New Yellow Flash
A/N: The following story takes place in an AU wherein Obito died from the boulder, and Pain was the true leader of Akatsuki. Naruto learned Hiraishin and not Sage Mode during his training at Mount Myoboku. Events prior to the story unfolded similarly to canon, and how these events happened without Obito's influence will be explained by the story as they become plot-relevant. Thank you, enjoy the story.
Naruto struggled through the forest, barely able to stay on top of his feet. He had just learned the jutsu, and he knew that he had not ironed out all of the kinks, but the amount of chakra he exhausted using it was simply insane. Additionally, having clones use the technique did not really help his chakra stores any. Oh well; he would have time to work out everything in the future. It was over now, though. Pein was defeated, he had talked with Nagato. And he was tired. So, so tired.
Next thing he knew, he was no longer on his own two feet. He was pretty sure he had fallen forward on accident, finally succumbing to the exhaustion. He really was not sure if he had ever been this tired without passing out before, though was certain he would remember it if he had been. Looking at whomever he had fallen upon, he saw wild silver hair. "Kakashi-sensei?" he asked, his voice sounding weak.
"Yo, Naruto. You did it." Naruto nodded into the man's back, for the first time a smile on his face. "I'm proud of you." There was something about the sincerity of Kakashi's voice that made the words sound more important than they ever had before, and Naruto felt like jumping up and down. If only he had the energy.
"Thank you, sensei."
"Tell me, Naruto. I was incapacitated during the fight. You know, lost on the road of life." Naruto did not need to be told what that meant. He had noticed Kakashi's absence during the intense showdown in the crater, and he felt certain that the man had died because it seemed impossible he would have missed the fight for any other reason, but there simply had not been time to think about it. He had to win the fight, had to confront Nagato. There was no other option. In his mind, he was certain of only one thing during the encounter: either Pein was defeated, or he would die. He would not let himself be captured. "How did you defeat him?"
"I-I did it sensei. I learned it. The only thing I have connecting me to my father. The Hiraishin." It was the most excruciating training of his life. He had not known it then, but throughout his training trip Jiraiya was teaching him Fuinjutsu that would help him to understand and control the Hiraishin. It had seemed so stupid at the time, but if Jiraiya were still alive, Naruto was sure that he would never doubt the Toad Sage again. He had wanted Jiraiya to teach him cool jutsu instead, or maybe even how to be a Sage, but the man made him learn more about fuinjutsu and said that the Kyuubi would probably make sage training impossible. When Jiraiya died, Tsunade finally told him. About his father, the Yondaime Hokage, Minato Namikaze. And the completed version of the Hiraishin, sealed away beneath the floorboards of the Hokage's desk.
At times, it had seemed impossible. The scroll was the largest Naruto had ever seen for one jutsu, and he had to understand every kanji to even start unraveling it. Tsunade suggested he study the jutsu at Mount Myoboku, in order to not be discovered and to have the maximum amount of peace. She had said he would be summoned if needed. With nothing else to do, he dedicated himself to mastering the technique which made his father one of the most feared shinobi in the entire world. The perfect space-time ninjutsu.
The difficulty of learning the Hiraishin did not necessarily lie in understanding it. Sure, there was a lot to it, the kanji weaving a tale of a jutsu that bordered the edge of possible and impossible. The amount of chakra theory that was poured into creating the jutsu was astounding to Naruto; he had never really though the Second Hokage was all that cool back in the Academy but his mind changed a bit on that now. The basic concept of the Hiraishin, however, was simple enough: using fuinjutsu to create a temporary tear in-between space and time, and forcing your chakra through the tear resulting in the user being carried through it, giving the effect of teleportation in an instant. This required a bit of energy at both ends, and while it should be nearly zero if done perfectly, he was still forcing the connection with his own chakra and burning through reserves.
The true difficulty of the Hiraishin was in re-creation. His father had famously used tri-pronged kunai with only a few simple kanji written on them in order to use the Hiraishin; he wasn't sure if the Second did the same. A few kanji written on a piece of paper was a far cry from the enormous scroll, so that meant Naruto needed to find a way to shorten the formula. Unfortunately for him, the jutsu had numerous blood kanji, meaning that the final product would be different for each individual. Luckily, at least, a few of the kunai were stored with the scroll to help guide him, at least a bit.
It took four days for him to even get through an initial in-depth reading of the scroll, with the toad elders forcing him to take breaks to eat and sleep. After that, he began to use shadow clones in order to hasten up the process. He would assign sections for the clones to work on then make sure that they dismissed in a certain order so that he would remember the jutsu as it was written instead of having memories of unrelated chunks of kanji. Even with this help, the Hiraishin proved a harsh beast to tame.
