Ever since the day that Uzumaki Naruto was banished from Konoha, nothing would be the same.
For starters, Tsunade would have to explain herself to all of the... now Konoha 11... as well as their respective Jonin instructors, about the decision made by the Council to banish Naruto.
This was not a happy moment for Tsunade.
She didn't want to do this anymore.
Especially after watching Naruto literally run away from the village he called home and loved so much... even with all the hatred due to the Kyuubi.
All she could do was try her best to drink the pain away with her sake. But the tears kept coming down.
Just like the rain outside.
Yes, folks. To make matters worse, the night that Naruto was exiled was the same night a heavy thunderstorm came over the village.
"I hope you're happy, Danzo... Because with this, I think you've pissed off God..." Tsunade said ominously as she looked out her window.
'Please be safe, Naruto. Please. Find it in your heart to forgive me for this. I'm so sorry.' She thought to herself as she once again brought the sake cup to her lips.
Tsunade immediately moved the sake cup from her face to find Shizune standing at her desk with her hand slammed on the top.
"Tsunade-sama, this is incredibly inappropriate! As Hokage, you must find a way to fix this. You need to get your head in the game and find a way to bring Naruto-kun back." Shizune demanded.
Tsunade ignored her as she reached over to her sake bottle again.
But suddenly, Shizune smacked the bottle off of her desk and onto the ground where it shattered to bits.
"Dammit Shizune, that was good sake too." Tsunade mumbled.
"TSUNADE-SAMA!" Shizune called out.
"WELL WHAT CAN I DO, DAMMIT! I NEVER WANTED HIM TO GO! DON'T YOU DARE PIN THIS ON ME! BUT WHAT COULD I DO?! IF I GO UP AGAINST THE COUNCIL THEN I'M GOING UP AGAINST KONOHA ITSELF IN A FORM OF DICTATORSHIP! IF THAT HAPPENS, THIS VILLAGE WILL BE TORN APART! SO YES, SHIZUNE! YES, I PICKED KONOHA OVER NARUTO! AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE BRAT WOULD ACTUALLY DO THE EXACT SAME THING IF HE WERE IN MY SHOES!" Tsunade screamed loudly as she sobbed hysterically.
Shizune went silent at those words. Then, she turned out to the window.
"Do you think he is safe in this storm?" She said out loud to no one in particular.
"No, he's probably freezing outside in the forest. Hell, he could be dying out there and here I am just trying to stop thinking about it with alcohol!" Tsunade answered with venom in her voice.
The image of Naruto freezing in the rainy forest was enough to make Shizune tear up as well. Moment later, she was opening another bottle of sake and drinking with Tsunade.
"W-W-What da fuq do I say to tha peoperr tha ask 'bout Nar-do?" A drunk Tsunade said to her assistant.
Hiccup "I think we should get the clan heads and their parents to exprrrr it wid you." Shizune answered as she began slurring her words as well. "Weren't tha dey wi yoo?"
"Yeaaaaaaaa, Goo ide." Tsunade answered as she put her head down on the desk and went to sleep.
The storm continued to rage on for the whole night.
It was the next day after the incident.
And only one thing was going through Tsunade's mind as all the clan heads present at the council meeting were in her office.
"I will be quick as I understand your time is valuable. As many of you know, letting go of Naruto was not a preferable choice for me."
To this, many of the clan heads nodded in agreement.
"But as it is a decision of Konoha, I have no choice but to abide by it. Even if I know this is going to come back and bite us in the ass one day. Nevertheless, I am responsible for divulging the information about Naruto's banishment to the Konoha 11 and their respective instructors. And frankly, I can't do it alone." Tsunade said honestly.
"We understand, and we shall support you, Hokage-sama." Nara Shikaku said while the others nodded.
"Damn straight! If our kids give you any trouble, we'll put them in their place." Inuzuka Tsume said passionately while imaging giving her son a whooping.
"Tsunade-sama, please know that the Hyuuga clan shall stand alongside you in your time of need." Hyuuga Hiashi stated.
"Us as well." Many other clan heads stated.
Tsunade nodded in acknowledgement.
