have fangirls trying to burn down their stand.”

Tenten looked at the sleeping blond. “He probably won’t let that whole destroying his village thing go will he?”

“Buildings can be rebuilt, but the symbolism will remain. In a way, we destroyed Uzushio a second time…” Sasuke decided to change the topic. “How are the others?”

“Recovering,” she told him. “My own injuries are a nuisance, but at least I’m not stuck in a hospital like the three hotheads. Neji was sorry he didn’t protect me better in his own opinion, and even bought me my favorite flowers from Ino’s shop…he’s surprisingly gentle when we’re off duty.”

“He seemed a bit distant last time we talked,” Sasuke pointed out. “And he stared at Naruto a lot.”

“I think what Naruto said to him about the seal lingered in his mind,” Tenten answered. “Naruto could hand him the keys to freedom for the branch family. He’s treated better because of how close he is with Hiashi and Hinata, but the other branch members aren’t so fortunate. There’s no way that the main branch will give up their control so easily and legal attempts are out, so that leaves him to take more drastic measures…”

“If I were loyal to the village I would consider those words somewhat treasonous,” Sasuke warned her before shrugging. “But like I said a while ago, my loyalty is to the Sannin alone. Just make sure that it stays between us.”

“Thanks…but I have to ask, would you put them above your village if something happened?”

“The village as a majority only sees me as their last living set of eyes barring my brother. They haven’t earned my respect and only attempted to coddle me. The majority has kissed my ass and it does nothing for me.”

“At least you have some worth with a clan name; you’re invaluable to the village.”

“They don’t want the Uchiha name, only the Sharingan, that’s why they give me whatever I want. The Uchiha haven’t been accepted in the village fully as anything but breeding stock and weapons…sometimes I think these eyes were more of a curse than a gift to the world.

“Since we’re being honest, it wouldn’t matter if I died at this point,” Sasuke told her. “They’ve already collected several semen samples from me, and have them under lock and key. Only Tsunade, Jiraiya, I, and Shizune know where, and they’re only accessible with Tsunade’s permission or mine until I’m killed.”

Tenten looked stunned. “Why tell me then?”

“Why tell me that your boyfriend is having possibly treasonous thoughts?” Sasuke shot back.

“Because you can be trusted…you’ve proven that.”

“Same with you,” Sasuke shrugged and changed the topic back to relationships. “So, that distant thing…Does that include the bedroom too?”

Tenten blushed. “Sasuke!”

“We all know you two have been going out for years now,” Sasuke waved her off. “Next to you two, only Shikamaru and Temari are a solid pairing. Chouji and Ino are a possibility providing she quits being a fangirl. Maybe Lee and Sakura too, but she really isn’t in my good books lately.”

“Well, I’m not sure about Shikamaru’s relationship anymore,” Tenten took out a bottle of water and sipped on it, to soothe her dry throat. “Ino weaseled out of Chouji that Temari said for him not to contact her for awhile. There were no obvious words but we all know it was because of the mission we were on. Shikamaru acknowledged that it was a risk when dating someone from another village and would simply wait for it to blow over, but he seems a bit more quiet than usual.”

“They’ll be fine in time.” Sasuke nodded sagely. “He’s too impassive though, he should show a little more backbone in front of her brother once things smooth out. Submissive men are nice to some women, but they have to be hard at other times.”

Tenten raised an eyebrow. “Advice from Ayame?”

Inside Naruto’s Mindscape

“Ayame-chan and Sasuke…” Naruto muttered from inside his mindscape field. Just because his body was in a comatose state didn’t mean he and the fox couldn’t hear. “How the hell did that happen?”

We are going to destroy those samples, right?” Kurama asked the blond. “No more of those damnable eyes should come into existence!

“I think I draw the line at killing off unborn children willfully,” Naruto told him. “He’ll be useful in the end if I can get him on my side, but I think I’d feel guilty about using him like a cheap kunai. It’s that type of thinking that goes against my mindset.”

What about the whole Hyuuga crush thing?

“I couldn’t give a damn.” Naruto said plainly. “Hinata may have been a sweet blushing girl who stalked me with a crush and I didn’t notice it, but that also means she watched me with those ‘All-Seeing Eyes’ go through hell and did next to nothing to help. The Old Man couldn’t be everywhere and watch over me, but she could have at least alerted him. More importantly, out of everyone else from Konoha she tried to kill Fuu numerous times.

“Her clan may have fucked with her head, but she was the one who crossed the line, and quite frankly who both she and I were in the past no longer matter. I’m starting to think Neji might have had the right ideas about the main branch when we first fought.”

You humans and your clans and politics.

“We’ve learned so far whose watching us, who I’m not going to maim when I get out of here, and that I might have some plans in the future involving Neji. I did say I’d change the Hyuuga for him when we first fought…” Naruto sat in a lotus position. “But it depends on how loyal he’ll be to Konoha. He’s a jounin, so he’d make a good spy for my new plans…”

You will still need somewhere to gather the rest of my kin,” Kurama told him. “The village you were planning will not suffice anymore as a haven either. I know you are somewhat soft-hearted, but for the love of my Old Man, don’t forgive the old pervert and hag for that with just a few words and ramen.”

“The sight of all your hopes and dreams for the future burning because of your godparent and distant relative is a major bitch slap. The monks always taught forgiveness and patience…but then again I wasn’t a good monk, was I?” Naruto commented while in a semi-meditative state.

He was never very good at the meditative portion of his training until after his first year at the temple, and that usually dropped him into his own mindscape, where the fox would bug him until they got along better.

His shortcomings were obvious and he was supposed to address them back in Iron, but he was captured prematurely. His blades weren’t sharp enough, his feet weren’t fast enough, his senses were too dull, and his body had yet to undergo the modifications he planned.

Future plans for spying, and civil wars among the clans aside,” Kurama lowered the sealed ball of untainted chakra in front of Naruto. “In order to break this seal and access this power, you need to be able to face your darkness on your own. Time in the mindscape can be altered so that you can take as long as you like, but remember, if you take too long your body won’t move properly when you need it…

“Right,” Naruto nodded. “We recover our wounds, I access the chakra, get out of Konoha, check up on Fuu and Pervy Master, and meet up with the Ferret Boss to have that drink and catch up on old times with Toad Boss.”

Take this seriously Kit,” Kurama warned. “To defeat your darkness you must stay your heart and accept it for what it is. Your parents will not protect you this time. Nor will your mates, or I. The only advice I will give you is to think back on the positive and negative events in your life, and see them for what they are from an unbiased opinion. Do not lie to yourself to feel better or hide anything—accept the positive and negative.

Naruto nodded. “I understand.”

Is that so?” A voice came from the ground in front of Naruto. It darkened as black ooze bubbled up and took the form of his darkness once again. Dark Naruto sat in the same lotus position. “Can you really face yourself?

With Fuu

Fuu stood face-to-face in her mindscape with her own darkness. “How is it fair that Naruto has shown his darkness to us but we’ve hid ours from him?

“I haven’t hidden from him anything!”

Oh? Does Naruto know how Suien taught us how to use our jutsu by practicing on targets he was supposed to execute? How we ignored their pleas for mercy? Or how about that time we manipulated those insects to infest all of that bakery’s food overnight since they didn’t sell to us, and claim to Shibuki that we didn’t. The baker’s business suffered because he called our leader a liar. Watching him defend us to make up for his father’s mistake of dooming us to a life where we could never be happy was so amusing.

“That’s a lie!” Fuu argued. “I’ve never taken advantage of Shibuki like that!”

No, it’s the truth. I am that part of you that resents your fate as a kunoichi without a choice, the First Hokage that began our fate as jinchuuriki, Shibuki’s father and Shibuki himself for allowing us to suffer…I am your true self.

Admit it, we would like nothing but to see Naruto under our feet and worshiping the ground we walk on. Naruto is so tender when he handles us…he can’t even see that he’s been woven into our web. Isn’t that why we play the sweet little jinchuuriki that Naruto has to save?

“No…” Fuu took a step back. “That’s not true…”

Naruto gets so attached to those who show him kindness and affection, isn’t that why we slept with him the first chance we got? To make him feel attached to us in a way that he could never escape our grasp? After all, who else would love a demon container like us?

“Shut up!” Fuu clenched her ears to stop the words, but they entered her head regardless.

We want Naruto all to ourselves, and yet we have to deal with the woman who came first.” Dark Fuu’s eyes narrowed. “That bitch is a problem. Her hooks are too deep into Naruto…We could solve that easily by introducing her to our carnivorous friends that we’ve neglected for too long.

Fuu fell to her knees as darkness engulfed her mindscape. “She’s not my enemy!”

She became our enemy the moment we met her in person! We thought we could compare to her before we had seen her. That was why we were so eager to meet her: To establish that she was second to us and nothing.

But the curves on her body, how mature she was despite being near our ages, the things she did in bed, how much she knew about Naruto…” Dark Fuu gritted her teeth. “She has us beat everywhere but the battlefield, and then she had the nerve to claim that she would support us!

“I…that’s…” Fuu struggled for words.

We have to resort to taking as much of his attention as possible and smear her name in mud! Even when he confronted his dark side we only cared if he loved us, to make sure we were his everything. We allowed the Nanabi to claim that other woman with the title of Mistress, when we were the ones who threw ourselves at him like a slut.

If Naruto knew the real us, he would never look at us the same way again…

Choumei watched on as Fuu was being verbally bitch-slapped by her own darkness.

The line between love and romance is lust. Love may tame the darkness, but that’s only a portion of it. Love is the most powerful positive emotion, a potent medicine to cure the infection of hatred that taints my chakra…but even the best medicine can make poison. In this case it’s jealousy.

You have to truly believe it and trust in others as well. You aren’t alone. Don’t lose yourself Fuu-girl…

In A Cave Somewhere

“Well, that was more difficult than I anticipated.” Pain admitted. “Hitting the demon was…trying without all six paths.”

Tobi shrugged. “The original sage even had difficulty dealing with the demon before the rise of modern ninjutsu, until he mastered his fear and killing intent.”

“Is there a reason in particular we needed this boy?” He pointed towards the pale boy that came out of the box.

“Satori…by taking control of the medium, we have control over the box which made Kusagakure a feared military power in the past. We simply toss whomever we desire into it, a few days of maddening insanity and corruption, and we have a loyal warrior to start building an army.”

Pain looked at him. “You mean berserk men that only know how to attack after being driven beyond all hope or salvation but death?”

Tobi shrugged.

“I feel that to be a line too far and unproductive towards peace…”

“Says the man who runs a terrorist group of criminals and currently manipulating corpses as spare bodies?” Tobi countered. “By the way, I noticed you haven’t modified any of those jinchuuriki bodies yet for your outer paths…What do you plan to do with them in that case?”

“That does not concern you.”

Tobi shrugged again. “Very well…Now that Muku-kun is under control, I will go and retrieve the Nine Tails from Konoha while Zetsu gets the Seven Tails. After that I’ll work on returning a bit of his mental facilities and layering some genjutsu on him so he can at least function on his own…”

“The sealing statue was damaged…it will take time to repair itself, now we’ll have to hold off on the sealing so—”

“I’m going.” The masked man said before his body disappeared.

“If he unleashes the Kyuubi and Konoha somehow destroys its body we may be stuck waiting longer…” Nagato trailed off in Ame with Konan next to him. They would have to deal with Tobi soon enough. Their visions of peace were too different.

Konan nodded. “Shall we have someone follow him?”

“…Yes. Send Itachi.”

“Would that be wise?”

“Itachi is not long for this world with his illness. He seeks to die by his brother’s hands and I am sending him to his death, I already knew that. However, he knows my way would lead to peace and believes in our goals, and he has yet to fail us. He may die, but his sacrifice will serve a purpose—it will turn his brother against that man if he cannot kill him…”

Konan had to agree somberly. “He and Kisame got along so well…I imagine his death will hit him somewhat hard in the end.”

“Itachi was one of the few I told my plans to since he knows pain, and understands that my way is the quickest to peace, even if not the most moral…The God of Shinobi and Savior of the World were titles held by the Original Sage of Six Paths…but by the time this is over, I will be known as the Devil of the Shinobi world.”

“Na—” Konan caught herself. “Pain…”

“The world will know Pain, fear Pain, and loathed Pain…and through their hatred of Pain, peace will reign, if only for a short while.” Nagato sighed and closed his eyes. “I wonder if Yahiko would have agreed with the path we’ve taken sometimes…If only I fully understood the power I possessed before his soul was sent to the Pure World.”

Konan reached out to touch him, but recoiled her hand. She had caused him enough pain. If only she had been stronger and hadn’t been caught… “That reminds me, while Itachi is there, should we give him another target? I believe he would agree that Danzo needs to be eliminated.”

Nagato nodded. The path to peace was always paved over corpses. “Let it be done.”

With Hinata

“Nee-sama…” Hanabi entered her sister’s room and looked at the scroll in her hands. She only caught a glimpse of the instructions. “What are you studying?”

“Since I most likely will be removed from the ninja corps for my actions, I thought it would be prudent to find another path in life. With the Byakugan I can assist in the medical field and become a renown medic, instead of a kunoichi.”

“So, you’re doing this for the clan?”

“Yes Hanabi-chan,” Hinata smiled gently at her sister. She was glad Hanabi didn’t try to read further into it. After all, it would be hard to explain why she was reading a scroll on the technique that she was learning. The Kyuubi had to die and couldn’t defend itself, so now was the time. “All for the clan…”

More Notes:

I needed to change my future storyline a bit because I needed to include some new ideas I had…Like, all the jinchuuriki vs Satori from the Blood Prison movie.

Originally I planned on having New Uzushio remain safe…but can’t make a new omelet without breaking a few eggs. I also originally planned on Kanna being pregnant, but it would have been a repeat of Naruto’s birth and typically speaking the mother doesn’t live through those in this type of fic, unless it is near the end. Namikaze curse I’m afraid.

…Although the current ending I have in mind is really depressing…At least a majority of the cast gets killed or stops being ninja…I should keep working on that…Yeah…

Dark Naruto had to micromanage controlling the transformation without Kurama’s help while fighting Kushina and Minato and keeping Naruto’s will suppressed. That being said, I doubt many of you will care, so screw it.

Dark Fuu and Dark Naruto are a manifestation of their inner darkness, but those feelings are magnified in the process and are a big ball of insecurities. They tell the truth but leave out facts that lessen the blows. If you’ve played Persona 3 & 4 you know what I mean. By the time their chakra mode trials end, they’ll be the same people but a bit darker maybe.

From here on we’ll go into a bit of Naruto’s and Fuu’s pasts, and some happenings around the world, before returning to the present. This way I knock out some of their past, get character development, and at the same time advance the plot with other character like Roshi, Utakata, Hotaru, Kanna, etc.

Fuu’s past is darker than you think. Remember, she was trained by Suien and I’ve thrown in some hints she had a dark side as well before now. Naruto may have lashed out with pranks, and Gaara may have killed, but Fuu isn’t as twisted as Gaara was nor as innocent as Naruto was.

Then shit goes down in Konoha, more training for the pair with a sprinkle of chakra mode over a time skip to the second part of the fic where the jinchuuriki take the stage along with Akatsuki—destroyed villages, traitors, morally dubious actions and more. Huzzah!

I’ll take a break from this series soon since I said this was a secondary story, yet I haven’t been paying attention to my other ones. I have a Shizuka x Naruto planned out one-shot Icha Icha, like I did Ayame x Naruto in Icha Icha Complications.

P.S. And to bring up an old question before I get PMs about it again, I will not do lemons in this story…I make references only. You’re reading this story for shades of gray, awesome battles, complex relationships, and because I make the wait for the next chapter worthwhile—not things that Kakashi would enjoy.

P.P.S: Although a one-shot side story may happen someday. Maybe a journal of their exploits…

P.P.P.S: Thank You to the reader who gave me an idea on how to use Entomological Warfare. Fuu and Chiyo are going to get along just fine once training starts…


Flying Thunder God: Double Rasengan Dance – Based off Flying Thunder God: Sequential Steps, Minato teleports around after setting up the field with his markers and knocks the enemy around before sending the skywards and marking them with a seal before slamming them with a Rasengan into the ground, followed by a teleport to another Rasengan.

Sage Art: Sage Flame Rasengan – A Combination of Sage Art: Great Ball Rasengan and Fire Style: Great Flame Rasengan, the attack unleash a maelstrom of heat that drives the enemy back before setting the area ablaze.


Afternoon Tiger (Daytime Tiger) – After opening the seventh of the Eight Gates, the user places a palm facing forward in front of their face with one hand and then taps it with his other hand, formed into a fist, which creates a massive amount of air pressure. Next, the user forms a unique hand seal resembling a tiger, which launches the air pressure at the opponent in the shape of a tiger, by leaving a gigantic tiger-shaped impression into the initially built-up air pressure with the hand seal. The air pressure will condense as its moving and be focused into a single point. The technique then explodes on command, releasing the built up air pressure in an instant. A massive concussive explosion is created which can be felt a significant distance away.

Fire Style: Exploding Flame Crater – Jiraiya stomps the ground and creates a crack that goes under the enemy. He sends fire into the crack and boils the earth below and finishes by clapping his hands and creating an eruption where the enemy is. (Ultimate Ninja 5)

Fire Style: Great Flame Rasengan – Jiraiya’s variation of the Rasengan, he spits fire on a normal one to turn it black and surround it in a ring of flames. He hits opponent causing a blazing maelstrom of fire and reducing the victim to ashes.

Lightning Transmission – Kakashi creates a shadow clone and they both run a Raikiri on hands opposite each other to form a chain of lightning to connect them and can slice through even chakra arms easy.

Night Phoenix – Guy is covered in flames that resemble a phoenix and sets the opponent ablaze on collision. (Naruto Ultimate Ninja 4)

Nine Tailed Fox Twister – With a sweep of his claws in a cloak of chakra, Naruto or Kurama can create a tornado which could do massive damage.

Wind Monk Banishment #7

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 7

Note: Yeah, a lot of fights going down as I try to wrap up the majority of it. I’ll try not to make it too confusing.

Fanfic Recommendations: Medicinal Lullaby (Naruto as a parent) by Shivakashi, The Cost Of Living (Naruto and Fuu as Kakuzu’s apprentices) by livezinshadowz, and The Lives Worth Saving (Naruto Time-Travel) by cywsaphyre.

Chapter 7: Lost in Hatred

With Sasuke

“They…told…you?” Itachi said in a slightly lower voice that could almost be considered anger.

“Itachi, I almost went with Orochimaru because of what you did!” Sasuke laid into his brother. “I tried to kill my teammate because of you and go with someone who wanted to steal my body! I’ve still got the curse mark even if it’s been sealed! I can even feel his chakra inside me and gathered at the seal!

“If they hadn’t told me everything, I would have defected and turned against the very village you sacrificed our family for! Everything would’ve been wasted! What on earth possessed you to try and drive me to get stronger through hatred? Why did you constantly pressure me to tell try and kill you?”

Sasuke felt a warm trail of tears that had come down his face during his rant. “…Why didn’t you just tell me the truth?”

“…Sasuke, our clan had fallen.” Itachi told him factually. “I slaughtered my family to prevent civil war on what I assumed to be the orders of the Hokage in order to avoid the total lives that would have been lost had the Uchiha followed through. I killed mother, father, even my lover at the time, for the sake of the village. I killed the minority to save the majority, a valid tactic that I did not enjoy but understood, and left as a missing-nin to ensure our dark legacy did not come out to keep our clan’s name clean.”

“You didn’t do it alone…” Sasuke glared at him. “Who was it that helped you?”

“I cannot tell you…” Itachi sighed. “You cannot hope to face him as you are. I have seen that hatred can give one the strength to live on provided that one doesn’t lose themselves in it…I did what I had to in order to ensure the village would remain stable and you…”

“And I would like to get strong enough to come after you. To judge you for your crimes as an Uchiha…” Sasuke shook his head. “You do not force someone you care about to undergo mental torture and expect them to come out sane! Lose myself in hatred? I nearly fucking drowned in it!”

Itachi has no words on the matter.

“At least tell me why you’re helping Akatsuki? You’re an international criminal now, even if Tsunade forgave you, they’d still call for your death!” Sasuke stomped the illusionary ground. “There’s nothing she can do given the organization you worked for attacked Suna and possibly other nations!”

“I originally joined to keep an eye on that certain person and the group, but Akatsuki’s primary leader has a vision for peace and the eyes of the sage…” Itachi closed his eyes. “You haven’t experienced the true terror of war. The endless bloodshed and depraved acts that were given form by this current system…I sincerely doubt the original Sage of Six Paths would have approved of what his guidance led to because of his two sons.”

“Sage of Six Paths…what does a myth has to do with this?” Sasuke asked.

“It is no myth, Sasuke,” a crow emerged from Itachi’s body and flew towards Sasuke and landed on his shoulder, before it melted into it like a hot brand being burned onto him.

“What did you—” Itachi placed his fingers on his head and poked him.

“It is the power given to me by my long dead friend…I am not long for this world, Sasuke. That power…I pray you never need to use it.”

“What do you mean you’re not long for this world?”

“…Sasuke,” Itachi said before vanishing in a murder of crows. “Tell your teammates that Orochimaru has arrived to kill the Nanabi and Kyuubi containers and capture you. I shall wait for him to show an opening and do my duty—not as an Akatsuki member, but Itachi of the Leaf.”

Sasuke found himself back on the battlefield and felt the point where his brother touched his forehead. “Damn it…Itachi…”

Heading back to the shelter to inform the others of the situation, he wondered if Sakura had any more soldier pills to keep him able to fight. It was thundering and the sky would soon be ready for him to unleash the thunderclap if he had to.

With Shikamaru’s Group

The light roar of thunder echoed across all of Old Uzushio and a flash of lightning cast a long shadow in the face of adversity. The rain had yet to beat against the flesh of the seven gathered ninja and kunoichi.

Lucky-Seven, how long until I can use my arm again…Fuu mentally asked her tenant.

I’d say about a minute or two while your wings and tail in a cloak…” Choumei informed her. “Remember, you can’t go any further or you’ll go stage two and lose it Fuu-girl.

Hinata reacted first. As if an explosion erupted at her feet with no prior indication she charged at Fuu with her Byakugan ablaze as chakra scalpels shrouded her hands and she ducked under the blade coming towards her before she spun on the balls of her feet and unleashed a strike before hitting the woman’s cloak.

“8 Trigrams Mountain Crusher!” A powerful wave of chakra was unleashed against the jinchuuriki at close range and sent her into the distance as if she had been hit by Chouji again while the Hyuuga gave pursuit.

“Hinata!” Shikamaru called out to no avail. “Damn it, Shino after her!”

“Guren,” Kabuto addressed the woman behind him. “Make sure the jinchuuriki doesn’t escape.”

The two went after them silently while opposite each other. Shino had drawn several projectile weapons and Guren made hand seals as steel and crystal clashed.

“Iruka-sensei,” Chouji stared at the medic-nin. “Leave this to us.”

“No, Chouji-kun,” Iruka told him. “Ino isn’t here to help with your famous combination. Three-on-one is better than leaving you and Shikamaru-kun against him.”

“I feel compelled to ask what are you still doing as a chuunin, Umino-san?” Kabuto asked. “While you are an exquisite instructor for children, your stats according my research out do those of Anko-senpai. By all means, you should be special jounin at least, yet you only teach the basics to genin-hopefuls. Regardless, I’d hate to deprive the fine children of Konoha of such a figure…”

“Students need a gentle but firm hand to guide them into this world we live in. For that reason I stay at my current rank,” Iruka bought out a kunai. “Besides…the basics are useful no matter the battlefield…since you’ve seem to have forgotten, allow me to give you a crash course.”

“I learned all I know from a less gracious instructor…” Kabuto tilted his glasses. “But I guess I could use a reminder.”

Kabuto took off towards the trio and Chouji’s pumped up left fist was sent straight towards the missing-nin who leaped onto the back of the fist on his chakra scalpel covered hands and severed the flexor tendons before he pulled out a kunai and threw at the Akamichi’s head, only to have it intercepted by Iruka’s kunai. Shadow tendrils appeared from around Chouji’s outstretched hand and attempting to run Kabuto through when he somersaulted backwards and sent shuriken at the Nara in his family’s crouching position.

“The first lesson is Shurikenjutsu!” The sound of slicing air and clashing steel was heard as Iruka’s shuriken intercepted his and he charged the medic-nin with two kunai drawn. “Next is close combat!”

Kabuto drew a single kunai and met with him head on. Two clashed at close range before Iruka rolled and shadow tendrils tore into the medic’s body. “The third lesson: Diversionary Tactics and Planning!”

“Chouji!” Shikamaru called and a massive right fist descended on the body from above with sickening crunch that was overtaken by the sound of the ground being destroyed and hidden in a spray of dirt and dust.

“Ew…” Chouji muttered as he felt the visceral fluids and blood that lingered on his hand drip when he shrunk it and left the remnants of the corpse in a crater. “Well, that’s one way to end it…”

“Chouji, Iruka-sensei, are you alright?” Shikamaru asked.

“I can’t bend my fingers in my left hand…” Chouji answered.

“I’m fine, but…” Iruka trailed off.

“That felt too easy…” Shikamaru muttered and Iruka agreed as he went to confirm the body remains. Upon seeing the stitches on the face and remembering the report about the previous attempt on Sasuke before he tried to defect, they realized they had been played. “It was the Dead Soul technique.”

“Then where is he?” Chouji looked around. “I can’t see him or sense him—”

“Chouji, MOVE!” The Akamichi was cut off as Iruka flung a spread of kunai at him that forced him to jump to the right and they continued straight…where they were deflected not three feet from the Akamichi’s position. “He’s using the Hiding with Camouflage technique.”

Right, Iruka-sensei’s a tracker…Shikamaru turned to the direction the kunai were heading. “Where?”

“3 o’clock to Chouji!” The Akamichi picked up the direction and slammed his other fist on the ground. He missed as Kabuto jumped and flung kunai towards Iruka who dodged and addressed the Nara. “5 o’clock to me!”

“Shadow Sewing!” Shadow tendrils lashed and rained down over the area as they hit warm pockets of flesh and pinned down the medic once again while blood flowed down the tendrils. “Blossom!” Shikamaru put extra chakra into it and tendrils exploded with extra thorns and completely skewered the body that faded into view.

“It’s another corpse!” Shikamaru identified. “Iruka-sensei! Where is he?”

“I’m not picking him up,” Iruka said after stressing his vocal cords. “That means he’s under—” Kabuto popped out of the ground with a kunai in hand and plunged it in towards Iruka’s temple as the instructor raised his arm and felt it go through the muscle only to be stopped by the radius and ulna bones as Iruka kicked the man away.

“I must admit, I didn’t know you were a tracker…” Kabuto complimented the man. “Since you weren’t labeled a sensor in the report and the technique hid both sight and scent…that leaves only sound.

“Since I can’t use the same tactic over and camouflage myself until you’re dealt with…” Kabuto pulled out a scroll and unraveled it, releasing twelve corpses that looked like himself. “I’ll show you my performance known as Death Technique: Requiem Soul Play.”

The corpses lurched before dashing towards the group at a speed beneath that of the original Kabuto. Despite the lack of excess abilities that the original possessed, their numbers and the control of the original made up for the slight drop in speed. They avoided the splintering shadow tendrils before splitting into groups four and attacking the Konoha chuunin.

“Mortal wounds won’t stop them. Take away their legs!” Shikamaru’s tendrils skewered one that lunged at him, but the one behind it used its shoulder as support and jumped over them to throw a kunai at the Nara and force him from his position, returning the shadows to normal. The other two closed in on him.

The Akamichi was having a difficult time due to having only one working hand. His Multi-Size technique was a hindrance because the chakra blades would bypass the fat and strike at the sensitive parts. He was forced to dodged or risk losing his other limbs.

Iruka somersaulted over one and planted an explosive tag on its back before pulling out a kunai and ducking under another chakra blade. He crouched and spun to cut the Achilles’ tendons to take away the second corpse’s ability to stand and kicked it into the explosive tagged one before detonating it. He paid no mind to the raining innards as he contended with his other two enemies.

The Nara and Akamichi may be chuunin as well, but Umino has more experience…Kabuto noted before glaring at the weak point. Chouji was a liability since he had to fight at close range against the chakra scalpels and wasn’t nearly as nimble due to his size. He had the corpses change their tactics to overwhelm the boy until—

“Chouji!” The Akamichi was swept off his feet before he could be severed by three incoming chakra blades by a blonde. She threw down several kunai with explosive tags and yelled before she got out of range with the Akamichi. “Shika, Go!”

Shadow tendrils speared through the corpses and then through the pommel of a kunai with a tag and pinned it to the corpse as it went back through. They repeated the motion until they stitched them to the ground and the explosive tags were triggered on the three corpses. The rain of body parts and viscera colored the area.

“Let me see your hand!” She performed a diagnostic on it quickly while Shikamaru had the shadows drive back the remaining corpses and noted the cut tendons before mending them and crafting a chakra splint over it. “Don’t use it until we can get you back to Konoha or else they’ll tear again.”

“Ino…” Chouji muttered. “Why are you here?”

“Sasuke-kun told us Orochimaru had come so we’re being split apart to each group with Sakura watching the others who can’t fight with Neji to ensure that no one can get to the injured while they’re being treated and Shizune-san heading towards Asuma-sensei’s location with Sasuke-kun.”

“What about Iruka-sensei’s arm?” Shikamaru asked.

“It’s not immediately life-threatening!” Iruka told him. “You three are together so you can take it from here while I set things up!” The instructor pulled out a smoke bomb and threw it down before he vanished to set up the finale.

“Alright,” Ino stood with her back to the Akamichi. “Let’s show glasses our Ino-Shika-Cho formation.”

With Fuu

Three women danced as they were engrossed in the battle. Their battlefield was filled with crystallized clones of the jinchuuriki and the sound of clashing steel, crystal, and solidified water as the three of them tried to kill each other.

Guren moved. On both of her arms were Crystal Style: Jade Crystal Blades that were tinted light blue and flashed as they cleaved through the shadow clones before she lunged at the original Fuu that thrust her Water Slicing Blade towards the woman’s head. Her first blade deflected it upwards while the second came around towards the caramel-toned woman’s face.

Fuu stepped back, only to circle around and slash at the incoming Hyuuga that attempted to ambush her. The sharp edge of the blade clashed with a kunai but Hinata was knocked aside using brute force as the cloak Fuu dawned slammed into her using a chakra arm.

“Crystal Style: Wild Shuriken Dance!” The moisture in the air around Guren took the form of crystal and was sent towards the jinchuuriki before shattering into a rain of shrapnel that she couldn’t completely avoid and scraped across her skin while she rose in the air.

Chakra Needles were fired towards both the crystal-user and jinchuuriki. The crystal-user dodged while Fuu’s chakra tail batted them aside. The crystal-user made several hand-seals to ensure the green-haired kunoichi didn’t escape.

“Crystal Style: Growing Crystal Thorns!” The crystal thorns emerged from around the battlefield and angled towards the jinchuuriki and beyond, before closing in on themselves to form a net with spikes that would impale her if she went further.

Shino watched on in the distance while taking in the sight of the battle. He recognized that at the moment he would be unable to assist Hinata or stop the crystal-user. The crystal-user was the most dangerous person here.

She managed to crystallize his insects along with the jinchuuriki’s when they tried to snare her. Yet, the jinchuuriki’s beetles managed to make it through earlier when they were enshrouded in lightning chakra. Hinata’s gentle fist midrange strike passed through the Crystal Style: Crystal Imprisonment Wave when she attacked Fuu again with the crystal-user as an intermediate.

They all had one thing in common. “I see. It’s because they were coated in chakra.”

If he had enough time he could breed his colonies to be immune to the crystallization process. That being said, he opted for a different approach and whispered to his colony before sending them towards the jinchuuriki to give the information to her. His reasons for aiding his target were simple, logical, and would benefit both parties.

With Jiraiya

Naruto finally stopped wailing the corpse of the Snake Sannin in the ground when what should have been the spatter of blood was soil brown mud.

“Earth Style: Shadow Clone…” Jiraiya gritted his teeth in the distance.

A FUCKING SHADOW CLONE!” He paused for a moment and thought about it. So this is what everyone I fought before must’ve felt like when I used the same strategy. Irony’s a bitch.

“Kukuku…I heard you loved to play tag with sensei when you were younger, so let’s play Naruto-kun…Follow the sound of my voice…” echoed in the distance and Naruto gave chase to the soon-to-be-dead Snake Sannin.

“Naruto, don’t chase him!” Jiraiya yelled in vain and prepared to chase after him when a strong gale from Wind Style: Great Breakthrough of Orochimaru’s held him back.

“I haven’t forgotten you either…” Orochimaru’s voice echoed. “Until I’ve killed Naruto-kun, you can deal with a few extras.”

The ground beneath them upheaved in an explosion of stone and dirt as a number of massive snakes came up to surface and glared at the group before lunging.

With Naruto

Naruto’s ears twitched. The bubbling chakra arms were shot forward and slithered through the air as they tore through rubble in an attempt to snag and crush the Snake Bastard who had hidden himself. So far there had been no luck and every attempt failed.

WHERE ARE YOU HIDING!” Naruto roared before the ground parted and a massive snake emerged to consume him. The cloak bubbled over and Naruto unleashed another sonic roar that exploded it outwards like a bursting balloon.

The Snake Bastard was toying with him and Naruto knew it. He growled and felt his anger beginning to rise even further. Four tails…it would be enough to kill the snake. Realizing he would lose himself, Naruto shook off the thought. He had to remain rational enough to act off his thoughts and not instinct.

I’m such an idiot…“a smile etched its way across his face. “There’s no point in hiding it anymore…

Chakra flared and consumed the area without restraint, merging with the air itself and becoming an extension of his body. A solid shape was not an option at three-tails. Instead it became an irregular mass of tendrils that touched over everything within range, including the Snake Sannin himself.

Shaping the chakra around the Sannin it became a box to imprison the snake. Naruto claws flashed and the air around the Sannin followed suit. Laced with chakra they became an extension of the jinchuuriki’s body and came down upon the box, which began to implode to be safe, with intent to shred the contents into little more than scraps of flesh.

There was a silver flash from the Kusanagi blade as it sliced through the shaped chakra and the prisoner escaped while the ground around the former box was torn asunder. “That was unexpected, but Kusanagi can easily cut through such a thin layer of chakra…”

Then I’ll make it denser!” The box shape was reformed to enclose the man and then multiple layers were applied to slow the man down. The loose chakra floating around Naruto gathered in front of him and was pushed using the right chakra arm toward the layered prison as it became a thick box of compressed chakra.

Kusanagi cleaved through the final layer and then swung towards the dense box.

It’s too dense? Were Orochimaru’s thoughts before the blade was knocked from his grip and to the side as he was hit by the large object and pushed off his feet backwards with the dense box of chakra the size of the Snake Bastard’s torso.

RUPTURE!” Naruto flooded the box with the chakra from the extending arm and forced the tainted chakra to rupture in a massive explosion that threw Orochimaru skyward as the chakra arm branched into four miniature claws and grabbed his limbs. He dropped territory as he pulled the man towards him with great speed.

WIND STYLE:—” Naruto formed a Grand Rasengan in his free hand and exhaled a thick layer of wind chakra onto it from his mouth. Orochimaru opened his mouth—perhaps to say something or scream from mercy—but it was too late. “—GRAND SQUALL RASENGAN!

The second layer expanded as it neared the Sannin and sucked him inside the sphere of wind towards the center. Along the way he was slashed from all angles that bled and were severed into chunks that spattered on the ground as the main body of the Rasengan slammed into the remaining torso and detonated.

That probably wouldn’t have worked if his skin was too hard to cut through…Naruto thought before he spotted a gleam from the Kusanagi blade and his chakra arm extended to grab it.

This is mine now…” Naruto eyed the sword before placing it in a body seal. He needed a new weapon anyway, and Kino showed him how to use a Jian blade before he left the Eight Spades. Maybe when all of this was over he should visit the temple and undergo the trials…

His ears twitched and he jumped away as another large snake came from the ground. His chakra arms batted it away before he heard a familiar chuckle. Orochimaru emerged from the ground with a snake’s tail from the use of his slithering mode. “Now, Now, Naruto-kun…It’s not nice to steal from others.”

Naruto’s chakra arms shot out to entrap the snake that slithered out of the hole, but he was faster and slipped close to the jinchuuriki. When he got too close Naruto swung his chakra tail around and it batted the snake away hard enough break him into two pieces…that reconnected by a series of snakes?

His tail reformed into legs and he stared at the jinchuuriki. “You have learned some interesting techniques and gotten better at manipulation your Bijuu’s chakra, Naruto-kun. Sensei would be proud if such knowledge had come from the village, but alas.”

DON’T YOU DARE SPEAK OF THE OLD MAN TO ME!” Naruto snarled as he prepared to form the wind variant of the Rasengan again. “WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO KILL YOU!

“Kukuku, you’d be surprised the number of people who’ve asked that…” Orochimaru chided him. “You create an extra layer of wind to suck the enemy into the range of the main body of the Rasengan. Once inside the first layer wind tears an enemy apart before hitting them with the brunt force and then rupturing…Granted, it isn’t complete as it doesn’t fully incorporate the element into the Rasengan, but if I hadn’t slipped out of my skin it would have been painful…

“However, I imagine if I use a fire jutsu, the technique would run rampant and create a nice size conflagration…”

“Good to know!” A new voice entered as a giant frog descended in the form of the Toad Boss and forced both the Sannin and jinchuuriki to stay apart. On his head was the Toad Sage. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

The Toad Boss exhaled a ring of smoke. “That you Naruto?

Toad Boss…” Naruto addressed the large summoning with respect. “It’s been some time…A shame we never got that drink. The Ferret Boss spoke of a brand of human sake that you were fond of. I would have been happy to have supplied enough for your eventual reunion.

Gamabunta snorted. “You know that old ferret?

Naruto nodded while keeping his eyes on Orochimaru. “I’m the current contract holder. The way things are going you’ll be seeing him soon.

Jiraiya looked at his former student. “Naruto, leave this to me.”

Screw off Pervy Sage!” Naruto told him. “If you get in my way, I’ll do to you worse than what Granny would do if I told her about your little visit to Nadeshiko all those years ago.

Ignoring the fact he knows something that happened that long ago, he’s still too short sighted and allowing his anger get to him, Jiraiya sighed. “Don’t make this anymore difficult than it has to be. Tsunade and the Ichirakus already miss you and if you die here…”

“Only a few people out of an entire village?” Orochimaru shook his head in mock sympathy. “Sensei really did a poor job in managing his successor’s son’s social status with the whole exposing you thing. Honestly, his trust of the people would’ve been the death of him if it weren’t for me.”

The Snake Sannin fell on all four and belched out a sea of snakes that threatened to swallow them all. The sea formed a wave and became a wall of death as each of the snakes opened their mouths and produced a copy of the Kusanagi blade. “Formation of Ten Thousand Snakes!”

Gamabunta leaped back to get some distance for a flame and oil combination and to avoid the poison fangs. Jiraiya looked on as his godson refused to move away from the impending death. His cheeks and stomach swelled as chakra gathered inside his body and converted into flames.

NINE-TAILED FOX FIRE STREAM!” Flames roared from his mouth and expanded into a tidal wave of flames that surged towards the wall of death. Blazing scarlet flames consumed the snakes that were charred into coal and then ashed as the wave passed them by and descend upon the snake-user.

Orochimaru opened his mouth and a large snake stretched out above the wave as it consumed his body and caught the bottom half of the snake and began to race upwards. Before the snake could be completely consumed, the Sannin emerged from its mouth and made hand seals as he fell beyond the reach of the dying flames. He held his hand outstretched and a sealing array has written in the air.

“Summoning!” The Snake Bastard called his own boss summoning. Manda had appeared.

With Shikamaru’s Group

“Not that I’m not grateful, but isn’t this breaking one of Tsunade-sama’s rules as her student!” Shikamaru jumped before the corpse could slice at his jugular artery. He crouched and his shadow split to entrap the several around him and pulled them closer together. “Black Spider Lily.”

“Chouji’s my patient, I’m defending him!” Ino stood back to back with the Nara and made her family’s hand sign. “Now shut up and watch my body, Shika!”

Two rushed in to take advantage of the situation by Kabuto’s control when they suddenly froze and then started using their chakra scalpels to sever the limbs of the others that had gathered near the Nara. “Mind Transfer Clone!

“Chouji, finish it!” Shikamaru released his technique and grabbed Ino’s body to jump away while she had the ones under her control to cut off the legs of each other. Using his undamaged hand, the Akamichi crushed the area with a massive fist to stop the corpses once and for all.

“So, this is the current Ino-Shika-Cho generation’s style…?” Kabuto wondered out loud as Shikamaru sent shadows after the man. He avoided the tendrils by jumping back and smirked as he landed…only to freeze when he spotted four explosive tags around him on the ground. “Sealed Bomb Square Release?”

“Trap-setting is a basic that was taught in my class. That’s the final lesson…consider yourself caught up.” Iruka said to the immobile medic from behind a stone outcropping. “Shikamaru-kun, if you would.”

Shikamaru connected their shadows and forced him to take a step, which triggered a deafening explosion that the person inside was unable to escape from. Kabuto’s head fell to the ground as probably the largest piece left. Shikamaru noticed the stitches on the face.

“Another corpse…” Shikamaru sighed. “The real Kabuto must’ve been long gone when Ino showed up since if she had taken him over it would have ended then…but did I ever tell you that you were the best instructor in the Academy?”

“Yet you slept through my classes…” Iruka deadpanned as Ino began working on his injury.

The group then turned their attention to the clashing Snake and Toad Bosses doing battle.

With Pace

The Snake Boss…I have to go tell boss to get dad!” Pace exclaimed as he saw the massive snake do battle with a giant toad, but was unable to move due to the cage of insect threatening to consume him.

“Water Style: Wild Water Wave!” A wave of water batted the insects away and they writhed on the ground wet.

I’m all wet…” Pace shook his body before looking up. “Boss Lady!

“I’m just a clone,” she told him. “Go home and tell your dad that Manda has appeared. I felt Naruto’s cloaked chakra from my position and he’s facing the Snake Boss right now, so your dad will need to be ready.”

B-but what about you and boss?” Pace asked.

The Fuu clone patted him on the head. “We’ll be fine. The original me is going to help Naruto once she’s done since it took a lot of work to sneak e out from the Hyuuga and crystal-user. Now go.”

Kay…” Pace vanished in a small puff of smoke.

With Naruto

Naruto ran up and around the thrashing Manda’s body with his chakra claws rending off bits of flesh as he tried to concentrate on which priority to take. The Snake Bastard had taken off with Jiraiya to fight to the death somewhere while the summonings wrecked the ruins further. Now the Snake Bastard was on his kill list for the Old Man, but he promised the Ferret Boss that he would help him get revenge on the Snake Boss.

Naruto was flung into the air and Manda opened his mouth to consume the jinchuuriki while he squeezed the Toad Boss. Naruto bit into his arm on the summoning tattoo and let the blood flow freely as his chakra arms curved around to slam onto the top of Manda’s skull and etch the summoning array. “SUMMONING!

The Ferret Boss dropped down on the Snake Boss and wielding a giant pair of Deer Horn Knives. The impact was enough to free Gamabunta enough to leap away. Without hesitation, the blades descended towards the head of the Snake Boss. “DIE—”

Only to go flying with the Ferret Boss as Manda’s tail came around and slammed him across the back. The Snake Boss flicked its tongue as the Ferret Boss was sent crashing into the barrier around New Uzushio and knocked back due to the rebounding feature. “Well, well, if it isn’t Dao…I haven’t seen you since that time my kin ran into that daughter of yours…the eldest next to the axe wielding one I believe. Ever since then I’ve had a small craving for ferrets—

GRAND RASENGAN FLAIL!” A massive Rasengan half the size the Toad Boss and attached to roughly a hundred chains that interwove as they trailed down to Naruto’s enlarged chakra arms slammed into Manda’s head from the side and knocked it into the ground smashing the rubble beneath it. “GET IT IN GEAR FERRET BOSS!

The Ferret Boss fell on all fours after biting down on the handles of the Deer Knives and they ran parallel to the ground. Desert Ferrets resided in a hidden location in the Land of Wind and were adept at wind chakra as well, so he streamed wind chakra through the blades as he passed the lunging Snake Boss and cleaved a good gash into its side. Manda retaliated by smashing the Dao into the ground with its tail and came around to devour the summoning.

The Toad Boss leaped down and plunged his blade through the Snake Boss’s mouth and pinned him to the ground. “That’s twice!

Nice work Bunta…” The Ferret Boss coughed blood as he struggled to stand with several ribs broken from the snake’s assault. He looked over to Naruto. “Did you get the seal you mentioned in Iron ready?

Naruto nodded and summoned a large scroll roughly his height from his body seal and spun while clenching the edge before he tossed into the sky and it unraveled. Large black chains shot down in a circular pattern the encompassed twice the area the summonings took up and staked into the ground. They formed an ominous dark barrier that surged with his demonic chakra. “Uzumaki Forbidden Seal: Isolation Encampment!

Damn you, I’ll remember this…” Manda cried and disappeared in a plume of smoke…or at least he tried. “I-I can’t return!

This is a forbidden sealing art that uses the owners’ chakra to create a field that can’t be escaped unless the ones feeding the field are incapacitated or killed. The condition is that owners can’t move within the field under their own power and they must remain within the encampment. It interferes with Time-Space jutsu so that summoning and reverse summoning are cut off as well.” Naruto explained.

The encampment field also consumed an unholy amount of chakra, enough that Naruto three-tailed state had reverted to a simple coat. It was meant to be used in a large group to supply the necessary chakra…and often killed them. That was why it was forbidden. Although the Uzumaki had plans to make a miniature version to stop the masked freak as well as removing the no moving rule.

I’LL DEVOUR YOU ALL WHEN I GET FREE!” The Snake Boss roared.

The Ferret Boss pulled out a cigar and lit it with a match before looking at Gamabunta. “Hey Bunta, can you help me arrange a funeral pyre?

Why not, he’s been attacking my kin as well and we’ve debts to settle. We can drink to old times once this is over.” Toad Boss spat out an enormous amount of oil at the Snake Boss while Ferret Boss tossed the giant match into the oil and Manda’s eyes went wide.

BURN, YOU SON OF A SERPENT.” Dao exclaimed and watched as the Snake Boss howled in anguish while the flames consumed him. The scent of cooked snake meat was tainted by the smell of burning oil and made Naruto’s stomach churn before they made sure the snake was dead and dropped the encampment.

Dao,” Gamabunta looked at the giant ferret. “About that issue with Jiraiya and your last contract holder…

The past is the past for now…” The Ferret Boss took a deep puff from the cigar and released the smoke cloud into the air. “Vengeance at last…but it won’t bring my little girl back. Regardless, thank you Uzumaki. I’m afraid I must return to tend to these injuries, but I shall repay my debt one day…perhaps over a drink with Bunta here.

Once this issue is settled,” Naruto nodded. “We can swap stories over a drink.

I always did like you kid,” Bunta lightly chuckled as the Ferret Boss disappeared in a plume of smoke. “You know, Gamakichi—

The boss summoning was cut off by the sight of a giant 8-headed white snake emerging in the distance.

With Fuu

“Water Style: Archerfish!” A jet of water was spouted at the crystal-user who made a series of hand seals and a gleam revealed a thin layer of crystal covering her in her Crystal Armor. She then made another set of hand seals and touched the ground as the water washed off her armor.

“Crystal Style: Burst Crystal Falling Dragon!” The dirt, stone, and mud crystallized to form a crystal dragon that lunged towards the jinchuuriki that began to back away.

“8 Trigrams Sky Palm!” A blast of chakra nailed the jinchuuriki from behind and directly towards the dragon that opened its mouth to consume her. Fuu fed the beetles in her cylinder a good amount of lightning chakra and they darted out towards the dragon.

“Hidden Art: Flash Beetle Dart!” The insects shrouded in lightning rained down from above and impacted the dragon. On impact they became small domes that radiated lightning before rupturing in an explosion that rained the shards of crystal down. Fuu made several more shadow clones and decided to deal with the Hyuuga while most of the clones fought the crystal user with assorted lightning jutsu.

“Crystal Style: Crystal Needles!” The moisture in the air around Guren solidified into pink crystals and darted towards the onslaught of clones to skewer them before they could get in range with the lightning techniques. Before she could target the Hyuuga and original, a black cloud of insects swarmed and were turned to crystal before she got back on task.

“Jade Crystal Prison!” Guren announced and light began to shroud the two women who were in close range. Fuu substituted with a clone that was destroyed by a quick strike from the Hyuuga, but Hinata was unable to move her feet.

“Hinata, release chakra from all the tenketsu in your body!” Shino yelled out to her before the light engulfed her completely. The Hyuuga was frozen inside the crystal in a traditional jyuuken stance.

“Hidden Art: Hiding in Scale Powder!” A cloud of powder glinted and became a bright flash that blinded Guren until she heard the next technique being announced. “Exploding Water Shockwave!”

