I don't own Naruto... or Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, which has far too many syllables to be a manga title! Sixteen whole syllables! I mean, you can shorten it to Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage, but then how will I stop thinking about the Scarlet Spring, Hmm?
Here we are, taking the next step into redeeming this disjointed mess of an Arc. Today, we discover the outcome of Danzō's Kotoamatsukami, see what has become of Team 7 in Naruto's absence and make progress towards the real purpose of the Arc.
The Frozen Roots Arc – the struggle is real
Quote of the chapter/day: "It was your own powerlessness that birthed me."
Chapter 26: He Who Retains, Remains
"He isn't dead." Came a soft, feminine voice as she continued to walk into the room. Karin's brows arched downwards, in both curiosity and annoyance. She'd had enough of positive thinking, she wanted answers!
"How do you know that?" She spat in return. Rather than getting annoyed or insulted by the girl's tone, the newcomer smiled sadly, noticeably tired herself and looking like she'd been upset too. The sunlight landed on her to reveal a girl with long black hair and deep brown eyes, somewhat pale skin and a sort of Haori covering her frame.
"Because he made me a promise." Haku said with a small smile.
"Where are you?"
The sudden question reverberated through silence within a featureless room. The sound was unquestionably feminine. Its intended audience slowly stirred; his pupils dilating as his consciousness began to return to reality from whatever daydream or place it had been roaming. A distinctly male hum emanated from the person as he blinked, between which his eyes sharply moved from a forward position to move to his questioner. His blank stare quickly gained some semblance of realization as the silence returned.
"Come again?" He asked, his attention now fully focused. Even still, he felt something was off; he felt he was forgetting something. The other participant in this benign conversation rolled her eyes with a huff.
"You were staring into space for five minutes straight, so I asked where you were, Soramune."
Ah, yes. That was it. His name was Soramune. It was somewhat depressing when he thought of the meaning behind it. Still, it was his name and he had to live with it, right?
His mind kicked into action as he began to think more clearly, despite a small feeling of weariness that was looming over him. He felt out of place and a little...
No, he was here because he wanted to be. That was it. He joined this organisation – he joined Root of his own volition. That's who he was: Soramune of Root. Soramune wasn't his name, it was a cover; a false identity conceived to protect him from his life. His life...
He was born Naruto Uzumaki... that was it. He had a sister, Karin. Their parents were killed. Yes... he became a Shinobi to protect her... he was a part of Team 7 with Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno. They'd participated in missions together. They saved a village from a villainous swordsman, formerly of Kirigakure, and his proteg-
There it was again. Something seemed off...
"You're doing it again!" His associate said, the pitch of her voice conveying a sense of annoyance. He snapped back to reality once more and focused on her. Sāra. She was an anomalous result within Root. After his little induction to the organisation he had been placed in her squad. He expected little of any of them, given Root's... methods... of ensuring efficiency and clear decision making, but she was... normal? Sort of normal.
'That's probably the most accurate description of her.' He mused, not particularly concerned with her rising anger. They'd gotten along well since he joined... how long had that been now? A few months, at least. Danzō, in his eternal "wisdom" didn't appreciate human interaction, so they'd been... discrete about their amicable relationship.
Amicable. What a word to use in association with Root.
Clearing his mind of his pesky sense of unease, he focused his attention on the girl – really this time!
"Sorry about that, I'm just deep in thought." He said apologetically. The girl sighed and shook her head, her contrasting eyes showing her irritation. It was still oddity to him; a girl whose eyes were different colours, yet it was... fascinating.
"If it dulls your senses so much, maybe you should stop thinking so hard. You might break your brain." She quipped. He huffed sarcastically, feigning distaste.
Honestly, her sense of humour – no matter how archaic and underdeveloped – was the most human thing in the entire underground facility. As if he'd let it bother him.
"Hmph, if you lose any more brain cells I'd label you a vegetable and call it a day!" Naruto exclaimed, caring little about the way her face fired up in protest.
"What?! That's it, you and me, right here, right now!"
Ah yes, that was it. This was one of several sparring chambers. They'd come here to test themselves and find ways to improve, but he'd drifted into his own little world. That raised the question of why was she acting like this wasn't what they came for, but it was semantics.
'I swear, this girl's an airhead sometimes.' He thought to himself with a smile. "It'll be my pleasure to take you down a peg." He remarked as he walked over to the middle of the room with Sāra close behind.
"Oh, we'll see about that." She remarked confidently, cracking her knuckles to prepare herself. He hummed carelessly, thinking little of her confidence.
Truth be told, he'd improved a lot because of her. She knew just where to push him, even if Ninjutsu wasn't particularly her strong suit. Putting aside this reminiscence, he readied himself to fight and shot the girl a smirk.
"Ready or not, here I come!"
"Another mission complete, you three. Good work as always."
Back in Konohagakure, things were moving with a figment of normalcy. Months had passed since the uproar from Naruto Uzumaki's disappearance and the higher ups among the village's Shinobi and leadership had begun to come to terms with their own inability to locate or protect him. Security within the village had been largely toned up in response to his disappearance, ironically making the village more defensible and stable than it had been for years.
Hunter-nin deployed to locate or recover some evidence regarding Naruto's whereabouts had all returned with nothing but whispers and loose ends. Tsunade and the Elders' council had ultimately been forced to call off the search – though Tsunade still hadn't heard the end of it.
Speaking of the Hokage, she was currently briefly what had become the new Team 7; Haku Yuki, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, led by the infamous Kakashi Hatake.
"Good work? "Good work" implies we're actually doing something that isn't a chore." Sasuke stated. Tsunade gave him a glance but ultimately ignored his complete lack of respect for her. To an outsider, she'd have appeared weak as a Kage, but she knew the reasons behind his recent behaviour and accepted them.
Haku sighed at his response while Sakura looked surprised. Kakashi, in contrast, shot the boy a glare and turned his expression stern.
"Sasuke! That is no way to speak to the Hokage!" The man bellowed in an attempt to discipline the boy.
"Hn. A Kage should be able to do their job right." Sasuke responded, venom seeping from his tone. Kakashi, noticeably angry with Sasuke's conduct, moved towards Sasuke and attempted to grab his arm.
To his surprise, Tsunade raised her hand in a gesture for him to cease his attempts. Sasuke narrowed his eyes at her irritably and huffed to himself. He closed his eyes and shook his head, disappointed that she wouldn't even bothering defending her honour, before moving to the door.
