Author: Zeoniu Zekial Kal Leos PM
What happens when you take one space-time teleportation jutsu, a dimensional-shifting space-time jutsu, and the natural energies of Sage Mode and stir them all together? One timeline misplaced Naruto Uzumaki. But the past is not always what it seems when your destination is decided by chance, and scheming with foreknowledge can be just as difficult when events unfold otherwise.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Naruto U. - Chapters: 25 - Words: 82,606 - Reviews: 203 - Favs: 441 - Follows: 471 - Updated: 09-02-12 - Published: 05-28-10 - id: 6004074
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Wow, great to see the feedback here hasn't waned in the slightest! From here on out, though, I plan to start increasing the overall length of each chapter. I think I owe you guys that much for the delays, and honestly, we really haven't had a whole lot take place in the shorter chapters.
This will probably be the last of 3k chapters, and hopefully in the future the 5k chapters will follow!
Situated outside of the Fire Daimyo's current residence stood a small barricade of simple, single room wooden huts, of which only six remained out of the original twelve. For several years now the remainder had been missing, torn down and used for scrap in the Daimyo's fireplace, or dismantled and put to usage for other necessary projects here and there.
Inside of just two of the remaining huts rested the only survivors of the failed coup d'etat, and currently the only members of the Twelve Guardian Ninja available, though new recruits were constantly being sought after in preparation to fill in the vacancies.
As the sun crept over the hills and bled across the valley where the Daimyo slept quite soundly and safely, Asuma Sarutobi stirred on his cot within the nearest hut and raised a hand against the crimson glare with a disgruntled expression at the awakening.
A low thump echoed off of the side of his hut as Chiriku signaled the change of shift, but in a change of their usual pace, he also walked into the doorway and spoke up. "Asuma, you've got a message waiting for you," the other man said.
One eye flickered open and stared at the outline of his friend. "Who..?" He asked tiredly.
The shinobi monk held out the carrier hawk clinging to his other arm in response. Pushing up onto one elbow and staring through half-lidded eyes, Asuma took in the birds appearance and the seal tag attached to the underside.
The Hokage's emblem rested on one corner of the tag, but it was the seal itself that caught his attention- all too rarely had he seen one that required a specific chakra to open, and he recognize this for what it was.
Swinging his legs over the edge of the cot Asuma stood up and reached forward to accept the hawk from Chiriku, wary of what his father had to say after all of this time, and brought out of whatever sleepfulness had remained as the talons dug into his sleeve tightly.
The other man stepped back and returned to his own hut to settle in and get some rest, knowing that Asuma would convey the message contained if it affected their duties.
Suffusing a small amount of chakra into his other hand, Asuma touched the seal to trigger it and then deftly caught the small scroll that was released, and stepped outside to read it properly.
What he read left his features set into a hard grimace.
'My son, Asuma, the time has come to reconcile the words between you and I. For too long now a futile argument has driven you away from Konohagakure, and it is in light of recent events that I have come to see the error of prolonging this non-conflict any longer... I am dying, Asuma, and I do not know how much longer I can stand in the face of the shinigamis' looming presence. I have hope that you will return and allow us to discuss what must be done while there is still time. I will not lie and say that this has been easy, nor that I expect you to accept my words without some degree of bitterness, but for the sake of the village, I ask that you put it aside until all is said and done.'
How much longer? How much longer? How much longer? Gaara whispered to himself and to the One-tailed Shukaku, limbs held tight to his chest akin to the fetal position within the nigh-unbreakable, dense sphere of sand.
If he hadn't already been on the way toward developing a shielding technique before this, the Shukaku's survival instincts had certainly written the knowledge of it into his mind, and into his own instincts, then and there.
The only difference between the sphere he was held within and that of Danzo Shimura's execution an excruciating hour prior was that he could still breath, even if the pressure held his body otherwise exactly as it was.
The feeling of claustrophobia had never before scared him, but Gaara knew he could not endure this ghastly defensive measure for much more than another few minutes, and his silently repeated question, his mantra, was all that was allowing him to focus and keep from absolute panic.
How much longer?