A wall of water filled the entrapped space and rushed towards the crystal-user, who sealed herself using Crystal Style: Crimson Fruit until the wave died down and rushed towards Fuu as she panted on the ground. Fuu crafted her blade of hardened water and swung the blade down…only to watch as the blade broke upon hitting her nearly invisible armor of crystal.

Guren plunged her hand into the jinchuuriki’s chest…and she vanished in a plume of smoke. “Shadow Clone?”

The original Fuu and a clone emerged from two of the numerous puddles next to her using the Hiding in Water jutsu while a third pinned to the woman. Blazing through seals the clone made the first move.

“Water Style: Water Prison!” The crystal-user was trapped inside of a sphere of water by the first clone while the second vanished and the original ran through hand signs and lightning strong enough to rip through stone arched from her hands. She looked into the sphere and noticed that the crystal-user had a small smile on her face and made no attempt at doing anything. “Lightning Style: Earth Flash!”

Yuukimaru, I probably won’t be going to the same place as you are, but…were Guren’s final thoughts as the electricity finished her off in a death that even Fuu couldn’t look at before she dropped the jutsu.

“You switched with the clone while she was blinded,” Shino commented as he watched the crystals begin to break apart. Thanks to his shades he could see through the blinding powder.

The footsteps of the Aburame inching closer put her slightly on edge. Even though the Aburame looked like a drug dealer, Fuu had to ask. “Why would you tell me how to defeat her and help me? What was in it for you?”

“Because, we seek to retrieve you alive—” Fuu pointed towards Hinata, who was freed from her imprisonment and fell to the ground unconscious and weak, “—she has…problems that stem from her home that we plan to address…”

Shino sighed. “Nevertheless, things have started to go out of control. Given that Orochimaru is here he must be trying to kill both jinchuuriki and thus is targeting Naruto. Merely a temporary alliance to ensure that we can accomplish our primary mission by aiding in your survival.”

“We don’t need your—” Fuu body pulsated and she coughed up blood. The imperfect seal was starting to malfunction. I used too much of Choumei’s chakra.

“You seem to not be feeling well. Should I take it those are the aftereffects of using your tenant’s chakra for too long?”

“That’s none of your business!”

“I find you highly illogical, Fuu-san.” Shino told the jinchuuriki as he approached the downed Hyuuga. “You must realize by now the odds of victory have waned for you and Naruto, yet you still try to fight against us. Considering we are fellow insect users I thought you would be somewhat more rational in your decisions such as my clan. However, it would seem that emotions have overtaken your judgment.

“Let me ask you, why do you oppose us?”

“Because you’re trying to take Naruto back with you and are invading our home!”

“Your home consists of buildings that can be replaced and no people had yet to occupy it.” Shino pointed out. “Despite being heavily outmatched, you went out of your way to defend a place that holds little more than sentimental value to Naruto and could be rebuilt elsewhere?”

“Well weren’t expecting you to show up…” Fuu sprouted her wings despite Choumei’s silent warnings. “What were we supposed to do?”

“Why did you not flee when things went wrong or convince Naruto to flee?” Shino stated. “Aburame are familiar with guerilla tactics which you are privy to. The moment we stopped after the regrouping flare had been sent up and we were occupied with tending to our comrades, why did you not use the opportunity to flee with him while your clones distracted us and you still had the strength to do so?

“The moment this place was discovered it became a lost cause for you I’m afraid. Akatsuki is on the island as well as Orochimaru, this place is no longer safe for either of you.”

Fuu’s heart skipped a beat. “A-Akatsuki is here too?”

“Yes. And despite having so many opponents that are S-class and after him, Naruto allowed his anger at the village to compromise his judgment on the matter to the point he picked a fight with people who had obviously been training to deal with him and endanger both himself and you…and you let your personal emotions compromise your judgment by not pointing out how suicidal it was.”

Fuu stomped the ground. “I’m supporting Naruto!”

“Yes, and well done by the way. So far all he has accomplished was to wound those who actually cared about him and forced them to retaliate with force. It must be painful for people such as Jiraiya-sama and Kakashi-sensei to have to harm the one they see as family. To have someone who sees Naruto as a little brother be forced to order his return by extreme force must have weighed heavily on the Hokage as well.”

Fuu was silent. Shino made his point.

“I must tend to Hinata’s injuries and I cannot use my remaining allies against you. While I could keep you occupied in your weary condition—” Shino pointed to the giant eight headed snake, “—there is a chance Naruto would be killed and the mission would be a failure. You should take this opportunity to reason with Naruto before it is too late.”

Fuu gritted her teeth and flew off shaking while nursing a growing headache from Choumei’s chakra. I’m…not responsible for this am I?

Doubt later Fuu-girl! He had a point, we need to fall back.” The Aburame may have been an enemy but he was right on some points. They had no choice but to abandon their home in order to survive.

“Shino-kun…” Hinata mumbled from behind him as he watched Fuu fly off.

“Hinata, have you—” the Aburame fell to the ground from a blow to the back of the head.

“Sorry, Shino-kun,” Hinata whispered as she rummaged through his backpack. She pulled out several explosive tags and kunai before departing after the jinchuuriki of the skies using her Byakugan to track her. “I have to kill them…”

With Jiraiya

“You haven’t changed at all Jiraiya!” Orochimaru chided his former teammate in his Eight Branches form. The Toad Sage avoided the heads as the Snake Sannin emerged from the head of the main one and lashed his tongue out. It wrapped around the man’s leg and lifted him into the air. “All your life you’ve done nothing truly worthwhile on your own…

“Tsunade became the Hokage and has that method of healing that prevents her from dying on the battlefield; I rule Oto and gained immortal life along with Edo Tensei…” He slammed the sage against the ground hard enough to leave a crater before lifting him up to face his executioner.

“You on the other hand have done nothing but age and travel while writing your low-class books that only appeal to the perverted; even your students surpassed you…Just give up!”

“You…” Jiraiya spat toad oil in his eyes and pulled out a kunai to cut the tongue off his leg. “Give up—” He formed a Rasengan behind him as he turned upright and it expanded to an enormous size. “TRYING TO MAKE ME GIVE UP! GALLANT RASENGAN!

He slammed the huge jutsu into the Snake Sannin and it consumed him as his body was assaulted from all angles by the spiraling sphere inside the snake’s mouth. The other heads tried to devour the Toad Sage when—

TOAD BLADE CUT!” Gamabunta sliced through two of them in a pass and the Toad Sage clung to the summoning’s head as a jinchuuriki inside a red coat of chakra slammed into another two with a Wind Style: Grand Squall Rasengan that decimated the heads before he was batted towards the ground by a third head and made a crater as his coat faded from exhaustion.

I’VE HAD ENOUGH!” Orochimaru’s roared as pale lightning crackled between the remaining heads to incinerate the giant toad, sage, and jinchuuriki. “THIS IS MY ULTIMATE JUTSU!

The attack was about to be launched when a crimson-dreamlike blade pierced the Snake Sannin and everyone diverted their eyes towards to flaming humanoid wielding a shield and sword. Itachi Uchiha looked on with bleeding eyes. “Be sealed in an eternal, drunken dream. Sword of Totsuka.”

The Snake Sannin as a whole was sucked into the liquid sword and drunken into the sake jug, massive form and all. Susanoo vanished and Itachi fell on his knees. The Uchiha vanished in a murder of crows without saying another word while the others looked on wondering what the hell just happened.

“Whatever!” Naruto snarled at his godfather while creating another Wind Style: Grand Squall Rasengan and lunging with half of what was left of his remaining chakra. “Now that he’s gone, it’s time to deal with you!”

“Naruto, you really don’t want to do this!” Jiraiya spat flames into the technique and it went out of control and exploded in the jinchuuriki’s face to send him flying through some of the remaining ruins. “Naruto, it’s over. You’ve used enough of the fox’s chakra to damage your body and you’re exhausted. Any further fighting alone will run the risk of killing you. Tsunade didn’t want this, she doesn’t want it to be this way, but you have to come back.”

Naruto picked himself off the ground and clutched his charred arm. “I won’t!”

“I thought you might have matured over the years, but I guess that when it comes to the village you haven’t…” Jiraiya shook his head in disappointment. “Then what about the girl you’re with? Think about her. This fighting could end with her getting killed or captured by Akatsuki!”

“I won’t go back and I won’t let you take Fuu!” He prepared to stand against the Sannin before a cloud of blinding powder flashed.

“NARUTO!” Fuu grabbed him as she passed and took him into the air. “We’re leaving!”

Gamabunta rubbed his eyes and sighed. “While we may be allied with Konoha, I won’t help drag the kid back to that village.

The Toad Boss vanished in a plume of smoke as the other jounins, Shizune, and Sasuke arrived next to Jiraiya and the quickly assessed the situation before Shino arrived nursing a headache and told them of Hinata taking off on her own and running off to give chase to the airborne jinchuuriki.

With Fuu

Naruto noticed Fuu wobbling in flight and looked at her sweating and panting form. The rain had begun to drizzle and a great flash of lightning was followed by booming thunder. “Fuu, how much of Choumei’s chakra did you use?”

“I—” Fuu didn’t finish as her partial transformed wings dissipated and she began to plummet from the sky. Naruto embraced her and landed on the ground safely before looking at the remaining ruins for shelter from the rain.

The battle had wrecked the majority of Old Uzushio by now and the current portion they were in was the remains of the residential area. Naruto took her inside one of the broken buildings that still had 3/4 of the roof intact.

“Naruto…” Fuu whispered as here placed her against the wall. “I know how you feel but it’s time we cut our losses.”

“Fuu…” He checked the inventory of his body seal despite the aching he was suffering from the use of Kurama’s tainted chakra. “We can still—”

“We didn’t plan on running into two Sannin, bloodline users, clan members, and Akatsuki. We came here to inspect how the rebuild was going for two weeks. We’ve improvised so far give our circumstance but they haven’t lost a person on their side—”

“Not for a lack of trying mind you.”

“—while you’ve been stripped of your weapons and you looked like you were about to go stage two while I’m starting to get feel the aftereffects of my seal’s imperfection. Even you have limits and healing as much damage as you have has worn you out as well. They’ve been working to keep us split up and at this point we’ve both been through too much to keep fighting and not go berserk and risk destroying the island or each other.”

“I didn’t expect this kind of crap to happen. I mean honestly, where the hell did they find another wood-user? I thought Granny was the last of the Senju line and she usually smashes things instead.”

“And I wasn’t expecting a crystal-user either…although I still think she wasn’t trying too hard,” Fuu stumbled as she tried to stand. Naruto grabbed her before she could fall over. “Naruto, we don’t have any other choice but to abandon the island for now. Look at us. Look at the situation. Assess it from a perspective outside ours or theirs.”

Naruto rubbed his forehead at her words and his thoughts gathered until he drew a conclusion. “…Things don’t look good for us, do they?”

“No,” Fuu shook her head.

“Fuck.” Naruto conceded. “In the end it was a pointless struggle. We should’ve fled the moment Akatsuki showed up huh…No, the moment Konoha caught onto the new village it was over. They would have stationed ANBU there until they eventually caught us.”

The Kyuubi jinchuuriki could only laugh at his misfortune before his voice became somber. “Akatsuki and Konoha know about this place now. We won’t be able to come back anytime soon. Even when the threat of Akatsuki is over, two jinchuuriki would be too good for other nations to pass up if the information slipped out. It would be a repeat of what happened to old Uzushio…”

He slammed his fist against the wall hard enough to make it bleed while making a hole big enough to fit a person through and exposed the falling rain. “All I’ve done was get you hurt.”

“I know you have an attachment to this place because of your mother and Mito, but…” Fuu hugged her lover and kept her hand on his bloodied fist. “We can always rebuild the village somewhere else. Somewhere on another continent…away from the 5 nations…”

“You’re right; maybe I’ll even get to see if Temujin kept his promise…” Naruto pulled out the contact scroll from a body seal. “I’ll transfer the island ownership over to Kanna. It was only because of her I learned a lot about how to get things in the village set up and got the proper channels to buy it. The research into the Aeroponics and Hydroponics systems from the Land of Spring and Birds panned out and the place has a decent soil deposit…it would make a great farming village then and I could have her relocate the contents of the underground storage vault…”

“Okay…” Fuu looked a bit worried about the somber shade his eyes had taken. “How will we escape?”

“You’ll go to Suna alone via the parallel array.” Naruto raised his hand before Fuu could argue. “I screwed up in judgment but even if they catch me I have safeguards so they can’t control me through other means. That’s why I altered Kurama’s seal in the first place. As soon as I’m done with this, I’m sending you to Gaara. I’ve sent him a message just now telling him to get ready with a medic he trusts to treat your injuries and watch over you for me.”

“What about you?”

“I’ll summon Pace with the little chakra I have remaining and tell him to have his father reverse summon me. Even if Jiraiya could weasel the location out of the toads, the ferrets would maim him for stepping foot on their lands. Once I’ve recovered enough I’ll go through with the body seals modifications I had tinkered with before this went down, plus I had some new ideas for utilizing my territory and seals…and then there’s Akatsuki, I’ll need to draw their attention away from you and Gaara…”

“Naruto, you are planning to come to Suna…right?”

Naruto rolled up the scroll, replaced it in his body seal, and hugged her before reaching for her seal to activate the parallel array. “Thank you for bringing me to my senses and fighting with me, Fuu…and I’m sorry for dragging you through the mud with me.”

“Naruto, answer my—”A kunai landed next to them with an exploding tag. Fuu’s eyes widened as it became lit and she forced Naruto through the hole in the wall he made before he could trip the array. Her eyes became compounded as Choumei forced it’s chakra out of her as the blast went off.

The rain beat against Naruto’s back as he moaned from the shockwave of the blast. There was a buzz in the Kyuubi jinchuuriki’s ears and the world was blurred as he struggled to realign his body and stand. He felt liquid heat on the side of his face and wiped it with his hand to see blood…but it wasn’t his.

Kit, to your right!” Kurama roared. Naruto shockingly looked over to his blood drenched lover as the green coat of chakra faded. She was covered in patches of blood with stone fragments sticking out at various points of her body.

“Fuu!” Naruto rushed over to hold her in his arms and pulled out the stone fragments. Her pulse was still strong and she was vaguely conscious as her dulling orange eyes peered towards him. Naruto’s mind raced to think of what he could do. “I-I’m sorry, I…”

It shouldn’t have come to this. If he had fled earlier…If he had just gave up…If he had done so many things differently…

Hinata looked on at his miserable form as the rain poured onto both of the jinchuuriki. She thought seeing the one who tainted the clan in anguish would begin to appease her. The voice screamed for her to finish him. Yet…why did it hurt to look at him?

Hinata took a single step forward and Naruto registered her presence. Seeing the explosive tags and kunai in her hand his eyes became slits and he snarled as he placed Fuu on ground gently. “I will never forgive youYOU DAMN HYUUGA!

Naruto lunged at the girl with a Grand Rasengan in hand as wooden binding emerged from below and entrapped him. A senbon dipped in a sleeping agent plunged into the Hyuuga’s neck to render her unconscious as Shizune rushed over to check on the fallen jinchuuriki while Naruto thrashed against his bindings. Yamato dashed forward to slip the necklace onto Naruto while he was unable to move.

Inside Naruto’s Mindscape

Naruto was pulled into the valley that made up his altered mindscape for Kurama to roam in. Overcome with grief he was on his knees and clutching his heart in pain. He took no notice when darkness gathered in front of him until it took on a familiar shape. “Despite everything you’ve done…you still couldn’t protect what you said you would…

Naruto looked up at the form of an imitation that faced him. “Who are you…?”

Dark Naruto grinned like the regular Naruto would. “I am a shadow. Your true self hidden beneath that mask of the forgiving clown you wear to make others like you better.

“Why am I here, I have to get back and—”

And what?” Dark Naruto shook his head. “One of the women you love lies dying now and we couldn’t even avenge her. Konoha has gone too far to be forgiven.

“Shizune-nee can help her—”

Shizune-nee might heal her, but then they’ll take her back to the village. Then what? Will she be persecuted like we were? Tormented mentally and physically until she reverts back to how she was before she met us? Or worse, they’ll kill her and take Choumei.

“Granny wouldn’t—”


“That’s not…it’s…” Naruto trailed off, unable to refute his own words that were hidden beneath the surface of his soul.

STOP LYING TO OURSELVES!” The words continued to echo inside Naruto’s heart. “She is the source of all that has happened to us! Yet we lie and say hold no blame towards her. No more lies!

Naruto was silent.

I’ll help you embrace the truth this time…” Dark Naruto twisted the seal on Naruto’s stomach and bleeding shadows flooded the plains that made up his mindscape. Kurama exerted a bit of his control over the domain that Naruto had given him by tampering with the seal and made it so the swamp stayed out of the plain area he was lying in as he watched on. “Let’s destroy the source of our pain. Everything this twisted ninja system has given birth to. The Hyuuga will be the first, and Konoha with the Hag, then the great nations will follow.

Naruto became consumed by the darkness lurking in his heart and the bleeding shadows began to creep over his body to consume him. It swallowed his body up to his torso slowly and he began to sink into the dark swamp, where his consciousness would be forever suppressed in the bliss of darkness.

He would no longer feel anything. No pain. No misery. No guilt. No false hope.

In a trance he resigned to his fate as Kurama looked on from his patch of untouched land. Is this all you were capable of Kit? Is your own darkness too great for you to bear?

Golden chains erupted out of nowhere and pulled the hopeless jinchuuriki out of the dark swamp. A form cradled him in her arms as Dark Naruto looked on until the figure emerged as a woman with red hair that flowed like fire down her backside.

“You’ve gotten so big since I last saw you,” the woman hugged him tightly and cried lightly. “You probably don’t remember me since it’s been so long, but my chakra was only able to appear if you needed it…”

Hmph.” Kurama lightly scoffed as he watched the reunion. “Kushina…

“Naruto…?” Kushina separated to look at her son’s emotionless face when she didn’t get a response. Before she could say anything further the darkness in the form of her son made himself known.

Ah…Mother,” Dark Naruto slapped himself on the forehead. “We forgot that Father sealed both of your chakra inside the seal. Either way—” demonic chains erupted from his body and forced Kushina apart from her son “—we don’t mind if you want to hang around as we have a few words for you, but don’t interfere with us.”

“Who…what are you?” Kushina asked the darkness in the form of her son.

What are you talking about?” Dark Naruto looked slightly puzzled. “We are your son that you left to bear your burden. We are one and the same, I am his true self and he is my mask. We form the being known as Naruto Uzumaki.”

“No…” Kushina shook her head as she looked at Dark Naruto before staring murderously at Kurama. “This isn’t my son! What have you done, Kyuubi!”

Me?” Kurama snorted. “I’ve done nothing. This all your son—the hatred, the rage, and sorrow, it tainted the chakra he took from me even further. The one controlling this body is the part of himself he’s worked so hard to contain. Just sit back and enjoy the show.

In Reality

Hinata, what have you done…Shino wondered as he lifted her unconscious form and tried to apologize to Jiraiya as they looked on at the struggling jinchuuriki. “My apologies, I did not expect she would have attacked me to escape.”

Jiraiya shook his head. “Save it for later, right now—”

Naruto’s skin peeled off and a wave of demonic chakra flung the ANBU wood-user backwards before he could use the necklace or slip it on. His eyes became sunken pools as the wood broke apart and the Uzumaki fell onto all fours. He howled a demonic roar unlike before and the earth shook beneath him.

“Shizune, get back!” Jiraiya yelled and the medic-nin grabbed her patient and jumped back before a pillar of darkness rose into the air and parted the clouds to stop the rain. The force of the energy release sent her flying as she cradled the injured jinchuuriki and they landed on the ground, just out of range of the huge crater with the second stage jinchuuriki at the center.

Shizune was partially stunned at the girl’s resilience. If it weren’t for the fact that Choumei forcibly gave her a coat at the last second, her body wouldn’t have withstood the close ranged blast. She would live if Shizune could focus on healing her.

“Na…ruto…” Fuu whispered as Shizune began treating her again. “Don’t…”

But now a bigger issue had arisen as the dust cleared. Six Tails had formed along with a skeleton. The mouth of the skull opened and revealed the empty eyes as they locked onto a single target. Its first target was the unconscious Hyuuga.

“Shino!” Sasuke called out to the Aburame from his summoning. “Get on now! He’s going after Hinata!”

In Kusagakure

We’ve found it…” Zetsu told their creator who looked on in the distance at the castle-like prison. “The Box of Ultimate Bliss.”

More Notes:

That whole Iruka being stronger than Anko thing is actually backed by their current Stats on the Wikia. He really is special jounin material at least. He’s just too nice for the job.

As for Dark Naruto…All those dark feelings have to go somewhere and since Kurama isn’t actively trying to corrupt him anymore…Think Persona’s Shadows before the boss fight basically…He’s going to be a jerkass with valid points.

The conclusion to the battle will be coming next chapter.

Non – Canon Jutsu:

Death Technique: Requiem Soul Play – A variation of the canon Death Technique: Returning Soul Play, Kabuto controls numerous corpses that look like him and attack in his stead.

Canon Jutsu (I count Games, Anime, Manga as canon):

8 Trigrams Mountain Crusher – The user hits the target at close range with a powerful wave of chakra and sends them flying into a rock or wall.

8 Branches – Orochimaru’s greatest technique, he becomes a giant eight headed snake that is even larger than Manda.

Black Spider Lily – After using Shadow Sewing the user manipulates them to bring the enemies closer to them. (Rat)

Body Shedding – Orochimaru sheds his skin to recover from all injuries at a great chakra cost.

Crystal Armor: Guren covers her skin with a thin sheet of crystal to protect herself from physical attacks and can only be noticed by light reflecting off it.

Crystal Style: Burst Crystal Falling Dragon – The user crystallizes materials in the area and then turns it into a dragon. Several can be made and manipulated at once.

Crystal Style: Crystal Needles – Creates long bright pink and white crystals that shoot at the target at extremely high speeds with pinpoint accuracy.

Crystal Style: Growing Crystal Thorns – Guren creates a growing thorn-like crystals that she can manipulate to grow towards her targets direction.

Crystal Style: Jade Crystal Blade – Guren creates a blade made of crystal on her arm. (Horse-Ox-Boar-Snake)

Crystal Style: Shuriken Wild Dance – Guren surrounds herself in crystal particles and condensing them into numerous shuriken that rain towards an opponent. (Ram)

Crystal Style: Crystal Imprisonment Wave – Encases a swarm of opponents in crystal in the air.

Crystal Style: Crimson Fruit – Creates a dome of crystal to surround a target. It is highly durable from both external and internal attacks.

Crystal Style: Jade Crystal Prison – Completely encases target in crystal. If crystal is shattered the victim is shattered as well unless body is surrounded by chakra.

Earth Style: Shadow Clone – Creates a shadow clone made of mud that can reform into its original shape and hold enemy in place.

Formation of Ten Thousand Snake – Countless snakes crawl out of Orochimaru’s mouth and hunt down the enemy making defense and evasion meaningless since they can bite with poisoned fangs, extend Kusanagi-like blades from their mouth, and when they gather together they become a defensive wall.

Gathering of Snakes – If Orochimaru is somehow bisected by the opponent, snakes come from the halves and bring him back together.

Hiding in Water – The user blends with water to be undetected by the enemy. Even water as shallow as a puddle can be used.

Hiding with Camouflage – Allows user to control how light is reflected around their body with chakra inflections while erasing scent and shadow and usable on any terrain.

Lightning Style: Earth Flash – User creates a wave of electricity from their hands and the user can vary the power from a small shock to a stream of lightning that can rip through solid rock. (Boar-Ram-Snake-Horse-Dragon)

Mind Transfer Clone – The user transfers their consciousness into more than one target and takes control of the bodies for a short time but leaves the main body defenseless. It can travel in a curved line.

Sealed Bomb Square Release – An array of explosive tags is set up and will detonate if the opponent makes a move.

Shadow Sewing – Shadows materialize and bind opponents by making several sharp needle-like tendrils that can attack multiple enemies at once and take away their ability to move by sewing them with shadows, but since it is a physical attack, target will be hurt. (Rat-Bird)

Slithering Snake Mode – Orochimaru turns the lower half of his body into a snake’s tail to move faster.

Sword of Kusanagi: Longsword of the Sky – Allows Orochimaru to levitate the Sword of Kusanagi and attack foes at mid-range while emitting a bright blue light and controlled by finger movements.

Wind Monk Banishment #6

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 6

Fanfic Recommendations: Consequences of an Honest Enemy by Bleedndreamz, Lavender Fox by Foresaken Darklost, & Smile before he’s gone by kouken9493 should last you for a while.

Notes: I’ve taken down the rant note since it’s been up long enough for people to actually read it and will post it in my profile so that I don’t have to go through it again. Let this be a one-time thing.

Also, I have learned several of you are masochists via PM. You know I was actually kidding when I asked right?

Still I’ll keep my word and post the chapter but I couldn’t think of any battle music…except maybe: I don’t wanna to die by Hollywood Undead

Chapter 6: Battle of Old Uzushio

The battle had begun.

The crescent blades of chakra rained down towards the group who halted their advance to deal with the incoming attacks. The way they were spread only a few would hit, but they would cleave through those who couldn’t defend.

Asuma Sarutobi pulled out his trench knives and chakra flowed though them as blades formed and flowed smoothly as they severed the crescent fangs that targeted Chouji, Ino, Tenten, Sakura, and Sai.

Kakashi and Sasuke’s bloodline gave them an advantage in seeing the flow of the chakra and they dodged while the Hyuugas could block the fired blades with their advanced chakra control that allowed them to coat their extremities in a shroud of dense chakra unlike Rock Lee and Might Gai, who avoided with a rough grace befitting their style.

“Water Style: Exploding Water Shock Wave!” Fuu’s clones bellowed as an enormous amount of water left their mouths and rushed towards the halted group as a climbing set of marathon waves that became a single colossal tsunami while the original Fuu slammed her hand onto the ground for the second part she’d play and a chakra web expanded as far as she could make it within reasonable range. “Hidden Art: Insect Gathering!”

Naruto pulled out a scroll from the bandolier and unraveled it towards the tidal wave that was ready to descend onto the ninja but easily blocked considering they had at least two water-users and a wind-user. The sealing array’s center was marked with the kanji of Ice and he applied chakra. “Unleash!”

Kunai with Ice Bombs rained towards the wave and discharged into blossoming crystalline figures that were swallowed and expanded. Ice formed and rolled with the waves, consuming more of the water into a frozen slurry that began to stagnate until it stood tall between the two factions.

“A wall of ice…?” Ino muttered as she looked at the massive obstacle.

Chakra gathered into Naruto’s blade and formed a dense shroud that consumed the blade. He swung the blade and drew a thick crescent arc in the air that flew towards the wall. “GRAND DESTRUCTION STRIKE!”

“No!” Neji alerted them. “He’s going to drop it on us!”

“Asuma, Sasuke, target the portion directly above us!” Kakashi said as he began his seals. The arc crashed into the middle portion and it exploded in a rain of heavy and large ice chunks that barreled towards the group that had clustered together.

“Fire Style: Great Fireball / Wind Style: Great Breakthrough!” the two fireballs connected and ruptured as the wind fed them; the combined elements flared. The chunks turned from a solid state into a liquid state from the roaring flame that made the remaining portion leak a warm drizzle.

“The second volley!” Naruto launched countless chains with spear tips from his body and angled them in an arc to rain from the sky and skewer the Konoha group using quantity over quality. The chains blocked a portion of the cloudy sky and casted a shadow as they rained down.

“Ino, look out!” Chouji covered Ino’s body with his enlarged arms as the chain ends deeply grazed him with the armor of the Akamichi deflecting them and the weakened but massive numbers of chains keeping him from being run through completely as blood became a fine mist that clung to the Yamanaka’s face from her protector.

Sai and Sasuke took to the air and rose above the wave of chains, Tenten pulled out a metal Bo Staff from her weapons scroll and batted away the incoming spear ends, while Yamato created a wooden half-dome to shelter the rest with the exception of Rock Lee and Might Gai…who were running on top of them and avoiding the death from above?

“Let’s go Lee!” the older man told his apprentice. “The time for the counter attack has come!”

Tenten put away her Bo Staff and tossed an Exploding Sphere to Sakura from a scroll. “I need your arm strength!”

The Haruno chambered her arms and took aim before letting out a battle cry and lobbing it towards the jinchuuriki pair where it shot forward and exploded in a rain of sharp weaponry that the bun-haired young woman was fond of while Naruto dissipated the original chains.

New chains emerged from Naruto’s body and tunneled through the ground to form a barrier around them until the downpour ended. Naruto dissipated the barrier and bit his thumb to wipe the blood over the seal on his arm, while Fuu made hand seals.

SUMMONING!” the jinchuuriki pair summoned their respective aids.

Next to Naruto was a ferret that was his equal in size with an orange head band that had twin tails that danced in the wind on his head. Its ten claws were far more lethal and sharp thanks to its own training; where its kin used weapons, it used its own body to strike down an enemy.

Above Fuu was a Hercules beetle that was thrice her height and seven times as thick with sharpened upper and lower horns that were designed to fight by picking up the enemy and slamming them down onto the ground or crushing them.

You’ve summoned me, Uzumaki?” the ferret looked out at the destruction before him. “Unlike the time you called me and my family to the Land of Iron, I sense the stench of battle both past and present.

“Monk Ferret, your target is the older Bushy Brows!” Naruto pointed to the man. “The man is Konoha’s Taijutsu Expert! You want a fight; he’ll give it to you! Don’t hold back!”

We’ll see!” the ferret dashed on all fours towards the incoming man. Its claws flashed as they lashed towards the taijutsu expert’s throat in order to rip it out and kill the man if he couldn’t keep up. The claws were dodged and the large ferret smirked at the challenge as their fight began.

“He-sama,” Fuu pointed towards the group in general. “These people have invaded our home and our territory!”

UNACCEPTABLE!” the beetle was enraged as most of its species was highly territorial.

“I’ll join you and take out the flyers!” Choumei’s chakra formed a loose coat around Fuu and was sucked into her cylinder to feed the beetles inside as she sprouted wings and took flight with the summoning.

“BE CAREFUL FUU!” Naruto yelled as he readied his chakra shield and sword to face the first of the chuunin while the others came face to face with their beetle summoning.

“Impressive size, especially considering that males are normally smaller than females of that particular species.” Shino noted as he saw the huge beetle land with a mighty crash to confront those who encroached onto its summoner’s territory.

PREPARE YOURSELVES INVADERS—” the beetle warned them before its horn came crashing towards them. “FOR THE HONOR OF THE ISLE OF INSECTS, I SHALL DRIVE YOU OUT!

“Wood Style: Domed Wall!” a half shell of thick wood appeared to block the attack while Yamato went through hand seals for a secondary attack. Wooden spikes emerged from the ground and speared towards the beetle. “Wood Style: Mallet!”

“…That Island actually exists…” Shino said with a slightly higher voice as the huge beetle batted away the wood spikes. “I thought it was a fairy tale.”

“We’re being surrounded!” Neji took a stance. “Insects are beginning to swarm us!”

A multicolored tide of various insect life forms began to swallow the ground as they advanced towards the interlopers. The air was filled with the buzzing of bees and wasps that came at beckoning of the jinchuuriki. Their target was the group at large…but more of them were directed towards Hinata.

Hinata focused chakra outside her body and swept her hand to launch a barrage of Chakra Needles that split through the flying insects before she emitted a stream of chakra from her palms that became razor sharp. Her arms became a blur as they created a dome of strands that cut through anything that approached before she broke off into a sprint to confront the Kyuubi jinchuuriki with her cousin ahead of her.

“Asuma, Yamato, and I will handle the beetle and bugs,” Kakashi told the others. “Gai can handle the large ferret. Ino, treat Chouji! Everyone else will go and confront Naruto and Fuu, but be careful!”

“Let’s go, Sai!” Sasuke clung his summoning’s backside using chakra in his feet while Sai drew a swarm of ink birds that went with him into the skies to confront the incoming airborne jinchuuki who cloned herself.

“AKAMARU, LET’S DO THIS! FANG OVER FANG!” the Inuzuka and his dog spiraled into the sky towards their target that was clashing with Lee.

“I shall support Kiba.” Shino gave a small nod to Neji as he passed before going off to help his teammate. He would have to keep an eye on his cousin.

With Naruto

“LEAF HURRICANE!” a youthful voice cried out as he swung his foot towards the opponent. The blow made contact with a solid chakra shield and was halted as the flash of Naruto’s blade closed in on the speed freak known as Rock Lee. The Green Beast-in-training skidded back as he avoided the blade and Naruto went on the offensive.

Lee was the fastest and first to arrive. The user of only the Strong Fist style was at a disadvantage when confronting an enemy who used a weapon of chakra. A good strike would cleave through the teen like a hot kunai through paper…but that was only if he could connect.

Naruto pulled out a scroll and put chakra into it; kunai rained forward and sought to skewer the bowl-cut warrior. He wasn’t surprised that Lee avoided it all given it was a favorite tactic of his bun-haired teammate. Naruto tossed the scroll and stood at the ready.

Lee opened the first gate and slipped under Naruto’s guard with even more speed that before and delivered Leaf Rising Wind before bandages wrapped Naruto. He grabbed the jinchuuriki while he started to turn and fall. Naruto added extra chakra to the chakra chains that were already wrapped around his body and expanded it to a sphere to forcefully separate them.

“Let’s see you dodge in mid-air!” the sword was swung and crossed Lee’s stomach before they landed upright and the bowl-cut clutched his stomach to avoid having his intestines from spilling out. “Too shallow…”

Lee backed off when twin drills descended from above and ripped apart the space Naruto had once stood in by fragmenting the ground as a cloud of dust and debris obstructed their view. The twin drills pursued Naruto with vigor as he rolled behind a stone slab and fire a Destruction Strike to split them apart before slamming his hands into the ground creating chains underneath that burst out and speared into the nearby larger slabs of stones to use them like the end of flails in an attempt to crush the Inuzuka pair. On impact the drills tore through them at continued towards the jinchuuriki.

“Drill through this!” Naruto’s free hand crafted a Rasengan and charged. When the first one approached his chest he halted, slid his foot out to side, and pivoted to slam it into the twister and nail one of the pair and pushed him into the other and then into a section of the ruins.

There was silence for a few seconds until Kiba roared. “YOU BASTARD! YOU HURT AKAMARU!”

“Occupational hazard of a nin-dog,” Naruto shrugged nonchalantly as he turned to go deal with Lee with the Rasengan in his hand and hoped Kiba was still as easy to anger at his partner’s injury…he was right.

“ROTATING FANG!” the Inuzuka rotated along the horizontal axis and became a buzz saw that charged at Naruto with rage induced stupidity by attacking in a straight line—the easiest method to defend against. Naruto slid to the side before he slammed it into his side and launched him through the remains of what was probably a small home before dissipating the Rasengan and unraveling a purple scroll that he threw on the ground.

“DYNAMIC—” Naruto raised his bracer and activated the chakra shield to withstand the blow as Lee’s legs came around after he wrapped his injuries in bandages while Kiba and his partner burst from the rubble they were buried in. He stomped on the center of the sealing scroll that had the kanji for Poison on it and put chakra into it as the three of them were too close to escape.

“No screaming during sneak attacks…” Purple gas filled in the area around them in a plume as the Inuzuka, his companion, and the speed freak all fell to their knees choking on the toxic fumes. “I see why puppet-users rely on this stuff for close range fighters, but I doubt any of the others would have been hot-blooded enough to rush into a fight.”

Naruto raised his blade to kill them before the poison did when a voice called out—

“Hang on!” Tenten had pulled out a War Fan and swept it horizontally with chakra. A gale of wind was directed at Naruto and blew the poison away while it blinded and pushed him off his feet until he anchored himself into the ground with four chains.

He swung the blade towards the voice and let loose a Destruction Strike that severed the War Fan and turned to finish the poisoned trio when a black cloud of swarming insects came at him. The blade went into the cloud only to be eaten since it was made of pure chakra. He bit back a swear as the cloud spilt into numerous tendrils and lashed at him with the full intention of devouring his reserves no matter how long it took.

“Damn,” he noticed the shadow beneath his feet before he rolled away as his former teammate smashed into the ground and decimated the area in what could only be described as a localized earthquake before jumping back to the poisoned ninjas and nin-dog while the chakra eating bugs spiraled around them and formed a rotating dome.

“Hidden Art: Insect Jar,” the voice of the Aburame came from Shino standing next to the dome. “Do you not think that you are going too far? It will take some time for the poison you gave them to be cleaned out by my comrades and Sakura…We were not expecting that from you to be honest.”

“I warned you all!” another Destruction Strike was unleashed and split the Aburame in two…and it melted into a cloud of insects that rushed at Naruto without pause. “You of all people should understand how I feel considering most people avoid your clan like the plague—but at least you have an entire clan to fall back on!”

“Indeed,” a second voice came from behind him to reveal what he was sure was another insect clone. “We understand you very well, but we also approach things rationally and understand we are part of a balance. You must understand that you are crucial to the balance of power amongst the nations.”

“Balance my ass!” Naruto swiped his hand at the clone and released several Gale Shuriken which were subsequently devoured to unleash another group of insects that chased him. “If there was a damn balance, why have so many wars occurred since the First Hokage captured the Bijuu!”

“We can discuss the flaws in the system upon your return,” the insects gathered from all around and began to close in on Naruto as he created a chakra chain barrier anchored to the ground and Shino watched it be slowly devoured by the ravenous insects. “Hidden Art: Insect Sphere—they will drain your chakra until you are docile.”

“Uzumaki Custom: Exploding Dragon Strike!” Naruto unraveled a jutsu sealing scroll with the kanji for Fire while dropping his large barrier inside the sphere of insects and a dragonish being of fire emerged. It howled before erupting inside the cloud as Naruto’s armor expanded while he watched the insects be consumed by the flames and fall to the ground as ashes. “I doubt you can spare anymore of your colony on trying that again.”

The sky became aglow as the Uzumaki’s eyes shot skyward and saw Sasuke had decided to launch three Great Fireballs at him from above.

“Wind Infusion: Destruction Strike!” Naruto slashed at the incoming center fireball and went to clash with the weapon mistress of Konoha nearby as the wind strike ruptured the sphere shape and caused it to explode in a mass of fire that lit up the sky when the other two spheres detonated.

Sasuke rolled his eyes at the expected action before turning his attention back to Fuu.

With the Elite Jounin

Asuma took a deep breath as he inhaled and made the snake seal. “Wind Style: Dust Storm!”

He exhaled a combination of dust and gale winds in a stream towards the incoming insect life. The dust carried on the wind and grated against the small insects to quickly erode them away with the remains adding to the power of the technique. He wiped out swarm after swarm without pause.

“Water Style: Tearing Torrent!” a spiraling mass of water was crafted in Yamato’s hand and unleashed against the horde. It churned them until they were mashed or drowned before he avoided the giant beetle’s horn.

“Partial Expansion!” Chouji’s enlarged arms battered the side of the summoning and caused it to skid a little while the lacerations on his arms began to bleed again.

Kakashi used the opening to throw kunai with explosive notes beneath the beetle to flip it on its side and conserve chakra for dealing with Naruto. “Asuma! Now!”

“Fire Style:—” Asuma breathed a plume of chakra infused gunpowder that bellowed and engulfed the giant beetle while the others backed away and he bit down on the flint in between his teeth. The resulting spark ignited the gun-powder and consumed the summoning in a merciless flame. “—Burning Ash!”

URRRAAAGGH!” the summoning bellowed in agony and struggled to stand.

“He-sama!” three of Fuu’s clones fluttered over the burning summoning. “Water Style: Wild Water Wave!” they sprayed him with a mass of water to put out the flames before they robbed the summoning of its life. “Go back home, we’ll handle the rest!”

My…apologies…” the summoning weakly muttered before returning to its home in a plume of smoke.

Three kunai were launched by Ino and hit the clones of Fuu before she went over to check on Chouji. “Chouji, I told you not to go fight until I finished closing the injuries enough!”

“Shizune-senpai!” Sakura landed next to the medic-nin, who had finished bellowing out a poison cloud to kill the insects swarming the area next to her, while carrying Akamaru and Lee on her shoulders with her super-strength.

In the meantime on Gai’s end…

You’re not bad, human!” The Monk Ferret complimented his opponent as his claws attempted to tear him apart in a ferocious display of the ferret’s version of taijutsu. “I haven’t had a match like this in ages!

“Indeed, this is a most youthful battle!” Gai agreed. “However, I have a mission to complete! When your summoner is back in Konoha we shall let our flames of youth burn even brighter!”

Gai took a stance before accessing one of the Eight Gates…

With Naruto

“Naruto, stop!” Tenten’s chakra flowed into her staff in order to stand up to Naruto’s weapon, the chakra Monk’s Spade. It was swung towards his head for a debilitating strike. “We don’t want to hurt you! Akatsuki’s after you and we want to keep you safe!”

“SAFE?” the spade end of the weapon came down in an arc and cleaved through the Bo Staff. “You call a village the constant tried to kill you safe? I’d rather take my chances with Akatsuki!”

“Why?” Tenten pulled out twin Hook Swords and streamed chakra through them as she went on the offense again. She blocked the incoming crescent end of the weapon before catching it with the hook of the left blade and trapping it. Her right blade prepared to cut into his left shoulder.

“Because at least they can’t have more than a dozen members compared to a village of thousands and with them it isn’t personal but business—they don’t try to pawn off what happened in their pasts on their targets when they were children!” Naruto’s arm came up and the bracer produced the chakra shield. His Monk’s Spade dissipated and reformed into his blade. “Honestly, we’ve taken out two already. We’re doing fine!”

“But—” Tenten was cut off.

“Let me ask you, have you ever been so afraid that every day you’d be killed because of something you had no control over with everyone hating you for a reason you didn’t know!” the blade was swung backwards and Naruto turned to deliver an overhead crescent that would cut through the weapon mistress from the right shoulder to the opposite hip. It met with the chakra reinforced Hook Sword on the right that rose to clash and the blade was broken like fragile china against the floor. The only benefit was that Naruto’s blade was deflected enough that the cut only nicked her shoulder deep enough to draw blood and tear at some of the muscle.

“Have you ever been afraid that an explosive tag had been set right outside your door so if you stepped outside you’d die before you were a ninja?” the blade rose upwards in a outward crescent and knocked back Tenten’s left Hook Sword with enough force that her arm and fingers reverberated in pain.

“Have you ever been trapped inside a building as they set it on fire and watched it burn?” he gripped the sword with both hands and slashed straight down. The girl twisted with her blade slanted down at an angle to redirect Naruto’s. It shattered on impact with Naruto’s blade as she narrowly avoided it until he angled it and forced it back up.

The blade cut through the top half of her blouse diagonally and drew enough blood that it created a crimson trail in the air.

“Have you ever been nearly sacrificed on your damn birthday because some of those nutcases thought it would appease the souls of those who died the day I was born—only to be saved at the last minute by the Old Man!” his foot shot out and hit the weapon user in the stomach causing her to bend over.

“You think I want to kill all of you because you’re doing your jobs on Granny’s orders?” he swung the blade to take off her head as she fell into a roll and landed to the right. “I just wanted to be left alone with Fuu in my new home away from those bastards’ legacy!”

Tenten grasped at the wound on her chest and reached for her large weapon scroll while stepping back. A chain shot out of his hand and trapped her leg while she tried to move. She fell to the ground as Naruto approached with his blade ready to decapitate her.

“I won’t go back or let Fuu be taken; even if I have to kill all of you get the message across!” The blade closed in on Tenten’s neck—

“TENTEN!” a masculine voice briefly said as the blade connected with the back of Neji’s Hyuuga’s arm and his other hand was bracing the forearm. The arm was covered in a shroud of dense chakra to offset the Uzushio chakra blade—but not enough to stop it from drawing blood from a direct stop instead of deflecting it.

“You are in range of my divination—” Neji batted away the sword as Naruto’s Chakra Chain: Armor covered his body in a light translucent shroud. He felt his fingers striking the barrier and was forced back, but the chakra was dispersed on contact.

The chakra didn’t enter his body! Neji realized as Naruto expanded the armor to a sphere that pushed him away to an arm’s length and infused wind chakra into his blade as he reduced the barrier to skin level again and counter attacked. That coating stopped the injection of chakra!

“Your Gentle Fist is just that—” Naruto said as his blade danced in the air while trying to take off the jounin’s head and limbs. The Hyuuga spun into an 8 Trigrams Rotation to avoid being caught by the chains that came from under the ground but were detected by his eyes. “—it’s too soft to get past my guard!”

Neji leaped back and grabbed Tenten to get her to a medic while a blur rushed in and confronted Naruto.

“Prepare yourself, Kyuubi!” Hinata rushed forward.

“Your cousin couldn’t harm me so what makes you think can!” Naruto said a bit arrogantly…before she slipped into his guard with her hand covered in a Chakra Scalpel. It drew a circular arc around her low body as she spun while Naruto pulled back upon feeling a sensation from Hinata severing an artery and the fox patching it up and yelling at him to look down.

There was cut in his armor that drew in more chakra to repair itself. “You were saying Kyuubi?”

“I’M NOT THE KYUUBI!” Naruto prepared to cut down the young woman.

With Fuu

Sai’s brush felt heavy as he scrambled to draw up another flock of birds that would add to the countless numbers littering the skies above the ruins of Old Uzushio to combat the clones of the jinchuuriki and her beetles.

“Fire Style: Phoenix Flower!” the last Uchiha remaining in Konoha spat out eight fireballs that curved and darted towards the green-haired jinchuuriki with the ferret on her shoulder while leaving a distortion in the air from the heat.

“Water Style: Water Trumpet!” Fuu spun and fired the burst of water to extinguish flames as her clones charged to strike down the Uchiha from the front.

“Chidori Senbon!” the lighting needles rained in a wide spread and filled the sky with sight of exploding clones and lightning that connected and crafted a net that separated the clouds from the earth and darted through the majority of the clones and beetles.

“Where’s the original!” he yelled to himself more than anyone else when he noticed that she had vanished during the initial barrage.

“Uchiha!” Sasuke looked up to see a Water Slicing Blade streaming lightning chakra coming for his head and raised his lightning-streaming blade to meet it head on. “Now!” the jinchuuriki clone yelled and two blurs sped towards him from the left and right aiming to take off his legs.

“Damn!” Sasuke cut the hold on his summoning and flipped upwards as it flew off while slamming his foot into the Fuu that restrained his blade and swinging it around in order to cut through the two others. As he fell to earth he saw the original speeding towards him with the lightning armed blade of water.

Sharingan—it was all that allowed him to match her speed as they clashed blades during his decent. Her muscle movements gave away her intentions and as he fell and his blade clashed against hers until she pushed him downwards with a kick and the clones flew towards him.

“Chidori: Sharp Spear!” the spear of lighting shot towards the skyward jinchuuriki’s clones who rolled to the side. His chakra poured into the spear and it branched out like a tree with sadistic limbs that skewered the incoming clones while the original dodged as he turned upright and whistled for his summoning to swoop beneath him as his clung to it with chakra into his feet once again.

Fuu halted her airborne chase with the ferret clinging to her for dear life and enjoying the ride when she saw the Monk Ferret get kicked across the lake and into the fallen tower in the center.

Cousin!” Pace yelled as his kin vanished in a plume of smoke while the Green Beast was on the hunt and heading towards Naruto.

Suddenly Fuu found wooden bindings coming as she twisted and moved before they could bind her. She looked down to see the wood-user’s hand had become the wooden restraints before they curved and coiled to entrap her even as she rose into the sky.

“Pace, we’re going to a relay point! Cover your eyes and get ready to summon Naruto!” she told the ferret as she summoned another clone and dispelled it to share the plan with the other clones who began to channel chakra into their lungs and exhaled the shining scale powder over the battlefield while she flew off.

In the Distance

Orochimaru chuckled at the sight of explosion and destruction being unleashed as the sky and the ground were filled with stench and sound of battle. “How nostalgic…”

“It would appear that they are putting up an excellent fight against Konoha so far…” Kabuto tilted his glasses while fingering a scroll that held his customized corpses. “But that’s only until the Elite Jounin get involved.”

“Well said Kabuto…” Orochimaru looked over to his crystal-user who looked at the scene impassively. “Remember Guren, kill the Nanabi…if you do I’ll reward you by letting you see the boy again with Impure World Resurrection…”

“Yes, Orochimaru-sama…” the young woman responded.

On the Other Side

Itachi looked at the sight of the battle in the distance—in particular his brother taking to the skies and doing combat with the Nanabi jinchuuriki’s clones. The sight of lightning crackling in the air matched the ever darkening skies that signaled the beginning of a thunderstorm.

He glanced over to where his partner was…only to see him gone.

“Of course…” Itachi muttered stoically as he prepared to complete his mission…and maybe greet his brother to see if his hatred was still strong.

Back with Naruto

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t banking on the fact that they wouldn’t try to kill me but she’s not holding back! Naruto put together as he backed away and fired Gale Needles to riddle the Hyuuga with. If one party was trying to kill while the other has to capture alive, the one aiming to kill has the advantage.

“Why do you hate me so much you tried to kill Fuu? At least with Sakura I could understand it was because of her being a fangirl, and the other’s are doing their job, but what about you? Who did you lose to the attack to make you loathed me so much you’d risk losing everything on killing me?”