"I'm going to train." He stated plainly, not bothering to give them a second glance and he walked out of the room.
"W-wait, Sasuke-kun! Come back!" Sakura called out, receiving no obvious response. Her expression fell flat and was replaced by a mournful frown. She felt a hand touch her shoulder and turned to face Haku sad stare.
"Just leave him be, Sakura. You know why he's like this." She stated, to which Sakura nodded. Tsunade sighed and scratched her head. Kakashi faced the wall and closed his visible eye, disappointed in himself for his many failings as a teacher and a Shinobi.
The room fell entirely silent. Every person there was thinking something akin to what Sasuke was, albeit acting on those thoughts in different ways. Tsunade sighed audibly once more, sliding her chair back and standing to her feet before looking out the windows of the Hokage's tower.
"He's not wrong." She stated sadly, gaining the attention of everyone in the room. "...He blames me for what happened, and he has every reason to. As Hokage, it's my job to protect the people of this village. I failed when it mattered."
"You know that's not true. Nobody could have predicted or stopped what happened. Haku was there and she still didn't see it." Kakashi said, attempting to console the woman. Tsunade didn't respond.
The room fell silent once more.
"You're dismissed." Tsunade said after a long silence. With nothing left to say, the remaining members of Team 7 shuffled awkwardly out of the room.
"You know even though it's a spar, you are meant to try to win." Sāra said mockingly. Naruto moaned from the ground and slowly flopped over onto his back.
She was good. He knew he was far-and-away an inferior fighter when it came to pure Taijutsu. Despite all indications, Root members weren't allowed to use Ninjutsu within sparring grounds. There was a place for those kind of spars, but it was on high demand at all times and required Danzō's personal permission for use.
For that reason, the spars they had were Taijutsu exclusive. Even though he couldn't feel his arm and he was exhausted, he preferred it like this. Ninjutsu was his most proficient area, making improvements on his Taijutsu and supplementary skills more important. Fighting Sara was... enlightening. Her stances and movements were fitting of a female, being elegant and fluid and yet, they retained the sense of aggression and power that mainly male Shinobi prided themselves on.
'Lee would still destroy her though.' He thought to himself with a chuckle, which was promptly followed by him gripping his ribs in pain as he let out a sound akin to an "oof". He was really sore.
"You're a damn sadist." He remarked plainly, to which she just shrugged her shoulder and walked over to him. He arched a brow as she leaned down and offered him her hand. His lips arched up and as he reached up to accept the gesture, allowing her to pull him up. "...thanks."
"No problem." She replied as she grabbed a towel and threw it at him. He caught it and started to wipe the sweat from his face.
Many would consider these spars to be a painful endeavour. Some Shinobi would completely forgo sparring to avoid unnecessary injuries. Naruto didn't agree. Admittedly, his natural regenerative factor may have skewed his opinion a little, but he saw promise in the occasional spar. It served to both better the self and improve one's knowledge of how their comrades fight – therein improving unit coordination.
Once he was done with it, he threw the towel back to her. Catching it, she raised it into the air a little and nodded. He took it as a gesture of appreciation. She was odd at times, yet they got along very well.
He thought back to the earliest interaction he could remember between them with a smirk. It still didn't make sense to him. He'd come to find that amusing.
Flashback no Jutsu!
In his personal chambers, one Naruto Uzumaki, formerly of Konoha, was currently pondering things. He'd recently found an avenue to sneak off and join Root and was slowly coming to terms with his existence – even if he felt vaguely nauseous every time he tried to recall his earliest days here.
He stared down idly at a sealing scroll. He knew it was his work but he couldn't remember writing the matrix. It was oddly better than he knew he could do and yet, he felt like he could replicate it confidently.
His eyes widened as he heard the door knock and return him to reality. He blinked a few times to clear his vision and walked to the door, opening it to reveal a woman. She seemed... familiar.
"Hey Soramune, you've been keeping to yourself since our last assignment. Everything alright?"
He blinked again. Last assignment? He'd remember a "last assignment." Surely he would.
"Uh, do I know you?" He asked slowly. He wasn't sure if his leg was being pulled. Wait, scratch that, he was in Root. His leg most certainly wasn't being pulled.
"You've forgotten already? Oh, if words could kill..." She replied with a feigned sniffle. He instinctively smiled at the gesture. She seemed... fun. He had no idea who she was, but still; fun. "...Sāra? We worked on a mission in the Suna desert? We had a quaint chat in a cave? Ring any bells?"
He gave her a blank stare before shaking his head in exasperation. Dropping his hand from the door frame, he pushed it fully open and walked into the room, gesturing her in. She came in and promptly shut the door behind her.
"Oh come on, forgetting your first mission is like forgetting your birthday! Ah, whatever. I'll just have to tell the tale!" She remarked, coming over and sitting beside him on his bed with a smile.
It was understandably strange, listening to someone dramatically recall a past experience – one that he couldn't remember, mind you – wherein he supposedly acted "depressed" throughout. Still, her found her strange way of exaggerating things to be quite entertaining. He didn't believe for a second that he'd cut the target's head off though, that was obviously a joke.
As she finished her little retelling, he found himself noticing that he'd actually laughed. She gave him a glance of expectancy, to which he rubbed the back of his head.
"Sorry, still nothing. At least it sounded like it was something!" He remarked, half joking. Her exaggerated huff served to deepen his smirk. She puffed out her bottom lip irritably.
"Seriously? You're unbelievable..." She stated with a sigh. He gave her an apologetic look. "...Oh well. On the bright side, at least you've cheered up a little. Last thing I needed was another robot on the team."
Yes. It would be interesting having two humans in Root, on the same team even. Almost ironic, really.
Flashback no Jutsu! Kai!
As he gathered his gear that was stashed at the back of the room, he saw her move towards the entrance, but before he could call over to her, she turned back. "...oh, don't forget your session with Amarai!"
Before he could respond, she stepped outside. He huffed in irritation as he ran his right hand through his 'white' hair. Honestly, it just seemed odd to change his hair colour, even if it was necessary to conceal his identity.
Once he was done grabbing everything, he followed Sāra's path out the door and began to make his way to see Amarai.
Amarai was Root's utmost Kenjutsu expert – someone Naruto had been spending a great deal of time with since his induction to the organisation. He felt very passionate about learning Kenjutsu, though he couldn't quite place why he felt that way. He wasn't too curious about it, since the art was very useful once you had a good grasp of it. Why wave a kunai around when you have a sword?