"Alright, let's get this over with. Bring them in." Tsunade ordered the ANBU standing behind the doorway as they let in said group.
"Dad? What're you doing here?" Chouji and Ino said as they walked in.
"Whoa, all the clan heads are here... This is gonna be big." Kiba said as he looked to his feral mother.
"Troublesome" Shikamaru said as he looked over to Shikaku.
Moments later, the Jonin instructors walked in: Kakashi, Asuma, Kurenai, and Gai and with them... was Sasuke.
"Sasuke-kun! Oh thank god! You're home" Sakura said ecstatically due to seeing him for the first time. It had been a week and a half since Naruto brought him back but he was kept in a cell for interrogation.
Sakura couldn't resist the urge to cry as she ran up to him and attempted to hug him, but was stopped by Kakashi.
"Eh? Kakashi-sensei?" She asked
"Sakura, I'm afraid you'll have to wait on your reunion with Sasuke. After the stunt he pulled, it'll take a while to quite a few of us to trust him again." Kakashi said with a serious tone.
Meanwhile, as Sakura was prepared to have a fit while saying that Sasuke wasn't thinking straight because of his curse mark, Sasuke kept his face looking down to the floor as his bangs hid his eyes.
As the Genin eyed their parents as well as the boy that attempted to defect, the Jonin instructors could already tell that the situation wasn't good. But before they could get into that, someone was missing from their group. Kakashi was the first to notice.
"Pardon me Godaime, but is Naruto still recuperating?" he asked.
At this, everyone went silent.
Where was the knuckle-head that brought happiness into every room he walked into? Didn't Shikamaru say that he woke up?
Sasuke was the first to speak up.
"I don't know what's going on, but where is Naruto? He should have recovered by now." Sasuke said with a emotionless voice.
He wouldn't show his weakness and humiliation to any of these people. However, he would show concern for the boy that had managed to save him from the dangerous path he was about to go down.
"I don't think the guy who tried to kill him has any right to ask about his condition." Kiba shouted out with malice in his voice.
At this, everybody tensed.
"I'm not stupid, Sasuke. Akamaru and I can smell Naruto's blood all over you. It's been a week and a half since we brought you back, but the smell is still there." Kiba called out.
Inuzuka Tsume could only cringe at the words of her son. She had noticed the smell as well but tried to maintain her composure during this meeting. Meanwhile, the Genin and Jonin were shocked with the exception of Kakashi.
"Sasuke...kun... That's impossible, right? You couldn't ha-" Sakura began.
"Enough Sakura, stop trying to hide from reality." Sasuke said as he brought his head up to look everyone in their eyes. "Yes, I stabbed Naruto straight through his chest with Chidori to obtain the Mangekyo Sharingan like my brother. ACCEPT IT, SAKURA!"
Now, everybody was speechless. Hinata was shaking in a mix of fear and rage and wanted to tear Sasuke's eyes out. Tsunade and Shizune clenched his fists until they drew blood. Sakura was frozen as she tried to process what Sasuke just said. Ino couldn't even look in Sasuke's direction anymore. Everybody else... well...If the atmosphere was bad before, it was really bad now.
But then they heard Sasuke say something else.
"... If I could take it back, I would..." He mumbled under his breath, but everyone heard it.
"...Why the sudden change of heart?" Tsunade asked as she looked at Sasuke for any signs of deception.
"Because out of everyone in this village, Naruto is the only person who saw me as Sasuke. Not as an Uchiha genius or prodigy, but as a boy with a bad attitude and short temper." Sasuke said as a small genuine smile made its way onto his face.
Sasuke was smiling.
He was smiling. For the first time in a long time.
And it was at this moment that Tsunade knew, that if she told Sasuke about Naruto's banishment, the Uchiha was gonna flip his shit.
"I know none of you trust me, I get it... But please, tell me Naruto is ok. Please." Sasuke begged as he body began to tense up.
All eyes were on Tsunade, but before she could say anything, Shikamaru stepped in.
"I was with Naruto yesterday in the hospital. He woke up, but he had some trouble moving around. He should probably be on his feet and running around with a smile on his face by now." Shikamaru said. "It looks like Naruto really did, as he so properly said it, 'Knock some sense into you'".