Bleeding in several positions, Yura shambled over the sand and in between the houses that would lead him to the small fishing pond of the Honored Siblings. He had awoken some minutes ago with blood in his mouth and numerable injuries to his lower body from the impact, but none of them were so bad as to prevent him from fulfilling his duty to the Kazekage.
It was for that reason that he now held the gold-inscribed letter in one hand, limping forward at a pace he could maintain. With the rest of the Jounin of Suna executed by the two invaders, he was all that remained of their higher tier military- a military that now consisted of himself, a single jinchuriki chunin, and two not-yet-genins.
Relying on the retired elder kunoichi and her brother to rejoin their ranks would be asking for more than he could reasonably hope for, but giving some degree of aide was all that he required.
It took him close to fifteen more minutes of travel before he caught sight of them, and several thereafter before he could actually reach the two.
He sank down on his marginally good knee, bowed his head respectfully, and thrust the letter toward the two of them without a word, knowing it would do him no good to try and force their acknowledgement- they had made that quite clear eight or so years ago.
Aside from the breeze coming down over the pond, rustling their cloths here and there, only the soft exhalations of their breaths disturbed the silence as one minute passed into five, and then ten.
As close to half an hour approached Yura's posture began to sway precariously from blood loss, but his patience held on, and at last Ebizo inclined his head over one shoulder. The elder shinobi examined what his gaze beheld without comment, including the mangled, gold-scrawled message, before turning back.
Chiyo acknowledged his choice to give in to curiosity with a slight upturning of her lips, but her words were far less amused. "I told the Kazekage many years ago that his reliance upon the prior generation should have ended when he took his office. I do not believe he has received the meaning." She said.
Ebizo answered her. "In his haste to progress the next generation, he has come full circle and entered into a state requiring your aide once more."
Chiyo hummed once and sat up, craning her neck around. The sight of Yura's form did not disturb her, and she picked up the letter to read it.
By the time she was through a strange sort of energy seemed to gather behind her eyes, however, and she stood up with surprising agility for one of such advanced age.
"If Sunagakure can not stand firm from a foe so far away as Kirigakure, and if Konohagakure deems itself so self-assured as to assault our village from within, than perhaps it is time they were reminded of our side of the Second and Third Shinobi World Wars," she said firmly.
Her brother sighed. "Do not be so hasty this time, Chiyo," he warned her lightly. Without answering him she rolled the sheet up and tucked it into a pocket, then checked Yura for a pulse.
After a moment and a narrowing of the eyes she stepped past him, marching toward the Kazekages office to do the task that she had been requested of.
Yura dragged himself up to a sitting position, unable to smile even if his cheeks twitched toward the expression a fraction at a time.
A few days after establishing the beginning foundation with Sai at Ichiraku Ramen, and Naruto found himself looking up into the lone-visible eye of his future-teacher from the same bench he usually sat at while waiting to see if Sakura would pass through to continue their sparring sessions.
"Hatake-sama," he greeted the elder shinobi neutrally.
Kakashi nodded in return, saying, "Namikaze-kun."
A weak silence settled between them, until Naruto asked, "Does Old man Hokage want to see me about something?"
Kakashi shook his head no. "No, I was hoping to speak with you personally," he responded quietly.
"About Sasuke, right?" the jinchuriki stated, even if his tone sounded akin to a question.
"That would be part of it, yes. But there are other things- I knew your father and mother quite well in their time, and now that you are actively carrying his name..." trailing off and glancing down the path, he seemed almost embarrassed about something.
Naruto stood up with a nod. "I guess we should find a better place to discuss it than here, then," he said and began to stride off toward the other mans home some ways ahead. Kakashi frowned beneath his mask and followed, having expected more resistance.
The silence continued between them again with a heavier sense to it, and in time with a flick of his hitai-ate, the Copy Cat Ninja scanned Naruto's coils to confirm or deny one of his concerns.
Having the more advanced tomoe, he saw what Sasuke did not- the even blend between physical, spiritual, nature, and worst of all, tailed beast chakra. He could see the ways they bled together and mingled, giving a natural affinity for the wind release, and that the invasion of the Kyuubi's energy was not being rejected despite how it interwove among them like a spined tendril.