When Naruto felt he had a good understanding of the Hiraishin scroll, it became time to shorten it. He had a plentiful amount of kunai and a ton of paper for the task and created shadow clones to allow multiple avenues to be explored at once. Even then, it was incredibly difficult. Using even a hundred clones the task was the most frustrating concept he had ever attempted to wrap his mind around. How could it even be possible to reduce a scroll containing a countless amount of kanji into a simple four to five symbol formula?
It took two weeks, and an immeasurable amount of work when considering the number of clones, before Naruto produced a formula that he could be only about twenty-five percent confident would work. It was the best he could do, however, so he left only a few clones to further ponder the jutsu and the shortened formula while he went to a secluded area. Attempting to actually use the Hiraishin was not something he could power through with a ton of clones; he needed to sit still and feel for the tear in space-time combined with the feeling of his chakra in the handle of the kunai.
After a few days, he had still felt nothing and his clones had not made any advance. Naruto was convinced, by this point, that the formula had to work. In order to increase the chances of feeling the kunai's chakra through the space-time tear, he began to excrete his own chakra. At first, it seemed useless. At some point, however, Naruto felt it; the pulse of chakra from the handle of the kunai. It was faint, incredibly so, and obviously there was work to do since the object was only sitting a foot or two away from him, but it was a major breakthrough.
As it turned out, once he sensed the kunai the first time, it got easier to feel with every attempt. Whenever he wanted to feel it, he could easily. And whenever he wanted to ignore it, it would stop. Apparently, sensing the kunai was more of a mental skill. Having gotten that down, the next step was simple, at least theoretically: teleportation. Or, as the case may be, forcing his chakra to flow through a tear in space-time which would allow him to transport himself from one location to another in the blink of an eye. If that was not teleportation, however, he was certain it was as close as was possible through the use of jutsu.
Getting his chakra to transport him was probably the easiest part of learning the jutsu, and even then, it took ten hours. It was obvious that the Nidaime designed the jutsu in order to make the process as seamless as possible when compared to the rest of the learning procedure. All he really had to do was focus on the kunai and allow his chakra to connect to the point and move him. After he had managed to teleport a few times, however, he realized that he needed to practice orienting himself when he came out of the kunai. From what he had heard, his father could pop up in any direction he wanted including even a few feet away.
He spent a few more days like this, allowing himself to practice the technique and learn some of its nuances before committing to advancing much further. Even in the relatively short amount of time he was working on the technique, at least compared to the many years his father had spent perfecting it, it began to be second nature to feel the kunai's chakra. When he was able to change his stance mid-transport, he decided to move on. Sure, he still could only pop up within a few inches of the kunai, but he decided to work on that later.
Somehow, after all of the careful training he had done up to that point, he allowed himself to get a bit arrogant and carried away. He had his clones create approximately one-hundred sealed kunai and place them all throughout the mountain. It had never occurred to him that he should not go from practicing on one kunai to practicing with so many, however, and as he began to search out the kunais chakra, he became overloaded and passed out. When he woke up, he had one hell of a headache.
The next time he tried, he was less overwhelmed and managed to stay conscious. He began to feel out the chakra when he asked a question that had never occurred to him. Not a single person had ever indicated he was a sensor, and neither had his own experiences. So, how was it that he could feel the chakra from the kunai? After pondering the thought for a few hours, knowing somehow that it would be important for something, he came to a conclusion: There was something about the kanji formula that allowed for the chakra from the kanji to leak into the space-time rift and create a unique path back to him, which he then retraced when he used his chakra to 'teleport" between the kunai. It was at this point that Naruto realized, truly, that the Second Hokage and his father were both geniuses of chakra theory.
It took a few days worth of practice, but eventually, he was able to feel all of the kunais individual chakra and teleport quickly to them. It was then that Naruto realized yet another aspect of the jutsu: the space-time rift worked in such a way that, when he sensed the chakra from the kunai, he could feel the distance somehow. After more hours of practice, he guessed that the chakra path deteriorated on its way through the rift back to him, resulting in each individual chakra path having a different strength that correlated to distance. This meant that, theoretically, there was a distance wherein the path would not be strong enough to reach back to him. He was getting ready to test this theory when Ma told him that he needed to go back to Konoha.
"Dad was a real genius, wasn't he?" he asked to Kakashi, who simply scoffed.