“What you stole from me wasn’t a person!” Chakra Needles met the Gale Needles and struck them perfectly with precision achieved thanks to the Byakugan. The young woman closed in and he bought down the blade only to watch as it was avoided with a half-step. Her first hand came down over his wrists and the other was sent towards his heart.

“Then what the hell did I ever do to you!” he forced the Hyuuga to jump back as chains erupted from his body to spear through her as she escaped them with a few gashes on her arms before darting forward. “I barely even talked to you and even went so far as to defeat your cousin for you!”

“It was only because of you that I was hurt in the first place!” twin chakra scalpel-shrouded hands danced in a fluid circular motion that began nicking at the armor as the chakra blade flowed swiftly with experience that was earned through hard work and their owners began a contest of styles. The entire environment became their arena as the two went at each other. “You just wanted to look better and used me to do so!”

Naruto somersaulted over the girl and swung the blade to split her skull as she pulled back and he fell into a roll before he stood again. “That makes no sense—I encouraged you; I didn’t expect him to try to kill you!”

“Manipulator! Deceiver!” the Hyuuga crouched and swept at his legs while he jumped and rotated to land parallel to the ground on the remnants of a broken pillar four times as tall as he was while his blade came in a rising arc towards the girl’s neck and was narrowly avoided by her applying chakra to her feet and leaning back deeply with her flexible body. “Pay for your sins!”

“You make it sound like I was a bad ex-boyfriend!” Naruto jumped further up the pillar and sent a Destruction Strike down.

“You’ve mocked me for the last time!” she sliced through the attack and roared as she ascended the pillar to aim a two-finger Gentle Fist thrust towards his head and destroy his higher brain functions with intent to strike the heart afterwards.

The Uzushio blade was swung down and met with her shrouded hand…and the blade was severed. This was difference in chakra control between them. Less than ten years versus over a decade of control and manipulation. The addition of the chakra scalpels merely added to the threat of the sharpened chakra.

“I have no idea what you’re going on about—” Naruto put a bit of chakra into a body storage seal and a second rod appeared that he swung diagonally upwards while crafting the blade. “Nor do I even care at this point!”

A blue arc was drawn in the air as a second blade cut through the Hyuuga’s body in the moment of surprise…only to be replaced with a substitution technique and her sliced jacket. Naruto reversed the grip on his blade and jammed in under his arm to stab behind him where he guessed she would appear at.

The Hyuuga twisted and the blade cut her shirt around the stomach area as she released the chakra-hold she had on the vertical surface. Her chakra-scalpel covered left hand was swiped towards his neck—the jugular vein—as she fell in an attempt to cut through it.

Naruto’s body moved in order to avoid the strike. His arm was bought up in arc and the butt end of the second seal rod was slammed into the hand to deflect it while he reformed the blade on the first rod and swung the blade towards her head. It drew blood as it cut into her forehead and took off a tuft of her hair alone thanks to her dexterity as she landed.

Damn her flexibility…Naruto’s mentally swore. I’ll have to kick it up a notch.

Naruto released his hold on the pillar and slammed the ends of the seal rods together and connected them to make a dual-bladed sword. He twirled it as he fell and cut through the air and towards the Hyuuga who avoided by jumping back. Naruto charged.

The blades waltzed as Naruto spun and swiped at the Hyuuga’s legs to cut them from underneath her but were avoided by a back flip. They came around again to take off her head but were ducked under. The final strike came around as he turned and swiped at her chest and she took a step back.

Naruto’s foot was shrouded in wind chakra as he used the rotation to go into a backside Gale Kick. It connected with the Hyuuga’s abdomen and she spat out a mouthful of blood that stained her black shirt before he followed up with a slash to her head that was narrowly blocked by her palms coated in chakra.

Naruto released one of his hands and used the opening and momentum to strike with a Gale Fist to her face as the Hyuuga shielded with her free arm shrouded in chakra. She went flying into another barely stable stone slab that she broke through in a spray of stone and dust.

He dashed forward and separated the chakra blades as he swooped in to finish her. “It’s over!”

Twin blades descended upon the fallen kunoichi and blood flew in the air in thin mist that spattered against his armor of chakra.

“Damn…you!” a strained voice came out.

Kiba Inuzuka’s blood dripped from the chakra blades as he cradled Hinata’s unconscious body in his arms with a huge gash on the left and right sides of his back. His body trembled as Naruto’s blades knew no hesitation when they came back around while streaming wind chakra to kill the two clan heirs—

“SEVERE LEAF HURRICANE!” Naruto was flying before he knew what happened. Something hard and fast struck him and sent him through several pieces of rubble as he tumbled through the air. Several of his ribs were smashed on impact and he could feel the pain exploding through his body.

He rolled on the ground before struggling to his feet and coughing blood. His armor had been shattered by the blunt force of the blow that he couldn’t see. Even with accelerated healing, the damage would take minutes to heal properly as he stood once again.

Feeling a sense of terror coming from the front, he swung the blades only for the form of Might Gai to appear above the point where they intersected. The man had driven off his summoning and came to complete his mission. Naruto rotated and his blades flashed as they drew crossing arcs that cut through the space of the enemy in front of him to find no resistance.

Naruto’s legs were taken from underneath him before he could react and he rose into the air. “LEAF RISING WIND!” the second strike from below sent him higher. Naruto’s body ached from the blows that spread like fire inside of him and he could no longer defend himself from.

“Your flames of youth are out of control and you have gone too far, so let us end this before someone gets burned!” a voice came from behind Uzumaki and he found the taijutsu monster beneath him using Leaf Dancing Shadow. It was followed by a powerful back fist and Naruto was sent flying into the lake across Old Uzushio and a pillar of water rose up on impact that could be seen all over.

“Gloup—!” Naruto spat up blood as he pulled himself to the surface using the water-walking exercise. The blood was diluted inside the water and vanished as it spread further out.

His fox features were far more defined and his eyes red and slits. He held no illusions that he would survive past this point without accessing Kurama’s chakra for both power and healing. He was covered in a coat of crimson chakra that had yet to form a cloak and tail when he heard the sound of air parting as the Green Beast came for him.

Naruto prepared to fight the monster when an orange flash teleported him away before the Green Beast struck again.

“Where did he—” Gai noticed a flare shining in the air from Kakashi’s location. “Time to regroup.”

The Green Beast took off to join the others.

With Naruto & Fuu

Naruto looked around on edge with his blades at the ready until Fuu called for him.

“Easy Naruto,” Fuu whispered as she looked at her lover’s broken form. His face had been badly swollen from where the back hand hit him, sweat dotted his brow while the rest of him was soaked and blood was trailing from his lips. “I had Pace summon you once I saw that man in green come after you.”

“Fuu, you’re ok—” he fell to his knees and lightly covered the point where the Green Beast first struck. “That guy is a damn monster…the armor and the first blow…honestly, he can’t be human with just taijutsu.”

“Let me see, now!” Fuu grabbed his shirt and lifted it to reveal the bluish-purple mass of skin with bits of sharp white sticking out of it. Fuu’s pupils became compounded glowed menacing green. She let out a low snarl that was demonic than anything before Naruto placed his hand on her cheek.

“It’s…fine!” Naruto put on a strained smile with his crimson eyes and slits as pupils. “Kurama’s working on it and he’s the fastest when it comes to healing; it’ll be healed in a few minutes’ tops. What about you?”

“They haven’t really touched me yet…” she lightly stroked his whisker marks in affection. “The wood-user is going to be trouble though…”

“A relative of Granny’s?” he alluded to the fact that the Senju are the only ones who should be able to do that.

“Maybe…?” Fuu shrugged.

“Well the only good thing is that the info I had on everyone who I was grouped with was accurate for the most part: The Hyuugas still fight close-ranged and lack normal jutsu or any elements, Shino uses bugs that eat chakra but burn easily, Sakura seems to have taken a back seat to attacking but instead healing the fallen, Kiba is still hot-headed and for some reason Hinata seems to hate me and by extension you—avoid her unless you can nail her from the distance with a mid-ranged attack…make damn sure it’s fatal.”

“Shouldn’t we try to take a hostage?”

“No,” Naruto told her coldly. “We’d have to waste the effort to keep them alive for negotiating and as sad as it is my worth as a jinchuuriki is far greater than anyone else in the village. Otherwise, Dad wouldn’t have sealed Kurama inside me and sacrificed himself to the Shinigami.”

I’m surprised Kit,” Kurama chimed in. “You have basically given those you once considered allies a death sentence.

I bear most of them no ill-will, but I have the right to defend myself with Fuu and they won’t stop coming after me until their numbers are too low or Granny calls them off…Naruto claimed. This isn’t personal, I’d rather they lived and didn’t come after me or discovered this place, but I won’t hold back—there’s too much at stake.

“Naruto,” Fuu snapped him out of his mental conversation. “One of the surviving little ones told me they’ve all gathered in one of the wood-user’s domes near the trap.”

“Alright,” Naruto walked forward as Kurama was nearly half-finished healing his injuries. “Let’s bury them and pick off the medics first.”

“Hold on until you’re healed completely…” Fuu created a clone and gave Pace to her. “Pace, I want you to stay with the clone and move to the second spot. The Uchiha probably figured out that only the original would have you and we can’t risk a disadvantage…”

Fuu gave Naruto a quick glance. “We only came to check out the island for two weeks and this happens…”

“I warned you what my luck was like when I was on missions for them,” he shrugged before narrowing his eyes. “You knew what you were getting into. Still, I don’t want to force you any further so—”

“Naruto, if you tell me to leave or activate that array before I’m no longer able to fight, I will never forgive you and you will never touch me again…” she warned him. “Me or Kanna!

Checkmate…” Kurama snorted. “You are as whipped as your father, Kit…In fact, have her grow out her hair and dye it to match your mother’s just for kicks.

With the Konoha Group

“Damage report,” Kakashi ordered.

“Well, Lee has a deep cut across his stomach and was poisoned along with Akamaru, who has a few broken ribs from the Rasengan, when he stupidly decided to try to attack after getting his stomach cut open!” Sakura held back the desire to hit the boy for his actions while treating him…smacking him around could come later.

“Indeed Lee, that was an incredible reckless thing for you to do!” Gai made himself known. “Fighting a challenge is all well and good, but killing yourself like that was simply foolish. You shall atone with—”

“We can get into punishments later,” Kakashi stated factually. “Continue Sakura.”

Sakura sighed. “Kiba has it worse since he pushed himself and has damage to his trapezius and latissimus dorsi muscles, his ribs are broken, and he’s been poisoned the worst because he moved around more to intercept Naruto and didn’t let Shino’s bugs drain the majority of it—He won’t be doing fighting for weeks without the risk of tearing the muscles and recovering from the residual poison even after he goes to the hospital.”

“Is—” Kiba bit back a grunt and looked at Hinata with concern while Shizune worked on him. “Is Hinata okay?”

“I can still fight.” Hinata said firmly. “These injuries are nothing.”

“Had Kiba not reached you in time, they would have been quite fatal,” Shino stated coldly before turning to Shizune. “His clan’s style relies on those particular muscles greatly considering how they fight. I am grateful you are giving him your utmost attention.”

“It’s my fault for not being able to convince Naruto-kun…” Shizune shook her head and wiped away a tear. “Hinata-chan still has a nasty bruise on her face along with the minor lacerations on her body and her arm’s ulna bone was cracked, plus that blow to her abdomen did some damage as well, but she can still fight with the quick attention I gave her after I healed Tenten-chan enough for Ino-chan to follow up.”

It was the Kyuubi’s fault…all of it…Hinata repeated in her head like a mantra among the second voice, but she could still appreciate what he did. “Thank you Kiba-kun…”

“Anything for you Hinata…” Kiba said with a smile…until Akamaru made soft groan that called him whipped. He wisely chose not to translate that.

“Naruto isn’t doing this because he holds anything against us…” Tenten grunted. “I-I think he’s honestly terrified of returning to the village because of his past…or worse, what the village would do with Fuu.”

“Can Chouji and Tenten still fight?” Shikamaru asked while still bound and in the barrier next to them.

“Yeah,” Ino told her teammate and Chouji nodded. “Chouji had some deep lacerations that I’ve mended and Tenten was cut across the shoulder and chest somewhat deeply, but she’ll be fine as long as she doesn’t move around too much and open the wounds again.”

“Did anyone manage to do any actual damage to Naruto and Fuu?”

“I am fairly certain several of his ribs might have been broken and my back fist with the blow to the water would have made a normal person unable to fight for some time…” Gai told them. “I admit I was a bit angry that my students were in such conditions, but I held back, and considering his fox-like features became more defined at the moment before he vanished, he probably has recovered from them by now.”

“Sai and I couldn’t hit the original, she’s too fast or vanishes after she blinds us when things go bad. Not to mention it takes too long to clear out those clones of hers on our own…”

“We’ll have to go at it differently than before…” Shikamaru closed his eyes and visualized himself in his thinking pose since his arms were bound. “Naruto and Fuu as jinchuuriki have a ton of chakra to use and at this point neither has even used a tail to bat around the chuunin. Naruto hits harder than Fuu, but she’s faster and using more diversionary tactics…We’re losing because we’re fighting on their terms and pace, that’s why they used the wave tactics and summonings from before…How long until we’re out of this barrier?”

“Iruka and I think we have this sealing barrier arrangement figured out and can short it out, but with only one hand free it’ll take a few more minutes.” Jiraiya said somberly.

“Alright,” Shikamaru opened his eyes slowly. “I have a plan…but we’re going to have to hit them both hard to the extent it would kill a normal person.”

“…Shika—” Chouji started but Shikamaru cut him off.

“I don’t like it either, but we’ve got our orders…” Shikamaru looked at his injured comrades before steeling himself. “The two of them will kill the majority of us at the rate their going. Tsunade-sama told us ahead of time, they wouldn’t hold back and they haven’t. If any of us baring the Elite Jounin try to face them alone we’d be killed one way or another, the chuunin and Neji can’t attack Naruto alone—he knows firsthand how we fight from the past and even if our skills have improved they still have the same base.”

“…What do we do, Shika?” Chouji asked.

Shikamaru outlined his plan for dealing with the jinchuuriki as quickly and thoroughly as he could before the second battle started. “—however, we can’t wrap things up until all three of us are out of this barrier.”

“I’d suggest working faster…” Neji’s eyes were active as he spotted the incoming clones. “Clones are coming from above…I can’t tell if the original one is mixed in with the group, but I’d say that our break time is over.”

Fuu fluttered over the group and pulled out one of the scrolls Naruto gave her ahead of time while her clones went through hand signs and began blasting the area with lightning justu in order to get the reaction they were hoping for.

Yamato closed the other end of the large half-domed shell including those trapped in the barrier and slammed his hands onto the ground to shoot wood spikes from around the dome into the sky. They roughly turned to attempt to mildly puncture the original carrying the scroll as well as the clones. The original rose higher while the clones were dispersed until they realized too late what was coming.

“There’s another attack coming towards the dome and spikes—it’s laced with wind chakra!” Hinata told the group.

The incoming mass of wind chakra was a single large Grand Gale Shuriken that spun like a saw while it cut through the air and severed the top half of the dome and all the wooden spikes that had been used to target Fuu, who unraveled the scroll that had the kanji for Blast and let the explosive tag balls that were stored in it fall towards the entire mass.

“Shit!” Shikamaru swore. “They’re going to bury us!”

Tenten unraveled a scroll and put chakra into it as the wood started to collapse on them. “Summoning:—”

The sound of crashing wood and explosives drowned out her voice as a cloud of dust rose into the air and Fuu fluttered around it to see if the bombardment was successful. The blanket covering the site began to thin out to reveal…a metal shell covering the group inside?

“—Iron Protective Wall!” Tenten finished as Fuu bit her lip and prepared to make more clones while inside the dome everyone was getting ready for the counter attack.

“Where’s Naruto?” Kakashi asked.

“He’s standing by the fallen tower at the center of the lake, on the water—” Neji’s brow furrowed. “There’s another chakra source approaching him…one possibly bigger than Naruto’s!”

“Can you a sword like object infused with chakra?” Jiraiya asked.

“Yes…” Neji answered.

“We don’t have much time then,” Jiraiya worked faster on the seal array. “Most likely it’s the same Akatsuki member who came after Naruto a few years ago, Kisame of Kiri…but that also means that his partner is here.”

“Itachi…” Sasuke muttered. “I can’t believe his luck is still this bad when it comes to missions…even when he’s against us!

“Change of plans then,” Shikamaru sighed. “Gai-sensei…”

With Naruto

“That should’ve taken care of at least of few of them, but just to be safe…” Naruto prepared to pull out one of his remaining scrolls, as only the dust cloud could be seen from his position, when he heard footsteps on the water behind him. Fuu was still in the distance, so it must’ve been another threat. “Who’s there!”

He swung the chakra blades now fully coated in wind chakra at the incoming figure and prepared to draw a white cross in the air. Chains had already begun wrapping his body in an effort to rebuild his armor. The blades would take away the threat of the incoming unknown factor.

On impact, the blades were stopped by a spiky sword…and the damn things were devoured by the sword.

“It’s been too long, brat!” a grin revealed shark-like teeth.

“God damn it, Akatsuki’s joining the party now?” Naruto looked at his now missing blades. “Oh come on! First there was Shino, then the Hyuuga, and now you?”

“You may have over-relied on it,” Kisame chided him as he backed away. “I hope you can still give me a good fight.”

“I’ll invest in a solid sword, maybe get a copy of the original in the storage center made since it’s an antique, but for now…” Naruto’s pupils became slits and turned red as he put chakra into the storage seals on his body and withdrew the seal rods before pulling out the Triple-Bladed Scythe he…borrowed from Hidan. “Let’s get to it…”

They charged.

Kisame started the attack by bringing his legendary sword down to shred the jinchuuriki at diagonal angle that Naruto avoided by side-stepping and lowering his head to avoid. He himself had to take a step back when the scythe’s blades descended towards his head before he twisted and bought the sword around to grate it across the Uzumaki’s face.

The sword met his bracer and the chakra shield. The sword devoured the chakra of the shield but grated against the metal and created sparks as it passed. The blade giggled in some unholy delight as it consumed the chakra.

Naruto leaped back and tossed the scythe at the missing-nin who knocked it away and advanced on the jinchuuriki who tugged on the chakra chain that was attached to the bottom of the scythe and bought it around to slice through his neck, only to have the man duck and run Samehada against his chakra chain armor. It devoured the armor and shredded through his clothing to get to the skin beneath.

Naruto gritted his teeth as the scythe returned to his hand and swiped it at the man’s head expecting it to be dodged while channeling wind chakra into his foot. When the scythe passed overhead he released it with the chain attached and his foot came up and slammed against the Akatsuki member’s jaw and sent him spiraling into the fallen tower to the left of them.

“HAHA!” Kisame laughed as he wiped the blood from his lip while freeing himself from the rubble. He managed to duck as the scythe that had been released before the attack circled around thanks to the extended chain. “NOW THAT’S MORE LIKE IT!”

He can only devour the chakra if the sword has physical contact with it…Naruto guessed as the scythe returned to his right hand and he generated a Grand Rasengan in his left hand while Kurama patched up the shredded skin before charging the shark-man. But his physical strength is enormous…

Kisame swung Samehada horizontally while Naruto halted his charge and swung the scythe with a twist as the living sword passed by his head before attempting to nail the Demon Shark with the Grand Rasengan. Kisame’s knee came up and slammed him in the stomach and made the jinchuuriki lurch while the spiraling sphere dissipated, and then his elbow came down and sent Naruto beneath the surface of the water. He went to follow up but the sound of slicing wind from the scythe had him swing his blade and meet it head on.

The blades of the scythe were shattered as Naruto shot out of the water and slammed a Gale Fist into his face and sent him into a spin. “I liked that scythe—I spent hours in Iron learning to use that thing!”

Kisame got himself together and went at again by swinging Samehada at an angle that the jinchuuriki avoided by shifting his left foot forward at 45 degree angle and rotated on it while ducking.

Naruto’s wind chakra covered fist met the man’s stomach to make him bend over while his wind chakra covered foot came around from behind in a back axe-kick to smash the back of the skull in with his heel…and was caught by Kisame’s hand.

The shark-man tightened his grip and with a quick motion, he lifted the jinchuuriki up and slammed him onto the surface of the water while Samehada descended. It was blocked by the shaft of the broken scythe and sent Naruto underwater from the sheer force again.

Chains from Uzumaki’s body attempted to spear through the shark-man…and he tanked them before he grabbed them and pulled Naruto up in one violent tug before slamming him into the ground that the tower was on before Naruto dissipated the chains.

“Well—” Naruto winced as he felt his body ache. “That didn’t work…”

“So what are you gonna do Hidan’s scythe blade-less?” Kisame chuckled on the water. “You gonna run?”

“To use my original Monk’s Spade I was trained in Bojutsu.” Naruto spun the bladeless weapon around his hands and then body as if they were one. He lost a scythe and bladed weapon but he gained a staff of metal to bludgeon the shark-man with…before he used chakra flow to enhance the strength with wind chakra and exhaled loudly. “Bring it!”

“…I like you kid,” he honestly told him as they both charged and clashed again on top the water.

The makeshift Bo Staff was also a spear by sharpening the chakra tips as he thrust forward to pierce the shark-man’s skull. It grazed his head as it passed before Kisame bit down with shark-like teeth and completely shattered the section while shortening the weapon before slamming Naruto with a kick that had him skimming on the water until he rolled and was on his feet. He notice the missing-nin performing a series of hand seals and reached for a scroll on his bandolier.

“Water Style: Water Shark Bullet!” water became the avatar of a shark and was sent forward towards the jinchuuriki who took out a scroll.

“Uzumaki Custom: Water Seal!” the scroll drank the attack and swallowed the jutsu whole to be used at a later moment.

The shark-man was approaching from above after a leap and had his blade at the ready, “Got y—”

“MAXIMUM ENTRY!” when a green blur intercepted him and they both flew through the tower and onto the other side of Old Uzushio…and possibly the island. The Green Beast had been unleashed to deal with the Demon Shark.

Naruto blinked for a few seconds before shrugging, “…Never look a gift ferret in the mouth! Let the two of them kill each other.”

Naruto tossed the broken scythe away and resummoned his seal rods and prepared to go aid Fuu when he heard the hum of flowing chakra and reformed his blades. They met with a similar element before they were deflected by the chronic smoker and former ninja monk.

“Shall we catch up for a bit Naruto-kun?” Asuma Sarutobi appeared with his trench knives at the ready and using wind chakra as well.

Naruto held fast and swung his blades again. “The Old Man and Konohamaru will never forgive me killing you, but you’ve left me no choice!”

The sound of clashing chakra was heard as two trench knives that overflowed with experience deflected his strike.

With Fuu

“Let it Rip!” Tenten pulled the ripcord of her Shuriken Launcher and the massive shuriken was unleashed into the air, where it tore through groups of clones as if they were nothing but targets. She unraveled her massive scroll as it flew over the battlefield from a toss and rained white streaks of destruction. “Manipulated Tools: Heavenly Chain of Destruction!”

“Super Beast Imitation Scroll: Flight!” Sai conjured up countless birds once again that dart into the clones without pause before drawing his tanto and cleaving through the ones approaching him low on the ground.

“Burn!” Sasuke let loose a blaze that charred everything in his path including beetles and clones alike with his eyes locked onto the next targets. He shrouded his hands in lightning chakra and Chidori Senbon flew and nailed every single one without a moment’s pause.

Tenten, Sasuke, Sai, you three can destroy the greatest amount of clones at once because of your attacks. Keep up the assault and destroy as many as you can to get her to feel the pressure, were the Nara’s instructions to the trio.

“Damn,” Fuu swore as her clones and beetles were taken out with unexpected speed from the repeated assaults with the aid of the bun-haired girl to the two grounded flyers. The trio attacked from the ground rather than the sky since they only had to focus on attacks from above rather than trying to keep up with her. They could be dealt with eventually but first came the medics in the iron shell being protected by the jounin.

Her clones and insects were blocked by wooden structures and kunai whenever the Hyuuga detected them entering his current range of vision and directed the others. She prepared to unleash a lightning jutsu on the troublesome eye-user when he suddenly spotted her making hand seals beyond his previous range and turned to thrust his palm towards and she was pushed by something and sent into a spiral.

Naruto said they fought at close range…Fuu thought as the others began to focus their attacks on her when she unraveled a scroll and fired a barrage of explosive tagged kunai of her own that only the Hyuuga with his 8 Trigrams Rotation defended against.

Neji, if Naruto is relying on the fact that Hyuuga use close combat, then he’s relayed that information to Fuu. You’ll help keep the medics safe with “Asuma,” “Kakashi,” “Gai,” and “Yamato” since if we lose them we’ve effectively lost the battle—that’s why medics are normally targeted first in any incursion. Look for an opening when as many of the clones have been eliminated and blast the original with your 8 Trigrams Sky Palm to make her doubt the information she has…Neji recalled the Nara’s orders.

The smoke cleared to reveal the bodies of the other jounin…as wood?

Yamato-san, you’re an unknown factor to those two and your wood style can be a pain for both of them. While she probably knows Naruto can deal with the chuunin, if Fuu sees you or any of the other jounin missing, she’ll most likely figure out you’re going after Naruto and use that ferret to take him away again. Use Wood Clones and Wood Style: Transformation to make it appear like you and the other jounin are defending the medics.

“Shit!” Fuu swore as she dodged another barrage of Chidori Senbon. If those weren’t the jounin, that means they’re going after Naruto again, we need to regroup!

Fuu gathered chakra into her mouth once again and exhaled the blinding breath. Creating a final group of shadow clones, she left them in place while she retracted her wings and snuck towards the position that the clone she left with Pace decided on before dissipating.

She figured they’d never pay attention the ground when she normally took to the skies…She was unaware she was being spied by a set of white-eyes that belonged to a chuunin and her accomplices.

Hinata, you stay out of the battle and keep a look out in case she makes a break for it using that blinding technique, it obscures regular vision, but you can see chakra with your eyes closed and won’t be affected by it. Take Chouji and Shino with you and wait until she’s with the ferret until you strike. As soon as we’re free I’ll go to help capture her with Iruka-sensei—we’ll use her as a negotiation point to get Naruto under control in a worst case scenario.

A dark smile etched itself on Hinata’s face as the whispers in her mind became more vocal. If she couldn’t take away Naruto’s life first, she’d take away his everything…

With Sasuke

Sasuke had to rest as they finished the clones off and the original Fuu had vanished.

“We’ve done it!” Iruka claimed as the barrier and chains dissipated and released the group that was entrapped and ready to go once again to the battlefield. They exited the iron shell placed over them.

“Troublesome…” Shikamaru stretched and rolled his arms before looking over to the three chuunin. “So, how’d it go?”

“According to plan,” Sasuke told him. “Neji just spotted Hinata’s group leave to apprehend Fuu. Yamato and Kakashi are in their positions and Asuma should be going against Naruto while Gai deals with the other Akatsuki member.”

“Alright,” Jiraiya handed Shikamaru a seal tag. “I’ll go over to the point where Naruto will be. Use that to suppress her demonic chakra.”

“Okay,” Shikamaru nodded before he and Iruka took off in one direction and Jiraiya took off in the other.

Sasuke was about to go check on the injured when a murder of crows appeared and swallowed him into a dark world that he guessed was genjutsu…until his brother appeared.

“Hello, little brother…” Itachi said in an almost dulled tone. “Your hatred—”

“Don’t give me that hatred crap, ITACHI!” Sasuke roared, genjutsu or not. “I know about what really happened that night! Do you know just how bad you fucked up?”

With Naruto

Naruto swung the chakra blades fully coated in wind chakra at the elite jounin. Down and across before switching to a diagonal cut, the blades were unleashed. His blades crashed against the former Fire Guardian Ninja’s trench knives and were driven off.

The four blades of chakra clashed on the water with Naruto being pushed back by the older man at each attempt.

“Flying Swallow—my personal version of chakra flow,” Asuma said coldly as his blades severed Naruto’s without much resistance. “Wind against Wind—the more precise and refined one will prevail and cut through any guard. Prepare yourself Naruto…”

Naruto bought both of his bracers up and generated chakra shields to protect him as the right chakra blade of Asuma Sarutobi drew a horizontal line in the air across Naruto’s defenses and he paused for brief second…as blood sprayed out.

The chakra shields, the bracers behind them, and the defensive seals on them were cut clean through to the flesh below.

“Chakra Blade: Straight Line…” the older jounin muttered before he delivered a merciless kick to the younger chakra weapon-user that knocked him back.

Naruto’s arms bled as the bracers’ remains fell into the water and were lost to the depths while the lacerations on his arms were patched up. The difference in skill had been made clear. Yet…

“RRRRAAAAAGGGHHHH!” Naruto charged forward with his blades only to have them blocked as he swung. He turned and tried to slip into the man’s guard but the longer blades were intercepted at every turn.

“Give up Naruto!” the older man’s blades severed the jinchuuriki’s once again.

“I won’t go back!” he told him as he reformed the blades and swung them again. “I won’t let you take Fuu to that place!”

“Whatever happened to your dream of being Hokage?”

“I only wanted the hat so I could earn everyone’s respect!” Naruto answered as his right blade failed to take off his grandfather-figure’s son’s head. “I trained like hell, I fought for my village and comrades, and what did I earn from the village—what do I have to show for my efforts? I learned more in 4 years away from there than I did living there!”

“Dad would’ve wanted—” Asuma was interrupted by the blades attempting to sever his limbs.

“The Old Man would’ve wanted me to be happy!” Naruto stepped back to avoid the incoming right chakra blade but Asuma extended it and it cut into his flesh before Naruto bought his foot up to kick the man but missed as he hopped back. “He would’ve wanted the village to accept me and tried his best before the Snake Bastard killed him! But the villagers spat on both his wishes and my father’s!”

“Naruto…are you going to let your hatred of the village blind you?” he stopped moving while getting into a combat stance. “The majority that wronged were executed by Dad. Will you turn your hatred of the past onto the uninvolved?”

“Once the physical abuse stopped they moved on to emotional, financial, social…” Naruto took a stance while his blades were humming with wind chakra. “Once the main ones died, their friends and families continued to drown in their hatred and drag me to the depths…how long could I have remained there and kept enduring all of that before I snapped and lost my sanity like Gaara did?”

The wind howled and thunder roared as Naruto prepared for charge and gave the Old Man’s son his final answer.

“I don’t want revenge on Konoha since it would be spitting on the Old Man’s wish—I keep telling myself that it would serve no purpose now in order to rein in the hatred. The past cannot be changed I know that, so I looked to the future for a new dream with the women I love and who accepted me…a small village of peace for those who could escape otherwise…it doesn’t have to be a village born and bathed in the blood of war like Konoha, Iwa, or the others…and you’re standing in the way of that.”

The sound of chakra blades clashing against each other filled their battlefield on the water as they ceased their chatter and dove into the pace of battle. The blades became lingering trails under the ever darkening skies. Ripples formed beneath them as they stepped lightly and their blades sung the chord of battle when they clash and sparks of chakra flew off.

“You fight well—”a strong blow from the right blade deflected Naruto’s blades into the air and Asuma’s left chakra blade sliced through the right seal rod below where his blades were formed and locked into shape. Asuma’s right came around as Naruto’s flipped the end over to the other seal tip and it was cut through as well. “—but I’ve been at this for far too much longer.”

The difference between them reared its head once again between the two with Asuma at the advantage. Naruto had stamina and healing that kept him fighting but Asuma had experience that surpassed Naruto’s life in general.

Naruto discarded the right seal rod—it was useless at this point. Chains erupted from his body but the vitals strikes were dodged and deflected even as they came around with only a few cuts and lacerations on his expendable limbs to show for it until the man closed the gap once again. He forced Naruto onto the defensive as the remaining blade shifted and became the Monk’s Spade once again and Naruto took up a stance he adopted from the Wind Temple before his departure.

“A Monk’s Spade…” Asuma ducked under the crescent end as it passed by and twirled before the spade came flying forward and was knocked upwards by his knives. “What temple did you study under?”

Naruto said nothing as he leaped back and shot the crescent end out using a chakra chain only to have it batted away.

“Well, Chiriku would’ve said something if it were the Fire Temple, but your banishment included all of the Land of Fire,” the older man tossed the knives at Naruto who twisted to avoid them. “Plus with all the commotion in the Land of Wind, it must’ve been the Wind Temple.”

Naruto stopped responding so he could focus on the fight and unraveled the Water Seal scroll and prepared to unleash the contents when a blur tore past and cut the scroll in half. Asuma’s knives had been controlled by using Wind Style: Jade Hurricane and returned to his hands as Naruto discarded the scroll.

“I was with the Fire Temple and learned their techniques—including how to use a special type of chakra…I was told that all temples had a similar skill but I’ve noticed you haven’t used yours.” Asuma closed in and slashed across his armor to cut through the scroll bandolier. It was claimed by the lake as Naruto was pushed back—though he kept the important scrolls in a body seal anyway and those were expensive but easily replaced. “Not to mention you haven’t reigned in your emotions…you didn’t complete your training in the temple, did you?”

Naruto thrust the spade end of the weapon out towards the man’s chest to slip it between his ribcage in an attempt to claim his heart. It was deflected as Asuma foot shot back at an angle and he pivoted on it while bringing his first trench knife down to parry. The blade of the second one extended and split the seal rod.

The veins on Naruto’s head became visible as he threw the broken seal rod pieces at the man and formed a new blade like the one he showed Gaara using his right hand as the body and the bone of the blade. He turned on his foot and tried to slash from the side, but the left trench knife caught the blade and Asuma pushed forward and bought the other knife around which forced Naruto to dodge.

Naruto duck and spun while sweeping the blade at the older man’s chest. His blade nicked at the man’s flak jacket as he stepped back as swung his right knife down and cut near the left shoulder blade on Naruto’s back and blood spattered in the water before the wound was closed.

The two warriors separated to take an assessment of their opposite as their breaths stilled. Naruto’s injuries closed easily but with the seal rods gone maintain the blades without it became much harder. Asuma grew more winded as well but he could still go for another few minutes.

“It’s time we ended this!” the older man took a stance with his left hand in the form of a half-ram and his palm extending parallel to the ground. The spirit of a deity surrounded him in a protective embrace.

“Raigo:—” the thousand-hand Konnan became demonic and unleashed its wrath upon the jinchuuriki. The force of the fist struck hard at the expanded armor barrier and cracked it under the sheer pressure and number of his strikes. “Thousand Hand Strike!”

Naruto’s barrier weathered the intense blows and increasingly drained his chakra as he repaired it before the subsequent blows could shatter it. He was unaware that his former mentor had been hidden and forming hand seals the moment his movement was limited by the barrier tied to his body and the blows.

Asuma-sensei, wear him out while getting rid of his weapons and force him into a position where he can’t move over the water, then have Kakashi-sensei launch him towards the ambush position where the trap will be waiting. After that, hit him as hard as you can…were the Nara’s orders.

“Water Style: Water Dragon Bullet!” the water beneath Naruto became a gaping mouth that tried to swallow the jinchuuriki as he rode up into the air. He was thrown violently upwards in a spout and could see the incoming threat of the water dragon that rose above him and came crashing down from above to drive him into the nearest solid piece of land and throwing up a cloud of dust, dirt, water, and stone while the jinchuuriki was buried beneath rubble.

“GAH—AH!” Naruto pushed the stone slab off of him and stood once again. His body cried for mercy from the relentless assault by pain, cold, and wetness but stood on principle. The armor was gone now and he didn’t have the chakra to put it back in place…even he had a limit without more time to recover from Kisame’s damn sword earlier and constantly reforming the blades.

“I was hoping to save the fox cloak to deal with Pervy Sage—” he coughed up blood as he summoned the collapsible spike he also liberated from Hidan “—but beggars can’t be choosers…I have to at least get to Fuu… ”

Hands burst from beneath Naruto. “Earth Style:—”

“NOT THIS TIME!” Naruto stabbed the spike into what he was sure the body of his former mentor and lighting surged through his body and he howled in anguish. What he struck was a Lightning Style: Shadow Clone. The lightning ripped his skin and burned it along with his clothes until he fell on his knees.

Wood sprouted from beneath him and he became entrapped inside a rising tree that suddenly sprouted and trapped him limbs. He couldn’t swing the spike with his hand from the pressure that threatened to crush his bones as it held in place while he rose into the sky instead of sinking to the ground.

“Wood Style: Tree Bind Eternal Burial,” the man known as Yamato spoke before glancing at Kakashi. “Senpai.”

“Forgive me, Naruto…but it’s over…” he droned before finishing the hand seals of a fearsome jutsu. “Fire Style: The Prominence!”

Fire sparked at the base of the tree before it shot up the trunk and roared as heat and pressure built to become a blaze. Once they reached the apex of their climb, the ground erupted in a pillar of fire that shot to the heavens and swallowed the tree and Uzumaki all at once.

Naruto’s mouth hung wide as his scorched body fell to the earth from the heaven’s as the roar of thunder from the skies bemoaned the jinchuuriki’s fate. He hit the ground with a thud and stared into the darkened clouds as his breathing grew heavy and his flesh ached while blood dribbled from him lips.

The monsters of Konoha—that’s what the Elite Jounin who had come for him were. He could no longer hope to stay off the inevitable any longer.

The simple wish he wanted fulfilled for the sake of his lovers and himself—a wish that he would have expanded onto others who needed a home free of some of the burdens of the ninja world as well…it would go unfulfilled.

These men stood in the way of that. They would take him back to his place of suffering and rob him of his freedom and home. They would take Fuu to that place…

I WON’T LET YOU TAKE HER THERE!” the demonic coat flared and became a cloak and a single tail emerged as he stood. Killing intent rolled off him in waves of malice towards his captors as a second tail immediately formed. He fell on all fours as the third tail was created from desperation boiling over his cloak.

Broken bones fused and mended; torn and burned flesh was recreated through regeneration; his life was shortened so that he could fight for their dream and his own simple wish.

!” Naruto unleashed a sonic roar to the heavens and a shock wave was unleashed that threw back the earth, water, rubble, and even forced the elite jounin to back away before they were caught in the wave of destruction that left the area around him barren and inside a crater as the past hatred of the Kyuubi and Uzumaki became his shield and sword born of tainted chakra.

NINE TAILED FOX—” fire gathered in his mouth as chakra blazed and the jounin prepared themselves for the inferno with Yamato preparing to use Tearing Torrent and Kakashi using a Water Wall. “FIRE STRE—!

Splat—Naruto felt searing pain enter his body and looked down to see his chest had been run through by a double-edged Jian from below as a red mist dotted the air above him.

“Kukuku…” a voice that Naruto would never forget reached his ears as the blade was withdrawn and one of the men he loathed—next to the freak in the mask—with all his being appeared from out of the ground behind him. “Such a pity Naruto-kun…you fought well but alas…”

Snake…Bastard…” Naruto weakly spat out as he fell onto the ground while Kurama started to heal the wound. “Could…this day…get any…worse?

“I’d say this was nothing personal…but after the whole stopping Sasuke-kun and Tsunade’s return, I’d be lying,” Orochimaru joked, before he swung the blade towards the jinchuuriki’s neck while the jounin dashed to intercept it but were over taken by a blur of white and red.

With Fuu – About Two Minutes Beforehand

“Okay, Pace!” Fuu arrived at the secondary point. “Get Naruto—”

“Gentle Step: Twin Lions!” she was cut off as Hinata barged in with fists covered in an aura of chakra that formed lion heads. On impact the lion’s ruptured and blasted Fuu through the remains of the wall before Hinata followed her out.

Boss Lady!” Pace exclaimed as he was trapped in a cage of insects buzzing about.

“Any use of chakra or sudden movements and they close in…I would suggest not trying anything as the best course of action.” Shino told the ferret.

“Water St—” Fuu was interrupted from blasting the Hyuuga with a Water Trumpet as a massive fist slammed into her from the side and sent her flying back into a pillar. Before she could recover a large round boulder that was Chouji Akamichi slammed into her and plowed her through another series of ruins and rubble until she went tumbling onto the ground.

“Ngh…” Fuu weakly picked herself up as blood flowed freely from the scrapes and cuts in her skin while her left arm hung limply and broken. She spotted the female Hyuuga coming from the side and crafted her Water Slicing Blade to take off her head with her good arm when they both froze in place. She felt bound by some force only to see something connecting to Hinata’s shadow.

“Shadow Possession—Successful!” Shikamaru’s shadow branched out and connected with Fuu and Hinata. “Iruka-sensei, the barrier!”

Iruka flung five kunai with a Barrier Tag on them around Fuu and a final one in the center with a Chakra Suppression Seal given to Shikamaru by Jiraiya and clapped his hands. The chakra connected through chakra strings and formed a pentagon that hummed through the barrier.

“Shikamaru-kun! Let me go!” Hinata ordered while staring at the jinchuuriki from outside the barrier.

“Sorry, but Hinata you’ve been a concern and we’ll have to address Tsunade-sama about a session with Ino’s father…” Shikamaru sighed as shadows circled Fuu’s body and two shadow hands began to creep towards her neck. “As troublesome as this is, I’ve got my orders…”

There was a demonic howl as a wave of tainted chakra washed over the area following a pillar of fire in the sky.

“It’s over now,” Shikamaru warned her. “Jiraiya-sama will have arrived to seal off the demonic chakra and we’ll take Naruto back. I’ll have to ensure you’re unconscious, but I’ll try to avoid leaving a mark.”

“Let me GO! the caramel-skinned green haired jinchuuriki snarled as her pupils became compounded along with a green cloak graced her with a tail…only for the tag in the center to glow and absorb the greenish chakra and leak it through the barrier. “Wh-What’s…”

Hinata’s eyes furrowed at the woman in front of her until she spotted something flying towards the group. “Shikamaru-kun, behind you!”

The Nara released his prisoners as Chouji grabbed him and dove before a rain of crystal shuriken tore overhead. Fuu kicked the kunai in the center away and ducked as the barrier was broken by said shuriken while Hinata backed away.

The two young women prepared to clash before figuring out what just attacked them—when a jagged crystalline flower emerged between them and blossomed into a greater and large flower of translucent red death that almost pierced them both if they hadn’t rolled away.

“Nanabi jinchuuriki,” Kabuto arrived with a silent woman in tow. “It’s nothing personal, but it would seem your death is desired by Orochimaru-sama…”

“…I love Naruto, but when it rains IT POURS WITH HIS LUCK!” the jinchuuriki donned her tail and wings to prepare to kill the invaders as her injuries healed.

“Ain’t that the truth…” Shikamaru sighed.

With Naruto

The Toad Sage had finally appeared and was pissed off as he delivered a kick to the ribcage of his former teammate and sent him backwards.

I came to seal off Naruto’s demonic chakra before it could get this far but it’s the only thing keeping him alive…Jiraiya thought as he glanced at the jinchuuriki and then glared at his former teammate. “First Akatsuki shows up and now you…”

“Ah, Jiraiya…” the Snake Sannin chuckled. “I haven’t seen you since after I tried to get Tsunade to heal the damage sensei did before I killed the feeble old man—”

A chakra blade attempted to decapitate the Snake Sannin but was blocked by his Kusanagi blade. The blade said to cut through anything did just that with the chakra and lashed out toward the attacker who deflected the blade at the cost of his trench knives having a deep cut through the metal.

“Well well, if it isn’t sensei’s son…if it’s any comfort, I believe the feeble and pathetic old man died satisfied that his actions bought the village a few more yea—” the Snake Sannin was cut off yet again as a bubbling arm of crimson chakra grabbed him and slammed him into the ground some distance away with the blade vanishing.

DON’T. EVER. INSULT THE OLD MAN IN FRONT OF ME!” Naruto roared and the malevolent chakra became a larger fist that pounded him in further and forced Jiraiya and the others away while he buried the snake underneath the rubble repeatedly. “I’LL KILL YOU!

Inside Naruto’s Mindscape

Well now, it looks as though I might be needed after all…” a dark voice chuckled while Kurama looked on impassively.


Tsunade sat with a radio in her office and a ticket in her hand for the lottery that would be announced in a few minutes. She was confident that Jiraiya and the others could bring back Naruto on their own…but just in case…

“THE WINNING NUMBERS ARE—” the radio announcer called out the numbers. It matched the ticket.

Every. Single. Number.

She rubbed her forehead and looked over to the men at the entrance to her office. “Get ready to use it.”

More Notes:

So the first part of the battle has been completed with the arrival of Akatsuki and Orochimaru. Now as I’ve said once before, I do not like to write God-mode Naruto stories. I have given several justifications for WHY he simply can’t be pulling some crap off.

Naruto and Fuu had the advantage at first because Naruto knew most of their styles as Genin but they’ve improved. It was only when that big brain of Shikamaru’s took in all the information and spat out a strategy that they launched a truly offensive counter attack. Remember both sides are using information they’ve gathered on the other to get an advantage.

Naruto is skilled, but let me be clear, he’s like 17-18 and 4-5 years of training away from Konoha. Hinata as a Hyuuga has over a decade of better chakra control, Asuma is over 30 and has been working with his Flying Swallow style a lot longer than Naruto has even been alive, and don’t get me started on Might Gai, that man is a monster who’s never lost in canon. There’s a reason he wasn’t there during the pain invasion.

Non – Canon Jutsu:

Grand Destruction Strike – A super-sized Destruction Strike.

Grand Gale Shuriken – An enlarged Gale Shuriken that acts like a saw.

Uzumaki Custom: Exploding Dragon Strike – Through a Jutsu Scroll Naruto unleashes a flaming dragon that explodes on impact.

Fire Style: The Prominence – A fire jutsu that incinerates the target in a pillar of fire with the power of the midnight sun. (Medabots reference)

Canon Jutsu:

8 Trigrams Rotation – The user unleashes chakra from all tenketsu and spins in place to create a sphere of revolving chakra.

8 Trigrams Sky Palm – The user accurately targets the enemy’s vital points and releases a high speed palm strike to using a vacuum shell attack.

Chakra Blade: Straight Line – Asuma runs up to the opponent at high speeds and delivers one horizontal cut with the Flying Swallow.

Expansion: A secret technique of the Akamichi clan that increases the user’s body size by converting calories into chakra. (Ram-Special Seal)

Fang Over Fang – The user and their nin-dog spin and dash at the target performing beast-like attacks when contact is made with the target.

Fire Style: Burning Ash – The user spits out a cloud of chakra infused gunpowder which can be used as smoke screen or ignited. (Snake-Rat-Snake-Tiger)

Flying Swallow – An addition-line ninjutsu that augments the killing power of a blade by flowing chakra into it, the materialized blade is shaped like a blade and by adjusting the amount of chakra into the blade you can alter the length.

Gentle Step: Twin Lion Fists – The user forms two large lion-shaped shrouds of chakra around their hands and attacks opponent.

Hidden Art: Insect Jar – Has the Aburame clan’s insects act as a shield by having them fly in a dome at high speeds. (Boar-Monkey-Dragon-Ram-Dog)

Hidden Art: Insect Sphere – At the user’s orders the Aburame clan’s insects converge and covers the enemies body and devour their chakra—even if the enemy escapes they’ll follow.

Insect Clone: A technique of the Aburame clan where thousands of their insects are gathered and can take the place or appearance of anyone else and break down into their normal state on impact.

Leaf Dancing Shadow: A technique where one follows the opponent closely matching his body movements like a leaf dancing in the air is followed by a shadow.

Leaf Hurricane: A series of high and low kicks, the high kick is mostly a feint.

Leaf Rising Wind: Using the entire body as a spring, the user kicks just above the head and sends the enemy into the air.

Lightning Style: Shadow Clone – A shadow clone made of lightning and can shock the enemy when destroyed.

Manipulated Tools: Heavenly Chain of Destruction – Tenten tosses her large scroll into the air and unleashes the weapons inside as they rain down.

Maximum Entry – Might Gai attacks opponent with a powerful version of Dynamic Entry. (Naruto Ultimate Ninja 4)

Partial Expansion: A practical application of the Expansion technique, the user swells a single part of their body to increase the power of the physical attack.

Raigo: Thousand Hand Strike – The ultimate technique of the Fire Temple taught to the ninja monks and requires a special chakra (Gift of the Hermit Group). The technique is activated with a specific stance with their left hand in the form of a half-ram and then extending their palm parallel to the ground. The spirit of the Thousand Armed Kannon is summoned to defend the user or attack the enemy. While normally calm and angelic looking, when the user gets angry it looks demonic.

Rotating Fang – User spins like a buzz-saw towards the target

Severe Leaf Hurricane – A taijutsu combination of speed and power, the essence of this technique is concentrated in a spinning back kick with such speed not a single person can follow before being smashed by the overwhelming strength.

Shadow Possession: Allows user to extend shadow on any surface as long as there’s sufficient area and once in contact with the enemies shadow they are forced to imitate the user’s movements.

Summoning: Iron Protection Wall – Tenten summons a large iron dome similar to the shell of an armadillo from one of her scrolls that can protect her and her teammate from attacks.

Water Style: Exploding Water Shock Wave – The user spits out a great volume of water from their mouth to swallow up and crush enemy with the advancing surge. The amount created is proportional to the chakra used.