At this, Sasuke's shoulders relaxed. Meanwhile, the others had been watching Sasuke's actions throughout this whole conversation and sorta... kinda... maybe... wanted to forgive him. Hell, if Naruto could, they could too.
"So where is he, anyway?" Shikamaru asked as well.
"As of last night, Naruto has been banished from Konoha." A voice said without the slightest bit of hesitation.
At this everybody froze, then turned to the direction of the voice.
Standing in the doorway was Shimura Danzo himself, in all his evil glory.
"W-WHAT?!" All of the Genin and Jonin shouted. Tsunade could only wonder why Danzo would show his face in her office and not fear for his life after banishing the boy she considered a grandson.
Kakashi was livid at Danzo's words. There was no way some twisted warhawk banished the son of his deceased sensei. Not a chance in hell.
"And whose crazy bullshit idea was this, DANZO?!" Kakashi said with strong malice in his voice and the sudden release of killer intent.
Everybody tensed at the actions of the normally calm and cool Kakashi. People looked to Gai to try and calm the situation...
"This is most unyouthful, Danzo! How could you possibly agree to this, Tsunade-sama?!" Gai said as she looked to Tsunade.
Tsunade could only look away as Danzo replied.
"She didn't. I made her do it. It was my idea. It was either this or the boy be publicly humiliated and then exiled." Danzo answered while staying calm as a cucumber.
Nobody in the room could believe the nerve of this guy.
"B-But why? Why exile Naruto-kun?! He did nothing wrong by accomplishing his mission to bring back Sasuke. He should be the same as all of us." Lee said with as much seriousness as possible while hiding the "youthfulness" in his soul.
"Because Naruto is the living jail cell of the Kyuubi no Kitsune that attacked this village 13 years ago." Tsunade said.
With this, all eyes were on her. The Jonin, who already knew about this, understood that only the Hokage could reveal this secret.
"E-EEEEEH?! K-KYUUBI?!" Many Genin had their eyes popping out their heads. But there were quite a few of them who nodded in acceptance, as if they had already figured it out.
Shikamaru and Neji had put the pieces together from the Naruto's fight during the Chunnin Exams.
Sasuke knew because Naruto unknowingly confessed to him.
Kiba always noticed that Naruto smelled like a fox.
"So what?! So he has the Kyuubi inside of him? I thought the Yondaime killed that thing!" Sakura said while trying to understand the situation.
"The Kyuubi cannot be killed, Sakura. It's a living being of Chakra, so the Yondaime sealed away half of its power into Naruto while sealing the other half into the belly of a Shinigami using the Shiki Fujin. A powerful sealing technique that takes the life of the user. That was the cause of the Yondaime's death." Kakashi said as he began to remember his sensei.
"Yes. You are correct, Hatake Kakashi. That is precisely why I have banished Naruto from this village. To protect us from the threat of the Kyuubi's power that may endanger all of us." Danzo said as if he were a hero.
"Naruto's ability to use the Kyuubi chakra doesn't endanger us. He can properly control it." One of the Genin said.
All eyes were on Neji.
"In our fight, he called upon its power and defeated me. He wasn't coming at me with the intent to kill. He just wanted to win our fight. You have made a grave error, Danzo-sama." Neji said. "To think that he meant the Kyuubi when he said that he also beared a heavy burden... Once again, I underestimated him."
Hiashi noticed the normally stoic Neji coming to the aid of Naruto. He couldn't help but smile.
'Uzumaki Naruto, only you could've opened Neji's heart like this.' Hiashi thought.
Meanwhile, all eyes were on Hinata and Sasuke.
Hinata had activated her Byakugan instinctively and was molding chakra into her fingertips and feet. She wanted Danzo dead and she was going to leave the job of holding back her anger to someone else. She immediately charged Danzo while everyone was in Tsunade's office.
Immediately, Hiashi and Kurenai held her back.
"Hinata, please. You have to control yourself. Attacking a Konoha adviser warrants the death penalty." Kurenai said as all the others were shocked at the normally shy Hinata's aggressive actions. Neji's jaw dropped at the sense of HINATA'S BLOODLUST.