"Yes, he was. We could be on a mission, rain pouring down on our tent, lightning striking within a mile, and if he got the idea for a jutsu, it was obvious that he didn't notice the outside world." Naruto allowed himself a smile, thinking of the man that he had never met and never would meet. Yet somehow, with the Hiraishin, it felt like part of his father was there with him now. "But don't sell yourself short, Naruto. Only two men have ever learned Hiraishin and they've both become Hokage. I still don't know how sensei ever convinced Sandaime-sama to let him learn the Hiraishin in the first place. It's the only item with a Triple S ranking so you guess they don't just hand it out freely. You'll have to show me it soon. Promise?"
"Promise." Naruto allowed his head to rest gently on Kakashi's back as they went through the forest, a silence between the two of them. There was so much work to be done with the jutsu still, so many ways he could develop his skill further. After all, compared to the feats boasted by his father, he was merely a novice in usage. He decided, however, that maybe he'd give it a break for a day or two; surely he had earned one. Maybe get Kakashi to tell him stories about his old man.
Soon enough, they got back to the village, where Naruto was surprised to see an enormous crowd ready to greet them. "Our hero has returned!" came a loud shout from the crowd as numerous people began to run toward him. He got off Kakashi's back, feeling well enough to finally support his own weight. Kakashi simply took a step back, however. Before he knew it, there were children hugging him, tears in their eyes, thanking him for saving their families. He stood still, shocked. It felt so strange to him, he simply could not react.
"The Hero of the Leaf!"
"Naruto returned to us!"
Numerous shouts came from the crowd, as they continued moving toward him. It felt surreal. They were talking… about him? It seemed too good to be true. Almost like something from a dream. He couldn't move his body at all, too dazed by the situation. He was startled back to life when Sakura ran toward him.
"Naruto!" she said, wrapping him in a tight hug. He could tell that she was crying, and from the fact that her hug was not crushing his will to live, exhausted as well. He willed his body to return the gesture, patting her on the back, as the woman who was one of the strongest people he knew cried into his chest.
"A-are you okay Sakura-chan?" He didn't know what to say; this was an entirely new experience to him. The pinkette looked up at him, eyes red.
"Am I okay? I just – you – so many people died. He was unstoppable. I-I thought we were all dead. Then, you show up. And you beat him. And you saved all those people." Sakura's explanation was somewhat hard for Naruto to understand, but he got the gist of it. Of course the girl was a bit emotional after everything that had happened; he could not even comprehend what the fight must have been like before he got there. Chaos, no idea what was going on, people dying all around. He continued to hug her, trying to soothe the fearsome kunoichi.
After a few more seconds, the girl let go of him as the crowd arrived. Naruto was greatly surprised when he found himself hoisted in the air by the massive group of people. "Three cheers for the Hero of the Leaf! Konoha's Second Yellow Flash!"
"NA-RU-TO!" they cheered, throwing him into the air as they did so and getting ready to do it again as soon as he was caught. "NA-RU-TO!" a part of him finally accepted a simple fact: the villagers actually respected him. Acknowledged him. Loved him. After all the hard work, all the pain, all the fighting, they finally acknowledged him. He was smiling now, as brightly as he could ever remember. "NA-RU-TO!" There was still a lot of work left ahead of him, but for the moment, he was a hero, the Akatsuki were defeated, nobody had died from the attack. He'd just enjoy himself for now.
Approximately one week later
The Tsuchikage's office was a rather drab room, as dull as the stone that the village of Iwagakure was carved from. He had a desk, a window, and two chairs. The man himself was an old man, veteran of multiple Great Shinobi Wars, and master of the rare Particle Release. Currently in his office was one of his spies from Konoha, telling a story that sounded almost unbelievable. "Hold on, before you ramble on, let me get a few things straight. Got it?" the girl nodded her head, and the elder leader cleared his throat. "Konohagakure was nearly destroyed in an attack?"
"Perpetrated by a man presumed to be the leader of Akatsuki?"
"From what I heard, hai, Tsuchikage-sama." This was a troublesome thought. Iwa had often turned toward the Akatsuki mercenary group in order to cheaply complete the missions that were not quite worth sending his regular shinobi on. He had not really known they were a group of S-ranked missing-nin at the time of course, but still, there was no doubt to him that if Konoha were to find the headquarters of this leader they could probably find some evidence linking him to the group.
"And this one man was enough to bring the great village of Konoha to its knees?" he was being a bit sarcastic when referring to Konoha as such, though really, it was not much of an exaggeration. How could one of the five great ninja villages be brought down so easily? There had been no real indication that the city had softened up through the years, but now that he thought about it, maybe that Suna invasion a few years back had done a bit more than reported.
