Defying Fate: The Forgotten Son

Disclaimer: Yeah I still don't own jack…



'Demon/Summon thinking'

"Demon/Summon talking"

Technique name

Chapter 9: Chuunin Exam Finals and INVASION!

The day of the Finals was one of bright and cheery faces for the most part in Konoha. There were of course the random few civilians who weren't quite as enthused, but they were few and far between. If you knew what to look for though, the Shinobi and Kunoichi of Konoha were on edge and for good reason. The Hokage had decided to let the ANBU and the Jonin in on the plans that they were making to counter the traitorous Snake Sennin's plan to attack Konoha.

Unknown to Orochimaru and the Suna Shinobi, Kabuto and Baki, Orochimaru's right hand man and the Suna Trio's Sensei respectively, had been taken captive the night before and ruthlessly interrogated. Kabuto had been executed and his corpse burned, while Baki had been questioned and then had a temporary control seal applied by Kushina and Ikari, which oddly enough had helped to build a bridge between the estranged mother/son pair. One thing had led to another, and before the two of them knew it, they were collaborating on a Jinchuriki Chakra Interruption seal, since the both of knew that if they could keep Gaara from interacting with his Bijuu that they could deny the invaders one of the lynchpins of their invasion plans.

That had at least opened the door to far less stressful interaction between Ikari and his birth mother; after all, she had listened to her husband instead of following one of the Uzumaki Clan's primary rules, which was: Family First, Family Last, and Family Always. It was a start, as it gave them some common ground to start from, since both Clans were well versed in seals and kenjutsu.

Once they had it completed, Ikari had some of his clones create a dozen of them, leaving half of them with Mikoto to pass on to her youngest, who was facing off against Gaara in the Finals, leaving the other half with Ikari since he would be the Proctor for the finals. Since it had been super late, they called it a night and Kushina left for the house that Mikoto had given to her and her daughters, since they had had nowhere to go when the divorce was completed. Turning in for the night as well, Ikari and his fiancées both slept quite well for the first time in weeks.

Stadium, Konoha

Standing tall in the center of the Arena, Ikari looked around him at all the people who were in attendance and smiled. If everything went as the Hokage had planned, they would come out of this alright, and with the most wanted of Konoha's nukenin dead. Everything would be a win-win for the most part, at least, as long as they could keep the casualties on their side to a minimum.

Casually glancing around as the Chuunin hopefuls started to filter into the stadium, the young Jonin snickered silently as he thought about the surprise that he and Kushina had come up with at the last minute. There was a seal that was hidden on the fake Kazekage's seat, one that when activated would permanently seal away the person in contact with its chakra. Silently laughing as he greeted the examinees, he acknowledged the subtle nod he had gotten from Sasuke, realizing that he had received the tags.

Turning and bowing to the Kage Booth, Ikari straightened up and spoke in a loud, clear voice. "Hokage-sama, all the examinees are present. Are we ready to begin?"

Receiving a clear nod, and the tiniest of smirks, Ikari turned to face the seats where the Daimyo and all their more noble guests were seated and bowed once more, this time slightly deeper. "Greetings to you, Daimyo-sama, noble guests, and all other visitors to Konoha for the Finals of our Chuunin Exams, where the twelve finalists will fight with their skills and their wits in order to prove that they have what it takes to take their career as proud Shinobi and Kunoichi to the next level and receive a promotion. I, Sōjin Ikari, Jonin of Konohagakure, will be the Proctor for this event, and as far as the examinees are concerned, my word is law in this event."

Turning his attention to the Genin, he flared his KI before speaking again. "If any of you disobey my instructions or dispute my rulings you will learn firsthand why I am referred to as the Chi no Akuma Kitsune."

Reigning in his intent once more, he stood tall and proud as he announced the first match. "Uzumaki Natsumi and Hyuuga Neji remain here for the first match, everyone else disperse to the competitor's seating area."

Standing where he was, he watched as the other Genin left the arena, and turned his attention to the remaining two Genin. Hyuuga Neji was standing there ramrod straight, arrogantly assuming that he was going to be the winner of this match. Uzumaki Natsumi stood to the other side of him in a loose, easy stance, anticipating what the match would bring. Raising his hand, he brought it down swiftly and moved back to the edge of the arena, and then spoke one word, "Hajime!"

Both of the Genin leapt backwards and assumed a taijutsu stance, Natsumi in the Uzuken, and Neji in the Jyuken. Charging forward, Neji activated his clan's Dojutsu, the Byakugan, and began his assault, arrogantly thinking that he would be able to end this match quickly.