'She was THIS powerful! Where was this power during the Chunnin exams?!' Neji thought to himself.
"Child, stop being so selfish. Calm yourself." Hiashi said to Hinata.
But on the inside, he had known this would happen.
'Hinata was always infatuated with that boy. He was her motivation to improve her skills. Without him, she feels lost and uncertain of herself. Now, more than ever...' he thought.
Let it be clear, Hiashi does not acknowledge Hinata's abilities with the Byakugan. She is simply not as talented as Hanabi or Neji. She is also very tender-hearted which is not a great quality for a ninja.
He still loves her as a daughter.
And he believes that Hinata will grow to be strong if she works hard to make up for her lack of talent. As for why he treats her so coldly, he simply doesn't know how to express love like his deceased wife did. It's hard for a man to figure out how to treat his daughter... in comparison to treating a son.
The only reason he gets along better with Hanabi is because she is a tomboy, and that makes his job as a father much easier.
'Hinata... did that boy really mean so much to you? For you to attack someone like this? A Konoha official? ... Uzumaki Naruto, you had my daughter's heart in the palm of your hands... and I've never noticed it... until now... Hinata... I'm sorry... I have failed you as a father...' Hiashi thought to himself as he knocked Hinata unconscious with a strike to the neck and caught her collapsing body.
Hinata may have been taken care of, but everybody could still feeling the shockingly high chakra levels of a certain Uchiha.
Sasuke's eyes had been closed this entire time as he continued to think about how much a idiot he had been. The constant waves of guilt and despair eating away at him. It was causing his blood to boil. He knew that if he opened his eyes to look at Danzo, he would strike him dead. But doing that meant there was no hope for reconciliation with Konoha.
'Whatever happens, happens, I suppose.' He thought.
But as he slowly opened his eyes, he saw everyone's looks of worry.
Gai was the first one to comment.
"This pressure, it's just like Itachi!" he shouted out.
At this statement, everyone's eyes widened. The clan heads and other Jonin were in battle-ready stances. The ANBU hanging up on the ceiling of the office came down with their swords unsheathed.
No one knew Sasuke's next move.
Tsunade, Shizune, and the other Genin could only watch as the events unfold.
Kakashi had his Sharingan ready in case Sasuke tried to pull anything.
'So it's really happening... he's obtained it.' Kakashi thought.
But Sasuke's eyes were focused on Danzo.
"Fine Mangekyou, you have there. Brat. But you would do well to turn it off immediately." Danzo said calmly.
But on the inside, he wanted to shit himself.
'How?! HOW?! He's only 13?! If he has the Mangekyou, then getting him to submit to me will only be that much harder.' Danzo thought as he felt a sweat run down his face as Sasuke's eyes penetrated deep into his soul.
"I don't know much about you, but you should know something..." Sasuke said darkly.
"And what would that be?" Danzo said. 'This boy can't threaten me. I own this village.'
"I can't attack you, but HE can... Naruto... He'll survive out there. I know he will. And if you underestimate him, he WILL rip you to pieces." Sasuke said with as his new Mangekyou Sharingan blazed.
That was all Tsunade needed to hear. Sasuke was now on her good side. The other Genin, Jonin, and even the clan heads were surprised to see Sasuke talking back to Danzo and standing up for Naruto. They had to smirk confidently at his words. He had restored their faith in him.
Yes, this was definitely not the end of Naruto.
He was going to make a comeback.
And it was going to change everything...
'Just what the hell happened at that valley?' Kakashi wondered to himself.
Three years have passed since that day.
Overall, Konoha was doing... okay...
When Jaraiya had returned and heard about Naruto's banishment, he had attempted to burn alive the entire civilian council using his Katon: Gamayuu Endan No Jutsu (Fire Release: Toad Oil Flame Bullet).
Luckily, ANBU forces managed to restrain him. He had been close, though. God damn it.
Afterwards. he had tried to use Chōōdama Rasengan to decimate ANBU Headquarters in hopes of taking out any Root agents.
Luckily, ANBU forces managed to restrain him. But this time, he was really close. I mean, REALLY.
Finally, Jaraiya tracked down Danzo to his Root Headquarters and did something drastic...