He saw the fact that Naruto's seal and the power flowing through it, while similar, was still all too different from the one that his mother had utilized, that there was far too much energy available to him than there should have been by any right, at this young of an age.
Above all, he saw that Naruto's natural chakra had not been superseded or usurped as he had first feared, and that for whatever reasons, he was able to keep it in check remarkably well- instead of spreading like an out of control weed through the rest of his coils and body, it remained securely wrapped up around the other chakras.
The will of Uzushiogakure carries on, he thought, pleasantly surprised. Naruto's inheritance from his parents seems to be giving him everything he needs to hold the Nine Tails from taking him over... for the moment.
Pondering how best to approach the subject, he realized something else that stood out- nature chakra. Everything that he had heard about that area implied that it was required to be a Sage of the Toads, like the Sannin Jiraiya, before one could access it.
Yet Naruto had as much senjutsu chakra available to him as his natural physical and spiritual chakra.
Frowning silently, the only options that presented themselves to his problem was that, miraculously, the jinchuriki had been taught the art while with the Hokage at Mount Myoboku paying tribute to the deceased Sannin, or, that Minato had somehow done the same long ago and passed it on to his son.
Admittedly, stranger inheritances had been seen while abroad during his full-time ANBU days, and even a shred of senjutsu energy could have been nourished and grown given the chaotic events surrounding the jinchuriki's birth.
Before he knew it they had passed outside of the general Konohan housing areas and were approaching his own small home. Naruto finally slowed down and, spying a nearby log, dragged it over fairly easily and sat down on it facing the Jounin.
"What did you want to know, Hatake-sama?" He asked.
Kakashi knelt down to the ground so that they were on a similar eye level. "A few days ago, you were there when Sasuke brought his Sharingan to the surface- you helped quite a bit in motivating him, from what I saw and have been told."
Naruto nodded once.
"Namikaze-san... Naruto, to what degree have you been able to use the Nine Tails' corrupted chakra since Danzo Shimura attempted to execute you?" the Jounin asked, his voice concerned.
Naruto closed his eyes for a moment, and when he opened them up again, the pupils were slightly jagged as they dilated, showing a tense resolve within them, and a flicker of malevolent, bubbling orange energy began to materialize from his skin for half an inch.
Kakashi resisted the urge to reach for his nearest kunai with one hand, likewise checking the slight surge of lightning chakra that rushed to his other hands fingertips, as Naruto just sat there and watched him.
"We've been in contact, since that day. I think the most tails I've manifested are three, during that same fight. For the most part, I've been training on my own and with Yamato-taicho to subdue and curb the fox's natural bloodlust," the jinchuriki told him, half truths coming easier than expected. "Right now its stirring up a snit behind the cage, but I have no desire to harm you," he added, flexing his own fingers and the talons of chakra that wrapped around them.
The Copy Cat Ninja exhaled slowly, and with a tentative hand reached out to touch the shroud of energy, but Naruto leaned away and to the other side to avoid him. "The touch of it could burn you, Hatake-sama," Naruto warned him.
"Yes," he agreed after a moment, watching as the log Naruto sat on smoked slightly as if acid were gradually eating through it. "You have full control over yourself like this?" He asked.
"Aside from that aspect, I do," Naruto answered him honestly.
Despite the old anger Kakashi felt toward the bijuu for what it had cost the village, he felt nothing of that animosity toward the child before him even wrapped in the beginning of its appearance and tainted chakra, and he said, "Incredible. The next generation truly is remarkable."
An embarrassed smile spread over Naruto's face, and he closed his eyes again to concentrate.
"Wait-" Kakashi said abruptly.
Blinking his eyes back open Naruto did as instructed. He saw that the older shinobi's hitai-ate was out of the way again and the Sharingan eye he possessed was spinning rapidly as it roamed over his form, capturing the details of it to examine later on.
A few seconds later and he nodded, nudging the forehead protector back down and into the usual comfortable slant, and then Naruto continued. The energy faded away into thin air and when he opened his eyes again, the blue orbs were back to their usual natural shape and appearance.
"Thank you, Naruto-kun," the Jounin said. "This has settled a concern that was on my mind recently. However, there are still other things I wished to talk with you about."