What Neji didn't know, was that the Uzuken, or the Whirlpool Fist, was one of the only taijutsu styles that could counter and even defeat the Jyuken of the Hyuuga. There were only a few of the Hyuuga living who had ever fought against an Uzumaki, and they were solemnly shaking their heads as they watched the downfall of the Hyuuga Prodigy.

To his shock, not a single one of his chakra-laced strikes hit their target, as the kunoichi swirled and flowed around the strikes like the waters of her Clan's destroyed home. Of the two Uzumaki sisters, Natsumi was the more deadly of the two in taijutsu and fuinjutsu, and Natsuko was more dangerous with kenjutsu and ninjutsu. After a few minutes of avoiding him altogether, she then started deflecting his hits instead of just dodging, and after she had seen that he had adjusted to it, applied her chakra to her next couple of blocks and then back flipped out of range and held up a single hand in a modified ram seal.

The effects were immediately noticeable, as Neji's arms slammed into the ground, followed by his face, as the seals that Natsumi had scribed on his skin with her chakra took effect. After a moment, the crowd roared with applause at the move, while Ikari moved closer to examine the seals. Taking one look at them, he almost immediately turned away from Neji and spoke loudly so he could be heard above the crowd. "Shōsha, Uzumaki Natsumi!" Motioning for her to stop her flow of chakra, he stepped aside and allowed the medics to take Neji away, and waited for Natsumi to leave the arena to summon the next two Genin.

In the stands near the Kage Booth, the Jonin Sensei stood there in shock, while Kushina was cheering her daughter's victory. Maito Gai approached her and was stunned beyond belief. Thankfully Kushina had beaten the man to the punch, as she had no tolerance anymore for his…unique mode of speech. "Water flows around, over, and eventually through Earth, Gai. Then the seal she used is a modified temporary prisoner seal that multiplies the gravity five times normal." Gobsmacked, the Taijutsu master slowly walked away, completely stunned that his student had been so overwhelmed and overmatched even before the match had begun.

Back in the arena, Ikari called out the next two Genin who would be fighting, "Uchiha Setsuki and Dosu, front and center in the arena, as it's time for your match!" Setsuki appeared in a pillar of flames, and turned to wait for her opponent; though in the end she would be disappointed as he had not shown up. Declaring her the winner by forfeit was a bitter taste, but a win was a win, after all. Sending her up to the seats once more, he waited a moment before calling out the next two Genin, and was disappointed once again as the second he had finished the names, the Genin from Suna stood and forfeited. Scowling at that, he grumbled under his breath at the Suna Genin, before announcing the victor as Aburame Shino.

"Nara Shikamaru and Sabaku Temari, get down here now and fight it out," as it was, it was almost more than he could do not to growl out his command. Seconds later he had a rather more attentive Nara than he had seen before, as well as a rather fetching beauty from Suna there in front of him. Turning from one to the other, he nodded and jumped back, as he shouted out "Hajime!"

Almost as soon as he finished the first syllable, Temari had the fan off her back and had whipped it around in an attack. A burst of wind chakra flowed from the edges of it, forming into blades that were barely visible to the naked eye, but they hit nothing as Shikamaru had seen what was coming and had substituted with a rock behind Temari. By the time she had realized that he wasn't there, it was already over, as he had frozen her in place through a jutsu that he had come up with his Sensei while working on learning how to implement a pair of chakra knives into his clan's style of techniques. "I would call it now if I were you, Ikari-sensei, because she won't be able to move until my weapon is removed from her shadow."

Taking his sweet time in walking over to where the Nara had placed his weapon, Ikari re-assessed the Genin that he had berated before the second stage of the exams. There was a certain air about him now, one that hadn't been there before, and it was quite similar to his own: a presence about him that said that he would do anything and everything to keep those precious to him safe, even if it cost him his own life. Nodding to Shikamaru, the proctor examined what he had done and smirked at the Nara.

"Damn clever bastard, well done Nara-san; Shōsha, Nara Shikamaru!" Then calmly lifting one of his sandaled feet, the young Kitsune Summoner caught the trench knife by one of the finger holes and flicked in Shikamaru's direction and pointed the way back to the seats for Temari.

Once more there were stunned looks and a satisfied Jonin-sensei, only this time it was Sarutobi Asuma whose face was lit up in a smug grin as he gave his student a slow golf clap. Turning towards Kurenai, who along with Mitarashi Anko, were sitting nearby, he calmly and gently closed her mouth which was hanging open, only to get her to blush and turn away from him.