He forced the entire ROOT agency to listen to his frog's torturous singing for 6 straight months while remaining hidden so that no one could track or stop them.
Even the ANBU couldn't find them.
And Danzo, as well as his Root agents, paid the heavy price of no sleep, constant annoyance, and numerous slip-ups while out on secret missions due to their resting conditions in Konoha.
Afterwards, Jaraiya had set off to find Naruto after removing the Orochimaru's cursed seals from Sasuke and Anko.
But even after searching for a year, Jaraiya found nothing. Uzumaki Naruto had disappeared off the face of the Earth.
Using the Toad contract to track him was also futile. As the toads are a summon that are loyal to Konoha, any ninja who loses their status as a Konoha nin is immediately terminated from the contract.
And so, after everything, on one faithful day...
Jaraiya came to Tsunade's office and cried his heart out to her.
The brat was an annoyance to his research, and his skills with chakra and jutsu weren't the best... but Naruto reminded Jaraiya so much of himself and his student, Namikaze Minato, through his silly antics and determination.
Jaraiya missed him.
Jaraiya missed the hell out of him.
As for the Konoha 11, the majority of them were Chunin. The only exceptions were Neji and Sasuke.
Both had reached the rank of Jonin in the time of three years.
Sasuke had worked hard to obtain everyone's trust again after getting the cursed mark removed.
He could now proudly call himself an honorable shinobi of the Leaf.
But everyday, he always remembered the boy who taught him to see much more than just his revenge.
Now, Sasuke had a new goal. He still wanted revenge on Itachi, that much was obvious. But he wanted to do it by gaining power within Konoha. By doing it as part of Konoha's Uchiha clan.
He would never walk down the same path as his brother. Never.
Kakashi had allowed Sasuke to learn from him once again after re-establishing his trust. He was glad that Sasuke was serious about turning himself around, and he would help him any way he could.
Sakura had gone under Tsunade's tutelage to learn medical ninjutsu and improve her capabilities as a ninja. She's worked hard these part three years to make up for Naruto's absence as a part of Team 7. Just like everyone, she dearly misses the knuckle-head ninja and hopes to meet him again.
'Naruto... I know you're out there. I wonder what you're up to right now.' Sakura thought to herself as she healed one of her patients in the hospital.
As for Shikamaru, Chouji, Ino, Hinata, Kiba, and Shino, they had taken the time to greatly improve on their clan techniques.
Ino and Hinata had also taken up medical ninjutsu lessons from Shizune.
Rock Lee had improved his Taijutsu and could now fight very efficiently without having to open the 8 gates unless absolutely necessary.
Tenten had worked to improve her fighting style against wind jutsu. She has learned that its was one of her greatest weaknesses thanks to Temari.
Speaking of the Temari, both her and Kankuro had reached the rank of Jonin.
As for Gaara, he became Kazekage.
When Gaara was informed of Naruto's banishment from Konoha, he sent out search parties to find him and encourage him to come live in Sunagakure. He refused to leave his friend cast out in the middle of nowhere like Konoha did. He also said that the only reason Konoha isn't trapped in a never-ending sandstorm is because Gaara knows how much Naruto loved the village.
These three years without Naruto had been rough on a lot of people.
But there was also quite a bit of happiness in those three years.
Sasuke had answered Sakura's confession and they had begun a relationship together.
There weren't any hard feelings between Sakura and Ino, because Ino let go of Sasuke after seeing his ferocity and violent nature during the second stage of the Chunnin exams against Zaku.
It had given the poor girl nightmares for a week. No offence to Sasuke, of course.
Hinata, who was always infatuated with Naruto, worked hard to increase her strength for when she would meet him again one day. But all the while, Kiba was constantly trying to get her attention. In the end, he came right out and told her about his feelings. It was awkward at first, but Hinata gave him a chance and they really hit it off.
She finally realized that what she had for Naruto was not love. Because she didn't know much about him besides him being bullied, his dream, and love of ramen. What she had was admiration for his confidence and determination. But if that were the case, then why would she pass out all the time?
Well, Naruto certainly wasn't bad on the eyes and he always got up in people's faces so... it was kinda natural to faint when he got close to you, right?