He quickly moved his head to the side, cracking his neck loudly as he groaned from the action. Such a reaction seemed contradictory since the action was intentional – the full results taken into account – but such things were menial.
He followed in Sāra's footsteps and strode towards the door, opening it towards him and stepping out. Two other Root agents made their way around him, giving him a slight nod as they passed. He returned the gesture mechanically. The door shut behind him a few moments later as he made his way through the featureless hallways of the Root facility.
Walking through the facility was a mindless slog; it was simply too expansive and lacked any notable stimulus, therein disengaging his mind as he trudged through its expansive grounds. As he took a jagged step, he felt his sword holster sway on his back and thus found himself becoming conscious of its presence.
He'd not been particularly good with a sword when he joined Root. He believed that he had some level of beginner's proficiency, but Amarai was quick to rebuff such things. No, he was actually quite the amateur. Once he'd found his stride, he'd opted to forgo the standard Root armament – a featureless, dual bladed Tantō without an edged tip – and instead put in a requisition for a Chokutō.
He'd found that the featureless design was non-negotiable.
He was about to turn yet another non-distinctive corner when the very person he was looking for came before him – "Amarai". Like all Root agents, he had no surname. Whether Amarai was his actual name or not was unimportant.
Amarai was a tall man, standing at an impressive 6 foot 2. He had auburn hair spiking backwards from the front of his hair, which dropped down to the bottom of his neck. The sides were cut extremely short, leaving mere a figment of hair there. Two long strands cascaded down either side of his face, arcing forward and back and they did so and going just past his chin. His eyes were a cloudy grey, with an almost stereotypical "swordsman's scar" going over and under his left eye – the eye itself being saved from harm. He had a stern face and a broad jawline. He had a light tan which began to recede near his clothing.
Speaking of his outfit, he wore a form-fitting black shirt which outlined his muscular appearance. The shirt had the sleeves missing, with a jagged tufts of cloth coming from the shoulder as though he ripped them off. Over this was a black flak-jacket which came from his left shoulder to cover his entire torso. He wore non-distinct black trousers and boots. Over his right shoulder his sword strap clung to him – being pressed close under his flak jacket. Unlike Naruto, he used the standard Tantō.
"Ah, Amarai-sensei, I was just-"
"Today's session is cancelled, Soramune. Danzō-sama has demanded your attention." The man said matter-of-factly. Naruto blinked repeatedly, before bowing and moving past the man. Before he could get too far, Amarai gripped his arm. "...make sure you keep training your body. My lessons are useless if you can't physically keep up."
Naruto nodded once more, and moved on to find Danzō. For a minute, he actually expected Amarai to say something remotely human, but then he remembered that even among Root, Amarai was a very professional person. He liked that about him, in a weird way.
Arriving at "The Shaft" as Root members had taken to calling the central, cylindrical chamber within Root's facility, Naruto saw Danzō standing in wait for him. As per the usual, the man was looking half-statue, half-serious.
"You wanted to see me, Danzō-sama?" Naruto questioned, being sure to put on his usual air of professionalism in the man's presence. Danzō hummed in response and began to turn away, gesturing Naruto to follow him.
Naruto quickly fell in line and found himself slowly walking through the facility's halls once more at Danzō's heel. He was always nervous when the man kept up this whole silent-yet-commanding atmosphere around him; It was unnerving to not know what was required of him.
They arrived at a door Naruto had become familiarized with over the last few months. One which tended to bring forth a sense of foreboding and dread.
The room where Ninjutsu was allowed.
Danzō was anything but discrete; anything but efficient; anything but caring. He was a man of cold calculations and Root was founded on those very principles. This therein made the attention he regularly showed Naruto harmful and worrisome.
He would be made strong, one way or another.
As he returned from his thoughts, he saw a few agents calmly vacating the chamber. Danzō was stood at its centre, eyeing him impatiently. Taking a breath, he entered the room and stood in front of the man.
"You've made great improvements since your induction here, Soramune. I believe your skill with Fūton has improved to an adequate degree, so we shall move on to something more... specialized today." The man said, giving Naruto a rare sign of approval. Naruto nodded in thanks and agreement.
Despite this, his mind was in turmoil. His lessons had been, quite frankly, crushing. Danzō beat information – techniques – into him. His improvements were founded in suffering... but outside this room? Few people understood Danzō's cruel methods to the true extent.
His mind moved back to his first training session with Danzō... and the very same day he'd learned to fear him.
Flashback no Jutsu!
Naruto and Danzō stood alone in the training chamber, as per usual. Both stood impassive as the silence that permeated the air continued to grow until Danzō broke it with a hum.
"I've been informed of your skills and abilities, Soramune, and I must say your skill with Fūton is good for your age... but that means nothing to me; in Root I expect excellence." The man stated. Naruto nodded, giving him the go-ahead to continue. "...today, I will be teaching you a versatile technique which will serve you well in future."
Naruto allowed a small smirk to form as Danzō finished up. Despite all progress he'd made since becoming a Genin, the feeling of excitement when learning a new technique had never quite faded. He focused all attention on Danzō as the man addressed him once more.
"Watch closely and learn." He said, taking a deep breath and turning his head to the side while going through a series of hand seals. Once the series was complete, he began to rapidly exhale a stream of wind while whipping his head to the side, forming a cutting wave of wind that scarred the wall.
"That technique is known as Fūton: Shinkūha (Wind Release: Vacuum Wave). You inhale, focus chakra to your lungs and exhale while spinning your head to create a powerful blade of wind." The man stated factually.
To Naruto, it was obvious that the technique could be quite deadly in the right circumstances. Creating such a swift and deadly attack from the user's own mouth without warning was a useful ability.
"You will now use that technique on me." Danzō said seriously. Naruto blinked in response, before raising his right eyebrow.
"Was... that a joke?" He responded, confused by the notion of being asked to harm the man – by him. Danzō shook his head calmly.
"I do not "joke". Until you the that technique, I will be forced to use it on you." He said seriously, going through hand signs at a deliberately slow rate and tilting his head. Naruto's eyes widened as he then fired a wave of wind at him with no warning.
'Shit!' Naruto thought to himself as he jumped over the technique at the last second. He quickly looked back to Danzō, realizing fully how serious the situation he was in truly was. To his dismay, Danzō was already going through the seals to launch another wave.