In the Kage Booth, Itachi was smirking as he had seen his own student's influence in both the actual fights that had taken place. He had mentioned in passing to the fake Kazekage that it wasn't very impressive for him to have brought his children here for this event and have them show so poorly, as it reflected badly on him and his village. Receiving a non-committal grunt in response, he knew that he had gotten to the Sennin underneath the disguise, and relished the opportunity to finally put an end to the traitor's life. It was a distinct advantage that they had over Orochimaru, having been able to capture his right hand man and wring him dry of all the information he had on him. The best part of the plan was about to unfold, as he'd had Ikari place a genjutsu over the four six-tailed Kitsune who were waiting for his signal to capture or kill the four bodyguards that the Snake Sennin had brought with him.

Patience was something that Itachi knew well, and with the info that they had on the Invasion plans, he knew the hand signs to watch for which were to signal for it to begin, and he would end it before it truly had a chance to begin, by activating the seal tag on his chair, which as it just so happened, was also the signal to the Kitsune to act. 'Clever, Ikari, very clever…'

Having cleared the arena once more, the Jonin summoned the next two fighters to the arena, his voice ringing out clearly as he barely raised his volume; "Sai and Uzumaki Natsuko, to the arena now for your fight."

Less than a minute later the two Genin were in front of him, and he was once again taking a leap backwards as he commenced the battle, "Hajime!"

They stood there for a moment as the breeze whipped around them, and as a single leaf blew in between them, they sprang into action once the leaf hit the ground. Sai whipping out his sketch pad flipped it open to one of the pre-made drawings that he had drawn out shortly before the match and making a single hand seal, ran his chakra through the drawing. Almost immediately there were six tigers that formed from the ink and as they leapt from the paper, charged Natsuko.

Calmly drawing her sword, Natsuko waited to see what her opponent was planning, and once she had seen the tigers start to form, she immediately formed a shadow clone and utilized a rapid kawarimi with a leaf directly behind Sai. As soon as she was behind him she was already in motion, swing her blade downward in an attempt to disable him, but unfortunately for her, she wasn't quite as stealthy as she had thought. Rapidly he turned and blocked her katana with his chokuto, and then began to engage her in swordplay.

Back and forth they moved across the dirt of the arena, neither gaining the advantage of the other, until they finally separated and began going through hand seals at a rapid pace.

Up in the stands, Kushina and Kakashi both smirked, as they knew from his own Genin days that unless you have the reserves of a Kage, you won't come away from trying to go toe to toe with an Uzumaki in ninjutsu unscathed.

Just as they had predicted, it was only minutes later that Sai faltered for a moment, and Natsuko wrapped him up in her Chakra Chains and held her katana to his throat after disarming him of his chokuto. "Sai, I would prefer not to have to wound or kill a Konoha shinobi, surrender. There is no way that you can escape, as my chakra chains drain any chakra that you use outside of living, and your hands are pinned which won't allow you to make any hand seals."

Nodding, the ROOT operative turned his head to the Proctor and spoke clearly, "Proctor, I surrender."

Calling out that Uzumaki Natsuko was the victor took only a moment, and then while Natsuko aided Sai off the field and over to the medics, Ikari took this moment in time to announce the final match of the first round. "The final match of the first round is Sabaku Gaara versus Uchiha Sasuke, both of you get down here so that we can get this match started."

For the first minute or so after he had told them to begin, they simply stood there staring each other down, before bursting into action as Gaara opened up with Suna Shuriken. A couple of seconds later Sasuke whipped through a short series of hand seals and called out his response, "Raiton: Fukusū no Kaminari Tanken!" As he brought his hand up to his mouth, he inhaled deeply before exhaling through his lightning chakra enhanced fist and slowly sweeping his face from side to side. As he forced the air through his clenched hand, dozens of daggers about six inches in length were formed from his lightning natured-chakra and went flying quickly towards his opponent and his jutsu. The lightning pierced and destroyed the shuriken that were heading his way, and yet there were still a couple dozen of them left which were headed towards Gaara. Pulling up his sand into a dome around him, he was unable to see what his opponent was doing for a few vital seconds that would ultimately cost him the match.

As soon as Sasuke saw that the Ichibi Jinchuriki was hiding behind his sand, he quickly flared his chakra as he held the same fist that he had charged the lightning chakra through earlier in a half-ram seal, at the same time as he started sprinting forward. Since the daggers were still connected to his chakra they were infused with a significant portion of his chakra, and the glow they put off brightened.

Watching from the stands, Gaara's siblings were starting to worry, as they had never seen anyone pierce through his sand like this Konoha Genin had, and if he were set off badly enough, he would release his transformation here, and would do a lot of collateral damage to their own forces.