On the side note, Shikamaru and Temari were also dating as well. Kurenai and Asuma were... ahem... having relations... of the sort. Iruka, who had been devasted by Naruto's banishment, had found new happiness with Anko. But he would always remember Naruto.
Danzo was not happy during the course of these three years.
He never expected so many shinobi of Konoha to actually like Naruto. As a result, he was constantly being shutdown in any possible suggestions he brought forth to the council. The civilians weren't much help since the shinobi of the village had threatened to stop buying their merchandise and buy it from other nations.
Not only that, but Danzo's plan for capturing Naruto after exiling him failed.
'WHERE IN THE HELL IS THE KYUUBI?! THAT BRAT COULDN'T HAVE ESCAPED THROUGH THE BORDERS OF THE FIRE COUNTRY IN ONE DAY?! BUT NOT EVEN MY MOST SKILLED SENSOR-TYPE NINJA CAN FIND HIM!' Danzo thought to himself.
And so, without the Kyuubi in his possession, Danzo focused all of his resources on getting Sasuke and his new Mangekyou Sharingan...
Which didn't work since Kakashi was always with him to prevent Sasuke from ever having to use it and go blind.
In summary... Danzo's plan was complete pointless.
Naruto's exile had been fruitless. He never got a hold of the Kyuubi.
The Uchiha was so far from Danzo's grasp that Danzo couldn't even find him in the village sometimes.
And ultimately, Danzo was no closer to the position of Hokage since the shinobi forces absolutely despised him.
Yep. These were quite the interesting three years.
Three years since Uzumaki Naruto's banishment from Konoha, an independent group of prominent missing nins had risen up.
At first, Jaraiya had assumed it to be the Akatsuki, who were actively searching for the tailed beasts.
Luckily, that wasn't the case.
This unknown organization had invaded the Land of Water and politically taken over Kirigakure, which has been swallowed by civil war for generations.
By politically taken over... This meant without the death of a single person.
When Tsunade had caught wind of this from Jariaya, she threw a fit.
"What?! Some group of missing nins completely overthrew the shinobi system of Kirigakure! That's insane! Who are they?" Tsunade shouted to her former teammate.
"I honestly have no clue, Hime. But they did it without shedding a single drop of blood. It seems their leader forced all sides of the civil war to submit to him... through fear." Jaraiya said.
"Is there still a Mizukage in the nation?" Tsunade asked urgently.
"Yes, but the Mizukage is probably just a figurehead. A majority of the missing nins that have taken over are watching over the village as she runs it. That means that somebody is manipulating the strings from the shadows." He answered.
"What could their goal be? And can you give me some identities of these missing nins?" she asked.
"I don't know their goal, but since they've taken over, the civil wars in Kirigakure have stopped. Also, The political and shinobi training system has been changed. Not to mention, new alliances with smaller nations are being formed as well as new trading routes. I haven't heard of any assaults, money launders, drug trade, weapon sales, or anything... It's almost as if..." Jaraiya explained as he put his fingers onto the bridge of his nose.
"What?" she asked while slightly worried about his answer.
"It's like whoever is doing this... is just trying to help people." Jaraiya answered with a small smile on his face.
"...Uh-huh, I see... Well, what about their identities? Can you label them in the bingo book?" Tsunade asked skeptically.
'Always the fool, Jaraiya. Why would a missing nin help people?' she thought mockingly.
"Yes, I can." Jariaya answered as he labelled out a good 20 of them.
"MY GOD, THESE ARE..."
"Yes, whoever is leading this group is incredibly powerful. They've got Kirigakure's Demon Brothers, Hoki the Watari Ninja, Kajika the shark, Amegakure's Kandachi, Orochimaru's former henchmen: Misumi Tsurugi and Yoroi Akado, Hisame The Rain Mistress, Utakata the Jinkuriki of the Rokubi, and many others. But that's not all..." Jaraiya said ominously.
"I knew these guys were trouble. What else?" she asked.
"Their leader... They say... He's a nice guy... but... He is carnage itself." Jaraiya said.
At this, Tsunade widened her eyes.
"...What does that mean?" She asked.
And then, there was silence.