Running off to the side, he felt another wave brush against the edge of his collar. His mind was in disarray; he couldn't focus enough to even so much as attempt to go through the signs and use a technique he'd never even used before – especially under these circumstances!
As another wave caught his shin as sent him cascading to the ground, Danzō hummed once more, relaxing his aged frame and standing still in wait. Naruto gasped and held his shin. Blood quickly covered his hand and began to pool slightly on the floor.
"Get up and attack me. I have more than enough time."
Naruto trembled somewhat as he attempted to pull himself up from the ground – doing his very best to ignore the throbbing pain in his leg and the extremely noticeable discomfort that came from his defiant attempts to walk on it.
As soon as he was stable on his feet, Danzō nodded in approval and began going through signs once more – again, with a deliberately slow pace.
'I see what he's doing...' Naruto mused to himself. '...He's going through signs slowly on purpose to show me what to do, repeatedly.'
The barbarism of this training method was unquestionable, but there was a small figment of logic behind it. Fear was nothing but a tool designed by the human mind to motivate people into acting – whether it be in defiance or for one's survival.
Escape wasn't an option.
Taking a deep breath, Naruto ducked under yet another blade of wind. He felt a small tuft of hair go with it, but his mind was not quite so garbled now. He understood the stakes enough to disregard his fear, to an extend.
Going through hand signs, Naruto moved his head to the left, before whipping it back around and quickly exhaling through pursed lips.
Sadly, the only thing he blew out was carbon dioxide.
"Not good enough." Danzō beckoned. Naruto grit his teeth as he started running to the side in anticipation of the next attack. As expected, Danzō whipped another blast towards his centre of mass, forcing Naruto to crouch under it. He did not notice, however, that Danzō had swung his head back the other way.
The second blade of wind cut deep into his torso. Naruto screamed in pain as blood gushed from his chest. Danzō sighed to himself as he walked out of the room, with Naruto's consciousness leaving with him.
"Next time, then."
Flashback no Jutsu! Kai!
Coming back from such reminiscence, he focused his attention on the deceptively decrepit looking taskmaster.
"Your sense in battle is good. You know when to dodge and when to block – when to run and when to stay and fight. Now, you must improve your extrasensory skills."
Naruto arched a brow. Extransensory perception was generally considered to be a niche skill for locating enemy presences and determining the nature of chakras, and yet Danzō was speaking as though it was a combat skill.
"I see that you don't quite follow. Close your eyes." Danzō ordered. Begrudgingly, Naruto obeyed the directive. After a few moments of nothingness, he felt a strong force slam into him, throwing him back a few feet. He opened his eyes and met Danzō's own. "...your senses are good, but you do not use your sensory abilities to their potential. With sufficient training, you should be able to actively use sensory to augment your awareness of your surroundings; as a literal eye in the back of your head."
The concept was fairly simple in concept, but he couldn't deny that the benefits were endless. Full awareness of enemy position at all times? Being able to detect Ninjutsu without sight and determine their natures, strength and so on? A useful concept. But to train such a thing would be difficult.
In general, sensory perception was not a "passive skill"; it required the user to focus their chakra and actively search for outside presences. In the same way that one could use Ninjutsu without hand signs, it was theoretically possible to eliminate the need to actively focus, but it would be difficult no doubt.
"Can I really learn such a thing quickly?" Naruto questioned, deeply curious about the applications. Danzō lowered his head for a moment, idly raising his right arm and lowering it as though to weigh it.
"Sensory perception is rare enough that I have not seen this feat accomplished, but I believe you can do it – given sufficient motivation." The man said calmly. Naruto knew Danzō was not one to sugar coat something, so the vote of confidence was refreshing.
Before any real sense of immersion could be accomplished, a loud knock came from the entrance to the chamber. A small frown formed on Danzō's face as he knew they would be disturbed from their training.
"Enter!" He beckoned to the door. A few moments later, two Root agents that Naruto had become accustomed to seeing over the past few months barged in – Fū and Torune. He got the impression that they were Danzō's "top goons". "...Well, out with it."
The two men walked across the room and bowed before Danzō. Torune held out a scroll in front of him, to which Danzō quickly grabbed it and slid it open. Danzō skirted the scroll quickly, his eye being open for once, and nodded idly as he did so. With a satisfied hum emanating from his throat, he slid the scroll closed once more and put it into his robe.
"Excellent work you two..." Danzō stated with a small smile. The two men further bowed their heads before standing in place. He turned towards Naruto and frowned once more. "...Soramune. I'm afraid this demands my attention. Feel free to return to your chambers."
The three men then vacated the room, leaving Naruto alone. He could decipher that something big was going down – not once since he'd joined Root had Danzō allowed anyone to remain in this chamber without his presence. He felt tempted to do something without Danzō here as a form of childish defiance, but quickly shook off the idea and left the room.
Sasuke Uchiha was a smart, prodigious child. It has been well over a year since he graduated from the academy now, and he was now a few months past 14. He was standing at about 4 foot eleven these days, growing ever closer to an even 5. His overall appearance had matured since the time of graduation, though his hair had remained largely the same bar a minor length increase. He liked it how it was.
Despite his appearance being reminiscent of his younger self, his outlook and personality had fluctuated drastically. He was kind in his youth, before the death of his clan. He was angry and self-centred up and at the start of his Shinobi career. He'd become calmer and more acceptant of the way things were since coming to know Naruto and Team 7.
Naruto was largely responsible for him becoming unstuck from his hateful ways. He knew this well – he'd befriended the boy out of no will but his own. To say that the boy's disappearance annoyed him was elementary.
This disappearance had acted as a conduit for his anger and impatience to gradually return. As he sliced through another tree trunk with his Chidori, he could easily acknowledge this. A loud thunk resounded through the forest as the tree capsized. Sasuke was there, so it could be heard.
Acceptance and responsive action were two different things. He clung to his anger. It was easier than accepting his own powerlessness.
His Sharingan blazed as he ran as fast as his legs could take him through the forest, registering every minuscule detail as he passed. He was up to two tomoe in his left eye and three in his right these days. His reactions had improved greatly in tandem with his eye's powers.
'Not fast enough.' His mind seethed. He despised his own inadequacies. If he could not rely on others to protect themselves and those he was unable to protect himself, then there was only one answer.
He'd become strong enough to do it himself.
He threw himself forward, his feet leaving the ground and colliding with a thick three – a noticeable indent near its base where his foot connected once more, further scarring it.
Not fast enough.