Water Style: Tearing Torrent – Water spirals in the user’s hand and is fired towards the enemy at high speeds. (Boar-Dog-Ram)

Water Style: Water Shark Bullet – The user shapes water into the form of a large shark and sends it towards the opponent at high speeds by thrusting their hands forward. (Tiger-Ox-Dragon-Hare-Dog-Bird-Rat-Clone seal-Dragon-Ram)

Wind Style: Devastation – A simple technique that creates a sudden gust of wind but the scale varies on the user. (Tiger-Ox-Dog-Rabbit-Snake)

Wind Style: Dust Cloud – User creates a stream of high-velocity wind containing dust particles and capable of decimating anything caught in it in only a matter of moments. The completed technique is directed though vertically overlapped hands that are placed in font of the user’s mouth after forming the seal. (Bird)

Wind Style: Jade Hurricane – By using Wind Chakra the user can infuse their bladed weapon with it from a distance and manipulate them. (Snake)

Wood Clone: A clone technique using wood style it is more durable than a shadow clone and the user can absorb information by touching the wood clone and can use jutsu. (Tiger-Dog-Snake)

Wood Style: Mallet – Yamato creates several pieces of wood from the ground that shoot out and pierce the opponent.

Wood Style: Transformation – Just like an ordinary transformation but acts like a costume that can be left behind. (Bird-Dog-Snake)

Wood Style: Tree Bind Eternal Burial – User summons a tree around their opponent to bind them and is relatively powerful. The user can enclose the opponent to implode their body. (Snake-Rat-Dragon-Dog-Tiger)

Wood Style: Domed Wall – Makes wooden pillars appear to the left and right and join together in a dome-shape with the user at the center point for various purposes. (Rat-Dog-Tiger)

Wind Monk Banishment #5

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 5

Author Notes:

I know I said this chapter wouldn’t be up anytime soon since I had to work on Arcane Advent, but since my birthday is today, I’ve decided to spoil others instead of myself…although many will curse me for the cliff hanger…again. I won’t lie, but it is somewhat addicting.

So, thanks for the reviews and PMs. I pride myself in writing and I gotten a lot of good advice and concerns—along with a few complaints but less than expected, so that’s a win in my books—that I hope to address in this or future chapters. Keep it up.

Now, Naruto’s main issue with Konoha is his past treatment not the banishment itself. He’s has had time to think over everything he’s went through for the village and yet the villagers still hate him and claim he’s the fox when the two are separate beings and they are placing the blame solely on him.

Naruto is a little hot-headed when it comes to them, but he’s at least smarter than canon and being logical (rational) about his hatred, otherwise he’d be Sasuke from the anime and manga and decide on the genocide route which is overkill. He’s not going to hate newborns and the uninvolved, but he will not go back to the village willingly.

When Naruto gets too angry it affects his judgment and he knows it. That’s why he had to calm himself down numerous times in the last chapter. The one time he didn’t, he got a bunch of Chidori Senbon in his back for trying to kill Kakashi and forgetting about Sasuke.

Naruto will not join Kumo or any other ninja village of his own free will. The reasons will be explained in this chapter to settle the issue. They are both personal and logical reasons.

I’m not making a bashing fic either.

Danzo will still be a douche but he wants what’s best for the village and won’t say something stupid or illogical, Hiashi doesn’t look down on Hinata and he doesn’t hate Naruto but he’s obligated to keep the Hyuuga clan strong, not all shinobi are blind idiots and can understand that Naruto isn’t the fox, it’s mostly just them allowing their opinions to be colored by the masses for stupid reasons.

As for what Naruto has been doing these past for years, I was—and still will be—a little vague on the subject matter like the Eight Wind Spades until we reach the part I have planned for him to go through a flashback in a later chapter—not during a fight scene though, I hate those long breaks in fighting for that reason. You will learn a bit about his time in Iron though and an hint as to why he won’t be going near Iwa anytime soon.

As you can tell in this chapter, there is a progressive time skip and the jinchuuriki do NOT want to go back to the people who’ve treated them as weapons and all of them will put up a fight, risk of war be damned. Tell me what you thought about the old samurai and his past as well as the various justifications.

Fanfic recommendation while waiting for this to update: Yet Again with a little extra help by Third Fang.

On an unrelated note, I’ve had an intense desire to listen to N’Sync for the last few days and it scares me.

Chapter 5: Recalling of the Jincuuriki

The message had been sent.

The threat of Akatsuki had been known with the attempted theft of the Ichibi, and successful thefts of the Nibi, Sanibi, and Gobi.

Unwilling to lose their remaining jinchuuriki, the recalling of the jinchuuriki to their villages had begun.

Whether they liked it or not…

Land of Iron – One Week after Land of Wind Incident

“Fuu,” Naruto started as they entered a winter forest coated in evergreen trees. “I feel the need to warn you ahead of time about the person we’re staying with. Guard your ass…I mean that literally, not figuratively.”

“Huh?” she raised an eyebrow.

“He told me he had a fetish for them and this man is nearly as big a pervert as Jiraiya… and you have a very nice one,” he openly told her as they approached a good-sized cabin in the middle of the forest. “I don’t know why the goddess of perverts has decided to endear the strongest of them to me, or if it’s a tradeoff for the goddess of luck blessing me during gambling and cursing during missions, but the majority of my senseis have been perverts to an extent.”

“I’m sure he can’t be that bad…” she muttered as they approached the door. “But thanks for saying you approve of it.”

“Just letting you know…” he knocked on the door and waited for it to open. “And it is very nice.”

It revealed an old, short man that barely went past Naruto’s knees due to his advanced age robbing him of his height. He wore a plain blue kimono and had a black cane with a hilt at the end revealing it to be a sword in a sheath without a hand guard. His eyes were half-closed and his hair had been pure white and balding.

“Been awhile, Pervy Master!” Naruto gave him a heartfelt grin.

A smile etched itself onto the wrinkled face. “Indeed, whiskers.”

“Fuu, meet Pervy Master Hyoudou,” he looked over to his sword master. “Pervy Master, meet Fuu.”

“Hello,” Fuu told the man and gave him a short bow. “Thank you for taking care of Naruto before we met.”

The older man stepped around to look Fuu before he got a gleam in his eyes and slapped her ass causing her to jump. “Nice and firm. You’ve been busy I see, whiskers.”

“KILL—” Fuu crafted the Water Slicing Blade while her face was lit with shame and embarrassment…and a little excitement from the shock.

“Fuu, I warned you…put down the Water Slicing Blade,” Naruto held her back. “Pervy Master, please refrain from slapping one of my girlfriends’ ass.”

“She wants me to stop, she’d better get quicker reflexes…and one?” he chuckled. “Seems like you’ve taken after the Toad Brat and gone down the path of the Ero…well done.”

“It’s just her and Kanna,” Naruto told her. “I still find it odd that you call Pervy Sage a brat.”

“Well, he is compared to me. Still, I have a fine appreciation for his literature…” he motioned for the two to enter his home. “Speaking of which, when are you going to give it a try? I’d imagine you’ve done some things worth putting on paper.”

“Kanna would kill me given I’m rebuilding a village and it would feature her,” he warned. “Plus, if I did start writing Erotica, it’d have more plot than what he calls research…I will however castrate him for a certain volume involving a certain redhead and blonde.”

With Jiraiya

The Toad Sage was relaxing in a hot spring when he sneezed.

“One of the husbands of the women I’ve added to my research must be threatening to castrate me again…” Jiraiya sighed. “At least Minato never found out…he could actually pull it off…or Kushina.”

With the Older Pervert

The cabin was cozy but only had minor furnishings. The old pervert had Naruto make some tea while he talked with Fuu about Naruto and how he was somewhat proud that a kid with ninja heritage became somewhat passable at true Kenjutsu—the art of the sword. Fuu could hear the pride laced in his voice.

“Originally, this was just a small cabin with a single area,” the old man chuckled. “When whiskers moved in I told him I wanted it bigger as a joke. He took it seriously and hired contractors as well as helped them for the experience.”

“The old pervert has my respect,” Naruto told her as he gave them their tea. “He found me when I had left Kanna and the Wind Temple out in the woods after some Rounin—samurai who’ve left the service or an instructor disgraced or for other reasons—decided to attack me. That was the first time I met with samurai of Iron and those bastards caught me off guard with their shape manipulation. I was damn close to going into a cloaked state because they looked down on me because I fought ‘Like a ninja’ since warrior monks in the five nations have a base in ninja arts. Old man tore us a new one about fighting on his property before he whipped their asses.”

“Indeed,” the old man took a sip of tea. “Much ass was duly whipped. Lousy upstarts going on about how just because they could make fancy shapes using manipulation, they were above others. No wonder they got kicked out of their school.”

“The rest is history,” Naruto shrugged. “I stayed for a few months for a couple of lessons and then I met you. We’re close enough that I told him about the Kyuubi after he asked where I got all my stamina from and didn’t freak out, which put him above a ton of others.”

“I’m too old to care,” he said. “I’ve seen all kinds of things in my youth, including a giant salamander that breathed poison. Why would a fox in tall kid scare me?”

The old human has guts,” Kurama muttered. “If it weren’t for the fact that his training keeps you—and by extension me—alive, I would gnaw on his frail bones.

“So…” the old man got serious. “You here for old time’s sake or to train?”

“Training,” Naruto told him. “Konoha knows about me and Granny will be going all out I’m sure.”

“The Slug Girl, huh?” Hyoudou rubbed his chin. “I heard about her after she got her title with the Toad Brat and Snake Bastard, as you call him. You know you can’t use my style of swordsmanship with your blades…but we can refine what you know.”

Land of Earth – One Month after Land of Wind Incident

The hermit and container of the Four-Tailed Monkey, Roshi, sat on his wooden porch as the sun had just began to fall beyond the horizon and painted the sky a somber shade of molten red and orange. The sake cup in his hand felt heavy as he looked at a shorter man in front of him.

“What do you want Tsuchikage?” he said coldly. It had been about five days since he received uninvited guests in the form of Iwa ANBU. It had taken them longer to find him since he rarely stayed in touch.

“The Tsuchikage has ordered you back,” was what the once living ninjas ordered. He refused and they attempted to use force. They died a molten death, the heat finishing them well before they were halfway gone.

He was called Roshi of the Lava Style for a damn reason.

“Now is that any way to greet an old friend?” Oonoki smiled somberly.

“We haven’t been old friends since you became Tsuchikage and ordered me around like a weapon during the war and made do things that were cold and cruel. You gave me orders to burn down the majority of the farms near where I was stationed but you weren’t there to watch. You didn’t have to stay there and listen to children complain about starving to death. You didn’t have to kill desperate parents and orphans doing what they had to in order to survive. You still haven’t even apologized to the survivors or tried to regrow those fields after all this time.

“You became an asshole Oonoki, not a friend.” Roshi finished.

“Damn it Roshi, I’m not the First Hokage—I can’t just grow food and forests at no cost! We have to do things to ensure our shot at victory. All shinobi become weapons during war time.”

“Maybe, but at least they’re looked at as human. They’re mourned when they die and are treated when injured. If it weren’t for the Yonbi, I would’ve been dead long ago. We jinchuuriki get the short end of the stick enough to the point where giving into the hatred is easier than to wear a fake-ass smile through our lives. You know damn well that part of the reason Han wears that armor at all times is to hide the scars he got from his youth and so he’d feel safe…in his own damn village.

“And let’s not get on your behavior in terms of etiquette with other villages. Do I need to remind you of the Tragedy of Yosuga Pass? Where you ordered your men to betray those they were supposed to help? Despite claiming to have changed over these years, you still haven’t sent Kiri an apology and returned the belongings of their men you had killed.”

“You were always a bleeding heart.” Oonoki shook his head. “You weren’t there when I had to see that man Madara. I had to be ruthless to face men like him and do like Muu-sama did: What was best for the village.”

“Muu may have loved his village, but could you honestly say he was better than Madara when it came to his clan? I became more human because of the hell I went through and learned empathy—and that has bought me to moderate terms with my tenant during my travels. I can’t atone for all the crap I put other through on your orders, I simply don’t have enough years left to do so. It’s part of that reason that despite knowing the Yonbi’s name, I’ve never mentioned it.”

Oonoki started to levitate off the ground. “Roshi, you have to come back. That’s an order.”

“Why now?” Roshi asked the older man while pouring another cup.

“It seems like those upstarts we hired, Akatsuki, had been planning to steal our jinchuuriki. Deidara was probably the one who told them and even though he’s dead, the body was taken somehow from our morgue. They already got Han and I’ll be damned if I lose both of you.”

“Hmph,” Roshi shook his head before placing his empty sake bottle down. “You still refer to me and Han as your jinchuuriki, not friends or allies, but weapons. So in the end, you want me to spend even my final years as a weapon. I suffered at the hands of my own fellow comrades, fought in your damn war, and killed your enemies, yet I cannot spend my final years as I like.”

“Now Roshi, it was just unfortunate for you that you were born fit to be the Yonbi’s container.”

“We cannot choose how we are born…but we can choose how we die.” Roshi stood after finishing the last of the sake. “I’m tired of that village. I’d rather die at the hands of an enemy than to the machinations of the village that will only see me as a weapon or beast. Sometimes I wished the Yellow Flash had finished me when he had the chance.”

“Don’t joke about that,” he said. “I’m still receiving reports about that damn look-a-like that killed some of my men when they attacked him while he was with the Wind Daimyo and those monks. Self-defense, I can understand—my men, not so much. I would have killed any that survived because of the paperwork I had to deal with to ensure the Earth Daimyo and Wind Daimyo that it wasn’t an act of war.”

“I hope he is related so I can meet him one day and express my gratitude for the man’s help ending that last war…But enough small talk.” Roshi took a fighting stance. “Let’s get this over with.”

“Roshi,” Oonoki said tiredly. “You and I both know how this going to end.”

“Maybe, but you know what?” Roshi smiled proudly as his cloak began to form. “For Han, his and my tenants, and for myself…I’m going to make you work for it….”

“Always the difficult way…” Oonoki sighed. “God help you if I throw out my back…”

The Tsuchikage and jinchuuriki of the Yonbi clashed…and the landscape was forever changed.


“Has anything interesting happened with you Daimyo-sama?” Tsunade asked, finishing up a meeting with the Fire Daimyo on events on the nation and village.

“Not much.” He shrugged. “Someone paid a substantial amount of money for the Land of Whirlpools, but they didn’t give me a name. We’ve been looking to do something with it since Uzushio fell…speaking of Uzushio, how is young Uzumaki? I was surprised to learn that the quiet guard that was with the young Wind Daimyo when she visited was him.”

“We’re trying to bring him back…” Tsunade told him. “The group explained it was an accident, but it doesn’t change the fact that we both signed the clauses on his exile. I’d like to give him a public apology to show that I regret it but…”

“Hokage-dono,” the Fire Daimyo addressed Tsunade. “I also regret my part in the boy’s banishment, and I’m willing to pay him in favors or monetary compensation, but you know how it is for those in a position of power…we simply can’t publicly apologize and let it be known we were manipulated…by a civilian of all things! If we do, how long until others try to pull the same stunt?”

“Then that only leaves force before things get out of hand,” Tsunade sighed. “I’m sure you’ve heard of the whole incident in the Land of Wind.”

“Yes…” he chuckled. “Not that I mind seeing another young version of you running around, and the Wind Daimyo who purchased that property was a very wasteful person, your apprentice must be taught restraint. That mission you authorized was unofficial and I cannot reimburse them for it otherwise it would seem like I authorized the kidnapping of two jinchuuriki with no affiliation.”

“That was a bad call on my part…” Tsunade rubbed her head. “Sakura doesn’t hate Naruto for the fox and her reasons were so shallow I thought she could rein them in. Her parents never encouraged it since they weren’t really affected by the Kyuubi’s attack on the village, having been away at the time. Unlike most of the other ninja, she has no traumatic background and I thought having her on the team would appeal to Naruto’s crush on her since I didn’t know he had found himself a girlfriend.”

“Two, if the rumors that have reached my ears are true,” the Daimyo chimed in. “The Wind Daimyo obviously trusted him enough to travel with him alone for protection.”

I hope the brat isn’t taking after Jiraiya…Tsunade thought before answering her equal. “Sakura clearly broke Rule #2 that I give my students: Medical Ninjas are not allowed to engage in the battles. She can defend herself or her patient to protect them, but she actively chased after Fuu, which I would be willing to excuse, but she used excess force above all else.”

“How did you punish your apprentice?”

“Well, it was my negligence for not beating self-control into her, so I’ve given her a more…hands-on approach after I sent her to off to Temari of the Desert with her chakra sealed and orders to return her in one piece at the least. She’ll also have to take reduced pay from missions for a tenth of the building’s cost, which will be a few years worth short of a few S-rank missions, with the rest coming from the seized finances from the idiot who modified the exile clauses…”

“Did you ever find out who killed him?”

“Nope…shame really,” she mused half-heartedly. “We’ve had to drop the search for…other reasons.”

“Quite a shame,” the Daimyo said without a hint of sorrow. He wanted to give the assassin a medal. “The assassin must’ve been quite skilled.”

Elsewhere in Konoha

Jiraiya sneezed. “Someone must be complimenting my manliness.”

“PERVERT!” the women currently being used for his research yelled at seeing him.

“Crap!” was his final words before hauling ass on toad back to avoid a justified maiming.

Back with Tsunade and Fire Daimyo

“What about Naruto’s heritage?” the Fire Daimyo asked.

“I’ve thought about it and I’m not going to tell the village unless Naruto wants me to.” Tsunade answered.

“Why not?”

“Because, anyone in Naruto’s generation will have only heard of his father from history books and only see him for the fox, while the older generation are too hard pressed to change their ways. Naruto won’t be their previous Hokage’s heir; he’ll still be the fox wearing the Fourth’s son’s skin. If people truly cared about the Fourth’s sacrifice they wouldn’t have treated him like they did.”

“Indeed that is a curse of our age…” the Daimyo sighed. “I have great respect for Uzumaki because his accomplishments have bought prosperity to not only our nation but our allied nations, not his heritage. People like him are so rare, but with the looming threat of another war waging over jinchuuriki and Akatsuki, do what you must to bring him back…”

With the Konoha 11 – Two Months after the Land of Wind Incident

“Let it rip!” Tenten proclaimed as she pulled the rip cord of a large shuriken launcher. The large shuriken gave out sparks as the rotation increased against the grating metal before it flew in an arc and through several airborne targets.

The retrieval team were preparing for their eventual encounter with Naruto between missions. They trained whenever they could for the unknown threat level he presented in groups or alone since all of them were rarely together at once. Even Iruka worked on his own skills and the basics with a little help from Anko Mitarashi despite not really being expected to contribute to the active fighting.

“The jinchuuriki of the Nanabi, Fuu is highly competent at aerial combat, water and lightning jutsu, can use insects like an Aburame from the reports, and Naruto taught her how to use clones. Of all of us, only I and Sai can effectively fight her in the sky while riding on our hawks or ink drawings, but she can blind us easily so we’ll take steps to neutralize it by having our rides blow the powder away. The rest will need to deal with Naruto from a mid-range or long range unless you’re confident enough to go up close, but he’s a wind type like Asuma and can give you a nasty wound as a result.” Sasuke gave advice to the practicing rookies based on their encounter.

Sasuke’s eyes were a blessing because of what they could do, but he was no longer arrogant enough to assume they made him god’s gift to the world. It was that type of thinking along with years of pent up frustration among other things that led to the civil war plot and Itachi’s mission. He used them to help his teammate improve instead like he should have before Naruto left.

“Anything to add Kakashi?” Sasuke asked the copy-cat.

“Well, we can’t bother with genjutsu since if Naruto is on good terms with his tenant, it won’t work, and Ino will have to act solely as a medic since her clan’s techniques won’t work on a container either.” Kakashi mused. “A jinchuuriki’s mindscape is linked to their demon, which means that if you try to control his body through your mind and chakra it’ll be a contest between you and them both. Shino, work on your taijutsu since both Naruto and Fuu will most likely close the distance to get at you and circumvent your insects, but don’t try to have them siphon Fuu’s chakra or they may fall under her control. Shikamaru, Naruto may have enough chakra to break free of your jutsu, but if you can hold him still for even a few seconds, it’ll be enough for us to get a blow in and restrain him.”

“I’m just glad Sakura and I are close enough that she helped me improve my medical jutsu so I won’t be useless since I can’t just control them with my normal techniques,” Ino stated. Their friendship had grown even stronger over the years—as close as she was with Shikamaru and Chouji.

“Where’s Kiba and Hinata?” Sasuke asked Shino. “They should be here.”

“Well, I believe that Kiba is still sulking that Hinata refused to eat with us last night after her mission. Hinata has been practicing with her father after all this time,” Shino stated. “I am concerned she is not getting enough rest.”

“She isn’t going to do something irrational during the mission…is she?”

“I…cannot honestly say,” Shino admitted. “Past emotions and words from the ill-intended have made her…delicate. She has shown absolute restraint lately, but in some ways it feels forced.”

Land of Iron – Three Months after the Land of Wind Incident

“Alright youngsters,” the old pervert took a drink of tea from the flask in his hand at about three hundred feet from Naruto and Fuu. He had been instructing them in control and giving advice while working on their physical conditioning, but this was the first sparring match. “Let’s get this show on the road.”

“Aren’t you gonna unsheathe your sword?” Fuu asked.

“Samurai only completely unsheathe their blades when in the company of their opponents to kill,” he explained. “I’ll simply use chakra flow with the sheath and bat you around a couple of times.”

Naruto closed his eyes and breathed calmly before throwing the first strike.

“Destruction—” Naruto swung the blade horizontally and released multiple bursts of chakra. They became numerous crescent arcs that rained towards the old man. “Barrage!”

The old man tilted his head and then took a step to the side and nonchalantly watched as they passed by at multiple angles. “You’ve got enough chakra in you to fire more of those than a unit of samurai, but you can’t control how they fly yet. You need more chakra control and less of them unless you plan on simply attacking a large contingency.”

The appearance of dozens of Fuu clones had the older man switch targets while they rushed in from all sides of the horizontal plane. He waited until they got close enough and then he made his move and spun fast while streaming chakra in the sheath before stopping.

“Destruction Halo,” A thin ring of chakra expanded outwards and cut through the clones. “My range has shrunk because of my age unfortunately.”

“Gale—” Naruto shrouded his hand in wind chakra and swiped it across the air. “Shuriken!” Spinning disks flew towards the old man who streamed his chakra into his sheathed sword and batted them away.

“Too fragile,” he told him. “You haven’t balanced the shaping with the amount of chakra. Don’t just think that because you have the shape it will work properly if you gorge it with chakra. In that case, make it bigger.”

Fuu came from above with Water Slicing Blades in both hands. When she was only a few feet away, she swung down the blades. They drew a blue arc in the sky as they descended on the man.

“Iai: Horizon Cut.” There was flash and the blades were sliced in two with enough force to resist Fuu’s fall. His eyes gleamed as he used his sheath to smack Fuu’s rear and earned a yelp. “You might have a firm ass, but your recovery time is too slow.”

Fuu blushed and flapped her wings to back away as Naruto rushed in from the front with a Rasengan roughly twice the size of his head and a half. “Grand Rasengan!”

“You’re telegraphing it.” Another flash before the old man jumped back. A line was drawn in the sphere. The left and right halves slid an inch before it ruptured into an explosion of released chakra. He had cut the Grand Rasengan in half before leaping back.

“Iai: Skyward Cut. My speed is not as fast compared to Mifune’s,” the old man suddenly got serious and frowned. Play time was over.

“Let’s test your defense,” he warned Naruto. “I’m coming.”

Chains emerged from Naruto’s body and coiled around him tightly. A solid layer of chakra was tempered and projected a thin barrier over his skin. “Chakra Chain: Armor!”

“Impressive and faster than your full barrier…but it has limits,” the old man said as he appeared from behind Naruto and took a swig of tea from his flask. Naruto kneeled over clenching where his floating ribs were supposed to be and the barrier cracked. “Because it is tied to your body, you still feel the force of my blows. Try to make it expand back into the sphere shape but maintain the ability to move by keeping it within an arm’s range.”

He glanced up at Fuu. “How about you?”

Fuu started making hand seals when the old man was already in front of her.

“Too slow.” He swung the sheathed blade and smacked her from the sky and into the snow below.

Fuu looked stunned as she began to sit up. “How can an old man be so—!” she shut up when she noticed he was in front of her already.

“I’ve been alive a long time little girl,” he told her with his sheathed blade next to her throat. “Much like you ninja, we samurai get more dangerous as we age and live through combat. Iaido was created to kill your kind before you can do any ninjutsu.”

He emitted enough killing intent that it felt like he could cut off her head before she could do a damn thing. Gone was the perverted old man, and in his place was a warrior. “Do you yield?”

Fuu nodded and he pulled back the weapon. “I’m heading back inside. My age is catching up with me.”

He left as Naruto wobbled over to her, waiting for the fox to finish healing his ribs.

“Naruto…What was that?” Fuu asked.

“The speed you mean? He’s that fast because he trained his ass off like bushy brows,” Naruto sat in the snow next to her. “Here, in isolation and the freezing cold. He trained until he bled and when I came along, he had me do the same. I can’t match him sword skills and if you try to make a hand seal on him, you’ll learn the hard way not to underestimate him.”

“No,” Fuu shook her head. “That killing intent, it was dangerous…and sad.”

“You felt that huh?” Naruto sighed. “Remember he told you he was in a unit with Mifune a few days ago, right?”

Fuu nodded. “What he didn’t tell you was that during the war, he was one of the one’s who encountered Hanzo with Mifune…and he ran. He ran away and Mifune bought him time to escape with the others by clashing with the salamander summoner…”

“Hanzo…he was an infamous ninja, right?” Fuu asked. “I didn’t go an Academy so I didn’t learn history, only current things Shibuki, his father, or that bastard Suien taught me, along with certain people to look out for.”

“Like me?” he hugged her.

“Especially you,” she leaned into him.

“Well, I only know because I picked up a history book out of boredom and the Wind Temple had books from all over. Hanzo was a monster in the Second War that not even Granny, Pervy Sage, and the Snake Bastard could beat together. They got the name Sannin from him because they survived fighting him. Even to this day, most people don’t know who killed the guy or if he’s really dead or not.”

“Then why was running bad?” It was a legitimate question.

“He was the oldest samurai there, the most experienced, and skilled enough to the point he earned that sword, Ukki, which is a Meitou—a blade that is famous and has history.” Naruto looked down. “Yet, he let a younger, promising samurai be the one to make the sacrifice. It was a miracle that Mifune lived through the poison and as a result he became immune to poisons.

“To him, it was his greatest shame. He never forgave himself for that and sought to atone with death by Mifune’s hands. Mifune forgave him, as well as the others who fled, which hurt even more since it meant he couldn’t take his own life or it would be disrespectful. He isolated himself, unable to stand in the same space as the comrade that he once fought alongside after leaving him for death, but he was unable to take his own life. He was willing to fade away from history instead of as a brave samurai of his era as penitence for his crime. He wouldn’t be missed, only forgotten with no one to grieve for him…”

“A lonely death where it would be the same as if he never existed,” Fuu finished.

“He feels a lot like Pervy Sage in that aspect…” Naruto sighed. “They both have things that they regret and feel as though they can never forgive themselves for until they die…if then.”

The two were bought out of their gloom by the appearance of their most commonly used ferret.

Hey Boss!” Pace ran up to Naruto with an orange bandana and a scroll on its back. These few months he had made progress with their kind after he summoned the Ferret Boss and several of his kin and got to know their various abilities, lifestyles, and skills.

Naruto also learned a bit more about the Toads, like how they had sage skills and their own form of taijutsu. The toads and ferrets go back far until an incident involving Jiraiya spying on the previous contract holder while on a toad…Gamabunta blames the pervert for their years of separation.

The Ferret Boss also had a grudge against the Snake Boss, Manda, because…well it wasn’t a pleasant situation. Naruto had standing orders to summon the Ferret Boss if he ever ran across the overgrown snake. He didn’t blame him after what he learned…the problem was that they had to kill him before he escaped by anchoring him the location, meaning he’d have to check the storage facility for something that could help once he got back to Uzushio.

“Hey Pace, how’d it go?”

I gave the old man’s grandson and princess the messages and the money, and they gave me the stuff you ordered and said they would get the message to Moon,” the ferret handed him the storage scroll and paused. “…Although that boy’s mom tried to glomp me…

“Sorry about that,” Naruto gave him a treat. “Tell your family I said Hi.”

The ferret nodded and vanished.

“What did you order Naruto?”

“500 kunai in packs of 100 each, 200 of those ice…ball…tree…ice bomb thingys used by that flying girl from my trip to Snow before it became Spring, more ink and scrolls, poison powder and poison bombs from Suna and Grass, a couple of jutsus sealed into scrolls that I paid a few shinobi to perform, 20 explosive tag balls, materials to make a second seal rod, some sake from Wave, etc…I also sent Tazuna from Wave and his family a message along with Princess Yukie, who’ll pass another one to Moon country to the prince and king.”

“Naruto, there’s a thing called overkill,” she raised an eyebrow. “You’re strapped more than a small army.”

“All of these are going to be used in my version of the traditional style of Uzumaki fighting,” he told her. “I want to be ready for anything that Konoha or Akatsuki could throw against me.”

“I didn’t know your clan had a method of fighting?” Fuu scratched her head.

“Mom didn’t use it because she came to Konoha when she was young, and Granny’s grandmother stopped using it because she had Kurama and settled down with her husband before she was widowed,” Naruto explained. “The Uzumaki were feared because of their ability to seal just about anything: Jutsu, Souls, Etc. I can’t do everything they could but I can use sealing scrolls to completely throw my enemies off like I did with Kakashi—granted he got my ass in the end with that decapitation technique, but still…”

“At least you have a clan fighting style…or a clan. I have to fall back on the training I got from Suien and self-taught things,” Fuu sighed. “I can’t use a good portion of Choumei’s skills unless I’m in a stage two transformation. Outside the scale powder technique, some references I got on how the Aburame and Kamizuru clans use their insects, and my summonings, I’m limited.”

“Fuu, my main series of skills are close range and all chakra constructs or have me hitting something or using premade seal scrolls or sealing off an ability like summoning. I can also apply wind chakra externally to the Grand Rasengan now, but it still pushes and grates against an enemy instead of cutting them beyond the surface of their skin. You can fly and have an outright advantage against most enemies, attack from one end with your swords or jutsu, while your insects or clones attack from another, blind the enemy—which is infinitely useful against people who rely on their eyes—and you can throw together combination jutsu in tandem with yourself. We’ve both got limits, but we can work together to overcome them.”

“You’re right,” she kissed him passionately. “I have more at hand than I thought…so, what are you naming your new Rasengan?”

“Wind Style: Grand Squall Rasengan…and if you’re upset you don’t have a clan name, you can take mine once all this business with Akatsuki is done.”

Near Mount Katsuragi – Four Months after the Land of Wind Incident

The forest surrounding the mountain was covered in an abnormal rain storm that washed away chakra from those not intoned to its signature. It was the Mist Rain technique only taught to a special unit of Kiri-nin…the hunter-nin. They were on the move and they had finally found their prey.

“Water Style: Azure Dragon Palm!” was cried, as a spiraling torrent of water gathered and released from palm of one of the hunter’s hand. It tore through the air and was targeting a man and young woman running through the forest to escape.

“They’re only after me,” the man told the girl as they jumped off the branch that was destroyed by the incoming attack. “If you interfere, they’ll use it as an excuse to kill you!”

“I’m not abandoning you,” the girl said before she turned to face the incoming man who lacked the traditional mask of hunter-nin and wore an eye patch. She jumped away from her companion and blazed through hand seals. “Water Style: Wild Water Wave!”

She exhaled gallons of water that was slowly eaten away by the rain but still saturated with enough chakra to force the incoming man to jump away…and into a bubble filled area.

“Such a troublesome girl,” he said half-heartedly as the dozens of bubbles gathered towards the eye patch-wearer and the bubble-user snapped his fingers. “Water Style: Bubbles!”

A chorus of explosions engulfed the hunter-nin as the pressure inside the bubbles was released as an explosive force. Wood spattered along with the dirt that was caught in the blast. Yet, there were no viscera or remains…only water.

The girl’s scream caught his ears.

“Hotaru!” he looked back to see the girl being held by the eye patch-wearer himself at kunai point. I was fighting a Water Clone…

“Utakata, jinchuuriki of the Rokubi…the fact that Mizukage-sama sent both myself, Ao, and young Chojuro should warrant how desperately she wishes you retrieved,” he held the curved tipped kunai by her neck to get the point across. “You’ve been a hard man to find hiding behind those barriers on the mountain to the point that I almost overlooked it…”

“Let her go!” Utakata demanded.

“Be grateful we aren’t the same Bloody Mist as we were in the past, Mizukage-sama is even offering to expunge your crimes against the previous hunter-nin and show you records that your master meant you no harm in the incident he was killed in exchange for your return.”

“My so-called master trying to kill me and take the power was bad enough, but that was the last straw in a long series of problem with that damn village! You’ve taken someone hostage just to have a shot at catching me! You’ve always left bodies hidden in the mist just to accomplish your goals, no matter how high you’ve had to stack them. The Bloody Mist will always remain the same!”

Hotaru eyed the kunai careful and then looked at Utakata. She shed a single tear and prepared to run her neck through the kunai when Ao changed his grip to avoid that outcome.

“You’d be surprised at how many people have tried that in the past,” he told her calmly.

“Let her—” the jinchuuriki was cut off.

“Sorry about this!” a teen with blue hair, glasses connected to ear protectors, and shark teeth appeared behind him with a hammer made of chakra coming out of a sword. He slammed the hammer blade and sent the jinchuuriki flying into the rock face, next to Ao and Hotaru, creating a crater in it before he fell to the ground.

“Ngh—!” Utakata tried get up, only to see the teen in the air with his hammer ready to swing down again. “Hotaru…I—”

The earth shook as darkness claimed the jinchuuriki and the sound of smashing earth rang down in the cloud of dust. Only when it cleared did it reveal the injured form of the jinchuuriki of the Six-Tailed Slug.

“Well done, Chojuro,” Ao said.

“NO!” Hotaru screamed as hunter-nin surrounded her fallen mentor. Ao allowed her to break free as she had no chance of getting past them now.

“A jinchuuriki won’t die from—” the nervous swordsman was cut off by a loud noise that followed a loud yell.

“HOW COULD YOU!” the girl slapped Chojuro, who was knocked to the ground on his ass, and Ao, who just stood there and took it like a man. “HE’S NOT A WEAPON FOR YOU TO USE! HE’S A HUMAN!”

“He’s a weapon of the village, as are all shinobi, who has been recalled and he’s being hunted,” Ao said as the hunter-nin began to seal Utakata. “At least we’re taking him back alive. If you truly cared about him then you’d understand this was the best outcome for him.”

Ao snapped his fingers and had several hunter-nins grab the girl. “Escort her back to her home!”

“UTAKATA!” Hotaru screamed in sorrow as the other hunter-nin took her precious person away.

Land of Iron – Five Months after the Land of Wind Incident

“He’s so cute when he’s asleep,” Kanna chuckled as she laid safe in Naruto’s arms, along with Fuu, in a very large bed of a luxury suite hotel room. They were currently in a major village on the outskirts of town. “It had been so long, but I didn’t think his stamina could increase further.”

“I can’t believe you went along with the clones and the transformation, and did…” Fuu trailed off. “Anyway, it was funny when he introduced you to Pervy Master and you tried to beat him with a branch.”

“He said my ass was too soft after he smacked it so hard it had an imprint when I checked later!” Kanna countered and the two women went on with girl talk before things got back to a more somber mood.

“Kanna,” Fuu whispered to not wake Naruto. “I’ve been wondering something…why doesn’t Naruto just join another village? I heard Kumo treats theirs better than others.”

“During the time I was under his guard I asked him something like that when he told me he was banished,” Kanna sighed. “He said all the major villages use jinchuuriki as weapons and minor villages are the same to an extent. Kumo may treat jinchuuriki better, but both Naruto and his tenant would be hard pressed to even try to join, leaving aside the fact that they’d still be seen as weapons.”

“Why?” Fuu’s fingers traced a circle on Naruto’s abs. They weren’t rock-hard yet, but very firm.

“Because they’ve attempted to kidnap his mother and Kurama,” Kanna shifted her body to hug Naruto’s sleeping form. “He mentioned that the first time was with the Gold and Silver Brothers, who actually survived being eaten by the fox. The second time was when they kidnapped his mother and his father saved her. Since the ones that attempted to kidnap her and the Third Raikage have already died, he won’t seek revenge, but he won’t join them.”

“What about the places he’s helped?” Fuu bought up a secondary plan.

“Even the nations he’s helped might shelter him, but they are relatively small compared to the Land of Fire and Konoha, they would have to eventually yield to their demands under the threat of an embargo or such politics. The Hokage took gentle steps before by only sending one team to negotiate, but all the other Kages have begun forcing their jinchuuriki back according to the other Daimyo’s at the last meeting. She won’t hold back manpower anymore.”

“Did Naruto tell you what he wanted to set up the village for?” Fuu stroked Naruto’s whisker marks. “Naruto wants to restore his mother’s village and open it for all those who need a home away from the other villages, like abused orphans like he was in the past…and people like me…”

“That was the past,” Kanna gently rubbed Fuu’s face. “I love Naruto and you have me and him, while he has both of us now. He won’t put me in a bad position if he can help it, but I’ll support him in any manner he needs. He taught me a bit about chakra during our travels while he humbled me, but I can’t join him on the battlefield. Only you can do that and I’ll support you.”

For emphasis, Kanna kissed her on the forehead. “If he wants to create a place of peace where everyone can be accepted then I’ll do what I can. You do what you can as well.”

Mount Shumisen Remains

“The Uchiha did a number on you…” Sasori stated factually. “You probably should have cut your losses and went with Kakashi instead of Itachi’s little brother. You are lucky that whatever genjutsu you had on these ruins prevented the ninja from the five nations from thoroughly confirming your death.”

“Who are you?” a white haired man covered in bandages addressed the two men in black robes with red clouds. There had been a quick battle and they were currently in a stalemate, even though both parties were holding back.

“Hiruko, former Konoha-nin and international criminal for attempting to instigate the next great war and kidnapping shinobi from all great nations to obtain their bloodlines…” Kakuzu started. “We’ve come recruit you into Akatsuki. We might even be able to help you with that whole…immortality problem, given the two of us…”

“…I’m listening,” a small smile made its way across his bandaged face.

Land of Hot Water – Two weeks later

Naruto and Fuu appeared in an orange flash next to Pace in the Land of Hot Water.

“Thanks for the lift Pace,” Naruto told the small ferret. “Are you sure your dad is okay with you staying with us so long?”

No problem!” Pace chirped. “Dad was grateful to hear about the Toad Boss and how the Snake Boss got skewered with his sword.

“Alright,” Fuu kneeled so that Pace could hop on her shoulder. “What’s the plan Naruto?”

“We catch a boat going to the Land of Sea and water walk once we’re passing by the island,” he told her. “I don’t want to risk going by the Land of Fire since that’s where Gaara’s contractors are coming in from and Konoha frequents the port. I had Gaara recall the construction group for the next two weeks paid vacation so we could look around without worry that our identities would slip.”

“Meaning we’ll have an entire island to ourselves…” Fuu wrapped her arms around his waist.

“Yeah…” he nervously rubbed his head. “I planned to have Kanna come along, but she has a meeting with Gaara this week and she said she felt a little sick. They’ll drop by some time later next week.”

“I hope she’ll be okay,” Fuu grabbed his hand and led him to the docks. “Let’s go check our new home! Choumei wants to see if the living areas for the little ones are set up right.”

Naruto could only curse the gods that a member of Jiraiya’s spy network and one of Orochimaru’s lackeys oversaw them as they made their way to the docks. It didn’t take three days for the information to get back to their respective parties.


Tsunade addressed the gathered units for the retrieval team.

“All of you are here because the time has come to retrieve Naruto Uzumaki and his partner and fellow jinchuuriki, Fuu. Now, this mission in itself is an S-class secret, only to be shared with individuals of my choosing after it is carried out successfully. As much as I wish I could say otherwise, you are authorized to use force if negotiations fail as he has stated that he won’t hold back.

“According to Jiraiya’s intelligence, they took a boat to the south,” she trailed her finger down from the edge of the Land of Hot Water to a small island. “I believe this is target location.”

“…The Land of Whirlpools?” Lee tilted his head.

“The Fire Daimyo informed me that someone had bought the entire island but didn’t give any information. In addition, Suna has been sending civilians according to the boat checkout logs. They rent boats and return them, but the destination log has an inaccurate time frame from where they were supposedly using them for fishing.”

“Of course…” Shizune muttered.

“Make sense.” Jiraiya added. “How the hell did we not think about that?”

“Are we missing something?” Kiba asked.

“The Land of Whirlpools is the original home of the Uzumaki Clan’s village, Uzushio.” Shizune told him.

“What kind of clan would stay in a place named the Land of Whirlpools! It’s so—”

“Kiba, shut up!” Sasuke told him while nodding towards the obviously irate look on Tsunade’s face.

“For your information Inuzuka, my grandmother and wife of the First Hokage was Mito Uzumaki!” Tsunade told him. “The next person who says something stupid gets the same treatment as Jiraiya when he does something perverted in front of me!”

Complete silence reigned.

“Now then, since the Academy didn’t apparently teach you history or you slept through it, the Uzumaki Clan were allied to the Senju Clan and you carry their symbol on your flak jackets—the spirals. Their village, Uzushio, was in the Land of Whirlpools…before it was wiped out.”

Shino raised his hands. “Why did such an event occur?”

“The Uzumaki were the best known seal masters in the world before their fall and it made them feared to the point that when Konoha was busy with their own battlefront, they were ambushed and decimated. To compare, the Fourth Hokage and Jiraiya were both taught their seals by Kushina Uzumaki…Naruto’s mother.”


“The reason I’m telling them this is so they don’t get distracted and killed because they were stunned like Kakashi was,” she cut him off. “This is also an S-class secret and will remain unless Naruto consents to the public knowing it, but while we have no photographs of Naruto’s current appearance, according to Neji Hyuuga and the others who have confronted him, he bears a strong resemblance to the Fourth Hokage who was his father.”

“Not that surprising,” Shikamaru sighed…until everyone looked at him. “How many people in the village had blonde hair but weren’t from Ino’s family, born on the night of the Kyuubi attack, and had Asuma-sensei’s father looking after him since when he was a baby…? I’m lazy, not stupid.”

They looked at Asuma. “In my defense, Dad never told me who he was related to and after he entered the orphanage it was years before I saw him again since I was with the Twelve Guardians Ninja.”

“He used his own son?” Tenten asked.

“Minato was never the type to sacrifice an orphan, Naruto was the only newborn at the time, and jinchuuriki by nature are almost always related in some way to a high ranking figure inside their village to instill loyalty,” Jiraiya told them.

“Until the villagers trample over them,” Sasuke pointed out. “You wondered why Gaara was so kill-happy a few years ago.”

“We’re getting off topic!” Tsunade grabbed their attention. “The point is, by now I’m sure you all realize not only the fact that there is a power balance because each nation has one or more jinchuuriki, but Akatsuki has been going around and capturing them and upsetting the balance. The other nations have already put their effort into retrieving their own and leaving Naruto and Fuu out makes them bait for Akatsuki and for the nations who will seek to claim them in order to bolster their power.

“You’ve all been informed of what skills and techniques they’ve exhibited during their last encounters and just to be safe, Kakashi will go over them along the way, but it’s been almost half a year since then and I doubt they’ve been sitting still all this time and growing complacent. Your numbers are to ensure you capture Naruto as the primary target and Fuu as a secondary since one probably won’t go without the other, but Naruto is the greater threat. Is everyone with me so far?”

They all nodded.

“Shizune and Iruka are to try and reason with Naruto, as well as the rest of you who were close to him. Barring that fails, Iruka is a barrier-user and fairly skilled tracker, and Shizune is a medic and poison-user. Both jinchuuriki are capable of manifesting cloaks as you may have seen when he was younger, and Yamato is the only one of you capable of siphoning off the chakra and weakening them. You chuunin are to weaken them and create an opening for the jounin to settle the issue and Jiraiya to seal away their chakra. If at any state they go beyond three tails, enter a stage two transformations and gain blood cloaks, or full blown Bijuu states, chuunin are to withdraw from the battle and allow the jounin to act alone as well as send the fastest message toad to me so I can join them on the battle front.

“If Yamato, Kakashi, or Jiraiya are killed or no longer able to suppress their chakra, you will flee the location as quickly as possible. I don’t give a damn how you feel about Naruto or the fox, but don’t fuck up like Sakura did and destroy or say anything unnecessary or I’ll personally make you pay the bill after I shove my foot up your ass as hard as I can. Is that clear?”

“Yes, ma’am!” they all replied.

“You have two hours before leaving, spend them wisely.”

Outside the Hokage’s Tower

“Why didn’t you say something Shika?” Chouji asked. “If you knew all this time…”

“It wouldn’t have changed a thing,” Shikamaru told him. “Forget the fact that he’s related to someone famous, the village abused him as an orphan. Naruto has every right to a grudge and if we’re unlucky he’ll take it out on us.”

His heritage doesn’t matter…he’s used your kindness and taken advantage of you…the voice inside her head whispered. He’s strung you along…kill him…take away his everything…

“Hinata, are you alright?” Kiba asked her. “Your eyes are active…”

“Ah,” she deactivated them. “Sorry Kiba-kun.”

“What are your thoughts on the information we have received?” Shino asked her.

“We’re just to bring the Kyuubi back,” she told them. “That’s all…”

Shino watched as she walked off before addressing Neji and Kiba. “I believe we should ensure that one of us is by her side the entire time to prevent her from acting irrationally…”

“Iruka-sensei, since when are you a tracker?” Ino asked.

“How do you think I always found Naruto? I can perform a type of echolocation using sound waves by apply chakra to my vocal cords and ears. When air passes through the vocal cords it causes fluctuations.” Iruka sighed. “Because Naruto could hear very well, I had to make the sound waves become ultrasonic by applying more chakra to my ears and vocal cords, and even then I had to change the frequency occasionally.”

“So basically you follow your namesake and act like dolphin?” Shikamaru chuckled. “That’s troublesome.”

“Anko fell down laughing when I told her…” Iruka chuckled at himself.

Land of Sound

Kabuto had just relayed the information he received to one of his masters, planning to send information off to the other once Orochimaru made his decision. It was a dangerous game he was playing, but it was one he played very well.

“This too important to leave to mere lackeys…I shall go personally and take Guren and you with me,” Orochimaru told him. “Tsunade is sending Sasuke Uchiha, who once considered the Kyuubi brat a brother to reason with him, as well as Jiraiya to be sure they get him. This is a chance to strip Akatsuki of their goals and grab my next container…and if I just so happen to kill my old teammate and weaken Konoha in the process…a bonus, really.”

“Hasn’t Guren been a little…off since the death of that boy, Yuukimaru?” Kabuto asked.

“Yes…I fear that she may have had feelings for the boy,” Orochimaru shook his head. “However, she should still be capable of killing the Nanabi’s host after we give her incentive…”

An Akatsuki Base

“My spy has picked up that Orochimaru intends to kill the jinchuuriki and capture the Uchiha sent to retrieve them.” Sasori explained. “From the list of deployed ninja that he snatched, Konoha is sending Jiraiya the Toad Sage, Kakashi of the Sharingan, Asuma Sarutobi, and the Taijutsu Expert Might Gai, within four teams and some lesser known ninja.”

“What is the location?” Pain asked.

“The Land of Whirlpools…” Sasori told them. “Apparently the entire thing was bought earlier this year and contractors, artisans, and stone masons have been moving in and out according to the last plant I have Suna. We think they’re planning to rebuild Uzushio…the home of the Uzumaki clan.”

Konan’s eyes widened for a brief second, while Pain barely blinked.

Kisame chuckled. “So he’s rebuilding his home village?”

“Good bounties all around…” Kakuzu mused. “A shame we’re still too far to reach there before it all goes down. I imagine a battle between Sannin will be something worth witnessing even at my age.”

“We’ve let Orochimaru do as he pleases for too long,” Konan stated.

“Indeed.” Pain agreed. “Kisame, Itachi, you two are the closest to their location correct?”

“Yes,” Itachi answered.

“Then ensure that the snake does not leave alive.” Pain ordered. “If the Toad Sage does not finish the job, then make sure you do.”

“If the jinchuuriki brat is there and I’m there…” Kisame started.

“You two alone can’t handle that many.” Pain cut him off before he saw the shark man pout. “But if Itachi sees an opening and the main objective is dealt with, take him before Konoha can. But don’t kill him and don’t get caught. Your abilities are too useful in retrieving the Bijuu.”

The projections faded from existence.