"Okay," Naruto agreed easily, still smiling.
"What do you know about senjutsu chakra?"
"What have you learned?" Nagato asked as the Uchiha entered the hidden village of the rain, Amegakure once more, and stepped into the building where they often met regarding orders.
Itachi inclined his head respectfully. "Wherever Orochimaru has fled to, it has become impossible to find him by his passage through the hidden villages, and what traces remained behind are old and unusable, Pein-sama." He answered truthfully.
"The Konohan spy of Sasori and, for a time, Orochimaru, has been captured and neutralized by the ANBU. Of what I learned, it would seem to be that these events occurred around the same point in time, when the Sannin clashed at Mount Myoboku."
Nagato stared out of the window overlooking his recently taken village in silence. "Is that why you abandoned Hoshigaki Kisame at the edge of the Land of Fire?" He questioned after nearly a minute.
"Yes, Pein-sama." The Uchiha answered.
"Join Kisame and prepare to set out again. This mission is not concluded until Orochimaru is eradicated. If you must join another village and ingratiate yourself into it in order to acquire enough information as to his whereabouts, do so." Nagato ordered with no room for debate.
Itachi nodded. "I have more information, Pein-sama," he said.
At Nagato's silence the Uchiha continued. "Danzo Shimura is dead." He stated.
Nagato looked away from the window and stared harshly into the other shinobi's crimson gaze, the purple rings of the Rinnegan glowing almost violently. "You lose one opponent and bring me empty statements regarding another." He said with a hard edge to his otherwise moderate tone.
Itachi met the superior man's restrained fury with his usual blank display of emotion. "Statements backed up by the information of the Hokage's office and our own first-hand observation, Pein-sama," he answered. "It is how I have learned the spy was captured in Konoha."
Outside dense thunderclouds began to gather, and fat raindrops swept over the building they were in. Nagato reigned in his anger, putting Yahiko's sacrifice that day back beneath layers of other memories, and the appearance of his eyes settled back into their usual level of intensity.
Without another word he returned to observing the window and the rising torrent spreading across the village from their meeting place, and Itachi inclined his head once more, murmuring a quiet "Pein-sama," in conclusion.
"Ah, Sarutobi-kun! What are you doing here so early?" The Fire Daimyo greeted one of his remaining bodyguards a few hours after dawn.
The breakfast laid out before him was mouthwatering, and yet Asuma felt nothing but a cold tension in his gut as he stood near the doorway, still holding his fathers letter.
"Something has come up, sir." He bit out after a moment. "I believe we will be traveling again within the next day or so."
The Daimyo's pleasant demeanor changed into a look of concern. "Oh dear. What makes you believe that?"
Asuma strode into the room properly and held the letter out to one of the servants, who in turn carried it over to his liege lord, and began to recite the message it contained for the highest-ranking man in all of Fire Country.
His face turned to a look of great distaste, and by the time the servant had finished, the Daimyo pushed his plate away with a scowl. "That is indeed unfortunate news, Sarutobi-kun. And, alas, you are correct." He said.
Then he shrugged, looking around the fine dominion around himself, and said, "But I was growing tired with this house, after all. A nice journey to Konoha once more will certainly brighten things up once more," he said.
Asuma's look made the other man grimace. "Yes, yes, a poor time for the opinion of an politician. You know I meant no disservice toward your father, Sarutobi-kun," the Daimyo added.
"I know," Asuma agreed.
"Very well! Let us depart within the hour. I have little here that is not likewise available elsewhere. Is the palanquin prepared?" the Daimyo asked the servant with the letter.
"Shortly, sir," said servant answered.
"Then go! Hiruzen is an old friend, and I would hate to arrive too late." He stated. After the servant hurried off to meet with the other few in the house and prepare the method of transportation, the Daimyo looked over toward his guardian.
"I trust that you and Chiriku-kun are likewise ready?" He asked. Asuma managed a rough smile, though it fell quite short of his eyes.
"We are, Daimyo-sama," he answered shortly. A nod dismissed him and Asuma departed the fine house to make the necessary plans of transport with his fellow shinobi.
End Chapter Twenty-four.