Following the daggers to his target, Sasuke wedged his hand in behind largest of the openings left by his jutsu, and seeing his opportunity, placed the one of the tags he had been given on the Suna Genin's neck and quickly got some distance between them before activating the tag. The effects were almost immediate as he briefly flared his chakra, while holding his hands together in the ram seal. There was a brief flash of what felt like pure, undiluted evil before it was cut off and all the sand dropped, leaving Gaara completely defenseless for the first time that he or his siblings could remember.

As the younger Uchiha brother knocked out Gaara, up in the Kage Booth things were going all wrong for the Snake Sennin. It was as he had decided to initiate the assault and began flashing the hand signal to begin the invasion that he felt immensely weakened, and in his shock at feeling his chakra disappear, he didn't pay any attention to the fact that his four guards were taken out, and by the time he had it was already too late.

Flaring his chakra to the ANBU, Itachi had the traitor dead to rights, as he held his personal chokuto to Orochimaru's throat. Down in the arena, Ikari got the signal right after having announced that Sasuke was the victor, and in response he began flaring his chakra in the predetermined pattern to alert his fellow Jonin to begin the battle plan. At the same time, there was an explosion from a good distance away, that caught everyone's attention, and that was when everything went to hell.

The Jonin of Konoha had had just enough prior warning to position themselves where they could best protect the civilians and visiting dignitaries, and began fighting off the Suna and Oto forces, even though there was only a handful, having had their invasion plans thoroughly derailed.

Back in the arena, Ikari and Sasuke were fighting back to back while they were slowly making their way towards the section where the Genin had been seated. Once they had gotten close enough, the Jonin caught the Genin's eyes and nodded, before ensuring that his grip on the Suna Jinchuriki was secure, and then they both jumped onto the wall and ran up the wall towards their compatriots. The sight that they saw upon their arrival wasn't quite what they had expected, but it was still workable.

Both of the other Sabaku siblings had been knocked out and secured, along with their sensei, and they had turned their position into an easily defended bastion while waiting for someone to come along and give them some directions. "Shikamaru, Shino, Sasuke and Sai you four are to seal these four into scrolls," pausing here just long enough to pull four stasis sealing scrolls out and toss them at the four Genin he had named. "Then as one squad, go to where the other Jonin are and assist them as they tell you."

Turning to the other three as he dropped Gaara from his shoulder, he quickly appraised them before giving all of them orders as well. "Natsuko, Natsumi, and Neji you three are with me. We will be making our way to the Kage Booth where we will be receiving our orders from the Hokage. Aim to kill our enemies, not wound or incapacitate. Let's move out." Running at a low Chuunin speed so that they could all keep up, they ended up picking up a couple more people en route to the Hokage's position.

A few bloody fights later, they were standing in front of the Hokage, who was debating how to get rid of the traitor permanently. Without taking his eyes off of Orochimaru, Itachi caught the stasis sealing scroll and swiftly sealed the Snake Sennin into said scroll. Then, turning towards the six of them, he gave them their orders. "Ikari, I need for you to take your people and head towards the North Gate and assist the defenders there in pushing the enemy back. That seems to be the only place that they have broken through, as the Oto shinobi there were the only ones to get off their snake summon and the snake managed to break through the wall before being dispelled. I will send someone after you if your orders are to change. Get moving…"

With a quick nod to the Hokage, they turned and left following Ikari's lead, tossing a few shuriken here, a kunai there, until the North Wall was in sight. There they paused as they could see a large number of Suna and Oto shinobi headed towards the breach. Turning towards the Genin, he smiled gently at them before giving them their orders. "Neji you and Natsuko will take the left, Haku and Setsuki you will take the right, and Natsumi you're with me down the center. We have no time for heroics, flashy jutsu or long-winded speeches, so I'll say this once: Watch each other's backs and go for the sure kill. Let's move out…"

Getting nods all around him, they split up as he had designated and immediately leapt to the aid of the many Chuunin that were already fighting off the invaders. Neji led off with a chakra-laced strike to the back of one Oto Jonin's head and flowed into his clan's taijutsu style to begin cutting a swath through the enemies numbers, while Natsuko began flicking her chakra chains around, swatting away both kunai and shuriken as well as jutsu. Since they were being deflected instead of blocked, she was able to wound or kill many of their enemies by controlling the angles of the deflections.

Off to the right flank Haku and Setsuki were utilizing kunai made from ice and genjutsu to eliminate whole teams of enemies, as one of them would cast the genjutsu, while the other would finish them off. Combining the use of their Dojutsu as well as the usual method for utilizing genjutsu, they swapped back and forth cutting down their enemies, fighting like tigresses for their home. As they passed them, the other shinobi and kunoichi of Konoha rallied around them and pushed forward once more, fighting with newfound vigor.