Back in Ame

“Pain…” Konan addressed her god. “If he’s rebuilding the birth place of your clan…”

“The Uzumaki have had a long, pain-filled history up to and including their destruction,” he told her. “Naruto Uzumaki knows pain, having been a jinchuuriki, and seeks peace I’m sure. If he and the others had not been unfortunate to bear the power we seek, I would have left them be. Still, I would like them to see the world we will eventually bring about…”

He stared at the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path and the bodies beneath them, still looking as fresh as the day they died…

New Uzushio

Fuu was on the edge of New Uzushio, flying over the area set up to house a variety of insect species that would adapt to the new environment of the island when a beetle from the shore that the workers usually docked on landed on her finger tips and sent the bad news.

“NARUTO!” Fuu yelled as she approached the central building where the tallest pole stood. “Konoha has come!”

“Well, that would be my luck taking a turn for the worst…” he muttered under his breath before pressing for details. “What can you tell me?”

Fuu told her as much as she could gather from the little one that informed her.

“Fuck…” Naruto said to himself. Those were odds even he wouldn’t be on. He sighed before he told Fuu, “Stay in the storage facility beneath the village until this over.”

“What the hell! Are you going to try to fight them yourself?”

“From the information you’ve given me, they sent my entire graduating classmates, which would be doable, but also Kakashi, the big version of Bushy Brows, Old Man’s son, Pervy Sage, and a few others the insects couldn’t identify. I’m confident, not crazy—that’s the Snake Bastard’s department.

“Fuu, they’re going to have their hands full with me, and I will not go down easy, but I need someone to watch over this place in case something happens to me. I’ll contact Gaara in a minute to tell him we have guests and to get ready to send a set of documents to the Fire Daimyo with Kanna’s signature, but he can’t directly intervene since Suna and Konoha are still in an alliance and neither one can interfere with each other on missions.”

“Why is that you have to fight, but I can run away? This is going to be my home too!”

“I can’t keep running,” Naruto told her. “Not now that they know about this place. I refuse to let the village I’m setting up be taken from me by Konoha or any other hidden village. Gaara understands what I’m planning and will do what he can, but he has no direct control of the politics of Konoha.”

“Naruto, unless you plan on physically stopping me, I’m going to fight.”

“…That’s a cheap shot dammit,” Naruto relented. “Fine, but show me your seal so that I can add a parallel array to the Boundless Orange Step as a last resort. It’ll be a rush job and if I use it, it’ll wipe the array for the original formula clean and I’ll have to reapply the whole thing, but it’ll transport you to Gaara’s location. I won’t let Konoha take you no matter what.”

“Pace, you go home.” Fuu told the ferret. “Naruto and I need to get ready.”

No way! I can help you with that teleporting thing on the battlefield.

“Pace…” Naruto chided him. “You aren’t a warrior or monk ferret. You can get killed.”

I wanna! I wanna! I wanna! I wanna—” the young ferret kept going on a tantrum while Naruto and Fuu sighed and decided to talk strategy.

“Naruto, we can’t fight head to head with them, right?” Fuu confirmed and he nodded. “We don’t fight with them head on then; we have more stamina than them so we make it a guerilla war and wear them out. Fighting fair is for sparring, this is for our future.”

“…Point made,” Naruto admitted.

She looked at the map of the old Uzushio village. “You’ve still got traps set up in old Uzushio right?”

“Just one section of the trap barriers since I moved all of the manually triggered ones to the perimeter of the new village to set up the defense system,” he sighed. “They’ll be there in less than 30 minutes and I’ll be adding the parallel array into your seal which will take 10 minutes, plus another 10 so you can recover from the shock and pain while I tweak my own seal, so we can’t add more in time…”

Oh, and what may I ask are you planning to do to your seal?” Kurama asked.

Let’s just say that if I get captured and they try to play the threat of death card…We have incentive for them to not try anything. Naruto answered.

Naruto walked over to the table and put chakra into his body seals to empty the contents. “Fuu, I want you to take a couple of my sealed scrolls just in case.”

Fuu looked at them. “Barriers, Fire, Poison, Exploding Tag Balls, Kunai w/Exploding Tags, Kunai w/Ice Bombs…” Fuu went on and on as she listed them all. “Once again Naruto, OVERKILL—there’s such a thing as too much.”

“Considering who we’re facing, I believe I’m under-equipped…”

With the Retrieval Team – 27 Minutes Later

The Konoha retrieval team leaped as they passed grassy plains and over green hills into the ruins of old Uzushio. Their cloaks billowed in the wind as they landed with their guards up and slowly made their way inwards.

The broken village was filled with collapsed pillars that had the spiral of Uzushio carved into them and the occasional building that still had at least a third of its original shape as they lined the narrow streams that gathered into a lake. In the center of the lake was a leaning tower that had been broken in half with the largest spiral emblem in the village barely visible above the water.

“This place is a mess!” Kiba said rudely, earning him a bark from his partner. “I was not being disrespectful!”

“This all that remained when the village was destroyed during the war…” Jiraiya said somberly. “This was the birth place of the Uzumaki clan, who were targeted for their sealing arts and the survivors scattered, along with their knowledge.”

“Are you sure that anyone has been on this island?” Ino asked.

“My insects have picked up the scent of several people…” Shino answered.

“Me and Akamaru have a few scents, but they’re days old…” Kiba added. “If these guys were supposed to be rebuilding this village, they slacked off.”

“You’re wrong…” Neji said with his bloodline active. “There’s another village further ahead. Maybe they felt it would be easier to build in a new location.”

“I’ll take a look…” Sai drew an ink bird and hopped onto it.

As he neared the new village, he noted that the perimeter was a circle that had been divided into sections by the streams that flowed through it. The buildings were smooth, cylindrical shaped and towering, but there was an abundance of flowers and parks being cultivated. In the center of the village was a large building with a long pole that rose above the village and had the Uzumaki emblem on the end.

“Dick-less really must have called in a few favors. It looks impressive…” Sai mused as he crossed the village boundary…before hundreds of chains emerged from the perimeter of the new village and Sai was forced to dodge them as they attempted to spear him before arcing towards the single tallest pole with the Uzumaki spiral at center and formed a barrier.

As he circled back to the group, something hit his ink bird from behind and caused it to burst. He fell from the sky like a stone. Chouji extended his hand and it grew to a massive size to catch the artist.

“Thanks…” Sai muttered.

As dozens of chakra signatures from the ground beneath them began to spring to life, Neji yelled, “SCATTER!”

Chains erupted from the ground and coiled towards the clumped together group. The ninja reacted quickly but a wave them curved to ensnare as many as they could. Iruka was snared as they coiled around all his limbs, Shikamaru was bound around the arms, and Jiraiya was caught by the left hand when he pushed Shizune out of the way. An intricate array appeared beneath the trio with another thirty chains crossed to make a translucent barrier.

“Where’s the enemy!” Yamato ordered.

Neji and Hinata looked around and could only make out two figures.

“Above us, moving towards 12 o’clock is a woman with wings,” Neji answered. “She was most likely the one who took out Sai’s drawing.”

“There’s a small creature also moving towards 12 o’ clock in front of us.” Hinata answered. “And below us are sealing tags that are remote activated, that’s where chains came from.”

The green-haired woman fluttered just above the ground, kicking up dust fifty feet in front of them. Her hair was lightly wafting in the wind as she looked at them piercing orange eyes while a ferret scampered beneath her. “Get out of our home!”

“The jinchuuriki of the Nanabi, Fuu…” Sasuke stated factually as a blur sped past him towards the figure.

“HINATA, NO!” Tenten threw a weighted chain at the girl to stop her from attacking first and Kiba was on Akamaru following her before she did something she would regret.

“Where’s the Kyuubi!” Hinata ordered as she closed the distance and got ready to strike the jinchuuriki with a Gentle Fist technique. The ferret rushed beneath her and pulsed chakra into the seal it had. It was only because she had her eyes active that she saw the man above her with a spiraling sphere of chakra in his hand or chain wrapping around her waist.

“Die.” he muttered before slamming the Grand Rasengan down towards the Hyuuga.

The chain around her jerked as Tenten and Lee pulled as hard as they could to avoid having her smashed along with the ground. Hinata flew backwards before flipping in midair and landing away from the cloud of dust and dirt on the back of Akamaru with Kiba as they went back to the group.

Fuu flew back and the figure jumped out of the cloud and somersaulted a good distance away before the group could get their guard up and the dust cleared.

The blonde haired-figure with cold blue eyes stared at the invaders. He wore a black pants and a deep orange long shirt with chakra chains that formed a cross around his torso that could be seen under the fluttering long coat and the scroll bandolier that went diagonally across his chest. Armed with his bracers and fingerless gloves, in his right hand was a dissipating Grand Rasengan, and on his left shoulder was the ferret.

“Minato…” Jiraiya muttered, as the image of father overlapped with son. The majority of the group looked stunned—despite being warned—as they looked at the near identical image of the Fourth Hokage from a history book.

“NARUTO!” Sasuke yelled and snapped them back to normal.

Naruto’s eyes took in the group but froze on a certain person. “Iruka-sensei? I expected my old classmates and a few others, but why are you here?”

“I was sent to try to convince you to return Naruto.” Iruka said while glancing at the barrier around them. He had experience in using barrier ninjutsu, not that Naruto knew it of course. “You’ve grown a lot.”

“In that case, I’m glad you and the other two troublesome ones were caught,” Naruto coldly stated. “I have nothing against you and Shikamaru’s jutsu is a pain in the ass, so you can stay there and out of the fight to tell Granny what happened when the rest trespassed on my property.”

“Your property? How did you afford an entire island?” Jiraiya asked while trying to figure out the sealing array used on the trap seal on the ground so he could defuse. The seventh array stabilizes the yang chakra and spreads it out using the chains so if it I…

Naruto shook his head. “Have you forgotten my luck in gambling? I’m the Anti-Tsunade.” Jiraiya and Shizune face palmed. “Your ass is mine after I get the rest, pervert!”

“Anti-Tsunade?” Neji muttered.

“Tsunade-sama is renowned for losing whenever she gambles,” Shizune rubbed her forehead. “Unless something bad is happening…”

“Which means he has ‘Mad Bank’ at his disposal and paid for the village’s construction himself as well,” Sai said…only for the others to look at him with raised eyebrows. “I read the term in a book.”

“That means we cannot use money as a bargaining tool for his return,” Shino stated.

“He doesn’t look like he’s in a bargaining mood…” Shikamaru muttered and Chouji nodded.

“I know I wasn’t the best Godparent Naruto but—” Jiraiya was cut off.

“You could’ve been better!” Naruto snapped. “You get a narrow pass because you taught me the Rasengan and for that, I’m going to send you back to Granny barely alive! I’m castrating you because you used my parents for your research, you pervert!”

“Kushina knew!” Jiraiya was shocked and Kakashi turned pale.

“Not exactly…” Fuu answered with a blush. “I crossed the memory with some of your…materials.”

“You’re a fan?” he raised an eyebrow.

“Can we get back to the matter at hand/castrating the pervert?” Yamato and Naruto interrupted.

Yamato coughed and spoke first. “Naruto Uzumaki, we have been assembled to retrieve you at all cost, as well as your partner if possible. We have been told to start with negotiation and then force if necessary.”

“Naruto, Tsunade-sama is willing to make reparations for the excess clauses in your exile…” Shizune tried to reason with him. “You have to come back so you can claim your father’s estate and we can remove the seals on your hands for you to practice ninjutsu again. She’ll also tell everyone your heritage if you want.”

“Shizune-nee, I’m not going back, not even for that…” he addressed the sister-like figure with no hostility. “The moment the Old Man’s Law was broken going back there was never an option and we all know it. Who I’m related to won’t change the opinions of the majority, and even if it did I will never forgive them regardless…plus I don’t want people constantly kissing my ass like they do Sasuke.”

“Cheap Shot!” Sasuke countered.

“As for these seals, I could’ve gotten rid of them easily by now. I bet I could even render that seal on Neji’s forehead useless by simply overwriting the algorithm sequence that causes pain through the nerve receptors—”

Neji’s eyes briefly widened at the prospect while the others were amazed he knew big words like ‘receptors’. He clearly was no longer an idiot.

“—I’m keeping them on because they represent a reminder of the pain I’ve gone through, the last betrayal…and also the freedom and happiness I’ve obtained now that I am no longer tied to that village. I won’t go back.”

“Konohamaru misses you Naruto,” Asuma told him. “A lot of us do.”

“We know the village has attempted to smother your flames of youth, but things are different; none of us here bare you any ill will,” Gai told him.

“He’s right Naruto,” Kakashi said. “I don’t blame you for hating me but we really don’t want to fight you if we can avoid it. This time things are in our favor and we know you aren’t going to go easy on us, so we’ll have to be rougher on both of you.”

“I might miss Konohamaru, the Ichirakus, and a few others, but like I told Kakashi, I’m not walking into a lion’s den and you won’t take me or Fuu back,” he pointed to the girl with her bloodline active. “No ill will? Have you been ignoring the killing intent that the Hyuuga princess has been giving out? You think I’m going to a village filled with thousands of that with Fuu?”

“Naru—” Iruka was cut off.

“That strike of hers was aiming for Fuu’s heart! If you didn’t save the bitch at the last minute she would’ve been the first to die for the attempt!”

“The strike would have left her unable to fight,” Hinata stated coldly. “We have three skilled medics here and the chakra could have easily been pushed out or dealt with before her heart failed if you surrendered. We were told to use force if negotiations failed, and you have made quite clear that you are neither wanted nor want to be in Konoha, Kyuubi.”

“I. AM NOT. THE KYUUBI!” Naruto’s eyes turned crimson. “The Kyuubi and I aren’t the same, and quite frankly he’s treated me better than Konoha treats their orphans! After everything I went through, going back to that hellish prison was never an option!”

“Naruto calm down…” Fuu told him. “Don’t lose control.”

Naruto closed his eyes before slowly opening them and showing steel in blue eyes and directing them towards Iruka, Jiraiya, and Kakashi. “Would you tolerate an enemy that’s invading your home? Would you let them attack your loved ones and drag you to a prison in chains without a fight?”

“Your home is Konoha,” Jiraiya said…even if he knew otherwise.

“This island is my home,” he glared at them and pulled out his sealing rod. “I’ll tell you the same thing I tell the others who’ve faced me and I’ve got nothing against: Leave and I won’t chase you, or fight with your lives on the line. I’ve been preparing to deal with Akatsuki and Konoha and I’m not holding back!”

“Naruto, please—” Iruka tried to reach him but Shikamaru cut him off.

“Look in his eyes Iruka-sensei, he’ll resist to the end and drag as many of us down with him as he can if he has to.” Shikamaru told him. “This is the Sasuke retrieval mission all over but with Naruto this time, words won’t reach him…”

“No…” Sasuke agreed before activating his bloodline. “No, they won’t.”

Jiraiya sighed remorsefully before he looked at Kakashi. “Do it.”

“Negotiations have failed.” Kakashi revealed his hidden eye. “Combat units, subdue the targets using force but try not to do anything fatal. Sakura, Ino, and Shizune, you are all medics and here for that reason. Do not engage unless they are trying to stop you from healing the injured, saving a patient, or being attacked.”

The group charged.

“Fuu get ready!” Naruto yelled as he tossed the squealing ferret to Fuu for safe keeping and formed the blade. “We’re going with the Glacier Collapse after the first volley!”

Wheeeeee!” Pace exclaimed.

“Pace, this is not a game!” Fuu told him as she placed him on her head and summoned several clone that all started making hand signs.

“Rain Down!” Naruto swung the blade at the incoming group and it released several crescent arches that cut through the ruined pillars and stone towards the enemies of Naruto Uzumaki. “DESTRUCTION BARRAGE!”

The Battle of Old Uzushio had begun…

More Notes:

Yeah, sorry, but I had to end there…mostly because after that point it would be mood whiplash, comedy will be on the backburner. You can probably tell things will be a little…complicated next chapter. I hope I can make it work…

Don’t expect Naruto to have a curb-stomp battle. He will actually be trying to kill several of them while they have orders to bring him back alive, not unharmed, and they outnumber him and Fuu in jounin alone. Expect this to be a brutal battle with Konoha giving just as good as they get.

Now, I like to show that I don’t have characters pull things out of their asses without a reasonable excuse. So all of the training tools and technique mentions here have a purpose in the upcoming battles if I can find a place for them or don’t forget—even things from the earlier chapters will pop up sooner or later.

Also…you may have noticed a shout out to beyblade with Tenten…it had to be done.

If you don’t recognize a character or jutsu, go to the Naruto wikia. The old samurai and Kanna are the only OCs in this chapter and I list new jutsu. The sword Ukki translates to Melancholy.

Non – Canon Jutsu:

Gale Shuriken – Creates spinning disks of wind chakra to slice through an object or enemy.

Destruction Barrage – Releases a multitude of Destruction Strikes through multiple bursts of chakra and can be controlled under proper circumstances.

Chakra Chain: Armor – Wraps thin chains around the body to produce a barrier a skin level, but somewhat fragile with drawbacks. It can be expanded but it hinders combat.

Iai: Skyward Cut – A very fast vertical strike.

Iai: Horizon Cut – A very fast horizontal strike.

Destruction Halo – Uses blades or chakra streaming to create an expanding ring around user.

Canon Jutsu:

Grand Rasengan: Also known as Big Ball Rasengan, a larger than average sized Rasengan that works by applying more chakra than normal, it can be detonated on contact. (I like Grand Rasengan better, its cooler.)

Water Style: Wild Water Wave – A Basic skill with many variations, water gushes out the user’s mouth to wash away the enemy. (Dragon-Tiger-Hare)

Water Style: Bubbles – After blowing dozens of bubbles the user can control them. On contact they explode, but user can make a simultaneous explosion with a snap of the fingers.

Water Style: Azure Dragon Palm – Unleashes a spiraling torrent of water from hands.

Wind Monk Banishment #4

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 4

Author Notes:

Because I have received several death threats for my introduction of cliffhangers, I felt it was imperative to finish this as soon as possible…well, I’m joking about the death threats, but seriously, I didn’t even plan to finish this until near the end of the month. I have at least 3 other eBook fantasy stories like Arcane Advent I’m working on and Paypal is being a pain in the rear, but I couldn’t part from the desire to finish this.

That being said, I demand a sacrifice (review) for every reader…mostly to tell me what I did wrong. I’m working on my writing skills and need an unbiased opinion.

Now, as I said, Naruto is not godlike. He has shape manipulation and his wind chakra, as well as his skills honed from training and stamina, but he fights smart. He will not use the Temple of Enlightenment with people who can see chakra or highly skilled chakra sensors since he’s keeping that as a last resort in his fight against Konoha, which also means his sensory skills have dropped and he can’t avoid everything thrown at him.

That also means that he can’t face two skilled opponents at once in close range. However, I want to point out that neither of them is fighting to kill, but to capture or escape.

Also, as many of you will note, when you read the part about the Monk Spade, think Sha Gojyo from Saiyuki and you get the jest.

Chapter 4: Team 7 Reunion

Outside the Safe House

“We are going to get shit for this if Gaara find out we’re going after Naruto…” Sasuke warned Kakashi.

“I know…” he sighed. “Legally, he didn’t say he was sheltering Naruto and we’ll assume that he’s not a citizen of Suna…”

“It’s kidnapping!”

“Get over it, duck-ass,” Sai chided Sasuke. “We’re ninja. We’re trained weapons to be used for whoever orders us and pays our leader. We kidnap, kill; whatever we’re asked. Just because the current and previous Hokage have been lenient on such request does not mean it doesn’t happen.”

“That doesn’t mean I like it…and my hair does not look like a duck’s ass!” Sasuke smacked Sai upside the head.

Sakura silently growled. “Sasuke-kun, if you want to, then think of it like the time he went to retrieve you and return the favor.”

“That was different and we all know it,” he argued. “He was banished and had the freedom to leave as long as he didn’t become a threat to the village. I tried to defect to a very sick missing-nin who assassinated Naruto’s grandfather-figure and wanted me for my eyes.”

The conversation was cut off as a tower of sand exploded outward with a pillar of white smoke rising up. From it emerged a twenty foot ferret that sat with its legs and arms crossed while smoking a cigar and carried an axe on its back.

Standing on top of its head was a very irritated Naruto who tapped his foot while glaring at the intruders with burning anger. Fuu was right behind him.

Sensei…no, Naruto? Kakashi looked up in awe at the resemblance before giving him an eye smile. “Yo! Good to see you Naruto!”

“Kakashi-sensei—and I use the term ‘sensei‘ loosely,” Naruto looked down on him. “May I ask why you are trespassing?”

Okay, I admit I probably deserve that, the copy-cat thought. “We were sent to inform you about a group hunting jinchuuriki down and escort you back…” he noticed the girl standing there matched the one from the reports. “…I take it you know already?”

Naruto nodded. “Yeah, we’ve already taken care of two of them, but unfortunately the smart ones keep getting away.”

“Yeah, gotta hate it when that happens,” Kakashi nodded in sympathy before sighing at the death glare Fuu was giving him. “Nice clothes, by the way.”

“I think so, I like the way resemble my father’s,” Naruto stated simply.

“How did—” Kakashi was about to ask, when Naruto cut him off.

“The fox and I are on speaking terms and I’m not such an idiot that I couldn’t see the resemblance. Neither were you, given you knew my mother and how close they were.”

“Naruto!” Sasuke made himself known. “The Hokage wants you back in the village. She didn’t add those clauses to your banishment, it was a civilian council member who got too full of himself and was put down.”

“She was drunk, she made a mistake, but it didn’t matter once she put her seal on those papers,” Naruto said as he looked at Sakura. “Judging by the killing intent that my former teammate is sending me, I can only imagine what the others would think of me now that the fox is out of the bag…so to speak.”

Sasuke glared at Sakura, but still spoke to him. “I know you don’t want to return, but I told Hokage-sama and the old pervert I’d bring you back. We won’t let anyone harass you, old friends included. Not all of them are against you and I know I’m the last person you would want to see but—”

“Despite the fact that you used my chest as target practice during our last encounter and tried to kill me, I don’t hate you Sasuke. At least you can see past the fox, which puts you ahead of 99% of the village. I can let a lot of things slide but not when comes to labeling me as the fox or trying to hurt me and my loved one because of it. That being said, genin probably shouldn’t be taught assassination techniques ever again.”

In my defense, I was under his damn clan’s power,” Kurama snorted. “I loathed the fact that Madara enslaving me led to my first imprisonment, but you humans started it when my first container’s husband decided to start handing out my siblings and I like slaves! Why the hell do you think my chakra is so tainted when I’m not even trying to take you over anymore? Hatred thrives like a parasite on the ignorant and unclean masses—Hell, you could give me a run in the hatred department right now.

“As for the bastards in the village, even if you did drag me in, the moment one of them steps out of line I will defend myself. They attack, I fight back. They try to kill me and I will kill them without a second thought. My days as everyone’s stress reliever are over; I will not walk into a lion’s den willingly unless I felt it was worth being torn apart.”

Kakashi sighed. “We’re not gonna be able to reason with you into returning to the village, are we?”

“Hell no,” he responded. “Before pinkie came along, I hadn’t received so much killing intent directed towards me from anyone but Akatsuki and a couple of missing-nin who made threats they couldn’t back up. I’ve had freedom these last few years, and for that I’ll thank Granny, but I will not go back to a village that would sooner see me killed for circumstances beyond my control or only see me as a weapon.”

“We’ve got our orders, dick-less.” Sai cut in, prompting Naruto to glare at him. “We will return you by force if necessary.”

Naruto glared at him before shooting a glance at Kakashi. “My replacement?”

The copy-cat nodded, before revealing his sharingan and preparing for battle. “Naruto, I’d rather not force you, but we have to bring you back…” he glanced at Fuu. “We’ll have to bring her along as well given she’s one of their targets.”

“You think I’d let you take her back?” Naruto’s pupils became slits. “To a village that would sooner rip out her demon, kill her, and stomp on her corpse?”

“If you’re going to resist then I’ll simply break every single bone in your body and drag you back in chains.” Sakura blunted stated.

“And since I’m getting on everyone else, let me ask this: What the hell did I ever do to you? I all but killed myself for you!”

“You hurt your teammate and dragged him back to the village injured!”

“He tried to defect to someone who was going to steal his body and I had to bring him back by force! I kept my promise at the cost of getting run through by an assassination technique and pile-drove into solid rock from the top of a waterfall—after being set on fire! What the fuck did you think was going to happen when two genin have access to A-rank techniques? You’re book-smart and rational; you should have known this…”

Naruto looked closely at her before grinning. “Unless you weren’t being rational…You’re still a fangirl aren’t you? This is because he won’t return your feeling so you vent on me like before, isn’t it?”

All the men present looked at her with a side glance. He wasn’t wrong.

“When are you going to get it in your head the he just doesn’t like you?” Naruto pointed out. “All you do is kiss his ass, can’t you tell that merely pisses him off further? Why the hell do you think we got along better with each other than with you?”

I don’t think I was called out here for an emo drama,” the summoned warrior said. “In fact you’re pushing it by having me and brother away from home at the same time. Pops still wants to talk to you anyway…

“I’ll speak with the Ferret Boss after this has been taken care of.” Naruto answered. If he screwed up and lost the contract, Kanna would kill him. “Fuu, can you deal with Sakura and the new guy?”

“Bring it,” Sakura snapped her gloves. “Let’s see what the demon loving whore can do!”

Snap. That was the sound of Naruto’s patience breaking.

THE TIME FOR TALK IS OVER!” Naruto snarled before taking a deep breath and calming down to address the warrior ferret with respect. “Ono! I have given them the chance to flee and they have refused. I take it you won’t have a problem with assisting me.”

As long as I never have to go through this again and you fork over that bag full of treats Pace was going on about…Honestly, what are you guys, twelve?

Summoning!” Sasuke activated his sharingan and slammed his hands on the sand and a sealing array etched itself on the surface. A tower of smoke rose and then scattered with the force of great beating winds. A giant hawk scattered its brown plumes across the desert sky.

“Does everyone have summoning contracts now?” Naruto rubbed his forehead. I’ll have to do something about that before we can escape…

Oh ho ho?” the hawk summon chimed. “Am I to fight the eldest child of the Ferret Boss? Are you sure you wish to fight me little ferret? You are aware that hawks devour your kind?

A smirk etched its way across the large ferret’s face and it took the axe off its back. “Kid,” he addressed his summoner. “Screw the treats. I’m having hawk meat!

“Sasuke and I will face Naruto.” Kakashi drew a kunai. “Sakura and Sai, you’ll capture his companion. Be aware she is also a jinchuuriki and take appropriate measures, but avoid any long term damage or lethal techniques.”

“So she’s actually a demon-whore?” Sakura muttered. “The villagers are going to love this. What next, they’ll have demon spawn?”

“…Even I found that in bad taste,” Sai said coldly.

KILL—” Naruto muttered darkly before Fuu held him in her arms.

“No, Naruto…” she looked him in the eyes. “Don’t give into the hatred. You said we can’t risk going into cloaked states and you’re pushing it by getting mad. I’ll take care of the bitch, you stick with the plan.”

He nodded.

Fuu spread her wings and glided away with Sakura and Sai in tow.

Naruto put on his bracers and fingerless gloves, pulled out his seal rod, and created his Uzushio chakra blade once again before he leaped towards the pair rushing at him.

The warrior ferret and assault hawk gave out fierce battle cries.

The battle had begun among the desert sands.

(A/N: Right now, open another tab in your browser and go to youtube and read the battle portions of the story while listening to Thousand Foot Krutch – E for Extinction or Red – Overtake You. You will thank me.)

With Naruto

Sasuke started the battle off. He threw shuriken laced with lightning chakra. They flew in a bluish white arc towards the jinchuuriki and left a trail in the air.

“Wind Infusion:— ” the chakra blade was outlined in white wind chakra. Naruto swung the blade horizontally and released a white crescent slash of wind chakra. “Destruction Strike!”

The arc smashed the shuriken to pieces and forced the sharingan users to dodge. Sasuke slid underneath it, while Kakashi leaped above and pulled out several kunai that he threw at Naruto.

Naruto held his bracer in front of him. He put his chakra into the seals on it. A round shield of chakra emerged and the kunai bounced off. He watched as Kakashi made a hand seal.

“Earth Style: Earth Flow River!” a stream of mud appeared next to the copy-cat and he formed another set of seals. “Earth Style: Earth Dragon!” The mud took the shape of a dragon’s head and opened its mouth to fire globs of mud at Naruto while Kakashi followed up.

“Fire Style: Fire Dragon Bomb!” Kakashi somehow spit flames out from the front of his mask…without getting it burned. The secret is that he buys masks made from special silk woven by the Aburame clan that allows chakra through because of the fibers. The flames were merged with the projectiles and became flaming comets that darted towards Naruto.

Naruto slid forward as the same comets went overhead and landed behind him, burning the sand black and smoldering. He crafted the Rasengan and threw it into the air, revealing the chain attached to it. “Rasengan Flail!”

It aimed for the dragon and copy-cat next to it. Naruto channeled even more chakra into the chain to flow into the Rasengan. It increased its size to roughly half his height. “SMASH IT!”

Kakashi somersaulted away as it came down on the dragon. It spiraled into the mud and sand and threw up a wave of the two substances combined. Kakashi covered his eyes to avoid getting blinded by the backlash.

Naruto then focused on his other opponent. He had to work to keep track of them both so he didn’t get caught off guard. Sasuke was preparing his own assault.

“Chidori—” Sasuke’s hand was coated in lighting and he waved it in an arc. Dozens of lightning needles darted towards Naruto. “—Senbon!”

“Gale—”Naruto coated his free hand in wind chakra and did the same. Numerous wind chakra senbon shot forward. “—Needles!”

Thin bits of lighting and wind clashed in the middle of the battlefield and those the impacted wiped each other out while the two avoided those they missed. Naruto glanced over to the jounin…to see a giant sand man rushing to capture the jinchuuriki.

“Earth Style: Sand Golem!” Kakashi said.

“Since when can you do that?” Naruto asked while not breaking off his charge.

“Copied over 1000 jutsu, remember?” Kakashi chided his former student. “I’ve fought against Iwa and Suna ninja who’ve used the rock and sand versions respectively.”

“Oh yeah?” Naruto poured chakra into his feet and shot into the air with a boosted jump. Upon reaching the summit, began to spin while channeling wind chakra into his leg as he fell. “HARDLINER:— ”

The golem raised its forearm to block the impact with its hardened and compressed body. The moment the leg came into contact with it the entire thing burst as his leg tore through it. “—REVOLVING CUT!”

“Fire Style: Great Fireball!” Naruto looked over to see a fireball the size of a small house being crafted. It was literally turning the sand around Sasuke molten. Sasuke put a little force into it and it flew at him.

“Fire Style: Phoenix Flower!” he saw the tiny fireballs from Kakashi who was running at him from the side. The projectiles were arcing around and curving to attack him from behind using the sides near ground level. The only escape was to jump.

You can only dodge up and then I’ll use the Demon Wind Shuriken and wires to bind you, it’s over Naruto. Kakashi thought…Until he saw Naruto fire a Destruction Strike at him and snuffed out the only tiny flames that would make a direct hit before planting his blade in the sand and focusing on the bigger fireball. “Damn, he won’t be able to get out range of the attack!” Kakashi yelled as he avoided the strike.

“Shit!” Sasuke swore. They expected him to dodge. Once the fireball hit, it would swallow him before it erupted and left not even bones. “Look out!”

“UZUMAKI CUSTOM: FIRE SEAL!” Naruto pulled a scroll from his belt and unwrapped it before he held it in front of the flames and poured in chakra. The scroll had the mark of the fire kanji around a complicated array and drank the flames into the seal made of ink until the last drop before it rolled itself up.

Sasuke looked on in shock at a distance while Kakashi recovered and tried to rush in and get up close and personal.

Naruto reached for another scroll on his belt and switched his target to his former sensei. He tossed the new scroll and the currently-full scroll into the air and summoned a chakra chain barrier around himself. The first spat out a plume of flammable powder that poured out over the area…and then the Fire Seal scroll unleashed its content.

“God, I love jutsu sealing scrolls…” Naruto muttered, as an explosion engulfed the area. A sea of roaring flames overtook the sand and rose into a fiery mushroom cloud that belched smoke into sky. As the flames settled, Naruto couldn’t make out Kakashi among the scorched sand…

“Earth Style: Double Suicide Decapitation!” Kakashi’s hands popped out of the ground at Naruto’s feet and buried him up to his head while shattering his concentration on the barrier from shock. “That barrier’s weakness is that it can’t defend you against attacks from below. You fought well.”

“I’m working on that…” Naruto only smirked. “On similar note, do you remember that time you asked mom to show you how dad got used to using multiple Hiraishins?”

Kakashi noticed the spike in the chakra and jumped back as far as he could. Chakra chains burst out of Naruto’s body from every angle and knocked the sand from around him. Each one had a spear-tip on the end and they rose like a tidal wave from the jinchuuriki’s body as he stood.

Kakashi looked on with nostalgic sigh as the chains all coiled and flew towards the copy-cat spear ends first…Who proved how he was one of the fastest in Konoha with his eye active.

He dodged with flexibility befitting a ninja of his caliber; he blocked what he couldn’t dodge with the kunai in hand. At the end of the rain of chains, he stood unharmed as the sand spouts ceased. Ragged for air, but unharmed.

Naruto clenched his teeth and the chains faded away since he stopped wasting chakra on them. The more chains he made from his body, the weaker they were since he had to divide up the chakra for it. He didn’t expect to do any real damage, just get Kakashi to use up chakra on jutsu to defend himself or something.

It was the fact that he avoided or blocked it with a regular kunai of all things that irritated him! Hell, his dad had to jump repeatedly using his personal technique to avoid getting speared! It made great practice for him and a stress reliever for his mom.

“…Yeah… ” Kakashi huffed. “You really do take after your mother…”

Naruto decided to focus attention back to the matter at hand and noticed that Sasuke…was gone?

There was a shadow growing on the ground, the crackling of lightning, and a small tap of foot against the sand. He rolled to the left and dodged a slash coming at him from the rear. Getting on his feet once again, he extended a chain from his hand back to his sword’s rod and retrieved it before clashing with Sasuke while streaming wind chakra.

The blades sung as the two clashed with streaming lightning and wind. They danced the dance of swordsmen until Naruto put a little space between them before he went into a rotating back side kick. Sasuke wasn’t concerned at first. And then his eyes saw Naruto channeled wind chakra into it…

“HARDLINER: GALE KICK!” Sasuke raised the flat of the chokuto for defense. The wind chakra enhanced kick connected. He went skidding to the side before he recovered and flipped further back while Naruto focused on his other enemy.

Naruto held the blade perpendicular to the ground and extended it towards the incoming copy-cat, who twisted into a crouch and threw a kunai that was blocked by Naruto’s bracer. He then focused his attention to his former teammate.

If I can hit I can paralyze him…Sasuke aimed at Naruto’s stomach to avoid anywhere else that might have been potentially fatal and launched the spear of lightning. “Chidori: Sharp Spear!”

Naruto dropped to his knee and held his right bracer in front. His wind chakra was siphoned into the seals on it. They formed a chakra shield infused with the element that was superior to lightning.

It stopped the assault and Naruto batted it away before he stood and launched a spear-tipped chakra chain from his free hand’s palm while infusing it with wind chakra as well and Sasuke prepared to knock it away with his blade in one hand.

“Sasuke, don’t—” Kakashi tried to warn him but it was too late. The moment the lightning streaming blade tried to cut through the wind chakra infused spear end that was heading toward it with a greater velocity, the blade was separated from his hand in a violent backlash from the force.

“You’re mine!” the chain coiled around his torso at the arms and Naruto pulled it with a strong jerk. The Uchiha flew towards him.

Naruto’s arm extended and caught him midair just below the neck. The maneuver clothes-lined him while avoiding accidentally crushing his larynx. He spun around like a pinwheel before he face-planted while Naruto charged Kakashi.

“Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu!” Kakashi created seven clones that rushed at Naruto while he pulled out a military ration pill to regain some of his chakra.

Naruto eyes flashed red. Using his own jutsu against him…Kakashi of all people…It was an insult he wouldn’t let pass.

“KAKASHI!” his blade reformed into the Monk’s Spade. Naruto performed one of the routines he went through and the crescent blade and spade danced a waltz of death. The clones were swiped out of existence by the translucent chakra blades. Naruto swung again and the crescent blade detached from the body—attached to the chakra chain.

“I do believe I pissed him off…” Kakashi muttered to himself as he ducked to avoid the chained blade and flipped backwards to avoid the horizontal strike as Naruto closed the distance. He was pushed back further when Naruto spun and extended the crescent blade with a chakra chain once again, sweeping the area.

Naruto’s assault stopped when he felt several sharp pangs as Chidori Senbon littered his back. He fell to his knees as the electricity in his body began to hinder his nerves. He barely managed to look back at his former teammate.

“You let your anger affect your judgment,” Sasuke huffed from his firing position after retrieving his sword. He rushed at Naruto from behind and Kakashi did so from the front.

Naruto roared and flooded his system with wind chakra, pushing out the invading chakra and gathering it into his free fist. That fist of his glowed with an awesome power. It told him to defeat them. He slammed it into the ground and discharged it into the ground.

“HARDLINER: GALE CRUSHER!” the discharged wind chakra howled as it tore through the sand. The sand beneath him expanded like a balloon before it exploded out and sent all three of them flying from being near the epicenter of the blow. They all landed on their feet, a good distance from each other.

Naruto allowed his rage to subside before it could cost him in this battle again. Wiping the blood from his mouth from being at the dead center of his own attack, he broke off into a sprint at his opponents while shifting his weapon back into a blade and activating the bracer on his free hand to form a shield.

With Fuu

“Naruto…” Fuu muttered at hearing his screams at his former sensei before turning back to her own problem.

Sai soared after her on a larger ink bird while Sakura pelted her from below with explosive tagged kunai. Smaller ink birds carrying explosive notes flew towards Fuu and detonated when they got to close in an attempt to force her to land from the shockwave of the explosions. Fuu was mildly annoyed.


Okay, fairly annoyed.

Fuu ascended until she was with her back to the sun while Sai followed and was blinded by the glare. Fuu made a certain set of seal while splitting her attention on gather chakra into her lungs. She faced Sai below and smirked.

Hidden Art: Hiding in Scale Powder!” she exhaled the powder and a blinding light took away their sight. The wind eventually blew and the powder was blown away…to reveal dozens of Fuus. “Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu!”

Sai reined his ride and flew off as a good portion of the Fuu clones chased after him. Pulling out his brush and infusing it with chakra, he performed his Super Beast Imitation Drawing and drew up several more ink birds with sharp beaks and had them dart at the clones. On impact with clones, both were dispelled.

“CHA!” Sakura charged at the incoming clones. Right hook; back spin kick; upwards kick; She struck each clones as they came at her from the front.

The clones split apart at the realization and took a different pattern. They summoned the Water Slicing Blade and closed in on her from all angles. Sakura pulled out several kunai with explosive tags and tossed them all around her as she jumped.

The tags exploded as her foot met one of the airborne clones and kicked off it. She threw a kunai at one to her left while stepping on another to go higher while dispelling them. Using the airborne clones as steeping stone in the sky, she threw kunai at the ones out of her range until there were no more after her and she began to fall out the sky.

“Need a lift?” Sai swooped in on his ride and she landed on it. He took charge and began to pursue the original Fuu again, who looked over her shoulder and smirked…before vanishing in a puff of smoke.

“BEHIND US!” Sakura yelled as the original came forward with far more speed and two Water Slicing Blades in hand. Sakura tried to use explosive kunai along with Sai suicide diver birds but Fuu literally cut through them and darted past them with extra chakra in her wings before the explosions went off.

Sai grabbed Sakura and abandoned his ride as Fuu’s blades drew a blue arc in the desert sky and cut through it. Sakura threw down an explosive tagged kunai at the sand and it ruptured. It threw up enough sand to smother the flames and give them some cushioning.

They landed on their feet a bit shaken but fine otherwise.

Fuu began to dive towards them, but the world inverted. Fuu found herself heading to the ground head first out of control. Before she impacted she flipped upright and flapped her wings before gently landing and withdrawing them.

Fuu-girl, be careful! You still haven’t recovered from the chakra poisoning and if you try to fly on your own—” Choumei’s warning was interrupted as Sai charged in with his tanto and clashed with her.

Fuu blocked with one blade and tried to thrust the other, but the pale boy rotated and avoided it while shooting her a side kick. Fuu was pushed back and slid on her feet. She noticed a shadow on the ground and leaped back as Sakura came in from above and smashed the ground with her fist, throwing up a tower of sand in the process.

It doesn’t seem like she can continue to fly…In that case, I can capture her. Sai thought to himself before he dumped all his chakra-laced ink onto the sand. “Ink Flush!”

Strings of ink swelled and squirmed to her as she backed away. They entrapped her and wriggled over her caramel-skin. She yelped as they hoisted her off the ground while Saukra and Sai rushed in.

“Ew!” Fuu lurched at the feel of ink on her skin and created another two shadow clones that cut her free. One clone avoided Sai’s tanto only to meet Sakura’s fist, while the other and original found themselves with their backs against the wall of compound they were staying at with the ink abominations reformed and closing in. They shot each other a glance and started making hand seals.

“Water Style: Water Trumpet! / Lightning Style: Wave of Inspiration!” Fuu and her shadow clone called as they unleashed a combination jutsu. “Collaboration Jutsu: Spout of Thunder!

The water and lightning instrument captured and evaporated the rampant ink. A kunai hit the clone and dispelled it as Sakura approached with her fist chambered. Sakura’s fist missed as Fuu dodge rolled…and went straight into the safe house.

The wall cracked; then the entire building before it literally imploded and begun falling to pieces as Fuu landed some distance away after a chakra burst jump.

“…You are aware we need her alive, right?” Sai deadpanned when Sakura landed next to him.

With Naruto, Kakashi, and Sasuke

Ohhh…Gaara (and Kanna) is going to be pissed, all three of them thought at the same time as they watched the building finish its collapse.

“Training with Granny?” he asked Sasuke and the Uchiha nodded. “Have fun explaining the building to her. Gaara and Kanna liked that one.”

Naruto nailed Sasuke with a sharp Gale Kick into the defensively held chokuto. It cracked the blade and sent the sharingan user skidding while he jumped back.

“FUU, WE’RE LEAVING NOW! PLAN B!” Naruto unraveled two new sealing scrolls from his belt. It rained a downpour of concussive-based explosive-tagged kunai towards the two sharingan users. They covered their eyes from all the sand being thrown up.

“The sand…he’s trying to blind us while he gets away!” Sasuke said…only to be surprised when he heard a voice from right behind him.

“True, but first I need to deal with your summons,” Naruto was standing back-to-back with Sasuke.

Sasuke swung the blade backwards as Naruto ducked and spun, one arm thrusting forward while the other held the chakra blade. The chakra blade finished snapping the chokuto in half while Naruto’s hand unleashed a palm strike to his abdomen. On impact a sealing array etched itself on Sasuke’s body as he was knocked backwards.

“TRIPLE CONTRACT SEAL!” A loud pop was heard as the hawk summoning vanished in poof smoke.

Damn!” Ono swore. His body was covered in bleeding gashes, but he was grinning with the cigar in his mouth still lit despite the barrage of winds he endured. “Next time we settle this hawk!

The ferret summoning vanished afterwards.

NARUTO!” Fuu called from on top of a giant black and white striped desert beetle that had taken to the air. Naruto shot a chakra chain from his hand and it was caught by the beetle’s mandibles as they took to the skies. “Go, Nebi-sama!” she told her beetle summons.

As you wish,” it responded as Naruto climbed on top of its head.

“Naruto…” Fuu leaned against him. “I know you don’t like to carry typical ninja weapons and I didn’t see you pick any up in the store when we went shopping. So how did you get all those weapons and tags?”

“I made the tags and scrolls since I only wanted concussive damage instead of heat damage from the explosives,” he told her while rubbing the back of his head. “Before we left Suna, I may have ‘borrowed’ some weapons and the flammable powder from Kankuro’s room since I figured his puppets would have a ton of stuff like that. I left him about a million ryo as compensation and a note even though I didn’t take nearly that much. I don’t like to steal anymore unless I have to like in my childhood, but we were pressed for time…”

“…I love you Naruto, but were you really a monk?”

“Not all monks are saints.” Naruto argued. The Eight Wind Spades had discipline and control, but that was while on the job. Off the clock…

“Well, I’m sure Kankuro won’t mind seeing as you did need them…” Fuu pat him on the back.

With Kankuro

Kankuro sat on his bed counting the money left behind after reading the note in place of his missing weapons. He licked his lips as his fingers nimbly took count of the currency. When he finished, he smiled.

“Naruto should rob me more often!” he giddily exclaimed. “I can afford everything he took, a new puppet with the works, more war paint, and all I can drink at the watering hole next to Gaara’s Office!”

With Kakashi

“We need to go after them,” Kakashi looked at the fleeing pair. “Can either of you summon or draw?”

“I’m out of ink,” the pale teen responded.

“I can’t summon…” Sasuke said. “This seal he put on me…besides, I used a lot of chakra in our fight. The only reason you haven’t dropped is because you ate that pill…and I need a new sword!”

“It can’t be helped…”Kakashi sighed, before making another shadow clone and summoning his faithful nin-dog.

“What do you need Kaka—” the nin-dog picked up an old scent. “Naruto?”

“Yep!” Kakashi went over the battle before asking him to chase after Naruto’s scent with his shadow clone. Pakkun nodded before he started sniffing again. “Pakkun, what’s wrong?”

“There’s two ferret scents as well.” Pakkun told his summoner. “One is gone…long gone from the house…or what remains of it, while the other is mostly centered around here, probably the one that fought.”

Kakashi thought about it for a few moments and summoned another hound and sent it after the second scent. Pakkun and the clone then took off in the direction of the beetle. The original looked at his team.

“Kakashi, what now?” Sasuke asked. “You do realize Naruto is more than likely going to maim your clone unless it’s a lightning one.”

“The clone will go with Pakkun and track those two and try to reason with them one last time before they get too far away,” Kakashi told Sasuke. “The second nin-dog will track the second scent since I don’t think either one of them was fighting too hard. Naruto didn’t even attempt to kill one of us…At least until I used his old jutsu…He took that personally.”

“Then should we wait for his response?” Sai asked.

“The rest of us will head back to Konoha…and avoid Suna,” he mentioned offhand as he looked at what remained the building. “I’d suggest we get out of the Land of Wind very fast or Gaara will come after us and I’m not fighting him in a desert.”

“Ugly should really learn some self-control…” Sai muttered. He woke up on Kakashi’s back several hours later nursing a headache.

With the Kakashi Clone

My apologies,” the summoning addressed Fuu. “I cannot maintain flight any further.

“And he’s still chasing us…” Fuu looked at the ground to see Kakashi’s clone and Pakkun chasing them. “The dog is cute though…”

“This is fine,” Naruto told her. “Race should be there by now and it’s only a single shadow clone. Let the summoning rest…and don’t call Pakkun cute. He doesn’t like it.”

“Alright,” she nodded. “Nebi-sama, please lower us and return home.”

I only wish I could aid you further…” the summoning said as it landed and then vanished in a plume of smoke.

Naruto pulled out his seal rod and crafted the blade.

“Now, Naruto,” the clone said. “I know I can’t beat you as a clone and I didn’t mean to insult you by using your old jutsu. I only wanted to talk about you two about returning…You’ve learned a lot over these four years…”

“No thanks to you! Everything I’ve learn had to come from my time away from Konoha or the Kyuubi’s memories!”

“You can’t trust the Kyuu—”

“Shut up Kakashi!” Naruto snarled. “The fox has been more honest than most of the people in my life! Did you know that the fox has been sealed in the Uzumaki starting with Granny’s grandmother, Mito Uzumaki? That my mother was the second container? That she was attacked as she was giving birth to me and that led to the fox being unleashed!”

Pakkun and the clone stayed silent. This was information that they could tell would be valuable and it would be better to let him vent his frustrations.

“Shizuka-nee taught me after I beat her because of that stupid promise Pervy Sage made to that Nadeshiko kunoichi! The monks and samurai taught me shape manipulation and chakra control! I learned my clan’s techniques to an extent with Great Auntie Mito and Mom’s memories! Jiraiya at least taught me the Rasengan, even if he was a horrible godfather for not checking in on me more often!

“But you? You only taught me the fucking tree-climbing skill, and you barely taught Sakura a damn thing before I left!” Naruto snarled. “You doted on Sasuke and ignored the two of us! You condemned both of us to die! We only survived because of the fox and luck!”

“I was hoping to appease Sasuke and slowly teach him the benefits of teamwork so that he didn’t fall prey to temptation,” the clone sighed. “He also reminded me of a younger me. I made a mistake and I’ve been trying to amend it ever since then.”

“Too late! You knew my father’s technique and could’ve taught me or you could’ve told me the secrets of using shadow clones like you are now before they had already taken my jutsu from me—and then you of all people flaunt it in my face! You could have directed Sakura to Kurenai-san so she learned to actually be useful in a fight and I didn’t have to keep protecting her! You could have done a hell of a lot more as a sensei!”

“Naruto, I—” the clone tried to reason but, Naruto was too far gone.