He threw his body around counter-clockwise. His right foot raised perpendicular to the ground, he spun and slammed his heel into the tree once more. The tree buckled in place as its balance was compromised by the damage to its base.
Sweat poured down the boy's face as he scowled, bringing his hands down to rest on his buckled knees. Not strong enough. Not yet.
He raised back up and ran back the way he came. His strength and speed weren't enough. The Chidori wasn't enough on its own – his natural speed and strength needed to match its destructive power.
He spun on his heel, turning to face back the way he came. He lowered himself into a crouch, before shooting forward once more. His body left the floor as his foot collided with the tree. The bark shattered and the tree capsized. It fell forward towards the boy as he glared up at it in defiance.
Sparks flickered around his hand and quickly died. He'd weakened himself too much to use it again. He cursed his powerlessness once more as the tree came down on him.
Before he could be crushed, he felt a presence slam into him and carry him to safety. He grunted and shook his head as he came to realize what was happening, seeing red hair in his peripheral vision as his vision cleared from the disturbance.
"Karin?" He questioned. As she stood up and off him – noticeably angry – he felt somewhat... relieved.
"What the hell is the matter with you? You nearly killed yourself!" She ground out. He knew why she was angry of course – he'd almost crushed himself with a tree that he dislodged in the first place. Something within him squirmed at the concept of upsetting her.
An alien feeling crawled up his throat as scrambled to respond.
He was feeling guilty.
There was a strange sense of satisfaction that came from being correct about a gut feeling. Its like you feel a figment of knowledge is held within you that shouldn't exist – and that you're all the better for it. This was complete rubbish of course, but it was a fulfilling feeling.
Such was the feeling when Renta's squad comprised of Naruto, Sai and Sāra was summoned to Danzō's chamber – urgently. He knew not what was required of them, only that it was undoubtedly related to the scroll Danzō had received earlier in the week.
Since then, Naruto had been trying – with little success – to attain the "battle sense" that Danzō had theorized. It was as daunting as he first assumed.
Now Danzō was briefing their squad about whatever information he had come into possession of.
"As I'm sure you all know, Root exists to safeguard Konoha against threats while ensuring its dominance in the Shinobi world. To this end, we work in secrecy to eliminate anyone who threatens it and discretely gather things that can be used both for and against Konoha; documents, weapons, relics – anything that can used to better its standing; anything that could used against it."
As Danzō finished his little bout of exposition, Torune came over and handed him the very scroll Naruto saw in the training chamber. He threw it over to Renta who quickly caught it and opened it to investigate its contents.
"We've learned of a powerful relic that has been hidden in plain sight for an unknown period of time. Your squad is to wrest control of this relic and to ensure its power is used for the benefit of Konoha."
Naruto squinted his eyes. What kind of "relic" could have enough power to incite Danzō's attention? What would it even do? It was an oddity. He turned his eye to Sāra who was stood with her arms crossed, idly tapping her the index finger on her right hand against her arm. She glanced back at him, briefly nodding in his direction.
As Renta finished reading the scroll he nodded to himself and rolled it back up. He raised it slightly towards Danzō, who shook his head. He then placed it within a small pouch on his hip and walked in front of his squad.
"Everyone go back to your chambers and prepare to move. We leave at sunrise." The man said imposingly, his red eyes staring them down. Sāra and Sai both nodded and turned on an axis to face the door.
Something pressed at the back of Naruto's mind as he went through the details. As the rest of his squad vacated the room, with Sāra giving him a quick wave as she passed, he motioned to his squad leader.
"If I may, Renta, where is the relic located?" The question made Renta quickly pull the scroll back out to reaffirm the information before he turned back to Naruto.
"Yuki no Kuni (Land of Snow)." He said, before walking past Naruto and out of the room. Danzō was fussing with some files at the back of the room, so he didn't pay notice of Naruto's continued presence.
Something inside the boy's mind screamed at him to see what was in front of him; there was a word which resonated within his psyche.
Similar circumstances were occurring in Konoha. A few days had passed since the last mission Team 7 was assigned to and the awkwardness from their last mission had mostly faded. Sasuke thought back to the way Karin had scolded him – at length – for his outburst. To his annoyance, he couldn't ignore her.
"This may sound obvious, but I can't help but notice we're missing someone." Sakura said light-heartedly. Sasuke grunted at her for stating the office. She rebuffed him by poking out her tongue and squinting her eyes, to which he clicked his tongue in annoyance and looked the other way.
Most of the team had already gathered within Tsunade's office and they were just waiting on Haku to start the debrief for their next assignment.
"Eh, I could have sworn I told her we were needed..." Kakashi muttered to himself as he looked out the window and brushed his hand over his unruly hair. Tsunade growled at him in irritation, making him laugh nervously.
"If she doesn't turn up soon I'll simply need to debrief you three and you can just tell her la-"
Her statement was cut short by audible commotion taking place outside the room in the corridor. Some muffled apologies and sounds of running could be heard while other muffled statements blended into the mess.
The door to Tsunade's office sprung open and Haku quickly emerged through it, panting lightly. Tsunade raised an eyebrow and shot her an expectant glance. Haku's expression shifted in realization.
"Ah... excuse my lateness. I was running an errand." She said, embarrassed by the all the attention on her. Tsunade sighed, which was becoming common nowadays and leaned back in her chair.
Haku came into the room and shut the door behind her, falling in line with the rest of the squad. Sasuke glanced her way, before turning to face forward just as quickly. Sakura smiled at her mischievously, making Haku chuckle awkwardly... but being the late one was always awkward.
"Alright!" Tsunade exclaimed suddenly. "...Now that you're all here, I suppose we can get a move on. You're all here because we've had a lucrative assignment come in to escort an influential... how to say, media figure." She stated, conflicted about her phrasing. She noticed that the Genin seemed to understand what she was trying to say, fortunately for her.
Konohagakure wasn't know for its current level of technological advancement. All things considered, it was probably one of the more primitive Shinobi villages in the world at the current time. Despite this, technological advancements were steadily becoming more prevalent worldwide.
"For all intents and purposes, the risk involved is low. We're being paid for an A-Rank mission simply because of how much money they have to throw around – that, and they need to ensure the actress is protected to the utmost efficiency."
"So the person we're escorting is an actress?" Sakura asked, excitement flowing through her tone. There was something about famous figures which made people get all hot and bothered.
Sasuke shook his head; he couldn't understand the fascination with actors, actresses or all of the above. These people never turned out to be as good as they seemed.