Then you had the center where Ikari and Natsumi were moving fluidly around each other, moving like twin whirlwinds around, over, and even through their enemies as they employed their taijutsu styles with a pair of kunai in their hands. Having eliminated the majority of the shinobi that had been winning due to sheer numbers minutes ago, Ikari quickly looked over the Chuunin and Jonin who had been saved by his small group. The majority of them only had a few light wounds, but there were a few that were in pretty bad shape, so he quickly bit his thumb and ran it over his left forearm and summoned three four tailed Kitsune. "Tsutaurushi, Yanagi, and Hasu I need for you to heal the worst of the injuries, and get them mobile again, then spread out and assist our wounded wherever you find them, understood?"

Receiving three loud affirmative answers, he nodded and then motioned for the other five of his squad to regroup. Once he had everyone around him, he looked them all over and checked them for wounds, and only found superficial wounds at best. "Everyone doing alright on chakra, yes?" and in response he received positive answers, he then turned towards Haku and Setsuki and smiled his foxy grin. "It's time to put your summoning skills to the test, as I would like some allies to help us. Setsuki, we'll need six mid-level eagles with which to enhance or collaborate our attacks with, and Haku," here his grin grew, "You and I are going to summon the Horde and the Kuro Hogo-sha, to help us put the fear of Kami herself into the enemies of Konoha."

Smirking at their fiancé in turn, they quickly explained to their teammates about the respective summons, and then began summoning the eagles and foxes. All around them there was a massive cloud of smoke and a pair of female voices roared/screeched out in confusion. Ikari quickly bowed to his summons before calling out to them, and getting their attention. Recognizing the Eagle as well as the leaders of the Horde and the Kuro Hogo-sha, he called out to them by name. "Sensō-fū, Itazura, Hōzuki; we, your summoners have called you here to aid us in our time of need. Konoha, our home, has come under attack and we need your assistance in driving them out."

Raising his head, he saw the predatory gleam in their eyes, and relaxed mentally as he looked over the ranks of the summons. The Horde was a group of fifty of the two and three tail Kitsune who were among some of their most spirited fighters and genjutsu specialists; while the Kuro Hogo-sha, or the Black Guardians, contained twenty of their most elite warriors who without exception were six and seven tails. These Kitsune were the equivalent of the Black Ops level ANBU, and they were always ready to put their skills to use.

Nodding to their summoner, Hōzuki assumed command of the Kitsune that were present while Sensō-fū turned his attention towards his summoner. "What would you ask of us Ikari-sama?" Thinking for a moment, he turned towards the breach in the wall, and surveyed it for a moment before turning back to the Washi Clan summon. "What I need from you my friends is to ensure the safety of those who are atop the wall, along with ensuring that their jutsu do the maximum damage to the enemy. I will be briefing the commander of your prowess with Fuuton jutsu, so that they can coordinate and collaborate with you on their attacks."

Getting nods from the eagles' right before they took off, Ikari turned towards the Kitsune, and smirked. "Let's get wild…" right before taking off for the wall, leading the charge of summons and shinobi towards the breach in said wall. Once they were close enough, he leapt onto one of the nearby roofs, before roof-hopping to the wall and the nearest cluster of shinobi, who just so happened to have the elder Ino-Shika-Cho trio in command. Bowing to Shikaku, the Jonin Commander, he quickly explained his orders from the Hokage, as he also listed the shinobi he had with him, and then just as quickly rattled off the numbers and relative strength of his summons as well as the Washi Clan's ability in Fuuton jutsu. Once the Nara clan head had heard everything he needed to, he paused for a moment and then nodded to the younger clan head before speaking. "Ikari-kun, if you could have the Horde help evacuate the wounded, and then accompany the other Kitsune in to demolish their center, we can eliminate the rest of them with assistance from the Washi."

Taking just a moment to look at the battlefield and plan for the combat to come, he turned back to Shikaku and nodded before jumping back down off the wall, and handing out assignments. "Itazura-chan, my squad and I, accompanied by Hōzuki and the Kuro Hogo-sha, will be leading a counter attack into the center of their forces to open them up for a counter attack from the flanks. I have been tasked with asking you and your Kitsune to aid us by evacuating the wounded so that they can receive the treatment needed for them to survive. Will you do this for me?"

Looking at her subordinates, she gave him a big grin and nodded. Turning his attention to his human squad, he smiled as he gave out his orders. "Neji and Natsumi I need you two to ensure that we don't get flanked, as Haku, Setsuki, Natsuko and I am going to be in the center as our ninjutsu heavy hitters with the Kitsune to our left and right. We are Konoha shinobi and kunoichi, and summons, so pair up and watch each other's backs so that we all come back alive!"