“You knew what I felt like as an orphan, wanting to know who my parents were or to know they cared about me! Tormented by those damn villagers day in and day out with no comfort but a monthly visit from the Old Man, Iruka, and a few others out a village of thousands! ONLY TO FIND OUT WHOM MY FATHER AND MOTHER WERE! TO FIND OUT THAT GRANNY IS ACTUALLY A DISTANT RELATIVE OF THE UZUMAKI AND ME! THAT JIRAIYA IS MY GODFATHER!”

That’s a whole lot of anger the kid has…Pakkun thought.


“Naruto, that’s enough!” Fuu wrapped her arms around him in hopes of calming himself down. “You’re letting the hatred take hold of you!”

Now, kit,” Kurama chimed in. “I’m all for giving in to the hatred and everything, but it serves no benefit now and will only shorten your moderately higher than normal lifespan…on a shadow clone. At least go for the original!

Naruto growled as his features began to recede. “Make no mistake Kakashi, I want nothing to do with the village. The few who were kind to me have my eternal gratitude for keeping sane all this time, and the only reason I’m telling you this is because Granny deserves to know about her grandmother and you at least did your job every now and then, but if you ever flaunt the fact that you hindered my growth with the shadow clones, I’ll—!”

Naruto was cut off in mid-sentence when he and Fuu vanished in a flash of orange light.

“Wasn’t that…?” Pakkun trailed off.

“It looked like his father’s technique alright…” the clone closed his eyes and shed a tear.

“You know you’ll have to tell Tsunade about what he said, right?”

“I’ll tell her and Jiraiya-sama in private about his family…he won’t forgive the village…” the clone sighed.

“…Nope…” Pakkun stated coldly.

Land of Iron

Fuu and Naruto landed in the snow bank. As they wiped themselves off and Naruto put away his blade, they noticed a ferret in the snow with an orange bandanna and goggles over its eyes.

It took longer than I liked, but I got here,” the ferret said. “Though I must say, I did not like going from a comfy room in a marvelous paradise in the desert…to a frozen nation.

“Sorry, but thanks for the drop off Race…” Naruto gave him two bags of treats. “You really are the fastest of the group. One of those bags is for Ono, share the rest with your siblings, and tell the Ferret Boss I’ll be in touch soon.”

No problem,” the ferret took the bags. “Dad just wants to talk about the Toad Boss. They go way back before an incident involving a white-haired pervert and the previous contract owner for us ferrets.

Pervy Sage, just what did you do during your travels…Naruto wondered as the summoning vanished, before he saw Fuu shivering. Naruto summoned a fur long coat from inside one of his body seals and draped it around her. His warmth flooded her body and she pulled him in close for a kiss.

“Sorry about before…” Naruto told her after coming up for air. “It’s just the thought of you in the village, going through the crap I went through, after I learned everything…”

“It’s good to vent Naruto, but don’t lose control…” Fuu tightened her grasp. “Remember what Mito told your mother. Love balances the hatred. If you lost yourself…if I lost you…”

“I won’t…” he trailed off. “I’ll stay by you and Kanna…no matter what.”

“So,” she spread her arms out to the winter land of snow. “What do we do now?”

“Konoha can’t move on us here, but I have no intention of staying forever,” Naruto told her. “I want to see one of my sensei here to improve my skills, maybe learn to shape chakra shuriken, add the wind element to the Rasengan, apply an explosive seal on contact, second element, etc…Plus, I haven’t been kicked out of all their casinos yet for winning too much.”

Fuu sighed. “At least wait until we’re about to leave before you get us ran out.”

Naruto chuckled, before slamming his fist into his palm. “I need to send a message to Gaara and Kanna about what happened.” Naruto pulled out the contact scroll.

“Can you send one to Shibuki and tell him I’m okay?”


With Gaara and Kanna

“To think that Naruto gave us this much money to build his clan’s village back up in secrecy…” Kanna said in Gaara’s Office, accompanied by both of his siblings. “I should go visit him and Fuu later today…”

“How much?” Temari looked at all the zeros in log. “Holy Father of Ninjutsu! How did he get that much?”

Kanna answered. “The goddess of gambling loves him.”

“Yet anytime something can go wrong with him it does,” Gaara pointed out. “Look at his mission history.”

Kanna and Gaara’s contact scrolls changed color to indicate they received a new message.

Kanna looked at her contact scroll. “Well, there goes my plans for today. Now I have to work around my schedule to go to the Land of Iron.”

“Matsuri is not going to be happy…”Gaara read over his scroll. “She liked that place. I’ll need to write to Naruto about the contractors and the estimated time for the project to be carried out without drawing attention…also, he’s says he’s sorry about robbing you Kankuro, but apparently it came in handy.”

“When you write back to Naruto, tell him I said he’s free to rob me whenever he wants if he’s gonna compensate me like this!” Kankuro held his new puppet dearly as he exited the room.

Temari looked confused. “Do I…?”

“He had a bad date not too long ago involving his war paint, alcohol, and some words I’d rather not repeat but had Shukaku in a laughing fit.” Gaara deadpanned. “He’s getting better.”

“I’m gone for a few days and all hell breaks loose from S-class criminals to Kankuro’s battle between love and war paint…so what did the short stack say on his message scroll?”

“He’s not short anymore, in any department—” Kanna started, but Gaara cut her off before it got into too much information territory.

“Apparently Kakashi found the safe house and the pink-haired, ex-teammate of his was studying under the current Hokage…” Gaara covered his ears as a precaution and prompted Kanna to do the same. “You’ll have to cancel those plans you had to take the Nara up there…and I’ll have to cancel my plans to kill him afterwards.”

Temari’s screams of anguish washed over all of Suna.

In her defense, it was a VERY nice place.

In Konoha

Shikamaru was playing a game of shougi with Asuma while Kurenai and their child watched on. He suddenly tensed and looked left and right.

“Something wrong?” Asuma asked.

“I feel a disturbance,” the Nara muttered. “As if a thousand shrieking Harunos were praying for mercy to an absent god…and then suddenly silenced by the slicing of wind…at the same time, I feel as though the shadow of death hanging over me has been lifted. Beyond Troublesome.”

Kurenai looked at her husband. “Wasn’t Kakashi’s student on a mission to Suna?”

Hokage’s Office – Days Later

The council meeting had just let out not too long ago.

“I can’t believe they tried to get me label him a missing-nin for just defending himself…” Tsunade pushed opened the door with a flick of her fingers. She must have been angry since it cracked the wall when it slammed into it. “Though I am surprised he managed to fend two sharingan users off, summon a warrior ferret, save both the Kazekage and the Taki jinchuuriki Fuu from Akatsuki, and still managed to get away from all of you with a flying beetle.”

“Judging from that look on Danzo’s face, he’ll probably try to find some method to gain control of both Fuu and Naruto since neither one belongs to a village and both are pretty skilled.” Jiraiya sat on the windowsill.

Kakashi silently walked in after them and shut the door after Tsunade ordered ANBU out.

“Alright Kakashi,” Tsunade sat behind her desk and activated a privacy seal. “I know you left out a lot of things at the council meeting—not that I blame you—but considering the very strongly formal worded letters I received from the Wind Daimyo and the Kazekage that essentially said ‘Fuck you,’ along with a repair bill, and a death threat to my apprentice, I feel obliged to some answers.”

“Well, you essentially ordered a kidnapping of a person they went out of their way to unofficially protect and it escalated to the point that your apprentice demolished a very, very nice piece of property they seized.” Jiraiya bluntly stated. “Did you not see those photos? I could get any woman I wanted if I took her there!”

“Tsunade-sama,” Shizune made herself known. “It would have been better to try a gentler method of persuasion.”

“I told Kakashi force was a last resort!”

“Negotiating was never a choice; not for me, Sakura, or Sai,” Kakashi sighed. “He was pretty considerate to Sasuke all things going. He doesn’t even hate him for the whole ‘assassination technique to the chest thing.’ It was the rest of us he has a problem with.”

“How bad?” Tsunade asked while feeling the headache coming.

“Well, he was irritated that I hindered his growth by not telling him how to use clones in training, and Jiraiya-sama had made a promise to the predecessor of the Nadeshiko warrior who taught him some of those techniques—”

“I can’t believe that kunoichi from Nadeshiko held me to that promise and made Naruto face her successor,” Jiraiya scratched his head. “I mean really, that was years ago and he was my student technically. But considering some of the skills you mentioned he used against you it makes sense.”

“Now that I think about, what were you doing at that village in the first place?” Tsunade glared at the pervert.

“That was only the tip of the iceberg. Naruto knows about his heritage and to say he was pissed would be an understatement,” Kakashi sighed. “He knew I was his father’s student, his mother’s identity, Jiraiya was apparently his godparent, and Tsunade-sama is a distant relative.”

“How…?” Jiraiya looked in shock.

“The fox told him…apparently Kushina was the previous host of the Kyuubi and Tsunade-sama’s grandmother, Mito Uzumaki, was the one before her. Through sharing their memories, he managed to recreate Kushina’s Chakra Chains and sensei’s Flying Thunder God technique to an extent. My hound tracked a ferret’s scent to the Land of Iron days after it first appeared…with Naruto and Fuu’s scent and no trail beforehand.”

Kakashi then went on about Naruto’s rant and his birth. Shizune dropped her clipboard; Jiraiya nearly fell out the window; Tsunade’s jaw dropped at the revelations.

“We. Fucked. Up!” Jiraiya summed everything up. “If Naruto knows all that then he has every reason to not want to come back. He even knows what happened on the day of the attack when none of us do…”

“If you had told the council that they would’ve lost it,” Shizune shook her head. “He has too many ties to the village by blood alone to let him leave. He’s literally a walking representation of Konoha’s history…”

Jiraiya licked his lips and went into thought. “We’ll have to inform the next group we send after him about the techniques, but this does not bode well. Either way, Iron is off limits for the moment, given how fast the fighting will escalate and the samurai, so we’ll have to wait for them to move again.”

“…What are the chances that we can convince him to return somehow using his girlfriend?” Tsunade rubbed her forehead. “What if we offered asylum to Fuu since she’s technically one of Akatsuki’s targets and he’s obviously attached to her?”

“Well, the chances might have been higher if Sakura didn’t call his apparent girlfriend a ‘demon-whore,’ tell him she was going to drag him back in chains, and try to kill her rather than capture according to Sai’s report—” Tsunade broke the desk in half at that declaration “—and Gaara probably has already done so unofficially anyway.”

“Damn it Sakura!” Tsunade sighed and had Shizune leave to get another desk. “What if we try to convince the sand brat or his council that it’d be safer here for them?”

“Not likely,” Jiraiya added in. “According to the reports they helped him against Akatsuki and they like him. Not to mention the Wind Daimyo likes him too and he was in service to her…in more ways than one. Both of them have been released from their villages, so we can’t legally argue for them.”

“So basically we have to forcibly kidnap him back to his own village,” Tsunade covered her eyes and pulled out a bottle of sake from the broken desk. They couldn’t blame her at this point.

“To be frank,” Kakashi looked down. “He’ll probably be happier outside the village with Fuu. If we try to bring him back by force, he won’t go easy on us again. He said he didn’t hate Sasuke, but he’s livid that neither I nor Jiraiya took care of him more when he was younger, and he flat out hates 99% of the population here and the feeling is the same on the opposite side. I’ll admit I screwed up and I’m trying to amend things, but it may be too late.

“And God help us if the girl gets dragged into this…” Kakashi added. “Naruto nearly went into a cloaked state at the mention of bringing her back here. I think he can understand that she’s a kunoichi and may get hurt in the line of duty, but when it comes to how jinchuuriki are treated and Konoha…let’s just say that getting blasted by Itachi’s Tsukiyomi was more merciful.”

“Princess I know how you feel but Kakashi has a damn good point and—”

“I know its selfish Jiraiya!” Tsunade slammed the bottle on the broken desk and shattered it. “I want him back since he was like a little brother to me—No, he’s actually related to me, and if it were up to me I’d let him be happy elsewhere as long as he stayed in touch like I did. But how long until things escalate even higher?

“When—not if—but when other villages find out there are two jinchuuriki—two of the strongest by tails I might add—wandering around, they will come after him if Akatsuki doesn’t, just to make up their lost strength and hell will break loose to the extent it might start another war. He’s gotten skilled, but how long until they all gang up on him or whoever is bossing around these Kage-level ninja in Akatsuki jumps into the fray?”

“Naruto, Gaara, and Fuu won’t see it that way.” Kakashi ran his fingers through his hair. “Gaara basically called us out on not informing them or any other village about Akatsuki in the first place and it nearly had his village destroyed. He pointed out how we only cared about protecting Naruto as a village weapon while the other jinchuuriki would be rounded up.”

“I never said he was a wea—”

“You don’t but the elder council does,” Jiraiya interrupted. “Let’s face it, jinchuuriki get the short end of the stick and Gaara is right about that. But from the position of a military leader, having someone else steal your rival’s ultimate weapon is a blessing as long as they don’t turn it on you.”

Tsunade sighed and went deep into thought. Her breath grew shallow. Headache did not even come close to this. It almost seemed like she had fell asleep until her eyes snapped open and she made her decision.

“Jiraiya, work with Kakashi and list everything we know about Akatsuki in a file to be sent to all the other Kages, before we send a team to go get Naruto.” Tsunade declared. “The sand brat was right and I’m sure the elders and Danzo probably won’t complain since it would keep Konoha safe in the long run. They do many horrible things but they care about the village.”

“And the next retrieval team?” Kakashi asked.

“They are going to be breathing down my neck if I don’t go all out…former teams 7, 8, 10, team Gai, as well as their jounin-sensei but replace Kurenai with Yamato, and Jiraiya will personally go after Naruto once the time is right…add Iruka and Shizune as well since they might be able to reason with him. Just in case things truly go SNAFU, I’ll have the Fourth’s personal guard on hand to use Flying Thunder God to transport me there as well.”

“Overkill much, Princess?” Jiraiya asked rhetorically.

“I wouldn’t go this far normally, but Kakashi said he nearly entered a cloaked state on the mention of returning them here and given we will have to force them both back, I have to deal with the very real possibility that he may completely snap and go full blown Bijuu. Yamato can help repress the chakra if Kakashi can slip the necklace on him and you can seal it, all of that combined can hopefully restrain them and bring them back.”

She pointed to Kakashi. “Go and inform those who will be involved. We don’t know when we’ll run across Naruto again but the moment we get confirmation we are going full force.”

He left in a body flicker.

“And once he does get back, hellfire will rain and we both know it,” Jiraiya sighed. “The elders and Danzo won’t be stupid enough have his Bijuu transferred to another host since at least Naruto can defend himself, but they’ll need some method to enforce loyalty on him. A seal probably won’t work since I looked at the one that Naruto nailed his former teammate with before I removed it…it was like the one his mother taught Minato and that space-time technique like his father’s most likely uses seals too—he’s probably a seal expert, if not master at this point.”

Tsunade bit her lip. “You’re probably right. Depending on the condition we bring Naruto and Fuu in, Yamato will most likely have to have them bound and restrained in a hidden location. I’ll be damned before I lock him up in a cell for defending himself but I’ll probably have to use the Senju complex as a form of house arrest and restrict the knowledge of his capture.”

“And Gaara will be pissed off.” he gently reminded her. “And Spring, Moon, and Wave…and Taki’s leader probably. The only reason they haven’t cut off agreements and trade with us is because of politics.”

“Jiraiya, I know,” she sighed. “But short of him willing walking through those gates, someone is going to get pissed off regardless. At least this way they can be pissed off and he can be safe rather than in Akatsuki’s hands. If sensei had enforced punishment against those who broke both the spirit and word of his law, if the people weren’t so prejudiced, if you had checked on him more often, if I hadn’t been drinking when I stamped those papers, and if Kakashi had taught him more we probably wouldn’t be in this situation.

“But that’s just it—we can’t correct the past. I may drink myself into the ground later for this, but at least the two of them will be alive long enough to hate me. That’s the price I paid for taking the hat, I can’t play favorites too often and keep everyone happy…”

Jiraiya walked up to her and rubbed her back. “How about we go out tonight and drink so you can unwind?”

“I’m not sleeping with you Jiraiya,” she said preemptively. “I’m too damn depressed and I might lose control and break you in bed.”

“I was talking about going out as old friends,” he chuckled. “But what a way to go…”

Elsewhere in Konoha – Several Hours Later

The Konoha 11 had gathered and been informed about their pending mission by Kakashi and Naruto and Fuu’s techniques. Hinata left afterwards claiming to be tired, while Kakashi left to speak with the others participating, minus Neji.

“I was not aware there was a beetle summons.” Shino said blankly. “I believe I would be greatly interested in meeting this Fuu.”

“I wonder if Naruto could teach me how he made those tags and scrolls?” Tenten mused. She had an interest in seals as well as weapons. “That slashing technique was decent sounding too…maybe I should go to Iron and learn from a samurai.”

“You just had to piss off Temari, didn’t you Sakura?” Shikamaru addressed the kunoichi. “Just to let you know, she’s gunning for you now.”

“Chill Shika,” Chouji ate a few more chips. “At least now Gaara won’t kill you.”

“Sakura, are you alright?” Ino asked. “You’ve been awfully quiet…”

When are you going to get it in your head the he just doesn’t like you?” Naruto’s words echoed in her head. “All you do is kiss his ass, can’t you tell that merely pisses him off further?

Sakura shook her head and chuckled at Ino to drive off the thoughts before addressing her crush. “Sasuke-kun? Would you like to go get dinner with me and Ino?”

Sasuke shook his head.

“Are you still thinking about what he said before the fight?”

He nodded. “Sakura, not a damn thing Naruto said was wrong. I understand him better than you do and he has every reason to hate this village or try and burn it to the ground.”

“Is he still under that genjutsu?” Kiba asked, and Akamaru barked at him. “I wasn’t being rude!”

“For the last time, I’m not under a fucking genjutsu!” Sasuke yelled.

Lee looked at Sakura’s depressed face before speaking. “Sasuke-san, do not let the demon’s words linger—”

“If he was really a demon, then do you think he would have lasted thirteen years here as Naruto Uzumaki! You’re all so fucking stupid it’s not funny! Not one of you has a good reason to hate Naruto Uzumaki even if you have a reason to hate the fox! We’re lucky he hasn’t snapped after everything he’s been through in this village!”

“He had the old Hokage and both Sannins’ favor,” Kiba argued. “How bad could he have had it?”

“On his birthday when he was six, the—” a hand covered Sasuke’s mouth.

“As much reason you have to be vocal about his defense,” Neji spoke up from behind him. “I’m pretty sure that information is classified and I am technically obligated to bring you in if you finish.”

“Fine,” Sasuke said once Neji removed his hand. “But I’m going to call them out on all their stupid flaws right here and now.”

“Feel free,” Tenten, Shikamaru, Chouji, Shino, and Neji all replied in perfect unison.

He pointed to his teammate. “Sakura, you are by far one of the worst of them all considering the sheer number of times Naruto has saved your ass only to get hit! You do know that he could have had you arrested on nearly a hundred abuse charges by now? Hell, even Jiraiya gets better treatment from Tsunade! And you actively antagonized him and tried to turn his girlfriend into paste!”

The Inuzuka was next. “Kiba, he beat you with a fart, while his chakra was mostly sealed by Orochimaru in the forest! If you’re still angry that Hinata liked him over you, then you’re thinking with the wrong head again. Even after years of stirring in hatred, she still sees you as little more than friends and that won’t change since she’s devoting her time to training.”

Followed by the Green Beast. “Lee, he bought Tsunade back and got you healed. You owe him your entire career. As I’m sure Gai has told you repeatedly, quit going along with Sakura’s blind hatred because you like her, it’s—” he actually struggled to say these last words “—un-youthful!”

Lee actually gasped in shock.

“Ino, you’re as bad as Sakura because both of you are acting like fangirls instead of thinking. You two are responsible for both Lee’s stupidity, and the fact that you keep trying to bully Chouji into joining your lynch Naruto group. Let me be clear, after all the shit I have listened come out of your mouths about how I was ‘critically injured’ after I actually tried to kill him, and led to Chouji and Neji nearly dying for their parts in my retrieval, I am tempted to castrate myself just so no one tries to push me into a CRA or arranged marriage with you two!”

He turned to the Hyuuga. “Neji, when you see Hinata, tell her Naruto honestly didn’t know she liked him. He’s gone through a hell you can’t imagine where the closest thing to love he had was a fangirl who constantly beat him. It’s a miracle he’s maintained a stable relationship with his current girlfriend—or even the fact that he’s not a sociopath.”

“I’ll try, but she hasn’t even been listening to me anymore…” Neji shook his head. “Let me be frank, the elders took great effort to color her using hatred—to the point I believe it is only the little kindness she has left that is preventing her from using the caged bird seal every time I bring it up. She nearly hospitalized her sister in a sparring match earlier today because of what her father told her about the council meeting and the other jinchuuriki.

“Unlike these fools who have truly ignorant reasons to hate Naruto on a shallow level, she may be too far gone to reason with.” Neji shot a murderous glare at Ino and Sakura. “The elders may have been wearing her down, but hearing from Naruto’s crush about how bad he was and harping on about it put the final nail in the coffin! It doesn’t help that you two taught her how to incorporate chakra scalpels into her fighting style either! I can only pray that she doesn’t have a mission where she runs into either one of them alone or she will try to kill them at the cost of her own life!”

“In that case you’d better hope she doesn’t,” Sasuke told him. “I’ve been where she’s going before and it screws you royally no matter what. If her only goal in life is now to kill Naruto, then once she does and if she’s still alive, she’ll be no better than a living puppet, not moving on her own strength but the whims of others.”

Sasuke gave Shino and Kiba a final glance before he walked out the door. “If you truly care for her as teammates, you’ll get her some help before she ends up going down the path I went.”

Shino nodded.

With Kakashi

“You’re kidding…” Iruka said with his mouth wide. “He actually held you and Sasuke back…while not trying to kill you!”

“Without the Kyuubi’s chakra?” Yamato asked for confirmation.

He and the other adults of the capture group had been gathered by Kakashi.

“Until I inadvertently insulted him, yes,” Kakashi admitted. “He pushed back Sasori of the Red Sand from the info Sai picked up, and the unofficial reports on Akatsuki from Suna to all the villages also indicate that Sasori had up until then used the Third Kazekage as a puppet. The report also listed Hidan, who has some kind of immortality thing, sealed away even though they didn’t say by who.”

You could hear a pin drop at that moment.

“Impressive.” Yamato summed it up.

“Weren’t his hands sealed so that he couldn’t use ninjutsu?” Asuma asked.

“Not all ninjutsu uses seals,” Kakashi reminded him. “Plus, he’s beefed up his taijutsu, weapon use, and chakra control to a level that many of us would be hard pressed to match. I may have him beat in ninjutsu, but he’s got me in stamina. Gai might have him beat in taijutsu, but Naruto fights smart and would probably find some way to seal you the moment you touched him. Asuma, he infused wind chakra into a sword made of pure chakra and his body to face off against Sasuke’s electric attacks.”

“…Are we really dealing with the same person who used to run around in an orange jumpsuit and spam clones like they were going out of style?” Asuma wrapped up their thoughts.

“He’s a bit…darker, but same person,” Kakashi confirmed. “Not to mention his partner is also a jinchuuriki who took out another S-class criminal that stole a forbidden art and had the blast element. Also, she can fly.”

“Truly…” Gai gave his signature pose. “THEIR FLAMES OF YOUTH BURN BRIGHTER THAN EVER!”

“The point is he was holding back in order to escape, not kill.” Kakashi prepared to wrap the meeting up. “The operation to bring him back is to be taken seriously, even with all of us, Jiraiya, and Shizune going.”

The group nodded and began to disperse before Kakashi walked over to Iruka.

“Kakashi, I’m not an idiot,” Iruka told him. “Simple power isn’t why I was bought in. How bad is it that you need me to go after him?”

“I can’t give you all the details, but Naruto has a lot of rage issues when it comes to returning here,” Kakashi flat out told Iruka in private. “You are one of the few people who may get a pass and can reach him.”

Iruka closed his eyes and nodded.

With Sasuke

“Hey,” Sasuke said as he entered a certain eatery. “Ayame-chan, can you give me Tomato Ramen?”

“Coming up,” the brown-haired chef said from the kitchen. The Tomato Ramen was a creation that came about as of one of her trips out of town and much like Naruto would swear by Miso Ramen, he would bow to the Ayame’s creation.

The Ichiraku family duo were on pretty good terms with Sasuke, along with his other old friends since after learning everything Naruto went through he saw how they were his light in the darkness. After he got on his knees and apologized, they hit it off pretty well. Plus, Ayame didn’t try to kiss his ass all the time like fangirls.

That’s wife material right there.

“I heard you laying into your teammate from the street when I was passing by the building…what was all that about?” Teuchi asked.

“…We ran into a certain blonde with whisker marks our last mission,” he told him; Ayame dropped her ladle. “I can’t give you the details, but if you keep your ears open I’m sure one of the stupider clan members from the council will say something.”

“Like those rumors that he was working under the Wind Daimyo—” Ayame was cut off by Teuchi before she could get into it.

“…How is he?” Teuchi asked.

“Happy,” Sasuke told them. “He doesn’t want to come back, he’s afraid of having the same thing happen to the girl he’s with and would probably kill himself trying to protect her. There are too many people against him and too much crap has happened for him to forgive the village as a whole…He’s also gotten smarter and stronger.”

The two of them could only smile at those last words.

With Hinata

The demon found himself a bride…the voice whispered inside her head. He never loved you or looked at you.

“Shut up!” Hinata told the voice.

He used you…He’s tainted you in the eyes of everyone and left you to suffer…You’ve tainted the clan with your naivety. There’s only one way to cleanse the taint…Kill him with your own hands…

Unbeknownst to Hinata, her father was leaned against the wall outside her room. He had arranged for Inoichi to give her an evaluation not too long ago and for the first time he feared that he went too far. Apologizing on her mother’s grave may not be enough anymore.

The voice was a manifestation of the mental abuse she’s accumulated…that he’s allowed to go unheeded. Never-ending whispers in her mind that represent the words of the elders and the other villagers…including himself.

She needed help…but for the Hyuuga, appearances and traditions are everything. Just having Inoichi figuring out the problem was pushing it. Mental instability in the next heiress would upset the balance among the clan, but it was part of the drive that made her stronger…

He walked away wondering if it truly was worth sacrificing his daughter for the clan by feeding her insecurities.

In Ame

“Pain,” a paper angel fluttered from below a tower in the infinitely raining nation. “The body has arrived.” She placed a paper coffin in front of him and removed the sheets covering the face.

“Your contribution toward peace is appreciated,” he told the corpse as lightning flashed and revealed who it belonged to before he performed a jutsu on it. It was the body of Yugito Nii, the former jinchuuriki of the Nibi.

“Set it with the others Konan,” Pain addressed his angel.

She laid it with the other dead jinchuuriki bodies that Pain gathered and preserved using a jutsu.

More Notes:

As you can tell Naruto has a lot of anger hidden beneath the surface when it comes to Konoha. Since there are too many fanfics that go into details, such as A Month as Naruto Uzumaki by Angel of Snapdragons, I’m not going to waste time by going into it. You guys can put two and two together or go by your own worse case scenarios…

To be blunt, he dislikes Akatsuki as a whole, but he hates Konoha as a whole on the same level as Tobi, who is the cause of all his problems, and Orochimaru, who killed his grandfather figure. Those few friends that kept him sane were all that stopped him from burning it down.

Tsunade has many justifications for wanting Naruto back. Not all of them are fair…or moral, but she has a legitimate reason, as if you have two walking masses of destruction around without belonging to a village, they are very high profile targets and a war may start over them.

Sakura…yeah, I ramped up her fangirl attributes to her not facing up to her own responsibilities when they were on a team…That being said, I refuse to make her a weakling who gets her butt kicked for no reason. I will not compromise a fight scene for silly reasons like that.

As for Hinata, I said it upright she snapped after all that happened. When you mentally break someone they don’t come out unscarred. She’s much more competent in a fight and will actually be a threat. Power has a price and sanity is the currency, just ask Sasuke after he killed Danzo in the manga and anime. You know that creepy smile.

I was thinking about actually having her use the Caged Bird Seal, but at that point it would be a line I’m not willing to cross. Of all the things in the series, I find that seal to be an abomination. For all of you, who are hoping she sees the light in her fight with Naruto, don’t count on it anytime soon.

I’m a Naru-Hina fan (Nothing against Sakura either), but not in this story and there is no harem (3+ Girls) as I have said. I’ve got half a mind to follow Scorpion’s Disciple and Scorpion’s Masterpiece (Read this when you get a chance) and kill her off, but it would serve no benefit. I have much bigger plans for her. *Insert Evil Laugh*

As for that whole SNAFU thing…that’s gonna happen…eventually…

Sorry Yugito fans, it had to be done. I needed a reason for all the nations to take Akatsuki seriously and now they only have 1 each minus Konoha and 2 wandering around. That’s conflict bait. Bee is a bit more necessary in eventually controlling the chakra of the Bijuu, so he gets a pass…

Next chapter will be “Recalling the Jinchuuriki” for a reason and there will be a time skip of about half a year to a full year. But don’t expect it anytime soon. I have crap to do and writing fan fiction may be fun, but a drain on time and therefore money.

Plus, I’ve still got to update Advent of the Spiraling Ninja later.

Non – Canon Jutsu:

Wind Infusion: The act of adding wind nature chakra to a chakra construct.

Gale Needles: A variation of the Chakra Needle Technique utilizing shape manipulation and wind chakra.

Hardliner: Gale Crusher: Naruto gathers a large amount of wind chakra into his fist and discharges it on impact. (The lines that came before it were off G Gundam’s Shining Fingers…I had to do it)

Hardliner: Gale Kick: Naruto infuses wind chakra into his foot for a powerful blow.

Hardliner: Revolving Cut: Naruto’s version based off of Shizuka’s Nadeshiko version. He covers his leg with wind chakra and delivers a falling kick.

Chakra Shield: Unlike a puppet’s chakra shield, Naruto uses a seal and shape manipulation to do so.

Triple Contract Seal: Removes control summoner has over any summoning like the regular version, but adds prevention and canceling array to send the summoning back and prevent the summoner from summoning until it is removed.

Earth Style: Sand Golem: Allows user to create a large humanoid creature composed of sand that can be made from preexisting sand.

Uzumaki Custom: Fire Seal: A sealing method that absorbs flames, similar to Jiraiya’s Fire Sealing Method, but customized for Naruto’s inability to use hand seals.

Canon Jutsu:

Lightning Style: Wave of Inspiration: The user generates a large amount of lightning from their hands which can be passed through conductive materials. (Dog-Boar-Ram-Rat)

Water Style: Water Trumpet: Water jets out the user’s mouth with force. Named because of how the hands are held at the mouth. (Dragon-Tiger-Rabbit)

Chidori Sharp Spear: The original Chidori is shaped into a spear or blade and launched.

Chidori Senbon: A variation of Chidori that relies on speed by using shape manipulation that are aimed at the enemy and increasing the amount of chakra used can increase the number of needles.

Earth Style: Earth Dragon Bullet: Creates a dragon from mud to fire spheres of mud. (Ram-Horse-Dragon)

Earth Style: Earth Flow River: Creates mud and can do so underneath opponent to throw them off balance. (Tiger)

Earth Style: Double Suicide Decapitation: The user hides underground and drags the object of their attack underneath to rob them of their freedom.

Fire Style: Phoenix Flower: Creates a volley of small fire balls that can be controlled by using chakra. Mostly used as a distraction. (Rat-Tiger-Dog-Ox-Rabbit-Tiger)

Fire Style: Fireball: Chakra kneaded inside one’s body is converted into fire and expelled from the mouth as massive orb or flame thrower. (Horse-Tiger)

Fire Style: Fire Dragon Bomb: The user exhales a flame breath from their mouth that combines with Earth Dragon Bullet. (Tiger)

Ink Flush: By directly pouring out his ink instead of drawing, Sai can create a large amount of creatures like a nest of snakes to attack the target. If destroyed, they can reform making struggling pointless.

Super Beast Imitating Drawing: Sai draws objects in ink on his scroll and the moment he removes the brush the drawings come to life.

Wind Monk Banishment #3

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 3

Author Notes:

As I said in the last set of notes, I don’t plan on having Naruto remove the seals on his hands anytime soon. Despite the increased loathing I have for Konoha thanks to certain fanfics that I highly recommend, I will not be actively bashing anyone. I will point out flaws in their characters and much like Malciah, I claim artistic license.

I may be slightly more cynical though…on second thought, maybe I should stay away from fanfics for a few days.

The Deidara boss battle in this fight has a great deal of influence from Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2. Aside from the idiot who relied on his immortality, the rest of Akatsuki are threats and will be treated as such.

Chapter 3

Land of Fire / Land of Wind Border

Sasuke was leaning against the wall inside a housing building for those crossing the border during a particularly bad sandstorm. It was like a hotel with lousy service. In the room with him were Sai, Sakura, and Kakashi.

Upon arriving, the team was informed that a sandstorm had suddenly appeared, and since traveling through sandstorms were a surefire way to get lost in the desert, they weren’t allowed to cross just yet. At least that was the cover story. While the Suna ninja didn’t show any hostility or anxiety, the group knew better and was taught to “see underneath the underneath.”

Most likely they were being stalled, and they knew that if they did anything suspicious they’d be turned away. Still, Kakashi wasn’t an idiot, or blind. So he had Sai send several of his ink mice towards Suna under the cover of night, where they went unnoticed as they passed two men in cloaks with red clouds.

Kazekage’s Private Training Ground at Night

Naruto sat on the ground in a lotus position, calm and relaxed within the secluded place where Gaara did some of his more private training. The last two days were spent hanging around with Fuu and getting her introduced to the Sand Siblings, along with Matsuri and Kanna. Naruto enjoyed that night with Kanna and Fuu, who used the shadow clone technique to do…things that went well with his stamina.

He had to remember to thank Jiraiya for his part in inspiring Fuu with his Icha Icha series…after kicking his ass for spying on his parents…on the night of his conception…damn Pervy Sage and Demon Fox. That memory will never leave him alone.

Extending his territory, Naruto felt the near absent life around him on the surface of the desert sands, despite the drop in the temperature as night fell. Taking a deep breath he guided his chakra into the loose sand to occupy the space between it and detect the life forms hiding beneath the surface. Naruto’s territory could peer into water and sand with ease, while forcing it into something like solid rock was difficult.

Naruto felt the presence of a scorpion creeping behind him beneath the sand, curious and unaware if he was a predator. Naruto stilled the chakra around the scorpion and then used shape manipulation to shape it into a box and temper it into a solid form. Exhaling, he willed the box to move and it rose inside his domain, the scorpion and the layer of sand it hid beneath inside of it.

The box appeared to float around him, when actually he used mental effort and chakra control inside his territory to push the box. Once it was face to face with Naruto, he stared at the scorpion without any emotion on his face, despite its stinger lashing out against the box in fear. Taking another deep breath, he smiled and gently pushed the box fifty feet way before lowering it to the surface of the sand.

“Careful,” he released the box and the scorpion darted away from him. “Curiosity killed more than a cat.”

Standing, Naruto forced chakra into his feet and leapt into the air. As he reached the summit of his jump, he recreated the box he sealed the scorpion in and solidified it beneath his feet, giving him a foot hold in the sky. Kicking off it, he somersaulted and fell towards the ground with his arms spread.

When he neared the ground, he shaped nine small boxes in a circle around him and increased the density of chakra around them to form nine chakra chains with the same point of origin. Each attached to one of the boxes. They acted as a net, as he landed upright on his right foot.

Extending his hand in a claw-like manner towards a large stone, he commanded the chakra become a second set of finger. Swiftly swinging them down, the chakra lashed out against the stone and created decent sized gashes.

The Temple of Enlightenment was called Naruto’s territory for a reason.

The area filled with his chakra operates according to his control. The chakra lacing the air can make it blow or become a blade, the chakra in the sand can capture and shape it, and nothing was out of his reach. But the greater the area under his influence, the lower the control he has.

In addition, the technique can be disturbed by someone with enough chakra or control. Part of the reason the technique was so effective was that it was unknown to the majority of those who would pursue him, but information was the key to battles and he wanted to maintain his secrecy. He would only use this against someone who could actually see chakra as an absolute last resort.

With his exercises done, he made his way to Fuu’s side. It was times like this he wished he had perfected his father Hiraishin—the Flying Thunder God technique. But unfortunately, he would need a greater reference than his mother’s memories. If only there were someone living who could advise him…

Back in Konoha

The three members of the fourth Hokage’s private guards all sneezed at once.

With Fuu

The green-haired kunoichi was currently lying on her bed at Gaara’s manor and reading more of Jiraiya’s literature, when she noticed her lover walk in.

“Hey, Naruto?” Fuu pointed to a page in her book. “Can we try this tonight?”

Naruto went over to read what she was proposing, before his entire face went red and he backed away slowly. He enjoyed sex, but he wasn’t a hopeless pervert like Jiraiya, and there were some things even the self-proclaimed Super Pervert won’t do. Naruto doubted he could even get as many girls at once that they referenced the previous night.

How he got the research for such a thing will escape Naruto’s mind forever, but it was an abomination to all but those who worshiped the ground the author wrote on and carried his books like a religious text.

Land of Wind/Land of Fire Border

Kakashi was reading said unspeakable acts when he sneezed.

“Did you catch a cold, sensei?” Sakura asked.

Back with Fuu

“Remember what I’ve said about limitations?” he reminded her.

“You consented to doing anything I wanted already.” Fuu told him, getting off the bed.

“When was that?” he asked.

“The night we were with Kanna,” she crossed her arms. “After the clones. You never go back on your word, right?”

“Now Fuu…” Naruto muttered, as Fuu inched towards him with a predatory look on her face, her mind thinking of several ways to try this. It didn’t help that Choumei was giving her advice and Kurama was laughing his tails off. “That’s not fair, no man would be thinking rationally then!”

Kinky things that Pervy Sage indirectly corrupted her with aside, Fuu was a great woman. Strong, smart, reliable, caring, she was perfect for him. Hell, Naruto could see raising a family with her.

They’d have to keep privacy seals in the bedroom, due to her insatiable behavior at times, but other than that…

“Naruto…” Fuu pounced and he wound up with his back against the wall and Fuu pressed against him. “Don’t resist…just enjoy.”

“But I need to save my energy to apply the seal on Gaara tomorrow!” Naruto made one last desperate plea, but it fell on deaf ears.

Before she could act, Naruto’s ears twitched and he looked out the window as a muffled explosion went off nearby. It was accompanied by a small flash that illuminated a portion of the night sky…and a white bird with a male Ino in a black cloak with red clouds being chased by sand?

“Salvation—I mean, oh no! Akatsuki’s attacking! I’d better go help Gaara!” Naruto said, before he leaped out the window.

“I’m killing them for this,” Fuu muttered under her breath and started getting dressed for combat. “I was so close!”

With Gaara

White wings of clay took to the desert sky of the night, avoiding a barrage of sand tendrils that slid through the air and grated against each other while acting like the sand jinchuuriki’s limbs. Golden hair swayed in the air, as smaller clay birds were released and swatted from the sky.

“Not bad….! Hm.” Deidara chirped as twin tendrils lashed out and batted him off his ride and towards the ground. The sand darted to catch him from above and below, entrapping him, but the clay bird swooped in and retrieved him in time. “That was pretty close… Hmmm.”

“You won’t get away in one piece.” Gaara told the Akatsuki member. Sand gathered behind him in the shape of compressed spheres and became bullets. Leaving a trail that shimmered in the moonlight, they flew towards the clay bird whose acrobatic superiority saved its master from a death without grace.

The city became an obstacle course as they navigated throughout it with agility. Through the looping passages and roads, around the buildings and towers, they flew. The exchange of bombs and sand woke the sleeping residents who witnessed the flight of their leader as the Akatsuki member rose higher into the sky.

“Pretty good,” Deidara mused before he pulled out a clay figure. “But this is it…For you and the whole village!”

The clay figure became a giant and followed the whims of gravity. Falling towards the village below, the blast element infused clay would rupture and bestow the art of death in an instant. Gaara’s eyes widened and then steeled themselves.

“Sky Sand Defensive Wall!” he raised his arms and the sand obeyed.

Towers of sand rose at the beckoning of the desert master, the fifth Kazekage. Spreading like a great wave and then hardening, the sand spout separated the village from the explosion that lit up the night sky with hue of destruction, as a certain blond watched on and made his way towards them.

Gaara leaned on one knee as he dealt with the exhaustion from the effort of raising the wall to protect his village.

“Blocking that is amazing…Hmmm.” Deidara commented, and Gaara glared.

The sound of shifting sand and the all consuming shadow were the only warnings he got as twin-tipped sand arms began to enclose the very sky.

“Sand Prison!” Gaara announced and the sphere of sand was sealed.

“Blast!” Deidara’s voice echoed and his bird exploded, leaving a gap in the prison for him to fall through. As he made his way to the earth and sand tendrils rained from above, the mouth on the left hand spit of a certain figure and filled it with chakra. A plume of smoke gave way to another bird and he landed on it in a crouch as they pulled away.

Gaara raised his hand and concentrated. The sand of the desert ruptured and roared as the head of Shukaku took form.

Deidara hovered in place as the sight. “Whoa…” he muttered, relatively impressed before he took off. “Guess I’ll back off for now…Hm.”

The mouth of the Ichibi raccoon’s avatar opened. Sand and demonic chakra of the Bijuu merged and swirled to the fierce howl of wind and sand. Gaara’s eyes glowed luminous golden for but a brief moment as he took aim.

“Hear the howl of the desert…” he ominously proclaimed. “Roar of Shukaku!”

The trigger was pulled.

The light of the golden roar painted the night sky and parted the clouds while the desert sands were pushed back in the shockwave. The wrath of the desert was unleashed in its entirety. The flight of the explosive artist was cut short as the light consumed him, his only salvation with the detonation of the bird carrying him allowing him to escape the full force of the blast.

He fell to earth as the form of Shukaku faded.

With Naruto

“…How come every jinchuuriki I meet has some cool technique or bloodline ability and I only get stuck with faster healing?” Naruto said to no one in particular. “I want to blow stuff up too!”

Heh…” Kurama chuckled. “I guess this would be a bad time to tell you about one of my Tail Beast Skills then?

“You’ve been holding out on me?”

In my defense, imagine if you had access to that kind of firepower when you were a small kit? The village would have burned down…Well, I couldn’t really care about that, but you’d most likely have killed yourself.

“…We’ll discuss this as we make our way to Gaara,” Naruto closed and started leaping over rooftops, the buzzing of beetles following him.

With Gaara

Gaara made his way towards the fallen form of Deidara on a rooftop that served as his final resting place. His breath ran ragged from the exhaustion of the fight. Lethargy set in as the adrenaline faded from his system.

“Is it over, then…?”

“I would say…not,” the voice of the explosive artist came from behind the weary Kazekage.

He turned to face his hunter while the fallen figure lost its color and became clay once again.

“That was pretty close…” Deidara admitted.

He took that and still…Gaara thoughts ran rampant.

“But…” he formed the seal of the explosion with his right hand. “In the end, victory’s mine!”

Clay spiders broke through the sand gourd and crept along Gaara’s body. Before he could mutter a word or protect himself, the final words were spoken.

“Blast!” The spiders ruptured and the blast element was ignited within.

Point blank explosions rocked the rooftop as the Kazekage’s body stood at ground zero. He fell to his knees and was consumed by the rising tower of constant explosions and smoke rose in the air with the scent of charred flesh. The sand armor protecting his body was cracked and exposed raw skin beneath.

The Kazekage fell into oblivion.

“Man…” he approached the fallen jincuuriki, his hands chewing a new sculpture. “That took some doing. Mixing detonating clay in the sand in the gourd.” A smirk etched its way across his face.

“You weren’t giving me any openings, either. You’re as tough as I figured, Kazekage…” The clay expanded to form another fowl with more girth than his regular breed. “All right. Now I’m gonna take you someplace fun…Hmmm.”

“I DON’T THINK SO!” roared another voice.

On instinct, Deidara leapt to the right and off the rooftop, his left spitting out another bird to ride on. The carrier game that was to house the Kazekage’s body was split in two by a blue crescent arc that cleaved through the figure and an explosion rocked the rooftop.

Standing amidst the dancing flames and formless smoke, a cloaked figure stepped from the backdrop without injury. The wavering air added to his presence and was blown away as his chakra roared with fury. There, wrapped in a blue aura stood Naruto, brandish his chakra broadsword of Uzushio.

“Naruto!” a second figure hovered next to him, her green hair shifting in the wind.

Green hair…Wings…Blonde hair…Whisker marks…Hmmm. Deidara pooled his observations into a single thought. The Nanabi and Kyuubi…

“Get Gaara to the hospital!” Fuu told her lover. “I’ve got this!”

“Alright, but be careful!” he deferred to her wishes and hoisted Gaara over his shoulder. “He’s got an Iwa band and that clay is probably earth element, so lightning will short it out. These guys move in a pair so I’ll search for any out of place signatures and find the other one.”

Naruto leapt off the rooftop that smoldered with his old friend in tow.

Another two jinchuuriki? Sasori-danna won’t be happy that one got away, but maybe if I bring this one or the other one…Deidara checked his supplies. I’m glad I bought extra clay…Hmmm.

“Now then…” Fuu looked at the artist being hoisted in the air by his artwork, her wings glistening in the moonlight among burning orange the contaminated the sky. Water gathered into her hand and took the form of a curved blade.

“Payback for ruining my Naruto time!” From above a horde of beetles descended upon the artist, whose creation took off like a jet.

He’s too fast for the beetles right now…Spreading her wings the jinchuuriki took flight and flew after the artist.

“Come on.” Deidara chided the jinchuuriki. “Let me show you a night on the town. I’m sure we’ll have a blast…Hmmm.”

The pair began the dance of the sky once again, with bombs exploding in the background.

With Sasori

“What is taking him so long?” the puppet master of legend sighed. He hated waiting, despite being a puppet and therefore having all the time in the world. “I am going to turn him into a human puppet for this.”

A wave of chakra washed over the puppet master and his steel tail whipped. Leaving a silver arc in the air the metal batted away the projectiles that came towards him. His gaze was drawn to the figure landing ahead of him.

“…This was unexpected…” Sasori mused. “Chakra needles. Looks like Kakuzu didn’t gloss over your growth when it comes to using chakra constructs after all.”

“Akatsuki…” Naruto pulled out the pole and formed a blade for combat. “It’s time for the hunters to become the hunted.”

“Is that so?” Sasori chuckled lightly. Then he ripped off his mask and exposing the puppet’s mouth.

The slots of the mouth slid down and a barrage of silver senbon rained down forward towards the jinchuuriki in a spread pattern. Heading to the left or right would hold no salvation for those caught in the spray. One touch would mean a long death.

Yet, Naruto advanced forward.

The slicing of the air as the senbon passed by; the clashing of the chakra blade against the metal; the sand being littered with the needles of death; these constant sounds echoed throughout the night air outside the walls of the Village Hidden in the Sand.

“You saw through it…” he raised the arm that held a dozens of cylinders attached to a larger one and launched it into the sky. It spun and released the cylinders, which further split into a shower of senbon that dotted the sky silver. “How about this?”

Naruto howled and flared his chakra outward. The pulse it released batted the needles out of the sky and sent them spiraling around the jinchuuriki, who continued his charge towards the puppet master with a fist shrouded in the white cloak of wind chakra and a chakra blade in the other.

The steel tail of the Akatsuki member flashed and made its way towards Naruto. Skidding along the desert sands, he twisted and avoided the piercing edge that refracted the moonlight in his eyes as he passed with his blade arcing. Drawing a blue crescent arc it cleaved through the tail.

“SHATTER!” Naruto finished his rotation and slammed his fist into Sasori’s body. “HARDLINER: GALE FIST!”

A cloud of sand was thrown into the air. The sound of crushed wood echoed with the sound of explosives from the village. Splinters fell like leaves as the cloud of sand cleared and Naruto leapt back.

“You’ve proven yourself worthy of learning my name…” a redheaded boy appeared from the remains of the broken puppet while donning the cloak of Akatsuki. “My name is Sasori of the Red Sand. Allow me to show you my masterpiece.”

He unraveled a scroll…

With Fuu and Deidara

Two ninja danced in the night sky as the villagers watched below the dazzling yet deadly display above them. The sky would be filled with bolt of blue lightning one second and orange flames and smoke the next. The flaps of bird wings from the clay fowls were countered by the buzzing of insect wings.

“These are a lot faster!” Deidara launched numerous quad-winged games at the caramel-toned woman with mint-green hair. They swiveled and darted it a helix pattern towards Fuu before accelerating.

Fuu twisted her body and ascended towards the moon, two blades of hardened water in her hands. Her figure became silhouetted in the moon along with dozens of dots that represented her flying beetles. Halting in midair, her wings folded while lightning climbed into her blades and she fell to earth.

Twin trails of lighting circled into their own helix as she spiraled towards the ground. The quad-wings that failed to break away from their ascent were cut down and riddled with lightning to diffuse them. The pieces fell with Fuu until she opened her wings and fluttered parallel to small oasis below with the clay game carpet bombing from above which exploded on impact and threw up spouts of water.