"Yes. You will be escorting Yukie Fujikaze, who I am told plays the role of a character known as "Princess Fūn" in a popular movie series. It's as simple as that; stay near her as she records her next movie and ensure nobody attacks her."
Kakashi closed a small book and raised his head to face Tsunade. He'd been listening – somewhat – but wasn't fully engaged until then. He'd heard of this actress. If he remembered correctly, she was someone he'd met a long time ago, during his Anbu days.
"Say, where exactly will we be going for this assignment?" Kakashi asked, concealing his curiosity underneath an air of nonchalance. Tsunade looked down at a small dossier that she'd been given and skimmed the details.
"You will be meeting them in a nearby village and staying there overnight. After that, you'll supposedly be travelling by sea to Yuki no Kuni for the majority of the mission." She answered factually.
Kakashi smiled beneath his mask and closed his visible eye. Truth be told, he was uncertain about this mission already. If the actress was who he thought she was, this mission could provoke a great deal of trouble – especially if they were going near Yukigakure.
Trouble was stirring, and he wasn't a fan.
The sea was boring. Serene, calming even, but boring. The wonderful reflection of the Moon's light on the water did little to remedy this, though it was good for introspection.
These were the general musings of one "Soramune". Naruto didn't like the name, yet it was ironically becoming the moniker to which he identified by. "Naruto" was starting to become a distant memory.
He felt a small tinge of melancholy over the concept, but it was all a means to an end. The question he now had to ask himself was simple.
"Who, or what, am I?"
"I believe the correct answer is "an idiot", right?"
Naruto swallowed the desire to murder Sai right then and there. Nobody would know. He'd play it cool; "I miss the poor bastard already", he'd say. Ah, it would be great. Too bad he couldn't, since he was on a boat. People would notice Sai was gone, there'd be an investigation... too much trouble.
"Any particular reason you're bothering me Sai?" Naruto asked plainly. Sai hummed in thought, coming over to stand beside him and look out over the waters with him. He assumed it was done for effect; Sai wasn't the reflective type.
"Not really. Just killing time." The pale boy remarked. Naruto nodded in agreement.
"Can't fault you there."
Naruto shook himself of his doubts and turned his back to the water. He looked up at the boat's mast and hummed in thought, before idly jogging over to and up it. Sai paid no mind of the action.
'To think chakra adherence was so difficult back when I learned it.' Naruto thought to himself as he came to the top of the long pole. Once he came to a stop, he took a moment to drink in the vast nothingness around him.
He stood up there for longer than he knew. It was all in the balance; little chakra was required, if any. After a while, he noticed changes on the horizon.
Frozen water was beginning to come into view near a large blot of landmass. They had arrived. He looked down and saw Sai still stood where he left him. Probably on standby mode.
"Oi! We're close! Get the others!" He called down. He saw Sai look up and make a vague gesture of acknowledge before he disappeared into the belly of the vessel. It wasn't particularly large; a small ship was plenty for a team of four and a small selection of crew.
He dropped down off the pole thoughtlessly, letting his knees buckle somewhat as he hit the ground. For Shinobi, such things were commonplace.
Renta, Sai and Sāra emerged from below deck a few minutes later as Naruto watched the shore get closer. They appeared to be nearing a non-populated shoreline. It was logical that they wouldn't use a standard dock, given some thought.
He heard a yawn from behind him and turned to see Sāra fiddling with her outfit. They were all garbed in thick white cloaks to help ward off the cold. The snowy terrain and frostbitten air would slow them down without care if they did not plan ahead. Naruto and Sāra both wore darkly coloured scarves to keep their necks warm. Renta and Sai were seemingly unfazed by the cold.
Beneath these cloaks they each wore edited versions of the standard Root uniform. The standard flak jacket and black trousers were worn, but beneath the jacket they wore long-sleeved shirts with thicker materials. They all wore black gloves – no finger holes, to Naruto's disappointment – and black boots.
Lots of black, basically. Root wasn't prided on being fashionable.
"I told you not to take first watch. You know how long it takes you to wake up properly." Naruto remarked. Sāra's rebuttal was erased as she shivered besides him. He shook his head and discretely moved closer to her.
He couldn't have her freezing. Such was inefficient.
"Save the chit-chat for later. We have work to do."
Renta came up behind them – his massive frame towering over them. He looked comical surrounded by three youths. They were good, but that didn't change their age or bodily maturity. As they all came up to the edge of the ship, Sai smiled broadly and looked to each of them. Naruto wanted to castrate him every time he did it. His smiles were simply unnatural!
Rather than give the team time to complain, Renta threw himself off the ship and onto the water's surface. They needed to stay away from shore to ensure the ship wouldn't beach.
The other three followed suit, with Naruto giving Sāra a push to move her along. As she stumbled on the water, she shot a look his way. He somewhat wished they had put their masks on to avoid such a death glare. His donned a smile in rebuttal, making her huff and walk away towards the shore.
Coincidentally, as Renta neared the shore he did just that. Sai and Sāra quickly mimicked the action, with Naruto taking a moment to look back on the ship before donning his own. Play time was over – masks were on.
Time to get serious.
"Let's move. We're wasting the cover of night." Renta said, as they all took off through the snowy forest before them.
Sasuke briefly considered the prospect of becoming a magician, because his powers of assumption were off the charts. As he'd predicted, the actress they'd be tasked with escorting was – unsurprisingly – a massive pain in the ass.
He hadn't been so thoroughly irritated by a person's mere in presence in years. She was unbelievably pessimistic to the point where he was very tempted to tell her to shut up.
She was the client, so naturally he couldn't. He definitely wanted to, though.
The troublesome woman had run off a little while ago. Apparently she had an aversion to the Yuki no Kuni. Kakashi had a look about him when they were informed of this, but he wasn't sure why. He didn't really care enough to ask.
This was why, at this time, they were all off throughout the town looking for her. It was already well into the night, so she was wasting HIS sleep. He'd be extremely tempted to berate her this time.
"Tch. What a bi-" His comment was cut short by a slight glimpse of woman with long black hair. Hopefully it was her this time. He was damn tired from all the training he'd been doing recently.
He saw her duck into what looked like a bar, so he slowly followed behind her so as not to seem in a rush. Just as he was entering, someone bumped into him.
And there it went; the last straw.
"Watch it!" He seethed, swinging his head to the side only to be met with a familiar face. "...Oh. Haku." He muttered plainly. Damn her, she ruined his attempt to vent.