"Well there were actually a few of them, I believe, but they all referred to them as one. So, I guess it was only one man? But he had the Rinnegan!" For a second, he thought that maybe this particular spy had completely lost her mind when suggesting that one person had managed to leave Konoha in ruins. It seemed impossible. However, the idea that this person possessed the Rinnegan would definitely give them almost unimaginable power. Those eyes were legendary for their power, and someone who owned them would be nearly unstoppable. Which raised an important question in his mind.
"So, how exactly was someone with the Rinnegan, clearly a competent opponent from your description, defeated?" The girl in front of him began to sweat suddenly, and avoided eye contact with him. This was very uncharacteristic from many of his shinobi, as most of the younger ones did not have the good sense to be afraid of him. At any other time, it would probably make him nostalgic for the days when friendly and enemy shinobi alike feared his very name. It definitely made him more curious in the whole situation.
"It-it was… you see, it's like this" it was so sad to see a trained shinobi spy behaving in such a manner. Back in his day, it never would have been tolerated and the girl would have been dismissed immediately. When had he allowed their training to slip so far?
"Spit it out!" He needed to know at this point. If Konoha had some sort of secret, Rinnegan stopping weapon, it could disrupt the balance of power in the elemental nations.
"Well" she began, clearly still a bit hesitant. "The village was almost defeated, clearly losing its will to fight back. Suddenly, in the middle of a giant crater, a blonde kid in his upper teens appeared on top of a giant toad."
"A toad summons?" he said, getting a nod. This was already a bit surprising. When the rumor came around that Jiraiya had died, and with his spies seemingly confirming this rumor, he had thought that maybe the old man had taken the toad contract to the grave with him. Apparently, someone else had been allowed to sign it.
"Anyway, for a minute, nothing happened. Then he reached into his pouch and pulled out a kunai. I could not see anything special about it from where I watched. He threw it, and made a hand signal that caused the one kunai to multiply into hundreds. At first I thought he was foolish, thinking that such a man could be defeated by such a simple technique. The enemy dodged easily, and kunai littered the battlefield. It was then that he… disappeared."
Ohnoki felt a pain in his chest and in his head, and for a moment thought that maybe he was having a heart attack combined with a stroke. A lone shinobi throwing hundreds of kunai onto the battlefield? Then disappearing? Plus, hadn't the girl mentioned earlier that the kid was blonde? It reminded him of the last war, of the man whom had killed many of his best shinobi. He could still see it in his head, usually only in his nightmares. Maybe there was still a chance he was jumping to conclusions?
"Then reappeared in an instant. It made me... think of a yellow flash." Just hearing the words 'flash' and 'yellow' in the same sentence again after all these years made him feel like he had spontaneously aged fifteen years. If it were not for his decades of experience, he thought that maybe he would have fallen dead out of his chair. He did not, however, and began the fight to regain his composure. "The fight escalated and I stood awe-struck, watching the confrontation. Eventually, however, he managed to whittle down the number of enemies before using some sort of shadow clone jutsu combined with what I presumed to be Hiraishin to swarm the last guy standing. And just like that the Rinnegan-user was defeated. Having seen the end of the fight, I immediately left to inform you."
Hearing the word Hiraishin made him shiver, but if the girl saw it, she was wise enough to say nothing. How could it be possible! That monster had been the only one who was ever recorded using the technique in such a way, and he had died almost two decades ago. He could still remember the smile on his face when he learned of it. Konoha, somehow, had taught another shinobi to use the technique. How foolish he was to have wasted all the years. If only he had done something all those years ago, maybe he could have prevented this. Suddenly, he felt a jolt of resolution through his body, and the calmness drilled into him from the time when he was himself a genin returned to him.
He could no longer be the fence-sitter. Something had to be done, and that was final. The problem, however, was that even a weakened Konoha combined with Suna would likely be able to defeat Iwa in a conflict. The first step to action would be to seek out a powerful ally, and Ohnoki knew of only one of the five Kage who would be willing to even talk to him about this.
About the same time
The office of the Raikage was essentially a weight-lifting room with a desk next to a window. An extremely muscular man sat behind the desk, the hat of his office on his head and over a hundred pounds of weights in his right arm serving as a warm-up. Across from him sat a somewhat timid man, deemed useless in the field of traditional ninja work but trained in appearing average. He was one of the few permanent spies he sent out, and this one had been in Konoha.