Deidara looked on as his hands were producing more sculptures. He abandoned his current ride instantly when a shadow descended from the sky above. Hidden in the darkness of the night were the beetles Fuu had before her descent.

“Blast!” the large bird exploded with enough force to light up a tenth of Suna as it incinerated the insects. With a flick of his wrist and a bit of chakra he landed on a more slender bird than the bulky one he had before. He applied chakra to his feet and leaned back as far as he could as the lightning streaming blades crossed at the point where his head once was.

Meeting Fuu’s gaze with a smirk, he tossed up five clay figures that became spiders and were heading for the jinchuuriki while forming the seal for his element. Blurs from dragon flies that Fuu gathered from the oasis nearby tore past and captured the spiders as he muttered the trigger phase and the explosion was set off the side, sending both of them into a spiral, recovery, and subsequent chase once again.

“Have you ever experienced the art of a single moment?” he asked the fleeting jinchuuriki of the sky as his hands began jointly chewing a large amount of clay from his pouch. “That single moment where true beauty takes hold and shines while leaving an unforgettable memory?”

“Yes, although it’s only seen when I’m with Naruto.” Fuu replied while she began infusing lightning chakra into her cylinder. “I’ll never forget those moments in my life.”

Deidara smirked, as both his hands spat out another sculpture that fell while he ascended. Sending his current method of transportation on a crash course, he released all the remaining pre-made figures into the sky save for one and they became a flock of birds of prey while Fuu’s cheeks puffed out and she gathered chakra into it.

Hidden Art: Hiding in Scale Powder!” she mentally recited as the powder blanketed the sky and refracted moonlight to create a blinding glare. Deidara released his chakra grip on the bird and fell, while Fuu unleashed her lightning chakra infused beetles and they scattered.

The birds swarmed on her supposed location hidden in the light and impacted with each other to set off a chain reaction that she avoided. Fuu dove toward Deidara who had gotten himself a new ride. A much bigger ride…

“C2: Dragon!” Deidara looked smugly at the jinchuuriki. “This would be the moment where you flee…Hm.”

Lucky Seven! I’m running low on chakra!” Fuu telepathically told her tenant as she took to the skies with a predator in tow.

Well Fuu-girl, that’s what happens when you converted so much into lightning and fed the little ones.” Choumei chided her. “I can give you a quick refill, but you’ll be feeling the effects for the next few days depending on how much.

Just enough for summoning a large water beetle!” Fuu abandoned her water blades and flew beyond the walls of the village while avoiding roughly a dozen mini-dragons with main one trailing.

Got it, but you’ll be feeling buggy for the next three days!

Choumei flared its chakra over the girl and a thin green outline formed. Her pupils became compounded and glowed green. Her wings flapped faster and she accelerated, rising into the sky and going through hand seals until—

Summoning!” a large beetle with sapphire scales that the moonlight washed over appeared. The beetle’s elytra were opened while its hind wings moved too fast to be seen as anything but a blur.

What is the meaning of summoning me in the middle of a desert young one?” the beetle complained. “I am better suited for aquatic ventures or areas with more moisture. Just because you hold the great one does not mean you can summon me in such an environment.

“Sorry Mi-sama, but I need you to spray the area!” Fuu begged.

Fine.” The summoning bellowed before converting its chakra and opening its mandibles. Water sprayed out in a fine mist of condensation and hung in the air before the summoning vanished.

“I’m all wet…Hmm.” Deidara shrugged…until he heard the buzzing of beetles around his main ride and saw several small beetles with translucent abdomens…filled with lightning. Crap…

Sorry little ones,” Fuu muttered to the tiny insects before giving the final command. “Hidden Art: Flash Beetle Bomb!

The beetles shone with the flash of life before their abdomens burst and released the lightning into the cloud of mist. Lightning jumped from water particle to water particle; arching lightning conducted and was sent throughout the air; the dragons and the artist fell to the desert sands below with a loud thud and impact cloud.

Fuu lowered herself gently until she was hovering over the artist who was burned and smoldering.

“How…” his voice came out rasp and weak. His organs were failing; ruptured from the electricity flowing throughout his body.

“My beetles were infused with a majority of my converted lightning chakra,” she told the dying artist. “As a result, they become no different than your explosives: they shine for but a brief moment to kill an enemy and then return to the world as ashes.”

“Heh…” a soft but fragile smile graced his lips. “Beautiful…”

With those last words, the artist known as Deidara passed from the impure world and his body went still. Fuu used a final lightning technique to ensure his clay was completely diffused and his body was dead, before placing his corpse in a preservation storage scroll.

“You may have been an enemy, but nevertheless, rest in peace.”

With Sasori

“Iron Sand: Drizzle!” the puppet master announced.

The greatest puppet in Sasori’s arsenal had been released—the third Kazekage. The gathered iron sand was fired like bullets towards the Uzumaki who had to reseal his conducting rod as the metal construct was constantly being drawn by magnetic field and raised a barrier with chakra chains as a cloud of dust was throwing up. The shots halted once visibility was lost.

Sasori fingers stood rigid, his puppet hovering over his right shoulder. They twitched and began a complex pattern as a barrage of chakra needles were fired from cloud to bring up a wall of iron sand. It was then a shadow grew on the ground and Sasori looked up.

Naruto’s hand was wreath in chakra and formed the blade he once showed Gaara. Swinging the blade down he severed the chakra strings as Sasori jumped back and sent the puppet to ground with a side kick as the iron sand lost control.

Sasori extended his hands and a tube emerged from both palms. A stream of pressurized water was fired at the Uzumaki jinchuuriki who dodged as he felt the thin streams with in his territory. Once he used up the water, Naruto acted.

“RAIN DOWN!” his blonde hair ruffled as he raised his hand. Dozens of chakra needles were shaped above Sasori from Naruto’s chakra permeating his territory. They flew towards the androgynous man.

Sasaori hopped lightly on his feet and avoided the barrage. Finishing with a dodge roll he extended his hands and chakra strings were launched from all ten fingers. The right five connected with Naruto’s forearm and sent it curved towards his head with the chakra blade active and forced him to drop the shape manipulation to avoid decapitating himself before streaming chakra into his free hand and severing the strings attached with them.

Naruto’s eyes widened as he felt movement behind him and somersaulted backwards. The third Kazekage puppet’s claws and saw cut off a tuff of hair as he landed and slid back. He looked up in curiosity as the iron sand gathered into the sky and formed a dense sphere that hovered above the center of battlefield.

“Iron Sand: Needle Sphere!” the sphere ruptured and iron spikes were launched from the sky and Naruto ran.

Swerving left and right, jumping backwards and rolling forward at opportune moments, he avoided the constructs that littered the sky and ground. He slid to halt when the downpour stopped. Then spikes shot out like thorny tendrils from the implanted the construct and Naruto dodged as best he could but was scraped on various points of his body before they formed a cage.

“It’s over…” Sasori told him. “My poison is in your system. Unless you receive the antidote from me, you’ll die painfully in three days.”

Naruto smirked as his chakra blade vibrated using chakra control and became shrouded in white wind chakra. The blade flashed as he swung it and cut through his cage. “Poison doesn’t work on me.”

I may have over-relied on it…Sasori thought before replying. “Let’s test your resistance then? You don’t need all of your limbs anyway.”

“Iron Sand Gather: Sword!” the sand took on the shape of blades. With a twitch of the finger, the puppet’s magnetic field gathered the senbon from the desert sand that were used earlier and embedded them inside the blades to make an even more lethal weapon.

“…That might do the trick,” the Uzumaki muttered. “For someone who needs jinchuuriki alive, you sure as hell are going for a lot of kill strikes!”

“Even if it takes a few years, the Kyuubi will reform eventually…” the Kazekage puppet clacked. “I think I’ll turn you into a puppet and add you to my collection. I can replace anything missing.”

The blades fell with aid of gravity. The puppet’s chest cavity opened and a burst of chakra made the blades fall faster. The last visible sight of Naruto was his widening eyes turning red with slits with pupils as the impact threw up a cloud of sand and the shock wave shattered the chakra control that maintain the Temple of Enlightenment.

Oh for father’s sake, what are you waiting for?” the fox howled as his host leapt back out of the cloud with enhanced speed and landed on all fours, the scrapes on his body were evaporating as steam poured from his body. “Breaking down this poison in your system isn’t easy when you keep getting bathed in it.

I’m up against a fucking Kage, puppet or not! It’s like fighting Gaara but with poison instead of crushing!

Are you that daft kit?” Kurama sighed. “All those books and scrolls you’ve read since your exile and you never picked up a chemistry one? Iron sand’s main component is magnetite, which loses its charge once sufficiently heated.

“…How do you know that?” he mentally questioned his tenant.

I’ve been around since the sage of the six paths final days. My hosts have both been involved in the great wars. Do you honestly think either I or they wouldn’t have learned the abilities of an enemy Kage?” Kurama snorted. “Just roast the damn sand already!

I don’t have a fire seal scroll on me right now, I didn’t think I’d need to make one just yet and I’m not a fire-user…” Naruto paused. “Well, I guess we could use that skill you’ve been holding out on me.

The heat from my Bijuu skill depends on the number of tails I’m using. Your three-tailed state should be enough to disrupt the magnetism from the puppet and charcoal it into kindling…You’ll also have a dry throat after this.

Naruto’s whisker marks became engorged. A crimson shroud emerged from his body and took shape as bits of his skin began to peel. Donning his three-tailed state, a murderous grin spread across his face as he howled to the heavens.

This does not bode well…the puppeteer felt alarmed and metallic protrusions emerged from his back as Naruto gathered air and chakra into his lungs and his chest and cheeks swelled.

NINE-TAILED FOX FIRE STREAM!” Scarlet tongues of fire raced across the desert and roared. The sky grew blood red as it flared and turned the sand into molten glass from contact with the flames that devoured the iron sand and the third Kazekage puppet.

The puppeteer decided to cut his losses and took to the skies. The blades on his back rotated and he flew off in the distance while Naruto slowly exited his tailed beast state exhausted.

“Damn it,” Naruto swore while he clenched his dry throat and coughed. “He got out of my range in the middle of the attack…now even puppets can fly.”

Kurama scoffed. “You’ve still got a long way to go. When all this is over, you better make some more sealing scrolls and training from those samurai in Iron. And hurry up with that genjutsu blocking array. You won’t be able to fight that masked man when he returns at this rate and I’ll be damned if I fall under his control again…damn sharingan users.”

“Whatever,” Naruto stood upright. “At least Akatsuki is two members down now if Fuu took care of the other one.”

Naruto began to make his way back to the village to check on his lover and friend. As he passed the gap of the defenses that served as the entrance, he failed to notice the legion of black mice that hid in the shadows.

The mice looked at each other and established two groups, all but one to carry the information they had back to their master, the last to trail Naruto who joined up with Kankuro. It slipped inside the puppet on his back.

Kazekage’s Office

Gaara donned his hat once again after leaving the hospital despite the doctor’s insistence. In his office were the two other jinchuuriki, his brother, and an elderly pair of siblings.

“To think my grandson went so far as to turn himself into a puppet…” the elderly woman sighed. “He even killed the third Kazekage and turned him into one as well.”

“Indeed,” the older man shook his head.

“How did Akatsuki get past our village defenses without raising an alarm?” Gaara asked. His brother stepped up.

“Yura…he sabotaged and killed the guards at the entrance.” Kankuro told him. “I was in the middle of a fight with him when I saw Naruto heading to confront Sasori, but by the time I finished, the third Kazekage had been unleashed and I doubted I could keep up as a puppeteer.”

“You couldn’t,” the woman chuckled. “Only someone of my skill would be able to keep up with my Grandson now. If it bothers you that much, I’ll see about giving you some hands-on training. Still this poses a bit of a problem.”

“Chiyo-baa-sama is correct,” Gaara rubbed his forehead. “Konoha has a team waiting at the border and I can’t hold them there for another day without reason. Naruto, while you and Fuu are both technically free of any village, I’m sure they’ve heard rumors of your arrival and we’ll need to relocate the pair of you until they leave.”

“That’s fine, but where?” Fuu asked while nursing a steadily growing headache from Choumei’s tainted chakra.

“The Wind Daimyo and I were going through her father’s predecessor’s assets and found a certain hidden piece of property,” Gaara referred to the Wind Daimyo whose greed helped trigger the invasion years ago. “Only she, Matsuri, Temari, Kankuro, and I know of its location.”

“That place was great,” Kankuro nodded. “It was like a desert paradise. Given how much it cost, I wouldn’t be surprised if a good portion of the budget that was supposed to be used to support Suna as retainers went into it.”

“Regardless,” Gaara sighed. “This will be the perfect location for you to hide. The villagers are grateful for your help and will stay silent, but rumors will leak somehow. I’m not foolish enough to doubt that we have spies in our ranks.”

“Alright, but can we have a few hours to restock on supplies?” Naruto asked. “I need to resupply my sealing materials and get some new clothes since the ones I’m wearing are shredded. Also, I need to apply the seal array to you in case this crap happens again.”

“Matsuri and Kankuro will escort you both to the safe house after the seal is applied and supplies are bought,” Gaara droned. “Also, about that matter involving the Suna contractors we discussed. It’s done and they’ll arrive on the location shortly.”

“Contractors?” Kankuro looked at the blonde.

“We’re keeping it a secret for now, but let’s just say that it was money well spent on a future project.”

Two Days Later

Team Kakashi finally arrived at Suna.

The ink mice made it back to Sai, who recorded a transcript and log of the conversations, as well as visual information in the form of pictures on a book. After Sai passed out from chakra exhaustion, they stayed one day to discuss matters before they were given permission to cross now that the “sandstorm” had settled.

While Sai passed by Kankuro, the ink mouse in the puppet that went unnoticed melted and shot up the inker’s leg and into a container. When he sat down and poured the ink onto a map, it created a black trail indicating the path the puppeteer took to the safe house and back. He rolled it up and joined his teammates minus Kakashi, who was meeting with Gaara.

“Kakashi Hatake…” Gaara looked at the bandaged jounin and activated a privacy seal. “What happened to you?”

“One of your elderly shinobi mistook me for my father…” he scratched the back of his head.

“My apologies. Chiyo-baa-sama is getting along in years.”

“The matter has been settled at the very least,” he chuckled before getting serious. “Anyway, we came to tell you about an organization named Akatsuki, but you’ve seemed to have run into them already.”

Gaara wasn’t surprised he knew. “That information would have been helpful much sooner, but in the end we were able to drive them off. I’ve sent the body of one back to Iwa.”

“Well, that sandstorm lasted a really long time…” Kakashi sighed and then tried to run the guilt angle to ask about Naruto. “Otherwise we would have helped and the number of lives lost would be much smaller.”

“Let’s stop beating around the brush,” Gaara dropped all pretenses. “You’ve known about Akatsuki for years and now you decided to send the information? Right around the time rumors of a certain blonde reached the ears of the Hokage?”

“Kazekage-sama, it was only rumors then,” he argued. “We only heard whispers and nothing concrete.”

“Despite the fact that they appeared four years ago? When they tried and catch Naruto?” Gaara glared at the man. “It is bad enough that we jinchuuriki are called weapons and scorned for things we had no control over, or that the demons themselves were captured and sealed to start this so called balance of power and kept as weapons. But it is that type of isolationist thinking that leads to war because of incidents that could have been avoided if the information was shared.”

Kakashi stood silent.

“If you raised the alarm then, steps could have been better taken to neutralize the threat they present to the nations that are housing jinchuuriki and I wouldn’t have several dead men and women from the surprise attack. You don’t go around hiding the fact that an organization of S-class criminals are targeting those similar to me and then try to slip it in at the last minute in order to guilt me about leaving you at the border while we had a guest.

“From my point of view, instead of giving all the information about Akatsuki to every nation holding a jinchuuriki, you opted to keep it to yourselves in hopes of letting the rest get captured to weaken them. Your sudden reactions make it clear that you had another goal and not in good faith coming here.”

“Every nation has its secrets.” Kakashi made his point, but Gaara had a rebuttal.

“Maybe, but we’re dealing with an international group of Kage-level opponents who can overthrow nations, destroy villages with massive bombs, and have had ample time to do whatever the hell they wanted for at least four years. They have already attacked Taki and Suna in order to claim their ninja who contain chakra demons, and by now I’m sure they moved onto the others by now.”

“May I inquire how you discovered this information?” the copy cat asked.

“My source has firsthand experience, as have I. If the purpose of this visit was to inform me of a threat to my nation then you have come too late. Tell your Hokage that I will be compiling all the information I have on the subject and sending it to the five great nations to take steps to avoid having this incident repeat itself and more of my kin going missing because they weren’t aware they were being hunted nor their hunters capabilities. This meeting is over.”

Translation: Get Out Now.

In an Akatsuki Base at the same time

“Capture of the Gobi was successful,” Itachi announced.

“Does something smell like steamed shark?” Sasori added.

“Kisame opted to handle him alone and didn’t listen when I told him that the jinchuuriki could use steam techniques.”

“So that’s what you really look like?” Kisame chuckled at Sasori. “You look more like a girl than Deidara does…”

Kakuzu noticed the missing member. “Where is Deidara anyway?”

“Dead I’d assume,” Sasori mused. “Our plan to capture the Ichibi were thwarted by the Kyuubi jinchuuriki. I’d hazard a guess that the Nanabi jinchuuriki was there and killed Deidara.”

“It would seem that we’ve lost another member…” Pain solemnly said. “Let us mourn for him in privacy once this meeting has concluded.”

“The fox brat managed to destroy my favorite puppet and Hiruko…” Sasori began informing them of Naruto’s techniques and skills. “—agility, chakra control, and access to a Bijuu skill…he’s becoming a pain to deal with. Send Kisame after him already. Leave the corpse in one piece so I can replace my Kazekage with him.”

“If its bloodline bodies you need, I may know a few bounties that can tide you over until then.” Kakuzu volunteered. “The bodies are mostly intact after I take out their hearts…although I still need a lightning element one.”

“Kakuzu and Sasori,” Pain addressed them. “You two will work together on bounty hunting and information gathering. You two are to stay away from the Nanabi and Kyuubi at all costs. You’re in charge of our finances and information networks, losing either of you would cripple us further.

“I’ll have Zetsu work together with Tobi to find us two new recruits and possibly retrieve Deidara’s body from Iwa if they’ve sent it for a burial. Itachi and Kisame, capture the Nibi from Kumo. If the two of them continue to be a threat, I shall personally capture them when the time comes.”

“But I want a crack at him!” Kisame whined. “Come on! He uses fire; I use water. He uses chakra weapons; I have a sword that can eat chakra and massive reserves. Unless you can do those things, I have the best shot!”

Pain could do all those things, but why argue when Kisame is rationally explaining his point? As long as it leads to peace, it doesn’t matter who does it. “Fine…but only if you don’t have a target at the time. We need him last and try not to kill him or we’ll be waiting years for the Kyuubi to reform.”

He shot a glance at Sasori at that last comment.

“What?” the puppeteer shrugged. “So I may have gone a little into the overkill section. He lived and I didn’t use my final performance.”

“You and Kakuzu are going to get along fine.” Kisame chuckled.

Safe House in Land of Wind

“Owww…” Fuu whined while lying next to Naruto on a bed in her undergarments. Her fingers were wrapped around the amber necklace and charm he gave her. “Naruto, it still hurts…”

“Choumei warned you that you couldn’t take in unrefined chakra with the side effect,” Naruto told her while gently kissing her neck and cradling her. “Remember, your seal isn’t perfect and I still have a long way to go without running the risk of killing you mid-process.”

I told you Fuu-girl,” Choumei chimed in. “The effects should fade later today…uh oh.

Just as Choumei said that, an alarm seal Naruto set up was triggered and alerted the pair.

“Intruders!” Naruto said as he got out of bed. “What do your bugs say?”

“They say its four people…” she stretched her arms and a dragonfly landed on it. “One smells like tomatoes, one has pink hair and smells like medicine, one has the scent of ink, and the last one has silver—”

“Aw hell,” Naruto slipped on a new orange long-sleeved shirt and black pants, followed by a hooded cloak similar to what his father wore, but black with orange flames licking the bottom. On the center of the back was an orange spiral inside nine points that made it look like the sun combined and around his waist was a belt with scrolls attached. “They sent my old team and one other person…”

“Why the belt?” Fuu dressed up in shorts and a sleeveless shirt over her chainmail undershirt. She strapped on her cylinder and a new set of forearm bracers from Suna. “You have seals all over your body?”

“Because I don’t want them to figure that out too soon and the clothing will probably hinder Kakashi since it’ll remind him of my father. It’s a tactical advantage…” Naruto argued. “Plus it looks cool.”

“Point made.” Fuu agreed before she stumbled slightly and Naruto grabbed her.

“Fuu, you aren’t in the best condition right now…” he warned her. “Kakashi is not a joke; he’s up there with Akatsuki members and preaches of teamwork so they’ll probably work together. Neither one of us can risk going into a tailed state right now without losing control.”

“I’m a kunoichi and I won’t leave you to fight your old team alone,” she countered. “Besides, I have a personal grudge against them from everything you’ve told me. I’m more worried about you losing your temper in the middle of battle and it clouds your judgment.”

“That…may be a risk, but I don’t plan on a fight to the death in my current condition. I can’t use the temple since they have sharingan and can see chakra, and that’s too much to their advantage.”

Damnable eyes!” Kurama roared. He still took being controlled personally.

“Even if I did kill some of them, I’m sure at least one of them will get away and Konoha will try to use that to get me labeled a threat and Granny Tsunade won’t be able to overturn it. I don’t like Konoha very much, but I don’t want hunter-nin after me right now while we have to deal with Akatsuki.” Naruto sighed and bit down on his thumb. “We simply need to last long enough to get away clean…”

He rubbed the blood over his summoning seal…

More Notes:

Cliffhanger. I’m so evil.

Originally I planned on having Naruto and Fuu versus Kakashi’s group in this chapter…but given how many people are familiar with how long I tend to make fight scenes, I figured I should ease up on it a bit so it doesn’t go past 10K words.

Fuu has an aerial advantage for the most part and I tried to make her graceful but effective, distracting the enemy and then letting her traps take hold. Naruto is more aggressive in combat and better suited to close or mid-range.

I hope I did Deidara and Sasori some justice. Originally I planned on having Sasori killed instead but somehow it ended like that. Oh well, maybe I’ll have him and Orochimaru throw down.

Now I need to decide whether to kill off Kabuto early or let him live long enough to take a level grind like in the manga. Raising dead badasses to serve you is cheap, but highly efficient and I value pragmatism over flair depending on the situation.

Next chapter will be “Team 7 Reunion” and we’ll see what’s going on in Konoha and other locations. Leave a review on what you thought about the battles so far, I’m trying to improve my descriptive writing skill to make things seem more vivid.

Non – Canon Jutsu:

Hidden Art: Flash Beetle Bomb – Fuu feeds her larva a large amount of lightning chakra and turning them into electrical bombs that can discharge, but they kill the insects in the process.

Wind Monk Banishment #2

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 2

Author Notes:

Some Question came up in the reviews and I want to address them right now.

I admitted I got the original idea from “Tempered by Spiritual Fire” by Malciah, but it is not the same story and I do not consider them the same story…although if Malciah is reading this, I await your continuation. You rock.

Naruto CAN use ninjutsu, but not any that require hand seals…well technically he can, but the pain from the seals will shoot his control to hell. Instead, things like Rasengan and Gale Fist can be used and he does have access to Wind Nature chakra but since he can’t use shadow clones, we can’t infuse the wind chakra like normal, although he can do like Jiraiya does with the Fire Style: Great Flame Rasengan, applying the chakra outwardly rather than infusing it internally.

Naruto isn’t a complete powerhouse, he still has stamina to last longer, but he will not be able to simply defeat hundreds of shinobi like he’s Itachi or something. Naruto primarily fights using chakra-crafted weapons, and taijutsu, but he also uses seals as part of his strategies. Incidentally, because of Kisame’s sword devouring chakra by large amounts, that is his worst enemy.

Naruto has very little love left for Konoha, to the point where he values the few who stuck by him and would sooner burn down the village as a whole. He won’t be altering or removing the seals on the back of his hands anytime soon since it signifies the physical embodiment of the betrayal he felt.

A key element of the story is mostly hatred and sorrow, and the way they deal with it. Jinchuuriki who fully master their powers are required to defeat their own hatred and the hatred of the Bijuu, which love plays a huge role in doing so. What Naruto and Fuu have is love, but the years of suffering they’ve underwent prevent them from accessing the higher tier of power they possess until they can learn to forgive and let the past go, along with their growing relationship with each other and maybe some friends.

This story is rated “M” because of violence, swearing, and suggestive dialogue. I probably won’t write citrus scenes (why H scenes are named after a type of fruit I’ll never know), but I will allude to them for humor or to show compassion and comfort, since this takes place around the time of Shippuden and they aren’t preteens.

Now, onto the violence!

Chapter 2

In the forest surrounding the hidden village of Taki, a green-haired woman, with mint-green hair, orange eyes, and a caramel skin tone slept blissfully in her home. The village would not waste resources on building her a house once they kicked her out, not that she trusted most them to not line the thing with explosive tags. Luckily her tenant used a bit of its power to compel the insects in the forest to lend a helping hand.

They gnawed through the bark of one of the thickest trees they could find and hollowed out the trunk with such precision and smoothness that you could rub your bare skin across the wood and feel the cool touch, right down to your bones without getting a splinter. This was done using a combination of certain fluids that the insects produced to cause a chemical reaction similar to running a wax buffer across everything. It was roughly the size of a master bedroom and a half, with notches hollowed out for storing things, her bed was spun through the use of foliage and silk, and her essentials were bought to her personally by Shibuki, whom she actually trusted.

Her modest but alluring figure was outlined by the smooth and sensationally soft sheets that Naruto had bought for her during his last visit. Naruto kept a very generous sum of money in one of the many sealing arrays drawn in invisible ink on his skin, earned through his ridiculous luck in casinos and he learned to budget well in his travels. He told Fuu he’d like to restore his mother’s village one day and with what he made, it wouldn’t take too long.

The pair spent quite some time under them, enjoying each other’s company. Just recalling the nights they spent in the throes of passion and loving embrace afterwards left her breathing slightly labored…

Not to be a downer,” her tenant spoke from her mindscape, destroying her wondrous reminiscent moment. “The little guys are clamoring that two dangerous guys have entered the forest.

By little guys, it meant the smaller insects of the forest. Fuu stirred awake, silently swearing about being roused from her slumber, and mentally vowing to kill whoever it was that caused her tenant to force her awake.

That’s the thing Fuu-girl,” Choumei buzzed. “The little guys are saying that they smell like death, that they have the scent of fresh blood, one of them has a scratched out forehead protector with the village’s emblem…and apparently one of them swears more than you did that night that Kurama’s host did that thing with—

“Okay, I get it.” Fuu sent out orders to have the insects gather more intel, while she got dressed in her orange combat bra and panties, sleeveless white midriff shirt, long white arm warmers, fishnet armor and shorts, and short white apron skirt. She took the orange hair clip that Shibuki’s father had gotten her when she was younger and pinned it to her hair, while placing a necklace that had a charm sealed in amber—given to her by Naruto after she successfully signed the Beetle contract—around her neck, and tied her forehead protector around her arm. Lastly, she looked over to a wooden cylinder that was almost as long as she was, lying against the trunk wall.

The wood had an intricate design and was made from the finest trees grown from the First Hokage, whom gave the village Choumei in the first place. It was a gift for the first Jinchuuriki, to serve as a hive for the beetles that served her like a queen would for an Aburame. It was divided into layers on the inside, and the insects were nurtured on chakra and the wood, which could actually repair itself with a little help from Fuu.

A portion of Fuu hated the First Hokage, almost wishing that assassination mission that a long-dead missing-nin failed on was successful. It was because he gave the village Choumei that she suffered. But somehow, she doubted that he knew the village would treat the host of the Bijuu like animals, seeing as Naruto told her that according to the memories Kurama shared, his wife was the first one.

She blamed Choumei at first, but the Nanabi didn’t ask to be sealed away. She’d be lying if she didn’t say that a small part of her blamed Shibuki and his dad for her treatment, even though they were the most humane people in the village towards her. She hated her parents, whom Shibuki’s father told her left after she was chosen to be the next container on the fact that she was simply born at the wrong place and wrong time, unlike Naruto’s who died protecting him.

The First Hokage, Shibuki, and his father may have played a role in her fate, but they at least understood the consequences and accepted their part in it, unlike her parents and the villagers who abused her. She would have accepted death without hesitation if she didn’t meet Naruto and the comfort he bought. She practically threw herself into a relationship with him over the course of the full month they spent together after he left the Land of Iron, and thanks to a certain series of orange colored books she pilfered from a Kusa-nin that tried to infiltrate the village, she didn’t mind if he bought a friend along…

Wrapping the hive cylinder inside a cloth and strapping it to her back, she sprouted two wings and took flight through the forest.

With Hidan and Kakuzu

“The sacrifices from earlier said the Nanabi should be somewhere around here, but it’s a goddamn maze of trees and bugs…” a man with slick-back silver hair and purple eyes commented. “Kakuzu, you know this place right? Is it close yet?”

“I don’t think we’ll need to go in any further, Hidan…” the tanned man with a black mask, empty green eyes, and a slashed Taki forehead protector. “She found us.”

Fuu landed a dozen feet away from the duo, withdrawing her wings.

“Mmn…” Hidan ran his hand through his hair, eying the Fuu up and down, before rubbing his hand together. “She’ll make a fine tribute.”

“We need her alive…” Kakuzu reminded his partner.

“Touch me and I’ll take your arms off,” Fuu put her hands on her hips. “I don’t know what you two are doing here, but this forest is mine. Get out, or I’ll show you how I keep my carnivorous friends fed.”

“Feisty! I’ve got this one!” Hidan licked his lips. “I can’t wait to get a taste of your blood. She’s mine and mine alone!”

“Fine by me,” the other man shrugged. “There’s no bounty on her anyway. Considering who trained her, she’ll probably be a water type with some lightning moves, but we’re far enough from any water source outside the atmosphere and any she generates. Just don’t underestimate her.”

“Come get some!” Fuu held her right hand out. Water gathered from the air and formed droplets, clumping together and solidifying into a curved blade that she held in front of her as she slid into a combat stance. “Hidden Waterfall Style: Water Slicing Blade!”

The priest unleashed a battle cry and charged. The two weapons clashed repeatedly, leaving sparks from the collision of hardened water and steel. Hidan savored the battle, trying to dig into her caramel flesh with his sharp tool and get at the fluids inside her to consume them and make them his own, their bodies joined in a bond beyond flesh.

The two eventually took the battle to the trees, running along the trunk diagonally and spiraling to the tip, where the priest unleashed a strong blow using the cable and she blocked, but it knocked her into the air. He jumped, spinning the scythe above his head before he swung it down. Fuu blocked once again, but was smashed straight into the ground and left a crater.

She clenched her teeth and lunged backwards, avoiding the motion he made to pierce her with his tool, resisting to the bitter end. He truly enjoyed the game of cat and mouse, where all he needed to do was get a single lick of her life blood. He tossed the scythe past her and it anchored into the ground, where the cable retracted and started pulling him in closer before she could react. He wrapped his fingers around her throat…

“Hands off, I’m taken!” The Water Slicing Blade cleaved through the priest’s non-dominant arm at the shoulder with little resistance, and she followed up with a thrust through his chest and a kick to dislodge him from the blade, tossing his corpse to the scythe planted in the ground.

“One down,” Fuu turned to the green eyed, masked man who just shook his head. The insects of the forest sent a series of inaudible signals to Fuu, who dove to the left and avoided the triple-bladed scythe, looking at the not-dead priest.

“Damn, my arm!” Hidan swore. “Kakuzu, get my arm back on so I can maim this bitch.”

“Kakuzu?” Fuu recalled the name from the list of Taki missing-nin she was forced to memorize, along with her former master’s. Another series of signals had Fuu flip back to avoid a sharp net of black threads coming from the heart stealer. “Was that…Earth Grudge Fear?”

“Seems like you’re informed,” Kakuzu mused. “My old village was at least smart enough to have their weapon recognize certain techniques. I thought they would hamper your knowledge and abilities, since your former master was also a missing-nin. That might be why the poor bastards we caught were so quick to give you up.”

He was right, to an extent. Fuu had been trained by Suien before he became a missing-nin, who saw her as a weapon. He treated her harshly in training, but it was still better than most of the villagers, which he pointed out repeatedly. He was planning to nurture her anger and turn it against the village, while using that trust and dependence on him when he came back to take the Hero’s Water.

Fuu had been out on a mission and was away from her home during his return and death at the hands of Naruto. She didn’t blame Naruto, Suien had stabbed Shibuki and considering he was the closest thing to a childhood friend she had, that rid her of all kind thoughts of the man, no matter how few. The fact that he turned traitor only made the villagers spurn her even more as the cause, leaving her to learn from experience with the techniques and strategies Suien taught her since no one else would.

At least until Naruto came along.

“You’re ancient…how are you still alive?” she muttered. Generally speaking there weren’t many old ninja due to their lifestyle. Only the very strong or very lucky lived that long. She looked at the priest, who should have been dead from the chest wound. “Both of you…neither one of you is normal.”

“This coming from someone with a demon sealed inside her,” Kakuzu rolled his eyes at the hypocrisy, sending some threads to reattach his partner’s arm. “I told you not to underestimate her. I’ll expect payment for this.”

“You and your fucking money!” Hidan rolled his arm to test it. “I swear to Jashin-sama, you are going to go down to hell and watch it burn for all eternity.”

“Hell runs on money, I’d be fine,” he snorted. “So, still want to try to take her alone?”

He didn’t answer, opting to go at her with the scythe again. Fuu dodged it and moved back to gain distance, but the range of the scythe’s cable made it difficult. Eventually, she landed and growled in a feral manner.

Let’s go, Lucky Seven! Fuu told her tenant.

You got it Fuu-girl!” Choumei responded, releasing its chakra. Fuu became shrouded and her chakra became greenish. Her cloak was fully formed and she sprouted a single tail.

“Hidden Art:—” The cylinder on her back released hundreds of smaller larva, who evolved at an accelerated pace and rapidly became flying, horned beetles with sharp mandibles. “Beetle Rush!”

The insects swarmed the priest that tried to avoid them, but they were too fast and numerous, latching onto him and impaling him with their horns, draining chakra from his body like needles in the process. Blood flowed from the wounds, and the beetles began to shine a brilliant green. Hidan tried moving but was unable to, so he shot a glance at his partner, who sighed.

Something shot out of Kakuzu’s cloak, a demonic tiger made of black threads and a mask. In a single moment, it breathed out a sea of flames that consumed Hidan with the beetles, and barreled towards Fuu. The jinchuuriki went through hand seals and took a deep breath. “Water Style: Water Wall!”

Fuu spit out an enormous amount of water converted by her chakra and spiraled around her. The heat met the waves and cooled, releasing steam that was only kept at bay by the spiraling shield redirecting it. Once the flames died down, Fuu released the wall.

“Kakuzu, what the hell man? You set my head on fire!” the priest of the cursed god whined while he patted out the flames, tangled in his cable somehow from swatting the beetles earlier.

“…Oops,” he replied half-heartedly, withdrawing his masked tiger back into his body. “My mistake.”

This is looking bad…I should regroup and try an indirect approach. Fuu withdrew the single tail, sprouted her wings while in cloak form, and took off again—only for the black threads around Kakuzu’s arms to fly out and pierce her limbs and body, avoiding vital spots. Two of the masks emerged and fired a combination of fire and lightning balls at her repeatedly, before slamming her into the ground and causing her cloak and wings to retreat.

“Who the fuck told you to interfere?” Hidan roared, finally getting his cable untangled.

“I saw an opening and I took it,” Kakuzu pointed out. “She can fly and this is her terrain, we’d never catch her if she took off.”

“Gah!” Fuu screamed, as the threads finished completely piercing her arms and legs to keep her pinned.

“Nothing personal girl, it’s just business,” the elderly man told her. “If you want to blame the village for turning you into a container, feel free.”

“You said you were taken before,” the dark priest said, releasing the scythe once again to pierce her. “I wonder if they’ll want what’s left after I’m done!”

“I’m sorry…” a tear fell from Fuu’s eyes, as scythe closed in. “Naruto…”

With Naruto

“Ngh!” Naruto’s left arm burned while he crossed the upper half of the Land of Fire, a scorching heat passing from the “Boundless Orange Step” seal he set up in conjunction with Fuu’s seal. It would only alert him when someone he applied his version of his father’s famous technique was in trouble. “Fuu’s in trouble!”

He disappeared in an orange flash, reappearing above Fuu near Taki. Seeing her pinned down and the incoming scythe blade, he pulled out the rod and poured chakra into the seal, shaping it into his monk spade. Tossing it at an angle, crescent end first, it flew and severed the threads holding her down, and then pinning the cable of the scythe down, throwing it off course.

“What the fuck?” Hidan looked up.

“Get away from her!” Naruto roared in anger, shaping a Rasengan three times the normal size and generating a chakra chain like his mother. Swinging it down like the hammer of justice, it smashed into Hidan and threw up a cloud of dirt and grass, leaving a crater in the ground with spreading cracks and one priest. “Rasengan Flail!

“Hmm…” Kakuzu caught a glimpse of Naruto’s face once the hood came down and he cradled Fuu. “Whisker marks…the Kyuubi container.”

“I’ve seen those cloaks before…Itachi and Kisame…” Naruto recalled the previous run in he had with the pair. “Are you after her because of her tenant?”

“What do you think, dumbass?” Hidan chuckled, getting out of the crater that Naruto’s Rasengan Flail pounded him into and freeing his weapon. A good portion of the cloak and a bit of his skin was torn from the rotation and impact of the blow. “Although it goes against my religion to take you two alive, you’re still Akatsuki’s prey!”

“Dumbass, don’t give away information like that…” Kakuzu berated him.

“What the fuck does it matter?”Hidan rolled his shoulder. “He and his little bitch are coming along with us. As a bonus, we get to piss off Itachi and Kisame!”

Fuu, can you stand?” Naruto asked her softly, she nodded and stood weakly. Naruto got in front of her, grabbing his rod off the ground, and stood between her and the others. “Get ready to fall back, you’re better at guerilla tactics and I’m better at close range.

“Don’t underestimate them, or you’ll die…” Kakuzu warned him.

“Fuck that to goddamn hell!”

“You should listen to your partner,” Naruto told Hidan, making a gesture behind his back for Fuu to get ready to act. Fuu caught the signal. “I pity him for having to work with someone like you. I think I would’ve killed you by now, if I were him.”

Okay…” she whispered under her breath, before she inhaled subtly.

“If only I could…” Kakuzu sighed.

“Hidden Art: Hiding in Scale Powder!” Fuu exhaled, releasing a cloud of powder over the area. Naruto closed his eyes as light reflected off the powder and showed why Choumei means ‘Light Bringer’ to the two. Utilizing the distraction, Kakuzu and Fuu wisely used the chance to get some distance and hide, while Naruto stepped back from the swearing priest, who was flailing his scythe about, and started gathering his chakra.

“Where’d the bitch go?” Hidan looked around. “Fine, I’ll get her after I take care of you. That damn hit hurt!”

“You’ve made two mistakes today,” Naruto built up his chakra to the point that an aura was forming around him. “The first mistake you made was attacking Fuu…”

“Oh yeah?” Hidan chuckled, as he twirled his chained scythe in hopes of getting a taste of the new jinchuuriki. “What was the second?”

“Hiding or not, you and the other one are still in my territory.” Naruto clapped his hand and closed his eyes, visualizing a square around him, extending in all directions for up to several hundred meters. Opening his eyes suddenly and exhaling, he released the aura in a burst and created the invisible sealed space, filling it with chakra that caused the zombie duo’s skin to tingle as it washed over them, only visible sensors or those who can see chakra.

Eight Spade Art: Temple of Enlightenment…Naruto thought, having no intention of announcing his technique’s name. He could feel the presence of everything in his territory, and the amount of chakra floating all around would mask the original as long as he did not channel more. Even the location of Fuu, who was hidden within the foliage roughly fifty meters away, and the heart stealer, hiding to the northwest on the tree branch, behind a thicket of leaves, did not escape him.

Normally the technique was used in a burst rather than a maintained area, but with his reserves that wasn’t a problem. The main downside was that maintaining the shape of the territory made using the Rasengan even more difficult since it was the highest level shape manipulation, so he held out his foot long rod. The seals on it made it easier to maintain the form of weapons that he visualized, a mode-lock on the shape, so to speak.

The kid has been missing for four years…Kakuzu released one the mask that held his lightning heart. It spouted threads and took a form of a bipedal…thing that couldn’t be considered natural. Better play it safe and risk one heart to see what he’s capable of, instead of being caught off guard…

He felt the scythe blades displacing his chakra and approaching him from the front, at a left diagonal angle, so he formed the image of a sword he found in the hidden at Uzushio. It was double edged and straight, unlike the katanas commonly used, and had the crest of the Uzumaki clan on it. Releasing chakra into the rod, a chakra-version of the blade shaped with the rod as the handle. Sharpening the edges of the chakra, he swung it in an arch and deflected the blades into the ground, releasing a pulse of the sharpened chakra in the process.

The technique, the Destruction Strike, was a skill taught to the samurai at the Land of Iron. The crescent arc flew and cut into the jashinist’s torso. His blood painted the grass, and the force knocked him back a few feet.

“Fucking hell! That hurt you bastard!” Hidan roared. Withdrawing his scythe, he charged at Naruto, when the blonde felt lightning chakra enter his domain from above and leapt back, the bolt barely piercing his cloak and tearing off a handful of cloth. He avoided the rain of thunder and felt the displacement coming from his right side, forcing him to duck and release another arch of sharpened chakra at Hidan, carving a chunk out of his stomach, before dodging again.

“He’s good…he avoided Lightning Release: False Darkness without looking,” Kakuzu mused. “Let’s test how good…”

The creature leapt through the trees and fired the bolts like tendrils. Naruto dodged, until Hidan closed the gap and tried a frontal assault. The two warriors danced, dodged, and ducked the blade that their opposite wielded while bolts lashed out and tried to hit them…well, Naruto dodged completely, Hidan…not so much.

“Watch it, Kakuzu!” Hidan screamed, smoke rising from his body due to the repeated strikes.

Hidden Art: Insect Gathering…” Fuu muttered from her hiding place, her chakra spread out in the form of a net that scoured a wide radius of the forest. All the insects of the forest gathered to her, feeding on the lines of chakra and committed themselves of her command. She sent them out to deal with the heart stealer, while her Naruto dealt with the priest.

“Enough!” Naruto shot chakra chains from his left hand to bind Hidan, and severed his scythe wielding arm and the cable in the process. Those odd angled attack were a pain to deal with.

“Twice! Really!” Hidan roared, but Naruto ignored him and kicked the man into a tree, before releasing another crescent wave at the masked biped. The creature avoided the incoming arch by dropping down to ground level.

Lightning element…Naruto smirked, and dashed forward. “Let me show you a trick I learned from a Nadeshiko kunoichi.”

Wind chakra was imbued upon his free fist. Avoiding the ball lightning that was shot towards him and avoiding lightning tendrils that invaded his territory, he cocked back the loaded fist. The mask harboring the lightning heart released a final burst of electricity that was too wide spread to avoid, but with lower potency. He collapsed his territory onto his body and formed a layer of dense chakra to shield himself as he broke through.

“HARDLINER: GALE FIST!” Naruto slammed the fist into the mask of the deformed bipedal, which halted for a moment and then cracked slightly. The shockwave from the blow was released and the force of the impact fully registered, as the mask was crushed to the point that pebbles were larger and the threads that stitched it together were shredded.

“Damn you!” Hidan roared while standing and tearing off his ruined cloak, pulling a collapsible long spike out in the process with his hand. Another Destruction Strike and his remaining arm was gone too. “Damn you again!”

“How are you not dead yet?” Naruto asked, while quietly sending chakra into the ground through his feet and manipulating the shape into chains.

“I’m immortal dumbass!” Hidan sneered.

“Wow…” Naruto rubbed his chin. “That’s unfortunate.”

“What are you smoking?” Hidan looked at him like he was an idiot. “How is being immortal unfortunate?”

“Well,” the chains shot out of the ground and bound the armless immortal. “For one, it means that you’ll live through the most painful experiences possible and suffer endlessly, such as if I were to place an explosive note on your head and trigger it. Also, that dust element technique I heard about while I was traveling would literally turn you to dust…I can’t imagine a worse hell that being dust and conscious.”

Naruto withdrew a black scroll. “I originally planned to use this on the masked bastard who led to the death of my parents, but I’ll just seal you away for eternity in his place. I can always make another sealing scroll later.”

For once Hidan looked scared. “Kakuzu…”

Uzumaki Sealing Art: Demonic Chains of Enforced Binding,” Naruto tossed the scroll into air. When it opened, countless black, barbed chains emerged with spiked tips. They speared into his flesh and the wrapped around it tightly, carving into his skin and letting the blood flow over them, before pulling him screaming.

“Kakuzuuuuuu—” The screaming stopped when the scroll rolled itself back up and the seal on it changed from black to red. Naruto grabbed it as it fell back down and sealed it into a storage seal written in invisible ink on his body.

“Well, there goes another one…” Kakuzu muttered while hiding, lamenting that he had to explain to their leader how another one of his partners were taken out. “I wonder how long until his immortality runs out if he doesn’t sacrifice someone…a few years, maybe?”

“Hmm…” Naruto eyed the scythe and spike. Shifting his eyes to the left and right, he put a bit of chakra into a seal on his body to store them in. “Not like he’ll need it anymore. I wonder if I can turn this guy in for a bounty in Yugakure…”

“Now, let’s find that other one…” Naruto tossed the chakra blade into the air and clapped his hands, expanding his territory once again. It spread out in a wave and picked up the heart stealer and Fuu’s locations, before dissipating and Naruto grabbed the rod that acted like the sword’s handle and fired another Destruction Strike.

Without warning Kakuzu suddenly leapt back and avoided a swarm of insects that attacked from all sides, gathered by Fuu. Leaning to his right, he avoided the attack from Naruto, who was closing in on him. Two jinchuuriki, short a partner, he was down a heart, and the new one still had some tricks left.

“I’d rather not take my chances for now or I might be forced to kill you both…” he said. “I don’t think Leader will be too angry since I’ve gotten some good info.”

“You think you can escape?” Naruto asked sarcastically.

“Not if I don’t do something to draw your attention,” Kakuzu released the fire and wind masks. The two danced, before opening their mouths. “Fire Style: Searing Migraine, Wind Style: Pressure Damage.”

“Oh hell…” Naruto swore, having seen combination techniques in the past. Stomping the ground and pumping his chakra into it before shaping it, he created chakra chains beneath the surface and sent them around him and Fuu, dropping his territory since it would serve no purpose once the attack scattered his chakra and the control he had over it from the sheer force of the two colliding, combustible elements. The barriers were formed the wind fed flames erupted it a storm of fire and heat.

Trees and forest life were forced out of the ground by the pressure, eaten by the flames, and killed by the heat. The barriers held, but were cracking fast, causing Naruto to force more chakra into the both of them and repair themselves even faster. The heart stealer had dove underground and left the scene by the time the damage had been done and Naruto dropped the barrier and recreated his territory for a split second.

Muttering a string of swear words that both Tayuya and Hidan would compliment him on, he ran back to Fuu and picked up her battered body. The gashes on her caramel skin from the threads of the heart stealer were leaking her precious life blood. Quickly removing her outer clothing, Naruto applied the healing salve he had in hopes of slowing down the bleeding, but he needed more time to treat her or let Choumei start healing her.

He had to get away in case Akatsuki came back to finish the job, which was a damn near guarantee since the smart one managed to get away. The only good thing about this fiasco was one of them was sealed away and this was the chance he told Shibuki about. This was the only chance he had to take her away.

“Fuu,” Naruto stroked her cheek. “They’ll come back for you and this village would sooner see you dead than defend you. If we leave right now we can get away and they’ll think Akatsuki captured you, but you have to leave your things at you home behind or they’ll get suspicious.”

“…I…” she didn’t know what to say. This was a chance for her to leave her past behind and stay by his side. The only things she really treasured were the hair clip she had, her hive cylinder, and the necklace that Naruto gave her.

Naruto’s eyes said he would protect her as best he could, and if she wanted to stay, he’d lurk in the shadows and protect her from there, even at the cost of his life, or the risk of being captured by Konoha or Akatsuki. With a few silent words from Choumei as well, she came to her decision.

“I know somewhere we can hide until I’m healed…” she said, as she removed her forehead protector from around her arm and left it by the shreds of Hidan’s Akatsuki cloak. Naruto threw his own tattered cloak around her and took off with her in his arms.

“When we get there, tell me everything about the one that got away,” he urged her. “I have the feeling we’ll be seeing him again, and information is a part of winning battles.”

Akatsuki Hideout

“We got the Sanbi from the lake,” Kisame chuckled. “It was more of a threat when Yagura had control over it.”

Pain’s projection looked at the empty spot, indicating someone was missing. Kakuzu sighed and faced up to it. “We didn’t get the Nanabi and I’m short a partner…again…”

“I thought you said you couldn’t kill him?” Sasori mused.