"Sorry Sasuke! I saw Yukie come in here so I rushed after her, but you must have had the same idea." Haku apologised. She seemed way more energetic than he was.
'Yeah. No kidding.' Sasuke though irritably. He just wanted this damn lady to lay off the salt and get back to her filming crew so he could sleep.
Shaking his head, he neglected a response and just walked into the bar. He could accept her apology later.
"Oi. Your crew is looking for you." Sasuke called over to the woman as he walked over. She swung her head around and muttered something to herself. Sasuke's Sharingan wasn't active, but he could tell it was some obscenity from her lips.
"That's just too bad. I have no interest in going to that barren, lifeless and cold country. I'm sure they can find another actress, things like this happen all the time." She said, swaying noticeably.
The woman was drunk. So much was obvious. She was being blunt and annoying. This was why alcohol made no sense to him; why dull your senses and make yourself so... honest? Ugh. Who needs it.
"I'm not interested in your problems, lady. I'm tired and we can't board the ship until you're on board. Besides, our mission is to escort you, not your replacement." Sasuke responded bitterly. She laughed hysterically in response for more than a few seconds. He growled under his breath as his patience thinned.
"And I don't care about your problems, kid. Go play on the swings on something." She mocked.
No wait, there it was. That was the last straw.
"Hey..." Sasuke said, feigning interest. She turned his way, an eyebrow raised in curiosity. Her eyes met two scarlet eyes with one ring in each, each containing tomoe shapes. As he widened his eyes a little further, she froze up and began to fall from her chair until Haku caught her.
"Sasuke, what did you do?!" Haku asked, panicked. Sasuke huffed in irritation. All the women were talking too loud.
"Relax, I just put her to sleep. She'll be fine, so let's get her to the ship before that needs to change, okay?" Sasuke asked. Haku could tell he was annoyed. Something that was becoming more common recently.
She sighed in defeat. Admittedly, it did make their job easier.
"Fine, but you're carrying her."
"I think I can work with that. In return, I'm taking first rest."
Renta's team trudged through the snow. The darkness masked their presence well enough to risk leaving tracks, and they weren't expecting opposition in these lifeless woods. Their intelligence on the region was solid enough.
The forestry in the region was surprisingly dense. It was a mixed blessing; on one hand it concealed their movements marvellously, but also stunted their sense of direction somewhat. Every tree seemed like a perfect copy of the last.
"Say Renta, where exactly are we headed? Do we know where the target is?" Sāra inquired. The mission was seemingly a little bit too "need to know basis" right now.
Renta held up his hand and stopped the group. He needed to tell them this anyway, so here was as good a place as any.
"Not yet. We're heading to the Daimyō's "manion", though it's more of a fortress. Our sources dug up information on the relic by infiltrating the his inner circle. We're gonna get the details from its source." He replied. Sāra put her hand on the bottom of her mask and nodded, drinking this in.
Sai, meanwhile, let out a hum. Renta turned his head to the boy expectantly. Sai put his hand under his right elbow and let the other arm loosely lean in the air.
"A Daimyō? That doesn't seem like the kind of person to know about some ancient relic of supposedly great power." Sai said, getting a word in. Renta nodded in agreement with an accompanying grunt.
"Exactly. His title is a smokescreen at best. He usurped the country by force and has acted as a glorified tyrant ever since." The man said. Naruto smirked behind his mask.
"Two birds with one stone then, eh? I like the sounds of this." He said. They could further their own mission while also bettering the-
"We're not here to save the country, Soramune. You'd do well to remember this."
Naruto's smirk faltered. He wasn't exactly surprised; Root cared little for any territories outside Hi no Kuni (Land of Fire). Still, to be presented such an easy opportunity and ignore it... it seemed a little monstrous.
"Aye aye, captain..." He said, hiding his conflicted thoughts.
They continued their trudge through the night.
"Hey, Chi. Weren't you meant to be off today?"
"Yeah. Turns out Kara had to take the day off, but she didn't say why. I was the closest replacement."
"That's too bad. It's a pretty chilly night – even here."
The two fell into silence. Such was commonplace when your only task was to stand in front of a door and guard it. Chi sighed, looking over to the man besides her. To be honest, she'd never met him, but he seemed to know her. Guard duty started to blur together after a while.
Ah, why didn't anything interesting ever happen?
Like a cosmic joke, the two noticed a shadow appear on the ground below them. Chi twisted her body and looked up to see what what appeared to be a... black snake?
Before she could speak or any of them could react, they found themselves entangled by the strange creatures which, on further analysis, seemed to be composed of ink. The snakes tightly wrapped around their torsos, mouths and legs as they both fell, squirming, to the ground.
A few moments later, a group of four masked Shinobi garbed in white dropped down from above. Chi found herself hating her own boredom as they drew near.
"Good work on disabling them quietly." The tallest man said, looking to a boy with black hair. Since they were all masked, no obvious features stood out besides contrasting hair colours.
One with white hair sighed audibly before pulling out a large blade over his shoulder.
"Geez, you could at least knock them out or something. Have to do everything around here..." He said, muttering the last sentence as he quickly bopped the man over the head and into unconsciousness.
Despite Chi's fear, she thanked her lucky stars that they would survive the night as he came and did the same to her.
"Alright, now what?" Naruto said as he looked back at the so-called fortress.
When Renta said "fortress", Naruto didn't exactly take it literally. Dotō's mansion? It was most definitely a fortress; the place was titanic – further emphasized by the fact that it was sitting on a plateau suspended far above the forest.
Infiltration could be more difficult than they'd assumed.
"Now we wait." Renta said seriously. Naruto was very tempted to question him when the door behind them swung open, causing the winds to surge forth into the new entrance.
As they turned, they were met with a woman with long black hair in a thick Haori. She had obvious make-up on and jewellery on her hands, around her neck and a few rings on her fingers.
"You must be our contact." Renta implied. The woman nodded and arched her neck to direct them to the door. They quickly followed after her and closed the door behind them, paying no heed to the unconscious staff outside. "...we've come for Dotō, where is he?"
"Finally, we're moving. I'm tired of wearing all this... nonsense." She stated with a disgusted frown. Naruto nodded mechanically, assuming that she was the one who infiltrated Dotō's inner circle. She'd need to dress the part, so it made sense. "He's currently in his chambers. It's near the top, but staffing is light tonight – you're welcome – so you shouldn't have too much trouble."