His pep talk over, he then turned away and began to run towards the breach, grasping onto a pair of ice kunai before throwing them and running through a few hand seals and thinking his jutsu mentally, 'Hyouton: Kōri Kunai Kage Bunshin.' As the two kunai blurred and turned into several dozen, the smirks that were on the faces of their enemy slowly fell, and unnoticed to everyone else, Ikari went through a couple more hand seals and with a feral grin on his face, spoke the next jutsu aloud, "Hyouton: Kōri Keimusho Bakuhatsu!" Wherever an ice kunai had landed there was a small explosion and then the area ten meters around the kunai flash froze; turning flesh, blood, grass and even trees into solid blocks of ice.

Then in came the attacks of the Kitsune, who smashed through the blocks, shattering their enemies, and deflecting weapons with their tails, before pairing off and jumping into the fray. As it turned out, they ended up in four person teams, which in the case of Ikari and the Genin, ended up with two ningen and two Kitsune teamed together, and the rest of the foxes stayed in pairs and began to press into the enemy ranks. The battle began to turn in Konoha's favor ere long, and only the most crazed and bloodthirsty of their enemies remained on the battlefield after about twenty minutes.

It was as the battle was winding down that Ikari twitched and moved away from his squad, and just in time as a pale, white haired young man landed right where he had been standing. Seeing the Curse Mark on his neck told him all that he needed to know about whose side this guy was on. Using sign language, he convinced all but Neji to head back for help, as this was going to be no easy battle.

Ignoring the, to him, fleeing Genin, the newcomer focused on Ikari and assessed him in a glance. "Why do you stand in my way, trash? You must desire to die, standing in my way like you are…"

"My name is Sōjin Ikari, you might have heard of me differently though, so does the moniker Chi no Akuma Kitsune ring any bells for you?"

Seeing the man's eyes widen just a fraction made him smirk as he active his Dojutsu to assess the man's reserves. As he had thought, the man's reserves were close to his own in size, as the foul, tainted chakra provided by the corrupting influence of the Curse Mark had forcefully expanded his own natural coils far beyond what they should be normally.

"My name is Kaguya Kimimaro, remember it as I send you to meet the Shinigami!" was the last thing he said as he lurched forward into a charge, drawing a bone from his shoulder that formed into a blade in his hand.

Swearing up a storm inside his head, he sheathed his normal blade, and drew a slightly different blade from a storage seal on the back of his left gauntlet. Unfortunately for Ikari, seeing what appeared to be his Lord's sword Kusanagi in someone else's hands drove the last Kaguya into a fury, and caused him to speed up as he fired off some bone bullets. "Teshi Sendan…"

The one thing that Kimimaro didn't realize yet though was the moment that he'd met Ikari's eyes, he'd been subjected to a genjutsu attack, one that had been collaborated on by all three of the tiny clan. It was a two-part attack through the use of the Nise Shūhen: Utsusu and a new S-Rank jutsu that he had created called: Sōjin Hijutsu: Nō no bi chōsei. This second part of the combination was a slow-acting but ultimately lethal genjutsu that rewired the brain by tweaking the autonomic processes and causing them to slow down the breathing and heartbeat little by little, until they finally just quit working.

The beauty of this particular jutsu was that it was so subtle an attack and used so very little chakra, (the chakra flowing into the brainstem, and required an astronomical amount of control to pull off, that by the time anyone would have noticed that there was even a genjutsu in play; it would be too late as the damage would be done, and the more the target exerted themselves, the faster their heart and lungs would slow down.

As it was now, Ikari felt that he'd allowed enough time for the jutsu to take effect, but knew that the longer he was able to confuse and draw him into a drawn out confrontation the better off he would be. He could only hope to hold out until either assistance came or he wore down his opponent enough to finish him off. Shaking his meandering train of thought off, Ikari was just in time, as Kimimaro had finally realized something was off and had bitten his lip and cycled his chakra simultaneously, getting rid of the genjutsu that had been in use, but due to the slightly heavier breathing, he knew that the Kaguya was done for.

Growling at the piece of trash that had cost him so much of his energy, he pulled another bone from his arm and assumed a stance before growling out his technique, "Yanagi no Mai…"

Taking a moment to assess his opponent, Ikari couldn't help but smirk internally, as he may not know this particular style, but he did recognize the purpose behind it, and it was a defensive style meant to draw out an attacker and either wear them down or analyze their style to be able to mount a counterattack. In this case he felt that it was more the former and less than likely to be the latter, but why not take a chance and get a good fight out of it while it lasted?