“I hope you didn’t fail because of your temper…” Pain said slightly mad since S-class ninja don’t grow on trees and he’d been paying for anger management classes so he didn’t have to keep replacing them.

“It wasn’t me…this time,” Kakuzu said, gaining the attention of the others. “The fox container interfered.”

“What?” Kisame’s projection scratched its chin. “I thought he was somewhere in the Land of Wind, or maybe the lower half of the Land of Fire.”

“He just popped up out of nowhere and rescued the Nanabi. I think they have a relationship considering all things.”

“Aw, young love,” Kisame said mockingly…they think. “Right, Itachi?”

Itachi just stayed quiet and listened.

“He had good combat synergy with her in timing attacks, and seemed to know some decent tactics,” Kakuzu looked at Kisame. “I thought you said he was an idiot…”

“He was the last time we met…” Kisame shrugged.

“Not anymore,” Kakuzu corrected. “Once Hidan ran his mouth off about his immortality, he sealed him with some technique I never seen before. He had some kind of sensory technique that used his chakra and let him avoid attacks he couldn’t possibly have seen coming without the Byakugan. He shattered one of my masks with a wind-based taijutsu technique he said he picked up in his travels, along with some of Tetsu’s samurai techniques, barriers and bindings, and I’m pretty sure those two work as well as any of our teams.”

Kisame whistled. “Kid’s gotten better. I’m gonna enjoy when we meet again.”

“Out of all of us, Kisame would stand the best chance since he relies on chakra constructs,” Kakuzu added. “That being said, I would take two teams to ensure his capture.”

“It would seem so,” Pain added in. “We’ll need to devote more information gathering into what he’s capable of and where he’s been. If he and the Nanabi are traveling together, we may have to move them to the last targets and strike in conjunction. Kakuzu, work together with Zetsu and gather some information on his movements and do some bounty hunting until we move onto the next one. If he does turn in Hidan for the bounty, we’ll have Zetsu reclaim it.”

“May as well let them enjoy it now before we tear them apart,” Kisame shrugged. The rest looked at him with wide eyes. Even Itachi looked at him with a slightly raised eyebrow.

“What?” he asked, silently thinking, I can’t show a little respect for one of the few things in this world that probably isn’t made of lies? I mean come on, two jinchuuriki falling in love and sharing their pain?

“At least we don’t have to hear a stream of swearwords every time we meet now?”

They all silently agreed…maybe they should let him stay in the scroll…

“Regardless…” Pain grabbed their attention. “Deidara and Sasori, how long until you can go after the Ichibi?”

“I have a meeting with a few of my spies this week about the traitor’s movements and various other Jinchuuriki locations,” Sasori thought about it for a second. “I don’t like keeping people waiting. Five days should be enough time.”

“Good. Itachi and Kisame, head after the Gobi,” Pain vanished, along with the rest.

In Fuu’s Hiding Place

To the north of Taki, was a deep cave that Fuu’s insects informed her about when she was a child. It was hidden and was the home of a colony of glow worms that illuminated the ceiling above in the darkness, making it their nest. Having control over insects and wanting a place of her own, she made it a home away from home, just in case she just wanted to get away.

She was currently lying on a flatted stone with a sheet under her, while she was on her stomach, naked, as Naruto ran an ink brush over the area where her tailbone was. That was where someone decided to seal Nanabi into her body, and so to modify the seal, he needed her to strip…Honestly.

Fuu giggled like a school girl despite her injuries being only shallowly healed. The feel of the ink and brush on her skin as he applied the array was sensational.

“Alright Fuu,” Naruto put away the brush. “I’m going to modify your seal to access more chakra to speed up the healing process from now on and then modify my ‘Boundless Orange Step’ array to activate easier and carry more than one person.”

“Thank you, Naruto,” she said while still feeling ticklish from the ink. “Your father would be proud that you’re following in his footsteps.”

“I’m not following them exactly,” he said. “I can never be my father, nor will I try, but sealing is useful and attaching a seal to jump straight to your lover’s side is a brilliant idea…I only regret the fox showed me the memories of their…other activities as a couple.”

What’s wrong, kit?” Kurama chuckled. “I thought you’d enjoy seeing the night you were conceived.

“LIES AND WE BOTH KNOW IT!” Naruto snapped back. “You’re lucky I didn’t rearrange the seal to look like mom’s mindscape did.”

Fuu giggled at the argument between the two. “And then he told us when were in our joined mindscape how your parents were the inspiration for Jiraiya-sama’s works when Lucky Seven referenced to how similar they were.”

“Damn Pervy Sage for corrupting you with his trashy books!” Naruto’s eye-brow twitched.

“You should be thanking him,” Fuu smiled naughtily. “Half of the things I did that night were from his work—” she caught the look of terror on his face “—not the one with your parents.”

He breathed out a sigh of relief, before getting serious again. “Fuu, once I apply chakra to finish the changes, it’s going to hurt like the last time. I set up silencing seals, but…”

She took a deep breath and sat up, turning to face him. “Can you hold me?”

He obliged, kissing her on her lips in the process and allowing her to rest her head on his shoulder, as his hands made their way to the sealing array. “Ready?”

She nodded and he applied chakra. White hot pain entered her body and destroyed her thought processes, all her body’s pain receptors where firing into overdrive, and she let out a heart-rending scream and clenched his body tightly while sobbing. The pain lasted for only a minute, but to her it seemed like hours, and he hated to see her suffering.

Once the minute passed, she slumped forward and he held her tighter, whispering into her ears repeatedly two words: “I’m sorry.”

When her breathing stabilized, he laid her down gently. He didn’t like modifying her seal unless he felt it was necessary because the sealing used wasn’t exactly perfect. Seal masters were rare and few, and Taki was a small village that stayed secluded for their own protection.

Perfecting the seal would take more time since he had to repair it rather than start from scratch, slowly unraveling it and then fixing it. The process would last far longer and she might not survive the procedure without being in a hospital, attended by someone at a high-level of skill…

“Like Granny Tsunade…” he muttered without realizing the words that slipped out of his mouth until a second later. “No…she betrayed me…the village betrayed me!”

She was drunk at the time, she didn’t mean it…a softer voice in his head whispered, before he crushed the thought with the memories of the abuse he suffered at the hands of the villagers.

“Accident or not,” he snarled to himself. “I finally got freedom from that hell-hole…Granny Tsunade, I could forgive for her part in it with time, but the village as a whole, never!”

He shook himself out of his growing rage and focused on the next task at hand. He needed to inform Gaara of Akatsuki, and then deal with the summoning contract and send a message to Shibuki. Scribbling on the contact scroll, the words melted and would reappear on Gaara’s copy.

Biting his thumb and wiping blood over the stylized summoning seal on his arm, he clapped his hands and slammed them on the ground. “Summoning!”

Taki’s Village Council Meeting Room

“At least we only lost a few genin…and the monster is gone,” the elder Saki highlighted at the climax of the four hour long damage assessment meeting.

Shibuki wanted to be livid at their casual dismissal of Fuu, leaving in the hands of the monsters that devastated their forest and killed their men, but what was done was done. Shibuki still had hope though, as he clenched a bit of fabric in his pocket that he recognized as Naruto’s cloth from the last time they met. He found it when he inspected the battlefield, lodged between some of the debris.

Their last conversation was when Naruto snuck into the village at night undetected, and entered Shibuki’s office while he was alone and dealing with the enemy of all village leaders, no matter how large or small, paperwork. Naruto had a calm fury about him, controlled but volatile, and went on about how he expected Shibuki to have the villagers treat her better, not even bothering to hide his own status as a demon container. Shibuki claimed his point much like the late Third Hokage: he could order them, but they could still circumvent his orders in spirit and he lacked the power to enforce things.

Naruto flat out stated that she deserved a better life, and if he saw a chance and she wanted to leave, they couldn’t stop him. Akatsuki was the chance, and while Shibuki only had this small clue to go on, he was willing to place his hope that Naruto took the chance. Still, he was a leader and her friend damn it and he was going to take steps to make Fuu happy should she be alive.

“To be safe…” Shibuki gained the elders attention. “I’d like to pass a motion to have Fuu emancipated the village, even if postmortem.”

“Why so, young leader?” Saki raised an eyebrow.

“Konoha won’t be happy that the Bijuu we received from the First Hokage was taken lightly, and we won’t have the manpower necessary to try and find…let alone fight, the people who took Fuu. By emancipating her, we wave responsibility and can avoid political backlash if she somehow escaped their grasp.”

The debate was short-lived, as many of them didn’t even want Fuu back, even if she was alive. Being a demon container, on top of having been trained by Suien, made her a liability in their eyes, and if she somehow survived, they would have to waste manpower searching for her or protecting her. The reason emancipating someone wasn’t often done was because compared to a banishment or exile, the paperwork was much worse and no one wanted to write or even review it…

Which was good, since it would allow Shibuki to add in a few clauses that would benefit Fuu…if his hope in Naruto wasn’t misplaced. Politics was a pain to deal with, but no one said that good people were the ones who had to get screwed over.

When he made his way to his office to undergo the hellish torture of paperwork, he found a surprise waiting for him on his desk.

Are you Shibuki?” it chirped and he nodded. “I have a message from my boss.

Suna – 2 Days Later, Kazekage’s Office

Gaara was sitting in his office, still awaiting the arrival of a messenger from Naruto that would arrive soon. The contact scroll had showed a message sent by Naruto and it worried him quite a bit. It read:


There’s an organization that is hunting Jinchuuriki down called Akatsuki and they went after Fuu. I sealed the one known as Hidan of Yukagure away, but the other, Kakuzu escaped. From what Fuu said, he shouldn’t be alive and is listed as an S-class criminal in the Bingo Book, so check it when you get a chance. They claimed to have been working in the same group as Itachi and Kisame, two other S-class criminals who attempted to catch me several years ago.

Fuu is with me and I’m keeping her safe, but her village won’t protect her. Everyone but Shibuki believes that Akatsuki has captured her, and he had her emancipated so she’s not tied down anymore. I’ll send my summoning to set things up, wait for it to arrive in a few days.

Your Pal, Naruto Uzumaki

Gaara checked his Bingo Book and found all of them listed as S-class or Kage-level (a.k.a “Is the money really worth your life” to bounty hunters). That did not bode well if there was an organization of people like that after them.

But for now, he had to deal with the issue of his drunken brother.

“Kankuro…” Gaara droned. “I know you’re upset about how your date went…but maybe you should lay off the sake.”

“I’um fine…” the puppeteer hiccuped. “Youse got Matsuri, an I gots sake…”

It was then that there was a tapping at the window of the office and they saw what looked to be a…desert ferret, wearing an orange banana around its neck. It tapped again on the window and Kankuro opened it. It scurried to Gaara’s desk and sat up on its hind legs.

Are you Gaara of the Desert?” it asked in a squeaky voice.

Kankuro looked at the ferret, then his drink, and then the ferret again…then he dumped the sake out the window. “I think I shou go ta bed…n’ght!”

He left the room.

Umm…” the ferret sweat dropped. “Did I come at a bad time?

“No,” Gaara answered, activating a privacy seal. “It was actually highly convenient…and yes, I am Gaara of the Desert.”

It chirped happily. “Good. My boss sent for me and had me go all the way from Taki to get here in two days to see you.

“…Somehow, I never imagined he would sign a ferret contract…” Gaara mused, before he thought about where Naruto got it. The new Wind Daimyo had a lot of ferrets at her home, and given their resources, it wouldn’t have been a surprise that she would someone how land a contract with them and learn to mold chakra to use it.

Rumor has it she reverse summoned herself to their home and somehow charmed them into giving her the contract…

Dad said he didn’t seem like the type either,” the little ferret chuckled, before bopping itself on the head. “Oh right, I should explain. I’m a messenger ferret. I’m the slowest of the five fastest, but I require less chakra than my brothers and sisters, my name is Pace. Boss said for me to activate a seal he gave me in order to call him once I was in your office and you were alone.

It looked around the room, just to be sure, and then it jumped to the floor, sending chakra into the seal Naruto had given him to send the message to Naruto. An orange flash brightened the room, and two people suddenly appeared while Gaara walked around the desk.

“I don’t think I’ll get use to that…” Fuu muttered, wrapped in Naruto’s cloak and holding her head.

“It gets better after the tenth time…” Naruto said offhandedly, turning to Gaara. “Yo!”

“Interesting technique, Uzumaki…” the Kazekage looked at Fuu. “And you must be Fuu from Taki. I am Gaara of the Desert, Fifth Kazekage and Jinchuuriki of Shukaku.”

“Nice to finally meet you,” she said, hugging him in a friendly embrace. “Naruto has told me so much about you!”

“Well…this is new…” he droned, while Naruto chuckled nervously. The ferret chirped to get his attention.

Did I do good boss?” Pace asked.

“You did great, Pace!” Naruto tossed him a piece of dried meat that he kept in a storage seal. “Tell your dad that the seal I put on you and the others isn’t permanent.”

Kanna said that the ferrets loved the dried meat treats. Judging from the sparkles in Pace’s eyes, she wasn’t wrong…

Thanks!” the ferret said before vanishing in a plume of smoke.

“He reminds of Gamakichi and his brother…” Naruto sighed, wondering how those two were after all this time.

“Now that is handled…” Gaara, finally free of the girl, sat back in his chair. “Let’s start by sharing the information we know about this Akatsuki.”

Naruto and Fuu sat down in chairs and told him everything they knew: Hidan had some kind of immortality and they had to seal him away, Kakuzu actually fought the First Hokage and lived, not to mention what Fuu knew about the Earth Fear Grudge technique. Gaara made a mental note to request that Shibuki give him all the details.

“Before I was banished, Itachi and his partner Kisame tried to capture me,” Naruto wrapped up the last bit of information. “Pervy Sage—I mean Jiraiya was the one who drove them away, so he knows more on it I’m sure.”

“I’ll bring up the topic next time a Konoha group comes by…” Gaara told him. “In the past you would have been more eager to test yourself against such an enemy.”

“Maybe, but I was also a genin who won a match by farting on accident,” Naruto chuckled, before becoming dead serious. “These guys aren’t a joke Gaara, they’re hunting Bijuu, which takes major balls and personally, while Hidan was an idiot, he was skilled enough to warrant a threat. The book lists something about a ritual that made Hidan cause injuries to his opponent by licking their blood…if I didn’t have the training from the temple and my travels to fall back on or didn’t reach Fuu in time, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”

“Good point.” Gaara acknowledged.

“Gaara, this means that you’ll be a target too, Kage or not.” Naruto looked him in the eye. “You’re my friend and I don’t want to risk leaving you in your own in case one of them comes after you, so I want to do to you the same thing I did to Fuu—Placing a seal that will allow me to jump to your location through a space-time jutsu. It was based on my father’s Flying Thunder God technique, but unlike him I can only place it on living things from animals to humans right now.”

“That technique was…”

“Yes, Minato Namikaze’s signature technique, along with the Rasengan,” Naruto nodded. “They were both my birthright as his and Kushina Uzumaki’s son.”

Gaara blinked and he nodded. “I’ve seen his picture and noticed the resemblance a few days ago, but I thought it would be best for you to tell me yourself. How no one in your village knew escapes me, let alone how they would treat their Fourth’s heir.”

“That’s part of the reason I no longer like Konoha,” Naruto said coldly. “Forget that I’m the son of the Fourth, I learned humility growing up, and rational thinking during my stay at the Wind Temple, but the fact that they would treat ANY orphan like they did over something they had no control over was something I’m not willing to overlook. That was the reason my mother hid her status as the previous Jinchuuriki of Kurama the Kyuubi.”

Naruto explained how someone manipulated the fact that when he was born the seal weakened. The masked man arrived and broke Kyuubi out to unleash his vengeance on Konoha. His father and mother died, but the Kyuubi caught the memory of them sealing their chakra into the seal.

“I am mad that Kurama inevitably did lead to my parents death, but the blame isn’t solely on him. It was the balance of power that the nations are striving for and the bastard who had a Sharingan that caused it all. Kurama and his siblings only followed the words of their father and they were betrayed by humanity. I’m working on making an array that will block out yin chakra from affecting them, rendering them immune to genjutsu. Jinchuuriki who have their partner’s backing are protected, but we can’t do the same to the Bijuu because we normally only pull out their chakra, not the other way around.”

“I see…” Gaara said, digesting the information. “I’ll consent to having the seal installed once it is finished, as well as the time-space technique. Shukaku and I aren’t on the best of terms, but even he doesn’t deserve to be enslaved to the point his own thoughts were manipulated.”

“I’d like to apply the seal as soon as possible,” Naruto said. “Also, can Fuu and I have a place to crash for a few days? I’ll need to get her some new clothes and things since we left most of her stuff behind. Shibuki had her things sealed away, but the ferret I sent out won’t be able to get it here for a few days.”

“You can stay at my manor,” Gaara said. His father had a place that could easily house ten people without any problems, and since the only people staying there were him, his siblings, and Matsuri, there was enough free space. Of course, Matsuri slept separate from Gaara for now, they couldn’t advance in their relationship for various reasons right now.

One was too nervous and the other was too stoic.

“By the way,” Gaara added. “The Wind Daimyo is still in the village. I believe she will be departing tomorrow morning. You should visit her beforehand.”

“I can’t wait to meet her,” Fuu chimed in. “I wanted to see the other girl who had my Naruto open up after his time in the Wind Temple. Can we go tonight? It’s not too late.”

Certain gears in Naruto’s head were turning at the thoughts. A night with two girls, one of whom has already consented into adding another one, and a good chance of the other being willing. He wouldn’t force it of course, but maybe if he taught Fuu how to use shadow clones—even though he couldn’t make the seals for it, he knew the proper chakra balance and could explain the signs and motions…

“Jackpot…” he muttered absentmindedly.

With a Certain Pervy Sage

“Something potentially wonderful for research is going to happen…” the white-haired sage, reached for a notebook but froze. “But where…?”

Konoha – 1 Day Later, Hokage’s Office

Tsunade wasn’t very happy right now.

Just when Naruto reappeared, the organization known as Akatsuki that Jiraiya was tracking started to move again. She received notice of the subsequent attack, capture, and then emancipation of Taki’s Jinchuuriki by Akatsuki judging from the scrap of cloak they sent. She needed to know where Naruto was, but the Wind Daimyo and Kazekage weren’t exactly being helpful at the moment.

The responses were written in formal tone, but the underlying message was clear from both of them:

Who I hire is none of your business since he isn’t yours anymore, from the Wind Daimyo.

He was here, but I didn’t have the authority or a reason to detain him nor inform you of his arrival at the time or future arrivals, from Gaara.

She didn’t blame them. Even though she reduced the civilian council by a third in the subsequent years, surprisingly with the Elders help, they were still a thorn to deal with. Although it helped that a few more of them were caught being involved in something they shouldn’t have been and killed in the process. She thinks Danzo might be cleaning house on the more liable members and sending a message to the rest.

He probably didn’t like the whole sealing the weapon’s abilities deal and the resulting fallout either.

Still, she had to send someone to Suna on the off chance that Naruto was there, to warn him of the danger and bring him back. Preferably by choice rather than force.

That was when the team walked in.

“Kakashi, Sai, Sakura, and Sasuke,” Tsunade called out to the jounin and his chuunin team. “You are to go to Suna and personally inform the Kazekage of some sensitive information involving a certain group. Unofficially, you are to see if Naruto Uzumaki is there and convince him to return to the village peacefully…force is an absolute last resort.”

“So, the rumors were true then…” Kakashi mused, a gleam of hope in his visible eye.

“You’d think ninja would know better than to spread rumors on sensitive information…” Tsunade rubbed her head. Neji hadn’t said anything to the public, but somehow the information leaked that he was in Suna with the Wind Daimyo and left in the cover of night, and that led to another council meeting.

“After all this time…” Sasuke closed his eyes. “We’ve finally gotten a lead on him. But can you honestly blame him for not wanting to return?”

“No, I can’t…” Tsunade added. “But, the information that Gaara needs passed along to him by Kakashi is relevant to why we need to get to him, for his own safety. We’ll have the village protect him like it should have been.”

Tsunade took great pride in the fact that she had broken the avenger’s desire to join Orochimaru. After he recovered, she personally dragged him off with Jiraiya for a week. Most of the public thought she put him under a genjutsu to make him more sympathetic to Naruto, but that wasn’t the case. Genjutsu would have been nicer.

Instead, she showed him the medical reports of what the cursed seal did to the Sound Five and how it devastated their organs and internal workings, how it affected their mentality, and then showed him all the experiments that they knew Orochimaru to do. That put a small wedge in his faith in the man, before they forced his sharingan to activate with a seal and memorize every detail and the pictures of the victims before and after he got done. That took about three days and with the sharingan, he wouldn’t forget it.

Then they took him into a separate room in the Hokage’s archives, filled with cabinets of reports that lined the room. They were all about Naruto. Every single incident he was blamed for and proven innocent, attempted murders, and other things. That took three more days and once again, he wouldn’t forget it.

Naruto knew pain even greater than his own, and now Sasuke knew it.

Lastly, she told him that there was evidence that Sarutobi left to Jiraiya, originally planning to have Jiraiya take the hat. When Jiraiya found out Itachi was in Akatsuki, he told Sarutobi and the old man informed him of what really happened to the Uchiha and what they were planning, leaving all the mission details and scrolls with Jiraiya, as well as a psychological evaluation of Itachi and Sarutobi’s personal thoughts on the fact that they believed Itachi wouldn’t kill the kids and he couldn’t have done it alone.

His brother was looking for death and had left him to do so and avenge the clan. He loved his family, but what they were planning to do…they were going to kill clan heirs and civilians in the process, children too, and weaken the village in their take over. His brother loved the village enough to betray his family in hopes of avoiding another war.

But honestly, he had horrible people skills.

Sasuke didn’t like what his family had become before their end, and he couldn’t completely forgive Itachi or the village. He wasn’t loyal to the village itself, but for Tsunade to open his eyes to his mistake in trying to follow Orochimaru and revealing a truth the rest would let be taken to the grave, he had trusted her and the pervert sage for the better part of four years.

It also helped that they didn’t constantly try to kiss up to him. When will people learn?

Sakura said nothing, wisely. She had too damn much potential to not be a medic, but the little tart was still nursing a grudge over her precious Sasuke being hurt and blaming the fact that he wouldn’t return her affections on that. Honestly, how did she expect the mission to end when he left on his own free will, there was going to be fighting involved.

Kakashi went through the motions of having lost a student regardless and realized he could have done a better job with both Naruto and Sakura. He tried to put more effort into teaching Sakura in the genjutsu department now, but she wouldn’t stand out more until she stopped trying to win Sasuke’s heart and blaming it on Naruto.

Sai…well, he’s Sai. That should explain enough.

“You leave in two hours to head towards the border between the Land of Wind and the Land of Fire,” she ordered.

More Notes:

Eight Spade Art: Temple of Enlightenment – A skill taught to the Eight Wind Spades and their apprentices, it expands a shell of chakra and molds it into a shape, typically a square, before and filling it with chakra using shape manipulation. It refers to enlightenment by utilizing the area to sense the disturbances in the chakra, to become aware of everything. His area can increase simply due to the fact that he has enormous reserves. Due to the concentration involved, using high level skills such as Rasengan become a far greater burden.

Rasengan Flail: A combination of Chakra Chain and the Rasengan, his mother and father’s techniques. The Rasengan in maintained by the chakra sent through the chain.

Destruction Strike: A skill used by the Samurai of Iron, the attack fire crescent shaped blasts of sharpened chakra.

Hidden Art: Beetle Rush: Fuu releases larva and speeds up their lifespan to adult beetles and sends them rushing at an enemy. They can drain chakra with their horns and cause physical damage.

Uzumaki Sealing Art: Demonic Chains of Enforced Binding: Impales targets with demonic and barbed chains, which drags the victim into the scroll after entrapping them.

Boundless Orange Step: Naruto’s version of his father’s technique, it can only anchor itself to a living object because of his lack of skill in the art of sealing compared to his father.

Wind Monk Banishment #1

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment


It had been over four years since Sasuke’s attempted defection to Orochimaru, and his subsequent return.

It had also been over four years since Naruto had been cast out of the Land of Fire.

It may have been a mistake on Tsunade’s part, she was drunk and angry at the time, but she placed the final nail in the coffin when she stamped the paper with a chakra-laced seal.

She took away his jutsu, his summoning contract with the toads, and the secrecy that protected him by the Third’s law.

He left, fearing that several of those he considered friends would become too blinded to see past the fox inside of him…and his fears were well founded.

Casting aside his name, he left the village without his necklace or forehead protector, heartbroken and disappointed, never to be seen again…

Until now.

Land of Waves

The Land of Waves prospered under the freedom they acquired with the death of the tycoon Gato. Hoping to encourage more business and prosperity, the Wave Daimyo requested the Daimyos of the Five Great Nations hold their meeting in his small nation, to which they agreed. Among the Daimyos, the youngest was the Wind Daimyo, ruler of the Land of Wind. Her father had passed away in his sleep recently, and she had received the education necessary to take his place.

Each Daimyo was accompanied by select guards, most from the guardians of their nation, such as the once renowned Twelve Guardian Ninjas in the Land of Fire. The young Wind Daimyo had been accompanied by a single, private bodyguard, who she sought out for this assignment shortly after her father’s passing. He accompanied her to the meeting, which was finally beginning to wrap up…

A figure wrapped in a tanned cloak with torn and frayed edges sighed quietly. The cowl he wore kept his face concealed in a shadow, hidden from view. Beneath the cloak was an orange, long-sleeved shirt made of highly breathable fabric, and a pair of long black pants. He wore combat sandals that were common among ninja, on his hands were fingerless gloves, and on his arms were bracers made from chakra-conductive steel and laced with various seals.

“—thank you all for attending,” snapped the cloaked figure out of his idle thoughts. The meeting was over, and now the Wind Daimyo was walking over to him.

She wore a formal dress that was laced in two shades of purple, and her long, black hair had been rolled up. Her lips were cherry colored, a sign that she used a brand of lipstick made from desert berries commonly found in her nation, and her eyes were purple pools that made finely cut amethyst diamonds look flawed. When her eyes met his sapphire colored eyes, she smiled.

“The Fire Daimyo wants to discuss business with me, so we’ll be traveling to his estate and then from there to the Land of Wind,” she told him. “I know you aren’t comfortable there, but will you stay with me?”

He hesitated for a moment, but nodded, and the pair left.

Land of Fire / Land of Wind Border

Two weeks after the meeting in the Land of Waves, the Wind Daimyo and her bodyguard had begun to make their way towards the border between the Land of Fire and Land of Wind. While the Fire Daimyo offered to enlist ninja to escort her, she insisted that her bodyguard was enough to protect her. It was truly risky, considering that she would make an excellent target for bandits, traveling in a coach with only him as protection, but she had absolute faith in him.

While she would admit it was a bit foolish, she wanted to spend time with him. It was only by chance that she ran into him that day at the temple, when she was preparing to enlist a few of the men there to protect her for the journey. He had only returned for a moment of rest, planning to continue his plans to explore the world.

Her emotions guided her, as she recalled her memories of the six months they spent together, as he worked under her father, who replaced the previous Wind Daimyo, whose greed had been a primary cause of invasion attempt in Konoha. He had entered the care of the Wind Temple a little over two years ago, casting aside his past life and the cheerfulness he once held. It was during those six months they grew closer as he protected her, and she learned all of his secrets…and they shared a few passionate nights, but they knew that wouldn’t last.

He started traveling around after those six months were over, leaving her unable to find him until he recently returned to the Wind Temple for a few days. She wanted to appoint him as a permanent bodyguard, but he refused on the grounds that staying in one place too long would end badly. He could only accompany her briefly, and she accepted that.

As the coach that the Wind Daimyo rode in made its way closer to the border, its protector held out his hand and halted them. Pulling out sealing tags, he threw them into the air, and the slips shot to the ground around the coach and formed a protective wall…

And kunai with explosive tags rained down, impacting the wall and detonating with more force that heat, not really designed to kill outright, but still cause damage. The constant explosions caused smoke to cover the coach and the cloaked man, leaving no visibility, as four missing-nins rushed towards the scene, with intent to capture the injured Wind Daimyo for ransom.

“…Attacking her was a mistake,” a voice carried itself on the wind and reached their ears. From out of the smoke, the cloaked figure dashed towards them, in his right hand was a small rod, roughly a foot long, engraved with seals. Pushing chakra into the seals on the end points, and visualizing a Monk’s Spade in his mind, the seal created a solid chakra version, while running wind chakra through the blade ends to make them razor sharp.

He gripped the pole portion with both hands and bought the crescent blade around, leaving a greenish arc in the air, as it decapitated one of the missing-nins. Two others positioned themselves to the left and right of the cloaked figure, and threw a handful of kunai. A sweep of the weapon and they were batted out of the sky, before he pushed chakra out of his feet in a quick burst, rocketing forward towards the missing-nin to his left and planting the spade horizontally into the missing-nin’s ribcage, bisecting his heart.

The missing-nin on his rear hesitated for a brief moment, weighing the option of fighting or fleeing, so that cloaked figure gave him some advice. “Flee. My only duty is to protect the Wind Daimyo. I won’t chase you.”

The man swallowed deeply and decided to take his advice, but a kunai with an exploding tag embedded itself into the back of his skull before detonating, leaving the majority of his body scattered into bits across the grass and painting the field the color of battle. The cloaked figure glared at the remaining missing-nin, who had just killed one of his own comrades.

“Why?” he simply asked.

“Why not?” the missing-nin shrugged. “We’re only in this to get the payday from capturing the Wind Daimyo. These guys were just genin, and by extension, cannon fodder. That comrade crap isn’t useful in this type of life.”

“I see…” the cloaked figure pointed the spade end of the pole at the missing-nin, taking careful aim at the man, who went through a series of hand seals for a Wind Release Jutsu. “You should have just retreated.”

Pumping chakra into seal on the spade end of the original rod, the pole extended as the man spit out a ball of compressed air. The spade cut it in half and kept going, as the ruptured ball released the compressed pressure, resulting in a shockwave that knocked the cloaked figure’s hood back. Two thuds were heard, as the missing-nin’s head fell to the ground and was accompanied a split second later by his body.

Several Meters Away

A Konoha jounin with long black hair and white eyes watched from the treetops and suppressed his chakra as best he could, not needing to use his Byakugan at this distance. He came over when he felt the chakra spike from what looked like a barrier around a Daimyo’s Carriage. It wasn’t his place to interfere, but he recognized the chakra signature of the cloaked warrior and had to see if it was who he thought it was.

When the hood fell, it revealed a blonde-haired young man, with six whisker marks on his cheeks and cold, blue eyes that had been tempered with experience. While those eyes were colder than before, he had no doubt who they belonged to. A former Konoha-nin who had been banished four years ago…

Naruto Uzumaki, the jinchuuriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox.

Uzumaki protected the Wind Daimyo…his thought raced. Should I try to bring him back to the village…but the Daimyo has no other guards, which could cause a problem if I left her stranded without protection. Then should I escort them both to the village?

“Neji…” Naruto called, causing Neji’s heart to skip a beat. “You can try to suppress your chakra but I can recognize it while you’re in my…territory. I’m telling you right now, if you try to force me back to the village, I’ll retaliate in full force.”

Neji hesitated before completely stepping from behind the tree trunk and meeting Naruto’s gaze head on. “Your banishment ended last year. The Hokage has been searching for you since you left.”

“I’m not going back to that hell-hole again.” Naruto stated plainly, before turning his back on the jounin and proceeding back to his charge sealed in a barrier. “Tell the old lady that I’m never returning to Konoha after what she did. Can you honestly say it would be safe for me there?”

Neji couldn’t, so he kept his mouth shut. It wasn’t exactly funny that a good deal of his old comrades called for his death on the revelation of his tenant. Shikamaru already put two and two together and was fine with it, and since he was cool with it, Choji was cool with it. Tenten didn’t really see anything that screamed demon fox in him, while Shino and Neji could relate.

Sasuke was…neutral about it, having been in shock due to the effects of the reinforced sealing on the cursed mark.

Unfortunately, several of the rest of the rookies had stupid reasons for hating him, even when most of their parents told them better. Ino and Sakura were still Sasuke fangirls and angry that he was hurt, Kiba was jealous of his power and angry at their defeats by his hands, and Lee joined in whenever Sakura was around because he wanted Sakura’s approval. They were too easily swayed by the public.

Hinata though…she had it the worst.

The Hyuuga Elders systematically broke her meek personality down, telling them a twisted tale of how the fox manipulated her. They said that everyone in the village knew of her crush and pitied her because they could see he was just playing with her. They said there was no man possibly dense enough not to notice after several years and that he strung her along…okay, they knew he was, but why tell the truth?

She put up a fight for a few months, which was actually surprising, but being around the other rookies fueled the pressure and…she snapped. The girl was basically now how Sasuke was when it came to Itachi, but with the mention of Naruto. Her father thought about telling her Naruto wasn’t that bad, but she was showing promise now.

While he didn’t hate the boy, if hatred made her stronger, he could just apologize on her mother’s grave that it was best for the clan. A small portion of himself hated him for it, but then he pushed that portion away and started grooming her into an appropriate heiress.

“I thought so,” Naruto muttered. And to make his point, he flared his chakra outward in a pulse that nearly pushed Neji off the tree trunk, blowing his hair back and breaking the tie that held it together at the end. The message was clear: Don’t come after me.

Neji sighed and made his way back to Konoha. It would be roughly a half-day’s trip to get back, and by then they’d have crossed the border into the Land of Wind. At least they knew where to look for now…

With Naruto and the Wind Daimyo

“Naruto,” the Wind Daimyo addressed him without a suffix, indicating how close they were. “They’ll come for you now…you know that right?”

“I know…Kanna.” Naruto stated emotionlessly, eyes closed.

“You aren’t a member of the Eight Wind Spades since you retired to travel, but if we hurry back, we can have you reinstated as one of my—” she started, before he cut her off.

“No.” he said without raising his voice. “I can’t stay in one place for too long. As soon as you are safe, I’ll leave the nation and head to Taki to see her…although I’ll probably stop at Suna for a brief visit. Gaara won’t be happy that I was in the Land of Wind and didn’t tell him…”

The Eight Wind Spades were the Wind Daimyo’s answer to the Fire Daimyo’s former Twelve Guardian Ninjas. Skilled warriors and ninja monks from the Wind Temple, who directly served the Wind Daimyo should she choose them to. The Wind Temple wasn’t as well-known as the Fire Temple, being located deep in the large deserts of the Land of Wind, which was why he sought them out in the first place.

She stared at him sadly for a moment and then nodded. “I’ll have the guards at the border escort us to Suna instead of straight home. I haven’t been to Suna since I took my father’s place anyway.”

“…Thank you.” Naruto said softly.

“It’s no problem at all…” she fidgeted before continuing. “Actually…if I could make one selfish request…”

He opened his eyes and raised an eyebrow, remembering her last selfish request…which led to…things. “I don’t know…it has been awhile, but we’re close to the border and we both know that the other bodyguards will come into view well before…”

“No, not that!” she blushed slightly, before shaking her head to clear her mind of those thoughts. “Do you remember the Summoning Contract we discussed before the trip?”

He nodded. “Will you sign it? Just so I could feel a little more…comfortable?”

“…Sure…” he smiled softly.

Konoha – Hokage’s Office

Jounin Neji Hyuuga had just departed from the office of Tsunade Senju, the 5th Hokage of the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Before he entered, she hadn’t even opened the bottle of Fire Temple Sake she had hidden away, vowing to never drink again on the job over minor problems like paperwork. After he left…the bottle was empty, and Tsunade was silently crying upon hearing how someone she saw as a little brother no longer wanted to return to his home.

The good news was that they finally found him and he appeared to still be capable of taking care of himself and could now use some kind of sensory techniques and seals. The bad news was now she had to retrieve him, and he would put up a fight, more than likely giving his captors a reason to use lethal force.

All because of her mistake…Four years ago…

The Uchiha Retrieval Mission went to hell and back and the civilian portion council was livid that the Uchiha was hurt. Once some of the sensors reported traces of the fox’s chakra were found on the battlefield, they exploded, ordering Naruto’s death. Naturally, neither the Elders, Danzo, or Tsunade would give that a second thought, but a dark idea did creep into her head.

Not having much political pull with being the newly appointed Hokage on civil matters, Tsunade admitted to herself she needed more support since the number of civilians surpassed the ninjas on the council. So, in order to make things…calm, she offered to exile him for three years, secretly planning to have Jiraiya take him, in order to train the power he wielded. The ninjas were disapproving, but the civilians were happy enough, and Danzo saw it as a chance to grab the boy and have him…join his ROOT operatives.

Still feeling somewhat dirty over her decision and the nightmares of politics, which compared to Jiraiya she wasn’t as proficient, in addition to concern over his injuries and the freaking paperwork involved in the botched mission…she drank. A lot.

Shizune was still tired from trying to save Neji Hyuuga’s life, so she didn’t review the paperwork like she normally did, and a certain civilian merchant who had some connections slipped in certain clauses to the simple exile contract that basically said, “Stay out of Konoha until the time period is up”.

When she stamped it with him and Sakura, who wasn’t exactly happy, as witnesses he glanced over it and asked her if she was really doing this. Her answer was basically: “Yes, now get out so I can deal with this headache.”

He left heartbroken, but didn’t say another word.

What she didn’t realize at the time was what those new clauses stated. They essentially booted him out of the Land of Fire with the backing of the Daimyo (who didn’t read it but signed it since he owed the merchant), stripped him of the right to use genjutsu or ninjutsu through pain compliance with seals, broke off his summon contracts, and essentially screwed him over multiple times.

Not a day later, he left the village gates at night, showing the guards the banishment papers and asking them to keep it secret from everyone. They thought it was a bit harsh, but since it had her seal on it, they couldn’t question it. Naruto Uzumaki had left the village in the rain, with only two people knowing it.

The next day things came to light.

“Princess,” a voice called from the window, revealing a certain super pervert. He did not look amused. “We need to talk.”

“Jiraiya?” she squinted her eyes, having been doing paperwork for the last twelve hours without rest and semi-drunk, while somehow nursing a hang-over at the same time. “What’s wrong?”

“The Toads contacted me and told me Naruto broke the contract ‘On orders of the Hokage’ according to the elders.”

“I didn’t tell him to break his contracts,” she shook her head. “I sent you a scroll about his banishment and the training plan once he left the hospital in a few days, didn’t I?”

“I thought it was strange, so I rushed back, but that’s not the worst thing…” he sat down in a chair. “They’re talking about the Kyuubi…in public!”

“That’s a violation of sensei’s law, they’ll—” she began, only to be cut off by him slamming a paper on the desk. When she read it her eyes widened. “Oh no…”

It was a decree that the Third’s Law was null and voided. On her orders.

“Tsunade,” Jiraiya’s eyes narrowed. “Please tell me you actually read what you stamped…”

She shuffled through the desk drawers to find the copy of the banishment orders and reviewed it…and her heart broke the moment she saw what she conscripted him to. “Oh dear god…”

Jiraiya snatched the paper and reviewed it before chewing her out in anger not seen since she had nearly followed through with Orochimaru’s offer. “I warned you not to underestimate the council! You have to read what you sign!”

“W-we have to get him in here and get the council…retract it…” she realized just why he had that look on his face before he left. They rushed to the Hospital to learn he never returned, and after visiting his home and retrieving the two things he left behind, they asked the gate guards who were active that night.

After sending out repair orders from her smashing the gate in rage, she convened the council and demanded whoever added the clauses come clean; otherwise she would have Inoichi search all their memories. After the argument that such an action was illegal, the pompous man revealed himself, pointing out that once she stamped it and with the Fire Daimyo’s backing, they couldn’t go back on the orders. He reasoned that the demon was hurting his sales or some other non-sense.

He apparently forgot that no amount of money will save you from trained assassins and was killed later that day. No one was sure who did it. Danzo could have ordered ROOT operatives to do it, since having your weapon not being able to use ninjutsu and genjutsu was a hindrance, Jiraiya could have done it, or a few dozen others, but no one really looked into it.

Either way, the damage was done and he was gone.

Jiraiya set out to find Naruto after telling her that he couldn’t be angry at her since he neglected the boy for 12 years and things got bad enough that he would leave in silence once he knew the law was rescinded, but he was disappointed at the fact that this could have been avoided by her not hitting the bottle so often. She eased up on her drinking after that and brushed up on politics while working towards weakening the civilian’s power in the council. The nations Naruto helped in the past weren’t pleased about the situation, but they didn’t do anything outwardly…

Secretly, they planned to give him asylum and keep Konoha out of the loop if he showed up.

“Tsunade-sama,” Shizune snapped her back to the present. “What will we do about Naruto?”

“We need answers…” she wrote up a letter to both Gaara and the Wind Daimyo. “Send the messenger hawks out. Once we hear back from them, we’ll set up tracking teams to go after him. There’s still a chance we can reason with him before we’ll have to use force.”

A very small chance, a cynical voice pointed out in her head.

Suna – Kazekage’s Office

“Hey Gaara…” Naruto sat a chair in the office.

“Naruto Uzumaki…” Gaara pushed his paperwork into a pile and sat it to the right of him. “Imagine my surprise when I received a notice an hour ago from my ninja at the village entrance, telling me that you were with the new Wind Daimyo as a bodyguard.”

Gaara’s mad…Naruto thought, a small sweatdrop gracing the back of his head. “I have a fairly good reason for not telling you where I was all this time.”

“Explain,” Gaara crossed his fingers and rested his head on them. Naruto applied a seal to the floor and put chakra into it, ensuring what he said would remain in secret.

“Back when I was banished, you didn’t have enough political power to keep me hidden here and under your protection without it eventually leaking to Konoha. I was angry, upset, and disappointed, and I didn’t want to have anything to do with Konoha since I couldn’t be a ninja anymore. The more I thought about how much I endured over the years to earn everyone’s respect, only to lose everything, the more I realized how I would never be accepted there by more than a dozen out of several thousands.”

Naruto took a deep breath. “The things I went through were bad enough, and no child should have ever suffered through the things we containers went through. I felt like I was going to lose myself in anger and rage, so I sought out a new path and traveled to the Wind Temple, since the Fire Temple was still in the Land of Fire and the nearest nations with temples weren’t exactly friendly to previous Konoha-nin…especially Iwa, although I didn’t know why until I managed to figure out my heritage. ”

Gaara nodded, seeing the reasoning behind his logic. It was still a cold thing to do considering they were friends, but he did see why he did what he did. “So, tell me about the past four years.”

“I spent three years in the Wind Temple’s service,” Naruto told his old friend, removing his gloves and showing him the seals burned into the back of his hands. “After the old lady stamped those papers, they engraved these seals on my skin not an hour later. If I try to form any hand seals, they burn severely and stop me, so I can’t use regular ninjutsu anymore.”

Gaara’s eyes narrowed slightly. “I’m surprised you didn’t find some way around that.”

“I’ve thought of several,” Naruto shrugged. “I could sever the limbs and hope the fox would regenerate them or I could alter the seals using my own expertise. The reason I don’t is because it serves as a reminder for the betrayal inflicted upon me.”

“I see…” Gaara exhaled slowly. He doubted he could convince Naruto to rejoin Konoha or even Suna at this point.

“Anyway, since I couldn’t use most regular jutsu anymore, I focused solely on chakra control and manipulation, along with mediation, taijutsu, weapons, and sealing arts. During those three years, I spent six months under the care of the previous Wind Daimyo, who was the father of the current one. After those six months were up, I traveled a bit. I was in the Land of Iron and studied the samurai techniques. Did you know they could use chakra?”

“I did not…” Gaara droned. “The age of the samurai had long since passed, but I was not aware they could use chakra.”

“The Land of Iron Samurai focus on Shape Manipulation rather than Nature Manipulation,” Naruto held out his hand and sent chakra into it. Visualizing a blade, chakra extended and formed the length of a broad sword’s blade with an ethereal spiral design. “I spent a few months under their care to expand my skills there. So I know quite a few tricks that I developed in combination to the exercises that I went through when I started learning the Rasengan—Hell, I found a way to combine the skills I picked up to do things I never dreamed of, including acting like a sensor.

Naruto dispelled the blade. “After that, I followed the advice of a certain fox and went to my ancestral home, where I expanded my knowledge on sealing. Using the memories of his previous hosts, I discovered a hidden storage facility holding the last copies of the arts of the Uzumaki clan. If you want, I can tweak your seal if the raccoon dog is still bothering you.”

“Tempting, but Jiraiya-sama beat you to it when he passed by looking for you a few years ago.” Gaara smirked. “While I am not pleased you did not seek out my assistance, I understand fully and hold no hard feeling about it.”

Left unsaid was that Naruto and the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox were on moderately pleasant terms. Those countless hours of meditation provided him with easier access to his mindscape, and even if the fox wouldn’t admit it, he enjoyed the occasional company. Hell, the fox handed over the memories of its previous hosts for free as long as Naruto agreed to tamper with the seal and change the mindscape into something more comfortable than a sewer. Eventually he even learned the fox’s name: Kurama.

Thanks to the additional knowledge he picked up, he managed to recreate his mother and father’s signature techniques. He could use his mother’s chakra chains through shape manipulation, and while he couldn’t directly copy his father’s Hiraishin formula, he created a similar technique by using a modified summoning contract formula that would enter him into a semi-contract and then reverse summon him to the location. The only downside was that it could only be used on other living things, although he did follow in his father’s footsteps and incorporate the formula into the seal of a certain female container, to be activated if she was ever in trouble by sending a distress signal to a seal on Naruto’s body.

“I also ran into the container of the Seven-Tails when I was passing near Taki, a girl named Fuu…” Naruto stayed quiet for a minute. “They didn’t even allow her to stay in their village, making her stay in the forest around it…I stayed with her for a month or so in between my time in the Land of Iron and visiting the Land of Whirlpools, and then I went back for only a few days before I came back to visit the Wind Temple and met with Kanna.”

Left unsaid was the fact that she suffered like they did, if not worse. Gaara’s eyes steeled at the silent realization. “Do you want me to send a letter to their village leader or approach in a different manner?”

Translation: “Offer her asylum and smuggle her out?

“I snuck into the village and confronted Shibuki on it,” Naruto eyes flashed red for a moment. “He said his hands were tied by his advisors and council, and he felt it was safer for her outside the village. Needless to say, after I resisted the urge to assassinate several people, I went out of my way to make her as comfortable as I could. She’s a really sweet girl and a lot like I was, masking her pain behind a joyful façade to the point that even Choumei—her demon—felt guilty about being placed in her.

“I was working with her on controlling her Bijuu’s chakra since our two were on decent terms.” Naruto hesitated for a brief moment before looking at Gaara seriously. “She deserves better than what she’s been through. Next to Kanna, she’s really the only other woman I would go out of my way to protect right now without a moment’s hesitation.”

Unfortunately, he could only control himself up to three tails due to the fact that his own negative emotions added to the fox’s negative emotions, meaning anything higher would equal a stage two transformation. The memories of his mother and her discussion with the first container told him that love was needed to combat the hatred, but the hatred he held inside for many years far surpassed his other emotions. Yes, he could control the cloak at three-tails by remembering what he went through with Kanna and Fuu, it was passion and caring love, but he only knew them for a short time compared to all those years of suffering.

Gaara nodded once. He immediately understood how close they were to him and would most likely level a village to protect them. If this information got back to Konoha or someone else, it could be used against him.

“Everything you have said so far stays with me,” Gaara reached for another set of papers. “Regardless, I trust that you will be gracing Suna with your presence whenever you find yourself in the Land of Wind, no matter the politics involved.” It wasn’t a question.

“Sure,” Naruto smiled. “But it may be a minute. I plan on heading north at full speed as soon as night falls to visit her, after I sign the summoning contract that Kanna wants me to, since Konoha will probably be stationing ninja across the border in a few days. You’ll probably receive a messenger hawk in a few minutes.”

“I’ll wait a few hours after midnight to order my ninja to look for you within the walls until the next day, and then tell them that you departed. I was not inclined to hold you, as you were under the Daimyo’s protection. That should give you a head start to enter deep enough into the Land of Fire to make it within a few days, so long as you don’t get caught.”

“Thanks Gaara…” he pulled out a small pocket scroll and placed it on his desk. “This can instantly transfer information to a similar scroll on me. We can use it to stay in touch. I’ve given one to Kanna and will get Fuu one once I reach her.”

In A Cave Somewhere

Several cloaked astral-figures gathered in front of a statue, and a voice rang through the air.

“The nine-tails has appeared…” the leader’s voice echoed. “Now, we no longer need to hold back on the retrievals…Hidan, Kakuzu, you two shall start by retrieving the Nanabi.”


Okay, a quick idea I got after reading “Tempered By Spiritual Fire” by Malciah, this is like a secondary fanfic to everything else and won’t be updated as fast as my other Naruto fanfiction. Despite all the fanfics where the Elders are trying to drive Naruto out, they and Danzo already know about the power balance and will not allow him to escape if they can help it. There is no CRA in this one, or Harem, only Naruto x Fuu x Kanna (OC), providing it gets that far.