Renta nodded in appreciation. She pointed towards a door on the right and walked further down the room before disappearing into one of the other chambers. As they came to the gestured door, Renta stopped them.
"We're in enemy territory, so we need to be careful. Soramune, you're on sensor duty. Inform us of nearby patrols. Sai, you're in charge of disabling anyone in our way. Sāra... your our trump card. You know what to do."
Renta then put his hand on the handle of the door, looking at Naruto for confirmation before opening it. Naruto focused his senses and detected no presence, so he nodded to give the go-ahead.
They moved into the next room quietly, closing the door behind them. There was only one exit to the room, so they moved forward quickly, sticking to the wall for caution. Naruto was at the back, actively trying to sense enemy presences.
Once more, he felt nothing, so they moved into the next room once more. This time there was a staircase. Naruto felt two personnel above. Before they climbed the stairs, he signed out a "two" to the group and gave a rough point to where they were standing. Sai nodded and took out a scroll and brush before scribbling down several snakes and a few mice.
The stairs were fortunately blocked by a wall, so there was no risk of being seen climbing. As they reached the top, Sai animated his drawings, allowing the mice to run forward into the room.
"Eh? Where the hell did those damn rodents come from?" A voice within the room muttered, before sounds of stamping and clanging could be heard. Naruto nodded and Sai let the Snakes loose. Moments later sounds of surprise and muffled calls could be heard. Sāra moved over and whispered to each of them, and they both calmed down before losing consciousness.
She was good at Taijutsu, but her signature skill was "Spoken Genjutsu". She called it the Nangoai no Jutsu (Soft Word Trance Technique). She was very proud of it, and Naruto would freely admit that it held powerful potential.
They continued through the facility without issue. Most of the personnel were baseline Shinobi who were completely unprepared for a specialized and coordinated unit. One or two of them were smart or tenacious enough to make a fuss, but were quickly subdued by Renta's pure strength.
Before they knew it, they arrived at a very large door. Two of them flanked each side, and Naruto focused his chakra to "see" within. One presence. It had to be Dotō.
"He's there." Naruto whispered. Renta nodded and held up three fingers.
'Ah. The good old fashion rush strategy.' Naruto thought to himself.
Renta slowly counted down until clamping his fist tightly. Naruto and Renta then opened one of the double doors each and quietly ran across the room. They slowed down as they noticed the giant screen in the background.
Dotō was... watching a movie?
The movie was loud enough to mask the sound of the door, apparently. It was quite beneficial, really, since the four of them could then discretely stroll over to him. Dotō stirred as they obscured the video but as he tried to turn, Naruto quickly drew his blade and put it to the man's neck.
"What the hell is this? Who are you people?!" The man bellowed. He pushed back on Naruto's blade too quickly for the boy to react, but he was quickly met with Renta's fist before Sai's snakes entangled him "...Argh! Bastards... what do you want?! Let me guess, you're trying to be big shots by saving the people from the big bad tyrant. I have news for you, I'm the only thing keeping this country runni-"
He met Renta's fist again.
"Shut up and speak when spoken to." Renta declared coldly. Naruto tilted his head to the side; he couldn't doubt Renta's resolve, that was for sure. "...We're here in search of a relic hidden somewhere in the country. You know where it is and how to use it, and you're going to tell us."
"How do you... no. No. I see. You aren't some thugs. I know when I'm beat. Tell you what, you there, black haired guy, go over to that desk over there and grab the map." He said.
He'd become surprisingly... docile. Sai looked to Renta for confirmation, and the man nodded. Naruto was very tempted to tell him to be careful, but Sai getting blown up was sounding pretty nice right now.
Sai opened the desk up and flicked through a few documents before finding the map in question. He went over and passed it to Renta who looked it over before putting it before Dotō.
"We'll find it here?" He inquired, pointing towards a circled area. Dotō nodded with a smile.
"Yes, of course. There's something you'll need to know as well. You see her, on the screen?" He said, tilting his head towards the movie on-screen. There was a black haired woman currently on screen. "...she has something you'll need to use it. You'll need to find her yourselves though, I have no idea where she is. Look for a hexagonal crystal."
Naruto's eyebrow arched. Hexagonal Crystal? That sounded similar in nature to the Shodai's Necklace. If they were connected...
"If you're misleading us, we'll be back." Renta said with finality. Dotō nodded profusely as Naruto's group left the room.
Once the doors shut behind him, Dotō let out a laugh.
"Oh yes, feel free to get the Crystal. I'll be more than happy to let you all do the work for me."
After sufficient investigation, it seemed Dotō was correct. The relic was indeed located where the map indicated, but there was a hole in the pedestal located there that seemed to be a perfect fit for a "Hexagonal Crystal".
Renta was somewhat irritated at the discovery. They'd accomplished what they came here to do; to get the necessary information from Dotō, but they hadn't been able to locate the key. Alas, it seemed like they'd need to report back to Danzō and move from there.
As they came over a mountain, they saw a harbour where their ship was docked. The plan had been to extract in a populated area, since it would seem less conspicuous after they let the country's Daimyō alive and capable of searching for them.
The featureless beach they arrived from would've been difficult to find anyway.
Pulling out a pair of binoculars, Naruto noticed a second ship at the harbour, a bit larger than their own. He saw several people leaving the ship, one of which was particularly notable.
"Woah, isn't that the person from the movie?!" Sāra exclaimed in disbelief. Renta quickly took her Binoculars off her and looked for himself. Conveniently enough, it was indeed the same woman. Renta let out a satisfied hum as he realized his mission hadn't failed yet.
He hummed again. Naruto knew it was one of irritation, so he took another look. Behind his mask, his face froze.
Team 7 was here. His team... was here. Despite this, he wasn't looking at them.
With them, was a girl who looked strangely familiar. She wore a Haori similar in nature to a Kiri Hunter nin.
A four-pronged pinwheel was briefly mirrored in his own eye.
Hope you guys don't mind the flashbacks. I needed to establish some plot without starting in the "past" (forward from the last chapter, but still).
I promised the first Naruto Movie. I didn't say how I'd use it.
Anyway... Review, Favourite and/or Follow, if such is your will.
Nangoai no Jutsu (Soft Word Trance Technique): The user focuses chakra to their vocal chords before uttering words laced with a Genjutsu. Anyone who hears the spoken word(s) will be affected in a variety of ways, depending on the user's preference. (C-Rank. Supplementary. Genjutsu)