The man told an incredible story, involving a man with the Rinnegan appearing out of nowhere, wreaking havoc, and reducing a large section of the city to rubble. Rarely had he found himself so interested in something that did not involve his own training. If this were true, that meant that Konoha had finally been taken down a notch.
"And then, when everything seemed lost and I was planning an escape, a giant cloud of smoke arose from the crater. When it cleared, I saw some blond teenager sitting atop the boss of the Toad Summons."
A teenager being able to summon the leader of one of the major summoning clans? That was very impressive, but he doubted that they would be any match for the Rinnegan. It was admirable, however, for a young shinobi to be so willing to die for his village. Maybe he could replace that kid with some Kumo shinobi and have it taught in the academy? But why exactly was his spy worried with a meaningless detail like hair color in that situation?
"After a moment, he drew out a kunai. He was a good distance away, so at the time, I did not notice anything special about it. He threw it, and did a hand seal which caused it to multiply to around two hundred kunais. Naturally, against the Rinnegan, all of them missed. But then… something happened after that. I-I'm not sure if you'll believe me."
Ay raised an eyebrow at the man. He was the Raikage, he could handle any revelation no matter how big or small. How dare he, some cowardly spy, even imply that he would be unable to understand! Maybe he'd give him a Lightning Straight and hospitalize him to remind him of his place.
"He disappeared, and a split-second later, reappeared above one of the kunai." He did not even have the time for his brain to process what exactly had been said before his body reacted and his left hand shattered the wooden desk into nothing but splinters. A second later, he allowed himself to think. It seemed that Konoha had found some way to teach the Hiraishin jutsu to one of its shinobi. He knew that it had always been a possibility, he just wondered why they had not immediately done it upon that blonde's death?
"U-umm… anyway" the man said, for some reason shocked by the destroyed desk, "That Konoha shinobi won the fight, and I immediately decided that you would only believe me if I told you myself. So I left for Kumo as quickly as I could, knowing that I would not be missed among all the casualties."
"It was good of you to tell me this. Dismissed." Left alone in his office, Ay began to think. If there was now a second Yellow Flash, it could be nothing but trouble for his entire village. The original had been the only man he had ever encountered who could move faster than him, and the time they encountered each other in a forest still got under his skin. The way that man had toyed with him and his brother, as if they were nothing. Of course, he had improved in the many years since then and had always wanted another meeting. Until now, that had been impossible with the man dead.
The opportunity was perfect really. Konoha would be weakened and in a state of rebuilding. If Kumo could strike now, it might be the best chance they'd ever have to eliminate Konoha as a threat. Not to mention, he could get the chance to face the Yellow Flash once more and prove that he was now the strongest shinobi in the elemental nations. Even if he did not get to do it personally, the satisfaction would be almost the same. Plus, there was the fact that Bee would be around to protect the village, meaning he could be on the frontlines. And, though he would never admit it out loud, it could be extremely dangerous to let some teenager who managed to learn the Hiraishin more time to develop.
There was a problem, however, in the form of Suna. Sure, Suna was the weakest of the five ninja villages, but they were not weak. Fighting Konoha and Suna at the same time, alone, would prove a very difficult task. Although he was confident that his shinobi would pull through, especially with his leadership, there had to be some way to help shift the odds even more into his corner. That's when an idea struck him that made him so excited he jumped out of his seat and accidentally threw the weights in his right-hand through the ceiling. Of course there was one other Kage who would hate to hear about a new Yellow Flash.
A/N: Well, here it is, the beginning of a new story! Now, let me start off by saying that I'm excited. I feel like I've learned a lot in my prior endeavors.
I've always been very curious as to how, exactly, Hiraishin works, and through my many hours of research (reading fan-fictions mostly) I believe I managed to devise a believable, complex, mostly canonically sound description. As far as I was able to find, this is one of the more detailed and thorough explanations of how, exactly, the Hiraishin is possible within the Narutoverse. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, attempting to describe it as best as possible. I hope you will find that I succeeded.
This story is, at its core, an alternate Fourth Great Shinobi War taking place in a *slightly* alternate Naruto world in which Naruto learns Hiraishin instead of Senjutsu before the Pain fight. Pain is the true leader of Akatsuki; he has been defeated. What about the rest of them? That is for the remainder of the story to tell. All characters will be canon unless developed otherwise, and I will fanatically attempt to ensure that all OCs fit within the confines of realism as established within the Narutoverse. As with all my stories, I promise nothing in terms of updating except that, if I shall deem them dead, then I will update as such in the description.
As always, thank you for reading. Please feel free to follow, favorite, review, ignore, or simply keep on reading.