Charging towards each other like a pair of bulls, they swiftly began their kenjutsu battle, and the remaining fights around them slowly started to stop just so they could watch the two swordsmen duel. Back and forth their battle raged, attack and parry, followed by attack and a block; they slowly circled one another, their pride as swordsmen causing them to not use any other type of attack.

Ten minutes passed, and several Jonin had come to assist Ikari, having been flagged down by the Genin who had been put under his command. Fortunately the battle was already winding down inside the village, and the first Jonin that they had run across had been Hatake Kakashi, Sarutobi Asuma, Uzumaki Kushina and Morino Ibiki.

Luckily enough for them, Haku was already a Chuunin and thus was in far better shape than the Genin, and was able to relay the situation and what had happened since they had been put under his care. Urging the Genin and Chuunin to lead them to where Ikari was hadn't taken much to convince them, and they arrived just as the battle was really heating up, as they started throwing around ninjutsu as well as attacking each other with their blades. The last Kaguya had sent a couple of bones from his forearms shooting his direction, as he yelled out the jutsu "Ryū no Yari!"

Ducking and dodging, Ikari somehow managed to get past the attack with only a couple of scratches, but grinned in a feral manner as he watched the Oto shinobi stumble as he had apparently tried to activate his curse mark and no longer had the strength to attempt it. As a matter of fact, the last few attacks, while still at or above Jonin level in strength, had felt sluggish and somewhat weaker than normal. Chuckling aloud, he noticed the confused looks and glare that he was getting, and he decided to announce his opponent's impending doom. "Do you feel your pulse weakening, your breathing taking more and more effort as your heart slowly ceases to work? Yes? That is the skill of the Sōjin clan, along with our Kekkei Genkai our skill with genjutsu is second only to the Kurama Clan as far as humans go, and you are dying thanks to a genjutsu. There is no stopping the effects, no cure, just the slow, silent death…" here he paused, judging the last Kaguya, and smiled fiercely.

"One last attack, give me everything you have Kaguya Kimimaro, and I will give you a clean death, instead of the creeping silent death you have been dealt…"

Clearing his face of all emotion, Orochimaru's most fanatical follower raised his blades and dropped them before grasping at his spine, which he had protruding from the base of his neck, as he whispered the name of his final attack. "Tessenka no Mai…" and then he was a blur of motion as he charged forward to attack his final foe; who had become a similar blur racing towards him as well.

Closing in on the last of his home's enemies, he focused his Shakuton Kekkei Genkai through the sword, causing the chakra to spiral around the blade faster and faster until the flames were white hot, and yet, they gave off no heat. Chuckling mentally at the insanity of trying out untested techniques like this in battle, he calmly spoke the technique aloud, "Shakuton: Seishin Shakunetsu no ken."

In truth, if Kimimaro had been in his right mind he would have noticed several things that might have kept alive a little while longer. The first was that his weapon stopped responding to the commands of his chakra in larger and larger segments the more times it was struck by his opponent's sword. The next was that the initial few strikes that had looked like they should have connected weren't felt to hit him physically, so he had, in his ignorance, shrugged them off as insignificant. What he didn't know, in this case that would definitely kill him, was that instead of hitting him with the metal blade, Ikari had manipulated the visible chakra manifesting around the blade by extending it out from the tip of his sword by a couple inches, which meant that if someone got hit by this there would be no physically viewable damage.

The last thing he saw a minute or two later, was a bright flash of chakra as he felt like his body was collapsing, and then…darkness.

Having accomplished what had to have been one of the most insane things that he had ever attempted to date; Ikari fell backwards onto his butt, sweat rolling down his forehead and nose, and his breathing getting heavier. Taking a quick scan of the area, he smiled up at everyone who had come to assist him, before reaching up and grasping Kushina's hand that was extended towards him, while at the same time he sealed away the blade that he'd acquired from the Snake Sennin. Checking his reserves, he found that he was down by about half, and there were no longer any visible threats, so he turned towards his biological mother and gave her a small smirk as he held onto her with one arm to regain his equilibrium.

Over the past nine, almost ten, months he had slowly begun warming up to his mother and sisters, and had begun opening up to them slowly after a particularly heated conversation one night that he'd had with his two lovely fiancées. The process had been much slower with his mother than it had been with his sisters, but it had taken several months for him to call them by anything less than formal. His mother on the other hand, had ended up getting him to open up by bonding with him over fuinjutsu, and had unintentionally assisted past a block that he'd been dealing with. She had been in tears when he'd leapt over the low table that they'd been working at and had tackle-hugged her to the ground.

As she saw the smirk, Kushina was wary of what was lurking behind those verdant green eyes, and she let it show on her face. "Kushina-oba, Natsuko-chan and Natsumi-chan my imōto, how about you three join my fiancées and me at our home for dinner tonight?"

Looks of shock were on almost everyone's faces that had heard what he'd said, and before he could say anything else, Kushina had her arms tightly wrapped around her former son's neck, tears pouring down her cheeks as she shakily nodded her head yes. She wasn't about to turn down this chance to get to know her son, and even if he never called her mother, she would gladly take what she could get and not complain.

One Week Later, Hokage's Office

The current occupants of the office were sitting there tensely, aside from the Hokage, and it was evident that four of them had recently had a rough go of things. Baki, Gaara, Kankurou and Temari all were on edge, as they and their village had gambled and lost during the most recent Chuunin Exams, held in Konoha. Not only that, but they had also been informed that their father, the Yondaime Kazekage, had been murdered by Orochimaru before posing as him, just to get close enough to the Hokage to attempt to assassinate him. Then there were the interrogations that each of them had been forced to undergo, which for all intents and purposes could have been much worse, but still it was a tough few days.

Then there were the talks that the Godaime Hokage had been having with his advisors as well as the four of them, about reparations and the possibility of the revoking of the alliance between Suna and Konoha, which had made their sensei, Baki pale like he'd just seen the Shinigami himself. It wasn't until Baki had explained the situation that Suna was in that it had hit Temari and Kankurou, as Gaara was still disoriented by the lack of contact with his Bijuu, that if Konoha dissolved the alliance, that it was only a matter of time before Suna was attacked and destroyed.

Today, though, Suna elders Chiyo and Ebizou had arrived to discuss the outcome of the attack and hopefully salvage the situation and Suna in the process. The others present in the room were the Hokage's advisors, his Jonin Commander Nara Shikaku, the ANBU Commander Ushi, and four ANBU guards: Kitsune, Neko, Tora, and Usagi.

The first couple of hours went by and the negotiations were going somewhat smoothly as they had barely haggled over the monetary and jutsu compensation. At least for the most part, as there had been some rather fearsome and irate negotiations over the scrolls for a bloodline that had solely resided in Suna ever since the founding of their village: the Shakuton; that discussion had almost come to blows. There were some subtle cues that were passed between the leaders of the two villages that were overlooked by the Genin, but were quickly picked up on by most of the Jonin in the room.

It was Elder Chiyo though, who first gave voice to the final condition that they thought might persuade Konoha that not only were they being sincere, but would hopefully help Suna out in the long run. "I think that aside from the monetary and jutsu compensation," here she grimaced as she knew that what she was about to propose was quite the bitter pill to swallow, "That we tie our two villages together through a Blood Alliance. As our side of the pact, we would have the daughter of the late Yondaime Kazekage sent here to marry a Konoha Shinobi…"

AN: And thus ends another chapter! Seriously this one could have played out in so many ways, but I felt that with the way that Kiri and Konoha had much closer ties, that this would be a much more logical progression of things, and besides, I was really struggling with a way to bring Samui into this and kept coming up with nothing. It was almost as if she didn't want to be written into this story, Hehehe…

Anywho, I will be wrapping this portion of the story up next chapter, mostly so I can finish up Legacy and hopefully get some serious work done on a couple of other stories that I have in the works.

Raiton: Fukusū no Kaminari Tanken – Lightning Style: Multiple Lightning Daggers

Hyouton: Kōri Kunai Kage Bunshin – Ice Style: Ice Kunai Shadow Clone

Hyouton: Kōri Keimusho Bakuhatsu – Ice Style: Exploding Ice Prison

Teshi Sendan – Ten Drilling Finger Bullets

Nise Shūhen: Utsusu – False Surroundings: Shift, A relatively low chakra use genjutsu, its very subtlety is the key to its success, as it shifts the user's perception to believe that the target is to the left or the right of where he actually is.

Sōjin Hijutsu: Nō no bi chōsei – Sōjin Secret Art: Brain Tweak – Warning, this jutsu is S-Rank to SS-Rank and requires PRECISE Chakra Control or it could backfire in horrible ways. Do NOT attempt this without obtaining the necessary consent of the Clan Head, as he and select Jonin of the clan are the only ones to know the hand seals!

Yanagi no Mai – Dance of the Willow

Ryū no Yari – Dragon Spears

Shakuton: Seishin Shakunetsu no ken – Scorch Style: Spirit Scorching Sword – Requires a sword to properly use, the wielder funnels the two elements of the Scorch Bloodline through and around the weapon; upon connecting with the target their chakra coils are either damaged or possibly even destroyed on top of the physical damage done by the blade itself. If done properly, there should be no heat felt from the blade as it is in reality two attacks in one.